Professor Juliet Wright graduated from Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals in 1994 and trained in general and geriatric medicine in the South West Thames region. She was awarded her MD from the University of Surrey for a study investigating recombinant human growth hormone in older patients undergoing elective knee replacement surgery.
Juliet was appointed to Brighton and Sussex Medical School in 2007 and to the position of Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning in 2015, leading the school to excellence in student satisfaction with scores in the National Student Survey in excess of 95% over the last seven years. She has been executive sponsor of the BSMS medical school expansion, leading a full curriculum and assessment review to deliver Outcomes for Graduates and the MLA. Juliet led the curriculum development of the Time for Dementia programme, which won five national awards. She has recently been appointed to the Medical School Council MLA AKT Board. She is passionate about the student experience and has been awarded Best Teacher for the whole BSMS course on eight occasions.
Her main research interests focus on medical education and in the assessment of frailty in the elderly HIV population and in older oncology patients. She has supervised six doctorates in medical education in the domains of autism, dementia, frailty, anaesthetics, palliative medicine and preparation for practice. Alongside the clinical team at BSUH she has supported the development of the Silver clinic for older patients with HIV. This innovative service is the first of its type in the UK. Juliet was a co-applicant on a successful NIHR programme development grant investigating how to develop NHS services in order to meet the needs of an ageing population with HIV and has supervised a number of PhDs in this field.
Background The global prevalence of autism is reported to be at least 1% and is rising. Autistic people have a range of comorbidities resulting in a high use of health services. Doctors of nearly all specialties are likely to encounter autistic people in their practice. Autistic people report dissatisfactory care and encounter disproportionately worse health-related outcomes than non-autistic people, which in part has been attributed to a lack of skill and awareness in the medical workforce. At present, autism education is not always included in undergraduate medical curricula. In England, the Department of Health and Social Care has mandated that autism education should be included in all undergraduate medical curricula but current evidence relating to the delivery and receipt of autism education is poor. A greater understanding of medical student perceptions of autism education is required to inform curriculum development. This qualitative study sought to explore the perceptions of autism education in final year medical students at a medical school in South-East England by 1) assessing their perceived preparedness to care for autistic people once they have graduated from medical school , post-qualification and 2) determining their perceived acceptability of a new undergraduate 18 education programme, Time for Autism (TfA). Materials and methods A purposeful sample of ten final-year medical students were recruited. Students completed in-depth, individual interviews. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. Results Four key themes were identified: Learning environment, Exposure, Relevance and Curricular priority. The findings of this study indicate that medical students perceived that greatest value in autism education was when it was directly relevant to developing preparedness for practice. Value was influenced by the perceived curricular priority attached to autism education. The new autism programme, Time for Autism was perceived to add relevance and priority to autism education in the existing curriculum in this medical school setting. Discussion The study findings shed new light on medical education literature, emphasising the importance of congruence between the provision of autism education and the prioritisation of autism education within the curriculum. Consideration of relevance and curricular priority can be used to support the development of autism education in future medical curricula.
Radiotherapy reduces in-breast recurrence risk in early breast cancer (EBC) in older women. This benefit may be small and should be balanced against treatment effect and holistic patient assessment. This study described treatment patterns according to fitness and impact on health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL). A multicentre, observational study of EBC patients aged ≥ 70 years, undergoing breast-conserving surgery (BCS) or mastectomy, was undertaken. Associations between radiotherapy use, surgery, clinico-pathological parameters, fitness based on geriatric parameters and treatment centre were determined. HRQoL was measured using the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) questionnaires. In 2013–2018 2811 women in 56 UK study centres underwent surgery with a median follow-up of 52 months. On multivariable analysis, age and tumour risk predicted radiotherapy use. Among healthier patients (based on geriatric assessments) with high-risk tumours, 534/613 (87.1%) having BCS and 185/341 (54.2%) having mastectomy received radiotherapy. In less fit individuals with low-risk tumours undergoing BCS, 149/207 (72.0%) received radiotherapy. Radiotherapy effects on HRQoL domains, including breast symptoms and fatigue were seen, resolving by 18 months. Radiotherapy use in EBC patients ≥ 70 years is affected by age and recurrence risk, whereas geriatric parameters have limited impact regardless of type of surgery. There was geographical variation in treatment, with some fit older women with high-risk tumours not receiving radiotherapy, and some older, low-risk, EBC patients receiving radiotherapy after BCS despite evidence of limited benefit. The impact on HRQoL is transient.
BACKGROUNDOlder patients are at an increased risk of developing adverse drug reactions (ADR). Of particular concern are the oldest old, which constitute an increasingly growing population. Having a validated clinical tool to identify those older patients at risk of developing an ADR during hospital stay would enable healthcare staff to put measures in place to reduce the risk of such an event developing. The current study aimed to (1) develop and (2) validate an ADR risk prediction model. METHODSWe used a combination of univariate analysis and multivariate binary logistic regression to identify clinical risk factors for developing an ADR in a population of older people from a UK teaching hospital. The final ADR risk model was then validated in a European population (European dataset). RESULTSSix-hundred-ninety patients (median age 85 years) were enrolled in the development stage of the study. Ninety-five reports of ADR were confirmed by independent review in these patients. Five clinical variables were identified through multivariate analysis and included in our final model; each variable was attributed a score of 1. Internal validation produced an AUROC of 0.74, a sensitivity of 80%, and specificity of 55%. During the external validation stage the AUROC was 0.73, with sensitivity and specificity values of 84% and 43% respectively. CONCLUSIONSWe have developed and successfully validated a simple model to use ADR risk score in a population of patients with a median age of 85, i.e. the oldest old. The model is based on 5 clinical variables (≥8 drugs, hyperlipidaemia, raised white cell count, use of anti-diabetic agents, length of stay ≥12 days), some of which have not been previously reported.
The ageing population poses new challenges globally. Cancer care for older patients is one of these challenges, and it has a significant impact on societies. In the United Kingdom (UK), as the number of older cancer patients increases, the management of this group has become part of daily practice for most oncology teams in every geographical area. Older cancer patients are at a higher risk of both under- and over-treatment. Therefore, the assessment of a patient’s biological age and effective organ functional reserve becomes paramount. This may then guide treatment decisions by better estimating a prognosis and the risk-to-benefit ratio of a given therapy to anticipate and mitigate against potential toxicities/difficulties. Moreover, older cancer patients are often affected by geriatric syndromes and other issues that impact their overall health, function and quality of life. Comprehensive geriatric assessments offer an opportunity to identify and address health problems which may then optimise one’s fitness and well-being. Whilst it is widely accepted that older cancer patients may benefit from such an approach, resources are often scarce, and access to dedicated services and research remains limited to specific centres across the UK. The aim of this project is to map the current services and projects in the UK to learn from each other and shape the future direction of care of older patients with cancer.
Background: understanding how best to provide palliative care for frail older people with non-malignant conditions is an international priority. We aimed to develop a community-based episodic model of short-term integrated palliative and supportive care (SIPS) based on the views of service users and other key stakeholders in the United Kingdom. Method: transparent expert consultations with health professionals, voluntary sector and carer representatives including a consensus survey; and focus groups with older people and carers were used to generate recommendations for the SIPS model. Discussions focused on three key components of the model: potential benefit of SIPS, timing of delivery and processes of integrated working between specialist palliative care and generalist practitioners. Content and descriptive analysis was employed and findings were integrated across the data sources. Findings: we conducted two expert consultations (n = 63), a consensus survey (n = 42) and three focus groups (n = 17). Potential benefits of SIPS included holistic assessment, opportunity for end of life discussion, symptom management and carer reassurance. Older people and carers advocated early access to SIPS, while other stakeholders proposed delivery based on complex symptom burden. A priority for integrated working was the assignment of a key worker to co-ordinate care, but the assignment criteria remain uncertain. Interpretation: key stakeholders agree that a model of SIPS for frail older people with non-malignant conditions has potential benefits within community settings, but differ in opinion on the optimal timing and indications for this service. Our findings highlight the importance of consulting all key stakeholders in model development prior to feasibility evaluation.
Introduction: Older patients with early breast cancer (EBC) derive modest survival benefit from chemotherapy but have increased toxicity risk. Data on the impact of chemotherapy for EBC on quality of life in older patients are limited, but this is a key determinant of treatment acceptance. We aimed to investigate its effect on quality of life in older patients enrolled in the Bridging the Age Gap study. Materials and methods: A prospective, multicentre, observational study of EBC patients >= 70 years old was conducted in 2013-2018 at 56 UK hospitals. Demographics, patient, tumour characteristics, treatments and adverse events were recorded. Quality of life was assessed using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality-of-Life Questionnaires (EORTC-QLQ) C30, BR23 and ELD 15 plus the Euroqol-5D (eq-5d) over 24 months and analysed at each time point using baseline adjusted linear regression analysis and propensity score-matching. Results: Three thousand and four hundred sixteen patients were enrolled in the study; 1520 patients undergoing surgery and who had high-risk EBC were included in this analysis. 376/ 1520 (24.7%) received chemotherapy. At 6 months, chemotherapy had a significant negative impact in several EORTC-QLQ-C30 domains, including global health score, physical, role, social functioning, cognition, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, dyspnoea, appetite loss, diarrhoea and constipation. Similar trends were documented on other scales (EORTC-QLQ-BR23, EORTC-QLQ-ELD15 and EQ-5D-5L). Its impact was no longer significant at 18-24 months in unmatched and matched cohorts. Conclusions: The negative impact of chemotherapy on quality-of-life is clinically and statistically significant at 6 months but resolves by 18 months, which is crucial to inform decisionmaking for older patients contemplating chemotherapy.
Introduction: Comorbidities are increasingly common among people living with HIV (PLWH) as they age. There is no evidence regarding models of care. We aimed to assess feasibility of a novel methodology to investigate care processes for serious medical events in PLWH. Method: The method was based on the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD). Data were extracted from medical records and questionnaires completed by general practitioners (GPs), HIV physicians, and non-HIV specialist physicians. A panel reviewed anonymized cases and gave feedback on the review process. Results: Eleven of 13 patients consented to the study. Questionnaires were completed by 64% of HIV physicians, 67% of non-HIV specialist physicians, and 55% of GPs. The independent review panel (IRP) advised improvement in the methodology including data presentation and timing. Conclusion: This method was acceptable to patients and secondary care physicians. Further work is needed to the improve GP responses and facilitate IRP.
There is a recognised need to improve undergraduate education within dementia care. UK medical schools provide dementia-specific teaching, but this has previously been found to focus more on student knowledge and skills rather than behaviours and attitudes and does not often involve the wider multidisciplinary team. A simulation day was established, based on communicating with a person with dementia in a number of scenarios. This article aims to identify if this method of teaching within dementia care is successful. It is a qualitative study and draws on data from postcourse questionnaire responses and field notes of the simulation day. The data offered rich insights into how the session allowed participants to be challenged and taken to their perceived thresholds of capability. It highlights that behaviours and skills can be learnt via simulation and leads to a transformative change in the language learners used, suggesting that learning may happen through threshold concepts.
The transformation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from a rapidly fatal disease to a chronic manageable illness has resulted in annual increases in the numbers of people living with HIV. The HIV cohort is therefore ageing, with numbers of older adults with HIV climbing, through both prolonged survival and late acquisition of the disease. Associated with ageing is an accumulation of HIV-associated non-AIDS related comorbidities, creating a complex patient group affected by multi-morbidity along with polypharmacy, functional decline and complex social issues. With this in mind, this review seeks to explore areas where HIV (diagnosed or undetected) may impact on the work of clinical geriatricians.
Approximately 13% of people living with HIV in the UK are unaware of their infection. New diagnoses among people ≥50 years is increasing. Unique factors may be associated with testing in this group. This systematic review aims to identify patient and clinician-related barriers/facilitators to HIV testing in people aged ≥50 years. A systematic electronic search was conducted. Papers were assessed for eligibility and data from eligible studies were extracted. Barriers/facilitators were grouped, and the number of times they were reported was noted. Because of considerable heterogeneity, a narrative approach has been undertaken to synthesise data. In total, 17 studies were included. Main barriers to testing were low perceived risk and clinicians' preconceptions about older people. Main facilitators were regular use of healthcare services or being offered/encouraged to test by a healthcare provider. Although being encouraged to test was a common facilitator, clinicians' preconceptions about older people was the biggest barrier. This shows a divide between clinicians' preconceptions and patients' expectations, which may impact on testing rates. This review is an important first step in identifying potential barriers/facilitators for further study or to be addressed in the design of future interventions.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) in older people is a relatively common, yet hard to treat problem. In this study, we aimed to establish if a single nucleotide polymorphism in the 5-HT 1A receptor gene (rs6295) determines antidepressant response in patients aged > 80 years (the oldest old) with MDD. Nineteen patients aged at least 80 years with a new diagnosis of MDD were monitored for response to citalopram 20 mg daily over 4 weeks and genotyped for the rs6295 allele. Both a frequentist and Bayesian analysis was performed on the data. Bayesian analysis answered the clinically relevant question: ‘What is the probability that an older patient would enter remission after commencing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment, conditional on their rs6295 genotype?’ Individuals with a CC (cytosine–cytosine) genotype showed a significant improvement in their Geriatric Depression Score ( p = 0.020) and cognition ( p = 0.035) compared with other genotypes. From a Bayesian perspective, we updated reports of antidepressant efficacy in older people with our data and calculated that the 4-week relative risk of entering remission, given a CC genotype, is 1.9 [95% highest-density interval (HDI) 0.7–3.5], compared with 0.52 (95% HDI 0.1–1.0) for the CG (cytosine–guanine) genotype. The sample size of n = 19 is too small to draw any firm conclusions, however, the data suggest a trend indicative of a relationship between the rs6295 genotype and response to citalopram in older patients, which requires further investigation.
ObjectivesTo identify factors associated with end-of-life (EoL) transition from usual place of care to the hospital as place of death for people aged 75 and older. DesignPopulation-based mortality follow-back survey. SettingDeaths over 6 months in 2012 in two unitary authorities in England covering 800 square miles with more than 1 million residents. ParticipantsA random sample of people aged 75 and older who died in a care home or hospital and all those who died at home or in a hospice unit (N = 882). Cases were identified from death registrations. The person who registered the death (a relative for 98.9%) completed the survey. MeasurementsThe main outcome was EoL transition to the hospital as place of death versus no EoL transition to the hospital. Multivariable modified Poisson regression was used to examine factors (illness, demographic, environmental) related to EoL transition to the hospital. ResultsFour hundred forty-three (50.2%) individuals responded, describing the care of the people who died. Most died from nonmalignant conditions (76.3%) at a mean age of 87.4 6.4. One hundred forty-six (32.3%) transitioned to the hospital and died there. Transition was more likely for individuals with respiratory disease than for those with cancer (prevalence ratio (PR) = 2.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.42-3.01) and for people with severe breathlessness (PR = 1.96, 95% CI = 1.12-3.43). Transition was less likely if EoL preferences had been discussed with a healthcare professional (PR = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.42-0.88) and when there was a key healthcare professional (PR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.58-0.95). ConclusionTo reduce EoL transition to the hospital for older people, there needs to be improved management of breathlessness in the community and better access to a key healthcare professional skilled in coordinating care, communication, facilitating complex discussions, and in planning for future care.
Introduction Mobile applications (Apps) are popular in medical education; yet, the actual benefits for students are yet to be formally researched. Clinical And Professional Studies Unique Learning Environment (CAPSULE) is an App created by Brighton and Sussex Medical School. The App provides 650 cases offered to students in their final two years of the undergraduate programme. The App performed consistently well in student feedback, and therefore, a study into the educational benefits of the App was constructed. Methods A cross-sectional study was performed following two years of use by students to investigate the relationship between App usage and decile ranking. Results The study found that the students who completed more cases tended to score higher per case (p value=0.0037). The study also found a trend between having higher case scores and being part of a stronger decile (p value=0.019). Conclusions Greater App usage was linked with performing better in the App itself and this was further associated with being in a stronger decile rank. From a user perspective, the data generated from the App could help with identifying students who are underperforming or help students to recognise areas on which they need to focus.
Background and objectives: There is a need to ensure that the future healthcare workforce has the necessary knowledge and skills to deliver high quality compassionate care to the increasing number of people with dementia. Our programme has been set up to address this challenge. In the programme, undergraduate healthcare students (nursing, medical and paramedic) visit a family (person with dementia and their carer) in pairs over a 2-year period. This qualitative study sought to understand the student experience of the programme. Methods: Participants were undergraduate healthcare students who were undertaking our programme at two universities. We sampled for variation in the student participants in order to generate a framework for understanding the student experience of the programme. Students were invited to take part in the qualitative study, and written consent was obtained. Interviews and focus group transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Thirty-nine (nursing, medical and paramedic) student participants took part in individual in-depth qualitative interviews and 38 took part in five focus groups. Four key themes were identified from the analysis; relational learning, insight and understanding, challenging attitudes and enhanced dementia practice. Discussion: Student experience of our programme was shown to be positive. The relationship between the students and family was most impactful in supporting student learning, and the subsequent improvement in knowledge, attitudes and practice. Our model of undergraduate dementia education has applicability for other long-term conditions.
Background: Historically the elderly have been under-represented in non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) management trials. Aims: The aim of this trial was to demonstrate that an intervention-guided strategy is superior to optimal medical therapy (OMT) alone for treating NSTEMI in elderly individuals. Methods: Patients (>= 80 years, chest pain, ischaemic ECG, and elevated troponin) were randomised 1:1 to an intervention-guided strategy plus OMT versus OMT alone. The primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause mortality and non-fatal myocardial reinfarction at 1 year. Ethics approval was obtained by the institutional review board of every recruiting centre. Results: From May 2014 to September 2018, 251 patients (n=125 invasive vs n=126 conservative) were enrolled. Almost 50% of participants were female. The trial was terminated prematurely due to slow recruitment. A Kaplan-Meier estimate of event-free survival revealed no difference in the primary endpoint at 1 year (invasive 18.5% [23/124] vs conservative 22.2% [28/126]; p=0.39). No significant difference persisted after Cox proportional hazards regression analysis (hazard ratio 0.79, 95% confidence interval 0.45-1.35; p=0.39). There was greater freedom from angina at 3 months (p
Background Globally, a rising number of people live into advanced age and die with multimorbidity and frailty. Palliative care is advocated as a person-centred approach to reduce health-related suffering and promote quality of life. However, no evidence-based interventions exist to deliver community-based palliative care for this population. Aim To evaluate the impact of the short-term integrated palliative and supportive care intervention for older people living with chronic noncancer conditions and frailty on clinical and economic outcomes and perceptions of care. Design Single-blind trial with random block assignment to usual care or the intervention and usual care. The intervention comprised integrated person-centred palliative care delivered by multidisciplinary palliative care teams working with general practitioners and community nurses. Main outcome was change in five key palliative care symptoms from baseline to 12-weeks. Data analysis used intention to treat and complete cases to examine the mean difference in change scores and effect size between the trial arms. Economic evaluation used cost-effectiveness planes and qualitative interviews explored perceptions of the intervention. Setting/participants Four National Health Service general practices in England with recruitment of patients aged ≥75 years, with moderate to severe frailty, chronic noncancer condition(s) and ≥2 symptoms or concerns, and family caregivers when available. Results 50 patients were randomly assigned to receive usual care (n = 26, mean age 86.0 years) or the intervention and usual care (n = 24, mean age 85.3 years), and 26 caregivers (control n = 16, mean age 77.0 years; intervention n = 10, mean age 77.3 years). Participants lived at home (n = 48) or care home (n = 2). Complete case analysis (n = 48) on the main outcome showed reduced symptom distress between the intervention compared with usual care (mean difference -1.20, 95% confidence interval -2.37 to -0.027) and medium effect size (omega squared = 0.071). Symptom distress reduced with decreased costs from the intervention compared with usual care, demonstrating cost-effectiveness. Patient (n = 19) and caregiver (n = 9) interviews generated themes about the intervention of ‘Little things make a big difference’ with optimal management of symptoms and ‘Care beyond medicines’ of psychosocial support to accommodate decline and maintain independence. Conclusions This palliative and supportive care intervention is an effective and cost-effective approach to reduce symptom distress for older people severely affected by chronic noncancer conditions. It is a clinically effective way to integrate specialist palliative care with primary and community care for older people with chronic conditions. Further research is indicated to examine its implementation more widely for people at home and in care homes. Trial registration: Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN 45837097 Tweetable abstract: Specialist palliative care integrated with district nurses and GPs is cost-effective to reduce symptom distress for older people severely affected by chronic conditions.
ObjectivesOf all doctors, Foundation Year 1 trainees spend the most time caring for dying patients yet report poor preparation and low confidence in providing this care. Despite documented effectiveness of simulation in teaching end-of-life care to undergraduate nurses, undergraduate medicine continues to teach this subject using a more theoretical, classroom-based approach. By increasing undergraduate exposure to interactive dying patient scenarios, simulation has the potential to improve confidence and preparedness of medical students to care for dying patients. The main study objective was to explore whether simulated experience of caring for a dying patient and their family can improve the confidence and preparedness of medical students to provide such care.MethodsA mixed-methods interventional study simulating the care of a dying patient was undertaken with serial measures of confidence using the Self Efficacy in Palliative Care (SEPC) tool. Significance testing of SEPC scores was undertaken using paired t-tests and analysis of variance. Post-simulation focus groups gathered qualitative data on student preparedness. Data were transcribed using NVivo software and interpreted using Thematic Analysis.ResultsThirty-eight 4th-year students participated. A statistically significant post-simulation increase in confidence was seen for all SEPC domains, with sustained confidence observed at 6 months. Focus group data identified six major themes: current preparedness, simulated learning environment, learning complex skills, patient centredness, future preparation and curriculum change.ConclusionUsing simulation to teach medical students how to care for a dying patient and their family increases student confidence and preparedness to provide such care.
This paper describes the development and use of the bespoke digital learning resource CAPSULE (Clinical and Professional Studies Unique Learning Environment) which was launched UK wide in May 2020 to facilitate the delivery of core learning content for UK medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic. CAPSULE is a digital learning resource comprising case-based scenarios and multiple-choice questions, encompassing all undergraduate medical specialities and supported by a pan-speciality editorial board. Following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and loss of face-to-face learning opportunities, CAPSULE was made available to all UK medical schools in May 2020. Following a global content review and edit and UK wide rollout, over 41,000 medical students and 3200 faculty registered as users. Approximately 1.5 million cases were completed in the first 12 months of use by up to 4500 distinct monthly users. Feedback from both students and faculty has been highly positive. CAPSULE continues to be used within UK medical schools and has allowed an entire cohort of medical students to access core curriculum content and progress their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Future directions may include further integration into UK medical school curricula, enhancement of platform functionality and potential expansion on an international scale.
Background: Despite a decline in the number of new HIV infections in the UK overall, the number and proportion of new HIV diagnoses in people aged >= 50 years continues to increase. People aged >= 50 years are disproportionately affected by late diagnosis, which is associated with poorer health outcomes, increased treatment complexity and increased healthcare costs. Late HIV diagnosis also has significant public health implications in terms of onward HIV transmission. It is not fully understood what factors affect the decision of an older person to test for HIV. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with testing for HIV in people aged >= 50 years who tested late for HIV. Methods: We interviewed 20 people aged >= 50 years diagnosed late with HIV to identify factors associated with HIV testing. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Results: Seven themes associated with HIV testing in people aged >= 50 years were identified: experience of early HIV/AIDS campaigns, HIV knowledge, presence of symptoms and symptom attribution, risk and risk perception, generational approaches to health and sexual health, stigma, and type of testing and testing venue. Conclusion: Some factors associated with testing identified in this study were unique to older individuals. People aged >= 50 years often do not perceive themselves to be at risk of HIV. Further, stigma and a lack of knowledge of how to access HIV testing suggest a need for health promotion and suggest current sexual health services may need to adapt to better meet their needs.
Aims HbA(1c) is reported to underestimate glycaemia in people living with HIV (PLHIV). There is not an internationally agreed screening method for diabetes. The primary aim was to identify which tests are performed to diagnose and monitor diabetes in PLHIV. Secondary aims were to identify whether prevalence or incidence of diabetes differs according to marker of glycaemia and how figures compare in PLHIV compared to people without. Methods Electronic databases were searched for studies investigating diabetes in PLHIV, not pregnant, aged >= 18 years. Narrative analysis and descriptive statistics were used to describe which markers of glycaemia, and their frequency, were employed in the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes in PLHIV. Diagnostic studies provided prevalence or incidence of diabetes. Results In all, 45 of 1028 studies were included. Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), fasting glucose (FG), HbA(1c) and Fructosamine were used to investigate diabetes. In total, 27 studies described diagnosing diabetes, 14 using OGTT, 12 FG and 7 HbA1c. All 18 studies monitoring diabetes used HbA1c. Prevalence ranged from 1.3% to 26% and incidence 2.9% to 12.8%. Studies using glucose and HbA(1c) reported HbA(1c) to diagnose fewer people with diabetes, monitoring studies found HbA(1c) to underestimate glycaemia levels. Controlled studies demonstrate diabetes was more common in PLHIV. Conclusion OGTT was used most frequently to diagnose diabetes, and HbA(1c) to monitor known diabetes. Prevalence and incidence varied depending on marker of glycaemia used. Studies reported a discrepancy in accuracy of HbA(1c) in PLHIV, to address this, well-designed, prospective studies, providing individual-level data on HbA(1c) levels and an additional marker of glycaemia in PLHIV are needed.
ObjectivesTo describe the prevalence and predictors of frailty in individuals with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) using systematic review methodology. DesignReview. SettingCommunity. ParticipantsOlder adults with HIV. MeasurementsMedline, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsychInfo, and PubMed were searched for original observational studies with populations including individuals with HIV in which frailty was assessed using the frailty phenotype or a variant thereof. Studies were examined for frailty prevalence and predictors of the syndrome in those with HIV. ResultsThirteen of 322 citations were included for full review. All demonstrated the presence of frailty in individuals with HIV, with prevalence ranging from 5% to 28.6% depending on population studied. HIV was a risk factor for frailty. Predictors of frailty included older age, comorbidities, diagnosis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and low current CD4(+) cell count. ConclusionHIV appears to be an independent risk factor for frailty, with frailty occurring in individuals with HIV at rates comparable with older individuals without HIV. Heterogeneity in study populations and frailty assessment measures hamper accurate description of the problem. Future longitudinal work with standardized methodology is needed to describe prevalence accurately and confirm predictors.
Purpose All UK medical schools are required to include frailty in their curriculum. The term is open to interpretation and associated with negative perceptions. Understanding and recognising frailty is a prerequisite for consideration of frailty in the treatment decision-making process across clinical specialities. The aim of this survey was to describe how frailty has been interpreted and approached in UK undergraduate medical education and provide examples of educational strategies employed. Methods All UK medical schools were invited to complete an electronic survey. Schools described educational strategies used to teach and assess frailty and provided frailty-related learning outcomes. Learning Outcomes were grouped into categories and mapped to the domains of Outcomes for Graduates (knowledge, skills and values). Results 25/34 Medical schools (74%) participated. The interpretation of what frailty is vary widely and the diversity of teaching strategies reflect this. The most common Learning outcomes included as “Frailty” are about the concept of frailty, Comprehensive Geriatric Assessments and Roles of the MDT. Frailty teaching is predominantly opportunistic and occurred within geriatric medicine rotations in all medical schools. Assessments focus on frailty syndromes such as falls and delirium. Conclusion There is variation regarding how frailty has been interpreted and approached by medical schools. Frailty is represented in an array of teaching and assessment methods, with a lack of constructive alignment to related learning outcomes. Consensus should be agreed as to what frailty means in medical education. Further research is required to explore which frailty-specific educational strategies in undergraduate medical education enhance learning.
The purpose of the study was to determine whether older patients with metastatic cancer continue to take medications for the treatment of pre-existing co-morbidities after the diagnosis of metastatic disease. Between November 2008 and June 2009, patients over the age of 65 with metastatic cancer were interviewed. Medical records were reviewed in order to ascertain current medication use and relevant past medical history. Classes of medication of interest were prospectively defined; these were anti-hypertensives, lipid-lowering drugs, anti-platelet agents, anti-coagulants and bisphosphonates. One hundred patients were recruited, with a median age of 73.5 years (range 65-88); 52% were women. The primary cancer sites were breast, 36%; prostate, 27%; colon, 14%; other, 23%. The median performance status of the patients was 2. The median number of medications was 7 (range 1-17). Eighty-one percent of patients were found to be taking one or more of the predefined medications for treatment of a long-term co-morbidity. Overall 52% of patients had side effects attributed to these medications. Patients with metastatic cancer continue to take drugs for prevention of co-morbidities which are associated with side effects and inconvenience. The benefits of these drugs are likely to be minimal, and medication reviews should be undertaken to address their appropriateness.
As life expectancy in people living with HIV (PLWH) has increased, the focus of management has shifted to preventing and treating chronic illnesses, but few services exist for the assessment and management of these individuals. Here, we provide an initial description of a geriatric service for people living with HIV and present data from a service evaluation undertaken in the clinic. We conducted an evaluation of the first 52 patients seen in the clinic between 2016 and 2019. We present patient demographic data, assessment outcomes, diagnoses given, and interventions delivered to those seen in the clinic. The average age of attendees was 67. Primary reasons for referral to the clinic included management of complex comorbidities, polypharmacy, and suspected geriatric syndrome (falls, frailty, poor mobility, or cognitive decline). The median (range) number of comorbidities and comedications (non-antiretrovirals) was 7 (2-19) and 9 (1-15), respectively. All attendees had an undetectable viral load. Geriatric syndromes were observed in 26 (50%) patients reviewed in the clinic, with frailty and mental health disease being the most common syndromes. Interventions offered to patients included combination antiretroviral therapy modification, further health investigations, signposting to rehabilitation or social care services, and in-clinic advice. High levels of acceptability among patients and healthcare professionals were reported. The evaluation suggests that specialist geriatric HIV services might play a role in the management of older people with HIV with geriatric syndromes.
Background Individuals aged >= 50 years continue to be disproportionately affected by late HIV diagnosis, which is associated with poorer health outcomes and onward transmission. Despite HIV testing guidelines and high acceptability of HIV testing among all patients, clinicians are less likely to offer a test to an older individual. The aim of this study was to identify clinician-related factors associated with offering HIV testing to patients aged >= 50 years. Methods Twenty clinicians who had been involved in the care of an older patient diagnosed late with HIV were interviewed. Results Thematic analysis identified seven factors associated with offering HIV testing to older people: knowledge, stigma, stereotyping and perception of risk, symptom attribution, discussing HIV with patients, consent procedures and practical issues. Conclusions Although some factors are not unique to older patients, some are unique to this group. Many clinicians lack up-to-date HIV-related knowledge, feel anxious discussing HIV with older patients and perceive asexuality in older age. In order to increase the offer of HIV testing to this group, we identified clinician-related barriers to test offer that need to be addressed.
Age-related breast cancer treatment variance is widespread with many older women having primary endocrine therapy (PET), which may contribute to inferior survival and local control. This propensity-matched study determined if a subgroup of older women may safely be offered PET. Multicentre, prospective, UK, observational cohort study with propensity-matched analysis to determine optimal allocation of surgery plus ET (S+ET) or PET in women aged ≥70 with breast cancer. Data on fitness, frailty, cancer stage, grade, biotype, treatment and quality of life were collected. Propensity-matching (based on age, health status and cancer stage) adjusted for allocation bias when comparing S+ET with PET. A total of 3416 women (median age 77, range 69–102) were recruited from 56 breast units—2854 (88%) had ER+ breast cancer: 2354 had S+ET and 500 PET. Median follow-up was 52 months. Patients treated with PET were older and frailer than patients treated with S+ET. Unmatched overall survival was inferior in the PET group (hazard ratio, (HR) 0.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.23–0.33, P 85 with comorbidities or frailty) individualised decision making regarding PET versus S+ET may be appropriate and safe to offer. The Age Gap online decision tool may support this decision-making process (https://agegap.shef.ac.uk/). ISRCTN: 46099296.
Objectives The aims of the study were to determine the rates, types, severity and preventability of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in a hospitalized population of very elderly patients (over 80 years of age) and to identify factors that predispose the very elderly to an ADR. Methods An observational study was conducted in patients over 80 years of age admitted to four care of the elderly wards in Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. The main outcome measures were the incidence of ADRs during inpatient stay in older patients and the identification of the major drug classes involved and the risk factors contributing to the occurrence of ADRs. Results A total of 560 very elderly patients were recruited, 74 of whom experienced one or more ADR (83 in total), representing an incidence of 13.2% (95% CI 10.4, 16). Sixty-three percent of all ADRs were considered preventable, with 57 classified as serious and three as life threatening. The drug classes frequently implicated in ADRs were cardiovascular agents (34%), analgesic medications (18%) and anti-diabetic drugs (10%). Five variables were established as independent predictors of ADRs: number of medications, use of hypoglycaemic agents, history of hyperlipidaemia, raised white cell count on admission, and length of stay. Conclusions The ADR incidence reported in this population was no greater than that seen in other studies for both general medical patients and those elderly patients over 65 years of age. A significant proportion of ADRs were preventable, and this suggests that closer monitoring of high-risk elderly patients is needed to address this problem.
Background: Primary endocrine therapy may be an alternative treatment for less fit women with oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. This study compared quality-of-life (QoL) outcomes in older women treated with surgery or primary endocrine therapy. Methods: This was a multicentre, prospective, observational cohort study of surgery or primary endocrine therapy in women aged over 70 years with operable breast cancer. QoL was assessed using European Organisation for Research and Treatment of cancer QoL questionnaires QLQ-C30, BR23, and ELD14, and the EuroQol Five Dimensions 5L score at baseline, 6 weeks, and 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Propensity score matching was used to adjust for baseline variation in health, fitness, and tumour stage. Results: The study recruited 3416 women (median age 77 (range 69-102) years) from 56 breast units. Of these, 2979 (87.2 per cent) had ER-positive breast cancer; 2354 women had surgery and 500 received primary endocrine therapy (125 were excluded from analysis due to inadequate data or non-standard therapy). Median follow-up was 52 months. The primary endocrine therapy group was older and less fit. Baseline QoL differed between the groups; the mean(s.d.) QLQ-C30 global health status score was 66.2(21.1) in patients who received primary endocrine therapy versus 77.1(17.8) among those who had surgery plus endocrine therapy. In the unmatched analysis, changes in QoL between 6 weeks and baseline were noted in several domains, but by 24 months most scores had returned to baseline levels. In the matched analysis, major surgery (mastectomy or axillary clearance) had a more pronounced adverse impact than primary endocrine therapy in several domains. Conclusion: Adverse effects on QoL are seen in the first few months after surgery, but by 24 months these have largely resolved. Women considering surgery should be informed of these effects.
BackgroundThe General Medical Council expects medical graduates to care for dying patients with skill, clinical judgement and compassion. UK surveys continually demonstrate low confidence and increasing distress amongst junior doctors when providing care to the dying.AimThis systematic review aims to determine what has been evidenced within worldwide literature regarding medical undergraduate confidence to care for dying patients.DesignA systematic electronic search was undertaken. Data extraction included measurements of baseline confidence, associated assessment tools and details of applied educational interventions. Pre/postintervention confidence comparisons were made. Factors influencing confidence levels were explored.Data sourcesMEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science, ERIC, PsycINFO, British Education Index and Cochrane Review databases were accessed, with no restrictions on publication year. Eligible studies included the terms ‘medical student’, ‘confidence’ and ‘dying’, alongside appropriate MeSH headings. Study quality was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool.ResultsFifteen eligible studies were included, demonstrating a diversity of assessment tools. Student confidence was low in provision of symptom management, family support, and psycho-spiritual support to dying patients. Eight interventional studies demonstrated increased postinterventional confidence. Lack of undergraduate exposure to dying patients and lack of structure within undergraduate palliative care curricula were cited as factors responsible for low confidence.ConclusionThis review clarifies the objective documentation of medical undergraduate confidence to care for the dying. Identifying where teaching fails to prepare graduates for realities in clinical practice will help inform future undergraduate palliative care curriculum planning.PROSPERO registration numberCRD42019119057.
Background there is little research on preferences in students and newly qualified healthcare professionals for working with people with dementia. Understanding the development of these preferences can help inform strategies to increase workforce capacity in response to current suboptimal dementia care and the increasing numbers of people with dementia. Objective to explore the factors that influence career preferences in relation to working with people with dementia. Specifically, to understand how these factors relate to early career doctors' and nurses' preferences and how they influence decisions and perspectives on their careers. Methods qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 27 newly qualified doctors and nurses within 2 years of graduation. This included a subset of participants that had taken part in a dementia educational intervention during their undergraduate training. Transcripts were analysed using grounded theory methods. Results the results present six main categories representing complex interlinked factors influencing preferences for working with people with dementia as well as exploring the definition of a career working with people with dementia. The factors include the importance of making a difference; seeing dementia care as a different type of care; its perceived alignment with personal characteristics; perceptions of people with dementia; care environments and career characteristics. Discussion this is the first study to explore the factors influencing preferences for working with people with dementia in newly qualified healthcare professionals. It provides useful data to inform workforce planning, and curriculum and practice development to stimulate interest and drive improved quality of care.