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McIlvennan C.K.,Aurora University | Jones J.,Aurora University | Allen L.A.,Aurora University | Swetz K.M.,Birmingham Atlanta Geriatric Research | And 3 more authors.
JAMA Internal Medicine | Year: 2016

IMPORTANCE: For patients and their loved ones, decisions regarding the end of life in the setting of chronic progressive illness are among the most complex in health care. Complicating these decisions are increasingly available, invasive, and potentially life-prolonging technologies such as the left ventricular assist device (LVAD). OBJECTIVE: To understand the experience of bereaved caregivers and patients at the end of life who have an LVAD. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Semistructured, in-depth interviewswere conducted between September 10 and November 21, 2014, with 8 bereaved caregivers of patients with an LVAD who were recruited from a single institution. Data were analyzed from December 13, 2014, to February 18, 2015, using a mixed inductive and deductive approach. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Themes from semistructured interviews. RESULTS: The 8 caregivers (6 females) described 3 main themes that coalesced around feelings of confusion in the final weeks with their loved ones: (1) the process of death with an LVAD, (2) the legal and ethically permissible care of patients with an LVAD approaching death, and (3) fragmented integration of palliative and hospice care. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Despite increasing use of LVADs in patients with advanced heart failure, bereaved caregivers of patients with an LVAD describe a high level of confusion at the end of life. There remains a need for the health care community to develop clear guidance on the management of patients with an LVAD at the end of life. Future work will focus on the educational process and the ideal timing and reiteration of such information to patients and families. Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

Woodby L.L.,Birmingham Medical Center | Woodby L.L.,Birmingham Atlanta Geriatric Research | Williams B.R.,Birmingham Medical Center | Wittich A.R.,Birmingham Medical Center | Burgio K.L.,Birmingham Medical Center
Qualitative Health Research | Year: 2011

Qualitative researchers who explore the individual's experience of health, illness, death, and dying often experience emotional stress in their work. In this article, we describe the emotional stress we experienced while coding semistructured, after-death interviews conducted with 38 next of kin of deceased veterans. Coding sensitive topic data required an unexpected level of emotional labor, the impact of which has not been addressed in the literature. In writing this discussion article, we stepped back from our roles as interviewers/coders and reflected on how our work affected us individually and as a team, and how a sequence of exposures could exert a cumulative effect for researchers in such a dual role. Through this article, we hope to generate an expanded discourse on how qualitative inquiry impacts the emotional well-being of researchers. © The Author(s) 2011.

Bowling C.B.,Birmingham Atlanta Geriatric Research | Muntner P.,University of Alabama at Birmingham
Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences | Year: 2012

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF), Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) Clinical Practice Guidelines for Chronic Kidney Disease: Evaluation, Classification, and Stratification expanded the focus of chronic kidney disease (CKD) management from end-stage renal disease (ESRD) to the entire spectrum of kidney disease including early kidney damage through the stages of kidney disease to kidney failure. A consequence of these guidelines is that a large number of older adults are being identified as having CKD, many of whom will not progress to ESRD. Concerns have been raised that reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) among older adults may not represent "disease" and using age-specific cut-points for staging CKD has been proposed. This implies that among older adults, CKD, as currently defined, may be benign. Several recent studies have shown that among people greater than or equal to 80 years old, CKD is associated with an increased risk for concurrent complications of CKD (eg, anemia, acidosis) and adverse outcomes including mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Further, among older adults, CKD is associated with problems not traditionally thought to be associated with kidney disease. These nondisease-specific outcomes include functional decline, cognitive impairment, and frailty. Future research studies are necessary to determine the impact of concurrent complications of CKD and nondisease-specific problems on mortality and functional decline, the longitudinal trajectories of CKD progression, and patient preferences among the oldest old with CKD. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.

Sexton C.C.,United Biosource Corporation | Coyne K.S.,United Biosource Corporation | Thompson C.,United Biosource Corporation | Bavendam T.,Pfizer | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society | Year: 2011

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence and effect of overactive bladder (OAB) on healthcare-seeking behavior, mental health, and generic and condition-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL) in older adults. Design: Secondary analysis of the U.S. sample of the Epidemiology of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (EpiLUTS) study-a population-based, cross-sectional, Internet-based survey. Setting: Community. Participants: Two thousand four hundred eighty-five men and 2,877 women aged 65 and older. Measurements: Prevalence and effect on HRQL of urinary symptoms, including OAB. OAB was defined as the presence of urinary urgency and/or urinary urgency incontinence. Descriptive analyses and subgroup comparisons were conducted to evaluate the prevalence of OAB in men and women aged 65 and older and the effect of OAB on various aspects of HRQL. Results: The survey response rate was 46.9% of men and 61.0% of women. Prevalence rates of OAB at least "sometimes" were 40.4% in men and 46.9% in women. OAB was associated with significant impairments across all domains of patient-reported outcomes, including general HRQL (Medical Outcomes Study 12-item Short-Form Survey), ratings of anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and urinary condition-specific outcomes (Overactive Bladder Questionnaire Short Form and Patient Perception of Bladder Condition) (P<.001). Conclusion: OAB is common in older adults in the United States and is associated with substantial impairment in mental health and HRQL, but rates of treatment seeking behavior are low. Older patients should be assessed for OAB. © 2011, The American Geriatrics Society.

Burgio K.L.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Burgio K.L.,Birmingham Atlanta Geriatric Research
Current Urology Reports | Year: 2013

Behavioral and physical therapies have been used for many years to treat incontinence and overactive bladder (OAB). This paper focuses on programs that include pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) as a component in treatment for women or men. PFMT was long used almost exclusively for treatment of stress incontinence. When it became evident that voluntary pelvic floor muscle contraction can be used to control bladder function, PFMT was also integrated into the treatment of urge incontinence and OAB as part of a broader behavioral urge suppression strategy. PFMT has evolved over decades, both as a behavioral therapy and a physical therapy, combining principles from behavioral science, nursing, and muscle physiology into a widely recommended conservative treatment. The collective literature indicates that PFMT is effective for incontinence, as well as urgency, frequency, and nocturia. It can be combined with all other treatment modalities and holds potential for prevention of bladder symptoms. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA).

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