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    ABSTRACT: Many people with Parkinson's disease suffer from disorders of speech. The most frequently reported speech problems are weak, hoarse, nasal or monotonous voice, imprecise articulation, slow or fast speech, difficulty starting speech, impaired stress or rhythm, stuttering and tremor. People with the condition also tend to give fewer non-verbal cues such as using facial expression to convey information. These disabilities tend to increase as the disease progresses and can lead to serious problems with communication. This review compares the benefits of one form of speech and language therapy (SLT) versus another for individuals with Parkinson's disease. Relevant trials were identified by electronic searches of 16 biomedical literature databases, various registers of clinical trials and examination of the reference lists of identified studies and other reviews. Only randomised controlled trials were included in this review. These are studies in which two groups of patients were compared, each group receiving a different form of SLT, with patients assigned to the groups in a random fashion to reduce potential for bias. Six trials were found with a total of 159 patients. Methods varied so much that meta-analysis of the results was not possible. Considering the small number of patients and the methodological flaws in these studies, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of one form of SLT over another for the treatment of speech problems in individuals with Parkinson's disease.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Cohrane Database of Systematic Reviews
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    ABSTRACT: Aim To investigate the informed consent experiences of women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and childhood trauma involved in a neurocognitive and neuroimaging study. There is no previous research on the consent process for people with both HIV and childhood trauma, conditions that are syndemic in South Africa. Research on the consent process for each individual condition has shown that individuals with either of these conditions may be vulnerable research participants. This study aimed to investigate the opinions of the women involved in order to refine future consent processes and ensure that they are appropriate for this population. A qualitative semi-structured interview was conducted with women from Khayelitsha township in South Africa involved in a cohort study on neurocognitive and neuroimaging outcomes in HIV and childhood trauma, who agreed to participate in an interview immediately following their final study appointment. Findings Aspects most frequently commented upon by participants during the interview were community recruitment, incentives for participation, quality of information provided, and misunderstandings and unexpected events. The overarching finding was that of therapeutic misconception; participants expected, and highlighted as incentives for participation, health benefits that were not part of the study. A minority of participants reported discomfort from questions concerning their traumatic experiences. Despite this, the consent process was well received and there was good understanding of confidentiality issues and the voluntariness of participation. Full disclosure of true benefits from participation must be emphasised throughout the recruitment process. This is particularly important for participants with HIV who appear to participate because of perceived health incentives. Providing prior notification that questions about traumatic experiences will be asked may improve the experiences of participants. A generic but thoroughly conducted consent process is suitable in this population.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Primary Health Care Research & Development
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the experiences of health care professionals discussing sexual wellbeing with patients who have had a stroke. In-depth qualitative interview study with purposive sampling and thematic analysis. 30 health care professionals purposively recruited to include different roles and settings along the stroke patient pathway in secondary and primary care. Two hospitals and three general practices in the West Midlands, UK. Sexual wellbeing was a topic that participants did not raise with patients and was infrequently raised by patients. Barriers to raising discussion were on four levels: structural, health care professional, patient, and professional-patient interface. Barriers within these levels included: sexual wellbeing not present within hospital stroke policy; the perception that sexual wellbeing was not within participants' role; participants' concern that raising the issue could cause harm to the patient; and the views that discussion would be inappropriate with older people or unimportant to women. Resources exist to aid discussion but many participants were unaware of them, and most of those that were, did not use them routinely. Participants lacked motivation, ownership, and the confidence and skills to raise sexual wellbeing routinely after stroke. Similar findings have been reported in cancer care and other taboo subjects such as incontinence potentially resulting in a sub-optimal experience for patients. Normalisation of the inclusion of sensitive topics in discussions post-stroke does not seem to need significant structural intervention and simple changes such as information provision and legitimisation through consideration of the issue in standard care policies may be all that is required. The experiences recounted by professionals in this study suggest that such changes are needed now.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · PLoS ONE
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