Now showing items 1-20 of 224

    • Cancer multidisciplinary team meetings: impact of logistical challenges on communication and decision-making.

      Bali, Anish; Asher, Viren
      BACKGROUND: Multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) are widely used in cancer care. Recent research points to logistical challenges impeding MDT decision-making and dissatisfaction among members. This study sought to identify different types of logistical issues and how they impacted team processes. METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of a cross-sectional observational study. Three cancer MDTs (breast, colorectal, and gynaecological) were recruited from UK hospitals. Validated observational instruments were used to measure decision-making (Metrics of Observational Decision-making, MDT-MODe), communication (Bales' Interaction Process Analysis, Bales' IPA), and case complexity (Measure of Case Discussion Complexity, MeDiC), including logistical challenges (Measure of Case Discussion Complexity, MeDiC), across 822 case discussions from 30 videoed meetings. Descriptive analysis and paired samples t tests were used to identify and compare frequency of different types of logistical challenges, along with partial correlations, controlling for clinical complexity of cases, to understand how such issues related to the MDT decision-making and communication. RESULTS: A significantly higher frequency of administrative and process issues (affecting 30 per cent of cases) was seen compared with the frequency of equipment issues (affecting 5 per cent of cases; P < 0.001) and the frequency of the attendance issues (affecting 16 per cent of cases; P < 0.001). The frequency of the attendance issues was significantly higher than the frequency of equipment issues (P < 0.001). Partial correlation analysis revealed that administrative and process issues, including attendance, were negatively correlated with quality of information (r = -0.15, P < 0.001; r = -0.11, P < 0.001), and equipment issues with the quality of contribution to meeting discussion (r = -0.14, P < 0.001). More questioning and answering by MDT members was evident with the administrative and process issues (r = 0.21, P < 0.001; r = 0.19, P < 0.001). Some differences were observed in teams' socioemotional reactions to the administrative and process issues with the gynaecological MDT showing positive correlation with positive socioemotional reactions (r = 0.20, P < 0.001), and the breast cancer MDT with negative socioemotional reactions (r = 0.17, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Administrative and process issues were the most frequent logistical challenges for the studied teams. Where diagnostic results were unavailable, and inadequate patient details provided, the quality of decision-making was reduced.
    • Fibroepithelial lesions of the breast: Improving the accuracy of imaging diagnosis and reducing unnecessary biopsy.

      Evans, Andrew; Jethwa, K
      Fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumours are fibroepithelial lesions of the breast. Fibroadenomas are common benign breast masses encountered both symptomatically and incidentally. Phyllodes tumours are uncommon and usually present symptomatically. Management of fibroadenomas focuses on reducing biopsies without missing cancers while radiological management of phyllodes tumours should focus on predicting the need for surgical excision with or without margins.
    • What Is the Most Effective Management of the Primary Tumor in Men with Invasive Penile Cancer: A Systematic Review of the Available Treatment Options and Their Outcomes.

      Kailavasan, Mithun
      CONTEXT: The primary lesion in penile cancer is managed by surgery or radiation. Surgical options include penile-sparing surgery, amputative surgery, laser excision, and Moh's micrographic surgery. Radiation is applied as external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and brachytherapy. The treatment aims to completely remove the primary lesion and preserve a sufficient functional penile stump. OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the 5-yr recurrence-free rate and other outcomes, such as sexual function, quality of life, urination, and penile preserving length, vary between various treatment options. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: The EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; Cochrane HTA, DARE, HEED), Google Scholar, and were searched for publications from 1990 through May 2021. Randomized controlled trials, nonrandomized comparative studies (NRCSs), and case series (CSs) were included. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: The systematic review included 88 studies, involving 9578 men from 16 NRCSs and 72 CSs. The cumulative mean 5-yr recurrence-free rates were 82.0% for penile-sparing surgery, 83.9% for amputative surgery, 78.6% for brachytherapy, 55.2% for EBRT, 69.4% for lasers, and 88.2% for Moh's micrographic surgery, as reported from CSs, and 76.7% for penile-sparing surgery and 93.3% for amputative surgery, as reported from NRCSs. Penile surgery affects sexual function, but amputative surgery causes more appearance concerns. After brachytherapy, 25% of patients reported sexual dysfunction. Both penile-sparing surgery and amputative surgery affect all aspects of psychosocial well-being. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the poor quality of evidence, data suggest that penile-sparing surgery is not inferior to amputative surgery in terms of recurrence rates in selected patients. Based on the available information, however, broadly applicable recommendations cannot be made; appropriate patient selection accounts for the relative success of all the available methods. PATIENT SUMMARY: We reviewed the evidence of various techniques to treat penile tumor and assessed their effectiveness in oncologic control and their functional outcomes. Penile-sparing as well as amputative surgery is an effective treatment option, but amputative surgery has a negative impact on sexual function. Penile-sparing surgery and radiotherapy are associated with a higher risk of local recurrence, but preserve sexual function and quality of life better. Laser and Moh's micrographic surgery could be used for smaller lesions.
    • Retrospective analysis of outcomes of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) for necrotising otitis externa.

      Slucka, A
      Necrotising otitis externa (NOE) is an uncommon but life-threatening infection that requires prolonged systemic antimicrobial therapy. This study aims to identify factors associated with treatment response and outcome in patients with NOE treated through outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT). We performed a retrospective analysis of patients with NOE treated over a 4-year period (January 2018-January 2022) at a tertiary referral hospital in Derbyshire, UK. We defined OPAT failure as unplanned readmission within 30 days of discontinuation of OPAT. Prolonged duration of therapy was defined as length of parenteral antimicrobial treatment of more than 8 weeks. A total of 46 cases of NOE were reviewed. OPAT failure and prolonged therapy were recorded in 9 (19.6%) and 23 (50.0%) episodes respectively. Facial nerve involvement (odds ratio [OR], 14.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.76-76.60; p = 0.002), dementia (OR, 7.65; 95% CI, 1.23-47.46; p = 0.029), Charlson comorbidity score (OR, 1.41 per unit increase; 95% CI, 1.00-2.00; p = 0.049) and peak CRP level (OR, 1.03 per unit increase; 95% CI, 1.00-1.06; p = 0.027) were associated with increased risk of treatment failure. Facial nerve involvement (OR, 16.30; 95% CI, 2.60-102.31; p = 0.003) and peak CRP level (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.07; p = 0.016) were also associated with an increased need for prolonged antimicrobial therapy. In addition, extent of disease (based on imaging findings) was linked to prolonged therapy (OR, 22.89; 95% CI, 3.62-144.76; p = 0.001). NOE could be effectively managed as outpatient via OPAT. However, vigorous antimicrobial treatment and close monitoring of patients with pre-existing comorbidities, facial nerve paralysis, extensive disease and markedly elevated inflammatory markers are essential to optimise clinical outcomes.
    • Lactate Is a Reliable Predictor of ICU Length of Stay Following Ultra-radical Ovarian Cancer Surgery.

      Addley, Susan; McGowan, Mark; Asher, Viren; Bali, Anish; Abdul, Summi; Cullimore, Victoria; Crossland, Harriet; Phillips, Andrew
      BACKGROUND/AIM: With a greater proportion of women with advanced ovarian cancer (AOC) successfully undergoing radical cytoreductive surgery, the demand on peri-operative resources - including intensive care (ICU) beds - is also on the rise. Extended post-operative ICU length of stay (LOS) confers increased patient morbidity and mortality. Several variables associated with prolonged ICU LOS following AOC surgery have been identified. We aimed to evaluate the predictive value of serum lactate levels. PATIENTS AND METHODS: All patients undergoing ultra-radical surgery for AOC in a large cancer centre over a 34-month period between 2018-2021 were identified via the institution tumour registry. Data were collected retrospectively via electronic care and operating records; biochemistry, radiology, and histopathology databases. RESULTS: In total, 63 patients were identified. Elevated intra-operative serum lactate levels were associated with significantly longer length of ICU post-operative stay. Longer time for hyperlactaemia to normalise following surgery also conferred significantly longer ICU, high dependency and total hospital LOS. Greater blood loss, higher surgical complexity and peritoneal carcinomatosis score, and longer operating time were associated with higher - and persistently elevated - peri-operative lactate levels. CONCLUSION: Serum lactate in the context of ultra-radical surgery for AOC represents an accessible and inexpensive marker with potential to not only reliably predict LOS, but also to serve as a dynamic prompt for early targeted intervention. Early recognition and correction of hyperlactaemia following AOC may reduce ICU LOS limiting both the resource pressure and patient morbidity/mortality sequelae.
    • Safety Learning in Anxiety, Pavlovian Conditioned Inhibition and COVID Concerns.

      Thurston, Meghan
      Experimental studies of fear conditioning have identified the effectiveness of safety signals in inhibiting fear and maintaining fear-motivated behaviors. In fear conditioning procedures, the presence of safety signals means that the otherwise expected feared outcome will not now occur. Differences in the inhibitory learning processes needed to learn safety are being identified in various psychological and psychiatric conditions. However, despite early theoretical interest, the role of conditioned inhibitors as safety signals in anxiety has been under-investigated to date, in part because of the stringent test procedures required to confirm the demonstration of conditioned inhibition as such. Nonetheless, the theoretical implications of an inhibitory learning perspective continue to influence clinical practice. Moreover, our understanding of safety signals is of additional importance in the context of the increased health anxiety and safety behaviors generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • International physical therapists consensus on clinical descriptors for diagnosing rotator cuff related shoulder pain: A Delphi study

      Bateman, Marcus
      BACKGROUND: There is a lack of standardized criteria for diagnosing rotator cuff related shoulder pain (RCRSP). OBJECTIVE: To identify the most relevant clinical descriptors for diagnosing RCRSP. METHODS: A Delphi study was conducted through use of an international physical therapists expert panel. A 3-round Delphi survey involving an international panel of physical therapists experts with extensive clinical, teaching, and research experience was conducted. A search query was performed in Web of Science, along with a manual search, to find the experts. The first round was composed of items obtained from a previous pilot Delphi study along with new items proposed by the experts. Participants were asked to rate items across six clinical domains using a five-point Likert scale. An Aiken's Validity Index ≥ 0.7 was considered indicative of group consensus. RESULTS: Fifteen experts participated in the Delphi survey. After the three rounds, consensus was reached on 18 clinical descriptors: 10 items were included in the "subjective examination" domain, 1 item was included in the "patient-reported outcome measures" domain, 3 items in the "diagnostic examination" domain, 2 items in the "physical examination" domain", and 2 items in the "functional tests" domain. No items reached consensus within the "special tests" domain. The reproduction of symptoms in relation to the application of load, the performance of overhead activities, and the need of active and resisted movement assessment were some of the results with greatest consensus. CONCLUSION: In this Delphi study, a total of 18 clinical descriptors across six clinical domains were agreed upon for diagnosing RCRSP.
    • Overview of health-related quality of life and toxicity of non-small cell lung cancer patients receiving curative-intent radiotherapy in a real-life setting (the REQUITE study).

      Ennis, Dawn
      OBJECTIVES: Radiotherapy-induced toxicity may negatively impact health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This report investigates the impact of curative-intent radiotherapy on HRQoL and toxicity in early stage and locally-advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with radiotherapy or chemo-radiotherapy enrolled in the observational prospective REQUITE study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: HRQoL was assessed using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 questionnaire up to 2 years post radiotherapy. Eleven toxicities were scored by clinicians using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) version 4. Toxicity scores were calculated by subtracting baseline values. Mixed model analyses were applied to determine statistical significance (p ≤ 0.01). Meaningful clinical important differences (MCID) were determined for changes in HRQoL. Analysis was performed on the overall data, different radiotherapy techniques, multimodality treatments and disease stages. RESULTS: Data of 510 patients were analysed. There was no significant change in HRQoL or its domains, except for deterioration in cognitive functioning (p = 0.01). Radiotherapy technique had no significant impact on HRQoL. The addition of chemotherapy was significantly associated with HRQoL over time (p <.001). Overall toxicity did not significantly change over time. Acute toxicities of radiation-dermatitis (p =.003), dysphagia (p =.002) and esophagitis (p <.001) peaked at 3 months and decreased thereafter. Pneumonitis initially deteriorated but improved significantly after 12 months (p =.011). A proportion of patients experienced meaningful clinically important improvements and deteriorations in overall HRQoL and its domains. In some patients, pre-treatment symptoms improved gradually. CONCLUSIONS: While overall HRQoL and toxicity did not change over time, some patients improved, whereas others experienced acute radiotherapy-induced toxicities and deteriorated HRQoL, especially physical and cognitive functioning. Patient characteristics, more so than radiotherapy technique and treatment modality, impact post-radiotherapy toxicity and HRQoL outcomes. This stresses the importance of considering the potential impact of radiotherapy on individuals' HRQoL, symptoms and toxicity in treatment decision-making.
    • Abiraterone acetate and prednisolone with or without enzalutamide for high-risk non-metastatic prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of primary results from two randomised controlled phase 3 trials of the STAMPEDE platform protocol.

      Das, P
      BACKGROUND: Men with high-risk non-metastatic prostate cancer are treated with androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for 3 years, often combined with radiotherapy. We analysed new data from two randomised controlled phase 3 trials done in a multiarm, multistage platform protocol to assess the efficacy of adding abiraterone and prednisolone alone or with enzalutamide to ADT in this patient population. METHODS: These open-label, phase 3 trials were done at 113 sites in the UK and Switzerland. Eligible patients (no age restrictions) had high-risk (defined as node positive or, if node negative, having at least two of the following: tumour stage T3 or T4, Gleason sum score of 8-10, and prostate-specific antigen [PSA] concentration ≥40 ng/mL) or relapsing with high-risk features (≤12 months of total ADT with an interval of ≥12 months without treatment and PSA concentration ≥4 ng/mL with a doubling time of <6 months, or a PSA concentration ≥20 ng/mL, or nodal relapse) non-metastatic prostate cancer, and a WHO performance status of 0-2. Local radiotherapy (as per local guidelines, 74 Gy in 37 fractions to the prostate and seminal vesicles or the equivalent using hypofractionated schedules) was mandated for node negative and encouraged for node positive disease. In both trials, patients were randomly assigned (1:1), by use of a computerised algorithm, to ADT alone (control group), which could include surgery and luteinising-hormone-releasing hormone agonists and antagonists, or with oral abiraterone acetate (1000 mg daily) and oral prednisolone (5 mg daily; combination-therapy group). In the second trial]
    • Redefining WILD syndrome: a primary lymphatic dysplasia with congenital multisegmental lymphoedema, cutaneous lymphovascular malformation, CD4 lymphopaenia and warts.

      Keeley, Vaughan (2021-12)
      BACKGROUND: Primary lymphoedema (PL) syndromes are increasingly recognised as presentations of complex genetic disease, with at least 20 identified causative genes. Recognition of clinical patterns is key to diagnosis, research and therapeutics. The defining criteria for one such clinical syndrome, 'WILD syndrome' (Warts, Immunodeficiency, Lymphoedema and anogenital Dysplasia), have previously depended on a single case report. METHODS AND RESULTS: We present 21 patients (including the first described case) with similar clinical and immunological phenotypes. All had PL affecting multiple segments, with systemic involvement (intestinal lymphangiectasia/pleural or pericardial effusions) in 70% (n=14/20). Most (n=20, 95%) had a distinctive cutaneous lymphovascular malformation on the upper anterior chest wall. Some (n=10, 48%) also had hyperpigmented lesions resembling epidermal naevi (but probably lymphatic in origin). Warts were common (n=17, 81%) and often refractory. In contrast to the previous case report, anogenital dysplasia was uncommon-only found in two further cases (total n=3, 14%). Low CD4 counts and CD4:CD8 ratios typified the syndrome (17 of 19, 89%), but monocyte counts were universally normal, unlike GATA2 deficiency. CONCLUSION: WILD syndrome is a previously unrecognised, underdiagnosed generalised PL syndrome. Based on this case series, we redefine WILD as 'Warts, Immunodeficiency, andLymphatic Dysplasia' and suggest specific diagnostic criteria. The essential criterion is congenital multisegmental PL in a 'mosaic' distribution. The major diagnostic features are recurrent warts, cutaneous lymphovascular malformations, systemic involvement (lymphatic dysplasia), genital swelling and CD4 lymphopaenia with normal monocyte counts. The absence of family history suggests a sporadic condition, and the random distribution of swelling
    • Pet Ownership and Multiple Sclerosis during COVID-19

      Edwards, Laura (2021)
      Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with lower quality of life, reduced social participation, and decreased self-efficacy. The COVID-19 pandemic has had documented effects on the health and wellbeing of people with and without MS. Previous research has demonstrated the positive impact pets can have for people living with long-term conditions. Objectives: To explore the rates of pet ownership and pet attachment in people living with MS and pet ownership associations with quality of life, satisfaction with social roles, and self-efficacy scores; and to explore the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on people's perceived relationships with their pets. Materials and Methods: A postal questionnaire was distributed to members of a local MS Register and a control group of people without MS. The questionnaire assessed quality of life, satisfaction with social roles, self-efficacy, the perceived roles of pets, and pet-related concerns experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: No apparent difference in attachment to pets was found between the patient and control groups. Pet ownership and level of attachment were not associated with differences in quality of life or self-efficacy scores in people living with MS. Using multiple regression analysis, pet ownership was associated with a decrease in satisfaction with participation in social roles, but with the estimated effect being small compared to having a diagnosis of MS or being unemployed. Most participants reported that pets had positive roles during the pandemic, and the most reported pet-related concern was access to veterinary treatment. Conclusion: Pet owners both with and without MS reported subjective benefits to their wellbeing from pet ownership during COVID-19, although analysis suggested that pet ownership was associated with a reduction in satisfaction with social roles. The study had several limitations and suggestions are made for future work.
    • Impact of the menstrual cycle on commercial prognostic gene signatures in oestrogen receptor-positive primary breast cancer

      Sibbering, Mark (2021)
      Purpose: Changes occur in the expression of oestrogen-regulated and proliferation-associated genes in oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast tumours during the menstrual cycle. We investigated if Oncotype® DX recurrence score (RS), Prosigna® (ROR) and EndoPredict® (EP/EPclin) prognostic tests, which include some of these genes, vary according to the time in the menstrual cycle when they are measured. Methods: Pairs of test scores were derived from 30 ER-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor-2-negative tumours sampled at two different points of the menstrual cycle. Menstrual cycle windows were prospectively defined as either W1 (days 1-6 and 27-35; low oestrogen and low progesterone) or W2 (days 7-26; high oestrogen and high or low progesterone). Results: The invasion module score of RS was lower (- 10.9%; p = 0.098), whereas the ER (+ 16.6%; p = 0.046) and proliferation (+ 7.3%; p = 0.13) module scores were higher in W2. PGR expression was significantly increased in W2 (+ 81.4%; p = 0.0029). Despite this, mean scores were not significantly different between W1 and W2 for any of the tests and the two measurements showed high correlation (r = 0.72-0.93). However, variability between the two measurements led to tumours being assigned to different risk categories in the following proportion of cases: RS 22.7%, ROR 27.3%, EP 13.6% and EPclin 13.6%. Conclusion: There are significant changes during the menstrual cycle in the expression of some of the genes and gene module scores comprising the RS, ROR and EP/EPclin scores. These did not affect any of the prognostic scores in a systematic fashion, but there was substantial variability in paired measurements.
    • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs) as Incidental Findings in Gynecological Surgery.

      Phillips, A
      Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract that may be diagnosed incidentally as a part of intra-abdominal surgery for other diseases. This is a single center review to document the incidental finding of GIST at surgery for gynecological malignancies during a 10-yr period. Sixteen cases of incidental GISTs were identified in women ranging in age from 39 to 82 yr. GISTs presented as incidental secondary lesions in women undergoing surgery for other indications, typically primary debulking surgery for tubo-ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma. The GIST was located in the stomach wall in 9 cases. Other sites were cecum, omentum, and mesentery. Diagnosis of GIST was supported by immunohistochemistry in all cases and by molecular studies in 3 cases. Seventy-five percent of cases were micro-GISTs, measuring <2 cm in diameter and, where Miettinen and Lasota criteria could be applied, fitted into "no risk," "very low risk" or "low risk" prognostic groups. Seventy-five percent of women for whom survival data was available, showed disease-free survival at follow-up. The 2 women who died had concurrent high stage or high-grade gynecological malignancy at initial diagnosis.
    • The role of the Consultant Radiographer in facilitating rapid access to palliative radiotherapy.

      Fisher, S
      INTRODUCTION: The fast track pathway for palliative radiotherapy was created to facilitate rapid access to radiotherapy for symptom relief and improved quality of life. The fast track pathway has a target of 5 days from the decision to treat to starting treatment. METHODS: This study is a quantitative analysis of all patients referred and treated with palliative radiotherapy between the 1st September 2018 and 30th September 2019. The number of working days overall from referral to treatment and at each stage of the radiotherapy pathway was recorded and evaluated. The electronic referral system was amended to include the treatment priority option of 'fast track' for all patients with the selected treatment intent of 'palliative'. The data was acquired using the electronic referral system reporting tool. RESULTS: Results demonstrate a reduction in average pathway timing from 14 days to 3 days for volume planned patients, and 13 days to 2 days for virtual simulation patients referred into the fast track pathway. The routine priority palliative pathway also demonstrated a decrease in time from decision to treat to treatment, despite this not being an initial objective. CONCLUSION: Reducing pathway time from referral to treatment is achievable through the introduction of a fast track treatment priority pathway. Rapid access to treatment was facilitated through the electronic referral system fast track option, the creation of a separate fast track care path in Aria, the use of fast track alerts in Aria, and reserved planning scan and treatment appointments. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Rapid access to palliative radiotherapy facilitates alleviation of symptoms and improved quality of life. To improve the efficiency of the palliative radiotherapy service, a streamlined pathway and the commitment of the radiotherapy team is required.
    • Audit of uptake and user satisfaction of Attend Anywhere video consultations in Haematology outpatients QHB

      Iqbal, Mariyam; Khan, Irfan; Hambleton, Harry; Aldalaq, Ahmad; Ahmad, Humayun; Razzak, Aurangzeb; Beal, Donna
      Introduction: Telemedicine clinics have historically been unpopular due to a range of clinical barriers. In March 2020 WHO declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic. This was a paradigm shift in the world of clinical medicine and initiated a rapid transition into virtual clinics as a strategy to minimise face to face (FtF) visits and limit viral spread. At Queen's Hospital Burton, Haematology patients are among the most vulnerable given the immunosuppressive effects of their conditions and treatments. Our outpatient work involves assessment of patients receiving chemotherapy which can be associated with fatal complications. It was felt that telephone consultations may be suboptimal for these assessments, and with the unclear duration of the pandemic, there has been an initiative to recruit more patients to video clinics. The Attend Anywhere' (AA) video consultation system was implemented in June. This drastically reduced the need for FtF visits to reduce infection risks. Objective(s): The primary objective of this audit was to evaluate the uptake of AA over time. We also used the data to assess whether particular patient groups were more likely to engage in video consultations. A concurrent survey was organised in order to assess patient satisfaction with AA. Method(s): A quantitative analysis of data from a consultant-led clinic was obtained from June to December 2020. The clinic letters were examined for patient demographics and to assess the type of consultation undertaken. A separate mixed-method survey of 29 patients was conducted as a part of our audit. Result(s): The results revealed a trend towards video consultations over telephone consultations during the period of time analysed, although the volume of patients undertaking telephone consultations remained higher overall. Despite the proportion of AA consultations being higher in the lower age groups, it remained popular in older age groups. The patient survey showed a high rate of patient satisfaction. A lot of the patients considered AA to be an excellent alternative to FtF and cited other significant benefits in saving time, reducing effort and minimising risk. Video consultations also felt more personal than over the phone and patients felt all their concerns were addressed with high standards of patient care. Conclusion(s): The audit showed that AA consultations are popular with patients in all demographics. They are felt to be safer than telephone consultations. As many appointments are still conducted via telephone, there is further work to be done to encourage more patients onto AA. A number of barriers to AA were noted. There were initially difficulties with staff accessing the software. There were a number of cases where patients either had no computer access, or struggled with the software. Improving communication and information booklets helped to overcome this. The older ages may have had higher representation if they had easier access to a computer, or if the software had been more straightforward. It is felt that a dedicated mobile application may provide a more user friendly system for patients. Whilst the added value of physical examination is missing in AA consultations, especially in new clinic patients, this has been a novel solution to challenges the pandemic has brought. It has helped to ensure continuity and safety in patient care.
    • Current preoperative physiotherapy management strategies for patients awaiting Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction (ACLR): A worldwide survey of physiotherapy practice

      Carter, Hayley; Smith, Benjamin (2021-01)
      Background: Anterior cruciate ligament ruptures are the most common ligament injury to the knee with surgical reconstruction considered standard treatment. This study aimed to explore the current physiotherapy management strategies used during the preoperative phase of rehabilitation for patients awaiting anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Methods: An anonymous survey was disseminated online via Twitter and the 'interactive Chartered Society of Physiotherapy' message board. Practising physiotherapists who treated at least one patient prior to ACLR in the past year were invited to take part. Responses were collected over a 4-week period in March 2020. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Results: In total, 183 respondents replied; 122 completed the full survey. Responses were collected from 20 countries across 3 settings, NHS/public health services, private and sports. Most respondents reported prescribing exercises, advice and education to patients during prehabilitation. Up to 40% also utilised passive treatments including manual therapy, taping/bracing and electrotherapy. The frequency of recommended exercise completion and length of treatment varied. Most respondents (n = 103/84.4%) felt that many patients waiting for ACLR did not receive prehabilitation. Many physiotherapists reported that patients expressed concerns regarding their readiness for surgery (n = 61/50%) and return to preinjury levels of physical activity (n = 112/91.8%). Almost all respondents would discuss non-operative management with patients (n = 112/91.8%) if they had returned to their preinjury level of physical activity before their ACLR. Conclusion: Overall, this survey provides some insight as to how physiotherapists manage patients awaiting ACLR. Areas of uncertainty in physiotherapy practice have also been highlighted that require further high-quality research.
    • The time course of physiological adaptations to high-intensity interval training in older adults

      Herrod, Philip; Blackwell, James; Boereboom, CL; Williams, John P; Lund, Jonathan (2020-09)
      Objective: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be more effective than moderate continuous aerobic exercise for improving cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in a limited time frame. However, the length of time required for HIIT to elicit clinically significant improvements in the CRF of older adults is currently unknown. The aim of this study was to compare changes in the CRF of older adults completing identical HIIT protocols of varying durations. Methods: Forty healthy, community-dwelling older adults completed a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) before and after 2, 4, or 6 weeks of fully supervised HIIT on a cycle ergometer, or a no-intervention control period. Results: Anaerobic threshold (AT) was increased only after 4 (+1.9 [SD 1.1] mL/kg/min) and 6 weeks (+1.9 [SD 1.8] mL/kg/min) of HIIT (both P < 0.001), with 6-week HIIT required to elicit improvements in VO2 peak (+3.0 [SD 6] mL/kg/min; P = 0.04). Exercise tolerance increased after 2 (+15 [SD 15] W), 4 (+17 [SD 11] W), and 6 weeks (+16 [SD 11] W) of HIIT (all P < 0.001), with no difference in increase between the groups. There were no changes in any parameter in the control group. Conclusion: Improvements in exercise tolerance from HIIT precede changes in CRF. Just 4 weeks of a well-tolerated, reduced-exertion HIIT protocol are required to produce significant changes in AT, with a further 2 weeks of training also eliciting improvements in VO2 peak.
    • Cellulitis in chronic oedema of the lower leg: an international cross-sectional study

      Keeley, Vaughan (2021-01)
      Background: Cellulitis and chronic oedema are common conditions with considerable morbidity. The number of studies designed to assess the epidemiology of cellulitis in chronic oedema are scarce. Objectives: To investigate the prevalence and risk factors of cellulitis in chronic leg oedema, including lymphoedema. Methods: A cross-sectional study, including 40 sites in nine countries, 2014-2017. Adults with clinically proven unilateral or bilateral chronic oedema (oedema >3 months) of the lower leg were included. The main outcome measures were frequency and risk factors for cellulitis within the last 12 months. Results: Out of 7477 patients, 15⋅78% had cellulitis within the last 12 months, with a life-time prevalence of 37⋅47%. The following risk factors for cellulitis were identified by multivariable analysis: wounds [odds ratio (OR) 2⋅37, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2⋅03-2⋅78], morbid obesity (OR 1⋅51, CI 95% 1⋅27-1⋅80), obesity (OR 1⋅21, CI 95% 1⋅03-1⋅41), midline swelling (OR 1⋅32, CI 95% 1⋅04-1⋅66), male sex (OR 1⋅32, CI 95% 1⋅15-1⋅52) and diabetes (OR 1⋅27, CI 95% 1⋅08-1⋅49). Controlled swelling was associated with a reduced risk (OR 0⋅59, CI 95% 0⋅51-0⋅67). In a subgroup analysis, the risk increased with the stage of oedema [International Society of Lymphology (ISL), stage II OR 2⋅04, CI 95% 1⋅23-3⋅38, and stage III OR 4⋅88, CI 95% 2⋅77-8⋅56]. Conclusions: Cellulitis in chronic leg oedema is a global problem. Several risk factors for cellulitis were identified, of which some are potentially preventable. Our findings suggest that oedema control, is one of these. We also identified that advanced stages of oedema, with hard/fibrotic tissue, might be an important clinical indicator to identify patients at particular risk.
    • Development and evaluation of a brief educational cartoon on trainee clinicians' awareness of risks of ionising-radiation exposure: a feasibility pre-post intervention study of a novel educational tool to promote patient safety

      Thurley, Peter; Bowker, R; Bhatti, Imran; Skelly, Robert (2020-11)
      Background: Over recent decades, CT scans have become routinely available and are used in both acute medical and outpatient environments. However, there is a small increase in the risk of adverse consequences, including an increase in the risk of both malignancy and cataracts. Clinicians are often unaware of these facts, and this represents a challenge for medical educators in England, where almost 5 million CT scans are done annually. New whiteboard methodologies permit development of innovative educational tools that are efficient and scalable in communicating simple educational messages that promote patient safety. Methods: A short educational whiteboard cartoon was developed to explore the prior observation that adolescents under the care of paediatricians had a much lower risk of receiving a CT scan than those under the care of clinicians who care for adults. This explored the risks after receiving a CT scan and strategies that can be used to avoid them. The educational cartoon was piloted on new doctors who were attending induction training at a busy teaching hospital. Results: The main output was the educational whiteboard cartoon itself. Before the new medical trainees' induction, 56% (25/45) had received no formal training in radiation awareness, and this decreased to 26% (6/23) after the exposure to the educational cartoon (p=0.02). At baseline, 60% (27/45) of respondents considered that young females were at highest risk from exposure to ionising radiation, and this increased to 87% (20/23) after exposure to the educational cartoon (p=0.06). Conclusions: This proof-of-concept feasibility study demonstrates that whiteboard cartoons provide a novel and feasible approach to efficiently promote patient safety issues, where a short succinct message is often appropriate.
    • High-intensity interval training produces a significant improvement in fitness in less than 31 days before surgery for urological cancer: a randomised control trial

      Blackwell, James; Doleman, Brett; Boereboom, CL; Atherton, P; Smith, K; Williams, John P; Phillips, Bethan; Lund, Jonathan (2020-12)
      Objectives: To assess the efficacy of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for improving cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in patients awaiting resection for urological malignancy within four weeks. Subjects/patients and methods: A randomised control trial of consecutive patients aged (>65 years) scheduled for major urological surgery in a large secondary referral centre in a UK hospital. The primary outcome is change in anaerobic threshold (VO2AT) following HIIT vs. standard care. Results: Forty patients were recruited (mean age 72 years, male (39): female (1)) with 34 completing the protocol. Intention to treat analysis showed significant improvements in anaerobic threshold (VO2AT; mean difference (MD) 2.26 ml/kg/min (95% CI 1.25-3.26)) following HIIT. Blood pressure (BP) also significantly reduced in following: HIIT (SBP: -8.2 mmHg (95% CI -16.09 to -0.29) and DBP: -6.47 mmHg (95% CI -12.56 to -0.38)). No reportable adverse safety events occurred during HIIT and all participants achieved >85% predicted maximum heart rate during sessions, with protocol adherence of 84%. Conclusions: HIIT can improve CRF and cardiovascular health, representing clinically meaningful and achievable pre-operative improvements. Larger randomised trials are required to investigate the efficacy of prehabilitation HIIT upon different cancer types, post-operative complications, socio-economic impact and long-term survival.