Insomnia ranks 2nd after cold as most common health complaint
Half of people internationally say they have had a cough or cold in the last 12 months and over a quarter report suffering from insomnia or problems sleeping. These are findings from a recent GfK online survey that asked over 27,000 people in 22 countries which health conditions from a given list they had experienced in the past 12 months. The possible conditions asked about included items such as skin conditions, allergies, vomiting or diarrhea, diabetes or pre-diabetes and high cholesterol or blood pressure. But, internationally, the top five most common conditions that people say they have experienced in the past 12 months are a cold (which was bundled with a cough, sore throat, up-
per respiratory infection, flu or influenza and was reported by 51 per cent), problems sleeping (27 per cent), muscle or joint pain due to injury or over exertion (25 per cent), weight problems (21 per cent) and migraines or severe headaches (21 per cent). Looking at the breakdown between men and women, there are some clear gender differences. For almost all the conditions listed, women have higher percentages saying they have experienced these in the last 12 months than men. Both genders report a cold or cough as being the most common complaint (53 per cent of women and 49 per cent of men), but, for women, the next most
common complaint is insomnia (32 per cent), while, for men, it is a tie-breaker between muscle or joint pain due to overexertion or injury, and insomnia (both standing at 24 per cent). There is also a difference in what items make it into the top five for each gender. For women, migraine or severe headache is their third most common complaint, but does not feature in menâ€™s top five list (reported by 27 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men). And for men, heartburn or acid reflux is their fourth most common complaint, but does not feature in the womenâ€™s top five list â€“ even though more women than men report having experienced it over the last year (19 per cent of H men and 21 per cent of women). â–
Use of restraints in Ontarioâ€™s long-term care homes has been cut in half The Ontario Long Term Care Association welcomed the release of Health Quality Ontarioâ€™s (HQO) annual report on the health system, Measuring Up, calling it an opportunity to celebrate quality improvement efforts in Ontarioâ€™s long-term care homes and highlighting the need to provide additional support to homes to expand their efforts. Long-term care homes showed either improvement or relative stability on three key measures of care, including restraint usage, falls, and new or worsening pressure ulcers. â€œHomes have either held steady or improved during a time of intense change, when new residents have become increasingly medically complex and with a higher rate of dementia,â€? says Candace Chartier, RN, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association. â€œThese results demonstrate that long-term care homes are successfully creating a culture of person-centred care and quality improvement.â€?
Chartier noted that restraint use in particular has dropped from 16.1 to 7.4 per cent in just four years (2010/11 to 2014/15). â€œThe decrease in restraint use benefits our residents tremendously, both in their health and quality of life.â€? The Association pointed to data which demonstrates the increasing needs of seniors in long-term care homes. Seniors who come to long-term care are at a much more advanced stage of physical and cognitive decline than they were in the past. The vast majority (93 per cent) of residents have two or more chronic health conditions; 62 per cent of residents live with Alzheimerâ€™s or another form of dementia; and 46 per cent display some level of aggressive behavior related to their dementia or mental health. To help support the increasing needs of residents, the Association has renewed calls to government to imple-
ment recommendations to strengthen the quality of care homes are providing to approximately 100,000 seniors every year. The Association is calling for immediate action to continue to improve seniorsâ€™ care in Ontario, including: â€˘ Implementing a plan to modernize every long-term care home in Ontario that has been classified as outdated by the province â€“ increasing the quality of care to the 35,000 seniors who live in these homes. â€˘ Providing the necessary funding to ensure that long-term care home operators can hire the staff required to care for the growing needs of our aging population. â€˘ Establishing dedicated dementia and mental health support teams in every home, ensuring the safety and comfort of the more than 65,000 seniors living in long-term care homes with H Alzheimerâ€™s and other dementias. â–
Federal panel studies U.S. approach to physician assisted dying The Expert Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada has returned from its fact-finding trip to Portland, Oregon, where it learned how assisted dying, which has been legal there for nearly 20 years, is practiced. During their three-day visit, Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, Chair of the Panel, BenoĂŽt Pelletier and Catherine Frazee met with nine individuals and organizations to discuss the implementation and operation of assisted dying in Oregon. Panel members engaged in discussions with the co-author of Oregonâ€™s Death with Dignity Act, as well as with experts from the medical profession and disability rights organizations. The Panelâ€™s fact-finding mission concluded with an exchange of ideas with Dr. Linda Ganzini, a prominent researcher in geriatric mental health, end-of-life care, and palliative care for the terminally ill. â€œWe were impressed by the discussions we had with experts from a range of disciplines,â€? says Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, Chair of the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v Canada. â€œThe insight they provided has given us a more thorough understanding of Oregonâ€™s Act. These consultations are of great importance to the Panelâ€™s work in developing effective options for the government to consider when developing well-crafted laws for Canadians.â€? The Oregon mission was a follow up to the Panelâ€™s previous study of physicianassisted dying in three European countries â€“ Belgium, The Netherlands, and Switzerland. Both are part of a larger program of consultation that includes a national online consultation with Canadians (www. externalpanel.ca), meetings with expert groups and individuals, and in-person consultations set to resume immediately following the federal election. Canadians are encouraged to provide their insights to the Panel on how physicianassisted dying can be implemented in CanH ada at: www.externalpanel.ca/issuebook/. â–
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NOVEMBER 2015 HOSPITAL NEWS
Technology in Healthcare, Patient Experience & Hospital Performance Indicators. Special MEDEC Annual Supplement.