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Am Fam Physician. 2002 Sep 1;66(5):721.
▪ Good health comes to those who wait. Patients with an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) who delay taking antibiotics for the infection are less likely to use antibiotics, states a study published in the Journal of Family Practice. The study included 129 patients with a new URTI who either stated that they wanted an antibiotic or were thought by their physicians to want one. The patients were randomly given either an antibiotic prescription with instructions to fill it after three days if their symptoms failed to improve or a prescription to be filled immediately. They were also instructed to take their temperature daily with a digital thermometer and to complete a daily symptom checklist. Body temperature was higher in the immediate-prescription group. There was no difference in symptom score between the two groups.
▪ One might assume that birds of the same gender would flock together. However, according to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, physician gender is less important to patients than other physician characteristics. The study researchers interviewed 67 obstetric patients during their postpartum hospital stay about physician gender preference and satisfaction with health care. Only one third of the patients preferred female physicians. Characteristics more important than gender to the patients were the physicians' interpersonal and communication styles, and technical expertise.
▪ “Why didn't I think of that?” An examination gown designed by an Arkansas nurse may soon give patients in medical offices and hospitals peace of mind—knowing their backsides are fully covered. The garment, called the GSDL Gown, adds an extra bit of security by closing on the side with hook-and-loop fasteners instead of tieing at the back. So far, the comfortable gown has been greeted enthusiastically in one Arkansas medical office and is awaiting patent approval.
▪ The world is growing up fatter. Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents is on the rise in the world's populations, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers evaluated survey data from the United States, Brazil, China, and Russia, and found that in all countries except Russia, children and teenagers are more overweight and obese today than they used to be. The researchers speculate that economic growth, occurring in all of these countries but Russia, has led to more nutrient-rich diets, leisure time, inactivity, and television watching, which have all contributed to the energy imbalance.
▪ Headaches, depression, and irritability are a few of the signs that Americans are feeling more stress, according to findings of a survey conducted by Harris Interactive. Of 1,805 adults surveyed, 44 percent said they felt increasing tension over the past year, and many said they experienced physical symptoms in times of stress. Respondents reported having tension-type headaches (59 percent), tightness in the back, chest, or jaw (47 percent), and depression (63 percent). Not surprisingly, most people said stress made them irritable (81 percent), and nearly one half said this affected their relationships with others.
Copyright © 2002 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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