Tag Archive for: BJUI Blog

Posts

January 2019 – About the cover

The first article of the month for 2019 is from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: Use of machine learning to predict early biochemical recurrence following robotic prostatectomy.

McMaster University is the 4th best in Canada and makes number 77 in the Times Higher-Education rankings 2018-19. It introduced (in 1965) an accelerated three-year MD programme with classes all year round and in the 1980s the phrase “evidence-based medicine” was coined here.

Hamilton is a port town on Lake Ontario. It is split into two by the Niagara escarpment which runs through the metropolitan area, and it has more than 100 waterfalls.

©istock.com/marevos

Residents’ podcast: Cluster analysis of multiple chronic conditions associated with urinary incontinence among women in the USA

Giulia Lane M.D. and Iryna Crescenze M.D. are Fellows in Neuro-urology and Pelvic Reconstruction in the Department of Urology at the University of Michigan.

In this podcast they discuss the following BJUI Article of the Week:

Cluster analysis of multiple chronic conditions associated with urinary incontinence among women in the USA

Abstract

Objective

To identify patterns of prevalent chronic medical conditions among women with urinary incontinence (UI).

Materials and Methods

We combined cross‐sectional data from the 2005–2006 to 2011–2012 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, and identified 3 800 women with UI and data on 12 chronic conditions. Types of UI included stress UI (SUI), urgency UI (UUI), and mixed stress and urgency UI (MUI). We categorized UI as mild, moderate or severe using validated measures. We performed a two‐step cluster analysis to identify patterns between clusters for UI type and severity. We explored associations between clusters by UI subtype and severity, controlling for age, education, race/ethnicity, parity, hysterectomy status and adiposity in weighted regression analyses.

Results

Eleven percent of women with UI had no chronic conditions. Among women with UI who had at least one additional condition, four distinct clusters were identified: (i) cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk‐younger; (ii) asthma‐predominant; (iii) CVD risk‐older; and (iv) multiple chronic conditions (MCC). In comparison to women with UI and no chronic diseases, women in the CVD risk‐younger (age 46.7 ± 15.8 years) cluster reported the highest rate of SUI and mild UI severity. In the asthma‐predominant cluster (age 51.5 ± 10.2 years), women had more SUI and MUI and more moderate UI severity. Women in the CVD risk‐older cluster (age 57.9 ± 13.4 years) had the highest rate of UUI, along with more severe UI. Women in the MCC cluster (age 61.0 ± 14.8 years) had the highest rates of MUI and the highest rate of moderate/severe UI.

Conclusions

Women with UI rarely have no additional chronic conditions. Four patterns of chronic conditions emerged with differences by UI type and severity. Identification of women with mild UI and modifiable conditions may inform future prevention efforts.

Read the full article

BJUI Podcasts now available on iTunes, subscribe here https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/bju-international/id1309570262

December 2018 – About the cover

The article of the month for December 2018 is on work carried out in Guangzhou, China: Super‐mini percutaneous nephrolithotomy vs retrograde intrarenal surgery for the treatment of 1–2 cm lower‐pole renal calculi: an international multicentre randomised controlled trial.

Guangzhou, on the River Pearl, is the capital of Guangdong in Southern China. It is a major port and transportation hub, and was known as Canton to early European traders. The current population is estimated to be >13 million making it China’s third largest city. The climate is sub-tropical monsoon giving hot humid Summers and mild dry Winters and a city blooming with flowers all year round.

©Prokar Dasgupta

Urodynamics is acceptable and well-tolerated but best practice is not always provided: lessons from male patients interviewed during the UPSTREAM trial

In a recently published qualitative study, we found that urodynamic testing was acceptable to men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), despite some reporting apprehension, discomfort or embarrassment and, at times, inadequate provision of information. Men’s experiences of urodynamics highlight ways in which clinical practice can be improved, including better communication about what to expect during and after the test, minimising embarrassment by ensuring privacy, and timely discussion of test results in sufficient detail.

Ninety percent of men aged 50‐80 live with at least one LUTS, which can negatively impact quality of life. LUTS prevalence and severity increase with age, and with demographic aging the management of LUTS is an increasing priority. Urodynamics with invasive multichannel cystometry is widely used when medications haven’t successfully relieved symptoms and surgery for bladder outlet obstruction is being considered. But there is ongoing debate about the extent to which urodynamics should be used, reflecting lack of evidence regarding the effectiveness of urodynamics and how acceptable it is to patients.

What we did

The Urodynamics for Prostate Surgery: Randomised Evaluation of Assessment Methods (UPSTREAM) randomised controlled trial is a 4-year study funded by the National Institute of Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme (UK). The trial randomised 820 men with LUTS from urology departments in 26 hospitals in England to either a care pathway consisting of non-invasive routine tests, or one of routine tests plus urodynamics. At 18-months after randomisation, UPSTREAM assessed the effect of urodynamics on symptoms and rates of surgery in men with bothersome LUTS seeking further treatment.

In a large qualitative study nested within the UPSTREAM trial, we explored men’s attitudes to and experiences of urodynamics, to provide in‐depth qualitative evidence to inform clinical practice. We interviewed a diverse group of 41 men with LUTS, including those who had had urodynamics and those who had not.

 

What we found

  • All 25 men who underwent urodynamics reported that it was acceptable.
  • Of the 16 men who had not had urodynamics previously, 14 said they would have been willing to have it if needed (with four reporting some apprehension), while two said they would want more information about the test and its purpose.
  • Among patients who had had urodynamics, the test was well-tolerated, although there was variation in how uncomfortable men found it. Some men experienced short-lived negative after-effects (e.g. stinging, a urinary tract infection), but despite these issues said they would willingly have the test again.
  • A minority of men reported embarrassment, due to the intimate nature of urodynamics or not being prepared for its effects (e.g. spraying while urinating).
  • Embarrassment also depended on the degree of privacy available, including the number of people in the room during the test, room location and size (a larger room near a busy corridor was more socially awkward).
  • Patients valued urodynamics for its diagnostic insight, perceiving it as more informative than other tests. Patients felt that having urodynamics meant they had received all the investigative tests available and so had all possible facts regarding their condition.
  • Patients described gaps in the information provided by clinicians before, during, and after the test; for example, what to expect when the test was conducted and what the test results meant.
  • How and when results were explained varied: explanations were given during the test by the technician or nurse undertaking it, from a doctor straight after receiving the test, or at a separate appointment with a doctor a short time later. Men appreciated it when test results were available and discussed with a clinician immediately after the test.
  • While most men were satisfied with clinicians’ explanation of the results of urodynamics, this was not universal; rushed explanations were highlighted as problematic.

Recommendations

Based on men’s experiences, we recommend:

  1. Good communication before and during the procedure, in line with patient preferences, to ensure patients are well prepared and informed.
  2. Prioritising patient privacy, including minimising the number of people present during the test and introducing the staff members who are present.
  3. Discussing test results with patients promptly, in the amount of detail they wish.
  4. Training and guidance for urology clinicians and urodynamics technicians in these areas.

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge and thank the patients and clinicians involved in the UPSTREAM trial as well as the NHS trusts involved. This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) program (project number 12/140/01). This study was designed and delivered in collaboration with the Bristol Randomised Trials Collaboration (BRTC), a UKCRC registered clinical trials unit which, as part of the Bristol Trials Centre, is in receipt of National Institute for Health Research CTU support funding. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the HTA program, NIHR, NHS, or the Department of Health and Social Care.

 

About the authors: 

Dr Selman and Dr Horwood are Senior Research Fellows at University of Bristol, specialising in qualitative research in randomised trials. Twitter: @Lucy_Selman, @JPHorwood

Prof Drake is Professor of Physiological Urology at Bristol Urological Institute, North Bristol NHS Trust, and at Translational Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol. Twitter: @MarcusDrakeUrol, @UroweESU

Dr Amanda Lewis is a Clinical Trial Manager at the University of Bristol, currently working in the area of Urology research. Twitter: @ALBrooks2015

 

Reaching for the stars – rating the quality of systematic reviews with the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) 2

The number of published systematic reviews and meta‐analyses in the urological literature has dramatically increased in recent years [1]. This is good news given their importance in guiding clinical decision‐making, guideline development and health policy. However, many of these studies are of low quality, raising concerns about the trustworthiness of their results. As with other research studies, it is therefore important for readers to have a framework for determining the quality of a given systematic review. Therefore, in 2017 BJU International launched a scoring system for systematic reviews that provides readers with a summary assessment as to whether established methodological safeguards against bias for systematic reviews have been met [2]. This is based on the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR), a validated instrument that assesses methodological quality on an 11‐point scale (0–11), with higher scores reflecting greater methodological rigor and all criteria being given the same relative weight [3].

Recently, an updated version of this instrument has become available, offering a better assessment of systematic reviews [4]. The revised instrument (AMSTAR 2) includes 10 of the original domains; it has 16 items in total (compared with 11 in the original), simpler response categories to the original AMSTAR, and provides an overall rating that is largely based on seven critical domains that should all be met. These relate to: (i) documentation of an a priori registered protocol in Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) or through Cochrane, (ii) a comprehensive literature search, (iii) explicit justification for excluding studies, (iv) a risk of bias assessment of included studies, (v) appropriate use of meta‐analytical methods, (vi) consideration of risk of bias when interpreting the results of the review, and (vii) assessment of presence and likely impact of publication bias. Other, non‐critical domains include a clear description of the study question in Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome (PICO) format, study selection and data extraction in duplicate, and identification of sources of funding of the studies included in the review and the review itself. This results in a four‐tiered rating (high, moderate, low, and critically low) that reflects the confidence that a reader may place in the results. Notably, a high‐quality rating requires no critical weakness and allows for only one non‐critical weakness. More than one non‐critical weakness drops the rating down to moderate, and just one critical weakness (such as lack of an a priori protocol) drops the rating down to low. Any review that has more than one critical weakness will be rated as critically low.

BJU International editors will routinely apply this AMSTAR 2‐based scoring system to screen for methodological quality in order to raise the awareness of this issue and promote reviews of higher quality (Fig. 1)[1]. Needless to say, BJU International is not the place for systematic reviews of sub‐optimal methodological quality in which the readers cannot place their trust. Meanwhile, we also fully understand that methodological rigor is not everything but has to be paired with clinical relevance and newsworthiness. Much has been written about the dramatic redundancy of systematic reviews on the same topic; in certain areas of medicine, the number of systematic reviews exceeds that of eligible studies that these reviews included [5]. Therefore, when systematic reviews already exist, there needs to be a clear rationale for any ‘encore’ performance. BJU International also encourages the development of systematic reviews by author teams that are financially unconflicted and have thoughtfully managed any intellectual conflict of interest.

Figure 1: New BJUI rating system of systematic reviews based on AMSTAR 2. The number of coloured stars in the inner and outer layers of the system represents completeness of an individual critical domain and overall confidence rating of the systematic review, respectively. The number in the middle of the system refers to the summary AMSTAR 2 score based on the overall confidence rating of the systematic review (high: 4, moderate: 3, low: 2, critically low: 1).

Through this initiative, BJU International not only intends to become the premier journal for high‐quality systematic reviews as they relate to urology, but also to move the field forward, reducing redundancy and waste. As we embrace the higher standards of AMSTAR 2, we present the first review to be scored using this method in this issue [6] and we encourage all systematic review authors to accept this challenge and reach with us for the stars.

References

  1. Han JL, Gandhi S, Bockoven CG, Narayan VM, Dahm P. The landscape of systematic reviews in urology (1998 to 2015): an assessment of methodological quality. BJU Int 2017; 119: 638–49
  2. Dahm P. Raising the bar for systematic reviews with Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR). BJU Int 2017; 119: 193
  3. Shea BJ, Grimshaw JM, Wells GA et al. Development of AMSTAR: a measurement tool to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews. BMC Med Res Methodol 2007; 7: 10

 

About the authors:

Dr Philipp Dahm is Professor of Urology and Vice Chair of Veterans Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He also serves as Director of Research and Education for Surgical Services at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center (@EBMUrology).

 

Dr Jae Hung Jung is from the Department of Urology, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Korea.

 

 

 

November 2018 – about the cover

BJUI November 2018

©istock.com/f11photo

The article of the month for November 2018 is on work carried out at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Pennsylvania, USA: The United States opioid epidemic: a review of the surgeon’s contribution to it and health policy initiatives.

The city is located at the confluence of the rivers Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio and is known both as the “city of bridges” due to its 446 bridges and the “steel city” as it was formerly home to over 300 steel-related businesses.

The old industrial areas have been restored and redeveloped into museums, heritage centers, parks, libraries and medical centers. UPMC is now one of the biggest employers in Pennsylvania, and has been vital in treating the country’s most recent shooting victims. It has also been a pioneer in transplant surgeries with many world firsts in multiple organ transplants.

 

October 2018 – about the cover

This issue’s Article of the Month is The effect of timing of an immediate instillation of mitomycin C after transurethral resection in 941 patients with non‐muscle‐invasive bladder cancer, carried out by a team from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The cover shows the skyline of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam is well-known for its canals, its Art (particularly Rembrandt and Van Gogh) and its infamous coffee shops. In 2013 there were more bicycles than people in Amsterdam.

©istock.com/fotolupa

 

September 2018 – about the cover

This issue’s Article of the Month is Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy using the Revo‐i robotic surgical system, carried out by a team from Seoul, Korea.

The cover shows one of the buildings of Yonsei University, the oldest university in Korea, founded in 1885 and named after the two colleges of which it is formed: Yonhi College and Severance Union Medical College. It offers graduate,  postgraduate and doctorate courses in Korean or English.

 

 

BAUS 2018 Highlights Day Three

BAUS Day 3—Going home images and snippets…

On the final night of BAUS, I had the honor of giving a dinner talk to the IBUS group—International British Urology Society.  With BAUS contracting from 4 to 3 days, some of the previous joint sessions fell by the wayside, but IBUS president Subu Subramonian put together a nice evening program for the group.

The Day 3 morning session started with what is likely an original debate topic: “Consenting to Death.”  The pro/con centered around whether or not every circumcision operation should be consented for the possibility of death.  The idea was nominated by Jonathan Glass who also did a Twitter poll on the subject, which was similar to this audience poll—around 90% saying no.

The general flow of the debate was whether or not the rare incidence of a complication should be left off, so as not to alarm/concern the patient with minutia.  On the other had, severe complications and death should potentially be consented even if rare.

 

Note the risk of everyday life compared to surgery: soccer was 1: 50,000.  Mr. Glass had a nice display on how choices of driving routes to the hospital could affect the risk of dying.  Turns out the bus is safest.

At the end of the debate, the voting shifted slightly to around 30% saying they would consent for death for a circumcision.

As Mr. O’Brien asked—do you also have to show the patient some horrific picture of gangrene so they are truly informed as to the risk of serious infection?

My favorite phrase on the serious but rare event is “its low risk, but never zero…perhaps a lightning strike.” Never say “routine surgery,” as that is always what the newspaper says: “ He died after routine surgery.”  Routine sounds like zero risk.  I must say also that the risk of “bleeding, infection, cardiac event, stroke, and death” is on almost every U.S. hospital template consent.  So I think patients are used to it and will not freak out.  Also vis-a-vie the Day 2 Blog on Dr. Wachter’s talk, an unintended consequence of the EPIC EMR is that we rarely print consents for patient review—rather we shows them on a screen and they digitally sign.  But I bet they read the details less often than before.  Oddly, they are not able to view their consents with their personal accounts, yet they can read clinic notes, diagnostics, imaging, path ,etc.  Need a solution here.

Always good to have some humor in the slides.

Next, we heard a lecture from a truly unique individual. Mr. David Sellu gave us his personal account of how he was brought before a criminal court for manslaughter when a patient had a bowel perforation after a knee operation—he was in call coverage.  He served time but won his appeals to drop charges and clear his name.  I’m sure there were errors in the case, but in the U.S. this would likely have been a malpractice/civil court case and the hospital would have been co-defendant (system errors). Roger Kirby has tweeted the progress of this case for years, so it was interesting to hear from him personally.

Look at the multiple layers of jeopardy his case took him through over a 6 year period.

Here is a link to a previous blog on the case:

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/03/20/the-case-of-david-sellu-a-criminal-court-is-not-the-right-place-to-determine-blame-in-complex-clinical-cases/

The Urology Foundation sponsored a session.  They recognized a recent research scholarship awarded to Mr. David Eldred-Evans “The PROSTAGRAM trial: a prospective cross-sectional study assessing the feasibility of novel imaging techniques to screen for prostate cancer.

Roger Kirby then gave a guest lecture on his personal journal with prostate cancer as a surgeon and patient.  He highlighted his actual biopsy specimens and RP path.  He is 5 years disease free.  He also showed some great nostalgia as he was being interviewed  >20 years ago at the launch of Proscar to the market.  He had 2 interviewers trying to gang up on him on conflict of interest and trying to make the drug sound toxic.  I wonder how he would have handled those two in this era.

Some highlights of his slides on advice to surgeons.  Thanks for all you do Roger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, there was an interesting session on the Global practice of urology with emphasis on training pathways and what has changed over the decade.   Alan Partin presented his department’s approach to urology training at Johns Hopkins and the US perspective.  James N’Dow outlined how diverse urologic training and credentialing is organize across Europe.  Sanjay Kulkarni gave in Indian perspective—noteworthy that the urologist does not have such constraining credentialing pathways, and often will have private practice across multiple hospitals.  He has attended over 60 and now owns one for his urethroplasty cases.  Times are changing globally for urologic training, and Dr. Partin summed it up well by pointing out that the process of training is highly scrutinized now and seemingly higher priority than the final trained product.  Does anyone think that a urology graduate in 2018 is better trained than 1998?

Ok—time to get back to work in Houston.

John W. Davis, MD, FACS

Associate Editor, BJUI.

 

BAUS 2018 Highlights Day Two: The 2018 BJUI Guest Lecture

Achieving the Promise of Digital Health: Are we There Yet? If Not, When…and How? Dr. Robert Wachter

Day 2: The 2018 BJUI Guest Lecture: Dr. Robert Wachter.  Achieving the Promise of Digital Health: Are we There Yet? If Not, When…and How?

Image 1: Q&A with Dr. Robert Wachter, moderated by BJUI Trustee Chair, Prof. Krishna Sethia.

For Day 2 of BAUS18, the BJUI team invited a very unique expert to the podium. Dr. Robert Wachter is chief of medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He is more than an international guest flown across the pond for a keynote speech. Rather he is an expert in the digitization of health care and has consulted with the NHS in the past and extensively toured UK facilities. In a prior era of his career, he is credited with inventing the term “hospitalist” as internal medicine trained doctors who only service hospital-based points of care rather than the traditional outpatient clinic.

As a preface, he showed U.S. statistics that in ten years, we transformed from a < 10% to > 90% rate of electronic medical record (EMR) adoption—much of it spurred by financial incentives from the federal government. We all assume EMRs are more accurate and cut down on medical errors—queue the picture of the poor penmanship resulting in wrong drug/wrong patient/wrong dose. Yet he showed a post digitization era mistake where a drug was given 39 times rather than once due to mg vs mg/kg confusion—somehow the error made it through the whole system of EMR check points, robotic pharmacy dispensing, bar coders, and administration. The patient somehow survived. The take home point is the unintended consequences of the EMR.

What drives the EMR? Familiar themes of safety, accuracy, and low cost. At my hospital, we went through the famous EPIC EMR transformation in 2016. We lost so much money in the transition, it was fodder for articles in our national press and it certainly had an impact of several administrators’ careers. But even > 2 years later, I can say that I can make EPIC work at the level I worked before. But am I any faster? Definitely not. And the InBasket feature is a never-ending taskmaster of clinic results and messages and notifications.

Dr. Watcher showed a nice children’s drawing of a visit to her pediatrician. Everyone in the family is drawn, and she is on the exam table. The doctor? Back turned to the patient and clicking away at the EMR. So true and I’m as guilty as anyone. The only mistake made by the 7-year-old artist was that the doctor is smiling while clicking away on the computer! You can see the image yourself (copyrighted) in the article by Toll E, JAMA 2012 PMID 22797449. He pointed out that in most industries, digitization and automation would normally contract the work force and reduce or transfer out job positions. But not in health care—the popular solution to the physician’s back to the patient is to hire a “medical scribe” to do all of the EMR work while the doctor returns to the face to face role. In another talk on Global trends in health care and education, Dr. Allan Partin pointed out that it is increasingly popular in the USA for undergraduate students to take a “gap” year after graduation and before medical school, where they often do research, travel, work in the field, etc. Both trends are now part of my household—my older daughter graduated Baylor University with Health Sciences Studies degree and is both taking a gap year and taking a job as a medical scribe while applying to medical school.

Next is really the key point to where we are now in health care—yes we have converted to the EMR, and yes we have a few tricks like voice recognition software, medical scribes, and *** template phrases to speed up or at least maintain the pace of the pre-EMR era. However, what lies ahead is how to unlock the mystery of how to increase productivity. As far as we know, no one is more productive with an EMR across the board. In some cases, it can still be the opposite—the EMR became such a temptation for hospitals to “tack on” more tasks while they have us in there: not just an H&P but lets add TMN cancer staging, and a problem list, and reconcile meds, and an enormous review of systems, and review outside problems, and do all of the coding and billing. And at least in the EPIC version of the EMR, if any members of your extended team (nursing, trainees, advanced practice providers, etc.) make a mistake in their documentation, you usually can neither correct the error yourself nor close the encounter. So you have to chase them down by email to finish the work. At our center they now want encounters done by 7 days and promise to fine us starting day 14.
So that might be the future—improvements to EMRs or use of artificial intelligence to make our work better and more efficient. A quick example was an endocrine service where the chief could use the EMR to screen hospitalized patients at risk for hyperglycemic complications. He could send alerts to the nursing team on how to further assess and avoid problems. He can scan the whole hospital to flag 20 cases, and send 10 messages—all in the course of an hour. If any one of those 20 cases became a consult, it would probably be an hour each—so that’s the efficiency multiplier.
Overall it was an excellent and thought-provoking lecture. It fits thematically with the prior 2 blogs in the sense of looking at the effects of “mandating” quality improvement projects or “mandating” MDT discussion of all cancer cases—what are the unintended consequences and where is the next paradigm shift.

As I sign off, I think everyone of a certain age’s favorite example of unintended consequences was the story of the radiology film room attending who commonly sat in a dark office in the basement of the hospital. You would go down there with your team of residents, students, and attending and looks through the films and discuss face to face who has pneumonia and who was fluid overloaded, etc. Once we went digital, that whole interaction disappeared for better or worse. As a funny recollection, the other key staff down there when I was a resident were the guys organizing the film library—once a day you had to give them a list of cases to pull from the stacks. They were your friends and could make you look good at conference time. As I recall, once we went digital that job when away quickly. Seems like many of them found employment at our local airport as TSA security agents. I guess the experience with x-rays was a good prerequisite.

 

John W. Davis, MD, FACS
Associate Editor, BJUI

Image 2: Key Slide. The latter point of digitization of health care is the next point of emphasis, following pressure to deliver high value care.

 

 

© 2021 BJU International. All Rights Reserved.