Linking e-health records, patient-reported symptoms and environmental exposure data to characterise and model COPD exacerbations: protocol for the COPE study.

Moore, E.; Chatzidiakou, L.; Jones, R.L.; Smeeth, L.; Beevers, S.; Kelly, F.J.; K Quint, J.; Barratt, B.;
Linking e-health records, patient-reported symptoms and environmental exposure data to characterise and model COPD exacerbations: protocol for the COPE study.
BMJ Open, 2016; 6(7):e011330

BACKGROUND: An urgent priority in maternal, newborn and child health is to accelerate the scale-up of cost-effective essential interventions, especially during labor, the immediate postnatal period and for the treatment of serious infectious diseases and acute malnutrition.  Tracking intervention coverage is a key activity to support scale-up and in this paper we examine priorities in coverage measurement, distinguishing between essential interventions that can be measured now and those that require methodological development.
METHODS: We conceptualized a typology of indicators related to intervention coverage that distinguishes access to care from receipt of an intervention by the population in need.  We then built on documented evidence on coverage measurement to determine the status of indicators for essential interventions and to identify areas for development.
RESULTS: Contact indicators from pregnancy to childhood were identified as current indicators for immediate use, but indicators reflecting the quality of care provided during these contacts need development. At each contact point, some essential interventions can be measured now, but the need for development of indicators predominates around interventions at the time of birth and interventions to treat infections. Addressing this need requires improvements in routine facility based data capture, methods for linking provider and community-based data, and improved guidance for effective coverage measurement that reflects the provision of high-quality care.
CONCLUSION: Coverage indicators for some essential interventions can be measured accurately through household surveys and be used to track progress in maternal, newborn and child health.  Other essential interventions currently rely on contact indicators as proxies for coverage but urgent attention is needed to identify new measurement approaches that directly and reliably measure their effective coverage.
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) can provide important structural information in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation. Although CMR is considered the standard of reference for measuring ventricular volumes and mass, the relationship between CMR findings of right ventricular (RV) function and outcomes after transcatheter aortic valve implantation has not previously been reported.
METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 190 patients underwent 1.5 Tesla CMR before transcatheter aortic valve implantation. Steady-state free precession sequences were used for aortic valve planimetry and to assess ventricular volumes and mass. Semiautomated image analysis was performed by 2 specialist reviewers blinded to patient treatment. Patient follow-up was obtained from the Office of National Statistics mortality database. The median age was 81.0 (interquartile range, 74.9-85.5) years; 50.0% were women. Impaired RV function (RV ejection fraction ≤50%) was present in 45 (23.7%) patients. Patients with RV dysfunction had poorer left ventricular ejection fractions (42% versus 69%), higher indexed left ventricular end-systolic volumes (96 versus 40 mL), and greater indexed left ventricular mass (101 versus 85 g/m(2); P<0.01 for all) than those with normal RV function. Median follow-up was 850 days; 21 of 45 (46.7%) patients with RV dysfunction died, compared with 43 of 145 (29.7%) patients with normal RV function (P=0.035). After adjustment for significant baseline variables, both RV ejection fraction ≤50% (hazard ratio, 2.12; P=0.017) and indexed aortic valve area (hazard ratio, 4.16; P=0.025) were independently associated with survival.
CONCLUSIONS: RV function, measured on preprocedural CMR, is an independent predictor of mortality after transcatheter aortic valve implantation. CMR assessment of RV function may be important in the risk stratification of patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation.
BACKGROUND: The effect of CD4 count on malaria incidence in HIV infected adults on antiretroviral therapy (ART) was assessed in the context of a randomized controlled trial on the effect of stopping cotrimoxazole (CTX).
METHODS: This study presents a sub-analysis of the COSTOP trial (ISRCTN44723643) which was carried out among HIV-infected Ugandan adults stable on ART with CD4 counts ≥250 cells/µl. Participants were randomized (1:1) to continue CTX or stop CTX and receive matching placebo, and were followed up for a minimum of 1 year (median 2.5 years). CD4 counts were measured at baseline, 3 months and then every 6 months. Clinical malaria was defined as fever and a positive blood slide. First, the relationship between current CD4 count during follow-up and malaria among participants on placebo was examined; using random effects Poisson regression to account for repeated episodes. Second, the effect of CD4 count at enrolment, CD4 count at ART initiation, and CD4 count during follow-up on malaria, was assessed within each trial arm; to examine whether the effect of CD4 count differed by CTX use.
RESULTS: 2180 participants were enrolled into the COSTOP trial. The incidence of clinical malaria was approximately four episodes/100 person years in the CTX arm and 14 episodes/100 person years in the placebo arm. There was no evidence of an association of current CD4 and clinical malaria incidence (P = 0.56), or parasitaemia levels (P = 0.24), in the placebo arm. Malaria incidence did not differ by CD4 count at ART initiation, enrolment or during follow up, irrespective of CTX use. When compared with participants in the lowest CD4 stratum, rate ratios within each trial arm were all close to 1, and P values were all above P = 0.30.
CONCLUSIONS: The immune status of HIV infected participants who are stable on ART as measured by CD4 count was not associated with malaria incidence and did not modify the effect of stopping CTX on malaria. The decision of whether to stop or continue CTX prophylaxis for malaria in HIV infected individuals who are stable on ART should not be based on CD4 counts alone. COSTOP trial registration number ISRCTN44723643.
: The NHS needs valid information on the safety and effectiveness of healthcare interventions. Cochrane systematic reviews are an important source of this information. Traditionally, Cochrane has attempted to identify and include all relevant trials in systematic reviews on the basis that if all trials are identified and included, there should be no selection bias. However, a predictable consequence of the drive to include all trials is that some studies are included that are not trials (false positives). Including such studies in reviews might increase bias. More effort is needed to authenticate trials to be included in reviews, but this task is bedevilled by the enormous increase in the number of \\\’trials\\\’ conducted each year. We argue that excluding small trials from reviews would release resources for more detailed appraisal of larger trials. Conducting fewer but broader reviews that contain fewer but properly validated trials might better serve patients\\\’ interests.
BACKGROUND: For prevention of HIV, early infant male circumcision (EIMC) needs to be scaled up in countries with high HIV prevalence. Routine EIMC will maintain the HIV prevention gains anticipated from current adult male circumcision initiatives. We present here the results of a field study of EIMC conducted in Zimbabwe.
METHODS: The study was observational and based on the World Health Organization (WHO) framework for clinical evaluation of male circumcision devices. We recruited parents of newborn male infants between August 2013 and July 2014 from 2 clinics. Nurse-midwives used the AccuCirc device to circumcise eligible infants. We followed participants for 14 days after EIMC. Outcome measures were EIMC safety, acceptability, and feasibility.
RESULTS: We enrolled 500 male infants in the field study (uptake 11%). The infants were circumcised between 6 and 60 days postpartum. The procedure took a median of 17 minutes (interquartile range of 5 to 18 minutes). Mothers’ knowledge of male circumcision was extensive. Of the 498 mothers who completed the study questionnaire, 91% knew that male circumcision decreases the risk of HIV acquisition, and 83% correctly stated that this prevention is partial. Asked about their community’s perception of EIMC, 40% felt that EIMC will likely be viewed positively in their community; 13% said negatively; and 47% said the perception could be both ways. We observed 7 moderate or severe adverse events (1.4%; 95% confidence interval, 0.4% to 2.4%). All resolved without lasting effects. Nearly all mothers (99%) reported great satisfaction with the outcome, would recommend EIMC to other parents, and would circumcise their next sons.
CONCLUSION: This first field study in sub-Saharan Africa of the AccuCirc device for EIMC demonstrated that EIMC conducted by nurse-midwives with this device is safe, feasible, and acceptable to parents.
INTRODUCTION: Relationships between exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and air pollution are not well characterised, due in part to oversimplification in the assignment of exposure estimates to individuals and populations. New developments in miniature environmental sensors mean that patients can now carry a personal air quality monitor for long periods of time as they go about their daily lives. This creates the potential for capturing a direct link between individual activities, environmental exposures and the health of patients with COPD. Direct associations then have the potential to be scaled up to population levels and tested using advanced human exposure models linked to electronic health records.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study has 5 stages: (1) development and deployment of personal air monitors; (2) recruitment and monitoring of a cohort of 160 patients with COPD for up to 6 months with recruitment of participants through the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD); (3) statistical associations between personal exposure with COPD-related health outcomes; (4) validation of a time-activity exposure model and (5) development of a COPD prediction model for London.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The Research Ethics Committee for Camden and Islington has provided ethical approval for the conduct of the study. Approval has also been granted by National Health Service (NHS) Research and Development and the Independent Scientific Advisory Committee. The results of the study will be disseminated through appropriate conference presentations and peer-reviewed journals.