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1.
JAC-antimicrobial resistance ; 4(Suppl 1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1823913

ABSTRACT

Background A minority of patients presenting to hospital with COVID-19 have bacterial coinfection. Procalcitonin testing may help identify patients for whom antibiotics should be prescribed or withheld. The PEACH study describes the use of procalcitonin in English and Welsh hospitals during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic to help diagnose bacterial infections and guide antibiotic treatment. There is a lack of clear evidence to support its use in lung infections, which means in some hospitals, clinicians have used the procalcitonin test to guide antibiotic decisions in COVID-19, whilst in other hospitals, they have not. Our study is analysing data from hospitals that did and did not use procalcitonin testing during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will determine whether and how procalcitonin testing should be used in the NHS in future waves of COVID-19 to protect patients from antibiotic overuse. Methods To assess whether the use of PCT testing, to guide antibiotic prescribing, safely reduced antibiotic use among patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic, we are answering this question through three different, and complimentary, work streams (WS), each with discrete work packages (WP): (i) Work Stream 1: utilization of PCT testing to guide antibiotic prescribing during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic;(ii) Work Stream 2: patient-level impact of PCT testing on antibiotic exposure and clinical outcome (main work stream currently in analysis);and (iii) Work Stream 3: health economics analysis of PCT testing to guide antibiotics in COVID-19. Results Our first publication from Work Stream 1 (Antibiotics 2021, 10: 516) used a web-based survey to gather data from antimicrobial leads about the use of procalcitonin testing. Responses were received from 148/151 (98%) eligible hospitals. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was widespread introduction and expansion of PCT use in NHS hospitals. The number of hospitals using PCT in emergency/acute admissions rose from 17 (11%) to 74/146 (50.7%) and use in ICU increased from 70 (47.6%) to 124/147 (84.4%). This increase happened predominantly in March and April 2020, preceding NICE guidance. Approximately half of hospitals used PCT as a single test to guide decisions to discontinue antibiotics and half used repeated measurements. There was marked variation in the thresholds used for empirical antibiotic cessation and guidance about interpretation of values. Conclusions Procalcitonin testing has been widely adopted in the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic in an unevidenced, heterogeneous way and in conflict with relevant NICE guidance. Further research is needed urgently that assesses the impact of this change on antibiotic prescribing and patient safety. Work Stream 2 is ongoing, and results will be published once available.

2.
Trials ; 22(1): 865, 2021 Dec 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551222

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most people living with dementia want to remain living in their own homes and are supported to do so by family carers. No interventions have consistently demonstrated improvements to people with dementia's life quality, functioning, or other indices of living as well as possible with dementia. We have co-produced, with health and social care professionals and family carers of people with dementia, a new intervention (NIDUS-family). To our knowledge, NIDUS-family is the first manualised intervention that can be tailored to personal goals of people living with dementia and their families and is delivered by facilitators without clinical training. The intervention utilizes components of behavioural management, carer support, psychoeducation, communication and coping skills training, enablement, and environmental adaptations, with modules selected to address dyads' selected goals. We will evaluate the effect of NIDUS-family and usual care on goal attainment, as measured by Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) rated by family carers, compared to usual care alone at 12-month follow-up. We will also determine whether NIDUS-family and usual care is more cost-effective than usual care alone over 12 months. METHODS: A randomised, two-arm, single-masked, multi-site clinical trial involving 297 people living with dementia-family carer dyads. Dyads will be randomised 2:1 to receive the NIDUS-family intervention with usual care (n = 199) or usual care alone (n = 98). The intervention group will be offered, over 1 year, via 6-8 video call or telephone sessions (or face to face if COVID-19 restrictions allow in the recruitment period) in the initial 6 months, followed by telephone follow-ups every 1-2 months to support implementation, with a trained facilitator. DISCUSSION: Increasing the time lived at home by people living with dementia is likely to benefit lives now and in the future. Our intervention, which we adapted to include remote delivery prior to trial commencement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to address barriers to living as well and as independently as possible that distress people living with dementia, exacerbate family carer(s) stress, negatively affect relationships, lead to safety risks, and frequently precipitate avoidable moves to a care home. TRIAL REGISTRATION: International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials Number ISRCTN11425138 . Registered on 7 October 2019.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dementia , Caregivers , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Dementia/diagnosis , Dementia/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Psychosocial Intervention , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2
3.
BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care ; 11(Suppl 2):A80-A81, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1495634

ABSTRACT

BackgroundCOVID-19 has had a devastating impact on care homes, their residents and staff. Over 37,000 UK care home residents have died from COVID-19;many more have experienced symptoms and distress (Scobie, 2021). There has been very limited examination of palliative and end-of-life care in care homes during COVID-19, or strategies to improve this.AimsTo examine the experiences of care homes in England of providing palliative and end-of-life care during the COVID-19 pandemic and make recommendations for policy.MethodsOnline survey (in REDCap) of care home staff with leadership responsibilities, identified through established networks. The survey included structured data and free-text comments on COVID-19 outbreaks, experiences of symptom assessment and control, and impact on workforce. The primary outcome was staff self-efficacy to provide palliative and end-of-life care (Phillips, Salamonson, Davidson, 2011).ResultsInterim analysis of 66 respondents found that most staff felt confident to provide palliative care, as measured by the self-efficacy scale (median 3.75, range 1-4 ). 51% (33/65) of respondents identified issues with staff shortages during the pandemic;38% (24/64) experienced changes in staff responsibilities;18% (12/65) experienced challenges in recognising that residents may be dying. 18% (12/65) of care homes did not allow visitors at the end-of-life, and 39% (25/64) experienced difficulties in accessing help from other services. 51% (33/65) experienced challenges in providing bereavement support to relatives. Free-text comments identified staff shortages and exhaustion, and lack of support from other healthcare services, as barriers to good care.ConclusionThis is the first national survey to explore provision of palliative and end-of-life care in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results will be used to inform policy to ensure high-quality provision of palliative and end-of-life care during future pandemics.

4.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 10(5)2021 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223911

ABSTRACT

A minority of patients presenting to hospital with COVID-19 have bacterial co-infection. Procalcitonin testing may help identify patients for whom antibiotics should be prescribed or withheld. This study describes the use of procalcitonin in English and Welsh hospitals during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. A web-based survey of antimicrobial leads gathered data about the use of procalcitonin testing. Responses were received from 148/151 (98%) eligible hospitals. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was widespread introduction and expansion of PCT use in NHS hospitals. The number of hospitals using PCT in emergency/acute admissions rose from 17 (11%) to 74/146 (50.7%) and use in Intensive Care Units (ICU) increased from 70 (47.6%) to 124/147 (84.4%). This increase happened predominantly in March and April 2020, preceding NICE guidance. Approximately half of hospitals used PCT as a single test to guide decisions to discontinue antibiotics and half used repeated measurements. There was marked variation in the thresholds used for empiric antibiotic cessation and guidance about interpretation of values. Procalcitonin testing has been widely adopted in the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic in an unevidenced, heterogeneous way and in conflict with relevant NICE guidance. Further research is needed urgently that assesses the impact of this change on antibiotic prescribing and patient safety.

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