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issn:1177-889
2.  Patient considerations in the treatment of COPD: focus on the new combination inhaler umeclidinium/vilanterol 
Medication adherence among patients with chronic diseases, such as COPD, may be suboptimal, and many factors contribute to this poor adherence. One major factor is the frequency of medication dosing. Once-daily dosing has been shown to be an important variable in medication adherence in chronic diseases, such as COPD. New inhalers that only require once-daily dosing are becoming more widely available. Combination once-daily inhalers that combine any two of the following three agents are now available: 1) a long-acting muscarinic antagonist; 2) a long acting beta2 agonist; and 3) an inhaled corticosteroid. A new once-daily inhaler with both a long-acting muscarinic antagonist, umeclidinium bromide, and a long acting beta2 agonist, vilanterol trifenatate, is now available worldwide for COPD treatment. It provides COPD patients convenience, efficacy, and a very favorable adverse-effects profile. Additional once-daily combination inhalers are available or will soon be available for COPD patients worldwide. The use of once-daily combination inhalers will likely become the standard maintenance management approach in the treatment of COPD because they improve medication adherence.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S71535
PMCID: PMC4321647
medication adherence; long-acting beta2 agonist; long-acting muscarinic antagonist; inhaled corticosteroid; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
3.  Periodontal health and diabetes awareness among Saudi diabetes patients 
Purpose
This study aimed to examine diabetic patients in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, regarding their general diabetic and oral health-related awareness and practices, their awareness of the association of diabetes with periodontal disease, and their sources of diabetes-related information.
Methods
Diabetic patients (n=454) who were receiving care at the diabetes clinic in King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from October 2013 to May 2014, completed a six-part questionnaire assessing their sociodemographic characteristics, general and oral health awareness and practices, and sources of diabetes-related information. Descriptive statistics were used to report the results.
Results
The responses indicated inadequate health-related practices in the surveyed group: 22.2% brushed their teeth twice daily, 73.6% never flossed their teeth, and while 80.2% visited a physician in the past year, only 12.6% visited a dentist during the same year. Of the respondents, 94.8% reported that they had never received advice on oral hygiene tasks in relation to diabetes from a health professional. Awareness about the diabetes and periodontal disease association was limited: 46.7% knew that diabetics have gum problems more often if their blood sugar stays very high, and only 21.8% knew that gum disease makes it harder to control blood sugar in diabetic patients. A significant association (P<0.05) was found between a higher level of education and greater general and oral awareness, as well as a significant association (P<0.05) between longer duration of disease, regular exercise, and regular visits to the physician and awareness about diabetes mellitus. Additionally, a significant association (P<0.05) was found between regular dental visits and both periodontal disease and diabetes awareness. Family and friends were the main source of diabetes-related information, and the Internet was the least likely source.
Conclusion
Customized educational programs should be planned for diabetic patients according to community needs.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S79543
PMCID: PMC4321649
periodontal health; diabetes; patients; awareness; Saudi Arabia
4.  “Keep it simple”: older African Americans’ preferences for a health literacy intervention in HIV management 
Purpose
Health literacy is lower in minorities and older adults, and has been associated with nonadherence to medications, treatment, and care in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Likewise, African Americans with HIV are more likely to be nonadherent to their HIV medications, less likely to keep their clinic appointments related to HIV treatment and care, and more likely to die during hospitalizations than their ethnic counterparts. The present study explored the preferences of older African Americans with HIV for a health literacy intervention to promote HIV management.
Patients and methods
In this qualitative study, 20 older adult African Americans living with HIV were recruited from an HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome outpatient clinic in the southeastern region of the US. Using patient-centered participatory design methods, semi-structured individual interviews were conducted to determine patient preferences for intervention development and design. Health literacy was also measured using the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine – Revised (REALM-R).
Results
Four major themes emerged related to intervention development and design: keep health information simple; use a team-based approach for health education; tailor teaching strategies to patients’ individual needs; and account for patients’ low experience, but high interest, in technology. Forty-five percent of the study population had low health literacy based on the revised Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine.
Conclusion
Future interventions that target minorities and older adults living with HIV should consider patients’ learning needs, sex-specific and mental health needs, and delivery approaches, in order to increase uptake and improve disease management and health outcomes.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S69763
PMCID: PMC4319466
health disparities; health literacy; HIV/AIDS; medication adherence; older adults; racial disparities
5.  Pharmaceutical care in smoking cessation 
As a determining factor in various diseases and the leading known cause of preventable mortality and morbidity, tobacco use is the number one public health problem in developed countries. Facing this health problem requires authorities and health professionals to promote, via specific programs, health campaigns that improve patients’ access to smoking cessation services. Pharmaceutical care has a number of specific characteristics that enable the pharmacist, as a health professional, to play an active role in dealing with smoking and deliver positive smoking cessation interventions. The objectives of the study were to assess the efficacy of a smoking cessation campaign carried out at a pharmaceutical care center and to evaluate the effects of pharmaceutical care on patients who decide to try to stop smoking. The methodology was an open, analytical, pre–post intervention, quasi-experimental clinical study performed with one patient cohort. The results of the study were that the promotional campaign for the smoking cessation program increased the number of patients from one to 22, and after 12 months into the study, 43.48% of the total number of patients achieved total smoking cessation. We can conclude that advertising of a smoking cessation program in a pharmacy increases the number of patients who use the pharmacy’s smoking cessation services, and pharmaceutical care is an effective means of achieving smoking cessation.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S67707
PMCID: PMC4319467
community pharmacy; health campaign; tobacco cessation; nicotine replacement therapy
6.  Professional care after deliberate self-harm: a qualitative study of young people’s experiences 
Background
Deliberate self-harm (DSH) is increasingly common among young people. At the same time, treatment and support after DSH are often hampered by low compliance.
Aim
To explore young people’s perceptions of care and support during a 6-month period following their first contact for DSH.
Methods
We conducted nine semistructured interviews with young people aged 16–24 years 6 months after their first contact for DSH. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Results
Three main themes were extracted from the interviews. “Am I really in good hands?” describes whether the participants felt they were being listened to and taken seriously and whether they could rely on the competence of the professionals and the appropriateness of treatment, including keeping agreements and communication with other relevant agencies. “Help should match life circumstances” comprises how basic practicalities such as travel possibilities affect treatment and concomitant assistance in everyday living. Financial matters and jobseeking were perceived as necessary for optimal treatment and well-being. “Making yourself better” includes participants’ efforts to manage on their own, through realizing their own responsibility to be engaged and actively take part in treatment planning.
Conclusion
Flexibility and responsiveness to young people’s own views and specific needs in treatment arrangements are of crucial importance. The significance of basic practical help cannot be underestimated and should not be overlooked.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S76244
PMCID: PMC4315544
young adults; deliberate self-harm; qualitative; treatment experiences
7.  Factors associated with adherence to oral antihyperglycemic monotherapy in patients with type 2 diabetes 
Aim
To estimate the rate of adherence to oral antihyperglycemic monotherapy for patients with type 2 diabetes in the US and describe factors associated with adherence in these patients.
Materials and methods
In this retrospective cohort analysis, patients aged 18 years or older with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis received between 1 January 2007 and 31 March 2010 were identified using a large US-based health care claims database. The index date was defined as the date of the first prescription for oral antihyperglycemic monotherapy during this period. Patients had to have continuous enrollment in the claims database for 12 months before and after the index date. Adherence was assessed using proportion of days covered (PDC) and an adjusted logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate factors associated with adherence (PDC ≥80%).
Results
Of the 133,449 eligible patients, the mean age was 61 years and 51% were men. Mean PDC was 75% and the proportion of patients adherent to oral antihyperglycemic monotherapy was 59%. Both mean PDC and PDC ≥80% increased with increasing age and the number of concomitant medications, and were slightly higher in men compared to women. Results from the logistic regression demonstrate an increased likelihood of non-adherence for patients who were younger, new to therapy, on a twice-daily dose, female, or on fewer than three concomitant medications compared to their reference groups. Higher average daily out-of-pocket pharmacy expense was also associated with an increased likelihood of non-adherence. All results were statistically significant (P<0.05).
Conclusion
Patient characteristics, treatment regimens, and out-of-pocket expenses were associated with adherence to oral antihyperglycemic monotherapy in our study.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S71346
PMCID: PMC4315552
compliance; proportion of days covered; PDC; MPR; T2DM; treatment; medication
8.  The relationship of C-reactive protein levels and positive culture with quality of life in acute rhinosinusitis 
Background
Acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) has been shown to significantly reduce patient quality of life (QoL). While the QoL in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis has been the subject of intensive research over the last decade, studies measuring the impact of ARS on patient QoL have remained relatively scarce. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the QoL and parameters suggestive of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (C-reactive protein [CRP] levels and positive culture) and to see if measurement of the QoL could be used as an indicator for antibiotic treatment in ARS.
Methods
Eighty patients with ARS were enrolled in the study. A novel QoL instrument for patients with ARS, called Measurement of Acute Rhinosinusitis (MARS) questionnaire, was given to patients at the time of diagnosis. We assessed patient QoL, obtained endoscopically guided cultures from the middle meatus, and measured levels of CRP. The relationship between QoL MARS scores (QoL-Mscores) and CRP was determined using a correlation coefficient. To compare QoL-Mscores, relative to culture-positive and culture-negative patients, the Student’s t-test was used.
Results
No correlation between the QoL, assessed using the MARS questionnaire, and positive middle meatus culture was demonstrated (P=0.332). A weak correlation was found between QoL-Mscores and CRP values, with a correlation coefficient of 0.221 and P=0.0498.
Conclusion
No correlation between the QoL in ARS patients and positive culture was found in this study. The clinical significance of the correlation between QoL-Mscores and CRP values in the antibiotic decision making process needs further research.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S76915
PMCID: PMC4315554
endoscopy; quality of life; questionnaires; anti-bacterial agents
9.  Improving diabetes medication adherence: successful, scalable interventions 
Effective medications are a cornerstone of prevention and disease treatment, yet only about half of patients take their medications as prescribed, resulting in a common and costly public health challenge for the US health care system. Since poor medication adherence is a complex problem with many contributing causes, there is no one universal solution. This paper describes interventions that were not only effective in improving medication adherence among patients with diabetes, but were also potentially scalable (ie, easy to implement to a large population). We identify key characteristics that make these interventions effective and scalable. This information is intended to inform health care systems seeking proven, low resource, cost-effective solutions to improve medication adherence.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S69651
PMCID: PMC4315534
medication adherence; diabetes mellitus; chronic disease; dissemination research; implementation research; review
10.  Patients views and experiences in online reporting adverse drug reactions: findings of a national pilot study in Japan 
Background
Patients have been allowed to report adverse drug reactions (ADRs) directly to the government in some countries, which would contribute to pharmacovigilance.
Objective
We started a pilot study to determine whether web-based patient ADR reporting would work in Japan. This article aims to describe the characteristics of the patient reporters, and to clarify patient views and experiences of reporting.
Methods
Patients who submitted online ADR reports were contacted to respond to an ADR reporting questionnaire; only consenting reporters were included. Subjects with multiple responses were excluded from analysis. The questionnaire consisted of both closed and open questions. Questionnaire responses were examined using Pearson’s chi-squared test.
Results
A total of 220 web-based ADR reports were collected from January to December 2011; questionnaires were sent to 190 reporters, excluding those who gave multiple reports and those that refused to be contacted. Responses were obtained from 94 individuals (effective response rate: 49.5%). The median respondent age was 46.0 years. Sixty-three respondents found out about this pilot study on the Internet (67.0%). The numbers of respondents claiming that they had difficulty recalling the time/date of ADR occurrence were 16 patient reporters and three non-patient reporters. The number of reporters who found it difficult to complete the online reporting form was 22 patients (26.2%) and one non-patient (10%). Fifty-seven respondents (60.6%) expected feedback after reporting and many respondents wanted to know the process of ADR data collection and related information. Seventy-three respondents (77.7%) stated that they would report ADRs again in future.
Conclusion
Throughout the entire questionnaire, online patient ADR reporting was received with a forward-looking, positive approach. To facilitate smoother web-based reporting experiences in future, some improvements may be required in online ADR reporting forms, particularly with regard to respondent feedback.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S75761
PMCID: PMC4315543
adverse drug reaction reporting system; patient safety; patient experience; pharmacovigilance
11.  Patient values and preferences when choosing anticoagulants 
Background
New oral anticoagulants have similar efficacy and lower bleeding rates compared with warfarin. However, in case of bleeding there is no specific antidote to reverse their effects. We evaluated the preferences and values of anticoagulants of patients at risk of atrial fibrillation and those who have already made a decision regarding anticoagulation.
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study of Veterans in the primary care clinics and the international normalized ratio (INR) laboratory. We developed an instrument with patient and physician input to measure patient values and preferences. The survey contained a hypothetical scenario of the risk of atrial fibrillation and the attributes of each anticoagulant. After the scenario, we asked participants to choose the option that best fits their preferences. The options were: 1) has better efficacy at reducing risk of stroke; 2) has been in the market for a long period of time; 3) has an antidote to reverse the rare case of bleeding; 4) has better quality of life profile with no required frequent laboratory tests; or 5) I want to follow physician recommendations. We stratified our results by those patients who are currently exposed to anticoagulants and those who are not exposed but are at risk of atrial fibrillation.
Results
We approached 173 Veterans and completed 137 surveys (79% response rate). Ninety subjects were not exposed to anticoagulants, 46 reported being on warfarin, and one reported being on dabigatran at the time of the survey. Ninety-eight percent of subjects stated they would like to participate in the decision-making process of selecting an anticoagulant. Thirty-six percent of those exposed and 37% of those unexposed to anticoagulants reported that they would select a medication that has an antidote even if the risk of bleeding was very small. Twenty-three percent of the unexposed and 22% of the exposed groups reported that they would prefer the medication that gives the best quality of life.
Conclusion
Our study found that patients who may be exposed to an anticoagulation decision prefer to actively participate in the decision-making process, and have individual values for making a decision that cannot be predicted or assumed by anyone in the health care system.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S64295
PMCID: PMC4309777  PMID: 25653506
warfarin; oral anticoagulant; bleeding risk; atrial fibrillation; patient decision making; medication selection
12.  The professional perspective on patient involvement in the development of quality indicators: a qualitative analysis using the example of chronic heart failure in the German health care setting 
Purpose
There is an international consensus that quality indicators (QIs) of health care ought to represent patient-relevant aspects. Therefore, patient involvement in the development process is essential. However, there is no methodological gold standard for involving patients in QI development. The aim of this study is to explore experts’ views on the representation of patient-relevant aspects in the QI development process using the QIs developed in the context of the German National Disease Management Guideline for Heart Failure as an example.
Methods
Semi-structured, open telephone interviews were conducted with 15 German experts (patient representatives, physicians, researchers, and methodologists involved in guideline development or quality assessment). Interview themes were the relevance of the exemplary set of QIs for patients, as well as the legitimacy of, competence of, and collaboration with the patient representative who participated in the development process. Interviews were fully transcribed and content analyzed. Deductive categories derived from the research questions were supplemented by inductively formed categories during the review of the interview material.
Results
The qualitative analysis suggests a discrepancy between the guidelines’ QIs and those relevant to patients from an expert’s point of view, such as physician-patient communication and quality of counseling. Experts reported only minor communication and cooperation problems while working together in the guideline/QI development team. Concerns existed, for example, regarding the recruitment of patient representatives for diseases without self-help organizations, the financing of patient representation, and the training of patient representatives. Only few potential strategies for improving the process of patient involvement were mentioned.
Conclusion
Integrating the patients’ perspectives through the recruitment of a patient representative to participate in the development team was well established and broadly accepted. However, experts stated that the finally selected QIs represent only a small part of the patient-relevant aspects of medical care. According to the experts’ perceptions, the current processes provide a very limited scope for integrating the patients’ perspectives in a more extensive way. Supplementing the set of “conventional” QIs with additional, separately developed, “patient-side” QIs might help to include patient priorities in quality measurement.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S74064
PMCID: PMC4309784  PMID: 25653507
quality indicators; patient involvement; national disease management guideline; qualitative expert interviews; chronic heart failure
13.  Concurrent use of amphetamine stimulants and antidepressants by undergraduate students 
Undergraduate students were recruited to participate in an online survey to report their use of amphetamine stimulants and other drugs. Significant differences were found between students reporting (n=79; 4.0%) and not reporting (n=1,897; 96%) amphetamine-stimulant use in the past month – in terms of race/ethnicity, class standing, residence, health symptoms, self-health report – in addition to alcohol, tobacco, pain-reliever, and antidepressant use. Health symptoms reported more often by stimulant users included depression, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and nicotine craving. Health care providers of college students should query these patients about symptoms that could be related to depression and amphetamine use. In particular, they should provide education at the point of care around the risks of amphetamine use in general and the specific risks in those students who have symptoms of depression and/or are taking antidepressant medication. Prevention programs should also target the risks of concurrent use of amphetamines, antidepressants, and other drugs among college students.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S74602
PMCID: PMC4309786  PMID: 25653508
stimulant use; depression; college students; self-medication
14.  Reasons for discontinuation of subcutaneous biologic therapy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a patient perspective 
Objective
To examine reasons why rheumatoid arthritis patients discontinued subcutaneous (SQ) anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) treatment in the past 12 months, so as to help inform successful, uninterrupted therapy.
Methods
Data were collected in March and April 2011 using self-reported, internet-based questionnaires. Study inclusion criteria comprised: rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis; discontinuation of SQ anti-TNF medication (adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, or golimumab) within the past 12 months; aged ≥18 years; United States residency; and consent to participate. Patients reported primary and other reasons for discontinuation of their most recently discontinued anti-TNF.
Results
Questionnaires from 250 patients were analyzed; 72.8% were female, 80.8% were white, and median age was 51 years. Patients had discontinued etanercept (n=109), adalimumab (n=98), certolizumab (n=24), or golimumab (n=19) within the past 12 months. When prompted about their primary reason for discontinuation, lack of effectiveness (40.8%) was cited most often, followed by injection experience (18.4%). Combining prompted primary and other reasons for discontinuation, 60.8% of patients reported lack of effectiveness, while 40.8% reported injection experience, which included: pain/burning/discomfort after injection (14.4%); pain/burning/discomfort during injection (13.2%); injection reactions such as redness/swelling after injection (12.4%); dislike of self-injection (11.6%); dislike of frequency of injection (10.4%); and fear of injection/needles (6.8%).
Conclusion
From the patient perspective, there are unmet needs with regard to the effectiveness and injection experience associated with SQ anti-TNF medications, which may lead to discontinuation. Treatment options with a better injection experience may address these needs. These results demonstrate the importance of including the patient perspective when making prescribing decisions or payer access and coverage decisions.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S70834
PMCID: PMC4309782  PMID: 25653505
persistence; subcutaneous injection; anti-TNF
15.  Using the framework of corporate culture in “mergers” to support the development of a cultural basis for integrative medicine – guidance for building an integrative medicine department or service 
Background
An increasing number of clinics offer complementary or integrative medicine services; however, clear guidance about how complementary medicine could be successfully and efficiently integrated into conventional health care settings is still lacking. Combining conventional and complementary medicine into integrative medicine can be regarded as a kind of merger. In a merger, two or more organizations − usually companies − are combined into one in order to strengthen the companies financially and strategically. The corporate culture of both merger partners has an important influence on the integration.
Purpose
The aim of this project was to transfer the concept of corporate culture in mergers to the merging of two medical systems.
Methods
A two-step approach (literature analyses and expert consensus procedure) was used to develop practical guidance for the development of a cultural basis for integrative medicine, based on the framework of corporate culture in “mergers,” which could be used to build an integrative medicine department or integrative medicine service.
Results
Results include recommendations for general strategic dimensions (definition of the medical model, motivation for integration, clarification of the available resources, development of the integration team, and development of a communication strategy), and recommendations to overcome cultural differences (the clinic environment, the professional language, the professional image, and the implementation of evidence-based medicine).
Conclusion
The framework of mergers in corporate culture provides an understanding of the difficulties involved in integrative medicine projects. The specific recommendations provide a good basis for more efficient implementation.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S66778
PMCID: PMC4304533  PMID: 25632226
integrative medicine; mergers; corporate culture
16.  Systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies for ECP treatment in patients with steroid-refractory acute GVHD 
Purpose
The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) treatment in patients with steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD).
Methods
An electronic search was carried out on the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index (SCI), and Cochrane Library databases. We included prospective clinical trials in SR-aGVHD treated by ECP. The main endpoints consisted of mortality, exacerbation, or response.
Results
Only seven studies involving 121 patients met the inclusion criteria for further review. Our analysis showed positive results of ECP for aGVHD. The overall response rate (ORR) was 0.71 and the complete response rate (CRR) was 0.71. The efficacy of ECP for skin aGVHD, liver aGVHD, and gut aGVHD were 0.86, 0.60, and 0.68, respectively. However, no sufficient evidence verifies the exact benefit in this review, because the number of patients enrolled in trials is limited and publish bias exists.
Conclusion
ECP is an effective therapy for skin, liver, and gut aGVHD, and large double-blind clinical trials are required to prove the outcome of this meta-analysis.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S76563
PMCID: PMC4303403  PMID: 25653504
extracorporeal photopheresis; steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease; allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
17.  Patient-reported outcomes and considerations in the management of COPD: focus on aclidinium 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex heterogeneous disease, in which several factors combine to give the final clinical expression. Both early and more recent studies have shown that forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), despite being an extremely important parameter to predict the progression of the disease, is a poor surrogate marker for symptoms perception. Accordingly, patient-reported outcomes (PROs) have gained popularity as a measure of the impact of treatment from the patients’ perspective, since they represent the individuals’ perception of their health status, beyond any physiological limitations. Several such PROs, therefore, are currently included in multidimensional COPD evaluation. This multidimensional approach helps identify different patient types and individualize, up to a certain point, pharmacological treatment. In this multidimensional approach it is important to highlight the importance of long-acting bronchodilators in COPD treatment strategies. Long-acting bronchodilators are cost-effective and have been shown to achieve the greatest functional and clinical improvements in COPD. As a result, long-acting bronchodilators are now the main pharmacological treatment for COPD at all stages of the disease. Until recently, tiotropium was the leading bronchodilator for the treatment of COPD. The clinical development of this medication, unprecedented in inhaled therapy, involved tens of thousands of patients and yielded consistent outcomes in terms of lung function, symptoms, quality of life, exacerbations, and prognosis. However, new long-acting bronchodilators have recently been developed or are currently under development. In this review, we evaluate the effects of aclidinium bromide, a novel long-acting bronchodilator, on PROs in COPD. Aclidinium is a novel long-acting muscarinic antagonist with a good safety profile for the treatment of COPD, and has proven efficacy in both objective functional measurements and PROs. Comparison studies with tiotropium have shown it to have similar lung function improvement and a similar impact on PROs, including quality of life or symptom perception.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S55009
PMCID: PMC4303404  PMID: 25653503
patient-reported outcomes; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; bronchodilators; aclidinium
18.  Narrative review of telemedicine consultation in medical practice 
Background
The use of telemedicine has grown across several medical fields, due to the increasing number of “e-patients”.
Objective
This narrative review gives an overview of the growing use of telemedicine in different medical specialties, showing how its use can improve medical care.
Methods
A PubMed/Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and Scopus search was performed using the following keywords: telemedicine, teleconsultation, telehealth, e-health, and e-medicine. Selected papers from 1996 to 2014 were chosen on the basis of their content (quality and novelty).
Results
Telemedicine has already been applied to different areas of medical practice, and it is as effective as face-to-face medical care, at least for the diagnosis and treatment of some pathological conditions.
Conclusion
Telemedicine is time- and cost-effective for both patients and health care professionals, encouraging its use on a larger scale. Telemedicine provides specialist medical care to patients who have poor access to hospitals, and ensures continuity of care and optimal use of available health resources. The use of telemedicine opens new perspectives for patients seeking a medical second opinion for their pathology, since they can have remote access to medical resources that would otherwise require enormous costs and time.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S61617
PMCID: PMC4298290  PMID: 25609928
telemedicine; health care; patient
19.  Medication adherence in the management of nocturia: challenges and solutions 
Objective
Nocturia affects millions of men and women. No prior reviews or meta-analyses have explored the issue of adherence in nocturia patients. The objective of our study was to examine the attributes and their interaction that might impact pharmacological adherence in nocturia care using a conceptual model of adherence.
Materials and methods
A literature search of the Medline, PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, and CINAHL databases for studies published between January 1990 and June 2014 was conducted. We developed a conceptual model in order to facilitate our review.
Results
Currently, multiple treatment options for nocturia exist, depending on the underlying cause. Adherence to nocturia treatment and outcomes are complex and intertwined, and nonadherence to nocturia treatment is common. In 15 studies meeting eligibility criteria, behavioral and pharmacologic interventions for nocturia were associated with reduced nocturia symptoms. Urinary symptoms that are associated with nocturia need individualized management depending on renal and hepatic function, medical comorbidities, and ongoing medication use in a patient. Another important factor related to adherence is the bother. Although nocturia is defined as nighttime-voiding frequency of one or more, not all persons may find this bothersome. The degree of bother is subjective, and may change from person to person. However, there is no information related to the association between bother and adherence to medication or behavioral treatments for nocturia. Medication dosing convenience, preference, and cost play important roles in adherence. We present a patient-centered conceptual model that brings together the various dimensions of medication adherence for nocturia.
Conclusion
Few studies have explored adherence to medication and related factors in the care of nocturia. Our conceptual model can aid development of interventions to improve adherence to nocturia medications.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S51482
PMCID: PMC4298292  PMID: 25609929
nocturia; adherence; overactive bladder; medication; bother; preference
20.  Perspectives on reasons of medication nonadherence in psychiatric patients 
Purpose
This study was carried out to evaluate factors resulting in medication nonadherence within 6 months before admission to the psychiatric service of our hospital for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, depression, and other psychiatric diseases.
Patients and methods
Two hundred and three patients admitted to the Psychiatry Service of the Medical Faculty were included in this study. Sociodemographic parameters and clinical findings within 6 months before admission and patients’ views on reasons of medication nonadherence were examined.
Results
Patients were classified into four groups according to their diagnosis: bipolar disorder (n=68, 33.5%), schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder (n=59, 29.1%), depression (n=39, 19.2%), and others (n=37, 18.2%). The ratio of medication nonadherence was higher in the bipolar disorder group when compared to the groups with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, depression, and other disorders (12.1%, 18.2%, and 24.2% vs 45.5%); however, the ratio of medication nonadherence was similar in schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, depression, and the others group. In logistic regression analysis, irregular follow-up (odds ratio [OR]: 5.7; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.92–11.31) and diagnosis (OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.07–1.95) were determined to be important risk factors for medication nonadherence. The leading factors for medication nonadherence were: “not willing to use medication”, “not accepting the disease”, and “being disturbed by side effects” in the bipolar disorder group, “not accepting the disease” in the schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder group, “feeling well” in the depression group, and “being disturbed by side effects” in the other diseases group.
Conclusion
Medication nonadherence is an important problem in psychiatric patients and should be dealt with by taking into account the diagnosis, attendance to follow-up appointments, and the patient’s attitude. Ensuring regular attendance to follow-up appointments, adjusting the management plan according to the diagnosis, and improving their thoughts about resistance to medication can be beneficial in terms of medication adherence.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S75013
PMCID: PMC4298301  PMID: 25609930
bipolar disorder; schizophrenia; schizoaffective disorder; depression; patient’s attitude
21.  Words of wisdom – patient perspectives to guide recovery for older adults after hip fracture: a qualitative study 
Recovery after hip fracture is complex involving many transitions along the care continuum. The recovery process, and these transitions, often present significant challenges for older adults and their families and caregivers. There is an identified need for more targeted information to support older adults and their families throughout the recovery process.Therefore, our goal was to understand the recovery phase after hip fracture from the patient perspective, and identify specific messages that could be integrated into future educational material for clinical practice to support patients during recovery. Using a qualitative description design guided by a strengths-based focus, we invited men and women 60+ years with previous hip fracture and their family members/caregivers to participate in interviews. We used purposive criterion sampling within the community setting to recruit participants. We followed a semi-structured guide to conduct the interviews, either in person or over the telephone, and focused questions on experiences with hip fracture and factors that enabled recovery. Two investigators coded and analyzed interview transcripts to identify key messages. We interviewed a total of 19 participants: eleven older adults who sustained a hip fracture and eight family member/caregivers. Participants described three main messages that enabled recovery: 1) seek support; 2) move more; and 3) preserve perspective. Participants provided vital information about their recovery experience from hip fracture. In future, this knowledge can be incorporated into patient-centered education and shared with older adults, their families, and health care professionals across the continuum of care.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S75657
PMCID: PMC4298293  PMID: 25609927
hip fractures; qualitative research; patient-centered care; education
22.  Patient perspectives of telemedicine quality 
Background
The purpose of this study was to explore the quality attributes required for effective telemedicine encounters from the perspective of the patient.
Methods
We used a multi-method (direct observation, focus groups, survey) field study to collect data from patients who had experienced telemedicine encounters. Multi-perspectives (researcher and provider) were used to interpret a rich set of data from both a research and practice perspective.
Results
The result of this field study is a taxonomy of quality attributes for telemedicine service encounters that prioritizes the attributes from the patient perspective. We identify opportunities to control the level of quality for each attribute (ie, who is responsible for control of each attribute and when control can be exerted in relation to the encounter process). This analysis reveals that many quality attributes are in the hands of various stakeholders, and all attributes can be addressed proactively to some degree before the encounter begins.
Conclusion
Identification of the quality attributes important to a telemedicine encounter from a patient perspective enables one to better design telemedicine encounters. This preliminary work not only identifies such attributes, but also ascertains who is best able to address quality issues prior to an encounter. For practitioners, explicit representation of the quality attributes of technology-based systems and processes and insight on controlling key attributes are essential to implementation, utilization, management, and common understanding.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S67506
PMCID: PMC4284041  PMID: 25565781
patient perspective; technology service encounters; health care operations; telemedicine; quality; field study; mixed methodology
23.  Cancer survivors’ perspectives and experience on western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine treatment and rehabilitation: a qualitative study 
Background
In the People’s Republic of China, both western medicine (WM) and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are the main treatment and rehabilitation options for cancer patients. This study aimed to explore cancer survivors’ perspectives and experience of treatment and rehabilitation, in order to promote patient-centered activities of treatment and rehabilitation.
Methods
Using a qualitative research approach, 68 cancer survivors were recruited from eight community cancer rehabilitation organizations in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. Eight focus group interviews were conducted. All these interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the data were analyzed by theme analysis.
Results
WM was the main choice in treatment phase though study participants noted more side effects. TCM was primarily used in the recovery phase. The lack of communication between doctors and cancer patients appears to affect treatment adherence and impair the doctor–patient relationship. WM was expensive for diagnostic procedures and treatment, while the cumulative costs of frequent use of TCM in the long rehabilitation period were also high. Both treatment options created significant perceived economic burden on patients. Conflicting information about dietary supplements tended to make cancer survivors confused.
Conclusion
Improving the communication between doctors and cancer patients helps to ameliorate cancer patient adherence and the effect of treatments. It is essential to educate cancer patients about the effect and cost of both WM and traditional TCM. Meanwhile, marketing management and guidance to consumers regarding use of dietary supplements in the cancer rehabilitation field are also necessary.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S76617
PMCID: PMC4274133  PMID: 25565779
preference; adherence; cancer survivor education; focus group interview
24.  Assessing the adherence behavior of glaucoma patients to topical eye drops 
Purpose
The goal of this study was to determine the adherence of glaucoma patients to their topical glaucoma medication. Furthermore, the relationships between the adherence behavior and the patients’ demographic data, clinical characteristics, and their knowledge about glaucoma were evaluated.
Methods
This was a prospective study of 123 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma who were given two standardized questionnaires. The first questionnaire at time point T1 comprised a knowledge assessment and the self-reported adherence measures Adherence to Refills and Medication Scale 2 (ARMS2), visual analogue scale for adherence (VAS-AD), and missed doses in the past 14 days. Two months later at time point T2, a second questionnaire reevaluated the adherence measures ARMS2, VAS-AD, and missed doses in the past 14 days.
Results
There was a good correlation among all the three adherence measures at T1 and T2. The mean values of ARMS2 were in the lower range, with 3.38 at T1 and 2.8 at T2. The VAS-AD detected that 18.5% of patients always took their eye drops correctly, and 77.9% of patients reported not to have missed a single dose in the past 14 days. There was no significant correlation between the patients’ demographic data or knowledge about glaucoma and the adherence measures ARMS2 or VAS-AD. Among the clinical characteristics, only single-eye blindness showed a significant correlation with VAS-AD.
Conclusion
In this study, no general relationships were found between medication adherence and the patients’ demographic data, clinical characteristics, or knowledge about glaucoma. It may be assumed that more individualized strategies are required to optimize adherence behavior.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S69943
PMCID: PMC4274150  PMID: 25565780
adherence; eye drops; glaucoma; medication
25.  Prevalence and individual risk factors associated with clinical lumbar instability in rice farmers with low back pain 
Introduction
Clinical lumbar instability (CLI) is one of the subgroups of chronic non-specific low back pain. Thai rice farmers often have poor sustained postures during a rice planting process and start their farming at an early age. However, individual associated factors of CLI are not known and have rarely been diagnosed in low back pain. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and individual associated factors of CLI in Thai rice farmers.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 323 Thai rice farmers in a rural area of Khon Kaen province, Thailand. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using the 13-item Delphi criteria questionnaire, after which an objective examination was performed using aberrant movement sign, painful catch sign, and prone instability test to obtain information. Individual factors such as sex, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, smoking, and number of years of farming experience, were recorded during the face-to-face interview.
Results
The prevalence of CLI in Thai rice farmers calculated by the method described in this study was 13% (age 44±10 years). Number of years of farming experience was found to be significantly correlated with the prevalence of CLI (adjusted odds ratio =2.02, 95% confidence interval =1.03–3.98, P<0.05).
Conclusion
This study provides prevalence of CLI in Thai rice farmers. Those with long-term farming experience of at least 30 years have a greater risk of CLI.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S73412
PMCID: PMC4274132  PMID: 25565778
Delphi study; aberrant movement sign; painful catch sign; prone instability test

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