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Africa's rapid population growth and urbanisation has made its socioeconomic development a global priority. But as China ramps up its assistance in bridging Africa's basic infrastructure gap to the detriment of institutions building, warnings of a debt trap have followed. Building upon an extensive body of evidence, the editors argue that developing institutions and infrastructure are two equally desirable but organisationally incompatible objectives. In conceptualising this duality by design, a new theoretical framework proposes better understanding of the differing approaches to development espoused by traditional agencies, such as the World Bank, and emergent Chinese agencies. This new framing moves the debate away from the fruitless search for a 'superior' form of organising, and instead suggests looking for complementarities in competing forms of organising for development. For students and researchers in international business, strategic and public management, and complex systems, as well as practitioners in international development and business in emergent markets.
We present a broad study of linear, clustered, noble gas puffs irradiated with the frequency doubled (527 nm) Titan laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Pure Ar, Kr, and Xe clustered gas puffs, as well as two mixed-gas puffs consisting of KrAr and XeKrAr gases, make up the targets. Characterization experiments to determine gas-puff density show that varying the experimental parameter gas-delay timing (the delay between gas puff initialization and laser-gas-puff interaction) provides a simple control over the gas-puff density. X-ray emission (>1.4 keV) is studied as a function of gas composition, density, and delay timing. Xe gas puffs produce the strongest peak radiation in the several keV spectral region. The emitted radiation was found to be anisotropic, with smaller X-ray flux observed in the direction perpendicular to both laser beam propagation and polarization directions. The degree of anisotropy is independent of gas target type but increases with photon energy. X-ray spectroscopic measurements estimate plasma parameters and highlight their difference with previous studies. Electron beams with energy in excess of 72 keV are present in the noble gas-puff plasmas and results indicate that Ar plays a key role in their production. A drastic increase in harder X-ray emissions (X-ray flash effect) and multi-MeV electron-beam generation from Xe gas-puff plasma occurred when the laser beam was focused on the front edge of the linear gas puff.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
In cluster-randomized trials (CRT), groups rather than individuals are randomized to interventions. The aim of this study was to present critical design, implementation, and analysis issues to consider when planning a CRT in the healthcare setting and to synthesize characteristics of published CRT in the field of healthcare epidemiology.
A systematic review was conducted to identify CRT with infection control outcomes.
We identified the following 7 epidemiological principles: (1) identify design type and justify the use of CRT; (2) account for clustering when estimating sample size and report intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC)/coefficient of variation (CV); (3) obtain consent; (4) define level of inference; (5) consider matching and/or stratification; (6) minimize bias and/or contamination; and (7) account for clustering in the analysis. Among 44 included studies, the most common design was CRT with crossover (n = 15, 34%), followed by parallel CRT (n = 11, 25%) and stratified CRT (n = 7, 16%). Moreover, 22 studies (50%) offered justification for their use of CRT, and 20 studies (45%) demonstrated that they accounted for clustering at the design phase. Only 15 studies (34%) reported the ICC, CV, or design effect. Also, 15 studies (34%) obtained waivers of consent, and 7 (16%) sought consent at the cluster level. Only 17 studies (39%) matched or stratified at randomization, and 10 studies (23%) did not report efforts to mitigate bias and/or contamination. Finally, 29 studies (88%) accounted for clustering in their analyses.
We must continue to improve the design and reporting of CRT to better evaluate the effectiveness of infection control interventions in the healthcare setting.
The state of an individual's mental health depends on many factors. Determination of the importance of any particular factor within a population needs access to unbiased data. We used publicly available data-sets to investigate, at a population level, how surrogates of mental health covary with light exposure. We found strong seasonal patterns of antidepressant prescriptions, which show stronger correlations with day length than levels of solar energy. Levels of depression in a population can therefore be determined by proxy indicators such as web query logs. Furthermore, these proxies for depression correlate with day length rather than solar energy.
Understanding how social experiences throughout life shape later loneliness levels may help to identify how to alleviate loneliness at later lifestages. This study investigates the association between social relationship adversities throughout the lifecourse and loneliness in later life. Using prospective data from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (N = 2,453), we conducted multivariable analyses to investigate independent, cumulative and moderated effects between the number of social relationship adversities experienced in childhood, mid-adulthood and later adulthood and the feeling of loneliness at age 68. We examined interactions between social relationship adversities and current quantity and quality aspects of social relationships. We found evidence of a step-dose response where greater exposure to social relationship adversities experienced at three earlier lifestages predicted higher loneliness levels in later life with more recent social relationship adversities more strongly related to loneliness. The results also demonstrated support for exacerbation and amelioration of earlier adverse social relationship experiences by current social isolation and relationship quality, respectively. This study suggests that social relationship adversities experienced throughout the lifecourse continue to influence loneliness levels much later in life. A key finding is that adverse social relationship experiences in earlier life may explain why otherwise socially similar individuals differ in their levels of loneliness. Implications for policy and research are discussed.
Locally acquired hepatitis A infection is re-emerging in Australia owing to person-to-person outbreaks among men who have sex with men and imported frozen produce. This paper describes a multi-state foodborne outbreak in the first half of 2018. Enhanced human epidemiological investigation including a case–control study, as well as microbial surveillance and trace-back investigations concluded that the outbreak was caused by consumption of imported frozen pomegranate arils. A total of 30 cases of hepatitis A infection, genotype IB with identical sequences met the outbreak case definition, including 27 primary cases and three secondary cases. Twenty-five (83%) of the cases were hospitalised for their illness and there was one death. Imported frozen pomegranate arils from Egypt were strongly implicated as the source of infection through case interviews (19 of 26 primary cases) as well as from a case–control study (adjusted odds ratio 43.4, 95% confidence interval 4.2–448.8, P = 0.002). Hepatitis A virus (HAV) was subsequently detected by polymerase chain reaction in two food samples of the frozen pomegranate aril product. This outbreak was detected and responded to promptly owing to routine genetic characterisation of HAVs from all hepatitis A infections in Australia as part of a national hepatitis A enhanced surveillance project. This is now the third outbreak of hepatitis A in Australia from imported frozen fruits. A re-assessment of the risk of these types of imported foods is strongly recommended.
It is no longer possible nor desirable to address the dual challenges of equity and sustainability separately. Instead, they require new thinking and approaches which recognize their interlinkages, as well as the multiple perspectives and dimensions involved. We illustrate how equity and sustainability are intertwined, and how a complex social–ecological systems lens brings together advances from across the social and natural sciences to show how (in)equity and (un)sustainability are produced by the interactions and dynamics of coupled social–ecological systems. This should help understand which possible pathways could lead to sustainable and fair futures.
Salmonellosis is a leading cause of hospitalisation due to gastroenteritis in Australia. A previous source attribution analysis for a temperate state in Australia attributed most infections to chicken meat or eggs. Queensland is in northern Australia and includes subtropical and tropical climate zones. We analysed Queensland notifications for salmonellosis and conducted source attribution to compare reservoir sources with those in southern Australia. In contrast to temperate Australia, most infections were due to non-Typhimurium serotypes, with particularly high incidence in children under 5 years and strong seasonality, peaking in summer. We attributed 65.3% (95% credible interval (CrI) 60.6–73.2) of cases to either chicken meat or eggs and 15.5% (95% CrI 7.0–19.5) to nuts. The subtypes with the strongest associations with nuts were Salmonella Aberdeen, S. Birkenhead, S. Hvittingfoss, S. Potsdam and S. Waycross. All five subtypes had high rates of illness in children under 5 years (ranging from 4/100 000 to 23/100 000), suggesting that nuts may be serving as a proxy for environmental transmission in the model. Australia's climatic range allows us to conduct source attribution in different climate zones with similar food consumption patterns. This attribution provides evidence for environment-mediated transmission of salmonellosis in sub-tropical regions.
To determine which healthcare worker (HCW) roles and patient care activities are associated with acquisition of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) on HCW gloves or gowns after patient care, as a surrogate for transmission to other patients.
Prospective cohort study.
Medical and surgical intensive care units at a tertiary-care academic institution.
VRE-colonized patients on Contact Precautions and their HCWs.
Overall, 94 VRE-colonized patients and 469 HCW–patient interactions were observed. Research staff recorded patient care activities and cultured HCW gloves and gowns for VRE before doffing and exiting patient room.
VRE were isolated from 71 of 469 HCWs’ gloves or gowns (15%) following patient care. Occupational/physical therapists, patient care technicians, nurses, and physicians were more likely than environmental services workers and other HCWs to have contaminated gloves or gowns. Compared to touching the environment alone, the odds ratio (OR) for VRE contamination associated with touching both the patient (or objects in the immediate vicinity of the patient) and environment was 2.78 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99–0.77) and the OR associated with touching only the patient (or objects in the immediate vicinity) was 3.65 (95% CI, 1.17–11.41). Independent risk factors for transmission of VRE to HCWs were touching the patient’s skin (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.15–4.13) and transferring the patient into or out of bed (OR, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.15–6.43).
Patient contact is a major risk factor for HCW contamination and subsequent transmission. Interventions should prioritize contact precautions and hand hygiene for HCWs whose activities involve touching the patient.
Little is known about the relationship between adolescent affective problems (anxiety and depression) and mortality.
To examine whether adolescent affective symptoms are associated with premature mortality, and to assess whether this relationship is independent of other developmental factors.
Data (n = 3884) was from Britain's oldest birth cohort study – the National Survey of Health and Development. Adolescent affective symptoms were rated by teachers at ages 13 and 15 years: scores were summed and classified into three categories: mild or no, moderate and severe symptoms (1st–50th, 51st–90th and 91st–100th percentiles, respectively). Mortality data were obtained from national registry data up to age 68 years. Potential confounders were parental social class, childhood cognition and illness, and adolescent externalising behaviour.
Over the 53-year follow-up period, 12.2% (n = 472) of study members died. Severe adolescent affective symptoms were associated with an increased rate of mortality compared with those with mild or no symptoms (gender adjusted hazard ratio 1.76, 95% CI 1.33–2.33). This association was only partially attenuated after adjustment for potential confounders (fully adjusted hazard ratio 1.61, 95% CI 1.20–2.15). There was suggestive evidence of an association across multiple causes of death. Moderate symptoms were not associated with mortality.
Severe adolescent affective symptoms are associated with an increased rate of premature mortality over a 53-year follow-up period, independent of potential confounders. These findings underscore the importance of early mental health interventions.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
A systematic review of quasi-experimental studies in the field of infectious diseases was published in 2005. The aim of this study was to assess improvements in the design and reporting of quasi-experiments 10 years after the initial review. We also aimed to report the statistical methods used to analyze quasi-experimental data.
Systematic review of articles published from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2014, in 4 major infectious disease journals.
Quasi-experimental studies focused on infection control and antibiotic resistance were identified and classified based on 4 criteria: (1) type of quasi-experimental design used, (2) justification of the use of the design, (3) use of correct nomenclature to describe the design, and (4) statistical methods used.
Of 2,600 articles, 173 (7%) featured a quasi-experimental design, compared to 73 of 2,320 articles (3%) in the previous review (P<.01). Moreover, 21 articles (12%) utilized a study design with a control group; 6 (3.5%) justified the use of a quasi-experimental design; and 68 (39%) identified their design using the correct nomenclature. In addition, 2-group statistical tests were used in 75 studies (43%); 58 studies (34%) used standard regression analysis; 18 (10%) used segmented regression analysis; 7 (4%) used standard time-series analysis; 5 (3%) used segmented time-series analysis; and 10 (6%) did not utilize statistical methods for comparisons.
While some progress occurred over the decade, it is crucial to continue improving the design and reporting of quasi-experimental studies in the fields of infection control and antibiotic resistance to better evaluate the effectiveness of important interventions.
Major efforts are being undertaken to quantify seismic hazard and risk due to production-induced earthquakes in the Groningen gas field as the basis for rational decision-making about mitigation measures. An essential element is a model to estimate surface ground motions expected at any location for each earthquake originating within the gas reservoir. Taking advantage of the excellent geological and geophysical characterisation of the field and a growing database of ground-motion recordings, models have been developed for predicting response spectral accelerations, peak ground velocity and ground-motion durations for a wide range of magnitudes. The models reflect the unique source and travel path characteristics of the Groningen earthquakes, and account for the inevitable uncertainty in extrapolating from the small observed magnitudes to potential larger events. The predictions of ground-motion amplitudes include the effects of nonlinear site response of the relatively soft near-surface deposits throughout the field.