To measure the effectiveness of fluoride varnish (FV) (Duraflor), 5% sodium fluoride, Pharmascience Inc., Montréal, QC, Canada) and caregiver counseling in preventing early childhood caries (ECC) in Aboriginal children in a 2-year community-randomized controlled trial.
Twenty First Nations communities in the Sioux Lookout Zone (SLZ), Northwest Ontario, Canada were randomized to two study groups. All caregivers received oral health counseling, while children in one group received FV twice per year and the controls received no varnish. A total of 1275, 6 months to 5-year-old children from the SLZ communities were enrolled. In addition, a convenience sample of 150 primarily non-Aboriginal children of the same age were recruited from the neighboring community of Thunder Bay and used as comparisons. Longitudinal examinations for the dmft/s indices were conducted by calibrated hygienists in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Aboriginal children living in the SLZ or in Thunder Bay had significantly higher caries prevalence and severity than non-Aboriginal children in Thunder Bay. FV treatment conferred an 18% reduction in the 2-year mean 'net' dmfs increment for Aboriginal children and a 25% reduction for all children, using cluster analysis to adjust for the intra-cluster correlation among children in the same community. Adjusted odds ratio for caries incidence was 1.96 times higher in the controls than in the FV group (95% CI = 1.08-3.56; P = 0.027). For those caries-free at baseline, the number (of children) needed to treat (NNT) equaled 7.4.
Findings support the use of FV at least twice per year, in conjunction with caregiver counseling, to prevent ECC, reduce caries increment and oral health inequalities between young Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children.
BACKGROUND: Dementia is a chronic illness associated with a progressive loss of cognitive and intellectual abilities, such as memory, judgment and abstract thinking.The objective of this study was to assess the health utilities of patients with dementia in Europe and identify the key factors influencing their Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQol). METHODS: This study used cross-sectional data from the Odense study; a Danish cohort of patients aged 65-84 living in Odense, Denmark. A total of 244 patients with mild to severe dementia were interviewed together with a caregiver about their health status and activities of daily living (ADL). Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed according to the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria for probable dementia. Vascular dementia and other types of dementia were diagnosed according to the DSM-IIIR criteria. Severity of dementia was defined by score intervals on the Mini Mental State Examination score: mild (MMSE 20-30), moderate (MMSE 10-19), and severe (MMSE 0-9). Based on the ADL information, the patients' dependency level was defined as either dependent or independent. Questions from the Odense Study were mapped into each of the five dimensions of the EQ-5D in order to assess patients' HRQol. Danish EQ-5D social tariffs were used to value patients' HRQol.A regression analysis of EQ-5D values was conducted with backward selection on gender, age, severity, ADL level and setting in order to determine the main factor influencing HRQoL. RESULTS: The EQ-5D weight in patients independent upon others in ADL was 0.641 (95% CI: [0.612-0.669]), and in those dependent upon others was 0.343 (95% CI: [0.251-0.436]). CONCLUSION: Dependency upon others to perform ADL was the main factor affecting HRQoL.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to develop a comprehensive understanding of Aboriginal women's experiences and perceptions of providing care to the elderly in geographically isolated communities (GIC). Research with Aboriginal women caregivers is essential as the population of Aboriginal elders is increasing, and Aboriginal women represent the majority of caregivers in their communities.
This study was guided by focused ethnography, which seeks an understanding of a sub-group within a cultural group by uncovering the less obvious expressions and behaviours of the sub-group members. Using one-on-one open-ended interviews and participant observation, 13 women from a number of Aboriginal communities in northern and southern Ontario participated in this study. Data analysis was conducted by reviewing transcripts of interviews to identify codes and themes.
Study findings revealed that four concentric circles represent the caring experiences of the Aboriginal women participants: the healers, the family, the Aboriginal community, and the non-Aboriginal community. Cultural values greatly informed participants' perceptions about caring for elderly persons in GIC. These values are represented in five themes: passing on traditions, being chosen to care, supporting the circle of healers, (re)establishing the circles of care, and accepting/refusing external resources.
The findings from this study have significant implications for healthcare practice and future research.
In a population-based study 219 family members of cognitively impaired elderly (casegroup) and 255 family members of cognitively healthy elderly (control-group) were interviewed about their situation as a caregiver to an old person. Twenty-six family members in the case-group reported abusive behavior in the care of the elderly at home. These family members are compared with 154 family members in the control-group, reporting other coping strategies than abusive. In the abusive group most of the elderly were in a mild stage of dementia, and the family members reported more strain in the care situation. The family members were older, judged their health as deteriorated, and were mostly living together with the dependent elderly.
Advances in medical technology now permit children who need ventilator assistance to live at home rather than in hospitals or institutions. What does this ventilator-dependent life mean to children and their families? The impetus for this essay comes from a study of the moral experience of 12 Canadian families--parents, ventilator-dependent child, and well siblings. These families express great love for their children, take on enormous responsibilities for care, live with uncertainty, and attempt to create "normal" home environments. Nevertheless, they experience social isolation, sometimes even from their extended families and health care providers. Their lives are constrained in many ways. The challenges faced by parents of technology-dependent children raise questions of justice within society and within families.
Accessible support programs can improve health outcomes for family caregivers of older relatives with a chronic condition. Over the course of 6 months, 27 experienced family caregivers provided weekly support via the telephone to 66 individuals, either new family caregivers of seniors recently diagnosed with stroke or newly vulnerable family caregivers (i.e., facing increasing demands from the deterioration of their senior relative's condition) of seniors with Alzheimer's disease. Qualitative data documented the perceived impact of the intervention, including increased satisfaction with support, coping skills, caregiving competence and confidence, and decreased caregiver burden and loneliness. Caregivers identified varied support processes that overcame support deficits in their social networks. These processes can facilitate replication in future research and inform practice, programs, and policies.
This study was undertaken to determine the proportion of persons primarily with developmental disabilities who encounter difficulties accessing dental care in Ontario, to identify perceived barriers to accessing dental care and to determine if persons with disabilities and their caregivers believe that oral health is important.
Community organizations providing services mainly to persons with developmental disabilities in Ontario were recruited to circulate a questionnaire to their members by mail or the Internet. Fourteen organizations mailed out a total of 1,755 paper questionnaires in autumn 2006, of which 420 (23.9%) were returned; in addition, 236 Internet questionnaires were returned.
Of the 656 paper and Internet responses, 634 were deemed valid. Most of the respondents had developmental disabilities. Almost three-quarters of respondents (464 [73.2%] ) reported being able to access dental services in Ontario. Personal (internal) factors were more likely to represent barriers to dental care than external factors.
The majority of persons with disabilities and most caregivers believed that oral health is important for overall health.
In this study, the authors examine the under-investigated topic of patient-provided support for spouse caregivers. Thirty-four men with prostate cancer and their female partners were interviewed separately three times: before the man's radical prostatectomy, 8 to 10 weeks postsurgery, and 1 year postsurgery. The core category of active consideration encompassed 4 dimensions: easing spousal burden, keeping us up, maintaining connection, and considering spouse. Patient-provided support entails two overlapping tasks: minimizing the practical and emotional impact of the illness and tending to the caregiver's social-emotional needs. A theory expounding on the double bind of being both a patient and an agent in light of masculine socialization practices is articulated and brought to bear on the phenomenon of patient-provided support.
Comment In: Evid Based Nurs. 2003 Jan;6(1):3112546049
The objective was to describe the psychosocial burden experienced by informal carers of elderly stroke victims, and to identify its predictors among baseline characteristics of the patients. From a prospective study of 171 elderly stroke patients admitted to a geriatric ward for rehabilitation in the acute phase, 68 patients living at home with a primary caregiver were identified 6 months after the stroke. At baseline, all the patients were assessed with respect to motor function, cognitive function, global handicap and activities of daily living, and after 6 months the caregivers were assessed, using the Relatives' Stress Scale. According to this, the most frequent impacts were worries that an accident might befall their relatives, that they had to reorganise their household routines and further, that their social life and ability to take holidays had been reduced. Impaired cognitive function was the only baseline patient characteristic that predicted a subsequent psychosocial burden on the carer. Special attention should be paid to elderly stroke patients initially assessed with impaired cognitive function and their caregivers.