Do housing tenure and car access predict health because they are simply markers of income or self esteem? A Scottish study.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate relations between health (using a range of measures) and housing tenure or car access; and to test the hypothesis that observed relations between these asset based measures and health are simply because they are markers for income or self esteem. DESIGN: Analysis of data from second wave of data collection of West of Scotland Twenty-07 study, collected in 1991 by face to face interviews conducted by nurse interviewers. SETTING: The Central Clydeside Conurbation, in the West of Scotland. SUBJECTS: 785 people (354 men, 431 women) in their late 30s, and 718 people (358 men, 359 women) in their late 50s, participants in a longitudinal study. MEASURES: General Health Questionnaire scores, respiratory function, waist/hip ratio, number of longstanding illnesses, number of symptoms in the last month, and systolic blood pressure; household income adjusted for household size and composition; Rosenberg self esteem score; housing tenure and care access. RESULTS: On bivariate analysis, all the health measures were significantly associated with housing tenure, and all except waist/hip ratio with car access; all except waist/hip ratio were related to income, and all except systolic blood pressure were related to self esteem. In models controlling for age, sex, and their interaction, neither waist/hip ratio nor systolic blood pressure remained significantly associated with tenure or care access. Significant relations with all the remaining health measures persisted after further controlling for income or self esteem. CONCLUSIONS: Housing tenure and car access may not only be related to health because they are markers for income or psychological traits; they may also have some directly health promoting or damaging effects. More research is needed to establish mechanisms by which they may influence health, and to determine the policy implications of their association with health. (+info)
Validation of a specific quality of life questionnaire for functional digestive disorders.
BACKGROUND: Dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome are suitable conditions for assessment of quality of life. Their similarities justify the elaboration of a single specific questionnaire for the two conditions. AIMS: To examine the process leading to the validation of the psychometric properties of the functional digestive disorders quality of life questionnaire (FDDQL). METHODS: Initially, the questionnaire was given to 154 patients, to assess its acceptability and reproducibility, analyse its content, and reduce the number of items. Its responsiveness was tested during two therapeutic trials which included 428 patients. The questionnaire has been translated into French, English, and German. The psychometric validation study was conducted in France, United Kingdom, and Germany by 187 practitioners. A total of 401 patients with dyspepsia or irritable bowel syndrome, defined by the Rome criteria, filled in the FDDQL and generic SF-36 questionnaires. RESULTS: The structure of the FDDQL scales was checked by factorial analysis. Its reliability was expressed by a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.94. Assessment of its discriminant validity showed that the more severe the functional digestive disorders, the more impaired the quality of life (p<0.05). Concurrent validity was supported by the correlation found between the FDDQL and SF-36 questionnaire scales. The final version of the questionnaire contains 43 items belonging to eight domains. CONCLUSIONS: The properties of the FDDQL questionnaire, available in French, English, and German, make it appropriate for use in clinical trials designed to evaluate its responsiveness to treatment among patients with dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome. (+info)
Restructuring the primary health care services and changing profile of family physicians in Turkey.
A new health-reform process has been initiated by Ministry of Health in Turkey. The aim of that reform is to improve the health status of the Turkish population and to provide health care to all citizens in an efficient and equitable manner. The restructuring of the current health system will allow more funds to be allocated to primary and preventive care and will create a managed market for secondary and tertiary care. In this article, we review the current and proposed primary care services models and the role of family physicians therein. (+info)
Light on population health status.
A new approach to illustrating and analysing health status is presented which allows comparisons of various aspects of health in a population at different times and in different populations during given periods. Both quantitative and qualitative elements can be represented, the impact of interventions can be monitored, and the extent to which objectives are achieved can be assessed. The practical application of the approach is demonstrated with reference to the health profiles to Tunisia in 1966 and 1994. (+info)
Health expectancy indicators.
An outline is presented of progress in the development of health expectancy indicators, which are growing in importance as a means of assessing the health status of populations and determining public health priorities. (+info)
Determinants of an impaired quality of life five years after coronary artery bypass surgery.
OBJECTIVE: To identify determinants of an inferior quality of life (QoL) five years after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). SETTING: University hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Patients from western Sweden who underwent CABG between 1988 and 1991. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Questionnaires for evaluating QoL before CABG and five years after operation. Three different instruments were used: the Nottingham health profile (NHP), the psychological general wellbeing index (PGWI), and the physical activity score (PAS). RESULTS: 2121 patients underwent CABG, of whom 310 died during five years' follow up. Information on QoL after five years was available in 1431 survivors (79%). There were three independent predictors for an inferior QoL with all three instruments: female sex, a history of diabetes mellitus, and a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Multivariate analysis showed that a poor preoperative QoL was a strong independent predictor for an impaired QoL five years after CABG. An impaired QoL was also predicted by previous disease. CONCLUSIONS: Female sex, an impaired QoL before surgery, and other diseases such as diabetes mellitus are independent predictors for an impaired QoL after CABG in survivors five years after operation. (+info)
Prospective study of health related quality of life before and after coronary artery bypass grafting: outcome at five years.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the long term health related quality of life of coronary artery bypass graft patients, to look at changes between one and five years after surgery, and to examine the ability of preoperative variables to predict longer term outcome. DESIGN: Nottingham health profile (NHP) was used to assess patients at five years compared to results obtained at one year. PATIENTS: 100 male patients aged < 60 years at time of surgery; 77 had three vessel disease and 84 received three or more saphenous vein grafts. RESULTS: In comparing the five year results with those at one year, lower mean scores, indicating slight improvements, were seen in the NHP dimensions of pain, sleep, social isolation, and emotional reactions, whereas signs of deterioration were noted in the physical mobility and energy scores. Chest pain was experienced by 34 of 84 patients at five years compared with 17 of 89 patients at one year. The proportion of patients who were unrestricted in their activities ranged from 61-70% at five years compared with 82-88% at one year. Absence of dyspnoea before surgery, indicating relatively good left ventricular function, was a predictor of good outcome at both one and five years. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence of deterioration in physical function is compatible with expected decline in graft patency; specific rather than generic measures were most sensitive to this change. (+info)
Waking the health plan giant: Group Health Cooperative stops counting sheep and starts counting key tobacco indicators.
Implementing a comprehensive approach to decreasing tobacco use in a large health plan requires hard work and commitment on the part of many individuals. We found that major organisational change can be accomplished and sustained. Keys to our success included our decision to remove access barriers to our cessation programmes (including cost); obtaining top leadership buy-in; identifying accountable individuals who owned responsibility for change; measuring key processes and outcomes; and finally keeping at it tenaciously through multiple cycles of improvement. (+info)