• The Irish DAFNE study protocol: a cluster randomised trial of group versus individual follow-up after structured education for type 1 diabetes.

      Dinneen, Seán F; O' Hara, Mary Clare; Byrne, Molly; Newell, John; Daly, Lisa; O' Shea, Donal; Smith, Diarmuid; Department of Medicine, Clinical Science Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. Sean.Dinneen@nuigalway.ie (2009)
      BACKGROUND: Structured education programmes for individuals with Type 1 diabetes have become a recognised means of delivering the knowledge and skills necessary for optimal self-management of the condition. The Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating (DAFNE) programme has been shown to improve biomedical (HbA(1c) and rates of severe hypoglycaemia) and psychosocial outcomes for up to 12 months following course delivery. The optimal way to support DAFNE graduates and maintain the benefits of the programme has not been established. We aimed to compare 2 different methods of follow-up of DAFNE graduates in a pragmatic clinical trial delivered in busy diabetes clinics on the island of Ireland. METHODS: Six participating centres were cluster randomised to deliver either group follow-up or a return to traditional one-to-one clinic visits. In the intervention arm group follow-up was delivered at 6 and 12 months post DAFNE training according to a curriculum developed for the study. In the control arm patients were seen individually in diabetes clinics as part of routine care. Study outcomes included HbA(1c) levels, self-reported rates of severe hypoglycaemia, body weight and measures of diabetes wellbeing and quality of life. These were measured at 6, 12 and 18 months after recruitment. Generalisability (external validity) was maximised by recruiting study participants from existing DAFNE waiting lists in each centre, by using broad inclusion criteria (including HbA(1c) values less than 13 percent with no lower limit) and by using existing clinic staff to deliver the training and follow-up. Internal validity and treatment fidelity were maximised by quality assuring the training of all DAFNE educators, by external peer review of the group follow-up sessions and by striving for full attendance at follow-up visits. Assays of HbA(1c) were undertaken in a central laboratory. DISCUSSION: This pragmatic clinical trial evaluating group follow-up after a structured education programme has been designed to have broad generalisability. The results should inform how best to manage the well educated patient with Type 1 diabetes in the real world of clinical practice TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN79759174.
    • Study protocol. ECSSIT - Elective Caesarean Section Syntocinon Infusion Trial. A multi-centre randomised controlled trial of oxytocin (Syntocinon) 5 IU bolus and placebo infusion versus oxytocin 5 IU bolus and 40 IU infusion for the control of blood loss at elective caesarean section.

      Murphy, Deirdre J; Carey, Michael; Montgomery, Alan A; Sheehan, Sharon R; Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 8, Ireland. deirdre.j.murphy@tcd.ie (2009)
      BACKGROUND: Caesarean section is one of the most commonly performed major operations in women throughout the world. Rates are escalating, with studies from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, China and the Republic of Ireland reporting rates between 20% and 25%. Operative morbidity includes haemorrhage, anaemia, blood transfusion and in severe cases, maternal death. The value of routine oxytocics in the third stage of vaginal birth has been well established and it has been assumed that these benefits apply to caesarean delivery as well. A slow bolus dose of oxytocin is recommended following delivery of the baby at caesarean section. Some clinicians use an additional infusion of oxytocin for a further period following the procedure. Intravenous oxytocin has a very short half-life (4-10 minutes) therefore the potential advantage of an oxytocin infusion is that it maintains uterine contractility throughout the surgical procedure and immediate postpartum period, when most primary haemorrhages occur. The few trials to date addressing the optimal approach to preventing haemorrhage at caesarean section have been under-powered to evaluate clinically important outcomes. There has been no trial to date comparing the use of an intravenous slow bolus of oxytocin versus an oxytocin bolus and infusion. METHODS AND DESIGN: A multi-centre randomised controlled trial is proposed. The study will take place in five large maternity units in Ireland with collaboration between academics and clinicians in the disciplines of obstetrics and anaesthetics. It will involve 2000 women undergoing elective caesarean section after 36 weeks gestation. The main outcome measure will be major haemorrhage (blood loss >1000 ml). A study involving 2000 women will have 80% power to detect a 36% relative change in the risk of major haemorrhage with two-sided 5% alpha. DISCUSSION: It is both important and timely that we evaluate the optimal approach to the management of the third stage at elective caesarean section. Safe operative delivery is now a priority and a reality for many pregnant women. Obstetricians, obstetric anaesthetists, midwives and pregnant women need high quality evidence on which to base management approaches. The overall aim is to reduce maternal haemorrhagic morbidity and its attendant risks at elective caesarean section. TRIAL REGISTRATION: number: ISRCTN17813715.