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Concept: Symptomatic treatment

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Objective To investigate whether symptomatic treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is non-inferior to antibiotics in the treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection (UTI) in women, thus offering an opportunity to reduce antibiotic use in ambulatory care.Design Randomised, double blind, non-inferiority trial.Setting 17 general practices in Switzerland.Participants 253 women with uncomplicated lower UTI were randomly assigned 1:1 to symptomatic treatment with the NSAID diclofenac (n=133) or antibiotic treatment with norfloxacin (n=120). The randomisation sequence was computer generated, stratified by practice, blocked, and concealed using sealed, sequentially numbered drug containers.Main outcome measures The primary outcome was resolution of symptoms at day 3 (72 hours after randomisation and 12 hours after intake of the last study drug). The prespecified principal secondary outcome was the use of any antibiotic (including norfloxacin and fosfomycin as trial drugs) up to day 30. Analysis was by intention to treat.Results 72/133 (54%) women assigned to diclofenac and 96/120 (80%) assigned to norfloxacin experienced symptom resolution at day 3 (risk difference 27%, 95% confidence interval 15% to 38%, P=0.98 for non-inferiority, P<0.001 for superiority). The median time until resolution of symptoms was four days in the diclofenac group and two days in the norfloxacin group. A total of 82 (62%) women in the diclofenac group and 118 (98%) in the norfloxacin group used antibiotics up to day 30 (risk difference 37%, 28% to 46%, P<0.001 for superiority). Six women in the diclofenac group (5%) but none in the norfloxacin group received a clinical diagnosis of pyelonephritis (P=0.03).Conclusion Diclofenac is inferior to norfloxacin for symptom relief of UTI and is likely to be associated with an increased risk of pyelonephritis, even though it reduces antibiotic use in women with uncomplicated lower UTI.Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01039545.

Concepts: Kidney, Urinary tract infection, Symptom, Symptomatic treatment, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Diclofenac, Antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin

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Malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) can complicate most cancers, causing dyspnoea and impairing quality of life (QoL). Indwelling pleural catheters (IPCs) are a novel management approach allowing ambulatory fluid drainage and are increasingly used as an alternative to pleurodesis. IPC drainage approaches vary greatly between centres. Some advocate aggressive (usually daily) removal of fluid to provide best symptom control and chance of spontaneous pleurodesis. Daily drainages however demand considerably more resources and may increase risks of complications. Others believe that MPE care is palliative and drainage should be performed only when patients become symptomatic (often weekly to monthly). Identifying the best drainage approach will optimise patient care and healthcare resource utilisation.

Concepts: Health care, Cancer, Oncology, Medical terms, Patient, Pleural effusion, Symptomatic treatment, Gross domestic product

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Objective: The development of new wind farms in many parts of the world has been thwarted by public concern that subaudible sound (infrasound) generated by wind turbines causes adverse health effects. Although the scientific evidence does not support a direct pathophysiological link between infrasound and health complaints, there is a body of lay information suggesting a link between infrasound exposure and health effects. This study tested the potential for such information to create symptom expectations, thereby providing a possible pathway for symptom reporting. Method: A sham-controlled double-blind provocation study, in which participants were exposed to 10 min of infrasound and 10 min of sham infrasound, was conducted. Fifty-four participants were randomized to high- or low-expectancy groups and presented audiovisual information, integrating material from the Internet, designed to invoke either high or low expectations that exposure to infrasound causes specified symptoms. Results: High-expectancy participants reported significant increases, from preexposure assessment, in the number and intensity of symptoms experienced during exposure to both infrasound and sham infrasound. There were no symptomatic changes in the low-expectancy group. Conclusions: Healthy volunteers, when given information about the expected physiological effect of infrasound, reported symptoms that aligned with that information, during exposure to both infrasound and sham infrasound. Symptom expectations were created by viewing information readily available on the Internet, indicating the potential for symptom expectations to be created outside of the laboratory, in real world settings. Results suggest psychological expectations could explain the link between wind turbine exposure and health complaints. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Symptomatic treatment, Wind power, Wind farm, Floating wind turbine, Wind turbine, Windmill, Capacity factor, Éolienne Bollée

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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine factors associated with the severity of cancer related fatigue (CRF) and predictors of improvement of CRF at the first follow-up visit in patients with advanced cancer referred to outpatient palliative care clinic (OPC). METHODS: We reviewed the records of consecutive patients with advanced cancer presenting to OPC. Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) scores were obtained at the initial and subsequent visits between January 2003 and December 2008. All patients received interdisciplinary care led by palliative medicine specialists following an institutional protocol. Fatigue improvement was defined as a reduction of >=2 points in ESAS score relative to the baseline. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize patient characterstics. Univariate analyses were performed and only significant variables were included in multivariate regression analysis to determine factors associated with severity and improvement in CRF. RESULTS: A total of 1778 evaluable patients were analyzed (median age, 59 years; 52% male). The median time between visits was 15 days. Median fatigue scores on the ESAS were 6 at baseline and 5 at follow-up. Severity of all ESAS items and low serum albumin were associated with fatigue at baseline (p < 0.0001). The improvement of fatigue was observed in 586 patients (33%). The hierarchical model showed that fatigue improved over time (b = -0.009; p = 0.0009). low appetite (odds ratio [OR] = 1.09 per point; p = 0.0113) and genitourinary cancer (OR = 1.74 per point; p = 0.0458) were significantly associated with improvement of fatigue. CONCLUSIONS: CRF is strongly associated with physical and emotional symptoms. Genitourinary cancer and low appetite at baseline were associated with successful improvement of fatigue.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Cancer, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Palliative care, Multivariate statistics, Symptomatic treatment, Palliative medicine

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Antipsychotics are widely used for distressing symptoms of delirium, but efficacy has not been established in placebo-controlled trials in palliative care.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, ClinicalTrials.gov, Symptomatic treatment, Clinical research, Placebo, Antipsychotic, Haloperidol

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The effectiveness of a homeopathic syrup on cough has been demonstrated in an adult population in a previous double-blind randomized study. The present prospective observational study investigated children affected by wet acute cough caused by non-complicated URTIs, comparing those who received the homeopathic syrup versus those treated with the homeopathic syrup plus antibiotic.

Concepts: Present, Medicine, Effect, Randomized controlled trial, Observational study, Effectiveness, Affect, Symptomatic treatment

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Rotator cuff related shoulder pain (RCRSP) is an over-arching term that encompasses a spectrum of shoulder conditions including; subacromial pain (impingement) syndrome, rotator cuff tendinopathy, and symptomatic partial and full thickness rotator cuff tears. For those diagnosed with RCRSP one aim of treatment is to achieve symptom free shoulder movement and function. Findings from published high quality research investigations suggest that a graduated and well-constructed exercise approach confers at least equivalent benefit as that derived from surgery for; subacromial pain (impingement) syndrome, rotator cuff tendinopathy, partial thickness rotator cuff (RC) tears and atraumatic full thickness rotator cuff tears. However considerable deficits in our understanding of RCRSP persist. These include; (i) cause and source of symptoms, (ii) establishing a definitive diagnosis, (iii) establishing the epidemiology of symptomatic RCRSP, (iv) knowing which tissues or systems to target intervention, and (v) which interventions are most effective.

Concepts: Diagnosis, Greek loanwords, Symptom, Symptomatic treatment, Shoulder, Rotator cuff, Shoulder problems, Rotator cuff tear

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In elderly men, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a major risk factor for sexual dysfunctions (SDys). Additionally, the standard treatments for BPH symptoms, alpha blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, cause SDys themselves. Preparations from saw palmetto berries are an efficacious and well-tolerated symptomatic treatment for mild to moderate BPH and have traditionally been used to treat SDys. We conducted an open multicentric clinical pilot trial to investigate whether the saw palmetto berry preparation Prostasan® influenced BPH symptoms and SDys. Eighty-two patients participated in the 8-week trial, taking one capsule of 320 mg saw palmetto extract daily. At the end of the treatment, the International Prostate Symptom Score was reduced from 14.4 ± 4.7 to 6.9 ± 5.2 (p < 0.0001); SDys measured with the brief Sexual Function Inventory improved from 22.4 ± 7.2 to 31.4 ± 9.2 (p < 0.0001), and the Urolife BPH QoL-9 sex total improved from 137.3 ± 47.9 to 195.0 ± 56.3 (p < 0.0001). Investigators' and patients' assessments confirmed the good efficacy, and treatment was very well tolerated and accepted by the patients. Correlation analyses confirmed the relationship between improved BPH symptoms and reduced SDys. This was the first trial with saw palmetto to show improvement in BPH symptoms and SDys as well. [Corrections made here after initial online publication.] Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Prostate cancer, Symptomatic treatment, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Prostate, Dihydrotestosterone, 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, International Prostate Symptom Score, Saw palmetto extract

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The natural history of heart failure (HF) is characterized by a progressive decline in functional capacity, punctuated by acute heart destabilization episodes which contribute to a spiraling worsening course. Advanced HF affects one in four patients who are referred to the hospital for the syndrome and has an estimated yearly incidence of 12 000 new cases in Italy. Life expectancy is very limited, and in general less than 50% of advanced HF patients are alive at 1-2 years. Advanced HF patients show a high, not modifiable mortality, severe symptoms and impaired quality of life. Treatment goals should focus on the improvement of symptoms and quality of life, the aims of palliative care. Palliative consultations during hospital admissions reduce the number of interventions and procedures in the last stages of life, the length of stay in the intensive care unit and general ward. HF patients who receive home palliative care are more likely to die at home, in accordance with their expressed will. The research project RF-MAR-2007-67955 aims to analyze, through a prospective observational registry, the palliative care needs of HF patients in Italy, to answer the gaps in knowledge on symptom changes during the terminal stages of the disease, on the quality of communication between healthcare professionals, patients and their families and caregivers' needs.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Disease, Patient, Life expectancy, Symptomatic treatment, Hospice, Terminal sedation