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To describe the characteristics of people in Central and Eastern Sydney (CES), NSW, who had a General Practice Management Plan (GPMP) and claimed for at least one private allied health service item; and to examine if allied health service use results in less hospitalisations over a five-year period.
The number of people living with chronic health conditions is increasing in Australia. The Chronic Disease Management programme was introduced to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) to provide a more structured approach to managing patients with chronic conditions and complex care needs. The programme supports general practitioners claiming up to one GPMP and one Team Care Arrangement every year, and the patient additionally claiming for up to five private allied health services visits.
A prospective longitudinal study was conducted. The sample consisted of 5771 participants in CES who had a GPMP within a two-year health service utilisation baseline period (2007–2009). The analysis used the 45 and Up Study questionnaire data linked to the MBS, hospitalisation, death and emergency department data for the period 2006–2014.
Of the eligible participants, 43% (2460) had at least one allied health service item claim in the subsequent 12 months. Allied health services were reported as physiotherapy, podiatry and other allied health services. The highest rates of allied health service use were among participants aged 85 years and over (49%). After controlling for confounding factors, a significant difference was found between having claimed for five or more physiotherapy services and emergency admissions (HR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.72–0.95) and potentially preventable hospitalisations (HR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.64–0.96) in the subsequent five years. Use of allied health service items was well targeted towards those with chronic and complex care needs, and use of physiotherapy services was associated with less avoidable hospitalisations.
Scales are widely used in psychiatric assessments following self-harm. Robust evidence for their diagnostic use is lacking.
To evaluate the performance of risk scales (Manchester Self-Harm Rule, ReACT Self-Harm Rule, SAD PERSONS scale, Modified SAD PERSONS scale, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale); and patient and clinician estimates of risk in identifying patients who repeat self-harm within 6 months.
A multisite prospective cohort study was conducted of adults aged 18 years and over referred to liaison psychiatry services following self-harm. Scale a priori cut-offs were evaluated using diagnostic accuracy statistics. The area under the curve (AUC) was used to determine optimal cut-offs and compare global accuracy.
In total, 483 episodes of self-harm were included in the study. The episode-based 6-month repetition rate was 30% (n = 145). Sensitivity ranged from 1% (95% CI 0–5) for the SAD PERSONS scale, to 97% (95% CI 93–99) for the Manchester Self-Harm Rule. Positive predictive values ranged from 13% (95% CI 2–47) for the Modified SAD PERSONS Scale to 47% (95% CI 41–53) for the clinician assessment of risk. The AUC ranged from 0.55 (95% CI 0.50–0.61) for the SAD PERSONS scale to 0.74 (95% CI 0.69–0.79) for the clinician global scale. The remaining scales performed significantly worse than clinician and patient estimates of risk (P < 0.001).
Risk scales following self-harm have limited clinical utility and may waste valuable resources. Most scales performed no better than clinician or patient ratings of risk. Some performed considerably worse. Positive predictive values were modest. In line with national guidelines, risk scales should not be used to determine patient management or predict self-harm.
To describe the symptoms and functional changes in patients with high levels of somatization who were referred to an outpatient, multidisciplinary, shared mental healthcare (SMHC) service that primarily offered cognitive behavioural therapy. Second, we wished to compare the levels of somatization in this outpatient clinical sample with previously published community norms.
Somatization is common in primary care, and it can lead to significant impairment, disproportionate resource use, and poses a challenge for management.
All the patients (18+ years, n=508) who attended three or more treatment sessions in SMHC primary care over a seven-year period were eligible for inclusion to this pre–post study. Self-report measures included the Patient Health Questionnaire’s somatic symptom severity scale (PHQ-15) and the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS II). Normative comparisons were used to assess the degree of symptoms and functional changes.
Clinically significant levels of somatization before treatment were common (n=138, 27.2%) and were associated with a significant reduction in somatic symptom severity (41.3% reduction; P<0.001) and disability (44% reduction; P<0.001) after treatment. Patients’ levels of somatic symptom severity and disability approached but did not quite reach the community sample norms following treatment. Multidisciplinary short-term SMHC was associated with significant improvement in patient symptoms and disability, and shows promise as an effective treatment for patients with high levels of somatization. Including a control group would allow more confidence regarding the conclusions about the effectiveness of SMHC for patients impaired by somatization.
Background: A definitive diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), as distinct from a clinically isolated syndrome, requires one of two conditions: a second clinical attack or particular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings as defined by the McDonald criteria. MRI is also important after a diagnosis is made as a means of monitoring subclinical disease activity. While a standardized protocol for diagnostic and follow-up MRI has been developed by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centres, acceptance and implementation in Canada have been suboptimal. Methods: To improve diagnosis, monitoring, and management of a clinically isolated syndrome and MS, a Canadian expert panel created consensus recommendations about the appropriate application of the 2010 McDonald criteria in routine practice, strategies to improve adherence to the standardized Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centres MRI protocol, and methods for ensuring effective communication among health care practitioners, in particular referring physicians, neurologists, and radiologists. Results: This article presents eight consensus statements developed by the expert panel, along with the rationale underlying the recommendations and commentaries on how to prioritize resource use within the Canadian healthcare system. Conclusions: The expert panel calls on neurologists and radiologists in Canada to incorporate the McDonald criteria, the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centres MRI protocol, and other guidance given in this consensus presentation into their practices. By improving communication and general awareness of best practices for MRI use in MS diagnosis and monitoring, we can improve patient care across Canada by providing timely diagnosis, informed management decisions, and better continuity of care.
Background: Increasingly more attention has been paid to non-pharmacological interventions as treatment of agitated behaviors that accompany dementia. The aim of the current study is to test if personalized one-to-one interaction activities based on Montessori principles will improve agitation, affect, and engagement more than a relevant control condition.
Methods: We conducted a randomized crossover trial in nine residential facilities in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia (n = 44). Personalized one-to-one activities that were delivered using Montessori principles were compared with a non-personalized activity to control for the non-specific benefits of one-to-one interaction. Participants were observed 30 minutes before, during, and after the sessions. The presence or absence of a selected physically non-aggressive behavior was noted in every minute, together with the predominant type of affect and engagement.
Results: Behavior counts fell considerably during both the Montessori and control sessions relative to beforehand. During Montessori activities, the amount of time spend actively engaged was double compared to during the control condition and participants displayed more positive affect and interest as well. Participants with no fluency in English (all from non-English speaking backgrounds) showed a significantly larger reduction in agitation during the Montessori than control sessions.
Conclusion: Our results show that even non-personalized social contact can assist in settling agitated residents. Tailoring activities to residents’ needs and capabilities elicit more positive interactions and are especially suitable for people who have lost fluency in the language spoken predominantly in their residential facility. Future studies could explore implementation by family members and volunteers to avoid demands on facilities’ resources.
Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry – ACTRN12609000564257.
During the early 1960s, Norbert Elias led a research project on the adjustment of young workers to work situations and adult roles. The data from this project, which consisted of 851 interviews with young people, were recently rediscovered and the participants, now approaching retirement, were re-interviewed as part of a restudy. In this paper we argue, that, in the context of the dramatic changes to the transition to retirement that have taken place in the United Kingdom, it is possible to use Elias's unpublished work on the transition to work as a theoretical framework for understanding of the transition from work and to retirement. In particular, we focus on the themes of fantasy and reality in the perception of retirement; changing interdependencies in the transition to retirement and the extent and impact of retirement preparation on the perception of the change in status from full-time worker to retiree. We conclude by suggesting that the implied advantages of being the ‘baby-boomer’ generation are far from the reality, with the experiences of this group being similar to those who have gone before and face an adjustment to retirement marked by uncertainty and anxiety.
Rethinking Cultural Resource Management in Southeast Asia explores the challenges facing efforts to protect the cultural assets of Southeast Asia from the ravages of tourism and economic development.
In order to determine the emission height of the optical photons from pulsars we present an inverse mapping approach, which is directly constrained by empirical data. The model discussed is for the case of the Crab pulsar. Our method, which uses the optical Stokes parameters, determines the most likely geometry for emission including the magnetic-field inclination angle (α), the observer's line-of-sight angle (χ) and emission height. We discuss the computational implementation of the approach, and the physical assumptions made. We find that the most likely emission altitude is at 20% of the light-cylinder radius above the stellar surface in the open field region.