The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a replaceable urinary prosthesis that could free women with impaired detrusor contractility (IDC) from the mobility problems associated with catheters.
The in Flow Intraulrethal Valve Pump is a replaceable device consisting of a sterilized single-use urethral insert, an introducer, an activator, and a sizing shaft. According to a news release from the FDA, the device “draws urine out to empty the bladder and blocks urine flow when continence is desired.”
Patients with IDC are unable to spontaneously urinate, a condition that can result from stroke, spinal cord injury, diabetic neuropathy, or other neurologic disease or injury. Typically patients with IDC must use some type of catheter, and are unable to experience continence.
Tailored hand exercise used as an adjunct to drug regimens can make a significant, cost-effective difference in function and quality of life for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) of the hand, according to a new randomized controlled trial from the United Kingdom (UK).
In the Strengthening and Stretching for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand study (SARAH), 438 participants representing “the population of people with rheumatoid arthritis in the UK in terms of age and sex” were divided into 2 groups, 1 receiving usual care and the other receiving usual care plus special strengthening and stretching exercises overseen by a physiotherapist or occupational therapist. More than 90% of participants in both groups had been placed on a stable regimen of disease modifying drugs (DMARDs) for at least 3 months before the study, and all continued to take the drugs.
A new development in prosthetic hands is not only restoring a sense of touch to individuals with amputations, but seems to be making a significant impact in reducing phantom limb pain.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center have found a way to attach sensors to mechanized prosthetic hands that feed touch sensations to nerve bundles in the patient’s arm. The connection allows users to actually feel sensations of pressure and texture—video of the system shows a user picking up and holding a cherry delicately enough between finger and thumb to pluck off its stem without crushing the fruit. Another photo shows a user squeezing toothpaste out of a tube.
In what authors describe as “some of the most reliable evidence on how adolescents with cerebral palsy feel about life,” a new study from Europe reports that in general, self-reported quality of life (QoL) among this population isn’t that much different from their peers without disability, but could be even better with greater attention paid to pain early on.
Researchers gathered responses to a survey (KIDSCREEN) issued to the same group of 355 individuals with cerebral palsy at 2 different points in their lives—as children aged 8 to 12 (average respondent age 10.4) and then later as adolescents aged 13 to 17 (average respondent age 15.1). The study compared the responses against results from adolescents without a disability and longitudinally within the respondents with cerebral palsy. An article describing the results was e-published ahead of print in the October 7 issue of The Lancet.
“Greater use of chronic disease management programs and emphasis on outpatient treatment” may be part of the explanation for an overall decrease in inpatient hospital stays from 2003 to 2012, according to a recent report that analyzed community hospital use over a 10 year period.
According to the study, hospitalization rates dropped by an average of .3% per year from 2003 to 2008, and an average of 1.8% per year from 2008 to 2012.
The report, issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, looked at rates, length, costs, and demographic variables related to hospitalization, and found that in addition to dropping rates, length of hospitalization also decreased by an average of .2% per year between 2003 and 2012.
Legislation that would standardize data used across postacute care (PAC) settings has been signed into law and will join a larger package of reforms. APTA worked to influence this legislation.
The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act signed by President Barack Obama on Monday directs the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to standardize patient assessment data, quality, and resource use measures for PAC providers including home health agencies (HHAs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs).
The House and Senate passed the legislation in September.
Regardless of whether it’s delivered traditionally or through a more high-tech laser version, acupuncture doesn’t appear to have any benefit over sham procedures when it comes to reducing moderate-to-severe knee pain in adults 50 and over, according to a new study in the October 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA).
Researchers in Australia studied treatments of 282 patients who were 50 or older and had been experiencing moderate to severe knee pain on most days for a period of time longer than 3 months. The patients were divided into 4 groups: a needle acupuncture group, a laser acupuncture group, a sham laser acupuncture group, and a control group. Acupuncture treatments were conducted 1 to 2 times weekly for 12 weeks. Both acupuncturists and patients did not know if they were involved in the sham or actual laser treatment, but there was no sham treatment used in the needle-based acupuncture group.
For the second year in a row, Utah has been declared the best state in which to practice physical therapy, followed by Colorado and Minnesota. The rankings—and the explanations behind the rating system—appear in this months issue of PT in Motion, APTA’s member magazine.
The rankings were derived from an analysis of 7 factors: well-being and future livability, literacy and health literacy, employment and employment projections for physical therapy, business and practice friendliness, technology and innovation, compensation and cost of living, and physical therapist/physical therapist assistant/student engagement with APTA.
The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States sparked plenty of anxiety-producing headlines, but health experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say the chances of an outbreak in the US are almost none.
CNN, the Washington Post, and nearly every other media outlet reported that a man was diagnosed with the virus in Dallas, Texas, a few days after arriving from Liberia. Initially, the man brought himself to a Dallas-area emergency room, but his symptoms were not connected to Ebola and he was sent home. When he later returned to the hospital feeling worse, he was isolated and the diagnosis confirmed.
Because Ebola does not become contagious until an individual begins feeling ill, passengers on the flight the man took from Liberia are in no danger of contracting the disease from him, health officials said. Instead, health workers are investigating contacts he may have had with family and others in the US after he showed signs of sickness.
The Medicare “Pioneer” program that targets more sophisticated health systems to foster the development of accountable care organizations (ACOs) has now lost about 40% of the systems that signed on initially. According to an article in Modern Healthcare (access available via free one-time registration) the most recent withdrawals “suggest even the most sophisticated health systems may be unwilling to take losses as policymakers test new payment and delivery models.”
The most recent exits—Franciscan Alliance, Genesys PHO, and Renaissance Health Network—bring the Pioneer list from its original 32 members to 19. The Modern Healthcare article reports that 9 of the 13 ACOs that dropped out did so within the first year of the program’s launch in 2012, opting instead to join the “less risky” shared savings program, the traditional Medicare program that allows other entities to form ACO. Unlike the Pioneer program, the number of entities joining the shared savings program has been steadily increasing.