ResearchPad - critical-care-and-emergency-medicine https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Development and validation of a questionnaire to assess healthcare personnel competence in cardiac arrest and resuscitation in pregnancy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7826 Cardiac arrest is rare in pregnancy, and up-to date competence can be difficult to assess and maintain. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire to assess healthcare personnel experiences, self-assessed competence and perception of role and resposibility related to cardiac arrest and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in pregnancyMethodsThe study had a cross-sectional design, developing and validating a questionnaire: the Competence in cardiac arrest and CPR in pregnancy (ComCA-P). Development and validation of the ComCA-P was conducted in three stages: 1) Literature review and expert group panel inputs, 2) a pilot study and 3) a cross-sectional questionnaire study. In stage one, the ComCA-P was developed over several iterations between the researchers, including inputs from an expert group panel consisting of highly competent professionals (n = 11). In stage two, the questionnaire was piloted in a group of healthcare personnel with relevant competence (n = 16). The ComCA-P was then used in a baseline study including healthcare personnel potentially involved in CPR in pregnancy (n = 527) in six hospital wards. Based on these data, internal consistency, intra-class correlations, and confirmatory factor analysis were utilized to validate the questionnaire.ResultsThe expert group and pilot study participants evaluated the appropriateness, relevance and accuracy to be high. Formulation of the items was considered appropriate, with no difficulties identified related to content- or face validity. Cronbach’s alpha was 0.8 on the thematic area self-assessment, and 0.73 on the theoretical knowledge area of the ComCA-P. On both the self-assessed competence items and the teoretical knowledge items, Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin was 0.8. Moreover, the Bertletts’ test of sphericity was greater than the critical value for chi-square, and significant (p < .0001).ConclusionsFindings indicate that the ComCA-P is a valid questionnaire that can be used to assess healthcare personnel competence in cardiac arrest and resuscitation in pregnancy. ]]> <![CDATA[Effect of experimental, morphological and mechanical factors on the murine spinal cord subjected to transverse contusion: A finite element study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8463 Finite element models combined with animal experimental models of spinal cord injury provides the opportunity for investigating the effects of the injury mechanism on the neural tissue deformation and the resulting tissue damage. Thus, we developed a finite element model of the mouse cervical spinal cord in order to investigate the effect of morphological, experimental and mechanical factors on the spinal cord mechanical behavior subjected to transverse contusion. The overall mechanical behavior of the model was validated with experimental data of unilateral cervical contusion in mice. The effects of the spinal cord material properties, diameter and curvature, and of the impactor position and inclination on the strain distribution were investigated in 8 spinal cord anatomical regions of interest for 98 configurations of the model. Pareto analysis revealed that the material properties had a significant effect (p<0.01) for all regions of interest of the spinal cord and was the most influential factor for 7 out of 8 regions. This highlighted the need for comprehensive mechanical characterization of the gray and white matter in order to develop effective models capable of predicting tissue deformation during spinal cord injuries.

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<![CDATA[Stepwise stroke recognition through clinical information, vital signs, and initial labs (CIVIL): Electronic health record-based observational cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0f0adfcb-3c92-4db3-bdce-cd884fd183e7

Background

Stroke recognition systems have been developed to reduce time delays, however, a comprehensive triaging score identifying stroke subtypes is needed to guide appropriate management. We aimed to develop a prehospital scoring system for rapid stroke recognition and identify stroke subtype simultaneously.

Methods and findings

In prospective database of regional emergency and stroke center, Clinical Information, Vital signs, and Initial Labs (CIVIL) of 1,599 patients suspected of acute stroke was analyzed from an automatically-stored electronic health record. Final confirmation was performed with neuroimaging. Using multiple regression analyses, we determined independent predictors of tier 1 (true-stroke or not), tier 2 (hemorrhagic stroke or not), and tier 3 (emergent large vessel occlusion [ELVO] or not). The diagnostic performance of the stepwise CIVIL scoring system was investigated using internal validation. A new scoring system characterized by a stepwise clinical assessment has been developed in three tiers. Tier 1: Seven CIVIL-AS3A2P items (total score from –7 to +6) were deduced for true stroke as Age (≥ 60 years); Stroke risks without Seizure or psychiatric disease, extreme Sugar; “any Asymmetry”, “not Ambulating”; abnormal blood Pressure at a cut-off point ≥ 1 with diagnostic sensitivity of 82.1%, specificity of 56.4%. Tier 2: Four items for hemorrhagic stroke were identified as the CIVIL-MAPS indicating Mental change, Age below 60 years, high blood Pressure, no Stroke risks with cut-point ≥ 2 (sensitivity 47.5%, specificity 85.4%). Tier 3: For ELVO diagnosis: we applied with CIVIL-GFAST items (Gaze, Face, Arm, Speech) with cut-point ≥ 3 (sensitivity 66.5%, specificity 79.8%). The main limitation of this study is its retrospective nature and require a prospective validation of the CIVIL scoring system.

Conclusions

The CIVIL score is a comprehensive and versatile system that recognizes strokes and identifies the stroke subtype simultaneously.

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<![CDATA[Association between boarding in the emergency department and in-hospital mortality: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N48ef4c13-827b-4694-911d-7d7581473712

Importance

Boarding in the emergency department (ED) is a critical indicator of quality of care for hospitals. It is defined as the time between the admission decision and departure from the ED. As a result of boarding, patients stay in the ED until inpatient beds are available; moreover, boarding is associated with various adverse events.

Study objective

The objective of our systematic review was to determine whether ED boarding (EDB) time is associated with in-hospital mortality (IHM).

Methods

A systematic search was conducted in academic databases to identify relevant studies. Medline, PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Cochrane, Web of Science, Cochrane, CINAHL and PsychInfo were searched. We included all peer-reviewed published studies from all previous years until November 2018. Studies performed in the ED and focused on the association between EDB and IHM as the primary objective were included. Extracted data included study characteristics, prognostic factors, outcomes, and IHM. A search update in PubMed was performed in May 2019 to ensure the inclusion of recent studies before publishing.

Results

From the initial 4,321 references found through the systematic search, the manual screening of reference lists and the updated search in PubMed, a total of 12 studies were identified as eligible for a descriptive analysis. Overall, six studies found an association between EDB and IHM, while five studies showed no association. The last remaining study included both ICU and non-ICU subgroups and showed conflicting results, with a positive association for non-ICU patients but no association for ICU patients. Overall, a tendency toward an association between EDB and IHM using the pool random effect was observed.

Conclusion

Our systematic review did not find a strong evidence for the association between ED boarding and IHM but there is a tendency toward this association. Further well-controlled, international multicenter studies are needed to demonstrate whether this association exists and whether there is a specific EDB time cut-off that results in increased IHM.

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<![CDATA[Multiple criteria decision analysis approach to consider therapeutic innovations in the emergency department: The methoxyflurane organizational impact in acute trauma pain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N48fe9543-bf7a-4bb3-b7f3-098351efee5f

Background

Acute trauma pain is poorly managed in the emergency department (ED). The reasons are partly organizational: ED crowding and rare trauma care pathways contribute to oligoanalgesia. Anticipating the organizational impact of an innovative care procedure might facilitate the decision-making process and help to optimize pain management.

Methods

We used a multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach to consider the organizational impact of methoxyflurane (self-administered) in the ED, introduced alone or supported by a trauma care pathway. A MCDA experiment was designed for this specific context, 8 experts in emergency trauma care pathways (leading physicians and pharmacists working in French urban tertiary hospitals) were recruited. The study involved four steps: (i) Selection of organizational criteria for evaluating the innovation’s impact; (ii) assessment of the relative weight of each criterion; (iii) choice of appropriate scenarios for exploring the organizational impact of MEOX under various contexts; and (iv) software-assisted simulation based on pairwise comparisons of the scenarios. The final outcome measure was the expected overall organizational impact of methoxyflurane on a 0-to-100 scale (score >50: positive impact).

Results

Nine organizational criteria were selected. "Mean length of stay in the ED" was the most weighted. Methoxyflurane alone obtained 59 as a total score, with a putative positive impact for eight criteria, and a neutral effect on one. When a trauma care pathway was introduced concomitantly, the impact of methoxyflurane was greater overall (score: 75) and for each individual criterion.

Conclusions

Our model highlighted the putative positive organizational impact of methoxyflurane in the ED—particularly when supported by a trauma care pathway—and the relevance of expert consensus in this particular pharmacoeconomic context. The MCDA approach could be extended to other research fields and healthcare challenges in emergency medicine.

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<![CDATA[Would you like to participate in this trial? The practice of informed consent in intrapartum research in the last 30 years]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na45ec8a9-d35b-4ecd-a654-0f10371697fd

Background

Informed consent is the cornerstone of the ethical conduct and protection of the rights and wellbeing of participants in clinical research. Therefore, it is important to identify the most appropriate moments for the participants to be informed and to give consent, so that they are able to make a responsible and autonomous decision. However, the optimal timing of consent in clinical research during the intrapartum period remains controversial, and currently, there is no clear guidance.

Objective

We aimed to describe practices of informed consent in intrapartum care clinical research in the last three decades, as reported in uterotonics for postpartum haemorrhage prevention trials.

Methods

This is a secondary analysis of the studies included in the Cochrane review entitled “Uterotonic agents for preventing postpartum haemorrhage: a network meta-analysis” published in 2018. All the reports included in the Cochrane network meta-analysis were eligible for inclusion in this analysis, except for those reported in languages other than English, French or Spanish. We extracted and synthesized data on the time each of the components of the informed consent process occurred.

Results

We assessed data from 192 studies, out of 196 studies included in the Cochrane review. The majority of studies (59.9%, 115 studies) reported that women were informed about the study, without specifying the timing. When reported, most studies informed women at admission to the facility for childbirth. Most of the studies reported that consent was sought, but only 59.9% reported the timing, which in most of the cases, was at admission for childbirth. Among these, 32 studies obtained consent in the active phase of labour, 17 in the latent phase and in 10 studies the labour status was unknown. Women were consented antenatally in 6 studies and in 8 studies the consent was obtained indistinctly during antenatal care or at admission. Most of the studies did not specified who was the person who sought the informed consent.

Conclusion

Practices of informed consent in trials on use of uterotonics for prevention of postpartum haemorrhage showed variability and substandard reporting. Informed consent sought at admission for childbirth was the most frequent approach implemented in these trials.

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<![CDATA[A new finite element based parameter to predict bone fracture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N73efbb2c-4546-457e-9797-023764c15f47

Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) is currently the most widely adopted non-invasive clinical technique to assess bone mineral density and bone mineral content in human research and represents the primary tool for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. DXA measures areal bone mineral density, BMD, which does not account for the three-dimensional structure of the vertebrae and for the distribution of bone mass. The result is that longitudinal DXA can only predict about 70% of vertebral fractures. This study proposes a complementary tool, based on Finite Element (FE) models, to improve the DXA accuracy. Bone is simulated as elastic and inhomogeneous material, with stiffness distribution derived from DXA greyscale images of density. The numerical procedure simulates a compressive load on each vertebra to evaluate the local minimum principal strain values. From these values, both the local average and the maximum strains are computed over the cross sections and along the height of the analysed bone region, to provide a parameter, named Strain Index of Bone (SIB), which could be considered as a bone fragility index. The procedure is initially validated on 33 cylindrical trabecular bone samples obtained from porcine lumbar vertebrae, experimentally tested under static compressive loading. Comparing the experimental mechanical parameters with the SIB, we could find a higher correlation of the ultimate stress, σULT, with the SIB values (R2adj = 0.63) than that observed with the conventional DXA-based clinical parameters, i.e. Bone Mineral Density, BMD (R2adj = 0.34) and Trabecular Bone Score, TBS (R2adj = -0.03). The paper finally presents a few case studies of numerical simulations carried out on human lumbar vertebrae. If our results are confirmed in prospective studies, SIB could be used—together with BMD and TBS—to improve the fracture risk assessment and support the clinical decision to assume specific drugs for metabolic bone diseases.

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<![CDATA[Microglia exit the CNS in spinal root avulsion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79a3e5d5eed0c4841d1bf2

Microglia are central nervous system (CNS)-resident cells. Their ability to migrate outside of the CNS, however, is not understood. Using time-lapse imaging in an obstetrical brachial plexus injury (OBPI) model, we show that microglia squeeze through the spinal boundary and emigrate to peripheral spinal roots. Although both macrophages and microglia respond, microglia are the debris-clearing cell. Once outside the CNS, microglia re-enter the spinal cord in an altered state. These peripheral nervous system (PNS)-experienced microglia can travel to distal CNS areas from the injury site, including the brain, with debris. This emigration is balanced by two mechanisms—induced emigration via N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA) dependence and restriction via contact-dependent cellular repulsion with macrophages. These discoveries open the possibility that microglia can migrate outside of their textbook-defined regions in disease states.

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<![CDATA[The mechanism on phosphorylation of Hsp20Ser16 inhibit GA stress and ER stress during OGD/R]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc8cd5eed0c48498f9ce

Recent research has demonstrated that small heat shock protein (sHsp) phosphorylation plays a variety of roles in neural cells. While the phosphorylation of serine 16 (Ser16) is blocked, Hsp20 no longer has neuroprotective effects. To further investigate the mechanism underlying this process, oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion (OGD/R) was used with human SH-SY5Y cells and mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. When SH-SY5Y and N2a cells were transfected with pEGFP-Hsp20(WT), pEGFP-Hsp20(S16A), and pEGFP-Hsp20(S16D) plasmids, the Golgi apparatus (GA) became more swollen and scattered, and many small fragments formed in the MOCK and S16A groups after OGD/R (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network was reduced, and the lamellar structure increased. However, these changes were not as obvious in the WT and S16D groups. Additionally, after OGD/R, Golgi Stress related protein contents were increased in the WT and S16D groups compared with the MOCK and S16A groups (P < 0.05). However, ER Stress related protein contents were decreased in the WT and S16D groups compared with the MOCK and S16A groups (P < 0.05). Our study demonstrates that Hsp20 phosphorylation on Ser16 protects against not only OGD/R-induced GA fragmentation in SH-SY5Y cells and N2a cells via Golgi stress but also OGD/R-induced ER structural changes in SH-SY5Y cells via ER stress. These findings suggest that Hsp20 is a potential drug target for ischemia stroke treatment.

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<![CDATA[“She’s gone now.” A mixed methods analysis of the experiences and perceptions around the deaths of children who died unexpectedly in health care facilities in Cape Town, South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89778ed5eed0c4847d2fdb

Purpose

The sudden death of a child is a catastrophic event for both the family and the healthcare workers involved. Confidential enquiries provide a biomedical depiction of the processes and quality of care delivered and drive improvements in care. However, these rarely include an assessment of the patient/caregiver experience which is increasingly regarded as a key measure of quality of care.

Methods

A parallel convergent mixed methods design was used to compare and contrast medically-assessed clinical quality of care with caregiver perceptions of quality and care in a cohort of sudden childhood deaths in emergency facilities in Cape Town, South Africa.

Results

Amongst the 29 sudden childhood deaths, clinical quality of care was assessed as poor in 11 (38%) and the death was considered avoidable or potentially avoidable in 16 (55%). The main themes identified from the caregivers were their perception of the quality of care delivered (driven by perceived healthcare worker effort, empathy and promptness), the way the family was dealt with during the final resuscitation, and communications at the time of and after the death. Ten (35%) caregivers were predominantly negative about the care delivered, of whom four received fair clinical quality of care; 13 (49%) of caregivers had predominantly positive experiences, one of whom received poor clinical quality of care.

Conclusions

Caregivers’ experiences of the healthcare service around their child’s death are influenced largely by the way healthcare workers communicate with them, as well as the perceived clinical effort. This is not always concordant with the clinically assessed quality of care. Simple interventions such as protocols and education of healthcare workers in dealing with families of a dying or deceased child could improve families’ experiences at a time when they are most vulnerable.

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<![CDATA[Delays in arrival and treatment in emergency departments: Women, children and non-trauma consultations the most at risk in humanitarian settings]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823bcd5eed0c484638f1b

Introduction

Delays in arrival and treatment at health facilities lead to negative health outcomes. Individual and external factors could be associated with these delays. This study aimed to assess common factors associated with arrival and treatment delays in the emergency departments (ED) of three hospitals in humanitarian settings.

Methodology

This was a cross-sectional study based on routine data collected from three MSF-supported hospitals in Afghanistan, Haiti and Sierra Leone. We calculated the proportion of consultations with delay in arrival (>24 hours) and in treatment (based on target time according to triage categories). We used a multinomial logistic regression model (MLR) to analyse the association between age, sex, hospital and diagnosis (trauma and non-trauma) with these delays.

Results

We included 95,025 consultations. Males represented 65.2%, Delay in arrival was present in 27.8% of cases and delay in treatment in 27.2%. The MLR showed higher risk of delay in arrival for females (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.2–1.3), children <5 (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.4–1.5), patients attending to Gondama (OR 30.0, 95% CI 25.6–35.3) and non-trauma cases (OR 4.7, 95% CI 4.4–4.8). A higher risk of delay in treatment was observed for females (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.0–1.1), children <5 (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.9–2.1), patients attending to Martissant (OR 14.6, 95% CI 13.9–15.4) and non-trauma cases (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.5–1.7).

Conclusions

Women, children <5 and non-trauma cases suffered most from delays. These delays could relate to educational and cultural barriers, and severity perception of the disease. Treatment delay could be due to insufficient resources with consequent overcrowding, and severity perception from medical staff for non-trauma patients. Extended community outreach, health promotion and support to community health workers could improve emergency care in humanitarian settings.

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<![CDATA[Comparing the diagnostic performance of radiation dose-equivalent radiography, multi-detector computed tomography and cone beam computed tomography for finger fractures – A phantom study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823e0d5eed0c4846391da

Purpose

To compare the diagnostic performance and raters´confidence of radiography, radiography equivalent dose multi-detector computed tomography (RED-MDCT) and radiography equivalent dose cone beam computed tomography (RED-CBCT) for finger fractures.

Methods

Fractures were inflicted artificially and randomly to 10 cadaveric hands of body donors. Radiography as well as RED-MDCT and RED-CBCT imaging were performed at dose settings equivalent to radiography. Images were de-identified and analyzed by three radiologists regarding finger fractures, joint involvement and confidence with their findings. Reference standard was consensus reading by two radiologists of the fracturing protocol and high-dose multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) images. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated and compared with Cochrane´s Q and post hoc analysis. Rater´s confidence was calculated with Friedman Test and post hoc Nemenyi Test.

Results

Rater´s confidence, inter-rater correlation, specificity for fractures and joint involvement were higher in RED-MDCT and RED-CBCT compared to radiography. No differences between the modalities were found regarding sensitivity.

Conclusion

In this phantom study, radiography equivalent dose computed tomography (RED-CT) demonstrates a partly higher diagnostic accuracy than radiography. Implementing RED-CT in the diagnostic work-up of finger fractures could improve diagnostics, support correct classification and adequate treatment. Clinical studies should be performed to confirm these preliminary results.

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<![CDATA[Identification of Merkel cells associated with neurons in engineered skin substitutes after grafting to full thickness wounds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823d9d5eed0c484639153

Engineered skin substitutes (ESS), prepared using primary human fibroblasts and keratinocytes with a biopolymer scaffold, were shown to provide stable closure of excised burns, but relatively little is known about innervation of ESS after grafting. This study investigated innervation of ESS and, specifically, whether Merkel cells are present in healed grafts. Merkel cells are specialized neuroendocrine cells required for fine touch sensation in skin. We discovered cells positive for keratin 20 (KRT20), a general marker for Merkel cells, in the basal epidermis of ESS after transplantation to mice, suggesting the presence of Merkel cells. Cells expressing KRT20 were not observed in ESS in vitro. However, widely separated KRT20-positive cells were observed in basal epidermis of ESS by 2 weeks after grafting. By 4 weeks, these cells increased in number and expressed keratins 18 and 19, additional Merkel cells markers. Putative Merkel cell numbers increased further between weeks 6 and 14; their densities varied widely and no specific pattern of organization was observed, similar to Merkel cell localization in human skin. KRT20-positive cells co-expressed epidermal markers E-cadherin and keratin 15, suggesting derivation from the epidermal lineage, and neuroendocrine markers synaptophysin and chromogranin A, consistent with their identification as Merkel cells. By 4 weeks after grafting, some Merkel cells in engineered skin were associated with immature afferents expressing neurofilament-medium. By 8 weeks, Merkel cells were complexed with more mature neurons expressing neurofilament-heavy. Positive staining for human leukocyte antigen demonstrated that the Merkel cells in ESS were derived from grafted human cells. The results identify, for the first time, Merkel cell-neurite complexes in engineered skin in vivo. This suggests that fine touch sensation may be restored in ESS after grafting, although this must be confirmed with future functional studies.

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<![CDATA[High-sensitivity cardiac troponin T as an independent predictor of stroke in patients admitted to an emergency department with atrial fibrillation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75acd5eed0c4843cffc2

Aims

Elevated levels of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hsTnT) are associated with adverse outcomes in numerous patient populations. Their value in prediction of stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is in debate.

Methods

The study population included 2898 consecutive patients presenting with AF to the emergency department of the Department of Cardiology, Heidelberg University Hospital. Associations between hsTnT and stroke risk were assessed using multivariable Cox regression.

Results

Elevated hsTnT levels (>14 ng/L) were associated with increased risk of stroke. Even after adjustment for various risk factors, elevated hsTnT remained independently associated with stroke risk in patients with AF, adjusted hazard ratio 2.35 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.26–4.36] (P = 0.007). These results were consistent across important subgroups (age, renal function, ejection fraction, CHA2DS2-VASc score and main admission diagnosis). For hsTnT, area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve (AUC) was 0.659 [95% CI: 0.575–0.742], compared to 0.610 [95% CI: 0.526–0.694] for the CHA2DS2-VASc score. Inclusion of hsTnT in the multivariable model for stroke risk prediction consisting of all variables of the CHA2DS2-VASc score was associated with a significant improvement of its discriminatory power.

Conclusion

Elevated hsTnT levels are significantly associated with higher risk of stroke and provide prognostic information independent of CHA2DS2-VASc score variables. Measurement of hsTnT may improve prediction of stroke risk in patients presenting to an emergency department with AF as compared to risk stratification based only on clinical variables.

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<![CDATA[Austerity measures and the transforming role of A&E professionals in a weakening welfare system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca19d5eed0c48452a785

In 2010, the UK embarked on a self-imposed programme of contractionary measures signalling the beginning of a so-called “age of austerity” for the country. It was argued that budgetary cuts were the most appropriate means of eliminating deficits and decreasing national debt as percentage of General Domestic Product (GDP). Although the budget for the National Health Service (NHS) was not reduced, a below-the-average increase in funding, and cuts in other areas of public spending, particularly in social care and welfare spending, impacted significantly on the NHS. One of the areas where the impact of austerity was most dramatically felt was in Accidents and Emergency Departments (A&E). A number of economic and statistical reports and quantitative studies have explored and documented the effects of austerity in healthcare in the UK, but there is a paucity of research looking at the effects of austerity from the standpoint of the healthcare professionals. In this paper, we report findings from a qualitative study with healthcare professionals working in A&E departments in England. The study findings are presented thematically in three sections. The main theme that runs through all three sections is the perceptions of austerity as shaping the functioning of A&E departments, of healthcare professions and of professionals themselves. The first section discusses the rising demand for services and resources, and the changed demographic of A&E patients—altering the meaning of A&E from ‘Accidents and Emergencies’ to the Department for ‘Anything and Everything’. The second section in this study’s findings, explores how austerity policies are perceived to affect the character of healthcare in A&E. It discusses how an increased focus on the procedures, time-keeping and the operationalisation of healthcare is considered to detract from values such as empathy in interactions with patients. In the third section, the effects of austerity on the morale and motivations of healthcare professionals themselves are presented. Here, the concepts of moral distress and burnout are used in the analysis of the experiences and feelings of being devalued. From these accounts and insights, we analyse austerity as a catalyst or mechanism for a significant shift in the practice and function of the NHS–in particular, a shift in what is counted, measured and valued at departmental, professional and personal levels in A&E.

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<![CDATA[Mental health in individuals with spinal cord injury: The role of socioeconomic conditions and social relationships]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe0dd5eed0c484e5b386

Objectives

To evaluate socioeconomic inequalities in social relationships, and to assess whether socioeconomic conditions and social relationships are independently related to mental health problems in individuals with a physical disability due to spinal cord injury (SCI).

Methods

We analyzed cross-sectional data from 511 individuals with SCI aged over 16 years who participated in the community survey of the Swiss SCI Cohort Study (SwiSCI). Indicators for socioeconomic conditions included years of formal education, household income, and financial strain. Social relationships were operationalized by three structural (partner status; social contact frequency; number of supportive relationships) and four functional aspects (satisfaction with: overall social support; family relationships; contacts to friends; partner relationship). General mental health was assessed by the Mental Health Inventory (MHI-5) of SF-36 and depressive symptoms were measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (depression subscale, HADS-D). Established cut-offs for general mental health problems (MHI-5 ≤56) and depressive symptomatology (HADS-D ≥8) were used to dichotomize outcomes. Associations were assessed using logistic regressions.

Results

Lower household income was predominantly associated with poor structural social relationships, whereas financial strain was robustly linked to poor functional social relationships. Financial strain was associated with general mental health problems and depressive symptomatology, even after controlling for social relationships. Education and household income were not linked to mental health. Poor structural and functional social relationships were related to general mental health problems and depressive symptomatology. Notably, trends remained stable after accounting for socioeconomic conditions.

Conclusion

This study provides evidence for socioeconomic inequalities in social relationships as well as for independent associations of financial strain and poor social relationships with mental health problems in individuals with SCI. Further research may develop strategies to improve mental health in SCI by strengthening social relationships. Such interventions may be especially beneficial for individuals with low income and financial strain.

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<![CDATA[High quality process of care increases one-year survival after acute myocardial infarction (AMI): A cohort study in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe0bd5eed0c484e5b33d

Background

The relationship between guideline adherence and outcomes in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has been widely investigated considering the emergency, acute, post-acute phases separately, but the effectiveness of the whole care process is not known.

Aim

The study aim was to evaluate the effect of the multicomponent continuum of care on 1-year survival after AMI.

Methods

We conducted a cohort study selecting all incident cases of AMI from health information systems during 2011–2014 in the Lazio region. Patients’ clinical history was defined by retrieving previous hospitalizations and drugs prescriptions. For each subject the probability to reach the hospital and the conditional probabilities to survive to 30 days from admission and to 31–365 days post discharge were estimated through multivariate logistic models. The 1-year survival probability was calculated as the product of the three probabilities. Quality of care indicators were identified in terms of emergency timeliness (time between residence and the nearest hospital), hospital performance in treatment of acute phase (number/timeliness of PCI on STEMI) and drug therapy in post-acute phase (number of drugs among antiplatelet, β-blockers, ACE inhibitors/ARBs, statins). The 1-year survival Probability Ratio (PR) and its Bootstrap Confidence Intervals (BCI) between who were exposed to the highest level of quality of care (timeliness<10', hospitalization in high performance hospital, complete drug therapy) and who exposed to the worst (timeliness≥10', hospitalization in low performance hospital, suboptimal drug therapy) were calculated for a mean-severity patient and varying gender and age. PRs for patients with diabetes and COPD were also evaluated.

Results

We identified 38,517 incident cases of AMI. The out-of-hospital mortality was 27.6%. Among the people arrived in hospital, 42.9% had a hospitalization for STEMI with 11.1% of mortality in acute phase and 5.4% in post-acute phase. For a mean-severity patient the PR was 1.19 (BCI 1.14–1.24). The ratio did not change by gender, while it moved from 1.06 (BCI 1.05–1.08) for age<65 years to 1.62 (BCI 1.45–1.80) for age >85 years. For patients with diabetes and COPD a slight increase in PRs was also observed.

Conclusions

The 1-year survival probability post AMI depends strongly on the quality of the whole multicomponent continuum of care. Improving the performance in the different phases, taking into account the relationship among these, can lead to considerable saving of lives, in particular for the elderly and for subjects with chronic diseases.

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<![CDATA["Not taken seriously"—A qualitative interview study of postpartum Rwandan women who have experienced pregnancy-related complications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9bdd5eed0c48452a10e

Background

There is limited knowledge on the women’s experiences of pregnancy-related complications in Rwanda. This study aimed to investigate women’s experiences and perceptions of specific complications during pregnancy and delivery and the consequences of these complications on postpartum health and family situation.

Methods

Data were collected through individual in-depth interviews (N = 15). Participants who experienced complications such as postpartum haemorrhage, caesarean section due to prolonged labour/dystocia, pre-eclampsia, or fistula and who were 13–24 months postpartum were invited to participate in the study in July 2015. Interviews were held in Kinyarwanda, digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, translated into English, and analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Results

Most participants reported that they were previously unaware of the complications they had developed, and they claimed that at discharge they should have been better informed about the potential consequences of these complications. Most participants blamed the health care system as the cause of their problems due to the provision of inadequate care. Participants elaborated different strategies for coping with persistent health problems. Pregnancy-related complications negatively affected participants’ economic situation due to increased health care expenses and lowered income because of impaired working capacity, and participants expressed fear of encountering the same pregnancy-related health problems during future pregnancies.

Conclusions

The findings of this study demonstrate how participants felt that inadequate health care provision during pregnancy, delivery, and the postpartum period was the source of their problems. Participants reported different coping strategies to improve their respective life situation despite persistent health problems. Women’s individual postpartum experiences need to be considered and actions taken at the policy level and also by the local community, in terms of the quality of antenatal and postpartum care services, and in sensitizing the local community about the existence of these complications and preparing the community to support the affected women.

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<![CDATA[Interventions to improve the quality of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9b8d5eed0c48452a083

Background

Performing high-quality bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improves the clinical outcomes of victims with sudden cardiac arrest. Thus far, no systematic review has been performed to identify interventions associated with improved bystander CPR quality.

Methods

We searched Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, EBSCO CINAHL, Ovid PsycInfo, Thomson Reuters SCI-EXPANDED, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to retrieve studies published from 1 January 1966 to 5 October 2018 associated with interventions that could improve the quality of bystander CPR. Data regarding participant characteristics, interventions, and design and outcomes of included studies were extracted.

Results

Of the initially identified 2,703 studies, 42 were included. Of these, 32 were randomized controlled trials. Participants included adults, high school students, and university students with non-medical professional majors. Interventions improving bystander CPR quality included telephone dispatcher-assisted CPR (DA-CPR) with simplified or more concrete instructions, compression-only CPR, and other on-scene interventions, such as four-hand CPR for elderly rescuers, kneel on opposite sides for two-person CPR, and CPR with heels for a tired rescuer. Devices providing real-time feedback and mobile devices containing CPR applications or software were also found to be beneficial in improving the quality of bystander CPR. However, using mobile devices for improving CPR quality or for assisting DA-CPR might cause rescuers to delay starting CPR.

Conclusions

To further improve the clinical outcomes of victims with cardiac arrest, these effective interventions may be included in the guidelines for bystander CPR.

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<![CDATA[Efficient design and analysis of randomized controlled trials in rare neurological diseases: An example in Guillain-Barré syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe48d5eed0c484e5b7f7

Background

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) pose specific challenges in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases due to the small numbers of patients and heterogeneity in disease course. Two analytical approaches have been proposed to optimally handle these issues in RCTs: covariate adjustment and ordinal analysis. We investigated the potential gain in efficiency of these approaches in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases, using Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) as an example.

Methods

We analyzed two published GBS trials with primary outcome ‘at least one grade improvement’ on the GBS disability scale. We estimated the treatment effect using logistic regression models with and without adjustment for prognostic factors. The difference between the unadjusted and adjusted estimates was disentangled in imbalance (random differences in baseline covariates between treatment arms) and stratification (change of the estimate due to covariate adjustment). Second, we applied proportional odds regression, which exploits the ordinal nature of the GBS disability score. The standard error of the estimated treatment effect indicated the statistical efficiency.

Results

Both trials were slightly imbalanced with respect to baseline characteristics, which was corrected in the adjusted analysis. Covariate adjustment increased the estimated treatment effect in the two trials by 8% and 18% respectively. Proportional odds analysis resulted in lower standard errors indicating more statistical power.

Conclusion

Covariate adjustment and proportional odds analysis most efficiently use the available data and ensure balance between the treatment arms to obtain reliable and valid treatment effect estimates. These approaches merit application in future trials in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases like GBS.

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