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1.  Hospital admission patterns subsequent to diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children : a systematic review 
Background
Patients with type 1 diabetes are known to have a higher hospital admission rate than the underlying population and may also be admitted for procedures that would normally be carried out on a day surgery basis for non-diabetics. Emergency admission rates have sometimes been used as indicators of quality of diabetes care.
In preparation for a study of hospital admissions, a systematic review was carried out on hospital admissions for children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, whilst under the age of 15. The main thrust of this review was to ascertain where there were gaps in the literature for studies investigating post-diagnosis hospitalisations, rather than to try to draw conclusions from the disparate data sets.
Methods
A systematic search of the electronic databases PubMed, Cochrane LibrarMEDLINE and EMBASE was conducted for the period 1986 to 2006, to identify publications relating to hospital admissions subsequent to the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes under the age of 15.
Results
Thirty-two publications met all inclusion criteria, 16 in Northern America, 11 in Europe and 5 in Australasia. Most of the studies selected were focussed on diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or diabetes-related hospital admissions and only four studies included data on all admissions. Admission rates with DKA as primary diagnosis varied widely between 0.01 to 0.18 per patient-year as did those for other diabetes-related co-morbidity ranging from 0.05 to 0.38 per patient year, making it difficult to interpret data from different study designs. However, people with Type 1 diabetes are three times more likely to be hospitalised than the non-diabetic populations and stay in hospital twice as long.
Conclusion
Few studies report on all admissions to hospital in patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes whilst under the age of 15 years. Health care costs for type 1 patients are higher than those for the general population and information on associated patterns of hospitalisation might help to target interventions to reduce the cost of hospital admissions.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-7-199
PMCID: PMC2233617  PMID: 18053255
2.  The requirement for prior consent to participate on survey response rates: a population-based survey in Grampian 
Background
A survey was carried out in the Grampian region of Scotland with a random sample of 10,000 adults registered with a General Practitioner in Grampian. The study complied with new legislation requiring a two-stage approach to identify and recruit participants, and examined the implications of this for response rates, non-response bias and speed of response.
Methods
A two-stage survey was carried out consistent with new confidentiality guidelines. Individuals were contacted by post and asked by the Director of Public Health to consent to receive a postal or electronic questionnaire about communicating their views to the NHS. Those who consented were then sent questionnaires. Response rates at both stages were measured.
Results
25% of people returned signed consent forms and were invited to complete questionnaires. Respondents at the consent stage were more likely to be female (odds ratio (OR) response rate of women compared to men = 1.5, 95% CI 1.4, 1.7), less likely to live in deprived postal areas (OR = 0.59, 95% CI 0.45, 0.78) and more likely to be older (OR for people born in 1930–39 compared to people born in 1970–79 = 2.82, 95% CI 2.36, 3.37). 80% of people who were invited to complete questionnaires returned them. Response rates were higher among older age groups. The overall response rate to the survey was 20%, relative to the original number approached for consent (1951/10000).
Conclusion
The requirement of a separate, prior consent stage may significantly reduce overall survey response rates and necessitate the use of substantially larger initial samples for population surveys. It may also exacerbate non-response bias with respect to demographic variables.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-3-21
PMCID: PMC293468  PMID: 14622444

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