Abstract: Work is important for one’s self-esteem, social standing and ability to participate in the community as well as for the material advantages it brings to individuals and their families. The evidence suggests that the benefits of employment outweigh the risks of work and are greater than the risks of long-term unemployment or sickness absence. Individuals may be born with physical or intellectual disadvantages (e.g., cerebral palsy), or they may be acquired during childhood or adult life. Some progressive conditions may present in childhood or adolescence (e.g., some muscular dystrophies) and these need to be distinguished from those presenting later in life (e.g., trauma, stroke). Vocational rehabilitation (VR) thus takes three forms: preparing those with a disability, health or mental health condition for the world of work, job retention for those in work and assisting those out of work into new work. Important components of VR consist of the attributes of the individual, the skills/knowledge of their health professionals, the knowledge and attitudes of actual or potential employers and the assistance that is provided by the state or other insurance facility. Charities are playing an increasing role.
Abstract: Despite the fact that unspecific low back pain is of important impact in general health care, this pain condition is often treated insufficiently. Poor efficiency has led to the necessity of guidelines addressing evidence-based strategies for treatment of lower back pain (LBP). We present some statements of the German medical care reality. Self-responsible action of the patient should be supported while invasive methods in particular should be avoided due to lacking evidence in outcome efficiency. However, it has to be stated that no effective implementation strategy has been established yet. Especially, studies on the economic impact of different implementation strategies are lacking. A lack of awareness of common available guidelines and an uneven distribution of existing knowledge throughout the population can be stated: persons with higher risk suffering from LBP by higher professional demands and lower educational level are not skilled in advised management of LBP. Both diagnostic imaging and invasive treatment methods increased dramatically leading to increased costs and doctor workload without being associated with improved patient functioning, severity of pain or overall health status due to the absence of a functioning primary care gate keeping system for patient selection. Opioids are prescribed on a grand scale and over a long period. Moreover, opioid prescription is not indicated properly, when predominantly persons with psychological distress like somatoform disorders are treated with opioids.
Abstract: The developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) theory and life course theory (LCT) are emerging fields of research that have significant implications for the public health and health promotion professions. Using a DOHaD/LCT perspective, social determinants of health (SDH) take on new critical meaning by which health promotion professionals can implement DOHaD/LCT guided interventions, including recommended policies. Through these interventions, public health could further address the sources of worldwide chronic disease epidemics and reduce such disease rates substantially if related policy, programs, and interdisciplinary and multi-sector collaboration are emphasized. Additional characteristics of the most effective interventions involve context-specific adaptation and societal structures that impact upstream, early life environments on a broad scale, influencing multiple locations and/or diseases.
Abstract: Purpose: To investigate the inter-device agreement and mean differences between a newly developed digital phoropter and the two standard methods (trial frame and manual phoropter). Methods: Refractive errors of two groups of participants were measured by two examiners (examiner 1 (E1): 36 subjects; examiner 2 (E2): 38 subjects). Refractive errors were assessed using a trial frame, a manual phoropter and a digital phoropter. Inter-device agreement regarding the measurement of refractive errors was analyzed for differences in terms of the power vector components (spherical equivalent (SE) and the cylindrical power vector components J0 and J45) between the used methods. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC’s) were calculated to evaluate correlations between the used methods. Results: Analyzing the variances between the three methods for SE, J0 and J45 using a two-way ANOVA showed no significant differences between the methods (SE: p = 0.13, J0: p = 0.58 and J45: p = 0.96) for examiner 1 and for examiner 2 (SE: p = 0.88, J0: p = 0.95 and J45: p = 1). Mean differences and ±95% Limits of Agreement for each pair of inter-device agreement regarding the SE for both examiners were as follows: Trial frame vs. digital phoropter: +0.10 D ± 0.56 D (E1) and +0.19 D ± 0.60 D (E2), manual phoropter vs. trial frame: −0.04 D ± 0.59 D (E1) and −0.12 D ± 0.49 D (E2) and for manual vs. digital phoropter: +0.06 D ± 0.65 D (E1) and +0.08 D ± 0.45 D (E2). ICCs revealed high correlations between all methods for both examiner (p < 0.001). The time to assess the subjective refraction was significantly smaller with the digital phoropter (examiner 1: p < 0.001; examiner 2: p < 0.001). Conclusion: “All used subjective methods show a good agreement between each other terms of ICC (>0.9). Assessing refractive errors using different subjective methods, results in similar mean differences and 95% limits of agreement, when compared to those reported in studies comparing subjective refraction non-cylcoplegic retinoscopy or autorefraction”.
Abstract: The mid-life period is a critical window for increases in body weight and changes in body composition. In this review, we summarize the clinical experience of the menopausal transition by obesity status, and examine the evidence regarding the menopausal transition and reproductive hormones effects on body weight, body composition, or fat distribution. Mid-life obesity is associated with a different menopausal experience including associations with menstrual cycle length prior to the final menstrual period (FMP), age at the FMP, and higher prevalence of vasomotor symptoms. The menopausal transition is associated with weight gain and increased central body fat distribution; the majority of evidence suggests that changes in weight are due to chronological aging whereas changes in body composition and fat distribution are primarily due to ovarian aging. Continuous and regular physical activity during mid-life may be an efficacious strategy to counteract the age-related and menopause-related changes in resting energy expenditure and to prevent weight gain and abdominal adiposity deposition.
Abstract: The aim of this study was to identify global health ethical issues that health professional trainees may encounter during electives or placements in resource-limited countries. We conducted a qualitative study involving focus groups and an interview at the University of California San Francisco. Participants were multi-professional from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy and had experience working, or teaching, as providers in resource-limited countries. Eighteen participants provided examples of ethical dilemmas associated with global-health outreach work. Ethical dilemmas fell into four major themes relating to (1) cultural differences (informed consent, truth-telling, autonomy); (2) professional issues (power dynamics, training of local staff, corruption); (3) limited resources (scope of practice, material shortages); (4) personal moral development (dealing with moral distress, establishing a moral compass, humility and self awareness). Three themes (cultural differences, professional issues, limited resources) were grouped under the core category of “external environmental and/or situational issues” that trainees are confronted when overseas. The fourth theme, moral development, refers to the development of a moral compass and the exercise of humility and self-awareness. The study has identified case vignettes that can be used for curriculum content for global-health ethics training.