Medicine & Health

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 281
  • (2011) Lee, Evelyn; Holt, Martin; Mao, Limin; Prestage, Garrett; Zablotska, Iryna; Spratling, Tim; Norton, Graham; Watts, Peter; de Wit, John
    The Queensland Community Periodic Survey is a cross-sectional survey of gay and homosexually active men recruited at a range of gay community sites around Queensland. The project was funded by Queensland Health. The major aim of the survey was to provide data on sexual, drug use, and testing practices related to the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections (STIs) among gay men.

  • (2010) Lee, Evelyn; Holt, Martin; Zablotska, Iryna; Prestage, Garrett; McKenzie, Tex; Batrouney, Colin; Kennedy, Mike; Dixon, Matt; de Wit, John
    The Melbourne Gay Community Periodic Survey is a cross-sectional survey of gay and homosexually active men recruited at a range of gay community sites in Melbourne. The project was funded by the Victorian Department of Health and supported by the Victorian AIDS Council and PLWHA Victoria. The major aim of the survey was to provide data on sexual, drug use and testing practices related to the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections (STIs) among men involved in Melbourne’s gay community.

  • (2010) Holt, Martin; Zablotska, Iryna; Lee, Evelyn; Ryan, Dermot; Down, Ian; Heard, Todd; Nairn, Karen; Prestage, Garrett; de Wit, John
    The Town and Country Gay Community Survey is a cross-sectional survey of gay and homosexually active men recruited from Sydney and regional New South Wales. 1371 men were recruited for the Sydney Gay Community Periodic Survey in August 2009 and 469 men were recruited between August and November 2009 from regional New South Wales. This report compares these two groups of men (from the city and regional areas) on a range of indicators.

  • (2011) MacIntyre, Raina; Torzillo, Paul; McIntyre, Peter; Richmond, Peter; Andrews, Ross; Goldblatt, David; Grabenstein, John; Ridda, Iman; Menzies, Robert; Macartney, Kristine
    Conference Paper
    Researchers, policy makers, healthcare professionals, advisory groups and industry representatives reviewed the latest research and discussed future directions at a forum on adult vaccination against pneumococcal disease on 29-30th August, 2011 at UNSW in Sydney, Australia. The Forum was organized and chaired by Professor Raina MacIntyre with sponsorship from CSL Biotherapies. Hosted by the School of Public Health and Community of Medicine at UNSW, the forum featured national and international speakers including Professor David Goldblatt, Professor Peter McIntyre, Professor Peter Richmond and Dr John Grabenstein. This report describes some of the key messages and issues discussed at the forum.

  • (2010) Deacon, Rachel; Newland, Jamee; Harris, Magdalena; Treloar, Carla; Maher, Lisa
    In NSW, hepatitis C has been the subject of specific surveillance and prevention programs for many years. Despite this experience and significant investment, there remain challenges both in understanding the epidemiology of this virus and in implementing effective prevention programs. This study aimed to enhance the public health surveillance program and contribute to the evidence base for hepatitis C prevention in NSW. The aim of Phase One was to develop and trial a methodology for an ongoing program of enhanced surveillance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in NSW. Phase Two aimed to increase understanding of the practices, settings, networks and structures contributing to HCV infection.

  • (2011) Sunderland, Matthew; Slade, Tim; Stewart, Gavin; Andrews, Gavin
    Journal Article
    Objective: To present scoring rules for predicting DSM-IV mental illness in the past 12 month using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale in the Australian population. Method: The method described in Kessler et al., [1] was closely followed using data from the 2007 Australian Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. A series of 93 nested logistic regression models were generated and compared to estimate the predicted probabilities of mental illness for each survey respondent using scores on the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. The best model was selected using information theoretic criteria. Concordance between the predicted probabilities of mental illness generated by the best models with DSM-IV defined mental illness, assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, was determined using receiver operating characteristic analysis. Results: The best fitting models were found to contain the quadratic form of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (both 6 item and 10 item versions). Age was found to be significant in the model predicting mood, anxiety, and substance use with serious impairment using the 6 item version whilst age and gender was found to be significant in the model for the 10 item version. The concordance between the predicted probabilities of mood, anxiety, and substance use with serious impairment generated from the best models and DSM-IV mood, anxiety, and substance use with serious impairment was within an acceptable level for both versions. Results were similar when predicting DSM-IV mood, anxiety, and substance use without seriousness indicators and DSM-IV anxiety and depression. The performance of predicted probabilities was then examined in various subpopulations of the Australian population. Conclusions: Using a logistic regression model, the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale can be used to generate predicted probabilities of mental illness with an acceptable level of agreement in Australian-based population studies where it is not feasible to conduct a comprehensive assessment.

  • (2010) Sunderland, Matthew; Mewton, Louise; Slade, Tim; Baillie, Andrew J.
    Journal Article
    Background: Large community based epidemiological surveys have consistently identified high co-morbidity between major depressive episode (MDE) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Some have suggested that this co-morbidity may be artificial and the product of the current diagnostic system. Due to the added direct and indirect costs associated with co-morbidity it is important to investigate if methods of diagnostic classification are artificially increasing the level of observed co-morbidity. Methods: The item response theory log-likelihood ratio procedure was used to test for differential item functioning of MDE symptoms between respondents with and without a diagnosis of GAD in the 2001-2002 National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Results: The presence of GAD significantly increased the chances of reporting any symptom of MDE with odds ratios ranging from 2.54 to 3.60. However, there was no indication of significant differential item functioning of MDE symptoms in respondents with and without GAD. Conclusions: The lack of any significant differential item functioning indicates that cases with GAD do not present with a distinct MDE symptom profile, one that is consistent with the endorsement of symptoms that are conceptually similar in nature between the two disorders, compared to cases without GAD. This does not support the hypothesis that co-morbidity between MDE and GAD is artificially inflated due to similar symptom criteria required by the current diagnostic system. Instead, MDE and GAD may be thought of as two distinct diagnostic entities that frequently co-occur due to a shared underlying trait.

  • (2010) Williams, Alishia; Moulds, Michelle; Grisham, Jessica; Gay, Philippe; Lang, Tamara; Kandris, Eva; Werner-Seidler, Aliza
    Journal Article
    Study 1 evaluated the psychometric properties of the English version of the Thought Control Ability Questionnaire (TCAQ; Luciano, Algarabel, Tomás, & Martínez, 2005), an index of perceived control over intrusive cognitions. Confirmatory factor analysis in a sample of 720 University students revealed a clear uni-dimensional structure (after removal of items 5, 7, 8, 14, and 25) with high internal consistency (α = .87, 95% CI = [.86, .88]) and test-retest reliability after a six month interval (r = .68). Correlational analyses supported an inverse relationship with measures of depression, anxiety, maladaptive cognitive control strategies, and obsessive–compulsive symptomatology. Study 2 tested the ability of the TCAQ to predict successful cognitive control during an experimental suppression protocol. Results demonstrated that weak thought control ability was predictive of the frequency and associated levels of distress of a target thought while under instruction to suppress. Additionally, weak perceived thought control ability was predictive of increased efforts to suppress the target material. Collectively, results suggest that thought control ability is a measurable individual difference variable and that the TCAQ is a reliable index of perceived cognitive control.

  • (2011) Apte, Minoti; Pirola, Romano; Wilson, Jeremy
    Journal Article
    Significance : Prominent fibrosis is a major histological feature of chronic pancreatitis, a progressive necroinflammatory condition of the pancreas, most commonly associated with alcohol abuse. Patients with this disease often develop exocrine and endocrine insufficiency characterised by maldigestion and diabetes. Up until just over a decade ago, there was little understanding of the pathogenesis of pancreatic fibrosis in chronic pancreatitis. Recent Studies : In recent times, significant progress has been made in this area, mostly due to the identification, isolation and characterisation of the cells, namely pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) that are now established as key players in pancreatic fibrogenesis. In health, PSCs maintain normal tissue architecture via regulation of the synthesis and degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. During pancreatic injury, PSCs transform into an activated phenotype that secretes excessive amounts of the ECM proteins that comprise fibrous tissue. Critical Issues : This Review summarises current knowledge and critical aspects of PSC biology which have been increasingly well characterised over the past few years, particularly with respect to the response of PSCs to factors that stimulate or inhibit their activation and the intracellular signalling pathways governing these processes. Based on this knowledge, several therapeutic strategies have been examined in experimental models of pancreatic fibrosis, demonstrating that pancreatic fibrosis is a potentially reversible condition, at least in early stages. Future Directions : These will involve translation of the laboratory findings into effective clinical approaches to prevent/inhibit PSC activation so as to prevent, retard or reverse the fibrotic process in pancreatitis.

  • (2011) Vonalaufen, Alain; Phillips, Phoebe; Xu, Zhihong; Zhang, John; Yang, Lu; Pirola, Romano; Wilson, Jeremy; Apte, Minoti
    Journal Article
    Background and aims Administration of repeated lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injections in alcohol-fed rats leads to significant pancreatic injury including fibrosis. However, it remains unknown whether alcoholic (chronic) pancreatitis has the potential to regress when alcohol is withdrawn. The aims of the study were (1) to compare the effect of alcohol withdrawal/continuation on pancreatic acute injury and fibrosis; and (2) to assess the effects of alcohol 6 LPS on pancreatic stellate cell (PSC) apoptosis in vivo and in vitro. Methods Rats fed isocaloric LiebereDeCarli liquid diets 6 alcohol for 10 weeks were challenged with LPS (3 mg/kg/week for 3 weeks) and then either switched to control diet or maintained on an alcohol diet for 3 days, 7 days or 3 weeks. Pancreatic sections were assessed for acute tissue injury, fibrosis, PSC apoptosis and activation. Cultured rat PSCs were exposed to 10 mM ethanol 6 1 mg/ml LPS for 48 or 72 h and apoptosis was assessed (Annexin V, caspase-3 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL)). Results Withdrawal of alcohol led to resolution of pancreatic lesions including fibrosis and to increased PSC apoptosis. Continued alcohol administration perpetuated pancreatic injury and prevented PSC apoptosis. Alcohol and LPS significantly inhibited PSC apoptosis in vitro, and the effect of LPS on PSC apoptosis could be blocked by Toll-like receptor 4 small interfering RNA. Conclusions Induction of PSC apoptosis upon alcohol withdrawal is a key mechanism mediating the resolution of pancreatic fibrosis. Conversely, continued alcohol intake perpetuates pancreatic injury by inhibiting apoptosis and promoting activation of PSCs. Characterisation of the pathways mediating PSC apoptosis has the potential to yield novel therapeutic strategies for chronic pancreatitis.