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The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) program sponsors the development of systematic reviews to inform clinical policy and practice. The EPC program sought to better understand how health systems identify and use this evidence.
Representatives from eleven EPCs, the EPC Scientific Resource Center, and AHRQ developed a semi-structured interview script to query a diverse group of nine Key Informants (KIs) involved in health system quality, safety and process improvement about how they identify and use evidence. Interviews were transcribed and qualitatively summarized into key themes.
All KIs reported that their organizations have either centralized quality, safety, and process improvement functions within their system, or they have partnerships with other organizations to conduct this work. There was variation in how evidence was identified, with larger health systems having medical librarians and central bureaus to gather and disseminate information and smaller systems having local chief medical officers or individual clinicians do this work. KIs generally prefer guidelines, especially those with treatment algorithms, because they are actionable. They like systematic reviews because they efficiently condense study results and reconcile conflicting data. They prefer information from systematic reviews to be presented as short digestible summaries with the full report available on demand. KIs preferred systematic reviews from reputable entities and those without commercial bias. Some of the challenges KIs reported include how to resolve conflicting evidence, the generalizability of evidence to local needs, determining whether the evidence is up-to-date, and the length of time required to generate reviews. The topics of greatest interest included predictive analytics, high-value care, advance care planning, and care coordination. To increase awareness of AHRQ EPC reviews, KIs suggest alerting people at multiple levels in a health-system when new evidence reports are available and making reports easier to find in common search engines.
Systematic reviews are valued by health system leaders. To be most useful they should be easy to locate and available in different formats targeted to the needs of different audiences.
Growth mixture modeling with a sample of 749 Mexican heritage families identified parallel trajectories of adolescents’ and their mothers’ heritage cultural values and parallel trajectories of adolescents’ and their fathers’ heritage cultural values from Grades 5 to 10. Parallel trajectory profiles were then used to test cultural gap-distress theory that predicts increased parent–adolescent conflict and adolescent psychopathology over time when adolescents become less aligned with Mexican heritage values compared to their parents. Six similar parallel profiles were identified for the mother–youth and father–youth dyads, but only one of the six was consistent with the hypothesized problem gap pattern in which adolescents’ values were declining over time to become more discrepant from their parents. When compared to families in the other trajectory groups as a whole, mothers in the mother–adolescent problem gap trajectory group reported higher levels of mother–adolescent conflict in the 10th grade that accounted for subsequent increases in internalizing and externalizing symptoms assessed in 12th grade. Although the findings provided some support for cultural gap-distress predictions, they were not replicated with adolescent report of conflict nor with the father–adolescent trajectory group analyses. Exploratory pairwise comparisons between all six mother–adolescent trajectory groups revealed additional differences that qualified and extended these findings.
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are a significant clinical and public health concern. Understanding the distribution of CRE colonization and developing a coordinated approach are key components of control efforts. The prevalence of CRE in the District of Columbia is unknown. We sought to determine the CRE colonization prevalence within healthcare facilities (HCFs) in the District of Columbia using a collaborative, regional approach.
This study included 16 HCFs in the District of Columbia: all 8 acute-care hospitals (ACHs), 5 of 19 skilled nursing facilities, 2 (both) long-term acute-care facilities, and 1 (the sole) inpatient rehabilitation facility.
Inpatients on all units excluding psychiatry and obstetrics-gynecology.
CRE identification was performed on perianal swab samples using real-time polymerase chain reaction, culture, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST). Prevalence was calculated by facility and unit type as the number of patients with a positive result divided by the total number tested. Prevalence ratios were compared using the Poisson distribution.
Of 1,022 completed tests, 53 samples tested positive for CRE, yielding a prevalence of 5.2% (95% CI, 3.9%–6.8%). Of 726 tests from ACHs, 36 (5.0%; 95% CI, 3.5%–6.9%) were positive. Of 244 tests from long-term-care facilities, 17 (7.0%; 95% CI, 4.1%–11.2%) were positive. The relative prevalence ratios by facility type were 0.9 (95% CI, 0.5–1.5) and 1.5 (95% CI, 0.9–2.6), respectively. No CRE were identified from the inpatient rehabilitation facility.
A baseline CRE prevalence was established, revealing endemicity across healthcare settings in the District of Columbia. Our study establishes a framework for interfacility collaboration to reduce CRE transmission and infection.
This study used four waves of data from a longitudinal study of 749 Mexican origin youths to test a developmental cascades model linking contextual adversity in the family and peer domains in late childhood to a sequence of unfolding processes hypothesized to predict problem substance use and risky sexual activity (greater number of sex partners) in late adolescence. Externalizing and internalizing problems were tested as divergent pathways, with youth-reported and mother-reported symptoms examined in separate models. Youth gender, nativity, and cultural orientation were tested as moderators. Family risk, peer social rejection, and their interaction were prospectively related to externalizing symptoms and deviant peer involvement, although family risk showed stronger effects on parent-reported externalizing and peer social rejection showed stronger effects on youth-reported externalizing. Externalizing symptoms and deviant peers were related, in turn, to risk taking in late adolescence, including problem alcohol–substance use and number of sexual partners. Peer social rejection predicted youth-reported internalizing symptoms, and internalizing was related, in turn, to problem alcohol and substance use in late adolescence. Tests of moderation showed some of these developmental cascades were stronger for adolescents who were female, less oriented to mainstream cultural values, and more oriented to Mexican American cultural values.
Symptoms of anxiety relating to Parkinson's disease (PD) occur commonly and include symptomatology associated with motor disability and complications arising from PD medication. However, there have been relatively few attempts to profile such disease-specific anxiety symptoms in PD. Consequently, anxiety in PD is underdiagnosed and undertreated. The present study characterizes PD-related anxiety symptoms to assist with the more accurate assessment and treatment of anxiety in PD.
Ninety non-demented PD patients underwent a semi-structured diagnostic assessment targeting anxiety symptoms using relevant sections of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI-plus). In addition, they were assessed for the presence of 30 PD-related anxiety symptoms derived from the literature, the clinical experience of an expert panel and the PD Anxiety-Motor Complications Questionnaire (PDAMCQ). The onset of anxiety in relation to the diagnosis of PD was determined.
Frequent (>25%) PD-specific anxiety symptoms included distress, worry, fear, agitation, embarrassment, and social withdrawal due to motor symptoms and PD medication complications, and were experienced more commonly in patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for an anxiety disorder. The onset of common anxiety disorders was observed equally before and after a diagnosis of PD. Patients in a residual group of Anxiety Not Otherwise Specified had an onset of anxiety after a diagnosis of PD.
Careful characterization of PD-specific anxiety symptomatology provides a basis for conceptualizing anxiety and assists with the development of a new PD-specific measure to accurately assess anxiety in PD.
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.
Institutionalization of the Elderly in Canada suggested that efforts to address the underlying causes of age-related declines in health might negate the need for nursing homes. However, the prevalence of chronic disease has increased, and conditions like dementia mean that nursing homes are likely to remain important features of the Canadian health care system. A fundamental problem limiting the ability to understand how nursing homes may change to better meet the needs of an aging population was the lack of person-level clinical information. The introduction of interRAI assessment instruments to most Canadian provinces/territories and the establishment of the national Continuing Care Reporting System represent important steps in our capacity to understand nursing home care in Canada. Evidence from eight provinces and territories shows that the needs of persons in long-term care are highly complex, resource allocations do not always correspond to needs, and quality varies substantially between and within provinces.
Deficits in executive function (EF) are reported to occur in individuals with Klinefelter syndrome (XXY). The degree of impairment, if any, is variable and the nature of these deficits has not been clearly elucidated in young males. In this report, we (a) examine EF skills using multiple tasks in a non-clinic referred group of youth with XXY, (b) describe the extent of EF weaknesses in XXY when this group is compared with typical males of a similar SES or typical males with similar verbal abilities, and (c) evaluate the contribution of comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to EF skills. The sample included 27 males with XXY (ages 9–25), 27 typically developing age- and vocabulary-matched males, and 22 age- and socioeconomic status-matched males. EF tasks included Verbal Fluency, the Trail Making Test, and the CANTAB Spatial Working Memory and Stockings of Cambridge tasks. Mixed model analysis of variance was used to compare the groups on EF tasks and revealed a main effect of group but no group by task interaction. Overall, the XXY group performed less well than both control groups, but performance did not differ significantly as a function of task. ADHD comorbidity in males with XXY was related to poorer EF skills. (JINS, 2011, 17, 522–530)
Inspired by biological systems, in which damage triggers an autonomous healing response, a polymer composite material that can heal itself when cracked has been developed. The material consists of an epoxy matrix composite, which utilizes embedded microcapsules to store a healing agent and an embedded catalyst. This paper investigates issues of fracture and fatigue consequential to the development and optimization of this new class of materials. When damage occurs, the propagating crack ruptures the microcapsules, which releases healing agent into the crack plane. Polymerization of the healing agent is triggered by contact with exposed catalyst, which bonds the crack faces closed. The efficiency of crack healing is defined as the ability of a healed sample to recover fracture toughness. Healing efficiencies of over 90% have been achieved. Embedded microcapsules significantly increase the fracture toughness and reduce the fatigue crack propagation rate of epoxy. Fracture mechanisms for neat epoxy and epoxy with embedded microcapsules are presented.
A cluster of patients with respiratory cultures positive for Pseudomonas aeruginosa with a unique antibiogram was observed during June and July 2007 at a 1,000-bed urban teaching hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. These P. aeruginosa isolates were recovered from bronchoscopically obtained specimens.
A cross-sectional study was performed to assess whether the cluster was associated with exposure to a particular bronchoscope (B1); cultures from specimens from the bronchoscopes and the environment were obtained, and the P. aeruginosa isolate type was determined using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Records of patients exposed to B1 during the cluster period were reviewed.
Twelve patients with a culture positive for P. aeruginosa with the unique susceptibility pattern were identified in June-July 2007. No cases were documented from March 1 through May 31, 2007. Culture specimens obtained from B1 after high-level disinfection revealed P. aeruginosa, prompting removal of B1 from service on July 23, 2007. No cases occurred after that date. Eleven (55%) of 20 patients who were exposed to Bl during the cluster period had a culture positive for P. aeruginosa, compared with 1 (2%) of 53 patients who were exposed to other bronchoscopes (P < .001). PFGE patterns for P. aeruginosa isolates obtained from case patients and from B1 were identical. An engineering evaluation of B1 documented several internal damages. Two (10.5%) of 19 patients exposed to Bl during the cluster period may have developed P. aeruginosa infection following exposure to B1.
An outbreak or pseudo-outbreak of P. aeruginosa infection occurred in association with use of a damaged bronchoscope. Periodic engineering maintenance may be needed to prevent bronchoscope contamination that is resistant to high-level disinfection.
New World archaeologists have long agreed that there was prehistoric cultural interaction between the southeastern United States and Mesoamerica, but seldom are the details of such potential relationships discussed, especially recently. The farthest westward extent of Southeastern cultural influences, as shown through the distributions of fiber-tempered pottery, Archaic and Woodland mounds, later platform mounds, ceramic styles, and other material culture, seems to be east Texas. Only a few Mexican artifacts have been found at the edges of the Southeast-obsidian at Spiro and coastal Texas, asphalt-covered pottery extending northward from Mexico into southern Texas-though general ideological connections, not to mention the sharing of maize agriculture, seem obvious. In northeast Mexico, outside the Mesoamerican heartland, Huastecan people made artifacts similar to types in the Southeast. But long-distance interactions overland or via the Gulf of Mexico were apparently sporadic, despite some common cultural foundations. Strong Southeastern cultural identities plus the presence of the north Mexico/south Texas desert may have discouraged movement into the Southeast of many important Mesoamerican traditions, such as cotton growing and beer drinking.
After Hurricane Katrina, 50 patients were evacuated to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, with limited medical records. The infection control department ordered contact precautions for 16 Patients. Surveillance cultures performed on admission identified colonization with multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria in 9 patients (18%). Presence of a wound was the strongest predictor for MDR colonization. More data are needed to reliably predict MDR bacterial colonization.
As cultural resource management (CRM) in the United States struggles through another period of introspection, one need for improvement consistently identified is in the area of graduate training of future practitioners of CRM archaeology (Fagan 1996; Green & Doershuk 1998; Schuldenrein 1998; Messenger et al. 1999). To what extent training in the practicalities of the field needs to be embodied in curricular coursework, the relative role of research versus applied emphases in the graduate programme, the most appropriate terminal degree for CRM practice, and the very specifics of what constitutes adequate preparation for the diverse and dynamic challenges that constitute contemporary archaeology in the United States, all provide points for the emerging discussion between professionals operating in the field and those in academia who design programmes (e.g. Society for American Archaeology 1995).
To determine the risk factors for acquisition of nosocomial primary bloodstream infections (BSIs), including the effect of nursing-staff levels, in surgical intensive care unit (SICU) patients.
A nested case-control study.
A 20-bed SICU in a 1,000-bed inner-city public hospital.
28 patients with BSI (case-patients) were compared to 99 randomly selected patients (controls) hospitalized ≥3 days in the same unit.
Case- and control-patients were similar in age, severity of illness, and type of central venous catheter (CVC) used. Case-patients were significantly more likely than controls to be hospitalized during a 5-month period that had lower regular-nurse-to-patient and higher pool-nurse-to-patient ratios than during an 8-month reference period; to be in the SICU for a longer period of time; to be mechanically ventilated longer; to receive more antimicrobials and total parenteral nutrition; to have more CVC days; or to die. Case-patients had significantly lower regular-nurse-to-patient and higher pool-nurse-to-patient ratios for the 3 days before BSI than controls. In multivariate analyses, admission during a period of higher pool-nurse-to-patient ratio (odds ratio [OR]=3.8), total parenteral nutrition (OR=1.3), and CVC days (OR=1.1) remained independent BSI risk factors.
Our data suggest that, in addition to other factors, nurse staffing composition (ie, pool-nurse-to-patient ratio) may be related to primary BSI risk. Patterns in intensive care unit nurse staffing should be monitored to assess their impact on nosocomial infection rates. This may be particularly important in an era of cost containment and healthcare reform.