6 research outputs found

    Process evaluation of a behaviour change approach to improving clinical practice for detecting hereditary cancer

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    © 2019 The Author(s). Background: This retrospective process evaluation reports on the application of a 1-year implementation program to increase identification and management of patients at high risk of a hereditary cancer syndrome. The project used the Theoretical Domains Framework Implementation (TDFI) approach, a promising implementation methodology, used successfully in the United Kingdom to address patient safety issues. This Australian project run at two large public hospitals aimed to increase referrals of patients flagged as being at risk of Lynch syndrome on the basis of a screening test to genetic services. At the end of the project, the pathologists' processes had changed, but the referral rate remained inconsistent and low. Methods: Semi-structured interviews explored participants' perceptions of the TDFI approach and Health services researchers wrote structured reflections. Interview transcripts and reflections were coded initially against implementation outcomes for the various TDFI approach activities: acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility, value for time cost, and adoption. On a second pass, themes were coded around challenges to the approach. Results: Interviews were held with nine key project participants including pathologists, oncologists, surgeons, genetic counsellors and an administrative officer. Two health services researchers wrote structured reflections. The first of two major themes was 'Theory-related challenges', with subthemes of accessibility of theory underpinning the TDFI, commitment to that theory-based approach, and the problem of complexity. The second theme was 'Practical challenges' with subthemes of stakeholder management, navigating the system, and perceptions of the problem. Health services researchers reflected on the benefits of bridging professional divides and facilitating collective learning and problem solving, but noted frustrations around clinicians' time constraints that led to sparse interactions with the team, and lack of authority to effect change themselves. Conclusions: Mixed success of adoption as an outcome was attributed to the complexity and highly nuanced nature of the setting. This made identifying the target behaviour, a key step in the TDFI approach, challenging. Introduced changes in the screening process led to new, unexpected issues yet to be addressed. Strategies to address challenges are presented, including using an internal facilitator with a focus on applying a theory-based implementation approach

    Theoretical study of Oldroyd-b visco-elastic fluid flow through curved pipes with slip effects in polymer flow processing

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    The characteristics of the flow field of both viscous and viscoelastic fluids passing through a curved pipe with a Navier slip boundary condition have been investigated analytically in the present study. The Oldroyd-B constitutive equation is employed to simulate realistic transport of dilute polymeric solutions in curved channels. In order to linearize the momentum and constitutive equations, a perturbation method is used in which the ratio of radius of cross section to the radius of channel curvature is employed as the perturbation parameter. The intensity of secondary and main flows is mainly affected by the hoop stress and it is demonstrated in the present study that both the Weissenberg number (the ratio of elastic force to viscous force) and slip coefficient play major roles in determining the strengths of both flows. It is also shown that as a result of an increment in slip coefficient, the position of maximum velocity markedly migrates away from the pipe center towards the outer side of curvature. Furthermore, results corresponding to Navier slip scenarios exhibit non-uniform distributions in both the main and lateral components of velocity near the wall which can notably vary from the inner side of curvature to the outer side. The present solution is also important in polymeric flow processing systems because of experimental evidence indicating that the no-slip condition can fail for these flows, which is of relevance to chemical engineers

    Gender-related differences of tachykinin NK<inf>2</inf> receptor expression and activity in human colonic smooth muscle

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    The tachykinin NK2 receptor plays a key role in gastrointestinal motor function. Enteric neurons release neurokinin A (NKA), which activates NK2 receptors on gastrointestinal smooth muscle, leading to contraction and increased motility. In patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, the NK2 receptor antagonist ibodutant had a greater therapeutic effect in females than males. The present study aimed to determine whether gender influences the expression and activity of NK2 receptors in human colonic smooth muscle. In vitro functional studies were performed to examine the contractile responses of colonic muscle strips to NKA and the selective NK2 receptor agonist [Lys5,MeLeu9,Nle10]NKA(4-10). Contractions were also measured in the presence of ibodutant to determine its antagonistic potency. The signal transduction pathways coupled to NK2 receptor activation were investigated using second messenger inhibitors. Western blot and fluorescent immunohistochemistry were conducted to determine the protein expression and localization of NK2 receptors. NK2 receptor-mediated contractility was greater in females compared with males. When against NKA, ibodutant was more potent in females. NK2 receptor expression increased with age in females, but not in males. Phospholipase C-mediated signaling was less prominent in females compared with males, whereas Ca2+ sensitization via Rho kinase and protein kinase C appeared to be the dominant pathway in both genders. The distribution of NK2 receptors in the human colon did not differ between the genders. Overall, gender differences exist in the expression and activity of NK2 receptors in colonic smooth muscle. These gender distinctions should be considered in the therapeutic development of NK2 receptor agents

    Using behaviour change and implementation science to address low referral rates in oncology 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1117 Public Health and Health Services

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    © 2018 The Author(s). Background: Patients undergoing surgery for bowel cancer now have a routine screening test to assess their genetic predisposition to this and other cancers (Lynch syndrome). A result indicating a high risk should trigger referral to a genetic clinic for diagnostic testing, information, and management. Appropriate management of Lynch syndrome lowers morbidity and mortality from cancer for patients and their family, but referral rates are low. The aim of this project was to increase referral rates for patients at high risk of Lynch syndrome at two Australian hospitals, using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) Implementation approach. Methods: Multidisciplinary teams at each hospital mapped the referral process and discussed barriers to referral. A 12-month retrospective audit measured baseline referral rates. The validated Influences on Patient Safety Behaviours Questionnaire was administered to evaluate barriers using the TDF. Results were discussed in focus groups and interviews, and interventions co-designed, guided by theory. Continuous monitoring audits assessed change in referral rates. Results: Teams (n = 8, 11) at each hospital mapped referral processes. Baseline referral rates were 80% (4/5) from 71 screened patients and 8% (1/14) from 113 patients respectively. The questionnaire response rate was 51% (36/71). Most significant barrier domains were: 'environmental context;' 'memory and decision making;' 'skills;' and 'beliefs about capabilities.' Focus groups and interviews with 19 healthcare professionals confirmed these domains as significant. Fifteen interventions were proposed considering both emerging and theory-based results. Interventions included: clarification of pathology reports, education, introduction of e-referrals, and inclusion of genetic status in documentation. Audits continued to December 2016 showing a change in pathology processes which increased the accuracy of screening. The referral rate remained low: 46% at Hospital A and 9% Hospital B. Results suggest patients who have their referral deferred for some reason are not referred later. Conclusion: Lynch syndrome is typical of low incidence problems likely to overwhelm the system as genomic testing becomes mainstream. It is crucial for health researchers to test methods and define generalizable solutions to address this problem. Whilst our approach did not improve referrals, we have deepened our understanding of barriers to referral and approaches to low frequency conditions