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Seed shatter is an important weediness trait on which the efficacy of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) depends. The level of seed shatter in a species is likely influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed shatter of eight economically important grass weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to four weeks after maturity at multiple sites spread across eleven states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic U.S. From soybean maturity to four weeks after maturity, cumulative percent seed shatter was lowest in the southern U.S. regions and increased as the states moved further north. At soybean maturity, the percent of seed shatter ranged from 1 to 70%. That range had shifted to 5 to 100% (mean: 42%) by 25 days after soybean maturity. There were considerable differences in seed shatter onset and rate of progression between sites and years in some species that could impact their susceptibility to HWSC. Our results suggest that many summer annual grass species are likely not ideal candidates for HWSC, although HWSC could substantially reduce their seed output at during certain years.
Fibre-optic nasoendoscopy and fibre-optic laryngoscopy are high-risk procedures in the coronavirus disease 2019 era, as they are potential aerosol-generating procedures. Barrier protection remains key to preventing transmission.
A device was developed that patients can wear to reduce potential aerosol contamination of the surroundings.
This device is simple, reproducible, easy to use, economical and well-tolerated. Full personal protection equipment should additionally be worn by the operator.
Intensified cover-cropping practices are increasingly viewed as a herbicide-resistance management tool but clear distinction between reactive and proactive resistance management performance targets is needed. We evaluated two proactive performance targets for integrating cover-cropping tactics, including (1) facilitation of reduced herbicide inputs and (2) reduced herbicide selection pressure. We conducted corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] field experiments in Pennsylvania and Delaware using synthetic weed seedbanks of horseweed [Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronquist] and smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L.) to assess winter and summer annual population dynamics, respectively. The effect of alternative cover crops was evaluated across a range of herbicide inputs. Cover crop biomass production ranged from 2,000 to 8,500 kg ha−1 in corn and 3,000 to 5,500 kg ha−1 in soybean. Experimental results demonstrated that herbicide-based tactics were the primary drivers of total weed biomass production, with cover-cropping tactics providing an additive weed-suppression benefit. Substitution of cover crops for PRE or POST herbicide programs did not reduce total weed control levels or cash crop yields but did result in lower net returns due to higher input costs. Cover-cropping tactics significantly reduced C. canadensis populations in three of four cover crop treatments and decreased the number of large rosettes (>7.6-cm diameter) at the time of preplant herbicide exposure. Substitution of cover crops for PRE herbicides resulted in increased selection pressure on POST herbicides, but reduced the number of large individuals (>10 cm) at POST applications. Collectively, our findings suggest that cover crops can reduce the intensity of selection pressure on POST herbicides, but the magnitude of the effect varies based on weed life-history traits. Additional work is needed to describe proactive resistance management concepts and performance targets for integrating cover crops so producers can apply these concepts in site-specific, within-field management practices.
Introduction: Discharge communication in the pediatric emergency department (ED) is an important aspect of successful transition home for patients and families. The content, process, and pattern of discharge communication in a pediatric ED encounter has yet to be comprehensively explored. The objective of this study was to identify and characterize elements and patterns of discharge communication occurring during pediatric ED visits between health care providers (HCPs) and families. Methods: We analyzed real time video observations (N = 53) of children (0-18) presenting to two Canadian pediatric EDs with fever or minor head injury. We used a revised version of an existing coding scheme, PEDICSv2, to code all encounters. PEDICSv2 includes 32 elements capturing discharge communication. Inter-rater reliability was established with a second coder. Descriptive statistics reflecting the rates of delivery of each communication content element was reported to assess repetition at four stages of the visit (introduction/planning, actions/interventions, diagnosis/home management plan and summary/conclusion). Communication content was analyzed to depict behaviors of individual HCPs and the total communication delivered to the patient and caregiver by the healthcare team. Results: Results show 55.6% of families were asked to repeat their main concern by multiple HCPs during their ED visit. However, only 14.8% of families had comprehension of delivered discharge information assessed by more than one HCP. When involved in care, physicians were the most likely HCP to perform a comprehension assessment. Most of the communication delivered by nursing staff were elements involved in the introduction/planning and action/intervention stages of the visit. Conclusion: Findings indicate that most repetition occurs while eliciting a main concern during the introduction and planning stage of a pediatric ED encounter. In contrast, communication elements focusing on understanding the home management plan are less likely to be repeated by multiple HCPs. Future work focusing on structuring team workflow to minimize repetition during the introduction and planning stage may allow for clearer discharge teaching and more frequent comprehension assessment.
Acute cannabis administration can produce transient psychotic-like effects in healthy individuals. However, the mechanisms through which this occurs and which factors predict vulnerability remain unclear. We investigate whether cannabis inhalation leads to psychotic-like symptoms and speech illusion; and whether cannabidiol (CBD) blunts such effects (study 1) and adolescence heightens such effects (study 2).
Two double-blind placebo-controlled studies, assessing speech illusion in a white noise task, and psychotic-like symptoms on the Psychotomimetic States Inventory (PSI). Study 1 compared effects of Cann-CBD (cannabis containing Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and negligible levels of CBD) with Cann+CBD (cannabis containing THC and CBD) in 17 adults. Study 2 compared effects of Cann-CBD in 20 adolescents and 20 adults. All participants were healthy individuals who currently used cannabis.
In study 1, relative to placebo, both Cann-CBD and Cann+CBD increased PSI scores but not speech illusion. No differences between Cann-CBD and Cann+CBD emerged. In study 2, relative to placebo, Cann-CBD increased PSI scores and incidence of speech illusion, with the odds of experiencing speech illusion 3.1 (95% CIs 1.3–7.2) times higher after Cann-CBD. No age group differences were found for speech illusion, but adults showed heightened effects on the PSI.
Inhalation of cannabis reliably increases psychotic-like symptoms in healthy cannabis users and may increase the incidence of speech illusion. CBD did not influence psychotic-like effects of cannabis. Adolescents may be less vulnerable to acute psychotic-like effects of cannabis than adults.
Treatment resistant schizophrenia (TRS) is one of the most disabling of psychiatric disorders, affecting about 1/3 of patients. First-line treatments include both atypical and typical antipsychotics. The original atypical, clozapine, is a final option, and although it has been shown to be the only effective treatment for TRS, many patients do not respond well to clozapine. Clozapine use is related to adverse events, most notably agranulocytosis, a potentially fatal blood disorder which affects about 1% of those prescribed clozapine and requires regular blood monitoring. This as a barrier to prescription and there is a long delay in access for TRS patients, of five or more years, from first antipsychotic prescription. Better tools to predict treatment resistance and to identify risk of adverse events would allow faster and safer access to clozapine for patients who are likely to benefit from it. The CRESTAR project (www.crestar-project.eu) is a European Framework 7 collaborative project that aims to develop tools to predict i) treatment response, particularly patients who are less likely to respond to usual antipsychotics, indicating treatment with clozapine as early as possible, ii) patients who are at high or low risk of adverse events and side effects, iii) extreme TRS patients so that they can be stratified in clinical trials for novel treatments. CRESTAR has addressed these questions by examining genome-wide association data, genome sequence, epigenetic biomarkers and epidemiological data in European patient cohorts characterized for treatment response, and adverse drug reaction using data from clozapine therapeutic drug monitoring and linked National population medical and pharmacy databases, to identify predictive factors. In parallel CRESTAR will perform health economic research on potential benefits, and ethics and patient-centred research with stakeholders.
Nested data arise frequently in clinical research. The nesting might be hierarchical, such as patients nested within clinicians, or it might be longitudinal, such as repeated assessments over time nested within individuals. As articulated in this chapter, whenever and however nesting occurs, it is necessary to account for the statistical dependence of observations within units when analyzing the data. Further, it is important to determine the level(s) of the data at which predictors exert their effects. Multilevel models are a particularly popular and useful approach for addressing these issues. We thus describe these models in detail, illustrating the application of multilevel models in clinical research via two examples. The first example considers nesting of siblings within families and demonstrates the importance of separating within- versus between-family effects. The second example focuses on the application of multilevel models with repeated measures to evaluate within-person change over time. Additionally, we provide a brief survey of other approaches to the analysis of nested data (e.g., cluster-robust standard errors, generalized estimating equations, fixed-effects models).
The lipidome is rapidly garnering interest in the field of psychiatry. Recent studies have implicated lipidomic changes across numerous psychiatric disorders. In particular, there is growing evidence that the concentrations of several classes of lipids are altered in those diagnosed with MDD. However, for lipidomic abnormalities to be considered potential treatment targets for MDD (rather than secondary manifestations of the disease), a shared etiology between lipid concentrations and MDD should be demonstrated.
In a sample of 567 individuals from 37 extended pedigrees (average size 13.57 people, range = 3–80), we used mass spectrometry lipidomic measures to evaluate the genetic overlap between twenty-three biologically distinct lipid classes and a dimensional scale of MDD.
We found that the lipid class with the largest endophenotype ranking value (ERV, a standardized parametric measure of pleiotropy) were ether-phosphodatidylcholines (alkylphosphatidylcholine, PC(O) and alkenylphosphatidylcholine, PC(P) subclasses). Furthermore, we examined the cluster structure of the twenty-five species within the top-ranked lipid class, and the relationship of those clusters with MDD. This analysis revealed that species containing arachidonic acid generally exhibited the greatest degree of genetic overlap with MDD.
This study is the first to demonstrate a shared genetic etiology between MDD and ether-phosphatidylcholine species containing arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that is a precursor to inflammatory mediators, such as prostaglandins. The study highlights the potential utility of the well-characterized linoleic/arachidonic acid inflammation pathway as a diagnostic marker and/or treatment target for MDD.
Psychiatric comorbidity is common among individuals with addictive disorders, with patients frequently suffering from anxiety disorders. While the genetic architecture of comorbid addictive and anxiety disorders remains unclear, elucidating the genes involved could provide important insights into the underlying etiology.
Here we examine a sample of 1284 Mexican-Americans from randomly selected extended pedigrees. Variance decomposition methods were used to examine the role of genetics in addiction phenotypes (lifetime history of alcohol dependence, drug dependence or chronic smoking) and various forms of clinically relevant anxiety. Genome-wide univariate and bivariate linkage scans were conducted to localize the chromosomal regions influencing these traits.
Addiction phenotypes and anxiety were shown to be heritable and univariate genome-wide linkage scans revealed significant quantitative trait loci for drug dependence (14q13.2-q21.2, LOD = 3.322) and a broad anxiety phenotype (12q24.32-q24.33, LOD = 2.918). Significant positive genetic correlations were observed between anxiety and each of the addiction subtypes (ρg = 0.550–0.655) and further investigation with bivariate linkage analyses identified significant pleiotropic signals for alcohol dependence-anxiety (9q33.1-q33.2, LOD = 3.054) and drug dependence-anxiety (18p11.23-p11.22, LOD = 3.425).
This study confirms the shared genetic underpinnings of addiction and anxiety and identifies genomic loci involved in the etiology of these comorbid disorders. The linkage signal for anxiety on 12q24 spans the location of TMEM132D, an emerging gene of interest from previous GWAS of anxiety traits, whilst the bivariate linkage signal identified for anxiety-alcohol on 9q33 peak coincides with a region where rare CNVs have been associated with psychiatric disorders. Other signals identified implicate novel regions of the genome in addiction genetics.
Adult forms of members of the Callodistomidae always parasitize the gallbladder of freshwater fishes and occur in Africa and America. This study provides a description of a new South American species belonging in Prosthenhystera from the gallbladder of a characid fish (Bryconamericus ikaa), and ribosomal gene sequences (28S rDNA and ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) are used to demonstrate molecular differences between the new species and congeners as well as explore interrelationships among congeners. Additionally, the first cytological analysis is conducted for a member of the family to determine chromosome number and arrangement. Prosthenhystera gattii n. sp. most closely resembles Prosthenhystera caballeroi in morphology, but the vitellarium is more extensive reaching anterior to the caecal bifurcation in the new species and the uterus is confined to the hindbody in P. gattii n. sp., whereas it extends to the level of the pharynx in P. caballeroi. Also, the testes, cirrus sac, seminal receptacle and the ratio of body length to width are larger in P. gattii n. sp. Independent Bayesian inference analyses of 28S rDNA and ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 sequence fragments produced phylograms that showed P. gattii n. sp. is more similar to Prosthenhystera obesa + Prosthenhystera oonastica than P. caballeroi + two unidentified species of Prosthenhystera, but with poor posterior probability support for the node in the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2-based phylogram. Further, the genetic distance between P. oonastica and P. gattii n. sp. are the largest among Prosthenhystera spp. Cytological analysis revealed ten metacentric chromosomes, which is fewer than the 12–18 chromosomes present in species from the closely related Gorgoderidae.
We propose the nasal administration of calcium-enriched physiological salts as a new hygienic intervention with possible therapeutic application as a response to the rapid and tenacious spread of COVID-19. We test the effectiveness of these salts against viral and bacterial pathogens in animals and humans. We find that aerosol administration of these salts to the airways diminishes the exhalation of the small particles that face masks fail to filter and, in the case of an influenza swine model, completely block airborne transmission of disease. In a study of 10 human volunteers (5 less than 65 years and 5 older than 65 years), we show that delivery of a nasal saline comprising calcium and sodium salts quickly (within 15 min) and durably (up to at least 6 h) diminishes exhaled particles from the human airways. Being predominantly smaller than 1 μm, these particles are below the size effectively filtered by conventional masks. The suppression of exhaled droplets by the nasal delivery of calcium-rich saline with aerosol droplet size of around 10 μm suggests the upper airways as a primary source of bioaerosol generation. The suppression effect is especially pronounced (99%) among those who exhale large numbers of particles. In our study, we found this high-particle exhalation group to correlate with advanced age. We argue for a new hygienic practice of nasal cleansing by a calcium-rich saline aerosol, to complement the washing of hands with ordinary soap, use of a face mask, and social distancing.
Organic grain producers are interested in reducing tillage to conserve soil and decrease labor and fuel costs. We examined agronomic and economic tradeoffs associated with alternative strategies for reducing tillage frequency and intensity in a cover crop–soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) sequence within a corn (Zea mays L.)–soybean–spelt (Triticum spelta L.) organic cropping system experiment in Pennsylvania. Tillage-based soybean production preceded by a cover crop mixture of annual ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. ssp. multiflorum), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) and forage radish (Raphanus sativus L.) interseeded into corn grain (Z. mays L.) was compared with reduced-tillage soybean production preceded by roller-crimped cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) that was sown after corn silage. Total aboveground weed biomass did not differ between soybean production strategies. Each strategy, however, was characterized by high inter-annual variability in weed abundance. Tillage-based soybean production marginally increased grain yield by 0.28 Mg ha−1 compared with reduced-tillage soybean. A path model of soybean yield indicated that soybean stand establishment and weed biomass were primary drivers of yield, but soybean production strategy had a measurable effect on yields due to factors other than within-season weed–crop competition. Cumulative tillage frequency and intensity were quantified for each cover crop—sequence using the Soil Tillage Intensity Rating (STIR) index. The reduced-tillage soybean sequence resulted in 50% less soil disturbance compared to tillage-based soybean sequence across study years. Finally, enterprise budget comparisons showed that the reduced-tillage soybean sequence resulted in lower input costs than the tillage-based soybean sequence but was approximately $114 ha−1 less profitable because of lower average yields.
Primary care practitioners (PCPs) do not routinely promote dementia risk reduction. The purpose of this study was to map the published literature on the views of PCPs about dementia risk reduction, in order to identify implementation constructs and strategies crucial to the development of an implementation intervention to support dementia risk reduction in primary care. We undertook a scoping review of the PCPs’ views about promoting brain health for reducing dementia risk. We searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Embase for English-language articles published between 1995 and December 2017. We then applied the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and matched Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change to the scoping review findings in order to develop a preliminary implementation model. Eight articles reported views of PCPs about dementia prevention. Study findings were mapped to 5 of the 39 CFIR constructs: (i) knowledge and beliefs about dementia risk reduction, (ii) evidence strength and quality, (iii) relative priority, (iv) available resources, and (v) external policy and incentives. The findings suggest implementation strategies to consider in our preliminary model include (i) educational meetings, (ii) identifying and preparing champions, (iii) conducting local consensus discussions, (iv) altering incentive structures, and (v) capturing and sharing local knowledge. There have been few studies about the views of PCPs about dementia risk reduction. Implementation in the primary care setting is fundamental to early identification of risk and supporting preventive practices, but it needs to focus on more than just education for PCPs. We need more up-to-date and in-depth data on the views of PCPs about dementia risk reduction and context-specific analyses of implementation needs. Further research into effective primary care interventions to reduce dementia risk is expected to support implementation efforts.
Introduction: Effective communication to develop a shared understanding of patient/caregiver (P/C) expectations is critical during emergency department (ED) encounters. However, there is limited research examining the use of communication tools of P/C expectations to improve communication in the ED. The objective of this study was to examine satisfaction with a patient expectations questionnaire, known as the PrEPP tool, and its impact on communication and management of patients in the ED. Methods: The PrEPP tool collected P/C expectations over 3 phases of the study. In phase1, the PrEPP tool was distributed to all P/Cs (CTAS score of 2 to 5) in four EDs in Nova Scotia. In phase 2 the PrEPP tool was refined to a 5-item questionnaire. In phase 3 the PrEPP tool was re-implemented over a six-month period. Follow-up surveys were distributed to P/Cs via email (phase 1, 3) and HCPs on iPads in the ED (phase 3) to determine the impact of the tool on communication and management of patients. Entries were compiled on a REDCap database and descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses related to satisfaction.The PrEPP tool collected P/C expectations over 3 phases of the study. In phase1, the PrEPP tool was distributed to all P/Cs (CTAS score of 2 to 5) in four EDs in Nova Scotia. In phase 2 the PrEPP tool was refined to a 5-item questionnaire. In phase 3 the PrEPP tool was re-implemented over a six-month period. Follow-up surveys were distributed to P/Cs via email (phase 1, 3) and HCPs on iPads in the ED (phase 3) to determine the impact of the tool on communication and management of patients. Entries were compiled on a REDCap database and descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses related to satisfaction. Results: In Phase 1, 11418 PrEPP tools and 147 surveys (29% response rate) were collected from January-June 2016. The majority of P/Cs found the PrEPP questionnaire easy to complete (95.9%) and felt HCPs met their expectations (87.1%). In Phase 3, 951 P/C (31.1% response rate) and 128 HCP surveys were collected. Of P/C respondents 45.9% felt PrEPP helped to communicate expectations, while 49.7% said that they would like to use it on future ED visits. The majority of P/C respondents (75.4%) indicated their expectations were met during their visit to the ED. Of those whose expectations were not met, 69% felt their expectations were not discussed. The majority of HCP respondents (90.4%) indicated they used the PrEPP tool at least sometimes. Also, 78.4% said it influenced patient communication and 42% indicated the tool influenced management of patients at least sometimes. Conclusion: Obtaining expectations early in the patient encounter may provide opportunities for improved communication in the ED. P/Cs found the PrEPP tool easy to use to communicate their expectations and HCPs felt it influenced communication and management of patients in the ED. Further qualitative thematic analysis is needed to explore how the PrEPP tool impacted ED visits.
Introduction: Optimizing naloxone dosing in the context of increasing fentanyl and ultra-potent opioid (UPO) prevalence is an important consideration for emergency health care providers. The goal of this systematic review was to evaluate the association between initial and cumulative naloxone doses on effective reversal and adverse events in undifferentiated and fentanyl/UPO overdoses. Methods: We searched Embase, MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, DARE, CINAHL, Science Citation Index, reference lists, toxicology websites, and conference proceedings from July to October 2018 and back to 1972. Our search included pertinent indexing terms for UPOs. We included interventional and observational studies reporting on naloxone administration for opioid toxicity reversal in people ≥12 years old. Additionally, we accessed non-traditional evidence sources (case reports and series) given this rapidly changing field. We conducted inclusion screens, data extraction and quality assessments in duplicate. We summarized study characteristics and where reported, analyzed number of patients with clinical response. Response was defined as not receiving further naloxone doses and remaining alive. Results: We included 174 studies (108 case reports and series, 55 observational, 9 interventional) with 26,660 subjects (median age 35.1; 74.2% male). We observed lower response among patients exposed to fentanyl/UPO versus heroin for initial naloxone doses ≤0.4mg (56.8% versus 80.2%) and > 0.4mg (27.0% versus 82.1%). Mean cumulative doses were higher for fentanyl/UPO (2.10 mg, SD 1.80 mg) versus heroin (1.48 mg, SD 1.68 mg) overdoses. In North American studies the median cumulative dose used was higher for fentanyl/UPO versus heroin overdoses. A dose-response curve for fentanyl/UPO studies showed marked variability in doses among responders, indicating heterogeneity. Adverse events reporting was inconsistent; 10% of subjects experienced withdrawal based on studies in which they were reported. Conclusion: This is the first systematic review to summarize proportion of patients with clinical response by naloxone dose provided. While variable reporting, study quality, heterogeneity, and our outcome definitions limit the conclusions we can draw, it appears that higher initial doses and in some cases, higher cumulative naloxone doses were used and may be necessary to reverse toxicity due to fentanyl/UPO compared to other opioids. High-quality prospective studies assessing effectiveness and safety are needed.
Introduction: Influenza is a preventable infectious disease that causes a yearly burden to Canada. While an influenza vaccine is available free of charge in most provinces, uptake is below target rates. 15% of Canadians who did not get the influenza vaccine reported that they “didn't get around to it”; this presents an opportunity to combine the task of influenza prevention with the logistical issue of another health system challenge: escalating emergency department (ED) wait times. At the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre (QEII) in Halifax, NS, average wait time is 4.6 hours. Offering the influenza vaccine during this time could increase convenient access to health services, and ultimately, improve vaccination rates. Methods: This observational, cross-sectional design study is currently in progress. It aims to gauge public interest, health care provider (HCP) support, perceived barriers and perceived facilitators to influenza vaccine availability at the QEII ED. Data is being collected via short, anonymous, close-ended questionnaires over a 7-week period, set to end Dec 14, 2018. Client participants are a convenience sample of low-acuity (Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale score 4/5), adult clients who use the QEII ED during the study period, anticipated n = 150. Client questionnaires are completed, with the help of a research assistant, on an iPad that inputs data directly into a secure online data collection tool. The HCP group is a convenience sample of nurses, physicians and paramedics currently working in the QEII ED, anticipated n = 80. Questionnaires are available to HCPs either on paper outside the staff lounge, or online. Data is being collected via short, anonymous, close-ended questionnaires over a 7-week period, set to end Dec 14, 2018. Client participants are a convenience sample of low-acuity (Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale score 4/5), adult clients who use the QEII ED during the study period, anticipated n = 150. Client questionnaires are completed, with the help of a research assistant, on an iPad that inputs data directly into a secure online data collection tool. The HCP group is a convenience sample of nurses, physicians and paramedics currently working in the QEII ED, anticipated n = 80. Questionnaires are available to HCPs either on paper outside the staff lounge, or online. Results: Following completion of data collection, descriptive statistics, such as the frequency of support for ED influenza vaccination and the proportion of unvaccinated clients willing to receive the vaccine if available in the ED, will be calculated using IBM SPSS Statistics 25. This will provide meaningful data that can be used by the QEII to inform future program planning (i.e. should the influenza vaccine be made available in the ED). Conclusion: An ED vaccination program could add value to the hours clients spend waiting to be seen, and make ED care more cohesive. It is essential that clients and ED staff are approached prior to any new initiative; this study is one way we can lay the necessary groundwork for a public health program that would utilize patient “wait time” more effectively.
Introduction: Effective communication to develop a shared understanding of patient expectations is critical to a positive encounter in the Emergency Department (ED). However, there is limited research examining Patient/Caregiver (P/C ) expectations in the ED and what factors lead to P/C presentation. This study aims to address this gap by answering the following questions: 1) What are common P/C reported factors affecting ED presentation? 2) What are common P/C expectations of an ED visit? 3) How do P/C expectations vary based on ED site or factors affecting presentation in the ED? Methods: The Preparing Emergency Patients and Providers (PrEPP) tool was designed to collect P/C expectations, worries, perceived causes of symptoms, and factors affecting presentation from a convenience sample of patient visits to the emergency department (ED). The PrEPP tool was provided to all P/Cs with CTAS 2-5 when they registered at one of 4 EDs in the Halifax area from January to June 2016. Completed tools were collected in a REDCap database where qualitative data was coded into categories (i.e. presenting illness, injury). Descriptive and chi-squared statistical analyses were performed. Results: In total, 11,418 PrEPP tools were collected; representing 12% of the total ED visits to the 4 ED sites during the study period. The main factors affecting ED presentation were: self-referral 68%, family/friends 20%, telehealth 8%, unable to see their GP 7%, GP referral 6%, or walk-in-clinic 5%. P/Cs main causes of worry were: presenting illness 19%, injury 15%, or pain 14%. The main expectations for the ED visit were to get a: physician's opinion 73%, x-ray 40%, or blood test 20%. Most P/Cs indicated they did not expect medication during (63%), or after (66%), their ED visit. There were significant differences in P/C expectations between adult and pediatric EDs (χ2 = 720.949, df = 14, P = 0.000) and those P/Cs unable or able to access primary care prior to ED presentation (χ2 = 38.980, df = 1, P = 0.000). The rate of expecting a physician's opinion at the pediatric ED was higher than the adult ED (77.6% vs 70.9%), while lower for expecting CT/MRIs (4.6% vs 11.4%). P/Cs who were unable to access primary care prior to ED presentation expected services which were available at primary care at a higher rate than those who accessed primary care (58.5% vs 36.7%). Conclusion: Our findings identify some of the factors that influence P/C's decision to present to the ED and their expectations of the ED visit.
Introduction: Emergency departments (ED) play a vital role in asthma care for patients of all ages. Our objective was to review and synthesize all practice change interventions in ED settings that focused on improving the health outcomes of adults and children with asthma. Methods: This study was a systematic review adhering to the methods outlined by the Effective Practice and Organization of Care (EPOC) Cochrane Review Group. We developed a search strategy with a library scientist for the following databases: AMED, CINAHL, Embase, ERIC, MEDLINE, HealthStar, CENTRAL, DARE and Cochrane's EPOC and Airways registers. We also hand searched the Journal of Asthma, Pediatrics and Chest. Two reviewers independently reviewed titles, abstracts and full text using predetermined criteria. Data were extracted by two independent reviewers who used a structured abstraction form and assessed risk of bias. All discrepancies were resolved by consensus. Results: Our search strategy yielded 8,878 titles and abstracts for review. A total of 214 studies underwent full text screening and we extracted data from 27 studies. Risk of bias was judged as low in 10 studies, moderate in 8 studies and high in 9 studies. A range of interventions were employed, with education (n = 14) and reminders (n = 8) being the most prevalent. In pediatric settings, most studies targeted changing the behaviour of parents (n = 11). Four studies targeted health care providers and four studies targeted both providers and parents. We identified a major deficit in the use of behaviour change theory to guide intervention design. The most common primary outcomes of interest were unscheduled return visits (n = 14), primary care follow-up (n = 9), quality of life (n = 5) and ED length of stay (n = 4). We were not able to perform a meta-analysis due to heterogeneity in interventions and outcomes. Conclusion: Although we found a range of interventions used to improve asthma care in EDs, there was significant variation in reported primary outcomes. Both unscheduled return visits and primary care follow-ups, the most common primary outcomes, varied in the timeframe and manner in which they were collected. Most interventions were educational and based on an assumption that education would change behaviour. Future research in this ares would benefit from standardized outcome measures and intervention designs based upon models of behaviour change model.
It has recently been shown that the abundance of cold neutral gas may follow a similar evolution as the star formation history. This is physically motivated, since stars form out of this component of the neutral gas and if the case, would resolve the long-standing issue that there is a clear disparity between the total abundance of neutral gas and star-forming activity over the history of the Universe. Radio-band 21-cm absorption traces the cold gas and comparison with the Lyman-α absorption, which traces all of the gas, provides a measure of the cold gas fraction, or the spin temperature, Tspin. The recent study has shown that the spin temperature (degenerate with the ratio of the absorber/emitter extent) appears to be anti-correlated with the star formation density, ψ*, with 1/Tspin undergoing a similar steep evolution as ψ* over redshifts of 0 ≲ z ≲ 3, whereas the total neutral hydrogen exhibits little evolution. Above z ∼ 3, where ψ* shows a steep decline with redshift, there are insufficient 21-cm data to determine whether 1/Tspin continues to follow ψ*. Knowing this is paramount in ascertaining whether the cold neutral gas does trace the star formation over the Universe’s history. We explore the feasibility of resolving this with 21-cm observations of the largest contemporary sample of reliable damped Lyman-α absorption systems and conclude that, while today’s largest radio interferometers can reach the required sensitivity at z ≲ 3.5, the Square Kilometre Array is required to probe higher redshifts.