(1/287) Evidence for success in health promotion: suggestions for improvement.

This paper argues that health promotion needs to develop an approach to evaluation and effectiveness that values qualitative methodologies. It posits the idea that qualitative research could learn from the experience of quantitative researchers and promote more useful ways of measuring effectiveness by the use of intermediate and indirect indicators. It refers to a European-wide project designed to gather information on the effectiveness of health promotion interventions. This project discovered that there was a need for an instrument that allowed qualitative intervention methodologies to be assessed in the same way as quantitative methods.  (+info)

(2/287) Stroke patients' informal caregivers. Patient, caregiver, and service factors that affect caregiver strain.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Research has revealed that caring for a stroke patient can result in caregiver strain and a myriad of other difficulties for caregivers. This study aims to identify the level of strain experienced by caregivers in the early months after stroke and to assess the relationship between caregiver strain and caregiver characteristics, patient characteristics, and service inputs. METHODS: Stroke patients were identified through a random stratified sample of general practices. Patients were asked to identify their principal informal caregiver. Strain was measured with the Caregiver Strain Index, and all data were collected from caregivers at 1, 3, and 6 months after the patient's stroke. Multiple regression analysis was used to examine the factors associated with caregiver strain. RESULTS: Six months after stroke, 37% of caregivers were experiencing considerable strain. The amount of time a caregiver spent helping a stroke patient, the amount of time the caregiver spent with the patient, and the caregiver's health were all significantly associated with the level of strain experienced. Although none of the services or patient factors tested in this study were consistently associated with strain, an indicator of stroke severity was significant at each time point. CONCLUSIONS: Caregivers are experiencing strain, which has implications for research and service provision. Service providers need to identify caregivers at risk of greater strain and to help caregivers work through situations that services cannot alter. Research is needed to identify services that are effective in strain alleviation. Future research should also aim to identify the interface between patient characteristics and strain, burden, and depression and particularly to assess the caregiver's perception of these relationships.  (+info)

(3/287) Factors influencing single mother's employment status.

Changes in the welfare system limit the length of time a person can receive welfare benefits, thus mandating employment for many current welfare recipients. Single mothers with young children who do not become employed will lose financial support for housing, food, clothing, and health care and place their own and their children's health and safety at risk. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore women's experiences of being unemployed and to examine the barriers to employment perceived by single mothers who expressed a desire to be employed. Nine mothers were recruited from a larger sample of single mothers who had participated in a quantitative study about employment conducted 1 to 2 years earlier. Using focus group interviews, mothers were asked what it was like to be a single mother, and then what barriers to their employment they perceived. Two dimensions were identified from the mothers' statements. The first, a sense of obligation, included themes of "being there" for their own and their child's benefit and doing what it takes to optimize the child's growth and development. The second, negotiating the obstacles, referred to problems regarding child care, lack of involvement of the child's father and lack of support from relatives and friends for the mother's efforts toward securing employment. These findings have important implications for welfare reform, namely, that efforts aimed at moving nonemployed single mothers into the workforce will fail if these factors are not considered.  (+info)

(4/287) Spirituality and psychosocial factors in persons living with HIV.

AIM OF THE STUDY: This pilot study was designed to examine the relationships among spirituality and psychosocial factors in a sample of 52 adult males living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease and to determine the most reliable spirituality measure for a proposed longitudinal study. BACKGROUND: HIV disease is among the most devastating of illnesses, having multiple and profound effects upon all aspects of the biopsychosocial and spiritual being. Although research has suggested relationships among various psychosocial and spiritual factors, symptomatology and physical health, much more research is needed to document their potential influences on immune function, as well as health status, disease progression, and quality of life among persons with HIV disease. METHODS: This descriptive correlational study explored the relationships of spirituality and psychosocial measures. Spirituality was measured in terms of spiritual perspective, well-being and health using three tools: the Spiritual Perspective Scale, the Spiritual Well-Being Scale, and the Spiritual Health Inventory. Five psychosocial instruments were used to measure aspects of stress and coping: the Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale, Dealing with Illness Scale, Social Provisions Scale, Impact of Events Scale, and Functional Assessment of HIV Infection Scale. The sample was recruited as part of an ongoing funded study. The procedures from the larger study were well-defined and followed in this pilot study. Correlational analyses were done to determine the relationship between spirituality and the psychosocial measures. FINDINGS: The findings indicate that spirituality as measured by the existential well-being (EWB) subscale of the Spiritual Well-Being Scale was positively related to quality of life, social support, effective coping strategies and negatively related to perceived stress, uncertainty, psychological distress and emotional-focused coping. The other spirituality measures had less significant or non significant relationships with the psychological measures. CONCLUSIONS: The study findings support the inclusion of spirituality as a variable for consideration when examining the psychosocial factors and the quality of life of persons living with HIV disease. The spiritual measure that best captures these relationships is the EWB subscale of the Spiritual Well-Being Scale.  (+info)

(5/287) Effects of distraction using virtual reality glasses during lumbar punctures in adolescents with cancer.

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of virtual reality (VR) glasses on adolescents with cancer undergoing lumbar punctures (LPs). DESIGN: Pilot study using an experimental, control group design. SETTING: In-hospital oncology clinic. SAMPLE: 30 adolescents with cancer (17 in the VR and 13 in the control group) undergoing frequent LPs. METHODS: Subjects were randomly assigned to groups. Both groups received standard intervention during the LP, but the experimental group also wore VR glasses and watched a video. Following the LP, both groups rated their pain using a visual analog scale (VAS) and were interviewed to evaluate their experience. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Pain, subjective evaluation of experience. FINDINGS: Although VAS pain scores were not statistically different between the two groups (p = 0.77), VAS scores tended to be lower in the VR group (median VAS of 7.0, range 0-48) than in the control group (median VAS of 9.0, range 0-59). 77% of subjects in the experimental group said the VR glasses helped to distract them from the LP. CONCLUSIONS: VR glasses are a feasible, age-appropriate, nonpharmacologic adjunct to conventional care in managing the pain associated with LPs in adolescents. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The clinical application of various age-appropriate distracters to reduce pain in adolescents undergoing painful procedures should be explored.  (+info)

(6/287) Facilitating end-of-life decision-making: strategies for communicating and assessing.

End-of-life decision-making is often a difficult process and one that many elderly patients and their families will undergo. The grounded theory study of nurses, physicians, and family members (n = 20) reported in this article examined provider behaviors that facilitated the process of decision-making near the end of patients' lives. According to participants, providers who are experienced and comfortable are more likely to engage in communication and assessment strategies that facilitate end-of-life decision-making. Communication strategies included: being clear, avoiding euphemisms, spelling out the goals and expectations of treatment, using words such as "death" and "dying," and being specific when using such words as "hope" and "better." Assessment strategies included: assessing patients' physical conditions and end-of-life wishes, patients' and family members' understandings of the disease and prognosis, and their expectations and goals. An important first step for improved care is making explicit the provider's communicating and assessing strategies that facilitate end-of-life decision-making.  (+info)

(7/287) Children's perceptions of strategies for resolving community health problems.

We examine children's perceptions of the strategies they would use to resolve community health problems. Qualitative analysis using a grounded theory approach showed that 9- to 10-year-old children could conceptualize a range of solutions to hypothetical community health problems. Children's responses reflected an egocentric perspective, one that was centered on self and peers acting on short-term solutions to the immediate problem. Less frequently, children conceptualized broader structural interventions aimed at removing the problem altogether. Children could name resource persons including their friends, family, school personnel and other people in the community. However, outside of their family and peers, their knowledge was non-specific, i.e. it is doubtful that they would actually be able to access the resources. In light of our findings we discuss several important implications for future research. We note that children are interested in changing community conditions that affect their heath. However, their recognition of their marginalized position in adult society and their perception that adults do not take them seriously may be significant barriers to their participation. We suggest that society must rethink the position and roles that are assigned to children so that their valuable potential is not lost.  (+info)

(8/287) Client narratives: a theoretical perspective.

The role of subjective client narratives in health care represents a clinical and therapeutic tool, useful in complementing objective, scientific data. Of particular interest to mental health practitioners is the role narratives play as a therapeutic tool to guide clinical practice. This paper lays a foundation for understanding the importance of narrative in the psychotherapeutic process. It provides a brief overview of narrative theory and methods of structural analysis in order to provide a theoretical approach that can be utilized by nurses to address clients' needs.  (+info)