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Agency is the human capacity to freely choose one’s thoughts, motivations and actions without undue internal or external influences; it is distinguished from decisional capacity. Four well-known conditions that can deeply affect agency are depression, demoralization, existential distress, and family dysfunction. The study reviews how they may diminish agency in persons whose circumstances may lead them to consider or request euthanasia or assisted suicide. Since agency has been a relatively neglected dimension of autonomous choice at the end of life, it is argued that to respect the autonomy of individuals, it is essential to establish their agency.
The Green et al., Paranoid Thoughts Scale (GPTS) – comprising two 16-item scales assessing ideas of reference (Part A) and ideas of persecution (Part B) – was developed over a decade ago. Our aim was to conduct the first large-scale psychometric evaluation.
In total, 10 551 individuals provided GPTS data. Four hundred and twenty-two patients with psychosis and 805 non-clinical individuals completed GPTS Parts A and B. An additional 1743 patients with psychosis and 7581 non-clinical individuals completed GPTS Part B. Factor analysis, item response theory, and receiver operating characteristic analyses were conducted.
The original two-factor structure of the GPTS had an inadequate model fit: Part A did not form a unidimensional scale and multiple items were locally dependant. A Revised-GPTS (R-GPTS) was formed, comprising eight-item ideas of reference and 10-item ideas of persecution subscales, which had an excellent model fit. All items in the new Reference (a = 2.09–3.67) and Persecution (a = 2.37–4.38) scales were strongly discriminative of shifts in paranoia and had high reliability across the spectrum of severity (a > 0.90). The R-GPTS score ranges are: average (Reference: 0–9; Persecution: 0–4); elevated (Reference: 10–15; Persecution: 5–10); moderately severe (Reference: 16–20; Persecution:11–17); severe (Reference: 21–24; Persecution: 18–27); and very severe (Reference: 25+; Persecution: 28+). Recommended cut-offs on the persecution scale are 11 to discriminate clinical levels of persecutory ideation and 18 for a likely persecutory delusion.
The psychometric evaluation indicated a need to improve the GPTS. The R-GPTS is a more precise measure, has excellent psychometric properties, and is recommended for future studies of paranoia.
The initial classic Fontan utilising a direct right atrial appendage to pulmonary artery anastomosis led to numerous complications. Adults with such complications may benefit from conversion to a total cavo-pulmonary connection, the current standard palliation for children with univentricular hearts.
A single institution, retrospective chart review was conducted for all Fontan conversion procedures performed from July, 1999 through January, 2017. Variables analysed included age, sex, reason for Fontan conversion, age at Fontan conversion, and early mortality or heart transplant within 1 year after Fontan conversion.
A total of 41 Fontan conversion patients were identified. Average age at Fontan conversion was 24.5 ± 9.2 years. Dominant left ventricular physiology was present in 37/41 (90.2%) patients. Right-sided heart failure occurred in 39/41 (95.1%) patients and right atrial dilation was present in 33/41 (80.5%) patients. The most common causes for Fontan conversion included atrial arrhythmia in 37/41 (90.2%), NYHA class II HF or greater in 31/41 (75.6%), ventricular dysfunction in 23/41 (56.1%), and cirrhosis or fibrosis in 7/41 (17.1%) patients. Median post-surgical follow-up was 6.2 ± 4.9 years. Survival rates at 30 days, 1 year, and greater than 1-year post-Fontan conversion were 95.1, 92.7, and 87.8%, respectively. Two patients underwent heart transplant: the first within 1 year of Fontan conversion for heart failure and the second at 5.3 years for liver failure.
Fontan conversion should be considered early when atrial arrhythmias become common rather than waiting for severe heart failure to ensue, and Fontan conversion can be accomplished with an acceptable risk profile.
Biological invasions are one of the grand challenges facing society, as exotic species introductions continue to rise and can result in dramatic changes to native ecosystems and economies. The scale of the “biological invasions crisis” spans from hyperlocal to international, involving a myriad of actors focused on mitigating and preventing biological invasions. However, the level of engagement among stakeholders and opportunities to collaboratively solve invasives issues in transdisciplinary ways is poorly understood. The Biological Invasions: Confronting a Crisis workshop engaged a broad group of actors working on various aspects of biological invasions in Virginia, USA—researchers, Extension personnel, educators, local, state, and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and land managers—to discuss their respective roles and how they interact with other groups. Through a series of activities, it became clear that despite shared goals, most groups are not engaging with one another, and that enhanced communication and collaboration among groups is key to designing effective solutions. There is strong support for a multistakeholder coalition to affect change in policy, public education/engagement, and solution design. Confronting the biological invasions crisis will increasingly require engagement among stakeholders.
Children with CHD and acquired heart disease have unique, high-risk physiology. They may have a higher risk of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events, as compared with children with non-cardiac disease.
Materials and methods
We sought to evaluate the occurrence of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events in children with cardiac disease compared to children with non-cardiac disease. A retrospective analysis of tracheal intubations from 38 international paediatric ICUs was performed using the National Emergency Airway Registry for Children (NEAR4KIDS) quality improvement registry. The primary outcome was the occurrence of any tracheal-intubation-associated event. Secondary outcomes included the occurrence of severe tracheal-intubation-associated events, multiple intubation attempts, and oxygen desaturation.
A total of 8851 intubations were reported between July, 2012 and March, 2016. Cardiac patients were younger, more likely to have haemodynamic instability, and less likely to have respiratory failure as an indication. The overall frequency of tracheal-intubation-associated events was not different (cardiac: 17% versus non-cardiac: 16%, p=0.13), nor was the rate of severe tracheal-intubation-associated events (cardiac: 7% versus non-cardiac: 6%, p=0.11). Tracheal-intubation-associated cardiac arrest occurred more often in cardiac patients (2.80 versus 1.28%; p<0.001), even after adjusting for patient and provider differences (adjusted odds ratio 1.79; p=0.03). Multiple intubation attempts occurred less often in cardiac patients (p=0.04), and oxygen desaturations occurred more often, even after excluding patients with cyanotic heart disease.
The overall incidence of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events in cardiac patients was not different from that in non-cardiac patients. However, the presence of a cardiac diagnosis was associated with a higher occurrence of both tracheal-intubation-associated cardiac arrest and oxygen desaturation.
It is unclear which pediatric disaster triage (PDT) strategy yields the best accuracy or best patient outcomes.
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis on a sample of emergency medical services providers from a prospective cohort study comparing the accuracy and triage outcomes for 2 PDT strategies (Smart and JumpSTART) and clinical decision-making (CDM) with no algorithm. Participants were divided into cohorts by triage strategy. We presented 10-victim, multi-modal disaster simulations. A Delphi method determined patients’ expected triage levels. We compared triage accuracy overall and for each triage level (RED/Immediate, YELLOW/Delayed, GREEN/Ambulatory, BLACK/Deceased).
There were 273 participants (71 JumpSTART, 122 Smart, and 81 CDM). There was no significant difference between Smart triage and CDM. When JumpSTART triage was used, there was greater accuracy than with either Smart (P<0.001; OR [odds ratio]: 2.03; interquartile range [IQR]: 1.30, 3.17) or CDM (P=0.02; OR: 1.76; IQR: 1.10, 2.82). JumpSTART outperformed Smart for RED patients (P=0.05; OR: 1.48; IQR: 1.01,2.17), and outperformed both Smart (P<0.001; OR: 3.22; IQR: 1.78,5.88) and CDM (P<0.001; OR: 2.86; IQR: 1.53,5.26) for YELLOW patients. Furthermore, JumpSTART outperformed CDM for BLACK patients (P=0.01; OR: 5.55; IQR: 1.47, 20.0).
Our simulation-based comparison suggested that JumpSTART triage outperforms both Smart and CDM. JumpSTART outperformed Smart for RED patients and CDM for BLACK patients. For YELLOW patients, JumpSTART yielded more accurate triage results than did Smart triage or CDM. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:253–260)
Using cryogenic laser technology, it is now possible to design and demonstrate lasers that have concomitant high average and peak powers, with near-diffraction-limited beam quality. We refer to these new laser systems as HAPP lasers. In this paper, we review important laser crystal materials properties at cryogenic temperature, with an emphasis on Yb lasers, and discuss the important design considerations, including the laser-induced damage threshold, nonlinear effects and thermal effects. A comprehensive model is presented to describe diode pulsed pumping with arbitrary duration and repetition rate, and is used with the Frantz–Nodvik equation to describe, to first order, the performance of HAPP laser systems. A computer code with representative results is also described.
The objective of this research is to develop a computational representation of knowledge associated with affordance-based design (ABD). The ABD ontology formalizes the entities, properties, and relationships within the domains of ABD. The ontology enables designers to describe the affordances of existing products and specify the intended affordances of future products in line with ABD. The ontology consists of 14 concepts and 5 relationships. The ontology is developed using Protégé 4.3 and DL-query to query and reason with the ontology. The ontology is demonstrated using a consumer vacuum cleaner. The formal ontology serves as the basis for developing computer support for ABD applications. When implemented, these design tools will help designers manage the affordances of artifacts being designed, specifying the interacting entities of every affordance when a three-dimensional model of the artifact is available. Further, these software tools could be used to support ABD methods.
We describe three approaches to identify novel product affordances: affordance of absence; insights from lead users, specifically do-it-yourselfers (DIYers); and natural-language searches. While these approaches were separately pursued, we show their connection to each other in this paper. We begin by describing the affordance of absence, inspired by insights on affordances arising from a lack of resources. For example, in the absence of specialized tools, more general tools are used to accomplish similar tasks. Such absence clarifies how other tools could be modified to add relevant features and identifies critical features of the absent tool. In addition, the temporary removal of physical features and objects enables user interaction in ways that may not emerge in their presence. Affordance of absence has the potential to more fully specify affordances for a given object and to help overcome functional fixedness. For the second approach, we describe insights from DIYers obtained from the “IKEA hackers” online community. We consider DIYers lead users for seeking out and exploiting product affordances, often transforming product functions dramatically. We also discuss their projects through the lens of affordance of absence. For the third approach, we outline our natural-language approach to affordance extraction, beginning with consumer product reviews provided for Canadian Tire, a major Canadian retailer. We describe efforts toward automatically identifying less common affordances, and the use of cue phrases to highlight insightful DIY transformations from the IKEA hackers community. Finally, we comment on the potential value of this work for product design in general.
Function-based design approaches have been criticized for being too narrow to properly guide design. Specifically, they are said to be unable to cope with nonfunctional considerations, such as cost or maintenance issues without invoking other concepts, such as constraints. This paper investigates two alternative conceptualizations of the design process: the practical affordance-based design approach, as elaborated by Maier and Fadel, and the more theoretical use plan approach by Houkes and Vermaas. This paper compares function-, affordance-, and use plan-based design approaches. It highlights strengths and weaknesses of each approach and proposes a definition of the function of an artifact in terms of its affordances.
People interact with artifacts, either products or services, in their lives. These interactions are based on two-way communication between people and artifacts. The characteristics of artifacts that induce natural activities of people, affordances, play critical roles in making interactions successful and meaningful. The notion of affordance features, structural elements of artifacts that provide affordances, has been proposed earlier. In this paper, a methodological framework for design for affordances is proposed where repositories of affordance features are used. Affordances are identified through function–task interaction matrices or use activity observations. Using an affordance feature repository where many alternative structural elements for a specific affordance are stored together with corresponding design constraints and contexts, affordance features for those identified affordances are retrieved considering similarities between the target design constraints and those of the affordance features in the repositories. Using the clues given by such affordance features, a new affordance feature is to be designed through analogical reasoning. We present this design for affordance framework together with illustrative cases where various designers designed affordance features using affordance feature repositories.