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The role of fire in the management of degraded areas remains strongly debated. Here we experimentally compare removal and infestation of popcorn kernels (Zea mays L. – Poaceae) and açaí fruits (Euterpe oleracea Mart. – Arecaceae) in one burned and two unburned savanna habitats in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. In each habitat, a total of ten experimental units (five per seed type) were installed, each with three treatments: (1) open access, (2) vertebrate access, and (3) invertebrate access. Generalized linear models showed significant differences in both seed removal (P < 0.0001) and infestation (P < 0.0001) among seed type, habitats and access treatments. Burned savanna had the highest overall seed infestation rate (24.3%) and invertebrate access increased açaí seed infestation levels to 100% in the burned savanna. Increased levels of invertebrate seed infestation in burned savanna suggest that preparation burning may be of limited use for the management and restoration of such habitats in tropical regions.
To estimate the cost of metastatic prostate cancer (mPC) treatment using the time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) method from the perspective of a philanthropic hospital in the Brazilian public health system (PHS) and to identify determinants of costs.
We used data from patients who received docetaxel chemotherapy in the Brazilian PHS from September 2012 to May 2017. Direct medical costs were estimated with the TDABC microcosting method, taking into account the multiple departments and services the patients interacted with during their oncological treatment.
The median overall survival of the forty-three patient sample was 1.8 years (95% CI 1.45–2.30), and the total cost of the sample was BRL 917.005 (USD 250,878). The median monthly cost per patient was BRL 20.201 (USD 5,526). The end-of-life cost per patient using the TDABC method was BRL 5.151 (USD 1,409). Patients who had received previous treatment at the center registered the lowest cost for hospitalizations and exams, suggesting an opportunity to better manage healthcare resources.
This is the first study on the economic burden of mPC in the Brazilian PHS using the TDABC costing evaluation method. Accurate cost information obtained with the TDABC can be helpful in guiding disease management to guarantee better use of ever-scarcer resources.
To conduct international comparisons of self-reports, collateral reports, and cross-informant agreement regarding older adult psychopathology.
We compared self-ratings of problems (e.g. I cry a lot) and personal strengths (e.g. I like to help others) for 10,686 adults aged 60–102 years from 19 societies and collateral ratings for 7,065 of these adults from 12 societies.
Data were obtained via the Older Adult Self-Report (OASR) and the Older Adult Behavior Checklist (OABCL; Achenbach et al., 2004).
Cronbach’s alphas were .76 (OASR) and .80 (OABCL) averaged across societies. Across societies, 27 of the 30 problem items with the highest mean ratings and 28 of the 30 items with the lowest mean ratings were the same on the OASR and the OABCL. Q correlations between the means of the 0–1–2 ratings for the 113 problem items averaged across all pairs of societies yielded means of .77 (OASR) and .78 (OABCL). For the OASR and OABCL, respectively, analyses of variance (ANOVAs) yielded effect sizes (ESs) for society of 15% and 18% for Total Problems and 42% and 31% for Personal Strengths, respectively. For 5,584 cross-informant dyads in 12 societies, cross-informant correlations averaged across societies were .68 for Total Problems and .58 for Personal Strengths. Mixed-model ANOVAs yielded large effects for society on both Total Problems (ES = 17%) and Personal Strengths (ES = 36%).
The OASR and OABCL are efficient, low-cost, easily administered mental health assessments that can be used internationally to screen for many problems and strengths.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the fermentative characteristics and chemical composition of cochineal nopal cactus silage additives with urea or Lactobacillus buchneri (LB), as well as the association of both additives in four storage times (7, 15, 60 and 120 days) and during aerobic stability, with evaluations at 0, 48 and 96 h. Four silages were used: no additive, addition of 2% urea, addition of LB and addition of 2% urea and LB. The study was divided into two experiments: the first experiment evaluated the silages at different storage times, and the second experiment evaluated the silages during the aerobic stability test. In both experiments, the experimental design was completely randomized in a factorial scheme (4 × 4 and 4 × 3) with three replicates per treatment. After the ensiling process, lactic acid bacteria predominated in all treatments. The concentration of lactic acid increased significantly from 60 days of ensiling. The concentration of acetic acid varied significantly between the storage times only for the silages treated with urea and LB alone. The silage treated with urea maintained a constant pH value up to 120 days of storage. During the 96 h aerobic stability test, no breaking in the stability of silages was observed. The exclusive or associated use of urea and LB promotes improvement in the fermentative characteristics of cochineal nopal cactus silage, without major alterations in the chemical composition or interfering with the aerobic stability of the silages.
In this work, a Ti–29Nb–13Ta–4.6Zr–xO Gum Metal with two significantly different oxygen levels (388 and 3570 ppm) was investigated during deformation. The alloys were compressed during in situ high-energy X-ray diffraction using three different strain rates, 10−4, 10−3, and 10−1 s−1, in order to evaluate their influence on phase stability and mechanical properties. The influence of oxygen on the deformation process was also studied. Deformation takes place by twinning, stress-induced, and reverse martensitic transformation and was observed, for some samples, a spinodal decomposition of the β-phase during elastic deformation. The mechanical properties were similar for the different rates employed when considering the same oxygen level. The alloy with a higher amount of oxygen, however, showed a substantial increase in mechanical strength, with a yield strength of around 680 MPa, which is more than three times higher than for the specimen with 388 ppm of oxygen.
An understanding of the processes involved in grazing behaviour is a prerequisite for the design of efficient grassland management systems. The purpose of managing the grazing process is to identify sward structures that can maximize animal forage daily intake and optimize grazing time. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of different grazing management strategies on foraging behaviour and herbage intake by sheep grazing Italian ryegrass under rotational stocking. The experiment was carried out in 2015 in southern Brazil. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with two grazing management strategies and four replicates. The grazing management treatments were a traditional rotational stocking (RT), with pre- and post-grazing sward heights of 25 and 5 cm, respectively, and a ‘Rotatinuous’ stocking (RN) with pre- and post-grazing sward heights of 18 and 11 cm, respectively. Male sheep with an average live weight of 32 ± 2.3 kg were used. As intended, the pre- and post-grazing sward heights were according to the treatments. The pre-grazing leaf/stem ratio of the Italian ryegrass pasture did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05) (~2.87), but the post-grazing leaf/stem ratio was greater (P < 0.001) in the RN than in the RT treatment (1.59 and 0.76, respectively). The percentage of the non-grazed area was greater (P < 0.01) in post-grazing for RN compared with RT treatment, with an average of 29.7% and 3.49%, respectively. Herbage nutritive value was greater for the RN than for the RT treatment, with greater CP and lower ADF and NDF contents. The total time spent grazing, ruminating and resting did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05), with averages of 439, 167 and 85 min, respectively. The bite rate, feeding stations per min and steps per min by sheep were greater (P < 0.05) in the RN than in the RT treatment. The grazing time per hour and the bite rate were greater (P < 0.05) in the afternoon than in the morning in both treatments. The daily herbage intake by sheep grazing Italian ryegrass was greater (P < 0.05) in the RN than in the RT treatment (843.7 and 707.8 g organic matter/sheep, respectively). Our study supports the idea that even though the grazing time was not affected by the grazing management strategies when the animal behaviour responses drive management targets, such as in ‘Rotatinuous’ stocking, the sheep herbage intake is maximized, and the grazing time is optimized.
In previous studies, we have identified several families of 5-nitroindazole derivatives as promising antichagasic prototypes. Among them, 1-(2-aminoethyl)-2-benzyl-5-nitro-1,2-dihydro-3H-indazol-3-one, (hydrochloride) and 1-(2-acetoxyethyl)-2-benzyl-5-nitro-1,2-dihydro-3H-indazol-3-one (compounds 16 and 24, respectively) have recently shown outstanding activity in vitro over the drug-sensitive Trypanosoma cruzi CL strain (DTU TcVI). Here, we explored the activity of these derivatives against the moderately drug-resistant Y strain (DTU TcII), in vitro and in vivo. The outcomes confirmed their activity over replicative forms, showing IC50 values of 0.49 (16) and 5.75 μm (24) towards epimastigotes, 0.41 (16) and 1.17 μm (24) against intracellular amastigotes. These results, supported by the lack of toxicity on cardiac cells, led to better selectivities than benznidazole (BZ). Otherwise, they were not as active as BZ in vitro against the non-replicative form of the parasite, i.e. bloodstream trypomastigotes. In vivo, acute toxicity assays revealed the absence of toxic events when administered to mice. Moreover, different therapeutic schemes pointed to their capability for decreasing the parasitaemia of T. cruzi Y acute infected mice, reaching up to 60% of reduction at the peak day as monotherapy (16), 79.24 and 91.11% when 16 and 24 were co-administered with BZ. These combined therapies had also a positive impact over the mortality, yielding survivals of 83.33 and 66.67%, respectively, while untreated animals reached a cumulative mortality of 100%. These findings confirm the 5-nitroindazole scaffold as a putative prototype for developing novel drugs potentially applicable to the treatment of Chagas disease and introduce their suitability to act in combination with the reference drug.
Detrital zircon populations from six samples of upper Triassic sandstone (Algarve Basin) were analysed, yielding mostly Precambrian ages. zircon age populations of the Triassic sandstone sampled from the western and central sectors of the basin are distinct, suggesting local recycling and/or lateral changes in their sources. Our findings and the available detrital zircon ages from the Palaeozoic terranes of SW Iberia, Nova Scotia and NW Morocco were jointly examined using the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test and multidimensional scaling diagrams. The obtained results enable direct discrimination of competing Laurussian-type and Gondwanan-type sediment sources, involving recycling and mixing relationships. The detrital zircon populations of the Algarve Triassic sandstone are very different from those of the lower–upper Carboniferous Mértola and Mira formations (South Portuguese Zone), upper Devonian – lower Carboniferous Horta da Torre, Represa and Santa Iria formations (Pulo do Lobo Zone), and the late Carboniferous Santa Susana and early Permian Viar basins, which are ruled out as potential sources. The detrital zircon populations of Triassic sandstone from the central sector and those from the Ossa–Morena Zone Ediacaran–Cambrian siliciclastic rocks, upper Devonian – Carboniferous Ronquillo, Tercenas, Phyllite-Quartzite and Brejeira formations (South Portuguese Zone), and Frasnian siliciclastic rocks of the Pulo do Lobo Zone are not statistically distinguishable. Thus, sedimentation in the central sector was influenced by Gondwanan- and Laurussian-type putative sources exposed in SW Iberia, in contrast to the western sector, where Meguma Terrane and Sehoul Block Cambrian siliciclastic rocks allegedly constituted the main (Laurussian-type) sources. These findings provide insights into the denudation of distinctive source terranes distributed along the late Palaeozoic suture zone that juxtaposed the Laurussian and Gondwanan margins.
Introduction: It is believed by some that emergency physicians prescribe more opioids than required to manage patients’ pain, and this may contribute to opioid misuse. The objective of our study was to assess if there has been a change in opioid prescribing practices by emergency physicians over time for undifferentiated abdominal pain. Methods: A medical record review for adult patients presenting at two urban academic tertiary care emergency departments was conducted for two distinct time periods; the years of 2012 and 2017. The first 500 patients within each time period with a discharge diagnosis of “abdominal pain” or “abdominal pain not yet diagnosed” were included. Data were collected regarding analgesia received in the emergency department and opioid prescriptions written. Opioids were standardized into morphine equivalent doses to compare quantities of opioids prescribed. Analyses included t-test for continuous and chi-square for categorical data. Results: 1,000 patients were included in our study. The mean age was 42.0 years and 69.6% of patients were female. Comparing 2017 to 2012, there was a non-significant decrease in opioid prescriptions written for patients discharged directly by emergency physicians, from 17.8% to 14.4% (p = 0.14). Mean opioid quantities per prescription decreased from 130.4 milligrams of morphine equivalents per prescription to 98.9 milligrams per prescription (p = 0.002). 13.9% of opioid prescriptions in 2017 were for more than 3 days, which is a decrease from 28.1% in 2012. During the emergency department care, there was an increase in foundational analgesia use prior to initiating opioids from 17.6% to 26.8% (p = 0.001). There was also a decrease for within ED opioid analgesia use from 40.0% to 32.8% (p = 0.018). Conclusion: Opioid prescription rates did not change significantly during our study. However, physicians reduced the quantity of opioids per prescription and used less opioid analgesia in the emergency department for abdominal pain of undetermined etiology.
Since Bell's original description delirious mania (DM) has been repeatedly rediscovered and renamed, resulting in much confusion as to its meaning.Definitions range from mania with self-limited temporal-spatial disorientation to a fatal, delirious catatonic syndrome with euphoric mood, high fever and autonomic instability. Moreover, it remains unclear whether DM is a specific clinical entity or an unspecific, unpredictable complication of mania, and whether it is a useful diagnostic category.
To identify the frequency and clinical features of DM and mania with delirium.
We reviewed all admissions to our acute inpatient unit with mania, hypomania or mixed affective state, in 2006 and 2007. Cases with delirious features and cases with a working diagnosis of DM, were reviewed in detail. The three groups (no delirium, delirious features and DM) were compared for general demographic and clinical variables, as well as features specifically associated with DM (e.g., catatonia; nakedness; inappropriate toileting; unexplained fever, etc).
We found 100 patients with mania, hippomania or mixed affective state. 14 had medically unexplained delirium, 4 of them with a final diagnosis of DM. DM cases (but not non-DM mania cases with delirious features) had extremely long durations of stay, acute onset, hypertermia, catatonia, autonomic instability, anarchic sleep, shouting/coprolalia, delirium persisting for over a week, and were more likely to receive ECT. Moreover, in three of them DM occurred in most manic/mixed affective episodes.
DM is a rare occurrence in bipolar disorder. It has typical clinical features and may be recurrent.
In meridional European countries such as Portugal, informal caregivers are almost always close relatives, either key-relatives (those more involved) or not. There are few systematic comparisons between the experience of key-relatives/primary caregivers (PC) and other/secondary caregivers (SC) in psychogeriatrics. We present some preliminary data from the FAMIDEM (Families of People with Dementia) survey.
Non-randomised cross-sectional study comparing two related samples of caregivers (PC versus SC) of 41 patients with DSM-IV dementia from outpatient practices in Lisbon (Portugal). Caregivers’ assessments included: Zarit Burden Interview, Caregiver Activity Survey (CAS), Positive Aspects of Caregiving, GHQ-12, Social Network Questionnaire and Dementia Knowledge Questionnaire.
Patients’ mean age was 78,7 years (SD 7,9). 24 (58,5%) were women and 58,5% had Alzheimer disease.PC were older than SC (p=0,000) and tended to live with the patient (p=0,000). They reported less emocional support (p=0,021) but higher objective burden-CAS (p=0,002). Regarding all other outcome variables, significant differences between groups were not found. Within the global sample, comparing spousals (n=23) and adult children/other relatives (n=59) yielded interestingly different preliminary results, eg higher GHQ-12 levels (p=0,010).
The experience of caregiving is possibly different regarding PC and SC, but further research is warranted in order to define who really is at risk. Being a spouse may be much more determinant, although most spouses are PC as well. for the moment, it seems prudent not to exclude SC from risk assessments. the final FAMIDEM results, even lacking generalizability, will probably provide interesting clues.
This study was designed to verify whether fluoxetine (FL), a serotonin (5-HT) re-uptake inhibitor, would interfere with nortriptyline (NT), a biphasic U-shaped curvilinear dose-response relationship recently described in our laboratory. We associated 10 mg/kg NT or vehicle to 0, 5, 10, 20 and 40 mg/kg FL, in one group, and 10 mg FL or vehicle to 0, 5, 10, 20 and 40 mg/kg NT, in another group, 30 min before the tail suspension test (TST) in mice. Although we were not able to confirm a synergistic effect between FL and NT, FL-NT association seems to require higher doses of NT to block its own anti-immobility effect at high doses, thus widening NT effective antidepressant-like dose range in mice submitted to TST.
Prevalence of depression and other common psychiatric disorders in autoimmune diseases has been extensively documented. The association between subclinical autoimmunity and behavioural or psychiatric syndromes remains less studied. The best known example is raised titres of autoantibodies with high affinity for the basal ganglia in some obsessive compulsive spectrum syndromes (e.g. Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections). The possible role of autoimmunity in impulse control disorders remains understudied.
We proposed to study the relation between autoimmunity, affective bipolarity and impulsive psicopathology.
14 bipolar, 10 cluster B personality disorder inpatients. Titres for rheumatoid factor (RA), antithyroglobulin (ATG), antiperoxidase (APO) antinuclear (ANA), anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic (ANCA) and antistreptolysin (ASO) antibodies were measured in all subjects. Psychiatric assessment: non-structured psychiatric interview, MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview and Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-II.
21,4% of bipolar patients had positive ATG titre vs 11,1% in the cluster B personality group. 28,6% of bipolar patients had positive APO titre vs 22,2% in the cluster B personality group. 16,7% of bipolar patients had positive ASO titre vs 30,0% in the cluster B personality group. None of this differences reached significance.
ASO titre correlated significantly with antisocial (rho=0,435, p=0,043) and autodestructive (rho=0,461, p=0,031) ratings and almost significantly with borderline (rho=0,420, p=0,052) ratings.
The results obtained partly agree with the existing studies. As far as we know a possible correlation between ASOs and impulsive behaviour has not been previously described. The results obtained call for further investigation in the subject.
In recent years, physical exercise has shown some promising results as an adjuvant therapy for several psychological disorders, helping to improve not only depression parameters but also quality of life. However, and due to the different populations, settings and exercise programs, not all studies have shown a positive association.
To assess the effect of a moderate intensity 12 week exercise program on the quality of life of a population sample of patients with non-remitted Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
Study design Prospective, randomized, two-arm, parallel assignment. Population 150 individuals diagnosed with MDD according to DSM-IV criteria, taking combined therapy in doses considered appropriate for at least 9 months, without showing clinical remission, defined as having an HAMD17 total score ≤ 7, attending the out-patient psychiatry clinic, were initially screened through an interview with a psychiatrist. Those meeting study criteria were randomized to one of two groups: control (N = 11) and aerobic exercise (N = 22). Study protocol Exercise group: moderate intensity exercise program for 12 weeks, in addition to their usual pharmacological therapy. Control group: regular daily activities and their usual pharmacological therapy. Instruments WHOQOL-Bref and SF-36, two validated instruments to assess quality of life.
At the end of the exercise program, participants in the exercise group showed improvement on the physical domain of SF-36 and on the social domain of WHOQOL-Bref (p < 0.05).
Results suggest that exercise could help improve some aspects of the quality of life in non-remitted MDD patients.
Factitious disorders (FD) are characterized by intentional production of either physical, psychological or mixed symptoms that mimic various clinical syndromes, with no apparent advantage for the individual concerned other than allowing him to assume the sick role. Large body of work has been accumulated on FD, but the majority of published data deal with the physical variant of the disease, with comparable few reports on psychiatric FD. Although there are many different presentations for psychiatric FD, the factitious psychosis subset justifies particular attention. Factitious psychosis may be prodromic of a genuine chronic psychosis, usually in the context of a personality disorder. Published data shows Munchausen psychosis, a severe subset of FD psychosis, with a prevalence of 0.25% of all inpatient admissions and global FD psychosis attaining 4.1% of all diagnosed psychoses, generally with a poor prognosis.
The scantiness of studies on the subject of psychiatric FD and factitious psychosis in particular, despite its significant prevalence, coupled with the fact that its recognition embarks on a radically different approach compared with the physical variant, stresses the need for case reporting.
We present four clinical cases with discussion of the underlying pathology and outcome, and a systematic review of the literature of FD psychosis case reports. This is followed by further discussion addressing the recognition of factitious psychosis, its etiological contributing factors, management, effects on staff and diagnostic criteria.
In recent years, physical exercise has shown some promising results as an adjuvant therapy for several psychological disorders. However, and due to the different populations, settings and exercise programs, not all studies have shown a positive association.
To assess the effect of a moderate intensity 12 week exercise program on depression and functional parameters in a population sample of patients with non-remitted Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
Study design Prospective, randomized, two-arm, parallel assignment. Population 150 individuals diagnosed with MDD according to DSM-IV criteria, taking combined therapy in doses considered appropriate for at least 9 months, without showing clinical remission, defined as having an HAMD17 total score ≤ 7, attending the out-patient psychiatry clinic, were initially screened through an interview with a psychiatrist. Those meeting study criteria were randomized to one of two groups: control (N = 11) and aerobic exercise (N = 22). Study protocol Exercise group: moderate intensity exercise program for 12 weeks, in addition to their usual pharmacological therapy. Control group: regular daily activities and their usual pharmacological therapy. Assessed parameters HAMD17, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), Clinical Global Impression Scale - Severity (CGI-S).
Participants in the exercise group showed better depression and functional parameters at the end of the study, both compared to the beginning of the study and compared to the control group (lower HAMD17, BDI and CGI-S and higher GAF, p < 0.05).
Results suggest that exercise could be an effective adjuvant therapy for non-remitted MDD patients.
Several studies have attempted to understand the dimensions of psychiatric symptoms in manic episodes, but only a few have been able to model the latent structure of mania in bipolar disorder patients using confirmatory factor analysis. The objective of the present study was to search for the best model of the symptomatology of hospitalized manic patients. To achieve this goal, 117 manic inpatients during a manic crisis participated in this research. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted followed by confirmatory factor analysis using an exploratory factor analysis solution and three other theory-based models. The exploratory factor analysis results revealed a six-factor structure: depression, suicide, insomnia, mania, psychosis, and anxiety. This solution also presented the best fit to the data when tested with confirmatory factor analysis. A five-factor solution, without suicide as a separate dimension, appeared to be more theoretically suitable. Another important finding was that anxiety was an independent dimension in mania. Some hypotheses are discussed in light of contemporary theories, and future studies should investigate this aspect further.
Somatic comorbidities are common among elderly patients with mental health problems, namely dementia and depression. Quite often, somatic problems are associated with a substantial impairment in daily routines, as well as to a worse outcome of the neuropsychiatric condition.
to investigate the level of impairment due to comorbid somatic problems in the elderly, as part of the implementation of the 10/66- Dementia Research Group Population-based Research Protocol in Portuguese settings.
A cross-sectional survey was implemented of all residents aged 65 in a semi-rural area in Southern Portugal. Evaluation included a cognitive module and the Geriatric Mental State-AGECAT (GDS). Training of the field researchers was conducted with the supervision of the 10/66-DRG coordinators (CF, MP).
703 elderly participants were evaluated. Interference with daily activities was present in every area assessed, with moderate to severe impact in the following areas: Arthritis or rheumatism (36,9%), eyesight problems (19,8%), hypertension (10,5%) and gastro-intestinal conditions (10,4%). 48,9% of the participants had at least one contact with a primary care health centre in the last three months, and 22,5% had at least one contact with a doctor in a general hospital.
Results showed a relevant degree of impairment due to somatic conditions, and a high use of services, namely at primary care level. The significant prevalence of comorbid somatic conditions should be taken into account regarding the organization of services directed to older patients with mental health problems, that has been considered a priority in the Portuguese Mental Health Plan 2007–2016.
In Portugal, after the integration, in 1992, of the Mental Health Services in General Hospitals and, later, with the publication of the Mental Health Act in 1998, there was a clear choice, in terms of health policy, for the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill and for promoting the integration into their communities. In 1977, at the time called Mental Health Center of Viseu, inspired by the avant-garde currents of French sector psychiatry, pioneered through the creation of their Community Service, immediately reducing its capacity from 120 inpatients to 44.
To conduct a descriptive analysis of the patient population monitored by the team of the Community Service of Centro Hospitalar Tondela-Viseu.
An observational, cross-sectional study.
Descriptive analysis. Data collected from the clinical files and the database built by this service team, analyzed in the program EXCEL ® 2010.
The Community Service currently integrates 562 patients, about half of which are aged between 30 and 49 years. Most patients are male and the main diagnosis is schizophrenic psychosis.
The Community Services have progressively assumed a more relevant importance in the monitoring of individuals with mental illness, allowing their deinstitutionalization to happen and contributing to a more harmonious reintegration of these patients in their community.
Above 60 years, prevalence rates of neuropsychiatric disorders double with every 5.1 years of age (from 0.7% at 60-65 years to 23.6% for those aged 85 or older). As aged people are dramatically increasing in Portugal, a Country under a serious financial crisis, it is important to understand whether health services are being used appropriately.
to characterize the use of health services among the elderly, as part of the implementation of the 10/66-Dementia Research Group Population-based Research Protocol in Portugal.
A cross-sectional survey was implemented of all residents aged 65 or more in a semi-rural area in Southern Portugal. Core evaluation included a cognitive module and the Geriatric Mental State-AGECAT (GDS). A structured questionnaire assessed the use of services, including health care providers (public, private), inpatient episodes, medication and costs.
703 participants were evaluated. Almost half of the participants (48,9%) were in contact with public primary care facilities, but only 22,5% had a contact with a hospital service. In both settings, nurses and other non-doctor professionals were rarely involved (6,4%) as principal care providers. 11,8% had at least one contact with a private doctor. Inpatient episodes in the last 3 months were very infrequent (3%). The National Health Service covered most costs.
Previous research strongly suggests that health services are not provided equitably to people with mental disorders, namely the elderly. Reliable and cross-culturally comparable information about patterns of care may guide the implementation of adequate management in this area in Portugal.