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Introduction: Effective communication to develop a shared understanding of patient/caregiver (P/C) expectations is critical during emergency department (ED) encounters. However, there is limited research examining the use of communication tools of P/C expectations to improve communication in the ED. The objective of this study was to examine satisfaction with a patient expectations questionnaire, known as the PrEPP tool, and its impact on communication and management of patients in the ED. Methods: The PrEPP tool collected P/C expectations over 3 phases of the study. In phase1, the PrEPP tool was distributed to all P/Cs (CTAS score of 2 to 5) in four EDs in Nova Scotia. In phase 2 the PrEPP tool was refined to a 5-item questionnaire. In phase 3 the PrEPP tool was re-implemented over a six-month period. Follow-up surveys were distributed to P/Cs via email (phase 1, 3) and HCPs on iPads in the ED (phase 3) to determine the impact of the tool on communication and management of patients. Entries were compiled on a REDCap database and descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses related to satisfaction.The PrEPP tool collected P/C expectations over 3 phases of the study. In phase1, the PrEPP tool was distributed to all P/Cs (CTAS score of 2 to 5) in four EDs in Nova Scotia. In phase 2 the PrEPP tool was refined to a 5-item questionnaire. In phase 3 the PrEPP tool was re-implemented over a six-month period. Follow-up surveys were distributed to P/Cs via email (phase 1, 3) and HCPs on iPads in the ED (phase 3) to determine the impact of the tool on communication and management of patients. Entries were compiled on a REDCap database and descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses related to satisfaction. Results: In Phase 1, 11418 PrEPP tools and 147 surveys (29% response rate) were collected from January-June 2016. The majority of P/Cs found the PrEPP questionnaire easy to complete (95.9%) and felt HCPs met their expectations (87.1%). In Phase 3, 951 P/C (31.1% response rate) and 128 HCP surveys were collected. Of P/C respondents 45.9% felt PrEPP helped to communicate expectations, while 49.7% said that they would like to use it on future ED visits. The majority of P/C respondents (75.4%) indicated their expectations were met during their visit to the ED. Of those whose expectations were not met, 69% felt their expectations were not discussed. The majority of HCP respondents (90.4%) indicated they used the PrEPP tool at least sometimes. Also, 78.4% said it influenced patient communication and 42% indicated the tool influenced management of patients at least sometimes. Conclusion: Obtaining expectations early in the patient encounter may provide opportunities for improved communication in the ED. P/Cs found the PrEPP tool easy to use to communicate their expectations and HCPs felt it influenced communication and management of patients in the ED. Further qualitative thematic analysis is needed to explore how the PrEPP tool impacted ED visits.
Introduction: Effective communication to develop a shared understanding of patient expectations is critical to a positive encounter in the Emergency Department (ED). However, there is limited research examining Patient/Caregiver (P/C ) expectations in the ED and what factors lead to P/C presentation. This study aims to address this gap by answering the following questions: 1) What are common P/C reported factors affecting ED presentation? 2) What are common P/C expectations of an ED visit? 3) How do P/C expectations vary based on ED site or factors affecting presentation in the ED? Methods: The Preparing Emergency Patients and Providers (PrEPP) tool was designed to collect P/C expectations, worries, perceived causes of symptoms, and factors affecting presentation from a convenience sample of patient visits to the emergency department (ED). The PrEPP tool was provided to all P/Cs with CTAS 2-5 when they registered at one of 4 EDs in the Halifax area from January to June 2016. Completed tools were collected in a REDCap database where qualitative data was coded into categories (i.e. presenting illness, injury). Descriptive and chi-squared statistical analyses were performed. Results: In total, 11,418 PrEPP tools were collected; representing 12% of the total ED visits to the 4 ED sites during the study period. The main factors affecting ED presentation were: self-referral 68%, family/friends 20%, telehealth 8%, unable to see their GP 7%, GP referral 6%, or walk-in-clinic 5%. P/Cs main causes of worry were: presenting illness 19%, injury 15%, or pain 14%. The main expectations for the ED visit were to get a: physician's opinion 73%, x-ray 40%, or blood test 20%. Most P/Cs indicated they did not expect medication during (63%), or after (66%), their ED visit. There were significant differences in P/C expectations between adult and pediatric EDs (χ2 = 720.949, df = 14, P = 0.000) and those P/Cs unable or able to access primary care prior to ED presentation (χ2 = 38.980, df = 1, P = 0.000). The rate of expecting a physician's opinion at the pediatric ED was higher than the adult ED (77.6% vs 70.9%), while lower for expecting CT/MRIs (4.6% vs 11.4%). P/Cs who were unable to access primary care prior to ED presentation expected services which were available at primary care at a higher rate than those who accessed primary care (58.5% vs 36.7%). Conclusion: Our findings identify some of the factors that influence P/C's decision to present to the ED and their expectations of the ED visit.
Background: Most people with common mental health problems do not seek evidence-based psychological interventions. Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate whether monitoring symptoms of depression and anxiety using an app increased treatment-seeking. Method: Three hundred and six people with significant levels of anxiety and depression, none of whom were currently receiving treatment, were randomly allocated to receive either (a) information about local psychological services only, (b) information plus regular symptom monitoring (every 6 days), or (c) information plus open symptom monitoring (monitoring when they felt like it). An app was used to provide information and monitor mood. Results: The proportion of participants who reported receiving treatment after starting the study was 7.2% (10/138) in the information only group, 8.1% (9/111) in the information plus regular monitoring group and 15.8% (9/57) in the information plus open monitoring group. There was a trend for participants who were able to monitor whenever they wished to be more likely to report receiving treatment than people who were only given information about their local treatment services. The impact of the intervention was greatest among participants who intended to seek treatment before taking part. Limitations were that only a small minority of those who downloaded the app completed the study and that the study relied on self-reported measures of treatment-seeking. Conclusions: Symptom monitoring can increase actual treatment-seeking in those with an intention to seek treatment.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.
The current use of antibiotics in weaner pig diets is likely to be banned from 2006, and alternatives are sought to improve growth and health status of weaner pigs. Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) are mainly known from the brewing industry, but they are also known for their antimicrobial activity and antioxidant properties (Stevens et al., 1998). Hops may be a suitable alternative to antimicrobial growth promoters, particularly when pigs are not able to maximise their growth potential, for example when fed low density rations. The objective of the trial was to investigate the effects of hops on newly weaned piglets on growth performance, liver function and microbiology in diets of different nutrient density.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Mental health stigma and discrimination are significant problems. Common coping orientations include: concealing mental health problems, challenging others and educating others. We describe the use of common stigma coping orientations and explain variations within a sample of English mental health service users.
Cross-sectional survey data were collected as part of the Viewpoint survey of mental health service users’ experiences of discrimination (n = 3005). Linear regression analyses were carried out to identify factors associated with the three stigma coping orientations.
The most common coping orientation was to conceal mental health problems (73%), which was strongly associated with anticipated discrimination. Only 51% ever challenged others because of discriminating behaviour, this being related to experienced discrimination, but also to higher confidence to tackle stigma.
Although stigma coping orientations vary by context, individuals often choose to conceal problems, which is associated with greater anticipated and experienced discrimination and less confidence to challenge stigma. The direction of this association requires further investigation.
Capturing service users’ perspectives can highlight additional and different concerns to those of clinicians, but there are no up to date, self-report psychometrically sound measures of side effects of antipsychotic medications.
To develop a psychometrically sound measure to identify antipsychotic side effects important to service users, the Maudsley Side Effects (MSE) measure.
An initial item bank was subjected to a Delphi exercise (n = 9) with psychiatrists and pharmacists, followed by service user focus groups and expert panels (n = 15) to determine item relevance and language. Feasibility and comprehensive psychometric properties were established in two samples (N43 and N50). We investigated whether we could predict the three most important side effects for individuals from their frequency, severity and life impact.
MSE is a 53-item measure with good reliability and validity. Poorer mental and physical health, but not psychotic symptoms, was related to side-effect burden. Seventy-nine percent of items were chosen as one of the three most important effects. Severity, impact and distress only predicted ‘putting on weight’ which was more distressing, more severe and had more life impact in those for whom it was most important.
MSE is a self-report questionnaire that identifies reliably the side-effect burden as experienced by patients. Identifying key side effects important to patients can act as a starting point for joint decision making on the type and the dose of medication.
There is limited evidence for effective interventions in the treatment of post-traumatic stress symptoms within individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. Clinicians have concerns about using exposure treatments with this patient group. The current trial was designed to evaluate a 16-session cognitive restructuring programme, without direct exposure, for the treatment of post-traumatic stress symptoms specifically within individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia.
A multicentre randomized controlled single-blinded trial with assessments at 0 months, 6 months (post-treatment) and 12 months (follow-up) was conducted. A total of 61 participants diagnosed with schizophrenia and exhibiting post-traumatic stress symptoms were recruited. Those randomized to treatment were offered up to 16 sessions of cognitive–behaviour therapy (CBT, including psychoeducation, breathing training and cognitive restructuring) over a 6-month period, with the control group offered routine clinical services. The main outcome was blind rating of post-traumatic stress symptoms using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for Schizophrenia. Secondary outcomes were psychotic symptoms as measured by the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale and the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scale.
Both the treatment and control groups experienced a significant decrease in post-traumatic stress symptoms over time but there was no effect of the addition of CBT on either the primary or secondary outcomes.
The current trial did not demonstrate any effect in favour of CBT. Cognitive restructuring programmes may require further adaptation to promote emotional processing of traumatic memories within people diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) provides invaluable information during resuscitation efforts in cardiac arrest by determining presence/absence of cardiac activity and identifying reversible causes such as pericardial tamponade. There is no agreed guideline on how to safely and effectively incorporate PoCUS into the advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) algorithm. We consider that a consensus-based priority checklist using a “4 F’s” approach (Fluid; Form; Function; Filling), would provide a better algorithm during ACLS. Methods: The ultrasound subcommittee of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) drafted a checklist incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm. This was further developed using the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. A modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate ultrasound into cardiac arrest algorithms for emergency department patients. Results: Consensus was reached following 3 rounds. The agreed protocol focuses on the timing of PoCUS as well as the specific clinical questions. Core cardiac windows performed during the rhythm check pause in chest compressions are the sub-xiphoid and parasternal cardiac views. Either view should be used to detect pericardial fluid, as well as examining ventricular form (e.g. right heart strain) and function, (e.g. asystole versus organized cardiac activity). Supplementary views include lung views (for absent lung sliding in pneumothorax and for pleural fluid), and IVC views for filling. Additional ultrasound applications are for endotracheal tube confirmation, proximal leg veins for DVT, or for sources of blood loss (AAA, peritoneal/pelvic fluid). Conclusion: The authors hope that this process will lead to a consensus-based SHoC-cardiac arrest guideline on incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
Recently, large-scale trials of behavioural interventions have failed to show improvements in pregnancy outcomes. They have, however, shown that lifestyle support improves maternal diet and physical activity during pregnancy, and can reduce weight gain. This suggests that pregnancy, and possibly the whole periconceptional period, represents a ‘teachable moment’ for changes in diet and lifestyle, an idea that was made much of in the recent report of the Chief Medical Officer for England. The greatest challenge with all trials of diet and lifestyle interventions is to engage people and to sustain this engagement. With this in mind, we propose a design of intervention that aims simultaneously to engage women through motivational conversations and to offer access to a digital platform that provides structured support for diet and lifestyle change. This intervention design therefore makes best use of learning from the trials described above and from recent advances in digital intervention design.
Particle-based simulations, such as in particle-in-cell (PIC) codes, are widely used in plasma physics research. The analysis of particle energy transfers, as described by the second moment of the Boltzmann equation, is often necessary within these simulations. We present computationally efficient, analytically derived equations for evaluating collisional energy transfer terms from simulations using discrete particles. The equations are expressed as a sum over the properties of the discrete particles.
Most research on interventions to counter stigma and discrimination has
focused on short-term outcomes and has been conducted in high-income
To synthesise what is known globally about effective interventions to
reduce mental illness-based stigma and discrimination, in relation first
to effectiveness in the medium and long term (minimum 4 weeks), and
second to interventions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
We searched six databases from 1980 to 2013 and conducted a
multi-language Google search for quantitative studies addressing the
research questions. Effect sizes were calculated from eligible studies
where possible, and narrative syntheses conducted. Subgroup analysis
compared interventions with and without social contact.
Eighty studies (n = 422 653) were included in the
review. For studies with medium or long-term follow-up (72, of which 21
had calculable effect sizes) median standardised mean differences were
0.54 for knowledge and −0.26 for stigmatising attitudes. Those containing
social contact (direct or indirect) were not more effective than those
without. The 11 LMIC studies were all from middle-income countries.
Effect sizes were rarely calculable for behavioural outcomes or in LMIC
There is modest evidence for the effectiveness of anti-stigma
interventions beyond 4 weeks follow-up in terms of increasing knowledge
and reducing stigmatising attitudes. Evidence does not support the view
that social contact is the more effective type of intervention for
improving attitudes in the medium to long term. Methodologically strong
research is needed on which to base decisions on investment in
The nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum is becoming more widely recorded globally, and is of increasing concern as a cause of disease in dogs. Apparent geographic spread is difficult to confirm due to a lack of standardized disease recording systems, increasing awareness among veterinary clinicians, and recent improvements in diagnostic technologies. This study examines the hypothesis that A. vasorum has spread in recent years by repeating the methods of a previous survey of the fox population. The hearts and lungs of 442 foxes from across Great Britain were collected and examined by dissection and flushing of the pulmonary circulation and microscopic inspection of tracheal scrapes. Sampling and parasite extraction methods were identical to an earlier survey in 2005 to ensure comparability. Prevalence of A. vasorum was 18·3% (exact binomial confidence bounds 14·9–22·3), compared with 7·3% previously (5·3–9·9, n = 546), and had increased significantly in most regions, e.g. 7·4% in the Northern UK (previously zero) and 50·8% in the south-east (previously 23·2%). Other nematodes identified were Crenosoma vulpis (prevalence 10·8%, CI 8·1–14·2) and Eucoleus aerophilus (31·6%, CI 27·3–36·2). These data support the proposal that A. vasorum has increased in prevalence and has spread geographically in Great Britain.