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Coming theses from other universities

  • Biomarkers and risk of intracerebral hemorrhage : population-based studies in northern Sweden Author: Kristina Johansson Link: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-180312 Publication date: 2021-02-24 06:00

    Background

    Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a disease associated with a high morbidity and mortality and treatment options for the condition are limited. Even though an ICH event usually comes as a surprise to the affected individual, pathogenetic processes often have occurred before the sudden ICH event and may have preceded disease onset by years. It is possible that individuals at increased risk of ICH could be identified using biomarkers, for example markers of hemostasis and fibrinolysis. Even if these biomarkers are not part of the causal chain, they could be used as risk indicators to better define high-risk groups. Another approach could be to measure already established risk markers for ICH, such as self-reported alcohol consumption, using a blood biomarker. That could increase measurement reliability and consequently the accuracy of the estimates of ICH risk.

    Aims

    The aim of this thesis was to investigate potential biomarkers and risk of ICH. Specific aims were to evaluate the associations between factor XII, D-dimer, von Willebrand factor (VWF), ABO blood groups with focus on blood group O, phosphatidylethanol (PEth), and risk of ICH.

    Methods

    In our first study, aiming to investigate the association between factor XII and risk of hemorrhagic stroke, we followed participants of the health examination northern Sweden MONItoring trends and determinants in CArdiovascular disease (MONICA) performed in 1994 as a cohort until 2011. Factor XII concentrations were measured in blood samples drawn at the baseline health examination where the participants also answered a questionnaire regarding lifestyle factors and medical history. Diagnosis codes from the National Patient Register and the Swedish Cause of Death Register were used to find cases of hemorrhagic stroke, defined as ICH or subarachnoid hemorrhage. 

     

    In the subsequent studies, the associations between biomarkers (factor XII, D-dimer, VWF, ABO blood groups, and PEth) and risk of ICH were investigated using a matched, nested case-referent design including individuals that had participated in the Västerbotten Intervention Programme, the MONICA and the Mammography Screening Project in 1985–2007. The participants donated blood samples at baseline for future research which were stored at -80 degrees C until biomarker analyses. The majority of the participants also underwent a baseline health examination including a questionnaire. First-ever ICH diagnoses during the study period 1985–2007 were validated using medical records and autopsy reports. To each case, two referents were matched for age, sex, geographical region, health examination date and health examination setting. 

     

    Results

    In the cohort study of the association between factor XII concentrations and risk of hemorrhagic stroke, 1,852 participants were included among which 30 experienced a hemorrhagic stroke event. There was an association between high factor XII and risk of hemorrhagic stroke in a multivariable model (hazard ratio 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03–2.21 per standard deviation [SD] of factor XII). In the case-referent study of the association between factor XII and risk of ICH, 70 cases with ICH and 137 matched referents were included. We found no association between factor XII and risk of ICH in a multivariable model (odds ratio [OR] 1.06; 95% CI 0.57–1.97 per SD of factor XII).

     

    The study of the association between D-dimer and risk of ICH included 141 cases and 255 matched referents. We found an association between D-dimer and risk of ICH in a multivariable model (OR 1.36; 95% CI 1.05–1.77 per SD of D-dimer). When stratifying the analysis for time between blood sampling and ICH event in tertiles, the association remained significant in the cases with the shortest time between blood sampling and ICH event in a multivariable model (OR 1.78; 95% CI 1.05–3.05 per SD of D-dimer).

     

    The study investigating the association between VWF and risk of ICH included 139 cases and 276 referents. We found no association between VWF and risk of ICH in a multivariable model (OR 0.85; 95% CI 0.54–1.34 per SD of VWF). In the analysis investigating the associations between ABO blood groups and risk of ICH, 162 cases and 317 referents were included. We found no association between blood group O compared to non-O blood groups and risk of ICH (OR 0.96; 95% CI 0.65–1.42). 

    In the study of the association between PEth concentrations and risk of ICH, 97 cases and 180 referents were included. There was an association between PEth concentrations > 0.30 µmol/L compared to < 0.01 µmol/L and risk of ICH in a multivariable model (OR 4.64; 95% CI 1.49–14.40).

    Conclusions

    High concentrations of D-dimer and PEth are associated with an increased risk of ICH. Our conclusion of the two studies investigating the association between factor XII and risk of hemorrhagic stroke and ICH respectively is that there is no association between factor XII and risk of ICH. We found no association between VWF or blood group O and risk of ICH.

  • Antibiotic Resistance: A Multimethod Investigation of Individual Responsibility and Behaviour Author: Mirko Ancillotti Link: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-432589 Publication date: 2021-02-17 09:48

    The rapid development of antibiotic resistance is directly related to how antibiotics are used in society. The international effort to decrease and optimise the use of antibiotics should be sustained by the development of policies that are sensitive to social and cultural contexts.

    The overarching aim of the thesis was to explore and discuss the Swedish public’s beliefs, values and preferences influencing engagement in judicious antibiotic behaviour.

    Study I explored through focus group discussions lay people’s perceptions and beliefs about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. The Health Belief Model was used to identify factors that could promote or hinder engagement in judicious antibiotic behaviour. Participants found antibiotic resistance to be a serious problem but were not equally worried about being affected by it. There was a tension between individual and collective reasons for engaging in judicious behaviour.

    Study II explored lay people’s views on the moral challenges posed by antibiotic resistance through focus group discussions. Participants identified in the decreasing availability of effective antibiotics a problem of justice, which involves individual as well as collective moral responsibility. Different levels of policy demandingness were discussed in light of these results.

    Study III investigated, through an online Discrete Choice Experiment, public preferences regarding antibiotic treatment and the relative weight of antibiotic resistance in decision-making. Public behaviour may be influenced by concerns over the rise of antibiotic resistance. Therefore, stressing individual responsibility for antibiotic resistance in clinical and societal communication may affect personal decision-making.

    Study IV clarified the notions of collective and individual moral responsibility for antibiotic resistance and suggested a virtue-based account thereof. While everyone is morally responsible for minimising his/her own contribution to antibiotic resistance, individuals do or do not engage in judicious antibiotic behaviour with different degrees of voluntariness.

    The findings suggest that people could change their behaviour due to concerns over their own contribution to antibiotic resistance. Effective health communication should be developed from an appraisal of people’s attitudes, beliefs and social norms that influence antibiotic resistance related behaviours. Policy demandingness should take into account socioeconomic factors characterising local realities. 

  • Medication reviews by clinical pharmacists in older hospitalised patients : Implementation, performance and effects Author: Thomas G. H. Kempen Link: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-431715 Publication date: 2021-02-11 13:40

    Background Inappropriate use of medications is a leading cause of avoidable harm in health care. Medication reviews by clinical pharmacists improve medication use, but evidence on hard clinical outcomes in older hospitalised patients is scarce and implementation in practice is challenging. The aim of this thesis was to study the implementation, performance and effects of medication reviews by clinical pharmacists in older hospitalised patients.

    Methods A case study explored the factors involved in the implementation and sustainability of medication reviews by clinical pharmacists in Region Uppsala, Sweden. A pragmatic multicentre cluster-randomised crossover trial (MedBridge) was conducted to study the effects of hospital-based comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs) including post-discharge follow-ups on older patients’ healthcare utilisation, compared with only hospital-based reviews and usual care. The primary outcome measure was the incidence of unplanned hospital visits within 12 months. A process evaluation was conducted alongside the trial, for which different methods were applied: semi-structured interviews with patients and healthcare professionals, intervention fidelity assessment and process outcomes assessment. A practical tool to identify medication-related hospital admissions, one of the trial’s secondary outcomes, was developed and validated.

    Results Multiple factors involved in the implementation and sustainability of medication reviews by clinical pharmacists were identified. Examples of facilitating factors were a national focus on quality of care for the elderly and clinical pharmacy education. In total, 2637 participants (median age 81 years) were included in the MedBridge trial. The primary outcome measure did not differ between the treatment groups. Analysis of the interviews with patients and healthcare professionals resulted in seven and six themes, respectively, that were related to the performance of the trial’s interventions. A recurrent theme was the unclear role and responsibilities of the ward-based pharmacist. The intervention fidelity was high during hospital admission and lower surrounding discharge. In 77% of the intervention patients, at least one medication discrepancy or drug-related problem was solved. The developed tool, AT-HARM10, was deemed valid for use by pharmacy students to identify medication-related admissions in older patients.

    Conclusions This thesis suggests that, despite a high percentage of patients with medication discrepancies or drug-related problems being solved, hospital-based CMRs with and without post-discharge follow-ups, as conducted in the MedBridge trial, do not decrease the incidence of unplanned hospital visits in older patients. Future research and clinical initiatives may benefit from addressing the factors related to the implementation and performance of medication reviews that were identified in this thesis.

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