To estimate how well a convenience sample of women from the general population could self-screen for contraindications to combined oral contraceptives using a medical checklist.
Women 18-49 years old (N=1,271) were recruited at two shopping malls and a flea market in El Paso, Texas, and asked first whether they thought pills were medically safe for them. They then used a checklist to determine the presence of level 3 or 4 contraindications to combined oral contraceptives according to the World Health Organization Medical Eligibility Criteria. Women were then interviewed by a blinded nurse practitioner who also measured blood pressure.
The sensitivity of the unaided self-screen to detect true contraindications was 56.2% (95% CI: 51.7%-60.6%) and specificity 57.6% (54.0%-61.1%). The sensitivity of the checklist to detect true contraindications was 83.2% (79.5%-86.3%) and specificity 88.8% (86.3%- 90.9%). Using the checklist, 6.6% (5.2%-8.0%) of women incorrectly thought they were eligible for use when, in fact, they were contraindicated, largely due to unrecognized hypertension. Seven percent (5.4%-8.2%) of women incorrectly thought they were contraindicated when they truly were not, primarily due to misclassification of migraine headaches. In regression analysis, younger women, more educated women and Spanish-speakers were significantly more likely to correctly self-screen (p<0.05).
Self-screening for contraindications to oral contraceptives using a medical checklist is relatively accurate. Unaided screening is inaccurate and reflects common misperceptions about the safety of oral contraceptives. Over-the-counter provision of this method would likely be safe, especially for younger women and if independent blood pressure screening were encouraged.
To develop a specific RADiological Patient Safety System (RADPASS) checklist for interventional radiology and to assess the effect of this checklist on health care processes of radiological interventions.
Materials and Methods
On the basis of available literature and expert opinion, a prototype checklist was developed. The checklist was adapted on the basis of observation of daily practice in a tertiary referral centre and evaluation by users. To assess the effect of RADPASS, in a series of radiological interventions, all deviations from optimal care were registered before and after implementation of the checklist. In addition, the checklist and its use were evaluated by interviewing all users.
The RADPASS checklist has two parts: A (Planning and Preparation) and B (Procedure). The latter part comprises checks just before starting a procedure (B1) and checks concerning the postprocedural care immediately after completion of the procedure (B2). Two cohorts of, respectively, 94 and 101 radiological interventions were observed; the mean percentage of deviations of the optimal process per intervention decreased from 24 % before implementation to 5 % after implementation (p < 0.001). Postponements and cancellations of interventions decreased from 10 % before implementation to 0 % after implementation. Most users agreed that the checklist was user-friendly and increased patient safety awareness and efficiency.
The first validated patient safety checklist for interventional radiology was developed. The use of the RADPASS checklist reduced deviations from the optimal process by three quarters and was associated with less procedure postponements.
Checklist; Interventional radiology; Patient safety
OBJECTIVE--To investigate annual health checks for patients of 75 years and over required by the 1990 contract for general practitioners. DESIGN--Visits to practices to collect information on how assessments were organised and carried out; completion of questionnaires for every patient who had been assessed in a sample month, using information provided by the practice records. SETTING--20 general practices in one family health services authority. SUBJECTS--Patients of 75 years and over in 20 general practices. RESULTS--Three practices (15%) had not performed checks. Thirteen practices sent a letter to invite patients to undergo a check. Of these practices, seven followed up non-responders. Two practices visited patients' homes unannounced, and two did checks on an opportunistic basis only. Sixteen practices used a checklist. Sixteen practices involved their practice nurses; at eight of these, doctors also performed checks; in six practices the nurses undertaking the checks had no training in assessing old people. Ten practices assessed more than 75% of their old people in the first year of the new contract. Practices that did not follow up patients who had not responded to the invitation for assessment completed significantly fewer checks. During the sample month, 331 patients were assessed in the 17 practices. 204 new problems were discovered in 143 patients. Significantly more problems per patient were found in inner city areas. CONCLUSIONS--The way health checks were performed varied greatly, both in their organisation and the practices' attitudes. Many old people did not respond to letters asking if they wanted an assessment but very few refused one if followed up. Forty three per cent of those assessed had some unmet need. The number of new problems found per patient may reduce over the next few years if the assessments are successful. The need for annual assessment should be kept under review and adequate resources made available for the needs uncovered. Improved training for practice nurses in assessment is needed. Effectiveness of the checks must be monitored. If most unmet need falls in particular high risk groups it would seem sensible to modify the annual check to target these groups.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of checklists for clinical practical courses. Clinical externships are a component of the practical part of the veterinary medicine curriculum. The control is under the responsibility of the training centres. Guidelines and checklists for extramural clinical courses were developed in order to facilitate control mechanisms. The analysis of such checklists should give an overview over the actual situation to enable the setting of minimum standards for extramural courses. The guidelines list practical activities carried out by the students in the veterinary practices or clinics. Data of 360 checklists were assessed in this study to evaluate whether checklists constitute a useful tool to control extramural studies.
The results show that checklists are useful to enhance the knowledge of the training centre about the training of students to be adapted. However, the advantage is not completely clear to students. The communication of the importance of the extramural training sessions has to be enhanced.
checklists; guidelines; clinical training; practical skills; education
Over 16 months 148 children were referred by health visitors and general practitioners to a specially trained nurse for failing to complete courses of immunisation. A further 91 children of travellers' families were identified as needing immunisation. The nurse carried out 810 immunisations on 237 of these children in their homes without a doctor being present. There were only two refusals, and one child suffered a mild anaphylactic shock. The cost per immunisation, in nurse's salary and travel expenses, was pounds 8. This is an effective and fairly inexpensive way of achieving uptake of immunisation in such groups of children, and there seems no reason why trained nurses should not give immunisations either in a child health clinic or at home, without a doctor present.
Progestin-only oral contraceptive pills (POPs) have fewer contraindications to use compared to combined pills. However, the overall prevalence of contraindications to POPs among reproductive aged women has not been assessed.
We collected information on contraindications to POPs in two studies: 1) the Self-Screening Study, a sample of 1,267 reproductive aged women in the general population in El Paso, Texas, and 2) the Prospective Study of Oral Contraceptive (OC) Users, a sample of current OC users who obtained their pills in El Paso clinics (n=532) or over the counter (OTC) in Mexican pharmacies (n=514). In the Self-Screening Study, we also compared women’s self-assessment of contraindications using a checklist to a clinician’s evaluation.
Only 1.6% of women in the Self-Screening Study were identified as having at least one contraindication to POPs. The sensitivity of the checklist for identifying women with at least one contraindication was 75.0% (95% CI: 50.6–90.4%), and the specificity was 99.4% (95% CI: 98.8–99.7%). In total, 0.6% of women in the Prospective Study of OC Users reported having any contraindication to POPs. There were no significant differences between clinic and OTC users.
The prevalence of contraindications to POPs was very low in these samples. POPs may be the best choice for the first OTC oral contraceptive in the US.
oral contraceptives; contraindications; self-screening; over-the-counter status
To determine what components of a checklist contribute to effective detection of medication errors at the bedside.
High-fidelity simulation study of outpatient chemotherapy administration.
Nurses from an outpatient chemotherapy unit, who used two different checklists to identify four categories of medication administration errors.
Main outcome measures
Rates of specified types of errors related to medication administration.
As few as 0% and as many as 90% of each type of error were detected. Error detection varied as a function of error type and checklist used. Specific step-by-step instructions were more effective than abstract general reminders in helping nurses to detect errors. Adding a specific instruction to check the patient's identification improved error detection in this category by 65 percentage points. Matching the sequence of items on the checklist with nurses' workflow had a positive impact on the ease of use and efficiency of the checklist.
Checklists designed with explicit step-by-step instructions are useful for detecting specific errors when a care provider is required to perform a long series of mechanistic tasks under a high cognitive load. Further research is needed to determine how best to assist clinicians in switching between mechanistic tasks and abstract clinical problem solving.
Medication error; medication safety; checklist; double check; error detection
To apply the Joint Royal College Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) checklist to patients who were deemed eligible for thrombolytic therapy on arrival in an Accident & Emergency Department (A&E) to determine the proportion suitable for prehospital thrombolysis.
Retrospective descriptive analysis.
The clinical notes of all patients thrombolysed in an A&E department in a year were reviewed against the JRCALC guidelines for prehospital thrombolysis.
14.2% of patients eligible for thrombolysis in a district general hospital were deemed suitable for prehospital thrombolysis according to the JRCALC criteria. The most common exclusion criteria were hyper/hypotension (50%), onset of symptoms (pain) >6 h previously (41.7%), or age >75 years (37%). Two or more contraindications to prehospital thrombolysis were present in 63.9% of patients.
The JRCALC guidelines are an effective tool for identifying patients with potential contraindications to thrombolysis.
bolus; JRCALC; prehospital; thrombolysis
AIM—To assess the
potential for administering catch up and scheduled immunisations during
status according to the child's principal carer was checked against
official records for 1000 consecutively admitted preschool age
children. Junior doctors were instructed to offer appropriate
vaccination before discharge, and consultants were asked to reinforce
this proactive policy on ward rounds.
those children who were not fully immunised against pertussis through
parental choice, 142 children (14.2%) had missed an age appropriate
immunisation and 41 were due a scheduled immunisation. None had a valid
contraindication. Only 43 children were offered vaccination on the ward
but uptake was 65% in this group.
to hospital provides opportunities for catch up and routine
immunisations and can contribute to the health care of an often
disadvantaged group of children. These opportunities are frequently
missed. Junior doctors must be encouraged to see opportunistic
immunisation as an important part of their routine work.
Objective. To evaluate the advanced clinical track, a curricular track designed to prepare doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students for residency training and institutional practice.
Design. The advanced clinical track required completion of elective coursework, an additional advanced practice experience, 8 clinical experiences, and a skills checklist, and participation in a clinical skills competition.
Assessment. Thirty-two graduates of the advanced clinical track were surveyed. Of the 23 respondents, 95% of those who pursued residency training were successfully matched with a residency program. Ninety-one percent of respondents felt that the advanced clinical track increased their confidence and 74% felt it was definitely an advantage when applying to a residency program. All participants agreed that the advanced clinical track met their expectations or goals and would recommend it to other students.
Conclusion. Completion of an advanced clinical track was viewed by PharmD graduates as valuable preparation for residency training and institutional practice and would be recommended to other students.
students; curricular track; curriculum; residency; training; survey
This study evaluated the utility of immunization registries in identifying vaccine refusals among children. Among refusers, we studied their socioeconomic characteristics and health care utilization patterns.
Medical records were reviewed to validate refusal status in the immunization registries of two health plans. Racial, education, and income characteristics of children claiming refusal were collected based on the census tract of each child. Health care utilization was identified using both electronic medical record and insurance claims. Within the immunization registries of two HMOs in the study, some providers use refusal and medical contraindication interchangeably, and some providers tend to always use "ever refusal." Therefore, we combined medical contraindication and refusal together and treated them all as "refusal" in this study.
The immunization registry, compared to chart review, had negative predictive values of 85–92% and 90–97% for 2- and 6-year olds, and positive predictive values of only 52–74% and 59–62% to identify vaccine refusals. Refusers were more likely to reside in well-educated, higher income areas than non-refusers. Refusers had not opted out of health care system and continued, although less frequently for the age 2 and under group, to use services.
Without enhancements to immunization registries, identifying children with immunization refusal would be time consuming. Since communities where refusers live are well educated, interventions should target these communities to communicate vaccine adverse events and consequences of vaccine preventable diseases.
A synopsis record card has been developed for use in general practice to provide ready reference to the important facts of the patient's record. When such a card is available in the record wallet it is used at 50% of all patient consultations and significantly reduces the time needed to retrieve past data essential to the consultation. The card contains clinical details, and data on medication, drug idiosyncrasies, immunizations, screening procedures, social, occupational and family history and practice research. As synopsis records are particularly important in teaching practices and when referral letters to hospital or personal medical attendant insurance reports are written, provision has been made for the inclusion of data relevant to those functions. So that the card may act as an intermediary for record computerization, all elements needed in the construction of a computer record have been taken into account. The prototype card was circulated to 3000 RCGP members for comment and the majority of replies were favourable. Suggested modifications have been incorporated in the final design of the card.
The WHO surgical checklist was introduced to most UK surgical units following the WHO “Safe Surgery Saves Lives” initiative. The aim of this audit was to review patient's safety in the delivery of surgical care and to evaluate the practical application of the new WHO surgical checklist. We conducted a retrospective audit of patients who received operative treatment under general anaesthesia at our Plastic Surgery Department, involving a total number of 90 patients. The WHO form was compared to its former equivalents. Complications or incidents occurring during or after surgery were recorded. Using the department's previous surgical checklist, “Time out” was only performed in only 30% of cases. One patient arrived at theatre reception without a completed consent form, and two clinical incidents were reported without patients suffering harm. Following introduction of current WHO surgical checklist, “Time out” was recorded in 80% of cases. In all cases, the new WHO surgical checklist was used and no incidents were reported. The WHO surgical checklist provides a structured frame work that standardizes the delivery of care across hospitals and specialized units; however, it will take some time and practice for teams to learn to use the checklist effectively and reliably.
Missed opportunities for immunization were studied at five Saudi health centers. Of 383 children studied, 77.8% were up-to-date with their immunization, 10.2% had real contraindications, and 12.0% missed opportunities. Only 48.8% of mothers were up-to-date. We recommend that immunization be made available at all clinics and that presentation of immunization cards be required.
To determine the effectiveness of a single checklist reminder form to improve the delivery of preventive health services at adult health check-ups in a family practice setting.
A prospective cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted at four urban family practice clinics among 38 primary care physicians affiliated with the University of Toronto. Preventive Care Checklist Forms© were created to be used by family physicians at adult health check-ups over a five-month period. The sex-specific forms incorporate evidence-based recommendations on preventive health services and documentation space for routine procedures such as physical examination. The forms were used in two intervention clinics and two control clinics. Rates and relative risks (RR) of the performance of 13 preventive health maneuvers at baseline and post-intervention and the percentage of up-to-date preventive health services delivered per patient were compared between the two groups.
Randomly-selected charts were reviewed at baseline (n = 509) and post-intervention (n = 608). Baseline rates for provision of preventive health services ranged from 3% (fecal occult blood testing) to 93% (blood pressure measurement), similar to other settings. The percentage of up-to-date preventive health services delivered per patient at the end of the intervention was 48.9% in the control group and 71.7% in the intervention group. This is an overall 22.8% absolute increase (p = 0.0001), and 46.6% relative increase in the delivery of preventive health services per patient in the intervention group compared to controls. Eight of thirteen preventive health services showed a statistically significant change (p < 0.05) in favor of the intervention (adjusted RR (95% C.I.)): counseling on brushing/flossing teeth (9.2 (4.3–19.6)), folic acid counseling (7.5 (2.7–20.8)), fecal occult blood testing (6.7 (1.9–24.1)), smoking cessation counseling (3.9 (2.2–7.2)), tetanus immunization (3.0 (1.7–5.2)), history of alcohol intake (1.33 (1.2–1.5)), history of smoking habits (1.28 (1.2–1.4)) and blood pressure measurement (1.05 (1.00–1.10)).
This simple, low cost, clinically relevant intervention improves the delivery of preventive health services by prompting physicians of evidence-based recommendations in a checklist format that incorporates existing practice patterns. Periodic updates of the Preventive Care Checklist Forms© will allow a feasible and easy-to-use tool for primary care physicians to provide evidence-based preventive health services to adults at routine health check-ups. The forms can also be incorporated into an electronic health record. The Preventive Care Checklist Forms© are accessible in English and French at the College of Family Physicians of Canada web site.
Chiropractic students often serve as subjects in laboratories where they and their classmates practice examinations, various soft tissue techniques, physiological therapeutic modalities, and active rehabilitation. There are contraindications and risks associated with these procedures. This article describes how a procedure was developed to identify potential health concerns and risks that students may face while serving as subjects or performing procedures in clinical skills laboratories.
Screening questions and examination procedures were developed through a consensus process. Findings from the screening process determine whether students may engage in full participation or limited participation (precautions) or are prohibited from receiving certain procedures (contraindications). Skills laboratory students and their instructors are informed of any identifiable precautions or contraindications to participation.
Since its implementation, precautions regarding delivery of manual therapies were found in 4% of those examined and precautions regarding receiving manual therapies in 11.5%. Contraindications to receiving specified manual therapies were found in 8%, and 4% had contraindications to certain physiological therapeutic modalities.
Further work is necessary to improve compliance with follow-up regarding diagnosis of conditions revealed or suspected. Future efforts should address how well students adhered to precautions and contraindications, the nature and frequency of injuries sustained within the laboratories, and what specific measures were taken by faculty to help students with special needs.
This chiropractic college now has a method to describe potential risks, explain rules of laboratory participation, and obtain consent from each student.
Chiropractic Contraindications; Chiropractic Education; Informed Consent
Childhood vaccinations help reduce and eliminate many causes of morbidity and mortality among children. The objective of this study was to compare 4:3:1:3:3 (4+ doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine, 3+ doses of poliovirus vaccine, 1+ doses of measles-containing vaccine, 3+ doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, and 3+ doses of hepatitis B vaccine) coverage among children whose caregivers learned by different methods when their child's most recent immunization was needed.
Between July 2001 and December 2002, a portion of households receiving the National Immunization Survey were asked how they knew when to take the child in for his/her most recent immunization. Responses were post-coded into several categories: 'Doctor/nurse reminder at previous immunization visit', 'Shot card/record', 'Reminder/recall', and 'Other'. Respondents could give more than one answer. Children who did not receive any vaccines, had ≤ 1 visits for vaccinations, or whose caregiver did not provide an answer to the question were excluded from analyses. Chi-square analyses were used to compare 4:3:1:3:3 coverage among 19–35 month old children.
Children whose caregivers indicated that a doctor/nurse told them at a previous immunization visit when to return for the next immunization had significantly greater 4:3:1:3:3 coverage than those who did not choose the response (77.2% vs. 70.1%, p < 0.01). However, no significant difference in coverage was found between households that did/did not indicate that reminder/recalls (71.0% vs. 75.5%, p = 0.24) helped them remember when to take their child for their most recent immunization visit; only borderline significance was found between those that did/did not choose shot cards (70.6% vs. 76.2%, p = 0.07).
A doctor or nurse's reminder during an immunization visit of the next scheduled immunization visit effectively encourages caregivers to bring children in for immunizations, providing an inexpensive and easy way to effectively increase immunization coverage.
Checklists have been used extensively as a cognitive aid in aviation; now, they are being introduced in many areas of medicine. Although few would dispute the positive effects of checklists, little is known about the process of introducing this tool into the health care environment. In 2008, a pre-induction checklist was implemented in our anaesthetic department; in this study, we explored the nurses' and physicians' acceptance and experiences with this checklist.
Focus group interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of checklist users (nurses and physicians) from the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care in a tertiary teaching hospital. The interviews were analysed qualitatively using systematic text condensation.
Users reported that checklist use could divert attention away from the patient and that it influenced workflow and doctor-nurse cooperation. They described senior consultants as both sceptical and supportive; a head physician with a positive attitude was considered crucial for successful implementation. The checklist improved confidence in unfamiliar contexts and was used in some situations for which it was not intended. It also revealed insufficient equipment standardisation.
Our findings suggest several issues and actions that may be important to consider during checklist use and implementation.
To identify barriers to and facilitators of the diffusion of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and clinical protocols in nursing homes (NHs).
Four randomly selected community nursing homes.
NH staff, including physicians, nurse practitioners, administrative staff, nurses, and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).
Interviews (n = 35) probed the use of CPGs and clinical protocols. Qualitative analysis using Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation stages-of-change model was conducted to produce a conceptual and thematic description.
None of the NHs systematically adopted CPGs, and only three of 35 providers were familiar with CPGs. Confusion with other documents and regulations was common. The most frequently cited barriers were provider concerns that CPGs were ‘‘checklists’’ to replace clinical judgment, perceived conflict with resident and family goals, limited facility resources, lack of communication between providers and across shifts, facility policies that overwhelm or conflict with CPGs, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations interpreted to limit CNA access to clinical information. Facilitators included incorporating CPG recommendations into training materials, standing orders, customizable data collection forms, and regulatory reporting activities.
Clinicians and researchers wishing to increase CPG use in NHs should consider these barriers and facilitators in their quality improvement and intervention development processes.
clinical practice guidelines; nursing facilities; qualitative research
A recognized goal of family reunification programs is preventing the reentry of children into foster care. Using data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, this study examined reentry for 273 children between the ages of 5 and 12 years. In multivariate models, reentry into foster care was associated with higher Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) scores and higher numbers of children in the household when the child is living at home. Although these are not the only risk factors that should be considered in deciding whether to reunify a child, these characteristics appear to be high valence problems for families and their children who are reunified. Future research on reentry and on placement disruptions from foster care should routinely include information about the number of children in the family and behavior problems when endeavoring to explain caseload dynamics.
Foster care; Reunification; Family size; Behavior problems; Longitudinal
Deciding whether a skin lesion requires biopsy to exclude skin cancer is often challenging for primary care clinicians in Australia. There are several published algorithms designed to assist with the diagnosis of skin cancer but apart from the clinical ABCD rule, these algorithms only evaluate the dermatoscopic features of a lesion.
The BLINCK algorithm explores the effect of combining clinical history and examination with fundamental dermatoscopic assessment in primary care skin cancer practice.
Clinical and dermatoscopic images of 50 skin lesions were collected and shown to four primary care practitioners. The cases were assessed by each participant and lesions requiring biopsy were determined on separate occasions using the 3-Point Checklist, the Menzies method, clinical assessment alone and the BLINCK algorithm.
The BLINCK algorithm had the highest sensitivity and found more melanomas than any of the other methods. However, BLINCK required more biopsies than the other methods. When comparing diagnostic accuracy, there was no difference between BLINCK, Menzies method and clinical assessment but all were better than the 3-Point checklist.
These results suggest that the BLINK algorithm may be a useful skin cancer screening tool for Australian primary care practice.
melanoma; skin cancer; diagnostic algorithm; BLINCK; primary care
Selecting the right mix of stationary and mobile computing devices is a significant challenge for system planners and implementers. There is very limited research evidence upon which to base such decisions.
We aimed to investigate the relationships between clinician role, clinical task, and selection of a computer hardware device in hospital wards.
Twenty-seven nurses and eight doctors were observed for a total of 80 hours as they used a range of computing devices to access a computerized provider order entry system on two wards at a major Sydney teaching hospital. Observers used a checklist to record the clinical tasks completed, devices used, and location of the activities. Field notes were also documented during observations. Semi-structured interviews were conducted after observation sessions. Assessment of the physical attributes of three devices—stationary PCs, computers on wheels (COWs) and tablet PCs—was made. Two types of COWs were available on the wards: generic COWs (laptops mounted on trolleys) and ergonomic COWs (an integrated computer and cart device). Heuristic evaluation of the user interfaces was also carried out.
The majority (93.1%) of observed nursing tasks were conducted using generic COWs. Most nursing tasks were performed in patients’ rooms (57%) or in the corridors (36%), with a small percentage at a patient’s bedside (5%). Most nursing tasks related to the preparation and administration of drugs. Doctors on ward rounds conducted 57.3% of observed clinical tasks on generic COWs and 35.9% on tablet PCs. On rounds, 56% of doctors’ tasks were performed in the corridors, 29% in patients’ rooms, and 3% at the bedside. Doctors not on a ward round conducted 93.6% of tasks using stationary PCs, most often within the doctors’ office. Nurses and doctors were observed performing workarounds, such as transcribing medication orders from the computer to paper.
The choice of device was related to clinical role, nature of the clinical task, degree of mobility required, including where task completion occurs, and device design. Nurses’ work, and clinical tasks performed by doctors during ward rounds, require highly mobile computer devices. Nurses and doctors on ward rounds showed a strong preference for generic COWs over all other devices. Tablet PCs were selected by doctors for only a small proportion of clinical tasks. Even when using mobile devices clinicians completed a very low proportion of observed tasks at the bedside. The design of the devices and ward space configurations place limitations on how and where devices are used and on the mobility of clinical work. In such circumstances, clinicians will initiate workarounds to compensate. In selecting hardware devices, consideration should be given to who will be using the devices, the nature of their work, and the physical layout of the ward.
Study; multi-method study; observational study; mobility; mobile computers; computers; computer hardware; medical order entry systems; computerized physician order entry system; computerized provider order entry (CPOE)
This study estimated the strength of associations between self-reported assault and psychiatric disorders among low-income, urban primary care patients who were predominantly female.
A sample of adult patients who consecutively presented at an urban primary care practice completed the Life Events Checklist (N=1,157). They were also screened for current major depression, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and substance use disorders with the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Patient Health Questionnaire; for bipolar disorder with the Mood Disorder Questionnaire; and for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the PTSD Checklist–Civilian Version. A total of 977 of the respondents reported whether they had ever experienced an assault. Logistic regression was used to model associations between self-reported assault and screen status, controlling for relevant sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.
Twenty-five percent of study participants endorsed a history of physical or sexual assault. Compared with patients without a history of assault, patients with a history of assault had significantly greater odds of screening positive for PTSD (odds ratio [OR]=1.97, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.19–3.25), alcohol use disorder (OR=2.17, CI=1.07–4.41), and drug use disorder (OR=3.38, CI=1.14–9.98).
A history of assault was related to risk of screening positive for PTSD and a substance use disorder. These findings support assessment of trauma history among low-income primary care patients.
To assess the effect of using different risk calculation tools on how general practitioners and practice nurses evaluate the risk of coronary heart disease with clinical data routinely available in patients' records.
Subjective estimates of the risk of coronary heart disease and results of four different methods of calculation of risk were compared with each other and a reference standard that had been calculated with the Framingham equation; calculations were based on a sample of patients' records, randomly selected from groups at risk of coronary heart disease.
General practices in central England.
18 general practitioners and 18 practice nurses.
Main outcome measures
Agreement of results of risk estimation and risk calculation with reference calculation; agreement of general practitioners with practice nurses; sensitivity and specificity of the different methods of risk calculation to detect patients at high or low risk of coronary heart disease.
Only a minority of patients' records contained all of the risk factors required for the formal calculation of the risk of coronary heart disease (concentrations of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were present in only 21%). Agreement of risk calculations with the reference standard was moderate (κ=0.33-0.65 for practice nurses and 0.33 to 0.65 for general practitioners, depending on calculation tool), showing a trend for underestimation of risk. Moderate agreement was seen between the risks calculated by general practitioners and practice nurses for the same patients (κ=0.47 to 0.58). The British charts gave the most sensitive results for risk of coronary heart disease (practice nurses 79%, general practitioners 80%), and it also gave the most specific results for practice nurses (100%), whereas the Sheffield table was the most specific method for general practitioners (89%).
Routine calculation of the risk of coronary heart disease in primary care is hampered by poor availability of data on risk factors. General practitioners and practice nurses are able to evaluate the risk of coronary heart disease with only moderate accuracy. Data about risk factors need to be collected systematically, to allow the use of the most appropriate calculation tools.
What is already known on this topicRecent guidelines have recommended determining the risk of coronary heart disease for targeting patients at high risk for primary preventionEstimates of risk have been shown to be inaccurateGeneral practitioners and practice nurses can use risk calculation tools accurately when given patient data in the form of scenariosWhat this study addsMany patients do not have adequate information in their records to allow the risk of coronary heart disease to be calculatedWhen data about risk factors were available, risk calculations made by general practitioners and practice nurses were moderately accurate compared to a reference calculationWhen adequate information about risk factors is not available, subjective estimates are a reasonable alternative to calculating risk
Infection control is one of the primary responsibilities of dental health care personnel. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the infection control practices of Iranian dentists and dental nurses working in governmental dental health care centers were influenced by their educational level and years of practice.
This cross-sectional analytical study was completed in 2009, and it included 63 Iranian dental practitioners. Infection control knowledge was evaluated with a self-administered questionnaire, and infection control practices were evaluated with a checklist of questions by observation with one researcher.
The dental practitioners in Mashad had a low level of infection control knowledge. Dental personnel with a higher educational level had significantly greater knowledge than those with less education. Additionally, dental personnel who had more years of practice had a greater knowledge of infection control.
Since dental practitioners working in Mashad governmental dental health care centers with fewer years of practice and less educational level had a low level of infection control knowledge, we recommend a continuing educational program for this group and dental nurses.
Dentistry; Education; Infection control