PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-20 (20)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
more »
Year of Publication
more »
Document Types
1.  Explanatory factors for first and second-generation non-western women’s inadequate prenatal care utilisation: a prospective cohort study 
Background
Little research into non-western women’s prenatal care utilisation in industrialised western countries has taken generational differences into account. In this study we examined non-western women’s prenatal care utilisation and its explanatory factors according to generational status.
Methods
Data from 3300 women participating in a prospective cohort of primary midwifery care clients (i.e. women with no complications or no increased risk for complications during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium who receive maternity care by autonomous midwives) in the Netherlands (the DELIVER study) was used. Gestational age at entry and the total number of prenatal visits were aggregated into an index. The extent to which potential factors explained non-western women’s prenatal care utilisation was assessed by means of blockwise logistic regression analyses and percentage changes in odds ratios.
Results
The unadjusted odds of first and second-generation non-western women making inadequate use of prenatal care were 3.26 and 1.96 times greater than for native Dutch women. For the first generation, sociocultural factors explained 43% of inadequate prenatal care utilisation, socioeconomic factors explained 33% and demographic and pregnancy factors explained 29%. For the second generation, sociocultural factors explained 66% of inadequate prenatal care utilisation.
Conclusion
Irrespective of generation, strategies to improve utilisation should focus on those with the following sociocultural characteristics (not speaking Dutch at home, no partner or a first-generation non-Dutch partner). For the first generation, strategies should also focus on those with the following demographic, pregnancy and socioeconomic characteristics (aged ≤19 or ≥36, unplanned pregnancies, poor obstetric histories (extra-uterine pregnancy, molar pregnancy or abortion), a low educational level, below average net household income and no supplementary insurance.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12884-015-0528-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12884-015-0528-x
PMCID: PMC4409999  PMID: 25895975
Prenatal care; Care utilisation; Non-western; Immigrants; Generation
2.  Quality of primary care for resettled refugees in the Netherlands with chronic mental and physical health problems: a cross-sectional analysis of medical records and interview data 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15:160.
Background
A high prevalence of mental and physical ill health among refugees resettled in the Netherlands has been reported. With this study we aim to assess the quality of primary healthcare for resettled refugees in the Netherlands with chronic mental and non-communicable health problems, we examined: a) general practitioners’ (GP) recognition of common mental disorders (CMD) (depression and anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms); b) patients’ awareness of diabetes type II (DMII) and hypertension (HT); and c) GPs’ adherence to guidelines for CMD, DMII and HT.
Methods
From 172 refugees resettled in the Netherlands, interview data (2010–2011) and medical records (n = 106), were examined. Inclusion was based on medical record diagnoses for DMII and HT, and on questionnaire-based CMD measures (Hopkins Symptom Checklist for depression and anxiety; Harvard Trauma Questionnaire for PTSD). GP recognition of CMD was calculated as the number of CMD cases registered in the medical record compared with those found in interviews. Patient awareness of HT and DMII was scored as the percentage of subjects diagnosed by the GP who reported their condition during the interview. GPs’ adherence to guidelines for CMD, DMII and HT was measured using established indicators.
Results
We identified 37 resettled refugees with CMD of which 18 (49%) had been recognised by the GP. We identified 16 refugees with DMII and 14 with HT from the medical record; 24 (80%) were aware of their condition. Thirty-five out of these 53 (66%) resettled refugees with chronic mental and non-communicable disorders received guideline-adherent treatment.
Conclusion
This study shows that awareness in resettled refugees of GP diagnosed DMII and HT is high, whereas GP recognition of CMD and overall guideline adherence are moderate.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-160
PMCID: PMC4262989  PMID: 25249345
Chronic disease; Mental health; Refugees; Quality of care; Primary care
3.  Course of post-traumatic stress disorder and health care utilisation among resettled refugees in the Netherlands 
BMC Psychiatry  2014;14:90.
Background
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a major health problem among refugees worldwide. After resettlement, the prevalence of PTSD remains high despite the fact that various PTSD treatments are known to be effective.
Methods
We examined the course of PTSD and the role of mental health care utilisation at a 7-year interval (2003–2010) among a cohort of refugees from Iran, Afghanistan, and Somalia after resettlement in the Netherlands.
Results
The unchanged high prevalence of PTSD (16.3% in 2003 and 15.2% in 2010) was attributable in part to late onset of PTSD symptoms (half of the respondents with PTSD at T2 were new cases for whom PTSD developed after 2003). The second reason concerned the low use of mental health care services at T1. Whereas the multivariate analyses showed the effectiveness of mental health care, only 21% of respondents with PTSD at T1 had had contact with a mental health care provider at that time. Use of mental health care during the first wave increased the odds of improvement in PTSD symptoms between both measurements (OR 7.58, 95% CI 1.01; 56.85).
Conclusions
The findings of this study suggest there are two possible explanations for the persistently high prevalence of PTSD among refugees. One is the late onset of PTSD and the other is the low utilisation of mental health care. Health care professionals should be aware of these issues, especially given the effectiveness of mental health care for this condition.
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-14-90
PMCID: PMC3986925  PMID: 24670251
4.  “Being Flexible and Creative”: A Qualitative Study on Maternity Care Assistants' Experiences with Non-Western Immigrant Women 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91843.
Background
Several studies conducted in developed countries have explored postnatal care professionals' experiences with non-western women. These studies reported different cultural practices, lack of knowledge of the maternity care system, communication difficulties, and the important role of the baby's grandmother as care-giver in the postnatal period. However, not much attention has been paid in existing literature to postnatal care professionals' approaches to these issues. Our main objective was to gain insight into how Dutch postnatal care providers - ‘maternity care assistants’ (MCA) - address issues encountered when providing care for non-western women.
Methods
A generic qualitative research approach was used. Two researchers interviewed fifteen MCAs individually, analysing the interview material separately and then comparing and discussing their results. Analytical codes were organised into main themes and subthemes.
Results
MCAs perceive caring for non-western women as interesting and challenging, but sometimes difficult too. To guarantee the health and safety of mother and baby, they have adopted flexible and creative approaches to address issues concerning traditional practices, socioeconomic status and communication. Furthermore, they employ several other strategies to establish relationships with non-western clients and their families, improve women's knowledge of the maternity care system and give health education.
Conclusion
Provision of postnatal care to non-western clients may require special skills and measures. The quality of care for non-western clients might be improved by including these skills in education and retraining programmes for postnatal care providers on top of factual knowledge about traditional practices.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091843
PMCID: PMC3951471  PMID: 24622576
5.  Factors affecting the use of prenatal care by non-western women in industrialized western countries: a systematic review 
Background
Despite the potential of prenatal care for addressing many pregnancy complications and concurrent health problems, non-western women in industrialized western countries more often make inadequate use of prenatal care than women from the majority population do. This study aimed to give a systematic review of factors affecting non-western women’s use of prenatal care (both medical care and prenatal classes) in industrialized western countries.
Methods
Eleven databases (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Cochrane, Sociological Abstracts, Web of Science, Women’s Studies International, MIDIRS, CINAHL, Scopus and the NIVEL catalogue) were searched for relevant peer-reviewed articles from between 1995 and July 2012. Qualitative as well as quantitative studies were included. Quality was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Factors identified were classified as impeding or facilitating, and categorized according to a conceptual framework, an elaborated version of Andersen’s healthcare utilization model.
Results
Sixteen articles provided relevant factors that were all categorized. A number of factors (migration, culture, position in host country, social network, expertise of the care provider and personal treatment and communication) were found to include both facilitating and impeding factors for non-western women’s utilization of prenatal care. The category demographic, genetic and pregnancy characteristics and the category accessibility of care only included impeding factors.
Lack of knowledge of the western healthcare system and poor language proficiency were the most frequently reported impeding factors. Provision of information and care in women’s native languages was the most frequently reported facilitating factor.
Conclusion
The factors found in this review provide specific indications for identifying non-western women who are at risk of not using prenatal care adequately and for developing interventions and appropriate policy aimed at improving their prenatal care utilization.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-81
PMCID: PMC3626532  PMID: 23537172
6.  Perspectives on care and communication involving incurably ill Turkish and Moroccan patients, relatives and professionals: a systematic literature review 
BMC Palliative Care  2012;11:17.
Background
Our aim was to obtain a clearer picture of the relevant care experiences and care perceptions of incurably ill Turkish and Moroccan patients, their relatives and professional care providers, as well as of communication and decision-making patterns at the end of life. The ultimate objective is to improve palliative care for Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands, by taking account of socio-cultural factors in the guidelines for palliative care.
Methods
A systematic literature review was undertaken. The data sources were seventeen national and international literature databases, four Dutch journals dedicated to palliative care and 37 websites of relevant national and international organizations. All the references found were checked to see whether they met the structured inclusion criteria. Inclusion was limited to publications dealing with primary empirical research on the relationship between socio-cultural factors and the health or care situation of Turkish or Moroccan patients with an oncological or incurable disease. The selection was made by first reading the titles and abstracts and subsequently the full texts. The process of deciding which studies to include was carried out by two reviewers independently. A generic appraisal instrument was applied to assess the methodological quality.
Results
Fifty-seven studies were found that reported findings for the countries of origin (mainly Turkey) and the immigrant host countries (mainly the Netherlands). The central themes were experiences and perceptions of family care, professional care, end-of-life care and communication. Family care is considered a duty, even when such care becomes a severe burden for the main female family caregiver in particular. Professional hospital care is preferred by many of the patients and relatives because they are looking for a cure and security. End-of-life care is strongly influenced by the continuing hope for recovery. Relatives are often quite influential in end-of-life decisions, such as the decision to withdraw or withhold treatments. The diagnosis, prognosis and end-of-life decisions are seldom discussed with the patient, and communication about pain and mental problems is often limited. Language barriers and the dominance of the family may exacerbate communication problems.
Conclusions
This review confirms the view that family members of patients with a Turkish or Moroccan background have a central role in care, communication and decision making at the end of life. This, in combination with their continuing hope for the patient’s recovery may inhibit open communication between patients, relatives and professionals as partners in palliative care. This implies that organizations and professionals involved in palliative care should take patients’ socio-cultural characteristics into account and incorporate cultural sensitivity into care standards and care practices.
doi:10.1186/1472-684X-11-17
PMCID: PMC3517329  PMID: 22985103
Palliative care; Communication; Immigrants; Ethnic minorities
7.  Health care for irregular migrants: pragmatism across Europe. A qualitative study 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:99.
Background
Health services in Europe face the challenge of delivering care to a heterogeneous group of irregular migrants (IM). There is little empirical evidence on how health professionals cope with this challenge. This study explores the experiences of health professionals providing care to IM in three types of health care service across 16 European countries.
Results
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with health professionals in 144 primary care services, 48 mental health services, and 48 Accident & Emergency departments (total n = 240). Although legal health care entitlement for IM varies across countries, health professionals reported facing similar issues when caring for IM. These issues include access problems, limited communication, and associated legal complications. Differences in the experiences with IM across the three types of services were also explored. Respondents from Accident & Emergency departments reported less of a difference between the care for IM patients and patients in a regular situation than did respondents from primary care and mental health services. Primary care services and mental health services were more concerned with language barriers than Accident & Emergency departments. Notifying the authorities was an uncommon practice, even in countries where health professionals are required to do this.
Conclusions
The needs of IM patients and the values of the staff appear to be as important as the national legal framework, with staff in different European countries adopting a similar pragmatic approach to delivering health care to IM. While legislation might help to improve health care for IM, more appropriate organisation and local flexibility are equally important, especially for improving access and care pathways.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-99
PMCID: PMC3315408  PMID: 22340424
Irregular migrants; Europe; Qualitative method; Health services; Accessibility
8.  Health care for immigrants in Europe: Is there still consensus among country experts about principles of good practice? A Delphi study 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:699.
Background
European Member States are facing a challenge to provide accessible and effective health care services for immigrants. It remains unclear how best to achieve this and what characterises good practice in increasingly multicultural societies across Europe. This study assessed the views and values of professionals working in different health care contexts and in different European countries as to what constitutes good practice in health care for immigrants.
Methods
A total of 134 experts in 16 EU Member States participated in a three-round Delphi process. The experts represented four different fields: academia, Non-Governmental Organisations, policy-making and health care practice. For each country, the process aimed to produce a national consensus list of the most important factors characterising good practice in health care for migrants.
Results
The scoring procedures resulted in 10 to 16 factors being identified as the most important for each participating country. All 186 factors were aggregated into 9 themes: (1) easy and equal access to health care, (2) empowerment of migrants, (3) culturally sensitive health care services, (4) quality of care, (5) patient/health care provider communication, (6) respect towards migrants, (7) networking in and outside health services, (8) targeted outreach activities, and (9) availability of data about specificities in migrant health care and prevention. Although local political debate, level of immigration and the nature of local health care systems influenced the selection and rating of factors within each country, there was a broad European consensus on most factors. Yet, discordance remained both within countries, e.g. on the need for prioritising cultural differences, and between countries, e.g. on the need for more consistent governance of health care services for immigrants.
Conclusions
Experts across Europe asserted the right to culturally sensitive health care for all immigrants. There is a broad consensus among experts about the major principles of good practice that need to be implemented across Europe. However, there also is some disagreement both within and between countries on specific issues that require further research and debate.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-699
PMCID: PMC3182934  PMID: 21914194
9.  Home care in Europe: a systematic literature review 
Background
Health and social services provided at home are becoming increasingly important. Hence, there is a need for information on home care in Europe. The objective of this literature review was to respond to this need by systematically describing what has been reported on home care in Europe in the scientific literature over the past decade.
Methods
A systematic literature search was performed for papers on home care published in English, using the following data bases: Cinahl, the Cochrane Library, Embase, Medline, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, and Social Care Online. Studies were only included if they complied with the definition of home care, were published between January 1998 and October 2009, and dealt with at least one of the 31 specified countries. Clinical interventions, instrument developments, local projects and reviews were excluded. The data extracted included: the characteristics of the study and aspects of home care 'policy & regulation', 'financing', 'organisation & service delivery', and 'clients & informal carers'.
Results
Seventy-four out of 5,133 potentially relevant studies met the inclusion criteria, providing information on 18 countries. Many focused on the characteristics of home care recipients and on the organisation of home care. Geographical inequalities, market forces, quality and integration of services were also among the issues frequently discussed.
Conclusions
Home care systems appeared to differ both between and within countries. The papers included, however, provided only a limited picture of home care. Many studies only focused on one aspect of the home care system and international comparative studies were rare. Furthermore, little information emerged on home care financing and on home care in general in Eastern Europe. This review clearly shows the need for more scientific publications on home care, especially studies comparing countries. A comprehensive and more complete insight into the state of home care in Europe requires the gathering of information using a uniform framework and methodology.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-207
PMCID: PMC3170599  PMID: 21878111
home care; European Union; care systems; international comparison
10.  Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the SF-36 health survey for use among Turkish and Moroccan ethnic minority populations in the Netherlands 
Quality of Life Research  2009;18(6):753-764.
Purpose
To evaluate the psychometrics of the SF-36 Health Survey among Turkish and Moroccan ethnic minority populations in the Netherlands and to compare the results to those based on the indigenous Dutch population.
Methods
Data were derived from the Second Dutch National Survey of General Practice. In total, SF-36 data were available for 409 Turkish, 377 Moroccan, and 9,628 Dutch respondents. Language subgroup analyses were performed for the Turkish (n = 162) and Moroccan-Arabic (n = 52) versions of the SF-36. Psychometric properties were evaluated by descriptive statistics, factor analysis, internal consistency estimates, known-group comparisons, and differential item function (DIF) analysis.
Results
Low levels of missing SF-36 data were observed across all groups. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the hypothesized SF-36 scale structure for the Dutch and Turkish group, but high correlations between the MH and VT factors were observed in the Moroccan group. All Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were above 0.70, except for the Vitality scale in the Moroccan group and the Vitality and Social Functioning scales in the Moroccan-Arabic language subgroup. Known-groups validity was found across samples using age, sex, education, and comorbidity as grouping variables, but not marital status. Some evidence for DIF was found in both ethnic group samples.
Conclusions
The results generally support the use of the SF-36 for general population research among Turkish and Moroccan ethnic minorities in the Netherlands. Additional studies are needed to confirm the psychometrics of the questionnaire when used among these populations in other Western European countries.
doi:10.1007/s11136-009-9491-1
PMCID: PMC2704293  PMID: 19517268
SF-36 Health survey; Health status assessment; Cross-cultural; Moroccan; Turkish; Ethnic minority; Psychometrics; Factor analysis; DIF
11.  Differences between immigrant and non-immigrant groups in the use of primary medical care; a systematic review 
Background
Studies on differences between immigrant and non-immigrant groups in health care utilization vary with respect to the extent and direction of differences in use. Therefore, our study aimed to provide a systematic overview of the existing research on differences in primary care utilization between immigrant groups and the majority population.
Methods
For this review PubMed, PsycInfo, Cinahl, Sociofile, Web of Science and Current Contents were consulted. Study selection and quality assessment was performed using a predefined protocol by 2 reviewers independently of each other. Only original, quantitative, peer-reviewed papers were taken into account. To account for this hierarchical structure, logistic multilevel analyses were performed to examine the extent to which differences are found across countries and immigrant groups. Differences in primary care use were related to study characteristics, strength of the primary care system and methodological quality.
Results
A total of 37 studies from 7 countries met all inclusion criteria. Remarkably, studies performed within the US more often reported a significant lower use among immigrant groups as compared to the majority population than the other countries. As studies scored higher on methodological quality, the likelihood of reporting significant differences increased. Adjustment for health status and use of culture-/language-adjusted procedures during the data collection were negatively related to reporting significant differences in the studies.
Conclusion
Our review underlined the need for careful design in studies of differences in health care use between immigrant groups and the majority population. The results from studies concerning differences between immigrant and the majority population in primary health care use performed within the US might be interpreted as a reflection of a weaker primary care system in the US compared to Europe and Canada.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-76
PMCID: PMC2689181  PMID: 19426567
12.  Gender differences in health and health care utilisation in various ethnic groups in the Netherlands: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:109.
Background
To determine gender differences in health and health care utilisation within and between various ethnic groups in the Netherlands.
Methods
Data from the second Dutch National Survey of General Practice (2000–2002) were used. A total of 7,789 persons from the indigenous population and 1,512 persons from the four largest migrant groups in the Netherlands – Morocco, Netherlands Antilles, Turkey and Surinam – aged 18 years and older were interviewed. Self-reported health outcomes studied were general health status and the presence of acute (past 14 days) and chronic conditions (past 12 months). And self-reported utilisation of the following health care services was analysed: having contacted a general practitioner (past 2 months), a medical specialist, physiotherapist or ambulatory mental health service (past 12 months), hospitalisation (past 12 months) and use of medication (past 14 days). Gender differences in these outcomes were examined within and between the ethnic groups, using logistic regression analyses.
Results
In general, women showed poorer health than men; the largest differences were found for the Turkish respondents, followed by Moroccans, and Surinamese. Furthermore, women from Morocco and the Netherlands Antilles more often contacted a general practitioner than men from these countries. Women from Turkey were more hospitalised than Turkish men. Women from Morocco more often contacted ambulatory mental health care than men from this country, and women with an indigenous background more often used over the counter medication than men with an indigenous background.
Conclusion
In general the self-reported health of women is worse compared to that of men, although the size of the gender differences may vary according to the particular health outcome and among the ethnic groups. This information might be helpful to develop policy to improve the health status of specific groups according to gender and ethnicity. In addition, in some ethnic groups, and for some types of health care services, the use by women is higher compared to that by men. More research is needed to explain these differences.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-109
PMCID: PMC2678118  PMID: 19379499
14.  Changes in health and primary health care use of Moroccan and Turkish migrants between 2001 and 2005: a longitudinal study 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:40.
Background
Social environment and health status are related, and changes affecting social relations may also affect the general health state of a group. During the past few years, several events have affected the relationships between Muslim immigrants and the non-immigrant population in many countries. This study investigates whether the health status of the Moroccan and Turkish immigrants in the Netherlands has changed in four years, whether changes in health status have had any influence on primary health care use, and which socio-demographic factors might explain this relationship.
Methods
A cohort of 108 Turkish and 102 Moroccan respondents were interviewed in 2001 and in 2005. The questionnaire included the SF-36 and the GP contact frequency (in the past two months). Interviews were conducted in the language preferred by the respondents. Data were analysed using multivariate linear regression.
Results
The mental health of the Moroccan group improved between 2001 and 2005. Physical health remained unchanged for both groups. The number of GP contacts decreased with half a contact/2 months among the Turkish group. Significant predictors of physical health change were: age, educational level. For mental health change, these were: ethnicity, age, civil status, work situation in 2001, change in work situation. For change in GP contacts: ethnicity, age and change in mental and physical health.
Conclusion
Changes in health status concerned the mental health component. Changes in health status were paired with changes in health care utilization. Among the Turkish group, an unexpected decrease in GP contacts was noticed, whilst showing a generally unchanged health status. Further research taking perceived quality of care into account might help shedding some light on this outcome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-40
PMCID: PMC2254396  PMID: 18230157
15.  Ethnic minorities and prescription medication; concordance between self-reports and medical records 
Background
Ethnic differences in health care utilisation are frequently reported in research. Little is known about the concordance between different methods of data collection among ethnic minorities. The aim of this study was to examine to which extent ethnic differences between self-reported data and data based on electronic medical records (EMR) from general practitioners (GPs) might be a validity issue or reflect a lower compliance among minority groups.
Methods
A cross-sectional, national representative general practice study, using EMR data from 195 GPs. The study population consisted of Dutch, Turks, Surinamese, Antilleans and Morrocans. Self-reported data were collected through face-to-face interviews and could be linked to the EMR of GPs. The main outcome measures were the level of agreement between annual prescribing rate based on the EMRs of GPs and the self-reported receipt and use of prescriptions during the preceding 14 days.
Results
The pattern of ethnic differences in receipt and use of prescription medication depended on whether self-reported data or EMR data were used. Ethnic differences based on self-reports were not consistently reflected in EMR data. The percentage of agreement above chance between EMR data and self-reported receipt was in general relative low.
Conclusion
Ethnic differences between self-reported data and EMR data might not be fully perceived as a cross-cultural validity issue. At least for Moroccans and Turks, compliance with the prescribed medication by the GP is suggested not to be optimal.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-6-115
PMCID: PMC1578560  PMID: 16970807
16.  Reproducibility of cervical range of motion in patients with neck pain 
Background
Reproducibility measurements of the range of motion are an important prerequisite for the interpretation of study results. The aim of the study is to assess the intra-rater and inter-rater reproducibility of the measurement of active Range of Motion (ROM) in patients with neck pain using the Cybex Electronic Digital Inclinometer-320 (EDI-320).
Methods
In an outpatient clinic in a primary care setting 32 patients with at least 2 weeks of pain and/or stiffness in the neck were randomly assessed, in a test- retest design with blinded raters using a standardized measurement protocol. Cervical flexion-extension, lateral flexion and rotation were assessed.
Results
Reliability expressed by the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) was 0.93 (lateral flexion) or higher for intra-rater reliability and 0.89 (lateral flexion) or higher for inter-rater reliability. The 95% limits of agreement for intra-rater agreement, expressing the range of the differences between two ratings were -2.5 ± 11.1° for flexion-extension, -0.1 ± 10.4° for lateral flexion and -5.9 ± 13.5° for rotation. For inter-rater agreement the limits of agreement were 3.3 ± 17.0° for flexion-extension, 0.5 ± 17.0° for lateral flexion and -1.3 ± 24.6° for rotation.
Conclusion
In general, the intra-rater reproducibility and the inter-rater reproducibility were good. We recommend to compare the reproducibility and clinical applicability of the EDI-320 inclinometer with other cervical ROM measures in symptomatic patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-6-59
PMCID: PMC1343553  PMID: 16351719
17.  Inter-observer reproducibility of measurements of range of motion in patients with shoulder pain using a digital inclinometer 
Background
Reproducible measurements of the range of motion are an important prerequisite for the interpretation of study results. The digital inclinometer is considered to be a useful instrument because it is inexpensive and easy to use. No previous study assessed inter-observer reproducibility of range of motion measurements with a digital inclinometer by physical therapists in a large sample of patients.
Methods
Two physical therapists independently measured the passive range of motion of the glenohumeral abduction and the external rotation in 155 patients with shoulder pain. Agreement was quantified by calculation of the mean differences between the observers and the standard deviation (SD) of this difference and the limits of agreement, defined as the mean difference ± 1.96*SD of this difference. Reliability was quantified by means of the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).
Results
The limits of agreement were 0.8 ± 19.6 for glenohumeral abduction and -4.6 ± 18.8 for external rotation (affected side) and quite similar for the contralateral side and the differences between sides. The percentage agreement within 10° for these measurements were 72% and 70% respectively. The ICC ranged from 0.28 to 0.90 (0.83 and 0.90 for the affected side).
Conclusions
The inter-observer agreement was found to be poor. If individual patients are assessed by two different observers, differences in range of motion of less than 20–25 degrees can not be distuinguished from measurement error. In contrast, acceptable reliability was found for the inclinometric measurements of the affected side and the differences between the sides, indicating that the inclimeter can be used in studies in which groups are compared.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-5-18
PMCID: PMC434511  PMID: 15196309
18.  The urine dipstick test useful to rule out infections. A meta-analysis of the accuracy 
BMC Urology  2004;4:4.
Background
Many studies have evaluated the accuracy of dipstick tests as rapid detectors of bacteriuria and urinary tract infections (UTI). The lack of an adequate explanation for the heterogeneity of the dipstick accuracy stimulates an ongoing debate. The objective of the present meta-analysis was to summarise the available evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of the urine dipstick test, taking into account various pre-defined potential sources of heterogeneity.
Methods
Literature from 1990 through 1999 was searched in Medline and Embase, and by reference tracking. Selected publications should be concerned with the diagnosis of bacteriuria or urinary tract infections, investigate the use of dipstick tests for nitrites and/or leukocyte esterase, and present empirical data. A checklist was used to assess methodological quality.
Results
70 publications were included. Accuracy of nitrites was high in pregnant women (Diagnostic Odds Ratio = 165) and elderly people (DOR = 108). Positive predictive values were ≥80% in elderly and in family medicine. Accuracy of leukocyte-esterase was high in studies in urology patients (DOR = 276). Sensitivities were highest in family medicine (86%). Negative predictive values were high in both tests in all patient groups and settings, except for in family medicine. The combination of both test results showed an important increase in sensitivity. Accuracy was high in studies in urology patients (DOR = 52), in children (DOR = 46), and if clinical information was present (DOR = 28). Sensitivity was highest in studies carried out in family medicine (90%). Predictive values of combinations of positive test results were low in all other situations.
Conclusions
Overall, this review demonstrates that the urine dipstick test alone seems to be useful in all populations to exclude the presence of infection if the results of both nitrites and leukocyte-esterase are negative. Sensitivities of the combination of both tests vary between 68 and 88% in different patient groups, but positive test results have to be confirmed. Although the combination of positive test results is very sensitive in family practice, the usefulness of the dipstick test alone to rule in infection remains doubtful, even with high pre-test probabilities.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-4-4
PMCID: PMC434513  PMID: 15175113
19.  Health and health care utilisation among asylum seekers and refugees in the Netherlands: design of a study 
BMC Public Health  2004;4:7.
Background
This article discusses the design of a study on the prevalence of health problems (both physical and mental) and the utilisation of health care services among asylum seekers and refugees in the Netherlands, including factors that may be related to their health and their utilisation of these services.
Methods/Design
The study will include random samples of adult asylum seekers and refugees from Afghanistan, Iran and Somali (total planned sample of 600), as these are among the largest groups within the reception centres and municipalities in the Netherlands.
The questionnaire that will be used will include questions on physical health (chronic and acute diseases and somatization), mental health (Hopkins Symptoms Checklist-25 and Harvard Trauma Questionnaire), utilisation of health care services, pre- and post-migratory traumatic experiences, life-style, acculturation, social support and socio-demographic background. The questionnaire has gone through a translation process (translation and back-translation, several checks and a pilot-study) and cross-cultural adaptation. Respondents will be interviewed by bilingual and bicultural interviewers who will be specifically trained for this purpose.
This article discusses the selection of the study population, the chosen outcome measures, the translation and cross-cultural adaptation of the measurement instrument, the training of the interviewers and the practical execution of the study. The information provided may be useful for other researchers in this relatively new field of epidemiological research among various groups of asylum seekers and refugees.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-4-7
PMCID: PMC385239  PMID: 15070416
20.  Conducting systematic reviews of diagnostic studies: didactic guidelines 
Background
Although guidelines for critical appraisal of diagnostic research and meta-analyses have already been published, these may be difficult to understand for clinical researchers or do not provide enough detailed information.
Methods
Development of guidelines based on a systematic review of the evidence in reports of systematic searches of the literature for diagnostic research, of methodological criteria to evaluate diagnostic research, of methods for statistical pooling of data on diagnostic accuracy, and of methods for exploring heterogeneity.
Results
Guidelines for conducting diagnostic systematic reviews are presented in a stepwise fashion and are followed by comments providing further information. Examples are given using the results of two systematic reviews on the accuracy of the urine dipstick in the diagnosis of urinary tract infections, and on the accuracy of the straight-leg-raising test in the diagnosis of intervertebral disc hernia.
doi:10.1186/1471-2288-2-9
PMCID: PMC117243  PMID: 12097142

Results 1-20 (20)