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1.  The Italian version of the Physical Therapy Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire - [PTPSQ-I(15)]: psychometric properties in a sample of inpatients 
In a previous study we described the translation, cultural adaptation, and validation of the Italian version of the PTPSQ [PTPSQ-I(15)] in outpatients. To the authors’ knowledge, the PTPSQ was never studied in a hospital setting.
The aims of this study were: (1) to establish the psychometric properties of the Physical Therapy Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire [PTPSQ- I(15)] in a sample of Italian inpatients, and (2) to investigate the relationships between the characteristics of patients and physical therapists and the indicators of satisfaction.
The PTPSQ-I(15) was administered to inpatients in a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit. Reliability of the PTPSQ-I(15) was measured by internal consistency (Cronbach’s α) and test-retest stability (ICC 3,1). The internal structure was investigated by factor analysis. Divergent validity was measured by comparing the PTPSQ-I(15) with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain and with a 5-point Likert-type scale evaluating the Global Perceived Effect (GPE) of the physical therapy treatment.
The PTPSQ-I(15) was administered to 148 inpatients, and 73 completed a second administration. The PTPSQ-I(15) showed high internal consistency (α = 0.949) and test-retest stability (ICC = 0.996). Divergent validity was moderate for the GPE (r = − 0.502, P < 0.001) and strong for the VAS (r = −0.17, P = 0.07). Factor analysis showed a one-factor structure.
The administration of PTPSQ-I(15) to inpatients demonstrated strong psychometric properties and its use can be recommended with Italian-speaking population. Further studies are suggested on the concurrent validity and on the psychometric properties of the PTPSQ-I(15) in different hospital settings or with other pathological conditions.
PMCID: PMC4004452  PMID: 24758356
Patient satisfaction; Physical therapy; Hospital; Quality of health care; Outcome assessment (health care)
2.  Getting vaccinated or not getting vaccinated? Different reasons for getting vaccinated against seasonal or pandemic influenza 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:1221.
A large number of studies have investigated the motivation behind health care workers (HCWs) taking the influenza vaccine. But with the appearance of pandemic influenza, it became important to better analyse the reasons why workers get vaccinated against seasonal and/or pandemic influenza.
Three main categories of reasons were identified with an Exploratory Factor Analysis. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to verify the existence of differences between three categories of choices (taking of seasonal and pandemic vaccine, only the seasonal vaccine or none). In addition, a multinomial logistic regression analysis was performed to analyse the association between stated intentions and update of seasonal and pandemic vaccine. Questionnaires were returned from 168 HCWs (67.3% women).
The results showed that age and being well-informed about vaccination topics are the most important variables in determining the choice to take the vaccine.
The results highlight the importance of enhancing education programs to improve awareness among HCWs concerning the benefits of taking the influenza vaccination, with particular attention paid to younger workers.
PMCID: PMC4029192  PMID: 24359091
Vaccine; Pandemic influenza; Seasonal influenza; HCWs
3.  Solving a methodological challenge in work stress evaluation with the Stress Assessment and Research Toolkit (StART): a study protocol 
Stress evaluation is a field of strong interest and challenging due to several methodological aspects in the evaluation process. The aim of this study is to propose a study protocol to test a new method (i.e., the Stress Assessment and Research Toolkit) to assess psychosocial risk factors at work.
This method addresses several methodological issues (e.g., subjective vs. objective, qualitative vs quantitative data) by assessing work-related stressors using different kinds of data: i) organisational archival data (organisational indicators sheet); ii) qualitative data (focus group); iii) worker perception (questionnaire); and iv) observational data (observational checklist) using mixed methods research. In addition, it allows positive and negative aspects of work to be considered conjointly, using an approach that considers at the same time job demands and job resources.
The integration of these sources of data can reduce the theoretical and methodological bias related to stress research in the work setting, allows researchers and professionals to obtain a reliable description of workers’ stress, providing a more articulate vision of psychosocial risks, and allows a large amount of data to be collected. Finally, the implementation of the method ensures in the long term a primary prevention for psychosocial risk management in that it aims to reduce or modify the intensity, frequency or duration of organisational demands.
PMCID: PMC3703449  PMID: 23799950
Stress; Psychosocial risk evaluation; Mixed methods; Study protocol
4.  Risk of mesothelioma following external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer: a cohort analysis of SEER database 
Cancer Causes & Control  2013;24(8):1535-1545.
To investigate the association between external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for prostate cancer and mesothelioma using data from the US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registries.
We analyzed data from the SEER database (1973–2009). We compared EBRT versus no radiotherapy. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI) of mesothelioma among prostate cancer patients were estimated with multilevel Poisson models adjusted by race, age, and calendar year. Confounding by asbestos was investigated using relative risk of mesothelioma in each case’s county of residence as a proxy for asbestos exposure.
Four hundred and seventy-one mesothelioma cases (93.6 % pleural) occurred in 3,985,991 person-years. The IRR of mesothelioma was increased for subjects exposed to EBRT (1.28; 95 % CI 1.05, 1.55) compared to non-irradiated patients, and a population attributable fraction of 0.49 % (95 % CI 0.11, 0.81) was estimated. The IRR increased with latency period: 0–4 years, IRR 1.08 (95 % CI 0.81, 1.44); 5–9 years, IRR 1.31 (95 % CI 0.93, 1.85); ≥10 years, IRR 1.59 (95 % CI 1.05, 2.42). Despite the fairly strong evidence of association with EBRT, the population attributable rate of mesothelioma was modest—3.3 cases per 100,000 person-years. The cumulative incidence of mesothelioma attributable to EBRT was 4.0/100,000 over 5 years, 24.5/100,000 over 10 years, and 65.0/100,000 over 15 years.
Our study provides evidence that EBRT for prostate cancer is a small but detectable risk factor for mesothelioma. Patients should be advised of risk of radiation-induced second malignancies.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10552-013-0230-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3709083  PMID: 23702885
Mesothelioma; EBRT; SEER; Cohort study; Neoplasms; Radiation-induced
5.  Cross-cultural adaptation and validation of the Physical Therapy Outpatient Satisfaction Survey in an Italian musculoskeletal population 
Although patient satisfaction is a relevant outcome measure for health care providers, few satisfaction questionnaires have been generally available to physical therapists or have been validated in an Italian population for use in the outpatient setting. The aim of this study was to translate, culturally adapt, and validate the Italian version of the Physical Therapy Outpatient Satisfaction Survey (PTOPS).
The Italian version of the PTOPS (PTOPS-I) was developed through forward-backward translation, review, and field-testing a pre-final version. The reliability of the final questionnaire was measured by internal consistency and test-retest stability at 7 days. Factor analysis was also used to explore construct validity. Concurrent validity was measured by comparing PTOPS-I with a 5-point Likert-type scale measure assessing the Global Perceived Effect (GPE) of the treatment and with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).
354 outpatients completed the PTOPS-I, and 56 took the re-test. The internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) of the original domains (Enhancers, Detractors, Location, and Cost) was 0.758 for Enhancers, 0.847 for Detractors, 0.885 for Location, and 0.706 for Cost. The test-retest stability (Intra-class Correlation Coefficients) was 0.769 for Enhancers, 0.893 for Detractors, 0.862 for Location, and 0.862 for Cost. The factor analysis of the Italian version revealed a structure into four domains, named Depersonalization, Inaccessibility, Ambience, and Cost. Concurrent validity with GPE was significantly demonstrated for all domains except Inaccessibility. Irrelevant or non-significant correlations were observed with VAS.
The PTOPS-I showed good psychometric properties. Its use can be suggested for Italian-speaking outpatients who receive physical therapy.
PMCID: PMC3623747  PMID: 23560848
Health care administration; Measurement; Outcome measures
6.  Asbestos: a hidden player behind the cholangiocarcinoma increase? Findings from a case–control analysis 
Cancer Causes & Control  2013;24(5):911-918.
We conducted a case–control analysis to explore the association between occupational exposure to asbestos and cholangiocarcinoma (CC).
The study was based on historical data from 155 consecutive patients with CC [69 intrahepatic CC (ICC) and 86 extrahepatic CC (ECC)] referred to Sant’Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital between 2006 and 2010. The cases were individually matched by calendar period of birth, sex, and region of residence to historical hospital and population controls. Occupational exposure to asbestos was retrospectively assessed considering job titles obtained from work histories. Separate conditional logistic regression models were applied for ECC and ICC. Estimates were adjusted for smoking status and socioeconomic class.
We matched 149 controls (median birth year: 1947; males: 56 %) to 41 cases of ICC (median birth year: 1946; males: 56 %) and 212 controls (median birth year: 1945; males: 48 %) to 59 cases of ECC (median birth year: 1945; males 51 %); 53 cases were not matched due to residence or birth year. We found an increased risk of ICC in workers exposed to asbestos (adjusted OR 4.81, 95 % CI 1.73–13.33); we also observed suggestive evidence that asbestos exposure might be associated with ECC (adjusted OR 2.09, 95 % CI 0.83–5.27). Sensitivity analysis restricted to patients from the Province of Bologna produced confirmatory figures.
Our findings suggest that ICC could be associated with asbestos exposure; a chronic inflammatory pathway is hypothesized. Exposure to asbestos could be one of the determinants of the progressive rise in the incidence of ICC during the last 30 years.
PMCID: PMC3631123  PMID: 23408245
Asbestos; Cholangiocarcinoma; Occupational exposure; Occupational diseases; Case–control studies; Bile duct neoplasms
7.  Assessing and improving health in the workplace: an integration of subjective and objective measures with the STress Assessment and Research Toolkit (St.A.R.T.) method 
The aim of this work was to introduce a new combined method of subjective and objective measures to assess psychosocial risk factors at work and improve workers’ health and well-being. In the literature most of the research on work-related stress focuses on self-report measures and this work represents the first methodology capable of integrating different sources of data.
An integrated method entitled St.A.R.T. (STress Assessment and Research Toolkit) was used in order to assess psychosocial risk factors and two health outcomes. In particular, a self-report questionnaire combined with an observational structured checklist was administered to 113 workers from an Italian retail company.
The data showed a correlation between subjective data and the rating data of the observational checklist for the psychosocial risk factors related to work contexts such as customer relationship management and customer queue. Conversely, the factors related to work content (workload and boredom) measured with different methods (subjective vs. objective) showed a discrepancy. Furthermore, subjective measures of psychosocial risk factors were more predictive of workers’ psychological health and exhaustion than rating data. The different objective measures played different roles, however, in terms of their influence on the two health outcomes considered.
It is important to integrate self-related assessment of stressors with objective measures for a better understanding of workers’ conditions in the workplace. The method presented could be considered a useful methodology for combining the two measures and differentiating the impact of different psychological risk factors related to work content and context on workers’ health.
PMCID: PMC3480950  PMID: 22995286
Observational method; Work-related stress; Psychosocial risk factors; Workers’ health
8.  Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in workers: classification and health surveillance – statements of the Scientific Committee on Musculoskeletal Disorders of the International Commission on Occupational Health 
The underlying purpose of this commentary and position paper is to achieve evidence-based recommendations on prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Such prevention can take different forms (primary, secondary and tertiary), occur at different levels (i.e. in a clinical setting, at the workplace, at national level) and involve several types of activities. Members of the Scientific Committee (SC) on MSDs of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) and other interested scientists and members of the public recently discussed the scientific and clinical future of prevention of (work-related) MSDs during five round-table sessions at two ICOH conferences (in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2009, and in Angers, France, in 2010). Approximately 50 researchers participated in each of the sessions. More specifically, the sessions aimed to discuss new developments since 1996 in measures and classification systems used both in research and in practice, and agree on future needs in the field.
The discussion focused on three questions: At what degree of severity does musculoskeletal ill health, and do health problems related to MSDs, in an individual worker or in a group of workers justify preventive action in occupational health? What reliable and valid instruments do we have in research to distinguish ‘normal musculoskeletal symptoms’ from ‘serious musculoskeletal symptoms’ in workers? What measures or classification system of musculoskeletal health will we need in the near future to address musculoskeletal health and related work ability?
Four new, agreed-upon statements were extrapolated from the discussions: 1. Musculoskeletal discomfort that is at risk of worsening with work activities, and that affects work ability or quality of life, needs to be identified. 2. We need to know our options of actions before identifying workers at risk (providing evidence-based medicine and applying the principle of best practice). 3. Classification systems and measures must include aspects such as the severity, frequency, and intensity of pain, as well as measures of impairment of functioning, which can help in prevention, treatment and prognosis. 4. We need to be aware of economic and/or socio-cultural consequences of classification systems and measures.
PMCID: PMC3437218  PMID: 22721454
Occupation; Epidemiology; Prevention; Aetiology; Expert opinion; Occupational health; Public health; Rheumatology; Rehabilitation; Orthopaedics

Results 1-8 (8)