Thirty-one adult patients with asthma caused by house-dust mites (HDM) were included in this placebo-controlled, double-blind study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of specific immunotherapy (SIT) with biologically standardized extracts of HDM. The specific diagnosis was confirmed by skin prick tests, specific IgE, and bronchial provocation tests with HDM allergens. The patients were randomized to receive active treatment with extracts of either Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dpt) or D. farinae (Dfa) (Alutard SQ, ALK, Denmark) or placebo injections. Twenty-three patients completed the study. After 1 year of treatment, we found a clinically important and significant reduction in both asthma medicine consumption (inhaled steroids 38% and beta 2-agonists 46%) and symptom score (57%) in the actively treated group, but not the placebo group. These findings were confirmed by a significant decrease in skin and bronchial sensitivity to HDM in the active group. Additionally, there was a significant difference in the patients' scores for effect in favor of the actively treated group. Total IgE and specific IgE to HDM showed no significant changes before and after treatment for either group. Spirometric lung-function measurements showed a significant increase in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) from 85% before to 89% of predicted values after treatment for the actively treated group. Peak-flow measurements at home showed no significant changes during the study. It is concluded that allergen SIT is an effective treatment in adult patients suffering from asthma due to HDM.
The role of 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) in Crohn's disease is unclear. The outcome of the first course of 5-ASA monotherapy with emphasis on 5-ASA dependency was retrospectively assessed in consecutive cohort of 537 Crohn's disease patients diagnosed 1953-2007.
Following outcome definitions were used: Immediate outcome (30 days after 5-ASA start) defined as complete/partial response (total regression/improvement of symptoms) and no response (no regression of symptoms with a need of corticosteroids, immunomodulator or surgery). Long-term outcome defined as prolonged response (still in complete/partial response 1 year after induction of response); 5-ASA dependency (relapse on stable/reduced dose of 5-ASA requiring dose escalation to regain response or relapse =1 year after 5-ASA cessation regaining response after 5-ASA re-introduction).
One hundred sixty-five (31%) patients had monotherapy with 5-ASA. In 50% 5-ASA monotherapy was initiated =1 year after diagnosis (range 0-49 years). Complete/partial response was obtained in 75% and no response in 25% of patients. Thirty-six percent had prolonged response, 23% developed 5-ASA dependency and 38% were non-responders in long-term outcome. Female gender had higher probability to develop prolonged response or 5-ASA dependency (OR 2.89, 95%CI: 1.08-7.75, p=0.04). The median duration (range) of 5-ASA monotherapy was 34 months (1-304) in prolonged responders, 63 (6-336) in 5-ASA dependent and 2 (0-10) in non-responders.
A selected phenotype of Crohn's disease patients may profit from 5-ASA. Fifty-nine percent of patients obtained long-term benefit with 23% becoming 5-ASA dependent. Prospective studies are warranted to assess the role of 5-ASA in Crohn's disease.
To update the 2005 Cancer Care Ontario practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of extradural malignant spinal cord compression (MESCC).
A review and analysis of data published from January 2004 to May 2011. The systematic literature review included published randomized control trials (RCTs), systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and prospective/retrospective studies.
An RCT of radiation therapy (RT) with or without decompressive surgery showed improvements in pain, ambulatory ability, urinary continence, duration of continence, functional status, and overall survival. Two RCTs of RT (30 Gy in eight fractions vs. 16 Gy in two fractions; 16 Gy in two fractions vs. 8 Gy in one fraction) in patients with a poor prognosis showed no difference in ambulation, duration of ambulation, bladder function, pain response, in-field failure, and overall survival. Retrospective multicenter studies reported that protracted RT schedules in nonsurgical patients with a good prognosis improved local control but had no effect on functional or survival outcomes.
If not medically contraindicated, steroids are recommended for any patient with neurologic deficits suspected or confirmed to have MESCC. Surgery should be considered for patients with a good prognosis who are medically and surgically operable. RT should be given to nonsurgical patients. For those with a poor prognosis, a single fraction of 8 Gy should be given; for those with a good prognosis, 30 Gy in 10 fractions could be considered. Patients should be followed up clinically and/or radiographically to determine whether a local relapse develops. Salvage therapies should be introduced before significant neurologic deficits occur.
Acute pain management services (APMS) evolved in response to the desire for improved management of postoperative pain. The management of postoperative pain received formal support from international organizations over the past decade and by 1993 half of the Canadian university-affiliated teaching hospitals had implemented an APMS. The purpose of this survey was to describe APMSs in Canadian academic institutions, with specific emphasis on postoperative analgesics, new analgesic methods, training and research.
Between June 2000 and January 2001, 62 Canadian hospitals affiliated with the 16 Canadian university anesthesiology departments were sent a postal questionnaire.
Fifty of the 62 respondents returned a completed questionnaire representing a response rate of 81%. Eighty percent of the hospitals surveyed had at least 200 beds, 90% (45) had implemented an APMS. Anesthesiology was primarily responsible in all 45 hospitals with an APMS. The results presented are based on the 45 centres with an APMS.
Since the early 1990s the percent of Canadian academic hospitals with an APMS has increased from 53% to 92%. These figures are comparable to the United States. Greater collaboration from nursing and pharmacy, mandatory training for medical and nursing students and residents, and a standardized approach to continuous quality improvement remain necessary.
Forty-nine patients, 30 males and 19 females with acute sarcoid arthritis admitted to three different hospitals in Norway were studied retrospectively. All patients had peripheral arthritis and hilar adenopathy, and 87.8% also presented with erythema nodosum (EN). Mean duration of arthritis was 3.7 months (0.5-12 months), but in 26% of the cases, duration of the inflammatory joint disease exceeded three months. Radiological bony erosions were not seen. Two patients had recurrence of acute sarcoid arthritis, 14 months and 10 years after the initial episode, respectively. Two other patients developed chronic myalgia and fibromyalgia. Four patients, one female and three males, developed chronic pulmonal sarcoidosis. Of these, two patients had simultaneous onset of acute sarcoid arthritis and parenchymal disease while two patients developed chronic lung disease three months after onset of acute sarcoid arthritis. We thus tentatively suggest that although acute sarcoid arthritis is usually a self-limiting joint disease, recurrences may occasionally occur and some cases develop chronic sarcoidosis of the lungs.
In a 2-yr prospective follow-up study of patients presenting clinically with possible reactive arthritis (ReA), 17 (9%) of the patients turned out to have acute sarcoid arthritis (SA). The number of new cases of SA per year was 2.9/100,000 persons in the city of Oslo between 18 and 60 yr of age. The onset of SA clustered in the spring. All the SA patients presented with bilateral ankle joint involvement and bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy, and ten (59%) presented with the triad of erythema nodosum, arthritis and lung involvement. A prospective follow-up after 104 weeks showed complete remission of arthritis in all 17 cases of SA. The total duration of arthritis [median (range)] was 11 (2-107) weeks. Erythema nodosum was mild and transient in all cases. At week 104, the lung and hilar manifestations had resolved. We conclude that the outcome of SA appeared favourable. Bilateral ankle joint involvement, erythema nodosum and bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy found at the routine chest X-ray examination are important clues for the diagnosis of SA.
Crohn's disease (CD) is common among women of fertile age, and it often requires maintenance medical treatment. Adherence to medical treatment among women with CD prior to, during, and after pregnancy has, however, never been examined. Although CD women have increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, little is known about predictors for these outcomes in women with CD. In addition, the impact of breastfeeding on disease activity remains controversial.
The aims of this PhD thesis were to determine adherence to treatment and to investigate predictors for and prevalence rates of non-adherence to maintenance medical treatment among women with CD prior to, during, and after pregnancy; to assess pregnancy outcomes among women with CD, taking medical treatment, smoking status, and disease activity into account; to assess breastfeeding rates and the impact of breastfeeding on the risk of relapse.
We conducted a population-based prevalence study including 154 women with CD who had given birth within a six-year period. We combined questionnaire data, data from medical records, and medical register data.
Among 105 (80%) respondents, more than half reported taking medication with an overall high adherence rate of 69.8%. Counselling, previous pregnancy, and planned pregnancy seemed to decrease the likelihood of non-adherence, whereas smoking seemed to predict non-adherence prior to pregnancy, although our sample size prevented any firm conclusions. During pregnancy, the vast majority (95%) of CD women were in remission. The children's birth weight did not differ in relation to maternal medical treatment, but mean birth weight in children of smokers in medical treatment was 274 g lower than that of children of non-smokers in medical treatment. In our relatively small study CD women in medical treatment were not at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with untreated women with CD. In total, 87.6% of CD women were breastfeeding, and rates did not vary by medical treatment. Smoking and non-adherence seemed to predict relapse in CD during the postpartum period, whereas breastfeeding seemed protective against relapse.
Although we generally had low statistical precision this thesis suggests that counselling regarding medical treatment may be an important factor for medical adherence among CD women of fertile age. In addition CD women in medical treatment did not seem at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcome, but smoking predicted lower birth weight. Breastfeeding did not seem to increase the risk of relapse in CD.
The purpose of this study was to assess adherence to vascular protection drugs in diabetic patients using a cohort of diabetic patients aged >or=30 years, covered by the public drug insurance in the province of Quebec, excluding gestational diabetes and patients who were hopitalized or died during the 1-year follow-up. Drug adherence was measured using the medication possession ratio. Multivariate analyses, including logit and multinomial logit were used. Of the 170,381 diabetics (mean age: 62 +/- 14 years), 18% and 32% were regular users of ASA and ACEIs/ARBs, respectively. Regular use increased with age (p
This paper is a report of a study to identify the patterns of prescribing by primary health care nurse practitioners for a cohort of older adults.
The older adult population is known to receive complex pharmacotherapy. Monitoring prescribing to older adults can inform quality improvement initiatives. In comparison to other countries, research examining nurse practitioner prescribing in Canada is limited. Nurse practitioner prescribing for older adults is relatively unexplored in the international literature. Although commonly used to study physician prescribing, few studies have used claims data from drug insurance programmes to investigate nurse practitioner prescribing.
Drug claims for prescriptions written by nurse practitioners from fiscal years 2004/05 to 2006/07 for beneficiaries of the Nova Scotia Seniors' Pharmacare programme were analysed. Data were retrieved and analysed in May 2008. Prescribing was described for each drug using the World Health Organization Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical code classification system by usage and costs for each fiscal year.
Antimicrobials and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs consistently represented the top ranked groups for prescription volume and cost. Over the three fiscal years, antimicrobial prescription rates declined relative to rates of other groups of medications. Prescription volume per nurse doubled and cost per prescription increased by approximately 20%.
Prescription claims data can be used to characterize the prescribing trends of nurse practitioners. Research linking patient characteristics, including diagnoses, to prescriptions is needed to assess prescribing quality. Some potential areas of improvement were identified with antimicrobial and non-steroidal antiinflammatory selection.