Browsing by Subject "CLINICAL-PRACTICE"

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  • Puustinen, Lauri; Hakkarainen, Antti; Kivisaari, Reetta; Boyd, Sonja; Nieminen, Urpo; Färkkilä, Martti; Lundbom, Nina; Arkkila, Perttu (2017)
    Background: Liver biopsy is the gold standard in evaluating inflammation and fibrosis in autoimmune hepatitis.Aims: In search of non-invasive follow-up tools in autoimmune hepatitis, we evaluated (31)phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (P-31 MRS).Methods: Twelve consecutive AIH patients (mean age 42.8 years, 10 women) underwent liver biopsy, routine laboratory liver function tests, which were compared to findings in P-31 MRS and transient elastography (TE).Results: Phosphoenolpuryvate (PEP) correlated with the grade of inflammation (r=0.746, p=.005) and thromboplastin time (r=0.592, p=.043). It also differentiated patients with active inflammation from patients without (t=3.781, p=.009). There was no correlation between PEP and aminotransferase or immunoglobulin G levels.The phosphoethanolamine (PE)/phosphocholine (PC) ratio, PE/glyserophosphoethanolamine (GPE) ratio and PC/[total phosphomonoester (PME)+phosphodiester (PDE)] ratios correlated with immunoglobulin G (r=0.764, p=.006; r=0.618, p=.043; and r=-0.636, p=.035, respectively).PME/PDE and PE/GPE correlated with fibrosis (r=0.668, p=.018 and r=0.604, p=.037). PE/GPE also differentiated F3 from F0-2 patients (t=3.810, p=.003).Phosphorus metabolites did not correlate with TE results and TE did not correlate with liver histology or laboratory parameters.Conclusions: P-31 MRS seems to detect active inflammation and advanced fibrosis in AIH patients. TE was ineffective in fibrosis quantification.
  • Lavikainen, Piia; Korhonen, Maarit Jaana; Huupponen, Risto; Helin-Salmivaara, Arja (2015)
  • Kirkpatrick, Andrew W.; Coccolini, Federico; Ansaloni, Luca; Roberts, Derek J.; Tolonen, Matti; McKee, Jessica L.; Leppaniemi, Ari; Faris, Peter; Doig, Christopher J.; Catena, Fausto; Fabian, Timothy; Jenne, Craig N.; Chiara, Osvaldo; Kubes, Paul; Manns, Braden; Kluger, Yoram; Fraga, Gustavo P.; Pereira, Bruno M.; Diaz, Jose J.; Sugrue, Michael; Moore, Ernest E.; Ren, Jianan; Ball, Chad G.; Coimbra, Raul; Balogh, Zsolt J.; Abu-Zidan, Fikri M.; Dixon, Elijah; Biffl, Walter; MacLean, Anthony; Ball, Ian; Drover, John; McBeth, Paul B.; Posadas-Calleja, Juan G.; Parry, Neil G.; Di Saverio, Salomone; Ordonez, Carlos A.; Xiao, Jimmy; Sartelli, Massimo (2018)
    Background: Severe complicated intra-abdominal sepsis (SCIAS) has an increasing incidence with mortality rates over 80% in some settings. Mortality typically results from disruption of the gastrointestinal tract, progressive and selfperpetuating bio-mediator generation, systemic inflammation, and multiple organ failure. Principles of treatment include early antibiotic administration and operative source control. A further therapeutic option may be open abdomen (OA) management with active negative peritoneal pressure therapy (ANPPT) to remove inflammatory ascites and ameliorate the systemic damage from SCIAS. Although there is now a biologic rationale for such an intervention as well as non-standardized and erratic clinical utilization, this remains a novel therapy with potential side effects and clinical equipoise. Methods: The Closed Or Open after Laparotomy (COOL) study will constitute a prospective randomized controlled trial that will randomly allocate eligible surgical patients intra-operatively to either formal closure of the fascia or use of the OA with application of an ANPTT dressing. Patients will be eligible if they have free uncontained intra-peritoneal contamination and physiologic derangements exemplified by septic shock OR a Predisposition-Infection-Response-Organ Dysfunction Score >= 3 or a World-Society-of-Emergency-Surgery-Sepsis-Severity-Score >= 8. The primary outcome will be 90-day survival. Secondary outcomes will be logistical, physiologic, safety, bio-mediators, microbiological, quality of life, and health-care costs. Secondary outcomes will include days free of ICU, ventilation, renal replacement therapy, and hospital at 30 days from the index laparotomy. Physiologic secondary outcomes will include changes in intensive care unit illness severity scores after laparotomy. Bio-mediator outcomes for participating centers will involve measurement of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10, procalcitonin, activated protein C (APC), high-mobility group box protein-1, complement factors, and mitochondrial DNA. Economic outcomes will comprise standard costing for utilization of health-care resources. Discussion: Although facial closure after SCIAS is considered the current standard of care, many reports are suggesting that OA management may improve outcomes in these patients. This trial will be powered to demonstrate a mortality difference in this highly lethal and morbid condition to ensure critically ill patients are receiving the best care possible and not being harmed by inappropriate therapies based on opinion only.
  • Wang, Xin; Dalmeijer, Geertje W.; den Ruijter, Hester M.; Anderson, Todd J.; Britton, Annie R.; Dekker, Jacqueline; Engstrom, Gunnar; Evans, Greg W.; de Graaf, Jacqueline; Grobbee, Diederick E.; Hedblad, Bo; Holewijn, Suzanne; Ikeda, Ai; Kauhanen, Jussi; Kitagawa, Kazuo; Kitamura, Akihiko; Kurl, Sudhir; Lonn, Eva M.; Lorenz, Matthias W.; Mathiesen, Ellisiv B.; Nijpels, Giel; Okazaki, Shuhei; Polak, Joseph F.; Price, Jacqueline F.; Rembold, Christopher M.; Rosvall, Maria; Rundek, Tatjana; Salonen, Jukka T.; Sitzer, Matthias; Stehouwer, Coen D. A.; Tuomainen, Tomi-Pekka; Peters, Sanne A. E.; Bots, Michiel L. (2017)
    Background The relation of a single risk factor with atherosclerosis is established. Clinically we know of risk factor clustering within individuals. Yet, studies into the magnitude of the relation of risk factor clusters with atherosclerosis are limited. Here, we assessed that relation. Methods Individual participant data from 14 cohorts, involving 59,025 individuals were used in this cross-sectional analysis. We made 15 clusters of four risk factors (current smoking, overweight, elevated blood pressure, elevated total cholesterol). Multilevel age and sex adjusted linear regression models were applied to estimate mean differences in common carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) between clusters using those without any of the four risk factors as reference group. Results Compared to the reference, those with 1, 2, 3 or 4 risk factors had a significantly higher common CIMT: mean difference of 0.026 mm, 0.052 mm, 0.074 mm and 0.114 mm, respectively. These findings were the same in men and in women, and across ethnic groups. Within each risk factor cluster (1, 2, 3 risk factors), groups with elevated blood pressure had the largest CIMT and those with elevated cholesterol the lowest CIMT, a pattern similar for men and women. Conclusion Clusters of risk factors relate to increased common CIMT in a graded manner, similar in men, women and across race-ethnic groups. Some clusters seemed more atherogenic than others. Our findings support the notion that cardiovascular prevention should focus on sets of risk factors rather than individual levels alone, but may prioritize within clusters.
  • Louhimo, Riku i; Laakso, Marko; Belitskin, Denis; Klefstrom, Juha; Lehtonen, Rainer; Hautaniemi, Sampsa (2016)
    Background: Genomic alterations affecting drug target proteins occur in several tumor types and are prime candidates for patient-specific tailored treatments. Increasingly, patients likely to benefit from targeted cancer therapy are selected based on molecular alterations. The selection of a precision therapy benefiting most patients is challenging but can be enhanced with integration of multiple types of molecular data. Data integration approaches for drug prioritization have successfully integrated diverse molecular data but do not take full advantage of existing data and literature. Results: We have built a knowledge-base which connects data from public databases with molecular results from over 2200 tumors, signaling pathways and drug-target databases. Moreover, we have developed a data mining algorithm to effectively utilize this heterogeneous knowledge-base. Our algorithm is designed to facilitate retargeting of existing drugs by stratifying samples and prioritizing drug targets. We analyzed 797 primary tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas breast and ovarian cancer cohorts using our framework. FGFR, CDK and HER2 inhibitors were prioritized in breast and ovarian data sets. Estrogen receptor positive breast tumors showed potential sensitivity to targeted inhibitors of FGFR due to activation of FGFR3. Conclusions: Our results suggest that computational sample stratification selects potentially sensitive samples for targeted therapies and can aid in precision medicine drug repositioning. Source code is available from
  • Aaltonen, Kalle; Heinonen, Arto; Joensuu, Jaana; Parmanne, Pinja; Karjalainen, Anna; Varjolahti-Lehtinen, Tuire; Uutela, Toini; Puurtinen-Vilkki, Maija; Arstila, Leena; Blom, Marja; Sokka, Tuulikki; Nordström, Dan (2017)
    Background and objectives: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-inhibitors are used to treat psoriatic arthritis (PsA), but only a limited number of observational studies on this subject have been published thus far. The aim of this research was to analyze the effectiveness and drug survival of TNF-inhibitors in the treatment of PsA. Methods: PsA patients identified from the National Register for Biologic Treatment in Finland (ROB-FIN) starting their first, second, or third TNF-inhibitor treatment between 2004 and 2014 were included. Effectiveness was measured using ACR and EULAR response criteria and modeled using ordinal logistic regression. Treatment persistence was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards model. Results: The study comprised 765 patients and 990 TNF-inhibitor treatment courses. EULAR moderate treatment responses at 6 months were achieved by 68% and 37% of the users of the first and the second or the third biologic, respectively. The probabilities of discontinuing the treatment within 12 and 24 months were 20% and 28%, respectively. Adjusted treatment responses to all TNF-inhibitors were similar; however, co-therapy with conventional synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) was not associated with better effectiveness. Adalimumab [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.62; 95% confidence interval (CD: 0.44-0.88] was superior to infliximab in drug survival while etanercept (HR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.55-1.1) and golimumab (HR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.46-1.2) did not differ from it. Co-medication with csDMARDs did not statistically improve drug survival. Conclusion: All available TNF-inhibitors showed similar treatment responses with or without csDMARDs. Adalimumab was associated with better drug survival when compared to infliximab. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Vollm, Birgit A.; Clarke, Martin; Tort Herrando, Vicenc; Seppanen, Allan O.; Gosek, Pawel; Heitzman, Janusz; Bulten, Erik (2018)
    Forensic psychiatry in Europe is a specialty primarily concerned with individuals who have either offended or present a risk of doing so, and who also suffer from a psychiatric condition. These mentally disordered offenders (MDOs) are often cared for in secure psychiatric environments orprisons. In this guidance paper we first present an overview of the field of forensic psychiatry from a European perspective. We then present a review of the literature summarising the evidence on the assessment and treatment of MDOs under the following headings: The forensic psychiatrist as expert witness, risk, treatment settings for mentally disordered offenders, and what works for MDOs. We undertook a rapid review of the literature with search terms related to: forensic psychiatry, review articles, randomised controlled trials and best practice. We searched the Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, and Cochrane library databases from 2000 onwards for adult groups only. We scrutinised publications for additional relevant literature, and searched the websites of relevant professional organisations for policies, statements or guidance of interest. We present the findings of the scientific literature as well as recommendations for best practice drawing additionally from the guidance documents identified. We found that the evidence base for forensic-psychiatric practice is weak though there is some evidence to suggest that psychiatric care produces better outcomes than criminal justice detention only. Practitioners need to follow general psychiatric guidance as well as that for offenders, adapted for the complex needs of this patient group, paying particular attention to long-term detention and ethical issues. (C) 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
  • Thelin, Eric Peter; Nelson, David W.; Vehvilainen, Juho; Nystrom, Harriet; Kivisaari, Riku; Siironen, Jari; Svensson, Mikael; Skrifvars, Markus B.; Bellander, Bo-Michael; Raj, Rahul (2017)
    Background Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality. Computerized tomography (CT) scanning of the brain is essential for diagnostic screening of intracranial injuries in need of neurosurgical intervention, but may also provide information concerning patient prognosis and enable baseline risk stratification in clinical trials. Novel CT scoring systems have been developed to improve current prognostic models, including the Stockholm and Helsinki CT scores, but so far have not been extensively validated. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the Stockholm and Helsinki CT scores for predicting functional outcome, in comparison with the Rotterdam CT score and Marshall CT classification. The secondary aims were to assess which individual components of the CT scores best predict outcome and what additional prognostic value the CT scoring systems contribute to a clinical prognostic model. Methods and findings TBI patients requiring neuro-intensive care and not included in the initial creation of the Stockholm and Helsinki CT scoring systems were retrospectively included from prospectively collected data at the Karolinska University Hospital (n = 720 from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2014) and Helsinki University Hospital (n = 395 from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2014), totaling 1,115 patients. The Marshall CT classification and the Rotterdam, Stockholm, and Helsinki CT scores were assessed using the admission CT scans. Known outcome predictors at admission were acquired (age, pupil responsiveness, admission Glasgow Coma Scale, glucose level, and hemoglobin level) and used in univariate, and multivariable, regression models to predict long-term functional outcome (dichotomizations of the Glasgow Outcome Scale [GOS]). In total, 478 patients (43%) had an unfavorable outcome (GOS 1-3). In the combined cohort, overall prognostic performance was more accurate for the Stockholm CT score (Nagelkerke's pseudo-R-2 range 0.24-0.28) and the Helsinki CT score (0.18-0.22) than for the Rotterdam CT score (0.13-0.15) and Marshall CT classification (0.03-0.05). Moreover, the Stockholm and Helsinki CT scores added the most independent prognostic value in the presence of other known clinical outcome predictors in TBI (6% and 4%, respectively). The aggregate traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (tSAH) component of the Stockholm CT score was the strongest predictor of unfavorable outcome. The main limitations were the retrospective nature of the study, missing patient information, and the varying follow-up time between the centers. Conclusions The Stockholm and Helsinki CT scores provide more information on the damage sustained, and give a more accurate outcome prediction, than earlier classification systems. The strong independent predictive value of tSAH may reflect an underrated component of TBI pathophysiology. A change to these newer CT scoring systems may be warranted.
  • Toijonen, Anna; Heinonen, Seppo; Gissler, Mika; Seikku, Laura; Macharey, Georg (2022)
    Purpose: To assess the risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes at the age of four after an attempted vaginal delivery according to the fetal presentation in birth. Methods: This retrospective record linkage study evaluated the risks of cerebral palsy, epilepsy, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and speech, visual, and auditory disabilities among preterm children born after an attempted vaginal breech delivery. The control group comprised children born in a cephalic presentation at the same gestational age. This study included 23 803 singleton deliveries at gestational weeks 24 + 0–36 + 6 between 2004 and 2014. Results: From 1629 women that underwent a trial of vaginal breech delivery, 1122 (66.3%) were converted to emergency cesarean sections. At extremely preterm and very preterm gestations (weeks 24 + 0—31 + 6), no association between a trial of vaginal breech delivery and neurodevelopmental delay occurred. At gestational weeks 32 + 0—36 + 6, the risks of visual disability (aOR 1.67, CI 1.07—2.60) and autism spectrum disorders (aOR 2.28, CI 1.14—4.56) were increased after an attempted vaginal breech delivery as compared to vaginal cephalic delivery. Conclusion: A trial of vaginal breech delivery at extremely preterm and very preterm gestations appears not to increase the risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes at the age of four. In moderate to late preterm births, a trial of vaginal breech delivery was associated with an increased risk of visual impairment and autism spectrum disorders compared to children born in cephalic presentation. A trial of vaginal preterm breech delivery requires distinctive consideration and careful patient selection.
  • Wikstrom, Miia; Kouvonen, Anne; Joensuu, Matti (2021)
    Objectives The Abilitator is a patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) of work ability and functioning of those in a weak labour market position. It covers items for work ability and self-rated health, for example, and summary scales for social, psychological, cognitive and physical functioning, as well as everyday skills. The aim of this study was to evaluate the intrarater test-retest reliability, internal consistency and basic psychometric properties of the Finnish version of the Abilitator. Design, setting and outcome The test-retest study was conducted in European Social Fund projects in 2018-2019. The participants completed two Abilitator questionnaires over 7-14 days. The internal consistency analysis was based on data collected in 2017-2019 in services for the long-term unemployed. The reliability was assessed using correlations (r, r(s) , intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC)), agreement with Bland-Altman analysis and internal consistency with Cronbach's alpha. Participants The test-retest study had 67 participants (52% men, mean age 43.9 years) and the internal consistency study 10 923 (48% men, mean age 38.58 years), respectively. Of all the participants, 80% had been unemployed for over a year. Results The test-retest r or r(s) ranged from 0.71 to 0.93 and ICC from 0.74 to 0.93 for the items and summary scales. An exception was the life satisfaction item, with an r(s) of 0.60 and ICC of 0.45. A statistically significant difference was observed in the summary scale for social functioning (t=-2.01, p=0.049). Agreement was observed for all variables except social functioning. Alphas for summary scales ranged from 0.74 to 0.91. Conclusions The Finnish version of the Abilitator is a reliable PROM for the target group and has acceptable to excellent intrarater test-retest reliability and internal consistency, apart from the life satisfaction item. Further testing is needed for the social functioning summary scale.
  • Kauppi, Paula; Kupiainen, Henna; Lindqvist, Ari; Haahtela, Tari; Laitinen, Tarja (2014)
  • Rajala, K.; Lehto, J. T.; Sutinen, E.; Kautiainen, H.; Myllärniemi, M.; Saarto, T. (2018)
    BackgroundIdiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic disease with a high symptom burden and poor survival that influences patients' health-related quality of life (HRQOL). We aimed to evaluate IPF patients' symptoms and HRQOL in a well-documented clinical cohort during their last two years of life.MethodsIn April 2015, we sent the Modified Medical Research Council Dyspnea Scale (MMRC), the modified Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) and a self-rating HRQOL questionnaire (RAND-36) to 300 IPF patients, of which 247 (82%) responded. Thereafter, follow-up questionnaires were sent every six months for two years.ResultsNinety-two patients died by August 2017. Among these patients, HRQOL was found to be considerably low already two years before death. The most prominent declines in HRQOL occurred in physical function, vitality, emotional role and social functioning (p
  • Salonen, Johanna; Purokivi, Minna; Hodgson, Ulla; Kaarteenaho, Riitta (2022)
    Introduction The previous data concerning the prevalence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and the frequency of antifibrotic drug use in Finland were based on research registries and medical records whereas nationwide data on the number of patients with IPF in specialised care and those on antifibrotic treatment have not been published. Methods We made an information request to the Finnish National Hospital Discharge Register (Hilmo) covering the whole population of Finland to find out the annual numbers of patients with IPF treated in specialised care in 2016-2021. The numbers of the patients initiating and using pirfenidone and nintedanib were requested from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) for the same time period. Results The estimated prevalence of IPF in specialised care was 36.0 per 100 000 in 2021, having increased since 2016. The number of antifibrotic drug users and their proportion of outpatients with IPF had also risen during the follow-up period. In 2021, 35% of the patients with IPF used pirfenidone or nintedanib. The number of inpatients treated in specialised care because of IPF had declined during 2016-2021. Conclusions The prevalence of IPF was higher than expected in Finnish specialised care and had increased during the 6-year follow-up time. The increase in the number of patients with IPF using antifibrotic drugs might have diminished the need for IPF-related hospitalisations.
  • Gellerfors, M.; Fevang, E.; Bäckman, A.; Krüger, A.; Mikkelsen, S.; Nurmi, J.; Rognås, L.; Sandström, E.; Skallsjö, G.; Svensén, C.; Gryth, D.; Lossius, H.M. (2018)
    Background: Pre-hospital tracheal intubation success and complication rates vary considerably among provider categories. The purpose of this study was to estimate the success and complication rates of pre-hospital tracheal intubation performed by physician anaesthetist or nurse anaesthetist pre-hospital critical care teams. Methods: Data were prospectively collected from critical care teams staffed with a physician anaesthetist or a nurse anaesthetist according to the Utstein template for pre-hospital advanced airway management. The patients served by six ambulance helicopters and six rapid response vehicles in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden from May 2015 to November 2016 were included. Results: The critical care teams attended to 32 007 patients; 2028 (6.3%) required pre-hospital tracheal intubation. The overall success rate of pre-hospital tracheal intubation was 98.7% with a median intubation time of 25 s and an on-scene time of 25 min. The majority (67.0%) of the patients' tracheas were intubated by providers who had performed >2500 tracheal intubations. The success rate of tracheal intubation on the first attempt was 84.5%, and 95.9% of intubations were completed after two attempts. Complications related to pre-hospital tracheal intubation were recorded in 10.9% of the patients. Intubations after rapid sequence induction had a higher success rate compared with intubations without rapid sequence induction (99.4% vs 98.1%; P=0.02). Physicians had a higher tracheal intubation success rate than nurses (99.0% vs 97.6%; P=0.03). Conclusions: When performed by experienced physician anaesthetists and nurse anaesthetists, pre-hospital tracheal intubation was completed rapidly with high success rates and a low incidence of complications.
  • Peippo, Maija Helena; Kurki, Samu; Lassila, Riitta; Carpen, Olli Mikael (2018)
    Background The incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is 1-2/1000 individuals. Patients with cancer, especially during chemotherapy, are at enhanced risk, but real-world data on factors associated with VTE events are still scarce. Aim The aim of this retrospective study was to survey the incidence of VTE based on a large hospital database, and to identify comorbidities and features associated with VTE events. We focused on cancer-related VTE events and on factors indicating increased VTE risk during chemotherapy. Methods The cohort included patients treated at Turku University Hospital during years 2005-2013. Health information was derived and analysed from multiple electronic databases. The diagnoses of VTE and all comorbidities, including type of cancer, were based on International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision coding. For further analysis, we focused on 16 common types of cancers treated with chemotherapy. Age, gender, surgery, radiotherapy, distant metastasis, available laboratory values and platinum-based chemotherapy were evaluated for VTE group, and associations were estimated by Cox regression analyses. Results The entire database contained information from 495 089 patients, of whom 5452 (1.1%) had a VTE diagnosis. Among individuals with VTE, 1437 (26.4%) had diagnosis of coronary heart disease and 1467 (26.9%) had cancer diagnosis. Among 7778 patients with cancer treated with chemotherapy, 282 (3.6%) had a VTE, platinum-based chemotherapy being a major risk factor (HR 1.77, 95% CI 1.40 to 2.24, p3.25x10(9) cells/L, HR 1.96, 95% CI 1.33 to 2.89, p62.5 mu mol/L; HR 1.60, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.13, p=0.001) values were independent indicators of increased VTE risk during chemotherapy. Conclusions Longitudinal electronic health record analysis provides a powerful tool to gather meaningful real-world information to study clinical associations, like comorbidities, and to identify markers associated with VTE. The combination of various clinical and laboratory variables could be used for VTE risk evaluation and targeted prevention.
  • Knihtilä, Hanna; Kotaniemi-Syrjänen, Anne; Pelkonen, Anna S.; Savinko, Terhi; Malmberg, Leo Pekka; Mäkelä, Mika J. (2019)
    Background Lung function impairment among asthmatic children begins in early life, and biomarkers for identifying this impairment are needed. The chitinase-like protein YKL-40 has been associated with asthma and lung function in adults, but studies in children have yielded conflicting results. We evaluated the potential of YKL-40 and other systemic biomarkers for identifying lung function deficits in children with asthmatic symptoms. Methods We determined the levels of serum YKL-40, periostin, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) from the blood samples of 49 children with asthmatic symptoms. Lung function was assessed with impulse oscillometry (IOS) and spirometry, combined with an exercise challenge and a bronchodilator test. Fractional exhaled nitric oxide was measured at multiple flow rates. Results Serum levels of YKL-40 showed significant correlations with most IOS indices at baseline (P = .008-.039), but there was no association between YKL-40 and spirometry parameters. Neither periostin nor hs-CRP were associated with baseline lung function. Children with a significant response in either the exercise challenge or the bronchodilator test had increased serum levels of YKL-40 (P = .003) and periostin (P = .035). YKL-40 correlated significantly with the blood neutrophil count (r(s) = .397, P = .005) but was not associated with biomarkers of eosinophilic inflammation. Conclusion Serum YKL-40 is a potential biomarker for lung function deficits in children with asthmatic symptoms. These deficits appear to be focused on small airways and may remain undetected with spirometry.
  • Joensuu, Jaana T.; Huoponen, Saara; Aaltonen, Kalle J.; Konttinen, Yrjo T.; Nordstrom, Dan; Blom, Marja (2015)
    Background and Objectives Economic evaluations provide information to aid the optimal utilization of limited healthcare resources. Costs of biologics for Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are remarkably high, which makes these agents an important target for economic evaluations. This systematic review aims to identify existing studies examining the cost-effectiveness of biologics for RA, assess their quality and report their results systematically. Methods A literature search covering Medline, Scopus, Cochrane library, ACP Journal club and Web of Science was performed in March 2013. The cost-utility analyses (CUAs) of one or more available biological drugs for the treatment of RA in adults were included. Two independent investigators systematically collected information and assessed the quality of the studies. To enable the comparison of the results, all costs were converted to 2013 euro. Results Of the 4890 references found in the literature search, 41 CUAs were included in the current systematic review. While considering only direct costs, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of the tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) ranged from 39,000 to 1 273,000 (sic)/quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained in comparison to conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (cDMARDs) in cDMARD naive patients. Among patients with an insufficient response to cDMARDs, biologics were associated with ICERs ranging from 12,000 to 708,000 (sic)/QALY. Rituximab was found to be the most cost-effective alternative compared to other biologics among the patients with an insufficient response to TNFi. Conclusions When 35,000 (sic)/QALY is considered as a threshold for the ICER, TNFis do not seem to be cost-effective among cDMARD naive patients and patients with an insufficient response to cDMARDs. With thresholds of 50,000 to 100,000 (sic)/QALY biologics might be cost-effective among patients with an inadequate response to cDMARDs. Standardization of multiattribute utility instruments and a validated standard conversion method for missing utility measures would enable better comparison between CUAs.
  • Chen, An; Väyrynen, Kirsi; Schmidt, Alexandra; Leskelä, Riikka-Leena; Torkki, Paulus; Heinonen, Seppo; Tekay, Aydin; Acharya, Ganesh (2022)
    Introduction While there is growing interest in applying patient-reported measures (PRMs) in clinical routine, limited collective evidence of the impact of PRMs hinder their widespread use in specific contexts, such as maternity care. Our objective was to synthesize existing empirical evidence on the impact of implementing PRMs in routine maternity care. Material and methods We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines (version 2020). We electronically searched six databases for the literature on the implementation of PRMs in maternity care. A multi-level (woman, clinical, organizational, national and societal) analytic framework for analyzing and synthesizing empirically proven impacts of PRMs was developed. Quality was assessed using the Mixed Method Appraisal Tool. The GRADE-CERQual approach was used to assess the confidence in the review findings and arguments. The protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021234501). Results Overall, 4971 articles were screened. The empirical evidence, collected from 11 relevant studies, showed that the use of PRMs in routine maternity care could produce positive effects on clinical process (assessment and detection of health problems, clinical visit preparation, resource use, woman-professional communication, decision-making, woman-professional relationship, and care quality), and health behavior and outcomes (women's health and wellbeing, quality of life, health behavior, experiences and satisfaction with healthcare services), awareness, engagement and self-management of own health, and disclosure of health issues. The confidence in the review findings was low to moderate due to a limited number of studies, inadequate data and methodological limitations of included studies. Conclusions The limited empirical evidence available suggested that the use of PRMs may have positive effects at the individual health level and clinical process level. However, the evidence was not strong enough to provide policy recommendations on the use of PRMs in routine maternity care. This review revealed limitations of currently available research, such as lack of generalizability and narrow scopes in investigating impact. Efforts are needed to improve the quality of research on the use of PRMs in routine maternity care by widening the study population, including different types of PRMs, and considering the effects of PRMs at different levels and domains of healthcare.
  • Lantta, Tella; Kontio, Raija; Daffern, Michael; Adams, Clive E.; Valimaki, Maritta (2016)
    Purpose: This paper aims to explore the acceptability of Dynamic Appraisal of Situational Aggression (DASA) from the perspective of patients, its actual use by mental health nurses, and the predictive validity of the DASA instrument. Methods: A feasibility study design incorporating quantitative and qualitative components was used. The study was conducted in three mental health inpatient units at three hospitals in southern Finland. Quantitative data were used to explore demand (nurses' actual use of the DASA), limited efficacy (predictive validity), and acceptability (measured through patients' participation in the project). Qualitative data were collected to enhance the understanding of acceptability by describing patients' perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of the DASA. Results: Nurses used the DASA for most patient assessments. The predictive validity of the DASA was outstanding or excellent, depending on the type of aggression predicted, although the patient recruitment ratio was low. Patients reported both strengths and weaknesses of the DASA, providing complementary information regarding the instrument's acceptability and clinical application. Conclusion: The DASA accurately predicts inpatient aggression. The patients' preferences and concerns regarding risk assessment have been noted. More patient involvement in risk assessment research and violence prevention efforts is required.
  • Takes, Robert P.; Halmos, Gyorgy B.; Ridge, John A.; Bossi, Paolo; Merkx, Matthias A. W.; Rinaldo, Alessandra; Sanabria, Alvaro; Smeele, Ludi E.; Mäkitie, Antti A.; Ferlito, Alfio (2020)
    Purpose of ReviewThe concept of value-based health care (VBHC) was articulated more than a decade ago. However, its clinical implementation remains an on-going process and a particularly demanding one for the domain of head and neck cancer (HNC). These cancers often present with fast growing tumors in functionally and cosmetically sensitive sites and afflict patients with differing circumstances and comorbidity. Moreover, the various treatment modalities and protocols have different effects on functional outcomes. Hence, the interpretation of what constitutes VBHC in head and neck oncology remains challenging.Recent FindingsThis monograph reviews developments in specific aspects of VBHC for HNC patients, including establishment of registries and quality indices (such as infrastructure, process, and outcome indicators). It emphasizes the importance of the multidisciplinary team, "time to treatment intervals," and adherence to guidelines. The discussion addresses major indicators including survival, quality of life and functional outcomes, and adverse events. Also, strengths and weaknesses of nomograms, prognostic and decision models, and variation of care warrant attention.SummaryHealth care professionals, together with patients, must properly define quality and relevant outcomes, both for the individual patient as well as the HNC population. It is essential to capture and organize the relevant data so that they can be analyzed and the results used to improve both outcomes and value.