Women's interest in vaginal microbicides.
CONTEXT: Each year, an estimated 15 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, occur in the United States. Women are not only at a disadvantage because of their biological and social susceptibility, but also because of the methods that are available for prevention. METHODS: A nationally representative sample of 1,000 women aged 18-44 in the continental United States who had had sex with a man in the last 12 months were interviewed by telephone. Analyses identified levels and predictors of women's worry about STDs and interest in vaginal microbicides, as well as their preferences regarding method characteristics. Numbers of potential U.S. microbicide users were estimated. RESULTS: An estimated 21.3 million U.S. women have some potential current interest in using a microbicidal product. Depending upon product specifications and cost, as many as 6.0 million women who are worried about getting an STD would be very interested in current use of a microbicide. These women are most likely to be unmarried and not cohabiting, of low income and less education, and black or Hispanic. They also are more likely to have visited a doctor for STD symptoms or to have reduced their sexual activity because of STDs, to have a partner who had had other partners in the past year, to have no steady partner or to have ever used condoms for STD prevention. CONCLUSIONS: A significant minority of women in the United States are worried about STDs and think they would use vaginal microbicides. The development, testing and marketing of such products should be expedited. (+info)
Condom use and HIV risk behaviors among U.S. adults: data from a national survey.
CONTEXT: How much condom use among U.S. adults varies by type of partner or by risk behavior is unclear. Knowledge of such differentials would aid in evaluating the progress being made toward goals for levels of condom use as part of the Healthy People 2000 initiative. METHODS: Data were analyzed from the 1996 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse, an annual household-based probability sample of the noninstitutionalized population aged 12 and older that measures the use of illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The personal behaviors module included 25 questions covering sexual activity in the past year, frequency of condom use in the past year, circumstances of the last sexual encounter and HIV testing. RESULTS: Sixty-two percent of adults reported using a condom at last intercourse outside of an ongoing relationship, while only 19% reported using condoms when the most recent intercourse occurred within a steady relationship. Within ongoing relationships, condom use was highest among respondents who were younger, black, of lower income and from large metropolitan areas. Forty percent of unmarried adults used a condom at last sex, compared with the health objective of 50% for the year 2000. Forty percent of injecting drug users used condoms at last intercourse, compared with the 60% condom use objective for high-risk individuals. Significantly, persons at increased risk for HIV because of their sexual behavior or drug use were not more likely to use condoms than were persons not at increased risk; only 22% used condoms during last intercourse within an ongoing relationship. CONCLUSIONS: Substantial progress has been made toward national goals for increasing condom use. The rates of condom use by individuals at high risk of HIV need to be increased, however, particularly condom use with a steady partner. (+info)
Tay-Sachs screening: motives for participating and knowledge of genetics and probability.
A highly-educated, socially aware group of persons presented themselves for Tay-Sachs screening having learned about it mainly from friends, newspapers, radio, and television but not from physicians or rabbis. After learning that screening was possible and deciding that it is in principle a good idea, and after discussing it with relatives and friends but not with physicians and rabbis, they presented themselves for the test. Although the participants knew that Tay-Sachs is a serious disease and that Jews are vulnerable, few of them knew much about the genetics of the disease, its frequency, or the incidence of the carrier state. This experience of screening for Tay-Sachs carriers suggests the need for physicians to learn the relation of genetics to preventive medicine, and for the public to learn more about the biology of man. (+info)
The neural consequences of conflict between intention and the senses.
Normal sensorimotor states involve integration of intention, action and sensory feedback. An example is the congruence between motor intention and sensory experience (both proprioceptive and visual) when we move a limb through space. Such goal-directed action necessitates a mechanism that monitors sensorimotor inputs to ensure that motor outputs are congruent with current intentions. Monitoring in this sense is usually implicit and automatic but becomes conscious whenever there is a mismatch between expected and realized sensorimotor states. To investigate how the latter type of monitoring is achieved we conducted three fully factorial functional neuroimaging experiments using PET measures of relative regional cerebral blood flow with healthy volunteers. In the first experiment subjects were asked to perform Luria's bimanual co-ordination task which involves either in-phase (conditions 1 and 3) or out-of-phase (conditions 2 and 4) bimanual movements (factor one), while looking towards their left hand. In half of the conditions (conditions 3 and 4) a mirror was used that altered visual feedback (factor two) by replacing their left hand with the mirror image of their right hand. Hence (in the critical condition 4) subjects saw in-phase movements despite performing out-of-phase movements. This mismatch between intention, proprioception and visual feedback engendered cognitive conflict. The main effect of out-of-phase movements was associated with increased neural activity in posterior parietal cortex (PPC) bilaterally [Brodmann area (BA) 40, extending into BA 7] and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) bilaterally (BA 9/46). The main effect of the mirror showed increased neural activity in right DLPFC (BA 9/ 46) and right superior PPC (BA 7) only. Analysis of the critical interaction revealed that the mismatch condition led to a specific activation in the right DLPFC alone (BA 9/46). Study 2, using an identical experimental set-up but manipulating visual feedback from the right hand (instead of the left), subsequently demonstrated that this right DLPFC activation was independent of the hand attended. Finally, study 3 removed the motor intentional component by moving the subjects' hand passively, thus engendering a mismatch between proprioception and vision only. Activation in the right lateral prefrontal cortex was now more ventral than in studies 1 or 2 (BA 44/45). A direct comparison of studies 1 and 3 (which both manipulated visual feedback from the left hand) confirmed that a ventral right lateral prefrontal region is primarily activated by discrepancies between signals from sensory systems, while a more dorsal area in right lateral prefrontal cortex is activated when actions must be maintained in the face of a conflict between intention and sensory outcome. (+info)
The impact of face-to-face educational outreach on diarrhoea treatment in pharmacies.
Private pharmacies are an important source of health care in developing countries. A number of studies have documented deficiencies in treatment, but little has been done to improve practices. We conducted two controlled trials to determine the efficacy of face-to-face educational outreach in improving communication and product sales for cases of diarrhoea in children in 194 private pharmacies in two developing countries. A training guide was developed to enable a national diarrhoea control programme to identify problems and their causes in pharmacies, using quantitative and qualitative research methods. The guide also facilitates the design, implementation, and evaluation of an educational intervention, which includes brief one-on-one meetings between diarrhoea programme educators and pharmacists/owners, followed by one small group training session with all counter attendants working in the pharmacies. We evaluated the short-term impact of this intervention using a before-and-after comparison group design in Kenya, and a randomized controlled design in Indonesia, with the pharmacy as unit of analysis in both countries (n = 107 pharmacies in Kenya; n = 87 in Indonesia). Using trained surrogate patients posing as mothers of a child under five with diarrhoea, we measured sales of oral rehydration salts (ORS); sales of antidiarrhoeal agents; and history-taking and advice to continue fluids and food. We also measured knowledge about dehydration and drugs to treat diarrhoea among Kenyan pharmacy employees after training. Major discrepancies were found at baseline between reported and observed behaviour. For example, 66% of pharmacy attendants in Kenya, and 53% in Indonesia, reported selling ORS for the previous case of child diarrhoea, but in only 33% and 5% of surrogate patient visits was ORS actually sold for such cases. After training, there was a significant increase in knowledge about diarrhoea and its treatment among counter attendants in Kenya, where these changes were measured. Sales of ORS in intervention pharmacies increased by an average of 30% in Kenya (almost a two-fold increase) and 21% in Indonesia compared to controls (p < 0.05); antidiarrhoeal sales declined by an average of 15% in Kenya and 20% in Indonesia compared to controls (p < 0.05). There was a trend toward increased communication in both countries, and in Kenya we observed significant increases in discussion of dehydration during pharmacy visits (p < 0.05). We conclude that face-to-face training of pharmacy attendants which targets deficits in knowledge and specific problem behaviours can result in significant short-term improvements in product sales and communication with customers. The positive effects and cost-effectiveness of such programmes need to be tested over a longer period for other health problems and in other countries. (+info)
Factors associated with screening mammography and breast self-examination intentions.
The factors associated with the use of two methods for the early detection of breast cancer were assessed using a theoretical framework derived from the theory of reasoned action and the Health Belief Model. Telephone interviews were conducted with 170 women aged between 50 and 70 years, randomly selected from the telephone directory of a provincial city in Victoria, Australia. The model explained 47% of the variance in intentions to have a mammogram and 22% of the variance in intentions to practise breast self-examination (BSE). The data supported the prediction that different variables would be associated with each method of early detection of breast cancer. Intentions to have a mammogram were associated with perceived susceptibility to breast cancer, knowing a woman who has had a mammogram, previous mammography history and Pap test history. Intentions to do BSE were associated with self efficacy, knowledge of breast cancer issues, concern about getting breast cancer and employment status. Both screening methods were associated with prior behaviour and concern about getting breast cancer. (+info)
Is long-term maintenance of health-related physical activity possible? An analysis of concepts and evidence.
The phenomenon of maintenance of health-related physical activity is explored through an analysis of the underlying concepts and of the existing empirical evidence. The following targets were used for the analysis: (1) the concept of health-related physical activity, (2) the concept of maintenance, (3) common manifestations of maintenance in everyday living, (4) the promotional and behavioral characteristics of health-related physical activity, (5) the known determinants of free-living physical activity, and (6) intervention trials on physical activity in free-living groups. The analyses revealed the inherent resistance to adoption and maintenance of physical activity, particularly that of high-intensity and program-centered activities, the persistence, however, of many simple everyday routines and habits, the multiple determinants discovered for free-living physical activity and a few empirical demonstrations of the successful promotion of the maintenance of physical activity over a year or two. The promotion of the maintenance of health-related physical activity seems thus a distinct possibility provided that (1) the promotional situation is analyzed thoroughly, (2) the activity is chosen carefully with an emphasis on moderation in intensity and integration into the participant's life-style, (3) multiple promotional contacts are used, and (4) support from the participant's social and physical environment is provided. There is a need for more research on the maintenance of health-related physical activity using the stages of change models, behavior modification principles, self-control concepts, the concept of intrinsic motivation and the Relapse model. The method of analysis used here could apply to other health-related behaviors as well. (+info)
Loud, sad or bad: young people's perceptions of peer groups and smoking.
This paper suggests that most 13 year olds and many 11 year olds have a clear and detailed grasp of their own social map, recognize the pecking order which is established amongst their peers and are aware of the different levels of risk-taking behaviour, including smoking, adopted by different peer groups in their school year. Thirty six 11 year olds and 40 13 year olds took part in the study. Their remarkably consistent views about which pupils adopt or reject smoking are closely related to their perceptions of their social map. Their accounts differentiate top girls, top boys, middle pupils, low-status pupils, trouble-makers and loners, associating smoking behaviour consistently with three of the five groups--the top girls, the low-status pupils and the trouble makers. Top boys, although sharing many of the characteristics of top girls, have an added protection factor--their keen interest in football and physical fitness. From their descriptions, it is apparent that different groups of pupils smoke for different reasons which are related to pecking order and group membership. The implications of these young people's views for health education programmes to prevent smoking and other risk-taking behaviours are far reaching. (+info)