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1.  Diabetes services in the UK: fourth national survey; are we meeting NSF standards and NICE guidelines? 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2005;90(10):1005-1009.
Background: Previous surveys of children's diabetes service provision in the UK have shown gradual improvements but continuing deficiencies.
Aim: To determine whether further improvements in services have occurred.
Methods: A questionnaire was mailed to all paediatricians in the UK identified as providing care for children and adolescents with diabetes. Responses were compared with results of three previous surveys, and with recommendations in the Diabetes NSF and the NICE type 1 diabetes guidelines.
Results: Replies were received from 187 consultant paediatricians in 169 centres looking after children; 89% expressed a special interest in diabetes, 98% saw children in a designated diabetic clinic, and 95% clinics now have more than 40 patients. In 98% of the clinics there was a specialist nurse (82% now children's trained), but 61% clinics had a nurse:patient ratio <1:100; 39% of clinics did not have a paediatric dietician and in 78% there was no access to psychology/psychiatry services in clinics. Glycated haemoglobin was measured routinely at clinics in 86%, annual screening for retinopathy performed in 80%, and microalbuminuria in 83%. All centres now have local protocols for ketoacidosis, but not for children undergoing surgery (90%) or severe hypoglycaemia (74%). Mean clinic HbA1c levels were significantly lower in the clinics run by specialists (8.9%) than generalists (9.4%). There have been incremental improvements over the last 14 years since the surveys began, but only two clinics met all the 10 previously published recommendations on standards of care.
Conclusions: The survey shows continuing improvements in organisational structure of services for children with diabetes but serious deficiencies remain. Publication and dissemination of the results of the previous surveys may have been associated with these improvements and similar recurrent service review may be applicable to services for other chronic childhood conditions.
doi:10.1136/adc.2005.071613
PMCID: PMC1720116  PMID: 15941771
2.  Improved clinical practice but continuing service deficiencies following a regional audit of childhood diabetes mellitus 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2000;82(4):302-304.
AIM—To assess the changes in services for children with diabetes in the south west of England between two regionwide audits performed in 1994 and 1998.
METHODS—Questionnaires were sent to consultant paediatricians, specialist diabetes nurses, dietitians, and Local Diabetes Service Advisory Groups. Information was gathered on consultant and nursing caseload, clinic structure, dietetic and psychological services, glycated haemoglobin use, and screening services.
RESULTS—In 1994 there were 21 consultant paediatricians caring for children with diabetes, only seven of whom fulfilled the British Paediatric Association definition of a specialist. By 1998 there were 14, 12 of whom fulfilled this definition. In 1994 a significant number of children were being seen in general paediatric clinics; by 1998 all centres stated that children were being seen in designated diabetes clinics. Between the two audits, despite a decrease in the average caseload of specialist diabetes nurses, nursing services in many centres remained deficient, as did dietetic and psychology services. Glycated haemoglobin use increased from 16 of 21 consultants to all consultants. In 1998 there was still patchy paediatric representation on Local Diabetes Service Advisory Groups.
CONCLUSIONS—The 1994 audit was followed by a change in clinical practice, in contrast to continuing deficiencies in resources, despite the availability of national recommendations and the widespread distribution of the audit report to those in a position of influence.


doi:10.1136/adc.82.4.302
PMCID: PMC1718294  PMID: 10735836
3.  Audit of diabetes care by caseload 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1997;77(2):102-108.
Accepted 17 March 1997

OBJECTIVE—To investigate the relationship between clinic provision, consultant and nursing caseload, and processes and outcomes of diabetes care in children.
DESIGN—Retrospective audit in the South Western region of England of 801 children and young people with diabetes; 701 were seen in a designated clinic. Seven of 21 consultants fulfilled the British Paediatric Association (BPA) criteria for a specialist in childhood diabetes. Seventeen nurses provided specialist care.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Glycated haemoglobin, admissions to hospital clinic attendance rates, contacts with a dietitian, measurements of height and weight, and screening rates for hypertension, microalbuminuria, and retinopathy.
RESULTS—Children under the care of `non-specialists' had higher admission rates to hospital with all diabetes related problems and for hypoglycaemia and lower screening rates for microalbuminuria than those under `specialists'. Children under the care of the two tertiary hospital consultants had lowest glycated haemoglobin results, spent least time in hospital at diagnosis, were most likely to have their heights and weights plotted, and to be screened for microalbuminuria and retinopathy, had higher admission rates, lower clinic attendance rates, and fewer dietitian consultations. Higher nursing caseloads were associated with longer periods of admission at diagnosis, better clinic attendance rates, reduced rates of admission after diagnosis, and less likelihood of having blood pressure measured and being screened for microalbuminuria. Children attending general paediatric clinics were less likely to be seen by a dietitian and to have their height and weight plotted.
CONCLUSIONS—The results are consistent with the recommendation of a BPA working party in 1990 that children with diabetes should be cared for by specialist paediatricians with a caseload of more than 40 children, and that children should be seen in a designated diabetic clinic.


PMCID: PMC1717293  PMID: 9301346
4.  A decade of diabetes: keeping children out of hospital. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1993;307(6896):96-98.
OBJECTIVES--To document the number of children aged less than 15 years who developed diabetes and were managed within one large health district, and to evaluate the outcome of those children managed without hospital admission at diagnosis. DESIGN--A retrospective study over 1979-88, when a paediatrician and a physician with special interests in childhood diabetes initiated joint clinics. Data collected from the district diabetes register and files of consultants and health visitors specialising in diabetes. SETTING--Referral of children to consultants in Leicestershire (total population 863,000). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--The proportion of children managed without hospital admission, comparison of readmission rates and glycated haemoglobin concentrations between children admitted and those not admitted. RESULTS--Over 10 years 236 children aged 10-14 years developed diabetes (annual incidence rate 12.8/100,000 child population (95% confidence interval 11.3 to 14.7)). In total 138 were not admitted to hospital but received supervised management based at home. Admitted children were younger or acidotic or their family doctors did not contact the diabetes team. Duration of admission declined from seven days in 1979-80 to three days in 1987-8. Ninety two were not admitted to hospital during the 10 years for any reason. Significantly fewer children who received management at home were readmitted for reasons related to diabetes than the group treated in hospital (30 (22%) v 40 (41%); p = 0.004). Concentrations of glycated haemoglobin were no different between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS--Children with newly diagnosed diabetes may be safely and effectively managed out of hospital. Domiciliary or community based management depends on the commitment of consultants specialising in diabetes working in close cooperation with general practitioners, specialist nurses in diabetes, and dietitians.
PMCID: PMC1697706  PMID: 8343736
5.  Community-Based Care for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes 
Executive Summary
In June 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding strategies for successful management and treatment of diabetes. This project came about when the Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the Ministry’s newly released Diabetes Strategy.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified five key areas in which evidence was needed. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these five areas: insulin pumps, behavioural interventions, bariatric surgery, home telemonitoring, and community based care. For each area, an economic analysis was completed where appropriate and is described in a separate report.
To review these titles within the Diabetes Strategy Evidence series, please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html,
Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion Pumps for Type 1 and Type 2 Adult Diabetics: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Bariatric Surgery for People with Diabetes and Morbid Obesity: An Evidence-Based Summary
Community-Based Care for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telemonitoring for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Application of the Ontario Diabetes Economic Model (ODEM) to Determine the Cost-effectiveness and Budget Impact of Selected Type 2 Diabetes Interventions in Ontario
Objective
The objective of this report is to determine the efficacy of specialized multidisciplinary community care for the management of type 2 diabetes compared to usual care.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Diabetes (i.e. diabetes mellitus) is a highly prevalent chronic metabolic disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to produce or effectively use insulin. The majority (90%) of diabetes patients have type 2 diabetes. (1) Based on the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), intensive blood glucose and blood pressure control significantly reduce the risk of microvascular and macrovascular complications in type 2 diabetics. While many studies have documented that patients often do not meet the glycemic control targets specified by national and international guidelines, factors associated with glycemic control are less well studied, one of which is the provider(s) of care.
Multidisciplinary approaches to care may be particularly important for diabetes management. According guidelines from the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), the diabetes health care team should be multi-and interdisciplinary. Presently in Ontario, the core diabetes health care team consists of at least a family physician and/or diabetes specialist, and diabetes educators (registered nurse and registered dietician).
Increasing the role played by allied health care professionals in diabetes care and their collaboration with physicians may represent a more cost-effective option for diabetes management. Several systematic reviews and meta-analyses have examined multidisciplinary care programs, but these have either been limited to a specific component of multidisciplinary care (e.g. intensified education programs), or were conducted as part of a broader disease management program, of which not all were multidisciplinary in nature. Most reviews also do not clearly define the intervention(s) of interest, making the evaluation of such multidisciplinary community programs challenging.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
Research Questions
What is the evidence of efficacy of specialized multidisciplinary community care provided by at least a registered nurse, registered dietician and physician (primary care and/or specialist) for the management of type 2 diabetes compared to usual care? [Henceforth referred to as Model 1]
What is the evidence of efficacy of specialized multidisciplinary community care provided by at least a pharmacist and a primary care physician for the management of type 2 diabetes compared to usual care? [Henceforth referred to as Model 2]
Inclusion Criteria
English language full-reports
Published between January 1, 2000 and September 28, 2008
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Type 2 diabetic adult population (≥18 years of age)
Total sample size ≥30
Describe specialized multidisciplinary community care defined as ambulatory-based care provided by at least two health care disciplines (of which at least one must be a specialist in diabetes) with integrated communication between the care providers.
Compared to usual care (defined as health care provision by non-specialist(s) in diabetes, such as primary care providers; may include referral to other health care professionals/services as necessary)
≥6 months follow-up
Exclusion Criteria
Studies where discrete results on diabetes cannot be abstracted
Predominantly home-based interventions
Inpatient-based interventions
Outcomes of Interest
The primary outcomes for this review were glycosylated hemoglobin (rHbA1c) levels and systolic blood pressure (SBP).
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on September 28, 2008 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published between January 1, 2000 and September 28, 2008. 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.
Given the high clinical heterogeneity of the articles that met the inclusion criteria, specific models of specialized multidisciplinary community care were examined based on models of care that are currently being supported in Ontario, models of care that were commonly reported in the literature, as well as suggestions from an Expert Advisory Panel Meeting held on January 21, 2009.
Summary of Findings
The initial search yielded 2,116 unique citations, from which 22 RCTs trials and nine systematic reviews published were identified as meeting the eligibility criteria. Of these, five studies focused on care provided by at least a nurse, dietician, and physician (primary care and/or specialist) model of care (Model 1; see Table ES 1), while three studies focused on care provided by at least a pharmacist and primary care physician (Model 2; see Table ES 2).
Based on moderate quality evidence, specialized multidisciplinary community care Model 2 has demonstrated a statistically and clinically significant reduction in HbA1c of 1.0% compared with usual care. The effects of this model on SBP, however, are uncertain compared with usual care, based on very-low quality evidence. Specialized multidisciplinary community care Model 2 has demonstrated a statistically and clinically significant reduction in both HbA1c of 1.05% (based on high quality evidence) and SBP of 7.13 mm Hg (based on moderate quality evidence) compared to usual care. For both models, the evidence does not suggest a preferred setting of care delivery (i.e., primary care vs. hospital outpatient clinic vs. community clinic).
Summary of Results of Meta-Analyses of the Effects of Multidisciplinary Care Model 1
Mean change from baseline to follow-up between intervention and control groups
Summary of Results of Meta-Analyses of the Effects of Multidisciplinary Care Model 2
Mean change from baseline to follow-up between intervention and control groups
PMCID: PMC3377524  PMID: 23074528
6.  Newly diagnosed diabetes: a study of parental satisfaction. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1992;67(8):1011-1013.
A national survey of 509 parents of children with newly diagnosed diabetes elicited a 92% response rate, showing that 96% of children were admitted to hospital, 42% staying in hospital longer than one week and 41% received an intravenous infusion. More than 90% of parents expressed satisfaction with the information given at diagnosis, the preparation they received before discharge home, and the outpatient follow up services. Home visits from a diabetes nurse specialist (DNS) were received by 73% of families and 44% reported that the DNS was the most supportive person in the first year after diagnosis. Readmission during the first 12 months after diagnosis was required by 23% of children, more often in the youngest age group. Poor liaison with schools and the lack of diabetes knowledge in teachers were the sources of greatest dissatisfaction. Children under the care of paediatricians with no specialist interest in diabetes were significantly more likely to be kept in hospital longer at diagnosis and parents were less satisfied with outpatient care and school liaison. The study supports previous recommendations that diabetes nurse specialists are a priority resource in providing support services and that every district should have a paediatrician with a special interest in diabetes and a designated children's diabetic clinic.
PMCID: PMC1793592  PMID: 1520003
7.  Development of an early nurse led intervention to treat children referred to secondary paediatric care with constipation with or without soiling 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:193.
Background
Constipation is a common chronic childhood condition referred to secondary care. Effective treatment requires early intervention, prolonged medication to soften stools and behavioural support to achieve a regular habit of sitting on the toilet to pass a stool. The purpose of this audit and service development was to assess routine consultant paediatrician-led care against minimum standards and if appropriate to develop a nurse-led intervention. The new care package could then be tried out within general paediatric clinics in Glasgow as a service evaluation. NICE guideline (CG99) has a research recommendation to compare nurse-led care with routine consultant-led care.
Methods
Design was an audit then development of a nurse-led intervention followed by a service evaluation. Participants were children (age 0–13 years), referred by their General Practitioner (GP) to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children Glasgow, with constipation the main problem in the GP letter. The audit covered appointment waiting times, intervention provided, initial follow-up and parental satisfaction with routine consultant-led practice. The nurse-led intervention focused on self-help psychology practice with NICE guideline medical support. This was compared with routine consultant paediatrician care in a service evaluation.
Results
The audit found consultant-led care had long waiting times, delayed initial follow-up and variable intervention. The new nurse-led intervention is described in detail. The nurse-led intervention performed well compared with consultant-led care. Less ‘nurse-led’ children, 3/45 (7%), were still constipated passing less than 3 stools per week compared with 8/58 (14%) receiving consultant-led care. Less ‘nurse-led’ parents, 10/45 (22%), reported their child having pain passing stools in the previous week compared with consultant-led care, 26/58 (45%). The proportion of children, over 4 years, free from soiling accidents was similar, 15/23 (65%) in the nurse-led group and 18/29 (62%) with consultant-led care. Parental satisfaction was slightly better in the nurse-led group.
Conclusion
It is difficult to achieve minimum standards using routine consultant-led care for children referred by their GP with constipation. Nurse-led early intervention is feasible and has produced promising results in a service evaluation. An exploratory trial is planned to develop a teaching module, robust outcomes including costs and benefits, and methodology for a definitive trial recommended by NICE.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-193
PMCID: PMC3870966  PMID: 24252503
Constipation; Child; Intervention studies; Psychological techniques; Medicine
8.  Paediatric palliative home care by general paediatricians: a multimethod study on perceived barriers and incentives 
BMC Palliative Care  2010;9:11.
Background
Non-specialist palliative care, as it is delivered by general practitioners, is a basic component of a comprehensive palliative care infrastructure for adult patients with progressive and far advanced disease. Currently palliative care for children and adolescents is recognized as a distinct entity of care, requiring networks of service providers across different settings, including paediatricians working in general practice. In Germany, the medical home care for children and adolescents is to a large extent delivered by general paediatricians working in their own practice. However, these are rarely confronted with children suffering from life-limiting diseases. The aim of this study was therefore to examine potential barriers, incentives, and the professional self-image of general paediatricians with regard to paediatric palliative care.
Methods
Based on qualitative expert interviews, a questionnaire was designed and a survey among general paediatricians in their own practice (n = 293) was undertaken. The survey has been developed and performed in close cooperation with the regional professional association of paediatricians.
Results
The results showed a high disposition on part of the paediatricians to engage in palliative care, and the majority of respondents regarded palliative care as part of their profile. Main barriers for the implementation were time restrictions (40.7%) and financial burden (31.6%), sole responsibility without team support (31.1%), as well as formal requirements such as forms and prescriptions (26.6%). Major facilitations were support by local specialist services such as home care nursing service (83.0%), access to a specialist paediatric palliative care consultation team (82.4%), as well as an option of exchange with colleagues (60.1%).
Conclusions
Altogether, the high commitment to this survey reflects the relevance of the issue for paediatricians working in general practice. Education in basic palliative care competence and communication skills was seen as an important prerequisite for the engagement in paediatric palliative home care. A local network of specialist support on site and a 24/7 on-call service are necessary in order to facilitate the implementation of basic palliative care by paediatricians in their own practice.
doi:10.1186/1472-684X-9-11
PMCID: PMC2902453  PMID: 20525318
9.  The effect of the Talking Diabetes consulting skills intervention on glycaemic control and quality of life in children with type 1 diabetes: cluster randomised controlled trial (DEPICTED study) 
Objective To evaluate the effectiveness on glycaemic control of a training programme in consultation skills for paediatric diabetes teams.
Design Pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial.
Setting 26 UK secondary and tertiary care paediatric diabetes services.
Participants 79 healthcare practitioners (13 teams) trained in the intervention (359 young people with type 1 diabetes aged 4-15 years and their main carers) and 13 teams allocated to the control group (334 children and their main carers).
Intervention Talking Diabetes programme, which promotes shared agenda setting and guiding communication style, through flexible menu of consultation strategies to support patient led behaviour change.
Main outcome measures The primary outcome was glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) level one year after training. Secondary outcomes were clinical measures (hypoglycaemic episodes, body mass index, insulin regimen), general and diabetes specific quality of life, self reported and proxy reported self care and enablement, perceptions of the diabetes team, self reported and carer reported importance of, and confidence in, undertaking diabetes self management measured over one year. Analysis was by intention to treat. An integrated process evaluation included audio recording a sample of 86 routine consultations to assess skills shortly after training (intervention group) and at one year follow-up (intervention and control group). Two key domains of skill assessment were use of the guiding communication style and shared agenda setting.
Results 660/693 patients (95.2%) provided blood samples at follow-up. Training diabetes care teams had no effect on HbA1c levels (intervention effect 0.01, 95% confidence interval −0.02 to 0.04, P=0.5), even after adjusting for age and sex of the participants. At follow-up, trained staff (n=29) were more capable than controls (n=29) in guiding (difference in means 1.14, P<0.001) and agenda setting (difference in proportions 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.22 to 0.62). Although skills waned over time for the trained practitioners, the reduction was not significant for either guiding (difference in means −0.33, P=0.128) or use of agenda setting (difference in proportions −0.20, −0.42 to 0.05). 390 patients (56%) and 441 carers (64%) completed follow-up questionnaires. Some aspects of diabetes specific quality of life improved in controls: reduced problems with treatment barriers (mean difference −4.6, 95% confidence interval −8.5 to −0.6, P=0.03) and with treatment adherence (−3.1, −6.3 to −0.01, P=0.05). Short term ability to cope with diabetes increased in patients in intervention clinics (10.4, 0.5 to 20.4, P=0.04). Carers in the intervention arm reported greater excitement about clinic visits (1.9, 1.05 to 3.43, P=0.03) and improved continuity of care (0.2, 0.1 to 0.3, P=0.01).
Conclusions Improving glycaemic control in children attending specialist diabetes clinics may not be possible through brief, team-wide training in consultation skills.
Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN61568050.
doi:10.1136/bmj.e2359
PMCID: PMC3339876  PMID: 22539173
10.  Early Emergence of Ethnic Differences in Type 2 Diabetes Precursors in the UK: The Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE Study) 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(4):e1000263.
Peter Whincup and colleagues carry out a cross-sectional study examining ethnic differences in precursors of of type 2 diabetes among children aged 9–10 living in three UK cities.
Background
Adults of South Asian origin living in the United Kingdom have high risks of type 2 diabetes and central obesity; raised circulating insulin, triglyceride, and C-reactive protein concentrations; and low HDL-cholesterol when compared with white Europeans. Adults of African-Caribbean origin living in the UK have smaller increases in type 2 diabetes risk, raised circulating insulin and HDL-cholesterol, and low triglyceride and C-reactive protein concentrations. We examined whether corresponding ethnic differences were apparent in childhood.
Methods and Findings
We performed a cross-sectional survey of 4,796 children aged 9–10 y in three UK cities who had anthropometric measurements (68% response) and provided blood samples (58% response); ethnicity was based on parental definition. In age-adjusted comparisons with white Europeans (n = 1,153), South Asian children (n = 1,306) had higher glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) (% difference: 2.1, 95% CI 1.6 to 2.7), fasting insulin (% difference 30.0, 95% CI 23.4 to 36.9), triglyceride (% difference 12.9, 95% CI 9.4 to 16.5), and C-reactive protein (% difference 43.3, 95% CI 28.6 to 59.7), and lower HDL-cholesterol (% difference −2.9, 95% CI −4.5 to −1.3). Higher adiposity levels among South Asians (based on skinfolds and bioimpedance) did not account for these patterns. Black African-Caribbean children (n = 1,215) had higher levels of HbA1c, insulin, and C-reactive protein than white Europeans, though the ethnic differences were not as marked as in South Asians. Black African-Caribbean children had higher HDL-cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels than white Europeans; adiposity markers were not increased.
Conclusions
Ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes precursors, mostly following adult patterns, are apparent in UK children in the first decade. Some key determinants operate before adult life and may provide scope for early prevention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, nearly 250 million people have diabetes, and the number of people affected by this chronic disease is increasing rapidly. Diabetes is characterized by dangerous amounts of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone that the pancreas releases when blood sugar levels rise after eating (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the most common type of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that usually respond to insulin by removing sugar from the blood become less responsive to insulin (insulin resistant). Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise, and with drugs that help the pancreas make more insulin or that make cells more sensitive to insulin. Long-term complications of diabetes include kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems, including heart disease and stroke.
Why Was This Study Done?
South Asians and African-Caribbeans living in Western countries tend to have higher rates of type 2 diabetes than host populations. South Asian adults living in the UK, for example, have a 3-fold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than white Europeans. They also have higher fasting blood levels of glucose, insulin and triglycerides (a type of fat), higher blood levels of “glycated hemoglobin” (HbA1c; an indicator of average of blood-sugar levels over time), more body fat (increased adiposity), raised levels of a molecule called C-reactive protein, and lower levels of HDL-cholesterol (another type of fat) than white Europeans. Most of these “diabetes precursors” (risk factors) are also seen in black African-Caribbean adults living in the UK except that individuals in this ethnic group often have raised HDL-cholesterol levels and low triglyceride levels. Ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes precursors are also present in adolescents, but the extent to which they are present in childhood remains unclear. Knowing this information could have implications for diabetes prevention. In this population-based study, therefore, the researchers investigate patterns of diabetes precursors in 9- to 10-year-old UK children of white European, South Asian, and black African-Caribbean origin.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled nearly 5,000 children (including 1,153 white European, 1,306 South Asian and 1,215 black African-Caribbean children) from primary schools with high prevalences of ethnic minority pupils in London, Birmingham, and Leicester in the Child Heart and Health study in England (CHASE). They measured and weighed more than two-thirds of the enrolled children and determined their adiposity. They also took blood samples for measurement of diabetes precursors from nearly two-thirds of the children. The recorded ethnicity of each child was based on parental definition. The researchers' analysis of these data showed that, compared with white Europeans, South Asian children had higher levels of HbA1c, insulin, triglycerides, and C-reactive protein but lower HDL-cholesterol levels. In addition, they had higher adiposity levels than the white European children, but this did not account for the observed differences in the other diabetes precursors. Black African-Caribbean children also had higher levels of HbA1c, insulin, and C-reactive protein than white European children, although the differences were smaller than those between South Asians and white Europeans. Similar to black African-Caribbean adults, however, children of this ethnic origin had higher HDL-cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels than white Europeans.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that ethnic differences in diabetes precursors are already present in apparently healthy children before they are 10 years old. Furthermore, most of the ethnic differences in diabetes precursors seen among the children follow the pattern seen in adults. Although these findings need confirming in more children, they suggest that the ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes susceptibility first described in immigrants to the UK are persisting in UK-born South Asian and black African-Caribbean children. Most importantly, these findings suggest that some of the factors thought to be responsible for ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes—for example, varying levels of physical activity and dietary differences—are operating well before adult life. Interventions that target these factors early could, therefore, offer good opportunities for diabetes prevention in high-risk ethnic groups, provided such interventions are carefully tailored to the needs of these groups.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000263.
The International Diabetes Federation provides information about all aspects of diabetes (in English, French and Spanish)
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides detailed information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals and the general public, including information on diabetes in specific US populations (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service also provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes (in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has a fact sheet on diabetes disparities among racial and ethnic minorities
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000263
PMCID: PMC2857652  PMID: 20421924
11.  Children's surgery: a national survey of consultant clinical practice 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001639.
Objectives
To survey clinical practice and opinions of consultant surgeons and anaesthetists caring for children to inform the needs for training, commissioning and management of children's surgery in the UK.
Design
The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) hosted an online survey to gather data on current clinical practice of UK consultant surgeons and anaesthetists caring for children.
Setting
The questionnaire was circulated to all hospitals and to Anaesthetic and Surgical Royal Colleges, and relevant specialist societies covering the UK and the Channel Islands and was mainly completed by consultants in District General Hospitals.
Participants
555 surgeons and 1561 anaesthetists completed the questionnaire.
Results
32.6% of surgeons and 43.5% of anaesthetists considered that there were deficiencies in their hospital's facilities that potentially compromised delivery of a safe children's surgical service. Almost 10% of all consultants considered that their postgraduate training was insufficient for current paediatric practice and 20% felt that recent Continued Professional Development failed to maintain paediatric expertise. 45.4% of surgeons and 39.2% of anaesthetists considered that the current specialty curriculum should have a larger paediatric component. Consultants in non-specialist paediatric centres were prepared to care for younger children admitted for surgery as emergencies than those admitted electively. Many of the surgeons and anaesthetists had <4 h/week in paediatric practice. Only 55.3% of surgeons and 42.8% of anaesthetists participated in any form of regular multidisciplinary review of children undergoing surgery.
Conclusions
There are significant obstacles to consultant surgeons and anaesthetists providing a competent surgical service for children. Postgraduate curricula must meet the needs of trainees who will be expected to include children in their caseload as consultants. Trusts must ensure appropriate support for consultants to maintain paediatric skills and provide the necessary facilities for a high-quality local surgical service.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001639
PMCID: PMC3488724  PMID: 23075572
Paediatric Surgery
12.  Grown-up congenital heart (GUCH) disease: current needs and provision of service for adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease in the UK 
Heart  2002;88(Suppl 1):i1-i14.
The size of the national population of patients with grown-up congenital heart disease (GUCH) is uncertain, but since 80–85% of patients born with congenital heart disease now survive to adulthood (age 16 years), an annual increase of 2500 can be anticipated according to birth rate. Organisation of medical care is haphazard with only three of 18 cardiac surgical centres operating on over 30 cases per annum and only two established specialised units fully equipped and staffed.
Not all grown-ups with congenital heart disease require the same level of expertise; 20–25% are complex, rare, etc, and require life long expert supervision and/or intervention; a further 35–40% require access to expert consultation. The rest, about 40%, have simple or cured diseases and need little or no specialist expertise. The size of the population needing expertise is small in comparison to coronary and hypertensive disease, aging, and increasing in complexity. It requires expert cardiac surgery and specialised medical cardiology, intensive care, electrophysiology, imaging and interventions, "at risk" pregnancy services, connection to transplant services familiar with their basic problem, clinical nurse specialist advisors, and trained nurses.
An integrated national service is described with 4–6 specialist units established within adult cardiology, ideally in relation or proximity to university hospital/departments in appropriate geographic location, based in association with established paediatric cardiac surgical centres with designated inpatient and outpatient facilities for grown-up patients with congenital heart disease. Specialist units should accept responsibility for educating the profession, training the specialists, cooperative research, receiving patients "out of region", sharing particular skills between each other, and they must liaise with other services and trusts in the health service, particularly specified outpatient clinics in district and regional centres. Not every regional cardiac centre requires a full GUCH specialised service since there are too few patients. Complex patients need to be concentrated for expertise, experience, and optimal management. Transition of care from paediatric to adult supervision should be routine, around age 16 years, flexibly managed, smooth, and explained to patient and family. Each patient should be entered into a local database and a national registry needs to be established. The Department of Health should accept responsibility of dissemination of information on special needs of such patients. The GUCH Patients' Association is active in helping with lifestyle and social problems.
Easy access to specialised care for those with complex heart disease is crucial if the nation accepts, as it should, continued medical responsibility to provide optimal medical care for GUCH patients.
doi:10.1136/heart.88.suppl_1.i1
PMCID: PMC1876264  PMID: 12181200
13.  Considering quality of care for young adults with diabetes in Ireland 
Background
Research on the quality of diabetes care provided to young adults with Type 1 diabetes is lacking. This study investigates perceptions of quality of care for young adults with Type 1 diabetes (23–30 years old) living in the Republic of Ireland.
Methods
Thirty-five young adults with Type 1 diabetes (twenty-nine women, six men) and thirteen healthcare professionals (ten diabetes nurse specialists, three consultant Endocrinologists) were recruited. All study participants completed semi-structured interviews that explored their perspectives on the quality of diabetes services in Ireland. Interviews were analyzed using standard qualitative thematic analysis techniques.
Results
Most interviewees identified problems with Irish diabetes services for young adults. Healthcare services were often characterised by long waiting times, inadequate continuity of care, overreliance on junior doctors and inadequate professional-patient interaction times. Many rural and non-specialist services lacked funding for diabetes education programmes, diabetes nurse specialists, insulin pumps or for psychological support, though these services are important components of quality Type 1 diabetes healthcare. Allied health services such as psychology, podiatry and dietician services appeared to be underfunded in many parts of the country. While Irish diabetes services lacked funding prior to the recession, the economic decline in Ireland, and the subsequent austerity imposed on the Irish health service as a result of that decline, appears to have additional negative consequences. Despite these difficulties, a number of specialist healthcare services for young adults with diabetes seemed to be providing excellent quality of care. Although young adults and professionals identified many of the same problems with Irish diabetes services, professionals appeared to be more critical of diabetes services than young adults. Young adults generally expressed high levels of satisfaction with services, even where they noted that aspects of those services were sub-optimal.
Conclusion
Good quality care appears to be unequally distributed throughout Ireland. National austerity measures appear to be negatively impacting health services for young adults with diabetes. There is a need for more Endocrinologist and diabetes nurse specialist posts to be funded in Ireland, as well as allied health professional posts.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-448
PMCID: PMC3883518  PMID: 24168159
Type 1 diabetes; Quality of care; Young adult; Emerging adult; Ireland
14.  Non-Specialist Psychosocial Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Intellectual Disability or Lower-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(12):e1001572.
In a systematic review, Brian Reichow and colleagues assess the evidence that non-specialist care providers in community settings can provide effective interventions for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The development of effective treatments for use by non-specialists is listed among the top research priorities for improving the lives of people with mental illness worldwide. The purpose of this review is to appraise which interventions for children with intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders delivered by non-specialist care providers in community settings produce benefits when compared to either a no-treatment control group or treatment-as-usual comparator.
Methods and Findings
We systematically searched electronic databases through 24 June 2013 to locate prospective controlled studies of psychosocial interventions delivered by non-specialist providers to children with intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders. We screened 234 full papers, of which 34 articles describing 29 studies involving 1,305 participants were included. A majority of the studies included children exclusively with a diagnosis of lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders (15 of 29, 52%). Fifteen of twenty-nine studies (52%) were randomized controlled trials and just under half of all effect sizes (29 of 59, 49%) were greater than 0.50, of which 18 (62%) were statistically significant. For behavior analytic interventions, the best outcomes were shown for development and daily skills; cognitive rehabilitation, training, and support interventions were found to be most effective for improving developmental outcomes, and parent training interventions to be most effective for improving developmental, behavioral, and family outcomes. We also conducted additional subgroup analyses using harvest plots. Limitations include the studies' potential for performance bias and that few were conducted in lower- and middle-income countries.
Conclusions
The findings of this review support the delivery of psychosocial interventions by non-specialist providers to children who have intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Given the scarcity of specialists in many low-resource settings, including many lower- and middle-income countries, these findings may provide guidance for scale-up efforts for improving outcomes for children with developmental disorders or lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders.
Protocol Registration
PROSPERO CRD42012002641
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Newborn babies are helpless, but over the first few years of life, they acquire motor (movement) skills, language (communication) skills, cognitive (thinking) skills, and social (interpersonal interaction) skills. Individual aspects of these skills are usually acquired at specific ages, but children with a development disorder such as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or intellectual disability (mental retardation) fail to reach these “milestones” because of impaired or delayed brain maturation. Autism, Asperger syndrome, and other ASDs (also called pervasive developmental disorders) affect about 1% of the UK and US populations and are characterized by abnormalities in interactions and communication with other people (reciprocal socio-communicative interactions; for example, some children with autism reject physical affection and fail to develop useful speech) and a restricted, stereotyped, repetitive repertoire of interests (for example, obsessive accumulation of facts about unusual topics). About half of individuals with an ASD also have an intellectual disability—a reduced overall level of intelligence characterized by impairment of the skills that are normally acquired during early life. Such individuals have what is called lower-functioning ASD.
Why Was This Study Done?
Most of the children affected by developmental disorders live in low- and middle-income countries where there are few services available to help them achieve their full potential and where little research has been done to identify the most effective treatments. The development of effective treatments for use by non-specialists (for example, teachers and parents) is necessary to improve the lives of people with mental illnesses worldwide, but particularly in resource-limited settings where psychiatrists, psychologists, and other specialists are scarce. In this systematic review, the researchers investigated which psychosocial interventions for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning ASDs delivered by non-specialist providers in community settings produce improvements in development, daily skills, school performance, behavior, or family outcomes when compared to usual care (the control condition). A systematic review identifies all the research on a given topic using predefined criteria; psychosocial interventions are defined as therapy, education, training, or support aimed at improving behavior, overall development, or specific life skills without the use of drugs.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 29 controlled studies (investigations with an intervention group and a control group) that examined the effects of various psychosocial interventions delivered by non-specialist providers to children (under 18 years old) who had a lower-functioning ASD or intellectual disability. The researchers retrieved information on the participants, design and methods, findings, and intervention characteristics for each study, and calculated effect sizes—a measure of the effectiveness of a test intervention relative to a control intervention—for several outcomes for each intervention. Across the studies, three-quarters of the effect size estimates were positive, and nearly half were greater than 0.50; effect sizes of less than 0.2, 0.2–0.5, and greater than 0.5 indicate that an intervention has no, a small, or a medium-to-large effect, respectively. For behavior analytic interventions (which aim to improve socially significant behavior by systematically analyzing behavior), the largest effect sizes were seen for development and daily skills. Cognitive rehabilitation, training, and support (interventions that facilitates the relearning of lost or altered cognitive skills) produced good improvements in developmental outcomes such as standardized IQ tests in children aged 6–11 years old. Finally, parental training interventions (which teach parents how to provide therapy services for their child) had strong effects on developmental, behavioral, and family outcomes.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Because few of the studies included in this systematic review were undertaken in low- and middle-income countries, the review's findings may not be generalizable to children living in resource-limited settings. Moreover, other characteristics of the included studies may limit the accuracy of these findings. Nevertheless, these findings support the delivery of psychosocial interventions by non-specialist providers to children who have intellectual disabilities or a lower-functioning ASD, and indicate which interventions are likely to produce the largest improvements in developmental, behavioral, and family outcomes. Further studies are needed, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, to confirm these findings, but given that specialists are scarce in many resource-limited settings, these findings may help to inform the implementation of programs to improve outcomes for children with intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning ASDs in low- and middle-income countries.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001572.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Bello-Mojeed and Bakare
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information (in English and Spanish) on developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability
The US National Institute of Mental Health also provides detailed information about autism spectrum disorders, including the publication “A Parent's Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder”
Autism Speaks, a US non-profit organization, provides information about all aspects of autism spectrum disorders and includes information on the Autism Speaks Global Autism Public Health Initiative
The National Autistic Society, a UK charity, provides information about all aspects of autism spectrum disorders and includes personal stories about living with these conditions
The UK National Health Service Choices website has an interactive guide to child development and information about autism and Asperger syndrome, including personal stories, and about learning disabilities
The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provides clinical guidelines for the management and support of children with autism spectrum disorders
The World Health Organization provides information on its Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), which includes recommendations on the management of developmental disorders by non-specialist providers; the mhGAP Evidence Resource Center provides evidence reviews for parent skills training for management of children with intellectual disabilities and pervasive developmental disorders and interventions for management of children with intellectual disabilities
PROSPERO, an international prospective register of systematic reviews, provides more information about this systematic review
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001572
PMCID: PMC3866092  PMID: 24358029
15.  Quality of interaction between primary health-care providers and patients with type 2 diabetes in Muscat, Oman: an observational study 
BMC Family Practice  2006;7:72.
Background
A good patient-physician interaction is particularly important in chronic diseases like diabetes. There are so far no published data regarding the interaction between the primary health-care providers and patients with type 2 diabetes in Oman, where diabetes is a major and growing health problem. This study aimed at exploring how health-care providers interact with patients with type 2 diabetes at primary health-care level in Muscat, Oman, focusing on the consultation environment, and some aspects of care and information.
Methods
Direct observations of 90 consultations between 23 doctors and 13 diabetes nurses concerned with diabetes management during their consultations with type 2 diabetes patients in six primary health-care centres in the Muscat region, using checklists developed from the National Diabetes Guidelines. Consultations were assessed as optimal if more than 75% of observed aspects were fulfilled and sub-optimal if less than 50% were fulfilled.
Results
Overall 52% of the doctors' consultations were not optimal. Some important aspects for a positive consultation environment were fulfilled in only about half of the doctors' consultations: ensuring privacy of consultation (49%), eye contact (49%), good attention (52%), encouraging asking questions (47%), and emphasizing on the patients' understanding of the provided information (52%). The doctors enquired about adverse effects of anti-diabetes drugs in less than 10% of consultations. The quality of the nurses' consultations was sub-optimal in about 75% of 85 consultations regarding aspects of consultation environment, care and information.
Conclusion
The performance of the primary health-care doctors and diabetes nurses needs to be improved. The role of the diabetes nurses and the teamwork should be enhanced. We suggest a multidisciplinary team approach, training and education to the providers to upgrade their skills regarding communication and care. Barriers to compliance with the guidelines need to be further explored. Improving the work situation mainly for the diabetes nurses and further improvement in the organizational efficiency of diabetes services such as lowering the number of patients in diabetes clinic, are suggested.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-7-72
PMCID: PMC1764013  PMID: 17156424
16.  A multi-disciplinary education process related to the discharging of children from hospital when the child has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes - a qualitative study 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:36.
Background
Worldwide, insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes is one of the most frequently diagnosed long-term endocrine disorders found in children and the incidences of this diseased is still increasing. In Sweden the routines are, according to national guidelines, when the child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the child and its family remains at the hospital for about two weeks. There is limited knowledge about how a diabetes team handles a child and its family from admission to discharge, therefore the purpose of this study was to seek a deeper understanding of how the diabetes team's parent/child education process works, from admission to discharge, among families with a child newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Methods
Qualitative data collection was used. Four focus-group interviews, with a sample of three diabetes teams from different paediatric hospitals in the south western part of Sweden, were conducted and the data recorded on tape and then analysed using qualitative content analysis.
Results
The results indicate that achieving a status of self-care on the part of the patient is the goal of the diabetes education programme. Part of the programme is aimed at guiding the child and its parents towards self-help through the means of providing them with knowledge of the disease and its treatment to enable the whole family to understand the need for cooperation in the process. To do this requires an understanding, by the diabetes team, of the individualities of the family in order to gain an overall picture.
Conclusion
The results of this study show that the diabetes education programme is specifically designed for each family using the internationally recommended clinical practice guidelines with its specific aims and objectives. Achieving the families' willingness to assist in the self-care of the child care is the goal of the parent education process. To achieve this, the paediatric diabetes specialist nurse and the diabetes specialist paediatrician immediately and deliberately start the process of educating the family using a programme designed to give them the necessary knowledge and skills they will need to manage their child's type 1 diabetes at home.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-10-36
PMCID: PMC2889941  PMID: 20507611
17.  Community-Based Care for the Specialized Management of Heart Failure 
Executive Summary
In August 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) presented a vignette to the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) on a proposed targeted health care delivery model for chronic care. The proposed model was defined as multidisciplinary, ambulatory, community-based care that bridged the gap between primary and tertiary care, and was intended for individuals with a chronic disease who were at risk of a hospital admission or emergency department visit. The goals of this care model were thought to include: the prevention of emergency department visits, a reduction in hospital admissions and re-admissions, facilitation of earlier hospital discharge, a reduction or delay in long-term care admissions, and an improvement in mortality and other disease-specific patient outcomes.
OHTAC approved the development of an evidence-based assessment to determine the effectiveness of specialized community based care for the management of heart failure, Type 2 diabetes and chronic wounds.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site at: www.health.gov.on.ca/ohtas to review the following reports associated with the Specialized Multidisciplinary Community-Based care series.
Specialized multidisciplinary community-based care series: a summary of evidence-based analyses
Community-based care for the specialized management of heart failure: an evidence-based analysis
Community-based care for chronic wound management: an evidence-based analysis
Please note that the evidence-based analysis of specialized community-based care for the management of diabetes titled: “Community-based care for the management of type 2 diabetes: an evidence-based analysis” has been published as part of the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform at this URL: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/tech/ohtas/tech_diabetes_20091020.html
Please visit the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative Web site at: http://theta.utoronto.ca/papers/MAS_CHF_Clinics_Report.pdf to review the following economic project associated with this series:
Community-based Care for the specialized management of heart failure: a cost-effectiveness and budget impact analysis.
Objective
The objective of this evidence-based analysis was to determine the effectiveness of specialized multidisciplinary care in the management of heart failure (HF).
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
HF is a progressive, chronic condition in which the heart becomes unable to sufficiently pump blood throughout the body. There are several risk factors for developing the condition including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, previous myocardial infarction, and valvular heart disease.(1) Based on data from a 2005 study of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), the prevalence of congestive heart failure in Canada is approximately 1% of the population over the age of 12.(2) This figure rises sharply after the age of 45, with prevalence reports ranging from 2.2% to 12%.(3) Extrapolating this to the Ontario population, an estimated 98,000 residents in Ontario are believed to have HF.
Disease management programs are multidisciplinary approaches to care for chronic disease that coordinate comprehensive care strategies along the disease continuum and across healthcare delivery systems.(4) Evidence for the effectiveness of disease management programs for HF has been provided by seven systematic reviews completed between 2004 and 2007 (Table 1) with consistency of effect demonstrated across four main outcomes measures: all cause mortality and hospitalization, and heart-failure specific mortality and hospitalization. (4-10)
However, while disease management programs are multidisciplinary by definition, the published evidence lacks consistency and clarity as to the exact nature of each program and usual care comparators are generally ill defined. Consequently, the effectiveness of multidisciplinary care for the management of persons with HF is still uncertain. Therefore, MAS has completed a systematic review of specialized, multidisciplinary, community-based care disease management programs compared to a well-defined usual care group for persons with HF.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness of specialized, multidisciplinary, community-based care (SMCCC) compared with usual care for persons with HF?
Literature Search Strategy
A comprehensive literature search was completed of electronic databases including MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature. Bibliographic references of selected studies were also searched. After a review of the title and abstracts, relevant studies were obtained and the full reports evaluated. All studies meeting explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria were retained. Where appropriate, a meta-analysis was undertaken to determine the pooled estimate of effect of specialized multidisciplinary community-based care for explicit outcomes. The quality of the body of evidence, defined as one or more relevant studies was determined using GRADE Working Group criteria. (11)
Inclusion Criteria
Randomized controlled trial
Systematic review with meta analysis
Population includes persons with New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification 1-IV HF
The intervention includes a team consisting of a nurse and physician one of which is a specialist in HF management.
The control group receives care by a single practitioner (e.g. primary care physician (PCP) or cardiologist)
The intervention begins after discharge from the hospital
The study reports 1-year outcomes
Exclusion Criteria
The intervention is delivered predominately through home-visits
Studies with mixed populations where discrete data for HF is not reported
Outcomes of Interest
All cause mortality
All cause hospitalization
HF specific mortality
HF specific hospitalization
All cause duration of hospital stay
HF specific duration of hospital stay
Emergency room visits
Quality of Life
Summary of Findings
One large and seven small randomized controlled trials were obtained from the literature search.
A meta-analysis was completed for four of the seven outcomes including:
All cause mortality
HF-specific mortality
All cause hospitalization
HF-specific hospitalization.
Where the pooled analysis was associated with significant heterogeneity, subgroup analyses were completed using two primary categories:
direct and indirect model of care; and
type of control group (PCP or cardiologist).
The direct model of care was a clinic-based multidisciplinary HF program and the indirect model of care was a physician supervised, nurse-led telephonic HF program.
All studies, except one, were completed in jurisdictions outside North America. (12-19) Similarly, all but one study had a sample size of less than 250. The mean age in the studies ranged from 65 to 77 years. Six of the studies(12;14-18) included populations with a NYHA classification of II-III. In two studies, the control treatment was a cardiologist (12;15) and two studies reported the inclusion of a dietitian, physiotherapist and psychologist as members of the multidisciplinary team (12;19).
All Cause Mortality
Eight studies reported all cause mortality (number of persons) at 1 year follow-up. (12-19) When the results of all eight studies were pooled, there was a statistically significant RRR of 29% with moderate heterogeneity (I2 of 38%). The results of the subgroup analyses indicated a significant RRR of 40% in all cause mortality when SMCCC is delivered through a direct team model (clinic) and a 35% RRR when SMCCC was compared with a primary care practitioner.
HF-Specific Mortality
Three studies reported HF-specific mortality (number of persons) at 1 year follow-up. (15;18;19) When the results of these were pooled, there was an insignificant RRR of 42% with high statistical heterogeneity (I2 of 60%). The GRADE quality of evidence is moderate for the pooled analysis of all studies.
All Cause Hospitalization
Seven studies reported all cause hospitalization at 1-year follow-up (13-15;17-19). When pooled, their results showed a statistically insignificant 12% increase in hospitalizations in the SMCCC group with high statistical heterogeneity (I2 of 81%). A significant RRR of 12% in all cause hospitalization in favour of the SMCCC care group was achieved when SMCCC was delivered using an indirect model (telephonic) with an associated (I2 of 0%). The Grade quality of evidence was found to be low for the pooled analysis of all studies and moderate for the subgroup analysis of the indirect team care model.
HF-Specific Hospitalization
Six studies reported HF-specific hospitalization at 1-year follow-up. (13-15;17;19) When pooled, the results of these studies showed an insignificant RRR of 14% with high statistical heterogeneity (I2 of 60%); however, the quality of evidence for the pooled analysis of was low.
Duration of Hospital Stay
Seven studies reported duration of hospital stay, four in terms of mean duration of stay in days (14;16;17;19) and three in terms of total hospital bed days (12;13;18). Most studies reported all cause duration of hospital stay while two also reported HF-specific duration of hospital stay. These data were not amenable to meta-analyses as standard deviations were not provided in the reports. However, in general (and in all but one study) it appears that persons receiving SMCCC had shorter hospital stays, whether measured as mean days in hospital or total hospital bed days.
Emergency Room Visits
Only one study reported emergency room visits. (14) This was presented as a composite of readmissions and ER visits, where the authors reported that 77% (59/76) of the SMCCC group and 84% (63/75) of the usual care group were either readmitted or had an ER visit within the 1 year of follow-up (P=0.029).
Quality of Life
Quality of life was reported in five studies using the Minnesota Living with HF Questionnaire (MLHFQ) (12-15;19) and in one study using the Nottingham Health Profile Questionnaire(16). The MLHFQ results are reported in our analysis. Two studies reported the mean score at 1 year follow-up, although did not provide the standard deviation of the mean in their report. One study reported the median and range scores at 1 year follow-up in each group. Two studies reported the change scores of the physical and emotional subscales of the MLHFQ of which only one study reported a statistically significant change from baseline to 1 year follow-up between treatment groups in favour of the SMCCC group in the physical sub-scale. A significant change in the emotional subscale scores from baseline to 1 year follow-up in the treatment groups was not reported in either study.
Conclusion
There is moderate quality evidence that SMCCC reduces all cause mortality by 29%. There is low quality evidence that SMCCC contributes to a shorter duration of hospital stay and improves quality of life compared to usual care. The evidence supports that SMCCC is effective when compared to usual care provided by either a primary care practitioner or a cardiologist. It does not, however, suggest an optimal model of care or discern what the effective program components are. A field evaluation could address this uncertainty.
PMCID: PMC3377506  PMID: 23074521
18.  The effectiveness of telemedicine for paediatric retrieval consultations: rationale and study design for a pragmatic multicentre randomised controlled trial 
Background
In many health systems, specialist services for critically ill children are typically regionalised or centralised. Studies have shown that high-risk paediatric patients have improved survival when managed in specialist centres and that volume of cases is a predictor of care quality. In acute cases where distance and time impede access to specialist care, clinical advice may be provided remotely by telephone. Emergency retrieval services, attended by medical and nursing staff may be used to transport patients to specialist centres. Even with the best quality retrieval services, stabilisation of the patient and transport logistics may delay evacuation to definitive care. Several studies have examined the use of telemedicine for providing specialist consultations for critically ill children. However, no studies have yet formally examined the clinical effectiveness and economic implications of using telemedicine in the context of paediatric patient retrieval.
Methods/Design
The study is a pragmatic, multicentre randomised controlled trial running over 24 months which will compare the use of telemedicine with the use of the telephone for paediatric retrieval consultations between four referring hospitals and a tertiary paediatric intensive care unit. We aim to recruit 160 children for whom a specialist retrieval consultation is required. The primary outcome measure is stabilisation time (time spent on site at the referring hospital by the retrieval team) adjusted for initial risk. Secondary outcome measures are change in patient’s physiological status (repeated measure, two time points) scored using the Children’s Emergency Warning Tool; change in diagnosis (repeated measure taken at three time points); change in destination of retrieved patients at the tertiary hospital (general ward or paediatric intensive care unit); retrieval decision, and length of stay in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for retrieved patients. The trial has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committees of Children’s Health Services Queensland and The University of Queensland, Australia.
Discussion
Health services are adopting telemedicine, however formal evidence to support its use in paediatric acute care is limited. Generalisable evidence is required to inform clinical use and health system policy relating to the effectiveness and economic implications of the use in telemedicine in paediatric retrieval.
Trial registration
Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612000156886.
doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0546-9
PMCID: PMC4232675  PMID: 25381774
Paediatrics; Paediatric intensive care; Paediatric critical care; Telemedicine; Transport
19.  A comparative study of two various models of organising diabetes follow-up in public primary health care – the model influences the use of services, their quality and costs 
Background
In Finland diabetologists have long been concerned about the level of diabetes care as the incidence of type 1 diabetes and complicated type 2 diabetes is exceeding the capacity of specialist clinics. We compared the outcome of diabetes care in two middle-sized Finnish municipalities with different models of diabetes care organisation in public primary health care. In Kouvola the primary health care of all diabetic patients is based on general practitioners, whereas in Nurmijärvi the follow-up of type 1 and most complicated type 2 diabetic patients is assigned to a general practitioner specialised in diabetes care.
Methods
Our study population consisted of all adult diabetic patients living in the municipalities under review.
We compared the use and costs of public diabetes care, glycemic control, blood pressure, LDL-cholesterol level, the application of the national guidelines and patient satisfaction. The main outcome measures were the costs and use of health care services due to diabetes and its complications.
Results
In Nurmijärvi, where diabetes care was centralised, more type 1 diabetic patients were followed up in primary health care than in Kouvola, where general practitioners need more specialist consultations. The centralisation resulted in cost savings in the diabetes care of type 1 diabetic patients. Although the quality of care was similar, type 1 diabetic patients were more satisfied with their follow-up in the centralised system. In the care of type 2 diabetic patients the centralised system required fewer specialist consultations, but the quality and costs were similar in both models.
Conclusions
The follow-up of most diabetic patients – including type 1 diabetes – can be organised in primary health care with the same quality as in secondary care units. The centralised primary care of type 1 diabetes is less costly and requires fewer specialist consultations.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-26
PMCID: PMC3907939  PMID: 24444378
Type 1 diabetes; Organisation of diabetes care; Costs of diabetes care; Patient satisfaction; Comparison of diabetes care; PHC diabetes care
20.  Auditing paediatric diabetes care and the impact of a specialist nurse trained in paediatric diabetes 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1997;77(2):109-114.
Accepted 13 May 1997

AIMS—To define outcome measures for auditing the clinical care of children and adolescents with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and to assess the benefit of appointing a dedicated paediatric trained diabetes specialist nurse (PDSN).
METHODS—Retrospective analysis of medical notes and hospital records. Glycaemic control, growth, weight gain, microvascular complications, school absence, and the proportion of children undergoing an annual clinical review and diabetes education session were assessed. The effect of the appointment of a PDSN on the frequency of hospital admission, length of inpatient stay, and outpatient attendance was evaluated.
RESULTS—Children with IDDM were of normal height and grew well for three years after diagnosis, but grew suboptimally thereafter. Weight gain was above average every year after diagnosis. Glycaemic control was poor at all ages with only 16% of children having an acceptable glycated haemoglobin. Eighty five per cent of patients underwent a formal annual clinical review, of whom 16% had background retinopathy and 20% microalbuminuria in one or more samples. After appointing the PDSN the median length of hospital stay for newly diagnosed patients decreased from five days to one day, with 10of 24 children not admitted. None of the latter was admitted during the next year. There was no evidence of the PDSN affecting the frequency of readmission or length of stay of children with established IDDM. Non-attendance at the outpatient clinic was reduced from a median of 19 to 10%.
CONCLUSIONS—Outcome measures for evaluating the care of children with IDDM can be defined and evaluated. Specialist nursing support markedly reduces the length of hospital stay of newly diagnosed patients without sacrificing the quality of care.


PMCID: PMC1717276  PMID: 9301347
21.  Survey of clinical allergy services provided by clinical immunologists in the UK 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2005;58(12):1283-1290.
Background: The UK National Health Service is failing to meet the need for diagnosis and treatment of allergic disorders, which are common and increasing in prevalence. The House of Commons select committee report on allergy services highlighted the inequalities and urgent need for investment.
Aim: To survey the allergy workload provided by clinical immunologists to inform service planning and resource allocation.
Methods: The allergy services performed by clinical immunologists during a 12 month period from 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004 were surveyed by means of a questionnaire via supraregional audit groups.
Results: The immunology centres surveyed serve 32 million people and offer almost the complete repertoire of a specialised allergy service. There were large variations in clinic capacity, new referrals, appointment duration, and service configuration. Services were largely consultant delivered, but availability of joint clinics with paediatricians and anaesthetists was locally variable. Novel service delivery models utilising nurses and clinical assistants have been developed and merit further investigation.
Conclusion: Consultant immunologists and trainees currently make a major contribution to the development and provision of specialised allergy services. Consultant immunologists will probably remain key providers of tertiary level allergy care in the UK in the long term (in line with other countries) and will be pivotal in supporting and developing the provision of equitable national access to specialist allergy services in a timely manner. Rapid progress in developing the new specialty of allergy and securing better access to services for patients in the short term will be best served by strengthening the collaborative relationship between allergists and clinical immunologists.
doi:10.1136/jcp.2005.027623
PMCID: PMC1770782  PMID: 16311348
immunology; clinical allergy services; audit; workload
22.  Diabetes care provision and glycaemic control in Northern Ireland: a UK regional audit 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2005;90(5):468-473.
Aims: To assess the care received, compared to national guidelines, and to investigate factors associated with glycaemic control in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes attending clinics in Northern Ireland.
Methods: An audit of the care provided to all patients attending 11 paediatric diabetes clinics commenced in 2002. A research nurse interviewed 914 patients completing a questionnaire recording characteristics, social circumstances, and aspects of diabetes management, including the monitoring of complications and access to members of the diabetes team. Glycaemic control was measured by glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), determined at a DCCT aligned central laboratory.
Results: The average HbA1c concentration was 8.8% (SD 1.5%), with 20% of patients achieving recommended HbA1c levels of less than 7.5%. In the year prior to the audit, 76% of patients were reviewed by a diabetes specialist nurse and 42% were tested for microalbuminuria. After adjustment for confounding factors, better glycaemic control was identified, particularly in patients who had attended exactly four diabetes clinics in the previous year, were members of the patient association Diabetes UK, and lived with both natural parents.
Conclusions: In Northern Ireland only a minority of patients achieved recommended HbA1c levels. Furthermore, children and adolescents with diabetes were reviewed by fewer specialists and were less intensively monitored for microvascular complications than recommended. There was evidence of better control in children who were members of Diabetes UK, suggesting that parental attitude and involvement could lead to benefits.
doi:10.1136/adc.2004.061150
PMCID: PMC1720387  PMID: 15851427
23.  Diabetes care and health status of First Nations individuals with type 2 diabetes in Alberta 
Canadian Family Physician  2009;55(4):386-393.
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVE
To describe the state of diabetes care among Alberta First Nations individuals with diabetes living on reserves.
DESIGN
Survey and screening for diabetes-related complications.
SETTING
Forty-three Alberta First Nations communities.
PARTICIPANTS
A total of 743 self-referred First Nations individuals with known diabetes.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Clinical measurements (glycated hemoglobin A1c levels, body mass index, waist circumference, total cholesterol, blood pressure, and the presence of kidney complications or proteinuria, retinopathy, and foot abnormalities), self-reported health services utilization, clinical history, and knowledge of and satisfaction with diabetes services.
RESULTS
Female participants tended to be more obese (P < .05) and to have abnormal waist circumferences more often than men (P < .05). Male participants, however, had a higher proportion of proteinuria (P < .05), hypertension (P < .05), limb complications (P < .05), and retinopathy (P < .05). Family physicians were the main diabetes care providers for most participants. Nearly half the participants felt they did not have care from a diabetes team. A total of 38% had never seen dietitians. Diabetes-related concerns were responsible for 24% of all hospitalizations and emergency department visits. Approximately 46% and 21% of participants had recommended hemoglobin A1c testing and foot examinations, respectively. Only 24% of participants with kidney complications were receiving treatment. A considerable proportion of participants had undiagnosed complications of diabetes: kidney damage or proteinuria (23%), high cholesterol (22%), foot complications (11%), hypertension (9%), and retinopathy (7%).
CONCLUSION
Diabetes care is suboptimal in Alberta First Nations communities. Rural physicians caring for First Nations individuals on reserves should be involved, along with other members of diabetes health care teams, in strategies to improve diabetes care. Our results justify the need for community-based screening for diabetes control and complications in First Nation communities.
PMCID: PMC2669013  PMID: 19366950
24.  Factors associated with consulting a dietitian for diabetes management: a cross-sectional study 
Background
Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) has reached epidemic levels in the Middle East region. Despite evidence that it improves health outcomes and saves health costs, dietary counseling for T2D remains grossly under-investigated in this region. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency and determinants of use of dietary counseling services by T2D patients in Lebanon and recommend corrective measures that may guide the planning, organization and delivery of care for chronic diseases in general and diabetes care in particular.
Methods
A non-experimental cross-sectional design was utilized to survey outpatients with T2D in two major health centers in Lebanon. Patients diagnosed with T2D were invited to complete a questionnaire consisting of five sections: socio-demographic characteristics, disease attributes, patients’ perceptions regarding T2D management, practice of lifestyle modifications, and referral by a physician to a dietitian. The outcome of interest was the use of dietary counseling services by T2D patients at least once since their diagnosis. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the frequency and determinants of dietary counseling services utilization.
Results
A total of 332 T2D patients completed the questionnaire (response rate 94.6%). Although 75% of study participants believed that dietitians can assist them in changing their dietary habits, only 38% had consulted with a dietitian. Among study participants, only 34% were referred to a dietitian by their physician. The main determinants of the use of dietary counseling services were referral by a physician (OR: 112.25; 95% CI = 42.74-294.84), the presence of outpatient social or private health insurance (OR: 5.86; 95% CI = 2.40-14.25) and the belief that a dietitian can assist in changing dietary habits (OR: 3.74; 95% CI = 1.33-10.54).
Conclusions
The findings of this study show suboptimal use of dietary counseling services by T2D patients in Lebanon. Key determinants were physicians’ referral, financial support for outpatient care, and patients’ belief in the usefulness of dietary counseling. Suggested interventions entail enhancing the planning and organization of care through inter-professional collaboration between physicians and dietitians; promoting public financing for high quality outpatient care that includes dietary counseling; and promoting the value of dietary counseling and improving the public image of dietitians.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-504
PMCID: PMC3880219  PMID: 24305435
Planning and organizing care; Diabetes management; Human resources; Dietary counseling; Dietitian; Policy; Lebanon
25.  Insulin dependent diabetes in children under 5: incidence and ascertainment validation for 1992. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1995;310(6981):700-703.
OBJECTIVE--To establish the incidence of insulin dependent diabetes diagnosed in children under 5 years of age in the British Isles during 1992, comparing the national and regional results with those of our 1988 national study, and estimating the 1992 study's level of case ascertainment. DESIGN--Active monthly reporting of cases by consultant paediatricians through the framework of the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit, with additional reports from specialist diabetes nurses and regional health authorities. SUBJECTS--All children diagnosed under the age of 5 years with primary insulin dependent diabetes from 1 January to 31 December 1992 (inclusive) and resident in the British Isles at diagnosis. RESULTS--387 children (208 boys and 179 girls) were confirmed to have insulin dependent diabetes, giving a national incidence of 9.3/100,000/year. This is similar to the 9.9/100,000/year found in 1988. Three sample capture-recapture analysis, which could only be applied across the 12 (out of 18) regions supplying regional information to the study, suggested ascertainment rates of 78% for the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit, 67% for specialist nurses, 69% for regional health authorities, and 99% for the aggregated registry. CONCLUSIONS--The national incidence of diabetes in the under 5s in the British Isles did not differ between 1988 and 1992. Nearly complete (99%) ascertainment of cases was possible only for regions for which three data sources were available. Capture-recapture analysis highlighted both the need for more than one data source and for each data source to be complete for the whole study area.
PMCID: PMC2549096  PMID: 7711537

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