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1.  Multiple sclerosis in nurse anaesthetists 
Background: Volatile anaesthetics are chemically related to organic solvents used in industry. Exposure to industrial solvents may increase the incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Aim: To examine the risk among nurse anaesthetists of contracting MS.
Methods: Nurses with MS were identified by an appeal in the monthly magazine of the Swedish Nurse Union and a magazine of the Neurological Patients Association in Sweden. Ninety nurses with MS responded and contacted our clinic. They were given a questionnaire, which was filled in by 85 subjects; 13 of these were nurse anaesthetists. The questionnaire requested information about work tasks, exposure, diagnosis, symptoms, and year. The number of active nurse anaesthetists was estimated based on information from the National Board of Health and Welfare and The Nurse Union. Incidence data for women in the region of Gothenburg and Denmark were used as the reference to estimate the risk by calculation of the standardised incidence ratio (SIR).
Results: Eleven of the 13 nurse anaesthetists were exposed to anaesthetic gases before onset of MS. Mean duration of exposure before diagnosis was 14.4 years (range 4–27 years). Ten cases were diagnosed in the study period 1980–99, resulting in significantly increased SIRs of 2.9 and 2.8 with the Gothenburg and the Danish reference data, respectively.
Conclusion: Although based on crude data and a somewhat approximate analysis, this study provides preliminary evidence for an excess risk of MS in nurse anaesthetists. The risk may be even greater than observed, as the case ascertainment might have been incomplete because of the crude method applied. Further studies in this respect are clearly required to more definitely assess the risk.
PMCID: PMC1740375  PMID: 12499460
2.  Usefulness of applying lidocaine in esophagogastroduodenoscopy performed under sedation with propofol 
AIM: To determine whether topical lidocaine benefits esophagogastroduoduenoscopy (EGD) by decreasing propofol dose necessary for sedation or procedure-related complications.
METHODS: The study was designed as a prospective, single centre, double blind, randomised clinical trial and was conducted in 2012 between January and May (NCT01489891). Consecutive patients undergoing EGD were randomly assigned to receive supplemental topical lidocaine (L; 50 mg in an excipient solution which was applied as a spray to the oropharynx) or placebo (P; taste excipients solution without active substance, similarly delivered) prior to the standard propofol sedation procedure. The propofol was administered as a bolus intravenous (iv) dose, with patients in the L and P groups receiving initial doses based on the patient’s American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) classification (ASA I-II: 0.50-0.60 mg/kg; ASA III-IV: 0.25-0.35 mg/kg), followed by 10-20 mg iv dose every 30-60 s at the anaesthetist’s discretion. Vital signs, anthropometric measurements, amount of propofol administered, sedation level reached, examination time, and the subjective assessments of the endoscopist’s and anaesthetist’s satisfaction (based upon a four point Likert scale) were recorded. All statistical tests were performed by the Stata statistical software suite (Release 11, 2009; StataCorp, LP, College Station, TX, United States).
RESULTS: No significant differences were found between the groups treated with lidocaine or placebo in terms of total propofol dose (310.7 ± 139.2 mg/kg per minute vs 280.1 ± 87.7 mg/kg per minute, P = 0.15) or intraprocedural propofol dose (135.3 ± 151.7 mg/kg per minute vs 122.7 ± 96.5 mg/kg per minute, P = 0.58). Only when the L and P groups were analysed with the particular subgroups of female, < 65-year-old, and lower anaesthetic risk level (ASA I-II) was a statistically significant difference found (L: 336.5 ± 141.2 mg/kg per minute vs P: 284.6 ± 91.2 mg/kg per minute, P = 0.03) for greater total propofol requirements). The total incidence of complications was also similar between the two groups, with the L group showing a complication rate of 32.2% (95%CI: 21.6-45.0) and the P group showing a complication rate of 26.7% (95%CI: 17.0-39.0). In addition, the use of lidocaine had no effect on the anaesthetist’s or endoscopist’s satisfaction with the procedure. Thus, the endoscopist’s satisfaction Likert assessments were equally distributed among the L and P groups: unsatisfactory, [L: 6.8% (95%CI: 2.2-15.5) vs P: 0% (95%CI: 0-4.8); neutral, L: 10.1% (95%CI: 4.2-19.9) vs P: 15% (95%CI: 7.6-25.7)]; satisfactory, [L: 25.4% (95%CI: 10-29.6) vs P: 18.3% (95%CI: 15.5-37.6); and very satisfactory, L: 57.6% (95%CI: 54-77.7) vs P: 66.6% (95%CI: 44.8-69.7)]. Likewise, the anaesthetist’s satisfaction Likert assessments regarding the ease of maintaining a patient at an optimum sedation level without agitation or modification of the projected sedation protocol were not affected by the application of lidocaine, as evidenced by the lack of significant differences between the scores for the placebo group: unsatisfactory, L: 5.8% (95%CI: 1.3-13.2) vs P: 0% (95%CI: 0-4.8); neutral, L: 16.9% (95%CI: 8.9-28.4) vs P: 16.7% (95%CI: 8.8-27.7); satisfactory, L: 15.2% (95%CI: 7.7-26.1) vs P: 20.3% (95%CI: 11.3-31.6); and very satisfactory, L: 62.7% (95%CI: 49.9-74.3) vs P: 63.3% (95%CI: 50.6-74.7).
CONCLUSION: Topical pharyngeal anaesthesia is safe in EGD but does not reduce the necessary dose of propofol or improve the anaesthetist’s or endoscopist’s satisfaction with the procedure.
PMCID: PMC3653022  PMID: 23678376
Lidocaine; Propofol; Esophagogastroduodenoscopy; Sedation; Adverse effects
3.  Mortality of doctors in different specialties: findings from a cohort of 20000 NHS hospital consultants. 
OBJECTIVES: To examine patterns of cause specific mortality in NHS hospital consultants according to their specialty and to assess these in the context of potential occupational exposures. METHODS: A historical cohort assembled from Department of Health records with follow up through the NHS Central Register involving 18,358 male and 2168 female NHS hospital consultants employed in England and Wales between 1962 and 1979. Main outcome measures examined were cause specific mortality during 1962-92 in all consultants combined, and separately for 17 specialty groups, with age, sex, and calendar year adjusted standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) for comparison with national rates, and rate ratios (RRs) for comparison with rates in all consultants combined. RESULTS: The 2798 deaths at ages 25 to 74 reported during the 30 year study period were less than half the number expected on the basis of national rates (SMR 48, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 46 to 49). Low mortality was evident for cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, other diseases related to smoking, and particularly for diabetes (SMR 14, 95% CI 6 to 29). Death rates from accidental poisoning were significantly raised among male consultants (SMR 227, 95% CI 135 to 359), the excess being most apparent in obstetricians and gynaecologists (SMR 934); almost all deaths from accidental poisoning involved prescription drugs. A significantly raised death rate from injury and poisoning among female consultants was due largely to a twofold excess of suicide (SMR 215, 95% CI 93 to 423), the rate for this cause being significantly raised in anaesthetists (SMR 405). Compared with all consultants, significantly raised mortality was found in psychiatrists for all causes combined (RR 1.12), ischaemic heart disease (RR 1.18), and injury and poisoning (RR 1.46); in anaesthetists for cirrhosis (RR 2.22); and in radiologists and radiotherapists for respiratory disease (RR 1.68). There were significant excesses of colon cancer in psychiatrists (RR 1.67, compared with all consultants) and ear, nose, and throat surgeons (RR 2.25); melanoma in anaesthetists (RR 3.33); bladder cancer in general surgeons (RR 2.40); and laryngeal cancer in ophthalmologists (RR 7.63). CONCLUSIONS: Lower rates of smoking will have contributed substantially to the low overall death rates found in consultants, but other beneficial health related behaviours, and better access to health care, may have also played a part. The increased risks of accidental poisoning in male consultants, and of suicide in female consultants are of concern, and better preventive measures are needed. The few significant excesses of specific cancers found in certain specialties have no obvious explanation other than chance. A significant excess mortality from cirrhosis in anaesthetists might reflect an occupational hazard and may warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC1128798  PMID: 9245944
4.  Risk of a Second Primary Cancer after Non-melanoma Skin Cancer in White Men and Women: A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(4):e1001433.
Studies have suggested a positive association between history of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and risk of subsequent cancer at other sites. This prospective study found a modestly increased risk of subsequent malignancies among individuals with a history of NMSC, specifically breast and lung cancer in women and melanoma in both men and women.
Previous studies suggest a positive association between history of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and risk of subsequent cancer at other sites. The purpose of this study is to prospectively examine the risk of primary cancer according to personal history of NMSC.
Methods and Findings
In two large US cohorts, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) and the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), we prospectively investigated this association in self-identified white men and women. In the HPFS, we followed 46,237 men from June 1986 to June 2008 (833,496 person-years). In the NHS, we followed 107,339 women from June 1984 to June 2008 (2,116,178 person-years). We documented 29,447 incident cancer cases other than NMSC. Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A personal history of NMSC was significantly associated with a higher risk of other primary cancers excluding melanoma in men (RR = 1.11; 95% CI 1.05–1.18), and in women (RR = 1.20; 95% CI 1.15–1.25). Age-standardized absolute risk (AR) was 176 in men and 182 in women per 100,000 person-years. For individual cancer sites, after the Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons (n = 28), in men, a personal history of NMSC was significantly associated with an increased risk of melanoma (RR = 1.99, AR = 116 per 100,000 person-years). In women, a personal history of NMSC was significantly associated with an increased risk of breast (RR = 1.19, AR = 87 per 100,000 person-years), lung (RR = 1.32, AR = 22 per 100,000 person-years), and melanoma (RR = 2.58, AR = 79 per 100,000 person-years).
This prospective study found a modestly increased risk of subsequent malignancies among individuals with a history of NMSC, specifically breast and lung cancer in women and melanoma in both men and women.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
In the United Kingdom and the United States, about one in three people develop cancer during their lifetime and, worldwide, cancer is responsible for 13% of all deaths. Primary cancer, which can develop anywhere in the body, occurs when a cell begins to divide uncontrollably because of alterations (mutations) in its genes. Additional mutations allow the malignancy to spread around the body (metastasize) and form secondary cancers. The mutations that initiate cancer can be triggered by exposure to carcinogens such as cigarette smoke (lung cancer) or the ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight (skin cancers). Other risk factors for the development of cancer include an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol use. In the United States, the most common cancer is non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Although more than 2 million new cases of NMSC occur each year, fewer than 1,000 people die annually in the United States from the condition because the two types of NMSC—basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma—rarely metastasize and can usually be treated by surgically removing the tumor.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some studies have suggested that people who have had NMSC have a higher risk of developing primary cancer at other sites than people who have not had NMSC. Such a situation could arise if exposure to certain carcinogens initiates both NMSC and other cancers or if NMSC shares a molecular mechanism with other cancers such as a deficiency in the DNA repair mechanisms that normally remove mutations. If people with a history of NMSC are at a greater risk of developing further cancers, a specific surveillance program for such people might help to catch subsequent cancers early when they can be successfully treated. In this prospective cohort study, the researchers examine the risk of primary cancer according to personal history of NMSC in two large US cohorts (groups)—the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) and the Nurses' Health Study (NHS). The HPFS, which enrolled 51,529 male health professionals in 1986, and the NHS, which enrolled 121,700 female nurses in 1976, were both designed to investigate associations between nutritional factors and the incidence of serious illnesses. Study participants completed a baseline questionnaire about their lifestyle, diet and medical history. This information is updated biennially through follow-up questionnaires.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 36,102 new cases of NMSC and 29,447 new cases of other primary cancers from 1984 in white NHS participants and from 1986 in white HPFS participants through 2008. They then used statistical models to investigate whether a personal history of NMSC was associated with a higher risk of subsequent primary cancers after accounting for other factors (confounders) that might affect cancer risk. A history of NMSC was significantly associated with an 11% higher risk of other primary cancers excluding melanoma (another type of skin cancer that, like NMSC, is linked to overexposure to UV light) in men and a 20% higher risk of other primary cancers excluding melanoma in women; a significant association is one that is unlikely to have happened by chance. The absolute risk of a primary cancer among men and women with a history of NMSC was 176 and 182 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. For individual cancer sites, after correction for multiple comparisons (when several conditions are compared in groups of people, statistically significant differences between the groups can occur by chance), a history of NMSC was significantly associated with an increased risk of breast and lung cancer in women and of melanoma in men and women.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that there is a modestly increased risk of subsequent malignancies among white individuals with a history of NMSC. Although the researchers adjusted for many confounding lifestyle factors, the observed association between NMSC and subsequent primary cancers may nevertheless be the result of residual confounding, so it is still difficult to be sure that there is a real biological association (due to, for example, a deficiency in DNA repair) between NMSC and subsequent primary cancers. Because of this and other study limitations, the findings reported here should be interpreted cautiously and do not suggest that individuals who have had NMSC should undergo increased cancer surveillance. These findings do, however, support the need for continued investigation of the apparent relationship between NMSC and subsequent cancers.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Cancer Institute provides information on all aspects of cancer and has detailed information about non-melanoma skin cancer for patients and professionals (in English and Spanish)
The non-profit organization American Cancer Society provides information on cancer and how it develops and specific information on skin cancer (in several languages); its website includes personal stories about cancer
The UK National Health Service Choices website includes an introduction to cancer and a page on non-melanoma skin cancer
The non-profit organization Cancer Research UK provides basic information about cancer and detailed information on non-melanoma skin cancer
PMCID: PMC3635863  PMID: 23630459
5.  Discrepant perceptions of communication, teamwork and situation awareness among surgical team members 
To assess surgical team members’ differences in perception of non-technical skills.
Questionnaire design.
Operating theatres (OTs) at one university hospital, three teaching hospitals and one general hospital in the Netherlands.
Sixty-six surgeons, 97 OT nurses, 18 anaesthetists and 40 nurse anaesthetists.
All surgical team members, of five hospitals, were asked to complete a questionnaire and state their opinion on the current state of communication, teamwork and situation awareness at the OT.
Ratings for ‘communication’ were significantly different, particularly between surgeons and all other team members (P ≤ 0.001). The ratings for ‘teamwork’ differed significantly between all team members (P ≤ 0.005). Within ‘situation awareness’ significant differences were mainly observed for ‘gathering information’ between surgeons and other team members (P < 0.001). Finally, 72–90% of anaesthetists, OT nurses and nurse anaesthetists rated routine team briefings and debriefings as inadequate.
This study shows discrepancies on many aspects in perception between surgeons and other surgical team members concerning communication, teamwork and situation awareness. Future research needs to ascertain whether these discrepancies are linked to greater risk of adverse events or to process as well as systems failures. Establishing this link would support implementation and use of complex team interventions that intervene at multiple levels of the healthcare system.
PMCID: PMC3055275  PMID: 21242160
patient safety; quality of care; teamwork; communication; surgery
6.  Diagnosis-specific disability pension predicts suicidal behaviour and mortality in young adults: a nationwide prospective cohort study 
BMJ Open  2013;3(2):e002286.
Increasing rates of disability pension (DP), particularly owing to mental diagnoses, have been observed among young adults in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. There is a lack of knowledge about the health prognosis in this group. The aim of this study was to investigate whether DP in young adulthood owing to specific mental diagnoses or somatic diagnoses predicts suicidal behaviour and all-cause mortality.
A nationwide prospective cohort study.
A register study of all young adults who in 2005 were 19–23 years old and lived in Sweden. Registers held by the National Board of Health and Welfare, Statistics Sweden and the National Social Insurance Agency were used.
525 276 young adults. Those who in 2005 had DP with mental diagnoses (n=8070) or somatic diagnoses (n=3975) were compared to all the other young adults in the same age group (n=513 231).
Outcome measures
HRs for suicide attempt, suicide and all-cause mortality in 2006–2010 were calculated by Cox proportionate hazard regression models, adjusted for sex, country of birth, parental education and parental and previous own suicidal behaviour.
The adjusted HR for suicide attempt was 3.32 (95% CI 2.98 to 3.69) among those on DP with mental diagnoses and 1.78 (95% CI 1.41 to 2.26) among those on DP with somatic diagnoses. For the specific mental diagnoses, the unadjusted HRs ranged between 2.42 (mental retardation) and 22.94 (personality disorders), while the adjusted HRs ranged between 2.03 (mental retardation) and 6.00 (bipolar disorder). There was an increased risk of mortality for young adults on DP in general, but only those with mental DP diagnoses had a significantly elevated HR of completed suicide with an adjusted HR of 3.92 (95% CI 2.83 to 5.43).
Young adults on DP are at increased risk of suicidal behaviour and preterm death, which emphasises the need for improved treatment and follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3586126  PMID: 23396561
Disability; Suicide; Psychiatry; Registers
7.  Sick but yet at work. An empirical study of sickness presenteeism 
STUDY OBJECTIVE—The study is an empirical investigation of sickness presenteeism in relation to occupation, irreplaceability, ill health, sickness absenteeism, personal income, and slimmed down organisation.
DESIGN—Cross sectional design.
SETTING—Swedish workforce.
PARTICIPANTS—The study group comprised a stratified subsample of 3801 employed persons working at the time of the survey, interviewed by telephone in conjunction with Statistics Sweden's labour market surveys of August and September 1997. The response rate was 87 per cent.
MAIN RESULTS—A third of the persons in the total material reported that they had gone to work two or more times during the preceding year despite the feeling that, in the light of their perceived state of health, they should have taken sick leave. The highest presenteeism is largely to be found in the care and welfare and education sectors (nursing and midwifery professionals, registered nurses, nursing home aides, compulsory school teachers and preschool/primary educationalists. All these groups work in sectors that have faced personnel cutbacks during the 1990s). The risk ratio (odds ratio (OR)) for sickness presenteeism in the group that has to re-do work remaining after a period of absence through sickness is 2.29 (95% CI 1.79, 2.93). High proportions of persons with upper back/neck pain and fatigue/slightly depressed are among those with high presenteeism (p< 0.001). Occupational groups with high sickness presenteeism show high sickness absenteeism (ρ = 0.38; p<.01) and the hypothesis on level of pay and sickness presenteeism is also supported (ρ = −0.22; p<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS—Members of occupational groups whose everyday tasks are to provide care or welfare services, or teach or instruct, have a substantially increased risk of being at work when sick. The link between difficulties in replacement or finding a stand in and sickness presenteeism is confirmed by study results. The categories with high sickness presenteeism experience symptoms more often than those without presenteeism. The most common combination is low monthly income, high sickness absenteeism and high sickness presenteeism.

Keywords: sickness presenteeism; sickness absenteeism; ill health
PMCID: PMC1731716  PMID: 10846192
8.  Associations between Stroke Mortality and Weekend Working by Stroke Specialist Physicians and Registered Nurses: Prospective Multicentre Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(8):e1001705.
In a multicenter observational study, Benjamin Bray and colleagues evaluate whether weekend rounds by stroke specialist physicians, or the ratio of registered nurses to beds on weekends, is associated with patient mortality after stroke.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Observational studies have reported higher mortality for patients admitted on weekends. It is not known whether this “weekend effect” is modified by clinical staffing levels on weekends. We aimed to test the hypotheses that rounds by stroke specialist physicians 7 d per week and the ratio of registered nurses to beds on weekends are associated with mortality after stroke.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a prospective cohort study of 103 stroke units (SUs) in England. Data of 56,666 patients with stroke admitted between 1 June 2011 and 1 December 2012 were extracted from a national register of stroke care in England. SU characteristics and staffing levels were derived from cross-sectional survey. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of 30-d post-admission mortality, adjusting for case mix, organisational, staffing, and care quality variables. After adjusting for confounders, there was no significant difference in mortality risk for patients admitted to a stroke service with stroke specialist physician rounds fewer than 7 d per week (adjusted HR [aHR] 1.04, 95% CI 0.91–1.18) compared to patients admitted to a service with rounds 7 d per week. There was a dose–response relationship between weekend nurse/bed ratios and mortality risk, with the highest risk of death observed in stroke services with the lowest nurse/bed ratios. In multivariable analysis, patients admitted on a weekend to a SU with 1.5 nurses/ten beds had an estimated adjusted 30-d mortality risk of 15.2% (aHR 1.18, 95% CI 1.07–1.29) compared to 11.2% for patients admitted to a unit with 3.0 nurses/ten beds (aHR 0.85, 95% CI 0.77–0.93), equivalent to one excess death per 25 admissions. The main limitation is the risk of confounding from unmeasured characteristics of stroke services.
Mortality outcomes after stroke are associated with the intensity of weekend staffing by registered nurses but not 7-d/wk ward rounds by stroke specialist physicians. The findings have implications for quality improvement and resource allocation in stroke care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
In a perfect world, a patient admitted to hospital on a weekend or during the night should have as good an outcome as a patient admitted during regular working hours. But several observational studies (investigations that record patient outcomes without intervening in any way; clinical trials, by contrast, test potential healthcare interventions by comparing the outcomes of patients who are deliberately given different treatments) have reported that admission on weekends is associated with a higher mortality (death) rate than admission on weekdays. This “weekend effect” has led to calls for increased medical and nursing staff to be available in hospitals during the weekend and overnight to ensure that the healthcare provided at these times is of equal quality to that provided during regular working hours. In the UK, for example, “seven-day working” has been identified as a policy and service improvement priority for the National Health Service.
Why Was This Study Done?
Few studies have actually tested the relationship between patient outcomes and weekend physician or nurse staffing levels. It could be that patients who are admitted to hospital on the weekend have poor outcomes because they are generally more ill than those admitted on weekdays. Before any health system introduces potentially expensive increases in weekend staffing levels, better evidence that this intervention will improve patient outcomes is needed. In this prospective cohort study (a study that compares the outcomes of groups of people with different baseline characteristics), the researchers ask whether mortality after stroke is associated with weekend working by stroke specialist physicians and registered nurses. Stroke occurs when the brain's blood supply is interrupted by a blood vessel in the brain bursting (hemorrhagic stroke) or being blocked by a blood clot (ischemic stroke). Swift treatment can limit the damage to the brain caused by stroke, but of the 15 million people who have a stroke every year, about 6 million die within a few hours and another 5 million are left disabled.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers extracted clinical data on 56,666 patients who were admitted to stroke units in England over an 18-month period from a national stroke register. They obtained information on the characteristics and staffing levels of the stroke units from a biennial survey of hospitals admitting patients with stroke, and information on deaths among patients with stroke from the national register of deaths. A quarter of the patients were admitted on a weekend, almost half the stroke units provided stroke specialist physician rounds seven days per week, and the remainder provided rounds five days per week. After adjustment for factors that might have affected outcomes (“confounders”) such as stroke severity and the level of acute stroke care available in each stroke unit, there was no significant difference in mortality risk between patients admitted to a stroke unit with rounds seven days/week and patients admitted to a unit with rounds fewer than seven days/week. However, patients admitted on a weekend to a stroke unit with 1.5 nurses/ten beds had a 30-day mortality risk of 15.2%, whereas patients admitted to a unit with 3.0 nurses/ten beds had a mortality risk of 11.2%, a mortality risk difference equivalent to one excess death per 25 admissions.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the provision of stroke specialist physician rounds seven days/week in stroke units in England did not influence the (weak) association between weekend admission for stroke and death recorded in this study, but mortality outcomes after stroke were associated with the intensity of weekend staffing by registered nurses. The accuracy of these findings may be affected by the measure used to judge the level of acute care available in each stroke unit and by residual confounding. For example, patients admitted to units with lower nursing levels may have shared other unknown characteristics that increased their risk of dying after stroke. Moreover, this study considered the impact of staffing levels on mortality only and did not consider other relevant outcomes such as long-term disability. Despite these limitations, these findings support the provision of higher weekend ratios of registered nurses to beds in stroke units, but given the high costs of increasing weekend staffing levels, it is important that controlled trials of different models of physician and nursing staffing are undertaken as soon as possible.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Meeta Kerlin
Information about plans to introduce seven-day working into the National Health Service in England is available; the 2013 publication “NHS Services—Open Seven Days a Week: Every Day Counts” provides examples of how hospitals across England are working together to provide routine healthcare services seven days a week; a “Behind the Headlines” article on the UK National Health Service Choices website describes a recent observational study that investigated the association between admission to hospital on the weekend and death, and newspaper coverage of the study's results; the Choices website also provides information about stroke for patients and their families, including personal stories
A US nurses' site includes information on the association of nurse staffing with patient safety
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides information about all aspects of stroke (in English and Spanish); its Know Stroke site provides educational materials about stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, including personal stories (in English and Spanish); the US National Institute of Health SeniorHealth website has additional information about stroke
The Internet Stroke Center provides detailed information about stroke for patients, families, and health professionals (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC4138029  PMID: 25137386
9.  Whole Grain, Bran, and Germ Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Cohort Study and Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(8):e261.
Control of body weight by balancing energy intake and energy expenditure is of major importance for the prevention of type 2 diabetes, but the role of specific dietary factors in the etiology of type 2 diabetes is less well established. We evaluated intakes of whole grain, bran, and germ in relation to risk of type 2 diabetes in prospective cohort studies.
Methods and Findings
We followed 161,737 US women of the Nurses' Health Studies (NHSs) I and II, without history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at baseline. The age at baseline was 37–65 y for NHSI and 26–46 y for NHSII. Dietary intakes and potential confounders were assessed with regularly administered questionnaires. We documented 6,486 cases of type 2 diabetes during 12–18 y of follow-up. Other prospective cohort studies on whole grain intake and risk of type 2 diabetes were identified in searches of MEDLINE and EMBASE up to January 2007, and data were independently extracted by two reviewers. The median whole grain intake in the lowest and highest quintile of intake was, respectively, 3.7 and 31.2 g/d for NHSI and 6.2 and 39.9 g/d for NHSII. After adjustment for potential confounders, the relative risks (RRs) for the highest as compared with the lowest quintile of whole grain intake was 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.57–0.69) for NHSI and 0.68 (95% CI 0.57–0.81) for NHSII (both: p-value, test for trend <0.001). After further adjustment for body mass index (BMI), these RRs were 0.75 (95% CI 0.68–0.83; p-value, test for trend <0.001) and 0.86 (95% CI 0.72–1.02; p-value, test for trend 0.03) respectively. Associations for bran intake were similar to those for total whole grain intake, whereas no significant association was observed for germ intake after adjustment for bran. Based on pooled data for six cohort studies including 286,125 participants and 10,944 cases of type 2 diabetes, a two-serving-per-day increment in whole grain consumption was associated with a 21% (95% CI 13%–28%) decrease in risk of type 2 diabetes after adjustment for potential confounders and BMI.
Whole grain intake is inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes, and this association is stronger for bran than for germ. Findings from prospective cohort studies consistently support increasing whole grain consumption for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Jeroen de Munter and colleagues found that, in women in the US Nurses' Health Studies, whole grain intake was inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes. The association was stronger for bran than for germ.
Editors' Summary
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (also sometimes called adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes) is increasing worldwide and is the most common form of diabetes. It puts people at risk of poor health and death by increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke, and a range of other conditions including blindness, kidney disease, and ulcers. It has long been recognized that there is a link between diet and developing type 2 diabetes, because people who are overweight (because the amount of energy in their diet is greater than the energy they use up) run a greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes. However, it has not been clear which particular nutrients or foods might increase the risk or might give protection.
Cereals—such as rice, wheat, corn (maize), etc.—make up a major part of most people's diets. During the refining of cereal grains, much of the outer part of the grain (kernel) are usually removed. Foods are described as “whole grain” if all components of the kernel (the bran, germ, and endosperm) are still present in their natural proportions. There is good evidence that consumption of whole grains may reduce the risk of several diseases, including various types of cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. Some evidence also suggests that eating a diet rich in whole grains might help protect against diabetes, but this has not been firmly established.
Why Was This Study Done?
The authors of this study wanted to find out how much whole grain was eaten by a large number of people over several years and to record how many of these people developed type 2 diabetes. If these two things were closely associated it would provide more evidence to support the idea that whole grain consumption helps protect against type 2 diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers drew on information recorded in a very large and continuing study in the US, the Nurses' Health Study, which began in 1976, when over 100,000 female registered US nurses completed and returned a mailed questionnaire to assess their health and lifestyle. More nurses were added in 1989. It is an example of what is known as a “cohort study.” Every two years, questionnaires have been mailed to the nurses. Questions asked include the nurses' age, weight, their diet, whether they smoke, their use of oral contraception; and their personal history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The researchers calculated each nurse's whole grain intake in grams per day. They found that by 2004 about 6,500 of them had developed type 2 diabetes. From an analysis of the data it was clear that the greater the consumption of whole grains the lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
An additional part of the study was that the researchers searched the medical literature for other cohort studies that examined whole grain intake in relation to risk of type 2 diabetes. (This type of research is called a “systematic review,” and it requires that researchers define clearly in advance the kind of studies they are looking for and how they will analyze the data.) They found five such studies. They added together the results of all the studies, including their own. This gave a total of nearly 11,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, out of around 286,000 people. From their analysis they calculated that a two-serving-per-day increment in whole grain consumption was associated with a 21% decrease in risk of type 2 diabetes.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Scientists say that association can never prove causation. (That would require a different sort of study called a trial, where two similar groups of people would be given either a diet high in whole grains or one that was low.) Nevertheless, the research does strongly suggest that a healthy diet that reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes should include the consumption of several servings of whole grains daily. The authors do point out that people who choose to eat a lot of whole grains also tend to have a healthy lifestyle in other respects, and that it was hard to calculate intake accurately. However, they do not consider that these limitations to their study would have affected the overall result too seriously.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Good introductory information about diabetes (type 1 and type 2) may be found on the Web sites of the National Diabetes Clearing House (US) and Diabetes UK
More detailed information is available on Medline Plus, a Web site that brings together authoritative information from several US government agencies and health-related organizations
Wikipedia has an entry on whole grain (Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
The Nurses' Health Study has a Web site
PMCID: PMC1952203  PMID: 17760498
10.  Factors Influencing Female Registered Nurses' Work Behavior 
Health Services Research  2006;41(3 Pt 1):860-866.
To analyze factors that are related to whether registered nurses (RNs) work (WK) or do not work (NW) in nursing; and if the RN works, whether she works full- (FT) or part-time (PT).
Data Sources
Secondary data from National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses 2000 (NSSRN), the InterStudy Competitive Edge Part III Regional Market Analysis (2001), and the Area Resource File (2002).
Study Design
Using a cross-sectional design we tested the relationship between WK or NW and FT or PT; and demographic, job-related, and metropolitan statistical area (MSA)-level variables.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods
We combined the data sources noted above to produce the analytic sample of 25,471 female RNs.
Principal Findings
Working in nursing is not independent of working FT or PT. Age (55 and older), other family income, and prior other work experience in health care are negatively related to working as an RN. The wage is not related to working as an RN, but negatively influences FT work. Age, children, minority status, student status, employment status, other income, and some job settings have a negative impact on working FT. Previous health care work has a positive effect on whether married RNs worked. Married RNs who are more dissatisfied are less likely to work FT. A greater number of market-level factors influence FT/PT than WK/NW behavior.
An important contribution of this study is demonstrating that MSA-level variables influence RN work behavior. The market environment seems to have little effect on whether a nurse works, but is influential on how much the nurse works, and has differential effects on married versus single nurses.
PMCID: PMC1713192  PMID: 16704517
Nursing supply and demand; salaries and wages; health workforce: distribution/incomes/training; nursing; organization theory; health care organizations and systems; labor economics
11.  Problems encountered when administering general anaesthetics in accident and emergency departments. 
Archives of Emergency Medicine  1988;5(3):151-155.
Junior anaesthetists in 75 English hospitals were surveyed for their views on whether administering general anaesthetics in A&E departments provoked more anxiety than in the main theatre, and if so what factors contributed to this. Of these anaesthetists, 71% were more apprehensive working in A&E departments than in main theatre; 91% felt that they were adequately experienced but despite this there was a marked decline in apprehension with increasing experience. Sixty eight per cent of the anaesthetists thought that their assistance was inadequate and only 28% had an Operating Department Assistant (ODA). Forty eight per cent said that the equipment was inadequate in either standard or maintenance and 40% said that some of the patients were unsuitable for day case anaesthesia. The authors recommend that anaesthetists performing general anaesthetics in A&E departments should be adequately experienced using equipment provided and maintained by the anaesthetic department and assisted by adequately trained nurses or ODAs.
PMCID: PMC1285518  PMID: 3178973
12.  Developing an organizing framework to guide nursing research in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) 
Seminars in oncology nursing  2013;30(1):17-25.
To describe the development and application of an organizing research framework to guide COG Nursing research.
Data Sources
Research articles, reports and meeting minutes
An organizing research framework helps to outline research focus and articulate the scientific knowledge being produced by nurses in the pediatric cooperative group.
Implication for Nursing Practice
The use of an organizing framework for COG nursing research can facilitate clinical nurses’ understanding of how children and families sustain or regain optimal health when faced with a pediatric cancer diagnosis through interventions designed to promote individual and family resilience.
The Children’s Oncology Group (COG) is the sole National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported cooperative pediatric oncology clinical trials group and the largest organization in the world devoted exclusively to pediatric cancer research. It was founded in 2000 following the merger of the four legacy NCI-supported pediatric clinical trials groups (Children’s Cancer Group [CCG], Pediatric Oncology Group [POG], National Wilms Tumor Study Group, and Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group). The COG currently has over 200 member institutions across North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe and a multidisciplinary membership of over 8,000 pediatric, radiation, and surgical oncologists, nurses, clinical research associates, pharmacists, behavioral scientists, pathologists, laboratory scientists, patient/parent advocates and other pediatric cancer specialists. The COG Nursing Discipline was formed from the merger of the legacy CCG and POG Nursing Committees, and current membership exceeds 2000 registered nurses. The discipline has a well-developed infrastructure that promotes nursing involvement throughout all levels of the organization, including representation on disease, protocol, scientific, executive and other administrative committees (e.g., nominating committee, data safety monitoring boards). COG nurses facilitate delivery of protocol-based treatments for children enrolled on COG protocols, and Nursing Discipline initiatives support nursing research, professional and patient/family education, evidence-based practice, and a patient-reported outcomes resource center. The research agenda of the Nursing Discipline is enacted through a well-established nursing scholar program.
PMCID: PMC4159101  PMID: 24559776
Childhood cancer; Pediatric oncology nursing; Cooperative group; Nursing research; Clinical trial; Theoretical framework, Resilience
13.  Validity of self-reported criminal justice system involvement in substance abusing women at five-year follow-up 
BMC Psychiatry  2008;8:2.
Few studies have compared self-reported criminal behaviour with high-quality databases of criminal offences and judicial sanctions. Self-reported problems from drug abusers are generally believed to be valid. We assessed the validity of self-reported theft, drug offences and prison sentences from a five-year follow-up of female substance abusers who were originally treated in a compulsory care unit in Lund, run by the Swedish Board of Institutional Care.
Data from a total of 106 of a consecutive sample of 132 women inter-viewed in a five-year follow-up. All were thoroughly assessed for somatic complaints, psychiatric and psychological problems, background factors with standardized instruments. Data over the five years were linked to official records of judicial sanctions, retrieved from The National Council for Crime Prevention, Stockholm, Sweden. Register data have a full cover for the whole cohort. The current data base contain full data back to 1975 up to 2004.
Agreement was assessed for each year, as well as for the total period. Statistical control was performed for other types of crimes and prison. Although statistically significant, agreement was modest, and in contrast to previous studies, patients under-reported violence charges.
The findings suggest that self-reports of criminal behaviour from women can be used with some caution, and that the validity of self-report may vary between types of criminal justice system involvement.
PMCID: PMC2265279  PMID: 18179700
14.  Tobacco Interventions and Anaesthesia- A Review 
Indian Journal of Anaesthesia  2009;53(5):618-627.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable agent of death in the world. It is manufactured on a large scale in India and has a huge international market also. Death toll from tobacco use is on the rise. Use of tobacco is also increasing esp. in developing countries, in teenagers & in women, despite government, WHO and intervention by other statutory bodies. Prolonged use of tobacco or its products, as smoke or chew, endows significant risk of developing various diseases. With advances in surgical and anaethesia techniques & prolonged life expectancy, anaesthetist will be faced with management of these patients. Tobacco consumption affects every major organ system of the body; esp. lung, heart and blood vessels. Perioperative smoking cessation can significantly reduce the risk of postoperative complications & duration of hospital stay. Anaesthetist can play an important role in motivating these patients to quit smoking preoperatively by providing brief counselling and nicotine replacement therapy in reluctant quitters. More of concern is the effect of passive smoking (second & third hand smoke) on non smokers.
This is a review of tobacco & its products, their health consequences, diseases caused, anaesthetic considerations & their role in helping these patients quit smoking Preventing nicotine addiction and improving smoking cessation strategies should be the priority and despite these being only partially successful, strong measures at all levels should be continued & enforced.
PMCID: PMC2900094  PMID: 20640112
Tobacco; Smoking; Passive smoking; Second hand smoke; Health effects; Diseases; Lung cancer; Carcinogenesis; COPD; Anaesthetic considerations; Preoperative advice; Interventions
15.  Disability pension among young women in Sweden, with special emphasis on family structure: a dynamic cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e000840.
The influence of family structure on the risk of going on disability pension (DP) was investigated among young women by analysing a short-term and long-term effect, controlling for potential confounding and the ‘healthy mother effect’.
Design and participants
This dynamic cohort study comprised all women born in Sweden between 1960 and 1979 (1.2 million), who were 20–43 years of age during follow-up. Their annual data were retrieved from national registers for the years 1993–2003. For this period, data on family structure and potential confounders were related to the incidence of DP the year after the exposure assessment. Using a modified version of the COX proportional hazard regression, we took into account changes in the study variables of individuals over the years. In addition, a 5-year follow-up was used.
Cohabiting working women with children showed a decreased risk of DP in a 1-year perspective compared with cohabiting working women with no children, while the opposite was indicated in the 5-year follow-up. Lone working women with children had an increased risk of DP in both the short-term and long-term perspective. The risk of DP tended to increase with the number of children for both cohabiting and lone working women in the 5-year follow-up.
The study suggests that parenthood contributes to increasing the risk of going on DP among young women, which should be valuable knowledge to employers and other policy makers. It remains to be analysed to what extent the high numbers of young women exiting from working life may be counteracted by (1) extended gender equality, (2) fewer work hours among fathers and mothers of young children and (3) by financial support to lone women with children.
Article summary
Article focus
Explanations of the increasing rate of DP in young women in European countries.
High demands linked to family and work situation was expected to be a contributing factor.
Key messages
Parenthood contributed to an increased risk of going on DP among young women. Lone working women with children had an increased risk of DP in both a 1- and 5-year perspective.
Cohabiting working women with children had a lower risk of DP than other cohabiting women in a 1-year perspective, while the opposite was shown in a 5-year follow-up.
The number of children among working women tended to increase the risk of DP 5 years later.
Strengths and limitations of this study
High representativity and statistical precision due to complete coverage of the study group.
The possibility to utilise different time spans of follow-up, a 1-year follow-up focusing the family situation just before going on DP and a longer follow-up showing the association between family structure and risk of DP 5 years later.
The possibility to take into account the changes of family and work situation over time and to adjust for the time-dependent changes of the confounding factors considered.
Lack of information on the diagnoses of DP.
Lack of information on full time or part time work.
The generalisability is restricted to countries with a welfare system similar to that of Sweden, although the knowledge could also be a pointer for other countries developing or changing their welfare system. A similar study based on men is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3367147  PMID: 22649174
16.  Cancer in veterinarians 
OBJECTIVES—Veterinarians come into contact with several potentially carcinogenic exposures in the course of their occupation. These exposures include radiation, anaesthetic gases, pesticides (particularly insecticides), and zoonotic organisms. This review aims to summarise what is known about the carcinogenic risks in this profession.
METHODS—The levels of exposure to potential carcinogens in the veterinary profession are examined and evidence is reviewed for carcinogenesis of these substances in humans at doses similar to those experienced by veterinarians. The few published studies of cancer in veterinarians are also summarised.
RESULTS—Veterinarians have considerable potential for exposure to several known and potential carcinogens. Risks may be posed by work in clinics with poorly maintained x ray equipment, by use of insecticides, and from contact with carcinogenic zoonotic organisms. The few studies available suggest that veterinarians have increased mortality from lymphohaematopoietic cancers, melanoma, and possibly colon cancer.
CONCLUSIONS—The exposures examined in this review are not unique to the veterinary profession, and, as a consequence, information gathered on the carcinogenic risks of these exposures has implications for many other occupations such as veterinary nurses, animal handlers, and some farmers, as well as dentists, radiographers, and anaesthetists.

Keywords: cancer; veterinarians; occupation
PMCID: PMC1739954  PMID: 10769295
17.  Associations between perinatal interventions and hospital stillbirth rates and neonatal mortality 
Background: Previous studies suggest that high risk and low birthweight babies have better outcomes if born in hospitals with level III neonatal intensive care units. Relations between obstetric care, particularly intrapartum interventions and perinatal outcomes, are less well understood, however.
Objective: To investigate effects of obstetric, paediatric, and demographic factors on rates of hospital stillbirths and neonatal mortality.
Methods: Cross sectional data on all 65 maternity units in all Thames Regions, 1994–1996, covering 540 834 live births and stillbirths. Hospital level analyses investigated associations between staffing rates (consultant/junior paediatricians, consultant/junior obstetricians, midwives), facilities (consultant obstetrician/anaesthetist sessions, delivery beds, special care baby unit, neonatal intensive care unit cots, etc), interventions (vaginal births, caesarean sections, forceps, epidurals, inductions, general anaesthetic), parental data (parity, maternal age, social class, deprivation, multiple births), and birthweight standardised stillbirth rates and neonatal mortality.
Results: Unifactorial analyses showed consistent negative associations between measures of obstetric intervention and stillbirth rates. Some measures of staffing, facilities, and parental data also showed significant associations. Scores for interventional, organisational, and parental variables were derived for multifactorial analysis to overcome the statistical problems caused by high intercorrelations between variables. A higher intervention score and higher number of consultant obstetricians per 1000 births were both independently and significantly associated with lower stillbirth rates. Organisational and parental factors were not significant after adjustment. Only Townsend deprivation score was significantly associated with neonatal mortality (positive correlation).
Conclusions: Birthweight adjusted stillbirth rates were significantly lower in units that took a more interventionalist approach and in those with higher levels of consultant obstetric staffing. There were no apparent associations between neonatal death rates and the hospital factors measured here.
PMCID: PMC1721633  PMID: 14711857
18.  Rotating Night Shift Work and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Two Prospective Cohort Studies in Women 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(12):e1001141.
An Pan and colleagues examined data from two Nurses' Health Studies and found that extended periods of rotating night shift work were associated with a modestly increased risk of type 2 diabetes, partly mediated through body weight.
Rotating night shift work disrupts circadian rhythms and has been associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and glucose dysregulation. However, its association with type 2 diabetes remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate this association in two cohorts of US women.
Methods and Findings
We followed 69,269 women aged 42–67 in Nurses' Health Study I (NHS I, 1988–2008), and 107,915 women aged 25–42 in NHS II (1989–2007) without diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline. Participants were asked how long they had worked rotating night shifts (defined as at least three nights/month in addition to days and evenings in that month) at baseline. This information was updated every 2–4 years in NHS II. Self-reported type 2 diabetes was confirmed by a validated supplementary questionnaire. We documented 6,165 (NHS I) and 3,961 (NHS II) incident type 2 diabetes cases during the 18–20 years of follow-up. In the Cox proportional models adjusted for diabetes risk factors, duration of shift work was monotonically associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in both cohorts. Compared with women who reported no shift work, the pooled hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for participants with 1–2, 3–9, 10–19, and ≥20 years of shift work were 1.05 (1.00–1.11), 1.20 (1.14–1.26), 1.40 (1.30–1.51), and 1.58 (1.43–1.74, p-value for trend <0.001), respectively. Further adjustment for updated body mass index attenuated the association, and the pooled hazard ratios were 1.03 (0.98–1.08), 1.06 (1.01–1.11), 1.10 (1.02–1.18), and 1.24 (1.13–1.37, p-value for trend <0.001).
Our results suggest that an extended period of rotating night shift work is associated with a modestly increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women, which appears to be partly mediated through body weight. Proper screening and intervention strategies in rotating night shift workers are needed for prevention of diabetes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Around 346 million people worldwide have diabetes—a chronic disease affecting blood glucose levels, which over time may lead to serious damage in many body systems. In 2004, an estimated 3.4 million people died from consequences of high blood sugar, with more than 80% of deaths occurring in low-and middle-income countries. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of people with diabetes and is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity, which causes the body to use insulin ineffectively. One strategy in the public health response to the increasing prevalence and incidence of type 2 diabetes is to focus on the prevention and management of obesity by targeting risk factors of obesity.
Previous studies have suggested that rotating night shift work, which is common and becoming increasingly prevalent in countries worldwide, is associated with an increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome, conditions closely related to type 2 diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some studies have investigated the association between rotating night shift work and type 2 diabetes but have experienced methodological problems (such as minimal information on the rotating shift work, small sample sizes, and limited study populations), which make interpretation of the results difficult. In this study, the researchers attempted to overcome these methodological issues by prospectively examining the relationship between duration of rotating night shift work and risk of incident type 2 diabetes and, also if the duration of shift work was associated with greater weight gain, in two large cohorts of women in the United States.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used data from the Nurses' Health Study I (NHS I, established in 1976 and included 121,704 women) and the Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II, established in 1989 and included 116,677 women), in which participating women completed regular questionnaires about their lifestyle practices and the development of chronic diseases. In both studies, the women also gave information about how long they had done rotating night shifts work (defined as at least three nights/month in addition to 19 days and evenings in that month), and this information was updated at regular intervals over the study follow-up period (18 years). The comparison group was women who did not report a history of rotating night shift work.
To assess the incidence of diabetes in both cohorts, the researchers sent a supplementary questionnaire to women who reported a diagnosis of diabetes, which asked about the symptoms, diagnostic tests, and medical management: if at least one of the National Diabetes Data Group criteria was reported, the researchers considered confirmed a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. The researchers then used statistical methods (time-dependent Cox proportional hazards models) to estimate the hazard ratios of the chance of women working rotating shifts developing type 2 diabetes as a ratio of the chance of women not working rotating shifts developing diabetes.
The researchers found that in NHS I, 6,165 women developed type 2 diabetes and in NHS II 3,961 women developed type 2 diabetes. Using their statistical models, the researchers found that the duration of rotating night shift work was strongly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in both cohorts. The researchers found that in both cohorts, compared with women who reported no rotating night shift work, the HR of women developing type 2 diabetes, increased with the numbers of years working rotating shifts (the HRs of working rotating shifts for 1–2, 3–9, 10–19, and ≥20 years were 0.99, 1.17, 1.42, and 1.64, respectively, in NHS I, and in NHS II, 1.13, 1.34, 1.76, and 2.50, respectively). However, these associations were slightly weaker after the authors took other factors into consideration, except for body mass index (BMI).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that in these women, there is a positive association between rotating night shift work and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, long duration of shift work may also be associated with greater weight gain. Although these findings need to be confirmed in men and other ethnic groups, because a large proportion of the working population is involved in some kind of permanent night and rotating night shift work, these findings are of potential public health significance. Additional preventative strategies in rotating night shift workers should therefore be considered.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Mika Kivimki and colleagues
Wikipedia has information about the Nurses’ Health study (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
Detailed information about the Nurses’ Health Study is available
The World Health Organization provides comprehensive information about all kinds of diabetes
For more information about diabetes that is useful for patients see Diabetes UK
PMCID: PMC3232220  PMID: 22162955
19.  Nurse Staffing Levels: Impact of Organizational Characteristics and Registered Nurse Supply 
Health Services Research  2008;43(1 Pt 1):154-173.
To assess the impact of nurse supply in the geographic areas surrounding hospitals on staffing levels in hospital units, while taking into account other factors that influence nurse staffing.
Data Sources
Data regarding 279 patient care units, in 47 randomly selected community hospitals located in 11 clusters in the United States, were obtained directly from the hospitals from the U.S. Census report, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Study Design
Cross-sectional analyses with linear mixed modeling to control for nesting of units in hospitals were conducted. For each patient care unit, the hours of care per patient day from registered nurses (RNs), LPNs, nursing assistants, and the skill-mix levels were calculated. These measures of staffing were then regressed on type of unit (intensive care, medical/surgical, telemetry/stepdown), unit size, hospital complexity, and RN supply.
Principal Findings
RN hours per patient day and RN skill mix were positively related to intensity of patient care, hospital complexity, and the supply of RNs in the geographic area surrounding the hospital. LPN hours, and licensed skill mix were predicted less reliably but appear to be used as substitutes for RNs. Overtime hours increased in areas with a lower RN supply. Vacancy and turnover rates and the use of contract nurses were not affected by nurse supply.
This study is the first to show that hospital RN staffing levels on both intensive care and nonintensive care units decrease as the supply of RNs in the surrounding geographic area decreases. We also show that LPN hours rise in areas where RN supply is lower. Further research to describe the quality of hospital care in relation to the supply of nurses in the area is needed.
PMCID: PMC2323141  PMID: 18211523
Nurse staffing; workforce; nurse shortage; hospital complexity
20.  Blood Glucose and Risk of Incident and Fatal Cancer in the Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer Project (Me-Can): Analysis of Six Prospective Cohorts 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(12):e1000201.
Tanja Stocks and colleagues carry out an analysis of six European cohorts and confirm that abnormal glucose metabolism is linked with increased risk of cancer overall and at specific sites.
Prospective studies have indicated that elevated blood glucose levels may be linked with increased cancer risk, but the strength of the association is unclear. We examined the association between blood glucose and cancer risk in a prospective study of six European cohorts.
Methods and Findings
The Metabolic syndrome and Cancer project (Me-Can) includes cohorts from Norway, Austria, and Sweden; the current study included 274,126 men and 275,818 women. Mean age at baseline was 44.8 years and mean follow-up time was 10.4 years. Excluding the first year of follow-up, 18,621 men and 11,664 women were diagnosed with cancer, and 6,973 men and 3,088 women died of cancer. We used Cox regression models to calculate relative risk (RR) for glucose levels, and included adjustment for body mass index (BMI) and smoking status in the analyses. RRs were corrected for regression dilution ratio of glucose. RR (95% confidence interval) per 1 mmol/l increment of glucose for overall incident cancer was 1.05 (1.01–1.10) in men and 1.11 (1.05–1.16) in women, and corresponding RRs for fatal cancer were 1.15 (1.07–1.22) and 1.21 (1.11–1.33), respectively. Significant increases in risk among men were found for incident and fatal cancer of the liver, gallbladder, and respiratory tract, for incident thyroid cancer and multiple myeloma, and for fatal rectal cancer. In women, significant associations were found for incident and fatal cancer of the pancreas, for incident urinary bladder cancer, and for fatal cancer of the uterine corpus, cervix uteri, and stomach.
Data from our study indicate that abnormal glucose metabolism, independent of BMI, is associated with an increased risk of cancer overall and at several cancer sites. Our data showed stronger associations among women than among men, and for fatal cancer compared to incident cancer.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Large prospective population-based research studies can have the power to discover new associations, and to verify previously proposed associations, between specific risk factors and the subsequent occurrence of disease. One such study, the “Me-Can” (Metabolic syndrome and Cancer project) is investigating associations between cancer incidence and a cluster of metabolic risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome: a large waistline; a high level of fats called triglycerides in the blood; a low level of “good” cholesterol; high blood pressure; and raised blood glucose (hyperglycemia). Here the researchers investigate the associations between one of these risk factors—raised blood glucose—and cancer. It is normal for blood glucose levels to vary before and after meals, but raised levels that persist long-term are known to lead to organ damage and severe complications. It is thought that more than 30% of cancer-related deaths could be prevented by modifying key risk factors, such as tobacco control, modifying diet, staying active, and limiting exposure to environmental risk factors.
Why Was This Study Done?
A previous large research study (including roughly 1.3 million men and women, conducted in Korea) has already evaluated the association between high blood glucose levels and cancer risk, and found that high blood glucose levels were linked with increased risk of cancer—both getting it and dying from it. Studies in European and US populations have also found a link, but they considered relatively small numbers of people and so these could not be used to calculate the risk with respect to specific cancer sites. The researchers carrying out the Me-Can project wanted to verify whether the associations reported in the Korean study also held true for European populations.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 274,126 men and 275,818 women from existing health studies in Norway, Austria, and Sweden for whom data had been recorded on blood glucose level, height, and weight. For each participant a baseline measurement was defined, consisting of data from the first health examination, which had complete data (including a blood glucose measurement and whether the participant smoked). The participants were tracked via national registers for up to around 25 years after the baseline measurement but most commonly for around a decade. Any cancer diagnosis was recorded, whether the participant survived to the end of the study, and causes of death for participants who died during the study. The researchers analyzed the data to assess whether a higher blood glucose level was associated with increased risk of certain cancers, in both men and women. The researchers took weight for height, and smoking into account and adjusted for measurement error from additional blood glucose measurements. The researchers found that, overall, the higher the level of blood glucose, the higher the risk of getting and dying from cancer. Average normal blood glucose levels are about 5 mmol/l, also expressed as 5 mM or 90 mg/dl. For each additional 1 mmol/l increase in blood glucose level, the risk of getting cancer was increased by 5% for men and 11% for women.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The authors concluded that high blood glucose is associated with increased cancer risk. The results largely confirm findings from the Korean study, although there are some differences in the risks of cancers at some specific sites, which may be due to differences in the populations such as genetics, diet, and rates of smoking. Among the strengths of the study are its large sample size and that glucose were measured more than once for many individuals in the study. However, the study is limited in that the researchers did not have data on other possible factors such as genetics, physical activity, or dietary factors, which are linked to cancer incidence and also may be related to blood glucose levels. The researchers propose that controlling blood glucose may lower cancer risk in the population. Although this interpretation is consistent with the data, the study design cannot conclusively demonstrate a causal association between glucose levels and cancer risk.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Cancer Institute provides online information and statistics on cancer, including risk factors for cancer
The American Heart Association provides information on sugars in the diet, including helpful hints on how to reduce the amount eaten
The UK's National Health Service's Change4Life campaign provides information and ideas for those wishing to make their lifestyle, including diet, more healthy
Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. Its websites provide information about cancer and the research it funds
PMCID: PMC2791167  PMID: 20027213
21.  Effect of a Community-Based Nursing Intervention on Mortality in Chronically Ill Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(7):e1001265.
Kenneth Coburn and colleagues report findings from a randomized trial evaluating the effects of a complex nursing intervention on mortality risk among older individuals diagnosed with chronic health conditions.
Improving the health of chronically ill older adults is a major challenge facing modern health care systems. A community-based nursing intervention developed by Health Quality Partners (HQP) was one of 15 different models of care coordination tested in randomized controlled trials within the Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration (MCCD), a national US study. Evaluation of the HQP program began in 2002. The study reported here was designed to evaluate the survival impact of the HQP program versus usual care up to five years post-enrollment.
Methods and Findings
HQP enrolled 1,736 adults aged 65 and over, with one or more eligible chronic conditions (coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia) during the first six years of the study. The intervention group (n = 873) was offered a comprehensive, integrated, and tightly managed system of care coordination, disease management, and preventive services provided by community-based nurse care managers working collaboratively with primary care providers. The control group (n = 863) received usual care. Overall, a 25% lower relative risk of death (hazard ratio [HR] 0.75 [95% CI 0.57–1.00], p = 0.047) was observed among intervention participants with 86 (9.9%) deaths in the intervention group and 111 (12.9%) deaths in the control group during a mean follow-up of 4.2 years. When covariates for sex, age group, primary diagnosis, perceived health, number of medications taken, hospital stays in the past 6 months, and tobacco use were included, the adjusted HR was 0.73 (95% CI 0.55–0.98, p = 0.033). Subgroup analyses did not demonstrate statistically significant interaction effects for any subgroup. No suspected program-related adverse events were identified.
The HQP model of community-based nurse care management appeared to reduce all-cause mortality in chronically ill older adults. Limitations of the study are that few low-income and non-white individuals were enrolled and implementation was in a single geographic region of the US. Additional research to confirm these findings and determine the model's scalability and generalizability is warranted.
Trial Registration NCT01071967
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
In almost every country in the world, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group because of increased life expectancy. This demographic change has several implications for public health, especially as older age is a risk factor for many chronic diseases—diseases of long duration and generally slow progression. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of death in the world, representing almost two-thirds of all deaths. Therefore in most countries, the challenge of managing increasingly ageing populations who have chronic illnesses demands an urgent response and countries such as the United States are actively researching possible solutions.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some studies suggest that innovations in chronic disease management that are led by nurses may help address the epidemic of chronic diseases by increasing the quality and reducing the cost of care. However, to date, reports of the evaluation of such interventions lack rigor and do not provide evidence of improved long-term health outcomes or reduced health care costs. So in this study, the researchers used the gold standard of research, a randomized controlled trial, to examine the impact of a community-based nurse care management model for older adults with chronic illnesses in the United States as part of a series of studies supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited eligible patients aged 65 years and over with heart failure, coronary heart disease, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and/or hyperlipidemia who received traditional Medicare—a fee for service insurance scheme in which beneficiaries can choose to receive their care from any Medicare provider—from participating primary care practices in Pennsylvania. The researchers then categorized patients according to their risk on the basis of several factors including the number of chronic diseases each individual had before randomizing patients to receive usual care or the nurse-led intervention. The intervention included an individualized plan comprising education, symptom monitoring, medication, counseling for adherence, help identifying, arranging, and monitoring community health and social service referrals in addition to group interventions such as weight loss maintenance and exercise classes. The researchers checked whether any participating patients had died by using the online Social Security Death Master File. Then the researchers used a statistical model to calculate the risk of death in both groups.
Of the 1,736 patients the researchers recruited into the trial, 873 were randomized to receive the intervention and 863 were in the control group (usual care). The researchers found that 86 (9.9%) participants in the intervention group and 111 (12.9%) participants in the control group died during the study period, representing a 25% lower relative risk of death among the intervention group. However, when the researchers considered other factors, such as sex, age group, primary diagnosis, perceived health, number of medications taken, hospital stays in the past 6 months, and tobacco use in their statistical model, this risk was slightly altered—0.73 risk of death in the intervention group.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that that community-based nurse care management is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality among older adults with chronic illnesses who are beneficiaries of the fee for service Medicare scheme in the United States. These findings also support the important role of nurses in improving health outcomes in this group of patients and show the feasibility of implementing this program in collaboration with primary care practices. Future research is needed to test the adaptability, scalability, and generalizability of this model of care.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Arlene Bierman
Information about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is available
The World Health Organization provides statistics on the prevalence of both chronic illness and ageing
Heath Quality Partners provide information about the study
PMCID: PMC3398966  PMID: 22815653
22.  Muscle-Strengthening and Conditioning Activities and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Study in Two Cohorts of US Women 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(1):e1001587.
Anders Grøntved and colleagues examined whether women who perform muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities have an associated reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
It is well established that aerobic physical activity can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), but whether muscle-strengthening activities are beneficial for the prevention of T2D is unclear. This study examined the association of muscle-strengthening activities with the risk of T2D in women.
Methods and Findings
We prospectively followed up 99,316 middle-aged and older women for 8 years from the Nurses' Health Study ([NHS] aged 53–81 years, 2000–2008) and Nurses' Health Study II ([NHSII] aged 36–55 years, 2001–2009), who were free of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases at baseline. Participants reported weekly time spent on resistance exercise, lower intensity muscular conditioning exercises (yoga, stretching, toning), and aerobic moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at baseline and in 2004/2005. Cox regression with adjustment for major determinants for T2D was carried out to examine the influence of these types of activities on T2D risk. During 705,869 person years of follow-up, 3,491 incident T2D cases were documented. In multivariable adjusted models including aerobic MVPA, the pooled relative risk (RR) for T2D for women performing 1–29, 30–59, 60–150, and >150 min/week of total muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities was 0.83, 0.93, 0.75, and 0.60 compared to women reporting no muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities (p<0.001 for trend). Furthermore, resistance exercise and lower intensity muscular conditioning exercises were each independently associated with lower risk of T2D in pooled analyses. Women who engaged in at least 150 min/week of aerobic MVPA and at least 60 min/week of muscle-strengthening activities had substantial risk reduction compared with inactive women (pooled RR = 0.33 [95% CI 0.29–0.38]). Limitations to the study include that muscle-strengthening and conditioning activity and other types of physical activity were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire and that the study population consisted of registered nurses with mostly European ancestry.
Our study suggests that engagement in muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities (resistance exercise, yoga, stretching, toning) is associated with a lower risk of T2D. Engagement in both aerobic MVPA and muscle-strengthening type activity is associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of T2D in middle-aged and older women.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Worldwide, more than 370 million people have diabetes mellitus, a disorder characterized by poor glycemic control—dangerously high amounts of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas. In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest form of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin by removing excess sugar from the blood become less responsive to insulin. Type 2 diabetes, which was previously known as adult-onset diabetes, can often initially be controlled with diet and exercise, and with antidiabetic drugs such as metformin and sulfonylureas. However, as the disease progresses, the pancreatic beta cells, which make insulin, become impaired and patients may eventually need insulin injections. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about 10 years compared to people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common worldwide so better preventative strategies are essential. It is well-established that regular aerobic exercise—physical activity in which the breathing and heart rate increase noticeably such as jogging, brisk walking, and swimming—lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. The World Health Organization currently recommends that adults should do at least 150 min/week of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic physical activity to reduce the risk of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases. It also recommends that adults should undertake muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities such as weight training and yoga on two or more days a week. However, although studies have shown that muscle-strengthening activity improves glycemic control in people who already have diabetes, it is unclear whether this form of exercise prevents diabetes. In this prospective cohort study (a study in which disease development is followed up over time in a group of people whose characteristics are recorded at baseline), the researchers investigated the association of muscle-strengthening activities with the risk of type 2 diabetes in women.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers followed up nearly 100,000 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and the Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII), two prospective US investigations into risk factors for chronic diseases in women, for 8 years. The women provided information on weekly participation in muscle-strengthening exercise (for example, weight training), lower intensity muscle-conditioning exercises (for example, yoga and toning), and aerobic moderate and vigorous physical activity (aerobic MVPA) at baseline and 4 years later. During the study 3,491 women developed diabetes. After allowing for major risk factors for type 2 diabetes (for example, diet and a family history of diabetes) and for aerobic MVPA, compared to women who did no muscle-strengthening or conditioning exercise, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes among women declined with increasing participation in muscle-strengthening and conditioning activity. Notably, women who did more than 150 min/week of these types of exercise had 40% lower risk of developing diabetes as women who did not exercise in this way at all. Muscle-strengthening and muscle-conditioning exercise were both independently associated with reduced diabetes risk, and women who engaged in at least 150 min/week of aerobic MVPA and at least 60 min/week of muscle-strengthening exercise were a third as likely to develop diabetes as inactive women.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, among the women enrolled in NHS and NHSII, engagement in muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes independent of aerobic MVPA. That is, non-aerobic exercise provided protection against diabetes in women who did no aerobic exercise. Importantly, they also show that doing both aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening exercise substantially reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes. Because nearly all the participants in NHS and NHSII were of European ancestry, these results may not be generalizable to women of other ethnic backgrounds. Moreover, the accuracy of these findings may be limited by the use of self-administered questionnaires to determine how much exercise the women undertook. Nevertheless, these findings support the inclusion of muscle-strengthening and conditioning exercises in strategies designed to prevent type 2 diabetes in women, a conclusion that is consistent with current guidelines for physical activity among adults.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals and the general public, including information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes and explains the benefits of regular physical activity
The World Health Organization provides information about diabetes and about physical activity and health (in several languages); its 2010 Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health are available in several languages
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on physical activity for different age groups; its Physical Activity for Everyone web pages include guidelines, instructional videos and personal success stories
More information about the Nurses Health Study and the Nurses Health Study II is available
The UK charity Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and about physical exercise and fitness (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC3891575  PMID: 24453948
23.  Co-morbidities increase the risk of disability pension among MS patients: a population-based nationwide cohort study 
BMC Neurology  2014;14:117.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and often disabling disease. In 2005, 62% of the MS patients in Sweden aged 16–65 years were on disability pension. The objective of this study is to investigate whether the presence of common co-morbidities increase MS patients’ risk for disability pension.
This population-based cohort study included 4 519 MS patients and 4 972 174 non-MS patients who in 2005 were aged 17–64 years, lived in Sweden, and were not on disability pension. Patients with MS were identified in the nationwide in- and outpatient registers, while four different registers were used to construct three sets of measures of musculoskeletal, mental, and cardiovascular disorders. Time-dependent proportional hazard models with a five-year follow up were performed, adjusting for socio-demographic factors.
All studied disorders were elevated among MS patients, regardless of type of measure used. MS patients with mental disorders had a higher risk for disability pension than MS patients with no such co-morbidities. Moreover, mental disorders had a synergistic influence on MS patients’ risk for disability pension. These findings were also confirmed when conducting sensitivity analyses. Musculoskeletal disorders appeared to increase MS patients’ risk for disability pension. The results with regard to musculoskeletal disorders’ synergistic influence on disability pension were however inconclusive. Cardiovascular co-morbidity had no significant influence on MS-patients’ risk for disability pension.
Co-morbidities, especially mental disorders, significantly contribute to MS patients’ risk of disability pension, a finding of relevance for MS management and treatment.
PMCID: PMC4055212  PMID: 24894415
Multiple sclerosis; Co-morbidity; Disability pension; Sick leave; Synergistic effects; Insurance medicine
24.  Factors associated with needlestick and sharp injuries among hospital nurses: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey 
The current status of needlestick or sharp injuries of hospital nurses and factors associated with the injuries have not been systematically examined with representative registered nurse samples in South Korea.
To examine the incidence to needlestick or sharp injuries and identify the factors associated with such injuries among hospital nurses in South Korea.
Design, settings and participants
A cross-sectional survey of hospital nurses in South Korea. Data were collected from 3079 registered nurses in 60 acute hospitals in South Korea by a stratified random sampling method based on the region and number of beds.
The dependent variable was the occurrence of needlestick or sharp injuries in the last year, and the independent variables were protective equipment, nurse characteristics, and hospital characteristics. This study employed logistic regression analysis with generalized estimating equation clustering by hospital to identify the factors associated with needlestick or sharp injuries.
The majority (70.4%) of the hospital nurses had experienced needlestick or sharp injuries in the previous year. The non-use of safety containers for disposal of sharps and needles, less working experience as a registered nurse, poor work environments in regards to staffing and resource adequacy, and high emotional exhaustion significantly increased risk for needlestick or sharp injuries. Working in perioperative units also significantly increased the risk for such injuries but working in intensive care units, psychiatry, and obstetrics wards showed a significantly lower risk than medical–surgical wards.
The occurrence of needlestick or sharp injuries of registered nurses was associated with organizational characteristics as well as protective equipment and nurse characteristics. Hospitals can prevent or reduce such injuries by establishing better work environments in terms of staffing and resource adequacy, minimizing emotional exhaustion, and retaining more experienced nurses. All hospitals should make safety-engineered equipment available to registered nurses. Hospitals as well as specific units showing higher risk for needlestick and sharp injuries should implement organizational strategies to prevent such injuries. It is also necessary to establish a monitoring system of needlestick and sharp injuries at a hospital level and a reporting system at the national level in South Korea.
PMCID: PMC3996454  PMID: 22854116
Needlestick injuries; Burnout; Work environment; Hospitals; Nurses; Occupational health; Republic of Korea
25.  Comparison of the glidescope®, flexible fibreoptic intubating bronchoscope, iPhone modified bronchoscope, and the Macintosh laryngoscope in normal and difficult airways: a manikin study 
BMC Anesthesiology  2014;14:10.
Smart phone technology is becoming increasingly integrated into medical care.
Our study compared an iPhone modified flexible fibreoptic bronchoscope as an intubation aid and clinical teaching tool with an unmodified bronchoscope, Glidescope® and Macintosh laryngoscope in a simulated normal and difficult airway scenario.
Sixty three anaesthesia providers, 21 consultant anaesthetists, 21 registrars and 21 anaesthetic nurses attempted to intubate a MegaCode Kelly™ manikin, comparing a normal and difficult airway scenario for each device. Primary endpoints were time to view the vocal cords (TVC), time to successful intubation (TSI) and number of failed intubations with each device. Secondary outcomes included participant rated device usability and preference for each scenario. Advantages and disadvantages of the iPhone modified bronchoscope were also discussed.
There was no significant difference in TVC with the iPhone modified bronchoscope compared with the Macintosh blade (P = 1.0) or unmodified bronchoscope (P = 0.155). TVC was significantly shorter with the Glidescope compared with the Macintosh blade (P < 0.001), iPhone (P < 0.001) and unmodified bronchoscope (P = 0.011). The iPhone bronchoscope TSI was significantly longer than all other devices (P < 0.001). There was no difference between anaesthetic consultant or registrar TVC (P = 1.0) or TSI (P = 0.252), with both being less than the nurses (P < 0.001). Consultant anaesthetists and nurses had a higher intubation failure rate with the iPhone modified bronchoscope compared with the registrars. Although more difficult to use, similar proportions of consultants (14/21), registrars (15/21) and nurses (15/21) indicated that they would be prepared to use the iPhone modified bronchoscope in their clinical practice. The Glidescope was rated easiest to use (P < 0.001) and was the preferred device by all participants for the difficult airway scenario.
The iPhone modified bronchoscope, in its current configuration, was found to be more difficult to use compared with the Glidescope® and unmodified bronchoscope; however it offered several advantages for teaching fibreoptic intubation technique when video-assisted bronchoscopy was unavailable.
PMCID: PMC3945614  PMID: 24575885

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