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The principle and practice of pro bono, or volunteer legal services for poor and other marginalized groups, is an increasingly important feature of civil justice systems around the world. Recent surveys have identified pro bono initiatives in more than eighty countries - including Colombia, Portugal, Nigeria, and Singapore - and the list keeps growing. Covering the spread of pro bono in across five continents, this book provides a unique comparative dataset permitting the first-ever analysis of pro bono's growing role in access to justice globally. The contributors are leading experts from around the world, whose chapters explore both the internal roots of and global influences on pro bono in transnational context. Global Pro Bono explores the dramatically expanding geographical and political reach of pro bono: documenting its essential contribution to bringing more justice to those on the margins, while underscoring its complex and contested meaning in different parts of the world.
To assess the associations between nutrient intake and dietary patterns with different sarcopenia definitions in older men.
Sarcopenia was defined using the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) and the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 (EWGSOP2). Dietary adequacy of fourteen nutrients was assessed by comparing participants’ intakes with the Nutrient Reference Values (NRV). Attainment of NRV for nutrients was incorporated into a variable ‘poor’ (meeting ≤ 9) v. ‘good’ (meeting ≥ 10) using the cut-point method. Also, two different dietary patterns, monounsaturated:saturated fat and n-6:n-3 fatty acids ratio and individual nutrients were used as predictor variables.
A total of 794 men aged ≥75 years participated in this study.
The prevalence of sarcopenia by the FNIH, EWGSOP and EWGSOP2 definitions was 12·9 %, 12·9 % and 19·6 %, respectively. With the adjustment, poor nutrient intake was significantly associated with FNIH-defined sarcopenia (OR: 2·07 (95 % CI 1·16, 3·67)), but not with EWGSOP and EWGSPOP2 definitions. The lowest and second-lowest quartiles of protein, Mg and Ca and the lowest quartiles of n-6 PUFA and n-3 PUFA intakes were significantly associated with FNIH-defined sarcopenia. Each unit decrease in n-6:n-3 ratio was significantly associated with a 9 % increased risk of FNIH-defined sarcopenia (OR: 1·09 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·16)).
Inadequate intakes of nutrients are associated with FNIH-defined sarcopenia in older men, but not with the other two sarcopenia definitions. Further studies are required to understand these relationships.
To examine changes in micronutrient intake over 3 years and identify any associations between socio-economic, health, lifestyle and meal-related factors and these changes in micronutrient intakes among older men.
Dietary adequacy of individual micronutrient was compared to the estimated average requirement of the nutrient reference values (NRV). Attainment of the NRV for twelve micronutrients was incorporated into a dichotomised variable ‘not meeting’ (meeting ≤ 6) or ‘meeting’ (meeting ≥ 7) and categorised into four categories to assess change in micronutrient intake over 3 years. The multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to model predictors of changes in micronutrient intake.
Seven hundred and ninety-four men participated in a detailed diet history interview at the third wave (baseline nutrition) and 718 men participated at the fourth wave (3-year follow-up).
The mean age was 81 years (range 75–99 years). Median intakes of the majority of micronutrients decreased significantly over a 3-year follow-up. Inadequacy of the NRV for thiamine, dietary folate, Zn, Mg, Ca and I were significantly increased at a 3-year follow-up than baseline nutrition. The incidence of inadequate micronutrient intake was 21 % and remained inadequate micronutrient intake was 16·4 % at 3-year follow-up. Changes in micronutrient intakes were significantly associated with participants born in the UK and Italy, low levels of physical activity, having ≥2 medical conditions and used meal services.
Micronutrient intake decreases with age in older men. Our results suggest that strategies to improve some of the suboptimal micronutrient intakes might need to be developed and implemented for older men.
Dopaminergic pathways are implicated in motivational aspects of substance use disorders, and might contribute to withdrawal phenomena, as well as an increased long-term risk of relapse. Molecular imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) revealed reductions in the availability of binding sites for D2/3receptor ligands in striatum of withdrawn abusers of cocaine; corresponding results in alcoholics have been inconsistent so far. In the present study, we used the D2/3ligand [18F]fallypride to investigate dynamic changes in receptor availability in the striatum of patients with alcohol use disorder before and after undergoing a detoxification protocol.
18 male patients (mean age 44±5.3y) with alcohol use disorder were recruited and scanned with 180MBq [18F]fallypride upon hospital admission, and again 1-2 weeks later after detoxification. The control group consisted of 10 age-matched healthy volunteers. PET acquisition time was 180min, consisting of 39 frames of increasing duration. Within each group binding potentials (BPND) were calculated in the striatum using the cerebellum as reference.
In the patients, the mean BPND in whole striatum was 17.2±4.2 at baseline, with a trend towards a decline at follow-up. In addition there were inverse correlations of BPNDwith age (r-0.45) and with daily alcohol consumption (r-0.2). The age-dependence of BPNDwas less pronounced in healthy controls. However, mean striatal BPNDwas only slightly lower in the patient group. No pronounced group differences were evident for extrastriatal [18F]fallypride binding.
Regressions with age suggest an accelerated loss of dopamine D2/3 receptors in the striatum of subjects with alcohol use disorder.
The present study aims to investigate the effect of wholegrain and legume consumption on the incidence of age-related cataract in an older Australian population-based cohort. The Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) is a population-based cohort study of eye diseases among older adults aged 49 years or older (1992–1994, n 3654). Of 2334 participants of the second examination of the BMES (BMES 2, 1997–2000), 1541 (78·3 % of survivors) were examined 5 years later (BMES 3) who had wholegrain and legume consumption estimated from the FFQ at BMES 2. Cataract was assessed using photographs taken during examinations following the Wisconsin cataract grading system. Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression models were used to assess associations with the 5-year incidence of cataract from BMES 2 (baseline) to BMES 3. The 5-year incidence of cortical, nuclear and posterior subcapsular (PSC) cataract was 18·2, 16·5 and 5·9 %, respectively. After adjustment for age, sex and other factors, total wholegrain consumption at baseline was not associated with incidence of any type of cataract. High consumption of legumes showed a protective association for incident PSC cataract (5th quintile: adjusted OR 0·37; 95 % CI 0·15, 0·92). There was no significant trend of this association across quintiles (P = 0·08). In this older Australian population, we found no associations between wholegrain intake at baseline and the 5-year incidence of three cataract types. However, intake of legumes in the highest quintile, compared with the lowest quintile, may protect against PSC formation, a finding needing replication in other studies.
Introduction: Patients with concussion often present to the emergency department (ED). Current guidelines recommend graded return to work and physical activity (i.e., sport, recreation and exercise activities); however, whether emergency physicians target this advice based on patient-reported activities is unknown. This study aimed to assess mismatches between physicians’ rest and return-to-activity advice and self-reported pre-injury work and physical activity of adult concussion patients. Methods: Adults (>17 years) presenting with a concussion from April 2013 to April 2015 to a study ED with Glasgow coma scale score ≥13 were recruited by on-site research assistants. Data on patient characteristics (i.e., age, sex, employment, and physical activity level) and activity leading to injury were collected from structured patient interviews. A structured questionnaire collected data from the treating physician about discharge advice provided. “Working” was defined as employed or enrolled in any level of school at the time of injury. “Physically active” was defined by reporting regular exercise (≥2 times a week) or concussed during a sports-related activity. Proportions or medians (interquartile range [IQR]) are reported, as appropriate. Results: Physician questionnaires were completed for 198/248 enrolled patients (median age: 37 years [IQR: 23, 49]; 46% male). Overall, 89% (177/198) were working; 110/177 (62%) received return-to-work advice, while 10/21 (48%) patients also received return-to-work advice, despite not working. Mentally strenuous work/school duties were reported by 143 patients, of which 85 (60%) were recommended cognitive rest. Overall, 148 patients were physically active and 115 (78%) of these were recommended physical rest while 124 (82%) were advised on safe return to physical activity. On the other hand, 35/50 (70%) patients who were not physically active received advice on safe return to physical activity. Sustaining a sports-related injury significantly increased the likelihood of safe return to physical activity advice among physically active patients (Fisher's exact p = 0.001). Conclusion: There is a mismatch between concussed patients’ pre-injury activities, and the rest and return-to-activity (i.e., work and physical activity) advice provided by emergency physicians. The possible effect of this mismatch on patient outcomes should be assessed in future research, as should strategies to improve emergency physician-patient communications around concussion management.
Introduction: Patients with concussion often present to the emergency department (ED). Although sports and recreation (SR) activities account for less than half of all adult concussions, guidelines developed for management of SR-related concussions (SRC) are widely used for all concussion patients. This study aimed to identify whether there are clinically relevant differences in patient and injury characteristics between SRC and those occurring outside of SR activities. Methods: Adults ( >17 years) presenting from April 2013 to April 2015 with a concussion to one of three EDs with Glasgow coma scale score ≥13 were recruited by on-site research assistants. Data on patient characteristics (i.e., age, sex, employment, lifestyle, relevant medical history), ED presentation (i.e., EMS arrival, hours since injury, CTAS, Glasgow Coma Scale score) and injury characteristics (i.e., activity leading to injury, loss of consciousness [LOC], signs and symptoms [scored using the Rivermead Post-Concussion Questionnaire], and health-related quality of life [from the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey [SF-12]) were collected from structured interviews and the ED chart. Dichotomous and categorical variables were compared using Fisher's exact test; continuous variables were compared using t-tests or Mann-Whitney tests, as appropriate. Results: In total, 248 patients were enrolled (47% male, median [IQR] age: 35 [23, 49]). Patients with SRC were younger (median: 23.5 years vs 35 years; p < 0.001), more likely to be a student (31% vs 8%; p > 0.001), and more likely to exercise regularly (89% vs 66%; p = 0.001). Patients with SRC were less likely to present during the daytime (66% vs. 77%; p = 0.022), less likely to have a history of mental health issues (18% vs 33%; p = 0.011) and had significantly higher median SF-12 physical components scores (55.5 [IQR: 51.4 to 57.8] vs. 53.5 [IQR: 45.5 to 56.7]; p = 0.025). All other characteristics were similar between the two groups. Conclusion: Although differences in demographics and lifestyle have been identified between patients sustaining a SRC and those concussed during other activities, injury characteristics, such as presentation acuity, proxies for severity, and signs and symptoms, were similar in both groups. Further analysis to assess whether the demographic and lifestyle differences affect clinical outcomes, such as time to symptom resolution, between these two groups is required to assess if sport-based treatment guidelines are appropriate for all patients.
A growing number of infectious pathogens are spreading among geographic regions. Some pathogens that were previously not considered to pose a general threat to human health have emerged at regional and global scales, such as Zika and Ebola Virus Disease. Other pathogens, such as yellow fever virus, were previously thought to be under control but have recently re-emerged, causing new challenges to public health organisations. A wide array of new modelling techniques, aided by increased computing capabilities, novel diagnostic tools, and the increased speed and availability of genomic sequencing allow researchers to identify new pathogens more rapidly, assess the likelihood of geographic spread, and quantify the speed of human-to-human transmission. Despite some initial successes in predicting the spread of acute viral infections, the practicalities and sustainability of such approaches will need to be evaluated in the context of public health responses.
Unregulated care aides provide most of the direct care to nursing home residents. We previously reported the first demographic profile of care aides in Western Canada through the Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC) longitudinal research program (2007–2022) in applied health services. Here we describe demographic, health, and work life characteristics of aides from 91 nursing homes in Western Canada. Demographics and work life varied significantly across health regions and facility owner-operator models. Our longitudinal cohort of aides from Alberta and Winnipeg had higher emotional exhaustion (a negative attribute), professional efficacy (a positive attribute), and experience of dementia-related responsive behaviours from residents. Overall, results indicate little improvement or worsening of care aide health and quality of work life. Coupled with limited provincial or national initiatives for workforce planning and training of these workers, this signals a long-term care system ill-prepared to care effectively for Canada’s aging population.
Availability of health professionals is fundamental to population health. Multiple trends contribute to provider shortages. Purpose: Develop and validate conceptual models of early and involuntary retirement among registered nurses (RNs) and allied health professionals (AHPs). Method: A review of retirement literature (n = 23 studies). Any factor reported as predictive of early or involuntary retirement was incorporated into a model. To achieve face validity, we conducted interviews with Canadian RNs/AHPs (n = 14). Results: The conceptual model of early retirement had eight categories (38 variables): workplace characteristics, socio-demographics, attitudes/beliefs, broader context, organizational factors, family, lifestyle/health, and work-related. The model of involuntary retirement had four categories (eight variables): broader context, socio-demographics, lifestyle/health, and family. Caregiving responsibilities (variable) was added based on interview data. Discussion: RNs/AHPs consider many factors when contemplating retirement; some are sensitive to intercession, which generates possibilities for extending the work lives of older RNs and AHPs.
Introduction: Patients with concussion frequently present to the emergency department (ED). Studies of athletes and children indicate that concussion symptoms are often more severe and prolonged in females compared with males. To-date, study of sex-based concussion differences in general adult populations have been limited. This study examined sex-based differences in concussion outcomes. Methods: Adult (>17 years) patients presenting to one of three urban EDs in Edmonton, Alberta with Glasgow coma scale score 13 within 72 hours of a concussive event were recruited by on-site research assistants. Follow-up calls at 30 and 90 days post ED discharge captured extent of PCS using the Rivermead Post-Concussion questionnaire (RPQ), effect on daily living activities measured by the Rivermead Head Injury Questionnaire (RHIQ), and overall health-related quality of life using the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12). Dichotomous and categorical variables were compared using Fishers exact test; continuous variables were compared using t-tests or Mann-Whitney tests, as appropriate. Results: Overall, 130/250 enrolled patients were female. The median age was 35 years; men trended towards being younger (median=32 years; IQR: 23, 45) than women (median=40 years; IQR: 22, 52). Compared to women, more men were single (56% vs 38% (p=0.007) and employed (82% vs 71% (p=0.055). Men and women experienced different injury mechanisms (p=0.007) with more women reporting injury due to a fall (44% vs 26%), while more men were injured at work (16% vs 7%) or due to an assault (11% vs. 3%). Men had a higher return to ED rate (13% vs. 5%; p=0.015). Women had higher RPQ scores at baseline (p<0.001) and 30-day follow-up (p=0.001); this difference was not significant by 90 days (p=0.099). While women reported on the RHIQ at 30 days that their injury affected their usual activities significantly more than men (Median=5, IQR: 0, 11 vs. median=0.5, IQR: 0.5, 7; p=0.004), both groups had similar scores on the SF-12 physical composite and mental composite scales at all three measurement points. Conclusion: In a general ED concussion population, demographic differences exist between men and women. Based on self-reported and objective outcomes, womens usual activities may be more affected by concussion and PCS than men. Further analysis of these differences is required in order to identify different treatment options and ensure adequate care and treatment of injury.
To determine the effect of mandatory and nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies on vaccination rates and symptomatic absenteeism among healthcare personnel (HCP).
Retrospective observational cohort study.
This study took place at 3 university medical centers with mandatory influenza vaccination policies and 4 Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare systems with nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies.
The study included 2,304 outpatient HCP at mandatory vaccination sites and 1,759 outpatient HCP at nonmandatory vaccination sites.
To determine the incidence and duration of absenteeism in outpatient settings, HCP participating in the Respiratory Protection Effectiveness Clinical Trial at both mandatory and nonmandatory vaccination sites over 3 viral respiratory illness (VRI) seasons (2012–2015) reported their influenza vaccination status and symptomatic days absent from work weekly throughout a 12-week period during the peak VRI season each year. The adjusted effects of vaccination and other modulating factors on absenteeism rates were estimated using multivariable regression models.
The proportion of participants who received influenza vaccination was lower each year at nonmandatory than at mandatory vaccination sites (odds ratio [OR], 0.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07–0.11). Among HCP who reported at least 1 sick day, vaccinated HCP had lower symptomatic days absent compared to unvaccinated HCP (OR for 2012–2013 and 2013–2014, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.93; OR for 2014–2015, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.69–0.95).
These data suggest that mandatory HCP influenza vaccination policies increase influenza vaccination rates and that HCP symptomatic absenteeism diminishes as rates of influenza vaccination increase. These findings should be considered in formulating HCP influenza vaccination policies.
The revised Dietary Guideline Index (DGI-2013) scores individuals’ diets according to their compliance with the Australian Dietary Guideline (ADG). This cross-sectional study assesses the diet quality of 794 community-dwelling men aged 74 years and older, living in Sydney, Australia participating in the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project; it also examines sociodemographic and lifestyle factors associated with DGI-2013 scores; it studies associations between DGI-2103 scores and the following measures: homoeostasis model assessment – insulin resistance, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, TAG, blood pressure, waist:hip ratio, BMI, number of co-morbidities and medications and frailty status while also accounting for the effect of ethnicity in these relationships. Median DGI-2013 score was 93·7 (54·4, 121·2); most individuals failed to meet recommendations for vegetables, dairy products and alternatives, added sugar, unsaturated fat and SFA, fluid and discretionary foods. Lower education, income, physical activity levels and smoking were associated with low scores. After adjustments for confounders, high DGI-2013 scores were associated with lower HDL-cholesterol, lower waist:hip ratios and lower probability of being frail. Proxies of good health (fewer co-morbidities and medications) were not associated with better compliance to the ADG. However, in participants with a Mediterranean background, low DGI-2013 scores were not generally associated with poorer health. Older men demonstrated poor diet quality as assessed by the DGI-2013, and the association between dietary guidelines and health measures and indices may be influenced by ethnic background.
Introduction: Patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) frequently present to the emergency department (ED); however, wide variation in diagnosis and management has been demonstrated in this setting. Sub-optimal mTBI management can contribute to post-concussion syndrome (PCS), affecting vocational outcomes like return to work. This study documented the work-related events, ED management, discharge advice, and outcomes for employed patients presenting to the ED with mTBI. Methods: Adult (>17 years) patients presenting to one of three urban EDs in Edmonton, Alberta with Glasgow coma scale score ≥13 within 72 hours of a concussive event were recruited by on-site research assistants. Follow-up calls ascertained outcomes, including symptoms and their severity, advice received in the ED, and adherence to discharge instructions, at 30 and 90 days after ED discharge. Dichotomous variables were analyzed using chi-square testing; continuous variables were compared using t-tests or Mann-Whitney tests, as appropriate. Work-related injury and return to work outcomes were modelled using logistic or linear regression, as appropriate. Results: Overall, 250 patents were enrolled; 172 (69%) were employed at the time of their injury and completed at least one follow-up. The median age was 37 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 24, 49.5), both sexes were equally represented (48% male), and work-related concussions were uncommon (16%). Work-related concussion was related to manual labor jobs and self-reported history of attention deficit disorder. Patients often received advice to avoid sports (81%) and/or work (71%); however, the duration of recommended time off varied. Most employed patients (80%) missed at least one day of work (median=7 days; IQR: 3, 14); 91% of employees returned to work by 90 days, despite 41% reporting persistent symptoms. Increased days of missed work were linked to divorce, history of sleep disorder, and physician’s advice to avoid work. Conclusion: While work-related concussions are uncommon, most employees who sustain a mTBI at any time miss some work. Many patients experience mTBI symptoms past 90 days, which has serious implications for workers’ abilities to fulfill their work duties and risk of subsequent injury. Workers, employers, and the workers compensation system should take the necessary precautions to ensure that workers return to work safely and successfully following a concussion.
Introduction: When patients transition from long term care (LTC) to emergency departments (ED), communication among clinicians in different settings is often poor. We pilot tested a transfer form to facilitate communications of handover information among LTCs, emergency medical services (EMS), and EDs regarding LTC residents transitioning to and from the ED. We interpret implementation challenges in light of the “theoretical domains” implementation framework in order to produce lessons for future healthcare communication interventions. Methods: We provided setting specific training and a user guide to 13 participating sites, collected 90 forms to assess completion rates, and assessed perspectives on the form from 266 surveys of healthcare providers. Throughout the study, staff kept detailed notes on implementation of the form. We retrospectively categorized implementation challenges reported by survey respondents, and/or recorded in staff implementation notes, according to the theoretical domains framework. Results: The LTC patient transfer forms were used in 36.4% of transitions (90/247), and were completed most often by staff in the LTC (57/90, 63%). Survey results indicated that ED and EMS staff felt the information on the form was useful to them, although they rarely completed their sections of the form. Implementation challenges included low awareness/recognition of the form among healthcare providers, belief that the form distracted from patient care, lack of time for form completion, negative reinforcement for LTC staff (who saw little return for the time they invested in completing the form), and mistrust among clinicians who work in different settings. Conclusion: Future efforts to improve healthcare communications must be acceptable for all clinicians. Innovation should balance the workload required among sites/clinicians and the benefits that the intervention offers to sites/clinicians should be explicitly tracked and reported. For this intervention, more effort should be made to inform LTC sites that the transfer information they provide is useful for EMS and ED clinicians. Moreover, gaps in perspectives and lack of trust among clinicians who work in different settings must be recognized and addressed in any multi-site communication intervention.
Introduction: Patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) often present to the emergency department (ED). Incorrect diagnosis may delay appropriate treatment and recommendations for these patients, prolonging recovery. Notable proportions of missed mTBI diagnosis have been documented in children and athletes, while diagnosis of mTBI has not been examined in the general adult population. Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted in one academic (site 1) and two non-academic (sites 2 and 3) EDs in Edmonton, Canada. On-site research assistants enrolled adult (>17 years) patients presenting within 72 hours of the injury event with clinical signs of mTBI and Glasgow comma scale score ≥13. Patient demographics, injury characteristics, and ED flow information were collected by chart review. Physician-administered questionnaires and patient interviews documented the recommendations given by emergency physicians at discharge. Bi-variable comparisons are reported using Pearson’s chi-square tests, Student’s t-tests or Mann-Whitney tests, as appropriate. Multivariate analyses were performed using logistic regression methods. Results: Overall, 130/250 enrolled patients were female, and the median age was 35. Proportions of successfully diagnosed mTBI varied significantly across study sites (Site 1: 89%; Site 2: 73%, Site 3: 53%; p>0.001). Patients without a diagnosis were less likely to receive a recommendation to follow-up with their family physician (OR=0.08; 95% CI: 0.03, 0.21) or advice about return to work (OR=0.17; 95% CI: 0.08, 0.04) or physical activity (OR=0.08; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.17). Patients with missed diagnoses had longer ED stays (median=5.0 hours; IQR: 3.8, 7.0) compared with diagnosed mTBI patients (median=3.9 hours; IQR: 3.0, 5.3). In the adjusted model, patients presenting to non-academic centers had reduced likelihood of mTBI diagnosis (Site 2: OR=0.21; 95% CI: 0.08, 0.58; Site 3: OR=0.07; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.24). Conclusion: The diagnostic accuracy of physicians assessing patients presenting with symptoms of mTBIs to these three EDs is suboptimal. The rates of missed diagnosis vary among EDs and were associated with length of ED stay. Closer examination of institutional factors, including diagnosis processes and personnel factors such as physician training, is needed to identify effective strategies to heighten the awareness of mTBI presentations.
Introduction: Some non-urgent/low-acuity Emergency Department (ED) presentations are considered convenience visits and potentially avoidable with improved access to primary care services. This study surveyed patients who presented to the ED and explored their self-reported reasons and barriers for not being connected to a primary care provider (PCP). Methods: Patients aged 17 years and older were randomly selected from electronic registration records at three urban EDs in Edmonton, Alberta (AB), Canada. Following initial triage, stabilization, and verbal informed consent, patients completed a 47-item questionnaire. Data from the survey were cross-referenced to a minimal patient dataset consisting of ED and demographic information. The questionnaire collected information on patient characteristics, their connection to a PCP, and patients' reasons for not having a PCP. Results: Of the 2144 eligible patients, 1408 (65.7%) surveys were returned and 1402 (65.4%) were completed. The majority of patients (74.4%) presenting to the ED reported having a family physician; however, the ‘closeness’ of the connection to their family physician varied greatly among ED patients with the most recent family physician visit ranging from 1 hour before ED presentation to 45 years prior. Approximately 25% of low acuity ED patients reported no connection with a family physician. Reasons for a lack of PCP connection included: prior physician retired, left, or died (19.8%), they had never tried to find one (19.2%), they had recently moved to Alberta (18.0%), and they were unable to find one (16.5%). Conclusion: A surprisingly high proportion of ED patients (25.6%) have no identified PCP. Patients had a variety of reasons for not having a family physician. These need to be understood and addressed in order for primary care access to successfully contribute to diverting non-urgent, low acuity presentations from the ED.
Introduction: Some low acuity Emergency Department (ED) presentations are considered non-urgent or convenience visits and potentially avoidable with improved access to primary care. This study explored self-reported reasons why non-urgent patients presented to the ED. Methods: Patients, 17 years and older, were randomly selected from electronic registration records at three urban EDs in Edmonton, Alberta (AB), Canada during weekdays (0700 to 1900). A 47-item questionnaire was completed by each consenting patient, which included items on whether the patient believed the ED was their best care option and the rationale supporting their response. A thematic content analysis was performed on the responses, using previous experience and review of the literature to identify themes. Results: Of the 2144 eligible patients, 1408 (65.7%) questionnaires were returned, and 1402 (65.4%) were analyzed. For patients who felt the ED was their best option (n = 1234, 89.3%), rationales included: safety concerns (n = 309), effectiveness of ED care (n = 284), patient-centeredness of ED (n = 277), and access to health care professionals in the ED (n = 204). For patients who felt the ED was not their best care option (n = 148, 10.7%), rationales included a perception that: access to health professionals outside the ED was preferable (n = 39), patient-centeredness (particularly timeliness) was lacking in the ED (n = 26), and their health concern was not important enough to require ED care (n = 18). Conclusion: Even during times when alternative care options are available, the majority of non-urgent patients perceived the ED to be the most appropriate location for care. These results highlight that simple triage scores do not accurately reflect the appropriateness of care and that understanding the diverse and multi-faceted reasons for ED presentation are necessary to implement strategies to support non-urgent, low acuity care needs.
Pleated membrane filters are widely used in many applications, and offer significantly better surface area to volume ratios than equal-area unpleated membrane filters. However, their filtration characteristics are markedly inferior to those of equivalent unpleated membrane filters in dead-end filtration. While several hypotheses have been advanced for this, one possibility is that the flow field induced by the pleating leads to spatially non-uniform fouling of the filter, which in turn degrades performance. In this paper we investigate this hypothesis by developing a simplified model for the flow and fouling within a pleated membrane filter. Our model accounts for the pleated membrane geometry (which affects the flow), for porous support layers surrounding the membrane, and for two membrane fouling mechanisms: (i) adsorption of very small particles within membrane pores; and (ii) blocking of entire pores by large particles. We use asymptotic techniques based on the small pleat aspect ratio to solve the model, and we compare solutions to those for the closest-equivalent unpleated filter.
Gene × Environment interaction contributes to externalizing disorders in childhood and adolescence, but little is known about whether such effects are long lasting or present in adulthood. We examined gene–environment interplay in the concurrent and prospective associations between antisocial peer affiliation and externalizing disorders (antisocial behavior and substance use disorders) at ages 17, 20, 24, and 29. The sample included 1,382 same-sex twin pairs participating in the Minnesota Twin Family Study. We detected a Gene × Environment interaction at age 17, such that additive genetic influences on antisocial behavior and substance use disorders were greater in the context of greater antisocial peer affiliation. This Gene × Environment interaction was not present for antisocial behavior symptoms after age 17, but it was for substance use disorder symptoms through age 29 (though effect sizes were largest at age 17). The results suggest adolescence is a critical period for the development of externalizing disorders wherein exposure to greater environmental adversity is associated with a greater expression of genetic risk. This form of Gene × Environment interaction may persist through young adulthood for substance use disorders, but it appears to be limited to adolescence for antisocial behavior.