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1.  Facebook as a tool for communication, collaboration, and informal knowledge exchange among members of a multisite family health team 
To implement and evaluate a private Facebook group for members of a large Ontario multisite Family Health Team (FHT) to facilitate improved communication and collaboration.
Program implementation and subsequent survey of team members.
A large multisite FHT in Toronto, Ontario.
Health professionals of the FHT.
Main outcome measures
Usage patterns and self-reported perceptions of the Facebook group by team members.
At the time of the evaluation survey, the Facebook group had 43 members (37.4% of all FHT members). Activity in the group was never high, and posts by team members who were not among the researchers were infrequent throughout the study period. The content of posts fell into two broad categories: 1) information that might be useful to various team members and 2) questions posed by team members that others might be able to answer. Of the 26 team members (22.6%) who completed the evaluation survey, many reported that they never logged into the Facebook page (16 respondents), and never used it to communicate with team members outside of their own site of practice (19 respondents). Only six respondents reported no concerns with using Facebook as a professional communication tool; the most frequent concerns were regarding personal and patient privacy.
The use of social media by health care practitioners is becoming ubiquitous. However, the issues of privacy concerns and determining how to use social media without adding to provider workload must be addressed to make it a useful tool in health care.
PMCID: PMC4734793  PMID: 26869796
social media; team-based care; communication; interprofessionalism; social network
2.  Anxiety mediates the effect of smoking on insomnia in people with asthma: evidence from the HUNT3 study 
The aim of this study was to investigate factors related to insomnia in a cohort of people with asthma.
This secondary analysis utilized cross-sectional data from the Norwegian Nord-Trøndelag Health Study, a population-based health survey (n=50,807).
We used self-reported data from 1,342 men and women with a physician-confirmed asthma diagnosis ranging in age from 19.5 to 91 years.
Data on sleep, lifestyle variables (smoking and exercise), anxiety, and depression were included. An insomnia scale and asthma impact scale were constructed using factor analysis. Hierarchical series of multiple regression models were used to investigate direct and mediational relationships between the study variables and insomnia.
The hierarchical models revealed significant independent contributions of female sex, higher age, not exercising, asthma impact, anxiety, and depression on insomnia (R2=25.2%). Further, these models suggested that the impact of smoking on insomnia was mediated by anxiety, and that the beneficial impact of exercise was mitigated by depression symptoms.
Smokers with asthma have more insomnia, and this relationship may be mediated by anxiety. Further, people with asthma who experience depression symptoms are less likely to benefit from physical exercise as a method to enhance sleep quality. Our findings would suggest that helping smokers to manage their anxiety and depression through behavioral methods may reduce their insomnia symptoms, and enable them to engage in other health-enhancing pursuits, such as physical exercise.
PMCID: PMC4725685  PMID: 26855582
insomnia; asthma; anxiety; depression; smoking; mediation
3.  Management of Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease: improving long-term care with a multidisciplinary approach 
Charcot–Marie–Tooth (CMT) disease is the most common inherited neuropathy and one of the most common inherited diseases in humans. The diagnosis of CMT is traditionally made by the neurologic specialist, yet the optimal management of CMT patients includes genetic counselors, physical and occupational therapists, physiatrists, orthotists, mental health providers, and community resources. Rapidly developing genetic discoveries and novel gene discovery techniques continue to add a growing number of genetic subtypes of CMT. The first large clinical natural history and therapeutic trials have added to our knowledge of each CMT subtype and revealed how CMT impacts patient quality of life. In this review, we discuss several important trends in CMT research factors that will require a collaborative multidisciplinary approach. These include the development of large multicenter patient registries, standardized clinical instruments to assess disease progression and disability, and increasing recognition and use of patient-reported outcome measures. These developments will continue to guide strategies in long-term multidisciplinary efforts to maintain quality of life and preserve functionality in CMT patients.
PMCID: PMC4725690  PMID: 26855581
rehabilitation; genetic diagnosis; patient quality of life; inherited neuropathies; hereditary motor and sensory neuropathies; longitudinal care
4.  Risk factors for hearing loss in infants under universal hearing screening program in Northern Thailand 
To define the risk factors for hearing loss in infants (aged 3 months) under universal hearing screening program.
Materials and methods
A total of 3,120 infants (aged 3 months) who underwent hearing screening using a universal hearing screening program using automated otoacoustic emission test between November 1, 2010 and May 31, 2012 in Uttaradit Hospital, Buddhachinaraj Hospital, and Sawanpracharuk Hospital (tertiary hospitals) located in Northern Thailand were included in this prospective cohort study.
Of the 3,120 infants, 135 (4.3%) were confirmed to have hearing loss with the conventional otoacoustic emission test. Five of these 135 infants (3.7%) with hearing loss showed test results consistent with auditory brainstem responses. From the univariable analysis, there were eleven potential risk factors associated with hearing deterioration. On multivariable analysis, the risk factors independently associated with hearing loss at 3 months were birth weight 1,500–2,500 g (risk ratio [RR] 1.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–2.6), APGAR score <6 at 5 minutes (RR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1–4.4), craniofacial anomalies (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.6–4.2), sepsis (RR 1.8, 95% CI 1.0–3.2), and ototoxic exposure (RR 4.1, 95% CI 1.9–8.6).
This study concluded that low birth weight, APGAR score <6 at 5 minutes, craniofacial anomalies, sepsis, and ototoxic exposure are the risk factors for bilateral hearing loss in infants (aged 3 months) and proper tests should be performed to identify these risk factors. As an outcome, under the present circumstances, it is suggested that infirmary/physicians/general practitioners/health action centers/polyclinics should carry out universal hearing screening in all infants before 36 weeks. The public health policy of Thailand regarding a universal hearing screening program is important for the prevention of disability and to enhance people’s quality of life.
PMCID: PMC4699512  PMID: 26766912
infant; universal hearing screening; risk factors; bilateral ears; cohort study
5.  Riding a roller coaster: narrative typologies of patients with neuroendocrine tumors 
Background and objective
Illness stories have attracted growing attention in health care research in the context of learning from looking at the world through the patients’ eyes. No narrative studies were found about the patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs); a rare illness including tumors usually starting in hormone-producing cells. The aim of this article was to develop an extended understanding of these patients’ experiences and struggles, as well as their solutions to a common problem.
The data source was 21 letters written by the patients with NETs treated at an ambulatory treatment center at a large urban hospital in Italy. The letters were analyzed using the Arthur Frank’s narrative method. We paid particular attention to statements of self-experience, which is crucial to get the character of the story.
We identified four different typologies: “Not illness stories”, “Living in imbalance”, “Living a new life in balance”, and “Living a normal life”. The main characteristics of these four groups could be linked to Frank’s typologies. However, the patients with this periodically changing disease were continuously in the process of attaining balance in life, and they might move between these various typologies.
The NETs are incurable illnesses that challenged the peoples to attaining a new balance in life. We will highlight stories focusing on the patients’ imbalance and chaos because they illuminated the patients’ concrete suffering, which might provide clinicians with specific information about the patients’ emotional, physical, and spiritual state. Through learning from the stories of the patients attaining new balance, it seems possible to move forward to acceptance and to develop a model for a new way of living. However, we are skeptical about labeling these stories as a model for clinical practice because they might contribute to individualistic and heroic prescriptions for life that are impossible for others to achieve.
PMCID: PMC4687956  PMID: 26719700
living in imbalance; coping and adaption; health care; life-threatening illness; neuroendocrine tumors; narrative inquiry
6.  Joining the patient on the path to customized prophylaxis: one hemophilia team explores the tools of engagement 
The relationship between hemophilia team interventions and achievement of optimal clinical outcomes remains to be elucidated. The British Columbia Hemophilia Adult Team has previously reported results of a comprehensive approach to individualize prophylaxis that has resulted in substantially reduced bleeding rates. In order to facilitate knowledge exchange and potential replication, it was important to gain a thorough understanding of the team’s approach.
A focus group of the British Columbia Hemophilia Adult Team was conducted to identify specific roles and processes that might be contributing to the prophylaxis regimen outcomes in this clinic. The focus group consisted of two workshops; one to describe the individual and collective roles of the clinic team in providing clinical care and guiding patients toward individualized prophylaxis; and the other to describe the patient journey from initial contact through reaching a successful engagement with the clinic.
Analysis of the results revealed team roles and processes that underpinned a shared decision-making relationship with the patient with a particular focus on supporting the patient’s autonomy. Within this relationship, team focus shifts away from “adherence” toward the process whereby patients design and implement prophylaxis regimens resulting in reduction or elimination of bleeding episodes.
Using the current methodology, it is not possible to demonstrate a causal link between specific team processes and improved bleeding rates in patients.
Through the active support of patient autonomy in all aspects of decisions related to hemophilia management, the British Columbia Hemophilia Adult Team approach de-emphasizes “adherence” as the primary goal, and focuses on a prophylaxis plan that is customized by the patient and aligned with his priorities. Adoption of this comprehensive team approach facilitates shared goals between the patient and the team that may optimize treatment adherence, but more importantly, reduce bleeding rates.
PMCID: PMC4676616  PMID: 26675989
individiualized prophylaxis; shared decision-making; autonomy support; comprehensive care team
7.  Establishing a framework for building multidisciplinary programs 
While most providers support the concept of a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, challenges exist to the implementation of successful multidisciplinary clinical programs. As patients become more knowledgeable about their disease through research on the Internet, they seek hospital programs that offer multidisciplinary care. At the University of Colorado Hospital, we utilize a formal multidisciplinary approach across a variety of clinical settings, which has been beneficial to patients, providers, and the hospital. We present a reproducible framework to be used as a guide to develop a successful multidisciplinary program.
PMCID: PMC4671763  PMID: 26664132
multidisciplinary clinic; patient centered; tumor board
8.  Transient and persistent symptoms in patients with lacunar infarction: results from a prospective cohort study 
The transient symptoms with lacunar infarction (TSI) and persistent symptoms with lacunar infarction (PSI) are the most common forms of symptomatic lacunar infarction (LI). The aim of this study was to compare the differences in TSI and PSI of symptomatic LI.
A prospective cohort study was conducted in the neurologic outpatients of the tertiary teaching hospital in Northern China between February 2011 and February 2012. The TSI and PSI in participants aged 35 years or over were assessed. Patients were followed up and their outcomes were compared.
Of the 453 symptomatic outpatients, 251 patients with LI were diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging. Approximately 77.3% (194/251) of the patients with LI at this time had TSI. and the remaining 23.7% had PSI. After the adjusted odds ratios, only middle age (risk ratio [RR], 1.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.157–1.189), lower National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (RR, 20.6; 95% CI, 6.705–13.31), smaller lacunae on brain images (RR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.960–4.245), and LI frequently in the anterior circulation territory (RR, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.079–0.721) were independently associated with TSI. During a mean follow-up of 6 months, survival rate was significantly higher among patients with TSI than among those with PSI (log rank, 6.9; P=0.010); estimated unadjusted incidence of vascular subsequent events (30.9% vs 54.4%, P=0.001) was significantly lower in TSI than in PSI.
The TSI has a higher prevalence and is associated with a lower risk of vascular subsequent events and death than PSI. The implications of these findings for TSI and PSI may require different interventions.
PMCID: PMC4664498  PMID: 26648735
lacunar infarction; magnetic resonance imaging; ischemic stroke; outcome
9.  Early results of pediatric appendicitis after adoption of diagnosis-related group-based payment system in South Korea 
As an alternative to the existing fee-for-service (FFS) system, a diagnosis-related group (DRG)-based payment system has been suggested. The aim of this study was to investigate the early results of pediatric appendicitis treatment under the DRG system, focusing on health care expenditure and quality of health care services.
Patients and methods
The medical records of 60 patients, 30 patients before (FFS group), and 30 patients after adoption of the DRG system (DRG), were reviewed retrospectively.
Mean hospital stay was shortened, but the complication and readmission rates did not worsen in the DRG. Overall health care expenditure and self-payment decreased from Korean Won (KRW) 2,499,935 and KRW 985,540, respectively, in the FFS group to KRW 2,386,552 and KRW 492,920, respectively, in the DRG. The insurer’s payment increased from KRW 1,514,395 in the FFS group to KRW 1,893,632 in the DRG. For patients in the DRG, calculation by the DRG system yielded greater overall expenditure (KRW 2,020,209 vs KRW 2,386,552) but lower self-payment (KRW 577,803 vs KRW 492,920) than calculation by the FFS system.
The DRG system worked well in pediatric patients with acute appendicitis in terms of cost-effectiveness over the short term. The gradual burden on the national health insurance fund should be taken into consideration.
PMCID: PMC4664545  PMID: 26648734
appendicitis; child; fee-for-service plans; diagnosis-related groups; quality of health care; health care expenditures
10.  Transitioning from military medics to registered nurses 
The nursing shortage in the USA is expected to reach 260,000 registered nurses (RNs) by 2025. The most profound shortages are expected in California and Florida, translating into 109,779 and 128,364 RN jobs, respectively. Despite a foreseen growth in nursing career opportunities nationwide, the supply of nurses will be insufficient to meet the corresponding demand. Capitalizing on prior education, experience, and skills of military clinical personnel to fill these jobs could significantly reduce the projected nursing shortage. Florida International University’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences is circumventing barriers to recruit, retain, and graduate transitioning veteran medics and corpsmen as Bachelor of Science in Nursing prepared RNs who reintegrate into the civilian workforce. The Veteran Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN) program is in the form of a cooperative agreement between Florida International University and the US Health Resources and Services Administration. The VBSN program’s main objective is to build upon the unique leadership skills, clinical education, and training of military medics and corpsmen to ensure successful completion of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing curriculum. VBSN students, as veterans themselves, have unique knowledge and exposure to the specific health issues and needs of the veteran population overall. They are poised and best prepared to effectively care for the US population, particularly the current 22 million US veterans and 1.6 million Florida veterans. Additionally, the VBSN program will alleviate the challenges, such as the lack of recognition of military skills, unemployment, the substandard income, and homelessness that many former service members face after separation from the military.
PMCID: PMC4664494  PMID: 26648733
veterans; corpsmen; Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Veteran Bachelor of Science in Nursing; registered nurse; nursing
11.  The fascial system and exercise intolerance in patients with chronic heart failure: hypothesis of osteopathic treatment 
Chronic heart failure is a progressive, debilitating disease, resulting in a decline in the quality of life of the patient and incurring very high social economic costs. Chronic heart failure is defined as the inability of the heart to meet the demands of oxygen from the peripheral area. It is a multi-aspect complex disease which impacts negatively on all of the body systems. Presently, there are no texts in the modern literature that associate the symptoms of exercise intolerance of the patient with a dysfunction of the fascial system. In the first part of this article, we will discuss the significance of the disease, its causes, and epidemiology. The second part will explain the pathological adaptations of the myofascial system. The last section will outline a possible osteopathic treatment for patients with heart failure in order to encourage research and improve the general curative approach for the patient.
PMCID: PMC4634836  PMID: 26586951
manual therapy; fatigue; chronic heart failure; osteopathic
12.  Reducing the risk of surgical site infection using a multidisciplinary approach: an integrative review 
To identify and describe the strategies and processes used by multidisciplinary teams of health care professionals to reduce surgical site infections (SSIs).
Materials and methods
An integrative review of the research literature was undertaken. Searches were conducted in April 2015. Following review of the included studies, data were abstracted using summary tables and the methodological quality of each study assessed using the Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence guidelines by two reviewers. Discrepancies were dealt with through consensus. Inductive content analysis was used to identify and describe the strategies/processes used by multidisciplinary health care teams to prevent SSI.
Results and discussion
In total, 13 studies met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 12 studies used quantitative methods, while a single study used qualitative interviews. The majority of the studies were conducted in North America. All quantitative studies evaluated multifaceted quality-improvement interventions aimed at preventing SSI in patients undergoing surgery. Across the 13 studies reviewed, the following multidisciplinary team-based approaches were enacted: using a bundled approach, sharing responsibility, and, adhering to best practice. The majority of studies described team collaborations that were circumscribed by role. None of the reviewed studies used strategies that included the input of allied health professionals or patient participation in SSI prevention.
Patient-centered interventions aimed at increasing patient participation in SSI prevention and evaluating the contributions of allied health professionals in team-based SSI prevention requires future research.
PMCID: PMC4610798  PMID: 26508870
health care team; interprofessional; multidisciplinary; surgical wound; wound infection
13.  Service users’ experiences and views of aggressive situations in mental health care: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies 
Aggressive situations occurring within mental health services can harm service users, staff, and the therapeutic environment. There is a consensus that the aggression phenomenon is multidimensional, but the picture is still unclear concerning the complex interplay of causal variables and their respective impact. To date, only a small number of empirical studies include users’ views of relevant factors. The main objective of this review is to identify and synthesize evidence relating to service users’ experiences and views of aggressive situations in mental health settings.
We included qualitative studies of any design reporting on service users’ own experiences of conditions contributing to aggressive situations in mental health care and their views on preventative strategies. Eligible articles were identified through an electronic database search (PsycINFO, PubMed, Ovid Nursing Database, Embase, and CINAHL), hand search, and cross-referencing. Extracted data were combined and interpreted using aspects of thematic synthesis.
We reviewed 5,566 records and included 13 studies (ten qualitative and three mixed methods). Service users recognized that both their own mental state and negative aspects of the treatment environment affected the development of aggressive situations. Themes were derived from experiential knowledge and included calls to be involved in questions regarding how to define aggression and relevant triggers, and how to prevent aggressive encounters effectively. The findings suggest that incidents are triggered when users experience staff behavior as custodial rather than caring and when they feel ignored.
The findings highlight the importance of staffs’ knowledge and skills in communication for developing relationships based on sensitivity, respect, and collaboration with service users in order to prevent aggressive situations. An important factor is a treatment environment with opportunities for meaningful activities and a preponderance of trained staff who work continuously on the development of conditions and skills for collaborative interaction with users.
PMCID: PMC4599636  PMID: 26491343
aggression; violence; service user experiences; inpatient; mental health; user involvement
14.  Implementing best practice in hospital multidisciplinary nutritional care: an example of using the knowledge-to-action process for a research program 
Prospective use of knowledge translation and implementation science frameworks can increase the likelihood of meaningful improvements in health care practices. An example of this creation and application of knowledge is the series of studies conducted by and with the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force (CMTF). Following a cohort study and synthesis of evidence regarding best practice for identification, treatment, and prevention of malnutrition in hospitals, CMTF created an evidence-informed, consensus-based pathway for nutritional care in hospitals. The purpose of this paper is to detail the steps taken in this research program, through four studies, as an example of the knowledge-to-action (KTA) process.
The KTA process
The KTA process includes knowledge creation and action cycles. The steps of the action cycle within this program of research are iterative, and up to this point have been informed by three studies, with a fourth underway. The first study identified the magnitude of the malnutrition problem upon admission to hospital and how it is undetected and undertreated (study 1). Knowledge creation resulted in an evidence-based pathway established to address care gaps (study 2) and the development of monitoring tools (study 3). The study was then adapted to local context: focus groups validated face validate the evidence-based pathway; during the final phase, study site implementation teams will continue to adapt the pathway (studies 2 and 4). Barriers to implementation were also assessed; focus groups and interviews were conducted to inform the pathway implementation (studies 1, 2, and 4). In the next step, specific interventions were selected, tailored, and implemented. In the final study in this research program, plan–do–study–act cycles will be used to make changes and to implement the pathway (study 4). To monitor knowledge use and to evaluate outcomes, audits, staff surveys, patient outcomes, etc will be used to record process evaluations (studies 3 and 4). Finally, a sustainability plan will be incorporated into the final study of the program (study 4) to sustain knowledge use.
Use of frameworks can increase the likelihood of meaningful and sustainable improvements in health care practice. The example of this program of research demonstrates how existing evidence has been used to identify, create, and adapt knowledge, and how multidisciplinary teams have been used to effect changes in the hospital setting.
Effective implementation is essential in nutritional health care, and this multidisciplinary program of research provides an example of how the KTA process can facilitate implementation and promote sustainability.
PMCID: PMC4599637  PMID: 26491344
nutrition; implementation; knowledge translation; best practice; knowledge-to-action process; hospital
15.  Stroke subtype, age, and baseline NIHSS score predict ischemic stroke outcomes at 3 months: a preliminary study from Central Nepal 
The combined medications practice of using antithrombotic agents and statins with or without antihypertensive agents is common in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke in Nepal. Short-term outcomes of the current practice have been studied. We aim to explore the predictors of ischemic stroke outcomes at 3 months, with the current combined medications practice.
The study population (N=56) included acute ischemic stroke patients treated at the Neurology Department of the College of Medical Sciences-Teaching Hospital, Chitwan, Nepal, from May 2014 to August 2014 and followed up at 3 months. Death or disability (modified Rankin scale >2) was defined as poor outcomes. Multivariate logistic regression analysis (P<0.10) using potential variables from bivariate analysis (P≤0.20) was adjusted to predict outcomes at 3 months.
At 3 months, 29 (51.8%) patients were independent, eleven (19.6%) were dependent, while 16 (28.6%) died. Stroke subtype and baseline National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores were associated with death/disability (27, 48.2%) at 3 months. Regression analysis showed that large-artery stroke (odds ratio [OR] =284.145, 95% confidence interval [CI] =5.221–15,465.136, P=0.006), age (OR =1.113, 95% CI =1.002–1.236, P=0.045), and baseline NIHSS score (OR =1.557, 95% CI =1.194–2.032, P=0.001) were significant predictors of poor outcome at 3 months.
Stroke subtype, age, and baseline NIHSS score are predictors of ischemic stroke outcomes in Nepalese population treated with the current practice of using combined antithrombotic and statins with or without antihypertensive agents, and these predictors can be used for the improvement of selection of patients for the appropriate treatment.
PMCID: PMC4598209  PMID: 26491342
age; Nepal; NIHSS score; ischemic stroke; stroke subtype
16.  Improving post-stroke recovery: the role of the multidisciplinary health care team 
Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability, the effects of which may be prolonged with physical, emotional, social, and financial consequences not only for those affected but also for their family and friends. Evidence for the effectiveness of stroke unit care and the benefits of thrombolysis have transformed treatment for people after stroke. Previously viewed nihilistically, stroke is now seen as a medical emergency with clear evidence-based care pathways from hospital admission to discharge. However, stroke remains a complex clinical condition that requires health professionals to work together to bring to bear their collective knowledge and specialist skills for the benefit of stroke survivors. Multidisciplinary team working is regarded as fundamental to delivering effective care across the stroke pathway. This paper discusses the contribution of team working in improving recovery at key points in the post-stroke pathway.
PMCID: PMC4590569  PMID: 26445548
stroke care; rehabilitation; multidisciplinary; interdisciplinary; team working
17.  A case study evaluation of an intervention aiming to strengthen the midwifery professional role in Morocco: anticipated barriers to reaching outcomes 
In order to reduce the high maternal mortality ratio, Morocco is strongly committed to strengthen its midwifery professional role. This study aimed to identify barriers that could potentially hinder an action plan to strengthen the midwifery professional role from achieving desired outcomes. We used a conceptual framework, which is derived from Hatem-Asmar’s (1997) framework on the interaction of educational, professional, and sociocultural systems in which a professional role evolves and from Damschroder et al’s (2009) framework for the implementation analysis.
This paper builds on a qualitative case study on the factors affecting the action plan’s implementation process that also revealed rich data about anticipated barriers to reaching outcomes. Data were collected through training sessions, field observations, documents, focus groups (n=20), and semistructured interviews (n=11) with stakeholders pertaining to the three systems under study. Content analysis was used to identify themes related to barriers.
Seven barriers that may compromise the achievement of desired results were found. They relate to the legal framework, social representations, and media support in the sociocultural system and the practice environment, networks and communication mechanisms, and characteristics related to the role and the readiness in the professional system.
Disregarding sociocultural and professional system level, barriers may impede efforts to strengthen the midwife’s role and to provide qualified midwives who can improve the quality of maternal care. Making changes in the educational system cannot be thought of as an isolated process. Its success is closely tied with multiple contextual factors pertaining to the two other systems. Activities recommended to address these barriers may have great potential to build a competent midwifery workforce that contributes to positive maternal and neonatal health outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4590574  PMID: 26445547
evaluation; outcomes; barriers; professional role; midwife; maternal mortality
18.  Integrating lifestyle approaches into osteoarthritis care 
As the lifetime risk, societal cost, and overall functional impact of osteoarthritis (OA) is imposing, it is imperative that clinicians provide an individualized care model for patients. Patients must be offered a multiplicity of care strategies and encouraged to embrace lifestyle approaches for self-managing the effects and symptoms of OA. Certainly, the attitude of the clinician and patient will directly influence receptivity and implementation of lifestyle approaches. This work proposes how the use of structured and routine assessments and cognitive therapy ideologies may complement a comprehensive treatment plan. Assessments described herein include objective and/or self-report measures of physical function, pain, attitude about social support, and sleep quality. Baseline assessments followed by systematic monitoring of the results may give patients and clinicians valuable insight into the effectiveness of the care plan. Empirical evidence from randomized trials with OA patients highlights the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral change strategies for addressing salient concerns for OA (pain control, mobility performance, and sleep quality). Cognitive restructuring can provide patients with renewed power in managing their disease. Cognitive therapy topics discussed presently include: 1) what is OA?, 2) effectiveness of exercise and FITT (frequency, intensity, time, and type) principles for OA patients, 3) goal-setting and barriers, and 4) translating to independent care. Woven within the discussion about cognitive therapy are ideas about how the results from baseline assessments and group-mediated dynamics might assist more favorable outcomes. There are a plethora of assessments and cognitive therapy topics that could be utilized in the care strategy that we are promoting, but the present topics were selected for their low clinician and patient burden and promising results in trials with OA patients. Clinicians who are comfortable and knowledgeable about a wider range of management tools may serve more effectively in the critical, central management process and help patients embrace personal care more successfully.
PMCID: PMC4576887  PMID: 26396527
osteoarthritis; lifestyle approaches; assessments; cognitive behavioral therapy
19.  Don’t let up: implementing and sustaining change in a new post-licensure education model for developing extended role practitioners involved in arthritis care 
Key message
Across a 9-year period, the Advanced Clinician Practitioner in Arthritis Care program has achieved a set of short-term “wins” giving direction and momentum to the development of new roles for health care practitioners providing arthritis care.
This is a viable model for post-licensure training offered to multiple allied health professionals to support the development of competent extended role practitioners (extended scope practice). Challenges at this critical juncture include: retain focus, drive, and commitment; develop academic and financial partnerships transferring short-term success to long-term sustainability; advanced, context-driven, system-level evaluation including fiscal outcome; health care policy adaptation to new human health resource development.
Supporting evidence
Success includes: completed 2-year health services research evaluating 37 graduates; leadership, innovation, educational excellence, and human health resource benefit awards; influential publications/presentations addressing post-licensure education/outcome, interprofessional collaboration, and improved patient care.
PMCID: PMC4556301  PMID: 26347223
human health resource development; post-licensure education; arthritis; extended role practitioners; allied health professionals
20.  A systematic review of professional supervision experiences and effects for allied health practitioners working in non-metropolitan health care settings 
In regional, rural, and remote settings, allied health professional supervision is one organizational mechanism designed to support and retain the workforce, provide clinical governance, and enhance service delivery. A systematic approach to evaluating the evidence of the experience and effects of professional supervision for non-metropolitan allied health practitioners and their service delivery is needed.
Studies investigating the experience and effects of professional supervision across 17 allied health disciplines in non-metropolitan health services were systematically searched for using standardized keywords across seven databases. The initial search identified 1,574 references. Of these studies, five met inclusion criteria and were subject to full methodological appraisal by both reviewers. Two studies were primarily qualitative with three studies primarily quantitative in their approach. Studies were appraised using McMaster critical appraisal tools and data were extracted and synthesized.
Studies reported the context specific benefits and challenges of supervision in non-metropolitan areas and the importance of supervision in enhancing satisfaction and support in these areas. Comparison of findings between metropolitan and non-metropolitan settings within one study suggested that allied health in non-metropolitan settings were more satisfied with supervision though less likely to access it and preferred supervision with other non-metropolitan practitioners over access to more experienced supervisors. One study in a regional health service identified the lack of an agreed upon definition and functions of supervision when supervisors from diverse allied health disciplines were surveyed. While methodologically weak, all studies reported positive perceptions of supervision across professionals, supervisors, and managers. This is in accordance with previous research in the wider supervision literature.
Considering the large pool of studies retrieved for further investigation, few of these met inclusion criteria demonstrating the paucity of primary research in this area. Increased training, policies, and implementation frameworks to ensure the definition and functions of supervision are agreed upon across the allied health disciplines in non-metropolitan areas is needed. Furthermore, systematic evaluation of supervision implementation in non-metropolitan settings, investigation of the experience and effects of distance based supervision (versus face-to-face), and increased rigor in research studies investigating non-metropolitan allied health profession supervision is needed.
PMCID: PMC4556303  PMID: 26347446
clinical supervision; allied health; professional development
21.  The patient–body relationship and the “lived experience” of a facial burn injury: a phenomenological inquiry of early psychosocial adjustment 
Throughout development and into adulthood, a person’s face is the central focus for interpersonal communication, providing an important insight into one’s identity, age, sociocultural background, and emotional state. The face facilitates important social, including nonverbal, communication. Therefore, sustaining a severe burn, and in particular a facial burn, is a devastating and traumatizing injury. Burn survivors may encounter unique psychosocial problems and experience higher rates of psychosocial maladjustment, although there may be a number of potentially mediating factors.
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the early recovery experience of patients with a facial burn. In particular, this study focused on how the injury impacted on the participants’ relationship with their own body and the challenges of early psychosocial adjustment within the first 4 months of sustaining the injury.
In 2011, six adult participants encompassing two females and four males ranging from 29 to 55 years of age with superficial to deep dermal facial burns (with background burns of 0.8%–55% total body surface area) were recruited from a severe burn injury unit in Australia for participation in a Burns Modified Adult Attachment Interview. Narrative data were analyzed thematically and informed by Colaizzi’s method of data analysis.
Three overarching themes emerged: relationship to self/other, coping, and meaning-making. Themes identified related to how the experience affected the participants’ sense of relationship with their own bodies and with others, as well as other challenges of early psychosocial adjustment. All participants indicated that they had experienced some early changes in their relationship with their body following their burn injury.
These findings highlight the struggle burn survivors experienced with postburn adjustment, but expressed altruism and optimism around their recovery. Past trauma was observed to be a significant finding in this sample. Understanding the “lived experience” supports the way clinical and family systems can foster positive adjustment and coping. Consequently, multidisciplinary burn teams and health care professionals need to understand the principles of trauma-informed care and translate these into practice in the treatment of this group of patients.
PMCID: PMC4551300  PMID: 26347401
facial burn; body image; psychosocial adjustment; complex trauma; posttraumatic growth; phenomenology
22.  Adaptive practices in heart failure care teams: implications for patient-centered care in the context of complexity 
Heart failure (HF), one of the three leading causes of death, is a chronic, progressive, incurable disease. There is growing support for integration of palliative care’s holistic approach to suffering, but insufficient understanding of how this would happen in the complex team context of HF care. This study examined how HF care teams, as defined by patients, work together to provide care to patients with advanced disease.
Team members were identified by each participating patient, generating team sampling units (TSUs) for each patient. Drawn from five study sites in three Canadian provinces, our dataset consists of 209 interviews from 50 TSUs. Drawing on a theoretical framing of HF teams as complex adaptive systems (CAS), interviews were analyzed using the constant comparative method associated with constructivist grounded theory.
This paper centers on the dominant theme of system practices, how HF care delivery is reported to work organizationally, socially, and practically, and describes two subthemes: “the way things work around here”, which were commonplace, routine ways of doing things, and “the way we make things work around here”, which were more conscious, effortful adaptations to usual practice in response to emergent needs. An adaptive practice, often a small alteration to routine, could have amplified effects beyond those intended by the innovating team member and could extend to other settings.
Adaptive practices emerged unpredictably and were variably experienced by team members. Our study offers an empirically grounded explanation of how HF care teams self-organize and how adaptive practices emerge from nonlinear interdependencies among diverse agents. We use these insights to reframe the question of palliative care integration, to ask how best to foster palliative care-aligned adaptive practices in HF care. This work has implications for health care’s growing challenge of providing care to those with chronic medical illness in complex, team-based settings.
PMCID: PMC4547636  PMID: 26316775
palliative care; qualitative; complex adaptive system; multimorbidity; health care teams
23.  A multidisciplinary approach to scars: a narrative review 
The purpose of this article is to carry out a narrative review regarding the approach to scars through complementary and alternative medicine focusing on osteopathy, naturopathy, and other minor methods and traditional rehabilitative medicines, such as physiotherapy and manual therapies. We analyzed the existing literature regarding the possible influences of techniques relaxing the diaphragm – both manual and psychophysical relaxing techniques – and the consequent local response to events leading to scar tissue healing. The objective of the study is to become a useful instrument of knowledge for those manual therapists and professionals who deal with patients affected by discontinuity of the skin surface due to trauma or surgery. This article also intends to stimulate research in order to find and propose new methods of scar treatment, taking into consideration the information gained so far from other complementary and alternative disciplines.
PMCID: PMC4540216  PMID: 26316774
scar; wound; complementary and alternative medicine; osteopathy; naturopathy
24.  Successful management of Barth syndrome: a systematic review highlighting the importance of a flexible and multidisciplinary approach 
This review describes and summarizes the available evidence related to the treatment and management of Barth syndrome. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) standards were used to identify articles published between December 2004 and January 2015. The Cochrane Population, Intervention, Control, Outcome, Study Design (PICOS) approach was used to guide the article selection and evaluation process. Of the 128 articles screened, 28 articles matched the systematic review inclusion criteria. The results of this review indicate the need for a flexible and multidisciplinary approach to manage the symptoms most commonly associated with Barth syndrome. It is recommended that a comprehensive care team should include individuals with Barth syndrome, their family members and caregivers, as well as medical, rehabilitative, nutritional, psychological, and educational professionals. The evidence for specific treatments, therapies, and techniques for individuals with Barth syndrome is currently lacking in both quality and quantity.
PMCID: PMC4524586  PMID: 26251611
Barth syndrome; rare disorders; rehabilitation; cardiac; systematic review
25.  Multidisciplinary management of clear-cell renal cell carcinoma in Africa and the Middle East: current practice and recommendations for improvement 
The management of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has evolved considerably in recent years. This report represents the consensus of 22 relevant medical specialists from Africa and the Middle East region engaged in the management of RCC. Partial or radical nephrectomy is the standard of care for most patients with localized RCC. It is essential that patients are followed up appropriately after surgery to enable local and distant relapses to be identified and treated promptly. The treatment of advanced/metastatic disease has changed dramatically with the introduction of targeted therapies. Follow-up of these patients enables therapy optimization and assessment of response to treatment. There was universal agreement on the importance of management of RCC by a multidisciplinary team supported by a multidisciplinary tumor board. Barriers hindering this approach were identified. These included lack of awareness of the benefits of multidisciplinary team role, poor communication among relevant disciplines, time constraints, and specifics of private practice. Other challenges include shortage of expert specialists as urologists and oncologists and lack of local management guidelines in some countries. Solutions were proposed and discussed. Medical educational initiatives and awareness activities were highlighted as keys to encouraging cooperation between specialties to improve patients’ outcome. Establishing combined genitourinary cancer clinics and formal referral systems should encourage a culture of effective communication. Joining forces with professionals in peripheral areas and the private sector is likely to help standardize care. Sustained action will be required to ensure that all patients with RCC in the region benefit from up-to-date care.
PMCID: PMC4524587  PMID: 26251610
Africa-Middle East; education; multidisciplinary; renal cell carcinoma

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