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1.  Preventing hypothermia in elective arthroscopic shoulder surgery patients: a protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Surgery  2012;12:14.
Background
Patients having arthroscopic shoulder surgery frequently experience periods of inadvertent hypothermia. This common perioperative problem has been linked to adverse patient outcomes such as myocardial ischaemia, surgical site infection and coagulopathy. International perioperative guidelines recommend patient warming, using a forced air warming device, and the use of warmed intraoperative irrigation solutions for the prevention of hypothermia in at-risk patient groups. This trial will investigate the effect of these interventions on patients’ temperature, thermal comfort, and total recovery time.
Method/Design
The trial will employ a randomised 2 x 2 factorial design. Eligible patients will be stratified by anaesthetist and block randomised into one of four groups: Group one will receive preoperative warming with a forced air warming device; group two will receive warmed intraoperative irrigation solutions; group three will receive both preoperative warming and warmed intraoperative irrigation solutions; and group four will receive neither intervention. Participants in all four groups will receive active intraoperative warming with a forced air warming device. The primary outcome measures are postoperative temperature, thermal comfort, and total recovery time. Primary outcomes will undergo a two-way analysis of variance controlling for covariants such as operating room ambient temperature and volume of intraoperative irrigation solution.
Discussion
This trial is designed to confirm the effectiveness of these interventions at maintaining perioperative normothermia and to evaluate if this translates into improved patient outcomes.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number
ACTRN12610000591055
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-12-14
PMCID: PMC3411492  PMID: 22817672
2.  Measuring the tail of the dog that doesn't bark in the night: the case of the national evaluation of Choose Life (the national strategy and action plan to prevent suicide in Scotland) 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:146.
Background
Learning about the impact of public health policy presents significant challenges for evaluators. These include the nebulous and organic nature of interventions ensuing from policy directives, the tension between long-term goals and short-term interventions, the appropriateness of establishing control groups, and the problems of providing an economic perspective. An example of contemporary policy that has recently been subject to evaluation is the first phase of the innovative Scottish strategy for suicide prevention (Choose Life).
Discussion and summary
This paper discusses how challenges, such as those above, were made manifest within this programme. After a brief summary of the overarching approach taken to evaluating the first phase of Choose Life, this paper then offers a set of recommendations for policymakers and evaluators on how learning from a second phase might be augmented. These recommendations are likely to have general resonance across a range of policy evaluations as they move from early planning and implementation to more mature phases.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-146
PMCID: PMC1937000  PMID: 17617891

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