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1.  Professional approaches in clinical judgements among senior and junior doctors: implications for medical education 
Clinical experience has traditionally been highly valued in medical education and clinical healthcare. On account of its multi-faceted nature, clinical experience is mostly difficult to articulate, and is mainly expressed in clinical situations as professional approaches. Due to retirement, hospitals in Scandinavia will soon face a substantial decrease in the number of senior specialist doctors, and it has been discussed whether healthcare will suffer an immense loss of experienced-based knowledge when this senior group leaves the organization. Both senior specialists and junior colleagues are often involved in clinical education, but the way in which these two groups vary in professional approaches and contributions to clinical education has not been so well described. Cognitive psychology has contributed to the understanding of how experience may influence professional approaches, but such studies have not included the effect of differences in position and responsibilities that junior and senior doctors hold in clinical healthcare. In the light of the discussion above, it is essential to describe the professional approaches of senior doctors in relation to those of their junior colleagues. This study therefore aims to describe and compare the professional approaches of junior and senior doctors when making clinical judgements.
Critical incident technique was used in interviews with nine senior doctors and nine junior doctors in internal medicine. The interviews were subjected to qualitative content analysis.
Senior and junior doctors expressed a variety of professional approaches in clinical judgement as follows: use of theoretical knowledge, use of prior experience of cases and courses of events, use of ethical and moral values, meeting and communicating with the patient, focusing on available information, relying on their own ability, getting support and guidance from others and being directed by the organization.
The most prominent varieties of professional approaches were seen in use of knowledge and work-related experience. Senior doctors know how the organization has worked in the past and have acquired techniques with respect to long-term decisions and their consequences. Junior doctors, on the other hand, have developed techniques and expertise for making decisions based on a restricted amount of information, in relation to patients' wellbeing as well as organizational opportunities and constraints. This study contributes to medical education by elucidating the variation in professional approaches among junior and senior doctors, which can be used as a basis for discussion about clinical judgement, in both pre-clinical and clinical education. Further research is required to explain how these professional approaches are expressed and used in clinical education.
PMCID: PMC2693513  PMID: 19460139
2.  Doctors’ views about training and future careers expressed one year after graduation by UK-trained doctors: questionnaire surveys undertaken in 2009 and 2010 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14(1):270.
The UK medical graduates of 2008 and 2009 were among the first to experience a fully implemented, new, UK training programme, called the Foundation Training Programme, for junior doctors. We report doctors’ views of the first Foundation year, based on comments made as part of a questionnaire survey covering career choices, plans, and experiences.
Postal and email based questionnaires about career intentions, destinations and views were sent in 2009 and 2010 to all UK medical graduates of 2008 and 2009. This paper is a qualitative study of ‘free-text’ comments made by first-year doctors when invited to comment, if they wished, on any aspect of their work, education, training, and future.
The response rate to the surveys was 48% (6220/12952); and 1616 doctors volunteered comments. Of these, 61% wrote about their first year of training, 35% about the working conditions they had experienced, 33% about how well their medical school had prepared them for work, 29% about their future career, 25% about support from peers and colleagues, 22% about working in medicine, and 15% about lifestyle issues. When concerns were expressed, they were commonly about the balance between service provision, administrative work, and training and education, with the latter often suffering when it conflicted with the needs of medical service provision. They also wrote that the quality of a training post often depended on the commitment of an individual senior doctor. Service support from seniors was variable and some respondents complained of a lack of team work and team ethic. Excessive hours and the lack of time for reflection and career planning before choices about the future had to be made were also mentioned. Some doctors wrote that their views were not sought by their hospital and that NHS management structures did not lend themselves to efficiency. UK graduates from non-UK homes felt insecure about their future career prospects in the UK. There were positive comments about opportunities to train flexibly.
Although reported problems should be considered in the wider context, in which the majority held favourable overall views, many who commented had been disappointed by aspects of their first year of work. We hope that the concerns raised by our respondents will prompt trainers, locally, to determine, by interaction with junior staff, whether or not these are concerns in their own training programme.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12909-014-0270-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4302441  PMID: 25528260
Medical careers; Junior doctors; Medical education; Foundation training
3.  Strategies for Increasing Recruitment to Randomised Controlled Trials: Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(11):e1000368.
Patrina Caldwell and colleagues performed a systematic review of randomized studies that compared methods of recruiting individual study participants into trials, and found that strategies that focus on increasing potential participants' awareness of the specific health problem, and that engaged them, appeared to increase recruitment.
Recruitment of participants into randomised controlled trials (RCTs) is critical for successful trial conduct. Although there have been two previous systematic reviews on related topics, the results (which identified specific interventions) were inconclusive and not generalizable. The aim of our study was to evaluate the relative effectiveness of recruitment strategies for participation in RCTs.
Methods and Findings
A systematic review, using the PRISMA guideline for reporting of systematic reviews, that compared methods of recruiting individual study participants into an actual or mock RCT were included. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and reference lists of relevant studies. From over 16,000 titles or abstracts reviewed, 396 papers were retrieved and 37 studies were included, in which 18,812 of at least 59,354 people approached agreed to participate in a clinical RCT. Recruitment strategies were broadly divided into four groups: novel trial designs (eight studies), recruiter differences (eight studies), incentives (two studies), and provision of trial information (19 studies). Strategies that increased people's awareness of the health problem being studied (e.g., an interactive computer program [relative risk (RR) 1.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–2.18], attendance at an education session [RR 1.14, 95% CI 1.01–1.28], addition of a health questionnaire [RR 1.37, 95% CI 1.14–1.66]), or a video about the health condition (RR 1.75, 95% CI 1.11–2.74), and also monetary incentives (RR1.39, 95% CI 1.13–1.64 to RR 1.53, 95% CI 1.28–1.84) improved recruitment. Increasing patients' understanding of the trial process, recruiter differences, and various methods of randomisation and consent design did not show a difference in recruitment. Consent rates were also higher for nonblinded trial design, but differential loss to follow up between groups may jeopardise the study findings. The study's main limitation was the necessity of modifying the search strategy with subsequent search updates because of changes in MEDLINE definitions. The abstracts of previous versions of this systematic review were published in 2002 and 2007.
Recruitment strategies that focus on increasing potential participants' awareness of the health problem being studied, its potential impact on their health, and their engagement in the learning process appeared to increase recruitment to clinical studies. Further trials of recruitment strategies that target engaging participants to increase their awareness of the health problems being studied and the potential impact on their health may confirm this hypothesis.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Before any health care intervention—a treatment for a disease or a measure such as vaccination that is designed to prevent an illness—is adopted by the medical community, it undergoes exhaustive laboratory-based and clinical research. In the laboratory, scientists investigate the causes of diseases, identify potential new treatments or preventive methods, and test these interventions in animals. New interventions that look hopeful are then investigated in clinical trials—studies that test these interventions in people by following a strict trial protocol or action plan. Phase I trials test interventions in a few healthy volunteers or patients to evaluate their safety and to identify possible side effects. In phase II trials, a larger group of patients receives an intervention to evaluate its safety further and to get an initial idea of its effectiveness. In phase III trials, very large groups of patients (sometimes in excess of a thousand people) are randomly assigned to receive the new intervention or an established intervention or placebo (dummy intervention). These “randomized controlled trials” or “RCTs” provide the most reliable information about the effectiveness and safety of health care interventions.
Why Was This Study Done?
Patients who participate in clinical trials must fulfill the inclusion criteria laid down in the trial protocol and must be given information about the trial, its risks, and potential benefits before agreeing to participate (informed consent). Unfortunately, many RCTs struggle to enroll the number of patients specified in their trial protocol, which can reduce a trial's ability to measure the effect of a new intervention. Inadequate recruitment can also increase costs and, in the worst cases, prevent trial completion. Several strategies have been developed to improve recruitment but it is not clear which strategy works best. In this study, the researchers undertake a systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic) of “recruitment trials”—studies that have randomly divided potential RCT participants into groups, applied different strategies for recruitment to each group, and compared recruitment rates in the groups.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 37 randomized trials of recruitment strategies into real and mock RCTs (where no actual trial occurred). In all, 18,812 people agreed to participate in an RCT in these recruitment trials out of at least 59,354 people approached. Some of these trials investigated novel strategies for recruitment, such as changes in how patients are randomized. Others looked at the effect of recruiter differences (for example, increased contact between the health care professionals doing the recruiting and the trial investigators), the effect of offering monetary incentives to participants, and the effect of giving more information about the trial to potential participants. Recruitment strategies that improved people's awareness of the health problem being studied—provision of an interactive computer program or a video about the health condition, attendance at an educational session, or inclusion of a health questionnaire in the recruitment process—improved recruitment rates, as did monetary incentives. Increasing patients' understanding about the trial process itself, recruiter differences, and alterations in consent design and randomization generally had no effect on recruitment rates although consent rates were higher when patients knew the treatment to which they had been randomly allocated before consenting. However, differential losses among the patients in different treatment groups in such nonblinded trials may jeopardize study findings.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that trial recruitment strategies that focus on increasing the awareness of potential participants of the health problem being studied and its possible effects on their health, and that engage potential participants in the trial process are likely to increase recruitment to RCTs. The accuracy of these findings depends on whether the researchers identified all the published research on recruitment strategies and on whether other research on recruitment strategies has been undertaken and not published that could alter these findings. Furthermore, because about half of the recruitment trials identified by the researchers were undertaken in the US, the successful strategies identified here might not be generalizable to other countries. Nevertheless, these recruitment strategies should now be investigated further to ensure that the future evaluation of new health care interventions is not hampered by poor recruitment into RCTs.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The Web site is a searchable register of federally and privately supported clinical trials in the US and around the world, providing information about all aspects of clinical trials
The US National Institutes of Health provides information about clinical trials
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site has information for patients about clinical trials and medical research
The UK Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Units also provides information for patients about clinical trials and links to information on clinical trials provided by other organizations
MedlinePlus has links to further resources on clinical trials (in English and Spanish)
The Australian Government's National Health and Medical Research Council has information about clinical trials
WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform aims to ensure that all trials are publicly accessible to those making health care decisions
The Star Child Health International Forum of Standards for Research is a resource center for pediatric clinical trial design, conduct, and reporting
PMCID: PMC2976724  PMID: 21085696
4.  Doctors' emotional reactions to recent death of a patient: cross sectional study of hospital doctors 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2003;327(7408):185.
Objectives: To describe doctors' emotional reactions to the recent death of an “average” patient and to explore the effects of level of training on doctors' reactions.
Design: Cross sectional study using quantitative and qualitative data.
Setting: Two academic teaching hospitals in the United States.
Participants: 188 doctors (attending physicians (equivalent to UK consultants), residents (equivalent to UK senior house officers), and interns (equivalent to UK junior house officers)) who cared for 68 patients who died in the hospital.
Main outcome measures: Doctors' experiences in providing care, their emotional reactions to the patient's death, and their use of coping and social resources to manage their emotions.
Results: Most doctors (139/188, 74%) reported satisfying experiences in caring for a dying patient. Doctors reported moderate levels of emotional impact (mean 4.7 (SD 2.4) on a 0-10 scale) from the death. Women and those doctors who had cared for the patient for a longer time experienced stronger emotional reactions. Level of training was not related to emotional reactions, but interns reported needing significantly more emotional support than attending physicians. Although most junior doctors discussed the patient's death with an attending physician, less than a quarter of interns and residents found senior teaching staff (attending physicians) to be the most helpful source of support.
Conclusions: Doctors who spend a longer time caring for their patients get to know them better but this also makes them more vulnerable to feelings of loss when these patients die. Medical teams may benefit from debriefing within the department to give junior doctors an opportunity to share emotional responses and reflect on the patient's death.
PMCID: PMC166122  PMID: 12881257
5.  Online self-management in patients with COPD: with or without the doctor/nurse 
Curavista Health is an online patient self-management platform. Patients use the platform with or without their doctor/nurse. Fifty centres in Benelux are using the platform for diabetes, hypertension, asthma, COPD, migraine, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, breast cancer, prostate cancer, LUTS, bi-polar diseases, chronic pain, Herpes Zoster, GERD, preConsult, and adherence to medical therapy. Many hospitals use one or more programmes. The platform is currently available in Dutch, English and French.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic disease in the elderly. Airways are increasingly blocked and exacerbations (increase of symptoms) are common. Exacerbations ameliorate the disease and diminish the quality of life. Exacerbations are responsible for most of the augmenting costs of treating COPD. Self-management is a promising method as patients learn to recognize and treat as early as possible exacerbations.
Case study
The case study is called: It is a self management programme that consists of 3 basic elements:
status (CCQ, BMI, FEV1, MRC-dyspnoea, medication)
self management (how do I feel today and what are my specific actions?)
Since mid-2008 patients can register online and participate in the programme (without involving their GP/pulmonologist/nurse). The pulmonary division of the Havenziekenhuis (division of the Erasmus MC) started using the programme in October 2010 and incorporated it into their daily routine. All out-patients can participate. The team monitors patients online, exchange eConsultations with patients and discusses the results during the regular visit.
We compared the adherence to the programme in two groups: (1) the group without the doctor/nurse as a coach (n=495) and (2) the group with the doctor/nurse as a coach (n=42). The content of the programme was identical in both groups. Age and gender were similar in both groups and was representative of the overall COPD population of the Havenziekenhuis. In the group without coaching, 65% of participants used the programme once, 22% twice and 13% three times or more. In the group with coaching, 24% used the programme once, 14% twice and 62% three times or more.
Self-management is a hot topic. Self-management in itself is not new: patients have been keeping diaries on paper for many years. However, in recent years, online database technology has provided an opportunity to create interactive, personalized, self-management programmes, often referred to as eHealth. The word ‘self-management’ suggests that patients manage themselves and the role of the professional is limited. However, these data suggest that participants make better use of eHealth programmes when supported by healthcare professionals. Therefore eHealth should be embedded into regular care in order to be fully effective.
PMCID: PMC3571174
COPD; self management; participation; elderly
6.  Junior doctor titles following implementation of Modernising Medical Careers in the UK 
JRSM Short Reports  2011;2(3):22.
Recent changes in postgraduate medical training in the UK collectively organized under the auspices of Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) have created new labels for junior doctors in training. It would appear that many nurses and other health workers do not understand the new terminology. We aimed to investigate the knowledge of nursing staff about new junior doctor titles in a district general hospital. As far as we are aware, this is the first survey to determine the views and knowledge of the new terms among staff working in the NHS.
Questionnaire study.
District general hospital, West Midlands, UK.
Fifty-five randomly selected staff nurses working in the surgical directorate.
Main outcome measure
Questions were asked about their views and knowledge of the current nomenclature. To objectively assess knowledge of the new titles respondents were asked to match equivalent positions with those based on the old system.
Only 22% (n = 12) of respondents felt that they fully understand current terms in usage. Seventy-six percent (n = 42) felt that it was ‘very important’ that titles accurately convey role and seniority of the doctor. The most common titles correctly matched were FY1 and House Officer (n = 45, 81%) and FY2 and First Year Senior House Officer (n = 35, 64%). Only 9% (n = 5) of staff nurses correctly matched ST3 to Junior Registrar and 13% (n = 7) correctly matched ST7 to Senior Registrar. Ward-based staff nurses demonstrated greater familiarity with titles when compared to nurses who work mainly in the outpatient clinic and theatre setting (p = 0.017). We did not identify a statistically significant association with demographic characteristics (age, gender, experience) and knowledge of the new terms (p > 0.05). Approximately 98% (n = 54) of the staff surveyed felt that terms are confusing to nurses and need to be simplified.
Our survey revealed that nursing staff lacked knowledge of the current terminology to describe doctors in training. This may have implications for staff expectations regarding specific role of junior doctor in terms of clinical decision-making, working relationships and communication between team members, and ultimately patient care.
PMCID: PMC3086326  PMID: 21541090
7.  Interpretation of trauma radiographs by junior doctors in accident and emergency departments: a cause for concern? 
OBJECTIVES: To investigate how well junior doctors in accident and emergency (A&E) were able to diagnose significant x ray abnormalities after trauma and to compare their results with those of more senior doctors. METHODS: 49 junior doctors (senior house officers) in A&E were tested with an x ray quiz in a standard way. Their results were compared with 34 consultants and senior registrars in A&E and radiology, who were tested in the same way. The quiz included 30 x rays (including 10 normal films) that had been taken after trauma. The abnormal films all had clinically significant, if sometimes uncommon, diagnoses. The results were compared and analysed statistically. RESULTS: The mean score for the abnormal x rays for all the junior doctors was only 32% correct. The 10 junior doctors were more experience scored significantly better (P < 0.001) but their mean score was only 48%. The mean score of the senior doctors was 80%, which was significantly higher than the juniors (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: The majority of junior doctors misdiagnosed significant trauma abnormalities on x ray. Senior doctors scored well, but were not infallible. This suggests that junior doctors are not safe to work on their own in A&E departments. There are implications for training, supervision, and staffing in A&E departments, as well as a need for fail-safe mechanisms to ensure adequate patient care and to improve risk management.
PMCID: PMC1343093  PMID: 9315930
8.  Attracting Doctors to Rural Areas: A Case Study of the Post-Graduate Seat Reservation Scheme in Andhra Pradesh 
Attracting doctors to rural posts is an ongoing challenge for health departments across different states in India. One strategy adopted by several states to make rural service attractive for medical graduates is to reserve post-graduate (PG) seats in medical colleges for doctors serving in the public sector.
This study examines the PG reservation scheme in Andhra Pradesh to understand its role in improving rural recruitment of doctors and specialists, the challenges faced by the scheme and how it can be strengthened.
Materials and Methods:
Qualitative case study methodology was adopted in which a variety of stakeholders such as government officials, health systems managers and serving Medical Officers were interviewed. This was supplemented with quantitative data on the scheme obtained from the Health, Medical and Family Welfare Department in Andhra Pradesh.
The PG reservation scheme appears to have been one of the factors responsible in attracting doctors to the public sector and to rural posts, with a reduction in vacancies at both the Primary Health Centre and Community Health Centre levels. Expectedly, in-service candidates have a better chance of getting a PG seat than general candidates. However, problems such as the mismatch of the demand and supply of certain types of specialist doctors, poor academic performance of in-service candidates as well as quality of services and enforcement of the post-PG bond need to be resolved.
The PG reservation scheme is a powerful incentive to attract doctors to rural areas. However, better monitoring of service quality, strategically aligning PG training through the scheme with the demand for specialists as well as stricter enforcement of the financial bond are required to improve the scheme's effectiveness.
PMCID: PMC3612293  PMID: 23559700
Andhra Pradesh; bond; medical education; post-graduate; rural service
9.  The impact of shift patterns on junior doctors' perceptions of fatigue, training, work/life balance and the role of social support 
The organisation of junior doctors' work hours has been radically altered following the partial implementation of the European Working Time Directive. Poorly designed shift schedules cause excessive disruption to shift workers' circadian rhythms.
Interviews and focus groups were used to explore perceptions among junior doctors and hospital managers regarding the impact of the European Working Time Directive on patient care and doctors' well-being.
Four main themes were identified. Under “Doctors shift rotas”, doctors deliberated the merits and demerits of working seven nights in row. They also discussed the impact on fatigue of long sequences of day shifts. “Education and training” focused on concerns about reduced on-the-job learning opportunities under the new working time arrangements and also about the difficulties of finding time and energy to study. “Work/life balance” reflected the conflict between the positive aspects of working on-call or at night and the impact on life outside work. “Social support structures” focused on the role of morale and team spirit. Good support structures in the work place counteracted and compensated for the effects of negative role stressors, and arduous and unsocial work schedules.
The impact of junior doctors' work schedules is influenced by the nature of specific shift sequences, educational considerations, issues of work/life balance and by social support systems. Poorly designed shift rotas can have negative impacts on junior doctors' professional performance and educational training, with implications for clinical practice, patient care and the welfare of junior doctors.
PMCID: PMC3002836  PMID: 21127102
Shift patterns; junior doctors; fatigue; patient care; safety; qualitative research
10.  GP recruitment and retention: a qualitative analysis of doctors' comments about training for and working in general practice. 
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: General practice in the UK is experiencing difficulty with medical staff recruitment and retention, with reduced numbers choosing careers in general practice or entering principalships, and increases in less-than-full-time working, career breaks, early retirement and locum employment. Information is scarce about the reasons for these changes and factors that could increase recruitment and retention. The UK Medical Careers Research Group (UKMCRG) regularly surveys cohorts of UK medical graduates to determine their career choices and progression. We also invite written comments from respondents about their careers and the factors that influence them. Most respondents report high levels of job satisfaction. A noteworthy minority, however, make critical comments about general practice. Although their views may not represent those of all general practitioners (GPs), they nonetheless indicate a range of concerns that deserve to be understood. This paper reports on respondents' comments about general practice. ANALYSIS OF DOCTORS' COMMENTS: Training Greater exposure to general practice at undergraduate level could help to promote general practice careers and better inform career decisions. Postgraduate general practice training in hospital-based posts was seen as poor quality, irrelevant and run as if it were of secondary importance to service commitments. In contrast, general practice-based postgraduate training was widely praised for good formal teaching that met educational needs. The quality of vocational training was dependent upon the skills and enthusiasm of individual trainers. Recruitment problems Perceived deterrents to choosing general practice were its portrayal, by some hospital-based teachers, as a second class career compared to hospital medicine, and a perception of low morale amongst current GPs. The choice of a career in general practice was commonly made for lifestyle reasons rather than professional aspirations. Some GPs had encountered difficulties in obtaining posts in general practice suited to their needs, while others perceived discrimination. Newly qualified GPs often sought work as non-principals because they felt too inexperienced for partnership or because their domestic situation prevented them from settling in a particular area. Changes to general practice The 1990 National Health Service (NHS) reforms were largely viewed unfavourably, partly because they had led to a substantial increase in GPs' workloads that was compounded by growing public expectations, and partly because the two-tier system of fund-holding was considered unfair. Fund-holding and, more recently, GP commissioning threatened the GP's role as patient advocate by shifting the responsibility for rationing of health care from government to GPs. Some concerns were also expressed about the introduction of primary care groups (PCGs) and trusts (PCTs). Together, increased workload and the continual process of change had, for some, resulted in work-related stress, low morale, reduced job satisfaction and quality of life. These problems had been partially alleviated by the formation of GP co-operatives. Retention difficulties Loss of GPs' time from the NHS workforce occurs in four ways: reduced working hours, temporary career breaks, leaving the NHS to work elsewhere and early retirement. Child rearing and a desire to pursue interests outside medicine were cited as reasons for seeking shorter working hours or career breaks. A desire to reduce pressure of work was a common reason for seeking shorter working hours, taking career breaks, early retirement or leaving NHS general practice. Other reasons for leaving NHS general practice, temporarily or permanently, were difficulty in finding a GP post suited to individual needs and a desire to work abroad. CONCLUSIONS: A cultural change amongst medical educationalists is needed to promote general practice as a career choice that is equally attractive as hospital practice. The introduction of Pre-Registration House Officer (PRHO) placements in general practice and improved flexibility of GP vocational training schemes, together with plans to improve the quality of Senior House Officer (SHO) training in the future, are welcome developments and should address some of the concerns about poor quality GP training raised by our respondents. The reluctance of newly qualified GPs to enter principalships, and the increasing demand from experienced GPs for less-than-full-time work, indicates a need for a greater variety of contractual arrangements to reflect doctors' desires for more flexible patterns of working in general practice.
PMCID: PMC2560447  PMID: 12049026
11.  Work patterns and fatigue‐related risk among junior doctors 
To reduce fatigue‐related risk among junior doctors, recent initiatives in Europe and the USA have introduced limits on work hours. However, research in other industries has highlighted that other aspects of work patterns are important in generating fatigue, in addition to total work hours. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has proposed a more comprehensive fatigue risk management approach.
To evaluate the work patterns of New Zealand junior doctors based on the AMA approach, examining relationships between different aspects of work and fatigue‐related outcomes.
An anonymous questionnaire mailed to all house officers and registrars dealt with demographics, work patterns, sleepiness, fatigue‐related clinical errors, and support for coping with work demands. Each participant was assigned a total fatigue risk score combining 10 aspects of work patterns and sleep in the preceding week.
The response rate was 63% (1366 questionnaires from doctors working ⩾40 hours a week). On fatigue measures, 30% of participants scored as excessively sleepy (Epworth Sleepiness Score >10), 24% reported falling asleep driving home since becoming a doctor, 66% had felt close to falling asleep at the wheel in the past 12 months, and 42% recalled a fatigue‐related clinical error in the past 6 months. Night work and schedule instability were independently associated with more fatigue measures than was total hours worked, after controlling for demographic factors, The total risk score was a significant independent risk factor for all fatigue measures, in a dose‐dependent manner (all p<0.01). Regular access to adequate supervision at work reduced the risk of fatigue on all measures.
To reduce fatigue‐related risk among junior doctors, account must be taken of factors in addition to total hours of work and duration of rest breaks. The AMA fatigue risk assessment model offers a useful example of a more comprehensive approach.
PMCID: PMC2078416  PMID: 17387138
fatigue; work patterns; fatigue risk management; national fatigue survey; junior doctors
12.  e-Health, m-Health and healthier social media reform: the big scale view 
In the upcoming decade, digital platforms will be the backbone of a strategic revolution in the way medical services are provided, affecting both healthcare providers and patients. Digital-based patient-centered healthcare services allow patients to actively participate in managing their own care, in times of health as well as illness, using personally tailored interactive tools. Such empowerment is expected to increase patients’ willingness to adopt actions and lifestyles that promote health as well as improve follow-up and compliance with treatment in cases of chronic illness. Clalit Health Services (CHS) is the largest HMO in Israel and second largest world-wide. Through its 14 hospitals, 1300 primary and specialized clinics, and 650 pharmacies, CHS provides comprehensive medical care to the majority of Israel’s population (above 4 million members). CHS e-Health wing focuses on deepening patient involvement in managing health, through personalized digital interactive tools. Currently, CHS e-Health wing provides e-health services for 1.56 million unique patients monthly with 2.4 million interactions every month (August 2011). Successful implementation of e-Health solutions is not a sum of technology, innovation and health; rather it’s the expertise of tailoring knowledge and leadership capabilities in multidisciplinary areas: clinical, ethical, psychological, legal, comprehension of patient and medical team engagement etc. The Google Health case excellently demonstrates this point. On the other hand, our success with CHS is a demonstration that e-Health can be enrolled effectively and fast with huge benefits for both patients and medical teams, and with a robust business model.
CHS e-Health core components
They include:
1. The personal health record layer (what the patient can see) presents patients with their own medical history as well as the medical history of their preadult children, including diagnoses, allergies, vaccinations, laboratory results with interpretations in layman’s terms, medications with clear, straightforward explanations regarding dosing instructions, important side effects, contraindications, such as lactation etc., and other important medical information. All personal e-Health services require identification and authorization.
2. The personal knowledge layer (what the patient should know) presents patients with personally tailored recommendations for preventative medicine and health promotion. For example, diabetic patients are push notified regarding their yearly eye exam. The various health recommendations include: occult blood testing, mammography, lipid profile etc. Each recommendation contains textual, visual and interactive content components in order to promote engagement and motivate the patient to actually change his health behaviour.
3. The personal health services layer (what the patient can do) enables patients to schedule clinic visits, order chronic prescriptions, e-consult their physician via secured e-mail, set SMS medication reminders, e-consult a pharmacist regarding personal medications. Consultants’ answers are sent securely to the patients’ personal mobile device.
On December 2009 CHS launched secured, web based, synchronous medical consultation via video conference. Currently 11,780 e-visits are performed monthly (May 2011). The medical encounter includes e-prescription and referral capabilities which are biometrically signed by the physician. On December 2010 CHS launched a unique mobile health platform, which is one of the most comprehensive personal m-Health applications world-wide. An essential advantage of mobile devices is their potential to bridge the digital divide. Currently, CHS m-Health platform is used by more than 45,000 unique users, with 75,000 laboratory results views/month, 1100 m-consultations/month and 9000 physician visit scheduling/month.
4. The Bio-Sensing layer (what physiological data the patient can populate) includes diagnostic means that allow remote physical examination, bio-sensors that broadcast various physiological measurements, and smart homecare devices, such as e-Pill boxes that gives seniors, patients and their caregivers the ability to stay at home and live life to its fullest. Monitored data is automatically transmitted to the patient’s Personal Health Record and to relevant medical personnel.
The monitoring layer is embedded in the chronic disease management platform, and in the interactive health promotion and wellness platform. It includes tailoring of consumer-oriented medical devices and service provided by various professional personnel—physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians and more.
5. The Social layer (what the patient can share). Social media networks triggered an essential change at the humanity ‘genome’ level, yet to be further defined in the upcoming years. Social media has huge potential in promoting health as it combines fun, simple yet extraordinary user experience, and bio-social-feedback. There are two major challenges in leveraging health care through social networks:
a. Our personal health information is the cornerstone for personalizing healthier lifestyle, disease management and preventative medicine. We naturally see our personal health data as a super-private territory. So, how do we bring the power of our private health information, currently locked within our Personal Health Record, into social media networks without offending basic privacy issues?
b. Disease management and preventive medicine are currently neither considered ‘cool’ nor ‘fun’ or ‘potentially highly viral’ activities; yet, health is a major issue of everybody’s life. It seems like we are missing a crucial element with a huge potential in health behavioural change—the Fun Theory. Social media platforms comprehends user experience tools that potentially could break current misconception, and engage people in the daily task of taking better care of themselves.
CHS e-Health innovation team characterized several break-through applications in this unexplored territory within social media networks, fusing personal health and social media platforms without offending privacy. One of the most crucial issues regarding adoption of e-health and m-health platforms is change management. Being a ‘hot’ innovative ‘gadget’ is far from sufficient for changing health behaviours at the individual and population levels.
CHS health behaviour change management methodology includes 4 core elements:
1. Engaging two completely different populations: patients, and medical teams. e-Health applications must present true added value for both medical teams and patients, engaging them through understanding and assimilating “what’s really in it for me”. Medical teams are further subdivided into physicians, nurses, pharmacists and administrative personnel—each with their own driving incentive. Resistance to change is an obstacle in many fields but it is particularly true in the conservative health industry. To successfully manage a large scale persuasive process, we treat intra-organizational human resources as “Change Agents”. Harnessing the persuasive power of ~40,000 employees requires engaging them as the primary target group. Successful recruitment has the potential of converting each patient-medical team interaction into an exposure opportunity to the new era of participatory medicine via e-health and m-health channels.
2. Implementation waves: every group of digital health products that are released at the same time are seen as one project. Each implementation wave leverages the focus of the organization and target populations to a defined time span. There are three major and three minor implementation waves a year.
3. Change-Support Arrow: a structured infrastructure for every implementation wave. The sub-stages in this strategy include:
Cross organizational mapping and identification of early adopters and stakeholders relevant to the implementation wave
Mapping positive or negative perceptions and designing specific marketing approaches for the distinct target groups
Intra and extra organizational marketing
Conducting intensive training and presentation sessions for groups of implementers
Running conflict-prevention activities, such as advanced tackling of potential union resistance
Training change-agents with resistance-management behavioural techniques, focused intervention for specific incidents and for key opinion leaders
Extensive presence in the clinics during the launch period, etc.
The entire process is monitored and managed continuously by a review team.
4. Closing Phase: each wave is analyzed and a “lessons-learned” session concludes the changes required in the modus operandi of the e-health project team.
PMCID: PMC3571141
e-Health; mobile health; personal health record; online visit; patient empowerment; knowledge prescription
13.  Senior physiotherapy students as standardised patients for junior students enhances self-efficacy and satisfaction in both junior and senior students 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:105.
Standardised patients are used in medical education to expose students to clinical contexts and facilitate transition to clinical practice, and this approach is gaining momentum in physiotherapy programs. Expense and availability of trained standardised patients are factors limiting widespread adoption, and accessing clinical visits with real patients can be challenging. This study addressed these issues by engaging senior students as standardised patients for junior students. It evaluated how this approach impacted self-reported constructs of both the junior and senior students.
Learning activities for undergraduate physiotherapy students were developed in five courses (Neurology, Cardiorespiratory and three Musculoskeletal courses) so that junior students (Year 2 and 3) could develop skills and confidence in patient interview, physical examination and patient management through their interaction with standardised patients played by senior students (Year 4). Surveys were administered before and after the interactions to record junior students’ self-reported confidence, communication, preparedness for clinic, and insight into their abilities; and senior students’ confidence and insight into what it is like to be a patient. Satisfaction regarding this learning approach was surveyed in both the junior and senior students.
A total of 253 students completed the surveys (mean 92.5% response rate). Across all courses, junior students reported a significant (all P < 0.037) improvement following the standardised patient interaction in their: preparedness for clinic, communication with clients, confidence with practical skills, and understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in relation to the learning activities. Senior students demonstrated a significant improvement in their confidence in providing feedback and insight into their own learning (P < 0.001). All students reported high satisfaction with this learning experience (mean score 8.5/10).
This new approach to peer-assisted learning using senior students as standardised patients resulted in positive experiences for both junior and senior students across a variety of physiotherapy areas, activities, and stages within a physiotherapy program. These findings support the engagement of senior students as standardised patients to enhance learning within physiotherapy programs, and may have application across other disciplines to address challenges associated with accessing real patients via clinical visits or utilising actors as standardised patients.
PMCID: PMC4035716  PMID: 24885224
Standardised patient; Peer-assisted learning; Physiotherapy
14.  Will our junior doctors be ready for the next major incident? A questionnaire audit on major incident awareness across three NHS Trusts in Wales 
BMJ Open  2011;1(1):e000061.
The aim was to assess junior doctors' understanding of their role in the Major Incident Contingency Plan at their hospital, and to evaluate the effectiveness of a teaching intervention on increasing awareness.
In this audit, ‘junior doctor’ refers to the first 2 years of work after qualifying from medical school. Once a major incident is confirmed, junior doctors should go to their ward, contact the senior nurse in charge and compile a list of the patients who could safely be discharged from the hospital. This action is standard across NHS Trusts in Wales.
A questionnaire was given to 89 junior doctors across three NHS Trusts in Wales. It involved general aspects of a major incident, as well as ascertaining perceptions of their role as junior doctors. They then received formal teaching by Emergency Planning Faculty. Following this, a repeat questionnaire was completed.
91% felt they did not know what would be expected of them during a major incident; 47% would initially go to the Emergency Department; 27% were unclear where to go; 31% were unaware who to contact on hearing of a major incident; and 16% would telephone switchboard. Junior doctors believe their primary role would be triage (16%); clerking in the emergency department (36%); clerking in Medical Assessment Unit/Surgical Assessment Unit (17%); and practical work (15%). Only 3% would first go to their ward; 12% believe their primary role would involve patients on the ward; and only 1% would list patients for discharge. 90% of completed questionnaires included a request for teaching. Following teaching, 97% knew who to call, where to go and what to do during a major incident.
Junior doctors' awareness of major incidents within Wales was near absent prior to teaching. This teaching is vital to help ensure smooth running of the hospital on the day.
Article summary
Article focus
Are junior doctors aware of their role during a major incident?
How effective is a teaching intervention on improving awareness?
Key messages
This audit is the first of its kind to assess the understanding of major incident roles within Wales.
Awareness of major incidents was near absent prior to teaching.
Teaching is highly effective, and the vast majority of junior doctors wish to learn about it.
Strengths and limitations of this study
Three of the seven NHS Trusts in Wales were included in the audit. These Trusts were located in both the north and the south of Wales, giving a good reflection of major incident awareness across the country.
A limitation of the audit was that the second questionnaire was completed within one day of the teaching; it did not assess the longer-term retention of this knowledge.
PMCID: PMC3191403  PMID: 22021743
15.  Nutrition education and leadership for improved clinical outcomes: training and supporting junior doctors to run ‘Nutrition Awareness Weeks’ in three NHS hospitals across England 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:109.
One in four adults are estimated to be at medium to high risk of malnutrition when screened using the ‘Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool’ upon admission to hospital in the United Kingdom. The Need for Nutrition Education/Education Programme (NNEdPro) Group was developed to address this issue and the Nutrition Education and Leadership for Improved Clinical Outcomes (NELICO) is a project within this group.
The objective of NELICO was to assess whether an intensive training intervention combining clinical and public health nutrition, organisational management and leadership strategies, could equip junior doctors to contribute to improvement in nutrition awareness among healthcare professionals in the National Health Service in England.
Three junior doctors were self-selected from the NNEdPro Group original training. Each junior doctor recruited three additional team members to attend an intensive training weekend incorporating nutrition, change management and leadership. This equipped them to run nutrition awareness weeks in their respective hospitals. Knowledge, attitudes and practices were evaluated at baseline as well as one and four months post-training as a quality assurance measure. The number and type of educational events held, pre-awareness week Online Hospital Survey results, attendance and qualitative feedback from training sessions, effectiveness of dissemination methods such as awareness stalls, Hospital Nutrition Attitude Survey results and overall feedback were also used to determine impact.
When the weighted average score for knowledge, attitudes and practices at baseline was compared with four months post-intervention scores, there was a significant increase in the overall score (p = 0.03). All three hospital teams conducted an effective nutrition awareness week, as determined by qualitative data collected from interviews and feedback from educational sessions.
The NELICO project and its resulting nutrition awareness weeks were considered innovative in terms of concept and content. It was considered useful, both for the junior doctors who showed improvement in their nutrition knowledge and reported enthusiasm and for the hospital setting, increasing awareness of clinical and public health nutrition among healthcare professionals. The NELICO project is one innovative method to promote nutrition awareness in tomorrow’s doctors and shows they have the enthusiasm and drive to be nutrition champions.
PMCID: PMC4059452  PMID: 24885676
Nutrition; Education; Medical; Doctors
16.  Using telecare in the development of learning disability services in Gloucestershire 
Gloucestershire Learning Disability Partnership is a collaborative service of NHS Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire County Council. It serves over 2500 people with a learning disability and is currently working to incorporate telecare and telehealth into its mainstream services. We believe this proposed presentation would fit under the Developing Applications at Scale category. The Partnership Commissioners recognising the internal barriers to effecting telecare and telehealth applications commissioned a service from external providers which substantially improved service and reduced costs as compared with in-house telecare assessments and implementation. A new partnership was established with two external providers: Allied Health care/Tunstall. Their work is exemplified in the attached case study. The Learning Disability Partnership is now able to commission the evaluation of requirements, establishing the baseline and effecting the necessary changes in a continuous stream. This is now being rolled out across the county for learning disability services.
The presentation would follow the following format: The barriers to success: the internal barriers which prevented telecare and telehealth from happening. How we get in our own way to making change happen.How we commissioned around the barriers and achieved success.The case study and other examples of significant service improvements and savings.The next generation:At the front end of services the partnership is now actively using teleprompting, geofencing and GPS systems to facilitate the enablement of people with a learning disability and enhance their abilities to be independent. Service users express delight in having control of their own lives versus having ‘support workers’ follow them around (DVD available).Q and A. The main presenter would be Chris Haynes, an accomplished international speaker winner of the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal for Public Service and currently Joint Commissioner of Learning Disability Services.
There will be representatives from Allied and Tunstall on hand to discuss their involvement and how it works.
PMCID: PMC3571180
partnerships; value for money; independence; commissioning; success
17.  Physician perspectives on resuscitation status and DNR order in elderly cancer patients 
To evaluate the process of placing DNR order in elderly cancer patients in practice and analysis of physician perspectives on the issue.
Decision not to resuscitate (DNR/DNAR) is part of practice in elderly cancer care. Physicians issue such orders when a patient is suffering from irreversible disease and the patient's life is coming to an end. Modern practice emphasises the need of communication with the patients and their relatives while issuing a DNR. The decision making process of placing DNR can be quite daunting. The moral and ethical dimensions surrounding such a decision make it a contentious topic.
Materials and methods
We searched the literature to find relevant works that would help physicians and especially the junior health care staff in dealing with the complexities. In this article, we discuss the issues that physicians encounter whilst dealing with a DNR order in elderly cancer patients.
There are no objective adjuncts or guidelines directed towards the approach of placing a DNR in elderly cancer patients. Better communication with the patients and relatives when making such decision remains a very important aspect of a DNR decision. Most health care staff find themselves ill equipped to deal with such situation. Active training and briefing of junior staff would help them deal better with the stresses involved in this process.
There are complex psychosocial, medical, ethical and emotive aspects associated with placing a DNR order. Patients and their loved ones and the junior staff involved in the care of patient need early communication and briefing for better acceptance of DNR. Studies that could devise or identify tools or recommendations would be welcome.
PMCID: PMC3863213  PMID: 24381748
Cancer in the elderly; Resuscitation; DNR; Advanced directives
18.  Junior doctors' hours: what do they really think? 
Junior doctors' hours are one of the most controversial topics under debate in the health service today. We undertook a detailed postal questionnaire of hospital doctors in training within a major teaching unit in order to assess the awareness and perceived implications of the incipient changes and to elucidate how it was felt these changes would affect both the doctors and patients. The questionnaire focused specifically on the effect of the changes on quality and continuity of patient care, junior training and socio-economic factors relating to the medical staff. The questionnaire was entirely anonymous and carried only the first author name but provision was made to determine current grade, specialty, age, sex and career plans of the respondents. Importantly, space was included at the end for pertinent comments. All junior staff in training in all specialties in the Cardiff area were circulated. Three hundred and twenty-six questionnaires were sent out and 202 were returned of which 192 were properly completed (59%). Almost everyone was au fait with the proposed changes. There was a surprisingly high level of support for changes among non-surgical trainees, and half felt that quality of care would improve, though the more senior the trainee, the less enthusiastic they were in all aspects. Many felt that far too little consultation with junior staff had taken place and there was generalized criticism of general practitioner trainees by their specializing counterparts, partly because of a perceived lack of commitment and partly because of blame of this group for the inception of the changes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC1294562  PMID: 7632195
19.  Integration of HIV care into maternal health services: a crucial change required in improving quality of obstetric care in countries with high HIV prevalence 
The failure to reduce preventable maternal deaths represents a violation of women’s right to life, health, non-discrimination and equality. Maternal deaths result from weaknesses in health systems: inadequate financing of services, poor information systems, inefficient logistics management and most important, the lack of investment in the most valuable resource, the human resource of health workers. Inadequate senior leadership, poor communication and low staff morale are cited repeatedly in explaining low quality of healthcare. Vertical programmes undermine other service areas by creating competition for scarce skilled staff, separate reporting systems and duplication of training and tasks.
Confidential enquiries and other quality-improvement activities have identified underlying causes of maternal deaths, but depend on the health system to respond with remedies. Instead of separate vertical programmes for management of HIV, tuberculosis, and reproductive health, integration of care and joint management of pregnancy and HIV would be more effective. Addressing health system failures that lead to each woman’s death would have a wider impact on improving the quality of care provided in the health service as a whole. More could be achieved if existing resources were used more effectively. The challenge for African countries is how to get into practice interventions known from research to be effective in improving quality of care. Advocacy and commitment to saving women’s lives are crucial elements for campaigns to influence governments and policy -makers to act on the findings of these enquiries. Health professional training curricula should be updated to include perspectives on patients’ rights, communication skills, and integrated approaches, while using adult learning methods and problem-solving techniques.
In countries with high rates of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), indirect causes of maternal deaths from HIV-associated infections now exceed direct causes of hemorrhage, hypertension and sepsis. Advocacy for all pregnant HIV-positive women to be on anti-retroviral therapy must extend to improvements in the quality of service offered, better organised obstetric services and integration of clinical HIV care into maternity services. Improved communication and specialist support to peripheral facilities can be facilitated through advances in technology such as mobile phones.
PMCID: PMC3684553  PMID: 23758987
Maternal mortality; HIV; Health systems; Quality of obstetric care; Southern Africa; Integrated HIV and maternity services
20.  Psychosocial Factors That Shape Patient and Carer Experiences of Dementia Diagnosis and Treatment: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(10):e1001331.
A systematic review of qualitative studies conducted by Frances Bunn and colleagues identifies and describes the experiences of patients and caregivers on receiving and adapting to a diagnosis of dementia.
Early diagnosis and intervention for people with dementia is increasingly considered a priority, but practitioners are concerned with the effects of earlier diagnosis and interventions on patients and caregivers. This systematic review evaluates the qualitative evidence about how people accommodate and adapt to the diagnosis of dementia and its immediate consequences, to guide practice.
Methods and Findings
We systematically reviewed qualitative studies exploring experiences of community-dwelling individuals with dementia, and their carers, around diagnosis and the transition to becoming a person with dementia. We searched PubMed, PsychINFO, Embase, CINAHL, and the British Nursing Index (all searched in May 2010 with no date restrictions; PubMed search updated in February 2012), checked reference lists, and undertook citation searches in PubMed and Google Scholar (ongoing to September 2011). We used thematic synthesis to identify key themes, commonalities, barriers to earlier diagnosis, and support identified as helpful. We identified 126 papers reporting 102 studies including a total of 3,095 participants. Three overarching themes emerged from our analysis: (1) pathways through diagnosis, including its impact on identity, roles, and relationships; (2) resolving conflicts to accommodate a diagnosis, including the acceptability of support, focusing on the present or the future, and the use or avoidance of knowledge; and (3) strategies and support to minimise the impact of dementia. Consistent barriers to diagnosis include stigma, normalisation of symptoms, and lack of knowledge. Studies report a lack of specialist support particularly post-diagnosis.
There is an extensive body of qualitative literature on the experiences of community-dwelling individuals with dementia on receiving and adapting to a diagnosis of dementia. We present a thematic analysis that could be useful to professionals working with people with dementia. We suggest that research emphasis should shift towards the development and evaluation of interventions, particularly those providing support after diagnosis.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Editors' Summary
Dementia is a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer disease is the most common type of dementia. People with dementia usually have problems with two or more cognitive functions—thinking, language, memory, understanding, and judgment. Dementia is rare before the age of 65, but about a quarter of people over 85 have dementia. Because more people live longer these days, the number of patients with dementia is increasing. It is estimated that today between 40 and 50 million people live with dementia worldwide. By 2050, this number is expected to triple.
One way to study what dementia means to patients and their carers (most often spouses or other family members) is through qualitative research. Qualitative research aims to develop an in-depth understanding of individuals' experiences and behavior, as well as the reasons for their feelings and actions. In qualitative studies, researchers interview patients, their families, and doctors. When the studies are published, they usually contain direct quotations from interviews as well as summaries by the scientists who designed the interviews and analyzed the responses.
Why Was This Study Done?
This study was done to better understand the experiences and attitudes of patients and their carers surrounding dementia diagnosis. It focused on patients who lived and were cared for within the community (as opposed to people living in senior care facilities or other institutions). Most cases of dementia are progressive, meaning symptoms get worse over time. Diagnosis often happens at an advanced stage of the disease, and some patients never receive a formal diagnosis. This could have many possible reasons, including unawareness or denial of symptoms by patients and people close to them. The study was also trying to understand barriers to early diagnosis and what type of support is useful for newly diagnosed patients and carers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers conducted a systematic search for published qualitative research studies that reported on the experience, beliefs, feelings, and attitudes surrounding dementia diagnosis. They identified and reviewed 102 such studies. Among the quotations and summaries of the individual studies, they looked for prominent and recurring themes. They also compared and contrasted the respective experiences of patients and carers.
Overall, they found that the complexity and variety of responses to a diagnosis of dementia means that making the diagnosis and conveying it to patients and carers is challenging. Negative connotations associated with dementia, inconsistent symptoms, and not knowing enough about the signs and symptoms were commonly reported barriers to early dementia diagnosis. It was often the carer who initiated the search for help from a doctor, and among patients, willingness and readiness to receive a diagnosis varied. Being told one had dementia had a big impact on a patient's identity and often caused feelings of loss, anger, fear, and frustration. Spouses had to adjust to increasingly unequal relationships and the transition to a role as carer. The strain associated with this often caused health problems in the carers as well. On the other hand, studies examining the experience of couples often reported that they found ways to continue working together as a team.
Adjusting to a dementia diagnosis is a complex process. Initially, most patients and carers experienced conflicts, for example, between autonomy and safety, between recognizing the need for help but reluctance to accept it, or between living in the present and dealing with anxiety about and preparing for the future. As these were resolved and as the disease progressed, the attitudes of patients and carers towards dementia often became more balanced and accepting. Many patients and their families adopted strategies to cope with the impact of dementia on their lives in order to manage the disease and maintain some sort of normal life. These included practical strategies involving reminders, social strategies such as relying on family support, and emotional strategies such as using humor. At some point many patients and carers reported that they were able to adopt positive mindsets and incorporate dementia in their lives.
The studies also pointed to an urgent need for support from outside the family, both right after diagnosis and subsequently. General practitioners and family physicians have important roles in helping patients and carers to get access to information, social and psychological support, and community care. The need for information was reported to be ongoing and varied, and meeting it required a variety of sources and formats. Key needs for patients and carers mentioned in the studies include information on financial aids and entitlements early on, and continued access to supportive professionals and specialists.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Qualitative studies to date on how patients and carers respond to a diagnosis of dementia provide a fairly detailed picture of their experiences. The summary provided here should help professionals to understand better the challenges patients and carers face around the time of diagnosis as well as their immediate and evolving needs. The results also suggest that future research should focus on the development and evaluation of ways to meet those needs.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
Wikipedia has pages on dementia and qualitative research (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
Alzheimer Europe, an umbrella organization of 34 Alzheimer associations from 30 countries across Europe, has a page on the different approaches to research
The UK Department of Health has pages on dementia, including guidelines for carers of people with dementia
MedlinePlus also has information about dementia
PMCID: PMC3484131  PMID: 23118618
21.  Should We Be Teaching Information Management Instead of Evidence-based Medicine? 
To encourage high-quality patient care guided by the best evidence, many medical schools and residencies are teaching techniques for critically evaluating the medical literature. While a large step forward in many regards, these skills of evidence-based medicine are necessary but not sufficient for the practice of contemporary medicine and surgery. Incorporating the best evidence into the real world of busy clinical practice requires the applied science of information management. Clinicians must learn the techniques and skills to focus on finding, evaluating, and using information at the point of care. This information must be both relevant to themselves and their patients and be valid.
Where are we now?
Today, orthopaedic surgery is in the post-Flexner era of passive didactic learning combined with the practical experience of surgery as taught by supervising experts. The medical student and house officer fill their memory with mountains of facts and classic references ‘just in case’ that information is needed. With libraries and now internet repositories of orthopaedic information, all orthopaedic knowledge can be readily accessed without having to store much in one’s memory. Evidence is often trumped by the opinion of a teacher or expert in the field.
Where do we need to go?
To improve the quality of orthopaedic surgery there should be application of the best evidence, changing practice where needed when evidence is available. To apply evidence, the evidence has to find a way into practice without the long pipeline of change that now exists. Evidence should trump opinion and unfounded practices.
How do we get there?
To create a curriculum and learning space for information management requires effort on the part of medical schools, residency programs and health systems. Internet sources need to be created that have the readily available evidence-based answers to patient issues so surgeons do not need to spend all the time necessary to research the questions on their own. Information management is built on a platform created by EBM but saves the surgeon time and improves accuracy by having experts validate the evidence and make it easily available.
PMCID: PMC3049623  PMID: 20496022
22.  Medical restrictions to driving: the awareness of patients and doctors 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  1999;75(887):537-539.
The study was set up to investigate the awareness of elderly patients and medical doctors of medical restrictions to driving. Separate questionnaires were completed by patients and doctors. All were interviewed face-to-face, without prior warning and their immediate answers were recorded. In total, 150 elderly patients from the acute elderly care wards, rehabilitation wards and day hospital, and 50 doctors (including all grades from consultant to junior house officer) were interviewed. The main outcome measures were numbers of patients currently driving and previously driving; patients' awareness of how their medical condition affected their ability to drive; doctors' spontaneous knowledge of medical conditions which restrict driving, current licensing policy, and restrictions for five specific medical conditions (epilepsy, myocardial infarction, stroke, 5-cm abdominal aortic aneurysm, and diabetes). Only 21 patients were current drivers, and six of these should not have been driving. While 103 perceived themselves eligible to drive, 46 had medical restrictions to driving. Seventeen of the 47 patients who perceived themselves not eligible to drive possibly did not have restrictions to driving. Doctors' knowledge of the current licensing policy and action to be taken if a patient was not eligible to drive was very poor. Knowledge of medical restrictions to driving was scanty, with few doctors giving the correct driving restrictions for the five specific conditions. We recommend that education of doctors regarding medical restrictions to driving should begin at an undergraduate level and be continued throughout their postgraduate career.

Keywords: driving restrictions; elderly
PMCID: PMC1741350  PMID: 10616686
23.  The Doctor Will See You Shortly 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2005;20(11):1057-1062.
Many physicians and health care leaders express concern about the amount of time available for clinical practice. While debates rage on about how much time is truly available, the perception that time is inadequate is now pervasive. This perception has ethical significance, because it may cause clinicians to forego activities and behaviors that promote important aspects of the patient-physician relationship, to shortcut shared decision making, and to fall short of obligations to act as patient advocates. Furthermore, perceived time constraints can hinder the just distribution of physician time. Although creating more time in the clinical encounter would certainly address these ethical concerns, specific strategies—many of which do not take significantly more time—can effectively change the perception that time is inadequate. These approaches are critical for clinicians and health systems to maintain their ethical commitments and simultaneously deal with the realities of time.
PMCID: PMC1490262  PMID: 16307634
medical ethics; time management; patient-physician relations
24.  Survey of junior hospital doctors' attitudes to cardiopulmonary resuscitation 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2002;78(921):413-415.
Most cardiac arrest teams are made up of junior doctors. The stressful effect of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on doctors has not previously been established. A questionnaire was sent to all 52 junior doctors who participated in the cardiac arrest team at a district general hospital. Forty one questionnaires were returned by 22 junior house officers, 12 senior house officers, and seven specialist registrars. The questionnaire was anonymous so non-responders could not be recontacted. Seventy three per cent found CPR stressful. The main reason for stress was the inappropriateness of CPR on the individual patient (12), poor outcome (13), no advanced life support (ALS) course (4), and the procedure itself (4). Fifty four per cent felt the number of inappropriate CPR had increased in the last six months with the main reason given (48%) being failure of senior staff to make "do not resuscitate" orders. Ninety seven per cent felt some CPRs were inappropriate; 70% felt a debriefing session should occur after CPR, while 88% reported not having one. Seventy six per cent felt competent at performing CPR, 22% felt incompetent of whom none had undergone ALS training. Fifty eight per cent found it difficult to discuss CPR with patients; 46% found it difficult to discuss CPR with relatives.
Most junior doctors feel stress from CPR. Adequate review by senior doctors with documentation of do not resuscitate orders where appropriate, after discussion with patients, might be beneficial. Adequate training, improving communication skills, and support for junior doctors in the cardiac arrest team need to be reviewed since improvement in these areas may reduce stress.
PMCID: PMC1742414  PMID: 12151657
25.  Revisiting current “barefoot doctors” in border areas of China: system of services, financial issue and clinical practice prior to introducing integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:620.
Under-5-years child mortality remains high in rural China. Integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) was introduced to China in 1998, but only a few rural areas have been included. This study aimed at assessing the current situation of the health system of rural health care and evaluating the clinical competency of village doctors in management of childhood illnesses prior to implementing IMCI programme in remote border rural areas.
The study was carried out in the border areas of Puer prefecture of Yunnan province. There were 182 village doctors in the list of the health bureau in these border areas. Of these, 154 (84.6%) were recruited into the study. The local health system components were investigated using a qualitative approach and analyzed with triangulation of information from different sources. The clinical component was assessed objectively and quantitatively presented using descriptive statistics.
The study found that the New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme (NRCMS) coordinated the health insurance system and the provider service through 3 tiers: village doctor, township and county hospitals. The 30 RMB per person per year premium did not cover the referral cost, and thereby decreased the number of referrals. In contrast to available treatment facilities and drug supply, the level of basic medical education of village doctors and township doctors was low. Discontent among village doctors was common, especially concerning low rates of return from the service, exceptions being procedures such as injections, which in fact may create moral hazards to the patients. Direct observation on the assessment and management of paediatric patients by village doctors revealed inadequate history taking and physical examination, inability to detect potentially serious complications, overprescription of injection and antibiotics, and underprescription of oral rehydration salts and poor quality of counseling.
There is a need to improve health finance and clinical competency of the village doctors in the study area.
PMCID: PMC3490804  PMID: 22871045
Village doctor; Integrated management of childhood illness; Health service; Clinical competency

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