Abstract: Beginning in the late 1990s, a movement began within the pain management field focused upon the underutilization of opioids, thought to be a potentially safe and effective class of pain medication. Concern for addiction and misuse were present at the start of this shift within pain medicine, and an emphasis was placed on developing reliable and valid methods and measures of identifying those at risk for opioid misuse. Since that time, the evidence for the safety and effectiveness of chronic opioid therapy (COT) has not been established. Rather, the harmful, dose-dependent deleterious effects have become clearer, including addiction, increased risk of injuries, respiratory depression, opioid induced hyperalgesia, and death. Still, many individuals on low doses of opioids for long periods of time appear to have good pain control and retain social and occupational functioning. Therefore, we propose that the question, “Who is at risk of opioid misuse?” should evolve to, “Who may benefit from COT?” in light of the current evidence.
Abstract: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common and costly conditions in industrialized countries. Exercise therapy has been used to treat LBP, although typically using only one mode of exercise. This paper describes the method and initial findings of a person-centered, group physical activity programme which featured as part of a multidisciplinary approach to treating LBP. Six participants (aged 50.7 ± 17 years) completed a six-week physical activity programme lasting two hours per week. A multicomponent approach to physical activity was adopted which included aerobic fitness, core activation, muscular strength and endurance, Nordic Walking, flexibility and exercise gaming. In addition, participants were required to use diary sheets to record physical activity completed at home. Results revealed significant (p < 0.05) improvements in back strength (23%), aerobic fitness (23%), negative wellbeing (32%) and disability (16%). Person’s Correlation Coefficient analysis revealed significant (p < 0.05) relationships between improvement in perceived pain and aerobic fitness (r = 0.93). It was concluded that a person-centered, multicomponent approach to physical activity may be optimal for supporting patients who self-manage LBP.
Abstract: Biofeedback is a process in which biological information is measured and fed back to a patient and clinician for the purpose of gaining increased awareness and control over physiological domains. Surface electromyography (SEMG), a measure of muscle activity, allows both a patient and clinician to have direct and immediate access to muscle functioning that is not possible with manual palpation or visual observation. SEMG biofeedback can be used to help “down-train” elevated muscle activity or to “up-train” weak, inhibited, or paretic muscles. This article presents a historical and clinical overview of SEMG and its use in chronic low back pain assessment and biofeedback training.
Abstract: Globally, preeclampsia-eclampsia (PE-E) is a major cause of puerperal intensive care unit admission, accounting for up to 10% of maternal deaths. PE-E primary prevention is possible. Antepartum low-dose aspirin prophylaxis, costing USD $10–24 can cut the incidence of PE-E in half. Antepartum low molecular weight heparin combined with low-dose aspirin prophylaxis can cut the incidence of early onset PE-E and fetuses that are small for their gestational age in half. Despite predictive antepartum models for PE-E prophylaxis, said prophylaxis is not routinely provided. Therefore, magnesium sulfate secondary prevention of eclampsia remains the globally recommended intervention. Implementation of a PE-E checklist is a continuous quality improvement (CQI) tool facilitating appropriate antepartum PE-E prophylaxis and maternal care from the first trimester through the postpartum fourth trimester inter-partum interval. A novel clinical PE-E checklist and implementation strategy are presented below. CQI PE-E checklist implementation and appropriate PE-E prophylaxis provides clinicians and healthcare systems an opportunity to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. While CQI checklist implementation may be a tedious ongoing process requiring healthcare team resiliency, improved healthcare outcomes are well worth the effort.
Abstract: Background: Self-testing technology allows people to test themselves for chlamydia without professional support. This may result in reassurance and wider access to chlamydia testing, but anxiety could occur on receipt of positive results. This study aimed to identify factors important in understanding self-testing for chlamydia outside formal screening contexts, to explore the potential impacts of self-testing on individuals, and to identify theoretical constructs to form a Framework for future research and intervention development. Methods: Eighteen university students participated in semi-structured interviews; eleven had self-tested for chlamydia. Data were analysed thematically usingaFrameworkapproach. Results: Perceivedbeneﬁtsofself-testingincludeditsbeingconvenient, anonymousandnotrequiringphysicalexamination. Therewasconcernabouttestaccuracyandsome participants lacked conﬁdence in using vulvo-vaginal swabs. While some participants expressed concern about the absence of professional support, all said they would seek help on receiving a positive result. Factors identiﬁed in Protection Motivation Theory and the Theory of Planned Behaviour, such as response efﬁcacy and self-efﬁcacy, were found to be highly salient to participants in thinking about self-testing. Conclusions: These exploratory ﬁndings suggest that self-testing independentlyofformalhealthcaresystemsmaynomorenegativelyimpactpeoplethanbeingtested by health care professionals. Participants’ perceptions about self-testing behaviour were consistent with psychological theories. Findings suggest that interventions which increase conﬁdence in using self-tests and that provide reassurance of test accuracy may increase self-test intentions.
Abstract: End-of-life care decision making carries paramount importance due to the advancements in medical sciences. Since medical science has evolved over the time and now has a potentiality to reshape the circumstances during death and in turn prolong lives, various ethical issues surround end-of-life care. The purpose of this narrative review is to discuss issues such as autonomous decision making, importance of advance directives, rationing of care in futile treatments and costs involved in providing end-of-life care. Even though much progress has been made in this area continued advancement in medical science demands further research into this topic.