29 July 2014

Prostate cancer detection and diagnosis

It is now universally recognized that many prostate cancers are over-diagnosed and over-treated. The European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer from 2009 evidenced that, to save one man from death from prostate cancer, over 1400 men need to be screened, and 48 need to undergo treatment. A recent journal article looks at the techniques which allow for improved detection, characterization and staging of focal prostate cancer.
You can read this article from the journal NMR in Biomedicine for free.

Problem drinking in older adults

Late-life problems with alcohol can result from life events that commonly occur with age. Boredom after retirement or loneliness after the death of a spouse are just two reasons why a person might start drinking later in life. 
In general, older adults don't drink as much as younger people, but they can still have trouble with drinking.  The National Institute for Health has produced a short video on their site to learn about later-life problems with alcohol and other causes of late-onset drinking.   

Watch the video, read the topic review and check the quiz here. 

Advanced Breast Cancer

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK has updated the guideline "Advanced breast cancer : Diagnosis and treatment" with a number of recommendations

Click here to read the full guideline. 

24 July 2014

Thrombolysis for acute deep vein thrombosis

A recent publication in the Cochrane Library is the review on Thrombolysis for acute deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a major health problem, affecting up to one in 20 people during their lifetime. Symptoms include pain, swelling, discolouration, and ulceration; all of which cause suffering to the patient and can add to the health and care costs.
This review brings together evidence from 17 randomised trials on the benefits and harms of thrombolysis for DVT, with a total of 1103 participants.

Bullying App for Remote Health Care Workers

"Bullying is rife throughout workplaces, particularly in the health care sector. A new bullying app has been designed to help nurses and allied health care professionals regardless of where they work", writes Karen Keast. Bullying at work can eradicate your self-esteem and make you feel under-valued, scared, stressed, anxious and depressed. Health care workers working remote locations lack support which can affect their choice of staying on in the workplace in a remote area. 

The CRANAplus Bush Support Services (BSS) bullying app assists health professionals to identify bullying in a remote health workplace and outlines when they should seek help.  It is freely available to download on apple and android devices.

Sleep Apnoea / Sleep-disordered Breathing and Heart Failure

Cover image for Vol. 16 Issue 7The European Journal of Heart Failure (EJHF) has published a freely available virtual issue titled Sleep Apnoea / Sleep-disordered Breathing and Heart FailureThe issue is compiled of a collection of articles from EJHF spanning the prognostic impact, associations with other symptoms, and treatment of sleep apnoea in heart failure patients.

Also published are the Guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure: Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure .

The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2013/14

 TheConcise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2013/14 published by the British Journal of Pharmacology is freely available online. This invaluable resource provides overviews of the key properties of over 2,000 human drug targets with their pharmacology, plus links to an open access knowledge base of drug targets and their ligands. 

This compilation of the major pharmacological targets is divided into seven areas of focus: G protein-coupled receptors, ligand-gated ion channels, ion channels, catalytic receptors, nuclear hormone receptors, transporters and enzymes. These are presented with nomenclature guidance and summary information on the best available pharmacological tools, alongside key references and suggestions for further reading.  

Chronic Kidney Disease Guideline

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has updated its clinical guideline on chronic kidney disease (CKD) to include new recommendations on the diagnosis and classification of the condition, and on its relationship with acute kidney injury. As the disease carries no symptoms it can often be hard to diagnose.Early diagnosis of CKD is important as it can help lower the risk of morbidity, mortality and associated healthcare costs. NICE now recommends that CKD should be classified using a combination of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and albumin:creatinine ratios (ACR) categories.

21 July 2014

Social Media: The pitfalls and the potential

This article in the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal discusses the usefulness of social media using examples of Australian nursing blogger and twitter user Tara Nipe, and American nurse Brittney Wilson ( It also discusses the problems with social media, such as invading patient privacy by photographing them using smart phones, becoming friends with patients on Facebook and discussing workplaces or placing testimonials online.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has released policies on social media as has the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF). ANMF has also developed fact sheets on 'Social Media and Online Networking' and 'Advertising for Nurses and Midwives'.

This article is freely available to MNCLHD staff via the Library E-Journal link.Social Media: The pitfalls and the potential; Douglas, Kara. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal22(1) (Jul 2014): 24-28.  

Quality of Life in Women With Breast Cancer and the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Recently published in the journal Holistic Nursing Practice is an article on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among women with breast cancer, and how this can affect their quality of life (QOL). The most common complementary and alternative methods were praying, exercise, and herbs use. Patients with breast cancer are known to use CAM methods to gain physical and psychological relief, to reduce the side effects of the disease, and to prevent the formation of cancer again.
This article is freely available to those with CIAP access, otherwise check with your Library.

Quality of Life in Women With Breast Cancer and the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Holistic Nursing Practice. Volume 28(4), July/August 2014, p 258–264

Safe staffing guideline

The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released their latest guidance, NICE Safe staffing guideline [SG1].
This guideline covers safe staffing for nursing in adult inpatient wards in acute hospitals. It recommends a systematic approach at ward level to ensure that patients receive the nursing care they need, regardless of the ward to which they are allocated, the time of the day, or the day of the week.
The guideline identifies organisational and managerial factors that are required to support safe staffing for nursing, and makes recommendations for monitoring and taking action if there are not enough nursing staff available to meet the nursing needs of patients on the ward.

The Great Brain Experiment

A team of neuroscientists from the Wellcome Trust Centre of Neuroimaging  in the UK used Wellcome Trust funding to create a smartphone app that allows people to play games while contributing to science. The Great Brain Experiment has shown that mobile apps could be a useful source of data collection. The idea is to take the psychology experiments done every day in the lab and turn them into mobile games.

The results published demonstrate that the games reproduced established laboratory findings related to short-term memory, decision-making, inhibition and perception, despite not being conducted in the controlled environment of the laboratory.

A year after the launch of  the free app, the findings and data from over 60,000 people have been returned and this week the initial findings have been published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE

Australia's medical indemnity claims 2012-13

This report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare published July 2014 presents data on the number, nature and costs of public sector and private sector medical indemnity claims for 2012–13 in the context of claims data from the previous 4 years. Claims arise from allegations of negligence or breach of duty of care by health-care practitioners during the delivery of health services.
The number of new public sector claims was less in 2012-13 (about 950) than any of the previous 4 years (1,200-1,400) while the number of closed public sector claims was higher (about 1,500) compared with the previous 4 years (1,100-1,400).
Australia's medical indemnity claims 2012-13                                

National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2013: key findings

This recent report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare refers to survey findings and information collected by The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS). Data on alcohol and tobacco consumption, and illicit drug use among the general population in Australia has been compiled and it also surveys people's attitudes and perceptions relating to tobacco, alcohol and other drug use. The NDSHS is conducted every three years and the AIHW has been collating and reporting on these surveys since 1998.  
National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2013: key findings

Pain Management Research Review

Below are the issues covered in the latest issue of Pain Management Research Review. You can register for free at Australian Research Review to receive the full text of the topics below and links to the relevant journal articles. Other topics covered on the site include cardiology, psychiatry, neurology and paediatrics etc.
  • UK pathway for initial assessment and management of pain
  • Glucocorticoids for neuropathic pain: emphasis on intrathecal methylprednisolone
  • Topical treatment of microvascular dysfunction of chronic postischaemic pain
  • Procedure-specific risk factors for severe postoperative pain
  • Pain after adenoidectomy and adenotonsillectomy in children
  • Risk factors for cement leakage during percutaneous vertebroplasty
  • Osteoprotegerin as biomarker for impaired bone metabolism in CRPS
  • Dexketoprofen for migraine attacks
  • Long- vs. short-acting opioids for chronic nonmalignant pain
  • Epidural particulate vs. nonparticulate steroid for lumbar disc hernia pain