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1.  Paediatric pain management practice and policies across Alberta emergency departments 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2014;19(4):190-194.
Many children requiring acute care receive suboptimal analgesia.
To describe paediatric pain management practices and policies in emergency departments (EDs) in Alberta.
A descriptive survey was distributed to each of the EDs in Alberta.
A response rate of 67% (72 of 108) was obtained. Seventy-one percent (42 of 59) of EDs reported the use of a pain tool, 29.3% (17 of 58) reported mandatory pain documentation and 16.7% (10 of 60) had nurse-initiated pain protocols. Topical anesthetics were reported to be used for intravenous line insertion by 70.4% of respondents (38 of 54) and for lumbar puncture (LP) by 30.8% (12 of 39). According to respondents, infiltrated anesthetic was used for LP by 69.2% (27 of 39) of respondents, and oral sucrose was used infrequently for urinary catheterization (one of 46 [2.2%]), intravenous line insertion (zero of 54 [0%]) and LP (one of 39 [2.6%]).
Few Alberta EDs use policies and protocols to manage paediatric pain. Noninvasive methods to limit procedural pain are underutilized. Canadian paediatricians must advocate for improved analgesia to narrow this knowledge-to-practice gap.
PMCID: PMC4028644  PMID: 24855415
Analgesia; Emergency; Pain; Paediatrics; Survey
2.  Protein Kinase Cα (PKCα) Regulates Bone Architecture and Osteoblast Activity* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2014;289(37):25509-25522.
Background: Roles of the multifunctional kinase PKCα in bone are unknown.
Results: Female Prkca−/− mice form bone in their medullary cavities associated with higher osteoblastic differentiation. Bone and spleen changes in Prkca−/− mice resemble features of Gaucher disease.
Conclusion: PKCα regulates osteoblast differentiation and bone architecture.
Significance: PKCα-targeting therapies may benefit low bone mass conditions, including Gaucher disease and osteoporosis.
Bones' strength is achieved and maintained through adaptation to load bearing. The role of the protein kinase PKCα in this process has not been previously reported. However, we observed a phenotype in the long bones of Prkca−/− female but not male mice, in which bone tissue progressively invades the medullary cavity in the mid-diaphysis. This bone deposition progresses with age and is prevented by disuse but unaffected by ovariectomy. Castration of male Prkca−/− but not WT mice results in the formation of small amounts of intramedullary bone. Osteoblast differentiation markers and Wnt target gene expression were up-regulated in osteoblast-like cells derived from cortical bone of female Prkca−/− mice compared with WT. Additionally, although osteoblastic cells derived from WT proliferate following exposure to estradiol or mechanical strain, those from Prkca−/− mice do not. Female Prkca−/− mice develop splenomegaly and reduced marrow GBA1 expression reminiscent of Gaucher disease, in which PKC involvement has been suggested previously. From these data, we infer that in female mice, PKCα normally serves to prevent endosteal bone formation stimulated by load bearing. This phenotype appears to be suppressed by testicular hormones in male Prkca−/− mice. Within osteoblastic cells, PKCα enhances proliferation and suppresses differentiation, and this regulation involves the Wnt pathway. These findings implicate PKCα as a target gene for therapeutic approaches in low bone mass conditions.
PMCID: PMC4162157  PMID: 25070889
Bone; Estrogen; Gaucher Disease; Osteoblast; Protein Kinase C (PKC); Wnt Signaling; Mechanical Loading
3.  Pathogenesis of growth failure and partial reversal with gene therapy in murine and canine Glycogen Storage Disease type Ia 
Molecular genetics and metabolism  2013;109(2):161-170.
Glycogen Storage Disease type Ia (GSD-Ia) in humans frequently causes delayed bone maturation, decrease in final adult height, and decreased growth velocity. This study evaluates the pathogenesis of growth failure and the effect of gene therapy on growth in GSD-Ia affected dogs and mice. Here we found that homozygous G6pase (−/−) mice with GSD-Ia have normal growth hormone (GH) levels in response to hypoglycemia, decreased insulin-like growth factor (IGF) 1 levels, and attenuated weight gain following administration of GH. Expression of hepatic GH receptor and IGF 1 mRNAs and hepatic STAT5 (phospho Y694) protein levels are reduced prior to and after GH administration, indicating GH resistance. However, restoration of G6Pase expression in the liver by treatment with adeno-associated virus 8 pseudotyped vector expressing G6Pase (AAV2/8-G6Pase) corrected body weight, but failed to normalize plasma IGF 1 in G6pase (−/−) mice. Untreated G6pase (−/−) mice also demonstrated severe delay of growth plate ossification at 12 days of age; those treated with AAV2/8-G6Pase at 14 days of age demonstrated skeletal dysplasia and limb shortening when analyzed radiographically at 6 months of age, in spite of apparent metabolic correction. Moreover, gene therapy with AAV2/9-G6Pase only partially corrected growth in GSD-Ia affected dogs as detected by weight and bone measurements and serum IGF 1 concentrations were persistently low in treated dogs. We also found that heterozygous GSD-Ia carrier dogs had decreased serum IGF 1, adult body weights and bone dimensions compared to wild-type littermates. In sum, these findings suggest that growth failure in GSD-Ia results, at least in part, from hepatic GH resistance. In addition, gene therapy improved growth in addition to promoting long-term survival in dogs and mice with GSD-Ia.
PMCID: PMC3764490  PMID: 23623482
Glycogen Storage Disease Ia; Growth failure; Gene therapy; Glucose-6-phosphatase; Adeno-associated virus; IGF 1
4.  An unusual cause of small bowel obstruction caused by a Richter's-type hernia into the urinary bladder 
The authors present an unusual case of small bowel obstruction in a 62-year-old man.
A 62-year-old man with a background of transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder presented to the emergency department with abdominal pain, distension, vomiting and had not opened his bowels for three days. 3 weeks previously he had a repeat Transurtheral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT), during which there was an iatrogenic perforation of the bladder. A CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis revealed small bowel obstruction but did not identify a cause. At laparotomy the cause of the obstruction was identified as a section of the small bowel that had partially herniated into the bladder, via the perforation. The defect was repaired and the patient made an uneventful recovery.
Herniation of the bowel into a defect in the bladder wall is a rare event with only 6 previous cases reported in the literature. It can cause signs and symptoms of bowel obstruction.
In patients with known bladder perforations who present with symptoms and signs of bowel obstruction, bowel herniation into the bladder should be considered. Early surgical intervention may be necessary if the patient is clinically unwell with appropriate symptoms and signs and imaging does not provide conclusive answer.
PMCID: PMC4064428  PMID: 24858979
Bowel obstruction; Bladder perforation; Internal hernia
5.  Screening for post-traumatic stress disorder after injury in the pediatric emergency department - a systematic review protocol 
Systematic Reviews  2014;3:19.
Pediatric injury is highly prevalent and has significant impact both physically and emotionally. The majority of pediatric injuries are treated in emergency departments (EDs), where treatment of physical injuries is the main focus. In addition to physical trauma, children often experience significant psychological trauma, and the development of acute stress disorder (ASD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common. The consequences of failing to recognize and treat children with ASD and PTSD are significant and extend into adulthood. Currently, screening guidelines to identify children at risk for developing these stress disorders are not evident in the pediatric emergency setting. The goal of this systematic review is to summarize evidence on the psychometric properties, diagnostic accuracy, and clinical utility of screening tools that identify or predict PTSD secondary to physical injury in children. Specific research objectives are to: (1) identify, describe, and critically evaluate instruments available to screen for PTSD in children; (2) review and synthesize the test-performance characteristics of these tools; and (3) describe the clinical utility of these tools with focus on ED suitability.
Computerized databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, ISI Web of Science and PsycINFO will be searched in addition to conference proceedings, textbooks, and contact with experts. Search terms will include MeSH headings (post-traumatic stress or acute stress), (pediatric or children) and diagnosis. All articles will be screened by title/abstract and articles identified as potentially relevant will be retrieved in full text and assessed by two independent reviewers. Quality assessment will be determined using the QUADAS-2 tool. Screening tool characteristics, including type of instrument, number of items, administration time and training administrators level, will be extracted as well as gold standard diagnostic reference properties and any quantitative diagnostic data (specificity, positive and negative likelihood/odds ratios) where appropriate.
Identifying screening tools to recognize children at risk of developing stress disorders following trauma is essential in guiding early treatment and minimizing long-term sequelae of childhood stress disorders. This review aims to identify such screening tools in efforts to improve routine stress disorder screening in the pediatric ED setting.
Trials registration
PROSPERO registration: CRD42013004893
PMCID: PMC3944964  PMID: 24580806
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); Screening; Instrument; Emergency department; Pediatrics; Injury
6.  Parenteral and oral antibiotic duration for treatment of pediatric osteomyelitis: a systematic review protocol 
Systematic Reviews  2013;2:92.
Pediatric osteomyelitis is a bacterial infection of bones requiring prolonged antibiotic treatment using parenteral followed by enteral agents. Major complications of pediatric osteomyelitis include transition to chronic osteomyelitis, formation of subperiosteal abscesses, extension of infection into the joint, and permanent bony deformity or limb shortening. Historically, osteomyelitis has been treated with long durations of antibiotics to avoid these complications. However, with improvements in management and antibiotic treatment, standard of care is moving towards short durations of intravenous antibiotics prior to enteral antibiotics.
The authors will perform a systematic review based on PRISMA guidelines in order to evaluate the literature, looking for evidence to support the optimal duration of parenteral and enteral therapy. The main goals are to see if literature supports shorter durations of either parenteral antibiotics and/or enteral antibiotics.
Multiple databases will be investigated using a thorough search strategy. Databases include Medline, Cochrane, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Dissertation Abstracts, CINAHL, Web of Science, African Index Medicus and LILACS. Search stream will include medical subject heading for pediatric patients with osteomyelitis and antibiotic therapy. We will search for published or unpublished randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials.
Two authors will independently select articles, extract data and assess risk of bias by standard Cochrane methodologies. We will analyze comparisons between dichotomous outcomes using risk ratios and continuous outcomes using mean differences. 95% confidence intervals will be computed.
One of the major dilemmas of management of this disease is the duration of parenteral therapy. Long parenteral therapy has increased risk of serious complications and the necessity for long therapy has been called into question. Our study aims to review the currently available evidence from randomized trials regarding duration of both parenteral and oral therapy for pediatric acute osteomyelitis.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3852824  PMID: 24099135
Social science & medicine (1982)  2009;69(12):1845-1853.
This paper considers the relationships between health status and socio-geographic mobility over time for individuals sampled in the longitudinal National Population Health Survey of Canada. The study aims to elucidate the associations between individuals’ health outcomes (assessed on various measures), and area deprivation in their place of residence. We also aimed to investigate the significance of selective residential migration as a possible contributor to area differences in health.
PMCID: PMC3762746  PMID: 19822386 CAMSID: cams3272
8.  Neighbourhood deprivation and adolescent self-esteem: Exploration of the ‘socio-economic equalisation in youth’ hypothesis in Britain and Canada 
Social Science & Medicine (1982)  2013;91(100):168-177.
Material deprivation is an important determinant of health inequalities in adults but there remains debate about the extent of its importance for adolescent wellbeing. Research has found limited evidence for an association between adolescent health and socio-economic status, leading authors to suggest that there is an ‘equalisation’ of health across socio-economic groups during the adolescent stage of the life-course. This paper explores this ‘equalisation’ hypothesis for adolescent psychological wellbeing from a geographical perspective by investigating associations between neighbourhood deprivation and self-esteem in Britain and Canada. Data from the British Youth Panel (BYP) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) on adolescents aged 11–15 for the time period 1994–2004 were used to estimate variations in low self-esteem between neighbourhoods using multilevel logistic regression. Models were extended to estimate associations between self-esteem and neighbourhood deprivation before and after adjustment for individual and family level covariates. Moderation by age, sex, urban/rural status, household income and family structure was investigated. There were no significant differences in self-esteem between the most deprived and most affluent neighbourhoods (Canada unadjusted OR = 1.00, 95% CI 0.76, 1.33; Britain unadjusted OR = 1.25, 95% CI 0.74, 2.13). The prevalence of low self-esteem was higher (in Canada) for boys in the least deprived neighbourhoods compared to other neighbourhoods. No other interactions were observed. The results presented here offer some (limited) support for the socio-economic equalisation in youth hypothesis from a geographical perspective: with specific reference to equalisation of the relationship between neighbourhood deprivation and self-esteem and psychological health in early adolescence. This contrasts with previous research in the United States but supports related work from Britain. The lack of interactions with key social and economic variables suggests that findings might apply across a range of family circumstances and different communities in Britain and Canada. Policy implications are discussed.
► The relationship between adolescent self-esteem and neighbourhood deprivation in Britain and Canada was studied. ► Self-esteem was not associated with neighbourhood deprivation in large, national representative British and Canadian cohorts. ► Findings contrast with previous United States studies examining adolescent self-esteem and neighbourhood deprivation.
PMCID: PMC3726937  PMID: 23518228
Neighbourhood deprivation; Britain; Canada; United States; Health inequalities; Geographical inequalities; Self-esteem; Adolescent; Equalisation; Psychological health
9.  Long-Term Efficacy Following Readministration of an Adeno-Associated Virus Vector in Dogs with Glycogen Storage Disease Type Ia 
Human Gene Therapy  2011;23(4):407-418.
Glycogen storage disease type Ia (GSD-Ia) is the inherited deficiency of glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase), primarily found in liver and kidney, which causes life-threatening hypoglycemia. Dogs with GSD-Ia were treated with double-stranded adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors encoding human G6Pase. Administration of an AAV9 pseudotyped (AAV2/9) vector to seven consecutive GSD-Ia neonates prevented hypoglycemia during fasting for up to 8 hr; however, efficacy eventually waned between 2 and 30 months of age, and readministration of a new pseudotype was eventually required to maintain control of hypoglycemia. Three of these dogs succumbed to acute hypoglycemia between 7 and 9 weeks of age; however, this demise could have been prevented by earlier readministration an AAV vector, as demonstrated by successful prevention of mortality of three dogs treated earlier in life. Over the course of this study, six out of nine dogs survived after readministration of an AAV vector. Of these, each dog required readministration on average every 9 months. However, two were not retreated until >34 months of age, while one with preexisting antibodies was re-treated three times in 10 months. Glycogen content was normalized in the liver following vector administration, and G6Pase activity was increased in the liver of vector-treated dogs in comparison with GSD-Ia dogs that received only with dietary treatment. G6Pase activity reached approximately 40% of normal in two female dogs following AAV2/9 vector administration. Elevated aspartate transaminase in absence of inflammation indicated that hepatocellular turnover in the liver might drive the loss of vector genomes. Survival was prolonged for up to 60 months in dogs treated by readministration, and all dogs treated by readministration continue to thrive despite the demonstrated risk for recurrent hypoglycemia and mortality from waning efficacy of the AAV2/9 vector. These preclinical data support the further translation of AAV vector–mediated gene therapy in GSD-Ia.
Demaster and colleagues report preclinical results of treating dogs with glycogen storage disease type Ia (GSD-Ia) with double-stranded adeno-associated viral vector type 9 (AAV2/9) encoding human glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase). Vector treatment was able to prevent hypoglycemia and led to normalized liver glycogen levels and increased G6Pase activity, but carefully timed readministration with a different pseudotype was required to prevent the therapeutic effect from waning. Survival was prolonged for up to 60 months in dogs treated by readministration, with all dogs continuing to thrive despite the demonstrated risk for recurrent hypoglycemia and mortality from waning vector efficacy.
PMCID: PMC4047999  PMID: 22185325
10.  Characterization of a canine model of glycogen storage disease type IIIa 
Disease Models & Mechanisms  2012;5(6):804-811.
Glycogen storage disease type IIIa (GSD IIIa) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by deficiency of glycogen debranching enzyme (GDE) in liver and muscle. The disorder is clinically heterogeneous and progressive, and there is no effective treatment. Previously, a naturally occurring dog model for this condition was identified in curly-coated retrievers (CCR). The affected dogs carry a frame-shift mutation in the GDE gene and have no detectable GDE activity in liver and muscle. We characterized in detail the disease expression and progression in eight dogs from age 2 to 16 months. Monthly blood biochemistry revealed elevated and gradually increasing serum alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities; serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) activity exceeded normal range after 12 months. Analysis of tissue biopsy specimens at 4, 12 and 16 months revealed abnormally high glycogen contents in liver and muscle of all dogs. Fasting liver glycogen content increased from 4 months to 12 months, but dropped at 16 months possibly caused by extended fibrosis; muscle glycogen content continually increased with age. Light microscopy revealed significant glycogen accumulation in hepatocytes at all ages. Liver histology showed progressive, age-related fibrosis. In muscle, scattered cytoplasmic glycogen deposits were present in most cells at 4 months, but large, lake-like accumulation developed by 12 and 16 months. Disruption of the contractile apparatus and fraying of myofibrils was observed in muscle at 12 and 16 months by electron microscopy. In conclusion, the CCR dogs are an accurate model of GSD IIIa that will improve our understanding of the disease progression and allow opportunities to investigate treatment interventions.
PMCID: PMC3484863  PMID: 22736456
11.  Migration experiences, employment status and psychological distress among Somali immigrants: a mixed-method international study 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:749.
The discourse about mental health problems among migrants and refugees tends to focus on adverse pre-migration experiences; there is less investigation of the environmental conditions in which refugee migrants live, and the contrasts between these situations in different countries. This cross-national study of two samples of Somali refugees living in London (UK) and Minneapolis, Minnesota, (USA) helps to fill a gap in the literature, and is unusual in being able to compare information collected in the same way in two cities in different countries.
There were two parts to the study, focus groups to gather in-depth qualitative data and a survey of health status and quantifiable demographic and material factors. Three of the focus groups involved nineteen Somali professionals and five groups included twenty-eight lay Somalis who were living in London and Minneapolis. The quantitative survey was done with 189 Somali respondents, also living in London and Minneapolis. We used the MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) to assess ICD-10 and DSM-IV mental disorders.
The overall qualitative and quantitative results suggested that challenges to masculinity, thwarted aspirations, devalued refugee identity, unemployment, legal uncertainties and longer duration of stay in the host country account for poor psychological well-being and psychiatric disorders among this group.
The use of a mixed-methods approach in this international study was essential since the quantitative and qualitative data provide different layers and depth of meaning and complement each other to provide a fuller picture of complex and multi-faceted life situations of refugees and asylum seekers. The comparison between the UK and US suggests that greater flexibility of access to labour markets for this refugee group might help to promote opportunities for better integration and mental well-being.
PMCID: PMC3489604  PMID: 22954304
12.  Persistent Umbilical Discharge from an Omphalomesenteric Duct Cyst Containing Gastric Mucosa 
Case Reports in Pediatrics  2012;2012:482185.
Umbilical discharge in infancy is often attributed to infection or an umbilical granuloma. It is important to investigate if such a discharge is due to an underlying congenital abnormality because corrective surgical intervention may then be required. We present the first case of an infant with a persistent umbilical discharge from an omphalomesenteric duct cyst. The discharge was associated with periumbilical dermatitis. The dermatitis was most likely due to irritation of the skin by gastric acid produced by the ectopic gastric mucosa contained in the omphalomesenteric duct cyst. Both discharge and dermatitis resolved after surgical removal of the cyst.
PMCID: PMC3368171  PMID: 22693676
13.  Forced residential mobility and social support: impacts on psychiatric disorders among Somali migrants 
Somali migrants fleeing the civil war in their country face punishing journeys, the loss of homes, possessions, and bereavement. On arrival in the host country they encounter poverty, hostility, and residential instability which may also undermine their mental health.
An in-depth and semi-structured interview was used to gather detailed accommodation histories for a five year period from 142 Somali migrants recruited in community venues and primary care. Post-codes were verified and geo-mapped to calculate characteristics of residential location including deprivation indices, the number of moves and the distances between residential moves. We asked about the reasons for changing accommodation, perceived discrimination, asylum status, traumatic experiences, social support, employment and demographic factors. These factors were assessed alongside characteristics of residential mobility as correlates of ICD-10 psychiatric disorders.
Those who were forced to move homes were more likely to have an ICD-10 psychiatric disorder (OR = 2.64, 1.16-5.98, p = 0.02) compared with those moving through their own choice. A lower risk of psychiatric disorders was found for people with larger friendship networks (0.35, 0.14-0.84, p = 0.02), for those with more confiding emotional support (0.42, 0.18-1.0, p = 0.05), and for those who had not moved during the study period (OR = 0.21, 0.07-0.62, p = 0.01).
Forced residential mobility is a risk factor for psychiatric disorder; social support may contribute to resilience against psychiatric disorders associated with residential mobility.
PMCID: PMC3384470  PMID: 22510245
14.  A descriptive analysis of a representative sample of pediatric randomized controlled trials published in 2007 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:96.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard for trials assessing the effects of therapeutic interventions; therefore it is important to understand how they are conducted. Our objectives were to provide an overview of a representative sample of pediatric RCTs published in 2007 and assess the validity of their results.
We searched Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials using a pediatric filter and randomly selected 300 RCTs published in 2007. We extracted data on trial characteristics; outcomes; methodological quality; reporting; and registration and protocol characteristics. Trial registration and protocol availability were determined for each study based on the publication, an Internet search and an author survey.
Most studies (83%) were efficacy trials, 40% evaluated drugs, and 30% were placebo-controlled. Primary outcomes were specified in 41%; 43% reported on adverse events. At least one statistically significant outcome was reported in 77% of trials; 63% favored the treatment group. Trial registration was declared in 12% of publications and 23% were found through an Internet search. Risk of bias (ROB) was high in 59% of trials, unclear in 33%, and low in 8%. Registered trials were more likely to have low ROB than non-registered trials (16% vs. 5%; p = 0.008). Effect sizes tended to be larger for trials at high vs. low ROB (0.28, 95% CI 0.21,0.35 vs. 0.16, 95% CI 0.07,0.25). Among survey respondents (50% response rate), the most common reason for trial registration was a publication requirement and for non-registration, a lack of familiarity with the process.
More than half of this random sample of pediatric RCTs published in 2007 was at high ROB and three quarters of trials were not registered. There is an urgent need to improve the design, conduct, and reporting of child health research.
PMCID: PMC3018376  PMID: 21176224
15.  General Paediatric Surgical Provision of Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy in a District General Hospital – A 12-Year Experience 
A small, but significant, number of children require long-term nutritional support. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of providing a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) service for children in a district general hospital and to raise awareness of the suitability of the procedure to be performed on paediatric surgery lists in similar hospitals across the UK.
A multidisciplinary paediatric nutrition team was established and all children accepted for PEG insertion between 1995 and 2007 were entered onto a database prospectively and are included in this study. PEG tubes were inserted by the standard pull-through technique under general anaesthetic.
A total of 172 procedures were performed in 76 children. The median age at first tube insertion was 3 years (range, 0.5–18 years). Length of follow-up ranged from 1 month to 12.6 years. Fifty-eight children (76%) had a neurological abnormality, the commonest being cerebral palsy. All but one procedure were performed successfully, of which 63 (37%) were new insertions, 99 change of tube, 4 changed from surgical gastrostomy and 6 from PEG to button gastrostomy. The median hospital stay was 2 days (range, 2–7 days) for new insertions and 1 day for tube changes. There were 10 (6%) early complications within 30 days, the commonest being peritubal infection (6). The 39 late complications included 16 peritubal infection/granulomata, 9 ‘buried bumpers’, 4 worsening of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, 2 gastrocolic fistulae, 3 gastrocutaneous fistulae and 4 tubal migration. There was no mortality.
We have demonstrated that paediatric PEG procedures and continuing management by a supporting team can be successfully and efficiently provided in the district general hospital. It should be possible for the majority of similar hospitals to provide local access and increase the availability of PEG feeding for children.
PMCID: PMC2758436  PMID: 19344554
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy; PEG; Children enteral feeding; Paediatric surgery
16.  Assessing the Role of Individual and Neighbourhood Characteristics in HIV Testing: Evidence from a Population Based Survey 
The Open AIDS Journal  2009;3:46-54.
Individuals living in deprived neighbourhoods have poor health outcomes, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection mortality. We assessed the association between individual and neighbourhood characteristics, and HIV testing across Canada.
We used logistic regression modelling to evaluate this association in 2219 men and 2815 women, aged 18-54 years, in Canada, using data from the National Population Health Survey (1996/7),. Socio-economic characteristics and presence of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) were the individual level characteristics. Small area of residence was classified according to categories of material and social deprivation; these were the ’neighbourhood’ variables in the model.
Ethnic minority women were less likely to report an HIV test than white women (OR 0.44, 95% CI: 0.23 to 0.86). Women without a regular doctor were significantly less likely to report ever having had an HIV test (OR 0.57, 95% CI: 0.35 to 0.93). Adjusting for individual level characteristics, we found that men and women living in the most materially deprived neighbourhoods were slightly less likely to report HIV testing than those living in the least deprived neighbourhoods (Men - OR 0.61, 95% CI: 0.34 to 1.08; Women - OR 0.62, 95% CI: 0.38 to 1.00).
Thus, living in poor neighbourhoods was associated with poor uptake of an HIV test. These economic disparities should be taken in account while designing future prevention strategies. Ethnic minority women were less likely to go for HIV testing and culturally appropriate messages may be required for prevention in ethnic minorities.
PMCID: PMC2778013  PMID: 19920885
HIV testing; ethnic minorities; neighbourhoods.
17.  A randomized controlled trial of sucrose and/or pacifier as analgesia for infants receiving venipuncture in a pediatric emergency department 
BMC Pediatrics  2007;7:27.
Although sucrose has been accepted as an effective analgesic agent for procedural pain in neonates, previous studies are largely in the NICU population using the procedure of heel lance. This is the first report of the effect of sucrose, pacifier or the combination thereof for the procedural pain of venipuncture in infants in the pediatric emergency department population.
The study design was a double (sucrose) and single blind (pacifier), placebo-controlled randomized trial – factorial design carried out in a pediatric emergency department. The study population was infants, aged 0 – 6 months. Eighty-four patients were randomly assigned to one of four groups: a) sucrose b) sucrose & pacifier c) control d) control & pacifier. Each child received 2 ml of either 44% sucrose or sterile water, by mouth. The primary outcome measure: FLACC pain scale score change from baseline. Secondary outcome measures: crying time and heart rate change from baseline.
Sucrose did not significantly reduce the FLACC score, crying time or heart rate. However sub-group analysis revealed that sucrose had a much greater effect in the younger groups. Pacifier use reduced FLACC score (not statistically significant), crying times (statistically significant) but not heart rate. Subgroup analysis revealed a mean crying time difference of 76.52 seconds (p < 0.0171) (0–1 month) and 123.9 seconds (p < 0.0029) (1–3 month). For subgroup age > 3 months pacifier did not have any significant effect on crying time. Age adjusted regression analysis revealed that both sucrose and pacifier had significant effects on crying time. Crying time increased with both increasing age and increasing gestational age.
Pacifiers are inexpensive, effective analgesics and are easy to use in the PED for venipuncture in infants aged 0–3 months. The benefits of sucrose alone as an analgesic require further investigation in the older infant, but sucrose does appear to provide additional benefit when used with a pacifier in this age group.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN15819627
PMCID: PMC1950500  PMID: 17640375

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