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We describe the effectiveness of community outreach and engagement in supporting recruitment for the US National Children’s Vanguard Study between 2009 and 2012.
Thirty-seven study locations used 1 of 4 strategies to recruit 18–49-year-old pregnant or trying to conceive women: (1) Initial Vanguard Study used household-based recruitment; (2) Direct Outreach emphasized self-referral; (3) Enhanced Household-Based Recruitment enhanced Initial Vanguard Study strategies; and (4) Provider-Based Recruitment recruited through healthcare providers. Outreach and engagement included advance letters, interactions with healthcare providers, participation in community events, contacts with community organizations, and media outreach.
After 1–2 years, 41%–74% of 9844 study-eligible women had heard about the National Children’s Vanguard Study when first approached. Women who heard were 1.5–3 times more likely to consent. Hearing via word-of-mouth or the media most frequently predicted consent. The more sources women heard from the higher the odds of consent.
We conclude that tailored outreach and engagement facilitate recruitment in cohort studies.
During natural disasters, hospital evacuation may be necessary to ensure patient safety and care. We aimed to examine perceptions of stakeholders involved in these decisions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
Semistructured interviews were conducted from March 2014 to February 2015 to characterize stakeholders’ perceptions about authority and responsibility for acute care hospital evacuation/shelter-in-place decision-making in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York during Hurricane Sandy. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and thematically analyzed using a framework approach.
We interviewed 42 individuals from 32 organizations. Hospital executives from all states reported having authority and responsibility for evacuation/shelter-in-place decision-making. In New York and Maryland, government officials stated that they could order hospital evacuation, whereas officials in Delaware and New Jersey said the government lacked enforcement capacity and therefore could not mandate evacuation.
Among government officials, perceived authority for hospital evacuation/shelter-in-place decision-making was viewed as a prerequisite to ordering evacuation. When both hospital executives and government officials perceive themselves to possess decision-making authority, there is the potential for inaction. Future work should examine whether a single entity bearing ultimate responsibility or regional emergency response coalitions would improve decision-making. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:320–324)
Despite the potential of declared serving size to encourage appropriate portion size consumption, most countries including Australia have not developed clear reference guidelines for serving size. The present study evaluated variability in manufacturer-declared serving size of discretionary food and beverage products in Australia, and how declared serving size compared with the 2013 Australian Dietary Guideline (ADG) standard serve (600 kJ). Serving sizes were obtained from the Nutrition Information Panel for 4466 packaged, discretionary products in 2013 at four large supermarkets in Sydney, Australia, and categorised into fifteen categories in line with the 2013 ADG. For unique products that were sold in multiple package sizes, the percentage difference between the minimum and the maximum serving size across different package sizes was calculated. A high variation in serving size was found within the majority of food and beverage categories – for example, among 347 non-alcoholic beverages (e.g. soft drinks), the median for serving size was 250 (interquartile range (IQR) 250, 355) ml (range 100–750 ml). Declared serving size for unique products that are available in multiple package sizes also showed high variation, particularly for chocolate-based confectionery, with median percentage difference between minimum and maximum serving size of 183 (IQR 150) %. Categories with a high proportion of products that exceeded the 600 kJ ADG standard serve included cakes and muffins, pastries and desserts (≥74 % for each). High variability in declared serving size may confound interpretation and understanding of consumers interested in standardising and controlling their portion selection. Future research is needed to assess if and how standardising declared serving size might affect consumer behaviour.
While more and more long-period giant planets are discovered by direct imaging, the distribution of planets at these separations (≳5 AU) has remained largely uncertain, especially compared to planets in the inner regions of solar systems probed by RV and transit techniques. The low frequency, the detection challenges, and heterogeneous samples make determining the mass and orbit distributions of directly imaged planets at the end of a survey difficult. By utilizing Monte Carlo methods that incorporate the age, distance, and spectral type of each target, we can use all stars in the survey, not just those with detected planets, to learn about the underlying population. We have produced upper limits and direct measurements of the frequency of these planets with the most recent generation of direct imaging surveys. The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign observed 220 young, nearby stars at a median H-band contrast of 14.5 magnitudes at 1”, representing the largest, deepest search for exoplanets by the completion of the survey. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey is in the process of surveying 600 stars, pushing these contrasts to a few tenths of an arcsecond from the star. With the advent of large surveys (many hundreds of stars) using advanced planet-imagers we gain the ability to move beyond measuring the frequency of wide-separation giant planets and to simultaneously determine the distribution as a function of planet mass, semi-major axis, and stellar mass, and so directly test models of planet formation and evolution.
In February 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its 100-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope atop Mount Graham in Arizona. LEECH neatly complements other high-contrast planet imaging efforts by observing stars in L' band (3.8 microns) as opposed to the shorter wavelength near-infrared bands (1–2.3 microns). This part of the spectrum offers deeper mass sensitivity for intermediate age (several hundred Myr-old) systems, since their Jovian-mass planets radiate predominantly in the mid-infrared. In this proceedings, we present the science goals for LEECH and a preliminary contrast curve from some early data.
We have carried out high contrast imaging of 70 young, nearby B and A stars to search for brown dwarf and planetary companions as part of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. Our survey represents the largest, deepest survey for planets around high-mass stars (≈1.5–2.5 M⊙) conducted to date and includes the planet hosts β Pic and Fomalhaut. Despite detecting two new brown dwarfs, our observations did not detect new planets around our target stars, and we present upper limits on the fraction of high-mass stars that can host giant planets that are consistent with our null result.
Particles of BaSO4 with sizes in nano-scale and micro-scale ranges were investigated for their interactions with fibroblasts in order to determine the biocompatibility of nano-sized particles. Cells were incubated in the presence of particles at 1, 10 and 100 times the particle to cell surface area ratio and at a single concentration of 0.138 mg/ml. Production by the fibroblasts of an inflammatory cytokine in response to the particles was measured and the effect of particle size and volume on cell viability was examined. All particles were cell associated and some agglomeration was visible at all size ranges. Release of interleukin-6 by cells subjected to the same concentration of Ba SO4was similar to control levels, while addition of 1x surface area ratio (SAR) of particles to cells resulted in an increase in IL-6 from 94 pg/ml for 100 nm particles to 218 pg/ml with 2 μm particle diameter. By increasing particle to cell surface area ratios from 1× to 100x, cell viability was compromised for the 2μm particles but was not affected by the nanometer sized BaSO4 particles.