Edmonton, Canada
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Higginbottom G.M.A.,University of Alberta | Forgeron J.,Lois Hole Hospital for Women | Gibbons D.,Lois Hole Hospital for Women | Malhi R.,University of Alberta | Mamede F.,University of Sao Paulo
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | Year: 2011

Background: Facilitating the provision of appropriate health care for immigrant and Aboriginal populations in Canada is critical for maximizing health potential and well-being. Numerous reports describe heightened risks of poor maternal and birth outcomes for immigrant and Aboriginal women. Many of these outcomes may relate to food consumption/practices and thus may be obviated through provision of resources which suit the women's ethnocultural preferences. This project aims to understand ethnocultural food and health practices of Aboriginal and immigrant women, and how these intersect with respect to the legacy of Aboriginal colonialism and to the social contexts of cultural adaptation and adjustment of immigrants. The findings will inform the development of visual tools for health promotion by practitioners.Methods/Design: This four-phase study employs a case study design allowing for multiple means of data collection and different units of analysis. Phase 1 consists of a scoping review of the literature. Phases 2 and 3 incorporate pictorial representations of food choices (photovoice in Phase 2) with semi-structured photo-elicited interviews (in Phase 3). The findings from Phases 1-3 and consultations with key stakeholders will generate key understandings for Phase 4, the production of culturally appropriate visual tools. For the scoping review, an emerging methodological framework will be utilized in addition to systematic review guidelines. A research librarian will assist with the search strategy and retrieval of literature. For Phases 2 and 3, recruitment of 20-24 women will be facilitated by team member affiliations at perinatal clinics in one of the city's most diverse neighbourhoods. The interviews will reveal culturally normative practices surrounding maternal food choices and consumption, including how women negotiate these practices within their own worldview and experiences. A structured and comprehensive integrated knowledge translation plan has been formulated.Discussion: The findings of this study will provide practitioners with an understanding of the cultural differences that affect women's dietary choices during maternity. We expect that the developed resources will be of immediate use within the women's units and will enhance counseling efforts. Wide dissemination of outputs may have a greater long term impact in the primary and secondary prevention of these high risk conditions. © 2011 Higginbottom et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Chuck A.W.,Institute of Health Economics | Thanh N.X.,Institute of Health Economics | Chari R.S.,University of Alberta | Wilson R.D.,University of Alberta | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada | Year: 2016

Objectives In 2006, the Alberta Ministry of Health issued a policy to implement fetal fibronectin (fFN) testing as a publicly funded service for pregnant women. The goals were to reduce maternity health care utilization and unnecessary treatment, which would result in cost-savings for the health system by more accurately diagnosing false preterm labour. We conducted a post-policy implementation review to determine whether the policy implementation achieved its goals. Methods We assessed the impacts of fFN testing on clinical decision-making for ambulance transfer, hospital admission, and length of hospital stay by comparing these variables between the tested and untested patients. This post-implementation analysis was conducted separately for inpatients and outpatients and for true and false preterm labour, using multilevel regressions with episodes or visits being nested within patients. We then assessed the impact of fFN testing on costs to the health system by using decision-tree models populated with actual data and results from the regressions. Results The additional information, provided by fFN testing, influenced clinical decision-making. However, physicians placed a greater significance on positive test results than on negative results, which resulted in an inadvertent increase in health care utilization. After including the costs of fFN testing, the total cost to the system increased by $4.2 million (in 2014 Canadian dollars) between 2008 and 2013, with contributions of $700 000 for false labour and $3.5 million for true preterm labour. Conclusion The policy to adopt fFN testing in Alberta did not achieve the intended aims of reducing unnecessary health care utilization to achieve cost-savings for the health system. There was an inherent tendency to err on the side of caution, and physicians were influenced more by positive test results. © 2016 The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada/La Société des obstétriciens et gynécologues du Canada


Higginbottom G.M.A.,University of Alberta | Vallianatos H.,University of Alberta | Forgeron J.,Lois Hole Hospital for Women | Gibbons D.,Lois Hole Hospital for Women | And 2 more authors.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | Year: 2014

Background: Immigrant women may be regarded as a vulnerable population with respect to access and navigation of maternity care services. They may encounter difficulties when accessing culturally safe and appropriate maternity care, which may be further exacerbated by language difficulties and discriminatory practices or attitudes. The project aimed to understand ethnocultural food and health practices and how these intersect in a particular social context of cultural adaptation and adjustment in order to improve the care-giving capacities of health practitioners working in multicultural perinatal clinics. Methods: This four-phase study employed a case study design allowing for multiple means of data collection and different units of analysis. Phase one consists of a scoping review of the literature. Phases two and three incorporate pictorial representations of food choices with semi-structured photo-elicited interviews. This study was undertaken at a Prenatal and Obstetric Clinic, in an urban Canadian city. In phase four, the research team will inform the development of culturally appropriate visual tools for health promotion. Results: Five themes were identified: (a) Perceptions of Health, (b) Social Support (c) Antenatal Foods (d) Postnatal Foods and (e) Role of Health Education. These themes provide practitioners with an understanding of the cultural differences that affect women's dietary choices during pregnancy. The project identified building collaborations between practitioners and families of pregnant immigrant women to be of utmost importance in supporting healthy pregnancies, along with facilitating social support for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Conclusion: In a multicultural society that contemporary Canada is, it is challenging for health practitioners to understand various ethnocultural dietary norms and practices. Practitioners need to be aware of customary practices of the ethnocultural groups that they work with, while simultaneously recognizing the variation within-not everyone follows customary practices, individuals may pick and choose which customary guidelines they follow. What women choose to eat is also influenced by their own experiences, access to particular foods, socioeconomic status, family context, and so on. © Higginbottom et al.


Chubaty A.,University of Alberta | Shandro M.T.L.,Lois Hole Hospital for Women | Schuurmans N.,Lois Hole Hospital for Women | Yuksel N.,University of Alberta
Maturitas | Year: 2011

Objectives: To describe practice patterns with hormone therapy (HT) in women after a surgical menopause and to describe their experience of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Methods: This was a cross-sectional chart-review with telephone follow up interview of women between the ages of 20 and 50 years who had a hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) before menopause at an academic teaching facility in Edmonton, Canada between December 1, 2006 and November 30, 2007. Results: Seventy women were interviewed. Mean respondents age at surgery was 44.3 (±5.2) years and mean time since surgery was 10.2 (±3.8) months. Twenty-eight women (40%) were started on HT after surgical menopause; 23 (33%) were still taking HT at the time of the interview. Estrogen therapy (ET) was the only HT prescribed in all instances, with over half the women on transdermal estrogen at time of the interview and 70% on ET doses equivalent to 0.625 mg conjugated estrogens. Women not taking HT were more likely to experience daily hot flashes (74% vs 30%, p = 0.006) and to classify them as moderate or severe intensity (57% vs 47%, p = 0.033). Night sweats and difficulty sleeping were reported equally in both groups. Conclusions: Over 2/3rd of women were not on HT after a surgical menopause and many of these women were still having daily hot flashes. Targeted patient education prior to surgery or at discharge may help improve the management of menopausal symptoms and long term health consequences in women after a surgical menopause. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Young C.,Lois Hole Hospital for Women
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2013

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is the method of choice for obtaining fetal tissue for prenatal diagnosis before 15 weeks of pregnancy. CVS can be performed using either a transabdominal or transcervical approach. The type of instrument and technique used could have a significant impact on the outcome of the procedure. An ability to manoeuvre the instrument within the uterine cavity without puncturing the gestational sac, to see the tip of the instrument on ultrasound scanning and to minimise the number of instrument passes into the uterus are particularly important. To compare the efficacy and safety of different instruments and techniques used to obtain chorionic tissue in early pregnancy by the transabdominal or transcervical route. Primary outcomes included failure to obtain an adequate sample (greater than 5 mg of chorionic villi), need for reinsertion of the instrument, pain, and miscarriage following the procedure. Secondary outcomes included mean weight of tissue obtained, successful culture, difficult instrument insertion, poor visualisation of instrument, vaginal bleeding following the procedure and cost per procedure. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 August 2012). Randomised trials comparing different instruments (forceps, cannula, needle) or techniques for CVS using either transabdominal or transcervical approach. Two review authors assessed eligibility and trial quality. For transcervical CVS, forceps and cannulae were evaluated in five trials involving 472 women. When a cannula was used, operators failed to obtain an adequate sample (greater than 5 mg of chorionic villi) more often (average risk ratio (RR) 3.81; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.52 to 9.56). There was no difference in the need for reinsertion of instruments (average RR 2.44; 95% CI 0.83 to 7.20). However, inserting a cannula was more painful (RR 1.93; 95% CI 1.11 to 3.37). There was no difference in spontaneous miscarriage when the use of a cannula was compared with biopsy forceps (RR 1.00; 95% CI 0.14 to 6.96). One study reported the cost of the procedures and found CVS with a cannula to be more expensive (mean difference (MD) $183.7; 95% CI 152.62 to 214.78).When different types of cannulae for transcervical CVS were compared, a Portex cannula was more likely to result in an inadequate sample (RR 2.23; 95% CI 1.25 to 3.98) compared with the silver cannula and to result in a difficult (RR 3.26; 95% CI 1.38 to 7.67) or painful (RR 5.81; 95% CI 1.41 to 23.88) procedure when compared with the aluminium cannula.For transabdominal CVS, two trials comparing different needle techniques were included involving 285 women. One study using an ex vivo system of term placentae was excluded. The included trials compared different continuous negative pressure aspiration techniques with a discontinuous negative pressure system created by a syringe attached to a 20 gauge needle. The studies produced discrepant results. One study found there was no significant difference between groups in the mean weight of chorionic villi obtained (MD 0.40; 95% CI -2.25 to 3.05) or in failure to obtain an adequate sample (more than 5 mg of chorionic villi) on the first attempt (RR 1.02; 95% CI 0.54 to 1.93), whereas the other study found both of these outcomes to be significantly less favourable with the standard discontinuous technique using a syringe (mean weight of chorionic villi obtained: MD -14.80; 95% CI -21.71 to -7.89; failure to obtain an adequate sample on the first attempt: RR 2.73; 95% CI 1.08 to 6.92). There was no difference in rate of miscarriage following the procedure in either study (RR 7.15; 95% CI 0.37 to 136.50; RR 2.93; 95% CI 0.12 to 70.00). Perceived pain by the patient was similar between groups (MD 0.00; 95% CI -0.04 to 0.04) as was success of culture (no failed cases). For transcervical CVS, although there is some evidence to support the use of small forceps instead of cannulae, the evidence is not strong enough to support change in practice for clinicians who have become familiar with a particular technique. For transabdominal CVS, based on current evidence, there is no difference in clinically important outcomes with the use of a continuous compared with a discontinuous negative pressure needle aspiration system.


Sabourin J.N.,University of Calgary | Van Thournout R.,Lois Hole Hospital for Women | Jain V.,University of Alberta | Demianczuk N.,University of Alberta | Flood C.,University of Alberta
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada | Year: 2014

Objective: To compare clerkship medical students' confidence in performing a simulated normal vaginal delivery (NVD) after participating in a simulation training session using two different models. Methods:: Medical students were randomized to participate in a simulated NVD session using either an obstetrics mannequin or a birthing pelvis model. Questionnaires were used to assess confidence and evaluate the simulation before and immediately after the session and on the last day of the obstetrics clerkship rotation. Results:: One hundred ten students were randomized. At the start of the clerkship, both groups had similar obstetrics exposure and confidence levels. Only 15 students (13.9%) agreed they were ready to attempt a NVD with minimal supervision or independently. This increased significantly to 43 students (39.4%) immediately after the session. At the end of the clerkship, 79 of 81 responding students (97.5%) were confident that they could attempt a NVD with minimal supervision or independently. There were no significant differences noted between simulator groups at any point. The sessions were rated as equally useful and realistic, and this remained unchanged at the end of the clerkship. Conclusion:: Simulated NVD training using either an obstetrics mannequin or a birthing pelvis model provides clerkship students with a positive experience and increases confidence immediately. It should be implemented early in the rotation, as it appears the clerkship experience also plays a large role in terms of students' confidence. Despite this, students maintain this type of learning is useful. Effective simulation training can easily be incorporated into clerkship training. © 2014 Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.


PubMed | Lois Hole Hospital for Women
Type: | Journal: The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is the method of choice for obtaining fetal tissue for prenatal diagnosis before 15 weeks of pregnancy. CVS can be performed using either a transabdominal or transcervical approach. The type of instrument and technique used could have a significant impact on the outcome of the procedure. An ability to manoeuvre the instrument within the uterine cavity without puncturing the gestational sac, to see the tip of the instrument on ultrasound scanning and to minimise the number of instrument passes into the uterus are particularly important.To compare the efficacy and safety of different instruments and techniques used to obtain chorionic tissue in early pregnancy by the transabdominal or transcervical route. Primary outcomes included failure to obtain an adequate sample (greater than 5 mg of chorionic villi), need for reinsertion of the instrument, pain, and miscarriage following the procedure. Secondary outcomes included mean weight of tissue obtained, successful culture, difficult instrument insertion, poor visualisation of instrument, vaginal bleeding following the procedure and cost per procedure.We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Groups Trials Register (31 August 2012).Randomised trials comparing different instruments (forceps, cannula, needle) or techniques for CVS using either transabdominal or transcervical approach.Two review authors assessed eligibility and trial quality.For transcervical CVS, forceps and cannulae were evaluated in five trials involving 472 women. When a cannula was used, operators failed to obtain an adequate sample (greater than 5 mg of chorionic villi) more often (average risk ratio (RR) 3.81; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.52 to 9.56). There was no difference in the need for reinsertion of instruments (average RR 2.44; 95% CI 0.83 to 7.20). However, inserting a cannula was more painful (RR 1.93; 95% CI 1.11 to 3.37). There was no difference in spontaneous miscarriage when the use of a cannula was compared with biopsy forceps (RR 1.00; 95% CI 0.14 to 6.96). One study reported the cost of the procedures and found CVS with a cannula to be more expensive (mean difference (MD) $183.7; 95% CI 152.62 to 214.78).When different types of cannulae for transcervical CVS were compared, a Portex cannula was more likely to result in an inadequate sample (RR 2.23; 95% CI 1.25 to 3.98) compared with the silver cannula and to result in a difficult (RR 3.26; 95% CI 1.38 to 7.67) or painful (RR 5.81; 95% CI 1.41 to 23.88) procedure when compared with the aluminium cannula.For transabdominal CVS, two trials comparing different needle techniques were included involving 285 women. One study using an ex vivo system of term placentae was excluded. The included trials compared different continuous negative pressure aspiration techniques with a discontinuous negative pressure system created by a syringe attached to a 20 gauge needle. The studies produced discrepant results. One study found there was no significant difference between groups in the mean weight of chorionic villi obtained (MD 0.40; 95% CI -2.25 to 3.05) or in failure to obtain an adequate sample (more than 5 mg of chorionic villi) on the first attempt (RR 1.02; 95% CI 0.54 to 1.93), whereas the other study found both of these outcomes to be significantly less favourable with the standard discontinuous technique using a syringe (mean weight of chorionic villi obtained: MD -14.80; 95% CI -21.71 to -7.89; failure to obtain an adequate sample on the first attempt: RR 2.73; 95% CI 1.08 to 6.92). There was no difference in rate of miscarriage following the procedure in either study (RR 7.15; 95% CI 0.37 to 136.50; RR 2.93; 95% CI 0.12 to 70.00). Perceived pain by the patient was similar between groups (MD 0.00; 95% CI -0.04 to 0.04) as was success of culture (no failed cases).For transcervical CVS, although there is some evidence to support the use of small forceps instead of cannulae, the evidence is not strong enough to support change in practice for clinicians who have become familiar with a particular technique. For transabdominal CVS, based on current evidence, there is no difference in clinically important outcomes with the use of a continuous compared with a discontinuous negative pressure needle aspiration system.


PubMed | Lois Hole Hospital for Women, University of Calgary and University of Alberta
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada : JOGC = Journal d'obstetrique et gynecologie du Canada : JOGC | Year: 2014

To compare clerkship medical students confidence in performing a simulated normal vaginal delivery (NVD) after participating in a simulation training session using two different models.Medical students were randomized to participate in a simulated NVD session using either an obstetrics mannequin or a birthing pelvis model. Questionnaires were used to assess confidence and evaluate the simulation before and immediately after the session and on the last day of the obstetrics clerkship rotation.One hundred ten students were randomized. At the start of the clerkship, both groups had similar obstetrics exposure and confidence levels. Only 15 students (13.9%) agreed they were ready to attempt a NVD with minimal supervision or independently. This increased significantly to 43 students (39.4%) immediately after the session. At the end of the clerkship, 79 of 81 responding students (97.5%) were confident that they could attempt a NVD with minimal supervision or independently. There were no significant differences noted between simulator groups at any point. The sessions were rated as equally useful and realistic, and this remained unchanged at the end of the clerkship.Simulated NVD training using either an obstetrics mannequin or a birthing pelvis model provides clerkship students with a positive experience and increases confidence immediately. It should be implemented early in the rotation, as it appears the clerkship experience also plays a large role in terms of students confidence. Despite this, students maintain this type of learning is useful. Effective simulation training can easily be incorporated into clerkship training.

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