CareSearch Blog: Palliative Perspectives

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End of Year Reading Guidance

A guest blog post from Dr Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Associate Professor, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services

  • 21 December 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 3495
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A man and women in Christmas hat laughing at laptop screenThe end of the year has come around again, and what would Christmas be without some holiday reading? So for our last blog in 2016, we thought we’d share some seasonal treats.

A few years ago, the December 2013 Nurses Hub News (106kb pdf) created a set of Christmas offerings that is worth revisiting:
The editors from the same edition also challenged us with some weighty evidence pieces:
  • Smith GC, Pell JP. Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2003 Dec 20;327(7429):1459-61.  
    This systematic review reports that as with interventions intended to prevent ill health, the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials.
  • Wheatley-Price P, Hutton B, Clemons M. The Mayan Doomsday’s effect on survival outcomes in clinical trials. CMAJ. 2012 Dec 11;184(18):2012-2.
    This paper outlines mechanisms for dealing with anticipated effect of an apocalypse, hence known as Mayan Doomsday (MaD), on survival outcome measures. The authors indicate that research methods must be adjusted for the expedited analysis of all clinical research currently in progress.  
  • Ince C, van Kuijen AM, Milstein DM, Yürük K, Folkow LP, Fokkens WJ, et al. Why Rudolph’s nose is red: observational study. BMJ. 2012 Dec 14;345:e8311.
    This observational study looked at functional morphology of the nasal microcirculation in humans compared to reindeers as a means of testing the hypothesis that the red nose of Rudolph is due to the presence of a highly dense and rich nasal microcirculation. The authors concluded that the while nasal microcirculation in humans consists of hairpin-like vessels, microcirculatory networks, and crypt-like structures surrounded by capillaries, reindeer have a more richly vascularised nasal microcirculation, with a vascular density 25% higher than that in humans.
Because we take currency of information very seriously at CareSearch, we’d like to include a few more recent pieces:
  • Giesinger K, Hamilton DF, Erschbamer M, Jost B, Giesinger JM. Black medicine: an observational study of doctors’ coffee purchasing patterns at work. BMJ 2015; 351 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h6446
    This single centre retrospective cohort study evaluated doctors’ coffee consumption at work and differences between specialties. They found that on average orthopaedic surgeons purchased the most coffee per person per year (mean 189, SD 136) followed by radiologists (177, SD 191) and general surgeons (167, SD 138). The reference list is impressive and Refs 15 &16 are worthy of particular attention.
  • Park JJ,  Coumbe BGT,  Park EHG, Tse G, Subramanian SV, Chen JT, Dispelling the nice or naughty myth: retrospective observational study of Santa Claus. BMJ 2016;355:i6355
    This retrospective observational study determined which factors influence whether Santa Claus will visit children in hospital on Christmas Day. The authors noted that the results of this study dispel the traditional belief that Santa Claus rewards children based on how nice or naughty they have been in the previous year. Santa Claus is less likely to visit children in hospitals in the most deprived areas. Potential solutions include a review of Santa’s contract or employment of local Santas in poorly represented regions.
  • Fancourt D, Burton TWM, Williamon A. The razor’s edge: Australian rock music impairs men’s performance when pretending to be a surgeon. Med J Aust. 2016;205(11):515-8.
    This single-blind, three-arm, randomised controlled trial sought to clarify the effects of different types of music on multiorgan resection in the board game Operation. The authors found that rock music (specifically Australian rock music) appears to have detrimental effects on surgical performance.
  • Rouse T, Radigan J. What’s in your hot dog? A histological comparative analysis. Med J Aust. 2016;205(11):519-52.
    This report deals with the important issue of the contents of hot dogs (also known as street meat, tube steaks, frankfurters, wieners, etc). The Canadian researchers examined specimens procured both from vendors in a public location (“street meat”) and from a commercial supermarket. They are now seeking funding to examine Australian sausages.
The issue of managing the contentious issues around holiday greetings has been thoughtfully investigated by Dr Steve whose advice was slightly delayed by the need for approval from his legal department.

And finally I would like to draw our readers’ attention to a journal of increasing importance in the academic and research world. With an impressive editorial board the Journal of Universal Rejection is a must for all!

With best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season from the whole CareSearch team.
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The CareSearch blog Palliative Perspectives informs and provides a platform for sharing views, tips and ideas related to palliative care from community members and health professionals. 
 

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