Patient referral outcome in gonorrhoea and chlamydial infections.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the outcome of patient referral at the STD clinic of the University Hospital Rotterdam. To study characteristics of heterosexual index patients and partnerships related to referral outcome. METHODS: In 1994, patients with gonorrhoea and chlamydia were referred to public health nurses for interview and patient referral. Referral outcome was classified as "verified" if partners attended the STD clinic and as "believed" if partners were said to have attended elsewhere. RESULTS: Of 454 patients, 250 (55%) participated in the study. The outcome of patient referral for the 502 eligible partners was 103 (20.5%) verified referrals, 102 (20%) believed referrals, and 297 (59%) with unknown follow up. Of the 103 partners examined, 43 had an STD of which 63% reported no symptoms. The contact finding ratio was higher for chlamydia patients and heterosexual men. Also, referral was more effective for index patients with recent sexual contact, with follow up visits to the public health nurse, for men who were not commercial sex worker (CSW) clients, and, to a lesser degree, for Dutch patients and patients who sometimes used condoms. For steady partners, referral was improved if the last sexual contact was more recent. Casual partners visited the clinic more often if sexual contact occurred more than once, if the last contact was more recent, if they were older, and if they were Dutch. CONCLUSIONS: Patient referral was more effective for certain groups, such as chlamydia patients and steady partners, but was inadequate for others, including CSW and their clients, other "one night stands", young partners, and ethnic minorities. (+info)
Preparing currently employed public health nurses for changes in the health system.
OBJECTIVES: This article describes a core public health nursing curriculum, part of a larger project designed to identify the skills needed by practicing public health workers if they are to successfully fill roles in the current and emerging public health system. METHODS: Two focus groups of key informants, representing state and local public health nursing practice, public health nursing education, organizations interested in public health and nursing education, federal agencies, and academia, synthesized material from multiple sources and outlined the key content for a continuing education curriculum appropriate to the current public health nursing workforce. RESULTS: The skills identified as most needed were those required for analyzing data, practicing epidemiology, measuring health status and organizational change, connecting people to organizations, bringing about change in organizations, building strength in diversity, conducting population-based intervention, building coalitions, strengthening environmental health, developing interdisciplinary teams, developing and advocating policy, evaluating programs, and devising approaches to quality improvement. CONCLUSIONS: Collaboration between public health nursing practice and education and partnerships with other public health agencies will be essential for public health nurses to achieve the required skills to enhance public health infrastructure. (+info)
Low-cost on-the-job peer training of nurses improved immunization coverage in Indonesia.
In Indonesia responsibility for immunizations is placed on local government health centres and on the nurses who provide the immunizations at each centre. An on-the-job peer training programme for these nurses, which was designed to improve the immunization performance of poorly performing health centres in terms of coverage and practice in Maluku province, was evaluated. Experienced immunization nurses were sent to health centres where nurses were inexperienced or performing poorly; the experienced nurses spent 1-2 weeks providing on-the-job training for the less experienced ones. An evaluation of the 13 centres that participated in the programme and the 95 that did not found that the programme increased both immunization coverage and the quality of practice. Coverage of diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT), polio, and measles vaccinations rose by about 39% in all 13 participating centres when compared with non-participating centres, and by about 54% in the 11 centres that had a functioning transportation system during the year after training. These results reflect increases in the actual number of doses given and improvements in the accuracy of reports. Potential threats to the study's validity were examined and found not to be significant. The out-of-pocket cost of the training programme was about US$ 53 per trainee or about US$ 0.05 per additional vaccine reported to have been given. The marginal cost per additional fully immunized child was estimated to be US$ 0.50. (+info)
A national general practice census: characteristics of rural general practices.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to describe, using a national census, the characteristics of rural general practices and compare these with city and town general practices. METHODS: A previously piloted, anonymous but linked, questionnaire was issued to all GPs in Ireland. A liaison network covering the country was developed to increase the response rate. Respondents were asked to designate the location of their main surgery as being city (>20 000 population), town (>5000) or rural (<5000). Each responding practice was asked to nominate one partner to complete a specific section on practice information. RESULTS: Completed individual questionnaires were returned from 2093 GPs (86% response rate). Information on 1429 practice centres was provided; 488 (34%) of these were designated as city, 405 (28%) as town and 536 (38%) as rural. Rural practices reported fewer private patients (P < 0.001) and more socio-economically deprived patients (P < 0.001) than those in towns or cities. The mean number (SD) of total scheduled hours per average week per GP was 77.95 (37.0) for city practices, 80.6 (35.9) for town and 103.6 (39.0) for rural (P < 0.001). Rural practices are more likely, in comparison with those in cities and towns, to have attached staff working from purpose-built premises which are publicly owned. Rural practices also have more contacts with members of the primary care team such as Public Health Nurses, and the quality of these contacts is described more positively. The range of available services is broadly similar, with emergency medical equipment being available more frequently in rural practices. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that rural practitioners and their practices differ from their urban counterparts in many important aspects. Consideration should be given to the development of formal under- and postgraduate rural general practice programmes to prepare new, and continue to enthuse present, rural GPs. (+info)
Difference between consciousness of intervention for improving lifestyle by public health nurses and recipients of a company health check.
Improving an unhealthy lifestyle decreases risk of incidence and death of lifestyle-related diseases. Consultation about a healthy lifestyle to recipients of health checkups conducted by public health nurses is one method for such improvement. The objective in the present study was to investigate the difference between consciousness of intervention by (1) the public health nurses who conducted consultations with recipients of health checkups and (2) the recipients who were consulted by the public health nurses. Data on 1,370 male white collar workers who underwent health checks were analyzed. When public health nurses determined that recipients required health consultation regarding lifestyle from the health checkup, they consulted with the recipients regarding improvement of lifestyle. The consultation regarding lifestyle included abstinence from smoking, drinking in moderation, exercise, and eating. The results of the analysis regarding difference in consciousness of the intervention by the public health nurses and the recipients show that (1) most drinkers did not think they were being discouraged to drink despite intervention by the public health nurses and (2) the smokers and the subjects with no habitual physical exercise tend to think that they were being consulted even though the public health nurses did not intervene regarding smoking and exercise. (+info)
Emergency preparedness training for public health nurses: a pilot study.
The Columbia Center for Public Health Preparedness, in partnership with the New York City Department of Health, recently developed an emergency preparedness training program for public health workers. A pilot training program was conducted for a group of school health nurses and evaluated using a pre/posttest design. A surprising finding was that 90% of the nurses reported at least one barrier to their ability to report to duty in the event of a public health emergency. The most frequently cited barriers included child/elder care responsibilities, lack of transportation, and personal health issues. These findings suggest that it may be prudent to identify and address potential barriers to public health workforce responsiveness to ensure the availability of the workforce during emergencies. (+info)
Improving breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, and practices of WIC clinic staff.
OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to assess the impact of a breastfeeding promotion clinic environment project implemented by the state of Mississippi on breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, and practices of WIC clinic staff. METHODS: Thirteen pairs of matched intervention and comparison WIC clinics participated in the study. Clinical and administrative staff completed pre-test and post-test self-administered questionnaires in 1998 and 1999. RESULTS: A total of 397 staff members provided pre-test data, and 277 staff members provided post-test data. Before project implementation, the intervention and comparison groups were similar overall. The majority of staff had positive attitudes/beliefs about breastfeeding, but gaps in knowledge and practices were noted. Post-test data showed that the project improved knowledge, attitudes/beliefs, and confidence/practice of intervention clinic staff. CONCLUSIONS: Clinic environment projects, which combine physical improvements and staff training, are effective in promoting support for breastfeeding among public health clinic staff. Similar interventions may contribute to the overall effectiveness of breastfeeding promotion programs. (+info)
Common ground in general-practitioner and health-visitor training--an experimental course.
A residential course for 21 general-practitioner vocational trainees and student health visitors is described. The aim was to introduce the two groups of trainee professionals to each other in an attempt to modify attitudes, increase knowledge of each other's work, and induce a more positive approach towards teamwork in their ultimate careers. Both groups achieved an improvement by the end, and over half said they understood the others' role better (+info)