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The design of government portfolios – that is, the distribution of competencies among government ministries and office holders – has been largely ignored in the study of executive and coalition politics. This article argues that portfolio design is a substantively and theoretically relevant phenomenon that has major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics. The authors use comparative data on portfolio design reforms in nine Western European countries since the 1970s to demonstrate how the design of government portfolios changes over time. Specifically, they show that portfolios are changed frequently (on average about once a year) and that such shifts are more likely after changes in the prime ministership or the party composition of the government. These findings suggest a political logic behind these reforms based on the preferences and power of political parties and politicians. They have major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics.
Recent data suggest that organic broilers often score worse on footpad lesions than conventional broilers but also that the current scoring of organic broiler feet may be misleading. In order to characterise footpad lesions in organic broilers, this study assessed and compared footpad lesions in a sample of 2987 conventional and 3578 organic broiler feet obtained from a large Danish abattoir during summer and winter. The feet were scored according to two scoring systems: the modified Danish surveillance scoring system and a histopathology-based new scoring system specifically developed to target the ability to differentiate between broiler feet with hyperkeratosis and ulcers. For both systems, all broiler feet with visible lesions were cross-sectionally incised. Significant differences between the two production systems were found for both scoring systems (χ2 = 710; P < 0.001 and χ2 = 247; P < 0.001 for the new and the surveillance systems, respectively), showing that a larger proportion of the organic feet compared to conventional feet – summer and winter – exhibited signs of hyperkeratosis. In addition, a smaller fraction of the organic feet than of the conventional feet were given the outermost scores, that is, normal or ulcerated; 13.4% v. 25.3% broiler feet were given score 0 for organic v. conventional production systems, respectively (χ2 = 152; P < 0.001), and 18.4% v. 23.8% feet were given score 4 for organic v. conventional production systems, respectively (χ2 = 308; P < 0.001). Thus, the results suggest that surveillance scoring systems such as the one used in Denmark are useful for the examination of footpad lesions in broilers from both types of production systems. However, the results have also raised attention to a typical characteristic of the feet of organic broilers, that is, profound hyperkeratosis, which may underlie potential misclassifications in surveillance scoring systems like the one used in Denmark. Among the possible solutions to this challenge to the correctness and fairness of the scoring system are improved procedures (such as mandatory incision), training of technicians and calibration of results (especially for the organic footpads).
In the mid-1980s, the Anthropology Division of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) began the creation of digital resources as a means of collections access. Much of the database work was a secondary component of projects funded by outside grants and driven by new accountability mandates. The ongoing upgrading process was sporadic in its progress, but it still accomplished the primary goals of improved housing for collections and an exhaustive database. This paper discusses how the historical complications of the data, the scale of the database, its irregular schedule of funding, and deadline-driven projects resulted in inconsistency in data and difficulty in use. Although the examples provided will be specific to the AMNH Anthropology database, the circumstances and issues are common to many databases and the approaches presented broadly applicable. The discussion includes the practices used to mitigate the negative impact of these problems and the way the Division is positioning itself for the future, even as the database continues to provide unprecedented public and institutional access to and utility for the AMNH Anthropology collections.
Most nonexperimental studies of voter turnout rely on survey data. However, surveys overestimate turnout because of (1) nonresponse bias and (2) overreporting. We investigate this possibility using a rich dataset of Danish voters, which includes validated turnout indicators from administrative data for both respondents and nonrespondents, as well as respondents’ self-reported voting from the Danish National Election Studies. We show that both nonresponse bias and overreporting contribute significantly to overestimations of turnout. Further, we use covariates from the administrative data available for both respondents and nonrespondents to demonstrate that both factors also significantly bias the predictors of turnout. In our case, we find that nonresponse bias and overreporting masks a gender gap of two and a half percentage points in women’s favor as well as a gap of 25 percentage points in ethnic Danes’ favor compared with Danes of immigrant heritage.
A general computer program has been written in basic Fortran language and tested for computing average particle size, strain, and particle size distribution according to the Fourier method of B. E. Warren.
The program provides such optional features as input data and Fourier coefficient print out, automatic background correction, the choice of fixed count or fixed time input mode, the synthesized diffraction peaks deconvoluted with respect to the instrumental diffraction peak, and a variable amplification range of particle Size. Included in the analysis is a polynomial fitting procedure for the scattering factor. The authors have attempted to write this computer program to be as self-explanatory as possible for general applicability. This program is available on request.
This Fourier analysis program has been tested using known distribution functions, and has been used for measuring average particle size, particle size and strain distribution in heattreated boron-doped graphite samples.
In the past few years, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of forcibly displaced migrants worldwide, of which a substantial proportion is refugees and asylum seekers. Refugees and asylum seekers may experience high levels of psychological distress, and show high rates of mental health conditions. It is therefore timely and particularly relevant to assess whether current evidence supports the provision of psychosocial interventions for this population. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions compared with control conditions (treatment as usual/no treatment, waiting list, psychological placebo) aimed at reducing mental health problems in distressed refugees and asylum seekers.
We used Cochrane procedures for conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs. We searched for published and unpublished RCTs assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions in adults and children asylum seekers and refugees with psychological distress. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive and anxiety symptoms at post-intervention were the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes include: PTSD, depressive and anxiety symptoms at follow-up, functioning, quality of life and dropouts due to any reason.
We included 26 studies with 1959 participants. Meta-analysis of RCTs revealed that psychosocial interventions have a clinically significant beneficial effect on PTSD (standardised mean difference [SMD] = −0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.01 to −0.41; I2 = 83%; 95% CI 78–88; 20 studies, 1370 participants; moderate quality evidence), depression (SMD = −1.02; 95% CI −1.52 to −0.51; I2 = 89%; 95% CI 82–93; 12 studies, 844 participants; moderate quality evidence) and anxiety outcomes (SMD = −1.05; 95% CI −1.55 to −0.56; I2 = 87%; 95% CI 79–92; 11 studies, 815 participants; moderate quality evidence). This beneficial effect was maintained at 1 month or longer follow-up, which is extremely important for populations exposed to ongoing post-migration stressors. For the other secondary outcomes, we identified a non-significant trend in favour of psychosocial interventions. Most evidence supported interventions based on cognitive behavioural therapies with a trauma-focused component. Limitations of this review include the limited number of studies collected, with a relatively low total number of participants, and the limited available data for positive outcomes like functioning and quality of life.
Considering the epidemiological relevance of psychological distress and mental health conditions in refugees and asylum seekers, and in view of the existing data on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, these interventions should be routinely made available as part of the health care of distressed refugees and asylum seekers. Evidence-based guidelines and implementation packages should be developed accordingly.
Parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis are rare but very severe post-operative complications following an elective tonsillectomy. Parapharyngeal abscess as a complication to tonsilectomy is very seldom described in the literature and no cases in the paediatric population have been described.
This paper presents, to our knowledge, the first case of life-threatening parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis following elective adenotonsillectomy in an otherwise healthy, fully vaccinated 10-year-old girl.
Diagnosing parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis can be challenging, but should be suspected and ruled out in cases of post-operative odynophagia, fever, and/or neck swelling and thoracic pain. Diagnosis is made based on magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography findings. Prompt broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotic treatment and surgical drainage should be initiated. Other severe complications such as meningitis should also be considered.
A wealth of clinical studies have identified objective biomarkers, which separate schizophrenia patients from healthy controls on a group level, but current diagnostic systems solely include clinical symptoms. In this study, we investigate if machine learning algorithms on multimodal data can serve as a framework for clinical translation.
Forty-six antipsychotic-naïve, first-episode schizophrenia patients and 58 controls underwent neurocognitive tests, electrophysiology, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patients underwent clinical assessments before and after 6 weeks of antipsychotic monotherapy with amisulpride. Nine configurations of different supervised machine learning algorithms were applied to first estimate the unimodal diagnostic accuracy, and next to estimate the multimodal diagnostic accuracy. Finally, we explored the predictability of symptom remission.
Cognitive data significantly classified patients from controls (accuracies = 60–69%; p values = 0.0001–0.009). Accuracies of electrophysiology, structural MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging did not exceed chance level. Multimodal analyses with cognition plus any combination of one or more of the remaining three modalities did not outperform cognition alone. None of the modalities predicted symptom remission.
In this multivariate and multimodal study in antipsychotic-naïve patients, only cognition significantly discriminated patients from controls, and no modality appeared to predict short-term symptom remission. Overall, these findings add to the increasing call for cognition to be included in the definition of schizophrenia. To bring about the full potential of machine learning algorithms in first-episode, antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients, careful a priori variable selection based on independent data as well as inclusion of other modalities may be required.
This study examined the effectiveness of a formal postdoctoral education program designed to teach skills in clinical and translational science, using scholar publication rates as a measure of research productivity.
Participants included 70 clinical fellows who were admitted to a master’s or certificate training program in clinical and translational science from 1999 to 2015 and 70 matched control peers. The primary outcomes were the number of publications 5 years post-fellowship matriculation and time to publishing 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts post-matriculation.
Clinical and translational science program graduates published significantly more peer-reviewed manuscripts at 5 years post-matriculation (median 8 vs 5, p=0.041) and had a faster time to publication of 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts (matched hazard ratio = 2.91, p=0.002). Additionally, program graduates’ publications yielded a significantly higher average H-index (11 vs. 7, p=0.013).
These findings support the effectiveness of formal training programs in clinical and translational science by increasing academic productivity.
Cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), yielding significant improvements in approximately 50% of patients. There is significant room for improvement in the outcomes of treatment, especially in recovery.
We aimed to compare metacognitive therapy (MCT) with the gold standard treatment, CBT, in patients with GAD (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00426426).
A total of 246 patients with long-term GAD were assessed and 81 were randomised into three conditions: CBT (n = 28), MCT (n = 32) and a wait-list control (n = 21). Assessments were made at pre-treatment, post-treatment and at 2 year follow-up.
Both CBT and MCT were effective treatments, but MCT was more effective (mean difference 9.762, 95% CI 2.679–16.845, P = 0.004) and led to significantly higher recovery rates (65% v. 38%). These differences were maintained at 2 year follow-up.
MCT seems to produce recovery rates that exceed those of CBT. These results demonstrate that the effects of treatment cannot be attributed to non-specific therapy factors.
Declaration of interest
A.W. wrote the treatment protocol in MCT and several books on CBT and MCT, and receives royalties from these. T.D.B. wrote the protocol in CBT and has published several articles and chapters on CBT and receives royalties from these. All other authors declare no competing interests.
The heavy reliance on imported soybean meal (SBM) as a protein source makes it necessary for the European pig industry to search for alternatives and to develop pigs that perform efficiently when fed such ingredients. Digestion and metabolism are major physiological processes contributing to variation in feed efficiency. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to assess the effects of replacing SBM with increasing levels of rapeseed meal (RSM) in diets for young pigs on apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of energy and nutrients, nitrogen (N) balance, energy metabolism and carbohydrate, protein and fat oxidation. Four diets were fed to 32 pigs (22.7±4.1 kg initial BW) for three weeks. The diets consisted of a control cereal grain-SBM basal diet and three test diets where SBM and wheat were partially replaced with 10%, 20%, and 30% of expeller RSM. Increasing level of RSM in the diets linearly reduced ATTD of organic matter, CP, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber and energy. Utilization of digested nitrogen (DN) for N retention and total N excretion were not affected by RSM inclusion, however, RSM inclusion induced a shift in N excretion from urine to feces. Despite a linear increase in liver to metabolic BW ratio, heat production and utilization of metabolizable energy (ME) for retention were not affected by increasing RSM inclusion. In conclusion, replacing SBM with up to 30% of expeller RSM in nutritionally balanced diets for young pigs reduced the ATTD of most nutrients and energy, but did not affect N and energy retention in the body or efficiency of utilization of DN or ME for retention.
Introduction: Interest groups have become increasingly popular as students explore potential career paths earlier in their undergraduate experience. Emergency medicine (EM) has grown as a specialty and the match has become quite competitive. Attractive features of EM cited by learners (diversity, procedural skills and flexible schedule) appeal broadly to the undergraduate population. Learners at Memorial University recognized this leadership opportunity and worked with faculty to reach this wide target audience through a streamlined iterative evaluation of their EM Interest Group (EMIG). Methods: The local EMIG was formed in 2010. Yearly, EMIG executive work with outgoing members using prior experiences, contacts and best practices to facilitate handover and progress. From 2015 to present, 305 surveys were collected, giving an 81.9% response rate. 59.7% of respondents were first year students, and 40.3% were second year. The survey consisted of Likert scale and open-response questions. The Likert scale questions yielded favorable responses. 304 students (99.6%) felt presenters were knowledgeable, 301 (98.6%) would recommend the sessions to others and 301 (98.6%) were satisfied they attended. Surprisingly, 133 students (43.6%) said they were not interested in Emergency Medicine, likely attending due to the appeal of session topics and transferrable of EM skills. 232 (76.0%) stated that attendance did increase their interest in EM. Top responses for aspects of EM most interesting to them included: ability to find a work/life balance, ability to work urban or rural, variety of cases seen, and the non-routine shifts. Results: Survey feedback is used to inform refinement of the content, delivery and format of EMIG activities, delivered by EM faculty. Hands-on sessions (eg. suturing & airway management) have been popular. Informational sessions, on specific medical topics (ECG, resuscitation cases) or broader topics (EM streams) have also been very well received. Inclusion of all interested students, particularly large numbers for hands-on sessions, has presented challenges. Beyond current survey results, it will be interesting to consider if EMIG participation translates to learning or behavioral changes relevant to later clinical encounters; a question that will be difficult to quantify. Conclusion: The EM interest group is one of the most active at Memorial University. Survey results indicate that participants enjoy the EMIG session content and the structured iterative approach used by the group has been successful in maintaining an effective student led organization.
Introduction: Despite clear health benefits, and Public Health Agency of Canada recommendations, vaccination rates among Canadian adults are low. Frequent patient contacts, wait times, and the availability of trained staff make the emergency department (ED) a potential location to target specific populations and administer vaccinations. We evaluated the feasibility of two strategies to administer the Tdap vaccine to adult patients presenting to a single referral ED. Methods: Two immunization strategies and a control group were randomly ordered from one to three. Data collection for group one started on study day one with data collection for groups two and three on study days two and three respectively. This sequence was repeated over 15 consecutive weekdays (Monday-Friday, 0730-1530), evenly assigning each group to 5 different days. On intervention days, adult patients were screened during the triage process for eligibility to receive the Tdap vaccine. An ED based (EDB) strategy offered patients vaccination during that visit. The second strategy offered eligible patients a public health referral (PHR) to receive the vaccine at a later date. On all study days, patient triage times (TT), as well as markers of ED efficiency (number of patient registrations, time to physician, length of stay, left without being seen, number of admissions, number of boarded patients) were recorded. Results: The primary outcome, the proportion of eligible adults immunized, was significantly higher at 66% (n=81) for the EDB strategy (228 screened, 122 eligible), compared with 21% (n=20) for the PHR strategy (217 screened, 94 eligible; x2 (2, n=216)=43.41, p<0.00001). In addition, 10 participants in the PHR group received a second vaccine (Pneumococcal (7), Influenza (2), Human Papillomavirus (1)). Reasons for vaccine ineligibility included having an up-to-date Tdap (EDB n=47 (21%), PHR n=46 (21%)) and being considered in too much distress by the triage nurse (EDB n=26 (11%), PHR n=19 (9%)). Triage time was less for the control group (M=5:55 [mins:secs], SD=2:48) than for the EDB (M=6:47, SD=3:12) and PHR (M=7:25, SD=2:45) strategies. Conclusion: An ED based screening and immunization strategy was highly effective in providing eligible adult patients with the Tdap vaccine. A resulting small increase in triage time was not clinically significant. Further studies are required to generalize these results.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
This review focuses on current understanding of prenatal, prepubertal and post-pubertal development of the male reproductive system of cattle. The critical developmental events occur during the first 3 to 4 months of gestation and the first ~6 to 9 months after birth. The Wilms Tumor-1 and SRY proteins play critical roles in early development and differentiation of the fetal testis, which in turn drives gestational development of the entire male reproductive system. The hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis matures earlier in the bovine fetus than other domestic species with descent of the testes into the scrotum occurring around the 4th month of gestation. An array of congenital abnormalities affecting the reproductive system of bulls has been reported and most are considered to be heritable, although the mode of inheritance in most cases has not been fully defined. Early postnatal detection of most of these abnormalities is problematic as clinical signs are generally not expressed until after puberty. Development of genomic markers for these abnormalities would enable early culling of affected calves in seedstock herds. The postnatal early sustained increase in lutenising hormone secretion cues the rapid growth of the testes in the bull calf leading to the onset of puberty. There is good evidence that both genetic and environmental factors, in particular postnatal nutrition, control or influence development and maturation of the reproductive system. For example, in Bos taurus genotypes which have had sustained genetic selection pressure applied for fertility, and where young bulls are managed on a moderate to high plane of nutrition puberty typically occurs at 8 to 12 months of age. However, in many Bos indicus genotypes where there has been little selection pressure for fertility and where young bulls are reared on a low plane of nutrition, puberty typically occurs between 15 to 17 months. Our understanding of the control and expression of sexual behavior in bulls is limited, particularly in B. indicus genotypes.
This study aims to investigate the climate–malaria associations in nine cities selected from malaria high-risk areas in China. Daily reports of malaria cases in Anhui, Henan, and Yunnan Provinces for 2005–2012 were obtained from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Generalized estimating equation models were used to quantify the city-specific climate–malaria associations. Multivariate random-effects meta-regression analyses were used to pool the city-specific effects. An inverted-U-shaped curve relationship was observed between temperatures, average relative humidity, and malaria. A 1 °C increase of maximum temperature (Tmax) resulted in 6·7% (95% CI 4·6–8·8%) to 15·8% (95% CI 14·1–17·4%) increase of malaria, with corresponding lags ranging from 7 to 45 days. For minimum temperature (Tmin), the effect estimates peaked at lag 0 to 40 days, ranging from 5·3% (95% CI 4·4–6·2%) to 17·9% (95% CI 15·6–20·1%). Malaria is more sensitive to Tmin in cool climates and Tmax in warm climates. The duration of lag effect in a cool climate zone is longer than that in a warm climate zone. Lagged effects did not vanish after an epidemic season but waned gradually in the following 2–3 warm seasons. A warming climate may potentially increase the risk of malaria resurgence in China.
Dietary carbohydrates constitute a major fraction of the diets for pigs. The carbohydrate fraction consists of mono-, di- and oligosaccharides and two broad classes of polysaccharides – starch and non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). The carbohydrate fraction has a diverse composition in terms of constituent sugars (pentoses, hexoses, deoxysugars, etc.), glycosidic linkages (alfa or beta), size (degree of polymerisation from one to several thousand), and physical form (soluble in water, insoluble, cation and adsorbing properties). It is now evidential clear that the composition of the carbohydrate fraction influences the digestion and absorption processes of carbohydrates and other nutrients in the various parts of the gastrointestinal tract, it has a profound influence on the secretory response of the gut to feed intake, the volume flow, the mucosal architecture, the composition of the gut flora and the development of the gastrointestinal tract.