To examine whether cost-free (CF) smoking cessation medication was more effective than a prescription for cessation medication in patients after transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or stroke.
Two-site randomised trial.
Stroke prevention clinics (SPCs) in Ontario, Canada.
Smokers with TIA or stroke, willing to quit smoking.
Smoking status was assessed in SPC attendees. Smokers were advised to quit smoking and received recommendations for cessation medication and counselling. Consenting participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to either a CF medication group or a prescription-only (Rx) group. CF participants immediately received a 12-week supply of cessation medication. Rx participants were given a prescription for 12 weeks of cessation medication. Follow-up counselling was provided for 26 weeks.
The primary outcome was 40-week continuous abstinence verified using a carbon monoxide breath test at 52-week follow-up. Secondary outcomes included abstinence at intermediate timepoints, medication adherence and serious adverse events.
Hundred and ninety-four participants were randomised and 131 (67.5%) completed the trial. The 40-week continuous abstinence rate at 52-week follow-up was 15.5% in the CF group versus 14.0% in the Rx group (OR=1.13; 95% CI 0.51 to 2.53). The 14-week continuous abstinence rate at 26-week follow-up was 18.6% in the CF group versus 16.8% in the Rx group (OR=1.20; 95% CI 0.56 to 2.55). Seven-day point-prevalence abstinence at 12 weeks was 38.1% in the CF group versus 26.9% in the Rx group (OR=1.76; 95% CI 0.94 to 3.28). Medication adherence was higher in the CF group versus the Rx group (47.4%±41.2% vs 25.5±36.8%, p
Our findings were inconclusive; we failed to meet our recruitment target and the effect size was smaller than anticipated. CF medication improved medication adherence.
NCT00962988; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier.
Measures to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak in the migrant worker dormitories in Singapore included lockdown and isolation of residents for prolonged periods. In this paper, we explore efforts to ease tensions and support mental health under these conditions.
Case study of dormitory residents under lockdown from April to August 2020 comprises a nested mixed-method approach using an online questionnaire (n=175) and semistructured interviews (n=23) of migrant workers sampled from the survey (August to September 2020). Logistic regression models were used to analyse survey data. Semistructured interviews were analysed using applied thematic analysis.
Survey and interview data showed that mental health was largely protected despite initial rising tensions over restrictions during lockdown. Sources of tension negatively affecting low stress responses included job related worries, OR=0.07 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.18, p
Interviewees shared how their adaptive capability played a pivotal protective role alongside social support and solidarity; aided by regular use of messaging applications, which supported mental health, OR=4.81 (95% CI 1.54 to 15.21, p
Tensions are mapped to protective solutions informing guidelines for future outbreak stress management response.
To examine long-term effectiveness of rehabilitation services on physical function, pain severity and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in earthquake survivors over a 4-year period.
Prospective cohort study with early and late intervention and geographical control group.
Three counties of Sichuan Province, China.
591 survivors of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake were followed-up over a 4-year period ranging from 2008 to 2012.
In Mianzhu county, a comprehensive hospital-based and community-based rehabilitation programme was implemented in September 2008; in Anxian county, the same programme was implemented 1 year later; in Shifang county, the programme was not implemented and survivors from this county served as a control group.
Physical function was measured using Modified Barthel Index (MBI), pain severity with Visual Analogue Scale and PTSD with the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version. All outcomes were assessed at three time points (baseline from 2008 to 2009, 2010 and 2012) and analysed with mixed effects regression.
400 patients completed all assessments. In all groups, physical function and pain severity improved over time. MBI improvement per month as compared with control was greater in the late rehabilitation (b=1.69, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.19) than the early rehabilitation group (b=0.96, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.24). This rehabilitation effect was however marginally decreasing over time. Superior improvement as compared with control with regard to pain was only found in the early rehabilitation group (b=–0.05, 95% CI –0.09 to –0.02). PTSD symptoms decreased over time, but the observed differences could not be specifically linked to the rehabilitation intervention.
Physical rehabilitation of earthquake survivors appears to be effective in improving physical function and, if delivered early, pain. Effects on mental health are less clear and need further examination using more consistent and frequent assessments of relevant outcomes and determinants.
Initial reports suggest people experiencing homelessness (PEH) are at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated morbidity and mortality. However, there have been few longitudinal evaluations of the spread and impact of COVID-19 among PEH. This study will estimate the prevalence and incidence of COVID-19 infections in a cohort of PEH followed prospectively in Toronto, Canada. It will also examine associations between individual-level and shelter-level characteristics with COVID-19 infection, adverse health outcomes related to infection and vaccination. Finally, the data will be used to develop and parameterise a mathematical model to characterise SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics, and the transmission impact of interventions serving PEH.
Ku-gaa-gii pimitizi-win will follow a random sample of PEH from across Toronto (Canada) for 12 months. 736 participants were enrolled between June and September 2021, and will be followed up at 3-month intervals. At each interval, specimens (saliva, capillary blood) will be collected to determine active SARS-CoV-2 infection and serologic evidence of past infection and/or vaccination, and a detailed survey will gather self-reported information, including a detailed housing history. To examine the association between individual-level and shelter-level characteristics on COVID-19-related infection, adverse outcomes, and vaccination, shelter and healthcare administrative data will be linked to participant study data. Healthcare administrative data will also be used to examine long-term (up to 5 years) COVID-19-related outcomes among participants.
Ethical approval was obtained from the Unity Health Toronto and University of Toronto Health Sciences Research Ethics Boards (# 20-272). Ku-gaa-gii pimitizi-win was designed in collaboration with community and service provider partners and people having lived experience of homelessness. Findings will be reported to groups supporting Ku-gaa-gii pimitizi-win, Indigenous and other community partners and service providers, funding bodies, public health agencies and all levels of government to inform policy and public health programs.
Knee osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability, resulting in pain and reduced quality of life. Exercise is the cornerstone of conservative management but effects are, at best, moderate. Early evidence suggests that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied over the primary motor cortex (M1) may improve the effect of exercise in knee osteoarthritis. This pilot study aims to (1) determine the feasibility, safety and participant-rated response to an intervention adding M1 rTMS to exercise in knee osteoarthritis; (2) elucidate physiological mechanisms in response to the intervention; (3) provide data to conduct a sample size calculation for a fully powered trial.
This is a pilot randomised, assessor-blind, therapist-blind and participant-blind, sham-controlled trial. Thirty individuals with painful knee osteoarthritis will be recruited and randomly allocated to receive either: (1) active rTMS+exercise or (2) sham rTMS+exercise intervention. Participants will receive 15 min of either active or sham rTMS immediately prior to 30 min of supervised muscle strengthening exercise (2x/week, 6 weeks) and complete unsupervised home exercises. Outcome measures of feasibility, safety, pain, function and physiological mechanisms will be assessed before and/or after the intervention. Feasibility and safety will be analysed using descriptive analysis. Within-group and between-group comparisons of pain and function will be conducted to examine trends of efficacy.
This study has been approved by the University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Committee (HC210954). All participants will provide written informed consent. The study results will be submitted for peer-reviewed publication.
The term frontotemporal dementia (FTD) refers to a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders affecting the frontal and temporal lobes. Cognitively, impairment of executive function and social cognition predominates across the FTD spectrum, although other domains can be affected. Traditionally, cognition is tested through standard ‘pen and paper’ tasks in FTD. However, recent attempts have been made across other neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease to develop computerised batteries that allow more accurate and sensitive detection of cognitive impairment.
This paper describes the development of a novel battery of tests for a tablet computer, particularly focused on FTD. It consists of 12 different tasks which aim to tap into information processing speed, various aspects of executive function, social cognition, semantic knowledge, calculation and visuospatial skills. Future studies will focus on validating the battery in a healthy control cohort, comparing it against a standard ‘pen and paper’ psychometric battery, and finally testing it within an FTD cohort, including those with genetic forms of FTD where we will be able to assess its ability to detect very early cognitive deficits prior to the onset of symptoms.
Normative data will be produced in the initial validation study (approved by the UCL Ethics Committee, project ID 17691/002) and will be made available online.
The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence and correlates of cardiovascular disease (ischaemic heart disease and/or stroke (IHDS)) in Mongolia.
National community-based sample of people aged 15–69 years in Mongolia.
6654 people (15–69 years, mean 41.3) who participated in the 2019 Mongolia STEPS survey.
Self-reported prevalence of IHDS and biological and social covariates. Determinants of IHDS were estimated with logistic regression.
The prevalence of IHDS was 14.0%, 15.6% among women and 12.3% among men. Older age (45–69 years), being married or cohabiting, and urban residence were positively associated, and male sex was negatively associated, with IHDS. Additionally, experience of threats, hypertension, current tobacco use, passive smoking, sedentary behaviour and high physical activity were positively associated with IHDS.
Almost one in seven people aged 15–69 years had IHDS in Mongolia. Several factors amenable to public health intervention for IHDS were identified, including experience of threats, hypertension, current tobacco use, passive smoking and sedentary behaviour.
Falling is associated with adverse effects on the health of older people. The majority of research into falls among older people has focused on prevention, with less attention to ‘how to fall safely’. Previous research suggests that motor analogies can be used to promote safe landing by young adults; however, the efficacy of this technique for older people remains unknown. This study aims to determine whether a motor analogy is useful for promoting safe falling in the older adult population.
The study adopts a randomised, controlled, single-blinded study design. People 65 years and older will be randomly allocated to a control condition or a motor analogy condition. They will receive a nudge in a forward, backward or sideways direction (randomised order), which will initiate a fall. The nudge will occur at variable (randomised) time points, so participants will not be aware of when they will fall. Participants in the motor analogy condition will be instructed to ‘land like a feather’, whereas participants in the control condition will be instructed to ‘land safely’. The primary outcome parameters are maximum impact force (normalised by mass) applied to different body segments during impact and fracture risk ratio of wrists and hips. A two-way multivariate analysis of variance will be conducted to examine differences between the motor analogy and control conditions as a function of the different variables.
The University of Waikato Human Research Ethics Committee (Health 2021#45) has granted ethical approval. Outcomes will be disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at conferences.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12621001189819. Registered on 6 September 2021.
Patients with acute congestive heart failure (HF) regularly undergo urinary catheterisation (UC) at hospital admission. We hypothesised that UC has no clinical benefits with regard to weight loss during inpatient diuretic therapy for acute congestive HF and increases the risk of urinary tract infection (UTI).
Retrospective, non-inferiority study.
Geneva University Hospitals’ Department of Medicine, a tertiary centre.
In a cohort of HF patients, those catheterised within 24 hours of diuretic therapy (n=113) were compared with non-catheterised patients (n=346).
The primary endpoint was weight loss 48 hours after starting diuretic therapy. Secondary endpoints were time needed to reach target weight, discontinuation of intravenous diuretics and resolution of respiratory failure. Complications included the time to a first UTI, first hospital readmission and death.
A total of 48-hour weight loss was not statistically different between groups and the adjusted difference was below the non-inferiority boundary of 1 kg (0.43 kg (95% CI: –0.03 to 0.88) in favour of UC, p
In this retrospective study, with no obvious hourly diuresis-based diuretic adjustment strategy, weight loss without UC was not inferior to weight loss after UC within 24 hours of initiating diuretic treatment. UC had no impact on clinical improvement and increased the risk of UTI. This evidence, therefore, argues against the systematic use of UC during a diuretic therapy for HF.
To investigate the impact of COVID-19 on the well-being of surgeons and allied health professionals as well as the support provided by their institutions.
This cross-sectional study involved distributing an online survey through medical organisations, social media platforms and collaborators.
It included all staff based in an operating theatre environment around the world.
1590 complete responses were received from 54 countries between 15 July and 15 December 2020. The average age of participants was 30–40 years old, 64.9% were men and 32.5% of a white ethnic background. 79.5% were surgeons with the remainder being nurses, assistants, anaesthetists, operating department practitioners or classified other.
Participants that had experienced any physical illness, changes in mental health, salary or time with family since the start of the pandemic as well as support available based on published recommendations.
32.0% reported becoming physically ill. This was more likely in those with reduced access to personal protective equipment (OR 4.62; CI 2.82 to 7.56; p
This work has highlighted a need and strategies to improve conditions for the healthcare workforce, ultimately benefiting patient care.
This study aims to determine the prevalence and factors associated with injuries in the adult population of Nepal.
Secondary analysis of the data from the cross-sectional WHO STEPwise Approach to NCD Risk Factor Surveillance (STEPS) Survey Nepal, 2019. A multistage cluster sample of 5593 adults aged 15–69 years who have been the usual residents of the household for at least 6 months. A binary logistic regression model was employed to identify the determinants of injuries.
Data were derived from the STEPS Survey Nepal, 2019.
The primary outcome was injured person defined as one who had road traffic injuries (RTIs), had other serious unintentional/accidental injury, or had been seriously injured in a violent incident within the past 12 months. The secondary outcome measure was factors associated with injuries.
Over 11% of the 4996 study participants reported any injuries during the past 12 months. About 3.75% of the participants experienced a RTI, 4.71% had experienced unintentional injuries other than RTI, while 5.33% had been injured in violent incidents. Individuals belonging to the middle wealth quintile (crude OR (COR)=2.95, 95% CI 1.27 to 6.84) were associated with increased odds of RTIs. By occupation, homemaker (COR=0.45, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.84) was protective against these injuries. Likewise, currently married individuals (COR=3.74, 95% CI 1.37 to 10.17), ever married individuals (COR=3.49, 95% CI 1.08 to 11.25) and individuals not in employment (COR=2.13, 95% CI 1.16 to 3.91) were associated with an increased likelihood of sustaining an intentional injury. Injuries were higher among rural participants.
This study provides the baseline population-based estimates of the prevalence of injuries in Nepal. It describes the mechanisms and risk factors of these injuries. It is hoped that this evidence will serve as a stimulus for future studies to elucidate comprehensive national information about injuries.
To assess the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARDs) and transplant recipients compared with matched general population comparators.
Population-based matched cohort study using administrative health data sets.
British Columbia, Canada.
All adults with test-positive SARS-CoV-2 infections. SARS-CoV-2-positive patients with ARDs and those with transplantation were matched to SARS-CoV-2-positive general population comparators on age (±5 years), sex, month/year of initial positive SARS-CoV-2 test and health authority.
COVID-19-related hospitalisations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, invasive ventilation and COVID-19-specific mortality. We performed multivariable conditional logistic regression models adjusting for socioeconomic status, Charlson Comorbidity Index, hypertension, rural address and number of previous COVID-19 PCR tests.
Among 6279 patients with ARDs and 222 transplant recipients, all SARS-CoV-2 test positive, risk of hospitalisation was significantly increased among patients with ARDs (overall ARDs (adjusted OR (aOR) 1.30; 95% CI 1.19 to 1.43)); highest within ARDs: adult systemic vasculitides (aOR 2.18; 95% CI 1.17 to 4.05) and transplantation (aOR 10.56; 95% CI 6.88 to 16.22). Odds of ICU admission were significantly increased among patients with ARDs (overall ARDs (aOR 1.30; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.51)); highest within ARDs: ankylosing spondylitis (aOR 2.03; 95% CI 1.18 to 3.50) and transplantation (aOR 8.13; 95% CI 4.76 to 13.91). Odds of invasive ventilation were significantly increased among patients with ARDs (overall ARDs (aOR 1.60; 95% CI 1.27 to 2.01)); highest within ARDs: ankylosing spondylitis (aOR 2.63; 95% CI 1.14 to 6.06) and transplantation (aOR 8.64; 95% CI 3.81 to 19.61). Risk of COVID-19-specific mortality was increased among patients with ARDs (overall ARDs (aOR 1.24; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.47)); highest within ARDs: ankylosing spondylitis (aOR 2.15; 95% CI 1.02 to 4.55) and transplantation (aOR 5.48; 95% CI 2.82 to 10.63).
The risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes is increased in certain patient groups with ARDs or transplantation, although the magnitude differs across individual diseases. Strategies to mitigate risk, such as booster vaccination, prompt diagnosis and early intervention with available therapies, should be prioritised in these groups according to risk.
When resources are strained during communicable disease outbreaks, novel palliative care interventions may be required to optimally support people who use substances with life-limiting illnesses. Therefore, we asked the question, ‘what is known about communicable disease outbreaks, palliative care and people who use substances?’, such as palliative care interventions that can improve the quality of life of patients with life-limiting illnesses.
We conducted a scoping review that involved comprehensive searches in six bibliographic databases from inception to April 2021 (Medline ALL (Medline and Epub Ahead of Print and In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations), Embase Classic+Embase, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trial, PsycInfo all from the OvidSP platform, Scopus from Elsevier) and grey literature searches. We included English and French records about people ≥18 years old with life-limiting illnesses who use substances during communicable disease outbreaks. We identified, summarised and presented the findings about palliative care interventions in figures, tables and narrative descriptions.
We identified 32 records about palliative care interventions for people who use substances during communicable disease outbreaks. The majority focused on palliative care for people who use substances with AIDS during HIV epidemics (n=27, 84.4%), and approximately half were published in the USA (n=15, 46.9%). Most common substances used were alcohol (n=18, 56.3%), opioids (n=14, 43.8%) and cocaine (n=10, 31.3%). Four groups of palliative care interventions were identified: (1) symptom management (n=20, 62.5%), (2) psychosocial support (n=15, 46.9%), (3) advance care planning (n=8, 25.0%) and (4) healthcare provider training (n=6, 18.8%).
Beyond studies on HIV epidemics, there is limited knowledge about palliative care interventions for people who use substances during communicable disease outbreaks. Research and guidance are needed about how best to provide palliative care to this population with complex needs including in resource-limited countries.
Buchman DZ, Ding P, Lo S, et al. Palliative care for people who use substances during communicable disease epidemics and pandemics. BMJ Open 2021; 11: e053124
Cardiac troponin is used as a prognostic biomarker after cardiac surgery. However, numerous confounding elements, such as inflammation, liver and renal function biomarkers, have been associated with troponin variations. Furthermore, several thresholds regarding the definition of myocardial infarction have been suggested. We aimed to confirm the accuracy of troponin, analysed as time-dependent variable, to predict mortality independently from other biomarkers; and to assess the incidence and prognosis of a 10 times upper normal value threshold (troponin10N) used in the current fourth definition of myocardial infarction.
In a prospective cohort of patients who underwent cardiopulmonary bypass cardiac procedures, we assessed the association between serum levels of troponin, creatinine, bilirubin, serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), C-reactive protein (CRP), lactate and in-hospital mortality. Several models were tested, including time-dependent Cox regression, survival and latent class analyses. Repetitive measurements were accounted for.
We included 3857 patients. In-hospital mortality was 2.8%. Troponin was independently associated with mortality in all models, after adjusting for other biomarkers. Of note, troponin10N was reached in 3830/3857 (99.3%) of patients. Similarly, renal function was independently associated with mortality. Conversely, CRP and liver biomarkers were not associated with mortality, once adjusting for other confounders.
We confirmed that troponin increase was independently associated with mortality after cardiac surgery. This association was independent of inflammatory syndrome and renal and liver failure. Troponin10N was reached in almost all patients, questioning the relevance of this criterion to define postoperative myocardial infarctions after cardiac surgery.
To develop and examine the prevalence of quality and safety indicators to monitor care of older Australians receiving home care packages (HCPs), a government-funded aged care programme to support individuals to live at home independently.
Home care recipients, Australia.
90 650 older individuals (aged ≥65 years old and ≥50 years old for people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent) who received a HCP between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016 nationally were included.
The Registry of Senior Australians developed 15 quality and safety indicators: antipsychotic use, high sedative load, chronic opioid use, antimicrobial use, premature mortality, home medicines reviews, chronic disease management plan, wait-time for HCP, falls, fractures, medication-related adverse events, weight loss/malnutrition, delirium/dementia-related hospitalisations, emergency department (ED) presentations and pressure injuries. Risk adjusted prevalence (%, 95% CI) and geographical area (statistical level 3) variation during 2016 were examined.
In 2016, a total of 102 590 HCP episodes were included for 90 650 individuals, with 66.9% (n=68 598) level 1–2 HCP episodes (ie, for basic care needs) and 33.1% (n=33 992) level 3–4 HCP (ie, higher care needs). The most prevalent indicators included: antibiotic use (52.4%, 95% CI 52.0 to 52.7), chronic disease management plans (38.1%, 95% CI 37.8 to 38.4), high sedative load (29.1%, 95% CI 28.8 to 29.4) and ED presentations (26.4%, 95% CI 25.9 to 26.9). HCP median wait time was 134 days (IQR 41–406). Geographical variation was highest in chronic disease management plans and ED presentations (20.7% of areas outside expected range).
A comprehensive outcome monitoring system to monitor the quality and safety of care and variation for HCP recipients was developed. It provides a pragmatic, efficient and low burden tool to support evidence-based quality and safety improvement initiatives for the aged care sector.
The aim of this study was to estimate the time intervals from first symptom recognition to pathological diagnosis among patients with oesophageal cancer in Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional study design was employed.
Patients with oesophageal cancer aged ≥18 years were included from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (n=338) from February 2019 to August 2020. The participants were selected consecutively from six health facilities that provided cancer care nearly for 90% of patients.
The Aarhus statement criteria were applied to classify patient intervals (time from first symptom recognition to presentation) and diagnostic intervals (time from first presentation to diagnosis). Patient and diagnostic intervals >60 and >30 days were considered as delays, respectively. For tumour classification, the American Joint Committee on Cancer was used. Data were analysed using SPSS V.24. Descriptive statistics were applied to describe patients’ characteristics. Poisson regression with robust variance was used to compute prevalence ratios. In all statistical tests, significance was declared at a p value of
The mean (SD) age of the participants was 54.30±12.49 years.
Approximately 78% of study participants had never heard of oesophageal cancer and thought they had gastritis. Dysphagia was the commonly mentioned symptom. About 76% of the cases were diagnosed at advanced stages (III and IV). Median patient interval was 108.5 (60.5–215) days and median diagnostic interval was 77.5 (39–133) days. After adjusting confounders, being single and unawareness of oesophageal cancer had association with consultation delay; cost of transportation and medical consultation had association with diagnostic delay; and patient delay of >2 months had association with late-stage diagnosis.
Patients with oesophageal cancer in Ethiopia had prolonged patient and diagnostic intervals. Increasing awareness of symptoms of oesophageal cancer and shortening time to diagnosis will help to improve the outcome of oesophageal cancer care in Ethiopia.
COVID-19 prompted rapid shifts to virtual primary care; however, the secondary implications and ideal applications of this change require further consideration. Patient and public stakeholder input has been bypassed. To integrate virtual care (VC) in what currently appears to be a lengthier battle against COVID-19 and related sequelae, further investigation is needed to support ideal implementation and use. This study aims to describe factors associated with the use of virtual visits in primary care practices, along with more in-depth description of users’ experiences and perspectives.
This study will be conducted in three phases, using a mixed-methods approach and in consultation with community advisors. Phase 1 will analyse data from electronic medical records (EMRs) to characterise the use and users of VC in primary care during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysis will be primarily descriptive; regression modelling will assess associations between patient and provider factors with a virtual visit. In phase 2, we will use an EMR-facilitated process to automate the distribution of patient surveys within an estimated 10 clinics. These surveys aim to describe care experiences, transactional use and perspectives of VC. In phase 3, focus groups with patients, caregivers and primary care clinicians will seek more in-depth exploration of VC regarding accessibility of care, acceptability and perceptions of quality care. Interpretive phenomenological analysis will be used for thematic analysis. The framework method will employ a matrix structure to organise the data and to facilitate comparison, integration and further interpretation.
This study has been approved by the University of Manitoba’s Health Research Ethics Board (HS24197). A co-designed dissemination strategy will include reports and infographics to policymakers and the public, manuscripts and presentations to academic and clinician audiences, and contributions to a learning plan for professional development.
Adequately addressing the needs of patients at the end of life and their relatives is pivotal in preventing unnecessary suffering and optimising their quality of life. The purpose of the iLIVE study is to contribute to high-quality personalised care at the end of life in different countries and cultures, by investigating the experiences, concerns, preferences and use of care of terminally ill patients and their families.
The iLIVE study is an international cohort study in which patients with an estimated life expectancy of 6 months or less are followed up until they die. In total, 2200 patients will be included in 11 countries, that is, 200 per country. In addition, one relative per patient is invited to participate. All participants will be asked to fill in a questionnaire, at baseline and after 4 weeks. If a patient dies within 6 months of follow-up, the relative will be asked to fill in a post-bereavement questionnaire. Healthcare use in the last week of life will be evaluated as well; healthcare staff who attended the patient will be asked to fill in a brief questionnaire to evaluate the care that was provided. Qualitative interviews will be conducted with patients, relatives and healthcare professionals in all countries to gain more in-depth insights.
The cohort study has been approved by ethics committees and the institutional review boards (IRBs) of participating institutes in all countries. Results will be disseminated through the project website, publications in scientific journals and at conferences. Within the project, there will be a working group focusing on enhancing the engagement of the community at large with the reality of death and dying.
COVID-19 is a global pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although most COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic or mild, a significant number of patients experienced adverse outcomes. In addition, studies have shown that cardiac abnormalities are associated with increased mortality in hospitalised patients with COVID-19. This finding sets a precedent for the potential use of ECG tracing as an indicator of patient mortality and morbidity. This study aims to determine associations between the 12-lead ECG findings and various clinical outcomes of hospitalised patients with COVID-19, measured as incidence of endotracheal intubation, intensive care unit (ICU) admission and mortality rate.
An electronic literature search will identify all potentially relevant articles using specific databases and websites. The search will be limited to studies published from December 2019 to May 2021. In addition, studies will include hospitalised patients with COVID-19 with normal and abnormal 12-lead ECG findings assessed for clinical outcomes, including the incidence of endotracheal intubation, ICU admission and mortality rate. The risk of bias in individual studies will be evaluated using the Quality in Prognostic Studies tool or the Cochrane risk of bias tool. A meta-analysis will be conducted if at least two studies indicate a prognostic factor’s effect. Moreover, subgroup and sensitivity analyses will be performed accordingly to address heterogeneity. Reporting the review results will comply with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The quality of evidence generated will be assessed using the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system.
This study has been exempted from ethics review. There will be no patient or public involvement in this study. Furthermore, the findings will be disseminated via conferences, seminars, symposia and congresses on top of peer-reviewed journals.
To characterise individual and area-level risks associated with invasive or skin and soft tissue (SSTIs) Staphylococcus aureus infections comparing methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) with methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA); and highlight differences between children and adults.
A population-based study from 21 reporting laboratories located in Georgia Health District 3 (HD3), an eight-county catchment area around metro Atlanta.
A case is a resident of HD3 from whom S. aureus had been isolated in 2017.
Culture-confirmed S. aureus infections, classified as skin and soft tissue (proxy for non-invasive) or invasive, by methicillin-sensitivity status.
The incidence of SSTIs was 19.7/100 000, compared with 5.2/100 000 for invasive infections. Adults experienced higher rates of SSTIs (22.3/100 000) and invasive infections (6.7/100 000) compared with children with SSTIs (13.0/100 000) and invasive infections (1.3/100 000). Risks of MRSA versus MSSA SSTIs were similar for children and adults. Black individuals with SSTIs were more likely to have MRSA than white individuals (children (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.76); adults (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.42)). Adults with invasive MRSA were more likely to be black (adjusted OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.25 to 2.29) compared with those with invasive MSSA. Children with invasive MRSA were more likely from a racial-ethnic concentrated area (OR 4.66, 95% CI 1.85 to 11.71). Hotspots of MRSA were found in crowded areas with higher rates of black populations.
The risk of MRSA infections in children and adults can be defined by unique area-level sociodemographic characteristics which were distinct for those areas associated with MSSA infections. Place-based risks of MRSA or MSSA can be used to develop target public health interventions to decrease transmission and incidence.