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    ABSTRACT: Understanding how European care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) admissions vary against guideline standards provides an opportunity to target appropriate quality improvement interventions. In 2010-2011 an audit of care against the 2010 'Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease' (GOLD) standards was performed in 16 018 patients from 384 hospitals in 13 countries. Clinicians prospectively identified consecutive COPD admissions over a period of 8 weeks, recording clinical care measures on a web-based data tool. Data were analysed comparing adherence to 10 key management recommendations. Adherence varied between hospitals and across countries. The lack of available spirometry results and variable use of oxygen and non-invasive ventilation (NIV) are high impact areas identified for improvement.
    Thorax 06/2013;
  • International Journal of Epidemiology 10/2012; 41(5):1491-2.
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal symptoms such as severe headache, nausea and vomiting, visual disturbances and epigastric pain have been associated with complications in women with preeclampsia. To determine the accuracy of maternal symptoms in predicting complications in women with preeclampsia by systematic review. We searched MEDLINE (1951-2010), EMBASE (1980-2010), the Cochrane Library (2009) and the MEDION database. Studies which evaluated the accuracy of symptoms in women with preeclampsia for predicting complications were selected in a two-stage process. Information was extracted by two independent reviewers. We summarized accuracy with a bivariate model estimating sensitivity, specificity and area under the curve. Six primary articles with 2573 women were included. The area under the curve for predicting complications for headache, epigastric pain and visual disturbances was 0.58 (95%CI 0.24-0.86), 0.70 (95%CI 0.30-0.93) and 0.74 (95%CI 0.33-0.94). The sensitivity and specificity of the symptoms in predicting adverse maternal outcomes were respectively as follows: headache 0.54 (95%CI 0.27-0.79) and 0.59 (95%CI 0.38-0.76); epigastric pain 0.34 (95%CI 0.22-0.5) and 0.83 (95%CI 0.76-0.89); visual disturbances 0.27 (95%CI 0.07-0.65) and 0.81 (95%CI 0.71, 0.88); nausea and vomiting 0.24 (95%CI 0.21, 0.27) and 0.87 (95%CI 0.85, 0.89). The presence of symptoms is more useful in predicting complications in preeclampsia compared to their absence in excluding adverse events.
    Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica 03/2011; 90(6):564-73.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Liver function tests are routinely performed in women as part of a battery of investigations to assess severity at admission and later to guide appropriate management. OBJECTIVE: To determine the accuracy with which liver function tests predict complications in women with preeclampsia by a systematic review. DATA: We conducted electronic searches without language restrictions in (1951-2010), (1980-2010) and the Cochrane Library (2009). METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION: Primary articles that evaluated the accuracy of liver function tests in predicting complications in women with preeclampsia were chosen. Data was extracted by two reviewers independently. A bivariate model estimated area under the curve, sensitivity and specificity. RESULTS: There were 13 primary articles including a total of 3 497 women assessing maternal (30 2x2 tables) and fetal (19 2x2 tables) outcomes. For predicting adverse maternal outcome, the point estimates of specificity were >70% in 18 tables with 0.79 (95%CI 0.51, 0.93). For predicting adverse fetal outcomes the specificity of the test was >70% in 2x2 tables. Sensitivity of the test was poor for both maternal and fetal outcomes. CONCLUSION: In women with preeclampsia, function tests performed better in predicting adverse maternal than fetal outcomes. The presence of increased liver enzymes was associated with an increased probability of maternal and fetal complications, but normal liver enzyme levels did not rule out disease, as specificity was often higher than sensitivity.
    Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica 01/2011; 90(6):574-85.
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    ABSTRACT: The role of theory in qualitative research is often underplayed but it is relevant to the quality of such research in three main ways. Theory influences research design, including decisions about what to research and the development of research questions. Theory underpins methodology and has implications for how data are analyzed and interpreted. Finally, theory about a particular health issue may be developed, contributing to what is already known about the topic that is the focus of the study. This paper will critically consider the role of theory in qualitative primary care research in relation to these three areas. Different approaches to qualitative research will be drawn upon in order to illustrate the ways in which theory might variably inform qualitative research, namely generic qualitative research, grounded theory and discourse analysis. The aim is to describe and discuss key issues and provide practical guidance so that researchers are more aware of the role theory has to play and the importance of being explicit about how theory affects design, analysis and the quality of qualitative research.
    Family Practice 10/2009; 27(3):285-90.
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    ABSTRACT: To review the literature on the histopathological diagnosis of the condition termed 'autistic enterocolitis'. We have reviewed all published works where mucosal biopsy specimens from autistic children have been examined histopathologically. Abstracts were excluded. Our review of the published works, nearly all from a single centre, identifies major inconsistencies between studies, lack of appropriate controls and misinterpretation of normal findings as pathology. Ileal lymphoid hyperplasia may be more prevalent in children with regressive autism but is also seen in children with food allergies and severe constipation, the latter being an extremely common finding in autistic children. The histopathological diagnosis of autistic enterocolitis should be treated with caution until a proper study with appropriate methodology and controls is undertaken.
    Histopathology 11/2007; 51(4):552-3.
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic pain has large health care costs and a major impact on the health of those affected. Few studies have also considered the severity of pain in different parts of the body across all age groups. To measure the prevalence and troublesomeness of musculoskeletal pain in different body locations and age groups, in a consistent manner, without using location specific health outcome measures. A cross-sectional postal survey of 4049 adults registered with 16 MRC General Practice Research Framework practices. Frequency of chronic pain overall and troublesome pain by location and age was calculated. Logistic regression was undertaken to explore the relationship between chronic pain and demographic factors. We received 2504 replies; response rate 60%. The prevalence of chronic pain was 41%. The prevalence of chronic pain rose from 23% in 18-24 year olds reaching a peak of 50% in 55-64 year olds. Troublesome pain over the last 4 weeks was commonest in the lower back (25%), neck (18%), knee (17%) and shoulder (17%). Troublesome wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck and lower back pain were most prevalent in the 45- to 64-year-age groups. Troublesome hip/thigh, knee and ankle/foot pain were most prevalent in those aged 75 or more. Great efforts have been made to develop and test treatments for low back pain. Our findings suggest that the overall prevalence of troublesome neck, knee and shoulder pain approaches that of troublesome low back pain and that similar efforts may be required to improve the management these pains.
    Family Practice 10/2007; 24(4):308-16.
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    ABSTRACT: Bioethical arguments conceal the coercion underlying the choice between poverty and selling ones organs.
    Journal of Medical Ethics 09/2007; 33(8):473-4.
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the frequency and health impact of chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain, in a representative UK sample. Population postal questionnaire survey, using 16 general practices in the southeast of England, nationally representative urban/rural, ethnic and socioeconomic mix. A random selection of 4049 registered patients, aged 18 or over, were sent a questionnaire. The main outcome measures were chronic pain location, identified using a pain drawing; distress, pain intensity and disability as measured by the GHQ12 and the Chronic Pain Grade. A total of 2445 patients (60%) responded to the survey (44% male, mean age 52 yrs); 45% had chronic musculoskeletal pain. Of those with chronic pain, three quarters had pain in multiple sites (two or more sites). Variables significantly predicting this were: age under 55, [odds ratio (OR) 0.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.4, 0.6]; psychological distress (OR 1.8, CI at 95% 1.4, 2.2) and high pain intensity (OR 5.2, CI at 95% 4.1, 6.7). Only 33% of multi-site pain distributions conformed to the American College of Rheumatology definition of chronic widespread pain. Multi-site chronic pain is more common than single-site chronic pain and is commonly associated with other problems. Indiscriminate targeting of research and care for chronic musculoskeletal pain on single sites may often be inappropriate.
    Rheumatology 08/2007; 46(7):1168-70.
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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin D was used to treat tuberculosis in the pre-antibiotic era. New insights into the immunomodulatory properties of 1alpha,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D have rekindled interest in vitamin D as an adjunct to antituberculous therapy. We describe the historical use of vitamin D in tuberculosis treatment; discuss the mechanisms by which it may modulate host response to infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis; and review three clinical trials and ten case series in which vitamin D has been used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.
    The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 04/2007; 103(3-5):793-8.
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