11,424 research outputs found

    The healthcare quality measurement industry: time to slow the juggernaut?

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    It is time to pause and reflect on the degree to which performance measurement is acting optimally and in the interests of society and health

    The plasmoelectric effect: optically induced electrochemical potentials in resonant metallic structures

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    We describe a strategy for conversion of optical power into DC electrical power using resonant absorption in plasmonic nanostructures. A thermodynamic analysis of the underlying mechanism motivates our description of the phenomenon, which we term the plasmoelectric effect. Power conversion results from the dependence of optically generated heat on shifts of the plasmon resonance frequency that occur with changes of electron density. We model an all-metal device constructed from 10 nm radius silver spheres and predict a characteristic conversion efficiency of 14.3% under 1 kW m-2 intensity, single-frequency radiation. We discuss strategies for enhanced efficiency, broadband power conversion, and further applications of this new class of optoelectronic device.Comment: 24 pages with supplemental include

    Getting research findings into practice : when to act on the evidence.

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    There is increasing interest in providing evidence based health care—that is, care in which healthcare professionals, provider managers, those who commission health care, the public, and policymakers consistently consider research evidence when making decisions. Purchasers, for example, should be able to influence the organisation and delivery of care (such as for cancer and stroke services) and the type and content of services (such as using chiropractic for back pain or dilatation and curettage and drug treatment for menorrhagia). Policymakers should ensure that policies on treatment reflect and are consistent with research evidence, and that the incentive structure within the health system promotes cost effective practice. They must also ensure that there is an adequate infrastructure for monitoring changes in practice and for producing, gathering, summarising, and disseminating evidence. Clinicians determine the day to day care patients receive in healthcare systems, and user groups (for example, patients, their families, and their representatives) are also beginning to play an important role in influencing healthcare decisions

    Routinely administered questionnaires for depression and anxiety : systematic review

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    Objectives To examine the effect of routinely administered psychiatric questionnaires on the recognition, management, and outcome of psychiatric disorders in non-psychiatric settings. Data sources Embase, Medline, PsycLIT, Cinahl, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register,and hand searches of key journals. Methods A systematic review of randomised controlled trials of the administration and routine feedback of psychiatric screening and outcome questionnaires to clinicians in non-psychiatric settings. narrative overview of key design features and end points, together with a random effects quantitative synthesis of comparable studies. Main outcome measures Recognition of psychiatric disorders after feedback of questionnaire results; interventions for psychiatric disorders and outcome of psychiatric disorders. Results Nine randomised studies were identified that examined the use of common psychiatric instruments in primary care and general hospital settings. Studies compared the effect of the administration of these instruments followed by the feedback of the results to clinicians, with administration with no feedback. Meta-analytic pooling was possible for four of these studies (2457 participants), which measured the effect of feedback on the recognition of depressive disorders. Routine administration and feedback of scores for all patients (irrespective of score) did not increase the overall rate of recognition of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression (relative risk of detection of depression by clinician after feedback 0.95, 95% confidence interval 0.83 to 1.09). Two studies showed that routine administration followed by selective feedback for only high scores increased the rate of recognition of depression (relative risk of detection of depression after feedback 2.64, 1.62 to 4.31). This increased recognition, however, did not translate into an increased rate of intervention. Overall, studies of routine administration of psychiatric measures did not show an effect on patient outcome. Conclusions The routine measurement of outcome is a costly exercise. Little evidence shows that it is of benefit in improving psychosocial outcomes of those with psychiatric disorder managed in non-psychiatric settings

    Routine administration of Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) and needs assessment instruments to improve psychological outcome: a systematic review

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    Background. Routine administration of Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) and needs assessment instruments has been advocated as part of clinical care to aid the recognition of psychosocial problems, to inform clinical decision making, to monitor therapeutic response and to facilitate patient-doctor communication. However, their adoption is not without cost and the benefit of their use is unclear. Method. A systematic review was conducted. We sought experimental studies that examined the addition of routinely administered measures of HRQoL to care in both psychiatric and non-psychiatric settings. We searched the following databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycLIT and Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (to 2000). Data were extracted independently and a narrative synthesis of results was presented. Results. Nine randomized and quasi-randomized studies conducted in non-psychiatric settings were found. All the instruments used included an assessment of mental well-being, with specific questions relating to depression and anxiety. The routine feedback of these instruments had little impact on the recognition of mental disorders or on longer term psychosocial functioning. While clinicians welcomed the information these instruments imparted, their results were rarely incorporated into routine clinical decision making. No studies were found that examined the value of routine assessment and feedback of HRQoL or patient needs in specialist psychiatric care settings. Conclusions. Routine HRQoL measurement is a costly exercise and there is no robust evidence to suggest that it is of benefit in improving psychosocial outcomes of patients managed in non-psychiatric settings. Major policy initiatives to increase the routine collection and use of outcome measures in psychiatric settings are unevaluated

    Mentoring to reduce antisocial behaviour in childhood

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    The effects of social interventions need to be examined in real life situations as well as studie

    The accessibility of research-based knowledge for nurses in United Kingdom acute care settings

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    Background. The successful dissemination of the results of the National Health Service (NHS) research and development strategy and the development of evidence based approaches to health care rely on clinicians having access to the best available evidence; evidence fit for the purpose of reducing the uncertainties associated with clinical decisions. Aim. To reveal the accessibility of those sources of information actually used by nurses, as well as those which they say they use. Design. Mixed method case site, using interview, observational, Q sort and documentary audit data in medical, surgical and coronary care units (CCUs) in three acute hospitals. Results. Three perspectives on accessibility were identified: (a) the humanist-in which human sources of information were the most accessible; (b) local information for local needs-in which locally produced resources were seen as the most accessible and (c) moving towards technology-in which information technology begins to be seen as accessible. Nurses' experience in a clinical specialty is positively associated with a perception that human sources such clinical nurse specialists, link nurses, doctors and experienced clinical colleagues are more accessible than text based sources. Clinical specialization is associated with different approaches to accessing research knowledge. Coronary care unit nurses were more likely perceive local guidelines, protocols and on-line databases as more accessible than their counterparts in general medical and surgical wards. Only a third of text-based resources available to nurses oil the wards had any explicit research base. These, and the remainder were Out of date (mean age of textbooks 11 years), and authorship hard to ascertain. Conclusion. A strategy to increase the use of research evidence by nurses should harness the influence of clinical nurse specialists, link nurses and those engaged in practice development. These roles Could act as 'conduits' through which research-based messages for practice, and information for clinical decision making, could flow. This role should be explored and enhanced

    Evaluation of the implementation of the alert issued by the UK National Patient Safety Agency on the storage and handling of potassium chloride concentrate solution

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    Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of the response of NHS hospital trusts to an alert issued by the National Patient Safety Agency designed to limit the availability of concentrated potassium chloride in hospitals in England and Wales, and to determine the nature of any unintended consequences. Design: Multi-method study involving interviews and a physical inspection of clinical areas. Setting: 207 clinical areas in 20 randomly selected acute NHS trusts in England and Wales between 31 October 2002 and 31 January 2003. Participants: Senior managers and ward based medical and nursing staff. Main outcome measures: Degree of staff awareness of and compliance with the requirements of the national alert, withdrawal of concentrated potassium chloride solutions from non-critical areas, provision of pre-diluted alternatives, storage and recording in accordance with controlled drug legislation. Results: All trusts required that potassium chloride concentrate be stored in a separate locked cupboard from common injectable diluents (100% compliance). Unauthorised stocks of potassium chloride were found in five clinical areas not authorised by the trust (98% compliance). All trusts required documentation control of potassium chloride concentrate in clinical areas, but errors were recorded in 20 of the 207 clinical areas visited (90% compliance). Of those interviewed, 78% of nurses and 30% of junior doctors were aware of the alert. Conclusions: The NPSA alert was effective and resulted in rapid development and implementation of local policies to reduce the availability of concentrated potassium chloride solutions. The success is likely to be partly due to the nature of the proposed changes and it cannot be assumed that future alerts will be equally effective. Continued vigilance will be necessary to help sustain the changes

    Acute care nurses' perceptions of barriers to using research information in clinical decision-making

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    Aim. To examine the barriers that nurses feel prevent them from using research in the decisions they make. Background. A sizeable research literature focusing on research utilization in nursing has developed over the past 20 years. However, this literature is characterized by a number of weaknesses: self-reported utilization behaviour; poor response rates and small, nonrandom sampling strategies. Design. Cross-case analysis involving anonymised qualitative interviews, observation, documentary audit and Q methodological modelling of shared subjectivities amongst nurses. The case sites were three large acute hospitals in the north of England. One hundred and eight nurses were interviewed, 61 of whom were also observed for a total of 180 h, and 122 nurses were involved in the Q modelling exercise (response rate of 64%). Results. Four perspectives were isolated that encompassed the characteristics associated with barriers to research use. These related to the individual, organization, nature of research information itself and environment. Nurses clustered around four main perspectives on the barriers to research use: (1) Problems in interpreting and using research products, which were seen as too complex, 'academic' and overly statistical; (2) Nurses who felt confident with research-based information perceived a lack of organizational support as a significant block; (3) Many nurses felt that researchers and research products lack clinical credibility and that they fail to offer the desired level of clinical direction; (4) Some nurses lacked the skills and, to a lesser degree, the motivation to use research themselves. These individuals liked research messages passed on to them by a third party and sought to foster others' involvement in research-based practice, rather than becoming directly involved themselves. Conclusions. Rejection of research knowledge is not a barrier to its application. Rather, the presentation and management of research knowledge in the workplace represent significant challenges for clinicians, policy-makers and the research community

    The discovery of trapped energetic electrons in the outer cusp

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    We report on the POLAR/CEPPAD discovery of a trapped, 60°\u3cθ\u3c120° pitch angle electron population in the outer cusp (7−9+ Re), whose energetic electron component extends from below 30 keV to ∼2 MeV. Because the time variability in the outer cusp precludes mapping with POLAR, we have carried out test particle simulations using the Tsyganenko 1996 model (T96) to demonstrate the trapping of these energy electrons in the outer cusp region and the resonant frequencies of its trapped motion. We discuss the boundaries and regions of the cusp trap and show that it is analogous to the dipole trap. We show that the phase space densities observed there are equal or greater than the phase space densities observed in the radiation belts at constant magnetic moment, thus allowing the possibility of diffusive filling of the radiation belts from the cus
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