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Accurate prognostication is important for patients and their families to prepare for the end of life. Objective Prognostic Score (OPS) is an easy-to-use tool that does not require the clinicians’ prediction of survival (CPS), whereas Palliative Prognostic Score (PaP) needs CPS. Thus, inexperienced clinicians may hesitate to use PaP. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of OPS compared with PaP in inpatients in palliative care units (PCUs) in three East Asian countries.
This study was a secondary analysis of a cross-cultural, multicenter cohort study. We enrolled inpatients with far-advanced cancer in PCUs in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan from 2017 to 2018. We calculated the area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) curve to compare the accuracy of OPS and PaP.
A total of 1,628 inpatients in 33 PCUs in Japan and Korea were analyzed. OPS and PaP were calculated in 71.7% of the Japanese patients and 80.0% of the Korean patients. In Taiwan, PaP was calculated for 81.6% of the patients. The AUROC for 3-week survival was 0.74 for OPS in Japan, 0.68 for OPS in Korea, 0.80 for PaP in Japan, and 0.73 for PaP in Korea. The AUROC for 30-day survival was 0.70 for OPS in Japan, 0.71 for OPS in Korea, 0.79 for PaP in Japan, and 0.74 for PaP in Korea.
Significance of results
Both OPS and PaP showed good performance in Japan and Korea. Compared with PaP, OPS could be more useful for inexperienced physicians who hesitate to estimate CPS.
We calculated the human resources required for an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) in Korean hospitals.
Multicenter retrospective study.
Eight Korean hospitals ranging in size from 295 to 1,337 beds.
The time required for performing ASP activities for all hospitalized patients under antibiotic therapy was estimated and converted into hours per week. The actual time spent on patient reviews of each ASP activity was measured with a small number of cases, then the total time was estimated by applying the determined times to a larger number of cases. Full-time equivalents (FTEs) were measured according to labor laws in Korea (52 hours per week).
In total, 225 cases were reviewed to measure time spent on patient reviews. The median time spent per patient review for ASP activities ranged from 10 to 16 minutes. The total time spent on the review for all hospitalized patients was estimated using the observed number of ASP activities for 1,534 patients who underwent antibiotic therapy on surveillance days. The most commonly observed ASP activity was ‘review of surgical prophylactic antibiotics’ (32.7%), followed by ‘appropriate antibiotics recommendations for patients with suspected infection without a proven site of infection but without causative pathogens’ (28.6%). The personnel requirement was calculated as 1.20 FTEs (interquartile range [IQR], 1.02–1.38) per 100 beds and 2.28 FTEs (IQR, 1.93–2.62) per 100 patients who underwent antibiotic therapy, respectively.
The estimated time required for human resources performing extensive ASP activities on all hospitalized patients undergoing antibiotic therapy in Korean hospitals was ~1.20 FTEs (IQR, 1.02–1.38) per 100 beds.
To date, there have been few studies on dietary supplement (DS) use in Korean children and adolescents, using nationally representative data. This study aimed to investigate the current status of DS use and its related factors, among Korean children and adolescents from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) data.
A cross-sectional study.
Data from the KNHANES 2015–2017. Participants completed 24-h dietary recall interviews, including DS products that the subjects consumed.
The study population was 4380 children and adolescents aged 1–18 years.
Approximately 2013 % of children and adolescents were using DS; the highest use was among children aged 1–3 years old, and the lowest use was among adolescents aged 16–18 years. The most frequently used DS was prebiotics/probiotics, followed by multivitamin/mineral supplements. Factors that were associated with DS use were lower birth weight in children aged <4 years; younger age, higher household income, regular breakfast intake and lower BMI in children aged 4–9 years; and regular breakfast intake and use of nutrition facts label in adolescents aged 10–18 years. Feeding patterns in infancy and having chronic diseases were not associated with DS use.
We report that over 20 % of children and adolescents use DS. Nutritional education for parents and children about proper DS consumption is needed.
Curiosity and situational interest are powerful driving forces in learning and motivation that lead students to learn more effectively. In this chapter, we elucidate curiosity and situational interest by focusing on (1) conceptual definitions and characteristics, (2) antecedents, (3) cognitive and behavioral outcomes, and (4) strategies to foster them in school. Curiosity is a short-lasting, aversive state that desires an acquisition of specific information. Its properties contrast with those of situational interest, which is an overall positive affect and a general preference for a topic. Whereas curiosity and situational interest are stimulated by similar contextual features (such as collative variables), triggering curiosity requires one to perceive an information gap between what one knows and what one wants to know. Despite these differences, ample evidence displays that both curiosity and situational interest positively impact students’ learning, motivation, creativity, and well-being once triggered. Thus, in closing, integrative and specific pedagogical guidelines to enhance students’ curiosity and situational interest in education practice are suggested.
Spirituality is what gives people meaning and purpose in life, and it has been recognized as a critical factor in patients’ well-being, particularly at the ends of their lives. Studies have demonstrated relationships between spirituality and patient-reported outcomes such as quality of life and mental health. Although a number of studies have suggested that spiritual belief can be associated with mortality, the results are inconsistent. We aimed to determine whether spirituality was related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea.
For this multicenter study, we recruited adult advanced cancer inpatients who had been admitted to seven palliative care units with estimated survival of <3 months. We measured spirituality at admission using the Korean version of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-sp), which comprises two subscales: meaning/peace and faith. We calculated a Kaplan-Meier curve for spirituality, dichotomized at the predefined cutoffs and medians for the total scale and each of the two subscales, and performed univariate regression with a Cox proportional hazard model.
We enrolled a total of 204 adults (mean age: 64.5 ± 13.0; 48.5% female) in the study. The most common primary cancer diagnoses were lung (21.6%), colorectal (18.6%), and liver/biliary tract (13.0%). Median survival was 19.5 days (95% confidence interval [CI95%]: 23.5, 30.6). Total FACIT-sp score was not related to survival time (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.981, CI95% = 0.957, 1.007), and neither were the scores for its two subscales, meaning/peace (HR = 0.969, CI95% = 0.932, 1.008) and faith (HR = 0.981, CI95% = 0.938, 1.026).
Significance of results
Spirituality was not related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea. Plausible mechanisms merit further investigation.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
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.
The incidence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is presumed to be higher among people with schizophrenia who take antipsychotic medication, most of which blocks the dopamine D2 receptor. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the G-protein β3 subunit (GNB3) C825T polymorphism is associated with antipsychotic-induced RLS in schizophrenia.
We examined 178 Korean patients with schizophrenia. All of the subjects were evaluated using the diagnostic criteria of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group and the International Restless Legs Scale. Genotyping was performed for the C825T polymorphism in the GNB3 gene.
The genotype distribution did not differ significantly between antipsychotic-induced RLS patients and patients who had no-RLS symptoms (χ2 = 4.30, p = 0.116). The genotypes of the C825T single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) were classified into two groups: C+ (CC and CT genotypes) and C– (TT genotype). The presence of the C allele (C+) was associated with an increased likelihood of RLS (χ2 = 4.14, p = 0.042; odds ratio = 2.56, 95% confidence interval = 1.02–6.47).
These results suggest that the GNB3 C825T SNP is associated with RLS in schizophrenia. However, confirming this association requires future larger scale studies in which the effects of medication are strictly controlled.
We investigated the structural complexity and texture of the cytoskeleton and nucleus in human mesenchymal stem cells during early phase differentiation into osteoblasts according to the differentiation–induction method: mechanical and/or chemical stimuli. For this, fractal dimension and a number of parameters utilizing the gray-level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) were calculated based on single-cell images after confirmation of differentiation by immunofluorescence staining. The F-actin and nuclear fractal dimensions were greater in both stimulus groups compared with the control group. The GLCM values for energy and homogeneity were lower in fibers of the F-actin cytoskeleton, indicating a dispersed F-actin arrangement during differentiation. In the nuclei of both stimulus groups, higher values for energy and homogeneity were calculated, indicating that the chromatin arrangement was chaotic during the early phase of differentiation. It was shown and confirmed that combined stimulation with mechanical and chemical factors accelerated differentiation, even in the early phase. Fractal dimension analysis and GLCM methods have the potential to provide a framework for further investigation of stem cell differentiation.
In 2011 the Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor census recorded a 22% drop in numbers from 2010, particularly at the known large coastal wintering sites. During this period, we discovered two new inland wintering sites for the species using satellite telemetry data, one located in China, where the individual followed the Yangtze river as far as Wuhan (500 km inland), and the other across the Vietnam-Cambodia border (70–200 km inland). Long periods of concentrated use of various freshwater habitats were in evidence for these two tagged individuals (China: 79 days, Vietnam/Cambodia: 91 Days) and in the latter case visual confirmation indicated a larger group of at least five individuals. The importance and potential of inland freshwater environments is highlighted towards the further conservation of the recovering population.
We performed this study to investigate the effect of histone deacetylase inhibition during extended culture of in vitro matured mouse oocytes. In vitro matured mouse (BDF1) oocytes were cultured in vitro for 6, 12, and 24 h, respectively, and then inseminated. During in vitro culture for 6 and 12 h, two doses of trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, were added (100 nM and 500 nM) to the culture medium and the oocytes were then inseminated. During the 24-h in vitro culture, two doses of TSA were added (100 nM and 500 nM) to the medium and the oocytes were activated with 10 mM SrCl2. After the 6-h culture, the fertilization rate was similar to that of the control group, but the blastocyst formation rate was significantly decreased. After the 12-h culture, both the fertilization and blastocyst formation rates were significantly decreased. After the 24-h culture, total fertilization failure occurred. In the oocytes cultured for 6 and 12 h, the fertilization and blastocyst formation rates did not differ between the TSA-supplemented and control groups. Although extended culture of the mouse oocytes significantly affected their fertilization and embryo development, TSA supplementation did not overcome their decreased developmental potential.
This study aimed to investigate whether aquaporin 3 (Aqp3) mRNAs are expressed in immature oocytes and altered during in vitro maturation process. Five- to 6-week-old female ICR mice were primed by gonadotropin for 24 and 48 h. Immature oocytes obtained 48 h after priming were also matured in vitro for 17 to 18 h. In vivo matured oocytes were obtained after 48 h priming followed by hCG injection. Total RNAs were extracted from 80 to 150 oocytes in each experimental group, and the levels of Aqp3 mRNA were quantified by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The experiments were repeated twice using different oocytes. The Aqp3 mRNA was expressed in immature oocytes, as well as in in vitro and in vivo matured oocytes. The expression level was higher in immature oocytes obtained 48 h after priming (17.2 ± 8.6, mean ± SD) than those with no priming (5.7 ± 0.8) or obtained 24 h after priming (2.5 ± 0.8). The expression of Aqp3 mRNA decreased after in vitro maturation (1.2 ± 0.5), which was similar to in vivo matured oocytes (1.0 ± 0.0). Our work demonstrated that Aqp3 mRNA expression increased during the development of immature oocyte but decreased after completion of in vitro maturation. The results indicate that AQP3 is certainly needed for the acquisition of immature oocytes’ full growing potential within antral follicles.
The prevalence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains causing bloodstream infection (BSI) has not been studied in Korea.
We sought to determine the prevalence of CA-MRSA strains among isolates recovered from patients with MRSA BSIs and to explore epidemiological changes in Korea. We also sought to evaluate clinical characteristics relevant to the development of healthcare-associated BSIs.
We prospectively collected consecutive MRSA isolates from patients with BSI at 4 hospitals from July 1 through November 30, 2007, and we also included MRSA isolates recovered from culture of blood samples collected during a previous year (October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005) at a different hospital. Molecular typing studies were performed, including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing, Staphylococcus protein A (spa) typing, and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. We compared the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with healthcare-associated BSI due to CA-MRSA strains with those of patients with healthcare-associated BSI due to healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) strains.
There were 76 cases of MRSA BSI, of which 4 (5.3%) were community-associated and 72 (94.7%) were healthcare-associated. Among the 72 HA-MRSA BSIs, 18 (25%) were community onset, and 54 (75%) were hospital onset. PFGE type D-ST72–spa B-SCCmec type IVA MRSA, the predominant genotype of CA-MRSA in Korea, accounted for 19 (25%) of all 76 MRSA BSIs, including 17 (23.6%) of 72 HA-MRSA BSIs and 11 (20.8%) of 53 hospital-onset HA-MRSA BSIs. Patients with healthcare-associated BSIs due to CA-MRSA strains carrying SCCmec type IVA tended to have fewer healthcare-associated risk factors, compared with patients with healthcare-associated BSIs due to HA-MRSA strains carrying other SCCmec types. The presence of a central venous catheter or other invasive device was the only independent factor differentiating patients infected with hospital-associated genotype strains from patients infected with other strains. Clinical outcomes were similar between both groups.
CA-MRSA strains are emerging as a major cause of BSI in healthcare settings in Korea. This changing epidemiology of MRSA poses a challenge to public health and infection control in hospital settings.
Metal organic deposition (MOD) is one of the attractive processes for coated conductor applications because it is a non-vacuum cost-effective process. Many research groups have successfully fabricated high-JC YBCO coated conductor on the RABiTS and IBAD-YSZ or GZO template with the MOD process. Reports on MOD-processed YBCO coated conductors prepared on the IBAD-MgO template, however, are hardly found. The precursor solution was coated on the CeO2 capped IBAD-MgO template using the slot-die coating method, calcined at a temperature of 550oC, and fired at high temperatures for 2 h 30 min in a reduced oxygen atmosphere. Optimal processing resulted in YBCO coated conductors exhibiting JC value of 0.75 MA/cm2 at 77 K in self-field. The JC values of YBCO coated conductors were found very sensitive to their microstructure, critical temperature, and in-plane texture.
The improvement of optical reflectance of BaO–ZnO–B2O3–SiO2 (BZBS) glass by the addition of various types of micron-scale crystalline fillers (TiO2, SiO2, ZrO2, Al2O3, MgO, and cordierite) was investigated for application of the materials to barrier ribs of plasma display panels. The fillers were partially dissolved during sintering, yielding an increased local volume of the fillers in the submicron range, filler rearrangement along boundaries of sintered glass frits, and rather irregular and rugged filler shapes differing from the original morphologies. The measured optical reflectance of the various filler added specimens was within the 30–70% range, which was much higher than the predicted values (less than 10%) based on the rule of mixture of the refractive index. Here we report that the high reflectance of the barrier rib glass for plasma display panels is explained by light scattering by the increased submicron portion of the partially dissolved residual fillers, the size of which is similar to the visual spectrum range (0.4–0.7 μm). The order of reflectance improvement among different types of filler-embedded specimens was consistent with that of the degree of dispersion of the residual fillers in the glass matrix.
The thermal degradation behavior of indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films coated on glass substrates using radio frequency (rf) magnetron sputtering was investigated over the temperature range of 100–400 °C in air. The resistivity of ITO films increases abruptly after the thermal degradation temperature of 250 °C is reached, with a slight increase from 200 to 250 °C. The x-ray photoelectron spectrometry intensity ratio of O/(In + Sn) in thermally degraded ITO films is higher than that in normal films. The carrier concentration gradually decreases up to 200 °C, sharply drops between 200 and 250 °C with increasing temperature, and then saturates from 275 °C. The Hall mobility drops suddenly at 275 °C. The diffusion of oxygen into oxygen interstitials and oxygen vacancies and the chemisorption of oxygen into grain boundaries decrease the carrier concentration and the Hall mobility, respectively. The former mainly affects the resistivity of ITO films below 250 °C, and the later above 250 °C.