Research Spotlight

Posted April 15th 2017

Hospital Readmissions after Surgery: How Important Are Hospital and Specialty Factors?

Laurel A. Copeland Ph.D.

Laurel A. Copeland Ph.D.

Hollis, R. H., L. A. Graham, J. S. Richman, M. S. Morris, H. J. Mull, T. S. Wahl, E. Burns, L. A. Copeland, G. L. Telford, A. K. Rosen, K. F. Itani, J. Whittle, T. H. Wagner and M. T. Hawn (2017). “Hospital readmissions after surgery: How important are hospital and specialty factors?” J Am Coll Surg 224(4): 515-523.

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BACKGROUND: Hospital readmission rates after surgery can represent an overall hospital effect or a combination of specialty and patient effects. We hypothesized that hospital readmission rates for procedures within specialties were more strongly correlated than rates across specialties within the same hospital. STUDY DESIGN: For general, orthopaedic, and vascular specialties at Veterans Affairs hospitals during 2008 to 2014, 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rates were estimated for 6 high-volume procedures and each specialty. Relationships were assessed using the Pearson correlation coefficient. RESULTS: At 84 hospitals, 64,724 orthopaedic, 24,963 general, and 10,399 vascular inpatient procedures were performed; mean readmission rates were 6.3%, 13.6%, and 16.4%, respectively. There was no correlation between specialty-specific adjusted hospital readmission rates: general and orthopaedic (r = 0.21; p = 0.06), general and vascular (r = 0.15; p = 0.19), and vascular and orthopaedic surgery (r = 0.07; p = 0.55). Within specialties, we found modest correlations between knee and hip arthroplasty readmission rates (r = 0.39; p < 0.01) and colectomy and ventral hernia repair (r = 0.24; p = 0.03), but not between lower-extremity bypass and endovascular aortic repair (r = 0.13; p = 0.26). Overall, controlling for patient-level factors, 1.9% of the variation in readmissions was attributable to specialty-level factors; only 0.6% was attributable to hospital-level factors. CONCLUSIONS: Hospital readmission rates for orthopaedic, vascular, and general surgery were not correlated between specialties; within each of the 3 specialties, modest correlations were found between 2 procedures within 2 of these specialties. These findings suggest that hospital surgical readmission rates are primarily explained by patient- and procedure-specific factors and less by broader specialty and/or hospital effects.


Posted April 15th 2017

Coadministration of Canagliflozin and Phentermine for Weight Management in Overweight and Obese Individuals Without Diabetes: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Priscilla A. Hollander M.D.

Priscilla A. Hollander M.D.

Hollander, P., H. E. Bays, J. Rosenstock, M. E. Frustaci, A. Fung, F. Vercruysse and N. Erondu (2017). “Coadministration of canagliflozin and phentermine for weight management in overweight and obese individuals without diabetes: A randomized clinical trial.” Diabetes Care: 2017 Mar [Epub ahead of print].

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of coadministration of canagliflozin (CANA) and phentermine (PHEN) compared with placebo (PBO) and CANA or PHEN monotherapies in individuals who were overweight and obese without type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This 26-week, phase 2a, randomized, double-blind, PBO-controlled, multicenter, parallel-group study enrolled individuals who were obese or overweight without type 2 diabetes (N = 335, age 18-65 years, BMI >/=30 to <50 kg/m2 or BMI >/=27 to <50 kg/m2 with hypertension and/or dyslipidemia). Participants were randomized (1:1:1:1) to receive PBO, CANA 300 mg, PHEN 15 mg, or coadministration of CANA 300 mg and PHEN 15 mg (CANA/PHEN) orally once daily. The primary end point was percent change in body weight from baseline to week 26; key secondary end points were the proportion of participants achieving weight loss >/=5% and change from baseline in systolic blood pressure. RESULTS: CANA/PHEN provided statistically superior weight loss from baseline versus PBO at week 26 (least squares mean difference -6.9% [95% CI -8.6 to -5.2]; P < 0.001). CANA/PHEN also provided statistically superior achievement of weight loss >/=5% and reduction in systolic blood pressure compared with PBO. CANA/PHEN was generally well tolerated, with a safety and tolerability profile consistent with that of the individual components. CONCLUSIONS: CANA/PHEN produced meaningful reductions in body weight and was generally well tolerated in individuals who were overweight or obese without type 2 diabetes. Further studies are warranted to evaluate potential use of this combination for long-term weight management.


Posted April 15th 2017

Effect of delayed-release dimethyl fumarate on no evidence of disease activity in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: integrated analysis of the phase III DEFINE and CONFIRM studies.

J. Theodore Phillips M.D.

J. Theodore Phillips M.D.

Havrdova, E., G. Giovannoni, R. Gold, R. J. Fox, L. Kappos, J. T. Phillips, M. Okwuokenye and J. L. Marantz (2017). “Effect of delayed-release dimethyl fumarate on no evidence of disease activity in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: Integrated analysis of the phase iii define and confirm studies.” Eur J Neurol: 2017 Mar [Epub ahead of print].

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Significant effects on clinical/neuroradiological disease activity have been reported in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis treated with delayed-release dimethyl fumarate (DMF) in phase III DEFINE/CONFIRM trials. We conducted a post hoc analysis of integrated data from DEFINE/CONFIRM to evaluate the effect of DMF on achieving no evidence of disease activity (NEDA) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. METHODS: The analysis included patients randomized to DMF 240 mg twice daily, placebo or glatiramer acetate (CONFIRM only) for


Posted April 15th 2017

2016 Annual Report of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons/American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry.

Michael J. Mack M.D.

Michael J. Mack M.D.

Grover, F. L., S. Vemulapalli, J. D. Carroll, F. H. Edwards, M. J. Mack, V. H. Thourani, R. G. Brindis, D. M. Shahian, C. E. Ruiz, J. P. Jacobs, G. Hanzel, J. E. Bavaria, E. M. Tuzcu, E. D. Peterson, S. Fitzgerald, M. Kourtis, J. Michaels, B. Christensen, W. F. Seward, K. Hewitt and D. R. Holmes, Jr. (2017). “2016 annual report of the society of thoracic surgeons/american college of cardiology transcatheter valve therapy registry.” J Am Coll Cardiol 69(10): 1215-1230.

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BACKGROUND: The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS)/American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapy (TVT) Registry captures all procedures with Food and Drug Administration-approved transcatheter valve devices performed in the United States, and is mandated as a condition of reimbursement by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. OBJECTIVES: This annual report focuses on patient characteristics, trends, and outcomes of transcatheter aortic and mitral valve catheter-based valve procedures in the United States. METHODS: We reviewed data for all patients receiving commercially approved devices from 2012 through December 31, 2015, that are entered in the TVT Registry. RESULTS: The 54,782 patients with transcatheter aortic valve replacement demonstrated decreases in expected risk of 30-day operative mortality (STS Predicted Risk of Mortality [PROM]) of 7% to 6% and transcatheter aortic valve replacement PROM (TVT PROM) of 4% to 3% (both p < 0.0001) from 2012 to 2015. Observed in-hospital mortality decreased from 5.7% to 2.9%, and 1-year mortality decreased from 25.8% to 21.6%. However, 30-day post-procedure pacemaker insertion increased from 8.8% in 2013 to 12.0% in 2015. The 2,556 patients who underwent transcatheter mitral leaflet clip in 2015 were similar to patients from 2013 to 2014, with hospital mortality of 2% and with mitral regurgitation reduced to grade


Posted April 15th 2017

Understanding physical activity in the group home setting: a qualitative inquiry.

Simon Driver Ph.D.

Simon Driver Ph.D.

Dixon-Ibarra, A., S. Driver, K. Vanderbom and K. Humphries (2017). “Understanding physical activity in the group home setting: A qualitative inquiry.” Disabil Rehabil 39(7): 653-662.

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PURPOSE: Persons with intellectual disabilities have low physical activity levels and high rates of chronic disease. One predictor limitedly explored is the home environment, which could influence the type and amount of physical activity in this population. The purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore physical activity in the group home setting and determine what key stakeholders want from a physical activity programme. METHOD: This study adopted a qualitative descriptive design, using semistructured focus groups. Twenty stakeholders (i.e., residents with intellectual disability, support staff and programme coordinators) participated in one of three focus groups, separated by stakeholder status. RESULTS: A number of factors emerged that would assist rehabilitation professionals in understanding physical activity within the group home setting. The following six meta-themes were identified: nature of residents’ physical activity, facilitators to physical activity, barriers to physical activity, personal factors, organizational factors and solutions to increase physical activity. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that residents with intellectual disabilities have low physical activity and opportunities for participation. Key attributes of the group home setting were identified between barriers and facilitators to activity. Consideration for the development of physical activity programmes should focus on the unique needs of the group home setting as expressed by stakeholders. Implications for rehabilitation Physical activity can improve physical fitness, function, and community participation yet physical activity remains low among adults with intellectual disabilities. Understanding physical activity within the group home setting is essential to develop targeted interventions to increase activity within that environment. Key barriers for physical activity within the group home setting include; operational priorities, limited staff, staff turnover, busy schedules, and staff attitudes towards physical activity.