[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emergency Medicine (EM) in South Africa is in its earliest stages of development. There is a paucity of data about emergency department (ED) patient demographics, epidemiology, consultation and admission criteria and other characteristics.
This information is absolutely necessary to properly guide the development of EM and appropriate emergency care systems. In order to provide this information, we performed a study in a rural hospital in Paarl, 60 km outside Cape Town.
All patients who were seen in the ED between 1 January 2008 and 31 May 2008 were eligible for our research. We designed a cross-sectional descriptive study and retrieved information from a randomized sample of all consecutive patient charts seen during this period using a 40-point questionnaire (see Appendix 1).
We investigated 2,446 charts, of which 2,134 were suitable for our research The majority (88.2%) of these patients were self-referred. In our sample, 24.1% were children under 12 years old. Almost 20% of patients had a serious pathological condition or were physiologically unstable; 36.0% of all presentations were trauma related. Besides trauma-related problems, gastrointestinal- (21.9%) and respiratory tract- (12.4%) related problems were most common in the ED; 16.5% of the patients were admitted to a ward.
This descriptive epidemiological study provides necessary data that will be used for further needs assessments and for future EM development in Paarl, and can be used as a template in other EDs and hospitals to provide similar data necessary for initial EM development strategy.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · International Journal of Emergency Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to assess the influence of functional abdominal complaints (FAC) on health-related quality of life in a group of Dutch pre-school children.
Parents of children aged up to 6.0 visiting the outpatient pediatric department, Erasmus MC-Sophia, Rotterdam, The Netherlands in the period January 2005-December 2006 for functional abdominal complaints during at least 3 months were asked to complete the Infant/Toddler Quality of life Questionnaire (ITQOL), and questions of the abdominal pain index for use by parents to report pain symptoms in pre-school children. ITQOL scale scores of children with FAC were compared against with Dutch reference values. The abdominal pain index was tested for internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Correlations between ITQOL scale scores and abdominal pain index were assessed by Spearman's rank test.
Results are based on 81 questionnaires completed by parents of children with FAC (response rate 61%). Children had a median age of 46 months (interquartile range 27-59), 48% girls. A significant impact was observed on most aspects of quality of life, particularly for physical functioning, general development, bodily pain, temperament and moods, general health perceptions and parental emotional impact. Parents of children with functional constipation tended to report lower scores than those of children with other FAC. The abdominal pain index appeared to be valid and was significantly correlated with ITQOL scales bodily pain and general health perceptions.
A substantial lower health-related quality of life is reported in pre-school children with functional abdominal complaints, with effects on physical, emotional and parental domains. The 5-question severity index of abdominal pain appeared a valid tool and may be helpful to quickly assess the severity of abdominal pain in clinical practice.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · Quality of Life Research