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© 2019 Ballesio, Aquino, Kyle, Ferlazzo and Lombardo. Background: Executive functions (EFs) are involved in the control of basic psychological processes such as attention and memory and also contribute to emotion regulation. Research on the presence of EFs impairments in insomnia yielded inconsistent results. Therefore, we performed a systematic review of the literature on three EFs: inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility in adults with insomnia in order to investigate the presence and magnitude of insomnia-related EFs impairments. Methods: PubMed, Scopus, Medline, and PsycINFO were searched. Risk of bias assessment of included studies was performed by two independent researchers. Findings were summarised using both a narrative approach and meta-analysis. Cohen's d was calculated at 95% confidence interval (CI) as effect size of between groups differences. Results: Twenty-eight studies comparing adult individuals with a diagnosis of insomnia and healthy controls on neuropsychological measures of EFs were included. Narrative synthesis revealed substantial variability across study findings. Factors that were primarily hypothesised to account for this variability are: objective sleep impairments and test sensitivity. Exploratory meta-analysis showed impaired performance of small to moderate magnitude in individuals with insomnia as compared to controls in reaction times, but not accuracy rates, of inhibitory control (d = -0.32, 95% CI: -0.52 to -0.13) and cognitive flexibility tasks (d = -0.30, 95% CI: -0.59 to -0.01). Performance in working memory tasks was also significantly impacted (d = -0.19, 95% CI: -0.38 to -0.00). Effects sizes were larger when insomnia was associated with objective sleep impairments, rather than normal sleep. Conclusions: We gathered evidence supporting small to moderate deficits in EFs in individuals with insomnia. Due to the small sample size results should be considered preliminary and interpreted carefully.
The equity impact of brief opportunistic interventions to promote weight loss in primary care: Secondary analysis of the BWeL randomised trial 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1117 Public Health and Health Services
© 2019 The Author(s). Background: Guidelines recommend that clinicians should make brief opportunistic behavioural interventions to patients who are obese to increase the uptake of effective weight loss programmes. The objective was to assess the effect of this policy on socioeconomic equity. Methods: One thousand eight hundred eighty-two consecutively attending patients with obesity and who were not seeking support for weight loss from their GP were enrolled in a trial. Towards the end of each consultation, GPs randomly assigned participants to one of two 30-s interventions. In the active intervention (support arm), the GP offered referral to a weight management group. In the control intervention (advice arm), the GP advised the patient that their health would benefit from weight loss. Agreement to attend a behavioural weight loss programme, attendance at the programme and weight loss at 12 months were analysed by socioeconomic status, measured by postcode using the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). Results: Mean weight loss was 2.43 kg (sd 6.49) in the support group and 1.04 kg (sd 5.50) for the advice only group, but these effects were moderated by IMD (p = 0.039 for the interaction). In the support arm, weight loss was greater in higher socioeconomic groups. Participants from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to accept the offer and equally likely to attend a weight loss referral but attended fewer sessions. Adjusting for these sequentially reduced the gradient for the association of socioeconomic status with weight loss from + 0.035 to - 0.001 kg/IMD point. In the advice only arm, 10% took effective action to promote weight loss. The decision to seek support for weight loss outside of the trial did not differ by socioeconomic status, but weight loss among deprived participants who used external support was greater than among more affluent participants (p = 0.025). Conclusion: Participants' responses to GPs' brief opportunistic interventions to promote weight loss differed by socioeconomic status and trial arm. In the support arm, more deprived people lost less weight because they attended fewer sessions at the programme. In the advice arm, more deprived people who sought and paid for support for weight loss themselves lost more weight than more affluent people who sought support.
The impact of arthritis on the educational and early work experiences of young people: a qualitative secondary analysis
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:sec id="j_ijamh-2018-0240_s_999"> <jats:title id="d38874561e258">Introduction</jats:title> <jats:p>Young people’s transition into adulthood is intertwined with the worlds of education and work. Poor health in adolescence has been associated with poorer education and employment outcomes in adulthood. This paper explores the impact of arthritis on the educational and early work experiences of young people with arthritis.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec id="j_ijamh-2018-0240_s_998"> <jats:title id="d38874561e267">Methods</jats:title> <jats:p>We undertook a supplementary secondary analysis of a qualitative dataset comprising narrative and semi-structured interviews of 39 young people who had been diagnosed with arthritis in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec id="j_ijamh-2018-0240_s_997"> <jats:title id="d38874561e276">Results</jats:title> <jats:p>Our findings illustrate how young people living with arthritis are faced with a range of added disruptions and challenges in their educational/vocational lives. There is an important element of resilience associated with the process of making a career choice and acting upon personal aspirations. Appropriate support and flexibility in the workplace/educational setting can enable successful outcomes, but disclosure is not a straightforward process for young people living with arthritis.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec id="j_ijamh-2018-0240_s_996"> <jats:title id="d38874561e285">Conclusions</jats:title> <jats:p>It is paramount that health providers consistently and effectively address self-advocacy skills with the young person, particularly during educational and vocational transitions. Alongside this, there is the need to further strengthen the health-school/work interface to ensure that young people living with chronic illness can meet their full potential in adulthood.</jats:p> </jats:sec>
© The Author(s) 2019. There is increasing evidence that placebos could be effective in clinical practice. However, knowledge of public perspectives on placebos is underdeveloped. We conducted a discourse analysis of internet comments on news articles related to placebos, aiming to improve this knowledge for clinicians and researchers. We developed two discursive constructs of the placebo. The dominant construct of the ‘placebo pill’ informs a paradoxical understanding of placebos that closes down treatment. The less-prevalent counter-discursive construct of the ‘treatment process’ frames placebos as potentially viable within modern evidence-based medicine. We discuss the opportunities and challenges of this alternative understanding of placebos.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. Introduction: General practitioners (GP) use few technical devices during emergency situations. They have to recognise which patients have a life-threatening disease in order to treat or refer them appropriately. Monitoring by a wearable device could help GPs while waiting for the emergency physician to arrive. The PICO monitor is a handheld monitoring device, capable of registering five routine parameters and small enough to be carried in the GP's bag. We aim to determine the analytical accuracy of the PICO monitor in adults, comparing the recorded vital signs and ECGs of the PICO with those of a standard emergency department (ED) monitor. Methods: Adult (≥18 years) patients, admitted on two inpatient university EDs in Belgium, were recruited. We recorded the SpO 2 , heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), temperature (T°) and 5-lead ECGs. We analysed the correlation and agreement between the continuous and dichotomous variables of the PICO and the ED monitors. Results: We included 226 patients (84% of 268 approached), mean age 66 years, 61% were men. The Bland and Altman analysis confirmed the good accuracy, giving a nearly perfect agreement for SpO 2 (difference - 0.9%), for HR ('1.5 beats), for RR between the monitors (0.1 breaths), for RR between the manually counted and the PICO or the monitor (respectively 0.2 and 0.0 breaths), also confirmed by the regression analysis (Passing-Bablok). Analysis of 219 ECG records provided a near perfect agreement between the devices (kappa respectively 0.61-0.80 and 0.81-1.00) for the most important ECG abnormalities. In none of the comparisons, differences were clinically relevant. Conclusion: We were able to confirm the analytical accuracy of the PICO monitor in comparison with the ED monitors. The PICO monitor can be considered a reliable device for monitoring patients during emergencies by GPs and even in ambulances or EDs as a mobile alternative.
©John Powell, Ulrike Deetjen. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 05.03.2019. BACKGROUND: A key challenge for health systems harnessing digital tools and services is that of digital inclusion. Typically, digital inequalities are conceptualized in relation to unequal access or usage. However, these differences do not fully explain differences in health behavior as a result of health-related internet use. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to derive a new typology of health internet users based on their antecedent motivations and enablers, to explain how individuals' different orientations influence their health behavior. METHODS: We used a mixed-methods design using (1) qualitative data from 43 semistructured interviews about individuals' general and health-related internet use, and how this influenced their health perception and their help-seeking decisions, and (2) quantitative data from the Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS), a household survey of 2150 adults in England about their internet use and other characteristics. We used the interview data to identify constructs that described motivations and enablers affecting how internet use shaped respondents' health perception and health service use. We then used these constructs to identify variables in OxIS, which provided a quantitative measure of these constructs. We then undertook a hierarchical cluster analysis of these constructs, using the numerical variables, to derive a proposed typology of health information seekers. RESULTS: Both the qualitative findings and the subsequent cluster analysis suggested the existence of 6 types of individuals, categorized as learners, pragmatists, skeptics, worriers, delegators, and adigitals. Learners had a strong desire to understand health better. They used the internet to make decisions about whether they needed to see a professional and to learn about their and others' health. Pragmatists primarily used the internet to decide whether seeing a doctor was worthwhile. Skeptics were skeptical of physicians and the medical system and valued the internet for solving health problems that doctors may not be able to deal with. Worriers found it difficult to interpret health information online, described health information seeking online as frightening, and reported a critical attitude toward online health information despite seeking it frequently. Delegators comprised nonusers and users valuing the internet as an information source, but not necessarily wanting or being able to use the internet themselves. Adigitals comprised many nonusers, but also users, who did not see the internet as a useful information tool and presented strong views on its low suitability for health care. CONCLUSIONS: This research supports a shift in the understanding of the digital divide in health, away from only access and usage issues, toward also conceptualizing an outcomes divide, whereby different types of health behavior result from the differing orientations of internet users accessing online health information. This new typology can be used to inform digital inclusion policies in health systems.
Health information work and the enactment of care in couples and families affected by Multiple Sclerosis
© 2019 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness. Given the considerable emphasis placed on informed choice, the management of health information has become an increasingly important part of living with chronic illness. This paper explores the intra-familial dynamics of managing health information in the context of chronic illness. Drawing on 77 interviews with people affected by Multiple Sclerosis in the UK (patients, partners, family members and close friends), we show how families develop their own idiosyncratic information practices, including the careful, at times strategic, seeking, sharing and withholding of information. We describe how one individual, most commonly either the patient or their partner, often takes primary responsibility for managing growing quantities of health information. Doing this is a complex task, yet its dynamics within the family unit remain invisible and unacknowledged. In this paper we: (a) stress the importance of understanding information management in chronic illness as a collective process across all those affected, patients as well as carers; (b) conceptualise the process of managing health information in this context as ‘health information work’; and (c) analyse it as part of the wider care practices families engage in and as a form of care in its own right.
Giving permission to care for people with dementia in residential homes: learning from a realist synthesis of hearing-related communication.
BACKGROUND: Managing hearing communication for residents living with hearing loss and dementia in long-term care settings is challenging. This paper explores how care can be effective in optimising hearing communication for residents living with dementia. We argue that the underlying notion of permission or authorisation allows care staff to do what they know will be effective in providing person-centred care that enhances hearing communication. The paper also indicates that this notion of permission can usefully be applied to other areas of care home practice. METHODS: To address hearing-related communication in care homes, we conducted a realist synthesis (RS). As a theory-driven approach to reviewing literature, it also uses expert opinion to understand complex health situations. Using RS, we developed a theory surrounding the management of hearing-related communication in care homes. Applying formal processes to the literature search and data extraction, the analysis uncovered relevant mechanisms and contexts to help confirm, refute or refine our understanding of how hearing communication could be improved. RESULTS: Forty-three papers were selected for the realist synthesis. The documents were analysed to construct five context-mechanism-outcome configurations (CMOCs). The CMOCs represent possible care interventions to optimise hearing-related communication in care homes for person living with dementia and hearing loss (PLWDHL). They include leadership promoting positive regard and empathy through person-centred care, communication training for staff, 'knowing the person' and relationship building for responsive awareness of residents' hearing needs, maintaining and monitoring hearing communication through care planning, and managing noise in the care home environment. CONCLUSIONS: Leadership that provides appropriate training and resources is likely to enhance knowledge and skills, leading to staff feeling able and equipped to respond to the hearing-related communication needs of PLWDHL. Collaboration with local hearing services is likely to raise awareness of hearing loss among care home staff. Importantly, care staff require a sense of permission from leadership, to work with knowledge and autonomy in the interest of residents living with dementia and hearing loss.
Plain English summary: When planning a research project into patients' experiences of online booking of GP appointments, we tried out a new way to get feedback from the public on our research ideas and design. As the research topic is about GP services used by the general public, we wanted to get feedback from people with a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives. However, relying on individuals to firstly want to volunteer and then to take time to travel to and attend such an event, means that involvement may only be attractive to certain people. Others less interested in being involved - or those with busy schedules and additional responsibilities - may be unlikely or unable to attend.With this in mind, we ran a series of mobile workshops designed to be particularly convenient to attend. Each workshop was arranged at a time and a place where potential volunteers were already present and available. For example, at a workplace or a social group during a scheduled break or popular time. This meant each workshop was convenient to attend as they were at a suitable time with no travel. They also were short, lasting 30 min, to minimise disruption to individuals' diaries. To make taking part appealing, attendees were also paid (which is standard practice for patient and public involvement). This paper summarises and evaluates the process of running these workshops. Abstract: Background Patient and public involvement in research is a quickly-evolving area, with investigators developing new approaches in recent years. One concern about patient and public involvement is that it only appeals to certain individuals. When designing research into online GP services - a topic relevant to the general population - we recognised the importance of involving members of the public with a broad range of backgrounds who may not have the time, resources and inclination to volunteer normally. Methods We devised a strategy that aimed to involve members of the public from varied backgrounds, who would not typically be able to be involved. We ran a series of one-off mobile workshops at existing organisations where potential volunteers were already in situ. The workshops were kept short, making them convenient and easily accessible. Volunteers were also paid, to ensure taking part was appealing. Results We ran a series of 4 workshops involving 26 members of the public with office workers, supermarket staff, gym members (and their friends) and parents attending a toddler group. Overall the workshops were successful, as they enabled us to gain varied perspectives from volunteers with a broad range of backgrounds, many of whom had not previously been involved in research. A key challenge was making initial contact with members of approached organisations. This indicates that it may be beneficial to consider how to make the workshops appealing, not just on an individual level, but at an organisational level too. A carefully planned design worked as it enabled large amounts of input in a limited amount of time, apart from one workshop (the parent group) due to practical reasons. This highlighted some limitations of this approach that could be addressed by adapting the workshop design, according to the organisation with which they are being run. Conclusion Running one-off mobile workshops at already existing organisations allowed us to involve members of the public from a broad range of backgrounds, who would not typically volunteer to be involved in research. This was particularly suitable as the topic we were designing research for - booking GP appointments - is relevant to the general public.
Time trends in prescribing of type 2 diabetes drugs, glycemic response and risk factors: a retrospective analysis of primary care data, 2010-2017.
AIM: Prescribing in type 2 diabetes has changed markedly in recent years, with increasing use of newer, more expensive glucose-lowering drugs. We aimed to describe population-level time trends in both prescribing patterns and short-term patient outcomes (HbA1c, weight, blood pressure, hypoglycemia and treatment discontinuation) after initiating new therapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We studied 81,532 UK patients with type 2 diabetes initiating a first to fourth line drug in primary care between 2010-2017 inclusive (Clinical Practice Research Datalink). Trends in new prescriptions and subsequent six and twelve-month adjusted changes in glycemic response (reduction in HbA1c), weight, blood pressure, and rates of hypoglycemia and treatment discontinuation were examined. RESULTS: DPP4-inhibitor use second-line near doubled (41% of new prescriptions in 2017 vs. 22% 2010), replacing sulfonylureas as the most common second-line drug (29% 2017 vs. 53% 2010). SGLT2-inhibitors, introduced in 2013, comprised 17% of new first-fourth line prescriptions by 2017. First-line use of metformin remained stable (91% of new prescriptions in 2017 vs. 91% 2010). Over the study period there was little change in average glycemic response and treatment discontinuation. There was a modest reduction in weight second and third-line (second line 2017 vs. 2010: -1.5 kg (95%CI -1.9;-1.1), p<0.001), and a slight reduction in systolic blood pressure first to third-line (2017 vs. 2010 difference range -1.7 to -2.1 mmHg, all p<0.001). Hypoglycemia rates decreased second-line (incidence rate ratio 0.94 per-year (95%CI 0.88;1.00, p=0.04)), mirroring the decline in use of sulfonylureas. CONCLUSIONS: Recent changes in prescribing of therapy in type 2 diabetes have not led to a change in glycemic response and have resulted in modest improvements in other population-level short-term patient outcomes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND: Smoking cessation services are available in England to provide assistance to those wishing to quit smoking. Data from one such service were analysed in order to investigate differences in quit rate between males and females prescribed with different treatments. METHODS: A logistic regression model was fitted to the data using the binary response of self-reported quit (failed attempt = 0, successful attempt = 1), validated by Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitoring, 4 weeks after commencing programme. Main effects fitted were: client gender; age; region; the type of advisory sessions; and pharmacotherapy, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or Varenicline. A second model was fitted including all main effects plus two-way interactions except region. These models were repeated using 12-week self-reported quit as the outcome. RESULTS: At 4 weeks, all main effects were statistically significant, with males more likely (odds ratio and 95 % CI, females v males = 0.88 [0.79-0.97]), older smokers more likely (adjusted odds ratios [OR] and 95 % confidence interval [CI] respectively for groups 20-29, 30-49, 50-69 and 70+ vs 12-19 age group: 1.79 [1.39-2.31] , 2.12 [1.68-2.68], 2.30 [1.80-2.92] and 2.47 [1.81-3.37] and for overall difference between groups, χ2(4) = 53.5, p < 0.001) and clients being treated with Varenicline more likely to have successfully quit than those on NRT (adjusted OR and 95 % CI for Varenicline vs NRT = 1.41 [1.21-1.64]). Statistically significant interactions were observed between (i) gender and type of counselling, and (ii) age and type of counselling. Similar results were seen in relation to main effects at 12 weeks except that type of counselling was non-significant. The only significant interaction at this stage was between gender and pharmacotherapy (adjusted OR and 95 % CI for females using Varenicline versus all other groups = 1.43 [1.06-1.94] ). CONCLUSION: Gender and treatment options were identified as predictors of abstinence at both 4 and 12 weeks after quitting smoking. Furthermore, interactions were observed between gender and (i) type of counselling received (ii) pharmacotherapy. In particular, the quit rate in women at 12 weeks was significantly improved in conjunction with Varenicline use. These findings have implications for service delivery.
Association between genetic variants on chromosome 15q25 locus and objective measures of Tobacco exposure
Background Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms, rs1051730 and rs16969968, located within the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene cluster on chromosome 15q25 locus, are associated with heaviness of smoking, risk for lung cancer, and other smoking-related health outcomes. Previous studies have typically relied on self-reported smoking behavior, which may not fully capture interindividual variation in tobacco exposure. Methods We investigated the association of rs1051730 and rs16969968 genotype (referred to as rs1051730-rs16969968, because these are in perfect linkage disequilibrium and interchangeable) with both self-reported daily cigarette consumption and biochemically measured plasma or serum cotinine levels among cigarette smokers. Summary estimates and descriptive statistical data for 12364 subjects were obtained from six independent studies, and 2932 smokers were included in the analyses. Linear regression was used to calculate the per-allele association of rs1051730-rs16969968 genotype with cigarette consumption and cotinine levels in current smokers for each study. Meta-analysis of per-allele associations was conducted using a random effects method. The likely resulting association between genotype and lung cancer risk was assessed using published data on the association between cotinine levels and lung cancer risk. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results Pooled per-allele associations showed that current smokers with one or two copies of the rs1051730-rs16969968 risk allele had increased self-reported cigarette consumption (mean increase in unadjusted number of cigarettes per day per allele = 1.0 cigarette, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.57 to 1.43 cigarettes, P = 5.22 × 10-6) and cotinine levels (mean increase in unadjusted cotinine levels per allele = 138.72 nmol/L, 95% CI = 97.91 to 179.53 nmol/L, P = 2.71 × 10-11). The increase in cotinine levels indicated an increased risk of lung cancer with each additional copy of the rs1051730-rs16969968 risk allele (per-allele odds ratio = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.21 to 1.42). Conclusions Our data show a stronger association of rs1051730-rs16969968 genotype with objective measures of tobacco exposure compared with self-reported cigarette consumption. The association of these variants with lung cancer risk is likely to be mediated largely, if not wholly, via tobacco exposure. © The Author(s) 2012.
© 2018 Elsevier Inc. Scientific research indicates that open-label and dose-extending placebos (that patients know are placebos) can elicit behavioral, biological, and clinical outcome changes. In this chapter, we present the state-of-the-art evidence and ethical considerations about open-label and dose-extending placebos, discussing the perspective of giving placebos with a rational, as dose extension of active drugs, or expectancy boosters. Previous comprehensive reviews of placebo use have considered how to harness placebo effects in medicine and the need to focus on elements of the clinical encounter as well as patient–clinician relations. Here, we illustrate the similarities and differences between standard (deceptive) placebos, open-label placebos and dose-extending placebos. We conclude that placebos without deception would override ethical barriers to their clinical use. This paves the way to future large-scale, pragmatic randomized trials that investigate the potential of ethical open-label and dose-extending placebos to improve patients’ outcomes, and reduce side effects.