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  • Gendered migrations and precarity in the post-Brexit-vote UK: the case of Polish women as workers and carers

    Duda-Mikulin, Eva A. (2018)
    Polish migration to the UK post European Union enlargement has been studied extensively but limited attention has been paid to women and their gendered mobility. In this paper, I argue that it is key to turn attention to women migrants as those who are often responsible for reproductive labour and who raise future generations of workers and citizens. This is pivotal to consider in light of ageing European societies and the need for workers and Brexit. Arguably, precarity is characteristic of contemporary life. This applies to the post-Brexit-vote UK and the uncertainty linked to the future after 2019. Precarity is inevitably characteristic of many migrants’ lives often punctuated by a lack of job security which is linked to limited material and psychological well-being. For women migrants, this state of affairs is further compounded by their attachment to the private sphere which often constitutes a barrier to their engagement in the paid labour market on the same footing as men. This paper draws on qualitative primary data gathered from 32 Polish women migrants who were initially interviewed in 2012/2013 and subsequently some of them were re-interviewed in 2016/2017.
  • Pain and delirium in people with dementia in the acute general hospital setting

    Feast, A.R.; White, N.; Lord, Kathryn; Kupeli, N.; Vickerstaff, V.; Sampson, E.L. (2018)
    Background: Pain and delirium are common in people with dementia admitted to hospitals. These are often under-diagnosed and under-treated. Pain is implicated as a cause of delirium but this association has not been investigated in this setting. Objective: To investigate the relationship between pain and delirium in people with dementia, on admission and throughout a hospital admission. Design: Exploratory secondary analysis of observational prospective longitudinal cohort data. Setting: Two acute hospitals in the UK. Methodology: Two-hundred and thirty participants aged ≥70 years were assessed for dementia severity, delirium ((Confusion Assessment Method (CAM), pain (Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD)) scale and prescription of analgesics. Logistic and linear regressions explored the relationship between pain and delirium using cross-sectional data. Results: Pain at rest developed in 49%, and pain during activity for 26% of participants during their inpatient stay. Incident delirium developed in 15%, of participants, and 42% remained delirious for at least two assessments. Of the 35% of participants who were delirious and unable to self-report pain, 33% of these participants experienced pain at rest, and 56 experienced pain during activity. The odds of being delirious were 3.26 times higher in participants experiencing pain at rest (95% Confidence Interval 1.03–10.25, P = 0.044). Conclusion: An association between pain at rest and delirium was found, suggesting pain may be a risk factor for delirium. Since pain and delirium were found to persist and develop during an inpatient stay, regular pain and delirium assessments are required to manage pain and delirium effectively.
  • Addressing obesity in Roma communities: a community readiness approach

    Islam, Shahid; Small, Neil A.; Bryant, M.; Yang, T.; Cronin de Chavez, A.; Saville, F.; Dickerson, J. (2018)
    Participation in community programmes by the Roma community is low whilst this community presents with high risk of poor health and low levels of wellbeing. To improve rates of participation in programmes compatibility must be achieved between implementation efforts and levels of readiness in the community. The Community Readiness Model (CRM) is a widely used toolkit which provides an indication of how prepared and willing a community is to take action on specific issues. We present findings from a CRM assessment for the Eastern European Roma community in Bradford, UK on issues related to nutrition and obesity. We interviewed key respondents identified as knowledgeable about the Roma community using the CRM. This approach applies a mixed methodology incorporating readiness scores and qualitative data. A mean community readiness score was calculated enabling researchers to place the community in one of nine possible stages of readiness. Interview transcripts were analysed using a qualitative framework analysis to generate contextual information. An overall score consistent with vague awareness was achieved, which indicates a low level of community readiness. This score suggests there will be a low likelihood of participation in currently available nutrition and obesity programmes. To our knowledge this is the first study to apply the CRM in the Roma community for any issue. We present the findings for each of the six dimensions that make up the CRM together with salient qualitative findings.
  • Hidden hunger? Experiences of food insecurity amongst Pakistani and white British women

    Power, M.; Small, Neil A.; Doherty, B.; Pickett, K.E. (2018)
    Purpose: Foodbank use in the UK is rising but, despite high levels of poverty, Pakistani women are less likely to use foodbanks than white British women. This study aimed to understand the lived experience of food in the context of poverty amongst Pakistani and white British women in Bradford, including perspectives on food aid. Design: Sixteen Pakistani and white British women, recruited through community initiatives, participated in three focus groups (one interview was also held as a consequence of recruitment difficulties). Each group met for two hours aided by a moderator and professional interpreter. The transcripts were analysed thematically using a three-stage process. Findings: Women in low-income households employed dual strategies to reconcile caring responsibilities and financial obligations: the first sought to make ends meet within household income; the second looked to outside sources of support. There was a reported near absence of food insecurity amongst Pakistani women which could be attributed to support from social/familial networks; resource management within the household; and cultural and religious frameworks. A minority of participants and no Pakistani respondents accessed charitable food aid. There were three reasons for the non-use of food aid: it was not required because of resource management strategies within the household and assistance from familial/social networks; it was avoided out of shame; and knowledge about its existence was poor. Originality: This case study is the first examination of varying experiences of food insecurity amongst UK white British and Pakistani women. Whilst the sample size is small, it presents new evidence on perceptions of food insecurity amongst Pakistani households and on why households of varying ethnicities do not use food aid.
  • Using out-of-office blood pressure measurements in established cardiovascular risk scores: implications for practice

    Stevens, S.L.; Stevens, R.J.; de Leeuw, P.; Kroon, A.A.; Greenfield, S.; Mohammed, Mohammed A.; Gill, P.; Verberk, W.J.; McManus, R.J. (2018)
    Abstract Background: Blood pressure (BP) measurement is increasingly carried out through home or ambulatory monitoring, yet existing cardiovascular risk scores were developed for use with measurements obtained in clinic. Aim: To describe differences in cardiovascular risk estimates obtained using ambulatory or home BP measurements instead of clinic readings. Design and setting: Secondary analysis of data from adults aged 30-84 without prior history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in two BP monitoring studies (BP-Eth and HOMERUS). Method: The primary comparison was Framingham risk calculated using BP measured as in the Framingham study or daytime ambulatory BP measurements. The QRISK2 and SCORE risk equations were also studied. Statistical and clinical significance were determined using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test and scatter plots respectively. Results: In 442 BP-Eth patients (mean age = 58 years, 50% female) the median absolute difference in 10-year Framingham cardiovascular risk calculated using BP measured as in the Framingham study or daytime ambulatory BP measurements was 1.84% (interquartile range 0.65 to 3.63, p=0.67). Only 31/ 442 (7.0%) of patients were reclassified across the 10% risk treatment threshold. In 165 HOMERUS patients (mean age = 56 years, 46% female) the median difference in 10-year risk was 2.76% (IQR 1.19 to 6.39, p<0.001) and only 8/165 (4.8%) of patient were reclassified. Conclusion: Estimates of cardiovascular risk are similar when calculated using BP measurements obtained as in the risk score derivation study or through ambulatory monitoring. Further research is required to determine if differences in estimated risk would meaningfully influence risk score accuracy.
  • Influences on uptake of a community occupational therapy intervention for people with dementia and their family carers

    Field, B.; Coates, E.; Mountain, Gail (2018)
    Living well with dementia is promoted nationally and internationally (Department of Health, 2009: Global Action Against Dementia, 2013). UK health policy recommends post-diagnostic support to enable people to live well in the community for as long as possible (Department of Health, 2015; NHS England, 2017; Scottish Government, 2017; Welsh Government, 2017). This is important given that a cure for dementia is not imminent. A growing evidence base demonstrates that psychosocial interventions can benefit people with mild to moderate dementia, by improving cognition, performance in valued activities or daily living skills, maintaining quality of life or carer coping. (Clare et al., 2011;2017; Graff et al.,2006,2007; Streater et al.,2016). Occupational therapists offer interventions to people living with mild to moderate dementia and family carers (Swinson et al.,2016;Streater et al.,2016;Yuill and Hollis,2011). The National Institute for Clinical Excellence and Social Care Institute for Excellence (2006) recommended occupational therapists provide skills training for activities of daily living. Also, the Memory Services National Accreditation Programme recommends people with dementia have access to occupational therapy and other psychosocial interventions such as reminiscence, life story work or cognitive stimulation therapy, for the cognitive, emotional, occupational and functional aspects of dementia (Hodge et al.,2016). Such interventions can be delivered by occupational therapists. The focus on the benefits of non-pharmacological interventions provides occupational therapists with an opportunity, to deliver services that improve lives and the experience of dementia (Collier and Pool, 2016). Understanding what may influence uptake of such interventions is important if people with dementia and their carers are to benefit from what occupational therapists can offer. Yet what supports the uptake of such interventions, specifically by people with mild to moderate dementia and their family carers, living in the community is poorly understood and limited research about this topic exists. ‘Uptake’, in this paper, is defined as initial acceptance of an offer, of intervention, support or services, rather than continued engagement or adherence to an intervention over time.
  • The experiences of pregnant migrant women in detention: A qualitative study

    Arshad, F.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Palloti, P. (2018-09)
    Background: Pregnant migrant women held in detention centres in the UK can be particularly vulnerable. They may have poor physical and mental health, which is exacerbated by their incarceration, and are at a disproportionally increased risk of maternal and perinatal mortality. Unpublished studies have found that pregnant migrant women have poor experiences in detention. Aim: To explore pregnant migrant women's experiences of living in detention. Method: Four migrant women who had been held in detention while pregnant and two volunteer health professionals were interviewed. Findings: Results suggest that migrant women have very poor experiences in detention. Four key themes emerged: ‘challenges to accessing UK healthcare’, ‘exacerbation of mental health conditions, ‘feeling hungry’ and ‘lack of privacy’. Conclusion: These findings could be used to review maternity care in detention and ensure that detention staff understand the experiences of detained pregnant women so that the needs of this vulnerable group can be met.
  • Using text messages to support recovering substance misusers

    McClelland, Gabrielle T.; Duffy, P.; Davda, P. (2018-09)
    Background: The use of digital technology in health and social care is developing rapidly. It is promoted in UK policy and research which suggests varied results surrounding its implementation and outcomes. Introduction: This article aimed to test the implementation and outcomes of a short messaging service sent to a dedicated phone. The target cohort were drug treatment clients in two sites in Northern England. Materials and methods: Through staff focus groups and interviews with a small cohort of clients, the implementation and perceptions of the system were examined. Results: Nineteen participants were recruited to site 1 (15 male, 4 female, average age=37.7 years) and 12 participants were recruited to site 2 (9 male, 3 female, average age=40.3 years). One outcome that was of interest was well-being in treatment which, in this study, was described as an overall sense of feeling better rather than just focusing on the rehabilitation aspect of the programme. Other outcomes included: the successful completion of treatment and any relapse or associated reported drug use. Discussion: The system shows some evidence of its ‘social actor’ role; however, its implementation was hindered by staff citing that it called for increased resources. For future implementation the use of client’s own phones may be considered which may help to embed the system more fully in recovery planning and targeting clients at a different treatment stage. Conclusions: Despite some indications of positive results for clients and a perception that the system may have value as an addition to existing clinical interventions, more evaluation is required to determine whether this system can be implemented in a drug treatment setting.
  • The incompatibility of system and lifeworld understandings of food insecurity and the provision of food aid in an English city

    Power, M.; Small, Neil A.; Doherty, B.; Pickett, K.E. (2018)
    We report qualitative findings from a study in a multi-ethnic, multi-faith city with high levels of deprivation. Primary research over 2 years consisted of three focus groups and 18 semi-structured interviews with food insecurity service providers followed by focus groups with 16 White British and Pakistani women in or at risk of food insecurity. We consider food insecurity using Habermas’s distinction between the system and lifeworld. We examine system definitions of the nature of need, approved food choices, the reification of selected skills associated with household management and the imposition of a construct of virtue. While lifeworld truths about food insecurity include understandings of structural causes and recognition that the potential of social solidarity to respond to them exist, they are not engaged with by the system. The gap between system rationalities and the experiential nature of lay knowledge generates individual and collective disempowerment and a corrosive sense of shame.
  • Reducing emergency hospital admissions: A population health complex intervention of an enhanced model of primary care and compassionate communities

    Abel, J.; Kingston, H.; Scally, Andy J.; Hartnoll, J.; Hannam, G.; Thomson-Moore, A.; Kellehear, Allan (2018)
    Background: Reducing emergency admissions to hospital has been a cornerstone of health care policy. There is little evidence of systematic interventions which achieved this aim across a population. We report the impact on unplanned admissions to hospital through a complex intervention over a 44 month period in Frome, Somerset. Aim: A population health complex intervention of an enhanced model of primary care and compassionate communities to improve population health and reduce emergency admissions to hospital Design: A cohort retrospective study of a complex intervention on all emergency admissions in Frome compared to Somerset from April 2013 to December 2017. Setting: Frome Medical Practice, Somerset Methods: Patients were identified using broad criteria including anyone with cause for concern. Patient centred goal setting and care planning combined with a compassionate community social approach was implemented broadly across the population of Frome. Results: There was a progressive reduction, by 7.9 cases per quarter (95% CI: 2.8, 13.1; p=0.006) in unplanned hospital admissions across the whole population of Frome, over the study period from April 2014 to December 2017. At the same time, there was sharp increase in the number of admissions per quarter, within the Somerset, with an increase in the number of unplanned admissions of 236 per quarter (95% CI: 152, 320; p<0.001). Conclusion: The complex intervention in Frome was associated with highly significant reductions in unplanned admissions to hospital with reduction of healthcare costs across the whole population of Frome
  • A UK survey exploring the assistant practitioner role across diagnostic imaging: current practice, relationships and challenges to progression

    Snaith, Beverly; Harris, Martine A.; Palmer, D. (2018)
    Objective: Skill mix has been established as one method of maintaining imaging service delivery, with vertical and horizontal substitution of roles and tasks. Assistant practitioners (APs) have been undertaking limited imaging practice for almost two decades, but there remains a paucity of evidence related to the impact of their roles. Methods: This article reports on an electronic survey of individual APs within the NHS in the UK to explore utilisation, role scope and aspirations. Results: Responses were analysed from APs (n = 193) employed in 97 different organisations across the UK. The majority work in general radiography or mammography, with very few responses from other imaging modalities. Training routes varied across modalities, with most achieving Band 4 under Agenda for Change on completion of education. Limitations on practice vary between organisations and modalities, with many reporting blurring of the radiographer-AP boundary. Many aspire to continue their training to achieve registrant radiographer status, although there were clear frustrations from respondents over the lack of overt career prospects. Conclusion: Integration of the role into imaging department practice does not appear to be universal or consistent and further research is required to examine the optimal skill mix composition. Advances in knowledge: Skill mix implementation is inconsistent across modalities and geography in the UK. Opportunities for further workforce utilisation and expansion are evident.
  • Exercise and physical activity in asylum seekers in Northern England; using the theoretical domains framework to identify barriers and facilitators

    Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Waskett, Catherine; Montague, Jane; Horne, M. (2018)
    Background: Many asylum seekers have complex mental health needs which can be exacerbated by the challenging circumstances in which they live and difficulties accessing health services. Regular moderate physical activity can improve mental health and would be a useful strategy to achieve this. Evidence suggests there are barriers to engaging black and minority ethnic groups in physical activity, but there is little research around asylum seekers to address the key barriers and facilitators in this group. Methods: A two stage qualitative study used semi-structured interviews underpinned by the Theoretical Domains Framework. The interviews were conducted in voluntary sector groups in four towns/ cities in Northern England. Purposive sampling recruited 36 asylum seekers from 18 different countries. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and subject to framework analysis. Stage two involved a nominal group technique with five key stakeholders including asylum seekers and those that work with them. They followed a four stage process to rank and reach consensus on the key barrier to undertaking physical activity/ exercise that could be addressed locally through a future intervention. Results: A number of barriers and facilitators were identified including a lack of understanding of the term physical activity and recommended levels but knowledge of the health benefits of physical activity/ exercise and the motivation to increase levels having engaged with activities back home. Living as an asylum seeker was considered a barrier due to the stress, poverty and temporary nature of living in an unfamiliar place. The outcome of the nominal group technique was that a lack of knowledge of facilities in the local area was the prevailing barrier that could be addressed. Conclusions: Public health practitioners could develop interventions which capitalise on the motivation and knowledge of asylum seekers to encourage an increase in physical activity which may in turn reduce the breadth and depth of mental health needs of this group.
  • Embedding consultant radiographer roles within radiology departments: A framework for success

    Nightingale, J.; Hardy, Maryann L.; Snaith, Beverly (2018)
    Objectives: Many organisations struggle to clearly differentiate the radiographer consultant role from advanced or specialist practice, with newly appointed consultant practitioners often illprepared for working at this level. This article discusses the design, implementation and validation of an outcomes framework for benchmarking competencies for trainee or new-in-post consultant radiographers. Methods: Five experienced radiographers from different clinical specialisms were seconded to a twelve month consultant trainee post, guided by a locally-devised outcomes framework. A longitudinal qualitative study explored, from the radiographers' perspective, the impact of the outcomes framework on the transition to consultant practice and beyond. Data collection included semi-structured interviews (months 1, 6 and 12), validation via a focus group (month 18) and a group interview (5 years). Results: Early interactions with framework objectives were mechanistic, but as participants better understood the role more creative approaches emerged. Despite diverse clinical expertise, the framework facilitated parity between participants, promoting transparency and credibility which was important in how the consultant role was perceived. All participants achieved all framework outcomes and were subsequently appointed to substantive consultant radiographer positions. Conclusion This outcomes framework facilitates experienced radiographers to successfully transition into consultant radiographers, enabling them to meet multiple non-clinical targets while continuing to work effectively within a changing clinical environment. It is the first validated benchmarking tool designed to support the transition to radiographer consultant practice. Adoption of the tool will provide a standardised measure of consultant radiographer outcomes that will promote inter-organisational transferability hitherto unseen in the UK.
  • An Evaluation of Image Acquisition Techniques, Radiographic Practice, and Technical Quality in Neonatal Chest Radiography

    Pedersen, C.C.E.; Hardy, Maryann L.; Blankholm, A.D. (2018)
    Background Neonatal chest radiography is a frequently performed diagnostic examination, particularly in preterm infants where anatomical and/or biochemical immaturity impacts on respiratory function. However, the quality of neonatal radiographic images has been criticized internationally and a prevailing concern has been that radiographers (radiologic technologists) fail to appreciate the unique nature of neonatal and infant anatomical proportions. The aim of this study was to undertake a retrospective evaluation of neonatal chest radiography image acquisition techniques against key technical criteria. Methods Hundred neonatal chest radiographs, randomly selected from all those acquired in 2014, were retrospectively evaluated. Inclusion criteria for radiographs acquisition were as follows: anterior-posterior supine; within 30 days of birth; and with all preprocessed collimation boundaries visible. Image evaluation was systematically undertaken using an image assessment tool. To test for statistical significance, Student's t-test, χ2 test, and logistic regression were undertaken. Results Only 47% of the radiographs were considered straight in both upper and lower thoraces. The cranial collimation border extended beyond the upper border of the third cervical vertebra in 30% of cases, and the caudal border extended below the lower border of the first lumbar vertebra in 20% of cases, suggesting high possibility of neonatal overirradiation. Upper thorax rotation was significantly associated with head position (χ2 = 10.907; P < .001) as has been stated in many published textbooks internationally, but arm position had no apparent influence on rotation of the upper thorax (χ2 = 5.1260; P = .275). Birth weight was associated with accurate midline centering of central ray (logistic regression; OR = 1.0005; P = .009; CI, 1.00139–1.000957) with greater accuracy observed in images of neonates with higher birth weight. Conclusion This study has highlighted areas for neonatal chest radiography improvement. Importantly, the findings bring into question commonly advocated radiographic techniques relating to arm positioning and assessment of rotation while confirming the importance of other technical factors. These findings begin the work toward developing the evidence base to underpin neonatal chest radiograph acquisition, but further prospective work and multicenter/multinational data comparison are required to confirm the findings.
  • Effects of water and land based exercise programmes on women experiencing pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain: a randomized controlled feasibility study

    Scott, K.L.; Hellawell, Michael (2018-06)
    This study aimed to address whether a water exercise programme improves pain and quality of life in pregnant patients with Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) compared to a land-based exercise programme and the feasibility of undertaking a large-scale research programme. Twenty-three participants with diagnosed PGP, recruited at St George’s Hospital London, were randomised into two groups (water or land exercise). Each group received, four, once-weekly exercise sessions on land or water. Exercise effects on PGP were measured using the Pelvic Girdle Pain Questionnaire (PGPQ) (primary outcome), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Patient Specific Functional Score (PSFS) and Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR). Quality of life was measured using the Subjective Exercise Experience Scale (SEES). Outcomes were assessed at baseline and post four weeks exercise. Results showed there was a clinically significant improvement shown in all outcome measures in the water group, compared to the land group. A statistical difference between groups was shown for ASLR (p=0.036), Positive Well-Being (p=0.000) and Fatigue levels (p=0.011). No statistical difference was shown for PGPQ (p=0.056), PSFS (p=0.530) and Psychological Distress (p=0.712) scores. Exercise in water appears to offer a clinical benefit for patients experiencing PGP compared to a land exercise, particularly with Fatigue, Positive Well-Being and ASLR scores. Statistical differences between groups are limited by small sample size and that no power calculation was used in this study. Methodology and results provide support for a larger study on this topic to provide more definitive conclusions to support the use of water-based therapy for PGP.
  • Impact of a specialist mental health pharmacy team on medicines optimisation in primary care for patients on a severe mental illness register: a pilot study

    Raynsford, Justine; Dada, C.; Stansfield, D.; Cullen, T. (2018)
    Objective Medication arrangements for patients with severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, can be complex. Some have shared care between primary and secondary services while others have little specialist input. This study investigated the contribution a specialist mental health clinical pharmacy team could make to medicines optimisation for patients on the SMI register in primary care. Research shows that specialist mental health pharmacists improve care in inpatient settings. However, little is known about their potential impact in primary care. Method Five general practice surgeries were allocated half a day per week of a specialist pharmacist and technician for 12 months. The technician reviewed primary and secondary care records for discrepancies. Records were audited for high-dose or multiple antipsychotics, physical health monitoring and adherence. Issues were referred to the pharmacist for review. Surgery staff were encouraged to refer psychotropic medication queries to the team. Interventions were recorded and graded. Results 316/472 patients on the SMI register were prescribed antipsychotics or mood stabilisers. 23 (7%) records were updated with missing clozapine and depot information. Interventions by the pharmacist included clarifying discharge information (12/104), reviewing high-dose and multiple antipsychotic prescribing (18/104), correcting errors (10/104), investigating adherence issues (16/104), following up missing health checks (22/104) and answering queries from surgery staff (23/104). Five out of six interventions possibly preventing hospital admission were for referral of non-adherent patients. Conclusion The pharmacy team found a variety of issues including incomplete medicines reconciliation, adherence issues, poor communication, drug errors and the need for specialist advice. The expertise of the team enabled timely resolution of issues and bridges were built between primary and secondary care.
  • Cardiology patients' medicines management networks after hospital discharge: A mixed methods analysis of a complex adaptive system

    Fylan, Beth; Tranmer, M.; Armitage, Gerry R.; Blenkinsopp, Alison (2018)
    Introduction: The complex healthcare system that provides patients with medicines places them at risk when care is transferred between healthcare organisations, for example discharge from hospital. Consequently, under-standing and improving medicines management, particularly at care transfers, is a priority.Objectives: This study aimed to explore the medicines management system as patients experience it and determine differences in the patient-perceived importance of people in the system.Methods: We used a Social Network Analysis framework, collecting ego-net data about the importance of people patients had contact with concerning their medicines after hospital discharge. Single- and multi-level logistic regression models of patients' networks were constructed, and model residuals were explored at the patient level.This enabled us to identify patients' networks with support tie patterns different from the general patterns suggested by the model results. Qualitative data for those patients were then analysed to understand their differing experiences.Results: Networks comprised clinical and administrative healthcare staff and friends and family members.Networks were highly individual and the perceived importance of alters varied both within and between patients. Ties to spouses were significantly more likely to be rated as highly important and ties to community pharmacy staff (other than pharmacists) and to GP receptionists were less likely to be highly rated. Patients with low-value medicines management networks described having limited information about their medicines and alack of understanding or help. Patients with high-value networks described appreciating support and having confidence in staff.Conclusions: Patients experienced medicines management as individual systems within which they interacted with healthcare staff and informal support to manage their treatment. Multilevel models indicated that there are unexplained variables impacting on patients' assessments of their medicines management networks. Qualitative exploration of the model residuals can offer an understanding of networks that do not have the typical range of support ties.
  • Gait termination on a declined surface in trans-femoral amputees: Impact of using microprocessor-controlled limb system

    Abdulhasan, Z.M.; Scally, Andy J.; Buckley, John G. (2018-08)
    Background: Walking down ramps is a demanding task for transfemoral-amputees and terminating gait on ramps is even more challenging because of the requirement to maintain a stable limb so that it can do the necessary negative mechanical work on the centre-of-mass in order to arrest (dissipate) forward/downward velocity. We determined how the use of a microprocessor-controlled limb system (simultaneous control over hydraulic resistances at ankle and knee) affected the negative mechanical work done by each limb when transfemoral-amputees terminated gait during ramp descent. Methods: Eight transfemoral-amputees completed planned gait terminations (stopping on prosthesis) on a 5-degree ramp from slow and customary walking speeds, with the limb's microprocessor active or inactive. When active the limb operated in its ‘ramp-descent’ mode and when inactive the knee and ankle devices functioned at constant default levels. Negative limb work, determined as the integral of the negative mechanical (external) limb power during the braking phase, was compared across speeds and microprocessor conditions. Findings: Negative work done by each limb increased with speed (p < 0.001), and on the prosthetic limb it was greater when the microprocessor was active compared to inactive (p = 0.004). There was no change in work done across microprocessor conditions on the intact limb (p = 0.35). Interpretation: Greater involvement of the prosthetic limb when the limb system was active indicates its ramp-descent mode effectively altered the hydraulic resistances at the ankle and knee. Findings highlight participants became more assured using their prosthetic limb to arrest centre-of-mass velocity.

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