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Stress control (SC), a brief psycho-education course, was implemented to increase access to psychological therapies in line with Northern Irish mental health service statutory drivers. The first aim of this study was to gauge the efficacy of SC in a robust manner with clinical significance testing. The second aim was to assess whether demographics traditionally ‘hard-to-reach’ – males, younger adults and those from deprived areas – accessed SC. The third aim was to elucidate what prompted their access and the experiences of attendees at SC.
Attendees at SC were 170 adults over six iterations of the course. Pre- and post-questionnaires included the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales – 21, captured demographic details and qualitative feedback, which was subject to a mixed-methods analysis.
SC attendees reported significant decreases on depression, anxiety and stress sub-scales post-intervention. Moreover, 38.71% (n=36) of attendees who completed SC exhibited clinically significant improvement afterwards on one or more sub-scale. Attendance figures for males, younger adults and those classified as socioeconomically deprived were modest. Patterns within the data suggested prospective success for targeting these cohorts.
SC attracted people in need of mental healthcare input and affected quantifiable change within those people’s lives, while satisfying statutory demands for service delivery in an accessible community context. Recommendations to increase engagement with those traditionally ‘hard-to-reach’ for psychological services are provided, which, if implemented, have the potential to achieve further compliance with Northern Irish mental health statutory drivers.
To describe an outbreak of invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection after percutaneous needle procedures (acupuncture and joint injection) performed by a single medical practitioner.
A medical practitioner's office and 4 hospitals in Perth, Western Australia.
Eight individuals who developed invasive MRSA infection after acupuncture or joint injection performed by the medical practitioner.
We performed a prospective and retrospective outbreak investigation, including MRSA colonization surveillance, environmental sampling for MRSA, and detailed molecular typing of MRSA isolates. We performed an infection control audit of the medical practitioner's premises and practices and administered MRSA decolonization therapy to the medical practitioner.
Eight cases of invasive MRSA infection were identified. Seven cases occurred as a cluster in May 2004; another case (identified retrospectively) occurred approximately 15 months earlier in February 2003. The primary sites of infection were the neck, shoulder, lower back, and hip: 5 patients had septic arthritis and bursitis, and 3 had pyomyositis; 3 patients had bacteremia, including 1 patient with possible endocarditis. The medical practitioner was found to be colonized with the same MRSA clone [ST22-MRSA-IV (EMRSA-15)] at 2 time points: shortly after the first case of infection in March 2003 and again in May 2004. After the medical practitioner's premises and practices were audited and he himself received MRSA decolonization therapy, no further cases were identified.
This outbreak most likely resulted from a breakdown in sterile technique during percutaneous needle procedures, resulting in the transmission of MRSA from the medical practitioner to the patients. This report demonstrates the importance of surveillance and molecular typing in the identification and control of outbreaks of MRSA infection.
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