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Australian study finds no strong evidence that cannabis reduces chronic non-cancer pain

While demand for easier access to medicinal cannabis is increasing and the majority of Australian GPs support medicinal cannabis being available on prescription, a surprising new study reports cannabis may not be as helpful in treating chronic pain as believed. Researchers at UNSW Sydney who conducted one of the world’s longest community studies of its type have found no clear evidence that cannabis can reduce pain severity or pain interference in those with chronic non-cancer pain.


Feral pig hunters and farmers are at risk from a re-emerging communicable disease

In early June over 320 pig hunters gathered in Jambin, about 450km north west of Brisbane, for the King & Queen of CQ Big Boar Competition - claimed to be Australia’s largest hunting competition. Farmers say that feral pigs need eradication as they carry disease, foul waterways and destroy crops. Recreational pig hunting in rural Australia is a widespread control method for the roughly 24 million feral pigs who call Australia home. With around 600 pigs caught during the weekend-long event it brought some temporary relief to the local agriculture industry and gave farmers something to smile about. 

But are those pig hunters and farmers at risk from the very diseases the farmers want gone?


New Australian study shows nearly half of female healthcare workers have experienced domestic abuse

A landmark study investigating domestic and family violence among female healthcare workers in Australia has found that almost half of them (45%) have experienced family violence, including one in nine who had experienced abuse and violence by a partner during the previous 12 months. The study, involving 471 Victorian female healthcare workers, also found that one in eight women had been sexually assaulted by a partner since the age of 16.


Risk of hospital staff burnout can be identified with a simple saliva test

Sadly for many nurses and midwives burnout is nothing new, with the emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress being part of their every day. Burnout can emerge for a variety of reasons – excessive workloads, a traumatic event, toxic workplace cultures or outside pressures. Nurses and midwives are susceptible to burnout and should watch out for warning signs to avoid reaching breaking point. 

The results of a new research study may provide some help, with staff at risk of burnout able to be identified with a simple saliva test that measures the hormone cortisol.


Researchers closer to understanding the cause of polycystic ovary syndrome

New research shows that the most common cause of female infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), may be the result of a hormonal imbalance before birth. The findings have since led to a cure in mice, and a drug trial is set to begin in women later this year.


Does caseload midwifery result in burnout among midwives? New Australian research suggests otherwise.

The benefits of caseload midwifery for women are well documented, but there has been debate regarding the impact of this model of care on midwives – including suggestions that it increases burnout.

A new Australian study though, “Comparing caseload and non-caseload midwives' burnout levels and professional attitudes: A national, cross-sectional survey of Australian midwives working in the public maternity system”, published in Midwifery, has shown that midwives providing this activity-based care (as opposed to doing shift work under traditional models) had a more positive attitude toward their work and lower burnout scores than their counterparts who weren’t.


Nurses are the missing link in antimicrobial stewardship plans

Nurses have been “overlooked and under-used” in hospital antimicrobial stewardship programmes (ASPs), according to US researchers. A study, conducted at a facility run by Jefferson Health in New Jersey, suggested that ASPs were strengthened by educating nurses about antimicrobial stewardship and obtaining their “buy-in”.


High tech wound treatment for severe open fractures is "no better than regular dressings" - new study

High tech treatment of open leg wounds is no better than using regular dressings, a new research study suggests.

The study, “Effect of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy vs Standard Wound Management on 12-Month Disability Among Adults With Severe Open Fracture of the Lower Limb - The WOLLF Randomized Clinical Trial” published in Journal of the American Medical Association (available on CKN), found that patient recovery was the same whether a sophisticated Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) device was used or just a standard dressing.


Clinician Profile – Peter Jones, Australia’s first epilepsy Nurse Practitioner

In Australia, around 250,000 people are currently diagnosed with epilepsy – that’s over one per cent of the population so chances are most people know someone with the condition. While epilepsy is common it is widely misunderstood. For example, the majority of people relate epilepsy to convulsive seizures, but it can take many forms and affects people very differently. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder and seizures are caused by a disruption of the electrical activity in the brain.


Queensland nurse to lead the 20 million strong International Council of Nurses

With 32 years of nursing experience, Dr Isabelle Skinner will soon represent more than 20 million nurses worldwide when she takes up her appointment as the chief executive officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN).