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While involving patients in health technology assessment (HTA) has become increasingly common and important around the world, little is known about the optimal methods of evaluating patients’ involvement (PI) in HTA. This scoping review was undertaken to provide an overview of currently available methods for the evaluation of PI, specifically the impact of PI on HTA recommendations.
A literature search was conducted using nine databases as well as a grey literature search of the websites of 26 organizations related to the conduct, practice or research of HTA to identify articles, reports and abstracts related to the evaluation of PI impact in HTA.
We identified 1,248 unique citations, six of which met our eligibility criteria. These six records (five articles, and one report) were all published after 2012. Four assessed the impact of patient experience submissions on final HTA recommendations; one evaluated the impact of direct involvement on HTA committees, and one assessed impact of multiple forms of involvement. Methods of evaluation included quantitative analyses of reimbursement decisions, qualitative interviews with those directly involved in an assessment, surveys of patient groups and committee members, and the review of HTA reports.
Quantitative evaluation of PI based on associations with funding decisions may not be feasible or fully capture the relevant impact of PI in the assessment of health technologies. Rather, a combination of both qualitative and quantitative strategies may allow for the most comprehensive assessment of the impact of PI on HTA recommendations when possible.
In September 2016, the annual meeting of the International Union for Quaternary Research’s Loess and Pedostratigraphy Focus Group, traditionally referred to as a LoessFest, met in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA. The 2016 LoessFest focused on “thin” loess deposits and loess transportation surfaces. This LoessFest included 75 registered participants from 10 countries. Almost half of the participants were from outside the United States, and 18 of the participants were students. This review is the introduction to the special issue for Quaternary Research that originated from presentations and discussions at the 2016 LoessFest. This introduction highlights current understanding and ongoing work on loess in various regions of the world and provides brief summaries of some of the current approaches/strategies used to study loess deposits.
Body dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms are commonly experienced during adolescence and increase the risk of adverse health outcomes, especially eating disorders. However, the dominant temporal associations between these two experiences (i.e., whether one is a risk factor for the other or the two are mutually reinforcing) has yet to be fully explored. We examined the associations between body dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms assessed at baseline and 5- and 10-year follow-up in younger (M age = 12.9 years at baseline, 56% female, n = 577) and older (M age = 15.9 years at baseline, 57% female, n = 1,325) adolescent cohorts assessed as part of Project Eating Among Teens and Young Adults. Associations between body dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms were examined using cross-lagged models. For females, the dominant directionality was for body dissatisfaction predicting later depressive symptoms. For males, the picture was more complex, with developmentally sensitive associations in which depressive symptoms predicted later body dissatisfaction in early adolescence and early adulthood, but the reverse association was dominant during middle adolescence. These findings suggest that interventions should be tailored to dynamic risk profiles that shift over adolescence and early adulthood, and that targeting body dissatisfaction at key periods during development may have downstream impacts on depressive symptoms.
Increasingly, ambulance services offer alternatives to transfer to the emergency department (ED), when this is better for patients. The introduction of electronic health records (EHR) in ambulance services is encouraged by national policy across the United Kingdom (UK) but roll-out has been variable and complex.
Electronic Records in Ambulances (ERA) is a two-year study which aims to investigate and describe the opportunities and challenges of implementing EHR and associated technology in ambulances to support a safe and effective shift to out of hospital care, including the implications for workforce in terms of training, role and clinical decision-making skills.
Our study includes a scoping review of relevant issues and a baseline assessment of progress in all UK ambulance services in implementing EHR. These will inform four in-depth case studies of services at different stages of implementation, assessing current usage, and examining context.
The scoping review identified themes including: there are many perceived potential benefits of EHR, such as improved safety and remote diagnostics, but as yet little evidence of them; technical challenges to implementation may inhibit uptake and lead to increased workload in the short term; staff implementing EHR may do so selectively or devise workarounds; and EHR may be perceived as a tool of staff surveillance.
Our scoping review identified some complex issues around the implementation of EHR and the relevant challenges, opportunities and workforce implications. These will help to inform our fieldwork and subsequent data analysis in the case study sites, to begin early in 2017. Lessons learned from the experience of implementing EHR so far should inform future development of information technology in ambulance services, and help service providers to understand how best to maximize the opportunities offered by EHR to redesign care.
Positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) brain imaging are widely used as diagnostic tools for suspected dementia but no studies have directly compared participant views of the two procedures. We used a range of methods to explore preferences for PET and SPECT.
Patients and controls (and accompanying carers) completed questionnaires immediately after undergoing PET and SPECT brain scans. Pulse rate data were collected during each scan. Scan attributes were prioritized using a card sorting exercise; carers and controls additionally answered willingness to pay (WTP) questions.
Few differences were found either between the scans or groups of participants, although carers marginally preferred SPECT. Diagnostic accuracy was prioritized over other scan characteristics. Mean heart rate during both scans was lower than baseline heart rate measured at home (p < 0.001).
Most participants viewed PET and SPECT scans as roughly equivalent and did not have a preference for either scan. Carer preference for SPECT is likely to reflect their desire to be with the patient (routine practice for SPECT but not for PET), suggesting that they should be able to accompany vulnerable patients throughout imaging procedures wherever possible. Pulse rate data indicated that brain imaging was no more stressful than a home visit (HV) from a researcher. The data do not support the anecdotal view that PET is a more burdensome procedure and the use of PET or SPECT scans in dementia should be based on diagnostic accuracy of the technique.
Tropical cyclone (TC) Yasi, thought to be the largest and most severe cyclone to cross the Queensland coast since 1918, made landfall on the southern tropical coast near Mission Beach and continued to track westward across Northern Queensland on February 3, 2011. The warning and response model (WRM) suggests that situational factors, personal characteristics, and social contextual variables influence the degree of threat perceived and protective actions taken.
The aim of this study was to examine preparation for this impending natural disaster by residents of the affected regions, and to identify the residents’ resource losses and symptoms of psychological distress following TC Yasi.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted 6-12 months after the cyclone using an adapted tool designed to measure preparedness, loss and psychosocial distress. Four hundred and thirty-three responses were received. Statistical analysis was conducted using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Categorical characteristics were described using sample size and percentages.
Almost all respondents perceived the cyclone warning as serious or very serious, and more than a third started preparing for the cyclone at least three days before it reached landfall. Overall, 115 (26.7%) respondents reported moderate and 59 (13.7%) reported major property damage; 72 (17.1%) reported a moderate and 49 (11.6%) reported a major change in their feeling of whether they have control over their life; 55 (13.1%) reported a major change in their motivation of getting things done; and 33 (7.9%) reported a major change in their perception of feeling valuable to others. Overall, 142 (34.1%) documented at least one of five symptoms of acute distress.
The findings document the experiences of Australians who have lived through tropical cyclone Yasi. The results support the WRM theory which proposes that people with previous experience take threatened disasters seriously.
UsherK, BuettnerP, WestC, MillisJ, WoodsC, MasonM, BoonH, Chamberlain-SalaunJ. Preparedness for and Impact of Tropical Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland, Australia. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(3):1-7.
Recently, for many health economics researchers, empirical estimation of the monetary valuation of a quality-adjusted life year (QALY) has become an important endeavour. Different philosophical and practical approaches to this have emerged. On the one hand, there is a view that, with health-care budgets set centrally, decision-making bodies within the system can iterate, from observation of a series of previous decisions, towards the value of a QALY, thus searching for such a value. Alternatively, and more consistent with the approach taken in other public sectors, individual members of the public are surveyed with the aim of directly eliciting a preference-based – also known as a willingness-to-pay-based (WTP-based) – value of a QALY. While the former is based on supply-side factors and the latter on demand, both in fact suffer from informational deficiencies. Sole reliance on either would necessitate an acceptance or accommodation of chronic inefficiencies in health-care resource allocation. On the basis of this observation, this paper makes the case that in order to approach optimal decision making in health-care provision, a framework incorporating and thus, to a degree, reconciling these two approaches is to be preferred.
Prison health care in England, including primary care, is now incorporated into the National Health Service; the impetus for the change is in part due to concern about standards of health care within prisons. The demographic characteristics and health status of patients within prisons are relatively well understood, as are the problems faced by health care professionals. Less is known about current health care provision.
To describe the organisation of primary health care and specialised services in prisons and compare services available to different types of prison.
A piloted questionnaire was sent to the governors of all prisons in England and Wales for completion by the health care manager.
Completed questionnaires were received from 122 (89%) of 138 prisons. The survey showed a low use of information technology (IT). Problems were reported with the recruitment and retention of general nurses in more than 50% of prisons. Prisoners in category A/B (higher security) prisons had available to them a greater range of health care services compared with those in other prisons. The results suggest that provision of services for chronic diseases and improvements in IT are needed. Problems with the recruitment and retention of general nurses need addressing. The reasons why lower-security prisoners are receiving a narrower range of specialised health care services compared with higher-security prisoners need justifying.
Mentoring for newly appointed consultants in all specialties is recognised and established as offering important and essential support in the early years after appointment to a consultant post (Connor et al, 2000; Roberts et al, 2002; Waters, 2002; Dosani, 2006). In some regions this is now formalised and is in line with recommendations of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (Dean, 2002, 2003).
A great deal of effort in recent years has gone into the development of spectroscopic techniques to probe the physical parameters of solar, stellar and other astrophysical plasmas. One aspect of this work is the calculation of plasma emission codes which are used to study EUV spectral lines. These codes require the input of a large amount of atomic data. In this paper, we present an overview of the atomic processes involved and an assessment of the accuracy of the parameters which are incorporated into different emission codes.
Spectroscopic diagnostics play an important role in determining the electron density and temperature structure, element abundances and dynamic nature of different features in the solar atmosphere. To ensure that these techniques are accurate it is necessary to interface solar analysis programs with the best available atomic data calculations. Recent progress in this work is presented and applications to planned space observations are discussed. In particular, the CDS and Sumer instruments, on the Solar Heliospheric Observatory, will make extensive use of spectroscopic diagnostics to study the heating processes for the solar corona and the acceleration mechanisms for the solar wind.
The X-ray wavelength region (1-200Å) is rich in spectral lines from highly ionised systems. Spectra from the solar atmosphere have been studied extensively with various instruments covering different wavelength regions. In this paper, we discuss the solar spectral line emission with particular reference to iron ions and helium like ions observed during solar flares. The atomic processes involved in the calculation of theoretical intensities for low density plasmas are outlined together with the diagnostic properties of the emission lines. Comparisons are made with available cosmic X-ray spectra and predicted spectra for future projects, such as AXAF.
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