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Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home was launched in two provinces, including a new clinical practice guideline, database, and paramedic training. The aim of this study was to evaluate patient/family satisfaction and paramedic comfort and confidence.
In Part A, we gathered perspectives of patients/families via surveys mailed at enrolment and telephone interviews after an encounter. Responses were reported descriptively and by thematic analysis. In Part B, we surveyed paramedics online pre- and 18 months post-launch. Comfort and confidence were scored on a 4-point Likert scale, and attitudes on a 7-point Likert scale, reported as the median (interquartile range [IQR]); analysis with Wilcoxon ranked sum/thematic analysis of free text.
In Part A, 67/255 (30%) enrolment surveys were returned. Three themes emerged: fulfilling wishes, peace of mind, and feeling prepared for emergencies. In 18 post-encounter interviews, four themes emerged: 24/7 availability, paramedic professionalism and compassion, symptom relief, and a plea for program continuation. Thematic saturation was reached with little divergence. In Part B, 235/1255 (18.9%) pre- and 267 (21.3%) post-surveys were completed. Comfort with providing palliative care without transport improved post launch (p = < 0.001) as did confidence in palliative care without transport (p = < 0.001). Respondents strongly agreed that all paramedics should be able to provide basic palliative care.
After implementation of the multifaceted Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home Program, paramedics describe palliative care as important and rewarding. The program resulted in high patient/family satisfaction; simply registering provides peace of mind. After an encounter, families particularly noted the compassion and professionalism of the paramedics.
The present study explored associations between food choice motives, attitudes towards and intention to adopt personalised nutrition, to inform communication strategies based on consumer priorities and concerns.
A survey was administered online which included the Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) and items assessing attitudes towards and intention to adopt personalised nutrition.
Nationally representative samples were recruited in nine EU countries (n 9381).
Structural equation modelling indicated that the food choice motives ‘weight control’, ‘mood’, ‘health’ and ‘ethical concern’ had a positive association and ‘price’ had a negative association with attitude towards, and intention to adopt, personalised nutrition. ‘Health’ was positively associated and ‘familiarity’ negatively associated with attitude towards personalised nutrition. The effects of ‘weight control’, ‘ethical concern’, ‘mood’ and ‘price’ on intention to adopt personalised nutrition were partially mediated by attitude. The effects of ‘health’ and ‘familiarity’ were fully mediated by attitude. ‘Sensory appeal’ was negatively and directly associated with intention to adopt personalised nutrition.
Personalised nutrition providers may benefit from taking into consideration the importance of underlying determinants of food choice in potential users, particularly weight control, mood and price, when promoting services and in tailoring communications that are motivationally relevant.
Personalised nutrition (PN) has the potential to reduce disease risk and optimise health and performance. Although previous research has shown good acceptance of the concept of PN in the UK, preferences regarding the delivery of a PN service (e.g. online v. face-to-face) are not fully understood. It is anticipated that the presence of a free at point of delivery healthcare system, the National Health Service (NHS), in the UK may have an impact on end-user preferences for deliverances. To determine this, supplementary analysis of qualitative data obtained from focus group discussions on PN service delivery, collected as part of the Food4Me project in the UK and Ireland, was undertaken. Irish data provided comparative analysis of a healthcare system that is not provided free of charge at the point of delivery to the entire population. Analyses were conducted using the ‘framework approach’ described by Rabiee (Focus-group interview and data analysis. Proc Nutr Soc 63, 655-660). There was a preference for services to be led by the government and delivered face-to-face, which was perceived to increase trust and transparency, and add value. Both countries associated paying for nutritional advice with increased commitment and motivation to follow guidelines. Contrary to Ireland, however, and despite the perceived benefit of paying, UK discussants still expected PN services to be delivered free of charge by the NHS. Consideration of this unique challenge of free healthcare that is embedded in the NHS culture will be crucial when introducing PN to the UK.
The notion of educating the public through generic healthy eating messages has pervaded dietary health promotion efforts over the years and continues to do so through various media, despite little evidence for any enduring impact upon eating behaviour. There is growing evidence, however, that tailored interventions such as those that could be delivered online can be effective in bringing about healthy dietary behaviour change. The present paper brings together evidence from qualitative and quantitative studies that have considered the public perspective of genomics, nutrigenomics and personalised nutrition, including those conducted as part of the EU-funded Food4Me project. Such studies have consistently indicated that although the public hold positive views about nutrigenomics and personalised nutrition, they have reservations about the service providers’ ability to ensure the secure handling of health data. Technological innovation has driven the concept of personalised nutrition forward and now a further technological leap is required to ensure the privacy of online service delivery systems and to protect data gathered in the process of designing personalised nutrition therapies.
Older people are vulnerable to zinc deficiency, which may impact upon their mood. This randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention study aimed to investigate the effect of oral zinc gluconate supplementation (15 mg/d; 30 mg/d; and placebo) on subjective mood (affect) in older Europeans.
Healthy volunteers (n 387) aged 55–87 years were recruited.
Volunteers in Rome (Italy; n 108) and Grenoble (France; n 91) were aged 70–87 years and those in Coleraine (Northern Ireland; n 93) and Clermont-Ferrand (France; n 95) were aged 55–70 years.
Mood was measured using the Positive and Negative Affect Scale on four occasions per day over 4 d at baseline, 3 and 6 months post-intervention.
Mixed ANOVA indicated that neither positive nor negative affect altered in response to zinc (15 mg/d or 30 mg/d) compared to placebo in either the 55–70 years or the ≥70 years age group.
These results suggest that zinc does not benefit mood in healthy older people.
Negative consumer opinion poses a potential barrier to the application of nutrigenomic intervention. The present study has aimed to determine attitudes toward genetic testing and personalised nutrition among the European public. An omnibus opinion survey of a representative sample aged 14–55+ years (n 5967) took place in France, Italy, Great Britain, Portugal, Poland and Germany during June 2005 as part of the Lipgene project. A majority of respondents (66 %) reported that they would be willing to undergo genetic testing and 27 % to follow a personalised diet. Individuals who indicated a willingness to have a genetic test for the personalising of their diets were more likely to report a history of high blood cholesterol levels, central obesity and/or high levels of stress than those who would have a test only for general interest. Those who indicated that they would not have a genetic test were more likely to be male and less likely to report having central obesity. Individuals with a history of high blood cholesterol were less likely than those who did not to worry if intervention foods contained GM ingredients. Individuals who were aware that they had health problems associated with the metabolic syndrome appeared particularly favourable toward nutrigenomic intervention. These findings are encouraging for the future application of personalised nutrition provided that policies are put in place to address public concern about how genetic information is used and held.
To explore the relationship between subjective mood, folate status and homocysteine in healthy individuals.
Subjective mood assessments were completed twice daily over the course of one week using the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). The PANAS is a validated scale which considers mood state on two distinct continua, one reflecting positive mood and the other negative mood, each requiring response to 10 adjectives on a Likert scale. A blood sample was taken on one occasion at the start of the week during which subjective mood was assessed and analysed for red-blood-cell (RBC) folate, serum folate and plasma homocysteine concentrations.
Male volunteers aged 19–47 years (n = 58) were recruited from local industries.
High concentrations of RBC folate were associated with less variability (lower standard deviation) in negative mood (P = 0.023). Subjective mood, however, was not related to serum folate or homocysteine.
This study appears to be the first to uncover an association between long-term folate status and subjective mood (employing the PANAS) in healthy males. More research is needed to further explore the relationship between nutritional status and mood.
A large-scale study of complex wh-questions with 1,000 subjects aged 4–9 years is reported. The subjects' dialects were Mainstream American English or African American English, and approximately one-third were language impaired. The study examined when children permit long distance wh-movement, and when they respect a variety of syntactic barriers to movement. Thirteen different structures were compared, and the results suggest that typically developing children and disordered children at all the ages studied are capable of long-distance movement and obedience to abstract barriers. In no case was dialect a significant factor in the children's linguistic performance on these tasks.
Taste acuity declines with age and may be dependent upon Zn status. The aim of the present double-blind, randomised controlled intervention trial has been to determine taste acuity in response to Zn supplementation (placebo, or 15 or 30 mg Zn/d). Healthy older European adults aged 70–87 years were recruited within Italy (Rome) (n 108) and France (Grenoble) (n 91) to the European Commission-funded Zenith project. A signal detection theory approach was adopted for taste assessment. The data were converted to R indices and analysed by repeated-measures ANOVA controlling for baseline taste acuity as well as serum and erythrocyte Zn. Serum Zn increased post-intervention, indicating compliance with the intervention. Results differed across geographical region. Salt taste acuity was greater in response to Zn (30 mg) than placebo post-intervention among those recruited in Grenoble. There was no apparent change in acuity for sweet, sour or bitter taste in response to Zn. Supplemented Zn may have potential to enhance salt taste acuity in those over the age of 70 years. Further research is required to determine if enhanced salt taste acuity is reflected in the eating experiences of older individuals.
A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled design was employed to investigate the effects of Zn supplementation on cognitive function in 387 healthy adults aged 55–87 years. Several measures of visual memory, working memory, attention and reaction time were obtained using the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery at baseline and then after 3 and 6 months of 0 (placebo), 15 or 30 mg Zn/d. Younger adults (<70 years) performed significantly better on all tests than older adults (>70 years), and performance improved with practice on some measures. For two out of eight dependent variables, there were significant interactions indicating a beneficial effect (at 3 months only) of both 15 and 30 mg/d on one measure of spatial working memory and a detrimental effect of 15 mg/d on one measure of attention. Further work is required to establish whether these findings generalise to older adults in poorer mental and physical health and with less adequate Zn intake and status than the present sample.
Many patients with a functional univentricular heart were treated in the 1970s and 1980s, using an atriopulmonary connection to create the Fontan circulation.1–3 Although this procedure, in many patients, was initially successful, and provided arterial saturations of oxygen close to normal, as these patients were followed over the years, in some cases they developed significant complications. One complication of the atriopulmonary connection is progressive right atrial dilation, which leads to atrial arrhythmias, such as atrial flutter or fibrillation.4,5 The combination of these two problems leads to low cardiac output, diminished quality of life, and poor categorization within the classification of the New York Heart Association. This, and other issues, has led most centres to abandon the atriopulmonary connection as a means of creating the Fontan circulation in favour of the lateral tunnel with cavopulmonary connections,6 or the extracardiac conduit.7
Evidence suggests that low folate status may be detrimental to mood and associated with depleted cerebrospinal fluid levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT). A placebo-controlled trial was carried out to determine the effect of folic acid supplementation (100 μg for 6 weeks followed by 200 μg for a further 6 weeks) upon subjective mood (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule) and biochemical markers of mood (5-HT) in healthy males (n 23). Blood samples were obtained at baseline (week 0) and during the intervention at week 6 and week 12. Subjective mood assessments were obtained at week 0 and week 12. The results showed an increase in serum and erythrocyte folate concentrations (P=0·02 and P=0·003, respectively) and a corresponding decrease in plasma homocysteine (P=0·015) in response to the folic acid intervention. Neither subjective mood nor 5-HT levels, however, were significantly altered in response to the change in folate status. Folic acid given at physiological doses did not appear to improve the mood of healthy folate-replete individuals over a 12-week period. Further research is needed to address the effect of folic acid supplementation or of longer duration or increased dose, particularly in the face of sub-optimal folate status.
Metabolic syndrome (MS) is more common among socio-economically disadvantaged individuals and is associated with certain risky lifestyle practices. MS also appears to be triggered by adverse social circumstances and chronic stress. The present paper reviews accumulating evidence to imply that individuals who have certain personality and behaviour traits are particularly predisposed to develop MS, and brings together theories that relate to possible psychological mechanisms underlying MS. It considers how such factors might interact causally to encourage the development of MS. As part of the EU-funded LIPGENE Integrated Project, multi-level modelling will be undertaken to explore potential pathways to MS, taking into consideration the interplay between a range of psycho-social, demographic, cultural and lifestyle factors thought to contribute to the development of MS. Data will be gathered for this purpose from a representative sample of >50-year-olds living in Britain (n 1000) and Portugal (n 500). It is anticipated that this information will assist in the development and targetting of future intervention to prevent and treat MS in the normal population.
Lipid oxidation leads to meat spoilage and has been reported to cause adverse changes in the flavour and texture of poultry meat. Vitamin E has been found to be effective in delaying lipid oxidation. The aim of this study was to determine whether the vitamin E supplementation of chicken feed influences the consumers' perception of the quality of chicken meat under normal display and storage conditions. Untrained consumers (n 32) evaluated cooked breast meat from chickens (both corn fed and wheat fed) supplemented with 75 250 or 500 mg/kg vitamin E and after storage at 4°C for 4 and 7 d. Factorial analysis found an interaction between vitamin E treatment and storage day upon the perceived juiciness (P=0·023) and tenderness (P=0·041) of the chicken meat. Perceptions of quality relative to vitamin E level were more evident on day 4 than day 7. When the two cereal types were compared, the time-related sub-group effects were observed only in meat from corn-fed chickens supplemented with either 75 or 250 mg/kg, which was perceived to be juicier (P=0·018) and more tender (P=0·020) than that supplemented at the 500 mg/kg level. These results imply that the two lower concentrations of vitamin E have some advantages over 500 mg/kg, but for optimal consumer acceptance of corn-fed chicken meat, we suggest that 250 mg/kg vitamin E should be added to corn-fed poultry feed. There was no evidence to suggest any advantages in changing the current amount of vitamin E (75 mg/kg) used to rear wheat-fed birds.
The taxonomic relationship between two toothed South African river crabs, Potamonautes warreni and P. unispinus, is unclear. The problem stems from the widespread variation in carapace dentition patterns amongst P. warreni individuals over its biogeographic range, where single toothed individuals may appear similar in carapace morphology to P. unispinus. Ten populations of P. warreni and 18 populations of P. unispinus were collected and the morphometric and genetic differentiation between the two taxa quantified. Patterns of morphometric and genetic variation were examined using multivariate statistics and protein gel electrophoresis, respectively. Principal component analyses of carapace characters showed that the two species are morphologically indistinguishable. However, discriminate functions analyses and additional statistical results corroborate the morphological distinction between the two taxa. Allozyme electrophoresis of 17 protein coding loci, indicated a close genetic similarity between the two species (I = 0.92). A fixed allelic difference at one locus (LT-2) and extensive genetic variability at another locus (PGM-1) indicate that two gene pools are present and that the two taxa are genetically isolated. Intraspecific genetic I values for both species were >0.97 and indicated no apparent genetic structuring on a micro or macro-geographic scale. The variation in carapace dentition among P. warreni populations possesses no genetic basis and may possibly be the product of ecogenesis. The value of dentition patterns in the systematics of river crabs is discussed. Dentition patterns among river crab species appear to be conserved and reliable as species specific diagnostic markers, but should ideally be used in combination with other morphological data sets and genetic evidence.