Melbourne Medical School Collected Works - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 297
May I have your consent?: informed consent in clinical trials - feasibility in emergency situations
(Cambridge University Press, 2011)
Clinical researchers in acute emergency settings are commonly faced with the difficulty of satisfying the conventional ethical requirement of obtaining informed consent, whilst ensuring a representative group of patients is recruited into studies. We discuss our own experience in addressing institutional ethical requirements to obtain informed consent in a multi-centre trial, recruiting highly agitated patients in the emergency setting in Melbourne, Australia. We suggest that, through the application of existing ethical and legal frameworks and pre-emptive communication with the key stakeholders in ethics committees, hospital insurers and legal representatives, a balance can be struck between ethical and legal requirements on the one hand, and the integrity of the research question, on the other.
Lactococcus garvieae: a small bacteria and a big data world
OBJECTIVE: To describe the importance of bioinformatics tools to analyze the big data yielded from new "omics" generation-methods, with the aim of unraveling the biology of the pathogen bacteria Lactococcus garvieae. METHODS: The paper provides the vision of the large volume of data generated from genome sequences, gene expression profiles by microarrays and other experimental methods that require biomedical informatics methods for management and analysis. RESULTS: The use of biomedical informatics methods improves the analysis of big data in order to obtain a comprehensive characterization and understanding of the biology of pathogenic organisms, such as L. garvieae. CONCLUSIONS: The "Big Data" concepts of high volume, veracity and variety are nowadays part of the research in microbiology associated with the use of multiple methods in the "omic" era. The use of biomedical informatics methods is a requisite necessary to improve the analysis of these data.
Adherence to diabetic eye examination guidelines in Australia: the National Eye Health Survey
(AUSTRALASIAN MED PUBL CO LTD, 2017-05-15)
OBJECTIVE: To determine adherence to NHMRC eye examination guidelines for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian people with diabetes. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey using multistage, random cluster sampling. SETTING: Thirty randomly selected geographic sites in the five mainland Australian states and the Northern Territory, stratified by remoteness. PARTICIPANTS: 1738 Indigenous Australians aged 40-92 years and 3098 non-Indigenous Australians aged 50-98 years were recruited and examined between March 2015 and April 2016 according to a standardised protocol that included a questionnaire (administered by an interviewer) and a series of standard eye tests. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Adherence rates to NHMRC eye examination guidelines; factors influencing adherence. RESULTS: Adherence to screening recommendations was significantly greater among non-Indigenous Australians (biennial screening; 77.5%) than Indigenous Australians (annual screening; 52.7%; P < 0.001). Greater adherence by non-Indigenous Australians was associated with longer duration of diabetes (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.19 per 5 years; P = 0.018), while increasing age was associated with poorer adherence in non-Indigenous Australians (aOR, 0.70 per decade; P = 0.011). For Indigenous Australians, residing in inner regional areas (aOR, 1.66; P = 0.007) and being male (aOR, 1.46; P = 0.018) were significant factors positively associated with adherence. CONCLUSIONS: More than three-quarters of non-Indigenous Australians with diabetes and more than half of Indigenous Australians with diabetes adhere to the NHMRC eye examination guidelines. The discrepancy between the adherence rates may point to gaps in the provision or uptake of screening services in Indigenous communities, or a lack of awareness of the guidelines. A carefully integrated diabetic retinopathy screening service is needed, particularly in remote areas, to improve adherence rates.
Workplace health and safety issues among community nurses: a study regarding the impact on providing care to rural consumers
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-01-01)
OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study was to investigate the types of workplace health and safety issues rural community nurses encounter and the impact these issues have on providing care to rural consumers. METHODS: The study undertook a narrative inquiry underpinned by a phenomenological approach. Community nursing staff who worked exclusively in rural areas and employed in a permanent capacity were contacted among 13 of the 16 consenting healthcare services. All community nurses who expressed a desire to participate were interviewed. Data were collected using semistructured interviews with 15 community nurses in rural and remote communities. Thematic analysis was used to analyse interview data. RESULTS: The role, function and structures of community nursing services varied greatly from site to site and were developed and centred on meeting the needs of individual communities. In addition, a number of workplace health and safety challenges were identified and were centred on the geographical, physical and organisational environment that community nurses work across. The workplace health and safety challenges within these environments included driving large distances between client's homes and their office which lead to working in isolation for long periods and without adequate communication. In addition, other issues included encountering, managing and developing strategies to deal with poor client and carer behaviour; working within and negotiating working environments such as the poor condition of patient homes and clients smoking; navigating animals in the workplace; vertical and horizontal violence; and issues around workload, burnout and work-related stress. CONCLUSIONS: Many nurses achieved good outcomes to meet the needs of rural community health consumers. Managers were vital to ensure that service objectives were met. Despite the positive outcomes, many processes were considered unsafe by community nurses. It was identified that greater training and capacity building are required to meet the needs among all staff.
A resource for teaching emergency care communication
BACKGROUND: Communication in emergency departments (EDs), often between several health professionals and patients and relatives, is a major cause of patient complaint and error; however, communication-skills teaching for medical students largely focuses on individual clinician-patient interactions. CONTEXT: We developed and implemented an evidence-informed online resource, Communication for Health in Emergency Contexts (CHEC; http://www.chec.meu.medicine.unimelb.edu.au/resources) to raise medical students' awareness of the challenges of communication in the ED, and to provide students with communication strategies for addressing these challenges. The foundation of the CHEC resource was the findings and data from a large research project conducted at five emergency departments in Australia over the period 2006-2009. From this, we developed ED scenarios and teaching vignettes using authentic communication data. The project included a nationwide medical curriculum scoping phase, involving interviews with medical students and educators, on ED communication curriculum needs in order to inform the educational activities. INNOVATION: The CHEC resource provides students with the opportunity to follow real-life scenarios through all stages of the ED journey, whereas insights from ED medical and nursing staff provide learning opportunities about interprofessional communication for medical students. Evaluation suggests that students find the resource useful, and that the resource has been successfully embedded in medical and junior doctor training on communication and quality and safety. IMPLICATIONS: The CHEC resource enhances the capacity of busy clinical educators to raise students' awareness of the communication needs of emergency health care by focusing on communication in high-stress, time-pressured settings using a web format. The CHEC resource provides students with the opportunity to follow real-life scenarios through all stages of the ED journey.
A systematic review of interventions to improve knowledge and self-management skills concerning contraception, pregnancy and breastfeeding in people with rheumatoid arthritis
(SPRINGER LONDON LTD, 2016-01-01)
This systematic review aimed to determine the effectiveness of interventions for improving knowledge and/or self-management skills concerning contraception, pregnancy and breastfeeding in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We searched four databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane Trials, PsycINFO) using a comprehensive search strategy. Studies were eligible if they were prospective, published in English from 2004 to 2015, included participants with RA and tested an intervention designed to improve knowledge and/or self-management skills relating to family planning, pregnancy or breastfeeding. As no studies met the latter criterion, the search strategy was expanded to include all prospective studies evaluating RA educational and/or self-management interventions. Data on study characteristics, participant characteristics and programme content were extracted to summarise the evidence base for interventions to support people with RA during their reproductive years. Expanded literature searches identified 2290 papers, of which 68 were eligible. Of these, nine papers (13%) specifically excluded pregnant women/breastfeeding mothers or recruited only older people. Only one study (1%) explicitly evaluated pregnancy-focused education via a motherhood decision aid, while eight studies (12%) incorporated relevant (albeit minor) components within broader RA educational or self-management interventions. Of these, three studies provided methotrexate education in relation to conception/pregnancy/breastfeeding; three incorporated discussions on RA and relationships, impact of RA on the family or sexual advice; one provided information regarding contraception and fertility; and one issued a warning regarding use of biologic therapy in pregnancy/breastfeeding. In conclusion, information regarding family planning, pregnancy or breastfeeding represents a negligible part of published RA educational interventions, with scope to develop targeted resources.