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“A load of Rubbish” A survey of knowledge, attitudes and practices of health professionals in Dunedin, to the disposal of hazardous waste material

Abstract

94 (89%) of 106 general practices, dentists, veterinary clinics and pharmacists were surveyed by direct questioning to determine their knowledge, attitudes and practice of waste disposal.  Characteristic patterns of waste were produced by each type of practice.  Dentists, general practitioners (GPs), and vets producing mostly sharps and other contaminated material, whilst pharmacies produced expired/unwanted drugs.  Sharps were considered to be the most hazardous waste product.  Of those admitting to having sharps, 59% used an approved container for temporary storage.  30% of all GPs, vets and dentists used an ideal method for ultimate disposal of sharps.  Poor knowledge of correct disposal techniques was associated with poor actual disposal.  This suggests that education on correct methods of disposal may be able to improve this.  Vets and general practitioners practicing along had the worst disposal methods, so targeting these groups for education with a particular focus on sharps, would seem worthwhile.

Authors of Report

David Mason, Mark Milner, John Rietveld, Stephen Searle, Katharine Wallis, Lucille Wilkinson.

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Health of Access Trainees in Dunedin

Abstract

A survey of 94 Access Trainees in Dunedin in September 1991 was designed to assess their health status, knowledge of available health resources and barriers to health care.  The results were intended to be used to justify setting up a health scheme for this group.  Encouragingly it was found that the overall health status of the group was good, i.e. 86% of trainees had what we found to be a good/excellent level of health.  However areas which we felt needed attention were following:

  1. smoking – 57% were smokers
  2. alcohol – 25% had an unsafe level of alcohol consumption
  3. contraceptive knowledge – 37% of trainees felt that they would benefit from contraceptive education.

Overall we found that trainees had good knowledge of health resources that were available to them, i.e. 83% had their own GP and the majority knew where to go to get advice on alcohol problems or STD’s.  Of those who thought they should have seen a doctor in the past year but did not (445% of respondents) the main reason given for non-attendance was cost (72%).

Rather that setting up a health scheme we feel that the results of this survey indicate that an education programme targeting health practices, i.e. smoking, alcohol, contraception and diet would be of more value for this group.

Authors of Report

Kate White, Sarah Redfern, Kim Nester, Rachel McCoy, George Varsanyi, Simon Robinson.

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‘Hemlock in childhood – a dilemma since Socrates’.  A symphony in four movements, researching the problem of accidental poisoning in under five year olds.

Aims

  1. To identify the 10 most common non-medicinal substances and any common medicines, which are freely available in supermarkets and are responsible for poisoning in under 5 year olds in urban New Zealand using:
    • National Poisons Centre Data
    • Hospital admission data
    • Papers/studies
  2. To assess the availability of these substances in supermarkets by means of a survey at representative supermarkets.
  3. To assess the labeling, packaging and use of child-resistant closures for these substances and see if this conforms to the Poisons and Medicines Legislation.
  4. To find out what the parents of children under 5 know about these substances and about poisoning in general; Specifically,
    • whether these substances are poisonous
    • purchasing habits
    • where poisons should be stored
    • how to treat poisoning by these substances
    • whether they know about ipecac syrup

by means of a questionnaire at Plunket clinics or over the telephone.

Authors of Report

Lloyd Petersen, Nicola Poplawski, Diana Sarfati, Chris Sealey, Andrew Smillie, Steve Walsh, Anthony Yung.

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Public perception of the proposed changes to the health service

Introduction

Having been offered two possible options, we chose to study the public perception to the changes in the health system proposed by the government in the Green and White Paper title “Your Health and the Public Health”.

Having reviewed the Green and White paper, researched the Oregon Experience and interviewed the Otago Area Health Board Commissioner Professor Michael Cooper, we performed a telephone survey broadly based upon the submissions in the Green and White Paper.  Public perception and opinions were tested on areas including the Core Health Services; how a future health service could be funded; and the public’s impression of the present and proposed health service.

Authors of Report

M Bews-Hair, C Borthwick, B Chang, A Clarke, E Eccles, L Havard, M Kendall-Smith, R Laing.

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Teacher stress evaluation study

The aims of this study were as follows:

  1. An assessment of sources of stress within the schools and degree.
  2. A consideration of measures that may alleviate stress within the schools.
  3. To avoid comparisons between the schools except when looking at the environment.

Authors of Report

Maree Lindsay, Ruth Lucey, Paul Quigley, Dominic Rillstone, Tony Wells, Yvonne Wharerimu.

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