Items in AFP with MESH term: Evidence-Based Medicine
Update on Subclinical Hyperthyroidism - Article
ABSTRACT: Subclinical hyperthyroidism is defined by low or undetectable serum thyroid-stimulating hormone levels, with normal free thyroxine and total or free triiodothyronine levels. It can be caused by increased endogenous production of thyroid hormone (as in Graves disease or toxic nodular goiter), administration of thyroid hormone for treatment of malignant thyroid disease, or unintentional excessive thyroid hormone therapy. The rate of progression to overt hyperthyroidism is higher in persons who have suppressed thyroid-stimulating hormone levels compared with those who have low but detectable levels. Subclinical hyperthyroidism is associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation in older adults, and with decreased bone mineral density in postmenopausal women; however, the effectiveness of treatment in preventing these conditions is unknown. There is lesser-quality evidence suggesting an association between subclinical hyperthyroidism and other cardiovascular effects, including increased heart rate and left ventricular mass, and increased bone turnover markers. Possible associations between subclinical hyperthyroidism and quality of life parameters, cognition, and increased mortality rates are controversial. Prospective randomized con- trolled trials are needed to address the effects of early treatment on potential morbidities to help determine whether screening should be recommended in the asymptomatic general population.
House Calls - Article
ABSTRACT: House calls provide a unique perspective on patients’ environment and health problems. The demand for house calls is expected to increase considerably in future decades as the U.S. population ages. Although study results have been inconsistent, house calls involving multidisciplinary teams may reduce hospital readmissions and long-term care facility stays. Common indications for house calls are management of acute or chronic illnesses, and palliative care. Medicare beneficiaries must meet specific criteria to be eligible for home health services. The INHOMESSS mnemonic provides a checklist for components of a comprehensive house call. In addition to performing a clinical assessment, house calls may involve observing the patient performing daily activities, reconciling medication discrepancies, and evaluating home safety. House calls can be integrated into practice with careful planning, including clustering house calls by geographic location and coordinating visits with other health care professionals and agencies.
Neonatal Resuscitation: An Update - Article
ABSTRACT: Appropriate resuscitation must be available for each of the more than 4 million infants born annually in the United States. Ninety percent of infants transition safely, and it is up to the physician to assess risk factors, identify the nearly 10 percent of infants who need resuscitation, and respond appropriately. A team or persons trained in neonatal resuscitation should be promptly available to provide resuscitation. The Neonatal Resuscitation Program, which was initiated in 1987 to identify infants at risk of needing resuscitation and provide high-quality resuscitation, underwent major updates in 2006 and 2010. Among the most important changes are to not intervene with endotracheal suctioning in vigorous infants born through meconium-stained amniotic fluid (although endotracheal suctioning may be appropriate in nonvigorous infants); to provide positive pressure ventilation with one of three devices when necessary; to begin resuscitation of term infants using room air or blended oxygen; and to have a pulse oximeter readily available in the delivery room. The updated guidelines also provide indications for chest compressions and for the use of intravenous epinephrine, which is the preferred route of administration, and recommend not to use sodium bicarbonate or naloxone during resuscitation. Other recommendations include confirming endotracheal tube placement using an exhaled carbon dioxide detector; using less than 100 percent oxygen and adequate thermal support to resuscitate preterm infants; and using therapeutic hypothermia for infants born at 36 weeks’ gestation or later with moderate to severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
Effective Therapies for Intermittent Claudication - FPIN's Clinical Inquiries
Evaluation of Asymptomatic Atrial Fibrillation - FPIN's Clinical Inquiries
Opioid Dependence - Clinical Evidence Handbook
The Spiritual Assessment - Article
ABSTRACT: More than 80 percent of Americans perceive religion as important. Issues of belief can affect the health care encounter, and patients may wish to discuss spirituality with their physician. Many physicians report barriers to broaching the subject of spirituality, including lack of time and experience, difficulty identifying patients who want to discuss spirituality, and the belief that addressing spiritual concerns is not a physician’s responsibility. Spiritual assessment tools such as the FICA, the HOPE questions, and the Open Invite provide efficient means of eliciting patients’ thoughts on this topic. The spiritual assessment allows physicians to support patients by stressing empathetic listening, documenting spiritual preferences for future visits, incorporating the precepts of patients’ faith traditions into treatment plans, and encouraging patients to use the resources of their spiritual traditions and communities for overall wellness. Conducting the spiritual assessment also may help strengthen the physician-patient relationship and offer physicians opportunities for personal renewal, resiliency, and growth.
ABSTRACT: Pediculosis and scabies are caused by ectoparasites. Pruritus is the most common presenting symptom. Head and pubic lice infestations are diagnosed by visualization of live lice. Finding nits (louse egg shells) alone indicates a historical infestation. A “no nit” policy for schools and day care centers no longer is recommended because nits can persist after successful treatment with no risk of transmission. First-line pharmacologic treatment of pediculosis is permethrin 1% lotion or shampoo. Multiple novel treatments have shown limited evidence of effectiveness superior to permethrin. Wet combing is an effective nonpharmacologic treatment option. Finding pubic lice should prompt an evaluation for other sexually transmitted infections. Body lice infestation should be suspected when a patient with poor hygiene presents with pruritus. Washing affected clothing and bedding is essential if lice infestation is found, but no other environmental decontamination is necessary. Scabies in adults is recognized as a pruritic, papular rash with excoriations in a typical distribution pattern. In infants, children, and immunocompromised adults, the rash also can be vesicular, pustular, or nodular. First-line treatment of scabies is topical permethrin 5% cream. Clothing and bedding of persons with scabies should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer.
ABSTRACT: Transient ischemic attack is defined as transient neurologic symptoms without evidence of acute infarction. It is a common and important risk factor for future stroke, but is greatly underreported. Common symptoms are sudden and transient, and include unilateral paresis, speech disturbance, and monocular blindness. Correct and early diagnosis of transient ischemic attack versus mimicking conditions is important because early interventions can significantly reduce risk of future stroke. Nonspecific symptoms and gradual onset are more likely with mimics than with true transient ischemic attacks. Transient ischemic attacks are more likely with sudden onset, focal neurologic deficit, or speech disturbance. Urgent evaluation is necessary in patients with symptoms of transient ischemic attack and includes neuroimaging, cervicocephalic vasculature imaging, cardiac evaluation, blood pressure assessment, and routine laboratory testing. The ABCD2 (age, blood pressure, clinical presentation, diabetes mellitus, duration of symptoms) score should be determined during the initial evaluation and can help assess the immediate risk of repeat ischemia and stroke. Patients with higher ABCD2 scores should be treated as inpatients, whereas those with lower scores are at lower risk of future stroke and can be treated as outpatients.
How Do Clinical Practice Guidelines Go Awry? - AFP Journal Club