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1.  Clinically important improvement in the WOMAC and predictor factors for response to non-specific non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in osteoarthritic patients: a prospective study 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:58.
Background
The aims of the present study were first to detect MCID for WOMAC in a Moroccan population, and second, to identify the best pre-treatment predictors on the change of health after treatment by non-specific, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and to evaluate whether the predictors were dependent on the choice of the response criterion.
Methods
The study involved 173 patients with osteoarthritis in whom primary care physicians decided to start treatment with non-selective NSAIDs. Assessments at admission and after 6 weeks were conducted. In order to determine the threshold levels associated with a definition of clinically important improvement, the receiver operating characteristic method was used. Three different measures of response to a 6-week NSAIDs treatment were used: one indirect measure (MCID in the total WOMAC score), one direct measure (transition question) and a combination of both criteria.
Results
Eighty patients (46.3%) reported "a slightly better" general health status compared to that of 6 weeks before NSAIDs treatment. The MCID proportion is a 16.0% reduction in WOMAC. The most stable pre-treatment predictors on the improvement of health after treatment by NSAIDs were the absence of previous knee injury and a high level of education.
Conclusions
In our data, a 16.0% reduction of the total WOMAC score from baseline was associated with the highest degree of improvement on the transition scale category. This cut-off point had good accuracy, and should be appropriate for use in the interpretation of clinical studies results, as well as in clinical care.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-58
PMCID: PMC3283484  PMID: 22269793
2.  Measuring quality of life after intensive care using the Arabic version for Morocco of the EuroQol 5 Dimensions 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:56.
Background
Health-related quality of life (HRQL) is a relevant outcome measures in intensive care unit (ICU). The aim of this study was to evaluate HRQL of ICU patients 3 months after discharge using the Arabic version for Morocco of the EuroQol-5-Dimension (EQ-5D), and to examine the psychometric properties of the questionnaire.
Results
The Arabic version for Morocco of the EQ-5D was approved by the EuroQol group. A prospective cohort study was conducted after medical ICU discharge. At 3-month follow up, the EQ-5D (self classifier and EQ-VAS) was administered in consultation or by telephone. EQ-VAS varies from 0 (better HRQL) to 100 (worst HRQL). An unweighted scoring for EQ5D-index was calculated. EQ5D-index ranges from -0.59 to 1. Test-retest reliability of the EQ-5D was tested using Kappa coefficient and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Criterion validity was assessed by correlating EQ-VAS and EQ5D-index with the Short Form 36 (SF-36). Construct validity was tested using simple and multiple liner regression to assess factors influencing patients'HRQL. 145 survivors answered the EQ-5D. Median EQ5D-index was 0.52 [0.20-1]. Mean EQ-VAS was 62 ± 20. Test-retest reliability was conducted in 83 patients. ICCs of EQ5D-index and EQ-VAS were 0.95 and 0.92 respectively. For EQ-5D self classifier, agreement by kappa was above 0.40. Significant correlations were noted between EQ5D-index, EQ-VAS and SF-36 (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, factors associated with poorer HRQL for EQ5D-index were longer ICU length of stay (β = -0.01; p = 0.017) and higher educational level (β = -0.2; p = 0.001). For EQ-VAS men were associated with better HRQL (β = 6.5; p = 0.048).
Conclusions
The Arabic version for Morocco of the EQ-5D is reliable and valid. Women, high educational level and longer ICU length of stay were associated with poorer HRQL.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-56
PMCID: PMC3293002  PMID: 22264312
EQ-5D; Intensive care; Quality of life
3.  Breast cancer in moroccan young women: a retrospective study 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:286.
Background
Breast cancer is uncommon in young women and induces more aggressive biologic characteristics. Survival in young women has been widely studied in developed countries. Less favorable prognosis and low survival were found.
In Morocco, this study is the first investigation of clinical features, treatment and prognosis associated with breast cancer in young women.
Findings
Four hundred and nine women aged 35 years or less were included in this study. All these women were diagnosed as having breast cancer at the National Institute of Oncology in Rabat, Morocco between 2003 and 2007. The relation between clinical and therapeutic characteristics and event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were assessed by Cox regression analysis.
The median age of the patients was 32 years. Fifty three patients (13%) have metastatic disease at diagnosis and 356 patients (87%) had localised disease. In 57.9% of the cases, the estrogen receptors status was positive. The median follow-up was 32.2 months. After 3 years the survival rate was 80.6%. In the case of localised disease, OS and EFS at 3 years were 83.2% and 62.5%, respectively. OS and EFS at 3 years was higher in patients with stage I than patients with stage II and stage III (p = 0.001). Positive estrogen receptors was significantly associated to OS and EFS at 3 years compared to negative estrogen receptors (p = 0.001). Adjuvant chemotherapy, adjuvant radiotherapy and adjuvant hormone therapy were associated with net benefit in OS and EFS at 3 years. Cox regression analysis showed that negative ER was significantly associated with poorer OS (HR = 2.42, 95% CI = 1.25 - 4.66, p < 0.009) and poorer EFS (HR = 1.73, 95%CI = 1.05 - 2.86, p = 0.03). Stage III disease were associated to poorer EFS (HR = 5.35, 95%CI = 1.60 -17.84, p = 0.006).
Conclusions
In Morocco, young women with breast cancer had less favorable prognosis. Multivariate analysis showed that negative hormone receptor status was associated with lower EFS and OS. Clinical trials should be launched to improve the survival of these young women with breast cancer.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-286
PMCID: PMC2992542  PMID: 21059204

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