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The global burden of cardiovascular mortality is increasing, as is the number of large-scale humanitarian emergencies. The interaction between these phenomena is not well understood. This review aims to clarify the relationship between humanitarian emergencies and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
With assistance from a research librarian, electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and Global Health) were searched in January 2014. Findings were supplemented by reviewing citations of included trials. Observational studies reporting the effect of natural disasters and conflict events on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adults since 1997 were included. Studies without a comparison group were not included. Double-data extraction was utilized to abstract information on acute coronary syndrome (ACS), acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), and sudden cardiac death (SCD). Review Manager 5.0 (Version 5.2, The Nordic Cochrane Centre; Copenhagen Denmark,) was used to create figures for qualitative synthesis.
The search retrieved 1,697 unique records; 24 studies were included (17 studies of natural disasters and seven studies of conflict). These studies involved 14,583 cardiac events. All studies utilized retrospective designs: four were population-based, 15 were single-center, and five were multicenter studies. Twenty-three studies utilized historical controls in the primary analysis, and one utilized primarily geographical controls.
Conflicts are associated with an increase in long-term morbidity from ACS; the short-term effects of conflict vary by study. Natural disasters exhibit heterogeneous effects, including increased occurrence of ACS, ADHF, and SCD.
In certain settings, humanitarian emergencies are associated with increased cardiac morbidity and mortality that may persist for years following the event. Humanitarian aid organizations should consider morbidity from noncommunicable disease when planning relief and recuperation projects.
HaymanKG, SharmaD, WardlowRDII, SinghS. Burden of Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality Following Humanitarian Emergencies: A Systematic Literature Review. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(1):1-9.
To determine whether an educational strategy using a handheld, multimedia computer (iPod™) is practical and sustainable for routine office-based patient educational tasks.
With the limited amount of time allotted to the office encounter and the growing number of patient educational tasks, new strategies are needed to improve the efficiency of patient education. Education of patients anticoagulated with warfarin is considered critical to preventing complications. Despite the dangers associated with the use of warfarin, educational practices are variable and often haphazard
During a four-month period, we examined the implementation of a three-part series of iPod™-based patient educational modules delivered to anticoagulated patients at the time of routine INR (International Normalized Ratio) blood tests for outpatients on the anticoagulation registry at an urban community health center.
A total of 141 computer module presentations were delivered to 91 patients during the four-month period. In all, 44 patients on the registry had no INR checkups, and thus no opportunity to view the modules, and 32 patients had at least three INR checkups but no modules were documented. Of the 130 patients with at least one INR performed during the study period, 22 (16.9%) patients completed all three modules, 91 (70.0%) patients received at least one module, and nine (7.6%) patients refused to view at least one module. Neither of the two handheld computers was lost or stolen, and no physician time was used in this routine educational activity. Patients reported that the audio and visual quality was very good, (9.0/10); the educational experience of the patient was helpful (7.4/10) compared with the patient's previous warfarin education (6.3/10), and the computer strategy extended the INR visit duration by 1–5 min at most.
The computer-assisted patient educational strategy was well received by patients, and uptake of the intervention by the clinic was successful and durable. The iPod™strategy standardized the educational message, improved clinic efficiency, and helped this busy clinic meet its educational goals for patient education.
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