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The past decade has witnessed a proliferation of studies examining anxiety in older populations. This research underscores how anxiety is not just an ancillary symptom of depression, but a clinical issue on its own. Not only does anxiety cause suffering in older adults, but anxious older adults also have more functional disability (Brenes et al., 2005) and a reduced quality of life (Wetherell et al., 2004) compared to non-anxious older adults. In conditions that are common in later life (i.e., poor physical health, depression), those older adults experiencing comorbid anxiety typically have greater disability compared to non-anxious adults with these conditions. Cognitive functioning and the presence of neurocognitive disorders are aspects of comorbidity that have garnered increasing research attention (Beaudreau & O’Hara, 2008). This exciting new research underscores the complexity of the relations between anxiety and cognitive functioning in older individuals.
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are an important cause of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in human hospitals. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) made CRE reportable in April 2018. In May 2019, the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital (MJRVH) reported an NDM-5 Escherichia coli cluster in companion animals to the PDPH. In total, 15 infected animals (14 dogs and 1 cat) were reported between July 2018 and June 2019, with no new infections after June 2019. Limited literature is available on the prevalence of CRE in companion animals, and recommendations for dealing with CRE infections currently target human healthcare settings. Methods: A collaborative containment response included assessing interspecies transmission to veterinary staff and a comprehensive evaluation of the infection control program at MJRVH. MJRVH notified all owners of affected animals verbally and via notification letters with PDPH recommendations for CRE colonization screening of high-risk individuals. CRE screening of exposed high-risk employees was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Occupational Health service and PDPH. Human rectal swabs were analyzed at the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (ARLN) Maryland Laboratory. PDPH were invited to conduct an onsite infection control assessment and to suggest improvements. Results: No pet owners self-identified in high-risk groups to be screened. In total, 10 high-risk staff were screened, and no colonized individuals were detected. Recommendations made by the PDPH to MJRVH included improvement of infection prevention and control policies (eg, consolidation of the infection control manual and identification of lead staff member), improvement in hand hygiene (HH) compliance (eg, increasing amount of HH supplies), improvement of environment of care (eg, decluttering and evaluation of mulched animal relief area), and improvement of respiratory care processes (eg, standardization of care policies). MJRVH made substantial improvements across recommendation areas including revision of infection control manual, creation of a full-time infection preventionist position, individual alcohol hand sanitizers for patient cages, and environmental decluttering and decontamination. PDPH and MJRVH maintained frequent communication about infection control improvements. Conclusions: No positive transmission to high-risk staff members suggest that, like in human healthcare facilities, transmission of CRE to caretakers may not be a common event. Stronger communication and collaboration is required from Departments of Public Health (DPH) to the veterinary profession regarding the reporting requirements of emerging pathogens such as CRE. Veterinary facilities should view DPH as a valuable resource for recommendations to fill in gaps that exist in infection control “best practices,” particularly for novel pathogens in veterinary settings.
Disclosures: Jane M. Gould reports that her spouse receives salary from Incyte.
We investigated the impact of regionally imposed social and healthcare restrictions due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to the time metrics in the management of acute ischemic stroke patients admitted at the regional stroke referral site for Central South Ontario, Canada.
We compared relevant time metrics between patients with acute ischemic stroke receiving intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and/or endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) before and after the declared restrictions and state of emergency imposed in our region (March 17, 2020).
We identified a significant increase in the median door-to-CT times for patients receiving intravenous tPA (19 min, interquartile range (IQR): 14–27 min vs. 13 min, IQR: 9–17 min, p = 0.008) and/or EVT (20 min, IQR: 15–33 min vs. 11 min, IQR: 5–20 min, p = 0.035) after the start of social and healthcare restrictions in our region compared to the previous 12 months. For patients receiving intravenous tPA treatment, we also found a significant increase (p = 0.005) in the median door-to-needle time (61 min, IQR: 46–72 min vs. 37 min, IQR: 30–50 min). No delays in the time from symptom onset to hospital presentation were uncovered for patients receiving tPA and/or endovascular reperfusion treatments in the first 1.5 months after the establishment of regional and institutional restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We detected an increase in our institutional time to treatment metrics for acute ischemic stroke patients receiving tPA and/or endovascular reperfusion therapies, related to delays from hospital presentation to the acquisition of cranial CT imaging for both tPA- and EVT-treated patients, and an added delay to treatment with tPA.
Infants born preterm miss out on the peak period of in utero DHA accretion to the brain during the last trimester of pregnancy which is hypothesised to contribute to the increased prevalence of neurodevelopmental deficits in this population. This study aimed to determine whether DHA supplementation in infants born preterm improves attention at 18 months’ corrected age. This is a follow-up of a subset of infants who participated in the N3RO randomised controlled trial. Infants were randomised to receive an enteral emulsion of high-dose DHA (60 mg/kg per d) or no DHA (soya oil – control) from within the first days of birth until 36 weeks’ post-menstrual age. The assessment of attention involved three tasks requiring the child to maintain attention on toy/s in either the presence or absence of competition or a distractor. The primary outcome was the child’s latency of distractibility when attention was focused on a toy. The primary outcome was available for seventy-three of the 120 infants that were eligible to participate. There was no evidence of a difference between groups in the latency of distractibility (adjusted mean difference: 0·08 s, 95 % CI –0·81, 0·97; P = 0·86). Enteral DHA supplementation did not result in improved attention in infants born preterm at 18 months’ corrected age.
Individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) may present with challenging behaviours (CB) that place themselves and others at risk of harm and impact their community integration. It is crucial for community ABI therapists to successfully train in and implement behaviour interventions. The current study aimed to investigate community ABI therapists’ experiences of using, training in and implementing behaviour interventions. An additional aim was to determine these therapists’ understanding of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), one approach to addressing CB with a focus on improving quality of life.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 Australian community ABI therapists about their experiences of using, training in and implementing behaviour interventions and understanding of PBS. Inductive thematic analysis and content analysis were performed on interview transcripts.
The thematic analysis resulted in the generation of six themes which described the difficulties participants faced in training in and delivering behaviour interventions and identified their training and implementation needs. The content analysis resulted in 10 categories that characterised participants’ understanding of PBS, which centred around the absence of consequences, a focus on antecedents, person-centred practice and encouraging prosocial alternatives to CB.
The findings highlight a need and desire for more practical and interactive clinician training in behaviour interventions for individuals with ABI. Moreover, the findings suggest a limited understanding of PBS amongst community ABI therapists. Important considerations for the development of clinician training in ABI behaviour interventions and subsequent implementation into community practice are discussed.
Stress elicits adaptive responses from the brain, but it can also lead to maladaptive consequences. For example, stress can precipitate mental illness, including depression. Prolonged stress also causes damage to neurons in the hippocampus. Antidepressant drugs must be evaluated, not only for their ability to potentiate adaptive responses, but also to inhibit maladaptive consequences of stress. Ongoing research in our laboratory has compared the atypical tricyclic antidepressant, tianeptine, with the typical tricyclics, desipramine and imipramine, with respect to the effects of isolation and repeated restraint stress. Tianeptine and desipramine similarly attenuated isolation stress-induced increases in locus coeruleus and midbrain tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA levels and isolation-stress induced decreases in preproenkephalin mRNA levels in striatum and nucleus accumbens. However, tianeptine and imipramine differed in their effects in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus on 5HT2, and 5HT1A receptor levels but, surprisingly, produced similar effects on levels of the serotonin transporter labelled with [3H] paroxetine. Tianeptine also prevented stress-induced reductions in the length and number of branchpoints of dendrites of CA3 pyramidal neurons in hippocampus; comparison with effects of typical tricyclics are ongoing. Tianeptine also blocked effects of corticosterone treatment to reduce branching and length of CA3 dendrites. These actions of tianeptine may be due to interactions between 5HT and excitatory amino acids in the mossy fiber terminals on CA3 pyramidal neurons. Taken together, these results indicate that tianeptine has unique properties compared to some other antidepressant drugs, but shares in common with those drugs the ability to attenuate stress effects on tyrosine hydroxylase gene expression and on the serotonin transporter. It remains to be seen whether these actions are the basis of a common antidepressant action.
Individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) may experience persistent and distressing challenging behaviours (CB), and therefore, effective delivery of behaviour interventions is crucial. This study aimed to investigate community ABI therapists’ experiences of using, training in and implementing behaviour interventions with a focus on Positive Behaviour Support (PBS).
A sample of Australian community ABI therapists (n = 136) completed an online survey about their experiences with behaviour interventions, including PBS. Data from open-ended questions were analysed using content analysis. Frequency and descriptive statistics were computed, and a multiple regression was performed to determine factors predicting readiness to learn and implement new behaviour interventions. Rank-based non-parametric tests were conducted to investigate the influence of clinical role on experiences with behaviour interventions and training preferences.
Consistent with PBS, participants indicated that the following were important in addressing CB: teamwork and collaboration, person-centred practice, working with antecedents, environmental modification, improving quality of life and skill-building. Despite a high level of desire and readiness, 80% of participants reported facing barriers to learning and implementing new behaviour interventions (e.g., lack of time). Participants’ confidence in using behaviour interventions (β = 0.31; p = 0.002) and the number of barriers faced (β = −0.30; p = 0.002) predicted their readiness to learn and implement new behaviour interventions. Confidence, duration of past training in behaviour interventions and preferred duration of future training did not differ based on clinical role.
Implications for the development of training in behaviour interventions such as PBS and implementation into community practice are discussed.
Introduction: There is currently no protocol for the initiation of extra corporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) in out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in Atlantic Canada. Advanced care paramedics (ACPs) perform advanced cardiac life support in the prehospital setting often completing the entire resuscitation on-scene. Implementation of ECPR will present a novel intervention that is only available at the receiving hospital, altering how ACPs manage selected patients. Our objective is to determine if an educational program can improve paramedic identification of ECPR candidates. Methods: An educational program was delivered to paramedics including a short seminar and pocket card coupled with simulations of OHCA cases. A before and after study design using a case-based survey was employed. Paramedics were scored on their ability to correctly identify OHCA patients who met the inclusion criteria for our ECPR protocol. Scores before and after the education delivery were compared using a two tailed t-test. A 6-month follow-up is planned to assess knowledge retention. Qualitative data was also collected from paramedics during simulation to help identify potential barriers to implementation of our protocol in the prehospital setting. Results: Nine advanced care paramedics participated in our educational program. Mean score pre-education was 9.7/16 (61.1%) compared to 14/16 (87.5%) after education delivery. The mean difference between groups was 4.22 (CI = 2.65-5.80, p = 0.0003). There was a significant improvement in the paramedics’ ability to correctly identify ECPR candidates after completing our educational program. Conclusion: Paramedic training through a didactic session coupled with a pocket card and simulation appears to be a feasible method of knowledge translation. 6-month retention data will help ensure knowledge retention is achieved. If successful, this pilot will be expanded to train all paramedics in our prehospital system as we seek to implement an ECPR protocol at our centre.
Preventing suicide and self-harm is a global health priority. Although there is a growing evidence base for the effectiveness of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapies for a range of disorders, to date there has been no systematic review of its effectiveness in reducing suicidal and self-harming behaviours.
To systematically review randomised controlled trials of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapies for suicidal attempts and self-harm.
We searched PubMed, PsycINFO, Psycharticles, CINAHL, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for randomise controlled trials of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapies for reducing suicide attempts and self-harm.
Twelve trials (17 articles) were included in the meta-analyses. Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies were effective in reducing the number of patients attempting suicide (pooled odds ratio, 0.469; 95% CI 0.274–0.804). We found some evidence for significantly reduced repetition of self-harm at 6-month but not 12-month follow-up. Significant treatment effects were also found for improvements in psychosocial functioning and reduction in number of hospital admissions.
Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapies are indicated to be effective in reducing suicidal behaviour and to have short-term effectiveness in reducing self-harm. They can also be beneficial in improving psychosocial well-being. However, the small number of trials and moderate quality of the evidence means further high-quality trials are needed to confirm our findings and to identity which specific components of the psychotherapies are effective.
The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) publishes guidelines regularly for the management of skin and soft tissue infections; however, the extent to which practice patterns follow these guidelines and if this can affect treatment failure rates is unknown. We observed the treatment failure rates from a multicentre retrospective ambulatory cohort of adult emergency department patients treated for a non-purulent skin infection. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine the role of IDSA classification and whether adherence to IDSA guidelines reduced treatment failure. A total of 759 ambulatory patients were included in the cohort with 17.4% failing treatment. Among all patients, 56.0% had received treatments matched to the IDSA guidelines with 29.1% over-treated, and 14.9% under-treated based on the guidelines. After adjustment for age, gender, infection location and medical comorbidities, patients with a moderate infection type had three times increased risk of treatment failure (adjusted risk ratio (aRR) 2.98; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15–7.74) and two times increased risk with a severe infection type (aRR 2.27; 95% CI 1.25–4.13) compared with mild infection types. Patients who were under-treated based on IDSA guidelines were over two times more likely to fail treatment (aRR 2.65; 95% CI 1.16–6.05) while over-treatment was not associated with treatment failure. Patients ⩾70 years of age had a 56% increased risk of treatment failure (aRR 1.56; 95% CI 1.04–2.33) compared with those <70 years. Following the IDSA guidelines for non-purulent SSTIs may reduce the treatment failure rates; however, older adults still carry an increased risk of treatment failure.
To test the hypothesis that long-term care facility (LTCF) residents with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or asymptomatic carriage of toxigenic strains are an important source of transmission in the LTCF and in the hospital during acute-care admissions.
A 6-month cohort study with identification of transmission events was conducted based on tracking of patient movement combined with restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS).
Veterans Affairs hospital and affiliated LTCF.
The study included 29 LTCF residents identified as asymptomatic carriers of toxigenic C. difficile based on every other week perirectal screening and 37 healthcare facility-associated CDI cases (ie, diagnosis >3 days after admission or within 4 weeks of discharge to the community), including 26 hospital-associated and 11 LTCF-associated cases.
Of the 37 CDI cases, 7 (18·9%) were linked to LTCF residents with LTCF-associated CDI or asymptomatic carriage, including 3 of 26 hospital-associated CDI cases (11·5%) and 4 of 11 LTCF-associated cases (36·4%). Of the 7 transmissions linked to LTCF residents, 5 (71·4%) were linked to asymptomatic carriers versus 2 (28·6%) to CDI cases, and all involved transmission of epidemic BI/NAP1/027 strains. No incident hospital-associated CDI cases were linked to other hospital-associated CDI cases.
Our findings suggest that LTCF residents with asymptomatic carriage of C. difficile or CDI contribute to transmission both in the LTCF and in the affiliated hospital during acute-care admissions. Greater emphasis on infection control measures and antimicrobial stewardship in LTCFs is needed, and these efforts should focus on LTCF residents during hospital admissions.
Introduction: Ultrasonography (US), performed in the Emergency Department (ED) by Emergency Physicians, is well established. Educational studies have shown some promise in training paramedics in US use. We have developed and piloted a novel curriculum for paramedic US education. Methods: Based on an informal needs assessment, an US curriculum for paramedics was developed to include: Basic principles, Focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST), cardiac, and vascular access. Participants included ED-based and pre-hospital paramedics including all paramedics with critical care training who routinely perform vascular access and procedural sedation within our ED. Comparisons were made using paired non-parametric tests (GraphPad). Results: Participants (N=9) were provided pre- reading materials prior to completing a 6-hour course, consisting of a mix of didactic and practical sessions with live models and vascular access phantoms. Each module was introduced with a 30 minute didactic session, led by an Emergency Physician trained in US, followed immediately by a 1 hour hands-on session lead by either an Emergency Physician or an Emergency Medicine Resident at a learner to instructor ratio of 3:1. At the end of the course, participants were asked to complete a short 10 minute survey that included (1) an assessment of the course quality with regard to preparatory material and course content/delivery (4 point Likert scale; excellent, good, fair, poor); (2) self reported US knowledge pre and post course on a scale of 1-10 (10 high, 1 low); (3) general yes/no questions related to the future of ECCU paramedical and (4) a subjective written section for additional comments. All participants rated the content favourably: 97% scoring it as excellent, and 3% as good. The participants median self-reported US knowledge score increased from 2/10 (IQR 2-3) to 8/10 (IQR 7.25-8; p=0.009) post- course. All comments from the text field were positive in nature. Conclusion: We report a paramedic US course curriculum, which when piloted resulted in high learner satisfaction and a high rate of self reported improvement in US knowledge. Further study will include an assessment of knowledge acquisition and practical performance. Future modifications in our curriculum will be based on needs assessment and may include additional modules.
Recent droughts in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean have emphasized the region's agricultural vulnerability to this hazard and the increasing need for adaptation mechanisms to support sustainable production. In this study, we assessed the geographic extent of agricultural conservation practices incentivized by US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and evaluated their large-scale contribution to drought adaptability. We identified concentrations of drought-related practices (e.g. cover crops, ponds) applied between 2000 and 2016. Using information from spatial databases and interviews with experts, we assessed the spatial correlation between these practices and areas exposed to drought as identified by the US Drought Monitor. Between 2000 and 2016, Puerto Rico experienced seven drought episodes concentrated around the south, east and southeastern regions. The most profound drought occurred between 2014 and 2016 when the island experienced 80 consecutive weeks of moderate drought, 48 of severe drought and 33 of extreme drought conditions. A total of 44 drought-related conservation practices were applied at 6984 locations throughout 860 km2 of farmlands between 2000 and 2016 through the NRCS-Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Practices related to water availability were statistically clustered along the coasts, whereas soil and plant health practices were clustered in the mountainous region. While these concentrations strongly correlated with areas exposed to moderate drought conditions, >80% did not coincide with areas that experienced severe or extreme drought conditions, suggesting that areas highly exposed to drought conditions generally lacked drought preparedness assisted by EQIP. Climate projections indicate an increase in the frequency and intensity of drought events, particularly in the eastern region of Puerto Rico. Our analysis highlighted the need to implement more conservation practices in these areas subject to drought intensification and exposure. Government programs intended to address vulnerabilities and enhance capacity and resilience may not be reaching areas of highest exposure. Recommendations include raising producer awareness of past and future exposure and making programs more accessible to a broader audience.
The four main findings about the age and abundance structure of the Milky Way bulge based on microlensed dwarf and subgiant stars are: (1) a wide metallicity distribution with distinct peaks at [Fe/H] = -1.09, -0.63, -0.20, +0.12, +0.41; (2) a high fraction of intermediate-age to young stars where at [Fe/H] > 0 more than 35 % are younger than 8 Gyr, (3) several episodes of significant star formation in the bulge 3, 6, 8, and 11 Gyr ago; (4) the ‘knee’ in the α-element abundance trends of the sub-solar metallicity bulge appears to be located at a slightly higher [Fe/H] (about 0.05 to 0.1 dex) than in the local thick disk.
To investigate an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections and colonization in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Infection control assessment, environmental evaluation, and case-control study.
Newly built community-based hospital, 28-bed neonatal intensive care unit.
Neonatal intensive care unit patients receiving care between June 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014.
Case finding was performed through microbiology record review. Infection control observations, interviews, and environmental assessment were performed. A matched case-control study was conducted to identify risk factors for P. aeruginosa infection. Patient and environmental isolates were collected for pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to determine strain relatedness.
In total, 31 cases were identified. Case clusters were temporally associated with absence of point-of-use filters on faucets in patient rooms. After adjusting for gestational age, case patients were more likely to have been in a room without a point-of-use filter (odds ratio [OR], 37.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.16–∞). Case patients had higher odds of exposure to peripherally inserted central catheters (OR, 7.20; 95% CI, 1.75–37.30) and invasive ventilation (OR, 5.79; 95% CI, 1.39–30.62). Of 42 environmental samples, 28 (67%) grew P. aeruginosa. Isolates from the 2 most recent case patients were indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis from water-related samples obtained from these case-patient rooms.
This outbreak was attributed to contaminated water. Interruption of the outbreak with point-of-use filters provided a short-term solution; however, eradication of P. aeruginosa in water and fixtures was necessary to protect patients. This outbreak highlights the importance of understanding the risks of stagnant water in healthcare facilities.
Whole apples have not been previously implicated in outbreaks of foodborne bacterial illness. We investigated a nationwide listeriosis outbreak associated with caramel apples. We defined an outbreak-associated case as an infection with one or both of two outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes highly related by whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST) from 1 October 2014 to 1 February 2015. Single-interviewer open-ended interviews identified the source. Outbreak-associated cases were compared with non-outbreak-associated cases and traceback and environmental investigations were performed. We identified 35 outbreak-associated cases in 12 states; 34 (97%) were hospitalized and seven (20%) died. Outbreak-associated ill persons were more likely to have eaten commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples (odds ratio 326·7, 95% confidence interval 32·2–3314). Environmental samples from the grower's packing facility and distribution-chain whole apples yielded isolates highly related to outbreak isolates by wgMLST. This outbreak highlights the importance of minimizing produce contamination with L. monocytogenes. Investigators should perform single-interviewer open-ended interviews when a food is not readily identified.
Although most non-typhoidal Salmonella illnesses are self-limiting, antimicrobial treatment is critical for invasive infections. To describe resistance in Salmonella that caused foodborne outbreaks in the United States, we linked outbreaks submitted to the Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System to isolate susceptibility data in the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System. Resistant outbreaks were defined as those linked to one or more isolates with resistance to at least one antimicrobial drug. Multidrug resistant (MDR) outbreaks had at least one isolate resistant to three or more antimicrobial classes. Twenty-one per cent (37/176) of linked outbreaks were resistant. In outbreaks attributed to a single food group, 73% (16/22) of resistant outbreaks and 46% (31/68) of non-resistant outbreaks were attributed to foods from land animals (P < 0·05). MDR Salmonella with clinically important resistance caused 29% (14/48) of outbreaks from land animals and 8% (3/40) of outbreaks from plant products (P < 0·01). In our study, resistant Salmonella infections were more common in outbreaks attributed to foods from land animals than outbreaks from foods from plants or aquatic animals. Antimicrobial susceptibility data on isolates from foodborne Salmonella outbreaks can help determine which foods are associated with resistant infections.