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- ItemInflammation, aspirin, and the risk of cardiovascular disease(Massachusetts Medical Society, 1997-08) Cahill, Mary R.; Perry, Ivan J.
- ItemParasuicide and general practice: a pilot study(Irish Medical Organisation, 1997-09) Kelleher, Michael J.; Burke, U.; Byrne, S.; Corcoran, Paul; Fitzsimons, M. M.; Keeley, Helen S.; Williamson, Eileen; Health Research Board; Department of Health, Ireland; Mid-Western Health Board, Ireland; Southern Health Board, IrelandGeneral Practitioners from Cork City and its environs were sent a questionnaire regarding their experience of parasuicide in the previous twelve months. Replies were received from 133 of the 185 GPs. 189 individuals, accounting for 212 episodes of parasuicide, were seen by 78 doctors, indicating a lower level of repetition than that found in hospital-referred cases. Almost a third of doctors saw no cases, just over one fifth saw one episode and the same proportion dealt with two. A small number of general practitioners saw many cases. Regarding management, 128 (60%) were referred to Casualty, 31 of whom were also referred for psychiatric care. Thirty percent were referred directly for psychiatric care. While only fourteen were retained within general practice without referral, 40% of the GPs felt that, ideally, acts of parasuicide should be retained with more specialised advice being obtained. Furthermore, 88.1% believed that management of parasuicide should form part of an integral part of post-graduate or continued general practitioner medical training. Clearly, GPs are willing to play a more active role in the management of parasuicide.
- ItemVariation in suicide rates between Health Board areas(Irish Medical Organisation, 1998-04) Kelleher, Michael J.; Corcoran, Paul; Keeley, Helen S.; Health Research Board; Department of Health, Ireland; Mid-Western Health Board, Ireland; Southern Health Board, IrelandThis paper examines variations in suicide in the eight Health Boards of the Republic of Ireland for the years 1976 to 1995. It is found that while all have experienced a rise in male suicide, it has been much less pronounced in the Eastern Health Board which is somewhat surprising when one considers Dublin’s much-publicised problems with homelessness and hard drug misuse. Since the mid-eighties, female rates have been somewhat higher in the southern half of the country, comprising the Southern, Mid-Western and South-Eastern Health Boards. This variation may reflect a difficulty with contacting services for psychological distress in rural areas, either because of stigma or simple practical problems associated with transport. The development of appropriate services, especially in rural areas, should be at the top of the agenda of any Resource Officer to be appointed subsequent to the Final Report of the Task Force.
- ItemEstablished cardiovascular disease and CVD risk factors in a primary care population of middle-aged Irish men and women(Irish Medical Organization, 2002-11) Perry, Ivan J.; Collins, A.; Colwell, N.; Creagh, D.; Drew, C.; Hinchion, Rita; O'Halloran, T. David; Servier Laboratories (Ireland) Ltd; Bristol-Myers Squibb, United States; Pfizer Ireland; Zeneca PharmaContemporary Irish data on the prevalence of major cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are sparse. The primary aims of this study were (1) to estimate the prevalence of major cardiovascular disease risk factors, including Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, in the general population of men and women between the ages of 50 and 69 years; and (2) to estimate the proportion of individuals in this age group at high absolute risk of cardiovascular disease events on the basis of pre-existing cardiovascular disease or as defined by the Framingham equation. Participants were drawn from the practice lists of 17 general practices in Cork and Kerry using stratified random sampling. A total of 1018 people attended for screening (490 men, 48%) from 1473 who were invited, a response rate of 69.1%. Cardiovascular disease risk factors and glucose intolerance are common in the population of men and women aged between 50 and 69 years. Almost half the participants were overweight and a further quarter met current international criteria for obesity, one of the highest recorded prevalence rates for obesity in a European population sample. Forty per cent of the population reported minimal levels of physical activity and 19% were current cigarette smokers. Approximately half the sample had blood pressure readings consistent with international criteria for the diagnosis of hypertension, but only 38% of these individuals were known to be hypertensive. Eighty per cent of the population sample had a cholesterol concentration in excess of 5 mmol/l. Almost 4% of the population had Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, of whom 30% were previously undiagnosed. A total of 137 participants (13.5%) had a history or ECG findings consistent with established cardiovascular disease. Of the remaining 881 individuals in the primary prevention population, a total of 20 high-risk individuals (19 male) had a risk of a coronary heart disease event 30% over ten years according to the Framingham risk equation, giving an overall population prevalence of 2.0% (95% CI 1.3 - 3.0). At a risk level 20% over ten years, an additional 91 individuals (8.9%) were identified. Thus a total of 24.4% of the population were at risk either through pre-existing CVD (13.5%) or an estimated 10-year risk exceeding 20% according to the Framingham risk equation (10.9%). Thus a substantial proportion of middle-aged men are at high risk of CVD. The findings emphasise the scale of the CVD epidemic in Ireland and the need for ongoing monitoring of risk factors at the population level and the need to develop preventive strategies at both the clinical and societal level.
- ItemPrevalence and lifestyle determinants of the metabolic syndrome(Irish Medical Organization, 2004-11) Villegas, Raquel; Creagh, D.; Hinchion, Rita; O'Halloran, D.; Perry, Ivan J.Participants with the metabolic syndrome are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. The aim of this study was to determine the role of lifestyle risk factors in the development of the metabolic syndrome with particular reference to physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption. We performed a cross sectional study of the prevalence of CVD risk factors and glucose intolerance, including type 2 diabetes involving a group of 1473 men and women were sampled from 17 general practice lists in the South of Ireland. A total of 1018 attended for screening, giving a response rate of 69%. Participants completed a detailed health and lifestyle questionnaire and provided fasting blood samples for analysis of glucose, insulin and lipids. The metabolic syndrome was defined according to the current WHO criteria. The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 21.0% (95% C.I. 18.7% to 24.1%). In multivariate analyses with the metabolic syndrome as the dependent variable we observed a significant, independent inverse association with physical activity level (OR=0.60; 95%CI, 0.39-0.90 for medium and OR=0.51; 95%CI, 0.28-0.93) for high level of activity relative to the low level of activity group). Ex-drinkers had a higher prevalence of the syndrome in multivariate analysis relative to occasional drinkers, (OR=2.38; 95%CI, 1.08-5.26). Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was not significantly associated with current alcohol consumption or with smoking status. These data highlight the importance of physical inactivity in the aetiology of the metabolic syndrome.
- ItemWriting to patients: 'putting the patient in the picture'(Irish Medical Organization, 2005-02) O'Reilly, Máire; Cahill, Mary R.; Perry, Ivan J.; Health Research BoardWe have explored consultant, general practitioner and patient attitudes towards the proposal that following an outpatient consultation, consultants should consider communicating directly with patients in the form of a summary letter, with a copy to the referring general practitioner or other professionals as appropriate. We conducted in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 20 consultants, 16 patients and 12 general practitioners. The consultants and general practitioners were both involved in the care of participating patients. Patients highlighted the likely value of summary letters including, increased knowledge, improvement recall of the clinical encounter, and reassurance. Clinicians were concerned that patients would not understand letters from consultants. Additional concerns included the impact of letter on consultant-general practitioner relationship and medico-legal issues. These findings reflect fundamental differences in expectations about the nature and quality of communications between doctors and their patients.
- ItemLegislation for smoke-free workplaces and health of bar workers in Ireland: before and after study(British Medical Association, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, 2005-11-12) Allwright, Shane; Paul, Gillian; Greiner, Birgit A.; Mullally, Bernie J.; Pursell, Lisa; Kelly, Alan; Bonner, Brendan; D'Eath, Maureen; McConnell, Bill; McLaughlin, James P.; O'Donovan, Diarmuid; O'Kane, Eamon; Perry, Ivan J.; Office of Tobacco Control, Ireland; National Cancer Institute, United States; Irish Cancer Society; Irish Heart Foundation; Health Service Executive, Ireland; Western Investing for Health Partnership, Northern Ireland; Mandate Trade Union, IrelandObjectives: To compare exposure to secondhand smoke and respiratory health in bar staff in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland before and after the introduction of legislation for smoke-free workplaces in the Republic. Design: Comparisons before and after the legislation in intervention and control regions. Setting Public houses in three areas in the Republic (intervention) and one area in Northern Ireland (control). Participants: 329 bar staff enrolled in baseline survey; 249 (76%) followed up one year later. Of these, 158 were non-smokers both at baseline and follow-up. Main outcome measures: Salivary cotinine concentration, self reported exposure to secondhand smoke, and respiratory and sensory irritation symptoms. Results: In bar staff in the Republic who did not themselves smoke, salivary cotinine concentrations dropped by 80% after the smoke-free law (from median 29.0 nmol/l (95% confidence interval 18.2 to 43.2 nmol/l)) to 5.1 nmol/l (2.8 to 13.1 nmol/l) in contrast with a 20% decline in Northern Ireland over the same period (from median 25.3 nmol/l (10.4 to 59.2 nmol/l) to 20.4 nmol/l (13.2 to 33.8 nmol/l)). Changes in self reported exposure to secondhand smoke were consistent with the changes in cotinine concentrations. Reporting any respiratory symptom declined significantly in the Republic (down 16.7%, -26.1% to -7.3%) but not in Northern Ireland (0% difference, -32.7% to 32.7%). After adjustment for confounding, respiratory symptoms declined significantly more in the Republic than in Northern Ireland and the decline in cotinine concentration was twice as great. Conclusion: The smoke-free law in the Republic of Ireland protects non-smoking bar workers from exposure to secondhand smoke.
- ItemAdverse childhood experiences and lifetime suicide ideation: a cross-sectional study in a non-psychiatric hospital setting(Irish Medical Organization, 2006-02) Corcoran, Paul; Gallagher, Jonathan; Keeley, Helen S.; Arensman, Ella; Perry, Ivan J.; Health Research Board; Cork University HospitalWe have assessed the effect of adverse childhood experiences on the lifetime prevalence of suicide ideation in a cross-sectional study involving 182 patients aged 18 to 44 years, consecutive attenders at an A&E review clinic. All participants were interviewed by a psychologist using standardised questionnaire instruments addressing participants’ demographic characteristics, drug use, depressed mood, eight major categories of adverse childhood experiences (including physical, emotional and sexual abuse) and suicide ideation. The response rate was 73%. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, those with a history of two or more forms of childhood adversity relative to those with none were at increased risk of depressed mood (OR = 5.5, 95% CI = 2.3-13.3) and suicide ideation (OR = 3.5, 95% CI = 1.5-8.3). The findings emphasise the need to set suicide prevention within the broader context of society’s obligation to protect children from physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
- ItemWriting to patients: a randomised controlled trial(Royal College of Physicians, 2006-03) O'Reilly, Máire; Cahill, Mary R.; Perry, Ivan J.; Health Research BoardIt has been suggested that consultants should consider writing directly to patients with a summary of their outpatient consultation. In a controlled trial involving consecutive new referrals to a haematology outpatient clinic, we randomised patients to receive either a personal letter from their consultant summarising their consultation (n = 77) or a brief note thanking them for attending the clinic (n = 73). Patients were assessed for recall of and satisfaction with the consultation by a single independent observer, using standardised methods. At the second visit to outpatients, the patients' median percentage recall of items discussed during the consultation was 67% (IQ range 50-80%) in the intervention group, versus 57% (IQ range 43-76%) in the control group (p = 0.3). Strongly positive views on the personal letter were expressed by patients and referring clinicians. The findings suggest that although personal letters do not substantially improve recall of the clinical encounter, they are feasible, highly valued by patients and acceptable to referring clinicians.
- ItemDo selective cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors and traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs increase the risk of atherothrombosis? Meta-analysis of randomised trials(BMJ Publishing Group, 2006-06-01) Kearney, Patricia M.; Baigent, C.; Godwin, Jon; Halls, H.; Emberson, J. R.; Patrono, C.; European Commission; Medical Research Council, United Kingdom; The Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU), United Kingdom; British Heart Foundation, United Kingdom; Cancer Research UK; Ministry of University and Research, ItalyObjective: To assess the effects of selective cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX 2) inhibitors and traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the risk of vascular events. Design: Meta-analysis of published and unpublished tabular data from randomised trials, with indirect estimation of the effects of traditional NSAIDs. Data sources: Medline and Embase (January 1966 to April 2005); Food and Drug Administration records; and data on file from Novartis, Pfizer, and Merck. Review methods: Eligible studies were randomised trials that included a comparison of a selective COX 2 inhibitor versus placebo or a selective COX 2 inhibitor versus a traditional NSAID, of at least four weeks' duration, with information on serious vascular events (defined as myocardial infarction, stroke, or vascular death). Individual investigators and manufacturers provided information on the number of patients randomised, numbers of vascular events, and the person time of follow-up for each randomised group. Results: In placebo comparisons, allocation to a selective COX 2 inhibitor was associated with a 42% relative increase in the incidence of serious vascular events (1.2%/year v 0.9%/year; rate ratio 1.42, 95% confidence interval 1.13 to 1.78; P = 0.003), with no significant heterogeneity among the different selective COX 2 inhibitors. This was chiefly attributable to an increased risk of myocardial infarction (0.6%/year v 0.3%/year; 1.86, 1.33 to 2.59; P = 0.0003), with little apparent difference in other vascular outcomes. Among trials of at least one year's duration (mean 2.7 years), the rate ratio for vascular events was 1.45 (1.12 to 1.89; P = 0.005). Overall, the incidence of serious vascular events was similar between a selective COX 2 inhibitor and any traditional NSAID (1.0%/year v 0.9/%year; 1.16, 0.97 to 1.38; P = 0.1). However, statistical heterogeneity (P = 0.001) was found between trials of a selective COX 2 inhibitor versus naproxen (1.57, 1.21 to 2.03) and of a selective COX 2 inhibitor versus non-naproxen NSAIDs (0.88, 0.69 to 1.12). The summary rate ratio for vascular events, compared with placebo, was 0.92 (0.67 to 1.26) for naproxen, 1.51 (0.96 to 2.37) for ibuprofen, and 1.63 (1.12 to 2.37) for diclofenac. Conclusions: Selective COX 2 inhibitors are associated with a moderate increase in the risk of vascular events, as are high dose regimens of ibuprofen and diclofenac, but high dose naproxen is not associated with such an excess.
- ItemPrevalence of overweight and obesity on the island of Ireland: results from the North South Survey of Children's Height, Weight and Body Mass Index, 2002(BioMed Central Ltd., 2007-07-31) Whelton, Helen; Harrington, Janas M.; Crowley, Evelyn; Kelleher, Virginia; Cronin, Michael S.; Perry, Ivan J.Background: Childhood obesity is emerging as a major public health problem in developed and developing countries worldwide. The aim of this survey was to establish baseline data on the prevalence and correlates of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) and Northern Ireland (NI). Methods: The heights and weights of 19,617 school-going children and adolescents aged between 4 and 16 years in NI and RoI were measured using standardised and calibrated scales and measures. The participants were a representative cross-sectional sample of children randomly selected on the basis of age, gender and geographical location of the school attended. Overweight and obesity were classified according to standard IOTF criteria. Results: Males were taller than females, children in RoI were taller than those in NI and the more affluent were taller than the less well off. The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher among females than males in both jurisdictions. Overall, almost one in four boys (23% RoI and NI) and over one in four girls (28% RoI, 25% NI) were either overweight or obese. In RoI, the highest prevalence of overweight was among 13 year old girls (32%) and obesity among 7 year old girls (11%). In NI the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity were found among 11 and 8 year old girls respectively (33% and 13%). Conclusion: These figures confirm the emergence of the obesity epidemic among children in Ireland, a wealthy country with the European Union. The results serve to underpin the urgency of implementing broad intersectoral measures to reduce calorie intake and increase levels of physical activity, particularly among children.
- ItemScreening for autistic spectrum disorder at the 18-month developmental assessment: a population-based study(Irish Medical Organization, 2007-09) VanDenHeuvel, A.; Fitzgerald, M.; Greiner, Birgit A.; Perry, Ivan J.The objectives of this study were to assess the feasibility of administering the CHecklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) at the 18-month developmental check, estimate the prevalence of screening positive for autism at the first and second administrations of the CHAT and estimate the prevalence of diagnosed cases of autism. A cross-sectional study design was utilised and data was collected at child developmental screening clinics in counties Cork and Kerry. The sample group consisted of infants attending the routine 18-month developmental assessment, who were broadly representative of infants in the catchment area. The main outcome measure was a medium or high-risk score following two administrations of the CHAT screening instrument and a positive diagnosis of autism after clinical assessment. The CHAT was administered to 2117 infants (79% of those approached) of whom 29 were scored at medium or high risk at first screening, resulting in a prevalence rate of 137 per 10,000 (95% CI: 87-187). A total of 7 of the 29 first screen positive infants were positive (medium or high risk) at second screening, 12 were low risk and 10 parents refused to participate. On subsequent clinical assessment of the 7 infants screening positive on first and second assessment and assessment of 5 of the 10 infants whose parents declined second screening, 7 children received a diagnosis of autism. Thus the overall prevalence of clinically diagnosed autism following this screening exercise was 33.1 per 10,000 (95% CI: 13.3 to 68.0). The CHAT instrument is a useful tool to help identify childhood autism among infants. Routine use of this instrument at 18-month developmental assessment merits consideration.
- ItemThe prevalence of self-reported deliberate self harm in Irish adolescents(BioMed Central Ltd., 2008-02-28) Morey, Carolyn; Corcoran, Paul; Arensman, Ella; Perry, Ivan J.; National Suicide Review Group, Ireland; Ireland FundsBackground: Deliberate self harm is major public health problem, in particular among young people. Although several studies have addressed the prevalence of deliberate self harm among young people in the community, little is known about the extent to which deliberate self harm comes to the attention of medical services, the self harm methods used and the underlying motives. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of deliberate self harm in adolescents and the methods, motives and help seeking behaviour associated with this behaviour. Methods: A cross-sectional survey using an anonymous self-report questionnaire was administered in 39 schools in the Southern area of the Health Service Executive, Ireland. Of the 4,583 adolescents aged 15–17 years who were invited to participate in the survey, 3,881 adolescents took part (response: 85%). Results: A lifetime history of DSH was reported by 9.1% (n = 333) of the adolescents. DSH was more common among females (13.9%) than males (4.3%). Self cutting (66.0%) and overdose (35.2%) were the most common DSH methods. A minority of participants accessed medical services after engaging in DSH (15.3%). Conclusion: DSH is a significant problem in Irish adolescents and the vast majority do not come to the attention of health services. Innovative solutions for prevention and intervention are required to tackle DSH in adolescents.
- ItemNeighbourhood perceptions of physical activity: a qualitative study(BioMed Central Ltd., 2008-03-28) Burgoyne, Louise N.; Woods, Catherine; Coleman, Rosarie; Perry, Ivan J.; Northside Community Health Initiative, Cork, IrelandBackground: Effective promotion of physical activity in low income communities is essential given the high prevalence of inactivity in this sector. Methods: This study explored determinants of engaging in physical activity in two Irish city based neighbourhoods using a series of six focus groups and twenty five interviews with adult residents. Data were analysed using constant comparison methods with a grounded theory approach. Results: Study findings centred on the concept of 'community contentment'. Physical activity was related to the degree of contentment/comfort within the 'self' and how the 'self' interacts within the neighbourhood. Contemporary focus on outer bodily appearance and pressure to comply with societal expectations influenced participants' sense of confidence and competence. Social interaction, involvement, and provision of adequate social supports were viewed as positive and motivating. However normative expectations appeared to affect participants' ability to engage in physical activity, which may reflect the 'close knit' culture of the study neighbourhoods. Access to suitable local facilities and amenities such as structured and pleasant walking routes was regarded as essential. Indeed participants considered walking to be their preferred form of physical activity which may relate to the minimal skill requirement, ease of access and low financial costs incurred. Conclusion: In the context of physical activity, health promoters need to be conscious of the difficulties that individuals feel in relation to bodily appearance and the pressure to comply with societal standards. This may be particularly relevant in low income settings where insufficient allocation of resources and social supports means that individuals have less opportunity to attend to physical activity than individuals living in higher income settings.
- ItemThe cumulative effect of core lifestyle behaviours on the prevalence of hypertension and dyslipidemia(BioMed Central Ltd., 2008-06-13) Villegas, Raquel; Kearney, Patricia M.; Perry, Ivan J.; Servier Laboratories (Ireland) Ltd; Bristol-Myers Squibb, United States; Pfizer Ireland; Zeneca PharmaBackground: Most cardiovascular disease (CVD) occurs in the presence of traditional risk factors, including hypertension and dyslipidemia, and these in turn are influenced by behavioural factors such as diet and lifestyle. Previous research has identified a group at low risk of CVD based on a cluster of inter-related factors: body mass index (BMI) < 25 Kg/m2, moderate exercise, alcohol intake, non-smoking and a favourable dietary pattern. The objective of this study was to determine whether these factors are associated with a reduced prevalence of hypertension and dyslipidemia in an Irish adult population. Methods: The study was a cross-sectional survey of 1018 men and women sampled from 17 general practices. Participants completed health, lifestyle and food frequency questionnaires and provided fasting blood samples for analysis of glucose and insulin. We defined a low risk group based on the following protective factors: BMI <25 kg/m2; waist-hip ratio (WHR) <0.85 for women and <0.90 for men; never smoking status; participants with medium to high levels of physical activity; light alcohol consumption (3.5–7 units of alcohol/week) and a "prudent" diet. Dietary patterns were assessed by cluster analysis. Results: We found strong significant inverse associations between the number of protective factors and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and dyslipidemia. The prevalence odds ratio of hypertension in persons with 1, 2, 3, ≥ 4 protective factors relative to those with none, were 1.0, 0.76, 0.68 and 0.34 (trend p < 0.01). The prevalence odds ratio of dyslipidemia in persons with 1, 2, 3, ≥ 4 protective factors relative to those with none were 0.83, 0.98, 0.49 and 0.24 (trend p = 0.001). Conclusion: Our findings of a strong inverse association between low risk behaviours and two of the traditional risk factors for CVD highlight the importance of 'the causes of the causes' and the potential for behaviour modification in CVD prevention at a population level.
- ItemParticipation in everyday activities and quality of life in pre-teenage children living with cerebral palsy in South West Ireland(BioMed Central Ltd., 2008-10-31) McManus, Vicki; Corcoran, Paul; Perry, Ivan J.; European CommissionBackground: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of physical disability in children but its impact on quality of life is not well understood. This study examined participation in everyday activities among children without CP and children with mild, moderate and severe impairment due to CP. We then examined ten domains of quality of life in children with CP and investigated whether participation in everyday activities was associated with improved quality of life independent of gender, age and level of impairment. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of children aged 8–12 years based on two questionnaires, frequency of participation (FPQ) and KIDSCREEN, completed by parents of 98 children on the South of Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register (response rate = 82%) and parents of 448 children attending two Cork city schools (response rate = 69%) who completed one questionnaire (FPQ). Multiple linear regression was used: firstly to estimate the effect of severity of CP on participation in everyday activities independent of age and gender and secondly we estimated the effect of participation on quality of life independent of age gender and level of impairment. Results: Participation in 11 of the 14 everyday activities examined varied across the children without CP and the children with varying severity of CP. In general, increased impairment decreased participation. Independent of age and gender, there was a highly significant decrease in overall participation with a fall of -6.0 (95% CI = -6.9 to -5.2) with each increasing level of impairment. The children with CP generally had high quality of life. Increased impairment was associated with diminished quality of life in just two domains – Physical well-being and Social support and peers. Overall participation in everyday activities was significantly associated with quality of life in 3 of the 10 domains (Physical well-being, Social support and peers & Moods and emotions) in analysis adjusted for gender age and level of impairment. Conclusion: While increased impairment due to CP restricts participation in the majority of everyday activities, the level of participation has a limited effect on the quality of life of the children with CP in age 8–12 years.
- ItemSelf-care coping strategies in people with diabetes: a qualitative exploratory study(BioMed Central, 2009-02-20) Collins, Margaret M.; Bradley, Colin P.; O'Sullivan, Tony; Perry, Ivan J.; Health Research BoardBackground: The management of diabetes self-care is largely the responsibility of the patient. With more emphasis on the prevention of complications, adherence to diabetes self-care regimens can be difficult. Diabetes self-care requires the patient to make many dietary and lifestyle changes. This study will explore patient perceptions of diabetes self-care, with particular reference to the burden of self-care and coping strategies among patients. Methods: A maximum variation sample of 17 patients was selected from GP practices and diabetes clinics in Ireland to include patients with types 1 and 2 diabetes, various self-care regimens, and a range of diabetes complications. Data were collected by in-depth interviews; which were tape-recorded and transcribed. The transcripts were analysed using open and axial coding procedures to identify main categories, and were reviewed by an independent corroborator. Discussion of the results is made in the theoretical context of the health belief, health value, self-efficacy, and locus of control frameworks. Results: Patients' perceptions of their self-care varied on a spectrum, displaying differences in self-care responsibilities such as competence with dietary planning, testing blood sugar and regular exercise. Three patient types could be distinguished, which were labeled: "proactive manager," a patient who independently monitors blood glucose and adjusts his/her self-care regime to maintain metabolic control; "passive follower," a patient who follows his/her prescribed self-care regime, but does not react autonomously to changes in metabolic control; and "nonconformist," a patient who does not follow most of his/her prescribed self-care regimen. Conclusion: Patients have different diabetes self-care coping strategies which are influenced by their self-care health value and consequently may affect their diet and exercise choices, frequency of blood glucose monitoring, and compliance with prescribed medication regimens. Particular attention should be paid to the patient's self-care coping strategy, and self-care protocols should be tailored to complement the different patient types.
- ItemThe heights and weights of Irish children from the post-war era to the Celtic tiger(British Medical Journal Group, 2009-03) Perry, Ivan J.; Whelton, Helen; Harrington, Janas M.; Cousins, BernardBACKGROUND: Childhood obesity is a significant global health issue. National level data on long-term secular trends are relatively sparse. METHODS: Data were obtained from three large-scale surveys of school-aged children in Ireland involving measurements of height and weight in 1948, the 1970s and 2002. RESULTS: Significant increases in height and weight were observed in both boys and girls and in all age groups across the decades. The increases in weight were disproportionate to the trends in height. While boys aged 14 years were 23 cm taller 2002 than in 1948, their average weight was 61 kg, compared with 37 kg in 1948, an increase of 24 kg. A substantial proportion of the increase in weight is seen between the 1970s and 2002. CONCLUSIONS: The data provide stark and compelling evidence on the evolution of the obesity epidemic in Irish children in tandem with the increase in economic prosperity.
- ItemA qualitative study of trends in patient preferences for the management of partial dentition(Wiley, 2009-06) Cronin, Mary; Meaney, Sarah; Jepson, Nicholas J. A.; Allen, P. FinbarrObjective: To identify factors influencing attitudes of partially dentate adults towards dental treatment in Ireland. Background: People are retaining more teeth later in life than ever before. Management of partially dentate older adults will be a major requirement for the future and it is important to determine factors which may influence patients’ attitudes to care. Methods: Subjects: A purposive sample of 22 partially dentate patients was recruited; 12 women and 12 men, ranging in age from 45 to 75 years. Data Collection: Semi-structured individual interviews. Results: Dental patients have increasing expectations in relation to (i) a more sophisticated approach to the management of missing teeth and (ii) their right to actively participate in decision making regarding the management of their tooth loss. There is some evidence of a cohort effect with younger patients (45–64 years) having higher expectations. Conclusions: The evidence of a cohort effect within this study in relation to higher patient expectations indicates that both contemporary and future patients are likely to seek a service based on conservation and restoration of missing teeth by fixed prostheses.
- ItemThe impact of widowhood on Irish mortality due to suicide and accidents(Oxford University Press, 2009-10-20) Corcoran, Paul; Health Service Executive, IrelandThe impact of widowhood on suicide and accident mortality in Ireland was investigated using Poisson regression analysis applied to routine data relating to all 10 561 suicidal and accidental deaths of married or widowed persons aged at least 35 years in Ireland during 1986–2005. Mortality rates were almost always higher among the widowed and often by a 2-fold, statistically significant difference. The excess mortality was equivalent to 2083 or 57.6% of all suicidal or accidental deaths of widowed persons in 1986–2005. Routine contact with recently widowed persons by public health professionals may be warranted with a view to reducing their excess mortality.