BMC Series Highlights – February 2021

• Associations between occupation and heavy alcohol consumption in UK adults aged 40-69: A cross-sectional study using the UK Biobank • A gap existed between doctors’ perceptions and performance of pain assessments, ‘agitation-sedation and delirium in Chinese intensive care units • Impact of improved sleep disturbances on symptoms and quality of life in patients with functional dyspepsia • Muscularity of the trunk and lower limbs in sprinters: what are the specific muscles for superior performance in sprinting? • Alleviating the psychological distress associated with a positive cervical cancer screening result: a randomized controlled trial

BMC Public Health

Associations between occupation and heavy alcohol consumption in UK adults aged 40 to 69: a cross-sectional study using the UK Biobank

Alcohol consumption and its associated consequences, including cancer and heart disease, remain a major public health challenge. Studying the factors that contribute to alcohol use can help determine where to target intervention resources.

The authors found strong associations between occupations and heavy alcohol consumption

Researchers from the University of Liverpool, Thompson and Pirmohamed, studied the association between occupation and heavy drinking among workers aged 40 to 69 in the UK. Thompson and Pirmohamed used the UK Biobank to recruit participants.

The authors found strong associations between occupations and heavy drinking, with jobs identified as skilled trades being the most likely to be associated with heavy drinking. The highest ratios for heavy drinkers were observed for licensed publicans and facility managers, industrial cleaning process occupations, and plasterers. While the clergy, physicists, geologists, meteorologists, and doctors were the least likely to be heavy drinkers. The authors’ results help determine which employment sectors could benefit the most from health promotion programs.

BMC Anesthesiology

A gap existed between doctors’ perceptions and the performance of pain, agitation-sedation and delirium assessments in Chinese intensive care units

This highlights the need for rapid quality improvement

The management of pain, agitation-sedation and delirium (PAD) are key elements in the management of critically ill patients. However, previous research has highlighted the gap between actual clinical practice and physician attitudes towards the management of PAD. Zhou et al. investigated the current practice of PAD assessments in Chinese ICUs through a one-day point prevalence study combined with an on-site questionnaire survey.

Figure 5 taken from Zhou et al.

The authors concluded that the actual assessment rate for PAD was suboptimal, particularly with respect to screening for delirium. There was a significant gap between actual practice and the physician’s perception of the practice. Doctors reported evaluating pain and agitation-sedation in only about 20-25% of patients, which is lower than previous reports. Therefore, the study highlights the need for rapid improvement in the quality and optimization of PAD management practices in ICUs in China.

BMC Gastroenterology

Impact of improving sleep disorders on symptoms and quality of life in patients with functional dyspepsia

Many patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders have trouble sleeping and this has an impact on their quality of life. However, it is not yet fully understood how sleep disorders affect the pathophysiology of functional dyspepsia (FD). Kuribayashi et al. conducted a prospective study on 20 patients to investigate the relationship between FD and sleep disorders. Patients took sleeping pills for 4 weeks and completed questionnaires before and after taking sleeping pills.

Sleep disturbances were significantly improved by administering sleeping pills for 4 weeks

The authors found that sleep disturbances were significantly improved by administering sleeping pills for 4 weeks, and as a result, gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety, and quality of life in patients with FD were also improved. Additionally, the authors concluded that the use of sleep-inducing drugs was associated with decreased pain as well as improved dyspeptic symptoms in patients with FD. Overall, the study highlights the potential benefits of sleeping pills for patients with FD and sleep disorders, although multicenter studies involving a larger number of cases are needed for further research.

BMC Research Notes

Core and Lower Limb Muscularity in Sprinters: What Muscles Are Specific for Superior Sprinting Performance?

Previous research has reported that many muscles in the core and lower extremities were larger in sprinters than in non-sprinters. However, the specific muscles that contribute to superior sprint performance for sprinters have not been fully identified. Suga et al. examined the relationships between trunk and lower limb muscle cross sections and sprint performance in well-trained male sprinters.

Their results showed that larger absolute and relative cross sections of the psoas major and gluteus maximus correlated with better 100m sprint times. Therefore, the psoas major and gluteus maximus can be specific muscles for superior sprint performance for sprinters. The study also corroborates previous studies suggesting that the hamstrings may not be an important muscle for achieving superior sprint performance.

BMC Women’s Health

Alleviating Psychological Distress Associated with a Positive Cervical Cancer Screening Result: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Cancer of the cervix is ​​the fourth most common cancer in women global screening and cytology (Pap smear) is important for early detection and treatment. Although screening for cervical cancer is beneficial and can provide early detection, a positive screening result can lead to psychological burden. As a result, it may influence the decision to undergo further examination and future screening for cervical cancer.

Psychological distress appeared to be higher in the control group

Isaka et al. conducted a randomized controlled trial in Japan, the intervention providing cervical cancer information and cervical cancer screening information through a brochure. The authors’ aim was to assess whether the leaflet would help reduce psychological distress. Women who were about to be screened for cervical cancer were given hypothetical screening results with or without a leaflet, at random. Following the intervention, psychological distress appeared to be greater in the control group than in the intervention group among those who received a hypothetical positive screening result. Therefore, the authors concluded that providing information could help reduce psychological distress and recommend that cervical cancer screening programs provide participants with all relevant information.

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