AIMS: We assessed outcomes of a pilot long-term stroke care clinic which combined secondary prevention and rehabilitation at community level.
SETTINGS AND DESIGN: A prospective observational study of stroke patients treated between 2008 and 2010 at a primary care teaching facility.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Analysis of patients was done at initial contact and at 1-year post treatment. Clinical outcomes included stroke risk factor(s) control, depression according to Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9), and level of independence using Barthel Index (BI).
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: Differences in means between baseline and post treatment were compared using paired t-tests or Wilcoxon-signed rank test. Significance level was set at 0.05.
RESULTS: Ninety-one patients were analyzed. Their mean age was 62.9 [standard deviation (SD) 10.9] years, mean stroke episodes were 1.30 (SD 0.5). The median interval between acute stroke and first contact with the clinic 4.0 (interquartile range 9.0) months. Mean systolic blood pressure decreased by 9.7 mmHg (t = 2.79, P = 0.007), while mean diastolic blood pressure remained unchanged at 80mmHg (z = 1.87, P = 0.06). Neurorehabilitation treatment was given to 84.6% of the patients. Median BI increased from 81 (range: 2-100) to 90.5 (range: 27-100) (Z = 2.34, P = 0.01). Median PHQ9 scores decreased from 4.0 (range: 0-22) to 3.0 (range: 0-19) though the change was not significant (Z= -0.744, P = 0.457).
CONCLUSIONS: Primary care-driven long-term stroke care services yield favorable outcomes for blood pressure control and functional level.
METHODS: We used data from The National Medical Care Survey (NMCS), a national cross-sectional survey of patients' visits to primary care clinics in Malaysia. A weighted total of 22,832 encounters of patients aged ≥65 years were analysed. Polypharmacy was defined as concomitant use of five medications and above. Multilevel logistic regression was performed to examine the association of polypharmacy with patient, prescriber and practice characteristics.
RESULTS: A total of 20.3% of the older primary care attenders experienced polypharmacy (26.7%% in public and 11.0% in private practice). The adjusted odds ratio (OR) of polypharmacy were 6.37 times greater in public practices. Polypharmacy was associated with patients of female gender (OR 1.49), primary education level (OR 1.61) and multimorbidity (OR 14.21). The variation in rate of polypharmacy was mainly found at prescriber level.
CONCLUSION: Polypharmacy is common among older persons visiting primary care practices. Given the possible adverse outcomes, interventions to reduce the burden of polypharmacy are best to be directed at individual prescribers.
STUDY DESIGN: A review of articles was performed.
METHODS: A search strategy was used by using electronic bibliographic databases including PubMed, Embase and CENTRAL for published studies and reference list of published studies. The articles were exported to a bibliographic database for further screening process. Two reviewers worked independently to screen results and extract data from the included studies. Any discrepancies were resolved and confirmed by the consensus of all authors.
RESULTS: There were three screening approaches for detecting MCI and dementia - screening by a healthcare provider, screening by a self-administered questionnaire and caretaker informant screening. Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was the most common and preferable tool for MCI screening (sensitivity [Sn]: 81-97%; specificity [Sp]: 60-86%), whereas Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE) was the preferable tool for dementia screening (Sn: 79-100%; Sp: 86%).
CONCLUSION: This systematic review found that there are three screening approaches for detecting early dementia and MCI at primary health care. ACE and MoCA are recommended tools for screening of dementia and MCI, respectively.
DESIGN: In-depth and focus group interviews were conducted with participants who have engaged in telemedicine. Questions included were participants' perception on the programme being used, satisfaction as well as engagement with the telemedicine programme. All interviews and focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using a thematic approach.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: People with type 2 diabetes (n=48) who participated in a randomised controlled study which examined the use of telemedicine for diabetes management were recruited from 11 primary care clinics located within the Klang Valley.
RESULTS: Twelve focus groups and two in-depth interviews were conducted. Four themes emerged from the analysis: (1) generational difference; (2) independence and convenience, (3) sharing of health data and privacy and (4) concerns and challenges. The main obstacles found in patients using the telemedicine systems were related to internet connectivity and difficulties experienced with system interface. Cost was also another significant concern raised by participants. Participants in this study were primarily positive about the benefits of telemedicine, including its ability to provide real-time data and disease monitoring and the reduction in clinic visits.
CONCLUSION: Despite the potential benefits of telemedicine in the long-term care of diabetes, there are several perceived barriers that may limit the effectiveness of this technology. As such, collaboration between educators, healthcare providers, telecommunication service providers and patients are required to stimulate the adoption and the use of telemedicine.NCT0246680.