The latest medical research on Medical Administration

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effect of physical activity on independent living ability among community-dwelling elderly in urban areas of Liaoning Province in China: a population-based study.

BMJ Open

Independent living ability is crucial for the elderly; however, its assessment performed in China employs various scales and lacks risk factors, especially behavioural and social-psychological factors, which could be improved through health education. This study aimed to assess the independent living ability of community-dwelling elderly in urban areas of China and to identify the association with behavioral and social-psychological factors.

Interviews were conducted to collect information of independent living ability, indicated by the instrumental activity of daily living (IADL), behavioural factors, social-psychological factors and confounders (demographic characteristics and health status). The Mini-Mental State Examination was used to screen for cognitive impairment.

The independence rate was 46.3% in men and 41.1% in women. Structural equation modelling analysis showed that physical activity, drawn from taking a walk and doing exercise, had the strongest association with the IADL in both men (-0.34, SE 0.10) and women (-0.33, SE 0.11). Falling in the last year and worrying about falling were also significantly associated with IADL. The effects of regular drinking, feeling lonely and participating in entertainment were significant in men.

The independent living ability of the elderly in urban areas in Liaoning Province in China was at a low level. Physical activity was one of the important roles in both men and women; whereas the role of social-psychological factors only existed in men. Gender-specific healthcare and education to avoid sedentary life should be advocated for the elderly to maintain/improve their independent living ability.

From menu to mouth: the decay pathway of nutrient intake from planned menu to consumed and characteristics of residents in an aged care facility with greater nutrient decay rates: a cross-sectional study.

BMJ Open

To observe the cascade of nutrient loss from meals planned to those provided and subsequently consumed by older people in residential care. A secondary aim was to determine the characteristics of residents with higher nutrient loss resulting in lower intake of key nutrients.

Nutrient contents of planned menu; nutrient contents of meals served and consumed using modified 3-day diet records; and percentage of planned nutrients served and consumed.

Vitamins C, B12 and folate had the greatest total decay rates of 50% or more from that planned to be consumed to what was actually consumed, while unsaturated fats, beta carotene, iodine and zinc had the lowest decay rates of 25% or less. Male participants and lower care level residents consumed significantly more nutrients, compared with female participants and those receiving higher level care. Increased age, female gender, higher level of care, smaller meal size, pureed diet and lower body mass index were associated with larger decay rates and lower nutrient intakes.

Not all planned and served food and beverages are consumed, contributing to potential multiple nutrient deficiencies including energy and protein in the majority of aged-care residents. As a consequence, some nutrients may need to be oversupplied if consumption is to match planned intakes.

Comparison of fracture risk using different supplemental doses of vitamin D, calcium or their combination: a network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

BMJ Open

Inconsistent findings in regard to association between different concentrations of vitamin D, calcium or their combination and the risk of fracture have been reported during the past decade in community-dwelling older people. This study was designed to compare the fracture risk using different concentrations of vitamin D, calcium or their combination.

Randomised controlled trials in PubMed, Cochrane library and Embase databases were systematically searched from the inception dates to 31 December 2017.

A total of 25 randomised controlled trials involving 43 510 participants fulfilled the inclusion criteria. There was no evidence that the risk of total fracture was reduced using different concentrations of vitamin D, calcium or their combination compared with placebo or no treatment. No significant associations were found between calcium, vitamin D, or combined calcium and vitamin D supplements and the incidence of hip or vertebral fractures.

The use of supplements that included calcium, vitamin D or both was not found to be better than placebo or no treatment in terms of risk of fractures among community-dwelling older adults. It means the routine use of these supplements in community-dwelling older people should be treated more carefully.


Pragmatic randomised clinical trial of proton versus photon therapy for patients with non-metastatic breast cancer: the Radiotherapy Comparative Effectiveness (RadComp) Consortium trial protocol.

BMJ Open


We are conducting a large scale, multicentre pragmatic randomised clinical trial for patients with breast cancer who will be followed longitudinally for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, health-related quality of life and cancer control outcomes. A total of 1278 patients with non-metastatic breast cancer will be randomly allocated to receive either photon or proton therapy. The primary outcomes are major cardiovascular events, defined as myocardial infarction, coronary revascularisation, cardiovascular death or hospitalisation for unstable angina, heart failure, valvular disease, arrhythmia or pericardial disease. Secondary endpoints are urgent or unanticipated outpatient or emergency room visits for heart failure, arrhythmia, valvular disease or pericardial disease. The Radiotherapy Comparative Effectiveness (RadComp) Clinical Events Centre will conduct centralised, blinded adjudication of primary outcome events.

The RadComp trial has been approved by the institutional review boards of all participating sites. Recruitment began in February 2016. Current version of the protocol is A3, dated 08 November 2018. Dissemination plans include presentations at scientific conferences, scientific publications, stakeholder engagement efforts and presentation to the public via lay media outlets.

Physical work environment factors affecting risk for disability pension due to mental or musculoskeletal diagnoses among nursing professionals, care assistants and other occupations: a prospective, population-based cohort study.

BMJ Open

To study the influence of physical work factors on the risks of future disability pension (DP) due to mental or musculoskeletal diagnoses among nursing professionals, care assistants and all other occupations in the general working population in Sweden.

The prospective population study was based on representative samples of working individuals (n=79 004) aged 16-64, interviewed in the Swedish Work Environment Survey between 1993 and 2013. Information on diagnosed DP in 1994-2014 was gathered from the Social Insurance Agency's database. The focus was on nursing professionals (registered nurses and midwives) and care assistants, for example, assistant nurses and hospital ward assistants. The outcome was DP, classified into two diagnostic groups. Associations between physical work factors and risk of DP were calculated using Cox regression with HR and 95% CI.

Physical work factors were associated with future DP after adjusting for sociodemographic conditions and psychosocial work factors among care assistants (n=10 175) and among all other occupations (n=66 253), but not among nursing professionals (n=2576). The increased risk among care assistants (n=197) exposed to heavy physical work was 66% (HR 1.66, 95% CI 1.39 to 1.97), and for those exposed to strenuous work postures (n=420) it was 56% (HR 1.56, 95% CI 1.35 to 1.80). Physical work indicators were mainly associated with musculoskeletal DP diagnoses among care assistants, but two indicators were significant also for mental diagnoses. An increased risk of DP was found among nursing professionals (n=102) exposed to detergents or disinfectants (HR 1.48, 95% CI 1.06 to 2.05), but not among care assistants.

Heavy physical work and strenuous postures are predictors of future DP, particularly among care assistants and in the general working population. In order to reduce early exit from the workforce, efforts should be made to improve physical and ergonomic working conditions.

Pay-for-performance programmes reduce stroke risks in patients with type 2 diabetes: a national cohort study.

BMJ Open

A pay-for-performance (P4P) programme is a management strategy that encourages healthcare providers to deliver high quality of care. In Taiwan, the P4P programme has been implemented for diabetes, and certified diabetes physicians voluntarily enrol patients with diabetes into the P4P programme. The objectives of this study were to compare the risk of stroke and its related factors in patients with type 2 diabetes who were enrolled in a P4P programme compared with those who were not.

We reviewed patients ≥45 years of age newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to compare the relative risk of stroke between patients with type 2 DM enrolled in the P4P programme and those who were not enrolled.

Compared with the patients not enrolled, there was a significantly lower stroke risk in P4P participants (HR=0.97, 95% CI 0.95 to 0.99). Although a significantly lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke was observed (HR=0.87, 95% CI 0.82 to 0.93) in P4P participants, no statistically significant difference for the risk of ischaemic stroke between P4P and non-P4P patients (HR=0.99, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.02) was found. Following stratification analysis, a significantly reduced stroke risk was observed in male patients with type 2 diabetes, but not in women.

Participants in Taiwan's Diabetes P4P programme displayed a significantly reduced stroke risk, especially haemorrhagic stroke. We recommend the continual promotion of this programme to the general public and to physicians.

Systematic review protocol on Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) revaccination and protection against tuberculosis.

BMJ Open

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.TB) and other species of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Globally, TB is ranked as the ninth leading cause of death and the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent. The bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine has been used globally since 1921 for the prevention of TB in humans, and was derived from an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis. Evidence from previous randomised trials show that the efficacy of primary BCG vaccination against pulmonary TB ranged from no protection to very high protection. In addition, some studies suggest a benefit of BCG revaccination. For example, a recent trial conducted in South Africa showed that BCG revaccination of adolescents could reduce the risk of TB infection by half. However, we are not aware of any recent systematic reviews of the effects of BCG revaccination. Thus, the need for this systematic review of the effects of BCG revaccination on protection against TB infection and disease.

We will search PubMed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform and reference lists of relevant publications for potentially eligible studies. We will screen search outputs, select eligible studies, extract data and assess risk of bias in duplicate. Discrepancies will be resolved by discussion and consensus or arbitration. We will use the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation method to assess the certainty of the evidence. The planned systematic review was registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) in August 2018.

Publicly available data will be used, hence no formal ethical approval will be required for this review. The findings of the review will be disseminated through conference presentations and publication in an open-access peer-reviewed journal.


Study protocol: becoming and being a mother living with HIV - a multicentre longitudinal mixed methods study among pregnant women living with HIV, non-pregnant women living with HIV and pregnant women not living with HIV in a high-income setting (the 2B MOM study).

BMJ Open

The success of combination antiretroviral therapy has decreased the risk of perinatal HIV transmission and normalised pregnancy in women living with HIV (WLWH). Despite these advances, WLWH still face complex medical and psychosocial issues during pregnancy and postpartum, and there is a gap of knowledge on the experiences of becoming and being a mother living with HIV in today's context. The overall aim of this study is to investigate psychosocial outcomes and experiences of WLWH in Scandinavia during pregnancy and early motherhood.

This is a multicentre longitudinal convergent mixed methods study consisting of a quantitative survey study, a qualitative interview study and a mixed methods analysis. The survey study aims to examine psychosocial outcomes of WLWH across the pregnancy - postpartum trajectory. Participants are pregnant WLWH living in Scandinavia. Two control groups of HIV-negative pregnant women and non-pregnant WLWH are also included. Data is collected in the third trimester, 3 and 6 months postpartum using standardised questionnaires. Statistical analysis will assess changes over time and identify predictors of adverse outcomes. The interview study seeks to understand experiences of pregnancy and becoming a mother while living with HIV. Pregnant WLWH who are enrolled in the survey study will be asked to participate in individual interviews in the third trimester and 6 months postpartum. Data will be analysed using narrative analysis. The survey and interview results will be merged in a mixed methods analysis to assess confirmation, expansion or discordance between the data sets.

Approval from the Danish Data Protection Agency (VD-2018-253), and the Finnish and Swedish Ethics Committees have been obtained (HUS/1330/2019 and Dnr: 2019-04451, respectively). Study results will be disseminated to patient organisations, through publications in peer-reviewed journals and at scientific conferences.

Rehabilitation and reintegration programming adjunct to female genital fistula surgery: a scoping review protocol.

BMJ Open

Female genital fistula is a debilitating traumatic injury, largely birth-associated, globally affecting up to 2 million women, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Fistula has significant physical, psychological and economic consequences. Women often face challenges in reintegrating and resuming prior roles despite successful surgery. Synthesising the evidence on services adjunct to fistula surgery and their outcomes is important for developing the evidence base for best practices and identifying research priorities. This scoping review seeks to examine the range of rehabilitation and reintegration services provided as adjunct to genital fistula surgery, map the existing programming and outcomes, and identify areas for additional research.

Our scoping review is informed by existing methodological frameworks and will be conducted in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses-ScR guidelines. The search strategy will be applied to nine biomedical, public health and social science databases. The initial search was completed on 27 September 2018. Grey literature will be identified through targeted Google searches and from organisational websites identified as relevant by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Campaign to End Fistula. We will iteratively build our search strategy through term harvesting and review, and search reference lists of reports and articles to identify additional studies. Two reviewers will independently screen titles and abstracts, followed by full-text screening of all potentially relevant articles and standardised data extraction. Articles eligible for inclusion will discuss research or programmatic efforts around service provision in adjunct to surgery among females with genital fistula. Data will be presented in summary tables accompanied by narrative description.

Ethics approval is not required for a scoping review. Our results can be used to inform policy, serve as support for funding and development of reintegration programmes and highlight areas for subsequent research. Results will be disseminated at relevant conferences and published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Academic versus non-academic neurosurgeons in China: a national cross-sectional study on workload, burnout and engagement.

BMJ Open

Chinese neurosurgery has made great progress during the past decades; yet, little is known about the working status of neurosurgeons. This study aimed to evaluate the difference between academic and non-academic neurosurgeons, focusing on their professional burnout, job satisfaction and work engagement.

Professional burnout, job satisfaction and work engagement were assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Job Descriptive Index and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, respectively.

The majority of respondents were male (92.93%), less than 45 years old (85.27%) and married (79.53%). Chinese neurosurgeons worked 63.91±11.04 hours per week, and approximately 45% experienced burnout. Compared with non-academic respondents, academic neurosurgeons had longer working hours (p<0.01), higher income (p<0.01) and were less willing to get married (p<0.01). In addition, they showed a lower degree of burnout (p<0.01), a higher level of job satisfaction (p<0.01) and were more enthusiastic at work (p=0.015). Multivariate regression analyses indicated that divorced (OR 7.02, 95% CI 2.37 to 15.08) and workplace violence (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.18 to 2.24) were associated with burnout for both academic and non-academic respondents. Long working hours (≥71 hours per week) and low annual income (<1 00 000 RMB) were risk factors for burnout among academic neurosurgeons. For non-academic neurosurgical surgeons (age 36-45 years), working as attending doctors, serving in public hospitals and having the first house-living child were all closely related to the incidence of burnout.

Chinese neurosurgeons are under significant stress particularly for the non-academic neurosurgeons. Offering better opportunities for training, promotion, higher income and safer working environments could be solutions to relieve burnout and improve career satisfaction and engagement.

ChiCTR1800014762. This article is not linked to a clinical trial.

Protocol for establishing a child and adolescent twin register for mental health research and capacity building in Sri Lanka and other low and middle-income countries in South Asia.

BMJ Open

Worldwide, 10%-20% of children and adolescents experience mental health conditions. However, most such disorders remain undiagnosed until adolescence or adulthood. Little is known about the factors that influence mental health in children and adolescents, especially in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), where environmental threats, such as poverty and war, may affect optimal neurodevelopment. Cohort studies provide important information on risks and resilience across the life course by enabling tracking of the effects of early life environment on health during childhood and beyond. Large birth cohort studies, including twin cohorts that can be aetiologically informative, have been conducted within high-income countries but are not generalisable to LMIC. There are limited longitudinal birth cohort studies in LMIC.

We sought to enhance the volume of impactful research in Sri Lanka by establishing a Centre of Excellence for cohort studies. The aim is to establish a register of infant, child and adolescent twins, including mothers pregnant with twins, starting in the districts of Colombo (Western Province) and Vavuniya (Northern Province). We will gain consent from twins or parents for future research projects. This register will provide the platform to investigate the aetiology of mental illness and the impact of challenges to early brain development on future mental health. Using this register, we will be able to conduct research that will (1) expand existing research capacity on child and adolescent mental health and twin methods; (2) further consolidate existing partnerships and (3) establish new collaborations. The initiative is underpinned by three pillars: high-quality research, ethics, and patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE).

Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the Ethics Review Committee of Sri Lanka Medical Association and Keele University's Ethical Review Panel. In addition to journal publications, a range of PPIE activities have been conducted.