Gambling problems among patients in primary care: a cross-sectional study of general practices.
Br J Gen Pract. 2017 Apr;67(657):e274-e279
Authors: Cowlishaw S, Gale L, Gregory A, McCambridge J, Kessler D
BACKGROUND: Primary care is an important context for addressing health-related behaviours, and may provide a setting for identification of gambling problems.
AIM: To indicate the extent of gambling problems among patients attending general practices, and explore settings or patient groups that experience heightened vulnerability.
DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study of patients attending 11 general practices in Bristol, South West England.
METHOD: Adult patients (n = 1058) were recruited from waiting rooms of practices that were sampled on the basis of population characteristics. Patients completed anonymous questionnaires comprising measures of mental health problems (for example, depression) and addictive behaviours (for example, risky alcohol use). The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) measured gambling problems, along with a single-item measure of gambling problems among family members. Estimates of extent and variability according to practice and patient characteristics were produced.
RESULTS: There were 0.9% of all patients exhibiting problem gambling (PGSI ≥5), and 4.3% reporting problems that were low to moderate in severity (PGSI 1-4). Around 7% of patients reported gambling problems among family members. Further analyses indicated that rates of any gambling problems (PGSI ≥1) were higher among males and young adults, and more tentatively, within a student healthcare setting. They were also elevated among patients exhibiting drug use, risky alcohol use, and depression.
CONCLUSION: There is need for improved understanding of the burden of, and responses to, patients with gambling problems in general practices, and new strategies to increase identification to facilitate improved care and early intervention.
PMID: 28289016 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Predicting the onset of hazardous alcohol drinking in primary care: development and validation of a simple risk algorithm.
Br J Gen Pract. 2017 Apr;67(657):e280-e292
Authors: Bellón JÁ, de Dios Luna J, King M, Nazareth I, Motrico E, GildeGómez-Barragán MJ, Torres-González F, Montón-Franco C, Sánchez-Celaya M, Díaz-Barreiros MÁ, Vicens C, Moreno-Peral P
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the risk of progressing to hazardous alcohol use in abstinent or low-risk drinkers.
AIM: To develop and validate a simple brief risk algorithm for the onset of hazardous alcohol drinking (HAD) over 12 months for use in primary care.
DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective cohort study in 32 health centres from six Spanish provinces, with evaluations at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months.
METHOD: Forty-one risk factors were measured and multilevel logistic regression and inverse probability weighting were used to build the risk algorithm. The outcome was new occurrence of HAD during the study, as measured by the AUDIT.
RESULTS: From the lists of 174 GPs, 3954 adult abstinent or low-risk drinkers were recruited. The 'predictAL-10' risk algorithm included just nine variables (10 questions): province, sex, age, cigarette consumption, perception of financial strain, having ever received treatment for an alcohol problem, childhood sexual abuse, AUDIT-C, and interaction AUDIT-C*Age. The c-index was 0.886 (95% CI = 0.854 to 0.918). The optimal cutoff had a sensitivity of 0.83 and specificity of 0.80. Excluding childhood sexual abuse from the model (the 'predictAL-9'), the c-index was 0.880 (95% CI = 0.847 to 0.913), sensitivity 0.79, and specificity 0.81. There was no statistically significant difference between the c-indexes of predictAL-10 and predictAL-9.
CONCLUSION: The predictAL-10/9 is a simple and internally valid risk algorithm to predict the onset of hazardous alcohol drinking over 12 months in primary care attendees; it is a brief tool that is potentially useful for primary prevention of hazardous alcohol drinking.
PMID: 28360074 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The Relationship Between School Holidays and Transmission of Influenza in England and Wales.
Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Nov 01;184(9):644-651
Authors: Jackson C, Vynnycky E, Mangtani P
School closure is often considered as an influenza control measure, but its effects on transmission are poorly understood. We used 2 approaches to estimate how school holidays affect the contact parameter (the per capita rate of contact sufficient for infection transmission) for influenza using primary care data from England and Wales (1967-2000). Firstly, we fitted an age-structured susceptible-infectious-recovered model to each year's data to estimate the proportional change in the contact parameter during school holidays as compared with termtime. Secondly, we calculated the percentage difference in the contact parameter between holidays and termtime from weekly values of the contact parameter, estimated directly from simple mass-action models. Estimates were combined using random-effects meta-analysis, where appropriate. From fitting to the data, the difference in the contact parameter among children aged 5-14 years during holidays as compared with termtime ranged from a 36% reduction to a 17% increase; estimates were too heterogeneous for meta-analysis. Based on the simple mass-action model, the contact parameter was 17% (95% confidence interval: 10, 25) lower during holidays than during termtime. Results were robust to the assumed proportions of infections that were reported and individuals who were susceptible when the influenza season started. We conclude that school closure may reduce transmission during influenza outbreaks.
PMID: 27744384 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Economic Impact of Integrated Care Models for Patients with Chronic Diseases: A Systematic Review.
Value Health. 2016 Sep - Oct;19(6):892-902
Authors: Desmedt M, Vertriest S, Hellings J, Bergs J, Dessers E, Vankrunkelsven P, Vrijhoef H, Annemans L, Verhaeghe N, Petrovic M, Vandijck D
OBJECTIVES: To assess the costs and potential financial benefits of integrated care models for patients with chronic diseases, that is, type 2 diabetes mellitus, schizophrenia, and multiple sclerosis, respectively.
METHODS: A systematic search of the literature was performed using EMBASE, MEDLINE, and Web of Science. Studies that conducted a cost analysis, considered at least two components of the chronic care model, and compared integrated care with standard care were included.
RESULTS: Out of 575 articles, 26 were included. Most studies examined integrated care models for type 2 diabetes mellitus (n = 18) and to a lesser extent for schizophrenia (n = 6) and multiple sclerosis (n = 2). Across the three disease groups, the incremental cost per patient per year ranged from - €3860 to + €613.91 (x¯ = - €533.61 ± €902.96). The incremental cost for type 2 diabetes mellitus ranged from - €1507.49 to + €299.20 (x¯ = - €518.22 ± + €604.75), for schizophrenia from - €3860 to + €613.91 (x¯ = - €677.21 ± + €1624.35), and for multiple sclerosis from - €822 to + €339.43 (x¯ = - €241.29 ± + €821.26). Most of the studies (22 of 26 [84.6%]) reported a positive economic impact of integrated care models: for type 2 diabetes mellitus (16 of 18 [88.9%]), schizophrenia (4 of 6 [66.7%]), and multiple sclerosis (1 of 2 [50%]).
CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic literature review, predominantly positive economic impacts of integrated care models for patients with chronic diseases were found.
PMID: 27712719 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Diagnosis of cancer as an emergency: a critical review of current evidence.
Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2017 Jan;14(1):45-56
Authors: Zhou Y, Abel GA, Hamilton W, Pritchard-Jones K, Gross CP, Walter FM, Renzi C, Johnson S, McPhail S, Elliss-Brookes L, Lyratzopoulos G
Many patients with cancer are diagnosed through an emergency presentation, which is associated with inferior clinical and patient-reported outcomes compared with those of patients who are diagnosed electively or through screening. Reducing the proportion of patients with cancer who are diagnosed as emergencies is, therefore, desirable; however, the optimal means of achieving this aim are uncertain owing to the involvement of different tumour, patient and health-care factors, often in combination. Most relevant evidence relates to patients with colorectal or lung cancer in a few economically developed countries, and defines emergency presentations contextually (that is, whether patients presented to emergency health-care services and/or received emergency treatment shortly before their diagnosis) as opposed to clinically (whether patients presented with life-threatening manifestations of their cancer). Consistent inequalities in the risk of emergency presentations by patient characteristics and cancer type have been described, but limited evidence is available on whether, and how, such presentations can be prevented. Evidence on patients' symptoms and health-care use before presentation as an emergency is sparse. In this Review, we describe the extent, causes and implications of a diagnosis of cancer following an emergency presentation, and provide recommendations for public health and health-care interventions, and research efforts aimed at addressing this under-researched aspect of cancer diagnosis.
PMID: 27725680 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Improving combination antiretroviral therapy by targeting HIV-1 gene transcription.
Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2016 11;20(11):1311-1324
Authors: Le Douce V, Ait-Amar A, Forouzan Far F, Fahmi F, Quiel J, El Mekdad H, Daouad F, Marban C, Rohr O, Schwartz C
INTRODUCTION: Combination Antiretroviral Therapy (cART) has not allowed the cure of HIV. The main obstacle to HIV eradication is the existence of quiescent reservoirs. Several other limitations of cART have been described, such as strict life-long treatment and high costs, restricting it to Western countries, as well as the development of multidrug resistance. Given these limitations and the impetus to find a cure, the development of new treatments is necessary. Areas covered: In this review, we discuss the current status of several efficient molecules able to suppress HIV gene transcription, including NF-kB and Tat inhibitors. We also assess the potential of new proteins belonging to the intriguing DING family, which have been reported to have potential anti-HIV-1 activity by inhibiting HIV gene transcription. Expert opinion: Targeting HIV-1 gene transcription is an alternative approach, which could overcome cART-related issues, such as the emergence of multidrug resistance. Improving cART will rely on the identification and characterization of new actors inhibiting HIV-1 transcription. Combining such efforts with the use of new technologies, the development of new models for preclinical studies, and improvement in drug delivery will considerably reduce drug toxicity and thus increase patient adherence.
PMID: 27266557 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Post-marketing withdrawal of anti-obesity medicinal products because of adverse drug reactions: a systematic review.
BMC Med. 2016 Nov 29;14(1):191
Authors: Onakpoya IJ, Heneghan CJ, Aronson JK
BACKGROUND: We identified anti-obesity medications withdrawn since 1950 because of adverse drug reactions after regulatory approval, and examined the evidence used to support such withdrawals, investigated the mechanisms of the adverse reactions, and explored the trends over time.
METHODS: We conducted searches in PubMed, the World Health Organization database of drugs, the websites of drug regulatory authorities, and selected full texts, and we hand searched references in retrieved documents. We included anti-obesity medications that were withdrawn between 1950 and December 2015 and assessed the levels of evidence used for making withdrawal decisions using the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine criteria.
RESULTS: We identified 25 anti-obesity medications withdrawn between 1964 and 2009; 23 of these were centrally acting, via monoamine neurotransmitters. Case reports were cited as evidence for withdrawal in 80% of instances. Psychiatric disturbances, cardiotoxicity (mainly attributable to re-uptake inhibitors), and drug abuse or dependence (mainly attributable to neurotransmitter releasing agents) together accounted for 83% of withdrawals. Deaths were reportedly associated with seven products (28%). In almost half of the cases, the withdrawals occurred within 2 years of the first report of an adverse reaction.
CONCLUSIONS: Most of the drugs that affect monoamine neurotransmitters licensed for the treatment of obesity over the past 65 years have been withdrawn because of adverse reactions. The reasons for withdrawal raise concerns about the wisdom of using pharmacological agents that target monoamine neurotransmitters in managing obesity. Greater transparency in the assessment of harms from anti-obesity medications is therefore warranted.
PMID: 27894343 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
An Exploratory Study to Assess Individual and Structural Level Barriers Associated With Poor Retention and Re-engagement in Care Among Persons Living With HIV/AIDS.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2017 Feb 01;74 Suppl 2:S113-S120
Authors: Colasanti J, Stahl N, Farber EW, Del Rio C, Armstrong WS
BACKGROUND: Retention in care is the most challenging step along the HIV care continuum. Many patients who engage in care and achieve viral suppression have care interruptions, characterized by moving in and out of care ("churn"). Poor retention has clinical consequences and contributes to new HIV transmissions, but how to predict or prevent it remains elusive. This study sought to understand the relationship between individual- and structural-level barriers, and poor retention for persons living with HIV/AIDS in Atlanta, GA.
METHODS: We administered a survey, through interviews, with HIV-infected patients continuously retained in care for 6 years ("continuously retained," n = 32) and patients with recent gaps in care ("unretained" n = 27). We assessed individual-level protective factors for successful engagement (self-efficacy, resilience, perceived social support, and disclosure), risk factors for poor engagement (substance use, mental illness, and stigma), and structural/systemic-level barriers (financial and housing instability, transportation, food insecurity, communication barriers, and incarceration history). Chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare the 2 populations.
RESULTS: Both continuously retained and unretained populations had high rates of prior viral suppression but few unretained patients were virologically suppressed upon return to care (11%). Younger age, crack cocaine use, food insecurity, financial instability, housing instability, and phone number changes in the past year were significantly more likely to be present in the unretained population.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest the need for targeted risk assessment tools to predict the highest-risk patients for poor retention whereby public health interventions can be directed to those individuals.
PMID: 28079721 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Financial barriers and adverse clinical outcomes among patients with cardiovascular-related chronic diseases: a cohort study.
BMC Med. 2017 Feb 15;15(1):33
Authors: Campbell DJ, Manns BJ, Weaver RG, Hemmelgarn BR, King-Shier KM, Sanmartin C
BACKGROUND: Some patients with cardiovascular-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease report financial barriers to achieving optimal health. Previous surveys report that the perception of having a financial barrier is associated with self-reported adverse clinical outcomes. We sought to confirm these findings using linked survey and administrative data to determine, among patients with cardiovascular-related chronic diseases, if there is an association between perceived financial barriers and the outcomes of: (1) disease-related hospitalizations, (2) all-cause mortality and (3) inpatient healthcare costs.
METHODS: We used ten cycles of the nationally representative Canadian Community Health Survey (administered between 2000 and 2011) to identify a cohort of adults aged 45 and older with hypertension, diabetes, heart disease or stroke. Perceived financial barriers to various aspects of chronic disease care and self-management were identified (including medications, healthful food and home care) from the survey questions, using similar questions to those used in previous studies. The cohort was linked to administrative data sources for outcome ascertainment (Discharge Abstract Database, Canadian Mortality Database, Patient Cost Estimator). We utilized Poisson regression techniques, adjusting for potential confounding variables (age, sex, education, multimorbidity, smoking status), to assess for associations between perceived financial barriers and disease-related hospitalization and all-cause mortality. We used gross costing methodology and a variety of modelling approaches to assess the impact of financial barriers on hospital costs.
RESULTS: We identified a cohort of 120,752 individuals over the age of 45 years with one or more of the following: hypertension, diabetes, heart disease or stroke. One in ten experienced financial barriers to at least one aspect of their care, with the two most common being financial barriers to accessing medications and healthful food. Even after adjustment, those with at least one financial barrier had an increased rate of disease-related hospitalization and mortality compared to those without financial barriers with adjusted incidence rate ratios of 1.36 (95% CI: 1.29-1.44) and 1.24 (1.16-1.32), respectively. Furthermore, having a financial barrier to care was associated with 30% higher inpatient costs compared to those without financial barriers.
DISCUSSION: This study, using novel linked national survey and administrative data, demonstrates that chronic disease patients with perceived financial barriers have worse outcomes and higher resource utilization, corroborating the findings from prior self-report studies. The overall exposure remained associated with the primary outcome even in spite of adjustment for income. This suggests that a patient's perception of a financial barrier might be used in clinical and research settings as an additional measure along with standard measures of socioeconomic status (ie. income, education, social status).
CONCLUSIONS: After adjusting for relevant covariates, perceiving a financial barrier was associated with increased rates of hospitalization and mortality and higher hospital costs compared to those without financial barriers. The demonstrable association with adverse outcomes and increased costs seen in this study may provide an impetus for policymakers to seek to invest in interventions which minimize the impact of financial barriers.
PMID: 28196524 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
A population-based epidemiologic study of adult neuromuscular disease in the Republic of Ireland.
Neurology. 2017 Jan 17;88(3):304-313
Authors: Lefter S, Hardiman O, Ryan AM
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence rates (PRs) of acquired and inherited neuromuscular diseases (NMD) in the adult Irish population, reflecting the burden of these conditions in a single country.
METHODS: This population-based study was performed in the Republic of Ireland (RoI), with a PR estimated for December 2013. Multiple case ascertainment sources were utilized. Demographic and clinical information and relevant diagnostic results were registered.
RESULTS: A total of 2,641 adults were identified, giving a PR of 62.6/100,000 (95% confidence interval [CI] 59.95-65.24) for all NMD in RoI. Disease-specific PR include chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy 5.87/100,000 (95% CI 5.06-6.68), Charcot-Marie-Tooth 10.52/100,000 (95% CI 9.44-11.61), hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies 0.84/100,000 (95% CI 0.54-1.15), myotonic dystrophy type I 6.75/100,000 (95% CI 5.88-7.61), Duchenne muscular dystrophy 3.0/100,000 (95% CI 2.33-3.70), Becker muscular dystrophy 2.2/100,000 (95% CI 1.64-2.88), facioscapulohumeral dystrophy 2.59/100,000 (95% CI 2.05-3.13), limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2.88/100,000 (95% CI 2.31-3.45), periodic paralysis 1.72/100,000 (95% CI 1.28-2.15), myotonia congenita 0.32/100,000 (95% CI 0.18-0.56), paramyotonia congenita 0.15/100,000 (95% CI 0.06-0.34), Kennedy disease 0.83/100,000 (95% CI 0.40-1.27), Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome 0.29/100,000 (95% CI 0.11-0.47), myasthenia gravis 15.12/100,000 (95% CI 13.82-16.42), and sporadic inclusion body myositis 11.7/100,000 (95% CI 9.82-13.58). PR for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was established from an existing Register as 7.20/100,000 (95% CI 6.34-8.15).
CONCLUSIONS: The PR of all adult NMD in RoI is relatively high when compared with other chronic neurologic disorders, although some figures may be an underestimate of the true prevalence. The data provide a framework for international comparison and service planning.
PMID: 27927941 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Incorporating cancer risk information into general practice: a qualitative study using focus groups with health professionals.
Br J Gen Pract. 2017 Mar;67(656):e218-e226
Authors: Usher-Smith JA, Silarova B, Ward A, Youell J, Muir KR, Campbell J, Warcaba J
BACKGROUND: It is estimated that approximately 40% of all cases of cancer are attributable to lifestyle factors. Providing people with personalised information about their future risk of cancer may help promote behaviour change.
AIM: To explore the views of health professionals on incorporating personalised cancer risk information, based on lifestyle factors, into general practice.
DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative study using data from six focus groups with a total of 24 general practice health professionals from the NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group in England.
METHOD: The focus groups were guided by a schedule covering current provision of lifestyle advice relating to cancer and views on incorporating personalised cancer risk information. Data were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and then analysed using thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Providing lifestyle advice was viewed as a core activity within general practice but the influence of lifestyle on cancer risk was rarely discussed. The word 'cancer' was seen as a potentially powerful motivator for lifestyle change but the fact that it could generate health anxiety was also recognised. Most focus group participants felt that a numerical risk estimate was more likely to influence behaviour than generic advice. All felt that general practice should provide this information, but there was a clear need for additional resources for it to be offered widely.
CONCLUSION: Study participants were in support of providing personalised cancer risk information in general practice. The findings highlight a number of potential benefits and challenges that will inform the future development of interventions in general practice to promote behaviour change for cancer prevention.
PMID: 28193618 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Cost-Effectiveness of a National Opportunistic Screening Program for Atrial Fibrillation in Ireland.
Value Health. 2016 Dec;19(8):985-995
Authors: Moran PS, Teljeur C, Harrington P, Smith SM, Smyth B, Harbison J, Normand C, Ryan M
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a national atrial fibrillation screening program in Ireland involving annual opportunistic pulse palpation of all those older than 65 years during general practitioner consultations, with an electrocardiogram being performed if an irregular pulse is detected.
METHODS: A probabilistic Markov model was used to simulate costs and clinical outcomes in a hypothetical cohort of men and women with and without screening over the course of 25 years, using a societal perspective.
RESULTS: Screening was associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €23,004/quality-adjusted life-year compared with routine care. Nevertheless, if the relative risk of stroke and systematic embolism in screen-detected patients is more than 12% lower than that in patients with atrial fibrillation identified through routine practice, then screening would not be considered cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of €45,000/quality-adjusted life-year. An analysis comparing alternative combinations of start age and screening interval found that less frequent screening with a later start age may be more cost-effective than an annual screening from age 65 years.
CONCLUSIONS: Annual opportunistic screening of men and women aged 65 years and older in primary care in Ireland is likely to be cost-effective using conventional willingness-to-pay thresholds, assuming that those detected through screening have a comparable stroke risk profile as those detected through routine practice. Raising the start age of screening or increasing the screening interval may improve the cost-effectiveness of a prospective screening program.
PMID: 27987649 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Predictors of the 10-year direct costs for treating multiple sclerosis.
Acta Neurol Scand. 2017 May;135(5):522-528
Authors: Moccia M, Palladino R, Lanzillo R, Triassi M, Brescia Morra V
OBJECTIVES: Disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) constitute the largest direct medical cost for multiple sclerosis (MS). This study aims at investigating predictors of the 10-year economic burden for DMT administration and management.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study included 537 newly diagnosed, drug naïve relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients, followed up for 10.1±3.3 years. Costs for DMT administration and management were calculated, and referred to each year of observation (annual costs). Possible predictors of disease evolution were categorized into early predictors (age, gender, disease duration, baseline expanded disability status scale (EDSS), 1-point EDSS progression within 2 years, and annualized relapse rate -ARR- within 2 years), and long-term predictors (reaching of EDSS 4.0, conversion to secondary progressive -SP-, ARR, number of DMTs, follow-up duration). Association between predictors and study outcome was explored using mixed-effects log-linear regression models.
RESULTS: A 1-point higher EDSS at diagnosis was associated with 13.21% increase in the annual costs (95%CI=4.16-23.04%). Each additional year of age at diagnosis was associated with a 0.74% decrease in the annual costs (95%CI=-1.43 to-0.04%). Female gender was associated with a 12.43% decrease in the annual costs (95%CI=-22.61 to-0.93%). Converting to SP was associated with a 14.26% decrease in the annual costs (95%CI=-14.26 to-2.94%). Each additional year of follow-up was associated with a 3.05% decrease in the annual costs (95%CI=-4.51 to-1.57%).
CONCLUSIONS: An estimate of the 10-year costs associated with DMT administration and management can be calculated by analyzing different factors, and might be of particular interest for planning resources needed for treating people with MS.
PMID: 27357245 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
A Systematic Review of Health Economic Evaluation Studies Using the Patient's Perspective.
Value Health. 2016 Sep - Oct;19(6):903-908
Authors: Bilvick Tai BW, Bae YH, Le QA
BACKGROUND: Patient-centered care has become increasingly important and relevant for informed health care decision making.
OBJECTIVE: Our study aimed to perform a systematic review of health economic evaluation studies from the patient's perspective.
METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central databases were searched through May 2014 for cost-effectiveness, cost-utility, and cost-benefit studies using the patient's perspective in their analysis. The reporting quality of the studies was evaluated on the basis of Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards.
RESULTS: We identified 30 health economic evaluations using the patient's perspective, of which 7 were conducted in the United States, 9 in Europe, and 14 in Asian or other countries. Seventeen of 23 health conditions evaluated were chronic in nature. Among 12 studies that justified the use of the patient's perspective, patient's financial burden associated with medical treatment was the most commonly cited rationale. A total of 29, 17, and 15 studies examined direct medical, direct nonmedical, and indirect costs, respectively. Seventeen studies also included societal, governmental or payer's, and/or provider's perspective(s) in their analyses. Based on Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards, more than 20% of the reporting items in these studies were either partially satisfied or not satisfied.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a paucity of health economic evaluations conducted from the patient's perspective in the literature. For those studies using the patient's perspective, the true patient costs were not fully explored and study reporting quality was not optimal. With the increasing focus on patient-centered outcomes in health policy research, more frequent use of the patient's perspective in economic studies should be advocated.
PMID: 27712720 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Air Pollution Is Associated With Ischemic Stroke via Cardiogenic Embolism.
Stroke. 2017 Jan;48(1):17-23
Authors: Chung JW, Bang OY, Ahn K, Park SS, Park TH, Kim JG, Ko Y, Lee S, Lee KB, Lee J, Kang K, Park JM, Cho YJ, Hong KS, Nah HW, Kim DH, Cha JK, Ryu WS, Kim DE, Kim JT, Choi JC, Oh MS, Yu KH, Lee BC, Lee JS, Lee J, Park HK, Kim BJ, Han MK, Bae HJ
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to assessed the impact of short-term exposure to air pollution on ischemic stroke subtype, while focusing on stroke caused via cardioembolism.
METHODS: From a nationwide, multicenter, prospective, stroke registry database, 13 535 patients with acute ischemic stroke hospitalized to 12 participating centers were enrolled in this study. Data on the hourly concentrations of particulate matter <10 μm, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), and carbon monoxide (CO) were collected from 181 nationwide air pollution surveillance stations. The average values of these air pollutants over the 7 days before stroke onset from nearest air quality monitoring station in each patient were used to determine association with stroke subtype. The primary outcome was stroke subtype, including large artery atherosclerosis, small-vessel occlusion, cardioembolism, and stroke of other or undetermined cause.
RESULTS: Particulate matter <10 μm and SO2 concentrations were independently associated with an increased risk of cardioembolic stroke, as compared with large artery atherosclerosis and noncardioembolic stroke. In stratified analyses, the proportion of cases of cardioembolic stroke was positively correlated with the particulate matter <10 μm, NO2, and SO2 quintiles. Moreover, seasonal and geographic factors were related to an increased proportion of cardioembolic stroke, which may be attributed to the high levels of air pollution.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the short-term exposure to air pollutants is associated with cardioembolic stroke, and greater care should be taken for those susceptible to cerebral embolism during peak pollution periods. Public and environmental health policies to reduce air pollution could help slow down global increasing trends of cardioembolic stroke.
PMID: 27899751 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Coffee, tea and melanoma risk: findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
Int J Cancer. 2017 May 15;140(10):2246-2255
Authors: Caini S, Masala G, Saieva C, Kvaskoff M, Savoye I, Sacerdote C, Hemmingsson O, Hammer Bech B, Overvad K, Tjønneland A, Petersen KE, Mancini FR, Boutron-Ruault MC, Cervenka I, Kaaks R, Kühn T, Boeing H, Floegel A, Trichopoulou A, Valanou E, Kritikou M, Tagliabue G, Panico S, Tumino R, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Peeters PH, Veierød MB, Ghiasvand R, Lukic M, Quirós JR, Chirlaque MD, Ardanaz E, Salamanca Fernández E, Larrañaga N, Zamora-Ros R, Maria Nilsson L, Ljuslinder I, Jirström K, Sonestedt E, Key TJ, Wareham N, Khaw KT, Gunter M, Huybrechts I, Murphy N, Tsilidis KK, Weiderpass E, Palli D
In vitro and animal studies suggest that bioactive constituents of coffee and tea may have anticarcinogenic effects against cutaneous melanoma; however, epidemiological evidence is limited to date. We examined the relationships between coffee (total, caffeinated or decaffeinated) and tea consumption and risk of melanoma in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). EPIC is a multicentre prospective study that enrolled over 500,000 participants aged 25-70 years from ten European countries in 1992-2000. Information on coffee and tea drinking was collected at baseline using validated country-specific dietary questionnaires. We used adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the associations between coffee and tea consumption and melanoma risk. Overall, 2,712 melanoma cases were identified during a median follow-up of 14.9 years among 476,160 study participants. Consumption of caffeinated coffee was inversely associated with melanoma risk among men (HR for highest quartile of consumption vs. non-consumers 0.31, 95% CI 0.14-0.69) but not among women (HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.62-1.47). There were no statistically significant associations between consumption of decaffeinated coffee or tea and the risk of melanoma among both men and women. The consumption of caffeinated coffee was inversely associated with melanoma risk among men in this large cohort study. Further investigations are warranted to confirm our findings and clarify the possible role of caffeine and other coffee compounds in reducing the risk of melanoma.
PMID: 28218395 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Outbreak of hepatitis A associated with men who have sex with men (MSM), England, July 2016 to January 2017.
Euro Surveill. 2017 Feb 02;22(5):
Authors: Beebeejaun K, Degala S, Balogun K, Simms I, Woodhall SC, Heinsbroek E, Crook PD, Kar-Purkayastha I, Treacy J, Wedgwood K, Jordan K, Mandal S, Ngui SL, Edelstein M
Between July 2016 and January 2017, 37 confirmed cases of hepatitis A with two unique IA genotype strains primarily among men who have sex with men, were reported across eight areas in England and Northern Ireland. Epidemiological and laboratory investigations indicate that these strains may have been imported several times from Spain, with secondary sexual transmission in the United Kingdom. Local and national public health services are collaborating to control this ongoing outbreak.
PMID: 28183392 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Current progress on understanding the impact of mercury on human health.
Environ Res. 2017 Jan;152:419-433
Authors: Ha E, Basu N, Bose-O'Reilly S, Dórea JG, McSorley E, Sakamoto M, Chan HM
Mercury pollution and its impacts on human health is of global concern. The authors of this paper were members of the Plenary Panel on Human Health in the 12th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant held in Korea in June 2015. The Panel was asked by the conference organizers to address two questions: what is the current understanding of the impacts of mercury exposure on human health and what information is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Minamata Convention in lowering exposure and preventing adverse effects. The authors conducted a critical review of the literature published since January 2012 and discussed the current state-of-knowledge in the following areas: environmental exposure and/or risk assessment; kinetics and biomonitoring; effects on children development; effects on adult general populations; effects on artisanal and small-scale gold miners (ASGM); effects on dental workers; risk of ethylmercury in thimerosal-containing vaccines; interactions with nutrients; genetic determinants and; risk communication and management. Knowledge gaps in each area were identified and recommendations for future research were made. The Panel concluded that more knowledge synthesis efforts are needed to translate the research results into management tools for health professionals and policy makers.
PMID: 27444821 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Prioritizing of bacterial infections transmitted through substances of human origin in Europe.
Transfusion. 2017 May;57(5):1311-1317
Authors: Domanović D, Cassini A, Bekeredjian-Ding I, Bokhorst A, Bouwknegt M, Facco G, Galea G, Grossi P, Jashari R, Jungbauer C, Marcelis J, Raluca-Siska I, Andersson-Vonrosen I, Suk JE
BACKGROUND: Bacteria are the pathogens most frequently transmitted through substances of human origin (SoHO). The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) organized an expert consultation, with the objective of developing a priority list of bacterial pathogens transmissible via SoHO. The list will be used to further assess risks and determine appropriate preventive measures.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The 14 most frequently SoHO-transmitted bacteria identified through a scoping literature review were then prioritized during an expert workshop through a methodology based on multicriteria decision analysis. The selection of the prioritization method was based upon an ECDC framework for best practices in conducting risk-ranking exercises. Three transmission pathways, blood and blood components, tissues and cells, and organs, were considered in the ranking exercise.
RESULTS: According to the ranking score (RS), bacteria were organized within each SoHO pathway into one of four risk tiers: Tier 1 (RS ≥ 0.70), Tier 2 (RS = 0.60-0.69), Tier 3 (RS = 0.40-0.59), or Tier 4 (RS < 0.40). The most consistently identified pathogens in the highest risk Tiers 1 and 2 of all three pathways were: Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella spp., Escherichia coli, β-hemolytic streptococci, Pseudomonas spp., and Acinetobacter spp.
CONCLUSION: Six bacteria were defined as being of the highest priority in respect of the threat to the safety of SoHO and will be the subject of subsequent in-depth risk assessments to be conducted by ECDC to identify measures to mitigate the risk posed by these bacteria.
PMID: 28236291 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Impact of Out-of-Pocket Pharmacy Costs on Branded Medication Adherence Among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016 Nov;22(11):1338-1347
Authors: Bibeau WS, Fu H, Taylor AD, Kwan AY
BACKGROUND: Medication adherence is pivotal for the successful treatment of diabetes. However, medication adherence remains a major concern, as nonadherence is associated with poor health outcomes. Studies have indicated that increasing patients' share of medication costs significantly reduces adherence. Little is known about a potential out-of-pocket (OOP) cost threshold where substantial reduction in adherence may occur.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of diabetes OOP pharmacy costs on antihyperglycemic medication adherence and identify the potential threshold at which significant reduction in adherence may occur among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
METHODS: This was an observational, retrospective cohort study using longitudinal U.S. pharmacy and medical claims data from the IMS Health Medical Claims (Dx) database. Patients with T2DM who initiated therapy with a branded antihyperglycemic medication during the index period (January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011) and had 3 years of follow-up data were included. The primary outcome was adherence to antihyperglycemic medications, measured as the number of days covered. Propensity scores were calculated using baseline sociodemographic and clinical characteristics to control for potential confounding factors. Four strata were created based on mean propensity scores. Across each stratum, patients were assigned to 5 diabetes OOP pharmacy (including generics) cost levels: $0-$10, $11-$40, $41-$50, $51-$75, and > $75. Multivariate regression models were used to estimate association of diabetes OOP pharmacy costs and adherence for each stratum. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess the impact of total OOP pharmacy costs and index drug category OOP costs on adherence.
RESULTS: A total of 15,416 patients were assessed. Across each stratum in the diabetes OOP pharmacy cost analysis group, mean patient age ranged from 52.3 to 56.1 years, mean number of antihyperglycemic medication classes ranged from 1.5 to 3.2, and mean household income ranged from $60,763 to $79,373. Most patients used a commercial plan (55%-85%). The propensity-stratified multivariate regression model revealed an overall negative relationship between diabetes OOP pharmacy costs and adherence across several OOP cost levels. Diabetes OOP pharmacy cost level $51-$75 appeared as the threshold at which adherence reduced significantly (77-78 fewer days of coverage over 3 years of follow-up; P < 0.05) when compared with the lowest OOP costs ($0-$10) across all strata. Adherence reduced further (99-145 fewer days of coverage; P < 0.0001) for the higher diabetes OOP pharmacy cost levels (> $75) when compared with the lowest OOP cost levels. Sensitivity analyses with total OOP pharmacy costs and index drug category OOP costs revealed negative association with adherence across all strata.
CONCLUSIONS: Diabetes OOP pharmacy cost was negatively associated with patient adherence, and a potential OOP cost threshold ($51-$75) was identified at which adherence reduced significantly. The study findings may be beneficial in informing the design of health care plans to achieve optimal adherence and improve disease management in patients with T2DM.
DISCLOSURES: This study was funded by Eli Lilly and Company. Eli Lilly and Company was involved in the study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; preparation of the manuscript; and decision to submit for publication. Fu is an employee of Eli Lilly and Company. Taylor and Kwan are employees of Lilly USA. Fu and Kwan hold stock or stock options in Eli Lilly and Company. Bibeau was an employee of Eli Lilly and Company at the time of this study and initial submission of this manuscript. Bibeau is currently employed by Janssen Scientific Affairs. The abstract for this study was presented at the AMCP Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting 2016; April 19-22, 2016; San Francisco, California. Bibeau and Fu contributed to the study design and collected the data. All authors contributed equally to data interpretation and manuscript preparation and revision.
PMID: 27783549 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Cost-Effectiveness of the 4 Pillars Practice Transformation Program to Improve Vaccination of Adults Aged 65 and Older.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Apr;65(4):763-768
Authors: Smith KJ, Zimmerman RK, Nowalk MP, Lin CJ
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the cost-effectiveness of an intervention to increase pneumococcal, influenza, and pertussis-containing vaccine uptake in adults aged 65 and older in primary care practices.
DESIGN: Markov decision analysis model, comparing the cost-effectiveness of the 4 Pillars Practice Transformation Program with no intervention.
SETTING: Diverse primary care practices in two U.S. cities.
PARTICIPANTS: Clinical trial participants aged 65 and older.
MEASUREMENTS: Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), public health outcomes, and costs. Vaccination rates and intervention costs were derived from a randomized controlled cluster trial. Other parameters were derived from the medical literature and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. All parameters were individually and simultaneously varied over their distributions.
RESULTS: With the intervention program and extrapolating over 10 years, there would be approximately 60,920 fewer influenza cases, 2,031 fewer pertussis cases, and 13,842 fewer pneumococcal illnesses in adults aged 65 and older. Total per-person vaccination and illness costs with the intervention were $23.93 higher than without the intervention, with a concurrent increase in effectiveness of 0.0031 QALYs, or $7,635 per QALY gained. In sensitivity analyses, no individual parameter variation caused the intervention to cost more than $50,000 per QALY gained.
CONCLUSIONS: Implementing an intervention based on the 4 Pillars Practice Transformation Program is a cost-effective undertaking in primary care practices for individuals aged 65 and older, with predicted public health benefits.
PMID: 28024090 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Use of enhanced nisin derivatives in combination with food-grade oils or citric acid to control Cronobacter sakazakii and Escherichia coli O157:H7.
Food Microbiol. 2017 Aug;65:254-263
Authors: Campion A, Morrissey R, Field D, Cotter PD, Hill C, Ross RP
Cronobacter sakazakii and Escherichia coli O157:H7 are well known food-borne pathogens that can cause severe disease. The identification of new alternatives to heating to control these pathogens in foods, while reducing the impact on organoleptic properties and nutritional value, is highly desirable. In this study, nisin and its bioengineered variants, nisin V and nisin S29A, are used alone, or in combination with plant essential oils (thymol, carvacrol and trans-cinnamaldehyde) or citric acid, with a view to controlling C. sakazakii and E. coli O157:H7 in laboratory-based assays and model food systems. The use of nisin variants (30 μM) with low concentrations of thymol (0.015%), carvacrol (0.03%) and trans-cinnamaldehyde (0.035%) resulted in extended lag phases of growth compared to those for corresponding nisin A-essential oil combinations. Furthermore, nisin variants (60 μM) used in combination with carvacrol (0.03%) significantly reduced viable counts of E. coli O157:H7 (3-log) and C. sakazakii (4-log) compared to nisin A-carvacrol treatment. Importantly, this increased effectiveness translated into food. More specifically, sub-inhibitory concentrations of nisin variants and carvacrol caused complete inactivation of E. coli O157:H7 in apple juice within 3 h at room temperature compared to that of the equivalent nisin A combination. Furthermore, combinations of commercial Nisaplin and the food additive citric acid reduced C. sakazakii numbers markedly in infant formula within the same 3 h period.
These results highlight the potential benefits of combining nisin and variants thereof with carvacrol and/or citric acid for the inhibition of Gram negative food-borne pathogens.
PMID: 28400011 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Meeting People "Where They Are": Case Managers Empower and Motivate Clients to Pursue Their Health Goals.
Prof Case Manag. 2017 Jan/Feb;22(1):3-9
Authors: Harkey J, Sortedahl C, Crook MM, Sminkey PV
PURPOSE: The propose of this discussion is to explore the role of the case manager to empower and motivate clients, especially those who appear "stuck" or resistant to change. Drawing upon the experiences of case managers across many different practice settings, the article addresses how case managers can tap into the individual's underlying and sometimes deep-seated desires in order to foster buy-in for making even small steps toward achieving their health goals. The article also addresses how motivational interviewing can be an effective tool used by case managers to uncover blocks and barriers that prevent clients from making changes in their health or lifestyle habits.
PRIMARY PRACTICE SETTINGS: This discussion applies to case management practices and work settings across the full continuum of health care.
IMPLICATIONS FOR CASE MANAGEMENT PRACTICE: The implication for case managers is deeper understanding of the importance of motivation to help clients make positive steps toward achieving their health goals. This understanding is especially important in advocating for clients who appear to be unmotivated or ambivalent, but who are actually "stuck" in engrained behaviors and habits because of a variety of factors, including past failures. Without judgment and by establishing rapport, case managers can tap into clients' desires, to help them make incremental progress toward their health goals.
PMID: 27902572 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Long-term persistence of immunity after hepatitis B vaccination: A fact, not a fancy.
Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2017 Apr 03;13(4):916-917
Authors: Trevisan A
On the basis of an article previously published in the journal regarding immune persistence after hepatitis B vaccination in infancy, I discuss why this persistence is a fact and not a fancy. Immune memory after a primary vaccination series has been widely demonstrated by prompt response to booster doses and the proliferation of T cells secreting IFNγ. In a large cohort of medical students, 79% of subjects were positive for anti-HBs antibodies, and only 1.9% of the subjects had serological evidence of past hepatitis B infection. To prevent severe diseases, such as hepatitis B, it is very important that the majority of the population is vaccinated, especially those employed in health care, as vaccination is the most effective weapon to hepatitis B, which is still widespread worldwide.
PMID: 27905837 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Health impact assessment as an instrument to examine the health implications of education policies.
Public Health. 2017 Apr;145:83-92
Authors: Pharr J, Gakh M, Coughenour C, Clark S
OBJECTIVES: Health impact assessment (HIA) is a systematic process that can be used by public health professionals to examine the potential health effects of a policy, plan, program, or project that originates outside of the health sector. This article presents a case study of how an interdisciplinary team utilized an HIA to analyze the potential health impact of full-day kindergarten (FDK) on communities in Nevada.
STUDY DESIGN: Case study.
METHODS: With stakeholder and community engagement, we conducted a multistage HIA that included qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, a review of existing literature, and projections. The team considered several pathways through which FDK could impact health in Nevada: (1) school performance; (2) physical development (physical activity and nutrition education); and (3) access to school-based meals and health screenings.
RESULTS: Findings indicated that access to FDK could enhance opportunities for Nevada's children to harness school-based services, increase physical activity, and promote nutrition education. In addition, based on existing research that suggests relationships between (1) FDK attendance and 3rd and 5th grade math and reading standardized test scores and (2) 3rd and 5th grade test scores and high school graduation, as well as available state and national data, we estimated that access to FDK could increase high school graduation in Nevada by 499-820 students per year.
CONCLUSIONS: This HIA demonstrated that access to FDK could impact both student and adult health in Nevada. Our engagement of public health professionals along with stakeholders and the community in the HIA process demonstrated that HIAs can be an important tool for public health professionals to examine the effects on community health of policies, programs, plans or projects that arise outside of the health sector.
PMID: 28359397 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
"It is not the diet; it is the mental part we need help with." A multilevel analysis of psychological, emotional, and social well-being in obesity.
Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2017 Dec;12(1):1306421
Authors: Rand K, Vallis M, Aston M, Price S, Piccinini-Vallis H, Rehman L, Kirk SFL
In this research, we explored the psychological, emotional, and social experiences of individuals living with obesity, and perceptions of health care providers. We conducted a theoretical thematic analysis using two theoretical frameworks applied to transcripts from a previous qualitative study. Themes from a mental well-being framework were subsequently categorized under five environmental levels of the Social-Ecological Model (SEM). Key mental well-being themes appeared across all levels of the SEM, except the policy level. For the individual environment, one main theme was food as a coping mechanism and source of emotional distress. In the interpersonal environment, two themes were (a) blame and shame by family members and friends because of their weight and (b) condemnation and lack of support from health professionals. In the organizational environment, one main theme was inadequate support for mental well-being issues in obesity management programmes. In the community environment, one major theme the negative mental well-being impact of the social stigma of obesity. An overarching theme of weight stigma and bias further shaped the predominant themes in each level of the SEM. Addressing weight stigma and bias, and promoting positive mental well-being are two important areas of focus for supportive management of individuals living with obesity.
PMID: 28418818 [PubMed - in process]
Nutritional rickets around the world: an update.
Paediatr Int Child Health. 2017 May;37(2):84-98
Authors: Creo AL, Thacher TD, Pettifor JM, Strand MA, Fischer PR
Worldwide, nutritional rickets continues to be an evolving problem with several causes. This paper provides an updated literature review characterising the prevalence, aetiology, pathophysiology and treatment of nutritional rickets worldwide. A systematic review of articles on nutritional rickets from various geographical regions was undertaken. For each region, key information was extracted, including prevalence, cause of rickets specific to the region, methods of confirming the diagnosis and current treatment and preventive measures. Calcium deficiency continues to be a major cause of rickets in Africa and Asia. Vitamin D deficiency rickets is perhaps increasing in the Americas, Europe and parts of the Middle East. There continues to be a distinct presentation of calcium-predominant versus vitamin D predominant rickets, although there are overlapping features. More careful diagnosis of rickets and reporting of 25-OHD concentrations has improved accurate knowledge of rickets prevalence and better delineated the cause. Nutritional rickets continues to be an evolving and multi-factorial problem worldwide. It is on a spectrum, ranging from isolated vitamin D deficiency to isolated calcium deficiency. Specific areas which require emphasis include a consistent community approach to screening and diagnosis, vitamin D supplementation of infants and at-risk children, prevention of maternal vitamin D deficiency and the provision of calcium in areas with low calcium diets.
PMID: 27922335 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Should We Screen for Vitamin D Deficiency?: Grand Rounds Discussion From Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Ann Intern Med. 2016 Dec 06;165(11):800-807
Authors: Libman H, Malabanan AO, Strewler GJ, Reynolds EE
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently issued guidelines on screening for vitamin D deficiency. The guidelines were based on randomized trials of vitamin D deficiency screening and treatment, as well as on case-control studies nested within the Women's Health Initiative. The USPSTF concluded that current evidence is insufficient to assess the benefits and harms of screening for vitamin D deficiency in asymptomatic adults. Compared with placebo or no treatment, vitamin D was associated with decreased mortality; however, benefits were no longer seen after trials of institutionalized persons were excluded. Vitamin D treatment was associated with a possible decreased risk for at least 1 fall and the total number of falls per person but not for fractures. None of the studies examined the effects of vitamin D screening versus not screening on clinical outcomes. In this Grand Rounds, 2 prominent endocrinologists debate the issue of screening for vitamin D deficiency in a 55-year-old, asymptomatic, postmenopausal woman. They review the data on which the USPSTF recommendations are based and discuss the potential benefits and risks, as well as the challenges and controversies, of screening for vitamin D deficiency in primary care practice.
PMID: 27919096 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Adherence to antimicrobial guidelines for empiric antibiotic prescribing in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has been reported to be worryingly low. We conducted a review of empiric antibiotic prescribing for sixty consecutive adult patients admitted to the Mercy University Hospital with a diagnosis of CAP. When analysed against local antimicrobial guidelines, guideline concordant empiric antibiotics were given in only 48% of cases, lower than the average rate in comparable studies. Concordance was 100% in cases where the CURB-65 pneumonia severity assessment score, on which the guidelines are based, was documented in the medical notes. The use of excessively broad spectrum and inappropriate antibiotics is a notable problem. This study supports the theory that lack of knowledge regarding pneumonia severity assessment tools and unfamiliarity with therapeutic guidelines are key barriers to guideline adherence, which remains a significant problem despite increased focus on antimicrobial stewardship programs in Ireland.
Scaling up complex interventions: insights from a realist synthesis.
Health Res Policy Syst. 2016 Dec 19;14(1):88
Authors: Willis CD, Riley BL, Stockton L, Abramowicz A, Zummach D, Wong G, Robinson KL, Best A
Preventing chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, requires complex interventions, involving multi-component and multi-level efforts that are tailored to the contexts in which they are delivered. Despite an increasing number of complex interventions in public health, many fail to be 'scaled up'. This study aimed to increase understanding of how and under what conditions complex public health interventions may be scaled up to benefit more people and populations.A realist synthesis was conducted and discussed at an in-person workshop involving practitioners responsible for scaling up activities. Realist approaches view causality through the linkages between changes in contexts (C) that activate mechanisms (M), leading to specific outcomes (O) (CMO configurations). To focus this review, three cases of complex interventions that had been successfully scaled up were included: Vibrant Communities, Youth Build USA and Pathways to Education. A search strategy of published and grey literature related to each case was developed, involving searches of relevant databases and nominations from experts. Data extracted from included documents were classified according to CMO configurations within strategic themes. Findings were compared and contrasted with guidance from diffusion theory, and interpreted with knowledge users to identify practical implications and potential directions for future research.Four core mechanisms were identified, namely awareness, commitment, confidence and trust. These mechanisms were activated within two broad scaling up strategies, those of renewing and regenerating, and documenting success. Within each strategy, specific actions to change contexts included building partnerships, conducting evaluations, engaging political support and adapting funding models. These modified contexts triggered the identified mechanisms, leading to a range of scaling up outcomes, such as commitment of new communities, changes in relevant legislation, or agreements with new funding partners.This synthesis applies and advances theory, realist methods and the practice of scaling up complex interventions. Practitioners may benefit from a number of coordinated efforts, including conducting or commissioning evaluations at strategic moments, mobilising local and political support through relevant partnerships, and promoting ongoing knowledge exchange in peer learning networks. Action research studies guided by these findings, and studies on knowledge translation for realist syntheses are promising future directions.
PMID: 27993138 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Aluminium content of foods originating from aluminium-containing food additives.
Food Addit Contam Part B Surveill. 2016 Sep;9(3):185-90
Authors: Ogimoto M, Suzuki K, Haneishi N, Kikuchi Y, Takanashi M, Tomioka N, Uematsu Y, Monma K
Aluminium (Al) levels of 90 food samples were investigated. Nineteen samples contained Al levels exceeding the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) for young children [body weight (bw): 16 kg] when consuming two servings/week. These samples were purchased multiple times at specific intervals and were evaluated for Al levels. Al was detected in 27 of the 90 samples at levels ranging from 0.01 (limit of quantitation) to 1.06 mg/g. Of these, the Al intake levels in two samples (cookie and scone mix, 1.3 and 2 mg/kg bw/week, respectively) exceeded the TWI as established by European Food Safety Authority, although the level in the scone mix was equivalent to the provisional TWI (PTWI) as established by Joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives. The Al levels markedly decreased in 14 of the 19 samples with initially high Al levels. These results indicated reductions in the Al levels to below the PTWI limits in all but two previously identified food samples.
PMID: 27092423 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine for adults and children in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza in primary care in the United Kingdom: 2015/16 end-of-season results.
Euro Surveill. 2016 Sep 22;21(38):
Authors: Pebody R, Warburton F, Ellis J, Andrews N, Potts A, Cottrell S, Johnston J, Reynolds A, Gunson R, Thompson C, Galiano M, Robertson C, Byford R, Gallagher N, Sinnathamby M, Yonova I, Pathirannehelage S, Donati M, Moore C, de Lusignan S, McMenamin J, Zambon M
The United Kingdom (UK) is in the third season of introducing universal paediatric influenza vaccination with a quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). The 2015/16 season in the UK was initially dominated by influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and then influenza of B/Victoria lineage, not contained in that season's adult trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV). Overall adjusted end-of-season vaccine effectiveness (VE) was 52.4% (95% confidence interval (CI): 41.0-61.6) against influenza-confirmed primary care consultation, 54.5% (95% CI: 41.6-64.5) against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 54.2% (95% CI: 33.1-68.6) against influenza B. In 2-17 year-olds, adjusted VE for LAIV was 57.6% (95% CI: 25.1 to 76.0) against any influenza, 81.4% (95% CI: 39.6-94.3) against influenza B and 41.5% (95% CI: -8.5 to 68.5) against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09. These estimates demonstrate moderate to good levels of protection, particularly against influenza B in children, but relatively less against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09. Despite lineage mismatch in the trivalent IIV, adults younger than 65 years were still protected against influenza B. These results provide reassurance for the UK to continue its influenza immunisation programme planned for 2016/17.
PMID: 27684603 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Understanding views on everyday use of personal health information: Insights from community dwelling older adults.
Inform Health Soc Care. 2017 Apr 11;:1-14
Authors: Hartzler AL, Osterhage K, Demiris G, Phelan EA, Thielke SM, Turner AM
BACKGROUND: Older adults apply various strategies to pursue healthy aging, but we know little about their views and use of personal health information to accomplish those ends.
METHODS: As a first step in formulating the role of personal health information management (PHIM) in healthy aging, we explored the perspectives of older adults on health and health information used in their everyday lives through four focus groups with 25 community-dwelling adults aged 60 and over.
RESULTS: We found that the concept of wellness-the holistic and multidimensional nature of health and wellbeing-plays prominently in how older adults think about health and health information. Participants expressed wellness from a position of personal strength, rather than health-related deficits, by focusing on wellness activities for staying healthy through: (1) personal health practices, (2) social network support, and (3) residential community engagement.
CONCLUSION: Although these themes involve personal health information, existing PHIM systems that focus on disease management are generally not designed to support wellness activities. Substantial opportunity exists to fill this wellness support gap with innovative health information technology designed for older adults. Findings carry implications for the design of PHIM tools that support healthy aging and methods for engaging older adults as co-producers of this critical support.
PMID: 28399725 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Caregiver Perspectives About Using Antipsychotics and Other Medications for Symptoms of Dementia.
Gerontologist. 2017 Apr 11;:
Authors: Kerns JW, Winter JD, Winter KM, Kerns CC, Etz RS
Background and Objectives: To avoid "chemical restraints," policies and guidelines have been implemented to curb the use of medications for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). Antipsychotics have been particularly targeted because of their rare severe side effects. Consequently, caregiver directed non-pharmacologic therapies have increased while medication use for BPSD has diminished. Despite such initiatives, however, antipsychotics continue to be prescribed "off-label" for roughly 20% of nursing home patients. How caregivers impact management approaches and prescribing decisions for BPSD, including antipsychotic use, is poorly understood. Aim: assesses experiences and perceptions of family and nursing caregivers regarding factors influencing medication decisions for BPSD.
Research Design and Methods: Semi-structured interviews, analyzed via template, immersion and crystallization, and thematic development. Thirty-two participants from Northwestern Virginia representing five groups of caregivers for dementia patients were interviewed: families of community-dwelling, assisted living, and nursing home patients, and nurses from the same assisted living/nursing home facilities.
Results: Caregivers described three major themes regarding medications: (a) Systemic barriers exist for non-pharmacologic BPSD therapies. (b) Medications have few barriers, and seem generally effective and safe. (c) When non-pharmacologic measures fail, medications, including antipsychotics, may be necessary and appropriate for palliation of patient distress.
Discussion and Implications: To further reduce medications for BPSD, obstacles to services and alternative therapies must be mitigated. Caregiver perceptions that medications are generally safe and effective contribute to their continued use.
Guidelines and policies for behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia management should incorporate the caregiver position that medications, including anti-psychotics, are sometimes justified and required to alleviate patient suffering.
PMID: 28402533 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
A personalized medication management platform (PMMP) to improve medication adherence: A randomized control trial.
Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2017 Mar;140:275-281
Authors: Huang CY, Nguyen PA, Clinciu DL, Hsu CK, Lu JR, Yang HC, Wu CC, Tsai WC, Chou YC, Kuo TB, Chang PL, Jian WS, Li YJ
OBJECTIVES: Medication non-adherence caused by forgetting and delays has serious health implications and causes substantial expenses to patients, healthcare providers, and insurance companies. We assessed the effectiveness of a personalized medication management platform (PMMP) for improving medication adherence, self-management medication, and reducing long-term medication costs.
METHODS: We developed a mobile PMMP to reduce delayed and missed medications. A randomized control trial was conducted of three medical centers in Taiwan. A total 1198 participants who aged over 20 years, received outpatient prescription drugs for a maximum period of 14 days. 763 patients were randomly assigned to intervention group as receiving daily SMS reminders for their medications and 434 patients in control group did not. The primary outcome was change in delaying and forgetting medication between before and after intervention (after 7 days).
RESULTS: Medication delays were reduced from 85% to 18% (67% improvement) after SMSs for the intervention group and from 80% to 43% (37% improvement) for the control group. Patients forgot medications were significantly reduced from 46% to 5% (41% improvement) for the experimental group after SMSs and from 44% to 17% (27% improvement) for the control group. The SMSs were considered helpful by 83% of patients and 74% of them thought SMSs help in controlling diseases. 92% of patients would recommend this system to their family and friends.
CONCLUSIONS: A timely and personalized medication reminder through SMS can improve medication adherence in a nationalized healthcare system with overall savings in medication costs and significant improvements in health and disease management.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02197689.
PMID: 28254084 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health: key messages from Disease Control Priorities 3rd Edition.
Lancet. 2016 12 03;388(10061):2811-2824
Authors: Black RE, Levin C, Walker N, Chou D, Liu L, Temmerman M, DCP3 RMNCH Authors Group
As part of Disease Control Priorities 3rd Edition, the World Bank will publish a volume on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health that identifies essential cost-effective health interventions that can be scaled up to reduce maternal, newborn, and child deaths, and stillbirths. This Review summarises the volume's key findings and estimates the effect and cost of expanded implementation of these interventions. Recognising that a continuum of care from the adolescent girl, woman, or mother to child is needed, the volume includes details of preventive and therapeutic health interventions in integrated packages: Maternal and Newborn Health and Child Health (along with folic acid supplementation, a key reproductive health intervention). Scaling up all interventions in these packages from coverage in 2015 to hypothetically immediately achieve 90% coverage would avert 149 000 maternal deaths, 849 000 stillbirths, 1 498 000 neonatal deaths, and 1 515 000 additional child deaths. In alternative calculations that consider only the effects of reducing the number of pregnancies by provision of contraceptive services as part of a Reproductive Health package, meeting 90% of the unmet need for contraception would reduce global births by almost 28 million and consequently avert deaths that could have occurred at 2015 rates of fertility and mortality. Thus, 67 000 maternal deaths, 440 000 neonatal deaths, 473 000 child deaths, and 564 000 stillbirths could be averted from avoided pregnancies. Particularly effective interventions in the Maternal and Newborn Health and Child Health packages would be management of labour and delivery, care of preterm births, and treatment of serious infectious diseases and acute malnutrition. Nearly all of these essential interventions can be delivered by health workers in the community or in primary health centres, which can increase population access to needed services. The annual incremental cost of immediately scaling up these essential interventions would be US$6·2 billion in low-income countries, $12·4 billion in lower-middle-income countries, and $8·0 billion in upper-middle-income countries. With the additional funding, greater focus on high-effect integrated interventions and innovations in service delivery, such as task shifting to other groups of health workers and supply and demand incentives, can help rectify major gaps in accessibility and quality of care. In recent decades, reduction of avoidable maternal and child deaths has been a global priority. With continued priority and expansion of essential reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health interventions to high coverage, equity, and quality, as well as interventions to address underlying problems such as women's low status in society and violence against women, these deaths and substantial morbidity can be largely eliminated in another generation.
PMID: 27072119 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Hours and Miles: Patient and Health System Implications of Transfer for Psychiatric Bed Capacity.
West J Emerg Med. 2016 Nov;17(6):783-790
Authors: O'Neil AM, Sadosty AT, Pasupathy KS, Russi C, Lohse CM, Campbell RL
INTRODUCTION: An increasing number of behavioral health (BH) patients are presenting to the emergency department (ED) while BH resources continue to decline. This situation-may lead to more external transfers to find care.
METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of consecutive patients presenting to a tertiary care academic ED from February 1, 2013, through January 31, 2014. Patients were identified through electronic health record documentation of psychiatric consultation during ED evaluation. We reviewed electronic health records for demographic characteristics, diagnoses, payer source, ED length of stay, ED disposition, arrival method, and distance traveled to an external facility for inpatient admission. Univariable and multivariable associations with transfer to an external facility in comparison with patients admitted internally were evaluated with logistic regression models and summarized with odds ratios (OR).
RESULTS: We identified 2,585 BH visits, of which 1,083 (41.9%) resulted in discharge. A total of 1,502 patient visits required inpatient psychiatric admission, and of these cases, 177 patients (11.8%; 95% CI = [10.2-13.5]) required transfer to an external facility. The median ED length of stay for transferred patients was 13.9 hours (interquartile range [IQR], 9.3-20.2 hours; range, 3.0-243.0 hours). The median distance for transport was 83 miles (IQR, 42-111 miles; range, 42-237 miles). In multivariable analysis, patients with suicidal or homicidal ideation had increased risk of transfer (odds ratio [OR] [95% CI], 1.93 [1.22-3.06]; P=0.005). Children younger than 18 years (OR [95% CI], 2.34 [1.60-3.40]; P<0.001) and adults older than 65 years (OR [95% CI], 3.46 [1.93-6.19]; P<0.001) were more likely to require transfer and travel farther to access care.
CONCLUSION: Patients requiring external transfer for inpatient psychiatric care were found to have prolonged ED lengths of stay. Patients with suicidal and homicidal ideation as well as children and adults older than 65 years are more likely to require transfer.
PMID: 27833689 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Using nicotine in scalp hair to assess maternal passive exposure to tobacco smoke.
Environ Pollut. 2017 Mar;222:276-282
Authors: Li Z, Li Z, Zhang J, Huo W, Zhu Y, Xie J, Lu Q, Wang B
Quantifying population exposure level to tobacco smoke is important for investigating its adverse effects on human health. We aimed to investigate the feasibility and application of using population hair concentrations of nicotine and cotinine to indicate their exposure level to tobacco smoke among pregnant women. Our study recruited 256 mothers who delivered healthy babies and collected their hair samples from scalp, of which 172 mothers were self-reported non-passive smokers and the other 84 mothers were self-reported passive smokers. We analyzed nicotine and cotinine concentrations of the hair section grown during the early pregnancy. The linear relationship between cotinine and nicotine was developed and validated by internal cross-validation method. Our results revealed that self-reported passive smokers had higher concentrations of nicotine [2.08 (1.00-4.46) ng/mg hair, i.e. median value (inter-quartile range)] and cotinine [0.063 (0.041-0.148) ng/mg hair] than non-passive smokers [1.35 (0.58-2.59) ng/mg hair of nicotine and 0.049 (0.022-0.087) ng/mg hair of cotinine, respectively]. There existed a linear regression model between hair cotinine and nicotine concentrations, i.e. [cotinine] = 0.024 × [nicotine]+0.0184 (R(2) = 0.756) for this population. The internal cross-validation squared correlation coefficient slightly increased from 0.689 to 0.734 with the training subjects varying from 20% to 90%, suggesting that this regression model had high robustness and predictive accuracy. It was concluded that nicotine in maternal hair can evaluate the hair cotinine level and reflect maternal passive exposure level to ambient tobacco smoke with high sensitivity.
PMID: 28040338 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Sex Trafficking of Minors.
Pediatr Clin North Am. 2017 Apr;64(2):413-421
Authors: Moore JL, Kaplan DM, Barron CE
Sex trafficking is an increasingly recognized global health crisis affecting every country and region in the world. Domestic minor sex trafficking is a subset of commercial sexual exploitation of children, defined as engagement of minors (<18 years of age) in sexual acts for items of value (eg, food, shelter, drugs, money) involving children victimized within US borders. These involved youth are at risk for serious immediate and long-term physical and mental health consequences. Continued efforts are needed to improve preventive efforts, identification, screening, appropriate interventions, and subsequent resource provision for victimized and high-risk youth.
PMID: 28292455 [PubMed - in process]
The school doctorand suspected child abuse : towards good practice recommendations in the child's interest.
Rev Med Liege. 2016 Oct;71(10):428-434
Authors: Noirhomme-Renard F, Blavier A, Lachaussée S, Monville C, Nihoul C, Gosset C
Child maltreatment, including all forms of mal¬treatment, remains a major public health problem in high-income countries. Healthcare professionals only contribute to a small proportion of reports. In French-speaking Belgium, almost 100 % of school-aged children are regularly submitted to periodical school health visits. The school health doctor is well placed to recognize neglected or abused children. Based on international good practice recommendations, this paper proposes means for the detection and management of child abuse in the context of school medicine.
PMID: 28383850 [PubMed - in process]
Breaking the barriers: Migrants and tuberculosis.
Presse Med. 2017 Mar;46(2 Pt 2):e5-e11
Authors: Sotgiu G, Dara M, Centis R, Matteelli A, Solovic I, Gratziou C, Rendon A, Battista Migliori G
Tuberculosis (TB) can represent an important clinical and public health in developing and developed countries. Low- and middle-income countries are facing an epidemic which is difficult to address because of the drug-resistance spread and the association of TB with HIV/AIDS. High-income countries, whose TB incidence has decreased in the last decades, can be involved in new TB epidemic waves owing to social, healthcare, and economic hurdles and challenges. In particular, migrants coming from high TB incidence countries can represent a new epidemiological issue in the TB care and control in geographical areas where primary care and specialized centres are not equipped to face the clinical and public health issues associated with the TB disease. The healthcare management of individuals with a latent TB infection or the TB disease is heterogeneous and different policies are in place in Europe, and, specifically, in EU countries. Scientific evidence on how to early and efficiently detect TB cases is missing, as well as diagnostic tools to diagnose those who have latent TB infection do not show adequate accuracy. Countries like Greece and Italy have political difficulties in the management of migrants and the poor living conditions in the migration centres can increase the probability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission. A clear advocacy and political commitment are urgently required. The current migration trends represent a threat from a human and a healthcare perspective. New homogeneous and target-oriented policies and strategies are needed to improve the health of the migrant and of the autochthonous populations.
PMID: 28256381 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Agents of change: The role of healthcare workers in the prevention of nosocomial and occupational tuberculosis.
Presse Med. 2017 Mar;46(2 Pt 2):e53-e62
Authors: Nathavitharana RR, Bond P, Dramowski A, Kotze K, Lederer P, Oxley I, Peters JA, Rossouw C, van der Westhuizen HM, Willems B, Ting TX, von Delft A, von Delft D, Duarte R, Nardell E, Zumla A
Healthcare workers (HCWs) play a central role in global tuberculosis (TB) elimination efforts but their contributions are undermined by occupational TB. HCWs have higher rates of latent and active TB than the general population due to persistent occupational TB exposure, particularly in settings where there is a high prevalence of undiagnosed TB in healthcare facilities and TB infection control (TB-IC) programmes are absent or poorly implemented. Occupational health programmes in high TB burden settings are often weak or non-existent and thus data that record the extent of the increased risk of occupational TB globally are scarce. HCWs represent a limited resource in high TB burden settings and occupational TB can lead to workforce attrition. Stigma plays a role in delayed diagnosis, poor treatment outcomes and impaired well-being in HCWs who develop TB. Ensuring the prioritization and implementation of TB-IC interventions and occupational health programmes, which include robust monitoring and evaluation, is critical to reduce nosocomial TB transmission to patients and HCWs. The provision of preventive therapy for HCWs with latent TB infection (LTBI) can also prevent progression to active TB. Unlike other patient groups, HCWs are in a unique position to serve as agents of change to raise awareness, advocate for necessary resource allocation and implement TB-IC interventions, with appropriate support from dedicated TB-IC officers at the facility and national TB programme level. Students and community health workers (CHWs) must be engaged and involved in these efforts. Nosocomial TB transmission is an urgent public health problem and adopting rights-based approaches can be helpful. However, these efforts cannot succeed without increased political will, supportive legal frameworks and financial investments to support HCWs in efforts to decrease TB transmission.
PMID: 28256382 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Climate Change and Mental Health.
Am J Nurs. 2017 Apr;117(4):44-52
Authors: Trombley J, Chalupka S, Anderko L
Climate change is an enormous challenge for our communities, our country, and our world. Recently much attention has been paid to the physical impacts of climate change, including extreme heat events, droughts, extreme storms, and rising sea levels. However, much less attention has been paid to the psychological impacts. This article examines the likely psychological impacts of climate change, including anxiety, stress, and depression; increases in violence and aggression; and loss of community identity. Nurses can play a vital role in local and regional climate strategies by preparing their patients, health care facilities, and communities to effectively address the anticipated mental health impacts of climate change.
PMID: 28333743 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Risk factors for community-acquired bacterial meningitis.
Infect Dis (Lond). 2017 Jun;49(6):433-444
Authors: Lundbo LF, Benfield T
BACKGROUND: Bacterial meningitis is a significant burden of disease and mortality in all age groups worldwide despite the development of effective conjugated vaccines. The pathogenesis of bacterial meningitis is based on complex and incompletely understood host-pathogen interactions. Some of these are pathogen-specific, while some are shared between different bacteria.
METHODS: We searched the database PubMed to identify host risk factors for bacterial meningitis caused by the pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis and Haemophilus influenzae type b, because they are three most common causative bacteria beyond the neonatal period.
RESULTS: We describe a number of risk factors; including socioeconomic factors, age, genetic variation of the host and underlying medical conditions associated with increased susceptibility to invasive bacterial infections in both children and adults.
CONCLUSIONS: As conjugated vaccines are available for these infections, it is of utmost importance to identify high risk patients to be able to prevent invasive disease.
PMID: 28301990 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Update of Ireland's national average indoor radon concentration - Application of a new survey protocol.
J Environ Radioact. 2017 Apr;169-170:1-8
Authors: Dowdall A, Murphy P, Pollard D, Fenton D
In 2002, a National Radon Survey (NRS) in Ireland established that the geographically weighted national average indoor radon concentration was 89 Bq m(-3). Since then a number of developments have taken place which are likely to have impacted on the national average radon level. Key among these was the introduction of amending Building Regulations in 1998 requiring radon preventive measures in new buildings in High Radon Areas (HRAs). In 2014, the Irish Government adopted the National Radon Control Strategy (NRCS) for Ireland. A knowledge gap identified in the NRCS was to update the national average for Ireland given the developments since 2002. The updated national average would also be used as a baseline metric to assess the effectiveness of the NRCS over time. A new national survey protocol was required that would measure radon in a sample of homes representative of radon risk and geographical location. The design of the survey protocol took into account that it is not feasible to repeat the 11,319 measurements carried out for the 2002 NRS due to time and resource constraints. However, the existence of that comprehensive survey allowed for a new protocol to be developed, involving measurements carried out in unbiased randomly selected volunteer homes. This paper sets out the development and application of that survey protocol. The results of the 2015 survey showed that the current national average indoor radon concentration for homes in Ireland is 77 Bq m(-3), a decrease from the 89 Bq m(-3) reported in the 2002 NRS. Analysis of the results by build date demonstrate that the introduction of the amending Building Regulations in 1998 have led to a reduction in the average indoor radon level in Ireland.
PMID: 28027495 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
A prospective study of maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes in the setting of cesarean section in low- and middle-income countries.
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2017 Apr;96(4):410-420
Authors: Harrison MS, Pasha O, Saleem S, Ali S, Chomba E, Carlo WA, Garces AL, Krebs NF, Hambidge KM, Goudar SS, Kodkany B, Dhaded S, Derman RJ, Patel A, Hibberd PL, Esamai F, Liechty EA, Moore JL, Wallace D, Mcclure EM, Miodovnik M, Koso-Thomas M, Belizan J, Tshefu AK, Bauserman M, Goldenberg RL
INTRODUCTION: Cesarean section (CS) rates are increasing globally with an unclear effect on pregnancy outcomes. The study objective was to quantify maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality associated with CS compared with vaginal delivery (VD) both within and across sites in low- and middle-income countries.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A prospective population-based study including home and facility births in 337 153 women with a VD and 47 308 women with a CS from 2010 to 2015 was performed in Guatemala, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo. Women were enrolled during pregnancy; delivery and 6-week follow-up data were collected.
RESULTS: Across all sites, CS rates increased from 8.6% to 15.2%, but remained low in African sites. Younger, nulliparous women were more likely to have a CS, as were women with higher education and those delivering an infant weighing 1500-2499 g. Across all sites, maternal and neonatal mortality was higher, and stillbirths were lower, in pregnancies delivered by CS. Antepartum and postpartum complications as well as obstetric interventions and treatments were more common among women who underwent CS. In stratified analyses, all outcomes were worse in women with a CS compared with VD in African compared to non-African sites.
CONCLUSIONS: CS rates increased across all sites during the study period, but at more pronounced rates in the non-African sites. CS was associated with reduced postpartum hemorrhage and lower rates of stillbirths in the non-African sites. In the African sites, CS was associated with an increase in all adverse outcomes. Further studies are necessary to better understand the increase in adverse outcomes with CS in the African sites.
PMID: 28107771 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
"Suicide shall cease to be a crime": suicide and undetermined death trends 1970-2000 before and after the decriminalization of suicide in Ireland 1993.
Ir J Med Sci. 2017 Feb;186(1):201-205
Authors: Osman M, Parnell AC, Haley C
INTRODUCTION: Suicide is criminalized in more than 100 countries around the world. A dearth of research exists into the effect of suicide legislation on suicide rates and available statistics are mixed.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study investigates 10,353 suicide deaths in Ireland that took place between 1970 and 2000. Irish 1970-2000 annual suicide data were obtained from the Central Statistics Office and modelled via a negative binomial regression approach. We examined the effect of suicide legislation on different age groups and on both sexes. We used Bonferroni correction for multiple modelling. Statistical analysis was performed using the R statistical package version 3.1.2. The coefficient for the effect of suicide act on overall suicide deaths was -9.094 (95 % confidence interval (CI) -34.086 to 15.899), statistically non-significant (p = 0.476). The coefficient for the effect suicide act on undetermined deaths was statistically significant (p < 0.001) and was estimated to be -644.4 (95 % CI -818.6 to -469.9).
CONCLUSION: The results of our study indicate that legalization of suicide is not associated with a significant increase in subsequent suicide deaths. However, undetermined death verdict rates have significantly dropped following legalization of suicide.
PMID: 27189711 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Towards a building typology and terminology for Irish hospitals.
Ir J Med Sci. 2017 Feb;186(1):1-16
Authors: Grey T, Kennelly S, de Freine P, Mahon S, Mannion V, O'Neill D
BACKGROUND: The physical form of the hospital environment shapes the care setting and influences the relationship of the hospital to the community. Due to ongoing demographic change, evolving public health needs, and advancing medical practice, typical hospitals are frequently redeveloped, retrofitted, or expanded. It is argued that multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approaches are required to ensure that hospital design matches these increasingly complex needs. To facilitate such a conversation across different disciplines, experts, and community stakeholders, it is helpful to establish a hospital typology and associated terminology as part of any collaborative process.
AIMS: Examine the literature around hospital design, and review the layout and overall form of a range of typical Irish acute public hospitals, to outline an associated building typology, and to establish the terminology associated with the planning and design of these hospitals in Ireland.
METHODS: Searches in 'Academic Search Complete', 'Compendex', 'Google', 'Google Scholar', 'JSTOR', 'PADDI', 'Science Direct', 'Scopus', 'Web of Science', and Trinity College Dublin Library. The search terms included: 'hospital design history'; 'hospital typology'; 'hospital design terminology'; and 'hospital design Ireland'.
RESULTS: Typical hospitals are composed of different layouts due to development over time; however, various discrete building typologies can still be determined within many hospitals. This paper presents a typology illustrating distinct layout, circulation, and physical form characteristics, along with a hospital planning and design terminology of key terms and definitions.
CONCLUSION: This typology and terminology define the main components of Irish hospital building design to create a shared understanding around design, and support stakeholder engagement, as part of any collaborative design process.
PMID: 28133714 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Global Asthma Network survey suggests more national asthma strategies could reduce burden of asthma.
Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2017 Mar - Apr;45(2):105-114
Authors: Asher I, Haahtela T, Selroos O, Ellwood P, Ellwood E, Global Asthma Network Study Group
BACKGROUND: Several countries or regions within countries have an effective national asthma strategy resulting in a reduction of the large burden of asthma to individuals and society. There has been no systematic appraisal of the extent of national asthma strategies in the world.
METHODS: The Global Asthma Network (GAN) undertook an email survey of 276 Principal Investigators of GAN centres in 120 countries, in 2013-2014. One of the questions was: "Has a national asthma strategy been developed in your country for the next five years? For children? For adults?".
RESULTS: Investigators in 112 (93.3%) countries answered this question. Of these, 26 (23.2%) reported having a national asthma strategy for children and 24 (21.4%) for adults; 22 (19.6%) countries had a strategy for both children and adults; 28 (25%) had a strategy for at least one age group. In countries with a high prevalence of current wheeze, strategies were significantly more common than in low prevalence countries (11/13 (85%) and 7/31 (22.6%) respectively, p<0.001).
INTERPRETATION: In 25% countries a national asthma strategy was reported. A large reduction in the global burden of asthma could be potentially achieved if more countries had an effective asthma strategy.
PMID: 28161283 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Human Life History Strategies.
Evol Psychol. 2017 Jan;15(1):1474704916677342
Authors: Chua KJ, Lukaszewski AW, Grant DM, Sng O
Human life history (LH) strategies are theoretically regulated by developmental exposure to environmental cues that ancestrally predicted LH-relevant world states (e.g., risk of morbidity-mortality). Recent modeling work has raised the question of whether the association of childhood family factors with adult LH variation arises via (i) direct sampling of external environmental cues during development and/or (ii) calibration of LH strategies to internal somatic condition (i.e., health), which itself reflects exposure to variably favorable environments. The present research tested between these possibilities through three online surveys involving a total of over 26,000 participants. Participants completed questionnaires assessing components of self-reported environmental harshness (i.e., socioeconomic status, family neglect, and neighborhood crime), health status, and various LH-related psychological and behavioral phenotypes (e.g., mating strategies, paranoia, and anxiety), modeled as a unidimensional latent variable. Structural equation models suggested that exposure to harsh ecologies had direct effects on latent LH strategy as well as indirect effects on latent LH strategy mediated via health status. These findings suggest that human LH strategies may be calibrated to both external and internal cues and that such calibrational effects manifest in a wide range of psychological and behavioral phenotypes.
PMID: 28164721 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Risky sun tanning behaviours amongst Irish University students: a quantitative analysis.
Ir J Med Sci. 2016 Nov;185(4):887-893
Authors: Flannery C, Burke LA, Grainger L, Williams P, Gage H
BACKGROUND: Despite Ireland's temperate maritime climate, it has the third highest rate of malignant melanoma in the European Union, indicating the need to recognise tanning practices as a risky behaviour, especially amongst those most at risk (the younger population).
AIM: To explore the factors associated with deliberate sun tanning amongst university students in Cork, Ireland.
METHODS: Self-reported sun exposure, attitudes to tanning and sun protection practices were investigated using an online questionnaire in April 2010.
RESULTS: There were 833 responses (8.33 %), mean age 22 years, 75 % female. Reporting deliberate tanning in the previous summer (n = 389, 46.7 %) was positively correlated (r = 0.622, p < 0.001) with stating an intention to tan next summer (n = 532, 63.9 %). Women and respondents with darker (vs. fairer) complexion were more likely to engage in deliberate tanning (p < 0.001). Deliberate tanning was associated with reporting enjoying tanning (p < 0.001), with reporting peer pressure into tanning (p = 0.039), and (marginally) with thinking it is worth getting burnt to get a tan (p = 0.068). Younger students were significantly more likely to report these attitudes; being a current smoker was associated with reporting peer pressure and that burning is worth a tan, indicating a level of risk-taking. Respondents reported (average) three sources of information on sun risks.
CONCLUSION: Tanning is a form of strongly motivated risk-taking as much in a sun-limited country like Ireland as in hotter sun-rich climates. Risk communication strategies on sun exposure should be developed that target young people and improve their risk awareness.
PMID: 26659080 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Attitudes and perceived risk of cannabis use in Irish adolescents.
Ir J Med Sci. 2016 Aug;185(3):643-7
Authors: Barrett P, Bradley C
INTRODUCTION: Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the developed world and its use is associated with several adverse physical and mental health effects and negative social outcomes. Earlier use of cannabis increases the risk of adverse effects. Attitudes and perceived risk towards drugs are regarded as strong influences in determining whether or not a person uses cannabis, but there is little existing research on Irish teenagers' attitudes to the risks of this drug.
METHODS: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study using a structured, anonymous questionnaire. The study was undertaken in nine public and private secondary schools in Cork City and suburbs. Students aged 15-18 and in fourth, fifth or sixth year of school were included.
RESULTS: Of the 507 participating students, 39.3 % (n = 199) reported previous cannabis use. There were significantly lower levels of perceived risk of cannabis among those who had used the drug compared with those who had not, for all categories of risk (p < 0.01). Attitudes towards cannabis were more liberal among males and those with previous use of the drug. A minority of students (n = 92; 18.2 %) support legalisation of cannabis. The majority of teenagers (n = 382; 75.8 %) believe that they are not given enough information about the drug.
CONCLUSIONS: Cannabis use is very widespread among teenagers in Cork. There are relatively low levels of perceived risk of mental and physical health problems with use of the drug. Attitudes towards cannabis are associated with personal use of the drug and gender.
PMID: 26141461 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Cardiac syndrome X in Ireland: incidence and phenotype.
Ir J Med Sci. 2016 Nov;185(4):857-863
Authors: Dollard J, Kearney P, Dinan TG
BACKGROUND: Cardiac syndrome X (CSX) is typical angina pectoris with objective signs of myocardial ischaemia despite a normal coronary angiogram and may be due to microvascular dysfunction. The incidence of CSX has not been greatly investigated worldwide and its incidence in Ireland is unknown.
AIMS: We aimed to determine the incidence of CSX in Cork University Hospital (CUH) and to establish the phenotype of the typical Irish CSX patient.
METHODS: All patients undergoing coronary angiography in CUH during regular working hours over a 3-month period were investigated. CSX was diagnosed using standard criteria. An extended recruitment period of 14 months allowed enrolment of a sufficient number of CSX patients to enable phenotyping.
RESULTS: Only 5 of 372 (1.3 %) patients undergoing angiography to investigate chest pain met the diagnostic criteria for CSX. None were given a discharge diagnosis of CSX or received cardiology follow-up. Irish CSX patients were predominantly female (88 %) with a mean age of 59.2 ± 6.6 years. Although they were significantly less functionally limited than patients with obstructive CAD, they had an equally substantial impairment in quality of life.
CONCLUSIONS: CSX is relatively uncommon in Ireland and is most frequently seen in middle-aged women with hyperlipidaemia. It has significant impacts on patients' quality of life. None of the CSX patients were diagnosed as such, highlighting the lack of awareness or acceptance of this condition in Ireland. These patients require diagnosis and active cardiology follow-up to effectively manage their symptoms.
PMID: 26614494 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The quasi-market for adult residential care in the UK: Do for-profit, not-for-profit or public sector residential care and nursing homes provide better quality care?
Soc Sci Med. 2017 Feb 27;179:137-146
Authors: Barron DN, West E
There has been a radical transformation in the provision of adult residential and nursing home care in England over the past four decades. Up to the 1980s, over 80% of adult residential care was provided by the public sector, but today public sector facilities account for only 8% of the available places, with the rest being provided by a mixture of for-profit firms (74%) and non-profit charities (18%). The public sector's role is often now that of purchaser (paying the fees of people unable to afford them) and regulator. While the idea that private companies may play a bigger role in the future provision of health care is highly contentious in the UK, the transformation of the residential and nursing home care has attracted little comment. Concerns about the quality of care do emerge from time to time, often stimulated by high profile media investigations, scandals or criminal prosecutions, but there is little or no evidence about whether or not the transformation of the sector from largely public to private provision has had a beneficial effect on those who need the service. This study asks whether there are differences in the quality of care provided by public, non-profit or for-profit facilities in England. We use data on care quality for over 15,000 homes that are provided by the industry regulator in England: the Care Quality Commission (CQC). These data are the results of inspections carried out between April 2011 and October 2015. Controlling for a range of facility characteristics such as age and size, proportional odds logistic regression showed that for-profit facilities have lower CQC quality ratings than public and non-profit providers over a range of measures, including safety, effectiveness, respect, meeting needs and leadership. We discuss the implications of these results for the ongoing debates about the role of for-profit providers of health and social care.
PMID: 28273611 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]