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Background: A multicenter audit-and-feedback intervention was conducted to improve management of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) including group A streptococcal (GAS) pharyngitis within 6 VA medical Centers (VAMCs). A relative reduction (24.8%) in azithromycin prescribing after the intervention was observed. Within these facilities during 2015–2018, 2,266 cases of GAS occurred, and susceptibility to erythromycin ranged from 55% to 70%. We evaluated whether prescribing a macrolide for GAS pharyngitis was associated with an increase in outpatient return visits. Methods: A cohort of ambulatory adults treated for GAS pharyngitis (years 2014–2019) at 6 VAMCs was created. Demographic, diagnostic, treatment, and revisit data were extracted from the Corporate Data Warehouse. GAS pharyngitis was defined by an acute pharyngitis diagnostic code combined with a GAS-positive rapid strep test or throat culture ≤3 days of index date. Antibiotic prescriptions were included if filled ≤3 days of index date and were classified as first line (penicillin/amoxicillin), second line (cephalexin/clindamycin), macrolides (azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin), or other (remaining antibiotics). A return visit was defined as a new visit to primary care, urgent care, or the emergency department with a diagnostic code for an ARI ≤30 days from the index visit. Logistic regression was used to adjust for nonantibiotic covariates and to compare treatments. Results are reported as odds ratio (OR ± 95% CI; P value). Results: Of 12,666 patients with a diagnostic code for acute pharyngitis, 2,923 (23.1%) had GAS testing performed. Of those, 582 (19.9%) were GAS-positive and 460 (15.7%) received antibiotics. The mean age was 39.0 years (±SD, 11.7) and 73.7% were male. Antibiotics included penicillins for 363 patients (78.9%), cephalosporins for 21 (4.6%), clindamycin for 32 (7.0%), macrolides for 47 (10.2%), and other for 17 (3.9%). Penicillin allergy was documented in 48 patients (10.5%), and these patients received cephalosporins (18.8%), clindamycin (35.4%), macrolides (41.7%), and other antibiotics (4.2%). Return visits occurred in 47 cases (10.4%). Limited chart review indicated that 6 of 10 macrolide recipients (60.0%) with return visits had recurrence or unresolved symptoms. After adjustment for calendar month and facility, odds of a return visit for treatment with a macrolide relative to penicillins was 2.79 (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, ±6.56; P = .02). The audit-feedback intervention was not associated with ARI-related return visits (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.26–1.06; P = .07). Conclusions: Return visit rates were higher for GAS pharyngitis patients treated with a macrolide than for those treated with penicillins. Macrolides were the most commonly prescribed non-penicillin therapy irrespective of penicillin allergy. Further work is necessary to determine the reason for the increase in return visits.
Background: Audit-and-feedback interventions track clinician practice patterns for a targeted practice behavior. Audit and feedback of antibiotic prescribing data for acute respiratory infections (ARI) is an effective stewardship strategy that relies on administrative coding to identify eligible visits for audit. Diagnostic shifting is the misclassification of a patient’s diagnosis in response to audit and feedback and is a potential unintended consequence of audit and feedback. Objective: To develop a method to identify patterns consistent with diagnostic shifting including both positive shifting (improved diagnosis and documentation) and negative shifting (intentionally altering documentation of diagnosis to justify antibiotic prescribing), after implementation of an audit-and-feedback intervention to improve ARI management. Methods: We evaluated the intervention effect on diagnostic shifting within 12 University of Utah pediatric clinics (293 providers). Data included 66,827 ARI diagnoses: pneumonia, sinusitis, bronchitis, pharyngitis, upper respiratory infection (URI), acute otitis media (AOM), or serous otitis with effusion (OME). To determine whether rates of ARI diagnoses changed after the intervention, we developed logistic generalized estimating equation (GEE) models with robust sandwich standard error estimates to account for clinic-wise clustering. Outcomes included the change in each ARI diagnosis relative to the competing 6 diagnoses included in audit-and-feedback reports before and after intervention implementation. Models tested for a change in outcomes after the intervention (ie, diagnostic shift) after adjustment for month of diagnosis. For each diagnosis, we estimated the population attributable fraction (PAF) for antibiotic prescriptions due to combined shifts in diagnostic frequencies and prescription rates for each diagnosis. The PAF is the estimated fraction of antibiotic prescriptions that would have changed under a population-level intervention. Results: In month-adjusted analyses, diagnoses of pneumonia and OME decreased after the intervention: odds ratio (OR), 0.46 (95% CI, 0.31–0.68) and OR, 0.81 (95% CI, 0.67–0.99), respectively. In addition, URI diagnoses increased: OR, 1.05 (95% CI 1.00, 1.11). We did not detect changes in the diagnosis rates of sinusitis, AOM, bronchitis, and pharyngitis post intervention. The intervention effect on the PAF for antibiotics prescriptions was consistently positive but relatively small in magnitude. PAF was highest for URIs (PAF, 8.87%), followed by AOM (PAF, 3.56%) and sinusitis (PAF, 2.76%), and was lowest for pneumonia and bronchitis (PAF, 0.41% for both). Conclusions: Our analysis found minimal evidence overall of diagnostic shifting after a stewardship intervention using audit and feedback in these pediatric clinics. Small changes in diagnostic coding may reflect more appropriate diagnosis and coding, a positive effect of audit and feedback, rather than intentional negative diagnostic shift.
Background: Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are a key target to improve antibiotic use in the outpatient setting. The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provide a framework for improving antibiotic use, but data on safety and effectiveness of interventions to improve antibiotic use are limited. We report the impact of Core Elements implementation within Veterans’ Healthcare Administration clinics on antibiotic prescribing and patient outcomes. Methods: The intervention targeting treatment of uncomplicated ARIs (sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, and viral upper respiratory infections [URIs]) in emergency department and primary care settings was initiated within 10 sites between September 2017 and January 2018. The intervention was developed using the Core Elements and included local site champions, audit-and-feedback with peer comparison, and academic detailing. We evaluated the following outcomes: per-visit antibiotic prescribing rates overall and by diagnosis; appropriateness of treatment; 30-day ARI revisits; 30-day infectious complications (eg,, pneumonia,); 30-day adverse medication effects; 90-day Clostridium difficile infection (CDI); and 30-day hospitalizations. Multilevel logistic regression was used to calculate rate ratios (RR) with 95% CI for each outcome in the postintervention period (12 months) compared to the preintervention period (39–42 months). Results: There were 14,020 uncomplicated ARI visits before the intervention and 4,866 uncomplicated ARI visits after the intervention. The proportions of uncomplicated ARI visits with antibiotics prescribed were 59.17% before the intervention versus 44.34% after the intervention. A trend in reduced antibiotic prescribing for ARIs throughout the entire (before and after) observation period was evident (0.92; 95% CI, 0.90–0.94); however, a significant reduction in antibiotic prescribing after the intervention was identified (0.74; 95% CI, 0.59–0.93). Per-visit antibiotic prescribing rates decreased significantly for bronchitis and URI (0.54; 95% CI, 0.44–0.65), pharyngitis (0.76; 95% CI, 0.67–0.86), and sinusitis (0.92; 95% CI, 0.85–1.0). Appropriate therapy for pharyngitis increased (1.43; 95% CI, 1.21–1.68), but appropriate therapy for sinusitis remained unchanged (0.92; 95% CI, 0.85–1.0) after the intervention. Complications associated with antibiotic undertreatment were not different after the intervention: ARI-related revisit rates (1.01; 95% CI, 0.98–1.05) and infectious complications (1.01; 95% CI, 0.79–1.28). A potential benefit of improved antibiotic use included a reduction in visits for adverse medication effects (0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.94). Furthermore, 90-day CDI events were too sparse to model: preintervention incidence was 0.08% and postintervention incidence was 0.06%. Additionally, 30-day hospitalizations were significantly lower in the postintervention period (0.79; 95% CI, 0.72–0.87). Conclusions: Implementation of the Core Elements was safe and effective and was associated with reduced antibiotic prescribing rates for uncomplicated ARIs, improvements in diagnosis-specific appropriate therapy, visits for adverse antibiotic effects, and 30-day hospitalization rates. No adverse events were noted in ARI-related revisit rates or infectious complications. CDI rates were low and unchanged.
Background: Inappropriate use of MRSA-spectrum antibiotics is an important antimicrobial stewardship target. Contributors to inappropriate use include empiric treatment of patients who are determined to not be infected or who are infected but lack MRSA risk factors, and by excessive treatment duration when suspected MRSA infection is disproven. To characterize opportunities for improvement, we conducted a medical use evaluation (MUE) in 27 VA medical centers. The primary objectives were to assess the following proportions: (1) courses of unjustified empiric vancomycin therapy (patients in whom all antibacterials were halted within 2 days or without a principal or secondary discharge infection diagnosis); (2) courses of unjustified continuation of anti-MRSA therapy beyond day 4 (no MRSA risk factors or proven MRSA infection); and (3) excess anti-MRSA days of therapy (DOT), that is, DOT in unjustified empiric courses plus DOT after day 4 in unjustified continued courses. Methods: Clinical pharmacists performed retrospective, structured, manual record reviews of patients started on intravenous vancomycin on day 1 or 2 of hospitalization from June 2017 to May 2018. Exclusion criteria included surgical prophylaxis, recent MRSA infection, β-lactam allergy, renal insufficiency, severe immunosuppression, or infection that warranted anti-MRSA therapy other than vancomycin. Results: Of 2,493 evaluated patients, 1,320 met the inclusion criteria. Among them, 44% of courses were initiated in the emergency department, 37% of patients had ≥1 risk factor for healthcare-associated infections, and 50% of patients had ≥2 SIRS criteria or required vasopressor support. The most common admission diagnoses were skin and soft-tissue infection (SSTI, 40%; 68% nonpurulent) and pneumonia (27%; 46% without healthcare risk factors). Clinical cultures recovered MRSA from 8% of patients. Empiric therapy was not justified in 342 patients (26%; 57% were clinically stable). Continued therapy was unjustified in 46% of the 320 patients who received >4 days of anti-MRSA therapy. Of all days of anti-MRSA therapy, 23% were unjustified; 65% of these were due to unjustified empiric therapy. Site-specific variations in unjustified empiric therapy better correlated with the proportion of unjustified DOT than did unjustified continuation of therapy (Pearson correlation coefficients [PCC], 0.75 and 0.54, respectively) (Fig. 1). Facility-specific proportions of unjustified DOT modestly correlated with anti-MRSA DOT (PCC, 0.45; n = 27) (Fig. 2) but not the anti-MRSA standardized antimicrobial administration ratio (PCC, 0.15; n = 21). Conclusions: In this multicenter MUE, 26% of all days of anti-MRSA therapy lacked justification; this rate correlated with total facility-specific anti-MRSA DOT. Unnecessary empiric therapy, largely in the ED and for nonpurulent SSTIs and pneumonia without risk factors, was the principal contributor to unjustified DOT.
Background: The Press Ganey (PG) Medical Practice Survey is a commonly used questionnaire for measuring patient experience in healthcare. Our objective was to evaluate the PG surveys completed by caregivers of children presenting for urgent care evaluation of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) to determine any correlation with receipt of antibiotics during their visit. Methods: We evaluated responses to the PG urgent-care surveys for encounters of children <18 years presenting with ARIs (ie, sinusitis, bronchitis, pharyngitis, upper respiratory infection, acute otitis media, or serous otitis media with effusion) within 9 University of Utah urgent-care centers. Scores could range from 0 to 100. Because the distributions of scores followed right- skewed distribution with a high ceiling effect, we defined scores as dissatisfied with their care (≤25th percentile) and satisfied with their care (scores >25th percentile). Univariate and multivariable generalized mixed-effects logistic regression was used to assess correlates of patient dissatisfaction. Random intercepts were included for each provider to account for correlation within the same provider. Separate models were used for each PG component score. Multivariable models adjusted for receipt of antibiotics, age, gender, race, ethnicity, and provider type. Results: Overall, 388 of 520 responses (74.6%) indicated satisfaction and 132 responses (25.4%) indicated dissatisfaction. Among patients who did not receive antibiotics, 87 of 284 responses (30.6%) indicated dissatisfaction versus 45 of 236 (19.1%) who did receive antibiotics. Among patients who were dissatisfied with their clinician, raw clinician PG scores were higher among patients who received antibiotics (mean, 64.5; standard deviation [SD], 16.9) versus those who did not receive antibiotics (mean, 54.7; SD, 24.4; P = .015) (Table 1). In a multivariable analysis, receipt of antibiotics was associated with a reduction in patient dissatisfaction overall (odds ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.36–0.85). Conclusions: Overall, most responses for patients seen for ARIs in pediatric urgent care were satisfied. However, a significantly higher proportion of responses for patients who did not receive antibiotics were dissatisfied than for those patients who received antibiotics. Antibiotic stewardship strategies to communicate appropriate prescribing while preserving patient satisfaction are needed in pediatric urgent-care settings.
Background: The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provide a framework to improve antibiotic use, but cost-effectiveness data on interventions to improve antibiotic use are limited. Beginning in September 2017, an antibiotic stewardship intervention was launched in within 10 outpatient Veterans Healthcare Administration clinics. The intervention was based on the Core Elements and used an academic detailing (AD) and an audit and feedback (AF) approach to encourage appropriate use of antibiotics. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the intervention among patients with uncomplicated acute respiratory tract infections (ARI). Methods: We developed an economic simulation model from the VA’s perspective for patients presenting for an index outpatient clinic visit with an ARI (Fig. 1). Effectiveness was measured as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Cost and utility parameters for antibiotic treatment, adverse drug reactions (ADRs), and healthcare utilization were obtained from the published literature. Probability parameters for antibiotic treatment, appropriateness of treatment, antibiotic ADRs, hospitalization, and return ARI visits were estimated using VA Corporate Data Warehouse data from a total of 22,137 patients in the 10 clinics during 2014–2019 before and after the intervention. Detailed cost data on the development of the AD and AF materials and electronically captured time and effort for the National AD Service activities by specific providers from a national ARI campaign were used as a proxy for the cost estimate of similar activities conducted in this intervention. We performed 1-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSAs) using 10,000 second-order Monte Carlo simulations on costs and utility values using their means and standard deviations. Results: The proportion of uncomplicated ARI visits with antibiotics prescribed (59% vs 40%) was lower and appropriate treatment was higher (24% vs 32%) after the intervention. The intervention was estimated to cost $110,846 (2018 USD) over a 2-year period. Compared to no intervention, the intervention had lower mean costs ($880 vs $517) and higher mean QALYs (0.837 vs 0.863) per patient because of reduced inappropriate treatment, ADRs, and subsequent healthcare utilization, including hospitalization. In threshold analyses, the antibiotic stewardship strategy was no longer dominant if intervention cost was >$64,415,000 or the number of patients cared for was <3,672. In the PSA, the antibiotic stewardship intervention was dominant in 100% of the 10,000 Monte Carlo iterations (Fig. 2). Conclusions: In every scenario, the VA outpatient AD and AF antibiotic stewardship intervention was a dominant strategy compared to no intervention.
The current study undertook a systematic scoping review on the drivers and implications of dietary changes among Inuit in the Canadian Arctic.
A keyword search of peer-reviewed articles was performed using PubMed, Web of Science, CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, Circumpolar Health Bibliographic Database and High North Research Documents. Eligibility criteria included all full-text articles of any design reporting on research on food consumption, nutrient intake, dietary adequacy, dietary change, food security, nutrition-related chronic diseases or traditional food harvesting and consumption among Inuit populations residing in Canada. Articles reporting on in vivo and in vitro experiments or on health impacts of environmental contaminants were excluded.
A total of 162 studies were included. Studies indicated declining country food (CF) consumption in favour of market food (MF). Drivers of this transition include colonial processes, poverty and socio-economic factors, changing food preferences and knowledge, and climate change. Health implications of the dietary transition are complex. Micro-nutrient deficiencies and dietary inadequacy are serious concerns and likely exacerbated by increased consumption of non-nutrient dense MF. Food insecurity, overweight, obesity and related cardiometabolic health outcomes are growing public health concerns. Meanwhile, declining CF consumption is entangled with shifting culture and traditional knowledge, with potential implications for psychological, spiritual, social and cultural health and well-being.
By exploring and synthesising published literature, this review provides insight into the complex factors influencing Inuit diet and health. Findings may be informative for future research, decision-making and intersectoral actions around risk assessment, food policy and innovative community programmes.
The relationship between nutrition and behavioural health (BH) outcomes has been established in the literature. However, the relationship between nutrition and anxiety is unclear. Furthermore, the relationship between nutrition and BH outcomes has not been examined in a US Army Soldier population. This study sought to understand the relationship between Soldiers’ nutritional intake and anxiety as well as depression.
This cross-sectional study utilised multivariable logistic regression analyses to examine the relationship between nutritional intake and BH outcomes.
The study utilised data collected in 2018 during a BH epidemiological consultation conducted at one Army installation.
Participants were 7043 US Army Soldiers at one Army installation.
Of the Soldiers completing the survey, 12 % (n 812) screened positive for anxiety and 11 % (n 774) for depression. The adjusted odds of anxiety were significantly higher among Soldiers who reported low fruit intake compared with Soldiers who reported high fruit intake (adjusted OR (AOR) 1·36; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·79). The adjusted odds of depression were higher for Soldiers who reported low fruit intake (AOR 1·35; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·79) and/or low green vegetable intake (AOR 1·37; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·83). Lastly, the adjusted odds of depression were lower for Soldiers who reported low sugary drink intake (AOR 0·62; 95 % CI 0·48, 0·81).
This study is the first to examine the important connection between nutritional intake and anxiety and depression at a US military installation. The information learned from this study has implications for enhancing Soldiers’ nutritional knowledge and BH, ultimately improving Soldiers’ health and medical readiness.
In considering the liberalizing effect of college on students’ political values, we argue that political identities—in the form of self-identified ideology or partisanship—are components of social identity and are resistant to change. Using data from the Higher Education Research Institute’s student surveys, we show that what movement in identity does occur is mostly a regression to the mean effect. On several issue positions, however, students move in a more uniform leftward direction. We find that liberal drift on issues is most common among students majoring in the arts and humanities. Self-reported ideology does drift left at liberal arts colleges, but this is explained by a peer effect: students at liberal arts colleges drift more to the left because they have more liberal peers. The results have implications for future research on college student political development, suggesting that attitudinal change can be more easily identified by examining shifts in policy preferences rather than changes in political identity.
Engagement of frontline staff, along with senior leadership, in competition-style healthcare-associated infection reduction efforts, combined with electronic clinical decision support tools, appeared to reduce antibiotic regimen initiations for urinary tract infections (P = .01). Mean monthly standardized infection and device utilization ratios also decreased (P < .003 and P < .0001, respectively).
Distinguished by a marked combination of high strength and high fracture toughness, 18Ni-300 maraging steel (MS) is widely used for intricate tool and die applications. MS is also amenable to the powder bed fusion additive manufacturing process, providing unique opportunities to make small features and incorporate cooling channels in molds. In this study, tensile test samples were fabricated using selective laser melting to investigate the effects of built height and orientations on the evolution of the microstructure and the mechanical properties of the samples. The microstructure of the as-fabricated samples consists of the primary α-martensite phase and fine cellular microstructure (~0.66–0.83 μm) with the retained austenite γ-phase aggregated at the boundaries of the cells, resulting in an enhanced mechanical performance compared with traditional counterparts under the same condition (without post-heat treatments). Random grain orientations with weak textures are revealed in all samples. The XY-built samples display better tensile performance when compared to the Z-built samples due to the fine grain sizes and the retained γ phase. The bottom of the Z-built sample exhibits a higher hardness than other parts of the sample, which could be attributed to its finer cellular structure.
In 2019, a 42-year-old African man who works as an Ebola virus disease (EVD) researcher traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), near an ongoing EVD epidemic, to Philadelphia and presented to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Emergency Department with altered mental status, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. He was classified as a “wet” person under investigation for EVD, and his arrival activated our hospital emergency management command center and bioresponse teams. He was found to be in septic shock with multisystem organ dysfunction, including circulatory dysfunction, encephalopathy, metabolic lactic acidosis, acute kidney injury, acute liver injury, and diffuse intravascular coagulation. Critical care was delivered within high-risk pathogen isolation in the ED and in our Special Treatment Unit until a diagnosis of severe cerebral malaria was confirmed and EVD was definitively excluded.
This report discusses our experience activating a longitudinal preparedness program designed for rare, resource-intensive events at hospitals physically remote from any active epidemic but serving a high-volume international air travel port-of-entry.
Archaeologists have long subjected Clovis megafauna kill/scavenge sites to the highest level of scrutiny. In 1987, a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) was found in spatial association with a small artifact assemblage in Converse County, Wyoming. However, due to the small tool assemblage, limited nature of the excavations, and questions about the security of the association between the artifacts and mammoth remains, the site was never included in summaries of human-killed/scavenged megafauna in North America. Here we present the results of four field seasons of new excavations at the La Prele Mammoth site that confirm the presence of an associated cultural occupation based on geologic context, artifact attributes, spatial distributions, protein residue analysis, and lithic microwear analysis. This new work identified a more extensive cultural occupation including the presence of multiple discrete artifact clusters in close proximity to the mammoth bone bed. This study confirms the presence of a second Clovis mammoth kill/scavenge site in Wyoming and shows the value in revisiting proposed terminal Pleistocene kill/scavenge sites.
Disruptions in neural circuits underlying emotion regulation (ER) may be a mechanism linking child maltreatment with psychopathology. We examined the associations of maltreatment with neural responses during passive viewing of negative emotional stimuli and attempts to modulate emotional responses. We investigated whether the influence of maltreatment on neural activation during ER differed across development and whether alterations in brain function mediated the association between maltreatment and a latent general psychopathology (‘p’) factor.
Youth aged 8–16 years with (n = 79) and without (n = 72) exposure to maltreatment completed an ER task assessing neural responses during passive viewing of negative and neutral images and effortful attempts to regulate emotional responses to negative stimuli. P-factor scores were defined by a bi-factor model encompassing internalizing and externalizing psychopathology.
Maltreated youth had greater activation in left amygdala and salience processing regions and reduced activation in multiple regions involved in cognitive control (bilateral superior frontal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) when viewing negative v. neutral images than youth without maltreatment exposure. Reduced neural recruitment in cognitive control regions mediated the association of maltreatment with p-factor in whole-brain analysis. Maltreated youth exhibited increasing recruitment with age in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during reappraisal while control participants exhibited decreasing recruitment with age. Findings were similar after adjusting for co-occurring neglect.
Child maltreatment influences the development of regions associated with salience processing and cognitive control during ER in ways that contribute to psychopathology.
Acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) are commonly diagnosed and major drivers of antibiotic prescribing. Clinician-focused interventions can reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for ARIs. We elicited clinician feedback to design sustainable interventions to improve ARI management by understanding the mental framework of clinicians surrounding antibiotic prescribing within Veterans’ Health Administration clinics.
We conducted one-on-one interviews with clinicians (n = 20) from clinics targeted for intervention at 5 facilities. The theory of planned behavior guided interview questions. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed for qualitative analysis. An iterative coding approach identified 6 themes.
Emergent themes: (1) barriers to appropriate prescribing are multifactorial and include challenges of behavior change; (2) antibiotic prescribing decisions are perceived as autonomous yet, diagnostic uncertainty and perceptions of patient demand can make prescribing decisions difficult; (3) clinicians perceive variation in peer prescribing practices and influences; (4) clinician-focused interventions are valuable if delivered with sensitivity; (5) communication strategies for educating patients are preferred to a shared decisions process; and (6) team standardization of practice and communication are key to facilitate appropriate prescribing. Clinicians perceived audit-and-feedback with peer comparison, academic detailing, and enhanced patient communication strategies as viable approaches to improving appropriate prescribing.
Implementation strategies that enable clinicians to overcome diagnostic uncertainty, perceived patient demand, and improve patient education are desired. Implementation strategies were welcomed, and some were more readily accepted (eg, audit feedback) than others (eg, shared decision making). Implementation strategies should address clinicians’ perceptions of antibiotic prescribing practices and should enhance their patient communication skills.
A physical oceanographic, geophysical and marine geological survey of Edward VIII Gulf, Kemp Coast, collected data from conductivity–temperature–depth casts, multi-beam bathymetric swath mapping and 3.5 kHz sub-bottom surveying. Modified circumpolar deep water (mCDW) is observed in Edward VIII Gulf, as well as notable bathymetric features including mega-scale glacial lineations and a 1750 m-deep trough. Sedimentological, geochemical, rock-magnetic and micropalaeontological analysis of two kasten cores document regional palaeoclimate and palaeo-oceanographic conditions over the past 8000 years, with a warm period occurring from c. 8 to 4 ka and a shift to cooler conditions beginning at c. 4 ka and persisting until at least 0.9 ka. Sediment packages > 40 m thick within deep troughs in Edward VIII Gulf present potential targets for higher-resolution Holocene and deglacial climate studies. Despite the presence of mCDW on the shelf, inland bed topography consisting of highland terrain suggests the likelihood of relative stability of this sector of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Scholars and policy makers need systematic assessments of the validity of the measures produced by V-Dem. In Chapter 6, we present our approach to comparative data validation – the set of steps we take to evaluate the precision, accuracy, and reliability of our measures, both in isolation and compared to extant measures of the same concepts. Our approach assesses the degree to which measures align with shared concepts (content validation), shared rules of translation (data generation assessment), and shared realities (convergent validation). Within convergent validity, we execute two convergent validity tests. First, we examine convergent validity as it is typically conceived – examining convergence between V-Dem measures and extant measures. Second, we evaluate the level of convergence across coders, considering the individual coder and country traits that predict coder convergence. Throughout the chapter, we focus on three indices included in the V-Dem data set: polyarchy, corruption, and core civil society. These three concepts collectively provide a “hard test” for the validity of our data, representing a range of existing measurement approaches, challenges, and solutions.
This chapter sets forth the conceptual scheme for the V–Dem project. We begin by discussing the concept of democracy. Next, we lay out seven principles by which this key concept may be understood – electoral, liberal, majoritarian, consensual, participatory, deliberative, and egalitarian. Each defines a “variety“ of democracy, and together they offer a fairly comprehensive accounting of the concept as used in the world today. Next, we show how this seven-part framework fits into our overall thinking about democracy, including multiple levels of disaggregation – to components, subcomponents, and indicators. The final section of the chapter discusses several important caveats and clarifications pertaining to this ambitious taxonomic exercise.
This chapter recounts how a project of this scale came together and why it has succeeded. Five main factors were responsible for V–Dem’s success: timing, inclusion, deliberation, administrative centralization, and fund–raising. First, planning for V-Dem began at a time when both social scientists and practitioners were realizing that they needed better democracy measures. This made it possible to recruit collaborators and find funding. Second, the leaders of the project were always eager to expand the team to acquire whatever expertise they lacked and share credit with everyone who contributed. Third, the project leaders practiced an intensely deliberative decision–making style to ensure that all points of view were consulted and only decisions that won wide acceptance were adopted. Fourth, centralizing the execution of the agreed–upon tasks helped tremendously by streamlining processes and promoting standardization, documentation, professionalization, and coordination of a large number of intricate steps. Finally, successful fund–raising from a mix of both research foundations and bilateral and multilateral organizations has been critical.