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We aimed to critically evaluate decision aids developed for practitioners and caregivers when providing care for someone with dementia or for use by people with dementia themselves. Decision aids may be videos, booklets, or web-based tools that explicitly state the decision, provide information about the decision, and summarize options along with associated benefits and harms. This helps guide the decision maker through clarifying the values they place on the benefits or harms of the options.
We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature in electronic databases (CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and PsychINFO) in March 2018. Reference lists were searched for relevant papers and citations tracked. Data were synthesized with meta-analysis and narrative synthesis. Papers were included if they met the following criteria: 1) the focus of the paper was on the evaluation of a decision aid; 2) the decision aid was used in dementia care; and 3) the decision aid was aimed at professionals, people with dementia, or caregivers.
We identified 3618 studies, and 10 studies were included, covering three topics across six decision aids: 1) support with eating/feeding options, 2) place of care, and 3) goals of care. The mode of delivery and format of the decision aids varied and included paper-based, video-based, and audio-based decision aids. The decision aids were shown to be effective, increasing knowledge and the quality of communication. The meta-analysis demonstrated that decisions are effective in reducing decisional conflict among caregivers (standardized mean difference = −0.50, 95% confidence interval [ − 0.97, − 0.02]).
Decision aids offer a promising approach for providing support for decision-making in dementia care. People are often faced with more than one decision, and decisions are often interrelated. The decision aids identified in this review focus on single topics. There is a need for decision aids that cover multiple topics in one aid to reflect this complexity and better support caregivers.
The Pueblo population of Chaco Canyon during the Bonito Phase (AD 800–1130) employed agricultural strategies and water-management systems to enhance food cultivation in this unpredictable environment. Scepticism concerning the timing and effectiveness of this system, however, remains common. Using optically stimulated luminescence dating of sediments and LiDAR imaging, the authors located Bonito Phase canal features at the far west end of the canyon. Additional ED-XRF and strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analyses confirm the diversion of waters from multiple sources during Chaco’s occupation. The extent of this water-management system raises new questions about social organisation and the role of ritual in facilitating responses to environmental unpredictability.
West Antarctic climate and surface mass balance (SMB) records are sparse. To fill this gap, regional atmospheric climate modelling is useful, providing that such models are employed at sufficiently high horizontal resolution and coupled with a snow model. Here we present the results of a high-resolution (5.5 km) regional atmospheric climate model (RACMO2) simulation of coastal West Antarctica for the period 1979–2015. We evaluate the results with available in situ weather observations, remote-sensing estimates of surface melt, and SMB estimates derived from radar and firn cores. Moreover, results are compared with those from a lower-resolution version, to assess the added value of the resolution. The high-resolution model resolves small-scale climate variability invoked by topography, such as the relatively warm conditions over ice-shelf grounding zones, and local wind speed accelerations. Surface melt and SMB are well reproduced by RACMO2. This dataset will prove useful for picking ice core locations, converting elevation changes to mass changes, for driving ocean, ice-sheet and coupled models, and for attributing changes in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and shelves to changes in atmospheric forcing.
Palliative care for nursing home residents with advanced dementia is often sub-optimal due to poor communication and limited care planning. In a cluster randomized controlled trial, registered nurses (RNs) from 10 nursing homes were trained and funded to work as Palliative Care Planning Coordinators (PCPCs) to organize family case conferences and mentor staff. This qualitative sub-study aimed to explore PCPC and health professional perceptions of the benefits of facilitated case conferencing and identify factors influencing implementation.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the RNs in the PCPC role, other members of nursing home staff, and physicians who participated in case conferences. Analysis was conducted by two researchers using a thematic framework approach.
Interviews were conducted with 11 PCPCs, 18 other nurses, eight allied health workers, and three physicians. Perceived benefits of facilitated case conferencing included better communication between staff and families, greater multi-disciplinary involvement in case conferences and care planning, and improved staff attitudes and capabilities for dementia palliative care. Key factors influencing implementation included: staffing levels and time; support from management, staff and physicians; and positive family feedback.
The facilitated approach explored in this study addressed known barriers to case conferencing. However, current business models in the sector make it difficult for case conferencing to receive the required levels of nursing qualification, training, and time. A collaborative nursing home culture and ongoing relationships with health professionals are also prerequisites for success. Further studies should document resident and family perceptions to harness consumer advocacy.
When engaged in conversation, both parents and children tend to re-use words that their partner has just said. This study explored whether proportions of maternal and/or child utterances that overlapped in content with what their partner had just said contributed to growth in mean length of utterance (MLU), developmental sentence score, and vocabulary diversity over time. We analyzed the New England longitudinal corpus from the CHILDES database, comprising transcripts of mother–child conversations at 14, 20, and 32 months, using the CHIP command to compute proportions of utterances with overlapping content. Rates of maternal overlap, but not child overlap, at earlier time-points predicted child language outcomes at later time-points, after controlling for earlier child MLU. We suggest that maternal overlap plays a formative role in child language development by providing content that is immediately relevant to what the child has in mind.
Current guidelines recommend that patients with CHD receive age-appropriate counselling on reproduction, pregnancy, and risk of heredity. Our aim was to examine patient knowledge of reproductive health and explore the association between patient knowledge of CHD transmission risk and earlier physician counselling in adults with CHD.
We performed a cross-sectional survey of patients with CHD aged 18 years and older in a paediatric hospital.
Of the 100 patients who completed the questionnaire, most did not report counselling on heredity (66%) or contraception (71%). Of the 54 women, 25 (46%) identified their contraceptive options correctly; 42 (78%) women were classified as being at significantly increased risk for an adverse outcome during pregnancy, and of these 20 (48%) identified this risk correctly. Of all patients surveyed, 72% did not know that having CHD placed them at increased risk for having a child with CHD. On multivariate analysis, factors associated with correct knowledge about risk of recurrence were correct identification of CHD diagnosis (p=0.04) and patient-reported counselling (p=0.001).
Knowledge about heredity, pregnancy risk, and contraceptive options is inadequate among adults with CHD followed-up in a paediatric subspecialty clinic. The majority of patients did not report a history of counselling about reproductive health. There is a strong correlation between history of counselling by the patient’s cardiologist and correct knowledge about recurrence risk, suggesting that effective reproductive counselling can positively impact this knowledge gap.
Targeted surveillance has focused on device-associated infections and surgical site infections (SSIs) and is often limited to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in high-risk areas. Longitudinal trends in all HAIs, including other types of HAIs, and HAIs outside of intensive care units (ICUs) remain unclear. We examined the incidences of all HAIs using comprehensive hospital-wide surveillance over a 12-year period (2001–2012).
This retrospective observational study was conducted at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals, a tertiary care academic facility. All HAIs, including 5 major infections with 14 specific infection sites as defined using CDC criteria, were ascertained through comprehensive hospital-wide surveillance. Generalized linear models were used to examine the incidence rate difference by infection type over time.
A total of 16,579 HAIs included 6,397 cases in ICUs and 10,182 cases outside ICUs. The incidence of overall HAIs decreased significantly hospital-wide (−3.4 infections per 1,000 patient days), in ICUs (−8.4 infections per 1,000 patient days), and in non-ICU settings (−1.9 infections per 1,000 patient days). The incidences of bloodstream infection, urinary tract infection, and pneumonia in hospital-wide settings decreased significantly, but the incidences of SSI and lower respiratory tract infection remained unchanged. The incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) increased remarkably. The outcomes were estimated to include 700 overall HAIs prevented, 40 lives saved, and cost savings in excess of $10 million.
We demonstrated success in reducing overall HAIs over a 12-year period. Our data underscore the necessity for surveillance and infection prevention interventions outside of the ICUs, for non–device-associated HAIs, and for CDI.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2015;36(10):1139–1147
This volume revisits a classic book by a famous historian: R.H. Tawney's 'Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century' (1912). Tawney's 'Agrarian Problem' surveyed landlord-tenant relations in England between 1440 and 1660, the period of emergent capitalism and rapidly changing property relations that stands between the end of serfdom and the more firmly capitalist system of the eighteenth century. This transition period is widely recognised as crucial to Britain's long term economic development, laying the foundation for the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century. Remarkably, Tawney's book has remained the standard text on landlord-tenant relations for over a century. Here, Tawney's book is re-evaluated by leading experts in agrarian and legal history, taking its themes as a departure point to provide for a new interpretation of the agrarian economy in late Tudor and early modern Britain. The introduction looks at how Tawney's 'Agrarian Problem' was written, its place in the historiography of agrarian England and the current state of research. Survey chapters examine the late medieval period, a comparison with Scotland, and Tawney's conception of capitalism, whilst the remaining chapters focus on four issues that were central to Tawney's arguments: enclosure disputes, the security of customary tenure; the conversion of customary tenure to leasehold; and other landlord strategies to raise revenues. The balance of power between landlords and tenants determined how the wealth of agrarian England was divided in this crucial period of economic development - this book reveals how this struggle was played out. JANE WHITTLE is professor of rural history at Exeter University. Contributors: Christopher Brooks, Christopher Dyer, Heather Falvey, Harold Garrett-Goodyear, Julian Goodare, Elizabeth Griffiths, Jennifer Holt, Briony McDonagh, Jean Morrin, David Ormrod, William D. Shannon, Jane Whittle, Andy Wood. Foreword by Keith Wrightson
This article reports on a recent survey of employer attitudes and policies towards older workers in Australia at a time of sustained economic growth and ongoing concerns about labour shortages. Findings from a survey of 590 employers with more than 50 employees in the State of Queensland point to an unusually strong orientation towards the recruitment of older workers among respondents, although the retraining of older workers is not prioritised by the majority. The issue of workforce ageing is viewed as being of medium-term importance by the majority of respondents, although for a substantial number the issue is of immediate concern. Both sector and organisation size are predictive of the application of a broad range of policies targeting older workers, with public-sector and larger organisations more likely to be active. Concerns about workforce ageing and labour supply are predictive of employer behaviours regarding older workers, suggesting that sustained policy making may be emerging in response to population ageing over and above more immediate concerns about labour shortages and that this broad thrust of organisational policy making may be immune to the point in the economic cycle. This study found no evidence that the flexible firm will not countenance an ageing workforce.
Workforce ageing is considered in the context of four Australian employing organisations which are each in the process of change. In these organisations, perceptions regarding the relationship between the declining body and productivity led to a depreciation of the value of older workers and their consignment to less productive edges of organisations. While this was viewed as benefiting older workers, it was also acknowledged that workforce ageing will place severe constraints on the use of such practices, already regarded with suspicion by operational managers responsible for cost containment. Policies which aim to restrain biological and psychological decline, by supporting individual functional capacity and health, workplace design and ergonomics and developing the work community are advocated.