TThe Syva MicroTrak Chlamydia enzyme immunoassay (EIA; Syva Company, San Jose, Calif.) with cytospin and direct fluorescent-antibody assay (DFA) confirmation was evaluated on 43,630 urogenital specimens over a 1-year period in the Provincial Laboratory in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. This was a two-phase study intended to define a testing algorithm for Chlamydia trachomatis that would be both highly accurate and cost-effective in our high-volume (> 3,000 tests per month) laboratory. The prevalence of C. trachomatis infection in our population is moderate (8 to 9%). In phase 1, we tested 6,022 male and female urogenital specimens by EIA. All specimens with optical densities above the cutoff value and those within 30% below the cutoff value were retested by DFA. This was 648 specimens (10.8% of the total). A total of 100% (211 of 211) of the specimens with optical densities equal to or greater than 1.00 absorbance unit (AU) above the cutoff value, 98.2% (175 of 178) of the specimens with optical densities of between 0.500 and 0.999 AU above the cutoff value, and 83% (167 of 201) of the specimens with optical densities within 0.499 AU above the cutoff value were confirmed to be positive. A total of 12% (7 of 58) of the specimens with optical densities within 30% below the cutoff value were positive by DFA. In phase 2, we tested 37,608 specimens (32,495 from females; 5,113 from males) by EIA. Only those specimens with optical densities of between 0.499 AU above and 30% below the cutoff value required confirmation on the basis of data from phase 1 of the study. This was 4.5% of all specimens tested. This decrease in the proportion of specimens requiring confirmation provides a significant cost savings to the laboratory. The testing algorithm gives us a 1-day turnaround time to the final confirmed test results. The MicroTrak EIA performed very well in both phases of the study, with a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of 96.1, 99.1, 90.3, and 99.7%, respectively, in phase 2. We suggest that for laboratories that use EIA for Chlamydia testing, a study such as this one will identify an appropriate optical density range for confirmatory testing for samples from that particular population.
The results of a survey of pretrial examination cases admitted to the provincial psychiatric hospital in Saskatchewan from 1966 to 1975 are reported. The demographic and psychiatric data and data from the psychiatric reports to the Court are analyzed. Some deficiencies noted in the reports to the Court are discussed and some remedial measures are suggested.
Examining the role of culture and cultural perceptions of aging and dementia in the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of age-related cognitive impairment remains an understudied area of clinical neuropsychology. This paper describes a qualitative study based on a series of key informant group interviews with an Aboriginal Grandmothers Group in the province of Saskatchewan. Thematic analysis was employed in an exploration of Aboriginal perceptions of normal aging and dementia and an investigation of issues related to the development of culturally appropriate assessment techniques. Three related themes were identified that highlighted Aboriginal experiences of aging, caregiving, and dementia within the healthcare system: (1) cognitive and behavioural changes were perceived as a normal expectation of the aging process and a circular conception of the lifespan was identified, with aging seen as going back "back to the baby stage", (2) a "big change in culture" was linked by Grandmothers to Aboriginal health, illness (including dementia), and changes in the normal aging process, and (3) the importance of culturally grounded healthcare both related to review of assessment tools, but also within the context of a more general discussion of experiences with the healthcare system. Themes of sociocultural changes leading to lifestyle changes and disruption of the family unit and community caregiving practices, and viewing memory loss and behavioural changes as a normal part of the aging process were consistent with previous work with ethnic minorities. This research points to the need to understand Aboriginal perceptions of aging and dementia in informing appropriate assessment and treatment of age-related cognitive impairment and dementia in Aboriginal seniors.
This article describes a case study examining the effects of participating in a health promotion project, one aspect of which was a health assessment conducted using participatory action research. The study was carried out over 2.5 years in a project for older Aboriginal women (hereafter known as the grandmothers). Participation in the project and health assessment contributed to a number of changes in them, which were categorized as cleansing and healing, connecting with self, acquiring knowledge and skills, connecting within the group, and external exposure and engagement. This experience demonstrated an approach to health promotion programming and conducting a health assessment that was acceptable to this group of people and fostered changes congruent with empowerment.
Three methods were employed to assess whether human volunteers (Caucasian, Asian or Cree Indian) possessed the typical or atypical mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) isozyme. These methods were: (1) questioning individuals about facial flushing responses following alcohol consumption; (2) application of the ethanol skin patch test, and (3) direct analysis using isoelectric focusing and activity staining of ALDH activity in hair root samples. The results from the three methods were in good agreement and revealed that only the typical ALDH2 isozyme was expressed in Saskatchewan Cree Indians. In agreement with previous reports, the typical ALDH2 was expressed in the Caucasian group of subjects, while both the typical and atypical forms were expressed in the Asian subjects.
We conducted a longitudinal study to determine the annual rate decline in pulmonary function measurements in male swine confinement workers. For comparison, a grain farming group and a nonfarming rural-dwelling control group were also chosen for the longitudinal study. Two hundred seventeen swine confinement workers, 218 grain farmers, and 179 nonfarming control subjects had valid pulmonary function measurements at the baseline observation conducted in 1990 to 1991 and at the second observation conducted in 1994 to 1995. The swine confinement workers were younger (mean age=38.3+/-11.7 [SD] years) than the nonfarming control subjects (42.6+/-10.4 years) and the grain farmers (44.5+/-11.9 years). When stratified by age, nonfarming control subjects had the lowest mean annual rate decline in FEV1 and FVC in all age categories. The swine confinement workers had the largest annual rate decline in FEV1 and FVC, and this was most obvious in the middle age categories. After controlling for age, height, smoking, and baseline pulmonary function, swine confinement workers had excess annual decline of 26.1 mL in FEV1 (p=0.0005), 33.5 mL in FVC (p=0.0002), and 42.0 mL/s in forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of FVC (FEF[25-75%]) (p=0.02) over nonfarming control subjects. Grain farmers had excess annual decline of 16.4 mL in FEV1 (p=0.03), 26.7 mL in FVC (p=0.002), and 11.2 mL/s in FEF(25-75%) (p=0.38) over control subjects. These findings suggest that workers engaged in the swine industry and grain farmers appear prone to accelerated yearly losses in lung function and may therefore be at risk for the future development of chronic airflow limitation.
Women attending the University of Saskatchewan Student Health Services are being offered human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination but are not filling their prescriptions. We sought to identify gaps in knowledge of the link between HPV infection, cervical dysplasia, and cervical cancer among women attending the Student Health Services, and to identify barriers to HPV vaccination among this cohort of women.
Women attending the University of Saskatchewan Student Health Services for any reason were invited to complete an 18-question survey. The survey included questions regarding knowledge of the purpose of Pap smears, the role of HPV infection in cervical dysplasia and cancer, and HPV vaccination. The questions were designed to elicit both quantitative and qualitative data. Data analysis included basic descriptive analysis and summarization of qualitative data.
Four hundred surveys were distributed, and 371 (91%) were returned. Eighty-two percent of participants were aware of the HPV vaccine, and 40% ranked their knowledge of HPV as good or very good; however, only 6% correctly answered questions about methods of preventing HPV infection. Participants identified cost (62%), concerns over adverse effects (43%), and lack of knowledge (36%) as barriers to undergoing vaccination. Comments about the HPV vaccine reflected frustration with cost and concerns about adverse effects. When participants were asked if they would undergo vaccination if it were free, 60% responded "yes," 31% responded "maybe," and 8% responded "no."
The young women in our survey had significant gaps in knowledge of HPV infection and prevention, and educational programs must be structured to address these deficits. Institutions promoting vaccination must deal with the barriers of cost and fear of adverse effects.
This paper examines the question of access to traditional Indian medical systems in the western Canadian city of Saskatoon. The data demonstrate that many Natives desire such access, and do not see difficulties in having Indian healers available in Western-style biomedical clinics. A variety of language variables proved to be the best predictors of access questions, indicating that those with the greatest cultural adherence were most likely to want a more formal access. It is argued that a lack of access to traditional Indian medical services represents a legitimate health need. Considerations for the implementation of such a formal access to traditional Indian medicine are discussed.