"A person whom a smoking related disease has been diagnosed and who still is an active smoker should be considered a “hard-core smoker” . These kind of smokers should be treated with an “intensive treatment”, far more intensive than the so-called “minimal advice” (or 5As method) , which can be delivered only by specifically trained staff in a specialized setting. In our survey, only one out of four GPs refers such patients to the proper treatment (a specialized centre for smoking cessation); the remainders (i.e. the majority) are divided into: one other quarter which does almost nothing (only “recommending” to quit), one third which delivers a minimal advice and another 16% which would refer the patient to a smoking cessation clinic, were this latter available. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Symptoms of COPD are frequently disregarded by patients and also by general practitioners (GPs) in early stages of the disease, that consequently is diagnosed when already at an advanced grade of severity. Underdiagnosis and undertreatment of COPD and scarce use of spirometry are widely recurrent, while a better knowledge of the disease and a wider use of spirometry would be critical to diagnose more patients still neglected, do it at an earlier stage and properly treat established COPD. The aim of Pneumocafè project is to improve, through an innovative approach, the diagnosis and management of COPD at primary care level increasing the awareness of issues pertaining to early diagnosis, adequate prevention and correct treatment of the disease.
Pneumocafè is based on informal meetings between GPs of various geographical zones of Italy and their reference respiratory specialist (RS), aimed at discussing the current practice in comparison to suggestions of official guidelines, analyzing the actual problems in diagnosing and managing COPD patients and sharing the possible solution at the community level. In these meetings RSs faced many issues including patho-physiological mechanisms of bronchial obstruction, significance of clinical symptoms, patients’ phenotyping, and clinical approach to diagnosis and long-term treatment, also reinforcing the importance of a timely diagnosis, proper long term treatment and the compliance to treatment. At the end of each meeting GPs had to fill in a questionnaire arranged by the scientific board of the Project that included 18 multiple-choice questions concerning their approach to COPD management. The results of the analysis of these questionnaires are here presented.
1, 964 questionnaires were returned from 49 RSs. 1,864 questionnaires out of those received (94.91% of the total) resulted properly compiled and form the object of the present analysis. The 49 RSs, 37 males and 12 females, were distributed all over the Italian country and practiced their profession both in public and private hospitals and in territorial sanitary facilities. GPs were 1,330 males (71.35%) and 534 females (28.64%), mean age 56,29 years (range 27-70 yrs). Mean duration of general practice was 25.56 years (range: 0,5-40 yrs) with a mean of 1,302.43 patients assisted by each GP and 2,427,741 patients assisted in all. The majority of GPs affirmed that in their patients COPD has a mean-to-great prevalence and a mean/high impact on their practice, preceded only by diabetes and heart failure. Three-quarters of GPs refer to COPD guidelines and most of them believe that a screening on their assisted patients at risk would enhance early diagnosis of COPD. Tobacco smoking is the main recognized cause of COPD but the actions carried out by GPs to help a patient to give up smoking result still insufficient. The majority of GPs recognize spirometry as necessary to early COPD diagnosis, but the main obstacle pointed out to its wider use was the too long time for the spirometry to be performed. GPs’ main reason for prescribing a bronchodilator is dyspnea and bronchodilators preferably prescribed are LABA and LAMA. Control of patient’s adherence to therapy is mainly carried out by GPs checking the number of drugs annually prescribed or asking the patient during a control visit. Finally, about how many COPD patients GPs believe are in their group of assisted patients, a mean range of 25-40 patients was reported, that is consistently below the forecast based on epidemiological data and number of patients assisted by each GP.
The results obtained with this project confirm the validity of this informal approach to professional education. Furthermore, this inquiry provided important insights about the general management of COPD and the process of integration between RS and GPs activities on this disease condition in the long run.
Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine 06/2014; 9(1):35. DOI:10.1186/2049-6958-9-35 · 0.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess smoking habits and nicotine dependence (ND) in patients with head and neck cancer Methods: This study involved 71 smokers or former smokers with squamous cell carcinoma in the oral cavity, pharynx, or larynx who were treated at a university hospital in the city of São Paulo between January and May of 2010. We used the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence to evaluate smoking habits and ND in the sample. Data regarding cancer treatment were collected from medical records. Depending on the variables studied, we used the chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, Student's t-test, or Spearman's correlation test. Results: Of the 71 patients, 47 (66.2%) presented with high or very high ND, 40 (56.3%) smoked more than 20 cigarettes/day, and 32 (45.1%) smoked their first cigarette within 5 min of awakening. Advanced disease stage correlated significantly with the number of cigarettes smoked per day (p = 0.011) and with smoking history (p = 0.047). We found that ND did not correlate significantly with gender, disease stage, smoking cessation, or number of smoking cessation attempts, nor did the number of cigarettes smoked per day correlate with smoking cessation or gender. Treatment for smoking cessation was not routinely offered. Conclusions: In most of the patients studied, the level of ND was high or very high. The prevalence of heavy smoking for long periods was high in our sample. A diagnosis of cancer is a motivating factor for smoking cessation. However, intensive smoking cessation treatment is not routinely offered to smoking patients diagnosed with cancer.
Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia 06/2014; 40(3):286-93. DOI:10.1590/S1806-37132014000300012 · 1.27 Impact Factor
"Counseling therefore is an effective treatment strategy against tobacco use. It leads to increasing abstinence among adolescent smokers
. The question remains wether the students are adequately informed about their ability to influence patients and if they estimate correctly their self efficacy. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nursing staff are often involved in counseling patients with regard to health behavior. Although care promoting healthy lifestyle choices is included in the curriculum of nursing students in Germany, several studies of nursing students have reported a high prevalence of unhealthy behavior. This paper focuses on the behavior of female nursing students with regard to body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and cigarette and alcohol consumption. It describes trends through the comparison of results from 2008 and 2013.
Data was collected in two waves at a regional medical training college. First, 301 nursing students were asked to fill out a 12 page questionnaire on health behavior in 2008. The questioning was repeated in 2013 with 316 participating nursing students using the previous questionnaire.
259 female nursing students completed the questionnaire in 2013. 31.6% of them were either overweight or obese, 28.5% exercised less than once a week, 42.9% smoked between 10 and 20 cigarettes a day and 72.6% drank alcohol, wherefrom 19.7% consumed alcohol in risky quantities. In comparison to the data of 266 female nursing students from 2008, there were significant differences in the BMI and alcohol consumption: The percentage of overweight and obese students and the percentage of alcohol consumers at risk increased significantly.
Health behavior of female nursing students is often inadequate especially in regard to weight and cigarette and alcohol consumption. Strategies are required to promote healthy lifestyle choices.
BMC Medical Education 04/2014; 14(1):82. DOI:10.1186/1472-6920-14-82 · 1.41 Impact Factor
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