152 research outputs found

    Excellent intra and inter-observer reproducibility of wrist circumference measurements in obese children and adolescents

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    In a previous study, we found that wrist circumference, in particular its bone component,was associated with insulin resistance in a population of overweight/obese children. Theaim of the present study was to evaluate the intra- and inter-operator variability in wrist cir-cumference measurement in a population of obese children and adolescents. One hundredand two (54 male and 48 female) obese children and adolescents were consecutivelyenrolled. In all subjects wrist circumferences were measured by two different operators twotimes to assess intra- and inter-operator variability. Statistical analysis was performed usingSAS v.9.4 and JMP v.12. Measurements of wrist circumference showed excellent inter-operator reliability with Intra class Correlation Coefficients (ICC) of 0.96 and ICC of 0.97 forthe first and the second measurement, respectively. The intra-operator reliability was, also,very strong with a Concordance Correlation Coefficient (CCC) of 0.98 for both operators.The high reproducibility demonstrated in our results suggests that wrist circumference mea-surement, being safe, non-invasive and repeatable can be easily used in out-patient set-tings to identify youths with increased risk of insulin-resistance. This can avoid testing theentire population of overweight/obese children for insulin resistance parameter

    Characteristics of Breakthrough Pain and Its Impact on Quality of Life in Terminally Ill Cancer Patients

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    Purpose. This study aimed to characterize breakthrough pain (BTP) and investigate its impact on quality-of-life (QoL) in terminally-ill cancer patients. Similarities and differences between high and low predictable BTP were also tested. Methods. Secondary analysis of a multicenter longitudinal observational study included 92 patients at their end-of-life. BTP was assessed with a short form of the Italian version of the Alberta Breakthrough Pain Assessment Tool. QoL was assessed with the Palliative Outcome Scale (0-40). Patients were stratified by self-reported BTP predictability into unpredictable BTP (never or rarely able to predict BTP) and predictable BTP (sometimes to always able to predict BTP). Results. In all, 665 BTP episodes were recorded (median 0.86 episodes/day). A median duration of 30 minutes and a median peak intensity score of 7 out of 10 were reported. Time to peak was <10 minutes, 10 to 30 minutes, and 6530 minutes in 267 (41.1%), 259 (39.9%), and 30 (4.6%) of the episodes, respectively. Onset of relief occurred after a median of 30 minutes. Time to peak (P <.001) and duration (P =.046) of BTP was shorter in patients with predictable pain (n = 31), who usually were younger than those with unpredictable pain (P =.03). The mean (SD) QoL score was 14.6 (4.6). No difference in QoL between patients with predictable and unpredictable BTP was found (P =.49). Conclusions. In terminally-ill cancer patients, BTP is a severe problem with a negative impact on QoL and has different characteristics according to its predictability

    Ten-Year Trend in Emergency Department Visits for Sexually Transmitted Infections among Adolescents: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study in Italy

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    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are frequently underdiagnosed, representing a serious public health concern, especially during adolescence and in more vulnerable communities. Aim: to describe the last ten years of emergency department (ED) visits for STIs among adolescents. Methods: a retrospective cross-sectional observation was carried out in the Piedmont region in Italy. Data were retrieved through the Italian National Information System database. ED visits related to specific ICD-9-CM codes carried out on 11 to 19-year-old youths between 2011 and 2020 were investigated. Age-specific, crude, and standardized rates and admission ratios, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), were calculated to estimate the STI trend. Results: from a total of 1,219,075 ED visits, 339 were related to STIs, representing an increasing ratio of 28 per 100,000 visits, primarily in females. Most infections occurred in girls (83.5%) and among 17 to 19-year-olds (71.5%). A drop in both ED visits and STI cases was observed in 2020. Genital Herpes and Genital Warts were more frequent in girls while Gonorrhea was more frequent in boys. Conclusions: the increasing trend of ED visits for STIs, particularly in girls, represents an emerging relevant public health issue that needs to be urgently tackled

    Mechanisms by which end-of-life communication influences palliative-oriented care in nursing homes: A scoping review

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    Objective: End-of-life communication has been largely recognized to promote quality end-of-life care in nursing home (NHs) by increasing residents' likelihood of receiving comfort-oriented care. This scoping review summarizes what is known about the potential mechanisms by which end-of-life communication may contribute to palliative-oriented care in NHs.Methods: Using the framework proposed by Arksey and O'Malley and refined by the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology, five literature databases were searched. We extracted 2159 articles, 11 of which met the inclusion criteria: seven quantitative, three qualitative, and one mixed-methods study.Results: Three mechanisms were identified: a) promotion of family carers' understanding about their family member's health condition, prognosis, and treatments available; b) fostering of shared decision-making between health care professionals (HCPs) and residents/family carers; and c) using and improving knowledge about residents' preferences.Conclusion: Family carers' understanding, shared decision-making, and knowledge of residents' preferences contribute to palliative-oriented care in NHs.Practice implications: Discussions about end-of-life should take place early in a resident's disease trajectory to allow time for family carers to understand the condition and participate in subsequent, mindful, shared decision-making. HCPs should conduct systematic and thorough discussions about end-of-life treatment options with all cognitively competent residents to promote informed advance directives. (c) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

    PABS: An online platform to assist BAC-by-BAC sequencing projects

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    Genome sequencing projects are either based on whole genome shotgun (WGS) or on a BAC-by-BAC strategy. Although WGS is in most cases the preferred choice, sometimes the BAC-by-BAC approach may be better because it requires a much simpler assembly process. Furthermore, when the study is limited to specific regions of the genome, the WGS would require an unjustified effort, making the BAC-by-BAC the only feasible strategy. In this paper we describe an informatics pipeline called PABS (Platform Assisted BAC-by-BAC Sequencing) that we developed to provide a tool to optimize the BAC-by-BAC sequencing strategy. PABS has two main functions: (i) PABS-Select, to choose suitable overlapping clones; and (ii) PABS-Validate, to verify whether a BAC under analysis is actually overlapping the neighboring BAC

    Determinants Associated With the Risk of Emergency Department Visits Among Patients Receiving Integrated Home Care Services: A 6-Year Retrospective Observational Study in a Large Italian Region

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    Background: Allowing patients to remain at home and decreasing the number of unnecessary emergency room visits have become important policy goals in modern healthcare systems. However, the lack of available literature makes it critical to identify determinants that could be associated with increased emergency department (ED) visits in patients receiving integrated home care (IHC). Methods: A retrospective observational study was carried out in a large Italian region among patients with at least one IHC event between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2017. IHC is administered from 8 am to 8 pm by a team of physicians, nurses, and other professionals as needed based on the patient's health conditions. A clinical record is opened at the time a patient is enrolled in IHC and closed after the last service is provided. Every such clinical record was defined as an IHC event, and only ED visits that occurred during IHC events were considered. Sociodemographic, clinical and IHC variables were collected. A multivariate, stepwise logistic analysis was then performed, using likelihood of ED visit as a dependent variable. Results: A total of 29 209 ED visits were recorded during the 66 433 IHC events that took place during the observation period. There was an increased risk of ED visits in males (odds ratio [OR]=1.29), younger patients, those with a family caregiver (OR=1.13), and those with a higher number of cohabitant family members. Long travel distance from patients' residence to the ED reduced the risk of ED visits. The risk of ED visits was higher when patients were referred to IHC by hospitals or residential facilities, compared to referrals by general practitioners. IHC events involving patients with neoplasms (OR=1.91) showed the highest risk of ED visits. Conclusion: Evidence of sociodemographic and clinical determinants of ED visits may offer IHC service providers a useful perspective to implement intervention programmes based on appropriate individual care plans and broad-based client assessment

    Trajectories and determinants of emergency department use among nursing home residents: a time series analysis (2012-2019)

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    Background Emergency department (ED) use among nursing home (NH) residents is an internationally-shared issue that is understudied in Italy. The long term care in Italy is part of the health system. This study aimed to assess trajectories of ED use among NH residents and determinants between demographic, health supply, clinical/functional factors. Methods A pooled, cross-sectional, time series analysis was performed in an Italian region in 2012/2019. The analysis measured the trend of ED user percentages associated with chronic conditions identified at NH admission. A GLM multivariate model was used to evaluate determinants of ED use. The variables collected were sex, age, assistance intensity, destination after discharge from NH, chronic conditions at NH admission, need for daily life assistance, degree of mobility, cognitive impairments, behavioural disturbances and were taken from two databases of the official Italian National Information System (FAR and C2 registries) that were combined to create a unique and anonymous code for each patient. Results A total of 37,311 residents were enrolled; 55.75% (20,800 residents) had at least one ED visit. The majority of the residents had cardiovascular (25.99%) or mental diseases (24.37%). In all pathologies, the percentage of ED users decreased and the decrease accelerated over time. These results were confirmed in the fixed effects regression model (coefficient for linear term (b = - 3.6177, p = 0, 95% CI = [- 5.124, - 2.1114]); coefficient for quadratic term = - 0.7691, p = 0.0046, 95% CI = [- 1.2953, - 0.2429]). Analysis showed an increased odds of ED visits involving males (OR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.24;1.30) and patients affected by urogenital diseases (OR = 1.16, 95% CI [1.031-1.314]). The lowest odds of ED visits were observed among subjects aged > 90 years (OR = 0.64, 95% CI [0.60-0.67]), who required assistance for their daily life activities (OR = 0.86; 95% CI = [0.82, 0.91]), or with serious cognitive disturbances (OR = 0.86; 95% CI = [0.84, 0.89]), immobile (OR = 0.93; 95% CI = [0.89, 0.96]), or without behavioural disturbances (OR = 0.92; 95% CI = [0.90, 0.94]). Conclusions The percentage of ED users has decreased, through support from the Italian disciplinary long-term care system. The demographic, clinical/functional variables associated with ED visits in this study will be helpful to develop targeted and tailored interventions to avoid unnecessary ED use
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