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Introduction: Providing comfort care support at home without transport to hospital has not traditionally been part of paramedic practice. The innovative Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home Program includes a new clinical practice guideline, medications, a database to share goals of care, and palliative care training. This study aimed to determine essential elements for scale and spread of this model of care through the application of an implementation science model, the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Methods: Deliberative dialogue sessions were held with paramedic, palliative care, primary care, and administrative experts in a province that had the Program (Nova Scotia, March 2018) and one that had not (British Columbia, July 2018). Sessions were audio recorded and transcribed. The CFIR was used as the foundation for a framework analysis, which was conducted by four team members independently. Themes were derived by consensus with the broader research team. Results: Inter-sectoral communication between paramedics and other health care providers was key, and challenging due to privacy concerns. Relationships with health care providers are critical to promoting the new model of care to patients, managing expectations, and providing follow up/ongoing care. Training was an essential characteristic of the intervention that can be adapted to suit local needs, although cost is a factor. There were challenges due to the culture and implementation climate as a shift in the mindset of paramedics away from traditional roles is required to implement the model. Paramedic champions can play an important role in shifting the mindset of paramedics towards a new way of practice Conclusion: The CFIR construct of cosmopolitanism, emphasizing the importance of breaking down silos and engaging diverse stakeholders, emerged as one of the most important. This will be helpful for successful scale and spread of the program.
Introduction: Overcrowding in the Emergency Department (ED) results in delays in care, and increased patient morbidity and mortality. Innovative departmental approaches have the potential to make patient flow through the ED more efficient and reduce overcrowding by improving patient throughput. The Calgary zone ED recently piloted a new physician role, the Emergency Physician Lead (EPL), a senior physician working closely with the charge nurse and consulting services to provide physician leadership, and to troubleshoot flow issues and safety breeches such as EMS offload delays and long emergency inpatient (EIP) stays. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the EPL by determining its effect on key metrics of patient flow, and by identifying which specific EPL interventions were most effective at improving patient throughput. Methods: A retrospective cohort design was used to compare Foothills Medical Centre (FMC) ED patients seen by the EPL from March-June 2019 (n = 1343 patients) with a control group from the same period in 2018 (n = 5530). An EMR search was used to collect patient data and generate descriptive statistics, which were compared between groups by Mann-Whitney U-test. Patient handover notes left by the EPL were also collected and analyzed by two independent assessors to develop a list of actions taken by the EPL. Each patient was then coded based on the actions in the handover note, and means for each coded group were compared to control to find correlations between action and changes in key flow metrics. Results: Patients whose care involved the EPL had a 40% shorter average ED length of stay (ELOS) compared to control (515 vs 865 min, p < 0.001). The EPL was especially effective for patients with ELOS above the 90th percentile, with a 58% relative reduction. EPL patients also had lower average times from first contact with the department to first order being placed (79 vs 143 min, p < 0.001), and spent less time as EIPs after being admitted (390 vs 515 mins, p < 0.001). EPL actions aimed at early ordering of investigations or early management showed the largest relative reductions in ELOS, followed by actions related to resolving issues with consulting services (56% and 48% respectively, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The EPL role appears to be associated with improvements in several key metrics of patient flow. Specific EPL actions were correlated with marked decreases in length of stay. The EPL may be an effective strategy to improve patient throughput and combat ED overcrowding.
ICD-10 delineates Acute and Transient Psychotic Disorders (ATPD, F 23) as distinct from schizophrenia and affective psychosis. We investigated the descriptive epidemiology of ATPD and predictive validity of the diagnosis, compared its three-year outcomes with affective psychosis and schizophrenia, and explored whether acute onset and early remission identify a distinct good outcome subgroup in non-affective psychoses.
Between 1992-1994, all first-episode psychosis patients in Nottingham were identified and assigned an intake ICD-10 diagnosis. Patients were assessed three years later using established outcome measures and longitudinal diagnosis assigned. Multivariate analyses were conducted to determine whether acute onset and early remission predicted favourable three-year outcome in non-affective psychotic disorders.
Of 168 cases of first-episode psychosis, 112 received an intake diagnosis of non-affective psychoses (F20-29) and 32 (19%) of ATPD (F23). ATPD diagnosis was stable in women over three years, but not in men. Outcomes of ATPD were better than schizophrenia and similar to affective psychosis. In non-affective psychoses, favourable outcomes were a function of gender and good premorbid functioning rather than acute onset and early remission.
ICD-10 ATPD criteria identify a diagnostically unstable group of disorders consisting of ‘good outcome’ schizophrenia, affective psychosis and a very small group of ‘true’ non-affective, non-schizophrenic acute and transient psychoses. Although ATPD have a better outcome than schizophrenia, in non-affective psychoses, acute onset and early remission do not independently predict favourable outcome over three years.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
The dissolution of the United Kingdom’s vitrified high-level-waste simulant, CaZn MW28, was investigated following the Product Consistency Test-B protocol for 112 d at 90 °C and in ultra-high-quality water. Residual rate dissolution (stage II) and rate resumption (stage III), after 28 d, was observed. Thermodynamic modelling suggested that solutions were saturated with respect to Mg- and Zn-bearing phases, and the presence of Mg- and Zn-smectite clays was tentatively observed. The formation of these phases was concurrent with a significant increase in the dissolution rate, similar to Stage III behavior seen in other nuclear waste simulant glass materials, indicating that the addition of Mg and Zn to high-level-waste glass (7.3 wt. % combined) significantly influences the dissolution rate.
Head and neck soft tissue sarcoma is uncommon. It is both histologically and clinically heterogeneous, ranging from an indolent, locally destructive tumour, to a locally aggressive neoplasm with metastatic potential.
A retrospective review was conducted of all adult head and neck soft tissue sarcomas, including cases of malignant soft tissue sarcoma and all intermediate type tumours, diagnosed between 1997 and 2012.
Sixty-eight cases were identified in this series from the sarcoma multidisciplinary team. Seventeen different histological subtypes of sarcoma were identified. Neither age, gender nor tumour size were significant prognostic indicators for survival in this series.
Prognosis is dependent on histological subtype, underscoring the importance of histological classification. Some histological subtypes occur only once or twice in a decade, even within a large regional referral centre. An accumulation of evidence from relatively small case series is key in the long-term development of treatment strategies.
Stability of a solitary wave disturbed by a submerged flat sill is investigated experimentally. For sills narrow compared with the solitary wave, the transmitted waves are found to be unaffected in waveform and amplitude. A wider sill disturbs the solitary wave resulting in the formation of a dispersive wavetrain following the transmitted wave. In some cases, the wave amplitude recovers, despite being perturbed, to the state of an unobstructed solitary-wave state at a certain distance beyond the sill. Wider sills cause wave breaking that occurs over the sill or, in some cases, after the wave passes through the sill. Details of waveform transformation leading toward the breaking and subsequent energy dissipation are discussed.
Highly radioactive waste is incorporated into a glass matrix to convert it into a safe, passive form suitable for long-term storage and disposal. It is currently known that alpha decay can generate gaseous species, which can nucleate into bubbles, either through the production of helium or from ballistic collisions with the glass network that liberate oxygen. An effective method to probe this phenomenon utilizes ion beams to either directly implant helium or investigate the damage due to ballistic collisions. This paper provides an overview of the methodology, summarizes the results of current studies, and draws comparisons between them. We find that the irradiation scheme as well as the temperature and composition of the glass are important in determining whether bubble formation will occur. We also explore how analytical techniques can promote bubble formation and suggest avenues for further work.
During the past two decades, it has been amply documented that neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs) disproportionately account for burden of illness attributable to chronic non-communicable medical disorders globally. It is also likely that human capital costs attributable to NPDs will disproportionately increase as a consequence of population aging and beneficial risk factor modification of other common and chronic medical disorders (e.g., cardiovascular disease). Notwithstanding the availability of multiple modalities of antidepressant treatment, relatively few studies in psychiatry have primarily sought to determine whether improving cognitive function in MDD improves patient reported outcomes (PROs) and/or is cost effective. The mediational relevance of cognition in MDD potentially extrapolates to all NPDs, indicating that screening for, measuring, preventing, and treating cognitive deficits in psychiatry is not only a primary therapeutic target, but also should be conceptualized as a transdiagnostic domain to be considered regardless of patient age and/or differential diagnosis.
Legionnaires’ disease (LD) incidence in the USA has quadrupled since 2000. Health departments must detect LD outbreaks quickly to identify and remediate sources. We tested the performance of a system to prospectively detect simulated LD outbreaks in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA. We generated three simulated LD outbreaks based on published outbreaks. After verifying no significant clusters existed in surveillance data during 2014–2016, we embedded simulated outbreak-associated cases into 2016, assigning simulated residences and report dates. We mimicked daily analyses in 2016 using the prospective space-time permutation scan statistic to detect clusters of ⩽30 and ⩽180 days using 365-day and 730-day baseline periods, respectively. We used recurrence interval (RI) thresholds of ⩾20, ⩾100 and ⩾365 days to define significant signals. We calculated sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values for daily analyses, separately for each embedded outbreak. Two large, simulated cooling tower-associated outbreaks were detected. As the RI threshold was increased, sensitivity and negative predictive value decreased, while positive predictive value and specificity increased. A small, simulated potable water-associated outbreak was not detected. Use of a RI threshold of ⩾100 days minimised time-to-detection while maximizing positive predictive value. Health departments should consider using this system to detect community-acquired LD outbreaks.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a candidate biomarker for major depressive disorder (MDD), but it is unclear how peripheral CRP levels relate to the heterogeneous clinical phenotypes of the disorder.
To explore CRP in MDD and its phenotypic associations.
We recruited 102 treatment-resistant patients with MDD currently experiencing depression, 48 treatment-responsive patients with MDD not currently experiencing depression, 48 patients with depression who were not receiving medication and 54 healthy volunteers. High-sensitivity CRP in peripheral venous blood, body mass index (BMI) and questionnaire assessments of depression, anxiety and childhood trauma were measured. Group differences in CRP were estimated, and partial least squares (PLS) analysis explored the relationships between CRP and specific clinical phenotypes.
Compared with healthy volunteers, BMI-corrected CRP was significantly elevated in the treatment-resistant group (P = 0.007; Cohen's d = 0.47); but not significantly so in the treatment-responsive (d = 0.29) and untreated (d = 0.18) groups. PLS yielded an optimal two-factor solution that accounted for 34.7% of variation in clinical measures and for 36.0% of variation in CRP. Clinical phenotypes most strongly associated with CRP and heavily weighted on the first PLS component were vegetative depressive symptoms, BMI, state anxiety and feeling unloved as a child or wishing for a different childhood.
CRP was elevated in patients with MDD, and more so in treatment-resistant patients. Other phenotypes associated with elevated CRP included childhood adversity and specific depressive and anxious symptoms. We suggest that patients with MDD stratified for proinflammatory biomarkers, like CRP, have a distinctive clinical profile that might be responsive to second-line treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs.
Declaration of interest
S.R.C. consults for Cambridge Cognition and Shire; and his input in this project was funded by a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship (110049/Z/15/Z). E.T.B. is employed half time by the University of Cambridge and half time by GlaxoSmithKline; he holds stock in GlaxoSmithKline. In the past 3 years, P.J.C. has served on an advisory board for Lundbeck. N.A.H. consults for GlaxoSmithKline. P.d.B., D.N.C.J. and W.C.D. are employees of Janssen Research & Development, LLC., of Johnson & Johnson, and hold stock in Johnson & Johnson. The other authors report no financial disclosures or potential conflicts of interest.
Pathological worry is a hallmark feature of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), associated with dysfunctional emotional processing. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is involved in the regulation of such processes, but the link between vmPFC emotional responses and pathological v. adaptive worry has not yet been examined.
To study the association between worry and vmPFC activity evoked by the processing of learned safety and threat signals.
In total, 27 unmedicated patients with GAD and 56 healthy controls (HC) underwent a differential fear conditioning paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Compared to HC, the GAD group demonstrated reduced vmPFC activation to safety signals and no safety–threat processing differentiation. This response was positively correlated with worry severity in GAD, whereas the same variables showed a negative and weak correlation in HC.
Poor vmPFC safety–threat differentiation might characterise GAD, and its distinctive association with GAD worries suggests a neural-based qualitative difference between healthy and pathological worries.
The majority of fast radio bursts (FRBs) are poorly localised, hindering their potential scientific yield as galactic, intergalactic, and cosmological probes. LOFT-e, a digital backend for the U.K.’s e-MERLIN seven-telescope interferometer will provide commensal search and real-time detection of FRBs, taking full advantage of its field of view (FoV), sensitivity, and observation time. Upon burst detection, LOFT-e will store raw data offline, enabling the sub-arcsecond localisation provided by e-MERLIN and expanding the pool of localised FRBs. The high-time resolution backend will additionally introduce pulsar observing capabilities to e-MERLIN.