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Cognitive impairment impacts on patient outcomes  but is under-recognised in acute hospitals . Data on rates and degree of impairment among hospital inpatients remain sparse. This information is vital for strategic planning of health services as the European population ages.
To examine the rates and degree of cognitive impairment among patients aged 65 and older who were admitted to an acute general hospital and to assess its impact on patient outcomes.
All patients aged over 65 who were admitted over a 2-week period were invited to participate. Those who met the inclusion criteria were screened for delirium then underwent a cognitive screening battery. Normative values for age and level of education were obtained from the TILDA study . Demographic and outcome data were obtained from medical records.
One hundred and forty-eight patients underwent cognitive screening. Thirty-nine over 148 (26%) met the DSM-IV criteria for dementia of whom only 16 (41%) had a previously-documented impairment. Thirty over 148 (20%) had evidence of cognitive impairment that did not meet criteria for dementia, only 3 (10%) of whom were previously documented. Seventy-three over 148 (49%) were normal. Six over 148 (4%) were not classifiable. The impact of cognitive status on length of hospital stay, number of readmissions in 6 months and discharge destination was investigated. Impact on length of stay was significant (P = 0.017) but significance was not achieved against number of readmissions or discharge destination.
Cognitive impairment is pervasive and under-recognised in the acute hospital and impacts on length of hospital stay. Longer interval analysis is necessary to investigate further implications.
References 1–3 available upon request.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Recovery Colleges are opening internationally. The evaluation focus has been on outcomes for Recovery College students who use mental health services. However, benefits may also arise for: staff who attend or co-deliver courses; the mental health and social care service hosting the Recovery College; and wider society. A theory-based change model characterising how Recovery Colleges impact at these higher levels is needed for formal evaluation of their impact, and to inform future Recovery College development. The aim of this study was to develop a stratified theory identifying candidate mechanisms of action and outcomes (impact) for Recovery Colleges at staff, services and societal levels.
Inductive thematic analysis of 44 publications identified in a systematised review was supplemented by collaborative analysis involving a lived experience advisory panel to develop a preliminary theoretical framework. This was refined through semi-structured interviews with 33 Recovery College stakeholders (service user students, peer/non-peer trainers, managers, community partners, clinicians) in three sites in England.
Candidate mechanisms of action and outcomes were identified at staff, services and societal levels. At the staff level, experiencing new relationships may change attitudes and associated professional practice. Identified outcomes for staff included: experiencing and valuing co-production; changed perceptions of service users; and increased passion and job motivation. At the services level, Recovery Colleges often develop somewhat separately from their host system, reducing the reach of the college into the host organisation but allowing development of an alternative culture giving experiential learning opportunities to staff around co-production and the role of a peer workforce. At the societal level, partnering with community-based agencies gave other members of the public opportunities for learning alongside people with mental health problems and enabled community agencies to work with people they might not have otherwise. Recovery Colleges also gave opportunities to beneficially impact on community attitudes.
This study is the first to characterise the mechanisms of action and impact of Recovery Colleges on mental health staff, mental health and social care services, and wider society. The findings suggest that a certain distance is needed in the relationship between the Recovery College and its host organisation if a genuine cultural alternative is to be created. Different strategies are needed depending on what level of impact is intended, and this study can inform decision-making about mechanisms to prioritise. Future research into Recovery Colleges should include contextual evaluation of these higher level impacts, and investigate effectiveness and harms.
Collaborative quality improvement and learning networks have amended healthcare quality and value across specialities. Motivated by these successes, the Pediatric Acute Care Cardiology Collaborative (PAC3) was founded in late 2014 with an emphasis on improving outcomes of paediatric cardiology patients within cardiac acute care units; acute care encompasses all hospital-based inpatient non-intensive care. PAC3 aims to deliver higher quality and greater value care by facilitating the sharing of ideas and building alignment among its member institutions. These aims are intentionally aligned with the work of other national clinical collaborations, registries, and parent advocacy organisations. The mission and early work of PAC3 is exemplified by the formal partnership with the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium (PC4), as well as the creation of a clinical registry, which links with the PC4 registry to track practices and outcomes across the entire inpatient encounter from admission to discharge. Capturing the full inpatient experience allows detection of outcome differences related to variation in care delivered outside the cardiac ICU and development of benchmarks for cardiac acute care. We aspire to improve patient outcomes such as morbidity, hospital length of stay, and re-admission rates, while working to advance patient and family satisfaction. We will use quality improvement methodologies consistent with the Model for Improvement to achieve these aims. Membership currently includes 36 centres across North America, out of which 26 are also members of PC4. In this report, we describe the development of PAC3, including the philosophical, organisational, and infrastructural elements that will enable a paediatric acute care cardiology learning network.
Marine spatial planning (MSP) offers an operational framework to address sustainable and well-planned use of ocean space. Spatial allocation has traditionally been single-sector, which fails to account for multiple pressures on the marine environment and user conflicts. There is a need for integrated assessments of ocean space to advance quantitative tools and decision-making. Using the example of offshore wind energy, this article offers thoughts about how MSP has evolved in the United States and how the varying scales of MSP achieve different outcomes. Finally, a review of quantitative and qualitative studies that are needed to support MSP are presented.
Parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) are a diverse group of pathogens that infect birds nearly worldwide. Despite their ubiquity, the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites among avian communities and geographic regions are poorly understood. Based on a survey throughout the Neotropics of the haemosporidian parasites infecting manakins (Pipridae), a family of Passerine birds endemic to this region, we asked whether host relatedness, ecological similarity and geographic proximity structure parasite turnover between manakin species and local manakin assemblages. We used molecular methods to screen 1343 individuals of 30 manakin species for the presence of parasites. We found no significant correlations between manakin parasite lineage turnover and both manakin species turnover and geographic distance. Climate differences, species turnover in the larger bird community and parasite lineage turnover in non-manakin hosts did not correlate with manakin parasite lineage turnover. We also found no evidence that manakin parasite lineage turnover among host species correlates with range overlap and genetic divergence among hosts. Our analyses indicate that host switching (turnover among host species) and dispersal (turnover among locations) of haemosporidian parasites in manakins are not constrained at this scale.
Surveys are used extensively in psychology, sociology and business, as well as many other areas, but they are becoming increasingly difficult to conduct. Some segments of the population are hard to sample, some are hard to find, others are hard to persuade to participate in surveys, and still others are hard to interview. This book offers the first systematic look at the populations and settings that make surveys hard to conduct and at the methods researchers use to meet these challenges. It covers a wide range of populations (immigrants, persons with intellectual difficulties, and political extremists) and settings (war zones, homeless shelters) that offer special problems or present unusual challenges for surveys. The team of international contributors also addresses sampling strategies including methods such as respondent-driven sampling and examines data collection strategies including advertising and other methods for engaging otherwise difficult populations.
Between rising costs and falling response rates, surveys certainly seem to have their problems these days. Yet, it also seems that surveys have never been more popular as a research tool than they are now. Every year, more and more federal surveys are done (Presser & McCulloch, 2012) and the rate of growth has, we suspect, been even faster for academic and commercial surveys. And it also seems to us that surveys are being done with an ever-wider array of groups and in an ever-wider range of settings than ever before. Groups that may once have been deemed impossible to survey – groups like the homeless, prostitutes, war refugees, victims of natural disaster, and persons with serious physical or mental disabilities – are now the target populations for surveys – maybe not routine surveys, but surveys nonetheless. This volume tries to capture the experiences and lessons learned that have accumulated over the years in doing surveys with such hard-to-survey populations. We hope that presenting some of the best of the recent work here will spur the development of methods for surveying these groups, moving the field beyond stories about individual experiences and toward a more systematic understanding of the problems and solutions.