The challenge of managing mild to moderate distress in patients with end stage renal disease: results from a multi-centre, mixed methods research study and the implications for renal service organisation (2019)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Damery, Sarah; Sein, Kim; *Nicholas, Johann; Baharani, Jyoti; Combes, Gill

Citation:
BMC health services research; Dec 2019; vol. 19 (no. 1); p. 989

Abstract:
BACKGROUND Lower-level emotional and psychological difficulties (‘distress’) in patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD), can lead to reduced quality of life and poor clinical outcomes. National guidelines mandate provision of emotional and psychological support for renal patients yet little is known about the support that patients may require, or the challenges that staff experience in identifying and responding to patient distress.
METHODS Mixed methods study in renal units at four NHS Trusts in the West Midlands, UK involving cross-sectional surveys of ESRD patients and renal unit staff and semi-structured interviews with 46 purposively-sampled patients and 31 renal unit staff. Interviews explored patients’ experience of distress and personal coping strategies, staff attitudes towards patient distress and perceptions of their role, responsibility and capacity.
RESULTS Patient distress was widespread (346/1040; 33.3%), and emotional problems were frequently reported. Younger patients, females, those from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups and patients recently initiating dialysis reported particular support needs. Staff recognised the value of supporting distressed patients, yet support often depended on individual staff members’ skills and personal approach. Staff reported difficulties with onward referral to formal counselling and psychology services and a lack of immediate access to less formalised options. There was also a substantial training/skills gap whereby many staff reported lacking the confidence to recognise and respond to patient distress. Staff fell broadly into three groups: ‘Enthusiasts’ who considered identifying and responding to patient distress as integral to their role; ‘Equivocators’ who thought that managing distress was part of their role, but who lacked skills and confidence to do this effectively, and ‘Avoiders’ who did not see managing distress as part of their role and actively avoided the issue with patients.
CONCLUSIONS Embedding the value of emotional support provision into renal unit culture is the key to ‘normalising’ discussions about distress. Immediately accessible, informal support options should be available, and all renal staff should be offered training to proactively identify and reactively manage patient distress. Emotional support for staff is important to ensure that a greater emphasis on managing patient distress is not associated with an increased incidence of staff burnout.

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Subacute carbon monoxide poisoning presenting as vertigo and fluctuating low frequency hearing loss (2018)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Bethany Seale, *Sajad Ahanger, and *Churunal Hari

Citation:
Journal of Surgical Case Reports 2018 Aug; 2018(8)

Abstract:
It is estimated that up to 25,000 UK residents are exposed to small amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) annually. Symptoms of chronic exposure to CO are vague and non-specific and include dizziness and hearing loss. We describe a case of 38-year-old lady presenting with a 4-month history of vertigo and hearing loss. Initially diagnosed as Meniere’s disease, the patient was investigated and followed up in the clinic. She reported leakage of carbon monoxide from her gas fire identified during a routine safety check. Her symptoms fully resolved after disconnecting the faulty gas fire. A rare cause of fluctuating hearing loss and vertigo is described, and the diagnostic challenges are discussed.

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Diagnosis Across the Spectrum of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Corticobasal Syndrome (2019)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Jabbari E, Holland N, Chelban V, Jones PS, Lamb R, Rawlinson C, Guo T, Costantini AA, Tan MMX, Heslegrave AJ, Roncaroli F, Klein JC, Ansorge O, Allinson KSJ, Jaunmuktane Z, Holton JL, Revesz T, Warner TT, Lees AJ, Zetterberg H, Russell LL, Bocchetta M, Rohrer JD, Williams NM, Grosset DG, Burn DJ, Pavese N, Gerhard A, Kobylecki C, Leigh PN, Church A, Hu MTM, Woodside J, Houlden H, Rowe JB, Morris HR.

Patients at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust were recruited into this study.

Citation:
JAMA Neurol. 2019 Dec 20 [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract:
IMPORTANCE:
Atypical parkinsonian syndromes (APS), including progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal syndrome (CBS), and multiple system atrophy (MSA), may be difficult to distinguish in early stages and are often misdiagnosed as Parkinson disease (PD). The diagnostic criteria for PSP have been updated to encompass a range of clinical subtypes but have not been prospectively studied.

OBJECTIVE:
To define the distinguishing features of PSP and CBS subtypes and to assess their usefulness in facilitating early diagnosis and separation from PD.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS:
This cohort study recruited patients with APS and PD from movement disorder clinics across the United Kingdom from September 1, 2015, through December 1, 2018. Patients with APS were stratified into the following groups: those with Richardson syndrome (PSP-RS), PSP-subcortical (including PSP-parkinsonism and progressive gait freezing subtypes), PSP-cortical (including PSP-frontal and PSP-CBS overlap subtypes), MSA-parkinsonism, MSA-cerebellar, CBS-Alzheimer disease (CBS-AD), and CBS-non-AD. Data were analyzed from February 1, through May 1, 2019.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:
Baseline group comparisons used (1) clinical trajectory; (2) cognitive screening scales; (3) serum neurofilament light chain (NF-L) levels; (4) TRIM11, ApoE, and MAPT genotypes; and (5) volumetric magnetic resonance imaging measures.

RESULTS:
A total of 222 patients with APS (101 with PSP, 55 with MSA, 40 with CBS, and 26 indeterminate) were recruited (129 [58.1%] male; mean [SD] age at recruitment, 68.3 [8.7] years). Age-matched control participants (n = 76) and patients with PD (n = 1967) were included for comparison. Concordance between the antemortem clinical and pathologic diagnoses was achieved in 12 of 13 patients with PSP and CBS (92.3%) undergoing postmortem evaluation. Applying the Movement Disorder Society PSP diagnostic criteria almost doubled the number of patients diagnosed with PSP from 58 to 101. Forty-nine of 101 patients with reclassified PSP (48.5%) did not have the classic PSP-RS subtype. Patients in the PSP-subcortical group had a longer diagnostic latency and a more benign clinical trajectory than those in PSP-RS and PSP-cortical groups. The PSP-subcortical group was distinguished from PSP-cortical and PSP-RS groups by cortical volumetric magnetic resonance imaging measures (area under the curve [AUC], 0.84-0.89), cognitive profile (AUC, 0.80-0.83), serum NF-L level (AUC, 0.75-0.83), and TRIM11 rs564309 genotype. Midbrain atrophy was a common feature of all PSP groups. Eight of 17 patients with CBS (47.1%) undergoing cerebrospinal fluid analysis were identified as having the CBS-AD subtype. Patients in the CBS-AD group had a longer diagnostic latency, relatively benign clinical trajectory, greater cognitive impairment, and higher APOE-ε4 allele frequency than those in the CBS-non-AD group (AUC, 0.80-0.87; P < .05). Serum NF-L levels distinguished PD from all PSP and CBS cases combined (AUC, 0.80; P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
These findings suggest that studies focusing on the PSP-RS subtype are likely to miss a large number of patients with underlying PSP tau pathology. Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid defined a distinct CBS-AD subtype. The PSP and CBS subtypes have distinct characteristics that may enhance their early diagnosis.

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Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation for people with chronic musculoskeletal pain: an exploratory review (2019)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Ely, S. ; Barlas, P.

Citation:
Physical Therapy Reviews, 24:6, 377-388

Abstract:
Background: Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) is a form of stimulation-induced analgesia with potential as a non-invasive alternative to acupuncture, suitable for self-application. The clinical evidence for TEAS for people with chronic musculoskeletal pain is limited.
Objectives: This exploratory review aimed to evaluate the potential of TEAS as a pain relief option for people with chronic musculoskeletal pain and explore the evidence relating to dose parameters.
Methods: A literature search was conducted using Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED and the Cochrane Database for studies that used TEAS or specified the use of Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) over acupuncture points for people with chronic pain. Data relating to the treatment dose parameters was extracted including frequency, intensity, treatment duration and stimulation location, to identify themes and trends with a narrative analysis and review.
Results: The review included 20 studies consisting of 13 randomised controlled trials, four comparative trials and three cross-over studies. Most RCTs indicated some beneficial effect on pain scores, but the overall quality of evidence was low. Most studies applied a TENS device for 20–40 minutes, several times a week similar to an acupuncture treatment protocol. There was no clear evidence that the electrical parameters of frequency and intensity or the choice of acupuncture points had an effect on the outcomes.
Conclusions: People with chronic musculoskeletal pain may achieve pain relief using TEAS but the existing evidence is limited and high quality clinical evidence is required to establish efficacy. Effects appear to be achieved with short applications, several times a week in a protocol similar to those used with acupuncture. It is not clear whether the choice of acupuncture point, stimulation frequency or intensity has an impact on the results. Further investigation of the effect of stimulation duration for both TEAS and TENS is recommended.

Synchronous versus sequential chemo-radiotherapy in patients with early stage breast cancer (SECRAB): A randomised, phase III, trial (2019)

Type of publication:
Randomised controlled trial

Author(s):
Fernando I.N.; Spooner D.; Latief T.N.; Stevens A.; Bowden S.J.; Herring K.; Ahmed I.; Rea D.W.; Brookes C.L.; Marshall A.; Dunn J.; Grieve R.; Poole C.J.; Churn M.; *Agrawal R.K.; Brunt A.M.; Goodman A.; Canney P.; Ritchie D.; Bishop J.

Citation:
Radiotherapy and Oncology; 2019 [epub ahead of print]

Abstract:
Background: The optimal sequence of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy for breast cancer is unknown. SECRAB assesses whether local control can be improved without increased toxicity.
Method(s): SECRAB was a prospective, open-label, multi-centre, phase III trial comparing synchronous to
sequential chemo-radiotherapy, conducted in 48 UK centres. Patients with invasive, early stage breast cancer were eligible. Randomisation (performed using random permuted block assignment) was stratified by centre, axillary surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy boost. Permitted chemotherapy regimens included CMF and anthracycline-CMF. Synchronous radiotherapy was administered between cycles two and three for CMF or five and six for anthracycline-CMF. Sequential radiotherapy was delivered on chemotherapy completion. Radiotherapy schedules included 40 Gy/15F over three weeks, and 50 Gy/25F over five weeks. The primary outcome was local recurrence at five and ten years, defined as time to local recurrence, and analysed by intention to treat. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00003893.
Finding(s): Between 02-July-1998 and 25-March-2004, 2297 patients were recruited (1150 synchronous and 1146 sequential). Baseline characteristics were balanced. With 10.2 years median follow-up, the ten-year local recurrence rates were 4.6% and 7.1% in the synchronous and sequential arms respectively (hazard ratio (HR) 0.62; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.43-0.90; p = 0.012). In a planned sub-group analysis of anthracycline-CMF, the ten-year local recurrence rates difference were 3.5% versus 6.7% respectively (HR 0.48 95% CI: 0.26-0.88; p = 0.018). There was no significant difference in overall or disease-free survival. 24% of patients on the synchronous arm suffered moderate/severe acute skin reactions compared to 15% on the sequential arm (p < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in late adverse effects apart from telangiectasia (p = 0.03). Interpretation(s): Synchronous chemo-radiotherapy significantly improved local recurrence rates. This was delivered with an acceptable increase in acute toxicity. The greatest benefit of synchronous chemo-radiation was in patients treated with anthracycline-CMF.

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Use of recombinant parathyroid hormone in treatment of bisphosphonate related osteonecrosis leading to spontaneous healing (2019)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Chundoo S.; *Pilkington R.; *Bhatia S.; *Garton M.

Citation:
British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Dec 2019; vol. 57 (no. 10)

Abstract:
Introduction: Case presentation of 61 year old female patient who developed BRONJ (bisphosphonate related osteonecrosis of the jaw) and a pathological triple fracture of the anterior mandible. She had underlying vitamin D deficiency and secondary hypoparathyroidism. She also suffers from anca positive rheumatoid arthritis and is under the active care of rheumatology.
Method(s): Patient was treated with conservative measures which failed to give a good quality of life outcome. Under special license, with involvement from rheumatology, the patient was started on monthly injections of recombinant parathyroid hormone (teriparatide).
Result(s): Over 12-18 months, the serial radiographs reveal bony union of all fracture sites. Patient now has
good quality of life and patient is back on disease modifying drugs to control their active rheumatoid arthritis.
Conclusions/Clinical Relevance: Novel approach to using teriparatide for patients with end-stage BRONJ.
License of the drug as well as current NICE guidelines for its use and patient specific requirements such as
fragility fracture risks age and DEXA scores are also discussed. The action of the drug on osteoblastic formation and bone turnover is discussed. This will help practitioners have another agent to add to their treatment options in treating the effects of BRONJ.

A technical note describing the use of a carotid artery bypass graft in the management of head and neck cancer with carotid artery involvement and review of literature (2019)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Hamps C.; *Pilkington R.; *Merriman C.; *Thomas S.; *Bhatia S.

Citation:
British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Dec 2019; vol. 57 (no. 10)

Abstract:
Introduction Carotid blowout syndrome (CBS) refers to rupture of the carotid artery and is an uncommon but often catastrophic complication of head and neck cancer when arterial wall integrity is compromised,
particularly where surgical procedures and radiotherapy are involved. Rupture occurs most commonly in the common carotid artery in proximity to the furcation, often within 10-40 days post surgery. Methods We present the use of a great saphenous vein carotid artery bypass graft in the management of a 47-year-old woman with recurrent squamous cell carcinoma (T2 N1 M0 RO V1) utilizing the Pruitt F3 carotid shunt system to minimize cerebral perfusion compromise. We explore pre and post-operative surgical considerations including suggested graft-monitoring protocols. Results The body of evidence supporting the use of carotid bypass grafts is limited. Despite data paucity, case series are available demonstrating variable mortality. A systematic review of PubMed was conducted revealing three English language case series. One series reported a 2-year survival of 82% with carotid sacrifice and autogenous venous graft where distant metastatic disease is absent. 96% of patients experienced no neurologic sequela whilst 3.9% suffered CVA post-operatively. Our own patient remains free of neurologic symptoms and graft patency has been confirmed at 3 months. Clinical Relevance Tumour resection involving in the carotid artery presents an array of surgical management possibilities including tumour shaving, artery ligation or resection. The long-term survival of carotid bypass graft is unknown and reported complications vary, it remains a promising technique in the prevention of carotid blowout syndrome.

The change in presentation and treatment of dental abscess in ten years at Telford Hospital (2019)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Wu E.

Citation:
British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Dec 2019; vol. 57 (no. 10)

Abstract:
Background A dental infection often requires simple treatment but an abscess can turn into a life threatening condition. In the UK in April 2006 a new dental contract was introduced, it changed the renumeration tariffs from pay per item to a 3 tier banding payment system in the hope of shifting the balance to prevention rather than treatment. Aims The aim of this project is to study the change in incidence and severity of dental infections presenting to Telford Hospital Emergency Department (ED), the treatment required plus the potential implications on Maxillofacial Services. Methods Data was collected from 2006 and 2016. Using the ED database codes for ‘soft tissue infection/abscess or Facio-maxillary conditions’ patients were identified. Only those notes stating a clear dental cause were included. Results The median age range in 2006 and 2016 was 30years old. In 2016, 20% of patients had been commenced on Antibiotics (most commonly amoxicillin) compared to only 3% in 2006. The number of patients presenting to ED doubled in 2016 and the procedures (LA/ GA) more than quadrupled resulting in a rise in inpatient stay from 1 to 11 days in total. The increase in GA could indicate increased severity of the abscess. Conclusions It would appear that the work load managed by Maxillofacial Surgeons has increased. There has also been an increase in incidence and severity of dental infections.  Whether this is secondary to deterioration in dental health or unwillingness by the public to pay to for dental health care is unclear.

Temporal artery biopsy harvesting length audit, patient satisfaction with post op management. A guide for clinical commissioning group planning (2019)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Pilkington R.; *Chundoo S.; *Rollings L.; *Messahel A.; *Thomas S.; *Bhatia S.

Citation:
British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Dec 2019; vol. 57 (no. 10)

Abstract:
Introduction: Giant cell or temporal arteritis (GCA) is a vasculitis mainly affecting patients over 50yrs. Diagnosis is facilitated by a temporal artery biopsy (TAB). Due to the increased risk loss of visual loss, patients are started on high dose steroids to reduce this risk. However, a timely diagnosis with the aid from a TAB can help steer the patient into a more medically directed pathway of an appropriate reduction or prolonged use of steroids. We used British Society of Rheumatology (BSR) guidelines to audit our harvest length (recommend > 20 mm) and a telephone questionnaire to follow up patients. Method Retrospective audit over 2.5 years, 146 patients underwent a TAB performed at the Princess Royal and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
Results: Male:female (30:70), average age 69yrs.We had a 99.3% TAB harvest of the artery and harvest length > 10 mm was 100% and > 20 mm was 87%. Mean length 24 mm. A positive diagnosis of GCA was made from 24.6% of the TAB. A telephone questionnaire was conducted with a 44% response. 11% reported some postoperative bleeding and 4% some discomfort from the sutures. 0% reported any ongoing problems from the surgical site or concerns from the scar. Clinical relevance In our unit we provide a comprehensive service to a large geographical region. In line with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) this audit shows that we are providing a quality service to the practitioners who refer their patients for this treatment provision. Hopefully this audit can be used to further improve our service.

Reconstruction of the radial forearm free flap donor site with an acellular dermal regenerative matrix “Integra” on Fitzpatrick Type 1 skin (2019)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Pilkington R.; *Saggu M.; *Thomas S.; *Bhatia S.

Citation:
British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Dec 2019; vol. 57 (no. 10)

Abstract:
Introduction: The radial forearm free flap (RFFF) is still one of the most commonly used free flaps in oral and maxillofacial surgery. The flap provides a thin flap making intra-oral repair less bulky however, one of the drawbacks to this flap is the donor site morbidity. We report the use of an acellular dermal regenerative matrix material (Integra, Integra Life Sciences, Plainsboro, NJ) to provide a substrate for wound coverage. Method: Our novel approach is used to minimise the donor site scarring and is used to treat a fit and healthy right handed 37-year-old man who presented with a mucoepidermoid carcinoma arising from minor salivary glands in the hard palate. He required resection with reconstruction with a left RFFF. He has Type 1 Fitzpatrick skin and is prone to severe keloid scarring and is not keen to have a skin graft taken to cause further scarring.
Results: We review the types of techniques to close the RFFF donor site. This is the first case using integra to close this site and show the healing stages involved. Clinical relevance This case reveals that the use of the Integra has resulted in a neodermis which then allowed ingress of the surrounding epidermis to fully cover the donor site. It has alleviated the need to take a split skin or full thickness graft which would have added more keloid scarring for the patient.