Abstract The combined epidemics of substance abuse, violence, and HIV/AIDS, known as the SAVA syndemic, contribute to the disproportionate burden of disease among people of color in the U.S. To examine the association between HIV viral load suppression and SAVA syndemic variables, we used baseline data from 563 HIV+ women of color treated at nine HIV medical and ancillary care sites participating in HRSA's Special Project of National Significance Women of Color (WOC) Initiative. Just under half the women (n=260) were virally suppressed. Five psychosocial factors contributing to the SAVA syndemic were examined in this study: substance abuse, binge drinking, intimate partner violence, poor mental health, and sexual risk taking. Associations among the psychosocial factors were assessed and clustering confirmed. A SAVA score was created by summing the dichotomous (present/absent) psychosocial measures. Using generalized estimating equation (GEE) models to account for site-level clustering and individual-covariates, a higher SAVA score (0 to 5) was associated with reduced viral suppression; OR (adjusted)=0.81, 95% CI: 0.66, 0.99. The syndemic approach represents a viable framework for understanding viral suppression among HIV positive WOC, and suggests the need for comprehensive interventions that address the social/environmental contexts of patients' lives.
The AVIDA registry evaluated azacitidine usage and effectiveness in unselected patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in community practice. Treating physicians made all treatment decisions. Hematologic improvement (HI) and transfusion independence (TI) assessments used International Working Group (IWG) 2000 criteria. Enrolled were 421 patients with MDS (n = 228 International Prognostic Scoring System [IPSS] lower-risk, n = 106 higher-risk, 86 patients unclassified) from 105 US sites. Median follow-up was 7.6 months (range: 0.1-27.6). HI and red blood cell TI rates were similar regardless of administration route or dosing schedule. Safety and tolerability were consistent with previous reports. The AVIDA registry data support azacitidine effectiveness and safety in patients with lower- or higher-risk MDS treated in community practice.
This analysis examined associations between gender and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) as they initiate therapy for CLL outside the clinical trial setting.
Rates of HIV infection among adolescents in the US continues to rise, resulting in more individuals who must eventually transition from pediatric to adult care. It is critical that this process go smoothly to ensure continuity of care and to maximize patient outcomes. While research has examined youths experiences with the transition process, disease-specific indicators of successful transition from pediatric to adult care remain undefined. Identifying indicators will facilitate the evaluation of transition processes, and, ultimately, the empirical determination of best practices. Interviews were conducted with 19 professionals who provide care for children and adults with HIV in southeastern state in the US. Approximately half of the providers self-identified as pediatric care providers. Nine of those interviewed were nurses and physicians and 10 were social workers. Providers had been working in the field of HIV for an average of 11.2 years. Interviews were taped, transcribed, and coded for emergent themes. Providers who care for HIV-infected youth identified both behavior and seriologic indicators of succesful transitions. Behavioral indicators identified were keeping appointments, medication adherence, and demonstrating ownership of medical care. Providers also identified serological markers of a succesful transition, specifically,viral load and CD4 count. Findings provided valuable insight into the perspectives of infectious disease care providers on indicators of successful transition from pediatric to adult care for adolescents with HIV. This is an important first step in developing empirical evaluation measures for transition practices and models. Similar research should be conducted with other groups of providers to assess the generalizability of these findings. Additionally, future research should seek to operationalize the identified behavioral indicators and determine appropriate values to indicate success for all indicators.
Data on 7,424 soldier spouse abuse offenders were analyzed to determine the prevalence of substance use during abusive incidents, and to examine differences between substance-using and non-substance-using offenders. Results showed that 25% of all offenders used substances during abusive incidents, with males and non-Hispanic Whites being more likely to hav e used substances. Substance-using offenders were more likely to perpetrate physical spouse abuse and more severe spouse abuse. These findings underscore the importance of educating military personnel (including commanders) about links between substance use and domestic violence, and of coordinating preventive and therapeutic substance abuse and violence-related interventions.
Recently, national attention has been drawn to the increasing number of adolescents infected with HIV in the US, particularly in the South. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2007), at least 50% of new HIV infections occur in persons 15-25 years of age, and the majority of these persons are likely infected in their teens. Adolescents with HIV present new challenges to health and social-service providers. Infected teens are typically identified and initially followed by pediatricians and pediatric staff upon diagnosis. The transition to adult infectious disease care can be difficult due to the increased responsibility for self-care and monitoring placed on the young adult. Interviews were conducted with 19 professionals who provide care for children and adults with HIV in North Carolina in order to identify the best practices for transition to adult care. Approximately half of the providers self-identified as pediatric care providers. Nine of those interviewed were nurses and physicians and 10 were social workers. Interviews were transcribed and emergent themes were identified. Findings indicate that promoting medical independence among adolescents, close communication between pediatric and adult providers, and addressing system level concerns, including helping patients families navigate health insurance and other social services, as well as having a separate clinic for adolescents with HIV, constitute best practices for transitioning youth with HIV from pediatric to adult care.
This study focused on the program experiences of 190 men and women who chose to participate in a drug treatment court in lieu of incarceration in California. Participants had committed non-violent criminal offenses related to drug abuse. The program required 18 months of community-based treatment in conjunction with court supervision including frequent drug testing and 6 months of abstinence for successful program completion. Interviews were conducted in 2007/2008 with 94 participants who had successfully completed treatment and 96 who had not. Open-ended questions addressed reasons for entering and remaining in treatment and supports and obstacles to program completion. Responses were coded using ethnographic content analysis. Factors associated with successful program completion are discussed.
Army data from 2000 to 2004 were used to compare two groups of married, male, Army soldier, first-time family violence offenders: 760 dual offenders (whose initial incident included both child maltreatment and spouse abuse) and 2,209 single offenders (whose initial incident included only child maltreatment). The majority (81%) of dual offenders perpetrated physical spouse abuse; however, dual offenders were less likely than single offenders to perpetrate physical child abuse (16% vs. 42%) or sexual child abuse (1% vs. 11%), but they were more likely to perpetrate emotional child abuse (45% vs. 12%). These findings may be, at least in part, explained in light of the Army Family Advocacy Program policy, which considers spouse offenders as also being emotional child abuse offenders since children may be traumatized by exposure to spouse abuse.
The increased life expectancy of perinatally HIV-infected adolescents necessitates the transition from pediatric to adult infectious disease care. Significant differences exist between pediatric and adult HIV clinic models, and adequate preparation is critical for successful transition. The expectations of youth on the cusp of this transition and their guardians have not previously been explored. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 40 perinatally infected adolescents (mean age, 17.3 years; 90% African American; 57.5% female; 57.5% in high school) currently receiving care in a pediatric infectious disease clinic in the southeast United States and 17 guardians about their expectations related to the pending transition to adult care. Interviews were transcribed and coded for emergent themes. Many adolescents had difficulty articulating expectations of their transition to an adult clinic, reporting they did not know what to expect. Others looked forward to increased responsibility and control, while some expressed concerns over leaving their current providers and having to establish new relationships. Most guardians viewed the transition to adult care as a tool to facilitate maturity. Several indicated they had not discussed transition with their child and were waiting for their child to initiate a conversation about it. Given the importance providers place on preparing youth for transition, it is surprising that many adolescents had no expectations about this impending change. This indicates a need for improved communication between providers and adolescents to enhance preparation and ultimately transition success. Additionally, guardians play an important role in the transition process and may need support to discuss this process with their child.
The group format is commonly used in alcohol and other drug (AOD) adolescent treatment settings, but little research exists on the use of motivational interviewing (MI) in groups. Further, little work has assessed the integrity of MI delivered in group settings. This study describes an approach to evaluate MI integrity using data from a group MI intervention for at-risk youth. Using the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity (MITI) scale, version 3.1, we coded 140 group sessions led by 3 different facilitators. Four trained coders assessed the group sessions. Agreement between raters was evaluated using a method based on limits of agreement, and key decisions used to monitor and calculate group MI integrity are discussed. Results indicated that there was adequate agreement between raters; we also found differences on use of MI between the MI-intervention group and a usual-care group on MI global ratings and behavioral counts. This study demonstrates that it is possible to determine whether group MI is implemented with integrity in the group setting and that MI in this setting is different from what takes place in usual care.
The surgical dislocation of the hip (SDH) approach has gained popularity in the treatment of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) secondary to pediatric hip disorders. However, it has been suggested that SDH may preclude a return to previous levels of function in athletes. The purpose of this study was (1) to determine the level of activity and pain in young athletes before and after open hip surgery through an SDH approach for the treatment of FAI; (2) to investigate how clinical improvement correlates with physical activity; (3) to determine whether articular cartilage injury and the complexity of surgical procedures are associated with improvement in activity level and pain.
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