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Melancholic features of depression (MFD) seem to be a unidimensional group of signs and symptoms. However, little importance has been given to the evaluation of what features are related to a more severe disorder. That is, what are the MFD that appear only in the most depressed patients. We aim to demonstrate how each MFD is related to the severity of the major depressive disorder.
We evaluated both the Hamilton depression rating scale (HDRS-17) and its 6-item melancholic subscale (HAM-D6) in 291 depressed inpatients using Rasch analysis, which computes the severity of each MFD. Overall measures of model fit were mean ( ± SD) of items and persons residual = 0 (± 1); low χ2 value; P > 0.01.
For the HDRS–17 model fit, mean (± SD) of item residuals = 0.35 (± 1.4); mean (± SD) of person residuals = –0.15 (± 1.09); χ2 = 309.74; P < 0.00001. For the HAM-D6 model fit, mean (± SD) of item residuals = 0.5 (± 0.86); mean (± SD) of person residuals = 0.15 (± 0.91); χ2 = 56.13; P = 0.196. MFD ordered by crescent severity were depressed mood, work and activities, somatic symptoms, psychic anxiety, guilt feelings, and psychomotor retardation.
Depressed mood is less severe, while guilt feelings and psychomotor retardation are more severe MFD in a psychiatric hospitalization. Understanding depression, as a continuum of symptoms can improve the understanding of the disorder and may improve its perspective of treatment.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Warwick Heale has recently defended the notion of individualized and personalized Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) in connection with health care resource allocation decisions. Ordinarily, QALYs are used to make allocation decisions at the population level. If a health care intervention costs £100,000 and generally yields only two years of survival, the cost per QALY gained will be £50,000, far in excess of the £30,000 limit per QALY judged an acceptable use of resources within the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. However, if we know with medical certainty that a patient will gain four extra years of life from that intervention, the cost per QALY will be £25,000. Heale argues fairness and social utility require such a patient to receive that treatment, even though all others in the cohort of that patient might be denied that treatment (and lose two years of potential life). Likewise, Heale argues that personal commitments of an individual (religious or otherwise), that determine how they value a life-year with some medical intervention, ought to be used to determine the value of a QALY for them. I argue that if Heale’s proposals were put into practice, the result would often be greater injustice. In brief, requirements for the just allocation of health care resources are more complex than pure cost-effectiveness analysis would allow.
Tricalcium phosphate (TCP) is a promising candidate in bone and dental tissue engineering applications. Though osteoconductive, its low osteoinductivity is a major concern. Trace elements addition at low concentrations are known for their impact on not only the osteoinductivity, but also physical and mechanical properties of TCP. Copper (Cu) is known for its role in vascularization and angiogenesis in biological systems. Here, we studied the effects of Cu addition on phase composition, porosity, microstructure and in vitro interaction with osteoblast (OB) cells. Our results showed that Cu stabilized the TCP structure, while no significant effect of microstructure and porosity was found. Cu at concentrations less than 1 wt.% did not have any cytotoxic effect while decreased proliferation of OBs were observed at 1 wt.% Cu doped TCP. Addition of Cu upregulated collagen type I and vascular endothelial growth factor expression in a dose dependent manner at early time-point. Furthermore, Cu reduced inflammatory gene expression by human osteoblasts. These findings show that addition of Cu to TCP may provide a therapeutic strategy that can be applied in bone tissue engineering applications.
Radiation therapy (RT) remains a common and effective treatment modality for patients with locally advanced prostate cancer. Technological advancements over the past decade have resulted in the introduction of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) planning and delivery techniques that maximise the dose of radiation delivered to the prostate while sparing organs at risk (OAR). A more recent and evolving IMRT technique, called volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT), involves a continuous irradiation at a constant or variable dose rate when the gantry rotates around the prostate using one or more arcs.
Materials and methods
This paper reports on a dosimetric evaluation of our implementation of VMAT technique for prostate cancer treatment. A retrospective analysis of VMAT plans was performed for 300 prostate cancer patients treated during the period of January 2013 to December 2014. Two prescription cohorts of patients treated to a dose of 78 Gy in 39 fractions as the primary radiation therapy treatment (XRT) and 66 Gy in 33 fractions as a post-op or salvage XRT were considered.
The mean and maximal doses, dose inhomogeneities and conformity indexes for the planning target volumes were evaluated for each prescription cohort of patients. Similarly, the doses to OAR such as rectum, bladder and femoral heads were also assessed for various dose levels.
This study shows that highly conformal radiation dose distribution for the treatment of prostate cancer is achievable with the VMAT technique. It provides evidence to support the adoption of such conformal technology in many disease sites such as the prostate. We believe that our experience reported here could help form the foundation for individual institutions to evaluate and develop the most suitable planning criteria tailored to their own needs and priority. This endeavour hopefully will provide further improvement in the planning process and, therefore, help achieve an effective and efficient delivery of radiotherapy for prostate cancer.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the detailed angularly dependent attenuation characteristics of three different commercial couch-tops: Varian IGRT, Qfix kVue Standard and Qfix kVue Dose Max couch-tops used in radiation therapy.
Materials and methods
The attenuation of photon beams by the treatment couch-tops was measured using a farmer chamber inserted at the centre of a 16 cm diameter cylindrical acrylic phantom for five different photon energies: 6 MV, 6FFF MV, 10 MV, 10FFF MV and 15 MV photon beams. The Varian IGRT couch-top has three different thicknesses thus attenuation measurements were done at the three different longitudinal locations. Measurements were made with the sliding support rails of the Qfix kVue Standard and Qfix kVue Dose Max couch-tops at both ‘rails-in’ and ‘rails-out’ positions. All measurements were taken for several projections through 360° movement of the gantry and for two different field sizes; 5×5 cm2 and 10×10 cm2.
Results and findings
The results indicate that the maximum attenuation of the Varian IGRT couch-top at the thin, medium and thick portions are 5·1, 5·7 and 8·9%, respectively, the Qfix kVue Standard couch with the rails-in and rails-out are 11·2 and 13·7%, respectively, and Qfix kVue Dose Max couch-top with rails-in and rails-out are 9·7 and 13·8%, respectively. The results from this study can be used to account for the couch-top attenuation during radiation treatment planning of patients treated with these couch-tops.
Approximately 32,000 infants are born with CHDs each year in the United States of America. Of every 1000 live births, 2.3 require surgical or transcatheter intervention in the first year of life. There are few more stressful times for parents than when their neonate receives a diagnosis of complex CHD requiring surgery. The stress of caring for these infants is often unrelenting and may last for weeks, months, and often years, placing parents at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as a drastic decrease in quality of life. Anxiety often peaks in the days and weeks after discharge from the hospital as families no longer have immediate access to nursing and medical staff. The purpose of this paper is to describe the methods of a randomised controlled trial that was designed to determine whether REACH would favourably affect parental and infant outcomes by decreasing parental stress, improve parental quality of life, increase infant stability, and decrease resource utilisation in infants with complex CHD.
Meeting healthcare needs is a matter of social justice. Healthcare needs are virtually limitless; however, resources, such as money, for meeting those needs, are limited. How then should we (just and caring citizens and policymakers in such a society) decide which needs must be met as a matter of justice with those limited resources? One reasonable response would be that we should use cost effectiveness as our primary criterion for making those choices. This article argues instead that cost-effectiveness considerations must be constrained by considerations of healthcare justice. The goal of this article will be to provide a preliminary account of how we might distinguish just from unjust or insufficiently just applications of cost-effectiveness analysis to some healthcare rationing problems; specifically, problems related to extraordinarily expensive targeted cancer therapies. Unconstrained compassionate appeals for resources for the medically least well-off cancer patients will be neither just nor cost effective.