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Single institutional review board (IRB) review of multisite research increased in frequency over a decade ago with a proliferation of master IRB reliance agreements supporting statewide and regional consortia and disease- and population-specific networks. Although successful, the increasing number of agreements presented significant challenges and illuminated potential benefits of a single, nationwide agreement. Anticipated changes in federal regulations highlighted the need to systematize and simplify IRB reliance. To address these challenges, the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences funded a project to establish a national IRB reliance network that would support national adoption of single IRB (sIRB) review. The Streamlined, Multisite, Accelerated Resources for Trials (SMART) IRB Platform launched in July 2016 to facilitate dissemination, adoption, and implementation of a collaboratively developed master IRB reliance agreement and supportive tools and resources. More than 580 institutions have joined SMART IRB’s Master Common Reciprocal Institutional Review Board Authorization Agreement and begun using the SMART IRB platform to support sIRB arrangements. Here, we describe the tenets of the agreement and operational benefits and challenges of its use. SMART IRB’s early success affirms the utility of collaborative, flexible, and centralized approaches to supporting sIRB review while highlighting the need for further national harmonization.
The landscape of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance is changing rapidly. The primary objective of this study was to assess the benefit of linking population-based infection prevention and control surveillance data on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to hospital discharge abstract data (DAD). We assessed the value of this novel data linkage for the characterization of hospital-acquired (HA) and community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) cases.
Incident inpatient MRSA surveillance data for all adults (≥18 years) from 4 acute-care facilities in Calgary, Alberta, between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2017, were linked to DAD. Personal health number (PHN) and gender were used to identify specific individuals, and specimen collection time-points were used to identify specific hospitalization records. A third common variable on admission date between these databases was used to validate the linkage process. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA cases identified through the linkage process.
A total of 2,430 surveillance records (94.6%) were successfully linked to the correct hospitalization period. By linking surveillance and administrative data, we were able to identify key differences between patients with HA- and CA-MRSA. These differences are consistent with previously reported findings in the literature. Data linkage to DAD may be a novel tool to enhance and augment the details of base surveillance data.
Conclusion and recommendations:
This is the first Canadian study linking a frontline healthcare-associated infection AMR surveillance database to an administrative population database. This work represents an important methodological step toward complementing traditional AMR surveillance data practices. Data linkage to other data types, such as primary care, emergency, social, and biological data, may be the basis of achieving more precise data focused around AMR.
Jaswal & Akhtar challenge the notion that autistic people have diminished social motivation, prompted in part by a desire to take autistic testimony seriously. We applaud their analysis and go further to suggest that future research could be enhanced by involving autistic people directly in the research process.
A 1108.6 m long core was recovered at Site U1457 located on the Indus Fan in the Laxmi Basin of the eastern Arabian Sea during IODP Expedition 355. Shipboard examinations defined five lithologic units (I to V) of the lower Paleocene to Holocene sedimentary sequence. In this study, δ13C values of sedimentary organic matter (SOM) confirm the differentiation of the lithologic units and further divide units III and IV into two subunits (1 and 2). Based on the underlying assumption that the SOM is decided primarily by a mixture of marine and terrestrial origins, δ13CSOM values at Site U1457 provide information on the terrestrial catchment conditions since late Miocene time. Low δ13CSOM values from late Miocene to late Pleistocene times are similar (c. −22.0 ‰) for the most part, reflecting a consistent contribution of terrestrial organic matter from the catchment areas characterized by dominant C3 land plants. Significantly lower δ13CSOM values (c. −24.0 ‰) in Unit III-2 (∼8 to ∼7 Ma) might be due to a greater input of C3 terrestrial organic matter. The increase in δ13CSOM values at ∼7 Ma and the appearance of high δ13CSOM values (c. −18.0 ‰) within Unit III-1 (∼7 to ∼2 Ma) indicate that C4 biomass overwhelmed the terrestrial catchment environment as a result of enhanced terrestrial aridity in the Himalayan foreland. The three-end-member simple mixing model, estimating the relative contributions of SOM from terrestrial C3 and C4 plants and marine phytoplankton, supports our interpretation of the distribution of C3 and C4 land plants in the terrestrial catchment environment.
The current short communication aimed to provide a new conceptualisation of the policy drivers of inequities in healthy eating and to make a call to action to begin populating this framework with evidence of actions that can be taken to reduce the inequities in healthy eating.
The Healthy and Equitable Eating (HE2) Framework derives from a systems-based analytical approach involving expert workshops.
Academics, government officials and non-government organisations in Australia.
The HE2 Framework extends previous conceptualisations of policy responses to healthy eating to include the social determinants of healthy eating and its social distribution, encompassing policy areas including housing, social protection, employment, education, transport, urban planning, plus the food system and environment.
As the burden of non-communicable diseases continues to grow globally, it is important that governments, practitioners and researchers focus attention on the development and implementation of policies beyond the food system and environment that can address the social determinants of inequities in healthy eating.
Rapid, non-destructive methods for measuring seed germination and vigour are valuable. Standard germination and seed vigour were determined using 81 soybean seed lots. From these data, seed lots were separated into high and low germinating seed lots as well as high, medium and low vigour seed lots. Near-infrared spectra (950–1650 nm) were collected for training and validation samples for each seed category and used to create partial least squares (PLS) prediction models. For both germination and vigour, qualitative models provided better discrimination of high and low performing seed lots compared with quantitative models. The qualitative germination prediction models correctly identified low and high germination seed lots with an accuracy between 85.7 and 89.7%. For seed vigour, qualitative predictions for the 3-category (low, medium and high vigour) models could not adequately separate high and medium vigour seeds. However, the 2-category (low, medium plus high vigour) prediction models could correctly identify low vigour seed lots between 80 and 100% and the medium plus high vigour seed lots between 96.3 and 96.6%. To our knowledge, the current study is the first to provide near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)-based predictive models using agronomically meaningful cut-offs for standard germination and vigour on a commercial scale using over 80 seed lots.
To describe the transmission dynamics of the emergence and persistence of vanA vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) in an intensive care unit (ICU) using whole-genome sequencing of patient and environmental isolates.
Retrospective cohort study.
ICU in a tertiary referral center.
Patients admitted to the ICU over an 11-month period.
VanA VRE isolated from patients (n=31) were sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Environmental samples from bed spaces, equipment, and waste rooms were collected. All vanA VRE-positive environmental samples (n=14) were also sequenced. Data were collected regarding patient ward and bed movements.
The 31 patient vanA VRE isolates were from screening (n=19), urine (n=4), bloodstream (n=3), skin/wound (n=3), and intra-abdominal (n=2) sources. The phylogeny from sequencing data confirmed several VRE clusters, with 1 group accounting for 38 of 45 isolates (84%). Within this cluster, cross-transmission was extensive and complex across the ICU. Directionality indicated that colonized patients contaminated environmental sites. Similarly, environmental sources not only led to patient colonization but also to infection. Notably, shared equipment acted as a conduit for transmission between different ICU areas. Infected patients, however, were not linked to further VRE transmission.
Genomic sequencing confirmed a predominantly clonal outbreak of VRE with complex transmission dynamics. The environmental reservoir, particularly from shared equipment, played a key role in ongoing VRE spread. This study provides evidence to support the use of multifaceted strategies, with an emphasis on measures to reduce bacterial burden in the environment, for successful VRE control.
For this study, we adapted the Montgomery Borgatta Caregiver Burden Scale, used widely in the United States, to the Saudi Arabian context. To produce an Arabic, culturally sensitive version of the scale, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 Saudi family caregivers. The Arabic version of the scale was tested, and participants were asked to comment on the appropriateness of items for the construct of “caregiver burden” using the repertory grid technique and laddering procedure – two constructivist methods derived from personal construct theory. From interview findings, we examined the content of the items and the caregiver burden construct itself. Our findings suggest that the use of constructivist methods to refine constructs and quantitative instruments is highly informative. This strategy is feasible even when little is known about the investigated constructs in the target culture and further elucidates our understanding of cross-cultural variations or invariance of different versions of the scale.
As approximately one-third of peer-victimized children evidence heightened aggression (Schwartz, Proctor, & Chien, 2001), it is imperative to identify the circumstances under which victimization and aggression co-develop. The current study explored two potential moderators of victimization–aggression linkages: (a) attentional bias toward cues signaling threat and (b) attentional bais toward cues communicating interpersonal support. Seventy-two fifth- and sixth-grade children (34 boys; Mage = 11.67) were eye tracked while watching video clips of bullying. Each scene included a bully, a victim, a reinforcer, and a defender. Children's victimization was measured using peer, parent, and teacher reports. Aggression was measured using peer reports of overt and relational aggression and teacher reports of aggression. Victimization was associated with greater aggression at high levels of attention to the bully. Victimization was also associated with greater aggression at low attention to the defender for boys, but at high attention to the defender for girls. Attention to the victim was negatively correlated with aggression regardless of victimization history. Thus, attentional biases to social cues integral to the bullying context differentiate whether victimization is linked to aggression, necessitating future research on the development of these biases and concurrent trajectories of sociobehavioral development.
A controversy at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress on the topic of closing domestic ivory markets (the 007, or so-called James Bond, motion) has given rise to a debate on IUCN's value proposition. A cross-section of authors who are engaged in IUCN but not employed by the organization, and with diverse perspectives and opinions, here argue for the importance of safeguarding and strengthening the unique technical and convening roles of IUCN, providing examples of what has and has not worked. Recommendations for protecting and enhancing IUCN's contribution to global conservation debates and policy formulation are given.
This research explored the experiences of care leavers, who lived in institutions (such as Children's Homes and orphanages) or other forms of out-of-home care between 1930 and 1989. Participants included representatives of three sub-cohorts: Forgotten Australians, members of the Stolen Generations and Child Migrants. Employing mixed methods, this research used three forms of data collection: surveys (n = 669), interviews (n = 92) and focus groups (n = 77). This research concentrated on participants’ experiences in care, leaving care, life outcomes after care (education, employment, health, wellbeing and relationships), coping strategies and resilience, current service needs and usage and participation in organisations as well as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Most participants experienced extreme neglect and abuse while in care. Leaving care, often after years of institutionalisation, was generally a frightening and demoralising process. Despite these challenges, a number of participants demonstrated remarkable resilience. For many, however, these experiences had negative consequences in adulthood including serious physical and mental health problems. This often made adult learning, paid employment and positive relationships virtually impossible. Most survivors carry high levels of trauma and complex unmet needs. Implications for policy, practice and services are drawn from key findings.
The present report used data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation to investigate the factor structure and childhood abuse and/or neglect related antecedents of adults’ attachment states of mind in a high-risk sample. Adult Attachment Interviews (AAIs) were collected when participants were age 26 years (N = 164) and Current Relationship Interviews (CRIs) were collected from participants (N = 116) and their romantic partners when target participants were between ages 20 and 28 years (M = 25.3 years). For both the AAI and the CRI, exploratory factor analyses revealed that (a) attachment state of mind scales loaded on two weakly correlated dimensions reflecting dismissing and preoccupied states of mind and (b) ratings of unresolved discourse loaded on the same factor as indicators of preoccupied states of mind. Experiencing any subtype of abuse and/or neglect, especially during multiple developmental periods, and experiencing multiple subtypes of abuse and/or neglect during childhood were associated with risk for preoccupied (but not dismissing) AAI states of mind regarding childhood relationships with caregivers. Analyses focused on the particular subtypes, and perpetrators indicated that the predictive significance of childhood abuse/neglect for adult's AAI preoccupied states of mind was specific to experiences of abuse (but not neglect) perpetrated by primary caregivers. In addition, experiencing chronic or multiple subtypes of childhood abuse and/or neglect increased risk for dismissing (but not preoccupied) CRI states of mind regarding adult romantic partners.
The Twin Study of Negative Valence Emotional Constructs is a multi-site study designed to examine the relationship between a broad selection of potential measures designed to assess putative endophenotypes for negative valence systems (NVS) and early symptoms of internalizing disorders (IDs). In this article, we describe the sample characteristics, data collection protocols, and measures used. Pre-adolescent Caucasian twin pairs were recruited through the Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry; data collection began in February of 2013. Enrolled twins completed various dimensional self-report measures along with cognitive, emotional, and psychophysiological tasks designed to assess NVS function. Parents also completed surveys about their twins and themselves. In addition, a subset of the twins also participated in a neuroimaging protocols. Data collection is in the final stages, and preliminary analyses are underway. The findings will potentially expand our understanding of the mechanisms by which genetic and environmental factors contribute to individual differences in NVS phenotypes and provide new insights into underlying risk factors for IDs.