Antenatal screening and its possible meaning from unborn baby's perspective.
In recent decades antenatal screening has become one of the most routine procedure of pregnancy-follow up and the subject of hot debate in bioethics circles. In this paper the rationale behind doing antenatal screening and the actual and potential problems that it may cause will be discussed. The paper will examine the issue from the point of view of parents, health care professionals and, most importantly, the child-to-be. It will show how unthoughtfully antenatal screening is performed and how pregnancy is treated almost as a disease just since the emergence of antenatal screening. Genetic screening and ethical problems caused by the procedure will also be addressed and I will suggest that screening is more to do with the interests of others rather than those of the child-to be. (+info)
Effects of systematic asymmetric discounting on physician-patient interactions: a theoretical framework to explain poor compliance with lifestyle counseling.
BACKGROUND: This study advances the use of a utility model to model physician-patient interactions from the perspectives of physicians and patients. PRESENTATION OF THE HYPOTHESIS: In cases involving acute care, patient counseling involves a relatively straightforward transfer of information from the physician to a patient. The patient has less information than the physician on the impact the condition and its treatment have on utility. In decisions involving lifestyle changes, the patient may have more information than the physician on his/her utility of consumption; moreover, differences in discounting future health may contribute significantly to differences between patients' preferences and physicians' recommendations. TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS: The expectation of differences in internal discount rate between patients and their physicians is discussed. IMPLICATIONS OF THE HYPOTHESIS: This utility model provides a conceptual basis for the finding that educational approaches alone may not effect changes in patient behavior and suggests other economic variables that could be targeted in the attempt to produce healthier behavior. (+info)
The cost effectiveness of 5 interventions to increase mammography adherence in a managed care population.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the cost effectiveness of 5 combinations of strategies for increasing adherence to mammography recommendations in a population of women between the ages of 50 and 85 years enrolled in a large midwestern health maintenance organization. STUDY DESIGN: A randomized control trial comparing interventions believed to increase mammography adherence. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Intervention strategies included 5 combinations of physician recommendation, telephone, and in-person counseling. A total of 652 participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 intervention groups and 628 (95.9%) were available at 6-month follow-up. A logistic regression model with adherence as the dependent variable and group as the independent variable was used to test for significant differences between groups. A ratio of cost to improvement in mammogram adherence evaluated the cost effectiveness at 6 months. RESULTS: All 5 interventions resulted in significantly higher rates of adherence compared to no intervention. However, when considering costs, only 1 emerged as the superior strategy for the overall study population. In-person counseling was the most cost-effective strategy overall, followed closely by in-person counseling and physician's letter intervention. For women contemplating mammography, the telephone contact and physician's letter combination was the most cost-effective intervention. For women not contemplating mammography, the physician's letter was superior. The physician's letter worked best with women who had previous mammograms. For women with no mammogram history, the in-person counseling and physician's letter combination was clearly superior. CONCLUSIONS: The cost effectiveness of mammography screening interventions varies based on women's prior history of mammograms and their future intent. Further, managed care organization member characteristics can be used to determine the most cost-effective mammography screening intervention based on individual readiness. (+info)
Feasibility and effectiveness of offering a solution-focused follow-up to employees with psychological problems or muscle skeletal pain: a randomised controlled trial.
BACKGROUND: Long-term sick leave has been of concern to politicians and decision-makers in Norway for several years. In the current study we assess the feasibility and effectiveness of offering a voluntary, solution-focused follow-up to sick-listed employees. METHODS: Employees on long-term sick leave due to psychological problems or muscle skeletal pain were randomly allocated to be offered a solution-focused follow-up (n = 122) or "treatment as usual" (n = 106). The intervention was integrated within 2 social security offices' regular follow-up. The intervention group was informed about the offer with letters, telephone calls and information meetings. Feasibility was measured by rate of uptake to the intervention, and effectiveness by number of days on sick leave. RESULTS: In general, few were reached with the different information elements. While the letter was sent to all, only 31% were reached by telephone and 15% attended the information meetings. Thirteen employees (11.5%) in the intervention group participated in the solution-focused follow-up. Intention to treat analysis showed no difference in mean length of sick leave between the intervention group (217 days) and the control group (189 days) (p = 0,101). CONCLUSION: Even if the information strategy might be improved, it is not likely that a voluntary solution-focused follow-up offered by the social security offices would result in measurable reduction in length of sick leave on a population level. However, the efficacy of a solution-focused follow-up for the persons reporting a need for this approach should be further investigated. (+info)
Effect of 7-year infancy-onset dietary intervention on serum lipoproteins and lipoprotein subclasses in healthy children in the prospective, randomized Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project for Children (STRIP) study.
BACKGROUND: We previously showed that low-saturated-fat dietary intervention from infancy until 5 years of age safely and effectively reduced serum cholesterol concentration. We now report how such intervention influenced serum lipids, LDL particle size, and HDL subfractions in children when they reached the age of 7 years. METHODS AND RESULTS: Healthy 7-month-old infants (n=1062) were randomized to the intervention (n=540) and control (n=522) groups. Each year, two individualized counseling sessions were organized to the intervention families. Serum lipid values were measured annually. The intervention boys had 0.20 to 0.39 mmol/L lower serum cholesterol values than the control boys throughout the follow-up (always P<0.05), but the values of the intervention and control girls did not differ. The LDL particle sizes and HDL subfractions were determined in a random subgroup of 96 intervention and 101 control children at the age of 7 years. The mean particle diameter of major LDL peak was 262.6 A in the intervention boys and 258.5 A in the control boys (P=0.05), and 259.2 A in the intervention girls and 261.3 A in the control girls (P=0.30). HDL2 and HDL3 cholesterol concentrations did not differ between the intervention and control children or between the two genders. CONCLUSIONS: The 7-year intervention favorably influenced not only the serum total and LDL cholesterol concentrations but also the LDL particle size in boys. LDL particle size remained unchanged in girls, as did HDL2 and HDL3 concentrations in both genders. (+info)
A randomised controlled trial of three pragmatic approaches to initiate increased physical activity in sedentary patients with risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
BACKGROUND: Physical activity is a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but it is unclear what combination of feasible approaches, using existing resources in primary care, work best to initiate increased physical activity. AIM: To assess three approaches to initiate increased physical activity. DESIGN OF STUDY: Randomised controlled (2 X 2 X 2) factorial trial. SETTING: Four general practices. METHOD: One hundred and fifty-one sedentary patients with computer documented risk factors for cardiovascular disease were randomised to eight groups defined by three factors: prescription by general practitioners (GPs) for brisk exercise not requiring a leisure facility (for example, walking) 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week; counselling by practice nurses, based on psychological theory to modify intentions and perceived control of behaviour, and using behavioural implementation techniques (for example, contracting, 'rehearsal'); use of the Health Education Authority booklet 'Getting active, feeling fit'. RESULTS: Single interventions had modest effects. There was a trend from the least intensive interventions (control +/- booklet) to the more intensive interventions (prescription and counselling combined +/- booklet) for both increased physical activity and fitness (test for trend, P = 0.02 and P = 0.05, respectively). Only with the most intense intervention (prescription and counselling combined) were there significant increases in both physical activity and fitness from baseline (Godin score = 14.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 7.8 to 21, which was equivalent to three 15-minute sessions of brisk exercise and a 6-minute walking distance = 28.5 m, respectively, 95% CI = 11.1 to 45.8). Counselling only made a difference among those individuals with lower intention at baseline. CONCLUSION: Feasible interventions using available staff, which combine exercise prescription and counselling explicitly based on psychological theory, can probably initiate important increases in physical activity. (+info)
Pre-departure counselling and an email contact service for patients with epilepsy faring abroad for long periods of time.
The fate and management of 50 patients with epilepsy is described whilst they undertook varied gap year experiences in various countries. Despite initial apprehension on my part almost all had no change in their epilepsy (or had actual improvement) and it turned out to be a positive experience for all. With the ready availability of email it is suggested that the home clinic keeps in touch with gap year students whilst they are away and provides them with basic information and an assessment before they go, information which they can then take with them. (+info)
Community paediatricians' counseling patterns and knowledge of recommendations relating to child restraint use in motor vehicles.
BACKGROUND: Road traffic injury is the leading cause of death among Canadian children and youth. Transport Canada recommends four types of child restraint depending on the size of the child, and recent studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of recommended restraint use. OBJECTIVES: To determine community paediatricians' knowledge of Transport Canada recommendations for child restraint use in vehicles, and to examine paediatricians' counseling patterns in relation to child passenger safety. METHODS: A mailed questionnaire survey of all community paediatricians affiliated with the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto was conducted. A 16 item questionnaire gathered information on knowledge of Transport Canada recommendations for child restraint use, general counseling patterns in relation to child passenger safety, and demographic information. RESULTS: In total, 60 community paediatricians in active practice were identified. Of these, 48 (80%) responded to the mailed questionnaire. Almost all paediatricians (92%) correctly identified the recommended weight for transition to a forward-facing car seat, whereas fewer paediatricians (63%) correctly identified the recommended weight for transition to a booster seat from a forward-facing car seat, and only one third of paediatricians correctly identified the recommended weight for transition from a booster seat to a seat belt. CONCLUSION: Community paediatricians' knowledge of Transport Canada recommendations for child restraint use in vehicles is incomplete. There is a need for such recommendations to be better disseminated to paediatricians and parents so that information on child restraint use is delivered in a clear and consistent manner. (+info)