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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.
The initial classic Fontan utilising a direct right atrial appendage to pulmonary artery anastomosis led to numerous complications. Adults with such complications may benefit from conversion to a total cavo-pulmonary connection, the current standard palliation for children with univentricular hearts.
A single institution, retrospective chart review was conducted for all Fontan conversion procedures performed from July, 1999 through January, 2017. Variables analysed included age, sex, reason for Fontan conversion, age at Fontan conversion, and early mortality or heart transplant within 1 year after Fontan conversion.
A total of 41 Fontan conversion patients were identified. Average age at Fontan conversion was 24.5 ± 9.2 years. Dominant left ventricular physiology was present in 37/41 (90.2%) patients. Right-sided heart failure occurred in 39/41 (95.1%) patients and right atrial dilation was present in 33/41 (80.5%) patients. The most common causes for Fontan conversion included atrial arrhythmia in 37/41 (90.2%), NYHA class II HF or greater in 31/41 (75.6%), ventricular dysfunction in 23/41 (56.1%), and cirrhosis or fibrosis in 7/41 (17.1%) patients. Median post-surgical follow-up was 6.2 ± 4.9 years. Survival rates at 30 days, 1 year, and greater than 1-year post-Fontan conversion were 95.1, 92.7, and 87.8%, respectively. Two patients underwent heart transplant: the first within 1 year of Fontan conversion for heart failure and the second at 5.3 years for liver failure.
Fontan conversion should be considered early when atrial arrhythmias become common rather than waiting for severe heart failure to ensue, and Fontan conversion can be accomplished with an acceptable risk profile.
In Scotland, the base of the Ballagan Formation has traditionally been placed at the first grey mudstone within a contiguous Late Devonian to Carboniferous succession. This convention places the Devonian–Carboniferous boundary within the Old Red Sandstone (ORS) Kinnesswood Formation. The consequences of this placement are that tetrapods from the Ballagan Formation were dated as late Tournaisian in age and that the ranges of typically Devonian fish found in the Kinnesswood Formation continued into the Carboniferous. The Pease Bay specimen of the fish Remigolepis is from the Kinnesswood Formation. Comparisons with its range in Greenland, calibrated against spores, show it was Famennian in age. Detailed palynological sampling at Burnmouth from the base of the Ballagan Formation proves that the early Tournaisian spore zones (VI and HD plus Cl 1) are present. The Schopfites species that occurs through most of the succession is Schopfites delicatus rather than Schopfites claviger. The latter species defines the late Tournaisian CM spore zone. The first spore assemblage that has been found in Upper ‘ORS' strata underlying the Ballagan Formation (Preston, Whiteadder Water), contains Retispora lepidophyta and is from the early latest Famennian LL spore zone. The spore samples are interbedded with volcaniclastic debris, which shows that the Kelso Volcanic Formation is, in part, early latest Famennian in age. These findings demonstrate that the Ballagan Formation includes most of the Tournaisian with the Devonian–Carboniferous boundary positioned close to the top of the Kinnesswood Formation. The Stage 6 calcrete at Pease Bay can be correlated to the equivalent section at Carham, showing that it represents a time gap equivalent to the latest Famennian glaciation(s). Importantly, some of the recently described Ballagan Formation tetrapods are older than previously dated and now fill the key early part of Romer's Gap.
Tumor profiling tests can help to identify whether women with breast cancer need chemotherapy due to their risk of relapse, and some may be able to predict benefit from chemotherapy. We focused on four genetic tests: Oncotype DX (O-DX), MammaPrint (MMP), EndoPredict and Prosigna, and one immunohistochemistry test, IHC4, for the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence as part of their Diagnostic Appraisal Programme.
A systematic review was undertaken, including searching of nine databases in February 2017 plus other sources including a previous review published in 2013. The review included studies assessing clinical effectiveness of the five tumor profiling tests, with or without clinicopathological factors, to guide decisions about adjuvant chemotherapy in people with ER-positive, HER-2 negative, Stage I-II cancer with 0 to 3 positive lymph nodes (LN). The PROBAST tool and Cochrane risk of bias tools were used to assess risk of bias.
A total of 153 studies were included; the strength of evidence base for individual tests was varied. Results suggest all tests are prognostic for risk of relapse, though results were more varied in LN positive (+) patients than in LN negative (0) patients. Evidence was limited about whether tests can predict benefit from chemotherapy (available for MMP and O-DX only). Studies that assessed the impact of the tests on clinical decisions indicate that the net change in chemotherapy recommendations or decisions pre-/post-test ranged from an increase of one percent to a decrease of 23 percent among UK studies, and a decrease of zero percent to 64 percent across European studies.
The studies included in the review suggest that all of the tests can provide prognostic information on the risk of relapse; however results were more varied in LN+ patients than in LN0 patients. There is limited and varying evidence for prediction of chemotherapy benefit.
Optimising short- and long-term outcomes for children and patients with CHD depends on continued scientific discovery and translation to clinical improvements in a coordinated effort by multiple stakeholders. Several challenges remain for clinicians, researchers, administrators, patients, and families seeking continuous scientific and clinical advancements in the field. We describe a new integrated research and improvement network – Cardiac Networks United – that seeks to build upon the experience and success achieved to-date to create a new infrastructure for research and quality improvement that will serve the needs of the paediatric and congenital heart community in the future. Existing gaps in data integration and barriers to improvement are described, along with the mission and vision, organisational structure, and early objectives of Cardiac Networks United. Finally, representatives of key stakeholder groups – heart centre executives, research leaders, learning health system experts, and parent advocates – offer their perspectives on the need for this new collaborative effort.
The lower Mississippian Ballagan Formation of northern Britain is one of only two successions worldwide to yield the earliest known tetrapods with terrestrial capability following the end-Devonian mass extinction event. Studies of the sedimentary environments and habitats in which these beasts lived have been an integral part of a major research project into how, why and under what circumstances this profound step in the evolution of life on Earth occurred. Here, a new palaeogeographic map is constructed from outcrop data integrated with new and archived borehole material. The map shows the extent of a very low-relief coastal wetland developed along the tropical southern continental margin of Laurussia. Coastal floodplains in the Midland Valley and Tweed basins were separated from the marginal marine seaway of the Northumberland–Solway Basin to the south by an archipelago of more elevated areas. A complex mosaic of sedimentary environments was juxtaposed, and included fresh and brackish to saline and hypersaline lakes, a diverse suite of floodplain palaeosols and a persistent fluvial system in the east of the region. The strongly seasonal climate led to the formation of evaporite deposits alternating with flooding events, both meteoric and marine. Storm surges drove marine floods from the SW into both the western Midland Valley and Northumberland–Solway Basin; marine water also flooded into the Tweed Basin and Tayside in the east. The Ballagan Formation is a rare example in the geological record of a tropical, seasonal coastal wetland that contains abundant, small-scale evaporite deposits. The diverse sedimentary environments and palaeosol types indicate a network of different terrestrial and aquatic habitats in which the tetrapods lived.
Few studies have investigated the patterns of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom change in prolonged exposure (PE) therapy. In this study, we aimed to understand the patterns of PTSD symptom change in both PE and present-centered therapy (PCT).
Participants were active duty military personnel (N = 326, 89.3% male, 61.2% white, 32.5 years old) randomized to spaced-PE (S-PE; 10 sessions over 8 weeks), PCT (10 sessions over 8 weeks), or massed-PE (M-PE; 10 sessions over 2 weeks). Using latent profile analysis, we determined the optimal number of PTSD symptom change classes over time and analyzed whether baseline and follow-up variables were associated with class membership.
Five classes, namely rapid responder (7–17%), steep linear responder (14–22%), gradual responder (30–34%), non-responder (27–33%), and symptom exacerbation (7–13%) classes, characterized each treatment. No baseline clinical characteristics predicted class membership for S-PE and M-PE; in PCT, more negative baseline trauma cognitions predicted membership in the non-responder v. gradual responder class. Class membership was robustly associated with PTSD, trauma cognitions, and depression up to 6 months after treatment for both S-PE and M-PE but not for PCT.
Distinct profiles of treatment response emerged that were similar across interventions. By and large, no baseline variables predicted responder class. Responder status was a strong predictor of future symptom severity for PE, whereas response to PCT was not as strongly associated with future symptoms.
Children with CHD and acquired heart disease have unique, high-risk physiology. They may have a higher risk of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events, as compared with children with non-cardiac disease.
Materials and methods
We sought to evaluate the occurrence of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events in children with cardiac disease compared to children with non-cardiac disease. A retrospective analysis of tracheal intubations from 38 international paediatric ICUs was performed using the National Emergency Airway Registry for Children (NEAR4KIDS) quality improvement registry. The primary outcome was the occurrence of any tracheal-intubation-associated event. Secondary outcomes included the occurrence of severe tracheal-intubation-associated events, multiple intubation attempts, and oxygen desaturation.
A total of 8851 intubations were reported between July, 2012 and March, 2016. Cardiac patients were younger, more likely to have haemodynamic instability, and less likely to have respiratory failure as an indication. The overall frequency of tracheal-intubation-associated events was not different (cardiac: 17% versus non-cardiac: 16%, p=0.13), nor was the rate of severe tracheal-intubation-associated events (cardiac: 7% versus non-cardiac: 6%, p=0.11). Tracheal-intubation-associated cardiac arrest occurred more often in cardiac patients (2.80 versus 1.28%; p<0.001), even after adjusting for patient and provider differences (adjusted odds ratio 1.79; p=0.03). Multiple intubation attempts occurred less often in cardiac patients (p=0.04), and oxygen desaturations occurred more often, even after excluding patients with cyanotic heart disease.
The overall incidence of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events in cardiac patients was not different from that in non-cardiac patients. However, the presence of a cardiac diagnosis was associated with a higher occurrence of both tracheal-intubation-associated cardiac arrest and oxygen desaturation.
To determine the effect of mandatory and nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies on vaccination rates and symptomatic absenteeism among healthcare personnel (HCP).
Retrospective observational cohort study.
This study took place at 3 university medical centers with mandatory influenza vaccination policies and 4 Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare systems with nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies.
The study included 2,304 outpatient HCP at mandatory vaccination sites and 1,759 outpatient HCP at nonmandatory vaccination sites.
To determine the incidence and duration of absenteeism in outpatient settings, HCP participating in the Respiratory Protection Effectiveness Clinical Trial at both mandatory and nonmandatory vaccination sites over 3 viral respiratory illness (VRI) seasons (2012–2015) reported their influenza vaccination status and symptomatic days absent from work weekly throughout a 12-week period during the peak VRI season each year. The adjusted effects of vaccination and other modulating factors on absenteeism rates were estimated using multivariable regression models.
The proportion of participants who received influenza vaccination was lower each year at nonmandatory than at mandatory vaccination sites (odds ratio [OR], 0.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07–0.11). Among HCP who reported at least 1 sick day, vaccinated HCP had lower symptomatic days absent compared to unvaccinated HCP (OR for 2012–2013 and 2013–2014, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.93; OR for 2014–2015, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.69–0.95).
These data suggest that mandatory HCP influenza vaccination policies increase influenza vaccination rates and that HCP symptomatic absenteeism diminishes as rates of influenza vaccination increase. These findings should be considered in formulating HCP influenza vaccination policies.
This chapter analyses the role of the Bowes family as gentry entrepreneurs during a time of precocious economic expansion central to the making of an early industrial north-east region. The Bowes experience has wider implications for our understanding of the early modern lead industry, extending the existing body of literature, while expanding our knowledge of lead mining activity in the north-east region before 1700. Other gentry families, notably the Blacketts in Newcastle and Northumberland, were actively involved in the lead industry, particularly in Allendale, and further south in the dales of North Yorkshire. The Bowes’ activity centred on Weardale and Teesdale, in the bishopric of Durham, where their landed estates lay. As a consequence, the Bowes’ relationship to the institution of the bishopric was crucial in their fluctuating fortunes as lead mining entrepeneurs over the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The nature of lead mining in the North Pennines, and the particular institutional context of the bishopric, meant that the Bowes’ lead operation was different from lead mining elsewhere in England and Wales, particularly the free mining lead industry in Derbyshire. The family's parallel engagement with coal mining meant that lead exploitation was an integral part of the region's early industrial expansion, albeit an activity that has always been overshadowed by the more prominent and profitable extraction of and trade in coals.
The Bowes were a Durham gentry family who had connections with the Court and were rewarded with lucrative positions for their loyalty through service to the Crown. Their political prestige and reputation was established during the patriarchy of Sir George Bowes, between 1548 and 1580, when the family adopted Protestantism and assisted in the state centralisation process of the Henrician and Edwardian eras. During Henry VIII's reign Sir Robert Bowes (d. 1555) was made Warden of the Middle March for his defence of hostile Border regions, was a member of the Council in the North and of the Privy Council, and was Master of the Rolls; as the family's patriarch he held the position of Steward of the Crown lordship of Barnard Castle. This extensive influence included an episcopal connection with the bishop of Durham, from whom opportunities were ‘provided for enrichment and local influence’.
Outcome measures for mental health services need to adopt a service-user recovery focus.
To develop and validate a 10- and 20-item self-report recovery-focused quality of life outcome measure named Recovering Quality of Life (ReQoL).
Qualitative methods for item development and initial testing, and quantitative methods for item reduction and scale construction were used. Data from >6500 service users were factor analysed and item response theory models employed to inform item selection. The measures were tested for reliability, validity and responsiveness.
ReQoL-10 and ReQoL-20 contain positively and negatively worded items covering seven themes: activity, hope, belonging and relationships, self-perception, well-being, autonomy, and physical health. Both versions achieved acceptable internal consistency, test–retest reliability (>0.85), known-group differences, convergence with related measures, and were responsive over time (standardised response mean (SRM) > 0.4). They performed marginally better than the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale and markedly better than the EQ-5D.
Both versions are appropriate for measuring service-user recovery-focused quality of life outcomes.
Declaration of interest
M.B. and J.Co. were members of the research group that developed the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (CORE) outcome measures.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future. Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions. The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions: Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, black consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.