Do students' attitudes toward women change during medical school?
BACKGROUND: Medical school has historically reinforced traditional views of women. This cohort study follows implementation of a revitalized curriculum and examines students' attitudes toward women on entry into an Ontario medical school, and 3 years later. METHODS: Of the 75 students entering first year at Queen's University medical school 70 completed the initial survey in September 1994 and 54 were resurveyed in May 1997. First-year students at 2 other Ontario medical schools were also surveyed in 1994, and these 166 respondents formed a comparison group. Changes in responses to statements about sex-role stereotypes, willingness to control decision-making of female patients, and conceptualization of women as "other" or "abnormal" because they are women were examined. Responses from the comparison group were used to indicate whether the Queen's group was representative. RESULTS: Attitudinal differences between the primary group and the comparison group were not significant. After 3 years of medical education students were somewhat less accepting of sex-role stereotypes and less controlling in the doctor-patient encounter. They continued, however, to equate adults with men and to see women as "not adult" or "other." Female students began and remained somewhat more open-minded in all areas studied. INTERPRETATION: A predicted trend toward conservatism was not seen as students became older, more aware and closer to completion of medical training, although they continued to equate adults with male and to see women as "other." Findings may validate new curricular approaches and increased attention to gender issues in the academic environment. (+info)
Predictors of crop diversification: a survey of tobacco farmers in North Carolina (USA).
OBJECTIVE: To assess the attitudes and behaviours of North Carolina tobacco farmers around crop diversification. DESIGN: Cross-sectional telephone survey. PARTICIPANTS: Active tobacco farmers in 14 North Carolina counties (n = 1236), interviewed between January and April 1997 (91% response rate). OUTCOME MEASURES: Interest in, experience with, and perceived barriers to diversification. RESULTS: Most farmers (95%) grew/raised a commodity other than tobacco (mean = 2.8). A total of 60% of farmers expressed interest in trying other on-farm activities to supplement their tobacco and 60% reported taking action in the past year around supplementation. Younger age and college education were positively associated with interest. College education, off-farm income, and larger farm size were associated with the number of actions taken. For perceived external barriers to diversification, use of tobacco, percent income from tobacco, lack of college education, and younger age were most strongly associated with the number of barriers. For internal barriers (personal factors), percent income from tobacco, use of tobacco, and lack of college education were most strongly associated with the number of barriers. CONCLUSIONS: Most farmers were involved in diverse operations and expressed interest in continuing to diversify, although the breadth of diversification was narrow. Farmers noted many barriers to diversifying. If conventional production and marketing techniques are employed for non-tobacco alternatives, these alternatives may not provide the sustainable profitability that tobacco has afforded. Competition from foreign tobacco growers is the primary threat to the future of American growers and tobacco dependent communities. (+info)
Factors related to choosing oral contraception at age 15.
This report aims to identify factors which are related to use of oral contraceptives at an early age. A self-administered questionnaire was completed at schools in 1988 and 1992 in southern and western Finland (N = 1339). Sexually experienced girls (mean age 15.8 years) who had answered the question concerning their oral contraceptive use were included (N = 389). Logistic regression analysis was used to compare oral contraceptive users (N = 121) with the group of non-users. Total number of coital experiences was associated with oral contraceptive use: the odds ratio for those having at least 10 coital experiences was 6.30 compared with those with only one intercourse. The proportion was 73% among oral contraceptive users and 30% among non-users. Girls using oral contraceptives perceived more often (67%) that parents accept their sexual relationship (30% among non-users). Oral contraceptive users were less afraid of getting pregnant (9% compared with 31% among non-users) and felt more often that sex was very important in their life (31 and 13%, respectively). Other factors that entered the model were age at menarche, having a steady partner and frequency of disco visits. When a young girl asks for oral contraceptives, she is probably at true risk of pregnancy, and regular contraception should be considered both in view of effective prevention of pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. (+info)
Measuring intermediate outcomes of violence prevention programs targeting African-American male youth: an exploratory assessment of the psychometric properties of six psychosocial measures.
This study examined the psychometric properties of six psychosocial measures that may be useful indicators of intermediate outcomes of violence prevention programs targeting African-American male youth. Baseline and 6 month follow-up survey data are used from 223 African-American male 12-16 year olds participating in a violence prevention program evaluation study. The constructs of interest are beliefs supporting aggression, aggressive conflict-resolution style, hostility, ethnic identity, self-esteem and hopelessness. Each construct is measured as a multi-item scale. Exploratory factor analysis results provided limited support for the unidimensionality of these scales, thus suggesting that further scale development is warranted. Reliability coefficients for the scales ranged from 0.55 to 0.80. Bivariate analyses with baseline data indicate that all six measures have construct and criterion-related validity, as they are associated with each other and with four behavioral criteria in the expected directions. Predictive validity was also demonstrated for beliefs supporting aggression, aggressive conflict-resolution style, hostility and hopelessness which were associated with weapon-carrying behaviors measured in the 6 month follow-up survey both before and after controlling for corresponding behaviors measured in the baseline survey. (+info)
The effects of a participative programme on Irish pupils' attitudes to HIV/AIDS.
The study is concerned with a general humanistic approach to health (lifeskills) education and its application to the specific issue of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Ireland. A programme of five classroom sessions, structured to encourage active participation, was administered to an experimental group of 20 participants (10 male and 10 female). There was an equivalent control group. Attitudes towards 10 AIDS-related person concepts were measured before and after the programme using semantic differential rating scales. Highly significant differences were found between groups in post-programme attitudes to the concepts. There were no gender differences. It is concluded that this participative programme strongly influences AIDS-related attitudes, and, in particular, promotes compassion towards those with HIV/AIDS. (+info)
Understanding HIV-related risk among persons with a severe and persistent mental illness: insights from qualitative inquiry.
We conducted focus groups with 36 men and women who were receiving treatment for a severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) to learn more about the social context of their intimate relationships and the psychological antecedents of their sexual decision-making. Qualitative analysis of focus group transcripts indicated that a) sexual activity tended to be unplanned and occurred in social networks where HIV risk may be elevated, b) HIV-related knowledge was superficial and insufficient to guide safer sexual behavior, c) participants' HIV risk perception was often based upon factors unrelated to their sexual behaviors, and d) communication skills for HIV risk reduction were poor. We discuss how qualitative methods yielded insights not readily available through quantitative approaches and offer recommendations for HIV risk assessment and prevention among persons with an SPMI. (+info)
What do general practice receptionists think and feel about their work?
BACKGROUND: Although there is some published work acknowledging that the general practice receptionist's role is both important and difficult, receptionists' own views have rarely been sought. AIM: To explore general practice receptionists' ideas and feelings about their work. METHOD: A questionnaire was distributed to all 150 receptionists in a representative sample of 26 practices in the area covered by Leeds family health services authority. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a representative group of 20 receptionists selected from the questionnaire sample. RESULTS: All responders were women, 60% were over 40 years old, and about half had been in the post for more than five years; four-fifths worked part-time. They had chosen the job because it dovetailed with the rest of their lives. Responders derived satisfaction from helping patients, meeting people, having good relationships with colleagues, and doing varied work. Sources of stress included difficult patients, work pressure, problems finding appointments for patients, and feeling caught between doctors' and patients' demands. Responders' experiences and views of training were diverse. Practice managers were important in making them feel consulted and supported. All had a sense of teamwork with colleagues, but many did not perceive the whole practice as a team. Many felt doctors failed to appreciate the pressure and complexity of their work. CONCLUSIONS: Receptionists' work is complex, demanding and intense, involving a high level of commitment to patients, colleagues, and the practice. Recommendations include improved appointment systems, a positive role for practice managers in relation to reception staff, and individual planning of receptionists' training. Effective teamwork among receptionists should be recognized and developed. General practitioners (GPs) are recommended to develop a greater understanding of receptionists' work. (+info)
Subjective, psychomotor, and physiological effects of cumulative doses of opioid mu agonists in healthy volunteers.
The subjective, psychomotor, and physiological effects of three opioid mu-receptor agonists were studied in healthy volunteers using a cumulative-dosing procedure. Sixteen volunteers with no history of drug abuse received i.v. injections of saline (SAL), morphine (MOR), hydromorphone (HM), or meperidine (MEP) in a randomized double-blind crossover design. Subjects received 1 injection/h for the first 4 h, and a 3-h recovery period followed. SAL was injected first during each session, then SAL or increasing doses of each drug were administered every hour for the next 3 h. The absolute doses per injection were MOR: 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/70 kg; HM: 0.33, 0.65, and 1.3 mg/70 kg; and MEP: 17.5, 35, and 70 mg/70 kg. These injections resulted in cumulative doses of MOR: 2.5, 7.5, and 17.5; HM: 0.33, 0.98, and 2.28; and MEP: 17.5, 52.5, and 122.5 mg/70 kg. Subjects completed mood forms and psychomotor tests, and physiological measures were recorded at various times after each injection and during recovery. MEP tended to produce the most intense effects immediately after drug injection, which dissipated rapidly. MOR produced the mildest effects but was associated with unpleasant side effects during recovery and after the session. HM's effects were stronger than MOR's, and the recovery from HM was slower than with MEP. None of the opioids produced consistent effects that are typically associated with abuse liability. Orderly dose-response functions suggested that our cumulative-dosing procedure is an efficient way of determining dose-response functions for multiple opioids within the same subjects within the same study. (+info)