(57/585) Addressing tobacco in managed care: a survey of dentists' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.

OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the tobacco cessation knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of dentists participating in a large managed care dental plan. METHODS: Participating dentists in 4 states were surveyed via mail. RESULTS: Dentists' perceived success in helping patients quit using tobacco was highly correlated with discussion of specific strategies for quitting, advice about the use of nicotine gum, and time spent counseling patients. Dentists who were confident about their smoking cessation knowledge frequently advised patients to quit and spent more time counseling patients about tobacco cessation. CONCLUSIONS: Tobacco cessation is not a routine part of dental practice. Knowledge, time spent counseling patients, and specific strategies for quitting were associated with dentists' perceptions of success.  (+info)

(58/585) Prevalence and predictors of tobacco use among Asian Americans in the Delaware Valley region.

OBJECTIVES: This study examined tobacco use rates and potential predictors of use among Asian Americans residing in the Delaware Valley region. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey design was used. The sample consisted of 1174 Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, and Cambodians. RESULTS: Findings indicated that the mean age at initiation of tobacco use was 18.3 years. Among the respondents, 40.2% had a history of tobacco use, and 29.6% were current users. Men were more likely than women to smoke. There were significant differences between never smokers, current smokers, and ex-smokers in sex, ethnicity, educational attainment, and marital and employment status. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that tobacco use is still a serious public health problem among Asian Americans, especially men.  (+info)

(59/585) Preventing errors in the outpatient setting: a tale of three states.

Although error in medicine has received sustained policy attention recently, the problem of error in the outpatient setting has been relatively neglected. In this paper we review what is known about the incidence and nature of error-related adverse events in physicians' offices, ambulatory care facilities, and surgicenters. We then analyze policies to improve outpatient safety in New Jersey, New York, and Florida, three states that took very different paths toward this goal. Their experience suggests that accreditation, combined with particular attention to ensuring anesthesia safety, can improve quality of care for outpatients. These actions are best accomplished through proactive legislation and the development of regulations, rather than reactive responses to adverse events.  (+info)

(60/585) Distribution of African Americans in residential care/assisted living and nursing homes: more evidence of racial disparity?

OBJECTIVES: In this study, we examined racial separation in long-term care. METHODS: We used a survey of a stratified sample of 181 residential care/assisted living (RC/AL) facilities and 39 nursing homes in 4 states. RESULTS: Most African Americans resided in nursing homes and smaller RC/AL facilities and tended to be concentrated in a few predominantly African American facilities, whereas the vast majority of Whites resided in predominantly White facilities. Facilities housing African Americans tended to be located in rural, nonpoor, African American communities, to admit individuals with mental retardation and difficulty in ambulating, and to have lower ratings of cleanliness/maintenance and lighting. CONCLUSIONS: These racial disparities may result from economic factors, exclusionary practices, or resident choice. Whether separation relates to inequities in care is undetermined.  (+info)

(61/585) The impact of anthrax attacks on the American public.

CONTEXT: Incidents involving anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) through the mail in 4 metropolitan areas have raised concerns about the public's response nationally and locally. OBJECTIVE: To examine public response to these incidents and what it reveals about the demand placed on health professionals and public health officials nationally, in affected areas, and by affected people. DESIGN: Random-digit-dialed telephone surveys of samples of households nationally and in 3 specific metropolitan areas where cases of anthrax were reported: the District of Columbia; Trenton/Princeton, New Jersey; and Boca Raton, Florida. OUTCOME MEASURE: Respondents were asked a series of questions measuring their level of concern and their behavior in response to threats of anthrax and potential bioterrorist acts. RESULTS: The lives of a large share of people were affected in 3 metropolitan areas where anthrax incidents occurred. Residents of those 3 areas and people there who were affected by the incidents expressed a higher level of concern and took more precautions handling their mail. However, these incidents did not lead to great demands on the health system. CONCLUSIONS: The incidents of anthrax created anxieties, especially in areas where incidents occurred. There was some increased demand on the health system, but the demands were not large-scale. In the event of a major outbreak of disease, most Americans will rely heavily on their own physician for advice. Both national and local systems of population-based information gathering about the public's response to bioterrorist attacks are needed.  (+info)

(62/585) Comparing mortality of elderly patients on hemodialysis versus peritoneal dialysis: a propensity score approach.

The objective of this study was to evaluate differences in mortality over the first year of renal replacement therapy (RRT) between elderly patients starting treatment on hemodialysis (HD) versus peritoneal dialysis (PD). For the period of 1991 to mid-1996, this study defined an inception cohort of all patients aged >65 yr with new-onset chronic RRT who were New Jersey Medicare and/or Medicaid beneficiaries in the year before RRT and who had been diagnosed with renal disease more than 1 yr before RRT. Propensity scores were calculated for first treatment assignment from a large number of baseline covariates. Mortality was then compared among patients initially assigned to HD versus PD using multivariate 90-d interval Cox models controlled for propensity scores and center stratification. Peritoneal dialysis starters had a 16% higher rate of death during the first 90 d of RRT compared with HD patients (hazard ratio [HR], 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.96 to 1.42)]. Mortality did not differ between day 91 and 180 (HR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.71 to 1.51). Thereafter, PD starters again died at a higher rate (HR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.98). These findings were more pronounced among patients with diabetes. Sensitivity analyses using more stringent criteria to ensure that first treatment choice reflected long-term treatment choice confirmed the presence of an association between PD and mortality. In conclusion, compared with HD, peritoneal dialysis appears to be associated with higher mortality among older patients, particularly among those with diabetes, even after controlling for a large number of risk factors for mortality, propensity scores to control for nonrandom treatment assignment, and center stratification.  (+info)

(63/585) Are three sputum acid-fast bacillus smears necessary for discontinuing tuberculosis isolation?

To evaluate the efficacy of three sputum acid-fast bacillus (AFB) smears to rule out pulmonary tuberculosis, sputum AFB smear and culture results were analyzed at two university-affiliated teaching hospitals. The negative predictive value of the smear increased by only 0.2% on days 2 and 3 each, indicating that in low-prevalence populations, there is limited value in requiring three negative sputum AFB smears before discontinuing tuberculosis isolation.  (+info)

(64/585) Comparison of home lead dust reduction techniques on hard surfaces: the New Jersey assessment of cleaning techniques trial.

High efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) vacuums, which collect particles > 0.3 micro m, and trisodium phosphate (TSP), a detergent claimed to selectively remove lead, have been included in the HUD Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead Based Paint Hazards in Housing without systematic validation of their effectiveness. At the time the study was initiated, both HEPA vacuums and TSP were relatively expensive, they were not readily found in urban retail centers, and there were environmental concerns about the use and disposal of high-phosphate detergents. A randomized, controlled trial was conducted in urban high-risk homes in northern New Jersey to determine whether a more readily available and less expensive low-phosphate, non-TSP detergent and non-HEPA vacuum could perform as well as TSP and a HEPA vacuum in a cleaning protocol. Homes were randomized to one of three cleaning methods: TSP/HEPA vacuum, TSP/non-HEPA vacuum, or non-TSP/non-HEPA vacuum. Change in log-transformed lead loading was used in mixed models to compare the efficacy of the three cleaning techniques separately for uncarpeted floors, window sills, and window troughs. After we adjusted for baseline lead loading, the non-HEPA vacuum produced larger reductions on hard floors [19%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 3-38%], but the HEPA vacuum produced larger reductions on window sills (22%; 95% CI, 11-32%) and larger reductions on window troughs (16%; 95% CI, -4 to 33%). The non-TSP produced larger reductions on window troughs (21%; 95% CI, -2 to 50%), but TSP produced larger reductions on hard floors (5%; 95% CI, -12 to 19%) and window sills (8%; 95% CI, -5 to 20%). TSP/HEPA produced larger reductions on window sills (28%; 95% CI, 18-37%) and larger reductions on window troughs (2%; 95% CI, -24 to 23%), whereas the non-TSP/non-HEPA method produced larger reductions on hard floors (13%; 95% CI, -5 to 34%). Because neither vacuum nor detergent produced consistent results across surface types, the use of low-phosphate detergents and non-HEPA vacuums in a temporary control measure is supported.  (+info)