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Hobart, Australia

The Menzies Research Institute Tasmania is a research institute of the University of Tasmania based in Hobart. The institute conducts innovative, world-class medical research to improve human health and well-being. Wikipedia.


Walters J.A.,Menzies Research Institute
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2010

BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease characterised by exacerbations, usually infective in origin, which affect symptoms and quality of life. Action plans may help individuals recognise a deterioration in their symptoms and initiate changes to treatment early, thereby reducing the impact of the exacerbation. OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy of action plans in the management of COPD. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register (7 July 2009), CENTRAL, MEDLINE , CINAHL and ongoing trials registers (last searched July 2009). SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials of an individual action plan with minimal or no self management education, compared to control in patients with COPD were included. Studies in asthma and in multi-faceted interventions in which an action plan was combined with other elements such as education programme, exercise programme or outreach visits were excluded. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. We contacted investigators for additional information when necessary. MAIN RESULTS: Five studies enrolling 574 participants with moderate or severe COPD, with follow-up from six to twelve months, were included. There was no evidence that action plans reduced health care utilisation; assessed by hospital admission (mean difference (MD) 0.23; 95% CI -0.03 to 0.49), emergency department visits (MD 0.37; 95% CI -0.50 to 1.24) or GP visits (MD 0.53; -0.45, 1.50). Use of action plans was associated with increased initiation of treatment for acute exacerbations. Oral corticosteroid use was increased over 12 months (MD 0.74; 95% CI 0.14 to 1.35) with a significant increase in odds of being treated with antibiotics over 12 months (odds ratio 1.65; 95% CI 1.01 to 2.69). Self management knowledge and intention to initiate appropriate actions were improved in one study; recognition of a severe exacerbation (MD 2.50; 95% CI 1.04 to 3.96) and self initiating action in a severe exacerbation (MD 1.50; 95% CI 0.62 to 2.38). Health-related quality of life data were limited. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is evidence that action plans with limited COPD education aid recognition of, and response to, an exacerbation with initiation of antibiotics and corticosteroids. Only one study measured patients' self health appropriate behaviour (decision making and taking action). There is no evidence of reduced healthcare resources utilisation or improved health-related quality of life.The practice of giving patients an action plan and limited self-management education for the management of COPD exacerbations, without a multi-faceted self-management program or ongoing case management cannot be recommended as the standard of care in COPD. Source


Palmer A.J.,Menzies Research Institute
Value in Health | Year: 2013

Objectives: The Mount Hood Challenge meetings provide a forum for computer modelers of diabetes to discuss and compare models, to assess predictions against data from clinical trials and other studies, and to identify key future developments in the field. This article reports the proceedings of the Fifth Mount Hood Challenge in 2010. Methods: Eight modeling groups participated. Each group was given four modeling challenges to perform (in type 2 diabetes): to simulate a trial of a lipid-lowering intervention (The Atorvastatin Study for Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease Endpoints in Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus [ASPEN]), to simulate a trial of a blood glucose-lowering intervention (Action in Diabetes and Vascular Disease: Preterax and Diamicron Modified Release Controlled Evaluation [ADVANCE]), to simulate a trial of a blood pressure-lowering intervention (Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes [ACCORD]), and (optional) to simulate a second trial of blood glucose-lowering therapy (ACCORD). Model outcomes for each challenge were compared with the published findings of the respective trials. Results: The results of the models varied from each other and, in some cases, from the published trial data in important ways. In general, the models performed well in terms of predicting the relative benefit of interventions, but performed less well in terms of quantifying the absolute risk of complications in patients with type 2 diabetes. Methodological challenges were highlighted including matching trial end-point definitions, the importance of assumptions concerning the progression of risk factors over time, and accurately matching the patient characteristics from each trial. Conclusions: The Fifth Mount Hood Challenge allowed modelers, through systematic comparison and validation exercises, to identify important differences between models, address key methodological challenges, and discuss avenues of research to improve future diabetes models. © 2013 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Source


Marwick T.H.,Menzies Research Institute
Heart | Year: 2013

The last decade has produced a proliferation of techniques for the assessment of left ventricular systolic function, and there now seems to be more choice than seems rational for the questions that we need answers to. In some instances, simple estimation is all that is required-the risk stratification process is inexact, as emphasised by the variety of modalities used to characterise ejection fraction (EF) in studies that validated the efficacy of treatments selected on the basis of EF. Nonetheless, while technical advances often cause disruption and confusion, it would be wrong to dismiss them as lacking benefit. The purpose of this review is to try to provide rational grounds for selecting both test modality and physiological parameter in various specific clinical situations. Source


Winzenberg T.M.,Menzies Research Institute
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2010

Results of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of vitamin D supplementation to improve bone density in children are inconsistent. To determine the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation for improving bone mineral density in children, whether any effect varies by sex, age or pubertal stage, the type or dose of vitamin D given or baseline vitamin D status, and if effects persist after cessation of supplementation. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL Issue 3, 2009), MEDLINE (1966 to present), EMBASE (1980 to present), CINAHL (1982 to present), AMED (1985 to present) and ISI Web of Science (1945 to present) on 9 August 2009, and we handsearched key journal conference abstracts. Placebo-controlled RCTs of vitamin D supplementation for at least three months in healthy children and adolescents (aged from one month to < 20 years) with bone density outcomes. Two authors screened references for inclusion, assessed risk of bias, and extracted data. We conducted meta-analyses and calculated standardised mean differences (SMD) of the percent change from baseline in outcomes in treatment and control groups. We performed subgroup analyses by sex, pubertal stage, dose of vitamin D and baseline serum vitamin D and considered these as well as compliance and allocation concealment as possible sources of heterogeneity. We included six RCTs (343 participants receiving placebo and 541 receiving vitamin D) for meta-analyses. Vitamin D supplementation had no statistically significant effects on total body bone mineral content (BMC), hip bone mineral density (BMD) or forearm BMD. There was a trend to a small effect on lumbar spine BMD (SMD 0.15, 95% CI -0.01 to 0.31, P = 0.07). There were no differences in effects between high and low serum vitamin D studies at any site though there was a trend towards a larger effect with low vitamin D for total body BMC (P = 0.09 for difference). In low serum vitamin D studies, significant effects on total body BMC and lumbar spine BMD were approximately equivalent to a 2.6% and 1.7 % percentage point greater change from baseline in the supplemented group. These results do not support vitamin D supplementation to improve bone density in healthy children with normal vitamin D levels, but suggest that supplementation of deficient children may be clinically useful. Further RCTs in deficient children are needed to confirm this. Source


Chang A.B.,Menzies Research Institute
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2011

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is said to be the causative factor in up to 41% of adults with chronic cough. Treatment for GORD includes conservative measures (diet manipulation), pharmaceutical therapy (motility or prokinetic agents, H(2)-antagonist and proton pump inhibitors (PPI)) and fundoplication. To evaluate the efficacy of GORD treatment on chronic cough in children and adults with GORD and prolonged cough that is not related to an underlying respiratory disease, i.e. non-specific chronic cough. We searched the Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register, the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, review articles and reference lists of relevant articles. The date of last search was 8 April 2010. All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on GORD treatment for cough in children and adults without primary lung disease. Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. We contacted study authors for further information. We included 19 studies (six paediatric, 13 adults). None of the paediatric studies could be combined for meta-analysis. A single RCT in infants found that PPI (compared to placebo) was not efficacious for cough outcomes (favouring placebo OR 1.61; 95% CI 0.57 to 4.55) but those on PPI had significantly increased adverse events (OR 5.56; 95% CI 1.18 to 26.25) (number needed to treat for harm in four weeks was 11 (95% CI 3 to 232)). In adults, analysis of H(2) antagonist, motility agents and conservative treatment for GORD was not possible (lack of data) and there were no controlled studies of fundoplication. We analysed nine adult studies comparing PPI (two to three months) to placebo for various outcomes in the meta-analysis. Using intention-to-treat, pooled data from studies resulted in no significant difference between treatment and placebo in total resolution of cough (OR 0.46; 95% CI 0.19 to 1.15). Pooled data revealed no overall significant improvement in cough outcomes (end of trial or change in cough scores). We only found significant differences in sensitivity analyses. We found a significant improvement in change of cough scores at end of intervention (two to three months) in those receiving PPI (standardised mean difference -0.41; 95% CI -0.75 to -0.07) using generic inverse variance analysis on cross-over trials. Two studies reported improvement in cough after five days to two weeks of treatment. PPI is not efficacious for cough associated with GORD symptoms in very young children (including infants) and should not be used for cough outcomes. There is insufficient data in older children to draw any valid conclusions. In adults, there is insufficient evidence to conclude definitely that GORD treatment with PPI is universally beneficial for cough associated with GORD. Clinicians should be cognisant of the period (natural resolution with time) and placebo effect in studies that utilise cough as an outcome measure. Future paediatric and adult studies should be double-blind, randomised controlled and parallel-design, using treatments for at least two months, with validated subjective and objective cough outcomes and include ascertainment of time to respond as well as assessment of acid and/or non-acid reflux. Source

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