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Objective. To examine factors that could help identify those most at risk of readmission to an acute psychiatric in-patient unit within 28 days of a discharge.
Method. A detailed file audit was conducted comparing 54 consecutive patients who had been readmitted within 28 days of discharge with 61 patients, chosen at random, who had not been readmitted during the same period.
Results. Readmission within 28-days of discharge was associated with having been admitted in the previous year (P = 0.004), receiving the Disability Support Pension (P = 0.015), not having a discharge plan sent to the patient’s GP on discharge from the index admission (P = 0.05), receiving follow-up by the mental health team within 7 days of discharge (P = 0.007) and being unemployed (P = 0.015).
Conclusions. Targeting those with previous admissions for focussed discharge planning may help organisations reduce the numbers of unnecessary early readmissions.
What is known about the topic? Readmission within 28-days of discharge is being increasingly used by service funders and organisations as an indicator of the effectiveness of community care and of the organisation’s ability to provide continuous care across programs. Previous studies, mainly conducted in the US in the mid-90s, often reach contradictory conclusions and their relevance to the Australian setting is limited.
What does this paper add? This paper uses data from an Australia mental health service. It identifies patient and service characteristics associated with rapid re-admission and provides a baseline to evaluate strategies to reduce the readmission rate.
What are the implications for practitioners? This paper highlights the importance of careful discharge planning and communication with general practitioners particularly in relation to patients who have had previous admissions.
Background Acute-mental-health services receive hundreds of admissions every year. Some of these patients will continue to be case-managed by community mental-health teams on discharge from the acute unit while others will not remain in contact with the mental-health service. This study compares the findings of comprehensive interviews conducted with current and past patients of the community mental-health service 3 or more years following case closure from the community ambulatory service.
Methods Between 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2001, there were 2245 closed cases identified at Barwon Health. Letters of invitation to participate in a research project were sent to people who had suffered from psychotic illnesses, and had been case-closed by community mental-health services between the above dates and had not been in contact with the Community and Mental Health Service for at least 6 months. A second group of participants was recruited from people who had also been case-closed by community mental health teams in Barwon Health during the 1999–2001 2-year-time window but whose cases had been re-opened and who were in case management with Barwon Health at the time of the study. All participants were interviewed using the Diagnostic Interview for Psychosis.
Results Letter responses were received from 17 men and 18 women, aged 40.7 ± 12.0 (mean ± SD), who were interviewed. A second group of 17 men and 12 women, aged 40.9 ± 9.6 (mean ± SD) of currently case-managed patients was interviewed. All interviewees reported a detailed history of mental illness. Persistent social dysfunction and impaired quality of life were reported in both groups.
Conclusion Patients suffering from psychotic disorders who had been case-closed by community mental-health teams and had been discharged to the care of their general practitioners or elsewhere continued to show evidence of significant impairment due to mental illness 3 years after being case-closed.
Aims. This study sought to measure the rates and trajectory of depression over six months following admission for an acute cardiac event and describe the relationship between depression and life satisfaction.
Background. Co-morbid depression has an impact on cardiac mortality and is associated with the significant impairment of quality of life and well-being, impairments in psychosocial function, decreased medication adherence and increased morbidity.
Design. This was a descriptive, correlational study.
Method. The study was undertaken at a large public hospital in Melbourne. Participants were asked to complete a survey containing the cardiac depression scale (CDS) and the Personal Well-being Index.
Results. This study mapped the course of depression over six months of a cohort of patients admitted for an acute cardiac event. Significant levels of depressive symptoms were found, at a level consistent with the literature. A significant correlation between depressive symptoms as measured by the CDS and the Personal Well-being Index was found.
Conclusions. Depression remains a significant problem following admission for an acute coronary event. The Personal Wellbeing Index may be a simple, effective and non-confrontational initial screening tool for those at risk of depressive symptoms in this population. Relevance to clinical practice. Despite the known impact of depression on coronary heart disease (CHD), there is limited research describing its trajectory. This study makes a compelling case for the systematic screening for depression in patients with CHD and the importance of the nursing role in identifying at risk individuals.
Physical inactivity is a leading factor associated with cardiovascular disease and a major contributor to the global burden of disease in developed countries. Subjective mood states associated with acute exercise are likely to influence future exercise adherence and warrant further investigation. The present study examined the effects of a single bout of vigorous exercise on mood and anxiety between individuals with substantially different exercise participation histories. Mood and anxiety were assessed one day before an exercise test (baseline), 5 minutes before (pre-test) and again 10 and 25 minutes post-exercise. Participants were 31 university students (16 males, 15 females; Age M = 20), with 16 participants reporting a history of regular exercise with the remaining 15 reporting to not exercise regularly. Each participant completed an incremental exercise test on a Monark cycle ergometer to volitional exhaustion. Regular exercisers reported significant post-exercise improvements in mood and reductions in state anxiety. By contrast, non-regular exercisers reported an initial decline in post-exercise mood and increased anxiety, followed by an improvement in mood and reduction in anxiety back to pre-exercise levels. Our findings suggest that previous exercise participation mediates affective responses to acute bouts of vigorous exercise. We suggest that to maximise positive mood changes following exercise, practitioners should carefully consider the individual's exercise participation history before prescribing new regimes.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the psychological response to the very first session of resistance exercise on positive well-being (PWB), psychological distress (PD), and perception of fatigue in untrained men and women who are obese. Forty-five (male = 22, female = 23) untrained, middle-aged volunteers (mean ± SEM, 51.0 ± 1.0; range, 40-69 years) participated in the study. Participants were divided into 4 groups according to sex and obesity level (i.e., men who are obese, men who are nonobese, women who are obese, women who are nonobese). The threshold for obesity was defined as waist circumference ≥94 cm for men and 80 cm for women. Measures included body composition, aerobic power, muscle strength, and quality of life (Short Form 36, SF-36). Before and after resistance exercise, participants completed the Subjective Exercise Experience Scale (SEES). Paired sample t-tests were used to assess changes in SEES scores within group pre- and post-exercise and repeated-measures analysis of variance were used to assess changes in SEES scores between groups. Exercise increased the perception of PWB in both women who are obese and nonobese, without changes in PD or fatigue. In women, the change in PWB after exercise was negatively correlated with most scales of the SF-36, particularly with the mental health dimension (r = -0.55, p < 0.01). No significant changes in PWB, PD, or fatigue were found in men who are obese. Acute resistance exercise improved PWB in women who are obese and nonobese and those with lower self-perceived quality of life scores at the start improved the most. In addition, resistance exercise did not increase feelings of distress in either women or men who are obese.
Summary : The purpose of this study was to examine if the reduction in glucose post-exercise is mediated by undercarboxylated osteocalcin (unOC). Obese men were randomly assigned to do aerobic or power exercises. The change in unOC levels was correlated with the change in glucose levels post-exercise. The reduction in glucose post-acute exercise may be partly related to increased unOC.
Introduction : Osteocalcin (OC) in its undercarboxylated (unOC) form may contribute to the regulation of glucose homeostasis. As exercise reduces serum glucose and improves insulin sensitivity in obese individuals and individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), we hypothesised that this benefit was partly mediated by unOC.
Methods : Twenty-eight middle-aged (52.4 ± 1.2 years, mean ± SEM), obese (BMI = 32.1 ± 0.9 kg m−2) men were randomly assigned to do either 45 min of aerobic (cycling at 75% of VO2peak) or power (leg press at 75% of one repetition maximum plus jumping sequence) exercises. Blood samples were taken at baseline and up to 2 h post-exercise.
Results : At baseline, unOC was negatively correlated with glucose levels (r = −0.53, p = 0.003) and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) (r = −0.37, p = 0.035). Both aerobic and power exercises reduced serum glucose (from 7.4 ± 1.2 to 5.1 ± 0.5 mmol L−1, p = 0.01 and 8.5 ± 1.2 to 6.0 ± 0.6 mmol L−1, p = 0.01, respectively). Aerobic exercise significantly increased OC, unOC and high-molecular-weight adiponectin, while power exercise had a limited effect on OC and unOC. Overall, those with higher baseline glucose and HbA1c had greater reductions in glucose levels after exercise (r = −0.46, p = 0.013 and r = −0.43, p = 0.019, respectively). In a sub-group of obese people with T2DM, the percentage change in unOC levels was correlated with the percentage change in glucose levels post-exercise (r = −0.51, p = 0.038).
Conclusions : This study reports that the reduction in serum glucose post-acute exercise (especially aerobic exercise) may be partly related to increased unOC.r exercises. The change in unOC levels was correlated with the change in glucose levels post-exercise. The reduction in glucose post-acute exercise may be partly related to increased unOC.
Background and aims In-hospital fall-related injuries are a source of personal harm, preventable hospitalisation costs, and access block through increased length of stay. Despite increased fall prevention awareness and activity over the last decade, rates of reported fall-related fractures in hospitals appear not to have decreased. This cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) aims to determine the efficacy of the 6-PACK programme for preventing fall-related injuries, and its generalisability to other acute hospitals.
Methods 24 acute medical and surgical wards from six to eight hospitals throughout Australia will be recruited for the study. Wards will be matched by type and fall-related injury rates, then randomly allocated to the 6-PACK intervention (12 wards) or usual care control group (12 wards). The 6-PACK programme includes a nine-item fall risk assessment and six nursing interventions: ‘falls alert’ sign; supervision of patients in the bathroom; ensuring patient’s walking aids are within reach; establishment of a toileting regime; use of a low-low bed; and use of bed/chair alarm. Intervention wards will be supported by a structured implementation strategy. The primary outcomes are fall and fall-related injury rates 12 months following 6-PACK implementation.
Discussion This study will involve approximately 16 000 patients, and as such is planned to be the largest hospital fall prevention RCT to be undertaken and the first to be powered for the important outcome of fall-related injuries. If effective, there is potential to implement the programme widely as part of daily patient care in acute hospital wards where fall-related injuries are a problem.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Laboratory studies have been used to identify nitric oxide as a notable mediator in neuronal death after acute brain injury. To our knowledge, this has not previously been confirmed with in vivo study in humans. Our purpose was to seek in vivo evidence for the induction of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in human acute brain injury by using proton MR spectroscopy.
METHODS: In vitro proton MR spectra were obtained in neural extracts from 30 human cadavers, and in vivo spectra were obtained in 20 patients with acute brain injury and in a similar number of control subjects.
RESULTS: We identified a unique peak at 3.15 ppm by using in vivo proton MR spectroscopy in eight of 20 patients with acute brain injury but not in 20 healthy volunteers (P < .002). On the basis of in vitro data, we have tentatively assigned this peak to citrulline, a NOS by-product.
CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, our findings suggest, for the first time, that excitotoxicity may occur in human acute brain injury. Confirmation with the acquisition of spectra in very early acute cerebral injury would provide a rationale for the use of neuroprotective agents in these conditions, as well as a new noninvasive method for quantification.
A growing number of older adults are admitted to hospitals, and information is needed on how age-related functional decline affects nursing care needs of this population. This study compared the functional status at admission and total nursing care needs of three age groups of older inpatients. A 12-month retrospective audit was performed on the records of 225 patients in a private metropolitan hospital. The three groups of patients were matched on diagnosis. Findings revealed that older patients were significantly more dependent, had greater total nursing care needs, and were less likely to be discharged to home, indicating that in addition to medical diagnoses, age-related differences of older patients’ functional status at admission and inpatient nursing care needs should be factored into staff workloads and funding of nursing care. The finding that significantly fewer of the older patients returned home must be considered when reviewing health care policy and services.