In an international study, psychometric properties of the Care Dependency Scale (CDS) were examined by analysing data gathered in Dutch, Canadian, Italian and Norwegian nursing homes. For that purpose, from these countries a convenience sample was developed consisting of 525 patients with dementia. The English, Italian and Norwegian research instruments were translations of the original Dutch CDS. Psychometric evaluations of the CDS were carried out for each country separately as well as for the four countries combined. High alpha coefficients between 0.94 and 0.97 were calculated. Subsequent test-retest and inter-rater reliability revealed moderate to substantial Kappa values. Factor analysis resulted in a one-factor solution. The scalability of the CDS was demonstrated by means of Mokken scale analysis. One of the main outcomes of the cross-cultural comparison was that the findings in the four countries show more similarities than differences, so that the scale can be used appropriately in nursing home practice.
As most women diagnosed with cervical carcinoma have been "inadequately screened," improvements in screening are critical. After abnormal Pap test findings (through liquid-based cytology), residual specimens now can be tested simultaneously for oncogenic types of Human Papilloma virus (HPV). If these "reflex" HPV tests are negative, Pap tests need not be repeated for 12 months. Women with positive oncogenic HPV tests, however, can be referred immediately for colposcopy. There has been concern that "stigma" issues could be associated with positive HPV status (because of its sexual transmission) that might cause women to avoid this reflex HPV testing. We addressed this concern by assessing whether stigma issues surface in relation to HPV testing. We randomly selected 20 women and administered to them semistructured telephone interviews that included responses to a scenario of reflex HPV-DNA testing. Interview transcripts were analyzed qualitatively. Highly limited knowledge levels were found about HPV, but, following education about screening options, there was no rejection of HPV testing. In conclusion, it appears that women favor reflex HPV testing due to its "convenience" and perceptions that it is "the least intrusive option more definitive than Pap testing."
We determined the after-tax income required to finance basic needs for Canadian elders living with different circumstances in terms of age, gender, city of residence, household size, homeowner or renter status, means of transportation, and health status. Using 2001 as our base year, we priced the typical expenses for food, shelter, medical, transportation, miscellaneous basic living items and home-based long-term care for elders living in five Canadian cities. This is the first Canadian study of basic living expenses tailored to elders instead of adults in general, prepared on an absolute rather than a relative basis. We also accounted for an individual's unique life circumstances and established the varying effect that they have on the cost of basic expenses, particularly for home care. We found that the maximum Guaranteed Income Supplement and Old Age Security benefit did not meet the cost of basic needs for an elder living in poor circumstances.
This article measures a Canadian National Retirement Risk Index (NRRI). Originally developed by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the NRRI is a forward-looking measure that evaluates the proportion of working-aged individuals who are at risk of not maintaining their standard of living in retirement. The Canadian retirement income system has been very effective in reducing elderly poverty, but our results suggest that it has been much less successful in maintaining the living standards of Canadians after retirement. Since the earlier years of the new millennium, we find that approximately one-third of retiring Canadians have been unable to maintain their working-age consumption after retirement—a trend that is projected to worsen significantly for future Canadian retirees. The release of the Canadian NRRI is timely given the widespread concern that the current Canadian retirement income system is inadequate. Many proposals have recently emerged to extend and/or enhance Canadian public pensions, and the NRRI is a tool to test their merit. The methodology underlying the Canadian NRRI is uniquely sophisticated and comprehensive on account of our employment of Statistics Canada’s LifePaths, a state-of-the-art stochastic microsimulation model of the Canadian population. For instance, the Canadian NRRI is novel in that it models all of the relevant sources of consumption before and after retirement, while accounting for important features that are typically neglected in retirement adequacy studies such as family size, the variation of consumption over a person’s lifetime, and the heterogeneity among the life courses of individuals.
Although elevated plasma cholesterol levels represent a well-established and significant risk for developing atherosclerosis, there is a wide spectrum of cholesterol levels in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Most secondary prevention studies have generated convincing evidence that cholesterol reduction in patients with high cholesterol levels is associated with improved clinical outcome by reducing risk of further cardiovascular events. However, other risk factors may play a prominent role in the pathogenesis of coronary disease in the majority of patients with near-normal cholesterol values. The Cholesterol and Recurrent Events (CARE) study was designed to address whether the pharmacologic reduction of cholesterol levels with the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor, pravastatin, would reduce the sum of fatal coronary artery disease (CAD) and nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) in patients who have survived an MI yet have a total cholesterol value
Comparison of event and procedure rates following percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty in patients with and without previous coronary artery bypass graft surgery [the ROSETTA (Routine versus Selective Exercise Treadmill Testing after Angioplasty) Registry].
To compare 6-month post-percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) outcomes and cardiac procedure use among patients with and without prior coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, we examined 791 patients who were enrolled in the Routine versus Selective Exercise Treadmill Testing after Angioplasty (ROSETTA) Registry. The ROSETTA Registry is a prospective, multicenter registry that examines the use of functional testing after successful PTCA. Most patients were men (76%, mean age 61 +/- 11 years) who underwent single-vessel PTCA (85%) with stent implantation (58%). Baseline and procedural characteristics differed between patients with a prior CABG (n = 131) and patients with no prior CABG (n = 660), including Canadian Cardiovascular Society angina class III to IV (60% vs 49%, respectively, p = 0.03) and stenosis involving the proximal left anterior descending coronary artery (10% vs 22%, p = 0.004). Event rates among patients with prior CABG were higher than among patients with no prior CABG, including unstable angina (19% vs 11%, p = 0.02), myocardial infarction (2% vs 1%, p = 0.2), death (4% vs 2%, p = 0.08), and composite clinical events (22% vs 12%, p = 0.003). Furthermore, patients with prior CABG had higher rates of follow-up cardiac procedures, including angiography (24% vs 14%, p = 0.008) and PTCA (13% vs 7%, p = 0.04), but not repeat CABG (2% vs 3%, p = 0.8). A multivariate analysis that included baseline clinical and procedural characteristics demonstrated that prior CABG was a significant independent predictor of clinical events and cardiac procedure use (odds ratio 2.3, 95% confidence interval 1.5 to 3.5, p = 0.0001). Within the prior CABG group, patients with a PTCA of a bypass graft had a higher composite clinical event rate than patients with a PTCA of a native vessel (32% vs 17%, p = 0.05). In contrast, patients with a PTCA of a native vessel had event rates similar to those of patients with no prior CABG (17% vs 12%, p = 0.2). Thus, post-CABG patients have an increased risk of developing a cardiac event or needing a follow-up cardiac procedure during the 6 months after PTCA.
One of the major goals of genetic testing is the reduction of morbidity and mortality. Given the appropriate circumstances, this can result in reduction in health care costs. Such savings can be demonstrated most effectively in large families with mutations in well characterized, dominantly acting genes. In our large family, a point mutation TGC>CGC in exon 10 of the RET proto-oncogene, which results in a missense mutation (Cys620Arg), was identified in two individuals. The proband has medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), as did her deceased mother. One son has MTC and Hirschsprung's disease. The proband's mother had nine siblings; the proband has three siblings, another son, and 69 maternal cousins. Genetic testing has been performed on the closest relatives and has identified four individuals with, and 54 individuals without, a familial RET mutation. Significant cost savings have been realized in both genetic testing and clinical surveillance. In this family, for every at-risk individual identified as a true-negative, the minimum yearly savings in clinical surveillance is 508 dollars per person. As demonstrated by this case, economic costs of genetic diagnostics should take into account the potential saved monies in tests, both molecular and clinical.