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1.  Clinical Audits in a Postgraduate General Practice Training Program: An Evaluation of 8 Years' Experience 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e43895.
Background
Clinical audit can be of valuable assistance to any program which aims to improve the quality of health care and its delivery. Yet without a coherent strategy aimed at evaluating audits' effectiveness, valuable opportunities will be overlooked. Clinical audit projects are required as a part of the formative assessment of trainees in the Family Medicine Residency Program (FMRP) in Kuwait. This study was undertaken to draw a picture of trainees' understanding of the audit project with attention to the knowledge of audit theory and its educational significance and scrutinize the difficulties confronted during the experience.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The materials included the records of 133 audits carried out by trainees and 165 post course questionnaires carried out between 2004 and 2011. They were reviewed and analyzed. The majority of audit projects were performed on diabetic (44.4%) and hypertensive (38.3%) care. Regarding audits done on diabetic care, they were carried out to assess doctors' awareness about screening for smoking status (8.6%), microalbuminuria (19.3%), hemoglobin A1c (15.5%), retinopathy (10.3%), dyslipidemia (15.8%), peripheral neuropathy (8.8%), and other problems (21.7%). As for audits concerning hypertensive care, they were carried out to assess doctors' awareness about screening for smoking status (38.0%), obesity (26.0%), dyslipidemia (12.0%), microalbuminuria (10.0%) and other problems (14.0%). More than half the participants (68.48%) who attended the audit course stated that they ‘definitely agreed’ about understanding the meaning of clinical audit. Most of them (75.8%) ‘definitely agreed’ about realizing the importance of clinical audit in improving patients' care. About half (49.7%) of them ‘agreed’ that they can distinguish between ‘criteria’ and ‘standards’.
Conclusion
The eight years of experience were beneficial. Trainees showed a good understanding of the idea behind auditing the services provided. They demonstrated their ability to improve the care given in health centers in which these projects were undertaken.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043895
PMCID: PMC3438188  PMID: 22970146
2.  Pre-hypertension and hypertension in college students in Kuwait: A neglected issue 
Objective:
To determine the proportion of pre-hypertension and hypertension in college students in Kuwait and their related risk factors.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 803, randomly selected students aged 17 to 23 years (346 male, 457 female) from different colleges in Kuwait, were included in the study between 2009 and 2010. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements were taken by trained personnel. Pre-hypertension was defined as systolic pressure between 120 and 139 mm Hg or diastolic pressure between 80 and 89 mm Hg. Risk factor measurements that were determined, included smoking, body mass index (BMI), and family history of hypertension. Blood samples were collected and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and lipid profile levels were determined.
Results:
There were no hypotensive students. Normotensives constituted 53.5% (n = 430), pre-hypertensives formed 39.5% (n = 317), and hypertensive students comprised of 7% (n = 56). The overall proportions of hypertension and pre-hypertension were higher among male students (85.7 and 64.4%) than female students (14.3 and 35.6%), respectively. Hypertensive and pre-hypertensive students versus normotensive students had significantly higher levels of BMI-based obesity, smoking, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and IGT. Also, hypertensive and pre-hypertensive, compared to normotensive students, had significantly higher proportions (21.4, 18.3, and 4.0%, respectively) of risky high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level (< 1 mg / dL), cholesterol (7.1, 3.8, and 1.4%, respectively), and triglycerides (TG) (17.9, 9.1, and 7.9%, respectively) where p was< 0.001, 0.016, and 0.051, respectively.
Conclusion:
Hypertensive and pre-hypertensive students showed elevated levels of lipids and BMI-based obesity more than normotensive students. TG, HDL, HbA1c, and cholesterol appeared to influence pre-hypertension.
doi:10.4103/2230-8229.98296
PMCID: PMC3410173  PMID: 22870414
BMI-based obesity; hypertension; high-density lipoprotein; Kuwait; pre-hypertension; triglycerides

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