Lege Artis Medicinae

[Evidence-based practice guidelines for nursing and rehabilitation of stroke patients]


JANUARY 20, 2003

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2003;13(01)

[Stroke is a common problem, being the third most frequent cause of death in the United Kingdom and Hungary, accounting for about 20% of bed occupancy. It is also an important cause of morbidity and disability mainly for those aged over 65. As a result, stroke care constitutes as an important part of health services use. Home care services working in the field of stroke rehabilitation have not used a unified evidence-based approach and well-described professional principles and protocols. There was little cooperation between the teams working in the institutional rehabilitation and home care rehabilitation services. No agreed rehabilitation processes, and standardised scales and documentation, showing the change of quality of life, were in use. There were no quality indicators and efficiency measures of nursing and no provision of services either. The Hungarian Nursing Association played a pioneering role in the introduction and dissemination of Evidence Based Nursing in Hungary and in adopting it into routine clinical practice. The successful implementation of the Association's project could be a good example for another field of care and nursing in Hungary and other countries in Europe. Our projects are supported by the Department For International Development (UK) in the framework of the TUDOR project. The Hungarian Nursing Association (HNA) developed a postgraduate training programme entitled "Evidence based nursing in practice". The participants were required to be members of the HNA, have a degree in the field of nursing (nurse teacher, degree nurse, nurse director). Members of the target group were all working in the field of stroke rehabilitation at hospitals or out-patient clinics and home nursing. The Hungarian Nursing Association's professional group developed an evidence based practice guideline for rehabilitation of stroke patients, which was published in the Bulletin of the Ministry of Health (11/2002, 23rd May, 2002). These evidence-based stroke rehabilitation guidelines focused on bladder management, position therapy and patient information.]



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[Despite the insufficient financial support, the number of the laboratories for sleep diagnostics and the examined patients are rising. The CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) equipment playing the main role in the treatment of the obstructive sleep apnoe syndrome (OSAS) is recently available from three neurological centres (Budapest, Debrecen, Pécs). These centres can prescribe the machine as a ”model experiment” with 85% support given by the State Health Care. The increase of the number of the licensed hospitals is expected in the near future, the only condition is the polysomnography background. Differential diagnostics (narcolepsy, RLS, PLMS, sleepdependent laryngospasm, disorders of the circadian rhythm) and the follow-up of the CPAP using patients (indication, contraindication, compliance, CPAP pressure setting, CPAP therapy control) have been emphasized.]

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[Cardiovascular diseaes and the kidney]

PRÉDA István

[From pathophysiological point of view, the kidney is an integral part of the cardiovascular system. Renal diseases adversely affect the cardiac functions, and disturbances of the cardiovascular system affect adversely renal functions, causing either the decrease of left ventricular functions or manifesting in overt chronic heart failure. Regarding the cardiac manifestations of renal diseases, characteristic features are the symptoms of left ventricular volume and pressure overload, the metabolic effects of the ”uremic toxins” and the frequent infections associated with dialysis and compromised immunologic state, the secunder hyperparathyreosis, as well as the associated conditions like hypertension, diabetes mellitus and coronary atherosclerosis. All these can be the explanation for the frequent cardiovascular death of chronic kidney disease patients. It also stresses the outstanding importance of the decrease of cardiovascular hazard of chronic renal disease patients. The strategy should comprise of an adequate antihypertensive treatment (ACE-inhibitor, AT-II blocking and calcium antagonist), strong antidiabetic control of diabetic patients and the adequate treatment of dyslipidaemia (if exists), as well as antithrombotic aspirin treatment.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Decisional collisions between evidence and experience based medicine in care of people with epilepsy]


[Background – Based on the literature and his long-term clinical practice the author stresses the main collisions of evidence and experience based medicine in the care of people with epilepsy. Purpose – To see, what are the professional decisions of high responsibility in the epilepsy-care, in whose the relevant clinical research is still lacking or does not give a satisfactory basis. Methods – Following the structure of the Hungarian Guideline the author points the critical situations and decisions. He explains also the causes of the dilemmas: the lack or uncertainty of evidences or the difficulty of scientific investigation of the situation. Results – There are some priorities of experience based medicine in the following areas: definition of epilepsy, classification of seizures, etiology – including genetic background –, role of precipitating and provoking factors. These are able to influence the complex diagnosis. In the pharmacotherapy the choice of the first drug and the optimal algorithm as well as the tasks during the care are also depends on personal experiences sometimes contradictory to the official recommendations. Same can occur in the choice of the non-pharmacological treatments and rehabilitation. Discussion and conclusion – Personal professional experiences (and interests of patients) must be obligatory accessories of evidence based attitude, but for achieving the optimal results, in some situations they replace the official recommendations. Therefore it is very important that the problematic patients do meet experts having necessary experiences and also professional responsibility to help in these decisions. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Hyperhomocysteinemia in female migraineurs of childbearing ages


Background and purpose - Migraine is a risk factor for ischemic stroke in women of childbearing ages. Previous researches revealed a higher prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia in migraineurs. Possible differences on the frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia between migraine with aura and migraine without aura could contribute the established variances in stroke risk between these migraine types. Therefore, we aimed to search if the frequency of hyperhomocysteinemia was different between these subtypes of migraine or not. Methods - We analyzed the findings of serum homocysteine levels in female migraineurs of 16-49 years old who admitted to our outpatient clinic. Results - Homocysteine level was elevated in 13.3% of study population. There were not any significant differences on median serum homocysteine levels between migraine with aura (8.0 mikromol/L) and without aura (8.5 mikromol/L). (p=0.426) The frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia were also similar (9.1% versus 16.7%, respectively; p=0.373). Correlation analyses did not reveal any linear correlation between ages and homocysteine levels either in group of migraine with aura or in group of migraine without aura (p=0.417 and p=0.647, respectively). Similarly, any linear correlation between disease ages and homocysteine levels either in group of migraine with aura or in group of migraine without aura was not detected (p=0.359 and p=0.849, respectively). Conclusion - The median serum homocysteine levels and the frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia are similar between migraine with aura and without aura in women of childbearing ages. Therefore, the variances on stroke risk ratios between these types of migraine are probably not originated from the differences of serum homocysteine status.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neuroprotection in brain ischemia - doubts and hopes]


[In ischaemic stroke the two major potential therapeutic strategies are aimed at either improving cerebral blood flow or directly interacting with the cytotoxic cascade - a large body of evidence gained from animal studies is in support of them. In clinical trials direct neuroprotection by blocking the neurotoxic cascade remained ineffective, although there are several clinical trials still in progress. We summarize the experimental data and present the results of clinical trials and also discuss why so many drugs, which were effective in animal studies, failed in human trials. It is emphasized, that 1. in most animal studies the reduction of infarct size, i.e. the amount of saved penumbral tissue, was the outcome measure, whereas neurological function remained unassessed; 2. the recovery of intellectual performance and higher cortical functions are of major importance in the future quality of life in stroke victims; however, it is impossible to examine these parameters appropriately in animal studies; 3. in many clinical trials the patient population was rather heterogenous and low in number, the study protocol was not optimal and the critical analysis of the subacute and chronic phase was lacking or insufficient. We present the major experimental stroke models, discuss their similarities, differencies and limitations as compared to the human pathophysiological processes. The pitfalls of extrapolating data from animal studies to clinical practice are also summarized. The complex network of functional and morphological intercellular connections, the long timescale of neurotoxic and reparative events and the lessons learned from clinical trials suggest, that the use of drug combinations (therapeutic cocktails) targeting multiple steps of the neurotoxic cascade would hopefully result in more effective treatment of ischaemic stroke. Strategies to facilitate brain plasticity and regeneration is an additional promising tool to enhance recovery in brain ischaemia.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[One year follow-up after stroke. A preliminary feasibility study in Josephtown of Budapest]

SZŐCS Ildikó, SZATMÁRI Szabolcs, FEKETE Klára, ORBÁN-KIS Károly, VASTAGH Ildikó, FOLYOVICH András, AJTAY András, BERECZKI Dániel

[Stroke is a major public health issue in Hungary with considerable regional differences in mortality. We have limited information to explain such regional differences. To assess these differences, we would need comparative followup studies optimally carried out by personal contact with the patient or the carer. According to several epidemiological studies, follow-up can be carried out with significantly lower cost and similar efficiency by telephone contact or regular mail. In this pilot study we intend to assess: 1. the efficacy of telephone follow-up one year after stroke in this geographical region 2. whether the efficacy of follow-up can be further increased with questionnaires sent out by regular mail 3. whether telephone and mail-based assessment is sufficient to perform a larger population based study. We included 135 patients hospitalized consecutively for acute cerebrovascular disease (stroke or TIA) by the Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University in January and February of 2008. Based on residence, patients were divided into three groups: those living in the least wealthy district of Budapest (i.e. District-8); those living in other districts of the city; and those living in suburban areas. One year after the hospital treatment follow-up was possible by telephone in 76%. Further 12 patients could be contacted by questionnaire sent out by regular mail. Efficacy of follow-up was altogether 84%. Even in this small group of patients, we have found a tendency for more severe strokes (p=0.06) and higher acute case fatality (32% vs. 5%, p=0.029) in residents of District-8 of Budapest compared to those residing in more wealthy districts of the city and in suburban areas. Survival rate one year after stroke or TIA was only 39% in those living in District-8, 66% in those living in other districts and 75% in suburban dwellers (p=0.006). Telephone and mail-based questionnaires are insufficient for follow-up in these regions even when applied in combination. These preliminary data raise the possibility that the socio-economical conditions might influence stroke severity and outcome in the population. A larger study to address this issue would require more accurate definition of patient-groups and more efficient follow-up methods.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

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ROZSOS Erzsébet

[The author reviews, interprets and illustrates the main concepts with practical examples that appear in the area of transcultural health care and nursing. ]