To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) extends beyond the person who was injured. Family caregivers of adults with moderate to severe TBI frequently report increased burden, stress and depression. Few studies have examined the well-being of family members in the mild TBI population despite the latter representing up to 95% of all TBIs.
Five areas of well-being were examined in 99 family members (including parents, partners, siblings, other relatives, adult children, friends or neighbours) of adults (aged ≥16 years) with mild TBI. At 6- and 12-month post-injury, family members completed the Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale, Short Form-36 Health Survey, EQ-5D-3L, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Outcomes and change over time and associated factors were examined.
At 6 months, group mean scores for health-related quality of life for mental and physical components and overall health status were similar to the New Zealand (NZ) population. Mean scores for sleep, anxiety and depression were below clinically significant thresholds. From 6 to 12 months, there were significant improvements in Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale scores by 2.61 (95% confidence interval: 0.72–4.49), health-related quality of life (mental component) and EQ-5D-3L overall health (P = 0.01). Minimally clinically important differences were observed in overall health, anxiety, health-related quality of life and depression at 12 months. Female family members reported significant improvements in physical health over time, and more positive life changes were reported by those caring for males with TBI.
The findings suggest diminished burden over time for family members of adults with mild TBI.
Clinical Enterobacteriacae isolates with a colistin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ≥4 mg/L from a United States hospital were screened for the mcr-1 gene using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and confirmed by whole-genome sequencing. Four colistin-resistant Escherichia coli isolates contained mcr-1. Two isolates belonged to the same sequence type (ST-632). All subjects had prior international travel and antimicrobial exposure.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common among children. However, their caregivers’ knowledge and understanding of symptoms may influence how the injury is managed.
To investigate the knowledge of New Zealand (NZ) parents about TBI and concussion.
Method and procedures:
Parents (n = 205) of children aged 5–13 years completed a pen-and-paper or online survey containing questions examining their knowledge of TBI terminology, TBI symptoms and knowledge about concussion management.
Main outcomes and results:
A high proportion (61%) of parents did not think that a concussion was the same as a brain injury. Loss of consciousness (LOC) was the most endorsed symptom of TBI. However, 69% of participants were aware that TBI could occur without LOC. On average, parents correctly identified 19.5 (67.3%) of the 29 symptoms of TBI, but also identified 2.0 (11.9%) of the 17 distractor symptoms as being TBI related. Demographic factors and experience of TBI/concussion were associated with TBI symptom identification accuracy and concussion knowledge.
Further education of parents is needed to ensure they recognise the signs and symptoms of concussion/mild TBI so that they can make informed decisions on how best to manage their child’s injury.
Ultrasound applications are widespread, and their utility in resource-limited environments are numerous. In disasters, the use of ultrasound can help reallocate resources by guiding decisions on management and transportation priorities. These interventions can occur on-scene, at triage collection points, during transport, and at the receiving medical facility. Literature related to this specific topic is limited. However, literature regarding prehospital use of ultrasound, ultrasound in combat situations, and some articles specific to disaster medicine allude to the potential growth of ultrasound utilization in disaster response.
To evaluate the utility of point-of-care ultrasound in a disaster response based on studies involving ultrasonography in resource-limited environments.
A narrative review of MEDLINE, MEDLINE InProcess, EPub, and Embase found 20 articles for inclusion.
Experiences from past disasters, prehospital care, and combat experiences have demonstrated the value of ultrasound both as a diagnostic and interventional modality.
Current literature supports the use of ultrasound in disaster response as a real-time, portable, safe, reliable, repeatable, easy-to-use, and accurate tool. While both false positives and false negatives were reported in prehospital studies, these values correlate to accepted false positive and negative rates of standard in-hospital point-of-care ultrasound exams. Studies involving austere environments demonstrate the ability to apply ultrasound in extreme conditions and to obtain high-quality images with only modest training and real-time remote guidance. The potential for point-of-care ultrasound in triage and management of mass casualty incidents is there. However, as these studies are heterogeneous and observational in nature, further research is needed as to how to integrate ultrasound into the response and recovery phases.
Antibiotics are overprescribed for acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs). Guidelines provide criteria to determine which patients should receive antibiotics. We assessed congruence between documentation of ARI diagnostic and treatment practices with guideline recommendations, treatment appropriateness, and outcomes.
A multicenter quality improvement evaluation was conducted in 28 Veterans Affairs facilities. We included visits for pharyngitis, rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, and upper respiratory tract infections (URI-NOS) that occurred during the 2015–2016 winter season. A manual record review identified complicated cases, which were excluded. Data were extracted for visits meeting criteria, followed by analysis of practice patterns, guideline congruence, and outcomes.
Of 5,740 visits, 4,305 met our inclusion criteria: pharyngitis (n = 558), rhinosinusitis (n = 715), bronchitis (n = 1,155), URI-NOS (n = 1,475), or mixed diagnoses (>1 ARI diagnosis) (n = 402). Antibiotics were prescribed in 68% of visits: pharyngitis (69%), rhinosinusitis (89%), bronchitis (86%), URI-NOS (37%), and mixed diagnosis (86%). Streptococcal diagnostic testing was performed in 33% of pharyngitis visits; group A Streptococcus was identified in 3% of visits. Streptococcal tests were ordered less frequently for patients who received antibiotics (28%) than those who did not receive antibiotics 44%; P < .01). Although 68% of visits for rhinosinusitis had documentation of symptoms, only 32% met diagnostic criteria for antibiotics. Overall, 39% of patients with uncomplicated ARIs received appropriate antibiotic management. The proportion of 30-day return visits for ARI care was similar for appropriate (11%) or inappropriate (10%) antibiotic management (P = .22).
Antibiotics were prescribed in most uncomplicated ARI visits, indicating substantial overuse. Practice was frequently discordant with guideline diagnostic and treatment recommendations.
Ischemic stroke treatment is time-sensitive, and barriers to providing prehospital care encountered by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers have been under-studied.
This study described barriers to providing prehospital care, identified predictors of these barriers, and assessed the impact of these barriers on EMS on-scene time and administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in the emergency department (ED).
A retrospective cohort study was performed using the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-S; American Heart Association [AHA]; Dallas, Texas USA) registry at two hospitals to identify ischemic stroke patients arriving by EMS. Variables were abstracted from prehospital and hospital medical records and merged with registry data. Barriers to care were grouped into themes. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of barriers to care, and bi-variate tests were used to assess differences in EMS on-scene time and the proportion of patients receiving tPA between patients with and without barriers.
Barriers to providing prehospital care were documented for 15.5% of patients: 29.6% related to access, 26.7% communication, 23.0% extrication and transportation, 20.0% refusal, and 14.1% assessment/management. Non-white and non-black race (OR: 3.69; 95% CI, 1.63-8.36) and living alone (OR: 1.53; 95% CI, 1.05-2.23) were associated with greater odds of barriers to providing care. The EMS on-scene time was ≥15 minutes for 70.4% of patients who had a barrier to care, compared with 49.0% of patients who did not (P<.001). There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients who were administered tPA between those with and without barriers to care (14.1% vs 19.2%; P=.159).
Barriers to providing prehospital care were documented for a sizable proportion of ischemic stroke patients, with the majority related to patient access and communication, and occurred more frequently among non-white and non-black patients and those living alone. Although EMS on-scene time was longer for patients with barriers to care, the proportion of patients receiving tPA in the ED did not differ.
LiT, CushmanJT, ShahMN, KellyAG, RichDQ, JonesCMC. Barriers to Providing Prehospital Care to Ischemic Stroke Patients: Predictors and Impact on Care. Prehosp Disaster Med.2018;33(5):501–507.
Objective: Adults are at risk for unemployment following a moderate-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Less is known about employment patterns following mild TBI. This study aims to examine patterns of return to pre-injury job in adults following mild TBI over a 12-month post injury period, and to investigate factors associated with return to work. Methods: It is a prospective longitudinal study of 205 adults (aged ≥16 years at injury) identified as part of a larger population-based incidence study in the Waikato, New Zealand. In-person assessments were completed at baseline (within 14 days) and 1-, 6-, and 12-month post-injury. Results: A total of 159 (77.6%) adults returned to their pre-injury job at baseline and 185 (90.2%) returned within 12 months. Of those who did not return to their pre-injury job at baseline (n = 46), younger age at injury (≤30 years, p = .02) and poor overall neurocognitive functioning at 1-month (p = .02) was associated with non-return to pre-injury job at 12 months. Conclusion: In a sample of employed adults, the majority returned to their pre-injury job shortly after injury. Cognitive functioning and younger age at time of injury may be associated with delayed return to work. Interventions to support younger workers may facilitate their return to work.
Objective: To identify the systems available to sub-classify mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to determine their utility in predicting 1-year outcome.
Methods: A systematic review to identify mild-TBI sub-classification systems was conducted until March 2016. The identified systems were applied to a cohort of N = 290 adults who had experienced a mild-TBI, and who had been assessed for post-concussion symptoms 1-year post injury. ANOVAs and regression models were used to determine whether each sub-classification system could distinguish between outcomes and to explore their contribution to explaining variance in post-concussion symptoms 1-year post injury.
Results: Nineteen sub-classification systems for mild-TBI met the inclusion criteria for this review. The Saal (1991) classification system significantly differentiated the experience of post-concussion symptoms in our cohort 1-year post injury (F = 2.39, p = 0.05). However, the findings did not remain significant following correction for multiple comparisons and inclusion of socio-demographic and contextual factors in the regression model.
Conclusions: Current sub-classification systems fail to explain much of the variance in post-concussion symptoms 1 year following mild-TBI. Further research is needed to identify the factors (including socio-demographic and contextual factors) to determine, who may be at risk of developing persistent post-concussion symptoms.
To examine variation in antibiotic coverage and detection of resistant pathogens in community-onset pneumonia.
A total of 128 hospitals in the Veterans Affairs health system.
Hospitalizations with a principal diagnosis of pneumonia from 2009 through 2010.
We examined proportions of hospitalizations with empiric antibiotic coverage for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAER) and with initial detection in blood or respiratory cultures. We compared lowest- versus highest-decile hospitals, and we estimated adjusted probabilities (AP) for patient- and hospital-level factors predicting coverage and detection using hierarchical regression modeling.
Among 38,473 hospitalizations, empiric coverage varied widely across hospitals (MRSA lowest vs highest, 8.2% vs 42.0%; PAER lowest vs highest, 13.9% vs 44.4%). Detection rates also varied (MRSA lowest vs highest, 0.5% vs 3.6%; PAER lowest vs highest, 0.6% vs 3.7%). Whereas coverage was greatest among patients with recent hospitalizations (AP for anti-MRSA, 54%; AP for anti-PAER, 59%) and long-term care (AP for anti-MRSA, 60%; AP for anti-PAER, 66%), detection was greatest in patients with a previous history of a positive culture (AP for MRSA, 7.9%; AP for PAER, 11.9%) and in hospitals with a high prevalence of the organism in pneumonia (AP for MRSA, 3.9%; AP for PAER, 3.2%). Low hospital complexity and rural setting were strong negative predictors of coverage but not of detection.
Hospitals demonstrated widespread variation in both coverage and detection of MRSA and PAER, but probability of coverage correlated poorly with probability of detection. Factors associated with empiric coverage (eg, healthcare exposure) were different from those associated with detection (eg, microbiology history). Providing microbiology data during empiric antibiotic decision making could better align coverage to risk for resistant pathogens and could promote more judicious use of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Feral swine Sus scrofa have been implicated as a major threat to sensitive habitats and ecosystems as well as threatened wildlife. Nevertheless, direct and indirect impacts on threatened species (especially small, fossorial species) are not well documented. The decline of the U.S. federally endangered reticulated flatwoods salamander Ambystoma bishopi, categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, has been rapid and there are few remaining breeding locations for this species. The flatwoods salamander depends on complex herbaceous vegetation in all life stages, including eggs, larvae and adults. Historically sets of hog tracks have been observed only occasionally in the vicinity of monitored reticulated flatwoods salamander breeding wetlands, and damage to the wetlands had never been recorded. However, during the autumn–winter breeding season of 2013–2014 we observed a large increase in hog sign, including extensive rooting damage, in known flatwoods salamander breeding wetlands. Our objective was to assess the amount of hog sign and damage in these wetlands and to take corrective management actions to curb additional impacts. Of 28 wetlands surveyed for hog sign, presence was recorded at 68%, and damage at 54%. Of the 11 sites known to be occupied by flatwoods salamanders in 2013–2014, 64% had presence, and 55% had damage. We found that regular monitoring of disturbance in wetland habitats was a valuable tool to determine when intervention was needed and to assess the effectiveness of intervention. Habitat damage caused by feral hogs poses a potentially serious threat to the salamanders, which needs to be mitigated using methods to control and exclude hogs from this sensitive habitat.
To detail the activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative and evaluate outcomes of the program.
The VHA is a large integrated healthcare system serving approximately 6 million individuals annually at more than 140 medical facilities.
Utilization of nationally developed resources, proportional distribution of antibiotics, changes in stewardship practices and patient safety measures were reported. In addition, inpatient antimicrobial use was evaluated before and after implementation of national stewardship activities.
Nationally developed stewardship resources were well utilized, and many stewardship practices significantly increased, including development of written stewardship policies at 92% of facilities by 2015 (P<.05). While the proportional distribution of antibiotics did not change, inpatient antibiotic use significantly decreased after VHA Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative activities began (P<.0001). A 12% decrease in antibiotic use was noted overall. The VHA has also noted significantly declining use of antimicrobials prescribed for resistant Gram-negative organisms, including carbapenems, as well as declining hospital readmission and mortality rates. Concurrently, the VHA reported decreasing rates of Clostridium difficile infection.
The VHA National Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative includes continuing education, disease-specific guidelines, and development of example policies in addition to other highly utilized resources. While no specific ideal level of antimicrobial utilization has been established, the VHA has shown that improving antimicrobial usage in a large healthcare system may be achieved through national guidance and resources with local implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Training for the clinical research workforce does not sufficiently prepare workers for today’s scientific complexity; deficiencies may be ameliorated with training. The Enhancing Clinical Research Professionals’ Training and Qualifications developed competency standards for principal investigators and clinical research coordinators.
Clinical and Translational Science Awards representatives refined competency statements. Working groups developed assessments, identified training, and highlighted gaps.
Forty-eight competency statements in 8 domains were developed.
Training is primarily investigator focused with few programs for clinical research coordinators. Lack of training is felt in new technologies and data management. There are no standardized assessments of competence.
Forest conservation incentives are a popular approach to combatting tropical deforestation. Here we consider a case where direct economic incentives for forest conservation were offered to newly titled smallholders in a buffer zone of a protected area in the northeastern Ecuadorian Amazon. We used quasi-experimental impact evaluation methods to estimate changes in forest cover for 63 smallholders enrolled in Ecuador's Socio Bosque program compared to similar households that did not enroll. Focus group interviews in 15 communities provided insight into why landowners enrolled in the program and how land use is changing. The conservation incentives program reduced average annual deforestation by 0.4–0.5% between 2011 and 2013 for those enrolled, representing as much as a 70% reduction in deforestation attributable to Socio Bosque. Focus group interviews suggested that some landowners chose to ‘invest’ in conservation because the agricultural capacity of their land was limited and economic incentives provided an alternative livelihood strategy. Interviews, however, indicated limits to increasing enrollment rates under current conditions, due to lack of trust and liquidity constraints. Overall, a hybrid public–private governance approach can lead to larger conservation outcomes than restrictions alone.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are variably implemented.
To characterize variations of antimicrobial stewardship structure and practices across all inpatient Veterans Affairs facilities in 2012 and correlate key characteristics with antimicrobial usage.
A web-based survey regarding stewardship activities was administered to each facility’s designated contact. Bivariate associations between facility characteristics and inpatient antimicrobial use during 2012 were determined.
Total of 130 Veterans Affairs facilities with inpatient services.
Of 130 responding facilities, 29 (22%) had a formal policy establishing an ASP, and 12 (9%) had an approved ASP business plan. Antimicrobial stewardship teams were present in 49 facilities (38%); 34 teams included a clinical pharmacist with formal infectious diseases (ID) training. Stewardship activities varied across facilities, including development of yearly antibiograms (122 [94%]), formulary restrictions (120 [92%]), stop orders for antimicrobial duration (98 [75%]), and written clinical pathways for specific conditions (96 [74%]). Decreased antimicrobial usage was associated with having at least 1 full-time ID physician (P=.03), an ID fellowship program (P=.003), and a clinical pharmacist with formal ID training (P=.006) as well as frequency of systematic patient-level reviews of antimicrobial use (P=.01) and having a policy to address antimicrobial use in the context of Clostridium difficile infection (P=.01). Stop orders for antimicrobial duration were associated with increased use (P=.03).
ASP-related activities varied considerably. Decreased antibiotic use appeared related to ID presence and certain select practices. Further statistical assessments may help optimize antimicrobial practices.
Despite evidence for the effectiveness of structured psychological
therapies for bipolar disorder no psychological interventions have been
specifically designed to enhance personal recovery for individuals with
recent-onset bipolar disorder.
A pilot study to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a new
intervention, recovery-focused cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT),
designed in collaboration with individuals with recent-onset bipolar
disorder intended to improve clinical and personal recovery outcomes.
A single, blind randomised controlled trial compared treatment as usual
(TAU) with recovery-focused CBT plus TAU (n = 67).
Recruitment and follow-up rates within 10% of pre-planned targets to
12-month follow-up were achieved. An average of 14.15 h (s.d. = 4.21) of
recovery-focused CBT were attended out of a potential maximum of 18 h.
Compared with TAU, recovery-focused CBT significantly improved personal
recovery up to 12-month follow-up (Bipolar Recovery Questionnaire mean
score 310.87, 95% CI 75.00–546.74 (s.e. = 120.34), P =
0.010, d=0.62) and increased time to any mood relapse
during up to 15 months follow-up (χ2 = 7.64,
P<0.006, estimated hazard ratio (HR) = 0.38, 95%
CI 0.18–0.78). Groups did not differ with respect to medication
Recovery-focused CBT seems promising with respect to feasibility and
potential clinical effectiveness. Clinical- and cost-effectiveness now
need to be reliably estimated in a definitive trial.
Development of a numerical score to measure the microbial spectrum of antibiotic regimens (spectrum score) and method to identify antibiotic de-escalation events based on application of the score.
Web-based modified Delphi method.
Physician and pharmacist antimicrobial stewards practicing in the United States recruited through infectious diseases–focused listservs.
Three Delphi rounds investigated: organisms and antibiotics to include in the spectrum score, operationalization of rules for the score, and de-escalation measurement. A 4-point ordinal scale was used to score antibiotic susceptibility for organism-antibiotic domain pairs. Antibiotic regimen scores, which represented combined activity of antibiotics in a regimen across all organism domains, were used to compare antibiotic spectrum administered early (day 2) and later (day 4) in therapy. Changes in spectrum score were calculated and compared with Delphi participants’ judgments on de-escalation with 20 antibiotic regimen vignettes and with non-Delphi steward judgments on de-escalation of 300 pneumonia regimen vignettes. Method sensitivity and specificity to predict expert de-escalation status were calculated.
Twenty-four participants completed all Delphi rounds. Expert support for concepts utilized in metric development was identified. For vignettes presented in the Delphi, the sign of change in score correctly classified de-escalation in all vignettes except those involving substitution of oral antibiotics. The sensitivity and specificity of the method to identify de-escalation events as judged by non-Delphi stewards were 86.3% and 96.0%, respectively.
Identification of de-escalation events based on an algorithm that measures microbial spectrum of antibiotic regimens generally agreed with steward judgments of de-escalation status.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(9):1103-1113