Study drop-out and attrition from treating clinics is common among persons with chronic health conditions. However, if attrition is associated with adverse health outcomes, it may bias or mislead inferences for health policy and resource allocation.
This retrospective cohort study uses data attained through the Swiss Spinal Cord Injury (SwiSCI) cohort study on persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Vital status (VS) was ascertained either through clinic medical records (MRs) or through municipalities in a secondary tracing effort. Flexible parametric survival models were used to investigate risk factors for going lost to clinic (LTC) and the association of LTC with subsequent risk of mortality.
1924 individuals were included in the tracing study; for 1608 of these cases, contemporary VS was initially checked in the MRs. VS was ascertained for 704 cases of the 1608 cases initially checked in MRs; of the remaining cases (n=904), nearly 90% were identified in municipalities (n=804). LTC was associated with a nearly fourfold higher risk of mortality (HR=3.62; 95% CI 2.18 to 6.02) among persons with traumatic SCI. Extended driving time (ie, less than 30 min compared with 30 min and longer to reach the nearest specialised rehabilitation facility) was associated with an increased risk of mortality (HR=1.51, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.22) for individuals with non-traumatic SCI.
The differential risk of LTC according to sociodemographic and SCI lesion characteristics underscores the importance of accounting for attrition in cohort studies on chronic disease populations requiring long-term care. In addition, given the associated risk of mortality, LTC is an issue of concern to clinicians and policy makers aiming to optimise the long-term survival of community-dwelling individuals with traumatic SCI. Future studies are necessary to verify whether it is possible to improve survival prospects of individuals LTC through more persistent outreach and targeted care.
Despite 40 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) investigating preoperative oral antibiotics (OA) and mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) to reduce surgical site infection (SSI) rate following colon surgery, there has never been an RCT published comparing OA alone versus no preparation. Of the four possible regimens (OA alone, MBP alone, OA plus MBP and no preparation), randomised evidence is conflicting for studied groups. Furthermore, guidelines vary, with recommendations for OA alone, OA plus MBP or no preparation. The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) has automated data collection for surgical patients. Similarly, the ‘REthinking Clinical Trials’ (REaCT) platform increases RCT enrolment by simplifying pragmatic trial design. In this novel RCT protocol, we combine REaCT and NSQIP to compare OA alone versus no preparation for SSI rate reduction in elective colon surgery. To our knowledge, this is the first published RCT protocol that leverages NSQIP for data collection. In our feasibility study, 67 of 74 eligible patients (90%) were enrolled and 63 of 67 (94%) were adherent to protocol. The ‘REaCT–NSQIP’ trial design has great potential to efficiently generate level I evidence for other perioperative interventions.
SSI rates following elective colorectal surgery after preoperative OA or no preparation will be compared. We predict 45% relative rate reduction of SSI, improvement in length of stay, reduced costs and increased quality of life, with similar antibiotic-related complications. Consent, using the ‘integrated consent model’, and randomisation on a mobile device are completed by the surgeon in a single clinical encounter. Data collection for the primary end point is automatic through NSQIP. Analysis of cost per weighted case, cost utility and quality-adjusted life years will be done.
This study is approved by The Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board. Results will be disseminated in surgical conferences and peer-reviewed journals.
NCT03663504; Pre-results, recruitment phase.
Anxiety has been suggested to be associated with poor outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). However, results of previous follow-up studies were inconsistent. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the association between anxiety and clinical outcomes in patients with ACS, and to investigate the potential role of depression underlying the above association.
A meta-analysis of prospective follow-up studies.
Patients with ACS.
We included related prospective follow-up studies up through 20 July 2019 that were identified by searching PubMed and Embase databases. A random-effect model was used for the meta-analysis. Anxiety was evaluated by validated instruments at baseline.
We determined the association between anxiety and risks of mortality and adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) in patients with ACS.
Our analysis included 17 studies involving 39 038 patients wqith ACS. Anxiety was independently associated with increased mortality risk (adjusted risk ratio (RR) 1.21, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.37, p=0.002) and MACEs (adjusted RR 1.47, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.74, p
Anxiety is associated with increased risk of mortality and MACEs in patients with ACS. However, at least part of the association may be confounded by concurrent depressive symptoms in these patients.
As systems of health and social care in England move towards more integrated and collaborative models, leaders will need different skills than their predecessors to enable system leadership, building partnerships and working across organisations and sectors. There is little understanding of what the mechanisms for effective leadership across integrated health and social care systems might be, the contexts that influence good leadership, or the nature of the resulting outcomes. This review aims to identify, refine and test programme theories of leadership of integrated team-based services in health and social care, exploring what works, for whom and in what circumstances.
This study uses a realist synthesis approach, following RAMESES guidelines, supported by stakeholder consultation. Stage 1 will develop initial programme theories about leadership of integrated health and social care based on a review of the scientific and grey literature and a stakeholder consultation workshop. Stage 2 will involve focused searching of empirical literature, data extraction and synthesis to refine the initial programme theories and identify relationships between identified contexts, mechanisms and outcomes. A second stakeholder event will guide the focus of the review. Stage 3 will further refine and interrogate the theories testing them against substantive theory on leadership of complex systems and through the experiences and expertise of the stakeholder group.
Our study does not require ethics committee approval. This research will contribute to building an in-depth understanding of what aspects of leadership of integrated team-based services work, for whom and in what circumstances. It will identify the professional development needs of leaders and provide recommendations about optimal organisational and interorganisational structures and processes that support effective leadership in integrated health and social care systems. Findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journal publications, conference presentations and formal and informal reports.
Dunn K, Rydzewska E, Fleming M, et al. Prevalence of mental health conditions, sensory impairments and physical disability in people with co-occurring intellectual disabilities and autism compared with other people: a cross-sectional total population study in Scotland. BMJ Open 2020;10:e035280. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035280.
This article was previously published with an error. The funding information in the published article was incomplete. The updated funding information is stated below:
This work was supported by the UK Medical Research Council, grant number: MC_PC_17217) and the Scottish Government via the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory.
Poor worldwide rate of blood pressure control is largely due to poor adherence to antihypertensive (AHT) drug treatment. The question of whether sex affects adherence has long been debated but conflicting findings have been reported on this issue. Our objective was to evaluate sex differences in the adherence to AHT therapy.
Studies were identified through a systematic search of PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science and Google Scholar (through January 2020) and manual handsearching of relevant articles. Observational studies reporting adherence to AHT drugs measured by self-report or pharmacy refill prescription-based methods among men and women were included. Summarised estimates of ORs with 95% CIs were calculated using random-effects model and meta-regression models.
From 12 849 potentially relevant publications, 82 studies (15 517 457 men and 18 537 599 women) were included. No significant between-sex differences in adherence to AHT were observed, whether all study-specific estimates were summarised (ORs 1.04, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.09, p=0.07), nor estimates were pooled according to the method for measuring adherence. Among patients aged 65 years or older, lower self-reported adherence was observed in women (ORs 0.84, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.97, p=0.02), while the main result remained unchanged according to other subgroup analyses.
Definitive evidence of sex differences in adherence to AHT therapy cannot be drawn. Our little knowledge about factors affecting adherence, in particular of sex effect among elderly, urgently requires high-quality studies investigating these issues.
Primary care interventions are often multicomponent, with several targets (eg, patients and healthcare professionals). Improving Primary Care After Stroke (IPCAS) is a novel primary care-based model of long-term stroke care involving a review of stroke-related needs, a self-management programme, a direct point of contact in general practice, enhanced communication between care services, and a directory of national and local community services, currently being evaluated in a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT). Informed by Medical Research Council guidance for complex interventions and the Behaviour Change Consortium fidelity framework, this protocol outlines the process evaluation of IPCAS within this RCT. The process evaluation aimed to explore how the intervention was delivered in context and how participants engaged with the intervention.
Mixed methods will be used: (1) design: intervention content will be compared with ‘usual care’; (2) training: intervention training sessions will be audio/video-recorded where feasible; (3) delivery: healthcare professional self-reports, audio recordings of intervention delivery and observations of My Life After Stroke course (10% of reviews and sessions) will be coded separately; semistructured interviews will be conducted with a purposive sample of healthcare professionals; (4) receipt and (5) enactment: where available, structured stroke review records will be analysed quantitatively; semistructured interviews will be conducted with a purposive sample of study participants. Self-reports, observations and audio/video recordings will be coded and scored using specifically developed checklists. Semistructured interviews will be analysed thematically. Data will be analysed iteratively, independent of primary endpoint analysis.
Favourable ethical opinion was gained from Yorkshire & The Humber-Bradford Leeds NHS Research Ethics Committee (19 December 2017, 17/YH/0441). Study results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at relevant conferences.
This study is aimed to develop and validate a prediction model for multistate transitions across different stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus under primary care.
We retrieved the anonymised electronic health records of a population-based retrospective cohort in Hong Kong.
A total of 26 197 patients were included in the analysis.
The new-onset, progression and regression of CKD were defined by the transitions of four stages that were classified by combining glomerular filtration rate and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio. We applied a multiscale multistate Poisson regression model to estimate the rates of the stage transitions by integrating the baseline demographic characteristics, routine laboratory test results and clinical data from electronic health records.
During the mean follow-up time of 1.8 years, there were 2632 patients newly diagnosed with CKD, 1746 progressed to the next stage and 1971 regressed into an earlier stage. The models achieved the best performance in predicting the new-onset and progression with the predictors of sex, age, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, serum creatinine, haemoglobin A1c, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides and drug prescriptions.
This study demonstrated that individual risks of new-onset and progression of CKD can be predicted from the routine physical and laboratory test results. The individualised prediction curves developed from this study could potentially be applied to routine clinical practices, to facilitate clinical decision making, risk communications with patients and early interventions.
African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities are disproportionately infected by HIV in Ontario, Canada. They constitute only 5% of the population of Ontario yet account for 25% of new diagnoses of HIV. The aim of this study is to understand underlying factors that augment the HIV risk in ACB communities and to inform policy and practice in Ontario.
We will conduct a cross-sectional study of first-generation and second-generation ACB adults aged 15–64 in Toronto (n=1000) and Ottawa (n=500) and collect data on sociodemographic information, sexual behaviours, substance use, blood donation, access and use of health services and HIV-related care. We will use dried blood spot testing to determine the incidence and prevalence of HIV infection among ACB people, and link participant data to administrative databases to investigate health service access and use. Factors associated with key outcomes (HIV infection, testing behaviours, knowledge about HIV transmission and acquisition, HIV vulnerability, access and use of health services) will be evaluated using generalised linear mixed models, adjusted for relevant covariates.
This study has been reviewed and approved by the following Research Ethics Boards: Toronto Public Health, Ottawa Public Health, Laurentian University; the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto. Our findings will be disseminated as community reports, fact sheets, digital stories, oral and poster presentations, peer-reviewed manuscripts and social media.
To assess the effects of perinatal death (PND) audit on perinatal outcomes in a tertiary hospital in Kampala.
Interrupted time series (ITS) analysis.
Nsambya Hospital, Uganda.
Live births and stillbirths.
Primary outcomes: perinatal mortality rate, stillbirth rate, early neonatal mortality rate. Secondary outcomes: case fatality rates (CFR) for asphyxia, complications of prematurity and neonatal sepsis.
526 PNDs were audited: 142 (27.0%) fresh stillbirths, 125 (23.8%) macerated stillbirths and 259 (49.2%) early neonatal deaths. The ITS analysis showed a decrease in perinatal death (PND) rates without the introduction of PND audits (incidence risk ratio (IRR) (95% CI) for time=0.94, p
The introduction of PND audit showed no statistically significant effect on perinatal mortality or stillbirth rate, but a significant decrease in early neonatal mortality rate. No effect was detected on CFRs for prematurity, intrapartum-related hypoxia or infections. These findings should encourage more research to assess the effectiveness of PND reviews on perinatal deaths in general, but also on stillbirths and neonatal deaths in particular, in low-resource settings.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has advised that consolidation of birth centres, where reasonable, into birth centres of at least 6000 admissions per year should allow constant consultant presence. Currently, only 17% of mothers attend such birth centres. The objective of this work was to examine the feasibility of consolidation of birth centres, from the perspectives of birth centre size and travel times for mothers.
1.91 million admissions in 2014–2016.
A multiple-objective genetic algorithm.
Travel time for mothers and size of birth centres.
Currently, with 161 birth centres, 17% of women attend a birth centre with at least 6000 admissions per year. We estimate that 95% of women have a travel time of 30 min or less. An example scenario, with 100 birth centres, could provide 75% of care in birth centres with at least 6000 admissions per year, with 95% of women travelling 35 min or less to their closest birth centre. Planning at local level leads to reduced ability to meet admission and travel time targets.
While it seems unrealistic to have all births in birth centres with at least 6000 admissions per year, it appears realistic to increase the percentage of mothers attending this type of birth centre from 17% to about 75% while maintaining reasonable travel times. Planning at a local level leads to suboptimal solutions.
The purpose of this study is to map the characteristics of the existing medical literature describing the medications, settings, participants and outcomes of medical assistance in dying (MAID) in order to identify knowledge gaps and areas for future research.
We searched electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, CINAHL and CENTRAL), clinical trial registries, conference abstracts and professional guidelines from jurisdictions where MAID is legal, up to February 2020. Eligible report types included technical summaries, institutional policies, practice surveys, practice guidelines and clinical studies that describe MAID provision in adults who have provided informed consent for MAID.
163 articles published between 1989 and 2020 met eligibility criteria. 75 studies described details for MAID administered by intravenous medications and 50 studies provided data on oral medications. In intravenous protocols, MAID was most commonly administered using a barbiturate (34/163) or propofol (22/163) followed by a neuromuscular blocker. Oral protocols most often used barbiturates alone (37/163) or in conjunction with an opioid medication (7/163) and often recommended using a prokinetic agent prior to lethal drug ingestion. Complications included prolonged duration of the dying process, difficulty in obtaining intravenous access and difficulty in swallowing oral agents. Most commonly, the role of physicians was prescribing (83/163) and administering medications (75/163). Nurses’ roles included administering medications (17/163) and supporting the patient (16/163) or family (13/163). The role of families involved providing support to the patient (17/163) and bringing medications from the pharmacy for self-administration (4/163).
We identified several trends in MAID provision including common medications and doses for oral and parenteral administration, roles of healthcare professionals and families, and complications that may cause patient, family and provider distress. Future research should aim to identify the medications, dosages, and administration techniques and procedures that produce the most predictable outcomes and mitigate distress for those involved.