A chiropractic service arrangement for musculoskeletal complaints in industry: a pilot study.
Chiropractic services are commonly used by workers with musculoskeletal problems, especially low back and neck complaints. Research into the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this approach is, however, difficult to design without prior pilot studies. This study followed 32 workers with these complaints attending one such service and used five measures of outcome over a 6-month period. These measured pain (VAS), disability (FLP), quality of life (SF-36), perceived benefit and satisfaction with care. Additionally, sickness costs to the companies were recorded over two years encompassing the study period. Treatment utilization was also monitored. Over half the population were chronic sufferers. The effect sizes were large for pain and for seven out of eight dimensions of the SF-36 questionnaire at 6-month follow-up, although not for disability (FLP). High levels of satisfaction and perceived improvement were reported and sickness costs to the companies fell. However, the sample size in this pilot study was small and did not include controls. We would, therefore, recommend a full cost-effectiveness study incorporating a randomized trial in this area. (+info)
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy and quality of life.
The quality of life (QOL) of 79 people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and 37 non-diabetic controls was assessed using the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). The NHP consists of six domains assessing energy, sleep, pain, physical mobility, emotional reactions and social isolation. Symptomatic diabetic neuropathy was present in 41 of the patients. The neuropathy patients had significantly higher scores (impaired QOL) in 5/6 NHP domains than either the other diabetic patients (p < 0.01) or the non-diabetic (p < 0.001) controls. These were: emotional reaction, energy, pain, physical mobility and sleep. The diabetic patients without neuropathy also had significantly impaired QOL for 4/6 NHP domains compared with the non-diabetic control group (p < 0.05) (energy, pain, physical mobility and sleep). This quantification of the detrimental effect on QOL of diabetes, and in particular of chronic symptomatic peripheral diabetic neuropathy, emphasizes the need for further research into effective management of these patients. (+info)
Relative efficacy of 32P and 89Sr in palliation in skeletal metastases.
32p and 89Sr have been shown to produce significant pain relief in patients with skeletal metastases from advanced cancer. Clinically significant pancytopenia has not been reported in doses up to 12 mCi (444 MBq) of either radionuclide. To date, no reports comparing the relative efficacy and toxicity of the two radionuclides in comparable patient populations have been available. Although a cure has not been reported, both treatments have achieved substantial pain relief. However, several studies have used semiquantitative measures such as "slight," "fair," "partial" and "dramatic" responses, which lend themselves to subjective bias. This report examines the responses to treatment with 32P or 89Sr by attempting a quantification of pain relief and quality of life using the patients as their own controls and compares toxicity in terms of hematological parameters. METHODS: Thirty-one patients with skeletal metastases were treated for pain relief with either 32P (16 patients) or 89Sr (15 patients). Inclusion criteria were pain from bone scan-positive sites above a subjective score of 5 of 10 despite analgesic therapy with narcotic or non-narcotic medication, limitation of movement related to the performance of routine daily activity and a predicted life expectancy of at least 4 mo. The patients had not had chemotherapy or radiotherapy during the previous 6 wk and had normal serum creatinine, white cell and platelet counts. 32P was given orally as a 12 mCi dose, and 89Sr was given intravenously as a 4 mCi (148 MBq) dose. The patients were monitored for 4 mo. RESULTS: Complete absence of pain was seen in 7 of 16 patients who were given 32P and in 7 of 15 patients who were given 89Sr. Pain scores fell by at least 50% of the pretreatment score in 14 of 16 patients who were given 32P and 14 of 15 patients who were given 89Sr. Mean duration of pain relief was 9.6 wk with 32P and 10 wk with 89Sr. Analgesic scores fell along with the drop in pain scores. A fall in total white cell, absolute granulocyte and platelet counts occurred in all patients. Subnormal values of white cells and platelets were seen in 5 and 7 patients, respectively, with 32P, and in 0 and 4 patients, respectively, after 89Sr therapy. The decrease in platelet count (but not absolute granulocyte count) was statistically significant when 32P patients were compared with 89Sr patients. However, in no instance did the fall in blood counts require treatment. Absolute granulocyte counts did not fall below 1000 in any patient. There was no significant difference between the two treatments in terms of either efficacy or toxicity. CONCLUSION: No justification has been found in this study for the recommendation of 89Sr over the considerably less expensive oral 32P for the palliation of skeletal pain from metastases of advanced cancer. (+info)
A prospective randomized study of megestrol acetate and ibuprofen in gastrointestinal cancer patients with weight loss.
The use of megestrol acetate in the treatment of weight loss in gastrointestinal cancer patients has been disappointing. The aim of the present study was to compare the combination of megestrol acetate and placebo with megestrol acetate and ibuprofen in the treatment of weight loss in such patients. At baseline, 4-6 weeks and 12 weeks, patients underwent measurements of anthropometry, concentrations of albumin and C-reactive protein and assessment of appetite, performance status and quality of life using EuroQol-EQ-5D and EORTC QLQ-C30. Thirty-eight and 35 patients (median weight loss 18%) were randomized to megestrol acetate/placebo or megestrol acetate/ibuprofen, respectively, for 12 weeks. Forty-six (63%) of patients failed to complete the 12-week assessment. Of those evaluable at 12 weeks, there was a decrease in weight (median 2.8 kg) in the megestrol acetate/placebo group compared with an increase (median 2.3 kg) in the megestrol acetate/ibuprofen group (P<0.001). There was also an improvement in the EuroQol-EQ-5D quality of life scores of the latter group (P<0.05). The combination of megestrol acetate/ibuprofen appeared to reverse weight loss and appeared to improve quality of life in patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer. Further trials of this novel regimen in weight-losing patients with hormone-insensitive cancers are warranted. (+info)
Second-line treatment for primary central nervous system lymphoma.
Failure after first-line treatment was reported in 35-60% of immunocompetent patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL). There are currently no reports focusing on salvage therapy. This review analyses prognostic factors and the efficacy of salvage therapy by focusing on data from papers reporting results of first-line treatment in 355 cases. The study group consisted of 173 patients presenting treatment failure. The interval between failure and death (TTD) was compared for age at relapse (< or =60 vs. >60 years), type of failure (relapse vs. progression), time to relapse (< or =12 vs. >12 months) and salvage treatment (yes vs no). Median TTD was similar in younger and older patients (P = 0.09). Relapsed patients had a longer TTD than patients with progressive disease (P = 0.002). Early relapse led to a shorter TTD than late relapse (P = 0.005). Median TTD was 14 months for patients who underwent salvage therapy and 2 months for untreated cases (P<0.00001). A multivariate analysis showed an independent prognostic role for salvage therapy and time to relapse. Age and type of failure had no predictive value. Salvage therapy significantly improves outcome and, possibly, quality of life. As many different treatments were used conclusions cannot be made regarding an optimal treatment schedule. (+info)
Defining and analysing symptom palliation in cancer clinical trials: a deceptively difficult exercise.
The assessment of symptom palliation is an essential component of many treatment comparisons in clinical trials, yet an extensive literature search revealed no consensus as to its precise definition, which could embrace relief of symptoms, time to their onset, duration, degree, as well as symptom control and prevention. In an attempt to assess the importance of these aspects and to compare different methods of analysis, we used one symptom (cough) from a patient self-assessment questionnaire (the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist) in a large (>300 patient) multicentre randomized clinical trial (conducted by the Medical Research Council Lung Cancer Working Party) of palliative chemotherapy in small-cell lung cancer. The regimens compared were a two-drug regimen (2D) and a four-drug regimen (4D). No differences were seen between the regimens in time of onset of palliation or its duration. The degree of palliation was strongly related to the initial severity: 90% of the patients with moderate or severe cough at baseline reported improvement, compared with only 53% of those with mild cough. Analyses using different landmark time points gave conflicting results: the 4D regimen was superior at 1 month and at 3 months, whereas at 2 months the 2D regimen appeared superior. When improvement at any time up to 3 months was considered, the 4D regimen showed a significant benefit (4D 79%, 2D 60%, P = 0.02). These findings emphasize the need for caution in interpreting results, and the importance of working towards a standard definition of symptom palliation. The current lack of specified criteria makes analysis and interpretation of trial results difficult, and comparison across trials impossible. A standard definition of palliation for use in the analysis of clinical trials data is proposed, which takes into account aspects of onset, duration and degree of palliation, and symptom improvement, control and prevention. (+info)
Is revision as good as primary hip replacement? A comparison of quality of life.
Primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) is one of the most effective ways of improving quality of life (QoL). We have compared the improvement in QoL in 62 patients who had a cemented revision of a THA with that of 62 primary replacements. One year after operation the median QoL score had been significantly improved in both groups; from 0.870 to 0.990 in the primary group (p < 0.0001) and from 0.870 to 0.980 in the revised group (p < 0.0001). There was no significant difference in the improvement in scores between the groups (p = 0.29). When reviewed after four years there was no difference in the pain score for either group (p = 0.89), but that for function had deteriorated significantly. This was associated with revision surgery (p = 0.018) and a low preoperative QoL score (p = 0.004). We conclude that both primary and revision operations give a significant improvement in the QoL but function after revision may be less durable than after a primary arthroplasty. (+info)