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Despite its established benefits, palliative care (PC) is not well known among patients and family/caregivers. From a nationally representative survey, we sought to assess the following associated with PC: knowledge, knowledge sources, and beliefs.
Data were drawn from the Health Information National Trends Study (HINTS 5 Cycle 2), a cross-sectional, survey of non-institutionalized adults aged 18+ years in the USA. Data were weighted and assessed by proportional comparison and multivariable logistic regression.
A total of 3504 respondents were identified, and approximately 29% knew about PC. In the adjusted model, less PC knowledge was associated with: lower age (those aged <50), male gender, lower education (<high school graduation or high school graduate), and non-internet users. A little over half (55%) of respondents accessed healthcare providers first for PC information, and 80% considered providers the most trusted source of PC information. Most of the participants strongly/somewhat agreed that the goal of PC is to help friends and family cope with a patient's illness (90.6%), offer social and emotional support (93.4%), and manage pain and other physical symptoms (95.1%). Similarly, a majority (83.3%) strongly/somewhat agreed that it is a doctor's obligation to inform all patients with cancer about the option of PC.
Significance of results
PC knowledge was generally low (1-in-3 respondents knew of PC), with significant differences according to age, gender, education, and internet use. These data provide a baseline from which PC education policies and interventions may be measured.
What effect do natural disasters have on political participation? Some argue that natural disasters decrease political participation because of the way they reduce individual and group resources. Others argue that they stimulate political participation by creating new social norms. Previous studies have been limited both by their focus on a specific disaster type and a lack of regional variation. This article advances the literature by assessing the effect of the 2011 triple disaster in Japan on political participation at both the individual and district level. Drawing on multiple sources of data, I use a difference-in-differences identification strategy to show that the 2011 triple disaster in Japan resulted in a 6 percent increase in participation in political groups in regions heavily affected by the disaster, and a 2.5 percent increase in voter turnout in districts in prefectures that were significantly affected by the disaster. The results also show that the effect at the individual level is largely confined to individuals with large social networks, suggesting that the effect of natural disasters on political participation is a combination of their direct and indirect impact on variables that operate through different subpopulations. Directions for future studies are suggested.
Replicate radiocarbon (14C) measurements of organic and inorganic control samples, with known Fraction Modern values in the range Fm = 0–1.5 and mass range 6 μg–2 mg carbon, are used to determine both the mass and radiocarbon content of the blank carbon introduced during sample processing and measurement in our laboratory. These data are used to model, separately for organic and inorganic samples, the blank contribution and subsequently “blank correct” measured unknowns in the mass range 25–100 μg. Data, formulas, and an assessment of the precision and accuracy of the blank correction are presented.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection can cause serious illness including haemolytic uraemic syndrome. The role of socio-economic status (SES) in differential clinical presentation and exposure to potential risk factors amongst STEC cases has not previously been reported in England. We conducted an observational study using a dataset of all STEC cases identified in England, 2010–2015. Odds ratios for clinical characteristics of cases and foodborne, waterborne and environmental risk factors were estimated using logistic regression, stratified by SES, adjusting for baseline demographic factors. Incidence was higher in the highest SES group compared to the lowest (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.19–2.00). Odds of Accident and Emergency attendance (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10–1.75) and hospitalisation (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.36–2.15) because of illness were higher in the most disadvantaged compared to the least, suggesting potential lower ascertainment of milder cases or delayed care-seeking behaviour in disadvantaged groups. Advantaged individuals were significantly more likely to report salad/fruit/vegetable/herb consumption (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.16–2.17), non-UK or UK travel (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.40–2.27; OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.35–2.56) and environmental exposures (walking in a paddock, OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.22–2.70; soil contact, OR 1.52, 95% CI 2.13–1.09) suggesting other unmeasured risks, such as person-to-person transmission, could be more important in the most disadvantaged group.
The mammal family Tenrecidae (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) is endemic to Madagascar. Here we present the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec that were assessed or reassessed in 2015–2016 for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Six species (19.4%) were found to be threatened (4 Vulnerable, 2 Endangered) and one species was categorized as Data Deficient. The primary threat to tenrecs is habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps. In the longer term, climate change is expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges. However, the lack of data for most tenrecs on population size, ecology and distribution, together with frequent changes in taxonomy (with many cryptic species being discovered based on genetic analyses) and the poorly understood impact of bushmeat hunting on spiny species (Tenrecinae), hinders conservation planning. Priority conservation actions are presented for Madagascar's tenrecs for the first time since 1990 and focus on conserving forest habitat (especially through improved management of protected areas) and filling essential knowledge gaps. Tenrec research, monitoring and conservation should be integrated into broader sustainable development objectives and programmes targeting higher profile species, such as lemurs, if we are to see an improvement in the conservation status of tenrecs in the near future.
The American College of Cardiology Quality Network enables national benchmarking and collaborative quality improvement through vetted metrics. We describe here our initial experience with the Quality Network.
Quarterly data for metrics pertaining to chest pain, Kawasaki disease, tetralogy of Fallot, elevated body mass index, and others were shared with the collaboratives for benchmarking. National improvement efforts focussed on counselling for elevated body mass index and 22q11.2 testing in tetralogy of Fallot. Improvement strategies included developing multi-disciplinary workgroups, educational materials, and electronic health record advances.
Chest pain metric performance was high compared with national means: obtaining family history (90–100% versus 51–77%), electrocardiogram (100% versus 89–99%), and echocardiogram for exertional complaints (95–100% versus 74–96%). Kawasaki metric performance was high, including obtaining coronary measurements (100% versus 85–97%), prescribing aspirin (100% versus 86–99%), follow-up with imaging (100% versus 85–98%), and documenting no activity restriction without coronary aneurysms (83–100% versus 64–93%). Counselling for elevated body mass index was variable (25–75% versus 31–50%) throughout quality improvement efforts. Testing for 22q11.2 deletion in tetralogy of Fallot patients was consistently above the national mean (60–85% versus 54–68%) with improved genetics data capture.
The Quality Network promotes meaningful benchmarking and collaborative quality improvement. Our high performance for chest pain and Kawasaki metrics is likely related to previous improvement efforts in chest pain management and a dedicated Kawasaki team. Uptake of counselling for elevated body mass index is variable; stronger engagement among numerous providers is needed. Recommendations for 22q11.2 testing in tetralogy of Fallot were widely recognised and implemented.
A total of 592 people reported gastrointestinal illness following attendance at Street Spice, a food festival held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North East England in February/March 2013. Epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations were undertaken to identify the source and prevent further cases. Several epidemiological analyses were conducted; a cohort study; a follow-up survey of cases and capture re-capture to estimate the true burden of cases. Indistinguishable isolates of Salmonella Agona phage type 40 were identified in cases and on fresh curry leaves used in one of the accompaniments served at the event. Molecular testing indicated entero-aggregative Escherichia coli and Shigella also contributed to the burden of illness. Analytical studies found strong associations between illness and eating food from a particular stall and with food items including coconut chutney which contained fresh curry leaves. Further investigation of the food supply chain and food preparation techniques identified a lack of clear instruction on the use of fresh uncooked curry leaves in finished dishes and uncertainty about their status as a ready-to-eat product. We describe the investigation of one of the largest outbreaks of food poisoning in England, involving several gastrointestinal pathogens including a strain of Salmonella Agona not previously seen in the UK.
Introduction: It is estimated that up to 30% of medical services in Canada are potentially unnecessary, not supported by current evidence or may cause patient harm. This type of practice negatively impacts patients and the healthcare system. Evidence suggests that medical education strongly impacts resource utilization in future practice. Our objective was to integrate Choosing Wisely (CW) recommendations into the undergraduate medical education curriculum to improve students understanding of resource stewardship in their pre-clerkship training. Methods: Post-course survey data and written feedback were collected from the Cumming School of Medicines 2019 class. Qualitative analysis of written feedback was used to identify perceived strengths and areas of improvement to inform additional changes for the 2020 class through a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle. Results: The post-course survey was completed by 143 students. 60% reported the inclusion of CW improved their ability to develop a clinical management plan. Using the information gathered from the qualitative analysis, we made the following changes for the 2020 class: create an introductory lecture on resource stewardship, incorporate relevant CW recommendations into case study learning objectives, and create standardized slides on CW recommendations for lecturers. Feedback from the 2020 class revealed that the changes were well received and students reported feeling more comfortable with resource stewardship concepts. Conclusion: This data reveals that our efforts have increased students confidence in creating a management plan that integrates resource stewardship and patient safety, and elicited strong faculty support. We will continue to integrate these changes and to obtain student and faculty feedback to help inform additional iterative changes for the subsequent cohort. Our findings are valuable for other medical schools across Canada seeking to incorporate CW material.
Hemorrhage remains the major cause of preventable death after trauma. Recent data suggest that earlier blood product administration may improve outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine whether opportunities exist for blood product transfusion by ground Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
This was a single EMS agency retrospective study of ground and helicopter responses from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2015 for adult trauma patients transported from the scene of injury who met predetermined hemodynamic (HD) parameters for potential transfusion (heart rate [HR]≥120 and/or systolic blood pressure [SBP]≤90).
A total of 7,900 scene trauma ground transports occurred during the study period. Of 420 patients meeting HD criteria for transfusion, 53 (12.6%) had a significant mechanism of injury (MOI). Outcome data were available for 51 patients; 17 received blood products during their emergency department (ED) resuscitation. The percentage of patients receiving blood products based upon HD criteria ranged from 1.0% (HR) to 5.9% (SBP) to 38.1% (HR+SBP). In all, 74 Helicopter EMS (HEMS) transports met HD criteria for blood transfusion, of which, 28 patients received prehospital blood transfusion. Statistically significant total patient care time differences were noted for both the HR and the SBP cohorts, with HEMS having longer time intervals; no statistically significant difference in mean total patient care time was noted in the HR+SBP cohort.
In this study population, HD parameters alone did not predict need for ED blood product administration. Despite longer transport times, only one-third of HEMS patients meeting HD criteria for blood administration received prehospital transfusion. While one-third of ground Advanced Life Support (ALS) transport patients manifesting HD compromise received blood products in the ED, this represented 0.2% of total trauma transports over the study period. Given complex logistical issues involved in prehospital blood product administration, opportunities for ground administration appear limited within the described system.
MixFM, ZielinskiMD, MyersLA, BernsKS, LukeA, StubbsJR, ZietlowSP, JenkinsDH, SztajnkrycerMD. Prehospital Blood Product Administration Opportunities in Ground Transport ALS EMS – A Descriptive Study. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(3):230–236.
Across the globe, the implementation of quality improvement science and collaborative learning has positively affected the care and outcomes for children born with CHD. These efforts have advanced the collective expertise and performance of inter-professional healthcare teams. In this review, we highlight selected quality improvement initiatives and strategies impacting the field of cardiovascular care and describe implications for future practice and research. The continued leveraging of technology, commitment to data transparency, focus on team-based practice, and recognition of cultural norms and preferences ensure the success of sustainable models of global collaboration.
Because the Anthropocene by definition is an epoch during which environmental change is largely anthropogenic and driven by social, economic, psychological and political forces, environmental social scientists can effectively analyse human behaviour and knowledge systems in this context. In this subject review, we summarize key ways in which the environmental social sciences can better inform fisheries management policy and practice and marine conservation in the Anthropocene. We argue that environmental social scientists are particularly well positioned to synergize research to fill the gaps between: (1) local behaviours/needs/worldviews and marine resource management and biological conservation concerns; and (2) large-scale drivers of planetary environmental change (globalization, affluence, technological change, etc.) and local cognitive, socioeconomic, cultural and historical processes that shape human behaviour in the marine environment. To illustrate this, we synthesize the roles of various environmental social science disciplines in better understanding the interaction between humans and tropical marine ecosystems in developing nations where issues arising from human–coastal interactions are particularly pronounced. We focus on: (1) the application of the environmental social sciences in marine resource management and conservation; (2) the development of ‘new’ socially equitable marine conservation; (3) repopulating the seascape; (4) incorporating multi-scale dynamics of marine social–ecological systems; and (5) envisioning the future of marine resource management and conservation for producing policies and projects for comprehensive and successful resource management and conservation in the Anthropocene.
A 10-year descriptive analysis of morbidity and mortality associated with water-related activities in the Top End, Northern Territory (NT), Australia.
An outdoor, water-orientated lifestyle characterises the Top End due to its tropical climate, lengthy coastline, many inland-waterways, and common domestic-pool ownership. However, the water holds many dangers: from drowning to the prospect of crocodile attacks.
Data were retrospectively collected from two sources: the Trauma Registry (TR), Royal Darwin Hospital, NT and the National Coronial Information System. Inclusion criteria: all mortality or injury with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) ≥9 from water-related activity in the Top End. Exclusion criteria: envenomation. Data included: demographics, geographical location, time/mechanism of injury, injury narrative/outcome, alcohol consumption, ISS, and Indigenous race.
Ninety-five deaths occurred from 1/1/2005–12/31/2014; 87 prehospital (92%). The leading three mechanisms of injury for the 138 TR admissions were drowning (40%), falling/diving (35%), and watercraft events (14%). Median age 27 (0-90); 78% males. There were 74 children (<16 years) including 20 deaths. Indigenous Australians represent 30% of the NT population, but had 43% of deaths and 12% of admissions. Deaths from crocodile attacks are increasing with 14 deaths from 2005-2014, compared to 10 deaths from 1971-2004 (Caldicutt). Alcohol was recorded in 31% of admissions and 52% of deaths in those age >16. The Top End’s crude rate of drowning averaged over 10 years was 4.36/100,000/annum, compared to 1.31/100,000/annum in Australia.
Alcohol plays a major role in the Top End’s water-related harm, associated with all mechanisms and over one-half of adult deaths. Also striking is increasing crocodile fatalities, possibly caused by population recovery from endangered to plentiful, since hunting ceased in 1971. Local authorities/advocates push water-safety and crocodile-awareness programs. However, the lure of tropical waters combined with alcohol remains a risk to life and limb. Further public health campaigns focusing on these issues are called for.
The local electrode atom probe (LEAP) has become the primary instrument used for atom probe tomography measurements. Recent advances in detector and laser design, together with updated hit detection algorithms, have been incorporated into the latest LEAP 5000 instrument, but the implications of these changes on measurements, particularly the size and chemistry of small clusters and elemental segregations, have not been explored. In this study, we compare data sets from a variety of materials with small-scale chemical heterogeneity using both a LEAP 3000 instrument with 37% detector efficiency and a 532-nm green laser and a new LEAP 5000 instrument with a manufacturer estimated increase to 52% detector efficiency, and a 355-nm ultraviolet laser. In general, it was found that the number of atoms within small clusters or surface segregation increased in the LEAP 5000, as would be expected by the reported increase in detector efficiency from the LEAP 3000 architecture, but subtle differences in chemistry were observed which are attributed to changes in the way multiple hit detection is calculated using the LEAP 5000.
Do natural disasters help or hurt politicians’ electoral fortunes? Research on this question has produced conflicting results. Achen and Bartels (2002, 2016) find that voters punish incumbent politicians indiscriminately after such disasters. Other studies find that voters incorporate the quality of relief efforts by elected officials. We argue that results in this literature may be driven, in part, by a focus on contemporary cases of disaster and relief. In contrast, we study a case of catastrophic flooding in the American South in 1927, in which disaster aid was broadly and fairly distributed and Herbert Hoover (the 1928 Republican presidential candidate) was personally responsible for overseeing the relief efforts. Despite the distribution of unprecedented levels of disaster aid, we find that voters punished Hoover at the polls: in affected counties, Hoover’s vote share decreased by more than 10 percentage points. Our results are robust to the use of synthetic control methods and suggest that—even if voters distinguish between low- and high-quality responses—the aggregate effect of this disaster remains broadly negative. Our findings provide some support for Achen and Bartels’ idea of blind retrospection, but also generate questions about the precise mechanisms by which damage and relief affect vote choice.
Canopy-forming fucoid algae have an important role as ecosystem engineers on rocky intertidal shores, where they increase the abundance of species otherwise limited by exposure during low tide. The facilitative relationship between Ascophyllum nodosum and associated organisms was explored using a frond breakage experiment (100%, 50%, 25%, 0% intact-frond treatments) in southern England, to assess the consequences of disturbance. Understorey substratum temperature was on average 3°C higher in 0% and 25% intact-frond treatments than in plots with 50% and 100% intact fronds. Light (as PAR during low tide) doubled in 0% intact-frond treatments in comparison to other treatments (which had similar light levels). Mobile invertebrate species richness declined by on average 1 species per m2 in the treatments with only 25% and 0% intact fronds, and the abundance of Littorina obtusata declined by 2.4–4.2 individuals per m2 in the treatments with 25 and 0% intact fronds. Sessile taxa, including Osmundea pinnatifida and encrusting coralline algae, declined by half on average in the 0% intact-frond treatment. These results suggest that the ability of Ascophyllum to mediate environmental conditions to the understorey is the mechanism responsible for species distributed in the understorey (autogenic ecosystem engineering). The results of this study imply that a pulse disturbance resulting in a 50% breakage of Ascophyllum fronds significantly increases temperature and decreases the abundance of mobile invertebrates usually associated with Ascophyllum. Sessile taxa associated with Ascophyllum can, however, withstand disturbances down to 25% intact Ascophyllum fronds.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate a programme of lesion surgery carried out on patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
This was a retrospective study looking at clinical and psychometric data from 45 patients with TRD who had undergone bilateral stereotactic anterior capsulotomy surgery over a period of 15 years, with the approval of the Mental Health Act Commission (37 with unipolar depression and eight with bipolar disorder). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) before and after surgery was used as the primary outcome measure. The Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale was administered and cognitive aspects of executive and memory functions were also examined. We carried out a paired-samples t test on the outcome measures to determine any statistically significant change in the group as a consequence of surgery.
Patients improved on the clinical measure of depression after surgery by −21.20 points on the BDI with a 52% change. There were no significant cognitive changes post-surgery. Six patients were followed up in 2013 by phone interview and reported a generally positive experience. No major surgical complications occurred.
With the limitations of an uncontrolled, observational study, our data suggest that capsulotomy can be an effective treatment for otherwise TRD. Performance on neuropsychological tests did not deteriorate.
Background: Planning for neurology training necessitated a reflection on the experience of graduates. We explored practice characteristics, and training experience of recent graduates. Methods: Graduates from 2010-2014 completed a survey. Results: Response rate was 37% of 211. 56% were female. 91% were adult neurologists. 65% practiced in an outpatient setting. 63% worked in academics. 85% completed subspecialty training (median 1 year). 36% work 3 days a week or less. 82% took general call (median 1 night weekly). Role preparation was considered very good or excellent for most; however poor or fair ratings were 17% in advocacy and 8% in leadership. Training feedback was at least “good” for 87%. Burnout a few times a week or more was noted by 5% (6% during residency, particularly PGY1 and 5). 64% felt overly burdened by paperwork. Although most felt training was adequate, it was poor or fair at preparing for practice management (85%) and personal balance (55%). Most conditions were under-observed in training environment. Many noted a need for more independent practice development and community neurology. Conclusions: Although our training was found to be very good, some identified needs included advocacy training, and more training in general neurology in the longitudinal outpatient/community settings.
Phragmites australis (common reed) is one of the most widely distributed flowering plants in North America. The introduced lineage occurs in wetland and riparian areas covering a range of climatic types. In Nebraska, an abundance of livestock could help to reduce P. australis with proper timing and grazing intensities. In 2011, a 3-yr study was initiated to evaluate targeted cattle grazing and herbicide effects and the nutritive value of this species. Treatments included a single application of imazapyr (Habitat®, BASF Corporation, Research Triangle Park, NC) herbicide applied in the first year, grazing, and a control. Grazing was applied for up to five consecutive days in June and August 2011 and 2012 and in June 2013. Stem density, height, and biomass of P. australis were determined before each grazing period and in 2014. Diet samples were collected from rumenally fistulated steers each grazing period. Imazapyr provided 100% control of P. australis; however, re-establishment began 2 yr posttreatment. Grazing significantly reduced pregrazing P. australis biomass in the second and third growing season (P < 0.05). Stem density and height in the grazed treatment was similar to the control through 2012; however, in 2013 and 2014, control stem density was 1.5 times greater and height was 1.4 times that of the grazed treatment. Crude protein content of diet samples was greater in 2011 (16.8%) compared with 2012 (14.3%, P < 0.05). In vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) of diet samples (45.4%) was not affected by year or month (P > 0.05). The relatively low IVDMD suggests that some form of energy supplementation would be needed to create a better nutritional balance. The cumulative effect of grazing does have the potential to reduce P. australis populations, but other methods would have to be used for greater control and site restoration.
Echinococcus granulosus (sensu lato) is now recognized as an assemblage of cryptic species, which differ considerably in morphology, development, host specificity (including infectivity/pathogenicity for humans) and other aspects. One of these species, E. granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), is now clearly identified as the principal agent causing cystic echinococcosis in humans. Previous studies of a small section of the cox1 and nadh1 genes identified two variants of E. granulosus s.s. to be present in Australia; however, no further work has been carried out to characterize the microdiversity of the parasite in its territory. We have analysed the sequence of the full length of the cox1 gene (1609 bp) from 37 isolates of E. granulosus from different hosts and geographic regions of Australia. The analysis shows that seven haplotypes of E. granulosus s.s. not previously described were found, together with five haplotypes known to be present in other parts of the world, including the haplotype EG01 which is widespread and present in all endemic regions. These data extend knowledge related to the geographical spread and host range of E. granulosus s.s. in a country such as Australia in which the parasite established around 200 years ago.