Group A β-haemolytic Streptococcus (GAS), a Gram-positive bacterium, causes skin, mucosal and systemic infections. Repeated GAS infections can lead to autoimmune diseases acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia have the highest rates of ARF and RHD in the world. Despite this, the contemporaneous prevalence and incidence of GAS pharyngitis and impetigo in remote Australia remains unknown. To address this, we have designed a prospective surveillance study of GAS pharyngitis and impetigo to collect coincident contemporary evidence to inform and enhance primary prevention strategies for ARF.
The Missing Piece Study aims to document the epidemiology of GAS pharyngitis and impetigo through collection of clinical, serological, microbiological and bacterial genomic data among remote-living Australian children. The study comprises two components: (1) screening of all children at school for GAS pharyngitis and impetigo up to three times a year and (2) weekly active surveillance visits to detect new cases of pharyngitis and impetigo. Environmental swabbing in remote schools will be included, to inform environmental health interventions. In addition, the application of new diagnostic technologies, microbiome analysis and bacterial genomic evaluations will enhance primary prevention strategies, having direct bearing on clinical care, vaccine development and surveillance for vaccine clinical trials.
Ethical approval has been obtained from the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (Ref: 892) and Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Western Australia (Ref: RA/4/20/5101). Study findings will be shared with community members, teachers and children at participating schools, together with academic and medical services. Sharing findings in an appropriate manner is important and will be done in a suitable way which includes plain language summaries and presentations. Finally, findings and updates will also be disseminated to collaborators, researchers and health planners through peer-reviewed journal publications.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common peripheral neuropathy. The optimal treatment strategy is still unknown. The objective of the Dutch Injection versus Surgery TRIal in patients with CTS (DISTRICTS) is to investigate if initial surgery of CTS results in a better clinical outcome and is more cost-effective when compared with initial treatment with corticosteroid injection.
The DISTRICTS is an ongoing multicenter, open-label randomised controlled trial. Participants with CTS are randomised to treatment with surgery or with a corticosteroid injection. If needed, any additional treatments after this first treatment are allowed and these are not dictated by the study protocol. The primary outcome is the difference between the groups in the proportion of participants recovered at 18 months. Recovery is defined as having no or mild symptoms as measured with the 6-item carpal tunnel symptoms scale. Secondary outcome measurements are among others: time to recovery, hand function, patient satisfaction, quality of life, additional treatments, adverse events, and use of care and health-related costs.
The study was approved by the Medical Ethical Committee of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers (study number 2017-171). Study results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.
ISRCTN Registry: 13164336.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) has emerged as a potential avenue for optimising the management of symptoms in patients undergoing chemotherapy. However, RPM is a complex, multilevel intervention with technology, workflow, contextual and patient experience components. The purpose of this pilot study is to determine the feasibility of RPM protocol implementation with respect to decentralised recruitment, patient retention, adherence to reporting recommendations, RPM platform usability and patient experience in ambulatory cancer patients at high risk for chemotherapy-related symptoms.
This protocol describes a single-arm decentralised feasibility pilot study of technology-enhanced outpatient symptom management system in patients with gastrointestinal and thoracic cancer receiving chemotherapy and cancer care at a single site (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas). An anticipated total of 25 patients will be recruited prior to the initiation of chemotherapy and provided with a set of validated questionnaires at enrollment and after our 1-month feasibility pilot trial period. Our intervention entails the self-reporting of symptoms and vital signs via a HIPAA-compliant, secure tablet interface that also enables (1) the provision of self-care materials to patients, (2) generation of threshold alerts to a dedicated call-centre and (3) videoconferencing. Vital sign information (heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation, weight and temperature) will be captured via Bluetooth-enabled biometric monitoring devices which are integrated with the tablet interface. Protocolised triage and management of symptoms will occur in response to the alerts. Feasibility and acceptability metrics will characterise our recruitment process, protocol adherence, patient retention and usability of the RPM platform. We will also document the perceived effectiveness of our intervention by patients.
This study has been granted approval by the institutional review board of MD Anderson Cancer Center. We anticipate dissemination of our pilot and subsequent effectiveness trial results via presentations at national conferences and peer-reviewed publications in the relevant medical journals. Our results will also be made available to cancer survivors, their caregivers and hospital administration.
To describe management strategies used in public emergency departments in a middle-income country for patients with acute non-specific low back pain.
A descriptive, cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a prospective cohort study.
A study with 600 patients with low back pain presenting in four public emergency departments from São Paulo, Brazil was conducted.
Diagnostic tests, pharmacological interventions, and/or referral to other healthcare professionals were collected. Descriptive analyses were used to report all outcomes.
Of all patients, 12.5% (n=75) underwent some diagnostic imaging tests. Medication was administered to 94.7% (n=568) of patients. The most common medications were non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (71.3%; n=428), opioids (29%; n=174) and corticosteroids (22.5%; n=135). Only 7.5% (n=45) of patients were referred to another type of care.
There is a need for research data on low back pain from middle-income countries. There was an acceptable rate of prescription for diagnostic imaging tests. However, there were high medication prescriptions and small rates of referrals to other healthcare services. Our findings indicate that there is still a need to implement best practices in the management of acute low back pain at public emergency departments in Brazil.
To estimate associations of statin use with hospitalisation, intensive care unit (ICU) admission and mortality at 30 days among individuals with and without a positive test for SARS-CoV-2.
Retrospective cohort study.
US Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
All veterans receiving VHA healthcare with ≥1 positive nasal swab for SARS-CoV-2 between 1 March 2020 and 10 March 2021 (cases; n=231 154) and a comparator group of controls comprising all veterans who did not have a positive nasal swab for SARS-CoV-2 but who did have ≥1 clinical lab test performed during the same time period (n=4 570 252).
Associations of: (1) any statin use, (2) use of specific statins or (3) low-intensity/moderate-intensity versus high-intensity statin use at the time of positive nasal swab for SARS-CoV-2 (cases) or result of clinical lab test (controls) assessed from pharmacy records with hospitalisation, ICU admission and death at 30 days. We also examined whether associations differed between individuals with and without a positive test for SARS-CoV-2.
Among individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, statin use was associated with lower odds of death at 30 days (OR 0.81 (95% CI 0.77 to 0.85)) but not with hospitalisation or ICU admission. Associations were similar comparing use of each specific statin to no statin. Compared with low-/moderate intensity statin use, high-intensity statin use was not associated with lower odds of ICU admission or death. Over the same period, associations of statin use with 30-day outcomes were significantly stronger among individuals without a positive test for SARS-CoV-2: hospitalisation OR 0.79 (95% CI 0.77 to 0.80), ICU admission OR 0.86 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.90) and death 0.60 (95% CI 0.58 to 0.62; p for interaction all
Associations of statin use with lower adverse 30-day outcomes are weaker among individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared with individuals without a positive test, indicating that statins do not exert SARS-CoV-2 specific effects.
To establish the priorities of primary care providers to improve assessment and treatment of skin sores and sore throats among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at risk of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD).
Modified eDelphi survey, informed by an expert focus group and literature review.
Primary care services in any one of the five Australian states or territories with a high burden of ARF.
People working in any primary care role within the last 5 years in jurisdiction with a high burden of ARF.
Nine people participated in the scoping expert focus group which informed identification of an access framework for subsequent literature review. Fifteen broad concepts, comprising 29 strategies and 63 different actions, were identified on this review. These concepts were presented to participants in a two-round eDelphi survey. Twenty-six participants from five jurisdictions participated, 16/26 (62%) completed both survey rounds. Seven strategies were endorsed as high priorities. Most were demand-side strategies with a focus on engaging communities and individuals in accessible, comprehensive, culturally appropriate primary healthcare. Eight strategies were not endorsed as high priority, all of which were supply-side approaches. Qualitative responses highlighted the importance of a comprehensive primary healthcare approach as standard of care rather than disease-specific strategies related to management of skin sores and sore throat.
Primary care staff priorities should inform Australia’s commitments to reduce the burden of RHD. In particular, strategies to support comprehensive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary care services rather than an exclusive focus on discrete, disease-specific initiatives are needed.
The objective of our systematic review was to identify the effective interventions to prevent or mitigate social isolation and/or loneliness in older adults who experienced a fall.
MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Ageline were searched (from inception to February 2020).
Studies were eligible if they described any intervention for social isolation in older adults living in a community setting who experienced a fall, and reported outcomes related to social isolation or loneliness.
Two independent reviewers screened citations, abstracted data and appraised risk of bias using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. The results were summarised descriptively.
After screening 4069 citations and 55 full-text articles, four studies were included. The four studies varied in study design, including a randomised controlled trial, non-randomised controlled trial, an uncontrolled before-after study and a quasiexperimental study. Interventions varied widely, and included singing in a choir, a patient-centred, interprofessional primary care team-based approach, a multifactorial assessment targeting fall risk, appropriate medication use, loneliness and frailty, and a community-based care model that included comprehensive assessments and multilevel care coordination. Outcome measures varied and included scales for loneliness, social isolation, social interaction, social networks and social satisfaction. Mixed results were found, with three studies reporting no differences in social isolation or loneliness after the intervention. Only the multifactorial assessment intervention demonstrated a small positive effect on loneliness compared with the control group after adjustment (B=–0.18, 95% CI –0.35 to –0.02).
Few studies examined the interventions for social isolation or loneliness in older adults who experienced a fall. More research is warranted in this area.
Patient safety is a healthcare discipline that aims to prevent and reduce patient harm, risks and errors during the provision of healthcare. Given the size of the nursing workforce in the healthcare system the inclusion of patient safety in the undergraduate nursing curriculum is necessary to enhance a safe culture in the daily work of their future careers. To this end, it is essential to apply effective teaching strategies to develop patient safety competencies. This review will aim to evaluate the effectiveness of educational interventions in developing patient safety knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes in undergraduate nursing students within the existing topic areas of the WHO Multi-professional Patient Safety Curriculum Guide.
The databases Medline, CINAHL, Scopus, Education Research Complete, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, LILACS, Medes and Grey literature such as ClinicalTrials.gov, Google Scholar, DART-Europe, ProQuest Dissertations, CAPES thesis and dissertations, The Virginia Henderson Global e-Repository, Mednar and Thesis Canada will be searched from July 2011 to January 2022. Two independent reviewers will conduct the search, extract the data and assess the risk of bias for the included studies, using standardised critical appraisal instruments from the Joanna Briggs Institute. The quality of the evidence will be assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment Development and Evaluation methodology. Studies will be pooled in the meta-analysis. Alternatively, the findings will be presented in narrative form, including tables and figures, to aid in data presentation.
This study raises no ethical issues. The findings will be disseminated through presentations at professional conferences and publications in a peer-reviewed journal.
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and its pandemic spread generated serious concern about the impact of the infection on vulnerable indigenous populations of the Brazilian Amazon. Thus, this study aimed to perform a seroepidemiological survey of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in those populations.
Six indigenous ethnic groups living in the State of Pará (Northern Brazil) were investigated. The villages of Xikrin do Bacajá, Assurini, Araweté, Parakanã, Munduruku and Kararaô were visited from October 2020 to January 2021.
We performed a cross-sectional study to investigate the prevalence of anti-spike (S1) IgG antibodies. Plasma was tested for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG antibodies using two assays (a lateral flow rapid test and an ELISA). A total of 1185 individuals of both sexes were enrolled in the study.
The prevalences of IgM and IgG antibodies were 6.9% and 68.1%, respectively, ranging from 0% to 79.6%, with significant differences (p
SARS-CoV-2 spread rapidly among the indigenous populations investigated, but it had a low mortality rate. It is necessary to expand serological investigations to other communities in the Amazon region of Brazil.
This study evaluated a novel early childhood development (ECD) programme integrated it into the primary healthcare system.
The intervention was implemented in a rural district of Lesotho from 2017 to 2018.
It targeted primary caregivers during routine postnatal care visits and through village health worker home visits.
The hybrid care delivery model was adapted from a successful programme in Lima, Peru and focused on parent coaching for knowledge about child development, practicing contingent interaction with the child, parent social support and encouragement.
We compared developmental outcomes and caregiving practices in a cohort of 130 caregiver–infant (ages 7–11 months old) dyads who received the ECD intervention, to a control group that did not receive the intervention (n=125) using a case–control study design. Developmental outcomes were evaluated using the Extended Ages and Stages Questionnaire (EASQ), and caregiving practices using two measure sets (ie, UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), Parent Ladder). Group comparisons were made using multivariable regression analyses, adjusting for caregiver-level, infant-level and household-level demographic characteristics.
At completion, children in the intervention group scored meaningfully higher across all EASQ domains, compared with children in the control group: communication (=0.21, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.26), social development (=0.27, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.8) and motor development (=0.33, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.31). Caregivers in the intervention group also reported significantly higher adjusted odds of engaging in positive caregiving practices in four of six MICS domains, compared with caregivers in the control group—including book reading (adjusted OR (AOR): 3.77, 95% CI 1.94 to 7.29) and naming/counting (AOR: 2.05; 95% CI 1.24 to 3.71).
These results suggest that integrating an ECD intervention into a rural primary care platform, such as in the Lesothoan context, may be an effective and efficient way to promote ECD outcomes.
When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, Governments responded with lockdown and isolation measures to combat viral spread, including the closure of many schools. More than a year later, widespread screening for SARS-CoV-2 is critical to allow schools and other institutions to remain open. Here, we describe the acceptability of a minimally invasive COVID-19 screening protocol trialled by the Western Australian Government to mitigate the risks of and boost public confidence in schools remaining open. To minimise discomfort, and optimise recruitment and tolerability in unaccompanied children, a combined throat and nasal (OP/Na) swab was chosen over the nasopharyngeal swab commonly used, despite slightly reduced test performance.
Trialling of OP/Na swabbing took place as part of a prospective observational cohort surveillance study in 79 schools across Western Australia. Swabs were collected from 5903 asymptomatic students and 1036 asymptomatic staff in 40 schools monthly between June and September 2020.
PCR testing was performed with a two-step diagnostic and independent confirmatory PCR for any diagnostic PCR positives. Concurrent surveys, collected online through the REDCap platform, evaluated participant experiences of in-school swabbing.
13 988 swabs were collected from students and staff. There were zero positive test results for SARS-CoV-2, including no false positives. Participants reported high acceptability: 71% of students reported no or minimal discomfort and most were willing to be reswabbed (4% refusal rate).
OP/Na swabbing is acceptable and repeatable in schoolchildren as young as 4 years old and may combat noncompliance rates by significantly increasing the acceptability of testing. This kind of minimally-invasive testing will be key to the success of ongoing, voluntary mass screening as society adjusts to a new ‘normal’ in the face of COVID-19.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry—ACTRN12620000922976.
To explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the experiences and mental health of university students.
A cross-sectional study consisting of an electronic survey about students’ experiences and concerns during the pandemic and the associated impact. In addition to the quantitative analysis, free-text responses were extracted and analysed using a framework technique.
Queen’s University in Canada and the University of Oxford in the UK.
Undergraduate students at Queen’s University and first-year undergraduate students at the University of Oxford were invited to complete the COVID-19 supplement survey. This study included data from 3013 Queen’s students as the primary focus and 339 Oxford students as a secondary comparison.
Females at Queen’s reported greater adherence to government recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (91.3% vs 86.7%, 2 p2 p
Overall, findings underscore the importance of addressing areas of student concern and the aspects of student life negatively impacted by the pandemic in order to maintain student well-being and support a successful university experience.
Tuberculosis (TB) and mental illnesses are highly prevalent globally and often coexist. While poor mental health is known to modulate immune function, whether mental disorders play a causal role in TB incidence is unknown. This systematic review examines the association between mental health and TB disease risk to inform clinical and public health measures.
Systematic review, following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.
MEDLINE, PsycINFO and PsycEXTRA databases were searched alongside reference list and citation searching. Inclusion criteria were original research studies published 1 January 1970–11 May 2020 reporting data on the association between mental health and TB risk.
Data were extracted on study design and setting, sample characteristics, measurement of mental illness and TB, and outcomes including effect size or prevalence. Studies were critically appraised using Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) and Appraisal Tool for Cross-Sectional Studies (AXIS) checklists.
1546 records published over 50 years were screened, resulting in 10 studies included reporting data from 607 184 individuals. Studies span across Asia, South America and Africa, and include mood and psychotic disorders. There is robust evidence from cohort studies in Asia demonstrating that depression and schizophrenia can increase risk of active TB, with effect estimates ranging from HR=1.15 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.28) to 2.63 (95% CI 1.74 to 3.96) for depression and HR=1.52 (95% CI 1.29 to 1.79) to RR=3.04 for schizophrenia. These data align with evidence from cross-sectional studies, for example, a large survey across low-income and middle-income countries (n=242 952) reports OR=3.68 (95% CI 3.01 to 4.50) for a depressive episode in those with TB symptoms versus those without.
Individuals with mental illnesses including depression and schizophrenia experience increased TB incidence and represent a high-risk population to target for screening and treatment. Integrated care for mental health and TB is needed, and interventions tackling mental illnesses and underlying drivers may help reduce TB incidence globally.
Commentary on: Nierop-van Baalen C, Grypdonck M, Van Hecke A, et al. Associated factors of hope in cancer patients during treatment: a systematic literature review. J Adv Nurs 2020; 00:1–18.
In clinical practice, nurses need to focus on factors related to the management of hope levels in patients undergoing cancer treatment. Cohort studies and clinical trials considering the implications of clinical characteristics and levels of hope, in advanced cancer as well as studies with children, are necessary.
In clinical practice, nurses need to focus on factors related to the management of hope levels in patients undergoing cancer treatment.
Cohort studies and clinical trials considering the implications of clinical characteristics and levels of hope, in advanced cancer as well as studies with children, are necessary.
Hope is a multidimensional and dynamic mental process; it consists of the relationship between motivational energy and strategies, visions, plans to achieve long-term goals. All of these components are necessary for the normal functioning of hope. One of the factors that should be considered in assisting patients who are undergoing cancer treatment involves emotional and spiritual aspects, among which hope stands...
Commentary on: Kim H, Sereika SM, Lingler JH et al . Percepcões de doenca, autoeficácia e autorrelato de adesão à medicacão em pessoas com 50 anos ou mais com diabetes tipo 2. J Cardiovasc Nurs 2020; Publicar antes da impressão (0).
Identification of barriers to medication adherence refers to the formulation of strategies to achieve holistic care considering the patients’ perceptions. Future study design should focus on identifying nursing diagnoses and interventions based on self-care and medication adherence.
Identification of barriers to medication adherence refers to the formulation of strategies to achieve holistic care considering the patients’ perceptions.
Future study design should focus on identifying nursing diagnoses and interventions based on self-care and medication adherence.
Medication adherence is a major public health apprehension and is defined as taking medication precisely as prescribed by health professionals.
To summarise the current evidence regarding interventions for accurate and timely cancer diagnosis among symptomatic individuals.
A scoping review following the Joanna Briggs Institute’s methodological framework for the conduct of scoping reviews and reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews checklist.
MEDLINE (Ovid), CINAHL (EBSCOhost) and PsycINFO (Ovid) bibliographic databases, and websites of relevant organisations. Published and unpublished literature (grey literature) of any study type in the English language were searched for from January 2017 to January 2021.
Study participants were individuals of any age presenting at clinics with symptoms indicative of cancer. Interventions included practice guidelines, care pathways or other initiatives focused on achieving predefined benchmarks or targets for wait times, streamlined or rapid cancer diagnostic services, multidisciplinary teams and patient navigation strategies. Outcomes included accuracy and timeliness of cancer diagnosis.
We summarised findings graphically and descriptively.
From 21 298 retrieved citations, 88 unique published articles and 16 unique unpublished documents (on 18 study reports), met the eligibility for inclusion. About half of the published literature and 83% of the unpublished literature were from the UK. Most of the studies were on interventions in patients with lung cancer. Rapid referral pathways and technology for supporting and streamlining the cancer diagnosis process were the most studied interventions. Interventions were mostly complex and organisation-specific. Common themes among the studies that concluded intervention was effective were multidisciplinary collaboration and the use of a nurse navigator.
Multidisciplinary cooperation and involvement of a nurse navigator may be unique features to consider when designing, delivering and evaluating interventions focused on improving accurate and timely cancer diagnosis among symptomatic individuals. Future research should examine the effectiveness of the interventions identified through this review.
To present Australia-wide data on paediatric COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndromes to inform health service provision and vaccination prioritisation.
Prospective, multicentre cohort study.
Eight tertiary paediatric hospitals across six Australian states and territories in an established research surveillance network—Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease (PAEDS).
All children aged
Laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Incidence of severe disease among children with COVID-19, PIMS-TS and KD-TS. We also compared KD epidemiology before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among 386 children with SARS-CoV-2 infection, 381 (98.7%) had COVID-19 (median 6.3 years (IQR 2.1–12.8),53.3% male) and 5 (1.3%) had multisystem inflammatory syndromes (PIMS-TS, n=4; KD-TS, n=1) (median 7.9 years (IQR 7.8–9.8)). Most children with COVID-19 (n=278; 73%) were Australian-born from jurisdictions with highest community transmission. Comorbidities were present in 72 (18.9%); cardiac and respiratory comorbidities were most common (n=32/72;44%). 37 (9.7%) children with COVID-19 were hospitalised, and two (0.5%) required intensive care. Postinfective inflammatory syndromes (PIMS-TS/KD-TS) were uncommon (n=5; 1.3%), all were hospitalised and three (3/5; 60%) required intensive care management. All children recovered and there were no deaths. KD incidence remained stable during the pandemic compared with prepandemic.
Most children with COVID-19 had mild disease. Severe disease was less frequent than reported in high prevalence settings. Preventative strategies, such as vaccination, including children and adolescents, could reduce both the acute and postinfective manifestations of the disease.
Healthcare professionals working in somatic departments are not trained to recognise signs of torture or provide appropriate healthcare to torture survivors, which may result in retraumatisation during surgical treatment.
This protocol outlines a four-stage qualitative-method strategy for the development and evaluation of guidelines for prevention of retraumatisation of torture survivors during surgical care. The systematic search for literature review in stages 1 and 2 was conducted in August 2019 and March 2021, respectively, using nine databases. The search strategies employed in stage 1, without imposing any date limits, resulted in the inclusion of eight studies that addressed inadequate healthcare strategies associated with retraumatisation. The clinical guidelines review in stage 2 will include publications from 2000 onwards, which will be appraised using the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation Version II instrument. Following multi-institutional recruitment in Norway, stage 3 will explore survivors’ experiences of receiving surgical treatment using indepth interviews (n=8–12), which will be audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the interpretative phenomenological analysis approach. In stage 4a, based on the findings from stages 1, 2 and 3, a set of clinical guidelines for preventing retraumatisation during surgical treatment will be developed. Next, the feasibility and acceptability of the guidelines will be assessed in stage 4b in three interdisciplinary focus group interviews (n=5 per group) and text condensation analyses.
The Regional (South-East C) Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics approved the study in May 2021 (#227624). In stages 3 and 4, an informational letter and an informed consent form will be distributed to the participants to sign before the interview. The study results will be disseminated through publications, conference presentations, and national and local public forums to healthcare professionals, service managers, policymakers and refugee-supporting agencies.
Considerable observational evidence suggests that cancer online support groups reduce feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety, enhance coping and self-management, and lead to better informed patients. Other studies indicate that cancer online support groups can increase distress. Yet no studies theorise the complex, context-dependent mechanisms by which cancer online support groups generate their—sometimes contrasting—outcomes.
Guided by an integrated knowledge translation approach and the strategy for patient-oriented research, we will conduct a realist review of cancer online support groups in partnership with stakeholders. We will follow Pawson’s five steps and existing quality standards to develop a program theory that explains how cancer online support groups work, for whom and in what circumstances. The specific research questions will be: what positive and negative outcomes have been reported on cancer online support groups? What are the mechanisms that are associated with these outcomes, in which contexts and for whom? Through a rigorous review of relevant scientific and grey literature, as well as ongoing dialogue with stakeholders, a program theory will be developed to explain who benefits from cancer online support groups and who does not, what benefits they derive (or do not), and the factors that affect these outcomes.
The use of secondary data for this review precludes the need for ethical approval. Dissemination will be informed by the knowledge-to-action framework and will consist of tailored knowledge products that are conceived of collaboratively with stakeholders. These will include peer-reviewed publications on how cancer online support groups can be optimised and best practice recommendations to maximise the benefits experienced by people with cancer. These traditional scientific outputs, along with their respective evidence summaries, will be amplified through strategic social media events hosted and promoted by knowledge users.
The effects of climate change and associated extreme weather events (EWEs) present substantial threats to well-being. EWEs hold the potential to harm sexual health through pathways including elevated exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), disrupted healthcare access, and increased sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The WHO defines four components of sexual health: comprehensive sexuality education; HIV and STI prevention and care; SGBV prevention and care; and psychosexual counselling. Yet, knowledge gaps remain regarding climate change and its associations with these sexual health domains. This scoping review will therefore explore the linkages between climate change and sexual health.
Five electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, CINAHL) will be searched using text words and subject headings (eg, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), Emtree) related to sexual health and climate change from the inception of each database to May 2021. Grey literature and unpublished reports will be searched using a comprehensive search strategy, including from the WHO, World Bank eLibrary, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The scoping review will consider studies that explore: (a) climate change and EWEs including droughts, heat waves, wildfires, dust storms, hurricanes, flooding rains, coastal flooding and storm surges; alongside (b) sexual health, including: comprehensive sexual health education, sexual health counselling, and HIV/STI acquisition, prevention and/or care, and/or SGBV, including intimate partner violence, sexual assault and rape. Searches will not be limited by language, publication year or geographical location. We will consider quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods and review articles for inclusion. We will conduct thematic analysis of findings. Data will be presented in narrative and tabular forms.
There are no formal ethics requirements as we are not collecting primary data. Results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and shared at international conferences.