To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The fact that HTA is a value-laden process is recognized in the literature. This is one of the reasons for promoting a better integration of ethics in HTA processes. Although what is meant by value-judgment (VJ) and how it can be used in HTA is not clear for some authors; others have proposed the elicitation of implicit VJs, to make them more explicit, as one way for clarifying the role ethics may play in HTA. In order to clarify what a VJ is, a conceptual analysis is needed to distinguish it from a factual-judgment and see how they diverge on certain aspects and converge on others.
The distinction between VJs and factual-judgments was debated in the fifties. At the core of the philosophy of language was a distinction between factual-scientific assertions about facts, considered objective, and VJs on what is right/wrong-good/bad, considered subjective. In speech-act theory these distinctions were treated as two different operations: assertive and evaluative. A conceptual analysis of VJs, considering them as specific speech-acts, was used for clarifying/deciphering the role of VJs in HTA.
VJs are intrinsically embedded in decision-making since they are the reasons justifying decisions. This is why implicit VJs can be identified at every decision-step in the HTA process. Assessment is usually considered objective while appraisal seems subjective. Since VJs are entrenched in the decisions taken throughout the assessment process, the results are not completely objective. Ethical analysis also distinguishes two types of VJs, those based on normative criteria and those based on various degrees of value actualization. Furthermore, since evaluation requires criteria based on a rational process, VJs are not totally subjective.
Elicitation of VJs in HTA is one way of integrating ethics in HTA and offers decision-makers a more thorough picture of the ethical issues involved in their decision.
Eliciting implicit value-judgments (VJs) in the HTA process is one way of integrating ethics in HTA since the latter is recognized as a value-laden process. An analysis of the diversity of opinions on implicit VJs in HTA and of their role, highlights the connection there exists between VJs and the different decisions involved in the whole HTA process. Such a link is corroborated by a conceptual analysis of VJ using a speech-act philosophical approach grounded in the philosophy of language, since VJs are linked with normative speech-acts such as commands, recommendations and advices.
We propose an analysis of the published citations mentioning VJs, extracted from our systematic review on the challenges of integrating ethics in HTA. In order to do so, those quotes were categorized in a chart, the latter of which presents: (i) the different steps of decision-making in the HTA process, (ii) the description of the implicit VJ(s) and (iii) the criteria involved. This chart was elaborated with the participation of the HTA local evaluators involved as co-investigators in our research group. The final version was discussed, debated and validated by the entire research group.
The chart shows 18 decision-making steps in the HTA process in which twenty-three implicit VJs can be observed. The range of such VJs encompasses the whole HTA process from the initial mandate to the agency presenting the decisional issues, to the dissemination of the final report. The published citations gathered for each category compile different expectations on the elicitation of the implicit VJs, thus making the latter VJs more explicit.
This chart allows a better understanding of the expectations that are at the core of the appeal for more transparency in the HTA process, since stakeholders need to understand which value-judgments the final conclusion of a report is relying on.
Integration of ethics into health technology assessment (HTA) remains challenging for HTA practitioners. We conducted a systematic review on social and methodological issues related to ethical analysis in HTA. We examined: (1) reasons for integrating ethics (social needs); (2) obstacles to ethical integration; (3) concepts and processes deployed in ethical evaluation (more specifically value judgments) and critical analyses of formal experimentations of ethical evaluation in HTA.
Search criteria included “ethic,” “technology assessment,” and “HTA”. The literature search was done in Medline/Ovid, SCOPUS, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and the international HTA Database. Screening of citations, full-text screening, and data extraction were performed by two subgroups of two independent reviewers. Data extracted from articles were grouped into categories using a general inductive method.
A list of 1,646 citations remained after the removal of duplicates. Of these, 132 were fully reviewed, yielding 67 eligible articles for analysis. The social need most often reported was to inform policy decision making. The absence of shared standard models for ethical analysis was the obstacle to integration most often mentioned. Fairness and Equity and values embedded in Principlism were the values most often mentioned in relation to ethical evaluation.
Compared with the scientific experimental paradigm, there are no settled proceedings for ethics in HTA nor consensus on the role of ethical theory and ethical expertise hindering its integration. Our findings enable us to hypothesize that there exists interdependence between the three issues studied in this work and that value judgments could be their linking concept.
Childhood abuse and neglect are associated with dissociative symptoms in adulthood. However, empirical studies show heterogeneous results depending on the type of childhood abuse or neglect and other maltreatment characteristics. In this meta-analysis, we systematically investigated the relationship between childhood interpersonal maltreatment and dissociation in 65 studies with 7352 abused or neglected individuals using the Dissociative Experience Scale (DES). We extracted DES-scores for abused and non-abused populations as well as information about type of abuse/neglect, age of onset, duration of abuse, and relationship to the perpetrator. Random-effects models were used for data synthesis, and meta-regression was used to predict DES-scores in abused populations from maltreatment characteristics. The results revealed higher dissociation in victims of childhood abuse and neglect compared with non-abused or neglected subsamples sharing relevant population features (MAbuse = 23.5, MNeglect = 18.8, MControl = 13.8) with highest scores for sexual and physical abuse. An earlier age of onset, a longer duration of abuse, and parental abuse significantly predicted higher dissociation scores. This meta-analysis underlines the importance of childhood abuse/neglect in the etiology of dissociation. The identified moderators may inform risk assessment and early intervention to prevent the development of dissociative symptoms.
The transition from modern to postmodern society leads to changing expectations about the purpose and responsibility of leadership. Habermas’s social theory provides a useful analytical tool for understanding current societal transition processes and exploring their implications for the responsibility of business vis-à-vis society. We argue that integrative responsible leadership, in particular, can contribute to the reconciliation of business with societal goals. Integrative responsible leadership understood in a Habermasian way is not only a strategic endeavor but also a communicative endeavor. An essential part of integrative responsible leadership in light of the current societal transformation processes is the facilitation of discourses about a shared base of norms and values. This is exemplified alongside current societal developments like the European migration crisis or the emerging nationalist and fundamentalist movements in some countries. We specify how and when leadership should resort to communicative action and discuss the implications for leadership.
Large discrepancies have been observed between satellite-derived sea-ice concentrations(IC) from passive microwave remote sensing and those derived from optical images at several locations in the East Antarctic, between February and April 2014. These artefacts, that resemble polynyas in the IC maps, appear in areas where optical satellite data show that there is landfast sea ice. The IC datasets and the corresponding retrieval algorithms are investigated together with microwave brightness temperature, air temperature, snowfall and bathymetry to understand the failure of the IC retrieval. The artefacts are the result of the application of weather filters in retrieval algorithms. These filters use the 37 and 19 GHz channels to correct for atmospheric effects on the retrieval. These channels show significant departures from typical ranges when the artefacts occur. A melt–refreeze cycle with associated snow metamorphism is proposed as the most likely cause. Together, the areas of the artefacts account for up to 0.5% of the Antarctic sea-ice area and thus cause a bias in sea-IC time series. In addition, erroneous sea ICs can adversely affect shipping operations.
The main difficulties encountered in the integration of ethics in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) were identified in our systematic review. In the process of analyzing these difficulties we then addressed the question of the diversity of ethical approaches (1) and the difficulties in their operationalization (2,3).
Nine ethical approaches were identified: principlism, casuistry, coherence analysis, wide reflexive equilibrium, axiology, socratic approach, triangular method, constructive technology assessment and social shaping of technology. Three criteria were used to clarify the nature of each of these approaches:
1.The characteristics of the ethical evaluation
2.The disciplinary foundation of the ethical evaluation
3.The operational process of the ethical evaluation in HTA analysis.
In HTA, both norm-based ethics and value-based ethics are mobilized. This duality is fundamental since it proposes two different ethical evaluations: the first is based on the conformity to a norm, whereas the second rests on the actualization of values. The disciplinary foundation generates diversity as philosophy, sociology and theology propose different justifications for ethical evaluation. At the operational level, ethical evaluation's characteristics are applied to the case at stake by specific practical reasoning. In a norm-based practical reasoning, one must substantiate the facts that will be correlated to a moral norm for clearly identifying conformity or non-conformity. In value-based practical reasoning, one must identify the impacts of the object of assessment that will be subject to ethical evaluation. Two difficulties arise: how to apply values to facts and prioritize amongst conflicting ethical evaluations of the impacts?
Applying these three criteria to ethical approaches in HTA helps understanding their complexity and the difficulty of operationalizing them in HTA tools. The choice of any ethical evaluations is never neutral; it must be justified by a moral point of view. Developing tools for ethics in HTA is operationalizing a specific practical reasoning in ethics.
One of the barriers of integrating ethics in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) relates to the social role of HTA (1). The aim of this study is to provide a better understanding of the way by which law circumscribes the social role of HTA. Our hypothesis: HTA's social role is embedded within a mixed governance based on hard law and soft law.
Three HTA agencies were conveniently selected for our study: Haute Autorité de santé (HAS) (France), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (United Kingdom) and Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) (Québec, Canada). Our analysis of the legal, administrative and procedural documents relating to the existence and assessment processes of these three agencies is guided by the following criteria:
1.The normative strength of the documents (categories of hard law or soft law) (2)
2.The definition of the agencies’ social role (1)
3.The integration of ethics in the agencies’ mandate.
Hard law contributes to establish a general mandate and some legal legitimacy for these agencies. Soft law, grounded in the HTA producers' practices, plays a major role in the legal governance of HTA. Our results demonstrate that these agencies existing practices seem to circumscribe their social role further than their constitutive laws. In this context, social actors become responsible to define, structure and operationalize the implementation of HTA.
In addition, the legal framework (hard law) through which HTA unfolds does not clearly support its structural and social role. Despite existing legal frameworks, the normative legitimacy of HTA is not entirely established, as it depends on soft law. Taken altogether, this maintains a persisting conceptual vagueness in HTA governance.
The social role of HTA should be defined either through modifying existing legislations (hard law) or through harmonization of the agencies internal policies and regulations (soft law). Such legal initiatives would help clarify the aims of HTA evaluations: assessments (scientific) or appraisal (value-laden), and therefore give a clearer indication on how best to integrate ethics in HTA.
The objective was to identify the conceptual and methodological issues surrounding integration of ethics in Health Technology Assessment (HTA). We conducted a systematic review examining: (i) social needs, (ii) methodological and procedural barriers, (iii) concepts or processes of ethics assessment used and (iv) results of experimentations for integrating ethics in HTA.
Search criteria included ‘ethic’, ‘technology assessment’ and ‘HTA’. The literature search was done up to 21 November 2016 in Medline/Ovid, SCOPUS, CINAHL, PsycINFO and international HTA Database. Screening of citations, screening of full-text and data extraction were performed by two subgroups of two independent reviewers. The first group was constituted of HTA experts, and the second of ethics and philosophy experts. Data extracted from articles were regrouped in categories for each objective.
A list of 2,420 citations was obtained while 1,646 remained after the removal of duplicates. Of these, 132 were fully reviewed, yielding 67 eligible articles for analysis. Eight categories were identified within the social needs. The mostly evoked were ‘Informed policy decision making’ (n = 16) and 'Informed public/patient decision making’ (n = 12). Ten categories of methodological and procedural barriers were identified. The most mentioned were 'Lack of standardized and recognized proceedings for ethical analysis’ (n = 28) and ‘Lack of shared consensus on the role of ethical theory and ethical expertise’ (n = 17). Within the concepts or processes of ethics assessment, thirteen categories were identified. The most mentioned were ‘Fairness and Equity’ (n = 12), ‘Beneficence and Non-maleficence’ (n = 10) and, ‘Autonomy’ (n = 10). Within results of experimentations, five categories were identified. The most mentioned was ‘Usefulness of ethics for identifying relevant problems’ (n = 3). While few experimentations were identified, no clear operational method was found in our research.
This study confirms the necessity to design an operational method integrating ethics and addressing social needs of HTA. Our results constitute the basis for developing a new theoretical and practical method.
Traditionally, personalised nutrition was delivered at an individual level. However, the concept of delivering tailored dietary advice at a group level through the identification of metabotypes or groups of metabolically similar individuals has emerged. Although this approach to personalised nutrition looks promising, further work is needed to examine this concept across a wider population group. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to: (1) identify metabotypes in a European population and (2) develop targeted dietary advice solutions for these metabotypes. Using data from the Food4Me study (n 1607), k-means cluster analysis revealed the presence of three metabolically distinct clusters based on twenty-seven metabolic markers including cholesterol, individual fatty acids and carotenoids. Cluster 2 was identified as a metabolically healthy metabotype as these individuals had the highest Omega-3 Index (6·56 (sd 1·29) %), carotenoids (2·15 (sd 0·71) µm) and lowest total saturated fat levels. On the basis of its fatty acid profile, cluster 1 was characterised as a metabolically unhealthy cluster. Targeted dietary advice solutions were developed per cluster using a decision tree approach. Testing of the approach was performed by comparison with the personalised dietary advice, delivered by nutritionists to Food4Me study participants (n 180). Excellent agreement was observed between the targeted and individualised approaches with an average match of 82 % at the level of delivery of the same dietary message. Future work should ascertain whether this proposed method could be utilised in a healthcare setting, for the rapid and efficient delivery of tailored dietary advice solutions.
Little is known about the Himalayan glaciers, although they are of particular interest in terms of future water supply, regional climate change and sea-level rise. In 2002, a long-term monitoring programme was started on Chhota Shigri Glacier (32.2° N, 77.5° E; 15.7 km2, 6263–4050 ma.s.l., 9 km long) located in Lahaul and Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. This glacier lies in the monsoon–arid transition zone (western Himalaya) which is alternately influenced by Asian monsoon in summer and the mid-latitude westerlies in winter. Here we present the results of a 4 year study of mass balance and surface velocity. Overall specific mass balances are mostly negative during the study period and vary from a minimum value of –1.4 m w.e. in 2002/03 and 2005/06 (equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) ∼5180 m a.s.l.) to a maximum value of +0.1 m w.e. in 2004/05 (ELA 4855 m a.s.l.). Chhota Shigri Glacier seems similar to mid-latitude glaciers, with an ablation season limited to the summer months and a mean vertical gradient of mass balance in the ablation zone (debris-free part) of 0.7mw.e.(100 m)–1, similar to those reported in the Alps. Mass balance is strongly dependent on debris cover, exposure and the shading effect of surrounding steep slopes.
Mass-balance and dynamic behaviour of Chhota Shigri glacier, western Himalaya, India, has been investigated between 2002 and 2010 and compared to data collected in 1987-89. During the period 2002-10, the glacier experienced a negative glacier-wide mass balance of -0.67 ± 0.40 m w.e. a-1. Between 2003 and 2010, elevation and ice-flow velocities slowly decreased in the ablation area, leading to a 24-37% reduction in ice fluxes, an expected response of the glacier dynamics to its recent negative mass balances. The reduced ice fluxes are still far larger than the balance fluxes calculated from the 2002-10 average surface mass balances. Therefore, further slowdown, thinning and terminus retreat of Chhota Shigri glacier are expected over the next few years. Conversely, the 2003/04 ice fluxes are in good agreement with ice fluxes calculated assuming that the glacier-wide mass balance is zero. Given the limited velocity change between 1987−89 and 2003/04 and the small terminus change between 1988 and 2010, we suggest that the glacier has experienced a period of near-zero or slightly positive mass balance in the 1990s, before shifting to a strong imbalance in the 21st century. This result challenges the generally accepted idea that glaciers in the Western Himalaya have been shrinking rapidly for the last few decades.
The Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) method is an internationally recognized complex intervention in dementia research and care for implementing person-centered care. The Leben-QD II trial aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of DCM with regard to caregivers.
The nine participating nursing home units were allocated to three groups: (1) DCM method experienced ≥ 1 year, (2) DCM newly introduced during this trial, and (3) regular rating of residents’ quality of life (control group). Linear mixed models were fit to cluster-aggregated data after 0, 6, and 18 months, adjusting for repeated measurements and confounders. The primary outcome was the Approaches to Dementia Questionnaire (ADQ) score; the secondary outcomes were the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) and the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI).
The analysis included 201 caregivers with 290 completed questionnaires (all three data collection time points). The ADQ showed a significant time and time*intervention effect. At baseline, the estimated least-square means for the ADQ were 71.98 (group A), 72.46 (group B), and 71.15 (group C). The non-linear follow-up of group A indicated an estimated-least square means of 69.71 (T1) and 68.97 (T2); for group B, 72.80 (T1) and 72.29 (T2); and for group C, 66.43 (T1) and 70.62 (T2).
The DCM method showed a tendency toward negatively affecting the primary and secondary outcomes; this finding could be explained by the substantial deviation in adherence to the intervention protocol.
The Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) is a globally complete collection of digital outlines of glaciers, excluding the ice sheets, developed to meet the needs of the Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for estimates of past and future mass balance. The RGI was created with limited resources in a short period. Priority was given to completeness of coverage, but a limited, uniform set of attributes is attached to each of the ~198 000 glaciers in its latest version, 3.2. Satellite imagery from 1999–2010 provided most of the outlines. Their total extent is estimated as 726 800 ± 34 000 km2. The uncertainty, about ±5%, is derived from careful single-glacier and basin-scale uncertainty estimates and comparisons with inventories that were not sources for the RGI. The main contributors to uncertainty are probably misinterpretation of seasonal snow cover and debris cover. These errors appear not to be normally distributed, and quantifying them reliably is an unsolved problem. Combined with digital elevation models, the RGI glacier outlines yield hypsometries that can be combined with atmospheric data or model outputs for analysis of the impacts of climatic change on glaciers. The RGI has already proved its value in the generation of significantly improved aggregate estimates of glacier mass changes and total volume, and thus actual and potential contributions to sea-level rise.
Objectives: Social cognitive deficits have been discussed to be endophenotypes for schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses. The current study aimed to assess emotional intelligence (EI) in unaffected siblings of schizophrenia patients to investigate its potential role as endophenotype for schizophrenia. Methods: EI was measured in 56 schizophrenia patients, 57 unaffected siblings, and 127 healthy control subjects by using the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). In addition, non-social cognition was assessed with the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS). Linear mixed models with compound symmetric correlation structure were used for of the three groups with respect to EI and non-social cognition. Results: Schizophrenia patients showed significantly lower overall EI and performed significantly worse in three out of four MSCEIT branches compared to unaffected siblings and control subjects, whereas the two latter groups had comparable EI levels. Similar performance patterns (patients<unaffected siblings=control subjects) were found with respect to non-social cognition. Solely in the “Tower of London” test, siblings achieved significantly lower task scores compared to control subjects. Conclusions: Based on our results, EI as measured with the MSCEIT does not seem to represent a marker of risk for schizophrenia. Further investigations should concentrate on other EI measures to reassess this finding. (JINS, 2017, 23, 577–583)