Medication misuse results in considerable problems for both patient and society. It is a complex problem with many contributing factors, including timely access to product information.
To investigate the value of 3-dimensional (3D) visualization paired with video conferencing as a tool for pharmaceutical advice over distance in terms of accessibility and ease of use for the advice seeker.
We created a Web-based communication service called AssistancePlus that allows an advisor to demonstrate the physical handling of a complex pharmaceutical product to an advice seeker with the aid of 3D visualization and audio/video conferencing. AssistancePlus was tested in 2 separate user studies performed in a usability lab, under realistic settings and emulating a real usage situation. In the first study, 10 pharmacy students were assisted by 2 advisors from the Swedish National Co-operation of Pharmacies' call centre on the use of an asthma inhaler. The student-advisor interview sessions were filmed on video to qualitatively explore their experience of giving and receiving advice with the aid of 3D visualization. In the second study, 3 advisors from the same call centre instructed 23 participants recruited from the general public on the use of 2 products: (1) an insulin injection pen, and (2) a growth hormone injection syringe. First, participants received advice on one product in an audio-recorded telephone call and for the other product in a video-recorded AssistancePlus session (product order balanced). In conjunction with the AssistancePlus session, participants answered a questionnaire regarding accessibility, perceived expressiveness, and general usefulness of 3D visualization for advice-giving over distance compared with the telephone and were given a short interview focusing on their experience of the 3D features.
In both studies, participants found the AssistancePlus service helpful in providing clear and exact instructions. In the second study, directly comparing AssistancePlus and the telephone, AssistancePlus was judged positively for ease of communication (P = .001), personal contact (P = .001), explanatory power (P
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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.
To determine the impact of a provincial choking prevention program (CPP) on the incidence of aerodigestive foreign body cases among children.
The CPP, including posters, pamphlets, an informative video, and annual participation in the Parents & Kids Fair, was launched throughout Quebec in October 1999. The incidence rates of aerodigestive foreign body cases prior to implementation (during 1997-1998) and subsequently (2000-2002) within the province and our tertiary care centre (Sainte-Justine Hospital) were compared by estimating incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and associated 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).
No significant changes in the incidence of aerodigestive foreign body cases after program implementation were observed in our hospital (age-adjusted IRR 0.92, 95% CI 0.79-1.07). The provincial rates were higher after program implementation (age-adjusted IRR 1.15, 95% CI 1.05-1.25).
To influence choking prevention habits, modifications to the campaign are required. Strategies are discussed.
Homelessness is a social condition increasing in frequency and severity across Canada. Interventions to end and prevent homelessness include effective case management in addition to an affordable housing provision. Little standardization exists for service providers to guide their decision making in developing and maintaining effective case management programs. The purpose of this 2-part article is to articulate dimensions of promising practice for case managers working in a "Housing First" context. Part 1 discusses research processes and findings and part-2 articulates the 6 Dimensions of Quality.
Practice settings include community-based organizations that employ and support case managers whose primary role is moving people from homelessness into permanent housing.
Six dimensions of promising practice are critically important to reducing barriers, improving sector collaboration, and ensuring case managers have appropriate and effective training and support. Dimensions of promising practice are: (1) collaboration and cooperation-a true team approach; (2) right matching of services-person-centered; (3) contextual case management-culture and flexibility; (4) the right kind of engagement-relationships and advocacy; (5) coordinated and well managed system-ethics and communication; and (6) evaluation for success-support and training.
Effective, coordinated case management, in addition to permanent affordable housing has the potential to reduce a person or family's homelessness permanently. Organizations and professionals working in this context have the opportunity to improve processes, reduce burnout, collaborate and standardize, and most importantly, efficiently and permanently end someone's homelessness with the help of dimensions of quality for case management.
A National Asthma Programme was undertaken in Finland from 1994 to 2004 to improve asthma care and prevent an increase in costs. The main goal was to lessen the burden of asthma to individuals and society.
The action programme focused on implementation of new knowledge, especially for primary care. The main premise underpinning the campaign was that asthma is an inflammatory disease and requires anti-inflammatory treatment from the outset. The key for implementation was an effective network of asthma-responsible professionals and development of a post hoc evaluation strategy. In 1997 Finnish pharmacies were included in the Pharmacy Programme and in 2002 a Childhood Asthma mini-Programme was launched.
The incidence of asthma is still increasing, but the burden of asthma has decreased considerably. The number of hospital days has fallen by 54% from 110 000 in 1993 to 51 000 in 2003, 69% in relation to the number of asthmatics (n = 135 363 and 207 757, respectively), with the trend still downwards. In 1993, 7212 patients of working age (9% of 80 133 asthmatics) received a disability pension from the Social Insurance Institution compared with 1741 in 2003 (1.5% of 116 067 asthmatics). The absolute decrease was 76%, and 83% in relation to the number of asthmatics. The increase in the cost of asthma (compensation for disability, drugs, hospital care, and outpatient doctor visits) ended: in 1993 the costs were 218 million euro which had fallen to 213.5 million euro in 2003. Costs per patient per year have decreased 36% (from 1611 euro to 1031 euro).
It is possible to reduce the morbidity of asthma and its impact on individuals as well as on society. Improvements would have taken place without the programme, but not of this magnitude.
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The Finnish National Programme for Chronic Bronchitis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 1998-2007 was set up to reduce the prevalence of COPD, improve COPD diagnosis and care, reduce the number of moderate to severe cases of the disease, and reduce hospitalisations and treatment costs due to COPD. Over 900 events for 25,000 participating healthcare workers were arranged. The major strengths of this programme included multidisciplinary strategies and web-based guidelines in nearly all primary health care centres around the country.
Data from national registries, epidemiological studies and questionnaires were used to measure whether the goals had been reached.
The prevalence of COPD remained unchanged. Smoking decreased in males from 30% to 26% (p
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Radiation oncology's popularity as a career in Canada has surged in the past 5 years. Consequently, resident numbers in Canadian radiation oncology residencies are at all-time highs. This study aimed to survey Canadian radiation oncology residents about their opinions of their specialty and training experiences.
Residents of Canadian radiation oncology residencies that enroll trainees through the Canadian Resident Matching Service were identified from a national database. Residents were mailed an anonymous survey.
Eight of 101 (7.9%) potential respondents were foreign funded. Fifty-two of 101 (51.5%) residents responded. A strong record of graduating its residents was the most important factor residents considered when choosing programs. Satisfaction with their program was expressed by 92.3% of respondents, and 94.3% expressed satisfaction with their specialty. Respondents planning to practice in Canada totaled 80.8%, and 76.9% plan to have academic careers. Respondents identified job availability and receiving adequate teaching from preceptors during residency as their most important concerns.
Though most respondents are satisfied with their programs and specialty, job availability and adequate teaching are concerns. In the future, limited time and resources and the continued popularity of radiation oncology as a career will magnify the challenge of training competent radiation oncologists in Canada.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the 2005 British Columbia Ministry of Health Smoking Cessation Mass Media Campaign on short-term smoking behavior.
National cross-sectional data are used with a quasi-experimental approach to test the impact of the campaign.
Findings indicate that prevalence and average number of cigarettes smoked per day deviated upward from trend for the rest of Canada (P = .08; P = .01) but not for British Columbia. They also indicate that British Columbia smokers in lower risk groups reduced their average daily consumption of cigarettes over and above the 1999-2004 trend (-2.23; P = .10), whereas smokers in the rest of Canada did not, and that British Columbia smokers in high-risk groups did not increase their average daily consumption of cigarettes over and above the 1999-2004 trend, whereas smokers in the rest of Canada did (2.97; P = .01).
The overall poorer performance of high-risk groups is attributed to high exposure to cigarette smoking, which reduces a smoker's chances of successful cessation. In particular, high-risk groups are by definition more likely to be exposed to smoking by peers, but are also less likely to work in workplaces with smoking bans, which are shown to have a substantial impact on prevalence. Results suggest that for mass media campaigns to be more effective with high-risk groups, they need to be combined with other incentives, and that more prolonged interventions should be considered.
To provide updated, evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and assessment of adults with hypertension.
The diagnosis of hypertension is dependent on appropriate blood pressure measurement, the timely assessment of serially elevated readings, degree of blood pressure elevation, method of measurement (office, ambulatory, home) and associated comorbidities. The presence of cardiovascular risk factors and target organ damage should be ascertained to assess global cardiovascular risk and determine the urgency, intensity and type of treatment required.
MEDLINE searches were conducted from November 2006 to October 2007 with the aid of a medical librarian. Reference lists were scanned, experts were contacted, and the personal files of authors and subgroup members were used to identify additional studies. Content and methodological experts assessed studies using prespecified, standardized evidence-based algorithms. Recommendations were based on evidence from peer-reviewed, full-text articles only.
Recommendations for blood pressure measurement, criteria for hypertension diagnosis and follow-up, assessment of global cardiovascular risk, diagnostic testing, diagnosis of renovascular and endocrine causes of hypertension, home and ambulatory monitoring, and the use of echocardiography in hypertensive individuals are outlined. Key messages in 2008 include continued emphasis on the expedited, accurate diagnosis of hypertension, the importance of global risk assessment and the need for ongoing monitoring of hypertensive patients to identify incident type 2 diabetes.
All recommendations were graded according to strength of the evidence and voted on by the 57 members of the Canadian Hypertension Education Program Evidence-Based Recommendations Task Force. All recommendations reported here received at least 70% consensus. These guidelines will continue to be updated annually.
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