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There is a high rate of psychiatric comorbidity in patients with epilepsy. However, the impact of surgical treatment of refractory epilepsy on psychopathology remains under investigation. We aimed to examine the impact of epilepsy surgery on psychopathology and quality of life at 1-year post-surgery in a population of patients with epilepsy refractory to medication.
This study initially assessed 48 patients with refractory epilepsy using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory 89 (QOLIE-89) on admission to an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) as part of their pre-surgical assessment. These patients were again assessed using the SCID-I, QOLIE-89 and HADS at 1-year follow-up post-surgery.
There was a significant reduction in psychopathology, particularly psychosis, following surgery at 1-year follow-up (p < 0.021). There were no new cases of de novo psychosis and surgery was also associated with a significant improvement in the quality of life scores (p < 0.001).
This study demonstrates the impact of epilepsy surgery on psychopathology and quality of life in a patient population with refractory surgery. The presence of a psychiatric illness should not be a barrier to access surgical treatment.
In a survey of hospitals and of patients with Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), we found that most facilities had educational materials or protocols for education of CDI patients. However, approximately half of CDI patients did not recall receiving education during their admission, and knowledge deficits regarding CDI prevention were common.
Antisocial behaviour is common among patients with severe mental illness (SMI) requiring hospitalisation.
To determine whether differential treatments and services are provided to patients with SMI who engage in antisocial behaviour.
A random sample of 161 inpatients with SMI were recruited from general adult wards and assessed at baseline and two years later. Information on symptoms, aggressive behaviour, substance misuse, and service use was obtained from patients and clinical files.
Past antisocial behaviours were not associated with type or intensity of treatments and services. Severity of positive symptoms, aggressive behaviour, and illicit drug use were positively associated with the frequency of CMHT contact, but not with the type of CMHT, type of medication, or other treatments and benefits.
While the frequency of meetings with CMHTs increased with the severity of antisocial behaviours, no specific treatments were provided to patients with SMI engaging in antisocial behaviours.
Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) can be prevented through infection prevention practices and antibiotic stewardship. Diagnostic stewardship (ie, strategies to improve use of microbiological testing) can also improve antibiotic use. However, little is known about the use of such practices in US hospitals, especially after multidisciplinary stewardship programs became a requirement for US hospital accreditation in 2017. Thus, we surveyed US hospitals to assess antibiotic stewardship program composition, practices related to CDI, and diagnostic stewardship.
Surveys were mailed to infection preventionists at 900 randomly sampled US hospitals between May and October 2017. Hospitals were surveyed on antibiotic stewardship programs; CDI prevention, treatment, and testing practices; and diagnostic stewardship strategies. Responses were compared by hospital bed size using weighted logistic regression.
Overall, 528 surveys were completed (59% response rate). Almost all (95%) responding hospitals had an antibiotic stewardship program. Smaller hospitals were less likely to have stewardship team members with infectious diseases (ID) training, and only 41% of hospitals met The Joint Commission accreditation standards for multidisciplinary teams. Guideline-recommended CDI prevention practices were common. Smaller hospitals were less likely to use high-tech disinfection devices, fecal microbiota transplantation, or diagnostic stewardship strategies.
Following changes in accreditation standards, nearly all US hospitals now have an antibiotic stewardship program. However, many hospitals, especially smaller hospitals, appear to struggle with access to ID expertise and with deploying diagnostic stewardship strategies. CDI prevention could be enhanced through diagnostic stewardship and by emphasizing the role of non–ID-trained pharmacists and clinicians in antibiotic stewardship.
Presenteeism, or working while ill, by healthcare personnel (HCP) experiencing influenza-like illness (ILI) puts patients and coworkers at risk. However, hospital policies and practices may not consistently facilitate HCP staying home when ill.
Objective and methods:
We conducted a mixed-methods survey in March 2018 of Emerging Infections Network infectious diseases physicians, describing institutional experiences with and policies for HCP working with ILI.
Of 715 physicians, 367 (51%) responded. Of 367, 135 (37%) were unaware of institutional policies. Of the remaining 232 respondents, 206 (89%) reported institutional policies regarding work restrictions for HCP with influenza or ILI, but only 145 (63%) said these were communicated at least annually. More than half of respondents (124, 53%) reported that adherence to work restrictions was not monitored or enforced. Work restrictions were most often not perceived to be enforced for physicians-in-training and attending physicians. Nearly all (223, 96%) reported that their facility tracked laboratory-confirmed influenza (LCI) in patients; 85 (37%) reported tracking ILI. For employees, 109 (47%) reported tracking of LCI and 53 (23%) reported tracking ILI. For independent physicians, not employed by the facility, 30 (13%) reported tracking LCI and 11 (5%) ILI.
More than one-third of respondents were unaware of whether their institutions had policies to prevent HCP with ILI from working; among those with knowledge of institutional policies, dissemination, monitoring, and enforcement of these policies was highly variable. Improving communication about work-restriction policies, as well as monitoring and enforcement, may help prevent the spread of infections from HCP to patients.
Second-generation antipsychotic medications (SGAs) have advanced the treatment of schizophrenia over the past 30 years. However, a number of potentially life-threatening cardiac side-effects associated with these treatments concern and can discourage prescribers from administering these evidence-based treatments. This review provides a practical, psychiatrist-oriented understanding of the relative frequencies, mechanisms, investigations and treatments associated with these cardiac toxicities. We aim to highlight that these are relatively rare complications of an effective class of drug and to promote the advantages of early involvement of cardiologists in the psychiatric multidisciplinary team to guide the investigation and management of these conditions.
After reading this article you will be able to:
• understand the relative incidence of cardiotoxic side-effects of the various SGAs
• perform preliminary investigations to diagnose the common cardiotoxic side-effects of SGAs
• understand the treatments for these cardiac side-effects and the role of cardiologists involved the care of these patients.
There is limited evidence of the safety and impact of task-shared care for people with severe mental illnesses (SMI; psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder) in low-income countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and impact of a district-level plan for task-shared mental health care on 6 and 12-month clinical and social outcomes of people with SMI in rural southern Ethiopia.
In the Programme for Improving Mental health carE, we conducted an intervention cohort study. Trained primary healthcare (PHC) workers assessed community referrals, diagnosed SMI and initiated treatment, with independent research diagnostic assessments by psychiatric nurses. Primary outcomes were symptom severity and disability. Secondary outcomes included discrimination and restraint.
Almost all (94.5%) PHC worker diagnoses of SMI were verified by psychiatric nurses. All prescribing was within recommended dose limits. A total of 245 (81.7%) people with SMI were re-assessed at 12 months. Minimally adequate treatment was received by 29.8%. All clinical and social outcomes improved significantly. The impact on disability (standardised mean difference 0.50; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.35–0.65) was greater than impact on symptom severity (standardised mean difference 0.28; 95% CI 0.13–0.44). Being restrained in the previous 12 months reduced from 25.3 to 10.6%, and discrimination scores reduced significantly.
An integrated district level mental health care plan employing task-sharing safely addressed the large treatment gap for people with SMI in a rural, low-income country setting. Randomised controlled trials of differing models of task-shared care for people with SMI are warranted.
In preparation for a multisite antibiotic stewardship intervention, we assessed knowledge and attitudes toward management of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) plus teamwork and safety climate among providers, nurses, and clinical nurse assistants (CNAs).
Prospective surveys during January–June 2018.
All acute and long-term care units of 4 Veterans’ Affairs facilities.
The survey instrument included 2 previously tested subcomponents: the Kicking CAUTI survey (ASB knowledge and attitudes) and the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ).
A total of 534 surveys were completed, with an overall response rate of 65%. Cognitive biases impacting management of ASB were identified. For example, providers presented with a case scenario of an asymptomatic patient with a positive urine culture were more likely to give antibiotics if the organism was resistant to antibiotics. Additionally, more than 80% of both nurses and CNAs indicated that foul smell is an appropriate indication for a urine culture. We found significant interprofessional differences in teamwork and safety climate (defined as attitudes about issues relevant to patient safety), with CNAs having highest scores and resident physicians having the lowest scores on self-reported perceptions of teamwork and safety climates (P < .001). Among providers, higher safety-climate scores were significantly associated with appropriate risk perceptions related to ASB, whereas social norms concerning ASB management were correlated with higher teamwork climate ratings.
Our survey revealed substantial misunderstanding regarding management of ASB among providers, nurses, and CNAs. Educating and empowering these professionals to discourage unnecessary urine culturing and inappropriate antibiotic use will be key components of antibiotic stewardship efforts.
The difference in the defect structures produced by different ion masses in a tungsten lattice is investigated using 80 MeV Au7+ ions and 10 MeV B3+ ions. The details of the defects produced by ions in recrystallized tungsten foil samples are studied using transmission electron microscopy. Dislocations of type b = 1/2 and  were observed in the analysis. While highly energetic gold ion produced small clusters of defects with very few dislocation lines, boron has produced large and sparse clusters with numerous dislocation lines. The difference in the defect structures could be due to the difference in separation between primary knock-on atoms produced by gold and boron ions.
Silicon carbide together with amorphous carbon are the main components of dust grains in the atmospheres of C-rich AGB stars. Small gaseous Si-C bearing molecules (such as SiC, SiCSi, and SiC2) are efficiently formed close to the stellar photosphere. They likely condense onto dust seeds owing to their highly refractory nature at the lower temperatures (i.e., below about 2500 K) in the dust growth zone which extends a few stellar radii from the photosphere. Beyond this region, the abundances of Si-C bearing molecules are expected to decrease until they are eventually reformed in the outer shells of the circumstellar envelope, owing to the interaction between the gas and the interstellar UV radiation field. Our goal is to understand the time-dependent chemical evolution of Si-C bond carriers probed by molecular spectral line emission in the circumstellar envelope of IRC+10216 at millimeter wavelengths.
Background: Brain tumors present unique challenges to patient and family quality of life (QOL). Cognitive dysfunction is common and functionally limiting, with no established treatments. These studies evaluate feasibility and preliminary efficacy of behavioral interventions developed for neuro-oncology patients. Study 1: A randomized controlled trial (N=25 primary brain tumor patients) compared an adapted version of Goal Management Training (GMT, a neuroscience-based integration of mindfulness and strategy training) and a newly-designed supportive psychoeducational intervention (Brain Health Program, BHP) to standard of care. Each intervention comprised 8 individual sessions and at-home practice between sessions. GMT patients’ executive functions improved immediately (p=.077, d=1.13), with maintenance at 4-month follow-up (p=.046, d=1.09). Both intervention groups reported improvements in everyday cognitive functioning immediately (p=.049; d’s GMT=0.43, BHP=0.79) and at follow-up (p=.001; d’s GMT=0.22, BHP=1.01). BHP patients also reported improved mood (p’s=.026 & .012, d’s=0.61 & 0.62). Study 2: Following a needs assessment about cognitive concerns and QOL in brain metastases patients (N=109) and caregivers (N=31), we developed a novel, brief (3 sessions + homework) Cognitive Support Program to provide education and strategy-training in key areas of concern: executive functions, memory, and communication. Options include caregiver co-training, and in-person or web-based delivery. Preliminary data from a pilot trial in progress demonstrate objective and subjective improvements. Conclusions: Cognitive rehabilitation may be a feasible and effective option for primary or metastatic brain tumor patients, addressing a need that is largely unmet in standard cancer care. Further development and larger trials appear warranted, with capacity for remote delivery recommended.
Transitioning from administration of monthly palivizumab to a single dose at discharge was associated with substantial pharmacy cost savings. With the concurrent adoption of private hospital rooms and visitor restriction policies, hospital-wide and neonatal intensive care unit healthcare-associated respiratory syncytial virus infections decreased following these changes.
We examined longitudinally the course and predictors of treatment resistance in a large cohort of first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients from initiation of antipsychotic treatment. We hypothesized that antipsychotic treatment resistance is: (a) present at illness onset; and (b) differentially associated with clinical and demographic factors.
The study sample comprised 323 FEP patients who were studied at first contact and at 10-year follow-up. We collated clinical information on severity of symptoms, antipsychotic medication and treatment adherence during the follow-up period to determine the presence, course and predictors of treatment resistance.
From the 23% of the patients, who were treatment resistant, 84% were treatment resistant from illness onset. Multivariable regression analysis revealed that diagnosis of schizophrenia, negative symptoms, younger age at onset, and longer duration of untreated psychosis predicted treatment resistance from illness onset.
The striking majority of treatment-resistant patients do not respond to first-line antipsychotic treatment even at time of FEP. Clinicians must be alert to this subgroup of patients and consider clozapine treatment as early as possible during the first presentation of psychosis.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
Proton beam therapy (PBT) offers compelling advantages in physical dose distribution compared to photon therapy. There are increasing numbers of gantry-based proton facilities worldwide but no such facilities exist in Canada. To access PBT, Canadian patients must travel abroad for treatment at high cost. In the face of limited access, this report seeks to provide recommendations for the selection of patients most likely to benefit from PBT and suggests an out-of-country referral process. METHODS: A systematic literature search for studies between January 1990 and May 2014 evaluating clinical outcomes after PBT. A draft report was developed through review of evidence, externally reviewed, and approved by the Alberta Health Services Cancer Care Proton Therapy Guidelines steering committee. RESULTS: Proton therapy is often used to treat tumours close to radiosensitive tissues, and children at risk of developing significant late effects of radiation therapy (RT). Local control rates with PBT appear similar to or, in some cases, higher than photon RT in uncontrolled and retrospective studies. Randomized trials comparing equivalent doses of PBT and photon RT are not available. SUMMARY: Referral for PBT is recommended for patients being treated with curative intent, with an expectation for long-term survival, and who are able and willing to travel abroad to a proton facility. Commonly accepted indications for referral include chordoma and chondrosarcoma, intraocular melanoma, and solid tumours in children and adolescents occurring in patients with greatest risk of long-term sequelae. Current data do not provide sufficient evidence to recommend routine referral of patients with most head and neck, breast, lung, gastrointestinal tract, and pelvic cancers including prostate cancer. It is recommended that all referrals be considered by a multidisciplinary team to select appropriate cases.
Compressive Sensing is an emerging technology for data compression and simultaneous data acquisition. This is an enabling technique for significant reduction in data bandwidth, and transmission power and hence, can greatly benefit space-flight instruments. We apply this process to detect exoplanets via gravitational microlensing. We experiment with various impact parameters that describe microlensing curves to determine the effectiveness and uncertainty caused by Compressive Sensing. Finally, we describe implications for space-flight missions.
To describe antimicrobial resistance patterns for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) that occurred in 2011–2014 and were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network.
Data from central line–associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonias, and surgical site infections were analyzed. These HAIs were reported from acute care hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Pooled mean proportions of pathogens that tested resistant (or nonsusceptible) to selected antimicrobials were calculated by year and HAI type.
Overall, 4,515 hospitals reported that at least 1 HAI occurred in 2011–2014. There were 408,151 pathogens from 365,490 HAIs reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network, most of which were reported from acute care hospitals with greater than 200 beds. Fifteen pathogen groups accounted for 87% of reported pathogens; the most common included Escherichia coli (15%), Staphylococcus aureus (12%), Klebsiella species (8%), and coagulase-negative staphylococci (8%). In general, the proportion of isolates with common resistance phenotypes was higher among device-associated HAIs compared with surgical site infections. Although the percent resistance for most phenotypes was similar to earlier reports, an increase in the magnitude of the resistance percentages among E. coli pathogens was noted, especially related to fluoroquinolone resistance.
This report represents a national summary of antimicrobial resistance among select HAIs and phenotypes. The distribution of frequent pathogens and some resistance patterns appear to have changed from 2009–2010, highlighting the need for continual, careful monitoring of these data across the spectrum of HAI types.