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Publications

2020

Simulation of the effects of COVID-19 testing rates on hospitalizations

Authors
Sousa Pinto, B; Fonseca, JA; Oliveira, B; Cruz Correia, R; Rodrigues, PP; Costa Pereira, A; Rocha Goncalves, FN;

Publication
BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

Abstract

2020

Reviewing Autoencoders for Missing Data Imputation: Technical Trends, Applications and Outcomes

Authors
Pereira, RC; Santos, MS; Rodrigues, PP; Abreu, PH;

Publication
J. Artif. Intell. Res.

Abstract

2020

Outcomes of managing healthcare services using the Theory of Constraints: A systematic review

Authors
Bacelar Silva, GM; Cox, JF; Rodrigues, PP;

Publication
HEALTH SYSTEMS

Abstract
Despite ever-increasing resources devoted to healthcare, lack of capacity and timeliness are still chronic problems worldwide. This systematic review aims to present an overview of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) implementations in healthcare services and their outcomes. We analysed 42 TOC implementations (15 full-text articles, 12 video proceedings, and 2 theses/disserations) from major scientific electronic databases and TOC International Certification Organization Conferences. All implementations reported positive outcomes, both tangible and intangible. The two main improvements reported by authors were in productivity (98%; n = 41) - more patients treated - and in the timeliness of care (83%; n = 35). Furthermore, the selected studies reported dramatic improvements: 50% mean reductions in patient waiting time; 38% reduction in patient length of stay; 43% mean increase in operating room productivity and 34% mean increase in throughput. TOC implementations attained positive results in all levels of the health and social care chain. Most TOC recommendations and changes showed almost immediate results and required little or no additional cost to implement. Evidence supports TOC as a promising solution for the chronic healthcare problem, improving quality and timeliness, both necessary conditions for providing effective healthcare.

2020

Determining the prevalence of palliative needs and exploring screening accuracy of depression and anxiety items of the integrated palliative care outcome scale - a multi-centre study

Authors
Antunes, B; Rodrigues, PP; Higginson, IJ; Ferreira, PL;

Publication
BMC PALLIATIVE CARE

Abstract
Background patients with palliative needs often experience high symptom burden which causes suffering to themselves and their families. Depression and psychological distress should not be considered a "normal event" in advanced disease patients and should be screened, diagnosed, acted on and followed-up. Psychological distress has been associated with greater physical symptom severity, suffering, and mortality in cancer patients. A holistic, but short measure should be used for physical and non-physical needs assessment. The Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale is one such measure. This work aims to determine palliative needs of patients and explore screening accuracy of two items pertaining to psychological needs. Methods multi-centred observational study using convenience sampling. Data were collected in 9 Portuguese centres. Inclusion criteria: >= 18 years, mentally fit to give consent, diagnosed with an incurable, potentially life-threatening illness. Exclusion criteria: patient in distress ("unable to converse for a period of time"), cognitively impaired. Descriptive statistics used for demographics. Receiving Operator Characteristics curves and Area Under the Curve for anxiety and depression discriminant properties against the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Results 1703 individuals were screened between July 1st, 2015 and February 2016. A total of 135 (7.9%) were included. Main reason for exclusion was being healthy (75.2%). The primary care centre screened most individuals, as they have the highest rates of daily patients and the majority are healthy. Mean age is 66.8 years (SD 12.7), 58 (43%) are female. Most patients had a cancer diagnosis 109 (80.7%). Items scoring highest (=4) were: family or friends anxious or worried (36.3%); feeling anxious or worried about illness (13.3%); feeling depressed (9.6%). Using a cut-off score of 2/3, Area Under the Curve for depression and anxiety items were above 70%. Conclusions main palliative needs were psychological, family related and spiritual. This suggests that clinical teams may better manage physical issues and there is room for improvement regarding non-physical needs. Using the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale systematically could aid clinical teams screening patients for distressing needs and track their progress in assisting patients and families with those issues.

2020

Identification of hospitalized patients with community-acquired infection in whom treatment guidelines do not apply: a validated model

Authors
Cardoso, T; Rodrigues, PP; Nunes, C; Almeida, M; Cancela, J; Rosa, F; Rocha Pereira, N; Ferreira, IS; Seabra Pereira, F; Vaz, P; Carneiro, L; Andrade, C; Davis, J; Marcal, A; Friedman, ND;

Publication
JOURNAL OF ANTIMICROBIAL CHEMOTHERAPY

Abstract
Objectives: To develop and validate a clinical model to identify patients admitted to hospital with community-acquired infection (CAI) caused by pathogens resistant to antimicrobials recommended in current CAI treatment guidelines. Methods: International prospective cohort study of consecutive patients admitted with bacterial infection. Logistic regression was used to associate risk factors with infection by a resistant organism. The final model was validated in an independent cohort. Results: There were 527 patients in the derivation and 89 in the validation cohort. Independent risk factors identified were: atherosclerosis with functional impairment (Karnofsky index <70) [adjusted OR (aOR) (95% CI) = 2.19 (1.41-3.40)]; previous invasive procedures [adjusted OR (95% CI) = 1.98 (1.28-3.05)]; previous colonization with an MDR organism (MDRO) [aOR (95% CI) = 2.67 (1.48-4.81)]; and previous antimicrobial therapy [aOR (95% CI) = 2.81 (1.81-4.38)]. The area under the receiver operating characteristics (AU-ROC) curve (95% CI) for the final model was 0.75 (0.70-0.79). For a predicted probability >= 22% the sensitivity of the model was 82%, with a negative predictive value of 85%. In the validation cohort the sensitivity of the model was 96%. Using this model, unnecessary broad-spectrum therapy would be recommended in 30% of cases whereas undertreatment would occur in only 6% of cases. Conclusions: For patients hospitalized with CAI and none of the following risk factors: atherosclerosis with functional impairment; previous invasive procedures; antimicrobial therapy; or MDRO colonization, CAI guidelines can safely be applied. Whereas, for those with some of these risk factors, particularly if more than one, alternative antimicrobial regimens should be considered.