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1.  Measuring the burden of herpes zoster and post herpetic neuralgia within primary care in rural Crete, Greece 
BMC Family Practice  2011;12:136.
Background
Research has indicated that general practitioners (GPs) have good clinical judgment in regards to diagnosing and managing herpes zoster (HZ) within clinical practice in a country with limited resources for primary care and general practice. The objective of the current study was to assess the burden of HZ and post herpetic neuralgia (PHN) within rural general practices in Crete, Greece.
Methods
The current study took place within a rural setting in Crete, Greece during the period of November 2007 to November 2009 within the catchment area in which the Cretan Rural Practice-based Research Network is operating. In total 19 GP's from 14 health care units in rural Crete were invited to participate, covering a total turnover patient population of approximately 25, 000 subjects. For the purpose of this study an electronic record database was constructed and used as the main tool for monitoring HZ and PHN incidence. Stress related data was also collected with the use of the Short Anxiety Screening Test (SAST).
Results
The crude incidence rate of HZ was 1.4/1000 patients/year throughout the entire network of health centers and satellite practices, while among satellite practices alone it was calculated at 1.3/1000 patients/year. Additionally, the standardised incidence density within satellite practices was calculated at 1.6/1000 patients/year. In regards to the stress associated with HZ and PHN, the latter were found to have lower levels of anxiety, as assessed through the SAST score (17.4 ± 3.9 vs. 21.1 ± 5.7; p = 0.029).
Conclusions
The implementation of an electronic surveillance system was feasible so as to measure the burden of HZ and PHN within the rural general practice setting in Crete.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-12-136
PMCID: PMC3266196  PMID: 22145678
2.  The Short Anxiety Screening Test in Greek: translation and validation 
Background
The aim of the current study was to assess the reliability and validity of the Greek translation of the Short Anxiety Screening Test (SAST), for use in primary care settings. The scale consists of 10 items and is a brief clinician rating scale for the detection of anxiety disorder in older people, particularly, in the presence of depression.
Methods
The study was performed in two rural primary care settings in Crete. The sample consisted of 99 older (76 ± 6.3 years old) people, who fulfilled the participating criteria. The translation and cultural adaptation of the questionnaire was performed according to international standards. Internal consistency using the Cronbach α coefficient and test-retest reliability using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to assess the reliability of the tool. An exploratory factor analysis using Varimax with Kaiser normalisation (rotation method) was used to examine the structure of the instrument, and for the correlation of the items interitem correlation matrix was applied and assessed with Cronbach α.
Results
Translation and backtranslation did not reveal any specific problems. The psychometric properties of the Greek version of the SAST scale in primary care were good. Internal consistency of the instrument was good, the Cronbach α was found to be 0.763 (P < 0.001) and ICC (95% CI) for reproducibility was found to be 0.763 (0.686 to 0.827). Factor analysis revealed three factors with eigenvalues >1.0 accounting for 60% of variance, while the Cronbach α was >0.7 for every item.
Conclusions
The Greek translation of the SAST questionnaire is comparable with that of the original version in terms of reliability, and can be used in primary healthcare research. Its use in clinical practice should be primarily as a screening tool only at this stage, with a follow-up consisting of a detailed interview with the patient, in order to confirm the diagnosis.
doi:10.1186/1744-859X-9-1
PMCID: PMC2819236  PMID: 20051118
3.  Studying the association between musculoskeletal disorders, quality of life and mental health. A primary care pilot study in rural Crete, Greece 
Background
The burden of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) on the general health and well-being of the population has been documented in various studies. The objective of this study was to explore the association between MSD and the quality of life and mental health of patients and to discuss issues concerning care seeking patterns in rural Greece.
Methods
Patients registered at one rural Primary Care Centre (PCC) in Crete were invited to complete the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) for the analysis of musculoskeletal symptoms, together with validated instruments for measuring health related quality of life (SF-36) and mental distress (GHQ-28).
Results
The prevalence rate of MSD was found to be 71.2%, with low back and knee pain being the most common symptoms. Most conditions significantly impaired the quality of life, especially the physical dimensions of SF-36. Depression was strongly correlated to most MSD (p < 0.001). Multiple logistic analyses revealed that patients who consulted the PCC due to MSD were likely to have more mental distress or impaired physical functioning compared to those who did not.
Conclusion
Musculoskeletal disorders were common in patients attending the rural PCC of this study and were associated with a poor quality of life and mental distress that affected their consultation behaviour.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-10-143
PMCID: PMC2785760  PMID: 19930570
4.  Translation of the Neck Disability Index and validation of the Greek version in a sample of neck pain patients 
Background
Neck pain is a highly prevalent condition resulting in major disability. Standard scales for measuring disability in patients with neck pain have a pivotal role in research and clinical settings. The Neck Disability Index (NDI) is a valid and reliable tool, designed to measure disability in activities of daily living due to neck pain. The purpose of our study was the translation and validation of the NDI in a Greek primary care population with neck complaints.
Methods
The original version of the questionnaire was used. Based on international standards, the translation strategy comprised forward translations, reconciliation, backward translation and pre-testing steps. The validation procedure concerned the exploration of internal consistency (Cronbach alpha), test-retest reliability (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient, Bland and Altman method), construct validity (exploratory factor analysis) and responsiveness (Spearman correlation coefficient, Standard Error of Measurement and Minimal Detectable Change) of the questionnaire. Data quality was also assessed through completeness of data and floor/ceiling effects.
Results
The translation procedure resulted in the Greek modified version of the NDI. The latter was culturally adapted through the pre-testing phase. The validation procedure raised a large amount of missing data due to low applicability, which were assessed with two methods. Floor or ceiling effects were not observed. Cronbach alpha was calculated as 0.85, which was interpreted as good internal consistency. Intraclass correlation coefficient was found to be 0.93 (95% CI 0.84–0.97), which was considered as very good test-retest reliability. Factor analysis yielded one factor with Eigenvalue 4.48 explaining 44.77% of variance. The Spearman correlation coefficient (0.3; P = 0.02) revealed some relation between the change score in the NDI and Global Rating of Change (GROC). The SEM and MDC were calculated as 0.64 and 1.78 respectively.
Conclusion
The Greek version of the NDI measures disability in patients with neck pain in a reliable, valid and responsive manner. It is considered a useful tool for research and clinical settings in Greek Primary Health Care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-9-106
PMCID: PMC2492862  PMID: 18647393

Results 1-4 (4)