(49/6044) Genetic medicine: an experiment in community-expert interaction.

This project tested a two-way model of communication between lay groups and experts about genetic medicine in Perth, Western Australia. Focus group discussion with community group participants was followed by a communication workshop between community group participants and experts. Four groups of concerns or themes emerged from discussion: clinical considerations; legislative concerns; research priorities, and ethical and wider considerations. Community group concerns are not always met by the actions of "experts". This is, in part, because of the differing life-worlds of each group. However, the communication workshop showed the potential of two-way communication for both lay and expert members in understanding the others' viewpoint. Further, the approach developed here offers one possible way for community groups to participate in a substantial way in policy formulation processes.  (+info)

(50/6044) The 1998 Garrod lecture. Current and future antifungal therapy: new targets for antifungal agents.

Invasive fungal infections are a major problem in immunocompromised patients. The recent expansion of antifungal drug research has occurred because there is a critical need for new antifungal agents to treat these life-threatening invasive infections. The overview of the development of antifungal therapy which is provided herein reflects the increased interest in this very special area of infectious diseases. Although we have newer, less toxic, antifungal agents that are available for clinical use, their clinical efficacy in some invasive fungal infections, such as aspergillosis and fusariosis, is not optimal. Thus, intense efforts in antifungal drug discovery are still needed to develop more promising and effective antifungal agents for use in the clinical arena.  (+info)

(51/6044) The global burden of mental disorders.

Recent data on the burden of mental disorders worldwide demonstrates a major public health problem that affects patients, society, and nations as a whole. Research must be done to find effective ways to deal with the increasing burden of mental disorders. Given the growing evidence that mental disorders are disorders of the brain and that they can be treated effectively with both psychosocial counseling and psychotropic medications, intervention packages could be developed to deal with the increasing burden. Such packages should be tested for real-world effectiveness and their cost-effectiveness should be demonstrated to guide policymakers to choose from among many other non-mental health interventions. The transportability and sustainability of intervention packages should be studied in public health research and a link between efficacy, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, generalizability, and sustainability should be demonstrated. The World Health Organization's initiative on the World Mental Health 2000 Survey will provide the first basic epidemiologic data. Together with other data, the initiative will provide solid evidence for including mental disorders into essential treatment packages. In this way, parity can be achieved for mental disorders and mental health can be mainstreamed into health and public health practice.  (+info)

(52/6044) Ethical requirements for occupational health research--compliance arrangements for a single company in relation to a recent major nuclear industry study.

The media coverage given to occupational health studies in the field of ionizing radiation has, on occasion, been the cause of very real distress to radiation workers and their families. In response to this situation the Chief Medical Officers of the major UK nuclear companies developed an ethical policy for future involvement in research, based on the duty of care which researchers owe to a key customer of such studies: the worker. The policy consists of four principal elements: medical confidentiality; worker information; worker consent and the guarantee of the availability to the workers of pre-publication knowledge of the results. The policy issued in 1991/92 has achieved growing acceptance among researchers and medical journals, though the medical officers involved have been aware of some scepticism, particularly in relation to the practicalities of the dissemination of pre-publication information. The Record Linkage Study published in November 1997 marked a major piece of research work involving data from 120,000 radiation workers that had been carried out since the development of the policy. This paper reports on the successful compliance arrangements to meet the ethical requirements of that study within a single UK nuclear company, and is published to demonstrate that with commitment from researchers, the journal and occupational health staff such ethical requirements, and particularly the need for pre-publication information can be met in full.  (+info)

(53/6044) Development of a draft British standard: the assessment of heat strain for workers wearing personal protective equipment.

Existing methods for estimating heat stress, enshrined in British/International Standards (the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index [BS EN 27243] and the Required Sweat Rate equation [BS EN 12515; ISO 7933 modified]), assume that the clothing worn by the individual is water vapour permeable; the WBGT index also assumes that the clothing is relatively light. Because most forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) either have a higher insulative value than that assumed or are water vapour impermeable, the Standards cannot be accurately applied to workers wearing PPE. There was, therefore, a need to develop a British Standard which would allow interpretation of these existing Standards for workers wearing PPE. Relevant information was obtained through reviewing the literature and consulting experts. Two questionnaire surveys of potential users of the Standards were conducted, and physiological data collected both experimentally and in work situations were considered. The information collected was used to develop the draft British Standard. It provides information and data on: The general effect of PPE on heat balance of the body (the ability of the body to maintain its 'core' temperature within an acceptable range). The effect of specific forms of PPE on metabolic heat production rate. The thermal insulation and evaporative resistance of types of PPE. The effect of the closure of the garments to the body on heat transfer. The effect of the PPE on the proportion of the body covered. The effect of an air supply (for example, Breathing Apparatus [BA]) to the wearer. Guidance is given on conducting an analysis of the work situation, taking account of the impact of PPE. Detailed methods of interpreting both BS EN 27243 and BS EN 12515 for workers wearing PPE are given, taking account of the factors listed above. Three worked examples using BS EN 27243 and BS EN 12515 are given in the Annex of the draft Standard.  (+info)

(54/6044) Productivity of SCI Korean medical papers: 1996-1997.

In order to investigate the extent and growth of SCI publication activity of Korean medicine, DIALOG's SCISearch database was searched and the number of SCI Korean medical papers in each medical specialty was measured by publication year and by document type for 1996 and 1997. The percentage contribution of Korean medical papers to SCI database and the SCI publication productivity ratio were analyzed for each of 57 medical specialties. The data obtained in this study was compared with the data representing the 1980s and the data for the first half of the 1990s. The absolute productivity of SCI Korean medical papers as measured by the number of SCI Korean papers has increased about ten times from 306 papers in 1990 to 3,261 papers in 1997. More than 15% of SCI Korean publication output has resulted from six Korean medical journals indexed in SCI from 1995. The relative productivity of SCI Korean medical papers as measured by the percentage contribution from Korea to SCI and by its corresponding productivity ratio is not as impressive as the absolute productivity and its growth rate. It has increased three times from 0.245% to 0.642% during the same period. The relative productivity of SCI Korean medical publication output is not as great as the SCI Korean publication output of all sciences combined (1.02%).  (+info)

(55/6044) Attitudes and beliefs of African Americans toward participation in medical research.

OBJECTIVE: To describe barriers to participation of African Americans in research. DESIGN: Focus group interviews conducted in 1997. PATIENTS: Thirty-three African-American adults presenting to an urban public hospital for outpatient medical care participated in one of five focus groups. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: African-American patients' attitudes toward medical research were measured. Mistrust of doctors, scientists, and the government was reported consistently by the participants. Many participants described concerns about the ethical conduct of clinicians and investigators when poor or minority patients are involved and cited examples of exploitation as supporting evidence for their mistrust of the medical establishment. While participants were clear about the violation of human rights in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, all were misinformed of the historical facts of the study. Few participants understood the concept of informed consent. Participants saw signing the document as relinquishing their autonomy and as a legal protection for physicians. Despite these concerns, participants gave recommendations to improve minority participation in research. CONCLUSIONS: African-American participants in this study described distrust of the medical community as a prominent barrier to participation in clinical research. Participants described real and perceived examples of exploitation to support their distrust of researchers. The goal of the consent process, to inform patients of risks and benefits so as to facilitate self-determination, was misinterpreted by these participants. Understanding the importance of interpersonal trust within the clinical relationship may prove to be a significant factor in enhancing participation in clinical trials.  (+info)

(56/6044) Applying research evidence to individuals in primary care: a study using non-rheumatic atrial fibrillation.

BACKGROUND: There is strong research evidence that anticoagulation of patients with nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation reduces the morbidity and mortality of stroke. This evidence is incompletely applied. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to report consequences associated with the intention to apply evidence about anticoagulation for non-rheumatic atrial fibrillation (NRAF) to individuals in general medical practice. METHODS: The study involved prospective structured reporting of the processes of applying evidence about NRAF to individual patients in six general practices in Cambridge. The subjects were patients identified to have NRAF in these practices. The intervention consisted of a practice-based review of evidence and the construction of a practice-owned protocol. This was followed by a review of individual patients' records according to protocol criteria. The main outcomes were indentification of the characteristics of the patients, quantitation of GPs' intention to change treatment, explicit reporting of the reasons for not anticoagulating individuals and time to achieve the practice protocol. RESULTS: The data collected confirmed that patients excluded from the authoritative randomized controlled trials predominate among patients cared for in general medical practice. Practitioners overestimated the prevalence of NRAF in their patients and underestimated the extent to which their current practice offered intervention. Practitioners initially overestimated the amount of change required in patient management. In reviewing their patients' records with the intention of following evidence-based practice, practitioners explicitly described and regarded as appropriate their reasons for not prescribing anticoagulation to certain individuals. The review process was time-consuming and will need to be repeated as further evidence emerges.  (+info)