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1.  The prevalence of waterpipe tobacco smoking among the general and specific populations: a systematic review 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:244.
Background
The objective of this study was to systematically review the medical literature for the prevalence of waterpipe tobacco use among the general and specific populations.
Methods
We electronically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the ISI the Web of Science. We selected studies using a two-stage duplicate and independent screening process. We included cohort studies and cross sectional studies assessing the prevalence of use of waterpipe in either the general population or a specific population of interest. Two reviewers used a standardized and pilot tested form to collect data from each eligible study using a duplicate and independent screening process. We stratified the data analysis by country and by age group. The study was not restricted to a specific context.
Results
Of a total of 38 studies, only 4 were national surveys; the rest assessed specific populations. The highest prevalence of current waterpipe smoking was among school students across countries: the United States, especially among Arab Americans (12%-15%) the Arabic Gulf region (9%-16%), Estonia (21%), and Lebanon (25%). Similarly, the prevalence of current waterpipe smoking among university students was high in the Arabic Gulf region (6%), the United Kingdom (8%), the United States (10%), Syria (15%), Lebanon (28%), and Pakistan (33%). The prevalence of current waterpipe smoking among adults was the following: Pakistan (6%), Arabic Gulf region (4%-12%), Australia (11% in Arab speaking adults), Syria (9%-12%), and Lebanon (15%). Group waterpipe smoking was high in Lebanon (5%), and Egypt (11%-15%). In Lebanon, 5%-6% pregnant women reported smoking waterpipe during pregnancy. The studies were all cross-sectional and varied by how they reported waterpipe smoking.
Conclusion
While very few national surveys have been conducted, the prevalence of waterpipe smoking appears to be alarmingly high among school students and university students in Middle Eastern countries and among groups of Middle Eastern descent in Western countries.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-244
PMCID: PMC3100253  PMID: 21504559
2.  Validated instruments used to measure attitudes of healthcare students and professionals towards patients with physical disability: a systematic review 
Background
Instruments to detect changes in attitudes towards people with disabilities are important for evaluation of training programs and for research. While we were interested in instruments specific for medical students, we aimed to systematically review the medical literature for validated survey instruments used to measure attitudes of healthcare students and professionals towards patients with physical disability.
Methods
We electronically searched Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Health and Psychosocial Instruments. We included papers reporting on the development and/or validation of survey instruments to measure attitudes of healthcare students and professionals towards patients with physical disability. We excluded papers in which the attitudes were not measured in a provider-patient context. Two reviewers carried out titles and abstracts screening, full texts screening, and data abstraction in a duplicate and independent manner using standardized and pilot tested forms.
Results
We identified seven validated survey instruments used for healthcare students and professionals. These instruments were originally developed for the following target populations: general population (n = 4); dental students (n = 1); nursing students (n = 1); and rehabilitation professionals (n = 1). The types of validity reported for these instruments were content validity (n = 3), criterion-related validity (n = 1), construct validity (n = 2), face validity (n = 1), discriminant validity (n = 1), and responsiveness (n = 1). The most widely validated and used tool (ATDP) was developed in the late 1960s while the most recent instrument was developed in the early 1990s.
Conclusion
Of the seven identified validated instruments, less than half were specifically designed for healthcare students and professionals and none for medical students. There is a need to develop and validate a contemporary instrument specifically for medical students.
doi:10.1186/1743-0003-7-55
PMCID: PMC2987969  PMID: 21062438
3.  Survey instruments used in clinical and epidemiological research on waterpipe tobacco smoking: a systematic review 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:415.
Background
The primary objective was to systematically review the medical literature for instruments validated for use in epidemiological and clinical research on waterpipe smoking.
Methods
We searched the following databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and ISI the Web of Science. We selected studies using a two-stage duplicate and independent screening process. We included papers reporting on the development and/or validation of survey instruments to measure waterpipe tobacco consumption or related concepts. Two reviewers used a standardized and pilot tested data abstraction form to collect data from each eligible study using a duplicate and independent screening process. We also determined the percentage of observational studies assessing the health effects of waterpipe tobacco smoking and the percentage of studies of prevalence of waterpipe tobacco smoking that have used validated survey instruments.
Results
We identified a total of five survey instruments. One instrument was designed to measure knowledge, attitudes, and waterpipe use among pregnant women and was shown to have internal consistency and content validity. Three instruments were designed to measure waterpipe tobacco consumption, two of which were reported to have face validity. The fifth instrument was designed to measure waterpipe dependence and was rigorously developed and validated. One of the studies of prevalence and none of the studies of health effects of waterpipe smoking used validated instruments.
Conclusions
A number of instruments for measuring the use of and dependence on waterpipe smoking exist. Future research should study content validity and cross cultural adaptation of these instruments.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-415
PMCID: PMC2912817  PMID: 20626899
4.  Support for and aspects of use of educational games in family medicine and internal medicine residency programs in the US: a survey 
BMC Medical Education  2010;10:26.
Background
The evidence supporting the effectiveness of educational games in graduate medical education is limited. Anecdotal reports suggest their popularity in that setting. The objective of this study was to explore the support for and the different aspects of use of educational games in family medicine and internal medicine residency programs in the United States.
Methods
We conducted a survey of family medicine and internal medicine residency program directors in the United States. The questionnaire asked the program directors whether they supported the use of educational games, their actual use of games, and the type of games being used and the purpose of that use.
Results
Of 434 responding program directors (52% response rate), 92% were in support of the use of games as an educational strategy, and 80% reported already using them in their programs. Jeopardy like games were the most frequently used games (78%). The use of games was equally popular in family medicine and internal medicine residency programs and popularity was inversely associated with more than 75% of residents in the program being International Medical Graduates. The percentage of program directors who reported using educational games as teaching tools, review tools, and evaluation tools were 62%, 47%, and 4% respectively.
Conclusions
Given a widespread use of educational games in the training of medical residents, in spite of limited evidence for efficacy, further evaluation of the best approaches to education games should be explored.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-10-26
PMCID: PMC2851700  PMID: 20338034

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