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Overweight and obesity may increase risk of disease progression in men with prostate cancer, but there have been few studies of weight loss interventions in this patient group. In this study overweight or obese men treated for prostate cancer were randomised to a self-help diet and activity intervention with telephone-based dietitian support or a wait-list mini-intervention group. The intervention group had an initial group meeting, a supporting letter from their urological consultant, three telephone dietitian consultations at 4-week intervals, a pedometer and access to web-based diet and physical activity resources. At 12 weeks, men in both groups were given digital scales for providing follow-up weight measurements, and the wait-list group received a mini-intervention of the supporting letter, a pedometer and access to the web-based resources. Sixty-two men were randomised; fifty-four completed baseline and 12-week measurements, and fifty-one and twenty-seven provided measurements at 6 and 12 months, respectively. In a repeated-measures model, mean difference in weight change between groups (wait-list mini-intervention minus intervention) at 12 weeks was −2·13 (95 % CI −3·44, −0·82) kg (P = 0·002). At 12 months the corresponding value was −2·43 (95 % CI −4·50, −0·37) kg (P = 0·022). Mean difference in global quality of life score change between groups at 12 weeks was 12·3 (95 % CI 4·93, 19·7) (P = 0·002); at 12 months there were no significant differences between groups. Results suggest the potential of self-help diet and physical activity intervention with trained support for modest but sustained weight loss in this patient group.
Much actuarial work is underpinned by the use of economic models derived from mainstream academic theories of finance and economics which treat money as being a neutral medium of exchange. The sustainability of a financial system whose understanding is based on a limited view of the role of money has increasingly been subject to criticism. In order to identify needed research programmes to address such criticisms and improve these disciplines, we sought to understand the current state of knowledge in economics and finance concerning the link between monetary and financial factors and sustainability. We have approached this through a search for relevant literature published in the highest-rated academic journals in economics, finance and the social sciences for titles and abstracts containing both references to the financial system on the one hand, and sustainability and environmental factors on the other. The systematic search of a universe of 125 journals and 355,000 articles yielded the finding that surprisingly few research papers jointly address these concepts. Nevertheless, we find that current research shares a broad consensus that the implications of the growth-oriented economic model results in an increasingly interconnected and fragile financial system whose participants are not incentivised to fully recognise the natural environment and resource constraints. We further observe that the prescriptions offered are relatively limited and small-scale in their outlook and that there is a vital need for further research, particularly for actuaries who are required to take a longer-term outlook. The Resource and Environment Board has supported this work with two key objectives: first, to identify research that may have direct application to actuarial work and, second, to identify gaps in academic research that would help drive the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ own research agenda. With this in mind there are three further areas of potential actuarial research. These are the policy aim of pursuing growth without limit within a finite ecosystem; discount factors as the primary means of capital allocation and investment decisions; and the use of gross domestic product as the key metric of economic activity and success. We also conclude that further academic research is urgently needed to understand the sustainability of the banking and monetary system.
Smoking prevalence is doubled among people with mental health problems and reaches 80% in inpatient, substance misuse and prison settings, widening inequalities in morbidity and mortality. As more institutions become smoke-free but most smokers relapse immediately post-discharge, we aimed to review interventions to maintain abstinence post-discharge.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Web of Science were searched from inception to May 2016 and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort studies conducted with adult smokers in prison, inpatient mental health or substance use treatment included. Risk of bias (study quality) was rated using the Effective Public Health Practice Project Tool. Behaviour change techniques (BCTs) were coded from published papers and manuals using a published taxonomy. Mantel–Haenszel random effects meta-analyses of RCTs used biochemically verified point-prevalence smoking abstinence at (a) longest and (b) 6-month follow-up.
Five RCTs (n = 416 intervention, n = 415 control) and five cohort studies (n = 471) included. Regarding study quality, four RCTs were rated strong, one moderate; one cohort study was rated strong, one moderate and three weak. Most common BCTs were pharmacotherapy (n = 8 nicotine replacement therapy, n = 1 clonidine), problem solving, social support, and elicitation of pros and cons (each n = 6); papers reported fewer techniques than manuals. Meta-analyses found effects in favour of intervention [(a) risk ratio (RR) = 2.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.30–3.27; (b) RR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.04–3.31].
Medication and/or behavioural support can help maintain smoking abstinence beyond discharge from smoke-free institutions with high mental health comorbidity. However, the small evidence base tested few different interventions and reporting of behavioural interventions is often imprecise.
The association between cigarette smoking and psychosis remains unexplained, but could relate to causal effects in both directions, confounding by socioeconomic factors, such as ethnicity, or use of other substances, including cannabis. Few studies have evaluated the association between cigarettes and psychotic experiences (PEs) in diverse, inner-city populations, or relationships with number of cigarettes consumed.
We assessed associations and dose–response relationships between cigarette smoking and PEs in a cross-sectional survey of household residents (n = 1680) in South East London, using logistic regression to adjust for cannabis use, other illicit substances, and socioeconomic factors, including ethnicity.
We found association between any PEs and daily cigarette smoking, which remained following adjustment for age, gender, ethnicity, cannabis and use of illicit stimulant drugs (fully adjusted odds ratio 1.47, 95% confidence interval 1.01–2.15). Fully adjusted estimates for the association, and with number of PEs, increased with number of cigarettes smoked daily, implying a dose–response effect (p = 0.001 and <0.001, respectively). Odds of reporting any PEs in ex-smokers were similar to never-smokers.
In this diverse epidemiological sample, association between smoking and PEs was not explained by confounders such as cannabis or illicit drugs. Daily cigarette consumption showed a dose–response relationship with the odds of reporting PEs, and of reporting a greater number of PEs. There was no difference in odds of reporting PEs between ex-smokers and never-smokers, raising the possibility that the increase in PEs associated with smoking may be reversible.
This article conceptualized emergency preparedness as a complex, multidimensional construct and empirically examined an array of sociodemographic, motivation, and barrier variables as predictors of levels of emergency preparedness.
The authors used the 2010 wave of the Health and Retirement Study’s emergency preparedness module to focus on persons 50 years old and older in the United States by use of logistic regression models and reconsidered a previous analysis.
The models demonstrated 3 key findings: (1) a lack of preparedness is widespread across virtually all sociodemographic variables and regions of the country; (2) an authoritative voice, in the role of health care personnel, was a strong predictor of preparedness; and (3) previous experience in helping others in a disaster predisposes individuals to be better prepared. Analyses also suggest the need for caution in creating simple summative indexes and the need for further research into appropriate measures of preparedness.
This population of older persons was generally not well prepared for emergencies, and this lack of preparedness was widespread across social, demographic, and economic groups in the United States. Findings with implications for policy and outreach include the importance of health care providers discussing preparedness and the use of experienced peers for outreach. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:80–89)
The present research was an experimental test that aimed to quantify the impact of two dominant front-of-pack (FOP) nutritional label formats on consumer evaluations of food products that carried them. The two FOP label types tested were the traffic light label and the Percentage Daily Intake.
A 4×5 partially replicated Latin square design was used that allowed the impact of the FOP labels to be isolated from the effects of the product and the consumers who were performing the evaluations.
The experiment was conducted on campus at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
The participants were 250 university students selected at random who met qualifying criteria of independent living and regular purchase of the products used in the research. They were not aware of the purpose of the research.
The presence of FOP labels led to significant and positive changes in consumer purchase intentions towards the products that carried them. These changes were not affected by the nature of FOP labels used, their size or the product nutritional status (good/bad) that they were reporting.
The result is consistent with the participants paying attention to the FOP label and then using it as an adimensional cue indicating product desirability. As such, it represents a complete functional failure of both of these FOP label types in this specific instance. This result supports calls for further research on the performance of these FOP labels before any move to compulsory deployment is made.
Health equity can be defined as the absence of disadvantage to individuals and communities in health outcomes, access to health care, and quality of health care regardless of one’s race, gender, nationality, age, ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status. Health equity concerns those disparities in public health that can be traced to unequal, systemic economic, and social conditions. Despite significant improvements in the health of the overall population, health inequities in America persist. Racial and ethnic minorities continue to experience higher rates of morbidity and mortality than non-minorities across a range of health issues. For example, African-American children with asthma have a seven times greater mortality rate than Non-Hispanic white children with the illness. While cancer is the second leading cause of death among all populations in the U.S., ethnic minorities are especially burdened with the disease.