4,468 research outputs found

    Diverticular disease

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    Influenza vaccination for NHS staff: attitudes and uptake.

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    OBJECTIVES: Annual vaccination against influenza (flu) is recommended for all UK National Health Service (NHS) staff to help reduce the risk of contracting the virus and transmitting it to patients. However, despite flu campaigns and vaccination promotion, uptake remains low. The aim of this study was to investigate staff attitudes to flu vaccination to see how this may influence their decision to be vaccinated. METHODS: An online survey was sent to staff members across 6 NHS trusts, asking if staff had been vaccinated in the preceding flu season (2013-2014); the survey included questions about beliefs and attitudes to the vaccination, scored on a 5-point Likert scale. RESULTS: 3059 NHS staff members responded to the survey (86% in the 26-59 age group, 77% female and 84% hospital based). 68% of respondents reported being vaccinated in the preceding year. Using a stepwise regression model, the survey response retained as a positive predictor of having been vaccinated was people working in healthcare should have the flu vaccination every year (p<0.001), and the responses retained as negative predictors were the flu vaccination will make me unwell (p<0.001) and the flu vaccination was too much trouble for me (p<0.001). Analysis by staff group showed a significant difference in the response to the flu vaccination will make me unwell between groups (p=0.01), with doctors having a greater tendency to disagree with this statement than other staff members. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that addressing NHS staff beliefs around the need for vaccination, while ensuring that practical barriers to having the vaccination are removed, may help to increase uptake. An emphasis on alleviating the concerns of particular staff groups regarding adverse effects of the vaccine may also be of benefit in improving uptake, to protect patients as well as staff

    Wearable in-ear PPG: detailed respiratory variations enable classification of COPD

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    An ability to extract detailed spirometry-like breath-ing waveforms from wearable sensors promises to greatly improve respiratory health monitoring. Photoplethysmography (PPG) has been researched in depth for estimation of respiration rate, given that it varies with respiration through overall intensity, pulse amplitude and pulse interval. We compare and contrast the extraction of these three respiratory modes from both the ear canal and finger and show a marked improvement in the respiratory power for respiration induced intensity variations and pulse amplitude variations when recording from the ear canal. We next employ a data driven multi-scale method, noise assisted multivariate empirical mode decomposition (NA-MEMD), which allows for simultaneous analysis of all three respiratory modes to extract detailed respiratory waveforms from in-ear PPG. For rigour, we considered in-ear PPG recordings from healthy subjects, both older and young, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and healthy subjects with artificially obstructed breathing. Specific in-ear PPG waveform changes are observed for COPD, such as a decreased inspiratory duty cycle and an increased inspiratory magnitude, when compared with expiratory magnitude. These differences are used to classify COPD from healthy and IPF waveforms with a sensitivity of 87% and an overall accuracy of 92%. Our findings indicate the promise of in-ear PPG for COPD screening and unobtrusive respiratory monitoring in ambulatory scenarios and in consumer wearables

    'Choosing shoes': a preliminary study into the challenges facing clinicians in assessing footwear for rheumatoid patients

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    Background: Footwear has been accepted as a therapeutic intervention for the foot affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Evidence relating to the objective assessment of footwear in patients with RA is limited. The aims of this study were to identify current footwear styles, footwear characteristics, and factors that influence footwear choice experienced by patients with RA. Methods: Eighty patients with RA were recruited from rheumatology clinics during the summer months. Clinical characteristics, global function, and foot impairment and disability measures were recorded. Current footwear, footwear characteristics and the factors associated with choice of footwear were identified. Suitability of footwear was recorded using pre-determined criteria for assessing footwear type, based on a previous study of foot pain. Results: The patients had longstanding RA with moderate-to severe disability and impairment. The foot and ankle assessment demonstrated a low-arch profile with both forefoot and rearfoot structural deformities. Over 50% of shoes worn by patients were opentype footwear. More than 70% of patients’ footwear was defined as being poor. Poor footwear characteristics such as heel rigidity and sole hardness were observed. Patients reported comfort (17%) and fit (14%) as important factors in choosing their own footwear. Only five percent (5%) of patients wore therapeutic footwear. Conclusions: The majority of patients with RA wear footwear that has been previously described as poor. Future work needs to aim to define and justify the specific features of footwear that may be of benefit to foot health for people with RA

    Reduced telomere length is associated with fibrotic joint disease suggesting that impaired telomere repair contributes to joint fibrosis

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    OBJECTIVE: Joint fibrosis affects many synovial joints (including hip, knee and shoulder) causing stiffness and pain. The mechanism of joint fibrosis remains unknown, although genetic factors may contribute. Defects in maintenance of telomere length resulting from impaired telomere repair have been shown to cause lung and liver fibrotic disease. Here we tested the hypothesis that joint fibrosis and other soft tissue fibrotic conditions are also associated with telomere length. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 5,200 participants in the TwinsUK registry had data on telomere length (measured by qPCR) and the traits of interest (hip and knee stiffness, total joint replacement (TJR, hip or knee) and fibrotic conditions (Dupuytren's disease, frozen shoulder). RESULTS: Multivariable logistic regression analyses showed a significant association between telomere length and fibrotic conditions (hip stiffness, knee stiffness and frozen shoulder, p = ≤0.002) even after taking age into account. No association was found between TJR and telomere length. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that defects in telomere repair contribute to joint fibrosis, and that fibrosis shares a common mechanistic pathway in different organs. Therapeutic strategies to combat telomere shortening may offer novel treatments for fibrotic joint disease

    Impact of a COPD Discharge Care Bundle on Readmissions following Admission with Acute Exacerbation: Interrupted Time Series Analysis.

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    We evaluated the impact of a COPD discharge care bundle on readmission rates following hospitalisation with an acute exacerbation.Interrupted time series analysis, comparing readmission rates for COPD exacerbations at nine trusts that introduced the bundle, to two comparison groups; (1) other NHS trusts in London and (2) all other NHS trusts in England. Care bundles were implemented at different times for different NHS trusts, ranging from October 2009 to April 2011.Nine NHS acute trusts in the London, England.Patients aged 45 years and older admitted to an NHS acute hospital in England for acute exacerbation of COPD. Data come from Hospital Episode Statistics, April 2002 to March 2012.Annual trend readmission rates (and in total bed days) within 7, 28 and 90 days, before and after implementation.In hospitals introducing the bundle readmission rates were rising before implementation and falling afterwards (e.g. readmissions within 28 days +2.13% per annum (pa) pre and -5.32% pa post (p for difference in trends = 0.012)). Following implementation, readmission rates within 7 and 28 day were falling faster than among other trusts in London, although this was not statistically significant (e.g. readmissions within 28 days -4.6% pa vs. -3.2% pa, p = 0.44). Comparisons with a national control group were similar.The COPD discharge care bundle appeared to be associated with a reduction in readmission rate among hospitals using it. The significance of this is unclear because of changes to background trends in London and nationally

    Proton Pump Inhibitors in the Management of Tachypnoea following Panproctocolectomy: A Case of High Output Ileostomy

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    High output ileostomies are important complications of stoma formation following bowel surgery. Adequate management of such stomas might prevent severe morbidity and mortality when this potentially fatal complication develops. In this case report, we describe a female patient with a recent ileostomy formation following panproctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis who presented with progressively increasing shortness of breath. The patient was found to have a hypochloraemic metabolic acidosis on arterial blood gases. She rapidly improved with adequate sodium and fluid replacement and with the use of a course of proton pump inhibitors. This case highlights the importance of recognising high output ileostomies early and important management issues in their regard
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