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Introduction: It is critical for planning, clinical care and resource optimization to understand patterns of emergency department (ED) utilization. Individuals who have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are known to have more unhealthy behaviors and worse health outcomes as adults and therefore may be more frequent ED users. Adverse childhood experiences include physical, sexual and emotional abuse or neglect, substance abuse in the family, witnessing violence, having a parent incarcerated or parents getting divorced or separated. To date there are few studies exploring the relationship between ACE and ED utilization. Methods: This a mixed qualitative and quantitative study. It includes analysis of data collected through a survey, a retrospective chart review and focus group discussions. The survey was administered to a convenience sample of adult patients (CTAS 2 -5) presenting to EDs in Kingston Ontario, and consisted of two validated tools that measured exposure to ACE and resiliency. Demographic data and ED utilization frequency for 12 months prior to the index visit were extracted from an electronic medical record for each patient completing the survey. A sample of participants with a high ACE burden (ACE score > 4) were invited to participate in focus groups to explore their experiences of care in the ED. Demographic, ED utilization and health status data were summarized and statistically significant patterns between high ACE and lower ACE patients were determined using Chi2t or t-tests. Transcripts from the focus groups were thematically analyzed using NVivo software by 2 independent researchers. Results: 1693 surveys were collected, 301 (18%) were deemed to have a high ACE score, data analysis is ongoing. The primary outcome is the relationship between ACE and the frequency of ED utilization among adult patients presenting to EDs in Kingston, ON. Secondary outcomes include evaluating the role of resilience as a potential mitigating factor, describing the demographics of high ACE burden frequent ED visitors, and the experiences of care for individuals with high ACE burden in the ED. These outcomes will be utilized to inform hypotheses for future studies and potential interventions aimed at optimizing ED utilization and patient care experience. Conclusion: This study provides novel insight into the relationship between ACE burden and ED utilization while also describing the demographics and experiences of care for ED patients with a high ACE score. Data analysis is on-going.
Studies have consistently shown that subthreshold depression is associated with an increased risk of developing major depression. However, no study has yet calculated a pooled estimate that quantifies the magnitude of this risk across multiple studies.
We conducted a systematic review to identify longitudinal cohort studies containing data on the association between subthreshold depression and future major depression. A baseline meta-analysis was conducted using the inverse variance heterogeneity method to calculate the incidence rate ratio (IRR) of major depression among people with subthreshold depression relative to non-depressed controls. Subgroup analyses were conducted to investigate whether IRR estimates differed between studies categorised by age group or sample type. Sensitivity analyses were also conducted to test the robustness of baseline results to several sources of study heterogeneity, such as the case definition for subthreshold depression.
Data from 16 studies (n = 67 318) revealed that people with subthreshold depression had an increased risk of developing major depression (IRR = 1.95, 95% confidence interval 1.28–2.97). Subgroup analyses estimated similar IRRs for different age groups (youth, adults and the elderly) and sample types (community-based and primary care). Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that baseline results were robust to different sources of study heterogeneity.
The results of this study support the scaling up of effective indicated prevention interventions for people with subthreshold depression, regardless of age group or setting.
We describe the investigation of two temporally coincident illness clusters involving salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus in two states. Cases were defined as gastrointestinal illness following two meal events. Investigators interviewed ill persons. Stool, food and environmental samples underwent pathogen testing. Alabama: Eighty cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 5·8 h. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified from 27 of 28 stool specimens tested, and coagulase-positive S. aureus was isolated from three of 16 ill persons. Environmental investigation indicated that food handling deficiencies occurred. Colorado: Seven cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 4·5 h. Five persons were hospitalised, four of whom were admitted to the intensive care unit. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified in six of seven stool specimens and coagulase-positive S. aureus in three of six tested. No single food item was implicated in either outbreak. These two outbreaks were linked to infection with Salmonella Heidelberg, but additional factors, such as dual aetiology that included S. aureus or the dose of salmonella ingested may have contributed to the short incubation periods and high illness severity. The outbreaks underscore the importance of measures to prevent foodborne illness through appropriate washing, handling, preparation and storage of food.
There is limited knowledge on vitamin D status of children residing in the Andes and its association with undernutrition. We evaluated the vitamin D status of children residing in a low socio-economic status (SES) setting in the Ecuadorian Andes and assessed the association between vitamin D status, stunting and underweight. We hypothesized that children who were underweight would have lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and lower 25(OH)D levels would be associated with a higher risk of stunting.
We conducted a cross-sectional secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial, the Vitamin A, Zinc and Pneumonia study. Children had serum 25(OH)D concentrations measured. A sensitivity analysis was undertaken to determine a vitamin D cut-off specific for our endpoints. Associations between serum 25(OH)D and underweight (defined as weight-for-age Z-score≤−1) and stunting (defined as height-for-age Z-score≤−2) were assessed using multivariate logistic regression.
Children residing in five low-SES peri-urban neighbourhoods near Quito, Ecuador.
Children (n 516) aged 6–36 months.
Mean serum 25(OH)D concentration was 58·0 (sd 17·7) nmol/l. Sensitivity analysis revealed an undernutrition-specific 25(OH)D cut-off of <42·5 nmol/l; 18·6 % of children had serum 25(OH)D<42·5 nmol/l. Children who were underweight were more likely to have serum 25(OH)D<42·5 nmol/l (adjusted OR (aOR)=2·0; 95 % CI 1·2, 3·3). Children with low serum 25(OH)D levels were more likely to be stunted (aOR=2·8; 95 % CI 1·6, 4·7).
Low serum 25(OH)D levels were more common in underweight and stunted Ecuadorian children.
Social facilitation has been observed in the stabled horse with access to forage (Sweeting et al. 1985). Socially facilitated feeding behaviour has not been investigated through the provision of concentrates. It is likely that the motivation to ingest a concentrate feed is different to that of forage. In a variety of species social facilitation will only occur when presented with a novel food. Therefore it has been proposed that a function of social facilitation is to increase the acceptance of novel feeds. The first objective of this study therefore, was to investigate if social facilitation occurs with the horse’s standard concentrate feed and or a standard concentrate feed plus a novel flavour.
Visual contact has been found to be a necessary component in the facilitation of forage ingestion. Increasing visual contact between stables improves awareness of conspecifics, which has been linked to a decrease in abnormal behaviour. There has, however, been limited investigation into the relationship between neighbouring stabled horses especially during potentially stressful periods such as meal times. The second objective of this study was to investigate the effects on behaviour of the presence or absence of a familiar horse during meal times.
The problem of understanding the deformation occurring along the Pacific-North American plate boundary in the western United States depends upon understanding the forces which drive the plates in this region. One of the primary sources of our knowledge concerning these forces lies in their manifestation as relative displacements which occur throughout the broad zone of deformation surrounding the San Andreas fault system. It is information concerning the spatial and temporal distribution of these motions which will be of greatest benefit in helping to determine which of several possible mechanisms is responsible for driving contemporary plate motions in this region.
Prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in acute-care hospitals is a priority for hospitals and clinicians. We performed a qualitative systematic review to update the evidence on interventions to prevent CDI published since 2009.
We searched Ovid, MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, CINAHL, the ISI Web of Knowledge, and grey literature databases from January 1, 2009 to August 1, 2015.
We included studies performed in acute-care hospitals.
PATIENTS OR PARTICIPANTS
We included studies conducted on hospitalized patients that investigated the impact of specific interventions on CDI rates.
We used the QI-Minimum Quality Criteria Set (QI-MQCS) to assess the quality of included studies. Interventions were grouped thematically: environmental disinfection, antimicrobial stewardship, hand hygiene, chlorhexidine bathing, probiotics, bundled approaches, and others. A meta-analysis was performed when possible.
Of 3,236 articles screened, 261 met the criteria for full-text review and 46 studies were ultimately included. The average quality rating was 82% according to the QI-MQCS. The most effective interventions, resulting in a 45% to 85% reduction in CDI, included daily to twice daily disinfection of high-touch surfaces (including bed rails) and terminal cleaning of patient rooms with chlorine-based products. Bundled interventions and antimicrobial stewardship showed promise for reducing CDI rates. Chlorhexidine bathing and intensified hand-hygiene practices were not effective for reducing CDI rates.
Daily and terminal cleaning of patient rooms using chlorine-based products were most effective in reducing CDI rates in hospitals. Further studies are needed to identify the components of bundled interventions that reduce CDI rates.
To define the scope of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease (LD), to identify the source, and to stop transmission.
DESIGN AND SETTING
Epidemiologic investigation of an LD outbreak among patients and a visitor exposed to a newly constructed hematology-oncology unit.
An LD case was defined as radiographically confirmed pneumonia in a person with positive urinary antigen testing and/or respiratory culture for Legionella and exposure to the hematology-oncology unit after February 20, 2014. Cases were classified as definitely or probably healthcare-associated based on whether they were exposed to the unit for all or part of the incubation period (2–10 days). We conducted an environmental assessment and collected water samples for culture. Clinical and environmental isolates were compared by monoclonal antibody (MAb) and sequence-based typing.
Over a 12-week period, 10 cases were identified, including 6 definite and 4 probable cases. Environmental sampling revealed Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 (Lp1) in the potable water at 9 of 10 unit sites (90%), including all patient rooms tested. The 3 clinical isolates were identical to environmental isolates from the unit (MAb2-positive, sequence type ST36). No cases occurred with exposure after the implementation of water restrictions followed by point-of-use filters.
Contamination of the unit’s potable water system with Lp1 strain ST36 was the likely source of this outbreak. Healthcare providers should routinely test patients who develop pneumonia at least 2 days after hospital admission for LD. A single case of LD that is definitely healthcare associated should prompt a full investigation.
Introduction: Some low acuity Emergency Department (ED) presentations are considered non-urgent or convenience visits and potentially avoidable with improved access to primary care. This study explored self-reported reasons why non-urgent patients presented to the ED. Methods: Patients, 17 years and older, were randomly selected from electronic registration records at three urban EDs in Edmonton, Alberta (AB), Canada during weekdays (0700 to 1900). A 47-item questionnaire was completed by each consenting patient, which included items on whether the patient believed the ED was their best care option and the rationale supporting their response. A thematic content analysis was performed on the responses, using previous experience and review of the literature to identify themes. Results: Of the 2144 eligible patients, 1408 (65.7%) questionnaires were returned, and 1402 (65.4%) were analyzed. For patients who felt the ED was their best option (n = 1234, 89.3%), rationales included: safety concerns (n = 309), effectiveness of ED care (n = 284), patient-centeredness of ED (n = 277), and access to health care professionals in the ED (n = 204). For patients who felt the ED was not their best care option (n = 148, 10.7%), rationales included a perception that: access to health professionals outside the ED was preferable (n = 39), patient-centeredness (particularly timeliness) was lacking in the ED (n = 26), and their health concern was not important enough to require ED care (n = 18). Conclusion: Even during times when alternative care options are available, the majority of non-urgent patients perceived the ED to be the most appropriate location for care. These results highlight that simple triage scores do not accurately reflect the appropriateness of care and that understanding the diverse and multi-faceted reasons for ED presentation are necessary to implement strategies to support non-urgent, low acuity care needs.
Introduction: Some non-urgent/low-acuity Emergency Department (ED) presentations are considered convenience visits and potentially avoidable with improved access to primary care services. This study surveyed patients who presented to the ED and explored their self-reported reasons and barriers for not being connected to a primary care provider (PCP). Methods: Patients aged 17 years and older were randomly selected from electronic registration records at three urban EDs in Edmonton, Alberta (AB), Canada. Following initial triage, stabilization, and verbal informed consent, patients completed a 47-item questionnaire. Data from the survey were cross-referenced to a minimal patient dataset consisting of ED and demographic information. The questionnaire collected information on patient characteristics, their connection to a PCP, and patients' reasons for not having a PCP. Results: Of the 2144 eligible patients, 1408 (65.7%) surveys were returned and 1402 (65.4%) were completed. The majority of patients (74.4%) presenting to the ED reported having a family physician; however, the ‘closeness’ of the connection to their family physician varied greatly among ED patients with the most recent family physician visit ranging from 1 hour before ED presentation to 45 years prior. Approximately 25% of low acuity ED patients reported no connection with a family physician. Reasons for a lack of PCP connection included: prior physician retired, left, or died (19.8%), they had never tried to find one (19.2%), they had recently moved to Alberta (18.0%), and they were unable to find one (16.5%). Conclusion: A surprisingly high proportion of ED patients (25.6%) have no identified PCP. Patients had a variety of reasons for not having a family physician. These need to be understood and addressed in order for primary care access to successfully contribute to diverting non-urgent, low acuity presentations from the ED.
Charles Kingsley in 1855 gave the following dedication to his novel, Westward Ho!:
To the Rajah Sir James Brooke, K.C.B., and George Augustus Selwyn, D.D., Bishop of New Zealand this book is dedicated, by one who (unknown to them) has no other method of expressing his admiration and reverence for their characters.
That type of English virtue, at once manful and godly, practical and enthusiastic, prudent and self-sacrificing, which he has tried to depict in these pages, they have exhibited in a form even purer and more heroic than that in which he has drest it.
Brooke, the adventurer, soldier, and colonial administrator, and Selwyn, the missionary colonial bishop, appealed to Kingsley as exemplars of what he called ‘Christian manliness’. One of Kingsley’s reviewers, T. C. Sandars, described Kingsley as ‘spreading the knowledge and fostering the love of a muscular Christianity’. The defining characteristics of this ‘muscular Christianity’, a term with which Kingsley was uneasy, were ‘an association between physical strength, religious certainty, and an ability to shape and control the world around oneself’.
On 2 March 1865, the Revd Carl Sylvius Völkner, a Church Missionary Society (CMS) missionary, was hanged from a willow tree close to his own church and mission station at Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. John Hobbs, who had arrived as a Methodist missionary in New Zealand in 1823, reported on ‘the very barbarous Murder of one of the best Missionaries in New Zealand’ and noted that Völkner’s death marked ‘a New Era in the history of this country’. Völkner was the first European missionary of any denonomination to be killed in New Zealand since missionary work began in 1814.
Objective: The adverse events (AEs) with botulinum toxin type-A (BoNTA), used for indications other than spasticity, are widely reported in the literature. However, the site, dose, and frequency of injections are different for spasticity when compared to the treatment for other conditions and hence the AEs may be different as well. The objective of this study was to summarize the AEs reported in Canada and systematically review the AEs with intramuscular botulinum toxin injections to treat focal spasticity. Methods: Data were gathered from Health Canada (2009-2013) and major electronic databases. Results: In a 4 year period, 285 AEs were reported. OnabotulinumtoxinA (n=272 events): 68% females, 53% serious, 18% hospitalization, and 8% fatalities. The type of AEs reported were – muscle weakness (19%), oropharyngeal (14%), respiratory (14%), eye related (8%), bowel/bladder related (8%), and infection (5%). IncobotulinumtoxinA (n=13): 38% females, 62% serious, and 54% hospitalization. The type of AEs reported were – muscle weakness (15%), oropharyngeal (15%), respiratory (38%), eye related (23%), bowel/bladder related (15%), and infection (15%). Commonly reported AEs in the literature were muscle weakness, pain, oropharyngeal, bowel/bladder, blood circulation, neurological, gait, and respiratory problems. Conclusion: While BoNTA is useful in managing spasticity, future studies need to investigate the factors that can minimize AEs. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the AEs can also improve guidelines for BoNTA administration and enhance outcomes.
Microalgal blooms are a natural part of the seasonal cycle of photosynthetic organisms in marine ecosystems. They are key components of the structure and dynamics of the oceans and thus sustain the benefits that humans obtain from these aquatic environments. However, some microalgal blooms can cause harm to humans and other organisms. These harmful algal blooms (HABs) have direct impacts on human health and negative influences on human wellbeing, mainly through their consequences to coastal ecosystem services (fisheries, tourism and recreation) and other marine organisms and environments. HABs are natural phenomena, but these events can be favoured by anthropogenic pressures in coastal areas. Global warming and associated changes in the oceans could affect HAB occurrences and toxicity as well, although forecasting the possible trends is still speculative and requires intensive multidisciplinary research. At the beginning of the 21st century, with expanding human populations, particularly in coastal and developing countries, mitigating HABs impacts on human health and wellbeing is becoming a more pressing public health need. The available tools to address this global challenge include maintaining intensive, multidisciplinary and collaborative scientific research, and strengthening the coordination with stakeholders, policymakers and the general public. Here we provide an overview of different aspects of the HABs phenomena, an important element of the intrinsic links between oceans and human health and wellbeing.
To report new prescriptions of psychotropic medications among adolescents presenting with new onset psychotic symptoms during a 5-year period.
The Northern Ireland Early Onset Psychosis Study is a naturalistic longitudinal observational study of patients with an early onset first psychotic episode. All patients aged <18 years presenting to specialist mental health services across Northern Ireland with new onset psychotic symptoms between 2001 and 2006 were recruited (n=113). Clinical case notes were analysed retrospectively for details of subsequent treatment with psychotropic medications.
A total of 100 patients (88.5%) were prescribed some form of psychotropic medication. Over three-quarters of patients received an antipsychotic as their first medication. Risperidone (45.8%), olanzapine (24.0%) and chlorpromazine (12.5%) were the most commonly prescribed first-line antipsychotic medications. Of a total of 160 antipsychotic prescriptions, 81 (50.6%) were off-label. Prescriptions were most likely to have been deemed off-label owing to medications not being licensed in under-18s (71.6% of off-label prescriptions) but other reasons were medications being used outside licensed age ranges (23.5%) and outside licensed indications (4.9%).
This is the first study examining psychotropic prescribing patterns in a complete sample of all children and adolescents presenting with early onset psychotic episodes in a single geographical area. The observation of risperidone as the most commonly prescribed antipsychotic was in keeping with previous studies in child and adolescent populations. Rates of off-label prescribing were lower than previously observed although our study was the first to investigate off-label prescribing solely in children and adolescents presenting with psychotic symptoms.