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    HCV Self-Testing to Expand Testing: A Pilot Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in China.
    Xu, W ; Reipold, EI ; Zhao, P ; Tang, W ; Tucker, JD ; Ong, JJ ; Wang, J ; Easterbrook, P ; Johnson, CC ; Jamil, MS ; Wang, C (Frontiers Media SA, 2022)
    Background: Hepatitis C virus self-testing (HCVST) may increase test uptake especially among marginalized key populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM). We conducted an observational study to assess the usability, acceptability and feasibility of HCVST among MSM in China. Methods: An observational study with convenience sampling was performed among MSM in Guangzhou, China in 2019. The OraQuick® HCV Rapid Antibody Test kits were used in this study. Participants performed all 12 HCVST steps and interpreted the results in the presence of a trained observer. Usability was defined as the number and percentage of participants who completed all testing steps correctly without assistance and interpreted the results correctly. Inter-reader concordance was calculated as the percentage agreement between the results interpreted by the participant and those interpreted by a trained staff member. The same process was used to estimate inter-operator agreement between the self-testing and professional use test results. Acceptability was assessed using an interviewer-administered semi-structured questionnaire. Results: Among 100 participants with median age 27 (interquartile range 23-30) years, 4% reported prior history of HCV testing, 41% reported using blood-based HIV self-testing in the past, 54% (95%CI: 43.7-64.0%) completed all self-testing steps correctly without assistance and interpreted the results correctly. Both the inter-reader and inter-operator concordance were excellent at 97% (95%CI: 91.5-99.4%) and 98% (95%CI: 93.0-99.8%), respectively. The majority rated the HCVST process as very easy (52%, 95%CI: 41.8-62.1%) or easy (41%, 95%CI: 31.3-51.3%), 76% (95%CI: 66.4-84.0%) were willing to use HCVST again, and 75% (95%CI: 65.3-83.1%) would recommend it to their family and friends. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that oral fluid HCVST has high usability and acceptability among Chinese MSM. More implementation research is needed to plan how best to position and scale-up HCVST alongside other facility-and community-based testing approaches and ensure data linkage into health systems.
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    Anabolic steroid misuse is an important reversible cause of cardiomyopathy: a case report.
    Milevski, SV ; Sawyer, M ; La Gerche, A ; Paratz, E ; Raza, S ; Gohar, A ; Cvijic, M ; Tardo, D ; Ahmed, N (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2022-07)
    Background: Anabolic steroid misuse is very common and has been linked to the development of a severe cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, and sudden death. Case summary: A 46-year-old miner presented to hospital with subacute dyspnoea and palpitations. Investigations revealed atrial fibrillation and a severe dilated cardiomyopathy with left ventricular ejection fraction of 12%. The patient had a history of longstanding exogenous testosterone administration. Haematological investigations demonstrated a marked polycythaemia, with haematocrit of 0.60 L/L (normal 0.40-0.54 L/L). Hormonal investigations revealed an elevated testosterone level of 46.4 nmol/L (normal 8.0-30.0 nmol/L) and suppressed luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones, consistent with excess testosterone use. The patient was referred to the endocrinology specialty team for support with ceasing excess testosterone use, while commencing guideline-directed heart failure therapy. At 6 months of follow-up, the patient's left ventricular ejection fraction had normalized and he was asymptomatic. Biochemical indicators of testosterone excess had also normalized. Discussion: Anabolic steroids are widely misused, particularly among young and middle-aged males. Cardiovascular complications include a potentially reversible severe cardiomyopathy, accelerated coronary disease, dyslipidaemia, arrhythmias, and sudden death. It is important to identify a history of anabolic steroid misuse when investigating cardiomyopathy and be alert for indicators such as polycythaemia. Cessation of anabolic steroid misuse may lead to complete reversal of cardiomyopathy but should be undertaken in close partnership with the patient and endocrinologists.
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    Kissing, fellatio, and analingus as risk factors for oropharyngeal gonorrhoea in men who have sex with men: A cross-sectional study.
    Tran, J ; Ong, JJ ; Bradshaw, CS ; Chen, MY ; Kong, FYS ; Hocking, JS ; Aung, ET ; Maddaford, K ; Fairley, CK ; Chow, EPF (Elsevier BV, 2022-09)
    Background: Our aim was to determine whether exposure to the anatomical sites (oropharynx, penis, or anus) of male partners of men who have sex with men (MSM) were independent risk factors for oropharyngeal gonorrhoea after adjusting for exposures to these sites. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we invited MSM who attended the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC) in Victoria, Australia between 26-November 2018 and 31-December 2020 to complete a survey of their sexual practices in the past three months. We collected data on the number of male partners with whom men engaged in sexual activities that exposed their oropharynx to their partners' oropharynx (kissing), penis (fellatio), and anus (rimming or analingus). Only men who were aged ≥16 years, tested for oropharyngeal gonorrhoea and did not have indeterminate or invalid results were included in the final analysis. We conducted univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses to investigate associations between oropharyngeal gonorrhoea and the three exposures to the oropharynx. Findings: The median age of the 2,322 men who completed the survey was 31 years (IQR: 26-40), and 5·2% (n = 120) were diagnosed with oropharyngeal gonorrhoea. Our univariate analysis showed that oropharyngeal gonorrhoea was significantly associated with increasing number of kissing (p trend<0·0001), rimming (p trend<0·0001) and fellatio (p trend<0·0001) partners. After adjusting for all three exposures, oropharyngeal gonorrhoea was associated with increasing number of kissing (p trend =0·014) and rimming partners (p trend = 0·037) but not fellatio (p trend = 0·61). Interpretation: Our data suggest kissing and rimming are important practices in oropharyngeal gonorrhoea transmission in MSM Novel interventions which target the oropharynx are required for gonorrohoea prevention. Funding: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
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    Efficacy of corticosteroids for hand osteoarthritis - a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
    Estee, MM ; Cicuttini, FM ; Page, MJ ; Butala, AD ; Wluka, AE ; Hussain, SM ; Wang, Y (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-07-13)
    BACKGROUND: There is some evidence that corticosteroids may have a beneficial effect in hand osteoarthritis. We examined the efficacy of corticosteroids on symptoms and structural outcomes in hand osteoarthritis. METHODS: Ovid MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched from inception to October 2021 for randomized controlled trials investigating the efficacy of corticosteroids in hand osteoarthritis. Two authors independently screened records, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias using the RoB 2 tool. Standardized mean difference (SMD) or mean difference (MD) was calculated, and random-effects meta-analyses were performed. RESULTS: Of 13 included trials, 3 examined oral corticosteroids and clinical outcomes in any hand joints, 9 examined intra-articular injection of corticosteroids and clinical outcomes at the first carpometacarpal joint and one in the interphalangeal joints. In meta-analysis, oral corticosteroids reduced pain (SMD -0.53, 95% CI -0.79 to -0.28) and improved stiffness (MD -5.03, 95% CI -9.91 to -0.15; Australian Canadian Osteoarthritis Hand Index stiffness subscale) and function (SMD -0.37, 95% CI -0.63 to -0.12) at 4-6 weeks. However, there was no significant persistent effect on pain and function at 3 months which was 6-8 weeks after study medication was stopped. There was no significant effect of intra-articular corticosteroids on pain or function at 4-6 weeks or over 3-12 months in first carpometacarpal osteoarthritis. Two trials evaluated joint structure at 4-6 weeks: one study showed oral corticosteroids reduced synovial thickening, neither showed an effect on synovitis. CONCLUSIONS: There was low-certainty evidence for a medium effect of oral corticosteroids on pain relief and stiffness improvement and small-to-medium effect on functional improvement at 4-6 weeks, with no significant effect for intra-articular corticosteroids. Corticosteroids had no significant effect on any outcomes over longer term (3-12 months) off treatment. No trials examined the effect of corticosteroids on disease progression. The role of corticosteroids in hand osteoarthritis is limited.
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    Point-of-Care Diagnostics for Diagnosis of Active Syphilis Infection: Needs, Challenges and the Way Forward
    Pham, MD ; Ong, JJ ; Anderson, DA ; Drummer, HE ; Stoove, M (MDPI, 2022-07-01)
    Syphilis, a curable sexually transmitted infection, has re-emerged as a global public health threat with an estimated 5.6 million new cases every year. Pregnant women and men who have sex with men are key target populations for syphilis control and prevention programs. Frequent syphilis testing for timely and accurate diagnosis of active infections for appropriate clinical management is a key strategy to effectively prevent disease transmission. However, there are persistent challenges in the diagnostic landscape and service delivery/testing models that hinder global syphilis control efforts. In this commentary, we summarise the current trends and challenges in diagnosis of active syphilis infection and identify the data gaps and key areas for research and development of novel point-of-care diagnostics which could help to overcome the present technological, individual and structural barriers in access to syphilis testing. We present expert opinion on future research which will be required to accelerate the validation and implementation of new point-of-care diagnostics in real-world settings.
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    Do paediatric early warning systems reduce mortality and critical deterioration events among children? A systematic review and meta-analysis.
    Chong, S-L ; Goh, MSL ; Ong, GY-K ; Acworth, J ; Sultana, R ; Yao, SHW ; Ng, KC ; International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) and ILCOR Pediatric Life Support Task Force, (Elsevier BV, 2022-09)
    Aim: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to answer the question: Does the implementation of Paediatric Early Warning Systems (PEWS) in the hospital setting reduce mortality, cardiopulmonary arrests, unplanned codes and critical deterioration events among children, as compared to usual care without PEWS? Methods: We conducted a comprehensive search using Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and Web of Science. We included studies published between January 2006 and April 2022 on children <18 years old performed in inpatient units and emergency departments, and compared patient populations with PEWS to those without PEWS. We excluded studies without a comparator, case control studies, systematic reviews, and studies published in non-English languages. We employed a random effects meta-analysis and synthesised the risk and rate ratios from individual studies. We used the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) to appraise the risk of bias. Results: Among 911 articles screened, 15 were included for descriptive analysis. Fourteen of the 15 studies were pre- versus post-implementation studies and one was a multi-centre cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT). Among 10 studies (580,604 hospital admissions) analysed for mortality, we found an increased risk (pooled RR 1.18, 95% CI 1.01-1.38, p = 0.036) in the group without PEWS compared to the group with PEWS. The sensitivity analysis performed without the RCT (436,065 hospital admissions) showed a non-significant relationship (pooled RR 1.17, 95% CI 0.98-1.40, p = 0.087). Among four studies (168,544 hospital admissions) analysed for unplanned code events, there was an increased risk in the group without PEWS (pooled RR 1.73, 95%CI 1.01-2.96, p = 0.046) There were no differences in the rate of cardiopulmonary arrests or critical deterioration events between groups. Our findings were limited by potential confounders and imprecision among included studies. Conclusions: Healthcare systems that implemented PEWS were associated with reduced mortality and code rates. We recognise that these gains vary depending on resource availability and efferent response systems.PROSPERO registration: CRD42021269579.
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    Using Patient-Reported Outcomes in Dose-Finding Oncology Trials: Surveys of Key Stakeholders and the National Cancer Research Institute Consumer Forum
    Lai-Kwon, J ; Vanderbeek, AM ; Minchom, A ; Aiyegbusi, OL ; Ogunleye, D ; Stephens, R ; Calvert, M ; Yap, C (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2022-06-28)
    BACKGROUND: Patient-reported adverse events may be a useful adjunct for assessing a drug's tolerability in dose-finding oncology trials (DFOT). We conducted surveys of international stakeholders and the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Consumer Forum to understand attitudes about patient-reported outcome (PRO) use in DFOT. METHODS: A 35-question survey of clinicians, trial managers, statisticians, funders, and regulators of DFOT was distributed via professional bodies examining experience using PROs, benefits/barriers, and their potential role in defining tolerable doses. An 8-question survey of the NCRI Consumer Forum explored similar themes. RESULTS: International survey: 112 responses from 15 September-30 November 2020; 103 trialists [48 clinicians (42.9%), 38 statisticians (34.0%), 17 trial managers (15.2%)], 7 regulators (6.3%), 2 funders (1.8%)]. Most trialists had no experience designing (73, 70.9%), conducting (52, 50.5%), or reporting (88, 85.4%) PROs in DFOT. Most agreed that PROs could identify new toxicities (75, 67.0%) and provide data on the frequency (86, 76.8%) and duration (81, 72.3%) of toxicities. The top 3 barriers were lack of guidance regarding PRO selection (73/103, 70.9%), missing PRO data (71/103, 68.9%), and overburdening staff (68/103, 66.0%). NCRI survey: 57 responses on 21 March 2021. A total of 28 (49.1%) were willing to spend <15 min/day completing PROs. Most (55, 96.5%) preferred to complete PROs online. 61 (54.5%) trialists and 57 (100%) consumers agreed that patient-reported adverse events should be used to inform dose-escalation decisions. CONCLUSION: Stakeholders reported minimal experience using PROs in DFOT but broadly supported their use. Guidelines are needed to standardize PRO selection, analysis, and reporting in DFOT.
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    Patterns of Sexual Practices, Sexually Transmitted Infections and Other Genital Infections in Women Who Have Sex with Women Only (WSWO), Women Who Have Sex with Men Only (WSMO) and Women Who Have Sex with Men and Women (WSMW): Findings from a Sexual Health Clinic in Melbourne, Australia, 2011-2019
    Engel, JL ; Fairley, CK ; Greaves, KE ; Vodstrcil, LA ; Ong, JJ ; Bradshaw, CS ; Chen, MY ; Phillips, TR ; Chow, EPF (SPRINGER/PLENUM PUBLISHERS, 2022-07-01)
    Despite rises in sexually transmitted infection (STI) notifications among Australian women in the last decade, limited STI surveillance data exist specifically for women who have sex with women. This study aimed to compare differences in sexual practices and positivity for STIs and other genital infections among women who have sex with men only (WSMO), women who have sex with women only (WSWO), and women who have sex with men and women (WSMW), and whether these changed over time. In this retrospective repeated cross-sectional study, women attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre for the first time between 2011 and 2019 were categorized as "WSMW," "WSWO," or "WSMO" according to self-reported sexual practices in the previous 12 months. Demographic information, sexual practices, and positivity for STIs and other genital infections were compared between the three groups and over time. A total of 36,147 women (2618 WSMW, 534 WSWO, and 32,995 WSMO) were included. WSMW reported more sexual partners (median = 6; IQR = 4-10) than WSMO (median = 3; IQR = 2-5) and WSWO (median = 2; IQR = 1-4) (p < .001). A higher proportion of WSMW always used condoms with casual male partners compared to WSMO (20.4% vs 15.9%; p < .001). The proportion of women who always used condoms with casual male partners decreased over time in WSMO, (19.9% in 2011 to 15.2% in 2019, ptrend < .001) but not in WSMW. Bacterial vaginosis was more common in WSWO (14.8%) than in WSMW (11.8%) and WSMO (7.7%) (p < .001). Chlamydia was more common in WSMO (9.3%) than in WSMW (6.6%) and WSWO (1.2%) (p < .001). Syphilis was more common in WSMO (1.0%) than in WSMW (0.3%) and WSWO (0.0%) (p = .004). Over time, chlamydia positivity in WSWO increased (from 0.0% to 2.7%, ptrend = .014), and syphilis positivity in WSMW increased (from 0.0% to 0.7%, ptrend = .028); however, positivity of these STIs did not change in other groups. Sexual practices and positivity for STIs and other genital infections differed according to the sex of women's partners in the previous 12 months. Knowledge of these differences is important to account for future changes in STI trends that may occur in these subpopulations.
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    Nurse Migration in Australia, Germany, and the UK: A Rapid Evidence Assessment of Empirical Research Involving Migrant Nurses.
    Smith, JB ; Herinek, D ; Woodward-Kron, R ; Ewers, M (SAGE Publications, 2022-08)
    Forecasts predict a growing shortage of skilled nursing staff in countries worldwide. Nurse migration is already a common strategy used to address nursing workforce needs. Germany, the UK, and Australia are reviewed here as examples of destination countries for nurse migrants. Agreements exist between countries to facilitate nurse migration; however, it is not evident how nurse migrants have contributed to data on which these arrangements are based. We examined existing primary research on nurse migration, including educational needs and initiatives to support policymakers', stakeholders', and health professions educators' decisions on measures for ethical and sustainable nurse migration. We conducted a rapid evidence assessment to review available empirical research data which involved, was developed with, or considered migrant nurses to address the research question: what are the findings of research that directly involves migrant nurses in producing primary research data? A total of 56 papers were included. Four main themes were identified in this research data: Research does not clearly define what is meant by the term migrant nurses; discrimination is often reported by migrant nurses; language and communication competencies are important; and structured integration programs are highly valued by migrant nurses and destination healthcare employers.Migrant nurses continue to experience discrimination and reduced career opportunities and therefore should be included in research about them to better inform policy. Structured integration programs can improve the experience of migrant nurses by providing language support (if necessary), a country-specific bridging program and help with organisational hurdles. Not only researching migrant nurses but making them active partners in research is of great importance for successful, ethical, and sustainable migration policies. A broader evidence base, especially with regard to the views and experiences of migrant nurses and their educational support needs, should be promoted to make future immigration policy more needs-based, sustainable and ethically acceptable.
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    Cancer-of-Unknown-Primary-Origin: A SEER-Medicare Study of Patterns of Care and Outcomes among Elderly Patients in Clinical Practice
    Mileshkin, L ; Bochtler, T ; Gatta, G ; Kurzrock, R ; Beringer, A ; Mueller-Ohldach, M ; Surinach, A ; Perret, C ; Thomas, M ; Gondos, A ; Kraemer, A (MDPI, 2022-06-01)
    Knowledge of contemporary patterns of cancer-of-unknown-primary-origin (CUP) diagnostic work-up, treatment, and outcomes in routine healthcare is limited. Thus, we examined data from elderly patients diagnosed with CUP in real-world US clinical practice. From the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare-linked database, we included patients ≥ 66 years old with CUP diagnosed between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2015. We analyzed baseline demographics, clinical characteristics, methods of diagnostic work-up (biopsy, immunohistochemistry, imaging), treatment-related factors, and survival. CUP diagnosis was histologically confirmed in 2813/4562 patients (61.7%). Overall, 621/4562 (13.6%) patients received anticancer pharmacotherapy; among these, 97.3% had a histologically confirmed tumor and 83.1% received all three procedures. Among those with a histologically confirmed tumor, increasing age, increasing comorbidity score, not receiving all three diagnostic measures, and having a not-further specified histologic finding of only 'malignant neoplasm' were all negatively associated with receipt of anticancer pharmacotherapy. Median overall survival was 1.2 months for all patients. Median time between CUP diagnosis and treatment initiation was 41 days. Limited diagnostic work-up was common and most patients did not receive anticancer pharmacotherapy. The poor outcomes highlight a substantial unmet need for further research into improving diagnostic work-up and treatment effectiveness in CUP.