Barriers to cervical cancer screening (Pap tests) may exist for women experiencing schizophrenia.
This study analyzed healthcare records of all women in the province of Manitoba, Canada to: (a) compare cervical cancer screening rates of women with and without schizophrenia; and (b) determine factors associated with screening uptake.
This study took place in Manitoba, Canada, utilizing anonymized universal administrative data in the Population Health Research Data Repository at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.
All females aged 18-69 living in Manitoba December 31, 2002, excluding those diagnosed with invasive or in situ cervical cancer in the study period or previous 5 years.
To determine factors associated with Papanicolaou (Pap) test uptake (1+ Pap test in 3 years, 2001/02-2003/04), logistic regression modeling included: diagnosis of schizophrenia, age, region, average household income, continuity of care (COC), presence of major physical comorbidity. Good COC was defined as at least 50% of ambulatory physician visits from the same general/family practitioner within two years.
Women with schizophrenia (n=3220) were less likely to have a Pap test (58.8% vs. 67.8%, p
Canada's population is aging, and seniors constitute the fastest growing demographic in the nation. The chronic health conditions, limited social support, functional decline, and cognitive impairment experienced by seniors may necessitate admission to a personal care home (PCH) setting up until the time of their death. The ethical problems that arise in the care of dying patients are numerous and complicated. The care of dying seniors in PCHs, however, is largely provided by frontline workers such as healthcare aides (HCAs), who usually have little training in palliative care or ethics. Research examining the identification and resolution of ethical problems in care of the dying has been conducted from the perspectives of nurses and physicians in various clinical settings, but the voice of HCAs in PCHs is virtually absent from clinical ethics. Given that the inability to satisfactorily resolve ethical issues in clinical practice is associated with feelings of guilt, powerlessness, avoiding contact with patients, failing to provide good physical care, and increased staff turnover, an empirical examination of HCAs' experiences of ethically challenging situations is warranted. We conducted a phenomenological study to access the lived experience of HCAs (N = 12) working in proprietary and nonproprietary care homes as they encountered situations they deemed ethically challenging in providing end-of-life care to dying seniors. The findings reported here explicate: (1) the types of situations that are ethically problematic for HCAs; (2) the meanings they assign to these situations, and (3) the impact such situations have on the provision of end-of-life care.
Studies of patients who are terminally ill consistently identify strong associations between "sense of burden to others" and marked end-of-life distress. However, little research has addressed the issue of burden to others among patients nearing death. The aim of this study was to carefully examine "burden to others" and clarify its relationship with various psychosocial, physical, and existential issues arising in patients who are terminally ill. A cohort of 211 patients with end-stage cancer was assessed, using an assortment of validated psychometrics to document psychosocial, physical, and existential aspects of their end-of-life experience. This included an assessment of their sense of "burden to others." Forty percent of participants indicated a negligible sense of burden to others, scoring within the lowest quarter on an ordinal measure of "burden to others;" 25% scored within the second lowest quarter; 12% within the third quarter; and 23% within the highest or most severe range. The most highly correlated variables with "sense of burden to others" included depression (r=0.460; df=201, P
Institute for Rehabilitation Research and Development, The Rehabilitation Centre, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, and Department of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. email@example.com
To investigate the attitudes of terminally ill individuals toward the legalization of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (PAS) and to identify those who would personally desire such a death.
In the Canadian National Palliative Care Survey, semistructured interviews were administered to 379 patients who were receiving palliative care for cancer. Patients who expressed a desire for physician-hastened death were followed prospectively.
Attitudes toward the legalization of euthanasia or PAS were determined, as was the personal interest in receiving a hastened death. Demographic and clinical characteristics were also recorded, including a 22-item structured interview of symptoms and concerns.
There were 238 participants (62.8%) who believed that euthanasia and/or PAS should be legalized, and 151 (39.8%) who would consider making a future request for a physician-hastened death. However, only 22 (5.8%) reported that, if legally permissible, they would initiate such a request right away, in their current situations. This desire for hastened death was associated with lower religiosity (p=.010), reduced functional status (p=.024), a diagnosis of major depression (p
Considerations of dignity are often raised in reference to the care of dying patients. However, little research that addresses this issue has been done. Our aim was to identify the extent to which dying patients perceive they are able to maintain a sense of dignity, and to ascertain how demographic and disease-specific variables relate to the issue of dignity in these individuals.
We did a cross-sectional study of a cohort of terminally ill patients with cancer, who had a life expectancy of less than 6 months. We enrolled 213 patients from two palliative care units in Winnipeg, Canada, and asked them to rate their sense of dignity. Our main outcome measures included: a 7-point sense of dignity item; the symptom distress scale; the McGill pain questionnaire; the index of independence in activities of daily living (IADL); a quality of life scale; a brief battery of self-report measures, including screening for desire for death, anxiety, hopelessness, and will to live; burden to others; and requirement for social support.
16 of 213 patients (7.5%; 95% CI 4-11) indicated that loss of dignity was a great concern. These patients were far more than likely than the rest of the cohort to report psychological distress and symptom distress, heightened dependency needs, and loss of will to live.
Loss of dignity is closely associated with certain types of distress often seen among the terminally ill. Preservation of dignity should be an overall aim of treatment and care in patients who are nearing death.
Comment In: Lancet. 2002 Dec 21-28;360(9350):1997-812504390
Comment In: Lancet. 2003 Mar 1;361(9359):78312620760
Despite use of the term dignity in arguments for and against a patient's self-governance in matters pertaining to death, there is little empirical research on how this term has been used by patients who are nearing death. The objective of this study was to determine how dying patients understand and define the term dignity, in order to develop a model of dignity in the terminally ill. A semi-structured interview was designed to explore how patients cope with their advanced cancer and to detail their perceptions of dignity. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. A consecutive sample of 50 consenting patients with advanced terminal cancer were recruited over a 15-month period of time from an urban extended care hospital housing a specialized unit for palliative care. This unit provides both inpatient services. and coordinates end-of-life care community based programming. Data were analysed using latent content analysis and constant comparison techniques. Four members of the research team independently coded the transcribed data, to develop conceptually meaningful categories of responses. Operational definitions were written for major categories, themes and sub-themes. Three major categories emerged from the qualitative analysis, including illness-related concerns; dignity conserving repertoire; and social dignity inventory. These broad categories and their carefully defined themes and sub-themes form the foundation for an emerging model of dignity amongst the dying. The concept of dignity and the dignity model offer a way of understanding how patients face advancing terminal illness. This will serve to promote dignity and the quality of life of patients nearing death.
The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of dignity therapy for the frail elderly.
Participants were recruited from personal care units contained within a large rehabilitation and long-term care facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Two groups of participants were identified; residents who were cognitively able to directly take part in dignity therapy, and residents who, because of cognitive impairment, required that family member(s) take part in dignity therapy on their behalf. Qualitative and quantitative methods were applied in determining responses to dignity therapy from direct participants, proxy participants, and healthcare providers (HCPs).
Twelve cognitively intact residents completed dignity therapy; 11 cognitively impaired residents were represented in the study by way of family member proxies. The majority of cognitively intact residents found dignity therapy to be helpful; the majority of proxy participants indicated that dignity therapy would be helpful to them and their families. In both groups, HCPs reported the benefits of dignity therapy in terms of changing the way they perceived the resident, teaching them things about the resident they did not previously know; the vast majority indicated that they would recommend it for other residents and their families.
This study introduces evidence that dignity therapy has a role to play among the frail elderly. It also suggests that whether residents take part directly or by way of family proxies, the acquired benefits--and the effects on healthcare staff--make this area one meriting further study.
This study examined a novel intervention, dignity therapy, designed to address psychosocial and existential distress among terminally ill patients. Dignity therapy invites patients to discuss issues that matter most or that they would most want remembered. Sessions are transcribed and edited, with a returned final version that they can bequeath to a friend or family member. The objective of this study was to establish the feasibility of dignity therapy and determine its impact on various measures of psychosocial and existential distress.
Terminally ill inpatients and those receiving home-based palliative care services in Winnipeg, Canada, and Perth, Australia, were asked to complete pre- and post-intervention measures of sense of dignity, depression, suffering, and hopelessness; sense of purpose, sense of meaning, desire for death, will to live, and suicidality; and a post-intervention satisfaction survey.
Ninety-one percent of participants reported being satisfied with dignity therapy; 76% reported a heightened sense of dignity; 68% reported an increased sense of purpose; 67% reported a heightened sense of meaning; 47% reported an increased will to live; and 81% reported that it had been or would be of help to their family. Post-intervention measures of suffering showed significant improvement (P = .023) and reduced depressive symptoms (P = .05). Finding dignity therapy helpful to their family correlated with life feeling more meaningful (r = 0.480; P = .000) and having a sense of purpose (r = 0.562; P = .000), accompanied by a lessened sense of suffering (r = 0.327; P = .001) and increased will to live (r = 0.387; P = .000).
Dignity therapy shows promise as a novel therapeutic intervention for suffering and distress at the end of life.
Comment In: J Clin Oncol. 2005 Aug 20;23(24):5427-816110001