Published: 17/03/2005, Volume II5, No. 5947 Page 29

Chlamydia testing

Young men are being excluded from the bid to curb the spread of chlamydia, according to a small study of practice nurses, who blame lack of time and training.

Results were from 33 practice nurses working in 22 general practices in one area of north Wales.

Only one nurse said she always tested young men under 25 - a group with high rates of infection.

A further five said they 'sometimes' did, but almost a fifth said they 'never' tested.

Few nurses routinely tested even in the presence of symptoms.

One third of respondents said they tested men whose partners were infected, but almost one in 10 said they did not.

Interviews with seven of the nurses revealed that time constraints and insufficient training were key factors.

'This study, while small, demonstrates the urgent need to support practice nurses to carry out male testing.' conclude the authors.

Sex Transm Infect 2005; 81: 31.

www. bmjjournals. com

Pharmacist review

The NHS recommends regular medication reviews for older people, yet a study has found that home-based monitoring does not keep older people out of hospital.

Researchers identified 872 elderly patients discharged after an emergency admission.

Home-based medication review by a pharmacist was shown to increase emergency hospital admissions compared to the control group who received usual care. Intervention increased admissions by nearly a third and home visits by GPs by over 40 per cent.

Pharmacists educated patients and carers about drugs, reported drug reactions or interactions to the GP and informed local pharmacists when a compliance aid was needed.

The increase may be due to patients gaining a better understanding of their conditions, or increased compliance with their drugs leading to more drug interactions, say the researchers.

They conclude that more effective forms of review are needed.

BMJ online first.

www. bmj. com

Asthma admissions

South Asian and black people in the UK are more likely to be admitted to hospital for asthma problems than white people, a study shows.

Researchers examined 13 relevant studies and found South Asian people had a lower frequency of asthma symptoms than white people, while black people had a similar frequency. But, compared to white people, south Asians were three times more likely and black people twice as likely to have an emergency hospital admission for the condition.

The disparity could be due to ethnic variations in asthma severity, health-seeking behaviour or difficulties in accessing high-quality primary care services.

Lower awareness of the disease and selfmanagement among ethnic minorities are other possible explanations.

The Lancet 2005; 365:312.

www. thelancet. com