(1/2858) Post-traumatic epilepsy: its complications and impact on occupational rehabilitation--an epidemiological study from India.

The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of seizure disorder, neuropsychiatric disorders and reproductive outcome of employees with post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) and their effect on occupational rehabilitation. A case-comparison group study design was used to compare 30 subjects with PTE with (1) 129 non-PTE and (2) 55 non-PTE matched control employees. The 55 non-PTE matched controls were selected from the 129 non-PTE employees on the basis of age, age at onset of seizure, age at marriage and length of employment. The PTE group had a lower fertility rate than the controls and more neuropsychiatric disorders and seizure disability. PTE employees were more occupationally rehabilitated than non-PTE employees (p = 0.033). Of the 30 PTE subjects, thirteen who were rehabilitated by placement had more seizure disability (p = 0.007) and a higher fertility rate (p = 0.018). High prevalence of seizure disability and increased fertility rate among the placed PTE employees suggested that there might be some association between severity of seizures and increased production of live offspring and work placement. Work suitability or placement should not be judged on clinical assessment only but psychosocial seizure assessment, disability evaluation and other psychometric tests which are of equal importance.  (+info)

(2/2858) The social and economic effects of manic depressive illness and of its treatment in lithium clinics.

Advising about the employment of those who have had manic depressive episodes requires Occupational Health Physicians to obtain, with consent, an objective account of previous episodes and to appreciate the enormous range of manic and depressive manifestations. Familiarity is needed with the likely effects of treatment of episodes and the benefits and problems of prophylaxis--not just in general but in individual cases, for example, where driving is required. This article summarizes research into the effects of lithium preparations on the course of the illness, thyroid and renal function and the risk of suicide. The author found that changing from treatment of episodes to continuous prophylaxis benefited employment and personal relationships without causing body weight problems. Many patients do well in life if supported by an experienced professional team, with 61% requiring no further admissions once on lithium, and with an 86% reduction in admissions achieved in our local clinic.  (+info)

(3/2858) Why are workers uninsured? Employer-sponsored health insurance in 1997.

This study examines the number of workers in firms offering employee health plans, the number of workers eligible for such plans, and participation in employer-sponsored insurance. Data from the February 1997 Contingent Worker Supplement to the Current Population Survey indicate that 10.1 million workers are employed by firms offering insurance but are not eligible. Not all of these workers are eligible for coverage, most often because of hours of work. Our results indicate that 11.4 million workers rejected coverage when it was offered. Of those, 2.5 million workers were uninsured. Workers cited high cost of insurance most often as the primary factor for refusing coverage.  (+info)

(4/2858) Depression during the longitudinal course of schizophrenia.

This prospective research investigated the occurrence and persistence of depression during the longitudinal course of schizophrenia. The research goals were to (1) compare depression in schizophrenia with that in schizoaffective and major depressive disorders, (2) assess whether some schizophrenia patients are vulnerable to depression, and (3) assess the relationship of depression to posthospital adjustment in schizophrenia. A total of 70 schizophrenia, 31 schizoaffective depressed, 17 psychotic unipolar major depressed, and 69 nonpsychotic unipolar major depressed patients were assessed during hospitalization and prospectively assessed for depression, psychosis, and posthospital functioning at 4.5- and 7.5-year followups. A large number (30% to 40%) of schizophrenia patients evidenced full depressive syndromes at each followup, including a subgroup of patients who evidenced repeated depression. Even when considering the influence of psychosis on outcome, depression in schizophrenia was associated with poor overall outcome, work impairment, lower activity, dissatisfaction, and suicidal tendencies. During the post-acute phase assessed, neither the rates nor the severity of depressive syndromes differentiated depression in schizophrenia from schizodepressive or major depressive disorders. However, the depressed schizophrenia patients showed poorer posthospital adjustment in terms of less employment, more rehospitalizations, and more psychosis than the patients with primary major depression. The high prevalence of depression in schizophrenia warrants its incorporation into theory about the disorder. A continuum of vulnerability to depression contributes to the heterogeneity of schizophrenia, with some schizophrenia patients being prone to depression even years after the acute phase. Depression in schizophrenia is one factor, in addition to psychosis, associated with poor outcome and requires specific attention to the treatment strategies by psychiatrists.  (+info)

(5/2858) Gender, work and illness: the influence of a research unit on an agricultural community in The Gambia.

Changes in employment opportunities and medical services are exploited by men and women in different ways. This paper examines gender-based variation in the selective use of employment and health opportunities in a Gambian village which has been the subject of medical and nutritional research by the Medical Research Council (MRC) for 43 years. The seasonal workloads of 105 men and women in Keneba were compared during one calendar year. Women carried a heavier burden of agricultural labour, while men had a higher rate of waged employment. The impact of the MRC field station on the local economy was assessed and evidence of associated male dependence on MRC employment found. Illness reporting patterns and the treatment choices of men and women were examined. Women made greater use of the MRC medical service, while men resorted more frequently to local remedies and healers. Female dependence on the MRC medical services is suggested by the data, and may be linked to the greater attention paid to them by researchers and medical practitioners.  (+info)

(6/2858) Resource utilization and work or school loss reported by patients with diabetes: experience in diabetes training programs.

Diabetes exerts a major economic impact on healthcare in the United States both in terms of direct and indirect costs. Diabetes management and education programs designed to assist patients in achieving more optimal glycemic control represent a potential mechanism for reducing the morbidity and costs associated with diabetes. The relationship between HbA1c and patient hospitalizations and between HbA1c and days lost from work or school related to diabetes within the past year were evaluated. A cohort of 2359 patients with diabetes (188 type I, 2171 type II) referred to a comprehensive diabetes self-management training program was included in the analyses. Overall, 350 (14.8%) patients reported hospitalization, and 212 (9.0%) reported days lost from work or school. Patients with type I diabetes reported more hospitalizations (26.1% vs 13.9% and days lost (19.2% vs 8.1%) than type II patients. For the hospitalization outcome, the multivariate analyses indicated that younger age, the number of co-morbidities, and the duration of diabetes exerted a greater influence on the reported numbers of hospitalization than glycemic control. For the days lost outcome, the multivariate analyses indicated that there was a marginally significant association between patients with poor glycemic control and reported work or school loss related to diabetes (odds ratio = 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-2.2). These data suggest that interventions that improve glycemic control may decrease indirect costs related to diabetes.  (+info)

(7/2858) The effects of clonazepam on quality of life and work productivity in panic disorder.

Although panic disorder has been associated with impaired quality of life (QOL) and financial dependence, no prior study has examined whether a clinical intervention will improve these outcomes. This study examines the effects of clinically titrated doses of clonazepam versus placebo on QOL and work productivity (WP) in patients with panic disorder. QOL and WP were measured in conjunction with a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and Work Productivity and Impairment questionnaire were used to assess QOL and WP, respectively. Baseline assessments were obtained before randomizing patients to receive clinically titrated doses of clonazepam or placebo. Follow-up assessments were obtained after 6 weeks of therapy with the test drug or at premature termination from the study. Improvement on the SF-36 Mental Health Component Summary scale was more than twice as great with clonazepam than with placebo (P = 0.03). Clonazepam patients improved (P < 0.05) on all five measures of mental health-related QOL, and both measures of physical health-related QOL, and both measures of WP. Placebo patients improved on three of five measures of mental health-related QOL, but on no other measures. Patients with marked improvements on clinical measures of panic disorder severity, especially avoidance and fear of the main phobia, showed the greatest gains on the SF-36 Mental Health Component Summary scale. Clinically titrated doses of clonazepam significantly improved mental health-related QOL and WP in panic disorder patients. Lesser improvements were obtained with placebo.  (+info)

(8/2858) Health sector reform in central and eastern Europe: the professional dimension.

The success or failure of health sector reform in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe depends, to a large extent, on their health care staff. Commentators have focused on the structures to be put in place, such as mechanisms of financing or changes in ownership of facilities, but less attention has been paid to the role and status of the different groups working in health care services. This paper draws on a study of trends in staffing and working conditions throughout the region. It identifies several key issues including the traditionally lower status and pay of health sector workers compared to the West, the credibility crisis of trade unions, and the under-developed roles of professional associations. In order to implement health sector reforms and to address the deteriorating health status of the population, the health sector workforce has to be restructured and training programmes reoriented towards primary care. Finally, the paper identifies emerging issues such as the erosion of 'workplace welfare' and its adverse effects upon a predominantly female health care workforce.  (+info)