Prognosis has been described as an important but neglected branch of clinical science. While patients' views have been sought in the context of life-threatening illness, similar research is lacking for patients presenting with common, non-life-threatening musculoskeletal complaints. The aim of this study was to gauge whether and why older patients with musculoskeletal pain think prognostic information is important, and how often they felt prognosis was discussed in the general practice consultation.
A cross-sectional survey of consecutive patients aged 50 years of over presenting with non-inflammatory musculoskeletal pain to 5 Central Cheshire general practices. The frequency of responses to the prognostic questions were described and the association with sociodemographic, presenting pain complaint, and psychosocial variables explored using logistic regression.
502 participants (77%) responded to the postal questionnaire. 165 (33%) participants reported discussing prognosis in the consultation with their GP. Discussions about prognosis were more often reported by male patients (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.09, 2.71) and those for whom this was their first consultation (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.16, 2.80). 402 (82%) participants thought that prognostic information was important. This was highest among those currently in paid employment (OR 2.95, 95% CI 1.33, 6.57). The reasons patients gave for believing prognostic information was important included 'knowing for the sake of knowing' and planning future activity. Reasons for not believing prognostic information to be important included the belief that progression of pain was inevitable and that nothing could be done to help.
Prognostic information is thought to be important amongst older people with musculoskeletal pain yet discussions occur infrequently in primary care. Barriers to effective prognostic communication and the exact information needs of patients are still unknown and warrant further research.
Advances in expertise and equipment have enabled the medical profession to exercise more control over the processes of life and death, creating a number of moral and ethical dilemmas. People may live for extended periods with chronic painful or debilitating conditions that may be incurable.
This study attempts to study the attitudes of doctors toward euthanasia and the possible factors responsible for these attitudes.
Settings and Design:
A cross-sectional survey of 213 doctors working at a tertiary care hospital was conducted to determine their attitudes toward euthanasia.
Materials and Methods:
A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess attitudes and personal perceptions about euthanasia.
Statistical Analysis Used:
The Chi square test was used to assess factors influencing attitudes toward euthanasia.
A majority of the respondents (69.3%) supported the concept of euthanasia. Relief from unbearable pain and suffering was the most commonly (80.3%) cited reason for being willing to consider the option of euthanasia. Majority of those who were against euthanasia (66.2%) felt that the freedom to perform euthanasia could easily be misused. Disapproval of euthanasia was associated with religious affiliation (P<0.001) and speciality (P<0.001).
A majority of the doctors in this study supported euthanasia for the relief of unbearable pain and suffering. Religion and speciality appear to be significant in determining attitudes toward euthanasia.
Attitudes; Doctors; Euthanasia
Primary health care (PHC) physicians manage most patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In Saudi Arabia, there are limited data on their knowledge, attitudes, and practices about this disorder. This study aimed to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary care physicians about IBS.
Patients and Methods:
A cross-sectional survey of 70 practitioners aged 36 ± 10.25 years was carried out in primary care centers in AlJouf Province of Saudi Arabia. The physicians were asked to fill a valid questionnaire containing their sociodemographic data, and well-modified questions regarding their knowledge, attitudes, and practices about IBS. Data was processed and analyzed using SPSS (version 15) program, and the level of significance was set at P<0.05.
A response rate of 92.9% yielded 65 questionnaires for analysis. Majority of physicians surveyed (83.1%) considered IBS as a common health problem in Saudi Arabia, and (55.4%) believed it is underestimated. There was a significant association between physicians’ qualifications and using diagnostic tools to facilitate IBS diagnosis (14.3% vs 35.5%; P<0.05), while utilization of “Rome or Manning criteria” was more frequent by physicians with master's degree (35.5%) compared to residents (14.3%). Also, 35.4% of physicians (15 males and 8 females) were not sure how to diagnose IBS.
This study suggested that PHC physicians had a suitable attitude toward IBS, but they lacked knowledge, and their practices toward this condition were inappropriate.
Attitudes; irritable bowel syndrome; knowledge; practices; primary care
The World Health Organisation, WHO, recommends that most countries should vaccinate all children against hepatitis B. Sweden has chosen not to do so, but the issue is reassessed regularly. The objective of this survey was to assess knowledge and attitudes towards hepatitis B vaccine for children among parents living in Sweden, and to compare distribution of responses and response rate between parents answering a postal questionnaire and those responding via the Internet.
A population-based cross-sectional survey, where the sampling frame consisted of all parents to a child born 2002 living in Sweden. Two independent samples of 1001 parents in each sample were drawn. All parents were contacted by postal mail. The parents in the first sample were invited to participate by answering a paper questionnaire. The parents in the second sample were given an individual user name along with a password, and asked to log on to the Internet to answer an identical electronic questionnaire.
A total of 1229 questionnaires were analysed. The overall response rate for paper questionnaires was 55%, and 15% for the web version. Knowledge of the disease hepatitis B was overall high (90%). A higher degree of knowledge was seen among parents with education beyond high school (p = 0.001). This group of parents also had a higher tendency to reply via the Internet (p = 0.001). The willingness to accept hepatitis B vaccine for their child was correlated to the acceptance of the present childhood vaccination programme (p = 0.001).
The results reveal a high level of knowledge of the disease and a positive attitude to having their children vaccinated. This study also displays that the conventional postal method of surveying still delivers a higher response rate than a web-based survey.
The musculoskeletal disorders in working population represent one of the most worrying work-related health issues at the present time and although the very great majority of available data on the subject focus on musculoskeletal disorders defined by anatomical site, a growing number of studies indicate the low prevalence of disorders strictly confined to a specific anatomical site. The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence and characteristics of multisite musculoskeletal symptoms (multisite MS) in a large French working population.
This study was performed on surveillance data of the cross-sectional survey (2002–2005) conducted by a network of occupational physicians in the working population of the Loire Valley region (from 20 to 59 years old). Data concerning MS were collected in the waiting room of the occupational physicians by means of the self-administrated standardized NORDIC questionnaire.
The study population comprised 3,710 workers (2,162 men (58%) and 1,548 women (42%)) with a mean age of 38.4 years (standard deviation: 10.4 years). The prevalence of MS during the past 12 months was 83.8% with 95% confidence interval of [82.8-85.3] for men and 83.9% [82.0-85.7] for women. The prevalence of subacute MS (lasting at least 30 days) over the past 12 months was 32.8% [30.9-34.8] for men and 37.3% [34.9-39.7] for women. Two-thirds of workers reported MS in more than one anatomical site and about 20% reported MS lasting at least 30 days in more than one anatomical site. The anatomical sites most frequently associated with other MS were the upper back, hip, elbow and neck. The majority of these multisite MS were widespread, involving at least two of the three anatomical regions (upper limb, axial region and lower limb).
The frequency and extent of multisite MS reported by workers are considerable. Further research must be conducted in this field in order to provide a better understanding of the characteristics and determinants of these multisite MS.
Guidelines for the management of low back pain (LBP) have existed for many years, but adherence to these by health care practitioners (HCPs) remains suboptimal. The aim of this study was to measure the attitudes, beliefs and reported clinical behaviour of UK physiotherapists (PTs) and general practitioners (GPs) about LBP and to explore the associations between these. A cross-sectional postal survey of GPs (n = 2000) and PTs (n = 2000) was conducted that included the Pain Attitudes and Beliefs Scale (PABT.PT), and a vignette of a patient with non-specific LBP (NSLBP) with questions asking about recommendations for work, activity and bedrest. Data from 1022 respondents (442 GPs and 580 PTs) who had recently treated patients with LBP were analysed. Although the majority of HCPs reported providing advice for the vignette patient that was broadly in line with guideline recommendations, 28% reported they would advise this patient to remain off work. Work advice was significantly related to the PABS.PT scores with higher biomedical (F1,986 = 77.5, p < 0.0001) and lower behavioural (F1,981 = 31.9, p < 0.001) scores associated with advice to remain off work. We have demonstrated that the attitudes and reported practice behaviour of UK GPs and PTs for patients with NSLBP are diverse. Many HCPs held the belief that LBP necessitates some avoidance of activities and work. The attitudes and beliefs of these HCPs were associated with their self-reported clinical behaviour regarding advice about work. Future studies need to investigate whether approaches aimed at modifying these HCP factors can lead to improved patient outcomes.
Attitudes and beliefs; Health care practitioners; Practice behaviour; Low back pain; Survey
BACKGROUND: In the United Kingdom little is known about general practitioners' attitudes to and behaviour concerning clinical guidelines. AIM: A study was performed to investigate these two under-researched areas. METHOD: In 1994 a postal questionnaire on clinical guidelines was sent to all 326 general practitioner principals on the list of Lincolnshire Family Health Services Authority. The questionnaire consisted of 20 attitude statements and an open question on clinical guidelines, as well as surveying characteristics and behaviour of respondents. RESULTS: Of the 326 general practitioners sent questionnaires, 213 (65%) replied. Most respondents (78%) reported having been involved in writing inhouse guidelines. An even greater proportion (92%) reported having participated in clinical audit. Respondents were generally in favour of clinical guidelines, with mean response scores indicating a positive attitude to guidelines in 15 of the 20 statements, a negative attitude in four and equivocation in one. The majority of respondents felt that guidelines were effective in improving patient care (69%). Members (or fellows) of the Royal College of General Practitioners had a more positive attitude than non-members towards guidelines. They were also significantly more likely than non-members to have written inhouse guidelines, as were those who had participated in audit compared with those who had not participated in audit. A substantial minority (over a quarter) of general practitioners were concerned that guidelines may be used for setting performance-related pay, or that they may lead to 'cookbook' medicine, reduce clinical freedom or stifle innovation. There was also concern that guidelines should be scientifically valid. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that many general practitioners in the Lincolnshire Family Health Services Authority area have produced written inhouse guidelines. This is largely sustained by positive attitudes about the effectiveness and benefits of clinical guidelines. The positive attitude of RCGP members supports it in its continuing role in developing, implementing and evaluating guidelines in primary care. The question of whether incorporation of guidelines into clinical audit is an effective means to disseminate systematic research-based guidelines warrants further study.
Musculoskeletal disorders are very common and almost inevitable in an individual's lifetime. Enabling self-management and allowing the individual to take responsibility for care is stated as desired in the management of these disorders, but this may be asking more than people can generally manage. A willingness among people to take responsibility for musculoskeletal disorders and not place responsibility out of their hands or on employers but to be shared with medical professionals has been shown. The aim of the present study was to describe how people with musculoskeletal disorders think and reason regarding responsibility for prevention, treatment and management of the disorder.
Individual interviews with a strategic sample of 20 individuals with musculoskeletal disorders were performed. The interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed according to qualitative content analysis.
From the interviews an overarching theme was identified: own responsibility needs to be met. The analysis revealed six interrelated categories: Taking on responsibility, Ambiguity about responsibility, Collaborating responsibility, Complying with recommendations, Disclaiming responsibility, and Responsibility irrelevant. These categories described different thoughts and reasoning regarding the responsibility for managing musculoskeletal disorders. Generally the responsibility for prevention of musculoskeletal disorders was described to lie primarily on society/authorities as they have knowledge of what to prevent and how to prevent it. When musculoskeletal disorders have occurred, health care should provide fast accessibility, diagnosis, prognosis and support for recovery. For long-term management, the individuals themselves are responsible for making the most out of life despite disorders.
No matter what the expressions of responsibility for musculoskeletal disorders are, own responsibility needs to be met by society, health care, employers and family in an appropriate way, with as much or as little of the "right type" of support needed, based on the individual's expectations.
Musculoskeletal disorders in developing countries are considered as main cause of occupational disorders and disability and highly associated with socioeconomic burden to individual, organization and society in general view. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders and associated risk factors among Iranian steel workers.
In a cross-sectional study, 1439 questionnaires were provided from 1984 randomly selected workers of four Iranian steel industries. Data of musculoskeletal disorders was gathered by means of standardized Nordic self-reporting questionnaire. Demographic and work related data were collected into the check list.
Out of 1984 individuals, 1439 questionnaires returned and mean age of study workers was 37.23±8.74 years old. Among workers, 46.3% in the past week and 61% in the last year claimed one of musculoskeletal disorders in their bodies. Lumbar, knee(s) and neck areas had the most common musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal disorders had significant association with the job time of work and BMI.
Musculoskeletal disorders in Iranian steel industries happened in high rate. Ergonomic interventions strategies into the workplaces must be focused to eliminate environmental hazards such as apposition on the time of work and manual handling of heavy loads.
Musculoskeletal disorder; Prevalence; Steel worker; Nordic questionnaire; Ergonomic program
Informed consent in family planning includes knowledge of mechanism of action. Some methods of family planning occasionally work after fertilization. Knowing about postfertilization effects may be important to some women before choosing a certain family planning method. The objective of this survey is to explore women's attitudes towards postfertilization effects of family planning methods, and beliefs and characteristics possibly associated with those attitudes.
Cross-sectional survey in a sample of 755 potentially fertile women, aged 18–49, from Primary Care Health Centres in Pamplona, Spain. Participants were given a 30-item, self-administered, anonymous questionnaire about family planning methods and medical and surgical abortion. Logistic regression was used to identify variables associated with women's attitudes towards postfertilization effects.
The response rate was 80%. The majority of women were married, held an academic degree and had no children. Forty percent of women would not consider using a method that may work after fertilization but before implantation and 57% would not consider using one that may work after implantation. While 35.3% of the sample would stop using a method if they learned that it sometimes works after fertilization, this percentage increased to 56.3% when referring to a method that sometimes works after implantation. Women who believe that human life begins at fertilization and those who consider it is important to distinguish between natural and induced embryo loss were less likely to consider the use of a method with postfertilization effects.
Information about potential postfertilization effects of family planning methods may influence women's acceptance and choice of a particular family planning method. Additional studies in other populations are necessary to evaluate whether these beliefs are important to those populations.
Mental ill health is a common condition in the general population, yet only about half of those with a mental disorder have treatment contact. Personal experience may affect attitudes, which in turn influence the help-seeking process. This study investigated differences in mental health literacy and attitudes among mentally healthy persons and in persons with symptoms of mental illness with and without treatment contact.
A postal screening questionnaire was sent to a random sample of the general population aged 20–64 in the county of Skaraborg, Sweden in order to ascertain mental health status and history of treatment contact; 3538 responded (49%). Face-to-face interviews were carried out in random sub samples of mentally healthy persons (n = 128) and in mentally ill persons with (n = 125) and without (n = 105) mental health care contact. Mental health literacy and attitudes to treatment were assessed using questions based on a vignette depicting a person with depression. Past month mental disorder was diagnosed according to the Schedule for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN).
Two thirds failed to recognize depression in a vignette; recognition was equally poor in mentally healthy persons and in persons with symptoms of mental illness with and without treatment contact. In response to an open-ended question concerning appropriate interventions, one third suggested counselling and only one percent proposed antidepressant treatment. Again, proportions were similar in all groups. Persons with a history of mental health contact more often suggested that a GP would provide the best form of help. When presented with a list of possible interventions, those with a history of mental health contact were more positive to medical interventions such as antidepressants, hypnotics, and inpatient psychiatric treatment. When asked about the prognosis for the condition described in the vignette, persons with treatment contact were less likely to believe in full recovery without intervention; mentally ill without treatment contact were more optimistic.
Mental health literacy, specially concerning attitudes towards interventions is associated with personal history of mental health care.
Asthma is becoming increasingly prevalent among children in China. Poor parent knowledge and attitudes often contribute to inappropriate management practices, leading to deficiencies in the care process. We aimed to document the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of parents of children with asthma and analyze how knowledge and attitudes relate to practices. Our secondary objective was to identify the factors associated with parent KAP scores.
A KAP questionnaire was distributed to parents caring for 2960 children (0–14 years) diagnosed with asthma for at least 3 months from China’s 29 provinces. A 50-item questionnaire was devised for this cross-sectional survey based on a comprehensive review of the subject. Questionnaires were scored on 30 items regarding parent asthma-related KAP, with one point for every correct response and a possible range of 0–13 for knowledge, 0–7 for attitudes and 0–10 for practices. Higher scores indicated better KAP. Chi-squared tests and logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with practices and combined KAP scores.
The response rate was 83.95% (2485/2960). Only 18.31% (455/2485) of parents correctly answered ≥ 60% of the knowledge questions (mean = 5.69). Most (89.85%; 2226/2485) gave positive responses to ≥ 60% of the attitude questions (mean = 5.23) while 67.89% (1687/2485) correctly answered ≥ 60% of the practices questions (mean = 6.19). Knowledge and attitudes were positively associated with pulmonary function testing, regular physician visits, monitoring with a peak flow meter and the Children’s Asthma Control Test questionnaire, avoidance of asthma triggers, using an inhaled β2 receptor agonist and adherence to medication regimen (p ≤ 0.05). Attitudes were also associated with allergen testing. In logistic regression analysis, high KAP scores (dichotomized by a cut-off score of 18) were positively associated with food allergy, rhinitis, physician visits, frequency of visits and parent education (p < 0.05, OR > 1).
Generally, the parents’ KAP were poor. A gap between recommended and actual practice was observed, which may be related to inadequate knowledge about and poor attitudes toward childhood asthma. Improving knowledge and attitudes may encourage better practices among parents of children with asthma.
Asthma; Knowledge; Attitudes; Practices; Parents; China
United Kingdom public health policy has recently re-emphasised the role of primary health care professionals in tackling increasing levels of physical inactivity within the general population. However, little is known about the impact that this has had in practice. This study explores Scottish primary care staff's knowledge, attitudes and experiences associated with advising patients about physical activity during routine consultations.
A cross-sectional questionnaire survey of general practitioners (or family physicians), practice nurses and health visitors based in four health regions was conducted during 2004. The main outcome measures included: (i) health professionals' knowledge of the current physical activity recommendations; (ii) practice related to routine physical activity advising; and (iii) associated attitudes.
Questionnaires were returned by 757 primary care staff (response rate 54%). Confidence and enthusiasm for giving advice was generally high, but knowledge of current physical activity recommendations was low. In general, respondents indicated that they routinely discuss and advise patients about physical activity regardless of the presenting condition. Health visitors and practice nurses were more likely than general practitioners to offer routine advice.
Lack of time and resources were more likely to be reported as barriers to routine advising by general practitioners than other professional groups. However, health visitors and practice nurses were also more likely than general practitioners to believe that patients would follow their physical activity advice giving.
If primary health care staff are to be fully motivated and effective in encouraging and supporting the general population to become more physically active, policymakers and health professionals need to engage in efforts to: (1) improve knowledge of current physical activity recommendations and population trends amongst frontline primary care staff; and (2) consider the development of tools to support individual assessment and advice giving to suit individual circumstances. Despite the fact that this study found that system barriers to routine advising were less of a problem than other previous research has indicated, this issue still remains a challenge.
Background and the purpose of the study
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are important public health problem associated with morbidity, mortality and financial burden on the society. Nurses play important role in medication safety surveillance through the spontaneous voluntary reporting of ADRs. Nurses’ knowledge, attitude and practice towards ADR reporting and factors affecting reporting was assessed in the study.
All nurses working in a tertiary care hospital, Ajman, UAE participated in this cross-sectional survey. A self administered questionnaire of four domains (knowledge, attitude, practice, factors affecting reporting) was distributed among nurses after obtaining informed consent. The knowledge and attitude components were assigned score of one for correct response. Data was analyzed using SPSS (version 19). Mann–Whitney U test was used to compare knowledge and attitude scores between subgroups; Spearman’s correlation for any relationship between knowledge and attitude.
Of the total participants, females constituted 92.3%; average duration of clinical experience 6.5 ± 3.3 years; mean age 28.9 ± 4.1 years. Median score for knowledge components of ADR reporting was 11(total score: 17) and for attitude components was 4(total score: 8). No difference noted in knowledge and attitude scores between gender, age group, educational qualification. A positive correlation between knowledge and attitude components was observed (r = 0.38). ADRs are important cause for morbidity and mortality was reported by (54.9%). 49.5% were aware of Pharmacovigilance centers’. Uncertainty of ADRs (49.5%); concern that the report may be wrong (46.2%) and inadequate knowledge of ADR reporting procedure were the major barriers to reporting. Training in ADR reporting as the key measure to improve reporting was suggested by (86.8%).
The results of the study strongly point out the need for interventional program among nurses focusing on the importance of ADR reporting and reporting procedure to encourage their active, voluntary participation in drug safety surveillance.
Subjective experience of illness is a critical component of treatment adherence in populations with bipolar disorder (BPD). This cross-sectional analysis examined clinical and subjective variables in relation to adherence in 140 individuals with BPD receiving treatment with mood stabilizing medication.
Non-adherence was defined as missing 30% or more of medication on the Tablets Routine Questionnaire (TRQ), a self-reported measure of medication treatment adherence. Adherent and non-adherent groups were compared on measures of attitudes towards illness and treatment including the Attitudes towards Mood Stabilizers Questionnaire (AMSQ), the Insight and Treatment Attitudes Questionnaire (ITAQ), The Rating of Medication Influences (ROMI), and the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale (MHLC).
Except for substance abuse comorbidity, adherent individuals (N=113, 80.7%) did not differ from non-adherent individuals (N=27, 19.3%) on clinical variables. However, non-adherent individuals had reduced insight into illness, more negative attitudes towards medications, fewer reasons for adherence, and more perceived reasons for non-adherence compared to adherent individuals. The strongest attitudinal predictors for non-adherence were difficulties with medication routines (OR 2.2) and negative attitudes towards drugs in general (OR 2.3).
Results interpretation is limited by cross-sectional design, self-report methodology and sample size.
Comorbid substance abuse, negative attitudes towards mood stabilizing medication, and difficulty managing to take medication in the context of one's daily schedule are primary determinants of medication treatment adherence. A patient-centered, collaborative model of care that addresses negative attitudes towards medication and difficulty coping with medication routines use may be ideally suited to address individual adherence challenges.
Bipolar disorder; treatment adherence; compliance; subjective experience; attitudes towards treatment; mood stabilizers
A minority of people suffering from depression seek professional help for themselves. Stigmatizing attitudes are assumed to be one of the major barriers to help seeking but there is only limited evidence of this in large general population data sets. The aim of this study was to analyze the associations between mental health attitude statements and depression and their links to actual use of mental health services among those with depression.
We used a large cross-sectional data set from a Finnish population survey (N = 5160). Attitudes were measured by scales which measured the belief that people with depression are responsible for their illness and their recovery and attitudes towards antidepressants. Desire for social distance was measured by a scale and depression with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short Form (CIDI-SF) instrument. Use of mental health services was measured by self-report.
On the social discrimination scale, people with depression showed more social tolerance towards people with mental problems. They also carried more positive views about antidepressants. Among those with depression, users of mental health services, as compared to non-users, carried less desire for social distance to people with mental health problems and more positive views about the effects of antidepressants. More severe depression predicted more active use of services.
Although stronger discriminative intentions can reduce the use of mental health services, this does not necessarily prevent professional service use if depression is serious and views about antidepressant medication are realistic.
The desire of patients for personal continuity of care with a General Practitioner (GP) has been well documented, but not within non-registered private patients in Ireland. This study set out to examine the attitudes and reported behaviours of private fee-paying patients towards continuity of GP care and universal registration for patients.
Cross-sectional telephone survey of 400 randomly chosen fee-paying patients living within County Dublin. There is no formal system of registration with a GP for these patients. Main outcomes were attendance of respondents at primary health care facilities and their attitudes towards continuity of care and registration with a GP. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and using parametric and non-parametric tests of association. Pearson correlation was used to quantify the association between the described variables and attitudes towards continuity and registration with a GP. Variables showing significance at the 5% level were entered into multiple linear regression models.
97% of respondents had seen a GP in the previous 5 years. The mean number of visits to the GP for respondents was 2.3 per annum. 89% of respondents had a regular GP and the mean length of time with their GP was 15.6 years. 96% preferred their personal medical care to be provided within one general practice. 16% of respondents had consulted a GP outside of their own practice in the previous year. They were more likely to be female, commute a longer distance to work or have poorer health status. 81% considered it important to be officially registered with a GP practice of their choice.
Both personal and longitudinal continuity of care with a GP are important to private patients. Respondents who chose to visit GPs other than their regular GP were not easily characterised in this study and individual circumstances may lead to this behaviour. There is strong support for a system of universal patient registration within general practice.
Poor mental health literacy and negative attitudes toward individuals with mental health disorders may impede optimal help-seeking for symptoms of mental ill-health. The present study examined the ability to recognize cases of depression as a function of respondent and target gender, as well as individual psychological differences in attitudes toward persons with depression.
In a representative British general population survey, the ability to correctly recognize vignettes of depression was assessed among 1,218 adults. Respondents also rated the vignettes along a number of attitudinal dimensions and completed measures of attitudes toward seeking psychological help, psychiatric skepticism, and anti-scientific attitudes.
There were significant differences in the ability to correctly identify cases of depression as a function of respondent and target gender. Respondents were more likely to indicate that a male vignette did not suffer from a mental health disorder compared to a female vignette, and women were more likely than men to indicate that the male vignette suffered from a mental health disorder. Attitudes toward persons with depression were associated with attitudes toward seeking psychological help, psychiatric skepticism, and anti-scientific attitudes.
Initiatives that consider the impact of gender stereotypes as well as individual differences may enhance mental health literacy, which in turn is associated with improved help-seeking behaviors for symptoms of mental ill-health.
There is a lack of knowledge about the pattern of symptom reporting in the general population as most research focuses on specific diseases or symptoms. The number of musculoskeletal pain sites is a strong predictor for disability pensioning and, hence, is considered to be an important dimension in symptom reporting. The simple method of counting symptoms might also be applicable to non-musculoskeletal symptoms, rendering further dimensions in describing individual and public health. In a general population, we aimed to explore the association between self-reported non-musculoskeletal symptoms and the number of pain sites.
With a cross-sectional design, the Standardised Nordic Questionnaire and the Subjective Health Complaints Inventory were used to record pain at ten different body sites and 13 non-musculoskeletal symptoms, respectively, among seven age groups in Ullensaker, Norway (n = 3,227).
Results showed a strong, almost linear relationship between the number of non-musculoskeletal symptoms and the number of pain sites (r = 0.55). The number and type of non-musculoskeletal symptoms had an almost equal explanatory power in the number of pain sites reported (27.1% vs. 28.2%).
The linear association between the number of non-musculoskeletal and musculoskeletal symptoms might indicate that the symptoms share common characteristics and even common underlying causal factors. The total burden of symptoms as determined by the number of symptoms reported might be an interesting generic indicator of health and well-being, as well as present and future functioning. Research on symptom reporting might also be an alternative pathway to describe and, possibly, understand the medically unexplained multisymptom conditions.
Epidemiology; Cross-sectional; General population; Musculoskeletal pain; Medically unexplained symptoms
International health policy surveys are used to compare and evaluate health system performance, but little is known about the effects of non-response. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of non-response in the Norwegian part of the Commonwealth Fund international health policy survey in 2009.
As part of an international health policy survey in 2009 a cross-sectional survey was conducted in Norway among a representative sample of Norwegian general practitioners. 1 400 randomly selected GPs were sent a postal questionnaire including questions about the Norwegian health care system, the quality of the GPs' own practice and the cooperation with specialist health care. The survey included three postal reminders and a telephone follow-up of postal non-respondents. The main outcome measures were increase in response rate for each reminder, the effects of demographic and practice variables on response, the effects of non-response on survey estimates, and the cost-effectiveness of each reminder.
After three postal reminders and one telephone follow-up, the response rate was 59.1%. Statistically significant differences between respondents and non-respondents were found for three variables; group vs. solo practice (p = 0.01), being a specialist or not (p < 0.001) and municipality centrality (least central vs. most central, p = 0.03). However, demographic and practice variables had little association with five outcome variables and the overall survey estimates changed little with additional reminders. In addition, the cost-effectiveness of the final reminders was poor.
The response rate in the Norwegian survey was satisfactory, and the effect of non-response was small indicating adequate representativeness. The cost-effectiveness of the final reminders was poor. The Norwegian findings strengthen the international project, but restrictions in generalizability warrant further study in other countries.
Patients' attitudes towards the management of minor ailments influence help-seeking behaviour. Up-to-date information about patients' attitudes is valuable for understanding changes in help-seeking behaviour.
To describe changes in patients' attitudes between 1987 and 2001, and to explain the relationship between patients' attitudes and attributes of practices, practitioners and patients.
Two cross-sectional, Dutch National Surveys of General Practice (1987 and 2001; n = 9579 and n = 8405 patients, respectively).
General practice in the Netherlands.
Patients' attitudes were evaluated in health interviews. Data were analysed using multilevel regression analysis.
In 2001, patients' attitudes showed a shift away from consulting their GP for minor ailments. Attitudes are uniform across different types of practice, and mainly differ between patients. In 1987 as well as in 2001 the factors associated with firm beliefs about the benefits of GP's care in case of minor ailments were male, older age, lower educational level, a non-Western cultural background, and a visit to the GP in the past 2 months. Furthermore, the association between health status and beliefs about GPs dealing with minor ailments is more marked in 2001. Compared to 1987, the influences of GPs and the practice are more intertwined in 2001.
Patients' attitudes towards the management of minor ailments have changed over the years, which implies that strategic action by the profession and the government has affected the way the public uses primary care. However, a marginal group of patients (elderly, less-educated, non-Western) is lagging behind this trend, and continuing to consult GPs for minor ailments.
attitude to health; minor ailments; primary health care
The prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints in dentists is high although relatively few studies had focus in this profession. The aim of this study was to investigate the relations between physical, psychosocial, and individual characteristics and different endpoints of musculoskeletal complaints of low back, neck, shoulders and hand/wrist.
A questionnaire survey was carried out among 430 dentists (response 88%) in Thessaloniki, Greece. Questions include data on physical and psychosocial workload, need for recovery, perceived general health and (i) the occurrence of musculoskeletal complaints in the past 12 months, (ii) chronic complaints during at least 1 month, complaints which led to (iii) sickness absence, and (iv) medical care seeking. In logistic regression analysis odds ratios were estimated for all relevant risk factors.
62% of dentists reported at least one musculoskeletal complaint, 30% chronic complaints, 16% had spells of absence and, 32% sought medical care. Self-reported factors of physical load were associated with the occurrence of back pain (OR = 1.59), shoulder pain (OR = 2.57) and, hand/wrist pain (OR = 3.46). With the exception of hand/wrist complaints, the physical factors were not associated with chronic complaints and musculoskeletal sickness absence. Physical load showed a trend with the number of musculoskeletal complaints with ORs of 2.50, 3.07 and 4.40 for two, three and four musculoskeletal complaints, respectively. No consistent influence of psychosocial factors on complaints, chronicity, sickness absence and medical care seeking was observed. A perceived moderate general health was a significant factor for chronic complaints, comorbidity and medical care seeking where high perceived exertion was significant for absenteeism. Living alone was also related with increased absenteeism due to shoulder pain (OR = 5.01) and hand/wrist (OR = 4.07).
The physical load among dentists seems to put them at risk for the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders. More than one and severe complaints are related to perceived general health while high perceived exertion and social characteristics are associated with sickness absence. Chronic symptoms seem to determine medical care seeking. Ergonomic interventions may have a greater impact in prevention of hand/wrist complaints. When investigating the influence of work-related risk factors on musculoskeletal health, psychosocial and other personal characteristics should be taken into account.
Many factors are proposed to be associated with health-related quality of life. Knowledge of health factors associated to development of a good health-related quality of life could be of use in clinical practice and public health work. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between suggested health factors and health-related quality of life at baseline and in an eight-year follow up in subjects with and without chronic musculoskeletal pain in a cohort from a general population.
The study was designed as a longitudinal study in a Swedish general population (N = 1 849) with a postal questionnaire at baseline 1995 and at follow up 2003. Subjects were divided into two groups, according to their response about chronic musculoskeletal pain at baseline. Health-related quality of life was assessed by the SF-36 together with suggested health factors. The associations between SF-36 subscales and suggested health factors were estimated by OR and 95% CI calculated by multivariable logistic regressions, with adjustment for all health factors, age, sex and baseline SF-36 values.
Although subjects without chronic musculoskeletal pain reported better health-related quality of life than subjects with chronic pain, similar health factors were found to be associated to higher scores in SF-36 at baseline and predicted a better outcome in the eight-year follow up. The most consistent finding was a better health outcome in the eight-year follow up for subjects that were feeling rested after sleep. Other factors that in some aspects predicted a better outcome were belonging to higher socioeconomic group, being a native Swede, having emotional support, having good sleep structure, never being or being a former smoker, and regularly drinking alcohol.
The most important health factor in subjects with and without chronic musculoskeletal pain was feeling rested after sleep, but also emotional support, sleep structure, smoking and alcoholic habits appears to be important components. These health factors could be important to address in clinical work with painful musculoskeletal disorders. Since several health factors are common in both subjects with and without pain there could be a common strategy to be formed in public health programmes.
Burden of death and disability resulting from lack of emergency medical system (EMS) and emergency care is very high in low and middle income countries (LMIC).
To study the knowledge, attitudes and practices of pre-hospital care and emergency services among health care providers of Lucknow
Setting and Design
Cross-sectional survey, 200 residents, 104 hospital consultants and 108 private practitioners
Material and Methods
A close ended, self administered questionnaire based on 5-point Likert scale with 30 items of knowledge, attitude and practice of pre-hospital and emergency care
Median scores of knowledge (26/50), attitude (41/50) and practices (27/50) showed less than adequate knowledge and practices. However, a positive attitude was seen in all the 3 group of respondents i.e. resident doctors, hospital consultants and private practitioners.
Lucknow is the capital city of Indian largest state — Uttar Pradesh with over 100 years of established medical education. The results of the study in this town are applicable to most developed cities in India. Lack of adequate knowledge and practices in emergency medical system (EMS) at Lucknow represent a dismal situation and require continuing medical education in this area.
Emergency medical system; Cross-sectional survery; Health care
BACKGROUND—Epidemiologically-based rheumatology healthcare needs assessment requires an understanding of the incidence and prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in the community, of the reasons why people consult in primary care, and of the proportion of people who would benefit from referral to secondary care and paramedical services. This paper reports the first phase of such a needs assessment exercise.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE—To estimate the relative frequency of musculoskeletal pain in different, and multiple, anatomical sites in the adult population.
SETTING—Three general practices in the former Tameside and Glossop Health Authority, Greater Manchester, UK, a predominantly urban area.
METHODS—An age and sex stratified sample of 6000 adults from the three practices was mailed a questionnaire that sought data on demographic factors, musculoskeletal symptoms (pain in the past month lasting for more than a week), and physical disability (using the modified Health Assessment Questionnaire- mHAQ). The areas of pain covered were neck, back, shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, knee, and multiple joints. The Carstairs index was used as a measure of social deprivation of the postcode sector in which the person lived.
RESULTS—The response rate after two reminders was 78.5%. Non-responders were more likely to live in areas of high social deprivation. People who lived in more deprived areas were also more likely to report musculoskeletal pain, especially backpain. After adjusting for social deprivation the rates of musculoskeletal pain did not differ between the practices and so their results were combined. After adjustment for social deprivation, the most common site of pain was back (23%; 95% CI 21, 25) followed by knee (19%; 95% CI 18, 21), and shoulder (16%; 95% CI 14, 17). The majority of subjects who reported pain had pain in more than one site. The prevalence of physical disability in the community rose with age. It was highest in those with multiple joint problems but was also high in those with isolated back or knee pain.
CONCLUSION—Musculoskeletal pain is common in the community. People who live in socially deprived areas have more musculoskeletal symptoms. Estimates of the overall burden of musculoskeletal pain that combine the results of site specific surveys will be too high, those that do not adjust for socioeconomic factors will be too low.
Keywords: prevalence; pain; social deprivation