[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Beers (2012) criteria and the screening tool of older persons' potentially inappropriate prescriptions (STOPP) criteria are often used to identify potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use in elderly patients. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of PIM use in nursing home residents (NHRs) aged ≥65 years presenting to the Emergency Department (ED); to compare the Beers and STOPP criteria and to identify the potential role of PIMs in ED attendances.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 10/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The importance of thrombin generation in the pathogenesis of TIA or stroke and its relationship with cerebral microembolic signals (MES) in asymptomatic and symptomatic carotid stenosis has not been comprehensively assessed.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. 07/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impact of commencing or changing antiplatelet therapy on von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF:Ag) and von Willebrand factor propeptide (VWF:Ag II) levels has not been comprehensively assessed following TIA or ischaemic stroke. In this pilot, longitudinal, observational analytical study, VWF:Ag and VWF:Ag II levels were simultaneously quantified in platelet poor plasma by ELISA in patients within 4 weeks of TIA or ischaemic stroke (baseline), and then 14 days (14d) and >90 days (90d) after altering antiplatelet therapy. Ninety-one patients were recruited. Eighteen were initially assessed on no antiplatelet therapy, and then after 14d (N = 17) and 90d (N = 8) on aspirin monotherapy; 21 patients were assessed on aspirin and after 14d and 90d on clopidogrel; 52 were assessed on aspirin monotherapy, and after 14d and 90d on aspirin and dipyridamole combination therapy. VWF:Ag, VWF:Ag II levels and VWF:Ag/VWF:Ag II ratio were unchanged at 14d and 90d in the overall study population (p ≥ 0.1). VWF:Ag and VWF:Ag II levels remained stable at 14d and 90d after commencing aspirin (p ≥ 0.054), and after changing from aspirin to clopidogrel (p ≥ 0.2). Following the addition of dipyridamole MR to aspirin, there was a significant reduction in VWF:Ag levels at 14d (p = 0.03) and 90d (p = 0.005), but not in VWF:Ag II levels (p ≥ 0.3). The addition of dipyridamole to aspirin led to a persistent reduction in VWF:Ag but not in VWF:Ag II levels, suggesting that dipyridamole may inhibit release of platelet-derived VWF:Ag following TIA or ischaemic stroke.
Journal of Neurology 04/2014; · 3.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to survey general practitioners (GPs) in Ireland regarding their experience with elder abuse. A random sample of 800 GPs were mailed a survey in March 2010, with a reminder in May 2010, yielding a 24% response rate. The majority, 64.5%, had encountered elder abuse, with 35.5% encountering a case in the previous year. Most were detected during a home visit. Psychological abuse and self-neglect were most common. Most GPs in Ireland have encountered cases of elder abuse, most were willing to get involved beyond medical treatment, and 76% cited a need for more education.
Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect 04/2014; 26(3):291-299.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purposevon Willebrand factor propeptide (VWF:Ag II) is potentially a more sensitive marker of acute endothelial activation than von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF:Ag). These biomarkers have not been simultaneously assessed in asymptomatic versus symptomatic carotid stenosis patients. The relationship between endothelial activation and cerebral microembolic signals (MESs) detected on transcranial Doppler ultrasound is unknown.Methods
In this multicentre observational analytical study, plasma VWF:Ag and VWF:Ag II levels in patients with ≥50% asymptomatic carotid stenosis were compared with those from patients with ≥50% symptomatic carotid stenosis in the ‘early’ (≤4 weeks) and ‘late’ (≥3 months) phases after transient ischaemic attack or ischaemic stroke. Endothelial activation was also longitudinally assessed in symptomatic patients during follow-up. Transcranial Doppler ultrasound monitoring classified patients as MES-positive or MES-negative.ResultsData from 31 asymptomatic patients were compared with those from 46 early symptomatic and 35 late phase symptomatic carotid stenosis patients, 23 of whom had undergone carotid intervention. VWF:Ag II levels were higher in early (12.8 μg/ml; P < 0.001), late (10.6 μg/ml; P = 0.01) and late post-intervention (10.6 μg/ml; P = 0.038) symptomatic patients than asymptomatic patients (8.9 μg/ml). VWF:Ag levels decreased in symptomatic patients followed up from the early to late phase after symptom onset (P = 0.048). Early symptomatic MES-negative patients had higher VWF: Ag II levels (13.3 vs. 9.0 μg/ml; P < 0.001) than asymptomatic MES-negative patients.Conclusions
Endothelial activation is enhanced in symptomatic versus asymptomatic carotid stenosis patients, in early symptomatic versus asymptomatic MES-negative patients, and decreases over time in symptomatic patients. VWF:Ag II levels are a more sensitive marker of endothelial activation than VWF:Ag levels in carotid stenosis. The potential value of endothelial biomarkers and concurrent cerebral MES detection at predicting stroke risk in carotid stenosis warrants further study.
European Journal of Neurology 04/2014; · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 'accuracy' of age, blood pressure, clinical features, duration and diabetes (ABCD(2)) scoring by non-stroke specialists referring patients to a daily Rapid Access Stroke Prevention (RASP) service is unclear, as is the accuracy of ABCD(2) scoring by trainee residents. In this prospective study, referrals were classified as 'confirmed TIAs' if the stroke specialist confirmed a clinical diagnosis of possible, probable or definite TIA, and 'non-TIAs' if patients had a TIA mimic or completed stroke. ABCD(2) scores from referring physicians were compared with scores by experienced stroke specialists and neurology/geriatric medicine residents at a daily RASP clinic; inter-observer agreement was examined. Data from 101 referrals were analysed (mean age=60.0years, 58% male). The median interval between referral and clinic assessment was 1day. Of 101 referrals, 52 (52%) were 'non-TIAs': 45 (86%) of 52 were 'TIA mimics' and 7 (14%) of 52 were completed strokes. There was only 'fair' agreement in total ABCD(2) scoring between referring physicians and stroke specialists (κ=0.37). Agreement was 'excellent' between residents and stroke specialists (κ=0.91). Twenty of 29 patients scored as 'moderate to high risk' (score 4-6) by stroke specialists were scored 'low risk' (score 0-3) by referring physicians. ABCD(2) scoring by referring doctors is frequently inaccurate, with a tendency to underestimate stroke risk. These findings emphasise the importance of urgent specialist assessment of suspected TIA patients, and that ABCD(2) scores by non-stroke specialists cannot be relied upon in isolation to risk-stratify patients. Inter-observer agreement in ABCD(2) scoring was 'excellent' between residents and stroke specialists, indicating short-term training may improve accuracy.
Journal of the neurological sciences 07/2013; · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nursing home (NH) residents represent the frailest group of older people, and providing gerontologically attuned care that addresses these frailties is often a challenge within the emergency department (ED). This study sought to prospectively profile acutely unwell NH residents in order to clarify some of the challenges of providing emergency care to this group. Over an 18-week period, we prospectively reviewed all NH residents presenting to the ED of an urban university teaching hospital. Relevant data were retrieved by direct physician review (as part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment in the ED), collateral history from NH staff and primary carers, and review of electronic records. There were 155 ED visits by 116 NH residents. Their mean age was 80.3 (±9.6) years. High pre-morbid levels of dependency were reflected by a mean Barthel Index of 34.1 (±20) and almost two-thirds had a pre-existing diagnosis of dementia. One-third of visits were during 'normal' working hours. Patients were reviewed by their regular NH doctor pre-transfer for 36% of visits. Using accepted international criteria, over half of the visits were deemed 'potentially preventable'. Unwell NH residents have complex medical needs. The decision to refer these patients to the ED is often made by 'out of hours' general practitioners and their initial care in the ED is directed by physicians with limited experience in geriatric medicine. Most referrals to the ED are potentially preventable but this would require enhancements to the package of care available in NHs.
QJM: monthly journal of the Association of Physicians 07/2013; · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: the workforce is ageing. The contribution of older workers is considerable. Their occupational health profiles differ from those of younger workers.
we wished to establish whether consideration has been given by regulatory and professional bodies of the impact of ageing-related conditions such as dementia on professional practice.
We e-mailed a questionnaire to 22 regulatory and professional bodies in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. We asked whether there are supports for their practitioners should they develop age-related diseases, (particularly cognitive disorders),whether the body considered that the practitioner was responsible for their own health, and whether the body has resources to arrange for medical review for their professionals if concerns arose regarding competence. Where bodies did not respond, information relating to the questions was extracted from their on-line resources.
thirteen bodies responded. None of these had specific supports to assist older workers. Some knew of other supports (occupational health, employee assistance supports, benevolent funds or counselling services). All of the bodies who responded either have or are developing structures to deal with concerns regarding their practitioners.
The absence of specific policies for age-related diseases, (particularly dementia), among professional and regulatory bodies is a challenge for an ageing workforce in the liberal professions. Closer working between geriatric medicine, old age psychiatry, occupational health and professional bodies is recommended to develop age-attuned policies and systems which protect the public while supporting the professionals in both work and timely transition from work.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: There has been an increasing interest in the arts in health care, with a suggestion that the arts and aesthetics can augment patient outcomes in stroke and other illnesses. Designing such programmes requires better knowledge of the artistic, aesthetic, and cultural pursuits of people affected by stroke. The aim of this study was to obtain the insights of this group about the profile of art and aesthetic activities in their lives and the influence of stroke on these aspects. METHODS: Patients attending a stroke service were administered questions adapted from the Irish Arts Council's 2006 questionnaire on participation in aesthetics and cultural pursuits. Information was also collected on stroke type and present functional and cognitive status. Thirty-eight patients were interviewed. Of these, 20 were inpatients in hospital at the time of the interview and 18 were interviewed in an outpatient setting. RESULTS: Popular activities included mainstream cinema, listening to music, dancing, attending plays or musicals, and being outdoors. Many patients ceased these activities after their stroke, mostly because of health issues and inaccessibility. Most of the patients valued the importance of the arts in the health-care setting. CONCLUSIONS: This study gives a perspective for the first time on the aesthetic and cultural pursuits of stroke patients before their stroke. It portrays a wide variety of cultural and leisure activities and the cessation of these poststroke. It revealed the restrictions patients felt on gaining access to leisure pursuits both while in hospital and following discharge.
Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases: the official journal of National Stroke Association 06/2013;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AIM: To describe the aesthetic and cultural pursuits of older patients in hospital. BACKGROUND: Although there is much discussion of the importance of arts - used in this paper to refer to all art forms, as currently listed by the Arts Council of Ireland www.artscouncil.ie - in health, little is known about the salience of aesthetic and cultural pursuits of hospital patients. DESIGN: A qualitative, hermeneutic phenomenological study examined artistic and cultural interests and experiences of older hospital patients and their perceptions of aesthetics of hospital. METHODS: A phenomenological study was carried out in 2011, using purposeful sampling with 20 inpatients aged over 65. Patients were selected from the geriatric medicine day hospital of a university teaching hospital, 10 had experience of the hospital arts programme. RESULTS: Seven themes identified: loss and the impact of illness on leisure activities; patients' interests and passions; a lack of expectation of arts in hospital; the positive impact of arts in hospital for those who had experienced them; varying preference between receptive and participative arts activity according to phase of illness; aesthetic aspects of the hospital experience; recommendations for changes to improve arts in hospital. CONCLUSIONS: Aesthetic and cultural interests are important in the lives of older patients admitted to hospital. Illness can create barriers to artistic engagement. Participation in arts activities may be more important during recovery and rehabilitation, with receptive arts being more popular during the acute phase of illness in hospital. Further research recommended on the role of the aesthetic environment for patients' health and well-being as well as receptive arts in hospital.
Journal of Advanced Nursing 06/2013; · 1.53 Impact Factor