Publication of the week – Helping patients with chronic conditions overcome barriers to self-care

The World Health Organization defines chronic conditions as those that require ongoing management over a period of years. Heart disease, diabetes, and asthma are considered chronic conditions. Conditions that result in disability, such as injuries and socioenvironmental conditions (limited food and healthcare resources, poverty) also fall into this category. Treating chronic conditions requires coordinated involvement among a wide range of providers and access to essential medications and monitoring systems.

Read full article

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Recommended site of the week: Researcher Development Framework

Vitae is the UK organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff in higher education institutions and research institutes. It is a great resource for researchers and postgraduate students. It also includes areas for policy and practice and supervisors

For more information please visit


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Tecnology in Nursing

Using Technology to Advance Evidence-based Practice

Commentary from:
Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN
Associate Editor, Worldviews on Evidence-based Nursing

New technologies are being rapidly developed and used to speed the translation of evidence into practice, enhance education, and improve healthcare systems and patient outcomes. However, despite the explosion of technology and studies that have been conducted in the field, there are few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to determine the efficacy of technology-based interventions in healthcare and education. Therefore, we have two major challenges regarding technology’s use in healthcare systems today: the need to generate a sound body of evidence from rigorously designed trials regarding technology’s efficacy and cost-effectiveness and, once the evidence is generated, the urgency of translating that evidence rapidly into real world clinical practice settings in order to improve healthcare quality and patient outcomes.

When intervention studies are conducted, many do not include outcomes that the healthcare system is most concerned about (e.g., cost, sentinel events, medical errors) that will heavily influence adoption of the interventions once supported to be efficacious through rigorous research. Including outcomes in experimental studies that most heavily influence adoption of evidence-based interventions, otherwise referred to as the “so what” factors, is critical in accelerating the translation of research-based interventions into clinical practice.

We must never forgot that the ultimate purpose of conducting research and engaging in EBP is not for the sake of engaging in an academic exercise or becoming successful with publication, but it is for the ultimate purpose of improving the outcomes and lives of our patients and students.

Technology can assist us in achieving these goals.

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Scottish Universities Medical Journal – Student Nurses…get published!

Lloyd Hughes is the current Editor for the Scottish Universities Medical Journal. They have just published their first issue (available at: and are looking for articles for their second edition. This journal aims to encompass the learning needs and be interesting to medical, nursing and other allied health professional students.

Lloyd would like to kindly invite student nurses to submit articles for consideration for SUMJ publication (this may be coursework you have done as part of your portfolio). All details regarding the type of articles we accept can be found on our website. This is a great opportunity to obtain apublication in a peer-reviewed CINAHL referenced journal (as of April 2012) for the CV in a time where getting a job is difficult for all in the healthcare area. The current deadline for submissions currently the 30th of April. Email any submissions or questions about submisison to

Also the Scottish Universities Medical Journal annual general meeting on the 9th April at 6pm at Laing’s, Roseangle, Dundee. They are currently recruiting new members to their committee and would really be interested in hearing from you. Full information on all available committee download here CommitteeRoles

If you are interested in any of the roles, please send a paragraph about why you would are suitable and want to do a specific role. This will be presented at the meeting to the committee. Depending upon interest we may have to get people to present their case to the committee and have a vote.

It would be ideal if medical and nursing students could work on this project together, and I very much look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Look forward to seeing some new faces on the 9th April.

Lloyd Hughes is the Editor of SUMJ ; 4th year medical student

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Why can’t you sprint a marathon?…It’s pretty amazing what you can find out from a tadpole!

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have discovered a new memory mechanism within the nervous system that helps to avoid exhaustion.

 “Many of us know the feeling of tired muscles screaming at us to stop exercising. However, there is growing evidence that our brains contribute to this fatigue and tell us to stop an activity well before the system as a whole is completely exhausted, always holding something in reserve. The need to trade off speed against endurance is important for all animals and we didn’t really have any idea how they did it.

What researchers’ at University of St Andrews have discovered is a beautifully simple system that essentially allows a tadpole to pace itself.”

You can read  more on this incredible discovery at:


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Recommended Site of the Week…Portal for Universities Worldwide has been online for more than 1 year and has been continuously updating news related to education fraternity. It will be wrong to say that this site is the best but yes, they say It is no less. It features interesting articles on distance learning. They will be glad to receive your feedback about the Universities News Portal. They will welcome your press releases, stories, reports, articles, advertisements on this website. Their immediate interest will be your little time to see if we have been able to offer something really worth your time.

Universitiesworld also has a newsletter subscription option on the left side of the website and with the help of a special plug-in, you can just change the language of the website to your desired language.

For more information please visit:

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Smoking and health 50 years on from landmark report

50 years ago on Tuesday, a key report was published that marked the beginning of a change in our relationship with smoking.

Although there had been previous warnings linking smoking and lung cancer, it was the 1962 study by the Royal College of Physicians, Smoking and Health, that really broke through to the public and politicians.

Attitudes in the intervening 50 years have changed enormously.

But in 1962, very few people took the dangers posed by smoking cigarettes seriously.

For more on this article go to:

Story By Dominic Hughes Health correspondent, BBC News

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Volume 1 Issue 1 of the Scottish Universities Medical Journal (SUMJ)

Lloyd Hughes left this as a comment, but I think it deserves a post of it’s own!

I am delighted to say that Volume 1 Issue 1 of the Scottish Universities Medical Journal (SUMJ) has just been published online at Students can download the entire journal as a pdf or individual articles that take their interest. The journal will be referenced in the CINAHL reference database in the next couple of months.

A published printed version will be available to read in the Ninewells Medical Library and Main Campus Library next week or can be bought for £9 from the publisher (please contact me directly if your wish to buy one).

We now are focusing our attention to SUMJ Vol 1 Issue 2 (to be published in August). We welcome submissions from all medical students at Dundee, with the deadline for submissions currently the 30th of April.

The SUMJ guidelines for submission can be found on our website.

I look forward to receiving many submissions from Dundee students in due course.

Best Wishes,

Lloyd Hughes

Editor in Chief, Scottish University Medical Journal

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Spotlight on Knowledge Transfer And Nursing Practice

Across the globe there is a concern about closing the gap between evidence of what works and what happens in the reality of clinical practice. The research base of practice has grown exponentially in recent years, and there a numerous guideline development agencies that develop recommendations for practice by synthesizing this research based evidence. However, how research and knowledge products such as guidelines make their way into practice remains a vexing problem for practitioners, managers, and researchers alike.

There is now a large evidence base that shows us that bridging the gap between knowledge and practice is mediated by many factors. Some of these barriers and facilitators concern the characteristics of individual nurses – such as their attitude to research, but many factors relate to the context in which nurses work, including resources, culture, and leadership. For example, evidence reviews about the link between leadership and using evidence in practice, show that leaders can facilitate knowledge transfer by supporting colleagues and creating a vision for evidence-based practice. Leaders can also influence the use of research by nurses through regulatory factors such as influencing local policy and procedures to facilitate easier use of evidence through integration. Importantly, leaders can be found at all levels of the organization including at the front line, in key nursing roles, and in the executive.

We should draw on the existing evidence base about facilitators and barriers, intervention implementation, and evaluation approaches to maximize the success of our knowledge translation activities.

Ref # Joanne Rycroft-Malone, Editor of Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing

For free articles on this subject go to:

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Can Santa travel faster than the speed of light…

In this bedtime story Professor Brian Cox explains how Father Christmas can deliver presents with time to spare!

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