Previous research has found that current smokers are less likely to have access to the Internet than nonsmokers. As access to the Internet continues to expand, does this finding remain true? Also, how many smokers are interested in Web-assisted tobacco interventions (WATIs)? These questions are important to determine the potential role that WATIs might play in promoting tobacco cessation.
The aims of the study were to determine whether smokers are less likely than nonsmokers to have access to the Internet and to establish the level of interest in WATIs among a representative sample of smokers.
A random digit dialing telephone survey was conducted of 8467 adult respondents, 18 years and older, in Ontario, Canada from September 2006 to August 2007. All respondents were asked their smoking status and whether they used the Internet (at home or work in the past 12 months; where; how often in the past 12 months). To assess the level of interest in WATIs, current daily smokers were asked whether they would be interested in a confidential program that they could access on the Internet, free of charge, that would allow them to check their smoking and compare it to other Canadians.
Smokers were marginally less likely to have used the Internet than nonsmokers (74% vs 81% in the last year), and, of those who had access to the Internet, smokers used the Internet less often than nonsmokers. Overall, 40% of smokers said they would be interested in a WATI. The number of cigarettes smoked per day was unrelated to level of interest in the WATI, but time to first cigarette after waking was. Smokers who used the Internet were more interested in the WATI than smokers who did not use the Internet (46% vs 20%).
While the difference in level of Internet use between smokers and nonsmokers was greatly reduced compared to 2002 and 2004 data, smokers still remain marginally less likely to use the Internet than nonsmokers. Overall, there was a substantial level of interest in the WATI among smokers, in particular among smokers who currently use the Internet. These results indicate that WATIs have a substantial potential audience among smokers, and, given the growing body of evidence regarding their efficacy, there is growing support that WATIs have a significant role to play in promoting tobacco cessation.
Cultural-historical activity theory is a new framework aimed at transcending the dichotomies of micro- and macro-, mental and material, observation and intervention in analysis and redesign of work. The approach distinguishes between short-lived goal-directed actions and durable, object-oriented activity systems. A historically evolving collective activity system, seen in its network relations to other activity systems, is taken as the prime unit of analysis against which scripted strings of goal-directed actions and automatic operations are interpreted. Activity systems are driven by communal motives that are often difficult to articulate for individual participants. Activity systems are in constant movement and internally contradictory. Their systemic contradictions, manifested in disturbances and mundane innovations, offer possibilities for expansive developmental transformations. Such transformations proceed through stepwise cycles of expansive learning which begin with actions of questioning the existing standard practice, then proceed to actions of analyzing its contradictions and modelling a vision for its zone of proximal development, then to actions of examining and implementing the new model in practice. New forms of work organization increasingly require negotiated 'knotworking' across boundaries. Correspondingly, expansive learning increasingly involves horizontal widening of collective expertise by means of debating, negotiating and hybridizing different perspectives and conceptualizations. Findings from a longitudinal intervention study of children's medical care illuminate the theoretical arguments.
Département de pathologie et microbiologie, Le Groupe de recherche en épidémiologie des zoonoses et santé publique, Université de Montréal, 3200 rue Sicotte, Saint-Hyacinthe, J2S 7C6, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
Protection of public health from rabies is informed by the analysis of surveillance data from human and animal populations. In Canada, public health, agricultural and wildlife agencies at the provincial and federal level are responsible for rabies disease control, and this has led to multiple agency-specific data repositories. Aggregation of agency-specific data into one database application would enable more comprehensive data analyses and effective communication among participating agencies. In Québec, RageDB was developed to house surveillance data for the raccoon rabies variant, representing the next generation in web-based database applications that provide a key resource for the protection of public health.
RageDB incorporates data from, and grants access to, all agencies responsible for the surveillance of raccoon rabies in Québec. Technological advancements of RageDB to rabies surveillance databases include (1) automatic integration of multi-agency data and diagnostic results on a daily basis; (2) a web-based data editing interface that enables authorized users to add, edit and extract data; and (3) an interactive dashboard to help visualize data simply and efficiently, in table, chart, and cartographic formats. Furthermore, RageDB stores data from citizens who voluntarily report sightings of rabies suspect animals. We also discuss how sightings data can indicate public perception to the risk of racoon rabies and thus aid in directing the allocation of disease control resources for protecting public health.
RageDB provides an example in the evolution of spatio-temporal database applications for the storage, analysis and communication of disease surveillance data. The database was fast and inexpensive to develop by using open-source technologies, simple and efficient design strategies, and shared web hosting. The database increases communication among agencies collaborating to protect human health from raccoon rabies. Furthermore, health agencies have real-time access to a wide assortment of data documenting new developments in the raccoon rabies epidemic and this enables a more timely and appropriate response.
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The aim was to implement and evaluate a standardised nursing record, using patients with leg ulcer as an example, regarding the content of the nursing record and district nurses' experiences of documentation.
This was a prospective, stratified and randomised intervention study, with one intervention group and one control group. A standardised nursing wound care record was designed and implemented in the electronic patient record in the intervention group for a period of 3 months. Pre- and post-intervention audits of nursing records [n=102 and n=92, respectively] were carried out and 126 district nurses answered questionnaires pre-intervention and 83 post-intervention.
The standardised nursing wound care record led to more informative, comprehensive and knowledge-intensive documentation according to the audit and district nurses' opinions. Furthermore, the district nurses' self-reported knowledge of nursing documentation increased in the intervention group. When the standardised nursing wound care record was not used, the documentation was mostly incomplete with a lack of nursing relevance. There were no differences in the district nurses' experiences of documentation in general between the two groups.
Using the standardised nursing wound care record improved nursing documentation meeting legal demands, which should increase the safety of patient. There was however a discrepancy between the nurses stated knowledge and how they carried out the documentation. Regular in-service training together with use of evidence based standardised nursing records, as a link to clinical reasoning about nursing care, could be ways effecting change.
Computer-based cognitive testing is gaining in popularity because of desirable features such as ease of use, standardized administration and online data acquisition. Information technology and computer familiarity are clearly influenced by age in the general population, but the impact of this situation on cognitive testing of patients with schizophrenia has received little attention. In the present paper, participants underwent cognitive testing with computer and paper versions of the same tests. Patients underperformed controls by 1.36 DS (paper tests) and 2.27 DS (computer tests) after controlling for education. Results were highly correlated but patients with schizophrenia were disproportionately impaired on computer tests compared with their paper counterparts. Moreover, for subtests implying active keyboard input from the participant, the difference between paper and computer scores correlated with age in patients, a pattern that was not found in controls. These results have methodological implications because of the implied risk of measuring (lack of) computer proficiency in addition to bona fide cognitive deficits. They confirm, moreover, that patients with schizophrenia are victims of the "digital divide", which adds to the potential benefits of approaches like computer assisted cognitive remediation in this population.
The authors investigated the use of Google Earth's Street View option to audit the presence of built environment features that support older adults' walking. Two raters conducted virtual (Street View) and in-the-field audits of 48 street segments surrounding urban and suburban assisted living sites in metropolitan Vancouver, BC, Canada. The authors determined agreement using absolute agreement. Their findings indicate that Street View may identify the presence of features that promote older adults' walking, including sidewalks, benches, public washrooms, and destinations. However, Street View may not be as reliable as in-the-field audits to identify details associated with certain items, such as counts of trees or street lights; presence, features, and height of curb cuts; and sidewalk continuity, condition, and slope. Thus, the appropriateness of virtual audits to identify microscale built environment features associated with older adults' walking largely depends on the purpose of the audits-specifically, whether the measurer seeks to capture highly detailed features of the built environment.
BACKGROUND: The Two-Pool Glucose (TPG) model has an important role to play in diabetes research since it enables analysis of data obtained from the frequently sampled labeled (hot) glucose tolerance test (FSHGT). TPG modeling allows determination of the separate effects of insulin on the disposal of glucose and on the hepatic production of glucose. It therefore provides a basis for the accurate estimation of glucose effectiveness, insulin sensitivity, and the profile of the rate of endogenous glucose production. Until now, there has been no program available dedicated to the TPG model, and a number of technical reasons have deterred researchers from performing TPG analysis. METHODS AND RESULTS: In this paper, we describe AKA-TPG, a new program that combines automatic kinetic analysis of the TPG model data with database technologies. AKA-TPG enables researchers who have no expertise in modeling to quickly fit the TPG model to individual FSHGT data sets consisting of plasma concentrations of unlabeled glucose, labeled glucose, and insulin. Most importantly, because the entire process is automated, parameters are almost always identified, and parameter estimates are accurate and reproducible. AKA-TPG enables the demographic data of hundreds of individual subjects, their individual unlabeled and labeled glucose and insulin data, and each subject's parameters and indices derived from AKA-TPG to be securely stored in, and retrieved from, a database. We describe how the stratification and population analysis tools in AKA-TPG are used and present population estimates of TPG model parameters for young, healthy (without diabetes) Nordic men. CONCLUSION: Researchers now have a practical tool to enable kinetic and epidemiological analysis of TPG data sets.
This paper describes an easy to use home-based eHealth system for chronic disease management. We present the design and implementation of a prototype for home based education, exercises, treatment and following-up, with the TV and a remote control as user interface. We also briefly describe field trials of the system for patients with COPD and diabetes, and their experience with the technology.
Studies comparing the access to health care of rural and urban populations have been contradictory and inconclusive. These studies are complicated by the influence of other factor which have been shown to be related to access and utilization. This study assesses the equity of access to health care services across the rural-urban continuum in Canada before and after taking other determinants of access into account.
This is a cross-sectional study of the population of the 10 provinces of Canada using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS 2.1). Five different measures of access and utilization are compared across the continuum of rural-urban. Known determinants of utilization are taken into account according to Andersen's Health Behaviour Model (HBM); location of residence at the levels of province, health region, and community is also controlled for.
This study found that residents of small cities not adjacent to major centres, had the highest reported utilisation rates of influenza vaccines and family physician services, were most likely to have a regular medical doctor, and were most likely to report unmet need. Among the rural categories there was a gradient with the most rural being least likely to have had a flu shot, use specialist physicians services, or have a regular medical doctor. Residents of the most urban centres were more likely to report using specialist physician services. Many of these differences are diminished or eliminated once other factors are accounted for. After adjusting for other factors those living in the most urban areas were more likely to have seen a specialist physician. Those in rural communities had a lower odds of receiving a flu shot and having a regular medical doctor. People residing in the most urban and most rural communities were less likely to have a regular medical doctor. Those in any of the rural categories were less likely to report unmet need.
Inequities in access to care along the rural-urban continuum exist and can be masked when evaluation is done at a very large scale with gross indicators of rural-urban. Understanding the relationship between rural-urban and other determinants will help policy makers to target interventions appropriately: to specific demographic, provincial, community, or rural categories.
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Efficiently navigating through an interface and conducting work tasks in flow is what GUI designers strive for. Dental professionals, who alternate between examination and treatment of a patient and insertion of data into the Computerized Patient Record system, particularly need an interface that would facilitate the workflow. In this paper we present an inspection evaluation of an existing and widely used Computerized Patient Record system. The Semiotic Inspection Method was applied with the expectation that the method could provide evidence that task flow, navigation and wayfinding were major usability issues of the interface. Also expected was that the Semiotic Inspection would reveal the means and strategies used in the interface in order to communicate the flow. The analysis conducted using the Semiotic Inspection Method showed inconsistencies in the communication of the way forward through the interface. In addition, the profile of the users, regarding digital skills, appears to be ambiguous. Finally, the strategies used in the interface for conveying the workflow could be identified as well.