Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 27.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46720" align="alignleft" width="200"]Lee A. Jennings, MD, MSHS Assistant Professor of Medicine Director, Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, OK 73117 Dr. Jennings[/caption] Lee A. Jennings, MD, MSHS Assistant Professor of Medicine Director, Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, OK 73117 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The research study focused on a novel model of care for persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program. In the program, people with dementia and their caregivers meet with a nurse practitioner specializing in dementia care for a 90-minute in-person assessment and then receive a personalized dementia care plan that addresses the medical, mental health and social needs of both people. The nurse practitioners work collaboratively with the patient’s primary care provider and specialist physicians to implement the care plan, including adjustments as needs change over time. The research was designed to evaluate the costs of administering the program, as well as the health care services used by program participants, including hospitalizations, emergency room visits, hospital readmissions and long-term nursing home placement. A total of 1,083 Medicare beneficiaries with dementia were enrolled in the program and were followed for three years. The study compared them to a similar group of patients living in the same ZIP codes who did not participate in the program.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, UCSF / 07.04.2015

Emily Finlayson, MD, MS Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy University of California, San Francisco Director, UCSF Center for Surgery in Older AdultsMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Finlayson, MD, MS Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy University of California, San Francisco Director, UCSF Center for Surgery in Older Adults Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Finlayson: In general, the goal of lower extremity revascularization is to preserve the leg so that patients can maintain the ability to ambulate and maintain functional independence.  We evaluated the results of this operation in older nursing home residents in the United States.  We found that over the 3 year study period, over 10,000 nursing home residents underwent this procedure.  Most of them were functionally dependent before surgery, 3/4 were unable to walk, and over half had dementia. After 1 year, half of the residents had died.  Among residents who could not walk before surgery, 89% were dead or non ambulatory 1 year after surgery.
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, University of Michigan / 17.03.2015

Lona Mody, MBBS, MSc Associate Division Chief, Clinical and Translational Research Associate Director, Clinical Programs, VA GRECC Associate Professor, Internal Medicine Research Associate Professor, Institute of Gerontology University of Michigan Geriatrics Ann Arbor, MIMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lona Mody, MBBS, MSc Associate Division Chief, Clinical and Translational Research Associate Director, Clinical Programs, VA GRECC Associate Professor, Internal Medicine Research Associate Professor, Institute of Gerontology University of Michigan Geriatrics Ann Arbor, MI Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Over 1.5 million residents live in 15,600 Nursing Homes in the US. The acuity of illness in this population has increased substantially in the last decade, as has the risk of acquiring new infections. Multi-drug resistant organisms, also known as MDROs, are endemic in this setting with prevalence estimates upwards of 35% and surpassing those in the hospitals. Nursing homes historically have had few infection prevention resources, which contributes to these high rates. Patients with indwelling devices such as urinary catheters and feeding tubes present an attractive habitat for these ‘superbugs’ and thus carry the added burden of device-related infections. The authors examined the effect of a targeted infection program, or TIP, to reduce the prevalence of Multi-drug resistant organisms and new catheter or feeding tube infections among patients with indwelling devices. The TIP intervention was three-fold:
  1. Surveillance for infections and Multi-drug resistant organism colonization with regular feedback to facilities;
  2. Extensive and interactive staff education using adult learning theory about key infection prevention practices and hand hygiene; and
  3. Use of gowns and gown when providing assistance to patients for high-risk activities such as bathing and grooming.
Staff education emphasized precautionary measures against the spread of infection and included mock game shows, songs and dances. Hands were cultured for bacteria before and after hand washing. Outcomes were measured by results of the cultures taken for each patient and monitoring infection rates. A team of researchers from the University of Michigan and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Health System has demonstrated that simple measures might be all it takes to push back at the spread of Multi-drug resistant organisms or ‘superbugs’ in nursing homes as well as reduce infections. In their study of patients with indwelling devices, MDROs were reduced by 23 percent among 418 residents in six southeast Michigan nursing homes who participated over the course of the three-year study. The numbers of catheter-associated urinary tract infections and MRSA acquisitions also decreased, 46 percent and 22 percent respectively. The trial examined the relationship between acquisition of antimicrobial resistance among nursing home and assisted living facility residents with the use of devices by adapting new methodological approaches and study designs to study infection prevention interventions including the use of cluster-randomized study design for infection prevention interventions, adopting adult learning practices to engage frontline healthcare personnel and using multi-anatomic site sampling to demonstrate effectiveness of the program.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Emergency Care / 11.08.2014

Dr. Caroline E Stephens PhD Department of Community Health Systems University of California, San FranciscoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Caroline E Stephens PhD Department of Community Health Systems University of California, San Francisco Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Stephens: In our national random sample of nursing home residents, we found that mild cognitive impairment (CI) predicted higher rates of ED visits compared to no CI, but interestingly, ED visit rates decreased as severity of cognitive impairment increased.  However, after nursing home residents were evaluated in the ED, severity of CI was not significantly associated with higher odds of hospitalization. Another important finding was that the proportion of nursing home residents using feeding tubes more than tripled in advanced or end-stage dementia, from 9.9% to 33.8%.  Moreover, tube-fed nursing home residents had 73% higher rates of total ED visits, but once evaluated in the ED, they were no more likely to be hospitalized than those without feeding tubes.  This finding is particularly striking given the numerous existing studies that have questioned the utility and appropriateness of using feeding tubes in people with advanced dementia.