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1.  Intravascular device administration sets: replacement after standard versus prolonged use in hospitalised patients—a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial (The RSVP Trial) 
BMJ Open  2015;5(2):e007257.
Introduction
Vascular access devices (VADs), such as peripheral or central venous catheters, are vital across all medical and surgical specialties. To allow therapy or haemodynamic monitoring, VADs frequently require administration sets (AS) composed of infusion tubing, fluid containers, pressure-monitoring transducers and/or burettes. While VADs are replaced only when necessary, AS are routinely replaced every 3–4 days in the belief that this reduces infectious complications. Strong evidence supports AS use up to 4 days, but there is less evidence for AS use beyond 4 days. AS replacement twice weekly increases hospital costs and workload.
Methods and analysis
This is a pragmatic, multicentre, randomised controlled trial (RCT) of equivalence design comparing AS replacement at 4 (control) versus 7 (experimental) days. Randomisation is stratified by site and device, centrally allocated and concealed until enrolment. 6554 adult/paediatric patients with a central venous catheter, peripherally inserted central catheter or peripheral arterial catheter will be enrolled over 4 years. The primary outcome is VAD-related bloodstream infection (BSI) and secondary outcomes are VAD colonisation, AS colonisation, all-cause BSI, all-cause mortality, number of AS per patient, VAD time in situ and costs. Relative incidence rates of VAD-BSI per 100 devices and hazard rates per 1000 device days (95% CIs) will summarise the impact of 7-day relative to 4-day AS use and test equivalence. Kaplan-Meier survival curves (with log rank Mantel-Cox test) will compare VAD-BSI over time. Appropriate parametric or non-parametric techniques will be used to compare secondary end points. p Values of <0.05 will be considered significant.
Ethics and dissemination
Relevant ethical approvals have been received. CONSORT Statement recommendations will be used to guide preparation of any publication. Results will be presented at relevant conferences and sent to the major organisations with clinical practice guidelines for VAD care.
Trial registration number
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ACTRN 12610000505000).
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007257
PMCID: PMC4322194  PMID: 25649214
2.  Prevention and treatment of acute radiation-induced skin reactions: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:53.
Background
Radiation-induced skin reaction (RISR) is a common side effect that affects the majority of cancer patients receiving radiation treatment. RISR is often characterised by swelling, redness, pigmentation, fibrosis, and ulceration, pain, warmth, burning, and itching of the skin. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the effects of interventions which aim to prevent or manage RISR in people with cancer.
Methods
We searched the following databases up to November 2012: Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL (2012, Issue 11), MEDLINE (from 1946), EMBASE (from 1974), PsycINFO (from 1806), CINAHL (from 1981) and LILACS (from 1982). Randomized controlled trials evaluating interventions for preventing or managing RISR in cancer patients were included. The primary outcomes were development of RISR, and levels of RISR and symptom severity. Secondary outcomes were time taken to develop erythema or dry desquamation; quality of life; time taken to heal, a number of skin reaction and symptom severity measures; cost, participant satisfaction; ease of use and adverse effects. Where appropriate, we pooled results of randomized controlled trials using mean differences (MD) or odd ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results
Forty-seven studies were included in this review. These evaluated six types of interventions (oral systemic medications; skin care practices; steroidal topical therapies; non-steroidal topical therapies; dressings and other). Findings from two meta-analyses demonstrated significant benefits of oral Wobe-Mugos E for preventing RISR (OR 0.13 (95% CI 0.05 to 0.38)) and limiting the maximal level of RISR (MD -0.92 (95% CI -1.36 to -0.48)). Another meta-analysis reported that wearing deodorant does not influence the development of RISR (OR 0.80 (95% CI 0.47 to 1.37)).
Conclusions
Despite the high number of trials in this area, there is limited good, comparative research that provides definitive results suggesting the effectiveness of any single intervention for reducing RISR. More research is required to demonstrate the usefulness of a wide range of products that are being used for reducing RISR. Future efforts for reducing RISR severity should focus on promising interventions, such as Wobe-Mugos E and oral zinc.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-53
PMCID: PMC3909507  PMID: 24484999
Radiation induced skin reactions; Radiation dermatitis; Systematic review; Meta-analysis; Randomized controlled trials
3.  Impact on Caesarean section rates following injections of sterile water (ICARIS): a multicentre randomised controlled trial 
Background
Sterile water injections have been used as an effective intervention for the management of back pain during labour. The objective of the current research is to determine if sterile water injections, as an intervention for back pain in labour, will reduce the intrapartum caesarean section rate.
Methods/design
Design: A double blind randomised placebo controlled trial
Setting: Maternity hospitals in Australia
Participants: 1866 women in labour, ≥18 years of age who have a singleton pregnancy with a fetus in a cephalic presentation at term (between 37 + 0 and 41 + 6 weeks gestation), who assess their back pain as equal to or greater than seven on a visual analogue scale when requesting analgesia and able to provide informed consent.
Intervention: Participants will be randomised to receive either 0.1 to 0.3 millilitres of sterile water or a normal saline placebo via four intradermal injections into four anatomical points surrounding the Michaelis’ rhomboid over the sacral area. Two injections will be administered over the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS) and the remaining two at two centimetres posterior, and one centimetre medial to the PSIS respectively.
Main outcome measure:Proportion of women who have a caesarean section in labour.
Randomisation: Permuted blocks stratified by research site.
Blinding (masking):Double-blind trial in which participants, clinicians and research staff blinded to group assignment.
Funding:Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council
Trial registration:Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (No ACTRN12611000221954).
Discussion
Sterile water injections, which may have a positive effect on reducing the CS rate, have been shown to be a safe and simple analgesic suitable for most maternity settings. A procedure that could reduce intervention rates without adversely affecting safety for mother and baby would benefit Australian families and taxpayers and would reduce requirements for maternal operating theatre time. Results will have external validity, as the technique may be easily applied to maternity populations outside Australia. In summary, the results of this trial will contribute High level evidence on the impact of SWI on intrapartum CS rates and provide evidence of the analgesic effect of SWI on back pain.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-105
PMCID: PMC3651329  PMID: 23642147
Sterile water injection; Caesarean section rates; Back pain; Labour; Midwifery
4.  Development and validation of a pregnancy symptoms inventory 
Background
Physical symptoms are common in pregnancy and are predominantly associated with normal physiological changes. These symptoms have a social and economic cost, leading to absenteeism from work and additional medical interventions. There is currently no simple method for identifying common pregnancy related problems in the antenatal period. A validated tool, for use by pregnancy care providers would be useful. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a Pregnancy Symptoms Inventory for use by health professionals.
Methods
A list of symptoms was generated via expert consultation with health professionals. Focus groups were conducted with pregnant women. The inventory was tested for face validity and piloted for readability and comprehension. For test-re-test reliability, the tool was administered to the same women 2 to 3 days apart. Finally, midwives trialled the inventory for 1 month and rated its usefulness on a 10cm visual analogue scale (VAS).
Results
A 41-item Likert inventory assessing how often symptoms occurred and what effect they had, was developed. Individual item test re-test reliability was between .51 to 1, the majority (34 items) scoring ≥0.70. The top four “often” reported symptoms were urinary frequency (52.2%), tiredness (45.5%), poor sleep (27.5%) and back pain (19.5%). Among the women surveyed, 16.2% claimed to sometimes or often be incontinent. Referrals to the incontinence nurse increased > 8 fold during the study period.
Conclusions
The PSI provides a comprehensive inventory of pregnancy related symptoms, with a mechanism for assessing their effect on function. It was robustly developed, with good test re-test reliability, face validity, comprehension and readability. This provides a validated tool for assessing the impact of interventions in pregnancy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-3
PMCID: PMC3599678  PMID: 23324494
Checklist; Inventory; Pregnancy symptoms; Questionnaire; Survey
5.  A randomised non-inferiority controlled trial of a single versus a four intradermal sterile water injection technique for relief of continuous lower back pain during labour 
Background
Almost one third of women suffer continuous lower back pain during labour. Evidence from three systematic reviews demonstrates that sterile water injections (SWI) provide statistically and clinically significant pain relief in women experiencing continuous lower back pain during labour. The most effective technique to administer SWI is yet to be determined. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine if the single injection SWI technique is no less effective than the routinely used four injection SWI method in reducing continuous lower back pain during labour.
Methods/design
The trial protocol was developed in consultation with an interdisciplinary team of clinical researchers. We aim to recruit 319 women presenting at term, seeking analgesia for continuous severe lower back pain during labour. Participants will be recruited from two major maternity hospitals in Australia. Randomised participants are allocated to receive a four or single intradermal needle SWI technique. The primary outcome is the change in self-reported pain measured by visual analogue scale at baseline and thirty minutes post intervention. Secondary outcomes include VAS change scores at 10, 60, 90 and 120 min, analgesia use, mode of birth and maternal satisfaction.
Statistical analysis
Sample size was calculated to achieve 90% power at an alpha of 0.025 to detect a non-inferiority margin of ≤ 1 cm on the VAS, using a one-sided, two-sample t-test. Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics will be analysed for comparability between groups. Differences in primary (VAS pain score) and secondary outcomes between groups will be analysed by intention to treat and per protocol analysis using Student's t-test and ANOVA.
Conclusion
This study will determine if a single intradermal SWI technique is no less effective than the routinely used four injection technique for lower back pain during labour. The findings will allow midwives to offer women requesting SWI during labour an evidence-based alternative technique more easily administered by staff and accepted by labouring women.
Trial Registration
ACTRN12609000964213
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-11-21
PMCID: PMC3080350  PMID: 21429223
6.  Effects and feasibility of a multi-disciplinary orientation program for newly registered cancer patients: design of a randomised controlled trial 
Background
Diagnosis and treatment of cancer can contribute to psychological distress and anxiety amongst patients. Evidence indicates that information giving can be beneficial in reducing patient anxiety, so oncology specific information may have a major impact on this patient group. This study investigates the effects of an orientation program on levels of anxiety and self-efficacy amongst newly registered cancer patients who are about to undergo chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy in the cancer care centre of a large tertiary Australian hospital.
Methods
The concept of interventions for orienting new cancer patients needs revisiting due to the dynamic health care system. Historically, most orientation programs at this cancer centre were conducted by one nurse. A randomised controlled trial has been designed to test the effectiveness of an orientation program with bundled interventions; a face-to-face program which includes introduction to the hospital facilities, introduction to the multi-disciplinary team and an overview of treatment side effects and self care strategies. The aim is to orientate patients to the cancer centre and to meet the health care team. We hypothesize that patients who receive this orientation will experience lower levels of anxiety and distress, and a higher level of self-efficacy.
Discussion
An orientation program is a common health care service provided by cancer care centres for new cancer patients. Such programs aim to give information to patients at the beginning of their encounter at a cancer care centre. It is clear in the literature that interventions that aim to improve self-efficacy in patients may demonstrate potential improvement in health outcomes. Yet, evidence on the effects of orientation programs for cancer patients on self-efficacy remains scarce, particularly with respect to the use of multidisciplinary team members. This paper presents the design of a randomised controlled trial that will evaluate the effects and feasibility of a multidisciplinary orientation program for new cancer patients.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ACTRN12609000018213
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-203
PMCID: PMC2781003  PMID: 19906312
7.  Routine care of peripheral intravenous catheters versus clinically indicated replacement: randomised controlled trial 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2008;337(7662):157-160.
Objective To compare routine replacement of intravenous peripheral catheters with replacement only when clinically indicated.
Design Randomised controlled trial.
Setting Tertiary hospital in Australia.
Participants 755 medical and surgical patients: 379 allocated to catheter replacement only when clinically indicated and 376 allocated to routine care of catheter (control group).
Main outcome measure A composite measure of catheter failure resulting from phlebitis or infiltration.
Results Catheters were removed because of phlebitis or infiltration from 123 of 376 (33%) patients in the control group compared with 143 of 379 (38%) patients in the intervention group; the difference was not significant (relative risk 1.15, 95% confidence interval 0.95 to 1.40). When the analysis was based on failure per 1000 device days (number of failures divided by number of days catheterised, divided by 1000), no difference could be detected between the groups (relative risk 0.98, 0.78 to 1.24). Infusion related costs were higher in the control group (mean $A41.02; £19.71; €24.80; $38.55) than intervention group ($A36.40). The rate of phlebitis in both groups was low (4% in intervention group, 3% in control group).
Conclusion Replacing peripheral intravenous catheters when clinically indicated has no effect on the incidence of failure, based on a composite measure of phlebitis or infiltration. Larger trials are needed to test this finding using phlebitis alone as a more clinically meaningful outcome.
Registration number Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12605000147684.
doi:10.1136/bmj.a339
PMCID: PMC2483870  PMID: 18614482
8.  Routine care of peripheral intravenous catheters versus clinically indicated replacement: randomised controlled trial 
Objective To compare routine replacement of intravenous peripheral catheters with replacement only when clinically indicated.
Design Randomised controlled trial.
Setting Tertiary hospital in Australia.
Participants 755 medical and surgical patients: 379 allocated to catheter replacement only when clinically indicated and 376 allocated to routine care of catheter (control group).
Main outcome measure A composite measure of catheter failure resulting from phlebitis or infiltration.
Results Catheters were removed because of phlebitis or infiltration from 123 of 376 (33%) patients in the control group compared with 143 of 379 (38%) patients in the intervention group; the difference was not significant (relative risk 1.15, 95% confidence interval 0.95 to 1.40). When the analysis was based on failure per 1000 device days (number of failures divided by number of days catheterised, divided by 1000), no difference could be detected between the groups (relative risk 0.98, 0.78 to 1.24). Infusion related costs were higher in the control group (mean $A41.02; £19.71; €24.80; $38.55) than intervention group ($A36.40). The rate of phlebitis in both groups was low (4% in intervention group, 3% in control group).
Conclusion Replacing peripheral intravenous catheters when clinically indicated has no effect on the incidence of failure, based on a composite measure of phlebitis or infiltration. Larger trials are needed to test this finding using phlebitis alone as a more clinically meaningful outcome.
Registration number Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12605000147684.
doi:10.1136/bmj.a339
PMCID: PMC2483870  PMID: 18614482

Results 1-8 (8)