Now showing 1 - 10 of 42
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Establishing a telehealth model addressing paediatric sleep health in remote and rural Northern Territory Australia: Overcoming the distance barrier.
    (2024-05-09)
    Gentin, Natalie
    ;
    Howarth, Timothy P
    ;
    ; ;
    Jonas, Catherine
    ;
    Blecher, Gregory
    ;
    Widger, John
    ;
    ;
    This study examined the outcomes of a telehealth model for sleep health assessment among Indigenous and non-Indigenous children residing in remote and regional communities at the Top End Northern Territory (NT) of Australia.Video telehealth consultation, that included clinical history and relevant physical findings assessed virtually with an interstate paediatric sleep physician was conducted remotely. Polysomnography (PSG) and therapeutic interventions were carried out locally at Darwin, NT. The study participants were children referred between 2015 and 2020.Of the total 812 children referred for sleep assessment, 699 underwent a diagnostic PSG. The majority of patients were female (63%), non-Indigenous (81%) and resided in outer regional areas (88%). Indigenous children were significantly older and resided in remote or very remote locations (22% vs. 10%). Referral patterns differed according to locality and Indigenous status - (non-Indigenous via private (53%), Indigenous via public system (35%)). Receipt of referrals to initial consultation was a median of 16 days and 4 weeks from consult to PSG. Remote children had slightly longer time delay between the referral and initial consult (32 vs. 15 days). Fifty one percent were diagnosed to have OSA, 27% underwent adenotonsillectomy and 2% were prescribed with CPAP therapy.This study has demonstrated that a telehealth model can be an effective way in overcoming logistical barriers and in providing sleep health services to children in remote and regional Australia. Further innovative efforts are needed to improve the service model and expand the reach for vulnerable children in very remote communities.
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Factors influencing survival and mortality among adult Aboriginal Australians with bronchiectasis-A 10-year retrospective study.
    (2024-05-07) ;
    Gibbs, Claire
    ;
    ;
    Erdenebayar, Davaadorj
    ;
    ;
    Howarth, Timothy
    The prevalence of bronchiectasis among adult Aboriginal Australians is higher than that of non-Aboriginal Australians. However, despite evidence to suggest higher prevalence of bronchiectasis among Aboriginal people in Australia, there is sparce evidence in the literature assessing clinical parameters that may predict survival or mortality in this population.Aboriginal Australians residing in the Top End Health Service region of the Northern Territory of Australia aged >18 years with chest computed tomography (CT) confirmed bronchiectasis between 2011 and 2020 were included. Demographics, body mass index (BMI), medical co-morbidities, lung function data, sputum microbiology, chest CT scan results, hospital admissions restricted to respiratory conditions and all-cause mortality were assessed.A total of 459 patients were included, of whom 146 were recorded deceased (median age at death 59 years). Among the deceased cohort, patients were older (median age 52 vs. 45 years, = 0.023), had a higher prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (91 vs. 79%, = 0.126), lower lung function parameters (median percentage predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s 29 vs. 40%, = 0.149), a significantly greater proportion cultured non- fungi (65 vs. 46%, = 0.007) and (46 vs. 28%, = 0.007) on sputum microbiology and demonstrated bilateral involvement on radiology. In multivariate models advancing age, prior culture and Intensive care unit (ICU) visits were associated with increased odds of mortality. Higher BMI, better lung function on spirometry, prior positive sputum microbiology for and use of inhaled long-acting beta antagonist/muscarinic agents may have a favourable effect.The results of this study may be of use to stratify high risk adult Aboriginal patients with bronchiectasis and to develop strategies to prevent future mortality.
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Hospital admission rates and related outcomes among adult Aboriginal australians with bronchiectasis - a ten-year retrospective cohort study.
    (2024-03-05)
    Howarth, Timothy
    ;
    Gibbs, Claire
    ;
    ;
    Abeyaratne, Asanga
    This study assessed hospitalisation frequency and related clinical outcomes among adult Aboriginal Australians with bronchiectasis over a ten-year study period.This retrospective study included patients aged ≥ 18 years diagnosed with bronchiectasis between 2011 and 2020 in the Top End, Northern Territory of Australia. Hospital admissions restricted to respiratory conditions (International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code J) and relevant clinical parameters were assessed and compared between those with and without hospital admissions.Of the 459 patients diagnosed to have bronchiectasis, 398 (87%) recorded at least one respiratory related (ICD-J code) hospitalisation during the 10-year window. In comparison to patients with a recorded hospitalisation against those without-hospitalised patients were older (median 57 vs 53 years), predominantly females (54 vs 46%), had lower body mass index (23 vs 26 kg/m) and had greater concurrent presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (88 vs 47%), including demonstrating lower spirometry values (forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV) (median FVC 49 vs 63% & FEV 36 vs 55% respectively)). The total hospitalisations accounted for 3,123 admissions (median 4 per patient (IQR 2, 10)), at a median rate of 1 /year (IQR 0.5, 2.2) with a median length of 3 days (IQR 1, 6). Bronchiectasis along with COPD with lower respiratory tract infection (ICD code-J44) was the most common primary diagnosis code, accounting for 56% of presentations and 46% of days in hospital, which was also higher for patients using inhaled corticosteroids (81 vs 52%, p = 0.007). A total of 114 (29%) patients were recorded to have had an ICU admission, with a higher rate, including longer hospital stay among those patients with bronchiectasis and respiratory failure related presentations (32/35, 91%). In multivariate regression model, concurrent presence of COPD or asthma alongside bronchiectasis was associated with shorter times between subsequent hospitalisations (-423 days, p = 0.007 & -119 days, p = 0.02 respectively).Hospitalisation rates among adult Aboriginal Australians with bronchiectasis are high. Future interventions are required to explore avenues to reduce the overall morbidity associated with bronchiectasis among Aboriginal Australians.
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Significance of lung nodules detected on chest CT among adult Aboriginal Australians - a retrospective descriptive study.
    There are limited data on chest computed tomography (CT) findings in the assessment of lung nodules among adult Aboriginal Australians. In this retrospective study, we assessed lung nodules among a group of adult Aboriginal Australians in the Northern Territory of Australia.Patients who underwent at least two chest CT scans between 2012 and 2020 among those referred to undergo lung function testing (spirometry) were included. Chest CT scans were assessed for the number, location, size and morphological characteristics of lung nodules.Of the 402 chest CTs assessed, 75 patients (18.7%) had lung nodules, and 57 patients were included in the final analysis with at least two CT scans available for assessment over a median follow-up of 87 weeks. Most patients (68%) were women, with a median age of 58 years and smoking history in 83%. The majority recorded only a single nodule 43 (74%). Six patients (10%) were diagnosed with malignancy, five with primary lung cancer and one with metastatic thyroid cancer. Of the 51 (90%) patients assessed to be benign, 64 nodules were identified, of which 25 (39%) resolved, 38 (59%) remained stable and one (1.8%) enlarged on follow-up. Nodules among patients with malignancy were typically initially larger and enlarged over time, had spiculated margins and were solid, showing no specific lobar predilection.Most lung nodules in Aboriginal Australians are likely to be benign. However, a proportion could be malignant. Further prospective studies are required for prognostication and monitoring of lung nodules in this population.
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Sleep disorders among Aboriginal Australians with Machado-Joseph Disease: Quantitative results from a multiple methods study to assess the experience of people living with the disease and their caregivers.
    (2022-04-22)
    LaGrappe, Desireé
    ;
    Massey, Libby
    ;
    Kruavit, Anuk
    ;
    Howarth, Timothy
    ;
    Lalara, Gayangwa
    ;
    Daniels, Bronwyn
    ;
    Wunungmurra, Julie Gungunbuy
    ;
    Flavell, Kimberley
    ;
    Barker, Ruth
    ;
    Flavell, Howard
    ;
    BACKGROUND: Machado-Joseph Disease (MJD), or Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3 (SCA3), is a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness, loss of motor control, ataxia and permanent physical disability. Sleep disturbances are associated with MJD but remain poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: To investigate frequency and characteristics of sleep disorders and their association with health-related quality of life and psychosocial wellbeing for Aboriginal Australians living with MJD. METHODS: A convenience sample of MJD participants n = 24 participated in a semi-attended, ambulatory diagnostic sleep study to capture polysomnography, actigraphy and sleep diary data. Self-report measures collected were the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), STOP-BANG Questionnaire for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group rating scale (IRLS), Kessler-5 (K5) and EuroQoL-5 Dimension (EQ5D). Caregivers (n = 22) reported EQ-5D, K5 and bed partners' sleep behaviour (Mayo Sleep Questionnaire-Informant). Environmental factors were measured. RESULTS: We observed Nocturia, Sleep Related Leg Cramps, OSA, REM Behaviour Disorder, and RLS, respectively in 100%, 71%, 47%, 43%, and 33% of participants with a significant positive correlation between Body mass index (BMI) and Apnoea hypopnea index (AHI). The majority of sleep was spent in non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM)-N2 stage (77.8% (67.7, 81.6)). Overcrowding (92%) and overnight care needs (42%) interrupted sleep. MJD participants and caregivers reported high psychological distress (K5 median 12.5 IQR 7, 16.5 & 8 IQR 6, 12 respectively). CONCLUSION: Poor sleep quality and sleep disturbances are prevalent among this cohort. Disease manifestations and environmental factors are driving factors. Larger sample sizes are required to predict risk factors and confirm observed associations.
      4680
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    The Prevalence of Bronchodilator Responsiveness "Asthma" Among Adult Indigenous Australians Referred for Lung Function Testing in the Top End Northern Territory of Australia.
    (2022-09-14) ;
    Howarth TP
    ;
    Lloyd A
    ;
    White E
    ;
    Veale A
    ;
    Ben Saad H
    BACKGROUND: Among Indigenous Australians, studies examining the clinical significance of airway bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) are limited. In this retrospective study, we examined the nature of underlying lung disease in adult Indigenous patients with BDR referred for lung function testing (LFT) in the Top End Health Service region of the Northern Territory of Australia. METHODS: Presence or absence of BDR as per usual (FVC or FEV(1) change pre to post ≥12% and ≥0.2L) and updated (2021 ">10% predicted) ATS/ERS criteria among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians was determined. The radiological findings in the Indigenous study participants with and without BDR were next assessed for the presence of underlying chronic airway/lung disease. RESULTS: We found that 123/742 (17%) Indigenous and 578/4579 (13%) non-Indigenous patients had a significant BDR. Indigenous patients with BDR were younger (mean difference 7 years), with a greater proportion of females (52 vs 32%), underweight (15 vs 4%) and current smokers (52 vs 25%). Indigenous patients with BDR displayed lower LFT values, and a higher proportion exhibited FVC BDR compared to non-Indigenous (34 vs 20%). Almost half (46%) of Indigenous patients with BDR had evidence of COPD and/or bronchiectasis on radiology. Adjusting for the presence of radiologic or spirometric evidence of COPD, the presence of BDR was similar between Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients (5-8 vs 7-11%), irrespective of which BDR criteria was used. CONCLUSION: BDR was higher overall among Indigenous in comparison to non-Indigenous patients; however, a significant proportion of Indigenous patients demonstrating BDR had evidence of underlying COPD/bronchiectasis. This study highlights that although presence of BDR among Indigenous people may indicate asthma, it may also be observed among patients with COPD/bronchiectasis or could represent asthma/COPD/bronchiectasis overlap. Hence, a combination of clinical history, LFT and radiology should be considered for precise diagnosis of lung disease in this population.
      4495
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Sleep quality and obstructive sleep apnoea in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children.
    (2022-06-23)
    Howarth, Timothy P
    ;
    Gentin, Natalie
    ;
    Reyes-Chicuellar, Nayellin
    ;
    Jonas, Catherine
    ;
    Williamson, Bruce
    ;
    Blecher, Greg
    ;
    Widger, John
    ;
    BACKGROUND: Literature pertaining to the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and sleep quality among Indigenous Australian children is sparse. This study assessed various sleep related parameters and outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children. METHODS: Children referred to the sleep health service in the Northern Territory of Australia for a clinically suspected sleep disorder between 2015 and 2021 were included in this study. Self-reported sleep measures alongside polysomnography data were assessed and compared between these two diverse ethnic population. RESULTS: Of the 671 sleep studies assessed, 121 (18%) were from Indigenous children. The majority of patients were male (61%), with a median age of 5.7 (3.5, 8.9) years, and body mass index (BMI) in the normal range (57%). Indigenous children were significantly older (median 7.2 years (4.5, 11.9), with a higher BMI (p = 0.005) and a greater proportion living in very remote locality (14% vs. 6% non-Indigenous, p = 0.001). Indigenous children had higher Paediatric Daytime Sleepiness Scale scores (p = 0.001), higher screen use before bed (p = 0.005), later bedtimes (p = 0.001) and reduced total sleep time (p = 0.034) compared to non-Indigenous children. Prevalence of OSA was higher in Indigenous children (55% vs. 48%) and with greater severity compared to non-Indigenous children. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, OSA was more prevalent and more severe in Indigenous children than their non-Indigenous peers. However, this may not necessarily be extrapolated to the general Indigenous paediatric population. Sleep hygiene and sleep quantity was also decreased further impacting adequate sleep. This highlights the importance of identifying and managing these addressable parameters and for targeted interventions.
      3275
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Differences in the Spirometry Parameters Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Patients with COPD: A Matched Control Study.
    (2022-04-21)
    Sze, Dorothy F L
    ;
    Howarth, Timothy P
    ;
    Lake, Clair D
    ;
    Ben Saad, Helmi
    ;
    BACKGROUND: Comparison of spirometry parameters between Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients with underlying chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been sparsely reported in the past. In this study, differences in the lung function parameters (LFPs), in particular spirometry values for forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)) and FEV(1)/FVC ratio between Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients with COPD were assessed. METHODS: In this retrospective study, Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients with a diagnosis of COPD between 2012-2020 according to spirometry criteria (ie; post-bronchodilator (BD) FEV(1)/FVC < 0.7) were included. A further analysis was undertaken to compare the differences in the spirometry parameters, including lower limit of normal (LLN) values matching for age, sex, height and smoking status between these two diverse ethnic populations. RESULTS: A total of 240/742 (32%) Indigenous and 873/4579 (19%) non-Indigenous patients were identified to fit the criteria for COPD. Indigenous patients were significantly younger (mean difference 9.9 years), with a greater proportion of females (50% vs 33%), underweight (20% vs 8%) and current smokers (47% vs 32%). Prior to matching, Indigenous patients' post-BD percent predicted values for FVC, FEV(1), and FEV(1)/FVC ratio were 17, 17%, and -2 points lower (Hedges G measure of effect size large (0.91), large (0.87), and small (0.25), respectively). Among the matched cohort (111 Indigenous and non-Indigenous), Indigenous patients LFPs remained significantly lower, with a mean difference of 16%, 16%, and -4, respectively (Hedges G large (0.94), large (0.92) and small (0.41), respectively). The differences persisted despite no significant differences in LLN values for these parameters. CONCLUSION: Indigenous Australian patients with COPD display a significantly different demographic and clinical profile than non-Indigenous patients. LFPs were significantly lower, which may or may not equate to greater severity of disease in the absence of normative predictive lung function reference values specific to this population.
      3668
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    A Cost-Effective Novel Innovative Box (C-Box) to Prevent Cockroach Infestation of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Equipment: A Unique Problem in Northern Tropical Australia.
    (2019-09-03) ;
    White, Scott
    Cockroaches and other pests infestation of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) equipment has been rarely reported in the medical literature. In this report, we describe a box (C-Box) designed to prevent pest infestation of the CPAP equipment. Over experience, using this C-Box has demonstrated that it can prevent pest infestation and reduce the cost of replacing pest-infested CPAP machines.
      2259
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Bronchiectasis among Indigenous adults in the Top End of the Northern Territory, 2011-2020: a retrospective cohort study.
    (2024-01-15)
    Gibbs, Claire
    ;
    Howarth, Timothy
    ;
    Ticoalu, Adriana
    ;
    Chen, Winnie
    ;
    Ford, Payi L
    ;
    ;
    Jayaram, Lata
    ;
    McCallum, Gabrielle
    ;
    OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of bronchiectasis among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) adults in the Top End of the Northern Territory, and mortality among Indigenous adults with bronchiectasis. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING, PARTICIPANTS: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults (18 years or older) living in the Top End Health Service region of the NT in whom bronchiectasis was confirmed by chest computed tomography (CT) during 1 January 2011 - 31 December 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of bronchiectasis, and all-cause mortality among Indigenous adults with CT-confirmed bronchiectasis - overall, by sex, and by health district - based on 2011 population numbers (census data). RESULTS: A total of 23 722 Indigenous adults lived in the Top End Health Service region in 2011; during 2011-2020, 459 people received chest CT-confirmed diagnoses of bronchiectasis. Their median age was 47.5 years (interquartile range [IQR], 39.9-56.8 years), 254 were women (55.3%), and 425 lived in areas classified as remote (93.0%). The estimated prevalence of bronchiectasis was 19.4 per 1000 residents (20.6 per 1000 women; 18.0 per 1000 men). The age-adjusted prevalence of bronchiectasis was 5.0 (95% CI, 1.4-8.5) cases per 1000 people in the Darwin Urban health area, and 18-36 cases per 1000 people in the three non-urban health areas. By 30 April 2023, 195 people with bronchiectasis had died (42.5%), at a median age of 60.3 years (IQR, 50.3-68.9 years). CONCLUSION: The prevalence of bronchiectasis burden among Indigenous adults in the Top End of the NT is high, but differed by health district, as is all-cause mortality among adults with bronchiectasis. The socio-demographic and other factors that contribute to the high prevalence of bronchiectasis among Indigenous Australians should be investigated so that interventions for reducing its burden can be developed.
      1351