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Background: Since January 1, 2016 2358 people have died from opioid poisoning in Alberta. Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is the recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) and this treatment can be initiated in emergency departments and urgent care centres (EDs). Aim Statement: This project aims to spread a quality improvement intervention to all 107 adult EDs in Alberta by March 31, 2020. The intervention supports clinicians to initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals and provide rapid referrals to OUD treatment clinics. Measures & Design: Local ED teams were identified (administrators, clinical nurse educators, physicians and, where available, pharmacists and social workers). Local teams were supported by a provincial project team (project manager, consultant, and five physician leads) through a multi-faceted implementation process using provincial order sets, clinician education products, and patient-facing information. We used administrative ED and pharmacy data to track the number of visits where bup/nal was given in ED, and whether discharged patients continued to fill any opioid agonist treatment (OAT) prescription 30 days after their index ED visit. OUD clinics reported the number of referrals received from EDs and the number attending their first appointment. Patient safety event reports were tracked to identify any unintended negative impacts. Evaluation/Results: We report data from May 15, 2018 (program start) to September 31, 2019. Forty-nine EDs (46% of 107) implemented the program and 22 (45% of 49) reported evaluation data. There were 5385 opioid-related visits to reporting ED sites after program adoption. Bup/nal was given during 832 ED visits (663 unique patients): 7 visits in the 1st quarter the program operated, 55 in the 2nd, 74 in the 3rd, 143 in the 4th, 294 in the 5th, and 255 in the 6th. Among 505 unique discharged patients with 30 day follow up data available 319 (63%) continued to fill any OAT prescription after receiving bup/nal in ED. 16 (70%) of 23 community clinics provided data. EDs referred patients to these clinics 440 times, and 236 referrals (54%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Available data may under-report program impact. 5 patient safety events have been reported, with no harm or minimal harm to the patient. Discussion/Impact: Results demonstrate effective spread and uptake of a standardized provincial ED based early medical intervention program for patients who live with OUD.
Competency research in the rehabilitation profession and that of rehabilitation counselling in particular, has an extensive pedigree. This article reviews the significant research in the field and details several of the instruments used in competency research to date. Issues concerning the current use of competency research and the future role of such research are discussed.
Lateral neck radiographs are commonly used in the investigation and management of patients presenting with suspected fish bone impaction. The effectiveness of these is questioned, as many fish do not have radio-opaque bones.
This study evaluated the utility of lateral neck radiographs in the management of patients presenting with fish bones retained in the upper aerodigestive tract, with the creation of a treatment algorithm to guide further management.
An audit of practice was undertaken at the University Hospital of Southampton, identifying all patients admitted with potential fish bone impaction in the upper aerodigestive tract. Following analysis, a treatment algorithm was constructed for use by junior doctors.
In total, 34 per cent of patients with a normal radiograph were subsequently found to have a fish bone present under local or general anaesthetic assessment. The sensitivity of radiographs in the detection of fish bones was found to be 51.6 per cent.
Lateral neck radiographs have limited value in the management of suspected fish bone impaction, and should only be used following detailed clinical examination of the upper aerodigestive tract.
Background: Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is a partial opioid agonist/antagonist and recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Emergency departments (EDs) are a key point of contact with the healthcare system for patients living with OUD. Aim Statement: We implemented a multi-disciplinary quality improvement project to screen patients for OUD, initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals, and provide rapid next business day walk-in referrals to addiction clinics in the community. Measures & Design: From May to September 2018, our team worked with three ED sites and three addiction clinics to pilot the program. Implementation involved alignment with regulatory requirements, physician education, coordination with pharmacy to ensure in-ED medication access, and nurse education. The project is supported by a full-time project manager, data analyst, operations leaders, physician champions, provincial pharmacy, and the Emergency Strategic Clinical Network leadership team. For our pilot, our evaluation objective was to determine the degree to which our initiation and referral pathway was being utilized. We used administrative data to track the number of patients given bup/nal in ED, their demographics and whether they continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their ED visit. Addiction clinics reported both the number of patients referred to them and the number of patients attending their referral. Evaluation/Results: Administrative data shows 568 opioid-related visits to ED pilot sites during the pilot phase. Bup/nal was given to 60 unique patients in the ED during 66 unique visits. There were 32 (53%) male patients and 28 (47%) female patients. Median patient age was 34 (range: 21 to 79). ED visits where bup/nal was given had a median length of stay of 6 hours 57 minutes (IQR: 6 hours 20 minutes) and Canadian Triage Acuity Scores as follows: Level 1 – 1 (2%), Level 2 – 21 (32%), Level 3 – 32 (48%), Level 4 – 11 (17%), Level 5 – 1 (2%). 51 (77%) of these visits led to discharge. 24 (47%) discharged patients given bup/nal in ED continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their index ED visit. EDs also referred 37 patients with OUD to the 3 community clinics, and 16 of those individuals (43%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Discussion/Impact: Our pilot project demonstrates that with dedicated resources and broad institutional support, ED patients with OUD can be appropriately initiated on bup/nal and referred to community care.
Flexible laryngoscopy is a commonly performed procedure in otolaryngology. Although this procedure is not considered painful, many patients describe it as uncomfortable. This study investigated the role of visual distraction as a form of pain relief during flexible laryngoscopy.
The study included patients undergoing flexible laryngoscopy at the University Hospital Southampton. Patients were self-allocated to one of four groups: with or without co-phenylcaine anaesthetic spray; and with and without visual distraction. Visual distraction involved the patient watching the procedure concurrently with the clinician, via a video monitor. Pre- and post-procedural discomfort was assessed using a visual analogue scale.
The use of topical anaesthetic spray was not associated with significantly reduced discomfort scores (p > 0.05). Discomfort scores were significantly reduced in the visual distraction groups (p = 0.04), irrespective of the use of topical anaesthetic spray.
This small study showed that visual distraction should be considered as a simple and cost-effective alternative to local anaesthetic for flexible laryngoscopy.
Up to 70 per cent of the population search online for medical or health-related information. This study aimed to assess the quality of online health resources available to educate patients on a variety of otolaryngological conditions.
Two clinicians independently analysed the quality and content of educational websites (patient.co.uk and wikipedia.org) for common and uncommon diagnoses, with cancerresearchuk.org also used to assess two head and neck cancers.
Cancerresearchuk.org, followed by patient.co.uk, scored most highly in their ability to inform readers on a selection of otolaryngological conditions. Although wikipedia.org was less likely to include all relevant information and was more difficult to read, it still provided mostly accurate information.
Where possible, patients should be advised to access professionally maintained health information websites (patient.co.uk and cancerresearchuk.org). However, wikipedia.org can provide adequate information, although it lacks depth and can be difficult to understand.
To study longitudinal changes in the quality of life (QoL) in persons with and without dementia, and explore the factors associated with baseline QoL and changes of QoL over the follow-up period.
Prospective longitudinal study.
Data were collected from 17 municipalities in Norway in the period from January 2009 to August 2012. A total of 412 persons were included, 254 (61.7 %) persons without dementia and 158 (38.3 %) with dementia at baseline.
Persons 70 years of age or older, receiving municipal care services. Main outcome measures include the following: self-rated and proxy-rated QoL over a period of 18 months, cognitive status, functional status, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and demographics.
Longitudinal changes in QoL were small, despite changes in clinical variables. Proxy ratings of patients QoL were lower than the patients’ own ratings. Belonging to a group with low QoL trajectory was associated with symptoms of depression, reduced physical and instrumental functioning, and more severe dementia.
Patients and proxies evaluated the patients’ QoL differently and QoL did not necessarily correspond with deterioration in clinical parameters. To prevent impaired QoL, we need to address identified factors and keep an approach open to the individual perceptions of QoL.
The “pathway to care” concept offers a helpful framework for preparing national dementia plans and strategies and provides a structure to explore the availability and accessibility of timely and effective care for people with dementia and support for their informal carers. Within the framework of the JPND-MEETINGDEM implementation project the pathways to regular day-care activities and the Meeting Centers Support Programme (MCSP), an innovative combined support form for people with dementia and carers, was explored.
An exploratory, descriptive, qualitative, cross-country design was applied to investigate the pathways to day care in several regions in four European countries (Italy, Poland, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands).
Before implementation of MCSP, of the four countries the United Kingdom had the most structured pathway to post-diagnostic support for people with dementia. MCSP introduction had a positive impact on the pathways to day-care activities in all countries. MCSP filled an important gap in post-diagnostic care, increasing the accessibility to support for both people with dementia and carers. Key elements such as program of activities, target group, and collaboration between healthcare and social services were recognized as success factors.
This study shows that MCSP fills (part of) the gap between diagnosis and residential care and can therefore be seen as a pillar of post-diagnostic care and support. Further dissemination of Meeting Centers in Europe may have a multiple impact on the structure of dementia services in European countries and the pathways to day care for people with dementia and their carer(s).
This paper presents the results of Phase 3 of The RETURN Project, a European Study which aimed to reduce long term absenteeism in the workplace. Phases 1 and 2 have been described in detail elsewhere. The study adopted an iterative approach that explored LTA from three different perspectives: the System, the Expert and the Employer. This paper describes how the outputs of both the System and the Expert phases in combination with other tools focused on Disability Management (DM) were used to generate an interactive multi-jurisdictional assessment protocol tool for evaluating company based responses in managing employees on long term absence. The RETURN Protocol was field tested in different regulatory contexts using a company case study approach. Results of the field test carried out in six European companies are presented and the future and appropriate use of the protocol tool is discussed.
Acceptance of chronic pain is associated with positive health outcomes. The study examined participants’ chronic pain experiences by exploring two acceptance factors: pain willingness and activity engagement. Eleven participants (seven women and four men) participated in semi-structured interviews. Interview transcripts were analysed to identify pain willingness and activity engagement in participants’ experiences. The study found that participants demonstrated some pain willingness and activity engagement, but that avoidance and control could result in unwanted activity restrictions. Three themes were identified in participants’ accounts of getting on with their lives: making necessary adjustments, taking control and finding purpose and meaning. To improve outcomes for people with chronic pain, counsellors and rehabilitation professionals should encourage pain acceptance, and educate their clients about the effects of social withdrawal, and avoidance and control of pain.
This study aimed to ascertain otolaryngologists’ current knowledge of new (e.g. apixaban, rivaroxaban) and old (e.g. warfarin) anticoagulant medications, and to provide an educational overview of new anticoagulants for use by surgeons.
A questionnaire survey was distributed across the Wessex region, UK, to ascertain the levels of knowledge of and confidence in managing patients taking various anticoagulants. In total, 50 questionnaires were completed (41 by trainees and 9 by consultants). A literature review of new anticoagulant medications was then conducted.
In general, there was poor clinical and pharmacokinetic knowledge of newly licensed anticoagulant medications. Respondents were more confident in the use of older vs newer forms of anticoagulants. This was true across all grades of doctors, but particularly at the senior level. All respondents stated that they would like to see an educational resource on anticoagulants.
Knowledge of newly licensed anticoagulation medications is poor. This study has produced an educational resource for the management of anticoagulant agents. A thorough knowledge of these drugs is essential for the acute management of bleeding patients and in peri-operative surgical planning.
Originally presented at the National Injury Management and Prevention Conference: Transition and Change, on April 27, 2006, which was held at the Hyatt Regency, Adelaide, South Australia. Reprinted with the permission of the authors.
Work in the Australian construction industry is fraught with risk and the potential for serious harm. The industry is consistently placed within the three most hazardous industries to work along with other industries such as mining and transport (National Occupational Health and Safety Commission, 2003). In the 2001 to 2002 period, construction work killed 39 people and injured 13,250 more. Hence, more effort is required to reduce the injury rate and maximise the value of the rehabilitation/back-to-work process.
Therapeutic intervention usually begins with a detailed description of the presenting problem and its antecedent history. Through the process of communicating their problem the client presents a story, potentially laden with their experiences, attitudes, beliefs and understandings. The topic and manner in which a story is relayed provides direct and indirect sources of information that help the therapist to both understand the client's problem and formulate goals and approaches to therapy. Rather than simply using the client's story as a guide to understanding and treatment, narrative therapy focuses on the client's story or ‘narrative’ as a medium through which change can be effected. During the process of narrative therapy the client is encouraged to deconstruct and critically appraise their story in the search for new meanings (White & Epston, 1990). The client is encouraged to retell their story with new language and new insights. Thus, the implementation of narrative therapy may be construed as a natural extension of taking the client's problem history, where the story told serves as the content foundation for the therapeutic process. The purpose of the present article is to provide a brief overview of narrative therapy techniques and their application in counselling.
A 9-year time-series of genotyped human campylobacteriosis cases from the Manawatu region of New Zealand was used to investigate strain-type seasonality. The data were collected from 2005 to 2013 and the samples were multi-locus sequence-typed (MLST). The four most prevalent clonal complexes (CCs), consisting of 1215 isolates, were CC48, CC21, CC45 and CC61. Seasonal decomposition and Poisson regression with autocorrelated errors, were used to display and test for seasonality of the most prevalent CCs. Of the four examined CCs, only CC45 showed a marked seasonal (summer) peak. The association of CC45 with summer peaks has been observed in other temperate countries, but has previously not been identified in New Zealand. This is the first in-depth study over a long time period employing MLST data to examine strain-type-associated seasonal patterns of C. jejuni infection in New Zealand.
In this investigation of rehabilitation professionals in Australasia, where the profession of rehabilitation counselling might be described as emerging, the appropriateness of the Rehabilitation Skills Inventory for use in Australasian settings was evaluated. This resulted in an amendment to the original instrument and the development of the RSI (Amended) instrument. The instrument validation is discussed and the four component solution described.