Aim: To explore the stigmatizing pattern in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and assess coping strategies adopted for quality of life (QOL) appraisal. Methods: In the background of a descriptive, cross-sectional research design, PLWHA attending HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) outpatient clinic at Medical College, Kolkata (n = 120) were enrolled through “snowball sampling.” A brief semistructured interview schedule was used to elicit data on socio-demographics. Stigma was assessed using a 4-point scale (40-item). Quality of life was assessed using WHOQOL-BREF (World Health Organization Quality-of-Life) scale (26-item). Results: About 96.7% reported being stressed. Stigma was mostly confronted in socio-familial context. Fear of being stigmatized was much higher compared with those who actually faced stigma (69.2% vs 27.5%; P < .01). Quality of life negatively correlated with internalizing of stigma in the psychological domain (P < .01). Proportion experiencing actual stigma (women vs men: 79% vs 74%) experienced an above moderate QOL. Multiple defense mechanisms were identified. “Altruism,” “Anticipation,” and “Humor” were the most preferred defense strategies. However, such coping strategies appeared to be self-taught and only modestly helpful in managing perceived stigma. Conclusions: People living with HIV/AIDS should avoid internalizing stigmatized feeling and engage in social activities to work toward a better QOL.
Background The emerging role of vitamin D in immunology and autoimmune disorders has been a worldwide interest in the last decade. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients are particularly at a delicate position predisposing them to suffer from vitamin D deficiency due to the multiple risk factors accompanying the disease. Whether vitamin D deficiency is also involved as a risk factor for developing SLE and affecting its course is a considerable concern. Objectives The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in SLE patients and its relation to disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In our observational cross-sectional study, serum levels of vitamin D [25(OH)D] in 60 SLE patients and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were assessed and estimated for deficiency and insufficiency at 10 and 30 ng/mL, respectively. Disease activity was evaluated by SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI), irreversible organ damage by Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index (SLICC/ACR DI), and severity by Severity of Disease Index. Fatigue was measured by visual analog scale. Results Significantly lower levels of 25(OH)D were found in SLE patients (17.6 ± 6.9 ng/mL) in comparison to controls (79.0 ± 28.7 ng/mL), with a statistically high significant difference (t = -11.2, P < 0.001). High prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency was detected as 73.3% and 23.3%, respectively. Vitamin D had a highly significant negative correlation with SLEDAI (r = -0.495, P < 0.001), SLICC (r = -0.431, P < 0.05), and fatigue (r = -0.436, P < 0.05). Conclusion Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were found to be prevalent in SLE patients in our study and related to disease activity and fatigue. If needed, routine screening and consequent repletion of vitamin D are recommended in SLE patients. Restoring adequate vitamin D levels in SLE patients should be more explored as a potential yet simple measure to their usual management to improve their condition.
Background: Music listening may reduce the physiological, emotional, and mental effects of distress and anxiety. It is unclear whether music listening may reduce the amount of opioids used for pain management in critical care, postoperative patients or whether music may improve patient experience in the intensive care unit (ICU). Methods: A total of 41 surgical patients were randomized to either music listening or controlled non-music listening groups on ICU admission. Approximately 50-minute music listening interventions were offered 4 times per day (every 4-6 hours) during the 48 hours of patients’ ICU stays. Pain, distress, and anxiety scores were measured immediately before and after music listening or controlled resting periods. Total opioid intake was recorded every 24 hours and during each intervention. Results: There was no significant difference in pain, opioid intake, distress, or anxiety scores between the control and music listening groups during the first 4 time points of the study. However, a mixed modeling analysis examining the pre- and post-intervention scores at the first time point revealed a significant interaction in the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) for pain between the music and the control groups (P = .037). The Numeric Rating Score decreased in the music group but remained stable in the control group. Following discharge from the ICU, the music group’s interviews were analyzed for themes. Conclusions: Despite the limited sample size, this study identified music listening as an appropriate intervention that improved patients’ post-intervention experience, according to patients’ self-report. Future mixed methods studies are needed to examine both qualitative patient perspectives and methodology to improve music listening in critical care units.
Although dietary supplement use is common, its assessment is challenging, especially among ethnic minority populations such as Hispanics/Latinos. Using the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) (n = 16,415), this report compares two strategies for capturing dietary supplement use over a 30-day period: a medication-based inventory and a nutrition-based dietary supplement interview. Age-standardized prevalence was calculated across multiple dietary supplement definitions, adjusted with survey/nonresponse weights. The prevalence of dietary supplement use was substantially higher as measured in the dietary supplement interview, compared to the medication inventory: for total dietary supplements (39% vs 26%, respectively), for nonvitamin, nonmineral supplements (24% vs 12%), and for botanicals (9.2% vs 4.5%). Concordance between the two assessments was fair to moderate (Cohen's kappa: 0.31–0.52). Among women, inclusion of botanical teas increased the prevalence of botanical supplement use from 7% to 15%. Supplement assessment that includes queries about botanical teas yields more information about patient supplement use.
Aims The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether yoga training in addition to standard medical therapy can improve cardiac function and reduce N terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT pro BNP) in heart failure (HF). Methods 130 patients were recruited and randomized into two groups: Control Group (CG) (n = 65), Yoga Group (YG). In YG, 44 patients and in CG, 48 patients completed the study. Cardiac function using left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), myocardial performance index (Tei index), and NT pro BNP, a biomarker of HF, was assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks. Result Improvement in LVEF, Tei index, and NT pro BNP were statistically significant in both the groups. Furthermore, when the changes in before and after 12 weeks were in percentage, LVEF increased 36.88% in the YG and 16.9% in the CG, Tei index was reduced 27.87% in the YG and 2.79% in the CG, NT pro BNP was reduced 63.75% in the YG and 10.77% in the CG. The between group comparisons from pre to post 12 weeks were significant for YG improvements (LVEF, P < 0.01, Tei index, P < 0.01, NT pro BNP, P < 0.01). Conclusion These results indicate that the addition of yoga therapy to standard medical therapy for HF patients has a markedly better effect on cardiac function and reduced myocardial stress measured using NT pro BNP in patients with stable HF.
There are some inevitable risk factors of patient exposure to problems arising from human errors, including missed subtle radiological findings, early identification of which may alter the patient outcomes. Here we are discussing a patient who presented with a prior diagnosis of seasonal allergic rhinitis with symptoms assumed to be bronchial asthma. A second review of chest radiograph after discussion over an online platform (Tabula Rasa group on Facebook) revealed some subtle findings which we missed initially. Further workup of the case revealed some astonishing findings. This case illustrates the importance of discussing unsolved cases on online platforms with peers and also to proceed for higher imaging to detect what has been missed on plain radiography.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common genetic disease in African-Americans, characterized by recurrent painful vaso-occlusive crises. Medical therapies for controlling or preventing crises are limited because of efficacy and/or toxicity. This is a randomized, controlled, single-crossover protocol of hypnosis for managing pain in SCD patients. Participants receive hypnosis from a trained hypnosis therapist followed by six weeks of self-hypnosis using digital media. Those in the control arm receive SCD education followed by a six-week waiting period before crossing over to the hypnosis arm of the study. Outcome measures include assessments of pain (frequency, intensity and quality), anxiety, coping strategies, sleep, depression, and health care utilization. To date, there are no published randomized, controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of hypnosis on SCD pain modulation in adults. Self-hypnosis for pain management may be helpful in modulating chronic pain, improving sleep quality, and decreasing use of narcotics in patients with SCD. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00393250
The purpose of this analysis was to assess the impact of perceived shared decision-making (SDM) on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use and disclosure in a sample of urban, underserved minority patients (n = 109) with rheumatic diseases. Nearly three quarters of the patients (71.6%) reported CAM use. Of these, 59% disclosed CAM use to their provider. Logistic regression models were created. In model 1 SDM significantly predicted CAM use; however, the overall model fit was not significant. In model 2, gender, ethnicity, and SDM predicted CAM disclosure with 73.2% correctly classified. Females were more likely and Hispanics were less likely to disclose CAM use. Those with higher SDM scores were more likely to disclose CAM use. SDM played a role in whether patients used CAM and disclosed CAM use to their providers. Improving SDM strategies may be especially important among patients who are least likely to disclose CAM use.
This study collected patient visit data to explore similarities and differences between conventional and naturopathic primary care (PC). Administrative data from practice management software systems from the main teaching clinics of four of the eight accredited North American naturopathic academic institutions were abstracted into an integrated database containing five years (2006–2010) of visit, patient, laboratory, and prescribing data. Descriptive analyses of healthcare services were compared to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS). Over the five-year period, 300,483 patient visits to naturopathic doctors occurred at clinics, excluding visits at clinics operated by the schools in community settings. Patients were 69% female; mean age was 39 (SE 0.09). Older adults (>65) comprised 9% of the population and children (<16) comprised 8%. Comparing academic naturopathic clinics to national conventional PC (NAMCS), we found more patients paid out of pocket at naturopathic clinics (50 vs. 4%) and naturopathic clinics more frequently offered discounted care (26 vs. 0.3%). There was a 44% overlap in the most frequent 25 diagnoses for PC at conventional community clinics. Overall, these data suggest substantial similarities in care offered by academic naturopathic clinics, at which most Naturopathic Doctor (ND) students are trained, and by conventional PC practices.
With the increased usage of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the US comes a need for evidence-based and integrated care systems which encourage open communication between patients and providers. This paper introduces a conceptual framework for integrative care delivery, with shared decision making being the “connecting force” between holistic treatment and improved health outcomes for patients.
Background Human papillomavirus is the most significant factor contributing to cervical cancer. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) implement an integrative approach to treat cervical atypia. This study explored practice consensus and variance among NDs. Methods A purposefully selected panel of six NDs participated in a modified Delphi study to validate practice. Three electronic web-based surveys were completed over nine months. Results Local and systemic treatments were included in all ND protocols. Six protocols included cervical cancer screening guidelines, green tea suppositories, and oral folic acid. Five protocols included oral green tea, diindoylemethane (DIM), and cartenoids. Four protocols incorporated Vitamin C. Two NDs considered escharotics when managing cervical atypia. All NDs included health behavior management in their protocols. Conclusion Naturopathic management of cervical atypia varies across practitioners. However, in general, elements of management include (1) cervical cancer screening guidelines, (2) local and systemic treatments, (3) health behavior/lifestyle recommendations, and (4) immune system support.
The treatment of breast cancer invariably results in severe and often debilitating symptoms that can cause significant distress and severely impair daily function and quality-of-life (QOL). We treated a series of 20 female breast cancer patients with the botanical compound LCS101 as adjuvant to conventional chemotherapy. At the end of the treatment regimen, patients rated their symptoms. 70% reported that they had either no or mildly severe levels of fatigue; 60% none to mildly severe weakness; 85% none to mildly severe pain; 70% none to mildly severe nausea; and 80% none to mildly severe vomiting. Only 20% reported severe impairment of overall function, and only 40% severely impaired QOL. No toxic effects were attributed by patients to the LCS101 treatment, and 85% reported that they believed the botanical compound had helped reduce symptoms. The effects of LCS101 on clinical outcomes in breast cancer should be tested further using randomized controlled trials.