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1.  Effects of Patient Empowerment Programme (PEP) on Clinical Outcomes and Health Service Utilization in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Primary Care: An Observational Matched Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95328.
To evaluate the effects of a large population-based patient empowerment programme (PEP) on clinical outcomes and health service utilization rates in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients in the primary care setting.
Research Design and Subjects
A stratified random sample of 1,141 patients with T2DM enrolled to PEP between March and September 2010 were selected from general outpatient clinics (GOPC) across Hong Kong and compared with an equal number of T2DM patients who had not participated in the PEP (non-PEP group) matched by age, sex and HbA1C level group.
Clinical outcomes of HbA1c, SBP, DBP and LDL-C levels, and health service utilization rates including numbers of visits to GOPC, specialist outpatient clinics (SOPC), emergency department (ED) and inpatient admissions, were measured at baseline and at 12-month post-recruitment. The effects of PEP on clinical outcomes and health service utilization rates were assessed by the difference-in-difference estimation, using the generalized estimating equation models.
Compared with non-PEP group, PEP group achieved additional improvements in clinical outcomes over the 12-month period. A significantly greater percentage of patients in the PEP group attained HbA1C≤7% or LDL-C≤2.6 mmol/L at 12-month follow-up compared with the non-PEP group. PEP group had a mean 0.813 fewer GOPC visits in comparison with the non-PEP group.
PEP was effective in improving the clinical outcomes and reduced the general outpatient clinic utilization rate over a 12-month period. Empowering T2DM patients on self-management of their disease can enhance the quality of diabetes care in primary care.
Trial Registration NCT01935349
PMCID: PMC4006782  PMID: 24788804
2.  Screening for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: an information statement by the scoliosis research society international task force 
Scoliosis  2013;8:17.
Routine screening of scoliosis is a controversial subject and screening efforts vary greatly around the world.
Consensus was sought among an international group of experts (seven spine surgeons and one clinical epidemiologist) using a modified Delphi approach. The consensus achieved was based on careful analysis of a recent critical review of the literature on scoliosis screening, performed using a conceptual framework of analysis focusing on five main dimensions: technical, clinical, program, cost and treatment effectiveness.
A consensus was obtained in all five dimensions of analysis, resulting in 10 statements and recommendations. In summary, there is scientific evidence to support the value of scoliosis screening with respect to technical efficacy, clinical, program and treatment effectiveness, but there insufficient evidence to make a statement with respect to cost effectiveness. Scoliosis screening should be aimed at identifying suspected cases of scoliosis that will be referred for diagnostic evaluation and confirmed, or ruled out, with a clinically significant scoliosis. The scoliometer is currently the best tool available for scoliosis screening and there is moderate evidence to recommend referral with values between 5 degrees and 7 degrees. There is moderate evidence that scoliosis screening allows for detection and referral of patients at an earlier stage of the clinical course, and there is low evidence suggesting that scoliosis patients detected by screening are less likely to need surgery than those who did not have screening. There is strong evidence to support treatment by bracing.
This information statement by an expert panel supports scoliosis screening in 4 of the 5 domains studied, using a framework of analysis which includes all of the World Health Organisation criteria for a valid screening procedure.
PMCID: PMC3835138  PMID: 24171910
3.  Physical activity for cancer survivors: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials 
Objective To systematically evaluate the effects of physical activity in adult patients after completion of main treatment related to cancer.
Design Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials with data extraction and quality assessment performed independently by two researchers.
Data sources Pubmed, CINAHL, and Google Scholar from the earliest possible year to September 2011. References from meta-analyses and reviews.
Study selection Randomised controlled trials that assessed the effects of physical activity in adults who had completed their main cancer treatment, except hormonal treatment.
Results There were 34 randomised controlled trials, of which 22 (65%) focused on patients with breast cancer, and 48 outcomes in our meta-analysis. Twenty two studies assessed aerobic exercise, and four also included resistance or strength training. The median duration of physical activity was 13 weeks (range 3-60 weeks). Most control groups were considered sedentary or were assigned no exercise. Based on studies on patients with breast cancer, physical activity was associated with improvements in insulin-like growth factor-I, bench press, leg press, fatigue, depression, and quality of life. When we combined studies on different types of cancer, we found significant improvements in body mass index (BMI), body weight, peak oxygen consumption, peak power output, distance walked in six minutes, right handgrip strength, and quality of life. Sources of study heterogeneity included age, study quality, study size, and type and duration of physical activity. Publication bias did not alter our conclusions.
Conclusions Physical activity has positive effects on physiology, body composition, physical functions, psychological outcomes, and quality of life in patients after treatment for breast cancer. When patients with cancer other than breast cancer were also included, physical activity was associated with reduced BMI and body weight, increased peak oxygen consumption and peak power output, and improved quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3269661  PMID: 22294757
4.  Psychometric evaluation of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale in a large community sample of adolescents in Hong Kong 
Quality of Life Research  2010;19(6):865-873.
The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) is widely used in adult populations; however, its usefulness with adolescents has been explored less. This study sought to evaluate the reliability, validity, and factor structure of the Chinese version of HADS in a community sample of adolescents residing in Hong Kong.
A prospective cohort of 5,857 students recruited from 17 secondary schools completed the HADS. Internal consistency and concurrent validity were examined. Confirmatory factor analysis was applied to test the relative fits of six factor structures of the HADS. The best fitting model was further cross-validated by male, female, split-half samples, and age subgroups.
The HADS possessed adequate internal consistency, especially for the anxiety subscale. Significant concurrent intercorrelations with self-reported suicidal thoughts and the Youth Self Report Anxious/Depressed subscale were discovered and found to be stronger for females. The cross-validation supported a two-factor model, where anxiety item 7, “I can sit at ease and feel relaxed”, was placed in the depression subscale.
The HADS showed satisfactory psychometric properties as a screening instrument in assessing anxious and depressive states as two correlated but distinct factors in adolescents. Study implications and recommendations for future research were discussed.
PMCID: PMC2892613  PMID: 20373037
Psychometric properties; HADS; Anxiety; Depression; Adolescent
5.  Transcript AA454543 Is a Novel Prognostic Marker for Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Curative Partial Hepatectomy1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2005;7(2):91-98.
We have previously reported on the cDNA microarray gene expression profiles of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). Among the genes that show prognostic significance and are overexpressed in tumor compared with adjacent nontumorous liver, transcript AA454543 may have potential for practical use. Our aim is to validate the prognostic significance of transcript AA454543 by alternative research methods and in a separate group of HCC patients.
The data of transcript AA454543 derived from microarray analysis of 48 patients having curative partial hepatectomy (group 1) were verified by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (r = 0.618, P < .001). A separate sample set of HCCs obtained from 53 patients (group 2) was examined and the association of AA454543 expression level with overall survival was again validated (P = .027). By Cox regression analysis, transcript AA454543 [hazard ratio (HR) = 3.0, P = .017] and pathologic tumor node metastasis (pTNM) stage (HR = 3.3, P = .010) were independent prognostic factors for overall survival. The accuracy of prediction for 3-year overall survival for transcript AA454543 (74.2%, P = .001) and pTNM stage (76.4%, P = .001) was comparable as measured by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve.
Transcript AA454543 is a potentially useful molecular prognostic marker for overall survival after curative partial hepatectomy for HCC.
PMCID: PMC1501123  PMID: 15810144
AA454543; overall survival; liver cancer; gene expression; prognosis

Results 1-5 (5)