Comparison of active and cancer registry-based follow-up for breast cancer in a prospective cohort study.
The authors compared the relative effectiveness of two distinct follow-up designs in prospective cohort studies--the active approach, based on direct contact with study subjects, and the passive approach, based on record linkages with population-based cancer registries--utilizing available information from the New York University Women's Health Study (WHS) and the New York State Cancer Registry (NYSCR). The analyses were limited to breast cancer cases identified during the period 1985-1992, for which follow-up was considered reasonably complete by both the WHS and the NYSCR. Among 12,947 cohort members who reported a New York State address, 303 pathologically confirmed cases were identified through active follow-up and 284 through record linkage. Sixty-three percent of cancers were identified by both sources, 21% by the WHS only, and 16% by the NYSCR only. The agreement was appreciably better for invasive cancers. The percentage of cases identified only by the NYSCR was increased among subjects whose active follow-up was incomplete, as well as among nonwhites, obese patients, and parous patients. This suggests that relying on either type of follow-up alone may introduce certain biases in evaluating risk factors for breast cancer. Combining both approaches appears to be a better strategy in prospective cohort studies. (+info)
Reliability of information on physical activity and other chronic disease risk factors among US women aged 40 years or older.
Data on chronic disease risk behaviors and related variables, including barriers to and attitudes toward physical activity, are lacking for women of some racial/ethnic groups. A test-retest study was conducted from July 1996 through June 1997 among US women (n = 199) aged 40 years or more who were white, black, American Indian/Alaska Native, or Hispanic. The sample was selected and interviews were conducted using a modified version of the methods of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. For behavioral risk factors such as physical inactivity, smoking, and low fruit and vegetable consumption, group prevalences were generally similar between interviews 1 and 2. However, kappa values for selected physical activity variables ranged from 0.26 to 0.51 and tended to be lower for black women. Discordance was low for variables on cigarette smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (kappa = 0.64-0.92). Discordance was high (kappa = 0.33) for low consumption of fruits and vegetables. Additional variables for barriers to and access to exercise ranged widely across racial/ethnic groups and in terms of measures of agreement. These methods illustrate an efficient way to sample and assess the reliability of data collected from women of racial/ethnic minority groups. (+info)
Capture-recapture models including covariate effects.
Capture-recapture methods are used to estimate the incidence of a disease, using a multiple-source registry. Usually, log-linear methods are used to estimate population size, assuming that not all sources of notification are dependent. Where there are categorical covariates, a stratified analysis can be performed. The multinomial logit model has occasionally been used. In this paper, the authors compare log-linear and logit models with and without covariates, and use simulated data to compare estimates from different models. The crude estimate of population size is biased when the sources are not independent. Analyses adjusting for covariates produce less biased estimates. In the absence of covariates, or where all covariates are categorical, the log-linear model and the logit model are equivalent. The log-linear model cannot include continuous variables. To minimize potential bias in estimating incidence, covariates should be included in the design and analysis of multiple-source disease registries. (+info)
Illness behaviour in elite middle and long distance runners.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the illness attitudes and beliefs known to be associated with abnormal illness behaviour (where symptoms are present in excess of objective signs and pathology) in elite middle and long distance runners, in comparison with non-athlete controls. METHODS: A total of 150 athletes were surveyed using the illness behaviour questionnaire as an instrument to explore the psychological attributes associated with abnormal illness behaviour. Subjects also completed the general health questionnaire as a measure of psychiatric morbidity. A control group of 150 subjects, matched for age, sex, and social class, were surveyed using the same instruments. RESULTS: A multivariate analysis of illness behaviour questionnaire responses showed that the athletes' group differed significantly from the control group (Hotelling's T: Exact F = 2.68; p = 0.01). In particular, athletes were more somatically focused (difference between means -0.27; 95% confidence interval -0.50 to -0.03) and more likely to deny the impact of stresses in their life (difference between means 0.78; 95% confidence interval 0.31 to 1.25). Athletes were also higher scorers on the Whiteley Index of Hypochondriasis (difference between means 0.76; 95% confidence interval 0.04 to 1.48). There were no differences in the levels of psychiatric morbidity between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: The illness attitudes and beliefs of athletes differ from those of a well matched control population. The origin of these psychological attributes is not clear but those who treat athletes need to be aware of them. (+info)
Rider injury rates and emergency medical services at equestrian events.
BACKGROUND: Horse riding is a hazardous pastime, with a number of studies documenting high rates of injury and death among horse riders in general. This study focuses on the injury experience of cross country event riders, a high risk subset of horse riders. METHOD: Injury data were collected at a series of 35 equestrian events in South Australia from 1990 to 1998. RESULTS: Injury rates were found to be especially high among event riders, with frequent falls, injuries, and even deaths. The highest injury rates were among the riders competing at the highest levels. CONCLUSION: There is a need for skilled emergency medical services at equestrian events. (+info)
The effect of race and sex on physicians' recommendations for cardiac catheterization.
BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic studies have reported differences in the use of cardiovascular procedures according to the race and sex of the patient. Whether the differences stem from differences in the recommendations of physicians remains uncertain. METHODS: We developed a computerized survey instrument to assess physicians' recommendations for managing chest pain. Actors portrayed patients with particular characteristics in scripted interviews about their symptoms. A total of 720 physicians at two national meetings of organizations of primary care physicians participated in the survey. Each physician viewed a recorded interview and was given other data about a hypothetical patient. He or she then made recommendations about that patient's care. We used multivariate logistic-regression analysis to assess the effects of the race and sex of the patients on treatment recommendations, while controlling for the physicians' assessment of the probability of coronary artery disease as well as for the age of the patient, the level of coronary risk, the type of chest pain, and the results of an exercise stress test. RESULTS: The physicians' mean (+/-SD) estimates of the probability of coronary artery disease were lower for women (probability, 64.1+/-19.3 percent, vs. 69.2+/-18.2 percent for men; P<0.001), younger patients (63.8+/-19.5 percent for patients who were 55 years old, vs. 69.5+/-17.9 percent for patients who were 70 years old; P<0.001), and patients with nonanginal pain (58.3+/-19.0 percent, vs. 64.4+/-18.3 percent for patients with possible angina and 77.1+/-14.0 percent for those with definite angina; P=0.001). Logistic-regression analysis indicated that women (odds ratio, 0.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.4 to 0.9; P=0.02) and blacks (odds ratio, 0.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.4 to 0.9; P=0.02) were less likely to be referred for cardiac catheterization than men and whites, respectively. Analysis of race-sex interactions showed that black women were significantly less likely to be referred for catheterization than white men (odds ratio, 0.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.2 to 0.7; P=0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the race and sex of a patient independently influence how physicians manage chest pain. (+info)
A comparative analysis of surveyors from six hospital accreditation programmes and a consideration of the related management issues.
PURPOSE: To gather data on how accreditors manage surveyors, to compare these data and to offer them to the accreditors for improvement and to the scientific community for knowledge of the accreditation process and reinforcement of the credibility of these processes. DATA SOURCE: The data were gathered with the aid of a questionnaire sent to all accreditors participating in the study. RESULTS: An important finding in this comparative study is the different contractual relationships that exist between the accreditors and their surveyors. CONCLUSION: Surveyors around the world share many common features in terms of careers, training, work history and expectations. These similarities probably arise from the objectives of the accreditors who try to provide a developmental process to their clients rather than an 'inspection'. (+info)
Antimicrobial drug use and related management practices among Ontario swine producers.
A mail survey of swine producers in Ontario was undertaken during 1991 to describe the types, frequency, and motives for antimicrobial use. Two hundred operations that marketed fewer than 350 hogs per year, and 800 that marketed more than 350 per year were sent questionnaires, 63% of which were completed and returned. Most operations (86%) added antimicrobials to starter (weanling pig) rations, while fewer (29%) added these drugs to finisher pig rations. The most commonly used antimicrobials were tylosin, carbadox, and furazolidone in weanling pigs, and tylosin, lincomycin, and tetracycline in finishers. Water medication of grower-finisher pigs was practised on 25% of farms; 80% of farms had injected at least some grower-finisher pigs with antimicrobials in the 12 mo preceding the survey. Approximately 20% of operations that added antimicrobials to finisher rations did so for growth promotion purposes only, while others used them for disease treatment, prevention, control, or a combination of reasons. Among those not using antimicrobials in finisher rations, 83% did not believe they were necessary and 37% were concerned about the potential for residues in marketed hogs. (+info)