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1.  One-year outcome of frailty indicators and activities of daily living following the randomised controlled trial; “Continuum of care for frail older people” 
BMC Geriatrics  2013;13:76.
The intervention; “Continuum of Care for Frail Older People”, was designed to create an integrated continuum of care from the hospital emergency department through the hospital and back to the older person’s own home. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of the intervention on functional ability in terms of activities of daily living (ADL).
The study is a non-blinded controlled trial with participants randomised to either the intervention group or a control group with follow-ups at three-, six- and 12 months. The intervention involved collaboration between a nurse with geriatric competence at the emergency department, the hospital wards and a multi-professional team for care and rehabilitation of the older people in the municipality with a case manager as the hub. Older people who sought care at the emergency department at Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Mölndal and who were discharged to their own homes in the municipality of Mölndal, Sweden were asked to participate. Inclusion criteria were age 80 and older or 65 to 79 with at least one chronic disease and dependent in at least one ADL. Analyses were made on the basis of the intention-to-treat principle. Outcome measures were ADL independence and eight frailty indicators. These were analysed, using Chi-square and odds ratio (OR).
A total of 161 participated in the study, 76 persons allocated to the control group and 85 to the intervention group were analysed throughout the study. There were no significant differences between the groups with regards to change in frailty compared to baseline at any follow-up. At both the three- and twelve-month follow-ups the intervention group had doubled their odds for improved ADL independence compared to the control (OR 2.37, 95% CI; 1.20 – 4.68) and (2.04, 95% CI; 1.03 – 4.06) respectively. At six months the intervention group had halved their odds for decreased ADL independence (OR 0.52, 95% CI; 0.27 – 0.98) compared to the control group.
The intervention has the potential to reduce dependency in ADLs, a valuable benefit both for the individual and for society.
Trial registration NCT01260493
PMCID: PMC3750658  PMID: 23875866
Integrated care; Health care chain; Rehabilitation; Independence; Aging in place; Frail older people
2.  ‘Information on the fly’: Challenges in professional communication in high technological nursing. A focus group study from a radiotherapy department in Sweden 
BMC Nursing  2012;11:10.
Radiotherapy (RT) units are high-tech nursing environments. In Sweden, RT registered nurses (RNs) provide and manage RT in close collaboration with other professional groups, as well as providing nursing care for patients with cancer. Communication demands on these RNs are thus particularly complex. In this study, we aimed to better understand problems, strengths and change needs related to professional communication with and within the RT department, as a basis for developing a situation-specific intervention.
Focus groups discussions (FGDs) were conducted with different professional (RNs, assistant nurses, physicians, engineers and physicists) and user stakeholders. Transcripts of the FGDs were inductively analyzed by a team of researchers, to generate clinically relevant and useful data.
These findings give insight into RT safety climate and are presented under three major headings: Conceptualization of professional domains; Organization and leadership issues; and Communication forms, strategies and processes. The impact of existing hierarchies, including how they are conceptualized and acted out in practice, was noted throughout these data. Despite other differences, participating professionals agreed about communication problems related to RT, i.e. a lack of systems and processes for information transfer, unclear role differentiation, a sense of mutual disrespect, and ad hoc communication taking place ‘on the fly’. While all professional groups recognized extensive communication problems, none acknowledged the potential negative effects on patient safety or care described in the FGD with patient representatives. While RNs often initially denied the existence of a hierarchy, they placed themselves on a hierarchy in their descriptions, describing their own role as passive, with a sense of powerlessness. Potential safety hazards described in the FGDs include not reporting medical errors and silently ignoring or actively opposing new guidelines and regulations.
There is a risk that RNs who view themselves as disenfranchised within an organization will act with passive resistance to change, rather than as change promoters. As interventions to strengthen teams cannot be stronger than the weakest link, RNs may need support in the transition “from silence to voice” in order to take a position of full professional responsibility in a multi-professional health care team.
PMCID: PMC3438026  PMID: 22824412
3.  Design of a randomized controlled study of a multi-professional and multidimensional intervention targeting frail elderly people 
BMC Geriatrics  2011;11:24.
Frail elderly people need an integrated and coordinated care. The two-armed study "Continuum of care for frail elderly people" is a multi-professional and multidimensional intervention for frail community-dwelling elderly people. It was designed to evaluate whether the intervention programme for frail elderly people can reduce the number of visits to hospital, increase satisfaction with health and social care and maintain functional abilities. The implementation process is explored and analysed along with the intervention. In this paper we present the study design, the intervention and the outcome measures as well as the baseline characteristics of the study participants.
The study is a randomised two-armed controlled trial with follow ups at 3, 6 and 12 months. The study group includes elderly people who sought care at the emergency ward and discharged to their own homes in the community. Inclusion criteria were 80 years and older or 65 to 79 years with at least one chronic disease and dependent in at least one activity of daily living. Exclusion criteria were acute severely illness with an immediate need of the assessment and treatment by a physician, severe cognitive impairment and palliative care. The intention was that the study group should comprise a representative sample of frail elderly people at a high risk of future health care consumption. The intervention includes an early geriatric assessment, early family support, a case manager in the community with a multi-professional team and the involvement of the elderly people and their relatives in the planning process.
The design of the study, the randomisation procedure and the protocol meetings were intended to ensure the quality of the study. The implementation of the intervention programme is followed and analysed throughout the whole study, which enables us to generate knowledge on the process of implementing complex interventions. The intervention contributes to early recognition of both the elderly peoples' needs of information, care and rehabilitation and of informal caregivers' need of support and information. This study is expected to show positive effects on frail elderly peoples' health care consumption, functional abilities and satisfaction with health and social care.
Trial registration NCT01260493
PMCID: PMC3118103  PMID: 21569570
4.  A comparison of two formulations of intradermal capsaicin as models of neuropathic pain in healthy volunteers 
To compare the dose–response relationships of two formulations [Tween- or hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD)-based] of intradermal capsaicin in healthy volunteers and to assess the effect of potential covariates of response. One, 10, 30 and 100 µg in 10 ml were compared for the outcomes of flare, spontaneous pain, mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia in eight healthy men and eight healthy women.
The formulations produced comparable responses at doses 1, 10 and 30 µg, but in all parameters the response was less at 100 µg with the Tween formulation. Mean area for hyperalgesia was 9 cm2[95% confidence interval (CI) 5, 13] higher with the HP-β-CD formulation. Flare area was 5 cm2 (95% CI 8, 13) greater with the HP-β-CD formulation. There was a significant difference between pain responses from the injection site on the upper forearm compared with the lower forearm on all four pain assessments. In contrast, significant differences were seen in pain response between nondominant and dominant arm for flare, allodynia and hyperalgesia but not for spontaneous pain. A significant difference in sex was seen only for hyperalgesia. The nominal 100-µg dose of the Tween formulation contained only 39% of label strength in the aqueous phase, which may explain the lower pharmacodynamic response.
The formulations are comparable over the dose range 1–30 µg. The significantly lower pain response at the 100 µg dose in the Tween compared with the HP-β-CD formulation is likely to be due to limitations in solubility at the 100 µg level. Given the greater ease of formulation and the superior dose–response relationship, the HP-β-CD formulation is preferable for use in the model in future studies.
PMCID: PMC2780276  PMID: 19843054
capsaicin; cyclodextrin; volunteers
5.  Use of CFSE staining of borreliae in studies on the interaction between borreliae and human neutrophils 
BMC Microbiology  2006;6:92.
Species of the tick-transmitted spirochete group Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (B. burgdorferi) cause Lyme borreliosis. Acute borrelial infection of the skin has unusual characteristics with only a mild local inflammatory response suggesting that the interaction between borreliae and the cells of the first-line defence might differ from that of other bacteria. It has been reported that human neutrophils phagocytose motile borreliae through an unconventional mechanism (tube phagocytosis) which is not observed with non-motile borreliae. Therefore, it would be of great interest to visualise the bacteria by a method not affecting motility and viability of borreliae to be able to study their interaction with the cells of the innate immunity. Carboxyfluorescein diacetate, succinimidyl ester (CFSE) labelling has been previously used for studying the adhesion of labelled bacteria to host cells and the uptake of labelled substrates by various cells using flow cytometry.
In this study, CFSE was shown to efficiently stain different genospecies of B. burgdorferi without affecting bacterial viability or motility. Use of CFSE staining allowed subsequent quantification of borreliae associated with human neutrophils with flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. As a result, no difference in association between different borrelial genospecies (Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii), or between borreliae and the pyogenic bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, with neutrophils could be detected. Borrelial virulence, on the other hand, affected association with neutrophils, with significantly higher association of a non-virulent mutant B. burgdorferi sensu stricto strain compared to the parental virulent wild type strain.
These results suggest that the flow cytometric assay using CFSE labelled borreliae is a valuable tool in the analysis of the interaction between borreliae and human neutrophils. The results also indicate a clear difference in the association with neutrophils between virulent and non-virulent borrelial strains.
PMCID: PMC1621068  PMID: 17049082

Results 1-5 (5)