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General practices play an important role in the detection and treatment of depressive symptoms in older adults. An adapted version of the indicated preventive life review therapy group intervention called Looking for Meaning (LFM) was developed for general practice and a pilot evaluation was conducted.
A pretest-posttest design was used. One week before and one week after the intervention participants filled out questionnaires.
In six general practices in the Netherlands the adapted intervention was given.
Inclusion criteria were > 60 years and a score of 5 or higher on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D).
The length and number of LFM sessions were shortened and the intervention was given by one mental health care nurse practitioner (MHCNP).
The impact on mental health was analyzed by depressive symptoms (CES-D) as the primary outcome and anxiety symptoms (HADS-A), psychological well-being (PGCMS) and mastery (PMS) as secondary outcomes. An evaluative questionnaire was included to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability.
Most participants were satisfied with the adaptations of the number (72%) and length (72%) of sessions. The overall sample showed a significant decrease in depressive symptoms after the intervention. No impact was found on psychological well-being, anxiety symptoms and mastery.
The intervention is feasible and acceptable for older adults with depressive symptoms and has an impact on their depressive symptoms.
Whether or not a replication attempt counts as “direct” often cannot be determined definitively after the fact as a result of flexibility in how procedural differences are interpreted. Specifying constraints on generality in original articles can eliminate ambiguity in advance, thereby leading to a more cumulative science.
Prior optical coherence tomography (OCT) studies of schizophrenia have identified thinning of retinal layers. However, findings have varied across reports, and most studies have had serious methodological limitations. To address unresolved issues, we determined whether: (1) retinal thinning in schizophrenia occurs independently of comorbid medical conditions that affect the retina; (2) thinning is independent of antipsychotic medication dose; (3) optic nerve parameters are abnormal in schizophrenia; and (4) OCT indices are related to visual and cognitive impairments common in schizophrenia.
A total of 32 people with schizophrenia and 32 matched controls participated. Spectral domain OCT generated data on retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), macula, and ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GCL-IPL) thickness, in addition to cup volume and the cup-to-disc ratio at the optic nerve head. Subjects with schizophrenia also completed measures of symptoms, visual processing, and IQ.
The groups did not differ on RNFL, macula, or GCL-IPL thickness. However, thinning of these layers was related to the presence of diabetes or hypertension across the sample as a whole. The schizophrenia group demonstrated enlarged cup volume and an enlarged cup-to-disc ratio in both eyes, which were unrelated to medical comorbidity, but were related to increased cognitive symptoms.
Past reports of retinal thinning may be artifacts of medical comorbidity that is over-represented in schizophrenia, or other confounds. However, optic nerve head abnormalities may hold promise as biomarkers of central nervous system abnormality, including cognitive decline, in schizophrenia.
There has been a marked decline in the summer extent of Arctic sea ice over the past few decades. Data from autonomous ice mass-balance buoys can enhance our understanding of this decline. These buoys monitor changes in snow deposition and ablation, ice growth, and ice surface and bottom melt. Results from the summer of 2008 showed considerable large-scale spatial variability in the amount of surface and bottom melt. Small amounts of melting were observed north of Greenland, while melting in the southern Beaufort Sea was quite large. Comparison of net solar heat input to the ice and heat required for surface ablation showed only modest correlation. However, there was a strong correlation between solar heat input to the ocean and bottom melting. As the ice concentration in the Beaufort Sea region decreased, there was an increase in solar heat to the ocean and an increase in bottom melting.
Retrospective voting is a central explanation for voters’ support of incumbents. Yet, despite the variety of conditions facing American cities, past research has devoted little attention to retrospective voting for mayors. This paper first develops hypotheses about how local retrospective voting might differ from its national analog, due to both differing information sources and the presence of national benchmarks. It then analyzes retrospective voting using the largest data set on big-city mayoral elections between 1990 and 2011 to date. Neither crime rates nor property values consistently influence incumbent mayors’ vote shares, nor do changes in local conditions. However, low city-level unemployment relative to national unemployment correlates with higher incumbent support. The urban voter is a particular type of retrospective voter, one who compares local economic performance to conditions elsewhere. Moreover, these effects appear to be present only in cities that dominate their media markets, suggesting media outlets’ role in facilitating retrospective voting.
The fragmented ecosystems along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve provide important habitats for biota including lichens. Nonetheless, the Reserve is disturbed by dense human populations and associated air pollution. Here we investigated patterns of lichen diversity within urban and rural sites at three different locations (Niagara, Hamilton, and Owen Sound) along the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada. Our results indicate that both lichen species richness and community composition are negatively correlated with increasing human population density and air pollution. However, our quantitative analysis of community composition using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicates that human population density and air pollution is more independent than might be assumed. The CCA analysis suggests that the strongest environmental gradient (CCA1) associated with lichen community composition includes regional pollution load and climatic variables; the second gradient (CCA2) is associated with local pollution load and human population density factors. These results increase the knowledge of lichen biodiversity for the Niagara Escarpment and urban and rural fragmented ecosystems as well as along gradients of human population density and air pollution; they suggest a differential influence of regional and local pollution loads and population density factors. This study provides baseline knowledge for further research and conservation initiatives along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.
To investigate the association of seasonality with dietary diversity, household food security and nutritional status of pregnant women in a rural district of northern Bangladesh.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from February 2013 to February 2015. Data were collected on demographics, household food security (using the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale), dietary diversity (using the women’s dietary diversity questionnaire) and mid-upper arm circumference. Descriptive statistics were used to explore demographics, dietary diversity, household food security and nutritional status, and inferential statistics were applied to explore the role of seasonality on diversity, household food security and nutritional status.
Twelve villages of Pirganj sub-district, Rangpur District, northern Bangladesh.
Pregnant women (n 288).
Seasonality was found to be associated with dietary diversity (P=0·026) and household food security (P=0·039). Dietary diversity was significantly lower in summer (P=0·029) and spring (P=0·038). Food security deteriorated significantly in spring (P=0·006) and late autumn (P=0·009).
Seasons play a role in women’s household food security status and dietary diversity, with food security deteriorating during the lean seasons and dietary diversity deteriorating during the second ‘lesser’ lean season and the season immediately after. Interventions that aim to improve the diet of pregnant women from low-income, subsistence-farming communities need to recognise the role of seasonality on diet and food security and to incorporate initiatives to prevent seasonal declines.
To identify Choosing Wisely items for the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.
The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) elicited potential items from a hospital epidemiology listserv, SHEA committee members, and a SHEA–Infectious Diseases Society of America compendium with SHEA Research Network members ranking items by Delphi method voting. The SHEA Guidelines Committee reviewed the top 10 items for appropriateness for Choosing Wisely. Five final recommendations were approved via individual member vote by committees and the SHEA Board.
Ninety-six items were proposed by 87 listserv members and 99 SHEA committee members. Top 40 items were ranked by 24 committee members and 64 of 226 SHEA Research Network members. The 5 final recommendations follow: 1. Don’t continue antibiotics beyond 72 hours in hospitalized patients unless patient has clear evidence of infection. 2. Avoid invasive devices (including central venous catheters, endotracheal tubes, and urinary catheters)and, if required, use no longer than necessary. They pose a major risk for infections. 3. Don’t perform urinalysis, urine culture, blood culture, or Clostridium difficile testing unless patients have signs or symptoms of infection. Tests can be falsely positive leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. 4. Do not use antibiotics in patients with recent C. difficile without convincing evidence of need. Antibiotics pose a high risk of C. difficile recurrence. 5. Don’t continue surgical prophylactic antibiotics after the patient has left the operating room. Five runner-up recommendations are included.
These 5 SHEA Choosing Wisely and 5 runner-up items limit medical overuse.
The challenges presented by traumatic injuries in low-resource communities are especially relevant in South Sudan. This study was conducted to assess whether a 3-day wilderness first aid (WFA) training course taught in South Sudan improved first aid knowledge. Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO) Schools designed the course to teach people with limited medical knowledge to use materials from their environment to provide life-saving care in the event of an emergency.
A pre-test/post-test study design was used to assess first aid knowledge of 46 community members in Kit, South Sudan, according to a protocol approved by the University of New England Institutional Review Board. The course and assessments were administered in English and translated in real-time to Acholi and Arabic, the two primary languages spoken in the Kit region. Descriptive statistics, t-test, ANOVA, and correlation analyses were conducted.
Results included a statistically significant improvement in first aid knowledge after the 3-day training course: t(38)=3.94; P<.001. Although men started with more health care knowledge: (t(37)=2.79; P=.008), men and women demonstrated equal levels of knowledge upon course completion: t(37)=1.56; P=.88.
This research, which may be the first of its kind in South Sudan, provides evidence that a WFA training course in South Sudan is efficacious. These findings suggest that similar training opportunities could be used in other parts of the world to improve basic medical knowledge in communities with limited access to medical resources and varying levels of education and professional experiences.
KatonaLB, DouglasWS, LenaSR, RatnerKG, CrothersD, ZondervanRL, RadisCD. Wilderness First Aid Training as a Tool for Improving Basic Medical Knowledge in South Sudan. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(6):574–578.
To determine whether use of contact precautions on hospital ward patients is associated with patient adverse events
Individually matched prospective cohort study
The University of Maryland Medical Center, a tertiary care hospital in Baltimore, Maryland
A total of 296 medical or surgical inpatients admitted to non–intensive care unit hospital wards were enrolled at admission from January to November 2010. Patients on contact precautions were individually matched by hospital unit after an initial 3-day length of stay to patients not on contact precautions. Adverse events were detected by physician chart review and categorized as noninfectious, preventable and severe noninfectious, and infectious adverse events during the patient’s stay using the standardized Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Global Trigger Tool.
The cohort of 148 patients on contact precautions at admission was matched with a cohort of 148 patients not on contact precautions. Of the total 296 subjects, 104 (35.1%) experienced at least 1 adverse event during their hospital stay. Contact precautions were associated with fewer noninfectious adverse events (rate ratio [RtR], 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.51–0.95; P=.02) and although not statistically significant, with fewer severe adverse events (RtR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.46–1.03; P=.07). Preventable adverse events did not significantly differ between patients on contact precautions and patients not on contact precautions (RtR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.59–1.24; P=.41).
Hospital ward patients on contact precautions were less likely to experience noninfectious adverse events during their hospital stay than patients not on contact precautions.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1268–1274
Hospital Ebola preparation is underway in the United States and other countries; however, the best approach and resources involved are unknown.
To examine costs and challenges associated with hospital Ebola preparation by means of a survey of Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) members.
Electronic survey of infection prevention experts.
A total of 257 members completed the survey (221 US, 36 international) representing institutions in 41 US states, the District of Columbia, and 18 countries. The 221 US respondents represented 158 (43.1%) of 367 major medical centers that have SHEA members and included 21 (60%) of 35 institutions recently defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as Ebola virus disease treatment centers. From October 13 through October 19, 2014, Ebola consumed 80% of hospital epidemiology time and only 30% of routine infection prevention activities were completed. Routine care was delayed in 27% of hospitals evaluating patients for Ebola.
Convenience sample of SHEA members with a moderate response rate.
Hospital Ebola preparations required extraordinary resources, which were diverted from routine infection prevention activities. Patients being evaluated for Ebola faced delays and potential limitations in management of other diseases that are more common in travelers returning from West Africa.
Children born preterm are at risk for experiencing significant deleterious developmental outcomes throughout their childhood and adolescence. However, individual variation and resilience are hallmarks of the preterm population. The present study examined pathways to resilience across multiple domains (e.g., social activities, peer relations, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptomology, externalizing and internalizing behavior, and sleep quality) as children born preterm reached school age. The study also examined early child and family predictors of resilience. Using a prospective longitudinal design, 173 infants born preterm and without significant neurological complications were assessed at five time points: neonatal intensive care unit discharge, 9 months, 16 months, 24 months, and 6 years. Three pathways of adaptation emerged at 6 years: children who were resilient, those who remained at-risk, and children who exhibited significant difficulties. Resilient children were less likely to have experienced negative parenting at 9 and 16 months, more likely to delay gratification at 24 months, and more likely to experience neonatal health complications than nonresilient children.
Contact precautions decrease healthcare worker-patient contact and may impact patient satisfaction. To determine the association between contact precautions and patient satisfaction, we used a standardized interview for perceived issues with care.
Prospective cohort study of inpatients, evaluated at admission and on hospital days 3, 7, and 14 (until discharged). At each point, patients underwent a standardized interview to identify perceived problems with care. After discharge, the standardized interview and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey were administered by telephone. Responses were recorded, transcribed, and coded by 2 physician reviewers.
A total of 528 medical or surgical patients not admitted to the intensive care unit.
A total of 528 patients were included in the primary analysis, of whom 104 (20%) perceived some issue with their care. On multivariable logistic regression, contact precautions were independently associated with a greater number of perceived concerns with care (odds ratio, 2.05 [95% confidence interval, 1.31–3.21]; P<.01), including poor coordination of care (P = .02) and a lack of respect for patient needs and preferences (P = .001). Eighty-eight patients were included in the secondary analysis of HCAHPS. Patients under contact precautions did not have different HCAHPS scores than those not under contact precautions (odds ratio, 1.79 [95% confidence interval, 0.64–5.00]; P = .27).
Patients under contact precautions were more likely to perceive problems with their care, especially poor coordination of care and a lack of respect for patient preferences.
Given the importance of identifying dementia prodromes for future treatment efforts, we examined two methods of diagnosing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and determined whether empirically-derived MCI subtypes of these diagnostic methods were consistent with one another as well as with conventional MCI subtypes (i.e., amnestic, non-amnestic, single-domain, multi-domain). Participants were diagnosed with MCI using either conventional Petersen/Winblad criteria (n = 134; >1.5 SDs below normal on one test within a cognitive domain) or comprehensive neuropsychological criteria developed by Jak et al. (2009) (n = 80; >1 SD below normal on two tests within a domain), and the resulting samples were examined via hierarchical cluster and discriminant function analyses. Results showed that neuropsychological profiles varied depending on the criteria used to define MCI. Both criteria revealed an Amnestic subtype, consistent with prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AD), and a Mixed subtype that may capture individuals in advanced stages of MCI. The comprehensive criteria uniquely yielded Dysexecutive and Visuospatial subtypes, whereas the conventional criteria produced a subtype that performed within normal limits, suggesting its susceptibility to false positive diagnostic errors. Whether these empirically-derived MCI subtypes correspond to dissociable neuropathologic substrates and represent reliable prodromes of dementia will require additional follow-up. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–11)