(1/1528) Ethical issues among Finnish occupational physicians and nurses.
A postal survey was conducted among 200 Finnish occupational physicians and nurses on their ethical values and problems. Both groups considered 'expertise' and 'confidentiality' as the most important core values of occupational health services (OHS) corresponding with newly published national ethical guidelines for occupational physicians and nurses in Finland. Nearly all respondents had encountered ethically problematic situations in their work, but ethical problems with gene testing in the near future were not considered likely to occur. Only 41% of the nurses and 36% of the physicians had received some training in the ethics of OHS, and 76% of all respondents never used available ethical guidelines. According to the results, even if ethics play a vital role in OHS, the ability to critically evaluate one's own performance seems quite limited. This creates a need for further training and more practicable national guidelines. (+info)
(2/1528) Evaluating patients for return to work.
The family physician is often instrumental in the process of returning a patient to the workplace after injury or illness. Initially, the physician must gain an understanding of the job's demands through detailed discussions with the patient, the patient's work supervisor or the occupational medicine staff at the patient's place of employment. Other helpful sources of information include job demand analysis evaluations and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. With an adequate knowledge of job requirements and patient limitations, the physician should document specific workplace restrictions, ensuring a safe and progressive reentry to work. Occupational rehabilitation programs such as work hardening may be prescribed, if necessary. If the physician is unsure of the patient's status, a functional capacity evaluation should be considered. The family physician should also be familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act as it applies to the patient's "fitness" to perform the "essential tasks" of the patient's job. (+info)
(3/1528) Recruiting minority cancer patients into cancer clinical trials: a pilot project involving the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and the National Medical Association.
PURPOSE: Minority accrual onto clinical trials is of significant interest to cooperative oncology study groups. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) conducted a study to identify barriers and solutions to African American accrual onto clinical trials. METHODS: We hypothesize that the National Medical Association (NMA) might provide insight into ways to increase minority participation and that ECOG might facilitate that participation. Four sites were selected in which NMA chapters existed and ECOG main institutions with less than half of the corresponding percentage of minorities in their communities entered trials for 1992. Fifteen workshops were conducted using discussions and open-ended, self-administered questionnaires. RESULTS: Seventy percent of NMA physicians cited mistrust of the research centers, fear of losing patients, and a lack of respect from ECOG institutions as the most important barriers to minority cancer patient referrals, compared with 30% for ECOG physicians. Sixty-nine percent of NMA and 43% of ECOG physicians cited a lack of information about specific trials. Nearly half of NMA physicians (47%) cited a lack of minority investigators as a barrier, compared with 4% of ECOG physicians. Solutions by both groups were improved communication (73%) and culturally relevant educational materials (40%). ECOG physicians cited more minority outreach staff as a potential solution (22% v 6%). NMA physicians cited increased involvement of referring physicians (44% v4%). CONCLUSION: NMA physicians who serve a significant sector of the African American population demonstrated a willingness to participate and work with a cooperative group effort to increase participation of minority patients and investigators. (+info)
(4/1528) Provision of primary care by office-based rheumatologists: results from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys, 1991-1995.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent to which office-based rheumatologists provide primary care to patients without rheumatic diseases or provide principal care to patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey was used to determine national probability estimates of the nature and types of conditions treated by office-based rheumatologists in 1991-1995. At each of 1,074 patient visits, the rheumatologists recorded up to 3 diagnoses and 3 patient-reported reasons for the visit, as well as information on the treatments provided at the visit. RESULTS: In only 9.8% of new consultations and 11.9% of return visits was neither a rheumatic disease diagnosis nor a musculoskeletal complaint recorded, indicating that the rheumatologist was likely acting as a primary care provider at a minority of patient visits. Among continuing patients with RA, the patient's primary reason for the visit was something other than a musculoskeletal complaint in only 9.9% of visits, and any nonrheumatic complaint was recorded in 30.4% of visits, indicating that at only some visits was the rheumatologist acting as the principal caregiver. In addition, only 31.1% of visits included the provision of medication for a nonrheumatic condition. CONCLUSION: In 1991-1995, most visits to rheumatologists involved the provision of specialized or consultative care to patients with rheumatic diseases or musculoskeletal complaints, and few visits were made by patients without either indication. Provision of principal care by rheumatologists to patients with RA is not currently widespread. (+info)
(5/1528) When to consider radiation therapy for your patient.
Radiation therapy can be an effective treatment modality for both malignant and benign disease. While radiation can be given as primary treatment, it may also be used pre- or postoperatively, with or without other forms of therapy. Radiation therapy is often curative but is sometimes palliative. There are many methods of delivering radiation effectively. Often, patients tolerate irradiation well without significant complications, and organ function is preserved. To ensure that all patients with cancer have the opportunity to consider all treatment options, family physicians should be aware of the usefulness of radiation therapy. (+info)
(6/1528) Registrars' and senior registrars' perceptions of their audit activities.
OBJECTIVES: To ascertain the level and quality of audit activity among junior doctors, their attitudes to audit, and their views on its educational value. DESIGN: Postal questionnaire survey in April 1991. SETTING: Yorkshire region. SUBJECTS: All 610 registrars and senior registrars recorded as employed in the region. MAIN MEASURES: Grade, current specialty, details of last audit participated in and its educational usefulness, and attitude to audit. RESULTS: 255 (41.8%) completed questionnaires were returned, 148 from registrars and 101 from senior registrars; grade was not indicated in six. 27 respondents were in general medicine, 26 in general surgery, 30 in anaesthetics, and 36 in psychiatry; other specialties had fewer than 20 respondents. About a fifth (54) of respondents, most in psychiatry (19/36, 53%), had not participated in audit. Among the 201 who had participated, the audit topics covered most components of care (access to services (47, 23%), communication (51, 25%), and appropriateness (158, 79%) and effectiveness (157, 78%) of treatment); only 84 (41%) audits set standards, and in only half of them had the doctors been involved in doing so. Doctors responsible for gathering data and those responsible for collating and reporting data found their experience significantly less useful than those who were not. 172 (86%) respondents considered that audit had helped patient care. Suggested improvements to the educational value of audit were mostly for better methods but included requests for less "witch hunting," better feedback, more training, more time, and more participation by consultants. CONCLUSIONS: The educational value of audit to junior doctors could be improved by better audit methods, guidance, and feedback. (+info)
(7/1528) Comparison of patients' needs for information on prostate surgery with printed materials provided by surgeons.
OBJECTIVES: To identify strengths, weaknesses, and omissions in existing leaflets and factsheets on prostatectomy given by surgeons to patients. DESIGN: Comparison of content of leaflets and factsheets with patients' needs and discontents in a questionnaire survey as part of the national prostatectomy audit. SETTING: All NHS and independent hospitals performing prostatectomy in four health regions. SUBJECTS: 87 surgeons, 53 of whom used printed material to inform patients about their operations; a total of 25 different factsheets being used. 5361 men undergoing prostatectomy were sent a closed response questionnaire about their treatment; 4226 men returned it completed. A random sample of 2000 patients was asked for further comments, of whom 807 supplied pertinent comments. MAIN MEASURES: Content of the 25 factsheets compared with patients' needs identified in the questionnaires. RESULTS: Much of the information distributed had considerable shortcomings: it lacked uniformity in form and content, topics of relevance to patients were omitted, terminology was often poor, and patients' experience was at variance with what their surgeons said. For example, only one factsheet discussed the potential consequences of malignancy. Patients wanted more information on prostate cancer (1250(29%)) and some thought that the explanation of biopsy results was inadequate (29(4%)). Only six factsheets discussed the possible changes in sexual sensation after transurethral resection of the prostate, stating that patients would feel no change. However, 1490(35%) patients reported a change and 500(12%) were worried about it. CONCLUSION: Current standards of printed information do not meet the needs and requirements of patients undergoing prostatectomy. (+info)
(8/1528) What health plans should know about clinical practice guidelines--round-table discussion.
Quality is the watchword for health plans that wish to survive to see the new century, and accreditation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance is becoming quality's indispensable stamp. Practice guidelines are an imperative for that accreditation. Here's what seven managed care leaders had to say about guidelines in a recent round-table discussion. (+info)