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The aims of this study were to identify the unmet care needs and to examine the mediating effect of unmet supportive care needs in the relationship between functional status and quality of life (QOL) in Korean patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
This was a cross-sectional study conducted among 186 patients with ALS recruited from a tertiary hospital in Seoul, South Korea. ALS patients' functional status, unmet supportive care needs, and QOL were assessed by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Supportive Care Needs Instrument, and the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Specific Quality of Life – Revised Instrument, respectively. Mediation analysis was tested using Baron and Kenny's regression analysis and a Sobel test.
The mean score for functional status was 33.35 ± 8.89; for unmet supportive care needs it was 2.40 ± 0.66; and for QOL it was 4.95 ± 1.29. Functional status was significantly correlated with unmet care needs and QOL. Unmet care needs satisfaction demonstrated a complete mediating effect on the relationship between functional status and QOL of the patients with ALS (β = –0.53, p < 0.001) and the effect was significant (Sobel test; Z = 5.48, p < 0.001).
Significance of results
Although QOL was negatively affected by the functional status in our sample, the relationship was fully mediated via unmet supportive care needs. Because there is no cure for ALS, and the condition is rapidly progressive with a lethal outcome, providing care by meeting patients’ needs is a critical aspect of caring for these patients. Early assessment of supportive care needs, providing services, and referring ALS patients to appropriate resources could enhance their QOL.
The aim of the study is to develop an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis supportive care needs (ALSSCN) instrument based on Fitch's Supportive Care Needs Framework and to test its psychometric properties.
This study consists of three parts: (1) item generation from the literature review and qualitative interview; (2) content validation; and (3) psychometric evaluation of the instrument. Participants who were diagnosed with ALS (n = 139) were recruited from two ALS clinics in Seoul, Korea, and Busan, Korea for the psychometric testing.
The ALSSCN consisted of 37 items with seven domains: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, social, informational, and practical needs. The Cronbach's alpha of each domain ranged from 0.61 (social needs) to 0.90 (emotional needs). The intra-class correlation coefficient for test-retest was 0.89, indicating good test-retest reliability. The overall ALSSCN was significantly negatively correlated with the quality of life, which supported convergent validity. Confirmatory factor analysis of the ALSSCN supported a seven-factor model.
Significance of results
The ALSSCN has acceptable internal consistency, stability, and content and construct validity in a Korean ALS population. ALSSCN is a psychometrically sound measure and can be adopted by healthcare professionals, researchers, and administrators to comprehensively assess the perceived supportive care needs of patients with ALS.
Free fatty acids (FFAs), an important energy substrate, have an association with cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, myocardial dysfunction and abnormal cardiac rhythm. However, limited reports are available on the association between FFAs and ischemic stroke. We hypothesized that plasma FFA concentration could be associated with an ischemic stroke, emphasizing the relationship between FFA and subtypes of ischemic stroke.
A cross-sectional study examined the association between FFA concentration and subtypes of stroke and cerebral atherosclerosis from a hospital-based acute stroke registry.
Data of 715 stroke patients were analyzed. The concentration of FFA was highest in the cardioembolic stroke subtype compared with the other stroke subtypes. Logistic regression analysis revealed that an increase in FFA concentration was significantly associated with the cardioembolic subtype after the adjustment of covariates. FFA concentration was also higher in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) than those without AF. According to the presence of atherosclerotic stenosis, no significantly difference of FFA concentration was found for intracranial and extracranial cerebral arterial atherosclerosis.
Here we report a significant association between fasting FFA concentration and the cardioembolic stroke subtype. AF is suggested as the mediating factor between FFA and the cardioembolic stroke subtype.
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