Rural Clinical School - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 50
Patient and clinician engagement with health information in the primary care waiting room: A mixed methods case study
(PAGEPress Publications, 2019-03-12)
Background. Primary care waiting rooms can be sites of health promotion and health literacy development through the provision of readily accessible health information. To date, few studies have considered patient engagement with televised health messages in the waiting room, nor have studies investigated whether patients ask their clinicians about this information. The aim of this study was therefore to examine patient (or accompanying person) and clinician engagement with waiting room health information, including televised health messages. Design and methods. The mixed methods case study was undertaken in a regional general practice in Victoria, Australia, utilising patient questionnaires, waiting room observations, and clinician logbooks and interviews. The qualitative data were analysed by content analysis; the questionnaire data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Results. Patients engaged with a range of health information in the waiting room and reportedly received health messages from this information. 44% of the questionnaire respondents (33 of 74) reported watching the television health program, and half of these reported receiving a take home health message from this source. Only one of the clinicians (N=9) recalled a patient asking about the televised health program. Conclusions. The general practice waiting room remains a site where people engage with the available health information, with a televised health 'infotainment' program receiving most attention from patients. Our study showed that consumption of health information was primarily passive and tended not to activate patient discussions with clinicians. Future studies could investigate any link between the health infotainment program and behaviour change.
Nursing Research Priorities in Critical Care, Pulmonary, and Sleep: International Delphi Survey of Nurses, Patients, and Caregivers An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report
(AMER THORACIC SOC, 2020-01-01)
The objective of this workshop was to determine current nursing research priorities in critical care, adult pulmonary, and sleep conditions through input from consumer (patient, family, and formal and informal caregivers) and nursing experts around the world. Working groups composed of nurses and patients selected potential research priorities based on patient insight and a literature review of patient-reported outcomes, patient-reported experiences, and processes and clinical outcomes in the focal areas. A Delphi consensus approach, using a qualitative survey method to elicit expert opinion from nurses and consumers was conducted. Two rounds of online surveys available in English, Spanish, and Chinese were completed. A 75% or greater threshold for endorsement (combined responses from nursing and consumer participants) was determined a priori to retain survey items. A total of 837 participants (649 nurses and 188 patients, family, and/or caregivers) from 45 countries responded. Survey data were analyzed and nursing research priorities that comprise 23 critical care, 45 adult pulmonary, and 16 sleep items were identified. This project was successful in engaging a wide variety of nursing and consumer experts, applying a patient-reported outcome/patient-reported experience framework for organizing and understanding research priorities. The project outcome was a research agenda to inform, guide, and aid nurse scientists, educators, and providers, and to advise agencies that provide research and program funding in these fields.
CAPTEM in Metastatic Well-Differentiated Intermediate to High Grade Neuroendocrine Tumors: A Single Centre Experience
(HINDAWI LTD, 2019-01-01)
Introduction: Capecitabine-temozolomide (CAPTEM) has significant activity in patients (pts) with metastatic low grade pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). However, there is limited data regarding its activity in pts with metastatic well-differentiated intermediate and high grade pancreatic and nonpancreatic NETs. The objective of this study was to assess the functional imaging response, survival, and tolerability of CAPTEM in this population. Methods: A retrospective audit of pts with metastatic well-differentiated intermediate (WHO grade 2) or high grade (WHO grade 3) NETs treated at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre between March 2013 and March 2017. Pts received capecitabine 750 mg/m2 orally twice daily (bd) from days1 to 14 and temozolomide 100 mg/m2 bd from days 10 to 14 every 28 days. Data regarding functional imaging response, progression-free and overall survival, and toxicities was collected. Results: Thirty-two pts received a median of 6 cycles (range: 2-16) of CAPTEM for grade 2 (n=21, 66%) or grade 3 (n=11, 34%), Ki67 <55% (n= 7, 21.9%) or Ki67 ≥55% (n= 4, 12.5 %) NET. Primary site included gastroenteropancreatic (n= 17, 53%), lung (n= 12, 37.5%), and unknown origin (n = 3, 9.4%). Twenty-two percent received CAPTEM as first-line therapy. After a median of 31 months of follow-up, the two-year overall survival (OS) was 42%, with a median OS of 24 months. There was a trend towards improved median progression-free survival (PFS) in pts with low grade 3 (Ki67<55%) versus high grade 3 (Ki67 ≥55%) NETs (15 vs 4 months, p= 0.11). Ten (31.3%) experienced grade 3/4 toxicity, with nausea (15.6%), thrombocytopaenia (12.5%), and fatigue (9.4%) the most common toxicities reported. Conclusion: CAPTEM has significant activity in patients with metastatic grades 2 and 3 NETs with manageable toxicity. The PFS benefit observed in the grade 3 subgroup with Ki67<55% warrants further evaluation in a larger randomized trial.
Remote health workforce turnover and retention: what are the policy and practice priorities?
BACKGROUND: Residents of remote communities in Australia and other geographically large countries have comparatively poorer access to high-quality primary health care. To inform ongoing policy development and practice in relation to remote area health service delivery, particularly in remote Indigenous communities, this review synthesizes the key findings of (1) a comprehensive study of workforce turnover and retention in remote Northern Territory (NT) of Australia and (2) a narrative review of relevant international literature on remote and rural health workforce retention strategies. This synthesis provides a valuable summary of the current state of international knowledge about improving remote health workforce retention. MAIN TEXT: Annual turnover rates of NT remote area nurses (148%) and Aboriginal health practitioners (80%) are very high and 12-month stability rates low (48% and 76%, respectively). In remote NT, use of agency nurses has increased substantially. Primary care costs are high and proportional to staff turnover and remoteness. Effectiveness of care decreases with higher turnover and use of short-term staff, such that higher staff turnover is always less cost-effective. If staff turnover in remote clinics were halved, the potential savings would be approximately A$32 million per annum. Staff turnover and retention were affected by management style and effectiveness, and employment of Indigenous staff. Review of the international literature reveals three broad themes: Targeted enrolment into training and appropriate education designed to produce a competent, accessible, acceptable and 'fit-for-purpose' workforce; addressing broader health system issues that ensure a safe and supportive work environment; and providing ongoing individual and family support. Key educational initiatives include prioritising remote origin and Indigenous students for university entry; maximising training in remote areas; contextualising curricula; providing financial, pedagogical and pastoral support; and ensuring clear, supported career pathways and continuing professional development. Health system initiatives include ensuring adequate funding; providing adequate infrastructure including fit-for-purpose clinics, housing, transport and information technology; offering flexible employment arrangements whilst ensuring a good 'fit' between individual staff and the community (especially with regard to cultural skills); optimising co-ordination and management of services that empower staff and create positive practice environments; and prioritising community participation and employment of locals. Individual and family supports include offering tailored financial incentives, psychological support and 'time out'. CONCLUSION: Optimal remote health workforce stability and preventing excessive 'avoidable' turnover mandates alignment of government and health authority policies with both health service requirements and individual health professional and community needs. Supportive underpinning policies include: Strong intersectoral collaboration between the health and education sectors to ensure a fit-for-purpose workforce;A funding policy which mandates the development and implementation of an equitable, needs-based formula for funding remote health services;Policies that facilitate transition to community control, prioritise Indigenous training and employment, and mandate a culturally safe work context; andAn employment policy which provides flexibility of employment conditions in order to be able to offer individually customised retention packages There is considerable extant evidence from around the world about effective retention strategies that contribute to slowing excessive remote health workforce turnover, resulting in significant cost savings and improved continuity of care. The immediate problem comprises an 'implementation gap' in translating empirical research evidence into actions designed to resolve existing problems. If we wish to ameliorate the very high turnover of staff in remote areas, in order to provide an equitable service to populations with arguably the highest health needs, we need political and executive commitment to get the policy settings right and ensure the coordinated implementation of multiple strategies, including better linking existing strategies and 'filling the gaps' where necessary.
The role of stigma in the acceptance and disclosure of HIV among recently diagnosed men who have sex with men in Australia: A qualitative study
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2019-11-08)
BACKGROUND: Our primary study aimed to explore the experiences of men who have sex with men (MSM) recently diagnosed with HIV and their partner notification practices. Themes relating to acceptance, and disclosure of, their HIV status strongly emerged during analysis in our larger study and are reported separately here. METHOD: Fifteen MSM participated in semi-structured interviews by phone or face to face about their experience of a recent HIV diagnosis. In this paper we report on how they received and accepted the diagnosis, who they disclosed their diagnosis to and what is needed to improve support for MSM recently diagnosed with HIV. RESULTS: MSM's reactions to their HIV diagnosis ranged from shock, devastation and anger to a calm acceptance and feeling HIV would not have a significant impact on their lives. MSM who reported strong social support networks, or knew others with HIV, seemed better able to cope with and accept their diagnosis than those with fewer support networks. Due to prevailing stigma around HIV, most MSM were very selective about who they disclosed their status to, often only telling partners perceived to be at risk but no, or only few, close friends. Regardless of how well men accepted their diagnosis, most did not disclose their status to family members for fear of rejection or causing distress due to ideologies based on outdated information about HIV. CONCLUSION: The prevailing stigma around HIV can have a significant impact on MSM's acceptance of, and willingness to disclose their HIV serostatus to others, and consequently the levels of professional and social support they receive. HIV-related stigma needs to be addressed through community campaigns which better educate the wider population about the current state of HIV prognosis and treatment.
Implementation of an older person's nurse practitioner in rural aged care in Victoria, Australia: a qualitative study
BACKGROUND: There are staff shortages nation-wide in residential aged care, which is only predicted to grow as the population ages in Australia. The aged care staff shortage is compounded in rural and remote areas where the health service workforce overall experiences difficulties in recruitment and retention. There is evidence that nurse practitioners fill important service gaps in aged care and rural health care but also evidence that barriers exist in introducing this extended practice role. METHODS: In 2018, 58 medical and direct care staff participated in interviews and focus groups about the implementation of an older person's nurse practitioner (OPNP) in aged care. All 58 interviewees had previously or currently worked in an aged care setting where the OPNP delivered services. The interviews were analysed using May's implementation theory framework to better understand staff perceptions of barriers and enablers when an OPNP was introduced to the workplace. RESULTS: The major perceived barrier to capacity of implementing the OPNP was a lack of material resources, namely funding of the role given the OPNP's limited ability to self-fund through access to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). Staff perceived that benefits included timely access to care for residents, hospital avoidance and improved resident health outcomes. CONCLUSION: Despite staff perceptions of more timely access to care for residents and improved outcomes, widespread implementation of the OPNP role may be hampered by a poor understanding of the role of an OPNP and the legislative requirement for a collaborative arrangement with a medical practitioner as well as limited access to the MBS. This study was not a registered trial.
Stroke in malignancy: complexities of diagnosis and management: a case report.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-08-20)
BACKGROUND: Although there is an established association between cancer and stroke, the role of malignancy as a causative agent or comorbidity is not always clear. Moreover, there are no established guidelines on the acute treatment of cancer-associated stroke or optimal anticoagulation. This case report illustrates the significance of these practice gaps. CASE PRESENTATION: A 62-year-old Caucasian woman presented to our institute with acute neurological deficits and was found to have an occluded left middle cerebral artery on a computed tomographic angiogram. She was administered intravenous alteplase and underwent unsuccessful endovascular clot retrieval. Besides smoking and her age, she had no cerebrovascular risk factors, and the results of baseline investigations for the cause of stroke were negative. Subsequent computed tomography of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis showed metastatic malignancy, and in the context of a significantly elevated serum cancer antigen 19-9, we suspected a pancreatic primary cancer. A transthoracic echocardiogram demonstrated mitral regurgitation but no visible vegetation. The patient died of her illness. We made a diagnosis of cancer-associated stroke, specifically a likely case of nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis. CONCLUSIONS: This case highlights the importance of having a high threshold of suspicion for malignancy as a cause of stroke.
Structural equation modeling the "control of gut overgrowth" in the prevention of ICU-acquired Gram-negative infection
BACKGROUND: Conceptually, the "control of gut overgrowth" (COGO) is key in mediating prevention against infection with Gram-negative bacilli by topical antibiotic prophylaxis, a common constituent of selective digestive decontamination (SDD) regimens. However, the relative importance of the other SDD components, enteral and protocolized parenteral antibiotic prophylaxis, versus other methods of infection prevention and versus other contextual exposures cannot be resolved within individual studies. METHODS: Seven candidate generalized structural equation models founded on COGO concepts were confronted with Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter bacteremia as well as ventilator-associated pneumonia data derived from > 200 infection prevention studies. The following group-level exposures were included in the models: use and mode of antibiotic prophylaxis, anti-septic and non-decontamination methods of infection prevention; proportion receiving mechanical ventilation; trauma ICU; mean length of ICU stay; and concurrency versus non-concurrency of topical antibiotic prophylaxis study control groups. RESULTS: In modeling Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter gut overgrowth as latent variables, anti-septic interventions had the strongest negative effect against Pseudomonas gut overgrowth but no intervention was significantly negative against Acinetobacter gut overgrowth. Strikingly, protocolized parenteral antibiotic prophylaxis and concurrency each have positive effects in the model, enteral antibiotic prophylaxis is neutral, and Acinetobacter bacteremia incidences are high within topical antibiotic prophylaxis studies, moreso with protocolized parenteral antibiotic prophylaxis exposure. Paradoxically, topical antibiotic prophylaxis (moreso with protocolized parenteral antibiotic prophylaxis) appears to provide the strongest summary prevention effects against overall bacteremia and overall VAP. CONCLUSIONS: Structural equation modeling of published Gram-negative bacillus infection data enables a test of the COGO concept. Paradoxically, Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas bacteremia incidences are unusually high among studies of topical antibiotic prophylaxis.
Chronically stimulated human MAIT cells are unexpectedly potent IL-13 producers
Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are unconventional T cells that recognize antigens derived from riboflavin biosynthesis. In addition to anti-microbial functions, human MAIT cells are associated with cancers, autoimmunity, allergies and inflammatory disorders, although their role is poorly understood. Activated MAIT cells are well known for their rapid release of Th1 and Th17 cytokines, but we have discovered that chronic stimulation can also lead to potent interleukin (IL)-13 expression. We used RNA-seq and qRT-PCR to demonstrate high expression of the IL-13 gene in chronically stimulated MAIT cells, and directly identify IL-13 using intracellular flow cytometry and multiplex bead analysis of MAIT cell cultures. This unexpected finding has important implications for IL-13-dependent diseases, such as colorectal cancer (CRC), that occur in mucosal areas where MAIT cells are abundant. We identify MAIT cells near CRC tumors and show that these areas and precancerous polyps express high levels of the IL-13 receptor, which promotes tumor progression and metastasis. Our data suggest that MAIT cells have a more complicated role in CRC than currently realized and that they represent a promising new target for immunotherapies where IL-13 can be a critical factor.
Anticancer therapy within the last 30 days of life: results of an audit and re-audit cycle from an Australian regional cancer centre
BACKGROUND: The therapeutic landscape in medical oncology continues to expand significantly. Newer therapies, especially immunotherapy, offer the hope of profound and durable responses with more tolerable side effect profiles. Integrating this information into the decision making process is challenging for patients and oncologists. Systemic anticancer treatment within the last thirty days of life is a key quality of care indicator and is one parameter used in the assessment of aggressiveness of care. METHODS: A retrospective review of medical records of all patients previously treated at Goulburn Valley Health oncology department who died between 1 January 2015 and 30 June 2018 was conducted. Information collected related to patient demographics, diagnosis, treatment, and hospital care within the last 30 days of life. These results were presented to the cancer services meeting and a quality improvement intervention program was instituted. A second retrospective review of medical records of all patients who died between 1 July 2018 and 31 December 2018 was conducted in order to measure the effect of this intervention. RESULTS: The initial audit period comprised 440 patients. 120 patients (27%) received treatment within the last 30 days of life. The re-audit period comprised 75 patients. 19 patients (25%) received treatment within the last 30 days of life. Treatment rates of chemotherapy reduced after the intervention in contrast to treatment rates of immunotherapy which increased. A separate analysis calculated the rate of mortality within 30 days of chemotherapy from the total number of patients who received chemotherapy was initially 8% and 2% in the re-audit period. Treatment within the last 30 days of life was associated with higher use of aggressive care such as emergency department presentation, hospitalisation, ICU admission and late hospice referral. Palliative care referral rates improved after the intervention. CONCLUSION: This audit demonstrated that a quality improvement intervention can impact quality of care indicators with reductions in the use of chemotherapy within the last 30 days of life. However, immunotherapy use increased which may be explained by increased access and a better risk benefit balance.
Ovarian Cancer, Cancer Stem Cells and Current Treatment Strategies: A Potential Role of Magmas in the Current Treatment Methods
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) constitutes 90% of ovarian cancers (OC) and is the eighth most common cause of cancer-related death in women. The cancer histologically and genetically is very complex having a high degree of tumour heterogeneity. The pathogenic variability in OC causes significant impediments in effectively treating patients, resulting in a dismal prognosis. Disease progression is predominantly influenced by the peritoneal tumour microenvironment rather than properties of the tumor and is the major contributor to prognosis. Standard treatment of OC patients consists of debulking surgery, followed by chemotherapy, which in most cases end in recurrent chemoresistant disease. This review discusses the different origins of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), the major sub-type of EOC. Tumour heterogeneity, genetic/epigenetic changes, and cancer stem cells (CSC) in facilitating HGSOC progression and their contribution in the circumvention of therapy treatments are included. Several new treatment strategies are discussed including our preliminary proof of concept study describing the role of mitochondria-associated granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor signaling protein (Magmas) in HGSOC and its unique potential role in chemotherapy-resistant disease.
The Role of Fibroblast Growth Factor 10 Signaling in Duodenal Atresia
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2020-03-10)
Introduction: Duodenal atresia (DA) is a congenital bowel obstruction requiring major surgery in the first week of life. Three morphological phenotypes are described, reflecting increasing degrees of obstruction and discontinuity of the duodenum. The cause of DA is not known. Tandler's original "solid cord" hypothesis conflicts with recent biological evidence, and is unable to account for differing DA types. In humans, a genetic etiology is supported by the association between Trisomy 21 and DA, and reports of familial inheritance patterns. Interruption of FGF10/FGFR2b signaling is the best demonstrated genetic link to DA in mice, with 35-75% of homozygous knockout embryos developing DA. Purpose: This review examines the current evidence surrounding the etiology of DA. We focus on research regarding FGF10/FGFR2b signaling and its role in duodenal and other intestinal atresia. Further, we outline planned future research in this area, that we consider necessary to validate and better understand this murine model in order to successfully translate this research into clinical practice. Conclusion: Determining the etiology of DA in humans is a clinical and scientific imperative. Fgf10/Fgfr2b murine models represent current science's best key to unlocking this mystery. However, further research is required to understand the complex role of FGF10/FGFR2b signaling in DA development. Such complexity is expected, given the lethality of their associated defects makes ubiquitous interruption of either Fgf10 or Fgfr2b genes an unlikely cause of DA in humans. Rather, local or tissue-specific mutation in Fgf10, Fgfr2b, or their downstream targets, is the hypothesized basis of DA etiology.