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Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
Background: Recently, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) have markedly increased, but no infection control policy has been established in South Korea. We investigated the current HAI surveillance system and executed a point-prevalence pilot study in LTCHs. Methods: HAIs were defined by newly established surveillance manual based on McGeer criteria revised in 2012. Three LTCHs in Seoul and Gyeonggi province were voluntarily recruited, and data were collected from up to 50 patients who were hospitalized on August 1. The medical records from September to November 2018 were retrospectively reviewed by a charge nurse for infection control per each hospitals after 1 day of training specific for LTCH surveillance. All data were reviewed by a senior researcher visiting onsite. Results: The participating hospitals had 272.33 ± 111.01 beds. Only 1 hospital had an onsite microbiological laboratory. In total, 156 patients were enrolled and 5 HAIs were detected, for a prevalence rate of 3.2%. The average patient age was 79.04 ± 9.92 years. The HAIs included 2 urinary tract infections, skin and soft-tissue infection, low respiratory infection, and conjunctivitis. Conclusions: This is the first survey of HAI in LTCHs in South Korea. The 3.2% prevalence rate is lower than those from previous reports from the European Union or the United States. This study supports the development of a national HAI surveillance and infection control system in LTCHs, although implementation may be limited due to the lack of laboratory support and infection control infrastructure in Korea.
We report our experience with an emergency room (ER) shutdown related to an accidental exposure to a patient with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who had not been isolated.
A 635-bed, tertiary-care hospital in Daegu, South Korea.
To prevent nosocomial transmission of the disease, we subsequently isolated patients with suspected symptoms, relevant radiographic findings, or epidemiology. Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays (RT-PCR) were performed for most patients requiring hospitalization. A universal mask policy and comprehensive use of personal protective equipment (PPE) were implemented. We analyzed effects of these interventions.
From the pre-shutdown period (February 10–25, 2020) to the post-shutdown period (February 28 to March 16, 2020), the mean hourly turnaround time decreased from 23:31 ±6:43 hours to 9:27 ±3:41 hours (P < .001). As a result, the proportion of the patients tested increased from 5.8% (N=1,037) to 64.6% (N=690) (P < .001) and the average number of tests per day increased from 3.8±4.3 to 24.7±5.0 (P < .001). All 23 patients with COVID-19 in the post-shutdown period were isolated in the ER without any problematic accidental exposure or nosocomial transmission. After the shutdown, several metrics increased. The median duration of stay in the ER among hospitalized patients increased from 4:30 hours (interquartile range [IQR], 2:17–9:48) to 14:33 hours (IQR, 6:55–24:50) (P < .001). Rates of intensive care unit admissions increased from 1.4% to 2.9% (P = .023), and mortality increased from 0.9% to 3.0% (P = .001).
Problematic accidental exposure and nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 can be successfully prevented through active isolation and surveillance policies and comprehensive PPE use despite longer ER stays and the presence of more severely ill patients during a severe COVID-19 outbreak.
Objectives: Rotator cuff tear is the leading cause of the decline in quality of life for older adults, but comparative evidence on treatment effectiveness is lacking. This study systematically reviewed the effects of various rotator cuff tear treatments through a Bayesian meta-analysis of the related randomized clinical trials (RCTs).
Methods: We searched nine electronic databases for RCTs evaluating rotator cuff tear treatments from their inception through June 2017. A systematic review was performed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-Decision Support Unit guidelines (Supplementary Table 1). Outcomes included functional improvement, pain one year after surgical treatment, and tendon structural integrity. The Bayesian network meta-analysis was applied for functional improvement and pain, based on an assumption of consistency and similarity. Tendon integrity was reported descriptively.
Results: Fifteen RCTs were selected. Patients undergoing physiotherapy after open surgery showed statistically significant functional improvements compared with those undergoing physiotherapy only (mean differences, 9.1 [credible interval, 0.9–17.4]). Open surgery with physiotherapy was associated with a decrease in pain 1 year after treatment compared with when physiotherapy was combined with arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery, mini open surgery, platelet-rich plasma therapy, or physiotherapy alone (absolute value of mean difference 1.2 to 1.4). The tendon integrity results were inconsistent.
Conclusions: Some surgical treatments were associated with significant improvement in function and pain, but evidence regarding their comparative effectiveness is still lacking. A well-designed RCT discussing functional and structural treatment outcomes is needed in future.
Our objective was to evaluate long-term altered appearance, distress, and body image in posttreatment breast cancer patients and compare them with those of patients undergoing active treatment and with general population controls.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey between May and December of 2010. We studied 138 breast cancer patients undergoing active treatment and 128 posttreatment patients from 23 Korean hospitals and 315 age- and area-matched subjects drawn from the general population. Breast, hair, and skin changes, distress, and body image were assessed using visual analogue scales and the EORTC BR–23. Average levels of distress were compared across groups, and linear regression was utilized to identify the factors associated with body image.
Compared to active-treatment patients, posttreatment patients reported similar breast changes (6.6 vs. 6.2), hair loss (7.7 vs. 6.7), and skin changes (5.8 vs. 5.4), and both groups had significantly more severe changes than those of the general population controls (p < 0.01). For a similar level of altered appearance, however, breast cancer patients experienced significantly higher levels of distress than the general population. In multivariate analysis, patients with high altered appearance distress reported significantly poorer body image (–20.7, CI95% = –28.3 to –13.1) than patients with low distress.
Significance of results:
Posttreatment breast cancer patients experienced similar levels of altered appearance, distress, and body-image disturbance relative to patients undergoing active treatment but significantly higher distress and poorer body image than members of the general population. Healthcare professionals should acknowledge the possible long-term effects of altered appearance among breast cancer survivors and help them to manage the associated distress and psychological consequences.
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the unemployment experience and depressive symptoms among mid-aged (ages 45–59) and elderly (ages 60 or above) persons and to examine further the effects of unemployment insurance, industrial accident compensation insurance (IACI) and national pension on the stated relationship. Data were used from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA) between 2006 and 2012. A total of 1,536 individuals employed at the 2006 baseline were followed. The association between employment status change during 2006 to 2008, 2008 to 2010 or 2010 to 2012 and depressive symptoms in years 2008, 2010 or 2012 were analysed using a generalised estimating equation model. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D 10) scale. The results showed that the ‘employed to unemployed’ group had statistically significant increases in depression scores in the mid-aged (β = 0.4884, p = 0.0038) and elderly (β = 0.8275, p ⩽ 0.0001) categories, compared to the ‘employed to employed’ group. Findings were maintained in groups without a social safety net. Contrastingly, the ‘employed to unemployed’ groups with unemployment insurance and IACI did not show statistically significant increases in depression scores. The ‘employed to unemployed’ category of individuals enrolled in the national pension system exhibited a lower increase of depression. Therefore, an enhanced focus on the mental health of unemployed individuals is required, in addition to the provision of a reliable social safety net.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
It is unclear how brain reserve interacts with gender and apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) genotype, and how this influences the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The association between intracranial volume (ICV) and progression to AD in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and differences according to gender and APOE4 genotype, was investigated.
Data from subjects initially diagnosed with MCI and at least two visits were downloaded from the ADNI database. Those who progressed to AD were defined as converters. The longitudinal influence of ICV was determined by survival analysis. The time of conversion from MCI to AD was set as a fiducial point, as all converters would be at a similar disease stage then, and longitudinal trajectories of brain atrophy and cognitive decline around that point were compared using linear mixed models.
Large ICV increased the risk of conversion to AD in males (HR: 4.24, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17–15.40) and APOE4 non-carriers (HR: 10.00, 95% CI: 1.34–74.53), but not in females or APOE4 carriers. Cognitive decline and brain atrophy progressed at a faster rate in males with large ICV than in those with small ICV during the two years before and after the time of conversion.
Large ICV increased the risk of conversion to AD in males and APOE4 non-carriers with MCI. This may be due to its influence on disease trajectory, which shortens the duration of the MCI stage. A longitudinal model of progression trajectory is proposed.
The aim of the present study was to identify the genes differentially expressed in the visceral adipose tissue in a well-characterised mouse model of high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. Male C57BL/6J mice (n 20) were fed either HFD (189 % of energy from fat) or low-fat diet (LFD, 42 % of energy from fat) for 16 weeks. HFD-fed mice exhibited obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia and adipose collagen accumulation, along with higher levels of plasma leptin, resistin and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1, although there were no significant differences in plasma cytokine levels. Energy intake was similar in the two diet groups owing to lower food intake in the HFD group; however, energy expenditure was also lower in the HFD group than in the LFD group. Microarray analysis revealed that genes related to lipolysis, fatty acid metabolism, mitochondrial energy transduction, oxidation–reduction, insulin sensitivity and skeletal system development were down-regulated in HFD-fed mice, and genes associated with extracellular matrix (ECM) components, ECM remodelling and inflammation were up-regulated. The top ten up- or down-regulated genes include Acsm3, mt-Nd6, Fam13a, Cyp2e1, Rgs1 and Gpnmb, whose roles in the deterioration of obesity-associated adipose tissue are poorly understood. In conclusion, the genes identified here provide new therapeutic opportunities for prevention and treatment of diet-induced obesity.
The aim of this study is to examine a relationship between a change in social activity and depression among Koreans aged 45 years or more.
Data came from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA) (2006–2010), with 5,327 participants aged 45 years or more. The generalized estimating equation (GEE) with the logit link was used to investigate an association between a change in social activity during 2006–2008 (or 2008–2010) and depression among respondents in year 2008 (or Y2010). Depression was measured by Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D10) and a change in social activity was classified with four categories, i.e. “consistent participation”, “consistent non-participation”, “participation to non-participation”, and “non-participation to participation”. Social activity was divided into various elements and the same analysis was conducted for each of these elements.
Those with consistent non-participation and from participation to non-participation were more likely to be depressed than those with consistent participation and from non-participation to participation in social activities (OR 1.44 [95% CI 1.22–1.71], OR 1.35 [95% CI 1.15–1.58] vs. OR 1.00 [Reference], OR 1.27 [95% CI 1.09–1.48]). In addition, the strength of the negative association between consistent or new participation in social activity and depression was different across different elements of social activity. The negative association was particularly strong for leisure, culture or sports clubs, and for family or school reunion.
For improving the mental health of the population aged 45 years or more, the promotion of their continued or new participations in leisure/culture clubs and family/school reunion might be needed in South Korea.
This study aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
Several reports have indicated that dietary intake of DHA is associated with lower prevalence of periodontitis. In the present study, we investigated the effect of DHA on the production of proinflammatory mediators in murine macrophage-like RAW264.7 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) isolated from Prevotellaintermedia, a pathogen implicated in inflammatory periodontal disease, and its mechanisms of action. LPS was isolated from lyophilised P. intermedia ATCC 25 611 cells using the standard hot-phenol–water protocol. Culture supernatants were collected and assayed for NO, IL-1β and IL-6. Real-time PCR analysis was carried out to detect the expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), IL-1β, IL-6 and haeme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) mRNA. Immunoblot analysis was carried out to quantify the expression of iNOS and HO-1 protein and concentrations of signalling proteins. DNA-binding activities of NF-κB subunits were determined using an ELISA-based assay kit. DHA significantly attenuated the production of NO, IL-1β and IL-6 at both gene transcription and translation levels in P. intermedia LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells. DHA induced the expression of HO-1 in cells treated with P. intermedia LPS. Selective inhibition of HO-1 activity by tin protoporphyrin IX significantly mitigated the inhibitory effects of DHA on LPS-induced NO production. DHA significantly attenuated the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase induced by LPS. In addition, DHA suppressed the transcriptional activity of NF-κB by regulating the nuclear translocation and DNA-binding activity of NF-κB p50 subunit and inhibited the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1. Further in vivo studies are needed to better evaluate the potential of DHA in humans as a therapeutic agent to treat periodontal disease.
This paper, with its multilevel design including 90 work groups in South Korea, proposes and examines how distributive justice relates to job stress, and thus leading to turnover intention at the individual level, and how this relationship is affected by empowerment climate at the group level. The results of hierarchical linear modeling show that employees’ perception of distributive justice was negatively related to job stress. We also find that job stress partially mediated the influence of distributive justice on turnover intention. In addition, at the work group level, the empowerment climate decreased employees’ job stress, and the negative relationship between distributive justice and job stress at the individual level was moderated by the empowerment climate. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Background: Highly educated participants with normal cognition show lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than poorly educated participants, whereas longitudinal studies involving AD have reported that higher education is associated with more rapid cognitive decline. We aimed to evaluate whether highly educated amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) participants show more rapid cognitive decline than those with lower levels of education.
Methods: A total of 249 aMCI patients enrolled from 31 memory clinics using the standard assessment and diagnostic processes were followed with neuropsychological evaluation (duration 17.2 ± 8.8 months). According to baseline performances on memory tests, participants were divided into early-stage aMCI (−1.5 to −1.0 standard deviation (SD)) and late-stage aMCI (below −1.5 SD) groups. Risk of AD conversion and changes in neuropsychological performances according to the level of education were evaluated.
Results: Sixty-two patients converted to AD over a mean follow-up of 1.43 years. The risk of AD conversion was higher in late-stage aMCI than early-stage aMCI. Cox proportional hazard models showed that aMCI participants, and late-stage aMCI participants in particular, with higher levels of education had a higher risk of AD conversion than those with lower levels of education. Late-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed faster cognitive decline in language, memory, and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) scores. On the contrary, early-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed slower cognitive decline in MMSE and CDR-SOB scores.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the protective effects of education against cognitive decline remain in early-stage aMCI and disappear in late-stage aMCI.
Conus medullaris syndrome (CMS) is a clinical neurologic syndrome caused by a conus medullaris lesion. CMS is a heterogeneous entity with various etiologies such as trauma or a space-occupying lesion. Multiple cases of CMS following spinal anesthesia have been reported, but CMS after radioisotope (RI) cisternography has not yet been reported.
We present four patients who developed CMS after RI cisternography.
All experienced neurological deficits such as paraparesis, sensory loss, and urinary incontinence three to four days after RI cisternography. Two showed abnormalities on lumbar magnetic resonance imaging, and three had complete symptom resolution within ten weeks.
The pathomechanism of the CMS is unclear, but we hypothesize that RI neurotoxicity might be responsible. It is possible that the use of low-dose 99mTc-DTPA or an alternative diagnostic tool such as magnetic resonance cisternography could help to prevent this complication.
Intravascular or intracardiac stenosis occurs in various congenital heart diseases or after surgical repair. Although balloon angioplasty is the first option for relieving stenosis, frequently restenosis occurs because of elastic recoil or kingking component. The use of a self-expandable stent and covered stent in congenital heart disease has been reported for selected cases. In general, they have been performed for coarctation of the aorta or aortic aneurysm. We now report successful implantation of a self-expandable stent with a self-expandable covered stent graft in a case of lateral tunnel dehiscence with stenosis after a Fontan operation.
The effects of tannic acid (TA) supplementation (0·02 %, wt/wt) were compared with the effects of clofibrate (CF) supplementation (0·02 %, wt/wt) in apo E-deficient (apo E− / −) mice fed a AIN-76 semi-synthetic diet (normal diet) over 20 weeks. The mice were monitored for the modulation of hepatic mRNA expression and the activities of lipid-regulating enzymes. Both TA and CF supplementation lowered hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) activity and prevented atherosclerotic lesion formation in comparison with the control group. Hepatic carnitine palmitoyl transferase and β-oxidation activities were significantly higher in the TA and CF groups than in the control group. Both CF and TA supplementation resulted in significant decreases in hepatic HMGR mRNA levels in association with its enzyme activity. However, in contrast to CF supplementation, TA supplementation seemed to decrease the accumulation of hepatic lipids in the apo E− / − mice without increasing liver weight. These results suggest that the overall effect of TA is more desirable than CF for the alleviation of hepatic lipogenesis and atherogenesis in apo E− / − mice.
The incubation-limitation hypothesis suggests that clutch size in some birds is limited by incubation capacity. However, this remains disputed amongst ornithologists. This study aimed to test whether incubation capacity limits the maximum clutch size to two eggs in south polar skuas (Catharacta maccormicki Saunders) by comparing the egg and nest temperatures as well as hatchability between two-egg and three-egg clutches. Although the vast majority of clutches contained one or two eggs, four naturally occurring three-egg clutches were found at Barton Peninsula, King George Island over three breeding seasons (2004–2005, 2005–2006 and 2006–2007). Regardless of clutch size, all incubating parents exhibited two discernible brood patches. The mean egg and nest temperatures of the three-egg clutches were significantly lower than were those of the two-egg clutches. The accumulated time that egg temperature decreased below 30°C in three-egg clutches was approximately eight times longer than that in two-egg clutches. The hatchability of natural one-egg (89.5%) and two-egg clutches (95.4%) were significantly higher than that of the three-egg clutches, which was zero. Our results suggest that the maximum clutch size in south polar skuas is probably restricted by incubation capacity.