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OBJECTIVE: To explore pregnant women's preferences for birth setting in England. DESIGN: Labelled discrete choice experiment (DCE). SETTING: Online survey. SAMPLE: Pregnant women recruited through social media and an online panel. METHODS: We developed a DCE to assess women's preferences for four hypothetical birth settings based on seven attributes: reputation, continuity of care, distance from home, time to see a doctor, partner able to stay overnight, chance of straightforward birth and safety for baby. We used a mixed logit model, with setting modelled as an alternative-specific constant, and conducted a scenario analysis to evaluate the impact of changes in attribute levels on uptake of birth settings. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Women's preferences for birth setting. RESULTS: 257 pregnant women completed the DCE. All birth setting attributes, except 'time to see doctor', were significant in women's choice (p<0.05). There was significant heterogeneity in preferences for some attributes. Changes to levels for 'safety for the baby' and 'partner able to stay overnight' were associated with larger changes from baseline uptake of birth setting. If the preferences identified were translated into the real-world context up to a third of those who reported planning birth in an obstetric unit might choose a midwifery unit assuming universal access to all settings, and knowledge of the differences between settings. CONCLUSIONS: We found that 'safety for the baby', 'chance of a straightforward birth' and 'can the woman's partner stay overnight following birth' were particularly important in women's preferences for hypothetical birth setting. If all birth settings were available to women and they were aware of the differences between them, it is likely that more low risk women who currently plan birth in OUs might choose a midwifery unit.
INTRODUCTION: Concern about weight gain is a barrier to smoking cessation. E-cigarettes may help quitters to control their weight through continued exposure to the appetite-suppressant effects of nicotine and behavioural aspects of vaping. This study explored the views and practices of smokers, ex-smokers and current e-cigarette users relating to vaping and weight control. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey of past-year smokers (n = 1320), current smokers (n = 1240) and current e-cigarette users (n = 394) in England, conducted April-July 2018. Data were weighted to match the English population on key sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: Of e-cigarette users, 4.6% (95%CI 2.6-6.6) reported vaping for weight control, and 1.9% (95%CI 0.6-3.2) reported vaping to replace meals/snacks. It was rare for individuals who had smoked in the past year to have heard (8.8%, 95%CI 7.3-10.3) or believe (6.4%, 95%CI 5.1-7.7) that vaping could help control weight. Women (OR = 0.62, 95%CI 0.42-0.93) and older people (OR = 0.30, 95%CI 0.13-0.72) were less likely to have heard the claim and women were less likely to believe it (OR = 0.44, 95%CI 0.27-0.72). However, 13.4% (95%CI 11.3-15.5) and 13.1% (95%CI 11.0-15.2) of current smokers who did not use e-cigarettes said they would be more likely to try e-cigarettes or quit smoking, respectively, if vaping could help control their weight. CONCLUSION: One in 16 English people who have smoked in the last year believe that vaping would prevent weight gain after stopping. One in 22 people who vape are using e-cigarettes for this purpose. However, should evidence emerge that e-cigarettes prevent weight gain, one in eight people who smoke would be tempted to quit smoking and use e-cigarettes.
Examining Development Processes for Text Messaging Interventions to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease: Systematic Literature Review.
BACKGROUND:Interventions delivered by mobile phones have the potential to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) by supporting behavior change toward healthier lifestyles and treatment adherence. To allow replication and adaptation of these interventions across settings, it is important to fully understand how they have been developed. However, the development processes of these interventions have not previously been systematically examined. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to systematically describe and compare the development process of text messaging interventions identified in the Text2PreventCVD systematic review. METHODS:We extracted data about the development process of the 9 interventions identified in the Text2PreventCVD systematic review. Data extraction, which was guided by frameworks for the development of complex interventions, considered the following development stages: intervention planning, design, development, and pretesting. Following data extraction, we invited the developers of the interventions to contribute to our study by reviewing the accuracy of the extracted data and providing additional data not reported in the available publications. RESULTS:A comprehensive description of the development process was available for 5 interventions. Multiple methodologies were used for the development of each intervention. Intervention planning involved gathering information from stakeholder consultations, literature reviews, examination of relevant theory, and preliminary qualitative research. Intervention design involved the use of behavior change theories and behavior change techniques. Intervention development involved (1) generating message content based on clinical guidelines and expert opinions; (2) conducting literature reviews and primary qualitative research to inform decisions about message frequency, timing, and level of tailoring; and (3) gathering end-user feedback concerning message readability, intervention acceptability, and perceived utility. Intervention pretesting involved pilot studies with samples of 10 to 30 participants receiving messages for a period ranging from 1 to 4 weeks. CONCLUSIONS:The development process of the text messaging interventions examined was complex and comprehensive, involving multiple studies to guide decisions about the scope, content, and structure of the interventions. Additional research is needed to establish whether effective messaging systems can be adapted from work already done or whether this level of development is needed for application in other conditions and settings.
Underlying mechanisms of complex interventions addressing the care of older adults with multimorbidity: a realist review
<jats:sec><jats:title>Objectives</jats:title><jats:p>To understand <jats:italic>how</jats:italic> and <jats:italic>why</jats:italic> effective multi-chronic disease management interventions influence health outcomes in older adults 65 years of age or older.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Design</jats:title><jats:p>A realist review.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Data sources</jats:title><jats:p>Electronic databases including Medline and Embase (inception to December 2017); and the grey literature.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Eligibility criteria for selecting studies</jats:title><jats:p>We considered any studies (ie, experimental quasi-experimental, observational, qualitative and mixed-methods studies) as long as they provided data to explain our programme theories and effectiveness review (published elsewhere) findings. The population of interest was older adults (age ≥65 years) with two or more chronic conditions.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Analysis</jats:title><jats:p>We used the Realist And MEta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards (RAMESES) quality and publication criteria for our synthesis aimed at refining our programme theories such that they contained multiple context-mechanism-outcome configurations describing the ways different mechanisms fire to generate outcomes. We created a 3-step synthesis process grounded in meta-ethnography to separate units of data from articles, and to derive explanatory statements across them.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>106 articles contributed to the analysis. We refined our programme theories to explain multimorbidity management in older adults: (1) care coordination interventions with the best potential for impact are team-based strategies, <jats:italic>disease management</jats:italic> programmes and <jats:italic>case management</jats:italic>; (2) optimised disease prioritisation involves ensuring that clinician work with patients to identify what symptoms are problematic and why, and to explore options that are acceptable to both clinicians and patients and (3) optimised patient self-management is dependent on patients’ capacity for selfcare and to what extent, and establishing what patients need to enable selfcare.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title><jats:p>To optimise care, both clinical management and patient self-management need to be considered from multiple perspectives (patient, provider and system). To mitigate the complexities of multimorbidity management, patients focus on reducing symptoms and preserving quality of life while providers focus on the condition that most threaten morbidity and mortality.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>PROSPERO registration number</jats:title><jats:p>CRD42014014489.</jats:p></jats:sec>
C-reactive protein and neutrophil count laboratory test requests from primary care: what is the demand and would substitution by point of care technology be viable?
Aims C-reactive protein (CRP) and neutrophil count (NC) are important diagnostic indicators of inflammation. Point of care (POC) technologies for these markers are available but rarely used in community settings in the United Kingdom. To inform the potential for POC tests, it is necessary to understand the demand for testing. We aimed to describe the frequency of CRP and NC test requests from primary care to central laboratory services, describe variability between practices and assess the relationship between the tests. Methods We described the number of patients with either or both laboratory tests, and the volume of testing per individual and per practice, in a retrospective cohort of all adults in general practices in Oxfordshire, 2014-2016. Results 372,017 CRP and 776,581 NC tests in 160,883 and 275,093 patients respectively were requested from 69 practices. CRP was tested mainly in combination with NC, while the latter was more often tested alone. The median (IQR) of CRP and NC tests/person tested was 1 (1-2) and 2 (1-3) respectively. The median (IQR) tests/practice/week was 36 (22-52) and 72 (50-108), and per 1,000 persons registered/practice/ week was 4 (3-5) and 8 (7-9) respectively. The median (IQR) CRP and NC concentrations were 2.7 (0.9-7.9) mg/dl and 4.1 (3.1-5.5) x109/L respectively. Conclusions The high demand for CRP and NC testing in the community, and the range of results falling within the reportable range for current POC technologies highlights the opportunity for laboratory testing to be supplemented by POC testing in general practice.
<jats:p>As antibiotic consumption grows, bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to treatment. Antibiotic resistance undermines much of modern health care, which relies on access to effective antibiotics to prevent and treat infections associated with routine medical procedures. The resulting challenges have much in common with those posed by climate change, which economists have responded to with research that has informed and shaped public policy. Drawing on economic concepts such as externalities and the principal–agent relationship, we suggest how economics can help to solve the challenges arising from increasing resistance to antibiotics. We discuss solutions to the key economic issues, from incentivizing the development of effective new antibiotics to improving antibiotic stewardship through financial mechanisms and regulation.</jats:p>
© The Author(s) 2018. Using a unique dataset and a nonparametric decomposition, we determine whether immigrants with native names, immigrants with foreign names, and natives have different outcomes in Spain’s housing market. Results suggest that immigrants with native names achieve greater discounts relative to immigrants with non-Spanish names. As a robustness check, we prove that this is not due to the country of birth. We observe that most of the difference in price across immigrant groups remains unexplained, which may imply some form of discrimination (pure or statistical) against immigrants with non-native names.
Limited evidence for diagnosing bacterial skin infections in older adults in primary care: Systematic review 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1103 Clinical Sciences 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1117 Public Health and Health Services
© 2019 The Author(s). Background: Older adults with bacterial skin infections may present with atypical symptoms, making diagnosis difficult. There is limited authoritative guidance on how older adults in the community present with bacterial skin infections. To date there have been no systematic reviews assessing the diagnostic value of symptoms and signs in identifying bacterial skin infections in older adults in the community. Methods: We searched Medline and Medline in process, Embase and Web of Science, from inception to September 2017. We included cohort and cross-sectional studies assessing the diagnostic accuracy of symptoms and signs in predicting bacterial skin infections in adults in primary care aged over 65 years. The QUADAS-2 tool was used to assess study quality. Results: We identified two observational studies of low-moderate quality, with a total of 7991 participants, providing data to calculate the diagnostic accuracy of 5 unique symptoms in predicting bacterial skin infections. The presence of wounds [LR+: 7.93 (CI 4.81-13.1)], pressure sores [LR+: 4.85 (CI 2.18-10.8)] and skin ulcers [LR+: 6.26 (CI 5.49-7.13)] help to diagnose bacterial skin infections. The presence of urinary incontinence does not help to predict bacterial skin infections (LR + 's of 0.99 and 1.04; LR-'s of 0.96 and 1.04). Conclusions: Currently, there is insufficient evidence to inform the diagnosis of bacterial skin infections in older adults in the community; clinicians should therefore rely upon their clinical judgement and experience. Evidence from high quality primary care studies in older adults, including studies assessing symptoms traditionally associated with bacterial skin infections (e.g. erythema and warmth), is urgently needed to guide practice.
© 2016 Massachusetts Medical Society. BACKGROUND The role of image-guided surveillance as compared with planned neck dissection in the treatment of patients with squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck who have advanced nodal disease (stage N2 or N3) and who have received chemoradiotherapy for primary treatment is a matter of debate. METHODS In this prospective, randomized, controlled trial, we assessed the noninferiority of positron- emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT)-guided surveillance (performed 12 weeks after the end of chemoradiotherapy, with neck dissection performed only if PET-CT showed an incomplete or equivocal response) to planned neck dissection in patients with stage N2 or N3 disease. The primary end point was overall survival. RESULTS From 2007 through 2012, we recruited 564 patients (282 patients in the planned-surgery group and 282 patients in the surveillance group) from 37 centers in the United Kingdom. Among these patients, 17% had nodal stage N2a disease and 61% had stage N2b disease. A total of 84% of the patients had oropharyngeal cancer, and 75% had tumor specimens that stained positive for the p16 protein, an indicator that human papillomavirus had a role in the causation of the cancer. The median follow-up was 36 months. PET-CT-guided surveillance resulted in fewer neck dissections than did planned dissection surgery (54 vs. 221); rates of surgical complications were similar in the two groups (42% and 38%, respectively). The 2-year overall survival rate was 84.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 80.7 to 89.1) in the surveillance group and 81.5% (95% CI, 76.9 to 86.3) in the planned-surgery group. The hazard ratio for death slightly favored PET-CT-guided surveillance and indicated noninferiority (upper boundary of the 95% CI for the hazard ratio, <1.50; P = 0.004). There was no significant difference between the groups with respect to p16 expression. Quality of life was similar in the two groups. PET-CT-guided surveillance, as compared with neck dissection, resulted in savings of £1,492 (approximately $2,190 in U.S. dollars) per person over the duration of the trial. CONCLUSIONS Survival was similar among patients who underwent PET-CT-guided surveillance and those who underwent planned neck dissection, but surveillance resulted in considerably fewer operations and it was more cost-effective. (Funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme and Cancer Research UK; PET-NECK Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN13735240.).