OBJECTIVE/BACKGROUND: Aboriginals constitute a substantial portion of the population of Northern Alberta. Determinants such as poverty and education can compound health-care accessibility barriers experienced by Aboriginals compared to non-Aboriginals. A diabetes care enhancement study involved the collection of baseline and follow-up data on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal patients with known type 2 diabetes in two rural communities in Northern Alberta. Analyses were conducted to determine any demographic or clinical differences existing between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals. METHODS: 394 diabetes patients were recruited from the Peace and Keeweetinok Lakes health regions. 354 self-reported whether or not they were Aboriginal; a total of 94 self-reported being Aboriginal. Baseline and follow-up data were collected through interviews, standardized physical assessments, laboratory testing and self-reporting questionnaires (RAND-12 and HUI3). RESULTS: Aboriginals were younger, with longer duration of diabetes, more likely to be female, and less likely to have completed high school. At baseline, self-reported health status was uniformly worse, but the differences disappeared with adjustments for sociodemographic confounders, except for perceived mental health status. Aboriginals considered their mental health status to be worse than non-Aboriginals at baseline. Some aspects of health utilization were also different. DISCUSSION: While demographics were different and some utilization differences existed, overall this analysis demonstrates that "Aboriginality" does not contribute to diabetes outcomes when adjusted for appropriate variables.
This study piloted a knowledge translation (KT) intervention promoting evidence-based home care through social interaction. A total of 33 providers organized into 5 heterogeneous, geographically defined action groups participated in 5 researcher-facilitated meetings based on the participatory action model. The KT evidence reflects an empowering partnership approach to service delivery. Exploratory investigation included quantitative pre-post measurement of outcomes and qualitative description of data, presented herein. The critical reflections of the groups reveal macro-, meso-, and micro-level barriers to and facilitators of KT as well as recommendations for achieving KT. Insights gleaned from the findings have informed the evolution of the KT intervention to engage all 3 levels in addressing barriers and facilitators, with a conscious effort to transcend "push" and "pull" tendencies and enact transformative leadership. The findings suggest the merit of a more prolonged longitudinal investigation with expanded participation.
This study aimed to (1) explore whether quality of life (QOL) is more associated with satisfaction with social participation (SP) than with level of accomplishment in SP and (2) examine respective correlates of accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP.
A cross-sectional design was used with a convenience sample of 155 older adults (mean age=73.7; 60% women) having various levels of activity limitations. Accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP (dependent variables) were estimated with the social roles items of the assessment of life habits. Potential correlates were human functioning components.
Correlations between QOL and accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP did not differ (P=0.71). However, best correlates of accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP were different. Higher accomplishment level of SP was best explained by younger age, activity level perceived as stable, no recent stressing event, better well-being, higher activity level, and fewer obstacles in "Physical environment and accessibility" (R2=0.79). Greater satisfaction with SP was best explained by activity level perceived as stable, better self-perceived health, better well-being, higher activity level, and more facilitators in "Social support and attitudes" (R2=0.51).
With some exceptions, these best correlates may be positively modified and thus warrant special attention in rehabilitation interventions.
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Trials in which intact communities are the units of randomization are increasingly being used to evaluate interventions which are more naturally administered at the community level, or when there is a substantial risk of treatment contamination. In this article we focus on the planning of community intervention trials in which k communities (for example, medical practices, worksites, or villages) are to be randomly allocated to each of an intervention and a control group, and fixed cohorts of m individuals enrolled in each community prior to randomization. Formulas to determine k or m may be obtained by adjusting standard sample size formulas to account for the intracluster correlation coefficient rho. In the presence of individual-level attrition however, observed cohort sizes are likely to vary. We show that conventional approaches of accounting for potential attrition, such as dividing standard sample size formulas by the anticipated follow-up rate pi or using the average anticipated cohort size m pi, may, respectively, overestimate or underestimate the required sample size when cluster follow-up rates are highly variable, and m or rho are large. We present new sample size estimation formulas for the comparison of two means or two proportions, which appropriately account for variation among cluster follow-up rates. These formulas are derived by specifying a model for the binary missingness indicators under the population-averaged approach, assuming an exchangeable intracluster correlation coefficient, denoted by tau. To aid in the planning of future trials, we recommend that estimates for tau be reported in published community intervention trials.
This article presents governance and institutional strategies for climate-induced community relocations. In Alaska, repeated extreme weather events coupled with climate change-induced coastal erosion impact the habitability of entire communities. Community residents and government agencies concur that relocation is the only adaptation strategy that can protect lives and infrastructure. Community relocation stretches the financial and institutional capacity of existing governance institutions. Based on a comparative analysis of three Alaskan communities, Kivalina, Newtok, and Shishmaref, which have chosen to relocate, we examine the institutional constraints to relocation in the United States. We identify policy changes and components of a toolkit that can facilitate community-based adaptation when environmental events threaten people's lives and protection in place is not possible. Policy changes include amendment of the Stafford Act to include gradual geophysical processes, such as erosion, in the statutory definition of disaster and the creation of an adaptive governance framework to allow communities a continuum of responses from protection in place to community relocation. Key components of the toolkit are local leadership and integration of social and ecological well-being into adaptation planning.
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To address concerns about disruptions in the continuity of health care delivered to residents in three remote aboriginal communities in northern Ontario, Canada, the local health authority initiated a study in collaboration with the department of Health Canada responsible for ensuring that aboriginal reserves receive mandatory health services, and an inter-disciplinary team of researchers from two universities. The study focussed on the delivery of oncology, diabetes and mental health care, specifically, as well as systems issues such as recruitment and retention of health human resources and financial costs. The paper discusses the procedures involved, the benefits derived and the challenges encountered in doing this as a community driven participatory action research project. It also summarizes the findings that led to community formulated policy and program recommendations.
Consumer reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) has existed in several countries for decades, but throughout Europe the role of consumers as a source of information on ADRs has not been fully accepted until recently. In Europe, The Netherlands and Sweden were among the first countries to implement consumer reporting well before it was mandated by law throughout the EU. Consumer reporting is an integral part of the spontaneous reporting systems in both The Netherlands and Sweden, with yearly numbers of reports constantly increasing. Consumer reporting forms and handling procedures are essentially the same as for healthcare professional reporting; the message in the reports, not the type of messenger, is what is of importance. Studies have established the significant contribution of consumer reporting to ADR signal detection. Combining all reports regardless of reporter type is recommended since it yields the largest critical mass of reports for signal detection. Examples of signals where consumer reports have been of crucial importance for signal detection are electric shock-like sensations associated with the use of duloxetine, and persistent sexual dysfunction after discontinuation of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. An example of consumer reporting significantly strengthening a detected signal is Pandemrix(®) (influenza H1N1 vaccine)-induced narcolepsy. Raising public awareness of ADR reporting is important, but time- and resource-consuming. The minimum effort taken should be to passively inform consumers, e.g. via stakeholders' homepages and via drug product information leaflets. Another possibility of reaching out to this target group could be through co-operation with other (non-government) organizations. Information from consumer reports may give a new perspective on ADRs via the consumers' unfiltered experiences. Consumers' views may change the way the benefit-harm balance of drugs is perceived and assessed today, and, being the ultimate users of drugs, consumers could have a relevant influence in the regulatory decision-making processes for drugs. All stakeholders in pharmacovigilance should embrace this new valuable source of information.