Paediatric home care in Tower Hamlets: a working partnership with parents.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the first two years of a paediatric home care service. DESIGN: Observational cross sectional study, 1989-91. SETTING: One inner London health district. PATIENTS: 611 children referred to the service; 50 children selected from those referred during the first year, whose parents were interviewed and whose general practitioners were invited to complete a questionnaire. MAIN MEASURES: Description and costs of service; views of parents and general practitioners of selected sample of children. RESULTS: In its second year the team received 303 referrals and made 4004 visits at a salary cost of 98000 pounds, an average of 323 pounds/referral and 24 pounds/visit. This represented a referral rate of 3.2% (258/7939) of inpatient episodes from the main referring hospital between 1 December 1989 and 30 November 1990. Of all referrals to the service, 343(56%) came from hospital inpatient wards. The service was used by disadvantaged and ethnic minority families. The children's parents (in 28(61%) families) and the home care team did a wide range of nursing tasks in the home. Parents of 47(94%) children sampled agreed to be interviewed, and those of 43(91%) found the service useful; guidance and support were most commonly appreciated (33, 70%). Parents of 25(53%) children said that hospital stay or attendance had been reduced or avoided. Parents and general practitioners disagreed on clinical responsibility in 10 children, and communication was a problem for some general practitioners. CONCLUSIONS: The service enabled children to receive advanced nursing care at home. Clinical responsibility should be agreed between parents and professionals at referral. (+info)
Tuberculosis in Bombay: new insights from poor urban patients.
This study explores the health seeking behaviour of poor male and female tuberculosis patients in Bombay, and examines their perceptions of the causes and effects of the disease on their personal lives. Sixteen patients who attended an NGO's tuberculosis clinic were interviewed in-depth. Almost equal numbers of respondents stated 'germs' and 'worry' as the cause of tuberculosis. Men worried about loss of wages, financial difficulties, reduced capacity for work, poor job performance, and the consequences of long absence from work. Women were concerned about rejection by husband, harassment by in-laws, and the reduced chances of marriage (for single women), in addition to their concerns about dismissal from work. During the first two months of symptoms most patients either did nothing or took home remedies. When symptoms continued, private practitioners were the first source of allopathic treatment; they were generally unable to correctly diagnose the disease. Respondents shifted to municipal and NGO health services when private treatment became unaffordable. Respondents shifted again to NGO-based services because of the poor quality of municipal tuberculosis control services. The wage-earning capacity of both men and women was affected, but women feared loss of employment whereas men, being self-employed, lost wages but not employment. Married men and single women perceived a greater level of family support to initiate and complete treatment. Married women tried, often unsuccessfully, to hide their disease condition for fear of desertion, rejection or blame for bringing the disease. Women dropped out from treatment because of the pressure of housework, and the strain of keeping their condition secret particularly when the reasons for their movements outside the home were routinely questioned. Health programmes will have to be sensitive to the different needs and concerns of urban men and women with tuberculosis; in the case of women, health care providers will have to make particular efforts to identify and treat married women with tuberculosis completely. (+info)
Childhood immunization coverage in zone 3 of Dhaka City: the challenge of reaching impoverished households in urban Bangladesh.
A household survey of 651 children aged 12-23 months in Zone 3 of Dhaka City carried out in 1995 revealed that 51% of them had fully completed the series of childhood immunizations. Immunization coverage in slum households was only half that in non-slum households. Apart from residence in a slum household, other characteristics strongly associated with the completion of the entire series of childhood immunizations included the following: educational level of the mother, number of children in the family household, mother's employment status, distance from the nearest immunization site, and number of home visits from family-planning field workers. The findings point to the need to improve childhood immunization promotion and service delivery among slum populations. Two promising strategies for improving coverage are to reduce the number of missed opportunities for immunization promotion during encounters between health workers and clients, and to identify through visits to households those children who need additional immunizations. In the long run, increasing the educational level of women will provide a strong stimulus for improving childhood immunization coverage in the population. (+info)
Geographical and socioeconomic variation in the prevalence of asthma symptoms in English and Scottish children.
BACKGROUND: There has been controversy over the relation between poverty and asthma in the community. The aim of this analysis was to disentangle geographical and socioeconomic variation in asthma symptoms. METHODS: The analysis is based on parental reports of symptoms from data collected in 1990 and 1991. Children aged 5-11 years from three populations (English representative sample, Scottish representative sample, and an English inner city sample) were included. Of 17 677 eligible children, between 14 490 (82.0%) and 15 562 (88.0%) children were available for analysis according to symptom group. RESULTS: Wheezy symptoms were less prevalent in the Scottish sample than in the English samples and asthma attacks were most prevalent in the English representative sample. Asthma attacks were less prevalent in inner city areas than in the English representative sample (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.95), but persistent wheeze and other respiratory symptoms were more prevalent (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.65 to 2.32 and OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.52 to 1.84, respectively). The prevalence of persistent wheeze was higher in children whose father's social class was low and in those living in areas with a high Townsend score (an index of poverty) than in other children (p<0.001). Of the 14 areas with the highest Townsend score, 13 had an OR above 1 and six had an OR significantly higher than the reference area. CONCLUSIONS: Persistent wheeze is more prevalent in poor areas than in less deprived areas. This may indicate that poverty is associated with severe asthma or that a high percentage of persistent asthma symptoms in inner city areas are unrecognised and untreated. (+info)
Longitudinal study of Cryptosporidium infection in children in northeastern Brazil.
A prospective, 4-year cohort study of children born in an urban slum in northeastern Brazil was undertaken to elucidate the epidemiology of Cryptosporidium infection in an endemic setting, describe factors associated with Cryptosporidium-associated persistent diarrhea, and clarify the importance of copathogens in symptomatic cryptosporidiosis. A total of 1476 episodes of diarrhea, accounting for 7581 days of illness (5.25 episodes/child-year), were recorded: of these, 102 episodes (6.9%) were persistent. Cryptosporidium oocysts were identified in 7.4% of all stools, and they were found more frequently in children with persistent diarrhea (16.5%) than in those with acute (8.4%) or no (4.0%) diarrhea (P<.001). Low-birth-weight children and those living in densely crowded subdivisions were at greater risk for symptomatic infection. Disease course was highly variable and was not associated with the presence of copathogens. Recurrent Cryptosporidium infection and relapsing diarrhea associated with it were moderately common. In light of these data, the applicability of the current World Health Organization diarrheal definitions to Cryptosporidium-associated diarrheal episodes may need to be reconsidered. (+info)
Poverty, time, and place: variation in excess mortality across selected US populations, 1980-1990.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To describe variation in levels and causes of excess mortality and temporal mortality change among young and middle aged adults in a regionally diverse set of poor local populations in the USA. DESIGN: Using standard demographic techniques, death certificate and census data were analysed to make sex specific population level estimates of 1980 and 1990 death rates for residents of selected areas of concentrated poverty. For comparison, data for whites and blacks nationwide were analysed. SETTING: African American communities in Harlem, Central City Detroit, Chicago's south side, the Louisiana Delta, the Black Belt region of Alabama, and Eastern North Carolina. Non-Hispanic white communities in Cleveland, Detroit, Appalachian Kentucky, South Central Louisiana, Northeastern Alabama, and Western North Carolina. PARTICIPANTS: All black residents or all white residents of each specific community and in the nation, 1979-1981 and 1989-1991. MAIN RESULTS: Substantial variability exists in levels, trends, and causes of excess mortality in poor populations across localities. African American residents of urban/northern communities suffer extremely high and growing rates of excess mortality. Rural residents exhibit an important mortality advantage that widens over the decade. Homicide deaths contribute little to the rise in excess mortality, nor do AIDS deaths contribute outside of specific localities. Deaths attributable to circulatory disease are the leading cause of excess mortality in most locations. CONCLUSIONS: Important differences exist among persistently impoverished populations in the degree to which their poverty translates into excess mortality. Social epidemiological inquiry and health promotion initiatives should be attentive to local conditions. The severely disadvantageous mortality profiles experienced by urban African Americans relative to the rural poor and to national averages call for understanding. (+info)
Inequalities in low birth weight: parental social class, area deprivation, and "lone mother" status.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the extent of socioeconomic inequalities in low birth weight. To assess the relative benefits of measuring socioeconomic status by individual occupation, socioeconomic deprivation status of area of residence, or both, for describing inequalities and targeting resources. DESIGN: Analysis of birth registrations by registration status: joint compared with sole registrants ("lone mothers"), routinely recorded parental occupation (father's for joint registrants), and census derived enumeration district (ED) deprivation. SETTING: England and Wales, 1986-92. SUBJECTS: 471,411 births with coded parental occupation (random 10% sample) and birth weight. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of low birth weight (< 2500 g) RESULTS: 34% of births to joint registrants in social classes IV and V, and 45% of births to sole registrants, were in the quintile of most deprived EDs. It was found that 6.8% of births were of low birth weight. Sole registrants were at higher risk (9.3% overall) than joint registrants, across all deprivation quintiles. For joint registrants, the socioeconomic risk gradient was similar by social class or area deprivation, but a greater gradient from 4.7% to 8.7% was found with combined classification. CONCLUSIONS: Up to 30% of low birth weight can be seen as being associated with levels of socioeconomic deprivation below that of the most affluent group, as measured in this study. Caution is needed when targeting interventions to high risk groups when using single indicators. For example, the majority of births to lone mothers and to joint registrants in social classes IV and V would be missed by targeting the most deprived quintile. There is a high degree of inequality in low birth weight according to social class, area deprivation and lone mother status. When using routinely recorded birth and census data, all three factors are important to show the true extent of inequalities. (+info)
Prevalence and immune response to Entamoeba histolytica infection in preschool children in Bangladesh.
Entamoeba histolytica infection was present in 5% and E. dispar in 13% of asymptomatic 2-5-year-old children from an urban slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Entamoeba dispar-infected children were no more likely than uninfected children to have serum antibodies to lectin. In contrast, all children infected with E. histolytica had serum antibodies to lectin. This anti-lectin response included antibodies against the carbohydrate recognition domain, which have been demonstrated in animal models to confer passive protection from amebiasis. Antibodies to lectin persisted in the sera of 17 children with E. histolytica infection over one year of follow-up, during which time E. histolytica infection cleared without treatment in 15, and with anti-amebic medication in two. We conclude that half of the children in this population have serologic evidence of amebiasis by five years of age, and that an anti-lectin serum antibody response is associated with limitation of E. histolytica infection to the colon. (+info)