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Sleep disturbances are prevalent in cancer patients, especially those with advanced disease. There are few published intervention studies that address sleep issues in advanced cancer patients during the course of treatment. This study assesses the impact of a multidisciplinary quality of life (QOL) intervention on subjective sleep difficulties in patients with advanced cancer.
This randomized trial investigated the comparative effects of a multidisciplinary QOL intervention (n = 54) vs. standard care (n = 63) on sleep quality in patients with advanced cancer receiving radiation therapy as a secondary endpoint. The intervention group attended six intervention sessions, while the standard care group received informational material only. Sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), administered at baseline and weeks 4 (post-intervention), 27, and 52.
The intervention group had a statistically significant improvement in the PSQI total score and two components of sleep quality and daytime dysfunction than the control group at week 4. At week 27, although both groups showed improvements in sleep measures from baseline, there were no statistically significant differences between groups in any of the PSQI total and component scores, or ESS. At week 52, the intervention group used less sleep medication than control patients compared to baseline (p = 0.04) and had a lower ESS score (7.6 vs. 9.3, p = 0.03).
Significance of results
A multidisciplinary intervention to improve QOL can also improve sleep quality of advanced cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Those patients who completed the intervention also reported the use of less sleep medication.
We present an indentation-scope that interfaces with confocal microscopy, enabling direct observation of the three-dimensional (3D) microstructural response of coatings on substrates. Using this method, we compared microns-thick polymer coatings on glass with and without silica nanoparticle filler. Bulk force data confirmed the >30% modulus difference, while microstructural data further revealed slip at the glass-coating interface. Filled coatings slipped more and about two times faster, as reflected in 3D displacement and von Mises strain fields. Overall, these data indicate that silica-doping of coatings can dramatically alter adhesion. Moreover, this method compliments existing theoretical and modeling approaches for studying indentation in layered systems.
The relationship between sildenafil dosing, exposure, and systemic hypotension in infants is incompletely understood.
The aim of this study was to characterise the relationship between predicted sildenafil exposure and hypotension in hospitalised infants.
We extracted information on sildenafil dosing and clinical characteristics from electronic health records of 348 neonatal ICUs from 1997 to 2013, and we predicted drug exposure using a population pharmacokinetic model.
We identified 232 infants receiving sildenafil at a median dose of 3.2 mg/kg/day (2.0, 6.0). The median steady-state area under the concentration–time curve over 24 hours (AUC24,SS) and maximum concentration of sildenafil (Cmax,SS,SIL) were 712 ng×hour/ml (401, 1561) and 129 ng/ml (69, 293), respectively. Systemic hypotension occurred in 9% of the cohort. In multivariable analysis, neither dosing nor exposure were associated with systemic hypotension: odds ratio=0.96 (95% confidence interval: 0.81, 1.14) for sildenafil dose; 0.87 (0.59, 1.28) for AUC24,SS; 1.19 (0.78, 1.82) for Cmax,SS,SIL.
We found no association between sildenafil dosing or exposure with systemic hypotension. Continued assessment of sildenafil’s safety profile in infants is warranted.
In very low birth weight infants, persistence of a patent ductus arteriosus results in morbidity and mortality. Therapies to close the ductus are effective, but clinical outcomes may depend on the accuracy of diagnosis and the timing of administration. The objective of the present study was to characterise the association between early echocardiography, therapy for patent ductus arteriosus, and outcomes in very low birth weight infants.
This retrospective cohort study used electronic health record data on inborn infants of gestational age ⩽28 weeks and birth weight <1500 g who were discharged after day of life 7 from 362 neonatal ICU from 1997 to 2013. The primary outcome was death between day of life 7 and discharge. Secondary outcomes included bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotising enterocolitis, and grade 3 or 4 intraventricular haemorrhage.
This study included a total of 48,551 infants with a median gestational age of 27 weeks (interquartile range 25, 28) and birth weight 870 g (706, 1050). Early echocardiography – that is, performed during days of life 2 to 6 – was performed in 15,971/48,551 (33%) infants, and patent ductus arteriosus was diagnosed in 31,712/48,551 (65%). The diagnosis was more common in infants who had undergone early echocardiography (14,549/15,971 [91%] versus 17,163/32,580 [53%], p<0.001). In multivariable analysis, early echocardiography was not associated with reduced mortality (odds ratio 0.97, 95% CI 0.89–1.05). Results were similar in the subset of infants who received therapy for patent ductus arteriosus (odds ratio 1.01, 95% CI 0.90–1.15).
Early echocardiography was associated with an increased diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus, but not with decreased mortality.
Serum thyroglobulin is used as a surrogate marker for well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma recurrence. This study investigates whether thyroglobulin measured at the time of ablative radioactive iodine therapy predicts disease-free survival.
A retrospective review was conducted of patients with well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma presenting from 1989 to 2010 at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, New South Wales, Australia. Disease-free survival of patients with a significantly elevated stimulated thyroglobulin level (27.5 µg/l or higher) at the time of ablative radioactive iodine therapy was compared to that of patients without a significantly elevated thyroglobulin level using univariate analysis.
Patients with a thyroglobulin level of 27.5 µg/l or higher had an increased relative risk of disease recurrence of 4.50 (95 per cent confidence interval = 1.35–15.04). If lateral neck dissection was required at the time of surgery, patients also had an increased relative risk of macroscopic disease recurrence of 4.94 (95 per cent confidence interval = 1.47–16.55).
An elevated thyroglobulin level of 27.5 µg/l or higher at the time of ablative radioactive iodine therapy is a prognostic indicator for macroscopic disease recurrence in well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma.
Analyzing historical trajectories of social interactions at varying scales can lead to complementary interpretations of relationships among archaeological settlements. We use social network analysis combined with geographic information systems at three spatial scales over time in the western U.S. Southwest to show how the same social processes affected network dynamics at each scale. The period we address, A.D. 1200–1450, was characterized by migration and demographic upheaval. The tumultuous late thirteenth-century interval was followed by population coalescence and the development of widespread religious movements in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In the southern Southwest these processes resulted in a highly connected network that drew in members of different settlements within and between different valleys that had previously been distinct. In the northern Southwest networks were initially highly connected followed by a more fragmented social landscape. We examine how different network textures emerged at each scale through 50-year snapshots. The results demonstrate the usefulness of applying a multiscalar approach to complex historical trajectories and the potential for social network analysis as applied to archaeological data.
Red Bull Stratos was a commercial program that brought a test parachutist, protected by a full-pressure suit, in a stratospheric balloon with pressurized capsule to over 127,582 ft (38,969 m), from which he free fell and subsequently parachuted to the ground. Given that the major risks to the parachutist included ebullism, negative Gz (toe-to-head) acceleration exposure from an uncontrolled flat spin, and trauma, a comprehensive plan was developed to recover the parachutist under nominal conditions and to respond to any medical contingencies that might have arisen. In this report, the project medical team describes the experience of providing emergency medical support and crew recovery for the manned balloon flights of the program.
The phases of flight, associated risks, and available resources were systematically evaluated.
Six distinct phases of flight from an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) standpoint were identified. A Medical Support Plan was developed to address the risks associated with each phase, encompassing personnel, equipment, procedures, and communications.
Despite geographical, communications, and resource limitations, the medical team was able to implement the Medical Support Plan, enabling multiple successful manned balloon flights to 71,615 ft (21,828 m), 97,221 ft (29,610 m), and 127,582 ft (38,969 m). The experience allowed refinement of the EMS and crew recovery procedures for each successive flight and could be applied to other high altitude or commercial space ventures.
BlueRS, NortonSC, LawJ, PattariniJM, AntonsenEL, GarbinoA, ClarkJB, TurneyMW. Emergency Medical Support for a Manned Stratospheric Balloon Test Program. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(5):1-6.
Patients experience reductions in quality of life (QOL) while receiving cancer treatment and several approaches have been proposed to address QOL issues. In this project, the QOL differences between older adult (age 65+) and younger adult (age 18–64) advanced cancer patients in response to a multidisciplinary intervention designed to improve QOL were examined.
This study was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01360814. Newly diagnosed advanced cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy were randomized to active QOL intervention or control groups. Those in the intervention group received six multidisciplinary 90-minute sessions designed to address the five major domains of QOL. Outcomes measured at baseline and weeks 4, 27, and 52 included QOL (Linear Analogue Self-Assessment (LASA), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–General (FACT-G)) and mood (Profile of Mood States (POMS)). Kruskall–Wallis methodology was used to compare scores between older and younger adult patients randomized to the intervention.
Of 131 patients in the larger randomized controlled study, we report data on 54 evaluable patients (16 older adults and 38 younger adults) randomized to the intervention. Older adult patients reported better overall QOL (LASA 74.4 vs. 62.9, p = 0.040), higher social well-being (FACT-G 91.1 vs. 83.3, p = 0.045), and fewer problems with anger (POMS anger–hostility 95.0 vs. 86.4, p = 0.028). Long-term benefits for older patients were seen in the anger–hostility scale at week 27 (92.2 vs. 84.2, p = 0.027) and week 52 (96.3 vs. 85.9, p = 0.005).
Older adult patients who received a multidisciplinary intervention to improve QOL while undergoing advanced cancer treatments benefited differently in some QOL domains, compared to younger adult patients. Future studies can provide further insight on how to tailor QOL interventions for these age groups.
X-Ray reflectivity enables the determination of interface and surface roughness along with the variations present in the electron density. Total reflection X-ray fluorescence allows surface analysis with high sensitivity and quantification. By use of grazing angle x-ray fluorescence taken simultaneously with the reflectivity measurements, over a range of angles near the critical angle, it is possible in principle to produce a depth profile of each element, with a composition sensitivity of 0.0002%. A silicon-germanium single layer was used to calibrate the instrument and a Si-Ge 5- period superlattice for a demonstration measurement.
Demersal fishes were sampled using a large fish trawl during two surveys carried out in February and March 2004 and 2008 in the Ross Sea, and around seamounts and islands just to the north at 66°S. The distribution and abundance of 65 species collected in these surveys were examined to determine if demersal fish communities varied throughout the area, and what environmental factors might influence this. Species accumulation with sample frequency did not reach an asymptote, but the rate of new species was low suggesting data were adequate for describing the main components of the communities. Three broad assemblages were identified, in the southern Ross Sea (south of 74°S), central–northern Ross Sea (between latitudes 71°–74°S), and the seamounts further north (65°–68°S) where some species more typical of sub-Antarctic latitudes were observed. Multivariate analyses indicated that environmental factors of seafloor rugosity (roughness), temperature, depth, and current speed were the main variables determining patterns in demersal fish communities.