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To identify discrete approaches to specialist healthcare support for older care home residents in the UK and to estimate their prevalence.
Internationally, a range of new initiatives are emerging to meet the multiple and complex healthcare needs of care home residents. However, little is known about their relative effectiveness and, given their heterogeneity, a classification scheme is required to enable research staff to explore this.
A UK survey collected information on the funding, age, coverage, aims, staffing and activities of 64 specialist care home support services. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to allocate the sample into subgroups with similar characteristics.
Three classes were identified. Class 1 (55% of sample) contained services with a high probability of providing scheduled input (regular preplanned visits) and support for all residents and a moderate probability of undertaking medication management, but a low probability of training care home staff (‘predominantly direct care’). Class 2 (23% of sample) had a moderate/high probability of providing scheduled input, support for all residents, medication management and training (‘direct and indirect care’). Class 3 (22% of sample) had a low probability of providing scheduled input, support for all residents and medication management, but a high probability of providing training for care home staff (‘predominantly indirect care’). Consultants were more likely to be members of services in Class 1 than Class 2, and Class 2 than Class 3.
LCA offers a promising approach to the creation of a taxonomy of specialist care home support services. The skills and knowledge required by healthcare staff vary between classes, raising important issues for service design. The proposed classification can be used to explore the extent to which different organisational forms are associated with better resident, process and service outcomes.
Research suggests that a significant minority of hospital in-patients could be more appropriately supported in the community if enhanced services were available. However, little is known about these individuals or the services they require.
To identify which individuals require what services, at what cost.
A ‘balance of care’ (BoC) study was undertaken in northern England. Drawing on routine electronic data about 315 admissions categorised into patient groups, frontline practitioners identified patients whose needs could be met in alternative settings and specified the services they required, using a modified nominal group approach. Costing employed a public-sector approach.
Community care was deemed appropriate for approximately a quarter of admissions including people with mild-moderate depression, an eating disorder or personality disorder, and some people with schizophrenia. Proposed community alternatives drew heavily on carer support services, community mental health teams and consultants, and there was widespread consensus on the need to increase out-of-hours community services. The costs of the proposed community care were relatively modest compared with hospital admission. On average social care costs increased by approximately £60 per week, but total costs fell by £1626 per week.
The findings raise strategic issues for both national policymakers and local service planners. Patients who could be managed at home can be characterised by diagnosis. Although potential financial savings were identified, the reported cost differences do not directly equate to cost savings. It is not clear whether in-patient beds could be reduced. However, existing beds could be more efficiently used.
In this study, in situ and erratic samples from George V Coast (East Antarctica) and southern Eyre Peninsula (Australia) have been used to characterize the microstructural, pressure–temperature and geochronological record of upper amphibolite and granulite facies polymetamorphism in the Mawson Continent to provide insight into the spatial distribution of reworking and the subice geology of the Mawson Continent. Monazite U-Pb data shows that in situ samples from the George V Coast record exclusively 2450–2400 Ma ages, whereas most erratic samples from glacial moraines at Cape Denison and the Red Banks Charnockite record only 1720–1690 Ma ages, consistent with known ages of the Sleaford and Kimban events, respectively. Phase equilibria forward modelling reveals considerable overlap of the thermal character of these two events. Samples with unimodal 1720–1690 Ma Kimban ages reflect either formation after the Sleaford event or complete metamorphic overprinting. Rocks recording only 2450–2400 Ma ages were unaffected by the younger Kimban event, perhaps as a result of unreactive rock compositions inherited from the Sleaford event. Our results suggest the subice geology of the Mawson Continent is a pre-Sleaford-aged terrane with a cover sequence reworked during the Kimban event.
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.
The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiology of Ebstein’s anomaly in Europe and its association with maternal health and medication exposure during pregnancy.
We carried out a descriptive epidemiological analysis of population-based data.
We included data from 15 European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies Congenital Anomaly Registries in 12 European countries, with a population of 5.6 million births during 1982–2011.
Cases included live births, fetal deaths from 20 weeks gestation, and terminations of pregnancy for fetal anomaly.
Main outcome measures
We estimated total prevalence per 10,000 births. Odds ratios for exposure to maternal illnesses/medications in the first trimester of pregnancy were calculated by comparing Ebstein’s anomaly cases with cardiac and non-cardiac malformed controls, excluding cases with genetic syndromes and adjusting for time period and country.
In total, 264 Ebstein’s anomaly cases were recorded; 81% were live births, 2% of which were diagnosed after the 1st year of life; 54% of cases with Ebstein’s anomaly or a co-existing congenital anomaly were prenatally diagnosed. Total prevalence rose over time from 0.29 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.20–0.41) to 0.48 (95% CI 0.40–0.57) (p<0.01). In all, nine cases were exposed to maternal mental health conditions/medications (adjusted odds ratio (adjOR) 2.64, 95% CI 1.33–5.21) compared with cardiac controls. Cases were more likely to be exposed to maternal β-thalassemia (adjOR 10.5, 95% CI 3.13–35.3, n=3) and haemorrhage in early pregnancy (adjOR 1.77, 95% CI 0.93–3.38, n=11) compared with cardiac controls.
The increasing prevalence of Ebstein’s anomaly may be related to better and earlier diagnosis. Our data suggest that Ebstein’s anomaly is associated with maternal mental health problems generally rather than lithium or benzodiazepines specifically; therefore, changing or stopping medications may not be preventative. We found new associations requiring confirmation.
A growing body of evidence suggests that capsaicin ingestion may lead to desirable metabolic outcomes; however, the results in humans are equivocal. Whether or not benefits may be gained from ingestion of capsaicin via a commercially available meal has not been determined. The objectives of this randomised, cross-over intervention study were to compare the 2 h postprandial effects of a standard commercially prepared meal containing chilli (HOT, 5·82 mg total capsaicinoids) with a similar meal with no chilli (CON, <1·0 mg total capsaicinoids) on resting energy expenditure, plasma insulin, glucose, serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) concentrations, core body temperature and forearm microvascular reactivity responses in overweight individuals. A total of thirty-four apparently healthy individuals (sixteen men and eighteen women) between 18 and 50 years of age, with a BMI >25 kg/m2 and a waist circumference >94 cm (men) or 80 cm (women), were studied. Participants had normal glucose tolerance and were accustomed, but were not regular chilli eaters. A paired t test indicated that insulin AUC was smaller following the HOT meal (P=0·002). Similarly, there was a tendency for glucose AUC to be reduced following the HOT meal (P=0·056). No discernable effects of the HOT meal were observed on metabolic rate, core temperature, hs-CRP concentrations and endothelial-dependent microvascular reactivity. The results from this study indicate that a standard restaurant meal containing a relatively small dose of capsaicin delivered via African bird’s eye chilli, which is currently available to the public, results in lower postprandial insulin concentrations in overweight individuals, compared with the same meal without chilli.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Community mental health services are regarded as the preferred first tier of specialist psychogeriatric support, with integrated multidisciplinary teams believed to offer improved decision-making and greater continuity of care than separate single-profession services. In England over 400 community mental health teams (CMHTs) form the cornerstone of such support, yet research has neither assessed progress toward integrating key professional disciplines nor the nature of their membership and management arrangements.
A self-administered questionnaire was sent to all CMHTs for older people in England, seeking a combination of objective and subjective information on team structure and management.
Responses from 376 (88%) teams highlighted broader multidisciplinary membership than found in a 2004 survey, with particular growth in the number of support workers and other unqualified practitioners. Only modest progress was found in the integration of psychologists and social workers within CMHTs. The data also revealed a trend toward “core” team membership, and away from “sessional” membership in which staff may have divided loyalties between services. Multidisciplinary working was reported as beneficial by many respondents, but examples of “silo working” were also found, which may have hampered service delivery in a minority of teams.
The reported growth in the number of practitioners without professional registration raises issues about the appropriate skill mix and substitution within CMHTs, while local agencies should review barriers to the integration of psychologists and social workers. Further research is required to explore the quality of multidisciplinary team working.
To describe the epidemiology of chromosomal and non-chromosomal cases of atrioventricular septal defects in Europe.
Data were obtained from EUROCAT, a European network of population-based registries collecting data on congenital anomalies. Data from 13 registries for the period 2000–2008 were included.
There was a total of 993 cases of atrioventricular septal defects, with a total prevalence of 5.3 per 10,000 births (95% confidence interval 4.1 to 6.5). Of the total cases, 250 were isolated cardiac lesions, 583 were chromosomal cases, 79 had multiple anomalies, 58 had heterotaxia sequence, and 23 had a monogenic syndrome. The total prevalence of chromosomal cases was 3.1 per 10,000 (95% confidence interval 1.9 to 4.3), with a large variation between registers. Of the 993 cases, 639 cases were live births, 45 were stillbirths, and 309 were terminations of pregnancy owing to foetal anomaly. Among the groups, additional associated cardiac anomalies were most frequent in heterotaxia cases (38%) and least frequent in chromosomal cases (8%). Coarctation of the aorta was the most common associated cardiac defect. The 1-week survival rate for live births was 94%.
Of all cases, three-quarters were associated with other anomalies, both chromosomal and non-chromosomal. For infants with atrioventricular septal defects and no chromosomal anomalies, cardiac defects were often more complex compared with infants with atrioventricular septal defects and a chromosomal anomaly. Clinical outcomes for atrioventricular septal defects varied between regions. The proportion of termination of pregnancy for foetal anomaly was higher for cases with multiple anomalies, chromosomal anomalies, and heterotaxia sequence.
Bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) has been used to track changes in total body water (TBW). Accurate TBW estimations can be influenced by both methodological and biological factors. One methodological variation that contributes to BIS TBW errors is the electrode placement. The purpose of the present study was to compare the reproducibility and validity of fixed-distance electrode placements (5 cm) with the standard single-site electrode placements. Twenty-nine subjects (fifteen men and fourteen women) participated in the reproducibility study, while sixty-nine subjects (thirty-three men and thirty-six women) participated in the validity study. The reproducibility study included two measurements that were taken 24 h apart, while the validity study consisted of a 12-week exercise intervention with measurements taken at weeks 1 and 12. TBW was estimated using BIS and 2H techniques. Reproducibility results indicated that fixed-distance electrodes reduced the day-to-day standard error of the measurement in men (from 1·13 to 0·81 litres) but not in women (0·47 litres). sem values were lower for women than for men, suggesting that BIS TBW estimates are sex dependent. Validity results produced similar accurate findings (mean difference < 0·21 litres). However, fixed-distance electrodes improved delta TBW errors (mean difference improvements>0·04 litres in men, women, and men and women combined). When tracking changes in TBW, fixed-distance electrodes may reduce reproducibility errors and allow for smaller changes to be detected. However, the reduction of reproducibility errors may be greater for men than for women. Therefore, reproducibility calculations should be based on the sex of the sample population.