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To describe interfacility transfer communication (IFTC) methods for notification of multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) status in a diverse sample of acute-care hospitals.
Hospitals within the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network (SRN).
SRN members completed an electronic survey on protocols and methods for IFTC. We assessed differences in IFTC frequency, barriers, and perceived benefit by presence of an IFTC protocol.
Among 136 hospital representatives who were sent the survey, 54 (40%) responded, of whom 72% reported having an IFTC protocol in place. The presence of a protocol did not differ significantly by hospital size, academic affiliation, or international status. Of those with IFTC protocols, 44% reported consistent notification of MDRO status (>75% of the time) to receiving facilities, as opposed to 13% from those with no IFTC protocol (P = .04). Respondents from hospitals with IFTC protocols reported significantly fewer barriers to communication compared to those without (2.8 vs 4.3; P = .03). Overall, however, most respondents (56%) reported a lack of standardization in communication. Presence of an IFTC protocol did not affect whether respondents perceived IFTC protocols as having a significant impact on infection prevention or antimicrobial stewardship.
Most respondents reported having an IFTC protocol, which was associated with reduced communication barriers at transfer. Standardization of protocols and clarity about expectations for sending and receipt of information related to MDRO status may facilitate IFTC and promote appropriate and timely infection prevention practices.
We present a case of late symptom onset of COVID-19 infection 72 days after initial diagnosis in an immunocompromised 53-year-old man. SARS-CoV-2 was cultured from his sputum sample at this time, and genomic sequencing suggested reinfection was unlikely. After receipt of convalescent plasma, SARS-CoV-2 became undetectable by PCR 111 days after diagnosis, although SARS-CoV-2 antibodies remained not detectable. This case posed difficult public health management issues in a low prevalence COVID-19 setting as the person required extended home isolation given his prolonged SARS-CoV-2 PCR detection.
Vitamin B12 (B12) is a co-enzyme essential for fetal growth and development. Lower maternal B12 status has been associated with preterm birth (<37 gestational weeks) and low birth weight (<2500 g), which are linked to morbidity and mortality across the lifespan. In Canada, 17–25 % of women in early pregnancy had a serum total B12 concentration <148 pmol/l and maternal total B12 concentration decreased throughout pregnancy. This study aimed to determine the association between maternal B12 status and birth outcomes in Canadian mother–newborn dyads. A secondary analysis of 709 mother–newborn dyads in British Columbia (BC), Canada, was conducted. Bio-banked first- (n 656) and second-trimester (n 709) maternal serum samples of apparently healthy South Asian (50 %) and European (50 %) women from the BC Prenatal Genetic Screening Program were quantified for B12 biomarkers (total B12, holotranscobalamin (holoTC), methylmalonic acid (MMA) and total homocysteine (tHcy)). Obstetric history and birth outcome data were obtained from the BC Perinatal Data Registry. All associations were determined using multiple linear regression. Maternal serum total B12, holoTC, MMA and tHcy had a mean weekly decrease of 3·64 pmol/l, 1·04 pmol/l, 1·44 nmol/l and 0·104 μmol/l, respectively (P < 0·001). Despite a total B12 concentration <148 pmol/l among 20–25 % of the women, maternal B12 biomarker concentrations were not associated with birth weight z-score, head circumference z-score and gestational age at birth (P > 0·05). Additional research in women at high risk of adverse birth outcomes and the association between maternal B12 status and functional, for example, cognitive, outcomes is needed.
To what extent is it possible for American Jews to maintain a deep emotional connection to Israel while criticizing the actions of the Israeli government? This long-debated question echoes earlier investigations of different forms of patriotism toward one's home country. Drawing on two 2019 surveys of American Jews, we find that, like Americans in general, Jewish liberals and conservatives express different forms of patriotism toward both Israel and America. Jewish conservatives tend to oppose criticism of Israel and America for any reason, while Jewish liberals view criticism as an important part of “caring” about both countries. Both forms of patriotism are positively associated with stronger emotional connections to the relevant country. These results suggest that emotional connection to Israel represents a form of social identification with Israel and that lower levels of connection to Israel among some American Jews are driven more by apathy than active criticism or hostility.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Assessment of individuals at risk for falling entails comprehensive neurological and vestibular examinations. Chronic limitation in cervical mobility reduces gaze accuracy, potentially impairing navigation through complex visual environments. Additionally, humans with scoliosis have altered otolithic vestibular responses, causing imbalance. We sought to determine whether dynamic cervical mobility restrictions or static cervicothoracic impairments are also fall risk factors.
We examined 435 patients referred for soft-tissue musculoskeletal complaints; 376 met criteria for inclusion (mean age 52; 266 women). Patients were divided into nonfallers, single fallers, and multiple fallers, less or greater than 65 years old. Subject characteristics, dynamic cervical rotations, and static cervicothoracic axial measurements were compared between groups. Fear of falling was evaluated using the Falls Efficacy Scale-International questionnaire.
Long-standing cervicothoracic pain and stiffness conferred increased risk of falling. Neck rotation amplitudes decreased with longer duration musculoskeletal symptoms and were significantly more restricted in fallers, doubling the risk of falling and contributing to increased fear of falling. Mid-thoracic scoliosis amplitudes increased over time, but static axial abnormalities were not greater among fallers, although thoracic kyphoscoliosis heightened fear of falling.
In patients at fall risk, thoracic kyphoscoliosis and dynamic neck movements should be assessed, in addition to standard vestibular and neurological evaluations. Additionally, patients with soft tissue cervicothoracic pain and restricted mobility have increased fall frequency and fear of falling, independent of other fall risk factors and should undergo complete fall risk appraisal.
Direct simulations of two-dimensional plane channel flow of a viscoelastic fluid at Reynolds number
reveal the existence of a family of attractors whose structure closely resembles the linear Tollmien–Schlichting (TS) mode, and in particular exhibits strongly localized stress fluctuations at the critical layer position of the TS mode. At the parameter values chosen, this solution branch is not connected to the nonlinear TS solution branch found for Newtonian flow, and thus represents a solution family that is nonlinearly self-sustained by viscoelasticity. The ratio between stress and velocity fluctuations is in quantitative agreement for the attractor and the linear TS mode, and increases strongly with Weissenberg number,
. For the latter, there is a transition in the scaling of this ratio as
increases, and the
at which the nonlinear solution family comes into existence is just above this transition. Finally, evidence indicates that this branch is connected through an unstable solution branch to two-dimensional elastoinertial turbulence (EIT). These results suggest that, in the parameter range considered here, the bypass transition leading to EIT is mediated by nonlinear amplification and self-sustenance of perturbations that excite the TS mode.
Individuals with personality disorders (especially paranoid personality disorder) tend to be reluctant to engage in treatment. This paper aimed to elucidate the role of personality disorder in predicting engagement with psychological treatment for depression. The Outcomes of Depression International Network (ODIN) involves six urban and three rural study sites throughout Europe at which cases of depression were identified through a two-stage community survey. One patient in seven who was offered psychological treatment for depression had a comorbid diagnosis of personality disorder (most commonly paranoid personality disorder). Forty-five percent of patients who were offered psychological treatment for depression did not complete treatment. The odds of completion were higher for patients with a comorbid diagnosis of personality disorder, especially paranoid, anxious or dependent personality disorder. The relatively low number of cases with some specific personality disorders (e.g. schizoid personality disorder) limited the study's power to reach conclusions about these specific disorders. This study focused on a community-based sample which may lead to apparently lower rates of engagement when compared to studies based on treatment-seeking populations. Episodes of depression in the context of personality disorder may represent a valuable opportunity to engage with patients who might otherwise resist engagement.
Depression is a highly prevalent disease and its costs can be burdensome to both patients and payers.
To compare the short-term costs, outcomes, and cost-effectiveness associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) treatment with venlafaxine XR and major market comparators (duloxetine and two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs], namely escitalopram and sertraline HCL) in Italy from the Italian National Health Service perspective.
To inform treatment decisions based on cost effectiveness of MDD treatments.
A decision tree structure was used to model MDD treatment over 1 year. Patients were treated with one of the model comparators and based on published clinical literature; either remained depressed, achieved response but no remission, or achieved remission. Drug costs were set to the reimbursed price for the recommended dose of each treatment. Costs of hospitalization and utility weights were based on depression status.
Venlafaxine XR was estimated to be the most effective treatment (0.736 quality-adjusted life years [QALYs]) followed by the SSRIs (0.731) and duloxetine (0.714). Total annual MDD-related costs for venlafaxine (€691) were estimated to be lower than all comparators (duloxetine=€1,308, escitalopram=€874) except sertraline HCL (€638), owing largely to drug cost differences and hospitalization savings associated with better projected depression status. Venlafaxine was cost-saving (more effective, less costly) compared with duloxetine and escitalopram. The incremental cost per QALY gained vs. sertraline HCL was €9,844.
Based on the model, venlafaxine XR represents a cost-effective treatment option for MDD in Italy and may result in costsavings depending on the comparison.
For decades, a strong case has been made for comprehensive reform of the U.S. federal government’s regulatory processes (for early contributions, see Weidenbaum & DeFina, 1978; Lave, 1981; Breyer, 1982; Harrison & Portney, 1983; Litan & Nordhaus, 1983; Viscusi, 1992; Breyer, 1993; Sunstein, 1996; Graham, 1996, 1997). Establishment of centralized Office of Management and Budget (OMB) oversight through the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) was an important achievement, but Congress has not yet passed comprehensive regulatory reform legislation.
Controlling norovirus transmission in units with immunocompromised patients is challenging. We present a cluster of norovirus cases that occurred on a stem-cell transplant unit and the prevention efforts that were implemented to limit the outbreak. Protocols developed to control this cluster may provide a model for other facilities.
A longstanding issue in the field of nutrition is the potential inaccuracy of methods traditionally used for dietary assessment (i.e. food diaries and food frequency questionnaires). It is possible to overcome the limitations and biases of these techniques by combining them with analytical measurements in human biofluids. Metabolomic technologies are gaining popularity as nutritional tools due to their capacity to measure metabolic responses to external stimuli, such as the ingestion of certain foods. This project performed both LC-MS and 1H-NMR metabolomic profiling on serum samples collected as part of the NICOLA study (Northern Irish Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Aging) in order to discover novel dietary biomarkers. A dietary validation cohort (NIDAS) was incorporated within NICOLA, involving 45 males and 50 females, aged 50 years and over. Participants provided detailed dietary data (4-day food diary) and blood samples at two time-points, six months apart. Serum samples were processed on two analytical platforms. 1H-NMR spectra were acquired using a Bruker 600 MHz Ascent coupled to a TCI cryoprobe and processed using Bayesil (University of Alberta, Canada). A Waters TQ-S coupled with an Acquity I-class UPLC was used in combination with a targeted commercially available kit (AbsoluteIDQ p180 kit, Biocrates). Mass spectra obtained were processed with MetIDQ and verified using MassLynx (v4.1). Data were tested for normality, and metabolite concentrations were correlated with recorded dietary intake of each food type using SPSS. Additional tests (PCA, PLS-DA, ROC Curves) were performed on MetaboAnalyst 4.0 (University of Alberta, Canada). More than 50 statistically significant (P < 0.05) food-metabolite correlations were detected, 15 of which remained significant after eliminating potential confounding from sex, age and BMI. The strongest correlations were between fruit consumption and acetic acid, and between dairy consumption and certain glycerophospholipids (e.g. LysoPC aa C20:3). Stratifying the cohort by gender yielded further correlations, including PC ae C38:2 (dairy; males), PC aa C34:4 (dairy; females), PC aa C36:4 (dairy; females) and trans-4-Hydroxyproline (meat; males). A number of potential blood-based food biomarkers were detected, many of which are gender-specific, and some are corroborated by previously published studies. However, further validation work is required. For example, biological plausibility needs to be established, and the findings need to be reproduced in other cohorts to demonstrate their applicability in larger and more diverse populations. These results contribute greatly to the ongoing efforts to discover and validate reliable nutritional biomarkers as an objective and unbiased measurement of food intake.
Why do hosts vary so much in parasite burden, how does this variation translate to variation in host demographic rates and parasite transmission, and how does varied transmission intensity impact selection upon immune defence of individuals? The theoretical foundations of disease ecology provide predictions for the answers to these questions, yet testing such predictions with empirical data poses many challenges. We show how the long-term ecological and genetic study of the unmanaged Soay sheep of St Kilda has addressed fundamental questions in disease ecology, with longitudinal data on parasite burden, immune defence, condition, survival, and fecundity of >10,000 individuals. The rich individual-scale data are complemented by >30 years of data on sheep population dynamics and genetic diversity as well as parasite dynamics and diversity. Population-scale work has documented the range of parasite species present and the contribution of the most prevalent and virulent parasites to regulating sheep dynamics. Individual-scale work has identified drivers of variation in parasite burden and tested hypotheses about costs and benefits of defence in a quest to determine how natural selection has shaped immune function of the sheep.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) history have high rates of performance validity test (PVT) failure. The study aimed to determine whether those with scores in the invalid versus valid range on PVTs show similar benefit from psychotherapy and if psychotherapy improves PVT performance.
Veterans (N = 100) with PTSD, mild-to-moderate TBI history, and cognitive complaints underwent neuropsychological testing at baseline, post-treatment, and 3-month post-treatment. Veterans were randomly assigned to cognitive processing therapy (CPT) or a novel hybrid intervention integrating CPT with TBI psychoeducation and cognitive rehabilitation strategies from Cognitive Symptom Management and Rehabilitation Therapy (CogSMART). Performance below standard cutoffs on any PVT trial across three different PVT measures was considered invalid (PVT-Fail), whereas performance above cutoffs on all measures was considered valid (PVT-Pass).
Although both PVT groups exhibited clinically significant improvement in PTSD symptoms, the PVT-Pass group demonstrated greater symptom reduction than the PVT-Fail group. Measures of post-concussive and depressive symptoms improved to a similar degree across groups. Treatment condition did not moderate these results. Rate of valid test performance increased from baseline to follow-up across conditions, with a stronger effect in the SMART-CPT compared to CPT condition.
Both PVT groups experienced improved psychological symptoms following treatment. Veterans who failed PVTs at baseline demonstrated better test engagement following treatment, resulting in higher rates of valid PVTs at follow-up. Veterans with invalid PVTs should be enrolled in trauma-focused treatment and may benefit from neuropsychological assessment after, rather than before, treatment.
The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
Guidelines for palliative and spiritual care emphasize the importance of screening patients for spiritual suffering. The aim of this review was to synthesize the research evidence of the accuracy of measures used to screen adults for spiritual suffering.
A systematic review of the literature. We searched five scientific databases to identify relevant articles. Two independent reviewers screened, extracted data, and assessed study methodological quality.
We identified five articles that yielded information on 24 spiritual screening measures. Among all identified measures, the two-item Meaning/Joy & Self-Described Struggle has the highest sensitivity (82–87%), and the revised Rush protocol had the highest specificity (81–90%). The methodological quality of all included studies was low.
Significance of Results
While most of the identified spiritual screening measures are brief (comprised 1 to 12 items), few had sufficient accuracy to effectively screen patients for spiritual suffering. We advise clinicians to use their critical appraisal skills and clinical judgment when selecting and using any of the identified measures to screen for spiritual suffering.
Current coverage of mental healthcare in low- and middle-income countries is very limited, not only in terms of access to services but also in terms of financial protection of individuals in need of care and treatment.
To identify the challenges, opportunities and strategies for more equitable and sustainable mental health financing in six sub-Saharan African and South Asian countries, namely Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.
In the context of a mental health systems research project (Emerald), a multi-methods approach was implemented consisting of three steps: a quantitative and narrative assessment of each country's disease burden profile, health system and macro-fiscal situation; in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders; and a policy analysis of sustainable financing options.
Key challenges identified for sustainable mental health financing include the low level of funding accorded to mental health services, widespread inequalities in access and poverty, although opportunities exist in the form of new political interest in mental health and ongoing reforms to national insurance schemes. Inclusion of mental health within planned or nascent national health insurance schemes was identified as a key strategy for moving towards more equitable and sustainable mental health financing in all six countries.
Including mental health in ongoing national health insurance reforms represent the most important strategic opportunity in the six participating countries to secure enhanced service provision and financial protection for individuals and households affected by mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities.
Declaration of interest
D.C. is a staff member of the World Health Organization.
Introduction: Patient satisfaction is an essential component of effective delivery of quality care in the emergency department (ED). Frequent reflection on current practices is required to detect areas in need of improvement. The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) outlined five ‘Leading Practices’ (LPs) targeted to increase patient satisfaction in this setting. The ED volunteers are a group of individuals who have unique perspectives on ED practices that are unbiased by confounders affecting patients and staff. The goal of this study was to explore the unique perspectives of ED volunteers involving what they believe will improve the delivery of patient-centered care, as well as to examine to what extent Saskatoon EDs are embracing the principles outlined in the OHA LPs. Methods: A two-phase mixed methods approach, with a survey followed by interviews that allowed participants to expand on survey findings was used. The pool of 45 ED volunteers was extended the opportunity to participate resulting in 36 survey responses and 6 interviews. The 13 Likert-grade survey questions were generated to align to each of the LPs and allowed room for qualitative feedback. Interview questions were generated following 15 survey responses to expand on the LPs that were rated below average. Results: Analysis of responses identified inefficient ED processes leading to increased waiting times, inefficient patient location, inadequate signage, a lack of physical space, unclean environments, and a lack of staff and volunteer awareness regarding spiritual care and interpreter services, perceptions of received care by patients due to long wait times and level of cultural safety training of ED staff. Themes reduced from interviews yielded common themes such as patient frustration, disorganization, uncomfortable environment, overcrowding, prolonged wait times, and patient misconception of ED processes at Site 1. Themes common to Site 2 included organization, patient-friendly environment, patient misconception of ED processes, and prolonged wait times. Additionally, the volunteers suggested a plethora of interventions that could improve the current processes in Saskatoon's EDs to make them more patient friendly. Conclusion: Saskatoon EDs comply reasonably well to the OHA Leading practices. Surveying ED volunteers provides important insight into current practices and areas for improvement, and should be considered at other sites to improve adherence to the OHA LPs.
Little is known about the household economic costs associated with mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders in low- and middle-income countries.
To assess the association between MNS disorders and household education, consumption, production, assets and financial coping strategies in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.
We conducted an exploratory cross-sectional household survey in one district in each country, comparing the economic circumstances of households with an MNS disorder (alcohol-use disorder, depression, epilepsy or psychosis) (n = 2339) and control households (n = 1982).
Despite some heterogeneity between MNS disorder groups and countries, households with a member with an MNS disorder had generally lower levels of adult education; lower housing standards, total household income, effective income and non-health consumption; less asset-based wealth; higher healthcare expenditure; and greater use of deleterious financial coping strategies.
Households living with a member who has an MNS disorder constitute an economically vulnerable group who are susceptible to chronic poverty and intergenerational poverty transmission.
Declaration of interest
D.C. is a staff member of the World Health Organization. The authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this publication and they do not necessarily represent the decisions, policy or views of the World Health Organization.