Neighborhood safety and the prevalence of physical inactivity--selected states, 1996.
Physical inactivity is an important risk factor for premature morbidity and mortality, especially among high-risk populations. Although health-promotion programs have targeted high-risk groups (i.e., older adults, women, and racial/ethnic minorities), barriers exist that may affect their physical activity level. Identifying and reducing specific barriers (e.g., lack of knowledge of the health benefits of physical activity, limited access to facilities, low self-efficacy, and environmental issues [2-6]) are important for efforts designed to increase physical activity. Concerns about neighborhood safety may be a barrier to physical activity. To characterize the association between neighborhood safety and physical inactivity, CDC analyzed data from the 1996 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. This report summarizes the results of this analysis, which indicate that persons who perceived their neighborhood to be unsafe were more likely to be physically inactive. (+info)
A successful tobacco cessation program led by primary care nurses in a managed care setting.
We conducted a descriptive study of a tobacco cessation program sponsored by a health maintenance organization (HMO) and led by primary care nurses. The tobacco cessation program was conducted at 20 primary care clinics in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. We gauged the successfulness of the program by the patients' self-reported quit rates at 1 year. We also examined the association between quit rates and compliance with scheduled counseling visits, the impact of the availability of an HMO pharmacy benefit that supported the costs of nicotine replacement therapy, and the quit rates among patients with HMO insurance versus those with insurance other than managed care. Of 1,695 patients enrolled in the program from July 1993 to March 1996, 1,140 completed 1 year of follow-up. Of these, 348 (30.5%) reported they had quit using tobacco. Among the 810 HMO enrollees who participated in the program, the quit rate was 280 (34.6%); among the 330 non-HMO participants, the quit rate was 69 (20.9%), a statistically significant difference (P < 0.001). For all patients, keeping more than four visits with the program nurse was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of quitting (317/751 [42.2%] versus 32/389 [8.2%]; P < 0.001). Non-HMO patients were less likely than HMO enrollees to keep four or more visits (165 [50%] versus 586 [72.3%]; P < 0.001). We were unable to detect a difference in quit rates among those with and those without a pharmacy benefit (196/577 [34%] versus 84/233 [36.1%]). These data are limited by their descriptive nature and the lack of information about other factors important in determining the quit rate among program participants. Nevertheless, they suggest that HMOs can successfully sponsor nurse-led tobacco cessation programs in multiple primary care settings and achieve 1-year quit rates significantly higher than the 15% quit rate reported in the medical literature. In addition, successfully quitting tobacco use appeared to be associated with use of counseling visits but not with use of a pharmacy benefit to pay for nicotine replacement therapy. Even though tobacco cessation programs have the best chance of benefitting HMO enrollees, patients not enrolled in managed care plans also appear to benefit significantly. This finding has important implications for developing future strategies--including the role of managed care organizations, the need to defray the costs of nicotine replacement therapy, and the best approach to provide counseling to patients--to meet the Healthy People 2000 goal of reducing tobacco smoking. (+info)
The diagnostic and treatment approach to two common conditions by the physician members of a community health maintenance organization.
We retrospectively collected data from one community managed care organization on all ambulatory care patients initially diagnosed with pneumonia or acute bronchitis from October, 1, 1992, to March 31, 1993, and from November 1, 1993, to January 31, 1994. We considered treatment to be successful when patients did not return for any related service within 15 days of initial diagnosis. We identified 2,490 episodes of illness, 85.7% which were acute bronchitis and 14.3% which were pneumonia. Overwhelmingly, physicians approached these conditions empirically (no diagnostic test); just 8.6% of patients had a diagnostic test during the 15-day episode of illness. Two-hundred twenty-nine of the episodes (9.2%) were apparently related to initial diagnoses, as they occurred during the 15-day period. More branded prescriptions (vs. generic) were dispensed during these related episodes. One patient was hospitalized and 19 patients used the emergency room either for first or subsequent visits. Empiric treatment is associated with effective diagnosis and therapy in ambulatory care patients with acute bronchitis and pneumonia. It remains unclear, however, if this strategy is the most cost-effective or if it leads to the most effective utilization of services. (+info)
Identification and case management in an HMO of patients at risk of preterm labor.
We carried out a study of pregnant patients in a health maintenance organization to identify and provide case management of women at risk of preterm labor and to determine important risk factors for preterm labor in a managed care population. Data were collected on 794 women who completed an initial prenatal care visit at HealthAmerica of Pittsburgh between July 15, 1994, and March 31, 1995, and delivered at a local Pittsburgh hospital. The patients were assessed during an initial call to schedule their first prenatal visit and also at the 8- to 15-week and 24- to 28-week prenatal visits. Patients scoring 10 or higher on the risk assessment form were referred to a nurse case manager who provided education and support. Results of a logistic regression analysis suggest that the risk assessment tool was effective in identifying women at risk for preterm labor. "Physical/stressful work", as assessed by the patient, history of a prior preterm birth, and multiple gestation were all statistically significant predictors of preterm birth. Further research is needed to confirm the finding that physical or stressful work is a significant predictor of preterm births and to determine which aspects of the work may increase the patient's risk. This study was based on 8 months of data; however, additional program implementation is needed to evaluate fully the potential long-term benefits of the program. (+info)
Fertility and pregnancy outcome in women with systemic sclerosis.
OBJECTIVE: To determine fertility and pregnancy outcome in women with systemic sclerosis (SSc; scleroderma) who had disease onset before age 45 years. METHODS: All living women with scleroderma who had first been evaluated at the University of Pittsburgh Scleroderma Clinic after January 1, 1972 were sent a detailed self-administered questionnaire in 1986 specifically concerning pregnancy outcomes and infertility. This group was compared with 2 race- and age-matched control groups, one comprising women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and one comprising healthy neighborhood women identified by random-digit dialing. We determined the number, history, treatment, and outcome of women who either had never been pregnant or had attempted to become pregnant unsuccessfully for more than 1 year. We also obtained data regarding pregnancy outcomes, including the frequency of miscarriage, premature births, small full-term infants, perinatal deaths, and births of live healthy infants. RESULTS: The study group comprised 214 women with SSc, 167 with RA, and 105 neighborhood controls. There were no significant differences in the overall rates of miscarriage, premature births, small full-term births, or neonatal deaths between the 3 groups. Women with SSc were more likely than those without SSc to have adverse outcomes of pregnancy after the onset of their rheumatic disease, particularly premature births (also seen in RA women after disease onset) and small full-term infants. Although a significantly greater number of women with SSc had never been pregnant, there were no significant differences in the frequency of never having been pregnant or of infertility in the 3 groups after adjustment for contributing factors. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that women with SSc have acceptable pregnancy outcomes compared with those of women with other rheumatic disease and healthy neighborhood controls. Infertility was not a frequent problem. We believe that there are no excessive pregnancy risks to women with SSc or their infants. However, a well-timed pregnancy with careful obstetric monitoring will maximize the likelihood of a successful outcome. (+info)
Transfusion-transmitted malaria--Missouri and Pennsylvania, 1996-1998.
Malaria is a rare but potentially serious complication of blood transfusion. During 1958-1998, 103 cases of transfusion-transmitted malaria in the United States were reported to CDC. This report summarizes the investigation of three cases that occurred during 1996-1998 in Missouri and Pennsylvania and illustrates the key features of transfusion-transmitted malaria and the importance of donor screening. (+info)
Maternal peripartum complications associated with vaginal group B streptococci colonization.
The study was done to determine the risk of clinically diagnosed intra-amniotic infection (IAI) and postpartum endometritis (PPE) associated with vaginal group B streptococci (GBS) colonization. Pregnant women were enrolled in a cross-sectional, observational study from 1992 to 1996 in Houston (n=908), Seattle (n=2676), and Pittsburgh (n=4338). Swab samples were obtained from the lower vagina of participants at admission for delivery and inoculated into selective broth and onto blood agar media. At the combined centers, 2.9% of the women (231/7922) had IAI, and 2.0% (157/7922) had PPE. The risk of IAI was higher for women with heavy GBS colonization (odds ratio [OR], 2.0; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.1-3.7) than for those with light colonization (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.7-1.8). The risk of GBS-associated PPE was not influenced by density of colonization (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.3-2.7). These findings provide further evidence that GBS is associated with maternal intrapartum complications. (+info)
A claims data approach to defining an episode of care.
OBJECTIVE: To utilize health services research techniques in developing an episode of care using an administrative data set. This method is demonstrated for an episodic clinical condition, migraine. DATA SOURCES: Medicaid administrative data set of 3,372 patients with a diagnosis of migraine (ICD-9-CM 346.0, 346.1) in the state of Pennsylvania between May 1990 and March 1992. STUDY DESIGN: The duration of a migraine episode was measured by assessing the magnitude of resource utilization and the proportion of patients with charges in the period after the index migraine as compared to the period before the index migraine. A confidence interval (CI) was developed around each measure using bootstrap techniques. DATA COLLECTION METHODS: All charge data were extracted daily for a 113-day observation period surrounding each index migraine in order to observe the duration of impact of a migraine diagnosis on resource utilization. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The lower limits of both the 95% and 99% CIs for the difference in charges are greater than 0 for three weeks. The lower limits of both CIs for the difference in the proportion of patients with charges are above 0 for six weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis demonstrates that a health services research framework can be used to define an episode of care for a chronic disease category such as migraine. This method can be used to evaluate episodes of care for clinical studies of limited or episodic conditions and to complement clinical expertise in developing time horizons for clinical trials. (+info)