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Health technology reassessment (HTR) is a structured evidence-based assessment of an existing technology in comparison to its alternatives. The process results in the following four outputs: (i) increased use; (ii) decreased use; (iii) no change; or (iv) de-adoption. However, implementing these outputs remains a challenge. Knowledge translation (KT) can be applied to implement findings from the HTR process. This study sought to identify which characteristics of KT theories, models, and frameworks (TMFs) could be useful, specifically for decreasing the use of or de-adopting a technology.
A qualitative descriptive approach was used to ascertain the perspectives of international KT and HTR experts on the characteristics of KT TMFs for decreasing the use of or de-adopting a technology. One-to-one semi-structured interviews were conducted. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Themes and sub-themes were deduced from the data through framework analysis using the following five distinctive steps: familiarization; identifying an analytic framework; indexing; charting; and mapping and interpretation. Themes and sub-themes were also mapped to existing KT TMFs.
Thirteen experts participated. The following three themes emerged as ideal characteristics of a KT TMF: (i) principles foundational for HTR: evidence-based, high usability, patient-centered, and ability to apply to micro, meso, and macro levels; (ii) levers of change: characterized as positive, neutral, or negative influences for changing behavior; and (iii) steps for knowledge to action: build the case for HTR, adapt research knowledge, assess context, select, tailor, and implement interventions, and assess impact. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research had the greatest number of ideal characteristics.
Application of KT TMFs to the HTR process has not been clearly established. This is the first study to provide an understanding of characteristics within KT TMFs that could be considered by users undertaking projects to decrease or de-adopt technologies. Characteristics to be considered within a KT TMF for implementing HTR outputs were identified. Consideration of these characteristics may guide users in choosing which KT TMF(s) to use when undertaking HTR projects.
Schistosomiasis has been subjected to extensive control efforts in the People's Republic of China (China) which aims to eliminate the disease by 2030. We describe baseline results of a longitudinal cohort study undertaken in the Dongting and Poyang lakes areas of central China designed to determine the prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum in humans, animals (goats and bovines) and Oncomelania snails utilizing molecular diagnostics procedures. Data from the Chinese National Schistosomiasis Control Programme (CNSCP) were compared with the molecular results obtained.
Sixteen villages from Hunan and Jiangxi provinces were surveyed; animals were only found in Hunan. The prevalence of schistosomiasis in humans was 1.8% in Jiangxi and 8.0% in Hunan determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), while 18.3% of animals were positive by digital droplet PCR. The CNSCP data indicated that all villages harboured S. japonicum-infected individuals, detected serologically by indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA), but very few, if any, of these were subsequently positive by Kato-Katz (KK).
Based on the outcome of the IHA and KK results, the CNSCP incorporates targeted human praziquantel chemotherapy but this approach can miss some infections as evidenced by the results reported here. Sensitive molecular diagnostics can play a key role in the elimination of schistosomiasis in China and inform control measures allowing for a more systematic approach to treatment.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
As practitioners of a historical science, paleontologists and geoscientists are well versed in the idea that the ability to understand and to anticipate the future relies upon our collective knowledge of the past. Despite this understanding, the fundamental role that the history of paleontology and the geosciences plays in shaping the structure and culture of our disciplines is seldom recognized and therefore not acted upon sufficiently. Here, we present a brief review of the history of paleontology and geology in Western countries, with a particular focus on North America since the 1800s. Western paleontology and geology are intertwined with systematic practices of exclusion, oppression, and erasure that arose from their direct participation in the extraction of geological and biological resources at the expense of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Our collective failure to acknowledge this history hinders our ability to address these issues meaningfully and systemically in present-day educational, academic, and professional settings. By discussing these issues and suggesting some ways forward, we intend to promote a deeper reflection upon our collective history and a broader conversation surrounding racism, colonialism, and exclusion within our scientific communities. Ultimately, it is necessary to listen to members of the communities most impacted by these issues to create actionable steps forward while holding ourselves accountable for the past.
The burden of depression and anxiety is poorly documented in Central African populations.
To present the epidemiology of depressive and anxiety disorders among older people in two Central African countries.
A cross-sectional population-based study was carried out in Republic of Congo (ROC) and Central African Republic (CAR) between 2011 - 2012 among people aged ≥ 65 years (EPIDEMCA study). Data were collected using a standardized questionnaire and participants underwent a brief physical examination. Depression and anxiety symptoms were ascertained using a community version of the Geriatric Mental State (GMS-B3). Probable cases were defined as having a GMS-AGECAT score ≥ 3. Logistic regression models were used to investigate the association between potential risk factors collected and presence of at least one of both symptoms.
Overall 2002 participants were included in the EPIDEMCA study. Median age of the participants was 72 years [interquartile range: 68 – 78 years] and 61.8% were females. Prevalence was 38.1% (95% Confidence Interval: 35.9% - 40.2%) for depression, 7.7% (95% CI: 6.5% - 8.9%) for anxiety. In total 40.1% had least one of both symptoms. In multivariable models, the following factors were associated with the presence of at least one of both symptoms: female sex, residence area, frailty, cognitive disorders, a high happiness score (protective) and hypertension (adjusted Odds Ratios from 1.3 to 1.7; p<0.01).
In light of the high prevalence of both psychiatric symptoms among Central African older people, evidence on their epidemiology is important for better management and policy planning.
Cross-sectional studies have found impaired cognitive functioning in patients with bipolar disorder, but long-term longitudinal studies are scarce.
The aims of this study were to examine the 6-year longitudinal course of cognitive functioning in patients with bipolar disorder and healthy controls. Subsets of patients were examined to investigate possible differences in cognitive trajectories.
Patients with bipolar I disorder (n = 44) or bipolar II disorder (n = 28) and healthy controls (n = 59) were tested with a comprehensive cognitive test battery at baseline and retested after 6 years. We conducted repeated measures ANCOVAs with group as a between-subject factor and tested the significance of group and time interaction.
By and large, the change in cognitive functioning between baseline and follow-up did not differ significantly between participants with bipolar disorder and healthy controls. Comparing subsets of patients, for example those with bipolar I and II disorder and those with and without manic episodes during follow-up, did not reveal subgroups more vulnerable to cognitive decline.
Cognitive performance remained stable in patients with bipolar disorder over a 6-year period and evolved similarly to healthy controls. These findings argue against the notion of a general progressive decline in cognitive functioning in bipolar disorder.
During the Randomized Assessment of Rapid Endovascular Treatment (EVT) of Ischemic Stroke (ESCAPE) trial, patient-level micro-costing data were collected. We report a cost-effectiveness analysis of EVT, using ESCAPE trial data and Markov simulation, from a universal, single-payer system using a societal perspective over a patient’s lifetime.
Primary data collection alongside the ESCAPE trial provided a 3-month trial-specific, non-model, based cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). A Markov model utilizing ongoing lifetime costs and life expectancy from the literature was built to simulate the cost per QALY adopting a lifetime horizon. Health states were defined using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores. Uncertainty was explored using scenario analysis and probabilistic sensitivity analysis.
The 3-month trial-based analysis resulted in a cost per QALY of $201,243 of EVT compared to the best standard of care. In the model-based analysis, using a societal perspective and a lifetime horizon, EVT dominated the standard of care; EVT was both more effective and less costly than the standard of care (−$91). When the time horizon was shortened to 1 year, EVT remains cost savings compared to standard of care (∼$15,376 per QALY gained with EVT). However, if the estimate of clinical effectiveness is 4% less than that demonstrated in ESCAPE, EVT is no longer cost savings compared to standard of care.
Results support the adoption of EVT as a treatment option for acute ischemic stroke, as the increase in costs associated with caring for EVT patients was recouped within the first year of stroke, and continued to provide cost savings over a patient’s lifetime.
Air pollution is linked to mortality and morbidity. Since humans spend nearly all their time indoors, improving indoor air quality (IAQ) is a compelling approach to mitigate air pollutant exposure. To assess interventions, relying on clinical outcomes may require prolonged follow-up, which hinders feasibility. Thus, identifying biomarkers that respond to changes in IAQ may be useful to assess the effectiveness of interventions.
We conducted a narrative review by searching several databases to identify studies published over the last decade that measured the response of blood, urine, and/or salivary biomarkers to variations (natural and intervention-induced) of changes in indoor air pollutant exposure.
Numerous studies reported on associations between IAQ exposures and biomarkers with heterogeneity across study designs and methods. This review summarizes the responses of 113 biomarkers described in 30 articles. The biomarkers which most frequently responded to variations in indoor air pollutant exposures were high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), von Willebrand Factor (vWF), 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP).
This review will guide the selection of biomarkers for translational studies evaluating the impact of indoor air pollutants on human health.
Aggressive behaviour is a highly prevalent and devastating condition in autism spectrum disorder resulting in impoverished quality of life. Gold-standard therapies are ineffective in about 30% of patients leading to greater suffering. We investigated cortical thickness in individuals with autism spectrum disorder with pharmacological-treatment-refractory aggressive behaviour compared with those with non-refractory aggressive behaviour and observed a brain-wide pattern of local increased thickness in key areas related to emotional control and overall decreased cortical thickness in those with refractory aggressive behaviour, suggesting refractoriness could be related to specific morphological patterns. Elucidating the neurobiology of refractory aggressive behaviour is crucial to provide insights and potential avenues for new interventions.
Introduction: For rhythm control of acute atrial flutter (AAFL) in the emergency department (ED), choices include initial drug therapy or initial electrical cardioversion (ECV). We compared the strategies of pharmacological cardioversion followed by ECV if necessary (Drug-Shock), and ECV alone (Shock Only). Methods: We conducted a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial (1:1 allocation) comparing two rhythm control strategies at 11 academic EDs. We included stable adult patients with AAFL, where onset of symptoms was <48 hours. Patients underwent central web-based randomization stratified by site. The Drug-Shock group received an infusion of procainamide (15mg/kg over 30 minutes) followed 30 minutes later, if necessary, by ECV at 200 joules x 3 shocks. The Shock Only group received an infusion of saline followed, if necessary, by ECV x 3 shocks. The primary outcome was conversion to sinus rhythm for ≥30 minutes at any time following onset of infusion. Patients were followed for 14 days. The primary outcome was evaluated on an intention-to-treat basis. Statistical significance was assessed using chi-squared tests and multivariable logistic regression. Results: We randomized 76 patients, and none was lost to follow-up. The Drug-Shock (N = 33) and Shock Only (N = 43) groups were similar for all characteristics including mean age (66.3 vs 63.4 yrs), duration of AAFL (30.1 vs 24.5 hrs), previous AAFL (72.7% vs 69.8%), median CHADS2 score (1 vs 1), and mean initial heart rate (128.9 vs 126.0 bpm). The Drug-Shock and Shock only groups were similar for the primary outcome of conversion (100% vs 93%; absolute difference 7.0%, 95% CI -0.6;14.6; P = 0.25). The multivariable analyses confirmed the similarity of the two strategies (P = 0.19). In the Drug-Shock group 21.2% of patients converted with the infusion. There were no statistically significant differences for time to conversion (84.2 vs 97.6 minutes), total ED length of stay (9.4 vs 7.5 hours), disposition home (100% vs 95.3%), and stroke within 14 days (0 vs 0). Premature discontinuation of infusion (usually for transient hypotension) was more common in the Drug-Shock group (9.1% vs 0.0%) but there were no serious adverse events. Conclusion: Both the Drug-Shock and Shock Only strategies were highly effective and safe in allowing AAFL patients to go home in sinus rhythm. IV procainamide alone was effective in only one fifth of patients, much less than for acute AF.
Introduction: Older (age >=65 years) trauma patients suffer increased morbidity and mortality. This is due to under-triage of older trauma victims, resulting in lack of transfer to a trauma centre or failure to activate the trauma team. There are currently no Canadian guidelines for the management of older trauma patients. The objective of this study was to identify modifiers to the prehospital and emergency department (ED) phases of major trauma care for older adults based on expert consensus. Methods: We conducted a modified Delphi study to assess senior-friendly major trauma care modifiers based on national expert consensus. The panel consisted of 24 trauma care providers across Canada, including medical directors, paramedics, emergency physicians, emergency nurses, trauma surgeons and trauma administrators. Following a literature review, we developed an online Delphi survey consisting of 16 trauma care modifiers. Three online survey rounds were distributed and panelists were asked to score items on a 9-point Likert scale. The following predetermined thresholds were used: appropriate (median score 7–9, without disagreement); inappropriate (median score 1–3; without disagreement), and uncertain (any median score with disagreement). The disagreement index (DI) is a method for measuring consensus within groups. Agreement was defined a priori as a DI score <1. Results: There was a 100% response rate for all survey rounds. Three new trauma care modifiers were suggested by panelists. Of 19 trauma care modifiers, the expert panel achieved consensus agreement for 17 items. The prehospital modifier with the strongest agreement to transfer to a trauma centre was a respiratory rate <10 or >20 breaths/minute or needing ventilatory support (DI = 0.24). The ED modifier with the strongest level of agreement was obtaining a 12-lead electrocardiogram following the primary and secondary survey for all older adults (DI = 0.01). Two trauma care modifiers failed to reach consensus agreement: transporting older patients with ground level falls to a trauma centre and activating the trauma team based solely on an age >=65 years. Conclusion: Using a modified Delphi process, an expert panel agreed upon 17 trauma care modifiers for older adults in the prehospital and ED phases of care. These modifiers may improve the delivery of senior-friendly trauma care and should be considered when developing local and national trauma guidelines.
Introduction: Acute heart failure (AHF) is a common emergency department (ED) presentation and may be associated with poor outcomes. Conversely, many patients rapidly improve with ED treatment and may not need hospital admission. Because there is little evidence to guide disposition decisions by ED and admitting physicians, we sought to create a risk score for predicting short-term serious outcomes (SSO) in patients with AHF. Methods: We conducted prospective cohort studies at 9 tertiary care hospital EDs from 2007 to 2019, and enrolled adult patients who required treatment for AHF. Each patient was assessed for standardized real-time clinical and laboratory variables, as well as for SSO (defined as death within 30 days or intubation, non-invasive ventilation (NIV), myocardial infarction, coronary bypass surgery, or new hemodialysis after admission). The fully pre-specified, logistic regression model with 13 predictors (age, pCO2, and SaO2 were modeled using spline functions with 3 knots and heart rate and creatinine with 5 knots) was fitted to the 10 multiple imputation datasets. Harrell's fast stepdown procedure reduced the number of variables. We calculated the potential impact on sensitivity (95% CI) for SSO and hospital admissions and estimated a sample size of 170 SSOs. Results: The 2,246 patients had mean age 77.4 years, male sex 54.5%, EMS arrival 41.1%, IV NTG 3.1%, ED NIV 5.2%, admission on initial visit 48.6%. Overall there were 174 (7.8%) SSOs including 70 deaths (3.1%). The final risk scale is comprised of five variables (points) and had c-statistic of 0.76 (95% CI: 0.73-0.80): 1.Valvular heart disease (1) 2.ED non-invasive ventilation (2) 3.Creatinine 150-300 (1) ≥300 (2) 4.Troponin 2x-4x URL (1) ≥5x URL (2) 5.Walk test failed (2) The probability of SSO ranged from 2.0% for a total score of 0 to 90.2% for a score of 10, showing good calibration. The model was stable over 1,000 bootstrap samples. Choosing a risk model total point admission threshold of >2 would yield a sensitivity of 80.5% (95% CI 73.9-86.1) for SSO with no change in admissions from current practice (48.6% vs 48.7%). Conclusion: Using a large prospectively collected dataset, we created a concise and sensitive risk scale to assist with admission decisions for patients with AHF in the ED. Implementation of this risk scoring scale should lead to safer and more efficient disposition decisions, with more high-risk patients being admitted and more low-risk patients being discharged.
Introduction: An important challenge physicians face when treating acute heart failure (AHF) patients in the emergency department (ED) is deciding whether to admit or discharge, with or without early follow-up. The overall goal of our project was to improve care for AHF patients seen in the ED while avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions. The specific goal was to introduce hospital rapid referral clinics to ensure AHF patients were seen within 7 days of ED discharge. Methods: This prospective before-after study was conducted at two campuses of a large tertiary care hospital, including the EDs and specialty outpatient clinics. We enrolled AHF patients ≥50 years who presented to the ED with shortness of breath (<7 days). The 12-month before (control) period was separated from the 12-month after (intervention) period by a 3-month implementation period. Implementation included creation of rapid access AHF clinics staffed by cardiology and internal medicine, and development of referral procedures. There was extensive in-servicing of all ED staff. The primary outcome measure was hospital admission at the index visit or within 30 days. Secondary outcomes included mortality and actual access to rapid follow-up. We used segmented autoregression analysis of the monthly proportions to determine whether there was a change in admissions coinciding with the introduction of the intervention and estimated a sample size of 700 patients. Results: The patients in the before period (N = 355) and the after period (N = 374) were similar for age (77.8 vs. 78.1 years), arrival by ambulance (48.7% vs 51.1%), comorbidities, current medications, and need for non-invasive ventilation (10.4% vs. 6.7%). Comparing the before to the after periods, we observed a decrease in hospital admissions on index visit (from 57.7% to 42.0%; P <0.01), as well as all admissions within 30 days (from 65.1% to 53.5% (P < 0.01). The autoregression analysis, however, demonstrated a pre-existing trend to fewer admissions and could not attribute this to the intervention (P = 0.91). Attendance at a specialty clinic, amongst those discharged increased from 17.8% to 42.1% (P < 0.01) and the median days to clinic decreased from 13 to 6 days (P < 0.01). 30-day mortality did not change (4.5% vs. 4.0%; P = 0.76). Conclusion: Implementation of rapid-access dedicated AHF clinics led to considerably increased access to specialist care, much reduced follow-up times, and possible reduction in hospital admissions. Widespread use of this approach can improve AHF care in Canada.
There is wide acknowledgement that apathy is an important behavioural syndrome in Alzheimer’s disease and in various neuropsychiatric disorders. In light of recent research and the renewed interest in the correlates and impacts of apathy, and in its treatments, it is important to develop criteria for apathy that will be widely accepted, have clear operational steps, and that will be easily applied in practice and research settings. Meeting these needs is the focus of the task force work reported here.
The task force includes members of the Association Française de Psychiatrie Biologique, the European Psychiatric Association, the European Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium and experts from Europe, Australia and North America. An advanced draft was discussed at the consensus meeting (during the EPA conference in April 7th 2008) and a final agreement reached concerning operational definitions and hierarchy of the criteria.
Apathy is defined as a disorder of motivation that persists over time and should meet the following requirements. Firstly, the core feature of apathy, diminished motivation, must be present for at least four weeks; secondly two of the three dimensions of apathy (reduced goal-directed behaviour, goal-directed cognitive activity, and emotions) must also be present; thirdly there should be identifiable functional impairments attributable to the apathy. Finally, exclusion criteria are specified to exclude symptoms and states that mimic apathy.
The aim of the present study was to determine the frequency of emotional and disruptive behaviours and the rates of hyperactivity, conduct and emotional problems in school-aged children. The Rutter Children’s Behaviour Questionnaire for completion by teachers was used to assess psychiatric symptoms. A total deviance score is derived from the sum of scores for the individual items (n= 26). An emotional sub-score can be obtained from the sum of scores of four items (worried, miserable, fearful, tears on arrival at school), a conduct sub-score obtained from the sum of scores of six items (destructive, fights, disobedient, lies, steals, bullies) and a hyperactivity sub-score obtained from the sum of scores of three items (restless/overactive, poor concentration, fidgety/squirmy). The sample comprised 877 children (446 girls) with an age range between 6 and 11 years. Compared to girls, boys showed a significantly higher frequency of restless/overactive (15.8% vs. 5.8%), fidgety/squirmy (9.3% vs. 3.6%), fights (6.3% vs. 2.2%), disobedient (6.0% vs. 2.7%), bullies (5.3% vs. 2.0%) and irritable (5.1% vs. 1.8%) behaviours. Rates of conduct and hyperactivity behavioural problems were also significantly more frequent in boys than in girls (conduct problems: 17.9% vs. 8.1%; hyperactivity problems: 20.4% vs. 9.6%). The high rates of disruptive behaviours and problems in boys are in accordance with the literature.