1,761 research outputs found

    Rapid switching between transdermal fentanyl and methadone in cancer patients

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    Purpose The aim of this study was to examine the clinical effects of switching from transdermal (TTS)fentanyl to methadone, or vice versa, in patients with a poor response to the previous opioid. Patients and Methods A prospective study was carried out on 31 patients who switched from TTS fentanyl to oral methadone, or vice versa, because of poor opioid response. A fixed conversion ratio of fentanyl to methadone of 1:20 was started and assisted by rescue doses of opioids, and then doses were changed according to clinical response. Pain and symptom intensity, expressed as distress score, were recorded before switching doses of the two opioids and after subsequent doses. The number of changes of the daily doses, time to achieve stabilization, and hospital stay were also recorded. Results Eighteen patients were switched from TTS fentanyl to methadone, and seven patients were switched from methadone to TTS fentanyl. A significant decrease in pain and symptom intensity, expressed as symptom distress score, was found within 24 hours after switching took place in both directions. Unsuccessful switching occurred in six patients, who were subsequently treated with an alternative therapy. Conclusion A rapid switching using an initial fixed ratio of fentanyl to methadone of 1:20 is an effective method to improve the balance between analgesia and adverse effects in cancer patients with poor response to the previous opioid. No relationship between the final opioid dose and the dose of the previous opioid has been found

    Opioid-induced or pain relief-reduced symptoms in advanced cancer patients?

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    Background: While opioids in increasing doses may produce adverse effects, the same adverse effects may be associated with poor pain control. Moreover, in the clinical setting symptomatic treatment and illness may balance the outcome of opioid titration. Some adverse effects may tend to disappear continuing the treatment in a long-term period. Aims: The aim of this study was to monitor the effects of a rapid opioid titration combined with symptomatic treatment in patients with poor relief and to monitor these changes in the following period of 20 days. Methods: A consecutive sample of 35 patients admitted to an acute Pain Relief and Palliative Care Unit were titrated with opioids, according to a department policy, allowing administration of parenteral opioids to assist opioid titration with oral or transdermal opioids. Results: Thirty-three patients were followed up for the period of the study. Pain was adequately controlled and doses were opioid doses were stable after a mean of 40 h. Opioid escalation index (OEI) was extremely high initially, and then progressively declined at the following study intervals. Weakness and nausea and vomiting did not change, as well as confusion and appetite. Drowsiness, constipation and dry mouth significantly increased and then did not change, although a significant decrease in drowsiness was subsequently observed. Well-being improved some weeks after opioid stabilization. In multivariate analysis, drowsiness and dry mouth were correlated to opioid doses. Conclusion: The effects reported were often due to multiple causes. A rapid decrease in pain intensity induced by rapid opioid titration does not produce changes in weakness, nausea and vomiting, appetite. While constipation appears the most relevant problem,resistant to common symptomatic treatment, drowsiness initially produced by acute opioid dose increase and the achievement of pain relief, tends to spontaneously decrease, probably as the result of late tolerance. Improved well-being may be the late positive effect of pain relief, also influenced by the setting of home care

    Prevalence and molecular characterization of Aereomonas spp. in ready-to-eat foods in Italy

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    A survey was carried out in Italy to ascertain the prevalence of Aeromonas spp. in ready-to-eat foods (vegetables, cheeses, meat products, and ice creams) and the level of molecular heterogeneity of the isolates found by macrorestriction analysis of genomic DNA with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In total, 46 (14.4%) of the 320 food samples examined were found positive for Aeromonas spp. The highest percentages of isolation were discovered in vegetables, particularly lettuce (45.0%), endive (40.0%), and rucola (20.0%). Ricotta was the only cheese type analyzed that showed a high frequency of isolation (45.0%). Among meat products, salami and raw ham (25.0% of samples positive) and, to a lesser extent, baloney (5.0%) were found positive for Aeromonas spp. Aeromonas hydrophila was the most common isolate from foods of animal origin, whereas Aeromonas caviae was the dominant species in vegetables. No motile aeromonads were found in ice cream samples. Aeromonas isolates showed a high level of genetic heterogeneity, because 24 PFGE patterns were identified among 27 A. hydrophila strains and 20 PFGE patterns were found in 23 A. caviae isolates. In conclusion, consumers of ready-to-eat foods in Italy are regularly exposed to many genetically distinct strains of A. hydrophila and A. caviae without evident signs of malaise, and therefore, few of these strains, if any, are likely to be pathogenic

    Factors affecting the vaccination choices of pregnant women for their children. A systematic review of the literature

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    In recent years, an increase in vaccine hesitancy has led to a decrease in vaccination coverage in several countries. We conducted a systematic review of studies that assessed knowledge of and attitudes toward pediatric vaccinations, and the vaccination choices and their determinants among pregnant women. A total of 6,277 records were retrieved, and 16 full texts were included in the narrative synthesis. The published literature on the topic shows that, overall, pregnant women believe that vaccines are important for the protection of their children and the community, but various concerns and misunderstandings persist around vaccine safety and efficacy, which reduce the trust of expectant mothers in immunization. Nevertheless, such attitudes and choices vary depending on the vaccine being considered and the corresponding determinants should therefore be studied in the context of each specific vaccination. Further research on this topic is needed, particularly in non-western countries

    Healthcare personnel and hand decontamination in intensive care units: Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour in Italy

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    The purpose of this study was to evaluate knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour regarding hand decontamination in personnel of intensive care units (ICUs) in Italy. All ICU physicians and nurses in 19 and five randomly selected hospitals in Campania and Calabria (Italy) were mailed a questionnaire focusing on demographics and practice characteristics; knowledge about prevention of hospital acquired infection; attitudes and behaviour with respect to hand decontamination; and use of gloves. A total of 413 questionnaires were returned giving a response rate of 66.6%. Overall, 53.2% agreed with the correct responses on knowledge related to infection control, and this knowledge was significantly higher in neonatal and medicine-surgery wards and in larger ICUs. A positive attitude was reported by the large majority who agreed that hand decontamination reduces the risk of infection in patients (96.8%) and personnel (86.2%), and the positive attitude was significantly higher among older and female personnel and in those with a higher level of knowledge. Only 60% always decontaminate hands at the start of a shift, and 72.5% before and after a patient contact. Higher compliance is reported for invasive manoeuvres, such as urinary catheters (96.5%) and intravenous lines (77.1%). Routine hand decontamination between each patient was significantly higher in females, and in neonatal and medicine-surgery ICUs. Our results suggest that interventions should not only be focused on predisposing factors (knowledge), but also on enabling (facilitating) and reinforcing (gratifying) factors

    Disinvestment in healthcare: An overview of HTA agencies and organizations activities at European level

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    Background: In an era of a growing economic pressure for all health systems, the interest for "disinvestment" in healthcare increased. In this context, evidence based approaches such as Health Technology Assessment (HTA) are needed both to invest and to disinvest in health technologies. In order to investigate the extent of application of HTA in this field, methodological projects/frameworks, case studies, dissemination initiatives on disinvestment released by HTA agencies and organizations located in Europe were searched. Methods: In July 2015, the websites of HTA agencies and organizations belonging to the European network for HTA (EUnetHTA) and the International Network of Agencies for HTA (INAHTA) were accessed and searched through the use of the term "disinvestment". Retrieved deliverables were considered eligible if they reported methodological projects/frameworks, case studies and dissemination initiatives focused on disinvestment in healthcare. Results: 62 HTA agencies/organizations were accessed and eight methodological projects/frameworks, one case study and one dissemination initiative were found starting from 2007. With respect to methodological projects/frameworks, two were delivered in Austria, one in Italy, two in Spain and three in U.K. As for the case study and the dissemination initiative, both came from U.K. The majority of deliverables were aimed at making an overview of existing disinvestment approaches and at identifying challenges in their introduction. Conclusions: Today, in a healthcare context characterized by resource scarcity and increasing service demand, "disinvestment" from low-value services and reinvestment in high-value ones is a key strategy that may be supported by HTA. The lack of evaluation of technologies in use, in particular at the end of their lifecycle, may be due to the scant availability of frameworks and guidelines for identification and assessment of obsolete technologies that was shown by our work. Although several projects were carried out in different countries, most remain constrained to the field of research. Disinvestment is a relatively new concept in HTA that could pose challenges also from a methodological point of view. To tackle these challenges, it is necessary to construct experiences at international level with the aim to develop new methodological approaches to produce and grow evidence on disinvestment policies and practices

    The use of opioids for breakthrough pain in acute palliative care unit by using doses proportional to opioid basal regimen.

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    OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy and safety of different opioids used in doses proportional to the basal opioid regimen for the management of breakthrough pain (BP). METHODS: In 66 patients consecutive patients admitted to a pain relief and palliative care unit, the efficacy and safety of different opioids used in doses proportional to the basal opioid regimen for the management of breakthrough pain (BP) were assessed. The choice of the opioid to be administered as rescue medication was based on the characteristics of patients, clinical stability, compliance, preference, and so on. For each episode, nurses were instructed to routinely collect changes in pain intensity and emerging problems when pain became severe (T0), and to re-assess the patient 15 minutes after the opioid given as a rescue medication (T15). RESULTS: Six hundred twenty four episodes of BP were recorded during admission. Intravenous morphine (IV-MO) and oral transmucosal fentanyl (OTFC) were most frequently administered. Of 503 events available, 427 episodes were defined as successfully treated, while 76 episodes required a further administration of opioids. Pain intensity significantly decreased at T15 in all the groups (P<0.001). In 97.2% and 90.7% of cases treated with IV-MO, BP events had a reduction in pain intensity of more than 33% and 50%, respectively. In 99.2% and 97.6% patients receiving OTFC, BP events had a reduction in pain intensity of more than 33% and 50%, respectively. DISCUSSION: This survey suggests that doses of opioids for BP proportional to the basal opioid regimen, are very effective and safe in clinical practice, regardless the opioid and modality used

    Transmucosal fentanyl vs intravenous morphine in doses proportional to basal opioid regimen for episodic-breakthrough pain

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    The use of supplemental doses of opioids is commonly suggested to manage breakthrough pain. A comparative study of intravenous morphine (IV-MO) and oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate (OTFC) given in doses proportional to the basal opioid regimen was performed in 25 cancer patients receiving stable opioid doses. For each episode, when it occurred and 15 and 30 min after the treatment, pain intensity and opioid-related symptoms were recorded. Fifty-three couples of breakthrough events, each treated with IV-MO and OTFC, were recorded. In episodes treated with IV-MO, pain intensity decreased from a mean of 6.9 to 3.3 and to 1.7 at T1 and T2, respectively. In episodes treated with OTFC, pain intensity decreased from a mean of 6.9 to 4.1 and to 2.4 at T1 and T2, respectively. Statistical differences between the two treatments were found at T1 (P=0.013), but not at T2 (P=0.059). Adverse effects were comparable and were not significantly related with the IV-MO and OTFC doses. Intravenous morphine and OTFC in doses proportional to the scheduled daily dose of opioids were both safe and effective, IV-MO having a shorter onset than OTFC. Future comparative studies with appropriate design should compare titration methods and proportional methods of OTFC dosing
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