BACKGROUND:Inadequate hydration in the elderly is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. However, few studies have addressed the knowledge of elderly individuals regarding hydration in health and disease. Gaps in health literacy have been identified as a critical component in health maintenance, and promoting health literacy should improve outcomes related to hydration associated illnesses in the elderly.METHODS:We administered an anonymous survey to community-dwelling elderly (n = 170) to gauge their hydration knowledge.RESULTS:About 56% of respondents reported consuming >6 glasses of fluid/day, whereas 9% reported drinking ≤3 glasses. About 60% of respondents overestimated the amount of fluid loss at which moderately severe dehydration symptoms occur, and 60% did not know fever can cause dehydration. Roughly 1/3 were not aware that fluid overload occurs in heart failure (35%) or kidney failure (32%). A majority of respondents were not aware that improper hydration or changes in hydration status can result in confusion, seizures, or death.CONCLUSIONS:Overall, our study demonstrated that there were significant deficiencies in hydration health literacy among elderly. Appropriate education and attention to hydration may improve quality of life, reduce hospitalizations and the economic burden related to hydration-associated morbidity and mortality.
Objective Cardiac cachexia is a condition associated with heart failure, particularly in the elderly, and is characterized by loss of muscle mass with or without the loss of fat mass. Approximately 15% of elderly heart failure patients will eventually develop cardiac cachexia; such a diagnosis is closely associated with high morbidity and increased mortality. While the mechanism(s) involved in the progression of cardiac cachexia is incompletely established, certain factors appear to be contributory. Dietary deficiencies, impaired bowel perfusion, and metabolic dysfunction all contribute to reduced muscle mass, increased muscle wasting, increased protein degradation, and reduced protein synthesis. Thus slowing or preventing the progression of cardiac cachexia relies heavily on dietary and exercise-based interventions in addition to standard heart failure treatments and medications. Methods The aim of the present study was to test the feasibility of an at-home exercise and nutrition intervention program in a population of elderly with heart failure, in an effort to determine whether dietary protein supplementation and increased physical activity may slow the progression, or prevent the onset, of cardiac cachexia. Frail elderly patients over the age of 55 with symptoms of heart failure from UAMS were enrolled in one of two groups, intervention or control. To assess the effect of protein supplementation and exercise on the development of cardiac cachexia, data on various measures of muscle quality, cardiovascular health, mental status, and quality of life were collected and analyzed from the two groups at the beginning and end of the study period. Results More than 50% of those who were initially enrolled actually completed the 6-month study. While both groups showed some improvement in their study measures, the protein and exercise group showed a greater tendency to improve than the control group by the end of the six months. Conclusion These findings suggest that with a larger cohort, this intervention may show significant positive effects for elderly patients who are at risk of developing cardiac cachexia.
Introduction: Older patients with hip fracture have a 20% to 30% mortality rate in the year after surgery. Nonoperative care has higher 1-year mortality rates and is generally only pursued in those with an extraordinarily high surgical risk. As the population ages, more patients with hip fracture may fall into this category. The orthopedic surgeon is typically the main consultant responsible for deciding between surgery and conservative management, and the reasoning behind one decision over the other is often poorly understood. We undertook a review to determine decision-making tools for surgery in high-risk patients with hip fracture. Materials and Methods: A review was conducted using PubMed to determine articles published using the terms palliative care, conservative care, nonoperative, hip fracture, orthopedic procedures, fracture fixation, and surgery. Our search resulted in 13 articles to review. These were further screened to determine tools for use in surgical decision-making. Results: Several potential decision-making tools were found in our search. The potential tools to identify patients who would benefit from nonoperative treatment included the Palliative Performance Scale for severe dementia, the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living and Katz Activities of Daily Living scales for prefracture immobility, a combination of clinical signs and laboratory tests to determine risk of imminent death, and the Charlson Comorbidity Score for additional serious comorbidities. No tools have been prospectively tested in a clinical setting. Discussion: Evaluation of each patient using a variety of decision making tools should help the orthopedic surgeon determine which patients would be better suited to non-operative management. After determining the benefit of non-operative care, they must effectively allow the fracture to heal while ameliorating pain. Palliative care physicians can fulfill this role by providing support and symptom relief. Conclusions: Surgical decision-making for hip fracture repair in the elderly patients is not straight forward. Several tools may be helpful to the surgeon in determining who may be better suited for nonoperative care or a palliative care referral. Prospective data do not exist in these decision-making tools.
The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy and its risk factors are evident. Novel approaches to increase the screening and treatment of these frequent complications are key to optimize diabetes care.
Objective: Training on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) healthcare and inclusive practice is lacking in curricula across health professions, contributing to health disparities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate an interprofessional learning activity on LGBTQ healthcare disparities and inclusive practices delivered in a closed Facebook group. Design: Asynchronous, online platforms, like social media, offer a simple means of connection and discussion for interprofessional education. Setting: An academic health centre in the Southern USA. Methods: The learning activity consisted of (1) pre- and post-quizzes assessing knowledge about LGBTQ healthcare, (2) content review of required readings and a video and (3) daily discussion threads. Students completed individual reflection essays about interprofessional education and practice and the Quadruple Aim. Results: Two cohorts of interprofessional students completed the activity. Average quiz scores increased post-activity. Both the Facebook discussion threads and reflection essays demonstrated that students recognised the need to incorporate LGBTQ-inclusive practices into their future professional practice, as well as recognised the valuable insight of their interprofessional team members. Students had mixed perspectives about Facebook as a discussion platform for interprofessional education. Conclusion: Facebook groups provide a feasible platform to implement interprofessional education on LGBTQ-inclusive healthcare practice and stimulate student discussion.
Objective: Arkansas Improving Multidisciplinary Pain Care and Treatment (AR-IMPACT) is an interprofessional team that delivers televideo case conferences to help providers optimize treatment of pain using nonopioid, evidence-based therapies. This article assesses AR-IMPACT using the RE-AIM (reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation, maintenance) framework.Design: A cross-sectional study.Setting: Large, academic medical center.Participants: Healthcare providers.Interventions: Televideo case conferences.Main outcome measures: Reach was evaluated by the number of participants, professions represented, and counties/states in which providers resided. Efficacy was assessed via a participant evaluation survey. Adoption was evaluated by calculating the number of repeat participants and soliciting information on barriers to adoption of conference recommendations in clinical practice using the participant evaluation survey. Implementation was evaluated by calculating the time and cost burden of the program.Results: Reach was widespread; continuing education (CE) credits have been claimed by 395 providers in 54 of the 75 counties in Arkansas and 18 states outside Arkansas. For efficacy, the majority of providers noted increases in their knowledge due to AR-IMPACT (89.6 percent). Like reach, adoption was also extensive; approximately 42 percent of AR-IMPACT participants attended more than one conference, and close to 56 percent of participants noted no barriers to adopting the changes discussed in the conferences. With implementation, the time requirements for developing a case conference ranged from 2 to 4 hours, and the cost per CE credit was $137, which is on par with other programs.Conclusions: AR-IMPACT was successful, particularly in reach and efficacy. Entities that implement programs similar to AR-IMPACT will likely experience extensive uptake by providers.
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