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To evaluate broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotic use before and after the implementation of a revised febrile neutropenia management algorithm in a population of adults with hematologic malignancies.
Setting and population:
Patients admitted between 2014 and 2018 to the Adult Malignant Hematology service of an acute-care hospital in the United States.
Aggregate data for adult malignant hematology service were obtained for population-level antibiotic use: days of therapy (DOT), C. difficile infections, bacterial bloodstream infections, intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay, and in-hospital mortality. All rates are reported per 1,000 patient days before the implementation of an febrile neutropenia management algorithm (July 2014–May 2016) and after the intervention (June 2016–December 2018). These data were compared using interrupted time series analysis.
In total, 2,014 patients comprised 6,788 encounters and 89,612 patient days during the study period. Broad-spectrum intravenous (IV) antibiotic use decreased by 5.7% with immediate reductions in meropenem and vancomycin use by 22 (P = .02) and 15 (P = .001) DOT per 1,000 patient days, respectively. Bacterial bloodstream infection rates significantly increased following algorithm implementation. No differences were observed in the use of other antibiotics or safety outcomes including C. difficile infection, ICU length of stay, and in-hospital mortality.
Reductions in vancomycin and meropenem were observed following the implementation of a more stringent febrile neutropenia management algorithm, without evidence of adverse outcomes. Successful implementation occurred through a collaborative effort and continues to be a core reinforcement strategy at our institution. Future studies evaluating patient-level data may identify further stewardship opportunities in this population.
Dopaminergic imaging is an established biomarker for dementia with Lewy bodies, but its diagnostic accuracy at the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage remains uncertain.
To provide robust prospective evidence of the diagnostic accuracy of dopaminergic imaging at the MCI stage to either support or refute its inclusion as a biomarker for the diagnosis of MCI with Lewy bodies.
We conducted a prospective diagnostic accuracy study of baseline dopaminergic imaging with [123I]N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane single-photon emission computerised tomography (123I-FP-CIT SPECT) in 144 patients with MCI. Images were rated as normal or abnormal by a panel of experts with access to striatal binding ratio results. Follow-up consensus diagnosis based on the presence of core features of Lewy body disease was used as the reference standard.
At latest assessment (mean 2 years) 61 patients had probable MCI with Lewy bodies, 26 possible MCI with Lewy bodies and 57 MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. The sensitivity of baseline FP-CIT visual rating for probable MCI with Lewy bodies was 66% (95% CI 52–77%), specificity 88% (76–95%) and accuracy 76% (68–84%), with positive likelihood ratio 5.3.
It is over five times as likely for an abnormal scan to be found in probable MCI with Lewy bodies than MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. Dopaminergic imaging appears to be useful at the MCI stage in cases where Lewy body disease is suspected clinically.
Despite increasing attention to the importance of diverse research participants, success across the translational research spectrum remains limited. To assess investigator and research team training needs, we conducted a web-based survey exploring barriers in knowledge and practice. Respondents (n = 279) included those affiliated with the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). Although all respondents reported an abstract belief in the importance of diversity, factors associated with higher levels of best practices knowledge and implementation included: (1) use of federal funding; (2) having fewer years of experience; (3) recruiting healthy participants; and (4) having recruitment training.
We implemented universal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing of patients undergoing surgical procedures as a means to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). The rate of asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was <0.5%, which suggests that early local public health interventions were successful. Although our protocol was resource intensive, it prevented exposures to healthcare team members.
This chapter provides detailed practical information about testing for sperm antibodies and interpretation of the results of various antibody tests. It also briefly reviews our knowledge about anti-sperm antibodies (ASA) in males and females and outlines several lines of evidence regarding the predisposing factors for sperm immunity in men and women.
Use of antipsychotic drugs in long-term aged care (LTC) is prevalent and commonly exceeds the recommended duration, but contributors to this problem are not well understood. The objective of this study is to provide a snapshot of the features of and contributors to prolonged use of antipsychotic medications (>12 weeks) among a sample of LTC residents.
We present retrospective and baseline data collected for the Australian Halting Antipsychotic Use in Long-Term Care (HALT) single-arm longitudinal deprescribing trial.
Twenty-four long-term care facilities in Sydney, Australia.
The HALT study included 146 older people living in 24 Sydney LTC homes who had been prescribed a regular antipsychotic medication for at least 3 months at baseline.
Detailed file audit was conducted to identify the date and indication recorded at initial prescription, consenting practices, longitudinal course of prescribing, and recommendations for review of antipsychotic medication. Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and functional dependence at baseline were assessed via LTC staff interview. Cognition at baseline was assessed in a participant interview (where possible).
Antipsychotics were prescribed for 2.2 years on average despite recommendations by a doctor or pharmacist for review in 62% of cases. Consent for antipsychotic prescription was accessible for only one case and contraindications for use were common. Longer use of antipsychotics was independently associated with higher dose of the antipsychotic drug and greater apathy, but not with other BPSD.
Antipsychotic medications appeared to be prescribed in this sample as a maintenance treatment in the absence of active indicated symptoms and without informed consent. Standard interventions, including recommendations for review, had been insufficient to ensure evidence-based prescribing.
Translocation of species to areas of former habitat after threats have been mitigated is a common conservation action. However, the long-term success of reintroduction relies on identification of currently available habitat and areas that will remain, or become, habitat in the future. Commonly, a short-term view is taken, focusing on obvious and assumed threats such as predators and habitat degradation. However, in areas subject to significant climate change, challenges include correctly identifying variables that define habitat, and considering probable changes over time. This poses challenges with species such as the western ground parrot Pezoporus flaviventris, which was once relatively common in near-coastal south-western Australia, an area subject to major climate change. This species has declined to one small population, estimated to comprise < 150 individuals. Reasons for the decline include altered fire regimes, introduced predators and habitat clearing. The establishment of new populations is a high priority, but the extent to which a rapidly changing climate has affected, and will continue to affect, this species remains largely conjecture, and understanding probable climate change impacts is essential to the prioritization of potential reintroduction sites. We developed high-resolution species distribution models and used these to investigate climate change impacts on current and historical distributions, and identify locations that will remain, or become, bioclimatically suitable habitat in the future. This information has been given to an expert panel to identify and prioritize areas suitable for site-specific management and/or translocation.
The OPTIMA mood disorders service is a newly established specialist programme for people with bipolar disorder requiring frequent admissions. This audit compared data on hospital admissions and home treatment team (HTT) spells in patients before entry to and after discharge from the core programme. We included patients admitted between April 2015 and March 2017 who were subsequently discharged. Basic demographic data and numbers of admissions and HTT spells three years before and after discharge were collected and analysed.
Thirty patients who completed the programme were included in the analyses. The median monthly rate of hospital admissions after OPTIMA was significantly reduced compared with the rate prior to the programme. HTT utilisation was numerically reduced, but this difference was not statistically significant.
These results highlight the effectiveness and importance of individually tailored, specialist care for patients with bipolar disorder following discharge from hospital.
Following stage 1 palliation, delayed sternal closure may be used as a technique to enhance thoracic compliance but may also prolong the length of stay and increase the risk of infection.
We reviewed all neonates undergoing stage 1 palliation at our institution between 2010 and 2017 to describe the effects of delayed sternal closure.
During the study period, 193 patients underwent stage 1 palliation, of whom 12 died before an attempt at sternal closure. Among the 25 patients who underwent primary sternal closure, 4 (16%) had sternal reopening within 24 hours. Among the 156 infants who underwent delayed sternal closure at 4 [3,6] days post-operatively, 11 (7.1%) had one or more failed attempts at sternal closure. Patients undergoing primary sternal closure had a shorter duration of mechanical ventilation and intensive care unit length of stay. Patients who failed delayed sternal closure had a longer aortic cross-clamp time (123±42 versus 99±35 minutes, p=0.029) and circulatory arrest time (39±28 versus 19±17 minutes, p=0.0009) than those who did not fail. Failure of delayed sternal closure was also closely associated with Technical Performance Score: 1.3% of patients with a score of 1 failed sternal closure compared with 18.9% of patients with a score of 3 (p=0.0028). Among the haemodynamic and ventilatory parameters studied, only superior caval vein saturation following sternal closure was different between patients who did and did not fail sternal closure (30±7 versus 42±10%, p=0.002). All patients who failed sternal closure did so within 24 hours owing to hypoxaemia, hypercarbia, or haemodynamic impairment.
When performed according to our current clinical practice, sternal closure causes transient and mild changes in haemodynamic and ventilatory parameters. Monitoring of SvO2 following sternal closure may permit early identification of patients at risk for failure.
Testosterone influences well-being, mood and cognition and may play a role in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder.
To examine testosterone levels in patients with bipolar disorder compared with healthy controls.
We examined baseline total testosterone levels and current depression scores in male and female patients with bipolar disorder and mild to moderate depression and healthy controls.
A significant interaction between diagnosis and gender was observed (F(2,97)=9.791, P=0.002). Testosterone levels were significantly lower for male patients with bipolar disorder compared with male controls (P=0.001). Women with bipolar disorder had significantly higher testosterone levels than female controls (P=0.03).
Disturbances in testosterone levels may represent an important neurobiological abnormality in bipolar disorder and may differ by gender. If these findings are confirmed, the use of gender appropriate treatment strategies for the normalisation of testosterone levels in bipolar disorder depression should be further explored.
Inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications to manage Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) continues despite revised guidelines and evidence for the associated risks and side effects. The aim of the Halting Antipsychotic Use in Long-Term care (HALT) project is to identify residents of long-term care (LTC) facilities on antipsychotic medications, and undertake an intervention to deprescribe (or cease) these medicines and improve non-pharmacological behavior management.
LTC facilities will be recruited across Sydney, Australia. Resident inclusion criteria will be aged over 60 years, on regular antipsychotic medication, and without a primary psychotic illness or very severe BPSD, as measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Data collection will take place one month and one week prior to commencement of deprescribing; and 3, 6 and 12 months later. During the period prior to deprescribing, training will be provided for care staff on how to reduce and manage BPSD using person-centered approaches, and general practitioners of participants will be provided academic detailing. The primary outcome measure will be reduction of regular antipsychotic medication without use of substitute psychotropic medications. Secondary outcome measures will be NPI total and domain scores, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory scores and adverse events, including falls and hospitalizations.
While previous studies have described strategies to minimize inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications in people with dementia living in long-term care, sustainability and a culture of prescribing for BPSD in aged care remain challenges. The HALT project aims to evaluate the feasibility of a multi-disciplinary approach for deprescribing antipsychotics in this population.
Background: Psychological therapy services are often required to demonstrate their effectiveness and are implementing systematic monitoring of patient progress. A system for measuring patient progress might usefully ‘inform supervision’ and help patients who are not progressing in therapy. Aims: To examine if continuous monitoring of patient progress through the supervision process was more effective in improving patient outcomes compared with giving feedback to therapists alone in routine NHS psychological therapy. Method: Using a stepped wedge randomized controlled design, continuous feedback on patient progress during therapy was given either to the therapist and supervisor to be discussed in clinical supervison (MeMOS condition) or only given to the therapist (S-Sup condition). If a patient failed to progress in the MeMOS condition, an alert was triggered and sent to both the therapist and supervisor. Outcome measures were completed at beginning of therapy, end of therapy and at 6-month follow-up and session-by-session ratings. Results: No differences in clinical outcomes of patients were found between MeMOS and S-Sup conditions. Patients in the MeMOS condition were rated as improving less, and more ill. They received fewer therapy sessions. Conclusions: Most patients failed to improve in therapy at some point. Patients’ recovery was not affected by feeding back outcomes into the supervision process. Therapists rated patients in the S-Sup condition as improving more and being less ill than patients in MeMOS. Those patients in MeMOS had more complex problems.
“When Red Pigeons Gathered on Tang's House” (Chi jiu zhi ji Tang zhi wu 赤之集湯之屋) is a Warring States period bamboo manuscript written in the script of the Chu state. It concerns figures that are well known in historical legend: Tang 湯, the founder of the Shang dynasty; his wife; his minister Yi Yin 伊尹, here called by the title xiaochen 小臣 [minor servitor]; and the last king of the Xia dynasty, here called simply the Xia Lord (xia hou 夏后). These figures have their familiar identities, but the tale recorded in the manuscript is unique and has no apparent political or philosophical import. The protagonist, Xiaochen, is Tang's cook, but he does not play the role of founding minister raised up by a future king. Moreover, he is associated with a nexus of motifs associated with shamans, including spirit possession. He acquires clairvoyance after eating a soup of magic red birds (jiu 鳩, [pigeons] or hu 鵠 [cranes]) intended for Tang. After fleeing from an angry Tang, he is possessed by a spirit-medium raven. He then cures the illness of the Xia Lord by having him move his house and kill the yellow snakes and white rabbits under his bed. One rabbit escapes and the story concludes that this is why parapets are placed on houses, suggesting that the context of the story was the construction of a building. Thus, it may have been similar to a historiola, narrated in a ritual to sanctify houses after the placement of the parapet, thus preventing illness among the inhabitants.