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This research communication addresses the hypothesis that Southeast dairy producers' self-reported bulk tank somatic cell count (BTSCC) was associated with producers' response to three statements (1) ‘a troublesome thing about mastitis is the worries it causes me,’ (2) ‘a troublesome thing about mastitis is that cows suffer,’ and (3) ‘my broad goals include taking good care of my cows and heifers.’ Surveys were mailed to producers in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia (29% response rate, N = 596; final analysis N = 574), as part of a larger survey to assess Southeastern dairy producers' opinions related to BTSCC. Surveys contained 34 binomial (n = 9), Likert scale (n = 7), and descriptive (n = 18) statements targeted at producer self-assessment of herd records, management practices, and BTSCC. Statements 1 and 2 were assessed on a 5-point Likert scale from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree.’ Statement 3 was assessed on a 5-point Likert scale from ‘very unimportant’ to ‘very important.’ Reported mean BTSCC for all participants was 254 500 cells/ml. Separate univariable logistic regressions using generalized linear mixed models (SAS 9.4, Cary, NC, USA) with a random effect of farm, were performed to determine if BTSCC was associated with probability for a producer's response to statements. If BTSCC was significant, forward manual addition was performed until no additional variables were significant (P ≤ 0.05), but included BTSCC, regardless of significance. Bulk tank somatic cell count was associated with ‘a troublesome thing about mastitis is the worries it causes me,’ but not with Statements 2 or 3. This demonstrates that >75% of Southeastern dairy producers are concerned with animal care and cow suffering, regardless of BTSCC. Understanding Southeast producers' emphasis on cow care is necessary to create targeted management tools for herds with elevated BTSCC.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs typically use days of therapy to assess antimicrobial use. However, this metric does not account for the antimicrobial spectrum of activity. We applied an antibiotic spectrum index to a population of very-low-birth-weight infants to assess its utility to evaluate the impact of antimicrobial stewardship interventions.
The impact of dementia-related stressors and strains have been examined for their potential to threaten the well-being of either the person with dementia or the family care partner, but rarely have studies considered the dyadic nature of well-being in dementia. The purpose of this study was to examine the dyadic effects of multiple dimensions of strain on the well-being of dementia care dyads.
Using multilevel modeling to account for the inter-relatedness of individual well-being within dementia care dyads, we examined cross-sectional responses collected from 42 dyads comprised of a hospitalized patient diagnosed with a primary progressive dementia (PWD) and their family care partner (CP). Both PWDs and CPs self-reported on their own well-being using measures of quality of life (QOL-Alzheimer’s Disease scale) and depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale).
In adjusted models, the PWD’s well-being (higher QOL and lower depressive symptoms) was associated with significantly less strain in the dyad’s relationship. The CP’s well-being was associated with significantly less care-related strain and (for QOL scale) less relationship strain.
Understanding the impact of dementia on the well-being of PWDs or CPs may require an assessment of both members of the dementia care dyad in order to gain a complete picture of how dementia-related stressors and strains impact individual well-being. These results underscore the need to assess and manage dementia-related strain as a multi-dimensional construct that may include strain related to the progression of the disease, strain from providing care, and strain on the dyad’s relationship quality.
We observed pediatric S. aureus hospitalizations decreased 36% from 26.3 to 16.8 infections per 1,000 admissions from 2009 to 2016, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) decreasing by 52% and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus decreasing by 17%, among 39 pediatric hospitals. Similar decreases were observed for days of therapy of anti-MRSA antibiotics.
Psychotropic medication use and psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy each are associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in offspring. Commonly, studies considering medication effects do not adequately assess symptoms, nor evaluate children when the effects are believed to occur, the fetal period. This study examined maternal serotonin reuptake inhibitor and polypharmacy use in relation to serial assessments of five indices of fetal neurobehavior and Bayley Scales of Infant Development at 12 months in N = 161 socioeconomically advantaged, non-Hispanic White women with a shared risk phenotype, diagnosed major depressive disorder. On average fetuses showed the expected development over gestation. In contrast, infant average Bayley psychomotor and mental development scores were low (M = 84.10 and M = 89.92, range of normal limits 85–114) with rates of delay more than 2–3 times what would be expected based on this measure's normative data. Controlling for prenatal and postnatal depressive symptoms, prenatal medication effects on neurobehavioral development were largely undetected in the fetus and infant. Mental health care directed primarily at symptoms may not address the additional psychosocial needs of women parenting infants. Speculatively, prenatal serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure may act as a plasticity rather than risk factor, potentially enhancing receptivity to a nonoptimal postnatal environment in some mother–infant dyads.
To make pragmatic recommendations on best practices for the engagement of patients in emergency medicine (EM) research.
We created a panel of expert Canadian EM researchers, physicians, and a patient partner to develop our recommendations. We used mixed methods consisting of 1) a literature review; 2) a survey of Canadian EM researchers; 3) qualitative interviews with key informants; and 4) feedback during the 2017 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Symposium.
We synthesized our literature review into categories including identification and engagement, patients’ roles, perceived benefits, harms, and barriers to patient engagement; 40/75 (53% response rate) invited researchers completed our survey. Among respondents, 58% had engaged patients in research, and 83% intended to engage patients in future research. However, 95% stated that they need further guidance to engage patients. Our qualitative interviews revealed barriers to patient engagement, including the need for training and patient partner recruitment.
Our panel recommends 1) an overarching positive recommendation to support patient engagement in EM research; 2) seven policy-level recommendations for CAEP to support the creation of a national patient council, to develop, adopt and adapt training material, guidelines, and tools for patient engagement, and to support increased patient engagement in EM research; and 3) nine pragmatic recommendations about engaging patients in the preparatory, execution, and translational phases of EM research.
Patient engagement can improve EM research by helping researchers select meaningful outcomes, increase social acceptability of studies, and design knowledge translation strategies that target patients’ needs.
For this study, we adapted the Montgomery Borgatta Caregiver Burden Scale, used widely in the United States, to the Saudi Arabian context. To produce an Arabic, culturally sensitive version of the scale, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 Saudi family caregivers. The Arabic version of the scale was tested, and participants were asked to comment on the appropriateness of items for the construct of “caregiver burden” using the repertory grid technique and laddering procedure – two constructivist methods derived from personal construct theory. From interview findings, we examined the content of the items and the caregiver burden construct itself. Our findings suggest that the use of constructivist methods to refine constructs and quantitative instruments is highly informative. This strategy is feasible even when little is known about the investigated constructs in the target culture and further elucidates our understanding of cross-cultural variations or invariance of different versions of the scale.
We analyzed antifungal and antiviral prescribing among high-risk children across freestanding children’s hospitals. Antifungal and antiviral days of therapy varied across hospitals. Benchmarking antifungal and antiviral use and developing antimicrobial stewardship strategies to optimize use of these high cost agents is needed.
The consequences of minor trauma involving a head injury (MT-HI) in independent older adults are largely unknown. This study assessed the impact of a head injury on the functional outcomes six months post-injury in older adults who sustained a minor trauma.
This multicenter prospective cohort study in eight sites included patients who were aged 65 years or older, previously independent, presenting to the emergency department (ED) for a minor trauma, and discharged within 48 hours. To assess the functional decline, we used a validated test: the Older Americans’ Resources and Services Scale. The cognitive function of study patients was also evaluated. Finally, we explored the influence of a concomitant injury on the functional decline in the MT-HI group.
All 926 eligible patients were included in the analyses: 344 MT-HI patients and 582 minor trauma without head injury. After six months, the functional decline was similar in both groups: 10.8% and 11.9%, respectively (RR=0.79 [95% CI: 0.55–1.14]). The proportion of patients with mild cognitive disabilities was also similar: 21.7% and 22.8%, respectively (RR=0.91 [95% CI: 0.71–1.18]). Furthermore, for the group of patients with a MT-HI, the functional outcome was not statistically different with or without the presence of a co-injury (RR=1.35 [95% CI: 0.71–2.59]).
This study did not demonstrate that the occurrence of a MT-HI is associated with a worse functional or cognitive prognosis than other minor injuries without a head injury in an elderly population, six months after injury.
Administrative and surveillance data are used frequently in healthcare epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship (HE&AS) research because of their wide availability and efficiency. However, data quality issues exist, requiring careful consideration and potential validation of data. This methods paper presents key considerations for using administrative and surveillance data in HE&AS, including types of data available and potential use, data limitations, and the importance of validation. After discussing these issues, we review examples of HE&AS research using administrative data with a focus on scenarios when their use may be advantageous. A checklist is provided to help aid study development in HE&AS using administrative data.
The quantity and quality of collagen fibrils in the extracellular matrix (ECM) have a pivotal role in dictating biological processes. Several collagen-binding proteins (CBPs) are known to modulate collagen deposition and fibril diameter. However, limited studies exist on alterations in the fibril ultrastructure by CBPs. In this study, we elucidate how the collagen receptor, discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) regulates the collagen content and ultrastructure in the adventitia of DDR1 knock-out (KO) mice. DDR1 KO mice exhibit increased collagen deposition as observed using Masson’s trichrome. Collagen ultrastructure was evaluated in situ using transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Although the mean fibril diameter was not significantly different, DDR1 KO mice had a higher percentage of fibrils with larger diameter compared with their wild-type littermates. No significant differences were observed in the length of D-periods. In addition, collagen fibrils from DDR1 KO mice exhibited a small, but statistically significant, increase in the depth of the fibril D-periods. Consistent with these observations, a reduction in the depth of D-periods was observed in collagen fibrils reconstituted with recombinant DDR1-Fc. Our results elucidate how DDR1 modulates collagen fibril ultrastructure in vivo, which may have important consequences in the functional role(s) of the underlying ECM.
We show that the solution of the dynamic boundary value problem
, on a general time scale, may be delta-differentiated with respect to
. By utilising an analogue of a theorem of Peano, we show that the delta derivative of the solution solves the boundary value problem consisting of either the variational equation or its dynamic analogue along with interesting boundary conditions.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
During mass-casualty incidents (MCIs), patient volume often overwhelms available Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. First responders are expected to triage, treat, and transport patients in a timely fashion. If other responders could triage accurately, prehospital EMS resources could be focused more directly on patients that require immediate medical attention and transport.
Triage accuracy, error patterns, and time to triage completion are similar between second-year primary care paramedic (PCP) and fire science (FS) students participating in a simulated MCI using the Sort, Assess, Life-saving interventions, Treatment/Transport (SALT) triage algorithm.
All students in the second-year PCP program and FS program at two separate community colleges were invited to participate in this study. Immediately following a 30-minute didactic session on SALT, participants were given a standardized briefing and asked to triage an eight-victim, mock MCI using SALT. The scenario consisted of a four-car motor vehicle collision with each victim portrayed by volunteer actors given appropriate moulage and symptom coaching for their pattern of injury. The total number and acuity of victims were unknown to participants prior to arrival to the mock scenario.
Thirty-eight PCP and 29 FS students completed the simulation. Overall triage accuracy was 79.9% for PCP and 72.0% for FS (∆ 7.9%; 95% CI, 1.2-14.7) students. No significant difference was found between the groups regarding types of triage errors. Over-triage, under-triage, and critical errors occurred in 10.2%, 7.6%, and 2.3% of PCP triage assignments, respectively. Fire science students had a similar pattern with 15.2% over-triaged, 8.7% under-triaged, and 4.3% critical errors. The median [IQR] time to triage completion for PCPs and FSs were 142.1 [52.6] seconds and 159.0 [40.5] seconds, respectively (P=.19; Mann-Whitney Test).
Primary care paramedics performed MCI triage more accurately than FS students after brief SALT training, but no difference was found regarding types of error or time to triage completion. The clinical importance of this difference in triage accuracy likely is minimal, suggesting that fire services personnel could be considered for MCI triage depending on the availability of prehospital medical resources and appropriate training.
LeeCWC, McLeodSL, Van AarsenK, KlingelM, FrancJM, PeddleMB. First Responder Accuracy Using SALT during Mass-casualty Incident Simulation. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(2):150–154.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
A high influx of patients during a mass-casualty incident (MCI) may disrupt patient flow in an already overcrowded emergency department (ED) that is functioning beyond its operating capacity. This pilot study examined the impact of a two-step ED triage model using Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) for pre-triage, followed by triage with the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS), on patient flow during a MCI simulation exercise.
It was hypothesized that there would be no difference in time intervals nor patient volumes at each patient-flow milestone.
Physicians and nurses participated in a computer-based tabletop disaster simulation exercise. Physicians were randomized into the intervention group using START, then CTAS, or the control group using START alone. Patient-flow milestones including time intervals and patient volumes from ED arrival to triage, ED arrival to bed assignment, ED arrival to physician assessment, and ED arrival to disposition decision were compared. Triage accuracy was compared for secondary purposes.
There were no significant differences in the time interval from ED arrival to triage (mean difference 108 seconds; 95% CI, -353 to 596 seconds; P=1.0), ED arrival to bed assignment (mean difference 362 seconds; 95% CI, -1,269 to 545 seconds; P=1.0), ED arrival to physician assessment (mean difference 31 seconds; 95% CI, -1,104 to 348 seconds; P=0.92), and ED arrival to disposition decision (mean difference 175 seconds; 95% CI, -1,650 to 1,300 seconds; P=1.0) between the two groups. There were no significant differences in the volume of patients to be triaged (32% vs 34%; 95% CI for the difference -16% to 21%; P=1.0), assigned a bed (16% vs 21%; 95% CI for the difference -11% to 20%; P=1.0), assessed by a physician (20% vs 22%; 95% CI for the difference -14% to 19%; P=1.0), and with a disposition decision (20% vs 9%; 95% CI for the difference -25% to 4%; P=.34) between the two groups. The accuracy of triage was similar in both groups (57% vs 70%; 95% CI for the difference -15% to 41%; P=.46).
Experienced triage nurses were able to apply CTAS effectively during a MCI simulation exercise. A two-step ED triage model using START, then CTAS, had similar patient flow and triage accuracy when compared to START alone.
LeeJS, FrancJM. Impact of a Two-step Emergency Department Triage Model with START, then CTAS, on Patient Flow During a Simulated Mass-casualty Incident. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(4):1–7.
There are a number of screening tools to predict return to the emergency department (ED) in elderly trauma patients, but none exist to specifically screen for functional decline after a minor injury. The objective of this study was to identify outcome measures for a possible future clinical decision rule to be used in the ED to identify previously independent patients at high risk of functional decline at six months post minor injury.
After a rigorous development process, a survey instrument was administered to a random sample of 178 emergency physicians using the Dillman’s Tailored Design Method.
Of 156 eligible surveys, we received 81 completed surveys (response rate 51.9%). Considering all 14 activities of daily living (ADL) items, 90% of physicians deemed a minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in function to be at least three points on the 28-point Older Americans Resources and Services (OARS) ADL Scale as clinically significant. A tool with a sensitivity of 93% to detect patients at risk of functional decline at six months post injury would meet or exceed the sensitivity deemed to be required by 90% of physicians. The majority of emergency physicians do not assess elderly injured patients for the majority of the tasks.
A drop of three points on the 28-point OARS ADL Scale would be deemed clinically important by the vast majority of emergency physicians. Further, a sensitivity of 93% for a clinical decision tool would satisfy the MCID requirements of the vast majority of emergency physicians. There appears to be a gap between physician knowledge and actual practice. We intend to use these findings in the development of a clinical decision rule to identify high-risk elderly trauma patients.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.