To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Point-prevalence surveys for infection or colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CREs), and for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) were conducted in Canadian hospitals in 2010 and 2012 to better understanding changes in the epidemiology of antimicrobial-resistant organisms (AROs), which is crucial for public health and care management.
A third survey of the same AROs in adult inpatients in Canadian hospitals with ≥50 beds was performed in February 2016. Data on participating hospitals and patient cases were obtained using standard criteria and case definitions. Associations between ARO prevalence and institutional characteristics were assessed using logistic regression models.
In total, 160 hospitals from 9 of the 10 provinces with 35,018 adult inpatients participated in the survey. Median prevalence per 100 inpatients was 4.1 for MRSA, 0.8 for VRE, 1.1 for CDI, 0.8 for ESBLs, and 0 for CREs. No significant change occurred compared to 2012. CREs were reported from 24 hospitals (15%) in 2016 compared to 10 hospitals (7%) in 2012. Routine universal or targeted admission screening for VRE decreased from 94% in 2010 to 74% in 2016. Targeted screening for MRSA on admission was associated with a lower prevalence of MRSA infection. Large hospitals (>500 beds) had higher prevalences of CDI.
This survey provides national prevalence rates for AROs in Canadian hospitals. Changes in infection control and prevention policies might lead to changes in the epidemiology of AROs and our capacity to detect them.
The Pediatric Heart Network designed a career development award to train the next generation of clinician scientists in paediatric-cardiology-related research, a historically underfunded area. We sought to identify the strengths/weaknesses of the programme and describe the scholars’ academic achievements and the network’s return on investment.
Survey questions designed to evaluate the programme were sent to applicants – 13 funded and 19 unfunded applicants – and 20 mentors and/or principal investigators. Response distributions were calculated. χ2 tests of association assessed differences in ratings of the application/selection processes among funded scholars, unfunded applicants, and mentors/principal investigators. Scholars reported post-funding academic achievements.
Survey response rates were 88% for applicants and 100% for mentor/principal investigators. Clarity and fairness of the review were rated as “clear/fair” or “very clear/very fair” by 98% of respondents, but the responses varied among funded scholars, unfunded applicants, and mentors/principal investigators (clarity χ2=10.85, p=0.03; fairness χ2=16.97, p=0.002). Nearly half of the unfunded applicants rated feedback as “not useful” (47%). “Expanding their collaborative network” and “increasing publication potential” were the highest-rated benefits for scholars. Mentors/principal investigators found the programme “very” valuable for the scholars (100%) and the network (75%). The 13 scholars were first/senior authors for 97 abstracts and 109 manuscripts, served on 22 Pediatric Heart Network committees, and were awarded $9,673,660 in subsequent extramural funding for a return of ~$10 for every scholar dollar spent.
Overall, patient satisfaction with the Scholar Award was high and scholars met many academic markers of success. Despite this, programme challenges were identified and improvement strategies were developed.
Staff training in positive behaviour support (PBS) is a widespread treatment approach for challenging behaviour in adults with intellectual disability.
To evaluate whether such training is clinically effective in reducing challenging behaviour during routine care (trial registration: NCT01680276).
We carried out a multicentre, cluster randomised controlled trial involving 23 community intellectual disability services in England, randomly allocated to manual-assisted staff training in PBS (n = 11) or treatment as usual (TAU, n = 12). Data were collected from 246 adult participants.
No treatment effects were found for the primary outcome (challenging behaviour over 12 months, adjusted mean difference = −2.14, 95% CI: −8.79, 4.51) or secondary outcomes.
Staff training in PBS, as applied in this study, did not reduce challenging behaviour. Further research should tackle implementation issues and endeavour to identify other interventions that can reduce challenging behaviour.
Children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome are at a risk for neurodevelopmental delays. Current guidelines recommend systematic evaluation and management of neurodevelopmental outcomes with referral for early intervention services. The Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial represents the largest cohort of children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome ever assembled. Data on life events and resource utilisation have been collected annually. We sought to determine the type and prevalence of early intervention services used from age 1 to 4 years and factors associated with utilisation of services.
Data from 14-month neurodevelopmental assessment and annual medical history forms were used. We assessed the impact of social risk and geographic differences. Fisher exact tests and logistic regression were used to evaluate associations.
Annual medical history forms were available for 302 of 314 children. Greater than half of the children (52–69%) were not receiving services at any age assessed, whereas 20–32% were receiving two or more therapies each year. Utilisation was significantly lower in year 4 (31%) compared with years 1–3 (with a range from 40 to 48%) (p<0.001). Social risk factors were not associated with the use of services at any age but there were significant geographic differences. Significant delay was reported by parents in 18–43% of children at ages 3 and 4.
Despite significant neurodevelopmental delays, early intervention service utilisation was low in this cohort. As survival has improved for children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, attention must shift to strategies to optimise developmental outcomes, including enrolment in early intervention when merited.
It has been suggested that offspring of parents with bipolar disorder are at increased risk for disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), but the specificity of this association has not been established.
We examined the specificity of DMDD to family history by comparing offspring of parents with (a) bipolar disorder, (b) major depressive disorder and (c) a control group with no mood disorders.
We established lifetime diagnosis of DMDD using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School Aged Children for DSM-5 in 180 youth aged 6–18 years, including 58 offspring of parents with bipolar disorder, 82 offspring of parents with major depressive disorder and 40 control offspring.
Diagnostic criteria for DMDD were met in none of the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder, 6 of the offspring of parents with major depressive disorder and none of the control offspring. DMDD diagnosis was significantly associated with family history of major depressive disorder.
Our results suggest that DMDD is not specifically associated with a family history of bipolar disorder and may be associated with parental depression.
A few studies have evaluated the impact of clinical trial results on practice in paediatric cardiology. The Infant Single Ventricle (ISV) Trial results published in 2010 did not support routine use of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor enalapril in infants with single-ventricle physiology. We sought to assess the influence of these findings on clinical practice.
A web-based survey was distributed via e-mail to over 2000 paediatric cardiologists, intensivists, cardiothoracic surgeons, and cardiac advance practice nurses during three distribution periods. The results were analysed using McNemar’s test for paired data and Fisher’s exact test.
The response rate was 31.5% (69% cardiologists and 65% with >10 years of experience). Among respondents familiar with trial results, 74% reported current practice consistent with trial findings versus 48% before trial publication (p<0.001); 19% used angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor in this population “almost always” versus 36% in the past (p<0.001), and 72% reported a change in management or improved confidence in treatment decisions involving this therapy based on the trial results. Respondents familiar with trial results (78%) were marginally more likely to practise consistent with the trial results than those unfamiliar (74 versus 67%, p=0.16). Among all respondents, 28% reported less frequent use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor over the last 3 years.
Within 5 years of publication, the majority of respondents was familiar with the Infant Single Ventricle Trial results and reported less frequent use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor in single-ventricle infants; however, 28% reported not adjusting their clinical decisions based on the trial’s findings.
New approaches are needed to safely reduce emergency admissions to hospital by targeting interventions effectively in primary care. A predictive risk stratification tool (PRISM) identifies each registered patient's risk of an emergency admission in the following year, allowing practitioners to identify and manage those at higher risk. We evaluated the introduction of PRISM in primary care in one area of the United Kingdom, assessing its impact on emergency admissions and other service use.
We conducted a randomized stepped wedge trial with cluster-defined control and intervention phases, and participant-level anonymized linked outcomes. PRISM was implemented in eleven primary care practice clusters (total thirty-two practices) over a year from March 2013. We analyzed routine linked data outcomes for 18 months.
We included outcomes for 230,099 registered patients, assigned to ranked risk groups.
Overall, the rate of emergency admissions was higher in the intervention phase than in the control phase: adjusted difference in number of emergency admissions per participant per year at risk, delta = .011 (95 percent Confidence Interval, CI .010, .013). Patients in the intervention phase spent more days in hospital per year: adjusted delta = .029 (95 percent CI .026, .031). Both effects were consistent across risk groups.
Primary care activity increased in the intervention phase overall delta = .011 (95 percent CI .007, .014), except for the two highest risk groups which showed a decrease in the number of days with recorded activity.
Introduction of a predictive risk model in primary care was associated with increased emergency episodes across the general practice population and at each risk level, in contrast to the intended purpose of the model. Future evaluation work could assess the impact of targeting of different services to patients across different levels of risk, rather than the current policy focus on those at highest risk.
Emergency admissions to hospital are a major financial burden on health services. In one area of the United Kingdom (UK), we evaluated a predictive risk stratification tool (PRISM) designed to support primary care practitioners to identify and manage patients at high risk of admission. We assessed the costs of implementing PRISM and its impact on health services costs. At the same time as the study, but independent of it, an incentive payment (‘QOF’) was introduced to encourage primary care practitioners to identify high risk patients and manage their care.
We conducted a randomized stepped wedge trial in thirty-two practices, with cluster-defined control and intervention phases, and participant-level anonymized linked outcomes. We analysed routine linked data on patient outcomes for 18 months (February 2013 – September 2014). We assigned standard unit costs in pound sterling to the resources utilized by each patient. Cost differences between the two study phases were used in conjunction with differences in the primary outcome (emergency admissions) to undertake a cost-effectiveness analysis.
We included outcomes for 230,099 registered patients. We estimated a PRISM implementation cost of GBP0.12 per patient per year.
Costs of emergency department attendances, outpatient visits, emergency and elective admissions to hospital, and general practice activity were higher per patient per year in the intervention phase than control phase (adjusted δ = GBP76, 95 percent Confidence Interval, CI GBP46, GBP106), an effect that was consistent and generally increased with risk level.
Despite low reported use of PRISM, it was associated with increased healthcare expenditure. This effect was unexpected and in the opposite direction to that intended. We cannot disentangle the effects of introducing the PRISM tool from those of imposing the QOF targets; however, since across the UK predictive risk stratification tools for emergency admissions have been introduced alongside incentives to focus on patients at risk, we believe that our findings are generalizable.
A predictive risk stratification tool (PRISM) to estimate a patient's risk of an emergency hospital admission in the following year was trialled in general practice in an area of the United Kingdom. PRISM's introduction coincided with a new incentive payment (‘QOF’) in the regional contract for family doctors to identify and manage the care of people at high risk of emergency hospital admission.
Alongside the trial, we carried out a complementary qualitative study of processes of change associated with PRISM's implementation. We aimed to describe how PRISM was understood, communicated, adopted, and used by practitioners, managers, local commissioners and policy makers. We gathered data through focus groups, interviews and questionnaires at three time points (baseline, mid-trial and end-trial). We analyzed data thematically, informed by Normalisation Process Theory (1).
All groups showed high awareness of PRISM, but raised concerns about whether it could identify patients not yet known, and about whether there were sufficient community-based services to respond to care needs identified. All practices reported using PRISM to fulfil their QOF targets, but after the QOF reporting period ended, only two practices continued to use it. Family doctors said PRISM changed their awareness of patients and focused them on targeting the highest-risk patients, though they were uncertain about the potential for positive impact on this group.
Though external factors supported its uptake in the short term, with a focus on the highest risk patients, PRISM did not become a sustained part of normal practice for primary care practitioners.
Increasingly, ambulance services offer alternatives to transfer to the emergency department (ED), when this is better for patients. The introduction of electronic health records (EHR) in ambulance services is encouraged by national policy across the United Kingdom (UK) but roll-out has been variable and complex.
Electronic Records in Ambulances (ERA) is a two-year study which aims to investigate and describe the opportunities and challenges of implementing EHR and associated technology in ambulances to support a safe and effective shift to out of hospital care, including the implications for workforce in terms of training, role and clinical decision-making skills.
Our study includes a scoping review of relevant issues and a baseline assessment of progress in all UK ambulance services in implementing EHR. These will inform four in-depth case studies of services at different stages of implementation, assessing current usage, and examining context.
The scoping review identified themes including: there are many perceived potential benefits of EHR, such as improved safety and remote diagnostics, but as yet little evidence of them; technical challenges to implementation may inhibit uptake and lead to increased workload in the short term; staff implementing EHR may do so selectively or devise workarounds; and EHR may be perceived as a tool of staff surveillance.
Our scoping review identified some complex issues around the implementation of EHR and the relevant challenges, opportunities and workforce implications. These will help to inform our fieldwork and subsequent data analysis in the case study sites, to begin early in 2017. Lessons learned from the experience of implementing EHR so far should inform future development of information technology in ambulance services, and help service providers to understand how best to maximize the opportunities offered by EHR to redesign care.
There is an emerging evidence base about best practice in supporting
recovery. This is usually framed in relation to general principles, and
specific pro-recovery interventions are lacking.
To develop a theoretically based and empirically defensible new
pro-recovery manualised intervention – called the REFOCUS
Seven systematic and two narrative reviews were undertaken. Identified
evidence gaps were addressed in three qualitative studies. The findings
were synthesised to produce the REFOCUS intervention, manual and
The REFOCUS intervention comprises two components: recovery-promoting
relationships and working practices. Approaches to supporting
relationships comprise coaching skills training for staff, developing a
shared team understanding of recovery, exploring staff values, a
Partnership Project with people who use the service and raising patient
expectations. Working practices comprise the following: understanding
values and treatment preferences; assessing strengths; and supporting
goal-striving. The REFOCUS model describes the causal pathway from the
REFOCUS intervention to improved recovery.
The REFOCUS intervention is an empirically supported pro-recovery
intervention for use in mental health services. It will be evaluated in a
multisite cluster randomised controlled trial (ISRCTN02507940).
Supporting recovery is the aim of national mental health policy in many
countries. However, only one measure of recovery has been developed in
England: the Questionnaire about the Process of Recovery (QPR), which
measures recovery from the perspective of adult mental health service
users with a psychosis diagnosis.
To independently evaluate the psychometric properties of the 15- and
22-item versions of the QPR.
Two samples were used: data-set 1 (n = 88) involved
assessment of the QPR at baseline, 2 weeks and 3 months. Data-set 2
(n = 399; trial registration: ISRCTN02507940)
involved assessment of the QPR at baseline and 1 year.
For the 15-item version, internal consistency was 0.89, convergent
validity was 0.73, test–retest reliability was 0.74 and sensitivity to
change was 0.40. Confirmatory factor analysis showed the 15-item version
offered a good fit. For the 22-item version, the interpersonal subscale
was found to underperform and the intrapersonal subscale overlaps
substantially with the 15-item version.
Both the 15-item and the intrapersonal subscale of the 22-item versions
of the QPR demonstrated satisfactory psychometric properties. The 15-item
version is slightly more robust and also less burdensome, so it can be
recommended for use in research and clinical practice.
The feasibility of implementation is insufficiently considered in
clinical guideline development, leading to human and financial resource
To develop (a) an empirically based standardised measure of the
feasibility of complex interventions for use within mental health
services and (b) reporting guidelines to facilitate feasibility
A focused narrative review of studies assessing implementation blocks and
enablers was conducted with thematic analysis and vote counting used to
determine candidate items for the measure. Twenty purposively sampled
studies (15 trial reports, 5 protocols) were included in the psychometric
evaluation, spanning different interventions types. Cohen's kappa (κ) was
calculated for interrater reliability and test–retest reliability.
In total, 95 influences on implementation were identified from 299
references. The final measure – Structured Assessment of FEasibility
(SAFE) – comprises 16 items rated on a Likert scale. There was excellent
interrater (κ = 0.84, 95% CI 0.79–0.89) and test–retest reliability (κ =
0.89, 95% CI 0.85–0.93). Cost information and training time were the two
influences least likely to be reported in intervention papers. The SAFE
reporting guidelines include 16 items organised into three categories
(intervention, resource consequences, evaluation).
A novel approach to evaluating interventions, SAFE, supplements efficacy
and health economic evidence. The SAFE reporting guidelines will allow
feasibility of an intervention to be systematically assessed.
Healthcare professionals require an understanding of how the behaviour and characteristics of both patients and assessors can affect suicide risk identification and response. This article reviews the literature on how we currently assess suicide risk and considers the need for a paradigm shift in how healthcare professionals engage with and assess suicidal patients. It also reviews some of the evidence base for interventions to mitigate the risk of suicide and promotes pragmatic and compassionate interventions.
To determine the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Canadian hospitals.
National point prevalence survey in November 2010.
Canadian acute care hospitals with at least 50 beds.
Adult inpatients colonized or infected with MRSA or VRE or with CDI.
The prevalence (per 100 inpatients) of MRSA, VRE, and CDI was determined. Associations between prevalence and institutional characteristics and infection control policies were evaluated.
One hundred seventy-six hospitals (65% of those eligible) participated. The median (range) prevalence rates for MRSA and VRE colonization or infection and CDI were 4.2% (0%–22.1%), 0.5% (0%–13.1%), and 0.9% (0%–8.6%), respectively. Median MRSA and VRE infection rates were low (0.3% and 0%, respectively). MRSA, VRE, and CDI were thought to have been healthcare associated in 79%, 96%, and 84% of cases, respectively. In multivariable analysis, routine use of a private room for colonized/infected patients was associated with lower median MRSA infection rate (prevalence ratio [PR], 0.44 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.22–0.88]) and VRE prevalence (PR, 0.26 [95% CI, 0.12–0.57]). Lower VRE rates were also associated with enhanced environmental cleaning (PR, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.36–0.75]). Higher bed occupancy rates were associated with higher rates of CDI (PR, 1.02 [95% CI, 1.01–1.03]).
These data provide the first national prevalence estimates for MRSA, VRE, and CDI in Canadian hospitals. Certain infection prevention and control policies were found to be associated with prevalence and deserve further investigation.