Volume 8, Issue 1

  • 2022, March

    short communication

    The Middle East Cancer Consortium: A Model for Regional Conciliation and Compassion in the Middle EastOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    Regions in the Middle East are still experiencing political and military hostilities which negatively affect the health and health services of millions of people. Cancer is one of the major causes of high morbidity and mortality in the region. Palliative care for the cancer patient is one of the care options available for all those suffering from such a life-threatening disease. The Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC) initiated a regional plan to implement palliative care approaches both in hospitals and the community. Moreover, the region lacks experienced professionals who could pave the way for establishing national palliative centers and guide primary care physicians and nurses to exercise this relatively new discipline in clinical practice. This report describes, in short, the endeavors, barriers and successes of this project, which are intended to bring medical professionals closer, thereby promoting understanding, respect and tolerance among individuals and communities in conflict.
    Keywords
    Cancer; Palliative care; Middle East; Conflicts.


  • 2022, March

    review

    Using Datix Electronic Incident Reporting System to Develop a Palliative and End-of-Life Care Patient-Centered Auditing, Quality Assessment and Reporting SystemOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    The need for specialist palliative care services has never been higher as the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID) pandemic has highlighted. Yet even in the absence of the pandemic, specialist palliative care services in hospitals, hospices and within communities were already stretched beyond their capacity. The current fiscal climate within which most healthcare systems operate are undergoing global economic constraints making it a necessity that healthcare systems explore new ways of working to develop efficient high-quality services, maximising resources whilst maintaining good clinical governance. We describe how a hospital palliative and end-of-life care (PEoLC) specialist team, can harness an existing electronic incident reporting system Datix, adapting it to automatically track the longitudinal performance of the patient-centred, end-of-life care (EoLC) services that they deliver, along national standards in keeping with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the National Institute for Health and Excellence (NICE) guidelines for end-of-life care in the UK. Such automated systems can inform the quality of PEoLC services, improve the use of time and resource within specialist palliative care teams, support the delivery of evidence-based clinical governance standards, whilst supporting benchmarking across organisations, strategy development, insight into local/regional variations, and the establishment of standardisations of care.
    Keywords
    Palliative and end-of-life care (PEoLC); Performance indicator data; End-of-life-care audit; Clinical governance.


  • 2022, April

    short communication

    Bioethics Training: Report on the Experience of a Medical Bioethics’ Scholar in a Tertiary Referral Hospital in a Low- and Middle-Income CountryOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    Skills in biomedical ethics are limited in the African health care systems. This significantly affects the bioethics discourse in the medical practice. The main reason for the paucity in knowledge and skills in bioethics is minimal or no training at all imparted to healthcare professionals. Where there is training, it is not well-structured like other courses in the training institutions. This report summarizes the status of bioethics training and outlines the implementation, processes, outcome and future outlook of a bioethics teaching project for masters in medicine residents (students) in a tertiary referral hospital in Africa. This project was part of postgraduate studies in biomedical ethics by a practicing physician. It entailed teaching bioethics to first year master’s in medicine residents (students). The teachings occurred in the author’s affiliated institution monthly for six-months. The topics covered were: general introduction to bioethics, ethical issues at end-of-life (EoL), informed consent, basics of research ethics, plagiarism and doctor-pharma interaction. These topics were selected due to their relevance to the residents in their practice and because they
    needed to undertake research studies to graduate from the masters training program. In addition, these basic bioethics training provided the residents with the foundation to develop knowledge geared towards improving skills in analyzing diverse areas in the contemporary bioethics’ environment such as end-of-life care (EoLC), human research ethics, doctor-pharmaceutical relationships while looking at them within the context of political, cultural, socio-economic, and environmental determinants.
    Keywords
    Bioethics; Training; Kenya; Africa.


  • 2022, April

    original research

    Review of Melatonin and Results of Students SurveyOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    Purpose
    The objective of the survey is to evaluate the knowledge and opinion of Howard University College of Pharmacy first-year professional pharmacy students regarding the use of the sleep medication melatonin.
    Methods
    A survey questionnaire comprising 20 questions on melatonin was developed and response obtained from 42 students. Demographic data and responses were gathered and evaluated. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the responses.
    Results
    Most of the respondents had adequate knowledge about melatonin ranging from 54.8 to 92.6%. There was no statistical difference when responses were analyzed based on the gender of the survey participants. To specific questions whether melatonin is associated with weight gain, can help with signs and symptoms of cancer, recommend sleep hygiene instead of melatonin, and
    whether melatonin is addictive, the majority (57.1%, 42.9%, 64.3% and 69.0%, respectively) provided the wrong responses.
    Conclusion
    More than half of the respondents had good levels of knowledge and opinion about melatonin, with the highest being 92.6% to a specific question on the use of melatonin. The students were only deficient in areas of melatonin being associated with weight gain, melatonin helping with signs and symptoms of cancer, recommending sleep hygiene, and melatonin causing addiction. There are significant differences between the age groups and whether those who worth healthcare area, or not in their response to some of the survey questions.
    Keywords
    Melatonin; Dietary supplement; Insomnia; Weight gain; Cancer; Light.