Family, religion, and depressive symptoms in caregivers of disabled elderly.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To explain the variations in depressive symptomatology among primary caregivers of community dwelling activities of daily living disabled elderly and to evaluate the role of family and religiosity on the mental health consequences of caregiving in Spain. DESIGN: Cross sectional study. SETTING: City of Leganes in the metropolitan area of Madrid, Spain. PARTICIPANTS: All caregivers of a representative sample of community dwelling activities of daily living disabled persons, aged 65 and over were approached. The response rate was 85% (n = 194). Depression was assessed by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale. MAIN RESULTS: Controlling for caregivers' income, education, health status, and caregiving stress, religiosity was associated with more depressive symptoms among children caregivers while for spouses the association was negative. Emotional support was negatively associated with depression, but instrumental support was not significant. CONCLUSIONS: Depressive symptomatology is frequent among Spanish caregivers of disabled elderly. This study concludes that religiosity and family emotional support play an important part in the mental health of Spanish caregivers. The role of religiosity may be different according to kinship tie and needs further investigation. (+info
Doctors as patients: postal survey examining consultants and general practitioners adherence to guidelines.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the adherence by senior NHS medical staff to the BMA guidelines on the ethical responsibilities of doctors towards themselves and their families. DESIGN: Postal semistructured questionnaire. SETTING: Four randomly selected NHS trusts and three local medical committees in South Thames region. SUBJECTS: Consultants and principals in general practice. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Personal use of health services. RESULTS: The response rate was 64% (724) for general practitioners and 72% (427) for consultants after three mailings. Most (1106, 96%) respondents were registered with a general practitioner, although little use was made of their services. 159 (26%) general practitioners were registered with a general practitioner in their own practice and 80 (11%) admitted to looking after members of their family. 73 (24%) consultants would never see their general practitioner before obtaining consultant advice. Most consultants and general practitioners admitted to prescribing for themselves and their family. Responses to vignettes for different health problems indicated a general reluctance to take time off, but there were differences between consultants and general practitioners and by sex. Views on improvements needed included the possibility of a "doctor's doctor," access to out of area secondary care, an occupational health service for general practitioners, and regular health check ups. CONCLUSION: The guidelines are largely not being followed, perhaps because of the difficulties of obtaining access to general practitioners outside working hours. The occupational health service should be expanded and a general practitioner service for NHS staff piloted. (+info
The bedfordshire PDS orthodontic pilot.
Throughout the 50-year history of the NHS, the Government has sought to cash limit the GDS. PDS (Personal Dental Services) pilots represent another attempt at cash limiting and a new system for delivering dental services in NHS practice. The development of the Bedfordshire Orthodontic PDS pilot is described. The basis is the prioritization of orthodontic services to child patients with the greatest oral health need through a cost and volume contract with the local Health Authority. A brief outline of the Bedfordshire PDS contract is given. The experiences of the first 9 months of the PDS pilot are related. (+info
A profile of PMS salaried GP contracts and their impact on recruitment.
BACKGROUND: Personal medical services (PMS) pilot sites aim to use salaried GP schemes to improve GP recruitment and retention and enhance the quality of service provision, particularly in underserved areas. OBJECTIVES: Our objectives were to (i) compare the work incentives of salaried compared with standard GP contracts; (ii) assess recruitment success to salaried posts; and (iii) describe the types of GPs attracted to these new posts. METHOD: All first wave PMS pilot sites with salaried GP posts known to be 'live' in October 1998 were included in the analysis of employment contracts and job descriptions. Information on recruitment was obtained by a questionnaire survey of PMS sites that were intending to recruit a salaried GP. RESULTS: The mean full-time equivalent salary was 43,674 pounds sterling with additional benefits in terms of sick leave, maternity leave and paid expenses. Eighty-nine percent of posts were eligible for the NHS pension scheme. Posts were mainly full time (40.8 hours per week). GPs were responsible for providing services equivalent in scope to general medical services. One-fifth of contracts freed GPs from out-of-hours responsibility and most freed them from practice management. Forty-three of the pilot sites actively recruited to fill 63 salaried posts, which involved a total of 51 recruitment 'rounds', with some pilots advertising more than once. There were 291 applications. The median number of applicants per post was three and the median time to recruitment was 6 weeks. Eighty-five percent of sites were satisfied with the quality of their applicants and 64% with the quantity. Eighty-five percent of applicants previously had been working in general practice, most in locum or salaried posts. Applicants tended to be young and male. Sixty posts were filled. CONCLUSIONS: Salaried contracts offer positive incentives to recruitment in terms of reduced hours of work and freedom from administrative responsibility. Recruitment success was similar to that achieved by inner city practices generally. This modest achievement might be enhanced by the addition of professional development schemes and increased flexible/part-time working. (+info
A clinical minimum data set for primary dental care.
OBJECTIVE: To achieve consensus within primary dental care on the contents of a clinical minimum data set to measure oral health status. DESIGN: Using the Delphi process a simple random sample of 30 LDCs and 10 CDS services in England were asked to rank a list of existing clinical indicators in order of their perceived importance as a means of measuring oral health. A nominated panel representing the stakeholder organisations of primary dental care reviewed this ranking and identified a core group of clinical indicators to be included in a clinical minimum data set. RESULTS: An 80 percent response rate to the Delphi process was achieved. Consensus was reached on a core group of 10 indicators, which can provide information on patient's perceptions of pain, function and appearance, and professional measurements of caries, teeth present, periodontal disease, oral sepsis, presence of mucosal pathology and tooth wear. CONCLUSIONS: A representative sample of primary care dentists in England and the key representative organisations of primary dental care achieved consensus on the contents of a clinical minimum data set to record oral health status in primary dental care. This is a first step in standardising the measurement of oral health status across primary care. (+info
Randomised controlled trial of structured personal care of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of a multifaceted intervention directed at general practitioners on six year mortality, morbidity, and risk factors of patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. DESIGN: Pragmatic, open, controlled trial with randomisation of practices to structured personal care or routine care; analysis after 6 years. SETTING: 311 Danish practices with 474 general practitioners (243 in intervention group and 231 in comparison group). PARTICIPANTS: 874 (90.1%) of 970 patients aged >/=40 years who had diabetes diagnosed in 1989-91 and survived until six year follow up. INTERVENTION: Regular follow up and individualised goal setting supported by prompting of doctors, clinical guidelines, feedback, and continuing medical education. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Predefined clinical non-fatal outcomes, overall mortality, risk factors, and weight. RESULTS: Predefined non-fatal outcomes and mortality were the same in both groups. The following risk factor levels were lower for intervention patients than for comparison patients (median values): fasting plasma glucose concentration (7.9 v 8.7 mmol/l, P=0.0007), glycated haemoglobin (8.5% v 9.0%, P<0.0001; reference range 5.4-7.4%), systolic blood pressure (145 v 150 mm Hg, P=0.0004), and cholesterol concentration (6.0 v 6.1 mmol/l, P=0.029, adjusted for baseline concentration). Both groups had lost weight since diagnosis (2.6 v 2.0 kg). Metformin was the only drug used more frequently in the intervention group (24% (110/459) v 15% (61/415)). Intervention doctors arranged more follow up consultations, referred fewer patients to diabetes clinics, and set more optimistic goals. CONCLUSIONS: In primary care, individualised goals with educational and surveillance support may for at least six years bring risk factors of patients with type 2 diabetes to a level that has been shown to reduce diabetic complications but without weight gain. (+info
Health care spending during 1991-1998: a fifty-state review.
Health care spending varies considerably across states. Spending per person ranged from $2,731 in Utah to $4,810 in Massachusetts in 1998, with Medicaid's share of total health care spending rangingfrom 9.1 percent in Nevada to 31.5 percent in New York. Research has suggested many reasons for such differences, including socioeconomic and demographic factors, market forces, and diversity in practice patterns. By using consistent methodologies among states, these 1991-1998 estimates, last produced for 1991 alone, will further the understanding of these differences. (+info
Development of the index of medical underservice.
A mathematical model was developed to predict experts' relative assessments of scarcity of personal health services. This model provides, quickly and inexpensively, estimates of the relative assessments experts would make of any area in the country, in the form of an Index of Medical Underservice. The index is being used by the Bureau of Community Health Services in the preliminary designation of medically underserved areas for the federal HMO program. (+info