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The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provides a framework to improve antibiotic use, but cost-effectiveness data on implementation of outpatient antibiotic stewardship interventions are limited. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of Core Element implementation in the outpatient setting.
An economic simulation model from the health-system perspective was developed for patients presenting to outpatient settings with uncomplicated acute respiratory tract infections (ARI). Effectiveness was measured as quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Cost and utility parameters for antibiotic treatment, adverse drug events (ADEs), and healthcare utilization were obtained from the literature. Probabilities for antibiotic treatment and appropriateness, ADEs, hospitalization, and return ARI visits were estimated from 16,712 and 51,275 patient visits in intervention and control sites during the pre- and post-implementation periods, respectively. Data for materials and labor to perform the stewardship activities were used to estimate intervention cost. We performed a one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) using 1,000,000 second-order Monte Carlo simulations on input parameters.
The proportion of ARI patient-visits with antibiotics prescribed in intervention sites was lower (62% vs 74%) and appropriate treatment higher (51% vs 41%) after implementation, compared to control sites. The estimated intervention cost over a 2-year period was $133,604 (2018 US dollars). The intervention had lower mean costs ($528 vs $565) and similar mean QALYs (0.869 vs 0.868) per patient compared to usual care. In the PSA, the intervention was dominant in 63% of iterations.
Implementation of the CDC Core Elements in the outpatient setting was a cost-effective strategy.
Background: The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provide a framework to improve antibiotic use, but cost-effectiveness data on interventions to improve antibiotic use are limited. Beginning in September 2017, an antibiotic stewardship intervention was launched in within 10 outpatient Veterans Healthcare Administration clinics. The intervention was based on the Core Elements and used an academic detailing (AD) and an audit and feedback (AF) approach to encourage appropriate use of antibiotics. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the intervention among patients with uncomplicated acute respiratory tract infections (ARI). Methods: We developed an economic simulation model from the VA’s perspective for patients presenting for an index outpatient clinic visit with an ARI (Fig. 1). Effectiveness was measured as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Cost and utility parameters for antibiotic treatment, adverse drug reactions (ADRs), and healthcare utilization were obtained from the published literature. Probability parameters for antibiotic treatment, appropriateness of treatment, antibiotic ADRs, hospitalization, and return ARI visits were estimated using VA Corporate Data Warehouse data from a total of 22,137 patients in the 10 clinics during 2014–2019 before and after the intervention. Detailed cost data on the development of the AD and AF materials and electronically captured time and effort for the National AD Service activities by specific providers from a national ARI campaign were used as a proxy for the cost estimate of similar activities conducted in this intervention. We performed 1-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSAs) using 10,000 second-order Monte Carlo simulations on costs and utility values using their means and standard deviations. Results: The proportion of uncomplicated ARI visits with antibiotics prescribed (59% vs 40%) was lower and appropriate treatment was higher (24% vs 32%) after the intervention. The intervention was estimated to cost $110,846 (2018 USD) over a 2-year period. Compared to no intervention, the intervention had lower mean costs ($880 vs $517) and higher mean QALYs (0.837 vs 0.863) per patient because of reduced inappropriate treatment, ADRs, and subsequent healthcare utilization, including hospitalization. In threshold analyses, the antibiotic stewardship strategy was no longer dominant if intervention cost was >$64,415,000 or the number of patients cared for was <3,672. In the PSA, the antibiotic stewardship intervention was dominant in 100% of the 10,000 Monte Carlo iterations (Fig. 2). Conclusions: In every scenario, the VA outpatient AD and AF antibiotic stewardship intervention was a dominant strategy compared to no intervention.
Within the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design (BERD) component of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, we created a mentoring program to complement training provided by the associated Multidisciplinary Career Development Program (KL2). Called Research design Analysis Methods Program (RAMP) Mentors, the program provides each KL2 scholar with individualized, hands-on mentoring in biostatistics, epidemiology, informatics, and related fields, with the goal of building multidisciplinary research teams. From 2015 to 2019, RAMP Mentors paired 8 KL2 scholars with 16 individually selected mentors. Mentors had funded/protected time to meet at least monthly with their scholar to provide advice and instruction on methods for ongoing research, including incorporating novel techniques. RAMP Mentors has been evaluated through focus groups and surveys. KL2 scholars reported high satisfaction with RAMP Mentors and confidence in their ability to establish and maintain methodologic collaborations. Compared with other Northwestern University K awardees, KL2 scholars reported higher confidence in obtaining research funding, including subsequent K or R awards, and selecting appropriate, up-to-date research methods. RAMP Mentors is a promising partnership between a BERD group and KL2 program, promoting methodologic education and building multidisciplinary research teams for junior investigators pursuing clinical and translational research.
Adverse programming of adult non-communicable disease can be induced by poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy and the periconception period has been identified as a vulnerable period. In the current study, we used a mouse maternal low-protein diet fed either for the duration of pregnancy (LPD) or exclusively during the preimplantation period (Emb-LPD) with control nutrition provided thereafter and postnatally to investigate effects on fetal bone development and quality. This model has been shown previously to induce cardiometabolic and neurological disease phenotypes in offspring. Micro 3D computed tomography examination at fetal stages Embryonic day E14.5 and E17.4, reflecting early and late stages of bone formation, demonstrated LPD treatment caused increased bone formation of relative high mineral density quality in males, but not females, at E14.5, disproportionate to fetal growth, with bone quality maintained at E17.5. In contrast, Emb-LPD caused a late increase in male fetal bone growth, proportionate to fetal growth, at E17.5, affecting central and peripheral skeleton and of reduced mineral density quality relative to controls. These altered dynamics in bone growth coincide with increased placental efficiency indicating compensatory responses to dietary treatments. Overall, our data show fetal bone formation and mineral quality is dependent upon maternal nutritional protein content and is sex-specific. In particular, we find the duration and timing of poor maternal diet to be critical in the outcomes with periconceptional protein restriction leading to male offspring with increased bone growth but of poor mineral density, thereby susceptible to later disease risk.
Characterizing non-lethal damage within dry seeds may allow us to detect early signs of ageing and accurately predict longevity. We compared RNA degradation and viability loss in seeds exposed to stressful conditions to quantify relationships between degradation rates and stress intensity or duration. We subjected recently harvested (‘fresh’) ‘Williams 82’ soya bean seeds to moisture, temperature and oxidative stresses, and measured time to 50% viability (P50) and rate of RNA degradation, the former using standard germination assays and the latter using RNA Integrity Number (RIN). RIN values from fresh seeds were also compared with those from accessions of the same cultivar harvested in the 1980s and 1990s and stored in the refrigerator (5°C), freezer (−18°C) or in vapour above liquid nitrogen (−176°C). Rates of viability loss (P50−1) and RNA degradation (RIN⋅d−1) were highly correlated in soya bean seeds that were exposed to a broad range of temperatures [holding relative humidity (RH) constant at about 30%]. However, the correlation weakened when fresh seeds were maintained at high RH (holding temperature constant at 35°C) or exposed to oxidizing agents. Both P50−1 and RIN⋅d−1 parameters exhibited breaks in Arrhenius behaviour near 50°C, suggesting that constrained molecular mobility regulates degradation kinetics of dry systems. We conclude that the kinetics of ageing reactions at RH near 30% can be simulated by temperatures up to 50°C and that RNA degradation can indicate ageing prior to and independent of seed death.
This scoping review explores the characteristics of the current built environment used to accommodate people with dementia in East and Southeast Asia. It is structured around the eight principles of design found in the Environmental Audit Tool High-Care. In addition, the review examines the level of knowledge and other influences contributing to the development of nursing homes in the region.
The review was carried out utilizing the methodological framework recommended by Arksey and O'Malley. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses provided an overarching structural framework for the reporting process and the Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcomes, and Context framework defined the scope of the review and focused on the research question. Six databases were accessed for the search, and 1,846 publications between 2001 and 2015 were retrieved.
A total of 48 articles from 9 countries met the inclusion criteria. All articles presented discussions that fundamentally included at least one principle of design and with some including all principles. The most prevailing principle discussed, found in 59% of all the articles was the need for familiarity for residents in the environmental design of facilities.
The review found that the eight principles of design, when applied with cultural sensitivity in countries in East and Southeast Asia can identify gaps in knowledge of the design for dementia enabling environments and suggest areas for improvement. An assessment tool based on the principles of design will be able to provide a guide for stakeholders in the design, development, or modification of nursing home environments.
There is a growing recognition of the need to make the built environment in towns and cities more enabling for people with dementia. This study reports the development of a reliable tool to assess the support provided to people with dementia by public and commercial buildings such as council offices, supermarkets, banks, and medical centers as they approach, use, and leave them.
A three-step process was carried out to develop and establish the reliability of the tool: (1) a review of principles and available tools informed the development and modification of an environmental audit tool of proven utility, (2) the draft tool was subjected to an iterative process of evaluation by a team of people with expertise in design and town planning, people with dementia and their carers, (3) inter-rater reliability and internal consistency were assessed on a sample of 60 public and commercial buildings.
The review of available tools led to the drafting of a tool that was refined through iterative, experience-based evaluation resulting in a tool that has high inter-rater reliability and internal validity. The data gathered enabled a sample of banks, libraries, shops, medical facilities, supermarkets and council offices to be compared.
The new tool aids the collection of reliable information on the strengths and weaknesses of public and commercial buildings. This information is likely to be of use in the refurbishment of these buildings to improve their support of people with dementia as they use them in their daily life.
Microalgal blooms are a natural part of the seasonal cycle of photosynthetic organisms in marine ecosystems. They are key components of the structure and dynamics of the oceans and thus sustain the benefits that humans obtain from these aquatic environments. However, some microalgal blooms can cause harm to humans and other organisms. These harmful algal blooms (HABs) have direct impacts on human health and negative influences on human wellbeing, mainly through their consequences to coastal ecosystem services (fisheries, tourism and recreation) and other marine organisms and environments. HABs are natural phenomena, but these events can be favoured by anthropogenic pressures in coastal areas. Global warming and associated changes in the oceans could affect HAB occurrences and toxicity as well, although forecasting the possible trends is still speculative and requires intensive multidisciplinary research. At the beginning of the 21st century, with expanding human populations, particularly in coastal and developing countries, mitigating HABs impacts on human health and wellbeing is becoming a more pressing public health need. The available tools to address this global challenge include maintaining intensive, multidisciplinary and collaborative scientific research, and strengthening the coordination with stakeholders, policymakers and the general public. Here we provide an overview of different aspects of the HABs phenomena, an important element of the intrinsic links between oceans and human health and wellbeing.
Outline principles of sound environmental design that enable maximising abilities and support limitations.
Describe the application of evidence-based designs in varying contexts: the home, community, residential care and acute care.
Discuss the application of principles of participatory involvement to the design of buildings for people with dementia.
Discuss how an interprofessional education and interprofessional practice approach may enhance environmental design and participatory engagement.
interprofessional education (IPE)
interprofessional practice (IPP)
knowledge translation (KT)
What do the people who provide care to people with dementia share? Values, attitudes, skills - perhaps; but there is one that they cannot avoid sharing - the building that the person with dementia is occupying.
It seems fair for me to say, after 30 years of working in the field, that the appreciation of the impact of the building on the success of care is somewhat limited. This is not because we lack information on how to reduce the disabilities experienced by people with dementia by designing enabling buildings.
In fact, we have the benefit of a reasonably extensive literature on the subject (Fleming & Purandare, 2010; The King’s Fund, 2012; Garre-Olmo et al., 2012 ; Zuidema et al., 2010 ; van Hoof et al., 2010; Verbeek et al., 2009; Calkins, 2009). The findings from this literature can be organised around 10 principles of environmental design (Fleming & Bennett, 2013) and these have been summarised in Table 10.1 .
Well-being and various forms of agitation in people with dementia can be improved in a person-centered long-term care setting. Data obtained during the Person-Centered Dementia Care and Environment (PerCEN) randomized controlled trial shed light on the factors that influenced the adoption and outcomes of person-centered interventions in long-term care from the perspective of study participants.
Data were obtained from PerCEN participants: individual semi-structured interviews with care managers (29), nurses and care staff (70); telephone surveys with family members (73); staff reports of care approaches; and 131 field note entries recorded by the person-centered care and environment facilitators. Data were interpreted inductively using content analysis, code building, theme development, and synthesis of findings.
All data sources confirmed that, when adopted, the person-centered model increased the number and variety of opportunities for resident interaction, improved flexibility in care regimens, enhanced staff's attention to resident needs, reduced resident agitation, and improved their well-being. Barriers and enablers for the person-centered model related to leadership, manager, staff and family appreciation of the model, staff's capacity, effective communication and team work among direct care staff, care service flexibility, and staff education on how to focus care on the person's well-being.
Successful knowledge translation of the person-centered model starts with managerial leadership and support; it is sustained when staff are educated and assisted to apply the model, and, along with families, come to appreciate the benefits of flexible care services and teamwork in achieving resident well-being. The Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number is ACTRN 12608000095369.
There is good evidence of the positive effects of person-centered care (PCC) on agitation in dementia. We hypothesized that a person-centered environment (PCE) would achieve similar outcomes by focusing on positive environmental stimuli, and that there would be enhanced outcomes by combining PCC and PCE.
38 Australian residential aged care homes with scope for improvement in both PCC and PCE were stratified, then randomized to one of four intervention groups: (1) PCC; (2) PCE; (3) PCC +PCE; (4) no intervention. People with dementia, over 60 years of age and consented were eligible. Co-outcomes assessed pre and four months post-intervention and at 8 months follow-up were resident agitation, emotional responses in care, quality of life and depression, and care interaction quality.
From 38 homes randomized, 601 people with dementia were recruited. At follow-up the mean change for quality of life and agitation was significantly different for PCE (p = 0.02, p = 0.05, respectively) and PCC (p = 0.0003, p = 0.002 respectively), compared with the non-intervention group (p = 0.48, p = 0.93 respectively). Quality of life improved non-significantly for PCC+PCE (p = 0.08), but not for agitation (p = 0.37). Improvements in care interaction quality (p = 0.006) and in emotional responses to care (p = 0.01) in PCC+PCE were not observed in the other groups. Depression scores did not change in any of the groups. Intervention compliance for PCC was 59%, for PCE 54% and for PCC+PCE 66%.
The hypothesis that PCC+PCE would improve quality of life and agitation even further was not supported, even though there were improvements in the quality of care interactions and resident emotional responses to care for some of this group. The Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Number is ACTRN 12608000095369.
Background: Humor therapy is a non-pharmacological intervention with potential to improve mood and quality of life for institutionalized older persons, including those with dementia. The primary aims of the Sydney Multisite Intervention of LaughterBosses and ElderClowns (SMILE) are to examine the effects of humor therapy on residents’ mood, quality of life, social engagement, and agitation.
Methods: SMILE is a single-blinded cluster-randomized controlled trial where 398 consented residents in 35 residential aged care facilities will be allocated to receive humor therapy or usual care. Residents allocated to the intervention group will engage in humor therapy with professional performers (ElderClowns) and trained facility staff (LaughterBosses) for a minimum of nine two-hour sessions over 12 weeks as well as engaging humorously with LaughterBosses during the course of daily care. The usual care control group will not engage in any formal humor therapy. Researchers, blind to treatment allocation, will assess residents at baseline (week 0), post-intervention (week 13), and follow-up (week 26). The measurement suite includes the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, the Dementia Quality of Life Scale, the Multidimensional Observation Scale for Elderly Subjects, the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory, and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Observations of residents’ engagement will be recorded at each humor therapy session.
Conclusions: SMILE is the first large rigorous study of humor therapy in aged care.
The aim of treatment with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist is elimination of the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge and fluctuating LH concentrations, which compromise outcome in cycles of ovarian stimulation for in-vitro fertilization (IVF). This chapter addresses the characteristics of the standard long-course protocol. It is most common to initiate treatment in the luteal phase to minimize the consequences of the flare effect seen in the first few days of treatment with a GnRH agonist. The down-regulation effect of agonists can be established and maintained by multiple applications of nasal spray, single daily injection, or depo formulations lasting variable lengths of time. When the patient is down-regulated at the start of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) treatment, subsequent follicular growth and recruitment is dictated by two elements: the ovarian reserve, which dictates the number of follicles available for recruitment, and the profile of circulating FSH concentrations.
Background: A large and growing number of people with dementia are being cared for in long-term care. The empirical literature on the design of environments for people with dementia contains findings that can be helpful in the design of these environments. A schema developed by Marshall in 2001 provides a means of reviewing the literature against a set of recommendations. The aims of this paper are to assess the strength of the evidence for these recommendations and to identify those recommendations that could be used as the basis for guidelines to assist in the design of long term care facilities for people with dementia.
Methods: The literature was searched for articles published after 1980, evaluating an intervention utilizing the physical environment, focused on the care of people with dementia and incorporating a control group, pre-test-post-test, cross sectional or survey design. A total of 156 articles were identified as relevant and subjected to an evaluation of their methodological strength. Of these, 57 articles were identified as being sufficiently strong to be reviewed.
Results: Designers may confidently use unobtrusive safety measures; vary ambience, size and shape of spaces; provide single rooms; maximize visual access; and control levels of stimulation. There is less agreement on the usefulness of signage, homelikeness, provision for engagement in ordinary activities, small size and the provision of outside space.
Conclusions: There is sufficient evidence available to come to a consensus on guiding principles for the design of long term environments for people with dementia.
Dementia has been identified as a national health priority in Australia. National programs in the areas of research, education and training have been established. The Dementia Care Skills for Aged Care Workers program is a three-year project that commenced in 2006. It has the goal of providing training in the essentials of dementia care to 17,000 staff of aged care services across Australia. Successful completion of the training results in the award of a nationally recognized qualification. Although the delivery of the training has been difficult in some areas – because of the long distances to be covered by trainers and trainees, a wide range of cultural backgrounds, and difficulties in finding staff to cover for people attending the training – the seven training organizations providing this training are on target to meet the goal. The project is being evaluated independently. The anecdotal reports available to date strongly suggest that the training is being well received and is making a difference to practice.
A surprisingly large proportion of attendees (9%) have been registered nurses, which demonstrates the need among this group of staff for training in the care of people with dementia.
Recent studies have suggested that untreated coeliac disease is associated with lower total cholesterol than in the general population while the effect of treatment with a gluten-free diet on the cholesterol profile of clinically apparent coeliac disease is not known. We measured the cholesterol profile at diagnosis, and compared this with Health Survey for England figures, and again following 12 months treatment with a gluten-free diet in 100 consecutive adults with coeliac disease attending the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK. The mean total cholesterol was 4·84 (sd 1·2) mmol/l in adults (mean age 51 (sd 16) years) newly diagnosed with coeliac disease. At diagnosis of coeliac disease, men had 21 % lower and women had 9 % lower mean total cholesterol in comparison to the general population (difference in age-adjusted mean total cholesterol − 1·09 mmol/l (95 % CI − 0·97, − 1·21); − 0·46 mmol/l (95 % CI − 0·24, − 0·68), respectively). There was no change in mean total cholesterol following treatment. However, there was a small but statistically significant increase of 0·12 mmol/l (95 % CI 0·05, 0·18) in the mean HDL-cholesterol. Total cholesterol was lower at diagnosis in coeliac patients than in the general population and did not increase with 1 year of a gluten-free diet while HDL-cholesterol increased following treatment. Any increase in risk of IHD or stroke in people with coeliac disease is unlikely due to an adverse cholesterol profile either before diagnosis or after treatment with a gluten-free diet.
We have investigated the effect of Si3N4 content in (Ti(Hf)O2)x(Si3N4)y(SiO2)1-x-y pseudo-ternary alloys by tracking systematic changes of electrical properties, including electrically active defects. Results from Soft x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (SXPS) studies indicate no detectable hole traps for Ti/Hf Si oxynitrides with Si3N4 content >35%; these alloys have equal concentrations of Ti(Hf)O2 and SiO2, ~30-32%, and additionally are stable for annealing in Ar ambients to temperatures of 1100°C. Derivative near edge x-ray absorption spectroscopy (NEXAS) comparisons for the O K1 edges of TiO2 and optimized Ti Si oxynitride alloys provides a significantly reduced average crystal field d-state splitting from 1.9 to 1.6eV, as well as decreased electron trapping, and is correlated with a four-fold coordination of Ti in the Ti Si oxynitride alloys. The flat band voltage shift with varying frequency from 10 kHz to 1MHz in these alloys is less than 12 mV and the compositional dependence of current-voltage characteristics on Si3N4 composition results in the lowest leakage current at a Si3N4 content of ~40 % with the smallest equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) as well. Based on these studies, Transition Metal (TM) Si oxynitride alloys are anticipated to yield EOT <1 nm for scaled CMOS devises.