Journal of Geriatric Oncology, 2021
Geriatric assessment with management for older patients with cancer receiving radiotherapy. Protocol of a Norwegian cluster-randomised controlled pilot study
Abstract: About 50% of patients with cancer are expected to need radiotherapy (RT), and the majority of these are older. To improve outcomes for older patients with cancer, geriatric assessment (GA) with management (GAM) is highly recommended. Evidence for its benefits is still scarce, in particular for patients receiving RT. We report the protocol of a cluster-randomised pilot study designed to test the effect, feasibility and health economic impact of a GAM intervention for patients ≥65 years, referred for palliative or curative RT. The randomising units are municipalities and city districts. The intervention is municipality-based and carried out in collaboration between hospital and municipal health services from the start of RT to eight weeks after the end of RT. Its main constituents are an initial GA followed by measures adapted to individual patients’ impairments and needs, systematic symptom assessments and regular follow-up by municipal cancer nurses, appointed to coordinate the patient’s care. Follow-up includes at least one weekly phone call, and a house call four weeks after the end of RT. All patients receive an individually adapted physical exercise program and nutritional counselling. Detailed guidelines for management of patients’ impairments are provided. Patients allocated to the intervention group will be compared to controls receiving standard care. The primary outcome is physical function assessed by the European Organisation of Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C-30. Secondary outcomes are global quality of life, objectively tested physical performance and use of health care services. Economic evaluation will be based on a comparison of costs and effects (measured by the main outcome measures). Feasibility will be assessed with mixed methodology, based on log notes and questionnaires filled in by the municipal nurses and interviews with patients and nurses. The study is carried out at two Norwegian RT centres. It was opened in May 2019. Follow-up will proceed until June 2022. Statistical analyses will start by the end of 2021. We expect the trial to provide important new knowledge about the effect, feasibility and costs of a GAM intervention for older patients receiving RT. Trial registration: ClinTrials.gov, ID.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2021
Is Amyloid Burden Measured by 18F-Flutemetamol PET Associated with Progression in Clinical Alzheimer’s Disease?
Background: Patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) show heterogeneity in clinical progression rate, and we have limited tools to predict prognosis. Amyloid burden from 18F-Flutemetamol positron emission tomography (PET), as measured by standardized uptake value ratios (SUVR), might provide prognostic information.
Objective: We investigate whether 18F-Flutemetamol PET composite or regional SUVRs are associated with trajectories of clinical progression.
Methods: This observational longitudinal study included 94 patients with clinical AD. PET images were semi-quantified with normalization to pons. Group-based trajectory modeling was applied to identify trajectory groups according to change in the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) over time. Multinomial logistic regression models assessed the association of SUVRs with trajectory group membership.
Results: Three trajectory groups were identified. In the regression models, neither composite nor regional SUVRs were associated with trajectory group membership.
Conclusion: There were no associations between CDR progression and 18F-Flutemetamol PET-derived composite SUVRs or regional SUVRs in clinical AD.
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2021
Blood Pressure and T-Tau in Spinal Fluid Are Associated With Delayed Recall in Participants With Memory Complaints and Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type
Objective: The aim of the study was to determine if systolic blood pressure (SBP), total-tau (t-tau), and beta-amyloid (Aβ) in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) were associated with the results on the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease Word List (CERAD-WL) immediate and delayed recall, and the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) in “younger” older adults, controlling for age and sex.
Method: We included 72 participants, mean age: 62.9 (SD 8.6, range 41–76) from a Norwegian memory clinic; eight were diagnosed with subjective cognitive decline, 32 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 30 with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type (DAT), and two with combined DAT and vascular dementia (VaD). Data were examined in three fitted multiple linear regression models using the CERAD-WL immediate and delayed recall, and MMSE as dependent variables; and SBP, t-tau, and Aβ as independent variables, controlling for age and sex.
Results: The strongest associations were found in the model using CERAD-WL delayed recall as the dependent variable, where 45% of the variance was explained (standardized Beta = −0.313, p = 0.004 for t-tau and standardized Beta −0.238, p = 0.01 for SBP). The unique contribution of age was close to 8%, t-tau close to 7%, and SBP above 5%. When cardiovascular medication was entered into the analysis, the explained variance increased to 51% and Aβ became significant (standardized Beta = 0.216, p = 0.03). Participants on this medication exhibited worse performance on CERAD-WL delayed recall than those who were not on medication. Age (7%), t-tau (6%), and SBP (5%) showed the same unique contribution, whereas medication contributed 6% and Aβ contributed 4%. CERAD-WL immediate recall, and MMSE yielded similar findings, but explained variance was poorer for these two variables.
Conclusions: Both elevated SBP and t-tau were associated with poorer cognitive performance, especially delayed recall. Those on cardiovascular medication were more impaired than were participants who were not on this medication—a finding that probably reflected cerebral incidents in the medicated group.
Journal of interprofessional care, 2021
It’s all about presence: Health professionals’ experience of interprofessional collaboration when mobilizing patients with hip fractures
Mobilization is an interprofessional task in the evidence-based care pathway ‘Enhanced Recovery After Surgery’; multiple health professionals collaborate when mobilizing patients with hip fractures. Drawing on the theory of relational coordination, and focusing on relationships and communication, we set out to explore how health professionals experience and describe interprofessional collaboration when mobilizing patients with hip fractures treated according to Enhanced Recovery After Surgery. Two rounds of interviews were conducted with 27 participants from 11 different professional groups, and the data were analyzed thematically. The main findings were that functional goals characterize the collaboration on mobilization due to undefined roles and responsibilities, and that specialized knowledge leads to a need for physical presence and formalization of work procedures in the collaboration. We argue that the hospital as a workplace can be characterized by logics of production and belonging. These logics create care work managed by quality, efficacy and scales of fairness that install power relations that must be recognized when engaging in interprofessional collaboration. We conclude that a primary focus on relationships and communication, as suggested by relational coordination, cannot solve the challenges of interprofessional collaboration, as the context in which health professionals work must also be considered.
BMC Geriatrics, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic as experienced by the spouses of home-dwelling people with dementia – a qualitative study
Background: Worldwide, restrictive measures have been taken to manage the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing and self-isolation have considerably affected the lives of people with dementia and their informal caregivers. The purpose of the study was to explore the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic as experienced by the spouses of home-dwelling people with dementia in Norway.
Methods: The study had a qualitative descriptive design using individual telephone interviews for data collection. A total sample of 17 spouses of people with dementia were included, 14 women and three men ages 52 to 82 years. A qualitative content analysis following six steps inspired by Graneheim and Lundman was used to identify the categories presented.
Results: The participants emphasized four main perspectives: 1) Radical changes in available services, 2) Restrictions changed everyday life, 3) Impacts on health and well-being, and 4) Actions that made life easier. The participants also described how positive activities and easily accessible services helped them in this situation.
Conclusions: The governmental restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in radical changes in available services with severe consequences for the lives and well-being of home-dwelling people with dementia and their spouses. Examples of coping strategies and possible psychosocial interventions compatible with virus precautions were identified. The potential of such interventions should be further explored to meet the needs of vulnerable groups in situations like a pandemic.
Scientific reports, 2021
Cerebrospinal fluid markers for synaptic function and Alzheimer type changes in late life depression
To explore markers for synaptic function and Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology in late life depression (LLD), predementia AD and normal controls (NC). A cross-sectional study to compare cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of neurogranin (Ng), Beta-site amyloid-precursor-protein cleaving enzyme1 (BACE1), Ng/BACE1 ratio and Amyloid-β 42/40 ratio, phosphorylated-tau and total-tau in LLD with (LLD AD) or without (LLD NoAD) AD pathology, predementia AD and normal controls (NC). We included 145 participants (NC = 41; predementia AD = 66 and LLD = 38). LLD comprised LLD AD (n = 16), LLD NoAD (n = 19), LLD with non-AD typical changes (n = 3, excluded). LLD AD (pADJ < 0.05) and predementia AD (pADJ < 0.0001) showed significantly higher Ng than NC. BACE1 and Ng/BACE1 ratio were altered similarly. Compared to LLD NoAD, LLD AD showed significantly higher Ng (pADJ < 0.001), BACE1 (pADJ < 0.05) and Ng/BACE1 ratio (pADJ < 0.01). All groups had significantly lower Aβ 42/40 ratio than NC (predementia AD and LLD AD, p < 0.0001; LLD NoAD, p < 0.05). Both LLD groups performed similarly on tests of memory and executive function, but significantly poorer than NC. Synaptic function in LLD depended on AD pathology. LLD showed an association to Amyloid dysmetabolism. The LLD groups performed poorer cognitively than NC. LLD AD may be conceptualized as «predementia AD with depression».
Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, 2021
Between-study differences in grip strength: a comparison of Norwegian and Russian adults aged 40-69 years
Background: Identifying individuals with low grip strength is an initial step in many operational definitions of sarcopenia. As evidence indicates that contemporaneous Russian populations may have lower mean levels of grip strength than other populations in northern Europe, we aimed to: compare grip strength in Russian and Norwegian populations by age and sex; investigate whether height, body mass index, education, smoking status, alcohol use and health status explain observed differences and; examine implications for case-finding low muscle strength.
Methods: We used harmonized cross-sectional data on grip strength and covariates for participants aged 40-69 years from the Russian Know Your Heart study (KYH) (n = 3833) and the seventh survey of the Norwegian Tromsø Study (n = 5598). Maximum grip strength (kg) was assessed using the same protocol and device in both studies. Grip strength by age, sex and study was modelled using linear regression and between-study differences were predicted from these models. Sex-specific age-standardized differences in grip strength and in prevalence of low muscle strength were estimated using the European population standard of 2013.
Results: Normal ranges of maximum grip strength in both studies combined were 33.8 to 67.0 kg in men and 18.7 to 40.1 kg in women. Mean grip strength was higher among Tromsø than KYH study participants and this difference did not vary markedly by age or sex. Adjustment for covariates, most notably height, attenuated between-study differences but these differences were still evident at younger ages. For example, estimated between-study differences in mean grip strength in fully adjusted models were 2.2 kg [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4, 3.1] at 40 years and 1.0 kg (95% CI 0.5, 1.5) at 65 years in men (age × study interaction P = 0.09) and 1.1 kg (95% CI 0.4, 1.9) at age 40 years and -0.2 kg (95% CI -0.7, 0.3) at 65 years in women (age × study interaction P < 0.01).
Conclusions: We found between-study differences in mean grip strength that are likely to translate into greater future risk of sarcopenia and poorer prospects of healthy ageing for Russian than Norwegian study participants. For example, the average Russian participant had a similar level of grip strength to a Norwegian participant 7 years older. Our findings suggest these differences may have their origins in childhood highlighting the need to consider interventions in early life to prevent sarcopenia.
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 2021
Factors associated with non-completion of and scores on physical capability tests in health surveys: The North Health in Intellectual Disability Study
Background: This study investigated the completion rates, scores and factors associated with non-completion and low scores on physical capability tests in a health survey administered to adults with intellectual disabilities.
Method: Assessment comprised body mass index (BMI), the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), the timed up-and-go (TUG) test, the one-legged stance (OLS) test; and gross motor, communication and behavioural functioning tests.
Results: The completion rates among 93 participants (aged 17–78) were 46% for the SPPB, 42% for the TUG, and 31% for the OLS. More severe intellectual disability (OR = 3.12, p < .001) and lower BMI (OR = 0.859, p = .001) were related to test non-completion. The SPPB scores were below the reference values from the general population. Lower scores were associated with older age, motor disabilities and intellectual disability severity.
Conclusions: Including physical capability tests in health surveys among adults with intellectual disabilities is important to monitor functional status and guide prevention strategies.
Health and Social Care in the Community, 2021
Emotional well-being in people with dementia – A comparative study of farm-based and regular day care services in Norway
There is a focus on how to provide care for the increasing number of people with dementia, and day care services have been highlighted as an important service. The present study aims to provide an in-depth comparison of the emotional well-being of participants at farm-based and regular day care services related to different aspects of the care environments. We used the Maastricht Electronic Daily Life Observation-tool to observe and register aspects of the care environment at the services. Observations took place at ten farm-based day care services, with 42 participants, and seven regular day care centres, with 46 participants. Observed mood was considered an indicator for the emotional well-being of the participants and used as the primary outcome. The analyses showed a general positive mood for all participants, regardless of type of day care service. The unadjusted analyses showed more emotional well-being for the participants at farm-based day care across a range of factors compared to regular day care. The linear mixed model found that regardless of service type the activities (1) exercise and dancing, and (2) quiz, music and spiritual activities were associated with emotional well-being. In addition, social interaction, either with one person or two or more people, were also associated with emotional well-being regardless of service type. The mixed model further demonstrated an association between attending farm-based day care services and positive mood compared to regular day care services. Based on the findings social interaction and social activities seem important to emotional well-being. This highlights the social aspect of the day care services and future research should investigate how one can facilitate good social interactions at day care services. The positive association between farm-based day care services and emotional well-being may potentially reflect a positive influence of the farm setting and the farm service providers.