(1/8935) Anaerobes in pelvic inflammatory disease: implications for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
In preparing the 1998 sexually transmitted disease treatment guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we reviewed evidence regarding the need to eradicate anaerobes when treating pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Anaerobes are present in the upper genital tract during an episode of acute PID, with the prevalence dependent on the population under study. Vaginal anaerobes can facilitate acquisition of PID and cause tissue damage to the fallopian tube, either directly or indirectly through the host inflammatory response. Use of several broad-spectrum regimens appears to result in excellent clinical cure rates, despite the fact that some combinations fall short of providing comprehensive coverage of anaerobes. There are limited data on the long-term effects of failing to eradicate anaerobes from the upper genital tract. Concern that tissue damage may continue when anaerobes are suboptimally treated has prompted many experts to caution that therapeutic regimens should include comprehensive anaerobic coverage for optimal treatment of women with PID. (+info)
(2/8935) Provider attitudes toward dispensing emergency contraception in Michigan's Title X programs.
(3/8935) Management of asthma and COPD patients: feasibility of the application of guidelines in general practice.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the feasibility of the application of guidelines to the management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by assessing compliance with the guidelines and listing the barriers general practitioners (GPs) encountered during implementation. Insight into the feasibility of individual items in the guidelines can guide implementation strategies in the future and, if necessary, support revision of the guidelines. DESIGN: Descriptive study of care delivered during the implementation of guidelines by means of documentation of the care provided, education, feedback on compliance and peer review. SETTING: General practice. STUDY PARTICIPANTS: Sixteen GPs in 14 general practices. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Compliance was expressed as the percentage of patients per practice managed by the GPs according to the guidelines. For each patient (n=413) data were collected on the care delivered during the first year of the implementation. Barriers encountered were derived from the summaries of the discussions held during the monthly meetings. RESULTS: The GPs were most compliant on the items 'PEFR measurement at every consultation' (98%), 'allergy test' (78%) and 'advice to stop smoking' (82%), and less compliant on the items 'four or more consultations a year' (46%), 'ordering spirometry' (33%), 'adjustment of medication' (42%), 'check on inhalation technique' (38%) and referral to a chest physician (17%) or a district nurse (5%). The main barriers were the amount of time to be invested, doubts about the necessity of regular consultations and about the indications for ordering spirometry and for referral to a chest physician or a district nurse. CONCLUSION: Although the feasibility was assessed in a fairly optimal situation, compliance with the guidelines was not maximal, and differed between the individual items of care. Suggestions are given for further improvements in compliance with the guidelines and for revision of the guidelines. (+info)
(4/8935) Investigating fatigue of less than 6 months' duration. Guidelines for family physicians.
OBJECTIVE: To develop an evidence-based systematic approach to assessment of adult patients who present to family physicians complaining of fatigue of less than 6 months' duration. The guidelines present investigative options, making explicit what should be considered in all cases and what should be considered only in specific situations. They aim to provide physicians with an approach that, to the extent possible, is based on evidence so that time and cost are minimized and detection and management of the cause of the fatigue are optimized. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: MEDLINE was searched from 1966 to 1997 using the key words "family practice" and "fatigue." Articles about chronic fatigue syndrome were excluded. Articles with level 3 evidence were found, but no randomized trials, cohort studies, or case-control studies were found. Articles looking specifically at the epidemiology, demographics, investigations, and diagnoses of patients with fatigue were chosen. Articles based on studies at referral and specialty centres were given less weight than those based on studies in family physicians' offices. MAIN MESSAGE: Adherence to these guidelines will decrease the cost of investigating the symptom of fatigue and optimize diagnosis and management. This needs to be proved in practice, however, and with research that produces level 1 and 2 evidence. CONCLUSIONS: Adults presenting with fatigue of less than 6 months' duration should be assessed for psychosocial causes and should have a focused history and physical examination to determine whether further investigations should be done. The guidelines outline investigations to be considered. The elderly require special consideration. These guidelines have group validation, but they need to be tested by more physicians in various locations and types of practices. (+info)
(5/8935) 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)
(6/8935) Slippery slopes in flat countries--a response.
In response to the paper by Keown and Jochemsen in which the latest empirical data concerning euthanasia and other end-of-life decisions in the Netherlands is discussed, this paper discusses three points. The use of euthanasia in cases in which palliative care was a viable alternative may be taken as proof of a slippery slope. However, it could also be interpreted as an indication of a shift towards more autonomy-based end-of-life decisions. The cases of non-voluntary euthanasia are a serious problem in the Netherlands and they are only rarely justifiable. However, they do not prove the existence of a slippery slope. Persuading the physician to bring euthanasia cases to the knowledge of the authorities is a problem of any euthanasia policy. The Dutch notification procedure has recently been changed to reduce the underreporting of cases. However, many questions remain. (+info)
(7/8935) How physician executives and clinicians perceive ethical issues in Saudi Arabian hospitals.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians regarding ethical issues in Saudi Arabian hospitals and the attributes that might lead to the existence of these ethical issues. DESIGN: Self-completion questionnaire administered from February to July 1997. SETTING: Different health regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. PARTICIPANTS: Random sample of 457 physicians (317 clinicians and 140 physician executives) from several hospitals in various regions across the kingdom. RESULTS: There were statistically significant differences in the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians regarding the existence of various ethical issues in their hospitals. The vast majority of physician executives did not perceive that seven of the eight issues addressed by the study were ethical concerns in their hospitals. However, the majority of the clinicians perceived that six of the same eight issues were ethical considerations in their hospitals. Statistically significant differences in the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians were observed in only three out of eight attributes that might possibly lead to the existence of ethical issues. The most significant attribute that was perceived to result in ethical issues was that of hospitals having a multinational staff. CONCLUSION: The study calls for the formulation of a code of ethics that will address specifically the physicians who work in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a more immediate initiative, it is recommended that seminars and workshops be conducted to provide physicians with an opportunity to discuss the ethical dilemmas they face in their medical practice. (+info)
(8/8935) When do HIV-infected persons start with antiretroviral therapy? A retrospective analysis of patients' monitoring and treatment status in general practice, as compared with the 1991 Dutch HIV treatment guidelines.
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to compare, in a sample of Amsterdam general practices, the monitoring and treatment status of HIV-infected patients according to the 1991 Dutch consensus guidelines for antiretroviral treatment of HIV-infection, which advise that therapy be started at a peripheral blood CD4+ cell count of < or = 300 x 10(6)/l in asymptomatic patients, or < or = 400 x 10(6)/l in symptomatic patients. METHOD: In 1994, data were collected from the records of all 511 HIV-infected patients registered in 14 Amsterdam general practices (20 doctors). The main outcome measures were the antiretroviral treatment status of all patients who were eligible for treatment, and the disease stage and CD4+ cell counts at the onset of therapy for patients who started treatment after publication of the 1991 guidelines. RESULTS: For 472 patients, data were available on CD4+ cell measurement status and disease stage. For 15.9% of patients, CD4+ cells had never been measured; most of them were asymptomatic. In 84.1 % of patients, CD4+ cells had been measured. Of the 8.9% of patients whose results were not known to GPs, 93% were treated by a specialist and 76% were symptomatic. Of the remaining 355 (75.2%) patients whose CD4+ count and disease status were known, 201 (56.7%) met the guideline criteria for treatment. Of these, 53.7% received treatment, 27.4% were never treated and 18.9% had discontinued treatment. Of the 67 patients who started treatment after publication of the guidelines, 36.2% of asymptomatic patients and 92.8% of symptomatic patients started later than the guidelines advised. CONCLUSION: In the population studied, we found a discrepancy between the 1991 treatment guidelines and the actual situation. In a substantial proportion of eligible patients, antiretroviral treatment was either not administered at all or was administered at a (very) late disease stage. This can only be attributed to physicians' and/or patients' attitudes towards antiretroviral treatment. Other studies confirm that a number of psychological factors may influence treatment decisions. The new combination treatment of HIV-infection requires an early start and compliance with the guidelines. The degree to which doctors and patients are willing and able to comply with the guidelines is an important factor to be taken into account, both in research and in the development of guidelines. (+info)