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Recovery following an upper arm break can be prolonged and cause loss of independence. Appropriate information provision to empower and enable active participation in rehabilitation is vital to achieve the best clinical outcomes.
To identify and analyse, through the lens of health literacy, publicly available information leaflets produced for patients following upper arm breaks in the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) to understand their fitness for purpose.
An electronic search of online search engines was undertaken using search terms to identify information leaflets for upper arm breaks. Relevant leaflets were retrieved and a thematic analysis was undertaken from a health literacy perspective. To complement this, each information leaflet was also formally assessed for readability.
Thirty-five information leaflets were analysed. Two main themes were generated: ‘Empowerment’ and ‘Language Use’, with subthemes of promoting recovery, readability and risk of misinterpretation. The information presented in these leaflets was often complicated and sometimes contradictory. Less than half (46%) of the information leaflets were presented at a level that would be understood by the general population.
Current information leaflets made available for patients following upper arm breaks are not fit for purpose and are written in a way that the general population would not readily understand. There is an urgent need to understand the information needs of patients and present such information in an accessible way to optimise clinical outcomes following upper arm breaks.
Printed health education (HE) materials are commonly provided in primary health care (PHC). However, little is known about their use by PHC visitors.
This study explored patients' opinions and use of printed HE materials in order to determine an ideal output format for HE.
Design & setting:
This was a cross-sectional study, which was conducted in three PHC centres at King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire.
Fifty-five point two per cent of participants obtained printed HE materials from PHC waiting areas. The majority read one or more materials and found it helpful and memorable. Seventy-seven point two per cent applied the written message, 24.0% of participants regularly read HE materials, and more than half spent time reading them in the PHC centre's waiting area. Around half (51.1%) put the material back in its place after reading it. The preferred format was card with text and graphs. The preferred content was healthy lifestyle advice.
Patients do use printed HE materials in a positive way. More efforts are needed to improve the quality of the materials. Different healthcare providers should contribute more in HE.
Quality health information is key to patient engagement, self-management and an enhanced healthcare experience. There is strong evidence to support involving patients and their families in the development and evaluation of health-related educational material. These factors were the impetus for our high volume joint replacement centre to undertake a qualitative study to elicit patient experiences to inform the development of effective strategies and education along the care continuum for hip and knee replacement.
Purposively selected patients from postoperative follow-up clinics were recruited to participate in a focus group or telephone interview. We developed a semi-structured interview guide that addressed four specific aspects of the patient’s experience with educational material: pre-surgery, hospital stay, recovery period and future recommendations. The focus groups and interviews continued to the point of saturation and were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Interview transcripts were coded and then inductively organized into larger categories using thematic analysis.
Six focus groups and seven telephone interviews were conducted, totalling 32 participants. One of the key themes that emerged was a need for more education concerning pain management post-operatively; specifically, patients wanted more information on expected levels of pain, pain medication usage, management of side effects and guidelines for weaning off the medication. There was surprising variability in patients’ descriptions of their pre-surgery, surgery and recovery experiences. These corresponded to an equally diverse range of preferences for educational content, delivery and timing. Many patients reported using the web while others preferred traditional formats for information delivery. There was some interest in receiving education using mobile technology.
Our findings validate the importance of multi-modal patient education tailored to individual preferences and experiences, which may differ according to such characteristics as gender and age. The gap in pain management information is a critical finding for healthcare providers working with patients undergoing joint replacement. Developing pain management education in different formats that addresses frequently asked questions will enhance patient engagement and, their overall experience and recovery.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (10.1186/s12891-017-1769-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The PROximal Fracture of the Humerus Evaluation by Randomisation (PROFHER) randomised clinical trial compared the operative and non-operative treatment of adults with a displaced fracture of the proximal humerus involving the surgical neck. The aim of this study was to determine the long-term treatment effects beyond the two-year follow-up.
Patients and methods:
Of the original 250 trial participants, 176 consented to extended follow-up and were sent postal questionnaires at three, four and five years after recruitment to the trial. The Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS; the primary outcome), EuroQol 5D-3L (EQ-5D-3L), and any recent shoulder operations and fracture data were collected. Statistical and economic analyses, consistent with those of the main trial were applied.
OSS data were available for 164, 155 and 149 participants at three, four and five years, respectively. There were no statistically or clinically significant differences between operative and non-operative treatment at each follow-up point. No participant had secondary shoulder surgery for a new complication. Analyses of EQ-5D-3L data showed no significant between-group differences in quality of life over time.
These results confirm that the main findings of the PROFHER trial over two years are unchanged at five years. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2017;99-B:383-92.
Proximal humeral fractures account for 5-6% of all fractures in adults. There is considerable variation in whether or not surgery is used in the management of displaced fractures involving the surgical neck.
To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of surgical compared with non-surgical treatment of the majority of displaced fractures of the proximal humerus involving the surgical neck in adults.
A pragmatic parallel-group multicentre randomised controlled trial with an economic evaluation. Follow-up was for 2 years.
Recruitment was undertaken in the orthopaedic departments of 33 acute NHS hospitals in the UK. Patient care pathways included outpatient and community-based rehabilitation.
Adults (aged ≥ 16 years) presenting within 3 weeks of their injury with a displaced fracture of the proximal humerus involving the surgical neck.
The choice of surgical intervention was left to the treating surgeons, who used techniques with which they were experienced. Non-surgical treatment was initial sling immobilisation followed by active rehabilitation. Provision of rehabilitation was comparable in both groups.
The primary outcome was the Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS) assessed at 6, 12 and 24 months. Secondary outcomes were the 12-item Short Form health survey, surgical and other shoulder fracture-related complications, secondary surgery to the shoulder or increased/new shoulder-related therapy, medical complications during inpatient stay and mortality. European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions data and treatment costs were also collected.
The mean age of the 250 trial participants was 66 years and 192 (77%) were female. Independent assessment using the Neer classification identified 18 one-part fractures, 128 two-part fractures and 104 three- or four-part fractures. OSS data were available for 215 participants at 2 years. We found no statistically or clinically significant differences in OSS scores between the two treatment groups (scale 0-48, with a higher score indicating a better outcome) over the 2-year period [difference of 0.75 points in favour of the surgery group, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.33 to 2.84; p = 0.479; data from 114 surgery and 117 non-surgery participants] or at individual time points. We found no statistically significant differences between surgical and non-surgical group participants in SF-12 physical or mental component summary scores; surgical or shoulder fracture-related complications (30 vs. 23 respectively); those undergoing further shoulder-related therapy, either surgery (11 vs. 11 respectively) or other therapy (seven vs. four respectively); or mortality (nine vs. five respectively). The base-case economic analysis showed that, at 2 years, the cost of surgical intervention was, on average, £1780.73 more per patient (95% CI £1152.71 to £2408.75) than the cost of non-surgical intervention. It was also slightly less beneficial in terms of utilities, although this difference was not statistically significant. The net monetary benefit associated with surgery is negative. There was only a 5% probability of surgery achieving the criterion of costing < £20,000 to gain a quality-adjusted life-year, which was confirmed by extensive sensitivity analyses.
Current surgical practice does not result in a better outcome for most patients with displaced fractures of the proximal humerus involving the surgical neck and is not cost-effective in the UK setting. Two areas for future work are the setting up of a national database of these fractures, including the collection of patient-reported outcomes, and research on the best ways of informing patients with these and other upper limb fractures about initial self-care.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN50850043.
This project was funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 19, No. 24. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.
Proximal humeral fractures have been a topic of discussion in medical literature dating back as far as 3rd century BC. Today, these fractures are the most common type of humeral fractures and account for about 5-6% of all fractures in adults with the incidence rising rapidly with age. In broad terms the management of proximal humeral fractures can be divided into two categories: conservative versus surgical intervention. The aim of treatment is to stabilize the fracture, aid better union and reduce pain during the healing process. Failure to achieve this can result in impairment of function, and significantly weaken the muscles inserting onto the proximal humerus. With the rising incidence of proximal humeral fractures, especially among the elderly, the short and long term burden for patients as well as the wider society is increasing. Furthermore, there is a lack of consistency in the definitive treatment and management of displaced fractures. This systematic review of literature compares the surgical treatment of proximal humeral fractures with their conservative management, by evaluating the available randomised controlled trials on this topic.
The purpose of patient information leaflets (PILs) is to inform patients about the administration, precautions and potential side effects of their prescribed medication. Despite European Commission guidelines aiming at increasing readability and comprehension of PILs little is known about the potential risk information has on patients. This article explores patients’ reactions and subsequent behavior towards risk information conveyed in PILs of commonly prescribed drugs by general practitioners (GPs) for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension or hypercholesterolemia; the most frequent cause for consultations in family practices in Germany.
We conducted six focus groups comprising 35 patients which were recruited in GP practices. Transcripts were read and coded for themes; categories were created by abstracting data and further refined into a coding framework.
Three interrelated categories are presented: (i) The vast amount of side effects and drug interactions commonly described in PILs provoke various emotional reactions in patients which (ii) lead to specific patient behavior of which (iii) consulting the GP for assistance is among the most common. Findings show that current description of potential risk information caused feelings of fear and anxiety in the reader resulting in undesirable behavioral reactions.
Future PILs need to convey potential risk information in a language that is less frightening while retaining the information content required to make informed decisions about the prescribed medication. Thus, during the production process greater emphasis needs to be placed on testing the degree of emotional arousal provoked in patients when reading risk information to allow them to undertake a benefit-risk-assessment of their medication that is based on rational rather than emotional (fearful) reactions.
The purpose of this study was to explore the formation and impact of attitudes and beliefs among people experiencing acute and chronic low back pain.
Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with 12 participants with acute low back pain (less than 6 weeks' duration) and 11 participants with chronic low back pain (more than 3 months' duration) from 1 geographical region within New Zealand. Data were analyzed using an Interpretive Description framework.
Participants' underlying beliefs about low back pain were influenced by a range of sources. Participants experiencing acute low back pain faced considerable uncertainty and consequently sought more information and understanding. Although participants searched the Internet and looked to family and friends, health care professionals had the strongest influence upon their attitudes and beliefs. Clinicians influenced their patients' understanding of the source and meaning of symptoms, as well as their prognostic expectations. Such information and advice could continue to influence the beliefs of patients for many years. Many messages from clinicians were interpreted as meaning the back needed to be protected. These messages could result in increased vigilance, worry, guilt when adherence was inadequate, or frustration when protection strategies failed. Clinicians could also provide reassurance, which increased confidence, and advice, which positively influenced the approach to movement and activity.
Health care professionals have a considerable and enduring influence upon the attitudes and beliefs of people with low back pain. It is important that this opportunity is used to positively influence attitudes and beliefs.
Informed consent requires good communication. Patient information leaflets (PILs) may be helpful, although some PILs are too hard to read for the average patient.
We sought to examine the readability of PILs provided for patients prior to endoscopic procedures in 24 gastrointestinal and 16 respiratory departments of 24 Irish public hospitals.
Readability, measured using the Flesch Reading Ease and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level scores, and content of all PILs were examined.
We received 61 PILs from 17 gastrointestinal and 7 respiratory departments, a response rate of 60 % (24/40). Overall, 38 (62 %) PILs met a minimum standard of a Reading Ease score of 60 or more. Only two (3 %) PILs met the optimal reading standard of being comprehensible to an average 10- to 11-year-old, while 35 (57 %) PILs would be comprehensible to an average 13- to 14-year-old. There were striking differences between PILs (and particular departments) in the amount of information given regarding potential complications-in particular, serious complications. With the exception of PILs for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, less than half of PILs mentioned death as a possible rare outcome.
This study raises significant concerns about the readability and content of current Irish PILs, and it is unlikely that these issues are restricted to leaflets given prior to endoscopy. A standardised approach to developing PILs for common elective procedures, with minimum standards for readability and a uniform approach, based on current Irish legal requirements, to risk disclosure, might be helpful.
Evidence-based information is a precondition for informed decision-making and participation in health. There are several recommendations and definitions available on the generation and assessment of so called evidence-based health information for patients and consumers (EBHI). They stress the importance of objectively informing people about benefits and harms and any uncertainties in health-related procedures. There are also studies on the comprehensibility, relevance and user-friendliness of these informational materials. But to date there has been little research on the perceptions and cognitive reactions of users or lay people towards EBHI. The aim of our study is to define the spectrum of consumers' reaction patterns to written EBHI in order to gain a deeper understanding of their comprehension and assumptions, as well as their informational needs and expectations.
This study is based on an external user evaluation of EBHI produced by the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), commissioned by the IQWiG. The EBHI were examined within guided group discussions, carried out with lay people. The test readers' first impressions and their appraisal of the informational content, presentation, structure, comprehensibility and effect were gathered. Then a qualitative text analysis of 25 discussion transcripts involving 94 test readers was performed.
Based on the qualitative text analysis a framework for reaction patterns was developed, comprising eight main categories: (i) interest, (ii) satisfaction, (iii) reassurance and trust, (iv) activation, (v) disinterest, (vi) dissatisfaction and disappointment, (vii) anxiety and worry, (viii) doubt.
Many lay people are unfamiliar with core characteristics of this special information type. Two particularly critical issues are the description of insufficient evidence and the attendant absence of clear-cut recommendations. Further research is needed to examine strategies to explain the specific character of EBHI so as to minimize unintended or adverse reaction patterns. The presented framework describes the spectrum of users' reaction patterns to EBHI. It may support existing best practice models for editing EBHI.
Thematic analysis is a poorly demarcated, rarely acknowledged, yet widely used qualitative analytic method within psychology. In this paper, we argue that it offers an accessible and theoretically flexible approach to analysing qualitative data. We outline what thematic analysis is, locating it in relation to other qualitative analytic methods that search for themes or patterns, and in relation to different epistemological and ontological positions. We then provide clear guidelines to those wanting to start thematic analysis, or conduct it in a more deliberate and rigorous way, and consider potential pitfalls in conducting thematic analysis. Finally, we outline the disadvantages and advantages of thematic analysis. We conclude by advocating thematic analysis as a useful and flexible method for qualitative research in and beyond psychology.
Background The provision of patient information leaflets (PILs) is an important part of health care. PILs require evaluation, but the frameworks that are used for evaluation are largely under-informed by theory. Most evaluation to date has been based on indices of readability, yet several writers argue that readability is not enough. We propose a framework for evaluating PILs that reflect the central role of the patient perspective in communication and use methods for evaluation based on simple linguistic principles.
The proposed framework The framework has three elements that give rise to three approaches to evaluation. Each element is a necessary but not sufficient condition for effective communication. Readability (focussing on text) may be assessed using existing well-established procedures. Comprehensibility (focussing on reader and text) may be assessed using multiple-choice questions based on the lexical and semantic features of the text. Communicative effectiveness (focussing on reader) explores the relationship between the emotional, cognitive and behavioural responses of the reader and the objectives of the PIL. Suggested methods for assessment are described, based on our preliminary empirical investigations.
Conclusions The tripartite model of communicative effectiveness is a patient-centred framework for evaluating PILs. It may assist the field in moving beyond readability to broader indicators of the quality and appropriateness of printed information provided to patients.
To investigate the association between low functional health literacy (ability to read and understand basic health related information) and mortality in older adults.
Population based longitudinal cohort study based on a stratified random sample of households.
7857 adults aged 52 or more who participated in the second wave (2004-5) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and survived more than 12 months after interview. Participants completed a brief four item test of functional health literacy, which assessed understanding of written instructions for taking an aspirin tablet.
Time to death, based on all cause mortality through October 2009.
Health literacy was categorised as high (maximum score, 67.2%), medium (one error, 20.3%), or low (more than one error, 12.5%). During follow-up (mean 5.3 years) 621 deaths occurred: 321 (6.1%) in the high health literacy category, 143 (9.0%) in the medium category, and 157 (16.0%) in the low category. After adjusting for personal characteristics, socioeconomic position, baseline health, and health behaviours, the hazard ratio for all cause mortality for participants with low health literacy was 1.40 (95% confidence interval 1.15 to 1.72) and with medium health literacy was 1.15 (0.94 to 1.41) compared with participants with high health literacy. Further adjustment for cognitive ability reduced the hazard ratio for low health literacy to 1.26 (1.02 to 1.55).
A third of older adults in England have difficulties reading and understanding basic health related written information. Poorer understanding is associated with higher mortality. The limited health literacy capabilities within this population have implications for the design and delivery of health related services for older adults in England.
Throughout the often complex and challenging process of musculoskeletal rehabilitation, the words that we use can have a significant impact on the clinical outcome. Words contain both the ability to heal and harm. Gaining an improved understanding of the frequently hidden influence that language can have on musculoskeletal rehabilitation is of paramount importance. This Viewpoint article highlights the powerful consequences of the words that we use in clinical practice and discusses the practical considerations for adapting the current language of musculoskeletal rehabilitation. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2018;48(7):519-522. doi:10.2519/jospt.2018.0610.
The majority of physical activity resources are too difficult to be easily read and understood by most U.S. adults. Attempts to ensure that such resources are written in the most accessible manner possible have been advanced (e.g., 2010 U.S. National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy). For this study, physical activity educational resources were collected through the Internet (N=163), and their reading grade levels were analyzed. Over 50% of the resources were written at an unsatisfactory level, with the observed reading grade level being greater than eighth-grade (M=8.98, SD=2.92, p <.001, 95% CI [8.53, 9.43]), the maximum recommended. Suggestions for future research and publicly engaged sociology of sport praxis are discussed, with a focus on increasing the equity of written physical activity educational resources.
Study Design Secondary analysis of prospectively collected data. Background An abundance of evidence has highlighted the influence of pain catastrophizing and fear-avoidance on clinical outcomes. Less is known about the interaction of positive psychological resources with these pain-associated distress factors. Objective To assess if optimism moderates the influence of pain catastrophizing and fear-avoidance on 3-month clinical outcomes in patients with shoulder pain. Methods Data from 63 individuals with shoulder pain (mean age (SD) = 38.8 (14.9), n female = 30) were examined. Demographic, psychological, and clinical characteristics were obtained at baseline. Validated measures were used to assess optimism (Life Orientation Test-Revised), pain catastrophizing (Pain Catastrophizing Scale), fear-avoidance (Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire-Physical Activity subscale), shoulder pain intensity (Brief Pain Inventory), and shoulder function (Pennsylvania Shoulder Score-Function subscale). Shoulder pain and function were reassessed at 3 months. Regression models assessed the influence of 1) pain catastrophizing and optimism and 2) fear-avoidance and optimism. The final multivariable models controlled for factors of age, sex, education, and baseline scores and included 3 month pain intensity and function as separate dependent variables. Results Shoulder pain (mean difference = -1.6 [95% CI: -2.1; -1.2], p < 0.05) and function (mean difference = 2.4 [95% CI: 0.3; 4.4], p < 0.05) improved over 3 months. In multivariable analyses, there was an interaction between pain catastrophizing and optimism (beta = 0.19 [95% CI = 0.02; 0.35], p < 0.05) for predicting 3-month shoulder function (F = 16.8, r-squared = 0.69, p < 0.05), but not pain (p > 0.05). Further examination of the interaction with the Johnson-Neyman technique showed that higher levels of optimism lessened the influence of pain catastrophizing on function. There was no moderation of fear-avoidance beliefs (p > 0.05). Conclusion Optimism decreased the negative influence of pain catastrophizing on shoulder function, but not pain intensity. Optimism did not alter the influence of fear avoidance beliefs on these outcomes. Level of Evidence Prognosis, Level 2b. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, Epub 5 Nov 2016. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.7068.
This study aimed to explore peoples' needs and expectations of written medicines information (WMI), and to determine the barriers and facilitators experienced or perceived in the context of WMI provision and use.
We conducted eight focus groups with 62 participants over 6 weeks in late 2008 in New South Wales, Australia. Using a semi-structured topic schedule and examples of WMI from Australia and other English-speaking countries as a guide, we explored themes relevant to WMI, including participant experiences, attitudes, beliefs and expectations.
Our findings suggest less than half had previously received WMI, with many unaware of its availability. Many, but not all, wanted WMI to supplement the spoken information they received but not to replace it, and it was predominantly used to facilitate informed choice, ascertain medicine suitability and review instructions. The current leaflets were considered technical and long, and a summary leaflet in addition to comprehensive information was favoured. Accurate side-effect information was the most important element that participants desired. The most common barriers to effective WMI use were time constraints and patient confidence, with participants citing empowerment, time and health-care professional (HCP)-patient relationships as important facilitators.
The findings provide insight and understanding of peoples needs and expectations, and clarify issues associated with use and non-use of WMI. Challenges include addressing the barriers, especially of time and HCP attitudes to drive changes to workplace practices, and learning from the facilitating factors to encourage awareness and accessibility to WMI as a tool to empower patients.
The aim of the study was to report the 2-year outcome after a displaced 4-part fracture of the proximal humerus in elderly patients randomized to treatment with a hemiarthroplasty (HA) or nonoperative treatment.
We included 55 patients, mean age 77 (range, 58-92) years, 86% being women. Follow-up examinations were done at 4, 12, and 24 months. The main outcome measures were health-related quality of life (HRQoL) according to the EQ-5D and the DASH and Constant scores.
At the final 2-year follow-up the HRQoL was significantly better in the HA group compared to the nonoperative group, EQ-5D (index) score 0.81 compared to 0.65 (P = .02). The results for DASH and pain assessment were both in favor of the HA group, DASH score 30 versus 37 (P = .25) and pain according to VAS 15 versus 25 (P = .17). There were no significant differences regarding the Constant score or range of motion (ROM). Both groups achieved a mean flexion of approximately 90-95° and a mean abduction of 85-90°. The need for additional surgery was low: 3 patients in the HA group and 1 patient in the nonoperative group.
The results of the study demonstrated a significant advantage in quality of life in favor of HA, as compared to nonoperative treatment in elderly patients with a displaced 4-part fracture of the proximal humerus. The main advantage of HA appeared to be less pain while there were no differences in ROM.
Patient information leaflets (PILs) remain the most frequently used sources of medical information. There is a concern that the reading age of these leaflets may exceed patient comprehension, thus negating their beneficial effect. The 'Flesch Reading Ease' and the 'Flesch-Kincaid grade level' are established methods for providing reliable and reproducible scores of readability.
All available hospital PILs (171) were assessed and divided into 21 departments. Microsoft Word was used to provide Flesch and Flesch-Kincaid readability statistics and compared against the national reading age and the recommended level for provision of medical information.
The average Flesch readability of all of the hospital's PILs is 60, with a Flesch-Kincaid grade of 7.8 (12-13 years old). There is considerable variation in the average readability between departments (Flesch readability 43.8-76.9, Flesch-Kincaid 5.4-10.2). The average scores of two departments have PILs scores suitable for patient information.
Although our PILs were well laid out and easy to read, the majority would have exceeded patient comprehension. The current advice for provision of NHS information does not highlight the importance of a recommended reading level when designing a PIL. Potentially a wide group of patients are being excluded from the benefits of a PIL.
The Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder, Hand (DASH), EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D), Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3), and Short Form (SF)-6D questionnaires are reliable and valid measures of functional outcome and health state values in patients with proximal humeral fractures.
Patients aged 55 and older treated for a proximal humeral fracture during a 5-year period completed the DASH, EQ-5D, HUI3, and SF-12 questionnaires. Test-retest reliability was quantified using intraclass correlation (ICC 2,1) and Bland-Altman agreement statistics during a second administration of the questionnaires. Correlations between the 4 study instruments, the SF-12, and a subjective global assessment of shoulder function were used to test construct validity. Ceiling/floor effects were quantified for each questionnaire.
Sixty-one individuals (mean age, 69+/-10 years) participated. ICC showed the reliability (95% confidence interval) was 0.926 (0.860-0.963) for the DASH, 0.783 (0.604-0.875) for the EQ-5D, 0.794 (0.634-0.889) for the SF-6D, and 0.469 (0.184-0.686) for the HUI3. The Bland-Altman limits of agreement, however, highlighted limitations for repeated measurements with all 4 instruments at the individual patient level. Moderate construct validity was confirmed for all instruments. A significant ceiling effect was observed with the EQ-5D: 30% of participants reported "perfect health," compared with less than 7% with DASH, HUI3, or SF-6D questionnaires.
The DASH and SF-6D questionnaires demonstrated the best psychometric properties among the study instruments. These results support their use as appropriate measures of functional outcome and health state values in patients with proximal humeral fractures.
With the aging of the world's population, the social and economic implications of osteoporotic fractures are at epidemic proportions. This study was performed to test the hypothesis that a proximal humeral fracture is an independent risk factor for a subsequent hip fracture and that the risk of the subsequent hip fracture is highest within the first five years after the humeral fracture.
A cohort of 8049 older white women with no history of a hip or humeral fracture who were enrolled in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures was followed for a mean of 9.8 years. The risk of hip fracture after an incident humeral fracture was estimated with use of age-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression analysis with time-varying variables; women without a humeral fracture were the reference group. Cox regression analysis was used to evaluate the timing between the proximal humeral and subsequent hip fracture. Risk factors were determined on the basis of a review of the current literature, and we chose the variables that were most predictive and easily ascertained in a clinical setting.
Three hundred and twenty-one women sustained a proximal humeral fracture, and forty-four of them sustained a subsequent hip fracture. After adjustment for age and bone mineral density, the hazard ratio for hip fracture for subjects with a proximal humeral fracture relative to those without a proximal humeral fracture was 1.83 (95% confidence interval = 1.32 to 2.53). After multivariate adjustment, this risk appeared attenuated but was still significant (hazard ratio = 1.57; 95% confidence interval = 1.12 to 2.19). The risk of a subsequent hip fracture after a proximal humeral fracture was highest within one year after the proximal humeral fracture, with a hazard ratio of 5.68 (95% confidence interval = 3.70 to 8.73). This association between humeral and hip fracture was not significant after the first year, with hazard ratios of 0.87 (95% confidence interval = 0.48 to 1.59) between one and five years after the humeral fracture and 0.58 (95% confidence interval = 0.22 to 1.56) after five years.
In this cohort of older white women, a proximal humeral fracture independently increased the risk of a subsequent hip fracture more than five times in the first year after the humeral fracture but was not associated with a significant increase in the hip fracture risk in subsequent years.
Fracture of the proximal humerus is one of the most frequent fractures attributable to osteoporosis; yet, it has seldom been studied. Two types of factors (related to bone fragility and falls) were evaluated to identify risk factors for proximal humerus fractures as well as to examine possible interactions between them. Subjects were 6901 white women aged > or =75 years and all participated in the EPIDOS study of risk factors for osteoporotic fractures (France, 1992-1998). The baseline examination included measurements of femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) and calcaneal ultrasound parameters (speed of sound [SOS] and broadband ultrasound attenuation [BUA]), a functional clinical examination, and completing a questionnaire on health status and lifestyle. During a mean of 3.6 (0.8) years of follow-up, 165 women had a humeral fracture. Using multivariate Cox regression models, we identified three predictors related to bone fragility-low BMD (relative risk [RR] = 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.7), low SOS (RR = 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0-1.6), and maternal history of hip fracture (RR = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0-3.0)-and four fall-related predictors-a previous fall (RR = 3.0; 95% CI, 1.5-6.1), a low level of physical activity (RR = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.1-4.4), impaired balance (RR = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1-2.9), and pain in lower limb extremity (RR = 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0-2.1). The effect of these fall-related predictors varied according to the BMD level; they were significantly associated with proximal humerus fractures in women with osteoporosis (BMD T score < -2.5) but not in nonosteoporotic women. The incidence of proximal humerus fracture in women with osteoporosis and a low fall risk score (5.1 per 1000 woman-years) was only slightly higher than in nonosteoporotic women (4.6 per 1000 woman-years) and similar to the incidence in women without osteoporosis but a high fall risk score (5.3 per 1000 woman-years). On the other hand, the incidence in women who had both types of risk factors was more than two times higher (12.1 per 1000 woman-years) than in women with only one of the two risk factors. These results suggest that women who have both types of risk factors should receive the highest priority for prevention.
We sought to determine current trends in the number of fall-related and osteoporosis-related proximal humeral fractures in elderly Finns during last three decades. We collected data from the National Hospital Discharge Register on all patients 60 years or older who were admitted to Finnish hospitals from 1970 to 2002 for primary treatment of proximal humeral fractures. Fractures induced by traffic accidents or other high-energy traumas were excluded. The number and incidence (per 100,000 patients) of fractures increased from 208 (number) and 32 (incidence) in 1970 to 1120 (number) and 105 (incidence) in 2002. The age adjusted incidence of proximal humeral fractures also showed an increase, from 51 (1970) to 129 (2002) in women, and from 14 (1970) to 48 (2002) in men. In women 80 years or older, the age specific incidence of fracture increased from 90 (1970) to 294 (2002), while in the other age groups trend changes were less extensive. The mean patient age also increased, from 73 years (1970) to 78 years (2002) in women and from 70 years (1970) to 73 years (2002) in men. If these trends continue, the number of fractures in elderly Finns will triple during the next three decades.
Level of evidence:
Prognostic study, Level IV (case series). See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
The epidemiology of adult fractures is changing quickly. An analysis of 5953 fractures reviewed in a single orthopaedic trauma unit in 2000 showed that there are eight different fracture distribution curves into which all fractures can be placed. Only two fracture curves involve predominantly young patients; the other six show an increased incidence of fractures in older patients. It is popularly assumed that osteoporotic fractures are mainly seen in the thoracolumbar spine, proximal femur, proximal humerus and distal radius, but analysis of the data indicates that 14 different fractures should now be considered to be potentially osteoporotic. About 30% of fractures in men, 66% of fractures in women and 70% of inpatient fractures are potentially osteoporotic.
'Have I got a fracture or a break doctor?' remains a commonly posed question in fracture clinics, suggesting that patients frequently feel a 'fracture' and a 'break' are two separate entities. This apparent misconception amongst fracture clinic patients may result in confusion and occasionally anger that doctors appear to have inconsistent views on the severity of their injury. Compliance and outcome of patient care can also be affected by poor communication.
Our questionnaire-based study was conducted in two stages. The initial objective was to establish whether this misconception surrounding the words 'fracture' and 'break' is commonly held amongst our out-patient trauma patients. The second stage of the audit was to determine whether a patient information leaflet on fractures/broken bones could help reduce this misconception.
The preliminary audit involving 50 new patients attending our fracture clinic showed that 84% thought there was a difference between a 'fracture' and a 'break', with 68% believing a 'break' to be worse than a 'fracture'. Following the introduction of an information leaflet, a re-audit of 61 new patients took place. This time 67% felt there was a difference between a 'fracture' and a 'break', with 65% believing a 'break' to be worse than a 'fracture'. Only 21% had read the supplied information leaflet, and 69% of those still believed there was a difference between a 'fracture' and a 'break'.
The majority of patients believed that there was a difference between a 'fracture' and a 'break'. Access to information leaflets did not appear to alter this misconception. Verbal communication and explanation may be more beneficial and practical than visual aids and leaflets in overcoming this problem.
The nocebo effect is a phenomenon that is opposite to the placebo effect, whereby expectation of a negative outcome may lead to the worsening of a symptom. Thus far, its study has been limited by ethical constraints, particularly in patients, as a nocebo procedure is per se stressful and anxiogenic. It basically consists in delivering verbal suggestions of negative outcomes so that the subject expects clinical worsening. Although some natural nocebo situations do exist, such as the impact of negative diagnoses upon the patient and the patient's distrust in a therapy, the neurobiological mechanisms have been understood in the experimental setting under strictly controlled conditions. As for the placebo counterpart, the study of pain has been fruitful in recent years to understand both the neuroanatomical and the neurochemical bases of the nocebo effect. Recent experimental evidence indicates that negative verbal suggestions induce anticipatory anxiety about the impending pain increase, and this verbally-induced anxiety triggers the activation of cholecystokinin (CCK) which, in turn, facilitates pain transmission. CCK-antagonists have been found to block this anxiety-induced hyperalgesia, thus opening up the possibility of new therapeutic strategies whenever pain has an important anxiety component. Other conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, although less studied, have been found to be affected by nocebo suggestions as well. All these findings underscore the important role of cognition in the therapeutic outcome, and suggest that nocebo and nocebo-related effects might represent a point of vulnerability both in the course of a disease and in the response to a therapy.
Thematic analysis. APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2012). Thematic analysis. APA Handbook of Research Methods in
Psychology, 2. https://doi.org/10.1037/13620-004