Refugees have many complex health care needs which should be addressed by the primary health care services, both on their arrival in resettlement countries and in their transition to long-term care. The aim of this narrative synthesis is to identify the components of primary health care service delivery models for such populations which have been effective in improving access, quality and coordination of care.
A systematic review of the literature, including published systematic reviews, was undertaken. Studies between 1990 and 2011 were identified by searching Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Australian Public Affairs Information Service – Health, Health and Society Database, Multicultural Australian and Immigration Studies and Google Scholar. A limited snowballing search of the reference lists of all included studies was also undertaken. A stakeholder advisory committee and international advisers provided papers from grey literature. Only English language studies of evaluated primary health care models of care for refugees in developed countries of resettlement were included.
Twenty-five studies met the inclusion criteria for this review of which 15 were Australian and 10 overseas models. These could be categorised into six themes: service context, clinical model, workforce capacity, cost to clients, health and non-health services. Access was improved by multidisciplinary staff, use of interpreters and bilingual staff, no-cost or low-cost services, outreach services, free transport to and from appointments, longer clinic opening hours, patient advocacy, and use of gender-concordant providers. These services were affordable, appropriate and acceptable to the target groups. Coordination between the different health care services and services responding to the social needs of clients was improved through case management by specialist workers. Quality of care was improved by training in cultural sensitivity and appropriate use of interpreters.
The elements of models most frequently associated with improved access, coordination and quality of care were case management, use of specialist refugee health workers, interpreters and bilingual staff. These findings have implications for workforce planning and training.
Access; Coordination; Health care models; Primary health care; Quality of care; Refugee; Migrant; Immigrant; Health services evaluation
To document the number of journal publications attributed to the academic faculty of Australian chiropractic tertiary institutions. To provide a discussion of the significance of this output and to relate this to the difficulty the profession appears to be experiencing in the uptake of evidence based healthcare outcomes and cultures.
The departmental websites for the three Australian chiropractic tertiary institutions were accessed and a list of academic faculty compiled. It was noted whether each academic held a chiropractic qualification or research Doctoral (not professional) degree qualification A review of the literature was conducted using the names of the academics and cross-referencing to publications listed independently in the PubMed and Index to Chiropractic Literature (ICL) databases (from inception to February 27 2006). Publications were excluded that were duplicates, corrected reprints, conference abstracts/proceedings, books, monographs, letters to the editor/comments or editorials. Using this information an annual and recent publication rate was constructed.
For the 41 academics there was a total of 155 PubMed listed publications (mean 3.8, annual rate per academic 0.31) and 415 ICL listed publications (mean 10.1, annual rate 0.62). Over the last five years there have been 50 PubMed listed publications (mean 1.2, annual rate 0.24) and 97 ICL listed publications (mean 2.4, annual rate 0.47). Chiropractor academics (n = 31) had 29 PubMed listed publications (mean 2.5, annual rate 0.27) and 265 ICL listed publications (mean 8.5, annual rate 0.57). Academics with a doctoral degree (n = 13) had 134 PubMed listed publications (mean 10.3, annual rate 0.70) and 311 ICL listed publications (mean 23.9, annual rate 1.44). Academics without a Doctoral degree (n = 28) had 21 PubMed listed publications (mean 0.8, annual rate 0.13) and 104 ICL listed publications (mean 3.7, annual rate 0.24).
While several academics have compiled an impressive list of publications, overall there is a significant paucity of published research authored by the majority of academics, with a trend for a falling recent publication rate and not having a doctoral degree being a risk factor for poor publication productivity. It is suggested that there is an urgent necessity to facilitate the acquisition of research skills in academic staff particularly in research methods and publication skills. Only when undergraduate students are exposed to an institutional environment conducive to and fostering research will concepts of evidence based healthcare really be appreciated and implemented by the profession.
Canadian healthcare insurance is not universal for all newcomer populations. New immigrant, refugee claimant, and migrant women face various barriers to healthcare due to the lack of public health insurance coverage. This retrospective study explored the relationships between insurance status and various perinatal outcomes. Researchers examined and compared perinatal outcomes for 453 uninsured and provincially insured women who delivered at two general hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area between 2007 and 2010. Data on key perinatal health indicators were collected via chart review of hospital medical records. Comparisons were made with regional statistics and professional guidelines where available. Four-in-five uninsured pregnant women received less-than-adequate prenatal care. More than half of them received clearly inadequate prenatal care, and 6.5% received no prenatal care at all. Insurance status was also related to the type of health care provider, reason for caesarean section, neonatal resuscitation rates, and maternal length of hospital stay. Uninsured mothers experienced a higher percentage of caesarian sections due to abnormal fetal heart rates and required more neonatal resuscitations. No significant difference was found for low birth weight, preterm birth, NCIU admissions, postpartum hemorrhage, breast feeding, or intrapartum care provided.
perinatal outcomes; uninsured; immigrant; refugee; migrant; women; newborns
Chinese journals in epidemiology, preventive medicine and public health contain much that is of potential international interest. However, few non-Chinese speakers are acquainted with this literature. This article therefore provides an overview of the contemporary scene in Chinese biomedical journal publication, Chinese bibliographic databases and Chinese journals in epidemiology, preventive medicine and public health. The challenge of switching to English as the medium of publication, the development of publishing bibliometric data from Chinese databases, the prospect of an Open Access publication model in China, the issue of language bias in literature reviews and the quality of Chinese journals are discussed. Epidemiologists are encouraged to search the Chinese bibliographic databases for Chinese journal articles.
The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) is a public resource that promotes understanding about the effects of environmental chemicals on human health. CTD biocurators read the scientific literature and manually curate a triad of chemical–gene, chemical–disease and gene–disease interactions. Typically, articles for CTD are selected using a chemical-centric approach by querying PubMed to retrieve a corpus containing the chemical of interest. Although this technique ensures adequate coverage of knowledge about the chemical (i.e. data completeness), it does not necessarily reflect the most current state of all toxicological research in the community at large (i.e. data currency). Keeping databases current with the most recent scientific results, as well as providing a rich historical background from legacy articles, is a challenging process. To address this issue of data currency, CTD designed and tested a journal-centric approach of curation to complement our chemical-centric method. We first identified priority journals based on defined criteria. Next, over 7 weeks, three biocurators reviewed 2425 articles from three consecutive years (2009–2011) of three targeted journals. From this corpus, 1252 articles contained relevant data for CTD and 52 752 interactions were manually curated. Here, we describe our journal selection process, two methods of document delivery for the biocurators and the analysis of the resulting curation metrics, including data currency, and both intra-journal and inter-journal comparisons of research topics. Based on our results, we expect that curation by select journals can (i) be easily incorporated into the curation pipeline to complement our chemical-centric approach; (ii) build content more evenly for chemicals, genes and diseases in CTD (rather than biasing data by chemicals-of-interest); (iii) reflect developing areas in environmental health and (iv) improve overall data currency for chemicals, genes and diseases.
Database URL: http://ctdbase.org/
Journal of Midlife Health, in existence for 2½ years, has been working to disseminate information and research in the field of midlife health, including menopause management. This bibliometric review aimed to assess the coverage of this journal across article types, country, and specialty of origin. An online analysis of all the published articles from 2011 to July 2012 was carried out by the authors. Datas collected were analyzed by descriptive statistics. The journal has succeeded in ensuring broad-based, comprehensive, multidisciplinary coverage of midlife health-related issues, as shown by the variety of types of articles published, the emphasis on original articles, the international authorship, and the wide spectrum of medical and surgical specialties covered.
India; menopause; multidisciplinary; publication trends
Bibliometric analysis of the journal is a method to assess the research impact or research influence of that journal. This information can also be used to evaluate the influence/performance of a researcher and to provide a comparison between researchers. This work was aimed at performing bibliometric analysis of Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism (IJEM).
Materials and Methods:
The publications of year 2011-12 of IJEM were analyzed. Total number of articles published, type of articles, their authorship, and the coverage of various subspecialties was studied. The publications were also classified as Indian or foreign, from endocrine or nonendocrine departments and from academic or nonacademic institutions according to the institution of first author.
Results and Conclusions:
A total of 10 main issues and 7 supplementary issues were published in IJEM in year 2011 and 2012. These included a total of 605 publications, which depict a dramatic increase in the number of publications in last 2 years as compared to the previous years. Taking collectively, review articles were published in majority. Maximum number of articles was dealing with pancreas and metabolic disorders followed by thyroid. Other endocrine organs were given almost similar importance. Publications were largely originating from endocrine departments and from academic institutions. Although maximum number of articles were from India, but the publications from other countries are also on an increase. Thus, the widespread coverage of this journal suggests that IJEM has begun to represent global face of Indian endocrinology.
Bibliometric analysis; endocrinology; publications
Australia and New Zealand Health Policy is a new journal which aims to promote debate and understanding about contemporary health policy developments in Australia and New Zealand. Although there are other international journals focussing on health policy, there are no Australian or New Zealand journals with this focus.
One of the aims of Australia and New Zealand Health Policy is to focus on contemporary critiques and contemporary developments. Accordingly an e-journal format is particularly appropriate. Australian and New Zealand Health Policy is an open access journal which means that all articles will be freely and universally accessible online which, amongst other things, means that all articles will be freely and universally accessible online without any barriers to access, which increases their visibility.
Rampant disease in poor countries impedes development and contributes to growing North-South disparities; however, leading international medical journals underreport on health research priorities for developing countries.
We examined 416 weekly issues of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) over an eight-year period, January 1997 to December 2004. A total of 8857 articles were reviewed by both authors. The content of each issue was evaluated in six categories: research, review articles, editorial, correspondence, book reviews and miscellaneous. If the title or abstract concerned a topic pertinent to any health issue in the developing world, the article was reviewed.
Over the eight years covered in this study, 1997–2004, in the three essential categories of original research articles, review articles and editorials, less than 3.0 percent of these addressed health issues in the developing world. Publications relevant to DC were largely concerned with HIV and communicable diseases and constituted 135 of the 202 articles of which 63 were devoted to HIV. Only 23 articles addressed non-communicable disease in the DC and only a single article – a book review – discussed heart disease.
The medical information gap between rich and poor countries as judged by publications in the NEJM appears to be larger than the gap in the funding for research. Under-representation of developing world health issues in the medical literature is a global phenomenon. International medical journals cannot rectify global inequities, but they have an important role in educating their constituencies about the global divide.
Building research capacity in Indigenous health has been recognised as integral in efforts to reduce the significant health disparities between Indigenous and other Australian populations. The past few decades have seen substantial changes in funding policy for Australian Indigenous health research, including increases in overall expenditure and a greater focus on collaborative and priority-driven research. However, whether these policy shifts have resulted in any change to the structure of the research workforce in this field is unclear. We examine research publications in Australian Indigenous health from 1995–2008 to explore trends in publication output, key themes investigated, and research collaborations.
A comprehensive literature search was undertaken to identify research publications about Australian Indigenous health from 1995–2008. Abstracts of all publications identified were reviewed by two investigators for relevance. Eligible publications were classified according to key themes. Social network analyses of co-authorship patterns were used to examine collaboration in the periods 1995–1999, 2000–2004 and 2005–2008.
Nine hundred and fifty three publications were identified. Over time, the number of publications per year increased, particularly after 2005, and there was a substantial increase in assessment of health service-related issues. Network analyses revealed a highly collaborative core group of authors responsible for the majority of outputs, in addition to a series of smaller separate groups. In the first two periods there was a small increase in the overall network size (from n = 583 to n = 642 authors) due to growth in collaborations around the core. In the last period, the network size increased considerably (n = 1,083), largely due to an increase in the number and size of separate groups. The general size of collaborations also increased in this period.
In the past few decades there has been substantial development of the research workforce in Indigenous health, characterised by an increase in authors and outputs, a greater focus on some identified priority areas and sustained growth in collaborations. This has occurred in conjunction with significant changes to funding policy for Indigenous health research, suggesting that both productivity and collaboration may be sensitive to reform, including the provision of dedicated funding.
Aborigines; Australian; Cooperative behaviour; Research personnel
It is well known that papers written in languages other than English have a great risk of being ignored simply because these languages are not accessible to the international scientific community. The objective of this paper is to facilitate the access to the public health and epidemiology literature available in Portuguese speaking countries. It was found that it is particularly concentrated in Brazil, with some few examples in Portugal and none in other Portuguese speaking countries. This literature is predominantly written in Portuguese, but also in other languages such as English or Spanish. The paper describes the several journals, as well as the bibliographic databases that index these journals and how to access them. Most journals provide open-access with direct links in the indexing databases. The importance of this scientific production for the development of epidemiology as a scientific discipline and as a basic discipline for public health practice is discussed. To marginalize these publications has implications for a more balanced knowledge and understanding of the health problems and their determinants at a world-wide level.
Objectives: The research sought to determine the publication types cited most often in public health as well as the most heavily cited journal titles.
Methods: From a pool of 33,449 citations in 934 articles published in the 2003–2005 issues of American Journal of Public Health, 2 random samples were drawn: one (n = 1,034) from the total set of citations and one (n = 1,016) from the citations to journal articles. For each sampled citation, investigators noted publication type, publication date, uniform resource locator (URL) citation (yes/no), and, for the journal article sample, journal titles. The cited journal titles were analyzed using Bradford zones.
Results: The majority of cited items from the overall sample of 1,034 items were journal articles (64.4%, n = 666), followed by government documents (n = 130), books (n = 122), and miscellaneous sources (n = 116). Publication date ranged from 1826–2005 (mean = 1995, mode = 2002). Most cited items were between 0 and 5 years old (50.3%, n = 512). In the sample of 1,016 journal article citations, a total of 387 journal titles were cited.
Discussion: Analysis of cited material types revealed results similar to citation analyses in specific public health disciplines, including use of materials from a wide range of disciplines, reliance on miscellaneous and government documents, and need for older publications.
To describe and discuss the processes used to write scholarly book reviews for publication in peer-reviewed journals and to provide a recommended strategy and book appraisal worksheet to use when conducting book reviews.
A literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Index to Chiropractic Literature was conducted in June 2009 using a combination of controlled vocabulary and truncated text words to capture articles relevant to writing scholarly book reviews for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
The initial search identified 839 citations. Following the removal of duplicates and the application of selection criteria, a total of 78 articles were included in this review including narrative commentaries (n = 26), editorials or journal announcements (n = 25), original research (n = 18), and journal correspondence pieces (n = 9).
Recommendations for planning and writing an objective and quality book review are presented based on the evidence gleaned from the articles reviewed and from the authors' experiences. A worksheet for conducting a book review is provided.
The scholarly book review serves many purposes and has the potential to be an influential literary form. The process of publishing a successful scholarly book review requires the reviewer to appreciate the book review publication process and to be aware of the skills and strategies involved in writing a successful review.
Authorship; Book Reviews; Book Reviews as Topic; Manuscripts as Topic; Publishing; Writing
In recognition of the benefits of transparent reporting, many peer-reviewed journals require that their authors be prepared to share their raw, unprocessed data with other scientists and/or state the availability of raw data in published articles. But little information on how data should be prepared for publication - or sharing - has emerged. In clinical research patient privacy and consent for use of personal health information are key considerations, but agreed-upon definitions of what constitutes anonymised patient information do not appear to have been established. We aim to address this issue by providing practical guidance for those involved in the publication process, by proposing a minimum standard for de-identifying datasets for the purposes of publication in a peer-reviewed biomedical journal, or sharing with other researchers. Basic advice on file preparation is provided along with procedural guidance on prospective and retrospective publication of raw data, with an emphasis on randomised controlled trials.
In order to encourage its wide dissemination this article is freely accessible on the BMJ and Trials journal web sites.
BACKGROUND: Randomized controlled trials are being used increasingly to evaluate the effectiveness of health care interventions, including those in primary care. AIM. A study was undertaken to document the topic areas addressed by randomized controlled trials conducted in primary care and the methodological characteristics of these, based on a historical review of all trials published in the British Journal of General Practice (formerly the Research Newsletter and Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners) between 1953 and 1991 inclusive. METHOD. Trials were identified by systematically hand searching all back issues. RESULTS. A total of 90 randomized controlled trials were identified, 78% of which were undertaken in general practice. The trials covered a wide range of topics; 62% examined pharmacological interventions, 21% non-pharmacological interventions, and 16% an intervention related to provision of an aspect of health service. Among the randomized controlled trials published there was a significant trend towards more reports on non-pharmacological trials in recent years (P < 0.001). The quality of trials, judged by the extent to which bias was controlled, varied considerably. Trials of pharmacological interventions generally controlled for selection bias at entry and at assessment of outcome more effectively than trials of non-pharmacological interventions. CONCLUSION. Some imaginative solutions to the logistic difficulties of conducting randomized trials in general practice were noted. These may serve as an incentive to those undertaking such studies in the future.
Cardiovascular diseases contribute substantially to the poor health and reduced life expectancy of Indigenous Australians. Heart failure is a common, disabling, progressive and costly complication of these disorders. The epidemiology of heart failure and the adequacy of relevant health service provision in Indigenous Australians are not well delineated.
A systematic search of the electronic databases PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cinahl Plus, Informit and Google Scholar was undertaken in April 2012 for peer-reviewed journal articles relevant to the topic of heart failure in Indigenous Australians. Additionally, a website search was done to identify other pertinent publications, particularly government reports.
There was a paucity of relevant peer-reviewed research, and government reports dominated the results. Ten journal articles, 1 published conference abstract and 10 reports were eligible for inclusion. Indigenous Australians reportedly have higher morbidity and mortality from heart failure than their non-Indigenous counterparts (age-standardised prevalence ratio 1.7; age-standardised hospital separation ratio ≥3; crude per capita hospital expenditure ratio 1.58; age-adjusted mortality ratio >2). Despite the evident disproportionate burden of heart failure in Indigenous Australians, the accuracy of estimation from administrative data is limited by poor indigenous identification, inadequate case ascertainment and exclusion of younger subjects from mortality statistics. A recent journal article specifically documented a high prevalence of heart failure in Central Australian Aboriginal adults (5.3%), noting frequent undiagnosed disease. One study examined barriers to health service provision for Indigenous Australians in the context of heart failure.
Despite the shortcomings of available published data, it is clear that Indigenous Australians have an excess burden of heart failure. Emerging data suggest that undiagnosed cases may be common in this population. In order to optimise management and to inform policy, high quality research on heart failure in Indigenous Australians is required to delineate accurate epidemiological indicators and to appraise health service provision.
Heart failure; Australia; Indigenous; Aboriginal; Torres Strait Islander; Cardiac failure; Cardiovascular; Heart disease
Purpose: The purpose is to review the issue of retraction in the scientific literature and to examine the policies on retraction of major biomedical journals.
Method: The historical background of this issue was investigated through a literature search. The Instructions to Authors of 122 major biomedical journals were reviewed for evidence of a policy on the retraction of articles. Editors of those journals with no mention of retraction in their Instructions to Authors were contacted by email and/or postal mail.
Results: Sixty-two percent of the journals investigated did not post or report having a policy on issuing retractions. Only twenty-one (18%) did. The remainder did not post any policy and did not respond to inquiries.
Discussion: Including policies in Instructions to Authors relating to the principled conduct of research and publication will improve the ethical environment in which the scientific community works.
Research in psychiatry has travelled far since the inception of the Indian Journal of Psychiatry (IJP) in 1949. We reviewed publications in the IJP during its initial three decades to identify path breaking articles and trends in research. We present the evolution of research design in the IJP from cases studies to randomized controlled trials. We identify the earliest studies in different fields, ranging from drug trials to social interventions, and from women’s mental health to geriatric psychiatry. We consider special issues such as the measurement of psychopathology specific to the Indian context, studies of treatments specific to Indian traditions, epidemiology of psychiatric disorders in India, and innovations in service delivery. Students interested in the history of Indian psychiatric research will be rewarded by the richness and variety of thought evidenced in the publications in the early decades of the IJP.
Indian Psychiatric research; Research methodology; Indian Journal of Psychiatry
Afghan and Iraqi refugees comprise nearly half of all those currently under United Nations protection. As many of them will eventually be resettled in countries outside the region of origin, their long term health and settlement concerns are of relevance to host societies, and will be a likely focus for future research. Since Australia and New Zealand have both accepted refugees for many years and have dedicated, but different settlement and immigration policies, a study comparing the resettlement of two different refugee groups in these countries was undertaken. The purpose of this article is to describe the instrument selection for this study assessing mental health and psychological well being with Afghan and Kurdish former refugees, in particular to address linguistic considerations and translated instrument availability. A summary of instruments previously used with refugee and migrant groups from the Middle East region is presented to assist other researchers, before describing the three instruments ultimately selected for the quantitative component of our study.
The Kessler-10 Psychological Distress Scale (K10), General Perceived Self-Efficacy Scale (GPSE), and Personal Well-Being Index (PWI) all showed good reliability (Cronbach's alphas of 0.86, 0.89 and 0.83 respectively for combined language versions) and ease of use even for pre-literate participants, with the sample of 193 refugees, although some concepts in the GPSE proved problematic for a small number of respondents. Farsi was the language of choice for the majority of Afghan participants, while most of the Kurds chose to complete English versions in addition to Farsi. No one used Arabic or Turkish translations. Participants settled less than ten years were more likely to complete questionnaires in Farsi. Descriptive summary statistics are presented for each instrument with results split by gender, refugee group and language version completed.
This paper discusses instrument selection for Farsi and Arabic speaking refugee participants from the Middle East and Afghanistan, concluding that the Kessler-10, GPSE scale and PWI were suitable for use with these groups. Suitable language translations are freely available. Our experience with these instruments may help inform other studies with these vulnerable groups.
Statistical training across the continuum of medical education may not have advanced at the pace of statistical reporting in the medical literature, yet a comprehensive understanding of statistical concepts most commonly presented in current research is critical to the effective practice of Evidence Based Medicine. The objective of this content analysis was to describe statistical techniques used in a leading medical journal, JAMA, across a 20-year period, with a focus on implications for medical education.
Methods and Findings
Two issues of JAMA published each month in 1990, 2000, and 2010 were randomly selected; from these, 361 articles were reviewed. Primary focus, study design, and statistical components were abstracted and examined by year of publication. The number of published RCTs and cohort studies differed significantly across years of interest, with an increasing trend of publication. The most commonly reported statistics over the 20-year period of interest included measures of morbidity and mortality, descriptive statistics, and epidemiologic outcomes. However, between 1990 and 2010, there was an increase in reporting of more advanced methods, such as multivariable regression, multilevel modeling, survival analysis, and sensitivity analysis. While this study is limited by a focus on one specific journal, a strength is that the journal examined is widely read by a range of clinical specialties and is considered a leading journal in the medical field, setting standards for published research.
The increases in frequency and complexity of statistical reporting in the literature over the past two decades may suggest that moving beyond basic statistical concepts to a more comprehensive understanding of statistical methods is an important component of clinicians' ability to effectively read and use the medical research. These findings provide information to consider as medical schools and graduate medical education training programs review and revise their statistical training components.
We conducted this analysis to determine i) which journals publish high-quality, clinically relevant studies in internal medicine, general/family practice, general practice nursing, and mental health; and ii) the proportion of clinically relevant articles in each journal.
We performed an analytic survey of a hand search of 170 general medicine, general healthcare, and specialty journals for 2000. Research staff assessed individual articles by using explicit criteria for scientific merit for healthcare application. Practitioners assessed the clinical importance of these articles. Outcome measures were the number of high-quality, clinically relevant studies published in the 170 journal titles and how many of these were published in each of four discipline-specific, secondary "evidence-based" journals (ACP Journal Club for internal medicine and its subspecialties; Evidence-Based Medicine for general/family practice; Evidence-Based Nursing for general practice nursing; and Evidence-Based Mental Health for all aspects of mental health). Original studies and review articles were classified for purpose: therapy and prevention, screening and diagnosis, prognosis, etiology and harm, economics and cost, clinical prediction guides, and qualitative studies.
We evaluated 60,352 articles from 170 journal titles. The pass criteria of high-quality methods and clinically relevant material were met by 3059 original articles and 1073 review articles. For ACP Journal Club (internal medicine), four titles supplied 56.5% of the articles and 27 titles supplied the other 43.5%. For Evidence-Based Medicine (general/family practice), five titles supplied 50.7% of the articles and 40 titles supplied the remaining 49.3%. For Evidence-Based Nursing (general practice nursing), seven titles supplied 51.0% of the articles and 34 additional titles supplied 49.0%. For Evidence-Based Mental Health (mental health), nine titles supplied 53.2% of the articles and 34 additional titles supplied 46.8%. For the disciplines of internal medicine, general/family practice, and mental health (but not general practice nursing), the number of clinically important articles was correlated withScience Citation Index (SCI) Impact Factors.
Although many clinical journals publish high-quality, clinically relevant and important original studies and systematic reviews, the articles for each discipline studied were concentrated in a small subset of journals. This subset varied according to healthcare discipline; however, many of the important articles for all disciplines in this study were published in broad-based healthcare journals rather than subspecialty or discipline-specific journals.
Due to language limitations, the abstract of journal article may be the only way for people of non-Chinese speaking countries to know about trials in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, little is known about the reporting quality of these trial abstracts. Our study is to assess the reporting quality of abstracts of randomized controlled trials (RCT) published in four leading Chinese medical journals of TCM, and to identify any differences in reporting between the Chinese and English version of the same abstract publication.
Two reviewers hand-searched the Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine, the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, the China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica and the Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion for all abstracts of RCTs published between 2006 and 2007. Two reviewers independently assessed the reporting quality of the Chinese and English version of all eligible abstracts based on a modified version of the CONSORT for reporting randomised trials in journal and conference abstracts (CONSORT for abstracts).
We identified a total of 345 RCTs of TCM with both a Chinese and English abstract. More than half of Chinese abstracts reported details of the trial participants (68%; 234/345), control group intervention (52%; 179/345), the number of participants randomized (73%; 253/345) and benefits when interpreting the trial results (55%; 190/345). Reporting of methodological quality or key features of trial design and trial results were poor; only 2% (7/345) included details of the trial design, 3% (11/345) defined the primary outcome, 5% (17/345) described the methods of random sequence generation, and only 4% (13/345) reported the number of participants analyzed. No abstracts provided details on allocation concealment and trial registration. The percentage agreement in reporting (between the Chinese and English version of the same abstract) ranged from 84% to 100% across individual checklist item.
The reporting quality of abstracts of RCTs published in these four TCM journals needs to be improved. Since none of the four journals adopted CONSORT for Abstracts, we hope that the introduction and adoption of CONSORT for Abstracts by TCM journals will lead to an improvement in reporting quality.
Quantitative survey of research articles, as an application of bibliometrics, is an effective tool for grasping overall trends in various medical research fields. This type of survey has been also applied to infectious disease research; however, previous studies were insufficient as they underestimated articles published in non-English or regional journals.
Using a combination of Scopus™ and PubMed, the databases of scientific literature, and English and non-English keywords directly linked to infectious disease control, we identified international and regional infectious disease journals. In order to ascertain whether the newly selected journals were appropriate to survey a wide range of research articles, we compared the number of original articles and reviews registered in the selected journals to those in the 'Infectious Disease Category' of the Science Citation Index Expanded™ (SCI Infectious Disease Category) during 1998-2006. Subsequently, we applied the newly selected journals to survey the number of original articles and reviews originating from 11 Asian countries during the same period.
One hundred journals, written in English or 7 non-English languages, were newly selected as infectious disease journals. The journals published 14,156 original articles and reviews of Asian origin and 118,158 throughout the world, more than those registered in the SCI Infectious Disease Category (4,621 of Asian origin and 66,518 of the world in the category). In Asian trend analysis of the 100 journals, Japan had the highest percentage of original articles and reviews in the area, and no noticeable increase in articles was revealed during the study period. China, India and Taiwan had relatively large numbers and a high increase rate of original articles among Asian countries. When adjusting the publication of original articles according to the country population and the gross domestic product (GDP), Singapore and Taiwan were the most productive.
A survey of 100 selected journals is more sensitive than the SCI Infectious Disease Category from the viewpoint of avoiding underestimating the number of infectious disease research articles of Asian origin. The survey method is applicable to grasp global trends in disease research, although the method may require further development.
Studies worldwide point toward increased risk of mental health issues among immigrants. Immigrants’ ability to integrate the cultural identity of their new country has been found to be a key factor in their psychological well-being. Even though researchers agree on the crucial role of identity integration in immigrants’ well-being, the current literature has two main limitations: (1) researchers do not agree on the importance that should be allocated to each of the cultural identities, and (2) research has focused on bicultural individuals as opposed to multicultural individuals. The present paper proposes to study Canadians immigrants living in the province of Quebec who, because of the political and linguistic situation of the province, face the challenge of integrating two new cultural identities (Quebecer and Canadian) to their original one. Specifically, cluster analysis was used to observe identity profiles that naturally emerge among 120 Canadian immigrants from the province of Quebec. Identity profiles were then compared on various indices of well-being to identify the optimal identity structure. In total, four identity profiles emerged, differing in their levels of identity coherence (i.e., similar levels of identification with each group) and identification to either the original group or the Quebecers. ANOVA results confirmed that identity profiles differed in their average level of well-being. First, immigrants with coherent profiles displayed higher levels of well-being. Second, among incoherent profiles, the profile where identification to the original group is the highest showed the greatest well-being. Implications suggest that in order to maximize immigrants’ well-being, psychologists should focus on the coherence between cultural groups as well as identification to the original group.
cultural identity; identity integration; well-being; identity profiles; acculturation; self-concept; immigrants
Canada’s diverse society and statutory commitment to multiculturalism means that the synthesis of knowledge related to the health care experiences of immigrants is essential to realize the health potential for future Canadians. Although concerns about the maternity experiences of immigrants in Canada are relatively new, recent national guidelines explicitly call for tailoring of services to user needs. We are therefore assessing the experiences of immigrant women in Canada accessing maternity-care services. We are focusing on: 1) accessibility and acceptability (as an important dimension of access) to maternity-care services as perceived and experienced by immigrant women, and 2) the birth and postnatal outcomes of these women.
The aim of this study is to use a narrative synthesis, incorporating both a systematic review using narrative synthesis of reports of empirical research (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method designs), and a literature review of non-empirically based reports, both of which include ‘grey’ literature. The study aims to provide stakeholders with perspectives on maternity-care services as experienced by immigrant women. To achieve this, we are using integrated knowledge translation, partnering with key stakeholders to ensure topic relevancy and to tailor recommendations for effective translation into future policy and practice/programming. Two search phases and a three-stage selection process are being conducted (database search retrieved 1487 hits excluding duplicates) to provide evidence to contribute jointly to both the narrative synthesis and the non-empirical literature review. The narrative synthesis will be informed by the previous framework published in 2006 by Popay et al., using identified tools for each of its four elements. The non-empirical literature review will build upon the narrative-synthesis findings and/or identify omissions or gaps in the empirical research literature. The integrated knowledge translation plan will ensure that key messages are delivered in an audience-specific manner to optimize their effect on policy and practice change throughout the health service, and the public health, immigration and community sectors.
Narrative-synthesis methods of systematic review facilitate understanding and acknowledgement of the broader influences of theoretical and contextual variables, such as race, gender, socioeconomic status, and geographical location. They also enable understanding of the shaping of differences between reported outcomes and study designs related to childbearing populations, and the development and implementation of maternity services and health interventions across diverse settings.
Narrative synthesis; Immigrant women; Maternity-care experiences; Canada; Study protocol; Mixed research design review