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NHS R&D HTA ProgrammeT he research findings from the NHS R&D Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme directly influence key decision-making bodies such as the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the National Screening Committee (NSC) who rely on HTA outputs to help raise standards of care. HTA findings also help to improve the quality of the service in the NHS indirectly in that they form a key component of the 'National Knowledge Service' that is being developed to improve the evidence of clinical practice throughout the NHS.The HTA Programme was set up in 1993. Its role is to ensure that high-quality research information on the costs, effectiveness and broader impact of health technologies is produced in the most efficient way for those who use, manage and provide care in the NHS. 'Health technologies' are broadly defined to include all interventions used to promote health, prevent and treat disease, and improve rehabilitation and long-term care, rather than settings of care.The HTA programme commissions research only on topics where it has identified key gaps in the evidence needed by the NHS. Suggestions for topics are actively sought from people working in the NHS, the public...
Background/aim: A third of elderly people fall each year. Poor vision is associated with increased risk of falls. The authors aimed to determine if first eye cataract surgery reduces the risk of falling, and to measure associated health gain. Methods: 306 women aged over 70, with cataract, were randomised to expedited (approximately 4 weeks) or routine (12 months wait) surgery. Falls were ascertained by diary, with follow up every 3 months. Health status was measured after 6 months. Results: Visual function improved in the operated group (corrected binocular acuity improved by 0.25 logMAR units; 8% had acuity worse than 6/12 compared with 37% of controls). Over 12 months of follow up, 76 (49%) operated participants fell at least once, and 28 (18%) fell more than once. 69 (45%) unoperated participants fell at least once, 38 (25%) fell more than once. Rate of falling was reduced by 34% in the operated group (rate ratio 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.45 to 0.96, p = 0.03). Activity, anxiety, depression, confidence, visual disability, and handicap all improved in the operated group compared with the control group. Four participants in the operated group had fractures (3%), compared with 12 (8%) in the control group (p = 0.04). Conclusion: First eye cataract surgery reduces the rate of falling, and risk of fractures and improves visual function and general health status.
It seems likely that disablement, specifically handicap, is the chief cause of onsets of depression in late-life. Genetic predisposition, early adversity and serious life events may play a less prominent role than in earlier life. Effective prevention of late-life depression requires attention at the structural level to the sources of handicap within communities.
BackgroundFamilies and other carers report widespread dissatisfaction with general hospital care for confused older people.MethodsWe undertook a qualitative interviews study of 35 family carers of 34 confused older patients to ascertain their experiences of care on geriatric and general medical, and orthopaedic wards of a large English hospital. Transcripts were analysed using a grounded theory approach. Themes identified in interviews were categorised, and used to build a model explaining dissatisfaction with care.ResultsThe experience of hospital care was often negative. Key themes were events (illness leading to admission, experiences in the hospital, adverse occurrences including deterioration in health, or perceived poor care); expectations (which were sometimes unrealistic, usually unexplored by staff, and largely unmet from the carers’ perspective); and relationships with staff (poor communication and conflict over care). Expectations were influenced by prior experience. A cycle of discontent is proposed. Events (or ‘crises’) are associated with expectations. When these are unmet, carers become uncertain or suspicious, which leads to a period of ‘hyper vigilant monitoring’ during which carers seek out evidence of poor care, culminating in challenge, conflict with staff, or withdrawal, itself a crisis. The cycle could be completed early during the admission pathway, and multiple cycles within a single admission were seen.ConclusionPeople with dementia who have family carers should be considered together as a unit. Family carers are often stressed and tired, and need engaging and reassuring. They need to give and receive information about the care of the person with dementia, and offered the opportunity to participate in care whilst in hospital. Understanding the perspective of the family carer, and recognising elements of the ‘cycle of discontent’, could help ward staff anticipate carer needs, enable relationship building, to pre-empt or avoid dissatisfaction or conflict.
Objective To develop and evaluate a best practice model of general hospital acute medical care for older people with cognitive impairment.Design Randomised controlled trial, adapted to take account of constraints imposed by a busy acute medical admission system. Setting Large acute general hospital in the United Kingdom.Participants 600 patients aged over 65 admitted for acute medical care, identified as "confused" on admission.Interventions Participants were randomised to a specialist medical and mental health unit, designed to deliver best practice care for people with delirium or dementia, or to standard care (acute geriatric or general medical wards). Features of the specialist unit included joint staffing by medical and mental health professionals; enhanced staff training in delirium, dementia, and person centred dementia care; provision of organised purposeful activity; environmental modification to meet the needs of those with cognitive impairment; delirium prevention; and a proactive and inclusive approach to family carers.
DEMQOL and DEMQOL-Proxy show psychometric properties that are comparable with the best available dementia-specific measures of HRQL. We recommend that DEMQOL and DEMQOL-Proxy are used together. Reliability and validity need to be confirmed in independent samples and responsiveness needs to be evaluated.
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