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Alcohol and energy drinks: a pilot study exploring patterns of consumption, social contexts, benefits and harm

February 27, 2013 Comments off

Alcohol and energy drinks: a pilot study exploring patterns of consumption, social contexts, benefits and harm

Source: BMC Research Notes

Background

Young people around the world are increasingly combining alcohol with energy drinks (AEDs). However, as yet, limited research has been conducted examining this issue, particularly in terms of exploring patterns of consumption, social practices and the cultural contexts of AED consumption. We sought to understand how AEDs are used and socially constructed among young people.

Methods

We conducted 25 hours of observation in a variety of pubs, bars and nightclubs, as well as in-depth interviews with ten young people who regularly consumed AEDs during a session of alcohol use.

Results

In this pilot study, participants were highly organised in their AED consumption practices and reported rarely altering this routine. Some young people consumed upwards of eight AEDs on a typical night, and others limited their use to between three and five AEDs to avoid unpleasant consequences, such as sleep disturbances, severe hangovers, heart palpitations and agitation. Wakefulness and increased energy were identified as the primary benefits of AEDs, with taste, reduced and increased intoxication, and sociability reported as additional benefits. Young AED users were brand sensitive and responded strongly to Red Bull imagery, as well as discounted AEDs. Finally, some young people reported substituting illicit stimulants with energy drinks.

Conclusions

Combining energy drinks with alcohol is now a normalised phenomenon and an integral and ingrained feature of the night-time economy. Despite this, many young people are unaware of recommended daily limits or related harms. While some young people consume AEDs to feel less drunk (consistent with motivations for combining alcohol with illicit stimulants), others report using AEDs to facilitate intoxication. While preliminary, our findings have relevance for potential policy and regulatory approaches, as well as directions for future research.

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Professional liability insurance in Obstetrics and Gynecology: estimate of the level of knowledge about malpractice insurance policies and definition of an informative tool for the management of the professional activity

December 18, 2011 Comments off

Professional liability insurance in Obstetrics and Gynecology: estimate of the level of knowledge about malpractice insurance policies and definition of an informative tool for the management of the professional activity
Source: BMC Research Notes

Background
In recent years, due to the increasingly hostile environment in the medical malpractice field and related lawsuits in Italy, physicians began informing themselves regarding their comprehensive medical malpractice coverage.

Methods
In order to estimate the level of knowledge of medical professionals on liability insurance coverage for healthcare malpractice, a sample of 60 hospital health professionals of the obstetrics and gynaecology area of Messina (Sicily, Italy) were recluted. A survey was administered to evaluate their knowledge as to the meaning of professional liability insurance coverage but above all on the most frequent policy forms (“loss occurrence”, “claims made” and “I-II risk”). Professionals were classified according to age and professional title and descriptive statistics were calculated for all the professional groups and answers.

Results
Most of the surveyed professionals were unaware or had very bad knowledge of the professional liability insurance coverage negotiated by the general manager, so most of the personnel believed it useful to subscribe individual “private” policies. Several subjects declared they were aware of the possibility of obtaining an extended coverage for gross negligence and substantially all the surveyed had never seen the loss occurrence and claims made form of the policy. Moreover, the sample was practically unaware of the related issues about insurance coverage for damages related to breaches on informed consent. The results revealed the relative lack of knowledge–among the operators in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology–of the effective coverage provided by the policies signed by the hospital managers for damages in medical malpractice. The authors thus proposed a useful information tool to help professionals working in obstetrics and gynaecology regarding aspects of insurance coverage provided on the basis of Italian civil law.

Conclusion
Italy must introduce a compulsory insurance system which could absorb, through a mechanism of “distribution of risk”, the malpractice litigation and its costs. This will provide compensation in accidental cases where it wouldn’t be possible to demonstrate carelessness, imprudence and/or lack of skill.

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