Monday, September 17, 2012

New from Biomed Central

Bradley R, Sherman KJ, Catz S, Calabrese C, Oberg EB, Jordan L, Grothous L, Cherkin D. Adjunctive naturopathic care for type 2 diabetes: patient-reported and clinical outcomes after one year. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:44 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-44


Background: Several small, uncontrolled studies have found improvements in self-care behaviors and reductions in clinical risk in persons with type 2 diabetes who received care from licensed naturopathic physicians. To extend these findings and determine the feasibility and promise of a randomized clinical trial, we conducted a prospective study to measure the effects of adjunctive naturopathic care (ANC) in primary care patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Forty patients with type 2 diabetes were invited from a large integrated health care system to receive up to eight ANC visits for up to one year. Participants were required to have hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) values between 7.5-9.5 % and at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor (i.e., hypertension, hyperlipidemia or overweight). Standardized instruments were administered by telephone to collect outcome data on self-care, self-efficacy, diabetes problem areas, perceived stress, motivation, and mood. Changes from baseline scores were calculated at 6- and 12-months after entry into the study. Six and 12-month changes in clinical risk factors (i.e., HbA1c, lipid and blood pressure) were calculated for the ANC cohort, and compared to changes in a cohort of 329 eligible, non-participating patients constructed using electronic medical records data. Between-cohort comparisons were adjusted for age, gender, baseline HbA1c, and diabetes medications. Six months was pre-specified as the primary endpoint for outcome assessment.

Results: Participants made 3.9 ANC visits on average during the year, 78 % of which occurred within six months of entry into the study. At 6-months, significant improvements were found in most patient-reported measures, including glucose testing (P = 0.001), diet (P = 0.001), physical activity (P = 0.02), mood (P = 0.001), self-efficacy (P = 0.0001) and motivation to change lifestyle (P = 0.003). Improvements in glucose testing, mood, self-efficacy and motivation to change lifestyle persisted at 12-months (all P < 0.005). For clinical outcomes, mean HbA1c decreased by −0.90 % (P = 0.02) in the ANC cohort at 6-months, a −0.51 % mean difference compared to usual care (P = 0.07). Reductions at 12-months were not statistically significant (−0.34 % in the ANC cohort, P = 0.14; -0.37 % difference compared to the usual care cohort, P = 0.12).

Conclusions: Improvements were noted in self-monitoring of glucose, diet, self-efficacy, motivation and mood following initiation of ANC for patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes. Study participants also experienced reductions in blood glucose that exceeded those for similar patients who did not receive ANC. Randomized clinical trials will be necessary to determine if ANC was responsible for these benefits.

Nkenke E, Vairaktaris E, Bauersachs A, Eitner S, Budach A, Knipfer C, Stelzle F. Acceptance of technology-enhanced learning for a theoretical radiological science course: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Medical Education 2012, 12:18 doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-18


Background: Technology-enhanced learning (TEL) gives a view to improved education. However, there is a need to clarify how TEL can be used effectively. The study compared students' attitudes and opinions towards a traditional face-to-face course on theoretical radiological science and a TEL course where students could combine face-to-face lectures and e-learning modules at their best convenience.

Methods: 42 third-year dental students were randomly assigned to the traditional face-to-face group and the TEL group. Both groups completed questionnaires before the beginning and after completion of the course on attitudes and opinions towards a traditional face-to-face lectures and technology-enhanced learning. After completion of the course both groups also filled in the validated German-language TRIL (Trierer Inventar zur Lehrevaluation) questionnaire for the evaluation of courses given at universities.

Results: Both groups had a positive attitude towards e-learning that did not change over time. The TEL group attended significantly less face-to-face lectures than the traditional group. However, both groups stated that face-to-face lectures were the basis for education in a theoretical radiological science course.The members of the TEL group rated e-mail reminders significantly more important when they filled in the questionnaire on attitudes and opinions towards a traditional face-to-face lectures and technology-enhanced learning for the second time after completion of the course.The members of the technology-enhanced learning group were significantly less confident in passing the exam compared to the members of the traditional group. However, examination results did not differ significantly for traditional and the TEL group.

Conclusions: It seems that technology-enhanced learning in a theoretical radiological science course has the potential to reduce the need for face-to-face lectures. At the same time examination results are not impaired. However, technology-enhanced learning cannot completely replace traditional face-to-face lectures, because students indicate that they consider traditional teaching as the basis of their education.

Kiguba R, Kutyaabami P, Kiwuwa S, Katabira E, Sewankambo NK. Assessing the quality of informed consent in a resource-limited setting: A cross-sectional study. BMC Medical Ethics 2012, 13:21 doi:10.1186/1472-6939-13-21


Background: The process of obtaining informed consent continues to be a contentious issue in clinical and public health research carried out in resource-limited settings. We sought to evaluate this process among human research participants in randomly selected active research studies approved by the School of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University.

Methods: Data were collected using semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaires on clinic days after initial or repeat informed consent procedures for the respective clinical studies had been administered to each study participant.

Results: Of the 600 participants interviewed, two thirds (64.2 %, 385/600) were female. Overall mean age of study participants was 37.6 (SD = 7.7) years. Amongst all participants, less than a tenth (5.9 %, 35/598) reported that they were not given enough information before making a decision to participate. A similar proportion (5.7 %, 34/597) reported that they had not signed a consent form prior to making a decision to participate in the study. A third (33.7 %, 201/596) of the participants were not aware that they could, at any time, voluntarily withdraw participation from these studies. Participants in clinical trials were 50 % less likely than those in observational studies [clinical trial vs. observational; (odds ratio, OR = 0.5; 95 % CI: 0.35-0.78)] to perceive that refusal to participate in the parent research project would affect their regular medical care.

Conclusions: Most of the participants signed informed consent forms and a vast majority felt that they received enough information before deciding to participate. On the contrary, several were not aware that they could voluntarily withdraw their participation. Participants in observational studies were more likely than those in clinical trials to perceive that refusal to participate in the parent study would affect their regular medical care.




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