Melbourne School of Health Sciences Collected Works - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 56
Racism as a determinant of health: a protocol for conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis.
BACKGROUND: Racism is increasingly recognized as a key determinant of health. A growing body of epidemiological evidence shows strong associations between self-reported racism and poor health outcomes across diverse minority groups in developed countries. While the relationship between racism and health has received increasing attention over the last two decades, a comprehensive meta-analysis focused on the health effects of racism has yet to be conducted. The aim of this review protocol is to provide a structure from which to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that assess the relationship between racism and health. METHODS: This research will consist of a systematic review and meta-analysis. Studies will be considered for review if they are empirical studies reporting quantitative data on the association between racism and health for adults and/or children of all ages from any racial/ethnic/cultural groups. Outcome measures will include general health and well-being, physical health, mental health, healthcare use and health behaviors. Scientific databases (for example, Medline) will be searched using a comprehensive search strategy and reference lists will be manually searched for relevant studies. In addition, use of online search engines (for example, Google Scholar), key websites, and personal contact with experts will also be undertaken. Screening of search results and extraction of data from included studies will be independently conducted by at least two authors, including assessment of inter-rater reliability. Studies included in the review will be appraised for quality using tools tailored to each study design. Summary statistics of study characteristics and findings will be compiled and findings synthesized in a narrative summary as well as a meta-analysis. DISCUSSION: This review aims to examine associations between reported racism and health outcomes. This comprehensive and systematic review and meta-analysis of empirical research will provide a rigorous and reliable evidence base for future research, policy and practice, including information on the extent of available evidence for a range of racial/ethnic minority groups.
Can adolescents and young adults with prelingual hearing loss benefit from a second, sequential cochlear implant?
(TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2010-05-01)
This study aimed to determine if adolescents/young adults gained additional perceptual benefit from sequential bilateral cochlear implants within 12 months, and to document adaptation to the second implant. Assessments comprised a pediatric version of The Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ), anecdotal reports of device use and daily listening, and the Adaptive Spondee Discrimination Test (AdSpon). All nine participants achieved full-time use of, a preference for, and superior daily listening with, bilateral implants. Eight participants were comfortable using the second implant alone, and two achieved similar daily listening with either implant alone. SSQ ratings were higher post-operatively for the majority of participants. AdSpon performance was superior bilaterally for five participants with noise ipsilateral to the first implant, but not contralateral. Unilateral performance with either implant was similar for one participant. A second implant may provide additional benefit up to 19 years of age, even with congenital hearing loss and >16 years between implants. Families and clinicians should understand the aspects of second-implant candidacy and post-operative use that are unique to adolescents/young adults.
Web-Based Study of Risk Factors for Pain Exacerbation in Osteoarthritis of the Knee (SPARK-Web): Design and Rationale
(JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC, 2015-07-01)
BACKGROUND: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most frequent cause of limited mobility and diminished quality of life. Pain is the main symptom that drives individuals with knee OA to seek medical care and a recognized antecedent to disability and eventually joint replacement. Many persons with symptomatic knee OA experience recurrent pain exacerbations. Knowledge and clarification of risk factors for pain exacerbation may allow those affected to minimize reoccurrence of these episodes. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to use a Web-based case-crossover design to identify risk factors for knee pain exacerbations in persons with symptomatic knee OA. METHODS: Web-based case-crossover design is used to study persons with symptomatic knee OA. Participants with knee pain and radiographic knee OA will be recruited and followed for 90 days. Participants will complete an online questionnaire at the baseline and every 10 days thereafter (totaling up to 10 control-period questionnaires); participants will also be asked to report online when they experience an episode of increased knee pain. Pain exacerbation will be defined as an increase in knee pain severity of two points from baseline on a numeric rating scale (NRS 0-10). Physical activity, footwear, knee injury, medication use, climate, psychological factors, and their possible interactions will be assessed as potential triggers for pain exacerbation using conditional logistic regression models. RESULTS: This project has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The enrollment for the study has started. So far, 343 participants have been enrolled. The study is expected to be finished in October 2015. CONCLUSIONS: This study will identify risk factors for pain exacerbations in knee OA. The identification and possible modification/elimination of such risk factors will help to prevent the reoccurrence of pain exacerbation episodes and therefore improve knee OA management.
Measuring listening effort expended by adolescents and young adults with unilateral or bilateral cochlear implants or normal hearing.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the listening effort expended by adolescents and young adults using implants versus their peers with normal hearing when these two groups are achieving similar speech perception scores. The study also aimed to compare listening effort expended by adolescents and young adults with bilateral cochlear implants when using two implants versus one. METHODS: Eight participants with bilateral cochlear implants and eight with normal hearing aged 10-22 years were included. Using a dual-task paradigm, participants repeated consonant-nucleus-consonant (CNC) words presented in noise and performed a visual matching task. Signal-to-noise ratios were set individually to ensure the word perception task was challenging but manageable for all. Reduced performance on the visual task in the dual-task condition relative to the single-task condition was indicative of the effort expended on the listening task. RESULTS: The cochlear implant group, when using bilateral implants, expended similar levels of listening effort to the normal hearing group when the two groups were achieving similar speech perception scores. For three individuals with cochlear implants, and the group, listening effort was significantly reduced with bilateral compared to unilateral implants. DISCUSSION: The similar amount of listening effort expended by the two groups indicated that a higher signal-to-noise ratio overcame limitations in the auditory information received or processed by the participants with implants. This study is the first to objectively compare listening effort using two versus one cochlear implant. The results provide objective evidence that reduced listening effort is a benefit that some individuals gain from bilateral cochlear implants.
Adaptation of the speech, spatial, and qualities of hearing scale for use with children, parents, and teachers.
Subjective assessment of hearing ability in everyday life complements more objective forms of evaluation. A broad evaluation of the additional benefit provided to children by a second bilateral cochlear implant required such an assessment. As no paediatric tool provided detailed evaluation of performance in the areas of daily listening in which benefit was likely to be demonstrated, an adult questionnaire was adapted. Items of the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) focused mainly, although not exclusively, on hearing functions requiring the binaural system. The adapted child, parent, and teacher versions of the SSQ retained the structure of rating listening performance in everyday scenarios across the domains of speech perception, spatial hearing, and other qualities of hearing. Modifications were minimized, although deletion of some items and wording changes were required, and some subdomains could not be included. Observation periods were introduced so that parents and teachers observe performance prior to providing ratings. The suggested minimum age is 11 years for the child version and 5 years for the parent and teacher versions. Instructions indicate interview-style administration in which interpretation of the described listening scenarios can be clarified and use of the ruler-style response format demonstrated. Researchers applying the SSQ for parents have reported higher performance ratings for bilateral over unilateral cochlear implants, particularly in the spatial hearing domain. Further research should provide evidence for the target age range, compare child and parent responses, and evaluate modifications for use with younger children.
Prospective validation of a predictive model that identifies homeless people at risk of re-presentation to the emergency department.
OBJECTIVE: To prospectively evaluate the accuracy of a predictive model to identify homeless people at risk of representation to an emergency department. METHODS: A prospective cohort analysis utilised one month of data from a Principal Referral Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. All visits involving people classified as homeless were included, excluding those who died. Homelessness was defined as living on the streets, in crisis accommodation, in boarding houses or residing in unstable housing. Rates of re-presentation, defined as the total number of visits to the same emergency department within 28 days of discharge from hospital, were measured. Performance of the risk screening tool was assessed by calculating sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and likelihood ratios. RESULTS: Over the study period (April 1, 2009 to April 30, 2009), 3298 presentations from 2888 individuals were recorded. The homeless population accounted for 10% (n=327) of all visits and 7% (n=211) of all patients. A total of 90 (43%) homeless people re-presented to the emergency department. The predictive model included nine variables and achieved 98% (CI, 0.92-0.99) sensitivity and 66% (CI, 0.57-0.74) specificity. The positive predictive value was 68% and the negative predictive value was 98%. The positive likelihood ratio 2.9 (CI, 2.2-3.7) and the negative likelihood ratio was 0.03 (CI, 0.01-0.13). CONCLUSION: The high emergency department re-presentation rate for people who were homeless identifies unresolved psychosocial health needs. The emergency department remains a vital access point for homeless people, particularly after hours. The risk screening tool is key to identify medical and social aspects of a homeless patient's presentation to assist early identification and referral.
How we do it: clinical management of the child receiving a second, bilateral cochlear implant.
For children to gain maximum benefit from a second, bilateral cochlear implant clinicians need to be aware of the special needs of the family and child, and to adapt their clinical management appropriately. This article describes how the situation of the family considering a second implant is different, and how the decision to be made differs from that for a first implant. The information specific to sequential implants that should be provided so families can make an informed decision is reviewed. Programming issues unique to sequential bilateral cochlear implants are discussed. Finally, information is provided on how children may respond post-operatively, and what can be done to promote bilateral device use and the development of listening skills with the new implant.