The objective of this study is to describe a urine drug-testing program implemented for parents with a history of substance abuse by family service agencies in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Nurse collectors went to the parents' home to obtain urine specimens under direct observation and then delivered the specimens to the toxicology laboratory or arranged shipment by courier under chain of custody. Each urine specimen was screened for cannabinoids, cocaine metabolite, opiates, amphetamines and benzodiazepines, ethyl alcohol and creatinine. All positive screening tests were confirmed by another method such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In 15,979 urine specimens collected from 1994 to 1999, the percent positive rate for one (or more) drugs/metabolites ranged from 45.6% (1994-1996) to 30.0% (1998, 1999). A total of 575 specimens (3.7%) were dilute (urine creatinine
To review the incidence, associated factors, methods of diagnosis, and maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality associated with uterine rupture in one Canadian province.
Using a perinatal database, all cases of uterine rupture in the province of Nova Scotia for the 10-year period 1988-1997 were identified and the maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity reviewed in detail.
Over the 10 years, there were 114,933 deliveries with 39 cases of uterine rupture: 18 complete and 21 incomplete (dehiscence). Thirty-six women had a previous cesarean delivery: 33 low transverse, two classic, one low vertical. Of the 114,933 deliveries, 11,585 (10%) were in women with a previous cesarean delivery. Uterine rupture in those undergoing a trial for vaginal delivery (4516) was complete rupture in 2.4 per 1000 and dehiscence in 2.4 per 1000. There were no maternal deaths, and maternal morbidity was low in patients with dehiscence. In comparison, 44% of those with complete uterine rupture received blood transfusion (odds ratio 7.60, 95% confidence interval 1.14, 82.14, P =.025). Two perinatal deaths were attributable to complete uterine rupture, one after previous cesarean delivery. Compared with dehiscence, infants born after uterine rupture had significantly lower 5-minute Apgar scores (P
Only 1 of the 229 passengers and crew members killed when Swissair Flight 111 crashed off Nova Scotia in September was visually identifiable. Identifying everyone else on board involved medical and dental detective work of the first order.
Outbreaks of food-borne listeriosis have often involved strains of serotype 4b. Examination of multiple isolates from three different outbreaks revealed that ca. 11 to 29% of each epidemic population consisted of strains which were negative with the serotype-specific monoclonal antibody c74.22, lacked galactose from the teichoic acid of the cell wall, and were resistant to the serotype 4b-specific phage 2671.
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This study described the various components of access to care for resectable colorectal cancer, and correlated the timeliness of these components with patient satisfaction. With a prospective/retrospective cohort design, all patients undergoing surgical resection for primary colorectal cancer from 2/1/01 to 15/12/01, were identified during their admission for surgery. A comprehensive, standardized method of ascertaining specific time intervals, which included a patient interview, was used. A patient satisfaction questionnaire was developed, tested, and used in consenting patients. Over the study period, 118 patients underwent colorectal cancer resection. Of these, 110 (93%) consented to participate and 101 (86%) completed the satisfaction questionnaire, including test-retest. The median time intervals (interquartile range) for the various components of access to care were as follows: symptoms to first physician visit, 32 days (10-75); first physician visit to diagnosis, 88 days (44-218); diagnosis to surgery, 19 days (10-44); surgery to chemotherapy (where applicable), 54 days (47-72). On multivariate analysis, tumor location in the rectum was associated with longer prediagnosis intervals, whereas increasing tumor stage was associated with shorter intervals from diagnosis to surgery. Variation in the time interval from diagnosis to surgery was associated with patient satisfaction (r = 0.49; P
The authors conducted one-on-one interviews with adolescent females, aged 13 to 16, concerning their perception of the confidentiality of sexual health services available to them. Participants were selected from an urban school with a youth health centre (YHC) and also from a rural school without access to a YHC. They typically viewed traditional health services as not confidential and reported concern about disclosure to parents. This qualitative study suggests that adolescent females have an absolute need to maintain positive parental regard by preventing disclosure of sexual activity.
To examine the validity of case definitions for systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases [SARD; systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic sclerosis (SSc), myositis, Sjögren's syndrome, vasculitis, and polymyalgia rheumatica] based on administrative data, compared to rheumatology records.
A list of rheumatic disease diagnoses was generated from population-based administrative billing and hospitalization databases. Subjects who had been seen by an arthritis center rheumatologist were identified, and the medical records reviewed.
We found that 844 Nova Scotia residents had a diagnosis of one of the rheumatic diseases of interest, based on administrative data, and had had = 1 rheumatology assessment at a provincial arthritis center. Charts were available on 824 subjects, some of whom had been identified in the administrative database with > 1 diagnosis. Thus a total of 1136 diagnoses were available for verification against clinical records. Of the 824 subjects, 680 (83%) had their administrative database diagnoses confirmed on chart review. The majority of subjects who were "false-positive" for a given rheumatic disease on administrative data had a true diagnosis of a similar rheumatic disease. Most sensitivity estimates for specific administrative data-based case definitions were > 90%, although for SSc, the sensitivity was 80.5%. The specificity estimates were also > 90%, except for SLE, where the specificity was 72.5%.
Although health administrative data may be a valid resource, there are potential problems regarding the specificity and sensitivity of case definitions, which should be kept in mind for future studies.
Two large prospective cohort studies of childhood epilepsy (Nova Scotia and the Netherlands) each developed a statistical model to predict long-term outcome. We sought to evaluate the accuracy of a prognostic model based on the two studies combined.
Analyses with classification tree models and stepwise logistic regression produced predictive models for the combined dataset and the two separate cohorts. The resulting models were then externally validated on the opposite cohort. Remission was defined as no longer receiving daily medication for any length of time at the end of follow-up.
The combined cohorts yielded 1,055 evaluable patients. At the end of follow-up (>or=5 years in >96%), 622 (59%) were in remission. By using the combined data, the classification tree model and the logistic regression model predicted the outcome correctly in approximately 70%. The classification tree model split the data on epilepsy type and age at first seizure. Predictors in the logistic regression model were: seizure number before treatment, age at first seizure, absence seizures, epilepsy types of symptomatic generalized and symptomatic partial, preexisting neurologic signs, intelligence, and the combination of febrile seizures and cryptogenic partial epilepsy. When the prediction models from each cohort were cross-validated on the opposite cohort, the outcome was predicted slightly less accurately than did the model from the combined data.
Based on currently available clinical and EEG variables, predicting the outcome of childhood epilepsy may be difficult and appears to be incorrect in about one of every three patients.