To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This retrospective cohort study compared rates of emergency department (ED) visits after a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the three Aboriginal groups (Registered First Nations, Métis and Inuit) relative to a non-Aboriginal cohort.
We linked eight years of administrative health data from Alberta and calculated age- and sex-standardized ED visit rates in cohorts of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal individuals diagnosed with COPD. Rate ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated in a Poisson regression model that adjusted for important sociodemographic factors and comorbidities. Differences in ED length of stay (LOS) and disposition status were also evaluated.
A total of 2,274 Aboriginal people and 1,611 non-Aboriginals were newly diagnosed with COPD during the study period. After adjusting for important sociodemographic and clinical factors, the rate of all-cause ED visits in all Aboriginal people (RR=1.72, 95% CI: 1.67, 1.77), particularly among Registered First Nations people (RR=2.02; 95% CI: 1.97, 2.08) and Inuit (RR=1.28; 95% CI: 1.22, 1.35), were significantly higher than that in non-Aboriginals, while ED visit rates were significantly lower in the Métis (RR=0.94; 95% CI: 0.90, 0.98). The ED LOS in all Aboriginal groups were significantly lower than that of the non-Aboriginal group.
Aboriginal people with COPD use almost twice the amount of ED services compared to their non-Aboriginal counterparts. There are also important variations in patterns of ED services use among different Aboriginal groups with COPD in Alberta.
Radiation therapy (RT) is the major component of glioblastoma treatment; however, the time to initiate RT after surgical intervention varies between institutions. Our study examined the time from diagnosis to the initiation of RT and its effects on overall patient survival.
We retrospectively examined 267 patients with glioblastoma who received RT as part of their therapy in two Canadian tertiary care centers. The primary goal of the study is to assess if time to RT can predict/impact survival in glioblastoma patients.
The following variables were associated with an increased risk of death: hazard ratio (HR) of time to RT was 0.95 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.91–0.99] for every extra week. HRs for the type of surgery (resection or biopsy) and type of management received (standard of care in comparison with RT regardless of chemotherapeutic agents other than concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide) were 0.50 (95% CI, 0.37–0.66) and 0.53 (95% CI, 0.38–0.75), respectively. HR for age was 1.02 (95% CI, 1.01–1.03) for every extra year. Standard 60 Gy RT HR was 0.70 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.51–0.97] in younger patients.
The time from diagnosis to the initiation of RT was found to be a significant prognostic factor for overall patient survival. The addition of temozolomide to the treatment protocol, age, standard RT dose in younger patients and extent of surgery are others factors associated with longer survival periods.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a widespread illness with an increasing prevalence in older adults; exacerbations resulting in visits to the emergency department (ED) are common. We sought to determine the epidemiology of COPD presentations to EDs by older adults in Alberta.
Administrative databases were used to examine all ED encounters for COPD from April 1999 to March 2005 in Alberta. Data included demographics of patients and timing of ED visits. Data analysis included descriptive summaries and age–sex directly standardized visit rates (DSVRs).
There were 85 330 ED visits for acute COPD made by 38 638 patients 55 years of age or older during the study period. More men (53.2%) presented, and the mean age at presentation was 72 years. The age–sex DSVRs remained stable from 2000/01 (24.4/1000) to 2004/05 (25.6/1000). Presentation rates differed among population subgroups. Overall, 67% of visits resulted in discharge from the ED.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a common presentation in Alberta EDs; however, the rates of presentation were stable during the study period, and monthly and hourly trends exhibited similar patterns for each year. Disparities based on age, sex, and socio-economic and cultural statuses were identified. Targeted interventions could be implemented to reduce future ED visits for COPD.
We describe the epidemiology of asthma presentations to emergency departments (EDs) for 3 main regions in the province of Alberta.
We used a comprehensive ED database to identify ED visits in Alberta from April 1999 to March 2005. We linked the visits to other provincial administrative databases to obtain all data on follow-up encounters for asthma during that period. Information extracted included demographics, regions of residence (Edmonton, Calgary or non–major urban [NMU]), timing of ED visits, and subsequent visits to non-ED settings. Data analysis included descriptive summaries and directly standardized visit rates.
During the 6-year study period, 93 146 patients made 199 991 ED visits for asthma. Crude rates in 2004/05 were 7.9/1000, 6.5/1000 and 15.4/1000 in the Edmonton, Calgary and NMU regions, respectively. The Edmonton and Calgary regions had consistently lower visit rates than the NMU regions. The ED visits were followed by low rates of follow-up visits in a variety of non-ED settings, at different intervals.
Asthma is a relatively common presenting problem in Alberta EDs. This study identified relatively stable rates of presentation during the study period, and variation among regions in terms of age and sex. This study provides further understanding of the variation associated with ED presentation and indicates possible targets for specific interventions to reduce asthma-related ED visits.
Despite the frequency of acute asthma in the emergency department (ED) and the availability of guidelines, significant practice variation exists. Asthma care maps (ACMs) may standardize treatment. This study examined the use of an ACM to determine its effects on patient management in a regional hospital.
Patients aged 2 to 65 years who presented to the ED with a primary diagnosis of acute asthma were enrolled in a prospective study that took place 5 months before (pre) and 5 months after (post) ACM implementation. Research assistants using a standardized questionnaire abstracted data through direct patient interviews and then followed up at 2 weeks with a standardized telephone interview.
Overall, 71 pre patients and 70 post patients were enrolled. Characteristics in both groups were similar. The care map was used in 100% of the cases during the post period. The mean length of stay in the ED for the pre, compared with the post period, was similar (2 h 14 min v. 2 h 25 min; p = 0.60), as were admission rates (11% v. 9%; p = 0.59). Systemic corticosteroid use was similar (62% v. 57%; p = 0.56); however, the total number of β-agonists (2 v. 4 treatments; p = 0.002) and anticholinergics (1 v. 2 treatments; p < 0.001) administered in the ED was higher during the post period. Prescriptions for oral (73% v. 60%; p = 0.15) and inhaled (78% v. 78%; p = 0.98) corticosteroids at discharge remained the same. Relapse rates at follow-up were unchanged (29% v. 34%; p = 0.52).
This study provides evidence that implementation of an ACM increased acute bronchodilator use; however, prescribing preventive medications did not increase. Further research is required to evaluate other strategies to improve asthma care by emergency physicians.
To evaluate the referral patterns of patients to a stroke prevention clinic (SPC) and to test the adequacy of pre-referral diagnosis and management of modifiable risk factors for stroke.
We collected prospective data on consecutive patients referred to the SPC at University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Outcome measures included: alternate diagnoses to stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), uncontrolled or undiagnosed hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes, therapies, and investigations leading to carotid endarterectomy.
Two thousand and eleven patients were referred to SPC. Nearly 25% of the referrals originated from the emergency room and the rest from general physicians. Of the referrals, 68.7% were confirmed as TIA or stroke at the SPC. Among 1381 patients with TIA or stroke, 736 had history of hypertension. Uncontrolled hypertension was found in 265 patients (36.0% of those with hypertension: 95% CI: 32.5–39.5) while undiagnosed hypertension was found in 103 (15.9% of those without hypertension: 95%CI: 13.14-18.79). History of hyperlipidemia was present in 451 patients (32.6%) and 356 (78.9%: 95% CI: 75.2-82.69) of these patients were not at target for secondary prevention. Among 930 patients without history of hyperlipidemia, 739 (79.5%: 95% CI: 76.8-82.1) were diagnosed with hyperlipidemia through the SPC. Fasting blood glucose levels above 7.1 mmol/L in patients with and without history of diabetes were 221 (79.2%: 95% CI: 74.5-83.9) and 66 (6%: 95%CI: 4.6-7.4) respectively.
Management of risk factors for stroke needs improvement. SPCs should consider actively managing the classical modifiable risk factors of stroke.
Proof from randomized controlled trials that carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is efficacious in stroke prevention has resulted in a large resurgence of its use in recent years. We wished to determine if patients in our region were being selected and treated with complication rates consistent with the randomized trials.
We have completed four audits of CEAs performed in our region since 1994, each followed by feed-back of results to the participating surgeons. Operations for > 70% symptomatic stenosis were considered appropriate, those for 50%-69% symptomatic and > 60% asymptomatic stenosis were considered uncertain and all others, including those in medically or neurologically unstable patients, were designated inappropriate. In part 4, the referral source and nature of the patients was also determined.
Part 1 (April 1994 - September 1995) found that of 291 CEAs performed 33% were appropriate, 48% were uncertain and 18% were inappropriate, and 40% of patients who underwent CEA were asymptomatic. In part 2 (September 1996 - September 1997) appropriate indications significantly improved to 49% of 184 CEAs (P=0.005), uncertain indications remained nearly the same at 47%, inappropriate indications fell to 4% (P=0.00002), and asymptomatic patients remained at 40%. The results of part 3 (October 1997 - October 1998) remained nearly the same as part 2 (249 CEAs, 47% appropriate, 51% uncertain, 2% inappropriate, 45% asymptomatic). Part 4 (October 1999 - October 2000) results were significantly better than part 3, appropriate indications increasing from 47% to 58% of 222 CEAs (P=0.02), and an elimination of inappropriate operations (P=0.03). Stroke and death complications declined over the study period from an overall rate of 5.2% in part 1 to 2.3% in part 4. In part 4 the majority of patients (69%) were referred to surgeons directly from general practitioners, including 58 (73%) of the 80 asymptomatic patients who underwent CEA.
Regular auditing and feedback of results and information to surgeons has resulted in significant and continued improvements in the surgical performance of CEAin our region. Since the majority of patients are referred directly to surgeons by general practitioners, it is important that this group of physicians be familiar with current CEA guidelines.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.