This prospective observational data collection study assessed the cost and quality of life related to hip, vertebral and wrist fracture 1 year after the fracture, based on a patient sample consisting of 635 male and female patients surviving a year after fracture. Data regarding resource use and quality of life related to fractures was collected by questionnaires at baseline, 4 months and 12 months. Information was collected by the use of patients' records, register sources and by asking the patient. Quality of life was estimated with the EQ-5D questionnaire. Costs were estimated from a societal perspective, including direct and indirect costs. The mean fracture-related cost the year after a hip, vertebral and wrist fracture were estimated, in euros (), at 14,221, 12,544 and 2,147, respectively [converted from Swedish krona (SEK) at an exchange rate of 9.1268 SEK/]. The mean reduction in quality of life was estimated at 0.17, 0.26 and 0.06 for hip, vertebral and wrist fracture, respectively. Based on the results, the yearly burden of osteoporosis in Sweden could be estimated at 0.5 billion (SEK 4.6 billion). The patient sample for vertebral fracture was fairly small and included a high proportion of fractures leading to hospitalization, but they indicate a higher cost and loss of quality of life related to vertebral fracture than previously perceived.
The main purpose of this prospective study was to investigate the functional outcome and health-related quality of life according to EuroQol (EQ-5D) after a femoral neck fracture treated with internal fixation in relatively healthy elderly patients. We also aimed to validate the use of the EQ-5D in routine clinical follow-ups of this group of patients. The inclusion criteria were more than 65 years of age, absence of severe cognitive dysfunction, living independently, and unhindered walking ability preoperatively. The mean follow-up period was 17 months. The rated prefracture EQ-5Dindex scores showed good correspondence with the scores of an age-matched Swedish reference population. The EQ-5Dindex scores decreased from 0.78 before the fracture (based on recall) to 0.59 at 4 months and 0.51 at 17 months after surgery. The decrease was significantly larger among patients with fracture healing complications. There was a good correlation between the EQ-5Dindex scores and other outcome measures such as pain, mobility, independence in ADL and independent living status. The questionnaire response rate (EQ-5D) was 89-100% on different follow-up occasions. The EQ-5D appears to be an easy-to use instrument even for elderly patients with femoral neck fractures. Changes in the quality of life may be useful to identify patients who might benefit from reoperation, i.e. arthroplasty. The EQ-5D also appears to be a relevant clinical end-point in outcome studies.
A clear aim is key for the success of improvement projects, yet many fail already at this stage. We studied how clinical teams and managers at a university hospital in Sweden identified problems and defined aims as they initiated 24 process improvement projects. Categorizing and comparing problems at 3 stages of problem definition, we found that the majority of problems fell into 1 of 3 categories: information issues, poor procedures, and waiting times. Going through these stages, managers and clinical teams prioritized waiting-time problems. We show how managers can ask such teams to quickly identify problems suited for improvement projects through this step-wise, facts-based approach. We conclude that they can add their management perspective when giving specific assignments, to harness the combined benefits of both a bottom-up and a top-down approach to improvement.
Several studies have investigated the relation between bone mass density and cadmium exposure, but only few studies have been performed on fractures and biomarkers of cadmium. This study analyzed the association between hip fracture risk and cadmium in erythrocytes (Ery-Cd). Prospective samples from the Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study's biobank were used for 109 individuals who later in life had sustained a low-trauma hip fracture, matched with two controls of the same age and gender. The mean concentration of Ery-Cd (±SD) in case samples was 1.3 ± 1.4 versus 0.9 ± 1.0 µg/L in controls. The odds ratio (OR) was 1.63 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10-2.42] for suffering a hip fracture for each microgram per liter increase in Ery-Cd. However, when taking smoking into consideration (never, former, or current), neither Ery-Cd nor smoking showed a statistically significant increase in fracture risk. Using multiple conditional logistic regression with BMI, height, and smoking, the estimated OR for a 1-µg/L increase in Ery-Cd was 1.52 (95% CI 0.77-2.97). Subgroup analysis showed an increased fracture risk among women (OR = 1.94, 95% CI 1.18-3.20, for a 1 µg/L increase), which also remained in the multiple analysis (OR = 3.33, 95% CI 1.29-8.56). This study shows that fracture risk is associated with Ery-Cd. It is, however, not possible to draw firm conclusions on whether cadmium is the causal factor or whether other smoking-related factors cause this association. Subgroup analysis shows that cadmium is a risk factor for hip fracture among women.
Quality improvement is a leading approach to the difficult yet inevitable task of managing organizational change. The literature suggests that facilitators can help organizations apply improvement principles and tools but it is unclear how facilitators actually do this and how they develop their own skills. Using a case study design we therefore examined how facilitators worked with 93 improvement projects in over 1000 sessions at one Swedish university hospital where systematic process improvement was successfully established over a 5-year period. They facilitated improvement by providing a framework and methods' support for improvement efforts--relying on experiential learning rather than didactic teaching--while letting clinical teams and managers maintain control over the content of improvement projects. They developed extensive experience that they documented and could transfer between teams, so that each team could benefit from lessons learned elsewhere. They improved facilitation through participant feedback and systematic review and reflection regarding their own practice. We suggest that facilitators can help organizations manage change by assuming responsibility for demanding tasks related to improvement work, developing specialized skill and extensive experience regarding improvement, and transferring insights across the organization, while using a learning approach throughout including to their own work.
Identification of genes associated with pain insensitivity syndromes can increase the understanding of the pathways involved in pain and contribute to the understanding of how sensory pathways relate to other neurological functions. In this report we describe the mapping and identification of the gene responsible for loss of deep pain perception in a large family from northern Sweden. The loss of pain perception in this family is characterized by impairment in the sensing of deep pain and temperature but with normal mental abilities and with most other neurological responses intact. A severe reduction of unmyelinated nerve fibers and a moderate loss of thin myelinated nerve fibers are observed in the patients. Thus the cases in this study fall into the class of patients with loss of pain perception with underlying peripheral neuropathy. Clinically they best fit into HSAN V. Using a model of recessive inheritance we identified an 8.3 Mb region on chromosome 1p11.2-p13.2 shared by the affected individuals in the family. Analysis of functional candidate genes in the disease critical region revealed a mutation in the coding region of the nerve growth-factor beta (NGFB) gene specific for the disease haplotype. This NGF mutation seems to separate the effects of NGF involved in development of central nervous system functions such as mental abilities, from those involved in peripheral pain pathways. This mutation could therefore potentially provide an important tool to study different roles of NGF, and of pain control.
To inform targeted prevention, we studied patterns of trauma recidivism and whether a first injury predicts the risk for a recurrent injury.
In a population-based study of 98,502 adult injury events 1999-2012, at the emergency department of Umeå University Hospital, Sweden, we compared non-recidivists with recidivists in terms of patients' sex, age, type of injury and severity of the injury.
Thirty-six percent of all patients suffered recurrent injuries, which were associated with a higher proportion of inpatient care and more hospital days. Young men and elderly women were at the highest risk for trauma recidivism. At 20 to 24 years, men had a 2.4 (CI 95 % 2.3-2.5) higher risk than women, a 90 years old woman had almost a 10-fold higher risk for another moderate/severe injury than a 20 years old one. A fracture were associated with a hazard ratio of 1.28 (CI 95 % 1.15-1.42) among men younger than 65 years and 1.31 (CI 95 % 1.12-1.54) for men older than 65 years for a subsequent moderate/severe injury. For women younger than 65 years a fracture was associated with a hazard ratio of 1.44 (CI 95 % 1.28-1.62) for a subsequent moderate/severe injury. A sprain carries a higher risk for a new moderate/severe injury for both men and women and in both age groups; the hazard ratio was 1.13 (CI 95 % 1.00-1.26) for men younger than 65 years, 1.42 (CI 95 % 1.01-1.99) for men older than 65 years, 1.19 (CI 95 % 1.05-1.35) for women younger than 65 years and 1.26 (CI 95 % 1.02-1.56) for women older than 65 years. A higher degree of injury severity was associated with a higher risk for a new moderate/severe injury.
Trauma recidivism is common and represents a large proportion of all injured. Age and sex are associated with the risk for new injury. Injury types and severity, also have implications for future injury.