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עמוד בית
Tue, 21.05.24

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October 2023
Dror Dicker MD, Orly Tamir PhD MSc MHA, Gabriella Lieberman-Segal MD, Roy Eldor MD PhD, Moran Accos-Carmel RD MAN, Tatyana Kolobov PhD, Avraham Karasik MD

Background: In 2019, 1 mg subcutaneous semaglutide was registered for the treatment of diabetes in Israel. Recognition of its effect on weight has led to its use as a treatment for obesity.

Objectives: To explore physicians’ pre-therapy considerations, therapy practices, and attitudes regarding subcutaneous semaglutide for weight loss.

Methods: A 22-item questionnaire was disseminated to physicians who prescribed semaglutide 1-mg for weight loss using an authorized off-label path.

Results: In total, 127 physicians completed the questionnaire. As for pretreatment requirements, in the absence of diabetes, 30% requested a minimal body mass index of 30 kg/m2. Additional requirements were documented lifestyle-change effort (67%) and prior weight loss medication use (13%). Half of the physicians regarded calorie restriction, and 23% considered physical activity as necessary for weight loss while on therapy. As for dose, most physicians (78%) started with a 0.25-mg weekly injection, 57% doubled the dose monthly, and all others recommended doubling when side effects subsided. Regarding weight loss goal, 43% of the physicians set a personal goal with each patient while 26% limited the goal to 10% of initial weight. Fewer than 50% of physicians discussed treatment duration with their patients, and 52% of patients discontinued therapy in the first 3 months. The main reasons for discontinuation were price, lack of effect, and fear of long-term side effects.

Conclusions: The diverse approaches regarding off-label use of semaglutide for weight reduction highlight the necessity to guide physicians and standardize treatment regimen.

June 2023
Ibrahim Marai MD, Josef Steier MD, lia Novic MD, Ali Sakhnini MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon, Batsheva Tzadok MD

Background: The evaluation of syncope in emergency departments (EDs) and during hospitalization can be ineffective. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines were established to perform the evaluation based on risk stratification.

Objectives: To investigate whether the initial screening of syncope adheres to the recent ESC guidelines.

Methods: Patients with syncope who were evaluated in our ED were included in the study and retrospectively classified based on whether they were treated according to ESC guidelines. Patients were divided into two groups according to the ESC guideline risk profile: high risk or low risk.

Results: The study included 114 patients (age 50.6 ± 21.9 years, 43% females); 74 (64.9%) had neurally mediated syncope, 11 (9.65%) had cardiac syncope, and 29 (25.45%) had an unknown cause. The low-risk group included 70 patients (61.4%), and the high-risk group included 44 (38.6%). Only 48 patients (42.1%) were evaluated according to the ESC guidelines. In fact, 22 (36.7%) of 60 hospitalizations and 41 (53.2%) of 77 head computed tomography (CT) scans were not mandatory according to guidelines. The rate of unnecessary CT scans (67.3% vs. 28.6%, respectively, P = 0.001) and unnecessary hospitalization (66.7% vs. 6.7%, respectively, P < 0.02) were higher among low-risk patients than high-risk patients. Overall, a higher percentage of high-risk patients were treated according to guidelines compared to low-risk patients (68.2% vs. 25.7% respectively, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Most syncope patients, particularly those with a low-risk profile, were not evaluated in accordance with the ESC guidelines.

March 2023
Yoav Siegler MD, Chen Ben David MD, Zeev Weiner MD, Ido Solt MD

Late, preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) presents a major obstetrical challenge balancing between iatrogenic prematurity and risk of prolonged rupture of membranes. In recent years, the pendulum has been shifting toward expectant management until gestation week 37 + 0. We examined the latest guidelines and major trials and summarized optimal management. We addressed the major dilemmas of women with PPROM during gestation weeks 34 + 0 to 36 + 6.

November 2022
Johad Khoury MD, Itai Ghersin MD, Eyal Braun MD, Adi Elias MD, Doron Aronson MD, Zaher S. Azzam MD, Fadel Bahouth MD

Background: Current guidelines for the treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) are based on studies that have excluded or underrepresented older patients.

Objectives: To assess the value of guideline directed medical therapy (GDMT) in HFrEF patients 80 years of age and older.

Methods: A single-center retrospective study included patients hospitalized with a first and primary diagnosis of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) and ejection fraction (EF) of ≤ 40%. Patients 80 years of age and older were stratified into two groups: GDMT, defined as treatment at hospital discharge with at least two drugs of the following groups: beta-blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), or mineralocorticoid antagonists; and a personalized medicine group, which included patients who were treated with up to one of these drug groups. The primary outcomes were 90-day all-cause mortality, 90-day rehospitalization, and 3-years mortality.

Results: The study included 1152 patients with HFrEF. 254 (22%) patients who were at least 80 years old. Of the group, 123 were GDMT at discharge. When GDMT group was compared to the personalized medicine group, there were no statistically significant differences in terms 90-day mortality (17% vs. 13%, P = 0.169), 90-day readmission (51 % vs. 45.6%, P = 0.27), or 3-year mortality (64.5% vs. 63.3%, P = 0.915).

Conclusions: Adherence to guidelines in the older adult population may not have the same effect as in younger patients who were studied in the randomized clinical trials. Larger prospective studies are needed to further address this issue.

June 2022
Yair Bezalel Shahar BPT, Ruth Goldstein MD, Yaniv Nudelman MSc PT, Omri Besor MD MPH, and Noa Ben Ami PT PhD1

Background: Low back pain has been the leading cause for disability worldwide for several decades, and clinical guidelines for its management clearly emphasize a multifactorial approach. Yet, current guidelines are still not well implemented by clinicians.

Objectives: To explore the attitudes of family medicine residents regarding low back pain and to determine whether they positively correlate with their treatment approaches. To test if these attitudes can be affected by the Enhanced Transtheoretical Model Intervention (ETMI), a guideline-based workshop.

Methods: Participants completed an online questionnaire regarding their attitudes toward low back pain and clinical habits, after which they attended an online ETMI educational workshop. One month later all participants were asked to complete the questionnaire a second time. Statistical analysis was conducted to explore the attitudes of the residents and clinical approaches, as well as any associations between them, as well as possible differences pre- and post-intervention.

Results: The participants exhibited highly psychologically oriented attitudes. Correlations between the attitudes and treatment did not show consistent coherency. Results regarding the participants clinical approaches were revealed to have two distinct and opposed inclinations: biomedically and biopsychosocially. Last, results for the re-activation subscale were significantly higher post-intervention.

Conclusions: Family medicine residents seem to be highly psychologically oriented regarding low back pain; however, they do not necessarily treat their patients accordingly. Their clinical choices seem to follow two different approaches: guideline-consistent and non-guideline-consistent. An ETMI guideline-based workshop may sway their attitudes toward re-activation of patients. Further research is needed to determine whether similar results would arise in larger physician populations.

May 2020
Gad Segal MD, Dror Mevorach MD, Avishay Elis MD and Dror Dicker MD and COVID-19 Task Force on behalf of the Israeli Society of Internal Medicine
August 2019
January 2019
Chen Ben David MD , Zeev Weiner MD and Ido Solt MD

The use of ultrasound endovaginal probes is common practice in the fields of gynecology and obstetrics. The vagina serves as a host environment for many microorganisms, contributing greatly to its defensive mechanisms. It is not known whether the introduction of other microorganisms into the vaginal region are detrimental or require intensive preventative measures. Several national ultrasonography societies, as well as the Israel Ministry of Health, have addressed the proper and adequate handling of sonographic endovaginal probes, including the use of high-level disinfecting agents following cleansing and prior to using probe covers between patients. However, many obstetrics and gynecology ultrasound units in Israel find it difficult to adhere to these strict disinfecting requirements. While most of the guidelines are based on the theoretical risk of contaminations when ultrasound endovaginal probes are used, the rate of nosocomial infections linked to the use of these probes has yet to be verified. Based on the information available, there is an urgent need to find a solution that enables gynecological ultrasound users to properly disinfect endovaginal probes between patients. Currently, it is almost impossible to pragmatically adhere to the Israel Ministry of Health guidelines. 

August 2016
Tal Bergman-Levy MD MHA, Oren Asman LLB LLM LLD, Eyal Dahan MD, Binyamin Greenberg MD, Shmuel Hirshmann MD and Rael Strous MD MHA

Background: In Israel a general code of ethics exists for physicians, drafted by the Israel Medical Association. The question arises whether psychiatrists require a separate set of ethical guidelines.

Objectives: To examine the positions of Israeli psychiatrists with regard to ethics in general and professional ethics in particular, and to explore opinions regarding a code of ethics or ethical guidelines for psychiatry. 

Methods: A specially designed questionnaire was compiled and completed by psychiatrists recruited for the study. 

Results: Most participants reported low levels of perceived knowledge regarding ethics, professional ethics, and the general code of ethics. Older and more experienced professionals reported a higher level of knowledge. Most psychiatrists agreed or strongly agreed with the need for a distinct code of ethics/ethical guidelines for psychiatrists. This support was significantly higher among both psychiatrists under 50 years and residents. 

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the existing code of ethics and position papers may not be sufficient, indicating a potential need to develop and implement a process to create the ethical code itself. In addition, the findings highlight the importance of ethics education, suggesting that the need for a code of ethics is more urgent in the early stages of professional training, as younger professionals may be more exposed to advanced media technology. While some may fear that a distinct code of ethics will distance psychiatry from modern medicine, others assert that the profession combines aspects from the humanities and social sciences that require a unique sort of management and thus this profession requires a distinct code of ethics.

 

June 2016
Noam Oz MD, Danny Alon MD, Chava Chezar-Azerrad MD, Lisa Cooper MD, Yochai Levi MD, Shmuel Fuchs MD and Gideon Y. Stein MD PhD

Background: Prophylaxis for hospitalized venous-thromboembolic events (VTEs) is frequently underutilized, in part due to lack of a simple risk assessment model (RAM). 

Objectives: To compare patient selection and administration of VTE prophylaxis according to the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) 2008 guidelines versus the newer 2012 guidelines, and assess the feasibility of developing simpler local RAMs.

Methods: We conducted a prospective assessment of VTE risk among 300 unselected consecutive patients admitted to a medical hospital ward, using the 2008 and 2012 ACCP guidelines. The frequency and relative weight of each risk factor in the 2012 ACCP guidelines were used to develop a local VTE RAM.

Results: VTE prophylaxis was indicated by the 2008 and 2012 ACCP guidelines in 40% and 42% of the cohort respectively, and was administered in 28% and 26% of eligible patients, respectively. Contraindication to VTE prophylaxis was found in 29% of patients according to both guidelines. In comparison to the 2008 guidelines, sensitivity and specificity of the 2012 guidelines were 96% and 88%, respectively. A local RAM based on the following concise score, comprising age, malignancy and immobility, correctly identified 99% of at-risk patients based on the 2012 guidelines, with a sensitivity and specificity of 98% and 95%, respectively.

Conclusions: Both guidelines performed to a similar degree and were poorly implemented in daily practice. A simplified RAM accurately identified the vast majority of these eligible patients. The development of local RAMs is feasible and may result in higher utilization rates.

 

September 2014
Ohad Hilly MD, Sagit Stern-Shavit MD, Shimon Ilan MD and Raphael Feinmesser MD

Background: Treatment guidelines for well-differentiated papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) are based on retrospective studies and vary among different professional thyroid associations.

Objectives: To evaluate physician adherence to guidelines, overall and by specialty.

Methods: Questionnaires on the approach to low risk PTC were distributed among 51 surgeons and endocrinologists treating patients with PTC in tertiary medical centers.

Results: A wide range of answers was recorded among physicians regarding the danger posed by low risk PTC to the patient’s life, urgency with which treatment should be administered, type of treatment, and risks associated with this treatment. There was a significant between-group difference in treatment preference: endocrinologists chose total thyroidectomy with radioactive iodine, while surgeons favored hemithyroidectomy alone.

Conclusions: There is a wide difference in treatment recommendations between treating physicians and different specialties with regard to low risk PTC. The wide variation within and between specialties may be explained by biases. 

December 2013
Howard Amital, Jacob Ablin, Valeire Aloush, Winfried Häuser and Dan Buskila
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