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1.  Social firms as a means of vocational recovery for people with mental illness: a UK survey 
Background
Employment is associated with better quality of life and wellbeing in people with mental illness. Unemployment is associated with greater levels of psychological illness and is viewed as a core part of the social exclusion faced by people with mental illness. Social Firms offer paid employment to people with mental illness but are under-investigated in the UK. The aims of this phase of the Social Firms A Route to Recovery (SoFARR) project were to describe the availability and spread of Social Firms across the UK, to outline the range of opportunities Social Firms offer people with severe mental illness and to understand the extent to which they are employed within these firms.
Method
A UK national survey of Social Firms, other social enterprises and supported businesses was completed to understand the extent to which they provide paid employment for the mentally ill. A study-specific questionnaire was developed. It covered two broad areas asking employers about the nature of the Social Firm itself and about the employees with mental illness working there.
Results
We obtained returns from 76 Social Firms and social enterprises / supported businesses employing 692 people with mental illness. Forty per cent of Social Firms were in the south of England, 24% in the North and the Midlands, 18% in Scotland and 18% in Wales. Other social enterprises/supported businesses were similarly distributed. Trading activities were confined mainly to manufacturing, service industry, recycling, horticulture and catering. The number of employees with mental illness working in Social Firms and other social enterprises/supported businesses was small (median of 3 and 6.5 respectively). Over 50% employed people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, though the greatest proportion of employees with mental illness had depression or anxiety. Over two thirds of Social Firms liaised with mental health services and over a quarter received funding from the NHS or a mental health charity. Most workers with mental illness in Social Firms had been employed for over 2 years.
Conclusions
Social Firms have significant potential to be a viable addition to Individual Placement and Support (IPS), supporting recovery orientated services for people with the full range of mental disorders. They are currently an underdeveloped sector in the UK.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-270
PMCID: PMC3710483  PMID: 23844779
Employment; Recovery; Mental illness; Social firm; Social enterprise
2.  Cost-effectiveness of total hip arthroplasty versus resurfacing arthroplasty: economic evaluation alongside a clinical trial 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001162.
Objective
To report on the relative cost-effectiveness of total hip arthroplasty and resurfacing arthroplasty (replacement of articular surface of femoral head only) in patients with severe arthritis suitable for hip joint resurfacing arthroplasty.
Design
Cost-effectiveness analysis on an intention-to-treat basis of a single-centre, single-blind randomised controlled trial of 126 adult patients within 12 months of treatment. Missing data were imputed using multiple imputations with differences in baseline quality of life and gender adjusted using regression techniques.
Setting
A large teaching hospital trust in the UK.
Participants
A total of 126 adult patients with severe arthritis of the hip joint suitable for a resurfacing arthroplasty of the hip.
Results
Data were received for 126 patients, 4 of whom did not provide any resource use data. For the remainder, data were imputed for costs or quality of life in at least one time point (baseline, 3, 6 months and 1 year) for 18 patients. Patients in the resurfacing arm had higher quality of life at 12 months (0.795 vs 0.727) and received 0.032 more QALYs within the first 12 months postoperation. At an additional cost of £564, resurfacing arthroplasty offers benefits at £17 451 per QALY within the first 12 months of treatment. When covariates are considered, the health economic case is stronger in men than in women.
Conclusions
Resurfacing arthroplasty appears to offer very short-term efficiency benefits over total hip arthroplasty within a selected patient group. The short-term follow-up in this trial should be noted, particularly in light of the concerns raised regarding adverse reactions to metal debris from metal-on-metal bearing surfaces in the longer term. Longer-term follow-up of resurfacing arthroplasty patients and decision analytic modelling is also advised.
Trial registration
Current controlled Trials ISRCTN33354155. UKCRN 4093.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001162
PMCID: PMC3488749  PMID: 23065450
Orthopaedic & trauma surgery < SURGERY
3.  The Achilles tendon total rupture score: a study of responsiveness, internal consistency and convergent validity on patients with acute Achilles tendon ruptures 
Background
The Achilles tendon Total Rupture Score was developed by a research group in 2007 in response to the need for a patient reported outcome measure for this patient population. Beyond this original development paper, no further validation studies have been published.
Consequently the purpose of this study was to evaluate internal consistency, convergent validity and responsiveness of this newly developed patient reported outcome measure within patients who have sustained an isolated acute Achilles tendon rupture.
Methods
Sixty-four eligible patients with an acute rupture of their Achilles tendon completed the Achilles tendon Total Rupture Score alongside two further patient reported outcome measures (Disability Rating Index and EQ 5D). These were completed at baseline, six weeks, three months, six months and nine months post injury. The Achilles tendon Total Rupture Score was evaluated for internal consistency, using Cronbach's alpha, convergent validity, through correlation analysis and responsiveness, by analysing floor and ceiling effects and calculating its relative efficiency in comparison to the Disability Rating Index and EQ 5D scores.
Results
The Achilles tendon Total Rupture Score demonstrated high internal consistency (Cronbachs alpha > 0.8) and correlated significantly (p < 0.001) with the Disability Rating Index at five time points (pre-injury, six weeks, three, six and nine months) with correlation coefficients between -0.5 and -0.9. However, the confidence intervals were wide. Furthermore, the ability of the new score to detect clinically important changes over time (responsiveness) was shown to be greater than the Disability Rating Index and EQ 5D.
Conclusions
A universally accepted outcome measure is imperative to allow comparisons to be made across practice. This is the first study to evaluate aspects of validity of this newly developed outcome measure, outside of the developing centre. The ATRS demonstrated high internal consistency and responsiveness, with limited convergent validity. This research provides further support for the use of this outcome measure, however further research is required to advocate its universal use in patients with acute Achilles tendon ruptures. Such areas include inter-rater reliability and research to determine the minimally clinically important difference between scores.
All authors have read and concur with the content of this manuscript. The material presented has not been and will not be submitted for publication elsewhere, except as an abstract. All authors have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content and (3) final approval of the submitted version. This research has been funded by Arthritis Research UK, no conflicts of interests have been declared by the authors.
Kind Regards
Rebecca Kearney (corresponding author)
Research Physiotherapist
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-10-24
PMCID: PMC3305449  PMID: 22376047
Achilles tendon; Rupture; Questionnaires; Treatment Outcome
4.  A statistical framework for quantifying clinical equipoise for individual cases during randomized controlled surgical trials 
Trials  2011;12:258.
Background
Randomised controlled trials are being increasingly used to evaluate new surgical interventions. There are a number of problematic methodological issues specific to surgical trials, the most important being identifying whether patients are eligible for recruitment into the trial. This is in part due to the diversity in practice patterns across institutions and the enormous range of available interventions that often leads to a low level of agreement between clinicians about both the value and the appropriate choice of intervention. We argue that a clinician should offer patients the option of recruitment into a trial, even if the clinician is not individually in a position of equipoise, if there is collective (clinical) equipoise amongst the wider clinical community about the effectiveness of a proposed intervention (the clinical equipoise principle). We show how this process can work using data collected from an ongoing trial of a surgical intervention.
Results
We describe a statistical framework for the assessment of uncertainty prior to patient recruitment to a clinical trial using a panel of expert clinical assessors and techniques for eliciting, pooling and modelling of expert opinions. The methodology is illustrated using example data from the UK Heel Fracture Trial. The statistical modelling provided results that were clear and simple to present to clinicians and showed how decisions regarding recruitment were influenced by both the collective opinion of the expert panel and the type of decision rule selected.
Conclusions
The statistical framework presented has potential to identify eligible patients and assist in the simplification of eligibility criteria which might encourage greater participation in clinical trials evaluating surgical interventions.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-12-258
PMCID: PMC3261829  PMID: 22166100
Equipoise; Randomised controlled trial; Surgery; Statistical model
5.  UNEQUAL RISK: COMBAT OCCUPATIONS IN THE VOLUNTEER MILITARY 
This study evaluates the characteristics of the men who served in the volunteer military in combat occupations. It examines whether these characteristics stem from supply-side or demand-side decisions, or reflect class bias. The findings suggest that, on the supply side, men who had greater academic abilities were more likely to go to college, thereby avoiding military service and the possibility of serving in a combat occupation. On the demand side, the armed forces were more likely to exclude men with lower academic abilities but were more likely to assign such men in the military to combat occupations. Net of the impacts of these supply-side and demand-side decisions, men who served in combat occupations still differed from those who did not in terms of their family background. The impact of family background was stronger on entering the military than on being assigned to combat occupations once in the military.
doi:10.1525/sop.2010.53.3.toc
PMCID: PMC3117469  PMID: 21691446
military; inequality; occupations
7.  Total hip arthroplasty versus resurfacing arthroplasty in the treatment of patients with arthritis of the hip joint: single centre, parallel group, assessor blinded, randomised controlled trial 
Objectives To compare the clinical and cost effectiveness of total hip arthroplasty with resurfacing arthroplasty in patients with severe arthritis of the hip.
Design Single centre, two arm, parallel group, assessor blinded, randomised controlled trial with 1:1 treatment allocation.
Setting One large teaching hospital in the United Kingdom.
Participants 126 patients older than 18 years with severe arthritis of the hip joint, suitable for resurfacing arthroplasty of the hip. Patients were excluded if they were considered to be unable to adhere to trial procedures or complete questionnaires.
Interventions Total hip arthroplasty (replacement of entire femoral head and neck); hip resurfacing arthroplasty (replacement of the articular surface of femoral head only, femoral neck remains intact). Both procedures replaced the articular surface of the acetabulum.
Main outcome measures Hip function at 12 months after surgery, assessed using the Oxford hip score and Harris hip score. Secondary outcomes were quality of life, disability rating, physical activity level, complications, and cost effectiveness.
Results 60 patients were randomly assigned to hip resurfacing arthroplasty and 66 to total hip arthroplasty. Intention to treat analysis showed no evidence for a difference in hip function between treatment groups at 12 months (t test, P=0.242 and P=0.070 for Oxford hip score and Harris hip score, respectively); 95% of follow-up data was available for analysis. Mean Oxford hip score was 40.4 (95% confidence interval 37.9 to 42.9) in the resurfacing group and 38.2 (35.3 to 41.0) in the total arthroplasty group (estimated treatment effect size 2.23 (−1.52 to 5.98)). Mean Harris hip score was 88.4 (84.4 to 92.4) in the resurfacing group and 82.3 (77.2 to 87.5) in the total arthroplasty group (6.04 (−0.51 to 12.58)). Although we saw no evidence of a difference, we cannot definitively exclude clinically meaningful differences in hip function in the short term. Overall complication rates did not differ between treatment groups (P=0.291). However, we saw more wound complications in the total arthroplasty group (P=0.056) and more thromboembolic events in the resurfacing group (P=0.049).
Conclusions No evidence of a difference in hip function was seen in patients with severe arthritis of the hip, one year after receiving a total hip arthroplasty versus resurfacing arthroplasty. The long term effects of these interventions remain uncertain.
Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN33354155, UKCRN 4093.
doi:10.1136/bmj.e2147
PMCID: PMC3330050  PMID: 22517930

Results 1-7 (7)