Rural Clinical School - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 219
World-Wide Variation in Incidence of Staphylococcus aureus Associated Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia: A Meta-Regression
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a common Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP) isolate. The objective here is to define the extent and possible reasons for geographic variation in the incidences of S. aureus-associated VAP, MRSA-VAP and overall VAP. A meta-regression model of S. aureus-associated VAP incidence per 1000 Mechanical Ventilation Days (MVD) was undertaken using random effects methods among publications obtained from a search of the English language literature. This model incorporated group level factors such as admission to a trauma ICU, year of publication and use of bronchoscopic sampling towards VAP diagnosis. The search identified 133 publications from seven worldwide regions published over three decades. The summary S. aureus-associated VAP incidence was 4.5 (3.9-5.3) per 1000 MVD. The highest S. aureus-associated VAP incidence is amongst reports from the Mediterranean (mean; 95% confidence interval; 6.1; 4.1-8.5) versus that from Asian ICUs (2.1; 1.5-3.0). The incidence of S. aureus-associated VAP varies by up to three-fold (for the lowest versus highest incidence) among seven geographic regions worldwide, whereas the incidence of VAP varies by less than two-fold. Admission to a trauma unit is the most important group level correlate for S. aureus-associated VAP.
World-wide variation in incidence of Acinetobacter associated ventilator associated pneumonia: a meta-regression
BACKGROUND: Acinetobacter species such as Acinetobacter baumanii are of increasing concern in association with ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP). In the ICU, Acinetobacter infections are known to be subject to seasonal variation but the extent of geographic variation is unclear. The objective here is to define the extent and possible reasons for geographic variation for Acinetobacter associated VAP whether or not these isolates are reported as Acinetobacter baumanii. METHODS: A meta-regression model of VAP associated Acinetobacter incidence within the published literature was undertaken using random effects methods. This model incorporated group level factors such as proportion of trauma admissions, year of publication and reporting practices for Acinetobacter infection. RESULTS: The search identified 117 studies from seven worldwide regions over 29 years. There is significant variation in Acinetobacter species associated VAP incidence among seven world-wide regions. The highest incidence is amongst reports from the Middle East (mean; 95 % confidence interval; 8.8; 6 · 2-12 · 7 per 1000 mechanical ventilation days) versus that from North American ICU's (1 · 2; 0 · 8-2 · 1). There is a similar geographic related disparity in incidence among studies reporting specifically as Acinetobacter baumanii. The incidence in ICU's with a majority of admission being for trauma is >2.5 times that of other ICU's. CONCLUSION: There is greater than fivefold variation in Acinetobacter associated VAP among reports from various geographic regions worldwide. This variation is not explainable by variations in rates of VAP overall, admissions for trauma, publication year or Acinetobacter reporting practices as group level variables.
Why Australia needs to define obesity as a chronic condition
BACKGROUND: In Australia people with a diagnosed chronic condition can be managed on unique funded care plans that allow the recruitment of a multidisciplinary team to assist in setting treatment goals and adequate follow up. In contrast to the World Health Organisation, the North American and European Medical Associations, the Australian Medical Association does not recognise obesity as a chronic condition, therefore excluding a diagnosis of obesity from qualifying for a structured and funded treatment plan. BODY: The Australian guidelines for management of Obesity in adults in Primary Care are structured around a five step process -the '5As': Ask & Assess, Advise, Assist and Arrange'. This article aims to identify the key challenges and successes associated with the '5As' approach, to better understand the reasons for the gap between the high Australian prevalence of overweight and obesity and an actual diagnosis and treatment plan for managing obesity. It argues that until the Australian health system follows the international lead and defines obesity as a chronic condition, the capacity for Australian doctors to diagnose and initiate structured treatment plans will remain limited and ineffective. CONCLUSION: Australian General Practitioners are limited in their ability manage obesity, as the current treatment guidelines only recognise obesity as a risk factor rather than a chronic condition.
What works, why and how? A scoping review and logic model of rural clinical placements for allied health students
BACKGROUND: Allied health services are core to the improvement in health outcomes for remote and rural residents. Substantial infrastructure has been put into place to facilitate rural work-ready allied health practitioners, yet it is difficult to understand or measure how successful this is and how it is facilitated. METHODS: A scoping review and thematic synthesis of the literature using program logic was undertaken to identify and describe the contexts, mechanisms and outcomes of successful models of rural clinical placements for allied health students. This involved all empirical literature examining models of regional, rural and remote clinical placements for allied health students between 1995 and 2019. RESULTS: A total of 292 articles were identified; however, after removal of duplicates and article screening, 18 were included in the final synthesis. Australian papers dominated the evidence base (n = 11). Drivers for rural allied health clinical placements include: attracting allied health students to the rural workforce; increasing the number of allied health clinical placements available; exposing students to and providing skills in rural and interprofessional practice; and improving access to allied health services in rural areas. Depending on the placement model, a number of key mechanisms were identified that facilitated realisation of these drivers and therefore the success of the model. These included: support for students; engagement, consultation and partnership with key stakeholders and organisations; and regional coordination, infrastructure and support. Placement success was measured in terms of student, rural, community and/or program outcomes. Although the strength and quality of the evidence was found to be low, there is a trend for placements to be more successful when the driver for the placement is specifically reflected in the structure of the placement model and outcomes measured. This was seen most effectively in placement models that were driven by the need to meet rural community needs and upskill students in interprofessional rural practice. CONCLUSION: This study identifies the factors that can be manipulated to ensure more successful models of allied health rural clinical placements and provides an evidence based framework for improved planning and evaluation.
What do young women living in regional and rural Victoria say about chlamydia testing? A qualitative study
(CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2020-04-01)
Background Chlamydia trachomatis is the most commonly notified sexually transmissible infection in Australia, with almost 100000 cases diagnosed in 2018. Chlamydia is easy to diagnose and treat, but infections are underdiagnosed. Eighty per cent of chlamydia cases are asymptomatic. Without testing, infections will remain undetected. Several barriers to testing have been identified in previous research, including cost, privacy concerns for young rural people, knowledge gaps, embarrassment and stigma. The aim of this study was to investigate young regional and rural women's understanding of chlamydia and factors that may prevent or delay testing. METHODS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 11 women aged between 18 and 30 years residing in north-east Victoria, Australia. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. RESULTS: Themes were grouped under four categories: (1) chlamydia and stigma; (2) the application of stigma to self and others; (3) factors affecting testing; and (4) knowledge. A chlamydia infection was associated with stigma. The young women in this study anticipated self-stigma in relation to a positive diagnosis, but resisted stigmatising others. Increased knowledge about chlamydia prevalence was associated with reduced self-stigma. The most consistent factor affecting testing decisions was personal risk assessment. Knowledge gaps about symptoms, testing and treatment were also identified, with participants not always accessing information from reputable sources. CONCLUSION: Chlamydia testing was viewed as a positive activity among this cohort. However, there is considerable perceived stigma about being diagnosed with an infection. Interventions that communicate prevalence, reduce stigma and provide factual information about testing and risk are still needed. Clinicians have an opportunity to convey this information at consultation. Health promotion workers should continue to develop and run campaigns at a community level to encourage regular screening.
Variability in depression prevalence in early rheumatoid arthritis: a comparison of the CES-D and HAD-D Scales
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2009-02-07)
BACKGROUND: Depression is common in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), however reported prevalence varies considerably. Two frequently used instruments to identify depression are the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The objectives of this study were to test if the CES-D and HADS-D (a) satisfy current modern psychometric standards for unidimensional measurement in an early RA sample; (b) measure the same construct (i.e. depression); and (c) identify similar levels of depression. METHODS: Data from the two scales completed by patients with early RA were fitted to the Rasch measurement model to show that (a) each scale satisfies the criteria of fit to the model, including strict unidimensionality; (b) that the scales can be co-calibrated onto a single underlying continuum of depression and to (c) examine the location of the cut points on the underlying continuum as indication of the prevalence of depression. RESULTS: Ninety-two patients with early RA (62% female; mean age = 56.3, SD = 13.7) gave 141 sets of paired CES-D and HAD-D data. Fit of the data from the CES-D was found to be poor, and the scale had to be reduced to 13 items to satisfy Rasch measurement criteria whereas the HADS-D met model expectations from the outset. The 20 items combined (CES-D13 and HADS-D) satisfied Rasch model expectations. The CES-D gave a much higher prevalence of depression than the HADS-D. CONCLUSION: The CES-D in its present form is unsuitable for use in patients with early RA, and needs to be reduced to a 13-item scale. The HADS-D is valid for early RA and the two scales measure the same underlying construct but their cut points lead to different estimates of the level of depression. Revised cut points on the CES-D13 provide comparative prevalence rates.
Validation of the Neurological Fatigue Index for stroke (NFI-Stroke)
BACKGROUND: Fatigue is a common symptom in Stroke. Several self-report scales are available to measure this debilitating symptom but concern has been expressed about their construct validity. OBJECTIVE: To examine the reliability and validity of a recently developed scale for multiple sclerosis (MS) fatigue, the Neurological Fatigue Index (NFI-MS), in a sample of stroke patients. METHOD: Six patients with stroke participated in qualitative interviews which were analysed and the themes compared for equivalence to those derived from existing data on MS fatigue. 999 questionnaire packs were sent to those with a stroke within the past four years. Data from the four subscales, and the Summary scale of the NFI-MS were fitted to the Rasch measurement model. RESULTS: Themes identified by stroke patients were consistent with those identified by those with MS. 282 questionnaires were returned and respondents had a mean age of 67.3 years; 62% were male, and were on average 17.2 (SD 11.4, range 2-50) months post stroke. The Physical, Cognitive and Summary scales all showed good fit to the model, were unidimensional, and free of differential item functioning by age, sex and time. The sleep scales failed to show adequate fit in their current format. CONCLUSION: Post stroke fatigue appears to be represented by a combination of physical and cognitive components, confirmed by both qualitative and quantitative processes. The NFI-Stroke, comprising a Physical and Cognitive subscale, and a 10-item Summary scale, meets the strictest measurement requirements. Fit to the Rasch model allows conversion of ordinal raw scores to a linear metric.
Unusually High Incidences of Staphylococcus aureus Infection within Studies of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia Prevention Using Topical Antibiotics: Benchmarking the Evidence Base
Selective digestive decontamination (SDD, topical antibiotic regimens applied to the respiratory tract) appears effective for preventing ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) in intensive care unit (ICU) patients. However, potential contextual effects of SDD on Staphylococcus aureus infections in the ICU remain unclear. The S. aureus ventilator associated pneumonia (S. aureus VAP), VAP overall and S. aureus bacteremia incidences within component (control and intervention) groups within 27 SDD studies were benchmarked against 115 observational groups. Component groups from 66 studies of various interventions other than SDD provided additional points of reference. In 27 SDD study control groups, the mean S. aureus VAP incidence is 9.6% (95% CI; 6.9-13.2) versus a benchmark derived from 115 observational groups being 4.8% (95% CI; 4.2-5.6). In nine SDD study control groups the mean S. aureus bacteremia incidence is 3.8% (95% CI; 2.1-5.7) versus a benchmark derived from 10 observational groups being 2.1% (95% CI; 1.1-4.1). The incidences of S. aureus VAP and S. aureus bacteremia within the control groups of SDD studies are each higher than literature derived benchmarks. Paradoxically, within the SDD intervention groups, the incidences of both S. aureus VAP and VAP overall are more similar to the benchmarks.
Unusually High Incidences of Pseudomonas Bacteremias Within Topical Polymyxin-Based Decolonization Studies of Mechanically Ventilated Patients: Benchmarking the Literature
(OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2018-11-01)
Background: Topical polymyxin (PM)-based regimens to decolonize patients receiving prolonged mechanical ventilation (MV) have been widely studied. However, paradoxical bacteremia incidences remain unexplained. Methods: The literature was searched for studies of topical PM-based regimens used to decontaminate MV patients reporting incidences of overall and Pseudomonas bacteremia data. In addition, observational groups without any intervention and trials of various interventions other than topical PM (non-PM studies) served to provide external benchmarks and additional points of reference, respectively. The bacteremia incidences were extracted from the control and intervention (component) groups of these studies and compared with metaregression using generalized estimating equation methods. Results: The summary odds ratio derived from studies of topical PM-based interventions against overall bacteremia was 0.60 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53-0.69). Benchmark incidences per 100 MV patients for overall (mean, 8.9%; 95% CI, 6.9% to 10.9%) and Pseudomonas (mean, 0.7%; 95% CI, 0.5% to 1.1%) bacteremia were derived from 16 observational studies. By contrast, among 17 studies of topical PM, the mean incidences among control groups for overall (mean, 15.3%; 95% CI, 11.5% to 20.3%) and Pseudomonas (mean, 1.6%; 95% CI, 0.9% to 3.1%) bacteremia were both higher, whereas these incidences in the intervention groups for both topical PM and non-PM studies were in each case more similar to the respective benchmarks. These paradoxical incidences cannot readily be explained in metaregression models. Conclusions: Paradoxically, despite an apparent prevention effect of topical PM-based methods against bacteremia overall, the incidences of Pseudomonas bacteremia within the component groups of these studies are unusually high vs literature-derived benchmarks.
Understanding students' and clinicians' experiences of informal interprofessional workplace learning: an Australian qualitative study
(BMJ Journals, 2018-04-01)
Objectives While postgraduate studies have begun to shed light on informal interprofessional workplace learning, studies with preregistration learners have typically focused on formal and structured work-based learning. The current study investigated preregistration students’ informal interprofessional workplace learning by exploring students’ and clinicians’ experiences of interprofessional student-clinician (IPSC) interactions. Design A qualitative interview study using narrative techniques was conducted. Setting Student placements across multiple clinical sites in Victoria, Australia. Participants Through maximum variation sampling, 61 participants (38 students and 23 clinicians) were recruited from six professions (medicine, midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy, paramedicine and physiotherapy). Methods We conducted 12 group and 10 individual semistructured interviews. Themes were identified through framework analysis, and the similarities and differences in subthemes by participant group were interrogated. Results Six themes relating to four research questions were identified: (1) conceptualisations of IPSC interactions; (2) context for interaction experiences; (3) the nature of interaction experiences; (4) factors contributing to positive or negative interactions; (5) positive or negative consequences of interactions and (6) suggested improvements for IPSC interactions. Seven noteworthy differences in subthemes between students and clinicians and across the professions were identified. Conclusions Despite the results largely supporting previous postgraduate research, the findings illustrate greater breadth and depth of understandings, experiences and suggestions for preregistration education. Educators and students are encouraged to seek opportunities for informal interprofessional learning afforded by the workplace.
Understanding and responding to the cost and health impact of short-term health staffing in remote and rural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health services: a mixed methods study protocol
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-01-01)
INTRODUCTION: Access to high-quality primary healthcare is limited for remote residents in Australia. Increasingly, remote health services are reliant on short-term or 'fly-in, fly-out/drive-in, drive-out' health workforce to deliver primary healthcare. A key strategy to achieving health service access equity, particularly evident in remote Australia, has been the development of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs). This study aims to generate new knowledge about (1) the impact of short-term staffing in remote and rural ACCHSs on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; (2) the potential mitigating effect of community control; and (3) effective, context-specific evidence-based retention strategies. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This paper describes a 3-year, mixed methods study involving 12 ACCHSs across three states. The methods are situated within an evidence-based programme logic framework for rural and remote primary healthcare services. Quantitative data will be used to describe staffing stability and turnover, with multiple regression analyses to determine associations between independent variables (population size, geographical remoteness, resident staff turnover and socioeconomic status) and dependent variables related to patient care, service cost, quality and effectiveness. Qualitative assessment will include interviews and focus groups with clinical staff, clinic users, regionally-based retrieval staff and representatives of jurisdictional peak bodies for the ACCHS sector, to understand the impact of short-term staff on quality and continuity of patient care, as well as satisfaction and acceptability of services. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has ethics approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Northern Territory Department of Health and Menzies School of Health Research (project number DR03171), Central Australian Human Research Ethics Committee (CA-19-3493), Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (WAAHEC-938) and Far North Queensland Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC/2019/QCH/56393). Results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals, the project steering committee and community/stakeholder engagement activities to be determined by each ACCHS.