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In March 2017, the New Jersey Department of Health received reports of 3 patients who developed septic arthritis after receiving intra-articular injections for osteoarthritis knee pain at the same private outpatient facility in New Jersey. The risk of septic arthritis resulting from intra-articular injection is low. However, outbreaks of septic arthritis associated with unsafe injection practices in outpatient settings have been reported.
An infection prevention assessment of the implicated facility’s practices was conducted because of the ongoing risk to public health. The assessment included an environmental inspection of the facility, staff interviews, infection prevention practice observations, and a medical record and office document review. A call for cases was disseminated to healthcare providers in New Jersey to identify patients treated at the facility who developed septic arthritis after receiving intra-articular injections.
We identified 41 patients with septic arthritis associated with intra-articular injections. Cultures of synovial fluid or tissue from 15 of these 41 case patients (37%) recovered bacteria consistent with oral flora. The infection prevention assessment of facility practices identified multiple breaches of recommended infection prevention practices, including inadequate hand hygiene, unsafe injection practices, and poor cleaning and disinfection practices. No additional cases were identified after infection prevention recommendations were implemented by the facility.
Aseptic technique is imperative when handling, preparing, and administering injectable medications to prevent microbial contamination.
This investigation highlights the importance of adhering to infection prevention recommendations. All healthcare personnel who prepare, handle, and administer injectable medications should be trained in infection prevention and safe injection practices.
Ecosystem services typically benefit multiple groups of people. However, natural resource management decisions aiming to secure ecosystem services for one beneficiary group rarely consider potential consequences for others. Here, we examine records of moose hunting in Vermont, USA, a recreational ecosystem service with at least two beneficiary groups: hunters, who benefit from recreational experiences and moose meat, and residents, who live in hunting areas and benefit from hunters’ expenditures. We ask how the allocation of hunting permits has affected (1) the total number of hunters and therefore the benefits enjoyed by this group, (2) the benefits residents received, and (3) the spatial distribution of benefits for each group. We found that changes in the allocation of permits had heterogeneous effects on the beneficiaries. For example, increasing the number of hunting permits increased the total number of hunters, but not necessarily the number of residents who potentially benefit. Also, a more balanced distribution of permits across Vermont increased the total number of potentially benefiting residents, but not those from lower socio-economic groups. Understanding these differences and interactions between beneficiary groups is necessary to distribute benefits equitably amongst them.
The purpose of this study was to identify 1) the proportion of patients discharged from the emergency department (ED) with a diagnosis of concussion and return within 14 days, and 2) the characteristics that prompt a return.
A health records review was conducted on adult patients with a discharge diagnosis of a concussion who accessed care through Hamilton Health Sciences EDs and Urgent Care Centre in 2016. Subsequent data were collected from those who returned to the ED within 14 days. Clinical characteristics of returners were compared to those of non-returners.
Of the 389 patients included in the study, 38 (10%) returned within 14 days. Patients who sustained a concussion in a sport-related context or were referred to a specialized clinic were less likely to return (p = 0.03). Those who suffered an assault-related concussion were more likely to return (p = 0.01). Of those who did return, 42% received a CT scan with normal results, and 42% were given new discharge instructions.
Approximately 10% of patients diagnosed with a concussion in a Canadian hospital setting returned to the ED within 14 days of their index visit. Our study suggests the opportunity to reduce this burden to both the healthcare system and the patient through careful discharge instructions outlining anticipated symptoms following a concussion (specifically, headache) or referral to a concussion clinic.
Traits of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are strongly associated in children and adolescents, largely due to genetic factors. Less is known about the phenotypic and aetiological overlap between ADHD and ASD traits in adults.
We studied 6866 individuals aged 20–28 years from the Swedish Study of Young Adult Twins. Inattention (IA) and hyperactivity/impulsivity (HI) were assessed using the WHO Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale-V1.1. Repetitive and restricted behaviours (RRB) and social interaction and communication (SIC) were assessed using the Autism-Tics, ADHD, and other Comorbidities inventory. We used structural equation modelling to decompose covariance between these ADHD and ASD trait dimensions into genetic and shared/non-shared environmental components.
At the phenotypic level, IA was similarly correlated with RRB (r = 0.33; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.31–0.36) and with SIC (r = 0.32; 95% CI 0.29–0.34), whereas HI was more strongly associated with RRB (r = 0.38; 95% CI 0.35–0.40) than with SIC (r = 0.24; 95% CI 0.21–0.26). Genetic and non-shared environmental effects accounted for similar proportions of the phenotypic correlations, whereas shared environmental effects were of minimal importance. The highest genetic correlation was between HI and RRB (r = 0.56; 95% 0.46–0.65), and the lowest was between HI and SIC (r = 0.33; 95% CI 0.23–0.43).
We found evidence for dimension-specific phenotypic and aetiological overlap between ADHD and ASD traits in adults. Future studies investigating mechanisms underlying comorbidity between ADHD and ASD may benefit from exploring several symptom-dimensions, rather than considering only broad diagnostic categories.
The methodological and epistemological challenges that research on ethnopolitical violence faces are examined. This research area is fundamentally important for political reasons and for understanding, as well as subsequent interventions to ameliorate, youths’ responses to ethnopolitical violence. Advances in methods are reviewed that can overcome the obstacles placed by the various challenges. These issues are discussed in the context of the articles that comprise this Special Section.
Over 1 billion children worldwide are exposed to political violence and armed conflict. The current conclusions are qualified by limited longitudinal research testing sophisticated process-oriented explanatory models for child adjustment outcomes. In this study, consistent with a developmental psychopathology perspective emphasizing the value of process-oriented longitudinal study of child adjustment in developmental and social–ecological contexts, we tested emotional insecurity about the community as a dynamic, within-person mediating process for relations between sectarian community violence and child adjustment. Specifically, this study explored children's emotional insecurity at a person-oriented level of analysis assessed over 5 consecutive years, with child gender examined as a moderator of indirect effects between sectarian community violence and child adjustment. In the context of a five-wave longitudinal research design, participants included 928 mother–child dyads in Belfast (453 boys, 475 girls) drawn from socially deprived, ethnically homogenous areas that had experienced political violence. Youth ranged in age from 10 to 20 years and were 13.24 (SD = 1.83) years old on average at the initial time point. Greater insecurity about the community measured over multiple time points mediated relations between sectarian community violence and youth's total adjustment problems. The pathway from sectarian community violence to emotional insecurity about the community was moderated by child gender, with relations to emotional insecurity about the community stronger for girls than for boys. The results suggest that ameliorating children's insecurity about community in contexts of political violence is an important goal toward improving adolescents' well-being and adjustment. These results are discussed in terms of their translational research implications, consistent with a developmental psychopathology model for the interface between basic and intervention research.
The reader might get the impression that the four projects described in this Special Section proceeded in a systematic and predictable way. Of course, those of us engaged in each research project encountered pitfalls and challenges along the way. A main goal of this Special Section is to provide pathways and encouragement for those who may be interested in advancing high-quality research on this topic. In this paper, we describe a set of practical and ethical challenges that we encountered in conducting our longitudinal, process-oriented, and translational research with conflict-affected youth, and we illustrate how problems can be solved with the goal of maintaining the internal and external validity of the research designs. We are hopeful that by describing the challenges of our work, and how we overcame them, which are seldom treated in this or any other literature on research on child development in high-risk contexts, we can offer a realistic and encouraging picture of conducting methodologically sound research in conflict-affected contexts.
Improving children's learning and development in conflict-affected countries is critically important for breaking the intergenerational transmission of violence and poverty. Yet there is currently a stunning lack of rigorous evidence as to whether and how programs to improve learning and development in conflict-affected countries actually work to bolster children's academic learning and socioemotional development. This study tests a theory of change derived from the fields of developmental psychopathology and social ecology about how a school-based universal socioemotional learning program, the International Rescue Committee's Learning to Read in a Healing Classroom (LRHC), impacts children's learning and development. The study was implemented in three conflict-affected provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and employed a cluster-randomized waitlist control design to estimate impact. Using multilevel structural equation modeling techniques, we found support for the central pathways in the LRHC theory of change. Specifically, we found that LRHC differentially impacted dimensions of the quality of the school and classroom environment at the end of the first year of the intervention, and that in turn these dimensions of quality were differentially associated with child academic and socioemotional outcomes. Future implications and directions are discussed.
Articles in this timely Special Section represent an important milestone in the developmental science on children and youth involved in political violence and armed conflict. With millions of children worldwide affected by past and present wars and conflicts, there is an urgent and growing need for research to inform efforts to understand, prevent, and mitigate the possible harm of such violence to individual children, families, communities, and societies, for present as well as future generations. The four programs of research highlighted in this Special Section illustrate key advances and challenges in contemporary development research on young people growing up in the midst or aftermath of political violence. These studies are longitudinal, methodologically sophisticated, and grounded in socioecological systems models that align well with current models of risk and resilience in developmental psychopathology. These studies collectively mark a critically important shift to process-focused research that holds great promise for translational applications. Nonetheless, given the scope of the international crisis of children and youth affected by political violence and its sequelae, there is an urgent global need for greater mobilization of resources to support translational science and effective evidence-based action.
We examine the hypothesis that children's exposure to ethnic–political conflict and violence over the course of a year stimulates their increased aggression toward their own in-group peers in subsequent years. In addition, we examine what social cognitive and emotional processes mediate these effects and how these effects are moderated by gender, age, and ethnic group. To accomplish these aims, we collected three waves of data from 901 Israeli and 600 Palestinian youths (three age cohorts: 8, 11, and 14 years old) and their parents at 1-year intervals. Exposure to ethnic–political violence was correlated with aggression at in-group peers among all age cohorts. Using a cross-lagged structural equation model from Year 1 to Year 3, we found that the relation between exposure and aggression is more plausibly due to exposure to ethnic–political violence stimulating later aggression at peers than vice versa, and this effect was not moderated significantly by gender, age cohort, or ethnic group. Using three-wave structural equation models, we then showed that this effect was significantly mediated by changes in normative beliefs about aggression, aggressive script rehearsal, and emotional distress produced by the exposure. Again the best fitting model did not allow for moderation by gender, age cohort, or ethnic group. The findings are consistent with recent theorizing that exposure to violence leads to changes both in emotional processes promoting aggression and in the acquisition through observational learning of social cognitions promoting aggression.
This study explored how coping with war-related traumatic events in Sierra Leone impacted mental health outcomes among 529 youth (aged 10–17 at baseline; 25% female) using longitudinal data from three time points (Time 1 in 2002, Time 2 in 2004, and Time 3 in 2008). We examined two types of coping items (approach and avoidance); used multiple regression models to test their relations with long-term mental health outcomes (internalizing behaviors, externalizing behaviors, adaptive/prosocial behaviors, and posttraumatic stress symptoms); and used mediation analyses to test whether coping explained the relation between previous war exposures (being raped, death of parent(s), or killing/injuring someone during the war) and those outcomes. We found that avoidance coping items were associated with lower internalizing and posttraumatic stress behaviors at Time 3, and provided some evidence of mediating the relation between death of parent(s) during the war and the two outcomes mentioned above. Approach coping was associated with higher Time 3 adaptive/prosocial behaviors, whereas avoidance coping was associated with lower Time 3 adaptive/prosocial behaviors. Avoidance coping may be a protective factor against mental illness, whereas approach coping may be a promotive factor for adaptive/prosocial behaviors in war-affected societies. This study has important implications for designing and implementing mental health interventions for youth in postconflict settings.
An increasing number of researchers and policymakers have been moved to study and intervene in the lives of children affected by violent conflicts (Masten, 2014). According to a United Nations Children's Fund (2009) report, over 1 billion children under the age of 18 are growing up in regions where acts of political violence and armed conflict are, as Ladds and Cairns (1996, p. 15) put it, “a common occurrence—a fact of life.” In recent years, the United Nations Children's Fund, advocacy and human rights groups, journalists, and researchers have drawn public attention to the high rates of child casualties in these regions, and to the plights of those children still caught in the crossfire. It has thus become clear that both the challenges and the stakes are higher than ever to promote the safety and well-being of affected children around the world (Masten & Narayan, 2012; Tol, Jordans, Kohrt, Betancourt, & Komproe, 2012).