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Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
Introduction: In-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) most commonly occurs in non-monitored areas, where we observed a 10min delay before defibrillation (Phase I). Nurses (RNs) and respiratory therapists (RTs) cannot legally use Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) during IHCA without a medical directive. We sought to evaluate IHCA outcomes following usual implementation (Phase II) vs. a Theory-Based educational program (Phase III) allowing RNs and RTs to use AEDs during IHCA. Methods: We completed a pragmatic before-after study of consecutive IHCA. We used ICD-10 codes to identify potentially eligible cases and included IHCA cases for which resuscitation was attempted. We obtained consensus on all data definitions before initiation of standardized-piloted data extraction by trained investigators. Phase I (Jan.2012-Aug.2013) consisted of baseline data. We implemented the AED medical directive in Phase II (Sept.2013-Aug.2016) using usual implementation strategies. In Phase III (Sept.2016-Dec.2017) we added an educational video informed by key constructs from a Theory of Planned Behavior survey. We report univariate comparisons of Utstein IHCA outcomes using 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: There were 753 IHCA for which resuscitation was attempted with the following similar characteristics (Phase I n = 195; II n = 372; III n = 186): median age 68, 60.0% male, 79.3% witnessed, 29.7% non-monitored medical ward, 23.9% cardiac cause, 47.9% initial rhythm of pulseless electrical activity and 27.2% ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia (VF/VT). Comparing Phases I, II and III: an AED was used 0 times (0.0%), 21 times (5.6%), 15 times (8.1%); time to 1st rhythm analysis was 6min, 3min, 1min; and time to 1st shock was 10min, 10min and 7min. Comparing Phases I and III: time to 1st shock decreased by 3min (95%CI -7; 1), sustained ROSC increased from 29.7% to 33.3% (AD3.6%; 95%CI -10.8; 17.8), and survival to discharge increased from 24.6% to 25.8% (AD1.2%; 95%CI -7.5; 9.9). In the VF/VT subgroup, time to first shock decreased from 9 to 3 min (AD-6min; 95%CI -12; 0) and survival increased from 23.1% to 38.7% (AD15.6%; 95%CI -4.3; 35.4). Conclusion: The implementation of a medical directive allowing for AED use by RNs and RRTs successfully improved key outcomes for IHCA victims, particularly following the Theory-Based education video. The expansion of this project to other hospitals and health care professionals could significantly impact survival for VF/VT patients.
The Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) measures three aspects of catastrophic cognitions about pain—rumination, magnification, and helplessness. To facilitate assessment and clinical application, we aimed to (a) develop a short version on the basis of its factorial structure and the items’ correlations with key pain-related outcomes, and (b) identify the threshold on the short form indicative of risk for depression.
Social centers for older people.
664 Chinese older adults with chronic pain.
Besides the PCS, pain intensity, pain disability, and depressive symptoms were assessed.
For the full scale, confirmatory factor analysis showed that the hypothesized 3-factor model fit the data moderately well. On the basis of the factor loadings, two items were selected from each of the three dimensions. An additional item significantly associated with pain disability and depressive symptoms, over and above these six items, was identified through regression analyses. A short-PCS composed of seven items was formed, which correlated at r=0.97 with the full scale. Subsequently, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were plotted against clinically significant depressive symptoms, defined as a score of ≥12 on a 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale. This analysis showed a score of ≥7 to be the optimal cutoff for the short-PCS, with sensitivity = 81.6% and specificity = 78.3% when predicting clinically significant depressive symptoms.
The short-PCS may be used in lieu of the full scale and as a brief screen to identify individuals with serious catastrophizing.
This study compared the pattern of radiation induced parotid changes between conventional (ConRT) and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients.
56 adult NPC patients treated with IMRT (n=28) and conventional radiotherapy (n=28) were recruited. CT scans were acquired before radiotherapy, at 10th, 20th and 30th fractions, and 3 months after treatment. Parotid gland was delineated in the corresponding CT slices and its mean dose was calculated. The volumetric and geometric changes of the parotid gland at various time intervals were compared against the pre-treatment structure set. The pattern of changes was compared between the two techniques.
The mean parotid dose of IMRT (37.5±9.5 Gy) was significantly lower than ConRT (49.1±7.4 Gy). The parotid gland volume, DICE similarity coefficient and lateral dimension of patient head gradually decreased during the radiotherapy course and partially recovered in 3 months post-treatment. The differences between two groups were not significant until at 3 month after treatment, where IMRT showed significantly better volume recovery.
Similar parotid gland size and location changes were observed during the treatment course in both ConRT and IMRT. However IMRT demonstrated better parotid volume recovery after treatment.
Introduction: Aligning health systems appropriately to the needs of the elderly is an urgent global priority, according to the WHO. In Canada, ED length of stay has risen 16% for elderly patients in the last year. Agitation requiring chemical restraint is a common, high-risk problem for elderly in the ED. Improving outcomes in this heterogeneous population remain difficult due to inability to effectively identify and evaluate delirium, frailty, multi-morbidity, and incompatibility with the ED system. A data-driven approach to complex health problems is a recognized emerging tool for healthcare innovation. New opportunities for targeted quality improvement in the ED will be uncovered by identifying the clinical characteristics of elderly patients with agitation, and the system process factors that influence their outcomes. Methods: We studied 400 patients in a case-control study at two tertiary-care EDs over five years. Patients were randomly selected if age was greater than 75 years. 200 cases of patients who received an intravenous dose of haloperidol, midazolam and/or lorazepam were selected as a surrogate data marker for having agitation. Controls were randomly matched by age and ED diagnosis. Standardized clinical, systems and process variables were collected. We conducted a univariate analysis. Results: Elderly given intravenous medications for agitation had increased mortality (OR 3.8 CI: 1.6-10.7, p<0.001) and ED length of stay (27 vs. 15 hours, p<0.001). No statistical significance was found in clinical characteristics, CTAS scores, PRISMA7 frailty scores nor sentinel or return visits. There was no statistical difference in median hospital length of stay (8 vs. 6 days, p<0.70). No differences were found in median time from ED physician seeing a patient to first consultant request (73 vs. 83 mins, p=0.75). The largest time intervals contributing to ED length of stay were from first consultant request to hospital request (15 vs. 12 hours, p=0.056) and hospitalization delay (13 vs. 7 hours, p=0.45). Conclusion: Identification of high-risk elderly patients for targeted intervention through a data-driven approach is feasible and informative. Traditional clinical characteristics remain unhelpful in identifying and evaluating outcomes in elderly with agitation. We have identified a process factor that is clinically relevant and pragmatic to evaluate in our ED system. Future research focused on optimizing systems process factors to improve quality of elderly care should be prioritized.
This study aimed to examine the relationships between socio-economic status, health-promoting lifestyles, and quality of life among Chinese nursing students.
Nursing students will be future health promoters, but they may not always adopt the recommended healthy lifestyle. Currently, there are insufficient studies examining the health-promoting lifestyles of Chinese nursing students, and the impact of socio-economic status and health-promoting lifestyle on their health.
This was a cross-sectional survey. Data were collected from nursing students studying in pre-registration nursing programs of a university in Hong Kong. The survey was conducted through a self-administered questionnaire that solicited information regarding their socio-economic status, health-promoting lifestyle, quality of life, and perceptions of the barriers to adopting a health-promoting lifestyle.
A total of 538 students returned completed questionnaires for analysis. Among the health-promoting lifestyle subscales, the participants performed best in interpersonal relations and worst in physical activity, and the vast majority of them did not actively engage in health-risk behaviors. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that only 5% of the variance in quality of life was explained by socio-economic variables, whereas a total of 24% of the variance was explained when health-promoting lifestyle variables were added. In particular, health responsibility, physical activity, spiritual growth, and stress management were statistically significant predictors of quality of life.
Early concerns about how prepared nurses are to take on the role of promoting health still apply today. School administrators should plan the nursing curriculum to include activities that encourage student nurses to participate in health-promoting lifestyles. Future studies are needed to explore the barriers that prevent students from practicing health-promoting behavior.
Default mode network (DMN) is vulnerable to the effects of APOE genotype. Given the reduced brain volumes and APOE ε 4-related brain changes in elderly carriers, it is less known that whether these changes would influence the functional connectivity and to what extent. This study aimed to examine the functional connectivity within DMN, and its diagnostic value with age-related morphometric alterations considered.
Whole brain and seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis were conducted in cognitively normal APOE ε 4 carriers and matched non-carriers (N=38). The absolute values of mean correlation coefficients (z-values) were used as a measure of functional connectivity strength (FCS) between DMN subregions, which were also used to estimate their diagnostic value by receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves.
APOE ε 4 carriers demonstrated decreased interhemispheric FCS, particularly between right hippocampal formation (R.HF) and left inferior parietal lobular (L.IPL) (t=3.487, p<0.001). ROC analysis showed that the FCS of R.HF and L.IPL could differentiate APOE ε 4 carriers from healthy counterparts (AUC value=0.734, p=0.025). Moreover, after adjusting the impact of morphometry, the differentiated value of FCS of R.HF and L.IPL was markedly improved (AUC value=0.828, p=0.002).
Our findings suggest that APOE ε 4 allele affects the functional connectivity within posterior DMN, particularly the atrophy-corrected interhemispheric FCS before the clinical expression of neurodegenerative disease.
Little is known about the mental health of partners of survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict countries.
We studied 677 spouse dyads (n = 1354) drawn from a community survey (response 82.4%) in post-conflict Timor-Leste. We used culturally adapted measures of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological distress, explosive anger and grief.
Latent class analysis identified three classes of couples: class 1, comprising women with higher trauma events (TEs), men with intermediate TEs (19%); class 2, including men with higher TEs, women with lower TEs (23%); and class 3, comprising couples in which men and women had lower TE exposure (58%) (the reference group). Men and women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (classes 1 and 2) had increased symptoms of explosive anger and grief compared with the reference class (class 3). Women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (class 2) had a 20-fold increased rate of PTSD symptoms compared with the reference class, a pattern that was not evident for men living with women exposed to higher levels of trauma (class 1).
Men and women living with survivors of higher levels of trauma showed an increase in symptoms of grief and explosive anger. The manifold higher rate of PTSD symptoms amongst women living with men exposed to high levels of trauma requires replication. It is important to assess the mental health of partners when treating survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict settings.
The fragmented ecosystems along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve provide important habitats for biota including lichens. Nonetheless, the Reserve is disturbed by dense human populations and associated air pollution. Here we investigated patterns of lichen diversity within urban and rural sites at three different locations (Niagara, Hamilton, and Owen Sound) along the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada. Our results indicate that both lichen species richness and community composition are negatively correlated with increasing human population density and air pollution. However, our quantitative analysis of community composition using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicates that human population density and air pollution is more independent than might be assumed. The CCA analysis suggests that the strongest environmental gradient (CCA1) associated with lichen community composition includes regional pollution load and climatic variables; the second gradient (CCA2) is associated with local pollution load and human population density factors. These results increase the knowledge of lichen biodiversity for the Niagara Escarpment and urban and rural fragmented ecosystems as well as along gradients of human population density and air pollution; they suggest a differential influence of regional and local pollution loads and population density factors. This study provides baseline knowledge for further research and conservation initiatives along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.
Three epidemic waves of human influenza A(H7N9) were documented in several different provinces in China between 2013 and 2015. With limited understanding of the potential for human-to-human transmission, it was difficult to implement control measures efficiently or to inform the public adequately about the application of interventions. In this study, the human-to-human transmission rate for the epidemics that occurred between 2013 and 2015 in Zhejiang Province, China, was analysed. The reproduction number (R), a key indicator of transmission intensity, was estimated by fitting the number of infections from poultry to humans and from humans to humans into a mathematical model. The posterior mean R for human-to-human transmission was estimated to be 0·27, with a 95% credible interval of 0·14–0·44 for the first wave, whereas the posterior mean Rs decreased to 0·15 in the second and third waves. Overall, these estimates indicate that a human H7N9 pandemic is unlikely to occur in Zhejiang. The reductions in the viral transmissibility and the number of poultry-transmitted infections after the first epidemic may be attributable to the various intervention measures taken, including changes in the extent of closures of live poultry markets.
Cellulose is one of the most abundant substances in the world, and the major constituent in the wood structure. Phenolic adhesive is largely used in the wood manufacture for gluing the wood panels together. The cellulose/phenolic adhesive interface is a representative of the interface between the wood panels and adhesives in the wood products. As the wood panels and adhesive are sensitive to environmental humidity, the interfacial adhesion of such interface when subjected to a humid environment can be a major factor in the durability of final products. Here, the role of water molecules on the adhesion property of cellulose/phenolic adhesive interface is investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. The simulation results reveal that the adhesion energy between cellulose and phenolic adhesive can be reduced by 86.5% with saturated moisture ingress. Meanwhile, it is demonstrated that the adhesion energy can be recovered after the interface experiences further dry conditioning. The hydrogen bonds between the cellulose and phenolic adhesive are found to account for the strong interfacial adhesion, which can be interrupted in the presence of water molecules and recovered after further dry conditioning. The adhesion property between the wood panels and adhesives is mainly determined by water molecules absorbed at the bilayer interface, which should be considered in a wet condition.
Immobilisation for patients undergoing brain or head and neck radiotherapy is achieved using perspex or thermoplastic devices that require direct moulding to patient anatomy. The mould room visit can be distressing for patients and the shells do not always fit perfectly. In addition the mould room process can be time consuming. With recent developments in three-dimensional (3D) printing technologies comes the potential to generate a treatment shell directly from a computer model of a patient. Typically, a patient requiring radiotherapy treatment will have had a computed tomography (CT) scan and if a computer model of a shell could be obtained directly from the CT data it would reduce patient distress, reduce visits, obtain a close fitting shell and possibly enable the patient to start their radiotherapy treatment more quickly.
This paper focuses on the first stage of generating the front part of the shell and investigates the dosimetric properties of the materials to show the feasibility of 3D printer materials for the production of a radiotherapy treatment shell.
Materials and methods:
Computer algorithms are used to segment the surface of the patient’s head from CT and MRI datasets. After segmentation approaches are used to construct a 3D model suitable for printing on a 3D printer. To ensure that 3D printing is feasible the properties of a set of 3D printing materials are tested.
The majority of the possible candidate 3D printing materials tested result in very similar attenuation of a therapeutic radiotherapy beam as the Orfit soft-drape masks currently in use in many UK radiotherapy centres. The costs involved in 3D printing are reducing and the applications to medicine are becoming more widely adopted. In this paper we show that 3D printing of bespoke radiotherapy masks is feasible and warrants further investigation.
Data were extracted from the case records of UK patients admitted with laboratory-confirmed influenza A(H1N1)pdm09. White and non-White patients were characterized by age, sex, socioeconomic status, pandemic wave and indicators of pre-morbid health status. Logistic regression examined differences by ethnicity in patient characteristics, care pathway and clinical outcomes; multivariable models controlled for potential confounders. Whites (n = 630) and non-Whites (n = 510) differed by age, socioeconomic status, pandemic wave of admission, pregnancy, recorded obesity, previous and current smoking, and presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. After adjustment for a priori confounders non-Whites were less likely to have received pre-admission antibiotics [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0·43, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·28–0·68, P < 0·001) but more likely to receive antiviral drugs as in-patients (aOR 1·53, 95% CI 1·08–2·18, P = 0·018). However, there were no significant differences by ethnicity in delayed admission, severity at presentation for admission, or likelihood of severe outcome.
Varicella is a common and highly contagious childhood disease which impacts the public worldwide. Hong Kong children can only be vaccinated against the disease in private practice. The varicella vaccination rate of local children in preschool is uncertain. Therefore a cross-sectional kindergarten-based parent-administered questionnaire survey was conducted in Hong Kong during 2012. Twelve kindergartens were randomly selected from a complete school list from the Education Bureau of Hong Kong. In total, 1285/1538 (83·6%) parents consented to join the study and completed the questionnaires. The overall varicella infection rate was 19·5% and the uptake of varicella vaccination rate was 57·6%. Barriers against varicella vaccination were mostly due to parental uncertainties about the effectiveness of vaccine, lack of recommendations from doctors or government, and adverse side-effects of the vaccine. The government and healthcare professional bodies are strongly recommended to further enhance health education among healthcare professionals, encouraging their active promotion of varicella vaccination for their patients. Furthermore, health education through various stakeholders is crucial to enhance parental awareness of varicella, as well as the effectiveness and safety of varicella vaccine.
By building reconstruction models for a case of gastroenteritis in the general population moving through different steps of the surveillance pyramid we estimated that millions of illnesses occur annually in the European population, leading to thousands of hospitalizations. We used data on the healthcare system in seven European Union member states in relation to pathogen characteristics that influence healthcare seeking. Data on healthcare usage were obtained by harmonized cross-sectional surveys. The degree of under-diagnosis and underreporting varied by pathogen and country. Overall, underreporting and under-diagnosis were estimated to be lowest for Germany and Sweden, followed by Denmark, The Netherlands, UK, Italy and Poland. Across all countries, the incidence rate was highest for Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. Incidence estimates resulting from the pyramid reconstruction approach are adjusted for biases due to different surveillance systems and are therefore a better basis for international comparisons than reported data.
Anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) are thought to be magnetars which are young isolated neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields of >1014 Gauss. Their tremendous magnetic fields inferred from the spin parameters provide a huge energy reservoir to power the observed X-ray emission. High-energy emission above 0.3 MeV has never been detected despite intensive search. Here, we present the possible Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) detection of γ-ray pulsations above 200 MeV from the AXP, 1E 2259+586, which puts the current theoretical models of γ-ray emission mechanisms of magnetars into challenge. We speculate that the high-energy γ-rays originate from the outer magnetosphere of the magnetar.
Background: This study investigated whether brief exposure to information has any effect on stigmatizing attitudes towards older people with dementia, and how people responded to this medical diagnosis.
Methods: 494 adults were randomly assigned to three groups differentiated by experimental conditions. Group A (control) responded to questions on stigma directly. Group B (symptom) read two vignettes that described the symptoms of two fictitious individuals with dementia, before answering questions on stigma. Group C (label) read the same vignettes which ended with a statement that the person was recently diagnosed with dementia by a physician. Data were analyzed with ANOVA, together with other pre-existing between-subjects factors.
Results: Brief exposure to information about dementia led to a statistically significant reduction in stigma (Groups B, C < A), regardless of whether the diagnostic label of “dementia” was included or not. Moreover, lower stigma was reported by persons who knew a relative or friend with dementia, who were younger and more educated, and who thought dementia was treatable.
Conclusions: As stigmatizing attitudes toward dementia are still a hindrance to early help-seeking in Asian communities, the findings suggest that community education may play a useful role in alleviating this barrier to early detection and intervention.
We discuss our rational approach to incorporate optically nonlinear molecules into polymeric and cross-linked materials through the use of isocyanate-hydroxy coupling chemistry. Thin film fabrication, optical loss, poling, second harmonic generation, and electro-optic properties are discussed.
Formation of buried p-type and n-type layers in (100) silicon has been accomplished by implanting with 4 MeV boron and 11 MeV arsenic ions respectively. The projected range (Rp) of 4 MeV boron is 5.2 microns with a straggle (ΔRp) of .2 microns. The 11 MeV arsenic implant has a Rp of 4.37 microns with a ΔRp of .37 microns. The 4 MeV boron implant was carried out to a dose of l×1015/ cm2 while the 11 MeV arsenic implant dose was 1.9×1015/ cm2. For both dopants the target holder could be cooled with either liquid nitrogen (LN) or flowing room temperature water (RT). Buried amorphous regions are seen by cross sectional transmission electron microscopy (XTEM) for both boron and arsenic when LN cooling is used. Arsenic shows a buried amorphous region for the RT case as well. The extent of the buried amorphous regions are compared with the energy deposited into nuclear stopping as determined by computer simulation. Threshold levels are determined for the creation of these buried amorphous regions. The boron samples were annealed for 30 minutes at 900°C in a nitrogen ambient, and XTEM shows no residual damage for both cooling conditions. The arsenic samples underwent a two step annealing procedure; 545°C for 16 hours followed by a 945°C step for 15 minutes. Regions containing dislocation networks are observed by XTEM for both cooling conditions.
The 4 MeV implanted boron buried layer was applied to an NMOS process. Transistors fabricated above the p-type buried layer show channel mobility, threshold voltage, and sub-threshold leakage which are indistinguishable from transistors fabricated without the buried layer. Vertical npn bipolar transistors have been fabricated using the 11 MeV arsenic buried layer to form the collector. Electrical characteristics from both these devices indicate that megavolt ion implantation can be applied to silicon for active device geometries.
Electrical measurements and Rutherford backscattering have been used to evaluate the thermal stability of single crystal and polycrystalline Si films that were ion implanted and laser annealed. The films were implanted with 75As or 31p and annealed with either a pulsed ruby, a pulsed Nd:YAG or a CWAr+ laser. The samples were then thermally annealed at temperatures between 450 and 900°C. The single crystal samples implanted with arsenic below 1 × 10-15 cm−2 were thermally stable. For higher doses the electrical concentration reaches a minimum at 800°C. The same trends are observed in the polysilicon films for sufficiently high doping levels. RBS shows that As is precipitating at 700°C in single crystal material and has begun to go back into solution at 900°C for concentrations of ∼7 × 1020 cm−3. Similar trends are observed for 31P implanted samples.