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Showing posts from May, 2012

Improving Uptake of Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission Programs

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session in 2001 set a goal to reduce the proportion of HIV infected infants by 50% by 2010. Achieving this target would require that around 80% of pregnant women and their children need to receive essential HIV prevention, treatment and care. In an article published in the open access journal PLoS One, Lorainne Tudor Car and colleagues from Imperial College London carried out a systematic review to assess the effect of integrated perinatal prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV interventions (PMTCT) in low and middle-income countries. Five studies met their inclusion criteria. After reviewing these studies, they found limited, non-generalizable evidence to support the effectiveness of integrated PMTCT programs. None of the included studies evaluated integration of the whole PMTCT program. Further, the uptake of integrated PMTCT interventions was mostly low, and did not reach the 80% target set by  United Nations General Assembly …

Internet-based patient ratings of patient experience in the NHS

Comments made on Internet sites by patients about their experience of the NHS care they have received are increasing. In an article published in BMJ Safety & Quality, Felix Greaves and colleagues examined the association between such online patient reports and conventional measures of patient experience. They compared hospital level associations between web-based patient ratings on the National Health Service (NHS) Choices website and more conventional measures of patient experience.

They did this by carrying out a study of all acute general NHS hospital trusts in England using information from  patient ratings on the NHS Choices website. Greaves and colleagues reported that web-based ratings of patients' experience of NHS hospital care were associated with ratings derived from a more conventional patient survey.

They concluded that web-based ratings that patient made about their care, despite being prone to many biases, are correlated with survey measures of patient experien…

Primary care factors associated with cervical screening coverage in England

An article published recently in the Journal of Public Health by Dr Ji Bang and colleagues reported wide variations in cervical screening uptake, both across primary care trusts (PCTs) and also at general practice level. Rates were lowest in general practices with high proportions of women who are young, non-white, and deprived. The study showed that the proportion of female patients aged 25-49 years, the percentage of black and ethnic minority patients, and the Index of Multiple Deprivation score were all associated with significantly lower rates of cervical screening in both PCTs and individual practices. In contrast, the percentage of female patients aged 50–64 years was associated with higher uptake of cervical screening.

Dr Ji Bang suggested that “a multifaceted approach is needed that includes patients, physicians, individual practices and policy makers,” if cervical screening uptake is to be improved. She also stated that “Performance indicators, such as cervical screening cov…

Women develop type 2 diabetes at a higher body mass index than men

An article published in Diabetologia by Sanjoy Paul and colleagues examined the age–BMI relationship at the time of diagnosis of type 2 diabetes using data on 84,633 patients in the UK who were diagnosed with diabetes between January 1990 and April 2007. They observed that women develop type 2 diabetes at a higher body mass index than men. They also reported a significant difference in the inverse relationships between age and BMI for men and women and marked differences in the average BMI levels for men and women at younger ages, which decreased with increasing age.