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Little is known about emotional quality-of-life in paediatric heart disease in low- and middle-income countries where the prevalence of uncorrected lesions is high. Research on emotional quality-of-life and its predictors in these settings is key to planning interventions.
Ten-year retrospective cross-sectional study of children aged 6–17 years with uncorrected congenital or acquired heart disease in 12 low- and middle-income countries was conducted. Emotional functioning score of the PedsQL TM 4.0 generic core scale and data on patient-reported limitation in sports participation were collected via in-person interview and analysed using regression analyses.
Ninety-four children reported mean emotional functioning scores of 71.94 (SD 25.32) [95% CI 66.75–77.13] with lower scores independently associated with having a parent with a chronic illness or who had died (p = 0.005), having less than three siblings (p = 0.007), and reporting a subjective limitation in carrying an item equivalent to a 4 lb load (p = 0.021). Patient-reported limitation in sports participation at least “sometimes” was present in 69% and was independently associated with experiencing symptoms at least once a month (p < 0.001).
Some of the factors which were associated with better emotional quality-of-life were similar to those identified in previous studies in patients with corrected defects. Patient-reported limitation in sports participation is common. In addition to corrective surgery and exercise, numerous other interventions which are practicable during surgical missions might improve emotional quality-of-life.
There are no definite guidelines regarding the most adequate steroid regimens for acute acoustic trauma.
To elucidate the dose-dependent differing benefits of oral steroids on hearing improvement following acute acoustic trauma.
Twenty-nine patients treated with oral steroids following a diagnosis of unilateral acute acoustic trauma were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were sorted into two groups with an oral steroid regimen. Group 1 received a 14-day course of treatment: 60 mg prednisolone daily for 10 days, tapering off over days 11–14. Group 2 received prednisolone for a total of 10 days: 60 mg for 5 days, tapering down each day for the remainder. Multivariable linear regression analysis was performed to evaluate the factors associated with the hearing gain.
In the multivariable regression (R2 = 0.51, p < 0.001), patients in group 1 showed more significant improvement in the degree of hearing gain compared to group 2 (p = 0.03).
After comparing the differing benefits of oral steroids on hearing improvement by dosage, we recommend a high dose of prednisolone (60 mg per day) for 10 days, tapering over the remaining 4 days, for better hearing recovery following acute acoustic trauma.
Background: For robot-assisted telesurgery, the workstation, in particular the haptic handcontroller itself a robot, is paramount to the performance of surgery. Based on the requirements for microsurgery, a novel haptic handcontroller Excalibur has been developed. Methods: Thirty-two surgeons performed a peg-in-hole task (simulating micromanipulation) with Excalibur and two commercially available handcontrollers (Sigma 7 and PHANToM Premium 3.0). A modified Kuka endeffector with bipolar forceps, and Leica microscope completed the remote robotic site. Comparisons were made based on training time, task completion time and number of errors. All participants completed a questionnaire. Results: Repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated significance for task completion time (p=0.004), training time (p=0.021) and number of errors (p=0.004). Surgeons were faster with Excalibur (72s) than with Sigma (96s,p=0.005) and PHANToM (96s,p=0.036). Training time was shorter with Excalibur than with PHANToM (210s vs 310s,p=0.013), and users made fewer errors (0.7 vs 2.1,p=0.008). Training time required for Sigma (285s) and the number of errors (1.3) were not significant. The surgeons found Excalibur smoother, more comfortable, less tiring and easier to maneuver, with more realistic force feedback and superior movement fidelity. Conclusions: Surgical performance was superior with Excalibur compared to the other handcontrollers. This may reflect the microsurgical requirements and unique design architecture of Excalibur.
Infrared signal measurements from a micro-turbojet engine are conducted to understand the characteristics of the engine performance and the infrared signal by varying the exhaust nozzle configuration. A cone type nozzle and five rectangle type nozzles whose aspect ratios vary from one to five are used for this experimental work. As a result, it is confirmed that the thrust and the fuel consumption rate of the engine do not change greatly by varying the exhaust nozzle shape. In the case of the aspect ratio of 5, the specific fuel consumption of the engine is increased by about 3% compared to the reference cone nozzle, but the infrared signal can be reduced by up to 14%. As a result of measuring the temperature distribution of the plume gas, the correlation of infrared signal with plume gas temperature distribution can be understood. In the case of a cone shape, the distribution of plume gas formed to circular shape, and the high-temperature core region of plume gas continued to develop farther to the downstream. However, the temperature distribution was maintained in the rectangular shape as the aspect ratio increased, and the average temperature decreased sharply. As the aspect ratio increases, the plume spreads more widely.
This study aimed to determine the relationship between laryngopharyngeal reflux and dietary modification.
A systematic review was conducted. The data sources for the study were PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and Web of Science. Articles were independently extracted by two authors according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. The outcome focus was laryngopharyngeal reflux improvement through diet or dietary behaviour.
Of the 372 studies identified, 7 met our inclusion criteria. In these seven studies, laryngopharyngeal reflux symptoms improved following dietary modifications. However, the studies did not present the independent effect of each dietary factor on laryngopharyngeal reflux. Moreover, only one of the seven studies had a randomised controlled study design.
The reference studies of dietary modification for laryngopharyngeal reflux patients are not sufficient to provide recommendations.
While studies suggest that nutritional supplementation may reduce aggressive behavior in children, few have examined their effects on specific forms of aggression. This study tests the primary hypothesis that omega-3 (ω-3), both alone and in conjunction with social skills training, will have particular post-treatment efficacy for reducing childhood reactive aggression relative to baseline.
In this randomized, double-blind, stratified, placebo-controlled, factorial trial, a clinical sample of 282 children with externalizing behavior aged 7–16 years was randomized into ω-3 only, social skills only, ω-3 + social skills, and placebo control groups. Treatment duration was 6 months. The primary outcome measure was reactive aggression collected at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, with antisocial behavior as a secondary outcome.
Children in the ω-3-only group showed a short-term reduction (at 3 and 6 months) in self-report reactive aggression, and also a short-term reduction in overall antisocial behavior. Sensitivity analyses and a robustness check replicated significant interaction effects. Effect sizes (d) were small, ranging from 0.17 to 0.31.
Findings provide some initial support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing reactive aggression over and above standard care (medication and parent training), but yield only preliminary and limited support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing overall externalizing behavior in children. Future studies could test further whether ω-3 shows promise in reducing more reactive, impulsive forms of aggression.
Many shorebird populations are in decline along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The rapid loss of coastal wetlands in the Yellow Sea, which provide critical stop-over sites during migration, is believed to be the cause of the alarming trends. The Yalu Jiang coastal wetland, a protected area in the north Yellow Sea, supports the largest known migratory staging populations of Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica (menzbieri and baueri subspecies) and Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris. Monitoring of the macrozoobenthos food for these shorebirds from 2011 to 2016 showed declines of over 99% in the densities of the bivalve Potamocorbula laevis, the major food here for both Bar-tailed Godwits and Great Knots. The loss of the bivalve might be caused by any combination of, but not limited to: (1) change in hydrological conditions and sediment composition due to nearby port construction, (2) run-off of agrochemicals from the extensive shoreline sea cucumber farms, and (3) parasitic infection. Surprisingly, the numbers of birds using the Yalu Jiang coastal wetland remained stable during the study period, except for the subspecies of Bar-tailed Godwit L. l. menzbieri, which exhibited a 91% decline in peak numbers. The lack of an overall decline in the number of bird days in Great Knots and in the peak numbers of L. l. baueri, also given the published simultaneous decreases in their annual survival, implies a lack of alternative habitats that birds could relocate to. This study highlights that food declines at staging sites could be an overlooked but important factor causing population declines of shorebirds along the Flyway. Maintaining the quality of protected staging sites is as important in shorebird conservation as is the safeguarding of staging sites from land claim. Meanwhile, it calls for immediate action to restore the food base for these beleaguered migrant shorebirds at Yalu Jiang coastal wetland.
Simultaneous PET/MR/EEG (Positron Emission Tomography – Magnetic Resonance – Electroencephalography), a new tool for the investigation of neuronal networks in the human brain, is presented here within the framework of the European Union Project TRIMAGE. The trimodal, cost-effective PET/MR/EEG imaging tool makes use of cutting edge technology both in PET and in MR fields. A novel type of magnet (1.5T, non-cryogenic) has been built together with a PET scanner that makes use of the most advanced photodetectors (i.e., SiPM matrices), scintillators matrices (LYSO) and digital electronics. The combined PET/MR/EEG system is dedicated to brain imaging and has an inner diameter of 260 mm and an axial Field-of-View of 160 mm.
It enables the acquisition and assessment of molecular metabolic information with high spatial and temporal resolution in a given brain simultaneously. The dopaminergic system and the glutamatergic system in schizophrenic patients are investigated via PET, the same physiological/pathophysiological conditions with regard to functional connectivity, via fMRI, and its electrophysiological signature via EEG. In addition to basic neuroscience questions addressing neurovascular-metabolic coupling, this new methodology lays the foundation for individual physiological and pathological fingerprints for a wide research field addressing healthy aging, gender effects, plasticity and different psychiatric and neurological diseases.
The preliminary performances of two components of the imaging tool (PET and MR) are discussed. Initial results of the search of possible candidates for suitable schizophrenia biomarkers are also presented as obtained with PET/MR systems available to the collaboration.
Among young Samoan children, diet may not be optimal: in 2015, 16·1 % of 24–59-month-olds were overweight/obese, 20·3 % stunted and 34·1 % anaemic. The present study aimed to identify dietary patterns among 24–59-month-old Samoan children and evaluate their association with: (i) child, maternal and household characteristics; and (ii) nutritional status indicators (stunting, overweight/obesity, anaemia).
A community-based, cross-sectional study. Principal component analysis on 117 FFQ items was used to identify empirical dietary patterns. Distributions of child, maternal and household characteristics were examined by factor score quintiles. The regression of nutritional status indicators v. these quintiles was performed using logistic regression models.
Ten villages on the Samoan island of Upolu.
A convenience sample of mother–child pairs (n 305).
Two dietary patterns, modern and neo-traditional, emerged. The modern pattern was loaded with ‘westernized’ foods (red meat, condiments and snacks). The neo-traditional pattern included vegetables, local starches, coconuts, fish and poultry. Following the modern diet was associated with urban residence, greater maternal educational attainment, higher socio-economic status, lower vitamin C intake and higher sugar intake. Following the neo-traditional diet was associated with rural residence, lower socio-economic status, higher vitamin C intake and lower sugar intake. While dietary patterns were not related to stunting or anaemia, following the neo-traditional pattern was positively associated with child overweight/obesity (adjusted OR=4·23, 95 % CI 1·26, 14·17, for the highest quintile, P-trend=0·06).
Further longitudinal monitoring and evaluation of early childhood growth and development are needed to understand the influences of early diet on child health in Samoa.
In this paper, we presented design specifications and operational test results of large-sized high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets for Superconducting Induction Heater (SIH). HTS magnets were designed and fabricated with the metal insulation method. Critical currents of the HTS magnets were estimated by considering the angular dependency on the magnetic flux density of HTS tape. The characteristic resistance, the charging and discharging time were calculated and measured in the liquid nitrogen and the conduction cooling condition achieved with the 2nd stage GM cryo-cooler. The saturated temperature of the HTS magnet reached at 5.6 K. The performances of the large-sized HTS magnet including cooling and magnetic field characteristics were tested under the conduction cooling. These results were evaluated with those of finite element method analysis results. The characteristic analysis results of the large-sized HTS magnets will be applied for development of the commercial 300 kW SIH.
We report on the astrometric registration of VLBI images of the SiO and H2O masers in OH 231.8+4.2, the iconic Proto-Planetary Nebula also known as the Calabash nebula, using the KVN and Source/Frequency Phase Referencing. This, for the first time, robustly confirms the alignment of the SiO masers, close to the AGB star, which drives the bi-lobe structure with the water masers in the out-flow.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
Introduction: Sepsis protocols call for the acquisition of blood cultures in septic emergency department (ED) patients.However, the criteria for blood cultures are vague, they are costly, only positive 8-12% of the time, with up to half of these being false positives. The objective of this study was to establish if positive blood cultures could be excluded in low-risk sepsis patients with levels of CRP below 20 ml/L. Methods: This was a multicenter prospective cohort study of 765 ED patients at St Paul’s and Mount St Joseph’s hospitals in Vancouver with sepsis (2 or more SIRS criteria and infection) and none of: immuncompromised, injection drug use, indwelling vascular device or septic shock (SBP<90 mmhg). Consecutive patients with sepsis had CRP and blood cultures obtained at the same time.OUTCOMES. True positive blood cultures, false positive blood cultures, positive blood cultures that changed patient management. True and false positive blood cultures were based on Infectious Disease Society of America Guidelines, and change in management was defined as change in type or length of antibiotic therapy and was blindly adjudicated by a medical microbiologist. Results: 765 ED patients with sepsis met inclusion criteria. Mean age was 48.3 years and 57% were male. Blood cultures were positive in 99/765 (12.9%) subjects, of which 19 were false positive (19.2%). CRP was >20 mg/L in 595/765 (77.8%) of patients. Of 170 subjects with a CRP<20 mg/L, 3 had a positive blood culture (1.8%; 95% CI 0.1%- 5%). Management was not changed in any patient with a positive blood culture and CRP level<20 mg/L. Of 19 subjects with a false positive blood culture, CRP was <20 mg/L for 6 (31.6%). Conclusion: In this cohort of low-risk sepsis patients, based on a CRP of <20 mg/L, acquisition of blood cultures could be safely avoided in 22.2% of patients, at significant savings to the health care system.
Introduction: Best practice guidelines recommend that at least two sets of blood cultures be sent when blood cultures are required. However, high rates of solitary blood cultures are still common in the emergency department. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of different quality improvement initiatives aimed at reducing the rate of solitary blood cultures being sent to the lab on patients ultimately discharged from our emergency department. Methods: This was a multi-centre, multi-phase, prospective study evaluating a comprehensive education-based intervention and a second intervention that combined a computerized forcing function along with a brief education-based intervention. The results were analyzed using segmented regression analysis, as well as statistical process control charts. Results: The baseline rate of solitary sets of blood cultures was 41.1%. The education intervention reduced this rate to 30.3%. The introduction of a forcing function with a brief educational intervention further reduced the rate to 11.6%. This represents an absolute reduction of 29.5% from baseline (relative reduction of 71.8%). According to segmental regression analyses, the education intervention alone did not produce a statistically significant change when factoring possible background time-related trends (P=0.071). However, the forcing function produced a statistically significant improvement (P < 0.0005), which was maintained for 6 months. Conclusion: The combination of a brief education-based intervention and a computerized forcing function was more effective than education alone in reducing solitary blood culture collection in our emergency department in this time series study. Forcing functions can be a powerful tool in modifying behaviours and processes in the clinical setting.
A two-phase flow parametric study on an air induction nozzle with water and air as the working fluids is presented. Liquid was supplied at the pre-orifice with various inlet pressures ranging from 3 to 6 bar. The interaction between air and water at the molecular level at the orifice exit leads to formation of a strong shear layer that is intensified with the increase in inlet pressure. Thus, it is vital to regulate the ratio of the intake air to the supplied liquid so that the generated micro bubbles fit the design criteria. CFD analysis was conducted using the commercial software STAR CCM+ from Siemens and validated against experimental data to investigate the design parameters and their effect on the ALR. A volume of fluid (VOF) method of the RANS models was used to undertake the air-water interaction. Parameters such as the throat, air orifice, and air inlet diameter, along with the diffuser angle, were investigated. It was found that certain parameters such as the throat diameter have a more significant effect on the air/liquid entrainment ratio than other parameters.
Young children are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition as nutrition transition progresses. The present study aimed to document the prevalence, coexistence and correlates of nutritional status (stunting, overweight/obesity and anaemia) in Samoan children aged 24–59 months.
A cross-sectional community-based survey. Height and weight were used to determine prevalence of stunting (height-for-age Z-score <−2) and overweight/obesity (BMI-for-age Z-score >+2) based on WHO growth standards. Anaemia was determined using an AimStrip Hemoglobin test system (Hb <110 g/l).
Ten villages on the Samoan island of Upolu.
Mother–child pairs (n 305) recruited using convenience sampling.
Moderate or severe stunting was apparent in 20·3 % of children, 16·1 % were overweight/obese and 34·1 % were anaemic. Among the overweight/obese children, 28·6 % were also stunted and 42·9 % anaemic, indicating dual burden of malnutrition. Stunting was significantly less likely among girls (OR=0·41; 95 % CI 0·21, 0·79, P<0·01) than boys. Overweight/obesity was associated with higher family socio-economic status and decreased sugar intake (OR per 10 g/d=0·89, 95 % CI 0·80, 0·99, P=0·032). The odds of anaemia decreased with age and anaemia was more likely in children with an anaemic mother (OR=2·20; 95 % CI 1·22, 3·98, P=0·007). No child, maternal or household characteristic was associated with more than one of the nutritional status outcomes, highlighting the need for condition-specific interventions in this age group.
The observed prevalences of stunting, overweight/obesity and anaemia suggest that it is critical to invest in nutrition and develop health programmes targeting early childhood growth and development in Samoa.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.