PLoS Medicine

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Correlates of attendance at community engagement meetings held in advance of bio-behavioral research studies: A longitudinal, sociocentric social network study in rural Uganda

Ven, 16/07/2021 - 16:00

by Bernard Kakuhikire, Emily N. Satinsky, Charles Baguma, Justin D. Rasmussen, Jessica M. Perkins, Patrick Gumisiriza, Mercy Juliet, Patience Ayebare, Rumbidzai C. Mushavi, Bridget F. O. Burns, Claire Q. Evans, Mark J. Siedner, David R. Bangsberg, Alexander C. Tsai

Background

Community engagement is central to the conduct of health-related research studies as a way to determine priorities, inform study design and implementation, increase recruitment and retention, build relationships, and ensure that research meets the goals of the community. Community sensitization meetings, a form of community engagement, are often held prior to the initiation of research studies to provide information about upcoming study activities and resolve concerns in consultation with potential participants. This study estimated demographic, health, economic, and social network correlates of attendance at community sensitization meetings held in advance of a whole-population, combined behavioral, and biomedical research study in rural Uganda.

Methods and findings

Research assistants collected survey data from 1,630 adults participating in an ongoing sociocentric social network cohort study conducted in a rural region of southwestern Uganda. These community survey data, collected between 2016 and 2018, were linked to attendance logs from community sensitization meetings held in 2018 and 2019 before the subsequent community survey and community health fair. Of all participants, 264 (16%) attended a community sensitization meeting before the community survey, 464 (28%) attended a meeting before the community health fair, 558 (34%) attended a meeting before either study activity (survey or health fair), and 170 (10%) attended a meeting before both study activities (survey and health fair). Using multivariable Poisson regression models, we estimated correlates of attendance at community sensitization meetings. Attendance was more likely among study participants who were women (adjusted relative risk [ARR]health fair = 1.71, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32 to 2.21, p < 0.001), older age (ARRsurvey = 1.02 per year, 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.02, p < 0.001; ARRhealth fair = 1.02 per year, 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.02, p < 0.001), married (ARRsurvey = 1.74, 95% CI, 1.29 to 2.35, p < 0.001; ARRhealth fair = 1.41, 95% CI, 1.13 to 1.76, p = 0.002), and members of more community groups (ARRsurvey = 1.26 per group, 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.44, p = 0.001; ARRhealth fair = 1.26 per group, 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.43, p < 0.001). Attendance was less likely among study participants who lived farther from meeting locations (ARRsurvey = 0.54 per kilometer, 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.97, p = 0.041; ARRhealth fair = 0.57 per kilometer, 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.86, p = 0.007). Leveraging the cohort’s sociocentric design, social network analyses suggested that information conveyed during community sensitization meetings could reach a broader group of potential study participants through attendees’ social network and household connections. Study limitations include lack of detailed data on reasons for attendance/nonattendance at community sensitization meetings; achieving a representative sample of community members was not an explicit aim of the study; and generalizability may not extend beyond this study setting.

Conclusions

In this longitudinal, sociocentric social network study conducted in rural Uganda, we observed that older age, female sex, being married, membership in more community groups, and geographical proximity to meeting locations were correlated with attendance at community sensitization meetings held in advance of bio-behavioral research activities. Information conveyed during meetings could have reached a broader portion of the population through attendees’ social network and household connections. To ensure broader input and potentially increase participation in health-related research studies, the dissemination of research-related information through community sensitization meetings may need to target members of underrepresented groups.

Obesity and revision surgery, mortality, and patient-reported outcomes after primary knee replacement surgery in the National Joint Registry: A UK cohort study

Ven, 16/07/2021 - 16:00

by Jonathan Thomas Evans, Sofia Mouchti, Ashley William Blom, Jeremy Mark Wilkinson, Michael Richard Whitehouse, Andrew Beswick, Andrew Judge

Background

One in 10 people in the United Kingdom will need a total knee replacement (TKR) during their lifetime. Access to this life-changing operation has recently been restricted based on body mass index (BMI) due to belief that high BMI may lead to poorer outcomes. We investigated the associations between BMI and revision surgery, mortality, and pain/function using what we believe to be the world’s largest joint replacement registry.

Methods and findings

We analysed 493,710 TKRs in the National Joint Registry (NJR) for England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Isle of Man from 2005 to 2016 to investigate 90-day mortality and 10-year cumulative revision. Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) and Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) databases were linked to the NJR to investigate change in Oxford Knee Score (OKS) 6 months postoperatively.After adjustment for age, sex, American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) grade, indication for operation, year of primary TKR, and fixation type, patients with high BMI were more likely to undergo revision surgery within 10 years compared to those with “normal” BMI (obese class II hazard ratio (HR) 1.21, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.32 (p < 0.001) and obese class III HR 1.13, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.26 (p = 0.026)). All BMI classes had revision estimates within the recognised 10-year benchmark of 5%. Overweight and obese class I patients had lower mortality than patients with “normal” BMI (HR 0.76, 95% CI: 0.65, 0.90 (p = 0.001) and HR 0.69, 95% CI: 0.58, 0.82 (p < 0.001)). All BMI categories saw absolute increases in OKS after 6 months (range 18–20 points). The relative improvement in OKS was lower in overweight and obese patients than those with “normal” BMI, but the difference was below the minimal detectable change (MDC; 4 points). The main limitations were missing BMI particularly in the early years of data collection and a potential selection bias effect of surgeons selecting the fitter patients with raised BMI for surgery.

Conclusions

Given revision estimates in all BMI groups below the recognised threshold, no evidence of increased mortality, and difference in change in OKS below the MDC, this large national registry shows no evidence of poorer outcomes in patients with high BMI. This study does not support rationing of TKR based on increased BMI.

Estimating the effect of moving meat-free products to the meat aisle on sales of meat and meat-free products: A non-randomised controlled intervention study in a large UK supermarket chain

Gio, 15/07/2021 - 16:00

by Carmen Piernas, Brian Cook, Richard Stevens, Cristina Stewart, Jennifer Hollowell, Peter Scarborough, Susan A. Jebb

Background

Reducing meat consumption could bring health and environmental benefits, but there is little research to date on effective interventions to achieve this. A non-randomised controlled intervention study was used to evaluate whether prominent positioning of meat-free products in the meat aisle was associated with a change in weekly mean sales of meat and meat-free products.

Methods and findings

Weekly sales data were obtained from 108 stores: 20 intervention stores that moved a selection of 26 meat-free products into a newly created meat-free bay within the meat aisle and 88 matched control stores. The primary outcome analysis used a hierarchical negative binomial model to compare changes in weekly sales (units) of meat products sold in intervention versus control stores during the main intervention period (Phase I: February 2019 to April 2019). Interrupted time series analysis was also used to evaluate the effects of the Phase I intervention. Moreover, 8 of the 20 stores enhanced the intervention from August 2019 onwards (Phase II intervention) by adding a second bay of meat-free products into the meat aisle, which was evaluated following the same analytical methods.During the Phase I intervention, sales of meat products (units/store/week) decreased in intervention (approximately −6%) and control stores (−5%) without significant differences (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.01 [95% CI 0.95–1.07]. Sales of meat-free products increased significantly more in the intervention (+31%) compared to the control stores (+6%; IRR 1.43 [95% CI 1.30–1.57]), mostly due to increased sales of meat-free burgers, mince, and sausages. Consistent results were observed in interrupted time series analyses where the effect of the Phase II intervention was significant in intervention versus control stores.

Conclusions

Prominent positioning of meat-free products into the meat aisle in a supermarket was not effective in reducing sales of meat products, but successfully increased sales of meat-free alternatives in the longer term.A preregistered protocol (https://osf.io/qmz3a/) was completed and fully available before data analysis.

Mortality and concurrent use of opioids and hypnotics in older patients: A retrospective cohort study

Gio, 15/07/2021 - 16:00

by Wayne A. Ray, Cecilia P. Chung, Katherine T. Murray, Beth A. Malow, James R. Daugherty, C. Michael Stein

Background

Benzodiazepine hypnotics and the related nonbenzodiazepine hypnotics (z-drugs) are among the most frequently prescribed medications for older adults. Both can depress respiration, which could have fatal cardiorespiratory effects, particularly among patients with concurrent opioid use. Trazodone, frequently prescribed in low doses for insomnia, has minimal respiratory effects, and, consequently, may be a safer hypnotic for older patients. Thus, for patients beginning treatment with benzodiazepine hypnotics or z-drugs, we compared deaths during periods of current hypnotic use, without or with concurrent opioids, to those for comparable patients receiving trazodone in doses up to 100 mg.

Methods and findings

The retrospective cohort study in the United States included 400,924 Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age or older without severe illness or evidence of substance use disorder initiating study hypnotic therapy from January 2014 through September 2015. Study endpoints were out-of-hospital (primary) and total mortality. Hazard ratios (HRs) were adjusted for demographic characteristics, psychiatric and neurologic disorders, cardiovascular and renal conditions, respiratory diseases, pain-related diagnoses and medications, measures of frailty, and medical care utilization in a time-dependent propensity score–stratified analysis. Patients without concurrent opioids had 32,388 person-years of current use, 260 (8.0/1,000 person-years) out-of-hospital and 418 (12.9/1,000) total deaths for benzodiazepines; 26,497 person-years,150 (5.7/1,000) out-of-hospital and 227 (8.6/1,000) total deaths for z-drugs; and 16,177 person-years,156 (9.6/1,000) out-of-hospital and 256 (15.8/1,000) total deaths for trazodone. Out-of-hospital and total mortality for benzodiazepines (respective HRs: 0.99 [95% confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.22, p = 0.954] and 0.95 [0.82 to 1.14, p = 0.513] and z-drugs (HRs: 0.96 [0.76 to 1.23], p = 0.767 and 0.87 [0.72 to 1.05], p = 0.153) did not differ significantly from that for trazodone. Patients with concurrent opioids had 4,278 person-years of current use, 90 (21.0/1,000) out-of-hospital and 127 (29.7/1,000) total deaths for benzodiazepines; 3,541 person-years, 40 (11.3/1,000) out-of-hospital and 64 (18.1/1,000) total deaths for z-drugs; and 2,347 person-years, 19 (8.1/1,000) out-of-hospital and 36 (15.3/1,000) total deaths for trazodone. Out-of-hospital and total mortality for benzodiazepines (HRs: 3.02 [1.83 to 4.97], p < 0.001 and 2.21 [1.52 to 3.20], p < 0.001) and z-drugs (HRs: 1.98 [1.14 to 3.44], p = 0.015 and 1.65 [1.09 to 2.49], p = 0.018) were significantly increased relative to trazodone; findings were similar with exclusion of overdose deaths or restriction to those with cardiovascular causes. Limitations included composition of the study cohort and potential confounding by unmeasured variables.

Conclusions

In US Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age or older without concurrent opioids who initiated treatment with benzodiazepine hypnotics, z-drugs, or low-dose trazodone, study hypnotics were not associated with mortality. With concurrent opioids, benzodiazepines and z-drugs were associated with increased out-of-hospital and total mortality. These findings indicate that the dangers of benzodiazepine–opioid coadministration go beyond the documented association with overdose death and suggest that in combination with opioids, the z-drugs may be more hazardous than previously thought.

Evaluating the impact of the nationwide public–private mix (PPM) program for tuberculosis under National Health Insurance in South Korea: A difference in differences analysis

Mer, 14/07/2021 - 16:00

by Sarah Yu, Hojoon Sohn, Hae-Young Kim, Hyunwoo Kim, Kyung-Hyun Oh, Hee-Jin Kim, Haejoo Chung, Hongjo Choi

Background

Public–private mix (PPM) programs on tuberculosis (TB) have a critical role in engaging and integrating the private sector into the national TB control efforts in order to meet the End TB Strategy targets. South Korea’s PPM program can provide important insights on the long-term impact and policy gaps in the development and expansion of PPM as a nationwide program.

Methods and findings

Healthcare is privatized in South Korea, and a majority (80.3% in 2009) of TB patients sought care in the private sector. Since 2009, South Korea has rapidly expanded its PPM program coverage under the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme as a formal national program with dedicated PPM nurses managing TB patients in both the private and public sectors. Using the difference in differences (DID) analytic framework, we compared relative changes in TB treatment outcomes—treatment success (TS) and loss to follow-up (LTFU)—in the private and public sector between the 2009 and 2014 TB patient cohorts. Propensity score matching (PSM) using the kernel method was done to adjust for imbalances in the covariates between the 2 population cohorts. The 2009 cohort included 6,195 (63.0% male, 37.0% female; mean age: 42.1) and 27,396 (56.1% male, 43.9% female; mean age: 45.7) TB patients in the public and private sectors, respectively. The 2014 cohort included 2,803 (63.2% male, 36.8% female; mean age: 50.1) and 29,988 (56.5% male, 43.5% female; mean age: 54.7) patients. In both the private and public sectors, the proportion of patients with transfer history decreased (public: 23.8% to 21.7% and private: 20.8% to 17.6%), and bacteriological confirmed disease increased (public: 48.9% to 62.3% and private: 48.8% to 58.1%) in 2014 compared to 2009. After expanding nationwide PPM, absolute TS rates improved by 9.10% (87.5% to 93.4%) and by 13.6% (from 70.3% to 83.9%) in the public and private sectors. Relative to the public, the private saw 4.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.9% to 5.3%, p-value < 0.001) and −8.7% (95% CI −9.7% to −7.7%, p-value <0.001) higher rates of improvement in TS and reduction in LTFU. Treatment outcomes did not improve in patients who experienced at least 1 transfer during their TB treatment. Study limitations include non-longitudinal nature of our original dataset, inability to assess the regional disparities, and verify PPM program’s impact on TB mortality.

Conclusions

We found that the nationwide scale-up of the PPM program was associated with improvements in TB treatment outcomes in the private sector in South Korea. Centralized financial governance and regulatory mechanisms were integral in facilitating the integration of highly diverse South Korean private sector into the national TB control program and scaling up of the PPM intervention nationwide. However, TB care gaps continued to exist for patients who transferred at least once during their treatment. These programmatic gaps may be improved through reducing administrative hurdles and making programmatic amendments that can help facilitate management TB patients between institutions and healthcare sectors, as well as across administrative regions.

Preventing microalbuminuria with benazepril, valsartan, and benazepril–valsartan combination therapy in diabetic patients with high-normal albuminuria: A prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded endpoint (PROBE) study

Mer, 14/07/2021 - 16:00

by Piero Ruggenenti, Monica Cortinovis, Aneliya Parvanova, Matias Trillini, Ilian P. Iliev, Antonio C. Bossi, Antonio Belviso, Maria C. Aparicio, Roberto Trevisan, Stefano Rota, Annalisa Perna, Tobia Peracchi, Nadia Rubis, Davide Martinetti, Silvia Prandini, Flavio Gaspari, Fabiola Carrara, Salvatore De Cosmo, Giancarlo Tonolo, Ruggero Mangili, Giuseppe Remuzzi, on behalf of the VARIETY Study Organization

Background

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) prevent microalbuminuria in normoalbuminuric type 2 diabetic patients. We assessed whether combined therapy with the 2 medications may prevent microalbuminuria better than ACE inhibitor or ARB monotherapy.

Methods and findings

VARIETY was a prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded endpoint (PROBE) trial evaluating whether, at similar blood pressure (BP) control, combined therapy with benazepril (10 mg/day) and valsartan (160 mg/day) would prevent microalbuminuria more effectively than benazepril (20 mg/day) or valsartan (320 mg/day) monotherapy in 612 type 2 diabetic patients with high-normal albuminuria included between July 2007 and April 2013 by the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS and 8 diabetology or nephrology units in Italy. Time to progression to microalbuminuria was the primary outcome. Analyses were intention to treat. Baseline characteristics were similar among groups. During a median [interquartile range, IQR] follow-up of 66 [42 to 83] months, 53 patients (27.0%) on combination therapy, 57 (28.1%) on benazepril, and 64 (31.8%) on valsartan reached microalbuminuria. Using an accelerated failure time model, the estimated acceleration factors were 1.410 (95% CI: 0.806 to 2.467, P = 0.229) for benazepril compared to combination therapy, 0.799 (95% CI: 0.422 to 1.514, P = 0.492) for benazepril compared to valsartan, and 1.665 (95% CI: 1.007 to 2.746, P = 0.047) for valsartan compared to combination therapy. Between-group differences in estimated acceleration factors were nonsignificant after adjustment for predefined confounders. BP control was similar across groups. All treatments were safe and tolerated well, with a slight excess of hyperkalemia and hypotension in the combination therapy group. The main study limitation was the lower than expected albuminuria at inclusion.

Conclusions

Risk/benefit profile of study treatments was similar. Dual renin–angiotensin system (RAS) blockade is not recommended as compared to benazepril or valsartan monotherapy for prevention of microalbuminuria in normoalbuminuric type 2 diabetic patients.

Trial registration

EudraCT 2006-005954-62; ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00503152.