(1/4240) Marijuana use among minority youths living in public housing developments.

Youths residing in public housing developments appear to be at markedly heightened risk for drug use because of their constant exposure to violence, poverty, and drug-related activity. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a model of marijuana etiology with adolescents (N = 624) residing in public housing. African-American and Hispanic seventh graders completed questionnaires about their marijuana use, social influences to smoke marijuana, and sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics. Results indicated that social influences, such as friends' marijuana use and perceived ease of availability of marijuana, significantly predicted both occasional and future use of marijuana. Individual characteristics such as antimarijuana attitudes and drug refusal skills also predicted marijuana use. The findings imply that effective prevention approaches that target urban youths residing in public housing developments should provide them with an awareness of social influences to use marijuana, correct misperceptions about the prevalence of marijuana smoking, and train adolescents in relevant psychosocial skills.  (+info)

(2/4240) Effect of discussion and deliberation on the public's views of priority setting in health care: focus group study.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the extent to which people change their views about priority setting in health care as a result of discussion and deliberation. DESIGN: A random sample of patients from two urban general practices was invited to attend two focus group meetings, a fortnight apart. SETTING: North Yorkshire Health Authority. SUBJECTS: 60 randomly chosen patients meeting in 10 groups of five to seven people. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Differences between people's views at the start of the first meeting and at the end of the second meeting, after they have had an opportunity for discussion and deliberation, measured by questionnaires at the start of the first meeting and the end of the second meeting. RESULTS: Respondents became more reticent about the role that their views should play in determining priorities and more sympathetic to the role that healthcare managers play. About a half of respondents initially wanted to give lower priority to smokers, heavy drinkers, and illegal drug users, but after discussion many no longer wished to discriminate against these people. CONCLUSION: The public's views about setting priorities in health care are systematically different when they have been given an opportunity to discuss the issues. If the considered opinions of the general public are required, surveys that do not allow respondents time or opportunity for reflection may be of doubtful value.  (+info)

(3/4240) Understanding lay perspectives: care options for STD treatment in Lusaka, Zambia.

Understanding lay persons' perceptions of STD care is critical in the design and implementation of appropriate health services. Using 20 unstructured group interviews, 10 focus group discussions and 4 STD case simulations in selected sub-populations in Lusaka, we investigated lay person perspectives of STD services. The study revealed a large diversity of care options for STD in the communities, including self-care, traditional healers, medicine sold in the markets and streets, injections administered in the compounds, private clinics, health centres and hospital. The factors identified as influencing care seeking behaviour are: lay referral mechanisms, social cost, availability of care options, economics, beliefs, stigma and quality of care as perceived by the users.  (+info)

(4/4240) Staff and patient feedback in mental health services for older people.

OBJECTIVES: To compare the views of patients and staff on the quality of care provided on a psychogeriatric assessment ward over a five year period. To describe the quality improvements which were made as a result of their respective comments. DESIGN: Structured interviews were conducted with both patients and staff to obtain qualitative feedback and suggestions for improvement. An analysis of the percentage of positive and negative comments made by both patients and staff was used to compare the levels of satisfaction on a variety of aspects of the service provided. SETTING: Psychogeriatric inpatient assessment ward. SUBJECTS: 75 patients and 85 staff interviews were conducted. MAIN MEASURES: Structured interviews covering various aspects of service quality. RESULTS: Staff and patients picked up on different aspects of service quality as important. Quality improvements which arose from the interviews were clearly different. Generally patients were more positive about the physical environment and standards of professional care than staff, but less positive about issues of privacy, social interaction, and empowerment. CONCLUSIONS: The perspectives of patients and staff in this area are not interchangeable. Both series of interviews led to several positive changes in the quality of care. Interviews with staff seem to have been valuable in a low morale situation. A structured interview format provided patients with an opportunity to feedback openly and led to changes in service quality which would not otherwise have occurred.  (+info)

(5/4240) Psychological factors associated with recurrent vaginal candidiasis: a preliminary study.

OBJECTIVE: To identify psychological factors associated with chronic recurrent vaginal candidiasis. DESIGN: A cross sectional exploratory study of women with chronic, recurrent vaginal candidiasis. PATIENTS: 28 women found culture positive and treated for vaginal candidiasis by a clinic physician at least twice within the past 6 months. All women reported that they had experienced vaginal thrush six or more times within 1 year. A comparison group comprised 16 women with no history of recurrent vaginal candidiasis, of similar age range, and recruited from a women's family planning service. METHODS: Both groups were compared on demographic criteria, sexual health histories, mental health, and psychological health characteristics. A purpose designed structured interview was administered alongside a battery of standardised psychometric instruments measuring mood, satisfaction with life, self esteem, and perceived stress. RESULTS: The two groups showed considerable similarities, with no significant differences in demographic characteristics and most sexual health issues. However, women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis were significantly more likely to suffer clinical depression, to be less satisfied with life, to have poorer self esteem, and to perceive their lives as more stressful. Additionally, women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis reported that their candidiasis seriously interfered with their sexual and emotional relationships. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this study identified many areas of psychological morbidity associated with chronic vaginal candidiasis, and indicates that development of appropriate psychological treatment initiatives in this area is long overdue.  (+info)

(6/4240) Behavioural intervention trials for HIV/STD prevention in schools: are they feasible?

OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility of conducting a large randomised controlled trial (RCT) of peer led intervention in schools to reduce the risk of HIV/STD and promote sexual health. METHODS: Four secondary schools in Greater London were randomly assigned to receive peer led intervention (two experimental schools) or to act as control schools. In the experimental schools, trained volunteers aged 16-17 years (year 12) delivered the peer led intervention to 13-14 year old pupils (year 9). In the control schools, year 9 pupils received the usual teacher led sex education. Questionnaire data collected from year 9 pupils at baseline included views on the quality of sex education/intervention received, and knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS and other sexual matters. Focus groups were also conducted with peer educators and year 9 pupils. Data on the process of delivering sex education/intervention and on attitudes to the RCT were collected for each of the schools. Analysis focused on the acceptability of a randomised trial to schools, parents, and pupils. RESULTS: Nearly 500 parents were informed about the research and invited to examine the study questionnaire; only nine raised questions and only one pupil was withdrawn from the study. Questionnaire completion rates were around 90% in all schools. At baseline, the majority of year 9 pupils wanted more information about a wide range of sexual matters. Focus group work indicated considerable enthusiasm for peer led education, among peer educators and year 9 pupils. Class discipline was the most frequently noted problem with the delivery of the peer led intervention. CONCLUSION: Evaluation of a peer led behavioural intervention through an RCT can be acceptable to schools, pupils, and parents and is feasible in practice. In general, pupils who received the peer led intervention responded more positively than those in control schools. A large RCT of the long term (5-7 year) effects of this novel intervention on sexual health outcomes is now under way.  (+info)

(7/4240) Marital and parental satisfaction of married physicians with children.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate personal and professional factors associated with marital and parental satisfaction of physicians. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. PARTICIPANTS: A survey was sent to equal numbers of licensed male and female physicians in a Southern California county. Of 964 delivered questionnaires, 656 (68%) were returned completed. Our sample includes 415 currently married physicians with children, 64% male and 36% female. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Ratings of marital and parental satisfaction were measured on a 5-point Likert scale, 5 being extremely satisfied. Prevalence of work and home life factors was also evaluated. The mean score for marital satisfaction was 3.92 (range 1.75-5.0). Approximately half of the physicians reported high levels of marital satisfaction (63% of male physicians and 45% of female physicians). The gender difference disappeared after adjusting for age differences. Two factors were associated with high marital satisfaction: a supportive spouse (odds ratio [OR] 10.37; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.66, 40.08) and role conflict (OR 0.61; 95% CI 0.42, 0.88). The mean score for parental satisfaction was 3. 43 (range 1.0-5.0), and approximately two thirds of both male and female physicians reported at least moderate levels of parental satisfaction. The major factors associated with parental satisfaction were a supportive spouse (OR 2.24; 95% CI 1.32, 3.80), role conflict (OR 0.35; 95% CI 0.23, 0.53), salaried practice setting (OR 2.14; 95% CI 1.21, 3.81), marriage to a spouse working in a profession (OR 2.14; 95% CI 1.21, 3.81), and marriage to a spouse working as a homemaker (OR 2.33; 95% CI 1.20, 4.56). Number of hours worked was not found to be related to either satisfaction score, but rather to an intervening variable, role conflict. CONCLUSIONS: For physicians with children, our study indicates that minimizing the level of role conflict and having a supportive spouse are associated with higher levels of marital and parental satisfaction. Working in salaried positions and marriage to a spouse who is either working in a profession or who is a stay-at-home parent are also related to high parental satisfaction.  (+info)

(8/4240) Understanding HIV-related risk among persons with a severe and persistent mental illness: insights from qualitative inquiry.

We conducted focus groups with 36 men and women who were receiving treatment for a severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) to learn more about the social context of their intimate relationships and the psychological antecedents of their sexual decision-making. Qualitative analysis of focus group transcripts indicated that a) sexual activity tended to be unplanned and occurred in social networks where HIV risk may be elevated, b) HIV-related knowledge was superficial and insufficient to guide safer sexual behavior, c) participants' HIV risk perception was often based upon factors unrelated to their sexual behaviors, and d) communication skills for HIV risk reduction were poor. We discuss how qualitative methods yielded insights not readily available through quantitative approaches and offer recommendations for HIV risk assessment and prevention among persons with an SPMI.  (+info)