242 research outputs found

    Tenure, mobility and retention of nurses in Queensland, Australia: 2001 and 2004

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    [Abstract]: Aim: Data were collected on tenure, mobility and retention of the nursing workforce in Queensland to aid strategic planning by the Queensland Nurses’ Union. Background: Shortages of nurses negatively affect the health outcomes of patients. Population rise is increasing the demand for nurses in Queensland. The supply of nurses is affected by recruitment of new and returning nurses, retention of the existing workforce and mobility within institutions. Methods: A self-reporting, postal survey was undertaken of Queensland Nurses Union members from the major employment sectors of aged care, public acute and community health and private acute and community health. Results: Only 60% of nurses had been with their current employer more than five years. In contrast 90% had been nursing for five years or more and most (80%) expected to remain in nursing for at least another five years. Breaks from nursing were common and part-time positions in the private and aged care sectors offered flexibility. Conclusion: The study demonstrated a mobile nursing workforce in Queensland although data on tenure and future time in nursing suggested that retention in the industry was high. Concern is expressed for replacement of an aging nursing population

    Revisiting the 'Missing Middle' in English Sub-National Governance

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    In the light of the new Coalition Government’s proposed ‘rescaling’ of sub-national governance away from the regional level, it is an opportune time to re-consider the strength and weaknesses of the city or sub-regional approach to economic development and to search, once more, for the ‘missing middle’ in English Governance. In this context, the article initially assesses the case for city or sub regions as tiers of economic governance, before examining the lessons to be learnt from the experiences of the existing city regions in the North East of England. It argues that while contemporary plans to develop Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) can be usefully considered within the context of the emerging city regional developments under the previous Labour Governments, a number of important challenges remain, particularly in relation to ensuring accountable structures of governance, a range of appropriate functions, adequate funding, and comprehensive coverage across a variety of sub-regional contexts. While the proposals of the new Government create the necessary ‘space’ to develop sub-regional bodies and offer genuine opportunities for both city and county LEPs, the scale of the sub-regional challenge should not be underestimated, particularly given the context of economic recession and major reductions in the public sector

    Public preferences and priorities for end-of-life care in Kenya:a population-based street survey

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    BACKGROUND: End-of-life care needs are great in Africa due to the burden of disease. This study aimed to explore public preferences and priorities for end-of-life care in Nairobi, Kenya. METHODS: Population-based street survey of Kenyans aged ≥18; researchers approached every 10th person, alternating men and women. Structured interviews investigated quality vs. quantity of life, care priorities, preferences for information, decision-making, place of death (most and least favourite) and focus of care in a hypothetical scenario of serious illness with <1 year to live. Descriptive analysis examined variations. RESULTS: 201 individuals were interviewed (100 women) representing 17 tribes (n = 90 44.8%, Kikuyu). 56.7% (n = 114) said they would always like to be told if they had limited time left. The majority (n = 121, 61.4%) preferred quality of life over quantity i.e. extending life (n = 47, 23.9%). Keeping a positive attitude and ensuring relatives/friends were not worried were prioritised above having pain/discomfort relieved. The three most concerning problems were pain (45.8%), family burden (34.8%) and personal psychological distress (29.8%). Home was both the most (51.1% n = 98) and least (23.7% n = 44) preferred place of death. CONCLUSION: This first population-based survey on preferences and priorities for end-of-life care in Africa revealed that psycho-social domains were of greatest importance to the public, but also identified variations that require further exploration. If citizens’ preferences and priorities are to be met, the development of end-of-life care services to deliver preferences in Kenya should ensure an holistic model of palliative care responsive to individual preferences across care settings including at home

    Hospital discharge planning and continuity of care for aged people in an Italian local health unit: does the care-home model reduce hospital readmission and mortality rates?

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Hospital discharge planning is aimed to decrease length of stay in hospitals as well as to ensure continuity of health care after being discharged. Hospitalized patients in Turin, Italy, who are in need of medical, social and rehabilitative care are proposed as candidates to either discharge planning relying on a care-home model (DPCH) for a period of about 30 days, or routine discharge care. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a hospital DPCH that was compared with routine care, improved patients' outcomes in terms of reduced hospital readmission and mortality rates in patients aged 64 years and older.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>In a retrospective observational cohort study a sample of 380 subjects aged 64 years and over was examined. Participants were discharged from the hospital S.Giovanni Bosco in Turin, Italy from March 1<sup>st</sup>, 2005 to February 28<sup>th</sup>, 2006. Of these subjects, 107 received routine discharge care while 273 patients were referred to care-home (among them, 99 received a long-term care intervention (LTCI) afterwards while 174 did not). Data was gathered from various administrative and electronic databases. Cox regression models were used to evaluate factors associated with mortality and hospital readmission.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>When socio-demographic factors, underlying disease and disability were taken into account, DPCH decreased mortality rates only if it was followed by a LTCI: compared to routine care, the Hazard Ratio (HR) of death was 0.36 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.20 – 0.66) and 1.15 (95%CI: 0.77 – 1.74) for DPCH followed by LTCI and DPCH not followed by LTCI, respectively. On the other hand, readmission rates did not significantly differ among DPCH and routine care, irrespective of the implementation of a LTCI: HRs of hospital readmission were 1.01 (95%CI: 0.48 – 2.24) and 1.18 (95%CI: 0.71 – 1.96), respectively.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The use of DPCH after hospital discharge reduced mortality rates, but only when it was followed by a long-term health care plan, thus ensuring continuity of care for elderly participants.</p

    Two novel connexin32 mutations cause early onset X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>X-linked Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT) is caused by mutations in the connexin32 gene that encodes a polypeptide which is arranged in hexameric array and form gap junctions.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We describe two novel mutations in the connexin32 gene in two Norwegian families.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Family 1 had a c.225delG (R75fsX83) which causes a frameshift and premature stop codon at position 247. This probably results in a shorter non-functional protein structure. Affected individuals had an early age at onset usually in the first decade. The symptoms were more severe in men than women. All had severe muscle weakness in the legs. Several abortions were observed in this family. Family 2 had a c.536 G>A (C179Y) transition which causes a change of the highly conserved cysteine residue, i.e. disruption of at least one of three disulfide bridges. The mean age at onset was in the first decade. Muscle wasting was severe and correlated with muscle weakness in legs. The men and one woman also had symptom from their hands.</p> <p>The neuropathy is demyelinating and the nerve conduction velocities were in the intermediate range (25–49 m/s). Affected individuals had symmetrical clinical findings, while the neurophysiology revealed minor asymmetrical findings in nerve conduction velocity in 6 of 10 affected individuals.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The two novel mutations in the connexin32 gene are more severe than the majority of previously described mutations possibly due to the severe structural change of the gap junction they encode.</p

    A randomized clinical trial comparing hydrocolloid, phenytoin and simple dressings for the treatment of pressure ulcers [ISRCTN33429693]

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    BACKGROUND: Pressure sores are important and common complications of spinal cord injury. Many preventive and therapeutic approaches have been tried and new trials are evolving. One relatively recent method is application of a hydrocolloid dressing (HD). In this study we compared the therapeutic effects of HD on pressure ulcer healing with two other topical applications, phenytoin cream (PC) and simple dressing (SD). METHODS: Ninety-one stage I and stage II pressure ulcers of 83 paraplegic male victims of the Iran-Iraq war were randomly allocated to three treatment groups. Mean age and weight of the participants were 36.64 ± 6.04 years and 61.12 ± 5.08 kg, respectively. All the patients were managed in long term care units or in their homes for 8 weeks by a team of general practitioners and nurses, and the ulcer status was recorded as "Complete healing", "Partial healing", "Without improvement" and "Worsening". RESULTS: Complete healing of ulcers, regardless of location and stage, was better in the HD group than the PC [23/31(74.19%) vs 12/30(40%); difference: 34.19%, 95% CI = 10.85–57.52, (P < 0.01)] or the SD [23/31(74.19%) vs 8/30(26.66%); difference: 47.53%, 95% CI = 25.45–69.61, (P < 0.005)] groups. Complete healing of stage I ulcers in the HD group [11/13(85%)] was better than in the SD [5/11(45%); difference: 40%, 95% CI = 4.7–75.22, (P < 0.05)] or PC [2/9 (22%); difference: 63%, 95% CI = 29.69–96.3, (P < 0.005)] groups. Complete healing of stage II ulcer in the HD group [12/18 (67%)] was better than in the SD group [3/19(16%); difference: 51%, 95% CI = 23.73–78.26, (P < 0.005)], but not significantly different from the PC group [10/21 (48%); difference: 19%, 95% CI = -11.47–49.47, (P > 0.05)]. We performed a second analysis considering only one ulcer per patient (i.e. 83 ulcers in 83 patients). This "per patient" analysis showed that complete ulcer healing in the HD group was better than in the PC [20/28(71.4%) vs 11/28 (39.3%); difference: 32.1%, 95% CI = 7.4–56.7, (P < 0.01)] or SD [20/28(71.4%) vs 8/27 (29.6%); difference: 41.8%, 95% CI = 17.7–65.8, (P < 0.005)] groups. CONCLUSION: We deduced that HD is the most effective method investigated for treating stage I and II pressure ulcers in young paraplegic men

    A systematic review of the effect of retention methods in population-based cohort studies

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    Background: Longitudinal studies are of aetiological and public health relevance but can be undermined by attrition. The aim of this paper was to identify effective retention strategies to increase participation in population-based cohort studies. Methods: Systematic review of the literature to identify prospective population-based cohort studies with health outcomes in which retention strategies had been evaluated. Results: Twenty-eight studies published up to January 2011 were included. Eleven of which were randomized controlled trials of retention strategies (RCT). Fifty-seven percent of the studies were postal, 21% in-person, 14% telephone and 7% had mixed data collection methods. A total of 45 different retention strategies were used, categorised as 1) incentives, 2) reminder methods, repeat visits or repeat questionnaires, alternative modes of data collection or 3) other methods. Incentives were associated with an increase in retention rates, which improved with greater incentive value. Whether cash was the most effective incentive was not clear from studies that compared cash and gifts of similar value. The average increase in retention rate was 12% for reminder letters, 5% for reminder calls and 12% for repeat questionnaires. Ten studies used alternative data collection methods, mainly as a last resort. All postal studies offered telephone interviews to non-responders, which increased retention rates by 3%. Studies that used face-to-face interviews increased their retention rates by 24% by offering alternative locations and modes of data collection. Conclusions: Incentives boosted retention rates in prospective cohort studies. Other methods appeared to have a beneficial effect but there was a general lack of a systematic approach to their evaluation

    Cardiac tumours in children

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    Cardiac tumours are benign or malignant neoplasms arising primarily in the inner lining, muscle layer, or the surrounding pericardium of the heart. They can be primary or metastatic. Primary cardiac tumours are rare in paediatric practice with a prevalence of 0.0017 to 0.28 in autopsy series. In contrast, the incidence of cardiac tumours during foetal life has been reported to be approximately 0.14%. The vast majority of primary cardiac tumours in children are benign, whilst approximately 10% are malignant. Secondary malignant tumours are 10–20 times more prevalent than primary malignant tumours. Rhabdomyoma is the most common cardiac tumour during foetal life and childhood. It accounts for more than 60% of all primary cardiac tumours. The frequency and type of cardiac tumours in adults differ from those in children with 75% being benign and 25% being malignant. Myxomas are the most common primary tumours in adults constituting 40% of benign tumours. Sarcomas make up 75% of malignant cardiac masses. Echocardiography, Computing Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the heart are the main non-invasive diagnostic tools. Cardiac catheterisation is seldom necessary. Tumour biopsy with histological assessment remains the gold standard for confirmation of the diagnosis. Surgical resection of primary cardiac tumours should be considered to relieve symptoms and mechanical obstruction to blood flow. The outcome of surgical resection in symptomatic, non-myxomatous benign cardiac tumours is favourable. Patients with primary cardiac malignancies may benefit from palliative surgery but this approach should not be recommended for patients with metastatic cardiac tumours. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy may prolong survival. The prognosis for malignant primary cardiac tumours is generally extremely poor
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