[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study is to examine psychometric properties such as internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the Greek CLDQ. A sample of 366 eligible patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) self-administered the Greek version of the SF-36 Health Survey, the Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire (CLDQ), and questions on sociodemographic status and treatment. Child Pugh Score was also collected. Hypothesized scale structure, reliability (Cronbach’s alpha), and construct validity (convergent, discriminant, and known groups) were assessed. Multitrait scaling confirmed scale structure of the CLDQ with good item convergence (100%) and discrimination (84.1%) rates. Cronbach’s alpha rated >0.70 for all scales. Spearman’s correlations between the CLDQ and SF-36 scales assessing similar health-related quality of life dimensions were strong ranging above 0.70 (
). Construct validity was confirmed with satisfactory results for known-group comparisons. Most CLDQ scales discriminated significantly between patients according to disease severity, whereas all CLDQ scales discriminated between treatment receivers and nonreceivers. The overall psychometric results for the Greek version of the CLDQ confirmed it as a reliable and valid questionnaire.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Gastroenterology Research and Practice
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim was to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of the Roma and further to detect the significant determinants that are associated with their HRQL. The cross-sectional study involved 1068 Roma adults living in settlements (mean age 36). HRQL was measured by the Greek version of SF-36 Health Survey and further socio-demographic characteristics (sex, age, marital status, education, permanent occupation etc.) and housing conditions (stable housing, access to basic amenities such as drinkable water, drainage, electricity which compose material deprivation) were involved. Non parametric tests and multiple linear regression models were applied to identify the factors that have significant association with HRQL. After controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, health status and housing conditions, sex, age, education, chronic diseases, stable housing and material deprivation were found to be significant determinants of the Roma's HRQL. Men reported significantly better health than women as well as those who attended school compared to the illiterate. Chronic diseases were remarkably associated with poor HRQL from 10 units in MH (Mental Health) to 34 units in RP (Role Physical). Material deprivation was related to lower GH (General Health), and VT (Vitality) scores and higher RP (Role Physical) and RE (Role Emotional) scores. Chronic conditions and illiteracy are two key areas that contribute significantly to worse HRQL. Policies should be part of a comprehensive and holistic strategy for the Roma through intervention to education, housing and public health.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to further investigate the previously suggested high sensitivity of the 15D instrument to diabetic retinopathy (DR) by examining: i) its dimensional sensitivity in patients differing in DR severity, and ii) its dimensional relationship with a well-known vision-targeted health status instrument. Eighty five diabetes patients with non-proliferative or proliferative DR completed the 15D and the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire 25-item (NEI-VFQ-25) instruments. Dimensional response distributions were examined with chi-square, and mean VFQ25 and 15D dimension score differences with ANCOVA. Dimensional relationships between the instruments were assessed with correlations and ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions. Patients with proliferative DR scored significantly lower (P < 0.05 or better) on 9/15 and 10/12 of the 15D and VFQ25 dimensions respectively. Correlations were mostly strong (>0.50) and significant (P < 0.001). Most OLS models with 15D dimensions as predictors of VFQ25 subscales showed high explanatory power (adjusted R
2 > 0.85 in 10/13 models), with ocular pain being the only exception (R
2 = 0.44). The 15D’s seeing dimension was a significant predictor of 10 VFQ25 scales, whereas speech was not significant in any model. 15D utilities discriminated between the DR subsamples, supporting its appropriateness in this group. Its dimensions (seeing in particular), explained large portions of variance in NEI-VFQ25 scales, implying a strong association with this vision-targeted instrument. These findings might help to explain why 15D performs well in DR and support its use for QALY calculations. However, the need remains for further testing in larger and more diverse samples.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Applied Research in Quality of Life
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the presence of depression and impairment of quality of life in primary care and identify correlations with demographics and chronic diseases.
500 people (220 men) that visited the Gytheio Health Center, Greece, participated in the study answering a study questionnaire that included demographic and somatometric data, medical history, the Zung self-rating depression scale (SDS-Zung) and the Short Form 12 (SF-12) scale for quality of life evaluation with a mental component scale (MCS) and a physical component scale (PCS).
163 persons (32.6% of the study population) had SDS-Zung scores over 50 indicating depressive symptomatology. Of those 22% of the study population (70% women) had no awareness of their problem and were under no treatment; 80 (16% of the study population) had mild depressive symptoms (SDS-Zung: 53.12±0.6 [95% CI]) and physical impairment: MCS12: 44.32±1.9 (95% CI), PCS: 39.16±2.2 (95% CI) (p<0.005) and 23 (4.6% of study population) had moderate symptoms (SDS-Zung: 63.82±1.34 [95% CI]), with mental and physical impairment: MCS12: 36.99±1.88 (95% CI), PCS: 34.83±5.12 (95% CI) (p<0.005) adjusted for age, sex and co-morbidities. Arthritis and COPD were associated with depressive symptomatology and physical impairment (p<0.05) and coronary heart disease and congestive heart failure with physical impairment (p<0.005). Patients under anti-depressive medication had significant depressive symptomatology and decreased quality of life (p<0.0005).
The prevalence of both depressive symptomatology and impairment of quality of life is significant and primary care with simple, validated tools can be the setting for identifying and helping such patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unmet health care needs are determined as the difference between the services judged necessary and the services actually received, and stem from barriers related to accessibility, availability and acceptability. This study aims to examine the prevalence of unmet needs and to identify the socioeconomic and health status factors that are associated with unmet needs. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Greece in 2010 and involved data from 1,000 consenting subjects (>18 years old). Multiple binary logistic regression analysis was applied to investigate the predictors of unmet needs and to determine the relation between the socio-demographic characteristics and the accessibility, availability and acceptability barriers. Ninety nine participants (9.9%) reported unmet health needs during the 12 months prior to the research. The most frequently self-reported reasons were cost and lack of time. Youth, parenthood, physician consultations, and poor mental health increased the likelihood of unmet needs. Women were less likely to report accessibility and availability than acceptability barriers. Educational differences were evident and individuals with primary and secondary education were associated with significantly more accessibility and availability barriers compared with those with tertiary education. Unmet health needs pose a significant challenge to the health care system, especially given the difficult current financial situation in Greece. It is believed that unmet health needs will continue to increase, which will widen inequalities in health and health care access.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impact of radioiodine-131 ((131)I) treatment on thyroid cancer patients' quality of life is controversial. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 60 patients aged 18-73 years old who had recently underwent near total thyroidectomy due to papillary thyroid cancer and were scheduled for (131)I treatment. On admission to our department, prior to (131)I administration patients underwent clinical and laboratory investigation including routine clinical biochemistry, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroglobulin (Tg) measurements. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was estimated by the SF-36 Health Survey a generic instrument which consisted from eight scales (four for physical and four for mental health). After (131)I administration patients were discharged and approximately 6 months later they were re-evaluated. Our results showed that HRQoL in thyroid cancer patients receiving (131)I treatment is independent of age/gender and thyroid cancer-related variables. All SF-36 scales significantly improved six months after administration (P<0.05). Compared to Greek general population, before (131)I administration all scales were significantly lower (P<0.05). Six months post (131)I administration, scales were significantly lower for physical functioning (P=0.02), physical role (P=0.01), social functioning (P=0.03) and emotional role limitations (P=0.04), whereas the remaining SF-36 scales were comparable to the general population. In conclusion, hypothyroidism and anxiety for the outcome of their disease before (131)I treatment exert a negative impact on thyroid cancer patients. Quality of life improvement post (131)I is mainly attributed to the resumption of euthyroidism and familiarization with treatment and followup procedures rather than (131)I treatment itself. There was no significant difference between patients receiving lower (2220-3700MBq) and higher (3700-7400MBq) dosage.
No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Hellenic journal of nuclear medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer is a major disorder physically and psychologically affecting both patients and their caregivers. In this study, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patient-caregiver dyads during the period of chemotherapy was assessed.
Two hundred twenty-two cancer patient-caregiver dyads were enrolled in the study, which was conducted from October 2008 to March 2009. HRQoL was evaluated with EQ-5D.
The mean age of the sample was 57.4 and 48.9 for patients and caregivers, respectively. The EQ-5D descriptive system indicates that female patients more frequently experience anxiety and depression than male patients. Male and higher-education caregivers had higher VAS scores, while demographic factors did not seem to influence patients' HRQoL. Anxiety and depression of caregivers were correlated with patients' problems in self-care and usual activities.
Quality of life is highly influenced during the period of chemotherapy for both patients and caregivers and is often under reported. Interventions that can improve HRQoL, especially in the domain of mental health for both cancer patients and their caregivers, need to be implemented.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · The Scientific World Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE To estimate the incidence of depression in a population sample of convenience consisting of patients that visited primary health care facilities, and to identify relationships between the development of depression and demographic characteristics and the presence of chronic diseases. METHOD The survey was conducted in the Health Center (HC) of Gythion between November and December 2009 on 500 persons (280 women) with a mean age of 67.8±13.05 years who attended the HC on a regular basis. The patients were asked to complete the self-evaluation Zung depression scale (SDS Zung), supplemented by demographic and health-related information. RESULTS Depressive symptoms (SDS Zung score >50) were revealed in 163 (32.6%) patients, 52 of whom were already receiving some kind of antidepressant treatment. Among the remaining patients, 111 persons (22.2% of the total population), mainly women (70%) presented various degrees of depression: 80 (16%, 22 men, 58 women) had SDS Zung score 50?59, 23 (4.6%, 8 men, 15 women) had Zung score 60?89 and 8 (1.6%) had moderate to severe depression. Subjects with chronic arthritis and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease presented statistically higher mean SDS Zung scores (p<0.001 and p=0.009, respectively). CONCLUSIONS Depressive symptoms are present in a significant percentage of the subjects that attend primary health care facilities. The early detection of their depression could help towards the better support of these patients.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Archives of Hellenic Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity constitutes a global epidemic which is rapidly becoming a major public health problem in many parts of the world, threatening peoples' health and quality of life. The aim of our study was to estimate the prevalence and impact of overweight and obesity on physician consultations and frequency of use and furthermore, to investigate whether physician consultations in each of the groups defined by BMI level correspond to the need for care implied by health risk level, using logistic regression models. The survey was carried out in Greece in 2006 and involved complete data from 645 individuals consulted by physicians. Overweight and obese users constituted 41.7% and 19% of the sample respectively. The findings showed firstly that the odds of obese individuals visiting a physician (OR 2.15) or making more than three visits (OR 2.12) was doubled compared to the odds of individuals with normal weight. Secondly, we conclude that physician consultations in overweight and obese subgroups as well as the frequency of visits were predicted by factors such as co-morbidities, low HRQL, low educational level which are associated directly or indirectly with obesity, and thus with a greater health need, assuming vertical equity in the utilization of such services.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Equal utilization of health services for equal need, is one of the main targets for public health systems. Given the public-private structure of the Greek NHS, the main aim of the study was to investigate the impact of underlying factors, such as health care needs, socio-demographic characteristics and ethnicity, on the utilization of primary and hospital health care in an urban and rural population of the Greek region, Thessaly.
A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2006 in Thessaly, a Greek region of Central Greece, in a representative sample of 1372 individuals (18+ years old, response rate 91.4%) via face-to-face interview. Health care needs were determined by self-perceived health status estimated by the SF-36 Health Survey, using the summary scores of physical and mental health. The utilization of primary care was measured by last month visits to 1) primary public services and 2) private practitioners visits and utilization of secondary care was measured by past year visits to 3) public hospital emergency departments and 4) admissions to public hospitals. Multivariable stepwise logistic regression analysis was applied in the whole sample and separately for the urban and rural population, in order to determine the predictors of health services utilization. Statistical significance was determined with a p value < 0.05.
Health care needs were the most significant determinants of primary and secondary health services utilization in both the urban and rural areas. Poor physical and mental health was associated with higher likelihood of use. In the urban areas middle-aged, elderly and Greeks were more likely to use primary health services, whereas primary education was associated with more visits to the emergency departments. Wealthier individuals were two times more likely to be admitted to hospitals. Individuals from the rural areas with university education visited more the public primary services, while wealthier individuals visited more the private practitioners. Immigrants had a higher likelihood of visiting emergency departments.
Although health care needs were the main determinant of health services utilization in both the urban and rural population, socio-economic and ethnic differences also seem to contribute to the inequities observed in some types of health services use, favouring the better-off. Such findings provide important information to policy makers, which attempt to reduce inequalities in health care according to place of residence and ethnicity.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · International Journal for Equity in Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to estimate the demographic and socioeconomic determinants of utilization of the Greek primary and hospital health care services. Data were obtained from the cross-sectional nationwide household survey Hellas Health I (2006). The sample (N = 1005) was representative of the Greek adult population in terms of age and residency, and was selected by means of a three-stage, proportional-to-size sampling design. The presence of a family doctor was reported in a higher degree by participants of higher social classes and private insurance. After adjusting for self-perceived general health and chronic illness, contacts with health care professionals during the past four weeks were found less for residents of rural areas, while contacts with health care professionals during the past 12 months were found less for men than women, for individuals without private insurance and for individuals of lower education. More out-of-pocket payments were reported by the 34-44 age group, rural area residents and individuals with private insurance. Higher use of private health care services was reported by participants of higher social classes and residents of rural areas and private insurance. Only hospital admissions were not directly influenced by demographic and socioeconomic factors. The findings imply the existence of inequities in access and use of primary health services with clear implications to related policies.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Health Services Management Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetes patients suffer from comorbid conditions and disease-related complications. Combined with demographic, clinical and treatment satisfaction variables, they have a confounding effect on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study compared the sensitivity of EQ-5D, SF-6D and 15D utilities to the specific effect of diabetes complications.
Utilities were compared in 319 type II diabetics with and without comorbidities and complications. Based on subsample size and confirmed diagnoses, coronary heart disease (CHD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) were two complications chosen for further analysis. Significant EQ-5D, SF-6D and 15D predictors were identified with OLS regression and subsequently controlled for with ANCOVA.
The presence of CHD resulted in utility decrements (P < 0.001) for all instruments, whereas DR only decreased 15D utilities (P < 0.05). Gender, age, treatment satisfaction, arthropathy and diabetic foot were significant predictors throughout, whereas BMI, neuropathy and CHD for at least two utilities. After controlling for these confounding variables, 15D still discriminated between diabetics with and without CHD (P < 0.01) and DR (P < 0.05), with seven and five dimensions affected, respectively.
After removing the effect of background variables, 15D utilities remain sensitive to CHD and DR. The obvious explanation is its richer descriptive system, which provides increased discriminative ability compared to EQ-5D and SF-6D, and this might be evidence for preferring the 15D in economic evaluations of interventions for diabetics. However, the need remains for further testing in other diabetes complications and more diverse patient samples.
No preview · Article · Dec 2010 · The European Journal of Health Economics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our aim was to analyze, in a multivariate framework, how sociodemographic, health-service utilization, health needs, and lifestyle risk factors influence drug utilization and polypharmacy (PP) in a general population in Greece.
The cross-sectional study took place in 2006. In total 1,005 individuals (> 18 years old) of 1,388 who were approached (response rate 72.4%) were interviewed by trained interviewers. Thirty-seven reported only over-the-counter (OTC) drug use and were excluded. The final sample was 968 individuals. Multivariable logistic regression and multinomial regression analyses were conducted to determine the predictors of drug use and PP at a significance level of p < 0.05.
The results revealed a high rate of drug use and PP. Drug use and PP were more common among women and increased with age. Advanced age 65+ [odds ratio (OR) 11.6), university education (OR 2.3), visits to physician (OR 2.2), comorbidity (OR 6.8), or poor physical and mental health were associated with higher likelihood of using drugs. Minor (two to three drugs) and major (four or more drugs) PP depended on comorbidity, physical health, and increased age. Furthermore, visits to physicians (OR 1.1), smoking (OR 3.0), and obesity (OR 3.8) increased the likelihood of major PP.
Overall, drug utilization and PP depended on health needs followed by education, utilization of health services, and age. Social disparities do persist and, after adjustments for health needs and obesity, had a significant influence on PP.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on health previously studied demonstrates that low SES relates to lower health. In Greece, related studies are limited and focused on native population. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of residence, ethnicity and SES on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
The study was carried out in Thessaly using a sample of 1,372 individuals (18+ years old, response rate 91.4%) via face-to-face interview. Multiple stepwise linear regression analyses were performed investigating the impact of the above factors on HRQoL, measured by SF-36. Interaction effects between socioeconomic and demographic variables were performed.
Disadvantage of SES, i.e. primary education and low income, was associated with impaired HRQoL in physical and mental health. Albanians reported better HRQoL compared to Greeks but after controlling for SES factors health disparities became insignificant. Rural residents were related to better general and mental health.
SES is an independent predictor of HRQoL, but ethnicity and place of residence had weak impact. Investigating the underline mechanisms that impair HRQoL, so as to take policies that will elucidate the risk of poor health in disadvantage groups, is important.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · International Journal of Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data from a Greek national representative sample was used to investigate socio-demographic, self-perceived health, and health risk factors that determine the use of cardiovascular preventive tests (blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose). Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were used (p < 0.05). Older age, marriage, regular family doctor and chronic diseases increased the likelihood of receiving preventive tests, whereas low education and alcohol consumption reduced the likelihood of having these tests. The effect of obesity varied. Interventions which improve the knowledge of the poorly educated and empower the preventive role of the physicians may redress the inequalities and improve the effectiveness of preventive services utilization.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impact of socioeconomic status on health has been extensively studied and studies have shown that low socio-economic status is related to lower values of various health and quality-of-health measures. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of demographic and socio-economic factors on health- related quality of life (HRQoL).
A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2003 using a representative sample of a Greek general population (n = 1007, 18+ years old), living in Athens area. Multivariate stepwise linear regression analyses were performed to investigate the influence of socio-demographic and economic variables on HRQoL, measured by eight scales of the SF-36. Interaction effects between socioeconomic status (SES) and demographic variables were also performed.
Females and elderly people were associated with impaired HRQoL in all SF-36 scales. Disadvantaged SES i. e. primary education and low total household income was related to important decline in HRQoL and a similar relation was identified among men and women. Only the interaction effects between age and SES was statistically significant for some SF-36 scales. Multiple regression analyses produced models explaining significant portions of the variance in SF-36 scales, especially physical functioning.
The analysis presented here gives evidence of a relationship existing between SES and HRQoL similar to what has been found elsewhere. In order to protect people from the damaging effects of poverty in health it is important to formulate health promotion educational programs or to direct policies to empower the disposable income etc. Helping people in disadvantaged SES to achieve the good health that people in more advantaged SES attained would help to prevent the widening of health inequalities.
No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · International Journal of Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of end-stage renal disease patients on renal replacement therapy with that of subjects of the same gender and similar age from the general population, in an attempt to determine patient subgroup that benefits more from the treatment.
A cross-sectional study involving haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and renal transplant patients (n = 874) was conducted with subjects providing socio-demographic and disease-related data, and completing the validated Greek Short Form-36 (SF-36) Health Survey. Patient-specific z-scores were calculated using mean SF-36 scores and SD of age- and gender-matched subgroups from the Greek norms.
Males and younger patients generally reported better HRQOL. However, z-scores in these groups generally showed a larger health deficit, i.e. an increased divergence from the HRQOL of their age- and gender-matched counterparts of the general population, compared with the health deficit observed in female and younger patients.
Health-related quality of life studies involving disease groups may sometimes be inconclusive if results are not compared with population norms, and particularly with subgroups matched for important demographic variables. Otherwise, as this study has shown, it is possible that important information may remain unrevealed.
No preview · Article · Apr 2009 · Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the EQ-5D and SF-6D within socio-demographic and clinical groups in a representative sample (n = 1,005) of the Greek general population and to examine mean utility differences across groups differing in health in this population and in a highly morbid disease sample (diabetes, n = 215).
Association and level of agreement between instruments were estimated with Pearson's r and the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), respectively. Paired-samples t-test was used to identify significant score differences, which were regarded as minimally important differences (MID) when they exceeded 0.03. The EQ-VAS was used to classify individuals into health status groups, covering the range from very poor to very good health, and the same classification was used in the diabetes sample.
EQ-5D and SF-6D were in agreement and strongly correlated over the entire sample (ICC = 0.536, P < 0.001 and r = 0.662, P < 0.001), but correlation varied according to socio-demographic factors and clinical conditions. In healthier responders, EQ-5D scores were significantly higher than SF-6D scores (P < 0.001) and differences constituted MIDs. Contrarily, in individuals with clinical conditions, SF-6D scores were predominantly higher than EQ-5D. The pattern of results was replicated in the disease sample as well.
The hypotheses that EQ-5D generates higher scores in healthier populations and the SF-6D in less healthier groups were confirmed. Based on the evidence provided here, EQ-5D and SF-6D measuring discrepancies generate utility differences across VAS-based health groups, which warrant further within-sample investigation.
No preview · Article · Dec 2008 · Quality of Life Research