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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
This work proposes and analyzes a family of spatially inhomogeneous epidemic models. This is our first effort to use stochastic partial differential equations (SPDEs) to model epidemic dynamics with spatial variations and environmental noise. After setting up the problem, the existence and uniqueness of solutions of the underlying SPDEs are examined. Then, definitions of permanence and extinction are given, and certain sufficient conditions are provided for permanence and extinction. Our hope is that this paper will open up windows for investigation of epidemic models from a new angle.
Introduction: Wide variability exists in emergency department (ED) syncope management. The Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS) was derived and validated to predict the probability of 30-day serious outcomes after ED disposition. The objective was to identify barriers and facilitators among physicians for CSRS use to stratify risk and guide disposition decisions Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with physicians involved in ED syncope care at 8 Canadian sites. We used purposive sampling, contacting ED physicians, cardiologists, internists, and hospitalists until theme saturation was reached. Interview questions were designed to understand whether the CSRS recommendations are consistent with current practice, barriers and facilitators for application into practice, and intention for future CSRS use. Interviews were conducted via telephone or videoconference. Two independent raters coded interviews using an inductive approach to identify themes, with discrepancies resolved through consensus. Our methods were consistent with the Knowledge to Action Framework, which highlights the need to assess barriers and facilitators for knowledge use and for adapting new interventions into local contexts. Results: We interviewed 14 ED physicians, 7 cardiologists, and 10 hospitalists/internists across 8 sites. All physicians reported the use of electrocardiograms for patients with syncope, a key component in the CSRS criteria. Almost all physicians reported that the low risk recommendation (discharge without specific follow-up) was consistent with current practice, while less consistency was seen for moderate (15 days outpatient monitoring) and high risk recommendations (outpatient monitoring and/or admission). Key barriers to following the CSRS included a lack of access to outpatient monitoring and uncertainty over timely follow-up care. Other barriers included patient/family concerns, social factors, and necessary bloodwork. Facilitators included assisting with patient education, reassurance of their clinical gestalt, and optimal patient factors (e.g. reliability to return, support at home, few comorbidities). Conclusion: Physicians are receptive to using the CSRS tool for risk stratification and decision support. Implementation should address identified barriers, and adaptation to local settings may involve modifying the recommended clinical actions based on local resources and feasibility.
Introduction: Emergency department (ED) syncope management is extremely variable. We developed practice recommendations based on the validated Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS) and outpatient cardiac monitoring strategy with physician input. Methods: We used a 2-step approach. Step-1: We pooled data from the derivation and validation prospective cohort studies (with adequate sample size) conducted at 11 Canadian sites (Sep 2010 to Apr 2018). Adults with syncope were enrolled excluding those with serious outcome identified during index ED evaluation. 30-day adjudicated serious outcomes were arrhythmic (arrhythmias, unknown cause of death) and non-arrhythmic (MI, structural heart disease, pulmonary embolism, hemorrhage)]. We compared the serious outcome proportion among risk categories using Cochran-Armitage test. Step-2: We conducted semi-structured interviews using observed risk to develop and refine the recommendations. We used purposive sampling of physicians involved in syncope care at 8 sites from Jun-Dec 2019 until theme saturation was reached. Two independent raters coded interviews using an inductive approach to identify themes; discrepancies were resolved by consensus. Results: Of the 8176 patients (mean age 54, 55% female), 293 (3.6%; 95%CI 3.2-4.0%) experienced 30-day serious outcomes; 0.4% deaths, 2.5% arrhythmic, 1.1% non-arrhythmic outcomes. The serious outcome proportion significantly increased from low to high-risk categories (p < 0.001; overall 0.6% to 27.7%; arrhythmic 0.2% to 17.3%; non-arrhythmic 0.4% to 5.9% respectively). C-statistic was 0.88 (95%CI0.86–0.90). Non-arrhythmia risk per day for the first 2 days was 0.5% for medium-risk, 2% for high-risk and very low thereafter. We recruited 31 physicians (14 ED, 7 cardiologists, 10 hospitalists/internists). 80% of physicians agreed that low risk patients can be discharged without specific follow-up with inconsistencies around length of ED observation. For cardiac monitoring of medium and high-risk, 64% indicated that they don't have access; 56% currently admit high-risk patients and an additional 20% agreed to this recommendation. A deeper exploration led to following refinement: discharge without specific follow-up for low-risk, a shared decision approach for medium-risk and short course of hospitalization for high-risk patients. Conclusion: The recommendations were developed (with online calculator) based on in-depth feedback from key stakeholders to improve uptake during implementation.
Residents living in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are at high risk of contracting healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The unique operational and cultural characteristics of LTCFs and the currently evolving models of healthcare delivery in Scotland create great challenges for infection prevention and control (IPC). Existing literature that discusses the challenges of infection control in LTCFs focuses on operational factors within a facility and does not explore the challenges associated with higher levels of management and the lack of evidence to support IPC practices in this setting.1-7 Here, we provide a broader view of challenges faced by LTCFs in the context of the current health and social care models in Scotland. Many of these challenges are also faced in the rest of the United Kingdom and internationally.
Socially-assistive robots have been used with older adults with cognitive impairment in residential care, and found to improve mood and well-being. However, there is little known about the potential benefits in adults with other neuropsychiatric symptoms.
The aim of this project was explore the utility and acceptability of a socially-assistive robot in engaging adults with a variety of neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Betty, a socially-assistive robot was installed in a unit which specialises in the assessment and diagnosis of adults presenting with neuropsychiatric symptoms. She is 39 cm tall, has a baby-face appearance and has the ability to engage individuals through personalised services which can be programmed according to individuals’ preferences. These include singing songs and playing games. Training for the nursing staff who were responsible for incorporating Betty into the unit activities was provided. The frequency, duration and type of activity which Betty was involved in was recorded. Patients admitted who could provide informed consent were able to be included in the project. These participants completed pre- and post-questionnaires.
Eight patients (mean age 54.4 years, SD 13.6) who had diagnoses ranging from depression and schizophrenia participated. Types of activities included singing songs, playing Bingo and reading the news. Participants reported that they were comfortable with Betty and did not feel concerned in her presence. They enjoyed interacting with her.
This pilot project demonstrated that participants found Betty to be acceptable and she was useful in engaging them in activities. Future directions would involve larger sample sizes and different settings.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Q fever (caused by Coxiella burnetii) is thought to have an almost world-wide distribution, but few countries have conducted national serosurveys. We measured Q fever seroprevalence using residual sera from diagnostic laboratories across Australia. Individuals aged 1–79 years in 2012–2013 were sampled to be proportional to the population distribution by region, distance from metropolitan areas and gender. A 1/50 serum dilution was tested for the Phase II IgG antibody against C. burnetii by indirect immunofluorescence. We calculated crude seroprevalence estimates by age group and gender, as well as age standardised national and metropolitan/non-metropolitan seroprevalence estimates. Of 2785 sera, 99 tested positive. Age standardised seroprevalence was 5.6% (95% confidence interval (CI 4.5%–6.8%), and similar in metropolitan (5.5%; 95% CI 4.1%–6.9%) and non-metropolitan regions (6.0%; 95%CI 4.0%–8.0%). More males were seropositive (6.9%; 95% CI 5.2%–8.6%) than females (4.2%; 95% CI 2.9%–5.5%) with peak seroprevalence at 50–59 years (9.2%; 95% CI 5.2%–13.3%). Q fever seroprevalence for Australia was higher than expected (especially in metropolitan regions) and higher than estimates from the Netherlands (2.4%; pre-outbreak) and US (3.1%), but lower than for Northern Ireland (12.8%). Robust country-specific seroprevalence estimates, with detailed exposure data, are required to better understand who is at risk and the need for preventive measures.
This paper focuses on the problem of skin corrosion on the upper wing surfaces of rib-stiffened aircraft. For maritime and military transport aircraft this often results in multiple co-located repairs. The common approach to corrosion damage in operational aircraft is to blend out the corrosion and rivet a mechanical doubler over the region. In particular this paper describes the results of a combined numerical and experimental investigation into the ability of the additive metal technology, Supersonic Particle Deposition (SPD), to restore the load-carrying capacity of rib-stiffened wing planks with simulated skin corrosion. The experimental results reveal that unrepaired skin corrosion can result in failure by yielding. The experimental results also reveal that SPD repairs to skin corrosion can restore the stress field in the structure, and can ensure that the load-carrying capability of the repaired structure is above proof load.
To reduce competition with human-edible feed resources, it is of interest to incorporate by-products from the food industry in animal feeds. The current research investigated the effect of including increasing amounts of tofu by-product (TF) in practical pig diets on animal performance, nitrogen balance and ammonia emissions from manure. Two experiments were conducted including a control diet without TF, containing 160 g/kg dietary non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) and three diets including 122, 246 and 360 g TF/kg DM (TF122, TF246 and TF360, respectively) to reach 220, 280 and 360 g/kg NSP. All diets had the same level of CP and protein digestible in the small intestine which particularly was realized by replacing rice bran with TF. Animal performance was assessed in a first experiment with 40 growing barrows with initial BW of 26.6 ± 1.80 kg (M ± SD) being allocated to the 4 treatments, during 2 growth phases (i.e. until 50 kg BW and from 50 to 80 kg BW). In the growth phase until 50 kg, feed intake and average daily gain (ADG) were linearly reduced by dietary TF inclusion, while this negative impact disappeared during the second growth phase (50 to 80 kg BW). Tofu by-product inclusion even positively affected the feed conversion ratio during this second growth phase (3.4 to 2.7 kg feed/kg ADG for 0 to 360 g/kg dietary TF). Over the entire growth period, performance and feed intake were negatively affected at the highest dietary TF level. Experiment 2 was conducted to assess digestibility, nitrogen balance and ammonia emission from manure. For this purpose, 16 pigs with BW of 62.8 ± 3.6 kg (M ± SD) were assigned to either 1 of the 4 treatments. There was no difference in total tract apparent digestibility of dietary organic matter or CP, while NDF digestibility increased with increasing TF level, suggesting increasing importance of the hindgut fermentation when digesting diets with increasing TF levels. Nevertheless, this was not reflected in increasing levels of faecal volatile fatty acids or purines, nor in reduced manure pH. As a result, ammonia emission from slurry was not reduced through dietary TF inclusion, despite the linear decrease in urinary nitrogen. In conclusion, TF can be included in pigs’ diets up to an inclusion rate of 25% without risk of impaired animal performance; however, this dietary strategy fails to mitigate ammonia emission from slurry.
Fasciola jacksoni is a significant contributor to the health and mortality of Asian elephants, particularly those in Sri Lanka. Despite the impact of fascioliasis on elephant populations, it is a neglected veterinary disease with limited taxonomic understanding. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of F. jacksoni were carried out to evaluate its suggested basal position in the Fasciolidae. Adult worms were collected during post-mortem of elephants, and eggs were collected from living elephants in National parks across Sri Lanka. Using the mitochondrial genes nicotinamide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), and a partial 28S ribosomal DNA (28S rDNA), DNA sequences were generated from the F. jacksoni adult and egg material. Maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analyses did not resolve F. jacksoni to be basal to the Fasciolidae. Furthermore, the ML analyses showed that the genus Fasciola was not monophyletic and that F. jacksoni was a sister species to the deer liver fluke Fascioloides magna. A clear framework is required to determine the taxonomic status of F. jacksoni and this current study provides the first detailed application of molecular techniques from multiple hosts across Sri Lanka with the production of reference DNA sequences for this important parasite.
Background: SMA is characterized by reduced levels of survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein from deletions and/or mutations of the SMN1 gene. While SMN1 produces full-length SMN protein, a second gene, SMN2, produces low levels of functional SMN protein. Risdiplam (RG7916/RO7034067) is an investigational, orally administered, centrally and peripherally distributed small molecule that modulates pre-mRNA splicing of SMN2 to increase SMN protein levels. Methods: FIREFISH (NCT02913482) is an ongoing, multicenter, open-label operationally seamless study of risdiplam in infants aged 1–7 months with Type 1 SMA and two SMN2 gene copies. Exploratory Part 1 (n=21) assesses the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of different risdiplam dose levels. Confirmatory Part 2 (n=40) is assessing the safety and efficacy of risdiplam. Results: In a Part 1 interim analysis (data-cut 09/07/18), 93% (13/14) of babies had ≥4-point improvement in CHOP-INTEND total score from baseline at Day 245, with a median change of 16 points. The number of infants meeting HINE-2 motor milestones (baseline to Day 245) increased. To date (data-cut 09/07/18), no drug-related safety findings have led to patient withdrawal. No significant ophthalmological findings have been observed. Conclusions: In FIREFISH Part 1, risdiplam improved motor function in infants with Type 1 SMA.
This work is based on a recent theoretical study of how the hydrostatic pressure and core/shell sizes affect the optical properties associated with the transition from the ground state to first excited state (1s–1p), of an exciton confined in spherical core/shell quantum dots (SCSQDs). We have computed under an effective mass framework, linear, third-order nonlinear, and total absorption coefficients (AC) and refractive index (RI) as functions of photon energy for different sizes of SCSQDs with varying hydrostatic pressure. Our results show that the optical absorption is deeply dependent on the incident light intensity. Both AC and RI significantly influenced by the confinement and pressure effects.
We study the inverse boundary value problem for fractional diffusion in a multilayer composite medium. Given data in the right boundary of the second layer, the problem is to recover the temperature distribution in the first layer, which is inaccessible for measurement. The problem is ill-posed and we propose a Fourier spectral approach to achieve Hölder approximations. The convergence analysis is performed in both the
To characterise subjective symptoms in patients undergoing surgical repair of superior semicircular canal dehiscence.
Questionnaires assessing symptom severity and impact on function and quality of life were administered to patients before superior semicircular canal dehiscence surgery, between June 2011 and March 2016. Questionnaire sections included general quality of life, internal amplified sounds, dizziness and tinnitus, with scores of 0–100 points.
Twenty-three patients completed the questionnaire before surgery. Section scores (mean±standard deviation) were: 38.2 ± 25.2 for general quality of life, 52.5 ± 23.9 for internal amplified sounds, 35.1 ± 28.8 for dizziness, 33.3 ± 30.7 for tinnitus, and 39.8 ± 22.2 for the composite score. Cronbach's α statistic averaged 0.93 (range, 0.84–0.97) across section scores, and 0.83 for the composite score.
The Gopen–Yang Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Questionnaire provides a holistic, patient-centred characterisation of superior semicircular canal dehiscence symptoms. Internal consistency analysis validated the questionnaire and provided a quantitative framework for further optimisation in the clinical setting.
We evaluated the impact of the Epic antimicrobial stewardship module (EAM) on the number of interventions, antimicrobial usage, and clinical outcomes. Use of the EAM allowed us to significantly increase the number of ASP antimicrobial reviews and interventions while maintaining a sustained impact on antimicrobial utilization.