22 April 2015

Implementing human factors in clinical practice

This open access article in the  Emergency Medicine Journal looks at whether aviation-derived human factors training is acceptable and useful to healthcare professionals. To understand whether and how healthcare professionals have been able to implement human factors approaches to patient safety in their own area of clinical practice.

The method used was a qualitative, longitudinal study using semi-structured interviews and focus groups, of a multi professional group of UK NHS staff (from the emergency department and operating theatres) who have received aviation-derived human factors training.

Timmons, Stephen [et al]. (2015) Implementing human factorsin clinical practice. Emergency Medicine Journal, 32(5), 368-372

Understanding excess body weight: report

Obesity is New Zealand’s leading modifiable risk factor for health loss as it is in Australia.
 A number of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, ischaemic stroke and some cancers, are associated with excess body weight. Health loss can lead to premature death; life expectancy for the extremely obese is shortened by 8 to 10 years.

This NZ publication explores the increase in obesity over a 36 year period to 2013 and investigates the impact of obesity on different birth cohorts. It reviews the current status of adult and child obesity in New Zealand, looking at the population groups that are affected most. The report also looks at the prevalence of extreme obesity, where health impacts on individuals are likely to be most pronounced.

Understanding excess body weight: New Zealand Health Survey. Hilary Sharpe, Sarah Bradbury;  Ministry of Health (New Zealand) Government of New Zealand. 16 April 2015 

Frailty: Age and Ageing Virtual Issue

This free Virtual Issue gathers together selected frailty publications from the Age and Ageing journal. It covers many of the main issues including describing the condition conceptually, reporting its epidemiology, contrasting different options for clinical assessment, detailing the adverse outcomes of frailty in older subjects, and lastly and perhaps most importantly providing insights into what interventions might improve outcomes for frail older subjects (and their carers).

Age and Ageing Virtual Issue: Frailty

Readers’ Favorite Online Health Stories

The US National Institute of Health has released  the 5 most-viewed Web articles in recent years as the popular NIH News in Health celebrates 10 years of sharing reliable information. Some topics are consistently popular, viewed by hundreds or thousands of people month after month on the NIH News in Health website

Autism virtual issue

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 68 children have an ASD diagnosis, with the prevalence in males being nearly five times more likely than females.

You can read and share some of the recently published research on this disorder in the special, free Virtual Issue on Autism.  The articles are taken from the 
Wiley Neurology & Neuroscience portfolios. 

OzHealth app

The OzHealth App is a condensed version of the biennial health report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). It is the most comprehensive and authoritative source of national statistics and information on the health of all Australians.
 Features include:

  • Fact sheet format exploring different topics
  • User favourites page, enabling easy access to topics of interest
  • Interactive quiz, allowing users to test their knowledge
  • Detailed glossary 
  • Info about AIHW
  • Links to the AIHW website and other relevant websites

Search the App store under the Education section for OzHealth or click here.   

16 April 2015

Addressing the mental health and wellbeing of LGBT Australians

The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at LaTrobe University has just published a report, A closer look at private lives 2: addressing the mental health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) AustraliansBased on a national survey of almost 4000 people, the report reveals strong links between psychological distress and drug use among LGBT Australians.

Exercise after prostate cancer

Professor Trish Livingston from Deakin University has been undertaking research with her colleagues about the benefit of exercise programs for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.  With around 20,000 diagnosed cases each year in Australia, this study has important implications for maintaining quality of life for these men.  Read about the study and the benefits of exercise physiology in The Conversation article published today, A prescription for better health: exercise after prostate cancer

The full study was also published today in the journal Cancer: Effects of a clinician referral and exercise program for men who have completed active treatment for prostate cancer: a multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial (ENGAGE). One group of clinicians referred their clients to a twelve week exercise program, while another group followed normal care regimes.  "The clinician referral and 12-week exercise program significantly improved vigorous exercise levels and had a positive impact on mental health outcomes for men living with prostate cancer".  he article is available freely on open access. 

Fatal burden of disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2010

This is the second report in the Australian Burden of Disease Study series. It provides estimates of fatal burden for 2010 for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population as well as estimates of the gap in fatal burden between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Injuries and cardiovascular diseases contributed the most fatal burden for Indigenous Australians (22% and 21% respectively), followed by cancer (17%). Subsequent reports in this series will provide estimates of the non-fatal burden and the contribution of various risk factors to disease burden in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

09 April 2015

Advance care planning in palliative care

Two open access articles in the latest issue of Australian Health Review (Volume 39, no.2, 2015) have addressed this topic.

Advance care planning in palliative care: a national survey of health professionals and service managerby Marcus Sellars , William Silvester , Malcolm Masso and Claire E. Johnson, aimed to identify the attitudes, knowledge and practices regarding ACP in palliative care by means of a survey. The results demonstrated that there "is a need to improve systems to support ACP and to understand circumstances in which ACP wishes are not followed."

Palliative care health professionals’ experiences of caring for patients with advance care directives by Claire E. Johnson et al, further examined this topic by another open survey. Results here indicated that advance care planning benefits health professionals, patients and their family. "To maximise these benefits, ACDs need to be clear, comprehensive, medically relevant and transportable documents."

Social and cultural determinants of mental health

The social and cultural determinants of mental health: Collective responsibilities, individualism, austerity and entitlements consists of five essays from the Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition.  They look at mental health from various perspectives.  The winning essay was written by El Gibbs and is titled, "A place to call home: housing security and mental health".  Runners up were Malcolm Forbes, a medical registrar and researcher; medical writer Olivia Hibbitt; poet Sandy Jeffs and sociologist Margaret Leggatt; and Stephen Wright, a writer and counsellor. 

The compilation was recently published by the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, and is available freely online.

Physician attitudes about reporting medical errors to patients

A study published in the Journal of Patient Safety examined doctors' attitudes about open and transparent disclosure with both patients and their peers following adverse events.  Over 3000 American and Canadian physicians were surveyed and it was found that younger females were most likely to be transparent.

Transparency When Things Go Wrong: Physician Attitudes About Reporting Medical Errors to Patients, Peers, and Institutions
Bell SK, White AA, Yi JC, Yi-Frazier JP, Gallagher TH.  Journal of Patient Safety. 2015 Feb 24.

Causes of Death, Australia, 2013

This Australian Bureau of Statistics publication contains statistics on causes of death for Australia, together with selected statistics on perinatal deaths.
Although there is variation across jurisdictions in what constitutes a death that is reportable to a coroner, they are generally reported in circumstances such as:
  • where the person died unexpectedly and the cause of death is unknown
  • where the person died in a violent or unnatural manner
  • where the person died during or as a result of an anaesthetic
  • where the person was 'held in care' or in custody immediately before they died
  • where the identity of the person who has died is unknown.

Better Care- always room for improvement.

It has been noted that better care tends to be found in services tha“acknowledge there is always room for improvement – they are proactive, seeking feedback on their services and learning from concerns and complaints".
This report from the English Care Quality Commission (CQC) examines what underpins high quality care. It includes short case studies illustrating some of the qualities shown by care providers that have been rated good or outstanding overall. It also shares the views of some people responsible for care quality and what they have done to drive improvement.
The CQC note that three themes have emerged as drivers of better quality of care:
  • Care is person-centred, designed around the individual and includes their involvement.
  • The importance of the line-of-sight from senior leadership to the frontline staff and services.
  • Good care includes the provider checking on how well they are doing.

Head and Neck Cancer free virtual issues

April is head and neck cancer awareness month and according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, more than 55,000 Americans will develop cancer of the head and neck this year; resulting in nearly 13,000 deaths. 
Wiley has selected a number of relevant  articles from their Oncology and Otolaryngology journal titles and created 2 free virtual issues.
 Wiley Oncology Head and Neck Cancer virtual issue.

Wiley Otolaryngology Head and Neck Cancer virtual issue.