• Factors influencing trainee doctor emigration in a high income country: a mixed methods study

      Clarke, Nicholas; Crowe, Sophie; Humphries, Niamh; Conroy, Ronan; O’Hare, Simon; Kavanagh, Paul; Brugha, Ruairi (2017-09-25)
      Abstract Background The Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel focuses particularly on migration of doctors from low- and middle-income countries. Less is understood about migration from high-income countries. Recession has impacted several European countries in recent years, and in some cases emigration has reached unprecedented levels. This study measures and explores the predictors of trainee doctor emigration from Ireland. Methods Using a partially mixed sequential dominant (quantitative) study design, a nationally representative sample of 893 trainee doctors was invited to complete an online survey. Of the 523 who responded (58.6% response rate), 423 were still in Ireland and responded to questions on factors influencing intention to practice medicine abroad and are the subjects of this study. Explanatory factors for intention to practice medicine in Ireland in the foreseeable future, the primary outcome, included demographic variables and experiences of working within the Irish health system. Associations were examined using univariable and multivariable logistic regression to estimate odds ratios for factors influencing the primary outcome. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 50 trainee doctors and analysed thematically, exploring issues associated with intention to practice medicine abroad. Results There were high levels of dissatisfaction among trainee doctors around working conditions, training and career progression opportunities in Ireland. However, most factors did not discriminate between intention to leave or stay. Factors that did predict intention to leave included dissatisfaction with one’s work-life balance (odds ratio (OR) 2.51; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.53–4.10; P < 0.001); feeling that the quality of training in Ireland was poor (OR 1.82; 95% CI 1.09–3.05; P = 0.002) and leaving for family or personal reasons (OR 1.85; 95% CI 1.08–3.17; P = 0.027). Qualitative findings illustrated the stress of doing postgraduate training with inadequate supervision, lack of ring-fenced training time and pressures on personal and family life. Conclusions Large-scale dissatisfaction with working, training and career opportunities point to systemic factors that need to be addressed by health workforce planners if Ireland is to retain and benefit from a motivated medical workforce, given trainees’ perceptions that there are better opportunities abroad.
    • Factors predicting hospital length-of-stay after radical prostatectomy: a population-based study

      Kelly, Maria; Sharp, Linda; Dwane, Fiona; Kelleher, Tracy; Drummond, Frances J; Comber, Harry (2013-07-02)
      Abstract Background Radical prostatectomy (RP) is a leading treatment option for localised prostate cancer. Although hospital in-patient stays accounts for much of the costs of treatment, little is known about population-level trends in length-of-stay (LOS). We investigated factors predicting hospital LOS and readmissions in men who had RP following prostate cancer. Methods Incident prostate cancers (ICD-O3: C61), diagnosed January 2002-December 2008 in men < 70 years, were identified from the Irish Cancer Registry, and linked to public hospital episodes. For those who had RP (ICD-9 CM procedure codes 60.3, 60.4, 60.5, 60.62) the associated hospital episode was identified. LOS was calculated as the number of days from date of admission to date of discharge. Patient-, tumour-, and health service-related factors predicting longer LOS (upper quartile, >9 days) were investigated using logistic regression. Patterns in day-case and in-patient readmissions within 28 days of discharge following RP were explored. Results Over the study period 9096 prostate cancers were diagnosed in men under 70, 26.5% of whom had RP by end of follow-up 31/12/2009. Two of eight public hospitals and eight of forty surgeons carried out 50% of all public-service RPs. Median LOS was 8 days (10th-90th percentile = 6-13 days) and fell significantly over time (2002, 9 days; 2008, 7 days; p < 0.001). In adjusted analyses men who were not married (OR = 1.71, 95% CI 1.25-2.34), had co-morbidities (OR = 1.64, 95% CI 1.25-2.16) or stage III-IV cancer (OR = 2.19, 95% CI 1.44-3.34) were significantly more likely to have prolonged LOS. Those treated in higher volume hospitals (annual median >49 RPs) or by higher volume surgeons (annual median >17 RPs) were significantly less likely to have prolonged LOS (OR = 0.34, 95% CI 0.26-0.45; OR = 0.55, 95% CI 0.42-0.71 respectively). Conclusion Median LOS after RP decreased between 2002 and 2008 in Ireland but it remains higher than in both England and the US. Although volumes of RPs conducted in Ireland are low, there is considerable variation between hospitals and surgeons. Hospital and surgeon volume were strong predictors of shorter LOS, after adjusting for other variables. These factors point to a need for a comprehensive review of prostate cancer service provision.
    • Factors predicting hospital length-of-stay and readmission after colorectal resection: a population-based study of elective and emergency admissions

      Kelly, Maria; Sharp, Linda; Dwane, Fiona; Kelleher, Tracy; Comber, Harry (2012-03-26)
      Abstract Background The impact of developments in colorectal cancer surgery on length-of-stay (LOS) and re-admission have not been well described. In a population-based analysis, we investigated predictors of LOS and emergency readmission after the initial surgery episode. Methods Incident colorectal cancers (ICD-O2: C18-C20), diagnosed 2002-2008, were identified from the National Cancer Registry Ireland, and linked to hospital in-patient episodes. For those who underwent colorectal resection, the associated hospital episode was identified. Factors predicting longer LOS (upper-quartile, > 24 days) for elective and emergency admissions separately, and whether LOS predicted emergency readmission within 28 days of discharge, were investigated using logistic regression. Results 8197 patients underwent resection, 63% (n = 5133) elective and 37% (n = 3063) emergency admissions. Median LOS was 14 days (inter-quartile range (IQR) = 11-20) for elective and 21 (15-33) for emergency admissions. For both emergency and elective admissions, likelihood of longer LOS was significantly higher in patients who were older, had co-morbidities and were unmarried; it was reduced for private patients. For emergency patients only the likelihood of longer LOS was lower for patients admitted to higher-volume hospitals. Longer LOS was associated with increased risk of emergency readmission. Conclusions One quarter of patients stay in hospital for at least 25 days following colorectal resection. Over one third of resected patients are emergency admissions and these have a significantly longer median LOS. Patient- and health service-related factors were associated with prolonged LOS. Longer LOS was associated with increased risk of emergency readmission. The cost implications of these findings are significant.
    • Factors prompting PSA-testing of asymptomatic men in a country with no guidelines: a national survey of general practitioners.

      Drummond, Frances J; Carsin, Anne-Elie; Sharp, Linda; Comber, Harry; National Cancer Registry, Ireland, Building 6800, Airport Business Park, Kinsale Rd, Cork, Ireland. f.drummond@ncri.ie (2009)
      BACKGROUND: Increased use of prostate specific antigen (PSA) has been associated with increased prostate cancer incidence. Ireland is estimated to have one of the highest prostate cancer incidences in Europe and has no national guidelines for prostate cancer screening. GPs have a pivotal role in influencing PSA testing, therefore, our aim was to describe GP testing practices and to identify factors influencing these. METHODS: A postal survey, including questions on clinical practice and experience, knowledge and demographics was distributed to all GPs (n = 3,683). The main outcomes were (i) PSA testing asymptomatic men and (ii) "inappropriate" PSA testing, defined as testing asymptomatic men aged < 50 or > 75 years. Factors associated with these outcomes were identified using logistic regression. RESULTS: 1,625 GPs responded (response rate corrected for eligibility = 53%). Most respondents (79%) would PSA test asymptomatic men. Of these, 34% and 51% would test asymptomatic men < 50 and > 75 years, respectively. In multivariate analyses, GPs were more likely to test asymptomatic men if they were >or= 50 years, in practice >or= 10 years, female or less knowledgeable about PSA efficacy. Male GPs who would have a PSA test themselves were > 8-times more likely to PSA test asymptomatic men than GPs who would not have a test. GPs who had an asymptomatic patient diagnosed with prostate cancer following PSA testing, were > 3-times more likely to test asymptomatic men. Practice-related factors positively associated with testing included: running 'well man' clinics, performing occupational health checks and performing other tests routinely with PSA. Factors positively associated with 'inappropriate' testing included; being male and willing to have a PSA test, having worked/trained in the UK and supporting annual PSA testing. 91% of respondents supported the development of national PSA testing guidelines. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that widespread PSA testing of asymptomatic men in primary care is primarily due to a combination of clinical experience, poor knowledge and the support of doctors for PSA testing, as evidenced by the willingness of male doctors to have a PSA test. There is an urgent need for education and support for GPs concerning prostate cancer screening, starting with the implementation of national guidelines.
    • Factors that affect mass transport from drug eluting stents into the artery wall

      O'Connell, Barry M; McGloughlin, Tim M; Walsh, Michael T (2010-03-09)
      Abstract Coronary artery disease can be treated by implanting a stent into the blocked region of an artery, thus enabling blood perfusion to distal vessels. Minimally invasive procedures of this nature often result in damage to the arterial tissue culminating in the re-blocking of the vessel. In an effort to alleviate this phenomenon, known as restenosis, drug eluting stents were developed. They are similar in composition to a bare metal stent but encompass a coating with therapeutic agents designed to reduce the overly aggressive healing response that contributes to restenosis. There are many variables that can influence the effectiveness of these therapeutic drugs being transported from the stent coating to and within the artery wall, many of which have been analysed and documented by researchers. However, the physical deformation of the artery substructure due to stent expansion, and its influence on a drugs ability to diffuse evenly within the artery wall have been lacking in published work to date. The paper highlights previous approaches adopted by researchers and proposes the addition of porous artery wall deformation to increase model accuracy.
    • Factors that Influence Uptake of Vaccination in Pregnancy

      Hallissey, R; O’Connell, A; Warren, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-03)
    • Factors to consider in the transition to digital radiological imaging

      MacDonald, David (Irish Dental Association, 2009-02)
    • Factors to consider in the transition to digital radiological imaging.

      MacDonald, David; Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Canada. dmacdon@interchange.ubc.ca (Irish Dental Association, 2009-02)
      The dentist considering adopting digital radiological technology should consider more than the type of detector with which to capture the image. He/she should also consider the mode of display, image enhancement, radiation dose reduction, how the image can be stored long term, and infection control.
    • The fairness, predictive validity and acceptability of multiple mini interview in an internationally diverse student population- a mixed methods study

      Kelly, Maureen E; Dowell, Jon; Husbands, Adrian; Newell, John; O‘Flynn, Siun; Kropmans, Thomas; Dunne, Fidelma P; Murphy, Andrew W (2014-12-21)
      Abstract Background International medical students, those attending medical school outside of their country of citizenship, account for a growing proportion of medical undergraduates worldwide. This study aimed to establish the fairness, predictive validity and acceptability of Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) in an internationally diverse student population. Methods This was an explanatory sequential, mixed methods study. All students in First Year Medicine, National University of Ireland Galway 2012 were eligible to sit a previously validated 10 station MMI. Quantitative data comprised: demographics, selection tool scores and First Year Assessment scores. Qualitative data comprised separate focus groups with MMI Assessors, EU and Non-EU students. Results 109 students participated (45% of class). Of this 41.3% (n = 45) were Non-EU and 35.8% (n = 39) did not have English as first language. Age, gender and socioeconomic class did not impact on MMI scores. Non-EU students and those for whom English was not a first language achieved significantly lower scores on MMI than their EU and English speaking counterparts (difference in mean 11.9% and 12.2% respectively, P<0.001). MMI score was associated with English language proficiency (IELTS) (r = 0.5, P<0.01). Correlations emerged between First Year results and IELTS (r = 0.44; p = 0.006; n = 38) and EU school exit exam (r = 0.52; p<0.001; n = 56). MMI predicted EU student OSCE performance (r = 0.27; p = 0.03; n = 64). In the analysis of focus group data two overarching themes emerged: Authenticity and Cultural Awareness. MMI was considered a highly authentic assessment that offered a deeper understanding of the applicant than traditional tools, with an immediate relevance to clinical practice. Cultural specificity of some stations and English language proficiency were seen to disadvantage international students. Recommendations included cultural awareness training for MMI assessors, designing and piloting culturally neutral stations, lengthening station duration and providing high quality advance information to candidates. Conclusion MMI is a welcome addition to assessment armamentarium for selection, particularly with regard to stakeholder acceptability. Understanding the mediating and moderating influences for differences in performance of international candidates is essential to ensure that MMI complies with the metrics of good assessment practice and principles of both distributive and procedural justice for all applicants, irrespective of nationality and cultural background.
    • Fallout of the enterocolitis, autism, MMR vaccine paper

      Murphy, JFA (Irish Medical Journal, 2011-02)
    • Falls and falls efficacy: the role of sustained attention in older adults

      O'Halloran, Aisling M; Penard, Nils; Galli, Alessandra; Fan, Chie Wei; Robertson, Ian H; Kenny, Rose Anne (2011-12-19)
      Abstract Background Previous evidence indicates that older people allocate more of their attentional resources toward their gait and that the attention-related changes that occur during aging increase the risk of falls. The aim of this study was to investigate whether performance and variability in sustained attention is associated with falls and falls efficacy in older adults. Methods 458 community-dwelling adults aged ≥ 60 years underwent a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Mean and variability of reaction time (RT), commission errors and omission errors were recorded during a fixed version of the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). RT variability was decomposed using the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) procedure, to help characterise variability associated with the arousal and vigilance aspects of sustained attention. The number of self-reported falls in the previous twelve months, and falls efficacy (Modified Falls Efficacy Scale) were also recorded. Results Significant increases in the mean and variability of reaction time on the SART were significantly associated with both falls (p < 0.01) and reduced falls efficacy (p < 0.05) in older adults. An increase in omission errors was also associated with falls (p < 0.01) and reduced falls efficacy (p < 0.05). Upon controlling for age and gender affects, logistic regression modelling revealed that increasing variability associated with the vigilance (top-down) aspect of sustained attention was a retrospective predictor of falling (p < 0.01, OR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.03 - 1.26) in the previous year and was weakly correlated with reduced falls efficacy in non-fallers (p = 0.07). Conclusions Greater variability in sustained attention is strongly correlated with retrospective falls and to a lesser degree with reduced falls efficacy. This cognitive measure may provide a novel and valuable biomarker for falls in older adults, potentially allowing for early detection and the implementation of preventative intervention strategies.
    • Families and single fathers in Ireland

      McKeown, Kieran (Administration, 2001)
    • Family Connections versus optimised treatment-as-usual for family members of individuals with borderline personality disorder: non-randomised controlled study

      Flynn, Daniel; Kells, Mary; Joyce, Mary; Corcoran, Paul; Herley, Sarah; Suarez, Catalina; Cotter, Padraig; Hurley, Justina; Weihrauch, Mareike; Groeger, John (2017-08-30)
      Abstract Background Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is challenging for family members who are often required to fulfil multiple roles such as those of advocate, caregiver, coach and guardian. To date, two uncontrolled studies by the treatment developers suggest that Family Connections (FC) is an effective programme to support, educate and teach skills to family members of individuals with BPD. However, such studies have been limited by lack of comparison to other treatment approaches. This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of FC with an optimised treatment-as-usual (OTAU) programme for family members of individuals with BPD. A secondary aim was to introduce a long term follow-up to investigate if positive gains from the intervention would be maintained following programme completion. Methods This study was a non-randomised controlled study, with assessment of outcomes at baseline (pre-intervention) and end of programme (post-intervention) for both FC and OTAU groups, and at follow-up (3 months post-intervention; 12 or 19 months post-intervention) for the FC group. Eighty family members participated in the FC (n = 51) and the OTAU (n = 29) programmes. Outcome measures included burden, grief, depression and mastery. Linear mixed-effects models were used to assess baseline differences in the outcome measures by gender, age group and type of relationship to the individual with BPD. Linear mixed-effects models were also used to estimate the treatment effect (FC versus OTAU) utilising all available data from baseline and end of programme. Results The FC group showed changes indicating significant improvement with respect to all four outcome measures (p < 0.001). The OTAU group showed changes in the same direction as the intervention group but none of the changes were statistically significant. The intervention effect was statistically significant for total burden (including both subscales; p = .02 for subjective burden and p = .048 for objective burden) and grief (p = 0.013). Improvements were maintained at follow-up for FC participants. Conclusions The findings of the current study indicate that FC results in statistically significant improvements on key measures while OTAU does not yield comparable changes. Lack of significant change on all measures for OTAU suggests that a three session psycho-education programme is of limited benefit. Further research is warranted on programme components and long-term supports for family members.
    • Family Connections versus optimised treatment-as-usual for family members of individuals with borderline personality disorder: non-randomised controlled study.

      Flynn, Daniel; Kells, Mary; Joyce, Mary; Corcoran, Paul; Herley, Sarah; Suarez, Catalina; Cotter, Padraig; Hurley, Justina; Weihrauch, Mareike; Groeger, John (Borderline personality disorder and emotion dysregulation, 2017)
      Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is challenging for family members who are often required to fulfil multiple roles such as those of advocate, caregiver, coach and guardian. To date, two uncontrolled studies by the treatment developers suggest that Family Connections (FC) is an effective programme to support, educate and teach skills to family members of individuals with BPD. However, such studies have been limited by lack of comparison to other treatment approaches. This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of FC with an optimised treatment-as-usual (OTAU) programme for family members of individuals with BPD. A secondary aim was to introduce a long term follow-up to investigate if positive gains from the intervention would be maintained following programme completion.
    • Family physicians¿ professional identity formation: a study protocol to explore impression management processes in institutional academic contexts

      Rodríguez, Charo; Pawlikowska, Teresa; Schweyer, Francois-Xavier; López-Roig, Sofia; Bélanger, Emmanuelle; Burns, Jane; Hugé, Sandrine; Pastor-Mira, Maria Á; Tellier, Pierre-Paul; Spencer, Sarah; et al. (2014-09-06)
      Abstract Background Despite significant differences in terms of medical training and health care context, the phenomenon of medical students’ declining interest in family medicine has been well documented in North America and in many other developed countries as well. As part of a research program on family physicians’ professional identity formation initiated in 2007, the purpose of the present investigation is to examine in-depth how family physicians construct their professional image in academic contexts; in other words, this study will allow us to identify and understand the processes whereby family physicians with an academic appointment seek to control the ideas others form about them as a professional group, i.e. impression management. Methods/Design The methodology consists of a multiple case study embedded in the perspective of institutional theory. Four international cases from Canada, France, Ireland and Spain will be conducted; the "case" is the medical school. Four levels of analysis will be considered: individual family physicians, interpersonal relationships, family physician professional group, and organization (medical school). Individual interviews and focus groups with academic family physicians will constitute the main technique for data generation, which will be complemented with a variety of documentary sources. Discourse techniques, more particularly rhetorical analysis, will be used to analyze the data gathered. Within- and cross-case analysis will then be performed. Discussion This empirical study is strongly grounded in theory and will contribute to the scant body of literature on family physicians’ professional identity formation processes in medical schools. Findings will potentially have important implications for the practice of family medicine, medical education and health and educational policies.
    • Family-based associations in measures of psychological distress and quality of life in a cardiac screening clinic for inheritable cardiac diseases: a cross-sectional study

      McGorrian, Catherine; McShane, Charlene; McQuade, Colin; Keelan, Ted; Neill, Jim O; Galvin, Joseph; Malone, Kevin; Mahon, Niall G; Codd, Mary (2013-01-08)
      Abstract Background Family-based cardiac screening programmes for persons at risk for genetic cardiac diseases are now recommended. However, the psychological wellbeing and health related quality of life (QoL) of such screened patients is poorly understood, especially in younger patients. We sought to examine wellbeing and QoL in a representative group of adults aged 16 and over in a dedicated family cardiac screening clinic. Methods Prospective survey of consecutive consenting patients attending a cardiac screening clinic, over a 12 month period. Data were collected using two health measurement tools: the Short Form 12 (version 2) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), along with baseline demographic and screening visit-related data. The HADS and SF-12v.2 outcomes were compared by age group. Associations with a higher HADS score were examined using logistic regression, with multi-level modelling used to account for the family-based structure of the data. Results There was a study response rate of 86.6%, with n=334 patients providing valid HADS data (valid response rate 79.5%), and data on n=316 retained for analysis. One-fifth of patients were aged under 25 (n=61). Younger patients were less likely than older to describe significant depression on their HADS scale (p<0.0001), although there were overall no difference between the prevalence of a significant HADS score between the younger and older age groups (18.0% vs 20.0%, p=0.73). Significant positive associates of a higher HADS score were having lower educational attainment, being single or separated, and being closely related to the family proband. Between-family variance in anxiety and depression scores was greater than within-family variance. Conclusions High levels of anxiety were seen amongst patients attending a family-based cardiac screening clinic.Younger patients also had high rates of clinically significant anxiety. Higher levels of anxiety and depression tends to run in families, and this has implications for family screening and intervention programmes.
    • Fancy a cup of scald? – The role of hot beverage burns in paediatric burns admissions in Ireland

      McGuire, F; Hegarty, M; Jennings, P; Marsden, P; Smith, L (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-06)
    • 'Farmers have hearts' project at the National Ploughing Championships 2007 and 2008

      Evans, David S; Walshe, Kate; Gillen, Paul; Connellan, Martina (HSE West Department of Public Health, 2009-11)
    • Fathers and families: research and reflection on key questions

      McKeown, Kieran (Department of Health and Children, 2001-12)