[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Research suggests stereotyping by clinicians as one contributor to racial and gender-based health disparities. It is necessary to understand the origins of such biases before interventions can be developed to eliminate them. As a first step toward this understanding, we tested for the presence of bias in senior medical students. Objective The purpose of the study was to determine whether bias based on race, gender, or socioeconomic status influenced clinical decision-making among medical students. Design We surveyed seniors at 84 medical schools, who were required to choose between two clinically equivalent management options for a set of cardiac patient vignettes. We examined variations in student recommendations based on patient race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Participants The study included senior medical students. Main Measures We investigated the percentage of students selecting cardiac procedural options for vignette patients, analyzed by patient race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Key Results Among 4,603 returned surveys, we found no evidence in the overall sample supporting racial or gender bias in student clinical decision-making. Students were slightly more likely to recommend cardiac procedural options for black (43.9 %) vs. white (42 %, p = .03) patients; there was no difference by patient gender. Patient socioeconomic status was the strongest predictor of student recommendations, with patients described as having the highest socioeconomic status most likely to receive procedural care recommendations (50.3 % vs. 43.2 % for those in the lowest socioeconomic status group, p Conclusions In the sample as a whole, we found no evidence of racial or gender bias in student clinical decision-making. However, we did find evidence of bias with regard to the influence of patient socioeconomic status, geographic variations, and the influence of interactions between patient race and gender on student recommendations.
Journal of General Internal Medicine 01/2015; 30(6). DOI:10.1007/s11606-014-3168-3 · 3.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study compared parenting ability in mothers with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), two chronic, autoimmune, connective tissue diseases that primarily affect women. Seventy-four mothers with SSc and 68 mothers with SLE completed self-report questionnaires on demographic characteristics, pain, fatigue, occupational performance, and parenting. Results showed that mothers with SSc were slightly older, were more educated, and had decreased occupational performance. Mothers with SLE had more pain and fatigue. There were no significant differences between mothers with SSc and SLE who had children 5 years of age and younger. However, there were significant differences between the mothers with SSc and SLE who had children aged 6 to 18 years on four items on the Parenting Disability Index: playing games with child, getting up with child during the night, keeping child out of unsafe situations, and helping child solve personal/social problems. These differences may be due to differences in the levels of pain, fatigue, and occupational performance, possibly stemming from differences in disease manifestations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
To measure the frequency of participation in life situations.
A sample of 83 persons with systemic sclerosis (SSc) completed questionnaires regarding the presence and severity of disease symptoms, disability [the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ)], depression [the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)], and participation [the Adelaide Activities Profile (AAP)]. On the AAP, individuals rate the frequency of participation in four domains: domestic chores, household maintenance, service to others and social activities.
Participants were predominantly female, married, educated, white, and had diffuse SSc. Mean age was 53.7 years and mean disease duration was 9.9 years. On the AAP, participation was significantly more frequent for domestic chores than for household maintenance, service to others, and social activities. More fatigue (p < 0.05), disability (p < 0.001), and fatigue (p < 0.05) resulted in lower total AAP scores. More fatigue, pain, severe gastrointestinal symptoms, and depression related to lower household maintenance scores, while the presence of ulcers and more disability and depression were associated with lower domestic chores scores.
Participation in life situations in persons with SSc is related to higher disability, depression, and severity of disease symptoms. Interventions to address the disability, depression and symptoms may increase participation.
Disability and Rehabilitation 07/2014; 37(10):1-4. DOI:10.3109/09638288.2014.944624 · 1.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and objectives:
Health care reform aims to increase evidence-based, cost-conscious, and patient-centered care. Family medicine is seen as central to these aims in part due to evidence of lower cost and comparable quality care compared with other specialties. We sought evidence that senior medical students planning family medicine residency differ from peers entering other fields in decision-making patterns relevant to these health care reform aims.
We conducted a national, anonymous, internet-based survey of senior medical students. Students chose one of two equivalent management options for a set of patient vignettes based on preventive care, medication selection, or initial chronic disease management scenarios, representing in turn evidence-based care, cost-conscious care, and patient-centered care. We examined differences in student recommendations, comparing those planning to enter family medicine with all others using bivariate and weighted, multilevel, multivariable analyses.
Among 4,656 surveys received from seniors at 84 participating medical schools, students entering family medicine were significantly more likely to recommend patient management options that were more cost conscious and more patient centered. We did not find a significant difference between the student groups in recommendations for evidence-based care vignettes.
This study provides preliminary evidence suggesting that students planning to enter family medicine may already have clinical decision-making patterns that support health care reform goals to a greater extent than their peers. If confirmed by additional studies, this could have implications for medical school admission and training processes.
Family medicine 05/2014; 46(5):340-347. · 1.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To assess the effects of an internet self-management program for systemic sclerosis on self-efficacy, health efficacy, and management of care, pain, fatigue, functional ability, and depression.
Participants logged on to a password-protected web site and completed modules and learning activities at their own pace over 10 weeks. Participants were encouraged to log on to the discussion board, participate in an interactive component of the web site, and respond to questions posted for each module. Participants completed pre- and postintervention questionnaires on perceived self-efficacy, health efficacy, ability to manage care, functional disability,depression, pain, and fatigue. They also completed an 8-question evaluation form regarding satisfaction with the web site, program content, discussion boards, and learning activities.
Sixteen participants completed the study and postintervention measures. There were significant improvements in mean scores for ability to manage care (effect size [ES] 0.62, P = 0.025) and health efficacy (ES 0.72, P = 0.012), and significant decreases in fatigue (ES 0.55, P = 0.045) and depression (ES 0.71, P = 0.013). Self-efficacy improved, but not significantly. The evaluation of the program revealed mean scores ranging from 4.2 (web site was visually appealing) to 4.9 (information presented clearly) on a 5-point scale, where 5 is most satisfied.
These findings from this pilot study suggest that a self-management program delivered using an internet format can lead to statistically significant changes in health efficacy and management of care, fatigue, and depression. These results need to be confirmed with a larger randomized controlled trial with a longer followup period.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on the natural history of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and urinary continence in patients with median lobe enlargement (MLE) after robotic radical prostatectomy (RP).
Patients treated with RP from October 2008 to March 2012 completed American Urological Association symptom index (AUAI) and continence assessments at the preoperative visit and each postoperative visit. Two cohorts were established based on the presence or absence of a median lobe intraoperatively.
A total of 698 validated questionnaires were completed by 175 patients with a median of 4 AUAI scores per patient. The 36 patients (21%) with MLE required a longer time to achieve urinary continence (P = .05, log-rank test), although ultimately, no difference was seen in long-term continence probability between the two cohorts (P = .63). On multivariate analysis, the presence of a median lobe reduced the odds of early continence recovery (P = .02). By use of a generalized estimating equation, the cohort-average AUAI scores after RP are presented. Patients with MLE had faster improvement in LUTS after surgery, whereas those without MLE had temporary worsening in LUTS before improvement.
Patients with MLE have a different natural history of LUTS and continence after RP as compared with patients without this finding. Therefore, radiographic or cystoscopic evaluation for the presence of a median lobe before RP may improve patient counseling about urinary outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the availability of trial of labor after cesarean delivery (TOLAC) in New Mexico from 1998 to 2012 and maternity care providers' perception of barriers to TOLAC.
Hospital maternity unit directors were surveyed regarding TOLAC availability from 1998 to 2012. Maternity care providers (obstetrician-gynecologists, certified nurse-midwives, and family medicine physicians) were surveyed in 2008 regarding resources and barriers to providing TOLAC and emergency cesarean delivery.
Trial of labor after cesarean delivery was available in 100% of counties with maternity care units in 1998 (22/22); by 2008, availability decreased to 32% (7/22). After changes in national guidelines, availability increased slightly to 9 of 22 (41%) in 2012. Barriers to TOLAC included anesthesia availability (88%), hospital and medical malpractice policies (80%), malpractice cost (69%), and obstetric surgeon availability (59%). In hospitals without TOLAC services, 73% of maternity care providers indicated a surgeon could be present in the hospital within 20 minutes of the emergency delivery decision; only 43% indicated obstetric anesthesia personnel could be present within 20 minutes (P<.001).
Availability of TOLAC in New Mexico has decreased dramatically. Policy changes are needed to support TOLAC access in rural and community hospitals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patient self-management programs usually require participants to attend group sessions, which can be difficult for individuals with mobility issues. In addition, many programs are not disease specific. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a mail-delivered self-management program for individuals with scleroderma (SSc). The program consisted of a workbook and exercise DVD that provided information on medical aspects of the disease, dysphagia, fatigue management, advocacy, activities of daily living, oral hygiene, skin and wound care, psychosocial changes, exercises, and other features of the condition. Participants provided feedback on the effects of the self-management program by responding to questions on demographic and six self-report questionnaires, keeping a health log, and participating in a program evaluation interview. A total of 49 participants completed the program and returned the postintervention questionnaires. Participants consistently reported that the program was easy to use. Depression, fatigue, and pain decreased, and hand function, self-efficacy for controlling pain, and self-efficacy "other" improved; however, the only statistically significant change was in self-efficacy for pain. This is the first study to develop and assess the effects of a mail-delivered format for self-management for people with SSc. A self-management program should help individuals with SSc develop self-management strategies to manage this complex disease and advocate for themselves to promote better health.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adolescents Committed to Improvement of Nutrition and Physical Activity (ACTION) was undertaken to determine feasibility of a school-based health center (SBHC) weight management program. Two urban New Mexico SBHCs were randomized to deliver ACTION or standard care. ACTION consisted of eight visits using motivational interviewing to improve eating and physical activity behavior. An educational nutrition and physical activity DVD for students and a clinician toolkit were created for use as menu of options. Standard care consisted of one visit with the SBHC provider who prescribed recommendations for healthy weight. Sixty nondiabetic overweight/obese adolescents were enrolled. Measures included BMI percentile, waist circumference, insulin resistance by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR), blood pressure, triglycerides, and HDL-C levels. Pre- to postchanges for participants were compared between groups. Fifty-one students (mean age 15 years, 62% female, 75% Hispanic) completed pre- and postmeasures. ACTION students (n = 28) had improvements in BMI percentile (P = 0.04) and waist circumference (P = 0.04) as compared with students receiving standard care (n = 23). No differences were found between the two groups in blood pressure, HOMA-IR, triglycerides, and HDL-C. The ACTION SBHC weight management program was feasible and demonstrated improved outcomes in BMI percentile and waist circumference.
Journal of obesity 03/2013; 2013:575016. DOI:10.1155/2013/575016
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a dermatologic condition associated with hyperinsulinemia, a marker of insulin resistance that is the principal abnormality in metabolic syndrome (MetS). We examined the association of AN with the clustering of MetS components.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in an urban school-based health center in New Mexico. Students without diabetes were evaluated for AN, a family history of type 2 diabetes, body mass index (BMI), and MetS components. The clustering of MetS components by BMI category and AN status was assessed by comparing the group means of summed average z-scores of fasting insulin, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure among the students. A multivariate model with BMI category and AN status controlling for Tanner stage was performed to identify the variables associated with the clustering of MetS components.
Complete data were available for 90 children (age, 9.7±1.4 years; 94% Hispanic; 60% female). In multivariate modeling of MetS cluster z-score, significant differences were found between the students with BMI <85th percentile [-0.27; 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=-0.42 to -0.11] and (a) the students with BMI 85th-94.9th percentile with AN (0.74; 95% CI=0.17-1.31) and (b) the students with BMI ≥95th percentile with AN (0.86; 95% CI=0.54-1.18). No significant differences in the MetS cluster z-score were seen between the students with BMI <85th percentile and those with BMI 85th-94.9th percentile without AN (0.24; 95% CI=-0.33 to 0.81) or those with BMI ≥95th percentile without AN (0.31; 95% CI=-0.13 to 0.75).
Overweight/obese Hispanic elementary school-aged children with AN exhibit clustering of MetS components and could benefit from early intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE The study objective was to determine whether medical students' attendance at a rehabilitation residence for pregnant women with substance-use disorders yielded changes in their attitudes and comfort levels in providing care to this population. METHODS This randomized educational trial involved 96 consecutive medical students during their obstetrics and gynecology clerkship. In addition to attending a half-day prenatal clinic designed for women with substance-use disorders, every student was randomly assigned either to attend (Study group) or not to attend (Control group) a rehabilitation residence for pregnant women with substance-use disorders. The primary objective was to measure differences in responses to a confidential 12-question survey addressing comfort levels and attitudes, at the beginning and end of the clerkship. RESULTS Survey responses revealed improvements in students' comfort levels and attitudes toward pregnant women with substance-use disorders by attending the clinic alone or the clinic and residence. Those who attended the residence reported becoming more comfortable in talking with patients about adverse effects from substance abuse, more understanding of "street" terms, and stronger belief that patients will disclose their substance use to providers. Residents expressed more openly their hardships and barriers while trying to set therapeutic goals. CONCLUSIONS Medical students became more comfortable and insightful about pregnant women with substance-use disorders after attending a rehabilitation residence in addition to a prenatal clinic dedicated to this population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The primary purpose of the study was to determine the factors that are associated with repeat emergency department (ED) visits in children with diabetes.
Emergency department charts and billing data for children up to 18 years of age presenting to the ED with diabetic diagnoses over a 4-year period were reviewed.
The overall rate of repeat visits to the ED was 0.24 visits per person-year of follow-up time. In univariate analyses, there were statistically significant effects of age, insurance category, sex, type of practice, and income. In a multivariate analysis, there was a significant interaction of insurance category and age. Revisit rate ratios for children older than 6 years were higher for those with Medicaid compared with those with commercial insurance. Diabetic boys were less likely to revisit the ED than were girls.
Type of insurance was associated with repeated visits to the ED in children with diabetes. Other contributing factors included age group and sex.
Pediatric emergency care 06/2012; 28(7):614-9. DOI:10.1097/PEC.0b013e31825cf7a2 · 1.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angiotensin II (ATII), the biologically active product of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), is involved in modulation of left ventricular (LV) structure and function in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Because the RAS system is overactive in CKD, excess ATII accumulates in the heart, thereby promoting myocyte hypertrophy, fibroblast proliferation, interstitial accumulation of collagen, and microvessel disease. These cardiac abnormalities are further enhanced by a possible interaction between enhanced RAS activity and hypercalcemia, hyperphosphatemia and secondary hyperparathyroidism, and vitamin D deficiency. The ATII-associated stimulation of aldosterone production from the adrenal gland and the increase in activity of the sympathetic system in CKD, further contribute to LV abnormalities. Myocardial structural changes are major determinants of an increase in myocardial stiffness, leading to LV diastolic and systolic function impairment, and clinical congestive heart failure. Other complications include cardiac conduction disturbances, QT prolongation, and arrhythmias, which all contribute to elevated cardiovascular mortality in patients with CKD.
Journal of Investigative Medicine 04/2012; 60(5):785-91. DOI:10.231/JIM.0b013e318250b101 · 1.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We determined whether a web based interview process for resident selection could effectively replace the traditional on-site interview.
For the 2010 to 2011 match cycle, applicants to the University of New Mexico urology residency program were randomized to participate in a web based interview process via Skype or a traditional on-site interview process. Both methods included interviews with the faculty, a tour of facilities and the opportunity to ask current residents any questions. To maintain fairness the applicants were then reinterviewed via the opposite process several weeks later. We assessed comparative effectiveness, cost, convenience and satisfaction using anonymous surveys largely scored on a 5-point Likert scale.
Of 39 total participants (33 applicants and 6 faculty) 95% completed the surveys. The web based interview was less costly to applicants (mean $171 vs $364, p=0.05) and required less time away from school (10% missing 1 or more days vs 30%, p=0.04) compared to traditional on-site interview. However, applicants perceived the web based interview process as less effective than traditional on-site interview, with a mean 6-item summative effectiveness score of 21.3 vs 25.6 (p=0.003). Applicants and faculty favored continuing the web based interview process in the future as an adjunct to on-site interviews.
Residency interviews can be successfully conducted via the Internet. The web based interview process reduced costs and improved convenience. The findings of this study support the use of videoconferencing as an adjunct to traditional interview methods rather than as a replacement.
The Journal of urology 02/2012; 187(4):1380-4. DOI:10.1016/j.juro.2011.11.108 · 4.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigates parenting and the impact of symptoms, such as pain and fatigue, on the parenting abilities of mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Participants were 68 mothers with SLE who had children 18 years of age and younger. The mothers completed surveys consisting of a demographic questionnaire and self-report instruments such as the Parenting Disability Index (PDI), Health Assessment Questionnaire, Pain Visual Analog Scale, and Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue Scale. Analysis of variance was used to compare parenting abilities for women with younger children (birth -5 years) and women with older children (6-18 years) and women with children in both age groups. There were no significant differences between the three groups. However, having more fatigue, functional disability, and less education resulted in higher PDI scores in all groups. Mothers with children younger than age 5 reported that having energy to talk/listen to a child was the most difficult parenting task. Mothers with children between 6 and 18 years of age reported the most difficulties with maintaining discipline, playing games, shopping, and doing household chores. Symptoms of lupus have a significant influence on mothering roles. In daily practice, health care providers may want to consider inquiring about the impact SLE may be having on their patients' parenting roles.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe the impact of community health workers (CHWs) providing community-based support services to enrollees who are high consumers of health resources in a Medicaid managed care system. We conducted a retrospective study on a sample of 448 enrollees who were assigned to field-based CHWs in 11 of New Mexico's 33 counties. The CHWs provided patients education, advocacy and social support for a period up to 6 months. Data was collected on services provided, and community resources accessed. Utilization and payments in the emergency department, inpatient service, non-narcotic and narcotic prescriptions as well as outpatient primary care and specialty care were collected on each patient for a 6 month period before, for 6 months during and for 6 months after the intervention. For comparison, data was collected on another group of 448 enrollees who were also high consumers of health resources but who did not receive CHW intervention. For all measures, there was a significant reduction in both numbers of claims and payments after the community health worker intervention. Costs also declined in the non-CHW group on all measures, but to a more modest degree, with a greater reduction than in the CHW group in use of ambulatory services. The incorporation of field-based, community health workers as part of Medicaid managed care to provide supportive services to high resource-consuming enrollees can improve access to preventive and social services and may reduce resource utilization and cost.
Journal of Community Health 09/2011; 37(3):563-71. DOI:10.1007/s10900-011-9484-1 · 1.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) are common and have a high degree of morbidity. Previous studies document clinician frustration and variability in CNCP management. We conducted this study to gather in-depth clinicians' views about factors that affect management of CNCP.
We conducted a survey in the Primary Care MultiEthnic Network, a consortium of PBRNs of primary care clinicians practicing in low-income, medically underserved communities, and in a network of private primary care offices.
Of 792 clinicians surveyed, 497 (63%) participated. Responses and accompanying narrative comments clustered around 5 themes: (1) barriers to and uncertainties in optimal management; (2) the complex biopsychosocial nature of CNCP; (3) seriousness of prescription opioid abuse; (4) effort and burden required to properly manage CNCP; and (5) clinician commitment to provide care for CNCP patients and benefits of expanded care model for CNCP. One-third reported a severe outcome (death or life-threatening event) in a CNCP patient for whom they had prescribed opioids. Roughly one-third do not initiate prescribing of opioids.
Guidelines and increased continuing medical education alone are unlikely to be the solutions to the challenges of CNCP management. Increased evidence for recommendations and resources for more comprehensive care management are needed.
The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 09/2011; 24(5):551-61. DOI:10.3122/jabfm.2011.05.110030 · 1.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) is the leading source of population level data on prostate cancer, including the positive surgical margin incidence at radical prostatectomy. Recently studies showed wide ranges in positive surgical margin rates among individual registries, which we hypothesized was the result of coding inaccuracies. Thus, we systematically audited SEER prostate cancer data.
The New Mexico Tumor Registry, a SEER core registry, was queried for incident prostate cancer cases in 2007 that met certain criteria, including 1) adenocarcinoma histology, 2) malignant behavior and 3) radical prostatectomy as the first course of therapy. Pathological stage codes were audited by examining original radical prostatectomy pathology reports in accordance with SEER coding guidelines. The incidence and sites of positive surgical margins were critically analyzed.
Of the 305 cases that met all study inclusion criteria with complete source documents available 92 (30%) were coded incorrectly. The most common error was failure to properly account for surgical margin status (46 of 92 cases or 50%). The incidence of positive surgical margins in organ confined disease cases was 13% by SEER coding rules but 28% by a more clinical definition of positive surgical margins (p<0.001). In organ confined cases positive surgical margins occurred principally at the apex but in nonorgan confined cases most were multifocal.
In this SEER registry 30% of radical prostatectomy cases in 2007 were coded inaccurately. SEER coding guidelines result in underestimating the positive surgical margin incidence. Clinicians and investigators should recognize the limitations of tumor registry data on positive surgical margins.
The Journal of urology 09/2011; 186(3):855-9. DOI:10.1016/j.juro.2011.04.079 · 4.47 Impact Factor