[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Japanese weekly magazines, which have a circulation of over 2 700 000, play important roles in communicating with the public. They offer a wide range of information, entertainment, gossip, politics and economics, and often include articles on cancer. However, cancer articles in magazines have not been systematically analyzed. METHODS: We investigated cancer-related articles and advertisements in six major Japanese weekly magazines to demonstrate trends in public interest regarding cancer. RESULTS: The total number of articles assessed from July 2009 to December 2010 was 36 914, of which 696 (1.9%) were cancer articles. The total number of advertisements was 21 718, of which 340 (1.6%) were related to cancer. The number of cancer articles demonstrated an upward trend during the study period. Articles focused on lung (n = 145) and urogenital cancer (n = 122). The most common content comprised therapies and diagnosis (n = 340) and case reports on individual patients (n = 160). After a famous Japanese comedian revealed his prostate cancer diagnosis, the number of articles on prostate cancer increased from 2.0 to 6.6 per month. Immunotherapy including some dubious folk therapies was the most frequently reported cancer therapy in articles and advertisements (30.4%). A small group of oncologists were repeatedly referred to in comment sources; 35.6% of comments were presented by only five doctors. CONCLUSIONS: Cancer articles in weekly magazines are common paper media for providing cancer information to the public. However, the information provided might place emphasis on unestablished treatments or biased opinions.
Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology 01/2013; 43(4). DOI:10.1093/jjco/hyt004 · 1.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Japan is rapidly becoming a full-fledged aged society, and physician shortage is a significant concern. The Japanese government has increased the number of medical school enrollments since 2008, but some researchers warn that this increase could lead to physician surplus in the future. It is unknown how many physicians will be required to accommodate future healthcare needs.
We simulated changes in age/sex composition of the population, fatalities (the number of fatalities for the consecutive five years), and number of physicians from 2010 to 2035. Two indicators were defined: fatalities per physician and fatalities by physician working hour, based on the data of the working hours of physicians for each tuple of sex and age groups. We estimated the necessary number of physicians in 2035 and the number of new physicians to maintain the indicator levels in 2010.
The number of physicians per 1,000 population is predicted to rise from 2·00 in 2010 to 3·14 in 2035. The number of physicians aged 60 years or older is expected to increase from 55,375 (20% of physicians) to 141,711 (36%). In 2010 and 2035, fatalities per physician were 23·1 and 24·0 for the total population, and 13·9 and 19·2 for 75 years or older, respectively. Fatalities per physician working hour are predicted to rise from 0·128 to 0·138. If working hours are limited to 48 hours per week in 2035, the number of fatalities per physician working hour is expected to be 0·196, and the number of new physicians must be increased by 53% over the current pace.
The number of physicians per population continues to rise, but the estimated supply will not fulfill the demand for healthcare in the aging society. Strategies to increase the number of physicians and improve working conditions are urgently needed.
PLoS ONE 11/2012; 7(11):e50410. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0050410 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The financial burden of medical expenses has been increasing for cancer patients. We investigated the relationship between household income and financial burden among patients with chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) who have been treated with imatinib. METHODS: A questionnaire was distributed to 1200 patients between May and August 2009. We retrospectively surveyed their household incomes, out-of-pocket medical expenses, final co-payments after refunds, and the perceived financial burden of their medical expenses in 2000, 2005 and 2008. RESULTS: A total of 577 patients completed the questionnaire. Their median age was 61 years (range, 15-94). A financial burden was felt by 41.2% (28 of 68) of the patients treated with imatinib in 2000, 70.8% (201 of 284) in 2005, and 75.8% (400 of 528) in 2008. Overall, 182 patients (31.7%) considered its discontinuation because of the financial burden and 15 (2.6%) temporarily stopped their imatinib prescription. In 2000, 2005 and 2008, the patients' median annual household incomes were 49,615 US Dollars (USD), 38,510 USD and 36,731 USD, respectively, with an average currency exchange rate of 104 Yen/USD in 2008. Their median annual out-of-pocket expenses were 11,548, 12,067 and 11,538 USD and their median final annual co-payments were 4,375, 4,327 and 3,558 USD, respectively. Older patients (OR = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.95-0.98, p < 0.0001 for 1-year increments), and patients with higher household incomes (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.85-0.99, p = 0.03 for 10,000 USD-increments) were less likely to have considered discontinuing their imatinib treatment. Conversely, patients with higher annual final co-payments (OR = 2.21, 95% CI: 1.28-4.28, p = 0.004 for 10,000 USD-increments) were more likely to have considered discontinuing their imatinib treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The proportion of CML patients who sensed a financial burden increased between 2000 and 2008. During this period, their annual incomes fell by 13,000 USD, although their medical expenses did not change. Financial support for patients being treated with expensive drugs remains a major problem in Japan.
BMC Cancer 04/2012; 12(1):152. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-12-152 · 3.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunisation rates of free, legal vaccines covered by VICP under Immunisation Law are fairly high in Japan, although Immunisation Law covers vaccines against only eight diseases. More private vaccines should be added to Immunisation Law by Article 2, Paragraph 2, Clause 9, and IPV should be added to Ministerial Ordinance of Immunisation Law Operation, Article 12 to protect individual and public health. The reasons why MHLW has avoided increasing the number of legal vaccines remain unclear. Transparency in MHLW's decision-making process is crucial.
International Journal of Clinical Practice 11/2011; 65(11):1126-31. DOI:10.1111/j.1742-1241.2011.02766.x · 2.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a curative treatment for patients with advanced hematologic malignancies. However, the long-term mental health issues of siblings who were not selected as donors (non-donor siblings, NDS) in the transplantation have not been well assessed. Data mining is useful in discovering new findings from a large, multidisciplinary data set and the Scenario Map analysis is a novel approach which allows extracting keywords linking different conditions/events from text data of interviews even when the keywords appeared infrequently. The aim of this study is to assess mental health issues on NDSs and to find helpful keywords for the clinical follow-up using a Scenario Map analysis.
A 47-year-old woman whose younger sister had undergone allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation 20 years earlier was interviewed as a NDS. The text data from the interview transcriptions was analyzed using Scenario Mapping. Four clusters of words and six keywords were identified. Upon review of the word clusters and keywords, both the subject and researchers noticed that the subject has had mental health issues since the disease onset to date with being a NDS. The issues have been alleviated by her family.
This single subject study suggested the advantages of data mining in clinical follow-up for mental health issues of patients and/or their families.
Journal of Clinical Bioinformatics 07/2011; 1(1):19. DOI:10.1186/2043-9113-1-19
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current status of the coverage of “cancer patients’ associations” in newspapers has not yet been understood. Using Nikkei Telecom 21's database, we examined the number and content of articles about “cancers” and “cancer patients’ associations” published in 6 major newspapers between 2000 and 2009. In total, 258,428 newspaper articles on “cancer” were published between 2000 and 2009. During that period, there were 777 articles on “cancer patients’ associations”, namely 0.3% of the number of articles on “cancer”. Among the articles on “cancer patients’ associations”, 461 (59.3%) involved specific types of cancers. This number included 286 articles on breast cancers, 40 articles on uterine cancers, 26 articles on lymphoma, 25 articles on ovarian cancers, 22 articles on leukemia, 22 articles on myeloma, 17 articles on colorectal cancers, 17 articles on gastric cancers, and 16 articles on lung cancers. Among the 777 articles, 467 mentioned the names of the patients’ associations. They dealt with 192 patients’ associations. The 10% most frequently listed patients’ associations covered 36% of the total number of published articles. This study showed that the issue of “cancer patients’associations” is a major topic in newspapers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Media reports of medically related events have a major effect on the healthcare community but there have been few detailed investigations conducted to investigate their content. The Nikkei Telecom 21 database was used to investigate the number of reports concerning medically related events between 1992 and 2007 in Japan's 5 national newspapers. For this period, both the total number of articles and the number of articles containing medically-related keywords were determined. The number of reports relating to medically related occurrences increased sharply from 1999 to 2000 and displayed a decrease from 2003 before increasing again in 2008. As of 2008, such reports account for 0.17% of total newspaper articles. The use of the word 'iryokago' (medical professional negligence or error) drastically increased in 1999 but showed a consistent decrease from 2004. On the other hand the frequency of reports relating to 'litigation' and 'punishment' increased rapidly in 1999 before leveling off. Despite this, the number of articles relating to medically related occurrences that were caused by doctor shortages and system errors increased sharply between 2006 and the present. Results indicate that the manner in which newspapers report medically related events is undergoing major changes.
Risk Management and Healthcare Policy 08/2010; 3:33-8. DOI:10.2147/RMHP.S12304
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is unclear how changes in the content and number of news reports over time affect the impressions made in the minds of newspaper readers. This study targeted news reports in major newspapers regarding an incident of mass nosocomial Serratia infection that occurred at one clinic. The trends in the total number of articles and total number of characters contained in the articles were congruent, with a peak on the day after the incident was disclosed and a rapid decrease thereafter. The numbers of articles and characters that appeared during the first 3 days corresponded to 45 and 51% of those that appeared during the entire study period. On day 9, it was published that Serratia liquefaciens propagated on medical instruments, and both the number of articles and the number of characters increased by approximately 40% in comparison to those published on the day after the initial report of the incident. The individual articles were deemed to be medically accurate; however, the main problem was that only part of the specific medical issue had been emphasized because of a poor balance in the number of news reports on this topic.
Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy 04/2010; 16(2):107-12. DOI:10.1007/s10156-009-0013-4 · 1.38 Impact Factor