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1.  Adherence to Pharmacotherapy and Medication-Related Beliefs in Patients with Hypertension in Lima, Peru 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e112875.
To characterize adherence to pharmacological medication and beliefs towards medication in a group of patients with hypertension in a large national hospital.
Materials and Methods
Cross-sectional survey among patients with hypertension attending the outpatient clinic of a large national hospital. Exposure of interest was the patient's beliefs towards general medication and antihypertensive drugs, i.e. beliefs of harm, overuse, necessity and concern, measured using the Beliefs about Medication questionnaire. Main outcome was adherence measured using the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale-8. Multivariate analysis was conducted using Poisson distribution logistic regression, prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Data from 115 participants, 67% females and mean age 62.7 years were analyzed. Low adherence was found in 57.4%. Highest scores were on the ideas of necessity and one of the most rated statements was “physicians would prescribe less medication if they spent more time with patients”. Beliefs of harm about medications and concerns about antihypertensive drugs were higher in the low adherence group (p<0.01). Those who scored higher on ideas of harm were 52% less likely of being high adherents (PR 0.48; 95% CI 0.25–0.93) and those with higher scores on concerns were 41% less likely of being high adherents (PR 0.59; 95% CI 0.39–0.91). Patients whose ideas of necessity outweighed their concerns were more likely to be adherent (PR 2.65; 95% CI 1.21–5.81).
Low adherence to antihypertensive medication is common. High scores on ideas of harm, concern and a high necessity-concern differential were predictors of medication adherence.
PMCID: PMC4254514  PMID: 25470372
2.  Attitudes and Relationship between Physicians and the Pharmaceutical Industry in a Public General Hospital in Lima, Peru 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100114.
The interaction between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry influences physicians' attitudes and prescribing behavior. Although largely studied in the US, this topic has not been well studied in resource-poor settings, where a close relationship between physicians and industry still exists.
To describe physician interactions with and attitudes towards the pharmaceutical industry in a public general hospital in Lima, Peru.
Descriptive, cross-sectional study through an anonymous, self-filled questionnaire distributed among faculty and trainee physicians of five different clinical departments working in a Peruvian public general hospital. A transcultural validation of an existing Spanish questionnaire was performed. Exposure to marketing activities, motivations to contact pharmaceutical representatives and attitudes towards industry were studied. Collected data was analyzed by degree of training, clinical department, gender and teaching status. Attitudes were measured on a four-point LIKERT scale.
155 physicians completed the survey, of which 148 were included in the study sample. 94.5% of attending physicians reported ongoing encounters with pharmaceutical representatives. The most common industry-related activities were receiving medical samples (91.2%), promotional material (87.8%) and attending meetings in restaurants (81.8%). Respondents considered medical samples and continuing medical education the most ethically acceptable benefits. We found significant differences between attendings and residents, and teaching and non-teaching attendings. An association between the amount of encounters with pharmaceutical representatives, and attitudes towards industry and acceptance of medical samples was found.
A close physician-industry relationship exists in the population under study. The contact is established mainly through pharmaceutical representatives. Medical samples are the most received and ethically accepted benefit. The attitudes of physicians on the ethical standards of acceptance of medical samples and other benefits are closely related with their exposure to the pharmaceutical industry. Future studies could explore the motivations of physicians working in resource-poor settings to maintain a close relationship with industry.
PMCID: PMC4076259  PMID: 24978481
3.  Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy in Ambulatory Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in a General Hospital in a Middle Income Country: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95403.
We aimed to estimate the morbidity rate and associated factors for diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) in a low-middle income country setting.
Cross-sectional study, data was gathered at Peru's Ministry of Health national specialized hospital for endocrinological conditions through standardized interviews, anthropometric measurements and blood tests for glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). DPN was evaluated using two techniques: the Semmes-Weinstein monofilament test and the diabetic neuropathy symptom score. Overall prevalence and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated. Potential factors related to DPN explored included body mass index, years with disease (<10 vs. ≥10 years), glycaemic control (HbA1c <7% vs. ≥7%), microalbuminuria, retinopathy, and current pharmacological treatment. Multivariable analysis was performed using Poisson analysis to calculate prevalence ratios.
DPN was observed in 73/129 (56.6%) patients. In multivariable analysis adjusted by age and sex, the prevalence ratio of neuropathy was 1.4 times higher (95% CI 1.07–1.88) in patients who took insulin plus metformin compared to patients who used one treatment alone, and 1.4 higher (95% CI 1.02–1.93) in patients with ≥10 years of disease compared to those with a shorter duration of disease. Also we found some characteristics in foot evaluation associated to neuropathy such as deformities (p<0.001), onychomycosis (p = 0.012), abnormal Achilles reflex (p<0.001), pain perception (p<0.001) and vibration perception (p<0.001).
DPN is highly frequent among patients with diabetes in a national specialized facility from Peru. Associated factors to DPN included being a diabetic patient for over ten years, and receiving insulin plus metformin
PMCID: PMC4006783  PMID: 24789071
4.  A systematic review of shared decision making interventions in chronic conditions: a review protocol 
Systematic Reviews  2014;3:38.
Chronic conditions are a major source of morbidity, mortality and cost worldwide. Shared decision making is one way to improve care for patients with chronic conditions. Although it has been widely studied, the effect of shared decision making in the context of chronic conditions is unknown.
We will perform a systematic review with the objective of determining the effectiveness of shared decision making interventions for persons diagnosed with chronic conditions. We will search the following databases for relevant articles: PubMed, Scopus, Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, Ovid EBM Reviews CENTRAL, CINAHL, and Ovid PsycInfo. We will also search clinical trial registries and contact experts in the field to identify additional studies. We will include randomized controlled trials studying shared decision making interventions in patients with chronic conditions who are facing an actual decision. Shared decision making interventions will be defined as any intervention aiming to facilitate or improve patient and/or clinician engagement in a decision making process. We will describe all studies and assess their quality. After adjusting for missing data, we will analyze the effect of shared decision making interventions on outcomes in chronic conditions overall and stratified by condition. We will evaluate outcomes according to an importance ranking informed by a variety of stakeholders. We will perform several exploratory analyses including the effect of author contact on the estimates of effect.
We anticipate that this systematic review may have some limitations such as heterogeneity and imprecision; however, the results will contribute to improving the quality of care for individuals with chronic conditions and facilitate a process that allows decision making that is most consistent with their own values and preferences.
Trial registration
PROSPERO Registration Number: CRD42013005784
PMCID: PMC4021633  PMID: 24731616
Protocol; Systematic review; Chronic condition; Chronic disease; Chronic illness; Shared decision making; Decision making; Decision support tool; Decision aid
5.  Aspirin and clonidine in non-cardiac surgery: acute kidney injury substudy protocol of the Perioperative Ischaemic Evaluation (POISE) 2 randomised controlled trial 
BMJ Open  2014;4(2):e004886.
Perioperative Ischaemic Evaluation-2 (POISE-2) is an international 2×2 factorial randomised controlled trial of low-dose aspirin versus placebo and low-dose clonidine versus placebo in patients who undergo non-cardiac surgery. Perioperative aspirin (and possibly clonidine) may reduce the risk of postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI).
Methods and analysis
After receipt of grant funding, serial postoperative serum creatinine measurements began to be recorded in consecutive patients enrolled at substudy participating centres. With respect to the study schedule, the last of over 6500 substudy patients from 82 centres in 21 countries were randomised in December 2013. The authors will use logistic regression to estimate the adjusted OR of AKI following surgery (compared with the preoperative serum creatinine value, a postoperative increase ≥26.5 μmol/L in the 2 days following surgery or an increase of ≥50% in the 7 days following surgery) comparing each intervention to placebo, and will report the adjusted relative risk reduction. Alternate definitions of AKI will also be considered, as will the outcome of AKI in subgroups defined by the presence of preoperative chronic kidney disease and preoperative chronic aspirin use. At the time of randomisation, a subpopulation agreed to a single measurement of serum creatinine between 3 and 12 months after surgery, and the authors will examine intervention effects on this outcome.
Ethics and dissemination
The authors were competitively awarded a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for this POISE-2 AKI substudy. Ethics approval was obtained for additional kidney data collection in consecutive patients enrolled at participating centres, which first began for patients enrolled after January 2011. In patients who provided consent, the remaining longer term serum creatinine data will be collected throughout 2014. The results of this study will be reported no later than 2015.
Clinical Trial Registration Number
PMCID: PMC3939660  PMID: 24568963
Surgery; Epidemiology
6.  A1C as a Diagnostic Criteria for Diabetes in Low- and Middle-Income Settings: Evidence from Peru 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e18069.
To determine the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, in three groups of Peruvian adults, using fasting glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C).
Methodology/Principal Findings
This study included adults from the PERU MIGRANT Study who had fasted ≥8 h. Fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dL and A1C≥6.5% were used, separately, to define diabetes. Subjects with a current diagnosis of diabetes were excluded. 964 of 988 subjects were included in this analysis. Overall, 0.9% (95%CI 0.3–1.5) and 3.5% (95%CI 2.4–4.7) had diabetes using fasting glucose and A1C criteria, respectively. Compared to those classified as having diabetes using fasting glucose, newly classified subjects with diabetes using A1C (n = 25), were older, poorer, thinner and more likely to come from rural areas. Of these, 40% (10/25) had impaired fasting glucose (IFG).
This study shows that the use of A1C as diagnostic criteria for type 2 diabetes mellitus identifies people of different characteristics than fasting glucose. In the PERU MIGRANT population using A1C to define diabetes tripled the prevalence; the increase was more marked among poorer and rural populations. More than half the newly diagnosed people with diabetes using A1C had normal fasting glucose.
PMCID: PMC3064652  PMID: 21464957
7.  Subgroup Analysis of Trials Is Rarely Easy (SATIRE): a study protocol for a systematic review to characterize the analysis, reporting, and claim of subgroup effects in randomized trials 
Trials  2009;10:101.
Subgroup analyses in randomized trials examine whether effects of interventions differ between subgroups of study populations according to characteristics of patients or interventions. However, findings from subgroup analyses may be misleading, potentially resulting in suboptimal clinical and health decision making. Few studies have investigated the reporting and conduct of subgroup analyses and a number of important questions remain unanswered. The objectives of this study are: 1) to describe the reporting of subgroup analyses and claims of subgroup effects in randomized controlled trials, 2) to assess study characteristics associated with reporting of subgroup analyses and with claims of subgroup effects, and 3) to examine the analysis, and interpretation of subgroup effects for each study's primary outcome.
We will conduct a systematic review of 464 randomized controlled human trials published in 2007 in the 118 Core Clinical Journals defined by the National Library of Medicine. We will randomly select journal articles, stratified in a 1:1 ratio by higher impact versus lower impact journals. According to 2007 ISI total citations, we consider the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, and BMJ as higher impact journals. Teams of two reviewers will independently screen full texts of reports for eligibility, and abstract data, using standardized, pilot-tested extraction forms. We will conduct univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses to examine the association of pre-specified study characteristics with reporting of subgroup analyses and with claims of subgroup effects for the primary and any other outcomes.
A clear understanding of subgroup analyses, as currently conducted and reported in published randomized controlled trials, will reveal both strengths and weaknesses of this practice. Our findings will contribute to a set of recommendations to optimize the conduct and reporting of subgroup analyses, and claim and interpretation of subgroup effects in randomized trials.
PMCID: PMC2777862  PMID: 19900273
8.  Stopping randomized trials early for benefit: a protocol of the Study Of Trial Policy Of Interim Truncation-2 (STOPIT-2) 
Trials  2009;10:49.
Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) stopped early for benefit often receive great attention and affect clinical practice, but pose interpretational challenges for clinicians, researchers, and policy makers. Because the decision to stop the trial may arise from catching the treatment effect at a random high, truncated RCTs (tRCTs) may overestimate the true treatment effect. The Study Of Trial Policy Of Interim Truncation (STOPIT-1), which systematically reviewed the epidemiology and reporting quality of tRCTs, found that such trials are becoming more common, but that reporting of stopping rules and decisions were often deficient. Most importantly, treatment effects were often implausibly large and inversely related to the number of the events accrued. The aim of STOPIT-2 is to determine the magnitude and determinants of possible bias introduced by stopping RCTs early for benefit.
We will use sensitive strategies to search for systematic reviews addressing the same clinical question as each of the tRCTs identified in STOPIT-1 and in a subsequent literature search. We will check all RCTs included in each systematic review to determine their similarity to the index tRCT in terms of participants, interventions, and outcome definition, and conduct new meta-analyses addressing the outcome that led to early termination of the tRCT. For each pair of tRCT and systematic review of corresponding non-tRCTs we will estimate the ratio of relative risks, and hence estimate the degree of bias. We will use hierarchical multivariable regression to determine the factors associated with the magnitude of this ratio. Factors explored will include the presence and quality of a stopping rule, the methodological quality of the trials, and the number of total events that had occurred at the time of truncation.
Finally, we will evaluate whether Bayesian methods using conservative informative priors to "regress to the mean" overoptimistic tRCTs can correct observed biases.
A better understanding of the extent to which tRCTs exaggerate treatment effects and of the factors associated with the magnitude of this bias can optimize trial design and data monitoring charters, and may aid in the interpretation of the results from trials stopped early for benefit.
PMCID: PMC2723099  PMID: 19580665
9.  Incretin treatment and risk of pancreatitis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised and non-randomised studies 
Objective To investigate the risk of pancreatitis associated with the use of incretin-based treatments in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Data sources Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and
Eligibility criteria Randomised and non-randomised controlled clinical trials, prospective or retrospective cohort studies, and case-control studies of treatment with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists or dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with placebo, lifestyle modification, or active anti-diabetic drugs.
Data collection and analysis Pairs of trained reviewers independently screened for eligible studies, assessed risk of bias, and extracted data. A modified Cochrane tool for randomised controlled trials and a modified version of the Newcastle-Ottawa scale for observational studies were used to assess bias. We pooled data from randomised controlled trials using Peto odds ratios, and conducted four prespecified subgroup analyses and a post hoc subgroup analysis. Because of variation in outcome measures and forms of data, we describe the results of observational studies without a pooled analysis.
Results 60 studies (n=353 639), consisting of 55 randomised controlled trials (n=33 350) and five observational studies (three retrospective cohort studies, and two case-control studies; n=320 289) were included. Pooled estimates of 55 randomised controlled trials (at low or moderate risk of bias involving 37 pancreatitis events, raw event rate 0.11%) did not suggest an increased risk of pancreatitis with incretins versus control (odds ratio 1.11, 95% confidence interval 0.57 to 2.17). Estimates by type of incretin suggested similar results (1.05 (0.37 to 2.94) for GLP-1 agonists v control; 1.06 (0.46 to 2.45) for DPP-4 inhibitors v control). Analyses according to the type of control, mode, duration of treatment, and individual incretin agents suggested no differential effect by subgroups, and sensitivity analyses by alternative statistical modelling and effect measures did not show important differences in effect estimates. Three retrospective cohort studies (moderate to high risk of bias, involving 1466 pancreatitis events, raw event rate 0.47%) also did not suggest an increased risk of pancreatitis associated with either exenatide (adjusted odds ratios 0.93 (0.63 to 1.36) in one study and 0.9 (0.6 to 1.5) in another) or sitagliptin (adjusted hazard ratio 1.0, 0.7 to 1.3); a case-control study at moderate risk of bias (1003 cases, 4012 controls) also suggested no significant association (adjusted odds ratio 0.98, 0.69 to 1.38). Another case-control study (1269 cases, 1269 controls) at moderate risk of bias, however, suggested that the use of either exenatide or sitagliptin was associated with significantly increased odds of acute pancreatitis (use within two years v no use, adjusted odds ratio 2.07, 1.36 to 3.13).
Conclusions The available evidence suggests that the incidence of pancreatitis among patients using incretins is low and that the drugs do not increase the risk of pancreatitis. Current evidence, however, is not definitive, and more carefully designed and conducted observational studies are warranted to definitively establish the extent, if any, of increased risk.
PMCID: PMC3987051  PMID: 24736555

Results 1-9 (9)