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The aim of this position paper is to assist primary health care (PHC) providers, policymakers, and researchers by discussing the current context in which palliative health care functions within PHC in Europe. The position paper gives examples for improvements to palliative care models from studies and international discussions at European Forum for Primary Care (EFPC) workshops and conferences.
Palliative care is a holistic approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with terminal illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and diligent assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, whether physical, psychosocial, or spiritual. Unfortunately, some Europeans, unless they have cancer, still do not have access to generalist or specialist palliative care.
A draft of this position paper was distributed electronically through the EFPC network in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Active collaboration with the representatives of the International Primary Palliative Care Network was established from the very beginning and more recently with the EAPC Primary Care Reference Group. Barriers, opportunities, and examples of good and bad practices were discussed at workshops focusing on palliative care at the international conferences of Southeastern European countries in Ljubljana (2015) and Budva (2017), at regular conferences in Amsterdam (2015) and Riga (2016), at the WONCA Europe conferences in Istanbul (2015), Copenhagen (2016), and Prague (2017), and at the EAPC conference in Madrid (2017).
There is great diversity in the extent and type of palliative care provided in primary care by European countries. Primary care teams (PCTs) are well placed to encourage timely palliative care. We collected examples from different countries. We found numerous barriers influencing PCTs in preparing care plans with patients. We identified many facilitators to improve the organization of palliative care.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
There is no consensus as to whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be used as part of the initial clinical evaluation of patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP).
(a) To assess the logistical feasibility of routine MRI; (b) to define the clinical significance of radiological abnormalities in patients with FEP.
Radiological reports from MRI scans of two FEP samples were reviewed; one comprised 108 patients and 98 healthy controls recruited to a research study and the other comprised 241 patients scanned at initial clinical presentation plus 66 healthy controls.
In the great majority of patients, MRI was logistically feasible. Radiological abnormalities were reported in 6% of the research sample and in 15% of the clinical sample (odds ratio (OR) = 3.1, 95% CI 1.26–7.57, χ2(1) = 6.63, P = 0.01). None of the findings necessitated a change in clinical management.
Rates of neuroradiological abnormalities in FEP are likely to be underestimated in research samples that often exclude patients with organic abnormalities. However, the majority of findings do not require intervention.
Glacier surges in Svalbard have long durations and multi-year terminations, but much less is known regarding surge initiation in the archipelago. Fridtjovbreen, a 12 km long glacier in central Spitsbergen, advanced ∼ 2.8 km during a surge in the 1990s at a maximum rate of ∼ 4. 2 m d–1 . Differential dual-azimuth satellite radar interferometry (SRI) is used to produce ten snapshots of three-dimensional surface dynamics and four digital elevation models covering the period October 1991–October 1997. The glacier velocity rose slowly and uniformly until June 1995. It then increased dramatically to a measured maximum of ∼ 2.5 m d–1 during February and May 1996, and by October 1997 it had dropped. We attempt to evaluate errors in the calculated velocities. Systematic errors are evaluated using the apparent displacement of bedrock, ∼0.03 m d–1 . Errors arise from assumptions during processing, for example that ice-flow direction does not change during the surge. Two independent measurements using dual-azimuth processing show the mean absolute change in flow direction was ∼1.2°. This study covers fast-flow initiation and peak flow, but not the deceleration phase. The SRI observations show a progressive acceleration phase to the surge, with no evidence of a surge front propagating down-glacier.
Despite national guidelines recommending early concurrent palliative care for individuals newly diagnosed with metastatic cancer, few community cancer centers, especially those in underserved rural areas do so. We are implementing an early concurrent palliative care model, ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) in four, rural-serving community cancer centers. Our objective was to develop a “toolkit” to assist community cancer centers that wish to integrate early palliative care for patients with newly diagnosed advanced cancer and their family caregivers.
Guided by the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness–Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance) framework, we undertook an instrument-development process based on the literature, expert and site stakeholder review and feedback, and pilot testing during site visits.
We developed four instruments to measure ENABLE implementation: (1) the ENABLE RE-AIM Self-Assessment Tool to assess reach, adoption, implementation, and maintenance; (2) the ENABLE General Organizational Index to assess institutional implementation; (3) an Implementation Costs Tool; and (4) an Oncology Clinicians' Perceptions of Early Concurrent Oncology Palliative Care survey.
Significance of results:
We developed four measures to determine early palliative care implementation. These measures have been pilot-tested, and will be integrated into a comprehensive “toolkit” to assist community cancer centers to measure implementation outcomes. We describe the lessons learned and recommend strategies for promoting long-term program sustainability.
Objectives: Good glycemic control is an important goal of diabetes management. Late adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are at risk for poor glycemic control as they move into young adulthood. For a subset of these patients, this dysregulation is extreme, placing them at risk for life-threatening health complications and permanent cognitive declines. The present study examined whether deficiency in emotional decision making (as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task; IGT) among teens with T1D may represent a neurocognitive risk factor for subsequent glycemic dysregulation. Methods: As part of a larger longitudinal study, a total of 241 high-school seniors (147 females, 94 males) diagnosed with T1D underwent baseline assessment that included the IGT. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which reflects glycemic control over the course of the past 2 to 3 months, was also assessed at baseline. Of the 241,189 (127 females, 62 males, mean age=17.76, mean HbA1c=8.11) completed HbA1c measurement 1 year later. Results: Baseline IGT performance in the impaired range (per norms) was associated with greater dysregulation in glycemic control 1 year later, as evidenced by an average increase in HbA1c of 2%. Those with normal IGT scores (per norms) exhibited a more moderate increase in glycemic control, with an HbA1c increase of 0.7%. Several IGT scoring approaches were compared, showing that the total scores collapsed across all trials was most sensitive to change in glycemic control. Conclusions: IGT assessment offers promise as a tool for identifying late adolescents at increased risk for glycemic dysregulation. (JINS, 2017, 23, 204–213)
To use next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis to enhance epidemiological information to identify and resolve a Clostridium difficile outbreak and to evaluate its effectiveness beyond the capacity of current standard PCR ribotyping.
NGS analysis was performed as part of prospective surveillance of all detected C. difficile isolates at a university hospital. An outbreak of a novel C. difficile sequence type (ST)-295 was identified in a hospital and a community hostel for homeless adults. Phylogenetic analysis was performed of all ST-295 and closest ST-2 isolates. Epidemiological details were obtained from hospital records and the public health review of the community hostel.
We identified 7 patients with C. difficile ST-295 infections between June 2013 and April 2015. Of these patients, 3 had nosocomial exposure to this infection and 3 had possible hostel exposure. Current Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)— Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) surveillance definitions (2010) were considered in light of our NGS findings. The initial transmission was not detectable using current criteria, because of 16 weeks between ST-295 exposure and symptoms. We included 3 patients with hostel exposure who met surveillance criteria of hospital-acquired infection due to their hospital admissions.
NGS analysis enhanced epidemiological information and helped identify and resolve an outbreak beyond the capacity of standard PCR ribotyping. In this cluster of cases, NGS was used to identify a hostel as the likely source of community-based C. difficile transmission.
This paper is an attempt to offer a preliminary study of a Christian tradition of allegorizing the zodiac which is found in certain literary texts and artistic representations. What prompted the investigation from the artistic point of view was an examination of the twelfth-century baptismal font in the church of St Peter at Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, which is decorated with a mixture of selected signs of the zodiac and scriptural images (plate i). It raises the question of how early was the tradition in which the zodiac was linked with baptism in Christian thought, and what other connections there might be. So the question I should like briefly to illustrate here is the connection between Christian decorations which feature the zodiac, particularly in the medieval period, and an allegorical tradition which goes back to the early Church.
Evidence suggests a role of Mg and the ratio of Ca:Mg intakes in the prevention of colonic carcinogenesis. The association between these nutrients and oesophageal adenocarcinoma – a tumour with increasing incidence in developed countries and poor survival rates – has yet to be explored. The aim of this investigation was to explore the association between Mg intake and related nutrients and risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and its precursor conditions, Barrett’s oesophagus and reflux oesophagitis. This analysis included cases of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (n 218), Barrett’s oesophagus (n 212), reflux oesophagitis (n 208) and population-based controls (n 252) recruited between 2002 and 2005 throughout the island of Ireland. All the subjects completed a 101-item FFQ. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was applied to determine odds of disease according to dietary intakes of Mg, Ca and Ca:Mg ratio. After adjustment for potential confounders, individuals consuming the highest amounts of Mg from foods had significant reductions in the odds of reflux oesophagitis (OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·11, 0·87) and Barrett’s oesophagus (OR 0·29; 95 % CI 0·12, 0·71) compared with individuals consuming the lowest amounts of Mg. The protective effect of Mg was more apparent in the context of a low Ca:Mg intake ratio. No significant associations were observed for Mg intake and oesophageal adenocarcinoma risk (OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·30, 1·99 comparing the highest and the lowest tertiles of consumption). In conclusion, dietary Mg intakes were inversely associated with reflux oesophagitis and Barrett’s oesophagus risk in this Irish population.
Despite documented associations between stunting and cognitive development, few population-level studies have measured both indicators in individual children or assessed stunting’s associations with other developmental domains.
Meta-analysis using publicly available data from fifteen Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS-4) to assess the association between stunting and development, controlling for maternal education, family wealth, books in the home, developmentally supportive parenting and sex of the child, stratified by country prevalence of breast-feeding (‘low BF’<90 %, ‘high BF’ ≥90 %). Ten-item Early Childhood Development Index (ECDI) scores assessed physical, learning, literacy/numeracy and socio-emotional developmental domains. Children on track in three or four domains were considered ‘on-track’ overall.
Fifteen low- and middle-income countries.
Publically available data from 58 513 children aged 36–59 months.
Severe stunting (height-for-age Z-score <−3) was negatively associated with on-track development (OR=0·75; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·83). Any stunting (Z-score <−2) was negatively associated with on-track development in countries with high BF prevalence (OR=0·82; 95 % CI 0·75, 0·89). Severe and any stunting were negatively associated with physical development (OR=0·77; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·89 and OR=0·82; 95 % CI 0·74, 0·91, respectively) and literacy/numeracy development in high BF countries (OR=0·45; 95 % CI 0·38, 0·53 and OR=0·59, 95 % CI 0·51, 0·68, respectively), but not low BF countries (OR=0·93; 95 % CI 0·70, 1·23 and OR=0·95, 95 % CI 0·79, 1·12, respectively). Any stunting was negatively associated with learning (OR=0·79; 95 % CI 0·72, 0·88). There was no clear association between stunting and socio-emotional development.
Stunting is associated with many but not all developmental domains across a diversity of countries and cultures. However, associations varied by country breast-feeding prevalence and developmental domain.
We present a study based on four inland eolian locations in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Lithuania belonging to the northeastern part of the ‘European Sand Belt’ (ESB). Although there have been several previous studies of the ESB, this north-eastern extension has not been investigated before in any detail. The sedimentary structural–textural features are investigated and a chronology was derived using optically stimulated luminescence on both quartz and feldspar. The sedimentary structures and the rounding and surface characteristics of the quartz grains argue for a predominance of eolian transport. Additionally, some structural alternations and a significant contribution of non-eolian grains are interpreted as inherited local glacial/glaciofluvial-bearing lithologies.
Three main (glaciolacustrine–) eolian phases are distinguished based on the position in the landscape and the luminescence ages: (1) An older eolian series around 15 to 16 ka, possibly correlated with the cold GS-2a event according to the GRIP stratigraphy, and (2) a younger eolian series around 14.0 ka, possibly representing the GI-1d and 1c events. The older eolian series is underlain by (3) a glaciolacustrine–eolian series for which the period of deposition remains uncertain due to the significant discrepancy between the ages based on quartz and feldspar.
Two broad aims drive weed science research: improved management and improved
understanding of weed biology and ecology. In recent years, agricultural
weed research addressing these two aims has effectively split into separate
subdisciplines despite repeated calls for greater integration. Although some
excellent work is being done, agricultural weed research has developed a
very high level of repetitiveness, a preponderance of purely descriptive
studies, and has failed to clearly articulate novel hypotheses linked to
established bodies of ecological and evolutionary theory. In contrast,
invasive plant research attracts a diverse cadre of nonweed scientists using
invasions to explore broader and more integrated biological questions
grounded in theory. We propose that although studies focused on weed
management remain vitally important, agricultural weed research would
benefit from deeper theoretical justification, a broader vision, and
increased collaboration across diverse disciplines. To initiate change in
this direction, we call for more emphasis on interdisciplinary training for
weed scientists, and for focused workshops and working groups to develop
specific areas of research and promote interactions among weed scientists
and with the wider scientific community.
Using a sequential in vitro/in vivo approach, we tested the ability of botanical extracts to influence biomarkers associated with bone resorption and bone formation. Pomegranate fruit and grape seed extracts were found to exhibit anti-resorptive activity by inhibiting receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) expression in MG-63 cells and to reduce IL-1β-stimulated calvarial 45Ca loss. A combination of pomegranate fruit and grape seed extracts were shown to be effective at inhibiting bone loss in ovariectomised rats as demonstrated by standard histomorphometry, biomechanical and bone mineral density measurements. Quercetin and licorice extract exhibited bone formation activity as measured by bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) promoter activation, increased expression of BMP-2 mRNA and protein levels, and promotion of bone growth in cultured mouse calvariae. A combination of quercetin and licorice extract demonstrated a potential for increasing bone mineral density in an intact female rat model as compared with controls. The results from this sequential in vitro/in vivo research model yielded botanical extract formulas that demonstrate significant potential benefits for bone health.
Lactate measurement has been used to identify critical medical illness and initiate early treatment strategies. The prehospital environment offers an opportunity for very early identification of critical illness and commencement of care.
The investigators hypothesized that point-of-care lactate measurement in the prehospital aeromedical environment would: (1) identify medical patients with high mortality; (2) influence fluid, transfusion, and intubation; and (3) increase early central venous catheter (CVC) placement.
Critically ill, medical, nontrauma patients who were transported from September 2007 through February 2009 by University of Massachusetts (UMass) Memorial LifeFlight, a university-based emergency medical helicopter service, were eligible for enrollment. Patients were prospectively randomized to receive a fingerstick whole-blood lactate measurement on an alternate-day schedule. Flight crews were not blinded to results. Flight crews were asked to inform the receiving attending physician of the results. The primary endpoint was the ability of a high, prehospital lactate value [> 4 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)] to identify mortality. Secondary endpoints included differences in post-transport fluid, transfusion, and intubation, and decrease in time to central venous catheter (CVC) placement. Categorical variables were compared between groups by Fisher's Exact Test, and continuous variables were compared by t-test.
Patients (N = 59) were well matched for age, gender, and acuity. In the lactate cohort (n = 20), mean lactate was 7 mmol/L [Standard error of the mean, SEM = 1]. Initial analysis revealed that prehospital lactate levels of ≥4 mmol/L did show a trend toward higher mortality with an odds ratio of 2.1 (95% CI, 0.3-13.8). Secondary endpoints did not show a statistically significant change in management between the lactate and non lactate groups. There was a trend toward decreased time to post-transport CVC in the non lactate faction.
Prehospital aeromedical point-of-care lactate measurement levels ≥4 mmol/L may help stratify mortality. Further investigation is needed, as this is a small, limited study. The initial analysis did not find a significant change in post-transport management.
MullenM, CerriG, MurrayR, TalbotA, SanseverinoA, McCahillP, MangoldsV, VolturoJ, DarlingC, RestucciaM. Use of Point-of-Care Lactate in the Prehospital Aeromedical Environment. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(1):1-4.