Now showing items 1-20 of 154

    • Pulmonary Rehabilitation for individuals with persistent symptoms following COVID-19

      Daynes, Enya; Mills, George; McAuley, Hamish J C; Singh, Sally J; Greening, Neil J (2024-01-19)
      Topic importance: COVID-19 can cause ongoing and persistent symptoms (such as breathlessness and fatigue) that lead to reduced functional capacity. There are parallels in symptoms and functional limitations in adults with post-COVID symptoms and adults with chronic respiratory diseases. Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a key treatment for adults with chronic respiratory diseases with the aims to improve symptom management, increase functional capacity. Given the similarities in presentation and aims, a Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme may be optimally placed to meet the needs of those with ongoing symptoms following COVID-19. Review findings: Aerobic and strength training has shown benefit for adults living with Long COVID though there is little evidence on structured education in this population. Breathing pattern disorder is common in adults with Long COVID and considerations to treatment prior to rehabilitation, or alongside rehabilitation are necessary. Considerations to Post Exertional Malaise is important in this population and evidence from the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome literature supports the need for individualisation of exercise programmes, and considerations for those that have an adverse reaction to activity and/or exercise. Summary: This narrative review summarises the current evidence of Pulmonary Rehabilitation programmes in a long COVID population. Where the evidence is lacking in long COVID the supporting evidence of these programmes in chronic respiratory diseases has highlighted the importance of aerobic and strength training, considerations for fatigue, potential mechanism for immunology improvement and management of breathing pattern disorders in these programmes.
    • PET-CT-guided characterisation of progressive, preclinical tuberculosis infection and its association with low-level circulating mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in household contacts in Leicester, UK: a prospective cohort study

      Haldar, Pranabashis; Kamil, Anver; Nazareth, Joshua; Sharifpour, Meedya; Verma, Raman; Woltmann, Gerrit (2024-01-17)
      Background: Incipient tuberculosis, a progressive state of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection with an increased risk of developing into tuberculosis disease, remains poorly characterised. Animal models suggest an association of progressive infection with bacteraemia. Circulating M tuberculosis DNA has previously been detected in pulmonary tuberculosis by use of Actiphage, a bacteriophage-based real-time PCR assay. We aimed to investigate whether serial [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG)-PET-CT could be used to characterise the state and progressive trajectory of incipient tuberculosis, and examine whether these PET-CT findings are associated with Actiphage-based detection of circulating M tuberculosis DNA. Methods: We did a prospective 12-month cohort study in healthy, asymptomatic adults (aged ≥16 years) who were household contacts of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, and who had a clinical phenotype of latent tuberculosis infection, in Leicester, UK. Actiphage testing of participants' blood samples was done at baseline, and [18F]FDG PET-CT at baseline and after 3 months. Baseline PET-CT features were classified as positive, indeterminate, or negative, on the basis of the quantitation (maximum standardised uptake value [SUVmax]) and distribution of [18F]FDG uptake. Microbiological sampling was done at amenable sites of [18F]FDG uptake. Changes in [18F]FDG uptake after 3 months were quantitatively categorised as progressive, stable, or resolving. Participants received treatment if features of incipient tuberculosis, defined as microbiological detection of M tuberculosis or progressive PET-CT change, were identified. Findings: 20 contacts were recruited between Aug 5 and Nov 5, 2020; 16 of these participants had a positive result on IFNγ release assay (QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus [QFT]) indicating tuberculosis infection. Baseline PET-CT scans were positive in ten contacts (all QFT positive), indeterminate in six contacts (three QFT positive), and negative in four contacts (three QFT positive). Four of eight PET-CT-positive contacts sampled had M tuberculosis identified (three through culture, one through Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra test) from intrathoracic lymph nodes or bronchial wash and received full antituberculosis treatment. Two further unsampled PET-CT-positive contacts were also treated: one with [18F]FDG uptake in the lung (SUVmax 9·4) received empirical antituberculosis treatment and one who showed progressive [18F]FDG uptake received preventive treatment. The ten untreated contacts with [18F]FDG uptake at baseline (seven QFT positive) had stable or resolving changes at follow-up and remained free of tuberculosis disease after 12 months. A positive baseline Actiphage test was associated with the presence of features of incipient tuberculosis requiring treatment (p=0·018). Interpretation: Microbiological and inflammatory features of incipient tuberculosis can be visualised on PET-CT and are associated with M tuberculosis detection in the blood, supporting the development of pathogen-directed blood biomarkers of tuberculosis risk. Funding: MRC Confidence in Concept.
    • Real-world experience of nintedanib for progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease in the UK

      Khan, Fasihu; Toor, Sameen (2024-01-15)
      Background: Nintedanib slows progression of lung function decline in patients with progressive fibrosing (PF) interstitial lung disease (ILD) and was recommended for this indication within the United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service in Scotland in June 2021 and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in November 2021. To date, there has been no national evaluation of the use of nintedanib for PF-ILD in a real-world setting. Methods: 26 UK centres were invited to take part in a national service evaluation between 17 November 2021 and 30 September 2022. Summary data regarding underlying diagnosis, pulmonary function tests, diagnostic criteria, radiological appearance, concurrent immunosuppressive therapy and drug tolerability were collected via electronic survey. Results: 24 UK prescribing centres responded to the service evaluation invitation. Between 17 November 2021 and 30 September 2022, 1120 patients received a multidisciplinary team recommendation to commence nintedanib for PF-ILD. The most common underlying diagnoses were hypersensitivity pneumonitis (298 out of 1120, 26.6%), connective tissue disease associated ILD (197 out of 1120, 17.6%), rheumatoid arthritis associated ILD (180 out of 1120, 16.0%), idiopathic nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (125 out of 1120, 11.1%) and unclassifiable ILD (100 out of 1120, 8.9%). Of these, 54.4% (609 out of 1120) were receiving concomitant corticosteroids, 355 (31.7%) out of 1120 were receiving concomitant mycophenolate mofetil and 340 (30.3%) out of 1120 were receiving another immunosuppressive/modulatory therapy. Radiological progression of ILD combined with worsening respiratory symptoms was the most common reason for the diagnosis of PF-ILD. Conclusion: We have demonstrated the use of nintedanib for the treatment of PF-ILD across a broad range of underlying conditions. Nintedanib is frequently co-prescribed alongside immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory therapy. The use of nintedanib for the treatment of PF-ILD has demonstrated acceptable tolerability in a real-world setting.
    • Accelarated immune ageing is associated with COVID-19 disease severity

      Brightling, Christopher; Elneima, Omer; Evans, Rachael; Greening, Neil; McAuley, Hamish J C; Singapuri, Amisha (2024-01-11)
      Background: The striking increase in COVID-19 severity in older adults provides a clear example of immunesenescence, the age-related remodelling of the immune system. To better characterise the association between convalescent immunesenescence and acute disease severity, we determined the immune phenotype of COVID-19 survivors and non-infected controls. Results: We performed detailed immune phenotyping of peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from 103 COVID-19 survivors 3-5 months post recovery who were classified as having had severe (n = 56; age 53.12 ± 11.30 years), moderate (n = 32; age 52.28 ± 11.43 years) or mild (n = 15; age 49.67 ± 7.30 years) disease and compared with age and sex-matched healthy adults (n = 59; age 50.49 ± 10.68 years). We assessed a broad range of immune cell phenotypes to generate a composite score, IMM-AGE, to determine the degree of immune senescence. We found increased immunesenescence features in severe COVID-19 survivors compared to controls including: a reduced frequency and number of naïve CD4 and CD8 T cells (p < 0.0001); increased frequency of EMRA CD4 (p < 0.003) and CD8 T cells (p < 0.001); a higher frequency (p < 0.0001) and absolute numbers (p < 0.001) of CD28-ve CD57+ve senescent CD4 and CD8 T cells; higher frequency (p < 0.003) and absolute numbers (p < 0.02) of PD-1 expressing exhausted CD8 T cells; a two-fold increase in Th17 polarisation (p < 0.0001); higher frequency of memory B cells (p < 0.001) and increased frequency (p < 0.0001) and numbers (p < 0.001) of CD57+ve senescent NK cells. As a result, the IMM-AGE score was significantly higher in severe COVID-19 survivors than in controls (p < 0.001). Few differences were seen for those with moderate disease and none for mild disease. Regression analysis revealed the only pre-existing variable influencing the IMM-AGE score was South Asian ethnicity ([Formula: see text] = 0.174, p = 0.043), with a major influence being disease severity ([Formula: see text] = 0.188, p = 0.01). Conclusions: Our analyses reveal a state of enhanced immune ageing in survivors of severe COVID-19 and suggest this could be related to SARS-Cov-2 infection. Our data support the rationale for trials of anti-immune ageing interventions for improving clinical outcomes in these patients with severe disease.
    • Organizing pneumonia as a pulmonary sequela of Post-COVID-19 Syndrome in a patient in Trinidad: a case report

      Dalip, Dominic (2023-12-07)
      Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP) is a form of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia that commonly presents with exertional dyspnea. The mainstay diagnostic criterion is with histopathological confirmation alongside excluding secondary causes of interstitial lung disease. The COVID-19 pandemic left many mysteries regarding the long-term sequelae of this disease. We explore a case of post-COVID-19 syndrome organizing pneumonia (PCOP) in a patient presenting with new-onset respiratory symptoms seven weeks after recovery from COVID-19 infection. Upon further review of the literature, there were no published case reports on PCOP in Trinidad and Tobago. We describe a case of PCOP presented at Apley Medical Clinic, Trinidad, and Tobago, West Indies, with the aim of increasing awareness of this condition to allow for early identification and effective management.
    • Determining the impact of an artificial intelligence tool on the management of pulmonary nodules detected incidentally on CT (DOLCE) study protocol: a prospective, non-interventional multicentre UK study

      Das, Indrajeet (2024-01-04)
      Introduction: In a small percentage of patients, pulmonary nodules found on CT scans are early lung cancers. Lung cancer detected at an early stage has a much better prognosis. The British Thoracic Society guideline on managing pulmonary nodules recommends using multivariable malignancy risk prediction models to assist in management. While these guidelines seem to be effective in clinical practice, recent data suggest that artificial intelligence (AI)-based malignant-nodule prediction solutions might outperform existing models. Methods and analysis: This study is a prospective, observational multicentre study to assess the clinical utility of an AI-assisted CT-based lung cancer prediction tool (LCP) for managing incidental solid and part solid pulmonary nodule patients vs standard care. Two thousand patients will be recruited from 12 different UK hospitals. The primary outcome is the difference between standard care and LCP-guided care in terms of the rate of benign nodules and patients with cancer discharged straight after the assessment of the baseline CT scan. Secondary outcomes investigate adherence to clinical guidelines, other measures of changes to clinical management, patient outcomes and cost-effectiveness. Ethics and dissemination: This study has been reviewed and given a favourable opinion by the South Central-Oxford C Research Ethics Committee in UK (REC reference number: 22/SC/0142).Study results will be available publicly following peer-reviewed publication in open-access journals. A patient and public involvement group workshop is planned before the study results are available to discuss best methods to disseminate the results. Study results will also be fed back to participating organisations to inform training and procurement activities.
    • Prognostication of co-morbidity clusters on hospitalisation and mortality in advanced COPD

      Evans, Rachael A; Greening, Neil; Free, Robert; Pranabashis, Haldar; Steiner, Michael C; Tracey, Nicole (2024-01-03)
      Rationale: As the prevalence of multimorbidity increases, understanding the impact of isolated comorbidities in people COPD becomes increasingly challenging. A simplified model of common comorbidity patterns may improve outcome prediction and allow targeted therapy. Objectives: To assess whether comorbidity phenotypes derived from routinely collected clinical data in people with COPD show differences in risk of hospitalisation and mortality. Methods: Twelve clinical measures related to common comorbidities were collected during annual reviews for people with advanced COPD and k-means cluster analysis performed. Cox proportional hazards with adjustment for covariates was used to determine hospitalisation and mortality risk between clusters. Measurements and main results: In 203 participants (age 66 ± 9 years, 60 % male, FEV1%predicted 31 ± 10 %) no comorbidity in isolation was predictive of worse admission or mortality risk. Four clusters were described: cluster A (cardiometabolic and anaemia), cluster B (malnourished and low mood), cluster C (obese, metabolic and mood disturbance) and cluster D (less comorbid). FEV1%predicted did not significantly differ between clusters. Mortality risk was higher in cluster A (HR 3.73 [95%CI 1.09-12.82] p = 0.036) and B (HR 3.91 [95%CI 1.17-13.14] p = 0.027) compared to cluster D. Time to admission was highest in cluster A (HR 2.01 [95%CI 1.11-3.63] p = 0.020). Cluster C was not associated with increased risk of mortality or hospitalisation. Conclusions: Despite presence of advanced COPD, we report striking differences in prognosis for both mortality and hospital admissions for different co-morbidity phenotypes. Objectively assessing the multi-system nature of COPD could lead to improved prognostication and targeted therapy for patients.
    • Balancing the value and risk of exercise-based therapy post-COVID-19: a narrative review

      Daynes, Enya; Elmeina, Omer; Evans, Rachael A; Greening, Neil J; McAuley, Hamish J C; Singh, Sally J (2023-12-20)
      Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can lead to ongoing symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue and muscle pain, which can have a substantial impact on an individual. Exercise-based rehabilitation programmes have proven beneficial in many long-term conditions that share similar symptoms. These programmes have favourably influenced breathlessness, fatigue and pain, while also increasing functional capacity. Exercise-based rehabilitation may benefit those with ongoing symptoms following COVID-19. However, some precautions may be necessary prior to embarking on an exercise programme. Areas of concern include ongoing complex lung pathologies, such as fibrosis, cardiovascular abnormalities and fatigue, and concerns regarding post-exertional symptom exacerbation. This article addresses these concerns and proposes that an individually prescribed, symptom-titrated exercise-based intervention may be of value to individuals following infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
    • Survival differences in rheumatoid arthritis interstitial lung disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis may be explained by delays in presentation: results from multivariate analysis in a monocentric UK study

      Woodhead, Felix (2024-01)
      Rheumatoid arthritis-associated interstitial lung disease (RA-ILD) has a better prognosis compared to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Recent data suggest that antifibrotics are effective in slowing progression across both groups. Hence, we designed this study to investigate the similarities and differences between these groups of patients. This is a retrospective cohort study examining baseline data, progression and outcomes in patients with RA-ILD and IPF prior to antifibrotic use in the Coventry ILD database. Ethics approval was obtained from the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. Statistical analysis was performed using R software and Cox's proportional hazards technique was used for survival analysis. We identified 131 cases, including 49 patients with IPF, 34 patients with RA-ILD and 48 patients with other forms of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia. At baseline, there were significant differences in the groups with RA-ILD patients being significantly younger (65.7 vs 72.4 years), had preserved lung volumes (FVC 95% vs 84.7%) and higher gas transfer (61.5% vs 48.2%) compared to IPF patients. 5-year survival was better for RA-ILD compared to IPF (87.5% vs 40.4%, p = 0.0042). Univariate analysis revealed gas transfer, FVC, age, sex and phenotype (IPF or RA-ILD) were all significant predictors, but multivariate analysis revealed that gas transfer and age were both significantly associated with prognosis, whereas sex, FVC or phenotype were not significant. This study suggests that the difference between RA-ILD and IPF prognosis may be due to demographics and early diagnosis rather than the diseases behaving differently. This has important management implications.
    • Pathways to ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 health outcomes in the United Kingdom: A systematic map

      Divall, Pip; Sze, Shirley; Pan, Daniel; Pareek, Manish (2023-07)
      Background: Marked ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 infection and its consequences have been documented. The aim of this paper is to identify the range and nature of evidence on potential pathways which lead to ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 related health outcomes in the United Kingdom (UK). Methods: We searched six bibliographic and five grey literature databases from 1st December 2019 to 23rd February 2022 for research on pathways to ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 health outcomes in the UK. Meta-data were extracted and coded, using a framework informed by a logic model. Open Science Framework Registration: DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/HZRB7. Results: The search returned 10,728 records after excluding duplicates, with 123 included (83% peer-reviewed). Mortality was the most common outcome investigated (N = 79), followed by infection (N = 52). The majority of studies were quantitative (N = 93, 75%), with four qualitative studies (3%), seven academic narrative reviews (6%), nine third sector reports (7%) and five government reports (4%), and four systematic reviews or meta-analyses (3%). There were 78 studies which examined comorbidities as a pathway to mortality, infection, and severe disease. Socioeconomic inequalities (N = 67) were also commonly investigated, with considerable research into neighbourhood infrastructure (N = 38) and occupational risk (N = 28). Few studies examined barriers to healthcare (N = 6) and consequences of infection control measures (N = 10). Only 11% of eligible studies theorised racism to be a driver of inequalities and 10% (typically government/third sector reports and qualitative studies) explored this as a pathway. Conclusion: This systematic map identified knowledge clusters that may be amenable to subsequent systematic reviews, and critical gaps in the evidence-base requiring additional primary research. Most studies do not incorporate or conceptualise racism as the fundamental cause of ethnic inequalities and therefore the contribution to literature and policy is limited.
    • Inhaler steroid use changes oral and airway bacterial and fungal microbiome profile in asthma patients

      Pur Ozyigit, Leyla (2023-10-16)
      Introduction: The full spectrum of bacterial and fungal species in adult asthma and the effect of inhaled corticosteroid use is not well described. The aim was to collect mouthwash and induced sputum samples from newly diagnosed asthma patients in the pretreatment period and in chronic asthma patients while undergoing regular maintenance inhaled corticosteroid therapy, in order to demonstrate the bacterial and fungal microbiome profile. Methods: The study included 28 asthmatic patients on inhaler steroid therapy, 25 steroid-naive asthmatics, and 24 healthy controls. Genomic DNA was isolated from induced sputum and mouthwash samples. Analyses were performed using bacterial primers selected from the 16S rRNA region for the bacterial genome and "panfungal" primers selected from the 5.8S rRNA region for the fungal genome. Results: Dominant genera in mouthwash samples of steroid-naive asthmatics were Neisseria, Haemophilus, and Rothia. The oral microbiota of asthmatic patients on inhaler steroid treatment included Neisseria, Rothia, and Veillonella species. Abundant genera in induced sputum samples of steroid-naive asthma patients were Actinomyces, Granulicatella, Fusobacterium, Peptostreptococcus, and Atopobium. Sputum microbiota of asthma patients taking inhaler steroids were dominated by Prevotella and Porphyromonas. Mucor plumbeus and Malassezia restricta species were abundant in the airways of steroid-naive asthma patients. Choanephora infundibulifera and Malassezia restricta became dominant in asthma patients taking inhaled steroids. Conclusion: The oral and airway microbiota consist of different bacterial and fungal communities in healthy and asthmatic patients. Inhaler steroid use may influence the composition of the oral and airway microbiota.
    • Screening for tuberculosis infection and effectiveness of preventive treatment among people living with HIV in low-incidence settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis

      Pareek, Manish (2023-10-12)
      To determine the yield of screening for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among people living with HIV (PLHIV) in low tuberculosis (TB) incidence countries (<10 TB cases per 100.000 persons), we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess prevalence and predictive factors of LTBI, rate of TB progression, effect of TB preventive treatment (TPT), and numbers needed to screen. Pubmed and Cochrane Library were searched for studies reporting primary data, excluding studies on active or pediatric TB. We extracted LTBI cases, odds ratios, and TB incidences; pooled estimates using a random-effects model; and used the Newcastle-Ottawa scale for bias. In 51 studies with 65.930 PLHIV, 12% (95% CI 10-14) had a positive LTBI test, which was strongly associated with origin from a TB-endemic country (OR 4.7) and exposure to TB (OR 2.9). Without TPT (10,629 PLHIV), TB incidence was 28/1000 person years (PY; 95% CI 12-45) for LTBI-test positive versus 4/1000 PY (95% CI 0-7) for LTBI-test negative individuals. Among 625 PLHIV (1644 PY) receiving TPT, 15 developed TB (6/1000 PY). An estimated 20 LTBI-positive individuals would need TPT to prevent one case of TB, and numbers needed to screen to detect LTBI or prevent active TB varied according to a priori risk of LTBI. The relatively high prevalence of LTBI among PLHIV and the strong correlation with origin from a TB-endemic country support risk-stratified LTBI screening strategies for PLHIV in low-incidence countries and treating those who test positive.
    • Evaluation of a COVID-19 fundamental nursing care guideline versus usual care: The COVID-NURSE cluster randomized controlled trial

      Singh, Sally (2023-11-20)
      Aim: To evaluate the impact of usual care plus a fundamental nursing care guideline compared to usual care only for patients in hospital with COVID-19 on patient experience, care quality, functional ability, treatment outcomes, nurses' moral distress, patient health-related quality of life and cost-effectiveness. Design: Parallel two-arm, cluster-level randomized controlled trial. Methods: Between 18th January and 20th December 2021, we recruited (i) adults aged 18 years and over with COVID-19, excluding those invasively ventilated, admitted for at least three days or nights in UK Hospital Trusts; (ii) nurses caring for them. We randomly assigned hospitals to use a fundamental nursing care guideline and usual care or usual care only. Our patient-reported co-primary outcomes were the Relational Aspects of Care Questionnaire and four scales from the Quality from the Patient Perspective Questionnaire. We undertook intention-to-treat analyses. Results: We randomized 15 clusters and recruited 581 patient and 418 nurse participants. Primary outcome data were available for 570-572 (98.1%-98.5%) patient participants in 14 clusters. We found no evidence of between-group differences on any patient, nurse or economic outcomes. We found between-group differences over time, in favour of the intervention, for three of our five co-primary outcomes, and a significant interaction on one primary patient outcome for ethnicity (white British vs. other) and allocated group in favour of the intervention for the 'other' ethnicity subgroup. Conclusion: We did not detect an overall difference in patient experience for a fundamental nursing care guideline compared to usual care. We have indications the guideline may have aided sustaining good practice over time and had a more positive impact on non-white British patients' experience of care. Implications for the profession and/or patient care: We cannot recommend the wholescale implementation of our guideline into routine nursing practice. Further intervention development, feasibility, pilot and evaluation studies are required. Impact: Fundamental nursing care drives patient experience but is severely impacted in pandemics. Our guideline was not superior to usual care, albeit it may sustain good practice and have a positive impact on non-white British patients' experience of care. Reporting method: CONSORT and CONSERVE. Patient or public contribution: Patients with experience of hospitalization with COVID-19 were involved in guideline development and writing, trial management and interpretation of findings.
    • Standardized clinical annotation of digital histopathology slides at the point of diagnosis

      Hero, Emily (2023-11)
      As digital pathology replaces conventional glass slide microscopy as a means of reporting cellular pathology samples, the annotation of digital pathology whole slide images is rapidly becoming part of a pathologist's regular practice. Currently, there is no recognizable organization of these annotations, and as a result, pathologists adopt an arbitrary approach to defining regions of interest, leading to irregularity and inconsistency and limiting the downstream efficient use of this valuable effort. In this study, we propose a Standardized Annotation Reporting Style for digital whole slide images. We formed a list of 167 commonly annotated entities (under 12 specialty subcategories) based on review of Royal College of Pathologists and College of American Pathologists documents, feedback from reporting pathologists in our NHS department, and experience in developing annotation dictionaries for PathLAKE research projects. Each entity was assigned a suitable annotation shape, SNOMED CT (SNOMED International) code, and unique color. Additionally, as an example of how the approach could be expanded to specific tumor types, all lung tumors in the fifth World Health Organization of thoracic tumors 2021 were included. The proposed standardization of annotations increases their utility, making them identifiable at low power and searchable across and between cases. This would aid pathologists reporting and reviewing cases and enable annotations to be used for research. This structured approach could serve as the basis for an industry standard and be easily adopted to ensure maximum functionality and efficiency in the use of annotations made during routine clinical examination of digital slides.
    • Sputum induction and its diagnostic applications in inflammatory airway disorders: a review

      Goncalves, Beatriz (2023-10-12)
      Sputum induction is a technique that covers the induction and the subsequent processing of the expectorate primarily for the analysis of cells and different inflammatory biomarkers present in the airways to further understand the pathophysiology of different inflammatory respiratory disorders such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as the diagnosis of lung diseases such as lung cancer, tuberculosis, and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia. It is a non-invasive, safe, cost-effective, and reliable technique reported to exhibit a high success rate. However, due to being technically demanding and time-consuming and having the need of employing trained staff, this technique is only used in restricted research centres and in limited centres of clinical use. When the sputum is collected after induction, the primary goal is to obtain a differential cell count and evaluate the molecular biomarkers of airway inflammation such as eosinophil cationic protein, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, major basic protein, tryptase, cytokine production [e.g., interleukin (IL)-5], albumin, and fibrinogen. In addition, cytospins from the processed sputum are used for immunocytochemical staining of cellular products such as EG-2 reactive protein, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, tumour necrosis factor alpha, and IL-8 that play significant roles in understanding the pathophysiology of inflammatory airway diseases. Nowadays, this technique can be further used by performing an additional analysis such as flow cytometry and in situ hybridisation on the sputum supernatant to investigate more the immune response and pathophysiological process of such various respiratory diseases. In addition, the application of sputum fluid phase to assess the biomarkers could be used more routinely in pathological laboratories for diagnosing lung cancer, COPD, and asthma as well as for monitoring lung cancer progression and asthma and COPD treatment, allowing for early detection and a better treatment provided by the clinicians.
    • Perspectives of patients with chronic respiratory diseases and medical professionals on pulmonary rehabilitation in Pune, India: qualitative analysis

      Singh, Sally J (2023-11-07)
      Background: Chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality worldwide and in India. Access to nonpharmacological options, such as pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), are, however, limited. Given the difference between need and availability, exploring PR, specifically remotely delivered PR, in a resource-poor setting, will help inform future work. Objective: This study explored the perceptions, experiences, needs, and challenges of patients with CRDs and the potential of and the need for PR from the perspective of patients as well as medical professionals involved in the referral (doctors) and delivery (physiotherapists) of PR. Methods: In-depth qualitative semistructured interviews were conducted among 20 individuals diagnosed with CRDs and 9 medical professionals. An inductive thematic analysis approach was used as we sought to identify the meanings shared both within and across the 2 participant groups. Results: The 20 patients considered lifestyle choices (smoking and drinking), a lack of physical activity, mental stress, and heredity as the triggering factors for their CRDs. All of them equated the disease with breathlessness and a lack of physical strength, consulting multiple doctors about their physical symptoms. The most commonly cited treatment choice was an inhaler. Most of them believed that yoga and exercise are good self-management strategies, and some were performing yoga postures and breathing exercises, as advised by friends or family members or learned from a televised program or YouTube videos. None of them identified with the term "pulmonary rehabilitation," but many were aware of the exercise component and its benefits. Despite being naive to smartphone technology or having difficulty in reading, most of them were enthusiastic about enrolling in an application-based remotely delivered digital PR program. The 9 medical professionals were, however, reluctant to depend on a PR program delivered entirely online. They recommended that patients with CRDs be supported by their family to use technology, with some time spent with a medical professional during the program. Conclusions: Patients with CRDs in India currently manage their disease with nonguided strategies but are eager to improve and would benefit from a guided PR program to feel better. A home-based PR program, with delivery facilitated by digital solutions, would be welcomed by patients and health care professionals involved in their care, as it would reduce the need for travel, specialist equipment, and setup. However, low digital literacy, low resource availability, and a lack of expertise are of concern to health care professionals. For India, including yoga could be a way of making PR "culturally congruent" and more successful. The digital PR intervention should be flexible to individual patient needs and should be complemented with physical sessions and a feedback mechanism for both practitioners as well as patients for better uptake and adherence.
    • Enabling adults with severe asthma to exercise: a qualitative examination of the challenges for patients and health care professionals

      Evans, Rachael A; Bradding, Peter; Green, Ruth H; Murphy, Anna C; Singh, Sally J (2023-11)
      Background: Adults living with severe asthma have lower physical activity levels, particularly high-intensity physical activity, compared with their healthy peers. Physical inactivity is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Objective: To understand patient and health care professional attitudes toward exercise and physical activity to inform future strategies for the improvement of healthy lifestyle behaviors, including exercise. Methods: Participants recruited from a specialist difficult asthma service were interviewed individually, and health care professionals (HCPs) from primary care, secondary care, and a tertiary center were invited to attend focus groups. Interviews and focus groups were transcribed verbatim. We performed thematic analysis on interviews and focus groups separately, followed by an adapted framework analysis to analyze datasets together. Results: Twenty-nine people with severe asthma participated in a semi-structured interview. A total of 51 HCPs took part in eight focus groups across the East Midlands, United Kingdom. Final analysis resulted in three major themes: barriers to exercise and exercise counseling - in which patients and HCPs identified disease and non-disease factors affecting those living with severe asthma; attitudes toward HCP support for exercise - highlighting education needs for HCPs and preference for supervised exercise programs; and areas for system improvement in supporting patients and HCPs - challenges exist across health sectors that limit patient support are described. Conclusions: Patients identified the important role of HCPs in supporting and advising on lifestyle change. Despite a preference for supervised exercise programs, both patient and HCP barriers existed. To meet patients' varied support needs, improved integration of services is required and HCP skills need extending.
    • Investigating the impact of financial concerns on symptoms of depression in UK healthcare workers: data from the UK-REACH nationwide cohort study

      Martin, Christopher A; Batson, Megan; Pan, Daniel; Pareek, Manish (2023-07-12)
      Background: Exploration of the association between financial concerns and depression in UK healthcare workers (HCWs) is paramount given the current 'cost of living crisis', ongoing strike action and recruitment/retention problems in the National Health Service. Aims: To assess the impact of financial concerns on the risk of depression in HCWs, how these concerns have changed over time and what factors might predict financial concerns. Method: We used longitudinal survey data from a UK-wide cohort of HCWs to determine whether financial concerns at baseline (December 2020 to March 2021) were associated with depression (measured with the Public Health Questionnaire-2) at follow-up (June to October 2022). We used logistic regression to examine the association between financial concerns and depression, and ordinal logistic regression to establish predictors of developing financial concerns. Results: A total of 3521 HCWs were included. Those concerned about their financial situation at baseline had higher odds of developing depressive symptoms at follow-up. Financial concerns increased in 43.8% of HCWs and decreased in 9%. Those in nursing, midwifery and other nursing roles had over twice the odds of developing financial concerns compared with those in medical roles. Conclusions: Financial concerns are increasing in prevalence and predict the later development of depressive symptoms in UK HCWs. Those in nursing, midwifery and other allied nursing roles may have been disproportionately affected. Our results are concerning given the potential effects on sickness absence and staff retention. Policy makers should act to alleviate financial concerns to reduce the impact this may have on a discontent workforce plagued by understaffing.