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Only one-third of patients with major depressive disorder achieve remission. One new and promising treatment, ketamine, may prove challenging to implement because of its abuse potential. Although clinicians' views have been sought, we need patients' views before large scale roll-out is considered.
To explore patients’ and carers' views to inform policy and practical decisions about the clinical use of ketamine.
We carried out a mixed-methods study using data from 44 participants in 21 focus groups in three sessions and an online survey with patients, carers and advocates during a consultation day. Focus groups explored participant's views about ketamine as a form of treatment and the best way for ketamine to be prescribed and monitored. The qualitative data were analysed by two patient–researchers using an exploratory framework analysis and was supplemented by a survey.
The ten themes generated were monitoring, information, effect on daily life, side-effects, recreational use, effectiveness, appropriate support, cost, stigma and therapy. Participants wanted better evidence on the safety of ketamine after long-term use and felt that monitoring was required. Collecting this information would provide evidence for ketamine's safe use and administration. There were, however, concerns about the misuse of this information. Practical issues of access were important: repeated travelling to clinics and a lack of sufficiently informed medical staff were key barriers.
Clinicians have some similar and some different views to those of patients, carers and advocates, which need to be considered in any future roll-out of ketamine.
Declaration of interest
R.M. has had UK National Institute for Health Research grant funding to study ketamine, is participating in trials of esketamine, runs a clinic that provides ketamine treatment, and has consulted for Johnson & Johnson and Eleusis.
Free movement of patients has been criticised from the moment that the first patient cases reached the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’). The moving patient supposedly increases consumerism, reduces national solidarity, and has a negative impact on the quality of healthcare provided in some Member States. This article challenges the empirical foundations of such criticisms. An empirical analysis of all patient cases before the CJEU shows that a significant number of patients required urgent treatment, that their medical condition was life-threatening, and that they were supported by their treating doctor in seeking treatment in another Member State. Moreover, free movement of patient cases regularly lead to positive changes to national healthcare systems. Therefore, the negative attitude towards free movement of patients should be reconsidered. Patients, doctors, and lawyers must think more strategically about how free movement can be used to improve the quality of healthcare in the EU.
This paper aims to explore the extent to which the “revivalist” discourse of a good death, which promotes an awareness of dying shapes the lived realities of palliative care patients and their families in Portugal.
An ethnographic approach was developed. Participant observation was carried out in 2 palliative care units, and this was complemented by in-depth interviews. Ten terminally ill patients, 20 family members, and 20 palliative care professionals were interviewed.
The “revivalist” good death script might not be suitable for all dying people, as they might not want an open awareness of dying and, thereby, the acknowledgment of imminent potential death. This might be related to cultural factors and personal circumstances. The “social embeddedness narrative” offers an alternative to the “revivalist” good death script.
Significance of results
The “revivalist” discourse, which calls for an open awareness of dying, is not a cultural preference in a palliative care context in Portugal, as it is not in accord with its familial nature.
We evaluated routine use, acceptability and response rates for the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalised Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7) and Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (SWEMWBS) within adult community mental health teams. Measures were repeated 3 months later. Professionals recorded the setting, refusal rates and cluster diagnosis.
A total of 245 patients completed 674 measures, demonstrating good initial return rates (81%), excellent scale completion (98–99%) and infrequent refusal/unsuitability (11%). Only 32 (13%) returned follow-up measures. Significant improvements occurred in functioning (P = 0.01), PHQ-9 (P = 0.02) and GAD-7 (P = 0.003) scores (Cohen's d = 0.52–0.77) but not in SWEMWBS (P = 0.91) scores. Supercluster A had higher initial PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores (P < 0.001) and lower SWEMWBS scores (P = 0.003) than supercluster B. Supercluster C showed the greatest functional impairment (P = 0.003).
PHQ-9 and GAD-7 appear acceptable as patient-reported outcome measures in community mental health team. SWEMWBS seems insensitive to change. National outcome programmes should ensure good follow-up rates.
The aims of this review were to explore the effectiveness and patient and provider acceptability of telepsychiatry consultations in intellectual disability, contrasting this with direct face-to-face consultations and proposing avenues for further research and innovation. Computerised searches of databases including AMED and EMBASE were conducted.
Four USA studies of intellectual disability telepsychiatry services have been reported. The majority (75%) focused on children with intellectual disability. Sample sizes ranged from 38 to 900 participants, with follow-up from 1 to 6 years. Outcome measures varied considerably and included cost savings to patients and healthcare providers, patient and carer satisfaction and new diagnoses.
The innovations summarised suggest a requirement to further explore telepsychiatry models. Despite some promising outcomes, there is a relative dearth in the existing literature. Further studies in other healthcare systems are required before concluding that telepsychiatry in intellectual disability is the best approach for providing psychiatric services to this population.
The prevalence and incidence of obesity are high in people with severe mental illness (SMI). In England, around 6000 people with SMI access care from secure mental health units. There is currently no specific guidance on how to reduce the risk of obesity-related morbidity and mortality in this population.
To identify international evidence that addresses the issue of obesity in mental health secure units.
A mixed method review of evidence (published 2000–2015) was carried out to assess obesity prevalence, intervention and policy change, as well as barriers to change.
Evidence from 22 mainly small, non-comparator studies (reported in 21 papers) using a range of methods was reviewed. Dietary, physical activity and cultural interventions being implemented within secure units to address the problem of obesity showed some promising outcomes for physical health and health education. These were facilitated by adequate organisational resources, staff training and motivated staff. Holistic interventions that included a social and/or competitive element were more likely to be taken up. Involving patients in decision-making mediated the tension between facilitating behaviour change and imposing control. Barriers to successful outcomes included patient movement in and out of units, severity of mental health condition and resistance to change by patients and staff.
Despite the promising outcomes reported, further assessment is needed of the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of interventions and policies targeting the obesogenic environment, using robust research methods.
Little is known about Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Asia. The aims of our study were to explore (i) the prevalence, risk factors and molecular epidemiology of CDI and colonization in a tertiary academic hospital in North-Eastern Peninsular Malaysia; (ii) the rate of carriage of C. difficile among the elderly in the region; (iii) the awareness level of this infection among the hospital staffs and students. For stool samples collected from hospital inpatients with diarrhea (n = 76) and healthy community members (n = 138), C. difficile antigen and toxins were tested by enzyme immunoassay. Stool samples were subsequently analyzed by culture and molecular detection of toxin genes, and PCR ribotyping of isolates. To examine awareness among hospital staff and students, participants were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. For the hospital and community studies, the prevalence of non-toxigenic C. difficile colonization was 16% and 2%, respectively. The prevalence of CDI among hospital inpatients with diarrhea was 13%. Out of 22 C. difficile strains from hospital inpatients, the toxigenic ribotypes 043 and 017 were most common (both 14%). In univariate analysis, C. difficile colonization in hospital inpatients was significantly associated with greater duration of hospitalization and use of penicillin (both P < 0·05). Absence of these factors was a possible reason for low colonization in the community. Only 3% of 154 respondents answered all questions correctly in the awareness survey. C. difficile colonization is prevalent in a Malaysian hospital setting but not in the elderly community with little or no contact with hospitals. Awareness of CDI is alarmingly poor.
Those who are seriously ill and facing death are often living with physical, emotional, social, and spiritual suffering. Teamwork is considered to be necessary to holistically meet the diverse needs of patients in palliative care. Reviews of studies regarding palliative care team outcomes have concluded that teams provide benefits, especially regarding pain and symptom management. Much of the research concerning palliative care teams has been performed from the perspective of the service providers and has less often focused on patients' and families' experiences of care.
Our aim was to investigate how the team's work is manifested in care episodes narrated by patients and families in specialized palliative home care (SPHC).
A total of 13 interviews were conducted with patients and families receiving specialized home care. Six patients and seven family members were recruited through SPHC team leaders. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and the transcripts qualitatively analyzed into themes.
Two themes were constructed through thematic analysis: (1) security (“They are always available,” “I get the help I need quickly”); and (2) continuity of care (“They know me/us, our whole situation and they really care”). Of the 74 care episodes, 50 were descriptions of regularly scheduled visits, while 24 related to acute care visits and/or interventions.
Significance of results:
Patients' and family members' descriptions of the work of SPHC teams are conceptualized through experiences of security and continuity of care. Experiences of security are fostered through the 24/7 availability of the team, sensitivity and flexibility in meeting patients' and families' needs, and practical adjustments to enable care at home. Experiences of continuity of care are fostered through the team's collective approach, where the individual team member knows the patients and family members, including their whole situation, and cares about the little things in life as well as caring for the family unit.
Although assessment of palliative patients' needs is a key issue in palliative care, a suitable instrument for identification of such needs is not available in Central European countries. Our objectives were to produce an adequate tool for identifying the importance and satisfaction of palliative patients' needs and to verify its psychometric properties.
The patient needs assessment in palliative care (PNAP) instrument was constructed based on a literature review and qualitative research (focus groups, n = 5). The psychometric properties of the questionnaire were verified by a cross-sectional study. The convergent validity of the questionnaire was determined by confirmatory factor analysis. Furthermore, internal consistency, test–retest reliability, and construct validity were also tested. The qualitative research group comprised 30 participants (27 experts in palliative care, 1 patient, and 2 family members). Psychometric properties were evaluated in a group of 349 hospital inpatients terminally ill with chronic disease or cancer and receiving palliative care.
Based on the qualitative data analysis, a questionnaire was constructed that contained 42 items grouped into 5 domains. When testing the psychometric properties of the questionnaire, a new model containing 40 items in 7 domains was produced. Cronbach's α for the entire PNAP questionnaire was 0.89 on the importance scale and 0.80 on the satisfaction scale. Test–retest reliability was higher than 0.7 for all domains in both scales.
Significance of Results:
The results of tests on the psychometric properties of the PNAP questionnaire showed at least satisfactory validity and reliability, and it can be employed to assess the needs of palliative care patients in Central European countries.
The forgotten dream proved central to the early development of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic technique in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900). However, little attention has been paid to the shifting uses of forgotten dreams within psychotherapeutic practice over the course of the twentieth century. This paper argues that post-war psychotherapists in London, both Jungian and Freudian, developed a range of subtly different approaches to dealing with their patients’ forgotten dreams. Theoretical commitments and institutional cultures shaped the work of practitioners including Donald Winnicott, Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, and Edward Griffith. By drawing on diaries and case notes, this paper also identifies the active role played by patients in negotiating the mechanics of therapy, and the appropriate response to a forgotten dream. This suggests a broader need for a detailed social history of post-Freudian psychotherapeutic technique, one that recognises the demands of both patients and practitioners.
The system of weekly psychiatric ward rounds is being challenged and multi-disciplinary team meetings (MDTMs) involving inpatients have been developed. These aim to improve integration between medical and social services and increase patient involvement in their care. However, such large meetings are potentially threatening to the patient. This survey aimed to examine inpatient experience of MDTMs and identify factors that significantly alter this experience.
In this cross-sectional survey we assessed patient opinion regarding patient inclusive MDTMs in a psychiatric inpatient unit. A total of 27 participants (response rate 90%) were included. We utilised descriptive statistics and Fisher’s exact test for non-parametric data where appropriate.
In all, 85% (n=23) of patients identified the consultant psychiatrist as a member that they would like to have present at the MDTM. The ward nurse was identified by 63% (n=17) of patients. In all, 48% (n=13) of patients reported feeling anxious/threatened at the MDTM. In all, 70% (n=19) of patients stated that they would have felt less threatened at the MDTM if there were fewer people in attendance. A significant number of voluntary patients (n=11) felt threatened/anxious at the MDTM compared with involuntary patients (n=2) (χ2=4.921, df=1, p=0.026).
The central findings of this study are that patients would prefer fewer people at the MDTM and would feel less threatened/anxious if they participated in selecting those in attendance. These findings suggest that greater patient involvement in preparation for the MDTM could result in a less anxiety filled experience for them.
Obesity is a major public health issue and primary care practitioners are well placed to opportunistically raise the issue of overweight or obesity with their patients.
Aim and methods
This study investigated the prevalence of weight discussion in primary care consultations with overweight and obese patients, in a practice in Fife, Scotland, and described weight-related communication using video analysis.
Weight was raised in 25% of consultations with overweight and obese patients. GPs initiated weight discussion more often than patients; however, these attempts were often blocked by patients. Weight-related outcomes were more common when patients initiated the weight discussion. This study confirms the potential of video analysis for understanding primary care weight discussion. It also suggests that GPs may benefit from a communication-based intervention to tackle patient blocking behaviours and contributes to the evidence suggesting that interventions targeted to increase the prevalence of weight-related discussions with their patients are needed.
Optimal communication is essential in ensuring that the palliative care needs of patients are met. This continues to be an area of concern for healthcare providers. The goal of our present review was to gain a deeper understanding of the communication experiences of patients with palliative care needs that have been identified within the qualitative literature.
A systematic search for qualitative research papers was undertaken in February of 2012. Five databases (ASSIA, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsychArticles, and PsychINFO) were searched using the search terms [“palliative care” OR “terminal care” OR “end of life care”] AND [“experience” OR “perspective” OR “qualitative” OR “interview”] AND [“patients” OR “clients” OR “service-user”]. Meta-synthesis was conducted on the data within the found papers.
A line-of-argument synthesis of 15 studies yielded four overarching themes: talking—facilitating and inhibiting factors; the importance of humanitarian qualities within communication encounters; perceptions of autonomy within communication experiences; and individual differences in preferences for honesty within interactions.
Significance of results:
Our findings are discussed in relation to existing literature and offer a deeper insight into the communication experiences of this clinical population. A number of clinical implications are offered for the healthcare professionals who are providing support to patients with palliative care needs.
You've probably heard of patient and public involvement by now. You may even have ‘involved’ people in your research. But why involve patients, carers and members of the public at all? Is it just another hoop to jump through when preparing a research funding application for submission, or could it actually add something to your research? Could involving patients and members of the public even help you to design and deliver better research, with outcomes focused directly on the needs of your patient group?
This article aims to answer some of these questions. It considers the theory underpinning patient and public involvement. This is followed by practical suggestions and advice to help you develop (or further develop if you already involve people!) patient and public involvement within your own research. There is also a case study to illustrate some of the main points, and extracts written by members of Research Design Service North East Consumer Panels.
Objectives: To obtain further information from members of the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) on the involvement of consumers in their programs.
Methods: A questionnaire for a survey was developed and sent to member agencies in November 2010. Survey responses were compared with those from an earlier survey conducted in 2005.
Results: Of the thirty-three agencies that provided responses, 67 percent involve consumers in some aspects of their health technology assessment (HTA) programs, compared with 57 percent in 2005. As in the earlier survey, most agencies reporting involvement have contact with consumer or patient organizations and a large minority also involve individual consumers. Summaries of HTA reports that are intended to be easily understood by consumers are prepared by 84 percent of the agencies, and 42 percent involve consumers in dissemination of HTA material. In both areas, there was some increase from the levels previously reported.
Conclusions: The survey results suggest that there is a trend to increased involvement of consumers by the INAHTA agencies in their programs but that the level of involvement remains relatively limited. The manner of consumer participation varies between agencies.
The primary end points of this analysis were to explore 1) the practices of prognostic disclosure for patients with cancer and their family members in Japan, 2) the person who decided on the degree of prognosis communication, and 3) family evaluations of the type of prognostic disclosure.
Semistructured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 60 bereaved family members of patients with cancer who were admitted to palliative care units in Japan.
Twenty-five percent of patients and 75% of family members were informed of the predicted survival time of the patient. Thirty-eight percent of family members answered that they themselves decided on to what degree to communicate the prognosis to patients and 83% of them chose not to disclose to patients their prognosis or incurability. In the overall evaluation of prognosis communication, 30% of the participants said that they regretted or felt doubtful about the degree of prognostic disclosure to patients, whereas 37% said that they were satisfied with the degree of prognostic disclosure and 5% said that they had made a compromise. Both in the “prognostic disclosure” group and the “no disclosure” group, there were family members who said that they regretted or felt doubtful (27% and 31%, respectively) and family members who said that they were satisfied with the degree of disclosure (27% and 44%, respectively).
Significance of results:
In conclusion, family members assume the predominant role as the decision-making source regarding prognosis disclosure to patients, and they often even prevent prognostic disclosure to patients. From the perspective of family members, any one type of disclosure is not necessarily the most acceptable choice. Future surveys should explore the reasons why family members agree or disagree with prognostic disclosures to patients and factors correlated with family evaluations.
Involving service users in research improves its quality and relevance. Many research organizations funding and supporting research now ask researchers about involvement as part of their application process. Some researchers are facing challenges in taking forward involvement as the research infrastructure is not always facilitative. Researchers need greater reward and recognition for carrying out good quality involvement to encourage more effective processes.
Interventional cardiology procedures can involve potentially
high doses of radiation to the patients. Stochastic effects of ionising
radiation – radiation-induced cancers in the long term – may occur.
We analysed clinical characteristics and dosimetric data in a population
of patients undergoing interventional cardiology. In all, 1 591
patients who had undergone coronarography and/or angioplasty in
the course of a year at the Saint-Gatien Clinic in Tours (France)
were included. Information on patients’ individual clinical characteristics
and Dose-Area Product values were collected. Organ doses to the
lung, oesophagus, bone marrow and breast were mathematically evaluated.
The median age of patients was 70 years. Their median cumulative
dose-area product value was 48.4 Gy.cm2 for the whole
year and the median effective dose was 9.7 mSv. The median organ
doses were 41 mGy for the lung, 31 mGy for the oesophagus, 10 mGy
for the bone marrow and 4 mGy for the breast. Levels of doses close
to the heart appear to be rather high in the case of repeated interventional
cardiology procedures. Clinical characteristics should be taken
into account when planning epidemiological studies on potential radiation-induced
This study aimed to assess the quality of information available on the World Wide Web for patients undergoing thyroidectomy.
The first 50 web-links generated by internet searches using the five most popular search engines and the key word ‘thyroidectomy’ were evaluated using the Lida website validation instrument (assessing accessibility, usability and reliability) and the Flesch Reading Ease Score.
We evaluated 103 of a possible 250 websites. Mean scores (ranges) were: Lida accessibility, 48/63 (27–59); Lida usability, 36/54 (21–50); Lida reliability, 21/51 (4–38); and Flesch Reading Ease, 43.9 (2.6–77.6).
The quality of internet health information regarding thyroidectomy is variable. High ranking and popularity are not good indicators of website quality. Overall, none of the websites assessed achieved high Lida scores. In order to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate or commercially motivated information, we recommend independent labelling of medical information available on the World Wide Web.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO 2006), cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Deaths from cancer are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 9 million people dying from cancer in 2015 and 11.4 million dying in 2030 (WHO 2006). Delayed presentation or late diagnosis of cancer is associated with low survival. The aim of this review is to identify factors associated with delayed presentation of cancer that were reported by previous studies. Published studies which identified the most common factors attributed to the late presentation of cancer were reviewed. Publications were identified using MEDLINE (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online), the Cochrane Library, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) and EMBASE (Excerpta Medica Database) databases. A Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) was used to assess the methodological quality of the studies. A total of 24 studies met the inclusion criteria. A data extraction sheet was used to systematically record relevant factors. Twenty-four studies met the inclusion criteria which identified factors associated with patients’ delay including patients’ knowledge, stress and fear, and nature of the disease. Other factors were attributed to health providers such as general practitioner (GP) experience, referral delay, and a younger age group being considered as low risk, so symptoms were missed.