Recent Submissions

  • The scope of carer effects and their inclusion in decision-making: A UK-based Delphi study

    Al-Janabi, H.; Efstathiou, N.; McLoughlin, C.; Calvert, M.; Oyebode, Jan R. (BMC, 2021)
    Background and objective: Health and social care may affect family carers’ health and wellbeing in addition to patients’ lives. It is recommended that such impacts (carer effects) are considered in decision-making. However, the scope of carer effects and range of decisions where carer effects should be considered is uncertain. This study aimed to identify (i) how different categories of healthcare and social care were perceived to impact on family carers and (ii) whether there was consensus about when carer effects should be formally considered in decision-making contexts. Methods: A Delphi study was conducted with 65 UK-based participants with expertise in dementia, mental health, and stroke. Participants considered two broad forms of ‘interventions’ (patient treatment and replacement care) and two broad forms of ‘organisational change’ (staffing and changes in timing/location of care). Participants assessed the likely impacts of health and social care on family carers and whether impacts should be considered in decision-making. The survey was conducted remotely at two time points. Results: Participants predicted widespread impacts from interventions and organisational changes on different domains of family carers’ lives, with ‘emotional health’ the most likely outcome to be affected. Patient treatment and replacement care services (‘interventions’) were associated with positive impacts across all domains. Conversely, timing/location changes and staffing changes (‘organisational changes’) were perceived to have mixed and negative impacts. There was widespread support (80-81%) for considering carer effects in research studies, funding decisions, and patient decision-making. Conclusion: This study highlights a perception that carer effects are widespread and important to consider in economic evaluation and decision-making. It highlights the particular need to measure and value effects on carers’ emotional health and the need to use a societal perspective to avoid cost shifting to family carers when introducing interventions and making organisational changes.
  • A systematic review to identify research priority setting in Black and minority ethnic health and evaluate their processes

    Iqbal, Halima; West, J.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie; McEachan, R.R.C. (PLOS ONE, 2021-05)
    Background: Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities suffer from disproportionately poorer health than the general population. This issue has been recently exemplified by the large numbers of infection rates and deaths caused by covid-19 in BAME populations. Future research has the potential to improve health outcomes for these groups. High quality research priority setting is crucial to effectively consider the needs of the most vulnerable groups of the population. Objective: The purpose of this systematic review is to identify existing research priority studies conducted for BAME health and to determine the extent to which they followed good practice principles for research priority setting. Method: Included studies were identified by searching Medline, Cinnahl, PsychINFO, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, as well as searches in grey literature. Search terms included “research priority setting”, “research prioritisation”, “research agenda”, “Black and minority ethnic”, “ethnic group”. Studies were included if they identified or elicited research priorities for BAME health and if they outlined a process of conducting a research prioritisation exercise. A checklist of Nine Common Themes of Good Practice in research priority setting was used as a methodological framework to evaluate the research priority processes of each study. Results: Out of 1514 citations initially obtained, 17 studies were included in the final synthesis. Topic areas for their research prioritisation exercise included suicide prevention, knee surgery, mental health, preterm birth, and child obesity. Public and patient involvement was included in eleven studies. Methods of research prioritisation included workshops, Delphi techniques, surveys, focus groups and interviews. The quality of empirical evidence was diverse. None of the exercises followed all good practice principles as outlined in the checklist. Areas that were lacking in particular were: the lack of a comprehensive approach to guide the process; limited use of criteria to guide discussion around priorities; unequal or no representation from ethnic minorities, and poor evaluation of their own processes. Conclusions: Research priority setting practices were found to mostly not follow good practice guidelines which aim to ensure rigour in priority setting activities and support the inclusion of BAME communities in establishing the research agenda. Research is unlikely to deliver useful findings that can support relevant research and positive change for BAME communities unless they fulfil areas of good practice such as inclusivity of key stakeholders’ input, planning for implementation of identified priorities, criteria for deciding on priorities, and evaluation of their processes in research priority setting.
  • An exploration of migrant women’s perceptions of public health messages to reduce stillbirth in the UK: a qualitative study

    Stacey, T.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Almas, Nisa; Kenyon, C. (2021-05)
    Background: Stillbirth is a global public health priority. Within the United Kingdom, perinatal mortality disproportionately impacts Black, Asian and minority ethnic women, and in particular migrant women. Although the explanation for this remains unclear, it is thought to be multidimensional. Improving perinatal mortality is reliant upon raising awareness of stillbirth and its associated risk factors, as well as improving maternity services. The aim of this study was to explore migrant women’s awareness of health messages to reduce stillbirth risk, and how key public health messages can be made more accessible. Method: Two semi-structured focus groups and 13 one to one interviews were completed with a purposive sample of 30 migrant women from 18 countries and across 4 NHS Trusts. Results: Participants provided an account of their general awareness of stillbirth and recollection of the advice they had been given to reduce the risk of stillbirth both before and during pregnancy. They also suggested approaches to how key messages might be more effectively communicated to migrant women. Conclusions: Our study highlights the complexity of discussing stillbirth during pregnancy. The women in this study were found to receive a wide range of advice from family and friends as well as health professionals about how to keep their baby safe in pregnancy, they recommended the development of a range of resources to provide clear and consistent messages. Health professionals, in particular midwives who have developed a trusting relationship with the women will be key to ensuring that public health messages relating to stillbirth reduction are accessible to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  • A complex intervention to reduce avoidable hospital admissions in nursing homes: a research programme including the BHiRCH-NH pilot cluster RCT

    Downs, M.; Blighe, A.; Carpenter, R.; Feast, A.; Froggatt, K.; Gordon, S.; Hunter, R.; Jones, L.; Lago, N.; McCormack, B.; et al. (Programme Grants for Applied Research, 2021-02)
    Background: An unplanned hospital admission of a nursing home resident distresses the person, their family and nursing home staff, and is costly to the NHS. Improving health care in care homes, including early detection of residents’ health changes, may reduce hospital admissions. Previously, we identified four conditions associated with avoidable hospital admissions. We noted promising ‘within-home’ complex interventions including care pathways, knowledge and skills enhancement, and implementation support. Objectives: Develop a complex intervention with implementation support [the Better Health in Residents in Care Homes with Nursing (BHiRCH-NH)] to improve early detection, assessment and treatment for the four conditions. Determine its impact on hospital admissions, test study procedures and acceptability of the intervention and implementation support, and indicate if a definitive trial was warranted. Design: A Carer Reference Panel advised on the intervention, implementation support and study documentation, and engaged in data analysis and interpretation. In workstream 1, we developed a complex intervention to reduce rates of hospitalisation from nursing homes using mixed methods, including a rapid research review, semistructured interviews and consensus workshops. The complex intervention comprised care pathways, approaches to enhance staff knowledge and skills, implementation support and clarity regarding the role of family carers. In workstream 2, we tested the complex intervention and implementation support via two work packages. In work package 1, we conducted a feasibility study of the intervention, implementation support and study procedures in two nursing homes and refined the complex intervention to comprise the Stop and Watch Early Warning Tool (S&W), condition-specific care pathways and a structured framework for nurses to communicate with primary care. The final implementation support included identifying two Practice Development Champions (PDCs) in each intervention home, and supporting them with a training workshop, practice development support group, monthly coaching calls, handbooks and web-based resources. In work package 2, we undertook a cluster randomised controlled trial to pilot test the complex intervention for acceptability and a preliminary estimate of effect. Setting: Fourteen nursing homes allocated to intervention and implementation support (n = 7) or treatment as usual (n = 7). Participants: We recruited sufficient numbers of nursing homes (n = 14), staff (n = 148), family carers (n = 95) and residents (n = 245). Two nursing homes withdrew prior to the intervention starting. Intervention: This ran from February to July 2018. Data sources: Individual-level data on nursing home residents, their family carers and staff; system-level data using nursing home records; and process-level data comprising how the intervention was implemented. Data were collected on recruitment rates, consent and the numbers of family carers who wished to be involved in the residents’ care. Completeness of outcome measures and data collection and the return rate of questionnaires were assessed. Results: The pilot trial showed no effects on hospitalisations or secondary outcomes. No home implemented the intervention tools as expected. Most staff endorsed the importance of early detection, assessment and treatment. Many reported that they ‘were already doing it’, using an early-warning tool; a detailed nursing assessment; or the situation, background, assessment, recommendation communication protocol. Three homes never used the S&W and four never used care pathways. Only 16 S&W forms and eight care pathways were completed. Care records revealed little use of the intervention principles. PDCs from five of six intervention homes attended the training workshop, following which they had variable engagement with implementation support. Progression criteria regarding recruitment and data collection were met: 70% of homes were retained, the proportion of missing data was < 20% and 80% of individuallevel data were collected. Necessary rates of data collection, documentation completion and return over the 6-month study period were achieved. However, intervention tools were not fully adopted, suggesting they would not be sustainable outside the trial. Few hospitalisations for the four conditions suggest it an unsuitable primary outcome measure. Key cost components were estimated. Limitations: The study homes may already have had effective approaches to early detection, assessment and treatment for acute health changes; consistent with government policy emphasising the need for enhanced health care in homes. Alternatively, the implementation support may not have been sufficiently potent. Conclusion: A definitive trial is feasible, but the intervention is unlikely to be effective. Participant recruitment, retention, data collection and engagement with family carers can guide subsequent studies, including service evaluation and quality improvement methodologies. Future work: Intervention research should be conducted in homes which need to enhance early detection, assessment and treatment. Interventions to reduce avoidable hospital admissions may be beneficial in residential care homes, as they are not required to employ nurses.
  • Sources of emotional challenge for practitioners delivering family centred care after the death of child: an inductive thematic analysis

    Tatterton, Michael J.; Honour, A.; Lyon, J.; Kirkby, L.; Newbegin, M.; Webster, J. (2021)
    Care after the death of a child and support of their bereaved family is an important element of the services offered by children’s hospices in the United Kingdom. The study aims to explore the emotional challenges of those delivering care to families of children in hospice cool rooms. An internet-based questionnaire was sent to all practitioners to explore their perspectives of providing care to bereaved families whilst the child’s body was in the hospice, as well as caring for a child’s body after death. In total, 94.9% (n=56) of staff responded. Two key themes were identified that represent the emotional challenges perceived by staff: the impact of deterioration of a child’s body; and witnessing the acute grief of families. Practitioners seek to provide care that recognises the importance of family and demonstrates family-centred care, as well as supporting families to deal with the changes that occur after death. Organisations can support practitioners to deliver care in cool rooms by providing training and education on anticipating and managing the pathophysiological changes that occur after death as well as training in grief and loss, and how to support a bereaved family.
  • Patients as qualitative data analysts: Developing a method for a process evaluation of the ‘Improving the Safety and Continuity of Medicines management at care Transitions’ (ISCOMAT) cluster randomised control trial

    Powell, Catherine; Ismail, Hanif; Cleverley, R.; Taylor, A.; Breen, Liz; Fylan, Beth; Alderson, S.L.; Alldred, D.P. (2021)
    Background: How to meaningfully partner with patients as data analysts remains obscure. A process evaluation of the ‘Improving the Safety and Continuity Of Medicines management at care Transitions’ (ISCOMAT) cluster randomised control trial of an intervention for improving medicines use for people living with heart failure is being conducted. The intervention includes patient held information on heart medicines and care, enhanced communication between hospital and community pharmacists, and increased engagement of community pharmacists with patient care post-hospital discharge. ISCOMAT patients living with heart failure were interviewed about experiences with the intervention. We sought to gain insights from patients on data collected to enhance our understanding of experiences with the intervention. Objective: To develop a method for involving patients as analysts of qualitative data in a process evaluation. Design: Patients and researchers co-analysed qualitative data. A framework method was applied involving; familiarisation, coding, developing an analytical framework and interpretation. The process was facilitated through home working and a workshop with a training component. Results: The co-designed framework enabled researchers to map all further patient interview data. Patients' specialist knowledge enhanced understanding of how the ISCOMAT intervention can be best implemented. Conclusions: Patients’ unique experiences can enhance validity and rigour in data analysis through sharing their interpretations of qualitative data. The involvement process is crucial in elucidating knowledge and avoiding tokenism. As analysts, patients gain an appreciation of research processes, building trust between researchers and patients. Group dynamics and involving patients throughout the whole research process are important considerations.
  • Living with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic: coping and support needs of community-dwelling people with dementia and their family carers. Research findings from the IDEAL COVID-19 Dementia Initiative (IDEAL-CDI)

    O'Rourke, G.; Pentecost, C.; van den Heuvel, E.; Victor, C.; Quinn, Catherine; Hillman, A.; Litherland, R.; Clare, L. (Older People and Frailty Policy Research Group, 2021-02)
    We interviewed people with dementia and carers from the IDEAL cohort to find out how the COVID-19 lockdown and continuing restrictions affected those living with dementia. Some people with dementia coped well, while others coped with difficulty or were only just coping. The additional stress of COVID-19 exacerbated pre-existing coping difficulties. For many, social isolation increased anxiety. Some felt that lack of activity or lack of social contact caused a decline in their abilities to manage everyday tasks. Confusion about COVID-19 rules or difficulty remembering what to do led to anxiety when leaving the house. People felt that members of the public might not understand their particular needs. While some carers felt they were coping well, others experienced stress when having to leave the home because the person with dementia might not be safe if left alone. Some experienced increased strain in the caring relationship compounded by an uncertainty about future availability of respite. Some were concerned about the complex health needs of the person with dementia alongside COVID-19 risk and lack of personalised information. Both people with dementia and carers talked about the importance of access to safe outdoor space. People were anxious about how others would react or behave towards them regarding keeping a distance if they went out. Being connected to friends, family and wider community or support groups was important to help combat the effects of isolation. People from BAME communities worried about their increased vulnerability to the virus. A lack of trust in Government guidance and in health care services added to their anxiety. However, some benefitted from strong community and faith group involvement. What might be helpful for people with dementia? • Reablement to help regain or maintain skills • Personalised health advice regarding managing COVID-19 risk and the opportunity to ask questions. • Identification of people with dementia who live alone and an assessment of their needs. What might be helpful for carers? • Needs assessment in regard to respite. • Novel forms of respite care that incorporate social distancing. What might be helpful for both carers and people with dementia? • Access to COVID-safe outdoor spaces. • Continuation and expansion of ‘just checking’ services. • Support to get online and use the internet. • Communication and information through non-digital means. • Community COVID-19 ‘dementia awareness’ initiatives. What might be helpful for people from Black and minority ethnic groups? • Addressing concerns about their increased risk of COVID-19. • Directing information and support through existing community and faith groups.
  • A systematic review to identify key elements of effective public health interventions that address barriers to health services for refugees

    Jallow, M.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Hargan, Jae; Balaam, M-C. (Springer, 2021)
    Aim: Refugees often face barriers to accessing health services, especially after resettlement. The aim of this study is to identify key elements of effective public health interventions that address barriers to health services for refugees. Methods: Key online databases were searched to identify studies published between 2010 and 2019. Six studies met the inclusion criteria: two qualitative, one quantitative and three mixed-methods studies. An adapted narrative synthesis framework was used which included thematic analysis for systematic reviews. Results: Five themes were identified: peer support, translation services, accessible intervention, health education and a multidisciplinary approach. Conclusion: These key elements identified from this review could be incorporated into public health interventions to support refugees’ access to health services. They could be useful for services targeting refugees generally, but also supporting services targeting refugee resettlement programmes such as the Syrian resettled refugees in the UK. Future research is needed to evaluate the impact of public health interventions where these elements have been integrated into the intervention.
  • HARP (Health for Asylum Seekers and Refugees) project interim evaluation

    Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Balaam, M.C.; Mathew, D.; Big Lottery (Refugee Council, 2020-09)
  • Developing supportive local communities: Perspectives from people with dementia participating in the IDEAL programme

    Quinn, Catherine; Hart, N.; Henderson, C.; Litherland, R.; Pickett, J.; Clare, L. (2021)
    Communities play an important role in supporting people living with affected by dementia. The aim of this study was to explore what could be changed in the local community to enable those with dementia to live well. People with dementia and carers taking part in the IDEAL programme responded to open-ended questions. Responses from 1,172 people with dementia and 702 caregivers were analysed using thematic analysis. Four themes were identified: raising awareness, improving access to support services, providing social events and activities, and supporting people to engage in the community. These highlight the role of individuals, resources and the environment in supporting those with dementia. Longer-term investment in services is needed to underpin dementia-inclusive communities.
  • Sharing a living room: Empathy, reverie and connection

    McVey, Lynn (2019-09)
    This paper examines what the originally psychoanalytic concept of reverie can add to non-psychoanalytic practitioners’ understandings of empathy. It uses case material from a study into UK therapists’ experiences of reverie, which centres on a single moment in a session, when an image of her own living room flashed suddenly through a therapist’s mind. Reverie – a capacity to contain the other’s unprocessed emotional experiencing - can offer a magnifying lens through which to view some forms of empathy, revealing the relational, embodied and imaginative materials from which they are constructed. The paper links shared experiencing like that found in reverie with simulative accounts of empathy, but does not claim this enables us to experience exactly what the other feels; rather, when approached sensitively, tentatively and with clients’ needs foremost, it can foster deep connection, enabling us, as it were, to enter others’ inner worlds – perhaps even their living rooms - and make ourselves at home there. Finally, practical ways to work empathically with reverie are suggested, which may interest therapists from a range of modalities, including humanistic approaches.
  • Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in primary school children: inactive lessons are dominated by maths and English

    Daly-Smith, Andrew; Hobbs, M.; Morris, J.L.; Defeyter, M.A.; Resaland, G.K.; McKenna, J. (MDPI, 2021-01)
    Background: A large majority of primary school pupils fail to achieve 30-min of daily, in-school moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The aim of this study was to investigate MVPA accumulation and subject frequency during academic lesson segments and the broader segmented school day. Methods: 122 children (42.6% boys; 9.9 ± 0.3 years) from six primary schools in North East England, wore uniaxial accelerometers for eight consecutive days. Subject frequency was assessed by teacher diaries. Multilevel models (children nested within schools) examined significant predictors of MVPA across each school-day segment (lesson one, break, lesson two, lunch, lesson three). Results: Pupils averaged 18.33 ± 8.34 min of in-school MVPA, and 90.2% failed to achieve the in-school 30-min MVPA threshold. Across all school-day segments, MVPA accumulation was typically influenced at the individual level. Lessons one and two—dominated by maths and English—were less active than lesson three. Break and lunch were the most active segments. Conclusion: This study breaks new ground, revealing that MVPA accumulation and subject frequency varies greatly during different academic lessons. Morning lessons were dominated by the inactive delivery of maths and English, whereas afternoon lessons involved a greater array of subject delivery that resulted in marginally higher levels of MVPA.
  • The role of subjective social status in living well for carers of people with dementia: findings from the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) programme

    Victor, C.R.; Rippon, I.; Quinn, Catherine; Martyr, A.; Clare, L. (2021)
    We investigated how carers of people with dementia evaluate their standing in their community and wider society, and if this is related to ‘living well’. We used baseline data from the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life programme and found that carers rated their standing in society higher than in their local community. Higher evaluations of both were associated with enhanced life satisfaction, well-being and quality of life. Initiatives that increase support or engagement in the community or wider society may help to increase carers’ perceptions of their social status, enhancing their ability to ‘live well’.
  • The perceived and objective availability of green and blue spaces and quality of life in people with dementia: results from the IDEAL programme

    Wu, Y.T.; Clare, L.; Jones, I.R.; Nelis, S.M.; Quinn, Catherine; Martyr, A.; Victor, C.R.; Lamont, R.A.; Rippon, I.; Matthews, F.E. (2021)
    The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between quality of life and both perceived and objective availability of local green and blue spaces in people with dementia, including potential variation across rural/urban settings and those with/without opportunities to go outdoors. This study was based on 1540 community-dwelling people with dementia in the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) programme. Quality of life was measured by the Quality of Life in Alzheimer’s Disease (QoL-AD) scale. A list of 12 types of green and blue spaces was used to measure perceived availability while objective availability was estimated using geographic information system data. Regression modelling was employed to investigate the associations of quality of life with perceived and objective availability of green and blue spaces, adjusting for individual factors and deprivation level. Interaction terms with rural/urban areas or opportunities to go outdoors were fitted to test whether the associations differed across these subgroups. Higher QoL-AD scores were associated with higher perceived availability of local green and blue spaces (0.82; 95%CI: 0.06, 1.58) but not objective availability. The positive association between perceived availability and quality of life was stronger for urban (1.50; 95%CI: 0.52, 2.48) than rural residents but did not differ between participants with and without opportunities to go outdoors Only perceived availability was related to quality of life in people with dementia. Future research may investigate how people with dementia utilise green and blue spaces and improve dementia-friendliness of these spaces.
  • COVID-19-related social support service closures and mental well-being in older adults and those affected by dementia: a UK longitudinal survey

    Giebel, C.; Pulford, D.; Cooper, C.; Lord, Kathryn; Shenton, J.; Cannon, J.; Shaw, L.; Tetlow, H.; Limbert, S.; Callaghan, S.; et al. (2021-01-04)
    Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on delivery of social support services. This might be expected to particularly affect older adults and people living with dementia (PLWD), and to reduce their well- being. Aims: To explore how social support service use by older adults, carers and PLWD, and their mental well-being changed over the first 3 months since the pandemic outbreak. Methods: Unpaid dementia carers, PLWD and older adults took part in a longitudinal online or telephone survey collected between April and May 2020, and at two subsequent timepoints 6 and 12 weeks after baseline. Participants were asked about their social support service usage in a typical week prior to the pandemic (at baseline), and in the past week at each of the three timepoints. They also completed measures of levels of depression, anxiety and mental well-being. Results: 377 participants had complete data at all three timepoints. Social support service usage dropped shortly after lockdown measures were imposed at timepoint 1 (T1), to then increase again by T3. The access to paid care was least affected by COVID-19. Cases of anxiety dropped significantly across the study period, while cases of depression rose. Well-being increased significantly for older adults and PLWD from T1 to T3. Conclusions: Access to social support services has been significantly affected by the pandemic, which is starting to recover slowly. With mental well-being differently affected across groups, support needs to be put in place to maintain better well-being across those vulnerable groups during the ongoing pandemic.
  • Context matters: Problematizing the policy‐practice interface in the enactment of gender equality action plans in universities

    Ní Laoire, C.; Linehan, C.; Archibong, Uduak E.; Picardi, I.; Udén, M. (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2021-03)
    This study argues for recognition of the constitutive role of context in shaping the dynamics of the policy‐practice interface in the field of gender equality in universities. Using a comparative and reflective case‐study approach, we draw on our experiences, as action‐researchers, of developing and implementing Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs) in four universities in four different European countries and we explore the role of national and local context in the mediation and translation of the GEAP model. Drawing on the concepts of gendered organizations, dialogic organizational change, and policy mobilities, we argue for the need to be critical of approaches to gender equality in higher education (HE) that presume policy measures and good practice models transfer unproblematically to different HE organizations in different international contexts; instead, we draw attention to the contingent ways in which uneven gender relations articulate and manifest in different contexts, shaping possibilities for, and obstacles to, gender equality intervention. Thus, we argue that context plays a crucial constitutive role in the interpretation, enactment, and impact of gender equality policy in HE.
  • Teacher Perceptions of Fundamental Movement Skills and their Assessment in Primary Schools

    Eddy, L.H.; Hill, L.J.B.; Mon-Williams, M.; Preston, N.; Daly-Smith, Andrew; Medd, G.; Bingham, D.D. (2021)
    Evidence suggests that children struggle to acquire age-appropriate fundamental movement skills (FMS), despite their importance for facilitating physical activity. This has led to calls for routine school-based screening of children’s FMS. However, there is limited research exploring schools’ capacity to conduct such assessments. This study investigated what factors might affect the adoption and implementation of FMS assessments in primary schools. School staff (n=853) completed an online questionnaire developed using the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation and Behaviour (COM-B) model. A majority reported that knowledge of pupils’ FMS ability would be beneficial (65.3%), and 71.8% would assess FMS if support was provided. Barriers included: Capability – few possessed knowledge of FMS (15%); Opportunity – teachers reported 30-60 minutes as acceptable for assessing a class, a substantially shorter period than current assessments require; Motivation – 57.2% stated FMS assessments would increase workload stress. Solutions to these issues are discussed using the COM-B theoretical framework.
  • Point-of-care lactate measurement for suspected sepsis in the prehospital environment: are we missing the point at the sharp end?

    Lightowler, Bryan (Mark Allen Group, 2020-04-02)
    Expecting ambulance clinicians to dependably differentiate the life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by sepsis from an inflammatory response to a non-infectious aetiology, relying upon vital signs and a physical examination of the patient alone, must be considered unrealistic. Although lactate measurement has been integrated into numerous prehospital sepsis screening tools, it is not yet measured routinely within UK ambulance services. Research has generally focused on whether handheld point-of-care lactate measurement devices are as accurate as laboratory analysis of venous or arterial samples. The weight of literature has concluded negatively in relation to this. However, there is potential for handheld devices to be used independently to monitor trends in lactate elimination or accumulation to inform decisions on the efficacy of prehospital interventions, or simply to report categorical data in terms of whether lactate levels are elevated or not. This offers UK paramedics the opportunity to improve sepsis care through the enhanced assessment of risk and acuity, the identification of patients with cryptic shock, more aggressive fluid resuscitation and advanced notification to receiving units.

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