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Publications (8)10.84 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) undergoing chemoradiotherapy are at high risk of malnutrition, which is related to complication rate. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of an early intensive nutritional intervention on nutritional status and outcomes in patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy for HNC. We analysed retrospectively the clinical documentation of 33 HNC patients who were referred for early nutritional intervention (nutrition intervention group, NG) before they were submitted to chemoradiotherapy. The outcome of these patients was compared to that of 33 patients who received chemoradiotherapy without receiving a specifically designed early nutrition support programme (control group, CG). NG patients lost less weight during chemoradiotherapy compared to CG patients (-4.6 +/- 4.1% vs -8.1 +/- 4.8% of pre-treatment weight, p < 0.01, at the completion of treatment). Patients in the NG experienced fewer radiotherapy breaks (>5 days) for toxicity (30.3% vs 63.6%, p < 0.01); the mean number of days of radiation delayed for toxicity was 4.4 +/- 5.2 in NG vs 7.6 +/- 6.5 in CG (p < 0.05); a linear correlation was found between percentage of weight lost from baseline to chemoradiotherapy completion and days of radiation delays (p < 0.01). There were less patients who had an unplanned hospitalisation in the NG relative to the CG (16.1% vs 41.4%, p = 0.03). In the NG, symptoms having an effect on the nutritional status developed early and were present in the nearly totality of patients at chemotherapy completion; 60.6% of NG patients needed tube feeding. Early nutrition intervention in patients with HNC receiving chemoradiotherapy resulted in an improved treatment tolerance and fewer admissions to hospital. This result suggests that nutritional intervention must be initiated before chemoradiotherapy, and it needs to be continued after treatment completion.
    Supportive Care in Cancer 08/2009; 18(7):837-45. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite controversy and increasing use of enteral nutrition (EN) among elderly people, descriptive population-based data are scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the epidemiological data of nursing home residents (NHRs) who received EN in a northeast area of Italy. All NHRs referred to our Nutrition Service for EN between 2001 and 2005 were enrolled. Data collected at EN initiation included age, gender, underlying disease, Karnofsky index, type of enteral access device, presence of pressure ulcers, weight, body mass index, and daily enteral intake. The outcomes considered were patient survival and duration of therapy. The 482 NHRs (130 males; 352 females) received EN. The mean incidence (cases/million population/year) and prevalence (cases/million population) were 223.4 and 279.4, respectively. An average of 6.6% of all NHRs were tube fed. EN was prescribed for the following conditions: 27.7% cerebrovascular accident, 54.6% neurodegenerative disease, 2.7% head and neck cancer, 1.2% abdominal cancer, 1.3% head trauma, 4.8% congenital disease, 7.7% other. Almost all patients had a Karnofsky index <or=50; 42.3% of patients had pressure ulcers. The median duration of EN was 296 days and the median overall survival was 411 days. NHRs receiving EN were mainly afflicted with neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases, functional impairments, and a high incidence of pressure sores. The mortality rate was low compared with others reported in literature. The low EN use among NHRs in our study may suggest a limited use in advanced dementia and at end-stage of life.
    Nutrition in Clinical Practice 01/2009; 24(5):635-41. · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the last twenty years Home Enteral Nutrition (HEN) has undergone considerable development and has determined economic and organisational changes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the epidemiological data of 655 patients treated in the five-year period (2001-2005) in an area in the North-East of Italy. The following data were analysed at the initiation of HEN: age, sex, pathology, Karnofsky index, type of enteral access device, presence of pressure ulcers, weight, body mass index, haematochemical tests, daily enteral intake. Length of therapy and patient survival were then considered. The outcome was based on patient mortality and the patient's ability to resume oral nutrition. HEN was prescribed for the following pathologies: 26.7% neurovascular, 40.9% neurodegenerative, 11.5% head-neck cancer, 9.8% abdominal cancer, 1.5% head injury, 2.6% congenital anomaly, 7.0% other pathologies. Before commencement of enteral feeding an average of 22.9% weight loss from past weight was observed across all indications for HEN. Mean incidence (cases/10(6) inhabitants/year) and prevalence (cases/10(6) inhabitants) were respectively 308.7 (range 80.7-355.6) and 379.8 (range 138.7-534.6). The median length of HEN was 196 days; only 7.9% of patients resumed oral nutrition. The median survival rate was 9.1 months and resulted influenced by age (Odds ratio: 1.80; 95% Confidence Interval: 1.19-2.72), sex (0.22; 0.08-0.59), and Karnofsky index (0.65; 0.43-0.97). Resumption of oral nutrition was influenced by age (0.50; 0.36-0.68), sex (2.50; 1.23-5.06), Karnofsky index (1.55; 1.15-2.10) and type of enteral access device (0.44; 0.26-0.76). Efficient organisation means being able to look after a greater number of patients undergoing HEN, raising awareness regarding the nutritional treatment.
    Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland) 07/2008; 27(3):378-85. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study analyses the organisational aspects and the volume of milk managed by the donated breast milk bank (banca del latte umano donato, BLUD) in Treviso. The data gathered refer to the years 2003, 2004 and 2005. In particular the hygiene methodology is described in order to obtain a high-quality product from a clinical point of view which is in line with the recent norms regarding the management of food products. During the three-year study 5,647 L of milk were collected (on average: 155 L/month; 5 L/day). Seventy-two percent of breast milk collected was from mothers for their own children; the remaining 28% of milk was from ''donors for the pool''. In the same period 5,053 L of milk was pasteurised and distributed (pool=31%; frozen breast milk=61%; chilled unpasteurized breast milk =8%). Microbiological data show total effectiveness of the methods of pasteurisation used (Holder method). The tracking of the product is possible through the BLUD organisation. We propose: 1) that scientific organisations and legislators try to optimise the control of this important product by providing guidelines, indications, microbiological parameters and legal obligations for the correct continuation of the work carried out by BLUDs; 2) that BLUDs create a network for rapid communication, integration and possible collaboration; 3) that a study be carried out regarding BLUDs and population density in order to balance costs and benefits.
    Minerva pediatrica 09/2007; 59(4):337-48. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Home enteral nutrition (HEN) has become a therapeutic option used to prolong considerably the life of those patients who were previously doomed to malnutrition. The recent biopsychosocial suggests to consider the person in a global vision that takes into account not only the physiological but also the psychological and social implications of any treatment we use. In such a vision the wellness of the patients treated in HEN has to be considered in a more general view that considers the effect of the therapy related to quality of life of the person itself. In this study the effects of HEN on the quality of life of the patients and of their primary caregivers was assessed. Twenty patients, 12 males and 8 females, were included in the study. Twelve patients were excluded from the study due to their inability to give informed consent due to a decrease in consciousness and/or cognitive functioning. The 20 patients' mean age was 59.5+14 years with average of 7 years of school education. Twenty-nine caregivers, 25 females and 4 males (mean age = 55.3+/-9 years), were also considered. The patients' condition was good since none showed symptoms related to the therapy. Of the 20 patients, 14 were hospitalized in the past 12 months and since their clinical conditions were stable they were sent back home, while 4 were hospitalized because of HEN issues. None of the patients showed gastro-enteric complications related to their disease state during the previous 12 months, although 5 patients had constipation, and 2 had temporary diarrhea (spontaneously receded) which reduced the infused caloric intake for 2-3 days from the symptom onset. The biopsychosocial approach we used in this study shows that aspects traditionally treated as ''positive'' and desirable by health-care professionals (i.e. the possibility to provide home care) do not have a straightforward correspondence in the emotional sphere of the patient undergoing HEN. On the contrary, in some cases, the subjective perception of the health related quality of life tends to be lower than expected, since the patient endures a treatment which appears to be essentially ineffective in modifying the prognosis of the basal disease.
    Minerva medica 03/2007; 98(1):5-17. · 0.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Data and research increasingly point to multiple factors in the genesis of eating-behavior disorders, but the lack of a clear etiological definition prevents a unique therapeutic or prognostic approach from being defined. Therapeutic approaches, as well as scientific research, have separately analyzed the psychological aspects and the clinical-nutrition aspects without integrating the variables or correlating clinical and psychological data. This work has several goals because it aims at considering the problem from the 2 different perspectives. Psychological and clinical variables are analyzed both separately and together in order to assess (a) the minimal criteria to define a cure as "lifesaving" and submit a patient to artificial nutrition; (b) the kind of implementation artificial nutrition should follow; (c) which indicators of the efficacy of artificial nutrition must be taken into account; (d) the results in nutrition terms that may be obtained during the follow-up; (e) if artificial nutrition may be used as a therapeutic tool; (f) if there are any psychological effects after artificial nutrition; (g) if there are any effects due to the patients' age; and (h) the correlation between the psychological profile of a patient and the acceptance of the nutrition treatment. Several psychological and pharmacologic variables, together with clinical and anthropometric data and blood chemical values, were all considered. Besides defining minimal criteria for a "lifesaving" cure and proposing 2 ad hoc scales for the assessment of patients' subjective willingness toward feeding and for the objective measurement of feeding itself, clinical data and correlations with psychological data evidenced the importance of artificial nutrition and specifically of enteral nutrition as a therapeutic tool, allowing us to define the modalities of implementation of enteral nutrition. Results show that, because enteral nutrition did not deteriorate the psychological state of the patients, and was found to be accepted more positively than feeding orally in the most critical initial phase, it should be included in the therapy.
    Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 01/2006; 30(3):231-9. · 2.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIM:: The purpose of this study was to analyze the organizational models of home enteral feeding used in 5 local health authorities (LHAs) in the Veneto region (Italy). By comparing these models with the main guidelines, the authors have attempted to determine the "minimum standards" to be adopted at an organizational level. This 3-stage study analyzes procedures, precoded actions, and recordable processes. Stage 1: objectives were defined, work methods selected, and reference guidelines chosen. Stage 2: flowcharts were drafted to show the actions and work paths taken for the 5 LHAs. Stage 3: flowcharts were compared with data from the literature. The study shows that very different organizational models exist. For instance, by comparing organizational processes with the procedures prescribed by the guidelines, it can be seen that the mean percentages of actions taken by the 5 LHAs, for patients in both rest homes and nursing homes, rarely exceeds the threshold of 50% (on a scale from 0% to 100%). This study shows that home enteral feeding is neither optimized nor uniform in the 5 LHAs and that standardized methods are not used for clinical monitoring.
    Quality management in health care 22(3):248-266.
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    ABSTRACT: The study aimed to establish whether the organization for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus at 9 diabetic units (DUs), in 5 neighboring local health authorities (LHAs), was able to (a) comply with the organizational model prescribed by specific regional standards; (b) ensure adequate clinical management of diabetic patients; (c) assess whether the relationship between primary care physicians (PCPs) and diabetologists (SDs) was instrumental to the needs of patients; (d) optimize specialist treatment at the DUs; (e) optimize drug management; and (f) check whether organizational changes led to variations in clinical results. This 6-stage study analyzed procedures, precoded actions, and recordable processes. Stage (1) Defining clinical and organizational endpoints; (2) Drafting flowcharts to describe the actions and work procedures implemented within each LHA; (3) Comparing the flowcharts with the data obtained from related literature; (4) Establishing a protocol shared with PCPs for the management and treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes; (5) Changing the procedures at the DUs; and (6) Evaluating the results. The data were assessed before and after establishing a shared protocol for SDs and PCPs (year 2009 vs 2011). The study shows inconsistencies in the organization of work in the 5 LHAs; however, collaboration with PCPs has guaranteed: (a) unchanged hemoglobin A1C values before and after applying the protocol; (b) a percentage increase in the number of patients with type 2 diabetes who were identified thanks to these protocols; (c) an increase in the use of biguanides compared to the preprotocol period; and (d) no change in the number of patients hospitalized because of acute complications from type 2 diabetes mellitus. This study confirms how adequate collaboration between SDs and PCPs keeps the risk of complications stable. Nevertheless, shared protocols and clearly defined roles are required.
    Quality management in health care 23(2):99-118.