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Accurate prognostication is important for patients and their families to prepare for the end of life. Objective Prognostic Score (OPS) is an easy-to-use tool that does not require the clinicians’ prediction of survival (CPS), whereas Palliative Prognostic Score (PaP) needs CPS. Thus, inexperienced clinicians may hesitate to use PaP. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of OPS compared with PaP in inpatients in palliative care units (PCUs) in three East Asian countries.
This study was a secondary analysis of a cross-cultural, multicenter cohort study. We enrolled inpatients with far-advanced cancer in PCUs in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan from 2017 to 2018. We calculated the area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) curve to compare the accuracy of OPS and PaP.
A total of 1,628 inpatients in 33 PCUs in Japan and Korea were analyzed. OPS and PaP were calculated in 71.7% of the Japanese patients and 80.0% of the Korean patients. In Taiwan, PaP was calculated for 81.6% of the patients. The AUROC for 3-week survival was 0.74 for OPS in Japan, 0.68 for OPS in Korea, 0.80 for PaP in Japan, and 0.73 for PaP in Korea. The AUROC for 30-day survival was 0.70 for OPS in Japan, 0.71 for OPS in Korea, 0.79 for PaP in Japan, and 0.74 for PaP in Korea.
Significance of results
Both OPS and PaP showed good performance in Japan and Korea. Compared with PaP, OPS could be more useful for inexperienced physicians who hesitate to estimate CPS.
The explosive outbreak of COVID-19 led to a shortage of medical resources, including isolation rooms in hospitals, healthcare workers (HCWs) and personal protective equipment. Here, we constructed a new model, non-contact community treatment centres to monitor and quarantine asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients who recorded their own vital signs using a smartphone application. This new model in Korea is useful to overcome shortages of medical resources and to minimise the risk of infection transmission to HCWs.
In Korean culture, co-sleeping of parents and children are quite common, which is different from the Western culture where solitary sleeping of children is preferred. In this study, we evaluate the sleep environment factors that effect on children sleep disorder, and parent's parenting stress and mental health.
Surveys were conducted to 115 participating parents of preschool children sleeping behaviour lecture. Seventy-one completed surveys were analyzed for the study. The mean age of target children was 53 ± 23 months. Parents’ mental health was evaluated by using several forms such as Insomnia Severity Index, Korean-Parenting Stress Index short form, and The Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Children's sleeping environment and quality were assessed by Child Sleep Habit Questionnaire and Sleep environment survey.
Pearson correlation analysis (P < 0.05) was conducted to evaluate the relationship between the sleep disorder of children, and the parent's parenting stress and mental health. Analyzing the data through the partial least square path modeling, co-sharing would have negative effect; bed-sharing could have negative effect on the depressing emotion of parents (P = 0.065). Solitary sleeping of children could have positive effect on parent's mental health (P < 0.01).
Preschool children's sleeping disorder occurs more often in co-sleeping children with parents than solitary sleeping children. Parents’ parenting stress is related to the parent's age and depression, further related to the children sleeping disorder and their sleep environment. Although, it is difficult to generalize the exact cause, evaluation and improvement of children's sleep environment would help to reduce the parent's parenting stress.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Recent hospital fire incidents in South Korea have heightened the importance of patient evacuation. Moving patients from an intensive care unit (ICU) or emergency department (ED) setting is a challenge due to the complexity of moving acutely unwell patients who are reliant on invasive monitoring and organ support. Despite the importance of patient evacuation, the readiness of ICU and ED for urgent evacuation has not been assessed.
To enhance the readiness and competencies of workers from ICU and ED in the evacuation of patients during a simulated tabletop fire exercise.
A tabletop simulation exercise was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research referencing the fire evacuation manual developed by the hospital’s ICU and ED. The scenario consisted of evacuating patients horizontally and vertically from each department. The participants’ actions were assessed using a checklist. A debriefing was completed after the exercise to discuss the gaps observed. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the exercise and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 22 and 29 people participated in the exercise from ICU and ED, respectively. Knowledge and confidence improved post-exercise for both ICU and ED scenarios (p<0.05). Course satisfaction was 7.9 and 8.7, respectively for ICU and ED exercise. Correct performance rates for ICU and ED were 59% and 58%, respectively. Common gaps noted for both ICU and ED were wearing protective masks, patient hand-over communication, and preparation for resources.
There need to be exercises to recognize system gaps in place for hospital fire evacuation preparedness. Tabletop simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was a short 90-minute exercise, this increased familiarity with the evacuation plan, tested the plan, and allowed for identification of gaps.
South Korea experienced Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015. To mitigate the threat posed by MERS, the Ministry of Health and Center for Disease Control designated hospitals to be responsible for managing any suspected or confirmed infectious patient. These hospitals receive mandatory training in managing infectious patients, but many of the trainings lack practical skills practice and pandemic preparedness exercise.
To develop and evaluate a training course designed to train healthcare providers from designated hospitals to enhance their competencies in managing emerging infectious diseases and potential outbreaks.
A two-day course was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research in collaboration with the Korea Health Promotion Institute using Kern’s 6-step approach. The course consisted of didactic lectures, technical skills training, tabletop simulation, and scenario-based simulation. Table-top simulation exercises consisted of cases involving a single infectious patient detected in the outpatient clinic and outbreak in the emergency department. Scenario-based simulation exercises involved managing a critically ill infectious patient in an isolated ward. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the course and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 121 healthcare providers participated in three separate courses. The competencies for pandemic preparedness knowledge, skills, and attitude improved from pre- to post-course. The differences were all statistically significant (p<0.05). Overall course satisfaction in average for expectation, time, delivery method, and contents were 9.5, 9.2, 9.4, and 9.2, respectively.
There needs to be tests and exercises to recognize gaps of systems in place for pandemic preparedness. Simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was only a two-day intensive course, this increased familiarity with workflows, tested the coordination of workflows between different disciplines and allowed the identification of gaps.
This study evaluated the impacts of earlier traumatic events on the mental health of older adults, in terms of mental disorders and mental well-being, according to sociodemographic variables, trauma-related characteristics, and personality traits in a nationally representative sample of older Koreans.
A total of 1,621 subjects aged 60 to 74 years from a Korean national epidemiological survey of mental disorders responded face-to-face interviews. The Korean Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to investigate lifetime trauma exposure (LTE) and psychiatric diagnoses. The EuroQol health classification system and life satisfaction scale were used to assess quality of life (QoL), and the Big Five Inventory-10 (BFI-10) to measure personality traits.
Five-hundred and seventy-seven subjects (35.6%) reported a history of LTE (mean age at trauma, 30.8 years old). Current mental disorders were more prevalent in elderly people with LTE, while better current QoL was more frequent in those without LTE. Among older people with LTE, lower extraversion and higher neuroticism increased the risk of current mood or anxiety disorders, whereas higher extraversion increased the probability of experiencing mental well-being after adjusting for sociodemographic and trauma-related variables.
Personality traits, especially extraversion, and neuroticism, may be useful for predicting the mental health outcomes of LTE in older adults. Further longitudinal studies investigating the relationship between traumatic events and mental health outcomes are needed.
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
Cognitive impairments are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Despite its clinical importance, the development of dementia is still difficult to predict. In this study, we investigated the possible associations between non-motor symptoms and the risk of developing dementia within a 2-year observation period in PD.
A total of 80 patients with PD participated in this study. Nonmotor symptoms (the Nonmotor Symptoms Questionnaire), PD status (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale), depression (Geriatric d Depression Scale or Montgomery-Asberg Depression Scale), stereopsis and severity of nonmotor symptoms (Non-motor symptoms scale) were assessed. Global cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Examination) were evaluated at baseline and 2 years later.
Presence of depression, vivid dreaming, REM sleep behavior disorders, hyposmia, abnormal stereopsis, non-smoking and postural instability/ gait disturbance phenotype were associated with a significantly more rapid decline of Mini-Mental State Examination. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that depression (odds ratio=13.895), abnormal stereopsis (odds ratio=10.729), vivid dreaming (odds ratio=4.16), REM sleep behavior disorders (odds ratio=5.353) and hyposmia (odds ratio=4.911) were significant independent predictors of dementia risk within 2 years. Postural instability/ gait disturbance phenotype and age >62 years were also independent predictors of dementia risk (odd ratio=38.333, odds ratio=10.625).
We suggest that depression, vivid dreaming, REM sleep behavior disorders, hyposmia and abnormal stereopsis are closely associated with cognitive decline, and that presence of these nonmotor symptoms predict the subsequent development of Parkinson’s disease dementia.
few studies have addressed the association between the characteristics of ischemic lesions detected by diffusion-weighted imaging (dWi) and the clinical outcome in patients with hyperacute posterior circulation ischemic stroke. this study demonstrates a relationship between the findings assessed by dWi and the outcome in patients with hyperacute posterior circulation ischemic stroke.
We reviewed data from 118 patients who had posterior circulation ischemic stroke within six hours from the onset of their symptoms. the clinical outcome included early neurological deterioration (end) and a favorable outcome at three months after the onset of symptoms. using dWi, the lesion volume and the number and location of injured anatomical regions were analyzed to evaluate whether the results correlated with the clinical outcome measures.
the number of injured anatomical regions assessed by dWi was associated with the initial and delayed neurological status. Both the total volume and the number of injured anatomical regions associated with end and a favorable outcome. analysis of the location of the injured regions determined that only a pontine lesion independently associated with end. interestingly, four out of five patients who underwent decompressive craniectomy exhibited a large infarction volume but minor symptoms.
in patients with hyperacute posterior circulation ischemic strokes, the lesions assessed by dWi were associated with the clinical outcome, regardless of the initial neurological status. dWi is an effective initial imaging tool for assessing the extent of lesions and clinical outcomes in patients with hyperacute posterior circulation ischemic stroke.
We investigated microstructures, compositional distributions, and electrical properties of dielectric CaCu3Ti4O12 (CCTO) thin films deposited on Pt/TiO2/SiO2/Si substrates from 700 to 800 °C by pulsed laser deposition. With increasing the deposition temperature from 700 to 750 °C, the dielectric constants (εr) of CCTO films were greatly enhanced from ∼300 to ∼2000 at 10 kHz, respectively. However, the εr values of CCTO films were gradually decreased above 750 °C, which was surely attributable to the formation of a TiO2-rich dead layer at the interface between CCTO and Pt electrode. Compositional analyses by Auger electron spectroscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and electron energy loss spectroscopy revealed that the TiO2-rich dead layer became thicker because of severe Cu diffusion from CCTO films to Pt electrode. The leakage current behaviors of CCTO films are in good agreement with Poole–Frenkel conduction mechanism, where both the TiO2-rich dead layer and rutile TiO2 nanocrystalline particles are considered to play a role of charge trapping centers.
Intra-uterine growth retardation has been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes in later life. Mitochondrial changes have been suggested as a link between fetal malnutrition and adult insulin resistance. Taurine has been implicated in this process. We investigated whether protein malnutrition in early life alters mitochondria of the pancreatic islets in adulthood, and whether taurine supplementation restores these changes. Male offspring of rats fed a control diet, a low-protein diet or a low-protein diet supplemented with taurine during pregnancy and lactation were weaned onto the control diet. In each group, at 20 weeks of age, intravenous glucose tolerance tests, euglycaemic–hyperinsulinaemic clamp studies, morphometric analysis of the pancreatic islets and ultra-structural analysis of the mitochondria of the β-cells were performed. The expressions of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) I and mitochondrial respiratory chain complex II were also measured. Fetal protein-malnourished rats showed decreased pancreatic islet mass and reduced insulin-secretory responses to a glucose load. These rats also showed reduced mitochondrial DNA-encoded COX I gene expression in the islets. Electron microscopic examination showed abnormal mitochondrial shapes in the β-cells of fetal protein-malnourished rats. Taurine supplementation to the low-protein diet restored all these changes. Our findings indicate that a maternal protein-restriction diet causes long-lasting mitochondrial changes that may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes later in life. The lack of taurine may be a key causative factor for these dysfunctional mitochondrial changes.
Decision making in an emotionally conflicting situation is important in social life. We aimed to address the similarity and disparity of neural correlates involved in processing ambivalent stimuli in patients with schizophrenia and patients with depression. Behavioral task-related hemodynamic responses were measured using [15O]H2O positron emission tomography (PET) in 12 patients with schizophrenia and 12 patients with depression. The task was a modified word-stem completion task, which was designed to evoke ambivalence in forced and non-forced choice conditions. The prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum were found to show increased activity in the healthy control group. In the schizophrenia group, activity in these two regions was negligible. In the depression group, the pattern of activity was altered and a functional compensatory recruitment of the inferior parietal regions was suggested. The prefrontal cortex seems to be associated with the cognitive control to resolve the conflict toward the ambivalent stimuli, whereas the cerebellum reflects the sustained working memory to search for compromise alternatives. The deficit of cerebellar activation in the schizophrenia group might underlie the inability to search and consider compromising responses for conflict resolution. (JINS, 2009, 15, 990–1001.)
To compare the molecular characteristics of infection-derived (ID) isolates and intestinal colonization–derived (ICD) isolates of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) recovered from hospitalized patients.
A 12-month prospective cohort study.
A 1,000-bed teaching facility.
From January through December 2004, a total of 30 pairs of vanA-containing enterococcal isolates were collected from patients admitted to a teaching hospital in South Korea. Each pair comprised an ID and an ICD VRE isolate from the same patient. All VRE isolates were investigated on the basis of SmaI-restricted pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern, Tn1546type, and presence of the esp gene, including A and C repeat number variation.
Members of 19 pairs (63%) of VRE isolates were genetically indistinguishable from each other. The 11 patients for whom the molecular characteristics of the ID isolates differed from those of the ICD isolates had longer durations of hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) stay, compared with the other 19 patients.
These findings suggest the longer durations of hospitalization and ICU stay may be possible risk factors for colonization with multiple clones of VRE.
Hydrogen adsorption mechanism into the porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) has been studied by density functional theory calculation. The selected functionals for the prediction of interaction energies between hydrogen and potential adsorption sites of MOFs were utilized after the evaluation with the various functionals for interaction energy of H2···C6H6 model system. The adsorption energy of hydrogen molecule into MOFs was investigated with the consideration of the favorable adsorption sites and the orientations. We also calculated the second favorable adsorption sites by geometry optimization using every combination of two first absorbed hydrogen molecules. Based on the calculation of first and second adsorption sites and energies, it has been suggested that the hydrogen adsorption into MOFs follows a cooperative mechanism in which the initial metal sites initiate the propagation of the hydrogen adsorption on the whole frameworks. In addition, the interaction mode between the simple benzene ring with hydrogen is significantly changed when the benzene ring has been incorporated into the framework of MOFs.
Sequential lateral solidification (SLS) is known to be a promising method to make low-temperature poly-Si thin film transistors (LTPS TFTs) with superior performance for fabrication of highly circuit-integrated flat panel displays such as TFT liquid crystal display and TFT organic light-emitting diode. The dependence of TFT characteristics on the details of the SLS poly-Si microstructures was studied by varying the size, direction, and shape of the grains by applying different SLS crystallization mask patterns and processing details. The TFTs results demonstrated that various device properties and characteristics are obtained depending on the specifics of the microstructures. Nearly direction-insensitive TFTs of mobility about 300 cm2/V·s (within 5% variation of average value) were successfully fabricated by controlling the microstructures. Such a characteristic is recognized as being desirable for an optimal integration of the peripheral circuits.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of botulinum toxin A (BTX-A, Botox) dilution volume and post-injection exercise with electrical stimulation on muscle paralysis. We injected 10 units of BTX-A diluted with 0.1 ml (B1, n=8) or 0.5 ml (B5, n=8) normal saline into both gastrocnemius muscles of 16 New Zealand white rabbits; two controls received no BTX-A. After BTX-A injection, all rabbits received calf muscle stretching exercise and electrical stimulation for 2 hours on the left leg. The compound muscle action potential (CMAP) decrease was most pronounced at 1 week and progressive recovery was observed (i.e. recovery from paralysis, increase of CMAP). There was a significant decrease of CMAP amplitudes in the B5 group compared with the B1 group at week 1 and week 4 (p<0.001). Left limbs with stretching exercise and electrical stimulation showed lower CMAP amplitudes compared with control right limbs of all rabbits. To maximize the muscle paralysis effect of BTX-A, increasing dilution volume and performing post-injection stretching exercise with electrical stimulation may be a promising strategy for increasing the beneficial effect of BTX-A treatment. Future studies are needed to investigate the clinical application of this finding.
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