BACKGROUND: One hundred twenty women alcoholics recruited to a treatment program called EWA (Early Treatment for Women With Alcohol Addiction) were studied. The selected women were not previously treated for alcohol abuse. METHODS: The women were followed up by use of a structured personal interview, biomarkers sensitive for alcohol abuse (i.e., glutamyl transpeptidase), and questionnaires, by using defined criteria for abstinence, social drinking, satisfactory drinking outcome, and unsatisfactory drinking outcome. RESULTS: Drinking outcome was good (i.e., total abstinence, social drinking, or satisfactory drinking outcome) for 67% of the women during the total follow-up time, by use of strict criteria for relapse. The results were corroborated by the biomarkers. Similar results were reported from two previously studied groups of women from the same department. However, the frequency of abstinence was higher and social drinking was significantly lower among this sample of women. Daily drinking, the use of sedatives, and a long duration of pretreatment alcohol abuse predicted an unfavorable outcome. However, a long duration of outpatient treatment predicted a good outcome, whereas treatment dropout was related to an unsatisfactory drinking outcome. A majority of the women (96%) rated the treatment experience and the treatment program favorably. The overall good results might reflect the selection of the subjects studied. CONCLUSIONS: Improving treatment program adherence would probably improve outcome for the women with an unsatisfactory drinking outcome.
In the present study, pure-tone audiometry was used in 687 Finnish school children, aged 6-15 years, to determine the prevalence of a 6 kHz acoustic dip and related factors among three age groups. Trained audiometricians tested air conduction thresholds in a sound-proof room. A total of 57 children (8.3%) had a clear-cut dip of at least 20 dB at 6 kHz. This dip was more pronounced in older children and in boys. A thorough case history was obtained by questionnaire, with logistic regression analysis showing that low birth weight (
Studies on long-term mortality after venous thromboembolism (VTE) are sparse.
Using Danish medical databases, we conducted a 30-year nationwide population-based cohort study of 128 223 patients with first-time VTE (1980-2011) and a comparison cohort of 640 760 people from the general population (without VTE) randomly matched by sex, year of birth, and calendar period. The mortality risks for patients with deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) were markedly higher than for the comparison cohort during the first year, especially within the first 30 days (3.0% and 31% versus 0.4%). Using Cox regression, we assessed mortality rate ratios (MRRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The overall 30-year MRR was 1.55 (95% CI, 1.53-1.57) for DVT and 2.77 (95% CI, 2.74-2.81) for PE. The 30-day MRR was 5.38 (95% CI, 5.00-5.80) for DVT and 80.87 (95% CI, 76.02-86.02) for PE. Over time, the 30-day MRR was consistently 5- to 6-fold increased for DVT, whereas it improved for PE from 138 (95% CI, 125-153) in 1980 to 1989 to 36.08 (95% CI, 32.65-39.87) in 2000 to 2011. The 1- to 10-year and 11- to 30-year MRRs remained 25% to 40% increased after both DVT and PE but were 3- to 5-fold increased after DVT and 6- to 11-fold increased after PE when VTE was considered the immediate cause of death.
Patients with VTE are at increased risk of dying, especially within the first year after diagnosis, but also during the entire 30 years of follow-up, with VTE as an important cause of death. Although 30-day mortality after DVT remained fairly constant over the last 3 decades, it improved markedly for PE.
This paper is a report of a study conducted to evaluate change in health-related quality of life for people with constipation receiving abdominal massage and to estimate the cost-effectiveness of two alternative scenarios developed from the original trial.
Constipation is a common problem and is associated with decrease in quality of life. Abdominal massage appears to decrease the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms, but its impact on health-related quality of life has not been assessed.
A randomized controlled trial including 60 participants was conducted in Sweden between 2005 and 2007. The control group continued using laxatives as before and the intervention group received additional abdominal massage. Health-related quality of life was assessed using the EQ-5D and analyzed with linear regression. Two scenarios were outlined to conduct a cost utility analysis. In the self-massage scenario patients learned to give self-massage, and in the professional massage scenario patients in hospital received abdominal massage from an Enrolled Nurse.
Linear regression analysis showed that health-related quality of life was statistically significantly increased after 8 weeks of abdominal massage. About 40% were estimated to receive good effect. For 'self-massage', the cost per quality adjusted life year was euro75,000 for the first 16 weeks. For every additional week of abdominal massage, the average dropped and eventually approached euro8300. For 'professional massage', the cost per quality adjusted life year was euro60,000 and eventually dropped to euro28,000.
Abdominal massage may be cost-effective in the long-term and it is relevant to consider it when managing constipation. A crucial aspect will be to identify those who will benefit.
The aim of this study was to describe the ability for self-care among home dwelling elderly in the community in a health district in western Sweden. Two self-report instruments plus a number of self-care related questions were distributed by mail to an age stratified random sample and finally completed by a total of 125 subjects. Bivariate and multivariate statistical methods were used in the analyses. The results showed that self-care ability and self-care agency decreased for respondents 75+ years of age. Self-care ability was predicted by three productive means for self-care and four risk factors.
Attitudes concerning the acceptability of suicide have been emphasized as being important for understanding why levels of suicide mortality vary in different societies across the world. While Russian suicide mortality levels are among the highest in the world, not much is known about attitudes to suicide in Russia. This study aims to obtain a greater understanding about the levels and correlates of suicide acceptance in Russia.
Data from a survey of 1,190 Muscovites were analysed using logistic regression techniques. Suicide acceptance was examined among respondents in relation to social, economic and demographic factors as well as in relation to attitudes towards other moral questions.
The majority of interviewees (80%) expressed condemnatory attitudes towards suicide, although men were slightly less condemning. The young, the higher educated, and the non-religious were more accepting of suicide (OR > 2). However, the two first-mentioned effects disappeared when controlling for tolerance, while a positive effect of lower education on suicide acceptance appeared. When controlling for other independent variables, no significant effects were found on suicide attitudes by gender, one's current family situation, or by health-related or economic problems.
The most important determinants of the respondents' attitudes towards suicide were their tolerance regarding other moral questions and their religiosity. More tolerant views, in general, also seemed to explain the more accepting views towards suicide among the young and the higher educated. Differences in suicide attitudes between the sexes seemed to be dependent on differences in other factors rather than on gender per se. Suicide attitudes also seemed to be more affected by one's earlier experiences in terms of upbringing and socialization than by events and processes later in life.
Tinnitus is the experience of sounds without an identified external source, and for some the experience is associated with significant severity (i.e., perceived negative affect, activity limitation, and participation restriction due to tinnitus). Acceptance of tinnitus has recently been proposed to play an important role in explaining heterogeneity in tinnitus severity. The purpose of the present study was to extend previous investigations of acceptance in relation to tinnitus by examining the unique contribution of acceptance in accounting for tinnitus severity, beyond anxiety and depression symptoms.
In a cross-sectional study, 362 participants with tinnitus attending an ENT clinic in Sweden completed a standard set of psychometrically examined measures of acceptance of tinnitus, tinnitus severity, and anxiety and depression symptoms. Participants also completed a background form on which they provided information about the experience of tinnitus (loudness, localization, sound characteristics), other auditory-related problems (hearing problems and sound sensitivity), and personal characteristics.
Correlational analyses showed that acceptance was strongly and inversely related to tinnitus severity and anxiety and depression symptoms. Multivariate regression analysis, in which relevant patient characteristics were controlled, revealed that acceptance accounted for unique variance beyond anxiety and depression symptoms. Acceptance accounted for more of the variance than anxiety and depression symptoms combined. In addition, mediation analysis revealed that acceptance of tinnitus mediated the direct association between self-rated loudness and tinnitus severity, even after anxiety and depression symptoms were taken into account.
Findings add to the growing body of work, supporting the unique and important role of acceptance in tinnitus severity. The utility of the concept is discussed in relation to the development of new psychological models and interventions for tinnitus severity.
Geographical access to health care facilities is known to influence health services usage. As societies age, accessibility to health care becomes an increasingly acute public health concern. It is known that seniors tend to have lower mobility levels, and it is possible that this may negatively affect their ability to reach facilities and services. Therefore, it becomes important to examine the mobility situation of seniors vis-a-vis the spatial distribution of health care facilities, to identify areas where accessibility is low and interventions may be required.
Accessibility is implemented using a cumulative opportunities measure. Instead of assuming a fixed bandwidth (i.e. a distance threshold) for measuring accessibility, in this paper the bandwidth is defined using model-based estimates of average trip length. Average trip length is an all-purpose indicator of individual mobility and geographical reach. Adoption of a spatial modelling approach allows us to tailor these estimates of travel behaviour to specific locations and person profiles. Replacing a fixed bandwidth with these estimates permits us to calculate customized location- and person-based accessibility measures that allow inter-personal as well as geographical comparisons.
The case study is Montreal Island. Geo-coded travel behaviour data, specifically average trip length, and relevant traveller's attributes are obtained from the Montreal Household Travel Survey. These data are complemented with information from the Census. Health care facilities, also geo-coded, are extracted from a comprehensive business point database. Health care facilities are selected based on Standard Industrial Classification codes 8011-21 (Medical Doctors and Dentists).
Model-based estimates of average trip length show that travel behaviour varies widely across space. With the exception of seniors in the downtown area, older residents of Montreal Island tend to be significantly less mobile than people of other age cohorts. The combination of average trip length estimates with the spatial distribution of health care facilities indicates that despite being more mobile, suburban residents tend to have lower levels of accessibility compared to central city residents. The effect is more marked for seniors. Furthermore, the results indicate that accessibility calculated using a fixed bandwidth would produce patterns of exposure to health care facilities that would be difficult to achieve for suburban seniors given actual mobility patterns.
The analysis shows large disparities in accessibility between seniors and non-seniors, between urban and suburban seniors, and between vehicle owning and non-owning seniors. This research was concerned with potential accessibility levels. Follow up research could consider the results reported here to select case studies of actual access and usage of health care facilities, and related health outcomes.
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This study examined (1) disparities in the proportion of persons who accessed a physician for treatment of a diagnosed mental disorder across 17 health regions in Alberta, Canada, and (2) the extent to which regional disparities in physician access could be explained by differences in regional demographies, population needs, or physician supply.
The study illustrates the use of ecological comparisons for regional health system performance evaluations. Regional characteristics were aggregated from four sources of data: the health insurance registry file (population denominators and regional demographies), physician claims data (treatment access), census data (social indicators of population need), and the medical directory of the College of Physicians of Surgeons (physician supply).
Regional variability in needs-adjusted measures of access to physician-based treatment services were comparatively small (varying by a factor of 1.6). Models containing adjustments for demography, need, and physician supply explained 41% of regional variation in access. Of the total variation explained, physician supply explained a smaller proportion (39%) in comparison to social demography and needs (61%). Few large regional imbalances were noted when needs-adjusted and supply-adjusted estimates were compared. Only two areas appeared to be underserviced in comparison to their local needs, reflecting approximately 6% of the provincial population.
While all three study factors proved important, findings support the broad conclusion that social demography and social risk (a proxy for need) will remain the key determinants predicting access to physician services for treatment of mental disorders in publicly funded health systems.
The paper concerns the accuracy of two dental methods of age estimation based on the radiographic appearance of the root of the lower third molar. The first dental method tested was traditional with a subjective assessment of the root development stage and the second was a new method with a metric measurement of formed root length. Since previous studies have shown a relatively low precision for dentally based age estimation methods during adolescence, an additional independent indicator of chronological age was employed, namely skeletal maturity according to the atlas and method of Greulich and Pyle (Radiographic Atlas of Skeletal Development of the Hand and Wrist Stanford University Press, CA, 1959). The material was Swedish adolescents aged 12-19 years. It was found that all methods gave an overestimation of chronological age, with the highest overestimation, more than 1 year, for the two dental methods. A stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated that skeletal age alone explains 48% of the variation in estimated chronological age. It may be concluded that the accuracy of age estimations based on the lower third molars is quite uncertain during adolescence. Up to 18 years, it is preferable to use skeletal age alone as a predictor. Only a small increase in the explanation coefficient of age variation (3-4%) could be seen if digitized or subjectively estimated root lengths were added as predictors to the skeletal estimation.