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Shared patient–clinician decision-making is central to choosing between medical treatments. Decision support tools can have an important role to play in these decisions. We developed a decision support tool for deciding between nonsurgical treatment and surgical total knee replacement for patients with severe knee osteoarthritis. The tool aims to provide likely outcomes of alternative treatments based on predictive models using patient-specific characteristics. To make those models relevant to patients with knee osteoarthritis and their clinicians, we involved patients, family members, patient advocates, clinicians, and researchers as stakeholders in creating the models.
Stakeholders were recruited through local arthritis research, advocacy, and clinical organizations. After being provided with brief methodological education sessions, stakeholder views were solicited through quarterly patient or clinician stakeholder panel meetings and incorporated into all aspects of the project.
Participating in each aspect of the research from determining the outcomes of interest to providing input on the design of the user interface displaying outcome predications, 86% (12/14) of stakeholders remained engaged throughout the project. Stakeholder engagement ensured that the prediction models that form the basis of the Knee Osteoarthritis Mathematical Equipoise Tool and its user interface were relevant for patient–clinician shared decision-making.
Methodological research has the opportunity to benefit from stakeholder engagement by ensuring that the perspectives of those most impacted by the results are involved in study design and conduct. While additional planning and investments in maintaining stakeholder knowledge and trust may be needed, they are offset by the valuable insights gained.
The learning hospital is distinguished by ceaseless evolution of erudition, enhancement, and implementation of clinical best practices. We describe a model for the learning hospital within the framework of a hospital infection prevention program and argue that a critical assessment of safety practices is possible without significant grant funding. We reviewed 121 peer-reviewed manuscripts published by the VCU Hospital Infection Prevention Program over 16 years. Publications included quasi-experimental studies, observational studies, surveys, interrupted time series analyses, and editorials. We summarized the articles based on their infection prevention focus, and we provide a brief summary of the findings. We also summarized the involvement of nonfaculty learners in these manuscripts as well as the contributions of grant funding. Despite the absence of significant grant funding, infection prevention programs can critically assess safety strategies under the learning hospital framework by leveraging a diverse collaboration of motivated nonfaculty learners. This model is a valuable adjunct to traditional grant-funded efforts in infection prevention science and is part of a successful horizontal infection control program.
Pubertal timing matters for psychological development. Early maturation in girls is linked to risk for depression and externalizing problems in adolescence and possibly adulthood, and early and late maturation in boys are linked to depression. It is unclear whether pubertal timing uniquely predicts problems; it might instead mediate the continuity of behavior problems from childhood to adolescence or create psychological risk specifically in youth with existing problems, thus moderating the link. We investigated these issues in 534 girls and 550 boys, measuring pubertal timing by a logistic model fit to annual self-report measures of development and, in girls, age at menarche. Prepuberty internalizing and externalizing behavior problems were reported by parents. Adolescent behavior problems were reported by parents and youth. As expected, behavior problems were moderately stable. Pubertal timing was not predicted by childhood problems, so it did not mediate the continuity of behavior problems from childhood to adolescence. Pubertal timing did not moderate links between early and later problems for girls. For boys, early maturation accentuated the link between childhood problems and adolescent substance use. Overall, the replicated links between puberty and behavior problems appear to reflect the unique effects of puberty and child behavior problems on the development of adolescent behavior problems.
The Colorado Twin Registry (CTR) is a population-based registry formed from birth and school records including twins born between 1968 and the present. Two previous reports on the CTR [Rhea et al., (2006). Twin Research and Human Genetics, 9, 941–949; Rhea et al., (2013).Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16, 351–357] covered developments in the CTR through 2012. This report briefly summarizes previously presented material on ascertainment and recruitment and the relationships between samples and studies, discusses developments since 2012 for four previously described twin samples, describes two new samples and their complementary studies and expands on two subjects briefly mentioned in the last report: a history of genotyping efforts involving CTR samples, and a survey of collaborations and consortia in which CTR twins have been included. The CTR remains an active resource for both ongoing, longitudinal research and the recruitment of new twin samples for newly identified research opportunities.
The purpose of this update is to provide the most current information about both the Colorado Adoption Project (CAP) and the Longitudinal Twin Study (LTS) and to introduce the Colorado Adoption/Twin Study of Lifespan behavioral development and cognitive aging (CATSLife), a product of their merger and a unique study of lifespan behavioral development and cognitive aging. The primary objective of CATSLife is to assess the unique saliency of early childhood genetic and environmental factors to adult cognitive maintenance and change, as well as proximal influences and innovations that emerge across development. CATSLife is currently assessing up to 1600 individuals on the cusp of middle age, targeting those between 30 and 40 years of age. The ongoing CATSLife data collection is described as well as the longitudinal data available from the earlier CAP and LTS assessments. We illustrate CATSLife via current projects and publications, highlighting the measurement of genetic, biochemical, social, sociodemographic and environmental indices, including geospatial features, and their impact on cognitive maintenance in middle adulthood. CATSLife provides an unparalleled opportunity to assess prospectively the etiologies of cognitive change and test the saliency of early childhood versus proximal influences on the genesis of cognitive decline.
We determined ice velocities for the Academy of Sciences Ice Cap, Severnaya Zemlya, Russian Arctic, during November 2016–November 2017, by feature-tracking 54 pairs of Sentinel-1 synthetic-aperture radar images. Seasonal velocity variations with amplitudes up to 10% of the yearly-averaged velocity were observed. Shorter-term (<15 d) intra-annual velocity variations had average and maximum deviations from the annual mean of up to 16 and 32%, respectively. This indicates the errors that could be incurred if ice discharge values determined from a single pair of images were extrapolated to the whole year. Average ice discharge for 2016–2017 was 1.93 ± 0.12 Gt a−1. The difference from an estimate of ~ 1.4 Gt a−1 for 2003–2009 was attributed to the initiation of ice stream flow in Basin BC. The total geodetic mass balance over 2012–2016 was − 1.72 ± 0.67 Gt a−1 (− 0.31 ± 0.12 m w.e. a−1). The climatic mass balance was not significantly different from zero, at 0.21 ± 0.68 Gt a−1 (0.04 ± 0.12 m w.e. a−1), and has remained near zero at decadal-scale for the last four decades. Therefore, the total mass balance has been controlled largely by variations in ice discharge, whose long-term changes do not appear to have responded to environmental changes but to the intrinsic characteristics of the ice cap governing tidewater glacier dynamics.
Whole-grain cereal breakfast consumption has been associated with beneficial effects on glucose and insulin metabolism as well as satiety. Pearl millet is a popular ancient grain variety that can be grown in hot, dry regions. However, little is known about its health effects. The present study investigated the effect of a pearl millet porridge (PMP) compared with a well-known Scottish oats porridge (SOP) on glycaemic, gastrointestinal, hormonal and appetitive responses. In a randomised, two-way crossover trial, twenty-six healthy participants consumed two isoenergetic/isovolumetric PMP or SOP breakfast meals, served with a drink of water. Blood samples for glucose, insulin, glucagon-like peptide 1, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), peptide YY, gastric volumes and appetite ratings were collected 2 h postprandially, followed by an ad libitum meal and food intake records for the remainder of the day. The incremental AUC (iAUC2h) for blood glucose was not significantly different between the porridges (P > 0·05). The iAUC2h for gastric volume was larger for PMP compared with SOP (P = 0·045). The iAUC2h for GIP concentration was significantly lower for PMP compared with SOP (P = 0·001). Other hormones and appetite responses were similar between meals. In conclusion, the present study reports, for the first time, data on glycaemic and physiological responses to a pearl millet breakfast, showing that this ancient grain could represent a sustainable alternative with health-promoting characteristics comparable with oats. GIP is an incretin hormone linked to TAG absorption in adipose tissue; therefore, the lower GIP response for PMP may be an added health benefit.
Dairy systems are a source of pollutant emissions, such as greenhouse gases (GHG) and NH3 that are associated with impacts on the environment. Gas emissions in barns are related mainly to diet intake and chemical composition, N excretion and manure management. A reduction in dietary N is known to be an effective way to reduce N excretion and the resulting NH3 emissions. However, most studies consider manure in liquid form with frequent removal from the barn. In deep litter systems, several processes can occur during the accumulation of solid manure that result in variable gas emissions. The objective of this experiment was to investigate the influence of the interaction between dietary CP (low or high) and manure management (liquid or solid) on gas emissions (NH3, N2O, CH4) at the barn level. Dietary treatments provided either low (LowN; 12% CP) or high (HighN; 18% CP) degradable protein to modify the amount of total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) excreted. The cows were housed for two 8-week periods in two mechanically ventilated rooms equipped to manage manure either in liquid (LM; slurry) or solid form (SM; deep litter). In the LM treatment, N balance was measured for 4 days. As expected, animals fed the LowN diet ingested 35% less N and excreted 65% less N in their urine, with no reduction in faecal N excretion and N secretion in milk. On the LowN diet, excretion of urea-N and NH3-N emissions were reduced regardless of the manure management. On the HighN diet, urinary urea-N excretion was three times as high, while NH3-N emissions were 3.0 and 4.5 times as high in LM and SM, respectively. Manure management strongly influenced CH4-C emissions, which were 30% higher in SM than in LM, due to the accumulation of litter. Moreover, gas emissions from solid manure increased over the accumulation period, except for NH3 on the LowN diet. Finally, our results suggest that methods used for national inventories would become more accurate by considering the variability in TAN excretion, which is the primary factor that influences NH3 emissions.
Starting in 2016, we initiated a pilot tele-antibiotic stewardship program at 2 rural Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). Antibiotic days of therapy decreased significantly (P < .05) in the acute and long-term care units at both intervention sites, suggesting that tele-stewardship can effectively support antibiotic stewardship practices in rural VAMCs.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Exposure to threat increases the risk for internalizing problems in adolescence. Deficits in integrating bodily cues into representations of emotion are thought to contribute to internalizing problems. Given the role of the medial prefrontal cortex in regulating bodily responses and integrating them into representations of emotional states, coordination between activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and autonomic nervous system responses may be influenced by past threat exposure with consequences for the emergence of internalizing problems. A sample of 179 Mexican-origin adolescents (88 female) reported on neighborhood and school crime, peer victimization, and discrimination when they were 10–16 years old. At age 17, participants underwent a functional neuroimaging scan during which they viewed pictures of emotional faces while respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and skin conductance responses were measured. Adolescents also reported symptoms of internalizing problems. Greater exposure to threats across adolescence was associated with more internalizing problems. Threat exposure was also associated with stronger negative coupling between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and RSA. Stronger negative ventromedial prefrontal cortex–RSA coupling was associated with fewer internalizing problems. These results suggest the degree of coordinated activity between the brain and parasympathetic nervous system is both enhanced by threat experiences and decreased in adolescents with more internalizing problems.
We assessed the impact of an embedded electronic medical record decision-support matrix (Cerner software system) for the reduction of hospital-onset Clostridioides difficile. A critical review of 3,124 patients highlighted excessive testing frequency in an academic medical center and demonstrated the impact of decision support following a testing fidelity algorithm.
Post-disaster archaeological investigations at Jaffna Fort have revealed material demonstrating pre-colonial contact, shedding new light on the importance of the site in Indian Ocean trade and communications networks before European occupation.
To enhance enrollment into randomized clinical trials (RCTs), we proposed electronic health record-based clinical decision support for patient–clinician shared decision-making about care and RCT enrollment, based on “mathematical equipoise.”
As an example, we created the Knee Osteoarthritis Mathematical Equipoise Tool (KOMET) to determine the presence of patient-specific equipoise between treatments for the choice between total knee replacement (TKR) and nonsurgical treatment of advanced knee osteoarthritis.
With input from patients and clinicians about important pain and physical function treatment outcomes, we created a database from non-RCT sources of knee osteoarthritis outcomes. We then developed multivariable linear regression models that predict 1-year individual-patient knee pain and physical function outcomes for TKR and for nonsurgical treatment. These predictions allowed detecting mathematical equipoise between these two options for patients eligible for TKR. Decision support software was developed to graphically illustrate, for a given patient, the degree of overlap of pain and functional outcomes between the treatments and was pilot tested for usability, responsiveness, and as support for shared decision-making.
The KOMET predictive regression model for knee pain had four patient-specific variables, and an r2 value of 0.32, and the model for physical functioning included six patient-specific variables, and an r2 of 0.34. These models were incorporated into prototype KOMET decision support software and pilot tested in clinics, and were generally well received.
Use of predictive models and mathematical equipoise may help discern patient-specific equipoise to support shared decision-making for selecting between alternative treatments and considering enrollment into an RCT.
The Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) is a 42-item self-report questionnaire that has been developed and validated to measure the dimensions of psychosis in the general population. The CAPE has a three-factor structure with dimensions of positive, negative and depression. Assessing the cross-national equivalence of a questionnaire is an essential prerequisite before pooling data from different countries. In this study, our aim was to investigate the measurement invariance of the CAPE across different countries.
Data were drawn from the European Union Gene-Environment Interaction (EU-GEI) study. Participants (incident cases of psychotic disorder, controls and siblings of cases) were recruited in Brazil, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and UK. To analyse the measurement invariance across these samples, we tested configural invariance (i.e. identical structures of the factors), metric invariance (i.e. equivalence of the factor loadings) and scalar invariance (i.e. equivalence of the thresholds) of the three CAPE dimensions using multigroup categorical confirmatory factor analysis methods.
The configural invariance model fits well, providing evidence for identical factorial structure across countries. In comparison with the configural model invariance, the fit indices were very similar in the metric and scalar invariance models, indicating that factor loadings and thresholds did not differ across the six countries.
We found that, across six countries, the CAPE showed equivalent factorial structure, factor loadings and thresholds. Thus, differences observed in scores between individuals from different countries should be considered as reflecting different levels of psychosis.
To identify potential participants for clinical trials, electronic health records (EHRs) are searched at potential sites. As an alternative, we investigated using medical devices used for real-time diagnostic decisions for trial enrollment.
To project cohorts for a trial in acute coronary syndromes (ACS), we used electrocardiograph-based algorithms that identify ACS or ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) that prompt clinicians to offer patients trial enrollment. We searched six hospitals’ electrocardiograph systems for electrocardiograms (ECGs) meeting the planned trial’s enrollment criterion: ECGs with STEMI or > 75% probability of ACS by the acute cardiac ischemia time-insensitive predictive instrument (ACI-TIPI). We revised the ACI-TIPI regression to require only data directly from the electrocardiograph, the e-ACI-TIPI using the same data used for the original ACI-TIPI (development set n = 3,453; test set n = 2,315). We also tested both on data from emergency department electrocardiographs from across the US (n = 8,556). We then used ACI-TIPI and e-ACI-TIPI to identify potential cohorts for the ACS trial and compared performance to cohorts from EHR data at the hospitals.
Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve areas on the test set were excellent, 0.89 for ACI-TIPI and 0.84 for the e-ACI-TIPI, as was calibration. On the national electrocardiographic database, ROC areas were 0.78 and 0.69, respectively, and with very good calibration. When tested for detection of patients with > 75% ACS probability, both electrocardiograph-based methods identified eligible patients well, and better than did EHRs.
Using data from medical devices such as electrocardiographs may provide accurate projections of available cohorts for clinical trials.
Cambodia supports populations of three Critically Endangered vulture species that are believed to have become isolated from the rest of the species’ global range. Until recently Cambodia’s vulture populations had remained stable. However a recent spike in the number of reports of the use of poisons in hunting practices suggests the need to re-evaluate the conservation situation in Cambodia. Population trend analysis showed that since 2010 populations of the White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus have declined, while the Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris may also have started to decline since 2013. These trends are supported by evidence of reduced nesting success. A survey of veterinary drug availability revealed that diclofenac, the non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug responsible for vulture declines in South Asia was not available for sale in any of the 74 pharmacies surveyed. However, a poisoned Slender-billed Vulture tested positive for carbofuran in toxicology tests. This provides the first evidence of a vulture mortality resulting from carbofuran in Cambodia. The findings suggest the urgent need to tackle use of carbamate pesticides in hunting. Proposed conservation actions are: a) prevention of poisoning through national bans on harmful carbamate pesticides and diclofenac and education campaigns to reduce demand and use; b) training of personnel in priority protected areas in detection and response to poisoning incidents; c) maintenance of a safe and reliable food source through vulture restaurants to ensure short-term survival, and d) protection and restoration of large areas of deciduous dipterocarp forests to enable long-term species recovery.