457 research outputs found

    Pica and refractory iron deficiency anaemia: a case report

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    INTRODUCTION: Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia worldwide. Pica, the ingestion of substances that are inappropriate for consumption, is associated with iron deficiency and may be under-diagnosed. CASE PRESENTATION: A 34-year-old woman presented with iron deficiency anaemia refractory to treatment for more than a decade. The clinical presentation, endoscopic findings and laboratory investigations were consistent with pica. Subsequent geophysical analysis confirmed that the ingested material was kaolin, a negatively charged silicate. CONCLUSION: Prolonged unexplained iron deficiency anaemia should prompt clinicians to remember and inquire about pica. In our patient, this would have averted numerous unnecessary investigations and prevented a decade-long suffering

    Lung cancer diagnosed following emergency admission: a mixed methods study protocol to improve understanding of patients’ characteristics, needs, experiences and outcomes

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    Background Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in England. About 40% of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed following an emergency admission (DFEA) to hospital. DFEA is more common in women, and more likely with increasing age and deprivation. Most have advanced disease and survival is poor, but little else is known about this group. The aim of this study is to obtain a detailed understanding of the characteristics, needs, experiences and outcomes of this group. Methods/Design This is a single centre study with quantitative and qualitative work packages (WP). WP1 gathers basic details about all patients diagnosed with lung cancer during a 12 month period, focusing on demographics, diagnostic and treatment pathways and selected outcomes. WP2 obtains information from those patients DFEA or, when unable, their carers, about their holistic needs and experiences, using the Sheffield Profile for Assessment and Referral to Care questionnaire and selected questions from the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey. WP3 uses in-depth qualitative interviews with patients and carers to obtain detailed accounts of their symptoms, help-seeking behaviours prior to admission and subsequent experiences of care. Discussion Relatively little is known about the experiences of lung cancer patients DFEA and this study will provide detailed information about their needs, characteristics, experiences and outcomes. It should identify areas in the diagnostic and treatment pathway where there is scope to improve the care provided to this group of patients and their carers. The findings will also inform the need for further focused research

    Minimal changes in health status questionnaires: distinction between minimally detectable change and minimally important change

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    Changes in scores on health status questionnaires are difficult to interpret. Several methods to determine minimally important changes (MICs) have been proposed which can broadly be divided in distribution-based and anchor-based methods. Comparisons of these methods have led to insight into essential differences between these approaches. Some authors have tried to come to a uniform measure for the MIC, such as 0.5 standard deviation and the value of one standard error of measurement (SEM). Others have emphasized the diversity of MIC values, depending on the type of anchor, the definition of minimal importance on the anchor, and characteristics of the disease under study. A closer look makes clear that some distribution-based methods have been merely focused on minimally detectable changes. For assessing minimally important changes, anchor-based methods are preferred, as they include a definition of what is minimally important. Acknowledging the distinction between minimally detectable and minimally important changes is useful, not only to avoid confusion among MIC methods, but also to gain information on two important benchmarks on the scale of a health status measurement instrument. Appreciating the distinction, it becomes possible to judge whether the minimally detectable change of a measurement instrument is sufficiently small to detect minimally important changes

    Mechanisms and physiological function of daily haemoglobin oxidation rhythms in red blood cells

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    Cellular circadian rhythms confer temporal organisation upon physiology that is fundamental to human health. Rhythms are present in red blood cells (RBCs), the most abundant cell type in the body, but their physiological function is poorly understood. Here, we present a novel biochemical assay for haemoglobin (Hb) oxidation status which relies on a redox-sensitive covalent haem-Hb linkage that forms during SDS-mediated cell lysis. Formation of this linkage is lowest when ferrous Hb is oxidised, in the form of ferric metHb. Daily haemoglobin oxidation rhythms are observed in mouse and human RBCs cultured in vitro, or taken from humans in vivo, and are unaffected by mutations that affect circadian rhythms in nucleated cells. These rhythms correlate with daily rhythms in core body temperature, with temperature lowest when metHb levels are highest. Raising metHb levels with dietary sodium nitrite can further decrease daytime core body temperature in mice via nitric oxide (NO) signalling. These results extend our molecular understanding of RBC circadian rhythms and suggest they contribute to the regulation of body temperature

    Mission-oriented public policy and the new evaluation culture

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    In this chapter, our aim is to develop a framework to improve public policy-related evaluation practice for a more adaptive and anticipatory evaluation approach, better in tune with complex interactions and interdependencies that have emerged on our policy agenda today. One of the features of this space for interactions that is public policy is its mission orientation. Such an orientation is accompanied by the evolution of public policy instruments, which in turn necessitate new evaluation approaches. We are convinced that this requires developing a conceptual framework, which can be taken forward to test and further operationalise in situations where similar systemic transformations for policy development are elaborated upon. Based on our work on public-sector leadership, we are proposing a framework for evaluation in a more mission-driven and systems-based perspective. The framework seeks to take better into consideration the diversity of policy interventions at our disposal, ranging from traditional budgetary or legislative instruments to experimentation and piloting. Changes are identified in the very characteristics of the societal problems we are trying to solve, as well as in the nature of policy, both subsequently requiring a more multifaceted scope of evaluation, an emerging practice being towards a more mission-oriented one as well as a more nuanced approach depending on whether one is interested in the multi-organisational performance, policy service delivery or quality of outputs and impacts from policy initiatives and projects. The focus of evaluation in turn ranges from the accountability to evaluation criteria, timescale, motivation, as well as type of intervention used.fi=vertaisarvioitu|en=peerReviewed

    Radiographic evaluation of calcaneal fractures: To measure or not to measure

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    Objective: The aim of this study was to correlate the functional outcome after treatment for displaced intra-articular calcaneal fracture with plain radiography. Design: The design was a prognostic study of a retrospective cohort with concurrent follow-up. Patients: A total of 33 patients with a unilateral calcaneal fracture and a minimum follow-up of 13 months participated. Patients filled in three disease-specific questionnaires, graded their satisfaction and the indication for an arthrodesis was noted. Standardised radiographs were made of the previously injured side and the normal (control) side. Different angles and distances were measured on these radiographs and compared with values described in the literature. The differences in values in angles and distances between the injured and uninjured (control) foot were correlated with the outcome of the questionnaires, and the indication for an arthrodesis. Results: None of the angles correlated with the disease-specific outcome scores. Of the angles only the tibiotalar angle correlated with the VAS (r=0.35, p=0.045) and only the absolute foot height correlated with the indication for an arthrodesis (odds=0.70, CI=0.50-0.99). Conclusion: In this study the radiographic evaluation correlated poorly with the final outcome. Measurements on plain radiographs seem not to be useful in determining outcome after intra-articular calcaneal fractures

    Sexual risk behavior and pregnancy in detained adolescent females: a study in Dutch detention centers

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The purpose of this study was to investigate the lifetime prevalence of teenage pregnancy in the histories of detained adolescent females and to examine the relationship between teenage pregnancy on the one hand and mental health and sexuality related characteristics on the other.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Of 256 admitted detained adolescent females aged 12–18 years, a representative sample (N = 212, 83%) was examined in the first month of detention. Instruments included a semi-structured interview, standardized questionnaires and file information on pregnancy, sexuality related characteristics (sexual risk behavior, multiple sex partners, sexual trauma, lack of assertiveness in sexual issues and early maturity) and mental health characteristics (conduct disorder, alcohol and drug use disorder and suicidality).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Approximately 20% of the participants reported having been pregnant (before detention), although none had actually given birth. Sexuality related characteristics were more prevalent in the pregnancy group, while this was not so for the mental health characteristics. Age at assessment, early maturity, sexual risk behavior, and suicidality turned out to be the best predictors for pregnancy.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The lifetime prevalence of pregnancy in detained adolescent females is high and is associated with both sexuality related risk factors and mental health related risk factors. Therefore, prevention and intervention programs targeting sexual risk behavior and mental health are warranted during detention.</p

    Health Disparities Between Appalachian and Non-Appalachian Counties in Virginia USA

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    The examination of health disparities among people within Appalachian counties compared to people living in other counties is needed to find ways to strategically target improvements in community health in the United States of America (USA). Methods: A telephone survey of a random sample of adults living in households within communities of all counties of the state of Virginia (VA) in the USA was conducted. Findings: Health status was poorer among those in communities within Appalachian counties in VA and health insurance did not make a difference. Health perception was significantly worse in residents within communities in Appalachian counties compared to non-Appalachian community residents (30.5 vs. 17.4% rated their health status as poor/fair), and was worse even among those with no chronic diseases. Within communities in Appalachian counties, black residents report significantly better health perception than do white residents. Conclusion: Residents living in communities in Appalachian counties in VA are not receiving adequate health care, even among those with health insurance. More research with a larger ethnic minority sample is needed to investigate the racial/ethnic disparities in self-reported health and health care utilization within communities

    Responsiveness and minimal clinically important difference for pain and disability instruments in low back pain patients

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    BACKGROUND: The choice of an evaluative instrument has been hampered by the lack of head-to-head comparisons of responsiveness and the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in subpopulations of low back pain (LBP). The objective of this study was to concurrently compare responsiveness and MCID for commonly used pain scales and functional instruments in four subpopulations of LBP patients. METHODS: The Danish versions of the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), the 23-item Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMQ), the physical function and bodily pain subscales of the SF36, the Low Back Pain Rating Scale (LBPRS) and a numerical rating scale for pain (0–10) were completed by 191 patients from the primary and secondary sectors of the Danish health care system. Clinical change was estimated using a 7-point transition question and a numeric rating scale for importance. Responsiveness was operationalised using standardardised response mean (SRM), area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC), and cut-point analysis. Subpopulation analyses were carried out on primary and secondary sector patients with LBP only or leg pain +/- LBP. RESULTS: RMQ was the most responsive instrument in primary and secondary sector patients with LBP only (SRM = 0.5–1.4; ROC = 0.75–0.94) whereas ODI and RMQ showed almost similar responsiveness in primary and secondary sector patients with leg pain (ODI: SRM = 0.4–0.9; ROC = 0.76–0.89; RMQ: SRM = 0.3–0.9; ROC = 0.72–0.88). In improved patients, the RMQ was more responsive in primary and secondary sector patients and LBP only patients (SRM = 1.3–1.7) while the RMQ and ODI were equally responsive in leg pain patients (SRM = 1.3 and 1.2 respectively). All pain measures demonstrated almost equal responsiveness. The MCID increased with increasing baseline score in primary sector and LBP only patients but was only marginally affected by patient entry point and pain location. The MCID of the percentage change score remained constant for the ODI (51%) and RMQ (38%) specifically and differed in the subpopulations. CONCLUSION: RMQ is suitable for measuring change in LBP only patients and both ODI and RMQ are suitable for leg pain patients irrespectively of patient entry point. The MCID is baseline score dependent but only in certain subpopulations. Relative change measured using the ODI and RMQ was not affected by baseline score when patients quantified an important improvement
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