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To examine factors that influence decision-making, preferences, and plans related to advance care planning (ACP) and end-of-life care among persons with dementia and their caregivers, and examine how these may differ by race.
13 geographically dispersed Alzheimer’s Disease Centers across the United States.
431 racially diverse caregivers of persons with dementia.
Survey on “Care Planning for Individuals with Dementia.”
The respondents were knowledgeable about dementia and hospice care, indicated the person with dementia would want comfort care at the end stage of illness, and reported high levels of both legal ACP (e.g., living will; 87%) and informal ACP discussions (79%) for the person with dementia. However, notable racial differences were present. Relative to white persons with dementia, African American persons with dementia were reported to have a lower preference for comfort care (81% vs. 58%) and lower rates of completion of legal ACP (89% vs. 73%). Racial differences in ACP and care preferences were also reflected in geographic differences. Additionally, African American study partners had a lower level of knowledge about dementia and reported a greater influence of religious/spiritual beliefs on the desired types of medical treatments. Notably, all respondents indicated that more information about the stages of dementia and end-of-life health care options would be helpful.
Educational programs may be useful in reducing racial differences in attitudes towards ACP. These programs could focus on the clinical course of dementia and issues related to end-of-life care, including the importance of ACP.
Recognising the significant extent of poor-quality care and human rights issues in mental health, the World Health Organization launched the QualityRights initiative in 2013 as a practical tool for implementing human rights standards including the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at the ground level.
To describe the first large-scale implementation and evaluation of QualityRights as a scalable human rights-based approach in public mental health services in Gujarat, India.
This is a pragmatic trial involving implementation of QualityRights at six public mental health services chosen by the Government of Gujarat. For comparison, we identified three other public mental health services in Gujarat that did not receive the QualityRights intervention.
Over a 12-month period, the quality of services provided by those services receiving the QualityRights intervention improved significantly. Staff in these services showed substantially improved attitudes towards service users (effect sizes 0.50–0.17), and service users reported feeling significantly more empowered (effect size 0.07) and satisfied with the services offered (effect size 0.09). Caregivers at the intervention services also reported a moderately reduced burden of care (effect size 0.15).
To date, some countries are hesitant to reforming mental health services in line with the CRPD, which is partially attributable to a lack of knowledge and understanding about how this can be achieved. This evaluation shows that QualityRights can be effectively implemented even in resource-constrained settings and has a significant impact on the quality of mental health services.
To study the clinical outcomes of a posterior nasoseptal flap used in the endonasal reconstruction of anterior skull base defects.
The early harvested flap was used to reconstruct anterior skull base defects in patients with high-flow on-table cerebrospinal fluid leak. Post-operatively, the patients were analysed for cerebrospinal fluid leak and bleeding.
Of the 100 patients, 87 had macro defects while 13 had micro defects. Non-secretary lesions were present in 60 patients, while secretary lesions were present in 40 patients. Cerebrospinal fluid leak was present in all the patients undergoing surgery, and the majority of them had a lumbar drain fitted. Post-operatively, two patients experienced bleeding and only two patients had a cerebrospinal fluid leak.
The use of a posterior nasoseptal flap for reconstruction of the anterior skull base amongst patients with a high-flow intra-operative cerebrospinal fluid leak can help prevent post-operative cerebrospinal fluid leak. Its applicability to wide patient profiles, with respect to age, size of defect and diagnosis, make it a versatile choice for reconstruction after endonasal anterior skull base surgical procedures.
When Hurricane Harvey landed along the Texas coast on August 25, 2017, it caused massive flooding and damage and displaced tens of thousands of residents of Harris County, Texas. Between August 29 and September 23, Harris County, along with community partners, operated a megashelter at NRG Center, which housed 3365 residents at its peak. Harris County Public Health conducted comprehensive public health surveillance and response at NRG, which comprised disease identification through daily medical record reviews, nightly “cot-to-cot” resident health surveys, and epidemiological consultations; messaging and communications; and implementation of control measures including stringent isolation and hygiene practices, vaccinations, and treatment. Despite the lengthy operation at the densely populated shelter, an early seasonal influenza A (H3) outbreak of 20 cases was quickly identified and confined. Influenza outbreaks in large evacuation shelters after a disaster pose a significant threat to populations already experiencing severe stressors. A holistic surveillance and response model, which consists of coordinated partnerships with onsite agencies, in-time epidemiological consultations, predesigned survey tools, trained staff, enhanced isolation and hygiene practices, and sufficient vaccines, is essential for effective disease identification and control. The lessons learned and successes achieved from this outbreak may serve for future disaster response settings. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:97-101)
In June 2012, the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW; Gaborone, Botswana) initiated a national Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system in response to significant morbidity and mortality associated with prehospital emergencies. The MOHW requested external expertise to train its developing workforce. Simulation-based training was planned to equip these health care providers with clinical knowledge, procedural skills, and communication techniques.
The objective of this study was to assess the educational needs of the pioneer Botswana MOHW EMS providers based on retrospective EMS logbook review and EMS provider feedback to guide development of a novel educational curriculum.
Data were abstracted from a representative sample of the Gaborone, Botswana MOHW EMS response log from 2013-2014 and were quantified into the five most common call types for both adults and children. Informal focus groups with health professionals and EMS staff, as well as surveys, were used to rank common response call types and self-perceived educational needs.
Based on 1,506 calls, the most common adult response calls were for obstetric emergencies, altered mental status, gastrointestinal/abdominal pain, trauma, gynecological emergencies, and cardiovascular and respiratory distress-related emergencies. The most common pediatric response calls were for respiratory distress, gastrointestinal complaints/dehydration, trauma and musculoskeletal injuries, newborn delivery, seizures, and toxic ingestion/exposure. The EMS providers identified these same chief complaints as priorities for training using the qualitative approach. A locally relevant, simulation-based curriculum for the Botswana MOHW EMS system was developed and implemented based on these data.
: Trauma, respiratory distress, gastrointestinal complaints, and puerperal/perinatal emergencies were common conditions for all age groups. Other age-specific conditions were also identified as educational needs based on epidemiologic data and provider feedback. This needs assessment may be useful when designing locally relevant EMS curricula in other low-income and middle-income countries.GlombNW, KosokoAA, DoughtyCB, RusMC, ShahMI, CoxM, GalapiC, ParkesPS, KumarS, LabaB.Needs Assessment for Simulation Training for Prehospital Providers in Botswana. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(6):621–626.
We reviewed all patients who were supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and/or ventricular assist device at our institution in order to describe diagnostic characteristics and assess mortality.
A retrospective cohort study was performed including all patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and/or ventricular assist device from our first case (8 October, 1998) through 25 July, 2016. The primary outcome of interest was mortality, which was modelled by the Kaplan–Meier method.
A total of 223 patients underwent 241 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs. Median support time was 4.0 days, ranging from 0.04 to 55.8 days, with a mean of 6.4±7.0 days. Mean (±SD) age at initiation was 727.4 days (±146.9 days). Indications for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were stratified by primary indication: cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=175; 72.6%) or respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=66; 27.4%). The most frequent diagnosis for cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients was hypoplastic left heart syndrome or hypoplastic left heart syndrome-related malformation (n=55 patients with HLHS who underwent 64 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs). For respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, the most frequent diagnosis was congenital diaphragmatic hernia (n=22). A total of 24 patients underwent 26 ventricular assist device runs. Median support time was 7 days, ranging from 0 to 75 days, with a mean of 15.3±18.8 days. Mean age at initiation of ventricular assist device was 2530.8±660.2 days (6.93±1.81 years). Cardiomyopathy/myocarditis was the most frequent indication for ventricular assist device placement (n=14; 53.8%). Survival to discharge was 42.2% for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients and 54.2% for ventricular assist device patients. Kaplan–Meier 1-year survival was as follows: all patients, 41.0%; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 41.0%; and ventricular assist device patients, 43.2%. Kaplan–Meier 5-year survival was as follows: all patients, 39.7%; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 39.7%; and ventricular assist device patients, 43.2%.
This single-institutional 18-year review documents the differential probability of survival for various sub-groups of patients who require support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ventricular assist device. The indication for mechanical circulatory support, underlying diagnosis, age, and setting in which cannulation occurs may affect survival after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and ventricular assist device. The Kaplan–Meier analyses in this study demonstrate that patients who survive to hospital discharge have an excellent chance of longer-term survival.
Ischemic stroke treatment is time-sensitive, and barriers to providing prehospital care encountered by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers have been under-studied.
This study described barriers to providing prehospital care, identified predictors of these barriers, and assessed the impact of these barriers on EMS on-scene time and administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in the emergency department (ED).
A retrospective cohort study was performed using the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-S; American Heart Association [AHA]; Dallas, Texas USA) registry at two hospitals to identify ischemic stroke patients arriving by EMS. Variables were abstracted from prehospital and hospital medical records and merged with registry data. Barriers to care were grouped into themes. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of barriers to care, and bi-variate tests were used to assess differences in EMS on-scene time and the proportion of patients receiving tPA between patients with and without barriers.
Barriers to providing prehospital care were documented for 15.5% of patients: 29.6% related to access, 26.7% communication, 23.0% extrication and transportation, 20.0% refusal, and 14.1% assessment/management. Non-white and non-black race (OR: 3.69; 95% CI, 1.63-8.36) and living alone (OR: 1.53; 95% CI, 1.05-2.23) were associated with greater odds of barriers to providing care. The EMS on-scene time was ≥15 minutes for 70.4% of patients who had a barrier to care, compared with 49.0% of patients who did not (P<.001). There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients who were administered tPA between those with and without barriers to care (14.1% vs 19.2%; P=.159).
Barriers to providing prehospital care were documented for a sizable proportion of ischemic stroke patients, with the majority related to patient access and communication, and occurred more frequently among non-white and non-black patients and those living alone. Although EMS on-scene time was longer for patients with barriers to care, the proportion of patients receiving tPA in the ED did not differ.
LiT, CushmanJT, ShahMN, KellyAG, RichDQ, JonesCMC. Barriers to Providing Prehospital Care to Ischemic Stroke Patients: Predictors and Impact on Care. Prehosp Disaster Med.2018;33(5):501–507.
Little is known about what motivates people to enroll in research registries. The purpose of this study is to identify facilitators of registry enrollment among diverse older adults.
Participants completed an 18-item Research Interest Assessment Tool. We used logistic regression analyses to examine responses across participants and by race and gender.
Participants (N=374) were 58% black, 76% women, with a mean age of 68.2 years. All participants were motivated to maintain their memory while aging. Facilitators of registry enrolled varied by both race and gender. Notably, blacks (estimate=0.71, p<0.0001) and women (estimate=0.32, p=0.03) were more willing to enroll in the registry due to home visits compared with whites and men, respectively.
Researchers must consider participant desire for maintaining memory while aging and home visits when designing culturally tailored registries.
Using time-resolved laser-scanning confocal microscopy and ultrafast optical pump/THz probe spectroscopy, we measure photoluminescence (PL) and THz-conductivity in perovskite micro-crystals and films. PL quenching and lifetime variations occur from local heterogeneity. Ultrafast THz-spectra measure sharp quantum transitions from excitonic Rydberg states, providing weakly bound excitons with a binding energy of ~13.5 meV at low temperatures. Ab-initio electronic structure calculations give a direct band gap of 1.64 eV, a dielectric constant of ~18, heavy electrons, and light holes, resulting in weakly bound excitons, consistent with the binding energies from the experiment. The complementary spectroscopy and simulations reveal fundamental insights into perovskite light-matter interactions.
We consider the actions of (semi)groups on a locally compact group by automorphisms. We show the equivalence of distality and pointwise distality for the actions of a certain class of groups. We obtain a decomposition for contraction groups of an automorphism under certain conditions. We give a necessary and sufficient condition for distality of an automorphism in terms of its contraction group. We compare classes of (pointwise) distal groups and groups whose closed subgroups are unimodular. In particular, we study relations between distality, unimodularity and contraction subgroups.
Determining the most appropriate level of care for patients in the prehospital setting during medical emergencies is essential. A large body of literature suggests that, compared with Basic Life Support (BLS) care, Advanced Life Support (ALS) care is not associated with increased patient survival or decreased mortality. The purpose of this special report is to synthesize the literature to identify common study design and analytic challenges in research studies that examine the effect of ALS, compared to BLS, on patient outcomes. The challenges discussed in this report include: (1) choice of outcome measure; (2) logistic regression modeling of common outcomes; (3) baseline differences between study groups (confounding); (4) inappropriate statistical adjustment; and (5) inclusion of patients who are no longer at risk for the outcome. These challenges may affect the results of studies, and thus, conclusions of studies regarding the effect of level of prehospital care on patient outcomes should require cautious interpretation. Specific alternatives for avoiding these challenges are presented.
LiT, JonesCMC, ShahMN, CushmanJT, JuskoTA. Methodological Challenges in Studies Comparing Prehospital Advanced Life Support with Basic Life Support. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(4):444–450.
We compared the cost-effectiveness (CE) of an active case-finding (ACF) programme for household contacts of tuberculosis (TB) cases enrolled in first-line treatment to routine passive case-finding (PCF) within an established national TB programme in Peru. Decision analysis was used to model detection of TB in household contacts through: (1) self-report of symptomatic cases for evaluation (PCF), (2) a provider-initiated ACF programme, (3) addition of an Xpert MTB/RIF diagnostic test for a single sputum sample from household contacts, and (4) all strategies combined. CE was calculated as the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) in terms of US dollars per disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) averted. Compared to PCF alone, ACF for household contacts resulted in an ICER of $2155 per DALY averted. The addition of the Xpert MTB/RIF diagnostic test resulted in an ICER of $3275 per DALY averted within a PCF programme and $3399 per DALY averted when an ACF programme was included. Provider-initiated ACF of household contacts in an urban setting of Lima, Peru can be highly cost-effective, even including costs to seek out contacts and perform an Xpert/MTB RIF test. ACF including Xpert MTB/RIF was not cost-effective if TB cases detected had high rates of default from treatment or poor outcomes.
The Learning Health System Network clinical data research network includes academic medical centers, health-care systems, public health departments, and health plans, and is designed to facilitate outcomes research, pragmatic trials, comparative effectiveness research, and evaluation of population health interventions.
The Learning Health System Network is 1 of 13 clinical data research networks assembled to create, in partnership with 20 patient-powered research networks, a National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network.
Results and Conclusions
Herein, we describe the Learning Health System Network as an emerging resource for translational research, providing details on the governance and organizational structure of the network, the key milestones of the current funding period, and challenges and opportunities for collaborative science leveraging the network.
In August 2015 a gastroenteritis outbreak occurred following a wedding. An outbreak investigation was undertaken and a cohort study was conducted using an online survey. Of 140 guests, 134 received the survey and 113 responded (84·3% response rate). Seventy respondents met the case definition of vomiting and/or diarrhoea within 72 h of the wedding (61·9% attack rate). Fifteen exposures were associated with illness; on stratification, all were confounded by the ham hock starter. Multivariable analysis showed a significant association with exposure to ham hock (risk ratio 6·62, 95% confidence interval 2·19–20·03). Eight guests and two catering staff submitted stool samples. All tested positive for norovirus GI-6 infection, including a food handler who had vomiting less than 48 h before the wedding. A single genotype was detected among all samples, suggesting a single source of contamination. The transmission pattern suggested point-source exposure. The most plausible cause of the outbreak was transmission from an infected food handler via contaminated food. This highlights the importance of appropriate exclusions for symptomatic food handlers. Additionally, the food handler's stool sample was submitted 7 days after symptom resolution. The potential for extended viral excretion, and the extremely low infective dose of norovirus, may mean that current exclusion guidelines are not of sufficient duration.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
This study investigated long-term survival outcomes in surgically treated oropharyngeal cancer patients with known human papilloma virus status.
A case note review was performed of all patients undergoing primary surgery for oropharyngeal cancer in a single centre over a 10-year period. Human papilloma virus status was determined via dual modality testing. Associations between clinicopathological variables and survival were identified using a log-rank test.
Of the 107 cases in the study, 40 per cent (n = 41) were human papilloma virus positive. The positive and negative predictive values of p16 immunohistochemistry for human papilloma virus status were 57 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively. At a mean follow up of 59.5 months, 5-year overall and disease-specific survival estimates were 78 per cent and 69 per cent, respectively. Human papilloma virus status (p = 0.014), smoking status (p = 0.021) and tumour stage (p = 0.03) were significant prognostic indicators.
The long-term survival rates in surgically treated oropharyngeal cancer patients were comparable to other studies. Variables including human papilloma virus status and tumour stage were associated with survival in patients treated with primary surgery; however, nodal stage and presence of extracapsular spread were non-prognostic.
Studies of schizophrenia at drug-naive state and on antipsychotic medication have reported a number of regions of gray-matter (GM) abnormalities but the reports have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to conduct multimodal meta-analysis to compare the cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry studies of brain GM in antipsychotic-naive first-episode schizophrenia (AN-FES) and those with antipsychotic treatment within 1 year (AT-FES) to determine the similarities and differences in these groups. We conducted two separate meta-analyses containing 24 studies with a sample size of 801 patients and 957 healthy controls. A multimodal meta-analysis method was used to compare the findings between AN-FES and AT-FES. Meta-regression analyses were done to determine the influence of different variables including age, duration of illness, and positive and negative symptom scores. Finally, jack-knife analyses were done to test the robustness of the results. AN-FES and AT-FES showed common patterns of GM abnormalities in frontal (gyrus rectus), superior temporal, left hippocampal and insular cortex. GM in the left supramarginal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were found to be increased in AN-FES but decreased in AT-FES, whereas left median cingulate/paracingulate gyri and right hippocampus GM was decreased in AN-FES but increased in AT-FES. Findings suggest that both AN-FES and AT-FES share frontal, temporal and insular regions as common anatomical regions to be affected indicating these to be the primary regions of GM abnormalities in both groups.
Not only is depression associated with increased inflammation but inflammation is a risk factor for the genesis of depression. Many of the environmental risk factors for depression are transduced through inflammatory signaling. Anti-inflammatory agents show promise for the management of depression in preclinical, epidemiological, and early clinical studies. This opens the door to the potential for anti-inflammatory agents to treat and prevent depression. There are no evidence-based pharmacotherapies for depression prevention.
ASPREE-D, aspirin in the prevention of depression in the elderly, is a sub study of ASPREE, which explores the potential of aspirin to prevent a range of inflammation related disorders in the elderly. With a sample size of 19,114, and a duration of 5 years, this placebo controlled study will be one of the largest randomized controlled trials in psychiatry and will provide definitive evidence on the ability of aspirin to prevent depression.
This paper presents the rationale for the study and presents a summary of the study design.
ASPREE-D may not only define novel therapy but will provide mechanistic proof of concept of the role of inflammation in depression.
In response to the increasing demand for 14C analysis of samples containing less than 25 μg C, ultra-small graphitization reactors with an internal volume of ∼0.8 mL were developed at NOSAMS. For samples containing 6 to 25 μg C, these reactors convert CO2 to graphitic carbon in approximately 30 min. Although we continue to refine reaction conditions to improve yield, the reactors produce graphite targets that are successfully measured by AMS. Graphite targets produced with the ultra-small reactors are measured by using the Cs sputter source on the CFAMS instrument at NOSAMS where beam current was proportional to sample mass. We investigated the contribution of blank carbon from the ultra-small reactors and estimate it to be 0.3 ± 0.1 μg C with an Fm value of 0.43 ± 0.3. We also describe equations for blank correction and propagation of error associated with this correction. With a few exceptions for samples in the range of 6 to 7 μg C, we show that corrected Fm values agree with expected Fm values within uncertainty for samples containing 6–100 μg C.
In 2007, the American Heart Association modified the infective endocarditis prophylaxis guidelines by limiting the use of antibiotics in patients with cardiac conditions associated with the highest risk of adverse outcomes after infective endocarditis. Our objective was to evaluate current practice for infective endocarditis prophylaxis among paediatric cardiologists.
A web-based survey focussing on current practice, describing the use of antibiotics for infective endocarditis prophylaxis in various congenital and acquired heart diseases, was distributed via e-mail to paediatric cardiologists. The survey was kept anonymous and was distributed twice.
Data from 253 participants were analysed. Most paediatric cardiologists discontinued infective endocarditis prophylaxis in patients with simple lesions such as small ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus, and bicuspid aortic valve without stenosis or regurgitation; however, significant disagreement persists in prescribing infective endocarditis prophylaxis in certain conditions such as rheumatic heart disease, Fontan palliation without fenestration, and the Ross procedure. Use of antibiotic prophylaxis in certain selected conditions for which infective endocarditis prophylaxis has been indicated as per the current guidelines varies from 44 to 83%. Only 44% follow the current guidelines exclusively, and 34% regularly discuss the importance of oral hygiene with their patients at risk for infective endocarditis.
Significant heterogeneity still persists in recommending infective endocarditis prophylaxis for several cardiac lesions among paediatric cardiologists. More than half of the participants (56%) do not follow the current guidelines exclusively in their practice. Counselling for optimal oral health in patients at risk for infective endocarditis needs to be optimised in the current practice.