Medical Education - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-24 of 1268
Crowdsourcing to develop open-access learning resources on antimicrobial resistance
OBJECTIVES: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a significant threat to global public health. Many medical curricula have limited clinical cases and materials focused on AMR, yet enhanced AMR education and training are needed to support antimicrobial stewardship programmes. We used crowdsourcing methods to develop open-access, learner-centred AMR resources. Crowdsourcing is the process of having a large group, including experts and non-experts, solve a problem and then share solutions with the public. METHODS: We organised a global crowdsourcing contest soliciting AMR-related multiple-choice questions, infographics, and images. First, we convened a diverse steering committee group to finalise a call for entries. Second, we launched the contest and disseminated the call for entries using social media, blog posts, email, and an in-person event. Partner institutions included two digital healthcare platforms: Figure 1® and Ding Xiang Yuan. Both organizations serve as online communities for healthcare specialists and professionals to report and comment on clinical information. At the end of the call, solicited entries were screened for eligibility and judged on merit and relevance to AMR learning and education. Exceptional entries were recognised, awarded prizes, and further reviewed for sharing with the public via open-access platforms. RESULTS: We received 59 entries from nine countries. These included 54 multiple-choice questions, four infographics, and one image. Eligible entries (n = 56) were reviewed and assigned a score on a 1-10 scale. Eight entries received mean scores greater than 6.0 and were selected as finalists. The eight finalist entries consisted of three infographics and five multiple-choice questions. They were disseminated through open-access publications and online medical communities. Although we launched a global call, we relied heavily on medical student groups and the entries received were not entirely globally representative. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that crowdsourcing challenge contests can be used to identify infectious disease teaching materials. Medical educators and curriculum developers can adapt this method to solicit additional teaching content for medical students.
Predicting fracture outcomes from clinical registry data using artificial intelligence supplemented models for evidence-informed treatment (PRAISE) study protocol
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2021-09-23)
BACKGROUND: Distal radius (wrist) fractures are the second most common fracture admitted to hospital. The anatomical pattern of these types of injuries is diverse, with variation in clinical management, guidelines for management remain inconclusive, and the uptake of findings from clinical trials into routine practice limited. Robust predictive modelling, which considers both the characteristics of the fracture and patient, provides the best opportunity to reduce variation in care and improve patient outcomes. This type of data is housed in unstructured data sources with no particular format or schema. The "Predicting fracture outcomes from clinical Registry data using Artificial Intelligence (AI) Supplemented models for Evidence-informed treatment (PRAISE)" study aims to use AI methods on unstructured data to describe the fracture characteristics and test if using this information improves identification of key fracture characteristics and prediction of patient-reported outcome measures and clinical outcomes following wrist fractures compared to prediction models based on standard registry data. METHODS AND DESIGN: Adult (16+ years) patients presenting to the emergency department, treated in a short stay unit, or admitted to hospital for >24h for management of a wrist fracture in four Victorian hospitals will be included in this study. The study will use routine registry data from the Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry (VOTOR), and electronic medical record (EMR) information (e.g. X-rays, surgical reports, radiology reports, images). A multimodal deep learning fracture reasoning system (DLFRS) will be developed that reasons on EMR information. Machine learning prediction models will test the performance with/without output from the DLFRS. DISCUSSION: The PRAISE study will establish the use of AI techniques to provide enhanced information about fracture characteristics in people with wrist fractures. Prediction models using AI derived characteristics are expected to provide better prediction of clinical and patient-reported outcomes following distal radius fracture.
Intra-Anal Imiquimod Cream against Human Papillomavirus Infection in Men Who Have Sex with Men Living with HIV: A Single-Arm, Open-Label Pilot Study
Men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV have a high prevalence and incidence of anal high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) and anal cancer. We conducted an open-label, single-arm pilot study to examine the tolerability of imiquimod cream among MSM aged ≥18 years, living with HIV, who tested positive for anal hrHPV at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre between April 2018 and June 2020. We instructed men to apply 6.25 mg imiquimod intra-anally and peri-anally 3 doses per week for 16 weeks (period 1) and then one dose per week for a further 48 weeks (period 2). Twenty-seven MSM enrolled in period 1 and 24 (86%) applied at least 50% of doses. All men reported adverse events (AEs), including 39.5% grade 1, 39.5% grade 2, and 21% grade 3 AEs on at least one occasion. Eighteen MSM (67%) temporarily stopped using imiquimod during period 1, most commonly due to local AEs (n = 11) such as irritation and itching. Eighteen MSM continued in period 2 and all applied at least 50% of doses with no treatment-limiting AEs reported. Imiquimod 3 doses per week caused local AEs in most men and was not well tolerated. In contrast, once-a-week application was well tolerated over 48-weeks with no treatment-limiting AEs.
Effect of low-dose amitriptyline on reducing pain in clinical knee osteoarthritis compared to benztropine: study protocol of a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-09-27)
BACKGROUND: Knee osteoarthritis is a major cause of pain and disability. Pain control is poor, with most patients remaining in moderate to severe pain. This may be because central causes of pain, a common contributor to knee pain, are not affected by current treatment strategies. Antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, have been used to treat chronic pain in other conditions. The aim of this randomised, double blind, controlled trial, is to determine whether low dose amitriptyline reduces pain in people with painful knee osteoarthritis over 3 months compared to benztropine, an active placebo. METHODS/DESIGN: One hundred and sixty people with painful radiographic knee osteoarthritis will be recruited via clinicians, local and social media advertising. Participants will be randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to receive either low dose amitriptyline (25 mg) or active placebo (benztropine mesylate, 1 mg) for 3 months. The primary outcome is change from baseline in knee pain (WOMAC pain subscale) at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes include change in function (total WOMAC) and the proportion of individuals achieving a substantial response (≥ 50% reduction in pain intensity, measured by Visual Analog Scale, VAS, from no pain to worst pain imaginable, 0-100 mm) and moderate response (≥ 30% reduction in pain intensity, measured by VAS) at 12 weeks. Intention to treat analyses will be performed. Subgroup analyses will be done. DISCUSSION: This study will provide high level evidence regarding the effectiveness of low dose amitriptyline compared to benztropine in reducing pain and improving function in knee OA. This trial has the potential to provide an effective new therapeutic approach for pain management in knee osteoarthritis, with the potential of ready translation into clinical practice, as it is repurposing an old drug, which is familiar to clinicians and with a well described safety record. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry prior to recruitment commencing ( ACTRN12615000301561 , March 31, 2015, amended 14 December 2018, February 2021). Additional amendment requested 18 July 2021.
Potential effect of antiseptic mouthwash on the incidence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae among men who have sex with men: a mathematical modelling study
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-10-01)
OBJECTIVES: The incidence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and its antimicrobial resistance is increasing in many countries. Antibacterial mouthwash may reduce gonorrhoea transmission without using antibiotics. We modelled the effect that antiseptic mouthwash may have on the incidence of gonorrhoea. DESIGN: We developed a mathematical model of the transmission of gonorrhoea between each anatomical site (oropharynx, urethra and anorectum) in men who have sex with men (MSM). We constructed four scenarios: (1) mouthwash had no effect; (2) mouthwash increased the susceptibility of the oropharynx; (3) mouthwash reduced the transmissibility from the oropharynx; (4) the combined effect of mouthwash from scenarios 2 and 3. SETTING: We used data at three anatomical sites from 4873 MSM attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre in 2018 and 2019 to calibrate our models and data from the USA, Netherlands and Thailand for sensitivity analyses. PARTICIPANTS: Published available data on MSM with multisite infections of gonorrhoea. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of gonorrhoea. RESULTS: The overall incidence of gonorrhoea was 44 (95% CI 37 to 50)/100 person-years (PY) in scenario 1. Under scenario 2 (20%-80% mouthwash coverage), the total incidence increased (47-60/100 PY) and at all three anatomical sites by between 7.4% (5.9%-60.8%) and 136.6% (108.1%-177.5%). Under scenario 3, with the same coverage, the total incidence decreased (20-39/100 PY) and at all anatomical sites by between 11.6% (10.2%-13.5%) and 99.8% (99.2%-100%). Under scenario 4, changes in the incidence depended on the efficacy of mouthwash on the susceptibility or transmissibility. The effect on the total incidence varied (22-55/100 PY), and at all anatomical sites, there were increases of nearly 130% and large declines of almost 100%. CONCLUSIONS: The effect of mouthwash on gonorrhoea incidence is largely predictable depending on whether it increases susceptibility to or reduces the transmissibility of gonorrhoea.
Association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and hip replacement for osteoarthritis: a prospective cohort study
BACKGROUND: To examine the association between circulating 25(OH)D concentrations and incidence of total hip replacement for osteoarthritis in a prospective cohort study. METHODS: This study examined a random sample of 2651 participants in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study who had 25(OH)D concentrations measured from dried blood spots collected in 1990-1994. Participants who underwent total hip replacement for osteoarthritis between January 2001 and December 2018 were identified by linking the cohort records to the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of total hip replacement for osteoarthritis in relation to 25(OH)D concentrations, adjusted for confounders. RESULTS: Eighty-six men and eighty-seven women had a total hip replacement for osteoarthritis. Compared with men in the lowest (1st) quartile of 25(OH)D concentration, the HR for total hip replacement was 2.32 (95% CI 1.05, 5.13) for those in the 2nd quartile, 2.77 (95% CI 1.28, 6.00) for those in the 3rd quartile, and 1.73 (95% CI 0.75, 4.02) for those in the highest quartile of 25(OH)D concentrations (p for trend 0.02). There was little evidence of an association in women. CONCLUSIONS: Higher circulating 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with an increased risk of total hip replacement for osteoarthritis in men but not in women. Although the underlying mechanism warrants further investigation, our findings highlight the need to determine the optimal levels of circulating 25(OH)D to reduce the risk of hip osteoarthritis.
Association between clusters of back and joint pain with opioid use in middle-aged community-based women: a prospective cohort study.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-10-09)
BACKGROUND: To determine the relationship between clusters of back pain and joint pain and prescription opioid dispensing. METHODS: Of 11,221 middle-aged participants from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women's Health, clusters of back pain and joint pain from 2001 to 2013 were identified using group-based trajectory modelling. Prescription opioid dispensing from 2003 to 2015 was identified by linking the cohort to Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme dispensing data. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the association between back pain and joint pain clusters and dispensing of prescription opioids. The proportion of opioids dispensed in the population attributable to back and join pain was calculated. RESULTS: Over 12 years, 68.5 and 72.0% women reported frequent or persistent back pain and joint pain, respectively. There were three clusters ('none or infrequent', 'frequent' and 'persistent') for both back pain and joint pain. Those in the persistent back pain cluster had a 6.33 (95%CI 4.38-9.16) times increased risk of having > 50 opioid prescriptions and those in persistent joint pain cluster had a 6.19 (95%CI 4.18-9.16) times increased risk of having > 50 opioid prescriptions. Frequent and persistent back and joint pain clusters together explained 41.7% (95%CI 34.9-47.8%) of prescription opioid dispensing. Women in the frequent and persistent back pain and joint pain clusters were less educated and reported more depression and physical inactivity. CONCLUSION: Back pain and joint pain are major contributors to opioid prescription dispensing in community-based middle-aged women. Additional approaches to reduce opioid use, targeted at those with frequent and persistent back pain and joint pain, will be important in order to reduce the use of opioids and their consequent harm in this population.
Comparing HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, Testing, and New Diagnoses in Two Australian Cities with Different Lockdown Measures during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Australia introduced a national lockdown on 22 March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Melbourne, but not Sydney, had a second COVID-19 lockdown between July and October 2020. We compared the number of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) prescriptions, HIV tests, and new HIV diagnoses during these lockdown periods. The three outcomes in 2020 were compared to 2019 using incidence rate ratio. There was a 37% and 46% reduction in PEP prescriptions in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively, with a larger reduction during lockdown (68% and 57% reductions in Melbourne's first and second lockdown, 60% reduction in Sydney's lockdown). There was a 41% and 32% reduction in HIV tests in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively, with a larger reduction during lockdown (57% and 61% reductions in Melbourne's first and second lockdowns, 58% reduction in Sydney's lockdown). There was a 44% and 47% reduction in new HIV diagnoses in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively, but no significant reductions during lockdown. The reduction in PEP prescriptions, HIV tests, and new HIV diagnoses during the lockdown periods could be due to the reduction in the number of sexual partners during that period. It could also result in more HIV transmission due to substantial reductions in HIV prevention measures during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis Among Pregnant Women, Gynecology Clinic Attendees, and Subfertile Women in Guangdong, China: A Cross-sectional Survey
(OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2021-06-01)
Background: Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) is a major cause of infertility and adverse birth outcomes, but its epidemiology among childbearing-age women remains unclear in China. This study investigated the prevalence of CT and associated factors among Chinese women aged 16-44 years who were either (1) pregnant, (2) attending gynecology clinics, or (3) subfertile. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey and recruited participants from obstetrics, gynecology, and infertility clinics in Guangdong between March and December 2019. We collected information on individuals' sociodemographic characteristics, previous medical conditions, and sexual behaviors. First-pass urine and cervical swabs were tested using nucleic acid amplification testing. We calculated the prevalence in each population and subgroup by age, education, and age at first sex. Multivariable binomial regression models were used to identify factors associated with CT. Results: We recruited 881 pregnant women, 595 gynecology clinic attendees, and 254 subfertile women. The prevalence of CT was 6.7% (95% CI, 5.2%-8.5%), 8.2% (95% CI, 6.2%-10.7%), and 5.9% (95% CI, 3.5%-9.3%) for the above 3 populations, respectively. The subgroup-specific prevalence was highest among those who first had sex before age 25 years and older pregnant women (>35 years). The proportion of asymptomatic CT was 84.8%, 40.0%, and 60.0% among pregnant women, gynecology clinic attendees, and subfertile women, respectively. Age at first sex (<25 years), multipara, and ever having more than 1 partner increased the risk of CT. Conclusions: Childbearing-age women in China have a high prevalence of CT. As most women with CT were asymptomatic, more optimal prevention strategies are urgently needed in China.
Sugammadex, neostigmine and postoperative pulmonary complications: an international randomised feasibility and pilot trial
BACKGROUND: Sugammadex reduces residual neuromuscular blockade after anaesthesia, potentially preventing postoperative pulmonary complications. However, definitive evidence is lacking. We therefore conducted a feasibility and pilot trial for a large randomised controlled trial of sugammadex, neostigmine, and postoperative pulmonary complications. METHODS: Patients aged ≥40 years having elective or expedited abdominal or intrathoracic surgery were recruited in Australia and Hong Kong. Perioperative care was at the discretion of clinicians, except for the use of rocuronium and/or vecuronium for neuromuscular blockade and the randomised intervention (sugammadex or neostigmine) for reversal. Feasibility measurements included recruitment, crossover, acceptability, completeness, and workload. Trial coordinator feedback was systematically sought. Patient-reported quality of life was measured using the EQ-5D-5L score. The primary pilot outcome was the incidence of new pulmonary complications up to hospital discharge (or postoperative day 7 if still in hospital). RESULTS: Among 150 eligible patients, 120 consented to participate (recruitment rate 80%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 73 to 86%). The randomised intervention was administered without crossover to 115 of 117 patients who received reversal (98%, 95% CI 94 to 100%). The protocol was acceptable or highly acceptable to the anaesthetist in 108 of 116 cases (93%, 95% CI 87 to 97%; missing = 4). Four patients of the 120 patients were lost to follow-up at 3 months (3.3%, 95% CI 0.9 to 8.3%). Case report forms were complete at 3 months for all remaining patients. The median time to complete trial processes was 3.5 h (range 2.5-4.5 h). Trial coordinators reported no barriers to trial processes. Patients were aged 64 (standard deviation 11) years, 70 (58%) were male and 50 (42%) were female, and planned surgeries were thoracic (23 [19%]), upper abdominal (41 [34%]), and lower abdominal (56 [47%]). The primary outcome was observed in 5 (8.5%) of the 59 sugammadex patients and 5 (8.2%) of the 61 neostigmine patients (odds ratio 1.02, 95% CI 0.28 to 3.67). CONCLUSIONS: A large international randomised controlled trial of sugammadex, neostigmine and postoperative pulmonary complications in adult patients having abdominal and intrathoracic surgery, including collection of cost-effectiveness evidence for Health Technology Appraisal, is feasible. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Prospectively registered at the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN12620001313921 ) on December 7, 2020. www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=380645&isReview=true .
Social value of maintaining baby-friendly hospital initiative accreditation in Australia: case study.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-01-07)
BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding has positive impacts on the health, environment, and economic wealth of families and countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in 1991 as a global program to incentivize maternity services to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (Ten Steps). These were developed to ensure that maternity services remove barriers for mothers and families to successfully initiate breastfeeding and to continue breastfeeding through referral to community support after hospital discharge. While more than three in four births in Australia take place in public hospitals, in 2020 only 26% of Australian hospitals were BFHI-accredited. So what is the social return to investing in BFHI accreditation in Australia, and does it incentivize BFHI accreditation? This study aimed to examine the social value of maintaining the BFHI accreditation in one public maternity unit in Australia using the Social Return on Investment (SROI) framework. This novel method was developed in 2000 and measures social, environmental and economic outcomes of change using monetary values. METHOD: The study was non-experimental and was conducted in the maternity unit of Calvary Public Hospital, Canberra, an Australian BFHI-accredited public hospital with around 1000 births annually. This facility provided an opportunity to illustrate costs for maintaining BFHI accreditation in a relatively affluent urban population. Stakeholders considered within scope of the study were the mother-baby dyad and the maternity facility. We interviewed the hospital's Director of Maternity Services and the Clinical Midwifery Educator, guided by a structured questionnaire, which examined the cost (financial, time and other resources) and benefits of each of the Ten Steps. Analysis was informed by the Social Return on Investment (SROI) framework, which consists of mapping the stakeholders, identifying and valuing outcomes, establishing impact, calculating the ratio and conducting sensitivity analysis. This information was supplemented with micro costing studies from the literature that measure the benefits of the BFHI. RESULTS: The social return from the BFHI in this facility was calculated to be AU$ 1,375,050. The total investment required was AU$ 24,433 per year. Therefore, the SROI ratio was approximately AU$ 55:1 (sensitivity analysis: AU$ 16-112), which meant that every AU$1 invested in maintaining BFHI accreditation by this maternal and newborn care facility generated approximately AU$55 of benefit. CONCLUSIONS: Scaled up nationally, the BFHI could provide important benefits to the Australian health system and national economy. In this public hospital, the BFHI produced social value greater than the cost of investment, providing new evidence of its effectiveness and economic gains as a public health intervention. Our findings using a novel tool to calculate the social rate of return, indicate that the BHFI accreditation is an investment in the health and wellbeing of families, communities and the Australian economy, as well as in health equity.
Combination immunotherapy with nivolumab and ipilimumab in patients with rare gynecological malignancies: results of the CA209-538 clinical trial
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-11-01)
BACKGROUND: Patients with rare cancers represent 55% of all gynecological malignancies and have poor survival outcomes due to limited treatment options. Combination immunotherapy with the anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (anti-PD-1) antibody nivolumab and the anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (anti-CTLA-4) antibody ipilimumab has demonstrated significant clinical efficacy across a range of common malignancies, justifying evaluation of this combination in rare gynecological cancers. METHODS: This multicenter phase II study enrolled 43 patients with advanced rare gynecological cancers. Patients received induction treatment with nivolumab and ipilimumab at a dose of 3 mg/kg and 1 mg/kg, respectively, every 3 weeks for four doses. Treatment was continued with nivolumab monotherapy at 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks until disease progression or a maximum of 2 years. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with disease control at week 12 (complete response, partial response or stable disease (SD) by Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumor V.1.1). Exploratory evaluations correlated clinical outcomes with tumor programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression and tumor mutational burden (TMB). RESULTS: The objective response rate in the radiologically evaluable population was 36% (12/33 patients) and in the intention-to-treat population was 28% (12/43 patients), with additional 7 patients obtaining SD leading to a disease control rate of 58% and 44%, respectively. Durable responses were seen across a range of tumor histologies. Thirty-one (72%) patients experienced an immune-related adverse event (irAE) with a grade 3/4 irAE observed in seven (16%) patients. Response rate was higher among those patients with baseline PD-L1 expression (≥1% on tumor cells) but was independent of TMB. CONCLUSIONS: Ipilimumab and nivolumab combination treatment has significant clinical activity with a favorable safety profile across a range of advanced rare gynecological malignancies and warrants further investigation in these tumor types.
Sexualized Drug Use Among Female Sex Workers from Eight Cities in China: A Cross-Sectional Study
(SPRINGER/PLENUM PUBLISHERS, 2021-11-16)
There is a rich literature on sexualized drug use (i.e., drug use before or during sex) for men who have sex with men but less data from female sex workers (FSW), particularly from low- and middle-income countries. We describe the sexual and reproductive health outcomes in FSW reporting sexualized drug use. In 2019, we conducted a cross-sectional study in eight cities from seven provinces in China. We recruited FSW through community organizations working with sex workers and included those aged 18 years or above, exchanged sex at least once for money or goods in the past three months, and had traded sex for longer than a year. Multivariable logistic regression models were used. In total, 650 women participated: average age was 38.8 years (SD 10.2), 57.1% reported a monthly income over 5000 RMB ($USD 707), and 12.8% completed high school or above. Among participants, 65 (10.0%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 7.8-12.6) reported a history of sexualized drug use. Compared to FSW who never reported a history of sexualized drug use, FSW who reported a history of sexualized drug use had greater odds of working for a manager compared to being self-employed (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 4.04, 95% CI 2.12-7.69), work in a sauna (AOR 2.43, 95% CI 1.09-5.41), charging a higher price for vaginal sex (AOR 2.15, 95% CI 1.14-4.06), and ever diagnosed with STIs (AOR 4.51, 95% CI 2.61-7.80). One in ten FSW reported sexualized drug use. Although they had similar risk profiles in terms of consistency of condom use and reproductive health outcomes, these women were more likely to report past STIs than those who reported no sexualized drug use. Health workers who work with substance users should devote attention to the sexual practices of their clients to make sure that they have safer sex.
Diagnostic accuracy of pooling urine, anorectal, and oropharyngeal specimens for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae: a systematic review and meta-analysis
BACKGROUND: Screening for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) at genital and extragenital sites is needed for most key populations, but molecular diagnostic tests for CT/NG are costly. We aimed to determine the accuracy of pooled samples from multiple anatomic sites from one individual to detect CT/NG using the testing of a single sample from one anatomic site as the reference. METHODS: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched five databases for articles published from January 1, 2000, to February 4, 2021. Studies were included if they contained original data describing the diagnostic accuracy of pooled testing compared with single samples, resource use, benefits and harms of pooling, acceptability, and impact on health equity. We present the pooled sensitivities and specificities for CT and NG using a bivariate mixed-effects logistic regression model. The study protocol is registered in PROSPERO, an international database of prospectively registered systematic reviews (CRD42021240793). We used GRADE to evaluate the quality of evidence. RESULTS: Our search yielded 7814 studies, with 17 eligible studies included in our review. Most studies were conducted in high-income countries (82.6%, 14/17) and focused on men who have sex with men (70.6%, 12/17). Fourteen studies provided 15 estimates for the meta-analysis for CT with data from 5891 individuals. The pooled sensitivity for multisite pooling for CT was 93.1% [95% confidence intervals (CI) 90.5-95.0], I2=43.3, and pooled specificity was 99.4% [99.0-99.6], I2=52.9. Thirteen studies provided 14 estimates for the meta-analysis for NG with data from 6565 individuals. The pooled sensitivity for multisite pooling for NG was 94.1% [95% CI 90.9-96.3], I2=68.4, and pooled specificity was 99.6% [99.1-99.8], I2=83.6. Studies report significant cost savings (by two thirds to a third). CONCLUSION: Multisite pooled testing is a promising approach to improve testing coverage for CT/NG in resource-constrained settings with a small compromise in sensitivity but with a potential for significant cost savings.
Identifying research priorities in newborn medicine: a Delphi study of parents' views
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-11-01)
OBJECTIVE: Neonatal conditions can have lifelong implications for the health and well-being of children and families. Traditionally, parents and patients have not been included in shaping the agenda for research and yet they are profoundly affected by the neonatal experience and its consequences. This study aimed to identify consensus research priorities among parents/patients of newborn medicine in Australia and New Zealand. DESIGN: Parents/patients with experience of neonatal care in Australia and New Zealand completed an online Delphi study to identify research priorities across four epochs (neonatal admission, early childhood, childhood/adolescence and adulthood). Parents/patients first generated key challenges in each of these epochs. Through inductive thematic analysis, recurring topics were identified and research questions generated. Parents/patients rated these questions in terms of priorities and a list of questions consistently rated as high priority was identified. PARTICIPANTS: 393 individuals participated, 388 parents whose children had received neonatal care and 5 adults who had received neonatal care themselves. RESULTS: Many research questions were identified as high-priority across the lifespan. These included how to best support parental mental health, relationships between parents and neonatal clinical staff (including involvement in care and communication), bonding and the parent-child relationship, improving neonatal medical care and addressing long-term impacts on child health and neurodevelopment. CONCLUSIONS: Parents with experience of newborn medicine have strong, clear and recurring research priorities spanning neonatal care practices, psychological and other impacts on families, and impacts on child development. These findings should guide neonatal research efforts. In addition to generating new knowledge, improved translation of existing evidence to parents is also needed.
New Syphilis Cases in Older Adults, 2004-2019: An Analysis of Surveillance Data From South China
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-12-02)
Background: Sexual health among older adults is a major public health concern globally. The syphilis burden is increasing in older adults in China. This study aimed to describe factors associated with syphilis infection and diagnosis among older adults in China during a 16 year period. Methods: Using 16 years of data (2004-2019) from the syphilis case report system of Guangdong, China, we compared data from older adults (aged ≥50 years) with those from younger people (aged 15-49 years). We compared the two age group with the Chi-square test for difference, and Joinpoint regression models to assess the temporal trends. Results: During the study period, 242,115 new syphilis diagnoses were reported in older adults. The mean notification rate of new diagnoses was 64.1 per 100,000 population across the entire 16-year period, which significantly increased over time (average annual percent change [AAPC] 16.2%, 95% CI 13.7-18.7). Syphilis diagnoses increased significantly over time among less developed cities and older women. In 2019, compared with younger adults, newly diagnosed older adults were more likely to be male, native to reporting city, had unknown transmission routes, and were diagnosed late. Conclusion: Our findings call for an urgent need to deliver more targeted prevention interventions for older adults, such as strengthen awareness among health care providers, and integration of syphilis services and primary health care for older adults.
Insights into the complexity of presentation and management of patients: the Sport and Exercise Physician's perspective
(BMJ Publishing Group, 2021-11-01)
Objectives Sport and Exercise Physicians represent a relatively new specialty focusing on exercise in complex diseases including musculoskeletal diseases. Our objective was to describe the characteristics, type and complexity of patient presentations, their management strategies and referral information in Australian practice. Methods A cross-sectional study including a cohort of 11 senior Sport and Exercise Physicians in Australia studied all new patient consultations within an 8-week period. Data were analysed relating to presentation, referral source, follow-up referrals, and patient management strategies. Results Data from 419 patients were recorded. The majority, 97% (n=406), had musculoskeletal conditions, 53% (n=222) had one or more associated comorbidities and 47% (n=195) had ongoing symptoms for >12 months. Most patients, 82% (n=355), were referred by general practitioners. Prior consultations included physiotherapy 72% (n=301) and orthopaedic 20% (n=85). A multidisciplinary network of referrals from Sport and Exercise Physicians was observed, including 210 referrals to 9 allied health specialities and 61 referrals to 17 medical specialities. Over 74% (n=311) of patients received exercise-based intervention as part of the treatment plan, including 57% (n=240) physician managed exercise interventions. Conclusion Our work shines a light on the nature and complexity of the role of Sport and Exercise Physicians in an Australian practice context. Findings will assist in implementing measures to promote patient care at the community level in managing musculoskeletal conditions. Sport and exercise medicine stakeholders and government policy makers can use this information in developing appropriate programmes to support patients and create integrated sport and exercise medicine services for the community.
Pilot multi-centre randomised trial of the impact of pre-operative focused cardiac ultrasound on mortality and morbidity in patients having surgery for femoral neck fractures (ECHONOF-2 pilot)
Hip fracture surgery is common, usually occurs in elderly patients who have multiple comorbidities, and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Pre-operative focused cardiac ultrasound can alter diagnosis and management, but its impact on outcome remains uncertain. This pilot study assessed feasibility and group separation for a proposed large randomised clinical trial of the impact of pre-operative focused cardiac ultrasound on patient outcome after hip fracture surgery. Adult patients requiring hip fracture surgery in four teaching hospitals in Australia were randomly allocated to receive focused cardiac ultrasound before surgery or not. The primary composite outcome was any death, acute kidney injury, non-fatal myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, pulmonary embolism or cardiopulmonary arrest within 30 days of surgery. Of the 175 patients screened, 100 were included as trial participants (screening:recruitment ratio 1.7:1), 49 in the ultrasound group and 51 as controls. There was one protocol failure among those recruited. The primary composite outcome occurred in seven of the ultrasound group patients and 12 of the control group patients (relative group separation 39%). Death, acute kidney injury and cerebrovascular accident were recorded, but no cases of myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism or cardiopulmonary arrest ocurred. Focused cardiac ultrasound altered the management of 17 participants, suggesting an effect mechanism. This pilot study demonstrated that enrolment and the protocol are feasible, that the primary composite outcome is appropriate, and that there is a treatment effect favouring focused cardiac ultrasound - and therefore supports a large randomised clinical trial.
Models of care for non-invasive ventilation in the Acute COPD Comparison of three Tertiary hospitals (ACT3) study
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) improves clinical outcomes in hypercapnic acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD), but the optimal model of care remains unknown. METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational non-inferiority study comparing three models of NIV care: general ward (Ward) (1:4 nurse to patient ratio, thrice weekly consultant ward round), a high dependency unit (HDU) (1:2 ratio, twice daily ward round) and an intensive care unit (ICU) (1:1 ratio, twice daily ward round) model in three similar teaching tertiary hospitals. Changes in arterial blood gases (ABG) and clinical outcomes were compared and corrected for differences in AECOPD severity (Blood urea > 9 mmol/L, Altered mental status (Glasgow coma scale (GCS) < 14), Pulse > 109 bpm, age > 65 (BAP-65)) and co-morbidities. An economic analysis was also undertaken. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in age (70 ± 10 years), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1 ) (0.84 ± 0.35 L), initial pH (7.29 ± 0.08), partial pressure of CO2 in arterial blood (PaCO2 ) (72 ± 22 mm Hg) or BAP-65 scores (2.9 ± 1.01) across the three models. The Ward achieved an increase in pH (0.12 ± 0.07) and a decrease in PaCO2 (12 ± 18 mm Hg) that was equivalent to HDU and ICU. However, the Ward treated more patients (38 vs 28 vs 15, P < 0.001), for a longer duration in the first 24 h (12.3 ± 4.8 vs 7.9 ± 4.1 vs 8.4 ± 5.3 h, P < 0.05) and was more cost-effective per treatment day ($AUD 1231 ± 382 vs 1745 ± 2673 vs 2386 ± 1120, P < 0.05) than HDU and ICU. ICU had a longer hospital stay (9 ± 11 vs 7 ± 7 vs 13 ± 28 days, P < 0.002) compared with the Ward and HDU. There was no significant difference in intubation rate or survival. CONCLUSION: In acute hypercapnic Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, the Ward model of NIV care achieved equivalent clinical outcomes, whilst being more cost-effective than HDU or ICU models.
Behavioural assessment unit improves outcomes for patients with complex psychosocial needs
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess the impact of a new model of care for patients presenting to the ED with acute behavioural disturbance. METHODS: This pre-/post-intervention study involved creating a dedicated, highly resourced six bed unit, the behavioural assessment unit (BAU). Co-located with the ED at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the unit was designed to fast-track the admission of patients affected by intoxication, mental illness or psychosocial crisis and provide front-loaded interventions. RESULTS: In 12 months from 1 April 2016, 2379 patients were admitted to the BAU. They were compared with a similar cohort of 3047 patients from the entire 2015 ED population. The BAU resulted in a decreased wait to be seen (40 min [interquartile range (IQR): 17-86] vs 68 min [IQR: 24-130], P < 0.001), a decreased wait for a mental health review (117 min [IQR: 49-224] vs 139 min [IQR: 57-262], P = 0.001) and a decreased ED length of stay (180 min [IQR: 101-237] vs 328 min [IQR: 227-534], P < 0.001). Patients admitted to the BAU were less likely to have a security code (349 (14.7%) vs 538 (17.7%), P = 0.003) and less likely to have mechanical restraint (156 episodes (6.6%) vs 275 (9.0%), P < 0.001) or therapeutic sedation (156 episodes (6.6%) vs 250 (8.2%), P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: A unit specifically designed to improve the care of patients requiring prolonged ED care due to mental illness and/or intoxication reduces the time spent in the ED and the use of some restrictive interventions. We recommend this model of care to EDs that care for this complex and challenging group of patients.
Combined treatment approach to chronic anal fissure with associated anal fistula
BACKGROUND: Anal fistula in association with chronic anal fissure (fissure-fistula) is infrequently described. Recognizing this association and managing both components may help prevent some treatment failures seen with chronic anal fissure. This study aims to report on the outcomes of 20 consecutive patients with fissure-fistula managed with fistulotomy and injection of botulinum A toxin. METHODS: The study is a retrospective, observational study, assessing the success of symptom resolution following fistulotomy with botulinum A toxin, in patients identified as having a chronic anal fissure with associated anal fistula. The study included all patients with this condition treated with combination treatment by a single surgeon at a tertiary care hospital between January 2013 and January 2016. RESULTS: Twenty patients with fissure-fistula treated with fistulotomy and botulinum toxin A were identified. The median cohort age was 44 years (range 25-78), with a predominance of males (80%) and posterior fissure position (80%). The most common presenting symptoms were anal pain (70%), rectal bleeding (55%), anal discharge (35%) and anal pruritus (35%). Mean follow-up was 10.5 weeks and all patients who attended follow-up appointments reported resolution of symptoms. There were no cases of incontinence and none of the cohort required further surgical intervention for the condition. CONCLUSION: Chronic anal fissure with associated anal fistula can be successfully managed with fistulotomy and injection of botulinum toxin A. Further studies would be helpful in determining if recognition and management of the fistula component in isolation with fistulotomy is as effective as fistulotomy plus botulinum A toxin.
Postoperative outcomes following cardiac surgery in non-anaemic iron-replete and iron-deficient patients - an exploratory study
Iron deficiency anaemia is strongly associated with poor outcomes after cardiac surgery. However, pre-operative non-anaemic iron deficiency (a probable anaemia precursor) has not been comprehensively examined in patients undergoing cardiac surgery, despite biological plausibility and evidence from other patient populations of negative effect on outcome. This exploratory retrospective cohort study aimed to compare an iron-deficient group of patients undergoing cardiac surgery with an iron-replete group. Consecutive non-anaemic patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting or single valve replacement in our institution between January 2013 and December 2015 were considered for inclusion. Data from a total of 277 patients were analysed, and were categorised by iron status and blood haemoglobin concentration into iron-deficient (n = 109) and iron-replete (n = 168) groups. Compared with the iron-replete group, patients in the iron-deficient group were more likely to be female (43% vs. 12%, iron-replete, respectively); older, mean (SD) age 64.4 (9.7) vs. 63.2 (10.3) years; and to have a higher pre-operative EuroSCORE (median IQR [range]) 3 (2-5 [0-10]) vs. 3 (2-4 [0-9]), with a lower preoperative haemoglobin of 141.6 (11.6) vs. 148.3 (11.7) g.l-1 . Univariate analysis suggested that iron-deficient patients had a longer hospital length of stay (7 (6-9 [2-40]) vs. 7 (5-8 [4-23]) days; p = 0.013) and fewer days alive and out of hospital at postoperative day 90 (83 (80-84 [0-87]) vs. 83 (81-85 [34-86]), p = 0.009). There was no evidence of an association between iron deficiency and either lower nadir haemoglobin or higher requirement for blood products during inpatient stay. After adjusting the model for pre-operative age, sex, renal function, EuroSCORE and haemoglobin, the mean increase in hospital length of stay in the iron-deficient group relative to the iron-replete group was 0.86 days (bootstrapped 95%CI -0.37 to 2.22, p = 0.098). This exploratory study suggests there is weak evidence of an association between non-anaemic iron deficiency and outcome after cardiac surgery after controlling for potentially confounding variables.
Review article: Critical Care Airway Management eLearning modules
The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) has recently launched the Critical Care Airway Management eLearning modules to support emergency medicine trainees in developing their airway management skills in the ED. A team of emergency physicians and trainees worked collaboratively to develop the eLearning resources ensuring extensive stakeholder consultation. A comprehensive resource manual was written to provide learners with knowledge that underpins the modules. ACEM provided project coordination as well as administrative and technical team support to the production. Although specifically developed with early ACEM trainees in mind, it is envisaged the resources will be useful for all emergency clinicians. The project was funded by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health.