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Antibiotics are overprescribed for acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs). Guidelines provide criteria to determine which patients should receive antibiotics. We assessed congruence between documentation of ARI diagnostic and treatment practices with guideline recommendations, treatment appropriateness, and outcomes.
A multicenter quality improvement evaluation was conducted in 28 Veterans Affairs facilities. We included visits for pharyngitis, rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, and upper respiratory tract infections (URI-NOS) that occurred during the 2015–2016 winter season. A manual record review identified complicated cases, which were excluded. Data were extracted for visits meeting criteria, followed by analysis of practice patterns, guideline congruence, and outcomes.
Of 5,740 visits, 4,305 met our inclusion criteria: pharyngitis (n = 558), rhinosinusitis (n = 715), bronchitis (n = 1,155), URI-NOS (n = 1,475), or mixed diagnoses (>1 ARI diagnosis) (n = 402). Antibiotics were prescribed in 68% of visits: pharyngitis (69%), rhinosinusitis (89%), bronchitis (86%), URI-NOS (37%), and mixed diagnosis (86%). Streptococcal diagnostic testing was performed in 33% of pharyngitis visits; group A Streptococcus was identified in 3% of visits. Streptococcal tests were ordered less frequently for patients who received antibiotics (28%) than those who did not receive antibiotics 44%; P < .01). Although 68% of visits for rhinosinusitis had documentation of symptoms, only 32% met diagnostic criteria for antibiotics. Overall, 39% of patients with uncomplicated ARIs received appropriate antibiotic management. The proportion of 30-day return visits for ARI care was similar for appropriate (11%) or inappropriate (10%) antibiotic management (P = .22).
Antibiotics were prescribed in most uncomplicated ARI visits, indicating substantial overuse. Practice was frequently discordant with guideline diagnostic and treatment recommendations.
While some commentators believe that the Enron and Arthur Andersen affair that came to light in 2001 is responsible for the demise of multidisciplinary practices (MDPs), the notion of law firms engaging in MDPs lost most of its momentum during the American Bar Association (ABA) debate of 1999 and 2000. Enron and Andersen weakened whatever support remained for MDPs after the ABA defeat, during which MDP opponents raised legitimate concerns. But Enron and Andersen did not derail all models in which law firms successfully provide nonlegal services. In fact, the law-related services ancillary business model (as referred to by the ABA's Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice) is much more relevant post-Enron. Ancillary businesses, or subsidiary businesses as they are referred to at the authors' law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP, are not MDPs. When structured and managed in compliance with fundamental principles and regulations, subsidiary businesses give progressive law firms the ability to deliver a comprehensive bundle of integrated services in response to client needs.
To assess variability in antimicrobial use and associations with infection testing in pediatric ventilator-associated events (VAEs).
Descriptive retrospective cohort with nested case-control study.
Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs), cardiac intensive care units (CICUs), and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in 6 US hospitals.
Children≤18 years ventilated for≥1 calendar day.
We identified patients with pediatric ventilator-associated conditions (VACs), pediatric VACs with antimicrobial use for≥4 days (AVACs), and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP, defined as pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test) according to previously proposed criteria.
Among 9,025 ventilated children, we identified 192 VAC cases, 43 in CICUs, 70 in PICUs, and 79 in NICUs. AVAC criteria were met in 79 VAC cases (41%) (58% CICU; 51% PICU; and 23% NICU), and varied by hospital (CICU, 20–67%; PICU, 0–70%; and NICU, 0–43%). Type and duration of AVAC antimicrobials varied by ICU type. AVAC cases in CICUs and PICUs received broad-spectrum antimicrobials more often than those in NICUs. Among AVAC cases, 39% had respiratory infection diagnostic testing performed; PVAP was identified in 15 VAC cases. Also, among AVAC cases, 73% had no associated positive respiratory or nonrespiratory diagnostic test.
Antimicrobial use is common in pediatric VAC, with variability in spectrum and duration of antimicrobials within hospitals and across ICU types, while PVAP is uncommon. Prolonged antimicrobial use despite low rates of PVAP or positive laboratory testing for infection suggests that AVAC may provide a lever for antimicrobial stewardship programs to improve utilization.
Dietary intake is a leading risk factor for hypertension. We aimed to assess longitudinal associations between overall dietary patterns and incident hypertension among adults in Thailand.
Prospective large Thai Cohort Study (TCS) conducted nationwide from 2005 to 2013. Dietary patterns were identified using factor analysis based on usual intake of fourteen food groups. Multivariable logistic regression assessed associations between dietary patterns and hypertension prevalence and incidence.
Emerging hypertension and changing diets in Thailand.
TCS participants who were normotensive at baseline in 2005.
Among 36293 participants without hypertension at baseline, 1831 reported incident hypertension (5·1 % incidence) at follow-up. Two dietary patterns were identified: ‘Modern’ and ‘Prudent’. The Modern dietary pattern (high intakes of roasted/smoked foods, instant foods, canned foods, fermented fruits/vegetables, fermented foods, soft drinks, deep-fried foods) was associated with increased incident hypertension (comparing extreme quartiles, OR for incident hypertension=1·51; 95 % CI 1·31, 1·75 in 2013). The Prudent dietary pattern (high intakes of soyabean products, milk, fruits, vegetables) was not associated with incident hypertension in a fully adjusted model. The association between the Modern dietary pattern and hypertension was attenuated by BMI.
Modern dietary pattern was positively associated with hypertension among Thai adults. BMI had a great impact on the relationship between the Modern dietary pattern and incidence of hypertension. Reduction of Modern diets would be expected to prevent and control hypertension. Such a strategy would be worth testing.
In the last 50 years Thailand has achieved advanced demographic and health transitions. Many infectious diseases are controlled and infant and maternal mortality rates are among the lowest in the region. Within such a low mortality setting, however, substantial variations in health persist, with education being a major driver. This paper assesses the ongoing mortality transition in Thailand, examining relationships between risk factors and mortality outcomes among a large nationwide cohort of distance-learning Open University students, as well as examining the differential mortality benefit enjoyed by this educated group when compared with the general Thai population. The cohort comprised 87,151 participants, who in 2005 completed a questionnaire collecting detailed information on socio-demographics, health behaviours and health outcomes. Participants were aged 15–87 at baseline and lived in all regions of the country. Cohort members’ citizen identification numbers were matched with official death registration records to identify mortality among participants. A total of 1401 deaths were identified up to November 2016. Results show cohort study participants experiencing mortality at approximately one-third of the rate of the general population in the same age and sex groups. The gap between the mortality rates in the two groups widened with increased age. Differential risk factor prevalence among the two populations, particularly lower overweight and obesity prevalence and lower cigarette smoking rates in the cohort, can explain some of this variation. The largely unmeasurable effect of aspiration for life improvement through distance education while embedded in their communities is shown by this study to have a powerful effect on mortality risk. With overall education levels, including higher education, rising in Thailand this growing group of educated aspirational Thais may represent future trends in Thai mortality. Identifying the drivers and characteristics of this mortality variation can help inform policies to provide health services and to help reduce mortality in the whole population.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Objectives: Sleep quality affects memory and executive function in older adults, but little is known about its effects in midlife. If it affects cognition in midlife, it may be a modifiable factor for later-life functioning. Methods: We examined the association between sleep quality and cognition in 1220 middle-aged male twins (age 51–60 years) from the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging. We interviewed participants with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and tested them for episodic memory as well as executive functions of inhibitory and interference control, updating in working memory, and set shifting. Interference control was assessed during episodic memory, inhibitory control during working memory, and non-memory conditions and set shifting during working memory and non-memory conditions. Results: After adjusting for covariates and correcting for multiple comparisons, sleep quality was positively associated with updating in working memory, set shifting in the context of working memory, and better visual-spatial (but not verbal) episodic memory, and at trend level, with interference control in the context of episodic memory. Conclusions: Sleep quality was associated with visual-spatial recall and possible resistance to proactive/retroactive interference. It was also associated with updating in working memory and with set shifting, but only when working memory demands were relatively high. Thus, effects of sleep quality on midlife cognition appear to be at the intersection of executive function and memory processes. Subtle deficits in these age-susceptible cognitive functions may indicate increased risk for decline in cognitive abilities later in life that might be reduced by improved midlife sleep quality. (JINS, 2018, 24, 67–76)
To examine variation in antibiotic coverage and detection of resistant pathogens in community-onset pneumonia.
A total of 128 hospitals in the Veterans Affairs health system.
Hospitalizations with a principal diagnosis of pneumonia from 2009 through 2010.
We examined proportions of hospitalizations with empiric antibiotic coverage for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAER) and with initial detection in blood or respiratory cultures. We compared lowest- versus highest-decile hospitals, and we estimated adjusted probabilities (AP) for patient- and hospital-level factors predicting coverage and detection using hierarchical regression modeling.
Among 38,473 hospitalizations, empiric coverage varied widely across hospitals (MRSA lowest vs highest, 8.2% vs 42.0%; PAER lowest vs highest, 13.9% vs 44.4%). Detection rates also varied (MRSA lowest vs highest, 0.5% vs 3.6%; PAER lowest vs highest, 0.6% vs 3.7%). Whereas coverage was greatest among patients with recent hospitalizations (AP for anti-MRSA, 54%; AP for anti-PAER, 59%) and long-term care (AP for anti-MRSA, 60%; AP for anti-PAER, 66%), detection was greatest in patients with a previous history of a positive culture (AP for MRSA, 7.9%; AP for PAER, 11.9%) and in hospitals with a high prevalence of the organism in pneumonia (AP for MRSA, 3.9%; AP for PAER, 3.2%). Low hospital complexity and rural setting were strong negative predictors of coverage but not of detection.
Hospitals demonstrated widespread variation in both coverage and detection of MRSA and PAER, but probability of coverage correlated poorly with probability of detection. Factors associated with empiric coverage (eg, healthcare exposure) were different from those associated with detection (eg, microbiology history). Providing microbiology data during empiric antibiotic decision making could better align coverage to risk for resistant pathogens and could promote more judicious use of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Objectives: This study examined the current assessment practices of clinicians working with people with social cognition impairment following traumatic brain injury.
Method: Two hundred and sixty clinicians completed an on-line survey that was disseminated through professional brain injury organisations. Of respondents around 90% were allied health clinicians, with the remainder comprising medical, nursing and academia.
Main outcomes: The four areas of social cognition that were routinely assessed across the disciplines were insight, disinhibition, anger and social adjustment. The least routinely assessed areas were theory of mind and alexithymia. The test suggested most likely to identify social cognition impairments was The Awareness of Social Inference Test, although only 8% of clinicians responded to this question. Clinicians preferred informal assessment methods over standardised assessment methods for identifying social cognition rehabilitation goals. Higher levels of education were associated with greater use of standardised assessment modalities. Whilst there was paucity of responses overall, TBI Express was most commonly used for social cognition rehabilitation.
Conclusions: Considering the high prevalence of social cognition impairments in this population, formal assessment is extremely limited. The under-utilisation of assessment tools is problematic for the assessment and rehabilitation initiatives offered to people with TBI. These results have implications for the training of clinicians working in brain injury rehabilitation.
To detail the activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative and evaluate outcomes of the program.
The VHA is a large integrated healthcare system serving approximately 6 million individuals annually at more than 140 medical facilities.
Utilization of nationally developed resources, proportional distribution of antibiotics, changes in stewardship practices and patient safety measures were reported. In addition, inpatient antimicrobial use was evaluated before and after implementation of national stewardship activities.
Nationally developed stewardship resources were well utilized, and many stewardship practices significantly increased, including development of written stewardship policies at 92% of facilities by 2015 (P<.05). While the proportional distribution of antibiotics did not change, inpatient antibiotic use significantly decreased after VHA Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative activities began (P<.0001). A 12% decrease in antibiotic use was noted overall. The VHA has also noted significantly declining use of antimicrobials prescribed for resistant Gram-negative organisms, including carbapenems, as well as declining hospital readmission and mortality rates. Concurrently, the VHA reported decreasing rates of Clostridium difficile infection.
The VHA National Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative includes continuing education, disease-specific guidelines, and development of example policies in addition to other highly utilized resources. While no specific ideal level of antimicrobial utilization has been established, the VHA has shown that improving antimicrobial usage in a large healthcare system may be achieved through national guidance and resources with local implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Adult ventilator-associated event (VAE) definitions include ventilator-associated conditions (VAC) and subcategories for infection-related ventilator-associated complications (IVAC) and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP). We explored these definitions for children.
Pediatric, cardiac, or neonatal intensive care units (ICUs) in 6 US hospitals
Patients ≤18 years old ventilated for ≥1 day
We identified patients with pediatric VAC based on previously proposed criteria. We applied adult temperature, white blood cell count, antibiotic, and culture criteria for IVAC and PVAP to these patients. We matched pediatric VAC patients with controls and evaluated associations with adverse outcomes using Cox proportional hazards models.
In total, 233 pediatric VACs (12,167 ventilation episodes) were identified. In the cardiac ICU (CICU), 62.5% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; in the pediatric ICU (PICU), 54.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; and in the neonatal ICU (NICU), 20.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria. Most patients had abnormal white blood cell counts and temperatures; we therefore recommend simplifying surveillance by focusing on “pediatric VAC with antimicrobial use” (pediatric AVAC). Pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test (“pediatric PVAP”) occurred in 8.9% of VACs in the CICU, 13.3% of VACs in the PICU, and 4.3% of VACs in the NICU. Hospital mortality was increased, and hospital and ICU length of stay and duration of ventilation were prolonged among all pediatric VAE subsets compared with controls.
We propose pediatric AVAC for surveillance related to antimicrobial use, with pediatric PVAP as a subset of AVAC. Studies on generalizability and responsiveness of these metrics to quality improvement initiatives are needed, as are studies to determine whether lower pediatric VAE rates are associated with improvements in other outcomes.
This article explores how education reformers in California pioneered forms of centralized educational governance between 1850 and 1879. Challenging previous scholarship that has attributed the success of this early educational state to reformer John Swett and New England migrants, this article situates the creation of common schools in California within the larger context of American state-building in the nineteenth-century West. While increased state authority over education was a goal for reformers across the nation, this article contends that California's early innovations in centralization reflected a regionally specific response to the dilemmas of governing a recently acquired territory distant from eastern centers of power. The precarious nature of elite attempts to convert California into an American place, reflected in perceived lawlessness, weak governmental authority, and racial anxiety, inspired forms of educational organization commonly associated with Progressive Era responses to industrialization, urbanization, and immigration. The desire to promote nineteenth-century American racial and governmental order in California, this article concludes, powerfully shaped the growth of public education in the state, influencing the organization of schooling in ways that suggest the importance of looking beyond the Northeast to understand the development of public education in the United States.
There are multiple recent reports of an association between anxious/depressed (A/D) symptomatology and the rate of cerebral cortical thickness maturation in typically developing youths. We investigated the degree to which anxious/depressed symptoms are tied to age-related microstructural changes in cerebral fiber pathways. The participants were part of the NIH MRI Study of Normal Brain Development. Child Behavior Checklist A/D scores and diffusion imaging were available for 175 youths (84 males, 91 females; 241 magnetic resonance imagings) at up to three visits. The participants ranged from 5.7 to 18.4 years of age at the time of the scan. Alignment of fractional anisotropy data was implemented using FSL/Tract-Based Spatial Statistics, and linear mixed model regression was carried out using SPSS. Child Behavior Checklist A/D was associated with the rate of microstructural development in several white matter pathways, including the bilateral anterior thalamic radiation, bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculus, left superior longitudinal fasciculus, and right cingulum. Across these pathways, greater age-related fractional anisotropy increases were observed at lower levels of A/D. The results suggest that subclinical A/D symptoms are associated with the rate of microstructural development within several white matter pathways that have been implicated in affect regulation, as well as mood and anxiety psychopathology.
Using a retrospective observational approach, we aimed to discern whether there was a difference in metabolic parameters between psychiatric and general practice populations in the same locality. Second, we aimed to establish differences in metabolic parameters of patients taking olanzapine, clozapine or aripiprazole.
Patients with psychiatric illness had a body mass index (BMI) comparable to that of the general practice population (28.7 v. 29.7 kg/m2), but blood glucose was significantly lower in the general practice population (4.8 v. 6.1 mmol/L). Olanzapine was associated with the lowest BMI (26.1 kg/m2) and aripiprazole the highest (32.2 kg/m2), with no difference in blood glucose between antipsychotics.
Awareness of environmental factors and how they affect individuals is important and medications are not the only cause of metabolic effects. There may be a channelling bias present, meaning practitioners are cognisant of potential metabolic effects prior to prescribing. Overall monitoring of physical health is important regardless of potential cause.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are variably implemented.
To characterize variations of antimicrobial stewardship structure and practices across all inpatient Veterans Affairs facilities in 2012 and correlate key characteristics with antimicrobial usage.
A web-based survey regarding stewardship activities was administered to each facility’s designated contact. Bivariate associations between facility characteristics and inpatient antimicrobial use during 2012 were determined.
Total of 130 Veterans Affairs facilities with inpatient services.
Of 130 responding facilities, 29 (22%) had a formal policy establishing an ASP, and 12 (9%) had an approved ASP business plan. Antimicrobial stewardship teams were present in 49 facilities (38%); 34 teams included a clinical pharmacist with formal infectious diseases (ID) training. Stewardship activities varied across facilities, including development of yearly antibiograms (122 [94%]), formulary restrictions (120 [92%]), stop orders for antimicrobial duration (98 [75%]), and written clinical pathways for specific conditions (96 [74%]). Decreased antimicrobial usage was associated with having at least 1 full-time ID physician (P=.03), an ID fellowship program (P=.003), and a clinical pharmacist with formal ID training (P=.006) as well as frequency of systematic patient-level reviews of antimicrobial use (P=.01) and having a policy to address antimicrobial use in the context of Clostridium difficile infection (P=.01). Stop orders for antimicrobial duration were associated with increased use (P=.03).
ASP-related activities varied considerably. Decreased antibiotic use appeared related to ID presence and certain select practices. Further statistical assessments may help optimize antimicrobial practices.