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author:("asibi, neyman")
1.  What's the role of perceived social support and coping styles in depression and anxiety? 
Due to the excessive and pathologic effects of depression and anxiety, it is important to identify the role of protective factors, such as effective coping and social support. This study examined the associations between perceived social support and coping styles with depression and anxiety levels.
Materials and Methods:
This cross sectional study was part of the Study on the Epidemiology of Psychological, Alimentary Health and Nutrition project. A total 4658 individuals aged ≥20 years was selected by cluster random sampling. Subjects completed questionnaires, which were used to describe perceived social support, coping styles, depression and anxiety. t-test, Chi-square test, pearson's correlation and Logistic regression analysis were used in data analyses.
The results of Logistic regression analysis showed after adjusting demographic characteristics for odd ratio of anxiety, active copings such as positive re-interpretation and growth with odds ratios; 95% confidence interval: 0.82 (0.76, 0.89), problem engagement (0.92 [0.87, 0.97]), acceptance (0.82 [0.74, 0.92]) and also among perceived social supports, family (0.77 [0.71, 0.84]) and others (0.84 [0.76, 0.91]) were protective. In addition to, for odd ratio of depression, active copings such as positive re-interpretation and growth (0.74 [0.69, 0.79]), problem engagement (0.89 [0.86, 0.93]), and support seeking (0.96 [0.93, 0.99]) and all of social support types (family [0.75 (0.70, 0.80)], friends [0.90 (0.85, 0.95)] and others [0.80 (0.75, 0.86)]) were protective. Avoidance was risk factor for both of anxiety (1.19 [1.12, 1.27]) and depression (1.22 [1.16, 1.29]).
This study shows active coping styles and perceived social supports particularly positive re-interpretation and family social support are protective factors for depression and anxiety.
PMCID: PMC4274570  PMID: 25538777
Anxiety; coping styles; depression; perceived social support
2.  Inflammatory cells’ role in acetic acid-induced colitis 
Free radicals are the known mechanisms responsible for inducing colitis with two origins: Inflammatory cells and tissues. Only the inflammatory cells can be controlled by corticosteroids. Our aim was to assess the importance of neutrophils as one of the inflammatory cells in inducing colitis and to evaluate the efficacy of corticosteroids in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Materials and Methods:
Thirty-six mice were divided into six groups of six mice each. Colitis was induced in three groups by exposing them to acetic acid through enema (group 1), ex vivo (group 3), and enema after immune suppression (group 5). Each group had one control group that was exposed to water injection instead of acetic acid. Tissue samples were evaluated and compared based on macroscopic damages and biochemical and pathological results.
Considering neutrophilic infiltration, there were significant differences between groups 1, 3, 5, and the control of group 1. Groups 3, 5, and their controls, and group 1 and the control of group 3 had significant differences in terms of goblet depletion. Based on tissue originated H2O2, we found significant differences between group 1 and its control and group 3, and also between groups 5 and the control of group 3. All the three groups were significantly different from their controls based on Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma (FRAP) and such differences were also seen between group 1 with two other groups.
Neutrophils may not be the only cause of oxidation process in colitis, and also makes the effectiveness of corticosteroids in the treatment of this disease doubtful.
PMCID: PMC4202508  PMID: 25337523
Acetic acid-induced colitis; corticosteroid; inflammatory bowel disease; neutrophil infiltration
3.  N-acetyl cysteine as an adjunct to standard anti-Helicobacter pylori eradication regimen in patients with dyspepsia: A prospective randomized, open-label trial 
Increasing antibiotic resistance of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) which is associated with diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract, has made alternative treatments necessary. This study compares the efficacy of adding N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) to standard regimen for H. pylori eradication.
Materials and Methods:
We conducted a randomized, open-label trial, comparing the efficacy of 14 days of quadruple therapy with Amoxicillin, Bismuth citrate, Omeprazole, Clarithromycin (group A) versus 14 days of above regimen plus NAC (group B) in adult patients with dyspepsia. Primary objective was H. pylori eradication. Compliance and side effects were determined by questionnaires. Our analysis was by intention-to-treat (ITT) and per-protocol. This study is registered with, number: IRCT201201078634N1.
A total of 121 participants aged 21-76 years with a mean age of 44.5 ± 14.1, and 52.9% female, were randomly allocated a treatment: 60 with 14-day standard therapy and 61 with 14-day standard therapy with NAC. The eradication rate in groups A and B with ITT analyses was 49/60 (81.7%; 95% [confidence intervals] CI = 71.6-91.8%) and 50/61 (82%; 95% CI = 72-91.9%), respectively (P = 0.96). In per-protocol analysis, the rate of H. pylori eradication in groups A and B was 45/54 (83.3%; 95% CI = 73.1-93.6%) and 45/53 (84.9%; 95% CI = 74.9-94.9%), respectively (P = 0.82). Minor well tolerated side effects were reported in 15 (34.9%) and 21 (35.6%) patients of groups A and B, respectively, and only one therapy cessation in group A was created.
Standard 14-day triple-drug therapy with NAC is not preferable to standard drug regimens for H. pylori infection.
PMCID: PMC4189211  PMID: 25298958
Helicobacter pylori; Helicobacter pylori eradication; N-acetyl cysteine
4.  A cross-sectional population-based study on the association of personality traits with anxiety and psychological stress: Joint modeling of mixed outcomes using shared random effects approach 
Previous studies have showed some evidences about the relationship between personality traits particularly neuroticism and extroversion, separately, with psychological stress and anxiety. In the current study, we clarified the magnitude of joint interdependence (co-morbidity) of anxiety (continuous) and Psychological stress (dichotomous) as dependent variables of mixed type with five-factor personality traits as independent variables.
Materials and Methods:
Data from 3180 participants who attended in the cross-sectional population-based “study on the epidemiology of psychological, alimentary health and nutrition” and completed self-administered questionnaires about demographic and life style, gastrointestinal disorders, personality traits, perceived intensity of stress, social support, and psychological outcome was analyzed using shared random effect approach in R Free software.
The results indicated high scores of neuroticism increase the chance of high psychological stress (odds ratio [OR] = 5.1; P < 0.001) and anxiety score (B = 1.73; P < 0.001) after adjustment for the probable confounders. In contrast, those who had higher scores of extraversion and conscientiousness experienced lower levels of anxiety score (B = −0.54 and −0.23, respectively, P < 0.001) and psychological stress (OR = 0.36 and 0.65, respectively, P < 0.001). Furthermore, higher score of agreeableness had significant negative relationship with anxiety (B = −0.32, P < 0.001).
The present study indicated that the scores of neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness strongly predict both anxiety and psychological stress in Iranian adult population. Due to likely mechanism of genetic and environmental factors on the relationships between personality traits and psychological disorders, it is suggested to perform longitudinal studies focusing on both genetic and environmental factors in Iranian population.
PMCID: PMC4268191  PMID: 25535497
Anxiety; psychological stress; personality traits; shared random effect model; mixed outcomes
5.  The study of mutation in 23S rRNA resistance gene of Helicobacter pylori to clarithromycin in patients with gastrointestinal disorders in Isfahan — Iran 
Helicobacter pylori antimicrobial resistance is an important factor responsible for treatment failure. The purpose of this study was evaluating the prevalence of point mutations in clarithromycin-resistant clinical isolates of H. pylori in Isfahan city of Iran.
Materials and Methods:
Thirty isolates of H. pylori from 130 biopsy specimens were isolated by culture and confirmed by biochemical and PCR tests. The MIC of clarithromycin antibiotic for 30 clinical isolates of H. pylori was determined by E-test method. The point mutations in the 288 bp of 23S rRNA gene of H. pylori were investigated in four clarithromycin-resistant clinical isolates by PCR followed by sequencing.
Among 30 isolates of H. pylori, 4 cases were resistant to clarithromycin. One point mutation was found at position T2243C in the 23S rRNA gene in all resistance isolates.
In our study, H. pylori resistance to clarithromycin associated with point mutation at position 2243 (T2243C).
PMCID: PMC4007339  PMID: 24800187
Clarithromycin resistance; Helicobacter pylori; point mutations
6.  Seroprevalence of hepatitis B markers among incarcerated intravenous drug users 
Drug injection is one of the most prominent risk factors for transmission of viral hepatitis. Prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is generally higher in prisoners compared with the general population. The object of this study was to assess the markers of HBV and related risk factors among intravenous drug users (IVDU) in prisoners.
Materials and Methods:
Through a cross-sectional study in 2012 HBV infection and its risk factors were assessed in prisoners with a history of intravenous drug use in Isfahan, Iran. A checklist was fulfilled for each participant and 5 ml blood was taken from each subject. Sera were analyzed for markers of the hepatitis B: Hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg), antibody to hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAb) and hepatitis B virus core antibody (HBcAb) by ELISA. We used Chi-square test and logistic regression model to analyze data and P < 0.05 was considered to be significant.
All of the studied participants (n = 970) were men. The mean ± standard deviation of the age of the subjects was 32.61 ± 8.1 years and the majority of them had less than high school education. More than 40% of these men had a history of injection drug inside prison and 2.27% of them self-reported history of HBV infection. Of the 970 IVDU, 32 (3.3%) were positive for HBsAg. Among HBsAg + subjects, 23 (71.88%) were HBcAb+. 120 (12.37%) were found positive for isolated HBsAb, 45 (4.64%) for isolated HBcAb and 67 (6.9%) for both HBsAb and HBcAb. History of sharing needle (odds ratio: 2.25, 95% confidence interval: 1.09-4.65) had a significant association with HBsAg positivity.
The results suggest that history of sharing needle had a significant association with HBsAg positivity. It seems that educational programs for injecting drug related behaviors, especially syringe sharing, are needed for IVDU.
PMCID: PMC4078382  PMID: 25002887
Hepatitis B virus; intravenous drug users; Isfahan; Prison
7.  A Dish-based Semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire for Assessment of Dietary Intakes in Epidemiologic Studies in Iran: Design and Development 
Earlier forms of food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) used in Iran have extensive lists of foods, traditional categories and food-based design, mostly with the interviewer-administered approach. The aim of the current paper is to describe the development of a dish-based, machine-readable, semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (DFQ).
Within the framework of the Study on the Epidemiology of Psychological, Alimentary Health and Nutrition project, we created a novel FFQ using Harvard FFQ as a model.
The following steps were taken to develop the questionnaire: Construction of a list of commonly consumed Iranian foods, definition of portion sizes, design of response options for consumption frequency of each food item and finally a pilot test of the preliminary DFQ. From a comprehensive list of foods and mixed dishes, we included those that were nutrient-rich, consumed reasonably often or contributed to between-person variations. We focused on mixed dishes, rather than their ingredients, along with foods. To shorten the list, the related food items or mixed dishes were categorized together in one food group. These exclusions resulted in a list of 106 foods or dishes in the questionnaire. The portion sizes used in the FFQ were obtained from our earlier studies that used dietary recalls and food records. The frequency response options for the food list varied from 6-9 choices from “never or less than once a month” to “12 or more times per day”.
The DFQ could be a reasonable dietary assessment tool for future epidemiological studies in the country. Validation studies are required to assess the validity and reliability of this newly developed questionnaire.
PMCID: PMC3915470  PMID: 24554989
Dietary assessment; food frequency questionnaire; Iran; nutritional epidemiology
8.  Manipulating measurement scales in medical statistical analysis and data mining: A review of methodologies 
selecting the correct statistical test and data mining method depends highly on the measurement scale of data, type of variables, and purpose of the analysis. Different measurement scales are studied in details and statistical comparison, modeling, and data mining methods are studied based upon using several medical examples. We have presented two ordinal–variables clustering examples, as more challenging variable in analysis, using Wisconsin Breast Cancer Data (WBCD).
Ordinal-to-Interval scale conversion example:
a breast cancer database of nine 10-level ordinal variables for 683 patients was analyzed by two ordinal-scale clustering methods. The performance of the clustering methods was assessed by comparison with the gold standard groups of malignant and benign cases that had been identified by clinical tests.
the sensitivity and accuracy of the two clustering methods were 98% and 96%, respectively. Their specificity was comparable.
by using appropriate clustering algorithm based on the measurement scale of the variables in the study, high performance is granted. Moreover, descriptive and inferential statistics in addition to modeling approach must be selected based on the scale of the variables.
PMCID: PMC3963323  PMID: 24672565
Biostatistics; breast cancer; cluster analysis; data mining; research design
9.  Resistance pattern of Helicobacter pylori strains to clarithromycin, metronidazole, and amoxicillin in Isfahan, Iran 
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) resistance to antibiotics has become a global problem and is an important factor in determining the outcome of treatment of infected patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the H. pylori resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole, and amoxicillin in gastrointestinal disorders patients.
Materials and Methods:
In this study, a total of 260 gastric antrum biopsy specimens were collected from patients with gastrointestinal disorders who referred to Endoscopy Section of the Isfahan Hospitals. The E-test and Modified Disk Diffusion Method (MDDM) were used to verify the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in 78 H. pylori isolates to the clarithromycin, metronidazole, and amoxicillin.
H. pylori resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole, and amoxicillin were 15.3, 55.1, and 6.4%, respectively. In this study, we had one multidrug resistance (MDR) isolates from patient with gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
Information on antibiotic susceptibility profile plays an important role in empiric antibiotic treatment and management of refractive cases. According to the results obtained in this study, H. pylori resistance to clarithromycin and metronidazole was relatively high. MDR strains are emerging and will have an effect on the combination therapy.
PMCID: PMC3908526  PMID: 24523796
Amoxicillin; clarithromycin; Helicobacter pylori; metronidazole
10.  Epidemiology and Risk Factors of Tooth Loss among Iranian Adults: Findings from a Large Community-Based Study 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:786462.
Objectives. To investigate the prevalence of tooth loss and different prosthetic rehabilitations among Iranian adults, as well as the potential determinants of tooth loss. Methods. In a cross-sectional community-based study conducted among 8094 Iranian adults living in Isfahan province, a self-administered questionnaire was used to assess epidemiologic features of tooth loss. Results. Thirty-two percent of subjects had all their teeth, 58.6% had lost less than 6, and 7.2% of participants had lost more than 6 teeth. One hundred and sixty-nine individuals (2.2%) were edentulous. Among participants, 2.3% had single jaw removable partial denture, 3.6% had complete removable denture in both jaws, and 4.6% had fixed prosthesis. Others reported no prosthetic rehabilitation (89.5%). In the age subgroup analysis (≤35 and >35 years old) tooth loss was more prevalent among men than women (OR = 2.8 and 1.9, resp., P < 0.01). Also, in both age groups, current and former smokers had higher levels of tooth loss than nonsmokers (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, resp.). In addition, tooth loss was positively related to metabolic abnormality for age group >35 years (adjusted OR = 1.29, P < 0.01). Conclusions. Tooth loss is highly prevalent in Iranian adult population. Community programs promoting oral health for prevention of tooth loss should be considered taking into account its major determinants including lower educational level, male gender, smoking, and metabolic abnormality.
PMCID: PMC3818816  PMID: 24228259
11.  Consumption of spicy foods and the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome 
AIM: To explore the association between consumption of spicy foods and prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) among Iranian adults.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, data from 4763 Iranian adult participants were used. Consumption of spicy foods was estimated using a dietary habits questionnaire that included a question on spicy foods consumption: “how frequently do you use spicy foods (pepper, curry, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric) during a week?” Participants could respond to the question by choosing one of these choices: never, 1-3 times, 4-6 times, 7-9 times, or more than 10 times per week. A modified Persian version of the Rome III questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence of IBS.
RESULTS: IBS was prevalent in 21.7% (18.6% of men and 24.1% of women) of the study population. After controlling for potential confounders including dietary behaviors, those consuming spicy foods ≥ 10 times per week were 92% more likely to have IBS compared with those who never consumed spicy foods (OR = 1.92; 95%CI: 1.23-3.01, Ptrend < 0.01). The association remained significant even after taking lactose intolerance into account (OR = 1.85; 95%CI: 1.18-2.90, Ptrend < 0.01). Stratified analysis by gender revealed that the association between consumption of spicy foods and IBS was not significant in men; however, a significant association was found among women after taking potential cofounders, including meal regularity and lactose intolerance, into account. Women who consumed spicy foods ≥ 10 times per week were two times more likely to have IBS compared with those who never consumed spicy foods (OR = 2.03; 95%CI: 1.09-3.77, Ptrend = 0.02).
CONCLUSION: Consumption of spicy foods is directly associated with IBS, particularly in women. Further, prospective studies are warranted to (1) examine this association in other populations; and (2) evaluate whether dietary interventions, for example a reduction in spice consumption, would improve IBS symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3801318  PMID: 24151366
Spice; Diet; Condiments; Red pepper; Irritable bowel syndrome; Functional gastrointestinal disorders
12.  The effect of ward round teaching on patients: The health team and the patients’ perspectives 
Holding bedside round teaching and involving patients in the teaching of the students might lead to patients’ dissatisfaction. This study was carried out in order to find the viewpoints of the patients and the medical team about the effect of clinical round on patients hospitalized in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.
Materials and Methods:
This study is of cross-sectional descriptive type which is carried out in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences using researcher-made tools. The statistical population included the hospitalized patients, interns, residents, and nurses of the internal wards of educational hospitals. In this study, 110 patients and 150 health team staff are participated. The analysis of the data was done through software Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) 11.5 and descriptive and inferential statistics were applied. Statistical analysis of the variance did not show any significant difference among the interns’, nurses’, and residents’ perception of patient's satisfaction.
Generally, the patients had a positive viewpoint toward things happening during a round, whereas the medical team's viewpoint was negative. In both groups, the highest satisfaction average pertained to the number of times and the duration of visits, but both groups believed that lack of a definite responsible medical doctor, feeling of insecurity during the incongruous and unclear discussions, and the level of respect for the patient were the causes of dissatisfaction with the clinical round process.
The current method of clinical rounds can result in patients’ dissatisfaction. On the other hand, proper relationship with them leads to the development of a more positive attitude in them. Therefore, revision and correction of the current clinical round procedures and teaching the communication skills to the medical team could help improve this process.
PMCID: PMC3778568  PMID: 24083285
Clinical education; health team; patient; perspectives; ward round teaching
13.  Dietary Quality Indices and Biochemical Parameters Among Patients With Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) 
Hepatitis Monthly  2013;13(7):e10943.
Dietary intake might have important role in non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD). Although, there are some reports on dietary intake and anthropometrics measurements, few studies have focused on the markers of assessing whole diet like dietary quality indices.
Therefore, our aim was to determine the diet quality indices and biochemical parameters among patients with NAFLD and healthy individuals.
Patients and Methods
This case-control study was performed on 100 patients with NAFLD and 100 healthy subjects who were attending to Gastrointestinal Research Center, Baqiyatallah University, Tehran, Iran during the recent years. Usual dietary intake was assessed by three dietary records (one weekend and two week days). Healthy eating index (HEI), dietary diversity score (DDS), dietary energy density (DED), mean adequacy ratio of nutrients (MAR) were assessed according to the standard methods.
Patients with NAFLD had higher body mass index, weight and waist circumference compared to the healthy group (P < 0.05). Serum levels of liver enzymes, triglyceride, LDL, BUN, and uric acid were higher in patients with NAFLD (P < 0.05). Although patients with NAFLD had higher energy, carbohydrate and fat intake, their values for antioxidant vitamins, calcium and vitamin D were lower than healthy subjects (P < 0.05). HEI and MAR were higher among healthy group, and DED was lower among them. Nutrient adequacy ratio for calcium, vitamin D, and antioxidant micronutrients were lower in patients with NAFLD (P < 0.05).
It seems that dietary quality indices may be associated with NAFLD. Calcium, vitamin D, and antioxidant micronutrients intake might be lower among patients with NAFLD based on this case-control study. Further prospective studies should be conducted in this regard.
PMCID: PMC3776150  PMID: 24065998
Diet Therapy; Healthy People Programs; Biochemical Processes; Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
14.  Evaluating the efficacy of Salsalate on prediabetic and diabetic patients with fatty liver: A randomized clinical trial 
Nearly two-third of the patients with type 2 diabetes have degrees of fatty liver; this may induce some side effects in them. This study aimed to find effect of salsalate on treatment of steatohepatitis and correlation of fatty liver with metabolic syndrome in the setting of impaired glucose metabolism.
In a double-blind randomized trial within two distinct groups, i.e., recently diagnosed diabetics and prediabetic cases allocated in two arms of the intervention to receive 3 g salsalate or placebo. All cases underwent glucose and lipid level studies and liver ultrasound study.
Out of 46 patients with diabetes, 34 (74%) had fatty liver in ultrasound; this ratio was 75% in 113 prediabetic cases. Relative frequency of fatty liver stages did not differ between diabetics and prediabetics. Within diabetics, mean aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level of fatty liver cases (23 ± 7 IU/dl) was higher than others (18 ± 3 IU/dl) (P < 0.05). Changes in transaminase levels following intervention did not significantly differ, comparing drug and placebo arms in two subgroups.
According to the findings, if diabetes could be assumed as the logical consequence of prediabetic state, it seems that fatty liver did develop before this preliminary status. In this study, salsalate could not change biochemical markers of fatty liver significantly.
PMCID: PMC4076898  PMID: 24991603
Diabetes; fatty liver; salsalate
15.  What variables can influence clinical reasoning? 
Clinical reasoning is one of the most important competencies that a physician should achieve. Many medical schools and licensing bodies try to predict it based on some general measures such as critical thinking, personality, and emotional intelligence. This study aimed at providing a model to design the relationship between the constructs.
Materials and Methods:
Sixty-nine medical students participated in this study. A battery test devised that consist four parts: Clinical reasoning measures, personality NEO inventory, Bar-On EQ inventory, and California critical thinking questionnaire. All participants completed the tests. Correlation and multiple regression analysis consumed for data analysis.
There is low to moderate correlations between clinical reasoning and other variables. Emotional intelligence is the only variable that contributes clinical reasoning construct (r=0.17-0.34) (R2 chnage = 0.46, P Value = 0.000).
Although, clinical reasoning can be considered as a kind of thinking, no significant correlation detected between it and other constructs. Emotional intelligence (and its subscales) is the only variable that can be used for clinical reasoning prediction.
PMCID: PMC3703170  PMID: 23853636
Clinical reasoning; critical thinking; emotional intelligence; personality
16.  Personality dimensions and type D personality in female patients with ulcerative colitis 
Psychological factors such as personality traits may affect the adjustment capacity and Quality of Life (QOL) in Ulcerative Colitis (UC) patients. Type D personality has some similarities with general personality traits of UC patients. The aims of this study were to compare NEO personality profile and type D personality between healthy normal group and UC patients; and to determine the possible relationship between type D personality and QOL in UC patients.
Materials and Methods:
The sample of study comprised of 58 UC patients and 59 healthy control subjects (from their family members). All participants were requested to fill out NEO-FFI, Type D personality (Ds14) Scale and WHO-Quality of Life Questionnaire.
The findings indicated that UC patients scored higher in neuroticism (P<0/01); lower in extraversion (P<0/01) and openness (P<0/05) than healthy controls but their differentiation were not significant in agreeableness and conscientiousness. The findings showed that 59% of UC patients and 33% of the control subjects had type D personality; and the differences in frequency of type D between the two groups were significant (P<0/05). The mean QOL scores of type D personality in UC patients was significantly lower than patients without type D personality (F= 7/55, P<0/01). Type D personality could better predict QOL of UC patients than NEO dimensions.
Differences were observed between UC patients and their healthy family members, in terms of personality factors. Type D personality may be regarded as an important factor that may bring about some adverse effects in QOL among UC patients.
PMCID: PMC3698645  PMID: 23825986
Colitis; personality; quality of Life; ulcerative
17.  Using TOSCE (Team Objective Structured Clinical Examination) in the second national medical sciences olympiad in Iran 
Second National Medical Sciences Olympiad was done in Shiraz in August 2010 with aim of indentifying scientifically talented individuals, motivating students and orienting extracurricular activities. This Olympiad was done in 3 areas, basic sciences, clinical sciences and management. In clinical sciences, we used TOSCE (Team Objective Structured Clinical Examination). In this article we report the details of this exam and participants’ satisfaction.
Materials and Methods:
This Olympiad in Clinical Medical Sciences was held in 2 levels: Individual and team. In the team stage, 9 teams from 9 universities participated. We used TOSCE for measuring clinical competency of teams. Each team consisted of 3 students. We designed 12 stations based on emergency medicine in medical and surgical fields. The time considered for each station was 15 min, after doing this exam the view of students was measured using a valid and reliable questionnaire.
Most of the students believed that TOSCE was a useful examination for measuring competency. More than 50% of students reported that success in this exam needs clinical competency, team work and problem solving ability. Nearly, half (48.1%) of students believed that 15 min is not enough for each station and they need more time.
The results of this study showed that this kind of exam is useful for measuring clinical competency from students’ viewpoint.
PMCID: PMC3698659  PMID: 23826000
Medical students; olympiad; TOSCE
18.  Medical Education and Information and Communication Technology 
Information and communication technology (ICT) has brought many changes in medical education and practice in the last couple of decades. Teaching and learning medicine particularly has gone under profound changes due to computer technologies, and medical schools around the world have invested heavily either in new computer technologies or in the process of adapting to this technological revolution. In order to catch up with the rest of the world, developing countries need to research their options in adapting to new computer technologies.
Materials and Methods:
This descriptive survey study was designed to assess medical students’ computer and Internet skills and their attitude toward ICT.
Research findings showed that the mean score of self-perceived computer knowledge for male students in general was greater than for female students. Also, students who had participated in various prior computer workshops, had access to computer, Internet, and e-mail, and frequently checked their e-mail had higher mean of self-perceived knowledge and skill score. Finally, students with positive attitude toward ICT scored their computer knowledge higher than those who had no opinion.
The results have confirmed that the medical schools, particularly in developing countries, need to bring fundamental changes such as curriculum modification in order to integrate ICT into medical education, creating essential infrastructure for ICT use in medical education and practice, and structured computer training for faculty and students.
PMCID: PMC3577362  PMID: 23555106
Basic biomedical sciences; clinical clerkship; computer knowledge and computer skills; information and communication technology; internship; medical education (MD program)
19.  A comprehensive test of clinical reasoning for medical students: An olympiad experience in Iran 
Although some tests for clinical reasoning assessment are now available, the theories of medical expertise have not played a major role in this filed. In this paper, illness script theory was chose as a theoretical framework and contemporary clinical reasoning tests were put together based on this theoretical model.
Materials and Methods:
This paper is a qualitative study performed with an action research approach. This style of research is performed in a context where authorities focus on promoting their organizations’ performance and is carried out in the form of teamwork called participatory research.
Results are presented in four parts as basic concepts, clinical reasoning assessment, test framework, and scoring.
we concluded that no single test could thoroughly assess clinical reasoning competency, and therefore a battery of clinical reasoning tests is needed. This battery should cover all three parts of clinical reasoning process: script activation, selection and verification. In addition, not only both analytical and non-analytical reasoning, but also both diagnostic and management reasoning should evenly take into consideration in this battery. This paper explains the process of designing and implementing the battery of clinical reasoning in the Olympiad for medical sciences students through an action research.
PMCID: PMC3577397  PMID: 23555113
Clinical reasoning; medical expertise; clinical reasoning; assessment; olympiad; battery
20.  Identification of Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Persons with Background of Intravenous Drug Use: The First Community Announcement-based Study From Iran 
Injection drug use plays the most important role in transmission of hepatitis C. In Iran, surveys have been conducted on various high risk groups but this is the first announcement based study for hepatitis C virus HCV prevalence among cases with history of intravenous drug using (IVDU) in the country.
The announcement-based detection and follow-up of patients with anti-HCV positive project in volunteers with history of intravenous drug using was conducted in Isfahan province. At the first step, six focus groups were conducted and 2 pilot studies were carried out in two cities to design the main study. Comprehensive community announcement was done in all of public places and for physicians. The volunteers were invited to Isfahan reference laboratories and the serum samples were sent to Infectious Diseases Research Center Laboratory in standard conditions and HCV-Ab was tested by ELISA method.
In this study, 1,747 individuals that are estimated 50% of all expected intravenous drug users in the community were presented themselves. The most important reasons of success in recruiting volunteers in this study were the perfect propaganda, appropriate cooperation of lab staffs, continuous evaluation and good cooperation in Isfahan province administrations. HCV-Ab was detected in 34% of them and the HCV-Ab positives were sent for further follow-up procedures including confirmatory test, education, and treatment.
In spite of some limitations to select real cases, this study was considered as a successful experience. Compared to the surveys in Iran on HCV prevalence in intravenous drug users, the results of this study, which was based on volunteers by announcement seems to be noteworthy.
PMCID: PMC3399287  PMID: 22826761
Announcement; Community; Hepatitis C; Intravenous drug using
21.  Hepatitis C among Intravenous Drug Users in Isfahan, Iran: a Study of Seroprevalence and Risk Factors 
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the major public health problems worldwide which is transmitted through contact with infected blood or blood products. One of the most prevalent modes of HCV transmission is injecting drug with unclean needles or syringes. Therefore intravenous drug users (IVDUs) are the most important group who should be considered. The aim of this study was to evaluate seroprevalence and risk factors of hepatitis C virus in IVDUs population.
The cross-sectional study was carried out on intravenous drug users who attended health and social care Drop-in centers during November 2008 to February 2009 in Isfahan province, Iran. Data was gathered using interviewer-administered questionnaire including demographic characteristics and main risk factors for HCV infection. 5ml venous blood sample was obtained from each subject. The HCV-Ab test was performed on all blood samples by ELISA. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistical methods and multiple logistic regressions by SPSS software, version 15.
The mean age of participants was 31.77 ± 8.51. 503 (94.7%) were men and 28 (5.3%) were women. HCV seroprevalence was 47.1% (95% CI: 42.9, 51.3). The multiple logistic regressions demonstrated that history of tattooing (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.02-2.90), history of imprisonment (OR 2.49, 95% CI 1.40-4.42) and sharing needles/syringes (OR 2.76, 95% CI 1.54-4.95) are significant predictors of risk of HCV in IVDU population.
In conclusion, according to the high prevalence of HCV infection among IVDUs and high adds of HCV infection from tattooing, sharing of needles/syringes and imprisonment, effective harm reduction programs should be expanded among IVDUs to prevent new HCV infections.
PMCID: PMC3399288  PMID: 22826755
Hepatitis C virus; High-risky behaviors; Intravenous drug users; Risk factors
22.  Bloating in Iran: SEPAHAN Systematic Review No. 4 
Bloating is a common and bothersome gastrointestinal symptom. Despite its high prevalence, associated costs, and effects on the quality of life, very few studies have reported the epidemiology of bloating in Iran. Through this systematic review, findings and limitations of the current research will be discussed.
In March 2012, we searched PubMed, Google Scholar, Scientific Information Database, IranMedex, and Magiran to find articles for inclusion in the study. Two of the authors screened the articles on the basis of titles and abstracts. The full manuscripts of these publications were then evaluated according to the predefined criteria.
Fifteen articles were included in the study, and data regarding the prevalence of bloating were extracted. The studies depict a prevalence of 1.5% to 8.8% for bloating in the Iranian population. Two studies reported the prevalence of functional bloating to be 1.5% and 10% according to the Rome III and Rome II criteria, respectively. Female to male ratio remains ≥1 for most of the studies criteria.
In Iran, data on the prevalence of bloating are limited, and have mostly been gathered from a highly selective population. The results of the present study advocate the necessity to perform further studies on the general population, which may help health policy makers in the allocation of the appropriate resources.
PMCID: PMC3399290  PMID: 22826767
Bloating; abdominal distension; epidemiology; Iran; systematic review
23.  Health-State Utilities in Liver Cirrhosis: A Cross-sectional Study 
Liver cirrhosis can change many aspects of life of the patients and their family and effects society. We aimed to study the utility of cirrhosis from the point of view of the patients, their family, and their care takers to find appropriate interventions, and training and counselling programmes to support patients.
In this cross-sectional study with a goal-based sampling method, 66 individuals constructed of 30 decompensated patients with cirrhosis, 21 of the patients family members, and 15 care takers were included. The data were collected through face to face interview and completing of questionnaire consisted of demographic information (age, gender, marital status, and income), the duration of illness, and assessment of utility of cirrhosis using techniques of time trade, standard gamble, rating scale, and the willingness to pay.
52% of participants were men and 48% women which consisted of 58 married, 4 single, and 4 divorced or widowed with the mean duration of having cirrhosis of 3.7 ± 1.4 years. The mean scores of utility of the three groups in all preference-based measures had significant differences (P < 0.05). Different techniques of patient utility in this research from the highest to the lowest were standard gamble (0.55), willingness to pay (0.54), rating scale (0.25), and rating scale (0.05), respectively.
The results of the currents study suggested that the cirrhosis status has had the most negative effect on patients, and that patients had a lower utility rate than their family members and caretakers.
PMCID: PMC3399292  PMID: 22826776
Cirrhosis; Health-State; Family; Caretaker
24.  Prevalence of Anti HCV Infection in Patients with Beta-Thalassemia in Isfahan-Iran 
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the major cause of post-transfusion hepatitis infection (PTH). Patients with thalassemia major are at high risk of hepatitis C due to the blood transfusion from donors infected by HCV. The aim of this study was to detect the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies and risk factors in multitransfused thalassemic patients in Isfahan-Iran to establish more preventive strategies.
This study was conducted to assess the patients with beta-thalassemia in Isfahan hospitals during 1996-2011 for HCV infection. A structured interview questionnaire was developed by the trained researcher to collect the demographic and risk factors. Statistical analysis was done by Chi-square test, Mann-Withney and multiple logistic regressions using SPSS software, version 15.
466 patients with major thalassemia participated in this study. The mean age of patients was 17.46 ± 8.3. Two hundred and seventy (58.3%) and 193 (41.7%) of participants were male and female, respectively. The prevalence of HCV was estimated 8% among thalassemia patients. History of surgery, history of dental procedure, number of units transfused per month, number of transfusion per month and duration of transfusion had significant association with HCV seropositivity in univariate analysis. There were no statistical significant risk factors for HCV seropositivity in multiple logistic regression models.
Our findings revealed that blood transfusion was the main risk factors for HCV infection among beta-thalassemic patients. Therefore, more blood donor screening programs and effective screening techniques are needed to prevent transmission of HCV infection among beta-thalassemic patients.
PMCID: PMC3399295  PMID: 22826753
Beta-thalassemia; HCV infection; Iran
25.  High risky behaviors among intravenous drug users in Isfahan, Iran: A study for hepatitis C harm reduction programs 
Intravenous drug users (IVDUs) who share needles/syringes and practice sexual behaviors, are the most important group in the transmission of blood-borne infection diseases such as hepatitis C virus (HCV). Therefore identification of prevalent high-risky behaviors among IVDUs to detect the most route of transmission among them is essential to develop harm reduction programs among IVDUs and decrease HCV transmission from them to community.
The cross-sectional study was carried out on 1510 intravenous drug users from November 2008 to February 2009 in Isfahan province, Iran. After obtaining consent form from participants, information was collected by interviewer-administered validated questionnaire. The data was analyzed with descriptive statistical methods by SPSS software, version 15.
1510 IVDUs participated in the study with the mean age 32.16 ± 8.26. 66.4% of participants had a history of illegal sexual activity. Among male IVDUs who had illegal sexual contact, 40.6% reported having homosexual contact and 36.2% of them have used condom in their contact. Also 57.7% had sexual contact with female sex workers. 83.5% of IVDUs reported having multiple sexual partners, and 30.9% had IVDUs sexual partners. The mean number of injection and duration of injection among IVDUs were 75.12 ± 95.51 times per month and 12.34 ± 7.53 years respectively. 36.9% of subjects have reported sharing needles/syringes.
According to the high prevalence of unprotected sexual contacts and unsafe injection among IVDUs, effectiveness interventions and harm reduction programs are necessary to prevent spread of blood-borne infection diseases particularly HCV. With reduction of risky behaviors and consequently decrease of spread of HCV, these programs benefit both drug users and society.
PMCID: PMC3399296  PMID: 22826773
Hepatitis C virus; high-risky behaviors; intravenous drug users

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