Aboriginal dialysis patients have reduced access to kidney transplantation. The reasons for this disparity are unknown. Tonelli et al. show that in Canada, residence location does not significantly impact on an Aboriginal dialysis patient's likelihood of receiving kidney transplantation. This Commentary explores the issue of decreased access and examines issues surrounding the findings of Tonelli et al.
Comment On: Kidney Int. 2006 Sep;70(5):924-3016788690
The primary objective of this study was to determine the acceptability of various driving restrictions to older drivers. Licensed drivers aged 65 years or more living in the community in the Ottawa, Ontario area were recruited by means of posters and advertisements in regional and local newspapers. We recruited 86 subjects, 56 men and 30 women with a mean age of 75 years (50 urban and 36 rural residents). The subjects completed a one-hour interview with one of two trained study nurses during which their driving restriction preferences (utilities) were determined using a modified standard gamble technique. Highly endorsed restrictions included regular assessment by the Ministry of Transportation (mean utility 0.94), driving with vehicle adaptations (0.94) and daytime driving only (0.93). Less acceptable restrictions included avoidance of roads with a speed limit greater than 60 km/h (0.50), limitation of destinations (0.45), driving only within a 10-km radius of home (0.45) and requirement of another licensed driver in the vehicle (0.42). Our subjects' preferences appeared to be inversely related to the impact on autonomy and the ability to access the community. These findings may be useful to motor transport administrators in designing effective restricted licensing programs that are acceptable to older drivers.
Under-treatment of pain is frequently reported, especially among seniors, with chronic non-cancer pain most likely to be under-treated. Legislation regarding the prescribing/dispensing of opioid analgesics (including multiple prescription programs [MPP]) may impede access to needed analgesics.
To describe access and intensity of use of analgesics among older Manitobans by health region.
A cross-sectional study of non-Aboriginal non-institutionalized Manitoba residents over 65 years of age during April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003 was conducted using the Pharmaceutical Claims data and the Cancer Registry from the province of Manitoba. Access to analgesics (users/1000/Yr) and intensity of use (using defined daily dose [DDD] methodology) were calculated for non-opioid analgesics, opioids, and multiple-prescription-program opioids [MPP-opioids]. Usage was categorized by age, gender, and stratified by cancer diagnosis. Age-sex standardized rates of prevalence and intensity are reported for the eleven health regions of Manitoba.
Thirty-four percent of older Manitobans accessed analgesics during the study period. Female gender, increasing age, and a cancer diagnosis were associated with greater access and intensity of use of all classes of analgesics. Age-sex standardized access and intensity measures revealed the highest overall analgesic use in the most rural / remote regions of the province. However, these same regions had the lowest use of opioids, and MPP-opioids among residents lacking a cancer diagnosis.
This population-based study of analgesic use suggests that there may be variations in use of opioids and other analgesics depending on an urban or rural residence. The impact of programs such as the MPP program requires further study to describe its impact on analgesic use.
PURPOSE: To provide a picture of the access and use of health services by Aboriginal British Columbians living in both reserve and off-reserve communities. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: This project represents a collaborative effort between the University of British Columbia and multiple Aboriginal community partners. Between June and November 2003, 267 face-to-face interviews were conducted with Aboriginal persons in seven rural community organizations across the province. FINDINGS: This paper reports on the results of a survey of 267 Aboriginal clients. It was found that a substantial number of survey respondents accessed health services provided by an Aboriginal person. Although most respondents felt that services were available, they also identified a number of concerns. These revolved around the need to travel for services, as well as a lack of access to more specialized services. A number of self-reported barriers to service were also identified. These findings have several policy implications and will be useful to service planners. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Several questions for additional research were identified including the need to establish an inventory of service problem areas and investigating service and benefit policy and community awareness issues. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This paper provides policy makers with knowledge on the rural Aboriginal population, a population that has faced long standing problems in accessing appropriate health services.
Drawing upon a comparative, qualitative study of the experiences of rural women accessing maternity care in two Canadian provinces, we demonstrate that availability of services, having economic and informational resources to access the services offered, and the appropriateness of those services in terms of gender, continuity of care, confidentiality, quality of care, and cultural fit are key to an accurate understanding of health care access. We explore the implications of living rurally on each of these dimensions, thereby revealing both gaps in and solutions to rural maternity care access that narrower, proximity-based definitions miss.
BACKGROUND: During the Soviet period, authorities in the USSR invested heavily in collective farming and modernization of living conditions in rural areas. However, many problems remained, including poor access to many basic amenities such as water. Since then, the situation is likely to have changed; economic decline has coincided with migration and widening social inequalities, potentially increasing disparities within and between countries. AIM: To examine access to water and sanitation and its determinants in urban and rural areas of eight former Soviet countries. METHODS: A series of nationally representative surveys in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Ukraine was undertaken in 2001, covering 18,428 individuals (aged 18+ years). RESULTS: The percentage of respondents living in rural areas varied between 27 and 59% among countries. There are wide urban-rural differences in access to amenities. Even in urban areas, only about 90% of respondents had access to cold running water in their home (60% in Kyrgyzstan). In rural areas, less than one-third had cold running water in their homes (44% in Russia, under 10% in Kyrgyzstan and Moldova). Between one-third and one-half of rural respondents in some countries (such as Belarus, Kazakhstan and Moldova) obtained their water from wells and similar sources. Access to hot running water inside the homes was an exception in rural households, reflecting the lack of modern heating methods in villages. Similarly, indoor access to toilets is common in urban areas but rare in rural areas. Access to all amenities was better in Russia compared with elsewhere in the region. Indoor access to cold water was significantly more common among rural residents living in apartments, and in settlements served by asphalt roads rather than dirt roads. People with more assets or income and living with other people were significantly more likely to have water on tap. In addition, people who had moved in more recently were more likely to have an indoor water supply. CONCLUSIONS: This was the largest single study of its kind undertaken in this region, and demonstrates that a significant number of people living in rural parts of the former Soviet Union do not have indoor access to running water and sanitation. There are significant variations among countries, with the worse situation in central Asia and the Caucasus, and the best situation in Russia. Access to water strongly correlates with socio-economic characteristics. These findings suggest a need for sustained investment in rebuilding basic infrastructure in the region, and monitoring the impact of living conditions on health.
BACKGROUND: Diagnosis of acute abdominal pain in older persons is a challenge, with the age-related increase in concurrent diseases. In most western countries the number of elderly people is constantly rising, which means that an increasing proportion of patients admitted for abdominal pain at the emergency department are elderly. OBJECTIVE: To characterize differences in clinical presentation and diagnostic accuracy between younger and more elderly patients with acute abdominal pain. METHODS: Patients admitted to Mora Hospital with abdominal pain of up to seven days' duration were registered according to a detailed schedule. From 1st February 1997 to 1st June 2000, 557 patients aged 65-79 years and 274 patients aged > or = 80 years were registered. Patients aged 20-64 years (n = 1,458) served as a control group. RESULTS: A specific diagnosis, i.e. other than 'nonspecific abdominal pain', was established in 76 and 78% of the patients aged 65-79 and > or = 80 years respectively, and in 64% of those aged 20-64 (p or = 65 years. Rebound tenderness (p or = 65 years, C-reactive protein did not differ between patients operated on and those not, contrary to the finding in patients
This paper is a report of a study to identify the patterns of prescribing by primary health care nurse practitioners for a cohort of older adults.
The older adult population is known to receive complex pharmacotherapy. Monitoring prescribing to older adults can inform quality improvement initiatives. In comparison to other countries, research examining nurse practitioner prescribing in Canada is limited. Nurse practitioner prescribing for older adults is relatively unexplored in the international literature. Although commonly used to study physician prescribing, few studies have used claims data from drug insurance programmes to investigate nurse practitioner prescribing.
Drug claims for prescriptions written by nurse practitioners from fiscal years 2004/05 to 2006/07 for beneficiaries of the Nova Scotia Seniors' Pharmacare programme were analysed. Data were retrieved and analysed in May 2008. Prescribing was described for each drug using the World Health Organization Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical code classification system by usage and costs for each fiscal year.
Antimicrobials and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs consistently represented the top ranked groups for prescription volume and cost. Over the three fiscal years, antimicrobial prescription rates declined relative to rates of other groups of medications. Prescription volume per nurse doubled and cost per prescription increased by approximately 20%.
Prescription claims data can be used to characterize the prescribing trends of nurse practitioners. Research linking patient characteristics, including diagnoses, to prescriptions is needed to assess prescribing quality. Some potential areas of improvement were identified with antimicrobial and non-steroidal antiinflammatory selection.
BACKGROUND: In order to understand and prevent unwanted health consequences related to sexual behaviour, we need to know the status and changes of sexual behaviour in adolescence. MATERIAL AND METHOD: In 1997 and 2001, surveys were conducted including a total of 1665 adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 (response rate > 90%) in secondary schools in a small town in a rural district in Norway. We analysed frequencies for boys and girls and estimated the change in median age of first intercourse. Logistic regression analyses of median age and other health-related parameters were performed. RESULTS: A greater proportion of the respondents reported sexual experience in 2001 than in 1997. Girls have their first intercourse at a younger age than boys, often with older partners. 21% of the girls had experienced unwanted sexual situations. Use of contraception has increased, though insignificantly. Still, 11% of sexually active girls had had unwanted pregnancies. First intercourse during adolescence is clearly associated with other forms of behaviour that compromise health. However, a great and stable majority report a stable partner during adolescence. CONCLUSIONS: In accordance with other studies we find changes in sexual behaviour over a short period of time among adolescents in rural Norway. Stable sexual relations may still be a protective factor.