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Serial position scores on verbal memory tests are sensitive to early Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related neuropathological changes that occur in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. The current study examines longitudinal change in serial position scores as markers of subtle cognitive decline in older adults who may be in preclinical or at-risk states for AD.
This study uses longitudinal data from the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Participants (n = 141) were included if they did not have dementia at enrollment, completed follow-up assessments, and died and were classified as Braak stage I or II. Memory tests were used to calculate serial position (primacy, recency), total recall, and episodic memory composite scores. A neuropathological evaluation quantified AD, vascular, and Lewy body pathologies. Mixed effects models were used to examine change in memory scores. Neuropathologies and covariates (age, sex, education, APOE e4) were examined as moderators.
Primacy scores declined (β = −.032, p < .001), whereas recency scores increased (β = .021, p = .012). No change was observed in standard memory measures. Greater neurofibrillary tangle density and atherosclerosis explained 10.4% of the variance in primacy decline. Neuropathologies were not associated with recency change.
In older adults with hippocampal neuropathologies, primacy score decline may be a sensitive marker of early AD-related changes. Tangle density and atherosclerosis had additive effects on decline. Recency improvement may reflect a compensatory mechanism. Monitoring for changes in serial position scores may be a useful in vivo method of tracking incipient AD.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has seen health systems adapt and change in response to local and international experiences. This study describes the experiences and learnings by the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) in managing a campaign style, novel public health disaster response.
Disaster preparedness has focused on acute impact, mass casualty incidents. In early 2020, CALHNs largest hospital the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) was appointed as the state primary COVID-19 adult receiving hospital. Between the period of February 1, 2020, when the first COVID-19 positive patient was admitted, through to December 31, 2020, the RAH had admitted 146 inpatients with COVID-19, 118 admitted to our hospital in the home service, 18 patients admitted to Intensive Care, and 4 patients died while inpatients. During this time CALHN has sustained an active (physical and virtual) Network Incident Command Centre (NICC) supported by a Network Incident Management Team (NIMT).
This study describes our key lessons learnt in relation to the management of a campaign style disaster response including the importance of disaster preparedness, fatigue management, and communication. Also described, were the challenges of operating in a command model and the role of exercising and education and an overview of our operating rhythm, how we built capability, and lessons management.
Undertaking a longer duration disaster response, relating to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that, although traditional disaster principles still are important, there are many nuances that need to be considered to retain a proportionate response. Our key lessons have revolved around the key tenants of disaster management, communication, capability, and governance.
To review the experiences of healthcare professionals (HCPs) and service users on the provision and receipt of home enteral nutrition (HEN) in primary care settings, respectively.
HEN supports the nutritional needs of service users in primary care settings who are unable to meet their nutritional requirements through oral intake alone. While HEN supports service users to remain in their home, the provision of HEN services can be variable. The prevalence of HEN is increasing as health systems shift delivery of care from acute to primary care settings, and therefore the evolving needs of HCPs and service users in relation to HEN deserve exploration.
Quantitative and qualitative studies were included if they described (1) practices that support best outcomes in adults on HEN and residing in their own homes and/or (2) service user and HCP experiences of HEN. Studies on the economics of HEN were included. Databases searched included MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and CINAHL. Publications up to March 2021 were included. A descriptive analytical approach was used to summarise the findings.
Key themes included the importance of initial education to enable service users to adapt to HEN and the need for support from knowledgeable HCPs. Access to support from HCPs in primary care was limited, and some HCPs felt their knowledge of HEN was inadequate. Service users highlighted the significant impact of HEN on daily living and emphasised the need for support from a HEN team. HEN services were also associated with reduced hospital admissions, lengths of stay in hospital, and costs of hospitalisation.
A specialist HEN service can manage enteral nutrition-related complications, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions, and improve quality of care and patient satisfaction. Further education of HCPs is needed on the provision of HEN.
Child protection systems monitoring is key to ensuring children’s wellbeing. In England, monitoring is rooted in onsite inspection, culminating in judgements ranging from ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’. But inspection may carry unintended consequences where child protection systems are weak. One potential consequence is increased child welfare intervention rates. In this longitudinal ecological study of local authorities in England, we used Poisson mixed-effects regression models to assess whether child welfare intervention rates are higher in an inspection year, whether this is driven by inspection judgement, and whether more deprived areas experience different rates for a given inspection judgement. We investigated the impact of inspection on care entry, Child Protection Plan-initiation, and child-in-need status. We found that inspection was associated with a rise in rates across the spectrum of interventions. Worse judgements yielded higher rates. Inspection may also exacerbate existing inequalities. Unlike less deprived areas, more deprived areas judged inadequate did not experience an increase in the less intrusive ‘child-in-need’ interventions. Our findings suggest that a narrow focus on social work practice is unlikely to address weaknesses in the child protection system. Child protection systems monitoring should be guided by a holistic model of systems improvement, encompassing the socioeconomic determinants of quality.
The rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) required swift preparation to protect healthcare personnel (HCP) and patients, especially considering shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). Due to the lack of a pre-existing biocontainment unit, we needed to develop a novel approach to placing patients in isolation cohorts while working with the pre-existing physical space.
To prevent disease transmission to non–COVID-19 patients and HCP caring for COVID-19 patients, to optimize PPE usage, and to provide a comfortable and safe working environment.
An interdisciplinary workgroup developed a combination of approaches to convert existing spaces into COVID-19 containment units with high-risk zones (HRZs). We developed standard workflow and visual management in conjunction with updated staff training and workflows. The infection prevention team created PPE standard practices for ease of use, conservation, and staff safety.
The interventions resulted in 1 possible case of patient-to-HCP transmission and zero cases of patient-to-patient transmission. PPE usage decreased with the HRZ model while maintaining a safe environment of care. Staff on the COVID-19 units were extremely satisfied with PPE availability (76.7%) and efforts to protect them from COVID-19 (72.7%). Moreover, 54.8% of HCP working in the COVID-19 unit agreed that PPE monitors played an essential role in staff safety.
The HRZ model of containment unit is an effective method to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with several benefits. It is easily implemented and scaled to accommodate census changes. Our experience suggests that other institutions do not need to modify existing physical structures to create similarly protective spaces.
After implementing a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection prevention bundle, the incidence rate ratio (IRR) of non–severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (non–SARS-CoV-2) hospital-acquired respiratory viral infection (HA-RVI) was significantly lower than the IRR from the pre–COVID-19 period (IRR, 0.322; 95% CI, 0.266–0.393; P < .01). However, HA-RVIs incidence rates mirrored community RVI trends, suggesting that hospital interventions alone did not significantly affect HA-RVI incidence.
Background: SARS-CoV-2 N95 mask contamination in healthcare providers (HCPs) treating patients with COVID-19 is poorly understood. Method: We performed a prospective observational study of HCP N95 respirator SARS-CoV-2 contamination during aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) on SARS-CoV-2–positive patients housed in a COVID-19–specific unit at an academic medical center. Medical masks were used as surrogates for N95 respirators to avoid waste and were worn on top of HCP N95 respirators during study AGPs. Study masks were provided to HCPs while donning PPE and were retrieved during doffing. Additionally, during doffing, face shields were swabbed with Floq swabs premoistened with viral transport media (VTM) prior to disinfection. Medical masks were cut into 9 position-based pieces, placed in VTM, vortexed, and centrifuged (Fig. 1). RNA extraction and RT-PCR were completed on all samples. RT-PCR–positive samples underwent cell culture infection to detect cytopathic effects (CPE). Contamination was characterized by mask location and front and back of face shields. Patient COVID-19 symptoms were collected from routine clinical documentation. Study HCPs completed HCP-role–specific routine care (eg, assessing, administering medications, and maintaining oxygen supplementation) while in patient rooms and were observed by study team members. Results: We enrolled 31 HCPs between September and December 2021. HCP and patient characteristics are presented in Table 1. In total, 330 individual samples were obtained from 31 masks and 26 face shields among 12 patient rooms. Of the 330 samples, 0 samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 via RT-PCR. Positive controls were successfully performed in the laboratory setting to confirm that the virus was recoverable using these methods. Notably, all samples were collected from HCPs caring for COVID-19 patients on high-flow, high-humidity Optiflow (AGP), with an average of 960 seconds (IQR, 525–1,680) spent in each room. In addition to Optiflow and routine care, study speech pathologists completed an additional AGP of fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. Notably, 29 (94%) of 31 study HCP had physical contact with their patient. Conclusions: Overall, mask contamination in HCPs treating patients with COVID-19 undergoing AGPs was not detectable while wearing face shields, despite patient contact and performing AGP.
Background: Working while ill, or presenteeism, has been documented at substantial levels among healthcare personnel (HCP) along with its consequences for both patient and HCP safety. Limited literature has been published on HCP presenteeism during the COVID-19 pandemic, and specific motivations for this behavior are not well described. Understanding both individual and systemic factors that contribute to presenteeism is key to reducing respiratory illness transmission in the healthcare setting. We characterized the frequency of and motivations for presenteeism in the workforce of a large academic medical center during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: We deployed a voluntary, anonymous electronic survey to HCP at University of North Carolina (UNC) Medical Center in December 2021, which was approved by the UNC Institutional Review Board. We received 591 responses recruited through employee newsletters. Respondents recounted their frequency of presenteeism since March 2020, defined as coming to work feeling feverish plus cough and/or sore throat. In total, 24.6% reported presenteeism at least once, with 8.1% reporting twice and 5.3% 3 or more times. Asking more generally about any symptoms while working, the following were most common: headache (26%), sinus congestion (20%), sore throat (13%), cough (13%), and muscle aches (9.3%). Results: Motivations for presenteeism fell broadly into 4 categories: (1) perception of low risk for COVID-19 infection, (2) concerns about workplace culture and operations, (3) issues with sick leave, and (4) concerns about employment record and status. Among HCP reporting at least 1 instance, the most common motivations for presenteeism included feeling low risk for COVID-19 infection due to mild symptoms (59.9%), being vaccinated (50.6%), avoiding increasing colleagues’ workload (48.3%), avoiding employment record impact (39.6%), and saving sick days for other purposes (37.9%). Asked to identify a primary motivation, 40.3% reported feeling low risk for COVID-19 infection due to mild symptoms or vaccination, 21.2% reported a workplace culture issue (ie, increasing colleague workload, perception of weakness, responsibility for patients), 20.6% reported sick leave availability and use (including difficulty finding coverage) and 17.8% reported employment record ramifications including termination. Conclusions: This survey coincided with 2the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 ο (omicron) variant locally, and as such, risk perceptions and motivations for presenteeism may have changed. Responses were self-reported and generalizability is limited. Still, these results highlight the importance of risk messaging and demonstrate the many factors to be considered as potential presenteeism motivators. Mitigating these drivers is particularly critical during high-risk times such as pandemics or seasonal peaks of respiratory illness.
Diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), a globally important pest of Brassicaceae crops, migrates into all provinces of Canada annually. Life tables were used to determine the mortality levels contributed by the parasitoid complexes associated with diamondback moth in British Columbia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and insular Newfoundland. Overall, diamondback moth populations showed high generational mortality (> 90%) in all provinces, although parasitism levels were generally low. The net reproductive rate of increase in diamondback moth was less than 1.0 (populations declined) in both years in British Columbia and in each of two years in Newfoundland and Ontario, but it was greater than 1.0 in all three years in Prince Edward Island. Lower parasitism levels were found in Prince Edward Island (3.0–6.3%) compared with other provinces (8.4–17.6%, except one year in British Columbia). Diadegma insulare was the main larval parasitoid found; it was present in all provinces. Microplitis plutellae was present in all provinces except British Columbia. Oomyzus sokolowskii was found in British Columbia and Ontario. The parasitoid community documented from sentinel sampling was less diverse than that found through destructive sampling. Hypotheses are provided to explain the presence of major parasitoids. Increasing larval parasitism would have the largest effect on diamondback moth population growth in Canada.
Initial assessments of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) preparedness revealed resource shortages and variations in infection prevention policies across US hospitals. Our follow-up survey revealed improvement in resource availability, increase in testing capacity, and uniformity in infection prevention policies. Most importantly, the survey highlighted an increase in staffing shortages and use of travel nursing.
Hospital-associated fungal infections from construction and renovation activities can be mitigated using an infection control risk assessment (ICRA) and implementation of infection prevention measures. The effectiveness of these measures depends on proper installation and maintenance. Consistent infection prevention construction rounding with feedback is key to ongoing compliance.
To test the hypothesis that higher level of purpose in life is associated with lower likelihood of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in older Brazilians.
As part of the Pathology, Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Study (PARDoS), informants of 1,514 older deceased Brazilians underwent a uniform structured interview. The informant interview included demographic data, the Clinical Dementia Rating scale to diagnose dementia and MCI, the National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule for depression, and a 6-item measure of purpose in life, a component of well-being.
Purpose scores ranged from 1.5 to 5.0 with higher values indicating higher levels of purpose. On the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, 940 persons (62.1%) had no cognitive impairment, 121 (8.0%) had MCI, and 453 (29.9%) had dementia. In logistic regression models adjusted for age at death, sex, education, and race, higher purpose was associated with lower likelihood of MCI (odds ratio = .58; 95% confidence interval [CI]: .43, .79) and dementia (odds ratio = .49, 95% CI: .41, .59). Results were comparable after adjusting for depression (identified in 161 [10.6%]). Neither race nor education modified the association of purpose with cognitive diagnoses.
Higher purpose in life is associated with lower likelihood of MCI and dementia in older black and white Brazilians.
Background: The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is a critical intervention in preventing the spread of transmission-based infections in healthcare settings. However, contamination of the skin and clothing of healthcare personnel (HCP) frequently occurs during the doffing of PPE. In fact, nearly 40% of HCP make errors while doffing their PPE, causing them to contaminate themselves. PPE monitors are staff that help to promote their colleagues’ safety by guiding them through the PPE donning and doffing processes. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the UNC Medical Center chose to incorporate PPE monitors as part of its comprehensive COVID-19 prevention strategy, using them in inpatient areas (including COVID-19 containment units and all other units with known or suspected SARS-CoV-2–positive patients), procedural areas, and outpatient clinics. Methods: Infection prevention and nursing developed a PPE monitoring team using redeployed staff from outpatient clinics and inpatient areas temporarily closed because of the pandemic. Employee training took place online and included fundamentals of disease transmission, hand hygiene basics, COVID-19 policies and signage, and videos on proper donning and doffing, including coaching tips. The monitors’ first shifts were supervised by experienced monitors to continue in-place training. Employees had competency sheets signed off by a supervisor. Results: The Medical Center’s nursing house supervisors took over management and deployment of the PPE monitoring team, and infection prevention staff continued to train new members. Eventually, as closed clinics and areas reopened and these PPE monitors returned to their regular positions, areas used their own staff to perform the role of PPE monitor. In the fall of 2020, a facility-wide survey was sent to all inpatient staff to assess their perceptions of the Medical Center’s efforts to protect them from acquiring COVID-19. It included a question asking how much staff agreed or disagreed that PPE monitors “play an important role in keeping our staff who care for COVID-19 patients safe.” Of the 626 staff who answered this question, 67.6% agreed or strongly agreed that PPE monitors played an important role in keeping staff safe. Thus far, there has been no direct transmission or clusters of COVID-19 involving HCP in COVID-19 containment units with PPE monitors. Conclusions: PPE monitors are an important part of a comprehensive COVID-19 prevention strategy. In early 2021, the UNC Medical Center posted and hired paid PPE monitor positions to continue this critical work in a sustainable way.
As part of the Pathology, Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Study, we conducted uniform structured interviews with knowledgeable informants (72% children) of 1,493 older (age > 65) Brazilian decedents.
The interview included measures of social isolation (number of family and friends in at least monthly contact with decedent), emotional isolation (short form of UCLA Loneliness Scale), and major depression plus the informant portion of the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale to diagnose dementia and its precursor, mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Decedents had a median social network size of 8.0 (interquartile range = 9.0) and a median loneliness score of 0.0 (interquartile range = 1.0). On the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, 947 persons had no cognitive impairment, 122 had MCI, and 424 had dementia. In a logistic regression model adjusted for age, education, sex, and race, both smaller network size (odds ratio [OR] = 0.975; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.962, 0.989) and higher loneliness (OR = 1.145; 95% CI: 1.060, 1.237) were associated with higher likelihood of dementia. These associations persisted after controlling for depression (present in 10.4%) and did not vary by race. After controlling for depression, neither network size nor loneliness was related to MCI.
Social and emotional isolation are associated with higher likelihood of dementia in older black and white Brazilians.
We evaluated the ability of an ultraviolet-C (UV-C) room decontamination device to kill Candida auris and C. albicans. With an organic challenge (fetal calf serum), the UV-C device demonstrated the following log10 reductions for C. auris of 4.57 and for C. albicans of 5.26 with direct line of sight, and log10 reductions for C. auris of 2.41 and for C. ablicans of 3.96 with indirect line of sight.
This case study was prompted by the identification, in observations and in discussion with the normal class teacher, of pupil demotivation and disaffection during Latin lessons, and the fact that this represented a considerable barrier to attainment and progress. My observation of this phenomenon coincided with Year 9 submitting their GCSE options. The combination of apparently ambiguous attitudes towards the subject and the fact that these attitudes were being brought to the fore explicitly because of the options choices drew my attention to pupil perceptions of the subject. It seemed to me that understanding the way in which pupils perceive the subject might be instructive for my own teaching practice, allowing me to better understand what pupils enjoy about the subject, what they find difficult, what enthuses them and what turns them off. Furthermore, the place of Latin within schools in general, and the particular school in which I conducted this study, is not something that should be taken for granted. It seemed to me, therefore, that this case study might provide some insight into whether Latin is a subject that young people feel is relevant and perhaps might offer some insight into what can allow Latin to have as inclusive an appeal as possible.