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An interrupted time-series analysis of the impact of emergency department reconfiguration on regional emergency department trolley numbers in Ireland from 2005 to 2015

Por: Lynch · B. · Browne · J. · Buckley · C. M. · Healy · O. · Corcoran · P. · Fitzgerald · A. P.
Objectives

To understand the impact of emergency department (ED) reconfiguration on the number of patients waiting for hospital beds on trolleys in the remaining EDs in four geographical regions in Ireland using time-series analysis.

Setting

EDs in four Irish regions; the West, North-East, South and Mid-West from 2005 to 2015.

Participants

All patients counted as waiting on trolleys in an ED for a hospital bed in the study hospitals from 2005 to 2015.

Intervention

The system intervention was the reconfiguration of ED services, as determined by the Department of Health and Health Service Executive. The timing of these interventions varied depending on the hospital and region in question.

Results

Three of the four regions studied experienced a significant change in ED trolley numbers in the 12-month post-ED reconfiguration. The trend ratio before and after the intervention for these regions was as follows: North-East incidence rate ratio (IRR) 2.85 (95% CI 2.04 to 3.99, p

Conclusions

Findings suggest that the impacts of ED reconfiguration on regional level ED trolley trends were either non-significant or caused a short-term shock which converged on the pre-reconfiguration trend over the following 12 months. However, the North-East is identified as an exception due to increased pressures in one regional hospital, which caused a change in trend beyond the 12-month post reconfiguration.

Multifaceted intervention to enhance cognition in older people at risk of cognitive decline: study protocol for the Protein Omega-3 and Vitamin D Exercise Research (PONDER) study

Por: Macpherson · H. · Brownell · S. · Duckham · R. L. · Meyer · B. · Mirzaee · S. · Daly · R. M.
Introduction

An increasing number of people are living with cognitive impairment and dementia. Current pharmacological therapies at best reduce Alzheimer’s disease symptomatology but do not delay dementia onset in those at high risk. Structured exercise interventions can enhance cognition in older people; however, to produce long lasting, clinically relevant cognitive benefits, it is proposed that a multifaceted approach incorporating exercise with dietary supplements will address a wider range of mechanisms involved in cognitive decline. The Protein Omega-3 aNd vitamin D Exercise Research (PONDER) study aims to investigate the cognitive effects of a multimodal exercise programme combined with nutritional supplementation in older adults with subjective memory impairment (SMI).

Methods and analysis

The PONDER study is a single-centre, 12-month, community-based, parallel group, randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial involving a 6-month multifaceted intervention with a further 6-month follow-up. Participants will be 148 people from Melbourne, Australia, aged 60–85 years with SMI who will be randomised (1:1 ratio) to either a 6-month supervised multimodal exercise programme combined with omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin D and protein supplementation or a stretching/flexibility exercise programme combined with placebo supplements. The primary outcome is the change in cognition after 6 months as assessed by the Trail Making Test and global cognitive function assessed from the Cogstate Computerised battery. Secondary outcomes will include memory, working memory/learning and attention/psychomotor function, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, mood, quality of life, muscle strength, physical function, body composition, cardiovascular health and sleep quality. Cognition at 12 months will represent a secondary outcome.

Ethics and dissemination

This study has been approved by the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (project 2016–260). Informed consent will be obtained from all participants. The authors intend to submit the findings of the study to peer-reviewed journals or academic conferences to be published.

Trial registration number

ACTRN12616001549415; Pre-results.

Gut-directed hypnotherapy versus standard medical treatment for nausea in children with functional nausea or functional dyspepsia: protocol of a multicentre randomised trial

Por: Browne · P. D. · den Hollander · B. · Speksnijder · E. M. · van Wering · H. M. · Tjon a Ten · W. · George · E. K. · Groeneweg · M. · Bevers · N. · Wessels · M. M. S. · van den Berg · M. M. · Goede · J. · Teklenburg-Roord · S. T. A. · Frankenhuis · C. · Benninga · M. A. · Vlieger · A
Introduction

The treatment of chronic functional nausea or nausea due to functional dyspepsia in children is generally symptomatic. Moreover, these disorders pose a risk for worse psychosocial and health outcomes in children. Hypnotherapy (HT), by its ability to positively influence gastrointestinal and psychosocial functioning, may be an effective treatment for chronic nausea.

Methods and analysis

To test efficacy, this multicentre, parallel, randomised controlled, open label trial evaluates whether gut-directed HT is superior to standard medical treatment (SMT) for reducing nausea. The study will be conducted at eleven academic and non-academic hospitals across the Netherlands. A total of 100 children (8–18 years), fulfilling the Rome IV criteria for chronic idiopathic nausea or functional dyspepsia with prominent nausea, will be randomly allocated (1:1) to receive HT or SMT. Children allocated to the HT group will receive six sessions of HT during 3 months, while children allocated to the SMT group will receive six sessions of SMT+supportive therapy during the same period. The primary outcome will be the difference in the proportion of children with at least 50% reduction of nausea, compared with baseline at 12 months’ follow-up. Secondary outcomes include the changes in abdominal pain, dyspeptic symptoms, quality of life, anxiety, depression, school absences, parental absence of work, healthcare costs and adequate relief of symptoms, measured directly after treatment, 6 and 12 months’ follow-up. If HT proves effective for reducing nausea, it may become a new treatment strategy to treat children with chronic functional nausea or functional dyspepsia with prominent nausea.

Ethics and dissemination

Results of the study will be publicly disclosed to the public, without any restrictions, in peer-reviewed journal and international conferences. The study is approved by the Medical Research Ethics Committees United (MEC-U) in the Netherlands.

Trial registration number

NTR5814.

Community-based testing of migrants for infectious diseases (COMBAT-ID): impact, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of identifying infectious diseases among migrants in primary care: protocol for an interrupted time-series, qualitative and health econom

Por: Pareek · M. · Eborall · H. C. · Wobi · F. · Ellis · K. S. · Kontopantelis · E. · Zhang · F. · Baggaley · R. · Hollingsworth · T. D. · Baines · D. · Patel · H. · Haldar · P. · Patel · M. · Stephenson · I. · Browne · I. · Gill · P. · Kapur · R. · Farooqi · A. · Abubakar · I. · Griffiths · C.
Background

Migration is a major global driver of population change. Certain migrants may be at increased risk of infectious diseases, including tuberculosis (TB), HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and have poorer outcomes. Early diagnosis and management of these infections can reduce morbidity, mortality and onward transmission and is supported by national guidelines. To date, screening initiatives have been sporadic and focused on individual diseases; systematic routine testing of migrant groups for multiple infections is rarely undertaken and its impact is unknown. We describe the protocol for the evaluation of acceptability, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an integrated approach to screening migrants for a range of infectious diseases in primary care.

Methods and analysis

We will conduct a mixed-methods study which includes an observational cohort with interrupted time-series analysis before and after the introduction of routine screening of migrants for infectious diseases (latent TB, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C) when first registering with primary care within Leicester, UK. We will assess trends in the monthly number and rate of testing and diagnosis for latent TB, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C to determine the effect of the policy change using segmented regression analyses at monthly time-points. Concurrently, we will undertake an integrated qualitative sub-study to understand the views of migrants and healthcare professionals to the new testing policy in primary care. Finally, we will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of combined infection testing for migrants in primary care.

Ethics and dissemination

The study has received HRA and NHS approvals for both the interrupted time-series analysis (16/SC/0127) and the qualitative sub-study (16/EM/0159). For the interrupted time-series analysis we will only use fully anonymised data. For the qualitative sub-study, we will gain written, informed, consent. Dissemination of the results will be through local and national meetings/conferences as well as publications in peer-reviewed journals.

A trauma-informed substance use and sexual risk reduction intervention for young South African women: a mixed-methods feasibility study

Por: Myers · B. · Carney · T. · Browne · F. A. · Wechsberg · W. M.
Objectives

Sexual and physical trauma and substance use are intersecting risks for HIV among young women. This study assesses the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effects of a novel trauma-informed substance use and sexual risk reduction intervention for young South African women.

Design

A single arm feasibility test and qualitative interviews of participants.

Participants

Sixty women, between 18 and 25 years of age, who reported trauma exposure, substance use and recent condom-less sex were recruited. Twenty participants were randomly selected for qualitative interviews.

Intervention

A six-session group-based intervention.

Main outcome measures

We examined the proportion of women who provided consent, completed counselling and were retained in the study. Qualitative interviews explored intervention acceptability. Preliminary effects of the intervention on substance use, mental health (depression, psychological distress and trauma symptoms) and sexual risk outcomes (STI symptoms, number of partners and condomless sex) were explored.

Results

Of the 66 eligible women, 91% were enrolled. Intervention completion rates were low; 35% attended all sessions. On average, participants attended four sessions (M=3.8, SD=1.3). A 93% follow-up rate was achieved at the 3-month endpoint. In this single group design, reductions in the proportion of participants who tested positive for methamphetamine, cannabis and methaqualone were observed at the 3-month endpoint. Symptoms of depression, psychological distress and trauma; number of STI symptoms; and number of sexual partners also decreased. Outcomes were similar for participants who completed up to four and those who completed five or more sessions. Participants thought the intervention was highly beneficial and proposed modifications to enhance acceptability.

Conclusions

This novel intervention seems acceptable and holds potential benefits for trauma-exposed women who use substances. Truncating the intervention may enhance the likelihood of its implementation. The efficacy of the intervention for improving substance use, sexual risk and mental health outcomes requires testing in a controlled design.

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