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Introduction: For rhythm control of acute atrial flutter (AAFL) in the emergency department (ED), choices include initial drug therapy or initial electrical cardioversion (ECV). We compared the strategies of pharmacological cardioversion followed by ECV if necessary (Drug-Shock), and ECV alone (Shock Only). Methods: We conducted a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial (1:1 allocation) comparing two rhythm control strategies at 11 academic EDs. We included stable adult patients with AAFL, where onset of symptoms was <48 hours. Patients underwent central web-based randomization stratified by site. The Drug-Shock group received an infusion of procainamide (15mg/kg over 30 minutes) followed 30 minutes later, if necessary, by ECV at 200 joules x 3 shocks. The Shock Only group received an infusion of saline followed, if necessary, by ECV x 3 shocks. The primary outcome was conversion to sinus rhythm for ≥30 minutes at any time following onset of infusion. Patients were followed for 14 days. The primary outcome was evaluated on an intention-to-treat basis. Statistical significance was assessed using chi-squared tests and multivariable logistic regression. Results: We randomized 76 patients, and none was lost to follow-up. The Drug-Shock (N = 33) and Shock Only (N = 43) groups were similar for all characteristics including mean age (66.3 vs 63.4 yrs), duration of AAFL (30.1 vs 24.5 hrs), previous AAFL (72.7% vs 69.8%), median CHADS2 score (1 vs 1), and mean initial heart rate (128.9 vs 126.0 bpm). The Drug-Shock and Shock only groups were similar for the primary outcome of conversion (100% vs 93%; absolute difference 7.0%, 95% CI -0.6;14.6; P = 0.25). The multivariable analyses confirmed the similarity of the two strategies (P = 0.19). In the Drug-Shock group 21.2% of patients converted with the infusion. There were no statistically significant differences for time to conversion (84.2 vs 97.6 minutes), total ED length of stay (9.4 vs 7.5 hours), disposition home (100% vs 95.3%), and stroke within 14 days (0 vs 0). Premature discontinuation of infusion (usually for transient hypotension) was more common in the Drug-Shock group (9.1% vs 0.0%) but there were no serious adverse events. Conclusion: Both the Drug-Shock and Shock Only strategies were highly effective and safe in allowing AAFL patients to go home in sinus rhythm. IV procainamide alone was effective in only one fifth of patients, much less than for acute AF.
Introduction: Older (age >=65 years) trauma patients suffer increased morbidity and mortality. This is due to under-triage of older trauma victims, resulting in lack of transfer to a trauma centre or failure to activate the trauma team. There are currently no Canadian guidelines for the management of older trauma patients. The objective of this study was to identify modifiers to the prehospital and emergency department (ED) phases of major trauma care for older adults based on expert consensus. Methods: We conducted a modified Delphi study to assess senior-friendly major trauma care modifiers based on national expert consensus. The panel consisted of 24 trauma care providers across Canada, including medical directors, paramedics, emergency physicians, emergency nurses, trauma surgeons and trauma administrators. Following a literature review, we developed an online Delphi survey consisting of 16 trauma care modifiers. Three online survey rounds were distributed and panelists were asked to score items on a 9-point Likert scale. The following predetermined thresholds were used: appropriate (median score 7–9, without disagreement); inappropriate (median score 1–3; without disagreement), and uncertain (any median score with disagreement). The disagreement index (DI) is a method for measuring consensus within groups. Agreement was defined a priori as a DI score <1. Results: There was a 100% response rate for all survey rounds. Three new trauma care modifiers were suggested by panelists. Of 19 trauma care modifiers, the expert panel achieved consensus agreement for 17 items. The prehospital modifier with the strongest agreement to transfer to a trauma centre was a respiratory rate <10 or >20 breaths/minute or needing ventilatory support (DI = 0.24). The ED modifier with the strongest level of agreement was obtaining a 12-lead electrocardiogram following the primary and secondary survey for all older adults (DI = 0.01). Two trauma care modifiers failed to reach consensus agreement: transporting older patients with ground level falls to a trauma centre and activating the trauma team based solely on an age >=65 years. Conclusion: Using a modified Delphi process, an expert panel agreed upon 17 trauma care modifiers for older adults in the prehospital and ED phases of care. These modifiers may improve the delivery of senior-friendly trauma care and should be considered when developing local and national trauma guidelines.
Introduction: Acute heart failure (AHF) is a common emergency department (ED) presentation and may be associated with poor outcomes. Conversely, many patients rapidly improve with ED treatment and may not need hospital admission. Because there is little evidence to guide disposition decisions by ED and admitting physicians, we sought to create a risk score for predicting short-term serious outcomes (SSO) in patients with AHF. Methods: We conducted prospective cohort studies at 9 tertiary care hospital EDs from 2007 to 2019, and enrolled adult patients who required treatment for AHF. Each patient was assessed for standardized real-time clinical and laboratory variables, as well as for SSO (defined as death within 30 days or intubation, non-invasive ventilation (NIV), myocardial infarction, coronary bypass surgery, or new hemodialysis after admission). The fully pre-specified, logistic regression model with 13 predictors (age, pCO2, and SaO2 were modeled using spline functions with 3 knots and heart rate and creatinine with 5 knots) was fitted to the 10 multiple imputation datasets. Harrell's fast stepdown procedure reduced the number of variables. We calculated the potential impact on sensitivity (95% CI) for SSO and hospital admissions and estimated a sample size of 170 SSOs. Results: The 2,246 patients had mean age 77.4 years, male sex 54.5%, EMS arrival 41.1%, IV NTG 3.1%, ED NIV 5.2%, admission on initial visit 48.6%. Overall there were 174 (7.8%) SSOs including 70 deaths (3.1%). The final risk scale is comprised of five variables (points) and had c-statistic of 0.76 (95% CI: 0.73-0.80): 1.Valvular heart disease (1) 2.ED non-invasive ventilation (2) 3.Creatinine 150-300 (1) ≥300 (2) 4.Troponin 2x-4x URL (1) ≥5x URL (2) 5.Walk test failed (2) The probability of SSO ranged from 2.0% for a total score of 0 to 90.2% for a score of 10, showing good calibration. The model was stable over 1,000 bootstrap samples. Choosing a risk model total point admission threshold of >2 would yield a sensitivity of 80.5% (95% CI 73.9-86.1) for SSO with no change in admissions from current practice (48.6% vs 48.7%). Conclusion: Using a large prospectively collected dataset, we created a concise and sensitive risk scale to assist with admission decisions for patients with AHF in the ED. Implementation of this risk scoring scale should lead to safer and more efficient disposition decisions, with more high-risk patients being admitted and more low-risk patients being discharged.
Introduction: An important challenge physicians face when treating acute heart failure (AHF) patients in the emergency department (ED) is deciding whether to admit or discharge, with or without early follow-up. The overall goal of our project was to improve care for AHF patients seen in the ED while avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions. The specific goal was to introduce hospital rapid referral clinics to ensure AHF patients were seen within 7 days of ED discharge. Methods: This prospective before-after study was conducted at two campuses of a large tertiary care hospital, including the EDs and specialty outpatient clinics. We enrolled AHF patients ≥50 years who presented to the ED with shortness of breath (<7 days). The 12-month before (control) period was separated from the 12-month after (intervention) period by a 3-month implementation period. Implementation included creation of rapid access AHF clinics staffed by cardiology and internal medicine, and development of referral procedures. There was extensive in-servicing of all ED staff. The primary outcome measure was hospital admission at the index visit or within 30 days. Secondary outcomes included mortality and actual access to rapid follow-up. We used segmented autoregression analysis of the monthly proportions to determine whether there was a change in admissions coinciding with the introduction of the intervention and estimated a sample size of 700 patients. Results: The patients in the before period (N = 355) and the after period (N = 374) were similar for age (77.8 vs. 78.1 years), arrival by ambulance (48.7% vs 51.1%), comorbidities, current medications, and need for non-invasive ventilation (10.4% vs. 6.7%). Comparing the before to the after periods, we observed a decrease in hospital admissions on index visit (from 57.7% to 42.0%; P <0.01), as well as all admissions within 30 days (from 65.1% to 53.5% (P < 0.01). The autoregression analysis, however, demonstrated a pre-existing trend to fewer admissions and could not attribute this to the intervention (P = 0.91). Attendance at a specialty clinic, amongst those discharged increased from 17.8% to 42.1% (P < 0.01) and the median days to clinic decreased from 13 to 6 days (P < 0.01). 30-day mortality did not change (4.5% vs. 4.0%; P = 0.76). Conclusion: Implementation of rapid-access dedicated AHF clinics led to considerably increased access to specialist care, much reduced follow-up times, and possible reduction in hospital admissions. Widespread use of this approach can improve AHF care in Canada.
Online self-reported 24-h dietary recall systems promise increased feasibility of dietary assessment. Comparison against interviewer-led recalls established their convergent validity; however, reliability and criterion-validity information is lacking. The validity of energy intakes (EI) reported using Intake24, an online 24-h recall system, was assessed against concurrent measurement of total energy expenditure (TEE) using doubly labelled water in ninety-eight UK adults (40–65 years). Accuracy and precision of EI were assessed using correlation and Bland–Altman analysis. Test–retest reliability of energy and nutrient intakes was assessed using data from three further UK studies where participants (11–88 years) completed Intake24 at least four times; reliability was assessed using intra-class correlations (ICC). Compared with TEE, participants under-reported EI by 25 % (95 % limits of agreement −73 % to +68 %) in the first recall, 22 % (−61 % to +41 %) for average of first two, and 25 % (−60 % to +28 %) for first three recalls. Correlations between EI and TEE were 0·31 (first), 0·47 (first two) and 0·39 (first three recalls), respectively. ICC for a single recall was 0·35 for EI and ranged from 0·31 for Fe to 0·43 for non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES). Considering pairs of recalls (first two v. third and fourth recalls), ICC was 0·52 for EI and ranged from 0·37 for fat to 0·63 for NMES. EI reported with Intake24 was moderately correlated with objectively measured TEE and underestimated on average to the same extent as seen with interviewer-led 24-h recalls and estimated weight food diaries. Online 24-h recall systems may offer low-cost, low-burden alternatives for collecting dietary information.
The completion of a laser safety course remains a core surgical curriculum requirement for otolaryngologists training in the UK. This project aimed to develop a comprehensive laser safety course utilising both technical and non-technical skills simulation.
Otolaryngology trainees and consultants from the West of Scotland Deanery attended a 1-day course comprising lectures, two high-fidelity simulation scenarios and a technical simulation of safe laser use in practice.
The course, and in particular the use of simulation training, received excellent feedback from otolaryngology trainees and consultants who participated. Both simulation scenarios were validated for future use in laser simulation.
The course has been recognised as a laser safety course sufficient for the otolaryngology Certificate of Completion of Training. To the authors’ knowledge, this article represents the first description of using in situ non-technical skills simulation training for teaching laser use in otolaryngology.
Introduction: For rhythm control of acute atrial fibrillation (AAF) in the emergency department (ED), choices include initial drug therapy or initial electrical cardioversion (ECV). We compared the strategies of pharmacological cardioversion followed by ECV if necessary (Drug-Shock), and ECV alone (Shock Only). Methods: We conducted a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial (1:1 allocation) comparing two rhythm control strategies at 11 academic EDs. We included stable adult patients with AAF, where onset of symptoms was <48 hours. Patients underwent central web-based randomization stratified by site. The Drug-Shock group received an infusion of procainamide (15mg/kg over 30 minutes) followed 30 minutes later, if necessary, by ECV at 200 joules x 3 shocks. The Shock Only group received an infusion of saline followed, if necessary, by ECV x 3 shocks. The primary outcome was conversion to sinus rhythm for ≥30 minutes at any time following onset of infusion. Patients were followed for 14 days. The primary outcome was evaluated on an apriori-specified modified intention-to-treat (MITT) basis excluding patients who never received the study infusion (e.g. spontaneous conversion). Data were analyzed using chi-squared tests and logistic regression. Our target sample size was 374 evaluable patients. Results: Of 395 randomized patients, 18 were excluded from the MITT analysis; none were lost to follow-up. The Drug-Shock (N = 198) and Shock Only (N = 180) groups (total = 378) were similar for all characteristics including mean age (60.0 vs 59.5 yrs), duration of AAF (10.1 vs 10.8 hrs), previous AF (67.2% vs 68.3%), median CHADS2 score (0 vs 0), and mean initial heart rate (119.9 vs 118.0 bpm). More patients converted to normal sinus rhythm in the Drug-Shock group (97.0% vs 92.2%; absolute difference 4.8%, 95% CI 0.2-9.9; P = 0.04). The multivariable analyses confirmed the Drug-Shock strategy superiority (P = 0.04). There were no statistically significant differences for time to conversion (91.4 vs 85.4 minutes), total ED length of stay (7.1 vs 7.7 hours), disposition home (97.0% vs 96.1%), and stroke within 14 days (0 vs 0). Premature discontinuation of infusion was more common in the Drug-Shock group (8.1% vs 0.6%) but there were no serious adverse events. Conclusion: Both the Drug-Shock and Shock Only strategies were highly effective and safe in allowing AAF patients to go home in sinus rhythm. A strategy of initial cardioversion with procainamide was superior to a strategy of immediate ECV.
Introduction: We previously derived (N = 559) and validated (N = 1,100) the 10-item Ottawa Heart Failure Risk Scale (OHFRS), to assist with disposition decisions for patients with acute heart failure (AHF) in the emergency department (ED). In the current study we sought to use a larger dataset to develop a more concise and more accurate risk scale. Methods: We analyzed data from the prior two studies and from a new cohort. For all 3 groups we conducted prospective cohort studies that enrolled patients who required treatment for AHF at 8 tertiary care hospital EDs. Patients were followed for 30 days. The primary outcome was short-term serious outcome (SSO), defined as death within 30 days, intubation or non-invasive ventilation (NIV) after admission, myocardial infarction, or relapse resulting in hospital admission within 14 days. The fully pre-specified logistic regression model with 13 predictors (where age, pCO2, and SaO2 were modeled using spline functions) was fitted to 10 multiple imputation datasets. Harrell's fast stepdown procedure reduced the number of variables. We calculated the potential impact on sensitivity (95% CI) for SSO and hospital admissions, and estimated a sample size of 2,000 patients. Results: The 1,986 patients had mean age 77.3 years, male 54.1%, EMS arrival 41.2%, IV NTG 3.3%, ED NIV 5.4%, admission on initial visit 49.5%. Overall there were 236 (11.9%) SSOs including 61 deaths (3.1%), meaning that current admission practice sensitivity for SSO was only 59.7%. The final HEARTRISK6 scale is comprised of 6 variables (points) (C-statistic 0.68): Valvular heart disease (2) Antiarrhythmic medication (2) ED non-invasive ventilation (3) Creatinine 80–150 (1); ≥150 (3) Troponin ≥3x URL (2) Walk test failed (1). The probability of SSO ranged from 4.8% for a total score of 0 to 62.4% for a score of 10, showing good calibration. Choosing a HEARTRISK6 total point admission threshold of ≥3 would yield sensitivity of 70.8% (95%CI 64.5-76.5) for SSO with a slight decrease in admissions to 47.9%. Choosing a threshold of ≥2 would yield a sensitivity of 84.3% (95%CI 79.0-88.7) but require 66.6% admissions. Conclusion: Using a large prospectively collected dataset, we created a more concise and more sensitive risk scale to assist with admission decisions for patients with AHF in the ED. Implementation of the HEARTRISK6 scale should lead to safer and more efficient disposition decisions, with more high-risk patients being admitted and more low-risk patients being discharged.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
We present Phantom, a fast, parallel, modular, and low-memory smoothed particle hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics code developed over the last decade for astrophysical applications in three dimensions. The code has been developed with a focus on stellar, galactic, planetary, and high energy astrophysics, and has already been used widely for studies of accretion discs and turbulence, from the birth of planets to how black holes accrete. Here we describe and test the core algorithms as well as modules for magnetohydrodynamics, self-gravity, sink particles, dust–gas mixtures, H2 chemistry, physical viscosity, external forces including numerous galactic potentials, Lense–Thirring precession, Poynting–Robertson drag, and stochastic turbulent driving. Phantom is hereby made publicly available.
Based on self-determination theory, this study examined the relationship between leisure activities, motivation, and adjustment to institutional living by older adults who live in nursing homes. We hypothesized that motivational profiles with higher levels of self-determined motivation represent the optimal profiles regarding participation in leisure activities, adaptation to nursing home living, and satisfaction with life. Participants completed questionnaires assessing motivation, leisure activity participation, life satisfaction, and adaptation to the nursing home. Results showed a relationship between the latter three factors. A latent profile analysis based on the different forms of motivation indicated four distinct profiles. Although no differences were found between the high self-determined profile (high self-determined motivation and low non-self-determined motivation) and the additive profile (high self-determined motivation and non-self-determined motivation), participants with a moderate profile and a low self-determined profile reported the lowest levels in leisure activity participation, adaptation to the nursing home, and satisfaction with life.
Clinical decision support (CDS) has been implemented in many clinical settings in order to improve decision-making. Their potential to improve diagnostic accuracy and reduce unnecessary testing is well documented; however, their effectiveness in impacting physician practice in real world implementations has been limited by poor physician adherence. The objective of this systematic review and meta-regression was to establish the effectiveness of CDS tools on adherence and identify which characteristics of CDS tools increase physician use of and adherence. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted. MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched from inception to June 2017. Included studies examined CDS in a hospital setting, reported on physician adherence to or use of CDS, utilized a comparative study design, and reported primary data. All tool type was classified based on the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care (EPOC) classifications. Studies were stratified based on study design (RCT vs. observational). Meta-regression was completed to assess the different effect of characteristics of the tool (e.g. whether the tool was mandatory or voluntary, EPOC classifications). Results: A total of 3,359 candidate articles were identified. Seventy-two met inclusion criteria, of which 46 reported outcomes appropriate for meta-regression (5 RCTs and 41 observational studies). Overall, a trend of increased CDS use was found (pooled RCT OR: 1.36 [95% CI: 0.97-1.89]; pooled observational OR: 2.12 [95% CI: 1.75-2.56]).When type of tool is considered, clinical practice guidelines were superior compared to other interventions (p=.150). Reminders (p=.473) and educational interventions (p=.489) were less successful than other interventions. Multi-modal tools were not more successful that single interventions (p=.810). Lastly, voluntary tools may be supperior to than mandatory tools (p=.148). None of these results are statistically significant. Conclusion: CDS tools accompanied by a planned intervention increases physician utilization and adherence to the tool. Meta-regression found that clinical practice guidelines had the biggest impact on physician adherence although not statistically significant. Further research is required to understand the most effective intervention to maximize physician utilization of CDS tools.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
Objectives: Health technology reassessment (HTR) is a policy process to manage health technologies throughout their lifecycle and ensure their ongoing optimal use. However, within an ever-evolving field, HTR is only one of many concepts associated with the optimization of health technologies. There is limited understanding of how other concepts and processes might differ and/or be interrelated. This study aims to describe the concepts underlying the various technology optimization processes and to reconcile their relationships within the HTR process.
Methods: A synthesis of the literature on approaches to HTR was completed. An inductive synthesis approach was completed to catalogue common concepts and themes. Expert stakeholders were consulted to develop a schematic to diagrammatically depict the relationships among concepts and frame them within the HTR process.
Results: A practical schematic was developed. Common concepts and themes were organized under six major domains that address the following discussion questions: (i) what is the value of the existing technology?; (ii) what is the current utilization gap?; (iii) what are the available tools and resources?; (iv) what are the levers for change?; (v) what is the desired outcome?; and (vi) who are the foundational actors?
Conclusions: Using these six questions to frame the issues faced by HTR will advance the common understanding of HTR, as well as improve implementation of HTR initiatives. These questions will clearly identify the process required to move forward within a complex healthcare system.
Saturn's moon Enceladus has vents emerging from a sub-surface ocean, offering unique probes into the liquid environment. These vents drain into the larger neutral torus in orbit around Saturn. We present a methanol (CH3OH) detection observed with IRAM 30-m from 2008 along the line-of-sight through Saturn's E-ring. Additionally, we also present supporting observations from the Herschel public archive of water (ortho-H2O; 1669.9 GHz) from 2012 at a similar elongation and line-of-sight. The CH3OH 5(1,1)-4(1,1) transition was detected at 5.9σ confidence. The line has 0.43 km s−1 width and is offset by +8.1 km s−1 in the moon's reference frame. Radiative transfer models allow for gas cloud dimensions from 1750 km up to the telescope beam diameter ~73 000 km. Taking into account the CH3OH lifetime against solar photodissociation and the redshifted line velocity, there are two possible explanations for the CH3OH emission: methanol is primarily a secondary product of chemical interactions within the neutral torus that: (1) spreads outward throughout the E-ring or (2) originates from a compact, confined gas cloud lagging Enceladus by several km s−1. We find either scenario to be consistent with significant redshifted H2O emission (4σ) measured from the Herschel public archive. The measured CH3OH:H2O abundance (>0.5%) significantly exceeds the observed abundance in the direct vicinity of the vents (~0.01%), suggesting CH3OH is likely chemically processed within the gas cloud with methane (CH4) as its parent species.
IR spectroscopy in the range 12–230 μm with the SPace IR telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will reveal the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time, bridging the gap between the James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes at shorter wavelengths and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array at longer wavelengths. The SPICA, with its 2.5-m telescope actively cooled to below 8 K, will obtain the first spectroscopic determination, in the mid-IR rest-frame, of both the star-formation rate and black hole accretion rate histories of galaxies, reaching lookback times of 12 Gyr, for large statistically significant samples. Densities, temperatures, radiation fields, and gas-phase metallicities will be measured in dust-obscured galaxies and active galactic nuclei, sampling a large range in mass and luminosity, from faint local dwarf galaxies to luminous quasars in the distant Universe. Active galactic nuclei and starburst feedback and feeding mechanisms in distant galaxies will be uncovered through detailed measurements of molecular and atomic line profiles. The SPICA’s large-area deep spectrophotometric surveys will provide mid-IR spectra and continuum fluxes for unbiased samples of tens of thousands of galaxies, out to redshifts of z ~ 6.
Our current knowledge of star formation and accretion luminosity at high redshift (z > 3–4), as well as the possible connections between them, relies mostly on observations in the rest-frame ultraviolet, which are strongly affected by dust obscuration. Due to the lack of sensitivity of past and current infrared instrumentation, so far it has not been possible to get a glimpse into the early phases of the dust-obscured Universe. Among the next generation of infrared observatories, SPICA, observing in the 12–350 µm range, will be the only facility that can enable us to trace the evolution of the obscured star-formation rate and black-hole accretion rate densities over cosmic time, from the peak of their activity back to the reionisation epoch (i.e., 3 < z ≲ 6–7), where its predecessors had severe limitations. Here, we discuss the potential of photometric surveys performed with the SPICA mid-infrared instrument, enabled by the very low level of impact of dust obscuration in a band centred at 34 µm. These unique unbiased photometric surveys that SPICA will perform will fully characterise the evolution of AGNs and star-forming galaxies after reionisation.