'Home hypertension': exploring the inverse white coat response.
BACKGROUND: The classical 'white coat response' to blood pressure measurement has been studied thoroughly. However, little is known about patients showing a reverse pattern, i.e. who have lower blood pressure readings at the clinic than outside healthcare facilities. AIM: To estimate the proportion of patients whose blood pressure levels as determined by self-measurements at home are higher than those taken at the clinic and to explore possible associations with demographic, clinical, and psychological variables. METHOD: Patients consecutively attending (n = 214) an academic family medicine department in Toronto, Canada, were eligible. Subjects aged below 16 years and those on psychotropic or blood pressure-lowering agents were excluded. The clinic-home blood pressure difference (CHBPD) was calculated for each participating subject by subtracting home blood pressure from clinic blood pressure. Those who had negative values were compared with the rest of the sample. RESULTS: A considerable proportion of patients had lower blood pressure at the clinic than at home (systolic, 34.6%; diastolic, 23.8%). These subjects did not differ from the rest of the sample with regard to age, sex, levels of education attained, immigration status, body mass index, experience of current symptoms, blood pressure levels, or psychological distress. However, in patients with a 'negative CHBPD', i.e. lower blood pressure at the clinic than at home, readings taken by an automatic, self-inflating device when still at the clinic were higher than in the rest of the sample. CONCLUSION: The results point to measurement bias being at least partly responsible for higher blood pressure readings outside the clinic. Automatic measurement devices used for self/home blood pressure measurement seem to cause an alerting reaction analogous to the well-described 'white coat response'. (+info)
Home care of high risk pregnant women by advanced practice nurses: nurse time consumed.
This study examined the time spent by advanced practice nurses (APNs) in providing prenatal care to women with high risk pregnancies. The results indicate that the overall mean APN time spent in providing prenatal care was 51.3 hours per woman. The greatest amount of time was spent in the clinic and women with pregestational diabetes consumed the most APN time and required the most contacts. Historically, home care services have been measured by number of visits or contacts. This study assists home care nurses and administrators to consider additional measurements including time spent. (+info)
Randomised controlled trial of follow up care in general practice of patients with myocardial infarction and angina: final results of the Southampton heart integrated care project (SHIP). The SHIP Collaborative Group.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of a programme to coordinate and support follow up care in general practice after a hospital diagnosis of myocardial infarction or angina. DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial; stratified random allocation of practices to intervention and control groups. SETTING: All 67 practices in Southampton and south west Hampshire, England. SUBJECTS: 597 adult patients (422 with myocardial infarction and 175 with a new diagnosis of angina) who were recruited during hospital admission or attendance at a chest pain clinic between April 1995 and September 1996. INTERVENTION: Programme to coordinate preventive care led by specialist liaison nurses which sought to improve communication between hospital and general practice and to encourage general practice nurses to provide structured follow up. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Serum total cholesterol concentration, blood pressure, distance walked in 6 minutes, confirmed smoking cessation, and body mass index measured at 1 year follow up. RESULTS: Of 559 surviving patients at 1 year, 502 (90%) were followed up. There was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups in smoking (cotinine validated quit rate 19% v 20%), lipid concentrations (serum total cholesterol 5.80 v 5.93 mmol/l), blood pressure (diastolic pressure 84 v 85 mm Hg), or fitness (distance walked in 6 minutes 443 v 433 m). Body mass index was slightly lower in the intervention group (27.4 v 28.2; P=0.08). CONCLUSIONS: Although the programme was effective in promoting follow up in general practice, it did not improve health outcome. Simply coordinating and supporting existing NHS care is insufficient. Ischaemic heart disease is a chronic condition which requires the same systematic approach to secondary prevention applied in other chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus. (+info)
Effect of number of home exercises on compliance and performance in adults over 65 years of age.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: There is limited research on the effects of the number of exercises a person is told to perform on compliance and performance, as defined by cueing requirements, correct alignment, and quality of movement. Some studies of medication suggest that compliance decreases as the number of medications increases. The purpose of this study was to determine whether older adults comply and perform better (ie, requiring less cueing, exhibiting correct alignment, and exhibiting controlled, coordinated, and continuous movements) when they are asked to do 2, 5, or 8 exercises. SUBJECTS: Subjects were 11 women and 4 men, aged 67 to 82 years (X=72.8), who were living independently in their communities. METHODS: Subjects were randomly prescribed 2, 5, or 8 general strengthening home exercises. They were instructed on their exercises at an initial session and asked to record the number of repetitions performed each day in a self-report exercise log. At a return session 7 to 10 days later, subjects were scored on their performance of the prescribed exercises using a newly designed assessment tool. RESULTS: The group that was prescribed 2 exercises performed better, as defined by their performance tool score, than the group that was prescribed 8 exercises. The group that was prescribed 5 exercises was not different from the groups that performed 2 or 8 exercises. No differences were found among groups regarding the self-report measurement of compliance. There was a moderate correlation between performance scores and the self-report percentage rates. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: Subjects who were prescribed 2 exercises performed better than subjects who were prescribed 8 exercises. The question of an optimal number of exercises to prescribe to elderly people warrants further study. (+info)
House calls in Lebanon: reflections on personal experience.
BACKGROUND: Home health services play an important role in decreasing hospital admissions and physicians' medical house calls play an integral role in home health services. There is no national survey of physicians' house call practice in the Lebanon. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to provide some information about house call practice in the Lebanon. METHOD: Data on patients examined during house call visits between 1 January and the end of December 1995 were reviewed. RESULTS: During this period, 137 patients were seen at their home. Eighty-four patients (62%) were female and 53 patients (38%) were male. Ages ranged from 1 to 85 years. The number of cases seen in 1 month averaged 11. The diagnosis differed according to the age group of patients examined. Most of the house call visits occurred between 6.30 p.m. to 12.00 p.m. (47%). Fifteen patients (11%) were admitted to the hospital. CONCLUSION: The rate of cases per month was similar to those reported elsewhere. Physicians might feel reluctant to conduct house calls out of hours. Our study revealed that the majority of patients were seen between 6 p.m. and 12 p.m., and only 6% were seen after 12 a.m. It is our belief that house calls are an integral part of family practice and need to be stressed during the internships of all primary care physicians. (+info)
Home delivery of heat-stable vaccines in Indonesia: outreach immunization with a prefilled, single-use injection device.
Extending immunization coverage to underserved populations will require innovative immunization strategies. This study evaluated one such strategy: the use of a prefilled, single-use injection device for outreach immunization by village midwives. The device, UniJect, is designed to prevent refilling or reuse. Stored at ambient temperatures for up to 1 month in midwives' homes, vaccine-filled UniJect devices were immediately available for outreach. Between July 1995 and April 1996, 110 midwives on the Indonesia islands of Lombok and Bali visited the homes of newborn infants to deliver hepatitis B vaccine to the infants and tetanus toxoid to their mothers. Observations and interviews showed that the midwives used the device properly and safely to administer approximately 10,000 sterile injections in home settings. There were no problems with excessive heat exposure during the storage or delivery of vaccine. Injection recipients and midwives expressed a strong preference for the UniJect device over a standard syringe. Use of the prefilled device outside the cold chain simplified the logistics and facilitated the speed and efficiency of home visits, while the single-dose format minimized vaccine wastage. (+info)
Use of resources and costs of palliative care with parenteral fluids and analgesics in the home setting for patients with end-stage cancer.
BACKGROUND: In 1992 a home care technology project was started in which infusion therapy in the home setting was made available for patients with end-stage cancer. Beside aspects of feasibility and quality of life the resource utilization and costs of this transition was studied. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a cost evaluation study, to determine the actual cost of managing patients with endstage cancer who require parenteral administration of fluid or analgesics in the home setting. A total of 128 patients were prospectively followed, with a detailed analysis of some aspects in a sample of 24 patients. RESULTS: The cost for each patient was found to be between $250.00 and $300.00 per day, half of which are for hospital charges, even with this active home care technology program. One-third of the costs can be attributed to primary health care activities, in particular those of the district nurses. A hypothetical control group (n = 25) was constructed based on current practice and chart review. Patients in this group would have cost around $750.00 per day. With a median treatment period of 16 days this means a saving of $8000.00 per patient. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that significant savings can be obtained by implementing programs transferring palliative care technology to the home setting. (+info)
Radiography in the home.
Modern portable x-ray units are light enough to be easily carried to the ill patient in his home; their output is sufficient for radiographs containing useful diagnostic information to be made of the chest, hip, and other regions, especially if a grid is employed. The skull is considered to be beyond the range of this method of examination, because of the long exposure times required, but gross lesions can be demonstrated in the oesophagus and stomach if barium is given. The radiation hazard is not considered to be a contraindication if appropriate precautions are taken. (+info)