Recent Submissions

  • Frailty identification in the emergency department-a systematic review focussing on feasibility

    Elliott, Amy; Hull, Louise
    Introduction: risk-stratifying older people accessing urgent care is a potentially useful first step to ensuring that the most vulnerable are able to access optimal care from the start of the episode. While there are many risk-stratification tools reported in the literature, few have addressed the practical issues of implementation. This review sought evidence about the feasibility of risk stratification for older people with urgent care needs. Methods: medline was searched for papers addressing risk stratification and implementation (feasibility or evaluation or clinician acceptability). All search stages were conducted by two reviewers, and selected papers were graded for quality using the CASP tool for cohort studies. Data were summarised using descriptive statistics only. Results: about 1872 titles of potential interest were identified, of which 1827 were excluded on title/abstract review, and a further 43 after full-text review, leaving four papers for analysis. These papers described nine tools, which took between 1 and 10 minutes to complete for most participants. No more than 52% of potentially eligible older people were actually screened using any of the tools. Little detail was reported on the clinical acceptability of the tools tested. Discussion: the existing literature indicates that commonly used risk-stratification tools are relatively quick to use, but do not cover much more than 50% of the potential population eligible for screening in practice. Additional work is required to appreciate how tools are likely to be used, by whom, and when in order to ensure that they are acceptable to urgent care teams.
  • Frailty factors and outcomes in vascular surgery patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Houghton, John; Nickinson, Andrew; Nduwayo, Sarah; Pepper, Coral; Rayt, Harjeet; Haunton, Victoria; Sayers, Rob
    Objective: To describe and critique tools used to assess frailty in vascular surgery patients, and investigate its associations with patient factors and outcomes. Background: Increasing evidence shows negative impacts of frailty on outcomes in surgical patients, but little investigation of its associations with patient factors has been undertaken. Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting frailty in vascular surgery patients (PROSPERO registration: CRD42018116253) searching Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Scopus. Quality of studies was assessed using Newcastle-Ottawa scores (NOS) and quality of evidence using Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation criteria. Associations of frailty with patient factors were investigated by difference in means (MD) or expressed as risk ratios (RRs), and associations with outcomes expressed as odds ratios (ORs) or hazard ratios (HRs). Data were pooled using random-effects models. Results: Fifty-three studies were included in the review and only 8 (15%) were both good quality (NOS ≥ 7) and used a well-validated frailty measure. Eighteen studies (62,976 patients) provided data for the meta-analysis. Frailty was associated with increased age [MD 4.05 years; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.35, 4.75], female sex (RR 1.32; 95% CI 1.14, 1.54), and lower body mass index (MD -1.81; 95% CI -2.94, -0.68). Frailty was associated with 30-day mortality [adjusted OR (AOR) 2.77; 95% CI 2.01-3.81), postoperative complications (AOR 2.16; 95% CI 1.55, 3.02), and long-term mortality (HR 1.85; 95% CI 1.31, 2.62). Sarcopenia was not associated with any outcomes. Conclusion: Frailty, but not sarcopenia, is associated with worse outcomes in vascular surgery patients. Well-validated frailty assessment tools should be preferred clinically, and in future research.
  • Change in V˙O 2peak in Response to Aerobic Exercise Training and the Relationship With Exercise Prescription in People With COPD: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

    Ward, Thomas J.C.; Jones, Amy V.; Trethewey, Ruth; Divall, Pip; Singh, Sally; Steiner, Michael; Evans, Rachael (2020-07)
    Background: Despite the wide-ranging benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation, conflicting results remain regarding whether people with COPD can improve their peak oxygen uptake (V˙O2peak) with aerobic training. Research question: The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of aerobic training and exercise prescription on V˙O2peak in COPD. Study design and methods: A systematic review was performed by using MEDLINE, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Cochrane databases for all studies measuring V˙O2peak prior to and following supervised lower-limb aerobic training in COPD. A random effects meta-analysis limited to randomized controlled trials comparing aerobic training vs usual care was conducted. Other study designs were included in a secondary meta-analysis and meta-regression to investigate the influence of program and patient factors on outcome. Results: A total of 112 studies were included (participants, N = 3,484): 21 controlled trials (n = 489), of which 13 were randomized (n = 288) and 91 were uncontrolled (n = 2,995) studies. Meta-analysis found a moderate positive change in V˙O2peak (standardized mean difference, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.34-0.69) with the intervention. The change in V˙O2peak was positively associated with target duration of exercise session (P = .01) and, when studies > 1 year duration were excluded, greater total volume of exercise training (P = .01). Similarly, the change in V˙O2peak was greater for programs > 12 weeks compared with those 6 to 12 weeks when adjusted for age and sex. However, reported prescribed exercise intensity (P = .77), training modality (P > .35), and mode (P = .29) did not affect V˙O2peak. Cohorts with more severe airflow obstruction exhibited smaller improvements in V˙O2peak (P < .001). Interpretation: Overall, people with COPD achieved moderate improvements in V˙O2peak through supervised aerobic training. There is sufficient evidence to show that programs with greater total exercise volume, including duration of exercise session and program duration, are more effective. Reduced effects in severe disease suggest alternative aerobic training methods may be needed in this population.
  • Ethnicity and clinical outcomes in COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis

    Sze, Shirley; Pan, Daniel; Martin, Christopher; Nazareth, Joshua; Minhas, Jatinder S; Divall, Pip; Pareek, Manish (2020-12)
    Background: Patients from ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the relationship between ethnicity and clinical outcomes in COVID-19. Methods: Databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PROSPERO, Cochrane library and MedRxiv) were searched up to 31st August 2020, for studies reporting COVID-19 data disaggregated by ethnicity. Outcomes were: risk of infection; intensive therapy unit (ITU) admission and death. PROSPERO ID: 180654. Findings: 18,728,893 patients from 50 studies were included; 26 were peer-reviewed; 42 were from the United States of America and 8 from the United Kingdom. Individuals from Black and Asian ethnicities had a higher risk of COVID-19 infection compared to White individuals. This was consistent in both the main analysis (pooled adjusted RR for Black: 2.02, 95% CI 1.67-2.44; pooled adjusted RR for Asian: 1.50, 95% CI 1.24-1.83) and sensitivity analyses examining peer-reviewed studies only (pooled adjusted RR for Black: 1.85, 95%CI: 1.46-2.35; pooled adjusted RR for Asian: 1.51, 95% CI 1.22-1.88). Individuals of Asian ethnicity may also be at higher risk of ITU admission (pooled adjusted RR 1.97 95% CI 1.34-2.89) (but no studies had yet been peer-reviewed) and death (pooled adjusted RR/HR 1.22 [0.99-1.50]). Interpretation: Individuals of Black and Asian ethnicity are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection compared to White individuals; Asians may be at higher risk of ITU admission and death. These findings are of critical public health importance in informing interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality amongst ethnic minority groups.
  • Non-surgical treatments for Morton's neuroma: A systematic review

    Thomson, Lauren; Divall, Pip; Bhatia, Maneesh (2020-10)
    Background: Morton's neuroma (MN) is an entrapment degenerative neuropathy with a strong predilection for the 3rd interdigital web space. The objective of our study was to identify the most significant evidence produced for the non-operative treatment of Morton's neuroma and assess outcomes of these interventions. Method: The electronic databases Medline, Ovid EMBASE, CINAHL and Cochrane CENTRAL from inception to October 2018 were searched. Two independent reviewers assessed the quality of the studies using the Modified Coleman Criteria. Statistics were combined across cohort studies to calculate pooled mean results, and improvements in outcomes. Results: Initial electronic and hand search identified 486 studies. After title and abstract review there were 38 that went on to full-text review. Finally, 22 studies were included in the final review. We identified 9 different non-operative treatment modalities; Corticosteroid injection, Alcohol injection, Extra-corporeal Shockwave therapy (ESWT), Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA), Cryoablation, Capsaicin injection, Botulinum toxin, Orthosis and YAG Laser Therapy. Corticosteroid showed a statistically significant reduction in mean VAS over all their studies (p < 0.01), with 50% success at 12 months. Alcohol showed promising short-term pain-relieving results only. Orthotics, Capsaicin injections, Cryoablation, Botulinum toxin, RFA and ESWT did show statistically significant improvements, but with limitation to their application. Conclusion: Following review, the authors would recommend the use of corticosteroid injections to treat Morton's neuromas. The authors feel that radio-frequency ablation and cryoablation would benefit from further well designed randomised controlled trials.
  • A Systematic Review of Procedural Outcomes in Patients With Proximal Common Carotid or Innominate Artery Disease With or Without Tandem Ipsilateral Internal Carotid Artery Disease

    Robertson, Vaux; Saratzis, Athanasios; Divall, Pip; Naylor, Ross (2020-12)
    Objective: To establish 30 day and mid term outcomes in patients treated for significant stenoses affecting the proximal common carotid artery (CCA) or innominate artery (IA) with/without tandem disease of the ipsilateral internal carotid artery (ICA). Methods: Systematic review of early and mid term outcomes in 1 969 patients from 77 studies (1960-2017) who underwent: (i) hybrid open retrograde angioplasty/stenting of the IA/proximal CCA plus carotid endarterectomy (CEA) in patients with tandem disease of the ipsilateral proximal ICA (n = 700); (ii) isolated open surgery to the IA or proximal CCA (no CEA) (n = 686); or (iii) an isolated endovascular approach to IA or proximal CCA stenoses (no CEA) (n = 583). Results: In the hybrid group with tandem disease (66% involving proximal CCA), the 30 day death/stroke was 3.3%, with a late ipsilateral stroke rate of 3.3% at a median six years follow up. Late re-stenosis was 10.5% for proximal CCA/IA and 4.1% for the ICA. In the isolated open surgery group (78% involving the IA), the 30 day death/stroke was 7%, with a late ipsilateral stroke rate of 1% at a median 12 years follow up. Late re-stenosis within aortic bypasses was 2.6%. In the isolated endovascular group (52% IA, 47% proximal CCA), the majority of procedures were done percutaneously (84%), with a 30 day death/stroke rate of 1.5%. Late ipsilateral stroke was 1% at a median four years follow up, with a re-stenosis rate of 9%. Conclusion: Procedural risks were higher following isolated open surgical interventions involving the proximal CCA/IA, compared with proximal lesions treated by isolated angioplasty/stenting, or in tandem with CEA. This higher morbidity/mortality may, however, reflect a greater proportion of innominate (vs. proximal CCA) lesions in open surgical series, changes in patient selection, time dependent evolution of medical interventions, and publication bias. The available data were limited and related to very different patient groups and management strategies spanning 57 years. Caution is raised, particularly for open surgery IA and CCA surgery, and for any procedures in asymptomatic patients. In symptomatic patients, the data cautiously support an "endovascular first" strategy for isolated proximal CCA/IA lesions and a hybrid approach for tandem proximal CCA/IA and ICA stenoses.
  • The impact of ethnicity on clinical outcomes in COVID-19: A systematic review

    Pan, Daniel; Sze, Shirley; Minhas, Jatinder S; Divall, Pip; Williams, Caroline; Squire, Iain; Khunti, Kamlesh; Pareek, Manish
    Background: The relationship between ethnicity and COVID-19 is uncertain. We performed a systematic review to assess whether ethnicity has been reported in patients with COVID-19 and its relation to clinical outcomes. Methods: We searched EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and PROSPERO for English-language citations on ethnicity and COVID-19 (1st December 2019-15th May 2020). We also reviewed: COVID-19 articles in NEJM, Lancet, BMJ, JAMA, clinical trial protocols, grey literature, surveillance data and preprint articles on COVID-19 in MedRxiv to evaluate if the association between ethnicity and clinical outcomes were reported and what they showed. PROSPERO:180654. Findings: Of 207 articles in the database search, five reported ethnicity; two reported no association between ethnicity and mortality. Of 690 articles identified from medical journals, 12 reported ethnicity; three reported no association between ethnicity and mortality. Of 209 preprints, 34 reported ethnicity - 13 found Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals had an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and 12 reported worse clinical outcomes, including ITU admission and mortality, in BAME patients compared to White patients. Of 12 grey literature reports, seven with original data reported poorer clinical outcomes in BAME groups compared to White groups. Interpretation: Data on ethnicity in patients with COVID-19 in the published medical literature remains limited. However, emerging data from the grey literature and preprint articles suggest BAME individuals are at an increased risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to White individuals and also worse clinical outcomes from COVID-19. Further work on the role of ethnicity in the current pandemic is of urgent public health importance.
  • Cerebral autoregulation in hemorrhagic stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography studies

    Minhas, Jatinder S; Ghaly, George; Divall, Pip; Robinson, Thompson (2019-01)
    Purpose: International guidelines advocate intensive blood pressure (BP) lowering within 6 hours of acute intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) to a target systolic BP of 130-140 mm Hg, though more intensive lowering may be associated with adverse outcome. Observational studies suggest impaired cerebral autoregulation (CA) following ICH. Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCD), alongside continuous BP monitoring, provides a noninvasive bedside investigation that offers detailed perspectives on physiological perturbations post-acute ICH. This systematic review and meta-analysis focuses on all TCD studies of CA in ICH. Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL were searched for studies of hemorrhagic stroke and blood flow measurement. Results: Eight studies met inclusion criteria (293 ICH patients); CA was impaired up to 12-days post-acute ICH. Impaired CA was evidenced by reduced transfer function analysis phase and higher mean flow correlation values: these were associated with worsened clinical parameters including ICH-volume and Glasgow Coma Scale. Meta-analysis of CBV demonstrated that, compared to controls, mean CBV was significantly lower in the ipsilateral (49.7 vs 64.8 cm s-1 , Z = 4.26, P < .0001) and contralateral hemispheres following ICH (51.5 vs 64.8 cm s-1 , Z = 3.44, P = .0006). Conclusion: Lower mean CBV in combination with impaired CA may have implications for more intensive BP lowering and warrants further studies examining such strategies on cerebral blood flow and its regulatory mechanisms.
  • Therapeutic variation in lowering blood pressure: effects of intracranial pressure in acute intracerebral haemorrhage.

    Kadicheeni, Meeriam; Robinson, Thompson; Minhas, Jatinder S; Divall, Pip
    Introduction: Intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Blood pressure (BP) control is one of the main management strategies in acute ICH. Limited data currently exist regarding intracranial pressure (ICP) in acute ICH. The relationship between BP lowering and ICP is yet to be fully elucidated. Methods: We conducted a systematic review to investigate the effects of BP lowering on ICP in acute ICH. The study protocol was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42019134470). Results: Following PRISMA guidelines, MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL were searched for studies on ICH with BP and ICP or surrogate measures. 1096 articles were identified after duplicates were removed; 18 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (CCBs) were the most common agent used to lower BP, but had a varying effect on ICP. Other BP-lowering agents used also had a varying effect on ICP. Discussion and conclusion: Further work, including large observational or randomized interventional studies, is needed to develop a better understanding of the effect of BP lowering on ICP in acute ICH, which will assist the development of more effective management strategies. Trial registration: The study protocol was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42019134470) on 29/05/2019.
  • Risk of hip fracture following a wrist fracture-A meta-analysis

    Johnson, Nick; Stirling, Euan; Thompson, John R.; Ullah, Aamer; Divall, Pip; Dias, Joseph (2017-02)
    Aims: This purpose of this meta analysis was to investigate and quantify the relative risk of hip fracture in patients who have sustained a wrist fracture. Method: Studies were identified by searching Medline, Embase, Cochrane CENTRAL database and CINAHL from their inception to August 2015. Studies reporting confirmed hip fracture following wrist fracture were included. Data extraction was carried out using a modified Cochrane data collection form by two reviewers independently. Quality assessment was carried out using a modified Coleman score and the Newcastle Ottawa scale for cohort studies. An assessment of bias was performed for each study using a modified Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. A pooled relative risk(RR) was estimated with 95% CI from the RR/HRs and CIs reported in the studies. Results: 12 studies were included in the final meta-analysis (4 male, 8 female only). Relative risk of hip fracture following wrist fracture for women was 1.43 (CI 1.27 to 1.60). In men it was not significantly increased (RR 2.11, 95% CI: 0.93-4.85). Heterogeneity was low (I squared 0%) for both groups so a fixed effects model was used. Conclusion: Risk of a subsequent hip fracture is increased for women who suffer a wrist fracture (RR 1.43). Resources and preventative measures should be targeted towards these high risk patients to prevent the catastrophic event of a hip fracture. This meta analysis confirms and quantifies the increased relative risk of hip fracture after wrist fracture in women.
  • Origins of the threshold for surgical intervention in intra-articular distal radius fractures.

    Esworthy, George; Johnson, Nick; Divall, Pip; Dias, Joseph (2021-09)
    AIMS: The aim of this study was to identify the origin and development of the threshold for surgical intervention, highlight the consequences of residual displacement, and justify the importance of accurate measurement. METHODS: A systematic review of three databases was performed to establish the origin and adaptations of the threshold, with papers screened and relevant citations reviewed. This search identified papers investigating functional outcome, including presence of arthritis, following injury. Orthopaedic textbooks were reviewed to ensure no earlier mention of the threshold was present. RESULTS: Knirk and Jupiter (1986) were the first to quantify a threshold, with all their patients developing arthritis with > 2 mm displacement. Some papers have discussed using 1 mm, although 2 mm is most widely reported. Current guidance from the British Society for Surgery of the Hand and a Delphi panel support 2 mm as an appropriate value. Although this paper is still widely cited, the authors published a re-examination of the data showing methodological flaws which is not as widely reported. They claim their conclusions are still relevant today; however, radiological arthritis does not correlate with the clinical presentation. Function following injury has been shown to be equivalent to an uninjured population, with arthritis progressing slowly or not at all. Joint space narrowing has also been shown to often be benign. CONCLUSION: Knirk and Jupiter originated the threshold value of 2 mm. The lack of correlation between the radiological and clinical presentations warrants further modern investigation. Measurement often varies between observers, calling a threshold concept into question and showing the need for further development in this area. The principle of treatment remains restoration of normal anatomical position.
  • Dorsal bridge plating versus. Transarticular screw fixation for lisfranc injuries: A systematic review and meta-analysis

    Boksh, Khalis; Divall, Pip; Mangwani, Jitendra; Sharma, Ashwini (2020)
    Lisfranc injuries are relatively uncommon but carry devastating consequences if left untreated. Although many surgical techniques have been proposed for best operative management, there is an ongoing debate over which procedure is superior. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing the outcomes of transarticular screw fixation and dorsal bridge plating in management of Lisfranc injuries. Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) were searched to identify randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort studies comparing the outcomes between screw and dorsal plate fixation. The pooled outcome data were calculated by random and fixed effect models. One prospective cohort and three retrospective studies were identified with a total of 210 patients with mean follow up of 40.6 months. All papers were analysed for quality using the modified Newcastle Ottawa score. The results show that dorsal bridge plating is associated with better American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society score (AOFAS) compared with transarticular screw fixation (OR - 0.71, 95% CI -1.31 to -0.10, p = 0.02). Dorsal plating may also be associated with fewer cases of arthritis, although this was not significant (OR 2.46, 95% CI 0.89 to 6.80, p = 0.08). We found no significant differences between the groups in terms of Foot Function Index (FFI), post traumatic arthritis and failure of hardware material. Although our results suggest dorsal bridge plating may provide superior functional outcomes, there is a scarcity of literature with little robustness to make definitive conclusions. High quality randomised trials are required.
  • Use of Suture Tapes Versus Conventional Sutures for Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repairs: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

    Boksh, Khalis; Haque, Aziz; Sharma, Ashwini; Divall, Pip; Singh, Harvinder (2021)
    Background: Various suture materials are available for arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. More recently, suture tapes have become popular as they are perceived to be easier to use with less soft tissue irritation. However, little is known about their biomechanical and clinical properties compared with conventional sutures in rotator cuff repairs. Purpose: To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis on whether suture tapes are biomechanically superior to conventional sutures in arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs and whether this translates to superior functional outcomes and a lower incidence of retears. Study design: Meta-analysis. Methods: The Cochrane Controlled Register of Trials, PubMed, Medline, and Embase were used to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) criteria with the following search terms: (rotator cuff repair OR arthroscopic rotator cuff repair) AND ("tape" OR "wire" OR "cord" OR "suture"). Data pertaining to certain biomechanical properties (contact area, contact pressure, gap formation, load to failure, and stiffness), retears, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) were extracted. The pooled outcome data were analyzed by random- and fixed-effects models. Results: After abstract and full-text screening, 7 biomechanical and 6 clinical studies were included. All biomechanical studies were on animals, with 91 suture tapes and 91 conventional sutures compared. Suture tapes had higher contact pressure (mean difference [MD], 0.04 MPa; 95% CI, 0.01-0.08; P = .02), higher load to failure (MD, 52.62 N; 95% CI, 27.34-77.90; P < .0001), greater stiffness (MD, 4.47 N/mm; 95% CI, 0.57-8.38; P = .02), and smaller gap formation (MD, -0.30 mm; 95% CI, -0.45 to -0.15; P < .0001) compared with conventional sutures. From the clinical analysis of the 681 rotator cuff repairs treated with a suture tape (n = 380) or conventional suture (n = 301), there were no differences in retear rates between the groups (16% vs 20% suture tape and wire, respectively; P = .26) at a mean of 11.2 months. Qualitatively, there were no differences in PROMs between the groups at a mean of 36.8 months. Conclusion: Although biomechanically superior, suture tapes showed similar retear rates and postoperative function to conventional sutures. However, higher-quality clinical studies are required to investigate whether there are no true differences.
  • Unconstrained metacarpophalangeal joint arthroplasties: a systematic review

    Divall, Pip; Aujla, Randeep; Sheikh, Nomaan; Bhowal, Bhaskar; Dias, Joseph (2017)
    Aims: We performed a systematic review of the current literature regarding the outcomes of unconstrained metacarpophalangeal joint (MCPJ) arthroplasty. Materials and methods: We initially identified 1305 studies, and 406 were found to be duplicates. After exclusion criteria were applied, seven studies were included. Outcomes extracted included pre- and post-operative pain visual analogue scores, range of movement (ROM), strength of pinch and grip, satisfaction and patient reported outcome measures (PROMs). Clinical and radiological complications were recorded. The results are presented in three groups based on the design of the arthroplasty and the aetiology (pyrocarbon-osteoarthritis (pyro-OA), pyrocarbon-inflammatory arthritis (pyro-IA), metal-on-polyethylene (MoP)). Results: Results show that pyrocarbon implants provide an 85% reduction in pain, 144% increase of pinch grip and 13° improvements in ROM for both OA and IA combined. Patients receiving MoP arthroplasties had a reduction in pinch strength. Satisfaction rates were 91% and 92% for pyrocarbon-OA and pyrocarbon-IA groups, respectively. There were nine failures in 87 joints (10.3%) over a mean follow-up of 5.5 years (1.0 to 14.3) for pyro-OA. There were 18 failures in 149 joints (12.1%) over a mean period of 6.6 years (1.0 to 16.0) for pyro-IA. Meta-analysis was not possible due to the heterogeneity of the studies and the limited presentation of data. Conclusion: We would recommend prospective data collection for small joint arthroplasties of the hand consisting of PROMs that would allow clinicians to come to stronger conclusions about the impact on function of replacing the MCPJs. A national joint registry may be the best way to achieve this.
  • UK survey demonstrates a wide range of impacts attributable to clinical librarian services

    James, Cathryn; Heaton, Michael; Divall, Pip (Wiley, 2021)
    Objective To understand the impact of the UK Clinical Librarian (CL) workforce and benchmark the results against a study undertaken in the North West region of the English National Health Service (NHS). Methods An online survey was distributed by CLs to their service users regarding literature searches that had been carried out on their behalf in the 6 months from April to October 2017. Interviews were later carried out in person with selected respondents to the questionnaires. Results CLs across the UK contribute to a wide range of outcomes, with 41% of search requests contributing to the choice of intervention, and 41% also to the advice offered by the clinician requester to a patient or their carer. These results are in line with the previous work undertaken in the North West. Discussion CLs provide diverse services to clinical teams. They support the continuing professional development and personal research needs of team members, service development needs of organisations, and the information provided contributes to improved quality and safety of patient care. Conclusion The survey confirms the findings of the earlier NW study. It demonstrates the impact of services based around literature searching on patient care.
  • The use of personal digital assistants in clinical decision making by health care professionals: a systematic review.

    Divall, Pip (2013-03)
    Ownership of personal digital assistants (PDAs) and smartphones by health professionals is increasingly common. Providing the best available evidence at the point of care is important for time-poor clinical staff and may lead to benefits in the processes and outcomes of clinical care. This review was performed to investigate the usefulness of PDAs in the clinical setting. MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched from 2000 to March 2010. Randomised controlled trials that evaluated the effects on the processes or outcomes of clinical care of using PDAs compared with not using a PDA were included. Two reviewers independently reviewed citations and abstracts, assessed full text articles and abstracted data from the studies. Seven trials met the review inclusion criteria, of which only three were of satisfactory quality. Studies investigated the use of PDAs either in recording patient information or in decision support for diagnoses or treatment. An increase in data collection quality was reported, and the appropriateness of diagnosis and treatment decisions was improved. PDAs appear to have potential in improving some processes and outcomes of clinical care, but the evidence is limited and reliable conclusions on whether they help, in what circumstances and how they should be used are not possible. Further research is required to assess their value and ensure full benefits from their widespread use, but the pace of technological development creates problems for the timely evaluation of these devices and their applications.