Rural Clinical School - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-24 of 237
Anatomical variations of the renal arterial vasculature: An Australian perspective
INTRODUCTION: Variations of the renal arteries have been studied and published across various population groups, but similar information for the ethnically diverse nation of Australia is lacking. This study describes the pattern of renal artery anomalies in a section of the Australian population based on computed tomography (CT) angiograms of the abdomen and cadaveric dissection. METHODS: The renal arterial vasculature of 594 kidneys from 300 subjects (28 cadavers, 272 CT) was studied. The number and pattern of renal arteries were categorised on the basis of laterality, point of origin and termination in the kidney (superior pole, hilum and inferior pole), symmetry and sex. RESULTS: Multiple renal arteries were discovered in 22% of subjects and 12.12% of kidneys. The most common pattern observed was the presence of one variant renal artery (93.1%), compared to the finding of two (5.6%) and three (1.4%) multiple arteries. The aorta was the most frequent site of origin for anomalous vessels, while the hilum was the predominant point of entry. No significant difference was established between left- and right-sided kidneys (13.8% vs. 12.5%; P = 0.627); however, unilateral distribution was more common than bilateral additional renal arteries (16.7% vs. 3.4%; P < 0.01), and variations among males were more than females (27.2% vs. 15.2%; P < 0.05). A higher rate of multiple renal arteries was noted in cadaveric dissections compared to CT images (46.4% vs. 19.5%; P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: These findings provide application of an evidence-based teaching tool that facilitates education regarding renal arterial variations in Australia.
Quality of referral: What information should be included in a request for diagnostic imaging when a patient is referred to a clinical radiologist?
Referral to a clinical radiologist is the prime means of communication between the referrer and the radiologist. Current Australian and New Zealand government regulations do not prescribe what clinical information should be included in a referral. This work presents a qualitative compilation of clinical radiologist opinion, relevant professional recommendations, governmental regulatory positions and prior work on diagnostic error to synthesise recommendations on what clinical information should be included in a referral. Recommended requirements on what clinical information should be included in a referral to a clinical radiologist are as follows: an unambiguous referral; identity of the patient; identity of the referrer; and sufficient clinical detail to justify performance of the diagnostic imaging examination and to confirm appropriate choice of the examination and modality. Recommended guideline on the content of clinical detail clarifies when the information provided in a referral meets these requirements. High-quality information provided in a referral allows the clinical radiologist to ensure that exposure of patients to medical radiation is justified. It also minimises the incidence of perceptual and interpretational diagnostic error. Recommended requirements and guideline on the clinical detail to be provided in a referral to a clinical radiologist have been formulated for professional debate and adoption.
Efficacy and toxicity of PACEBOM chemotherapy in relapsed/refractory aggressive lymphoma in the rituximab era
AIM: Relapsed/refractory (R/R) aggressive lymphoma outcomes are poor. There is no standard treatment. PACEBOM (prednisolone, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, etoposide, bleomycin, vincristine and methotrexate) has shown efficacy for several lymphoma subtypes in published reports. We evaluate PACEBOM+/-rituximab for R/R aggressive lymphomas in this millennium. METHODS: In this retrospective, single-center study, R/R aggressive lymphoma patients who received PACEBOM or its derivatives were identified from the pharmacy database. Demographic, treatment, toxicity and survival data were collected. RESULTS: A total of 37 eligible patients were identified. Histological subtypes included 20 Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), 10 T-Cell Lymphoma (TCL) and 7 Hodgkin lymphoma. All DLBCL patients had received prior rituximab. Thirty-one (84%) received second-line PACEBOM. Median number of cycles was six (1-6). Eighteen out of 20 B-cell lymphoma patients received R-PACEBOM. Overall response rate was 65%, 70% and 71% in patients with DLBCL, TCL and Hodgkin lymphoma respectively. Thirteen patients underwent autologous stem cell transplant post-PACEBOM. Median follow-up was 49 months (3-201). Most common grade 3-4 toxicities were neutropenia (46%), anemia (24%) and thrombocytopenia (16%). No additional toxicity was seen in patients who received rituximab. CONCLUSION: In this cohort, PACEBOM is active in R/R aggressive lymphoma with manageable toxicity and can be safely combined with rituximab. Outcomes were similar to reports of other salvage regimens. PACEBOM remains a suitable option for R/R aggressive lymphoma, in patients exposed to prior rituximab and those planned for autologous stem cell transplant.
The impact of bevacizumab in metastatic colorectal cancer with an intact primary tumor: Results from a large prospective cohort study
BACKGROUND: Debate continues regarding the benefits versus risks of initial resection of the primary tumor in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients with an asymptomatic primary tumor. Although the benefit of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agent bevacizumab alongside first-line chemotherapy in mCRC is established, the impact of bevacizumab on the intact primary tumor (IPT) is less well understood. METHODS: Data from an Australian mCRC registry were used to assess the impact of bevacizumab-based regimens in the presence of an IPT, to see if this differs from effects in resected primary tumor (RPT) patients and to understand the safety profile of bevacizumab in patients with IPT. Progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and safety endpoints were analyzed. RESULTS: Of 1204 mCRC patients, 826 (69%) were eligible for inclusion. Bevacizumab use was similar in both arms (IPT (64%) versus RPT (70%)); compared with chemotherapy alone, bevacizumab use was associated with significantly longer PFS (IPT: 8.5 months vs 4.7 months, P = 0.017; RPT: 10.8 months vs 5.8 months, P < 0.001) and OS (IPT: 20 months vs 14.8 months, P = 0.005; RPT: 24.4 months vs 17.3 months, P = 0.004)).1 Bevacizumab use in an IPT was associated with more GI perforations (4.5% vs 1.8%, P = 0.210) but less frequent bleeding (1.5% vs 5.3%, P = 0.050) and thrombosis (1.5% vs 2.7%, P = 0.470), versus chemotherapy alone. Median survival was equivalent between patients that did or did not experience bevacizumab-related adverse events - 20.0 months versus 19.9 months, hazard ratio = 0.98, P = 0.623.1 CONCLUSIONS: The addition of bevacizumab significantly improved survival outcomes in mCRC with an IPT. The occurrence of bevacizumab-related adverse events did not significantly impact survival outcomes.
Retrograde continence enema in children with spina bifida: Not as effective as first thought
AIM: The aim of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of Peristeen retrograde continence enema (RCE) in the management of faecal incontinence in children with spina bifida. METHODS: We identified a homogenous group of spina bifida patients in whom RCE was initiated (Jan 2006-July 2013). Confidential assessments included (i) Fecal Incontinence Quality Of Life (FIQOL), (ii) St Marks Faecal Incontinence score, (iii) Cleveland Clinic Constipation score and (iv) Neurogenic Bowel Dysfunction score. RESULTS: Of 20 patients, 11 (mean age 14.5 ± 5.3 years) were male. Of 20 patients, nine were still using RCE (mean follow-up 4.1 years). Three patients ceased RCE within 10 days, six after 4-12 months and two after 36-48 months. Reasons for cessation included balloon difficulties (n = 4), procedure deemed too difficult (n = 4) and pain (n = 3). There were no differences between the groups in length of training time for technique, instillate fluid/volume used and time taken to perform RCE. There were no differences between the groups for quality of life, faecal incontinence or constipation scores. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated a high rate of cessation with RCE in patients with spina bifida. This could not be explained by associated conditions, or by enema-related parameters. One possible explanation is the lack of ongoing outpatient support for the children and their families.
A typology of longitudinal integrated clerkships.
CONTEXT: Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) represent a model of the structural redesign of clinical education that is growing in the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa. By contrast with time-limited traditional block rotations, medical students in LICs provide comprehensive care of patients and populations in continuing learning relationships over time and across disciplines and venues. The evidence base for LICs reveals transformational professional and workforce outcomes derived from a number of small institution-specific studies. OBJECTIVES: This study is the first from an international collaborative formed to study the processes and outcomes of LICs across multiple institutions in different countries. It aims to establish a baseline reference typology to inform further research in this field. METHODS: Data on all LIC and LIC-like programmes known to the members of the international Consortium of Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships were collected using a survey tool developed through a Delphi process and subsequently analysed. Data were collected from 54 programmes, 44 medical schools, seven countries and over 15 000 student-years of LIC-like curricula. RESULTS: Wide variation in programme length, student numbers, health care settings and principal supervision was found. Three distinct typological programme clusters were identified and named according to programme length and discipline coverage: Comprehensive LICs; Blended LICs, and LIC-like Amalgamative Clerkships. Two major approaches emerged in terms of the sizes of communities and types of clinical supervision. These referred to programmes based in smaller communities with mainly family physicians or general practitioners as clinical supervisors, and those in more urban settings in which subspecialists were more prevalent. CONCLUSIONS: Three distinct LIC clusters are classified. These provide a foundational reference point for future studies on the processes and outcomes of LICs. The study also exemplifies a collaborative approach to medical education research that focuses on typology rather than on individual programme or context.
A matched comparison study of hepatitis C treatment outcomes in the prison and community setting, and an analysis of the impact of prison release or transfer during therapy
Prisoners are a priority group for hepatitis C (HCV) treatment. Although treatment durations will become shorter using directly acting antivirals (DAAs), nearly half of prison sentences in Scotland are too short to allow completion of DAA therapy prior to release. The purpose of this study was to compare treatment outcomes between prison- and community-based patients and to examine the impact of prison release or transfer during therapy. A national database was used to compare treatment outcomes between prison treatment initiates and a matched community sample. Additional data were collected to investigate the impact of release or transfer on treatment outcomes. Treatment-naïve patients infected with genotype 1/2/3/4 and treated between 2009 and 2012 were eligible for inclusion. 291 prison initiates were matched with 1137 community initiates: SVRs were 61% (95% CI 55%-66%) and 63% (95% CI 60%-66%), respectively. Odds of achieving a SVR were not significantly associated with prisoner status (P=.33). SVRs were 74% (95% CI 65%-81%), 59% (95% CI 42%-75%) and 45% (95% CI 29%-62%) among those not released or transferred, transferred during treatment, or released during treatment, respectively. Odds of achieving a SVR were significantly associated with release (P<.01), but not transfer (P=.18). Prison-based HCV treatment achieves similar outcomes to community-based treatment, with those not released or transferred during treatment doing particularly well. Transfer or release during therapy should be avoided whenever possible, using anticipatory planning and medical holds where appropriate.
Predicting post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitis using the 4-h serum lipase level
BACKGROUND: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a complex therapeutic procedure that is complicated by pancreatitis in 3-5% of cases. The aim of this study is to determine whether a 4-h post-ERCP serum lipase level is superior to the serum amylase level in predicting the occurrence of post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP). METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of prospectively collected data on 543 consecutive patients undergoing therapeutic ERCP at a single centre. Serum lipase and amylase levels were measured at 4-h post-procedure and were recorded as a factor of the upper limit of normal: amylase factor (AF) and lipase factor (LF). Sensitivity and specificity were compared using receiver-operating characteristics and the Youden index (YI). RESULTS: A total of 506 procedures were considered for analysis. PEP occurred in 19 patients (3.8%). A LF of <10 was useful for the exclusion of PEP with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 94%, YI = 0.94. In contrast, an AF <3 yielded a sensitivity of 79% and specificity of 94%, YI = 0.73. CONCLUSION: Serum lipase measured at 4-h post-ERCP better excludes PEP than serum amylase measured at the same time point. Patients with a LF <10 may be safely considered for same-day discharge.
An evaluation of the additional benefit of population screening for dementia beyond a passive case-finding approach
OBJECTIVE: General practitioners (GPs) fail to identify more than 50% of dementia cases using the existing passive case-finding approach. Using data from the "Ageing in General Practice" study, we sought to establish the additional benefit of screening all patients over the age of 75 for dementia beyond those patients already identified by passive case-finding. METHOD: Patients were classified as "case-finding" (n = 425) or "screening" (n = 1006) based on their answers to four subjective memory related questions or their GP's clinical judgement of their dementia status. Cognitive status of each patient was formally assessed by a research nurse using the Cambridge Cognition Examination (CAMCOG-R). Patients then attended their usual GP for administration of the GP assessment of Cognition (GPCOG) dementia screening instrument, and follow-up care and/or referral as necessary in light of the outcome. RESULTS: The prevalence of dementia was significantly higher in the case-finding group (13.6%) compared to the screening group (4.6%; p < 0.01). The GPCOG had a positive predictive value (PPV) of 61% in the case-finding group and 39% in the screening group; negative predictive value was >95% in both groups. GPs and their patients both found the GPCOG to be an acceptable cognitive assessment tool. The dementia cases missed via case-finding were younger (p = 0.024) and less cognitively impaired (p = 0.020) than those detected. CONCLUSION: There is a very limited benefit of screening for dementia, as most people with dementia could be detected using a case-finding approach, and considerable potential for social and economic harm because of the low PPV associated with screening.
A qualitative study of the barriers and enablers to fertility-awareness education in general practice
AIMS: To understand the barriers and enablers to fertility-awareness education in general practice. BACKGROUND: Most women along with their primary care practitioners - general practitioners and practice nurses - believe that women should be educated about fertility-awareness when first reporting trouble conceiving. To date, no in-depth study has examined the enablers and challenges of this type of education in general practice. DESIGN: A descriptive exploratory qualitative study using deductive content analysis. METHODS: General practitioners (N = 11) and practice nurses (N = 20) were recruited from general practices in three socioculturally diverse areas in Victoria, Australia. Data were collected through semistructured interviews based on the 12 domains of a theoretical behaviour change framework from April-August 2012. The participants' responses were organized into themes that fall under the framework domains. FINDINGS: The biggest barriers to fertility-awareness education in general practice were short consultations and time constraints faced by general practitioners together with a lack of patient educational materials and remuneration to support its delivery. The biggest enablers were a greater use of nurses trained in fertility-awareness in a collaborative team care arrangement with general practitioners. CONCLUSION: This study has identified several important barriers and enablers to fertility-awareness education in general practice. Translation into practice of our findings is imperative as the first step in establishing a primary care model in fertility-awareness. This would fill an important gap in the primary care of infertile women and build capacity in general practice to reduce infertility through women's enhanced fertility knowledge.
Association between lung capacity and abnormal glucose metabolism: findings from China and Australia
OBJECTIVE: Restricted pulmonary function is found among people with diabetes. This study aimed to investigate the dose-response relationship between pulmonary function measurements [forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC)] and risk of metabolic syndrome (MS)/type 2 diabetes. METHODS: A total of 1454 adults in rural Victoria, Australia, and 5824 adults in Nanjing, China, from randomly selected households provided clinical history, oral glucose tolerance test, lipids, anthropometric, blood pressure and spirometric measurements. MS was defined by International Diabetes Federation criteria. Adjusted odds ratios for MS and type 2 diabetes with lung capacity measurements were estimated using logistic regression. Dose-response relationships were explored using the restricted cubic spline models. RESULTS: There was a nonlinear relationship between FEV1 and the risk of type 2 diabetes and MS (both P < 0·0001) in both the Australian and Chinese populations. The FEV1 associated with the lowest risk of type 2 diabetes and MS was above 2·70 l (95%CI: 2·68 to 2·72 l and 2·65 to 2·76 l in Chinese and Australian populations, respectively). The discrimination of the model could be significantly improved using the FEV1 threshold in both the Australian and Chinese populations. CONCLUSIONS: In both the Australian and Chinese populations, the risk of type 2 diabetes and MS is lowest with a FEV1 of 2·65-2·76 l. This might be used in clinical practice in different countries as a prompt to screen for type 2 diabetes and MS in patients with obstructive lung disease and to ensure there was no abnormal glucose metabolism before the commencement of steroids if indicated.
Sporting injuries, seasonal trend and impact on rural Australian hospitals: Implications and recommendations
OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of sporting injuries in a regional Australian setting and readiness of the rural health systems to combat the overall impact. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Five years of data between 2008 and 2012 from the Victorian Emergency Minimal Dataset showing sports injuries presenting to Goulburn Valley Base Hospital Emergency Department (ED) were analysed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of overall sporting injuries including different types and location of injury in the body, seasonal variation for emergency presentation, mechanism of injury and hospital admissions. RESULTS: We observed a total of 4537 Emergency presentations and 235 hospitalisations between 2008 and 2012 with sporting injuries. About 78% of injuries presented in the winter sporting months; the rate of injury was higher in the month of 'May' across the most data reviewing years. Also, there was a higher proportion of hospital admissions recorded in winter sporting months. We reported that those who played sports in winter were significantly younger than those in summer (P < 0.05). Sprains and strains due to different sporting activities were the commonest cause of ED presentations, while falls and collisions were the mostly reported mechanism for sporting injuries. CONCLUSION: It might be extrapolated from the data that within a regional setting, there is a need to optimise emergency departments and hospital bed availability with emphasis on orthopaedic involvements during the winter sporting months. Many of these sports injuries are preventable and community risk reduction strategies should be applied to reduce the burden to the regional hospitals.
Prioritising the cultural inclusivity of a rural mainstream health service for First Nation Australians: an analysis of discourse and power
(ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2018-01-01)
In the context of persisting health inequities within many multicultural and socially diverse countries like Australia, there is a call for health services to implement culturally inclusive systems and practices. Nowhere is this more important than in regional, rural and remote Australia where consumers are diverse, health services are scarce, and services designed for particular groups of the population are lacking. Drawing on interviews with 20 staff of a rurally-based, mainstream community health service, this article examines the role of discourse in the transition to a culturally inclusive health centre. In doing so, the power struggles inherent in such a process are highlighted. The article contends that improvements in the health outcomes of First Nation and culturally Other groups within the Australian population is contingent upon systematic resistances that disrupt and re-arrange existing dominant discourses. This calls for a disruption of current race relations in both broader social fields as well as those supporting biomedical assumptions about the delivery of healthcare in the mainstream health sector. Alternative discourses must be promoted in both these fields.
'It's a cultural thing': excuses used by health service providers on providing inclusive care
(ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2020-11-17)
Although health services in Australia have an aim to provide inclusive care for their patients/clients, this study highlights how barriers to care can lie at the centre of patient-provider interactions. Racial microaggression is a subtle form of racism that can occur in health settings, leading to further exclusion for First Nations Australians, immigrants and refugees. This paper is guided by Derrida's approach to deconstructionism by unpacking how language is used by health professionals - as holders of organisational power - and how they construct 'truths' or discourses about clients that historically have been marginalised by health services and system. Data comprise 21 interviews with staff from two rural health services. It identified three racial microaggressions were used to justify the challenges of providing care to people from First Nations, immigrant and refugee backgrounds: (1) Participants problematised culture(s) of service users; (2) participants implied cultural superiority in their conceptualisation of 'other' cultures; and (3) participants shared stories of inactions, discomfort and relegating of responsibility. The findings identified these discourses as forms of racial microaggression that can potentially lead to further exclusion of people seeking services and support.
Building readiness for inclusive practice in mainstream health services: A pre-inclusion framework to deconstruct exclusion
(PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2021-11-01)
Across the globe, people are not equitably included or respected by health services. This results in some people being 'hardly reached' and having less access to safe and appropriate care. While some health services have adopted specific agendas to increase inclusion, these services can struggle to implement such strategies because the underlying reasons for exclusion have not been addressed. This calls for preparation prior to implementation of inclusion approaches that deconstructs discourses and practices of exclusion. This paper presents a pre-inclusion framework that seeks to deconstruct exclusion in health services. Authors developed this framework from action research in four 'mainstream' regional health services in southeast Australia over five years. Research identified dominant discourses of exclusion among staff in these services. The study also identified common experiences of residents hardly reached by these services. Following, a range of change activities were undertaken within these services to deconstruct exclusion. Researchers also kept journals, reflected on their impact, and identified lessons learned from trying to deconstruct exclusion. Triangulating these analyses, researchers developed an interdisciplinary framework that weaves together Foucauldian theory on power/discourse with continuous quality improvement processes to embed cultural humility and voices of the hardly reached in health care. The framework outlines five foundational concepts (power as productive, deconstruction, use of continuous quality improvement processes, cultural humility and voices of service users), followed by six principles (a journey, expect resistance, whole of service approach, make visible the reasons for change, we are all cultural beings and people centred care) and six actions undertaken within health services (commitment, assessment of exclusion, action plans, structural change, reflective discussions and engagement). Until such approaches to deconstruct exclusion are implemented, inclusive agendas are likely to be ineffective.
The CORE study-An adapted mental health experience codesign intervention to improve psychosocial recovery for people with severe mental illness: A stepped wedge cluster randomized-controlled trial
BACKGROUND: Mental health policies outline the need for codesign of services and quality improvement in partnership with service users and staff (and sometimes carers), and yet, evidence of systematic implementation and the impacts on healthcare outcomes is limited. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test whether an adapted mental health experience codesign intervention to improve recovery-orientation of services led to greater psychosocial recovery outcomes for service users. DESIGN: A stepped wedge cluster randomized-controlled trial was conducted. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Four Mental Health Community Support Services providers, 287 people living with severe mental illnesses, 61 carers and 120 staff were recruited across Victoria, Australia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The 24-item Revised Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS-R) measured individual psychosocial recovery. RESULTS: A total of 841 observations were completed with 287 service users. The intention-to-treat analysis found RAS-R scores to be similar between the intervention (mean = 84.7, SD= 15.6) and control (mean = 86.5, SD= 15.3) phases; the adjusted estimated difference in the mean RAS-R score was -1.70 (95% confidence interval: -3.81 to 0.40; p = .11). DISCUSSION: This first trial of an adapted mental health experience codesign intervention for psychosocial recovery outcomes found no difference between the intervention and control arms. CONCLUSIONS: More attention to the conditions that are required for eight essential mechanisms of change to support codesign processes and implementation is needed. PATIENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT: The State consumer (Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council) and carer peak bodies (Tandem representing mental health carers) codeveloped the intervention. The adapted intervention was facilitated by coinvestigators with lived-experiences who were coauthors for the trial and process evaluation protocols, the engagement model and explanatory model of change for the trial.
Exercise as a supportive care strategy in men with prostate cancer receiving androgen deprivation therapy at a regional cancer centre: a survey of patients and clinicians.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-09-14)
PURPOSE: To understand how frequently exercise is discussed and/or prescribed as a supportive care measure and the barriers and facilitators to exercise uptake for men with prostate cancer receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) at a regional cancer centre. METHODS: An observational, cross-sectional study was conducted at a regional cancer centre in three stages: (1) Retrospective chart review of men with prostate cancer undergoing ADT to identify the frequency of discussion and/or prescription of supportive care measures; (2) prospective patient survey exploring barriers and facilitators to exercise; and (3) prospective clinician survey exploring barriers, facilitators and awareness of exercise guidelines in men with prostate cancer. RESULTS: Files of 100 men receiving ADT (mean age 73 years; mean ADT duration =12 months) in the medical oncology (n = 50) and radiation oncology (n = 50) clinics were reviewed. Exercise was discussed with 16% of patients and prescribed directly to 5%. Patient survey (n = 49). 44.2% of patients reported participating in exercise at a high level. Common barriers to exercise participation included fatigue (51.0%), cancer/treatment-related weakness (46.9%) and joint stiffness (44.9%). 36.7% of patients reported interest in a supervised exercise program. Clinician survey (n = 22). 36.4% identified one or more exercise guidelines, and 40.9% correctly identified national exercise guidelines. Clinicians reported low knowledge of referral pathways to a supervised exercise program (27.3%). Clinicians believe physiotherapists (95.5%) are most suited to exercise prescription and 72.7% stated that exercise counselling should be part of supportive care. Limited time (63.6%) and patient safety (59.1%) were the two most common barriers to discussing exercise with patients. Clinicians reported that only 21.9% of their patients asked about exercise. The most endorsed facilitators to increase exercise uptake were patient handouts (90.9%) and integration of exercise specialists into the clinical team (86.4%). CONCLUSION: Despite a third of patient respondents indicating an interest in a supervised exercise program, only 16% of patients with prostate cancer undergoing ADT at a regional cancer centre engaged in a discussion about exercise with their treating clinicians. Physical limitations and fatigue were the greatest barriers for patients. Clinicians indicated a need for more clinician education and better integration of exercise specialists into clinical care. A tailored, integrated approach is needed to improve the uptake of exercise in men with prostate cancer.
Patients' understanding, management practices, and challenges regarding hypertension: A qualitative study among hypertensive women in a rural Bangladesh
(ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2021-07-01)
Background: Hypertension, as one of the main predisposing factors of many non-communicable diseases, is generally underdiagnosed among women with a significant uncontrolled rate. This study explores the understanding, management practice and challenges related to hypertension among hypertensive women in rural Bangladesh. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted among hypertensive rural women at Kumarkhali Upazilla, Kushtia, Bangladesh, using purposive and snowball sampling technique. Data was collected through in-depth interviews among twenty-three hypertensive women until they reached saturation. Data were analyzed thematically. Results: Findings of the study found that a small number of participants perceived the symptoms, risk factors, management and treatment of hypertension based on biomedical understanding. Also, their awareness level and adherence to preventive practices reflected a significant gap between biomedical preventive practices and local practices. A substantial number of participants preferred home management and alternative treatment for hypertension over the medication adherence and hospital treatment. This investigation revealed that poor socio-economic conditions, such as financial insufficiency, and, gender-based negligence impacted women's perception of and practice for hypertension and resulted in risky hypertension management behaviors. Conclusion: Based on the study, formulation of a comprehensive health education program for creating awareness, provisioning of significant interventions services related to hypertensive care are needed. Further intensive research is needed at the community-level to manage this chronic disease.
The Pandemic Is Not Occurring in a Vacuum: The Impact of COVID-19 and Other Disasters on Workforce Mental Health in Australia.
(Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2021-07-23)
OBJECTIVE: Prior to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many Australians experienced extreme bushfires, droughts, and floods. A history of experiencing these events might be a risk factor for increased psychological distress during COVID-19. This study aimed to provide insight into the mental health of Australian workers during the initial COVID-19 outbreak, with an additional focus on whether previous disaster exposure and impact from that disaster is a risk factor for increased psychological distress. METHODS: A snowball recruitment strategy was used. Participants (n = 596) completed an online survey, which included the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21, and questions related to mental health and disaster exposure. RESULTS: Overall, 19.2%, 13.4%, and 16.8% of participants were experiencing moderate to extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, respectively. Multiple regression found that higher depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms were associated with a pre-existing mental health diagnosis; only higher stress symptoms were associated with having experienced a disaster, with impact, in addition to COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: People who have experienced impact from an additional disaster might need additional support to protect their mental health during COVID-19. A focus on the cumulative mental health impacts of multiple disasters and the implications for organizational communities where recovery work is undertaken, such as schools and workplaces, is needed.
Selective digestive decontamination, a seemingly effective regimen with individual benefit or a flawed concept with population harm?
Selective digestive decontamination (SDD) regimens, variously constituted with topical antibiotic prophylaxis (TAP) and protocolized parenteral antibiotic prophylaxis (PPAP), appear highly effective for preventing ICU-acquired infections but only within randomized concurrent control trials (RCCT's). Confusingly, SDD is also a concept which, if true, implies population benefit. The SDD concept can finally be reified in humans using the broad accumulated evidence base, including studies of TAP and PPAP that used non-concurrent controls (NCC), as a natural experiment. However, this test implicates overall population harm with higher event rates associated with SDD use within the ICU context.
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.
Chronic ill health in a regional Victoria setting: A 13-year comparison
OBJECTIVE: High-quality data regarding the prevalence of chronic disease in rural areas are essential in understanding the challenges faced by rural populations and for informing strategies to address health care needs. This study compared the prevalence of a range of self-reported chronic conditions and utilisation of GP services and emergency department in a regional Victorian setting between two studies conducted in the same region in 2001-2003 and 2014. DESIGN: Repeat cross-sectional studies conducted over a decade apart. SETTING: The projects were conducted in the Goulburn Valley in regional Victoria. PARTICIPANTS: The earlier study randomly selected households from local government lists. The later study randomly selected householders from the telephone directory. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants were asked whether they had been diagnosed with a range of chronic health conditions and how often they had visited a general practitioner or emergency department in the past 12 months. RESULTS: The age-standardised prevalence of depression was higher in the 2014 study than the 2001-2003 study in men (increased by 8.0% (95% CI 4.5, 11.5%)) and women (increased by 13.7% (95% CI 8.4, 19.0%)). Similarly, the prevalence of age-standardised diabetes and hypertension was higher in 2014 than 2001-2003 (men increased by 3.6% (95% CI 0.7, 6.5% (diabetes)) and 13.6% (95% CI 8.6, 18.6% (hypertension)), women increased by 3.1% (95% CI 0.3, 6.5% (diabetes)) and 8.4% (95% CI 2.3, 14.5% (hypertension))). CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate that the prevalence of self-reported depression, diabetes and hypertension has increased in this regional Victorian area over the past 13 years. The reasons for these observed increases and the subsequent impact on the health care needs of regional communities warrants further investigation.