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We sought to assess the presence and reporting quality of peer-reviewed literature concerning the accuracy, precision, and reliability of home monitoring technologies for vital signs and glucose determinations in older adult populations.
A narrative literature review was undertaken searching the databases Medline, Embase, and Compendex. Peer-reviewed publications with keywords related to vital signs, monitoring devices and technologies, independent living, and older adults were searched. Publications between the years 2012 and 2018 were included. Two reviewers independently conducted title and abstract screening, and four reviewers independently undertook full-text screening and data extraction with all disagreements resolved through discussion and consensus.
Two hundred nine articles were included. Our review showed limited assessment and low-quality reporting of evidence concerning the accuracy, precision, and reliability of home monitoring technologies. Of 209 articles describing a relevant device, only 45 percent (n = 95) provided a citation or some evidence to support their validation claim. Of forty-eight articles that described the use of a comparator device, 65 percent (n = 31) used low-quality statistical methods, 23 percent (n = 11) used moderate-quality statistical methods, and only 12 percent (n = 6) used high-quality statistical methods.
Our review found that current validity claims were based on low-quality assessments that do not provide the necessary confidence needed by clinicians for medical decision-making purposes. This narrative review highlights the need for standardized health technology reporting to increase health practitioner confidence in these devices, support the appropriate adoption of such devices within the healthcare system, and improve health outcomes.
We identified a pseudo-outbreak of Mycobacterium avium in an outpatient bronchoscopy clinic following an increase in clinic procedure volume. We terminated the pseudo-outbreak by increasing the frequency of automated endoscope reprocessors (AER) filter changes from quarterly to monthly. Filter changing schedules should depend on use rather than fixed time intervals.
Despite the significant health benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the infant, economic class and race disparities in breastfeeding rates persist. Support for breastfeeding from the father of the infant is associated with higher rates of breastfeeding initiation. However, little is known about the factors that may promote or deter father support of breastfeeding, especially in fathers exposed to contextual adversity such as poverty and violence. Using a mixed methods approach, the primary aims of the current work were to (1) elicit, using qualitative methodology, the worries, barriers and promotive factors for breastfeeding that expectant mothers and fathers identify as they prepare to parent a new infant, and (2) to examine factors that influence the parental breastfeeding intentions of both mothers and fathers using quantitative methodology. A sample (N=95) of expectant, third trimester mothers and fathers living in a low-income, urban environment in Midwestern USA, were interviewed from October 2013 to February 2015 about their infant feeding intentions. Compared with fathers, mothers more often identified the benefits of breastfeeding for the infant’s health and the economic advantage of breastfeeding. Mothers also identified more personal and community breastfeeding support resources. Fathers viewed their own support of breastfeeding as important but expressed a lack of knowledge about the breastfeeding process and often excluded themselves from discussions about infant feeding. The results point to important targets for interventions that aim to increase breastfeeding initiation rates in vulnerable populations in the US by increasing father support for breastfeeding.
Documenting leads and lags in terrestrial records of past climate change is critical to understanding the behavior of Earth’s natural climate system and making reliable predictions of future climate conditions. However, uncertainties of several hundred years in age models make it difficult to distinguish synchronicity and feedbacks in paleo archives. In lakes this is often due to the lack of terrestrial macrofossils in climate-sensitive locations, such as high alpine or dryland settings. The potential of radiocarbon (14C) dating of pollen has long been recognized, but the difficulty of cleanly separating pollen from other kinds of organic carbon has limited its usefulness. Here we report 14C ages on pollen separated by flow cytometry, from a set of closely spaced samples from Mono Lake, California. The accuracy of the pollen ages is tested using well-dated bracketing tephras, the South Mono and North Mono-Inyo tephras. In spite of the purity of the sorted samples, the pollen dates are older than the bounding tephras by ~400 yr, similar to some other pollen-dating studies. While improvements in sample preparation protocols are planned, understanding the geological processes involved in the production, preservation, and deposition of pollen at each site will be critical to developing robust high-resolution age models.
Recent modelling estimates up to two-thirds of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men occur within partnerships, indicating the importance of dyadic HIV prevention efforts. Although new interventions are available to promote dyadic health-enhancing behaviours, minimal research has examined what factors influence partners’ mutual engagement in these behaviours, a critical component of intervention success. Actor-partner interdependence modelling was used to examine associations between relationship characteristics and several dyadic outcomes theorised as antecedents to health-enhancing behaviours: planning and decision making, communication, and joint effort. Among 270 male-male partnerships, relationship satisfaction was significantly associated with all three outcomes for actors (p = .02, .02, .06 respectively). Latino men reported poorer planning and decision making (actor p = .032) and communication (partner p = .044). Alcohol use was significantly and negatively associated with all outcomes except actors’ planning and decision making (actors: p = .11, .038, .004 respectively; partners: p = .03, .056, .02 respectively). Having a sexual agreement was significantly associated with actors’ planning and decision making (p = .007) and communication (p = .008). Focusing on interactions between partners produces a more comprehensive understanding of male couples’ ability to engage in health-enhancing behaviours. This knowledge further identifies new and important foci for the tailoring of dyadic HIV prevention and care interventions.
To determine whether patients using the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website (http://medicare.gov/hospitalcompare) can use nationally reported healthcare-associated infection (HAI) data to differentiate hospitals.
Secondary analysis of publicly available HAI data for calendar year 2013.
We assessed the availability of HAI data for geographically proximate hospitals (ie, hospitals within the same referral region) and then analyzed these data to determine whether they are useful to differentiate hospitals. We assessed data for the 6 HAIs reported by hospitals to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Data were analyzed for 4,561 hospitals representing 88% of registered community and federal government hospitals in the United States. Healthcare-associated infection data are only useful for comparing hospitals if they are available for multiple hospitals within a geographic region. We found that data availability differed by HAI. Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) data were most available, with 82% of geographic regions (ie, hospital referral regions) having >50% of hospitals reporting them. In contrast, 4% of geographic regions had >50% of member hospitals reporting surgical site infections (SSI) for hysterectomies, which had the lowest availability. The ability of HAI data to differentiate hospitals differed by HAI: 72% of hospital referral regions had at least 1 pair of hospitals with statistically different risk-adjusted CDI rates (SIRs), compared to 9% for SSI (hysterectomy).
HAI data generally are reported by enough hospitals to meet minimal criteria for useful comparisons in many geographic locations, though this varies by type of HAI. CDI and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) are more likely to differentiate hospitals than the other publicly reported HAIs.
The idea that one can blamelessly violate a norm is central to ethics and epistemology. The paper examines the prospects for an account of blameless norm violation applicable both to norms governing action and norms governing belief. In doing so, I remain neutral on just what are the norms governing action and belief. I examine three leading suggestions for understanding blameless violation of a norm which is not overridden by another norm: (1) doxastic accounts; (2) epistemic accounts; and (3) appeal to expected value. We see that all of these accounts face problems when understood as accounts of blameless norm violation applicable to both belief and action. This leaves a variety of options including (1) seeking an alternative account of blameless norm violation common to belief and action; (2) concluding that we cannot determine the correct account of blameless norm violation independently of what are the norms of belief; and (3) abandoning the project of finding a common account of blameless norm violation common to ethics and epistemology.
As older persons make up an ever greater proportion of the world’s population, a range of concerns are being voiced by policy-makers, program managers, and care providers about best or optimal practices for serving this population’s needs during all stages of disasters. Given that age-related vulnerabilities are common in late life, this article describes existing systems of care in the United States for the provision of disaster mental health services. Second, it evaluates the evidence for disaster treatment interventions with this subgroup of the population. Third, it synthesizes the findings of recent studies focusing on screening, assessment, and treatment approaches. To advance our current system of care and to adequately respond to the mental health needs of older persons, it is advantageous to periodically review progress, identify current gaps and unmet needs, and describe opportunities for improvement. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018; 12: 366–372)
Hospital-acquired infection (HAI) data are reported to the public on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website. We previously found that public understanding of these data is poor. Our objective was to develop an improved method for presenting HAI data that could be used on the CMS website.
Randomized controlled trial comparing understanding of data presented using the current CMS presentation strategy versus a new strategy.
A 760-bed tertiary referral hospital.
A total of 61 patients were randomly selected within 24 hours of admission.
Participants were shown HAI data as presented on the CMS Hospital Compare website (control arm) or data formatted using a new method (experimental arm).
No statistically significant demographic differences were identified between study arms. Although 47% percent of participants said a website for comparing hospitals would have been helpful, only 10% had ever used such a website. Participants viewing data using the new presentation strategy compared hospitals correctly 56% of the time, compared with 32% in the control arm (P=.0002).
Understanding of HAI data increased significantly with the new data presentation method compared to the method currently used on the CMS Hospital Compare website. Many participants expressed interest in a website for comparing hospitals. Improved methods for presenting CMS HAI data, such as the one assessed here, should be adopted to increase public understanding.
Public reporting of hospital quality data is a key element of US healthcare reform. Data for hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are especially complex.
To assess interpretability of HAI data as presented on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare website among patients who might benefit from access to these data.
We randomly selected inpatients at a large tertiary referral hospital from June to September 2014. Participants performed 4 distinct tasks comparing hypothetical HAI data for 2 hospitals, and the accuracy of their comparisons was assessed. Data were presented using the same tabular formats used by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Demographic characteristics and healthcare experience data were also collected.
Participants (N=110) correctly identified the better of 2 hospitals when given written descriptions of the HAI measure in 72% of the responses (95% CI, 66%–79%). Adding the underlying numerical data (number of infections, patient-time, and standardized infection ratio) to the written descriptions reduced correct responses to 60% (55%–66%). When the written HAI measure description was not informative (identical for both hospitals), 50% answered correctly (42%–58%). When no written HAI measure description was provided and hospitals differed by denominator for infection rate, 38% answered correctly (31%–45%).
Current public HAI data presentation methods may be inadequate. When presented with numeric HAI data, study participants incorrectly compared hospitals on the basis of HAI data in more than 40% of the responses. Research is needed to identify better ways to convey these data to the public.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):182–187
Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987, Sian Ka'an was first recognized as a Biosphere Reserve in 1986. It is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean, encompassing terrestrial and marine environments of high biological diversity with unique geological features. Its location on a partially emerged coastal limestone plain has resulted in unique geological features, such as sinkholes (cenotes) and underground rivers, important for their high biodiversity and species endemism. Its 651,029-ha area encompasses a diversity of coastal and marine environments representative of the Caribbean Sea and the Yucatán Peninsula, including sandy beaches, rocky beaches, sand dunes, mangroves, shallow bays and coral reefs.
Sian Ka'an protects a 110-km portion of the Meso-American Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, rich in marine biodiversity, including 52 species of reef fishes. On the terrestrial side, as part of the Sian Ka'an-Calakumal connector, it contributes to connectivity across the forested landscape within the Meso-American Biological Corridor. In addition to high floristic diversity and the presence of many endangered mammal species, the Biosphere Reserve supports the second largest community of aquatic birds in Mexico and is a key part of the migratory bird corridor between North and South America (López- Ornat, 1990). There are 346 bird species registered in the reserve, including resident and migratory species (MacKinnon, 1992). With more than 300,000 ha of aquatic environment it supports the largest crocodile habitat found in any of Mexico's protected areas (Lazcano-Barrero, 1990) and is particularly rich in amphibians and reptiles.
Healthcare providers need a better empiric antibiotic prescribing aid than the traditional antibiogram, which supplies no information on the relative frequency of organisms recovered in a given infection and which is uninformative in situations where multiple antimicrobials are used or multiple organisms are anticipated. We aimed to develop and demonstrate a novel empiric prescribing decision aid.
This is a demonstration involving more than 9,000 unique encounters for abdominal-biliary infection (ABI) and urinary tract infection (UTI) to a large healthcare system with a fully integrated electronic health record (EHR).
We developed a novel method of displaying microbiology data called the weighted-incidence syndromic combination antibiogram (WISCA) for 2 clinical syndromes, ABI and UTI. The WISCA combines simple diagnosis and microbiology data from the EHR to (1) classify patients by syndrome and (2) determine, for each patient with a given syndrome, whether a given regimen (1 or more agents) would have covered all the organisms recovered for their infection. This allows data to be presented such that clinicians can see the probability that a particular regimen will cover a particular infection rather than the probability that a single drug will cover a single organism.
There were 997 encounters for ABI and 8,232 for UTI. A WISCA was created for each syndrome and compared with a traditional antibiogram for the same period.
Novel approaches to data compilation and display can overcome limitations to the utility of the traditional antibiogram in helping providers choose empiric antibiotics.