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UNAIDS established fast-track targets of 73% and 86% viral suppression among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals by 2020 and 2030, respectively. The epidemiologic impact of achieving these goals is unknown. The HIV-Calibrated Dynamic Model, a calibrated agent-based model of HIV transmission, is used to examine scenarios of incremental improvements to the testing and antiretroviral therapy (ART) continuum in South Africa in 2015. The speed of intervention availability is explored, comparing policies for their predicted effects on incidence, prevalence and achievement of fast-track targets in 2020 and 2030. Moderate (30%) improvements in the continuum will not achieve 2020 or 2030 targets and have modest impacts on incidence and prevalence. Improving the continuum by 80% and increasing availability reduces incidence from 2.54 to 0.80 per 100 person-years (−1.73, interquartile range (IQR): −1.42, −2.13) and prevalence from 26.0 to 24.6% (−1.4 percentage points, IQR: −0.88, −1.92) from 2015 to 2030 and achieves fast track targets in 2020 and 2030. Achieving 90-90-90 in South Africa is possible with large improvements to the testing and treatment continuum. The epidemiologic impact of these improvements depends on the balance between survival and transmission benefits of ART with the potential for incidence to remain high.
In September 2016, an imported case of measles in Edinburgh in a university student resulted in a further 17 confirmed cases during October and November 2016. All cases were genotype D8 and were associated with a virus strain most commonly seen in South East Asia. Twelve of the 18 cases were staff or students at a university in Edinburgh and 17 cases had incomplete or unknown measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccination status. The public health response included mass follow-up of all identified contacts, widespread communications throughout universities in Edinburgh and prompt vaccination clinics at affected campuses. Imported cases of measles pose a significant risk to university student cohorts who may be undervaccinated, include a large number of international students and have a highly mobile population. Public health departments should work closely with universities to promote MMR uptake and put in place mass vaccination plans to prevent rapidly spreading measles outbreaks in higher educational settings in future.
This study examined the response of forage crops to composted dairy waste (compost) applied at low rates and investigated effects on soil health. The evenness of spreading compost by commercial machinery was also assessed. An experiment was established on a commercial dairy farm with target rates of compost up to 5 t ha−1 applied to a field containing millet [Echinochloa esculenta (A. Braun) H. Scholz] and Pasja leafy turnip (Brassica hybrid). A pot experiment was also conducted to monitor the response of a legume forage crop (vetch; Vicia sativa L.) on three soils with equivalent rates of compost up to 20 t ha−1 with and without ‘additive blends’ comprising gypsum, lime or other soil treatments. Few significant increases in forage biomass were observed with the application of low rates of compost in either the field or pot experiment. In the field experiment, compost had little impact on crop herbage mineral composition, soil chemical attributes or soil fungal and bacterial biomass. However, small but significant increases were observed in gravimetric water content resulting in up to 22.4 mm of additional plant available water calculated in the surface 0.45 m of soil, 2 years after compost was applied in the field at 6 t ha−1 dried (7.2 t ha−1 undried), compared with the nil control. In the pot experiment, where the soil was homogenized and compost incorporated into the soil prior to sowing, there were significant differences in mineral composition in herbage and in soil. A response in biomass yield to compost was only observed on the sandier and lower fertility soil type, and yields only exceeded that of the conventional fertilizer treatment where rates equivalent to 20 t ha−1 were applied. With few yield responses observed, the justification for applying low rates of compost to forage crops and pastures seems uncertain. Our collective experience from the field and the glasshouse suggests that farmers might increase the response to compost by: (i) increasing compost application rates; (ii) applying it prior to sowing a crop; (iii) incorporating the compost into the soil; (iv) applying only to responsive soil types; (v) growing only responsive crops; and (vi) reducing weed burdens in crops following application. Commercial machinery incorporating a centrifugal twin disc mechanism was shown to deliver double the quantity of compost in the area immediately behind the spreader compared with the edges of the spreading swathe. Spatial variability in the delivery of compost could be reduced but not eliminated by increased overlapping, but this might represent a potential 20% increase in spreading costs.
The objective of the present study was to investigate live weight (LW) gain, urinary nitrogen (UN) excretion and urination behaviour of dairy heifers grazing pasture, chicory and plantain in autumn and spring. The study comprised a 35-day autumn trial (with a 7-day acclimation period) and a 28-days spring trial (with a 7-day acclimation period). For each trial, 56 Friesian × Jersey heifers were blocked into five dietary treatments balanced for their LW and breeding worth (i.e. genetic merit of a cow for production and reproduction): 1·00 perennial ryegrass–white clover pasture (PA); 1·00 chicory (CH); 1·00 plantain (PL); 0·50 pasture + 0·50 chicory (PA + CH); and 0·50 pasture + 0·50 plantain (PA + PL). A fresh allocation of the herbage was offered every 3 days with allowance calculated according to feed requirement for maintenance plus gain of 1·0 kg LW/day. In both trials, LW gain was lower on CH than other treatments. In the spring trial, UN concentration and UN excretion were lower in CH and PL than other treatments. In autumn, a higher urination frequency was observed over the first 6 h after forage allocation in CH and PA + CH than other treatments. Data from the present study indicate that feeding CH alone limited heifer LW gain. However, heifers grazing swards containing chicory (CH and PA + CH) and plantain (PL and PA + PL) had the potential to lower nitrous oxide emissions and nitrate leaching from soil compared with heifers grazing PA, by reducing N loading in urine patches.
Depression and diabetes commonly co-occur; however, the strength of the physiological effects of diabetes as mediating factors towards depression is uncertain.
We analyzed extensive clinical, epidemiological and laboratory data from n = 2081 Mexican Americans aged 35–64 years, recruited from the community as part of the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (CCHC) divided into three groups: Diagnosed (self-reported) diabetes (DD, n = 335), Undiagnosed diabetes (UD, n = 227) and No diabetes (ND, n = 1519). UD participants denied being diagnosed with diabetes, but on testing met the 2010 American Diabetes Association and World Health Organization definitions of diabetes. Depression was measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies – Depression (CES-D) scale. Weighted data were analyzed using dimensional and categorical outcomes using univariate and multivariate models.
The DD group had significantly higher CES-D scores than both the ND and UD (p ⩽ 0.001) groups, whereas the ND and UD groups did not significantly differ from each other. The DD subjects were more likely to meet the CES-D cut-off score for depression compared to both the ND and UD groups (p = 0.001), respectively. The UD group was also less likely to meet the cut-off score for depression than the ND group (p = 0.003). Our main findings remained significant in models that controlled for socio-demographic and clinical confounders.
Meeting clinical criteria for diabetes was not sufficient for increased depressive symptoms. Our findings suggest that the ‘knowing that one is ill’ is associated with depressive symptoms in diabetic subjects.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a group-based intervention similar to mindfulness-based stress reduction, but which includes cognitive therapy techniques. This study investigates its usefulness in the treatment of depressive, anxiety and stress/distress symptoms in cancer patients referred to a psycho-oncology service. It also examines whether effect on depression is mediated by self-compassion.
In phase 1 of this study, 16 cancer patients with mild/moderate psychological distress were randomised to MBCT (n=8) or treatment as usual (TAU; n=8), and assessed pre- and post-treatment. Analysis of variance was performed to examine the effect of treatment on anxiety and depression. In phase 2, the TAU group received the intervention, and results of pre- and post-MBCT assessments were combined with those receiving MBCT in phase 1. Finally, both groups were followed up at 3 months.
In phase 1, the MBCT group had a significant improvement in mindfulness and a decrease in anxiety. Statistically significant improvements in both depression and anxiety were found at 3 month follow-up. Self-compassion appeared to mediate the effect on anxiety/depression.
This small pilot study suggests that MBCT may have a beneficial effect on psychological variables often adversely affected in cancer in a heterogeneous cancer population.
An infection control program was instituted at The Victoria General Hospital, an 800-bed acute care hospital, in July 1977. Serratia marcescens had infected or colonized (I/C) 225 to 232 patients yearly for each of the three previous years. Since this organism is usually acquired nosocomially, we decided to use Serratia I/C as a marker for our infection control program. During the years 1977 to 1980, we identified and eliminated several reservoirs of Serratia (contaminated urine measuring containers, urometers, diabetic urine testing equipment and in-use contamination of 2% Hibitane). Readmission of previously I/C patients proved to be an increasingly important reservoir. During 1980, only 120 patients were I/C, and gentamicin-resistant isolates of S. marcescens had dropped from 44% in 1977 to 4.4% in 1980. Use of Serratia as a marker enabled us to monitor the efficacy of our infection control program and allowed us to prove to our health care workers the usefulness of many of the measures we introduced.
Patient registries represent an important method of organizing “real world” patient information for clinical and research purposes. Registries can facilitate clinical trial planning and recruitment and are particularly useful in this regard for uncommon and rare diseases. Neuromuscular diseases (NMDs) are individually rare but in aggregate have a significant prevalence. In Canada, information on NMDs is lacking. Barriers to performing Canadian multicentre NMD research exist which can be overcome by a comprehensive and collaborative NMD registry.
We describe the objectives, design, feasibility and initial recruitment results for the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry (CNDR).
The CNDR is a clinic-based registry which launched nationally in June 2011, incorporates paediatric and adult neuromuscular clinics in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and, as of December 2012, has recruited 1161 patients from 12 provinces and territories. Complete medical datasets have been captured on 460 “index disease” patients. Another 618 “non-index” patients have been recruited with capture of physician-confirmed diagnosis and contact information. We have demonstrated the feasibility of blended clinic and central office-based recruitment. “Index disease” patients recruited at the time of writing include 253 with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, 161 with myotonic dystrophy, and 71 with ALS.
The CNDR is a new nationwide registry of patients with NMDs that represents an important advance in Canadian neuromuscular disease research capacity. It provides an innovative platform for organizing patient information to facilitate clinical research and to expedite translation of recent laboratory findings into human studies.
This study aims to assess current practices of Canadian physicians providing botulinum toxin-A (BoNT-A) treatments for children with hypertonia and to contrast these with international “best practice” recommendations, in order to identify practice variability and opportunities for knowledge translation.
Thirteen Canadian physicians assembled to develop and analyze results of a cross-sectional electronic survey, sent to 50 physicians across Canada.
Seventy-eight percent (39/50) of physicians completed the survey. The most frequently identified assessment tools were Gross Motor Function Classification System, Modified Tardieu Scale and neurological examination. Goal-setting tools were infrequently utilized. Common indications for BoNT-A injections and the muscles injected were identified. Significant variability was identified in using BoNT-A for hip displacement associated with hypertonia. The most frequent adverse event reported was localized weakness; 54% reporting this “occasionally“ and 15% “frequently”. Generalized weakness, fatigue, ptosis, diplopia, dysphagia, aspiration, respiratory distress, dysphonia and urinary incontinence were reported rarely or never. For dosage, 52% identified 16 Units/kg body weight of Botox® as maximum. A majority (64%) reported a maximum 400 Units for injection at one time. For localization, electrical stimulation and ultrasound were used infrequently (38% and 19% respectively). Distraction was the most frequently used pain-management technique (64%).
Canadian physicians generally adhere to international best practices when using BoNT-A to treat paediatric hypertonia. Two knowledge-translation opportunities were identified: use of individualized goal setting prior to BoNT-A and enhancing localization techniques. Physicians reported a good safety profile of BoNT-A in children.
Success in the domain of work is a salient developmental task of adulthood and a key indicator of adaptive function in the evaluation of health and psychopathology. Yet few studies have examined pathways to work competence, especially with strategies testing for cumulative cascade effects over time. Cascade models spanning 20 years were tested via structural equation modeling, linking work competence in early adulthood to antecedent competence in work and other domains of competence in childhood and emerging adulthood. Data were drawn from the Project Competence longitudinal study of 205 school children followed for 20 years. Relative fit of alternative models was evaluated by the Bayesian information criterion. As hypothesized, the effectiveness of adaptive behavior in earlier age-salient developmental task domains forecasted later work competence, which also showed strong concurrent links to competence in other domains. Results suggest there are numerous pathways by which success or failure in major developmental task domains in childhood and adolescence may influence adaptation in other domains and eventually work competence, both concurrently and cumulatively over time. Cascade effects highlight the potential significance for later work competence of childhood conduct (antisocial vs. rule-abiding behavior) and social competence with peers, in addition to the ongoing role that academic attainment may have for work success. Work competence also showed considerable stability over a 10-year period during early adulthood. Implications and applications for future research and intervention are discussed.
Reduction in CRBSI, catheter colonization, or catheter-related infection.
The recommended preventive strategies with the strongest supportive evidence are education and training of healthcare providers who insert and maintain catheters; maximal sterile barrier precautions during central venous catheter insertion; use of a 2% chlorhexidine preparation for skin antisepsis; no routine replacement of central venous catheters for prevention of infection; and use of antiseptic/antibiotic-impregnated short-term central venous catheters if the rate of infection is high despite adherence to other strategies (ie, education and training, maximal sterile barrier precautions, and 2% chlorhexidine for skin antisepsis).
Successful implementation of these evidence-based interventions can reduce the risk for serious catheter-related infection.
Scores of studies have measured the quality of political science departments. Generally speaking, these studies have taken two forms. Many have relied on scholars' survey responses to construct rankings of the major departments. For example, almost 50 years ago Keniston (1957) interviewed 25 department chairpersons and asked them to assess the quality of various programs, and, much more recently, the National Research Council (NRC 1995) asked 100 political scientists to rate the “scholarly quality of program faculty” in the nation's political science doctoral departments. In response to these opinion-based rankings, a number of researchers have developed what they claim to be more objective measures of department quality based on the research productivity of the faculty (Ballard and Mitchell 1998; Miller, Tien, and Peebler 1996; Robey 1979). While department rankings using these two methods are often similar, there are always noteworthy differences and these have generated an additional literature that explores the relationship between the rating systems (Garand and Graddy 1999; Jackman and Siverson 1996; Katz and Eagles 1996; Miller, Tien, and Peebler 1996).