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The prevalence and impact of motor coordination difficulties in children with copy number variants associated with neurodevelopmental disorders (ND-CNVs) remains unknown. This study aims to advance understanding of motor coordination difficulties in children with ND-CNVs and establish relationships between intelligence quotient (IQ) and psychopathology.
169 children with an ND-CNV (67% male, median age = 8.88 years, range 6.02–14.81) and 72 closest-in-age unaffected siblings (controls; 55% male, median age = 10.41 years, s.d. = 3.04, range 5.89–14.75) were assessed with the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire, alongside psychiatric interviews and standardised assessments of IQ.
The children with ND-CNVs had poorer coordination ability (b = 28.98, p < 0.001) and 91% of children with an ND-CNV screened positive for suspected developmental coordination disorder, compared to 19% of controls (OR = 42.53, p < 0.001). There was no difference in coordination ability between ND-CNV genotypes (F = 1.47, p = 0.184). Poorer coordination in children with ND-CNV was associated with more attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (β = −0.18, p = 0.021) and autism spectrum disorder trait (β = −0.46, p < 0.001) symptoms, along with lower full-scale (ß = 0.21, p = 0.011), performance (β = −0.20, p = 0.015) and verbal IQ (β = 0.17, p = 0.036). Mediation analysis indicated that coordination ability was a full mediator of anxiety symptoms (69% mediated, p = 0.012), and a partial mediator of ADHD (51%, p = 0.001) and autism spectrum disorder trait symptoms (66%, p < 0.001) as well as full scale IQ (40%, p = 0.002), performance IQ (40%, p = 0.005) and verbal IQ (38%, p = 0.006) scores.
The findings indicate that poor motor coordination is highly prevalent and closely linked to risk of mental health disorder and lower intellectual function in children with ND-CNVs. Future research should explore whether early interventions for poor coordination ability could ameliorate neurodevelopmental risk.
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.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has increasingly agreed to reimburse innovative products with high levels of uncertainty as part of managed access agreements (MAAs) while additional data are collected, through the new Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) or highly specialized technology (HST) pathways. This research aimed to review the data collection stipulations of current MAAs.
We reviewed all current MAAs entered into between NHS England and manufacturers as of 29 October 2018 and key data were extracted.
Twenty-two MAAs were identified (19 through the CDF; three through HST). All MAAs involved an observational data collection component. The source of observational data collection was existing NHS databases (19/22 MAAs: 86.5 percent), existing independent registries (one MAA: 4.5 percent [ataluren]); bespoke MAA registry maintained by manufacturer (1/22 MAA: 4.5 percent [asfotase alfa]), and registries developed as a part of regulatory approval and maintained by the manufacturer (1/22 MAA: 4.5 percent [elosulfase alfa]). Only eight MAAs (asfotase alfa, ataluren, elosulfase alfa, brentuximab vedotin, venetoclax, ibrutinib, daratumumab, and pembrolizumab) had observational data collection as the primary method of data collection. Additionally, 17/22 MAAs (77 percent; all from the CDF) also required ongoing data collection from clinical trials as a key component of the data collection arrangement.
This research identified observational data collection as a requirement in all MAAs, which is primarily through existing registries (except ataluren, which required development of a bespoke registry), while ongoing trial data collection was limited to the CDF. The relatively low cost of using existing registries to fulfil data requirements, with the ability to achieve reimbursement whilst still collecting data from ongoing RCTs, make MAAs an attractive proposition for manufacturers. NICE reportedly plan to increase use of MAAs, with ongoing NICE consultation for changes in the appraisal process potentially allowing expansion to include all indications, which would mean increased opportunities to explore innovative MAAs to support access in the future.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) may recommend temporary funding through managed access agreements (MAAs) for oncology drugs (via the Cancer Drugs Fund [CDF]) and highly specialized therapies for rare diseases. MAAs allow for the collection of evidence to address key areas of clinical uncertainty, while providing access of medicines to patients, prior to re-appraisal by NICE. Observational data and other real-world evidence (RWE) are crucial requirements for all MAAs and herein we examine the extent these data are being used to inform HTA decisions at re-appraisal.
Existing MAAs entered into between the National Health Service (NHS) England and manufacturers as of 30 October 2018 were identified; for drug:indication pairings with NICE re-appraisals, all information was reviewed and the key data extracted.
Of the twenty-two MAAs identified, only two drug:indication pairings have been subsequently re-appraised by NICE: BV(brentuximab vedotin):non-Hodgkin lymphoma (’recommended’) and pembrolizumab:relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (’recommended’). Data from a retrospective questionnaire regarding the proportion of patients that received curative stem cell transplant (SCT) post-BV (from patients who received BV in the old CDF) were accepted to provide sufficient evidence on the post-BV SCT rate by NICE. Meanwhile, for pembrolizumab, long-term survival benefit was the key clinical uncertainty; the primary data collection source was updated phase III randomized controlled trial data. At re-appraisal no reference was made to the observational data component; more mature survival data reduced uncertainty over survival benefits and were sufficient to support a positive NICE recommendation.
Of the twenty-two MAAs to date, only two drugs have been re-appraised thus far, with both receiving positive NICE recommendations. Observational data were successfully used to address key clinical uncertainties regarding subsequent real-world treatment patterns for BV, but observational data were not referred to in the NICE recommendation for pembrolizumab. The re-appraisal of more drugs in the future will clarify the importance being placed on observational data collection requested by NICE for existing MAAs.
The Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) aims to provide access to medicines prior to market authorization for patients with severe, life-threatening diseases who do not have adequate treatment options. An EAMS designation enables the potential collection of United Kingdom-specific real world evidence (RWE) prior to health technology assessment (HTA) by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This research evaluates whether RWE is being gathered through the EAMS and utilized to support HTA submissions.
All EAMS designations as of 7 November 2018 were identified from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency website. For products with final NICE guidance, all publicly-available NICE documentation was reviewed.
Sixteen product and indication pairings with an EAMS designation were identified, with 12 having received final NICE guidance (11 were recommended, 3 were recommended for temporary reimbursement via the Cancer Drugs Fund, and 2 were not recommended). Of the 11 recommended products, seven had references to the number of patients or sites with product access through the EAMS, but only one (dupilumab for atopic dermatitis) had detailed data collected during the EAMS period. The manufacturer of dupilumab reported baseline demographics and disease characteristics from a cohort of 35 patients treated under the EAMS to inform the generalizability of trial populations for clinical practice. Follow-up results from this cohort demonstrated that real-world data on dupilumab effectiveness was comparable with the clinical trial data, despite a higher proportion of patients in the real-world cohort receiving immunosuppressant therapy, which makes improvements in efficacy harder to achieve. The committee also noted that the RWE presented supported the understanding of dupilumab's long-term clinical effectiveness and informed assumptions for the economic model.
To date, the majority of products receiving an EAMS designation have not presented RWE at NICE reappraisal. The case of dupilumab illustrated how RWE collected through the EAMS can be used to reduce uncertainty around how clinical trial data can be translated into clinical practice. In the future, RWE may increasingly be used to help inform NICE decisions.
A key task of the team leader in a medical emergency is effective information gathering. Studying information gathering patterns is readily accomplished with the use of gaze-tracking glasses. This technology was used to generate hypotheses about the relationship between performance scores and expert-hypothesized visual areas of interest in residents across scenarios in simulated medical resuscitation examinations.
Emergency medicine residents wore gaze-tracking glasses during two simulation-based examinations (n=29 and 13 respectively). Blinded experts assessed video-recorded performances using a simulation performance assessment tool that has validity evidence in this context. The relationships between gaze patterns and performance scores were analyzed and potential hypotheses generated. Four scenarios were assessed in this study: diabetic ketoacidosis, bradycardia secondary to beta-blocker overdose, ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm and metabolic acidosis caused by antifreeze ingestion.
Specific gaze patterns were correlated with objective performance. High performers were more likely to fixate on task-relevant stimuli and appropriately ignore task-irrelevant stimuli compared with lower performers. For example, shorter latency to fixation on the vital signs in a case of diabetic ketoacidosis was positively correlated with performance (r=0.70, p<0.05). Conversely, total time spent fixating on lab values in a case of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm was negatively correlated with performance (r= −0.50, p<0.05).
There are differences between the visual patterns of high and low-performing residents. These findings may allow for better characterization of expertise development in resuscitation medicine and provide a framework for future study of visual behaviours in resuscitation cases.
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.
22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) is associated with high rates of neurodevelopmental disorder, however, the links between developmental coordination disorder (DCD), intellectual function and psychiatric disorder remain unexplored.
To establish the prevalence of indicative DCD in children with 22q11.2DS and examine associations with IQ, neurocognition and psychopathology.
Neurocognitive assessments and psychiatric interviews of 70 children with 22q11.2DS (mean age 11.2, s.d. = 2.2) and 32 control siblings (mean age 11.5, s.d. = 2.1) were carried out in their homes. Nine children with 22q11.2DS and indicative DCD were subsequently assessed in an occupational therapy clinic.
Indicative DCD was found in 57 (81.4%) children with 22q11.2DS compared with 2 (6.3%) control siblings (odds ratio (OR) = 36.7, P < 0.001). Eight of nine (89%) children with indicative DCD met DSM-5 criteria for DCD. Poorer coordination was associated with increased numbers of anxiety, (P < 0.001), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (P < 0.001) and autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms (P < 0.001) in children with 22q11.2DS. Furthermore, 100% of children with 22q11.2DS and ADHD had indicative DCD (20 of 20), as did 90% of children with anxiety disorder (17 of 19) and 96% of children who screened positive for ASD (22 of 23). The Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire score was related to sustained attention (P = 0.006), even after history of epileptic fits (P = 0.006) and heart problems (P = 0.009) was taken into account.
Clinicians should be aware of the high risk of coordination difficulties in children with 22q11.2DS and its association with risk of mental disorder and specific neurocognitive deficits.
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is the most expensive birth defect managed in the United States, with a 5-year survival rate below 70%. Increasing evidence suggests that hospital volumes are inversely associated with mortality for infants with single ventricles undergoing stage 1 surgical palliation. Our aim was to examine the relative effects of surgeon and institutional volumes on outcomes and resource utilisation for these children.
A retrospective study was conducted using the Pediatric Health Information System database to examine the effects of the number of procedures performed per surgeon and per centre on mortality, costs, and post-operative length of stay for infants undergoing Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery risk category six operations at tertiary-care paediatric hospitals, from 1 January, 2004 to 31 December, 2013. Multivariable modelling was used, adjusting for patient and institutional characteristics. Gaussian kernel densities were constructed to show the relative distributions of the effects of individual institutions and surgeons, before and after adjusting for the number of cases performed.
A total of 2880 infants from 35 institutions met the inclusion criteria. Mortality was 15.0%. Median post-operative length of stay was 24 days (IQR 14–41). Median standardized inpatient hospital costs were $156,000 (IQR $108,000–$248,000) in 2013 dollars. In the multivariable analyses, higher institutional volume was inversely associated with mortality (p=0.001), post-operative length of stay (p=0.004), and costs (p=0.001). Surgeon volume was associated with none of the measured outcomes. Neither institutional nor surgeon volumes explained much of the wide variation in outcomes and resource utilization observed between institutions and between surgeons.
Increased institutional – but not surgeon – volumes are associated with reduced mortality, post-operative length of stay, and costs for infants undergoing stage 1 palliation.
Two broad aims drive weed science research: improved management and improved
understanding of weed biology and ecology. In recent years, agricultural
weed research addressing these two aims has effectively split into separate
subdisciplines despite repeated calls for greater integration. Although some
excellent work is being done, agricultural weed research has developed a
very high level of repetitiveness, a preponderance of purely descriptive
studies, and has failed to clearly articulate novel hypotheses linked to
established bodies of ecological and evolutionary theory. In contrast,
invasive plant research attracts a diverse cadre of nonweed scientists using
invasions to explore broader and more integrated biological questions
grounded in theory. We propose that although studies focused on weed
management remain vitally important, agricultural weed research would
benefit from deeper theoretical justification, a broader vision, and
increased collaboration across diverse disciplines. To initiate change in
this direction, we call for more emphasis on interdisciplinary training for
weed scientists, and for focused workshops and working groups to develop
specific areas of research and promote interactions among weed scientists
and with the wider scientific community.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are a mechanism to ensure the appropriate use of antimicrobials. The extent to which ASPs are formally implemented in freestanding children's hospitals is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and characteristics of ASPs in freestanding children's hospitals.
We conducted an electronic survey of 42 freestanding children's hospitals that are members of the Children's Hospital Association to determine the presence and characteristics of their ASPs. For hospitals without an ASP, we determined whether stewardship strategies were in place and whether there were barriers to implementing a formal ASP.
We received responses from 38 (91%) of 42. Among responding institutions, 16 (38%) had a formal ASP, and 15 (36%) were in the process of implementing a program. Most ASPs (13 [81%] of 16) were started after 2007. The median number of full-time equivalents dedicated to ASPs was 0.63 (range, 0.1–1.8). The most common antimicrobials monitored by ASPs were linezolid, vancomycin, and carbapenems. Many hospitals without a formal ASP were performing stewardship activities, including elements of prospective audit and feedback (9 [41%] of 22), formulary restriction (9 [41%] of 22), and use of clinical guidelines (17 [77%] of 22). Antimicrobial outcomes were more likely to be monitored by hospitals with ASPs (100% vs 68%; P = .01), although only 1 program provided support for a data analyst.
Most freestanding children's hospitals have implemented or are developing an ASP. These programs differ in structure and function, and more data are needed to identify program characteristics that have the greatest impact.
Influenza assessment centres (IACs) were deployed to reduce emergency department (ED) volumes during the pH1N1 influenza outbreak in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) public health region of Ontario, Canada, in the fall of 2009. We present a case study for the deployment of IACs to reduce ED visit volume during both periods of pandemic and seasonal communicable disease outbreak.
An emergency department syndromic surveillance system was used to trigger the deployment of eight geographically distributed IACs and to time their staggered closure 3 weeks later. We compared actual and expected ED visit volumes in the KFL&A region to neighbouring regions where no IACs operated by time series regression analysis before, during, and after IAC operation.
The deployment of IACs was triggered with a rise in overall ED volume at the hospitals in the KFL&A region to a level 10% above the 6-month running average. The IACs assessed 2,284 patients during 3 weeks of operation. Thirtythree patients were admitted directly to the hospital from the IACs, bypassing the EDs. During the operation of the IACs, the hospitals in the KFL&A region experienced a modest decrease in daily visits when compared to the 3 previous weeks. Overall ED visit volume in the hospitals in the neighbouring regions increased 105% during the period of IAC operation.
Operating stand-alone influenza IACs may reduce ED volumes during periods of increased demand, as observed during an anticipated pandemic situation.
We describe a novel method for in situ measurement of the local thickness of a freely suspended solid-state membrane after thinning with a focused helium ion beam. The technique utilizes a custom stage for the helium ion microscope that allows the secondary electron detector used for normal imaging to collect information from ions transmitted through the sample. We find that relative brightness in the transmission image scales directly with the membrane thickness as determined by atomic force microscopy measurements.
There are relatively few technologies for measurement at the single-molecule scale. Fluorescent imaging, for example, can be used to directly visualize molecules and their interactions, but diffraction limitations and labeling requirements may push the system from its native state. Although recent advances in super-resolution imaging have been able to break this resolution barrier, important challenges remain. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is capable of imaging molecules at high resolution and at high speed. However, AFM imaging is a surface technique, requiring sample preparation and some immobilization. Other technologies such as optical tweezers and magnetic tweezers are capable of molecular manipulation and spectroscopy to great effect but require a significant apparatus and have limited inherent analytical capabilities.
Sub-Antarctic Marion Island was the site of extensive volcanism as well as glaciation during both the Quaternary and the Holocene. Initial reconstructions suggested a link between deglaciation and the initiation of faulting which, in turn, facilitated lava eruptions during the interglacials. However, our reassessment of the faulting, volcanic rock, and palaeoglacier distribution indicate that these original interpretations were erroneous. Features thought to be due to faulting are shown to be erosional scarps and this significantly changes interpretations of former glacier distribution. Further, the loss of the former ice cap has revealed new information on former glaciers and their flow directions, thereby allowing reconstruction of palaeoglaciers. Our new reconstruction fits with information from invertebrate genetic mapping that suggest some lava outcrops were nunataks and, therefore, refuges during the Last Glacial period. The new findings of glacial landforms in areas previously covered by snow suggest there was a significant ice advance during the Little Ice Age. Although Holocene volcanic rocks overlie and mask much of the glacial evidence, it has been possible to develop a proposed new reconstruction for glaciation, which is presented together with some of the implications.