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To summarize current evidence on patient and public involvement (PPI) in health technology assessment (HTA) in order to synthesize the barriers and facilitators, and to propose a framework to assess its impact.
We conducted an update of a systematic review published in 2011 considering the recent scientific literature (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods studies). We searched papers published between March 2009 (end of the initial search) and December 2019 in five databases using specific search strategies. We identified other publications through citation tracking and contacting authors of previous related studies. Reviewers independently selected relevant studies based on prespecified inclusion and exclusion criteria. We extracted information using a pre-established grid.
We identified a total of 7872 publications from the main search strategy. Ultimately, thirty-one distinct new studies met the inclusion criteria, whereas seventeen studies were included in the previous systematic review. PPI is realized through two main strategies: (i) patients and public members participate directly in decision-making processes (participation) and (ii) patients or public perspectives are solicited to inform decisions (consultation or indirect participation). This review synthesizes the barriers and facilitators to PPI in HTA, and a framework to assess its impact is proposed.
The number of studies on patients or public involvement in HTA has dramatically increased in recent years. Findings from this updated systematic review show that PPI is done mostly through consultation and that direct involvement is less frequent. Several barriers to PPI in HTA exist, notably the lack of information to patients and public about HTA and the lack of guidance and policies to support PPI in HTA.
We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding of Earth's sensitivity to carbon dioxide, finds that permafrost thaw could release more carbon emissions than expected and that the uptake of carbon in tropical ecosystems is weakening. Adverse impacts on human society include increasing water shortages and impacts on mental health. Options for solutions emerge from rethinking economic models, rights-based litigation, strengthened governance systems and a new social contract. The disruption caused by COVID-19 could be seized as an opportunity for positive change, directing economic stimulus towards sustainable investments.
A synthesis is made of ten fields within climate science where there have been significant advances since mid-2019, through an expert elicitation process with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: (1) a better understanding of equilibrium climate sensitivity; (2) abrupt thaw as an accelerator of carbon release from permafrost; (3) changes to global and regional land carbon sinks; (4) impacts of climate change on water crises, including equity perspectives; (5) adverse effects on mental health from climate change; (6) immediate effects on climate of the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for recovery packages to deliver on the Paris Agreement; (7) suggested long-term changes to governance and a social contract to address climate change, learning from the current pandemic, (8) updated positive cost–benefit ratio and new perspectives on the potential for green growth in the short- and long-term perspective; (9) urban electrification as a strategy to move towards low-carbon energy systems and (10) rights-based litigation as an increasingly important method to address climate change, with recent clarifications on the legal standing and representation of future generations.
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Stronger permafrost thaw, COVID-19 effects and growing mental health impacts among highlights of latest climate science.
It is unclear whether olfactory deficits improve after remission in depressed patients. Therefore, we aimed to assess in drug-free patients the olfactory performance of patients with major depressive episodes (MDE) and its change after antidepressant treatment.
In the DEP-ARREST-CLIN study, 69 drug-free patients with a current MDE in the context of major depressive disorder (MDD) were assessed for their olfactory performances and depression severity, before and after 1 (M1) and 3 (M3) months of venlafaxine antidepressant treatment. They were compared to 32 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs). Olfaction was assessed with a psychophysical test, the Sniffin’ Sticks test (Threshold: T score; Discrimination: D score; Identification: I score; total score: T + D + I = TDI score) and Pleasantness (pleasantness score: p score; neutral score: N score; unpleasantness score: U score).
As compared to HCs, depressed patients had lower TDI olfactory scores [mean (s.d.) 30.0(4.5) v. 33.3(4.2), p < 0.001], T scores [5.6(2.6) v. 7.4(2.6), p < 0.01], p scores [7.5(3.0) v. 9.8(2.8), p < 0.001)] and higher N scores [3.5(2.6) v. 2.1(1.8), p < 0.01]. T, p and N scores at baseline were independent from depression and anhedonia severity. After venlafaxine treatment, significant increases of T scores [M1: 7.0(2.6) and M3: 6.8(3.1), p < 0.01] and p scores [M1: 8.1(3.0) and M3: 8.4(3.3), p < 0.05] were evidenced, in remitters only (T: p < 0.01; P: p < 0.01). Olfaction improvement was mediated by depression improvement.
The olfactory signature of MDE is restored after venlafaxine treatment. This olfaction improvement is mediated by depression improvement.
Increasing emphasis is given on involving patients in health technology assessment (HTA). While this is mainly done at the level of regional and national HTA agencies, this tendency is also emerging in local HTA units. In this study, we provide the results of a survey conducted in local HTA units in the province of Quebec, Canada. The aim of the survey was to provide an overview of local HTA unit practices to involve patients, users, caregivers, and citizens in their process, their interest in doing so, and their information needs for this.
The survey was conducted in 2017 with a response rate of eleven units over a possibility of twelve.
Three units out of eleven (27.3 percent) never involved patients or members of the public in their processes and all indicated that they will involve them in the next few years. The three most important needs for support identified in the HTA units were in: recruiting and selecting patients; integrating experiential knowledge; and knowing and implementing the best methods and practices for partnership.
Patient involvement in local HTA units is quickly evolving and that is why they urgently need tools to involve more effectively patients and members of the public in their process.
In this study, we aimed to capture perspectives of healthcare workers (HCWs) on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures implemented during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A cross-sectional survey of HCWs.
HCWs from the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
A self-administered survey was distributed to HCWs. We analyzed factors influencing HCW knowledge and self-reported use of personal protective equipment (PPE), concerns about contracting COVID-19 and acceptance of the recommended IPAC precautions for COVID-19.
In total, 175 HCWs completed the survey between March 6 and March 10: 35 staff physicians (20%), 24 residents or fellows (14%), 72 nurses (41%), 14 respiratory therapists (8%), 14 administration staff (8%), and 14 other employees (8%). Most of the respondents were from the emergency department (n = 58, 33%) and the intensive care unit (n = 58, 33%). Only 86 respondents (50%) identified the correct donning order; only 60 (35%) identified the correct doffing order; but the majority (n = 113, 70%) indicated the need to wash their hands immediately prior to removal of their mask and eye protection. Also, 91 (54%) respondents felt comfortable with recommendations for droplet and/or contact precautions for routine care of patients with COVID-19. HCW occupation and concerns about contracting COVID-19 outside work were associated with nonacceptance of the recommendations (P = .016 and P = .036 respectively).
As part of their pandemic response plans, healthcare institutions should have ongoing training for HCWs that focus on appropriate PPE doffing and discussions around modes of transmission of COVID-19.
Catatonia is a frequent, complex and severe identifiable syndrome of motor dysregulation. However, its pathophysiology is poorly understood.
We aimed to provide a systematic review of all brain imaging studies (both structural and functional) in catatonia.
We identified 137 case reports and 18 group studies representing 186 individual patients with catatonia. Catatonia is often associated with brain imaging abnormalities (in more than 75% of cases). The majority of the case reports show diffuse lesions of white matter, in a wide range of brain regions. Most of the case reports of functional imaging usually show frontal, temporal, or basal ganglia hypoperfusion. These abnormalities appear to be alleviated after successful treatment of clinical symptoms. Structural brain magnetic resonance imaging studies are very scarce in the catatonia literature, mostly showing diffuse cerebral atrophy. Group studies assessing functional brain imaging after catatonic episodes show that emotional dysregulation is related to the GABAergic system, with hypoactivation of orbitofrontal cortex, hyperactivation of median prefrontal cortex, and dysconnectivity between frontal and motor areas.
In catatonia, brain imaging is abnormal in the majority of cases, and abnormalities more frequently diffuse than localised. Brain imaging studies published so far suffer from serious limitations and for now the different models presented in the literature do not explain most of the cases. There is an important need for further studies including a better clinical characterisation of patients with catatonia, functional imaging with concurrent catatonic symptoms and the use of novel brain imaging techniques.
The aim of the present study was to estimate prevalence rates of psychiatric and substance use disorders in male and female prisoners on admission to prison in the north of France and compare the frequency of these disorders to the general population.
This cross-sectional survey on Mental Health in the Prison Population (MHPP), conducted between March 2014 and April 2017, interviewed 653 randomly selected men and women who had recently been committed to the French general population prison system in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais departments. For each subject, the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a standardized psychiatric interview, was used to screen for psychiatric and substance use disorders. The prevalence rates were then compared with data from the Mental Health in the General Population (MHGP) survey, a general population survey that used the same assessment methodology as MHPP in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais departments. A control sample was taken from the MHGP survey with a ratio of one case (MHPP) to three controls (MHGP) matching on age and sex.
The sample was primarily composed of French men, most of them single with low educational levels at the time of imprisonment. The mean age was 31.7 (standard deviation = 9.9; min = 18; max = 67). Most of the subjects included were first-time prisoners. The prevalence of affective disorders among newly incarcerated individuals was 31.2% with higher rates for major depressive disorder (27.2%). The prevalence of anxiety disorders was 44.4% with higher rates for generalized anxiety disorder (25.2%). The prevalence of psychotic syndromes was 6.9%. The prevalence of substance use disorders was 53.5% and a suicide risk was identified in 31.4% of the prisoners interviewed. Higher prevalence rates were found in the MHPP when compared with the MHGP for all psychiatric and substance use disorders assessed except for dysthymia and current isolated psychotic syndrome.
Our study shows very high levels of prevalence for psychiatric and substance use disorders in recently committed French prisoners.
Bipolar disorder is a serious psychiatric illness that usually emerges during adolescence or early adulthood, and patients are likely to experience recurrent episodes throughout their lives. The treatment of bipolar disorder is complicated by the difficulty in distinguishing between subtly different disease subtypes (bipolar I, bipolar II, rapid cycling and mixed episodes), each of which is associated with a different probability of treatment success. Furthermore, physicians are faced with an array of treatment options that includes mood stabilisers, antidepressants, and typical and atypical antipsychotics.
Mood disorders that have no medical or pharmacological causes are divided into depressive disorders (unipolar, or major depressive disorder) and bipolar disorders. In bipolar disorders, both depressive and manic episodes occur sequentially.
A manic episode is characterised as an abnormally excited mood that is experienced by a patient for a distinct period (at least a week). Diagnosis of mania requires that a patient’s work and social life be significantly affected, or that the patient needs hospitalisation. Diagnosis also requires the presence of three or more of the following symptoms: inflated self-esteem or grandiosity; decreased need for sleep; increased talkativeness; racing thoughts/ideas; distraction; increased goal-directed activity; excessive involvement in pleasurable activities .
We study compact complex three-dimensional manifolds with vanishing second Betti number. In particular, we show that a compact complex manifold homeomorphic to the six-dimensional sphere does carry any non-constant meromorphic function.
We investigate the factors associated with the occurrence and abundance of external and blood parasites in African penguins (Spheniscus demersus), an endangered seabird that breeds exclusively on the coasts of Namibia and South Africa. External parasites were collected using the dust-ruffling method from 171 African Penguins admitted at a rehabilitation facility in the Western Cape, South Africa. Additionally, blood smears were obtained upon admission and weekly during rehabilitation and examined for blood parasites. Fleas Parapsyllus longicornis humboldti, ticks Ornithodoros capensis and lice Austrogoniodes demersus were recovered from 93, 63 and 40%, respectively, of the penguins upon admission to the centre. Rescue location and age group were identified as significant determinants of flea abundance, whereas month of admission was a significant determinant of tick abundance. Blood parasites were also common on admission, with Babesia being the most frequent (46% prevalence) whereas Borrelia was recorded sporadically (1.2%) and Plasmodium was recorded once. The prevalence and abundance of ticks on admission was positively associated with Babesia infection on admission. Our findings demonstrate the variability and contributing factor of parasite infections in an endangered species of penguin, and highlight the need for additional research on the parasite–host dynamics involving these potential disease vectors.
The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
Virtual patient software allows health professionals to practise their skills by interacting with tools simulating clinical scenarios. A natural language dialogue system can provide natural interaction for medical history-taking. However, the large number of concepts and terms in the medical domain makes the creation of such a system a demanding task. We designed a dialogue system that stands out from current research by its ability to handle a wide variety of medical specialties and clinical cases. To address the task, we designed a patient record model, a knowledge model for the task and a termino-ontological model that hosts structured thesauri with linguistic, terminological and ontological knowledge. We used a frame- and rule-based approach and terminology-rich resources to handle the medical dialogue. This work focuses on the termino-ontological model, the challenges involved and how the system manages resources for the French language. We adopted a comprehensive approach to collect terms and ontological knowledge, and dictionaries of affixes, synonyms and derivational variants. Resources include domain lists containing over 161,000 terms, and dictionaries with over 959,000 word/concept entries. We assessed our approach by having 71 participants (39 medical doctors and 32 non-medical evaluators) interact with the system and use 35 cases from 18 specialities. We conducted a quantitative evaluation of all components by analysing interaction logs (11,834 turns). Natural language understanding achieved an F-measure of 95.8%. Dialogue management provided on average 74.3 (±9.5)% of correct answers. We performed a qualitative evaluation by collecting 171 five-point Likert scale questionnaires. All evaluated aspects obtained mean scores above the Likert mid-scale point. We analysed the vocabulary coverage with regard to unseen cases: the system covered 97.8% of their terms. Evaluations showed that the system achieved high vocabulary coverage on unseen cases and was assessed as relevant for the task.
Hemorrhage is the leading cause of preventable death in combat, although early recognition of hemorrhage is still challenging on the battlefield.
The objective of this study was to describe the shock index (SI) in a healthy military population, and to measure its variation during a controlled blood loss, simulated by blood donation.
A prospective observational study that enrolled military subjects, volunteers for blood donation, was conducted. Demographic and clinical information, concerning both the patient and the blood collection, were recorded. Baseline vital signs were measured, before and after donation, in a 45° supine position. Statistical analysis was performed after calculation of SI.
A total of 483 participants were included in the study. The mean blood donation volume was 473mL (SD = 44mL). The median pre- and post-blood donation SI were significantly different: 0.54 (IQR = 0.48-0.63) and 0.57 (IQR = 0.49-0.66), respectively (P = .002). Changes in pre-/post-donation blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) also reached statistical difference but represented a clinically poor relevance. The multivariate analysis showed no significant associations between SI variations and age, sex, body mass index (BMI), sport activities, blood donation volume, and enteral volume replacement (EVR).
In this model of mild hemorrhage, SI exhibited significant variations but failed to reach clinical relevance. Further studies are needed to prove the benefit of SI calculation as a possible parameter for early recognition of hemorrhage in combat casualties at the point of injury.
Pasquier P, Duron S, Pouget T, Carbonnel AC, Boutonnet M, Malgras B, Barbier O, de Saint Maurice G, Sailliol A, Ausset S, Martinaud C. Use of shock index to identify mild hemorrhage: an observational study in military blood donors. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(3):303–307.