Automated collection of quality-of-life data: a comparison of paper and computer touch-screen questionnaires.
PURPOSE: To evaluate alternative automated methods of collecting data on quality of life (QOL) in cancer patients. After initial evaluation of a range of technologies, we compared computer touch-screen questionnaires with paper questionnaires scanned by optical reading systems in terms of patients' acceptance, data quality, and reliability. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a randomized cross-over trial, 149 cancer patients completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30, version 2.0 (EORTC QLQ-C30), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) on paper and on a touch screen. In a further test-retest study, 81 patients completed the electronic version of the questionnaires twice, with a time interval of 3 hours between questionnaires. RESULTS: Fifty-two percent of the patients preferred the touch screen to paper; 24% had no preference. The quality of the data collected with the touch-screen system was good, with no missed responses. At the group level, the differences between scores obtained with the two modes of administration of the instruments were small, suggesting equivalence for most of the QOL scales, with the possible exception of the emotional, fatigue, and nausea/vomiting scales and the appetite item, where patients tended to give more positive responses on the touch screen. At the individual patient level, the agreement was good, with a kappa coefficient from 0.57 to 0.77 and percent global agreement from 61% to 97%. The electronic questionnaire had good test-retest reliability, with correlation coefficients between the two administrations from 0.78 to 0.95, kappa coefficients of agreement from 0.55 to 0.90, and percent global agreement from 56% to 100%. CONCLUSION: Computer touch-screen QOL questionnaires were well accepted by cancer patients, with good data quality and reliability. (+info)
Square pegs in round holes: has psychometric testing a place in choosing a surgical career? A preliminary report of work in progress.
Methods of selection of candidates for training in surgery has long been regarded as lacking explicit criteria and objectivity. Our purpose was to discover the aptitudes and personality types of applicants for surgical posts at the outset, in order to discover which were most likely to result in a satisfactory progression through training and which were associated with career difficulties. This longitudinal predictive validation study has been undertaken in a London Teaching Hospital since 1994. After short-listing, but immediately before interview, all candidates for senior house officer posts in basic surgical training and in geriatric medicine were asked to undertake psychometric tests of numerical (GMA) and spatial (SIT7) reasoning, personality type (MBTI), and self-rating of competency. There were no differences in ability scores between surgeons or geriatricians. Personality differences were revealed between the surgeons and the geriatricians, and between male and female surgeons. This study suggests that while there are no differences in ability between surgeons and geriatricians at the start of training, there are differences in personality. Long-term follow-up of the career development of this cohort of surgical SHOs is required to determine whether the psychometric measures described correlate with achievements of milestones in their surgical careers. (+info)
Depressive symptoms and occurrence of type 2 diabetes among Japanese men.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between depressive symptoms and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In 1984, 2,764 male employees of an electrical company in Japan completed a self-administered questionnaire including the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS). They were followed for the next 8 years, and 2,380 (86%) responded to the follow-up survey in 1992. During the follow-up survey, occurrence of type 2 diabetes was diagnosed according to World Health Organization criteria. RESULTS: A total of 41 cases of type 2 diabetes were identified during the 8-year follow-up survey. After controlling for other known risk factors for type 2 diabetes, a proportional hazard analysis indicated that subjects who had moderate or severe levels of depressive symptoms (> or = 48 on the SDS) at baseline had a 2.3 times higher risk of having type 2 diabetes at the follow-up survey than those who were not depressed (< or = 39 on the SDS) (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Depressive symptoms may be associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes. (+info)
Personality and alcohol/substance-use disorder patient relapse and attendance at self-help group meetings.
This study evaluated the role of personality in the short-term outcome of alcohol/substance-use disorder patients. Detoxifying alcohol/substance-use disorder patients were administered the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ), the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST), the CAGE Questionnaire, and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). These patients were subsequently evaluated over a 1-month period for relapse and attendance at self-help group meetings. High TPQ Persistence scale scores predicted abstinence. When the Thinking and Feeling groups were considered separately, and when these two groups were combined into a single group, high scores for the individual groups and the combined group (i.e. Thinking and Feeling types together) predicted abstinence. High TPQ Persistence scale scores and low Shyness with Strangers and Fear of Uncertainty subscale scores predicted attendance at self-help group meetings. High MBTI Extroversion and high MBTI Thinking scores also predicted attendance at self-help group meetings. When the Extroverted and Introverted types and the Thinking and Feeling types respectively were combined, as with abstinence, high scores predicted attendance at self-help group meetings. Age, gender, CAGE, MAST, and BDI scores did not predict outcome. The above information suggests that specific personality variables may predict abstinence and attendance at self-help group meetings in recently detoxified alcoholics, and this may have prognostic and therapeutic significance. (+info)
Acupuncture in alcoholism treatment: a randomized out-patient study.
Seventy-two alcoholics were treated with acupuncture to the ear in a randomized single-blind controlled design over 10 weeks. Orthodox points and incorrect points 3-5 mm from orthodox points were used. No initial differences were found regarding social characteristics, the responses to the Swedish version of the Alcohol Use Inventory and the Three-dimensional Personality Questionnaire, indicating a successful randomization. There were non-significant tendencies towards gender differential response after acupuncture treatment (P = 0.07). There was no difference in the number of drinking days or level of craving between treatment and control patients. Among females, those in the treatment group reported reduction of anxiety after 1 month, more often than those in the control group (P < 0.05). Response to acupuncture was not related to personality or drinking pattern. Patients' experience of needle placement was similar in the study and control groups. The effects of acupuncture were less pronounced than those previously reported. (+info)
Carer distress in the general population: results from the Sydney Older Persons Study.
OBJECTIVE: To assess distress in a sample of carers who were selected from a community survey rather than recruited via community-service agencies. METHODS: A community survey was carried out on 630 people aged 75 or over living in Sydney, Australia. Informants nominated by these elderly people were divided into full carer (n = 21), partial carer (n = 187) and non-carer groups (n = 344). Informants completed the General Health Questionnaire (a continuous measure of psychiatric symptoms), the life satisfaction index (a measure of well-being) and the interpersonal bonding measure (a measure of quality of the relationship with the elderly person). Elderly participants had a medical examination, were assessed for disability and were questioned about use of services. RESULTS: Elderly people who had a full carer were more disabled and had more medical diagnoses. Full, but not partial, carers reported more psychiatric symptoms and lower life satisfaction. In multivariate analysis, the main determinant of carer distress was a relationship in which the carer felt controlled by the elderly person. CONCLUSION: When carers are selected from a population-based sample, only those who are full carers are more distressed. However, relationship factors are the most important determinant of distress. (+info)
Immune function and psychological factors in patients with coronary heart disease (I).
As part of studies on the effects, especially the preventive effects, of exercise and psychological factors on cardiovascular diseases, the association between psychological tendencies and immune response was evaluated in patients with coronary heart disease who were receiving exercise therapy. The Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficients between natural killer (NK) cell activity and various psychological scales were obtained. For the Moudsley Personality Inventory, NK cell activity had a significant positive correlation with the extraversion scale and a significant negative correlation with the neuroticism scale. NK cell activity also had a significant positive correlation with the playful humor scale and a significantly negative correlation with the Self-rating Depression Scale. The positive correlation of NK cell activity with the extraversion scale and the humor scale and its negative correlation with the neuroticism scale suggest an association between a positive-feeling tendency and high NK cell activity. The negative correlations of NK activity with the depression scale and neuroticism scale indicate that decreased or excessive expression of feelings inhibits NK cell activity. Thus, high NK activity appears to be associated with optimal expression of feelings. (+info)
Factors predictive of anxiety before oral surgery: efficacy of various subject screening measures.
Recruiting anxious people for analgesic and anxiolytic studies allows greater opportunities to study the positive effects of anxiolytic medication. The purpose of this study is to describe a population recruited for a study of anxiolytic medication using the third molar model and to evaluate the relative efficacy of different measures of dental anxiety as recruitment tools. A concerted effort was made to recruit anxious subjects. The following measures were tested: Corah's Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS), Kleinknecht's Dental Fear Survey (DFS), Litt's Oral Surgery Confidence Questionnaire (OSCQ), and Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The influence of prior experience with tooth extractions on anxiety was also assessed. Subjects who had previously experienced tooth extraction reported higher anxiety before oral surgery than did subjects without such experience. DAS, DFS and state anxiety scores correlated with anxiety reported before oral surgery. However, OSCQ scores and trait anxiety were not related to anxiety reported before surgery. Linear regression indicated that the DFS predicted anxiety before oral surgery best of all measures that were used. Kleinknecht's DFS is thus recommended for use as a tool for recruiting anxious patients. (+info)