We assessed the validity of information reported by patients with breast cancer on cancer in first- and second-degree relatives. In Toronto, Canada, 165 patients completed mailed questionnaires about cancer in relatives and were then interviewed in person. Their reports were compared with relatives' hospital records, cancer registry or death records for presence of cancer, site and age at diagnosis. Questionnaire and interview reports agreed with records for 82-96% of reports on first-degree and 48-80% on second-degree relatives. Proband reports of cancer sites in first-degree relatives were generally accurate (breast 99%, ovary 100%, prostate 85%, colon 93%). Reports of cancer sites in second-degree relatives were accurate for prostate cancer but only for 85% of breast and 72% of colon cancers. Age at diagnosis of breast cancer was correct in 92% of cases in first-degree and 54% in second-degree relatives. The interview contributed additional information about the presence of cancer in second-degree relatives, and the site and age at diagnosis in first- and second-degree relatives. In a similar population the questionnaire alone should yield adequate data for identifying families that warrant further investigation.
The role of clinical and computer based decision in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis in the elderly was studied in connection with the Research Committee of the World Organization of Gastroenterology (OMGE) survey of acute abdominal pain. A total of 220 patients over the age of 65 years presenting with acute abdominal pain were included in the study at the Central Hospital of Savonlinna and at the University Hospital of Tampere. Twenty-two preoperative clinical history variables, 14 clinical signs and three tests were evaluated in a single variable and multivariate analysis to find the best combination of predictors of acute appendicitis in the aged. In order to sum up the contributions of independent diagnostic factors, a diagnostic score (DS) was built: DS = 2.81 x (rectal digital tenderness; 1 = yes, 0 = no) + 2.54 x (rigidity; 1 = yes, 0 = no) + 2.06 x (renal tenderness; 1 = no, 0 = yes) + 2.33 x (bowel sounds; 1 = normal, 2 = absent/abnormal) - 8.13. The sensitivity of preoperative clinical decision in detecting acute appendicitis in the aged was 0.79 with a specificity of 0.92, an efficiency of 0.90 and usefulness index (UI) of 0.56. At a cut-off level of -2.78 the DS reached a sensitivity of 0.84 in detecting acute appendicitis with a specificity of 0.87, an efficiency of 0.87 and UI of 0.68. When the patients with a DS value between -2.78 and -0.45 were considered as non-defined (n = 28, follow-up required before the decision to operate), the sensitivity of the computer-aided diagnosis in detecting acute appendicitis in the elderly was 0.77 with a specificity of 0.97, an efficiency of 0.96 and UI of 0.57. In the elderly patients where a leucocyte count was available (n = 157), location of pain, rectal digital tenderness and leucocyte count predicted significantly acute appendicitis. At a cut-off level of -2.62 the DS reached a sensitivity of 0.81 in detecting acute appendicitis with a specificity of 0.92, an efficiency of 0.91 and UI of 0.59. When the patients with a DS value between -2.62 and 0.06 were considered as nondefined (n = 12, follow-up required before the decision to operate), the sensitivity of the computer-aided diagnosis (leucocyte count available) in detecting acute appendicitis in the elderly improved to 0.86 with a specificity of 0.94, an efficiency of 0.93 and UI of 0.69. In our study the diagnostic scoring system for the elderly performed well considering the simple nature of its structure.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
To determine the current management of acute asthma in the emergency department and to evaluate outcome we reviewed the charts of 99 patients aged 15 to 55 years who presented to the emergency department of a tertiary referral, university-affiliated hospital and were subsequently discharged with a diagnosis of acute asthma. Outcome was evaluated prospectively, with a structured questionnaire, by telephone. During the visit pulsus paradoxus was documented in four patients. Spirometry was done in 63 patients; postbronchodilator values ranged from 0.9 to 4.1 L. A total of 92 patients received inhaled bronchodilator therapy, most by wet nebulization. Sixteen patients received anticholinergic agents and three received theophylline. Ingested corticosteroids were given to 27 patients. Of the 71 patients contacted, a mean of 12 days after the visit, 26 (37%) had sought further medical attention, 19 at the emergency department; 9 had required admission. Forty-six patients reported that their condition had improved, but over 60% continued to have cough, sputum production, nocturnal waking and early-morning chest tightness. The results indicate that asthma continues to be undertreated in the emergency department and highlight the importance of routine spirometry in all patients and the need for systemic corticosteroid therapy.
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The problem studied concerns how patients and physicians talk about and make use of information regarding patient life style in the daily practice of primary health care. The study has been carried out at two primary health care centers in central Sweden. Transcribed dialogues between 42 patients and 12 physicians have been used as a data corpus. The analyses concern the interactional patterns in the dialogues between patient and physician, how the interlocutors address life style and for what purposes. The results show a similarity between patients and physicians with respect to the extent to which they use the discourse space. However, salient differences were found in the following way: the physicians not only introduced and closed life style topics more frequently than the patients did, they also used what is referred to as an agenda driven strategy to introduce them. The patients, on the other hand, used an interactively anchored strategy. The patients, by taking the reference in the life world and by making use of the life style topics, present and articulate their identity. The physicians subsume life style issues under a medical framing of the patients' problem and they mainly address life style in order to construe a proto-typical patient rather than an individual.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to summarize the history of assault and record the results of medicolegal examination in adolescent girls under investigation for alleged sexual abuse, and to monitor the outcome of the legal process. The investigation period was 1990-94. METHOD: A consecutive series of 94 0-para girls, aged 9-22, median age 15.0 years, were examined in the head-to-toe manner including anogenital examination. Girls were referred from investigating police and social authorities. Only non-acute examinations were performed. Findings considered consistent with abusive vaginal penetration were hymenal distortion including deep clefts, hymenal and vestibular scarring, and introital diameter permitting vaginal inspection with a 17 mm speculum in the absence of consensual intercourse. Perianal scarring was recorded. STD sampling was made on indication. Findings were documented on body sketches. Medicolegal conclusions were grouped into three categories according to history and physical findings. Information on the outcome of legal procedures was collected from referring authorities. RESULTS: For 82% (77/94) of the girls, referring agencies provided examining physicians with a detailed and consistent history of abuse, presented results comprise these 77 girls. Intrafamiliar abuse was alleged by 81% (62/77), onset prior to menarche by 53% (41/77), and repeated abuse by 74% (57/77) of the girls. Abusive genital penetration was reported by 77% (59/77) and anal penetration by 19% (14/77). Sequelae after admitted self-inflicted injury were found in 15% (12/77). Deep hymenal clefts and/or vestibular scars were found in 59% (35/59) of the girls reporting penetrative abuse, compared with 6% (1/16) when non-penetrative abuse was alleged, P
To compare self-reported (SR) medication use and pharmacy data for major psychoactive medications and three classes of medications used for different indications, and to determine the socio-economic factors associated with the congruence.
Postal questionnaire data collected in 1997 were compared with the register of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland on the reimbursed prescriptions purchased during 1997. Altogether 7625 subjects were included in this study. Drugs were categorized according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) system.
Kappa values were 0.77, 0.68, 0.84, 0.92 and 0.55 for antipsychotics, antidepressants, antiepileptics, antidiabetics and beta-blocking agents, respectively. Prevalence-adjusted and bias-adjusted kappa values were almost perfect (0.98-1.00). Reliability of antipsychotics use was better for married subjects than for those who were not married; and of antidepressants use for highly educated and married subjects than for those who were less educated and were not married. Altogether 414 (5.4%) responders and 285 (7.1%) non-responders had used at least one of the selected medications.
Agreement between the SR and pharmacy data was moderate for psychoactive medication use. Even though data collected by postal questionnaire may underestimate the prevalence of medication use due to non-participation it can be assumed accurate enough for study purposes.
A case of American trypanosomiasis (Chagas' disease) is reported. A 13-month-old Mennonite girl who immigrated to Canada from Paraguay, died at the Children's Centre in Winnipeg from an acute myocarditis due to infection with Trypanosoma cruzi. This diagnosis should be considered when a patient from an endemic area presents with a clinical picture of myocarditis.