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Introduction: Competency based medical education (CBME) has triggered widespread utilization of workplace-based assessment (WBA) tools in postgraduate training programs. These WBAs predominately use rating scales with entrustment anchors, such as the Ottawa Surgical Competency Operating Room Evaluation (O-SCORE). However, little is known about the factors that influence a supervising physician's decision to assign a particular rating on scales using entrustment anchors. This study aimed to identify the factors that influence supervisors’ ratings of trainees using WBA tools with entrustment anchors at the time of assessment and to explore the experiences with and challenges of using entrustment anchors in the emergency department (ED). Methods: A convenience sample of full-time emergency medicine (EM) faculty were recruited from two sites within a single academic Canadian EM hospital system. Fifty semi-structured interviews were conducted with EM physicians within two hours of completing a WBA for an EM trainee. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and independently analyzed by two members of the research team. Themes were stratified by trainee level, rating and task. Results: Interviews involved 73% (27/37) of all EM staff and captured assessments completed on 83% (37/50) of EM trainees. The mean WBA rating of studied samples was 4.34 ± 0.77 (2 to 5), which was similar to the mean rating of all WBAs completed during the study period. Overall, six major factors were identified that influenced staff WBA ratings: amount of guidance required, perceived competence through discussion and questioning, trainee experience, clinical context, past experience working with the trainee, and perceived confidence. The majority of staff denied struggling to assign ratings. However, when they did struggle, it involved the interpretation of WBA anchors and their application to the clinical context in the ED. Conclusion: Several factors appear to be taken into account by clinical supervisors when they make decisions regarding the particular rating that they will assign a trainee on a WBA that uses entrustment anchors. Not all of these factors are specific to that particular clinical encounter. The results from this study further our understanding on the use of entrustment anchors within the ED and may facilitate faculty development regarding WBA completion as we move forward in CBME.
All multicellular organisms, be they heterotroph or autotroph, saprophyte or detritivore, herbivore or carnivore, harbour a distinct microbiome that is adapted to aid the flow of nutrients to its host. Often these symbioses have a long evolutionary history. This microbially mediated release of nutrients has implications for host health at the organismal scale, as well as environmental turnover and regulation of nutrient cycles on the global scale. Classic examples of plant–soil nutrient dynamics include symbiotic nitrogen fixation by rhizobia and Frankia spp. in leguminous and non-leguminous species, respectively, and the mycorrhizal symbioses that facilitate the release of phosphorous for plants by fungi in return for carbon produced via photosynthesis. A number of invertebrate–microbe symbioses have also been studied in detail, including aphids and nutrient-fixing symbionts, fungal gardens of leafcutter ants and termites, and honeybees and pollen digestion. We provide an overview of these here, in addition to the interactions between gut microbes and nutrition in vertebrates, particularly humans and agriculturally important species.
The field of two-dimensional (2D) materials remains a key area of scientific research today, generating continual interest for electronic, sensing, and quantum technology. As the field progresses beyond proof-of-concept devices, experimental and analytical methods and results must be scrutinized to ensure the veracity of scientific claims. Here, some favored synthesis and characterization techniques within the 2D material (2DM) community and certain limitations inherent to these techniques are discussed. The authors highlight select caveats of solid-source and seed-promoted synthesis techniques, such as difficulties in reproducibility and compromised electrical performance of films synthesized with nucleation agents. Furthermore, the importance of careful characterization methodology in determining 2DM layer number, stoichiometry, and dopant effects is discussed. This article is intended to further educate researchers regarding select techniques and claims in the 2DMs field.
MD-PhD training programs train physician-scientists to pursue careers involving both clinical care and research, but decreasing numbers of physician-scientists stay engaged in clinical research. We sought to identify current clinical research training methods utilized by MD–PhD programs and to assess how effective they are in promoting self-efficacy for clinical research.
The US MD–PhD students were surveyed in April–May 2018. Students identified the clinical research training methods they participated in, and self-efficacy in clinical research was determined using a modified 12-item Clinical Research Appraisal Inventory.
Responses were received from 61 of 108 MD–PhD institutions. Responses were obtained from 647 MD–PhD students in all years of training. The primary methods of clinical research training included no clinical research training, and various combinations of didactics, mentored clinical research, and a clinical research practicum. Students with didactics plus mentored clinical research had similar self-efficacy as those with didactics plus clinical research practicum. Training activities that differentiated students who did and did not have the clinical research practicum experience and were associated with higher self-efficacy included exposure to Institutional Review Boards and participation in human subject recruitment.
A clinical research practicum was found to be an effective option for MD–PhD students conducting basic science research to gain experience in clinical research skills. Clinical research self-efficacy was correlated with the amount of clinical research training and specific clinical research tasks, which may inform curriculum development for a variety of clinical and translational research training programs, for example, MD–PhD, TL1, and KL2.
Spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFG) are a neglected group of bacteria, belonging to the genus Rickettsia, that represent a large number of new and emerging infectious diseases with a worldwide distribution. The diseases are zoonotic and are transmitted by arthropod vectors, mainly ticks, fleas and mites, to hosts such as wild animals. Domesticated animals and humans are accidental hosts. In Asia, local people in endemic areas as well as travellers to these regions are at high risk of infection. In this review we compare SFG molecular and serological diagnostic methods and discuss their limitations. While there is a large range of molecular diagnostics and serological assays, both approaches have limitations and a positive result is dependent on the timing of sample collection. There is an increasing need for less expensive and easy-to-use diagnostic tests. However, despite many tests being available, their lack of suitability for use in resource-limited regions is of concern, as many require technical expertise, expensive equipment and reagents. In addition, many existing diagnostic tests still require rigorous validation in the regions and populations where these tests may be used, in particular to establish coherent and worthwhile cut-offs. It is likely that the best strategy is to use a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and immunofluorescence assay in tandem. If the specimen is collected early enough in the infection there will be no antibodies but there will be a greater chance of a PCR positive result. Conversely, when there are detectable antibodies it is less likely that there will be a positive PCR result. It is therefore extremely important that a complete medical history is provided especially the number of days of fever prior to sample collection. More effort is required to develop and validate SFG diagnostics and those of other rickettsial infections.
To examine factors that influence decision-making, preferences, and plans related to advance care planning (ACP) and end-of-life care among persons with dementia and their caregivers, and examine how these may differ by race.
13 geographically dispersed Alzheimer’s Disease Centers across the United States.
431 racially diverse caregivers of persons with dementia.
Survey on “Care Planning for Individuals with Dementia.”
The respondents were knowledgeable about dementia and hospice care, indicated the person with dementia would want comfort care at the end stage of illness, and reported high levels of both legal ACP (e.g., living will; 87%) and informal ACP discussions (79%) for the person with dementia. However, notable racial differences were present. Relative to white persons with dementia, African American persons with dementia were reported to have a lower preference for comfort care (81% vs. 58%) and lower rates of completion of legal ACP (89% vs. 73%). Racial differences in ACP and care preferences were also reflected in geographic differences. Additionally, African American study partners had a lower level of knowledge about dementia and reported a greater influence of religious/spiritual beliefs on the desired types of medical treatments. Notably, all respondents indicated that more information about the stages of dementia and end-of-life health care options would be helpful.
Educational programs may be useful in reducing racial differences in attitudes towards ACP. These programs could focus on the clinical course of dementia and issues related to end-of-life care, including the importance of ACP.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection can cause serious illness including haemolytic uraemic syndrome. The role of socio-economic status (SES) in differential clinical presentation and exposure to potential risk factors amongst STEC cases has not previously been reported in England. We conducted an observational study using a dataset of all STEC cases identified in England, 2010–2015. Odds ratios for clinical characteristics of cases and foodborne, waterborne and environmental risk factors were estimated using logistic regression, stratified by SES, adjusting for baseline demographic factors. Incidence was higher in the highest SES group compared to the lowest (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.19–2.00). Odds of Accident and Emergency attendance (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10–1.75) and hospitalisation (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.36–2.15) because of illness were higher in the most disadvantaged compared to the least, suggesting potential lower ascertainment of milder cases or delayed care-seeking behaviour in disadvantaged groups. Advantaged individuals were significantly more likely to report salad/fruit/vegetable/herb consumption (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.16–2.17), non-UK or UK travel (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.40–2.27; OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.35–2.56) and environmental exposures (walking in a paddock, OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.22–2.70; soil contact, OR 1.52, 95% CI 2.13–1.09) suggesting other unmeasured risks, such as person-to-person transmission, could be more important in the most disadvantaged group.
Benefit-cost analyses of education policies in low- and middle-income countries have historically used the effect of education on future wages to estimate benefits. Strong evidence also points to female education reducing both the under-five mortality rates of their children and adult mortality rates. A more complete analysis would thus add the value of mortality risk reduction to wage increases. This paper estimates how net benefits and benefit-cost ratios respond to the values used to estimate education’s mortality-reducing impact including variation in these estimates. We utilize a ‘standardized sensitivity analysis’ to generate a range of valuations of education’s impact on mortality risks. We include alternative ways of adjusting these values for income and age differences. Our analysis is for one additional year of schooling in lower-middle-income countries, incremental to the current mean. Our analysis shows a range of benefit-cost ratios ranging from 3.2 to 6.7, and net benefits ranging from $2,800 to $7,300 per student. Benefits from mortality risk reductions account for 40% to 70% of the overall benefits depending on the scenario. Thus, accounting for changes in mortality risks in addition to wage increases noticeably enhances the value of already attractive education investments.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: The study aims to determine the current clinical research training interventions of MD-PhD programs and how effective they are in promoting clinical research self-efficacy. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: A national survey of MD-PhD trainees was conducted in 2018 to identify clinical research training methods and self-efficacy for clinical research skills. MD-PhD program directors and coordinators from 108 institutions were asked to distribute the survey to their students. Responses were received from 61 institutions (56.5%). Responses were obtained from 647 MD-PhD students in all years of training, representing 17.9% of the 3613 possible participants at the 61 medical schools represented. No compensation was provided for this study. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The primary methods of clinical research training reported by students included didactics, mentored clinical research, didactics plus mentored clinical research, didactics plus clinical research practicum, and didactics plus mentored clinical research plus clinical research practicum. A quarter of all participants reported having no clinical research training. Clinical research self-efficacy was then correlated with the amount of clinical research training. Students exposed to no clinical research had the lowest self-efficacy in clinical research skills and students experiencing didactics plus mentored clinical research plus clinical research practicum had the highest perceived self-efficacy in clinical research domains. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: This is one of the first studies assessing clinical research training methods for MD-PhD students and assessing their efficacy. We found that of all students questioned, 25% mentioned had not received any type of clinical research training. The remaining students identified 5 research training methods that institutions currently use. This work highlights the importance of clinical research experience students need to improve their self-efficacy, a major influence on research career outcomes.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: The Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) metric was created by the American Heart Association with the goal of educating the public on seven modifiable factors that contribute to heart health. While it is well documented that these ideal health behaviors lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general population, the association between the LS7 ideal health metrics and end stage renal disease (ESRD) risk has not been examined in a lower socioeconomic population at high risk for both ESRD and CVD. Our objective is to examine the association between the LS7 score and incident ESRD in a cohort of white and black men and women in the southeastern US, where rates of CVD and ESRD are high. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: The Southern Community Cohort Study recruited ~86,000 low-income blacks and whites in the southeastern US (2002-2009). Utilizing a nested case-control design, our analysis included 1628 incident cases of ESRD identified via linkage of the cohort with the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) from January 1, 2002 to March 31, 2015. Controls (n = 4884) were individually matched 3:1 with ESRD cases based on age, sex, and race. Demographic, medical, and lifestyle information were obtained via baseline questionnaire. The AHA definitions for ideal health were used for non-smoking (never or quit >12 months), body mass index (BMI<25kg/m2) and physical activity (>75 min/week of vigorous physical activity or >150min/week of moderate/vigorous activity). Modified definitions were used for consuming a healthy diet [Healthy Eating Index (HEI10) score>70] and for blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, and total cholesterol, based on self-reported no history of diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia, respectively. The number of ideal health parameters were summed to generate the LS7 score, which ranged from 0-7 with higher scores indicating more ideal health. Adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for incident ESRD associated with LS7 score were calculated using conditional logistic regression models, adjusting for income and education. The SCCS ESRD case-cohort dataset will be available by TS 2019 and analyses will be completed to adjust for baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) as a marker of kidney function and to examine whether eGFR modifies the relationship between LS7 and incident ESRD. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: At baseline, mean age was 54 years, 55% (3600) of participants were women, and 87% (5656) were black. A total of 58% (943) of ESRD cases were non-smokers compared to 54% (2633) of controls. ESRD cases had higher prevalence of BMI>25 kg/m2 (81% vs. 74%), hypertension (84% vs. 59%), hypercholesterolemia (48% vs. 34%), and diabetes (66% vs. 22%) compared to controls. A total of 18% (839) of controls and 12% (194) of ESRD cases met ideal exercise recommendations, and 20% of either cases (302) or controls (916) had a HEI10 score above 70. The median LS7 score for controls and ESRD cases was 3 and 2, respectively, and 17% (983) of participants had a low score (0-1) while 2% (105) met 6 or 7 ideal health metrics. Higher LS7 score was associated with lower odds of ESRD (P-trend<0.001). Participants with LS7 score >3 (above median) had 75% reduced odds of ESRD (OR 0.25; 95% CI 0.22, 0.29) compared to those with a score of 2 or less. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: In the SCCS population, the presence of any 3 or more ideal health behaviors is associated with reduced odds of developing ESRD. The components of the LS7 represent important modifiable risk factors that may be targets for future interventions driven by the patient. The attributable risk due to each factor is needed to dissect which ideal behaviors are the most beneficial.
Investing in global health and development requires making difficult choices about what policies to pursue and what level of resources to devote to different initiatives. Methods of economic evaluation are well established and widely used to quantify and compare the impacts of alternative investments. However, if not well conducted and clearly reported, these evaluations can lead to erroneous conclusions. Differences in analytic methods and assumptions can obscure important differences in impacts. To increase the comparability of these evaluations, improve their quality, and expand their use, this special issue includes a series of papers developed to support reference case guidance for benefit-cost analysis. In this introductory article, we discuss the background and context for this work, summarize the process we are following, describe the overall framework, and introduce the articles that follow.
There is strong interest in both developing and developed countries toward expanding health insurance coverage. How should the benefits, and costs, of expanded coverage be measured? While the value of reducing the financial risks that result from insurance coverage have long been recognized, there has been less attention in how best to measure such benefits. In this paper, we first provide a framework for assessing the financial value from health insurance. We focus on three distinct potential benefits: Pooling the risk of unexpected medical expenditures between healthy and sick households, redistributing resources from high- to low-income recipients and smoothing consumption over time. We then use this theoretical framework and an illustrative example to provide practical guidelines for benefit-cost analysis in capturing the full benefits (and costs) of expanding health insurance coverage. We conclude by considering other potential financial effects of broad insurance coverage, such as the ability to consolidate purchases and thus lower input prices.
Scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS) are used to electronically switch atomically-thin memristors, referred to as “atomristors”, based on a graphene/molybdenum disulfide (MoS2)/Au heterostructure. A gold-assisted exfoliation method was used to produce near-millimeter (mm) scale MoS2 on Au thin-film substrates, followed by transfer of a separately exfoliated graphene top layer. Our results reveal that it is possible to switch the conductivity of a graphene/MoS2/Au memristor stack using an STM tip. These results provide a path to further studies of atomically-thin memristors fabricated from heterostructures of two-dimensional materials such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs).
There is an increasing incidence of overweight/obesity and mental health disorders in young adults and the two conditions often coexist. We aimed to investigate the influence of antenatal and postnatal factors that may underlie this association with a focus on maternal prenatal smoking, socio-economic status and gender. Data from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study (women enrolled 1989–1991) including 1056 offspring aged 20 years (cohort recalled 2010–2012) were analyzed (2015–2016) using multivariable models for associations between offspring depression scores (DASS-21 Depression-scale) and body mass index (BMI), adjusting for pregnancy and early life factors and offspring behaviours. There was a significant positive relationship between offspring depression-score and BMI independent of gender and other psychosocial covariates. There was a significant interaction between maternal prenatal smoking and depression-score (interaction coefficient=0.096; 95% CI: 0.006, 0.19, P=0.037), indicating the relationship between depression-score and BMI differed according to maternal prenatal smoking status. In offspring of maternal prenatal smokers, a positive association between BMI and depression-score (coefficient=0.133; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.21, P=0.001) equated to 1.1 kg/m2 increase in BMI for every 1standard deviation (8 units) increase in depression-score. Substituting low family income during pregnancy for maternal prenatal smoking in the interaction (interaction coefficient=0.091; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.17, P=0.027) showed a positive association between BMI and depression score only among offspring of mothers with a low family income during pregnancy (coefficient=0.118; 95% CI: 0.06, 0.18, P<0.001). There were no significant effects of gender on these associations. Whilst further studies are needed to determine whether these associations are supported in other populations, they suggest potentially important maternal behavioural and socio-economic factors that identify individuals vulnerable to the coexistence of obesity and depression in early adulthood.