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Reproductive issues as related to CHD must be discussed in the clinic and at home. Providers can ensure that correct information is imparted to the adolescent and encourage mothers to provide support and guidance to the adolescent. The level to which these conversations occur is unknown.
A survey distributed to female adolescent/mother dyads assessed self-reported conversations with the healthcare provider and between each other about reproductive health topics. A clinician survey was completed to assess CHD diagnosis, risk of hormonal contraception, and pregnancy risk.
Among 91 dyads, 33.0% of adolescents and 42.9% of mothers reported discussing recurrence risk of CHD with the provider. In regard to the cardiac lesion affecting a baby, 30.7% of adolescents and 28.7% of mothers reported discussing this with a provider. Significantly less adolescents and mothers reported discussing the risks of hormonal contraception and pregnancy with a provider. In assessing conversations between adolescents and mothers, only 44.2% of adolescents and 52.3% of mothers reported discussing with each other the safety of using birth control and 46.5% of adolescents and 64.0% of mothers reported discussing the safety of pregnancy.
Adolescents with CHD and their mothers report low rates of reproductive health-related conversations with the healthcare provider, and mothers report low rates of having these conversations with their daughters. These topics should be discussed at each appointment with the cardiologist and must be encouraged to continue at home.
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses suggest that behaviour change interventions have modest effect sizes, struggle to demonstrate effect in the long term and that there is high heterogeneity between studies. Such interventions take huge effort to design and run for relatively small returns in terms of changes to behaviour.
So why do behaviour change interventions not work and how can we make them more effective? This article offers some ideas about what may underpin the failure of behaviour change interventions. We propose three main reasons that may explain why our current methods of conducting behaviour change interventions struggle to achieve the changes we expect: 1) our current model for testing the efficacy or effectiveness of interventions tends to a mean effect size. This ignores individual differences in response to interventions; 2) our interventions tend to assume that everyone values health in the way we do as health professionals; and 3) the great majority of our interventions focus on addressing cognitions as mechanisms of change. We appeal to people’s logic and rationality rather than recognising that much of what we do and how we behave, including our health behaviours, is governed as much by how we feel and how engaged we are emotionally as it is with what we plan and intend to do.
Drawing on our team’s experience of developing multiple interventions to promote and support health behaviour change with a variety of populations in different global contexts, this article explores strategies with potential to address these issues.
Adolescent dieting and disordered eating (DE) are risks for clinical eating disorders. In this five-wave longitudinal study, we tested gender-specific models linking early risk factors to temporal patterns of DE, considering appearance anxiety as a mediator. Participants were 384 Australian students (age 10 to 13; 45% boys) who reported their purging and skipping meals, experience with appearance-related teasing, media pressure, and appearance anxiety. Parents reported pubertal maturation and height/weight was measured. Gender differences in temporal patterns of DE were found and predictive models were tested using latent-variable growth curve and path models. Boys’ DE was generally stable over time; girls showed stability in purging but an average increase in skipping meals. Peer teasing, media pressure, and pubertal maturation were associated with more elevated initial DE in girls, and pubertal maturation was associated with a steeper increase in DE. For boys, body mass index had a direct positive association with DE. Appearance anxiety was associated with more DE, but there was only one significant indirect effect via anxiety, which was for boys’ pubertal maturation. Findings support the dominant role of social interactions and messages, as well as pubertal maturation, for girls’ DE and the prominence of physical risk factors for explaining boys’ DE.
Despite prenatal diagnosis, prenatal intervention, and immediate postnatal intervention, patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and intact or highly restrictive atrial septum have the highest risk for mortality. Charts for all infants diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome from 2009 to 2017 were retrospectively reviewed and compared, including pulmonary vein Doppler patterns on fetal echocardiogram and evidence of pulmonary lymphangiectasia on fetal MRI. Of the 81 newborns with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, we defined two groups. Group 1 patients had an adequate atrial septal communication (n = 69), while Group 2 met criteria for intact/restrictive septum (n = 12). No patient in Group 1 had a type C pulmonary vein Doppler pattern, while no patient in Group 2 had a type A pulmonary vein Doppler pattern. The two patients with pulmonary lymphangiectasia had type C pulmonary vein Doppler pattern and an intact atrial septum and did not survive. Survival to discharge for Group 1 was 83% compared to 58% for Group 2 (p = 0.116). Survival to stage 2 palliation was 71% for Group 1 compared to 50% for Group 2 (p = 0.186). Only 4 of the initial 12 patients from Group 2 are alive, which is an overall survival of 33%. Our experience supports previous evidence that fetal echocardiography can identify those patients with the greatest likelihood for postnatal intervention as well as those at highest risk for mortality. Fetal MRI is a novel imaging modality that may help providers separate patients at highest risk for mortality, regardless of pulmonary vein Doppler pattern.
The problem of plasma expansion into a vacuum is revisited with the addition of a finite boundary condition; an electrically insulated surface. As plasma expands towards a charge-accumulating surface, the leading electron cloud charges the surface negatively, which in turn repels electrons and attracts ions. This plasma–surface interaction is shown to result in a feedback process which accelerates the plasma expansion. In addition, we examine the decrease in (negative) surface potential and associated near-surface electron density. To investigate this plasma coupling with an electrically floating surface, we develop an analytic model including four neighbouring plasma regions: (i) undisturbed plasma, (ii) quasi-neutral self-similar expansion, (iii) ion front boundary layer and (iv) electron cloud. A key innovation in our approach is a self-contained analytic approximation of the ion front boundary layer, providing a spatially continuous electric field model for the early phase of bounded plasma expansion.
Stressful experiences affect biological stress systems, such as the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Life stress can potentially alter regulation of the HPA axis and has been associated with poorer physical and mental health. Little, however, is known about the relative influence of stressors that are encountered at different developmental periods on acute stress reactions in adulthood. In this study, we explored three models of the influence of stress exposure on cortisol reactivity to a modified version of the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) by leveraging 37 years of longitudinal data in a high-risk birth cohort (N = 112). The cumulative stress model suggests that accumulated stress across the lifespan leads to dysregulated reactivity, whereas the biological embedding model implicates early childhood as a critical period. The sensitization model assumes that dysregulation should only occur when stress is high in both early childhood and concurrently. All of the models predicted altered reactivity, but do not anticipate its exact form. We found support for both cumulative and biological embedding effects. However, when pitted against each other, early life stress predicted more blunted cortisol responses at age 37 over and above cumulative life stress. Additional analyses revealed that stress exposure in middle childhood also predicted more blunted cortisol reactivity.
The aim of this research was to look at the emergence of wearable technology and the internet of things (IoT) and their current and potential use in the health and care area. There is a wide and ever-expanding range of wearables, devices, apps, data aggregators and platforms allowing the measurement, tracking and aggregation of a multitude of health and lifestyle measures, information and behaviours. The use and application of such technology and the corresponding richness of data that it can provide bring the health and care insurance market both potential opportunities and challenges. Insurers across a range of fields are already engaging with this type of technology in their proposition designs in areas such as customer engagement, marketing and underwriting. However, it seems like we are just at the start of the journey, on a learning curve to find the optimal practical applications of such technology with many aspects as yet untried, tested or indeed backed up with quantifiable evidence. It is clear though that technology is only part of the solution, on its own it will not engage or change behaviours and insurers will need to consider this in terms of implementation and goals. In the first weeks of forming this working party, it became evident that the potential scope of this technology, the information already out there and the pace of development of it, is almost overwhelming. With many yet-unanswered questions the paper focuses on pulling together in one place relevant information for the consideration of the health and care actuary, and also to open the reader’s eyes to potential future innovations by drawing on use of the technology in other markets and spheres, and the “science fiction–like” new technology that is just around the corner. The paper explores:
an overview of wearables and IoT and available measures,
examples of how this technology is currently being used,
risks and challenges,
future technology developments and
what this may mean for the future of insurance.
Insurers who engage now are likely to be on an evolving business case model and product development journey, over which they can build up their understanding and interpretation of the data that this technology can provide. An exciting area full of potential – when and how will you get involved?
The Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations suggests that patients suspected of transient ischemic attack (TIA)/minor stroke receive urgent brain imaging, preferably computed tomography angiography (CTA). Yet, high requisition rates for non-cerebrovascular patients overburden limited radiological resources, putting patients at risk. We hypothesize that our clinical decision support tool (CDST) developed for risk stratification of TIA in the emergency department (ED), and which incorporates Canadian guidelines, could improve CTA utilization.
Retrospective study design with clinical information gathered from ED patient referrals to an outpatient TIA unit in Victoria, BC, from 2015-2016. Actual CTA orders by ED and TIA unit staff were compared to hypothetical CTA ordering if our CDST had been used in the ED upon patient arrival.
For 1,679 referrals, clinicians ordered 954 CTAs. Our CDST would have ordered a total of 977 CTAs for these patients. Overall, this would have increased the number of imaged-TIA patients by 89 (10.1%) while imaging 98 (16.1%) fewer non-cerebrovascular patients over the 2-year period. Our CDST would have ordered CTA for 18 (78.3%) of the recurrent stroke patients in the sample.
Our CDST could enhance CTA utilization in the ED for suspected TIA patients, and facilitate guideline-based stroke care. Use of our CDST would increase the number of TIA patients receiving CTA before ED discharge (rather than later at TIA units) and reduce the burden of imaging stroke mimics in radiological departments.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Adolescents’ appearance-related concerns can provoke increasing emotional, social, and eating-related problems. The aims of this five-wave (2.5-year), multiple-informant longitudinal study were to (a) examine growth trajectories of appearance anxiety symptoms and appearance esteem, (b) identify whether trajectories differed by gender, and (c) examine several launching factors including parent-reported physical maturation, peer-rated physical appearance, body mass index, and appearance teasing by parents and peers. Participants were 387 adolescents (44% boys) aged 10 to 13 years at the first assessment. Steep growth in appearance anxiety symptoms was found for both girls and boys, but there was no average change in appearance esteem. Girls had more elevated appearance anxiety symptoms and lower appearance esteem than boys, girls’ body mass index was associated with symptoms, and earlier physical maturation and teasing about appearance, alone and in combination, were associated with growth in appearance anxiety symptoms for girls and boys. Earlier maturing boys who were highly teased by parents, but even more so when teased by peers, were at utmost risk for elevated appearance anxiety symptoms and increasing symptoms over time. In contrast, all girls exhibited elevated or increasing appearance anxiety symptoms across time, with the exception of girls with the latest maturation who also reported little teasing about their appearance.
Introduction: Canadian stroke best practice guidelines recommend patients suspected of Acute Cerebrovascular Syndrome (ACVS) receive urgent brain imaging, preferably CTA. Yet, high requisition rates for non-ACVS patients overburdens limited radiological resources. We hypothesize that our clinical prediction rule (CPR) previously developed for diagnosis of ACVS in the emergency department (ED), and which incorporates Canadian guidelines, could improve CTA utilization. Methods: Our data consists of records for 1978 ED-referred patients to our TIA clinic in Victoria, BC from 2015-2016. Clinic referral forms captured all data needed for the CPR. For patients who received CTA, orders were placed in the ED or at the TIA clinic upon arrival. We use McNemar’s test to compare the sensitivity (sens) and specificity (spec) of our CPR vs. the baseline CTA orders for identifying ACVS. Results: Our sample (49.5% male, 60.6% ACVS) has a mean age of 70.9±13.6 yrs. Clinicians ordered 1190 CTAs (baseline) for these patients (60%). Where CTA was ordered, 65% of patients (n=768) were diagnosed as ACVS. To evaluate our CPR, predicted probabilities of ACVS were computed using the ED referral data. Those patients with probabilities greater than the decision threshold and presenting with at least one focal neurological deficit clinically symptomatic of ACVS were flagged as would have received a CTA. Our CPR would have ordered 1208 CTAs (vs. 1190 baseline). Where CTA would have been ordered, 74% of patients (n=893) had an ACVS diagnosis. This is a significantly improved performance over baseline (sens 74.5% vs. 64.1%, p<0.001; spec 59.6% vs. 45.9%, p<0.001). Specifically, the CPR would have ordered an additional 18 CTAs over the 2-yr period, while simultaneously increasing the number of imaged-ACVS patients by 125 with imaging 107 fewer non-ACVS patients. Conclusion: Using ED physician referral data, our CPR demonstrates significantly higher sensitivity and specificity for CTA imaging of ACVS patients than baseline CTA utilization. Moreover, our CPR would assist ED physicians to apply and practice the Canadian stroke best practice guidelines. ED physician use of our CPR would increase the number of ACVS patients receiving CTA imaging before ED discharge (rather than later at TIA clinics), and ultimately reduce the burden of false-positives on radiological departments.
With European Laser Facilities such as the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) and the Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF) scheduled to come online within the next couple of years, General Atomics, as a major supplier of targets and target components for the High Energy Density Physics community in the United States, is gearing up to meet their demand for large numbers of low cost targets. Using the production of a subassembly for the National Ignition Facility’s fusion targets as an example, we demonstrate that through automation of assembly tasks, the design of targets and their experimental setup can be fairly complex while keeping the assembly time and cost as a minimum. A six-axis Mitsubishi robot is used in combination with vision feedback and a force–torque sensor to assemble target subassemblies of different scales and designs with minimal change of tooling, allowing for design flexibility and short assembly setup times. Implementing automated measurement routines on a Nikon NEXIV microscope further reduces the effort required for target metrology, while electronic data collection and transfer complete a streamlined target production operation that can be adapted to a large variety of target designs.
To evaluate ultraviolet C (UV-C) irradiance, UV-C dosage, and antimicrobial effect achieved by a mobile continuous UV-C device.
Prospective observational study.
We used 6 UV light sensors to determine UV-C irradiance (W/cm2) and UV-C dosage (µWsec/cm2) at various distances from and orientations relative to the UV-C device during 5-minute and 15-minute cycles in an ICU room and a surgical ward room. In both rooms, stainless-steel disks inoculated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and Clostridium difficile spores were placed next to sensors, and UV-C dosages and log10 reductions of target organisms achieved during 5-minute and 15-minute cycles were determined. Mean irradiance and dosage readings were compared using ANOVA.
Mean UV-C irradiance was nearly 1.0E-03 W/cm2 in direct sight at a distance of 1.3 m (4 ft) from the device but was 1.12E-05 W/cm2 on a horizontal surface in a shaded area 3.3 m (10 ft) from the device (P<.001). Mean UV-C dosages received by UV-C sensors located at different distances and orientation relative to the device varied significantly during 5-minute cycles and during 15-minute cycles (P<.001). Log10 reductions ranged from >4 to 1–3 for MRSA, >4 to 1–2 for VRE and >4 to 0 log10 for C. difficile spores, depending on the distance from, and orientation relative to, the device with 5-minute and 15-minute cycles.
UV-C irradiance, dosage, and antimicrobial effect received from a mobile UV-C device varied substantially based on location in a room relative to the UV-C device.
Drillholes made by naticid and muricid gastropods are frequently used in evolutionary and ecological studies because they provide direct, preservable evidence of predation. The muricid Ecphora is common in many Neogene Atlantic Coastal Plain assemblages in the United States, but is frequently ignored in studies of naticid predation. We used a combination of Pliocene fossil, modern beach, and experimentally derived samples to evaluate the hypothesis that Ecphora was an important source of drillholes in infaunal bivalve prey shared with naticids. We focused on the large, thick-shelled venerid, Mercenaria, which is commonly drilled by naticids today. Laboratory experiments, modern beach samples, and the published literature confirm that naticids preferentially drill near the umbo (significant clumping of holes), show a significant correlation between prey size and predator size (estimated by outer borehole diameter), and prefer Mercenaria <50 mm antero-posterior width when other prey are present. Fossil samples containing Ecphora (with or without other large muricids) show no drillhole site stereotypy (no significant clumping, greater variability in placement), no significant predator: prey size correlation, drilled prey shells larger than the largest modern naticids could produce in an experimental setting, and drillholes larger in diameter than those estimated for the largest Pliocene naticids, thus supporting our hypothesis. Substantial overlap in the placement of holes drilled by naticids and muricids, however, made identifying predators from drillhole position problematic. The lack of overlapping ranges of prey shell thickness between fossil and other samples precluded the use of drillhole morphology to establish predator identity (e.g., ratio of inner borehole diameter to outer borehole diameter, drillhole angle). Whereas the difficulty in determining predator identity from drillholes limits the types of analyses that can be reliably performed in mixed-predator assemblages, recognizing Ecphora as a prominent drilling predator creates the opportunity to investigate previously unrecognized questions.