There is currently no consensus on best practice in systemic sclerosis (SSc). To determine if variability in treatment and investigations exists, practices among Canadian Sclerodermia Research Group (CSRG) centres were compared.
Prospective clinical and demographic data from adult SSc patients are collected annually from 15 CSRG treatment centres. Laboratory parameters, self-reported socio-demographic questionnaires, current and past medications and disease outcome measures are recorded. For centres with >50 patients enrolled, treatment practices were analysed to determine practice variability.
Data from 640 of 938 patients within the CSRG database met inclusion criteria, where 87.3% were female, the mean ± SEM age was 55.3±0.5, 48.9% had limited SSc and 47.8% had diffuse SSc (and 3.3% uncharacterised). Some investigation and treatment practices were inconsistent among 6 centres including proportion receiving: PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitors for Raynaud's phenomenon (p=0.036); cyclophosphamide (p=0.037) and azathioprine (p=0.037) for treatment of ILD; and current use of D-penicillamine, although uncommon, varied among sites. Annual echocardiograms and PFTs were frequently done and did not vary among sites but the rate of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) was directly related to site size and this was not the case for other organ involvement.
Despite routine tests within a database, site variation in SSc with respect to investigations and management among CSRG centres exists suggesting a need for a standardised approach to the investigation and treatment of SSc. One can speculate that larger centres are more export in detecting PAH.
While there is growing recognition of the need for health care organizations to provide culturally responsive care, appropriate strategies for assessing organizational responsiveness have not been determined. A document review assessment instrument was designed to assess best practice within eight domains, and along seven dimensions of organizational approach to diversity. Results obtained from the pilot of the instrument were congruent with data collected from key informant interviews, a focus group, observational methods and organizational feedback session; however, they were not consistent with self-assessment results at the same site. A larger pilot is required to determine generalizability of results.
The objective of this article is to discover and document the state of clinical practices for aphasia therapy in Finland and to gather information for developing national best practice.
Two surveys were administered in Finland that explored current clinical practices in aphasia rehabilitation and the resources available to speech and language therapists (SLTs). We integrated and compared the results of these surveys. The results are based on the responses of the 88 (45 + 43) returned questionnaires from SLTs.
Four principle themes were identified: planning the aphasia therapy, measures and assessment methods, current therapy service provision, and development suggestions and barriers to change. The results of this study showed considerable consistency in clinical practices among the respondents to the surveys. However, we noticed that there are some discrepancies between the recent research findings and present clinical practices.
The findings from this study indicate that there are many challenges in clinical decision-making at the moment in Finland. The article helps clinicians to evaluate the practices they use and to execute justified modifications in order to implement more effective models of practice. It is evident that national best practice guidelines for aphasia therapy would support SLTs in clinical decision-making.
Theoretical models are needed to guide strategies for the implementation of research into clinical practice. To develop and test such models, including analyses of complex theoretical constructs and causal relationships, rich datasets are needed. Working with existing datasets may mean that important variables are lacking.
The aim of this study was to derive a nursing research utilization variable and validate it using the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) conceptual framework on research implementation.
This study was based on data from two surveys of registered nurses. The first survey (1996; N = 600) contained robust research utilization variables but few organizational variables. The second (1998; N = 6,526) was rich in organizational variables but contained no research utilization variables. A linear regression model with predictors common to both datasets was used to derive a research utilization variable in the 1998 dataset. To validate these scores, four separate procedures based on the hypothesis of a positive relationship between context and research utilization were completed. Mutually exclusive groups reflecting various levels of context were created to accomplish these procedures.
The derived research utilization variable was successfully mapped onto the cases in the 1998 dataset. The derived scores ranged from 0.21 to 21.40, with a mean of 10.85 (SD = 3.23). The mean score per subgroup ranged from 8.28 for the lowest context group to 12.75 for the highest context group. One of the validation procedures showed that significant differences in mean research utilization existed only among four conceptually unique context groups (p
Educational programs dedicated to pediatric trauma are either not available or comprehensive. Pediatric trauma is thus managed by a range of specialists with training in a variety of related fields. Post-certification fellowships in pediatric medicine all mandate education in the assessment and management of the injured child. The purpose of this study was to develop a blueprint for a national pediatric trauma training curriculum.
A team of four experts developed content for a national pediatric trauma curriculum and disseminated it to 11 pediatric trauma sites across Canada. The objectives contained both knowledge and skill sets related to the management of the pediatric trauma patients. A multi-tiered Delphi process was used to develop the final content.
All the 11 pediatric teaching centers across the country participated. A final list, representing a consensus of views, was developed in 10 domains through the iterative process of the Delphi technique. The domains for the curriculum included introduction to pediatric trauma and epidemiology, initial management, pediatric airway, shock, thoracic injuries, abdominal and pelvic injuries, spinal and neurological injuries, pediatric head injuries, burns and electrical injuries, and orthopedic injuries.
The Delphi process is an invaluable tool in developing curricula. The pediatric trauma curriculum can be used in teaching hospitals for house staff education and meeting core competencies. The blueprint can be validated further in the future.
Assessing work ability and sickness certification are considered problematic by many physicians and education and implementation of guidelines to improve knowledge and skills has been requested. Our aim was to study the association between such interventions and physicians' sick-listing practices.
A web-based questionnaire was sent to all physicians working in primary care, psychiatry, orthopedics/rheumatology in the southern region of Sweden before (in 2007 to 1,063 physicians) and after (in 2009 to 1,164 physicians) educational interventions in insurance medicine were offered.
With a response rate of 58%, half of the physicians (51%) reported to work at a clinic with a sick-listing policy in 2009 compared with 31% in 2007. Primary care physicians (OR 12.4) and physicians who had participated in educational interventions in insurance medicine (OR 2.4) more often had a sick-listing policy at the clinic. Physicians with a longer medical experience (OR 0.7) and those with support at the clinic (OR 0.3) and the possibility to extend time if needed (OR 0.4) were less likely to report of problematic cases while primary care physicians were (OR 2.9). On the contrary, physicians who reported to rarely have the possibility to extend time when handling problematic cases were more likely to issue a higher number of sickness certificates.
The sick-listing process is often viewed as problematic and more often by primary care physicians. Benchmarking and education in insurance medicine together with the possibility to allocate extra time if encountering problematic cases may facilitate sick-listing practice.
Formal evaluation of hospital performance in specific types of care is becoming an indispensable tool for quality assurance in the health care system. When the prime concern lies in reducing the risk of a cause-specific event, we propose to evaluate performance in terms of an average excess cumulative incidence, referring to the center's observed patient mix. Its intuitive interpretation helps give meaning to the evaluation results and facilitates the determination of important benchmarks for hospital performance. We apply it to the evaluation of cerebrovascular deaths after stroke in Swedish stroke centers, using data from Riksstroke, the Swedish stroke registry.
This descriptive study represents one component of a larger project that examined the perceptions of current and best-care practices in HIV ambulatory clinics across Ontario by health care providers and patients living with HIV/AIDS. Focus groups were held with providers and patients at eight clinics. Results showed that providers' and patients' perceptions were similar. Participants were able to describe current care practices and identify two elements of best care: patient-focused care and access to care. However, both health care providers and patients acknowledged that financial constraints, appointment scheduling, and distance to clinics were some of the barriers to achieving best care. Case management and shared-care schemes are two strategies that are proposed to meet the challenge of providing collaborative integrated care that is accessible and equal to all, while still maintaining positive patient outcomes.
In Canada, no standardized benchmarks for length of stay (LOS) have been established for post-stroke inpatient rehabilitation. This paper describes the development of a severity specific median length of stay benchmarking strategy, assessment of its impact after one year of implementation in a Canadian rehabilitation hospital, and establishment of updated benchmarks that may be useful for comparison with other facilities across Canada.
Patient data were retrospectively assessed for all patients admitted to a single post-acute stroke rehabilitation unit in Ontario, Canada between April 2005 and March 2008. Rehabilitation Patient Groups (RPGs) were used to establish stratified median length of stay benchmarks for each group that were incorporated into team rounds beginning in October 2009. Benchmark impact was assessed using mean LOS, FIM(®) gain, and discharge destination for each RPG group, collected prospectively for one year, compared against similar information from the previous calendar year. Benchmarks were then adjusted accordingly for future use.
Between October 2009 and September 2010, a significant reduction in average LOS was noted compared to the previous year (35.3 vs. 41.2 days; p