The latest medical research on MedicalDirector software

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about medicaldirector software gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Interaction between patient and general practitioner according to the patient body weight: a cross-sectional survey.

Family Practice

To analyse whether patient-general practitioner (GP) interaction, measured by their disagreement, varies among overweight or obese patients compared with normal-weight patients.

Twenty-seven GPs and 585 patients participated in the quantitative phase of the multidisciplinary INTERMEDE project and answered "mirrored" questionnaires collecting both GPs and patients' perceptions on information and advice given at the end of the consultation. Multilevel logistic regressions were performed to explore associations between patient body mass index (BMI) and patient-GP disagreement on information and advice given during the consultation.

Disagreement increased with the patients' excess weight, and it was particularly pronounced for advice given by GPs on weight and lifestyle issues. Compared with patients with a "normal" BMI, overweight patients were more likely to disagree with their GP regarding advice given on weight loss (odds ratio [OR] = 10.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.1-27.3), advice given on doing more physical activity (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.1-3.4), and nutritional advice (OR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.5-5.6).

These disagreements could degrade the quality of patient-physician relationship. Our study provides an opportunity for GPs to reflect on how they communicate with overweight and obese patients, particularly with regard to lifestyle and weight-related advice and interventions taking into account the patient's representations.

The attitudes and expectation of caregivers of febrile child receiving medical services: a multicenter survey in Thailand.

Family Practice

Most caregivers may visit pediatric outpatient clinics with high concern of fever and improper antipyretic use. However, studies of concern about fever in Asian countries are still limited.

This study aimed to explore caregivers' attitudes, management of their child's fever, factors associated with their high concern, and expectation from medical services.

A cross-sectional 26-item self-administered questionnaire was used to survey caregivers of 1-month to 15-year-old febrile infants/children/teenagers visiting outpatient clinics in 9 government hospitals from July 2018 to August 2019.

One thousand two hundred and six caregivers (67% response rate) completed self-administered questionnaire. The median age of the caregivers and the pediatric patients were 34 years (interquartile range [IQR] 28-40) and 3.3 years (IQR 1.8-6.1), respectively. Approximately 70% of them believed that fever could harm a child, resulting in brain damage or death. Also, 2% managed high doses of acetaminophen and overdosed the child. The high level of concern was significantly associated with acetaminophen overdose (P < 0.001, Kruskal-Wallis test). Caregivers of nonhealth care providers and children's history of febrile seizure were factors related to higher score of concern. Most caregivers expected definite diagnosis (70.7%), antipyretic drugs (67.4%), and blood tests (48.9%).

Caregivers' high concern of fever existed in Thailand. This may lead to unnecessary high doses of antipyretics. In clinical practice, the high concern of fever is a challenge for caregivers and pediatric health care providers. A better understanding of fever and its consequence should be advocated for proper management of the child's fever.

Mortality from angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers in people infected with COVID-19: a cohort study of 3.7 million people.

Family Practice

Concerns have been raised that angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitors (ACE-I) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) might facilitate transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 leading to more severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19) disease and an increased risk of mortality. We aimed to investigate the association between ACE-I/ARB treatment and risk of death amongst people with COVID-19 in the first 6 months of the pandemic.

We identified a cohort of adults diagnosed with either confirmed or probable COVID-19 (from 1 January to 21 June 2020) using computerized medical records from the Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) primary care database. This comprised 465 general practices in England, United Kingdom with a nationally representative population of 3.7 million people. We constructed mixed-effects logistic regression models to quantify the association between ACE-I/ARBs and all-cause mortality among people with COVID-19, adjusted for sociodemographic factors, comorbidities, concurrent medication, smoking status, practice clustering, and household number.

There were 9,586 COVID-19 cases in the sample and 1,463 (15.3%) died during the study period between 1 January 2020 and 21 June 2020. In adjusted analysis ACE-I and ARBs were not associated with all-cause mortality (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.85-1.21 and OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.67-1.07, respectively).

Use of ACE-I/ARB, which are commonly used drugs, did not alter the odds of all-cause mortality amongst people diagnosed with COVID-19. Our findings should inform patient and prescriber decisions concerning continued use of these medications during the pandemic.

Prelude to PATHWEIGH: pragmatic weight management in primary care.

Family Practice

Treatment of obesity-related diseases, rather than obesity itself, remains the mainstay of medical care. The current study examined a novel approach that prioritizes weight management in primary care to shift this paradigm.

PATHWEIGH is a weight management approach consisting of staff team training, workflow system management, and data capture from tools built into the electronic medical record (EPIC). PATHWEIGH was compared to standard of care (SOC) using two family medicine clinics in the same US healthcare system. Descriptive statistics compared patient-, provider-, and clinic-level factors between the groups among those with at least one weight-prioritized visit (WPV) and one follow-up weight over 14 months.

Groups were similar in terms of total patient visits (7,353 vs. 7,984) and patients eligible for a WPV (i.e. >18 years + body mass index >25 kg/m2; 3,746 vs. 3,008, PATHWEIGH vs. SOC, respectively). However, more PATHWEIGH clinic patients (15.9% vs. 8.4%; P < 0.001) received at least one WPV. Although no difference was observed for average patient weight loss over 14 months (P = 0.991), the number of WPVs per patient was higher in PATHWEIGH (P < 0.001) and significantly associated with weight loss (P = 0.001), with an average decrease in weight of 0.55 kg per additional visit.

Results from the current study demonstrate early success in changing the paradigm from treating weight-related comorbidities to treating weight in primary care.

parkrun and the promotion of physical activity: insights for primary care clinicians from an online survey.

Br J Gen

To support efforts to increase social prescribing and reduce levels of physical inactivity, parkrun UK and the Royal College of General Practitioners together developed the parkrun practice initiative to link general practices to local parkruns (free, weekly, timed, physical activity events). General practice staff are encouraged to take part in parkrun events themselves and to encourage patients to participate.

To provide insights for primary care clinicians about parkrun participants (parkrunners), especially those with characteristics of patients who might be signposted to physical activity.

Responders were ranked into 13 categories using mean parkrun finish time, allowing the following definitions: front runners; median runners; slower runners; runners/walkers; and walkers. Measures included demographics, health conditions, motives for first participating, and perceived impact on health and wellbeing.

The survey included 45 662 parkrunners. More than 9% of all participants and 45% of walkers were found to have at least one long-term health condition, including arthritis, obesity, depression, hypertension, chronic pain, anxiety, type 2 diabetes, and asthma. Walkers were less likely to be motivated by fitness or competition, and were more likely to be motivated by physical health. Despite these differences, perceived improvements to wellbeing were broadly similar for all parkrunners, regardless of their finishing time.

Parkrunners are a diverse population in terms of their physical health. Information provided by this study could be combined with other research on the barriers to participation and successful brief interventions to help address the key issues of primary care clinicians' knowledge and confidence about social prescribing to increase patients' physical activity levels.

Reducing short-acting beta-agonist overprescribing in asthma: lessons from a quality-improvement prescribing project in East London.

Br J Gen

Excess prescription and use of short-acting beta-agonist (SABA) inhalers is associated with poor asthma control and increased risk of hospital admission.

To quantify the prevalence and identify the predictors of SABA overprescribing.

Primary care medical record data for patients aged 5-80 years, with 'active' asthma were extracted in February 2020. Explanatory variables included demography, asthma management, comorbidities, and prescriptions for asthma medications.

In the study population of 30 694 people with asthma, >25% (1995/7980), were prescribed ≥6 SABA inhalers in the previous year. A 10-fold variation between practices (<6% to 60%) was observed in the proportion of patients on ≥6 SABA inhalers/year. By converting both SABAs and inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) to standard units the accuracy of comparisons was improved across different preparations. In total, >25% of those taking ≥6 SABAs/year were underusing ICSs, this rose to >80% (18 170/22 713), for those prescribed <6 SABAs/year. Prescription modality was a strong predictor of SABA overprescribing, with repeat dispensing strongly linked to SABA overprescribing (odds ratio 6.52, 95% confidence interval = 4.64 to 9.41). Increasing severity of asthma and multimorbidity were also independent predictors of SABA overprescribing.

In this multi-ethnic population a fifth of practices demonstrate an overprescribing rate of <20% a year. Based on previous data, supporting practices to enable the SABA ≥12 group to reduce to 4-12 a year could potentially save up to 70% of asthma admissions a year within that group.

Measuring continuity of care in general practice: a comparison of two methods using routinely collected data.

Br J Gen

Despite well-documented clinical benefits of longitudinal doctor-patient continuity in primary care, continuity rates have declined. Assessment by practices or health commissioners is rarely undertaken.

Using the Usual Provider of Care (UPC) score this study set out to measure continuity across 126 practices in the mobile, multi-ethnic population of East London, comparing these scores with the General Practice Patient Survey (GPPS) responses to questions on GP continuity.

The study population included patients who consulted three or more times between January 2017 and December 2018. Anonymised demographic and consultation data from the electronic health record were linked to results from Question 10 ('seeing the doctor you prefer') of the 2019 GPPS.

The mean UPC score for all 126 practices was 0.52 (range 0.32 to 0.93). There was a strong correlation between practice UPC scores measured in the 2 years to December 2018 and responses to the 2019 GPPS Question 10, Pearson's r correlation coefficient, 0.62. Smaller practices had higher scores. Multilevel analysis showed higher continuity for patients ≥65 years compared with children and younger adults (β coefficient 0.082, 95% confidence interval = 0.080 to 0.084) and for females compared with males.

It is possible to measure continuity across all practices in a local health economy. Regular review of practice continuity rates can be used to support efforts to increase continuity within practice teams. In turn this is likely to have a positive effect on clinical outcomes and on satisfaction for both patients and doctors.

Implementing a home-based virtual hypertension programme-a pilot feasibility study.

Family Practice

Implementing a health system-based hypertension programme may lower blood pressure (BP).

We performed a randomized, controlled pilot study to assess feasibility, acceptability, and safety of a home-based virtual hypertension programme integrating evidence-based strategies to overcome current barriers to BP control. Trained clinical pharmacists staffed the virtual collaborative care clinic (vCCC) to remotely manage hypertension using a BP dashboard and phone "visits" to monitor BP, adherence, side effects of medications, and prescribe anti-hypertensives. Patients with uncontrolled hypertension were identified via electronic health records. Enrolled patients were randomized to either vCCC or usual care for 3 months. We assessed patients' home BP monitoring behaviour, and patients', physicians', and pharmacists' perspectives on feasibility and acceptability of individual programme components.

Thirty-one patients (vCCC = 17, usual care = 14) from six physician clinics completed the pilot study. After 3 months, average BP decreased in the vCCC arm (P = 0.01), but not in the control arm (P = 0.45). The vCCC participants measured BP more (9.9 vs. 1.2 per week, P < 0.001). There were no intervention-related adverse events. Participating physicians (n = 6), pharmacists (n = 5), and patients (n = 31) rated all programme components with average scores of >4.0, a pre-specified benchmark. Nine adaptations in vCCC design and delivery were made based on potential barriers to implementing the programme and suggestions.

A home-based virtual hypertension programme using team-based care, technology, and a logical integration of evidence-based strategies is safe, acceptable, and feasible to intended users. These pilot data support studies to assess the effectiveness of this programme at a larger scale.

Association between sleep duration and ideal cardiovascular health in Chinese adults: results from the China health and nutrition survey.

Family Practice

Ideal cardiovascular health (CVH) is related to the future risk of cardiovascular disease. Sleep duration is an important factor influencing health outcomes. The association between sleep duration and CVH is unclear.

We aimed to explore the associations between sleep duration and CVH among Chinese adults.

This cross-sectional study was based on nationally representative samples from 2009 China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS). Sleep duration was categorized as ≤6, 7, 8, and ≥9 h. The CVH scores were evaluated. Generalized linear regressions and restricted cubic splines were used to determine the association between sleep duration and CVH.

A total of 8,103 Chinese adults with a mean age of 50.29 (14.97) years were included. The mean (SD) CVH score was 3.96 (1.43). Only 36.7% of the participants had ideal CVH. Sleep duration was positively associated with ideal CVH (P-trend < 0.05). When comparing the long sleep duration with the short sleep duration, short sleep duration significantly decreased the mean CVH score, β = -0.24 (95% CI: -0.36, -0.13) and increased the risk of nonideal CVH, OR = 1.38 (95% CI: 1.15, 1.67) by generalized linear regressions. The restricted cubic splines showed CVH did not have a significant nonlinear relationship with sleep duration. The P-value for nonlinear was 0.161. The association of sleep duration with CVH had no obvious threshold.

Short sleep duration was associated with decreased odds of ideal CVH and lower mean CVH score. Confirmation through longitudinal studies is needed.

Maternity research priorities in country Western Australia: a Delphi study.

Aust Health Rev

ObjectiveHealth research priorities are commonly identified and resourced by strategic leaders. The importance of recognising the expertise of clin...

The Pictorial Fit-Frail Scale-Malay version (PFFS-M): reliability and validity testing in Malaysian primary care.

Family Practice

This study investigated the reliability and convergent validity of the PFFS-Malay version (PFFS-M) among patients (with varying educational levels), caregivers, and health care professionals (HCPs). PFFS-M cutoffs for frailty severity were developed.

This is a cross-sectional study from 4 primary care clinics where 240 patients aged >60 years and their caregivers were enrolled. Patients were assigned to a nurse or a health care assistant (HCA) for 2 separate PFFS-M assessments administered by HCPs of the same profession, as well as by a doctor during the first visit (inter-rater reliability). Patients were also administered the Self-Assessed Report of Personal Capacity & Healthy Ageing (SEARCH) tool, a 40-item frailty index, by a research officer. The correlation between patients' PFFS-M scores and SEARCH tool scores determined convergent validity. Patients returned 1 week later for PFFS-M reassessment by the same HCPs (test-retest reliability). Caregivers completed the PFFS-M for the patient at both clinic visits. Classification cut-points for the PFFS-M were derived against frailty categories defined through the SEARCH tool.

The inter-rater (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.92 [95% CI, 0.90-0.93)] and test-retest (ICC = 0.94 [95% CI, 0.92-0.95]) reliability between all raters was excellent, including by patients' education levels. The convergent validity was moderate (r = 0.637, p < 0.001), including for varying educational background. PFFS-M categories were identified as: 0-3, no frailty; 4-5, at risk of frailty; 6-8, mild frailty; 9-12, moderate frailty; and >13, severe frailty.

PFFS-M is a reliable and valid tool with frailty severity scores now established for use of this tool in primary care clinics.

Factors associated with statin discontinuation near end of life in a Danish primary health care cohort.

Family Practice

Long-term preventive treatment such as treatment with statins should be reassessed among patients approaching end of life. The aim of the study was to describe the rate of discontinuation of statin treatment and factors associated with discontinuation in the 6 months before death.

This study is a retrospective cohort study using national registers and blood test results from primary health care patients. Patients in the Copenhagen municipality, Denmark who died between 1997 and 2018 and were statin users during the 10-year period before death were included. We calculated the proportion who remained statin users in the 6-month period before death. Factors associated with discontinuation were tested using logistic regression.

A total of 55,591 decedents were included. More patients continued treatment (64%, n = 35,693) than discontinued (36%, n = 19,898) the last 6 months of life. The 70 and 80 age groups had the lowest odds of discontinuing compared to the 90 (OR 1.59, 95% CI 0.93-2.72) and 100 (OR 3.11, 95% CI 2.79-3.47) age groups. Increasing comorbidity score (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.87; 0.90 per 1-point increase) and use of statins for secondary prevention (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.85; 0.93) reduced the likelihood of discontinuation as did a diagnosis of dementia, heart failure, or cancer.

A substantial portion of patients continued statin treatment near end of life. Efforts to promote rational statin use and discontinuation are required among patients with limited life expectancy, including establishing clear, practical recommendations about statin discontinuation, and initiatives to translate recommendations into clinical practice.