Health Services Research Unit

Rome, Italy

Health Services Research Unit

Rome, Italy
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Wang Y.,Health Services Research Unit | Wang Y.,Akershus University Hospital | Wang Y.,University of Oslo | Stavem K.,Health Services Research Unit | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of COPD | Year: 2014

Background: Early identification of patients with a prolonged stay due to acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may reduce risk of adverse event and treatment costs. This study aimed to identify predictors of prolonged stay after acute exacerbation of COPD based on variables on admission; the study also looked to establish a prediction model for length of stay (LOS). Methods: We extracted demographic and clinical data from the medical records of 599 patients discharged after an acute exacerbation of COPD between March 2006 and December 2008 at Oslo University Hospital, Aker. We used logistic regression analyses to assess predictors of a length of stay above the 75th percentile and assessed the area under the receiving operating characteristic curve to evaluate the model's performance. Results: We included 590 patients (54% women) aged 73.2±10.8 years (mean ± standard deviation) in the analyses. Median LOS was 6.0 days (interquartile range [IQR] 3.5-11.0). In multivariate analysis, admission between Thursday and Saturday (odds ratio [OR] 2.24 [95% CI 1.60-3.51], P<0.001), heart failure (OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.34-3.80), diabetes (OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.07-3.37), stroke (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.04-3.21), high arterial PCO2 (OR 1.26 [95% CI 1.13-1.41], P<0.001), and low serum albumin level (OR 0.92 [95% CI 0.87-0.97], P=0.001) were associated with a LOS >11 days. The statistical model had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.73. Conclusion: Admission between Thursday and Saturday, heart failure, diabetes, stroke, high arterial PCO2, and low serum albumin level were associated with a prolonged LOS. These findings may help physicians to identify patients that will need a prolonged LOS in the early stages of admission. However, the predictive model exhibited suboptimal performance and hence is not ready for clinical use. © 2014 Wang et al.

Scala E.,Experimental Allergy Unit | Till S.J.,King's College London | Asero R.,Ambulatorio di Allergologia | Abeni D.,Health Services Research Unit | And 7 more authors.
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

Background Nonspecific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs) represent a major cause of systemic food allergic reactions in the Mediterranean area. This study investigate hierarchical patterns and cluster relationships of IgE sensitization to different nsLTPs, and the relationship to clinical allergy in a large Italian cohort. Methods A total of 568 nsLTP-positive subjects after IgE ImmunoCAP-ISAC microarray analysis with Ara h 9, Art v 3, Cor a 8, Jug r 3, Pla a 3, Pru p 3 and Tri a 14 allergens were studied. IgE inhibition experiments were carried out with mugwort and plane tree pollen extracts. Results Eighty-two per cent of nsLTP-positive participants (94% if <6 years old) were Pru p 3pos, and 71% were Jug r 3pos. Participants who reacted to >5 nsLTPs reported a higher incidence of food-induced systemic reactions. Only Art v 3 and Pla a 3 (mugwort and plane tree nsLTPs, respectively) were associated with respiratory symptoms, and a correlation was observed between sensitization to pollen and plant food nsLTPs, particularly between Pla a 3 and tree nut/peanut nsLTPs. Co-sensitization to Par j 2 and PR-10 or profilin pan-allergens was associated with a lower prior prevalence of severe food-induced reactions. In inhibition assays, plane and mugwort pollen extracts inhibited 50-100% of IgE binding to food nsLTPs in microarrays. Conclusions Testing IgE reactivity to a panel of nsLTP allergens unveils important associations between nsLTP sensitization profiles and clinical presentation and allows the identification of novel cluster patterns indicating likely cross-reactivities and highlighting potential allergens for nsLTP immunotherapy. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Di Rollo D.,University of Chieti Pescara | Abeni D.,Health Services Research Unit | Tracanna M.,University of Chieti Pescara | Capo A.,University of Chieti Pescara | Amerio P.,University of Chieti Pescara
Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia | Year: 2014

The association between idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM) and cancer has been extensively studied in adults. Many epidemiological studies demonstrated this association, which appears stronger for dermatomyositis (DM) than for polymyositis (PM). The first case suggesting an association between cancer and DM was reported in 1916. At present the reported incidence of cancer association with DM varies widely, from less than 7% to over 30%. Many early evidences came from case reports, but this association was later confirmed in case-control as well as in population-based studies. Ovarian cancer or breast cancer in females and lung cancer in males are the main malignancies associated with DM. Given the frequency of the association of dermatomyositis with cancer, for cost-effectiveness reasons it might be important to develop simple and appropriate diagnostic tests for identification of patients with DM, who may be at higher risk of developing a malignancy. Clinicians should plan follow-up schedules to optimize both cancer detection and treatment, and thus to improve patient survival. Many different clinical and serological signs have been suggested as possible predictive factors for malignancy in dermatomyositis: age, increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), presence of cutaneous leukocytoclastic vasculitis, cutaneous rash and skin lesions as cutaneous necrosis and periungueal erythemas, neoplastic markers or dysphagia. The results of the different studies are quite discordant. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature to evaluate the level of the risk of cancer in patients with dermatomyositis and to explore whether certain patient characteristics may be linked to different levels of cancer risk.

Warusevitane A.,Staffordshire University | Karunatilake D.,Stroke Services | Sim J.,Health Services Research Unit | Lally F.,Keele University | And 3 more authors.
Stroke | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - : Pneumonia is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with stroke fed via nasogastric tubes and may be because of vomiting and gastro-oesophageal regurgitation. The aim of the study was to assess whether regular treatment with metoclopramide, a D2-receptor antagonist with antiemetic and gastric prokinetic actions, could reduce the rate of aspiration and pneumonia. METHODS - : Patients with no signs of pneumonia within 7 days of stroke onset and 48 hours of insertion of a nasogastric tube were recruited into a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. Participants received metoclopramide 10 mg or placebo 3× daily via the nasogastric tube for 21 days or until nasogastric feeds were discontinued. Clinical signs of pneumonia were recorded daily. Pneumonia was diagnosed if the patient had relevant clinical signs, high inflammatory markers, and new infiltrates on the chest radiograph. RESULTS - : Sixty patients (mean age, 78 years; 38 women; mean National Institutes for Health Stroke Scale score, 19.25) were randomized in a 1:1 ratio. There were significantly more episodes of pneumonia in the placebo group than in the metoclopramide group (rate ratio, 5.24; P<0.001). There were also significant differences in favor of metoclopramide in the rate of aspiration, oxygen saturation, highest inflammatory markers, and National Institutes for Health Stroke Scale. There was no significant difference in mortality between the groups. CONCLUSIONS - : This study suggests that metoclopramide may reduce the rate of pneumonia and may improve other clinical outcomes in patients with subacute stroke fed via nasogastric tube. These findings need to be confirmed in larger randomized and blinded trials. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION - : URL: EudraCT no: 2006-002570-22, URL: © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.

Sanfelix-Gimeno G.,Health Services Research Unit | Peiro S.,Health Services Research Unit | Ferreros I.,Health Services Research Unit | Perez-Vicente R.,Health Services Research Unit | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy | Year: 2013

Background: Pharmacological secondary prevention in patients after an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) has contributedsubstantially to reductions in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and, overall, has undergone important improvementsin recent years. Nevertheless, there is still a considerable adherence gap and opportunity for improvement. Objective: To assess, in a cohort of patients who survived an ACS, adherence to commonly prescribed secondary prevention drugs, factors associated to adherence, and variations among health care delivery areas. Methods: We combined the medical and pharmacy databases from a regional public health service in Valencia, Spain, to construct a populationbased cohort of patients discharged alive after an emergency admission for an ACS to any hospital of the Valencia Health Agency in 2008. We evaluated medication adherence by determining the proportion of days covered (PDC) for each therapeutic group (antiplatelet agents, beta-blockers, angiotensin antagonists, and statins) in the 9 months following hospital discharge. Fully adherent patients were defined as those having enough treatment to cover 75% (PDC75) of the follow-up period. Results: The study cohort consisted of 7,462 patients. PDC75 was reached by 69.9% of patients taking antiplatelet agents, 43.3% takingbeta-blockers, 45.4% taking angiotensin antagonists, and 58.8% taking statins. Approximately 18% of patients did not reach PDC75 with any treatment, while 47.6% did so for 3 or more therapeutic groups. Lower adherence was found in diagnosesother than myocardial infarction. Other factors associated with nonadherence were older age, women, having copayment, foreign born, and most comorbidities (except for hypertension and hyperlipidemia, which were inversely associated, and diabetes and peripheral disease, which were not significantly associated). Health care delivery areas showed certain variability in their performance on these adherence measures that remained after the adjustment for covariates, although confidence intervals overlapped except between areas at the extremes. Conclusions: The proportion of fully adherent patients remains suboptimal, and important improvements are still possible in secondary prevention of ischemic heart disease. Thecombination of electronic health information systems may be very useful for monitoring adherence and evaluating the effectiveness of adherence and other quality improvement interventions. © 2013, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

Tabolli S.,Health Services Research Unit | Pagliarello C.,University of Parma | Paradisi A.,Health Services Research Unit | Cianchini G.,IDI IRCCS | And 2 more authors.
British Journal of Dermatology | Year: 2014

Background Studies conducted using different tools have invariably observed that physical and mental components of health status are seriously compromised in patients with pemphigus. An improvement in quality of life (QoL) has been commonly observed over the treatment period. Objectives The aim of the study is to verify whether the patients' wellbeing is affected by pemphigus also in absence of cutaneous and mucosal lesions. Materials and methods The clinical records of 203 patients were analysed. A total of 47 patients were without bullae/erosions and reported a score = 0 for both the Patient Global Assessment and the Ikeda index. In order to assess the QoL we used the Skindex-17 and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Results Patients without bullae/erosions had a better QoL when compared with patients with active lesions. This difference, with a reduction of approximately 30% of the Skindex-17 scores in the patients without lesions, was statistically significant, for both the symptoms and the psychosocial scales. The proportion of patients at risk of anxiety/depression (GHQ-positive cases) was 44% lower in patients without lesions compared with patients with lesions. In a multiple linear regression model the presence of bullae/erosions negatively influences QoL with an average increase of Skindex-17 symptoms and psychosocial scale scores of 11·7 and 10·6 points, respectively. Female patients had a statistically significantly worse QoL than males on the symptoms but not on the psychosocial Skindex-17 scales. Conclusions While patients without lesions reported a better QoL than patients with bullae/erosions, their Skindex-17 scores remained elevated. Dermatologists should be aware that a clearing of the skin manifestations does not mean 'perfect health' for the patient. What's already known about this topic? Pemphigus has a severe impact on quality of life. Patients with pemphigus have an increased risk of anxiety and depression. Following treatment, pemphigus may have long periods of quiescence. What does this study add? Quality of life is significantly impacted also in patients without bullae/erosions, and in women it is worse than in men. High percentages of patients are at risk of anxiety and depression even when the disease is quiescent. The burden of disease continues to be present even during periods of relative wellness. © 2014 British Association of Dermatologists.

Paradisi A.,Health Services Research Unit | Abeni D.,Health Services Research Unit | Bergamo F.,IDI IRCCS | Ricci F.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology | Year: 2014

Background Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a severe and potentially lethal drug reaction for which no standard treatment is available. Objective To describe a case series of patients with TEN treated with a single dose of etanercept. Methods We observed 10 consecutive patients with TEN. For each patient, we recorded the presence of comorbidities and all the drugs recently started (ie, in the last month). In all cases, 50 mg of etanercept was administered in a single subcutaneous injection. The clinical severity of disease was computed using the SCORe of Toxic Epidermal Necrosis (SCORTEN) scale. Using the probabilities of death linked to each level of SCORTEN score, we calculated the expected probability of death in our patients. Healing was defined as complete reepithelialization, and a time to healing curve was then obtained using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results All patients promptly responded to treatment, reaching complete reepithelialization without complications or side effects. The median time to healing was 8.5 days. Limitations This is a small, uncontrolled case series. Conclusion These preliminary results suggest the possibility that tumor necrosis factor-alfa may be an effective target for control of TEN, a dangerous skin condition for which no effective cure has yet been found. © 2014 by the American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.

Hurtado I.,Health Services Research Unit | Sanfelix-Gimeno G.,Health Services Research Unit | Baixauli-Perez C.,Health Services Research Unit | Peiro S.,Health Services Research Unit | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2014

Context: There is little consensus regarding which individuals should be recommended for bone mineral density (BMD) testing, a situation that could eventually affect the appropriateness of routine clinical practice. Objectives: The aim of this study was to estimate the impact on the population of the application of the BMD testing criteria provided by the National Osteoporosis Guideline Group (NOGG), National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), and Osteoporosis Canada and to assess the appropriateness of the BMD tests currently performed. Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted using the baseline data of the ESOSVAL cohort. Participants: Participants included 11 035 men and women aged 50 years old and over attending primary health care centers in the Valencia region, Spain (2009-2010). Main Outcome and Measures: BMD testing by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was recorded. Results: Of the 10 710 people included in the study, 1617 (15.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 14.4-15.8) received a BMD test. When applying the NOGG criteria, BMD testing would be recommended in 17.4% (95% CI: 16.7-18.1) of individuals, whereas this percentage would rise to 74.6% (95% CI: 73.7-75.4) and 80.1% (95% CI: 79.4-80.9) when using the Osteoporosis Canada and the NOF criteria, respectively. Regarding the appropriateness of the BMD tests performed in the ESOSVAL cohort, 40.7% (95% CI: 38.3-43.1), 86.0% (95% CI: 84.3-87.7), and 82.2% (95% CI: 80.3-84.1) of individuals having a BMD test met the NOGG, NOF, and the Canadian guidelines criteria, respectively. Of the tests performed, 40.7% would be deemed as appropriate, whereas 10.7% would be considered inappropriate. Conclusions: The impactonthe population of the different recommendations is enormous, varying from 17% to 80% of the population over 50 who would be tested. Although in men it seems that a clinical rationale exists between the presence of risk factors and the rates of BMD testing, this pattern does not seem to exist in women. One in 10 of the densitometric tests performed were inappropriate according to all the guidelines. (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 99: 142-150, 2014). © Copyright 2014 by The Endocrine Society.

Pagliarello C.,Health Services Research Unit | Paradisi A.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Case Reports in Dermatology | Year: 2011

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a recurrent suppurative disease characterized by inflammatory nodules, abscesses, fistulas, and scarring. We report a case of squamous cell carcinoma arising in chronic HS. In our case the asymptomatic lesion was neglected by the patient for a long time, allowing the occurrence of advanced disease before treatment was sought, which resulted in a terminal outcome. In the context of HS, a painful lump or ulcer could easily be mistaken for an inflammatory lesion, and therefore a low threshold for biopsy is warranted. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Librero J.,Health Services Research Unit | Sanfelix-Gimeno G.,Health Services Research Unit | Peiro S.,Health Services Research Unit
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Objective: To identify adherence patterns over time and their predictors for evidence-based medications used after hospitalization for coronary heart disease (CHD). Patients and Methods: We built a population-based retrospective cohort of all patients discharged after hospitalization for CHD from public hospitals in the Valencia region (Spain) during 2008 (n = 7462). From this initial cohort, we created 4 subcohorts with at least one prescription (filled or not) from each therapeutic group (antiplatelet, beta-blockers, ACEI/ARB, statins) within the first 3 months after discharge. Monthly adherence was defined as having ≥24 days covered out of 30, leading to a repeated binary outcome measure. We assessed the membership to trajectory groups of adherence using group-based trajectory models. We also analyzed predictors of the different adherence patterns using multinomial logistic regression. Results: We identified a maximum of 5 different adherence patterns: 1) Nearly-always adherent patients; 2) An early gap in adherence with a later recovery; 3) Brief gaps in medication use or occasional users; 4) A slow decline in adherence; and 5) A fast decline. These patterns represented variable proportions of patients, the descending trajectories being more frequent for the beta-blocker and ACEI/ARB cohorts (16% and 17%, respectively) than the antiplatelet and statin cohorts (10% and 8%, respectively). Predictors of poor or intermediate adherence patterns were having a main diagnosis of unstable angina or other forms of CHD vs. AMI in the index hospitalization, being born outside Spain, requiring copayment or being older. Conclusion: Distinct adherence patterns over time and their predictors were identified. This may be a useful approach for targeting improvement interventions in patients with poor adherence patterns. © 2016 Librero 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.

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