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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.
Children with tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary atresia, and major aortopulmonary collaterals (TOF/MAPCAs) are at risk for post-operative respiratory complications after undergoing unifocalisation surgery. Thus, we assessed and further defined the incidence of airway abnormalities in our series of over 500 children with TOF/MAPCAs as determined by direct laryngoscopy, chest computed tomography (CT), and/or bronchoscopy.
The medical records of all patients with TOF/MAPCAs who underwent unifocalisation or pulmonary artery reconstruction surgery from March, 2002 to June, 2018 were reviewed. Anaesthesia records, peri-operative bronchoscopy, and/or chest CT reports were reviewed to assess for diagnoses of abnormal or difficult airway. Associations between chromosomal anomalies and airway abnormalities – difficult anaesthetic airway, bronchoscopy, and/or CT findings – were defined.
Of the 564 patients with TOF/MAPCAs who underwent unifocalisation or pulmonary artery reconstruction surgery at our institution, 211 (37%) had a documented chromosome 22q11 microdeletion and 28 (5%) had a difficult airway/intubation reported at the time of surgery. Chest CT and/or peri-operative bronchoscopy were performed in 234 (41%) of these patients. Abnormalities related to malacia or compression were common. In total 35 patients had both CT and bronchoscopy within 3 months of each other, with concordant findings in 32 (91%) and partially concordant findings in the other 3.
This is the largest series of detailed airway findings (direct laryngoscopy, CT, and bronchoscopy) in TOF/MAPCAS patients. Although these findings are specific to an at-risk population for airway abnormalities, they support the utility of CT and /or bronchoscopy in detecting airway abnormalities in patients with TOF/MAPCAs.
Transnational migrant populations face critical barriers to mental health service utilization that perpetuate mental health disparities globally. Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) number over 2 million globally and 25% are female domestic workers. Structural barriers prevent equitable access to mental health services for this population. Electronic mental health (eMental Health) intervention is a scalable alternative to face-to-face treatment. The current study sought to identify key correlates of intention to use eMental Health within a community of female Filipino domestic workers living and working in Macao (SAR), China.
Respondent-driven sampling implemented at a community field site was used to reach a sample of 1364 female domestic workers. A multivariable adjusted partial proportional-odds (PPO) model was used to assess relevant correlates of intent to use eMental Health.
The majority (62.8%) reported being likely to utilize eMental Health. The adjusted PPO model showed that younger age (18–25, 26–35, 36–45 v. over 55), longer time as an OFW, being likely (v. neutral and unlikely) to seek professional services, willingness to pay for services (v. not), belief that mental health services are a priority (v. low priority), having access to Wi-Fi outside the employer's home (v. not), and higher levels of social support were associated with increased odds of intent to use eMental Health.
eMental Health is a promising intervention with high potential for uptake among OFWs. The majority of the study population owned a smartphone and were able to connect to the Internet or Wi-Fi. Future work will rigorously evaluate eMental Health programs for use among OFWs.
Treatment for hoarding disorder is typically performed by mental health professionals, potentially limiting access to care in underserved areas.
We aimed to conduct a non-inferiority trial of group peer-facilitated therapy (G-PFT) and group psychologist-led cognitive–behavioural therapy (G-CBT).
We randomised 323 adults with hording disorder 15 weeks of G-PFT or 16 weeks of G-CBT and assessed at baseline, post-treatment and longitudinally (≥3 months post-treatment: mean 14.4 months, range 3–25). Predictors of treatment response were examined.
G-PFT (effect size 1.20) was as effective as G-CBT (effect size 1.21; between-group difference 1.82 points, t = −1.71, d.f. = 245, P = 0.04). More homework completion and ongoing help from family and friends resulted in lower severity scores at longitudinal follow-up (t = 2.79, d.f. = 175, P = 0.006; t = 2.89, d.f. = 175, P = 0.004).
Peer-led groups were as effective as psychologist-led groups, providing a novel treatment avenue for individuals without access to mental health professionals.
Declaration of interest
C.A.M. has received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and travel reimbursement and speakers’ honoraria from the Tourette Association of America (TAA), as well as honoraria and travel reimbursement from the NIH for serving as an NIH Study Section reviewer. K.D. receives research support from the NIH and honoraria and travel reimbursement from the NIH for serving as an NIH Study Section reviewer. R.S.M. receives research support from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Aging, the Hillblom Foundation, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (research grant) and the Alzheimer's Association. R.S.M. has also received travel support from the National Institute of Mental Health for Workshop participation. J.Y.T. receives research support from the NIH, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the California Tobacco Related Research Program, and honoraria and travel reimbursement from the NIH for serving as an NIH Study Section reviewer. All other authors report no conflicts of interest.
The extensive heterogeneity both between and within the medulloblastoma (MB) subgroups underscores a critical need for variant-specific biomarkers and therapeutic strategies. We previously identified a role for the CD271/p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) in regulating stem/progenitor cells in the SHH MB subgroup. Here, we demonstrate the utility of CD271 as a novel diagnostic and prognostic marker for SHH MB using immunohistochemical analysis as well as transcriptome data across 763 primary tumors. Characterization of CD271+ and CD271- cells by RNA sequencing revealed that these two subpopulations are molecularly distinct, co-existing cellular subsets both in vitro and in vivo. MAPK/ERK signaling is upregulated in the CD271+ population and inhibiting this pathway reduced CD271 levels, stem/progenitor cell proliferation and cell survival as well as cell migration in vitro. Importantly, the MEK inhibitor selumetinib extends survival and reduces CD271 levels in vivo. Our study demonstrates the clinical utility of CD271 as both a diagnostic and prognostic tool for SHH MB tumors and reveals a novel role for MEK inhibitors in targeting CD271+ SHH MB cells.
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.
Introduction: The GridlockED game is a serious game aimed at teaching junior learners about flow and organization in the emergency department(ED). With serious games, the mechanism of learning is thought to be via the gameplay experience. Objectives built into gameplay are aimed at teaching players about a specific concept; in this case, we hoped to teach players about interprofessional collaboration and basic mechanics that drive flow in the ED. However, before a player can be taught, he or she must be engaged and have a positive gameplay experience. From the GridlockED gameplay, we aim to explore how a players gameplay experience related to observed actions while playing the game, including participating in decision making and keeping the team organized. Methods: From April-August 2017, participants were invited to play 4 turns of a GridlockED game session. They were video recorded during gameplay. After playing the game, they were surveyed using the previously derived Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ) to measure their gameplay experience. The videos were reviewed by two research team members (SH, EJ), tallying various observed game actions. We conducted Pearson correlation between players GEQ total score and their observed actions. Results: A total of 32 participants (13 attendings, 5 senior residents, 10 junior residents, and 4 nurses) played the game. The average total GEQ was 67.2/132 (SD=10.7), suggesting most players had a moderately good gameplay experience. The total GEQ score correlated with component subscores within the questionnaire. Overall observed activity correlated well with each observed action subtype. However, the GEQ total score did not correlate significantly with the total observed action (Pearsons r=0.18,p=0.32). GEQ total score was found to be moderately correlated to an observation that a player participated in determining strategy during gameplay (r=0.36,p=0.04). There was a moderate negative correlation between determining strategy during gameplay and teaching about the game (r=-0.37,p=0.04) or emergency medicine concepts (r=-0.47,p<0.01). Conclusion: The GEQ is internally consistent, but does not have a strong relationship to observed actions, suggesting that game experience does not necessarily correlate with observable actions. This suggests that players may be intellectually stimulated or engaged without necessarily completing any observable actions during gameplay.
Introduction: With the increasing volume of medical literature published each year, it is difficult for clinicians to translate the latest research into practice. Awareness is the first step of knowledge translation and journals have begun using social media to increase the dissemination and awareness of their publications. Infographics can describe research findings visually, are shared broadly on social media, and may be a more effective way to convey information. We hypothesized that infographic abstracts would increase the social media dissemination and online readership of research articles relative to traditional abstracts. Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 24 original research articles were chosen from the six issues of the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) published between July 2016 and May 2017 (4 articles per issue). Half were randomized to the infographic and control groups within each issue. Infographic articles were promoted using a visual infographic outlining the findings of the article. Control articles were promoted using a screen capture image of each articles abstract. Both were disseminated through the journals social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook) along with the link to the selected article. Infographics were also published on CanadiEM.org. Abstract views, full text views, and the change in Altmetric score were tracked for 30 days and compared between groups. Unpaired two-tailed t-tests were used to detect significant differences. Results: Abstract views (mean, SD) were significantly higher for infographic articles (378.9, 162.0) than control articles (175.5, 69.2, p<0.001). Mean Altmetric scores were significantly higher for infographic articles (26.4, 13.8) than control articles (3.4, 1.7, p<0.0001). There was no statistically significant difference in full-text views between infographic (49.7, 90.4) and control articles (25.3, 12.3). Conclusion: CJEM articles promoted on social media using infographics had higher abstract viewership and Altmetric scores than those promoted with traditional abstracts. Although there was no difference in full-text readership, our results suggest that infographic abstracts may have a role in increasing the dissemination of medical literature.
Introduction: Despite revolutionary changes in the medical education landscape, journal club (JC) continues to be a ubiquitous pedagogical tool and is a primary way that residency programs review new evidence and teach evidence-based medicine. JC is a community of practice among physicians, which may help translate research findings into practice. Program representatives state that JC should have a goal of translating novel research into changes in clinical care, but there has been minimal evaluation of the success of JC in achieving this goal. Specifically, emergency medicine resident perspectives on the utility of JC remain unknown. Methods: We designed a multi-centre qualitative study for three distinct academic environments at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna). Pilot testing was performed to generate preliminary themes and to finalize the interview script. An exploratory, semi-structured focus group was performed, followed by multiple one-on-one interviews using snowball sampling. Iterative thematic analysis directed data collection until thematic sufficiency was achieved. Analysis was conducted using a constructivist Grounded Theory method with communities of practice as a theoretical lens. Themes were compared to the existing literature to corroborate or challenge existing educational theory. Results: Pilot testing has revealed the following primary themes: (1) Only select residents are able to increase their participation in JC over the course of residency and navigate the transition from peripheral participant to core member; (2) These residents use their increased clinical experience to perceive relevance in JC topics, and; (3) Residents who remain peripheral participants identify a lack time to prepare for journal club and a lack of staff physician attendance as barriers to resident engagement. We will further develop these themes during the focus group and interview phases of our study. Conclusion: JC is a potentially valuable educational resource for residents. JC works as a community of practice only for a select group of residents, and many remain peripheral participants for the duration of their residency. Incorporation of Free Open-Access Medical Education resources may also decrease preparation time for residents and staff physicians and increase buy-in. To augment clinical impact, the JC community of practice may need to expand beyond emergency medicine and include other specialties.
Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
Mycobacterial diseases are prevalent in cancer and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, especially those receiving tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor (TNFi). However, the impact of cancer development on the risk of mycobacterial diseases among RA patients is unknown. Data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database were used to conduct a retrospective study to assess the occurrence of mycobacterial diseases in RA patients developing cancer (cancer-positive), those using TNFi (TNFi-exposure), those with cancer and using TNFi (cancer-TNFi-comb), and those without cancer and not using TNFi (cancer-TNFi-free). Cancer and TNFi exposure were time-dependent, and independent risk factors of mycobacterial diseases were assessed by Cox regression. Among 1344 RA patients diagnosed during 2000–2013, 68 (5·1%) developed cancer before their end points. The incidence rates of mycobacterial diseases in the cancer-positive (n = 56), TNFi-exposure (n = 290), cancer-TNFi-comb (n = 12), and cancer-TNFi-free (n = 986) subgroups were 6·7, 2·0, 7·6, and 1·3 per 1000 person-years, respectively. As compared with the cancer-TNFi-free group, the risk for mycobacterial diseases increased for the TNFi-exposure group (adjusted HR = 3·6, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1·1–11·5, P = 0·032) and remained high for cancer-positive (adjusted HR = 14·6, 95% CI 3·3–63·7, P < 0·001) after adjustment. This study suggested that cancer development increased the risk of mycobacterial diseases in RA patients, and risk assessment for this subgroup should be considered.
Schizotypal traits are considered a phenotypic-indicator of schizotypy, a latent personality organization reflecting a putative liability for psychosis. To date, no previous study has examined the comparability of factorial structures across samples originating from different countries and cultures. The main goal was to evaluate the factorial structure and reliability of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) scores by amalgamating data from studies conducted in 12 countries and across 21 sites.
The overall sample consisted of 27 001 participants (37.5% males, n = 4251 drawn from the general population). The mean age was 22.12 years (s.d. = 6.28, range 16–55 years). The SPQ was used. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Multilevel CFA (ML-CFA) were used to evaluate the factor structure underlying the SPQ scores.
At the SPQ item level, the nine factor and second-order factor models showed adequate goodness-of-fit. At the SPQ subscale level, three- and four-factor models displayed better goodness-of-fit indices than other CFA models. ML-CFA showed that the intraclass correlation coefficients values were lower than 0.106. The three-factor model showed adequate goodness of fit indices in multilevel analysis. The ordinal α coefficients were high, ranging from 0.73 to 0.94 across individual samples, and from 0.84 to 0.91 for the combined sample.
The results are consistent with the conceptual notion that schizotypal personality is a multifaceted construct and support the validity and utility of SPQ in cross-cultural research. We discuss theoretical and clinical implications of our results for diagnostic systems, psychosis models and cross-national mental health strategies.
Investments have been made to alter the food environment of neighbourhoods that have a disproportionate number of unhealthy food venues. Corner store conversions are one strategy to increase access to fruits and vegetables (F&V). Although the literature shows modest success, the effectiveness of these interventions remains equivocal. The present paper reports on the evaluation of Proyecto MercadoFRESCO, a corner store conversion intervention in two Latino communities.
A repeated cross-sectional design was employed. Data were stratified by intervention arm and bivariate tests assessed changes over time. Logistic and multiple regression models with intervention arm, time and the interaction of intervention and time were conducted. Supplementary analyses account for clustering of patrons within stores and staggering of store conversions.
Three stores were converted and five stores served as comparisons in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, California, USA.
Store patrons were interviewed before (n550) and after (n407) the intervention.
Relative to patrons of comparison stores, patrons of intervention stores demonstrated more favourable perceptions of corner stores and increased purchasing of F&V during that store visit. Changes were not detected in store patronage, percentage of weekly dollars spent on food for F&V or daily consumption of F&V.
Consistent with some extant food environment literature, findings demonstrate limited effects. Investments should be made in multilevel, comprehensive interventions that target a variety retail food outlets rather than focusing on corner stores exclusively. Complementary policies limiting the availability, affordability and marketing of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods should also be pursued.
Introduction: Walking as a form of active transportation is promoted by health professions and environmentalists alike. While the health benefits are indisputable, active transportation is not without risk. Pedestrians are vulnerable road users who often suffer serious injuries especially when involved with collisions with motor-vehicles. While pedestrian injuries involving motor-vehicles are captured in road trauma surveillance systems based on police crash reports, non-collision injuries in this population may be caused by poorly designed infrastructure but are seldom counted as road trauma. This gap hinders road improvement efforts aiming to increase safety for all road users. This study aims to address this knowledge gap. Our objective is to study the profile and circumstances of injuries in pedestrians presenting to ED. Methods: This was a cross-sectional historical chart review study. All injured patients attending our ED are electronically flagged according to mechanism of injury. We reviewed the medical charts of all ED visits flagged as “Pedestrian” or “Fall” to identify all injured pedestrians (defined in this study as anyone walking on a public roadway or getting on/off public transportation). All pedestrian injuries occurred in 2015 were included for chart review. Results: In 2015, a total of 6192 ED presentations were flagged as pedestrian (n=436) or fall (n=5756), and 1108 of these met our inclusion criteria. Of these, 181 (16%) were admitted to hospital. Older pedestrians (≥70 yrs) had a higher hospital admission rate (78/303; 27%) compared to younger ones (<70 yrs: 103/805; 13%). Collision with motor vehicles (MVCs) resulted in only 25% of pedestrian injuries while fall (or tripping) accounted for about 72%. MVC related injuries were more common in younger pedestrians (29% vs 13%) whereas fall related injuries occurred more in older pedestrians (85% vs 67%). The most commonly sustained injuries among the fallers were abrasions followed by fractures. Conclusion: Police crash reports (which capture only MVC related pedestrian injuries) or hospital admission data (which miss those who are treated and released from ED) do not capture all cases of pedestrian injury. ED visit data provides a more realistic count of pedestrian injuries. More pedestrian injuries are caused by falls than by MVCs and policymakers should pay more attention to fall prevention strategies for older pedestrians outside their home environment.
Introduction: Most medically unfit drivers are not reported to licensing authorities. In BC, physicians are only obligated to report unfit drivers who continue to drive after being warned to stop. This study investigates barriers to and incentives for physician reporting of medically unfit drivers. Methods: We used an online survey to study physician-reported barriers to reporting medically unfit drivers and their idea of incentives that would improve reporting. Email invitations to participate in the survey were sent to all physicians in BC through DoctorsofBC and to all emergency physicians (EPs) in the UBC Department of Emergency Medicine. Results: We received responses from 242 physicians (47% EPs, 40% GPs, 13% others). The most common barrier to reporting was not knowing which unfit drivers continue to drive (79% of respondents). Other barriers included lack of time (51%), lack of knowledge of the process, guidelines, or legal requirement for reporting (51%, 50%, 45% respectively), fearing loss of rapport with patients (48%), pressure from patients not to report (34%), lack of remuneration (27%), and pressure from family members not to report (25%).EPs were significantly less likely than other physicians to cite loss of rapport, pressure from patients, or pressure from family as barriers, but more likely to cite not being aware of drivers who continue to drive after being warned, lack of knowledge (regarding legal requirements to report, guidelines for determining fitness, and the reporting process), and lack of time. Factors that would increase reporting unfit drivers included better understanding of criteria for fitness to drive (70%), more information regarding how to report (67%), more information on when to report (65%), and compensation (43%).Free text comments from respondents identified other barriers/incentives. Reporting might be simplified by telephone hotlines or allowing physician designates to report. Physicians feared legal liability and suggested the need for better medico-legal protection. Loss of patient rapport might be minimized by public education. Failure of response from licensing authorities to a report (long wait times, lack of feedback to physician) was seen as a barrier to reporting. Conclusion: We identified barriers to physician reporting of medically unfit drivers and incentives that might increase reporting. This information could inform programs aiming to improve reporting of unfit drivers.
Introduction: Background: Medical education is transitioning from a time-based system to a competency-based framework. In the age of Competency-Based Medical Education, however, there is a drastically increased amount of data that needs to be interpreted. With this data, however, comes an opportunity to develop predictive analytics. Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. Using algorithms that iteratively learn from data, machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look. Machine learning has been successfully used in other fields to create predictive models. Objective: This study evaluates the application of neural network as a machine learning algorithm in learning from historical data in emergency residency program and predicting future resident performance. Methods: We analyzed performance data for 16 residents (PGY1-5) who were assessed at end of each shift. Performance was graded in each of the CanMEDS Roles with scores from 1 to 7 by different attending physicians who observed residents during the shift. We transformed sequences of scores for each resident to a fixed set of features and combined all of them in one dataset. We considered scores under 6 as “At Risk Resident” and scores 6 or more as “Competent Resident”, and then we separated the dataset into training and testing sets using K-Fold cross validation and trained an artificial Neural Network in order to make decision about the future situation of residents in a specific CanMEDS Role and general performance. Results: We used 5-fold cross validation to evaluate the model, one round of cross-validation involves partitioning the whole data into complementary subsets, performing the training phase on the training set, and validating the analysis on the testing set. To reduce variability, multiple rounds of cross-validation are performed using different partitions, and the validation results are averaged over the rounds. Results of cross validation show that accuracy of model was 72%, sensitivity was 81% and specificity was 43%. Conclusion: Machine learning algorithms such (as Neural Network) have the ability to predict future resident performance on a global level and within specific domains (i.e. CanMEDS roles). Used appropriately, such information may be a valuable for monitoring resident progress.
Introduction: Medical conditions that impair perception, cognition or motor skills may make people unfit to drive. Reporting unfit drivers to licensing authorities is seen by many as a public health obligation. This study investigates physician knowledge, attitudes and practice around the management of medically unfit drivers. Methods: We used an online survey to explore physician knowledge of fitness to drive issues and their attitudes and practice with regard to counselling and reporting unfit drivers. Email invitations to participate in the survey were sent to all physicians in BC through DoctorsofBC and to all emergency physicians (EPs) in the UBC Department of Emergency Medicine. Results: We received responses from 242 physicians (47% EPs, 40% GPs, 13% others). The majority (78%) reported little/no knowledge on determining driver fitness and 94% had little/no training around guidelines, reporting, and laws involving fitness to drive. Most (88%) agreed that physicians should be obligated to advise medically unfit patients not to drive, and 74% reported that they often warn patients not to drive. The majority of physicians also chart their opinion of patients’ fitness to drive (67% do so more than twice per year). Most respondents (70%) indicated that it is “always appropriate” to report definitely unfit drivers whereas only 25% indicated that it is “always appropriate” to report potentially unfit drivers. However, in practice physicians see far more unfit drivers than they report to licensing authority: 67% of physicians encounter definitely unfit drivers more than twice per year but only 19% report definitely unfit drivers more than twice per year and 34% never report definitely unfit drivers. Compared to other physicians, EPs reported less knowledge and training about criteria for determining fitness to drive, were more likely to feel that reporting unfit drivers was not their responsibility, and were less likely to report unfit drivers to licensing authorities. Conclusion: Our findings indicate a need for more education and information resources to help physicians, particularly EPs, identify and manage medically unfit drivers. Although most physicians warn unfit drivers not to drive and document this in medical records, many medically unfit drivers are not reported to licensing authorities, a potential public health problem that should be further investigated.
Introduction: The CJEM Social Media Team was created in 2014 to assist the journal with the dissemination of its research online. It consists of two Social Media Editors (Junior and Senior) and a team of volunteer medical students and residents to assist their work. Collaborative promotional agreements were developed to promote CJEM articles on the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine (SGEM) podcast through the ‘Hot off the Press’ (HOP) series and the CanadiEM blog through an infographic series. Methods:CJEM papers were selected for promotion by the Team based on their perceived interest to the online community of emergency physicians. Altmetric scores, which are a measure of online dissemination derived from a weighted algorithm of social media metrics, were collated for articles promoted using the SGEM HOP or CanadiEM blogs. A control group was created using the articles with the top two Altmetric scores in each CJEM issue in 2015 and 2016. Erratum, Letters, and articles written by the social media editors were excluded from the control groups. The success of the social media promotion was quantified through the measurement of Altmetric scores as of January 1, 2017. Unpaired two-tailed t-tests with unequal variance were used to test for significant differences. Results: 106 and 82 eligible articles were published in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Four articles in 2015 and two articles in 2016 were excluded from the control groups because they were written by the social media editors. SGEM HOP podcasts promoted one article in 2015 and five articles in 2016. CanadiEM infographics promoted three articles in 2015 and eight articles in 2016. No articles were promoted in both series. The average Altmetric score was higher for SGEM HOP (61.0) than CanadiEM Infographics (31.5, p<0.04), 2015 controls (15.8, p<0.01), and 2016 controls (13.6, p<0.01). The average Altmetric score for CanadiEM Infographics was higher than 2015 controls (p<0.04) and 2016 controls (p<0.02). There was no significant difference between the control groups. Conclusion: The results suggest that collaborating with established social media websites to promote CJEM articles using podcasts and infographics increases their social media dissemination. Given the nonrandomized design of these results, causative conclusions cannot be drawn. A randomized study of the impact of social media promotion on readership is underway.