The sixth Ivey Chair Symposium, held at the University of Western Ontario in October 2011, was dedicated to an update on the complex issues surrounding opioid dependent mothers and their newborns. The day commenced with Loretta Finnegan who provided a historical overview of the complex issues surrounding the addicted mother and her baby suffering from neonatal withdrawal syndrome. It is remarkable that the tool devised by Dr Finnegan forty years ago is in wide use today, capturing accurately the severity of NAS and the need for follow up and treatment. She stressed that comprehensive approach to the care of pregnant drug-dependent mothers and their babies significantly reduces maternal and infant's morbidity. The risk of low birth weight and severe withdrawal can be reduced substantially when both patients in this dyad are optimally cared for. The seven speakers following her provided an update on the medicinal and non drug approach to treat the opioid-dependent mother and her newborn, including new Canadian guidelines which were just released.
Absence of guidelines on umbilical arterial catheter (UAC) and umbilical venous catheter (UVC) use and inability to predict the hospital course may sway the frontline staff to overuse umbilical catheters in preterm infants. Our objective was to evaluate the feasibility of implementing guidelines standardizing the use of umbilical catheters and its impact on the incidence of sepsis and resource use.
The various major American and European guidelines for the treatment of depression provide similar basic principles of treatment, which include individualizing the treatment plan, preparing the patient for potential long-term treatment, providing measurement-based care, and treating to remission. While the guidelines are all evidence-based, certain factors can influence differences in specific recommendations, such as the consensus group's composition, underlying mandates, and cultural attitudes. The similarities and differences among 6 sets of guidelines from Europe and the Americas published in the past decade are reviewed here (American Psychiatric Association, British Association for Psychopharmacology, Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Texas Medication Algorithm Project, and World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry). In the guidelines, mild depression has the most variance in treatment recommendations; some, but not all, guidelines suggest that it may resolve with exercise or watchful waiting, but psychotherapy or antidepressants could be used if initial efforts fail. Moderate and severe major depression carry broadly similar recommendations among the guidelines. First-line treatment recommendations for moderate major depressive disorder include antidepressant monotherapy, psychotherapy, and the combination of both. Severe depression may require the combination of an antidepressant and an antipsychotic, electroconvulsive therapy, or the combination of an antidepressant and psychotherapy. Benzodiazepines play a very limited role in the treatment of depression; if the patient has catatonic depression, acutely suicidal depression, or depression with symptoms of anxiety, agitation, or insomnia, benzodiazepines are recommended by some guidelines for short-term treatment only.
The Swedish guidelines (SwG) for treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have several important roles. A major task involves the promotion of a uniformly high standard of care in all HIV treatment clinics in Sweden and the identification of strengths, weaknesses and relevance of recent research findings. CD4+ T-cell counts
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.
Cites: Oncologist. 2000;5(4):302-1110964998
Cites: Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;13(6):535-815956274
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.
Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel care for patients in challenging and dynamic environments that may contribute to an increased risk for adverse events. However, little is known about the risks to patient safety in the EMS setting. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a systematic review of the literature, including nonrandomized, noncontrolled studies, conducted qualitative interviews of key informants, and, with the assistance of a pan-Canadian advisory board, hosted a 1-day summit of 52 experts in the field of EMS patient safety. The intent of the summit was to review available research, discuss the issues affecting prehospital patient safety, and discuss interventions that might improve the safety of the EMS industry. The primary objective was to define the strategic goals for improving patient safety in EMS. Participants represented all geographic regions of Canada and included administrators, educators, physicians, researchers, and patient safety experts. Data were collected through electronic voting and qualitative analysis of the discussions. The group reached consensus on nine recommendations to increase awareness, reduce adverse events, and suggest research and educational directions in EMS patient safety: increasing awareness of patient safety principles, improving adverse event reporting through creating nonpunitive reporting systems, supporting paramedic clinical decision making through improved research and education, policy changes, using flexible algorithms, adopting patient safety strategies from other disciplines, increasing funding for research in patient safety, salary support for paramedic researchers, and access to graduate training in prehospital research.