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Consumers, public officials, and even managers of health care and insurance are unhappy about care quality, access and costs. This book shows that is because efforts to do something about these problems often rely on hope or conjecture, not rigorous evidence of effectiveness. In this book, experts in the field separate the speculative from the proven with regard to how care is rendered, how patients can be in control, how providers should be paid, and how disparities can be reduced - and they also identify the issues for which evidence is currently missing. It provides an antidote to frustration and a clear-eyed guide for forward progress, both on deciding what to do now and what kind of information is crucial in making better decisions on health care and insurance innovations. It will be useful to practitioners in hospital systems, medical groups and insurance organizations, and can also be used in executive and MBA teaching.
Recent studies have shown that the low seismicity of northern Germany is characterized by fault activity caused by the decay of the Late Pleistocene (Weichselian) ice sheet. Several faults and fault systems show evidence of neotectonic activity, all of which are oriented parallel to the margin of the Pleistocene ice sheets. The timing of fault movements implies that the seismicity in northern Germany is likely induced by varying lithospheric stress conditions related to glacial isostatic adjustment, and the faults thus can be classified as glacially induced faults. For the Osning, Harz Boundary and Schaabe faults, this is supported by numerical simulation of glacial isostatic adjustment-related stress field changes. Glacial isostatic adjustment is also a likely driver for the historical and parts of the recent fault activity. Glacial isostatic adjustment is also described for the Alps, but it is difficult to clearly distinguish between reactivation of faults in the foreland of the Alps due to the Alpine collision and glacial isostatic adjustment.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
Background: For the rising number of people living with dementia, cost-effective community-based interventions to support psychosocial care are needed. The FindMyApps program helps people with dementia and their caregivers learn to use tablet computers and find user-friendly apps that facilitate self-management and engagement in meaningful activities. This definitive trial builds on previous feasibility pilot trials of FindMyApps and further evaluates cost-effectiveness.
Method: This is a protocol for a non-blinded randomized controlled trial (RCT) with two arms (intervention and usual care). 150 dyads (person with dementia and their carer) will be recruited. Participants must be resident in the community, with a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment or mild dementia (Mini Mental-State Examination 17-26, or Global Deterioration Scale 3-4. Dyads will be randomly assigned in equal proportions to receive either the FindMyApps intervention (experimental arm) or usual care (control arm). Primary outcomes measured at 3 months will be: patient self-management and social participation; caregiver sense of competence. Data will be collected through questionnaires filled in by the researcher (patient outcomes) or participants themselves (carer outcomes). In addition to a main effect analysis, a cost-effectiveness analysis will take place. In line with Medical Research Council (MRC) guidance for the evaluation of complex interventions, a process analysis will be undertaken, to identify factors that may influence trial outcomes. Semi-structured interviews and remotely collected data regarding use of the FindMyApps app will support the process analysis.
Result: Results of this study are expected in 2022. The study will be adequately powered to detect at least a moderate effect size of the intervention with respect to the primary outcomes.
Conclusion: This study will investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the FindMyApps intervention. The results of the study will provide strong evidence to support or oppose scaling up implementation of the intervention. This is also an example of how the MRC framework for the evaluation of complex interventions can be implemented in practice. In a field which is often criticized for a lack of high quality evidence, randomized controlled trials should be applied more frequently designed for the robust and transparent evaluation of digital tools and technologies.