This study of cancer survival compared adults in Toronto, Ontario and three US metropolitan areas: Seattle, Washington; San Francisco, California; and Hartford, Connecticut. It examined whether socioeconomic status has a differential effect on cancer survival in Canada and the United States.
The Ontario Cancer Registry and the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End
(SEER) programme provided a total of 23,437 and 37,329 population-based primary malignant cancer cases for the Toronto and US samples, respectively (1986-1988, followed until 1994). Census-based measures of socioeconomic status were used to ecologically control absolute income status.
Among residents of low-income areas, persons in Toronto experienced a 5 year survival advantage for 13 of 15 cancer sites [minimally one gender significant at 95 per cent confidence interval (CI)]. An aggregate 35 per cent survival advantage among the Canadian cohort was demonstrated (survival rate ratio (SRR) = 1.35, 95 per cent CI= 1.30-1.40), and this effect was even larger among younger patients not yet eligible for Medicare coverage in the United States (SRR = 1.46, 95 per cent CI = 1.40-1.52).
Systematically replicating a previous Toronto-Detroit comparison, this study's observed consistent pattern of Canadian survival advantage across various cancer sites suggests that their more equitable access to preventive and therapeutic health care services may be responsible for the difference.
A needs assessment was compiled from self-administered questionnaires completed by 796 clients at the Urban Indian Health Service clinics in San Francisco and Oakland, California. Data on the health disparities between Native Americans and Alaskan Natives and the rest of the U.S. population are limited. The data that exist, however, indicate that Native Americans continue to fare worse than the general population. This needs assessment reveals the same trend among a sample of clients of two Native American Health Centers in the San Francisco Bay Area and provides further information about the health needs and interests of the population currently attending these centers.
Language and culture relate in complex ways. Addressing this complexity in the context of language translation is a challenge when caring for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP).
To examine processes of care related to language, culture and translation in an LEP population is the objective of this study.
We used community based participatory research to examine the experiences of Russian-speaking cancer patients in San Francisco, California. A Russian Cancer Information Taskforce (RCIT), including community-based organizations, local government, and clinics, participated in all phases of the study.
A purposeful sample of 74 individuals were the participants of the study.
The RCIT shaped research themes and facilitated access to participants. Methods were focus groups, individual interviews, and participant observation. RCIT reviewed data and provided guidance in interpreting results.
Four themes emerged. (1) Local Russian-language resources were seen as inadequate and relatively unavailable compared to other non-English languages; (2) a taboo about the word "cancer" led to language "games" surrounding disclosure; (3) this taboo, and other dynamics of care, reflected expectations that Russian speakers derived from experiences in their countries of origin; (4) using interpreters as cultural brokers or establishing support groups for Russian speakers could help address barriers.
The language barriers experienced by this LEP population reflect cultural and linguistic issues. Providers should consider partnering with trained interpreters to address the intertwining of language and culture.
Cites: Health Serv Res. 1999 Dec;34(5 Pt 2):1101-1810591275
To explore the mentor-mentee relationship with a focus on determining the characteristics of effective mentors and mentees and understanding the factors influencing successful and failed mentoring relationships.
The authors completed a qualitative study through the Departments of Medicine at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine between March 2010 and January 2011. They conducted individual, semistructured interviews with faculty members from different career streams and ranks and analyzed transcripts of the interviews, drawing on grounded theory.
The authors completed interviews with 54 faculty members and identified a number of themes, including the characteristics of effective mentors and mentees, actions of effective mentors, characteristics of successful and failed mentoring relationships, and tactics for successful mentoring relationships. Successful mentoring relationships were characterized by reciprocity, mutual respect, clear expectations, personal connection, and shared values. Failed mentoring relationships were characterized by poor communication, lack of commitment, personality differences, perceived (or real) competition, conflicts of interest, and the mentor's lack of experience.
Successful mentorship is vital to career success and satisfaction for both mentors and mentees. Yet challenges continue to inhibit faculty members from receiving effective mentorship. Given the importance of mentorship on faculty members' careers, future studies must address the association between a failed mentoring relationship and a faculty member's career success, how to assess different approaches to mediating failed mentoring relationships, and how to evaluate strategies for effective mentorship throughout a faculty member's career.
Preoperative brain injury, particularly stroke and white matter injury, is common in neonates with congenital heart disease. The objective of this study was to determine the risk of hemorrhage or extension of preoperative brain injury with cardiac surgery.
This dual-center prospective cohort study recruited 92 term neonates, 62 with transposition of the great arteries and 30 with single ventricle physiology, from 2 tertiary referral centers. Neonates underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging scans before and after cardiac surgery.
Brain injury was identified in 40 (43%) neonates on the preoperative magnetic resonance imaging scan (median 5 days after birth): stroke in 23, white matter injury in 21, and intraventricular hemorrhage in 7. None of the brain lesions presented clinically with overt signs or seizures. Preoperative brain injury was associated with balloon atrial septostomy (P = .003) and lowest arterial oxygen saturation (P = .007); in a multivariable model, only the effect of balloon atrial septostomy remained significant when adjusting for lowest arterial oxygen saturation. On postoperative magnetic resonance imaging in 78 neonates (median 21 days after birth), none of the preoperative lesions showed evidence of extension or hemorrhagic transformation (0/40 [95% confidence interval: 0%-7%]). The presence of preoperative brain injury was not a significant risk factor for acquiring new injury on postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (P = .8).
Clinically silent brain injuries identified preoperatively in neonates with congenital heart disease, including stroke, have a low risk of progression with surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass and should therefore not delay clinically indicated cardiac surgery. In this multicenter cohort, balloon atrial septostomy remains an important risk factor for preoperative brain injury, particularly stroke.