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Journal Description

i-JMR is a general medical journal with a focus on innovation in health, health care, and medicine - through new medical techniques and innovative ideas and/or research, including—but not limited to—technology, clinical informatics, sociotechnical and organizational health care innovations, or groundbreaking research.

i-JMR is indexed in PubMed and archived in PubMed Central.

i-JMR is also indexed in Clarivate Analytics (formerly the IP and Science Division of Thomson Reuters) new Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI).

 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://www.i-jmr.org/2019/4/e14607/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Osteopathic Considerations for Peripheral Neuropathy Due to Concomitant Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis Syndrome and Lumbar Epidural Lipomatosis:...

    Abstract:

    Background: Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) syndrome and lumbar epidural lipomatosis are relatively asymptomatic neurological conditions, with findings often seen incidentally on radiological studies. Objective: The aim of this paper is to present unique findings of concomitant, symptomatic DISH syndrome and lumbar epidural lipomatosis and to discuss the osteopathic diagnosis and treatment implications. Methods: Concomitant, symptomatic variants are rare and present challenges to treatment and management, as seen with a 60-year-old African American woman who presented with worsening disequilibrium and new-onset bilateral fingertip numbness. Past medical history was significant for alcohol abuse disorder, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and multiple episodes of self-resolving vertigo and lower extremity neuropathy. Results: The patient was referred to the neurology department for stroke workup, which was negative. Osteopathic structural exam revealed thoracolumbar and sacral dysfunctions. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed findings consistent with thoracic DISH syndrome and lumbar epidural lipomatosis in the areas of somatic dysfunctions. Conclusions: Due to minimal information on osteopathic manipulative treatment in rare neurological diseases, only gentle techniques of myofascial release, balanced ligamentous tension, and muscle energy were performed with resultant minimal improvement, thus highlighting the necessity for better guidelines and further research.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Joshua Ganderson; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jganderson/3630957159/in/photolist-6wRB4D-aodyiN-4okkdS-4U1Y6H-4RY4G-4qBM6z-9qtPUV-5gmygK-fYny1i-3QR65q-mSMWrP-9sL6CC-8MkG26-2NZybc-pGzAcZ-6ZFtE6-pGTBS7-6cYPju-PxGAb-J5Ys9N-bVCpCK-4qFRpU-4qFRp1-6DV2Zo-9t16e2-6Fga3d-7Nnagk-ktf; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Quality of Life Among Informal Caregivers of Patients With Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy: Cross-Sectional Questionnaire Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is a common, chronic neurological condition that severely affects individuals by causing a range of disabling symptoms, frequently at a time around the peak of their careers. Subsequently, individuals with DCM often become dependent on informal care arrangements. The significant economic contribution of informal care and its burden on care providers are becoming increasingly recognized. Objective: This study aimed to measure the quality of life of DCM informal caregivers and provide preliminary insight into possible contributing factors. Methods: Carers of individuals with DCM completed a Web-based survey hosted by Myelopathy.org, an international DCM charity. Carer quality of life was assessed in the form of caregiver happiness and 7 dimensions of carer burden using the Care-Related Quality of Life (CarerQol) instrument. The relationships between patient disease severity, patient pain, and carer quality of life were investigated. Differences in carer quality of life were assessed across patient and carer demographic groups, including between UK and US carers. Results: DCM caregivers experienced substantial burden as a result of their caregiving (mean CarerQol-7D=64.1; 95% CI 58.8-69.5) and low happiness (mean CarerQol-VAS [Visual Analog Scale]=6.3; 95% CI 5.7-6.9). Burden was high and happiness was low in DCM carers when compared with a large, mixed-disease study of adult informal carers where CarerQol-7D was 79.1 and CarerQol-VAS was 7.1. No significant relationship was found between DCM carer quality of life and patient disease severity and pain scores. DCM carer quality of life appeared uniform across all patient and carer demographic groups. Conclusions: Caring for individuals with DCM is associated with reduced quality of life in the form of significant burden and reduced happiness. Reductions appear greater in DCM than in other diseases investigated. However, no simple relationship was identified between individual patient or carer factors and carer quality of life.

  • Checking for quality. Source: Unsplash.com; Copyright: Joao Silas; URL: https://unsplash.com/photos/UGQoo2nznz8; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    How Do Publicly Available Allergy-Specific Web-Based Training Programs Conform to the Established Criteria for the Reporting, Methods, and Content of...

    Abstract:

    Background: Allergic diseases, such as allergic asthma, rhinitis, and atopic eczema, are widespread, and they are a considerable burden on the health care system. For patients and health care professionals, Web-based training programs (WTPs) may be helpful to foster self-management and provide allergy-specific information, given, for instance, their good accessibility. Objective: This study aimed to assess an exploratory sample of publicly available allergy-specific WTPs—that is, interactive, feedback-oriented Web-based training platforms promoting health behavior change and improvement of personal skills—with regard to (1) general characteristics, aims, and target groups and (2) the extent to which these tools meet established criteria for the reporting, methods, and content of evidence-based (digital) health information and education. Methods: WTPs were identified via an initial Google search and a search of English and German language websites of medical and public health services, such as the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (German), Asthma UK, and Anaphylaxis Canada. We developed a checklist from (1) established guidelines for Web-based health information (eg, the Journal of the American Medical Association benchmarks, DISCERN criteria, and Health On the Net code) and (2) a database search of related studies. The checklist contained 44 items covering 11 domains in 3 areas: (1) content (completeness, transparency, and evidence), (2) structure (data safety and qualification of trainers and authors), and (3) impact (effectiveness, user perspective, and integration into health care). We rated the WTPs as completely, partly, or not satisfying each checklist item and calculated overall and domain-specific scores for each WTP using SPSS 23.0 (SPSS Inc). Results: The 15 identified WTPs covered an average of 37% of the items (score 33 out of 88). A total of 7 WTPs covered more than 40% (35/88; maximum: 49%; 43/88). A total of 5 covered 30% (26/88) to 40% (35/88) of all rated items and the rest covered fewer (n=3; lowest score 24%; 21/88). Items relating to intervention (58%; 10/18), content (49%; 9/18), and data safety (60%; 1/2) were more often considered, as opposed to user safety (10%; 0.4/4), qualification of staff (10%; 0.8/8), effectiveness (16%; 0.4/2), and user perspective (45%; 5/12). In addition, in 13 of 15 WTPs, a minimum of 3 domains were not covered at all. Regarding evidence-based content, 46% of all WTPs (7/15) scored on use of scientific research, 53% on regular information update (8/15), and 33% on provision of references (5/15). None of 15 provided details on the quality of references or the strength of evidence. Conclusions: English and German language allergy-specific WTPs, addressing lay audiences and health care professionals, conform only partly to established criteria for the reporting, methods, and content of evidence-based (digital) health information and education. Particularly, well-conducted studies on their effectiveness are missing.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Freepik; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/woman-blanket-coughing_3143785.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Modern Innovative Solutions in Improving Outcomes in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (MISSION COPD): Mixed Methods Evaluation of a Novel Integrated...

    Abstract:

    Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the second-leading cause of death in the United Kingdom and accounts for 1.7% of bed days in acute hospitals. An estimated two-third of patients with COPD remain undiagnosed. Objective: Modern Innovative Solutions in Improving Outcomes in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (MISSION COPD) aimed to proactively identify patients from primary care who were undiagnosed or had uncontrolled COPD and to provide a comprehensive integrated multidisciplinary clinic to address the needs of this complex group for improving diagnosis, personalizing therapy, and empowering patients to self-manage their condition. Methods: This clinic was led by a respiratory specialist team from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS trust working with five primary care surgeries in Wessex. A total of 108 patients were reviewed, with 98 patients consenting to provide additional data for research. Diagnoses were changed in 14 patients, and 32 new diagnoses were made. Results: Reductions were seen across all aspects of unscheduled care as compared to the prior 12 months, including in emergency general practitioner visits (3.37-0.79 visits per patient, P<.001), exacerbations (2.64-0.56 per patient, P=.01), out-of-hours calls (0.16-0.05 per patient, P=.42), and hospital admissions (0.49-0.12 per patient, P=.48). Improvements were observed in the quality of life and symptom scores in addition to patient activation and patient-reported confidence levels. Conclusions: This pilot demonstrates that the MISSION model may be an effective way to provide comprehensive gold-standard care that is valued by patients and to promote integration across sectors.

  • Source: freepik; Copyright: pressfoto; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/discussing-x-ray-joint_5402326.htm#page=1&query=x%20ray&position=20; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Readability and Quality of Online Information on Osteoarthritis: An Objective Analysis With Historic Comparison

    Abstract:

    Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common cause of disability in people older than 65 years. Readability of online OA information has never been assessed. A 2003 study found the quality of online OA information to be poor. Objective: The aim of this study was to review the readability and quality of current online information regarding OA. Methods: The term osteoarthritis was searched across the three most popular English language search engines. The first 25 pages from each search engine were analyzed. Duplicate pages, websites featuring paid advertisements, inaccessible pages (behind a pay wall, not available for geographical reasons), and nontext pages were excluded. Readability was measured using Flesch Reading Ease Score, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, and Gunning-Fog Index. Website quality was scored using the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria and the DISCERN criteria. Presence or absence of the Health On the Net Foundation Code of Conduct (HONcode) certification, age of content, content producer, and author characteristics were noted. Results: A total of 37 unique websites were found suitable for analysis. Readability varied by assessment tool from 8th to 12th grade level. This compares with the recommended 7th to 8th grade level. Of the 37, 1 (2.7%) website met all 4 JAMA criteria. Mean DISCERN quality of information for OA websites was “fair,” compared with the “poor” grading of a 2003 study. HONcode-endorsed websites (43%, 16/37) were of a statistically significant higher quality. Conclusions: Readability of online health information for OA was either equal to or more difficult than the recommended level.

  • Source: freepik; Copyright: katemangostar; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/serious-asian-young-female-doctor-using-tablet-computer_2448908.htm#page=2&query=asian+doctor&position=25; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Physician Decision-Making Patterns and Family Presence: Cross-Sectional Online Survey Study in Japan

    Abstract:

    Background: Due to a low birth rate and an aging population, Japan faces an increase in the number of elderly people without children living in single households. These elderly without a spouse and/or children encounter a lack of caregivers because most sources of care for the elderly in Japan are not provided by private agencies but by family members. However, family caregivers not only help with daily living but are also key participants in treatment decision making. The effect of family absence on treatment decision making has not been elucidated, although more elderly people will not have family members to make surrogate decisions on their behalf. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey among Japanese physicians using three hypothetical vignettes. The first vignette was about a 65-year-old man with alcoholic liver cirrhosis and the second was about a 78-year-old woman with dementia, both of whom developed pneumonia with consciousness disturbance. The third vignette was about a 70-year-old woman with necrosis of her lower limb. Participants were randomly assigned to either of the two versions of the questionnaires—with family or without family—but methods were identical otherwise. Participants chose yes or no responses to questions about whether they would perform the presented medical procedures. Results: Among 1112 physicians, 454 (40.8%) completed the survey; there were no significant differences in the baseline characteristics between groups. Significantly fewer physicians had a willingness to perform dialysis (odds ratio [OR] 0.55, 95% CI 0.34-0.80; P=.002) and artificial ventilation (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.35-0.75; P<.001) for a patient from vignette 1 without family. In vignette 2, fewer physicians were willing to perform artificial ventilation (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.39-0.90; P=.02). In vignette 3, significantly fewer physicians showed willingness to perform wound treatment (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.31-0.84; P=.007), surgery (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.22-0.57; P<.001), blood transfusion (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.31-0.66; P<.001), vasopressor (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.34-0.72; P<.001), dialysis (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.24-0.59; P<.001), artificial ventilation (OR 0.25, 95% CI 0.15-0.40; P<.001), and chest compression (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.18-0.47; P<.001) for a patient without family. Conclusions: Elderly patients may have treatments withheld because of the absence of family, highlighting the potential importance of advance care planning in the era of an aging society with a declining birth rate.

  • People searching for online health information. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Lars König; URL: https://www.i-jmr.org/2019/3/e13619; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Influence of Enthusiastic Language on the Credibility of Health Information and the Trustworthiness of Science Communicators: Insights From a Between-Subject...

    Abstract:

    Background: To decide whether online health information is reliable, information seekers apply 2 stretegies: first, information seekers can make credibility judgments by using their prior knowledge to evaluate the validity of the encountered health claim. Second, instead of evaluating the health claim itself, information seekers can make trustworthiness judgments by evaluating the character of the information source. In recent years, information givers from various professions have begun to use enthusiastic language to disseminate their information and persuade their audiences. Objective: To systematically explore this phenomenon, the goal of this study was to answer the following research questions: (1) does an enthusiastic language style, in comparison with a neutral language style, increase the trustworthiness of a person arguing in an online health forum and the credibility of his or her information? (2) does working for a university, in comparison with working for a lobbying organization, increase the trustworthiness of a person arguing in an online health forum and the credibility of his or her information? (3) does working for a university in combination with using an enthusiastic language style result in especially high trustworthiness and credibility ratings? Methods: In a 2x2 between-subject online experiment, 270 participants read a post from an online health forum and subsequently rated the trustworthiness of the forum post author and the credibility of his information. A total of 2 aspects of the forum post varied, namely the professional affiliation of the forum post author (whether the person introduced himself as a scientist or a lobbyist) and his language style (whether he used a neutral language style or an enthusiastic language style). Results: When the forum post author used an enthusiastic language style, he was perceived as more manipulative (P<.001), less knowledgeable (P<.001), and his information was perceived as less credible (P<.001). Overall, scientists were perceived as less manipulative (P=.04) than lobbyists. Furthermore, language style and professional affiliation interacted: When the forum post author was a lobbyist, language style did not affect integrity (P=.96) and benevolence (P=.79) ratings. However, when the forum post author was a scientist, enthusiastic language led to lower integrity (P=.002) and benevolence (P<.001) ratings than neutral language. Conclusions: The current findings illustrate that health information seekers do not just react to online health information itself. In addition, they are also sensitive to the ways in which health information is presented (“Which langue style is used to communicate health information?”) and who presents it (“Who does the health information source work for?”).

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: freepik; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/man-lying-bed-using-mobile-phone_3272272.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Mobile App Use for Insomnia Self-Management: Pilot Findings on Sleep Outcomes in Veterans

    Abstract:

    Background: Sleep disturbance is a major health concern among US veterans who have served since 2001 in a combat theater in Iraq or Afghanistan. We report subjective and objective sleep results from a pilot trial assessing self-management–guided use of a mobile app (CBT-i Coach, which is based on cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia) as an intervention for insomnia in military veterans. Objective: The primary aim of this study was to evaluate changes in subjective and objective sleep outcomes from pre to postintervention. Methods: Subjective outcomes included the Insomnia Severity Index, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory, and sleep-related functional status. A wearable sleep monitor (WatchPAT) measured objective sleep outcomes, including sleep efficiency, percent rapid eye movement (REM) during sleep, sleep time, and sleep apnea. A total of 38 participants were enrolled in the study, with 18 participants being withdrawn per the protocol because of moderate or severe sleep apnea and 9 others who dropped out or withdrew. Thus, 11 participants completed the full 6-week CBT-i Coach self-management intervention (ie, completers). Results: Completer results indicated significant changes in subjective sleep measures, including reduced reports of insomnia (Z=–2.68, P=.007) from pre (mean 16.63, SD 5.55) to postintervention (mean 12.82, SD 3.74), improved sleep quality (Z=–2.37, P=.02) from pre (mean 12.82, SD 4.60) to postintervention (mean 10.73, SD 3.32), and sleep-related functioning (Z=2.675, P=.007) from pre (mean 13.86, SD 3.69) to postintervention (mean 15.379, SD 2.94). Among the objective measures, unexpectedly, objective sleep time significantly decreased from pre to postintervention (χ22=7.8, P=.02). There were no significant changes in percent REM sleep or sleep efficiency. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the CBT-i Coach app can improve subjective sleep and that incorporating objective sleep measures into future, larger clinical trials or clinical practice may yield important information, particularly by detecting previously undetected sleep apnea. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02392000; http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02392000

  • Source: Unsplash; Copyright: freestocks.org; URL: https://unsplash.com/photos/ux53SGpRAHU; License: Licensed by the authors.

    What the Health? Information Sources and Maternal Lifestyle Behaviors

    Abstract:

    Background: Regular physical activity (PA), adequate gestational weight gain (GWG), and healthy eating are important for the long-term health of both mother and baby. Hence, it is important that women receive current and updated advice on these topics and are encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the main information sources among pregnant women regarding PA, GWG, and nutrition as well as to evaluate how these information sources may affect their health behaviors. Methods: A cross-sectional study design, comprising an electronic questionnaire, was distributed to 2 antenatal clinics, as well as pregnancy-related online chat forums and social media. The inclusion criteria were ≥18 years, ≥20 weeks gestation, and able to read and write Norwegian. In total, 150 pregnant women answered the questionnaire, which was a mix of 11-point Likert scales, close-ended questions, and semi–close-ended questions with the option to elaborate. The relationship between information sources and selected variables, including health behaviors and descriptive variables, were assessed by logistic regression, linear regression, or chi-square as appropriate (P<.05). Results: Mean age (years), gestation week, and prepregnancy body mass index (kg/m2) were 31.1 (SD 4.3), 30.6 (SD 5.9), and 24.2 (SD 4.2), respectively. More than eight out of 10 had received or retrieved information about nutrition (88.7%, 133/150) and PA (80.7%, 121/150), whereas 54.0% (81/150) reported information on GWG. When combining all 3 lifestyle factors, 38.5% had retrieved information from blogs and online forums and 26.6%, from their midwife or family physician. Women who reported the internet and media as their primary source of information on weight gain had increased odds of gaining weight below the Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines compared with gaining within the guidelines (odds ratio [OR] 15.5, 95% CI 1.4-167.4; P=.02). Higher compliance with nutritional guidelines was seen among those who cited the internet and media as their main source of information on nutrition (beta=.7, 95% CI 0.07-1.3; P=.03). On the other side, receiving advice from friends and family on weight gain was significantly associated with gaining weight above the IOM guidelines compared with gaining within the guidelines (OR 12.0, 95% CI 1.3-111.7; P=.03). No other associations were found between information sources and health behaviors. Conclusions: The small number of health professionals giving information and the extensive use of internet- and media-based sources emphasize the need to address the quality of internet advice and guide women toward trustworthy sources of information during pregnancy. The association between information sources and PA, GWG, and nutrition requires further research.

  • Source: Shutterstock; Copyright: garagestock; URL: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/food-allergy-concept-on-laptop-screen-514832893?src=library&studio=1; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Perceptions of Food Hypersensitivity Expertise on Social Media: Qualitative Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Seeking and sharing information are the primary uses of the internet and social media. It is therefore vital to understand the processes individuals go through when engaging with information on these diverse platforms, especially in areas such as health- and risk-related information. One important element of such engagement is evaluating and attributing expertise to others. Objective: This study aimed to explore how meanings around expertise in relation to food allergy and intolerance (food hypersensitivity) were constructed by 2 groups of social media users: (1) those who use platforms for reasons relating to food hypersensitivity and (2) those seen as experts by this community. Methods: Survey participants were asked open-ended questions to identify potential experts in food hypersensitivity issues on social media and to discuss their reasoning for their choices (n=143). Subsequently, 8 adult social media users with experience of managing food hypersensitivity and 5 participants designated as experts by those users took part in email interviews. Survey and interview data were analyzed thematically using Braun and Clarke’s approach. Results: Judging expertise on social media is a complex and multifaceted process. Users might be judged as experts through their professional background or their experience living with food hypersensitivities. How users behave on social media and the traces of their Web-based activity can influence how others will see them. Such considerations are both measured and moderated through the social media community itself. Findings highlighted how social media often act as a supportive information tool following a diagnosis, but this also raised concerns regarding the scenario of patients not being able to access suitable vetted information. Conclusions: This work has implications for understanding how users perceive expertise on social media in relation to a health concern and how information assessments are made during the management of risks. Findings provide practical insights to both medical and organizational stakeholders involved in the support of those living with life-changing conditions, such as food hypersensitivities.

  • VR (montage). Source: Shutterstock; Copyright: Omer Liran; URL: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/happy-coach-vr-headset-showing-size-1149705767; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Using Virtual Reality to Improve Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence in the Treatment of HIV: Open-Label Repeated Measure Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Nonadherence to HIV medications is a serious unsolved problem and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the HIV-positive population. Although treatment efficacy is high if compliance is greater than 90%, about 40% of people with HIV do not meet this threshold. Objective: This study aimed to test a novel approach to improve medication adherence by using a low-cost virtual reality (VR) experience to educate people with HIV about their illness. We hypothesized that people with HIV would be more likely to be compliant with the treatment following the 7-minute experience and, therefore, should have decreasing viral load (VL), increasing cluster of differentiation 4+ (CD4+) cell counts, and improved self-reported adherence. Methods: We showed the VR experience to 107 participants with HIV at a county hospital in Los Angeles, California. Participants were asked to self-report how often they take their medications on a Likert-scale. The self-reported question (SRQ) was given before and at least 2 weeks after the VR experience. We also compared VL and CD4+ cell counts before and on average 101 days after the experience. VL and CD4+ were obtained per the clinic’s standard care protocol. Two-tailed paired t tests were performed on the initial and follow-up SRQ scores, VL, and CD4+. We restricted the CD4+ analysis to participants who had a pre-CD4+ below normal (defined as 500 cells/mm3). To reduce the possibility that VL were trending down and CD4+ were trending up regardless of the VR experience, 2 serial VL and CD4+ obtained before the experience were also compared and analyzed. Immediately following the VR experience, participants were given a 4-question Likert-type postexperience questionnaire (PEQ) that assessed their opinions about the experience. Results: SRQ scores improved from pre to post experience with high significance (P<.001). VL decreased from pre to post experience by 0.38 log10 copies/mL (95% CI 0.06-0.70; P=.02). In contrast, the 2 serial VL obtained before the experience showed no statistically significant changes. There was also a statistically significant increase in CD4+ (95% CI –3.4 to –54.3 cells/mm3; P=.03). Analysis of the PEQ revealed that VR was comfortable for almost all of the participants and that most participants believed the experience to be educational and that it would improve their medication adherence. Conclusions: The findings suggest that the low-cost VR experience caused an increased rate of antiretroviral therapy adherence that resulted in a decrease of VL and an increase of CD4+. Further studies are required to explore the duration of this effect and whether these results are generalizable to other treatment settings and populations.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: SnapwireSnaps; URL: https://pixabay.com/photos/guy-bike-bicycle-lifestyle-adult-598180/; License: Licensed by the authors.

    “As If Neck Injuries Did Not Exist”: An Interview Study of Patients’ and Relatives’ Perceptions of Web Information on and Management of Whiplash...

    Abstract:

    Background: If purposefully designed, patient information can help individuals make well-founded health care decisions. This study was initiated to improve the information on whiplash injuries found in the national health care portal Healthcare Guide 1177, operated by the Swedish government. Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the thoughts of patients and relatives on (1) information about whiplash injuries presented in the portal and (2) the Swedish health care system’s management of whiplash injuries. Methods: A total of 5 interviews were conducted with patients (n=10) who had experienced a whiplash injury and with relatives (n=3) of such patients. The interviews were taped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed by means of conventional content analysis. Results: The following two themes emerged from the latent content analysis: (1) confidence and trust in the public health care system and (2) a disappointment with health care encounters. Conclusions: We found that most of the study participants felt distress due to insufficient information; respondents perceived a discrepancy between the public health care system's authority and the information provided. The Web information on whiplash injuries may greatly impact patients' care decisions as well as their physical, mental, and social well-being. We would recommend detailed patient information on whiplash injuries, with less emphasis on psychology and more data on pathophysiology, prognosis, and treatment.

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  • Provider Delays Do Not Impact Short-term Outcomes in Colorectal Cancer Patients

    Date Submitted: Aug 17, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Oct 22, 2019 - Dec 22, 2019

    Background: The UK has lower all-cancer survival compared to many European countries despite similar national expenditures on health. This discrepancy may be linked to longer diagnostic and treatment...

    Background: The UK has lower all-cancer survival compared to many European countries despite similar national expenditures on health. This discrepancy may be linked to longer diagnostic and treatment delays. Objective: The present study aims to determine whether delays experienced by colorectal cancer (CRC) patients affect survival. Methods: This observational study utilised a trust-wide cancer register to identify CRC patients diagnosed by positive histology. The effect of diagnostic and treatment delays and their subdivisions on outcomes were investigated using Cox proportional hazards regression. Kaplan-Meier plots were used to illustrate group differences. Results: A total of 648 patients (57.9% male) were identified. In colon cancer patients, neither diagnostic nor treatment delays had an impact on overall mortality (χ2 (3) = 1.492, P=.68) and (χ2 (3) = 0.594, P=.90) respectively. Similarly, treatment delays did not impact outcomes in rectal cancer patients (χ2 (3) = 5.535, P=.14). In the initial cox regression analysis, rectal cancer patients with shorter diagnostic delays were less likely to die than those experiencing longer delays (HR: 0.165, 95% CI: 0.044 – 0.616, P=.007). However, this result was non-significant following sensitivity analysis. Conclusions: Diagnostic and treatment delays had no impact on survival in this CRC patient cohort. The utility of the two-week wait referral system is therefore questioned. Timely screening with subsequent early referral and access to diagnostics may have a more beneficial effect. Clinical Trial: NAD

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