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Canadian neurology residency programs recently transitioned to Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME). Iterative evaluation is required to optimize CBME implementation. This study aimed to examine the variability and challenges in uptake of CBME in neurology residency programs and identify its benefits and pitfalls. Neurology residents and faculty participated in respective anonymous surveys. Common barriers to uptake were identified from both perspectives. Orientation to CBME was adequate, but workload was increased and contributed to burnout for faculty and residents. It is premature to draw conclusions regarding benefits of CBME. Future research considerations include standardization of entrustment scales and reduction of stakeholder burden.
Background: Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is an autosomal dominant condition affecting distal hand strength, energy, and cognition. Increasingly, patients and families are seeking information online. An online neuromuscular patient portal under development can help patients access resources and interact with each other regardless of location. It is unknown how individuals living with myotonic dystrophy interact with technology and whether barriers to access exist. We aimed to characterize technology use among participants with myotonic dystrophy and to determine whether there is interest in a patient portal. Methods: Surveys were mailed to 156 participants with myotonic dystrophy type 1 registered with the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry. Results: Seventy-five participants (60% female) responded; almost half were younger than 46 years. Most (84%) used the internet; almost half of the responders (47%) used social media. The complexity and cost of technology were commonly cited reasons not to use technology. The majority of responders (76%) were interested in a myotonic dystrophy patient portal. Conclusions: Patients in a Canada-wide registry of myotonic dystrophy have access to and use technology such as computers and mobile phones. These patients expressed interest in a portal that would provide them with an opportunity to network with others with myotonic dystrophy and to access information about the disease.
Background: Patient-centered care for individuals with myotonic dystrophy (DM1) and Huntington’s disease (HD)—chronic, progressive, and life-limiting neurological conditions—may be challenged by patients’ cognitive and behavioral impairments. However, no research has explored health care providers’ (HCPs’) perspectives about patient-centered care provision for these patients along their disease trajectory. Methods: Constructivist grounded theory informed the iterative data collection and analysis process. Eleven DM1 or HD HCPs participated in semistructured interviews, and three stages of coding were used to analyze their interview transcripts. Codes were collapsed into themes and categories.Results: Three categories including an evolving care approach, fluid roles, and making a difference were identified. Participants described that their clinical care approach evolved depending on the patient’s disease stage and caregivers’ degree of involvement. HCPs described that their main goal was to provide hope to patients and caregivers through medical management, crisis prevention, support, and advocacy. Despite the lack of curative treatments, HCPs perceived that patients benefited from ongoing clinical care provided by proactive clinicians. Conclusions: Providing care for individuals with DM1 and HD is a balancing act. HCPs must strike a balance between (1) the frustrations and rewards of patient-centered care provision, (2) addressing symptoms and preventing and managing crises while focusing on patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life concerns, and (3) advocating for patients while addressing caregivers’ needs. This raises important questions: Is patient-centered care possible for patients with cognitive decline? Does chronic neurological care need to evolve to better address patients’ and caregivers’ complex needs?
Pompe disease is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency of the
enzyme acid alpha-glucosidase. Patients have skeletal muscle and respiratory
weakness with or without cardiomyopathy. The objective of our review was to
systematically evaluate the quality of evidence from the literature to
formulate evidence-based guidelines for the diagnosis and management of
patients with Pompe disease. The literature review was conducted using
published literature, clinical trials, cohort studies and systematic
reviews. Cardinal treatment decisions produced seven management guidelines
and were assigned a GRADE classification based on the quality of evidence in
the published literature. In addition, six recommendations were made based
on best clinical practices but with insufficient data to form a guideline.
Studying outcomes in rare diseases is challenging due to the small number of
patients, but this is in particular the reason why we believe that informed
treatment decisions need to consider the quality of the evidence.
Background: Myotonic dystrophy (DM1) is an autosomal dominant, progressive, and multisystem condition that impacts affected individuals physically, socially, and emotionally. Understanding individuals’ perceptions of their disease is critical to ensuring appropriate information, education, and counseling. Methods: We conducted a content analysis of findings from a larger study that used a novel, qualitative research approach called photovoice to explore nine patients’ experiences of living with DM1. Participants took pictures that illustrated barriers or facilitators to living with DM1; their photographs then formed the basis of semistructured interviews. Transcripts were analyzed and, among themes, we identified one titled “DM1 truths and misinformation” that described participants’ disease knowledge. Analysis revealed four categories within this broader theme: “the physical and emotional cost of DM1,” “managing my DM1,” “genetics and me” and “patients as advocates and educators.” Results: Findings showed that DM1 participants had good core knowledge with respect to their disease and its implications. However, each participant held as fact fragments of misinformation that shaped decision-making and pointed to a clear need for strategies to mitigate variable interpretation of health information. Conclusions: We conclude that there is a need for increased education and awareness about symptoms, genetic information and treatment strategies for patients, their family members, and health care providers.
Patient registries represent an important method of organizing “real world” patient information for clinical and research purposes. Registries can facilitate clinical trial planning and recruitment and are particularly useful in this regard for uncommon and rare diseases. Neuromuscular diseases (NMDs) are individually rare but in aggregate have a significant prevalence. In Canada, information on NMDs is lacking. Barriers to performing Canadian multicentre NMD research exist which can be overcome by a comprehensive and collaborative NMD registry.
We describe the objectives, design, feasibility and initial recruitment results for the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry (CNDR).
The CNDR is a clinic-based registry which launched nationally in June 2011, incorporates paediatric and adult neuromuscular clinics in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and, as of December 2012, has recruited 1161 patients from 12 provinces and territories. Complete medical datasets have been captured on 460 “index disease” patients. Another 618 “non-index” patients have been recruited with capture of physician-confirmed diagnosis and contact information. We have demonstrated the feasibility of blended clinic and central office-based recruitment. “Index disease” patients recruited at the time of writing include 253 with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, 161 with myotonic dystrophy, and 71 with ALS.
The CNDR is a new nationwide registry of patients with NMDs that represents an important advance in Canadian neuromuscular disease research capacity. It provides an innovative platform for organizing patient information to facilitate clinical research and to expedite translation of recent laboratory findings into human studies.