To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In preparation for a multisite antibiotic stewardship intervention, we assessed knowledge and attitudes toward management of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) plus teamwork and safety climate among providers, nurses, and clinical nurse assistants (CNAs).
Prospective surveys during January–June 2018.
All acute and long-term care units of 4 Veterans’ Affairs facilities.
The survey instrument included 2 previously tested subcomponents: the Kicking CAUTI survey (ASB knowledge and attitudes) and the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ).
A total of 534 surveys were completed, with an overall response rate of 65%. Cognitive biases impacting management of ASB were identified. For example, providers presented with a case scenario of an asymptomatic patient with a positive urine culture were more likely to give antibiotics if the organism was resistant to antibiotics. Additionally, more than 80% of both nurses and CNAs indicated that foul smell is an appropriate indication for a urine culture. We found significant interprofessional differences in teamwork and safety climate (defined as attitudes about issues relevant to patient safety), with CNAs having highest scores and resident physicians having the lowest scores on self-reported perceptions of teamwork and safety climates (P < .001). Among providers, higher safety-climate scores were significantly associated with appropriate risk perceptions related to ASB, whereas social norms concerning ASB management were correlated with higher teamwork climate ratings.
Our survey revealed substantial misunderstanding regarding management of ASB among providers, nurses, and CNAs. Educating and empowering these professionals to discourage unnecessary urine culturing and inappropriate antibiotic use will be key components of antibiotic stewardship efforts.
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.
Tracheocutaneous fistula represents one of the most troublesome complications of prolonged tracheostomy. Simple closure of a fistula can be ineffective, particularly in the context of prior surgery and adjuvant radiation. As such, modes of repair have expanded to include locoregional flaps and even free tissue transfers.
This paper describes a case of persistent tracheocutaneous fistula in an irradiated patient who had undergone previous unsuccessful attempts at repair.
Method and results
The use of regional fasciocutaneous supraclavicular flap with prefabricated conchal bowl cartilage resulted in successful closure of the tracheocutaneous fistula.
This represents a novel technique for closure of such fistulas in patients for whom previous attempts have failed. This mode of repair should be added to the surgeon's repertoire of reparative techniques.
Many people seek health information from internet sources. Understanding this behaviour can help inform healthcare delivery. This study aimed to review Google Trends as a method for investigating internet-based information-seeking behaviour related to throat cancer in terms of quantity, content and thematic analysis.
Data was collected using Google Trends. Normalised data was created using the search terms ‘throat cancer’, ‘cancer’, ‘HPV’, ‘laryngeal cancer’ and ‘head and neck cancer’. The search data was used to analyse the temporal and geographical interest pattern of these terms from 2004 to 2015.
Three important peaks in searches for ‘throat cancer’ were identified. The first and greatest increase in interest was in September 2010, and there were also peaks in June 2013 and in October 2011.
Internet-search analysis can provide an insight into the information-seeking behaviour of the public. Mass media can hugely affect this information-seeking behaviour. Possessing tools to investigate and understand information-seeking behaviour may be used to improve healthcare delivery.
Introduction: The literature reveals that residents spend significant amounts of time working with and charting in electronic medical records (EMR). As adoption of EMRs accelerates among emergency medicine (EM) departments, postgraduate programs will need to adapt curricula related to communication in the patient record. In order to make targeted changes, clinician-educators need a better understanding of how the documentation practices of trainees develop and change over residency, as well as the challenges they face in effectively charting. We gathered the perspectives of EM residents on data entry in the EMR to identify opportunities for such change. Methods: We recruited residents from all five years of the Royal College EM residency program at Queen's University and conducted focus groups from August to October 2018. Data collection was audio recorded and later transcribed. Line-by-line coding was performed independently by both AR and NP. A final codebook was validated by ZH. The codebook was then thematically analyzed to identify and characterize themes from the data. The study was approved by the Queen's University Health Sciences Research Ethics Board. Results: 15 EM residents participated. Groups discussed similar challenges with charting, including time constraints, ensuring sufficient, but appropriate detail, variable preceptor expectations, and an inability to draw diagrams. All residents noted formal teaching of the SOAP note framework during medical school and reported receiving an introductory EMR session. Groups highlighted the importance of feedback, especially from physicians with medicolegal experience. They also described more informal learning strategies, including receiving tips from preceptors during shifts and reading the notes of others. They also reported that changes in their documentation practices as junior and senior residents were largely due to a graduation of responsibility and medicolegal considerations. Conclusion: Our results suggest there is a lack of formal postgraduate training for EM residents with respect to documentation in the EMR with reliance on informal teaching and feedback. Future work should explore opportunities to address this gap with various educational strategies, including the development of specific objectives, application of consistent expectations, modelling of excellent chart notes in teaching, and instruction by preceptors with medicolegal experience.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing is associated with a significant reduction in infections caused by gram-positive pathogens. However, there are limited data on the effectiveness of daily CHG bathing on gram-negative infections. The aim of this study was to determine whether daily CHG bathing is effective in reducing the rate of gram-negative infections in adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients.
We searched MEDLINE and 3 other databases for original studies comparing daily bathing with and without CHG. Two investigators extracted data independently on baseline characteristics, study design, form and concentration of CHG, incidence, and outcomes related to gram-negative infections. Data were combined using a random-effects model and pooled relative risk ratios (RRs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were derived.
In total, 15 studies (n = 34,895 patients) met inclusion criteria. Daily CHG bathing was not significantly associated with a lower risk of gram-negative infections compared with controls (RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.73–1.08; P = .24). Subgroup analysis demonstrated that daily CHG bathing was not effective for reducing the risk of gram-negative infections caused by Acinetobacter, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, or Pseudomonas spp.
The use of daily CHG bathing was not associated with a lower risk of gram-negative infections. Further, better designed trials with adequate power and with gram-negative infections as the primary end point are needed.
Nature’s optical nanomaterials are poised to form the platform for future optical devices with unprecedented functionality. The brilliant colors of many animals arise from the physical interaction of light with nanostructured, multifunctional materials. While their length scale is typically in the 100-nm range, the morphology of these structures can vary strongly. These biological nanostructures are obtained in a controlled manner, using biomaterials under ambient conditions. The formation processes nature employs use elements of both equilibrium self-assembly and far-from-equilibrium and growth processes. This renders not only the colors themselves, but also the formation processes technologically and ecologically highly relevant. Yet, for many biological nanostructured materials, little is known about the formation mechanisms—partially due to a lack of in vivo imaging methods. Here, we present the toolbox of natural multifunctional nanostructures and the current knowledge about the understanding of their far-from-equilibrium assembly processes.
Flexible laryngoscopy is a commonly performed procedure in otolaryngology. Although this procedure is not considered painful, many patients describe it as uncomfortable. This study investigated the role of visual distraction as a form of pain relief during flexible laryngoscopy.
The study included patients undergoing flexible laryngoscopy at the University Hospital Southampton. Patients were self-allocated to one of four groups: with or without co-phenylcaine anaesthetic spray; and with and without visual distraction. Visual distraction involved the patient watching the procedure concurrently with the clinician, via a video monitor. Pre- and post-procedural discomfort was assessed using a visual analogue scale.
The use of topical anaesthetic spray was not associated with significantly reduced discomfort scores (p > 0.05). Discomfort scores were significantly reduced in the visual distraction groups (p = 0.04), irrespective of the use of topical anaesthetic spray.
This small study showed that visual distraction should be considered as a simple and cost-effective alternative to local anaesthetic for flexible laryngoscopy.
Background: Brain tumors present unique challenges to patient and family quality of life (QOL). Cognitive dysfunction is common and functionally limiting, with no established treatments. These studies evaluate feasibility and preliminary efficacy of behavioral interventions developed for neuro-oncology patients. Study 1: A randomized controlled trial (N=25 primary brain tumor patients) compared an adapted version of Goal Management Training (GMT, a neuroscience-based integration of mindfulness and strategy training) and a newly-designed supportive psychoeducational intervention (Brain Health Program, BHP) to standard of care. Each intervention comprised 8 individual sessions and at-home practice between sessions. GMT patients’ executive functions improved immediately (p=.077, d=1.13), with maintenance at 4-month follow-up (p=.046, d=1.09). Both intervention groups reported improvements in everyday cognitive functioning immediately (p=.049; d’s GMT=0.43, BHP=0.79) and at follow-up (p=.001; d’s GMT=0.22, BHP=1.01). BHP patients also reported improved mood (p’s=.026 & .012, d’s=0.61 & 0.62). Study 2: Following a needs assessment about cognitive concerns and QOL in brain metastases patients (N=109) and caregivers (N=31), we developed a novel, brief (3 sessions + homework) Cognitive Support Program to provide education and strategy-training in key areas of concern: executive functions, memory, and communication. Options include caregiver co-training, and in-person or web-based delivery. Preliminary data from a pilot trial in progress demonstrate objective and subjective improvements. Conclusions: Cognitive rehabilitation may be a feasible and effective option for primary or metastatic brain tumor patients, addressing a need that is largely unmet in standard cancer care. Further development and larger trials appear warranted, with capacity for remote delivery recommended.
An anatomical study was performed to describe the endoscopic anatomy and variations of the protympanum, including classification of the protiniculum and subtensor recess.
A retrospective review was conducted of video recordings of cadaveric dissections and surgical procedures, which included visualisation of the protympanum, across 4 tertiary university referral centres over a 16-month period. A total of 97 ears were used in the analysis.
A quadrangular conformation of the protympanum was seen in 60 per cent of ears and a triangular conformation in 40 per cent. The protiniculum was type A (ridge) in 58 per cent, type B (bridge) in 23 per cent and type C (absent) in 19 per cent. The subtensor recess was type A (absent) in 30 per cent, type B (shallow) in 48 per cent and type C (deep) in 22 per cent.
The protympanum is an area that has been ignored for many years because of difficulties in visualising it with an operating microscope. However, modern endoscopic equipment has changed this, providing detailed anatomical knowledge fundamental to ensuring the safety of endoscopic surgical procedures in the region.
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.
The Working Party has developed some practical hints and tips for those developing integrated risk management (IRM) plans for UK defined benefit pension schemes in the context of the requirements of the Pensions Regulator. Four case studies are presented to illustrate its conclusions, which are encapsulated in the ten commandments for effective IRM. IRM is the consideration of investment, funding and covenant issues, and how these interact. Its purpose should be to aid decision making and so should have a clear outcome in mind. It should be a continuous process and should form part of everyday trustee governance – it is not simply a one-off exercise. Whilst most Trustees and advisors consider funding issues when setting their investment strategy and vice versa, fewer fully integrate covenant into their decision-making process. However, covenant underpins all risk taken in a pension scheme and so needs to form a regular part of trustee discussions and analysis by advisors.
Totally endoscopic ear surgery is a relatively new method for managing chronic ear disease. This study aimed to test the null hypothesis that open and endoscopic approaches have similar direct costs for the management of attic cholesteatoma, from an Australian private hospital setting.
A retrospective direct cost comparison of totally endoscopic ear surgery and traditional canal wall up mastoidectomy for the management of attic cholesteatoma in a private tertiary setting was undertaken. Indirect and future costs were excluded. A direct cost comparison of anaesthetic setup and resources, operative setup and resources, and surgical time was performed between the two techniques.
Totally endoscopic ear surgery has a mean direct cost reduction of AUD$2978.89 per operation from the hospital perspective, when compared to canal wall up mastoidectomy.
Totally endoscopic ear surgery is more cost-effective, from an Australian private hospital perspective, than canal wall up mastoidectomy for attic cholesteatoma.
Reports in the literature of treatment with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator following cardiac surgery are limited. We reviewed our experience to provide a case series of the therapeutic use of tissue plasminogen activator for the treatment of venous thrombosis in children after cardiac surgery. The data describe the morbidity, mortality, and clinical outcomes of tissue plasminogen activator administration for treatment of venous thrombosis in children following cardiac surgery.
The study was designed as a retrospective case series.
The study was carried out in a 25-bed cardiac intensive care unit in an academic, free-standing paediatric hospital.
All children who received tissue plasminogen activator for venous thrombosis within 60 days of cardiac surgery, a total of 13 patients, were included.
Data was collected, collated, and analysed as a part of the interventions of this study.
Measurements and main results
Patients treated with tissue plasminogen activator were principally young infants (median 0.2, IQR 0.07–0.58 years) who had recently (22, IQR 12.5–27.3 days) undergone cardiac surgery. Hospital mortality was high in this patient group (38%), but there was no mortality attributable to tissue plasminogen activator administration, occurring within <72 hours. There was one major haemorrhagic complication that may be attributable to tissue plasminogen activator. Complete or partial resolution of venous thrombosis was confirmed using imaging in 10 of 13 patients (77%), and tissue plasminogen activator administration was associated with resolution of chylous drainage, with no drainage through chest tubes, at 10 days after tissue plasminogen activator treatment in seven of nine patients who had upper-compartment venous thrombosis-associated chylothorax.
On the basis of our experience with administration of tissue plasminogen activator in children after cardiac surgery, tissue plasminogen activator is both safe and effective for resolution of venous thrombosis in this high-risk population.
This study aimed to compare the reporting of high-resolution computed tomography of temporal bones for otosclerosis by general radiologists and a neuroradiologist within a local National Health Service Trust.
A retrospective case review of 36 high-resolution temporal bone computed tomography images obtained between 2008 and 2015 from 40 otosclerosis patients (surgically confirmed) was performed in a district general hospital setting. The main outcome measures were correct identification of otosclerosis by high-resolution computed tomography and adherence to the petrous temporal bone imaging protocol.
Correct diagnosis rates were significantly different when made by general radiologists vs a neuroradiologist (p < 0.0001; two-tailed Fisher's exact test). None of the high-resolution computed tomography scans adhered to the temporal bone imaging protocol.
The use of high-resolution computed tomography for suspected otosclerosis is helpful for diagnosis, disease staging, obtaining informed consent, surgical planning and prognosis. This study suggests that radiological detection of otosclerotic changes by high-resolution computed tomography of the temporal bone is significantly better when performed by a dedicated neuroradiologist than by a general radiologist. Use of a standardised temporal bone computed tomography protocol is recommended to provide consistently high-quality images for maximising disease detection.
Suicidal behaviour is an under-reported and hidden cause of death in most low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) due to lack of national systematic reporting for cause-specific mortality, high levels of stigma and religious or cultural sanctions. The lack of information on non-fatal suicidal behaviour (ideation, plans and attempts) in LMIC is a major barrier to design and implementation of prevention strategies. This study aims to determine the prevalence of non-fatal suicidal behaviour within community- and health facility-based populations in LMIC.
Twelve-month prevalence of suicidal ideation, plans and attempts were established through community samples (n = 6689) and primary care attendees (n = 6470) from districts in Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, India and Nepal using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview suicidality module. Participants were also screened for depression and alcohol use disorder.
We found that one out of ten persons (10.3%) presenting at primary care facilities reported suicidal ideation within the past year, and 1 out of 45 (2.2%) reported attempting suicide in the same period. The range of suicidal ideation was 3.5–11.1% in community samples and 5.0–14.8% in health facility samples. A higher proportion of facility attendees reported suicidal ideation than community residents (10.3 and 8.1%, respectively). Adults in the South African facilities were most likely to endorse suicidal ideation (14.8%), planning (9.5%) and attempts (7.4%). Risk profiles associated with suicidal behaviour (i.e. being female, younger age, current mental disorders and lower educational and economic status) were highly consistent across countries.
The high prevalence of suicidal ideation in primary care points towards important opportunities to implement suicide risk reduction initiatives. Evidence-supported strategies including screening and treatment of depression in primary care can be implemented through the World Health Organization's mental health Global Action Programme suicide prevention and depression treatment guidelines. Suicidal ideation and behaviours in the community sample will require detection strategies to identify at risks persons not presenting to health facilities.
Osteoradionecrosis is a significant complication of head and neck cancer treatment, and its most severe form (grade III) necessitates radical surgery. This study aimed to compare the cost of free-flap reconstructive surgery for grade III osteoradionecrosis and similar non-osteoradionecrosis cases in order to assess the cost burden of osteoradionecrosis treatment.
All patients who underwent free-flap reconstructive surgery for osteoradionecrosis between July 2004 and July 2010 at Auckland City Hospital (19 patients) were identified, and relevant data were collected retrospectively. These patients were matched in terms of age and sex with patients who underwent free-flap reconstructive surgery.
The treatment cost was 44 per cent higher in osteoradionecrosis patients when compared to non-osteoradionecrosis patients.
The significant financial burden on the health system, and the growing evidence for the effectiveness of pentoxifylline, tocopherol and clodronate, should prompt us to explore this alternative treatment further.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.