Best Practice Guidelines (best + practice_guideline)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Teaching received in caries prevention and perceived need for Best Practice Guidelines among recent graduates in Finland

Miira M. Vehkalahti
The present study evaluated teaching that recent graduates in Finland had received in caries prevention and their perceived need for updated Best Practice Guidelines. A two-page questionnaire was mailed to all dentists in Finland who had graduated from 1995 to 1998 (n = 390). After one reminder, the response rate was 46%. The closed questions covered teaching in 14 caries-preventive methods and its suggestions as to when and on whom to apply such methods. Each dentist's own opinion on the three most important methods for caries prevention in patients with various types of dentition was sought in open questions. The respondents reported that at dental school, on average 12.5 (SD = 2.4) of 14 aspects of caries prevention were covered in theoretical teaching, 5.5 (SD = 3.8) in demonstrations and 8.5 (SD = 3.0) in clinical training. The top four methods teaching suggested for every patient were toothbrushing (100%), use of fluoridated toothpaste (99%), interdental cleaning (98%), and use of xylitol (97%); followed by fluoride varnish (77%) and fissure sealants (54%). The three caries-preventive methods the respondents felt to be most useful were the same for all types of dentitions, in order of importance: (i) toothbrushing and use of fluoridated toothpaste, (ii) supplementary use of fluorides at home and (iii) healthy dietary habits, in particular, avoidance of sucrose. As regards clinical work, such teaching had served the respondents' real-life needs in patients' caries prevention either extremely (44%) or moderately (54%) well; 91% said, however, that they would benefit from nationwide Best Practice Guidelines. In conclusion, the recent graduates' emphasis on patient-active methods in caries prevention may indicate a change in the current policy favouring patient-passive methods. [source]

Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics: a Publisher's Perspective

Chris Graf
Summary These Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics describe Blackwell Publishing's position on the major ethical principles of academic publishing and review factors that may foster ethical behavior or create problems. The aims are to encourage discussion, to initiate changes where they are needed, and to provide practical guidance, in the form of Best Practice statements, to inform these changes. Blackwell Publishing recommends that editors adapt and adopt the suggestions outlined to best fit the needs of their own particular publishing environment. [source]

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines: reflecting on the obscene rise of the void

Aim(s), Drawing on the work of Jean Baudrillard and Michel Foucault, the purpose of this article is to critique the evidence-based movement [and its derivatives , Nursing Best Practice Guidelines (NBPGs)] in vogue in all spheres of nursing. Background, NBPGs and their correlate institutions, such as the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) and ,spotlight' hospitals, impede critical thinking on the part of nurses, and ultimately evacuate the social, political and ethical responsibilities that ought to distinguish the nursing profession. Evaluation, We contend that the entire NBPG movement is based on the illusion of scientific truth and a promise of ethical care that cannot be delivered in reality. We took as a case study the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), in the province of Ontario, Canada. Key issues, NBPGs, along with the evidence-based movement upon which they are based, are a dangerous technology by which healthcare organizations seek to discipline, govern and regulate nursing work. Conclusion(s), Despite the remarkable institutional promotion of ,ready-made' and ,ready-to-use' guidelines, we demonstrate how the RNAO deploys BPGs as part of an ideological agenda that is scientifically, socially, politically and ethically unsound. Implications for nursing management, Collaborations between health care organizations and professional organizations can become problematic when the latter dictate nursing conduct in such a way that critical thinking is impeded. We believe that nurse managers need to understand that the evidence-based movement is the target of well-deserved critiques. These critiques should also be considered before implementing so-called ,Nursing Best Practice Guidelines' in health care milieux. [source]

Evidenced-based clinical practice guideline for management of newborn pain

Kaye Spence
Aim: To facilitate the uptake of evidence and to reduce the evidence practice gap for management of newborn pain through the development of a clinical practice guideline. Method: An audit of practice and an appraisal of clinical practice guidelines were undertaken to establish current practices and guideline availability for the management of newborn pain in 23 hospitals in Australia. Guidelines were appraised using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation instrument. A literature search was undertaken to acquire the evidence for best practice for management of newborn pain. Results: Neonatal units in 17 hospitals had clinical practice guidelines. Each was peer reviewed and assessed according to the domains of the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation instrument. There was lack of consistency across the guidelines. As a result, a best practice guideline was developed based on current best evidence and the Royal Australian College of Physicians recommendations. To facilitate an ongoing compliance with the guideline, an audit tool was included together with algorithms for procedural pain and pain assessment. Conclusion: The clinical practice guideline can be used by clinicians in varying settings such as the neonatal intensive care and special care unit. The document can be used to support existing practices or challenge clinicians to close the evidence practice gap for the management of newborn pain. [source]

Association between pacifier use and breast-feeding, sudden infant death syndrome, infection and dental malocclusion

Ann Callaghan RN RM BNurs(Hons)
Executive summary Objective, To critically review all literature related to pacifier use for full-term healthy infants and young children. The specific review questions addressed are: What is the evidence of adverse and/or positive outcomes of pacifier use in infancy and childhood in relation to each of the following subtopics: ,breast-feeding; ,sudden infant death syndrome; ,infection; ,dental malocclusion. Inclusion criteria, Specific criteria were used to determine which studies would be included in the review: (i) the types of participants; (ii) the types of research design; and (iii) the types of outcome measures. To be included a study has to meet all criteria. Types of participants,The participants included in the review were healthy term infants and healthy children up to the age of 16 years. Studies that focused on preterm infants, and infants and young children with serious illness or congenital malformations were excluded. However, some total population studies did include these children. Types of research design, It became evident early in the review process that very few randomised controlled trials had been conducted. A decision was made to include observational epidemiological designs, specifically prospective cohort studies and, in the case of sudden infant death syndrome research, case,control studies. Purely descriptive and cross-sectional studies were excluded, as were qualitative studies and all other forms of evidence. A number of criteria have been proposed to establish causation in the scientific and medical literature. These key criteria were applied in the review process and are described as follows: (i) consistency and unbiasedness of findings; (ii) strength of association; (iii) temporal sequence; (iv) dose,response relationship; (v) specificity; (vi) coherence with biological background and previous knowledge; (vii) biological plausibility; and (viii) experimental evidence. Studies that did not meet the requirement of appropriate temporal sequencing of events and studies that did not present an estimate of the strength of association were not included in the final review. Types of outcome measures,Our specific interest was pacifier use related to: ,breast-feeding; ,sudden infant death syndrome; ,infection; ,dental malocclusion. Studies that examined pacifier use related to procedural pain relief were excluded. Studies that examined the relationship between pacifier use and gastro-oesophageal reflux were also excluded as this information has been recently presented as a systematic review. Search strategy, The review comprised published and unpublished research literature. The search was restricted to reports published in English, Spanish and German. The time period covered research published from January 1960 to October 2003. A protocol developed by New Zealand Health Technology Assessment was used to guide the search process. The search comprised bibliographic databases, citation searching, other evidence-based and guidelines sites, government documents, books and reports, professional websites, national associations, hand search, contacting national/international experts and general internet searching. Assessment of quality, All studies identified during the database search were assessed for relevance to the review based on the information provided in the title, abstract and descriptor/MeSH terms, and a full report was retrieved for all studies that met the inclusion criteria. Studies identified from reference list searches were assessed for relevance based on the study title. Keywords included: dummy, dummies, pacifier(s), soother(s), comforter(s), non-nutritive sucking, infant, child, infant care. Initially, studies were reviewed for inclusion by pairs of principal investigators. Authorship of articles was not concealed from the reviewers. Next, the methodological quality of included articles was assessed independently by groups of three or more principal investigators and clinicians using a checklist. All 20 studies that were accepted met minimum set criteria, but few passed without some methodological concern. Data extraction, To meet the requirements of the Joanna Briggs Institute, reasons for acceptance and non-acceptance at each phase were clearly documented. An assessment protocol and report form was developed for each of the three phases of review. The first form was created to record investigators' evaluations of studies included in the initial review. Those studies that failed to meet strict inclusion criteria were excluded at this point. A second form was designed to facilitate an in-depth critique of epidemiological study methodology. The checklist was pilot tested and adjustments were made before reviewers were trained in its use. When reviewers could not agree on an assessment, it was passed to additional reviewers and discussed until a consensus was reached. At this stage, studies other than cohort, case,control and randomised controlled trials were excluded. Issues of clarification were also addressed at this point. The final phase was that of integration. This phase, undertaken by the principal investigators, was assisted by the production of data extraction tables. Through a process of trial and error, a framework was formulated that adequately summarised the key elements of the studies. This information was tabulated under the following headings: authors/setting, design, exposure/outcome, confounders controlled, analysis and main findings. Results, With regard to the breast-feeding outcome, 10 studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising two randomised controlled trials and eight cohort studies. The research was conducted between 1995 and 2003 in a wide variety of settings involving research participants from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Information regarding exposure and outcome status, and potential confounding factors was obtained from: antenatal and postnatal records; interviews before discharge from obstetric/midwifery care; post-discharge interviews; and post-discharge postal and telephone surveys. Both the level of contact and the frequency of contact with the informant, the child's mother, differed widely. Pacifier use was defined and measured inconsistently, possibly because few studies were initiated expressly to investigate its relationship with breast-feeding. Completeness of follow-up was addressed, but missing data were not uniformly identified and explained. When comparisons were made between participants and non-participants there was some evidence of differential loss and a bias towards families in higher socioeconomic groups. Multivariate analysis was undertaken in the majority of studies, with some including a large number of sociodemographic, obstetric and infant covariates and others including just maternal age and education. As might be expected given the inconsistency of definition and measurement, the relationship between pacifier use and breast-feeding was expressed in many different ways and a meta-analysis was not appropriate. In summary, only one study did not report a negative association between pacifier use and breast-feeding duration or exclusivity. Results indicate an increase in risk for a reduced overall duration of breast-feeding from 20% to almost threefold. The data suggest that very infrequent use may not have any overall negative impact on breast-feeding outcomes. Six sudden infant death syndrome case,control studies met the criteria for inclusion. The research was conducted with information gathered between 1984 and 1999 in Norway, UK, New Zealand, the Netherlands and USA. Exposure information was obtained from a variety of sources including: hospital and antenatal records, death scene investigation, and interview and questionnaire. Information for cases was sought within 2 days after death, within 2,4 weeks after death and in one study between 3 and 11 years after death. Information for controls was sought from as early as 4 days of a nominated sudden infant death syndrome case, to between 1 and 7 weeks from the case date, and again in one study some 3,11 years later. In the majority of the studies case ascertainment was determined by post-mortem. Pacifier use was again defined and measured somewhat inconsistently. All studies controlled for confounding factors by matching and/or using multivariate analysis. Generally, antenatal and postnatal factors, as well as infant care practices, and maternal, family and socioeconomic issues were considered. All five studies reporting multivariate results found significantly fewer sudden infant death syndrome cases used a pacifier compared with controls. That is, pacifier use was associated with a reduced incidence of sudden infant death syndrome. These results indicate that the risk of sudden infant death syndrome for infants who did not use a pacifier in the last or reference sleep was at least twice, and possibly five times, that of infants who did use a pacifier. Three studies reported a moderately sized positive association between pacifier use and a variety of infections. Conversely, one study found no positive association between pacifier use at 15 months of age and a range of infections experienced between the ages of 6 and 18 months. Given the limited number of studies available and the variability of results, no meaningful conclusions could be drawn. Five cohort studies and one case,control study focused on the relationship between pacifier use and dental malocclusion. Not one of these studies reported a measure of association, such as an estimate of relative risk. It was therefore not possible to include these studies in the final review. Implications for practice, It is intended that this review be used as the basis of a ,best practice guideline', to make health professionals aware of the research evidence concerning these health and developmental consequences of pacifier use, because parents need clear information on which they can base child care decisions. With regard to the association between pacifier use and infection and dental malocclusion it was found that, due to the paucity of epidemiological studies, no meaningful conclusion can be drawn. There is clearly a need for more epidemiological research with regard to these two outcomes. The evidence for a relationship between pacifier use and sudden infant death syndrome is consistent, while the exact mechanism of the effect is not well understood. As to breast-feeding, research evidence shows that pacifier use in infancy is associated with a shorter duration and non-exclusivity. It is plausible that pacifier use causes babies to breast-feed less, but a causal relationship has not been irrefutably proven. Because breast-feeding confers an important advantage on all children and the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome is very low, it is recommended that health professionals generally advise parents against pacifier use, while taking into account individual circumstances. [source]

Providing early intervention services for the primary care sector: the PMHT approach

A. McGovern
Primary Mental Health Teams are a state-wide initiative of the government of Victoria to address identified gaps in mental health service delivery namely early intervention for psychosis and mental health services for high prevalence disorders. This poster will outline this dynamic community based approach to supporting and enhancing services for clients with mental health issues that are currently provided by the primary care sector. Specifically, the poster will focus on the development of a local cross sectorial approach to early psychosis with the dual aims of decreasing the duration of untreated psychosis and adopting best practice guidelines for improved outcomes for this high risk population. [source]

Simulation-based learning in nurse education: systematic review

Robyn P. Cant
Abstract Title.,Simulation-based learning in nurse education: systematic review. Aim., This paper is a report of a review of the quantitative evidence for medium to high fidelity simulation using manikins in nursing, in comparison to other educational strategies. Background., Human simulation is an educational process that can replicate clinical practices in a safe environment. Although endorsed in nursing curricula, its effectiveness is largely unknown. Review methods., A systematic review of quantitative studies published between 1999 and January 2009 was undertaken using the following databases: CINAHL Plus, ERIC, Embase, Medline, SCOPUS, ProQuest and ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Database. The primary search terms were ,simulation' and ,human simulation'. Reference lists from relevant papers and the websites of relevant nursing organizations were also searched. The quality of the included studies was appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme criteria. Results. Twelve studies were included in the review. These used experimental or quasi-experimental designs. All reported simulation as a valid teaching/learning strategy. Six of the studies showed additional gains in knowledge, critical thinking ability, satisfaction or confidence compared with a control group (range 7,11%). The validity and reliability of the studies varied due to differences in design and assessment methods. Conclusion. Medium and/or high fidelity simulation using manikins is an effective teaching and learning method when best practice guidelines are adhered to. Simulation may have some advantage over other teaching methods, depending on the context, topic and method. Further exploration is needed to determine the effect of team size on learning and to develop a universal method of outcome measurement. [source]

A systematic review of counselling for HIV testing of pregnant women

Karin S Minnie
Background., Evidence-based strategies have made it possible to limit mother-to-child transmission of the HI-virus to a large extent and enable HIV-positive women to stay healthy for longer, provided their HIV status is known. Although voluntary counselling and testing for HIV is part of routine antenatal care in South Africa, the uptake of testing varies and a large number of pregnant women's HIV status is not known at the time of birth. Aim., The aim of the study was to establish research evidence regarding factors influencing counselling for HIV testing during pregnancy by means of systematic review, forming part of a larger study using a variety of evidence to develop best practice guidelines. Design., Systematic review. Methods., The question steering the review was: ,What factors influence counselling for HIV testing during pregnancy?'. A multi-stage search of relevant research studies was undertaken using a variety of sources. A total of 33 studies were retrieved and critically appraised. Data were extracted from the studies and assessed according to its applicability in the South African context. Results., The results are presented according to the following themes: effects of counselling, quality of counselling, group vs. individual counselling, ways of offering HIV testing, rapid testing, counselling and testing during labour, couple counselling and testing, counsellor and organisational factors. Conclusions., According to research evidence, factors such as whether counselling is presented in a group or individually, different ways to present HIV testing as well as counsellor and organisational factors can influence counselling for HIV testing during pregnancy. When developing best practice guidelines for settings very dissimilar from where the research was done, research evidence must be contextualised. Relevance to clinical practice., Implementation of the best practice guidelines may lead to the increased uptake of HIV testing in pregnancy in developing countries like South Africa and thus to an increase in the number of women whose status is known when their babies are born. [source]

Collaborative partnerships for nursing faculties and health service providers: what can nursing learn from business literature?

Collaborative partnerships between nursing faculties and health service providers are the cornerstone of successful clinical experience for nursing students. The challenge of providing an optimal learning environment can be enormous given the turbulent and rapidly changing environment in health. The present study uses the business literature to examine what nursing can learn from business about the development of successful collaborative partnerships. The characteristics of sound partnerships are described and a set of best practice guidelines is developed. The guidelines summarize the factors considered to be essential for the effective development of collaborative partnerships. In these times of nursing shortages and high turnover high quality, collaborative partnerships between nursing faculties and the health care sector are seen as a possible solution to optimize clinical learning and therefore graduate preparedness. [source]

Clinical supervision for mental health nurses in Northern Ireland: formulating best practice guidelines

F. RICE rmn msc
Nurses work in a constantly challenging and changing environment. Within this context, there is a continuing need for support. Such support will help increase morale, decrease strain and burnout, and encourage self-awareness and self-expression. Clinical supervision address all these issues and enhances the quality of care for patients. While clinical supervision is a policy imperative in Northern Ireland, it was clear that there were problems in its implementation in mental health nursing. The aim of this project was to explore ways to make clinical supervision available to all mental health nurses and to improve and evaluate their contribution to patient care. The research team undertook a comprehensive literature review and a baseline survey of relevant stakeholders. Results represent the outcome of the group work. They will assist healthcare providers to develop local policies and procedures on clinical supervision for practising mental health nurses. [source]

Adherence to best practice guidelines in dyspepsia: a survey comparing dyspepsia experts, community gastroenterologists and primary-care providers

Summary Background, Although ,best practice' guidelines for dyspepsia management have been disseminated, it remains unclear whether providers adhere to these guidelines. Aim, To compare adherence to ,best practice' guidelines among dyspepsia experts, community gastroenterologists and primary-care providers (PCPs). Methods, We administered a vignette survey to elicit knowledge and beliefs about dyspepsia including a set of 16 best practices, to three groups: (i) dyspepsia experts; (ii) community gastroenterologists and (iii) PCPs. Results, The expert, community gastroenterologist and PCP groups endorsed 75%, 73% and 57% of best practices respectively. Gastroenterologists were more likely to adhere with guidelines than PCPs (P < 0.0001). PCPs were more likely to define dyspepsia incorrectly, overuse radiographic testing, delay endoscopy, treat empirically for Helciobacter pylori without confirmatory testing and avoid first-line proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PCPs had more concerns about adverse events with PPIs [e.g. osteoporosis (P = 0.04), community-acquired pneumonia (P = 0.01)] and higher level of concern predicted lower guideline adherence (P = 0.04). Conclusions, Gastroenterologists are more likely than PCPs to comply with best practices in dyspepsia, although compliance remains incomplete in both groups. PCPs harbour more concerns regarding long-term PPI use and these concerns may affect therapeutic decision making. This suggests that best practices have not been uniformly adopted and persistent guideline-practice disconnects should be addressed. [source]

Uptake of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand perinatal mortality audit guideline

Background:, Deficiencies in investigation and audit of perinatal deaths result in loss of information thereby limiting strategies for future prevention. The Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) developed a clinical practice guideline for perinatal mortality in 2004. Aims:, To determine the current use and views of the PSANZ guideline, focussing on the investigation and audit aspects of the guideline. Methods:, A telephone survey was conducted of lead midwives and doctors working in birth suites of maternity hospitals with over 1000 births per annum in Australia and New Zealand. Results:, Sixty-nine of the 78 eligible hospitals agreed to participate. A total of 133 clinicians were surveyed. Only 42% of clinicians surveyed were aware of the guideline; more midwives than doctors were aware (53 vs 28%). Of those, only 19% had received training in their use and 33% reported never having referred to them in practice. Implementation of even the key guideline recommendations varied. Seventy per cent of respondents reported regularly attending perinatal mortality audit meetings; midwives were less likely than doctors to attend (59 vs 81%). Almost half (45%) of those surveyed reported never receiving feedback from these meetings. The majority of clinicians surveyed agreed that all parents should be approached for consent to an autopsy examination of the baby; however, most (86%) reported the need for clinician training in counselling parents about autopsy. Conclusions:, Effective implementation programmes are urgently required to address suboptimal uptake of best practice guidelines on perinatal mortality audit in Australia and New Zealand. [source]

Practices and views on fetal heart monitoring: a structured observation and interview study

S Altaf
Objective, To assess and explain deviations from recommended practice in National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines in relation to fetal heart monitoring. Design, Qualitative study. Setting, Large teaching hospital in the UK. Sample, Sixty-six hours of observation of 25 labours and interviews with 20 midwives of varying grades. Methods, Structured observations of labour and semistructured interviews with midwives. Interviews were undertaken using a prompt guide, audiotaped, and transcribed verbatim. Analysis was based on the constant comparative method, assisted by QSR N5 software. Main outcome measures, Deviations from recommended practice in relation to fetal monitoring and insights into why these occur. Results, All babies involved in the study were safely delivered, but 243 deviations from recommended practice in relation to NICE guidelines on fetal monitoring were identified, with the majority (80%) of these occurring in relation to documentation. Other deviations from recommended practice included indications for use of electronic fetal heart monitoring and conduct of fetal heart monitoring. There is evidence of difficulties with availability and maintenance of equipment, and some deficits in staff knowledge and skill. Differing orientations towards fetal monitoring were reported by midwives, which were likely to have impacts on practice. The initiation, management, and interpretation of fetal heart monitoring is complex and distributed across time, space, and professional boundaries, and practices in relation to fetal heart monitoring need to be understood within an organisational and social context. Conclusion, Some deviations from best practice guidelines may be rectified through straightforward interventions including improved systems for managing equipment and training. Other deviations from recommended practice need to be understood as the outcomes of complex processes that are likely to defy easy resolution. [source]

Comparison of parent knowledge, therapy utilization and severity of atopic eczema before and after explanation and demonstration of topical therapies by a specialist dermatology nurse

M.J. Cork
Summary Background The failure of patients to take medicines in a way that leads to clinical benefit is a major challenge. A consensus has emerged that, on average, compliance sufficient to obtain therapeutic objectives occurs about half the time, with noncompliance contributing to therapeutic failure in the other half. These figures refer to simple oral regimens. There has been little work assessing compliance/concordance with complex treatment regimens for atopic eczema. Asthma schools led by specialist nurses have been shown to improve knowledge, use of therapies and clinical outcome. Objectives To determine the effect of education and demonstration of topical therapies by specialist dermatology nurses on therapy utilization and severity of atopic eczema. Methods Fifty-one children with atopic eczema attending a paediatric dermatology clinic were followed for up to 1 year. At each visit the parent's knowledge about atopic eczema and its treatment and therapy utilization was recorded. The severity of the eczema was recorded using the six area, six sign atopic dermatitis severity score (SASSAD) and parental assessment of itch, sleep disturbance and irritability. At the first visit a specialist dermatology nurse explained and demonstrated how to use all of the topical treatments. This education was repeated at subsequent visits depending on the knowledge of the parent. Results At baseline less than 5% of parents had received/recalled receiving any explanation of the causes of eczema or demonstration of how to apply topical treatments. The eczema was poorly controlled in all children (mean SASSAD 429). Of the children, 24% were not being treated with any emollient cream/ointment; the mean use was 54 g weekly. Of the children, 25% were being inappropriately treated with potent or very potent topical steroids. Following repeated education and demonstration of topical therapies by a specialist dermatology nurse, there was an 89% reduction in the severity of the eczema. The main change in therapy utilization was an 800% increase in the use of emollients (to 426 g weekly of emollient cream/ointment) and no overall increase in the use of topical steroids, accounting for potency and quantity used. Conclusions, This study reinforces the importance of specialist dermatology nurses in the management of atopic eczema. It also confirms the opinion of patients, patient support groups, dermatologists and best practice guidelines that the most important intervention in the management of atopic eczema is to spend time to listen and explain its causes and demonstrate how to apply topical therapies. [source]

Changes in management techniques and patterns of disease recurrence over time in patients with breast carcinoma treated with breast-conserving therapy at a single institution

CANCER, Issue 4 2004
Helen Pass M.D.
Abstract BACKGROUND The authors reviewed changes in the initial clinical presentation, management techniques, and patterns of disease recurrence over time (1981,1996) in patients with breast carcinoma treated with breast-conserving therapy (BCT) at a single institution. The goals of the current study were to determine the frequency and use of optimal local and systemic therapy techniques and to evaluate the impact of these changes on treatment efficacy. METHODS Six hundred seven patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer Stage I or II invasive breast carcinomas treated with BCT at William Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, MI) constituted the study population. All patients received at least an excisional biopsy of the primary tumor, an axillary lymph node staging procedure, and postoperative radiotherapy (RT) (a median tumor bed dose of 61 Gray [Gy] was administered). All sides were reviewed by one pathologist. Numerous clinicopathologic and treatment-related factors were analyzed to monitor changes that occurred over time. Changes in patterns of disease recurrence and treatment efficacy over time also were analyzed. RESULTS Over the time period analyzed, changes at initial presentation included an increase in the mean age at diagnosis (age 56.1 years vs. 61.4 years; P < 0.001), a decrease in the number of patients with clinically palpable tumors (78% vs. 36%; P < 0.001), a decrease in the mean tumor size (2.2 cm vs. 1.6 cm; P < 0.001), but no change in the percentage of patients with negative lymph nodes (79% vs. 78%; P = 0.83). No differences over time were observed in mean tumor grade (2.0 vs. 1.9; P = 0.2) or the presence of angiolymphatic invasion (27% vs. 26%; P = 0.25). Changes in surgical management and pathologic assessment included the more frequent use of reexcision (46% vs. 81%; P < 0.001), larger mean total volumes of breast tissue specimens excised (115 cm3 vs. 189 cm3; P = 0.001), a larger percentage of patients with final negative surgical margins (74% vs. 97%; P < 0.001), and a small increase in the mean number of lymph nodes excised (13.8 lymph nodes vs. 14.1 lymph nodes; P = 0.01). The only other significant change in the pathologic management of patients over time included a doubling in the mean number of slides examined (10.6 slides vs. 21.1 slides; P < 0.001). Changes in adjuvant local and systemic therapy included an increase in the percentage of patients treated with > 60 Gy to the tumor bed (66% vs. 95%; P < 0.001), a doubling in the mean number of days from the last surgery to the start of RT (24 days vs. 50 days; P < 0.001), and a decrease in the use of regional lymph node RT (24% vs. 8%; P < 0.001). The use of adjuvant tamoxifen increased from 10% to 61% (P < 0.001). Finally, improvements were observed in the 5-year and 12-year actuarial rates of local disease recurrence (8% vs. 1% and 21% vs. 9%, respectively; P = 0.001) and distant metastases (12% vs. 4% and 22% vs. 9%, respectively; P = 0.006). No changes in the mean number of years to ipsilateral (6.5 years vs. 6.4 years; P = 0.59) or distant disease recurrence (4.6 years vs. 3.8 years; P = 0.73) were observed. CONCLUSIONS The impact of screening mammography and substantial changes in surgical, pathologic, RT, and systemic therapy recommendations were observed over time in the study population. These changes were associated with improvements in 5-year and 12-year local and distant control rates and suggested that improvements in outcome can be realized through adherence to best practice guidelines and continuous monitoring of treatment outcome data. Cancer 2004. 2004 American Cancer Society [source]

An exploration of best practice in multi-agency working and the experiences of families of children with complex health needs.

What works well, what needs to be done to improve practice for the future?
Aims and objectives., This Appreciative Inquiry study aimed to explore appreciatively examples of best multi-agency working practice with families (mothers, n = 20; fathers, n = 7; children, n = 1) and people working with children with complex needs (n = 41), to determine what works well, why it has worked well and what best practice in the future could be. Background., The term ,children with complex health needs' encompasses a diverse group of children and this population is increasing. This diverse group of children often requires high levels of physiological, psychological and social care which brings them and their families into therapeutic contact with a wide range of health, social and education professionals and people from other agencies. Design., The study used appreciative interviews, nominal group workshops and consensus workshops to develop a set of 10 ,best practice' guidelines that reflected the views of all participants. Two of these are discussed in detail in this article. All participants were seen as co-researchers whose expert contributions were vital to understanding of what works well and what needs to be done in multi-agency working practice. Results., The study resulted in ,best practice' statements that illuminated ,what works well' in multi-agency working practice that spanned issues including information, decision making, communication, accessibility, collaboration, respect and sharing a common vision. Conclusions., The guidance that results from this study suggests that parents need the opportunity to share and receive support from other parents who understand the lived reality of caring for a child with complex needs. Parents and people from across various agencies need to work together to ensure that the most appropriate person acts in the role of a long-term coordinator, where the family wants this aspect of support. This study adds a multi-disciplinary and appreciatively oriented focus on what works well in complex care. It contributes to an understanding of the value of an Appreciative Inquiry approach within health-care research. Relevance to clinical practice., The guidelines arose from and are grounded in practice and as such they provide clear, workable directions for enhancing practice and for considering what already does work well. [source]

Implications of recreational fishing for elasmobranch conservation in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Ann-Maree J. Lynch
Abstract 1.309 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park recreational fishers were surveyed to examine recreational catch and harvest of elasmobranchs and to explore recreational fishers' handling behaviour and attitudes. 2.Elasmobranchs represented 6% of fishers' total catch of all fish (including released individuals), and 0.8% of fishers' total harvest (i.e. retained individuals) across all survey days. The majority of elasmobranchs caught by fishers were released, primarily because they were perceived as being inedible. 3.Recreational fishers' self-reported handling and release behaviour for elasmobranchs is largely consistent with ,best practice' guidelines except that fishers had low use of circle hooks and barbless hooks, and a significant proportion (33%) reported using stainless steel hooks. 4.Most fishers had positive attitudes towards elasmobranchs, placing high importance on releasing sharks and rays in good condition (86%), high value on their existence (84%), and low value on catching them (63%). 5.Results indicate that post-release mortality is probably the largest source of recreational fishing mortality of elasmobranchs in the Great Barrier Reef. Future research should be targeted at obtaining better estimates of species-specific post-release mortality levels, understanding how post-release survival can be increased by changing fishing techniques or fisher behaviour, and developing more effective methods of engaging fishers in elasmobranch conservation. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]