Adopting features of the Chronic Care Model may reduce coronary heart disease risk and blood pressure in vulnerable populations. We evaluated a peer and practice team intervention on reduction in 4-year coronary heart disease risk and systolic blood pressure.
DESIGN AND SUBJECTS
A single blind, randomized, controlled trial in two adjacent urban university-affiliated primary care practices. Two hundred eighty African-American subjects aged 40 to 75 with uncontrolled hypertension.
Three monthly calls from trained peer patients with well-controlled hypertension and, on alternate months, two practice staff visits to review a personalized 4-year heart disease risk calculator and slide shows about heart disease risks. All subjects received usual physician care and brochures about healthy cooking and heart disease.
Change in 4-year coronary heart disease risk (primary) and change in systolic blood pressure, both assessed at 6 months.
At baseline, the 136 intervention and 144 control subjects’ mean 4-year coronary heart disease risk did not differ (intervention = 5.8 % and control = 6.4 %, P = 0.39), and their mean systolic blood pressure was the same (140.5 mmHg, p = 0.83). Endpoint data for coronary heart disease were obtained for 69 % of intervention and 82 % of control subjects. After multiple imputation for missing endpoint data, the reduction in risk among all 280 subjects favored the intervention, but was not statistically significant (difference −0.73 %, 95 % confidence interval: -1.54 % to 0.09 %, p = 0.08). Among the 247 subjects with a systolic blood pressure endpoint (85 % of intervention and 91 % of control subjects), more intervention than control subjects achieved a >5 mmHg reduction (61 % versus 45 %, respectively, p = 0.01). After multiple imputation, the absolute reduction in systolic blood pressure was also greater for the intervention group (difference −6.47 mmHg, 95 % confidence interval: −10.69 to −2.25, P = 0.003). One patient died in each study arm.
Peer patient and office-based behavioral support for African-American patients with uncontrolled hypertension did not result in a significantly greater reduction in coronary heart disease risk but did significantly reduce systolic blood pressure.
coronary heart disease; hypertension; African American; peer support
No previous study has examined racial-ethnic differences in prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing and follow-up in primary care practices serving an indigent population.
From electronic medical records of primary care practices affiliated with one health care system in San Antonio, we identified 9,267 men aged 50–74 with 2+ clinic visits from 2008 through 2010 and no prior prostate cancer diagnosis. Logistic regression was used to examine the association of race-ethnicity with the use of PSA testing and, if tested, with an abnormal result (≥4 ng/mL) adjusted for demographics, health care and clinical factors. Time to a follow-up activity after an abnormal PSA was assessed using Cox proportional models.
The race-ethnicity of this cohort was 63% Hispanic, 27% non-Hispanic White, 7% African-American, and 3% other. In a 3-year period, 26.8% of men had at least one PSA test. Compared with African-Americans, non-Hispanic Whites were less likely to be tested (OR=0.68; 95% CI:0.55,0.83) but Hispanics did not differ (OR=0.95; 95% CI:0.79,1.15). African-Americans were more likely to have an abnormal PSA than others (12.4% versus 5.2%, p<0.001) and the shortest adjusted time to follow-up (p=0.004).
In this 3-year indigent cohort, about one quarter had a PSA test, approximately half of the national testing rate.
African-Americans were more likely to be tested than non-Hispanic Whites but had more abnormal results, raising concerns about missed prevention opportunities. African-Americans with high PSA results had the shortest time until follow-up, reflecting awareness of the threat of prostate cancer for African-Americans by physicians.
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing; primary health care; electronic medical records (EMR); low-income; comorbidity
To describe characteristics of older adults who received opioids for chronic noncancer pain (CP), ascertain types of opioid treatments received, and examine associations between patient characteristics and treatment outcomes.
Retrospective cohort study.
Primary care practice in New York City.
Eligible patients were ≥ 65 and newly started on an opioid for CP.
Patient characteristics and provider treatments, as well as duration of opioid therapy, proportion discontinuing therapy, and evidence of pain reduction and continued use of opioid for more than one year. Other outcomes included the presence and type(s) of side effects, abuse/misuse behaviors, and adverse events.
Participants (N=133) had a mean age of 82 (range=65–105), were mostly female (84%) and white (74%). Common indications for opioid treatment included back pain (37%) and osteoarthritis (35%). Mean duration of opioid use was 388 days (range=0–1880). Short-acting analgesics were most commonly prescribed. Physicians recorded side effects in 40% of cases. Opioids were discontinued in 48% of cases, mostly due to side effects/lack of efficacy. Pain reduction was documented in 66% of patient records, while 32% reported less pain and continued treatment for ≥ 1 year. Three percent displayed abuse/misuse behaviors, and 5% were hospitalized due to opioid-related adverse events.
Over 50% of older patients with CP tolerated treatment. Treatment was discontinued in 48% of cases, mostly due to side effects and lack of analgesic efficacy. Efforts are needed to establish the long-term safety and efficacy of opioid treatment for CP in diverse older patient populations.
Opioid analgesics; chronic non-cancer pain; elderly; safety; efficacy; abuse/misuse
Despite mounting evidence that peer coaches can make significant contributions to patient health, little is known about factors that must be addressed to engage and retain them in their role.
To identify motivators and barriers to serving as a peer coach.
Open ended semi-structured interviews.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING
In a randomized trial of peer support, patients with well controlled hypertension and good interpersonal skills were recruited and trained to serve as peer coaches for African-American patients from the same practices who had poorly controlled hypertension. Peer coaches spoke by telephone at least three times with their same sex patient–clients on alternate months during the 6-month intervention and counseled about medication adherence as well as other healthy lifestyles.
Of 15 trained peer coaches, ten were contacted and agreed to participate in the qualitative interview. Peer coaches had a mean age of 66 years, 50% were women, and 80% were African-American. Themes regarding favorable aspects of the peer coach experience included: meaning and satisfaction derived from contributing to community health and the personal emotional and physical benefits derived from serving as a peer coach. Negative aspects centered on: challenges in establishing the initial telephone contact and wanting more information about their patient–clients’ personal health conditions and status. Peer coaches endorsed gender matching but were less clear about race-matching.
Programs that utilize peer support to enhance positive health behaviors should recognize that a spirit of volunteerism motivates many successful peer coaches. Program planners should acknowledge the special characteristics required of successful peer coaches when selecting, motivating and training individuals for this role.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-011-1883-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
peer coach; peer counseling; navigator; risk counseling
Experts recommend close oversight of patients receiving opioid analgesics for chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP), especially those at increased risk of misuse. We hypothesized that physicians employ opioid risk reduction strategies more frequently in higher risk patients.
Retrospective cohort using electronic medical records.
Patients on long-term opioids (≥3 monthly prescriptions in 6 months) treated for CNCP in eight primary care practices.
We examined three risk reduction strategies: (1) any urine drug test; (2) regular office visits (at least once per 6 months and within 30 days of modifying opioid treatment); and (3) restricted early refills (one or fewer opioid refills more than a week early). Risk factors for opioid misuse included: age <45 years old, drug or alcohol use disorder, tobacco use, or mental health disorder. Associations of risk factors with each outcome were assessed in non-linear mixed effects models adjusting for patient clustering within physicians, demographics and clinical factors.
Of 1,612 patients, 8.0% had urine drug testing, 49.8% visited the office regularly, and 76.6% received restricted (one or fewer) early refills. Patient risk factors were: age <45 (29%), drug use disorder (7.6%), alcohol use disorder (4.5%), tobacco use (16.1%), and mental health disorder (48.4%). Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) of urine drug testing were significantly increased for patients with a drug use disorder (3.18; CI 1.94, 5.21) or a mental health disorder (1.73; CI 1.14, 2.65). However, the AOR for restricted early refills was significantly decreased for patients with a drug use disorder (0.56; CI 0.34, 0.92). After adjustment, no risk factor was significantly associated with regular office visits. An increasing number of risk factors was positively associated with urine drug testing (p < 0.001), but negatively associated with restricted early refills (p = 0.009).
Primary care physicians’ adoption of opioid risk reduction strategies is limited, even among patients at increased risk of misuse.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-011-1648-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
opioid misuse; chronic pain; urine drug testing
Reasons for race and gender differences in controlling elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol may be related to variations in prescribed lipid-lowering therapy. We examined the effect of lipid-lowering drug treatment and potency on time until LDL control for black and white women and men with a baseline elevated LDL.
We studied 3,484 older hypertensive patients with dyslipidemia in 6 primary care practices over a 4-year timeframe. Potency of lipid-lowering drugs calculated for each treated day and summed to assess total potency for at least 6 and up to 24 months. Cox models of time to LDL control within two years and logistic regression models of control within 6 months by race-gender adjust for: demographics, clinical, health care delivery, primary/specialty care, LDL measurement, and drug potency.
Time to LDL control decreased as lipid-lowering drug potency increased (P < 0.001). Black women (N = 1,440) received the highest potency therapy (P < 0.001) yet were less likely to achieve LDL control than white men (N = 717) (fully adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.66 [95% CI 0.56-0.78]). Black men (N = 666) and white women (N = 661) also had lower adjusted HRs of LDL control (0.82 [95% CI 0.69, 0.98] and 0.75 [95% CI 0.64-0.88], respectively) than white men. Logistic regression models of LDL control by 6 months and other sensitivity models affirmed these results.
Black women and, to a lesser extent, black men and white women were less likely to achieve LDL control than white men after accounting for lipid-lowering drug potency as well as diverse patient and provider factors. Future work should focus on the contributions of medication adherence and response to treatment to these clinically important differences.
dyslipidemia; anticholesterolemic agents; healthcare disparities; survival analysis
The use of opioid medications as treatment for chronic non-cancer pain remains controversial. Little information is currently available regarding healthcare providers' attitudes and beliefs about this practice among older adults. This study aimed to describe primary care providers' experiences and attitudes towards, as well as perceived barriers and facilitators to prescribing opioids as a treatment for chronic pain among older adults.
Six focus groups were conducted with a total of 23 physicians and three nurse practitioners from two academically affiliated primary care practices and three community health centers located in New York City. Focus groups were audiotape recorded and transcribed. The data were analyzed using directed content analysis; NVivo software was used to assist in the quantification of identified themes.
Most participants (96%) employed opioids as therapy for some of their older patients with chronic pain, although not as first-line therapy. Providers cited multiple barriers, including fear of causing harm, the subjectivity of pain, lack of education, problems converting between opioids, and stigma. New barriers included patient/family member reluctance to try an opioid and concerns about opioid abuse by family members/caregivers. Studies confirming treatment benefit, validated tools for assessing risk and/or dosing for comorbidities, improved conversion methods, patient education, and peer support could facilitate opioid prescribing. Participants voiced greater comfort using opioids in the setting of delivering palliative or hospice care versus care of patients with chronic pain, and expressed substantial frustration managing chronic pain.
Providers perceive multiple barriers to prescribing opioids to older adults with chronic pain, and use these medications cautiously. Establishing the long-term safety and efficacy of these medications, generating improved prescribing methods, and implementing provider and patient educational interventions could help to improve the management of chronic pain in later life.
This systematic review summarizes existing evidence regarding the efficacy, safety, and abuse/misuse potential of opioids as treatment for chronic non-cancer pain (CP) in older adults. Multiple databases were searched to identify relevant studies published in English (1/1/80-7/1/09) with a mean study population age of 60 years or above. Forty-three articles were identified and retained for review. The weighted mean subject age was 64.1 years (mean age range: 60-73). Studies enrolled patients with osteoarthritis (70%), neuropathic pain (13%), or other pain-producing disorders (17%). The mean duration of treatment studies (n=40) was 4 weeks (range = 1.5–156 weeks), and only 5 (12%) lasted longer than 12 weeks. In meta-analyses, effect sizes were −0.557 (p<0.001) for pain reduction, −0.432 (p<0.001) for physical disability reduction, and 0.859 (p=0.309) for improved sleep. The effect size for the SF-36 physical component score was 0.191 (p = 0.171) and −0.220 (p =0.036) for the mental component score. Adults ages 65 and above (vs. less than 65) were equally likely to benefit from treatment. Common adverse events included constipation (median frequency of occurrence = 30%), nausea (28%), dizziness (22%), and prompted opioid discontinuation in 25% of cases. Abuse/misuse behaviors were negatively associated with advancing age. Among older adults with CP and no significant comorbidity, short-term use of opioids is associated with reductions in pain intensity, improved physical functioning, but decreased mental health functioning. The long-term safety, efficacy, and abuse potential of this treatment practice in diverse populations of older persons remain to be determined.
opioid; pain; older adults
Objective To conduct a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of studies assessing the effect of alcohol consumption on multiple cardiovascular outcomes.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Data sources A search of Medline (1950 through September 2009) and Embase (1980 through September 2009) supplemented by manual searches of bibliographies and conference proceedings.
Inclusion criteria Prospective cohort studies on the association between alcohol consumption and overall mortality from cardiovascular disease, incidence of and mortality from coronary heart disease, and incidence of and mortality from stroke.
Studies reviewed Of 4235 studies reviewed for eligibility, quality, and data extraction, 84 were included in the final analysis.
Results The pooled adjusted relative risks for alcohol drinkers relative to non-drinkers in random effects models for the outcomes of interest were 0.75 (95% confidence interval 0.70 to 0.80) for cardiovascular disease mortality (21 studies), 0.71 (0.66 to 0.77) for incident coronary heart disease (29 studies), 0.75 (0.68 to 0.81) for coronary heart disease mortality (31 studies), 0.98 (0.91 to 1.06) for incident stroke (17 studies), and 1.06 (0.91 to 1.23) for stroke mortality (10 studies). Dose-response analysis revealed that the lowest risk of coronary heart disease mortality occurred with 1–2 drinks a day, but for stroke mortality it occurred with ≤1 drink per day. Secondary analysis of mortality from all causes showed lower risk for drinkers compared with non-drinkers (relative risk 0.87 (0.83 to 0.92)).
Conclusions Light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of multiple cardiovascular outcomes.
Objective To systematically review interventional studies of the effects of alcohol consumption on 21 biological markers associated with risk of coronary heart disease in adults without known cardiovascular disease.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Data sources Medline (1950 to October 2009) and Embase (1980 to October 2009) without limits.
Study selection Two reviewers independently selected studies that examined adults without known cardiovascular disease and that compared fasting levels of specific biological markers associated with coronary heart disease after alcohol use with those after a period of no alcohol use (controls). 4690 articles were screened for eligibility, the full texts of 124 studies reviewed, and 63 relevant articles selected.
Results Of 63 eligible studies, 44 on 13 biomarkers were meta-analysed in fixed or random effects models. Quality was assessed by sensitivity analysis of studies grouped by design. Analyses were stratified by type of beverage (wine, beer, spirits). Alcohol significantly increased levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (pooled mean difference 0.094 mmol/L, 95% confidence interval 0.064 to 0.123), apolipoprotein A1 (0.101 g/L, 0.073 to 0.129), and adiponectin (0.56 mg/L, 0.39 to 0.72). Alcohol showed a dose-response relation with high density lipoprotein cholesterol (test for trend P=0.013). Alcohol decreased fibrinogen levels (−0.20 g/L, −0.29 to −0.11) but did not affect triglyceride levels. Results were similar for crossover and before and after studies, and across beverage types.
Conclusions Favourable changes in several cardiovascular biomarkers (higher levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol and adiponectin and lower levels of fibrinogen) provide indirect pathophysiological support for a protective effect of moderate alcohol use on coronary heart disease.
Despite the high prevalence of alcohol consumption in the US, ‘mainstream’ physicians generally consider it to be peripheral to most patient care. This may be due in part to a dearth of rigorous research on alcohol’s effect on common diseases.
To evaluate this issue, we examined six systematic reviews, four of which were conducted as part of a research initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Program of Research to Integrate Substance Use Information into Mainstream Healthcare (PRISM). PRISM aimed to assimilate and improve the evidence on the medical impact of alcohol (and other drugs of abuse) on common chronic conditions.
From these reviews, we summarize the methodological limitations of research on alcohol’s impact on development and/or clinical course of depression, hypertension, diabetes, bone disease, dementia, and sexually transmitted diseases. The studies included in these reviews were largely fair to good quality, and few were in primary care settings. Syntheses were hampered by the myriad of definitions of alcohol consumption from any/none to seven levels and a plethora of types of alcohol use disorders.
We recommend more high-quality observational and experimental studies in primary care settings as well as a more standard approach to quantifying alcohol use and to defining alcohol use disorders.
alcohol; standardized measurement; medical impacts; research limitations; alcohol drinking/adverse effects
Among patients unlikely to attend a scheduled colonoscopy, we examined the impact of peer coach versus educational brochure support and compared these with concurrent patients who did not receive support.
From health system data, we identified 275 consecutive patients aged >50 who kept <75% of visits to 4 primary care practices and scheduled for a first colonoscopy from February 1, 2005 to August 31, 2006. Using block randomization, we assigned consenting patients to a phone call by a peer coach trained to address barriers to attendance or to a mailed colonoscopy brochure. Study data came from electronic medical records. Odds ratios of colonoscopy attendance were adjusted for demographic, clinical, and health care factors.
Colonoscopy attendance by the peer coach group (N = 70) and brochure group (N = 66) differed by 11% (68.6% vs 57.6%, respectively). Compared with the brochure group, the peer coach group had over twofold greater adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of attendance (2.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.99–4.63) as did 49 patients who met the prespecified criteria for needing no support (2.68, 95%CI = 1.05–6.82) but the AORs did not differ significantly for 41 patients who declined support (0.61, 95%CI = 0.25–1.45) and 49 patients who could not be contacted (0.85, 95%CI = 0.36–2.02). Attendance was less likely for black versus white race (AOR = 0.37, 95%CI = 0.19–0.72) but more likely for patients with high versus low primary care visit adherence (AOR = 2.30, 95%CI = 1.04–5.07).
For patients who often fail to keep appointments, peer coach support appears to promote colonoscopy attendance more than an educational brochure.
compliance; colonoscopy; colorectal neoplasms; minority groups; patient-centered care; peer support
Performance measurement has been widely advocated as a means to improve health care delivery and, ultimately, clinical outcomes. However, the evidence supporting the value of using the same quality measures designed for patients with a single clinical condition in patients with multiple conditions is weak. If clinically complex patients, defined here as patients with multiple clinical conditions, present greater challenges to achieving quality goals, providers may shun them or ignore important, but unmeasured, clinical issues. This paper summarizes the proceedings of a conference addressing the challenge of measuring quality of care in the patient with multiple clinical conditions with the goal of informing the implementation of quality measurement systems and future research programs on this topic. The conference had three main areas of discussion. First, the potential problems caused by applying current quality standards to patients with multiple conditions were examined. Second, the advantages and disadvantages of three strategies to improve quality measurement in clinically complex patients were evaluated: excluding certain clinically complex patients from a given standard, relaxing the performance target, and assigning a greater weight to some measures based on the expected clinical benefit or difficulty of reaching the performance target. Third, the strengths and weaknesses of potential novel measures such change in functional status were considered. The group concurred that, because clinically complex patients present a threat to the implementation of quality measures, high priority must be assigned to a research agenda on this topic. This research should evaluate the impact of quality measurement on these patients and expand the range of quality measures relevant to the care of clinically complex patients.
performance measurement; quality measures; clinically complex patients
Thorough follow-up of a positive fecal occult blood test (FOBT) result, or a complete diagnostic evaluation (CDE), is recommended as routine care on the basis of findings from colorectal cancer (CRC) screening trials. CDE involves either colonoscopy or the combination of flexible sigmoidoscopy and double contrast barium enema x-ray. However, little evidence outside clinical screening trial settings has been reported in the literature to support CDE performance. The focus of this study was to determine the impact of CDE in primary care practice settings.
We determined diagnostic outcomes for 461 adult patients with a positive FOBT result in 318 primary care practices in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Sociodemographic data were collected and CDE status was ascertained for these patients. Polytomous logistic regression models were used to identify whether having CDE was associated with subsequently being diagnosed with lower gastrointestinal “neoplastic disease” or “other gastrointestinal disease” as compared to “normal findings.”
Patients who underwent CDE were significantly more likely to have a reported diagnosis of colorectal neoplasia than normal findings (adjusted odds ratio = 3.65, 95% confidence interval = 1.58-8.39, p=0.02). CDE performance did not result in the differential diagnosis of other gastrointestinal disease.
Patients with a positive screening FOBT who underwent CDE were more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal neoplasia than with less serious conditions or have normal findings. Results support the use of CDE in CRC screening.
Colorectal neoplasm; occult blood; fecal occult blood test; mass screening; cancer screening; follow-up studies; complete diagnostic evaluation; abnormal findings; chart audit; diagnosis
Receipt of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) differs by gender and racial/ethnic group and may reflect an effect of mood disorders.
We examined the effects of dysthymia and major depression on HAART use by 6 groups defined by gender and race/ethnicity (white, black, Hispanic).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE
Self-reported HAART use in the past 6 months.
Interview data from the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study (HCSUS). Independent variables measured in or before the first half of 1997, and HAART use measured in the second half of 1997.
Multivariate logistic regression of depression and dysthymia on HAART use by 6 patient groups.
One thousand nine hundred and eighty-two HIV-infected adults in HIV care in 1996 and with a CD4 count <500 in 1997.
Highly active antiretroviral therapy receipt was the highest for white men (68.6%) and the lowest for Hispanic women (52.7%) and black women (55.4%). Dysthymia was more prevalent in women (Hispanic, 46%; black, 27%; white, 31%) than men (Hispanic, 23%; black, 18%; white, 15%). The prevalence of major depression was greater in whites (women, 35%; men, 31%) than minorities (women, 26%; men, 21%). Compared with white men without dysthymia, the adjusted odds ratios (AORs) of HAART were significantly lower for black women (0.50 [95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.29 to 0.87]) and Hispanic women (0.45 [95% CI 0.25, 0.79]). Among patients with depression and no dysthymia, minority women had HAART use (AOR=1.28 [95% CI 0.48 to 3.43]) similar to white men.
Self-report data from the early era of HAART use; causation cannot be proven; mental health diagnoses may not meet full DSM IV criteria.
Dysthymia is highly prevalent in minority women and associated with a 50% reduction in the odds of receiving HAART. This underrecognized condition may contribute more than depression to the “gender disparity” in HAART use.
HIV; AIDS; HAART; dysthymia; disparities; women
SGIM endoreses seven principles related to current thinking about internal medicine training: 1) internal medicine requires a full three years of residency training before subspecialization; 2) internal medicine residency programs must dramatically increase support for training in the ambulatory setting and offer equivalent opportunities for training in both inpatient and outpatient medicine; 3) in settings where adequate support and time are devoted to ambulatory training, the third year of residency could offer an opportunity to develop further expertise or mastery in a specific type or setting of care; 4) further certification in specific specialties within internal medicine requires the completion of an approved fellowship program; 5) areas of mastery in internal medicine can be demonstrated through modified board certification and recertification examinations; 6) certification processes throughout internal medicine should focus increasingly on demonstration of clinical competence through adherence to validated standards of care within and across practice settings; and 7) regardless of the setting in which General Internists practice, we should unite to promote the critical role that this specialty serves in patient care.
education; medical; graduate; certification; internal medicine; hospitalists; ambulatory care
To examine the seroprevalence of undiagnosed HIV and variation by season among patients admitted to the general internal medicine (GIM) and trauma services of two urban hospitals.
A cross-sectional blinded HIV-1 seroprevalence survey.
A 725-bed academic medical center's hospital and an affiliated 324-bed tertiary care hospital.
Residual serological specimens were obtained for unique patients aged 17 to 65 to study services in summer (June 16 to September 4, 2001) and fall to winter (November 1, 2001 to January 8, 2002).
Hospital files provided data on demographics, service type, and discharge clinical categories (fall–winter group only). HIV ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) tests with confirmatory Western blot were linked to subjects' de-identified files. We excluded 34 subjects with known HIV. Of the remaining unique admissions in summer (n=604) and fall–winter (n=978), 60% and 55% were tested, respectively. Predictors of undiagnosed HIV infection were examined using multivariate analysis.
The summer cohort (n=362) had significantly lower unadjusted seroprevalence of undiagnosed HIV infection (1.4%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.4% to 3.2%) than the fall–winter cohort (n=539; 3.7%; 95% CI, 2.3% to 5.7%; P=.04). Overall, undiagnosed HIV was somewhat less likely in women (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.45; 95% CI, 0.19 to 1.07) but more likely in black patients (AOR, 3.46; 95% CI, 0.70 to 17.06). In the fall–winter cohort, undiagnosed HIV was more likely for discharges with the following clinical categories versus those with a cardiac condition: dermatologic/breast (AOR, 14.90; 95% CI, 1.20 to 184.77), renal/urological (AOR, 22.43; 95% CI, 2.12 to 236.75), or infectious (AOR, 31.08; 95% CI, 2.40 to 402.98).
The higher seroprevalence of undiagnosed HIV in the fall–winter admissions to GIM and trauma services supports especially targeting HIV testing in these months.
seroprevalence; epidemiology; HIV infections; inpatients; wounds and injuries
Antiretroviral adherence is worse in women than in men, and depression can influence medication adherence.
To evaluate the relationship of gender, depression, medical care, and mental health care to adherence in HIV-infected drug users.
Retrospective cohort study.
New York State Medicaid program.
One thousand eight hundred twenty-seven female and 3,246 male drug users on combination antiretroviral therapy for more than 2 months in 1997.
A pharmacy-based measure of adherence was defined as ≥95% days covered by at least 2 prescribed antiretroviral drugs. Independent variables were: depression, regular drug treatment (≥6 months), regular medical care (2+ and >35% of visits), HIV-focused care (2+ visits), psychiatric care (2+ visits), and antidepressant therapy.
Women were less adherent than men (18% vs 25%, respectively, P < .001) and more likely to be diagnosed with depression (34% vs 29%). In persons with depression, the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) for adherence was greater for those with psychiatric care alone (AOR 1.52; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.03 to 2.26) or combined with antidepressants (AOR 1.49; 95% CI, 1.04 to 2.15). In separate models by gender in persons with depression, psychiatric care plus antidepressants had a slightly stronger association with adherence in women (AOR 1.92; 95% CI, 1.00 to 3.68) than men (AOR, 1.26; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.98). In drug users without depression, antidepressants alone were associated with greater adherence (AOR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.49) with no difference by gender. Regular drug treatment was positively associated with adherence only in men.
In this drug-using cohort, women had worse pharmacy-measured antiretroviral adherence than men. Mental health care was significantly associated with adherence in women, while regular drug treatment was positively associated with adherence in men.
HIV infection; antiretroviral therapy; adherence; compliance; mental health services
To examine the relative role of ethnicity and maternal birthplace on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) deliveries of a cohort of mothers in New York who were infected with human immunodeficiency virus.
Medicaid claims and linked vital statistics records were examined for 2,525 singleton deliveries to HIV-infected women from 1993 through 1996. We estimated adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of SGA delivery associated with ethnicity (i.e., white, white-Latina, black, and black-Latina) and maternal birthplace (i.e., native US/Puerto Rican vs. foreign born) in a series of multivariate regression models to which we sequentially added demographic, health services, and lifestyle factors (i.e., alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use).
Of the deliveries, 10% were SGA. The odds of SGA infants for black and white women did not differ by maternal birthplace. Foreign-born white-Latinas and black-Latinas had lower unadjusted odds of a SGA delivery than their US-born counterparts (OR 0.29, CI 0.14, 0.61 and OR 0.22, CI 0.07, 0.71, respectively). After adjustment for maternal lifestyle characteristics, the odds of SGA delivery were 0.50 (CI 0.23, 1.09) for white-Latina mothers and 0.60 (CI 0.17, 2.08) for black-Latina mothers.
SGA outcomes did not differ by maternal birthplace for black and white women. Differences in lifestyle factors appear to contribute to lower odds of SGA delivery for foreign-born versus US-born white- and black-Latina HIV-infected women.
African American; Hispanic American; HIV Infection; Medicaid; Small for Gestational Age; Substance Abuse-Related Disorders
To distinguish the effects of drug abuse, mental disorders, and problem drinking on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and highly active ART (HAART) use.
Prospective population-based probability sample of 2,267 (representing 213,308) HIV-infected persons in care in the United States in early 1996.
Self-reported ART from first (January 1997–July 1997) to second (August 1997–January 1998) follow-up interviews. Drug abuse/dependence, severity of abuse, alcohol use, and probable mental disorders assessed in the first follow-up interview. Adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) estimated from weighted models for 1) receipt of any ART, and 2) receipt of HAART among those on ART.
Of our study population, ART was reported by 90% and HAART by 61%. Over one third had a probable mental disorder and nearly half had abused any drugs, but drug dependence (9%) or severe abuse (10%) was infrequent. Any ART was less likely for persons with dysthymia (AOR, 0.74; CI, 0.58 to 0.95) but only before adjustment for drug abuse. After full adjustment with mental health and drug abuse variables, any ART was less likely for drug dependence (AOR, 0.58; CI, 0.34 to 0.97), severe drug abuse (AOR, 0.52; CI, 0.32 to 0.87), and HIV risk from injection drug use (AOR, 0.55; CI, 0.39 to 0.79). Among drug users on ART, only mental health treatment was associated with HAART (AOR, 1.57; CI, 1.11 to 2.08).
Drug abuse-related factors were greater barriers to ART use in this national sample than mental disorders but once on ART, these factors were unrelated to type of therapy.
anti-HIV agents; substance-related disorders; substance abuse, intravenous drug abuse; mental disorders; HIV infections
To identify features of ambulatory care associated with reduced hospitalization among drug users with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
A nonconcurrent prospective study of hospital use by 1,369 drug users with AIDS was conducted using data from New York State Medicaid research data files linked to telephone interview data from directors of ambulatory care clinics serving this group.
Follow-up averaged 29 months, during which 88% of subjects were hospitalized at least once. On average, those hospitalized spent 14% of follow-up time as inpatients. Hospitalization was less likely for patients in clinics with case managers (adjusted odds ratio=0.42, 95% confidence interval 0.25, 0.68) or high director’s rating of coordination of care (adjusted odds ratio=0.50, 95% confidence interval 0.29, 0.89). Multivariate analysis showed significantly less time in hospital for patients in clinics with methadone maintenance, case managers, high continuity ratings, and clinic physicians attending for hospitalized clinic patients.
Drug users with AIDS rely heavily on inpatient care, but those followed in clinics featuring greater coordination and offering special services, including methadone treatment and case management, appear to have significantly less hospital use.
Acquired immunodeficienty syndrome; Substance abuse; Hospitalization; Ambulatory care
To examine the association of clinic HIV-focused features and advanced HIV care experience with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis and development of PCP as the initial AIDS diagnosis.
Nonconcurrent prospective study.
New York State Medicaid Program.
Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with AIDS in 1990–1992.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
We collected patient clinical and health care data from Medicaid files, conducted telephone interviews of directors of 125 clinics serving as the usual source of care for study patients, and measured AIDS experience as the cumulative number of AIDS patients treated by the study clinics since 1986. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia prophylaxis in the 6 months before AIDS diagnosis and PCP at AIDS diagnosis were the main outcome measures. Bivariate and multivariate analyses adjusted for clustering of patients within clinics. Of 1,876 HIV-infected persons, 44% had PCP prophylaxis and 38% had primary PCP. Persons on prophylaxis had 20% lower adjusted odds of developing PCP (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.64, 0.99). The adjusted odds of receiving prophylaxis rose monotonically with the number of HIV-focused features offered by the clinic, with threefold higher odds (95% CI 1.6, 5.7) for six versus two or fewer such features. Patients in clinics with three HIV-focused features had 36% lower adjusted odds of PCP than those in clinics with one or none. Neither clinic experience nor specialty had a significant association with prophylaxis or PCP.
PCP prevention in our study cohort appears to be more successful in clinics offering an array of HIV-focused features.
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP); AIDS; clinical competence; ambulatory care; case management
To profile characteristics of clinics caring for persons with advanced HIV infection.
DESIGN AND SETTING
Survey of clinic directors in New York State.
Newly diagnosed Medicaid-enrolled AIDS patients in New York state in federal fiscal years 1987–1992 (n = 6,184) managed by 62 HIV specialty, 53 hospital-based general medicine/primary care, 36 community-based primary care, and 28 other clinics.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Telephone survey about clinic hours, emphasis on HIV, staffing, procedures, and directors’ rating of care. Estimates of the number of newly diagnosed, Medicaid-enrolled AIDS patients treated in surveyed clinics were obtained from claims data. We found that community-based clinics were significantly more likely to have longer hours, a physician on call, or to accommodate unscheduled care than were hospital-based general medicine/primary care or other types of clinics. Compared with HIV specialty clinics, general medicine/primary care clinics were less likely to have HIV-specific care attributes such as a director of HIV care (98% vs 72%), multidisciplinary conferences on HIV care (83% vs 32%), or a standard initial HIV workup (90% vs 70%). Of general medicine/primary care clinics, most (83%) were staffed by residents and fellows compared with only 68% of HIV or 25% of community-based clinics (p < .001). General medicine/primary care clinics were less likely than community-based clinics to perform Pap smears (75% vs 94%) or to have case managers on payroll (21% vs 81%).
In this sample of clinics, hospital-based general medicine/primary care clinics managing the care of Medicaid enrollees with AIDS appeared to have more limited hours and availability of specific services than HIV specialty or community-based clinics.
AIDS care; clinic services; organization of care; primary care