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The task of combatting and defeating Covid-19 calls for drastic measures as well as cool heads. It also requires that we keep our nerve and our moral integrity. In the fight for survival, as individuals and as societies, we must not lose our grip on the values and the compassion that make individual and collective survival worth fighting for, or indeed worth having.1
Aberrant activity of the subcallosal cingulate (SCC) is a common theme across pharmacologic treatment efficacy prediction studies. The functioning of the SCC in psychotherapeutic interventions is relatively understudied, as are functional differences among SCC subdivisions. We conducted functional connectivity analyses (rsFC) on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, collected before and after a course of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), using seeds from three SCC subdivisions.
Resting-state data were collected from unmedicated patients with current MDD (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 > 16) before and after 14-sessions of CBT monotherapy. Treatment outcome was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Rostral anterior cingulate (rACC), anterior subcallosal cingulate (aSCC), and Brodmann’s area 25 (BA25) masks were used as seeds in connectivity analyses that assessed baseline rsFC and symptom severity, changes in connectivity related to symptom improvement after CBT, and prediction of treatment outcomes using whole-brain baseline connectivity.
Pretreatment BDI negatively correlated with pretreatment rACC ~ dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and aSCC ~ lateral prefrontal cortex rsFC. In a region-of-interest longitudinal analysis, rsFC between these regions increased post-treatment (p < 0.05FDR). In whole-brain analyses, BA25 ~ paracentral lobule and rACC ~ paracentral lobule connectivities decreased post-treatment. Whole-brain baseline rsFC with SCC did not predict clinical improvement.
rsFC features of rACC and aSCC, but not BA25, correlated inversely with baseline depression severity, and increased following CBT. Subdivisions of SCC involved in top-down emotion regulation may be more involved in cognitive interventions, while BA25 may be more informative for interventions targeting bottom-up processing. Results emphasize the importance of subdividing the SCC in connectivity analyses.
Many institutions are attempting to implement patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures. Because PROs often change clinical workflows significantly for patients and providers, implementation choices can have major impact. While various implementation guides exist, a stepwise list of decision points covering the full implementation process and drawing explicitly on a sociotechnical conceptual framework does not exist.
To facilitate real-world implementation of PROs in electronic health records (EHRs) for use in clinical practice, members of the EHR Access to Seamless Integration of Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Consortium developed structured PRO implementation planning tools. Each institution pilot tested the tools. Joint meetings led to the identification of critical sociotechnical success factors.
Three tools were developed and tested: (1) a PRO Planning Guide summarizes the empirical knowledge and guidance about PRO implementation in routine clinical care; (2) a Decision Log allows decision tracking; and (3) an Implementation Plan Template simplifies creation of a sharable implementation plan. Seven lessons learned during implementation underscore the iterative nature of planning and the importance of the clinician champion, as well as the need to understand aims, manage implementation barriers, minimize disruption, provide ample discussion time, and continuously engage key stakeholders.
Highly structured planning tools, informed by a sociotechnical perspective, enabled the construction of clear, clinic-specific plans. By developing and testing three reusable tools (freely available for immediate use), our project addressed the need for consolidated guidance and created new materials for PRO implementation planning. We identified seven important lessons that, while common to technology implementation, are especially critical in PRO implementation.
Shared patient–clinician decision-making is central to choosing between medical treatments. Decision support tools can have an important role to play in these decisions. We developed a decision support tool for deciding between nonsurgical treatment and surgical total knee replacement for patients with severe knee osteoarthritis. The tool aims to provide likely outcomes of alternative treatments based on predictive models using patient-specific characteristics. To make those models relevant to patients with knee osteoarthritis and their clinicians, we involved patients, family members, patient advocates, clinicians, and researchers as stakeholders in creating the models.
Stakeholders were recruited through local arthritis research, advocacy, and clinical organizations. After being provided with brief methodological education sessions, stakeholder views were solicited through quarterly patient or clinician stakeholder panel meetings and incorporated into all aspects of the project.
Participating in each aspect of the research from determining the outcomes of interest to providing input on the design of the user interface displaying outcome predications, 86% (12/14) of stakeholders remained engaged throughout the project. Stakeholder engagement ensured that the prediction models that form the basis of the Knee Osteoarthritis Mathematical Equipoise Tool and its user interface were relevant for patient–clinician shared decision-making.
Methodological research has the opportunity to benefit from stakeholder engagement by ensuring that the perspectives of those most impacted by the results are involved in study design and conduct. While additional planning and investments in maintaining stakeholder knowledge and trust may be needed, they are offset by the valuable insights gained.
This paper summarizes a multi-state, multi-year study assessing the potential for local agriculture in northern New England. While largely rural, this region's agricultural sector differs greatly from the rest of the United States, and demand for locally produced food has been increasing. To assess this unique economic landscape, researchers and Cooperative Extension at the Universities of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont investigated four key areas: (1) local food capacities, (2) constraints to agricultural expansion, (3) consumer preferences for local and organic produce, and (4) the role of intermediaries as alternative local food outlets. The project included input from local farmers, Extension members, restaurants, and the general public. We present the four research areas in a sequential, overlapping fashion. The timing of our research was such that each step in the process informed the next and can be used as a template for assessing a region's potential for local agricultural production.
To describe the characteristics of people in Central and Eastern Sydney (CES), NSW, who had a General Practice Management Plan (GPMP) and claimed for at least one private allied health service item; and to examine if allied health service use results in less hospitalisations over a five-year period.
The number of people living with chronic health conditions is increasing in Australia. The Chronic Disease Management programme was introduced to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) to provide a more structured approach to managing patients with chronic conditions and complex care needs. The programme supports general practitioners claiming up to one GPMP and one Team Care Arrangement every year, and the patient additionally claiming for up to five private allied health services visits.
A prospective longitudinal study was conducted. The sample consisted of 5771 participants in CES who had a GPMP within a two-year health service utilisation baseline period (2007–2009). The analysis used the 45 and Up Study questionnaire data linked to the MBS, hospitalisation, death and emergency department data for the period 2006–2014.
Of the eligible participants, 43% (2460) had at least one allied health service item claim in the subsequent 12 months. Allied health services were reported as physiotherapy, podiatry and other allied health services. The highest rates of allied health service use were among participants aged 85 years and over (49%). After controlling for confounding factors, a significant difference was found between having claimed for five or more physiotherapy services and emergency admissions (HR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.72–0.95) and potentially preventable hospitalisations (HR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.64–0.96) in the subsequent five years. Use of allied health service items was well targeted towards those with chronic and complex care needs, and use of physiotherapy services was associated with less avoidable hospitalisations.
Tim Harris, BA, MA and PhD from Cambridge University,
Justin Champion, completing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Churchill College.,
John Marshall, Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.,
John Coffey, Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Leicester.
This volume is a tribute to Mark Adrian Goldie, from friends and former students, to mark his retirement from the Cambridge History Faculty in September 2019. It is intended to honour both his own scholarly contribution to the field and his role as a teacher and a mentor. Mark's interests have been broad and have grown broader over the course of his career. He is at once an historian of ideas, political historian and historian of religion, while some of his publications have branched into social and cultural history. Although Mark's geographical and chronological focus has been on England under the later Stuarts – the period from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 to the Hanoverian succession of 1714 – he has also written about Scotland and Ireland, continental Europe and colonial North America, and published pieces that go back to the sixteenth century or push forward into the late eighteenth. On his Cambridge University website, Mark describes his research interests broadly as ‘British intellectual, political, and religious history, c. 1650–c. 1800’, a claim vindicated not only by his own publication record but also by the wide variety of topics his graduate students have pursued. Mark has supervised thirty PhD theses to date. Limitations of space meant that we were unable to ask all Mark's former students to contribute to this volume. We endeavoured, however, to solicit contributions that would reflect the breadth of Mark's scholarly endeavours and also the various generational cohorts he has inspired. Contributors were asked to write pieces that in some way engaged with Mark's work and publications. We hope that what is offered here does justice to the man, his scholarship and his mentorship.
Given the range of Mark's interests, we puzzled over how best to write the introduction to this volume. We could highlight some of Mark's landmark articles, essays, edited volumes and books, but which ones? The four editors all have quite discrete interests and scholarly foci, albeit overlapping to some degree, and we each have our own lists of favourites – and they are long! We decided, instead, that each editor should write his own reflection, albeit with briefs to focus on particular areas so as to lend the introduction overall coverage and coherence.