According to the inverse care law, there is a mismatch between patients' medical needs and medical care supply. As an example, the number of doctors is often lower in areas with high deprivation compared to areas with no deprivation, and doctors with a deprived patient population may experience a high work pressure, have insufficient time for comprehensive tasks and be at higher risk for developing burnout. The mechanisms responsible for the inverse care law might be mutually reinforcing, but we know very little about this process. In this study, the association between patient deprivation and burnout in the general practitioners (GPs) was examined.
Active GPs in the Central Denmark Region were invited to participate in a survey on job satisfaction and burnout and 601 GPs returned the questionnaire (72%). The Danish Regions provided information about which persons were registered with each practice, and information concerning socioeconomic characteristics for each patient on the list was obtained from Statistics Denmark. A composite deprivation index was also used.
There was significantly more burnout among GPs in the highest quartile of the deprivation index compared to GPs in the lowest quartile (OR: 1.91; 95% CI: 1.06-3.44; p-value: 0.032). Among the eight variables included in the deprivation index, a high share of patients on social benefits was most strongly associated with burnout (OR: 2.62; 95% CI: 1.45-4.71; p-value: 0.001).
A higher propensity of GP burnout was found among GPs with a high share of deprived patients on their lists compared to GPs with a low share of deprived patients. This applied in particular to patients on social benefits. This indicates that beside lower supply of GPs in deprived areas, people in these areas may also be served by GPs who are in higher risk of burnout and not performing optimally.
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Cancer-related health behaviours may be affected by barriers to healthcare seeking and beliefs about cancer. The aim was to assess anticipated barriers to healthcare seeking and beliefs about cancer in a sample of the Danish population and to assess the association with socio-economic position.
A population-based telephone interview with 3000 randomly sampled persons aged 30 years or older was performed using the Awareness and Beliefs about Cancer measure from 31 May to 4 July 2011. The Awareness and Beliefs about Cancer measure includes statements about four anticipated barriers to healthcare seeking and three positively and three negatively framed beliefs about cancer. For all persons, register-based information on socio-economic position was obtained through Statistics Denmark.
Two anticipated barriers, worry about what the doctor might find and worry about wasting the doctor's time, were present among 27% and 15% of the respondents, respectively. Overall, a high proportion of respondents concurred with positive beliefs about cancer; fewer concurred with negative beliefs. Having a low educational level and a low household income were strongly associated with having negative beliefs about cancer.
The fact that worry about what the doctor might find and worry about wasting the doctor's time were commonly reported barriers call for initiatives in general practice. The association between low educational level and low household income and negative beliefs about cancer might to some degree explain the negative socio-economic gradient in cancer outcome.
Social support may have an impact on screening participation. We studied the association between social support in 2006, defined as frequencies of contacts, instrumental support and emotional support and participation in breast cancer screening in 2008-09.
This population-based cohort study included 4512 women who had participated in a Health Survey in 2006 and who also were in the target group for the first round of organized breast cancer screening in the Central Denmark region in 2008-09.
Women with infrequent contacts with friends and family in 2006 were more likely not to participate in screening in 2008-09 [prevalence ratio (PR) 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.26-2.26, P-value
Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment. In agreement with international studies, Danish figures have revealed an increase in prevalence of severe burnout from 2.8% in 2004 to 5.3% in 2012. There is only little research on the consequences for the burned-out general practitioner (GP) and his patients as well as on appropriate intervention strategies. Even though burnout appears to be caused by a combination of personality factors and environmental conditions, the literature has one-sidedly focused on the resilience of the individual GP.
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 2014 Jan 20;176(2):13024629676
Population-based cancer screening is offered in many countries to detect early stages of cancer and reduce mortality. Screening efficiency and equality is susceptible due to a group of non-participants. We investigated associations between self-assessed health, perceived stress and subsequent non-participation in breast cancer screening.
This population-based cohort study included 4512 women who had participated in a Health Survey in 2006 and who were also the target group (aged 50-69 years) for the first organised breast cancer screening programme -3 years later in the Central Denmark Region in 2008-2009.
A U-shaped association was observed for physical health assessment as women with the highest (PR=1.28, 95% CI: 1.06-1.55), and the lowest (PR=1.41, 95% CI: 1.18-1.68) physical health scores were less likely to participate in the programme than women with physical health scores in the middle range. Women with low mental health assessment were more likely not to participate than women with mental health scores in the middle range (PR=1.44, 95% CI: 1.22-1.69). Higher non-participation propensity was also observed for women with the highest perceived stress scores (PR=1.27, 95% CI: 1.07-1.51) compared with women scoring in the middle range.
Women with highest and lowest self-assessed physical health, with lowest mental health or highest perceived stress were significantly more likely not to participate in breast cancer screening 2-3 years later than women who reported average health. Interventions targeting these groups may promote equal participation in future breast cancer screening programmes.
Differences in cancer awareness between individuals may explain variations in healthcare seeking behaviour and ultimately also variations in cancer survival. It is therefore important to examine cancer awareness and to investigate possible differences in cancer awareness among specific population subgroups. The aim of this study is to assess awareness of cancer symptoms, risk factors and perceived 5-year survival from bowel, breast, ovarian, and lung cancer in a Danish population sample and to analyse the association between these factors and socio-economic position indicators.
A population-based telephone survey was carried out among 1,000 respondents aged 30-49 years and 2,000 respondents aged 50 years and older using the Awareness and Beliefs about Cancer measure. Information on socio-economic position was obtained by data linkage through Statistics Denmark. Prevalence ratios were used to determine the association between socio-economic position and cancer awareness.
A strong socio-economic gradient in cancer awareness was found. People with a low educational level and a low household income were more likely to have a lower awareness of cancer symptoms, cancer risk factors and the growing risk of cancer with age. Furthermore, men and people outside the labour force tended to be less aware of these factors than women and people within the labour force. However, women were more likely than men to lack awareness of the relationship between age and cancer risk. No clear associations were found between socio-economic position and lack of awareness of 5-year survival from bowel, breast, ovarian, and lung cancers.
As cancer awareness has shown to be positively associated with cancer-related behaviour, e.g. healthcare seeking, consideration must be given to tackle inequalities in cancer awareness and to address this issue in future public health strategies, which should be targeted at and tailored to the intended recipient groups.
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A population-based breast cancer screening programme was implemented in the Central Denmark Region in 2008-09. The objective of this registry-based study was to examine the association between socio-demographic characteristics and screening participation and to examine whether the group of non-participants can be regarded as a homogeneous group of women.
Participation status was obtained from a regional database for all women invited to the first screening round in the Central Denmark Region in 2008-2009 (n=149,234). Participation data was linked to registries containing socio-demographic information. Distance to screening site was calculated using ArcGIS. Participation was divided into 'participants' and 'non-participants', and non-participants were further stratified into 'active non-participants' and 'passive non-participants' based on whether the woman called and cancelled her participation or was a 'no-show'.
The screening participation rate was 78.9%. In multivariate analyses, non-participation was associated with older age, immigrant status, low OECD-adjusted household income, high and low level education compared with middle level education, unemployment, being unmarried, distance to screening site >20 km, being a tenant and no access to a vehicle. Active and passive non-participants comprised two distinct groups with different socio-demographic characteristics, with passive non-participants being more socially deprived compared with active non-participants.
Non-participation was associated with low social status e.g. low income, unemployment, no access to vehicle and status as tenant. Non-participants were also more likely than participants to be older, single, and of non-Danish origin. Compared to active non-participants, passive non-participants were characterized by e.g. lower income and lower educational level. Different interventions might be warranted to increase participation in the two non-participant groups.
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This study examined associations between avoidance and approach coping and patient delay in cancer patients (N = 1024). Approach coping was associated with short appraisal intervals (time from symptom discovery to recognition of symptom seriousness). Avoidance coping was associated with long appraisal intervals when adjusting for covariates. Help-seeking intervals (time from recognition of symptom seriousness to contact to general practitioner) were only associated with approach coping and only when adjusting for the influence of covariates. The results revealed a complex relationship between coping and patient delay and supported that normal processing of health threats implies avoidance and approach coping strategies.
Research Centre for Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care (CaP), Research Unit for General Practice, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 2, 8000, Aarhus C, Denmark. LINE.HVIDBERG@PH.AU.DK.
The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership aims to study international differences in cancer survival and the possible causes. Participating countries are Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the UK and a particular focus area is differences in awareness and beliefs about cancer. In this connection, the Awareness and Beliefs about Cancer (ABC) measure has been translated into multiple languages. The aim of this study is to appraise the translation process and measurement properties of the Danish version of the ABC measure.
The translation process included forward and backward translations and a pilot-test. Data quality was assessed using survey data from 3000 Danish respondents and content validity indexes were calculated based on judgments from ten academic researchers. Construct validity was determined by a confirmative factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory factor analyses (EFA) using survey data and a known group comparison analysis including 56 persons. Test-retest reliability was assessed based on responses from 123 person whom completed the interview twice with an interval of 2-3 weeks.
The translation process resulted in a Danish ABC measure conceptually equivalent to the English ABC measure. Data quality was acceptable in relation to non-response to individual items which was maximum 0.3%, but the percentage of respondents answering 'don't know' was above 3% for 16 out of 48 items. Content validity indexes showed that items adequately reflected and represented the constructs to be measured (item content validity indexes: 0.9-1.0; construct content validity indexes: 0.8-1.0). The hypothesised factor structure could not be replicated by a CFA, but EFA on each individual subscale showed that six out of seven subscales were unidimensional. The ABC measure discriminated well between non-medical academics and medical academics, but had some difficulties in discriminating between educational groups. Test-retest reliability was moderate to substantial for most items.
The Danish ABC measure is a useful measurement that is accepted and understood by the target group and with accepted measurement criteria for content validity and test-retest reliability. Future studies may further explore the factorial structure of the ABC measure and should focus on improving the response categories.
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Organised breast cancer screening is currently one of the best strategies for early-stage breast cancer detection. However, early detection has proven challenging for women with psychiatric disease. This study aims to investigate psychiatric morbidity and non-participation in breast cancer screening.
We conducted an observational cohort study including women invited to the first organised screening round in the Central Denmark Region. Data on psychiatric diagnosis, psychoactive prescription medicine and consultation with private psychiatrists were obtained from Danish registries and assessed for a period of up to 10 years before the screening date.
The cohort comprised 144,264 women whereof 33.0% were registered with an indication of psychiatric morbidity. We found elevated non-participation propensity among women with a psychiatric diagnosis especially for women with schizophrenia and substance abuse. Also milder psychiatric morbidity was associated with higher non-participation likelihood as women who had redeemed psychoactive prescription medicine or have had minimum one consultation with a private psychiatrist were more likely not to participate. Finally, we found that the chronicity of psychiatric morbidity was associated with non-participation and that woman who had a psychiatric morbidity defined as 'persistent' had higher likelihood of non-participation than women with recently active morbidity or inactive psychiatric morbidity.
This study showed a strong association between psychiatric morbidity and an increased likelihood of non-participation in breast cancer screening in a health care system with universal and tax-funded health services. This knowledge may inform interventions targeting women with psychiatric morbidity as they have poorer breast cancer prognosis.