A workshop to evaluate the evidence for the role of physical activity in cancer prevention and to identify priorities for action, particularly in relation to the primary prevention of cancer, was held by Cancer Care Ontario in March 2000. A review of the scientific evidence was commissioned and an expert panel convened to consider the review report and to make recommendations for public health, research and intervention. The panel concluded that evidence was convincing for the role of physical activity in preventing colon cancer; probable for breast cancer; possible for prostate cancer and insufficient for other sites. It is recommended that physical activity messages promoting at least 30 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity on most days of the week be included in primary prevention interventions for cancer. The panel recommended that future research on physical activity incorporate comprehensive assessments, including measures of the multiple dimensions and types of physical activity; biological mechanisms; and behavioural and population factors. Cancer Care Ontario will incorporate physical activity messages in its primary prevention programming around nutrition and health body weight.
The management of mild to moderate dementia presents complex and evolving challenges. Practising physicians are often uncertain about the appropriate approaches to issues such as the disclosure of the diagnosis, driving and caregiver support. In this article, we provide practical guidance on management based on recommendations from the Third Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia.
We developed evidence-based guidelines using systematic literature searches, with specific criteria for the selection and quality assessment of articles, and a clear and transparent decision-making process. We selected articles published from January 1996 to December 2005 that dealt with the management of mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia. Recommendations based on the literature review were drafted and voted on. Consensus required 80% or more agreement by participants. Subsequent to the conference, we searched for additional articles published from January 2006 to April 2008 using the same major keywords and secondary search terms. We graded the strength of evidence using the criteria of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.
We identified 1615 articles, of which 954 were selected for further study. From a synthesis of the evidence in these studies, we made 48 recommendations for the management of mild to moderate dementia (28) and dementia with a cerebrovascular component (8) as well as recommendations for addressing ethical issues (e.g., disclosure of the diagnosis) (12). The updated literature review did not change these recommendations. In brief, patients and their families should be informed of the diagnosis. Although the specifics of managing comorbid conditions might require modification, standards of care and treatment targets would not change because of a mild dementia. The use of medications with anticholinergic effects should be minimized. There should be proactive planning for driving cessation, since this will be required at some point in the course of progressive dementia. The patient's ability to drive should be determined primarily on the basis of his or her functional abilities. An important aspect of care is supporting the patient's primary caregiver.
Much has been learned about the care of patients with mild to moderate dementia and the support of their primary caregivers. There is a pressing need for the development, and dissemination, of collaborative systems of care.
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To provide guidelines for health-care providers on the use of contraceptive methods to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Overall efficacy of cited contraceptive methods, assessing reduction in pregnancy rate, risk of infection, safety, ease of use, and side effects; the effect of cited contraceptive methods on sexual health and general well-being; and the cost and availability of cited contraceptive methods in Canada.
Medline and the Cochrane Database were searched for articles in English on subjects related to contraception, sexuality, and sexual health from January 1988 to March 2003, in order to update the Report of the Consensus Committee on Contraception published in May-July 1998. Relevant Canadian Government publications and position papers from appropriate health and family planning organizations were also reviewed.
The quality of the evidence is rated using the criteria described in the Report of the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination. Recommendations for practice are ranked according to the method described in this Report.
The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Stollery Children's Hospital, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Pediatric heart failure (HF) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in childhood. This article presents guidelines for the recognition, diagnosis, and early medical management of HF in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. The guidelines are intended to assist practitioners in office-based or emergency room practice, who encounter children with undiagnosed heart disease and symptoms of possible HF, rather than those who have already received surgical palliation. The guidelines have been developed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology, and are accompanied by practical Recommendations for their application in the clinical setting, supplemented by online material. This work does not include Recommendations for advanced management involving ventricular assist devices, or other device therapies.
An invitational meeting, entitled Complementary and Alternative Therapy: Decision Making by Cancer Patients and Their Physicians, brought together Canadian health care providers and researchers who had expertise in patient-physician communication with those who were knowledgeable about complementary therapy and cancer. The aim was to build on the existing knowledge base in both fields in order to determine the unanswered questions, the most important questions, and what methods can be applied for answering these questions. The interdisciplinary group employed a step-wise collaborative process to develop a suggested research agenda regarding decision making by physicians and their cancer patients regarding complementary therapy. The four themes identified are establishment of a registry for complementary therapy usage for cancer care; communication; outcomes measurement; and models of integration. It is hoped that these themes will be considered worthy of support by funding agencies and worthy of investigation by researchers.
Heart failure is common, yet it is difficult to treat. It presents in many different guises and circumstances in which therapy needs to be individualized. The Canadian Cardiovascular Society published a comprehensive set of recommendations in January 2006 on the diagnosis and management of heart failure, and the present update builds on those core recommendations. Based on feedback obtained through a national program of heart failure workshops during 2006, several topics were identified as priorities because of the challenges they pose to health care professionals. New evidence-based recommendations were developed using the structured approach for the review and assessment of evidence adopted and previously described by the Society. Specific recommendations and practical tips were written for the prevention of heart failure, the management of heart failure during intercurrent illness, the treatment of acute heart failure, and the current and future roles of biomarkers in heart failure care. Specific clinical questions that are addressed include: which patients should be identified as being at high risk of developing heart failure and which interventions should be used? What complications can occur in heart failure patients during an intercurrent illness, how should these patients be monitored and which medications may require a dose adjustment or discontinuation? What are the best therapeutic, both drug and nondrug, strategies for patients with acute heart failure? How can new biomarkers help in the treatment of heart failure, and when and how should BNP be measured in heart failure patients? The goals of the present update are to translate best evidence into practice, to apply clinical wisdom where evidence for specific strategies is weaker, and to aid physicians and other health care providers to optimally treat heart failure patients to result in a measurable impact on patient health and clinical outcomes in Canada.
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Current debates around the choice of management strategy for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) combined with limited efficacy and frequent adverse effects of current pharmacotherapies cause uncertainty and confusion, challenging optimal care delivery to AF patients.
To determine gaps in knowledge, skill, and competencies of Canadian physicians caring for patients with AF as well as underlying causes of these gaps.
A mixed-method approach --consisting of qualitative (semistructured interviews) and quantitative data collection techniques (online survey) --was conducted. Findings were triangulated to ensure the reliability and trustworthiness of findings. The combined sample (n = 161) included 43 family physicians/general practitioners, 23 internal medicine specialists, 48 cardiologists, 28 emergency physicians, 14 neurologists, and 5 patients.
Gaps and barriers impeding optimal care were related to an unclear definition of AF, uncertainty of its pathophysiology, and knowledge gaps across the care continuum, including screening, diagnosis, and treatment. Clinical decision-making, individualized patient therapy, communication with patients and between professionals, and application of guidelines were found to be particularly challenging. These issues are discussed in the context of the newly revised Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) AF Guidelines.
Educational gaps exist across the entire continuum of care. Results from this study, along with the 2011 CCS guidelines for AF management, provide direction for solutions through physician education and professional development.
Postoperative atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter (POAF) are the most common complications of cardiac surgery that require intervention or prolong intensive care unit and total hospital stay. For some patients, these tachyarrhythmias have important consequences including patient discomfort/anxiety, hemodynamic deterioration, cognitive impairment, thromboembolic events including stroke, exposure to the risks of antiarrhythmic treatments, longer hospital stay, and increased health care costs. We conclude that prevention of POAF is a worthwhile exercise and recommend that the dominant therapy for this purpose be ß-blocker therapy, especially the continuation of ß-blocker therapy that is already in place. When ß-blocker therapy is contraindicated, amiodarone prophylaxis is recommended. If both of these therapies are contraindicated, therapy with either intravenous magnesium or biatrial pacing is suggested. Patients at high risk of POAF may be considered for first-line amiodarone therapy, first-line sotalol therapy, or combination prophylactic therapy. The treatment of POAF may follow either a rate-control approach (with the dominant therapy being ß-blocking drugs) or a rhythm-control approach. Anticoagulation should be considered if persistent POAF lasts >72 hours and at the point of hospital discharge. The ongoing need for any POAF treatment (including anticoagulation) should be reconsidered 6-12 weeks after the surgical procedure.