Smokefree outdoor areas in New Zealand: how far have we come?
An online survey with Local and District Councils throughout New Zealand was used to examine smokefree outdoor area policies. This research found that local authorities are increasingly adopting smokefree outdoor area policies; 70% of councils now have a smokefree policy that cover the ‘greenspaces’ of parks, playgrounds and sports grounds. However, there is little evidence that councils are prepared to consider extending these policies out of the greenspaces and into other public places such as beaches, outdoor dining areas, and pedestrian shopping malls. Councils found that lack of time and resources made it difficult to implement these policies. Continued efforts are required to undertake evaluations of current policies which may provide evidence to extend them, to assist those councils without a policy to develop one, and to increase funding for implementation.
“Good intentions, but inadequate practices”—sun protection in early childhood centres, a qualitative study from New Zealand
The research found a lack of comprehensive sun protection policies in many NZ early childhood centres. There appears to be an insufficient focus on sun protection in the regulations and monitoring of these centres. There is inadequate access to sun protection information for centre staff and parents. There needs to be a greater focus by government on sun protection for preschoolers, and this could be done by early childhood centre regulations.
Treating pseudomyxoma peritonei without heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy—a first look in New Zealand
Pseudomyxoma peritonei arises from perforated mucus producing tumours inside the abdomen. We show that treatment with surgery alone may result in similar outcomes to surgery plus chemotherapy
Government funding of health research in New Zealand
An analysis of levels of government health research funding carried out in 2008 demonstrated that funding in New Zealand, after adjustment for population size, was much lower than in comparator countries. This was perceived to be a major obstacle to the recruitment and retention of clinical and academic staff in our hospitals and universities. We have now repeated these comparisons, and find that from 2009 to the present, funds [for direct funding of research through the Health Research Council (HRC)] have remained static at 54 million dollars annually. As a result of inflation of research costs, this represents a decrease of approximately one-quarter in the quantum of research funded by the HRC over the last 4 years. Current funding rates are 3.4-fold higher in Australia, 4.5-fold higher in the United Kingdom, and 9.7-fold higher in the United States. Urgent and sustained action is needed to correct these major disparities in government health research funding if the quality of academic and clinical staff in our public institutions is to be maintained.
Measurement of serum PSA as a predictor of symptoms scored on the IPSS for patients
It has been established by previous studies that serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels correlate to size of the prostate gland and that prostate gland size is directly related to the symptoms experienced by patients. This study was done in order to potentially tie the two together and see if the levels of PSA would be able to be used as a predictor for symptoms. Data was collected on levels of serum PSA and the symptoms were scored on a standardised scale from males who attended the prostate clinic in Christchurch Public Hospital with an established diagnosis of enlarged prostate. Levels of PSA compared to symptoms a definite relationship but each increase of the level of PSA showed only a little real increase in symptoms that were reported. As a result, PSA has no real utility to accurately gauge symptomatic severity.