Category Archives: Worldwide Leaders In Healthcare

Presentation is key in antenatal information, research suggests

OBGYN_Nursing_Occupational MedicineThe font type of written text and how easy it is to read can be influential when it comes to engaging people with important health information and recruiting them for potentially beneficial programmes, new research by The University of Manchester and Leeds Beckett University has found.Led by Dr Andrew Manley, a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Leeds Beckett, the study – published in the latest issue of Patient Education and Counseling journal – assessed the extent to which the title and font of participant information sheets can influence a person’s perception of written information.Thirty-five pregnant women and 36 trainee midwives took part in the research and were randomly presented with one of four participant information sheets describing an antenatal programme.

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Community nurses urged to highlight dangers of female genital mutilation

NursesIn their trusted professional capacity, community nurses are well placed to develop effective collaboration with patients and families to tackle the harmful and illegal procedure of female genital mutilation, say academics.Nurses have an important role in preventing female genital mutilation and in providing sensitive care for women and girls who have undergone the procedure, authors writing in Primary Health Care journal warn.King’s College London lecturer in mental health Niall McCrae and lecturer in child health Sheena Bynoe have written about the growing number of girls and women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM).The authors state that although FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985, healthcare services have lacked a ‘robust response’ until recent years.

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Ten measures to drive quality palliative and hospice care

Nurses-GeriatricsPatients with serious and life-threatening illnesses may be less likely to experience unnecessary physical and emotional suffering if they receive palliative or hospice care that meets 10 key quality indicators identified by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). The findings and recommendations of the organizations’ consensus project, Measuring What Matters, were published online in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.Measuring What Matters was launched to ensure palliative and hospice care patients receive the highest quality care by identifying the 10 best existing indicators – measures – to gauge that care. The 10 measures range from a complete assessment (including physical, psychological, social, spiritual and functional needs) to a plan for managing pain and shortness of breath to having patients’ treatment preferences followed. They were selected from among 75 indicators largely based on what’s most important to patients and families.Palliative care improves quality of life for patients who are being treated for a serious illness by managing pain and other symptoms. Hospice is a specific type of palliative care for patients in their last year of life.The goal of the project was to select a set of measures that are scientifically rigorous, and that all palliative and hospice care providers should use to ensure they are giving the highest quality care and to eventually enable benchmarking in the field. Currently there is no consistency regarding which measures are required by various groups, from accrediting organizations to payers. As the population ages and the demand for this type of care grows, the ability to assess quality throughout the country and across care settings is increasingly important.

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Practicing nursing care in a virtual world

NursesOculus Rift, a gaming headset, can help teach nurses how to communicate better, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have found.While Facebook wants to make the world’s best online games using the Oculus Rift headset, researchers at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are using the same set-up to help teach nurses how to communicate better.The Oculus Rift headset gives your body and your mind the powerful experience of being in a virtual world. Your body feels confused, the signals that your brain gets from your eyes don’t quite match with what the rest of your body is experiencing. Your heart rate jumps, and you might even feel nauseated. But many are intrigued – and consumed by the experience.”Forget Google glass. Now it’s Oculus Rift that’s big. Especially if you want to immerse yourself in another reality,” says Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland, an associate professor in NTNU’s Programme for Learning with ICT.

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Mode of delivery in childbirth associated with pain during or after sexual intercourse


Operative birth is associated with persisting pain during or after sexual intercourse, known as dyspareunia, suggests a new study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG).

The study aimed to investigate the contribution of obstetric risk factors, including mode of delivery and perineal trauma to postpartum dyspareunia. It also examined the influences of other risk factors, including breastfeeding, maternal fatigue, maternal depression and intimate partner abuse.

A cohort of 1244 first time mothers across six maternity hospitals in Melbourne, Australia was used. Data were taken from baseline and postnatal questionnaires at 3, 6, 12 and 18 months. The mean gestational age of the study participants at the time of enrolment was 15 weeks.

Of the women sampled, 49% had a spontaneous vaginal birth, two thirds of whom sustained a sutured tear and/or episiotomy, 10.8% had an operative vaginal birth assisted by vacuum extraction and 10.7% gave birth assisted by forceps. Additionally, 9.7% were delivered by elective caesarean section and 19.9% were delivered by emergency caesarean section.

Results showed that 78% of the study population had resumed sexual intercourse by 3 months, 94% by 6 months, 97% by 12 months and 98% by 18 months postpartum.

With regards to dyspareunia following childbirth, most of the women (85.7%) who had resumed sex by 12 months postpartum experienced pain during first vaginal sex after childbirth. Dyspareunia was reported by 44.7% of women at 3 months postpartum, 43.4% at 6 months, 28.1% at 12 months and 23.4% at 18 months postpartum. Of the women who reported dyspareunia at 6 months postpartum, a third (32.7%) reported persisting dyspareunia at 18 months postpartum.

Compared to women who had a spontaneous vaginal delivery with intact perineum or unsutured tear, women who had an emergency caesarean section, vacuum extraction or elective caesarean section had double the risk of reporting dyspareunia at 18 months postpartum, adjusting for maternal age and other risk factors.

Other factors associated with dyspareunia at 18 months postpartum include pre-pregnancy dyspareunia, intimate partner abuse and maternal fatigue. One in six women (16%) in the study experienced abuse by an intimate partner in the first 12 months postpartum. One third of these women (32.4%) reported dyspareunia at 18 months postpartum, compared with 20.7% of women who did not experience intimate partner abuse. The authors of the study highlight that these results suggest that clinicians should be alert to the possibility that intimate partner abuse is a potential underlying factor in persisting dyspareunia.

The authors conclude that greater recognition and understanding of the role of mode of delivery and perineal trauma in contributing to postpartum maternal morbidities is needed. Additionally, ways to prevent postpartum dyspareunia should be explored.

Ellie McDonald from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Victoria, Australia and co-author of the study said:

“Almost all women experience some pain during first sexual intercourse following childbirth.

“However, our findings show the extent to which women report persisting dyspareunia at 6 and 18 months postpartum is influenced by events during labour and birth, in particular caesarean section and vacuum extraction delivery.

“Not enough is known about the longer term impact of obstetric procedures on maternal health. The fact that dyspareunia is more common among women experiencing operative procedures points to the need for focusing clinical attention on ways to help women experiencing ongoing morbidity, and increased efforts to prevent postpartum morbidity where possible.”

Patrick Chien, BJOG Deputy Editor-in-chief added:

“This is the first study with detailed, frequent and long-term follow-up to assess associations of dyspareunia with obstetric risk factors.

“This study provides us with robust evidence about the extent and persistence of postpartum dyspareunia and associations with mode of delivery and perineal trauma. Future research could look into ways of preventing dyspareunia.”

Adapted by MNT from original media release


Mobility disabilities can contribute to complications during pregnancy


A new study indicates that women with mobility disabilities often experience problems during pregnancy related to their functional impairments.

The study included 8 women with spinal cord injuries, 4 with cerebral palsy, and 10 with other conditions. Impairment-related complications during pregnancy included falls, urinary tract and bladder problems, wheelchair fit and stability problems, significant shortness of breath, increased spasticity, bowel management difficulties, and skin integrity problems.

“Relatively little information is available about the pregnancy experiences of women with physical disabilities, which hampers preconception planning and helping women know what to expect as their pregnancies progress,” said Dr. Lisa Iezzoni, lead author of the Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica article. “Our findings from 22 interviewees with physical disabilities who described their pregnancies provide insights, albeit preliminary, that could inform both women and their obstetrical practitioners about possible complications so they can plan ahead.”

Adapted by MNT from original media release


‘Obesity can reduce life by up to 8 years’


Life expectancy can be reduced by up to 8 years by obesity, which can also cause adults to lose as much as 19 years of healthy life if it leads to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology examines the issue.


The researchers behind the study analyzed data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), creating a disease-simulation model to estimate the risk of adults of different body weightdeveloping diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

From this, the researchers then calculated the extent to which overweight and obesity may contribute to both years of life lost and years of healthy life lost in American adults aged between 20 and 79 years old, in comparison to people of normal weight.

They found that people who were overweight (BMI 25-30 kg/m2) were estimated to lose up to 3 years of life, depending on age and gender. Individuals classed as obese (BMI 30-35 kg/m2) were calculated to lose up to 6 years, and people classed as very obese (BMI 35 kg/m2 or more) could lose up to 8 years of life.

According to the study, excess weight had the greatest impact on lost years of life among the young and dropped with increasing age.

Obesity can cause the loss of up to 19 ‘healthy life-years’

As well as reducing life expectancy, carrying extra weight was also found to reduce “healthy life-years,” which were defined in the study as years free of obesity-linked cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Young adults aged between 20 and 29 showed the highest losses of healthy life-years, adding up to around 19 lost years for very obese people. Among people who were overweight or obese, the researchers calculated that two to four times as many healthy life-years were lost than total years of life lost.

Dr. Steven Grover, lead author and professor of medicine at McGill University and a clinical epidemiologist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Canada, explains the findings:

“The pattern is clear. The more an individual weighs and the younger their age, the greater the effect on their health, as they have many years ahead of them during which the increased health risks associated with obesity can negatively impact their lives.

These clinically meaningful calculations should prove useful for obese individuals and health professionals to better appreciate the scale of the problem and the substantial benefits of a healthier lifestyle, including changes to diet and regular physical activity.”

This week on Medical News Today, we also looked at a study published in The BMJ that found obesity during early pregnancy is a risk factor for infant mortality.

The researchers behind that study found that infant mortality was “moderately increased” among overweight and mildly obese mothers (BMI 25-35 kg/m2) compared with mothers of a normal weight; but among more obese mothers (BMI over 35 kg/m2), the risk of infant mortality was more than doubled.

We also reported on a study in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease that found women – particularly black women – are more at risk of increased obesity if they work jobs that involve a lot of sitting down.

Written by David McNamee



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