OBJECTIVE: Few community studies have addressed the longitudinal course of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in traumatized refugees in early resettlement. This longitudinal study investigated changes from the first (T1) to the second interview (T2), 3 years later. The relationship between traumatic exposures and psychosocial factors/psychological symptom load were examined. METHOD: Local health professionals performed the interviews, using rating scales and a structured questionnaire. A total of 240 (52%) refugees attended. RESULTS: Unchanged Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 and increase in Harvard Trauma Questionnaire and post-traumatic stress symptoms-16 between T1 and T2 were found, indicating the severity and chronicity of problems. Mean post-traumatic stress score was 15% above cut-off. Severe life-threatening trauma and present life in exile with unemployment and unresolved family reunion were risk factors. CONCLUSION: Early diagnostic interview should be followed by targeted approach. Pinpointing those in need of specialist services is essential. An interdisciplinary approach is necessary in this work.
The effect of the total amount of work hours and the benefits of a shortening is frequently debated, but very little data is available. The present study compared a group (N = 41) that obtained a 9 h reduction of the working week (to a 6 h day) with a comparison group (N = 22) that retained normal work hours. Both groups were constituted of mainly female health care and day care nursery personnel. The experimental group retained full pay and extra personnel were employed to compensate for loss of hours. Questionnaire data were obtained before and 1 year after the change. The data were analyzed using a two-factor ANOVA with the interaction term year*group as the main focus. The results showed a significant interaction of year*group for social factors, sleep quality, mental fatigue, and heart/respiratory complaints, and attitude to work hours. In all cases the experimental group improved whereas the control group did not change. It was concluded that shortened work hours have clear social effects and moderate effects on well-being.
Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) is independently associated with an increased risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) can reduce mortality and morbidity, but low compliance rates are seen.
To explore and describe the experiences of CPAP-treatment in a young male patient with severe OSAS during a 6-month period from the couple's perspective. METHODS AND THE CASE: A single case study with a phenomenographic approach was employed. Diagnostic procedures of OSAS and initiation of treatment with Auto-CPAP, humidifier and a nasal mask were performed during 4 visits. Conceptions were collected at 4 different occasions during the 6-month period (before, and 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after treatment initiation) by means of interviews with a 33-year old male patient and his female partner.
Totally 17 different structural aspects were found to fluctuate during the 6-month period in relation to; influence of stressors, social reactions and adaptation to increase compliance.
An increased knowledge about the influence of stressors, the social reactions, and the adaptation can help healthcare personnel to identify and better understand concerns of other patients and spouses during different time phases of the initial 6-month period of CPAP-treatment.
Refugee patients with severe traumatic experiences may need mental health treatment, but treatment results vary, and there is scarcity of studies demonstrating refugees' long-term health and well-being after treatment. In a 10-year naturalistic and longitudinal study, 54 multi-origin traumatized adult refugee patients, with a background of war and persecution, and with a mean stay in Norway of 10.5 years, were recruited as they entered psychological treatment in mental health specialist services. The participants were interviewed face-to-face with multiple methods at admittance, and at varying points in time during and after psychotherapy. The aim was to study the participants' trajectories of symptoms of post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression, four aspects of quality of life, and two aspects of exile life functioning. Linear mixed effects analyses included all symptoms and quality of life measures obtained at different times and intervals for the participants. Changes in exile life functioning was investigated by exact McNemar tests. Participants responded to the quantitative assessments up to eight times. Length of therapy varied, with a mean of 61.3 sessions (SD = 74.5). The participants improved significantly in symptoms, quality of life, and exile life functioning. Improvement in symptoms of posttraumatic stress, anxiety, and depression yielded small effect sizes (r = .05 to .13), while improvement in quality of psychological and physical health yielded medium effect sizes (r = .38 and .32). Thus, long-time improvement after psychological therapy in these severely traumatized and mostly chronified refugee patients, was more notable in quality of life and exile life functioning than in symptom reduction. The results imply that major symptom reduction may not be attainable, and may not be the most important indication of long-term improvement among refugees with long-standing trauma-related suffering. Other indications of beneficial effects should be applied as well.
A 10-year follow-up of a population-based study of people with multiple sclerosis in Stockholm, Sweden: changes in health-related quality of life and the value of different factors in predicting health-related quality of life.
Health-related quality of life (HRQL) in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) is negatively affected compared to that of the general population. Cognitive impairment and depressive symptoms have been shown to predict worse HRQL in a short-term perspective. Considering the progressive nature of MS, it is essential to include the long-term (10 years) perspective of HRQL in PwMS.
The aim of this 10-year follow-up of a population-based sample of PwMS was to explore changes in and the predictive value of personal factors, degree of MS disability, depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment on HRQL.
Data on personal and disease-specific factors, mood, and cognitive function was collected. Data on HRQL was collected, seen as a health profile with the Sickness Impact Profile, as a health index with the EuroQol 5D and as a single global question with the EQ Visual Analog Scale.
HRQL worsened over 10 years according to the health profile (Sickness Impact Profile Total and its physical dimension) and according to the health index. The effect sizes were small. HRQL assessed with the single global question remained unchanged. Depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment predicted worse HRQL.
In a 10-year perspective the HRQL with regard to its physical domain or when seen as a total health profile tends to get worse in PwMS. Yet, HRQL with regard to its psychosocial domain and with regard to PwMS' self-rated health, remains stable. There is a potential for health-care professionals to decrease the impact of modifiable factors on HRQL in PwMS by identifying those with depressive symptoms and/or cognitive impairment and initiating evidence-based treatment as well as meeting the need for environmental facilitators aiming at reducing disability.
In order to investigate how well-being and ill health is affected by the process of aging, the main aim was to investigate these self-perceived aspects of health over a 10-year period among older Swedish adults. The aim was also to study how these aspects correlated with objectively assessed functional limitations, use of mobility device, person-environment (P-E) fit (also denoted accessibility), problems in housing, and activity of daily living (ADL) dependence. Using the Swedish national population register, a baseline sample of persons aged 75-84 years was identified. Out of the 133 participants at baseline (1994), the 31 participants still available 10 years later were included. The data were collected by means of interview and observation at home visits. Overall, the participants rated their subjective well-being as high and a stable prevalence of ill-health symptoms over time was reported. Changes in subjective well-being as related to changes in functional aspects seem to mainly occur earlier in the aging process, while as time goes by these relations weaken. ADL dependence, however, is more influential in more advanced age. The results confirm the complexity of the construct of health. A main contribution is that the results shed light on the importance of taking the impact of environmental factors into consideration.
The 39 item Parkinson's disease questionnaire (PDQ-39) is the most widely used patient reported rating scale in Parkinson's disease. However, several fundamental measurement assumptions necessary for confident use and interpretation of the eight PDQ-39 scales have not been fully addressed.
Postal survey PDQ-39 data from 202 people with Parkinson's disease (54% men; mean age 70 years) were analysed regarding psychometric properties using traditional and Rasch measurement methods.
Data quality was good (mean missing item responses, 2%) and there was general support for the legitimacy of summing items within scales without weighting or standardisation. Score reliabilities were adequate (Cronbach's alpha 0.72-0.95; test-retest 0.76-0.93). The validity of the current grouping of items into scales was not supported by scaling success rates (mean 56.2%), or factor and Rasch analyses. All scales represented more health problems than that experienced by the sample (mean floor effect 15%) and showed compromised score precision towards the less severe end.
Our results provide general support for the acceptability and reliability of the PDQ-39. However, they also demonstrate limitations that have implications for the use of the PDQ-39 in clinical research. The grouping of items into scales appears overly complex and the meaning of scale scores is unclear, which hampers their interpretation. Suboptimal targeting limits measurement precision and, therefore, probably also responsiveness. These observations have implications for the role of the PDQ-39 in clinical trials and evidence based medicine. PDQ-39 derived endpoints should be interpreted and selected cautiously, particularly regarding small but clinically important effects among people with less severe problems.
BACKGROUND: Dementia is a chronic illness associated with a progressive loss of cognitive and intellectual abilities, such as memory, judgment and abstract thinking.The objective of this study was to assess the health utilities of patients with dementia in Europe and identify the key factors influencing their Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQol). METHODS: This study used cross-sectional data from the Odense study; a Danish cohort of patients aged 65-84 living in Odense, Denmark. A total of 244 patients with mild to severe dementia were interviewed together with a caregiver about their health status and activities of daily living (ADL). Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed according to the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria for probable dementia. Vascular dementia and other types of dementia were diagnosed according to the DSM-IIIR criteria. Severity of dementia was defined by score intervals on the Mini Mental State Examination score: mild (MMSE 20-30), moderate (MMSE 10-19), and severe (MMSE 0-9). Based on the ADL information, the patients' dependency level was defined as either dependent or independent. Questions from the Odense Study were mapped into each of the five dimensions of the EQ-5D in order to assess patients' HRQol. Danish EQ-5D social tariffs were used to value patients' HRQol.A regression analysis of EQ-5D values was conducted with backward selection on gender, age, severity, ADL level and setting in order to determine the main factor influencing HRQoL. RESULTS: The EQ-5D weight in patients independent upon others in ADL was 0.641 (95% CI: [0.612-0.669]), and in those dependent upon others was 0.343 (95% CI: [0.251-0.436]). CONCLUSION: Dependency upon others to perform ADL was the main factor affecting HRQoL.
This study aimed to (1) explore whether quality of life (QOL) is more associated with satisfaction with social participation (SP) than with level of accomplishment in SP and (2) examine respective correlates of accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP.
A cross-sectional design was used with a convenience sample of 155 older adults (mean age=73.7; 60% women) having various levels of activity limitations. Accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP (dependent variables) were estimated with the social roles items of the assessment of life habits. Potential correlates were human functioning components.
Correlations between QOL and accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP did not differ (P=0.71). However, best correlates of accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP were different. Higher accomplishment level of SP was best explained by younger age, activity level perceived as stable, no recent stressing event, better well-being, higher activity level, and fewer obstacles in "Physical environment and accessibility" (R2=0.79). Greater satisfaction with SP was best explained by activity level perceived as stable, better self-perceived health, better well-being, higher activity level, and more facilitators in "Social support and attitudes" (R2=0.51).
With some exceptions, these best correlates may be positively modified and thus warrant special attention in rehabilitation interventions.
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The article presents experience of the assessment of labour quality and professionalism of medical personnel (physicians and nurses) after the study conducted in 20 medical institutions in Kiev and 20 in Moscow. Expert-points method of assessment was used, correlation analysis of finalized qualifying assessment and social status of staff in each department was the mechanism of check of obtained results. Quality of life of population depends a lot on professionalism of specialists (physicians, teachers, scientists and others). The article presents results of four year (2003-2006) study of quality of life of four generations of Ukrainians aged from 11 to 85 years. Regularity was revealed in different sides of life of four group of responders, including personal, behavioral and psychological aspects.