Physicians' response to abnormal results of routine urinalysis.
To determine the clinical usefulness of routine urinalysis, the records of 400 patients were examined for results of the first urinalysis following admission to hospital, and the attending physician's response to abnormal findings was evaluated. Results were abnormal for 116 patients (29.0%); there were 22 (5.5% of total urinalyses) abnormalities of chemical constituents (protein, glucose or bilirubin was present) only, 56 (14.0%) of sediment only and 38 (9.5%) of both chemical constituents and sediment. The attending physician did not respond to abnormal results in 50.9% of the 116 instances. (+info)
Legalized physician-assisted suicide in Oregon--the first year's experience.
BACKGROUND AND METHODS: On October 27, 1997, Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide. We collected data on all terminally ill Oregon residents who received prescriptions for lethal medications under the Oregon Death with Dignity Act and who died in 1998. The data were obtained from physicians' reports, death certificates, and interviews with physicians. We compared persons who took lethal medications prescribed under the act with those who died from similar illnesses but did not receive prescriptions for lethal medications. RESULTS: Information on 23 persons who received prescriptions for lethal medications was reported to the Oregon Health Division; 15 died after taking the lethal medications, 6 died from underlying illnesses, and 2 were alive as of January 1, 1999. The median age of the 15 patients who died after taking lethal medications was 69 years; 8 were male, and all 15 were white. Thirteen of the 15 patients had cancer. The case patients and controls were similar with regard to sex, race, urban or rural residence, level of education, health insurance coverage, and hospice enrollment. No case patients or controls expressed concern about the financial impact of their illness. One case patient and 15 controls expressed concern about inadequate control of pain (P=0.10). The case patients were more likely than the controls to have never married (P=0.04) and were more likely to be concerned about loss of autonomy due to illness (P=0.01) and loss of control of bodily functions (P=0.02). At death, 21 percent of the case patients and 84 percent of the controls were completely disabled (P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: During the first year of legalized physician-assisted suicide in Oregon, the decision to request and use a prescription for lethal medication was associated with concern about loss of autonomy or control of bodily functions, not with fear of intractable pain or concern about financial loss. In addition, we found that the choice of physician-assisted suicide was not associated with level of education or health insurance coverage. (+info)
The effect of race and sex on physicians' recommendations for cardiac catheterization.
BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic studies have reported differences in the use of cardiovascular procedures according to the race and sex of the patient. Whether the differences stem from differences in the recommendations of physicians remains uncertain. METHODS: We developed a computerized survey instrument to assess physicians' recommendations for managing chest pain. Actors portrayed patients with particular characteristics in scripted interviews about their symptoms. A total of 720 physicians at two national meetings of organizations of primary care physicians participated in the survey. Each physician viewed a recorded interview and was given other data about a hypothetical patient. He or she then made recommendations about that patient's care. We used multivariate logistic-regression analysis to assess the effects of the race and sex of the patients on treatment recommendations, while controlling for the physicians' assessment of the probability of coronary artery disease as well as for the age of the patient, the level of coronary risk, the type of chest pain, and the results of an exercise stress test. RESULTS: The physicians' mean (+/-SD) estimates of the probability of coronary artery disease were lower for women (probability, 64.1+/-19.3 percent, vs. 69.2+/-18.2 percent for men; P<0.001), younger patients (63.8+/-19.5 percent for patients who were 55 years old, vs. 69.5+/-17.9 percent for patients who were 70 years old; P<0.001), and patients with nonanginal pain (58.3+/-19.0 percent, vs. 64.4+/-18.3 percent for patients with possible angina and 77.1+/-14.0 percent for those with definite angina; P=0.001). Logistic-regression analysis indicated that women (odds ratio, 0.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.4 to 0.9; P=0.02) and blacks (odds ratio, 0.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.4 to 0.9; P=0.02) were less likely to be referred for cardiac catheterization than men and whites, respectively. Analysis of race-sex interactions showed that black women were significantly less likely to be referred for catheterization than white men (odds ratio, 0.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.2 to 0.7; P=0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the race and sex of a patient independently influence how physicians manage chest pain. (+info)
Reactions to medical abortion among providers of surgical abortion: an early snapshot.(4/3874)
Prospective cohort study of antioxidant vitamin supplement use and the risk of age-related maculopathy.
In a prospective cohort study, the authors examined whether self-selection for antioxidant vitamin supplement use affects the incidence of age-related maculopathy. The study population consisted of 21,120 US male physician participants in the Physicians' Health Study I who did not have a diagnosis of age-related maculopathy at baseline (1982). During an average of 12.5 person-years of follow-up, a total of 279 incident cases of age-related maculopathy with vision loss to 20/30 or worse were confirmed by medical record review. In multivariate analysis, as compared with nonusers of supplements, persons who used vitamin E supplements had a possible but nonsignificant 13% reduced risk of age-related maculopathy (relative risk = 0.87, 95 percent confidence interval (CI) 0.53-1.43), while users of multivitamins had a possible but nonsignificant 10% reduced risk (relative risk = 0.90, 95% CI 0.68-1.19). Users of vitamin C supplements had a relative risk of 1.03 (95% CI 0.71-1.50). These observational data suggest that among persons who self-select for supplemental use of antioxidant vitamin C or E or multivitamins, large reductions in the risk of age-related maculopathy are unlikely. Randomized trial data are accumulating to enable reliable detection of the existence of more plausible small-to-moderate benefits of these agents alone and in combination on age-related maculopathy. (+info)
Preventing zoonotic diseases in immunocompromised persons: the role of physicians and veterinarians.
We surveyed physicians and veterinarians in Wisconsin about the risk for and prevention of zoonotic diseases in immunocompromised persons. We found that physicians and veterinarians hold significantly different views about the risks posed by certain infectious agents and species of animals and communicate very little about zoonotic issues; moreover, physicians believe that veterinarians should be involved in many aspects of zoonotic disease prevention, including patient education. (+info)
Views of managed care--a survey of students, residents, faculty, and deans at medical schools in the United States.
BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Views of managed care among academic physicians and medical students in the United States are not well known. In 1997, we conducted a telephone survey of a national sample of medical students (506 respondents), residents (494), faculty members (728), department chairs (186), directors of residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics (143), and deans (105) at U.S. medical schools to determine their experiences in and perspectives on managed care. The overall rate of response was 80.1 percent. RESULTS: Respondents rated their attitudes toward managed care on a 0-to-10 scale, with 0 defined as "as negative as possible" and 10 as "as positive as possible." The expressed attitudes toward managed care were negative, ranging from a low mean (+/-SD) score of 3.9+/-1.7 for residents to a high of 5.0+/-1.3 for deans. When asked about specific aspects of care, fee-for-service medicine was rated better than managed care in terms of access (by 80.2 percent of respondents), minimizing ethical conflicts (74.8 percent), and the quality of the doctor-patient relationship (70.6 percent). With respect to the continuity of care, 52.0 percent of respondents preferred fee-for-service medicine, and 29.3 percent preferred managed care. For care at the end of life, 49.1 percent preferred fee-for-service medicine, and 20.5 percent preferred managed care. With respect to care for patients with chronic illness, 41.8 percent preferred fee-for-service care, and 30.8 percent preferred managed care. Faculty members, residency-training directors, and department chairs responded that managed care had reduced the time they had available for research (63.1 percent agreed) and teaching (58.9 percent) and had reduced their income (55.8 percent). Overall, 46.6 percent of faculty members, 26.7 percent of residency-training directors, and 42.7 percent of department chairs reported that the message they delivered to students about managed care was negative. CONCLUSIONS: Negative views of managed care are widespread among medical students, residents, faculty members, and medical school deans. (+info)
Mortality in relation to smoking: 20 years' observations on male British doctors.
In 1951 the British Medical Association forwarded to all British doctors a questionnaire about their smoking habits, and 34440 men replied. With few exceptions, all men who replied in 1951 have been followed for 20 years. The certified causes of all 10 072 deaths and subsequent changes in smoking habits were recorded. The ratio of the death rate among cigarette smokers to that among lifelong non-smokers of comparable age was, for men under 70 years, about 2:1, while for men over 70 years it was about 1-5:1. These ratios suggest that between a half and a third of all cigarette smokers will die because of their smoking, if the excess death rates are actually caused by smoking. To investigate whether this is the case, the relation of many different causes of death to age and tobacco consumption were examined, as were the effects of giving up smoking. Smoking caused death chiefly by heart disease among middle-aged men (and, with a less extreme relative risk, among old men,) lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, and various vascular diseases. The distinctive features of this study were the completeness of follow-up, the accuracy of death certification, and the fact that the study population as a whole reduced its cigarette consumption substantially during the period of observation. As a result lung cancer grew relatively less common as the study progressed, but other cancers did not, thus illustrating in an unusual way the causal nature of the association between smoking and lung cancer. (+info)