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.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a relatively rare, inherited connective tissue disorder and skin hyperextensibility, joint hypermobility, chronic joint and limb pain, blood vessel and tissue fragility are frequent symptoms. The aims of this study were to describe the degree to which individuals with EDS accept and cope with perceived limitations related to the syndrome, and to determine the relationships between acceptance of disability (AD), sense of coherence (SOC), functional health status and background data. Four questionnaires were mailed: the AD scale Modified (ADM), the SOC Scale, the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) and a background form. The respondents with EDS were recruited through the EDS National Association in Sweden and the response rate was 74% (69 females and eight males). The Ethical Committee at Huddinge University Hospital (ref. no. 152/95) approved the study. This study has shown that the level of AD and SOC in individuals with EDS is similar to other patient groups, e.g. individuals with ostomy and with diabetes. Further, the SOC was in concordance with that of the general population. Those working full-time accepted their disability to a greater degree than those on sick leave or disability pension. A multiple regression analysis showed that a greater AD was associated with a higher level of SOC and a better functional health status. The SOC and SIP together accounted for 50% of the variance in the ADM. For health promotion in nursing practice it is important to have insight into the problem areas which may influence the overall life situation for an individual with EDS. A key issue for nurses is to identify individuals with low acceptance of their disease and/or low SOC in order to support these persons' adaptation process. Future research on EDS may be directed towards projects focusing on the development and implementation of models to strengthen the level of AD and SOC in this group.
Help-seeking and service utilization depends on the patients' interpretation of their illness and treatment needs. Worry, denial of illness, need for treatment and need for hospitalization in first-time admitted patients was studied.
New patients in two mental hospitals were consecutively recruited. Three hundred and thirty-four satisfied the inclusion criteria and 251 gave informed consent. One hundred and ninety-six had complete datasets (56% of those eligible).
Demography was recorded with the Minimal Basic Dataset by Ruud et al. (1993). Experiences of hospitalisation were measured with the Patient's Experience of Hospitalisation Questionnaire by Carskey et al. (1992). MINI was used for diagnosing and SCL-90-R by Derogatis (1997) for subjective symptoms. Standard multiple regressions were performed with the PEH subscales (Denial, Worry, Need for treatment and Need for hospitalisation) as dependents and demography, diagnosis and SCL-90-R subscales as explanatory variables.
(a) Psychoticism and the diagnosis of schizophrenia were associated with little worrying, denial of illness, of treatment needs and of need for hospitalisation. (b) Anxiety and affective disorders were related to worries, acknowledgement of illness, need for treatment and for hospitalisation.
In contrast to patients with mainly anxiety and affective disorders, psychotic patient tended to deny illness-related worries, that they had an illness and that they needed treatment and hospitalisation. An affective disorder together with suicidal thoughts (not attempts) was a strong drive towards hospital admission.
A hip fracture is commonly regarded as the most devastating fragility fracture, as regards both morbidity and mortality, while a vertebral fracture is usually regarded as having lower general morbidity. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether hospitalized patients with a hip or a vertebral fracture experience similar functional deterioration following the fracture as regards activity of daily living (ADL) and experienced quality of life (QOL).
Eighty-seven women and 22 men, mean age 81 (range 66-96), with a hip fracture and 34 women and 8 men, mean age 81 (range 68-92), with a vertebral fracture were followed up for 12 months. ADL before fracture and at 4 and 12 months after the fracture were evaluated as well as QOL at 4 and 12 months after the fracture, by questionnaires.
A hip and a vertebral fracture in community dwellers within the same age range confers a similar decrease in ADL during the four months following the fracture. No restoration was seen in ADL or total QOL during the year following the fracture. Patients with a vertebral fracture had a lower QOL than patients with a hip fracture 4 and 12 months after the fracture.
The need for external community assistance for patients with a vertebral fracture that forces them to have hospital treatment may be similar to the need following a hip fracture.
Proxy informants can provide information on patients who are limited in ability to self-assess health-related quality of life (HRQL) after stroke. One alternative is to exclude assessments of such patients and attenuate generalizability. The purpose of this study was to examine patient-proxy agreement on the domains and summary scores of the EQ-5D and Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3) after stroke.
An observational longitudinal cohort of 124 patients hospitalized after ischemic stroke and their family caregivers completed the HRQL measures at baseline and were followed up for 6 months. Patient and proxy agreement was assessed by use of weighted kappa or the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).
At baseline, the more observable domains of HRQL demonstrated greater agreement than the more subjective components. Cross-sectional point estimates of agreement were generally acceptable (ICC >0.70) for the EQ-5D Index and HUI3 summary scores when assessed >or=1 month after baseline. Agreement between change scores was generally poor to fair (ICC
The relationship between life satisfaction and alexithymia was studied in a sample of 229 patients as a part of a naturalistic follow-up study of depression in Finnish primary health care. The measures were the abbreviated Life Satisfaction Scale and the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Depression was assessed by telephone with the short form of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Of all subjects, 19.2% were alexithymic, and 9.2% were depressed. Alexithymia was negatively associated with life satisfaction even when depression and other confounding factors were controlled for. Alexithymia is a risk factor for life dissatisfaction in primary-care patients.
Hospitalization can significantly disrupt sleeping patterns. In consideration of the previous reports of insomnia and apparent widespread use of benzodiazepines and other hypnotics in hospitalized patients, we conducted a study to assess quality of sleep and hypnotic drug use in our acute care adult patient population. The primary objectives of this study were to assess sleep disturbance and its determinants including the use of drugs with sedating properties.
This single-centre prospective study involved an assessment of sleep quality for consenting patients admitted to the general medicine and family practice units of an acute care Canadian hospital. A validated Verran and Snyder-Halpern (VSH) Sleep Scale measuring sleep disturbance, sleep effectiveness, and sleep supplementation was completed daily by patients and scores were compared to population statistics. Patients were also asked to identify factors influencing sleep while in hospital, and sedating drug use prior to and during hospitalization was also assessed.
During the 70-day study period, 100 patients completed at least one sleep questionnaire. There was a relatively even distribution of males versus females, most patients were in their 8th decade of life, retired, and suffered from multiple chronic diseases. The median self-reported pre-admission sleep duration for participants was 8 hours and our review of PharmaNet profiles revealed that 35 (35%) patients had received a dispensed prescription for a hypnotic or antidepressant drug in the 3-month period prior to admission. Benzodiazepines were the most common sedating drugs prescribed. Over 300 sleep disturbance, effective and supplementation scores were completed. Sleep disturbance scores across all study days ranged 16-681, sleep effectiveness scores ranged 54-402, while sleep supplementation scores ranged between 0-358. Patients tended to have worse sleep scores as compared to healthy non-hospitalized US adults in all three scales. When compared to US non-hospitalized adults with insomnia, our patients demonstrated sleep disturbance and supplementation scores that were similar on Day 1, but lower (i.e. improved) on Day 3, while sleep effectiveness were higher (i.e. better) on both days. There was an association between sleep disturbance scores and the number of chronic diseases, the presence of pain, the use of bedtime tricyclic antidepressants, and the number of chronic diseases without pain. There was also an association between sleep effectiveness scores and the length of hospitalization, the in hospital use of bedtime sedatives and the presence of pain. Finally, an association was identified between sleep supplementation scores and the in hospital use of bedtime sedatives (tricyclic antidepressants and loxapine), and age. Twenty-nine (29%) patients received a prescription for a hypnotic drug while in hospital, with no evidence of pre-admission hypnotic use. The majority of these patients were prescribed zopiclone, lorazepam or another benzodiazepine.
The results of this study reveal that quality of sleep is a problem that affects hospitalized adult medical service patients and a relatively high percentage of these patients are being prescribed a hypnotic prior to and during hospitalization.
Cites: Med Lett Drugs Ther. 2000 Aug 7;42(1084):71-210932303