Most people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) experience progressively worsening disability over a period of decades, thus further knowledge about the long-term changes in different areas of disability is essential.
The aims of this study were to evaluate changes in disability over ten years in PwMS, and to explore the value of personal and disease-specific factors and depressive symptoms in predicting disability. A further aim was to explore the value of these factors as predictors of mortality.
This study was based on a 10-year follow-up of a population-based study in Stockholm (n=166). Home visits were used to collect data on personal and disease-specific factors, walking ability, manual dexterity, cognitive function, mood, activities of daily living (ADL) and social/lifestyle activities.
The proportion of the study population who had disability in cognition, mood and social/lifestyle activities remained stable, while the proportion with disability in walking, manual dexterity and ADL increased. Disease severity predicted an increase in all studied variables of disability except in depressive symptoms. Older age and depressive symptoms were associated with mortality.
This study illustrates the importance of tailored interventions for PwMS and highlights the need for health-care professionals to consider the psychological aspects of the disease. Furthermore, our results indicate that the Expanded Disability Status Scale was a useful tool for predicting future disability.
Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, 1403 29 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N2T9, Canada; Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, 1403 29 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N2T9, Canada.
The Canadian Appropriateness of Epilepsy Surgery (CASES) tool was developed to help physicians identify patients who should be referred for an epilepsy surgery evaluation. The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of this tool using a population-based cohort registry (the Swedish National Epilepsy Surgery Register) of patients who underwent epilepsy surgery between 1990 and 2012.
Overall, 1044 patients met eligibility criteria for the study and were deemed to be surgical candidates by epilepsy experts. Demographic and epilepsy related characteristics were examined and summarized using descriptive statistics. A CASES appropriateness score was calculated for each of these patients. Chi squared analyses or fisher's exact tests were used to determine if there were any relationships between demographic and epilepsy related characteristics not captured in the tool and appropriateness scores.
The mean appropriateness score was 8.6 and 985 (Sensitivity: 94.35%; 95% CI, 92.77%-95.60%) patients were appropriate, 46 (4.41%; 95% CI, 3.31%-5.84%) were uncertain, and 13 (1.25%; 95% CI, 0.72%-2.13%) were inappropriate for an epilepsy surgery evaluation. The mean necessity score, which was only calculated for the 985 appropriate patients, was 8.7. All 13 inappropriate patients had tried less than two anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). In addition, age at onset of epilepsy and age at epilepsy surgery were both significantly associated with appropriateness score.
These results demonstrate that the CASES tool is highly sensitive as it designated 94.3% of epilepsy surgery patients as appropriate for an epilepsy surgery evaluation. All of those classified as inappropriate were not drug resistant, as they had not yet tried two AEDs.
Questionnaire surveys provide an efficient means of identifying potential seizure cases in large population-based cohorts. Concerns exist, however, with regard to the reliability of self-reported information both with respect to the validity of the results obtained and with regard to the usefulness of this approach in identifying true cases. Information on history of seizures obtained by questionnaire from members of 47,626 twin pairs included in the Mid-Atlantic (MATR), Danish (DTR) and Norwegian (NTR) Twin Registries was verified using medical records and detailed clinical and family interviews. The accuracy of these reports was assessed. Self-reported epilepsy was verified in 81.9% of twins overall (86.1% (DTR), 75.6% (NTR) and 80.7% (MATR)). However, when both pair members reported a history of epilepsy in the affected pair member, epilepsy was verified in >90% of cases. Among MATR twins with a verified history of epilepsy, 21.5% reported other seizures but not epilepsy and 18.5% of verified Norwegian epilepsy cases reported no history of epilepsy themselves and were identified only through their co-twin. The results of this study indicate that the accuracy of self-reported epilepsy and febrile seizures among those who provided information on health history was high across all populations. However, the relatively large percentage of twins with a verified diagnosis who did not acknowledge epilepsy suggests that the frequency of epilepsy may be under-estimated in self-reported samples.
Using action-research methods and the principles of community development, a small working group initiated an organization-wide process to sensitize the Sunnybrook and Women's College hospital community to the relationship between violence and women's health. In this article, we explore the process by which the initiative was successfully introduced into the newly merged hospital. We describe critical factors for the initiative's success and offer some suggestions on how to maximize opportunities for organizational change.
Prospective, population-based study. This paper is part of the Stockholm Thessaloniki Acute Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Study (STATSCIS).
To characterize patient populations and to compare acute management after traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI).
The Greater Thessaloniki region in Greece and the Greater Stockholm region in Sweden.
Inception cohorts with acute TSCI that were hospitalized during the study period, that is September 2006 to October 2007, were identified. Overall, 81 out of 87 cases consented to inclusion in Thessaloniki and 47 out of 49 in Stockholm. Data from Thessaloniki were collected through physical examinations, medical record reviews and communication with TSCI cases and medical teams. Data from Stockholm were retrieved from the Nordic Spinal Cord Injury Registry.
There were no significant differences between study groups with regard to core clinical characteristics. In contrast, there were significant differences in (1) transfer logistics from the scene of trauma to a tertiary-level hospital (number of intermediate admissions, modes of transportation and duration of transfer) and (2) acute key therapeutic interventions, that is, the use of mechanical ventilation (49% in Thessaloniki versus 20% in Stockholm), and performance of tracheostomy (36% in Thessaloniki versus 15% in Stockholm); spinal surgery was performed significantly more often and earlier in Stockholm than in Thessaloniki.
Despite largely similar core clinical characteristics, Stockholm and Thessaloniki cases underwent significantly different acute management, most probably to be attributed to adaptations to the differing regional approaches of care one following a systematic approach of SCI care and the other not.
Using the POPULIS framework, this project estimated health care expenditures across the entire population of Manitoba for inpatient and outpatient hospital utilization, physician visits, mental health inpatient, and nursing home utilization.
This estimated expenditure information was then used to compare per capita expenditures relative to premature mortality rates across the various areas of Manitoba.
Considerable variation in health care expenditures was found, with those areas having high premature mortality rates also having higher health care expenditures.
Although canadian seniors enjoy economic security and good health and have made substantial gains in recent decades, this well-being is not equally shared among socioeconomic groups and between men and women. As for younger age groups, income predicts health status in later life, but less powerfully. Potential alternative explanations include an overriding influence of the aging process, the subjective effects of income loss at retirement and the attenuation of the poverty gap owing to public retirement income. Older women are more likely to age in poverty than men, to live alone and to depend on inadequately resourced chronic health care and social services. These differences will hold as well for the next cohort of seniors in Canada. Addressing these disparities in health requires a comprehensive, multisectoral approach to health that is embodied in Canada's population health model. Application of this model to reduce these disparities is described, drawing upon the key strategies of the population health approach, recent federal government initiatives and actions recommended to the government by federal commissions.
Significant health problems encountered in adulthood often have their roots in health behaviours initiated during adolescence. In order to reverse this trend, school and health personnel, as well as parents and other community members working with high school students, need to be aware of the health-related beliefs and choices that guide the behaviours of teenagers. Although a wide variety of research has been conducted on this topic among urban adolescents, less is known about the health beliefs and behaviors of adolescents residing in rural areas, particularly in Canada. In general, rural Canadians are less healthy than their urban counterparts. Building on the knowledge and understanding of their own community, key stakeholders were invited to engage in the design and implementation of a participatory action research project aimed at understanding and improving the health of rural adolescents.
A group of parents, teachers, students, school administrators and public health nurses engaged in a participatory action research project to better understand determinants of the health of rural adolescents at a high school in Western Canada. Group members developed and administered a health survey to 288 students from a small rural high school, in an effort to identify areas of concern and interest regarding health practices and beliefs of rural adolescents, and to take action on these identified concerns.
Results indicated some interesting but potentially worrying trends in this population. For example, while frequent involvement in a physical activity was noted by 75.9% of participants, close to half of the females (48%) described their body image as 'a little overweight' or 'definitely overweight', and approximately 25.8% of respondents noted that they skipped meals most of the time. Differences between the genders were apparent in several categories. For example, more girls smoked (16.2%) than boys (12.3%), and more males (55.0%) than females (41%) had tried illegal drugs. Participants indicated awareness of other health-compromising behaviours, including unsafe driving habits and high stress levels, and acknowledged several steps they wanted to take to improve their health, as well as the barriers to taking those steps. Students identified improved nutrition, stress reduction, and increased levels of physical activity as particular important health goals. Students also recommended ways in which information and support could be provided within the school environment to enable them to achieve their health-related goals. Several activities developed in collaboration with students have incorporated the recommendations, and have spawned other activities in response to the ongoing identification of new concerns.
The process of including the rural community in the identification of health assets and needs from the perspective of students -- as well as the planning and implementation of appropriate strategies to address those needs -- demonstrates the strengths inherent within a small rural population. Community members' awareness of the need to create a healthy environment for youth is reflected in their willingness to participate in activities leading to improved health. Greater awareness of the health needs of rural adolescents, and of the influence of gender in some aspects of health behaviors, will help researchers to explore ways in which the unique culture of rural communities can be harnessed to help shape health-focused interventions.
School health activities have been very important in improving adolescent health in Sweden for almost 200 years. In the 1800s, emphasis was on medical services. Vaccination programs and medical examinations became the key issues. Deterioration of adolescent health in the 1960s changed the objectives of both school education and health services to health promotion. Important members of the community followed suit and involvement of the local community has remained a hallmark, even though the extent and direction varies. The subsequent period was characterized by substantial improvement in adolescent health behavior. The latter years of the 1980s and the 1990s saw deterioration of adolescent health behavior. Less emphasis on health promotion, decentralization of school health responsibility from physicians to administrators, and heavy savings directed toward schools were important mediators. Adolescents were also more engaged in international youth cultures with liberal practices, such as drug use. Community surveys of adolescent health behaviors have proven to be important in mobilizing broad local involvement in adolescent health promotion. The lesson learned is that health promotion has to involve as many community members as possible. Coordinating resources and having unified objectives is cost efficient
Although HIV/AIDS prevention has presented challenges over the past 25 years, prevention does work! To be most effective, however, prevention must be specific to the culture and the nature of the community. Building the capacity of a community for prevention efforts is not an easy process. If capacity is to be sustained, it must be practical and utilize the resources that already exist in the community. Attitudes vary across communities; resources vary, political climates are constantly varied and changing. Communities are fluid-always changing, adapting, growing. They are "ready" for different things at different times. Readiness is a key issue! This article presents a model that has experienced a high level of success in building community capacity for effective prevention/intervention for HIV/AIDS and offers case studies for review. The Community Readiness Model provides both quantitative and qualitative information in a user-friendly structure that guides a community through the process of understanding the importance of the measure of readiness. The model identifies readiness- appropriate strategies, provides readiness scores for evaluation, and most important, involves community stakeholders in the process. The article will demonstrate the importance of developing strategies consistent with readiness levels for more cost-effective and successful prevention efforts.