The aim of the present study was to evaluate the long-term outcome of a behavioural medicine rehabilitation programme and the outcome of its two main components, compared to a 'treatment-as-usual' control group. The study employed a 4 x 5 repeated-measures design with four groups and five assessment periods during a 3-year follow-up. The group studied consisted of blue-collar and service/care workers on sick leave, identified in a nationwide health insurance scheme in Sweden. After inclusion, the subjects were randomised to one of the four conditions: behaviour-oriented physiotherapy (PT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), behavioural medicine rehabilitation consisting of PT+CBT (BM) and a 'treatment-as-usual' control group (CG). Outcome variables were sick leave, early retirement and health-related quality of life. A cost-effectiveness analysis, comparing the programmes, was made. The results showed, consistently, the full-time behavioural medicine programme being superior to the three other conditions. The strongest effect was found on females. Regarding sick leave, the mean difference in the per-protocol analysis between the BM programme and the control group was 201 days, thus reducing sick leave by about two-thirds of a working year. Rehabilitating women has a substantial impact on costs for production losses, whereas rehabilitating men seem to be effortless with no significant effect on either health or costs. In conclusion, a full-time behavioural medicine programme is a cost-effective method for improving health and increasing return to work in women working in blue-collar or service/care occupations and suffering from back/neck pain.
This study aimed to assess the long-term use of health care services in women with abnormal cytology results compared to women with normal cytology results.
We did a nationwide population-based study, using women aged 23 to 59years participating in the national organized cervical cancer screening program. We included a study population of 40,153 women with abnormal cytology (exposed) and 752,627 women with normal cytology (non-exposed). We retrieved data from the Danish Civil Registration System, the Danish Pathology Data Bank, the National Health Service, the National Patient and the National Prescription Register. We calculated the frequencies of contacts to general practitioner (GP), to private psychiatrist and/or psychologist, admissions to hospitals and use of prescription drugs. These frequencies were calculated separately in the 5-year period "before" the cytology result and for the 5-year period "after" the result.
During the "before" period exposed women had more contacts to GPs, more contacts to psychologists/psychiatrist, and more hospital admissions than non-exposed women. In both exposed and non-exposed women, health care use increased from the "before" to the "after" period. This increase was significantly higher for exposed than non-exposed women regarding contacts to GP, admissions to hospitals, and drug use.
Women with abnormal cytology results constitute a selected group with a higher health care use than other women even before they have the abnormal cytology. This difference is further enhanced after the abnormal cytology result.
For demographic reasons and as a result of a number of high profile health incidents in recent years, much of the health research and policy focus is on the younger cohorts of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. A critical examination of recent demographic trends reveals, however, that older cohorts of the Aboriginal population are increasing at a faster rate than younger cohorts, primarily due to improvements in life expectancy and declining fertility rates. Yet, there are surprisingly few health studies that have recognized the aging of the Aboriginal population. The overall goal of this paper is to examine differences in health status, use of conventional health care and traditional approaches to healing between older and younger cohorts of the Aboriginal population as well as to examine the importance of age as a determinant of health and health care use. Using data from the 2001 Statistics Canada Aboriginal Peoples Survey and contingency tables and logistic regression, the results demonstrate that older Aboriginal people face unique challenges - e.g. loss of traditional approaches to healing, geographic isolation, identity politics, constitutional and legal divisions within the Aboriginal community - with respect to their health and access to health services. These outcomes result from a colonial past and contemporary policies that affect all Aboriginal people.
To describe an adult population with congenital limb deficiency (CLD) recruited through the National Resource Centre for Rare Disorders (TRS) in Norway: (1) demographic factors, (2) clinical features, (3) pain and (4) use of health care and welfare services.
Cross-sectional study. In 2012, a postal questionnaire was sent to 186 eligible persons with CLD, age 20 years and older.
Ninety-seven respondents, median-age 39 years (range: 20-82); 71% were women. The population was divided into two subgroups: (1) unilateral upper-limb deficiency (UULD) n = 77, (2) multiple and/or lower-limb deficiency (MLD/LLD). About 40% worked full-time, 18% received disability pensions and 64% reported chronic pain, mostly bilateral pain. Grip-improving devices were used more often than prostheses; 23% were previous prosthesis users. Use of health care and welfare services are described. No significant differences were found between the subgroups regarding pain or employment status.
Persons with CLD reported increased prevalence of chronic pain, mostly bilateral, and increased prevalence of early retirement. A greater focus on the benefits of the use of assistive devices, the consequences of overuse and vocational guidance may moderate pain and prevent early retirement. Further studies of more representative samples should be conducted to confirm our findings.
Most adults with congenital limb deficiency (CLD) live ordinary lives and experience normal life events. However, several report chronic pain and retire before normal retirement age. In spite of free and accessible prosthetic services, a large fraction chooses not to use prosthesis, more use grip-improving devices for specific activities. These preferences should be acknowledged by rehabilitation specialists. Focus on individually adapted environments, more information about the consequences of overuse, and vocational guidance may moderate pain and prevent early retirement.
The primary aim of this epidemiological study was to investigate associations between chronic non-cancer pain with or without opioid treatment and the alcohol and smoking behavior. The secondary aims were to investigate self-reported quality of life, sleeping problems, oral health and the use of different health care providers. The Danish health survey of 2005 was based on a region-stratified random sample of 10.916 individuals. Data were collected via personal interviews and self-administrated questionnaires. Respondents suffering from chronic pain were identified through the question 'Do you have chronic/long-lasting pain lasting 6 months or more?' The question concerning alcohol intake assessed the frequency of alcohol intake and binge drinking. Smoking behavior assessed the daily number of cigarettes. Individuals reporting chronic pain were stratified into two groups (opioid users and non-opioid users). In all, 7275 individuals completed a personal interview and 5552 individuals completed and returned the self-administrated questionnaire. Responders with a self-reported earlier or present cancer diagnosis were excluded from the study. Hence, the final study population consisted of 5292 individuals. We found, that individuals suffering from chronic pain were less likely to drink alcohol. In opioid users alcohol consumption was further reduced. Cigarette smoking was significantly increased in individuals suffering from chronic pain and in opioid users smoking was further increased. Poor oral health, quality of life and sleep were markedly associated with chronic pain and opioid use. The use of opioids was associated with significantly more contacts to healthcare care providers.
Private, unregulated residential care facilities have become an increasingly important component of the continuum of housing and care for frail older adults in Canada. To date, this growing segment of the older population has received very little research attention. This study involved an in-depth examination of the functional/health profile, patterns of service use, and medical/care needs of a representative sample of 178 older adults in residential care facilities in the City of Ottawa. The results indicate great diversity in resident and facility profiles in this setting and confirm earlier impressions that special care units in the residential care sector have become increasingly close to being unlicensed pseudo-nursing homes. Despite the heavy burden of care, the evidence suggests that the care needs of the majority of residents are adequately met in the residential care environment. The results can inform future research, case finding, educational, and policy planning initiatives in this setting.
Recognizing that current practices for healthcare delivery are no longer sustainable, OECD governments are focusing more and more on how to leverage ICT to facilitate superior healthcare delivery. One such possibility is the use of Telemedicine. A major goal of telemedicine today is to develop next-generation telemedicine tools and technologies. However, key "classic" barriers continue to challenge widespread telemedicine adoption by health care organizations. These barriers include technology, financial, legal/standards, business strategy, and human resources issues. This comparative study explores the current status of barriers and opportunities to the widespread adoption of telemedicine in two different countries: Sweden, and USA.
OBJECTIVES: Brain tumours cause considerable concern due to a high mortality and there are increasing efforts to provide adequate care, sometimes outside hospitals. Health care utilisation, direct costs of care, and the indirect social cost of morbidity and early mortality caused by brain tumours in Sweden in the year 1996 was analysed. METHODS: Quantification of ambulatory care, care in hospital, long term and palliative/terminal care, drug consumption, temporary as well as long term morbidity, and mortality from comprehensive national data sources. Direct costs were calculated using 1996 charges. Indirect costs were calculated by sex and age specific salaries. A sensitivity analysis considered the impact of alternative estimates of each item. RESULTS: Indirect costs were 75% of the total and were caused mainly by early mortality. Direct costs were predominantly for care in hospital, long term care, and home health care. Among direct costs, astrocytomas III-IV and meningiomas accounted for 42% and 30% respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The cost of illness from brain tumours reflects the characteristics of these malignancies. Despite their low incidence rate, the economic impact caused by high mortality among young persons is a predominant trait. Costs of acute hospital care and also long term care and home care are considerable.
Few data exist on the frequency and burden of epilepsy in Canada and on the impact of self-reported epilepsy in the general population. We assess the frequency, general health, psychosocial function, and health care resource use among self-identified epileptic persons in the general population.
The 1990 Ontario Health Survey is an omnibus, extensive health survey of 61,239 subjects representing the Ontario population. Self-reported epileptic subjects are compared with three groups, i.e., those with > or = 1 other chronic illnesses, the general population, and those with no health problems.
The point prevalence of self-reported epilepsy was 5.8 per 1,000 population, a figure similar to that of active epilepsy in other studies. Quality of life, family function and social support were worse in epileptic than in other chronically ill subjects. Similarly, the epilepsy population had more disability days and limitations in activities, and lower annual income than all other groups, including the chronically ill. Accidents were no more common among epileptic subjects than among controls. Epileptic persons were high users of health care resources, including hospitalization, emergency room, psychological/social work, nursing services and telephone contact with health professionals. Barriers to health care were experienced infrequently. Small area variations in health status and care are explored.
The health profile of self-reported epileptic subjects is similar to that obtained in studies involving defined epilepsy patients. In the general population, self-identification as having epilepsy carries a significant burden of illness, reflected in poorer health, psychosocial function, and quality of life, and higher health care resource use.