OBJECTIVES: Patient-based health status measures have an important role to play in the assessment of health care outcomes. Among these measures, global assessments increasingly have been used, although the understanding of the performance of these indicators and the determinants of patients responses is underdeveloped. In this study, the performance of a single-item global indicator of visual function in cataract patients of four international settings was compared. METHODS: Visual acuity and ocular comorbidity was assessed by patients' ophthalmologist using Snellen-type charts in patients referred for a first cataract surgery in the United States, Manitoba (Canada), Denmark, and Barcelona (Spain). Patients also were interviewed by telephone and asked to report overall trouble with vision on a single-item indicator ("great deal," "moderate," "a little," "none") and to complete the Visual Functioning Index (VF-14), a scale of visual function ranging from 0 (worst function) to 100 (best level of function), along with other questions including the degree the patient was bothered by symptoms as measured by the Cataract Symptom Score (CSS). A total of 1,407 patients completed the clinical examination and the preoperative interview. RESULTS: Distribution of overall trouble with vision varied across the sites, with the proportion of patients reporting a great deal of trouble ranging from 21.7% to 37.9%. In all sites, patients reporting more trouble with vision tended to show a poorer age-adjusted and sex-adjusted visual acuity. The proportion of patients reporting great deal of trouble with vision was higher in the groups with worse visual acuity (P
To describe international variation in anesthesia care and monitoring during cataract surgery and to discuss its implications for cost and safety.
A standardized questionnaire was sent to random samples of ophthalmologists in the United States, Canada, and Barcelona, Spain, and to all ophthalmologists in Denmark. The survey was conducted in 1993 and 1994. Certified ophthalmologists who had performed 1 or more cataract extractions in the previous year were eligible for enrollment.
The response rates were 62% in the United States (n=148), 67% in Canada (n=276), 70% in Barcelona (n=89), and 80% in Denmark (n=82). The anesthetic technique for cataract surgery varied significantly between sites (P
OBJECTIVES: To describe international variation in the management of patients with cataacts in 4 health care systems and to discuss the potential implications for cost and utilization of services. DESIGN: To characterize current clinical practice on patients with no coexisting medical or ocular conditions, a standardized questionnaire was sent to random samples of ophthalmologists in the United States (response rate, 82.5%), Canada (66.9%), and Barcelona, Spain (70.4%), and to all ophthalmologists in Denmark (80.1%). From the United States, 526 ophthalmologists who performed cataract surgery participated in the study; there were 276 from Canada, 89 from Barcelona, and 82 from Denmark. RESULTS: Although in all 4 sites most surgeons reported that they performed A-scanning, fundus examination, and refraction routinely before surgery, significant crossnational variation was observed in preoperative ophthalmic and medical testing. While preoperative medical tests were virtually unused in Denmark, they were widely used in the other sites. A significantly higher proportion of the surgeons in the United States and Barcelona reported that they performed less than 100 extractions per year compared with surgeons in Canada and Denmark (P
The patient's perspective about waiting for elective surgery is an important consideration in the management of waiting lists, yet it has received little attention to date. This study was undertaken to assess the acceptability of personal waiting times from the perspective of patients, and to examine waiting time and patient characteristics associated with the perception that a wait for cataract surgery is too long. The international prospective study was conducted in three sites with explicit waiting systems: Manitoba, Canada; Denmark; and Barcelona, Spain. Patients over the age of 50 years were recruited consecutively from ophthalmologists' practices at the time of their enlistment for first-eye cataract surgery. Anticipated waiting time, opinions about personal waiting time, and patients' visual and health characteristics were identified by means of telephone interviews. The 550 patients interviewed at the time of enlistment for surgery anticipated waits varying from
The focus of this article is perceptions of elderly patients and nurses regarding patients' autonomy in nursing practice. Autonomy is empirically defined as having two components: information received/given as a prerequisite and decision making as the action. The results indicated differences between staff and patient perceptions of patient autonomy for both components in all five countries in which this survey was conducted. There were also differences between countries in the perceptions of patients and nurses regarding the frequency with which patients received information from nursing staff or were offered opportunities to make decisions. This is the second of a set of five articles published together in this issue of Nursing Ethics in which the results of this comparative research project are presented.
This article discusses nurses' and elderly patients' perceptions of the realization of autonomy, privacy and informed consent in five European countries. Comparisons between the concepts and the countries indicated that both nurses and patients gave the highest ratings to privacy and the lowest to informed consent. There were differences between countries. According to the patient data, autonomy is best realized in Spain, privacy in the UK (Scotland), and informed consent in Finland. For the staff data, the best results tended to concentrate in the UK. The conceptual and methodological limitations of the study are identified and discussed. Implications of the results are divided into three areas: nursing practice, education and research. In practice, the analysis of patients' values and the ethical sensitivity of nurses are important as part of ethically good care. In nurse education, students should learn to recognize ethical problems, generally and particularly, among vulnerable groups of patients. Multicultural international research is needed in this area. This is the last of a set of five articles published together in this issue of Nursing Ethics in which the results of this comparative research project are presented.
Ethical issues in the care of elderly people have been identified in many countries. We report the findings of a comparative research project funded by the European Commission, which took place between 1998 and 2001. The project explored the issues of autonomy (part I), privacy (part II) and informed consent (part III) in nursing practice. Data were collected from elderly residents/patients (n = 573) and nursing staff (n = 887) in five European countries: Finland, Spain, Greece, Germany and the UK (Scotland). Questionnaires were used as the data collection tool (self-completion questionnaires for staff, structured interviews for the elderly participants). Four basic nursing interventions in the care of elderly people were targeted: hygiene, fluid intake and nutrition, medication, and elimination. The data were analysed statistically. The results indicated differences within all five countries between staff and patient perceptions of autonomy, privacy and informed consent. There were also similar differences between individual countries. Conclusions were reached concerning practice, education and research. This is the first of a set of five articles published together in this issue of Nursing Ethics in which the results of this comparative research project are presented.
The focus of this article is on elderly patients' and nursing staff perceptions of informed consent in the care of elderly patients/residents in five European countries. The results suggest that patients and nurses differ in their views on how informed consent is implemented. Among elderly patients the highest frequency for securing informed consent was reported in Finland; the lowest was in Germany. In contrast, among nurses, the highest frequency was reported in the UK (Scotland) and the lowest in Finland. In a comparison of patients' and nurses' perceptions, nurses had more positive views than patients in all countries except Finland. Patients with less need for nursing interventions in Greece and Spain gave their consent less often. The German and Greek patients were older, and the results also point to an association between this and their lower frequency of giving consent. In Spain, patients who were married or who had a family member or friend to look after their personal affairs were more likely to be included in the group whose consent was sought less often. This is the fourth of a set of five articles published together in this issue of Nursing Ethics in which the results of this comparative research project are presented.
The focus of this article is on elderly patients' and nursing staff perceptions of privacy in the care of elderly patients/residents in five European countries. Privacy includes physical, social and informational elements. The results show that perceptions of privacy were strongest in the UK (Scotland) and weakest in Greece. Country comparisons revealed statistically significant differences between the perceptions of elderly patients and also between those of nurses working in the same ward or long-term care facility. Perceptions of privacy by patients and their nursing staff were quite similar in Finland, Germany and the UK. In contrast, in Greece and Spain these perceptions were different: nurses believed that they took account of their patients' privacy needs more often than the patients themselves felt this was the case. Among Spanish and UK patients, an association was found between lower levels of independence and comparatively less positive perceptions of privacy. No associations were established between nurses' perceptions and their demographic factors. This is the third of a set of five articles published together in this issue of Nursing Ethics in which the results of this comparative research project are presented.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: International comparisons of clinical practice may help in assessing the magnitude and possible causes of variation in cross national healthcare utilisation. With this aim, the indications for cataract surgery in the United States, Denmark, the province of Manitoba (Canada), and the city of Barcelona (Spain) were compared. METHODS: In a prospective multicentre study, patients scheduled for first eye cataract surgery and aged 50 years or older were enrolled consecutively. From the United States 766 patients were enrolled; from Denmark 291; from Manitoba 152; and from Barcelona 200. Indication for surgery was measured as preoperative visual status of patients enlisted for cataract surgery. Main variables were preoperative visual acuity in operative eye, the VF-14 score (an index of functional impairment in patients with cataract) and ocular comorbidity. RESULTS: Mean visual acuity were 0.23 (USA), 0.17 (Denmark), 0.15 (Manitoba), and 0.07 (Barcelona) (p 0.05). Mean VF-14 scores were 76 (USA), 76 (Denmark), 71 (Manitoba), and 64 (Barcelona) (p