• Factors influencing general practitioner referral of patients developing end-stage renal failure: a standardised case-analysis study.

      Montgomery, Anthony J; McGee, Hannah M; Shannon, William; Donohoe, John; Department of Psychology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland-Medical University of Bahrain, PO Box 15503, Manama, Bahrain. amontgomery@rcsi-mub.com (2006)
      BACKGROUND: To understand why treatment referral rates for ESRF are lower in Ireland than in other European countries, an investigation of factors influencing general practitioner referral of patients developing ESRF was conducted. METHOD: Randomly selected general practitioners (N = 51) were interviewed using 32 standardised written patient scenarios to elicit referral strategies. Main outcome measures: General practitioner referral levels and thresholds for patients developing end-stage renal disease; referral routes (nephrologist vs other physicians); influence of patient age, marital status and co-morbidity on referral. RESULTS: Referral levels varied widely with the full range of cases (0-32; median = 15) referred by different doctors after consideration of first laboratory results. Less than half (44%) of cases were referred to a nephrologist. Patient age (40 vs 70 years), marital status, co-morbidity (none vs rheumatoid arthritis) and general practitioner prior specialist renal training (yes or no) did not influence referral rates. Many patients were not referred to a specialist at creatinine levels of 129 micromol/l (47% not referred) or 250 micromol/l (45%). While all patients were referred at higher levels (350 and 480 micromol/l), referral to a nephrologist decreased in likelihood as scenarios became more complex; 28% at 129 micromol/l creatinine; 28% at 250 micromol/l; 18% at 350 micromol/l and 14% at 480 micromol/l. Referral levels and routes were not influenced by general practitioner age, sex or practice location. Most general practitioners had little current contact with chronic renal patients (mean number in practice = 0.7, s.d. = 1.3). CONCLUSION: The very divergent management patterns identified highlight the need for guidance to general practitioners on appropriate management of this serious condition.
    • Lifestyle practices and the health promoting environment of hospital nurses.

      Hope, A; Kelleher, C C; O'Connor, M; Centre for Health Promotion Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway, Republic of Ireland. (1998-08)
      Lifestyle practices and the health promoting environment of hospital nurses This paper examined the lifestyle practices of hospital nurses and the impact of specific interventions in the hospital environment. The perception of nurse as health promoter and as carer of AIDS patients was also examined. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data at two different time periods. The sample represented 729 nurses (at pre- and post-time periods), both qualified and student nurses. Qualified nurses reported the highest stress levels while student nurses reported more negative lifestyle practices such as smoking, alcohol consumption and drug use. A greater number of current smokers (29%) consumed alcohol and used drugs than non-smokers. The impact of intervention strategies around compliance with smoking policy and work-site walk routes reduced exposure to passive smoking at work for qualified nurses and increased exercise participation for both groups of nurses. Workplace was identified as the main source of stress which included relationships at work and demands of the job. Hospital nurses experiencing high work stress were more likely to use professional support and personal coping (discuss problems with friends/family, have a good cry and eat more) than others. Nurses believed in the importance of health promotion as part of their work; however, qualified nurses felt more confident and gave more health related information than student nurses. Student nurses perceived a lower risk of contacting AIDS through work and a higher concern/worry in caring for AIDS patients than qualified nurses.