To assess reasons for low uptake of immunization amongst orthodox Jewish families.
Qualitative interviews with 25 orthodox Jewish mothers and 10 local health care workers.
The orthodox Jewish community in North East London.
Main outcome measures
Identification of views on immunization in the orthodox Jewish community.
In a community assumed to be relatively insulated from direct media influence, word of mouth is nevertheless a potent source of rumours about vaccination dangers. The origins of these may lie in media scares that contribute to anxieties about MMR. At the same time, close community cohesion leads to a sense of relative safety in relation to tuberculosis, with consequent low rates of BCG uptake. Thus low uptake of different immunizations arises from enhanced feelings of both safety and danger. Low uptake was not found to be due to the practical difficulties associated with large families, or to perceived insensitive cultural practices of health care providers.
The views and practices of members of this community are not homogeneous and may change over time. It is important that assumptions concerning the role of religious beliefs do not act as an obstacle for providing clear messages concerning immunization, and community norms may be challenged by explicitly using its social networks to communicate more positive messages about immunization. The study provides a useful example of how social networks may reinforce or challenge misinformation about health and risk and the complex nature of decision making about children's health.
OBJECTIVE: To describe cultural beliefs of Orthodox Jewish families regarding childbirth in order to help family physicians enhance the quality and sensitivity of their care. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: These findings were based on a review of the literature searched in MEDLINE (1966 to present), HEALTHSTAR (1975 to present), EMBASE (1988 to present), and Social Science Abstracts (1984 to present). Interviews with several members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Edmonton, Alta, and Vancouver, BC, were conducted to determine the accuracy of the information presented and the relevance of the paper to the current state of health care delivery from the recipients' point of view. MAIN MESSAGE: Customs and practices surrounding childbirth in the Orthodox Jewish tradition differ in several practical respects from expectations and practices within the Canadian health care system. The information presented was deemed relevant and accurate by those interviewed, and the subject matter was considered to be important for improving communication between patients and physicians. Improved communication and recognition of these differences can improve the quality of health care provided to these patients. CONCLUSIONS: Misunderstandings rooted in different cultural views of childbirth and the events surrounding it can adversely affect health care provided to women in the Orthodox Jewish community in Canada. A basic understanding of the cultural foundations of potential misunderstandings will help Canadian physicians provide effective health care to Orthodox Jewish women.
Jewish bioethics in the contemporary era emerges from the traditional practice of applying principles of Jewish law (Halacha) to ethical dilemmas. The Bible (written law) and the Talmud (oral law) are the foundational texts on which such deliberations are based. Interpretation of passages in these texts attempts to identify the duties of physicians, patients and families faced with difficult health care decisions. Although Jewish law is an integral consideration of religiously observant Jews, secularized Jewish patients often welcome the wisdom of their tradition when considering treatment options. Jewish bioethics exemplifies how an ethical system based on duties may differ from the secular rights-based model prevalent in North American society.
This paper examines some of the traditional texts that deal with sexuality, birth control and childbirth in the orthodox Jewish tradition and presents the rules governing these areas. For instance, a married woman should avoid being alone with a male physician unless other people are in earshot and have access to the room. A husband and wife must separate during the woman's menses and for the first 7 days afterward. Contraception is permitted if childbearing would endanger a woman's life or health. Termination of pregnancy is also permitted to preserve a woman's health, including her mental health. During childbirth the health of the mother is primary and supercedes all other rules or laws, including those of Sabbath observance. In general, orthodox Jewish women try to live as much as possible within the framework of Halacha. These customs are examined as examples of the need for sensitivity to cultural norms that affect the behaviour of different ethnic groups.
Responses to public health need require information on the distribution of mental and physical ill health by demographic and socioeconomic factors at the local community level.
The South East London Community Health (SELCoH) study is a community psychiatric and physical morbidity survey. Trained interviewers conducted face-to-face computer assisted interviews with 1698 adults aged 16 years and over, from 1076 randomly selected private households in two south London boroughs. We compared the prevalence of common mental disorders, hazardous alcohol use, long standing illness and general physical health by demographic and socioeconomic indicators. Unadjusted and models adjusted for demographic and socioeconomic indicators are presented for all logistic regression models.
Of those in the sample, 24.2% reported common mental disorder and 44.9% reported having a long standing illness, with 15.7% reporting hazardous alcohol consumption and 19.2% rating their health as fair or poor. The pattern of indicators identifying health inequalities for common mental disorder, poor general health and having a long term illness is similar; individuals who are socioeconomically disadvantaged have poorer health and physical health worsens as age increases for all groups. The prevalence of poor health outcomes by ethnic group suggests that there are important differences between groups, particularly for common mental disorder and poor general health. Higher socioeconomic status was protective for common mental disorder, fair or poor health and long standing illness, but those with higher socioeconomic status reported higher levels of hazardous alcohol use. The proportion of participants who met the criteria for common mental disorder with co-occurring functional limitations was similar or greater to those with poor physical health.
Health service providers and policy makers should prioritise high risk, socially defined groups in combating inequalities in individual and co-occurring poor mental and physical problems. In population terms, poor mental health has a similar or greater burden on functional impairment than long term conditions and perceived health.
To explore tuberculosis (TB) service users’ experiences and satisfaction with care provision.
Thirty-nine percent of all new UK TB cases occur in London. Prevalence varies considerably between and within boroughs. Overall, research suggests inadequate control of London’s TB transmission; TB has become a health care priority for all London Primary Care Trusts. Service users’ experiences and satisfaction with care provision have not been explored adequately previously.
A qualitative research design, using semi-structured face-to-face interviews was used. Ten service users, purposively selected in key risk groups across London, were interviewed. All interviews were digitally recorded with users’ permission, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically.
Participants were treated in local hospitals for 6–12 months. Treatment was administered by TB nurses to inpatients and outpatients receiving directly observed therapy in consultation with medical staff and home visits for complex cases. Two participants did not realize the importance of compliance. Overall, they were satisfied with many TB services’ aspects, communication, and service organization. Early access, low suspicion index amongst some GPs, and restricted referral routes were identified as service barriers. Other improvement areas were information provision on drug side effects, diet, nutritional status, and a few health professionals’ attitudes. The effects on people varied enormously from minimal impact to psychological shock; TB also affected social and personal aspects of their life. With regard to further support facilities, some positive views on managed accommodation by TB-aware professionals for those with accommodation problems were identified.
This first in-depth study of TB service users’ experiences across London offers valuable insights into service users’ experiences, providing information and recommendations for a strategic framework for TB service organization and delivery. Overall, further research is needed; TB services – local, national, and international – need to be more closely aligned with service users’ complex needs.
qualitative study; interviews; TB; service organization; services improvement
Spiritual care is a vital part of holistic patient care. Awareness of common patient beliefs will facilitate discussions about spirituality. Such conversations are inherently good for the patient, deepen the caring staff-patient-family relationship, and enhance understanding of how beliefs influence care decisions. All healthcare providers are likely to encounter Muslim patients, yet many lack basic knowledge of the Muslim faith and of the applications of Islamic teachings to palliative care. Similarly, some of the concepts underlying positive Jewish approaches to palliative care are not well known. We outline Jewish and Islamic attitudes toward suffering, treatment, and the end of life. We discuss our religions' approaches to treatments deemed unnecessary by medical staff, and consider some of the cultural reasons that patients and family members might object to palliative care, concluding with specific suggestions for the medical team.
BACKGROUND: General practitioners and the microbiologist serving north Hackney in north east London formed the impression, that of throat swabs sent to the laboratory, a disproportionate number of those positive for group A streptococcus appeared to come from Orthodox Jewish patients. AIM: To confirm the clinical impression that the pharyngeal carriage of group A streptococci was higher in the Orthodox Jewish population than in other members of the population in the same locality. DESIGN OF STUDY: A general practice questionnaire survey of all patients aged three years or over attending two practices that are about one kilometre apart, over a five-week period. SETTING: Two general practices in north London, one of which had a significant Orthodox Jewish patient list. METHODS: Throat swabs were taken from eligible patients who were invited to participate by completing a questionnaire and having a throat swab taken. RESULTS: Swabs were taken from 1223 people. After correction for age (child or adult) and history of recent sore throat, the Orthodox Jewish community had a significantly higher carriage rate of group A streptococci than the rest of the population (odds ratio = 5.0 [2.1 to 11.9]). The proportion of adults with group A streptococci with and without sore throats was 6.4% and 2.4% respectively in the Orthodox Jewish group and 0.45% and 1% respectively in the 'others' group. The proportion of children with group A streptococci with and without sore throats was 17.4% and 5.9% respectively and 3.4% and 0% respectively in the others. These differences were not explained by the larger family size and domestic overcrowding in the Orthodox Jewish group. CONCLUSIONS: Orthodox Jews in north London have a higher pharyngeal carriage rate of group A streptococci than the neighbouring population. These results may have implications for the diagnosis and treatment of acute sore throat in Orthodox Jewish patients, especially children.
Lack of support for breastfeeding mothers has been consistently identified in the literature as a barrier for breastfeeding across racial and ethnic groups. Using a community-based participatory approach, academic and community-based partners conducted an iterative process to assess barriers, facilitators and potential mediating interventions for breastfeeding in the African-American community in Durham, North Carolina.
Eight focus groups were conducted with African-American mothers, fathers and grandmothers. Researchers transcribed and coded each focus group and analyzed using Atlas ti. 5.2. Patterns and themes that emerged informed the development of community stakeholder interviews; 41 interviews were conducted with community representatives. These findings informed the development of a support group pilot intervention. The pilot support groups were evaluated for increase in knowledge of attendees.
Focus group and community interviews indicate that African Americans may disproportionately experience inadequate support for breastfeeding. This lack of support was reported in the home, the workplace, among peers, and from healthcare providers. The pilot support groups resulted in increased knowledge of breastfeeding among group participants OR=3.6 (95% CI: 2.5, 5.2).
The findings from this research underscore the importance of a multi-level approach to breastfeeding support for African American women to address breastfeeding disparities.
Human lactation; Infants; Health policy
To assess weight-related beliefs and concerns of overweight urban, African-American children, their parents, and community leaders before developing a family-based intervention to reduce childhood overweight and diabetes risk.
We conducted 13 focus groups with overweight children and their parents and eight semistructured interviews with community leaders.
Participants and Setting
Focus group participants (N = 67) from Chicago’s South Side were recruited through flyers in community sites. Interview participants (N = 9) were recruited to sample perspectives from health, fitness, education, civics, and faith leaders.
Community leaders felt awareness was higher for acute health conditions than for obesity. Parents were concerned about their children’s health, but felt stressed by competing priorities and constrained by lack of knowledge, parenting skills, time, and financial resources. Parents defined overweight in functional terms, whereas children relied upon physical appearances. Children perceived negative social consequences of overweight. Parents and children expressed interest in family-based interventions to improve nutrition and physical activity and offered suggestions for making programs interesting.
This study provides insights into the perspectives of urban, African-American overweight children, their parents, and community leaders regarding nutrition and physical activity. The specific beliefs of these respondents can become potential leverage points in interventions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi: 10.1007/s11606-007-0469-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
focus groups; African Americans; overweight; children; nutrition; type 2 diabetes
This study investigated the beliefs and attitudes of older African American colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors that may influence health behavior changes after treatment. Drawing from existing theories of health behavior change and cultural beliefs about health, a semi-structured interview guide was developed to elicit survivors’ perspectives. Qualitative focus groups and interviews were conducted with 17 survivors identified through the Detroit Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results registry. Using verbatim transcripts from the sessions and NVivo software, thematic analysis was conducted to analyze patterns of responses. Transcripts were coded for seven categories (health behaviors, who/what motivates change, self-efficacy, fatalism, religion/spirituality, beliefs about cancer, race/ethnicity). Five themes emerged from the data (personal responsibility, resilience, desire for information, intentions to change, beliefs in divine control). Findings support the relevance of existing theories of health behavior change to older African American CRC survivors. Cultural considerations are suggested to improve interventions seeking to maximize changes in diet and exercise among this group of survivors.
African Americans; Health behaviors; Colorectal cancer; Cancer survivorship; Qualitative methods
The increasing incidence of breast cancer in the Arab world, coupled with a relatively early age of onset, raises concern for the presence of hereditary risk factors in this population. However, due to potential structural and cultural barriers, Arab Americans make up the smallest percentage of individuals tested for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome in the United States. The objectives of this qualitative pilot focus group of 13 Arab-American women were to explore attitudes, knowledge and beliefs regarding hereditary breast cancer in the Arab-American community in metropolitan Detroit, identify barriers that would prevent women from seeking hereditary cancer screening/testing and determine who women would talk to about inherited cancer. Results indicated that cultural beliefs and personal experiences with cancer influenced the women’s perspectives on hereditary cancer risk. A high level of secrecy about cancer within Arab-American families was present, which may prevent accurate risk assessment and referral for genetic services. Other identified barriers that may influence hereditary risk assessment included stigma, fears and misconceptions of cancer. While these barriers were present, participants also expressed a strong need for education and tailored cancer risk information for their community.
Arab-American; Hereditary breast cancer; Cancer risk; Cancer screening; Genetic counseling
Cultural identity is an important factor in how well Aboriginal people respond to HIV/AIDS prevention or, once diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, how it affects their health care. This study explores the cultural skills among service providers who see Aboriginal people living with HIV/AIDS (APHAs) and the perspectives of APHAs. The purpose is to better understand the wellness needs of APHAs and how culturally competent care affects health service access and use. Data collection included face-to-face semi-structured interviews with APHAs and focus groups/interviews with community-based and primary health professionals in five regions of Canada. Interviews and focus groups were voice-recorded, verbatim transcribed, and coded using Atlas.ti® software. Thirty-five APHAs and fifty-two service providers were reached. Two key themes were noticed:
Active addictions are a major obstacle to adherence to HIV drug regimes. Half of APHA participants said addictions are a major factor. A similar portion noted intensified substance use was an initial coping strategy when diagnosed. A slightly smaller portion noted that addictions were dealt with soon after diagnosis in order to begin antiretroviral treatment. Service providers who inform, encourage, and support APHAs’ choices are viewed as “culturally competent.”Addictions and HIV must be “treated together,” reflecting a holistic worldview of Aboriginal people. Programs that integrate addiction treatment with HIV/AIDS and service providers who encourage and support APHA’s choices are viewed as “wise practice” models by both sets of study participants offering some convergence and a set of five wise practices are identified.
PMID: 20835301 CAMSID: cams1069
Aboriginal Peoples; HIV/AIDS; Cultural Competence; Addictions
The understanding of pathways into care is necessary to plan services and identify health care needs of patients. We set out to study these pathways into care in south Asian and white elderly patients coming into contact with secondary care psychiatric services. All inpatients, day patients and community assessments of patients over 65 being referred for the first time or after a gap of one year were invited to take part in the study over a 6 month period and those willing were interviewed. Pathways to care encounter, GP satisfaction, Past Psychiatric History Schedule and menul illness beliefs were studied. Only the pathways and GP satisfaction are presented here. Of 117 patients, 71 were white and 46 south Asians. South Asians were more likely to ask for help but had longer delays in contacting psychiatric services. They were also more dissatisfied with their GPs. A complex interaction of interpersonal and intrapersonal factors influences pathways into help-seeking.
Ethnic minority;; Elders; Pathways into care
The publication of Best research for best health in 2006 and the “ring-fencing” of health research funding in England marked the start of a period of change for health research governance and the structure of research funding in England. One response to bridging the ‘second translational gap’ between research knowledge and clinical practice was the establishment of nine Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs). The goal of this paper is to assess how national-level understanding of the aims and objectives of the CLAHRCs translated into local implementation and practice in North West London.
This study uses a variation of Goffman’s frame analysis to trace the development of the initial national CLAHRC policy to its implementation at three levels. Data collection and analysis were qualitative through interviews, document analysis and embedded research.
Analysis at the macro (national policy), meso (national programme) and micro (North West London) levels shows a significant common understanding of the aims and objectives of the policy and programme. Local level implementation in North West London was also consistent with these.
The macro-meso-micro frame analysis is a useful way of studying the transition of a policy from high-level idea to programme in action. It could be used to identify differences at a local (micro) level in the implementation of multi-site programmes that would help understand differences in programme effectiveness.
Policy implementation; Policy analysis; Frame analysis; Knowledge translation; Health services research; Translational gap
Background Asian patients preferentially seek mental health care from their primary care providers but are unlikely to receive it. Primary care providers need culturally-informed strategies for addressing stigmatizing illnesses. Methods 11 Vietnamese American community members participated in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. The grounded theory approach was used for qualitative coding and thematic analysis. Results Vietnamese community members describe experiences with depression under four themes: (1) Stigma and face; (2) Social functioning and the role of the family; (3) Traditional healing and beliefs about medications; and (4) Language and culture. Based on this data, we offer suggestions for improving culturally-informed care for Vietnamese Americans. Disucssion Our study adds to the research aimed at improving communication and health care relationships between physicians and Vietnamese American patients. Physicians should learn to tailor their interviewing style to the increasingly diverse patient population.
Communication; Depression; Primary care; Vietnamese American
Objectives: To describe the demographic and behavioural factors associated with HIV testing among migrant Africans in London.
Methods: A cross sectional survey of migrants from five sub-Saharan African communities (Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe) resident in London was carried out. The study formed part of a larger community based participatory research initiative with migrant African communities in London—the MAYISHA project. Trained, ethnically matched interviewers recruited study participants in a variety of community venues. A brief self completion questionnaire collected data on demographic characteristics, utilisation of sexual health services, HIV testing history, sexual behaviour, and attitudes.
Results: Valid questionnaires were obtained from 748 participants (396 men and 352 women), median ages 31 and 27 years, respectively. Median length of UK residence was 6 years. 34% of men and 30% of women reported ever having had an HIV test. HIV testing was significantly associated with age and previous STI diagnosis among women; and additionally, nationality, education, employment, and self perceived risk of acquiring HIV among men. After controlling for significant demographic variables, previous diagnosis of an STI (adjusted odds ratio and 95% confidence interval for men: 2.96, 1.63 to 5.38, and women 2.03, 1.06 to 3.88) and perceived risk of acquiring HIV for men (adjusted OR 2.28, 95%CI 1.34 to 3.90) remained independently associated.
Conclusion: Among these high HIV prevalence migrant communities, these data suggest that HIV testing remains largely associated with an individual's STI history or self perceived risk. This strategy may be inappropriate given the potential for onward and vertical transmission. Antenatal HIV testing combined with proactive targeted HIV testing promotion should be prioritised.
A questionnaire-based survey, undertaken in North London state secondary schools, illustrated some stumbling blocks and a lack of knowledge that is likely to inhibit an effective use of general practice among 12-18 year olds. A review of the current arrangements and some adjustment of current services might increase the likelihood of achieving Health of the Nation targets for teenage pregnancies, and may also improve health care for this important and vulnerable section of the population.
An estimated 10,000 Burmese migrants are currently living in London. No studies have been conducted on their access to health services. Furthermore, most studies on migrants in the United Kingdom (UK) have been conducted at the point of service provision, carrying the risk of selection bias. Our cross-sectional study explored access to and utilisation of General Practice (GP) services by Burmese migrants residing in London.
We used a mixed-method approach: a quantitative survey using self-administered questionnaires was complemented by qualitative in-depth interviews for developing the questionnaire and triangulating the findings of the survey. Overall, 137 questionnaires were received (a response rate of 57%) and 11 in-depth interviews conducted. The main outcome variables of the study included GP registration, barriers towards registration, GP consultations, barriers towards consultations, and knowledge on entitlements to health care. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics, association tests, and a multivariate analysis using logistic regression. The qualitative information was analysed using content analysis.
The respondents were young, of roughly equal gender (51.5% female), well educated, and had a fair level of knowledge on health services in the UK. Although the GP registration rate was relatively high (80%, 109 out of 136), GP service utilisation during the last episode of illness, at 56.8% (54 out of 95), was low. The statistical analysis showed that age being younger than 35 years, lacking prior overseas experience, having an unstable immigration status, having a shorter duration of stay, and resorting to self-medication were the main barriers hindering Burmese migrants from accessing primary health care services. These findings were corroborated by the in-depth interviews.
Our study found that having formal access to primary health care was not sufficient to ensure GP registration and health care utilisation. Some respondents faced difficulties in registering with GP practices. Many of those who have registered prefer to forego GP services in favour of self-medication, partly due to long waiting times and language barriers. To ensure that migrants enjoy the health services they need and to which they are entitled, more proactive steps are required, including those that make health services culturally responsive.
In this article, we examine parent–adolescent communication about sex among rural Indian youth and their parents. We conducted in-depth interviews (N = 40) with mothers, fathers, and adolescent boys and girls aged 14 to 18 years in a rural community in Maharashtra, India. In the context of key cultural factors, including gender-related norms, we explore issues of sexual health and critically assess widely held beliefs that Indian parents are unwilling or unable to discuss sex-related topics with their children. Our findings suggest that despite communication barriers, e.g., lack of knowledge and cultural proscriptions, Indian families are interested in and willing to communicate about sex-related topics. Future research should seek to determine the viability of family-based HIV prevention interventions for Indian adolescents.
adolescents/youth; Asia; South/Southeast; communication; HIV/AIDS prevention; parenting; sexuality/sexual health
To examine the perceived effect of teaching clinical skills and associated teacher training programmes on general practitioners' morale and clinical practice.
Qualitative semistructured interview study.
General practices throughout north London.
30 general practitioners who taught clinical skills were asked about the effect of teaching and teacher training on their morale, confidence in clinical and teaching skills, and clinical practice.
The main theme was a positive effect on morale. Within teacher training this was attributed to developing peer and professional support; improved teaching skills; and revision of clinical knowledge and skills. Within teaching this was attributed to a broadening of horizons; contact with enthusiastic students; increased time with patients; improved clinical practice; improved teaching skills; and an improved image of the practice. Problems with teaching were due to external factors such as lack of time and space and anxieties about adequacy of clinical cover while teaching.
Teaching clinical skills can have a positive effect on the morale of general practitioner teachers as a result of contact with students and peers, as long as logistic and funding issues are adequately dealt with.
Key messagesThe increase in community based teaching of clinical skills requires an increase in the number of general practitioner teachersLittle evidence is available about the effect of teaching of clinical skills and teacher training on general practitioner teachers and practicesGeneral practitioner teachers reported an increase in morale, improvements in clinical skills, and changes in clinical practice and in practice infrastructure as a result of teaching and trainingGeneral practitioner teachers reported problems because of pressure on time, lack of space, problems recruiting patients, and unsupportive practice partnersPositive effects on morale and clinical practice may be important for sustainable teaching and continuing medical education
Immigrant Latino youth experience mental health problems in the U.S. Cultural beliefs and knowledge may influence help-seeking behaviors.
Two hundred thirty-four immigrant Latino respondents between 12 and 44 years of age completed a questionnaire assessing knowledge of and cultural beliefs regarding mental health resources for adolescents, symptoms, and help-seeking.
Multivariate analyses showed that rural respondents were significantly less likely to know of mental health resources than urban-based immigrant Latinos. Knowledge and belief outcomes were also affected by age, gender, and length of time living in the community.
Immigrant Latinos appear willing to seek professional help for mental health problems but may not know how to access this type of care, or may lack available services. Future research to inform interventions that increase awareness of accessible mental health services is suggested. Findings support systems-level changes including increased availability of culturally-specific mental health services, especially in rural areas.
Latino; mental health; adolescent; parent; knowledge; cultural beliefs
Reviewing the publications of prominent American rabbis who have (extensively) published on Jewish biomedical ethics, this article highlights Orthodox, Conservative and Reform opinions on a most pressing contemporary bioethical issue: euthanasia. Reviewing their opinions against the background of the halachic character of Jewish (biomedical) ethics, this article shows how from one traditional Jewish textual source diverse, even contradictory, opinions emerge through different interpretations. In this way, in the Jewish debate on euthanasia the specific methodology of Jewish (bio)ethical reasoning comes forward as well as a diversity of opinion within Judaism and its branches.
Judaism; Euthanasia; Jewish ethics; Orthodox; Conservative; Reform
Older people are increasingly retaining their natural teeth but at higher risk of oral disease with resultant impact on their quality of life. Socially deprived people are more at risk of oral disease and yet less likely to take up care. Health organisations in England and Wales are exploring new ways to commission and provide dental care services in general and for vulnerable groups in particular. This study was undertaken to investigate barriers to dental care perceived by older people in socially deprived inner city area where uptake of care was low and identify methods for minimising barriers in older people in support of oral health.
A qualitative dual-methodological approach, utilising both focus groups and individual interviews, was used in this research. Participants, older people and carers of older people, were recruited using purposive sampling through day centres and community groups in the inner city boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham in South London. A topic guide was utilised to guide qualitative data collection. Informants' views were recorded on tape and in field notes. The data were transcribed and analysed using Framework Methodology.
Thirty-nine older people and/or their carers participated in focus groups. Active barriers to dental care in older people fell into five main categories: cost, fear, availability, accessibility and characteristics of the dentist. Lack of perception of a need for dental care was a common 'passive barrier' amongst denture wearers in particular. The cost of dental treatment, fear of care and perceived availability of dental services emerged to influence significantly dental attendance. Minimising barriers involves three levels of action to be taken: individual actions (such as persistence in finding available care following identification of need), system changes (including reducing costs, improving information, ensuring appropriate timing and location of care, and good patient management) and societal issues (such as reducing isolation and loneliness). Older people appeared to place greater significance on system and societal change than personal action.
Older people living within the community in an inner city area where NHS dental care is available face barriers to dental care. Improving access to care involves actions at individual, societal and system level. The latter includes appropriate management of older people by clinicians, policy change to address NHS charges; consideration of when, where and how dental care is provided; and clear information for older people and their carers on available local dental services, dental charges and care pathways.
To explore knowledge and attitudes about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among African American patients age 45 and older at a community health center serving low-income and uninsured patients.
We conducted 7 focus groups and 17 additional semistructured interviews. Sessions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using standard text analysis.
Most participants who were age eligible for CRC screening were nonadherent according to national guidelines. Themes included low CRC knowledge, low perceived norms, high barriers, and other screening beliefs.
Lack of knowledge, low perceived risk, and attitudes about CRC screening may be important targets for interventions in low-income African American patients.
colon cancer; focus groups; African American; low-income