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   Table of Contents - Current issue
January-March 2023
Volume 28 | Issue 1
Page Nos. 0-36

Online since Monday, January 2, 2023

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Cover artist: Lynn Cameron p. 0
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A cold winter's night p. 3
Peter Hutten-Czapski
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Une froide nuit d'hiver p. 4
Peter Hutten-Czapski
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President's Message – Rural emergency room closures p. 5
Sarah Lesperance
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Message de la présidente. Fermeture des salles d'urgence en milieu rural p. 6
Sarah Lesperance
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Building More Bridges: Indigenous leadership in a study assessing the impact of distance to care on markers of quality HIV care in Saskatchewan p. 7
Denise Jaworsky
Introduction: Individuals in rural and remote areas face barriers to chronic disease care, including HIV. Saskatchewan has the highest HIV incidence among Canadian provinces and 35.6% of the population lives outside of an urban centre. In this study, we explored the relationship between distance to HIV care and markers of quality HIV care in Saskatchewan as part of the Canadian Observational HIV Cohort (CANOC). Methods: We used a Two-Eyed Seeing approach and honoured the experience of Indigenous team members living with HIV. The Positive Partnership Score (PPS) was the primary outcome (including frequency of viral load and CD4 measurements, baseline CD4 count, antiretroviral medication regimen and virologic suppression). Multivariable linear regression analysis was performed with distance to care defined in two ways: (1) categorical based on distance from home to HIV specialist care and (2) road distance from CANOC enrolment site. Results: Two hundred and seventy-six individuals were included in the analyses. Living ≤25 km from a visiting HIV specialist (where no HIV specialist lives in the community permanently) and living >100 km from the closest HIV specialist (either visiting or permanent) were both associated with lower PPS compared to living ≤25 km from where an HIV specialist practises permanently. Each 10 km further from the CANOC enrolment site was associated with a 0.01-point reduction (95% CI-0.02, 0, P = 0.024) in PPS. Conclusion: Through a strength-based approach that was grounded in culture, connection, land and Ceremony, we demonstrated how Indigenous people with HIV can play a key role in research. Distance from care was associated with a poorer quality of HIV care in Saskatchewan highlighting the need for better rural HIV care.
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Increasing diabetes testing adherence with incentives in rural Northwestern Ontario p. 18
Jai Mashru, Gabrielle Gagnon, Carly Kaus, Yvon Gagnon, Adam Moir
Introduction: The health outcomes of rural Canadians have been described as poor and can in some part be related to diabetes mellitus. Despite the high mortality and morbidity rates associated with the disease, compliance with management remains low. Research has shown that a small financial incentive used to modify patient behaviour, can improve outcomes in cardiac disease and exercise adherence. This study aims to evaluate if a small financial incentive awarded to rural Northwestern Ontario patients with diabetes who complete an haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test, would result in greater compliance in test completion. Methods: Patients were recruited through two Northern rural clinics. Participants were divided into two groups: Group A received a financial incentive, whereas Group B received a letter of reminder. HbA1c tests were recorded every 6 months for 2 years and compliance was analysed using a t-test and Chi-square. Results: One hundred and forty-six participants were recruited with 30 lost to follow-up. Overall, the incentive group completed a statistically significantly higher number of HbA1c tests compared to those in the control group. In addition, it was noted that there was an increase in test adherence for participants that received reminder letters, although not an initially expected outcome of the study. Conclusion: The results suggest that either a financial incentive or a reminder directed towards rural Canadians could have a benefit in promoting health behaviours to subsequent medical management of diabetes mellitus.
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Examining the status of rural post-graduate family medicine education p. 25
Brenton L. G Button, Ghislaine Attema, Megan Gao, Erin Cameron, Carmela Bosco, Ivy Oandasan
Introduction: Rural populations in Canada are generally in worse health when compared to their urban counterparts. In 2014, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada formed a joint Task force to advocate for improved health in rural communities. As a task force, they developed the Rural Road Map for Action. This paper uses the Rural Road Map for Action as a framework to examine the current state of family medicine's Post-Graduate Medical Education (PGME) in Canada. Methods: Surveys were sent to the programme directors of all English- and French-speaking post-graduate family medicine programmes. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to analyse survey responses. Results: Thirteen of 17 respondents completed the questionnaire. Despite on-going efforts, our results suggest that few programmes have equity and diversity admission's policies for rural and Indigenous students; a gap exists between the number of residents who are educated in rural areas and those who end up practising in rural areas; residents lack skills in Indigenous health; and more funded professional development opportunities are needed for rural physicians. Conclusion: Rural healthcare concerns are typically under-represented in PGME. The Rural Road Map for Action brings focus to the specific healthcare needs of rural areas, highlighting a recruitment and retention strategy that aligns education, practice, policy and research activities. Medical schools and national physician organisations need to continue to advocate for the health of rural communities through increasing the rural physician workforce and providing appropriate training for rural practice.
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The occasional abdominal paracentesis p. 34
Peter Hutten-Czapski
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