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1.  Quality of life in children and adolescents with Osteogenesis Imperfecta: a qualitative interview based study 
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is a disease with varying severity affecting physical, social and emotional well-being of the child and their family. There is no existing evidence on how the OI population regard their quality of life (QoL). The main aim of this study was to determine how OI impacts on the quality of life and well-being of children and their family. It is the first stage of a larger project to develop a disease specific quality of life measure for children with OI.
Purposive sampling was used to cover the diversity of the OI population. Twenty-five qualitative interviews were undertaken with children (n = 10), parents (n = 10) and health professionals (n = 5). Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Significant themes were identified, extracted and organised, undergoing framework analysis.
Six main themes were identified; being safe and careful, reduced function, pain, fear, isolation, independence. There was a large amount of agreement between the three groups of interviewees, although discrepancies did occur between parents and children, with regard to the themes independence and fear.
This data presents the first step in developing items for a disease specific QoL measure for children with OI. Several of the themes uncovered showed similarity to other QoL measures, but the addition of being safe and careful, particularly in relation to fractures, demonstrated the need for a disease specific measure for children with OI.
PMCID: PMC3996106  PMID: 24742068
Children; Health and well-being; Osteogenesis imperfecta; Quality of life
2.  Protocol for diaphragm pacing in patients with respiratory muscle weakness due to motor neurone disease (DiPALS): a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:74.
Motor neurone disease (MND) is a devastating illness which leads to muscle weakness and death, usually within 2-3 years of symptom onset. Respiratory insufficiency is a common cause of morbidity, particularly in later stages of MND and respiratory complications are the leading cause of mortality in MND patients. Non Invasive Ventilation (NIV) is the current standard therapy to manage respiratory insufficiency. Some MND patients however do not tolerate NIV due to a number of issues including mask interface problems and claustrophobia. In those that do tolerate NIV, eventually respiratory muscle weakness will progress to a point at which intermittent/overnight NIV is ineffective. The NeuRx RA/4 Diaphragm Pacing System was originally developed for patients with respiratory insufficiency and diaphragm paralysis secondary to stable high spinal cord injuries. The DiPALS study will assess the effect of diaphragm pacing (DP) when used to treat patients with MND and respiratory insufficiency.
108 patients will be recruited to the study at 5 sites in the UK. Patients will be randomised to either receive NIV (current standard care) or receive DP in addition to NIV. Study participants will be required to complete outcome measures at 5 follow up time points (2, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months) plus an additional surgery and 1 week post operative visit for those in the DP group. 12 patients (and their carers) from the DP group will also be asked to complete 2 qualitative interviews.
The primary objective of this trial will be to evaluate the effect of Diaphragm Pacing (DP) on survival over the study duration in patients with MND with respiratory muscle weakness. The project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme (project number 09/55/33) and the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Henry Smith Charity. Trial Registration: Current controlled trials ISRCTN53817913. The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HTA programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.
PMCID: PMC3462709  PMID: 22897892

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