ResearchPad - coughing https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Development and validation a nomogram for predicting the risk of severe COVID-19: A multi-center study in Sichuan, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15747 Since December 2019, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan and spread across the globe. The objective of this study is to build and validate a practical nomogram for estimating the risk of severe COVID-19.MethodsA cohort of 366 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 was used to develop a prediction model using data collected from 47 locations in Sichuan province from January 2020 to February 2020. The primary outcome was the development of severe COVID-19 during hospitalization. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression model was used to reduce data size and select relevant features. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was applied to build a prediction model incorporating the selected features. The performance of the nomogram regarding the C-index, calibration, discrimination, and clinical usefulness was assessed. Internal validation was assessed by bootstrapping.ResultsThe median age of the cohort was 43 years. Severe patients were older than mild patients by a median of 6 years. Fever, cough, and dyspnea were more common in severe patients. The individualized prediction nomogram included seven predictors: body temperature at admission, cough, dyspnea, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic liver disease, and chronic kidney disease. The model had good discrimination with an area under the curve of 0.862, C-index of 0.863 (95% confidence interval, 0.801–0.925), and good calibration. A high C-index value of 0.839 was reached in the interval validation. Decision curve analysis showed that the prediction nomogram was clinically useful.ConclusionWe established an early warning model incorporating clinical characteristics that could be quickly obtained on admission. This model can be used to help predict severe COVID-19 and identify patients at risk of developing severe disease. ]]> <![CDATA[Multiple micronutrient supplementation using spirulina platensis and infant growth, morbidity, and motor development: Evidence from a randomized trial in Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc995d5eed0c484529e73

In developing countries, micronutrient deficiency in infants is associated with growth faltering, morbidity, and delayed motor development. One of the potentially low-cost and sustainable solutions is to use locally producible food for the home fortification of complementary foods. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that locally producible spirulina platensis supplementation would achieve the following: 1) increase infant physical growth, 2) reduce morbidity, and 3) improve motor development. We randomly assigned 501 Zambian infants into the control group or the spirulina group. Children in the control group (n = 250) received a soya-maize-based porridge for 12 months; those in the spirulina group (n = 251) received the same food with the addition of spirulina. We assessed the change in infants’ anthropometric status, morbidity (probable pneumonia, cough, probable malaria, and fever), and motor development over 12 months. The baseline characteristics were not different between the two groups. The attrition rate (47/501) was low. The physical growth of infants in the two groups was similar at 12 months of intervention, as measured by height-for-age z-scores and weight-for-age z-scores. Infants in the spirulina group were 11 percentage points less likely to develop a cough (CI: -0.23, -0.00; P < 0.05) and were more likely to be able to walk alone at 15 months (0.96 ± 0.19) than infants in the control group (0.92 ± 0.28). Home-fortification of complementary foods using spirulina had positive effects on upper respiratory infection morbidity prevention and motor milestone acquisition among Zambian infants.

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<![CDATA[Development and validation of clinical prediction models to distinguish influenza from other viruses causing acute respiratory infections in children and adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26add5eed0c484289e58

Predictive models have been developed for influenza but have seldom been validated. Typically they have focused on patients meeting a definition of infection that includes fever. Less is known about how models perform when more symptoms are considered. We, therefore, aimed to create and internally validate predictive scores of acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms to diagnose influenza virus infection as confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from respiratory specimens. Data from a completed trial to study the indirect effect of influenza immunization in Hutterite communities were randomly split into two independent groups for model derivation and validation. We applied different multivariable modelling techniques and constructed Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curves to determine predictive indexes at different cut-points. From 2008–2011, 3288 first seasonal ARI episodes and 321 (9.8%) influenza positive events occurred in 2202 individuals. In children up to 17 years, the significant predictors of influenza virus infection were fever, chills, and cough along with being of age 6 years and older. In adults, presence of chills and cough but not fever were highly specific for influenza virus infection (sensitivity 30%, specificity 96%). Performance of the models in the validation set was not significantly different. The predictors were consistently found to be significant irrespective of the multivariable technique. Symptomatic predictors of influenza virus infection vary between children and adults. The scores could assist clinicians in their test and treat decisions but the results need to be externally validated prior to application in clinical practice.

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<![CDATA[Survey of suspected dysphagia prevalence in home-dwelling older people using the 10-Item Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217d3d5eed0c48479462b

Objective

This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of suspected dysphagia and its features in both independent and dependent older people living at home.

Materials and methods

The 10-Item Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10) questionnaire was sent to 1,000 independent older people and 2,000 dependent older people living at home in a municipal district of Tokyo, Japan. The participants were selected by stratified randomization according to age and care level. We set the cut-off value of EAT-10 at a score of ≥3. The percentage of participants with an EAT-10 score ≥3 was defined as the prevalence of suspected dysphagia. The chi-square test was used for analyzing prevalence in each group. Analysis of the distribution of EAT-10 scores, and comparisons among items, age groups, and care levels to identify symptom features were performed using the Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney U test.

Results

Valid responses were received from 510 independent older people aged 65 years or older (mean age 75.0 ± 7.2) and 886 dependent older people (mean age 82.3 ± 6.7). The prevalences of suspected dysphagia were 25.1% and 53.8%, respectively, and showed significant increases with advancing age and care level. In both groups, many older people assigned high scores to the item about coughing, whereas individuals requiring high-level care assigned higher scores to the items about not only coughing but also swallowing of solids and quality of life.

Conclusion

In independent people, approximately one in four individuals showed suspected dysphagia and coughing was the most perceivable symptom. In dependent people, approximately one in two individuals showed suspected dysphagia and their specifically perceivable symptoms were coughing, difficulties in swallowing solids and psychological burden.

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<![CDATA[Posture and firmness changes in a pressure-relieving air mattress affect cough strength in elderly people with dysphagia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c19668bd5eed0c484b522fa

Dysphagia is the major pathophysiologic mechanism leading to aspiration pneumonia in the elderly. Elderly people with dysphagia who show low levels of the cough peak flow (CPF) are at greater risk for aspiration pneumonia. It has been reported that CPF values were significantly lower in the “soft” versus “hard” mode of a pressure-relieving air mattress in healthy volunteers in a supine position. Parameters such as spinal curvature, however, were not evaluated in detail. In this study, we clarified whether the changes in posture associated with two different firmness levels of a pressure-relieving air mattress were associated with cough production and related factors in the elderly with dysphagia. The body sinking distance, pelvic tilt angle, and immersion of the lumbar spine were measured to evaluate changes in posture. Forty subjects met the study criteria for dysphagia. The “soft” mode showed significantly lower CPF values than the “hard” mode (soft 274.9 ± 107.2 L/min vs. hard 325.0 ± 99.5 L/min, MD 50.0 95%CI 33.1–66.9 P < 0.001). Values of forced vital capacity (FVC) and maximal inspiratory pressure (PImax) were significantly lower in the “soft” mode than in the “hard” mode (MD 0.10 95%CI 0.04–0.17, P = 0.002, MD 3.2 95%CI 0.9–5.5, P = 0.007, respectively). Although there was no significant difference between the two firmness levels, maximal expiratory pressure (PEmax) values also tended to be lower in the “soft” than in the “hard” mode, (MD 2.9 95%CI -0.6–6.3 P = 0.1). At both firmness levels, CPF values were significantly correlated with FVC, PImax, and PEmax. The difference in sinking distance in the anterior superior iliac spine was significantly larger than that in the lesser tubercle of the humerus and patella. Additionally, in the soft mode, the pelvic tilt angle and contact area around the lumbar spine were significantly larger than those observed in the “hard” mode. Parameters associated with the production of cough, including inspiratory muscle strength, lung volume, and ultimately CPF, may be affected by immersion of the lumbar spine and curvature of the spine that results from the “soft” mode in elderly patients with dysphagia.

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<![CDATA[Health seeking for chronic lung disease in central Malawi: Adapting existing models using insights from a qualitative study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c215166d5eed0c4843fa025

Background

Chronic lung diseases contribute to the growing non-communicable disease (NCD) burden and are increasing, particularly in many low and middle-income countries (LMIC) in sub-Saharan African. Early engagement with health systems in chronic lung disease management is critical to maintain quality of life and prevent further damage. Our study sought to understand health seeking behaviour in relation to chronic lung disease and TB in a rural district in Malawi.

Methods

Qualitative data was collected between March-May 2015, exploring patterns of health seeking for lung disease amongst residents of two districts in rural Malawi. Participants included those with and without lung disease, health workers and village leaders. Participants with a history of TB were included in the sample due to similarities in clinical presentation and in view of potential to cause long-term damage to lung tissue.

Results

Our findings are ordered around a specific model of health seeking devised by adapting previous models. The model and findings span three broad areas that were found to influence health seeking: understandings of health and disease which shaped whether, when and where to seek care; the care seeking decision which was influenced by social and structural factors; and the care seeking experience which impacted future care decisions creating ‘feedback loops’.

Discussion

Efforts to improve effective and accessible healthcare provision for chronic lung disease need to address all the determinants of health seeking behaviour identified. This may include: enhancing the structural and financial accessibility of health services, through the strengthening of community linkages; improving communication between formal health providers, patients and communities around symptoms, diagnosis and management of chronic lung diseases; and improving the quality of diagnostic and management services through the strengthening of health systems ‘hardware’ (equipment availability) and ‘software’ (development of trusting and respectful relationships between providers and patients).

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<![CDATA[Using machine learning to investigate self-medication purchasing in England via high street retailer loyalty card data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfc627bd5eed0c484ec98e5

The availability alongside growing awareness of medicine has led to increased self-treatment of minor ailments. Self-medication is where one ‘self’ diagnoses and prescribes over the counter medicines for treatment. The self-care movement has important policy implications, perceived to relieve the National Health Service (NHS) burden, increasing patient subsistence and freeing resources for more serious ailments. However, there has been little research exploring how self-medication behaviours vary between population groups due to a lack of available data. The aim of our study is to evaluate how high street retailer loyalty card data can help inform our understanding of how individuals self-medicate in England. Transaction level loyalty card data was acquired from a national high street retailer for England for 2012–2014. We calculated the proportion of loyalty card customers (n ~ 10 million) within Lower Super Output Areas who purchased the following medicines: ‘coughs and colds’, ‘Hayfever’, ‘pain relief’ and ‘sun preps’. Machine learning was used to explore how 50 sociodemographic and health accessibility features were associated towards explaining purchasing of each product group. Random Forests are used as a baseline and Gradient Boosting as our final model. Our results showed that pain relief was the most common medicine purchased. There was little difference in purchasing behaviours by sex other than for sun preps. The gradient boosting models demonstrated that socioeconomic status of areas, as well as air pollution, were important predictors of each medicine. Our study adds to the self-medication literature through demonstrating the usefulness of loyalty card records for producing insights about how self-medication varies at the national level. Big data offer novel insights that add to and address issues that traditional studies are unable to consider. New forms of data through data linkage may offer opportunities to improve current public health decision making surrounding at risk population groups within self-medication behaviours.

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<![CDATA[Variations in the quality of tuberculosis care in urban India: A cross-sectional, standardized patient study in two cities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bb3df4240307c54ff8ce8f5

Background

India has the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB). Although most patients with TB in India seek care from the private sector, there is limited evidence on quality of TB care or its correlates. Following our validation study on the standardized patient (SP) method for TB, we utilized SPs to examine quality of adult TB care among health providers with different qualifications in 2 Indian cities.

Methods and findings

During 2014–2017, pilot programs engaged the private health sector to improve TB management in Mumbai and Patna. Nested within these projects, to obtain representative, baseline measures of quality of TB care at the city level, we recruited 24 adults to be SPs. They were trained to portray 4 TB “case scenarios” representing various stages of disease and diagnostic progression. Between November 2014 and August 2015, the SPs visited representatively sampled private providers stratified by qualification: (1) allopathic providers with Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degrees or higher and (2) non-MBBS providers with alternative medicine, minimal, or no qualifications.

Our main outcome was case-specific correct management benchmarked against the Standards for TB Care in India (STCI). Using ANOVA, we assessed variation in correct management and quality outcomes across (a) cities, (b) qualifications, and (c) case scenarios. Additionally, 2 micro-experiments identified sources of variation: first, quality in the presence of diagnostic test results certainty and second, provider consistency for different patients presenting the same case.

A total of 2,652 SP–provider interactions across 1,203 health facilities were analyzed. Based on our sampling strategy and after removing 50 micro-experiment interactions, 2,602 interactions were weighted for city-representative interpretation. After weighting, the 473 Patna providers receiving SPs represent 3,179 eligible providers in Patna; in Mumbai, the 730 providers represent 7,115 eligible providers. Correct management was observed in 959 out of 2,602 interactions (37%; 35% weighted; 95% CI 32%–37%), primarily from referrals and ordering chest X-rays (CXRs). Unnecessary medicines were given to nearly all SPs, and antibiotic use was common. Anti-TB drugs were prescribed in 118 interactions (4.5%; 5% weighted), of which 45 were given in the case in which such treatment is considered correct management.

MBBS and more qualified providers had higher odds of correctly managing cases than non-MBBS providers (odds ratio [OR] 2.80; 95% CI 2.05–3.82; p < 0.0001). Mumbai non-MBBS providers had higher odds of correct management than non-MBBS in Patna (OR 1.79; 95% CI 1.06–3.03), and MBBS providers’ quality of care did not vary between cities (OR 1.15; 95% CI 0.79–1.68; p = 0.4642). In the micro-experiments, improving diagnostic certainty had a positive effect on correct management but not across all quality dimensions. Also, providers delivered idiosyncratically consistent care, repeating all observed actions, including mistakes, approximately 75% of the time. The SP method has limitations: it cannot account for patient mix or care-management practices reflecting more than one patient–provider interaction.

Conclusions

Quality of TB care is suboptimal and variable in urban India’s private health sector. Addressing this is critical for India’s plans to end TB by 2025. For the first time, we have rich measures on representative levels of care quality from 2 cities, which can inform private-sector TB interventions and quality-improvement efforts.

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<![CDATA[Brainstem response patterns in deeply-sedated critically-ill patients predict 28-day mortality]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db59ab0ee8fa60bdf0ab

Background and purpose

Deep sedation is associated with acute brain dysfunction and increased mortality. We had previously shown that early-assessed brainstem reflexes may predict outcome in deeply sedated patients. The primary objective was to determine whether patterns of brainstem reflexes might predict mortality in deeply sedated patients. The secondary objective was to generate a score predicting mortality in these patients.

Methods

Observational prospective multicenter cohort study of 148 non-brain injured deeply sedated patients, defined by a Richmond Assessment sedation Scale (RASS) <-3. Brainstem reflexes and Glasgow Coma Scale were assessed within 24 hours of sedation and categorized using latent class analysis. The Full Outline Of Unresponsiveness score (FOUR) was also assessed. Primary outcome measure was 28-day mortality. A “Brainstem Responses Assessment Sedation Score” (BRASS) was generated.

Results

Two distinct sub-phenotypes referred as homogeneous and heterogeneous brainstem reactivity were identified (accounting for respectively 54.6% and 45.4% of patients). Homogeneous brainstem reactivity was characterized by preserved reactivity to nociceptive stimuli and a partial and topographically homogenous depression of brainstem reflexes. Heterogeneous brainstem reactivity was characterized by a loss of reactivity to nociceptive stimuli associated with heterogeneous brainstem reflexes depression. Heterogeneous sub-phenotype was a predictor of increased risk of 28-day mortality after adjustment to Simplified Acute Physiology Score-II (SAPS-II) and RASS (Odds Ratio [95% confidence interval] = 6.44 [2.63–15.8]; p<0.0001) or Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) and RASS (OR [95%CI] = 5.02 [2.01–12.5]; p = 0.0005). The BRASS (and marginally the FOUR) predicted 28-day mortality (c-index [95%CI] = 0.69 [0.54–0.84] and 0.65 [0.49–0.80] respectively).

Conclusion

In this prospective cohort study, around half of all deeply sedated critically ill patients displayed an early particular neurological sub-phenotype predicting 28-day mortality, which may reflect a dysfunction of the brainstem.

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<![CDATA[Early Diagnosis of Pneumonia in Severe Stroke: Clinical Features and the Diagnostic Role of C-Reactive Protein]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b69501

Background

Accurate diagnosis of pneumonia complicating severe stroke is challenging due to difficulties in physical examination, altered immune responses and delayed manifestations of radiological changes. The aims of this study were to describe early clinical features and to examine C-reactive protein (CRP) as a diagnostic marker of post-stroke pneumonia.

Methods

Patients who required nasogastric feeding and had no evidence of pneumonia within 7 days of stroke onset were included in the study and followed-up for 21 days with a daily clinical examination. Pneumonia was diagnosed using modified British Thoracic Society criteria.

Results

60 patients were recruited (mean age 77 years, mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale Score 19.47). Forty-four episodes of pneumonia were identified. Common manifestations on the day of the diagnosis were new onset crackles (43/44, 98%), tachypnoea>25/min (42/44, 95%), and oxygen saturation <90% (41/44, 93%). Cough, purulent sputum, and pyrexia >38°C were observed in 27 (61%), 25 (57%) and 15 (34%) episodes respectively. Leucocytosis (WBC>11,000/ml) and raised CRP (>10 mg/l) were observed in 38 (86%) and 43 (97%) cases of pneumonia respectively. The area under the ROC curve for CRP was 0.827 (95% CI 0.720, 0.933). The diagnostic cut-off for CRP with an acceptable sensitivity (>0.8) was 25.60 mg/L (Youden index (J) 0.515; sensitivity 0.848; specificity 0.667). A cut-off of 64.65 mg/L had the highest diagnostic accuracy (J 0.562; sensitivity 0.636; specificity 0.926).

Conclusion

Patients with severe stroke frequently do not manifest key diagnostic features of pneumonia such as pyrexia, cough and purulent sputum early in their illness. The most common signs in this group are new-onset crackles, tachypnoea and hypoxia. Our results suggest that a CRP >25 mg/L should prompt investigations for pneumonia while values >65 mg/L have the highest diagnostic accuracy to justify consideration of this threshold as a diagnostic marker of post-stroke pneumonia.

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<![CDATA[Durations and Delays in Care Seeking, Diagnosis and Treatment Initiation in Uncomplicated Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients in Mumbai, India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da04ab0ee8fa60b75522

Background

Timely diagnosis and treatment initiation are critical to reduce the chain of transmission of Tuberculosis (TB) in places like Mumbai, where almost 60% of the inhabitants reside in overcrowded slums. This study documents the pathway from the onset of symptoms suggestive of TB to initiation of TB treatment and examines factors responsible for delay among uncomplicated pulmonary TB patients in Mumbai.

Methods

A population-based retrospective survey was conducted in the slums of 15 high TB burden administrative wards to identify 153 self-reported TB patients. Subsequently in-depth interviews of 76 consenting patients that fit the inclusion criteria were undertaken using an open-ended interview schedule. Mean total, first care seeking, diagnosis and treatment initiation duration and delays were computed for new and retreatment patients. Patients showing defined delays were divided into outliers and non-outliers for all three delays using the median values.

Results

The mean duration for the total pathway was 65 days with 29% of patients being outliers. Importantly the mean duration of first care seeking was similar in new (24 days) and retreatment patients (25 days). Diagnostic duration contributed to 55% of the total pathway largely in new patients. Treatment initiation was noted to be the least among the three durations with mean duration in retreatment patients twice that of new patients. Significantly more female patients experienced diagnostic delay. Major shift of patients from the private to public sector and non-allopaths to allopaths was observed, particularly for treatment initiation.

Conclusion

Achieving positive behavioural changes in providers (especially non-allopaths) and patients needs to be considered in TB control strategies. Specific attention is required in counselling of TB patients so that timely care seeking is effected at the time of relapse. Prioritizing improvement of environmental health in vulnerable locations and provision of point of care diagnostics would be singularly effective in curbing pathway delays.

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<![CDATA[Is Knowledge Regarding Tuberculosis Associated with Stigmatising and Discriminating Attitudes of General Population towards Tuberculosis Patients? Findings from a Community Based Survey in 30 Districts of India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9cab0ee8fa60ba3fe9

Background

Stigmatising and discriminating attitudes may discourage tuberculosis (TB) patients from actively seeking medical care, hide their disease status, and discontinue treatment. It is expected that appropriate knowledge regarding TB should remove stigmatising and discriminating attitudes. In this study we assessed the prevalence of stigmatising and discriminating attitudes towards TB patients among general population and their association with knowledge regarding TB.

Method

A cross-sectional knowledge, attitude and practice survey was conducted in 30 districts of India in January-March 2011. A total of 4562 respondents from general population were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires which contained items to measure stigma, discrimination and knowledge on TB.

Result

Of the 4562 interviewed, 3823 were eligible for the current analysis. Of these, 73% (95% CI 71.4–74.2) had stigmatising and 98% (95% CI 97.4–98.3) had discriminating attitude towards TB patients. Only 17% (95% CI 15.6–18.0) of the respondents had appropriate knowledge regarding TB with even lower levels observed amongst females, rural areas and respondents from low income groups. Surprisingly stigmatising (adjusted OR 1.31 (0.78–2.18) and discriminating (adjusted OR 0.79 (0.43–1.44) attitudes were independent of knowledge regarding TB.

Conclusion

Stigmatising and discriminating attitudes towards TB patients remain high among the general population in India. Since these attitudes were independent of the knowledge regarding TB, it is possible that the current disseminated knowledge regarding TB which is mainly from a medical perspective may not be adequately addressing the factors that lead to stigma and discrimination towards TB patients. Therefore, there is an urgent need to review the messages and strategies currently used for disseminating knowledge regarding TB among general population and revise them appropriately. The disseminated knowledge should include medical, psycho-social and economic aspects of TB that not only informs people about medical aspects of TB disease, but also removes stigma and discrimination.

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<![CDATA[Do Xpert MTB/RIF Cycle Threshold Values Provide Information about Patient Delays for Tuberculosis Diagnosis?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafeab0ee8fa60bc58a2

Introduction

Early diagnosis and initiation to appropriate treatment is vital for tuberculosis (TB) control. The XpertMTB/RIF (Xpert) assay offers rapid TB diagnosis and quantitative estimation of bacterial burden through Cycle threshold (Ct) values. We assessed whether the Xpert Ct value is associated with delayed TB diagnosis as a potential monitoring tool for TB control programme performance.

Materials and Methods

This analysis was nested in a prospective study under the routine TB surveillance procedures of the National TB Control Program in Manhiça district, Maputo province, Mozambique. Presumptive TB patients were tested using smear microscopy and Xpert. We explored the association between Xpert Ct values and self-reported delay of Xpert-positive TB patients as recorded at the time of diagnosis enrolment. Patients with >60 days of TB symptoms were considered to have long delays.

Results

Of 1,483 presumptive TB cases, 580 were diagnosed as TB of whom 505 (87.0%) were due to pulmonary TB and 302 (94.1%) were Xpert positive. Ct values (range, 9.7–46.4) showed a multimodal distribution. The median (IQR) delay was 30 (30–45) days. Ct values showed no correlation with delay (R2 = 0.001, p = 0.621), nor any association with long delays: adjusted odds ratios (AOR) (95% confidence interval [CI]) comparing to >28 cycles 0.99 (0.50–1.96; p = 0.987) for 23–28 cycles, 0.93 (0.50–1.74; p = 0.828) for 16–22 cycles; and 1.05 (0.47–2.36; p = 0.897) for <16 cycles. Being HIV-negative (AOR [95% CI]), 2.05 (1.19–3.51, p = 0.009) and rural residence 1.74 (1.08–2.81, p = 0.023), were independent predictors of long delays.

Conclusion

Xpert Ct values were not associated with patient delay for TB diagnosis and cannot be used as an indicator of TB control program performance.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of Health-Related Quality of Life among Tuberculosis Patients in Two Cities in Yemen]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf5ab0ee8fa60bc2821

Background

The health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of Tuberculosis (TB) patients is important because it directly influences the outcome of TB patients in several aspects. The current study aims to evaluate and to find the factors influencing the HRQoL of TB patients in two major TB-prevalent cities (Taiz and Alhodidah) in Yemen.

Methods

A prospective study was conducted, and all TB patients meeting the HRQoL criteria were asked to complete the HRQoL SF-36 survey. The records of TB patients were examined for disease confirmation, and a follow-up was consequently performed for patients during treatment between March 2013 and February 2014 in Taiz and Alhodidah Cities. HRQol scores were calculated by using QM scoring software version 4.5, in which the physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) were obtained. The scores obtained between 47–53 normal based score (NBS) were considered equivalent to the US normal score. Low scores indicate the poor health situation of TB patients

Results

A total of 243 TB patients enrolled in the study at the beginning of the treatment. A total of 235 and 197 TB patients completed the questionnaire at the end of the intensive phase (I.P.) and continuation phase (C.P.), respectively. The final dropout rate was 16.2%. The mean PCS and MCS scores at the beginning of treatment were low, thus showing the poor health situation of TB patients. The mean PCS scores at the beginning of treatment, end of I.P., and end of treatment were (36.1), (44.9), and (48), respectively. Moreover, the mean MCS score at the beginning of treatment, end of I.P., and end of treatment were (35.1), (42.2), and (44.3), respectively. The result shows that significant increases are observed at the end of I.P. for PCS and MCS because of the treatment and slight changes at the end of C.P. Despite this finding, the MCS score remains below the normal range (47), thus indicating a significant risk of depression among TB patients. Furthermore, general linear repeated measure ANOVA was performed for selected variables, to examine the changes of PCS and MCS over time. It was found that Alhodiah city, chewing khat habit, stigmatization, and duration of treatment more than six months were greatly associated with low mean MCS score of TB patient, indicating great risk of depression which may result in poor treatment outcome.

Conclusion

TB patients in Yemen were found to have poor QoL, with a significant likelihood of depression. Highly risk depression was found among TB patients in Alhodiah city, khat chewers, stigmatization and having a duration of treatment more than 6 months. Therefore, additional efforts should be made to improve their QoL because it may affect the final clinical outcome of patients.

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<![CDATA[Treatment-Seeking for Tuberculosis-Suggestive Symptoms: A Reflection on the Role of Human Agency in the Context of Universal Health Coverage in Malawi]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da04ab0ee8fa60b751f9

Tuberculosis (TB) is highly infectious and one of the leading killers globally. Several studies from sub-Saharan Africa highlight health systems challenges that affect ability to cope with existing disease burden, including TB, although most of these employ survey-type approaches. Consequently, few address community or patient perspectives and experiences. At the same time, understanding of the mechanisms by which the health systems challenges translate into seeking or avoidance of formal health care remains limited. This paper applies the notion of human agency to examine the ways people who have symptoms suggestive of TB respond to and deal with the symptoms vis-à-vis major challenges inherent within health delivery systems. Empirical data were drawn from a qualitative study exploring the ways in which notions of masculinity affect engagement with care, including men’s well-documented tendency to delay in seeking care for TB symptoms. The study was carried out in three high-density locales of urban Blantyre, Malawi. Data were collected in March 2011 –March 2012 using focus group discussions, of which eight (mixed sex = two; female only = three; male only = three) were with 74 ordinary community members, and two (both mixed sex) were with 20 health workers; and in-depth interviews with 20 TB patients (female = 14) and 20 un-investigated chronic coughers (female = eight). The research process employed a modified version of grounded theory. Data were coded using a coding scheme that was initially generated from the study aims and subsequently progressively amended to incorporate concepts emerging during the analysis. Coded data were retrieved, re-read, and broken down and reconnected iteratively to generate themes. A myriad of problems were described for health systems at the primary health care level, centring largely on shortages of resources (human, equipment, and drugs) and unprofessional conduct by health care providers. Participants consistently pointed out how the problems could drive patients from promptly reporting symptoms at primary healthcare centres. The accounts suggest that in responding to illness symptoms including those suggestive of TB, patients navigate their options taking into cognisance past and current experiences with formal health systems. Understanding and factoring in the mediating role of such ‘agency’ is critical when implementing efforts to promote timely response to TB-suggestive symptoms.

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<![CDATA[Bringing state-of-the-art diagnostics to vulnerable populations: The use of a mobile screening unit in active case finding for tuberculosis in Palawan, the Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc1f5

Background

Globally, case detection of tuberculosis (TB) has stabilized in recent years. Active case finding (ACF) has regained an increased attention as a complementary strategy to fill the case detection gap. In the Philippines, the DetecTB project implemented an innovative ACF strategy that offered a one-stop diagnostic service with a mobile unit equipped with enhanced diagnostic tools including chest X-ray (CXR) and Xpert®MTB/RIF (Xpert). The project targeted the rural poor, the urban poor, prison inmates, indigenous population and high school students.

Methods

This is a retrospective review of TB screening data from 25,103 individuals. A descriptive analysis was carried out to compare screening and treatment outcomes across target populations. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors of TB for each population. The composition of bacteriologically-confirmed cases by smear and symptom status was further investigated.

Results

The highest yield with lowest number needed to screen (NNS) was found in prison (6.2%, NNS: 16), followed by indigenous population (2.9%, NNS: 34), the rural poor (2.2%, NNS: 45), the urban poor (2.1%, NNS: 48), and high school (0.2%, NNS: 495). The treatment success rate for all populations was high with 89.5% in rifampicin-susceptible patients and 83.3% in rifampicin-resistant patients. A relatively higher loss to follow-up rate was observed in indigenous population (7.5%) and the rural poor (6.4%). Only cough more than two weeks showed a significant association with TB diagnosis in all target populations (Adjusted Odds Ratio ranging from 1.71 to 6.73) while other symptoms and demographic factors varied in their strength of association. The urban poor had the highest proportion of smear-positive patients with cough more than two weeks (72.0%). The proportion of smear-negative (Xpert-positive) patients without cough more than two weeks was the highest in indigenous population (39.3%), followed by prison inmates (27.7%), and the rural poor (22.8%).

Conclusions

The innovative ACF strategy using mobile unit yielded a substantial number of TB patients and achieved successful treatment outcomes. TB screening in prison, indigenous population, and urban and rural poor communities was found to be effective. The combined use of CXR and Xpert largely contributed to increased case detection.

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<![CDATA[Lung function decline in subjects with and without COPD in a population-based cohort in Latin-America]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf585

Background

Lung-function decline is one of the possible mechanisms leading to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Methods

We analyzed data obtained from two population-based surveys of adults (n = 2026) conducted in the same individuals 5–9 years (y) after their baseline examination in three Latin-American cities. Post BronchoDilator (postBD) FEV1 decline in mL/y, as %predicted/y (%P/y) and % of baseline/y (%B/y) was calculated and the influence of age, gender, BMI, baseline lung function, BD response, exacerbations rate evaluated using multivariate models.

Results

Expressed in ml/y, the mean annual postBD FEV1 decline was 27 mL (0.22%P, 1.32%B) in patients with baseline COPD and 36 (0.14%P, 1.36%B) in those without. Faster decline (in mL/y) was associated with higher baseline lung function, with significant response to bronchodilators, older age and smoking at baseline, also in women with chronic cough and phlegm, or ≥2 respiratory exacerbations in the previous year, and in men with asthma.

Conclusions

Lung function decline in a population-based cohort did not differ in obstructed and non-obstructed individuals, it was proportional to baseline FEV1, and was higher in smokers, elderly, and women with respiratory symptoms.

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<![CDATA[Promoting Help-Seeking in Response to Symptoms amongst Primary Care Patients at High Risk of Lung Cancer: A Mixed Method Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9dab0ee8fa60ba482e

Background

Lung cancer symptoms are vague and difficult to detect. Interventions are needed to promote early diagnosis, however health services are already pressurised. This study explored symptomology and help-seeking behaviours of primary care patients at ‘high-risk’ of lung cancer (≥50 years old, recent smoking history), to inform targeted interventions.

Methods

Mixed method study with patients at eight general practitioner (GP) practices across south England. Study incorporated: postal symptom questionnaire; clinical records review of participant consultation behaviour 12 months pre- and post-questionnaire; qualitative participant interviews (n = 38) with a purposive sample.

Results

A small, clinically relevant group (n = 61/908, 6.7%) of primary care patients was identified who, despite reporting potential symptoms of lung cancer in questionnaires, had not consulted a GP ≥12 months. Of nine symptoms associated with lung cancer, 53.4% (629/1172) of total respondents reported ≥1, and 35% (411/1172) reported ≥2. Most participants (77.3%, n = 686/908) had comorbid conditions; 47.8%, (n = 414/908) associated with chest and respiratory symptoms. Participant consulting behaviour significantly increased in the 3-month period following questionnaire completion compared with the previous 3-month period (p = .002), indicating questionnaires impacted upon consulting behaviour. Symptomatic non-consulters were predominantly younger, employed, with higher multiple deprivation scores than their GP practice mean. Of symptomatic non-consulters, 30% (18/61) consulted ≤1 month post-questionnaire, with comorbidities subsequently diagnosed for five participants. Interviews (n = 39) indicated three overarching differences between the views of consulting and non-consulting participants: concern over wasting their own as well as GP time; high tolerance threshold for symptoms; a greater tendency to self-manage symptoms.

Conclusions

This first study to examine symptoms and consulting behaviour amongst a primary care population at ‘high- risk’ of lung cancer, found symptomatic patients who rarely consult GPs, might respond to a targeted symptom elicitation intervention. Such GP-based interventions may promote early diagnosis of lung cancer or other comorbidities, without burdening already pressurised services.

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<![CDATA[Health Seeking Behaviour among Individuals with Presumptive Tuberculosis in Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3cab0ee8fa60bd5487

Background

Tuberculosis (TB) prevalence surveys offer a unique opportunity to study health seeking behaviour at the population level because they identify individuals with symptoms that should ideally prompt a health consultation.

Objective

To assess the health-seeking behaviour among individuals who were presumptive TB cases in a national population based TB prevalence survey.

Methods

A cross sectional survey was conducted between 2013 and 2014 among 66 survey clusters in Zambia. Clusters were census supervisory areas (CSAs). Participants (presumptive TB cases) were individuals aged 15 years and above; having either cough, fever or chest pain for 2 weeks or more; and/or having an abnormal or inconclusive chest x-ray image. All survey participants were interviewed about symptoms and had a chest X-ray taken. An in-depth interview was conducted to collect information on health seeking behaviour and previous TB treatment.

Results

Of the 6,708 participants, the majority reported at least a history of chest pain (3,426; 51.1%) followed by cough (2,405; 35.9%), and fever (1,030; 15.4%) for two weeks or more. Only 34.9% (2,340) had sought care for their symptoms, mainly (92%) at government health facilities. Of those who sought care, 13.9% (326) and 12.1% (283) had chest x-ray and sputum examinations, respectively. Those ever treated for TB were 9.6% (644); while 1.7% (114) was currently on treatment. The average time (in weeks) from onset of symptoms to first care-seeking was 3 for the presumptive TB cases. Males, urban dwellers and individuals in the highest wealth quintile were less likely to seek care for their symptoms. The likelihood of having ever been treated for TB was highest among males, urban dwellers; respondents aged 35–64 years, individuals in the highest wealth quintile, or HIV positive.

Conclusion

Some presumptive TB patients delay care-seeking for their symptoms. The health system misses opportunities to diagnose TB among those who seek care. Improving health-seeking behaviour among males, urban dwellers and those with a higher social economic status; and addressing health care lapses in TB case detection is required if TB is to be effectively controlled in Zambia.

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<![CDATA[Operating Characteristics of a Tuberculosis Screening Tool for People Living with HIV in Out-Patient HIV Care and Treatment Services, Rwanda]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad2ab0ee8fa60bb6c48

Background

The World Health Organization (WHO) 2010 guidelines for intensified tuberculosis (TB) case finding (ICF) among people living with HIV (PLHIV) includes a recommendation that PLHIV receive routine TB screening. Since 2005, the Rwandan Ministry of Health has been using a five-question screening tool. Our study objective was to assess the operating characteristics of the tool designed to identify PLHIV with presumptive TB as measured against a composite reference standard, including bacteriologically confirmed TB.

Methods

In a cross-sectional study, the TB screening tool was routinely administered at enrolment in outpatient HIV care and treatment services at seven public health facilities. From March to September 2011, study enrollees were examined for TB disease irrespective of TB screening outcome. The examination consisted of a chest radiograph (CXR), three sputum smears (SS), sputum culture (SC) and polymerase chain reaction line-probe assay (Hain test). PLHIV were classified as having “laboratory-confirmed TB” with positive results on SS for acid-fast bacilli, SC on Lowenstein-Jensen medium, or a Hain test.

Results

Overall, 1,767 patients were enrolled and screened of which; 1,017 (57.6%) were female, median age was 33 (IQR, 27–41), and median CD4+ cell count was 385 (IQR, 229–563) cells/mm3. Of the patients screened, 138 (7.8%) were diagnosed with TB of which; 125 (90.5%) were laboratory-confirmed pulmonary TB. Of 404 (22.9%) patients who screened positive and 1,363 (77.1%) who screened negative, 79 (19.5%) and 59 (4.3%), respectively, were diagnosed with TB. For laboratory-confirmed TB, the tool had a sensitivity of 54.4% (95% CI 45.3–63.3), specificity of 79.5% (95% CI 77.5–81.5), PPV of 16.8% and NPV of 95.8%.

Conclusion

TB prevalence among PLHIV newly enrolling into HIV care and treatment was 65 times greater than the overall population prevalence. However, the performance of the tool was poorer than the predicted performance of the WHO recommended TB screening questions.

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