Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 08-July-2011, Vol 124 No 1338
This Issue in the Journal
Prevalence of victims of torture in the health screening of quota refugees in New Zealand during 2007–2008 and implications for follow-up care
G E Poole, Grant Galpin
New Zealand annually accepts approximately 750 quota refugees from overseas for resettlement in New Zealand. The humanitarian nature of the quota composition consists of those who are determined by the United Nations refugee agency to be in high need of immediate protection, a large proportion of medical and disability cases, and women and children at risk. Quota refugees arrive in six intakes each year and participate in assessment and orientation for the first 6 weeks at the national Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. This paper describes the findings of screening for refugees with a history of torture during 2007–2008. There were 144 arriving refugees or 19.2% of the total found to have histories of torture during this period. The implications for future research, and follow-up care of people who have survived torture are discussed.
The use of the ‘rollie’ in New Zealand: preference for loose tobacco among an ethnically diverse low socioeconomic urban population
Vili Nosa, Marewa Glover, Sandar Min, Robert Scragg, Chris Bullen, Judith McCool, Anette Kira
Smoking parents of students from four South Auckland Intermediate Schools were asked if they smoke roll-your-own (RYO) cigarettes and why. Nearly half smoked only factory-made cigarettes. 38% smoked only RYO cigarettes. The most common reasons for smoking RYOs instead of factory-mades was the perceived lower cost of RYOs and that RYOs lasted longer (42%). Increasing the tax on RYOs to make sure they cost the same as factory-made cigarettes should lessen the potential use of RYOs as an alternative to quitting.
A cross-sectional study of opinions related to the tobacco industry and their association with smoking status amongst 14–15 year old teenagers in New Zealand
Judith McCool, Janine Paynter, Robert Scragg
We surveyed 31,459 Year 10 students’ attitudes towards the tobacco industry in New Zealand to determine if there was an association with smoking behaviour or susceptibility to smoking. We found that students who expressed tolerant attitudes towards the tobacco industry had a higher risk of being smoker or starting to smoke. Given the results of this survey there is clearly a need to reach teenagers at risk of taking up smoking and continuing to smoke with an effective counter-industry campaign.
Comparison of two modes of delivery of an exercise prescription scheme
Louise Foley, Ralph Maddison, Zanta Jones, Paul Brown, Anne Davys
Green Prescription (GRx) is a referral from a health professional for a patient to become more physically active. In Auckland, GRx is delivered either on the telephone or face-to-face. A comparison of the two modes of delivery (telephone vs. face-to-face) was conducted. This evaluation involved staff interviews, patient interviews and analysis of GRx records for the 2007 calendar year. Results indicated that the modes of delivery were similar in terms of costs as well as outcomes. However, the face-to-face mode of delivery was more popular with Maori and Pacific peoples. Providing a choice of GRx mode of delivery allows participants to choose based on their personal and cultural needs.
Voices of students in competition: Health Science First Year at the University of Otago, Dunedin
Madgerie Jameson, Jeffrey Smith
This article examines the experiences of students enrolled in Health Sciences First Year. Past and present students were interviewed to determine the similarities and differences in their experience. Students perceived the programme as stressful and demanding. The competitive nature of the programme limited students’ involvement in other university activities. Students learned the benefits of work/life balance.
An investigation into the health benefits of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for people living with a range of chronic physical illnesses in New Zealand
Jillian Simpson, Tim Mapel
Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction is a programme developed in the US by neurobiologist Jon-Kabat Zinn, originally to help people with difficult to manage health problems. It is taught as 8 weekly classes and a full day retreat in which people to learn more about stress and how best to manage this. It involves various exercises to develop mindfulness (living in the moment without judgement) including a lying down relaxation/meditation, meditation sitting in a chair and simple stretching exercises. This research, one of the first studies in New Zealand, aimed to find out how effective this approach is for New Zealanders. The study demonstrated that MBSR helps people not only cope with their chronic health problems but also improves their wellbeing.
Comorbidity among patients with colon cancer in New Zealand
Diana Sarfati, Lavinia Tan, Tony Blakely, Neil Pearce
This study aimed to investigate how common comorbidity was in a cohort of patients with bowel cancer in NZ; to identify factors associated with high levels of comorbidity in this group and to assess the extent to which comorbidity affects outcomes from bowel cancer. We used data from the NZ Cancer Registry to identify those with cancer and from hospitalisations to identify comorbid conditions. We found that nearly a third of bowel cancer patients had a least one comorbid condition. Comorbidity increased with increasing age as expected, and was more common among Maori and Pacific people, and those living in more deprived areas of NZ. We also found that comorbidity had a strongly negative effect on survival, and increased length of hospital stay.
What do specialists and GPs think about the introduction of colorectal cancer screening? A qualitative study
Gillian M Abel, Lee Thompson
GPs and specialists, whilst supportive of screening, are not convinced that there is the capacity in New Zealand to introduce a colorectal screening programme. A shortage of colonoscopists in New Zealand means that there is already a long waiting-list for people accessing colonoscopies in the public service. GPs are often in the position of advocating screening to patients and they are unconvinced about the value of the test which is likely to be used for screening (faecal occult blood test) feeling that there will be a number of false positives These will then require colonoscopic follow-up which will mean unnecessary anxiety will be engendered amongst their patients.
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