Back care instructions in physical therapy: a trend analysis of individualized back care programs. (1/2838)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The treatment of people with low back pain often includes giving a variety of instructions about back care. The objective of our study was to explore the content and sequence of these instructions. SUBJECTS: Our database contained information on 1,151 therapy sessions for 132 patients who were treated by 21 therapists. METHODS: Hierarchical linear modeling was used to establish trends in instructions during the course of treatment. Instructions were measured by means of a registration form. RESULTS: Pain management instructions were given at the start of treatment and then decreased in later sessions. Instructions about taking care of the back in daily activities followed the same course. Exercise instructions were introduced after the start of treatment and were spread evenly across the visits. The number of recommendations about general fitness decreased during treatment. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: The majority of back care instructions were spread evenly across therapy visits. Relatively little variation in instructions among patients was seen, which may indicate a lack of individualization of the back care programs.  (+info)

What parents think of fever. (2/2838)

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to assess knowledge, perception and management of fever by parents. METHODS: We conducted a questionnaire survey among 392 parents of children attending locally a paediatric clinic at The Royal Oldham Hospital. The main outcome measures were answers to questions covering a variety of aspects of the knowledge, perception and management of fever by parents. RESULTS: Almost half the parents used a liquid crystal forehead thermometer. Most could not use a glass thermometer. Thirty per cent did not know normal body temperature and would have treated children with a temperature below 38 degrees C. Sixty-four per cent treated fever with both paracetamol and tepid sponging. Most parents awakened children at night for antipyretics. Eighty-one per cent thought that untreated fever was most likely to cause fits or brain damage and 7% thought it could cause death. CONCLUSION: Parents perceive fever as being dangerous. They have a poor knowledge and measure it inaccurately. Needless consultations and hospital admissions could be avoided by a change in perception.  (+info)

The status of ORT (oral rehydration therapy) in Bangladesh: how widely is it used? (3/2838)

During 1980-1990 BRAC, a Bangladeshi non-governmental organization, taught over 12 million mothers how to prepare oral rehydration therapy (ORT) at home with lobon (common salt) and gur (unrefined brown sugar). This was followed by a strong promotion and distribution of prepackaged ORS by various agencies including the government. In 1993 we assessed knowledge of ORT preparation, its local availability and its use for the management of diarrhoea. Over 9000 households in 90 villages were revisited; 306 government outreach health workers, 296 drug sellers, and 237 village doctors were interviewed; 152 government facilities and 495 pharmacies/shops were visited. ORT prepared by mothers in a sub-sample of the households was analyzed for chloride content and interviewers collected information on use of ORT for diarrhoeal episodes occurring in the preceding two weeks. The data quality was assessed through a resurvey of sample respondents within two weeks of the first interview. Over 70% of the mothers could prepare a chemically 'safe and effective' ORS. A significant proportion of these mothers were very young at the time of the mass campaigns using house to house teaching, implying an intergenerational transfer of the knowledge on ORT. ORT was found to be used in 60% of all diarrhoeal episodes, but the rate varied with the type of diarrhoea, being highest for daeria (severe watery diarrhoea) and lowest for amasha (dysentery). Drug sellers and village doctors now recommend ORT much more frequently than before. Members of the medical profession (qualified and unqualified) still lag behind in prescribing the use of ORT. The availability of pre-packaged ORS in rural pharmacies has improved enormously. There is convincing evidence that the widescale promotion in the past of ORS for dehydration in diarrhoea has led to this marked improvement today. Nevertheless the use of rice-based ORS, culturally appropriate messages and the promotion of ORS with food offer opportunities to further improve the utilization of ORT.  (+info)

Resource utilization and work or school loss reported by patients with diabetes: experience in diabetes training programs. (4/2838)

Diabetes exerts a major economic impact on healthcare in the United States both in terms of direct and indirect costs. Diabetes management and education programs designed to assist patients in achieving more optimal glycemic control represent a potential mechanism for reducing the morbidity and costs associated with diabetes. The relationship between HbA1c and patient hospitalizations and between HbA1c and days lost from work or school related to diabetes within the past year were evaluated. A cohort of 2359 patients with diabetes (188 type I, 2171 type II) referred to a comprehensive diabetes self-management training program was included in the analyses. Overall, 350 (14.8%) patients reported hospitalization, and 212 (9.0%) reported days lost from work or school. Patients with type I diabetes reported more hospitalizations (26.1% vs 13.9% and days lost (19.2% vs 8.1%) than type II patients. For the hospitalization outcome, the multivariate analyses indicated that younger age, the number of co-morbidities, and the duration of diabetes exerted a greater influence on the reported numbers of hospitalization than glycemic control. For the days lost outcome, the multivariate analyses indicated that there was a marginally significant association between patients with poor glycemic control and reported work or school loss related to diabetes (odds ratio = 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-2.2). These data suggest that interventions that improve glycemic control may decrease indirect costs related to diabetes.  (+info)

Exploring self-care and wellness: a model for pharmacist compensation by managed care organizations. (5/2838)

Self-care and wellness are rapidly becoming mainstays of practice for many pharmacists. Consumer confidence and trust in pharmacists provides continuing opportunities for pharmacists to create products and services to satisfy consumer demands related to disease prevention and healthcare delivery. We outline two pharmacy wellness programs designed to meet consumer needs, and offer them as models for pharmacists. Issues related to the program and extent of involvement by pharmacists are raised, including the role of the pharmacists in behavior modification efforts; selecting areas of focus (e.g., smoking cessation); working with physicians for referrals; enlightening community business leaders and managed care organizations to the economic benefits of the program; and developing strategies for fair purchase of services to achieve program goals and provide adequate compensation in return.  (+info)

Quality of contraceptive services in Finland. (6/2838)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the quality of contraceptive services in Finland varies by the type of care provider. DESIGN: A cross sectional questionnaire survey. PARTICIPANTS: A random sample of 3000 Finnish women aged 18-44 years (response rate 74%) in 1994. RESULTS: Almost all women (94%) had used contraception at some time and 75% were current users. Although self care was common (29% had obtained their latest method outside the health services), 83% had sometimes used the health services for contraception. For their last visit, 55% of women had chosen a health centre (a publicly administered and funded health service), and 33% a private unit. In the health centre, the care provider was usually a general practitioner or a public health nurse, whereas in private care the providers were gynaecologists. Women who used private care were more likely to be from higher social classes and urban areas. After adjustment for a women's background, the two groups were similar for most indicators of the quality of care, but access to care and woman's experiences of treatment were better with private care. CONCLUSIONS: In terms of availability and choices the current system of contraceptive services in Finland is adequate. It is not always an integral part of municipal primary health care, and many women prefer private care for gynaecological services; this may case problems of comprehensiveness and equality of care.  (+info)

Understanding lay perspectives: care options for STD treatment in Lusaka, Zambia. (7/2838)

Understanding lay persons' perceptions of STD care is critical in the design and implementation of appropriate health services. Using 20 unstructured group interviews, 10 focus group discussions and 4 STD case simulations in selected sub-populations in Lusaka, we investigated lay person perspectives of STD services. The study revealed a large diversity of care options for STD in the communities, including self-care, traditional healers, medicine sold in the markets and streets, injections administered in the compounds, private clinics, health centres and hospital. The factors identified as influencing care seeking behaviour are: lay referral mechanisms, social cost, availability of care options, economics, beliefs, stigma and quality of care as perceived by the users.  (+info)

Self-administered interventions: a health education strategy for improving population health. (8/2838)

A case is presented for using self-administered interventions (SAIs) as a viable public health education/promotion option. SAIs are promulgated as a means to more fully participate in projected health care changes. One readily available opportunity is to incorporate SAIs into managed care organizations concerned about balancing costs and care, and responsible for the health care of the populations they serve. SAIs are both clinical and 'population-based' strategies that are viable alternatives to 'usual' care because SAIs offer a means to enhance reach, efficiency and efficacy when used independently or as part of a sequential, systematic series of interventions. SAIs also have other advantages such as being easily shared, disseminated, reusable and capable of including a valuable, inexpensive human resource, trained peer helpers or volunteers. The SAIs of minimal intervention and self-instruction have been widely used with a variety of lifestyle behaviors associated with cardiovascular disease. Research from the weight management literature is used as a heuristic illustration of the application of SAIs, and to describe the nature and potential of SAIs as public health strategies to meet health care challenges of the future related to service delivery.  (+info)