Behavioural risk factors for HIV/AIDS in a low-HIV prevalence Muslim nation: Bangladesh.
A review of published and unpublished data indicates the prevalence of high-risk behaviours for HIV transmission in segments of the Bangladeshi population. These include casual unprotected sex, heterosexual as well as between males, prior to and after marriage. Intravenous drug use (IVDU) exists though illicit drugs are more commonly inhaled. There is a fear, however, that inhalers may turn to injecting drugs, as is common in neighbouring countries. The lack of public awareness of HIV/AIDS, and misconceptions about the disease, may contribute to continued high-risk behaviours by segments of the population and, thus, to the spread of HIV. Bangladesh's proximity to India and Myanmar (countries with high HIV endemicity and a rapidly growing number of cases) increases fears of an epidemic in Bangladesh. This proximity will only be a risk factor, however, if high-risk contacts occur between nationals of these countries. (+info)
Attitudes of the Lebanese public regarding disclosure of serious illness.
OBJECTIVES: To measure the preference regarding disclosure of a serious diagnosis, and its determinants, of the Lebanese public. DESIGN AND SETTING: Non-random sample survey of 400 persons interviewed in health care facilities in Beirut in 1995. RESULTS: Forty-two per cent of respondents generally preferred truth not to be disclosed directly to patients. Preference for disclosure was associated with younger age, better education and tendency to rapport-building with physicians. There were no meaningful associations between place of residence (urban/rural), level of religious practice, or religious affiliation, and preference for disclosure. CONCLUSIONS: Under one plausible interpretation, this survey suggests that the expectation for concealment will decrease as the advantage of knowledge in better coping with disease is understood by an increasingly better educated public, and that the Lebanese public will increasingly come to expect direct and full disclosure of serious diagnoses. (+info)
A completed audit to reduce hospital outpatients non-attendance rates.
An audit loop for patients failing to attend a paediatric outpatient department was completed by repeating the analysis three years after interventions were put into place. The 1995 study had shown non-attendance for clinic visits was 34%, varying from 32.5% for Europeans and 50% for Asian patients. A follow up study in 1998 showed a fall to 12.04% and 13.5%, respectively, with an overall rate of 12.3%. The Manor Hospital NHS Trust had the lowest non-attendance rate of the 30 hospitals in the West Midlands region for the year 1996-7. (+info)
Talismans and amulets in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: legendary powers in contemporary medicine.
BACKGROUND: For centuries talismans and amulets have been used in many cultures for their legendary healing powers. METHODS: We asked the parents of every child (Jews and Arabs) admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit over a 2 month period to complete a questionnaire, which included demographic data on the patient and the family, the use of talismans or other folk medicine practices, and the perception of the effects of these practices on the patient's well-being. A different questionnaire was completed by the ICU staff members on their attitude toward the use of amulets. RESULTS: Thirty percent of the families used amulets and talismans in the ICU, irrespective of the socioeconomic status of the family or the severity of the patient's illness. Amulets and talismans were used significantly more by religious Jews, by families with a higher parental educational level, and where the hospitalized child was very young. The estimated frequency of amulet use by the children's families, as perceived by the staff, was significantly higher than actual use reported by the parents. In Jewish families the actual use of amulets was found to be 30% compared to the 60% rate estimated by the medical staff; while in Moslem families the actual use was zero compared to the staff's estimation of about 36%. Of the 19 staff members, 14 reported that the use of amulets seemed to reduce the parents' anxiety, while 2 claimed that amulet use sometimes interfered with the staff's ability to carry out medical treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The use of talismans in a technologically advanced western society is more frequent than may have been thought. Medical and paramedical personnel dealing with very ill patients should be aware of the emotional and psychological implications of such beliefs and practices on patients and their families. (+info)
Mapping of a new locus for autosomal recessive demyelinating Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease to 19q13.1-13.3 in a large consanguineous Lebanese family: exclusion of MAG as a candidate gene.
Autosomal recessive Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) type 4 (CMT4) is a complex group of demyelinating hereditary motor and sensory neuropathies presenting genetic heterogeneity. Five different subtypes that correspond to six different chromosomal locations have been described. We hereby report a large inbred Lebanese family affected with autosomal recessive CMT4, in whom we have excluded linkage to the already-known loci. The results of a genomewide search demonstrated linkage to a locus on chromosome 19q13.1-13.3, over an 8.5-cM interval between markers D19S220 and D19S412. A maximum pairwise LOD score of 5.37 for marker D19S420, at recombination fraction [theta].00, and a multipoint LOD score of 10.3 for marker D19S881, at straight theta = .00, strongly supported linkage to this locus. Clinical features and the results of histopathologic studies confirm that the disease affecting this family constitutes a previously unknown demyelinating autosomal recessive CMT subtype known as "CMT4F." The myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) gene, located on 19q13.1 and specifically expressed in the CNS and the peripheral nervous system, was ruled out as being the gene responsible for this form of CMT. (+info)
Alcohol and HIV: a study among sexually active adults in rural southwest Uganda.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and HIV sero-positivity in a rural Ugandan population. METHODS: The adult population residing in a cluster of 15 neighbouring villages has been kept under epidemiological surveillance for HIV infection using annual censuses and sero-surveys since 1989. At the eighth annual survey all respondents were asked about their history of alcohol consumption, the sale of alcohol in their household, and other socio-demographic information. After informed consent, blood was drawn for HIV serology. RESULTS: Of the total adult population 3279 (60%) were interviewed; 48% were males; 905 (27%) had not started sexual activity and were excluded from further analysis. Of the remaining 2374, 8% were HIV infected, 57% had ever drunk alcohol, and 4% lived in households where alcohol was sold. Living in a household where alcohol was sold was associated with a history of having ever drunk alcohol (OR 2.9, 95% CI : 1.7-4.8). HIV prevalence among adults living in households selling alcohol was 15% compared with 8% among those living in households not selling alcohol (OR 2.0, 95% CI : 1.1-3.6). Individuals who had ever drunk alcohol experienced an HIV prevalence twice that of those who had never drunk, 10% versus 5% (OR 2.0, 95% CI : 1.5-2.8). This association remained after adjusting for potential confounders including sale of alcohol in the household and Muslim religion (OR 1.8, 95% CI : 1.2-2.7). Only age, marital status and having ever drunk alcohol independently predicted HIV sero-positivity in a logistic regression model. CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated an association between a history of alcohol consumption and being HIV sero-positive. This unexplored factor may explain in part the observed lower prevalence of HIV infection among Muslims. Public health campaigns need to stress the relationship between HIV and alcohol. (+info)
Medical ethics and Islam: principles and practice.
A minimum level of cultural awareness is a necessary prerequisite for the delivery of care that is culturally sensitive. In this paper we simplify and highlight certain key teachings in Islamic medical ethics and explore their applications. We hope that the insights gained will aid clinicians to better understand their Muslim patients and deliver care that pays due respect to their beliefs. (+info)
A prospective comparative analysis of mobility in osteoarthritic knees.
We have sought to clarify whether the traditional Arabic lifestyle prevents restriction of movement in patients with degenerative arthritis of the knee. The range of movement of 68 osteoarthritic knees of Arabic patients was compared with that of 51 healthy knees of Muslim patients and 83 osteoarthritic knees in non-Arabic patients. The range of flexion of the osteoarthritic knees in the Arabic patients matched that of the healthy control knees, but was significantly better than that of the osteoarthritic knees in the non-Arabic patients. There was also a statistically significant difference between the mean extension deficit of the two groups with osteoarthritis. Exercises may help to prevent restriction of movement in osteoarthritis of the knee. (+info)