Items in AFP with MESH term: Counseling

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Hepatitis C: Part II. Prevention Counseling and Medical Evaluation - Article

ABSTRACT: An estimated 3.9 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), and most do not know that they are infected. This group includes persons who are at risk for HCV-associated chronic liver disease and who also serve as reservoirs for transmission of HCV to others. Because there is no vaccine to prevent HCV infection and immune globulin is not effective for postexposure prophylaxis, prevention of HCV infection is paramount. Patients who are at risk of exposure to HCV should be advised on steps they might take to minimize their risk of infection. Patients who are infected with HCV should be counseled on ways to prevent transmission of HCV to others and to avoid hepatotoxins. They should also be examined for liver disease and referred for treatment, if indicated.


Ergogenic Aids: Counseling the Athlete - Article

ABSTRACT: Numerous ergogenic aids that claim to enhance sports performance are used by amateur and professional athletes. Approximately 50 percent of the general population have reported taking some form of dietary supplements, while 76 to 100 percent of athletes in some sports are reported to use them. Physicians can evaluate these products by examining four factors (method of action, available research, adverse effects, legality) that will help them counsel patients. Common ergogenic aids include anabolic steroids, which increase muscle mass. These illegal supplements are associated with a number of serious adverse effects, some irreversible. Creatine modestly improves athletic performance and appears to be relatively safe. Dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione do not improve athletic performance but apparently have similar adverse effects as testosterone and are also banned by some sports organizations. Caffeine has mild benefits and side effects and is banned above certain levels. Products that combine caffeine with other stimulants (e.g., ephedrine) have been linked to fatal events. Protein and carbohydrate supplementation provides modest benefits with no major adverse effects.


Counseling Issues in Tubal Sterilization - Article

ABSTRACT: Female sterilization is the number one contraceptive choice among women in the United States. Counseling issues include ensuring that the woman understands the permanence of the procedure and knowing the factors that correlate with future regret. The clinician should be aware of the cumulative failure rate of the procedure, which is reported to be about 1.85 percent during a 10-year period. Complications of tubal sterilization include problems with anesthesia, hemorrhage, organ damage, and mortality. Some women who undergo tubal ligation may experience increased sexual satisfaction. While the procedure is commonly performed postpartum, it can be done readily, without relation to recent pregnancy, by laparoscopy or, when available, by minilaparotomy. Surgery should be timed immediately postpartum, or coincide with the first half of the woman's menstrual cycle or during a time period when the woman is using a reliable form of contraception.


Chronic Illness and Sexual Functioning - Article

ABSTRACT: Chronic illness and its treatments can have a negative impact on sexual functioning. The mechanism of interference may be neurologic, vascular, endocrinologic, musculoskeletal, or psychologic. Patients may mistakenly perceive a medical prohibition to the resumption of sexual activity, or they may need advice on changes in sexual activity to allow satisfactory sexual functioning. Family physicians must be proactive in diagnosing and managing the alterations in sexual functioning that can occur with chronic illness. Patient education and reassurance are essential. Before sexual activity is resumed, patients with cardiovascular disease should be stratified according to risk. Patients with musculoskeletal disease should be educated about positional changes that may improve comfort during sexual activity. Psychosocial concerns should be addressed in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. In patients with cancer, it is important to discuss sexual problems that may arise because of negative body image and the effects of chemotherapy. Patients who have disabilities can benefit from the use of muscle relaxants, technical adaptations, and expansion of their sexual repertoire.


Smoking Cessation: Integration of Behavioral and Drug Therapies - Article

ABSTRACT: Family physicians should take advantage of each contact with smokers to encourage and support smoking cessation. Once a patient is identified as a smoker, tools are available to assess readiness for change. Using motivational interviewing techniques, the physician can help the patient move from the precontemplation stage through the contemplation stage to the preparation stage, where plans are made for the initiation of nicotine replacement and/or bupropion therapy when indicated. Continued motivational techniques and support are needed in the action stage, when the patient stops smoking. Group or individual behavioral counseling can facilitate smoking cessation and improve quit rates. Combined use of behavioral and drug therapies can dramatically improve the patient's chance of quitting smoking. A plan should be in place for recycling the patient through the appropriate stages if relapse should occur.


Medical Care for Obese Patients: Advice for Health Care Professionals - Article

ABSTRACT: More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and obese persons are more likely to be ill than those who are not. Obesity presents challenges to physicians and patients and also has a negative impact on health status. Some patients who are obese may delay medical care because of concerns about disparagement by physicians and health care staff, or fear of being weighed. Simple accommodations, such as providing large-sized examination gowns and armless chairs, as well as weighing patients in a private area, may make the medical setting more accessible and more comfortable for obese patients. Extremely obese patients often have special health needs, such as lower extremity edema or respiratory insufficiency that require targeted evaluation and treatment. Although physical examination may be more difficult in obese patients, their disproportionate risk for some illnesses that are amenable to early detection increases the priority for preventive evaluations. Physicians can encourage improvements in healthy behaviors, regardless of the patient's desire for, or success with, weight loss treatment.


Counseling for Physical Activity in Overweight and Obese Patients - Article

ABSTRACT: Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. More than 60 percent of U.S. adults are now overweight or obese (defined as at least 30 lb [13.6 kg] overweight), predisposing more than 97 million Americans to a host of chronic diseases and conditions. Physical activity has a positive effect on weight loss, total body fat, and body fat distribution, as well as maintenance of favorable body weight and change in body composition. Many of the protective aspects of exercise and activity appear to occur in overweight persons who gain fitness but remain overweight. Despite the well-known health and quality-of-life benefits of regular physical activity, few Americans are routinely active. Results of research studies have shown that physician intervention to discuss physical activity (including the wide array of health benefits and the potential barriers to being active) need not take more than three to five minutes during an office visit but can play a critical role in patient implementation. This article describes elements of effective counseling for physical activity and presents guidelines for developing physical activity programs for overweight and obese patients.


HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral - Article

ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, the annual number of new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been relatively stable but remains unacceptably high (an estimated 40,000 new cases per year). Furthermore, the demographics for HIV infection are changing. Rates of new infections are declining in newborns, older men who have sex with men, and whites. However, rates of new infections are rising in young persons, women, Hispanics, and blacks. In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued revised guidelines for HIV counseling, testing, and referral. The guidelines focus on the reduction of barriers to testing, voluntary routine testing of high-risk populations and persons with risk factors, case management and partner tracing for infected persons, and universal testing of pregnant women. Effective strategies for reducing HIV infection include behavioral interventions, comprehensive school-based HIV and sex education, access to sterile drug equipment, screening of the blood supply, and postexposure prophylaxis for health care workers.


Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer: Evaluating the Evidence - Article

ABSTRACT: Controversy surrounds the management options for localized prostate cancer-conservative management, prostatectomy, and radiation. Choosing among these options is difficult because of long-term side effects that include sexual, urinary, and bowel dysfunction. Some recent studies suggest that patients who have chosen treatment (i.e., radical prostatectomy or radiation) have longer disease-free survival compared with patients who have chosen conservative management (i.e., watchful waiting). However, several biases may artificially enhance the perceived value of treatment and make the interpretation of studies on treatment outcomes difficult. Sources of bias include lead time, length time, and patient selection. Because of the uncertain efficacy of management options and the risk of long-term treatment complications, family physicians need to engage their patients in the decision-making process.


Preventive Counseling, Screening, and Therapy for the Patient with Newly Diagnosed HIV Infection - Article

ABSTRACT: The epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continues, and the infection is converting into a treatable chronic disease; therefore, it is increasingly important for family physicians to be current with and comfortable in providing basic care to patients infected with HIV. Important aspects of counseling and patient education include stabilization of psychosocial issues and prevention of HIV transmission through behavior change counseling. Reporting HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is mandatory in most states, whereas partner notification laws vary from state to state. Baseline evaluation includes screening for comorbid conditions such as viral hepatitis, syphilis, and tuberculosis, as well as common HIV-related manifestations such as recurrent candidal infections and thrombocytopenia. Baseline testing includes CD4+ T-lymphocyte cell counts and HIV viral RNA levels to assess HIV disease stage, and numerous studies to screen for opportunistic infections. Initial preventive interventions include patient education to reduce exposure to infections, treatment of comorbid conditions such as human papillomavirus-related dysplasia, and vaccinations such as for pneumococcus and hepatitis B. Prophylaxis against opportunistic pathogens is recommended when CD4+ cell counts fall below 200 cells per mm3. Lastly, the indications for antiretroviral therapy include symptomatic patients or those with AIDS, and pre-AIDS patients with CD4+ cell counts of 200 to 350 cells per mm3 or HIV RNA above 55,000 to 100,000 copies per mL.


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