Medicine (Western Health) - Research Publications

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    Once-yearly zoledronic acid in hip fracture prevention
    Demontiero, O ; Duque, G (DOVE MEDICAL PRESS LTD, 2009-01-01)
    Osteoporosis is an escalating global problem. Hip fractures, the most catastrophic complication of osteoporosis, continue to cause significant mortality and morbidity despite increasing availability of effective preventative agents. Among these agents, oral bisphosphonates have been the first choice for the treatment and prevention of osteoporotic fractures. However, the use of oral bisphosphonates, especially in the older population, has been limited by their side effects and method of administration thus compromising their persistent use. The resultant low adherence by patients has undermined their full potential and has been associated with an increase in the incidence of fragility fractures. Recently, annual intravenous zoledronic acid (ZOL) has been approved for osteoporosis. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated ZOL to be safe, have good tolerability and produce significant effect on bone mass and microarchitecture. Adherence has also been shown to be better with ZOL. Furthermore two large trials firmly demonstrated significant anti-osteoporotic effect (approximately 59% relative risk reduction of hip fractures) and mortality benefit (28% reduction in mortality) of ZOL in older persons with recent hip fractures. In this review, we report the current evidence on the use of ZOL for the prevention of hip fractures in the elderly. We also report the pharmacological characteristics and the advantages and disadvantages of ZOL in this particular group.
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    Learning while evaluating: the use of an electronic evaluation portfolio in a geriatric medicine clerkship.
    Duque, G ; Finkelstein, A ; Roberts, A ; Tabatabai, D ; Gold, SL ; Winer, LR ; Members of the Division of Geriatric Medicine, McGill University, (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2006-01-12)
    BACKGROUND: Electronic evaluation portfolios may play a role in learning and evaluation in clinical settings and may complement other traditional evaluation methods (bedside evaluations, written exams and tutor-led evaluations). METHODS: 133 third-year medical students used the McGill Electronic Evaluation Portfolio (MEEP) during their one-month clerkship rotation in Geriatric Medicine between September 2002 and September 2003. Students were divided into two groups, one who received an introductory hands-on session about the electronic evaluation portfolio and one who did not. Students' marks in their portfolios were compared between both groups. Additionally, students self-evaluated their performance and received feedback using the electronic portfolio during their mandatory clerkship rotation. Students were surveyed immediately after the rotation and at the end of the clerkship year. Tutors' opinions about this method were surveyed once. Finally, the number of evaluations/month was quantified. In all surveys, Likert scales were used and were analyzed using Chi-square tests and t-tests to assess significant differences in the responses from surveyed subjects. RESULTS: The introductory session had a significant effect on students' portfolio marks as well as on their comfort using the system. Both tutors and students reported positive notions about the method. Remarkably, an average (+/- SD) of 520 (+/- 70) evaluations/month was recorded with 30 (+/- 5) evaluations per student/month. CONCLUSION: The MEEP showed a significant and positive effect on both students' self-evaluations and tutors' evaluations involving an important amount of self-reflection and feedback which may complement the more traditional evaluation methods.