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This study examined the impact of a school readiness intervention on external response monitoring in children in foster care. Behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) data were collected during a flanker task from children who received the Kids In Transition to School (KITS) Program (n = 26) and children who received services as usual (n = 19) before and after the intervention. While there were no significant group differences on the behavioral data, the ERP data for the two groups of children significantly differed. Specifically, in contrast to the children who received services as usual, the children who received the KITS Program displayed greater amplitude differences between positive and negative performance feedback over time for the N1, which reflects early attention processes, and feedback-related negativity, which reflects evaluation processes. In addition, although the two groups did not differ on amplitude differences between positive and negative performance feedback for these ERP components before the intervention, the children who received the KITS Program displayed greater amplitude differences than the children who received services as usual after the intervention. These results suggest that the KITS Program had an effect on responsivity to external performance feedback, which may be beneficial during the transition into kindergarten.
Conserving species and achieving the Convention on Biological Diversity's international conservation targets necessitates stopping extinctions, recovering depleted populations and maintaining viable populations. The contribution of ex situ management to species conservation has long been debated, and there is limited information on ex situ management activities available in a format that allows success to be assessed. We therefore gathered information from three sources to explore cases in which ex situ management was considered to have had a positive conservation impact for terrestrial vertebrate species. We (1) reviewed the published literature, (2) examined for which taxa ex situ management had contributed to the downlisting of species on the IUCN Red List and (3) surveyed a global network of ex situ management practitioners. We found that ex situ management has contributed to improvements in conservation status for a range of vertebrate species. Ex situ management was reported as contributing to the downlisting of 18 species on the IUCN Red List over a 10-year period. Across sources, the most common role of ex situ management was the provision of individuals to increase population numbers in situ. The strength of evidence for the impact of ex situ management varied within and among sources. Therefore, for the role of ex situ activities in conservation to be understood fully, and for such interventions to reach their potential, documentation of intended and actual benefits needs to be improved. Better reporting of ex situ activities would enable improved learning, facilitating better targeting of ex situ activities to global species conservation goals.
Scientific quality and feasibility are part of ethics review by Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Scientific Review Committees (SRCs) were proposed to facilitate this assessment by the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) SRC Consensus Group. This study assessed SRC feasibility and impact at CTSA-affiliated academic health centers (AHCs).
SRC implementation at 10 AHCs was assessed pre/post-intervention using quantitative and qualitative methods. Pre-intervention, four AHCs had no SRC, and six had at least one SRC needing modifications to better align with Consensus Group recommendations.
Facilitators of successful SRC implementation included broad-based communication, an external motivator, senior-level support, and committed SRC reviewers. Barriers included limited resources and staffing, variable local mandates, limited SRC authority, lack of anticipated benefit, and operational challenges. Research protocol quality did not differ significantly between study periods, but respondents suggested positive effects. During intervention, median total review duration did not lengthen for the 40% of protocols approved within 3 weeks. For the 60% under review after 3 weeks, review was lengthened primarily due to longer IRB review for SRC-reviewed protocols. Site interviews recommended designing locally effective SRC processes, building buy-in by communication or by mandate, allowing time for planning and sharing best practices, and connecting SRC and IRB procedures.
The CTSA SRC Consensus Group recommendations appear feasible. Although not conclusive in this relatively short initial implementation, sites perceived positive impact by SRCs on study quality. Optimal benefit will require local or federal mandate for implementation, adapting processes to local contexts, and employing SRC stipulations.
To determine accessibility of the primary healthcare system for patients with stroke recently discharged from hospital.
This project mapped retrospective patient location data and the location of primary healthcare services in the same region. Patient location data were from all patients with stroke (N = 1595: January 2011–January 2017) discharged from one metropolitan hospital to the local Primary Health Network. Geographic Information System technology was used to map the patient discharge locations and the spatial distribution of primary healthcare services (general practitioner, pharmacy, allied health) across the region. Road network data were used to measure the level of access from each patient’s discharge location to the services.
Access to primary healthcare services was variable. Areas with larger proportions of patients with stroke did not necessarily have good service access. With an increase in travel time, the number of services accessible to patients also increased. However, the spatial variation of access to services remained largely unchanged.
Access to primary healthcare services for patients with stroke varies spatially, with a trend towards relatively low levels of accessibility for many patients. There is an urgent need for future planning to consider geographical access to primary healthcare services for patients with stroke.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Determine the effectiveness of a curriculum designed to teach doctoral students to use implementation science theories, models and frameworks in optimizing scientific, social, political, cultural and organizational impact METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Analysis of Integrated Final Projects across three cohorts of doctoral students (N=30) to identify sub-disciplinary knowledge integration and application. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Integrated Final Projects indicate that the integration of IS, Program Theory and Research design within semester two yields application of integrated, sub-disciplinary knowledge to research design, identification of mechanisms of action and the address of barriers and facilitators to implementation of findings. Future analysis will be conducted to determine the degree to which dissertations reflect a similar level of sub-disciplinary integration and focus on implementation within the appropriate service setting. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Training future translational researchers to understand and use implementation science theories, models and frameworks can potentially result in narrowing the science-to-service gap.
A lasting legacy of the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007–2008 was the promotion of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN), initially an IPY outreach and education activity by the International Permafrost Association (IPA). With the momentum of IPY, PYRN developed into a thriving network that still connects young permafrost scientists, engineers, and researchers from other disciplines. This research note summarises (1) PYRN’s development since 2005 and the IPY’s role, (2) the first 2015 PYRN census and survey results, and (3) PYRN’s future plans to improve international and interdisciplinary exchange between young researchers. The review concludes that PYRN is an established network within the polar research community that has continually developed since 2005. PYRN’s successful activities were largely fostered by IPY. With >200 of the 1200 registered members active and engaged, PYRN is capitalising on the availability of social media tools and rising to meet environmental challenges while maintaining its role as a successful network honouring the legacy of IPY.
As referrals to specialist palliative care (PC) grow in volume and diversity, an evidence-based triage method is needed to enable services to manage waiting lists in a transparent, efficient, and equitable manner. Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) have not to date been used among PC clinicians, but may serve as a rigorous and efficient method to explore and inform the complex decision-making involved in PC triage. This article presents the protocol for a novel application of an international DCE as part of a mixed-method research program, ultimately aiming to develop a clinical decision-making tool for PC triage.
Five stages of protocol development were undertaken: (1) identification of attributes of interest; (2) creation and (3) execution of a pilot DCE; and (4) refinement and (5) planned execution of the final DCE.
Six attributes of interest to PC triage were identified and included in a DCE that was piloted with 10 palliative care practitioners. The pilot was found to be feasible, with an acceptable cognitive burden, but refinements were made, including the creation of an additional attribute to allow independent analysis of concepts involved. Strategies for recruitment, data collection, analysis, and modeling were confirmed for the final planned DCE.
Significance of results
This DCE protocol serves as an example of how the sophisticated DCE methodology can be applied to health services research in PC. Discussion of key elements that improved the utility, integrity, and feasibility of the DCE provide valuable insights.
Studies have demonstrated that decreases in slow-wave activity (SWA) predict decreases in depressive symptoms in those with major depressive disorder (MDD), suggesting that there may be a link between SWA and mood. The aim of the present study was to determine if the consequent change in SWA regulation following a mild homeostatic sleep challenge would predict mood disturbance.
Thirty-seven depressed and fifty-nine healthy adults spent three consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory. On the third night, bedtime was delayed by 3 h, as this procedure has been shown to provoke SWA. The Profile of Mood States questionnaire was administered on the morning following the baseline and sleep delay nights to measure mood disturbance.
Results revealed that following sleep delay, a lower delta sleep ratio, indicative of inadequate dissipation of SWA from the first to the second non-rapid eye movement period, predicted increased mood disturbance in only those with MDD.
These data demonstrate that in the first half of the night, individuals with MDD who have less SWA dissipation as a consequence of impaired SWA regulation have greater mood disturbance, and may suggest that appropriate homeostatic regulation of sleep is an important factor in the disorder.
Despite significant needs, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) make limited use of palliative care, in part because the current models of palliative care do not address their key concerns.
Our aim was to develop a tailored model of palliative care for patients with COPD and their family caregivers.
Based on information gathered within a program of studies (qualitative research exploring experiences, a cohort study examining service use), an expert advisory committee evaluated and integrated data, developed responses, formulated principles to inform care, and made recommendations for practice. The informing studies were conducted in two Australian states: Victoria and South Australia.
A series of principles underpinning the model were developed, including that it must be: (1) focused on patient and caregiver; (2) equitable, enabling access to components of palliative care for a group with significant needs; (3) accessible; and (4) less resource-intensive than expansion of usual palliative care service delivery. The recommended conceptual model was to have the following features: (a) entry to palliative care occurs routinely triggered by clinical transitions in care; (b) care is embedded in routine ambulatory respiratory care, ensuring that it is regarded as “usual” care by patients and clinicians alike; (c) the tasks include screening for physical and psychological symptoms, social and community support, provision of information, and discussions around goals and preferences for care; and (d) transition to usual palliative care services is facilitated as the patient nears death.
Significance of results:
Our proposed innovative and conceptual model for provision of palliative care requires future formal testing using rigorous mixed-methods approaches to determine if theoretical propositions translate into effectiveness, feasibility, and benefits (including economic benefits). There is reason to consider adaptation of the model for the palliative care of patients with other nonmalignant conditions.
To determine the impact of an environmental disinfection intervention on the incidence of healthcare-associated Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
A multicenter randomized trial.
In total,16 acute-care hospitals in northeastern Ohio participated in the study.
We conducted a 12-month randomized trial to compare standard cleaning to enhanced cleaning that included monitoring of environmental services (EVS) personnel performance with feedback to EVS and infection control staff. We assessed the thoroughness of cleaning based on fluorescent marker removal from high-touch surfaces and the effectiveness of disinfection based on environmental cultures for C. difficile. A linear mixed model was used to compare CDI rates in the intervention and postintervention periods for control and intervention hospitals. The primary outcome was the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI.
Overall, 7 intervention hospitals and 8 control hospitals completed the study. The intervention resulted in significantly increased fluorescent marker removal in CDI and non-CDI rooms and decreased recovery of C. difficile from high-touch surfaces in CDI rooms. However, no reduction was observed in the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI in the intervention hospitals during the intervention and postintervention periods. Moreover, there was no correlation between the percentage of positive cultures after cleaning of CDI or non-CDI rooms and the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI.
An environmental disinfection intervention improved the thoroughness and effectiveness of cleaning but did not reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI. Thus, interventions that focus only on improving cleaning may not be sufficient to control healthcare-associated CDI.
Studies of blood parasite infection in nestling birds rarely find a high prevalence of infection. This is likely due to a combination of short nestling periods (limiting the age at which nestlings can be sampled) and long parasite prepatent periods before gametocytes can be detected in peripheral blood. Here we examine rates of blood parasite infection in nestlings from three Columbid species in the UK. We use this system to address two key hypotheses in the epidemiology of avian haemoparasites: first, that nestlings in open nests have a higher prevalence of infection; and second, that nestlings sampled at 14 days old have a higher apparent infection rate than those sampled at 7 days old. Open-nesting individuals had a 54% infection rate compared with 25% for box-nesters, probably due to an increased exposure of open-nesting species to dipteran vectors. Nestlings sampled at 14 days had a 68% infection rate compared with 32% in nestlings sampled at 7 days, suggesting that rates of infection in the nest are high. Further work should examine nestlings post-fledging to identify rates of successful parasite infection (as opposed to abortive development within a dead-end host) as well as impacts on host post-fledging survival and behaviour.
A service evaluation was undertaken to examine outcomes in patients who were street homeless (‘rough sleepers’) and who were compulsorily admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983. The data were collected from the patients' case notes.
At 1-year follow-up, patients had positive outcomes in areas such as accommodation status, registration with a general practitioner and engagement with the clinical team.
The study shows that the intervention of a Mental Health Act assessment and compulsory hospital admission in homeless people on the street is associated with positive outcomes at 1 year.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
The costs of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) in children’s hospitals have not been described previously. We assessed ASP costs using an online survey administered to ASP leaders at U.S. children’s hospitals. ASP costs varied from $17,000 to $388,500 annually (median, $187,400). Overall costs were not correlated with hospital size.
Voters and political candidates increasingly use social networking sites (SNSs) such as Facebook. This study uses data from an online posttest-only experiment (N = 183) in analyzing how exposure to supportive or challenging user comments on a fictional candidate's Facebook page influenced participants’ perceptions of and willingness to vote for the candidate, as well as whether candidate replies to each type of user comments affected these outcomes. Participants who viewed a page with supportive comments and “likes” reported more favorable perceptions of and greater support for the candidate, relative to participants who viewed a page with challenging comments. Thus, the appearance of interactivity between a candidate and other users on the candidate's Facebook page can shape the responses of those viewing the page. However, exposure to candidate replies to either supportive or challenging comments did not lead to significantly more favorable perceptions or a greater likelihood of voting for the candidate.
The difficulties in conducting palliative care research have been widely acknowledged. In order to generate the evidence needed to underpin palliative care provision, collaborative research is considered essential. Prior to formalizing the development of a research network for the state of Victoria, Australia, a preliminary study was undertaken to ascertain interest and recommendations for the design of such a collaboration.
Three data-collection strategies were used: a cross-sectional questionnaire, interviews, and workshops. The questionnaire was completed by multidisciplinary palliative care specialists from across the state (n = 61); interviews were conducted with senior clinicians and academics (n = 21) followed by two stakeholder workshops (n = 29). The questionnaire was constructed specifically for this study, measuring involvement of and perceptions of palliative care research.
Both the interview and the questionnaire data demonstrated strong support for a palliative care research network and aided in establishing a research agenda. The stakeholder workshops assisted with strategies for the formation of the Palliative Care Research Network Victoria (PCRNV) and guided the development of the mission and strategic plan.
Significance of results:
The research and efforts to date to establish the PCRNV are encouraging and provide optimism for the evolution of palliative care research in Australia. The international implications are highlighted.
A cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) programme designed for
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in people with severe mental
illness, including breathing retraining, education and cognitive
restructuring, was shown to be more effective than usual services.
To evaluate the incremental benefit of adding cognitive restructuring to
the breathing retraining and education components of the CBT programme
(trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00494650).
In all, 201 people with severe mental illness and PTSD were randomised to
12- to 16-session CBT or a 3-session brief treatment programme (breathing
retraining and education). The primary outcome was PTSD symptom severity.
Secondary outcomes were PTSD diagnosis, other symptoms, functioning and
quality of life.
There was greater improvement in PTSD symptoms and functioning in the CBT
group than in the brief treatment group, with both groups improving on
other outcomes and effects maintained 1-year post-treatment.
Cognitive restructuring has a significant impact beyond breathing
retraining and education in the CBT programme, reducing PTSD symptoms and
improving functioning in people with severe mental illness.