• The Persian version of the Quick Mild Cognitive Impairment Screen (Qmci-Pr): Psychometric properties among middle-aged and older Iranian adults

      Rezaei, Mohammad; Shariati, Behnam; Molloy, David William; O'Caoimh, Rónán; Rashedi, Vahid; Rónán O'Caoimh, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork, T12 WE28, Ireland. (MDPI, 2021-08-14)
      Brief cognitive screening instruments are used to identify patients presenting with cognitive symptoms that warrant further assessment. This study aimed to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Persian version of the Quick Mild Cognitive Impairment (Qmci-Pr) among middle-aged and older Iranian adults. Consecutive patients aged ≥55 years and caregivers attending with them as normal controls (NCs) were recruited from geriatric outpatient clinics and a hospital in Tehran, Iran. All patients completed the Qmci-Pr before completing an independent detailed neuropsychological assessment and staging using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) Scale. NCs underwent the same assessment. In all, 92 participants with a median age of 70 years (±13) were available. Of these, 20 participants were NCs, 24 had subjective memory complaints (SMC), 24 had mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 24 had Alzheimer's disease (AD). The Qmci-Pr had good accuracy in differentiating SMC and NC from MCI (area under the curve (AUC): 0.80 (0.69-0.91)) and in identifying cognitive impairment (MCI and mild AD) (AUC: 0.87 (0.80-0.95)) with a sensitivity of 88% and specificity of 80%, at an optimal cut-off of <53/100. The Qmci-Pr is an accurate short cognitive screening impairment for separating NC and patients with SMC from MCI and identifying cognitive impairment. Further research with larger samples and comparison with other widely used instruments such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment is needed. Given its established brevity, the Qmci-Pr is a useful screen for Iranian adults across the spectrum of cognitive decline.
    • Presence and germination of the probiotic DE111 in the human small intestinal tract: A randomized, crossover, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study

      Colom, Joan; Freitas, Daniela; Simon, Annie; Brodkorb, Andre; Buckley, Martin; Deaton, John; Winger, Alison M; Martin Buckley, Gastroenterology Department, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork, Ireland. (Frontiers, 2021-08-02)
      Spore-based probiotics offer important advantages over other probiotics as they can survive the harsh gastric conditions of the stomach and bile salts in the small intestine, ultimately germinating in the digestive tract. A novel clinical trial in 11 ileostomy participants was conducted to directly investigate the presence and germination of the probiotic strain Bacillus subtilis DE111® in the small intestine. Three hours following ingestion of DE111®, B. subtilis spores (6.4 × 104 ± 1.3 × 105 CFU/g effluent dry weight) and vegetative cells (4.7 × 104 ± 1.1 × 105 CFU/g effluent dry weight) began to appear in the ileum effluent. Six hours after ingestion, spore concentration increased to 9.7 × 107 ± 8.1 × 107 CFU/g and remained constant to the final time point of 8 h. Vegetative cells reached a concentration of 7.3 × 107 ± 1.4 × 108 CFU/g at 7 h following ingestion. These results reveal orally ingested B. subtilis DE111® spores are able to remain viable during transit through the stomach and germinate in the small intestine of humans within 3 h of ingestion.
    • Factors affecting physician implementation of hospital pharmacists' medication appropriateness recommendations in older adults.

      Dalton, Kieran; Fleming, Aoife; O'Mahony, Denis; Byrne, Stephen; Aoife Fleming, Pharmacy Department, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork T12 WE28, Ireland. (Wiley, 2021-07-16)
      Aims: Non-implementation of pharmacist recommendations by physician prescribers may prolong potentially inappropriate prescribing in hospitalised older adults, increasing the risk of adverse clinical outcomes. The aim of this study was to ascertain the key factors affecting physician prescriber implementation of pharmacists' medication appropriateness recommendations in hospitalised older adults. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with hospital pharmacists and physicians who provided care to older adults (≥65 years) in 2 acute university teaching hospitals in Ireland. Content analysis was employed to identify the key themes that influence physician prescriber implementation of pharmacist recommendations. Results: Fourteen interviews were conducted with 6 hospital pharmacists and 8 hospital physicians between August 2018 and August 2019. Five key factors were found to affect physician implementation of pharmacist recommendations: (i) the clinical relevance and complexity of the recommendation-recommendations of higher priority and those that do not require complex decision-making are implemented more readily; (ii) interprofessional communication —recommendations provided verbally, particularly those communicated face to face with confidence and assertion, are more likely to be implemented than written recommendations; (iii) physician role and identity —the grade, specialty, and personality of the physician significantly affect implementation; (iv) knowing each other and developing trusting relationships —personal acquaintance and the development of interprofessional trust and rapport greatly facilitate recommendation implementation; and (v) the hospital environment —organisational issues such as documentation in the patient notes, having the opportunity to intervene, and the clinical pharmacy model all affect implementation. Conclusion: This study provides a deeper understanding of the underlying behavioural determinants affecting physician prescriber implementation of pharmacist recommendations and will aid in the development of theoretically-informed interventions to improve medication appropriateness in hospitalised older adults. © 2021 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Pharmacological Society.
    • Seroprevalence study of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in healthcare workers following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in a tertiary-level hospital in the south of Ireland.

      Faller, Eamonn; Wyse, Adrianne; Barry, Rachel; Conlon, Kevin; Everard, Cormac; Finnegan, Paula; Foran, Claire; Herlihy, Emer; Kerr, Gerry; Lapthorne, Susan; et al. (2021-06-08)
      Objective: This study investigated seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies, using the Abbott antinucleocapsid IgG chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) assay, in five prespecified healthcare worker (HCW) subgroups following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Setting: An 800-bed tertiary-level teaching hospital in the south of Ireland. Participants: Serum was collected for anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid IgG using the Abbott ARCHITECT SARS-CoV-2 IgG CMIA qualitative assay, as per the manufacturer's specifications.The groups were as follows: (1) HCWs who had real-time PCR (RT-PCR) confirmed COVID-19 infection (>1-month postpositive RT-PCR); (2) HCWs identified as close contacts of persons with COVID-19 infection and who subsequently developed symptoms (virus not detected by RT-PCR on oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal swab); (3) HCWs identified as close contacts of COVID-19 cases and who remained asymptomatic (not screened by RT-PCR); (4) HCWs not included in the aforementioned groups working in areas determined as high-risk clinical areas; and (5) HCWs not included in the aforementioned groups working in areas determined as low-risk clinical areas. Results: Six of 404 (1.49%) HCWs not previously diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection (groups 2-5) were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 at the time of recruitment into the study.Out of the 99 participants in group 1, 72 had detectable IgG to SARS-CoV-2 on laboratory testing (73%). Antibody positivity correlated with shorter length of time between RT-PCR positivity and antibody testing.Quantification cycle value on RT-PCR was not found to be correlated with antibody positivity. Conclusions: Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in HCWs who had not previously tested RT-PCR positive for COVID-19 was low compared with similar studies.
    • Ageing well at home: advice to help you age well in your community

      Moloney, Elizabeth; Gillman, Ciara; O’Brien, Gillian; Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork (Mercy University Hospital, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, 2021-06)
      The aim of this booklet is to help you age well and avoid becoming frail through general health and wellbeing advice. COVID-19 has made it more difficult to engage in normal social and physical group activities. We have had to adapt our lifestyles and regular social connections. This booklet reflects the hope we all feel as normal routines return. Included is information about a range of activities, services and agencies available in your community to help you age well. As healthcare workers, we want to support you to live well at home. By remaining active and engaged in your local community, you can delay the onset of frailty. This booklet encourages you to look after your health and wellbeing and to feel positive about the future. Now is the time to invest in your physical and mental health so you can reap the benefits in years to come.
    • Mapping the colorectal tumor microbiota

      Murphy, C L; Barrett, M; Pellanda, P; Killeen, S; McCourt, M; Andrews, E; O' Riordain, M; Shanahan, F; O'Toole, Pw; Shane Killeen, Department of Colorectal Surgery, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork T12 WE28, Ireland (Taylor & Francis, 2021-05-25)
      The gut microbiome in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) is different than that of healthy controls. Previous studies have profiled the CRC tumor microbiome using a single biopsy. However, since the morphology and cellular subtype vary significantly within an individual tumor, the possibility of sampling error arises for the microbiome within an individual tumor. To test this hypothesis, seven biopsies were taken from representative areas on and off the tumor in five patients with CRC. The microbiome composition was strikingly similar across all samples from an individual. The variation in microbiome alpha-diversity was significantly greater between individuals' samples then within individuals. This is the first study, to our knowledge, that shows that the microbiome of an individual tumor is spatially homogeneous. Our finding strengthens the assumption that a single biopsy is representative of the entire tumor, and that microbiota changes are not limited to a specific area of the neoplasm. © 2021 The Author(s).
    • Effects of non-invasive respiratory support on gas exchange and outcomes in COVID-19 outside the ICU

      Gough, Ciara; Casey, Michelle; McCartan, Thomas A; Franciosi, Alessandro N; Nash, Derek; Doyle, Dominic; Hyland, Neil; Kavanagh, Grace; Toland, Sile; Powell, Caleb; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-05-25)
      Non-invasive respiratory support (NRS) outside of the ICU has played an important role in the management of COVID-19 pneumonia. There is little data to guide selection of NRS modality. We present outcomes of NRS outside the ICU and discuss the effects of NRS on gas exchange with implications for management.
    • Utilisation of a suite of screening tools to determine adverse healthcare outcomes in an older frail population admitted to a community virtual ward

      Lewis, Clare; O'Caoimh, Rónán; Patton, Declan; O'Connor, Tom; Moore, Zena; Nugent, Linda E; Rónán O'Caoimh, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork, T12 WE28, Ireland. (MDPI, 2021-05-24)
      Risk stratification to assess healthcare outcomes among older people is challenging due to the interplay of multiple syndromes and conditions. Different short risk-screening tools can assist but the most useful instruments to predict responses and outcomes following interventions are unknown. We examined the relationship between a suite of screening tools and risk of adverse outcomes (pre-determined clinical 'decline' i.e., becoming 'unstable' or 'deteriorating' at 60-90 days, and institutionalisation, hospitalisation and death at 120 days), among community dwellers (n = 88) after admission to a single-centre, Irish, Community Virtual Ward (CVW). The mean age of patients was 82.8 (±6.4) years. Most were severely frail, with mean Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) scores of 6.8 ± 1.33. Several instruments were useful in predicting 'decline' and other healthcare outcomes. After adjustment for age and gender, higher frailty levels, odds ratio (OR) 3.29, (p = 0.002), impaired cognition (Mini Mental State Examination; OR 4.23, p < 0.001), lower mobility (modified FIM) (OR 3.08, p < 0.001) and reduced functional level (Barthel Index; OR 6.39, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with clinical 'decline' at 90 days. Prolonged (>30 s) TUG times (OR 1.27, p = 0.023) and higher CFS scores (OR 2.29, p = 0.045) were associated with institutionalisation. Only TUG scores were associated with hospitalisation and only CFS, MMSE and Barthel scores at baseline were associated with mortality. Utilisation of a multidimensional suite of risk-screening tools across a range of domains measuring frailty, mobility and cognition can help predict clinical 'decline' for an already frail older population. Their association with other outcomes was less useful. A better understanding of the utility of these instruments in vulnerable populations will provide a framework to inform the impact of interventions and assist in decision-making and anticipatory care planning for older patients in CVW models.
    • Penile cancer in Ireland - A national review

      Anderson, S; Breen, K J; Davis, N F; Deady, S; Sweeney, P; Paul Sweeney, Department of Urology, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork T12 WE28, Ireland (Elsevier, 2021-05-22)
      Objective: Penile cancer is a rare malignancy, with a reported incidence of 1.5/100,000 males in the Republic of Ireland in 2015. The aim of this study was to perform the first national review and to evaluate clinicopathological factors affecting survival. Subjects and methods: All cases of penile cancer in Ireland between 1995 and 2010 were identified through the National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI) and analysed to identify factors affecting survival. Results: 360 cases of penile cancer were identified, with a mean age at diagnosis of 65.5 years and 88% (n = 315) of cases occurred in those over 50. 91% (n = 328) of cases were squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). The majority of patients were treated surgically (n = 289), with 57% (n = 206) and 24% (n = 87) undergoing partial penectomy and total penectomy respectively. Only 18% (n = 65) received radiotherapy, and 8% (n = 27) received chemotherapy. Mean overall survival (OS) was 113 months, and five year disease specific survival (DSS) was 70% (95%CI: 59.1–77.8%). Age at diagnosis, nodal status and presence of metastatic disease were independent prognostic markers on multivariate analysis. Conclusion: This study represents the first national review of penile cancer in Ireland. The annual incidence and survival rates are comparable to European figures, though superior DSS has previously been reported from our institution, highlighting the role for centralisation of care in Ireland. Level of evidence: 2b. © 2021 The Authors
    • Reply to the letter to the editor in response to the position statement and best practice recommendations on the imaging use of ultrasound from the European Society of Radiology ultrasound subcommittee.

      Brady, Adrian P; Clevert, Dirk-André; Sidhu, Paul S; Adrian P. Brady, Radiology Department, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork T12 WE28, Ireland (Springer, 2021-05-21)
      [No abstract available]
    • Prevalence and predictors of continence containment products and catheter use in an acute hospital: A cross-sectional study

      Condon, Marie; Mannion, Edel; Collins, Gillian; Ghafar, Mohd Zaquan Arif Abd; Ali, Bushra; Small, Majella; Murphy, Robert P; McCarthy, Christine E; Sharkey, Anthony; MacGearailt, Conall; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-03-05)
      Although incontinence is common in hospital, the prevalence and predictors of continence aid use (continence wear and catheters) are poorly described. A one-day cross-sectional study was conducted in a large university hospital assessing consecutive inpatients (≥55) for their pre-admission and current use of continence aids. Barthel Index, Clinical Frailty Scale and Charlson Co-morbidity scores were recorded. Appropriateness was defined by local guidelines. 355 inpatients, median age 75±17 years, were included; 53% were male. Continence aid use was high; prevalence was 46% increasing to 58% for those ≥75. All-in-one pads were the most common, an overall prevalence of 31%. Older age, lower Barthel and higher frailty scores were associated with continence aid use in multivariate analysis. Inappropriate use of aids was high at 45% with older age being the only independent predictor. Continence aids are often used inappropriately during hospitalisation by older patients. Concerted efforts are required to address this issue.
    • Screening for cognitive impairment after stroke: Validation of the Chinese version of the Quick Mild Cognitive Impairment screen

      Xu, Yangfan; Yi, Lingrong; Lin, Yangyang; Peng, Suiying; Wang, Weiming; Lin, Wujian; Chen, Peize; Zhang, Weichao; Deng, Yujie; Guo, Suimin; et al. (Frontiers, 2021-03-05)
      Background: Screening for post-stroke cognitive impairment (PSCI) is necessary because stroke increases the incidence of and accelerates premorbid cognitive decline. The Quick Mild Cognitive Impairment (Qmci) screen is a short, reliable and accurate cognitive screening instrument but is not yet validated in PSCI. We compared the diagnostic accuracy of a Chinese version of the Qmci screen (Qmci-CN) compared with the widely-used Chinese versions of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA-CN) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-CN). Methods: We recruited 34 patients who had recovered from a stroke in rehabilitation unit clinics in 2 university hospitals in China: 11 with post-stroke dementia (PSD), 15 with post-stroke cognitive impairment no dementia (PSCIND), and 8 with normal cognition (NC). Classification was made based on clinician assessment supported by a neuropsychological battery, independent of the screening test scores. The Qmci-CN, MoCA-CN, and MMSE-CN screens were administered randomly by a trained rater, blind to the diagnosis. Results: The mean age of the sample was 63 ± 13 years and 61.8% were male. The Qmci-CN had statistically similar diagnostic accuracy in differentiating PSD from NC, an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.94 compared to 0.99 for the MoCA-CN (p = 0.237) and 0.99 for the MMSE-CN (p = 0.293). The Qmci-CN (AUC 0.91), MoCA-CN (AUC 0.94), and MMSE-CN (AUC 0.79) also had statistically similar accuracy in separating PSD from PSCIND. The MoCA-CN more accurately distinguished between PSCIND and normal cognition than the Qmci-CN (p = 0.015). Compared to the MoCA-CN, the administration times of the Qmci-CN (329s vs. 611s, respectively, p < 0.0001) and MMSE-CN (280 vs. 611s, respectively, p < 0.0001) were significantly shorter. Conclusion: The Qmci-CN is accurate in identifying PSD and separating PSD from PSCIND in patients post-stroke following rehabilitation and is comparable to the widely-used MoCA-CN, albeit with a significantly shorter administration time. The Qmci-CN had relatively poor accuracy in identifying PSCIND from NC and hence may lack accuracy for certain subgroups. However, given the small sample size, the study is under-powered to show superiority of one instrument over another. Further study is needed to confirm these findings in a larger sample size and in other settings (countries and languages).
    • Homelessness amongst psychiatric Inpatients: a cross-sectional study in the mid-west of Ireland.

      Moloney, Noreen; O'Donnell, Patrick; Elzain, Musaab; Bashir, Ahmad; Dunne, Colum P; Kelly, Brendan D; Gulati, Gautam (2021-02-15)
      Background: This cross-sectional study sought to establish the prevalence of homelessness amongst inpatients in two psychiatric units in Ireland and explore the perceived relationship between psychiatric illness and homelessness. Methods: The study employed a semi-structured interview format utilising a specifically designed questionnaire which received ethical approval from the Limerick University Hospitals Group ethics committee. Results: Fifty psychiatric inpatients were interviewed. Fifteen were either "currently" homeless (n = 8) or had experienced "past" homelessness (n = 7). Those who had experienced homelessness were more likely to have a psychotic illness. A majority of those who had experienced homelessness believed that psychiatric illness contributed to their homelessness. Involuntary admission rates were more than double for patients in the homeless group. A number of participants also reported that a lack of accommodation was preventing their discharge. Conclusion: Homelessness affects a significant number of psychiatric patients and can be both a contributory factor to, and consequence of, mental illness. With homelessness at unprecedented levels, there is a need for the development of tailored programmes aimed at supporting these vulnerable groups.
    • A telephone assessment and advice service within an ED physiotherapy clinic: a single-site quality improvement cohort study

      Kelly, Marie; Higgins, Anna; Murphy, Adrian; McCreesh, Karen; Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork, Ireland (Springer Nature, 2021-02-08)
      Background: In response to issues with timely access and high non-attendance rates for Emergency Department (ED) physiotherapy, a telephone assessment and advice service was evaluated as part of a quality improvement project. This telehealth option requires minimal resources, with the added benefit of allowing the healthcare professional streamline care. A primary aim was to investigate whether this service model can reduce wait times and non-attendance rates, compared to usual care. A secondary aim was to evaluate service user acceptability. Methods: This was a single-site quality improvement cohort study that compares data on wait time to first physiotherapy contact, non-attendance rates and participant satisfaction between patients that opted for a service based on initial telephone assessment and advice, versus routine face-to-face appointments. 116 patients were referred for ED physiotherapy over the 3-month pilot at the ED and out-patient physiotherapy department, XMercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland. 91 patients (78%) opted for the telephone assessment and advice service, with 40% (n=36) contacting the service. 25 patients (22%) opted for the face-to-face service. Data on wait time and non-attendance rates was gathered using the hospital data reporting system. Satisfaction data was collected on discharge using a satisfaction survey adapted from the General Practice Assessment Questionnaire. Independent-samples t-test or Mann Whitney U Test was utilised depending on the distribution of the data. For categorical data, Chi-Square tests were performed. A level of significance of p ≤ 0.05 was set for this study. Results: Those that contacted the telephone assessment and advice service had a significantly reduced wait time (median 6 days; 3–8 days) compared to those that opted for usual care (median 35 days; 19–39 days) (p ≤ 0.05). There was no significant between-group differences for non-attendance rates or satisfaction. Conclusion: A telephone assessment and advice service may be useful in minimising delays for advice for those referred to ED Physiotherapy for musculoskeleltal problems. This telehealth option appears to be broadly acceptable and since it can be introduced rapidly, it may be helpful in triaging referrals and minimising face-to-face consultations, in line with COVID-19 recommendations. However, a large scale randomised controlled trial is warranted to confirm these findings.
    • A metapopulation network model for the spreading of SARS-CoV-2: Case study for Ireland

      Humphries, Rory; Spillane, Mary; Mulchrone, Kieran; Wieczorek, Sebastian; O'Riordain, Micheal; Hövel, Philipp; Micheal Ó Riordáin, Department of Surgery, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork T12 WE28, Ireland (Elsevier, 2021-02-04)
      We present preliminary results on an all-Ireland network modelling approach to simulate the spreading the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), commonly known as the coronavirus. In the model, nodes correspond to locations or communities that are connected by links indicating travel and commuting between different locations. While this proposed modelling framework can be applied on all levels of spatial granularity and different countries, we consider Ireland as a case study. The network comprises 3440 electoral divisions (EDs) of the Republic of Ireland and 890 superoutput areas (SOAs) for Northern Ireland, which corresponds to local administrative units below the NUTS 3 regions. The local dynamics within each node follows a phenomenological SIRX compartmental model including classes of Susceptibles, Infected, Recovered and Quarantined (X) inspired from Science 368, 742 (2020). For better comparison to empirical data, we extended that model by a class of Deaths. We consider various scenarios including the 5-phase roadmap for Ireland. In addition, as proof of concept, we investigate the effect of dynamic interventions that aim to keep the number of infected below a given threshold. This is achieved by dynamically adjusting containment measures on a national scale, which could also be implemented at a regional (county) or local (ED/SOA) level. We find that - in principle - dynamic interventions are capable to limit the impact of future waves of outbreaks, but on the downside, in the absence of a vaccine, such a strategy can last several years until herd immunity is reached.
    • Managing clinical trials during COVID-19: experience from a clinical research facility

      Shiely, Frances; Foley, Jean; Stone, Amy; Cobbe, Emma; Browne, Shaunagh; Murphy, Ellen; Kelsey, Maeve; Walsh-Crowley, Joanne; Eustace, Joseph A.; Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork, Ireland (BioMed Central Ltd, 2021-01-18)
      There is a dearth of literature on best practices for managing clinical trials, and little is understood on the role of the clinical trial manager. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought this into focus, and the continuance of clinical trials worldwide has been catapulted into a state of uncertainty as countries enter lockdown to manage the spread of the virus. Participant retention is an ongoing issue in clinical trials, and the concern is that in the current pandemic environment, attrition will be an issue which could potentially jeopardise trial completion. The current situation has necessitated timely problem solving by the trial manager to ensure trials remain open, and most importantly, that participant safety, paramount in clinical trials, is monitored. The purpose of our study is to highlight key issues arising in the management of clinical trials during a pandemic from first-hand experience in a clinical research facility managing both academic and commercial clinical trials. We offer some practical guidance on solution implementation.
    • Evaluation of wavelength ranges and tissue depth probed by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy for colorectal cancer detection.

      Nogueira, Marcelo Saito; Maryam, Siddra; Amissah, Michael; Lu, Huihui; Lynch, Noel; Killeen, Shane; O'Riordain, Micheal; Andersson-Engels, Stefan; Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork, Ireland (Nature Research, 2021-01-12)
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer worldwide and the second most deadly. Recent research efforts have focused on developing non-invasive techniques for CRC detection. In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic capabilities of diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) for CRC detection by building 6 classification models based on support vector machines (SVMs). Our dataset consists of 2889 diffuse reflectance spectra collected from freshly excised ex vivo tissues of 47 patients over wavelengths ranging from 350 and 1919 nm with source-detector distances of 630-µm and 2500-µm to probe different depths. Quadratic SVMs were used and performance was evaluated using twofold cross-validation on 10 iterations of randomized training and test sets. We achieved (93.5 ± 2.4)% sensitivity, (94.0 ± 1.7)% specificity AUC by probing the superficial colorectal tissue and (96.1 ± 1.8)% sensitivity, (95.7 ± 0.6)% specificity AUC by sampling deeper tissue layers. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first DRS study to investigate the potential of probing deeper tissue layers using larger SDD probes for CRC detection in the luminal wall. The data analysis showed that using a broader spectrum and longer near-infrared wavelengths can improve the diagnostic accuracy of CRC as well as probing deeper tissue layers. © 2021, The Author(s).
    • Dual tasking interferes with dynamic balance in young and old healthy adults

      Sulaiman, Amal Al-Shaikh; Kelly, Marie; O'Connor, Mairead; Eva-Bamiou, Doris; Pavlou, Marousa (IOS Press, 2021-01-11)
      BACKGROUND:Functional mobility requires an ability to adapt to environmental factors together with an ability to execute a secondary task simultaneously while walking. A complex dual-tasking gait test may provide an indication of functional ability and falls risk among community-dwelling older adults. PURPOSE:The aim of this cross-sectional study is to investigate age-related differences in dual-tasking ability and to evaluate whether dual-tasking ability is related to executive function. METHODS:Forty-one community-dwelling healthy older and forty-one younger adults completed a dual-tasking assessment in which concurrent tasks were incorporated into the Functional Gait Assessment (FGA). The manual dual-task involved carrying a glass of water (FGA-M) while the cognitive dual-tasks involved numeracy (FGA-N) and literacy (FGA-L) related tasks. FGA scores under single (FGA-S) and dual-task conditions together with associated dual-task costs and response accuracy were determined. Executive function was assessed using The Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS). RESULTS:FGA-N and FGA-L scores were adversely affected in both groups compared to FGA-S (p≤0.001). However, score reductions and dual-task costs were significantly greater for older adults compared to younger adults on FGA-N (p≤0.05) and FGA-L (p≤0.001), with older adult performance on FGA-N associated with falls risk (p≤0.05). Executive function did not appear to be related to dual-tasking ability. CONCLUSION:Findings suggest that cognitively demanding tasks while walking, have a deleterious effect on dynamic balance and could place older adults at a greater risk of falls.
    • A national survey of oncology survivors examining nutrition attitudes, problems and behaviours, and access to dietetic care throughout the cancer journey.

      Sullivan, Erin S; Rice, Niamh; Kingston, Elaine; Kelly, Aoife; Reynolds, John V; Feighan, Jennifer; Power, Derek G; Ryan, Aoife M; Derek J. Power, Department of Medical Oncology, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork, Ireland. (Elsevier, 2021)
      Background: Attitudes of cancer survivors to nutrition and nutrition care have rarely been captured. A better understanding of their needs based on a review of their experiences would give voice to this patient group (which has rarely been captured) and allow for better planning of nutritional care. Aims: To conduct a national survey to determine: (1) survivors' experience in relation to nutrition and diet-related problems, (2) perceived importance of the role of nutrition to cancer survivors, (3) the experience of accessing dietetic support, (4) the sources where survivors get nutrition information, and (5) their use of alternative dietary strategies. Methods: Survivors (any adult ever diagnosed with cancer) who had been diagnosed with or treated for cancer in Ireland within the past 5 years, were asked to complete a 25-item paper-based survey at one of 20 different hospital sites in Ireland. The survey was also hosted online on the websites of major cancer charities. Descriptive statistics were used to examine quantitative data. Results: In total, 1073 valid responses were received (63% female, mean age 57 years (range 18–88)). Breast cancer was the most common (n = 362), followed by colorectal (n = 121). One third of respondents had metastatic disease. Diet-related problems were reported by 45%. Weight loss was experienced by 44% and amongst those, 42% reported they were ‘unhappy or worried’ by this, while 27% reportedbeing ‘delighted/happy’ with their weight loss. Muscle loss was noted by 52%, with 20% reporting they had noticed ‘a lot’ of muscle loss. Nutrition was rated as ‘very/extremely’ important to cancer care by 89% of respondents, yet 58% reported being asked about dietary issues by their medical team only ‘sometimes’, ‘rarely’ or ‘never’. Only 39% had been assessed/treated by a registered dietitian (RD) and 74% rated their advice/care as ‘very/extremely’ helpful. Worryingly, 39% of survivors with involuntary weight loss, and 29% of survivors on a texture modified diet had not received nutritional care from an RD. Overall, 57% of those who did not see an RD said they wanted more dietetic support (access to a helpline/dietitian/additional reliable information). Of concern, 37% of survivors were following or had tried alternative, unproven dietary strategies (e.g. restrictive diets, herbal remedies, juicing or detoxes), and 32% reported avoiding specific foods, e.g. processed meat or dairy. A majority (56%) felt confused by the often conflicting nutrition information available in the media and offered by people around them. Conclusions: While nutrition is considered highly important by cancer survivors and a high proportion experience potentially serious diet-related problems including weight and muscle loss, fewer than half surveyed had access to a dietitian. Over a third had used at least one alternative dietary strategy, and over half felt confused about nutrition. Comprehensive nutritional screening and referral programmes to oncology dietitians need to be implemented in the ambulatory setting in order to identify and facilitate early management of the nutritional concerns of cancer survivors.