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Healthcare, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2016)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Healthcare in 2015
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 12; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010012
Received: 22 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 22 January 2016
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Abstract
The editors of Healthcare would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Shortening a Patient Experiences Survey for Medical Homes
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 1; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010001
Received: 22 May 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 11 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
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Abstract
The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems—Patient-Centered Medical Home (CAHPS PCMH) Survey assesses patient experiences reflecting domains of care related to general patient experience (access to care, communication with providers, office staff interaction, provider rating) and PCMH-specific aspects of patient care (comprehensiveness
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The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems—Patient-Centered Medical Home (CAHPS PCMH) Survey assesses patient experiences reflecting domains of care related to general patient experience (access to care, communication with providers, office staff interaction, provider rating) and PCMH-specific aspects of patient care (comprehensiveness of care, self-management support, shared decision making). The current work compares psychometric properties of the current survey and a proposed shortened version of the survey (from 52 to 26 adult survey items, from 66 to 31 child survey items). The revisions were based on initial psychometric analysis and stakeholder input regarding survey length concerns. A total of 268 practices voluntarily submitted adult surveys and 58 submitted child survey data to the National Committee for Quality Assurance in 2013. Mean unadjusted scores, practice-level item and composite reliability, and item-to-scale correlations were calculated. Results show that the shorter adult survey has lower reliability, but still it still meets general definitions of a sound survey for the adult version, and resulted in few changes to mean scores. The impact was more problematic for the pediatric version. Further testing is needed to investigate approaches to improving survey response and the relevance of survey items in informing quality improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Measuring and Improving Patient Care Experiences)
Open AccessArticle A Tale of Two Sites: Lessons on Leadership from the Implementation of a Long-term Care Delivery Model (CDM) in Western Canada
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 3; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010003
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 13 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
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Abstract
Residential, long-term care serves vulnerable older adults in a facility-based environment. A new care delivery model (CDM) designed to promote more equitable care for residents was implemented in a health region in Western Canada. Leaders and managers faced challenges in implementing this model
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Residential, long-term care serves vulnerable older adults in a facility-based environment. A new care delivery model (CDM) designed to promote more equitable care for residents was implemented in a health region in Western Canada. Leaders and managers faced challenges in implementing this model alongside other concurrent changes. This paper explores the question: How did leadership style influence team functioning with the implementation of the CDM? Qualitative data from interviews with leadership personnel (directors and managers, residential care coordinators and clinical nurse educators), and direct care staff (registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, health care aides, and allied health therapists), working in two different facilities comprise the main sources of data for this study. The findings reveal that leaders with a servant leadership style were better able to create and sustain the conditions to support successful model implementation and higher team functioning, compared to a facility in which the leadership style was less inclusive and proactive, and more resistant to the change. Consequently, staff at the second facility experienced a greater sense of overload with the implementation of the CDM. This study concludes that strong leadership is key to facilitating team work and job satisfaction in a context of change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing Care of the Older Adult)
Open AccessArticle Relationships between Paraspinal Muscle Activity and Lumbar Inter-Vertebral Range of Motion
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 4; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010004
Received: 2 December 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 5 January 2016
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Abstract
Control of the lumbar spine requires contributions from both the active and passive sub-systems. Identifying interactions between these systems may provide insight into the mechanisms of low back pain. However, as a first step it is important to investigate what is normal. The
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Control of the lumbar spine requires contributions from both the active and passive sub-systems. Identifying interactions between these systems may provide insight into the mechanisms of low back pain. However, as a first step it is important to investigate what is normal. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between the lumbar inter-vertebral range of motion and paraspinal muscle activity during weight-bearing flexion in healthy controls using quantitative fluoroscopy (QF) and surface electromyography (sEMG). Contemporaneous lumbar sEMG and QF motion sequences were recorded during controlled active flexion of 60° using electrodes placed over Longissimus thoracis pars thoracis (TES), Longissimus thoracis pars lumborum (LES), and Multifidus (LMU). Normalised root mean square (RMS) sEMG amplitude data were averaged over five epochs, and the change in amplitude between epochs was calculated. The sEMG ratios of LMU/LES LMU/TES and LES/TES were also determined. QF was used to measure the maximum inter-vertebral range of motion from L2-S1, and correlation coefficients were calculated between sEMG amplitude variables and these measurements. Intra- and inter-session sEMG amplitude repeatability was also assessed for all three paraspinal muscles. The sEMG amplitude measurements were highly repeatable, and sEMG amplitude changes correlated significantly with L4-5 and L5-S1 IV-RoMmax (r = −0.47 to 0.59). The sEMG amplitude ratio of LES/TES also correlated with L4-L5 IV-RoMmax (r = −0.53). The relationships found may be important when considering rehabilitation for low back pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Back Pain: Recent Advances And Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle Identification of Predictors for Weight Reduction in Children and Adolescents with Overweight and Obesity (IDA-Insel Survey)
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 5; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010005
Received: 29 April 2015 / Revised: 4 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 7 January 2016
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Abstract
Introduction: Worldwide, overweight and obesity are known as posing serious health risks. Successful methods of prevention and therapy for overweight and obesity have remained elusive. It was the aim of the present trial to identify parameters and determinants to guarantee long-term weight
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Introduction: Worldwide, overweight and obesity are known as posing serious health risks. Successful methods of prevention and therapy for overweight and obesity have remained elusive. It was the aim of the present trial to identify parameters and determinants to guarantee long-term weight reduction. Patients and methods: In total 143/159 children and adolescents (90%) with overweight and obesity completed the prospective, multicenter trial (age 13.9 ± 2.4 years, BMI 31.2 ± 5.4 kg/m2, BMI-SDS 2.51 ± 0.57). During a six-week rehabilitation patients participated in a structured treatment and teaching program (STTP). Following the inpatient treatment the children and adolescents were monitored over a period of 24 months (physical examination, measurements of BMI, BMI-SDS, body composition, carotid intima-media thickness, laboratory parameters, blood pressure, and standardized questionnaires to assess socio-demographic, socio-economic parameters, eating behavior, well-being, quality of life, intelligence, intrafamilial conflicts, self-efficacy, resilience, sense of coherence, stress-management, social support, and actual body shape). Results: 66% of the children and adolescents showed non-normal laboratory parameters as well as higher blood pressure and/or an increased carotid intima-media thickness. Mean thickness of carotid intima-media was 0.53 ± 0.09 mm (range, 0.40–0.80); 15% of the patients showed a normal range (<0.45 mm), 40% slightly elevated (0.45–0.50 mm) and 45% an elevated (>0.50 mm) thickness. After an inpatient treatment lasting 40.4 ± 4.1 (range, 28–49) days, children and adolescents reached a mean weight reduction of 5.52 ± 3.94 (0.4–13.3) kg (p < 0.01) accompanied by a reduction of body fat mass. Performing multivariate analyses, the most important psychological factors associated with long-term weight reduction were identified (R-square = 0.53): Well-being (β = −0.543), resilience (β = 0.434) and intrafamilial conflicts (β = 0.315). Conclusion: The different parameters (i.e., resilience, intrafamilial conflicts, structured daily schedule) have demonstrated their utility and strategies should be developed allowing an adaption of these into the STTPs and the integration of intervention into the therapeutic setting. Full article
Open AccessArticle Building a Biopsychosocial Conceptual Framework to Explore Pressure Ulcer Pain for Hospitalized Patients
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 7; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010007
Received: 28 June 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 8 January 2016
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Abstract
Although pressure ulcers are a prevalent condition, pain associated with pressure ulcers is not fully understood. Indeed, previous studies do not shed light on the association between pressure ulcer stages and the experience of pain. Especially, pain characteristics of suspected deep tissue injury,
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Although pressure ulcers are a prevalent condition, pain associated with pressure ulcers is not fully understood. Indeed, previous studies do not shed light on the association between pressure ulcer stages and the experience of pain. Especially, pain characteristics of suspected deep tissue injury, which is a new category that was recently added by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, are yet unknown. This is concerning because the incidence of pressure ulcers in hospitalized patients has increased exponentially over the last two decades, and health care providers are struggling to ensure providing adequate care. Thus, in order to facilitate the development of effective interventions, this paper presents a conceptual framework to explore pressure ulcer pain in hospitalized patients. The concepts were derived from a biopsychosocial model of pain, and the relationships among each concept were identified through a literature review. Major propositions are presented based on the proposed conceptual framework, which integrates previous research on pressure ulcer pain, to ultimately improve understanding of pain in hospitalized patients with pressure ulcers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing Care of the Older Adult)
Open AccessArticle Developing a Tool to Support Communication of Parental Concerns When a Child is in Hospital
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 9; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010009
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 4 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
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Abstract
The involvement of parents in their child’s hospital care has been strongly advocated in paediatric healthcare policy and practice. However, incorporating parental worries about their child’s condition into clinical care can be difficult for both parents and healthcare professionals. Through our “Listening To
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The involvement of parents in their child’s hospital care has been strongly advocated in paediatric healthcare policy and practice. However, incorporating parental worries about their child’s condition into clinical care can be difficult for both parents and healthcare professionals. Through our “Listening To You” quality improvement project we developed and piloted an innovative approach to listening, incorporating and responding to parental concerns regarding their child’s condition when in hospital. Here we describe the phases of work undertaken to develop our “Listening To You” communications bundle, including a survey, literature review and consultation with parents and staff, before findings from the project evaluation are presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Psychology in Healthcare Settings)
Open AccessArticle Developing a Complex Educational–Behavioural Intervention: The TREAT Intervention for Patients with Atrial Fibrillation
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 10; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010010
Received: 26 October 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
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Abstract
This article describes the theoretical and pragmatic development of a patient-centred intervention for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Theoretical models (Common Sense Model, Necessity-Concerns Framework), clinical frameworks, and AF patient feedback contributed to the design of a one-off hour-long behaviour-change intervention package. Intervention
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This article describes the theoretical and pragmatic development of a patient-centred intervention for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Theoretical models (Common Sense Model, Necessity-Concerns Framework), clinical frameworks, and AF patient feedback contributed to the design of a one-off hour-long behaviour-change intervention package. Intervention materials consisted of a DVD, educational booklet, diary and worksheet, which were patient-centred and easy to administer. The intervention was evaluated within a randomised controlled trial. Several “active theoretical ingredients” were identified (for e.g., where patients believed their medication was less harmful they spent more time within the therapeutic range (TTR), with general harm scores predicting TTR at 6 months). Allowing for social comparison and adopting behaviour change techniques enabled accurate patient understanding of their condition and medication. The process of developing the intervention using theory-derived content and evaluation tools allowed a greater understanding of the mechanisms by which this intervention was successful. Alleviating concerns about treatment medication by educating patients can help to improve adherence. This process of intervention development could be adopted for a range of chronic illnesses and treatments. Critical elements should include the use of: (1) clinical guidelines; (2) appropriate theoretical models; (3) patient input; and (4) appropriate evaluation tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Psychology in Healthcare Settings)
Open AccessArticle Musculoskeletal Disorders and Working Posture among Dental and Oral Health Students
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 13; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010013
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 20 January 2016 / Published: 23 January 2016
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Abstract
The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the dental professions has been well established, and can have detrimental effects on the industry, including lower productivity and early retirement. There is increasing evidence that these problems commence during undergraduate training; however, there are still
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The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the dental professions has been well established, and can have detrimental effects on the industry, including lower productivity and early retirement. There is increasing evidence that these problems commence during undergraduate training; however, there are still very few studies that investigate the prevalence of MSD or postural risk in these student groups. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of MSD and conduct postural assessments of students studying oral health and dentistry. A previously validated self-reporting questionnaire measuring MSD prevalence, derived from the Standardised Nordic Questionnaire, was distributed to students. Posture assessments were also conducted using a validated Posture Assessment Instrument. MSD was highly prevalent in all student groups, with 85% reporting MSD in at least one body region. The neck and lower back were the most commonly reported. The final year dental students had the highest percentage with poor posture (68%), while the majority of students from other cohorts had acceptable posture. This study supports the increasing evidence that MSD could be developing in students, before the beginning of a professional career. The prevalence of poor posture further highlights the need to place further emphasis on ergonomic education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Issues in the New Millennium)
Open AccessArticle Large-Scale No-Show Patterns and Distributions for Clinic Operational Research
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 15; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010015
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 22 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
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Abstract
Patient no-shows for scheduled primary care appointments are common. Unused appointment slots reduce patient quality of care, access to services and provider productivity while increasing loss to follow-up and medical costs. This paper describes patterns of no-show variation by patient age, gender, appointment
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Patient no-shows for scheduled primary care appointments are common. Unused appointment slots reduce patient quality of care, access to services and provider productivity while increasing loss to follow-up and medical costs. This paper describes patterns of no-show variation by patient age, gender, appointment age, and type of appointment request for six individual service lines in the United States Veterans Health Administration (VHA). This retrospective observational descriptive project examined 25,050,479 VHA appointments contained in individual-level records for eight years (FY07-FY14) for 555,183 patients. Multifactor analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed, with no-show rate as the dependent variable, and gender, age group, appointment age, new patient status, and service line as factors. The analyses revealed that males had higher no-show rates than females to age 65, at which point males and females exhibited similar rates. The average no-show rates decreased with age until 75–79, whereupon rates increased. As appointment age increased, males and new patients had increasing no-show rates. Younger patients are especially prone to no-show as appointment age increases. These findings provide novel information to healthcare practitioners and management scientists to more accurately characterize no-show and attendance rates and the impact of certain patient factors. Future general population data could determine whether findings from VHA data generalize to others. Full article
Open AccessArticle Incidence and Risk Factors of Thromboembolism with Multiple Myeloma in the Presence of Death as a Competing Risk: An Empirical Comparison of Statistical Methodologies
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 16; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010016
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 19 February 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 26 February 2016
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Abstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) has an inherent high risk of thromboembolic events associated with patient as well as disease- and treatment-related factors. Previous studies have assessed the association of MM-related thromboembolism using “traditional” Kaplan–Meier (KM) and/or Cox proportional hazard (PH) regression. In the presence
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Multiple myeloma (MM) has an inherent high risk of thromboembolic events associated with patient as well as disease- and treatment-related factors. Previous studies have assessed the association of MM-related thromboembolism using “traditional” Kaplan–Meier (KM) and/or Cox proportional hazard (PH) regression. In the presence of high incidence of death, as would be the case in cancer patients with advanced age, these statistical models will produce bias estimates. Instead, a competing risk framework should be used. This study assessed the baseline patient demographic and clinical characteristics associated with MM-related thromboembolism and compared the cumulative incidence and the measures of association obtained using each statistical approach. The cumulative incidence of thromboembolism was 9.2% using the competing risk framework and nearly 12% using the KM approach. Bias in the measures of covariate risk associations was highest for factors related to risk of death such as increased age (75% bias) and severe liver disease (50%) for the Cox PH model compared to the competing risk model. These results show that correct specification of statistical techniques can have a large impact on the results obtained. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Advance Care Planning among People Living with Dialysis
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 17; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010017
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 5 February 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 3 March 2016
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Abstract
Purpose: Recent nephrology literature focuses on the need for discussions regarding advance care planning (ACP) for people living with dialysis (PWD). PWD and their family members’ attitudes toward ACP and other aspects of late-life decision making were assessed in this qualitative study. Methodology:
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Purpose: Recent nephrology literature focuses on the need for discussions regarding advance care planning (ACP) for people living with dialysis (PWD). PWD and their family members’ attitudes toward ACP and other aspects of late-life decision making were assessed in this qualitative study. Methodology: Thirty-one interviews were completed with 20 PWD over the age of 70 (mean dialysis 34 months) and 11 family members, related to life experiences, making medical decisions, and planning for the future. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed. Findings: Four themes regarding ACP emerged from this secondary analysis of the interviews: how completing ACP, advance directives (AD), and identifying an agent fit into PWD experiences; PWD understanding of their prognosis; what gives PWD lives meaning and worth; and PWD care preferences when their defined meaning and worth are not part of their experience. These PWD and family members revealed that ACP is ongoing and common among them. They did not seem to think their medical providers needed to be part of these discussions, since family members were well informed. Practical implications: These results suggest that if health care providers and institutions need AD forms completed, it will important to work with both PWD and their family members to assure personal wishes are documented and honored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supportive and Palliative Care in Renal Disease)
Open AccessArticle Public Health Approaches and Barriers to Educating Providers about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 19; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010019
Received: 4 December 2015 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2016 / Published: 11 March 2016
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Abstract
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services implemented and evaluated two initiatives designed to enhance provider knowledge of patients appropriate for breast and/or ovarian cancer genetic risk assessment and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome testing. The first initiative targeted select
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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services implemented and evaluated two initiatives designed to enhance provider knowledge of patients appropriate for breast and/or ovarian cancer genetic risk assessment and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome testing. The first initiative targeted select providers who had diagnosed patients meeting HBOC risk criteria. Specifically, the initiative used 2008–2009 state cancer registry data to identify all providers who had diagnosed breast cancers in women ≤50 years of age, male breast cancers, and ovarian cancers in four health systems with newly established cancer genetics clinics. Using a method coined bidirectional reporting (BDR), reports highlighting how many of these cases each provider had seen were generated and mailed. Reports on 475 cancers (9.5% of the 5005 cases statewide meeting criteria) were sent to 69 providers with information about how and why to refer such patients for genetic counseling. Providers who received a report were contacted to assess whether the reports increased awareness or resulted in action (genetic counseling/referral). Based on the few responses received, despite multiple attempts to contact, and attrition rate, it is not possible to ascertain the impact of this initiative on providers. However the project resulted in the MDHHS identifying which providers see the largest proportion of at-risk patients, creating an opportunity to target those providers with HBOC education efforts. The second initiative involved creating and broadly disseminating an online, interactive case-based educational module to increase awareness and referral decisions for HBOC using high- and low-risk patient scenarios. A total of 1835 unique users accessed the module in a one year. Collectively the users viewed topic pages 2724 times and the interactive case studies 1369 times. Point of care tools (fact sheets) were viewed 1624 times and downloaded 764 times. Satisfaction among the subset of users applying for continuing medical education credit was high. The online educational module had a much broader reach than the bidirectional reporting initiative but to a self-selected audience. Combining targeted and broad-based provider education efforts may be a better way to increase HBOC awareness in the target audience, starting with those providers seeing the largest proportion of patients at risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implementation of Public Health Genomics)
Open AccessArticle Postmenopausal Women Have Higher HDL and Decreased Incidence of Low HDL than Premenopausal Women with Metabolic Syndrome
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 20; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010020
Received: 10 February 2016 / Revised: 8 March 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
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Abstract
It is well known that plasma lipids, waist circumference (WC) and blood pressure (BP) increase following menopause. In addition, there is a perceived notion that plasma high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations also decrease in postmenopausal women. In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated plasma lipids,
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It is well known that plasma lipids, waist circumference (WC) and blood pressure (BP) increase following menopause. In addition, there is a perceived notion that plasma high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations also decrease in postmenopausal women. In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated plasma lipids, fasting glucose, anthropometrics and BP in 88 post and 100 pre-menopausal women diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. No differences were observed in plasma low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose or systolic and diastolic BP between groups. However, plasma HDL-C was higher (p < 0.01) in postmenopausal women and the percentage of women who had low HDL (<50 mg/dL) was higher (p < 0.01) among premenopausal women. In addition, negative correlations were found between WC and HDL-C (r = −0.148, p < 0.05) and BMI and HDL-C (r = −0.258, p < 0.01) for all subjects indicating that increases in weight and abdominal fat have a deleterious effect on plasma HDL-C. Interestingly, there was a positive correlation between age and plasma HDL-C (r = 0.237 p < 0.01). The results from this study suggest that although HDL is decreased by visceral fat and overall weight, low HDL is not a main characteristic of metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women. Further, HDL appears to increase, not decrease, with age. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Sustainability as an Ethical Principle: Ensuring Its Systematic Place in Professional Nursing Practice
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 2; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010002
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 22 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
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Abstract
Alongside the central focus on the persons requiring nursing care in professional nursing practice, the perspective of the sustainability of interventions and the use of materials (for example, nursing aids and hygiene articles) is gaining prominence in nursing decision-making processes. This contribution makes
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Alongside the central focus on the persons requiring nursing care in professional nursing practice, the perspective of the sustainability of interventions and the use of materials (for example, nursing aids and hygiene articles) is gaining prominence in nursing decision-making processes. This contribution makes the principle of sustainability concrete and delineates its importance in the context of professional nursing practice and decision-making. It further suggests the development of an ethical policy in order to systematically ensure that sustainability has a place in ethical reflection and decision-making, and describes the elements involved. Finally, a synthesis is made between the importance of the principle of sustainability, suggested ethical policies (system of ethical reflection) as they affect nursing practice and professional reflection, decision-making, and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics, Health, and Natural Resources)
Open AccessReview Hereditary Cancer: Example of a Public Health Approach to Ensure Population Health Benefits of Genetic Medicine
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 6; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010006
Received: 30 August 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 8 January 2016
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Abstract
This article introduces the identification, prevention, and treatment of hereditary cancer as an important public health concern. Hereditary cancer research and educational outreach activities are used to illustrate how public health functions can help to achieve health benefits of genetic and genomic medicine.
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This article introduces the identification, prevention, and treatment of hereditary cancer as an important public health concern. Hereditary cancer research and educational outreach activities are used to illustrate how public health functions can help to achieve health benefits of genetic and genomic medicine. First, we evaluate genetic service delivery through triangulating patient and provider survey results which reveal variability among providers in hereditary cancer knowledge and genetic service provision. Second, we describe efforts we have made to assure competency among healthcare providers and to inform, educate and empower patients with regard to the rapidly evolving field of genomics and hereditary cancer. Lastly, key policy-issues raised by our experiences are discussed in the context of how they may help us to more effectively translate future genomic technologies into practice in order to attain population health benefits from genetic and genomic medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implementation of Public Health Genomics)
Open AccessReview Reviewing the Evidence Base for the Children and Young People Safety Thermometer (CYPST): A Mixed Studies Review
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 8; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010008
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 11 January 2016
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Abstract
The objective was to identify evidence to support use of specific harms for the development of a children and young people’s safety thermometer (CYPST). We searched PubMed, Web of Knowledge, and Cochrane Library post-1999 for studies in pediatric settings about pain, skin integrity,
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The objective was to identify evidence to support use of specific harms for the development of a children and young people’s safety thermometer (CYPST). We searched PubMed, Web of Knowledge, and Cochrane Library post-1999 for studies in pediatric settings about pain, skin integrity, extravasation injury, and use of pediatric early warning scores (PEWS). Following screening, nine relevant articles were included. Convergent synthesis methods were used drawing on thematic analysis to combine findings from studies using a range of methods (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods). A review of PEWS was identified so other studies on this issue were excluded. No relevant studies about extravasation injury were identified. The synthesized results therefore focused on pain and skin integrity. Measurement and perception of pain were complex and not always carried out according to best practice. Skin abrasions were common and mostly associated with device related injuries. The findings demonstrate a need for further work on perceptions of pain and effective communication of concerns about pain between parents and nursing staff. Strategies for reducing device-related injuries warrant further research focusing on prevention. Together with the review of PEWS, these synthesized findings support the inclusion of pain, skin integrity, and PEWS in the CYPST. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Psychology in Healthcare Settings)
Open AccessReview Demoralization, Patient Activation, and the Outcome of Spine Surgery
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 11; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010011
Received: 25 November 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
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Abstract
It is now well established that psychosocial factors can adversely impact the outcome of spine surgery. This article discusses in detail one such recently-identified “risk” factor: demoralization. Several studies conducted by the author indicate that demoralization, an emotional construct distinct from depression, is
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It is now well established that psychosocial factors can adversely impact the outcome of spine surgery. This article discusses in detail one such recently-identified “risk” factor: demoralization. Several studies conducted by the author indicate that demoralization, an emotional construct distinct from depression, is associated with poorer pain reduction, less functional improvement and decreased satisfaction among spine surgery patients. However, there are indications that the adverse impact of risk factors such as demoralization can be mitigated by psychosocial “maximizing” factors—characteristics that propel the patient towards positive surgical results. One of these maximizing factors, patient activation, is discussed in depth. The patient activation measure (PAM), an inventory assessing the extent to which patients are active and engaged in their health care, is associated not only with improved spine surgery results, but with better outcomes across a broad range of medical conditions. Other maximizing factors are discussed in this article. The author concludes that the past research focus on psychosocial risk factors has limited the value of presurgical psychological screening, and that future research, as well as clinical assessment, should recognize that the importance of evaluating patients’ strengths as well as their vulnerabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Back Pain: Recent Advances And Perspectives)

Other

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Open AccessConference Report Expert and Advocacy Group Consensus Findings on the Horizon of Public Health Genetic Testing
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 14; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010014
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
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Abstract
Description: Among the two leading causes of death in the United States, each responsible for one in every four deaths, heart disease costs Americans $300 billion, while cancer costs Americans $216 billion per year. They also rank among the top three causes of
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Description: Among the two leading causes of death in the United States, each responsible for one in every four deaths, heart disease costs Americans $300 billion, while cancer costs Americans $216 billion per year. They also rank among the top three causes of death in Europe and Asia. In 2012 the University of Michigan Center for Public Health and Community Genomics and Genetic Alliance, with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Public Health Genomics, hosted a conference in Atlanta, Georgia to consider related action strategies based on public health genomics. The aim of the conference was consensus building on recommendations to implement genetic screening for three major heritable contributors to these mortality and cost figures: hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC), familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), and Lynch syndrome (LS). Genetic applications for these three conditions are labeled with a “Tier 1” designation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because they have been fully validated and clinical practice guidelines based on systematic review support them. Methodology: The conference followed a deliberative sequence starting with nationally recognized clinical and public health presenters for each condition, followed by a Patient and Community Perspectives Panel, working group sessions for each of the conditions, and a final plenary session. The 74 conference participants represented disease research and advocacy, public health, medicine and nursing, genetics, governmental health agencies, and industry. Participants drew on a public health framework interconnecting policy, clinical intervention, surveillance, and educational functions for their deliberations. Results: Participants emphasized the importance of collaboration between clinical, public health, and advocacy groups in implementing Tier 1 genetic screening. Advocacy groups could help with individual and institutional buy-in of Tier 1 programs. Groups differed on funding strategies, with alternative options such as large-scale federal funding and smaller scale, incremental funding solutions proposed. Piggybacking on existing federal breast and colorectal cancer control programs was suggested. Public health departments need to assess what information is now being collected by their state cancer registries. The groups advised that information on cascade screening of relatives be included in toolkits for use by states. Participants stressed incorporation of family history into health department breast cancer screening programs, and clinical HBOC data into state surveillance systems. The carrying out of universal LS screening of tumors in those with colorectal cancer was reviewed. Expansion of universal screening to include endometrial tumors was discussed, as was the application of guidelines recommending cholesterol screening of children 9–11 years old. States more advanced in terms of Tier 1 testing could serve as models and partners with other states launching screening and surveillance programs. A multidisciplinary team of screening program champions was suggested as a means of raising awareness among the consumer and health care communities. Participants offered multiple recommendations regarding use of electronic health records, including flagging of at-risk family members and utilization of state-level health information exchanges. The paper contains an update of policy developments and happenings for all three Tier 1 conditions, as well as identified gaps. Conclusions: Implementation of cascade screening of family members for HBOC and FH, and universal screening for LS in CRC tumors has reached a point of readiness within the U.S., with creative solutions at hand. Facilitating factors such as screening coverage through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and state health information exchanges can be tapped. Collaboration is needed between public health departments, health care systems, disease advocacy groups, and industry to fully realize Tier 1 genetic screening. State health department and disease networks currently engaged in Tier 1 screening can serve as models for the launch of new initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implementation of Public Health Genomics)
Open AccessCase Report The Use of Best Practice in the Treatment of a Complex Diabetic Foot Ulcer: A Case Report
Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 18; doi:10.3390/healthcare4010018
Received: 20 August 2015 / Revised: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
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Abstract
Background and Purpose: Published guidelines for effective management of diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) include total contact casting (TCC). The purpose of this case study is to describe the application of best practice guidelines for the treatment of a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU)
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Background and Purpose: Published guidelines for effective management of diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) include total contact casting (TCC). The purpose of this case study is to describe the application of best practice guidelines for the treatment of a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) in a complex patient where TCC offloading could not be utilized. Case Description: The patient was a 47 year-old female with a five-plus year history of a full-thickness DFU on the left plantar mid-foot. Treatment included sharp and ultrasound debridement, the use of a silver hydrofiber dressing, edema management via compression therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, offloading via customized 1/4 inch adhesive-backed felt applied to the plantar foot in addition to an offloading boot and use of a wheelchair, patient education regarding diabetes management, and the application of a bilayered living skin-equivalent biologic dressing. Outcomes: At 15 weeks the wound was closed and the patient was transitioned into diabetic footwear. Discussion: The felt offloading was a beneficial alternative to TCC. The patient’s longer than average healing rate may have been complicated by the duration of her wound, her 41 year history of diabetes, and the fact that gold standard offloading (TCC) was not able to be used. Further research is needed regarding the use of felt for offloading, such as application technique for wounds on different areas of the foot, comparison of different types of felt, and the use of felt in conjunction with various offloading devices. Full article
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