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  • 1
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2013-12-21
    Description: No description available
    Electronic ISSN: 1741-7015
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 2
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2014-01-05
    Description: Background: Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality is high in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and arterial stiffness is a potentially modifiable risk factor with added predictive value beyond that obtained from traditional risk factors. Arterial stiffness has been the target of pharmacologic and exercise interventions in patients with COPD, but the effects appear limited to those patients with more significant elevations in arterial stiffness. We aimed to identify predictors of increased arterial stiffness in a cohort with moderate to severe COPD. Methods: Aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV) was measured in subjects with moderate to severe COPD enrolled in a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Subjects were categorized into quartiles based on aPWV values and factors affecting high arterial stiffness were assessed. Multivariate models were created to identify independent predictors of high aPWV, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Results: 153 patients were included. Mean age was 63.2 (SD 8.2) years and mean FEV1 was 55.4 (SD 15.2) % predicted. Compared to the quartile with the lowest aPWV, subjects in the highest quartile were older, had higher systolic blood pressure (SBP), were more likely to be current smokers, and had greater burden of thoracic aortic calcification. On multivariate analyses, age (adjusted OR 1.14, 95%CI 1.05 to 1.25, p = 0.003) and SBP (adjusted OR 1.06, 95%CI 1.02 to 1.09, p = 0.001) were independent predictors of elevated aPWV. Body mass index, therapy with cholesterol lowering medications and coronary calcification were independent predictors of CVD. Conclusions: Elevated arterial stiffness in patients with COPD can be predicted using age, blood pressure and thoracic aortic calcification. This will help identify subjects for enrollment in clinical trials using aPWV for assessing the impact of COPD therapies on CV outcomes.Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00857766
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2466
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 3
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2015-04-13
    Description: In cereal crops, root hairs are reported to function within the root hair zone to carry out important roles in nutrient and water absorption. Nevertheless, these single cells remain understudied due to the practical challenges of phenotyping these delicate structures in large cereal crops growing on soil or other growth systems. Here we present an alternative growth system for examining the root hairs of cereal crops: the use of coarse Turface® clay alongside fertigation. This system allowed for root hairs to be easily visualized along the entire lengths of crown roots in three different cereal crops (maize, wheat, and finger millet). Surprisingly, we observed that the root hairs in these crops continued to grow beyond the canonical root hair zone, with the most root hair growth occurring on older crown root segments. We suggest that the Turface® fertigation system may permit a better understanding of the changing dynamics of root hairs as they age in large plants, and may facilitate new avenues for crop improvement below ground. However, the relevance of this system to field conditions must be further evaluated in other crops.
    Electronic ISSN: 1756-0500
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 4
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2015-04-18
    Description: Background: Primary care providers do not routinely follow guidelines for the care of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Multidisciplinary efforts may improve care for patients with chronic disease. Pharmacist based interventions have effectively improved management of hypertension. We performed a pragmatic, randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effect of a pharmacist based quality improvement program on 1) outcomes for patients with CKD and 2) adherence to CKD guidelines in the primary care setting. Methods: Patients with moderate to severe CKD receiving primary care services at one of thirteen community-based Veterans Affairs outpatient clinics were randomized to a multifactorial intervention that included a phone-based pharmacist intervention, pharmacist-physician collaboration, patient education, and a CKD registry (n = 1070) or usual care (n = 1129). The primary process outcome was measurement of parathyroid hormone (PTH) during the one year study period. The primary clinical outcome was blood pressure (BP) control in subjects with poorly controlled hypertension at baseline. Results: Among those with poorly controlled baseline BP, there was no difference in the last recorded BP or the percent at goal BP during the study period (42.0% vs. 41.2% in the control arm). Subjects in the intervention arm were more likely to have a PTH measured during the study period (46.9% vs. 16.1% in the control arm, P
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2369
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 5
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2015-04-19
    Description: Background: Our previous work showed that providing additional rehabilitation on a Saturday was cost effective in the short term from the perspective of the health service provider. This study aimed to evaluate if providing additional rehabilitation on a Saturday was cost effective at 12 months, from a health system perspective inclusive of private costs. Methods: Cost effectiveness analyses alongside a single-blinded randomized controlled trial with 12 months follow up inclusive of informal care. Participants were adults admitted to two publicly funded inpatient rehabilitation facilities. The control group received usual care rehabilitation services from Monday to Friday and the intervention group received usual care plus additional Saturday rehabilitation. Incremental cost effectiveness ratios were reported as cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained and for a minimal clinical important difference (MCID) in functional independence. Results: A total of 996 patients [mean age 74 years (SD 13)] were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 496) or control group (n = 500). The intervention was associated with improvements in QALY and MCID in function, as well as a non-significant reduction in cost from admission to 12 months (mean difference (MD) AUD$6,325; 95% CI −4,081 to 16,730; t test p = 0.23 and MWU p = 0.06), and a significant reduction in cost from admission to 6 months (MD AUD$6,445; 95% CI 3,368 to 9,522; t test p = 0.04 and MWU p = 0.01). There is a high degree of certainty that providing additional rehabilitation services on Saturday is cost effective. Sensitivity analyses varying the cost of informal carers and self-reported health service utilization, favored the intervention. Conclusions: From a health system perspective inclusive of private costs the provision of additional Saturday rehabilitation for inpatients is likely to have sustained cost savings per QALY gained and for a MCID in functional independence, for the inpatient stay and 12 months following discharge, without a cost shift into the community.Trial registrationAustralian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry November 2009 ACTRN12609000973213.
    Electronic ISSN: 1472-6963
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 6
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2015-05-03
    Description: Background: Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy provides a non-invasive technology to study brain metabolite levels in vivo, which can be used to measure biochemical compounds or metabolite concentrations in circumscribed brain regions. Previous research has highlighted the role of glial cells in brain white matter. It has been assumed that antidepressant treatment with SSRIs not only affects neurons, but also activates glial cells. This study focused on the observation of any potential changes in the metabolite levels of the ventral prefrontal white matter in major depressive disorder (MDD) patients who have received antidepressant treatment. Methods: 17 female patients diagnosed as MDD according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria with the scores of 18 and above on the 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) were recruited. MRS studies were performed on a 3.0 T MR system, single voxel PRESS spectroscopy with chemical-shift selective saturation water suppression. The volume of interest was localized at the bilateral ventral prefrontal white matter regions (voxel size: 2 × 2 × 2 mm3). The spectral data analysis was performed by using the instrument manufacturer supplied software. Results: The bilateral ventral prefrontal white matter of MDD patients showed significantly lower Cho/Cr (p 
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-244X
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 7
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2012-07-25
    Description: Background: Malaysia has been at the forefront of the development and scale up of One-Stop Crisis Centres (OSCC) - an integrated health sector model that provides comprehensive care to women and children experiencing physical, emotional and sexual abuse. This study explored the strengths and challenges faced during the scaling up of the OSCC model to two States in Malaysia in order to identify lessons for supporting successful scale-up. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with health care providers, policy makers and key informants in 7 hospital facilities. This was complemented by a document analysis of hospital records and protocols. Data were coded and analysed using NVivo 7. Results: The implementation of the OSCC model differed between hospital settings, with practise being influenced by organisational systems and constraints. Health providers generally tried to offer care to abused women, but they are not fully supported within their facility due to lack of training, time constraints, limited allocated budget, or lack of referral system to external support services. Non-specialised hospitals in both States struggled with a scarcity of specialised staff and limited referral options for abused women. Despite these challenges, even in more resource-constrained settings staff who took the initiative found it was possible to adapt to provide some level of OSCC services, such as referring women to local NGOs or community support groups, or training nurses to offer basic counselling. Conclusions: The national implementation of OSCC provides a potentially important source of support for women experiencing violence. Our findings confirm that pilot interventions for health sector responses to gender based violence can be scaled up only when there is a sound health infrastructure in place - in other words a supportive health system. Furthermore, the successful replication of the OSCC model in other similar settings requires that the model - and the system supporting it - needs to be flexible enough to allow adaptation of the service model to different types of facilities and levels of care, and to available resources and thus better support providers committed to delivering care to abused women.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 8
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2012-10-31
    Description: Background: Smartphone usage has spread to many settings including that of healthcare with numerous potential and realised benefits. The ability to download custom-built software applications (apps) has created a new wealth of clinical resources available to healthcare staff, providing evidence-based decisional tools to reduce medical errors.Previous literature has examined how smartphones can be utilised by both medical student and doctor populations, to enhance educational and workplace activities, with the potential to improve overall patient care. However, this literature has not examined smartphone acceptance and patterns of medical app usage within the student and junior doctor populations. Methods: An online survey of medical student and foundation level junior doctor cohorts was undertaken within one United Kingdom healthcare region. Participants were asked whether they owned a Smartphone and if they used apps on their Smartphones to support their education and practice activities. Frequency of use and type of app used was also investigated. Open response questions explored participants' views on apps that were desired or recommended and the characteristics of apps that were useful. Results: 257 medical students and 131 junior doctors responded, equating to a response rate of 15.0% and 21.8% respectively. 79.0% (n=203/257) of medical students and 74.8% (n=98/131) of junior doctors owned a smartphone, with 56.6% (n=115/203) of students and 68.4% (n=67/98) of doctors owning an iPhone.The majority of students and doctors owned 1--5 medical related applications, with very few owning more than 10, and iPhone owners significantly more likely to own apps (Chi sq, p
    Electronic ISSN: 1472-6947
    Topics: Computer Science , Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 9
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2012-11-14
    Description: Background: In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) there are strong arguments for the provision of integrated sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV services. Most HIV transmissions are sexually transmitted or associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Many of the behaviours that prevent HIV transmission also prevent sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies. There is potential for integration to increase the coverage of HIV services, as individuals who use SRH services can benefit from HIV services and vice-versa, as well as increase cost-savings. However, there is a dearth of empirical evidence on effective models for integrating HIV/SRH services. The need for robust evidence led a consortium of three organizations -- International Planned Parenthood Federation, Population Council and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine -- to design/implement the Integra Initiative. Integra seeks to generate rigorous evidence on the feasibility, effectiveness, cost and impact of different models for delivering integrated HIV/SRH services in high and medium HIV prevalence settings in SSA. Methods: A quasi-experimental study will be conducted in government clinics in Kenya and Swaziland -- assigned into intervention/comparison groups. Two models of service delivery are investigated: integrating HIV care/treatment into 1) family planning and 2) postnatal care. A full economic-costing will be used to assess the costs of different components of service provision, and the determinants of variations in unit costs across facilities/service models. Health facility assessments will be conducted at four time-periods to track changes in quality of care and utilization over time. A two-year cohort study of family planning/postnatal clients will assess the effect of integration on individual outcomes, including use of SRH services, HIV status (known/unknown) and pregnancy (planned/unintended). Household surveys within some of the study facilities' catchment areas will be conducted to profile users/non-users of integrated services and demand/receipt of integrated services, before-and-after the intervention. Qualitative research will be conducted to complement the quantitative component at different time points. Integra takes an embedded 'programme science' approach to maximize the uptake of findings into policy/practice.DiscussionIntegra addresses existing evidence gaps in the integration evaluation literature, building on the limited evidence from SSA and the expertise of its research partners.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials NCT01694862
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 10
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2017-02-15
    Description: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is recognised as an important public health and social problem, with far reaching consequences for women’s physical and emotional health and social well-being. Furthermore, cont...
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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