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author:("artava, privi")
1.  The Missing Evaluation at the End of GP's Consultation 
Evaluation at the end of a consultation is an element of a successful encounter. The doctor should inquire if patient's expectations were fulfilled and sum up the information given, the examinations performed, and the decisions made with the patient. This way the patient would be fully aware of what has been decided and that the problems and expectations of the patient had been taken into account. Twenty consultations of four general practitioners (GPs) in Finland were videotaped. The doctors were men and women, two of them had a long experience and two were trainees in general practice. The data (videotapes, questionnaires, and interviews) were analysed by multiple research methods with investigator and methodological triangulation. MAAS-Global Rating List was used as an assessment tool. The evaluation of the consultation was often missing or having shortages; only one-third was assessed to be better than doubtful. The assessments done by experienced GPs and the medical student were similar. According to the result of this study as well as the information in the current literature, doctors in all periods of their career should repeatedly be reminded about the importance of the evaluation at the end of the consultation.
PMCID: PMC3556442  PMID: 23365747
2.  Childhood adversities and adult-onset asthma: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001625.
Childhood adversities may be important determinants of later illnesses and poor health behaviour. However, large-scale prospective studies on the associations between childhood adversities and the onset of asthma in adulthood are lacking.
Prospective cohort study with 7-year follow-up.
Nationally representative study. Data were collected from the Health and Social Support (HeSSup) survey and national registers.
The participants represent the Finnish population from the following age groups: 20–24, 30–34, 40–44, and 50–54 years at baseline in 1998 (24 057 survey participants formed the final cohort of this study). The occurrence of childhood adversities was assessed at baseline with a six-item survey scale. The analyses were adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, behavioural health risks and common mental disorders.
Primary and secondary outcomes
The survey data were linked to data from national health registers on incident asthma during a 7-year follow-up to define new-onset asthma cases with verified diagnoses.
A total of 12 126 (59%) participants reported that they encountered a childhood adversity. Of them 3677 (18% of all) endured three to six adversities. During a follow-up of 7 years, 593 (2.9%) participants were diagnosed with incident asthma. Those who reported three or more childhood adversities had a 1.6-fold (95% CI 1.31 to 2.01) greater risk of asthma compared to those without childhood adversities. This hazard attenuated but remained statistically significant after adjustment for conventional risk factors (HR 1.33; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.67).
Adults who report having encountered adversities in childhood may have an increased risk of developing asthma.
PMCID: PMC3488721  PMID: 23069774
Psychiatry; Epidemiology
3.  Does the organizational model of the maternity health clinic have an influence on women’s and their partners’ experiences? A service evaluation survey in Southwest Finland 
In high-income countries, great disparities exist in the organizational characteristics of maternity health services. In Finland, primary maternity care is provided at communal maternity health clinics (MHC). At these MHCs there are public health nurses and general practitioners providing care. The structure of services in MHCs varies largely. MHCs are maintained independently or merged with other primary health care sectors. A widely used organizational model of services is a combined maternity and child health clinic (MHC & CHC) where the same public health nurse takes care of the family from pregnancy until the child is at school age. The aim of this study was to determine how organizational model, MHC independent or combined MHC & CHC, influence on women’s and their partners’ service experiences.
A comparative, cross-sectional service evaluation survey was used. Women (N = 995) and their partners (N = 789) were recruited from the MHCs in the area of Turku University Hospital. Four months postpartum, the participants were asked to evaluate the content and amount of the MHC services via a postal questionnaire. Comparisons were made between the clients of the separate MHCs and the MHCs combined to the child health clinics.
Women who had used the combined MHC & CHCs generally evaluated services more positively than women who had used the separate MHCs. MHC’s model was related to several aspects of the service which were evaluated “good” (the content of the service) or “much” (the amount of the service). Significant differences accumulated favoring the combined MHC & CHCs’ model. Twelve aspects of the service were ranked more often as “good” or “much” by the parents who had used the combined MHC & CHC, only group activities regarding delivery were evaluated better by women who had used the separate MHCs.
Based on the women’s and partners’ experiences an organizational model of the combined MHC & CHC where the same nurse will take care of family during pregnancy and after birth of the child was preferred. This model also provides greater amount of home visits and peer support than the separate MHC.
PMCID: PMC3520862  PMID: 22974077
Health services research; Primary health care; Comparative study; Pregnancy; Maternal health services; Prenatal care; Continuity of patient care; Parents
4.  Non-response in a nationwide follow-up postal survey in Finland: a register-based mortality analysis of respondents and non-respondents of the Health and Social Support (HeSSup) Study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(2):e000657.
To examine difference in mortality between postal survey non-respondents and respondents.
A prospective cohort study with baseline survey in 1998 and comprehensive linkage to national mortality registers until 2005, the Health and Social Support study.
A population-based postal survey of the working-aged population in Finland in 1998.
The original random sample comprised 64 797 working-aged individuals in Finland (20–24, 30–34, 40–44, 50–54 years of age; 32 059 women and 32 716 men), yielding 25 898 (40.0%) responses in the baseline postal survey in 1998.
Primary outcome measure
Registry-based primary causes of death encoded with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).
In women, HR for total mortality was 1.75 (95% CI 1.40 to 2.19) times higher among the non-respondents compared with the respondents. In men, non-response was associated with a 1.41-fold (1.21–1.65) excess risk of total mortality. Non-response associated in certain age groups with deaths due to diseases in women and with deaths due to external causes in men. The most prominent excess mortality was seen for total mortality for both genders and for mortality due to external causes among men.
Postal surveys result in slight underestimation of illness prevalence.
Article summary
Article focus
Women and individuals from upper social strata tend to participate more actively in postal health surveys.
What this exactly means in terms of health selection among respondents is unclear.
Postal health surveys are believed to produce underestimates of illness prevalence.
Key messages
Total mortality was consistently and for women in the age group ≥50 years and for men in the age groups ≥40 years significantly higher among non-respondents compared with respondents during a 7-year follow-up among a total Finnish nationwide sample in working age comprising almost 65 000 individuals.
The excess mortality observed was 1.5–2 fold. Among men, it was explained by external causes, whereas among women, it was due to diseases and was statistically significant only in the age group 50–54 years.
Postal surveys result in slight underestimation of illness prevalence.
Strengths and limitations of the study
The linkage to mortality data was successful for virtually all individuals of the original sample comprising nearly 65 000 individuals. The sample size secures the reliability of the conclusions drawn. Furthermore, the registry data on mortality in Finland can be considered as reliable. To the best of the authors' knowledge, a corresponding study based on an as large a sample as in this study has not previously been carried out.
Some inaccuracy concerning the final diagnosis of death is possible. A further study limitation is that data of socioeconomic status or educational level of non-respondents were not available, and hence, adjustments of the statistical analyses for these variables were not possible.
PMCID: PMC3307122  PMID: 22422917
5.  The medico-professional quality of GP consultations assessed by analysing patient records 
To assess the medico-professional quality of consultations by analysing textual data from patient records.
Qualitative analyse of textual data.
Four primary health care centres using electronic patient records (EPR) in Finland.
EPR and paired questionnaires of 175 consultations filled in by GPs and their patients independently.
Main outcome measures
Medico-professional quality of consultations, quality of care of acute respiratory infections, and hypertension.
The medico-professional quality of the consultations was quite good. However, 9% of the records could not been assessed at all because of missing or poor documentation and 9% were assessed as poor. The treatment of acute respiratory infections and hypertension is not in line with current care guidelines. Smoking habits or other health behaviour or lifestyle factors were seldom recorded.
The medico-professional quality of the consultation was quite good. Quality improvement is needed in the treatment of acute respiratory infections and hypertension. User-friendly EPR systems would improve the content of patient records.
PMCID: PMC3308459  PMID: 22126221
Acute respiratory infections; consultation; electronic patient records; general practice; hypertension; quality of health care
6.  Allergy from infancy to adolescence. A population-based 18-year follow-up cohort 
BMC Pediatrics  2009;9:46.
Anxious parents have many concerns about the future health of their atopic infants. Paediatricians and primary care practitioners need to seek knowledge on long-term outcomes in order to cope with the increasing caseload of suspected allergy and the concerns of parents. The aim of the study was to assess suspected and diagnosed allergy in infancy as predictors of allergy and asthma in adolescence.
Families expecting their first baby and making their first visit to a maternity health care clinic in 1986 were selected as the study population in a random sample. There were 1278 eligible study families. The data were provided of the children at the ages of 9 and 18 months and 3, 5, 12, 15 and 18 years by health care professionals, parents, and adolescents (themselves).
At the age of 9 months, the prevalence of allergy suspicions was distinctly higher than that of allergy diagnoses. At the age of five years suspected allergy approaches were nil, and the prevalence of diagnosed allergy was about 9%. During the adolescence, the prevalence of self-reported allergy increases steadily up to the age of 18 years, and that of asthma remains at approximately 5%. Suspected allergy at the age of 9 or 18 months and at the 5 years of age does not predict allergy at adolescence. Compared with non-allergic children, children with definite allergy at the age of 5 were over 8 times more likely to have allergy and nearly 7 times more likely to have asthma in adolescence.
An early ascertained diagnosis of allergy, but not suspicions of allergy, predicts prevailing allergy in adolescence. Efforts need to be focused on accurate diagnosis of early childhood allergies.
PMCID: PMC2724380  PMID: 19630989
7.  The quality of electronic patient records in Finnish primary healthcare needs to be improved 
To analyse the technical quality of electronic patient records in relation to legislation and to evaluate their quality associated with the quality of consultations as rated by patients and GPs.
Cross-sectional study of electronic patient records.
Four primary healthcare (PHC) centres in Finland using three different electronic patient record systems.
Patient records of 175 PHC consultations by 50 GPs, rated as the best (n=86) and the worst (n=89) of a total of 2191 consultations.
Main outcome measures
Documentation of records compared with legislation, the general informative value of records, and its relation to the experienced quality of consultations and to the electronic system employed.
Reason for encounter was mentioned in 79% of cases and patient history in 32%. An acute problem was described moderately well or well in 84%, examination findings in 62%, medical problem or diagnosis in 90%, and treatment in 95% of cases. Medication was documented adequately in 38% of the cases where medication was documented. Concerning general informative value, 18% were assessed as poor, 62% as moderate, and 20% as good. No correspondence was found between experienced quality of consultation and general informative value in the patient records. The quality of patient records was found to change according to the electronic system employed.
Finnish patient records are inadequate documents of consultations and below the standard of that country's legislation. Developing better models of recording would guarantee a higher quality of work.
PMCID: PMC3406647  PMID: 18570011
Family medicine; family practice; patient record; quality of consultation
8.  Sexual activity and perceived health among Finnish middle-aged women 
An increasing awareness of the need to address sexual and orgasm experiences as part of life quality and an understanding of the great individual differences between women play roles in women's health and medical care across the specialities. Information is lacking as to how negative attitude toward self (NATS) and performance impairment (PI) are associated with sexual activity of middle-aged women. We examined the associations of sexual experience, orgasm experience, and lack of sexual desire with perceived health and potential explanatory variables of NATS and PI.
Questionnaire was mailed to 2 population-based random samples of menopausal or soon-to-be menopausal women (n = 5510, 70% response) stratified according to age (42–46 and 52–56 years). In multivariate analyses of the associations with the outcome variables, perceived health, NATS, and PI were used as covariates in 6 models in which exercise, menstrual symptoms, and illness indicators were taken into account as well.
Sexual activity variables were associated with perceived health. When present, NATS formed associations with sexual and orgasm experiences, whereas strenuous exercise formed associations with orgasm among 42–46-year-old women alone. Strenuous exercise was not associated with orgasm experience among older women.
NATS and PI are closely tied to orgasm experiences and the meaning of the roles needs to be exposed. Sexual activity deserves to be addressed more actively in patient contact at least with perimenopausal women.
PMCID: PMC1513197  PMID: 16686959

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