Why do dyspeptic patients over the age of 50 consult their general practitioner? A qualitative investigation of health beliefs relating to dyspepsia.
BACKGROUND: The prognosis of late-diagnosed gastric cancer is poor, yet less than half of dyspeptic patients consult their general practitioner (GP). AIM: To construct an explanatory model of the decision to consult with dyspepsia in older patients. METHOD: A total of 75 patients over the age of 50 years who had consulted with dyspepsia at one of two inner city general practices were invited to an in-depth interview. The interviews were taped, transcribed, and analysed using the computer software NUD.IST, according to the principles of grounded theory. RESULTS: Altogether, 31 interviews were conducted. The perceived threat of cancer and the need for reassurance were key influences on the decision to consult. Cues such as a change in symptoms were important in prompting a re-evaluation of the likely cause. Personal vulnerability to serious illness was often mentioned in the context of family or friends' experience, but tempered by an individual's life expectations. CONCLUSION: Most patients who had delayed consultation put their symptoms down to 'old age' or 'spicy food'. However, a significant minority were fatalistic, suspecting the worst but fearing medical interventions. (+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)
Where do people go for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases?
CONTEXT: Major public health resources are devoted to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) through public STD clinics. However, little is known about where people actually receive treatment for STDs. METHODS: As part of the National Health and Social Life Survey, household interviews were performed from February to September 1992 with 3,432 persons aged 18-59. Weighted population estimates and multinomial response methods were used to describe the prevalence of self-reported STDs and patterns of treatment utilization by persons who ever had a bacterial or viral STD. RESULTS: An estimated two million STDs were self-reported in the previous year, and 22 million 18-59-year-olds self-reported lifetime STDs. Bacterial STDs (gonorrhea, chlamydia, nongonococcal urethritis, pelvic inflammatory disease and syphilis) were more common than viral STDs (genital herpes, genital warts, hepatitis and HIV). Genital warts were the most commonly reported STD in the past year, while gonorrhea was the most common ever-reported STD. Almost half of all respondents who had ever had an STD had gone to a private practice for treatment (49%); in comparison, only 5% of respondents had sought treatment at an STD clinic. Respondents with a bacterial STD were seven times more likely to report going to an STD clinic than were respondents with a viral STD--except for chlamydia, which was more likely to be treated at family planning clinics. Men were significantly more likely than women to go to an STD clinic. Young, poor or black respondents were all more likely to use a family planning clinic for STD treatment than older, relatively wealthy or white respondents. Age, sexual history and geographic location did not predict particular types of treatment-seeking. CONCLUSIONS: The health care utilization patterns for STD treatment in the United States are complex. Specific disease diagnosis, gender, race and income status all affect where people will seek treatment. These factors need to be taken into account when STD prevention strategies are being developed. (+info)
Reactions to medical abortion among providers of surgical abortion: an early snapshot.(4/6162)
Socioeconomic differences in childhood consultation rates in general practice in England and Wales: prospective cohort study.
OBJECTIVE: To establish how consultation rates in children for episodes of illness, preventive activities, and home visits vary by social class. DESIGN: Analysis of prospectively collected data from the fourth national survey of morbidity in general practice, carried out between September 1991 and August 1992. SETTING: 60 general practices in England and Wales. SUBJECTS: 106 102 children aged 0 to 15 years registered with the participating practices. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mean overall consultation rates for any reason, illness by severity of underlying disease, preventive episodes, home visits, and specific diagnostic category (infections, asthma, and injuries). RESULTS: Overall consultation rates increased from registrar general's social classes I-II to classes IV-V in a linear pattern (for IV-V v I-II rate ratio 1.18; 95% confidence interval 1.14 to 1. 22). Children from social classes IV-V consulted more frequently than children from classes I-II for illnesses (rate ratio 1.23; 1.15 to 1.30), including infections, asthma, and injuries and poisonings. They also had significantly higher consultation rates for minor, moderate, and serious illnesses and higher home visiting rates (rate ratio 2.00; 1.81 to 2.18). Consultations for preventive activities were lower in children from social classes IV-V than in children from social classes I-II (rate ratio 0.95; 0.86 to 1.05). CONCLUSIONS: Childhood consultation rates for episodes of illness increase from social classes I-II through to classes IV-V. The findings on severity of underlying illness suggest the health of children from lower social classes is worse than that of children from higher social classes. These results reinforce the need to identify and target children for preventive health care in their socioeconomic context. (+info)
Voluntary euthanasia under control? Further empirical evidence from The Netherlands.
Nineteen ninety-six saw the publication of a major Dutch survey into euthanasia in the Netherlands. This paper outlines the main statistical findings of this survey and considers whether it shows that voluntary euthanasia is under effective control in the Netherlands. The paper concludes that although there has been some improvement in compliance with procedural requirements, the practice of voluntary euthanasia remains beyond effective control. (+info)
The relationship between census-derived socio-economic variables and general practice consultation rates in three town centre practices.
BACKGROUND: The relationship between socio-economic factors and consultation rates is important in determining resource allocation to general practices. AIM: To determine the relationship between general practice surgery consultation rates and census-derived socio-economic variables for patients receiving the same primary and secondary care. METHOD: A retrospective analysis was taken of computerized records in three general practices in Mansfield, North Nottinghamshire, with 29,142 patients spread over 15 electoral wards (Jarman score range from -23 to +25.5). Linear regression analysis of surgery consultation rates at ward and enumeration district levels was performed against Jarman and Townsend deprivation scores and census socio-economic variables. RESULTS: Both the Townsend score (r2 = 59%) and the Jarman score (r2 = 39%) were associated with surgery consultation rates at ward level. The Townsend score had a stronger association than the Jarman score because all four of its component variables were individually associated with increased consultations compared with four out of eight Jarman components. CONCLUSIONS: Even in practices not eligible for deprivation payments there were appreciable differences in consultation rates between areas with different socio-economic characteristics. The results suggest that the variables used to determine deprivation payments should be reconsidered, and they support suggestions that payments should be introduced at a lower level of deprivation and administered on an enumeration district basis. (+info)