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1.  Adopting evidence-based practice in clinical decision making: nurses' perceptions, knowledge, and barriers 
Evidence-based practice (EBP) provides nurses with a method to use critically appraised and scientifically proven evidence for delivering quality health care to a specific population. The objective of this study was to explore nurses' awareness of, knowledge of, and attitude toward EBP and factors likely to encourage or create barriers to adoption. In addition, information sources used by nurses and their literature searching skills were also investigated.
A total of 2,100 copies of the questionnaire were distributed to registered nurses in 2 public hospitals in Singapore, and 1,486 completed forms were returned, resulting in a response rate of 70.8%.
More than 64% of the nurses expressed a positive attitude toward EBP. However, they pointed out that due to heavy workload, they cannot keep up to date with new evidence. Regarding self-efficacy of EBP-related abilities, the nurses perceived themselves to possess moderate levels of skills. The nurses also felt that EBP training, time availability, and mentoring by nurses with EBP experience would encourage them to implement EBP. The top three barriers to adopting EBP were lack of time, inability to understand statistical terms, and inadequate understanding of the jargon used in research articles. For literature searching, nurses were using basic search features and less than one-quarter of them were familiar with Boolean and proximity operators.
Although nurses showed a positive attitude toward EBP, certain barriers were hindering their smooth adoption. It is, therefore, desirable that hospital management in Southeast Asia, particularly in Singapore, develop a comprehensive strategy for building EBP competencies through proper training. Moreover, hospital libraries should also play an active role in developing adequate information literacy skills among the nurses.
PMCID: PMC3133901  PMID: 21753915
2.  Robotic-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery for Gynecologic and Urologic Oncology 
Executive Summary
An application was received to review the evidence on the ‘The Da Vinci Surgical System’ for the treatment of gynecologic malignancies (e.g. endometrial and cervical cancers). Limitations to the current standard of care include the lack of trained physicians on minimally invasive surgery and limited access to minimally invasive surgery for patients. The potential benefits of ‘The Da Vinci Surgical System’ include improved technical manipulation and physician uptake leading to increased surgeries, and treatment and management of these cancers.
The demand for robotic surgery for the treatment and management of prostate cancer has been increasing due to its alleged benefits of recovery of erectile function and urinary continence, two important factors of men’s health. The potential technical benefits of robotic surgery leading to improved patient functional outcomes are surgical precision and vision.
Clinical Need
Uterine and cervical cancers represent 5.4% (4,400 of 81,700) and 1.6% (1,300 of 81,700), respectively, of incident cases of cancer among female cancers in Canada. Uterine cancer, otherwise referred to as endometrial cancer is cancer of the lining of the uterus. The most common treatment option for endometrial cancer is removing the cancer through surgery. A surgical option is the removal of the uterus and cervix through a small incision in the abdomen using a laparoscope which is referred to as total laparoscopic hysterectomy. Risk factors that increase the risk of endometrial cancer include taking estrogen replacement therapy after menopause, being obese, early age at menarche, late age at menopause, being nulliparous, having had high-dose radiation to the pelvis, and use of tamoxifen.
Cervical cancer occurs at the lower narrow end of the uterus. There are more treatment options for cervical cancer compared to endometrial cancer, however total laparoscopic hysterectomy is also a treatment option. Risk factors that increase the risk for cervical cancer are multiple sexual partners, early sexual activity, infection with the human papillomavirus, and cigarette smoking, whereas barrier-type of contraception as a risk factor decreases the risk of cervical cancer.
Prostate cancer is ranked first in men in Canada in terms of the number of new cases among all male cancers (25,500 of 89,300 or 28.6%). The impact on men who develop prostate cancer is substantial given the potential for erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Prostate cancer arises within the prostate gland, which resides in the male reproductive system and near the bladder. Radical retropubic prostatectomy is the gold standard treatment for localized prostate cancer. Prostate cancer affects men above 60 years of age. Other risk factors include a family history of prostate cancer, being of African descent, being obese, consuming a diet high in fat, physical inactivity, and working with cadium.
The Da Vinci Surgical System
The Da Vinci Surgical System is a robotic device. There are four main components to the system: 1) the surgeon’s console, where the surgeon sits and views a magnified three-dimensional image of the surgical field; 2) patient side-cart, which sits beside the patient and consists of three instrument arms and one endoscope arm; 3) detachable instruments (endowrist instruments and intuitive masters), which simulate fine motor human movements. The hand movements of the surgeon’s hands at the surgeon’s console are translated into smaller ones by the robotic device and are acted out by the attached instruments; 4) three-dimensional vision system: the camera unit or endoscope arm. The main advantages of use of the robotic device are: 1) the precision of the instrument and improved dexterity due to the use of “wristed” instruments; 2) three-dimensional imaging, with improved ability to locate blood vessels, nerves and tissues; 3) the surgeon’s console, which reduces fatigue accompanied with conventional laparoscopy surgery and allows for tremor-free manipulation. The main disadvantages of use of the robotic device are the costs including instrument costs ($2.6 million in US dollars), cost per use ($200 per use), the costs associated with training surgeons and operating room personnel, and the lack of tactile feedback, with the trade-off being increased visual feedback.
Research Questions
For endometrial and cervical cancers,
1. What is the effectiveness of the Da Vinci Surgical System vs. laparoscopy and laparotomy for women undergoing any hysterectomy for the surgical treatment and management of their endometrial and cervical cancers?
2. What are the incremental costs of the Da Vinci Surgical System vs. laparoscopy and laparotomy for women undergoing any hysterectomy for the surgical treatment and management of their endometrial and cervical cancers?
For prostate cancer,
3. What is the effectiveness of robotically-assisted radical prostatectomy using the Da Vinci Surgical System vs. laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and retropubic radical prostatectomy for the surgical treatment and management of prostate cancer?
4. What are the incremental costs of robotically-assisted radical prostatectomy using the Da Vinci Surgical System vs. laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and retropubic radical prostatectomy for the surgical treatment and management of prostate cancer?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on May 12, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, OVID EMBASE, Wiley Cochrane, CINAHL, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination/International Agency for Health Technology Assessment for studies published from January 1, 2000 until May 12, 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist, then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Inclusion Criteria
English language articles (January 1, 2000-May 12, 2010)
Journal articles that report on the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness for the comparisons of interest using a primary data source (e.g. obtained in a clinical setting)
Journal articles that report on the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness for the comparisons of interest using a secondary data source (e.g. hospital- or population-based registries)
Study design and methods must be clearly described
Health technology assessments, systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, non-randomized controlled trials and/or cohort studies, case-case studies, regardless of sample size, cost-effectiveness studies
Exclusion Criteria
Duplicate publications (with the more recent publication on the same study population included)
Non-English papers
Animal or in-vitro studies
Case reports or case series without a referent or comparison group
Studies on long-term survival which may be affected by treatment
Studies that do not examine the cancers (e.g. advanced disease) or outcomes of interest
Outcomes of Interest
For endometrial and cervical cancers,
Primary outcomes:
Morbidity factors
- Length of hospitalization
- Number of complications*
Peri-operative factors
- Operation time
- Amount of blood loss*
- Number of conversions to laparotomy*
Number of lymph nodes recovered
For prostate cancer,
Primary outcomes:
Morbidity factors
- Length of hospitalization
- Amount of morphine use/pain*
Peri-operative factors
- Operation time
- Amount of blood loss*
- Number of transfusions*
- Duration of catheterization
- Number of complications*
- Number of anastomotic strictures*
Number of lymph nodes recovered
Oncologic factors
- Proportion of positive surgical margins
Long-term outcomes
- Urinary continence
- Erectile function
Summary of Findings
Robotic use for gynecologic oncology compared to:
Laparotomy: benefits of robotic surgery in terms of shorter length of hospitalization and less blood loss. These results indicate clinical effectiveness in terms of reduced morbidity and safety, respectively, in the context of study design limitations.
The beneficial effect of robotic surgery was shown in pooled analysis for complications, owing to increased sample size.
More work is needed to clarify the role of complications in terms of safety, including improved study designs, analysis and measurement.
Laparoscopy: benefits of robotic surgery in terms of shorter length of hospitalization, less blood loss and fewer conversions to laparotomy likely owing to the technical difficulty of conventional laparoscopy, in the context of study design limitations.
Clinical significance of significant findings for length of hospitalizations and blood loss is low.
Fewer conversions to laparotomy indicate clinical effectiveness in terms of reduced morbidity.
Robotic use for urologic oncology, specifically prostate cancer, compared to:
Retropubic surgery: benefits of robotic surgery in terms of shorter length of hospitalization and less blood loss/fewer individuals requiring transfusions. These results indicate clinical effectiveness in terms of reduced morbidity and safety, respectively, in the context of study design limitations. There was a beneficial effect in terms of decreased positive surgical margins and erectile dysfunction. These results indicate clinical effectiveness in terms of improved cancer control and functional outcomes, respectively, in the context of study design limitations.
Surgeon skill had an impact on cancer control and functional outcomes.
The results for complications were inconsistent when measured as either total number of complications, pain management or anastomosis. There is some suggestion that robotic surgery is safe with respect to less post-operative pain management required compared to retropubic surgery, however improved study design and measurement of complications need to be further addressed.
Clinical significance of significant findings for length of hospitalizations is low.
Laparoscopy: benefits of robotic surgery in terms of less blood loss and fewer individuals requiring transfusions likely owing to the technical difficulty of conventional laparoscopy, in the context of study design limitations.
Clinical significance of significant findings for blood loss is low.
The potential link between less blood loss, improved visualization and improved functional outcomes is an important consideration for use of robotics.
All studies included were observational in nature and therefore the results must be interpreted cautiously.
Economic Analysis
The objective of this project was to assess the economic impact of robotic-assisted laparoscopy (RAL) for endometrial, cervical, and prostate cancers in the province of Ontario.
A budget impact analysis was undertaken to report direct costs associated with open surgery (OS), endoscopic laparoscopy (EL) and robotic-assisted laparoscopy (RAL) based on clinical literature review outcomes, to report a budget impact in the province based on volumes and costs from administrative data sets, and to project a future impact of RAL in Ontario. A cost-effectiveness analysis was not conducted because of the low quality evidence from the clinical literature review.
Hospital costs were obtained from the Ontario Case Costing Initiative (OCCI) for the appropriate Canadian Classification of Health Intervention (CCI) codes restricted to selective ICD-10 diagnostic codes after consultation with experts in the field. Physician fees were obtained from the Ontario Schedule of Benefits (OSB) after consultation with experts in the field. Fees were costed based on operation times reported in the clinical literature for the procedures being investigated. Volumes of procedures were obtained from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) administrative databases.
Direct costs associated with RAL, EL and OS included professional fees, hospital costs (including disposable instruments), radiotherapy costs associated with positive surgical margins in prostate cancer and conversion to OS in gynecological cancer. The total cost per case was higher for RAL than EL and OS for both gynecological and prostate cancers. There is also an acquisition cost associated with RAL. After conversation with the only supplier in Canada, hospitals are looking to spend an initial 3.6M to acquire the robotic surgical system
Previous volumes of OS and EL procedures were used to project volumes into Years 1-3 using a linear mathematical expression. Burden of OS and EL hysterectomies and prostatectomies was calculated by multiplying the number of cases for that year by the cost/case of the procedure.
The number of procedures is expected to increase in the next three years based on historical data. RAL is expected to capture this market by 65% after consultation with experts. If it’s assumed that RAL will capture the current market in Ontario by 65%, the net impact is expected to be by Year 3, 3.1M for hysterectomy and 6.7M for prostatectomy procedures respectively in the province.
RAL has diffused in the province with four surgical systems in place in Ontario, two in Toronto and two in London. RAL is a more expensive technology on a per case basis due to more expensive robot specific instrumentation and physician labour reflected by increased OR time reported in the clinical literature. There is also an upfront cost to acquire the machine and maintenance contract. RAL is expected to capture the market at 65% with project net impacts by Year 3 of 3.1M and 6.7M for hysterectomy and prostatectomy respectively.
PMCID: PMC3382308  PMID: 23074405
3.  Evidence-Based Practice 
The aim of this study was to describe nurses’ practices, attitudes, knowledge/skills and perceived barriers in relation to evidence-based practice (EBP) in Oman.
This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted between February and November 2012. A self-reported 24-item questionnaire was used to measure EBP practices, attitudes and knowledge/skills among a convenience sample of 600 nurses working in four governmental hospitals in Muscat, Oman. Responses were scored on a one to seven rating scale. Barriers to EBP were measured on a five-point Likert scale using two subscales. Descriptive statistics and general linear regression were used to analyse the data.
A total of 414 nurses were included in the study. The greatest barriers to developing EBP among nurses were insufficient time for research (3.51 ± 0.97) and insufficient resources to change practices (3.64 ± 0.99). Nurses with more years of experience reported increased use of EBP (P <0.01), more positive attitudes towards EBP (P <0.001) and fewer barriers to research (P <0.01). Significant positive correlations were found between years of experience and practice (r = 0.16) and attitudes (r = 0.20). Nurses with a baccalaureate degree reported fewer barriers to research than those qualified at a diploma level (P <0.001). Nurses who perceived more barriers to research reported less use of EBP (P <0.001), less positive attitudes towards EBP (P <0.001) and limited EBP knowledge/skills (P <0.001).
These findings provide a basis for enhancing nursing practices, knowledge and skills. Continuing education for nurses and minimising barriers is crucial to increasing the use of EBP in Oman.
PMCID: PMC4205067  PMID: 25364558
Evidence-Based Practice; Nurses; Attitudes; Knowledge; Oman
4.  Surgical checklists: the human factor 
Surgical checklists has been shown to improve patient safety and teamwork in the operating theatre. However, despite the known benefits of the use of checklists in surgery, in some cases the practical implementation has been found to be less than universal. A questionnaire methodology was used to quantitatively evaluate the attitudes of theatre staff towards a modified version of the World Health Organisation (WHO) surgical checklist with relation to: beliefs about levels of compliance and support, impact on patient safety and teamwork, and barriers to the use of the checklist.
Using the theory of planned behaviour as a framework, 14 semi-structured interviews were conducted with theatre personnel regarding their attitudes towards, and levels of compliance with, a checklist. Based upon the interviews, a 27-item questionnaire was developed and distribute to all theatre personnel in an Irish hospital.
Responses were obtained from 107 theatre staff (42.6% response rate). Particularly for nurses, the overall attitudes towards the effect of the checklist on safety and teamworking were positive. However, there was a lack of rigour with which the checklist was being applied. Nurses were significantly more sensitive to the barriers to the use of the checklist than anaesthetists or surgeons. Moreover, anaesthetists were not as positively disposed to the surgical checklist as surgeons and nurse. This finding was attributed to the tendency for the checklist to be completed during a period of high workload for the anaesthetists, resulting in a lack of engagement with the process.
In order to improve the rigour with which the surgical checklist is applied, there is a need for: the involvement of all members of the theatre team in the checklist process, demonstrated support for the checklist from senior personnel, on-going education and training, and barriers to the implementation of the checklist to be addressed.
PMCID: PMC3669630  PMID: 23672665
Surgical checklist; Surgery; Patient safety
JAMA surgery  2013;148(1):29-35.
To examine surgeons’ experiences of conflict with intensivists and nurses about goals of care for their postoperative patients.
Cross-sectional incentivized U.S. mail-based survey.
Private and academic surgical practices.
2,100 vascular, neurological, and cardiothoracic surgeons.
Main Outcome Measures
Surgeon-reported rates of conflict with intensivists and nurses about goals of care in patients with poor post-surgical outcomes.
The adjusted response rate was 55.6%. Forty-three percent of surgeons report sometimes or always experiencing conflict about postoperative goals of care with intensivists, and 43% report conflict with nurses. Younger surgeons report higher rates of conflict than older surgeons with both intensivists (57 vs. 32%, p=0.001) and nurses (48 vs. 33%, p=0.001). Surgeons practicing in closed ICUs report more frequent conflict than those practicing in open ICUs (60 vs. 41% p=0.005). On multivariate analysis, the odds of reporting conflict with intensivists were 2.5 times higher for surgeons with fewer years of experience as compared to their older colleagues (OR: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.6-3.8) and 70% higher for reporting conflict with nurses (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1-2.6). The odds of reporting conflict with intensivists about goals of postoperative care were 40% lower for surgeons who primarily manage their ICU patients than for those who work in a closed unit (OR: 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4-0.96).
Surgeons regularly experience conflict with critical care clinicians about goals of care for patients with poor postoperative outcomes. Higher rates of conflict are associated with less experience and working in a closed ICU.
PMCID: PMC3624604  PMID: 23324837
6.  Interactions between Non-Physician Clinicians and Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(11):e1001561.
In a systematic review of studies of interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry, Quinn Grundy and colleagues found that many of the issues identified for physicians' industry interactions exist for non-physician clinicians.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
With increasing restrictions placed on physician–industry interactions, industry marketing may target other health professionals. Recent health policy developments confer even greater importance on the decision making of non-physician clinicians. The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the types and implications of non-physician clinician–industry interactions in clinical practice.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE and Web of Science from January 1, 1946, through June 24, 2013, according to PRISMA guidelines. Non-physician clinicians eligible for inclusion were: Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, Physician Assistants, pharmacists, dieticians, and physical or occupational therapists; trainee samples were excluded. Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria. Data were synthesized qualitatively into eight outcome domains: nature and frequency of industry interactions; attitudes toward industry; perceived ethical acceptability of interactions; perceived marketing influence; perceived reliability of industry information; preparation for industry interactions; reactions to industry relations policy; and management of industry interactions. Non-physician clinicians reported interacting with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Clinicians across disciplines met with pharmaceutical representatives regularly and relied on them for practice information. Clinicians frequently received industry “information,” attended sponsored “education,” and acted as distributors for similar materials targeted at patients. Clinicians generally regarded this as an ethical use of industry resources, and felt they could detect “promotion” while benefiting from industry “information.” Free samples were among the most approved and common ways that clinicians interacted with industry. Included studies were observational and of varying methodological rigor; thus, these findings may not be generalizable. This review is, however, the first to our knowledge to provide a descriptive analysis of this literature.
Non-physician clinicians' generally positive attitudes toward industry interactions, despite their recognition of issues related to bias, suggest that industry interactions are normalized in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. Industry relations policy should address all disciplines and be implemented consistently in order to mitigate conflicts of interest and address such interactions' potential to affect patient care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Making and selling health care goods (including drugs and devices) and services is big business. To maximize the profits they make for their shareholders, companies involved in health care build relationships with physicians by providing information on new drugs, organizing educational meetings, providing samples of their products, giving gifts, and holding sponsored events. These relationships help to keep physicians informed about new developments in health care but also create the potential for causing harm to patients and health care systems. These relationships may, for example, result in increased prescription rates of new, heavily marketed medications, which are often more expensive than their generic counterparts (similar unbranded drugs) and that are more likely to be recalled for safety reasons than long-established drugs. They may also affect the provision of health care services. Industry is providing an increasingly large proportion of routine health care services in many countries, so relationships built up with physicians have the potential to influence the commissioning of the services that are central to the treatment and well-being of patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
As a result of concerns about the tension between industry's need to make profits and the ethics underlying professional practice, restrictions are increasingly being placed on physician–industry interactions. In the US, for example, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act now requires US manufacturers of drugs, devices, and medical supplies that participate in federal health care programs to disclose all payments and gifts made to physicians and teaching hospitals. However, other health professionals, including those with authority to prescribe drugs such as pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and nurse practitioners are not covered by this legislation or by similar legislation in other settings, even though the restructuring of health care to prioritize primary care and multidisciplinary care models means that “non-physician clinicians” are becoming more numerous and more involved in decision-making and medication management. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the researchers examine the nature and implications of the interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 15 published studies that examined interactions between non-physician clinicians (Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, midwives, pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and dieticians) and industry (corporations that produce health care goods and services). They extracted the data from 16 publications (representing 15 different studies) and synthesized them qualitatively (combined the data and reached word-based, rather than numerical, conclusions) into eight outcome domains, including the nature and frequency of interactions, non-physician clinicians' attitudes toward industry, and the perceived ethical acceptability of interactions. In the research the authors identified, non-physician clinicians reported frequent interactions with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Most non-physician clinicians met industry representatives regularly, received gifts and samples, and attended educational events or received educational materials (some of which they distributed to patients). In these studies, non-physician clinicians generally regarded these interactions positively and felt they were an ethical and appropriate use of industry resources. Only a minority of non-physician clinicians felt that marketing influenced their own practice, although a larger percentage felt that their colleagues would be influenced. A sizeable proportion of non-physician clinicians questioned the reliability of industry information, but most were confident that they could detect biased information and therefore rated this information as reliable, valuable, or useful.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These and other findings suggest that non-physician clinicians generally have positive attitudes toward industry interactions but recognize issues related to bias and conflict of interest. Because these findings are based on a small number of studies, most of which were undertaken in the US, they may not be generalizable to other countries. Moreover, they provide no quantitative assessment of the interaction between non-physician clinicians and industry and no information about whether industry interactions affect patient care outcomes. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that industry interactions are normalized (seen as standard) in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. This normalization creates the potential for serious risks to patients and health care systems. The researchers suggest that it may be unrealistic to expect that non-physician clinicians can be taught individually how to interact with industry ethically or how to detect and avert bias, particularly given the ubiquitous nature of marketing and promotional materials. Instead, they suggest, the environment in which non-physician clinicians practice should be structured to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of interactions with industry.
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 James S. Yeh and Aaron S. Kesselheim
The American Medical Association provides guidance for physicians on interactions with pharmaceutical industry representatives, information about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, and a toolkit for preparing Physician Payments Sunshine Act reports
The International Council of Nurses provides some guidance on industry interactions in its position statement on nurse-industry relations
The UK General Medical Council provides guidance on financial and commercial arrangements and conflicts of interest as part of its good medical practice website, which describes what is required of all registered doctors in the UK
Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Practical Guide is a manual prepared by Health Action International and the World Health Organization that schools of medicine and pharmacy can use to train students how to recognize and respond to pharmaceutical promotion.
The Institute of Medicine's Report on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice recommends steps to identify, limit, and manage conflicts of interest
The University of California, San Francisco, Office of Continuing Medical Education offers a course called Marketing of Medicines
PMCID: PMC3841103  PMID: 24302892
7.  Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Chest Compression Only and Teamwork From the Perspective of Medical Doctors, Surgeons and Anesthesiologists 
New resuscitation guidelines that were proposed by the European Resuscitation Council in 2010 have introduced a new method of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by chest compressions only for untrained individuals.
We conducted this study to evaluate differences in attitudes towards CPR among medical doctors, surgeons and anesthesiologists in Osijek University Hospital. A call for help, chest-compression-only resuscitation, mouth-to-mouth ventilation and team-work were recognized as critical points that may influence the outcome. Unfamiliarity with these methods may be indicative of a lack of education in resuscitation and may result in poor outcomes for victims.
Patients and Methods:
An anonymous survey was conducted on 190 medical professionals: 93 medical doctors, 70 surgeons, and 27 anesthesiologists during year 2012 (mean age 41.9 years). The questions were related to previous education in resuscitation, current resuscitation practices and attitudes towards cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Data were analyzed using ANOVA and Fisher exact test. A P value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
The only difference between groups was regarding the male and female ratio, with more male surgeons (45, 55, and 11, P < 0.001). All doctors considered CPR as important, but only anesthesiologists knew how often guidelines in CPR change. Approximately 45% of medical doctors, 48% of surgeons and 77% of anesthesiologists reported that they have renewed their knowledge in CPR within the last five years, whereas 34%, 25% and 22% had never renewed their knowledge in the CPR (P = 0.01 between surgeons anesthesiologists). Furthermore, chest-compression-only was recognized as a valuable CPR technique by 25.8% of medical doctors, 14.3% of surgeons and 59.3% of anesthesiologists (P < 0.001). Anesthesiologists estimated a high risk of infection transmission (62%) and were more likely to refuse mouth-to-mouth ventilation when compared to surgeons (25% vs.10%, P = 0.01). Anesthesiologists are most often called for help by their colleagues, only rarely surgeons call their departmental colleagues and nurses to help in CPR.
An insufficient formal education in CPR was registered for all groups, reflecting the lack of familiarity with new CPR methods. A team education, involving doctors and nurses may improve familiarity with CPR and patient outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4441776  PMID: 26019895
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation; Education; Guideline Adherence; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Infection
8.  Nursing Students’ Competencies in Evidence-Based Practice and Its Related Factors 
Nursing and Midwifery Studies  2015;4(4):e23047.
Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is one of the nursing professional roles that can lead them to provide the best and more effective care. However, no studies are available on nursing students’ competencies in EBP.
This study aimed to investigate the nursing students’ knowledge, attitude and intention to implement EBP and its related factors in two nursing and midwifery faculties in Tehran, Iran.
Materials and Methods:
In this cross-sectional study, 170 undergraduate nursing students were selected from two faculties of nursing and midwifery in Tehran, Iran. A census sampling method was applied and they were all before graduation in 2013. The Rubin and Parrish questionnaire was used to assess the students’ knowledge, attitude and intention to implement EBP as well as factors affecting the implementation of EBP. Students completed the instrument through self-report. Descriptive statistics, Independent sample t-test and Pearson correlation coefficient were used to analyze the data.
The students mean scores of knowledge, attitude and intention to implement EBP was 31.08 ± 5.77, 50.40 ± 9.58, 36.01 ± 4.64, respectively. The students’ age was inversely correlated with their scores of knowledge, attitude and intention to use EBP (P < 0.05). However, the students’ GPA was in direct association with their knowledge, attitude and intention to implement EBP (P < 0.05). No significant differences were observed between the males and females mean scores in the three subscales. However, significant differences were found between the students mean scores in the two subscales of knowledge and attitudes toward EBP in terms of familiarity with statistics and research methods (P < 0.05). Neither familiarity with research methods nor familiarity with EBP could significantly affect the students’ intention to implement EBP.
The present study showed that nursing students have not a high mean score in the three subscales of knowledge, attitude and intention to implement EBP. It is essential for faculties and nurse managers not only to focus on education of EBP, but also to support nurses and nursing students to implement it in the process patient care.
PMCID: PMC4733497  PMID: 26835462
Evidence-Based Practice; Nursing Students; Knowledge; Attitude; Intention
9.  Current nutrition promotion, beliefs and barriers among cancer nurses in Australia and New Zealand 
PeerJ  2015;3:e1396.
Rationale. Many cancer patients and survivors do not meet nutritional and physical activity guidelines, thus healthier eating and greater levels of physical activity could have considerable benefits for these individuals. While research has investigated cancer survivors’ perspective on their challenges in meeting the nutrition and physical guidelines, little research has examined how health professionals may assist their patients meet these guidelines. Cancer nurses are ideally placed to promote healthy behaviours to their patients, especially if access to dieticians or dietary resources is limited. However, little is known about cancer nurses’ healthy eating promotion practices to their patients. The primary aim of this study was to examine current healthy eating promotion practices, beliefs and barriers of cancer nurses in Australia and New Zealand. A secondary aim was to gain insight into whether these practices, beliefs and barriers were influenced by the nurses’ hospital or years of work experience.
Patients and Methods. An online questionnaire was used to obtain data. Sub-group cancer nurse comparisons were performed on hospital location (metropolitan vs regional and rural) and years of experience (<25 or ≥25 years) using ANOVA and chi square analysis for continuous and categorical data respectively.
Results. A total of 123 Australasian cancer nurses responded to the survey. Cancer nurses believed they were often the major provider of nutritional advice to their cancer patients (32.5%), a value marginally less than dieticians (35.9%) but substantially higher than oncologists (3.3%). The majority promoted healthy eating prior (62.6%), during (74.8%) and post treatment (64.2%). Most cancer nurses felt that healthy eating had positive effects on the cancer patients’ quality of life (85.4%), weight management (82.9%), mental health (80.5%), activities of daily living (79.7%) and risk of other chronic diseases (79.7%), although only 75.5% agreed or strongly agreed that this is due to a strong evidence base. Lack of time (25.8%), adequate support structures (17.3%) nutrition expertise (12.2%) were cited by the cancer nurses as the most common barriers to promoting healthy eating to their patients. Comparisons based on their hospital location and years of experience, revealed very few significant differences, indicating that cancer nurses’ healthy eating promotion practices, beliefs and barriers were largely unaffected by hospital location or years of experience.
Conclusion. Australasian cancer nurses have favourable attitudes towards promoting healthy eating to their cancer patients across multiple treatment stages and believe that healthy eating has many benefits for their patients. Unfortunately, several barriers to healthy eating promotion were reported. If these barriers can be overcome, nurses may be able to work more effectively with dieticians to improve the outcomes for cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4647604  PMID: 26587354
Cancer nurses; Health professional; Nutrition; Cancer patients; Healthy eating; Oncology; Health promotion
10.  Medical Services and Associated Costs Vary Widely Among Surgeons Treating Patients With Hand Osteoarthritis 
There are substantial variations in medical services that are difficult to explain based on differences in pathophysiology alone. The scale of variation and the number of people affected suggest substantial potential to lower healthcare costs with the reduction of practice variation. Our study assessed practice variation across three affiliated urban sites in one city in the United States and related healthcare costs following the diagnosis of hand osteoarthritis (OA) in patients.
(1) What are the factors associated with increased costs and surgery in the first year after diagnosis of hand OA? (2) How much practice variation exists among hand surgeons in terms of the number of patient visits, use of imaging tests, use of injections, occupational therapy use, and surgery? (3) What proportion of total cost is accounted for by patients who consult with an additional provider?
Patients receiving a new diagnosis of primary hand OA between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2011, were identified from the research database of three affiliated urban hospitals in a single city in the United States. We included 2814 patients (69%, 1929 women) treated by six hand surgeons. We recorded all visits, imaging tests, injections, occupational therapy visits, and surgical procedures in the first year after that diagnosis. Costs were extracted from the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. Reliability of the database was assessed by manual checking of 120 patient charts (4.3% of all data); reliability was determined to be 94% (113 of 120) for diagnoses, 97% (116 of 120) correct surgeon, 100% (120 of 120) second surgeon, 99% (278 of 282) visits, 99% (132 of 134) imaging procedures, 92% (11 of 12) injections, 95% (21 of 22) surgical procedures, and 85% (102 of 120) prescribing occupational therapy.
Predictors of increased costs included younger patient age (regression coefficient [β] −3.5, semipartial R2 0.0049, 95% confidence interval [CI] −5.4 to −1.7, p < 0.001), seeing a second surgeon (β 283, semipartial R2 0.0095, 95% CI 176–391, p < 0.001), and specific surgeons (surgeon 1: β −243, semipartial R2 0.026, 95% CI −298 to −188, p < 0.001; surgeon 2: β −177, semipartial R2 0.0090, 95% CI −246 to −109, p < 0.001; surgeon 6: β 124, semipartial R2 0.0050, 95% CI 59–189, p < 0.001) (adjusted R2 = 0.056). Similarly, factors associated with increased surgical intervention included younger patient age (β −0.0026, semipartial R2 0.0071, 95% CI −0.0037 to −0.0015, p < 0.001), male sex (β 0.041, semipartial R2 0.0028, 95% CI −0.069 to −0.012, p = 0.005), seeing a second surgeon (β 0.16, semipartial R2 0.0091, 95% CI 0.094–0.22, p < 0.001), and specific surgeons (surgeon 1: β −0.14, semipartial R2 0.026, 95% CI −0.18 to −0.11, p < 0.001; surgeon 2: β −0.13, semipartial R2 0.014, 95% CI −0.17 to −0.091, p < 0.001). There were large variations in the average number of visits (1.5-fold), imaging tests (threefold), use of injections (51-fold), occupational therapy (twofold), and surgery rates (sevenfold) among providers. One hundred twenty patients (4.3%) consulted a second surgeon within the first year after receiving the diagnosis of hand OA, which accounted for 8.1% (USD 68,826/USD 845,304) of the total costs.
Patients who saw additional providers and who were of younger age incurred higher costs and a greater likelihood of undergoing surgery; the latter was also greater in male patients. Use of medical services and associated costs vary widely among providers treating patients with hand OA. Initiatives addressing practice variation—increased use of decision aids, for example—merit additional study.
Level of Evidence
Level III, prognostic study. See the Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11999-014-3912-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4317453  PMID: 25171936
11.  Surgeon’s experiences of receiving peer benchmarked feedback using patient-reported outcome measures: a qualitative study 
The use of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) to provide healthcare professionals with peer benchmarked feedback is growing. However, there is little evidence on the opinions of professionals on the value of this information in practice. The purpose of this research is to explore surgeon’s experiences of receiving peer benchmarked PROMs feedback and to examine whether this information led to changes in their practice.
This qualitative research employed a Framework approach. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with surgeons who received peer benchmarked PROMs feedback. The participants included eleven consultant orthopaedic surgeons in the Republic of Ireland.
Five themes were identified: conceptual, methodological, practical, attitudinal, and impact. A typology was developed based on the attitudinal and impact themes from which three distinct groups emerged. ‘Advocates’ had positive attitudes towards PROMs and confirmed that the information promoted a self-reflective process. ‘Converts’ were uncertain about the value of PROMs, which reduced their inclination to use the data. ‘Sceptics’ had negative attitudes towards PROMs and claimed that the information had no impact on their behaviour. The conceptual, methodological and practical factors were linked to the typology.
Surgeons had mixed opinions on the value of peer benchmarked PROMs data. Many appreciated the feedback as it reassured them that their practice was similar to their peers. However, PROMs information alone was considered insufficient to help identify opportunities for quality improvements. The reasons for the observed reluctance of participants to embrace PROMs can be categorised into conceptual, methodological, and practical factors. Policy makers and researchers need to increase professionals’ awareness of the numerous purposes and benefits of using PROMs, challenge the current methods to measure performance using PROMs, and reduce the burden of data collection and information dissemination on routine practice.
PMCID: PMC4227108  PMID: 24972784
Health status; Outcome assessment (health care); Patient reported outcome measures; Quality of life; Qualitative research; Quality improvements
12.  Current practice of abdominal fascial closure: a survey of Ontario general surgeons 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2001;44(5):366-370.
To determine the current practice of abdominal fascial closure among provincial general surgeons. The primary objective was to determine the proportion of surgeons choosing absorbable versus nonabsorbable sutures. Secondary objectives included determining knowledge and attitudes of surgeons to evidence-based medicine and concordance of current practice with level I evidence.
A survey.
The province of Ontario.
One hundred general surgeons.
A stratified random sample of community and academic surgeons was assembled and a questionnaire was mailed to them. Common clinical scenarios and questions pertaining to attitudes and knowledge of evidence-based medicine were included.
Main outcome measures
Use of absorbable versus nonabsorbable suture material. Willingness to change current practice on evidence-based level I reports.
Most surgeons (86%) chose an absorbable suture for abdominal fascial closure. Nonabsorbable suture was chosen by 58% of surgeons in the highly contaminated surgical scenario. Eighty-one percent of surgeons indicated they would be willing to change their current practice of fascial closure if there was evidence that the incidence of wound complications was reduced. Polyglactin (Vicryl) was the most commonly chosen suture.
The current practice of abdominal fascial closure among Ontario general surgeons is in disagreement with the findings from a recent meta-analysis, recommending a nonabsorbable suture for a 32% relative risk reduction in the incisional hernia rate. The majority of surgeons employ a continuous absorbable closure in common surgical scenarios. A definitive randomized controlled trial comparing continuous nonabsorbable closure versus continuous absorbable closure is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3692644  PMID: 11603750
13.  Human Resource and Funding Constraints for Essential Surgery in District Hospitals in Africa: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Survey 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(3):e1000242.
In the second of two papers investigating surgical provision in eight district hospitals in Saharan African countries, Margaret Kruk and colleagues describe the range of providers of surgical care and anesthesia and estimate the related costs.
There is a growing recognition that the provision of surgical services in low-income countries is inadequate to the need. While constrained health budgets and health worker shortages have been blamed for the low rates of surgery, there has been little empirical data on the providers of surgery and cost of surgical services in Africa. This study described the range of providers of surgical care and anesthesia and estimated the resources dedicated to surgery at district hospitals in three African countries.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional survey of data from eight district hospitals in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda. There were no specialist surgeons or anesthetists in any of the hospitals. Most of the health workers were nurses (77.5%), followed by mid-level providers (MLPs) not trained to provide surgical care (7.8%), and MLPs trained to perform surgical procedures (3.8%). There were one to six medical doctors per hospital (4.2% of clinical staff). Most major surgical procedures were performed by doctors (54.6%), however over one-third (35.9%) were done by MLPs. Anesthesia was mainly provided by nurses (39.4%). Most of the hospital expenditure was related to staffing. Of the total operating costs, only 7% to 14% was allocated to surgical care, the majority of which was for obstetric surgery. These costs represent a per capita expenditure on surgery ranging from US$0.05 to US$0.14 between the eight hospitals.
African countries have adopted different policies to ensure the provision of surgical care in their respective district hospitals. Overall, the surgical output per capita was very low, reflecting low staffing ratios and limited expenditures for surgery. We found that most surgical and anesthesia services in the three countries in the study were provided by generalist doctors, MLPs, and nurses. Although more information is needed to estimate unmet need for surgery, increasing the funds allocated to surgery, and, in the absence of trained doctors and surgeons, formalizing the training of MLPs appears to be a pragmatic and cost-effective way to make basic surgical services available in underserved areas.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Infectious diseases remain the major killers in developing countries, but traumatic injuries, complications of childbirth, and other conditions that need surgery are important contributors to the overall burden of disease in these countries. Unfortunately, the provision of surgical services in low- and middle-income countries is often insufficient. There are many fewer operations per a head of population in developing countries than in developed countries, essential operations such as cesarean sections for complicated deliveries are not always available, and elective operations such as male and female sterilization can be difficult to obtain. Lack of funding for surgical procedures and shortages of trained health workers have often been blamed for the low rates of surgery in developing countries. For example, anesthesiologists (doctors who are trained to give anesthetics and other pain-relieving agents) and trained anesthetists (usually nurses and technicians) are rare in many African countries, as are surgeons and obstetricians (doctors who look after women during pregnancy and childbirth). To make matters worse, these specialists often work in tertiary referral hospitals in large cities. In district hospitals, which provide most of the primary health care needs of rural populations, basic surgical care is usually provided by “mid-level health care providers” (MLPs)—individuals with a level of training between that of nurses and physicians.
Why Was This Study Done?
Various organizations are currently working to improve emergency and essential surgical care in developing countries. For example, the Bellagio Essential Surgery Group (BESG) seeks to define, quantify, and address the problem of unmet surgical needs in sub-Saharan Africa. Importantly, however, before any programs can be introduced to improve access to surgical services in developing countries, better baseline data on existing surgical services needs to be collected—most of the available information on these services is anecdotal. In this study, the researchers (most of whom are members of the BESG) investigate the provision of surgical procedures and anesthesia in district hospitals in three sub-Saharan African countries and estimate the costs of surgery performed in the same hospitals.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers collected recent data on the number of doctors, MLPs, and nurses in two district hospitals in Tanzania and in Mozambique, and from four district hospitals in Uganda and information on each hospital's expenditure. Most of the health workers in these hospitals (which care for 3 million people between them) were nurses (77.5%), followed by MLPs not trained to provide surgical care (7.8%), and MLPs trained to provide surgical care (3.8%). The hospitals had between one and six medical doctors each (28 across all the hospitals), but there were no trained surgeons or anesthesiologists posted at any of the hospitals. About half of the major surgical procedures undertaken at these hospitals were performed by doctors but more than a third were done by MLPs although the exact pattern of personnel involved in surgery varied among the three countries. Anesthesia was mostly provided by nurses and doctors; again the pattern of anesthesia provision varied among countries and hospitals. Only 7%–14% of overall hospital expenditure was allocated to surgical care and most of this allocation was used for obstetric services. Finally, the researchers estimate that, on the basis of district populations, the district hospitals spent between US$0.05 and US$0.14 per head on surgical services.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, in the district hospitals investigated in this study, physicians, MLPs, and nurses provide most of the surgical care. Furthermore, although all the hospitals in the study provide some surgical care, it accounts for a small part of the hospitals' overall operating costs. These findings may not be generalizable to other district hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa and provide no information about the unmet needs for surgical care. Nevertheless, these findings and those of a separate paper that investigates the range and volume of surgical procedures undertaken in the same district hospitals provide a valuable baseline for planning the expansion of health care services in Africa. They also suggest that increasing the funds allocated to surgery and formalizing the training of MLPs might be a cost-effective way of increasing access to surgical care in sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The range and volume of surgery in the same hospitals is investigated in a PLoS Medicine Research Article by Moses Galukande et al.
Information on the Bellagio Essential Surgery Group is available
WHO's Global initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care plans to take essential emergency, basic surgery and anesthesia skills to health care staff in low- and middle-income countries around the world; WHO also has a page describing the importance of emergency and essential surgery in primary health care
PMCID: PMC2834706  PMID: 20231869
14.  Learning results of GP trainers in a blended learning course on EBM: a cohort study 
BMC Medical Education  2015;15:104.
General practitioners (GPs) experience barriers to the use of evidence-based medicine (EBM) related to a negative attitude and to insufficient knowledge and skills. We therefore designed a blended learning intervention to develop the competence of GP trainers in EBM. This study investigated the effectiveness of this intervention in increasing the trainers’ EBM competencies (i.e. knowledge, skills, attitude and behaviour).
In total 129 GP trainers participated in the blended learning course on EBM consisting of four 3-h face-to-face meetings and an intensive preparatory e-course before each meeting over a 12-month period. The primary outcomes were changes in knowledge and skills (Fresno test), changes in attitude (McColl test) and intentions to change behaviour. Secondary outcomes were changes in self-rated knowledge, skills and attitude, and the relation between personal characteristics and changes in knowledge, skills and attitude. Data were collected before the start of the intervention (T0), at the end of the last day of the intervention (T1) and four months after the end of the intervention (T2).
The mean changes in scores on the Fresno test were ∆T1-T0 = 40.8 (SD ±36.7, p < .001) and ∆T2-T0 = 20.8 (±39.9, p < .001). The mean changes in scores on the McColl test were ∆T1-T0 = 2.2 (SD ±12.8, p = .16) and ∆T2-T0 = -.87 (±10.0, p = .49). Of the GP trainers, 16.7 % fulfilled their intentions to change in behaviour, 47.6 % partly fulfilled them and 35.7 % did not fulfil them at all. Female trainers scored significantly higher on the Fresno test after the intervention compared to male trainers. There was a weak positive correlation between self-rated knowledge and the scores on the Fresno test. A moderate correlation was found between the overall score on the McColl test and self-rated attitude.
An intensive blended learning course on EBM for GP trainers induces an increase in knowledge and skills that, although decreased, remains after four months. Attitude and behaviour towards EBM show no differences before and after the intervention, although GPs’ intention to use EBM more often in their practice is present.
PMCID: PMC4472415  PMID: 26067056
15.  Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice in Relation to a Clinical Nursing Ladder System: A National Survey in Taiwan 
Although evidence-based practice (EBP) has been widely investigated, few studies have investigated its correlation with a clinical nursing ladder system. The current national study evaluates whether EBP implementation has been incorporated into the clinical ladder system.
A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted nationwide of registered nurses among regional hospitals of Taiwan in January to April 2011. Subjects were categorized into beginning nurses (N1 and N2) and advanced nurses (N3 and N4) by the clinical ladder system. Multivariate logistic regression model was used to adjust for possible confounding demographic factors.
Valid postal questionnaires were collected from 4,206 nurses, including 2,028 N1, 1,595 N2, 412 N3, and 171 N4 nurses. Advanced nurses were more aware of EBP than beginning nurses (p < 0.001; 90.7% vs. 78.0%). In addition, advanced nurses were more likely to hold positive beliefs about and attitudes toward EBP (p < 0.001) and possessed more sufficient knowledge of and skills in EBP (p < 0.001). Furthermore, they more often implemented EBP principles (p < 0.001) and accessed online evidence-based retrieval databases (p < 0.001). The most common motivation for using online databases was self-learning for advanced nurses and positional promotion for beginning nurses. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed advanced nurses were more aware of EBP, had higher knowledge and skills of EBP, and more often implemented EBP than beginning nurses.
Linking Evidence to Action
The awareness of, beliefs in, attitudes toward, knowledge of, skills in, and behaviors of EBP among advanced nurses were better than those among beginning nurses. The data indicate that a clinical ladder system can serve as a useful means to enhance EBP implementation.
PMCID: PMC4345401  PMID: 25588625
evidence-based practice; advanced nurse; beginning nurse; clinical ladder; online database
16.  Nurses’ Perceived Barriers to and Facilitators of Research Utilization in Mainland China: A Cross-Sectional Survey 
The Open Nursing Journal  2013;7:96-106.
Despite the drive towards evidence-based practice, the extent to which research evidence is being implemented in nursing practice is unclear, particularly in developing countries. This study was to assess the levels of perceived barriers to and facilitators of research utilization in practice among Chinese nurses and inter-relationships between these barriers and facilitators and their socio-demographic characteristics. A cross-sectional, descriptive survey was conducted in 2011 with 743 registered nurses randomly selected from four general hospitals in China. They completed the Barriers to Research Utilization and Facilitators of Research Utilization scales. Correlation tests were used to test the relationships between the nurses’ perceived barriers and facilitators, their demographic characteristics and research training and involvement. The Chinese nurses’ level of perceived barriers was moderate on average and lower than that in previous research. Among the 10 top-ranked items, six were from the subscale ‘Organizational Characteristics’. Their perceived barriers were correlated positively with age and post-registration experience and negatively with research training undertaken. Junior diplomatic nurses reported a significantly higher degree of barriers than those senior ones with postgraduate education. Higher and more diverse barriers to research utilization in practice are perceived by Chinese nurses than those in Western countries and they are associated with a few socio-demographic factors. Future research on these barriers/facilitators and their relationships with occupational and socio-cultural factors in Chinese and other Asian nurses is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3731799  PMID: 23919099
Cross-sectional survey; perceived barriers; perceived facilitators; research utilization; registered nurses; Chinese.
17.  Attitudes toward expanding nurses’ authority 
In recent years, an increasing number of care procedures previously under the physician’s authority have been placed in the hands of registered nurses. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of nurses towards expanding nurses’ authority and the relationships between these attitudes and job satisfaction facets, professional characteristics, and demographics.
A cross-sectional study was conducted between 2010 and 2011 in three major medical centers in Israel. Participants included 833 nurses working in 89 departments. Attitudes toward the expansion of nurses’ authority were assessed by self-report questionnaire, as well as job satisfaction facets including perception of professional autonomy, nurse-physician working relations, workload and burnout, perceptions of quality of care, and nursing staff satisfaction at work.
Nurses reported positive attitudes toward the expansion of nurses’ authority and moderate attitudes for interpretation of diagnostic tests in selected situations. The results of multivariate regression analyses demonstrate that the nurses’ satisfaction from professional autonomy and work relations were the most influential factors in explaining their attitudes toward the expansion of nurses’ authority. In addition, professionally young nurses tend to be more positive regarding changes in nurses’ authority.
In the Israeli reality of a nurse’s shortage, we are witnessing professional transitions toward expansion of the scope of nurses’ accountability and decision–making authority. The current research contributes to our understanding of attitudes toward the expansion of nurses’ authority among the nursing staffs. The findings indicate the necessity of redefining the scope of nursing practice within the current professional context.
PMCID: PMC4556055  PMID: 26331004
Attitudes; Expansion of nurses’ authority; Acute hospital; Job satisfaction; Workload; Burnout; Professional autonomy; Inter-professional cooperation
18.  A Survey of Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Nurses towards Pharamacovigilance in Taleqani Hospital 
Detection of probable harmful consequences arised from the usage of pharmaceutical products requires decisive, continuous and close monitoring by medical staff whom should have knowledge of adverse drug reactions and they should also have to report any suspected instances, when any kind of adverse drug reactions have been observed. This study has been carried out on the knowledge, attitude and practice of nurses towards pharmacovigilance in the Taleqani medical, teaching and treatment center in Tehran, before and after an ADR educational program. This study was commenced in March 2005 and ended in October 2005, using a questionnaire through two steps. In every step, 150 questionnaires were distributed in various wards of the Taleqani Hospital. Collected data were entered into the Excel software and then data analyzed using the SPSS statistical software. Familiarity of nurses with the ADR center and it’s duties is the first step in training how to report ADR, and could help to enhance thire awareness. The use of lecture training for increasing the awareness of nurses was found to be very effective. Regression multivariable analyses showed that the knowledge of nurses, regarding previous familiarity with the ADR center is better than the others (r = 0.38, P = 0.01), and the attitude of female nurses is better than males (r = 0.27, P = 0.01). According to the statistical results, the knowledge of nurses before the seminar was significantly less than the knowledge after the seminar (P= 0.0001), but there was no significant effect on the attitude (P= 0.05). Regarding the submission place of ADR reports, only 3.4% of nurses pointed out to the ADR center. Before and after training, a limited duration of time was reported to be the most restricted factor for clinical recognition of adverse drugs. Based on the results of this study, it is necessary to offer continuous ADR educational program until we reach the point that voluntary reporting of adverse drug reactions becomes conventional and habitual among the nursing staff.
PMCID: PMC3862069  PMID: 24363728
Adverse drug reaction; Knowledge; Attitude; Practice; Nurses; Educational program; Voluntary reporting of ADRs
19.  Management of single brain metastasis: a practice guideline 
Current Oncology  2007;14(4):131-143.
Should patients with confirmed single brain metastasis undergo surgical resection?
Should patients with single brain metastasis undergoing surgical resection receive adjuvant whole-brain radiation therapy (wbrt)?
What is the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (srs) in the management of patients with single brain metastasis?
Approximately 15%–30% of patients with cancer will develop cerebral metastases over the course of their disease. Patients identified as having single brain metastasis generally undergo more aggressive treatment than do those with multiple metastases; however, in the province of Ontario, management of patients with single brain metastasis varies. Given that conflicting evidence has been reported, the Neuro-oncology Disease Site Group (dsg) of the Cancer Care Ontario Program in Evidence-based Care felt that a systematic review of the evidence and a practice guideline were warranted.
Outcomes of interest were survival, local control of disease, quality of life, and adverse effects.
The medline, cancerlit, embase, and Cochrane Library databases and abstracts published in the proceedings of the annual meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (1997–2005) and American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (1998–2004) were systematically searched for relevant evidence. The review included fully published reports or abstracts of randomized controlled trials (rcts), nonrandomized prospective studies, and retrospective studies.
The present systematic review and practice guideline has been reviewed and approved by the Neuro-oncology dsg, which comprises medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, neurologists, a nurse, and a patient representative. External review by Ontario practitioners was obtained through an electronic survey. Final approval of the guideline report was obtained from the Report Approval Panel and the Neuro-oncology dsg.
Quality of Evidence
The literature search found three rcts that compared surgical resection plus wbrt with wbrt alone. In addition, a Cochrane review, including a meta-analysis of published data from those three rcts, was obtained.
One rct compared surgical resection plus wbrt with surgical resection alone. One rct compared wbrt plus srs with wbrt alone. Evidence comparing srs with surgical resection or examining srs with or without wbrt was limited to prospective case series and retrospective studies.
Two of three rcts reported a significant survival benefit for patients who underwent surgical resection as compared with those who received wbrt alone. Pooled results of the three rcts indicated no significant difference in survival or likelihood of dying from neurologic causes; however, significant heterogeneity was detected between the trials. The rct that compared surgical resection plus wbrt with surgical resection alone reported no significant difference in overall survival or length of functional independence; however, tumour recurrence at the site of the metastasis and anywhere in the brain was less frequent in patients who received wbrt as compared with patients in the observation group. In addition, patients who received wbrt were less likely to die from neurologic causes.
Results of the rct that compared wbrt plus srs with wbrt alone indicated a significant improvement in median survival in patients who received srs. No quality evidence compares the efficacy of srs with surgical resection or examines the question of whether patients who receive srs should also receive wbrt.
Pooled results of the three rcts that examined surgical resection indicated no significant difference in adverse effects between groups. Postoperative complications included respiratory problems, intracerebral hemorrhage, and infection. One rct reported no significant difference in adverse effects between patients who received wbrt plus srs and those who received wbrt alone.
Practice Guideline
Target Population
The recommendations that follow apply to adults with confirmed cancer and a single brain metastasis. This practice guideline does not apply to patients with metastatic lymphoma, small-cell lung cancer, germ-cell tumour, leukemia, or sarcoma.
Surgical excision should be considered for patients with good performance status, minimal or no evidence of extracranial disease, and a surgically accessible single brain metastasis amenable to complete excision. Because treatment in cases of single brain metastasis is considered palliative, invasive local treatments must be individualized. Patients with lesions requiring emergency decompression because of intracranial hypertension were excluded from the rcts, but should be considered candidates for surgery.
To reduce the risk of tumour recurrence for patients who have undergone resection of a single brain metastasis, postoperative wbrt should be considered. The optimal dose and fractionation schedule for wbrt is 3000 cGy in 10 fractions or 2000 cGy in 5 fractions.
As an alternative to surgical resection, wbrt followed by srs boost should be considered for patients with single brain metastasis. The evidence is insufficient to recommend srs alone as a single-modality therapy.
Qualifying Statements
No high-quality data are available regarding the choice of surgery versus radiosurgery for single brain metastasis. In general, the size and location of the metastasis determine the optimal approach.
The standard wbrt regimen for management of patients with single brain metastasis in the United States is 3000 cGy in 10 fractions, and this treatment is usually the standard arm in randomized studies of radiation in patients with brain metastases. Based solely on evidence, the understanding that no reason exists to choose 3000 cGy in 10 fractions over 2000 cGy in 5 fractions is correct; however, fraction size is believed to be important, and therefore 300 cGy daily (3000/10) is believed to be associated with fewer long-term neurocognitive effects than 400 cGy daily (2000/5) in the occasional long-term survivor. For that reason, many radiation oncologists in Ontario prefer 3000 cGy in 10 fractions. No data exist to either support or refute that preference; therefore, finding a resolution to this issue is not currently possible. The Neuro-oncology dsg will update the recommendations as new evidence becomes available.
PMCID: PMC1948870  PMID: 17710205
Brain metastasis; surgery; radiotherapy; radiosurgery; systematic review; practice guideline
20.  Impact of Advanced Laparoscopy Courses on Present Surgical Practice 
Advanced laparoscopic workshops provide an efficacious instrument for educating surgeons in minimally invasive techniques.
Background and Objectives:
The introduction of new surgical techniques has made training in laparoscopic procedures a necessity for the practicing surgeon, but acquisition of new surgical skills is a formidable task. This study was conducted to assess the impact of advanced laparoscopic workshops on caseload patterns of practicing surgeons.
After we obtained institutional review board approval, a survey of practicing surgeons who participated in advanced laparoscopic courses was distributed; the results were analyzed for statistical significance. The courses were held at the University of Nebraska Medical Center between January 2002 and December 2010. Questionnaires were mailed, faxed, and e-mailed to surgeons.
Of the 109 surgeons who participated in the advanced laparoscopy courses, 79 received surveys and 30 were excluded from the survey because of their affiliation with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. A total of 47 responses (59%) were received from 41 male and 6 female surgeons. The median response time from completion of the course to completion of the survey was 13.2 months (range, 6.8–19.1 months). The mean age of participating surgeons was 39.2 years (range, 29–51 years). The mean time since residency was 8.4 years (range, 0.8–21 years). Eleven surgeons had completed a minimal number of laparoscopic cases in residency (<50), 17 surgeons had completed a moderate number of laparoscopic procedures in residency (50–200), and 21 surgeons had completed a significant number of cases during residency (>200). Of the surgeons who responded, 94% were in private practice. Fifty-seven percent of the participating surgeons who responded reported a change in laparoscopic practice patterns after the courses. Of these surgeons, 24% had a limited residency laparoscopy exposure of <50 cases. Surgeons who were exposed to ≥50 laparoscopic cases during their residency showed a statistically significant increase in the number of laparoscopic procedures performed after their class compared with surgeons who did not receive ≥50 laparoscopic cases in residency (P = .03). In addition, regardless of the procedures learned in a specific class, surgeons with ≥50 laparoscopic cases in residency had a statistically significant increase in their laparoscopic colectomy and laparoscopic hernia procedure caseload (P < .01). However, there was no statistically significant difference in laparoscopic caseload between surgeons who had completed 50 to 200 laparoscopic residency cases and those who had completed greater than 200 laparoscopic residency cases (P = .31). Furthermore, the participant's age (P = .23), practice type (P = .61), and years in practice (P = .22) had no statistical significance with regard to the adoption of laparoscopic procedures after courses taken. This finding is congruent with the findings of other researchers. Future interest in advanced laparoscopy courses was noted in 70% of surgeons and was more pronounced in surgeons with ≥50 cases in residency.
Advanced laparoscopic workshops provide an efficacious instrument in educating surgeons on minimally invasive surgical techniques. Participating surgeons significantly increased the number of course-specific procedures that they performed but also increased the number of other laparoscopic surgeries, suggesting that a certain proficiency in laparoscopic skills is translated to multiple surgical procedures. Laparoscopy experience of ≥50 cases during residency is a strong predictor of an increase in the number of advanced laparoscopic cases after attending courses.
PMCID: PMC3771781  PMID: 23925009
Laparoscopy; Training; Surgical courses; Colon; Hernia
21.  Completion imaging after carotid endarterectomy in the Vascular Study Group of New England 
We studied surgeons’ practice patterns in the use of completion imaging (duplex or arteriography), and their association with 30-day stroke/death and 1-year restenosis after carotid endarterectomy (CEA).
Using a retrospective analysis of 6115 CEAs, we categorized surgeons based on use of completion imaging as rarely (<5% of CEAs), selective (5% to 90%), or routine (>90%). Crude and risk-adjusted 30-day stroke/death and 1-year restenosis rates were examined across surgeon practice patterns. Finally, we audited 90 operative reports of patients who underwent re-exploration and characterized findings and interventions. We analyzed the effect of re-exploration on outcomes.
Practice patterns in completion imaging varied: 51% of surgeons performed completion imaging rarely, 22% selectively, and 27% routinely. Crude 30-day stroke/death rates were highest among surgeons who routinely used completion imaging (rarely: 1.7%; selectively: 1.2%, routinely: 2.4%; P = .05). However, after adjusting for patient characteristics predictive of stroke/death, the effect of surgeon practice pattern was not statistically significant (odds ratio [OR] for routine-use surgeons, 1.42; 95% CI, 0.93-2.17; P = .10; selective-use surgeons, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.40-1.41; P = .366). Stenosis >70% at 1 year showed a trend toward lowest rates for surgeons who performed completion imaging (rarely: 2.8%, selectively: 1.1%, and routinely: 1.1%; P = .09). This effect became statistically significant for selective-use surgeons after adjustment (hazard risk [HR] for selective-use surgeons, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.29-0.92; P = .02). Overall, 178 patients (2.9%) underwent operative re-exploration. Routine-use surgeons were most likely to perform re-exploration (7.6% routine, 0.8% selective, 0.9% rare; P < .001). An audit of 90 re-explored patients demonstrated technical problems, the most common being flap, debris, and plaque. Rates of stroke/death were higher among patients who underwent re-exploration (3.9% vs 1.7%; P = .03); however, this affect was attenuated after adjustment (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 0.9-5.0; P = .08).
The use of completion imaging during CEA varies widely across our region. There is little evidence that surgeons who use completion imaging have lower rates of 30-day stroke/death, although selective use of completion imaging is associated with a small but a significant reduction in stenosis 1 year after surgery. We also demonstrate an association between re-exploration and higher risk of 30-day stroke/death, although this effect was attenuated after adjustment for patient-level predictors of stroke/death. Future work is needed to direct the selective use of completion imaging to prevent stroke, rather than cause unnecessary re-exploration.
PMCID: PMC3237118  PMID: 21458209
22.  Clinical decision making in spinal fusion for chronic low back pain. Results of a nationwide survey among spine surgeons 
BMJ Open  2011;1(2):e000391.
To assess the use of prognostic patient factors and predictive tests in clinical decision making for spinal fusion in patients with chronic low back pain.
Design and setting
Nationwide survey among spine surgeons in the Netherlands.
Surgeon members of the Dutch Spine Society were questioned on their surgical treatment strategy for chronic low back pain.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
The surgeons' opinion on the use of prognostic patient factors and predictive tests for patient selection were addressed on Likert scales, and the degree of uniformity was assessed. In addition, the influence of surgeon-specific factors, such as clinical experience and training, on decision making was determined.
The comments from 62 surgeons (70% response rate) were analysed. Forty-four surgeons (71%) had extensive clinical experience. There was a statistically significant lack of uniformity of opinion in seven of the 11 items on prognostic factors and eight of the 11 items on predictive tests, respectively. Imaging was valued much higher than predictive tests, psychological screening or patient preferences (all p<0.01). Apart from the use of discography and long multisegment fusions, differences in training or clinical experience did not appear to be of significant influence on treatment strategy.
The present survey showed a lack of consensus among spine surgeons on the appreciation and use of predictive tests. Prognostic patient factors were not consistently incorporated in their treatment strategy either. Clinical decision making for spinal fusion to treat chronic low back pain does not have a uniform evidence base in practice. Future research should focus on identifying subgroups of patients for whom spinal fusion is an effective treatment, as only a reliable prediction of surgical outcome, combined with the implementation of individual patient factors, may enable the instalment of consensus guidelines for surgical decision making in patients with chronic low back pain.
Article summary
Article focus
What is the level of professional consensus among spine surgeons regarding spinal fusion surgery for chronic low back pain?
How are tests for patient selection appreciated and to what extent are they used in clinical practice?
Are prognostic patient factors incorporated in the process of surgical decision making for chronic low back pain?
Key messages
In clinical practice, there is no professional consensus on surgical treatment strategy for chronic low back pain.
Prognostic patient factors as well as tests for patient selection are not consistently used in clinical decision making for spinal fusion.
Because of a lack of consensus on spinal fusion strategy for chronic low back pain in clinical practice, no guidelines for proper patient counselling can be installed at present.
Strengths and limitations of this study
A survey among physicians provides valuable insight in the actual decision-making process in clinical practice. Understanding contributory factors in treatment strategy may help in the creation of consensus guidelines.
The introduction of an interviewer bias could be avoided by the use of a neutral intermediary instead of direct questions from peers in spine surgery.
This study focused on surgeon members of the Dutch Spine Society whose practice may not reflect that of all surgeons performing spinal fusion for chronic low back pain. Moreover, no information on conservative treatment options was acquired.
To define consensus, we chose for uniformity of opinion of at least 70%, which we considered to be sufficient for implementation in guidelines. Such a cut-off level remains arbitrary.
PMCID: PMC3278483  PMID: 22189352
23.  Can orthopedic trials change practice? 
Acta Orthopaedica  2010;81(1):122-125.
Background and purpose
The impact of large, randomized trials in orthopedic surgery on surgeons' preferences for a particular surgical approach remains unclear. We surveyed surgeons to assess whether they would change practice based upon results of a large, multicenter randomized controlled hip fracture trial.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey among International Hip Fracture Research Collaborative (IHFRC) surgeons and surgeons who were members of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fuer Osteosynthesefragen - Association for the Study of Internal Fixation (AO/ASIF) to determine the likelihood that they would change practice based on findings of a proposed large, multicenter randomized controlled trial (the Hip Fracture Evaluation with Alternatives of Total Hip Arthroplasty versus Hemi-Arthroplasty (HEALTH) study). We asked surgeons their current preferences for the management of displaced femoral neck fractures and whether a trial that definitively revealed a substantial improvement in function and quality of life with no difference in risk of revision surgery was important and would cause them to change practice.
Of 883 surgeons surveyed, 210 responded from IHFRC and 586 from AO/ASIF (a response rate of 90%). Most surgeons (61%) preferred hemiarthroplasty (HA) for treating displaced femoral neck fractures. 72% of responding surgeons believed that a substantial improvement in patient function with total hip arthroplasty (THA) and no adverse effects on revision surgery would be an important finding. Moreover, of 483 surgeons who preferred hemiarthroplasty, 62% would change their practice based upon the findings of the trial.
Large clinical trials in orthopedics are worthwhile endeavors, as they have the potential to change practice among surgeons. Surgeons seem willing to adopt alternative surgical approaches if the evidence is compelling and sound.
PMCID: PMC2856216  PMID: 20146638
24.  Reported use of strategies by surgeons to prevent transmission of bloodborne diseases. 
OBJECTIVE: To determine how often surgeons use strategies to prevent the transmission of bloodborne diseases and what factors are associated with the use of these strategies. DESIGN: Cross-sectional mail survey. SETTING: Secondary and tertiary care teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto. PARTICIPANTS: Of 539 active surgical staff and residents who were eligible, 503 (93.3%) responded. OUTCOME MEASURES: Current preventive practices, attitudes toward transmission of bloodborne diseases, perceived risk of infection and willingness to adopt preventive strategies. RESULTS: On average, surgeons reported using double- or triple-gloving in 32.2% of procedures, facial protection (including regular corrective eyewear) in 74.2% and goggles or face shields in 19.4%. Use of strategies to prevent sharp injuries, in addition to barrier precautions, was reported by 259 (51.5%) of the respondents. Factors associated with greater use of preventive strategies included resident position, subspecialty, greater number of years in surgical practice and a high perceived risk. Most of the respondents thought that patients should be routinely screened for HIV antibodies before surgery (68.2% [343/503]), that there was too little research into ways to reduce the risk of transmission of bloodborne diseases (55.3% [278/503]) and that there was too little effort on the part of organizations to reduce the risk of transmission (58.8% [296/503]). The perceived lifetime risk was reported to be moderate or high by 191 (38.0%) of the respondents and low or insignificant by 308 (61.2%). In all, 463 (92.0%) indicated a willingness to change the way they performed surgery to prevent transmission of bloodborne diseases. CONCLUSION: Surgeons expressed varying degrees of concern about the transmission of bloodborne diseases and reported infrequent use of preventive strategies. Efforts to reduce the risk of transmission between patients and surgeons will need to include informing surgeons of their personal risk and the availability of preventive strategies, improving the comfort of barrier precautions and minimizing how preventive strategies interfere with surgery.
PMCID: PMC1337656  PMID: 7712421
25.  Surgical intensive care unit clinician estimates of the adequacy of communication regarding patient prognosis 
Critical Care  2010;14(6):R218.
Intensive care unit (ICU) patients and family members repeatedly note accurate and timely communication from health care providers to be crucial to high-quality ICU care. Practice guidelines recommend improving communication. However, few data, particularly in surgical ICUs, exist on health care provider opinions regarding whether communication is effective.
To evaluate ICU clinician perceptions regarding adequacy of communication regarding prognosis, we developed a survey and administered it to a cross section of surgical ICU nurses, surgical ICU physicians, nurse practitioners (NPs), and surgeons.
Surgeons had a high satisfaction with communication regarding prognosis for themselves (90%), ICU nurses (85%), and ICU physicians and NPs (85%). ICU nurses noted high satisfaction with personal (82%) and ICU physician and NP (71%) communication, but low (2%) satisfaction with that provided by surgeons. ICU physicians and NPs noted high satisfaction with personal (74%) and ICU nurse (88%) communication, but lower (23%) satisfaction with that provided by surgeons. ICU nurses were the most likely (75%) to report speaking to patients and patient families regarding prognosis, followed by surgeons (40%), and then ICU physicians and NPs (33%). Surgeons noted many opportunities to speak to ICU nurses and ICU physicians and NPs about patient prognosis and noted that comments were often valued. ICU physicians and NPs and ICU nurses noted many opportunities to speak to each other but fewer opportunities to communicate with surgeons. ICU physicians and NPs thought that their comments were valued by ICU nurses but less valued by surgeons. ICU nurses thought that their comments were less valued by ICU physicians and NPs and surgeons.
ICU nurses, surgeons, and ICU intensivists and NPs varied widely in their satisfaction with communication relating to prognosis. Clinician groups also varied in whether they thought that they had opportunities to communicate prognosis and whether their concerns were valued by other provider groups. These results hint at the nuanced and complicated relationships present in surgical ICUs. Further validation studies and further evaluations of patient and family member perspectives are needed.
PMCID: PMC3220002  PMID: 21114837

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