This randomized controlled trial was designed to evaluate the 2-year costs and effects of a proactive, public health nursing case management approach compared with a self-directed approach for 129 single parents (98% were mothers) on social assistance in a Canadian setting. A total of 43% of these parents had a major depressive disorder and 38% had two or three other health conditions at baseline.
Study participants were recruited over a 12 month period and randomized into two groups: one receiving proactive public health nursing and one which did not.
At 2 years, 69 single parents with 123 children receiving proactive public health nursing (compared with 60 parents with 91 children who did not receive public health nursing services) showed a slightly greater reduction in dysthymia and slightly higher social adjustment. There was no difference between the public health and control groups in total per parent annual cost of health and support services. However, costs were averted due to a 12% difference in non-use of social assistance in the previous 12 months for parents in the public health nursing group. This translates into an annual cost saving of 240,000 dollars (Canadian) of costs averted within 1 year for every 100 parents.
In the context of a system of national health and social insurance, this study supports the fact that it is no more costly to proactively service this population of parents on social assistance.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of a school-based intervention programme to reduce the prevalence of overweight in 6 to 10-year-old children. DESIGN: Cluster-randomized, controlled study. SUBJECTS: A total of 3135 boys and girls in grades 1-4 were included in the study. METHODS: Ten schools were selected in Stockholm county area and randomized to intervention (n=5) and control (n=5) schools. Low-fat dairy products and whole-grain bread were promoted and all sweets and sweetened drinks were eliminated in intervention schools. Physical activity (PA) was aimed to increase by 30 min day(-1) during school time and sedentary behaviour restricted during after school care time. PA was measured by accelerometry. Eating habits at home were assessed by parental report. Eating disorders were evaluated by self-report. RESULTS: The prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased by 3.2% (from 20.3 to 17.1) in intervention schools compared with an increase of 2.8% (from 16.1 to 18.9) in control schools (P
Seventy-five patients were admitted to the ward of the Lund Suicide Research Center following a suicide attempt. After 5 years, the patients were followed up by a personal semistructured interview covering sociodemographic, psychosocial and psychiatric areas. Ten patients (13%) had committed suicide during the follow-up period, the majority within 2 years. They tended to be older at the index attempt admission, and most of them had a mood disorder in comparison with the others. Two patients had died from somatic diseases. Forty-two patients were interviewed, of whom 17 (40%) had reattempted during the follow-up period, most of them within 3 years. Predictors for reattempt were young age, personality disorder, parents having received treatment for psychiatric disorder, and a poor social network. At the index attempt, none of the reattempters had diagnoses of adjustment disorders or anxiety disorders. At follow-up, reattempters had more psychiatric symptoms (SCL-90), and their overall functioning (GAF) was poor compared to those who did not reattempt. All of the reattempters had long-lasting treatment ( > 3 years) as compared to 56% of the others. It is of great clinical importance to focus on treatment strategies for the vulnerable subgroup of self-destructive reattempters.
While a number of studies have documented higher period prevalence rates of depression among single as compared to married mothers, all of the data have been based upon community surveys of mental illness. In Canada, all of the published work comes from Ontario. As a result, we do not know whether these results hold true for other regions of the country. Using a nationally representative sample, we find, consistent with previous work, that single mothers have almost double the 12-month prevalence rates of married mothers (15.4% versus 6.8%). As well, there are no significant differences in rates of depression between single and married mothers by region/province of the country. Our findings are compared with other epidemiologic data on the mental health of single mothers from Ontario.
Advances in medical technology now permit children who need ventilator assistance to live at home rather than in hospitals or institutions. What does this ventilator-dependent life mean to children and their families? The impetus for this essay comes from a study of the moral experience of 12 Canadian families--parents, ventilator-dependent child, and well siblings. These families express great love for their children, take on enormous responsibilities for care, live with uncertainty, and attempt to create "normal" home environments. Nevertheless, they experience social isolation, sometimes even from their extended families and health care providers. Their lives are constrained in many ways. The challenges faced by parents of technology-dependent children raise questions of justice within society and within families.
OBJECTIVES--To identify families in which the parents reported the child's illness as particularly stressful (high perception of illness threat), and to find out which health problems the parents perceive as particularly threatening. DESIGN--The parents registered the diagnosis and perception of illness threat in relation to the child's latest illness within a four-week retrospective period. Selected psychosocial conditions of the families were recorded in the same questionnaire. SETTING--18,949 families with at least one child under the age of 8 years, resident in the County of Ringkøbing in western Denmark at 1 March 1988. SUBJECTS--An age-stratified random sample of 1982 families was entered in the study. 85% of the families returned the questionnaire. RESULTS--There was a considerable variation in the parents' perception of illness threat. On the basis of a score it was possible to group parents with a high, medium, and low perception of illness threat. Every fourth family reported a high perception of illness threat. A multivariate analysis, with a high perception of illness threat as dependent and selected psychosocial conditions and the diagnosis as independent variables, led to the following main results: 1) parents with a high perception of the general health threat ("worried" parents) most frequently reported a high perception of illness threat, 2) the diagnoses were decisive; in particular, inflammation in the middle ear, bronchitis, pneumonia, and accidents led to the parents' reporting a high perception of illness threat, 3) parents without experience of children and children's illnesses more frequently perceived an actual illness as a high illness threat than parents with this experience, 4) parents more frequently perceive an illness in girls as a high illness threat. CONCLUSIONS--"Worried" parents, without experience of children and children's illnesses, perceive the child's latest illness as a high illness threat. These families need special care.
This study explores the feasibility of adapting Kleinman's concept of explanatory models of illness to the study of youth violence and is conducted within the hermeneutic tradition. Data were collected by interviewing 11 violent adolescents, their parents, and their caregivers. Four types of explanatory models representing the adolescent girls', the adolescent boys', the caregivers', and the parents' understanding of youth violence are found; they correspond sufficiently to Kleinman's concept and establish the feasibility of adapting it to the study of youth violence. The developmental nature of the parents' and adolescents' models makes it feasible to study them by means of hermeneutic methodology. There are some clinically significant discrepancies between the caregivers' and the clients' explanatory models; identifying such discrepancies is an essential step in the process of breaking down barriers to therapeutic communications. Violent adolescents should be encouraged to define their own explanatory models of violence through dialogue with their caregivers.