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The COVID-19 pandemic forced American medical systems to adapt to high patient loads of respiratory disease. Its disruption of normal routines also brought opportunities for broader reform. The purpose of this article is to describe how the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC), a medium-sized Army hospital, capitalized on opportunities to advance its strategic aims during the pandemic. Specifically, the hospital sequentially adopted virtual video visits, surged on preventative screenings, and made-over its image to appeal to patients seeking urgent care. These campaigns supported COVID-19 efforts and larger strategic goals simultaneously – and they will endure for years to come. Predictably, CRDAMC encountered obstacles in the course of its transformation. These obstacles and their follow-on lessons are provided to assist future medical leaders seeking quantum change in the opportunities made available by health crises.
Australia’s Medicare is a universal, publicly funded comprehensive insurance scheme that provides all its citizens with free treatment in public hospitals, and subsidizes out-of-hospital medical services and pharmaceuticals. Yet alongside this public insurance there exists a strong private health insurance sector that covers private in-hospital treatment or general (largely dental and other) ancillary services. Policy initiatives implemented since 1997 have provided both incentives and penalties to encourage the uptake of private insurance. The proportion of the population with insurance for hospital treatment grew from around 33% in December 1996 to a high of 45% in 2000; it then declined slightly until 2007 and has increased since then to 47% in December 2015 (APRA, 2016). Consequently, significant public funds have been directed to support the private health insurance industry and, by extension, the private health care sector. Current policies reflect the ambiguities of the electoral popularity of Medicare alongside the push to restrain public spending.
Feeding cattle with on-pasture supplementation or feedlot diets can increase animal efficiency and system profitability while minimizing environmental impacts. However, cattle system profit margins are relatively small and nutrient supply accounts for most of the costs. This paper introduces a nonlinear profit-maximizing diet formulation problem for beef cattle based on well-established predictive equations. Nonlinearity in predictive equations for nutrient requirements poses methodological challenges in the application of optimization techniques. In contrast to other widely used diet formulation methods, we develop a mathematical model that guarantees an exact solution for maximum profit diet formulations. Our method can efficiently solve an often-impractical nonlinear problem by solving a finite number of linear problems, that is, linear time complexity is achieved through parametric linear programming. Results show the impacts of choosing different objective functions (minimizing cost, maximizing profit and maximizing profit per daily weight gain) and how this may lead to different optimal solutions. In targeting improved ration formulation on feedlot systems, this paper demonstrates how profitability and nutritional constraints can be met as an important part of a sustainable intensification production strategy.
To investigate associations between schizophrenia candidate gene polymorphisms and regional cortical thickness and volume in patients with schizophrenia and healthy control subjects.
Genotyping was performed using PCR and pyrosequencing techniques. Cortical morphology was analyzed by processing magnetic resonance brain images with the FreeSurfer software package. General linear model analysis was used to study associations between gene variants and cortical thickness in patients and controls, respectively. Regional cortical volumes were defined from automatic cortical parcellations. Our first studies from 96 patients with schizophrenia and 104 healthy control subjects demonstrate that polymorphisms in the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene may be associated with variation in frontal lobe morphology. Associations seem to be stronger in patients with schizophrenia than in healthy controls.
Postpartum onset of anxiety disorders, particularly of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are rarely reported in the literature although frequently observed in the clinical setting. The obsessions and compulsions focus on the newborn and create immense distress. Research on the stress response in postpartum psychiatric populations is limited and the neural and neuroendocrine correlates of postpartum OCD is unclear. Few studies investigated the brain circuitry involved in OCD, very few included women and none in the postpartum period, and none of which focus on the stress reactivity underlying network.
The purpose of this study is to examine neural activation in women with postpartum OCD as compared to healthy postpartum women in response to a stress task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Subjects are females diagnosed with postpartum OCD and matched healthy controls. During the stress phase, fMRI is recorded to observe brain activity while subjects complete the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST), a psychological stressor. Saliva samples are obtained before and after the stressor to assess the hormonal stress response along with subjective stress rating.
To date, 9 postpartum OCD women and 10 controls completed the study. Preliminary analyses show that the majority of the subjects demonstrated an increase in subjective stress rating with postpartum OCD women experiencing the MIST more stressful compared to controls. As previously reported we observed deactivation throughout the limbic system in all subjects but only the postpartum OCD women also recruited the orbitofrontal cortex.
These preliminary observations are consistent with the literature and point toward a distinct stress brain activation pattern in postpartum OCD women. It is hoped that the results of this study will provide further insight into the nature of neurophysiological and neuroendocrinological involvement in postpartum OCD.
Abnormalities of orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) sulcogyral patterns have been reported in schizophrenia, but it is not known if these predate psychosis.
Hundred and forty-six subjects at high genetic risk of schizophrenia, 34 first episode of schizophrenia patients (SZ) and 36 healthy controls were scanned and clinically assessed. Utilising the classification system proposed by Chiavaras, we categorised OFC patterns and compared their distribution between the groups, as well as between those high risk subjects who did, and did not develop schizophrenia. The relationship between OFC pattern and schizotypy was explored in high risk subjects.
We refined Chiavaras’ classification system, with the identification of a previously unreported variant of OFC surface structure. There were significant differences in distribution of OFC patterns between high risk subjects who did or did not develop schizophrenia as well as between the first episode of schizophrenia group and healthy controls. Within the high risk group, possession of OFC Type III was associated with higher ratings on the Structured Inventory for Schizotypy (SIS) psychotic factor.
Our results suggest that OFC Type III is associated with psychotic features before the development of schizophrenia. Characterisation of OFC morphology may have a role in the identification of those at greatest risk of developing schizophrenia.
Recent findings support sex-specific effects of PDYN polymorphisms on association with opioid addiction (Clarke et al. 2012). We have demonstrated that PDYN haplotypes, which include rs2281285, are associated with alcohol dependence and propensity to drink in negative emotional situations (negative craving) (Karpyak et al 2012). The rs2281285 variant may contribute to regulation of alternative PDYN mRNA transcription specific to brain area or physiological condition.
To investigate sex-specific effects of the PDYN rs2281285 variant on risk for alcohol dependence.
To examine the association of the PDYN rs2281285 variant with alcohol dependence in male and female subjects.
rs2281285 was genotyped in the investigation cohort of 816 (554 males) alcohol dependent subjects (DSM-IV-TR) and 1248 (603 males) non-alcoholic controls and in the replication cohort of 467 (347 males) alcohol dependent subjects and 431 (224 males) non-alcoholic controls. Logistic regression models were used to test for sex-specific associations after controlling for age.
As previously reported, significant association of the PDYN rs2281285 variant with alcohol dependence was found in the investigation (p = 0.008, odds ratio = 1.299), but not the replication cohort (0.223, OR = 0.118). However, sex-specific analyses revealed stronger association in males (p = 0.002, OR = 1.493) but not females (p = 0.684, OR = 1.066) in the investigation cohort, and a trend for association in males (p = 0.086, OR = 1.352) but not females (p = 0.808, OR = 0.947) in the replication cohort.
Our findings support association of PDYN rs2281285 variant with alcohol dependence in male but not female subjects. Future studies should investigate functional mechanisms of this effect.
Craving in negative emotional situations (negative craving) is commonly associated with relapse and heavy alcohol use. Elevated dynorphin levels were associated with negative emotions, while variations in the OPRK1 and PDYN genes encoding OPRK1 receptor and dynorphins were associated with alcohol dependence.
To investigate potential overlap in the genetic factors underlying, negative craving and alcohol dependence.
Examine the association of the negative craving and genetic variation in the OPRK1 and PDYN genes.
13 PDYN and 10 OPRK1 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), including those previously reported to be associated with alcohol dependence were genotyped in 196 alcohol dependent subjects. The raw scores of the negative subscale of Inventory of Drug Taking Situations (IDTS) were utilized as a quantitative measure of negative craving. Logistic regression models were used to test for associations after controlling for age and gender.
Gene-level haplotype testing demonstrated significant association of negative craving with variation in PDYN (p < 0.05) but not OPRK1 gene. The rs2281285 - rs199794 haplotype showed significant association (p = 0.0236) with negative craving, while rs2235749 - rs10485703 haplotype showed marginally significant association (p = 0.055). This replicates previous findings of association between these haplotypes and alcohol dependence. Negative craving was also associated with PDYN rs2281285 variant (p = 0.012) with estimated effect size of 6.95 (SE = 2.75). This new association finding was not significant after correction for multiple testing (p = 0.18).
Our findings support association of PDYN sequence variation with negative craving in alcohol dependent subjects. Future studies should investigate functional mechanisms of this association.
Optimal stroke care requires access to resources such as neuroimaging, acute revascularization, rehabilitation, and stroke prevention services, which may not be available in rural areas. We aimed to determine geographic access to stroke care for residents of rural communities in the province of Ontario, Canada.
We used the Ontario Road Network File database linked with the 2016 Ontario Acute Stroke Care Resource Inventory to estimate the proportion of people in rural communities, defined as those with a population size <10,000, who were within 30, 60, and 240 minutes of travel time by car from stroke care services, including brain imaging, thrombolysis treatment centers, stroke units, stroke prevention clinics, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and endovascular treatment centers.
Of the 1,496,262 people residing in rural communities, the majority resided within 60 minutes of driving time to a center with computed tomography (85%), thrombolysis (81%), a stroke unit (68%), a stroke prevention clinic (74%), or inpatient rehabilitation (77.0%), but a much lower proportion (32%) were within 60 minutes of driving time to a center capable of providing endovascular thrombectomy (EVT).
Most rural Ontario residents have appropriate geographic access to stroke services, with the exception of EVT. This information may be useful for jurisdictions seeking to optimize the regional organization of stroke care services.
The impact of hurricanes on emergency services is well-known. Recent history demonstrates the need for prehospital and emergency department coordination to serve communities during evacuation, storm duration, and cleanup. The use of telehealth applications may enhance this coordination while lessening the impact on health-care systems. These applications can address triage, stabilization, and diversion and may be provided in collaboration with state and local emergency management operations through various shelters, as well as during other emergency medical responses.
A hypothesis is proposed wherein changes in the Earth's magnetic field affect the migratory paths of snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis), and in particular from wintering grounds in the Russian/Ukrainian steppes to breeding grounds on Svalbard and with a typical stopover in Finnmark in northern Norway. If one were to assume ignorance of the secular movement of the magnetic north pole approximately 1500 km northwards between 1908 and 2020, the magnetoreceptor contribution to snow buntings' navigation would result in winter-to-summer migratory paths progressively further to the East. In turn, this could be a contributing factor to declining populations in Finnmark and favouring a more frequent flightpath over the Kola Peninsula. On the other hand, short-term perturbations in the magnetic field (i.e. induced by solar activity) and therefore existing for a relatively small proportion of the flight time (if at all) for the individual migrations legs seem unlikely to influence the stopover locations significantly. Even so, these space-weather induced variations cannot be disregarded, particularly for success in reaching Svalbard.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
Introduction: Simulation has assumed an integral role in the Canadian healthcare system with applications in quality improvement, systems development, and medical education. High quality simulation-based research (SBR) is required to ensure the effective and efficient use of this tool. This study sought to establish national SBR priorities and describe the barriers and facilitators of SBR in Emergency Medicine (EM) in Canada. Methods: Simulation leads (SLs) from all fourteen Canadian Departments or Divisions of EM associated with an adult FRCP-EM training program were invited to participate in three surveys and a final consensus meeting. The first survey documented active EM SBR projects. Rounds two and three established and ranked priorities for SBR and identified the perceived barriers and facilitators to SBR at each site. Surveys were completed by SLs at each participating institution, and priority research themes were reviewed by senior faculty for broad input and review. Results: Twenty SLs representing all 14 invited institutions participated in all three rounds of the study. 60 active SBR projects were identified, an average of 4.3 per institution (range 0-17). 49 priorities for SBR in Canada were defined and summarized into seven priority research themes. An additional theme was identified by the senior reviewing faculty. 41 barriers and 34 facilitators of SBR were identified and grouped by theme. Fourteen SLs representing 12 institutions attended the consensus meeting and vetted the final list of eight priority research themes for SBR in Canada: simulation in CBME, simulation for interdisciplinary and inter-professional learning, simulation for summative assessment, simulation for continuing professional development, national curricular development, best practices in simulation-based education, simulation-based education outcomes, and simulation as an investigative methodology. Conclusion: Conclusion: This study has summarized the current SBR activity in EM in Canada, as well as its perceived barriers and facilitators. We also provide a consensus on priority research themes in SBR in EM from the perspective of Canadian simulation leaders. This group of SLs has formed a national simulation-based research group which aims to address these identified priorities with multicenter collaborative studies.
Introduction: Capitalizing on the success of Simulation-Based Education (SBE) in residency-training programs, simulation has been gradually integrated into Continued Professional Development (CPD) programs for Emergency Physicians (EPs) in Canada. This study sought to characterize how Canadian academic emergency medicine (EM) departments have implemented SBE for CPD. Methods: We conducted two national surveys: 1) the National Faculty Simulation Status Assessment Survey, administered by telephone to the simulation directors (or equivalent) at 20 Canadian academic EM sites and 2) the Faculty Simulation Needs Assessment Survey administered online to all full-time EPs across 9 Canadian academic EM sites. Results: The response rates for the National Status and Needs Assessment Surveys were 100% (20/20), and 40% (252/635), respectively. The majority (60%) of Canadian academic EM sites reported utilizing SBE for CPD, though only 30% reported dedicated funding support. EPs reported participating in a median of 3 hours per year of SBE (IQR 1-6 hours). Reported incentivization offered in the form of continued medical education credits varied between simulation directors (67%) and EPs (44%). Simulation directors identified several significant barriers to SBE including a lack of faculty time, fear of peer judgment, and faculty inexperience. In contrast, EP-identified barriers included time commitments outside of shift, lack of opportunities, and lack of departmental. The three most common topics of interest for SBE by EPs were performance of rare procedures, pediatric resuscitation, and neonatal resuscitation. Interprofessional involvement in SBE CPD was valued by both simulation directors and EPs, with most EPs (79%) indicating it is useful. Conclusion: Most Canadian EPs and simulation directors recognize the value of SBE for CPD, yet it is only utilized, infrequently, by 67% of Canadian academic EM departments for this purpose. This may be explained, in part, by poor incentivization for participation. Simulation directors and EPs noted different barriers to SBE implementation for CPD suggesting the need for dialogue to improve utilization. As SBE for CPD is incorporated more frequently, and at more sites, content should be guided by local needs assessments with an emphasis on interprofessional participation.