Nurses and nursing in primary medical care in England.
In 1974 we sent questionnaires on attachment and employment of nurses to 9214 general practices in England. There were 7863 replies (85%), of which 551 were excluded from the study. A total of 2654 nurses were directly employed by 24% (1774) of the practices, and 68% (4972) had attached nurses. Practices in health centres were larger and had greater nursing resources than those in other premises. We suggest that practices may employ nurses to compensate for ineffective nursing attachments, and we conclude that general-practice-employed nurses are becoming "professionalised". (+info)
Vitamin D status in different subgroups of British Asians.
To assess the effect of religious dietary practices and social customs on the vitamin D status of Asian immigrants, we kept records of the dietary intake and time spent out of doors of 81 Ugandan Asian men, women, and girls (9-19 years old). Sera were analysed for 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OHD3), and 28% of the subjects were found to have levels below the lower limit of normal. The (vegetarian) Hindus had the lowest dietary intakes, least time out of doors, and lowest serum 25-OHD3. The Goan (Roman Catholic) Asians, despite more pigmentation, had 25-OHD3 levels similar to those found among indigenous British people and had the most satisfactory vitamin D intakes. Among Asians, whose exposure to sunlight may be limited, dietary vitamin D becomes the major determinant of serum 25-OHD3. (+info)
Evaluating cost-effectiveness of diagnostic equipment: the brain scanner case.
An approach to evaluating the cost-effectiveness of high-technology diagnostic equipment has been devised, using the introduction of computerised axial tomography (CAT) as a model. With the advent of CAT scanning, angiography and air encephalography have a reduced, though important, role in investigating intracranial disease, and the efficient use of conventional equipment requires the centralisation of neuroradiological services, which would result in major cash savings. In contrast, the pattern of demand for CAT scanning, in addition to the acknowledged clinical efficiency of the scanner and its unique role in the head-injured patient, ephasies the need for improved access to scanners. In the interest of the patients the pattern of service must change. (+info)
A chiropractic service arrangement for musculoskeletal complaints in industry: a pilot study.
Chiropractic services are commonly used by workers with musculoskeletal problems, especially low back and neck complaints. Research into the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this approach is, however, difficult to design without prior pilot studies. This study followed 32 workers with these complaints attending one such service and used five measures of outcome over a 6-month period. These measured pain (VAS), disability (FLP), quality of life (SF-36), perceived benefit and satisfaction with care. Additionally, sickness costs to the companies were recorded over two years encompassing the study period. Treatment utilization was also monitored. Over half the population were chronic sufferers. The effect sizes were large for pain and for seven out of eight dimensions of the SF-36 questionnaire at 6-month follow-up, although not for disability (FLP). High levels of satisfaction and perceived improvement were reported and sickness costs to the companies fell. However, the sample size in this pilot study was small and did not include controls. We would, therefore, recommend a full cost-effectiveness study incorporating a randomized trial in this area. (+info)
Latex glove allergy among hospital employees: a study in the north-west of England.
The frequency of use and duration of wearing latex gloves among hospital employees has increased due to concerns about AIDS and hepatitis. In many countries there is increased consciousness about latex sensitization. In the UK, the Medical Device Agency has been monitoring latex allergy for a number of years but has not found any conclusive evidence of any significant problem. We report following a detailed questionnaire study in two hospitals in the north-west of England. A total of 1,827 members of staff were questioned about latex allergy at work. One hundred and twenty-four (7%) of these hospital employees had experienced symptoms strongly suggestive of latex allergy. Of this group, 56 had a-RAST test (IgE specific to latex), which was positive in seven (12.5%). There was a history of atopy in 31%, and a family history of atopy in 17% of the individuals. As a result of the study it was found that 17% (21 of the affected individuals) had already changed their working practice by using latex-free gloves. We were able to increase awareness of latex allergy within the hospitals. Both individuals and health care organizations need to be aware of the problem and hospital organizations should encourage staff to seek guidance to address the problem and, if necessary, to take appropriate measures to improve working practices. Practical guidelines are given with regard to identifying the problem and glove use for hospital staff. (+info)
Respiratory symptoms among glass bottle workers--cough and airways irritancy syndrome?
Glass bottle workers have been shown to experience an excess of respiratory symptoms. This work describes in detail the symptoms reported by a cohort of 69 symptomatic glass bottle workers. Symptoms, employment history and clinical investigations including radiology, spirometry and serial peak expiratory flow rate records were retrospectively analyzed from clinical records. The results showed a consistent syndrome of work-related eye, nose and throat irritation followed after a variable period by shortness of breath. The latent interval between starting work and first developing symptoms was typically 4 years (median = 4 yrs; range = 0-28). The interval preceding the development of dysponea was longer and much more variable (median = 16 yrs; range = 3-40). Spirometry was not markedly abnormal in the group but 57% of workers had abnormal serial peak expiratory flow rate charts. Workers in this industry experience upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms consistent with irritant exposure. The long-term functional significance of these symptoms should be formally investigated. (+info)
Delay in presentation of patients with acute stroke to hospital in Oxford.
We identified prospectively all patients (181 patients, 183 episodes) admitted to hospital in Oxford with acute stroke from 1 January to 30 June 1997. Data were inadequate in 30, leaving 153 episodes in 151 patients (63 men, 90 women). Structured interviews were used to investigate the timing of events preceding admission. Most strokes (91%) occurred at home, and 36% of patients were alone. After a median delay of 15 min, 56% called a GP (median 30 min response), 41% an ambulance (median 48 min to admission), and 3% went directly to A&E. Median time from hospital admission to doctor assessment was 69 min. Factors reducing delay were: initially calling an ambulance rather than a GP (p < 0.0001); onset not at home (p < 0.001); symptoms improving between onset and admission (p < 0.002); and altered consciousness (p < 0.002). The stroke was not recognized by 44% of patients, but no significant delay resulted. Overall, 31% were admitted within 3 h of onset, 46% within 6 h. Initial contact with the GP is a major determinant of delay. If acute therapies for stroke become available, GPs should be the primary targets for an educational initiative. (+info)
Natural sporting ability and predisposition to cardiovascular disorders.
We tested the hypothesis that people with a natural ability in 'power sports' (a presumed marker for predominance of type 2, glycolytic muscle fibres) might have increased risks of coronary heart disease (CHD) compared to those with a natural ability in 'endurance sports' (as a marker for predominance of type 1, oxidative muscle fibres). We examined subsequent cardiovascular disorders retrospectively in 231 male former soldiers, aged 34-87 years, who had undergone a course in physical training in the Army School of Physical Training, Aldershot, UK, who assessed themselves as having natural ability in either power (n = 107) or endurance (n = 124) sports. The proportion with CHD, defined as angina and/or coronary angioplasty and/or coronary artery bypass graft and/or heart attack was 18.7% in the 'power group' vs. 9.7% in the 'endurance group' (difference: chi 2 = 3.9, p = 0.05). The proportions with CHD and/or risk factors rose to 39.3% in the 'power group' vs. 25.8% in the 'endurance group' (difference: chi 2 = 4.8, p = 0.03). Under logistic regression analysis, compared to the 'endurance group', the 'power group' had 2.2 (95% CI: 1.00-4.63) the risk of developing CHD, and 1.86 (95% confidence interval: 1.06 to 3.25) the risk of developing CHD and/or risk factors. Men with a natural ability in 'power sports' are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disorders, compared to men with a natural ability in 'endurance sports'. A predominance of type 2, glycolytic muscle fibres, presumably of genetic origin, may predispose to cardiovascular disorders. (+info)