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Howick J.,University of Oxford | Cals J.W.L.,Maastricht University | Jones C.,University of Oxford | Price C.P.,University of Oxford | And 14 more authors.
BMJ Open | Year: 2014

Objective: Despite the growing number of point-of-care (POC) tests available, little research has assessed primary care clinician need for such tests. We therefore aimed to determine which POC tests they actually use or would like to use (if not currently available in their practice). Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Primary care in Australia, Belgium (Flanders region only), the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. Participants: Primary care doctors (general practitioners, family physicians). Main measures: We asked respondents to (1) identify conditions for which a POC test could help inform diagnosis, (2) from a list of tests provided: evaluate which POC tests they currently use (and how frequently) and (3) determine which tests (from that same list) they would like to use in the future (and how frequently). Results: 2770 primary care clinicians across five countries responded. Respondents in all countries wanted POC tests to help them diagnose acute conditions (infections, acute cardiac disease, pulmonary embolism/deep vein thrombosis), and some chronic conditions (diabetes, anaemia). Based on the list of POC tests provided, the most common tests currently used were: urine pregnancy, urine leucocytes or nitrite and blood glucose. The most commonly reported tests respondents expressed a wish to use in the future were: D-dimer, troponin and chlamydia. The UK and the USA reported a higher actual and desired use for POC tests than Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands. Our limited data suggest (but do not confirm) representativeness. Conclusions: Primary care clinicians in all five countries expressed a desire for POC tests to help them diagnose a range of acute and chronic conditions. Rates of current reported use and desired future use were generally high for a small selection of POC tests, but varied across countries. Future research is warranted to explore how specific POC tests might improve primary care.

De Hert M.,University Psychiatric Center Zorg Ku Leuven | Van Bos L.,University Psychiatric Center Zorg Ku Leuven | Sweers K.,University Psychiatric Center Zorg Ku Leuven | Wampers M.,University Psychiatric Center Zorg Ku Leuven | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Introduction When psychiatric patients express a wish for euthanasia, this should first and foremost be interpreted as a cry for help. Due to their close day-to-day relationship, psychiatric nurses may play an important and central role in responding to such requests. However, little is known about nurses' attitudes towards euthanasia motivated by unbearable mental suffering. Objectives The aim of this study was to provide insight into the attitudes and actions taken by psychiatric nurses when confronted with a patient's euthanasia request based on unbearable mental suffering (UMS). Method A questionnaire was sent to 11 psychiatric hospitals in the Flemish part of Belgium. Results The overall response rate was 70% (N = 627). Psychiatric nurses were frequently confronted with a request for euthanasia, either directly (N = 329,53%) or through a colleague (N = 427, 69%). A majority (N = 536, 84%) did not object to euthanasia in a psychiatrically ill population with UMS. Confounding factors were the psychiatric diagnosis and the type of ward where the nurses were working. Most participants acknowledged a lack of knowledge and skills to adequately address the euthanasia request (N = 434,71%). Nearly unanimously (N = 618, 99%), study participants indicated that dealing with euthanasia requests and other end-of-life issues should be part of the formal training of nurses. Conclusion The results highlight the need for ethically sound and comprehensive provision of care. Psychiatric nurses play an important role in dealing with the complex issue of requests for euthanasia. There is also a need for education, training and clear guidelines on the level of health care organizations. © 2015 De Hert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Van Mechelen W.,Academic Center for General Practice
Palliative medicine | Year: 2013

The lack of a clear definition of the palliative care patient hampers the comparison of results across different studies and impedes implementation of research findings in everyday practice. The aim of this article is to propose minimum characteristics that define a palliative care patient. The design involved a systematic review of medical literature searching randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in palliative care for clear descriptions of their palliative care patients. We systematically describe relevant characteristics of the study populations of 60 eligible RCTs. Data sources: The data sources used were MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PSYCHINFO, including all non-cancer RCTs (1 January 1995-4 March 2010) and an equivalent number of the most recent cancer RCTs (1 January 2003-4 March 2010). Half of the non-cancer studies were excluded because they did not relate to palliative care. We conclude that published RCTs have no clear definitions of their palliative care patients and illustrate the diversity of this patient, the lack of consensus concerning the attributes of illnesses needing palliation and the ambiguous use of the adjective 'palliative'. We propose elements of the patients' health status (e.g. a progressive, life-threatening disease with no possibility of obtaining remission or stabilisation, or modifying the course of the illness) and the care delivered to them (e.g. a holistic interdisciplinary approach that focuses on supporting the quality of the end of life) to be included in the definition of a palliative care patient. We also suggest considering the patients' readiness to accept palliative care and a vision of palliative care shared by the patient and all caregivers involved as potentially important elements in this definition.

Heselmans A.,Academic Center for General Practice | Van Krieken J.,AZ Sint Maarten General Hospital | Cootjans S.,A+ Network | Nagels K.,A+ Network | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics | Year: 2015

What is known and objective Drug-related problems (DRPs) occur frequently in hospitalized patients. Patient discharge from the intensive care unit (ICU) to a non-ICU ward is one of the most challenging and high-risk transitions of care due to the number of medications, and the complexity and acuity of the medical conditions that characterize this patient group. Pharmacists could play an important role in preventing DRPs. This study was undertaken to evaluate the impact on the number and severity of drug-related problems by assigning a clinical pharmacist to the transfer process from ICU to wards. Methods The study was a randomized controlled multicentre trial conducted at the Hospital Network of Antwerp between December 2010 and January 2012. The clinical pharmacist performed a medical review in both the intervention and control group. Recommendations for drug therapy changes were immediately communicated in the intervention group but were kept blinded in the control group. The primary outcome was expressed as the number of implemented recommendations for drug therapy changes. Differences between groups were calculated using mixed effects binary logistic regression. Results Drug-related problems were found in the medical records of 360 of the 600 participants (60%). A total of 743 recommendations could be made, 375 in the intervention group and 368 in the control group. 54·1% of these problems were adjusted on time in the intervention group vs. 12·8% in the control group. Of 743 recommendations, 24·8% were judged by the expert group as major, 13·1% as moderate, 53.4% as minor and 8·9% as having no clinical impact. The odds of implementing recommendations of drug therapy changes in the intervention group were 10 times the odds of implementing recommendations of drug therapy changes in the control group (odds ratio = 10·1; 95%CI [6·3-16·1]; P < 0·001), even after accounting for differences in types of DRP between the groups (odds ratio = 15·6; 95%CI [9·4-25·9]; P < 0·001). What is new and conclusion The integration of a clinical pharmacist at the transfer point from ICU to ward led to a significant reduction in DRPs. The odds of implementing recommendations of drug therapy changes in the intervention group were significant higher than the odds of implementing recommendations of drug therapy changes in the control group. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Arnaud J.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Arnaud J.,Grenoble University Hospital Center | de Lorgeril M.,CNRS Complex Medical Engineering Laboratory | Akbaraly T.,Montpellier University | And 43 more authors.
Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases | Year: 2012

Background and aims: The European 'IMMIDIET' study was designed to evaluate the effect of genetic and dietary habit interactions on cardiovascular disease risk factors in non-diabetic subjects. Copper, zinc and selenium are involved in redox balance and modifications of their homeostasis could be associated with metabolic syndrome. Because few studies have dealt with trace element status in metabolic syndrome with conflicting results, we aimed at investigating the relationships between plasma copper, zinc and selenium concentrations and metabolic syndrome in the IMMIDIET population. Methods and results: Male-female couples born and living in Abruzzo, Italy (n = 271); Limburg, Belgium (n = 267), southwest part of London, England (n = 263) and 205 Italian-Belgian mixed couples living in Belgium were enrolled. Data on medical history, hypertension and blood lipid profile, medication use, smoking and alcohol habits, physical activity and socioeconomic status were collected using a standardised questionnaire. Anthropometric, blood pressure, glucose, insulin, lipid profile and copper, zinc and selenium measurements were performed. Participants were classified in two groups according to the presence of metabolic syndrome (Yes/No).Comparison between these two groups, performed separately in men and women, indicated no association in men whereas, in women, metabolic syndrome was associated with higher plasma selenium concentrations (odds ratio (OR) = 1.55(1.28-1.89)); this association remained significant after adjustment for age, group, social status, physical activity, energy intake, alcohol consumption, smoking and hormonal status (OR = 1.33 (1.06-1.67)). Conclusion: Our results indicate gender differences in the association between plasma selenium concentration and metabolic syndrome without diabetes and may suggest a sub-clinical deleterious effect of high selenium status in women. © 2010 Elsevier B.V..

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