If you or your child had appendicitis, would you choose surgery or antibiotics for treatment? Why?
Such is the scenario that Marc D. Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS, senior associate dean for Medicine and Research at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), presented to nearly 2,000 participants in a research study published this week by the medical journal JAMA Surgery.
According to Dr. Basson (right), most patients know that the traditional treatment for appendicitis is appendectomy, or surgical removal of the appendix. And although antibiotic treatment for appendicitis is emerging as an alternative to surgery, disadvantages of antibiotic-only therapy for appendicitis—which include longer hospitalization, prolonged recovery, and a higher rate of appendicitis recurrence—mean that some surgeons resist offering patients non-surgical treatment options.
For this reason, Dr. Basson went straight to the people making this decision in an effort to gauge patient knowledge and attitudes toward the use of antibiotics for appendicitis.
“We decided to come at the question differently, asking, ‘Well, what do patients actually want and why?’” explains Dr. Basson, whose co-authors were Ross Crosby, Ph.D., vice president for research and director of biomedical statistics at the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo, N.D., and professor in the UND SMHS Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science; and Alexis Hanson, a third-year medical student at UND.
As it turns out, a commanding 86 percent of the 1,728 survey participants would choose laparoscopic appendectomy (a less invasive type of surgery) for themselves and their children in such a scenario. Comparatively, 9.4 percent of respondents would choose antibiotics alone, and only 5 percent a traditional open appendectomy.
“What’s interesting is that we took a subgroup of that 86 percent surgery-first cohort and asked what their concerns were with antibiotics,” Dr. Basson continues. “We asked them ‘What would get you to change?’ We found that the failure rate of the drugs was the primary problem. But when we reset those numbers—asking their response if the antibiotic failure rate was lowered by 5 percent, 10 percent, and so on—we saw a lot more people willing to choose antibiotics over surgery.”
So Dr. Basson’s team explored not only what patients know when it comes to their treatment options, but what they value—and how their values influence their decision-making process.
“This, we believe, should set the research agenda for the future in this area. If we could come up with a new way of reducing the failure rate of antibiotics, that might result in a lot more people choosing antibiotic therapy, which would be a huge advance in the field.”
Dr. Basson’s article is available online here.
It has been a busy week since my last column! Homecoming 2018 was a resounding success, even if the football team unfortunately couldn’t finish the week off with a win.
UND Homecoming 2018 is in full swing! There have been a variety of activities already this week, including the Sioux Awards banquet last night at the Alerus Center.
This past Tuesday, a delegation from the UND SMHS traveled to Bismarck for a scheduled meeting of the SMHS Advisory Council.
We had a nice turnout yesterday for Java with Josh on the Northeast (Grand Forks) campus. I updated the attendees on some of the recent developments at the School, many of which I’ve discussed in recent E-News columns.
Congratulations are certainly in order to our School’s Senior Associate Dean for Medicine and Research, Dr.
UND Student Health Services is offering a series of dates and locations for UND faculty, staff, and students to get their flu shot this fall.
The 16th Annual American Indian Health Research Conference (AIHRC) takes place Saturday, October 20, 2018, at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks.
The North Dakota Medical Association is collaborating with the North Dakota Chapter of the American College of Physicians for a combined annual meeting on Friday, October 5, 2018, at the Bismarck Event Center.
Zen in 10 focuses on stretching, breathing, and having fun with coworkers. Go back to work with less stress, more energy, and better body functioning.
Next week, SMHS Dean Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH, will present a talk titled “From Throat Ache to Heartache – A Tale of Rheumatic Fever Through Time and Across Continents” as part of UND's 2018-19 Faculty Lecture series.
Dr. Jacque Gray has received the Dr. Duane Mackey Lectureship and Award at the Great Plains Behavioral Health Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota, in recognition of her contributions in the field of addiction.
The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) recently announced that the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences will receive $200,000 for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning (RCORP).
The Staff Senators at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences are collecting nonperishable food items for the Food for Thought food pantry, which serves UND students in need.
Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) members at UND are seeking to raise funds for the St.
Dr. Jonathan Geiger, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at UND’s School of Medicine & Health Sciences, presented at a by-invitation-only workshop organized by the National Institute of Mental Health.
The North Dakota IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) will hold its annual Research Symposium at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences Oct.
The University of North Dakota and the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) Region IV are sponsoring a one-day workshop entitled "Sponsored Programs Essentials: Pre-Award and Post-award" on Friday, October 19, 2018, at the UND Energy & Environmental Research Center, 15 N.
The Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) for Host-Pathogen Interactions is inviting UND faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students to attend the Annual Host-Pathogen CoBRE Symposium to be held at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences on Tuesday, September 25, 2018.
Sameera Rasheed, MD, will present "Homeless Mental Health” from 12:10 to 1:10 p.m. on Wednesday, September 5, at the UND Southeast Campus auditorium in Fargo.
Maria Privratsky is a research specialist in the Biomedical Sciences Department at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks.
Heather Gilbert is the Educational Laboratory Manager for the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Department at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks.
Anna Pendleton is an Administrative Secretary with the Department of Physical Therapy at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Kristen Leighton is a research specialist at the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks.
Julie Reiten is coordinator of Project ECHO for the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences.