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עמוד בית
Sun, 23.06.24

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August 2001
Tami Soffer, Yan Press, MD, Aya Peleg, PhD, Michael Friger, PhD, Uri Ganel, MD and Roni Peleg, MD

Background: Complementary medicine incorporates several methods of treatment, all of which aim to promote the health and quality of life of the patient. Public interest and demand for complementary medicine services have increased in recent years in Israel, as they have throughout the western world.

Objective: To characterize patients attending the Com­plementary Medicine Clinic in southern Israel at the completion of its first 2 years of operation.

Methods: Data for 398 patients selected at random from 4,400 patients treated in the clinic were collected retroactively from the patientsq' charts.

Results: Of those who visited the clinic, 68% were women with an average age of 49 years. Patients attending the clinic had higher rates of hypertension (20%), diabetes (6%) and heart disease (7%) than the general population of patients insured at the Clalit Health Services in the southern region. In addition to musculoskeletal problems (47%), the other most common complaint was emotional problems (13%) such as tension and anxiety. Acupuncture and Shiatsu were the most commonly used types of treatment (61%). Homeopathy was used by 7%. Among patients with musculoskeletal problems, there were significantly more men than women (P= 0.02). The mean age was higher (P= 0.07). And more of them were referred by friends or family (P= 0.06) than those with other problems.

Conclusions: Characterizing patients attending a com­plementary medicine clinic is imporant for the planning of marketing and resource management, and can assist primary care physicians in decisions regarding the referral of patients to this type of healthcare.

July 2001
Pesach Shvartzman, MD, Howard Tandeter, MD, Aya Peleg, MD, Hava Tabenkin, MD, Nakar Sasson, MD and Jeffrey Borkan, MD, PhD

Background: Lower urinary tract symptoms are highly prevalent in older men, have been shown to affect men’s quality of life, and may be associated with more serious outcomes.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of LUTS among men aged 50 years or older registered at family practice centers in Israel and to assess the effect of these complaints on different aspects of their life.

Methods: In a random sample cohort of men aged 50 years and older, fluent in Hebrew, drawn from those registered in four family clinics in Israel, patients identified with LUTS were interviewed by phone using a structured questionnaire.

Results: The prevalence of LUTS in our study was 21%. Less than a third of these patients had low severity LUTS (28%), 59% were rated moderate, and 13% had severe symptoms. Age had a positive correlation with the severity of LUTS, and increasing severity of symptoms had a negative effect on the daily function and quality of life of patients.

Conclusions: Our community-based study shows that LUTS is a common finding among men above the age of 50 (21%) and has a significant negative effect on their quality of life and daily function. Knowledge of these data should make primary care physicians more aware of this common problem and thus improve the treatment and quality of life of these patients by better identification and prompt treatment.

July 2000
Roni Peleg MD, Meron Froimovici MD, Aya Peleg PhD, Vered Milrad BA, Georgette Ohana BA, Shimon Fitoussi, Eli Dryfuss MA, Michael Sharf MD MPH and Pesach Shvartzman MD

Background: Israeli physicians are very familiar with the problem of interruptions during encounters with patients. However, a thorough search of the medical literature revealed only one report of this problem from Israel, and none from other countries.

Objectives: To characterize the phenomenon of interruptions to the patient-physician encounter in a clinic in Dimona and to assess the effect of an intervention program designed to reduce the magnitude of this problem.

Methods: During an 8 day work period in March 1997 all patient-physician encounters were recorded and characterized. An intervention program was then designed and implemented to reduce the number of interruptions. Data were again collected a year after the initial data collection.

Results: During the 8 day study period prior to the intervention program there were 528 interruptions to 379 encounters (mean of 1.39 per encounter). The main causes of interruptions were entrance of uninvited patients to the examination room (31%) and telephone calls (27%). Most of the interruptions occurred during the morning hours between 8 and 10 a.m. (45%) and at the beginning of the week (Sunday 30%). After the intervention program there were 402 interruptions to 355 encounters (mean of 1.13 per appointment, P=0.21).

Conclusions: There was no statistically significant improvement in the number of interruptions following the intervention program. This finding is either the result of a local cultural phenomenon, or it indicates a national primary care health system problem that may require a long-term educational program to resolve it. Further research is needed on the magnitude, causes and consequences of interruptions in family practice and, if warranted, methods will have to devised to cope with this serious problem.

May 2000
Ami D. Sperber MD MSPH, Merav Goren-Lerer MD, Aya Peleg PhD and Michael Friger PhD

Background: Smoking is the most important preventable cause of chronic disease in the western world. Many smokers want to quit, but have difficulty overcoming the addictive effect of nicotine.

Objectives: To assess the quitting rate of smokers who participated in smoking cessation groups and to characterize predictors of success or failure over a 1-3 year follow-up period.

Methods: We studied 89 participants in 7 groups. Questionnaires were completed at baseline and after a follow-up period of 1 to 3 years. Smoking cessation was determined by self-report and a carbon monoxide breath test.

Results: Of the 89 participants in the support groups 76 (85%) were located. An intention-to-treat analysis was done for these participants. At follow-up 25 (33%) were non-smokers. There was a 95% agreement rate between self-report of smoking status and CO breath analysis. There were no differences between quitters and non-quitters in education level, gender, age at initiation of smoking, previous quit attempts, extent of participation in group meetings, concern about gaining weight, Fagerstrom index, or the number of close friends or relatives who smoke. Belief in one's ability to quit, satisfaction with group meetings, and spouse support were significantly associated with success (P<0.01).

Conclusions: The quit rate was 33%. Self-report is a reliable method for assessing smoking status. Smokers' belief in their ability to quit must be reinforced. Spouse participation in some group meetings may be beneficial, as may the involvement of a dietician and an expert on exercise. Follow-up "booster" meetings may also help.

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CO= carbon monoxide

* In partial fulfilment of the requirements for an MD degree.

December 1999
Aya Peleg PhD, Roni Peleg MD, Avi Porath MD and Yael Horowitz BSc

Background: Hallway medicine is an integral part of physicians' medical culture, but little is known about it.

Objective: To characterize the practice of hallway medicine among hospital physicians, both as providers and consumers.

Methods: We conducted a survey of 112 randomly chosen hospital physicians at the Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, Israel between November 1997 and May 1998. A self-administered 39-item questionnaire was used that included sociodemographic data, the extent to which hallway medicine is practiced, and satisfaction from and attitudes to it.

Results: Of the 112 selected physicians, 111 responded (99.1%). Of these, 91 (82%) had been asked by their colleagues to provide hallway medicine. Most of them (91%) agreed because of "willingness to help," because "it's unpleasant to refuse," or "it's the acceptable thing to do." Most of the requests (72%) were unscheduled and time consuming (41% up to 10 minutes and 21% more than 20 minutes). Records were kept in only 36% of the cases and follow-up in 62%. Physicians who provided hallway medicine were also consumers of it (P<0.001), based on personal acquaintance, time saved and easy accessibility. In general, the attitude to hallway medicine was negative (54%) or ambiguous (37%). Most requests for hallway medicine were made to Israeli-trained physicians, surgeons or gynecologists, and senior physicians.

Conclusions: Hallway medicine is practiced frequently among hospital physicians. A formal organization of health care service within medical centers might provide physicians with better medical care and reduce potential ethical, medical, legal, psychosocial and economic problems.

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