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Most theories of government growth place nearly exclusive attention on real changes in public sector activity. Yet, much nominal post–WWII government spending growth was not in the form of the public sector doing more relative to the general economy (real growth), but in the form of government activities becoming relatively more expensive (cost growth). Baumol's (1967) “cost disease” model is our best guide to understanding cost growth, but over time, Baumol has offered conflicting hypotheses about how cost growth bears on real growth. Using 1947–2012 U.S. data, we test these hypotheses, along with a more novel expectation, by modifying Berry and Lowery's (1987b) econometric models of real growth in public purchases and transfers to consider the influence of government cost growth on real public domestic spending.
Increasingly, ambulance services offer alternatives to transfer to the emergency department (ED), when this is better for patients. The introduction of electronic health records (EHR) in ambulance services is encouraged by national policy across the United Kingdom (UK) but roll-out has been variable and complex.
Electronic Records in Ambulances (ERA) is a two-year study which aims to investigate and describe the opportunities and challenges of implementing EHR and associated technology in ambulances to support a safe and effective shift to out of hospital care, including the implications for workforce in terms of training, role and clinical decision-making skills.
Our study includes a scoping review of relevant issues and a baseline assessment of progress in all UK ambulance services in implementing EHR. These will inform four in-depth case studies of services at different stages of implementation, assessing current usage, and examining context.
The scoping review identified themes including: there are many perceived potential benefits of EHR, such as improved safety and remote diagnostics, but as yet little evidence of them; technical challenges to implementation may inhibit uptake and lead to increased workload in the short term; staff implementing EHR may do so selectively or devise workarounds; and EHR may be perceived as a tool of staff surveillance.
Our scoping review identified some complex issues around the implementation of EHR and the relevant challenges, opportunities and workforce implications. These will help to inform our fieldwork and subsequent data analysis in the case study sites, to begin early in 2017. Lessons learned from the experience of implementing EHR so far should inform future development of information technology in ambulance services, and help service providers to understand how best to maximize the opportunities offered by EHR to redesign care.
Public involvement in disinvestment decision making in health care is widely advocated, and in some cases legally mandated. However, attempts to involve the public in other areas of health policy have been accused of tokenism and manipulation. This paper presents research into the views of local health care leaders in the English National Health Service (NHS) with regards to the involvement of citizens and local communities in disinvestment decision making. The research includes a Q study and follow-up interviews with a sample of health care clinicians and managers in senior roles in the English NHS. It finds that whilst initial responses suggest high levels of support for public involvement, further probing of attitudes and experiences shows higher levels of ambivalence and risk aversion and a far more cautious overall stance. This study has implications for the future of disinvestment activities and public involvement in health care systems faced with increased resource constraint. Recommendations are made for future research and practice.
With improvements in early survival following congenital heart surgery, it has become increasingly important to understand longer-term outcomes; however, routine collection of these data is challenging and remains very limited. We describe the development and initial results of a collaborative programme incorporating standardised longitudinal follow-up into usual care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and University of Michigan (UM).
We included children undergoing benchmark operations of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Considerations regarding personnel, patient/parent engagement, funding, regulatory issues, and annual data collection are described, and initial follow-up rates are reported.
The present analysis included 1737 eligible patients undergoing surgery at CHOP from January 2007 to December 2014 and 887 UM patients from January 2010 to December 2014. Overall, follow-up data, of any type, were obtained from 90.8% of patients at CHOP (median follow-up 4.3 years, 92.2% survival) and 98.3% at UM (median follow-up 2.8 years, 92.7% survival), with similar rates across operations and institutions. Most patients lost to follow-up at CHOP had undergone surgery before 2010. Standardised questionnaires assessing burden of disease/quality of life were completed by 80.2% (CHOP) and 78.4% (UM) via phone follow-up. In subsequent pilot testing of an automated e-mail system, 53.4% of eligible patients completed the follow-up questionnaire through this system.
Standardised follow-up data can be obtained on the majority of children undergoing benchmark operations. Ongoing efforts to support automated electronic systems and integration with registry data may reduce resource needs, facilitate expansion across centres, and support multi-centre efforts to understand and improve long-term outcomes in this population.
In southern Africa, wetlands of different types are an integral part of the drainage network, yet evolve and are sensitive to different combinations of geologic, climatic, geomorphic, edaphic and hydrologic controls. Understanding of these controls can help in the interpretation of environmental and climatic records from different wetland types, given that wetland sensitivity to environmental and climatic changes may vary throughout their ‘life cycle’. The chapter discusses inland wetland records from dated sites in South Africa in order to consider their significance for reconstructing late glacial and Holocene climates; and the relationship of wetlands to preservation of the Pleistocene archaeological record. Wetlands are sensitive to degradation under contemporary environmental and climatic changes, which may impact on their hydrological and ecological function as well as the integrity of associated archaeological sites.
Non-compliance with food record submission can induce bias in nutritional epidemiological analysis and make it difficult to draw inference from study findings. We examined the impact of demographic, lifestyle and psychosocial factors on such non-compliance during the first 3 years of participation in a multidisciplinary prospective paediatric study.
The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study collects a 3 d food record quarterly during the first year of life and semi-annually thereafter. High compliance with food record completion was defined as the participating families submitting one or more days of food record at every scheduled clinic visit.
Three centres in the USA (Colorado, Georgia/Florida and Washington) and three in Europe (Finland, Germany and Sweden).
Families who finished the first 3 years of TEDDY participation (n 8096).
High compliance was associated with having a single child, older maternal age, higher maternal education and father responding to study questionnaires. Families showing poor compliance were more likely to be living far from the study centres, from ethnic minority groups, living in a crowded household and not attending clinic visits regularly. Postpartum depression, maternal smoking behaviour and mother working outside the home were also independently associated with poor compliance.
These findings identified specific groups for targeted strategies to encourage completion of food records, thereby reducing potential bias in multidisciplinary collaborative research.
White matter matures with age and is important for the efficient transmission of neuronal signals. Consequently, white matter growth may underlie the development of cognitive processes important for learning, including the speed of information processing. To dissect the relationship between white matter structure and information processing speed, we administered a reaction time task (finger abduction in response to visual cue) to 27 typically developing, right-handed children aged 4 to 13. Magnetoencephalography and Diffusion Tensor Imaging were used to delineate white matter connections implicated in visual-motor information processing. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and radial diffusivity (RD) of the optic radiation in the left hemisphere, and FA and mean diffusivity (MD) of the optic radiation in the right hemisphere changed significantly with age. MD and RD decreased with age in the right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and bilaterally in the cortico-spinal tracts. No age-related changes were evident in the inferior longitudinal fasciculus. FA of the cortico-spinal tract in the left hemisphere and MD of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus of the right hemisphere contributed uniquely beyond the effect of age in accounting for reaction time performance of the right hand. Our findings support the role of white matter maturation in the development of information processing speed. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–14)
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.
The flora and fauna of Southeast Asia are exceptionally diverse. The region includes several terrestrial biodiversity hotspots and is the principal global hotspot for marine diversity, but it also faces the most intense challenges of the current global biodiversity crisis. Providing reviews, syntheses and results of the latest research into Southeast Asian earth and organismal history, this book investigates the history, present and future of the fauna and flora of this bio- and geodiverse region. Leading authorities in the field explore key topics including palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, biogeography, population genetics and conservation biology, illustrating research approaches and themes with spatially, taxonomically and methodologically focused case studies. The volume also presents methodological advances in population genetics and historical biogeography. Exploring the fascinating environmental and biotic histories of Southeast Asia, this is an ideal resource for graduate students and researchers as well as environmental NGOs.