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Insight Into Helping Patients From Different Cultures


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The University of Washington Medial Center Patient and Family Educational Services has developed Culture Clues-tip sheets for clinicians designed to increase awareness about concepts and preferences of patients from diverse cultures. Currently there are seven cultures represented, with additional ones in progress. For information visit:


Americans Endorse Consultations to Inform Patients of End-of-Life Options

According to a new survey conducted by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) 88% of the population believes that patients would benefit from a consultation with end-of-life experts. Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans endorse a consultation to inform patients with life-limiting illnesses of their care options. Those who believe patients would benefit increased control over decision-making, improved quality of life, and alleviation of financial concerns.


This study ascertains the general public's end-of-life preferences, knowledge of funding mechanisms, and assessment of information sources. It was conducted in the 20th anniversary year of the Medicare Hospice Benefit. The complete White Paper and survey can be found at


Details of the findings include the belief that individuals who are terminally ill would like to receive end-of-life care at home. Three out of five Americans consider hospice most knowledgeable in providing end-of-life care at home. A slight majority believes physicians are truthful about life-limiting conditions and nearly one-half believes physicians provide adequate information on end-of-life care. An overwhelming majority believes patients would benefit from a consultation with end-of-life specialists, citing decision-making control as a primary benefit.


For a full copy of survey findings, visit the NHPCO Web site:


Helpful Information for Patients Using OneTouch Diabetes Products


Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available. has relaunched Kids' Clubhouse, a "homebase" for younger OneTouch Brand customers (and their parents) to obtain more information about diabetes, and have fun, too. For details visit:'s OneTouch Ultra Meter Quick Guide, a Flash-based interactive module that provides online learning and training for patients and caregivers, is now available at:


Exercise for Frail Elderly


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Frail elders often have chronic illnesses such as osteoarthritis, hypertension, diabetes, and peripheral vascular disease for which exercise is a proven means of achieving nonpharmacological benefits even at advanced age. According to the authors of an article published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, exercise continues to be an underused therapeutic intervention for frail elders as a result of barriers created by patients themselves, their caregivers, and their healthcare providers.


Only 30% of those aged 65 and older report any regular exercise. This inactivity is in contrast to current recommendations of 30 minutes of activity on most days of the week. Barriers to exercise for this patient population include a lack of knowledge about the documented benefits of exercise in older patient populations, attitudes about the appropriateness of physical exercise for older adults, and environmental factors that do not encourage exercise. Physicians and nurses should work together to assess patients' exercise capabilities and help develop exercise regimens that will motivate patients to follow.


Heath, J., Stuart, M. (2002). Prescribing exercise for frail elders. Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 15 ( 3 ), 218-228.


Cutting-Edge Reports Available

The National Technical Information Service ( offers valuable information to nurses, physicians, scientists, and healthcare professionals seeking data on a wide variety of topics.


NTIS maintains and circulates the nations largest collection of scientific, technical, engineering, and related information produced by or for hundreds of U.S. government agencies including the National Institutes of Health. The Web site contains information on a wide variety of diseases, research reports on a vast array of scientific and medical topics, and Federal guidelines for healthcare administrators.


NTIS is an agency of the Technology Administration of the Department of Commerce and has been collecting and disseminating scientific, business, and technical information for more than 50 years.



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Are Sample Medications Really Helping Patients?

According to an article in the Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, giving out sample medications to needy patients may not be the best thing. Pharmaceutical representatives often leave samples of medications for physicians to distribute to patients. While this allows physicians to test the effectiveness of the medication for certain disorders it also leads to frequent medication changes when samples of the patient's original prescription are unavailable.


Telephone interviews and chart reviews were conducted at two community health centers in California. Adults with hypertension who had at least three clinic visits in the previous year and had either no health insurance or Medicare or Medicaid were included. Investigators concluded that lack of insurance was the principle predictor for using sample medications. Although cross-sectional design and covariance of independent variables limited conclusions, higher diastolic blood pressure was related to sample medication use in patients who did not have insurance.


Zweifler, J., Hughes, S., et al. (2002). Are sample medications hurting the uninsured? Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 15 ( 5 ), 361-366.