03 April 2018

Bedside Burnout: Young Midwives

Nurse Uncut blog tells the story of one midwife who took a 20 year career break only to return to many of the same problems they worked through before. Burnout, too many shifts and not enough  staff, things haven't changed.

Bedside Burnout: Young Midwives With No Life Outside Work. By Nurse Uncut Editor, March 15, 2018.

1 in 20 Australian deaths caused by alcohol and illicit drugs

Alcohol and illicit drug use are serious and complex issues that contribute to substantial illness, disease, injury, and deaths in Australia. This new report from AIHW provides insight into the health impact of alcohol and illicit drug use in Australia;

  • Nearly 5% of all deaths are from alcohol and illicit drug use.    
  • One-third of road traffic injuries due to alcohol use
  • Opioids are the largest contributor to the illicit drug use burden.

Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011, AIHW. 29 March 2018. Cat. no: BOD 19

27 March 2018

Weight, Diet and Physical Activity

The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health has published a full open access issue in early 2018. The issue is divided into sections:
  •  Weight, Diet and Physical Activity
  • Alcohol
  • Infectious and Communicable Disease    
  • Water
  • Cancer

Waiting times in the emergency department for people with acute mental and behavioural conditions

Access block and ED overcrowding have implications for patient safety, and are associated with poor health outcomes and excess mortality and morbidity. Patient access to hospital beds should occur within a reasonable timeframe, that is, in no more than eight hours. When a patient waits in the ED for eight hours or more following assessment and treatment, they are known to be experiencing access block.
On 4 December 2017 a POMAB Snapshot Survey was undertaken to estimate the point-prevalence of mental health access block in Australian and New Zealand public EDs accredited for specialist training by ACEM.   The purpose of this brief report is to present findings from ACEM’s research exploring mental health presentations in hospital emergency departments (EDs).

Waiting times in the emergency department for people with acute mental and behavioural conditions. ACEM 2018

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and youth justice

This study, in a representative sample of young people in detention in Western Australia, has documented a high prevalence of FASD and severe neurodevelopmental impairment, the majority of which had not been previously identified. These findings highlight the vulnerability of young people, particularly Aboriginal youth, within the justice system and their significant need for improved diagnosis to identify their strengths and difficulties, and to guide and improve their rehabilitation.

Falls among community-dwelling older people

Falls are common among older people and a leading cause of injury-related hospitalisation. The immediate post-hospitalisation period is a risky time for further falls. This paper explores discharge strategies from the perspectives of older people hospitalised for a fall and liaison nurses assisting people to return home.
Thematic analysis revealed three key themes: ‘falls are not a priority’, ‘information not given, or 
given and not retained’ and ‘reduction in confidence and independence’.

Meyer Claudia, Renehan Emma, Batchelor Frances, Said Catherine, Haines Terry, Elliott Rohan, Goeman Dianne (2017) ‘Falls not a priority’: insights on discharging older people, admitted to hospital for a fall, back to the community. Australian Journal of Primary Health 24, 66-73. [open access] 

Simulation-based education to improve communication skills

Good communication between healthcare professionals and between healthcare professionals and patients is important in delivering high-quality care. Effective communication between healthcare professionals and patients improves patients’ outcomes. Communication failure among healthcare professionals is reported to be the major contributing factor in >50% of ‘never-events’ involving patients.
The evidence found in this study suggests a model for SBE aimed at teaching communication skills that is informed by the current evidence and takes into account the need to collect higher-level outcome data.
Blackmore A, Kasfiki EV, Purva M., Simulation-based education to improve communication skills: a systematic review and identification of current best practice

The Wellbeing of Young Australians

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) has released their third Report Card, updating previous editions released in 2013 and 2008. It uses the latest available data, from a range of sources, across a range of indicators. The Report Card is based on The Nest; an evidence-based policy framework outlining priorities for investment in six areas which must be properly met for a young person to have wellbeing:
  • Loved and Safe
  • Healthy
  • Material Basics
  • Learning
  • Participating
  • Positive Sense of Identity and Culture

Online Hospital Complications Calculator

The Grattan Institute has developed an online calculator that enables hospital patients and their families to discover how likely it is that complications will arise from a wide range of treatments. Using detailed hospital statistics compiled over three years, as well as information about the patient, the calculator instantaneously determines the chances of them suffering a complication: anything from the inconvenient to the dangerous.
The Grattan Institute has also found that a patient’s risk of developing a complication also varies dramatically depending on which hospital they go to. Using detailed hospital statistics compiled over three years, as well as information about the patient, the calculator instantaneously determines the chances of them suffering a complication: anything from the dangerous to the merely inconvenient.  

20 March 2018

Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, 2018

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released its first comprehensive report on family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia. The report brings together information from more than 20 different major data sources to build a picture of what is known about family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia. It also highlights data gaps and offers suggestions to help fill these gaps.
The report, Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, 2018, covers family violence (physical violence, sexual violence and emotional abuse between family members, as well as current or former partners), domestic violence (a subcategory of family violence, involving current or former partners), and sexual violence (a range of nonconsensual sexual behaviours, perpetrated by partners, former partners, acquaintances or strangers).
Download report: Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, 2018

19 March 2018

8 Popular Nursing Apps

Smartphone apps have become a great way to stay abreast of research, access databases of terminology or treatments, practice your skills and access tools to improve your nursing practice. HealthTimes has created a list of the most popular with information on each. 

Pain Management in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

A recent article in Clinical Kidney Journal updates the management of pain in patients with chronic kidney disease with and without requirement for renal replacement therapy with the focus on optimizing pain control while minimizing therapy-induced complications.

Phuong Chi Pham, Kathy Khaing, Theodore M. Sievers, Phuong Mai Pham, Jeffrey M. Miller, Son V. Pham, Phuong Anh Pham, Phuong Thu Pham; 2017 update on pain management in patients with chronic kidney disease, Clinical Kidney Journal, Volume 10, Issue 5, 1 October 2017, Pages 688–697 [open access]

31 January 2018

Dr Malcolm Dobbin on codeine misuse and dependency

Dr Malcolm Dobbin and Dr Jill Thistlethwaite discuss codeine misuse disorder and the diagnosis of codeine dependency in a podcast. Malcolm is a Public Health Physician with a special interest in the misuse of medicines, including over-the-counter codeine, and Jill is a GP and NPS MedicineWise Medical Advisor.

Included on this page by NPS Medicinewise along with the podcast, are many FAQs and patient resources.  

Diabetes and Cognitive Decline

A new study of some 5,000 older people in the UK has shown that rates of long-term cognitive decline are steeper in those who have diabetes compared with people with normal blood sugar control, and that efforts to delay the onset of diabetes and/or control blood sugar levels might prevent subsequent progression of brain function decline.

The study, based on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, is by Dr Wuxiang Xie, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK, and Peking University Clinical Research Institute, Beijing, China, and colleagues, and is published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

Zheng, F., Yan, L., Yang, Z. et al. HbA1c, diabetes and cognitive decline: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, Diabetologia (2018). (open access)

You can read the full text article here.  

Shifting the Dial: Healthier Australians

In October last year the report " Shifting the Dial: 5 year productivity review" was released by the Australian Productivity Commission with chapter 2 focusing on Healthier Australians. Main topics covered were integrated, patient-centred care to treat today’s chronic diseases; interlinked policy initiatives required; regional flexibility crucial; funding models should encourage integration; financial incentives for quality needed; and better data collection and information-sharing.

You can read the full chapter here.