The latest medical research on Medical Organisation

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Influence of gestational weight gain on baby's birth weight in Addis Ababa, Central Ethiopia: a follow-up study.

BMJ Open

Gestational weight gain (GWG) is an important indicator of fetal well-being during pregnancy. Inadequate or excessive GWG could have undesirable effects on birth weight. However, information regarding the influence of GWG on birth weight is lacking from the Ethiopian setting.

This study aimed to determine the influence of GWG and other maternal-related factors on birth weight in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

A cohort of pregnant women who received the first antenatal care before or at 16 weeks of gestation in health centres in Addis Ababa were followed from 10 January 2019 to 25 September 2019. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and medical record reviews. We conducted a multivariable linear regression analysis to determine the independent effect of gestational weight on birth weight.

Of the 395 women enrolled in the study, the participants' pregnancy outcome was available for 329 (83.3%). The mean birth weight was 3130 (SD, 509) g. The proportion of low birth weight (<2500 g) was 7.5% (95% CI 4.8% to 11.0%). Babies born to underweight women were 150.9 g (95% CI 5.8 to 308.6 g, p=0.049) lighter than babies born to normal-weight women. Similarly, babies whose mothers gained inadequate weight were 248 g (95% CI 112.8 to 383.6 g, p<0.001) lighter than those who gained adequate weight. Moreover, babies whose mothers had a previous history of abortion or miscarriages or developed gestational hypertension in the current pregnancy were 147.2 g (95% CI 3.2 to 291.3 g, p=0.045) and 310.7 g (95% CI 62.7 to 552.8 g, p=0.012) lighter, respectively, compared with those whose mothers had not.

Prepregnancy weight, GWG, having had a previous history of abortion or miscarriages, and developing gestational hypertension during a current pregnancy were independently associated with birth weight. Pregnancy-related weight management should be actively promoted through intensive counseling during routine antenatal care contacts.

Natural population cohort study on long-lived adults: West China longevity and ageing procedure (WCLAP).

BMJ Open

The West China longevity and ageing procedure (WCLAP) cohort study aims to provide guidance for older adults in western China with the aim of improving quality of life, reducing the burden of family care, summarising the characteristics of longevity lifestyles, building a Chinese-longevity-population biobank and exploring the mechanisms underlying population ageing.

Since the establishment of the WCLAP research baseline in 2018, a population of 1537 adults aged 80 years and above, living in the community, have been enrolled in the programme as research participants. Of these, 231 are aged 100 years and above. Participants are followed up every year.

WCLAP data are collected in five hospital research subcentres strategically located adjacent to the national 'Longevity Townships' of Chengdu Ziyang, Leshan, Yibin and Pengshan. Data collection included a comprehensive assessment of the participant's health (including physical, psychological, social and common chronic disease assessments), instrumental tests (body composition and muscle percentage) and the collection of biomedical-biobank samples (include blood, urine, faeces, hair and urine).

Through the annual cohort follow-up, survival-related information is collected at a group level. Analysis of biological samples facilitates biological characterisation at the microscopic level through proteomics, metabolomics, genomics and other techniques. Baseline data, group-level follow-up data and microbiological examination data are integrated together to provide an evaluation tool, exploring sarcopenia, disability, dementia, caregiver burden, ageing biomarkers and other influencing factors.

2018-463; ChiCTR1900020754.

On the road to universal coverage of postnatal care: considerations for a targeted postnatal care approach for at-risk mother-baby dyads in low-income and middle-income countries informed by a consultation with global experts.

BMJ Open

The potential of timely, quality postnatal care (PNC) to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and to advance progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) is well-documented. Yet, in many low-income and middle-income countries, coverage of PNC remains low. Risk-stratified approaches can maximise limited resources by targeting mother-baby dyads meeting the evidence-based risk criteria which predict poor postnatal outcomes.

To review evidence-based risk criteria for identification of at-risk mother-baby dyads, drawn from a literature review, and to identify key considerations for their use in a risk-stratified PNC approach.

A virtual, semi-structured group discussion was conducted with maternal and newborn health experts on Zoom. Participants were identified through purposive sampling based on content and context expertise.

Seventeen experts, (5 men and 12 women), drawn from policymakers, implementing agencies and academia participated and surfaced several key themes. The identified risk factors are well-known, necessitating accelerated efforts to address underlying drivers of risk. Risk-stratified PNC approaches complement broader UHC efforts by providing an equity lens to identify the most vulnerable mother-baby dyads. However, these should be layered on efforts to strengthen PNC service provision for all mothers and newborns. Risk factors should comprise context-relevant, operationalisable, clinical and non-clinical factors. Even with rising coverage of facility delivery, targeted postnatal home visits still complement facility-based PNC.

Risk-stratified PNC efforts must be considered within broader health systems strengthening efforts. Implementation research at the country level is needed to understand feasibility and practicality of clinical and non-clinical risk factors and identify unintended consequences.

Acupuncture for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with dry eye: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BMJ Open

Ethical approval will not be required since raw data will not be collected or generated. Our findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journal.

Four English databases (PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase and Ovid), three Chinese databases (China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang, Chonqing VIP Information), three Japanese databases (Japan Science, Technology Agency and Japan Medical Abstracts Society) and three Korean databases (Korean Medical database, Oriental Medicine Advanced Searching Integrated System and Research Information Service System) will be searched for reports published between 1 January 2007 and 1 October 2021. Only randomised controlled trials will be included, and language or publication dates will not be restricted. Two researchers will independently extract, manage and analyse data. The primary outcomes will include Schirmer's I test, breakup time, corneal fluorescein staining and ocular surface disease index scores. Secondary results will include visual analogue scale scores for ocular symptoms and any adverse events related to acupuncture. We will use Review Manager V.5.4 for the meta-analysis. The risk of bias will be independently assessed using Cochrane's 'risk of bias' tool.


Persistence of gastrointestinal symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis: study protocol for a three-arm randomised controlled trial (SOMA.GUT-RCT).

BMJ Open


To assess the extent to which persistent somatic symptoms are modifiable in adult patients with UC and IBS, we will conduct an observer-blinded, three-arm randomised controlled trial. A total of 117 patients with UC and 117 patients with IBS will be randomised into three groups of equal size: targeted expectation management aiming to reduce illness-related anxiety and dysfunctional symptom expectations in addition to standard care (SC, intervention 1), non-specific supportive treatment in addition to SC (intervention 2) or SC only (control). Both active intervention groups will comprise three individual online consultation sessions and a booster session after 3 months. The primary outcome is baseline to postinterventional change in gastrointestinal symptom severity.

Association between dietary carotenoid intakes and the risk of asthma in adults: a cross-sectional study of NHANES, 2007-2012.

BMJ Open

To investigate the association between dietary carotenoid intake and asthma using data from a nationally representative sample of US adults.

Asthma was defined by self-report questionnaires. Weighted logistic regression analyses and the smooth curve fittings were performed to explore the association between total carotenoid intake, dietary carotenoid subgenera, including (α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein with zeaxanthin and lycopene) and the risk of asthma.

The ORs with 95% CIs of dietary α-carotene, dietary β-carotene, dietary β-cryptoxanthin, total lutein with zeaxanthin, total lycopene, dietary carotenoid and total carotenoid intake for individuals with current asthma after adjusting the confounders in model 3 were 0.80 (0.67 to 0.95), 0.67 (0.57 to 0.79), 0.68 (0.55 to 0.85), 0.77 (0.61 to 0.98), 0.71 (0.57 to 0.87), 0.75 (0.59 to 0.96) and 0.61 (0.48 to 0.76) in the highest versus lowest quartile, respectively. The smooth curve fittings suggested a non-linear relationship between total carotenoid intake and the risk of current asthma.

Higher intake of a-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein with zeaxanthin and total carotenoid were associated with lower odds of having current asthma in the US adults. This is a cross-sectional study and no causal relationship can be drawn, so caution is needed to interpret the results.

Aetiological research on the health of migrants living in Germany: a systematic literature review.

BMJ Open

Germany has become an important immigration country and health services need to adopt to meet the needs of an increasingly multicultural population. For public health planning, it is essential to understand the aetiology of health problems among migrant populations. The main objective was to systematically identify, evaluate and synthesise population-based studies that investigated exposure-outcome relationships among migrant groups in Germany.

In November 2019, we searched PubMed and LIVIVO, and updated this search in November 2020, to identify peer-reviewed publications that fulfilled our eligibility criteria: English or German language; study on disease aetiology among major migrant groups in Germany, according to the latest microcensus; publication date from inception to 01 November 2020 and observational or experimental study designs. For quality appraisal, we used the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklists. Outcomes under investigation were categorised according to the WHO major disease groups, and their associations with risk factors were synthesised as a heat map.

Out of 2407 articles retrieved, we included 68 publications with a total number of 864 518 participants. These publications reported on cross-sectional data (n=56), cohort studies (n=11) and one intervention study. The population groups most frequently studied were from the Middle East (n=28), Turkey (n=24), sub-Saharan Africa (n=24), Eastern Europe (n=15) and the former Soviet Union (n=11). The outcomes under study were population group specific. There were consistent associations of demographic and socioeconomic factors with ill health among migrants in Germany.

In this systematic review, we observed low risk of bias in two-thirds of the studies. There is an increasing body of evidence for aetiological research on migrants' health in Germany. Still, the directions of associations between a wide range of risk factors and major disease groups seem only partially understood.


Health literacy in context: struggling to self-manage diabetes - a longitudinal qualitative study.

BMJ Open

Considering health literacy needs is a key component of health services responsiveness to diabetes self-management among vulnerable individuals. The purpose of this qualitative study was to provide a detailed analysis of the health literacy of people with type 2 diabetes in relation to their daily self-care practices.

Forty-four (31 females/13 males, 30-79 years, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c)≥7.5%) consecutive participants out of 100 recruited in the ERMIES trial from 4 diabetology outpatient settings (Reunion Island). Forty-two respondents to the second round interviews.

Three poles structured into eight themes characterised practices in context: health knowledge, disease management, expertise and social support. The relationships of participants in each of the eight themes were differentiated, ranging from functional to interactive and critical. Treatment and follow-up were essentially functional, while diet and exercise remained more interactive. Social support and relationship to health professionals were important determinants of disease management.

Treatment management and disease monitoring remain primarily the job of health professionals, as opposed to diet, physical activity and social support being part of ordinary practice. Decision-making, as a shared social task, as well as resources for participation in health services, should be considered for relevant interventions in type 2 diabetes.


Patient-centered outcomes for gastrointestinal cancer care: a scoping review protocol.

BMJ Open

No ethics approval is required for this scoping review. Results will be disseminated through scientific publication and presentation at relevant conferences.

This scoping review will follow Arksey and O'Malley's expanded framework for scoping reviews. We will systematically search Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Library and APA PsycINFO databases for studies examining PCOs in the context of GI cancer. We will include studies published in or after the year 2000 up to the date of the final searches, with no language restrictions. Studies involving adult patients with GI cancers and discussion of any PCOs will be included. Opinion pieces, protocols, case reports and abstracts will be excluded. Two authors will independently perform two rounds of screening to select studies for inclusion. The data from full texts will be extracted, charted and summarised both quantitatively and qualitatively.

It depends on how you tell: a qualitative diagnostic analysis of the implementation climate for community-wide mass drug administration for soil-transmitted helminth.

BMJ Open

Current soil-transmitted helminth (STH) morbidity control guidelines primarily target deworming of preschool and school-age children. Emerging evidence suggests that community-wide mass drug administration (cMDA) may interrupt STH transmission. However, the success of such programmes depends on achieving high treatment coverage and uptake. This formative analysis was conducted to evaluate the implementation climate for cMDA and to determine barriers and facilitators to launch.

We conducted 48 focus group discussions (FGDs) with community members, 13 FGDs with CDDs and 5 FGDs with health facility workers in twelve randomly selected clusters across the three study countries. We used the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to guide the design of the interview guide and thematic analysis.

Across all three sites, aspects of the implementation climate that were facilitators to cMDA launch included: high community member demand for cMDA, integration of cMDA into existing vaccination campaigns and/or health services, and engagement with familiar health workers. Barriers to launching cMDA included mistrust towards medical interventions, fear of side effects and limited perceived need for interrupting STH transmission. We include specific recommendations from community members regarding cMDA distribution sites, personnel requirements, delivery timing and incentives, leaders to engage and methods for mobilising participants.

Prior to launching the cMDA programme as an alternative to school-based MDA, cMDA was found to be generally acceptable across diverse geographical and demographic settings. Community members, CDDs and health workers felt that engaging communities and tailoring programmes to the local context are critical for success. Potential barriers may be mitigated by identifying local concerns and addressing them via targeted community sensitisation prior to implementation.

NCT03014167; Pre-results.

Evaluation of change in emergency care knowledge and skills among front-line healthcare providers in Ukraine with the Basic Emergency Care course: a pretest/post-test study.

BMJ Open

Evaluate the change in participant emergency care knowledge and skill confidence after implementation of the WHO-International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Basic Emergency Care (BEC) course.

Change in pre-course and post-course knowledge and skill confidence assessments. Open-ended written feedback was collected upon course completion and analysed for common themes.

Participant knowledge assessment scores improved from 19 (IQR 15-20) to 22 (IQR 19-23) on a 25-point scale (p<0.001). Participant skill confidence self-assessment scores improved from 2.5 (IQR 2.1-2.8) to 2.9 (IQR 2.5-3.3) on a 4-point scale (p<0.001). The most common positive feedback themes were high-quality teaching and useful skill sessions. The most common constructive feedback themes were translation challenges and request for additional skill session time.

This first implementation of the WHO-ICRC BEC course for front-line healthcare providers in Ukraine was successful and well received by participants. This is also the first report of a BEC implementation outside of Africa and suggests that the course is also effective in the European context, particularly in humanitarian crisis and conflict settings. Future research should evaluate long-term knowledge retention and the impact on patient outcomes. Further iterations should emphasise local language translation and consider expanding clinical skills sessions.

Understanding the implementation strategy of a secondary care tobacco addiction treatment pathway (the CURE project) in England: a strategic behavioural analysis.

BMJ Open

The Conversation, Understand, Replace, Experts and evidence-based treatment (CURE) project implemented an evidence-based intervention that offers a combination of pharmacotherapy and behavioural support to tobacco-dependent inpatients. Understanding key characteristics of CURE's implementation strategy, and identifying areas for improvement, is important to support the roll-out of nationwide tobacco dependence services. This study aimed to (1) specify key characteristics of CURE's exiting implementation strategy and (2) develop theoretical-informed and stakeholder-informed recommendations to optimise wider roll-out.

Data were collected via document review and secondary analysis of interviews with 10 healthcare professionals of a UK hospital. Intervention content was specified through behaviour change techniques (BCTs) and intervention functions within the Behaviour Change Wheel. A logic model was developed to specify CURE's implementation strategy and its mechanisms of impact. We explored the extent to which BCTs and intervention functions addressed the key theoretical domains influencing implementation using prespecified matrices. The development of recommendations was conducted over a two-round Delphi exercise.

We identified six key theoretical domains of influences: 'environmental context and resources', 'goals', 'social professional role and identity', 'social influences', 'reinforcement' and 'skills'. The behavioural analysis identified 26 BCTs, 4 intervention functions and 4 policy categories present within the implementation strategy. The implementation strategy included half the relevant intervention functions and BCTs to target theoretical domains influencing CURE implementation, with many BCTs focusing on shaping knowledge. Recommendations to optimise content were developed following stakeholder engagement.

CURE offers a strong foundation from which a tobacco dependence treatment model can be developed in England. The exiting strategy could be strengthened via the inclusion of more theoretically congruent BCTs, particularly relating to 'environmental context and resources'. The recommendations provide routes to optimisation that are both theoretically grounded and stakeholder informed. Future research should assess the feasibility/acceptability of these recommendations in the wider secondary-care context.