We examined the longitudinal effects of community risk and protective factors on asthma morbidity and healthcare utilization. Three hundred urban caregivers of children with poorly controlled asthma were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial testing the effectiveness of a behavioral/educational intervention and completed measures of exposure to community violence (ECV), social cohesion (SC), informal social control (ISC), child asthma control, child asthma symptom days/nights, and healthcare utilization. Latent growth curve modeling examined the direct and interaction effects of ECV, SC, and ISC on the asthma outcomes over 12 months. Caregivers were primarily the biological mother (92 %), single (70 %), and poor (50 % earned less than $10,000). Children were African American (96 %) and young (mean age = 5.5 years, SD = 2.2). ECV at baseline was high, with 24.7 % of caregivers reporting more than two exposures to violence in the previous 6 months (M = 1.45, SD = 1.61). Caregiver ECV-predicted asthma-related healthcare utilization at baseline (b = 0.19, SE = 0.07, p = 0.003) and 2 months (b = 0.12, s.e. = 0.05, p = 0.04). ISC and SC moderated the effect of ECV on healthcare utilization. Our findings suggest that multifaceted interventions that include strategies to curb violence and foster feelings of cohesion among low-income urban residents may be needed to reduce asthma-related emergency services.
Asthma morbidity; Community violence; Healthcare utilization; Urban caregivers
Rates of preventive asthma care after an asthma emergency department (ED) visit are low among inner-city children. The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of a clinician and caregiver feedback intervention (INT) on improving preventive asthma care following an asthma ED visit compared to an attention control group (CON).
Children with persistent asthma and recent asthma ED visits (N = 300) were enrolled and randomized into a feedback intervention or an attention control group and followed for 12 months. All children received nurse visits. Data were obtained from interviews, child salivary cotinine levels and pharmacy records. Standard t-test, chi-square and multiple logistic regression tests were used to test for differences between the groups for reporting greater than or equal to two primary care provider (PCP) preventive care visits for asthma over 12 months.
Children were primarily male, young (3–5 years), African American and Medicaid insured. Mean ED visits over 12 months was high (2.29 visits). No difference by group was noted for attending two or more PCP visits/12 months or having an asthma action plan (AAP). Children having an AAP at baseline were almost twice as likely to attend two or more PCP visits over 12 months while controlling for asthma control, group status, child age and number of asthma ED visits.
A clinician and caregiver feedback intervention was unsuccessful in increasing asthma preventive care compared to an attention control group. Further research is needed to develop interventions to effectively prevent morbidity in high risk inner-city children with frequent ED utilization.
Management/control; pediatrics; prevention
The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to examine the relationship of individual sociodemographic variables, life events, chronic stressors including asthma control and management and environmental stressors to maternal depression.
Cross sectional descriptive design study consisting of baseline data from participants enrolled in a randomized clinical trial of an asthma communication educational intervention.
Two hundred and one mothers of children with asthma (ages 6-12) recruited from community pediatric practices and pediatric emergency departments of two urban university hospitals. Measurement: Subjects responded to a questionnaire that included sociodemographic characteristics, life events, and chronic stressors. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the CESD.
Close to 25% of the mothers had a score of 16 or greater on the CESD. Significant bivariate relationships between low education, unemployment, feeling unsafe, and the use of quick relief asthma drugs with high depressive symptoms were found. In the multiple logistic regression models, education or unemployment (in separate models) and the use of quick relief medications for asthma were positively associated with depressive symptoms.
Implications for practice include the need to assess for the presence of maternal depression particularly in mothers of children with a chronic illness such as asthma.
asthma; depressive symptoms; mothers; chronic illness
Work place violence (WPV) is a significant public health concern affecting all racial or ethnic groups. This study examined whether different racial/ethnic groups differed in vulnerability to WPV exposure and utilization of resources at the workplace. This cross sectional research focused on White, Black and Asian nursing employees (N=2033) employed in four health care institutions in a Mid-Atlantic US metropolitan area. While childhood physical abuse was significantly related to risk for WPV among workers from all racial/ethnic backgrounds, intimate partner abuse was a significant factor for Asians and Whites. Blacks and Asians were found to be less likely than Whites to be knowledgeable about WPV resources or use resources to address WPV. Services to address past trauma, and education and training opportunities for new workers may reduce risk for WPV and promote resource utilization among minority workers.
Workplace violence; Racial and ethnic differences; Nurses
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) unit in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
To develop and evaluate a nurse case management model and intervention using the tenets of the Chronic Care Model to manage treatment for MDR-TB patients with a high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection.
A quasi-experimental pilot programme utilizing a nurse case manager to manage care for 40 hospitalized MDR-TB patients, 70% HIV co-infected, during the intensive phase of MDR-TB treatment. Patients were followed for six months to compare proximal outcomes identified in the model between the pre- and post-intervention period.
The greatest percent differences between baseline and six-month MDR-TB proximal outcomes were seen in the following three areas: baseline symptom evaluation on treatment initiation (95% improvement), baseline and monthly laboratory evaluations completed per guidelines (75% improvement), and adverse drug reactions acted upon by medical and/or nursing intervention (75% improvement).
Improvements were identified in guideline-based treatment and monitoring of adverse drug reactions following implementation of the nurse case management intervention. Further study is required to determine if the intervention introduced in this model will ultimately result in improvements in final MDR-TB treatment outcomes.
asthma; inner-city; preventive care
Caregiver quality of life (QOL) is known to influence asthma management behaviors. Risk factors for low caregiver QOL in families of inner-city children with asthma remain unclear. This study evaluated the interrelationships of asthma control, stress, and caregiver QOL.
Data were analyzed from a home-based behavioral intervention for children with persistent asthma post asthma emergency department treatment. Caregivers reported on baseline demographics, asthma control, asthma management stress, life stress, and QOL. Hierarchical regression analysis examined the contributions of socio-demographic factors, asthma control, asthma management stress, and life stress in explaining caregiver QOL.
Children (N=300) were primarily African-American (96%) and young (Mean age of 5.5 years). Caregivers were predominantly the biological mother (92%), single (70%), and unemployed (54%). Poor QOL was associated with higher caregiver education and number of children in the home, low asthma control, and increased asthma management stress and life stress. The model accounted for 28% of variance in caregiver QOL.
Findings underscore the need for multi-faceted interventions to provide caregivers of children with asthma tools to cope with asthma management demands and contemporary life stressors.
asthma; caregiver; stress; quality of life
Rates of preventive follow-up asthma care after an acute emergency department (ED) visit are low among inner-city children. We implemented a novel behavioral asthma intervention, Pediatric Asthma Alert (PAAL) intervention, to improve outpatient follow-up and preventive care for urban children with a recent ED visit for asthma.
The objective of this article is to describe the PAAL intervention and examine factors associated with intervention completers and noncompleters.
Children with persistent asthma and recurrent ED visits (N = 300) were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of the PAAL intervention that included two home visits and a facilitated follow-up visit with the child’s primary care provider (PCP). Children were categorized as intervention completers, that is, completed home and PCP visits compared with noncompleters, who completed at least one home visit but did not complete the PCP visit. Using chi-square test of independence, analysis of variance, and multiple logistic regression, the intervention completion status was examined by several sociodemographic, health, and caregiver psychological variables.
Children were African-American (95%), Medicaid insured (91%), and young (aged 3–5 years, 56%). Overall, 71% of children randomized to the intervention successfully completed all home and PCP visits (completers). Factors significantly associated with completing the intervention included younger age (age 3–5 years: completers, 65.4%; noncompleters, 34.1%; p < .001) and having an asthma action plan in the home at baseline (completers: 40%; noncompleters: 21%; p = .02). In a logistic regression model, younger child age, having an asthma action plan, and lower caregiver daily asthma stress were significantly associated with successful completion of the intervention.
The majority of caregivers of high-risk children with asthma were successfully engaged in this home and PCP-based intervention. Caregivers of older children with asthma and those with high stress may need additional support for program completion. Further, the lack of an asthma action plan may be a marker of preexisting barriers to preventive care.
asthma; children; controller medications; inner city; preventive care
We examine current perceptions and constraints surrounding condom use among young adults in the Philippines to garner a deeper contextual understanding of this aspect of HIV prevention within Filipino society. Through thematic analysis of focus group data, we found three broad themes, all of which included societal and individual barriers to using condoms. The findings may provide insight for similar settings that have strong religious influences on society. To strengthen HIV prevention efforts in such settings, we suggest that the development of strategies to address these constraints in the cultural setting and promote sexual health of young adults is essential.
This study examined patterns of nine types of violence against women (VAW) and associated mental health problems. The following self-reported, lifetime violence victimization was examined among 1424 employed women: (1) childhood physical abuse, (2) childhood sexual abuse, (3) physical abuse between parents/guardians during childhood, (4) psychological intimate partner violence (IPV), (5) physical IPV, (6) sexual IPV, (7) adult physical or sexual assault by a non-intimate partner, (8) physical workplace violence, and (9) psychological workplace violence. Latent class analysis was used to identify homogenous patterns, called “classes,” of women's “yes/no” responses to experiencing these types of violence. The best model consisted of 4-classes characterized by the following probabilities: low violence (class 1: 63.1%), high psychological and physical IPV (class 2: 15.6%), high physical and psychological workplace violence (class 3: 12.4%), and moderate to high childhood abuse (class 4: 9.0%). When compared to class 1 (low violence), membership in classes 2 (IPV) and 4 (childhood abuse) was associated with screening positive for depression in the past week at baseline after controlling for the influence of demographic characteristics on class membership. Also, when compared to class 1 (low all), membership in class 2 (IPV) was associated with greater odds of screening positive for posttraumatic stress disorder in the past month at the six month follow-up assessment. Findings document distinct patterns of VAW and associated proximal and distal mental health outcomes. Implications for interventions aimed to improve employed women's health are discussed.
childhood abuse; intimate partner violence; workplace violence; posttraumatic stress; depression
A person’s ability to minimize HIV risk is embedded in a complex, multidimensional context. In this study, we tested a model of how relationship power impacts IPV victimization, which in turn impacts HIV risk behaviors. We analyzed data from 474 young adult women (aged 15–31) in Cebu Province, Philippines, using structural equation modeling, and demonstrated good fit for the models. High relationship power is directly associated with increased IPV victimization, and IPV victimization is positively associated with increased HIV risk. We highlight in this article the complex dynamics to consider in HIV risk prevention among these young women.
Surrogate accuracy in predicting patient treatment preferences (i.e., what patients want) has been studied extensively, but it is not known whether surrogates can predict how patients want loved ones to make end-of-life decisions on their behalf.
To evaluate the ability of family members to correctly identify the preferences of seriously-ill patients regarding family involvement in decision making.
Twenty-five pancreatic cancer and 27 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and their family members (52 dyads total).
Patients and family members completed the Decision Control Preferences (DCP) scale regarding patient preferences for family involvement in health care decisions using conscious and unconscious scenarios.
Patient and family member agreement was 56% (29/52 dyads) for the conscious scenario (kappa 0.29) and 46% (24/52 dyads) for the unconscious scenario (kappa 0.15). Twenty-four family members identified the patient’s preference as independent in the unconscious scenario, but six of these patients actually preferred shared decision making and six preferred reliant decision making. In the conscious scenario, preference for independent decision making was associated with higher odds of patient–family agreement (AOR 5.28, 1.07–26.06). In the unconscious scenario, cancer patients had a higher odds of agreement than ALS patients (AOR 3.86; 95% CI 1.02–14.54).
Family members were often unable to correctly identify patient preferences for family involvement in end-of-life decision making, especially when patients desired that decisions be made using the best-interest standard. Clinicians and family members should consider explicitly eliciting patient preferences for family involvement in decision making. Additional research is still needed to identify interventions to improve family member understanding of patient preferences regarding the decision-making process itself.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-011-1717-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
decision making; patient preference; advance care planning; terminal care
To examine the association of social and environmental factors with levels of second hand smoke (SHS) exposure, as measured by salivary cotinine, in young inner city children with asthma.
We used data drawn from a home-based behavioral intervention for young high risk children with persistent asthma post emergency department (ED) treatment (N=198). SHS exposure was measured by salivary cotinine and caregiver report. Caregiver demographic and psychological functioning, household smoking behavior and asthma morbidity were compared with child cotinine concentrations. Chi-square and ANOVA tests and multivariate regression models were used to determine the association between cotinine concentrations with household smoking behavior and asthma morbidity.
Over half (53%) of the children had cotinine levels compatible with SHS exposure and mean cotinine concentrations were high at 2.42 ng/ml (SD 3.2). The caregiver was the predominant smoker in the home (57%) and (63%) reported a total home smoking ban. Preschool age children, and those with caregivers reporting depressive symptoms and high stress had higher cotinine concentrations than their counterparts. Among children living in a home with a total home smoking ban, younger children had significantly higher mean cotinine concentration than older children (Cotinine: 3–5 year olds, 2.24 ng/ml (SD 3.5); 6–10 year olds, 0.63 ng/ml (SD 1.0); p <0.05). In multivariate models, the factors most strongly associated with high child cotinine concentrations were increased number of household smokers (β = 0.24) and younger child age (3–5 years) (β = 0.23; P <0.001, R2 = 0.35).
Over half of young inner-city children with asthma were exposed to second hand smoke and caregivers are the predominant household smoker. Younger children and children with depressed and stressed caregivers are at significant risk of smoke exposures, even when a household smoking ban is reported. Further advocacy for these high-risk children is needed to help caregivers quit and to mitigate smoke exposure.
asthma; children; cotinine; second hand smoke
Several studies have reported high levels of distress in family members who have made health care decisions for loved ones at the end of life. A method is needed to assess the readiness of family members to take on this important role. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop and validate a scale to measure family member confidence in making decisions with (conscious patient scenario) and for (unconscious patient scenario) a terminally ill loved one.
On the basis of a survey of family members of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) enriched by in-depth interviews guided by Self-Efficacy Theory, we developed six themes within family decision making self-efficacy. We then created items reflecting these themes that were refined by a panel of end-of-life research experts. With 30 family members of patients in an outpatient ALS and a pancreatic cancer clinic, we tested the tool for internal consistency using Cronbach’s alpha and for consistency from one administration to another using the test–retest reliability assessment in a subset of 10 family members. Items with item to total scale score correlations of less than .40 were eliminated.
A 26-item scale with two 13-item scenarios resulted, measuring family self-efficacy in decision making for a conscious or unconscious patient with a Cronbach’s alphas of .91 and .95, respectively. Test–retest reliability was r = .96, p = .002 in the conscious senario and r = .92, p = .009 in the unconscious scenario.
Significance of results
The Family Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale is valid, reliable, and easily completed in the clinic setting. It may be used in research and clinical care to assess the confidence of family members in their ability to make decisions with or for a terminally ill loved one.
Decision making; Self-efficacy; End of life; Family; Scale
The health of individuals occurs within the context of their environment and the other individuals they interact with in the communities they live in, work in and visit. Promoting the health of the public requires multiple strategies aimed at improving the environment, the health knowledge of groups and individuals, maintaining adequate food and water, and reducing the spread of disease. Many disciplines are needed to meet these goals, but the largest segment of the professional health work force required to meet these needs is nursing. Historically, nursing leaders in public health such as Florence Nightingale and Lillian Wald made significant inroads related to serious health issues because they were nurses. Today across the globe, nurses provide the key components of public health interventions including well baby care, health education, screening and immunization clinics, disaster management and emergency preparedness. With the growing nursing shortage in acute care settings, the brain drain of nurses from certain areas of the world, the shrinking public dollars for preventive health care, the nursing workforce needed to continue to provide these essential health care services is threatened. It is essential to put the spot light on nursing’s role in public health with the hopes of attracting more public funds and more nurses to provide these essential services.
public health; nursing; health care workforce
This article critically reviews 62 empirical studies that examine the prevalence of female perpetrated intimate partner violence across three distinct populations (adolescents, college students, and adults). All studies were published between 1996 and 2006 and reported prevalence rates of physical, emotional, and/or sexual violence perpetrated by females in heterosexual intimate relationships. The highest rates were found for emotional violence, followed by physical and sexual violence. Prevalence rates varied widely within each population, most likely due to methodological and sampling differences across studies. Few longitudinal studies existed, limiting the extent to which we could identify developmental patterns associated with female perpetrated intimate partner violence. Differences and similarities across populations are highlighted. Methodological difficulties of this area of inquiry as well as implications for practice, policy, and research are discussed.
intimate partner violence; female perpetration; adolescents; college students; adults; prevalence
Current approaches to end-of-life decision making are widely considered inadequate. We explored these complexities by examining how patients with terminal diagnoses would choose to involve their physicians and loved ones in making medical decisions, assuming they were able and unable to participate. Cross-sectional interviews of 130 patients recently diagnosed with fatal conditions were conducted. Patients were recruited from two academic medical centers using a modification of the Decision Control Preferences Scale, ranging from independent decision making to decision making that relies upon others. Patients were asked how they would balance their own wishes relative to the input of physician and loved ones in making medical decisions, and to weigh the input of loved ones relative to physician. Most patients (52%), assuming they had the capacity, would opt to share decision making with their physicians, but 15% would defer to their physicians and 34% would make decisions independently. Similarly, 44% would share decision making with their loved ones, but fewer (6%) would defer to their loved ones. Thirty-nine percent would rely upon their physicians’ judgments about what would be best for them rather than their own wishes if they became unconscious, compared with 15% who would do so if they were conscious (P < 0.001). Nonetheless, patients were more likely to weigh their loved ones’ input more heavily than their physicians’ input if they were unconscious (33%) than if they were conscious (7%, P = 0.05). Race, religion, gender, diagnosis, and health status were largely unassociated with patients’ decision control preferences. Patients with terminal diagnoses report a wide diversity of decision control preferences, but most would opt to share decision making with their physicians and loved ones. If unable to decide for themselves, they shift toward greater reliance on physician input relative to their own wishes but would weigh loved ones’ input more heavily than physician input. Deciding for patients who cannot speak for themselves may be more complex than has previously been reflected in law, policy, or clinical ethics.
Ethics; end of life; decision making; advance care planning
To determine the role terminally ill patients would opt to have their loved ones and physicians play in healthcare decisions should they lose decision-making capacity and how this changes over time.
The study institutions were The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland, and St. Vincent’s Hospital, in New York.
One hundred forty-seven patients with cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or heart failure, at baseline and 3 and 6 months.
Patients’ baseline decision control preferences varied widely, but most opted for shared decision-making, leaning slightly toward independence from their loved ones. This did not change significantly at 3 or 6 months. Fiftyseven percent opted for the same degree of decision control at 3 months as at baseline. In a generalized estimating equation model adjusted for time, more-independent decision-making was associated with college education (P =.046) and being female (P =.01), whereas more-reliant decision-making was associated with age (P<.001). Patients leaned toward more reliance upon physicians to make best-interest determinations at diagnosis but opted for physicians to decide based upon their own independent wishes (substituted judgment) over time, especially if college educated.
Terminally ill patients vary in how much they wish their own preferences to control decisions made on their behalf, but most would opt for shared decisionmaking with loved ones and physicians. Control preferences are stable over time with respect to loved ones, but as they live longer with their illnesses, patients prefer somewhat less reliance upon physicians.
decision-making; end of life; decisional incapacity; surrogates; ethics
Persons with ALS differ from those with other terminal illnesses in that they commonly retain capacity for decision making close to death. The role patients would opt to have their families play in decision making at the end of life may therefore be unique. This study compared the preferences of patients with ALS for involving family in health care decisions at the end of life with the actual involvement reported by the family after death.
A descriptive correlational design with 16 patient–family member dyads was used. Quantitative findings were enriched with in-depth interviews of a subset of five family members following the patient's death.
Eighty-seven percent of patients had issued an advance directive. Patients who would opt to make health care decisions independently (i.e., according to the patient's preferences alone) were most likely to have their families report that decisions were made in the style that the patient preferred. Those who preferred shared decision making with family or decision making that relied upon the family were more likely to have their families report that decisions were made in a style that was more independent than preferred. When interviewed in depth, some family members described shared decision making although they had reported on the survey that the patient made independent decisions.
Significance of results:
The structure of advance directives may suggest to families that independent decision making is the ideal, causing them to avoid or underreport shared decision making. Fear of family recriminations may also cause family members to avoid or underreport shared decision making. Findings from this study might be used to guide clinicians in their discussions of treatments and health care decision making with persons with ALS and their families.
Decision making; End of life; Family; Ethics