Northern Health and Social Care Trust

Ballymena, United Kingdom

Northern Health and Social Care Trust

Ballymena, United Kingdom
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Kincaid D.L.,Queen's University of Belfast | Doris M.,Northern Health and Social Care Trust | Shannon C.,Queen's University of Belfast | Mulholland C.,Northern Health and Social Care Trust
Psychiatry Research | Year: 2017

There is increasing evidence to suggest both a symptomatic overlap and a clinically significant degree of co-occurrence between Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia but the nature of such relationships remain unclear. We reviewed the literature reporting prevalence rates of Autistic-like Traits (ALTs) and ASD in populations with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder. A search of three large databases was conducted and from this seven studies met the criteria for inclusion. The point prevalence rates for ALTs ranged from 9.6% to 61%, whilst the prevalence rates for diagnosed ASD ranged from <1% to 52% across outpatient and inpatient populations. This suggests that prevalence rates of ALTs and ASD in psychosis populations are much higher than in the general population. This has important implications regarding future research, and clinical implications in terms of ensuring that patients receive the most appropriate diagnosis and treatment. © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd


Harrington C.,Northern Health and Social Care Trust | Rodgers C.,Antrim Area Hospital
BMJ Case Reports | Year: 2014

An underweight 15-year-old boy had a video capsule endoscopy (VCE) to investigate iron deficient anaemia associated with elevated platelet and white cell counts. The suspicion was of subclinical small bowel Crohn's disease after the findings of a radiolabelled white cell scan. The VCE in May 2007 found patchy inflammation and superficial ulcers in the terminal ileum consistent with Crohn's disease. By March 2008, the patient remained asymptomatic but the capsule had not passed. He was treated with steroids to improve the inflammation and allow the capsule to pass. This was unsuccessful. Abdominal X-rays appeared to show that it was in the rectum. CT of the abdomen and pelvis in July 2012 showed that it was actually in the mid-distal ileum within a mass of inflamed and matted small bowel loops. He was last reviewed in March 2014. He has now retained the capsule asymptomatically for 6 years and 10 months. Copyright 2014 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.


Aldeyab M.A.,Queen's University of Belfast | Aldeyab M.A.,Pharmacy and Medicines Management Center | Harbarth S.,University of Geneva | Vernaz N.,University of Geneva | And 5 more authors.
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology | Year: 2012

Aims: The objective of the present study was to study the relationship between hospital antibiotic use, community antibiotic use and the incidence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria in hospitals, while assessing the impact of a fluoroquinolone restriction policy on ESBL-producing bacteria incidence rates. METHODS: The study was retrospective and ecological in design. A multivariate autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model was built to relate antibiotic use to ESB-producing bacteria incidence rates and resistance patterns over a 5 year period (January 2005-December 2009). Results: Analysis showed that the hospital incidence of ESBLs had a positive relationship with the use of fluoroquinolones in the hospital (coefficient = 0.174, P= 0.02), amoxicillin-clavulanic acid in the community (coefficient = 1.03, P= 0.03) and mean co-morbidity scores for hospitalized patients (coefficient = 2.15, P= 0.03) with various time lags. The fluoroquinolone restriction policy was implemented successfully with the mean use of fluoroquinolones (mainly ciprofloxacin) being reduced from 133 to 17 defined daily doses (DDDs)/1000 bed days (P < 0.001) and from 0.65 to 0.54 DDDs/1000 inhabitants/day (P= 0.0007), in both the hospital and its surrounding community, respectively. This was associated with an improved ciprofloxacin susceptibility in both settings [ciprofloxacin susceptibility being improved from 16% to 28% in the community (P < 0.001)] and with a statistically significant reduction in ESBL-producing bacteria incidence rates. Discussion: This study supports the value of restricting the use of certain antimicrobial classes to control ESBL, and demonstrates the feasibility of reversing resistance patterns post successful antibiotic restriction. The study also highlights the potential value of the time-series analysis in designing efficient antibiotic stewardship. © 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.


Aldeyab M.A.,Queen's University of Belfast | Aldeyab M.A.,Pharmacy and Medicines Management Center | Kearney M.P.,Northern Health and Social Care Trust | Scott M.G.,Pharmacy and Medicines Management Center | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy | Year: 2012

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of a high-risk antibiotic stewardship programme on reducing antibiotic use and on hospital Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) incidence rates. A secondary objective was to present the possible utility of time-series analysis as an antibiotic risk classification tool. Methods: This was an interventional, retrospective, ecological investigation in a medium-sized hospital over 6.5 years (January 2004 to June 2010). The intervention was the restriction of high-risk antibiotics (second-generation cephalosporins, third-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and clindamycin). Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and macrolides were classified as medium-risk antibiotics based on time-series analysis findings and their use was monitored. The intervention was evaluated by segmented regression analysis of interrupted time series. Results: The intervention was associated with a significant change in level of use of high-risk antibiotics (coefficient -17.3, P< 0.0001) and with a borderline significant trend change in their use being reduced by 0.156 defined daily doses/100 bed-days per month (P=0.0597). The reduction in the use of high-risk antibiotics was associated with a significant change in the incidence trend of CDI (P=0.0081), i.e. the CDI incidence rate decreased by 0.0047/100 bed-days per month. Analysis showed that variations in the incidence of CDI were affected by the age-adjusted comorbidity index with a lag of 1 month (coefficient 0.137051, P=0.0182). Significant decreases in slope (coefficient -0.414, P=.0309) post-intervention were also observed for the monitored medium-risk antibiotics. Conclusions: The restriction of the high-risk antibiotics contributed to both a reduction in their use and a reduction in the incidence of CDI in the study site hospital. Time-series analysis can be utilized as a risk classification tool with utility in antibiotic stewardship design and quality improvement programmes. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.


Gilpin D.F.,Queen's University of Belfast | Small S.,Northern Health and Social Care Trust | Bakkshi S.,Queen's University of Belfast | Kearney M.P.,Northern Health and Social Care Trust | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Hospital Infection | Year: 2010

Decolonisation may reduce the risk of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in individual carriers and prevent transmission to other patients. The aims of this prospective cohort study were to determine the long-term efficacy of a standardised decolonisation regimen and to identify factors associated with failure. Patients colonised with MRSA underwent decolonisation, which was considered to be successful if there was no growth in three consecutive sets of site-specific screening swabs obtained weekly post treatment. If patients were successfully decolonised, follow-up cultures were performed 6 and 12 months later. Of 137 patients enrolled, 79 (58%) were successfully decolonised. Of these 79, 53 (67%) and 44 (56%) remained decolonised at 6 and 12 months respectively. Therefore only 44/137 (32%) patients who completed decolonisation were MRSA negative 12 months later. Outcome was not associated with a particular strain of MRSA. Successful decolonisation was less likely in patients colonised with a mupirocin-resistant isolate (adjusted odds ratio: 0.08; 95% confidence interval: 0.02-0.30), in patients with throat colonisation (0.22; 0.07-0.68) and in patients aged >80 years (0.30; 0.10-0.93) compared with those aged 60-80 years. These findings suggest that although initially successful in some cases, the protocol used did not result in long-term clearance of MRSA carriage for most patients. © 2009 The Hospital Infection Society.


Tinkler M.,Northern Health and Social Care Trust | Hoy L.,Queen's University of Belfast | Martin D.,Queen's University of Belfast
British Journal of Community Nursing | Year: 2014

Northern Irish (and all UK-based) health care is facing major challenges. This article uses a specific theory to recommend and construct a framework to address challenges faced by the author, such as deficits in compression bandaging techniques in healing venous leg ulcers and resistance found when using evidence-based research within this practice. The article investigates the challenges faced by a newly formed community nursing team. It explores how specialist knowledge and skills are employed in tissue viability and how they enhance the management of venous leg ulceration by the community nursing team. To address these challenges and following a process of reflection, Lewin's forcefield analysis model of change management can be used as a framework for some recommendations made. © 2014 MA Healthcare Ltd.


Baldwin N.S.,Queen's University of Belfast | Gilpin D.F.,Queen's University of Belfast | Tunney M.M.,Queen's University of Belfast | Kearney M.P.,Northern Health and Social Care Trust | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Hospital Infection | Year: 2010

The aim of this cluster randomised controlled trial was to test the impact of an infection control education and training programme on meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevalence in nursing homes. Nursing homes were randomised to intervention (infection control education and training programme; N=16) or control (usual practice continued; N=16). Staff in intervention homes were educated and trained (0, 3 and 6 months) in the principles and implementation of good infection control practice with infection control audits conducted in all sites (0, 3, 6 and 12 months) to assess compliance with good practice. Audit scores were fed back to nursing home managers in intervention homes, together with a written report indicating where practice could be improved. Nasal swabs were taken from all consenting residents and staff at 0, 3, 6 and 12 months. The primary outcome was MRSA prevalence in residents and staff, and the secondary outcome was a change in infection control audit scores. In all, 793 residents and 338 staff were recruited at baseline. MRSA prevalence did not change during the study in residents or staff. The relative risk of a resident being colonised with MRSA in an intervention home compared with a control home at 12 months was 0.99 (95% confidence interval: 0.69, 1.42) after adjustment for clustering. Mean infection control audit scores were significantly higher in the intervention homes (82%) compared with the control homes (64%) at 12 months (P<0.0001). Consideration should be given to other approaches which may help to reduce MRSA in this setting. © 2010 The Hospital Infection Society.


Shannon C.,Queen's University of Belfast | Douse K.,Belfast Health and Social Care Trust | McCusker C.,Queen's University of Belfast | Feeney L.,Northern Health and Social Care Trust | And 2 more authors.
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2011

Objective: Both neurocognitive impairments and a history of childhood abuse are highly prevalent in patients with schizophrenia. Childhood trauma has been associated with memory impairment as well as hippocampal volume reduction in adult survivors. The aim of the following study was to examine the contribution of childhood adversity to verbal memory functioning in people with schizophrenia. Methods: Eighty-five outpatients with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) diagnosis of chronic schizophrenia were separated into 2 groups on the basis of self-reports of childhood trauma. Performance on measures of episodic narrative memory, list learning, and working memory was then compared using multivariate analysis of covariance. Results: Thirty-eight (45%) participants reported moderate to severe levels of childhood adversity, while 47 (55%) reported no or low levels of childhood adversity. After controlling for premorbid IQ and current depressive symptoms, the childhood trauma group had significantly poorer working memory and episodic narrative memory. However, list learning was similar between groups. Conclusion: Childhood trauma is an important variable that can contribute to specific ongoing memory impairments in schizophrenia. © The Author 2009.


Williams M.A.,Queen's University of Belfast | Silvestri V.,Institute of Clinical Science A | Craig D.,Northern Health and Social Care Trust | Passmore A.P.,Queen's University of Belfast | Silvestri G.,Queen's University of Belfast
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2014

Background: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) share several features, including the presence of extracellular abnormal deposits associated with neuronal degeneration, drusen, and plaques, respectively. Investigation of any association of AMD and specifically AD is worthwhile but has rarely been done. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of AMD in subjects with AD in comparison with an age-matched cognitively normal cohort. Methods: Cases were defined as those diagnosed with AD using standardized criteria as part of their clinical care, while controls were cognitively intact individuals aged 65 years or more. Dilated retinal photographs were taken, and a range of potentially confounding factors measured including APOE genotype. AMD features were recorded and AMD grades given. Results: Data was collected on 322 controls and 258 cases. While AMD was associated with AD, and the proportion of cases of advanced AMD in AD cases was twice that of controls, when corrected the association was lost. AD was associated with age, the presence of an APOE allele, and smoking, while being 'generally unwell recently' was associated with a reduced risk of AD. Conclusion: AD and AMD are both associated with age, but our study does not find evidence they are associated with each other. However the retina offers an opportunity to non-invasively image neuronal tissue, and more sophisticated imaging techniques may shed light on ocular biomarkers of AD. © 2014-IOS Press.


McCaughan E.,University of Ulster | Prue G.,University of Ulster | Parahoo K.,University of Ulster | McIlfatrick S.,University of Ulster | And 2 more authors.
Psycho-Oncology | Year: 2012

Objectives: Men have higher incidence and mortality rates for nearly all cancers. They are less likely than women to utilise cancer information services and other social support services. The aim of this study was to explore and compare the experience and coping behaviour of men and women after treatment for colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods: A longitudinal qualitative study was conducted involving 38 individuals (24 men and 14 women) with CRC. Data were generated using semi-structured interviews at four time points over an 18-month period, post-diagnosis. Interviews focused on participant's experience of CRC and on how gender affected their coping. This paper reports the findings of interviews 3 and 4 which examined the participant's experience after chemotherapy. Results: Three themes emerged from the interviews ('new normal', living with uncertainty and support needs). Many men and women reacted similarly; however, there was some variation evident between and within sexes. The main difference was with regard to the long-term physical side effects of the illness. Many women admitted to still experiencing side effects, whereas many men indicated that they had no problems. These men engaged in practices that aligned with their gender identity and view of masculinity. It must be noted that some men and women were still experiencing an impact. Conclusions: Recovery from the physical and psychological effects of CRC does not occur simultaneously. Healthcare professionals should be aware that not all men (or women) conform to the social stereotypes of masculinity (or femininity). Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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