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1.  Upper esophageal sphincter abnormalities are strongly predictive of treatment response in patients with achalasia 
AIM: To investigate the relationship between upper esophageal sphincter abnormalities achalasia treatment
METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of 41 consecutive patients referred for high resolution esophageal manometry with a final manometric diagnosis of achalasia. Patients were sub-divided by presence or absence of Upper esophageal sphincter (UES) abnormality, and clinical and manometric profiles were compared. Correlation between UES abnormality and sub-type (i.e., hypertensive, hypotensive or impaired relaxation) and a number of variables, including qualitative treatment response, achalasia sub-type, co-morbid medical illness, psychiatric illness, surgical history, dominant presenting symptom, treatment type, age and gender were also evaluated.
RESULTS: Among all 41 patients, 24 (58.54%) had a UES abnormality present. There were no significant differences between the groups in terms of age, gender or any other clinical or demographic profiles. Among those with UES abnormalities, the majority were either hypertensive (41.67%) or had impaired relaxation (37.5%) as compared to hypotensive (20.83%), although this did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.42). There was no specific association between treatment response and treatment type received; however, there was a significant association between UES abnormalities and treatment response. In patients with achalasia and concomitant UES abnormalities, 87.5% had poor treatment response, while only 12.5% had favorable response. In contrast, in patients with achalasia and no UES abnormalities, the majority (78.57%) had good treatment response, as compared to 21.43% with poor treatment response (P = 0.0001). After controlling for achalasia sub-type, those with UES abnormality had 26 times greater odds of poor treatment response than those with no UES abnormality (P = 0.009). Similarly, after controlling for treatment type, those with UES abnormality had 13.9 times greater odds of poor treatment response compared to those with no UES abnormality (P = 0.017).
CONCLUSION: The presence of UES abnormalities in patients with achalasia significantly predicted poorer treatment response as compared to those with normal UES function.
doi:10.12998/wjcc.v2.i9.448
PMCID: PMC4163767  PMID: 25232548
Upper esophageal sphincter; Achalasia; Motility; Dysphagia; Esophageal disorders
2.  Biomarker validation of recent unprotected sexual intercourse in a prospective study of young women engaged in sex work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2013;40(6):462-468.
Summary
A study of female sex workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia found self-reported condom use to be of questionable validity, particularly among amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) users and those with multiple partners.
Background
Accurate measurement of unprotected sex is essential in HIV prevention research. Since 2001, the 100% Condom Use Program targeting female sex workers (FSW) has been a central element of the Cambodian National HIV/AIDS Strategy. We sought to assess the validity of self-reported condom use using the rapid prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test among Cambodian FSW.
Methods
From 2009 to 2010 we enrolled 183 FSW in Phnom Penh in a prospective study of HIV risk behavior. PSA test results from the OneStep ABAcard® were compared to self-reported condom use in the past 48 hours at quarterly follow-up visits.
Results
Among women positive for seminal fluid at the first follow-up visit, 42% reported only protected sex or no sex in the detection period. Discordant results were more likely among brothel and street-based FSW vs. entertainment (56% vs. 17%), recent (last 3 months) ATS users (53% vs. 20%), and those with >5 partners in the past month (58% vs. 13%). In multivariable regression models, positive PSA results were associated with recent ATS use (Adjusted Risk Ratio (ARR) = 1.5; 95% confidence interval (CI):1.1 – 2.2), having a non-paying last sex partner (ARR=1.7; CI:1.2 – 2.5), and sex work venue (ARR=3.0; CI:1.4 – 6.5). Correspondingly, women with a non-paying last sex partner were more likely to report unprotected sex (ARR=1.5; CI:1.1 – 2.2), but no associations were found with sex work venue or ATS use.
Conclusions
Results confirm the questionable validity of self-reported condom use among FSW. The PSA biomarker assay is an important monitoring tool in HIV/STI research including prevention trials.
doi:10.1097/OLQ.0b013e318286db8a
PMCID: PMC3891890  PMID: 23680902
3.  Sex work and HIV in Cambodia: trajectories of risk and disease in two cohorts of high-risk young women in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 
BMJ Open  2013;3(9):e003095.
Objectives
HIV prevalence among Cambodian female sex workers (FSW) is among the highest in Southeast Asia. We describe HIV prevalence and associated risk exposures in FSW sampled serially in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Young Women's Health Study (YWHS)), before and after the implementation of a new law designed to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Design
Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from two prospective cohorts.
Setting
Community-based study in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Participants
Women aged 15–29 years, reporting ≥2 sexual partners in the last month and/or engaged in transactional sex in the last 3 months, were enrolled in the studies in 2007 (N=161; YWHS-1), and 2009 (N=220; YWHS-2) following information sessions where 285 and 345 women attended.
Primary outcomes
HIV prevalence, sexual risk behaviour, amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) and alcohol use, and work-related factors were compared in the two groups, enrolled before and after implementation of the new law.
Results
Participants in the two cohorts were similar in age (median 25 years), but YWHS-2 women reported fewer sex partners, more alcohol use and less ATS use. A higher proportion of YWHS-2 compared with YWHS-1 women worked in entertainment-based venues (68% vs 31%, respectively). HIV prevalence was significantly lower in the more recently sampled women: 9.2% (95% CI 4.5% to 13.8%) vs 23% (95% CI 16.5% to 29.7%).
Conclusions
Sex work context and risk have shifted among young FSW in Phnom Penh, following implementation of anti-prostitution and anti-trafficking laws. While both cohorts were recruited using the same eligibility criteria, more recently sampled women had lower prevalence of sexual risk and HIV infection. Women engaging more directly in transactional sex have become harder to sample and access. Future prevention research and programmes need to consider how new policies and demographic changes in FSW impact HIV transmission.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003095
PMCID: PMC3773643  PMID: 24022389
EPIDEMIOLOGY
4.  Young Women Engaged in Sex Work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Have High Incidence of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Amphetamine-Type Stimulant Use: New Challenges to HIV Prevention and Risk 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2011;38(1):33-39.
Objectives
To estimate prevalence and incidence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) and associated risk factors among young women working as sex workers (SWs) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Methods
A prospective study of young (<29 years) women working as SWs in brothels, entertainment establishments, and freelance. Sociodemographics, sexual risk, and use of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) (“yama” and “crystal”) were assessed by self-report. HIV and STI (Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae) testing were conducted on blood and urine specimens, respectively.
Results
Baseline prevalences of HIV, C. trachomatis, and N. gonorrhoeae were 23%, 11.5%, and 7.8%, respectively. HIV incidence was 3.6 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2%– 11.1%); STI incidence was 21.2 per 100 person-years (95% CI, 12.6%– 35.8%). At baseline, 26.5% reported recent ATS use. HIV infection was associated with freelance SW (adjusted odds ratio, 5.85; 95% CI, 1.59–21.58) and younger age of first sex (≤15 years; adjusted odds ratio, 3.06; 95% CI, 1.01–8.46). Incident STI was associated with duration (per year) of SW (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.1–1.2) and recent yama use (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.5–10.3).
Conclusions
HIV and STI infection rates were high among SWs working in various settings; freelancers had highest risk. ATS use was associated with incident STI. Venue of sex work and drug prevention should be considered in prevention programs.
doi:10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3182000e47
PMCID: PMC3729941  PMID: 21085056
5.  Condom negotiation across different relationship types by young women engaged in sex work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 
Global public health  2013;8(3):270-283.
Cambodia's 100% Condom Use Programme is credited with an increase in consistent condom use in commercial sexual interactions and a decrease in HIV prevalence among female sex workers (FSWs). There has been little improvement in condom use between FSWs and non-commercial partners, prompting calls for more innovative approaches to increasing condom use in these relationships. To understand why condoms are used or not used in sexual interactions involving FSWs, we examined condom negotiation across different types of relationships. We conducted 33 in-depth interviews with young (15 to 29 years) women engaged in sex work in Phnom Penh. There was an important interplay between the meanings of condom use and the meanings of women's relationships. Commercial relationships were characterised as inherently risky and necessitated condom use. Despite a similar lack of sexual fidelity, sweetheart relationships were rarely construed as risky and typically did not involve condom use. Husbands and wives constructed their sexual interactions with each other differently, making agreement on condom use difficult. The lack of improvement in condom use in FSWs' non-commercial sexual relationships needs to be understood in relation to both sex work and the broader Cambodian sexual culture within which these relationships are embedded.
doi:10.1080/17441692.2013.767930
PMCID: PMC3729959  PMID: 23432108
female sex workers; condoms; sexually transmitted infections; HIV; Cambodia
6.  Alcohol Use by Men Is a Risk Factor for the Acquisition of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Human Immunodeficiency Virus From Female Sex Workers in Mumbai, India 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2005;32(11):685-690.
Objective
We investigated whether men who were under the influence of alcohol when visiting female sex workers (FSW) were at greater risk for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Study
A cross-sectional analysis using baseline data from a randomized controlled trial of an HIV prevention intervention for high-risk men in Mumbai, India.
Results
The overall HIV prevalence among 1741 men sampled was 14%; 64% had either a confirmed STI or HIV; 92% reported sex with an FSW, of whom 66% reported having sex while under the influence of alcohol (SUI). SUI was associated with unprotected sex (odds ratio [OR]: 3.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3–4.1), anal sex (OR: 1.5; 1.1–2.0), and more than10 FSW partners (OR: 2.2; 1.8–2.7). SUI was independently associated with having either an STI or HIV (OR: 1.5; 1.2–1.9).
Conclusion
Men who drink alcohol when visiting FSWs engage in riskier behavior and are more likely to have HIV and STIs. Prevention programs in India need to raise awareness of this relationship.
PMCID: PMC3709449  PMID: 16254543
7.  Correlates of amphetamine-type stimulants use and associations with HIV-related risks among young women engaged in sex work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2011;120(1-3):119-126.
Background
Amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) use has increased in Cambodia and emerged as a significant problem among female sex workers (FSWs), potentially contributing to increased risk of HIV. We examined the prevalence of ATS use and its effect on sexual risk behaviors, and sexually transmitted infections (STI) among FSWs in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Methods
A one-year prospective study among young women engaged in sex work in brothels, entertainment establishments and on a freelance basis. Socio-demographics, sexual risks, and recent ATS use were assessed by self-report. Blood and urine samples were collected to detect HIV, Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC). Bivariate and multivariate longitudinal analyses were conducted to assess the effects of ATS use on number of sex partners, inconsistent condom use with paying partners and incident STI.
Results
ATS use was higher among women working freelance (35.6%) and in brothels (34.8%) compared to women working in entertainment establishments (17.7%) or in multiple venues (14.8%). ATS users reported more sex partners and days drunk in the previous month. In multivariate longitudinal analysis, ATS use was associated with having a higher number of sex partners (Adjusted Risk Ratio 1.49; 95% CI: 1.00–2.21) and incident STI (Adjusted Odds Ratio 5.41; 95% CI: 1.15–25.48), but not inconsistent condom use with paying partner.
Conclusion
ATS users had more sex partners, high level of alcohol use, and were at increased risk of STI. Our findings underscore ATS use as an important emerging risk exposure that should be integrated into HIV prevention interventions targeting this population.
doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.07.005
PMCID: PMC3226861  PMID: 21820251
mphetamine-type stimulant; HIV/STI; Female sex workers; Cambodia; Risk behaviors
8.  Cervical human papillomavirus infection among young women engaged in sex work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: prevalence, genotypes, risk factors and association with HIV infection 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:166.
Background
Although cervical cancer is the leading cancer in Cambodia, most women receive no routine screening for cervical cancer and few treatment options exist. Moreover, nothing is known regarding the prevalence of cervical HPV or the genotypes present among women in the country. Young sexually active women, especially those with multiple sex partners are at highest risk of HPV infection. We examine the prevalence and genotypes of cervical HPV, as well as the associated risk factors among young women engaged in sex work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study among 220 young women (15–29 years) engaged in sex work in different venues including brothels or entertainment establishments, and on a freelance basis in streets, parks and private apartments. Cervical specimens were collected using standard cytobrush technique. HPV DNA was tested for by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and genotyping using type-specific probes for 29 individual HPV types, as well as for a mixture of 10 less common HPV types. All participants were also screened for HIV status using blood samples. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess risk factors for any or multiple HPV infection.
Results
The prevalence of cervical HPV 41.1%. HPV 51 and 70 were the most common (5.0%), followed by 16 (4.6%), 71 (4.1%) and 81 (3.7%). Thirty-six women (16.4%) were infected with multiple genotypes and 23.3% were infected with at least one oncogenic HPV type. In multivariate analyses, having HIV infection and a higher number of sexual partners were associated with cervical HPV infection. Risk factors for infection with multiple genotypes included working as freelance female sex workers (FSW) or in brothels, recent binge use of drugs, high number of sexual partners, and HIV infection.
Conclusions
This is the first Cambodian study on cervical HPV prevalence and genotypes. We found that HPV infection was common among young FSW, especially among women infected with HIV. These results underscore the urgent need for accessible cervical cancer screening and treatment, as well as for a prophylactic vaccine that covers the HPV subtypes present in Cambodia.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-166
PMCID: PMC3436768  PMID: 22839728
9.  Testing for amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) use to ascertain validity of self-reported ATS use among young female sex workers in Cambodia 
Objective
To assess concordance between self-reported amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) use and toxicology results among young female sex workers (FSW) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Methods
Cross-sectional data from the Young Women’s Health Study-2 (YWHS-2), a prospective study of HIV and ATS use among young (15 to 29 years) FSW in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was analyzed. The YWHS-2 assessed sociodemographic characteristics, HIV serology, HIV risk, and ATS use by self-report and urine toxicology testing at each quarterly visit, the second of which provided data for this assessment. Outcomes include sensitivity, specificity, positive- and negative predictive values (overall and stratified by age), sex-work setting, and HIV status.
Results
Among 200 women, prevalence of positive toxicology screening for ATS use was 14% (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.2, 18.9%) and concurrent prevalence of self-reported ATS was 15.5% (95% CI, 10.4, 20.6%). The sensitivity and specificity of self-reported ATS use compared to positive toxicology test results was 89.3% (25/28), and 96.5% (166/172), respectively. The positive predictive value of self-reported ATS use was 80.6% (25/31); the negative predictive value was 98.2% (166/169). Some differences in concordance between self-report and urine toxicology results were noted in analyses stratified by age group and sex-work setting but not by HIV status.
Conclusion
Results indicate a high prevalence of ATS use among FSW in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and high concordance between self-reported and toxicology-test confirmed ATS use.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-7-11
PMCID: PMC3507647  PMID: 23186171
10.  Selling sex in unsafe spaces: sex work risk environments in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 
Background
The risk environment framework provides a valuable but under-utilised heuristic for understanding environmental vulnerability to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among female sex workers. Brothels have been shown to be safer than street-based sex work, with higher rates of consistent condom use and lower HIV prevalence. While entertainment venues are also assumed to be safer than street-based sex work, few studies have examined environmental influences on vulnerability to HIV in this context.
Methods
As part of the Young Women's Health Study, a prospective observational study of young women (15-29 years) engaged in sex work in Phnom Penh, we conducted in-depth interviews (n = 33) to explore vulnerability to HIV/STI and related harms. Interviews were conducted in Khmer by trained interviewers, transcribed and translated into English and analysed for thematic content.
Results
The intensification of anti-prostitution and anti-trafficking efforts in Cambodia has increased the number of women working in entertainment venues and on the street. Our results confirm that street-based sex work places women at risk of HIV/STI infection and identify significant environmental risks related to entertainment-based sex work, including limited access to condoms and alcohol-related intoxication. Our data also indicate that exposure to violence and interactions with the police are mediated by the settings in which sex is sold. In particular, transacting sex in environments such as guest houses where there is little or no oversight in the form of peer or managerial support or protection, may increase vulnerability to HIV/STI.
Conclusions
Entertainment venues may also provide a high risk environment for sex work. Our results indicate that strategies designed to address HIV prevention among brothel-based FSWs in Cambodia have not translated well to street and entertainment-based sex work venues in which increasing numbers of women are working. There is an urgent need for targeted interventions, supported by legal and policy reforms, designed to reduce the environmental risks of sex work in these settings. Future research should seek to investigate sex work venues as risk environments, explore the role of different business models in mediating these environments, and identify and quantify exposure to risk in different occupational settings.
doi:10.1186/1477-7517-8-30
PMCID: PMC3339327  PMID: 22099449
sex work; risk; environment; vulnerability; HIV; STI; young women; entertainment; Cambodia
11.  Are young injection drug users ready and willing to participate in preventive HCV vaccine trials? 
Vaccine  2010;28(37):5947-5951.
Trials to evaluate the efficacy of preventive HCV vaccines will need participation from high risk HCV seronegative injection drug users (IDUs). To guide trial planning, we assessed willingness of young IDU in San Francisco to participate in HCV vaccine efficacy trials and evaluate knowledge of vaccine trial concepts: placebo, randomization and blinding. During 2006 and 2007, a total of 67 participants completed the survey. A substantial proportion (88%) would definitely (44%) or probably (44%) be willing to participate in a randomized trial, but knowledge of vaccine trial concepts was low. Reported willingness to participate in an HCV vaccine trial decreased with increasing trial duration, with 67% of participants surveyed willing to participate in a trial of one year duration compared to 43% of participants willing to participate in a trial of 4 years duration. Willingness to enroll in HCV vaccine trials was higher in young IDU than reported by most at-risk populations in HIV vaccine trials. Educational strategies will be needed to ensure understanding of key concepts prior to implementing HCV vaccine trials.
doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.07.006
PMCID: PMC2936506  PMID: 20638453
Hepatitis C; injection drug use; vaccine trial
12.  Predictors of injection drug use cessation and relapse in a prospective cohort of young injection drug users in San Francisco, CA (UFO Study) 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2009;101(3):152-157.
Background
Studies of injection drug use cessation have largely sampled adults in drug treatment settings. Little is known about injection cessation and relapse among young injection drug users (IDU) in the community.
Methods
A total of 365 HCV-negative IDU under age 30 years were recruited by street outreach and interviewed quarterly for a prospective cohort between January 2000 and February 2008. Participants were followed for a total of 638 person-years and 1996 visits. We used survival analysis techniques to identify correlates of injection cessation (≥3 months) and relapse to injection.
Results
67% of subjects were male, median age was 22 years (interquartile range (IQR) 20 - 26) and median years injecting was 3.6 (IQR 1.3 – 6.5). 28.8% ceased injecting during the follow-up period. Among those that ceased injecting, nearly one-half resumed drug injection on subsequent visits, one-quarter maintained injecting cessation, and one-quarter were lost to follow-up. Participating in a drug treatment program in the last 3 months and injecting less than 30 times per month were associated with injection cessation. Injecting heroin or heroin mixed with other drugs, injecting the residue from previously used drug preparation equipment, drinking alcohol, and using benzodiazepines were negatively associated with cessation. Younger age was associated with relapse to injection.
Conclusion
These results suggest that factors associated with stopping injecting involve multiple areas of intervention, including access to drug treatment and behavioral approaches to reduce injection and sustain cessation. The higher incidence of relapse in the younger subjects in this cohort underscores the need for earlier detection and treatment programs targeted to adolescents and transition-age youth.
doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.12.007
PMCID: PMC2692897  PMID: 19181458
Injection drug use; Cessation; Relapse; Youth
13.  Validation of AIDS-related mortality in Botswana 
Background
Mortality data are used to conduct disease surveillance, describe health status and inform planning processes for health service provision and resource allocation. In many countries, HIV- and AIDS-related deaths are believed to be under-reported in government statistics.
Methods
To estimate the extent of under-reporting of HIV- and AIDS-related deaths in Botswana, we conducted a retrospective study of a sample of deaths reported in the government vital registration database from eight hospitals, where more than 40% of deaths in the country in 2005 occurred. We used the consensus of three physicians conducting independent reviews of medical records as the gold standard comparison. We examined the sensitivity, specificity and other validity statistics.
Results
Of the 5276 deaths registered in the eight hospitals, 29% were HIV- and AIDS-related. The percentage of HIV- and AIDS-related deaths confirmed by physician consensus (positive predictive value) was 95.4%; however, the percentage of non-HIV- and non-AIDS-related deaths confirmed (negative predictive value) was only 69.1%. The sensitivity and specificity of the vital registration system was 55.7% and 97.3%, respectively. After correcting for misclassification, the percentage of HIV- and AIDS--related deaths was estimated to be in the range of 48.8% to 54.4%, depending on the definition.
Conclusion
Improvements in hospitals and within government offices are necessary to strengthen the vital registration system. These should include such strategies as training physicians and coders in accurate reporting and recording of death statistics, implementing continuous quality assurance methods, and working with the government to underscore the importance of using mortality statistics in future evidence-based planning.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-12-24
PMCID: PMC2775019  PMID: 19852854
14.  Group versus individual sessions delivered by a physiotherapist for female urinary incontinence: an interview study with women attending group sessions nested within a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Women's Health  2009;9:25.
Background
The aim was to explore the concerns and expectations of women invited to attend group physiotherapy sessions for the management of female urinary incontinence and whether the experience changed their views; and to gather recommendations from women attending group sessions on the design and delivery of these sessions
Methods
An interview study nested within a randomised controlled trial in five British NHS physiotherapy departments, including 22 women who had expressed a preference for an individual physiotherapy session but were randomised to, and attended, group sessions.
Results
Embarrassment was woven throughout women's accounts of experiencing urinary incontinence and seeking health care. Uncertainty about the nature of group sessions was a source of concern. Attending the first session was seen as a big hurdle by many women. However, a sense of relief was common once the session started, with most women describing some benefit from attendance. Recommendations for design and delivery of the sessions from women focused on reducing embarrassment and uncertainty prior to attendance.
Conclusion
Taking account of women's embarrassment and providing detailed information about the content of group sessions will enable women to benefit from group physiotherapy sessions for the management of female urinary incontinence.
Trial Registration
Trial registration number: ISRCTN 16772662
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-9-25
PMCID: PMC2753338  PMID: 19744315
15.  Maximising response to postal questionnaires – A systematic review of randomised trials in health research 
Background
Postal self-completion questionnaires offer one of the least expensive modes of collecting patient based outcomes in health care research. The purpose of this review is to assess the efficacy of methods of increasing response to postal questionnaires in health care studies on patient populations.
Methods
The following databases were searched: Medline, Embase, CENTRAL, CDSR, PsycINFO, NRR and ZETOC. Reference lists of relevant reviews and relevant journals were hand searched. Inclusion criteria were randomised trials of strategies to improve questionnaire response in health care research on patient populations. Response rate was defined as the percentage of questionnaires returned after all follow-up efforts. Study quality was assessed by two independent reviewers. The Mantel-Haenszel method was used to calculate the pooled odds ratios.
Results
Thirteen studies reporting fifteen trials were included. Implementation of reminder letters and telephone contact had the most significant effect on response rates (odds ratio 3.7, 95% confidence interval 2.30 to 5.97 p = <0.00001). Shorter questionnaires also improved response rates to a lesser degree (odds ratio 1.4, 95% confidence interval 1.19 to 1.54). No evidence was found that incentives, re-ordering of questions or including an information brochure with the questionnaire confer any additional advantage.
Conclusion
Implementing repeat mailing strategies and/or telephone reminders may improve response to postal questionnaires in health care research. Making the questionnaire shorter may also improve response rates. There is a lack of evidence to suggest that incentives are useful. In the context of health care research all strategies to improve response to postal questionnaires require further evaluation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2288-6-5
PMCID: PMC1421421  PMID: 16504090
16.  Gender differences in sexual and injection risk behavior among active young injection drug users in San Francisco (the UFO study) 
Female injection drug users (IDUs) represent a large proportion of persons infected with HIV in the United States, and women who inject drugs have a high incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) injection. Therefore, it is important to understand the role of gender in injection risk behavior and the transmission of blood-borne virus. In 2000–2002, 844 young (<30 years old) IDUs were surveyed in San Francisco. We compared self-reported risk behavior between 584 males and 260 female participants from cross-sectional baseline data. We used logistic regression to determine whether demographic, structural, and relationship variables explained increased needle borrowing, drug preparation equipment sharing, and being injected by another IDU among females compared to males. Females were significantly younger than males and were more likely to engage in needle borrowing, ancillary equipment sharing, and being injected by someone else. Females were more likely than males to report recent sexual intercourse and to have IDU sex partners. Females and males were not different with respect to education, race/ethnicity, or housing status. In logistic regression models for borrowing a used needle and sharing drug preparation equipment, increased risk in females was explained by having an injection partner who was also a sexual partner. Injecting risk was greater in the young female compared to male IDUs despite equivalent frequency of injecting. Overlapping sexual and injection partnerships were a key factor in explaining increased injection risk in females. Females were more likely to be injected by another IDU even after adjusting for years injecting, being in a relationship with another IDU, and other potential confounders. Interventions to reduce sexual and injection practices that put women at risk of contracting hepatitis and HIV are needed.
doi:10.1093/jurban/jtg137
PMCID: PMC3456106  PMID: 12612103
Epidemiology; Gender differences; Homeless; Injection drug use; Youth

Results 1-16 (16)