1,139 research outputs found

    Decisions to consent for autopsy after stillbirth: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s experiences

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    Abstract Background: The stillbirth rate for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants is twice that for non-Indigenous infants. Autopsy is the gold standard for fetal investigation, however, parental consent is low. There is little research investigating the drivers of parents’ decision-making for autopsy after stillbirth. Aims: The current study explored the reasons why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women did or did not give permission to autopsy after stillbirth. Materials and Methods: Five Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was conducted within a phenomenological framework. Results: Five themes were identified as reasons for giving permission – to find out why baby died; confirm diagnosis; understand future risk; help others; and doubt about maternal causes. Four themes were identified as reasons for declining permission – not asked in a sensitive manner; not enough time to think; distress about the autopsy procedure; and unwilling to agree. There was a lack of acceptability of the lengthy timeframe for the availability of autopsy results as families usually wait between three and nine months. This lengthy waiting period negatively impacted upon families’ health and wellbeing. Conclusions: It is important for health professionals to understand the factors that parents consider when giving permission for autopsy after stillbirth. It is hoped that an increase in autopsy rate will enhance the understanding of the causes of stillbirth and ultimately decrease the stillbirth rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families

    A preliminary analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program – demonstrating the potential value of comprehensive real world data

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    Background The complexity and cost of treating cancer patients is escalating rapidly and increasingly difficult decisions are being made regarding which interventions provide value for money. BioGrid Australia supports collection and analysis of comprehensive treatment and outcome data across multiple sites. Here we use preliminary data regarding the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) and stage-specific treatment costs for colorectal cancer (CRC) to demonstrate the potential value of real world data for cost-effectiveness analyses (CEA).Methods Data regarding the impact of NBCSP on stage at diagnosis was combined with stage-specific CRC treatment costs and existing literature. An incremental CEA was undertaken from a government healthcare perspective, comparing NBCSP to no-screening. The 2008 invited population (n=681,915) was modelled in both scenarios. Effectiveness was expressed as CRC-related life years saved (LYS). Costs and benefits were discounted at 3% per annum.Results Over the lifetime and relative to no-screening, NBCSP was predicted to save 1,265 life-years, prevent 225 CRC cases and cost an additional 48.3million,equivalenttoacosteffectivenessratioof48.3 million, equivalent to a cost-effectiveness ratio of 38,217 per LYS. A scenario analysis assuming full participation improved this to $23,395.Conclusions This preliminary CEA based largely on contemporary real world data suggests population-based FOBT screening for CRC is attractive. Planned ongoing data collection will enable repeated analyses over time, using the same methodology in the same patient populations, permitting an accurate analysis of the impact of new therapies and changing practice. Similar CEA using real world data related to other disease types and interventions appears desirable.<br /

    Issues using linkage of hospital records and death certificate data to determine the size of a potential palliative care population

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    BACKGROUND: Studies aiming to identify palliative care populations have used data from death certificates and in some cases hospital records. The size and characteristics of the identified populations can show considerable variation depending on the data sources used. It is important that service planners and researchers are aware of this. AIM: To illustrate the differences in the size and characteristics of a potential palliative care population depending on the differential use of linked hospital records and death certificate data. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: The cohort consisted of 23,852 people aged 20 years and over who died in Western Australia between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010 after excluding deaths related to pregnancy or trauma. Within this cohort, the number, proportion and characteristics of people who died from one or more of 10 medical conditions considered amenable to palliative care were identified using linked hospital records and death certificate data. RESULTS: Depending on the information source(s) used, between 43% and 73% of the 23,852 people who died had a condition potentially amenable to palliative care identified. The median age at death and the sex distribution of the decedents by condition also varied with the information source. CONCLUSION: Health service planners and researchers need to be aware of the limitations when using hospital records and death certificate data to determine a potential palliative care population. The use of Emergency Department and other administrative data sources could further exacerbate this variation

    Exploring staff diabetes medication knowledge and practices in regional residential care: triangulation study

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    Aims and objectives: This study is drawn from a larger project that aimed to identify the staffing and organisational factors influencing the quality of diabetes care for older people living in residential care in regional Victoria, Australia. The focus of the current study is on medication management for residents with diabetes. Background: With a continuous rise in diabetes in the population, there is an associated increase in the prevalence of diabetes in aged care residential settings. However, there is little specific guidance on how to manage diabetes in older people living in institutional settings who experience multiple concurrent chronic conditions. Design: A triangulation strategy consisting of three phases. Methods: A one-shot cross-sectional survey (n = 68) focus group interviews and a case file audit (n = 20). Data were collected between May 2009-January 2010. Findings: Staff knowledge of diabetes and its contemporary medication management was found to be suboptimal. Challenges to managing residents with diabetes included limited time, resident characteristics and communication systems. Additionally, the variability in medical support available to residents and a high level of polypharmacy added to the complexity of medication management of resident. Conclusions: The current study suggests administering medicine to residents in aged care settings is difficult and has potentially serious medical, professional and economic consequences. Limitations to staff knowledge of contemporary diabetes care and medications potentially place residents with diabetes at risk of receiving less than optimal diabetes care. Relevance to clinical practice: Providing evidence-based guidelines about diabetes care in residential care settings is essential to achieve acceptable outcomes and increase the quality of life for residents in public aged care. Continuing education programs in diabetes care specifically related to medication must be provided to all health professionals and encompass scope of practice. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

    Genetic and environmental risk factors in the non-medical use of over-the-counter or prescribed analgesics, and their relationship to major classes of licit and illicit substance use and misuse in a population-based sample of young adult twins

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    Background and Aims: The non-medical use of over-the-counter or prescribed analgesics (NMUA) is a significant public health problem. Little is known about the genetic and environmental etiology of NMUA and how these risks relate to other classes of substance use and misuse. Our aims were to estimate the heritability NMUA and sources of genetic and environmental covariance with cannabis and nicotine use, cannabis and alcohol use disorders and nicotine dependence in Australian twins. Design: Biometrical genetic analyses or twin methods using structural equation univariate and multivariate modeling. Setting: Australia. Participants: A total of 2007 young adult twins [66% female; μ\ua0=\ua025.9, standard deviation (SD)\ua0=\ua03.6, range\ua0=\ua018–38] from the Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study retrospectively assessed between 2009 and 2016. Measurements: Self-reported NMUA (non-opioid or opioid-based), life-time nicotine, cannabis and opioid use, DSM-V cannabis and alcohol use disorders and the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence. Findings: Life-time NMUA was reported by 19.4% of the sample. Univariate heritability explained 46% [95% confidence interval (CI)\ua0=\ua00.29–0.57] of the risks in NMUA. Multivariate analyses revealed that NMUA is moderately associated genetically with cannabis (r\ua0=\ua00.41) and nicotine (r\ua0=\ua00.45) use and nicotine dependence (r\ua0=\ua00.34). In contrast, the genetic correlations with cannabis (r\ua0=\ua00.15) and alcohol (r\ua0=\ua00.07) use disorders are weak. Conclusions: In young male and female adults in Australia, the non-medical use of over-the-counter or prescribed analgesics appears to have moderate heritability. NMUA is moderately associated with cannabis and nicotine use and nicotine dependence. Its genetic etiology is largely distinct from that of cannabis and alcohol use disorders

    Walking for recreation and transport by geographic remoteness in South Australian adults

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    Objective: To determine differences in walking for recreation and transport between Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) categories, in South Australian adults.  Design: Cross-sectional self-reported data from adult telephone survey respondents between April and May in 2012 and 2013.  Setting: Population of South Australia.  Participants: A total of 4004 adults (aged over 18 years) participated: n = 1956 men and n = 2048 women. Area of residence was categorised using ARIA (major city, inner regional, outer regional and remote/very remote).  Main outcome measure(s): Self-reported participation in walking for transport and recreation/exercise as the number of times and minutes per week. Data were analysed using Kruskal–Wallis test for median minutes and negative binomial regression for times walked with adjustment for socioeconomic status, age and body mass index.  Results: Average age was 47.8 ± 18.5 years, 51.1% were women, 70.9% lived in the major cities, 14.6% in inner regional, 10.8% in outer regional and 3.6% in remote/very remote areas. Relative to major city, times walked for recreation was lower for only remote/very remote residents (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.74 (95%CI 0.59–0.92), P = 0.008). This difference was only observed for men (IRR 0.54 (95%CI 0.39–0.73), P < 0.001). Relative to major city, times walked for transport was less for inner regional (IRR 0.74 (95%CI 0.67–0.85), P < 0.001) and outer regional (IRR 0.64 (95%CI 0.56–0.74), P < 0.001) only. This difference in transport walking was seen in both men and women.  Conclusion: Frequency of walking varied by purpose, level of remoteness and sex. As walking is the focus of population-level health promotion, more detailed understanding of the aetiology of regular walking is needed

    Spontaneous regression of CIN2 in women aged 18-24 years: a retrospective study of a state-wide population in Western Australia

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    Introduction: CIN2 has a high rate of spontaneous regression in young women and may be managed conservatively in appropriately selected patients. This study aimed to investigate health outcomes in women aged 18–24 years with biopsy-confirmed CIN2. Material and methods: A retrospective cohort study of Western Australian women aged 18–24 years diagnosed with CIN2 on cervical biopsy from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2010. Women who had not received treatment at ≥4 months following CIN2 diagnosis were classified as managed ‘conservatively’. Subsequent cervical cytology and/or biopsy test results were used to report lesion regression (absence of dysplasia or an epithelial lesion of lower grade than CIN2) and disease persistence (CIN2, CIN3 or ACIS). Results: Follow-up data were available for 2417 women of whom 924 (38.2%) were ‘conservatively’ managed. In all, 152 (16.4%) conservatively managed women had a lesion more severe than CIN2 detected within 24 months of initial diagnosis, of which 144 were CIN3 and eight were ACIS. There was no statistically significant association between rates of regression and patient age, Socio-economic Indexes for Areas or Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia indices. The 2-year regression rate for CIN2 was estimated to be 59.5% (95%CI 0.5–0.6) in this cohort of women. Conclusion: In conservatively managed young women with CIN2 there was a high rate of spontaneous disease regression. Thus, excisional or ablative treatments may be avoided in selected patients who receive appropriate counseling and who are able to comply with more intensive and prolonged follow-up requirements

    Solar ultraviolet protection provided by human head hair

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    The solar erythemal UV irradiances through human hair and the protection from UV provided by human head hair have been investigated for a solar zenith angle (SZA) range of 17 to 51 degrees for the conditions of a head upright in full sun, a head upright in shade and a head in full sun tilted towards the sun. The two hair lengths investigated were 49.1+-7.1 mm for the short type and 109.5+-5.5 mm for the long type. For the head upright in full sun, the irradiances through the hair ranged from 0.75 to 1.4 SED/h for SZA less than 25 degrees and less than 0.6 SED/h in shade. The ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) ranged from approximately 5 to 17 in full sun, with the UPF increasing with higher SZA. The longer hair provided a lower UPF than the shorter hair and for the head oriented towards the sun, there was a marginally lower UPF than for the upright head. This research shows that the UV exposure limits to the scalp through hair can be exceeded within short timeframes and provides important information to assist employers to comply with Workplace Health and Safety legislation
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