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Little is known about long-term employment outcomes for patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum (FES) disorders who received early intervention services.
We compared the 10-year employment trajectory of patients with FES who received early intervention services with those who received standard care. Factors differentiating the employment trajectories were explored.
Patients with FES (N = 145) who received early intervention services in Hong Kong between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2002 were matched with those who entered standard care 1 year previously. We used hierarchical clustering analysis to explore the 10-year employment clusters for both groups. We used the mixed model test to compare cluster memberships and piecewise regression analysis to compare the employment trajectories of the two groups.
There were significantly more patients who received the early intervention service in the good employment cluster (early intervention: N = 98 [67.6%]; standard care: N = 76 [52.4%]; P = 0.009). In the poor employment cluster, there was a significant difference in the longitudinal pattern between early intervention and standard care for years 1–5 (P < 0.0001). The number of relapses during the first 3 years, months of full-time employment during the first year and years of education were significant in differentiating the clusters of the early intervention group.
Results suggest there was an overall long-term benefit of early intervention services on employment. However, the benefit was not sustained for all patients. Personalisation of the duration of the early intervention service with a focus on relapse prevention and early vocational reintegration should be considered for service enhancement.
Declaration of interests
No relevant conflicts of interests reported by C.L.M.H., Y.N.S., P.S., H.H.P. and K.K.Y. S.K.W.C., W.C.C. and E.H.M.L. report that they are members of the working group of the Early Assessment Service for Young People with Psychosis (EASY) programme of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong. E.Y.H.C. is the convener of the working group of the EASY programme of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
This study investigated the effects of glutamine (GLN) pretreatment on CD4+ T cell polarization and remote kidney injury in mice with gut-derived polymicrobial sepsis. Mice were randomly assigned to 3 groups: normal control fed with AIN-93G diet, and 2 sepsis groups provided with either AIN-93G-based diet or identical components except part of casein was replaced by GLN. Mice were given their respective diets for 2 weeks. Then, mice in the sepsis groups were performed with cecal ligation and puncture and were sacrificed at 72 h after the surgery. Blood, spleens and kidneys were collected for further examination. The results showed that sepsis resulted in decreased circulating and splenic total T lymphocyte and CD4+ T cell percentages, whereas interleukin (IL)-4-, and Foxp3-expressing CD4+ T cells percentages were upregulated. Compared to the sepsis control group, pretreatment with GLN maintained blood T and CD4+ T cells, reduced percentages of IL-4- and Foxp3-expressing CD4+ T cells. Also, a more pronounced activation and increased anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 gene expression of splenic CD4+ T cells were observed. Concomitant with the decreased plasma IL-6, keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC) levels, the gene expression of KC, macrophage inflammatory protein-2 and renal injury biomarker Kim-1 were down-regulated when GLN was administered. These findings suggest that antecedent of GLN administration elicit a more-balanced blood T helper cell polarization, sustained T cell populations, prevented splenic CD4+ T cell apoptosis and attenuated kidney injury at late phase of polymicrobial sepsis. GLN may have benefits in subjects in risk of abdominal infection.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
There is little evidence in China regarding the cost-effectiveness of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for Down syndrome (DS). This study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of NIPT and provide evidence to inform decision-making.
To determine the cost-effectiveness of NIPT for DS, a decision-analytic model was developed using the TreeAge Pro software from a societal perspective in a simulated cohort of 10 000 pregnant women. Main indicators were based on field surveys from sampled hospitals in four locations in China and a literature review.
The conventional maternal serum screening (CMSS) strategy, contingent screening strategy (NIPT delivered to high risk pregnant women after CMSS), and universal screening strategy could prevent 3.02, 7.53, and 9.97 DS births, respectively. NIPT would decrease unnecessary invasive procedures, resulting in fewer procedure-related miscarriages. The cost-effectiveness ratio of the contingent screening strategy was the lowest. When compared with the CMSS strategy, the incremental cost per DS birth averted by the contingent screening strategy and universal screening strategy were USD 20,160 and 352,388, respectively. One-way sensitivity analysis showed that, if the cost of NIPT could be decreased to USD 76.92, the cost-effectiveness ratio of the universal screening strategy would be lower than the CMSS strategy.
Although NIPT has the merits of greater effectiveness and safety, CMSS is unlikely to be replaced by NIPT at this time because of NIPT's higher cost. Contingent screening may be an appropriate strategy to balance the effectiveness and cost factors of the new genetic testing technology.
Information systems (IS) have facilitated workflow in the health care system for years. However, the utilization of IS in disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs) has been less studied.
In Taiwan, we started a program in 2008 to build up an information system, MEDical Assistance and Information Dashboard (MED-AID), to improve the capability and increase the efficiency of our national DMAT.
Method: The mission of our national DMAT was to provide acute trauma care and subacute outpatient care in the field after an emergency event (e.g., earthquakes). We built the IS through a user-oriented process to fit the need of the DMAT. We first analyzed the response work in the DMAT missions and reviewed the current paperwork. We evaluated the eligibility and effectiveness of the core functions of DMATs by experts in Taiwan and then developed the IS. The IS was then tested and revised each year in two table-top exercises and one regional full-scale exercise by the DMAT staffs who came from different hospitals in Taiwan.
During the past 10 years, we identified several core concepts of IS of DMAT: patient tracking, medical record, continuity of care, integration of referral resources, disease surveillance, patient information reporting, and medical resources management. The application of the IS facilitate the DMAT in providing safe patient care with continuous recording and integrate patient referral resources based on geographic information. The IS also help the planning in real-time disease surveillance and logistic function in the medical resources monitoring.
Information systems could facilitate patient care and relieve the workload on information analysis and resources management for DMATs.
Thermal conductivity of uranium dioxide (UO2) is an important nuclear fuel performance property. Radiation- and fission-induced defects and microstructures, such as xenon (Xe) gas bubbles, can degrade the thermal conductivity of UO2 significantly. Here, molecular dynamics simulations are conducted to study the effect of Xe bubble size and pressure on the thermal conductivity of UO2. At a given porosity, thermal conductivity increases with Xe cluster size, then reaches a nearly saturated value at a cluster radius of 0.6 nm, demonstrating that dispersed Xe atoms result in a lower thermal conductivity than clustering them into bubbles. In comparison with empty voids of the same size, Xe-filled bubbles lead to a lower thermal conductivity when the number ratio of Xe atoms to uranium vacancies (Xe:VU ratio) in bubbles is high. Detailed atomic-level analysis shows that the pressure-induced distortion of atoms at bubble surface causes additional phonon scattering and thus further reduces the thermal conductivity.
Many studies have demonstrated that vocabulary size plays a key role in learning English as a foreign language (EFL). In recent years, mobile game-based learning (MGBL) has been considered a promising scheme for successful acquisition and retention of knowledge. Thus, this study applies a mixed methodology that combines quantitative and qualitative approaches to assess the effects of PHONE Words, a novel mobile English vocabulary learning app (application) designed with game-related functions (MEVLA-GF) and without game-related functions (MEVLA-NGF), on learners’ perceptions and learning performance. During a four-week experiment, 20 sophomore students were randomly assigned to the experimental group with MEVLA-GF support or the control group with MEVLA-NGF support for English vocabulary learning. Analytical results show that performance in vocabulary acquisition and retention by the experimental group was significantly higher than that of the control group. Moreover, questionnaire results confirm that MEVLA-GF is more effective and satisfying for English vocabulary learning than MEVLA-NGF. Spearman rank correlation results show that involvement and dependence on gamified functions were positively correlated with vocabulary learning performance.
We investigated the risk factors and origins of the first known occurrence of VRE colonization in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Canberra Hospital.
A retrospective case-control study.
A 21-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a 15-bed special care nursey (SCN) in a tertiary-care adult and pediatric hospital in Australia.
All patients admitted to the NICU and SCN over the outbreak period: January–May 2017. Of these, 14 were colonized with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and 77 were noncolonized.
Demographic and clinical variables of cases and controls were compared to evaluate potential risk factors for VRE colonization. Whole-genome sequencing of the VRE isolates was used to determine the origin of the outbreak strain.
Swift implementation of wide-ranging infection control measures brought the outbreak under control. Multivariate logistic regression revealed a strong association between early gestational age and VRE colonization (odds ratio [OR], 3.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.94–7.00). Whole-genome sequencing showed the isolates to be highly clonal Enterococcus faecium ST1421 harboring a vanA gene and to be closely related to other ST1421 previously sequenced from the Canberra Hospital and the Australian Capital Territory.
The colonization of NICU patients was with a highly successful clone endemic to the Canberra Hospital likely introduced into the NICU environment from other wards, with subsequent cross-contamination spreading among the neonate patients. Use of routine surveillance screening may have identified colonization at an earlier stage and have now been implemented on a 6-monthly schedule.
Limited information is available on the prevalence and effect of hypertriglyceridaemic–waist (HTGW) phenotype on the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in rural populations.
In the present cross-sectional study, we investigated the prevalence of the HTGW phenotype and T2DM and the strength of their association among rural adults in China.
HTGW was defined as TAG >1·7 mmol/l and waist circumference (WC) ≥90 cm for males and ≥80 cm for females. Logistic regression analysis yielded adjusted odds ratios (aOR) relating risk of T2DM with HTGW.
Adults (n 12 345) aged 22·83–92·58 years were recruited from July to August of 2013 and July to August of 2014 from a rural area of Henan Province in China.
The prevalence of HTGW and T2DM was 23·71 % (males: 15·35 %; females: 28·88 %) and 11·79 % (males: 11·15 %; females: 12·18 %), respectively. After adjustment for sex, age, smoking, alcohol drinking, blood pressure, physical activity and diabetic family history, the risk of T2DM (aOR; 95 % CI) was increased with HTGW (v. normal TAG and WC: 3·23; CI 2·53, 4·13; males: 3·37; 2·30, 4·92; females: 3·41; 2·39, 4·85). The risk of T2DM with BMI≥28·0 kg/m2, simple enlarged WC and simple disorders of lipid metabolism showed an increasing tendency (aOR=1·31, 1·75 and 2·32).
The prevalence of HTGW and T2DM has reached an alarming level among rural Chinese people, and HTGW is a significant risk factor for T2DM.
Population-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs that use a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) are often faced with a noncompliance issue and its subsequent waiting time (WT) for those FIT positives complying with confirmatory diagnosis. We aimed to identify factors associated with both of the correlated problems in the same model.
A total of 294,469 subjects, either with positive FIT test results or having a family history, collected from 2004 to 2013 were enrolled for analysis. We applied a hurdle Poisson regression model to accommodate the hurdle of compliance and also its related WT for undergoing colonoscopy while assessing factors responsible for the mixture of the two outcomes.
The effect on compliance and WT varied with contextual factors, such as geographic areas, type of screening units, and level of urbanization. The hurdle score, representing the risk score in association with noncompliance, and the WT score, reflecting the rate of taking colonoscopy, were used to classify subjects into each of three groups representing the degree of compliance and the level of health awareness.
Our model was not only successfully applied to evaluating factors associated with the compliance and the WT distribution, but also developed into a useful assessment model for stratifying the risk and predicting whether and when screenees comply with the procedure of receiving confirmatory diagnosis given contextual factors and individual characteristics.
Diffusion barrier materials play an important role in both structure reliability and performance stability of thermoelectric (TE) modules. Preferred barrier materials are screened out from various candidates by comparing the interdiffusion at the barrier material/TE substrate interfaces. Traditionally, for each barrier material candidate, complicated fabrication processing of TE elements (electrode/barrier material/TE material) must be finished to obtain relative interfaces, which makes the screening costly and time consuming. In this article, using a high-throughput strategy, we developed a high-efficiency screening method of barrier materials. By cosintering the mixture of TE substrate material and various barrier material candidates simply following the TE material’s sintering parameters, various microinterfaces were integrated to one single sample. This enables parallel aging and microstructure characterization of different interfaces, and preferred barrier materials can be swiftly screened out. As a result, it makes the design and optimization of TE modules much more efficient and economical.
Few studies have examined the association of various types of Fe with colorectal cancer risk. The aim of this study was to investigate different forms and sources of Fe in relation to colorectal cancer risk in a Chinese population. A total of 2138 patients with colorectal cancer and 2144 sex- and age-matched (5-year interval) controls were recruited from July 2010 to November 2017. Dietary information was assessed by face-to-face interviews using a validated FFQ. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the OR and 95 % CI on models. Intake of Fe from plants and Fe from white meat were inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer, while haem Fe and Fe from red meat were positively associated with colorectal cancer risk. The multivariable OR for the highest quartile v. the lowest quartile were 0·72 (95 % CI 0·59, 0·87, Ptrend<0·001) for Fe from plants, 0·54 (95 % CI 0·45, 0·66, Ptrend<0·001) for Fe from white meat, 1·26 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·53, Ptrend=0·005) for haem Fe and 1·83 (95 % CI 1·49, 2·24, Ptrend<0·001) for Fe from red meat intake, respectively. However, no significant association was found between the consumption of total dietary Fe, non-haem Fe, Fe from meat and colorectal cancer risk. This study showed that lower intake of Fe from plants and white meat, as well as higher intake of haem Fe and Fe from red meat, were associated with colorectal cancer risk in a Chinese population.
Shared decision-making (SDM) is an essential component of patient-centered care, involving communication and discussions between physicians and patients on various options to meet their health needs. This study examines the current situation of patients’ participation in decision-making in relation to the clinical application of drug-eluting stents (DES). Further, the impact of patients’ involvement in decision-making on patients' adoption of DES was analyzed, with a view to providing research outcomes to guide clinical practice.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from July to December 2016 in selected hospitals in Fujian Province, Sichuan Province, and Shanghai in China. Patients with coronary heart disease completed a survey, which contained the 9-item Shared Decision-Making Questionnaire (SDM-Q-9) about satisfaction with decision-making processes, and questions on DES. Data were analyzed with cluster analysis, correlation analysis, multivariate logistic regression, and multivariate linear regression.
One hundred and seventy-nine patients with coronary heart disease from 15 hospitals in the three regions completed the questionnaire. There were good validity and reliability for SDM-Q-9, with Cronbach's alpha as 0.96 and intra-class correlations 0.59–0.79 (all P < 0.01). Among these respondents, 42.1 percent adopted DES, 83.4 percent were supportive of SDM and 61.33 percent thought they had better communication with physicians regarding decision-making. Patients’ level of SDM involvement was found to be positively associated with their satisfaction with the decision-making process (P < 0.001) and their adoption of DES (P < 0.05). Also, satisfaction with shared decision-making regarding treatment was positively associated with adoption of DES (P < 0.001).
Most of the patients with coronary heart disease preferred SDM, and SDM was found to be an important predictor of patients’ satisfaction with decision-making processes and adoption of DES. Better communication between physicians and patients is needed in order to improve patients’ satisfaction and promote the appropriate use of DES technology in China.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) represents a significant economic burden to the healthcare system. Catheter ablation is a commonly adopted treatments for PAF, and cryoballoon ablation (CBA) has been recently proven to be as effective as radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of CBA versus RFA in patients with drug-refractory PAF in China.
A Markov model was developed to study the effects and the costs of CBA versus RFA. Cost and probability inputs data were obtained mainly from a real-world study of 85 CBA and 284 RFA patients treated in a tertiary hospital between July 2014 and July 2016. Propensity score matching was used to overcome retrospective bias, resulting in including 75 patients in each group. Input data gaps were closed with literature review and advisory board. A simulation was carried out for 14 cycles/years, and a discount rate of 3 percent was used. Then, a probabilistic sensitivity analysis was carried out with Monte Carlo approach.
In the base case scenario, the cumulative costs incurred by the CBA and RFA groups were CNY 132,222 (USD 20,767) and CNY 147,304 (USD 23,136), respectively. Over the 14-year period, the quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained by the CBA group was 7.85 versus 7.71 in the RFA group. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for CBA versus RFA was thus CNY 107,729 (USD 16,920)/QALY. Model results were most sensitive to the cost incurred during the first hospitalization, recurrence rate, and relative utility weights. The probability of CBA being cost-effective for willingness to pay thresholds of per capita GDP in China was estimated to be 99 percent.
Compared with RFA, CBA is a cost-saving treatment providing increased QALYs. It represents good value for money for patients with drug-refractory PAF in China. However, further evidence needs to be generated from larger-scale studies in China.
In this study, we investigate a new simple scheme using a planar undulator (PU) together with a properly dispersed electron beam (
beam) with a large energy spread (
) to enhance the free-electron laser (FEL) gain. For a dispersed
beam in a PU, the resonant condition is satisfied for the center electrons, while the frequency detuning increases for the off-center electrons, inhibiting the growth of the radiation. The PU can act as a filter for selecting the electrons near the beam center to achieve the radiation. Although only the center electrons contribute, the radiation can be enhanced significantly owing to the high-peak current of the beam. Theoretical analysis and simulation results indicate that this method can be used for the improvement of the radiation performance, which has great significance for short-wavelength FEL applications.
In a previous paper (3) generalizations of M. Riesz's theorem by the method of asymptotic approximation have been given. The present paper is concerned with further generalizations for even and odd functions. In Section 3, we consider a generalization of a theorem due to Zygmund: If (10, p. 254). The results in this paper include generalizations of results by K. K. Chen (2) and T. M. Flett (4, Theorems 1, 2) as important special cases.