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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) of parents are associated with a variety of negative health outcomes in offspring. Little is known about the mechanisms by which ACEs are transmitted to the next generation. Given that maternal depression and anxiety are related to ACEs and negatively affect children’s behaviour, these exposures may be pathways between maternal ACEs and child psychopathology. Child sex may modify these associations. Our objectives were to determine: (1) the association between ACEs and children’s behaviour, (2) whether maternal symptoms of prenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety mediate the relationship between maternal ACEs and children’s behaviour, and (3) whether these relationships are moderated by child sex. Pearson correlations and latent path analyses were undertaken using data from 907 children and their mothers enrolled the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition study. Overall, maternal ACEs were associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression during the perinatal period, and externalizing problems in children. Furthermore, we observed indirect associations between maternal ACEs and children’s internalizing and externalizing problems via maternal anxiety and depression. Sex differences were observed, with boys demonstrating greater vulnerability to the indirect effects of maternal ACEs via both anxiety and depression. Findings suggest that maternal mental health may be a mechanism by which maternal early life adversity is transmitted to children, especially boys. Further research is needed to determine if targeted interventions with women who have both high ACEs and mental health problems can prevent or ameliorate the effects of ACEs on children’s behavioural psychopathology.
Introduction: Diagnosing pulmonary embolism (PE) can be challenging because the signs and symptoms are often non-specific. Studies have shown that evidence-based algorithms are not always adhered to in the Emergency Department (ED) and are often not used correctly, which leads to unnecessary CT scanning. The YEARS diagnostic algorithm, consisting of three items (clinical signs of deep vein thrombosis, hemoptysis, and whether pulmonary embolism is the most likely diagnosis) and D-dimer, is a novel and simplified way to approach suspected acute PE. The purpose of this study was to 1) evaluate the use of the YEARS algorithm in the ED and 2) to compare the rates of testing for PE if the YEARS algorithm was used. Methods: This was a health records review of ED patients investigated for PE at two emergency departments over a two-year period (April 2013-March 2015). Inclusion criteria were ED physician ordered CT pulmonary angiogram, ventilation-perfusion scan, or D-dimer for investigation of PE. Patients under the age of 18 and those without a D-dimer test were excluded. PE was considered to be present during the emergency department visit if PE was diagnosed on CT or VQ (subsegmental level or above), or if the patient was subsequently found to have PE or deep vein thrombosis during the next 30 days. Trained researchers extracted anonymized data. The rate of CT/VQ imaging and the false negative rate was calculated. Results: There were 1,163 patients that were tested for PE and 1,083 patients were eligible for our analysis. Of the total, 317/1,083 (29.3%; 95%CI 26.6-32.1%) had CT/VQ imaging for PE, and 41/1,083 (3.8%; 95%CI 2.8-5.1%) patients were diagnosed with PE at baseline. Three patients had a missed PE, resulting in a false negative rate of 0.4% (95%CI 0.1-1.2%). If the YEARS algorithm was used, 211/1,083 (19.5%; 95%CI 17.2-22.0%) would have required imaging for PE. Of the patients who would not have required imaging according to the YEARS algorithm, 8/872 (0.9%; 95%CI 0.5-1.8%) would have had a missed PE. Conclusion: If the YEARS algorithm was used in all patients with suspected PE, fewer patients would have required imaging with a small increase in the false negative rate.
Introduction: Diagnosing pulmonary embolism (PE) can be challenging because the signs and symptoms are often non-specific. Studies have shown that evidence-based algorithms are not always adhered to in the Emergency Department (ED), which leads to unnecessary CT scanning. The pulmonary embolism rule-out criteria (PERC) can identify patients who can be safely discharged from the ED without further investigation for PE. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of the PERC rule in the ED and to compare the rates of testing for PE if the PERC rule was used. Methods: This was a health records review of ED patients investigated for PE at two emergency departments over a two-year period (April 2013-March 2015). Inclusion criteria were ED physician ordered CT pulmonary angiogram, ventilation-perfusion scan, or D-dimer for investigation of PE. Patients under the age of 18 were excluded. PE was considered to be present during the emergency department visit if PE was diagnosed on CT or VQ (subsegmental level or above), or if the patient was subsequently found to have PE or deep vein thrombosis during the next 30 days. Trained researchers extracted anonymized data. The rate of CT/VQ imaging and the negative predictive value was calculated. Results: There were 1,163 patients that were tested for PE and 1,097 patients were eligible for our analysis. Of the total, 330/1,097 (30.1%; 95%CI 27.4-32.3%) had CT/VQ imaging for PE, and 48/1,097 (4.4%; 95%CI 3.3-5.8%) patients were diagnosed with PE. 806/1,097 (73.5%; 95%CI 70.8-76.0%) were PERC positive, and of these, 44 patients had a PE (5.5%; 95%CI 4.1-7.3%). Conversely, 291/1,097 (26.5%; 95%CI 24.0-29.2%) patients were PERC negative, and of these, 4 patients had a PE (1.4%; 95%CI 0.5-3.5%). Of the PERC negative patients, 291/291 (100.0%; 95%CI 98.7-100.0%) had a D-dimer test done, and 33/291 (11.3%; 95%CI 8.2-15.5%) had a CT angiogram. If PERC was used, CT/VQ imaging would have been avoided in 33/1,097 (3%; 95%CI 2.2-4.2%) patients and the D-dimer would have been avoided in 291/1,097 (26.5%; 95%CI 24.0-29.2%) patients. Conclusion: If the PERC rule was used in all patients with suspected PE, fewer patients would have further testing. The false negative rate for the PERC rule was low.
Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are increasingly reported in residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs). We assessed whether implementation of directly observed hand hygiene (DOHH) by hand hygiene ambassadors can reduce environmental contamination with MDROs.
From July to August 2017, a cluster-randomized controlled study was conducted at 10 RCHEs (5 intervention versus 5 nonintervention controls), where DOHH was performed at two-hourly intervals during daytime, before meals and medication rounds by a one trained nurse in each intervention RCHE. Environmental contamination by MRDOs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter species (CRA), and extended-spectrum β-lactamse (ESBL)–producing Enterobacteriaceae, was evaluated using specimens collected from communal areas at baseline, then twice weekly. The volume of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) consumed per resident per week was measured.
The overall environmental contamination of communal areas was culture-positive for MRSA in 33 of 100 specimens (33%), CRA in 26 of 100 specimens (26%), and ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in 3 of 100 specimens (3%) in intervention and nonintervention RCHEs at baseline. Serial monitoring of environmental specimens revealed a significant reduction in MRSA (79 of 600 [13.2%] vs 197 of 600 [32.8%]; P<.001) and CRA (56 of 600 [9.3%] vs 94 of 600 [15.7%]; P=.001) contamination in the intervention arm compared with the nonintervention arm during the study period. The volume of ABHR consumed per resident per week was 3 times higher in the intervention arm compared with the baseline (59.3±12.9 mL vs 19.7±12.6 mL; P<.001) and was significantly higher than the nonintervention arm (59.3±12.9 mL vs 23.3±17.2 mL; P=.006).
The direct observation of hand hygiene of residents could reduce environmental contamination by MDROs in RCHEs.
Despite the growing interest in the phenomenon of learning without intention, the incidental learning of phonological features, especially prosodic features, has received relatively little attention. This paper reports an experiment on incidental learning of lexical stress rules, and investigates whether the resultant knowledge can be unconscious, abstract, and rule based. Participants were incidentally exposed to a lexical stress system where stress location of a word is mainly determined by the final phoneme, syllable type, and syllable weight. Learning was assessed by a pronunciation judgment task. Results indicate that participants were able to transfer their knowledge of stress patterns to novel words whose final phoneme was not previously encountered, suggesting that participants had acquired abstract and potentially rule-based knowledge. The combined use of subjective and objective measures of awareness in the present study provides a strong piece of evidence of the acquisition of implicit knowledge.
To assess the level of all-hazards disaster preparedness and training needs of emergency department (ED) doctors and nurses in Hong Kong from their perspective, and identify factors associated with high perceived personal preparedness.
This study was a cross-sectional territory-wide online survey conducted from 9 September to 26 October, 2015.
The participants were doctors from the Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine and nurses from the Hong Kong College of Emergency Nursing.
We assessed various components of all-hazards preparedness using a 25-item questionnaire. Backward logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with perceived preparedness.
A total of 107 responses were analyzed. Respondents lacked training in disaster management, emergency communication, psychological first aid, public health interventions, disaster law and ethics, media handling, and humanitarian response in an overseas setting. High perceived workplace preparedness, length of practice, and willingness to respond were associated with high perceived personal preparedness.
Given the current gaps in and needs for increased disaster preparedness training, ED doctors and nurses in Hong Kong may benefit from the development of core-competency-based training targeting the under-trained areas, measures to improve staff confidence in their workplaces, and efforts to remove barriers to staff willingness to respond. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018; 12: 329–336)
Introduction: Diagnosing pulmonary embolism (PE) in the emergency department can be challenging due to non-specific signs and symptoms; this often results in the over-utilization of CT pulmonary angiography (CT-PA). In 2013, the American College of Chest Physicians identified CT-PA as one of the top five avoidable tests. Age-adjusted D-dimer has been shown to decrease CT utilization rates. Recently, clinical-probability adjusted D-dimer has been promoted as an alternative strategy to reduce CT scanning. The aim of this study is to compare the safety and efficacy of the age-adjusted D-dimer rule and the clinical probability-adjusted D-dimer rule in Canadian ED patients tested for PE. Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of ED patients investigated for PE at two hospitals from April 2013 to March 2015 (24 months). Inclusion criteria were the ED physician ordered CT-PA, Ventilation-Perfusion (VQ) scan or D-dimer for investigation of PE. Patients under the age of 18 were excluded. PE was defined as CT/VQ diagnosis of acute PE or acute PE/DVT in 30-day follow-up. Trained researchers extracted anonymized data. The age-adjusted D-dimer and the clinical probability-adjusted D-dimer rules were applied retrospectively. The rate of CT/VQ imaging and the false negative rates were calculated. Results: In total, 1,189 patients were tested for PE. 1,129 patients had a D-dimer test and a Wells score less than 4.0. 364/1,129 (32.3%, 95%CI 29.6-35.0%) would have undergone imaging for PE if the age-adjusted D-dimer rule was used. 1,120 patients had a D-dimer test and a Wells score less than 6.0. 217/1,120 patients (19.4%, 95%CI 17.2-21.2%) would have undergone imaging for PE if the clinical probability-adjusted D-dimer rule was used. The false-negative rate for the age-adjusted D-dimer rule was 0.3% (95%CI 0.1-0.9%). The false-negative rate of the clinical probability-adjusted D-dimer was 1.0% (95%CI 0.5-1.9%). Conclusion: The false-negative rates for both the age-adjusted D-dimer and clinical probability-adjusted D-dimer are low. The clinical probability-adjusted D-dimer results in a 13% absolute reduction in CT scanning compared to age-adjusted D-dimer.
Introduction: Diagnosing pulmonary embolism (PE) can be challenging because the signs and symptoms are often non-specific. Studies have shown that evidence-based diagnostic algorithms are not always adhered to in the Emergency Department (ED), which leads to unnecessary CT scanning. In 2013, the American College of Chest Physicians identified CT pulmonary angiography as one of the top five avoidable tests. One solution is to use a clinical prediction rule combined with the D-dimer, which safely reduces the use of CT scanning. The objective of this study was to compare the proportion of patients tested for PE in two emergency departments, who 1) had a CT-PE and 2) whose diagnosis of PE was missed. We compared these rates to those if the Wells rule and D-dimer had been applied as standard. Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of ED patients investigated for PE at two hospitals from April 2013 to March 2015 (24 months). Inclusion criteria were the ED physician ordered CT-PE, Ventilation-Perfusion (VQ) scan or D-dimer for investigation of PE. Patients under the age of 18 were excluded. PE was defined as CT/VQ diagnosis of acute PE or acute PE/DVT in 30-day follow-up. Trained researchers extracted anonymized data. The rate of CT/VQ imaging and the false-negative rates were calculated. The false-negative rate was calculated as the number of patients diagnosed with PE within 30 days as a proportion of those patients who did not have a CT/VQ scan at initial presentation. Results: There were 1,189 patients included in this study. 55/1,189 patients (4.6%; 95%CI 3.6-6.0%) were ultimately diagnosed with PE within 30 days. 397/1,189 patients (33.4%; 95%CI 30.8-36.1%) had CT/VQ scans for PE. 3 out of 792 who were not scanned had a missed PE resulting in a false-negative rate of 0.4% (95% CI 0.1-1.1%). 80 patients had an elevated D-dimer or high Wells score but were not imaged. Furthermore, 75 patients who did not have an elevated D-dimer nor a high Wells score were imaged. Had Wells rule/D-dimer been adhered to, 402/1,189 patients (33.8%; 95%CI 31.9-36.6%) would have undergone imaging and the false negative rate would be 0/727, 0% (95%CI 0.0-0.5%). Conclusion: If the Wells rule and D-dimer was used in all patients tested for PE, a similar proportion would have a CT scan but fewer PEs would be missed.
To study the association between gastrointestinal colonization of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
We analyzed 31,526 patients with prospective collection of fecal specimens for CPE screening: upon admission (targeted screening) and during hospitalization (opportunistic screening, safety net screening, and extensive contact tracing), in our healthcare network with 3,200 beds from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2015. Specimens were collected at least once weekly during hospitalization for CPE carriers and subjected to broth enrichment culture and multiplex polymerase chain reaction.
Of 66,672 fecal specimens collected, 345 specimens (0.5%) from 100 patients (0.3%) had CPE. The number and prevalence (per 100,000 patient-days) of CPE increased from 2 (0.3) in 2012 to 63 (8.0) in 2015 (P<.001). Male sex (odds ratio, 1.91 [95% CI, 1.15–3.18], P=.013), presence of wound or drain (3.12 [1.70–5.71], P<.001), and use of cephalosporins (3.06 [1.42–6.59], P=.004), carbapenems (2.21 [1.10–4.48], P=.027), and PPIs (2.84 [1.72–4.71], P<.001) in the preceding 6 months were significant risk factors by multivariable analysis. Of 79 patients with serial fecal specimens, spontaneous clearance of CPE was noted in 57 (72.2%), with a median (range) of 30 (3–411) days. Comparing patients without use of antibiotics and PPIs, consumption of both antibiotics and PPIs after CPE identification was associated with later clearance of CPE (hazard ratio, 0.35 [95% CI, 0.17–0.73], P=.005).
Concomitant use of antibiotics and PPIs prolonged duration of gastrointestinal colonization by CPE.
Research on close binary systems has continued at a high level during the past triennium, although the rate of growth is noticeably slower – probably reflecting the cutbacks in funds to which many of us are subject. There have also been changes of emphasis within the field, which are commented on in the pages that follow. These reflect both changing opportunities for observation and the natural development of the subject. In many areas, the time is ripe for a more critical look at ideas that previously seemed adequate.
This is a review of close binary systems with very early spectral types (B, O, Of, and WR stars). We limit our selection to systems with Roche model photometric solution only. There are 10 contact systems known at present. Three of them (V701 Sco, BH Cen, and RZ Pyx) are located in the vicinity of the zero-age contact (ZC) according to a Spectral Type - Period diagram. Only the first two systems have absolute dimensions available. Both of these fall into the ZC zone in the logP - logm diagram and the logm - logR diagram. The system TU Mus was thought to be a ZC system is located in the evolved contact zone (EC) in the above diagrams. Both V701 Sco and BH Cen were thought to be having mass ratios about unity. With the much improved light curves of BH Cen and new analysis the mass ratio has been revised to 0.84! This result may favor Shu's model for early-type zero-age contact systems. The evolved systems might be undergone Case A mass exchange except for two systems (V729 Cyg and RY Set) which might be from Case B. The systems V367 Cyg was classified by Plavec as a W Ser system may be a evolved contact system.
It is interesting to note that V729 Cyg (07f + Ofla), UW CMa(07f + O) and CQ Cep(WN7 + O) are all highly evolved contact systems. The Max II of UW CMa and CQ Cep are displaced to 0.78 and 0.80 phase, respectively. The displacement for V729 Cyg is not known due to poor coverage at this phase. The most distinct feature going from Of to Wolf-Rayet stars is the increasing domination of emission lines. It is suspected that this phaseshifts reflect the increasing activity of mass-flow in the common envelope.
There are 8 semidetached systems with reliable absolute dimensions. It is believed that 6 of them are derived from Case A while the remaining 2 are from Case B mass exchange.
Some studies demonstrated that physical activity may have beneficial effect on cognitive function. The objective of the study was to estimate the association between physical activity and cognitive function in community-dwelling elderly Chinese in Hong Kong (HK) and Guangzhou (GZ).
In the neighborhood of HK and GZ, a convenience sample of 557 (260 in HK and 297 in GZ) older persons without dementia aged over 60 years (73.4 ± 6.5) was recruited. Physical activity was measured using a checklist. Information on physical activity participation, cognitive function, and other variables were collected. Multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the association between physical activity and cognitive function.
Total number of physical activities showed significant association with the delayed recall test (p < 0.01) and category verbal fluency test (CVFT) (p < 0.01). However, with further adjustment for participation in intellectual activity, the coefficients were no longer statistically significant (p > 0.05)
Physical activity may not be associated with better cognitive function among elderly Chinese independently of other factors.
With the proportion of older adults in Hong Kong projected to double in size in the next 30 years, it is important to develop measures for detecting individuals in the earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD, 0.5 in Clinical Dementia Rating, CDR). We tested the utility of a non-verbal prospective memory task (PM, ability to remember what one has to do when a specific event occurs in the future) as an early marker for AD in Hong Kong Chinese.
A large community dwelling sample of older adults who are healthy controls (CDR 0, N = 125), in the earliest stage of AD (CDR 0.5, N = 125), or with mild AD (CDR 1, N = 30) participated in this study. Their reaction time/accuracy data were analyzed by mixed-factor analyses of variance to compare the performance of the three CDR groups. Logistic regression analyses were performed to test the discriminative power of these measures for CDR 0 versus 0.5 participants.
Prospective memory performance declined as a function of AD severity: CDR 0 > CDR 0.5 > CDR 1, suggesting the effects of early-stage AD and AD progression on PM. After partialling out the variance explained by psychometric measures (e.g., ADAS-Cog), reaction time/accuracy measures that reflected the PM still significantly discriminated between CDR 0 versus 0.5 participants in most of the cases.
The effectiveness of PM measures in discriminating individuals in the earliest stage of AD from healthy older adults suggests that these measures should be further developed as tools for early-stage AD discrimination.
Varicella is a common and highly contagious childhood disease which impacts the public worldwide. Hong Kong children can only be vaccinated against the disease in private practice. The varicella vaccination rate of local children in preschool is uncertain. Therefore a cross-sectional kindergarten-based parent-administered questionnaire survey was conducted in Hong Kong during 2012. Twelve kindergartens were randomly selected from a complete school list from the Education Bureau of Hong Kong. In total, 1285/1538 (83·6%) parents consented to join the study and completed the questionnaires. The overall varicella infection rate was 19·5% and the uptake of varicella vaccination rate was 57·6%. Barriers against varicella vaccination were mostly due to parental uncertainties about the effectiveness of vaccine, lack of recommendations from doctors or government, and adverse side-effects of the vaccine. The government and healthcare professional bodies are strongly recommended to further enhance health education among healthcare professionals, encouraging their active promotion of varicella vaccination for their patients. Furthermore, health education through various stakeholders is crucial to enhance parental awareness of varicella, as well as the effectiveness and safety of varicella vaccine.
We report fabrication of random nanometer-scale radial p-n junction solar cells (SCs). Nanoholes were fabricated on the Si wafer by combining silver film annealing and metal catalyzed electrochemical etching (MECC) of the material. The dimension of the holes can be adjusted by varying the annealing conditions and the thickness of the Ag film. Systematic investigations on the effects of the nanohole size and the doping conditions on the cell efficiency were performed.
Background: The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB) offers information on the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and gives a profile of cognitive functioning. This study explores the effects of age, education and gender on participants' performance on eight subtests in the Chinese-Cantonese version of the CERAD-NAB.
Methods: The original English version of the CERAD-NAB was translated and content-validated into a Chinese-Cantonese version to suit the Hong Kong Chinese population. The battery was administered to 187 healthy volunteers aged 60 to 94 years. Participants were excluded if they had neurological, medical or psychiatric disorders (including dementia). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relative contribution of the demographic variables to the scores on each subtest.
Results: The Cantonese version of CERAD-NAB was shown to have good content validity and excellent inter-rater reliability. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that performances on seven and four out of eight subtests in the CERAD-NAB were significantly influenced by education level and age, respectively. Age and education had significant effects on participants' performance on many tests. Gender also showed a significant effect on one subtest.
Conclusions: The preliminary data will serve as an initial phase for clinical interpretation of the CERAD-NAB for Cantonese-speaking Chinese elders.