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Introduction: When a patient is incapable of making medical decisions for themselves, choices are made according to the patient's previously expressed, wishes, values, and beliefs by a substitute decision maker (SDM). While interventions to engage patients in their own advance care planning exist, little is known about public readiness to act as a SDM on behalf of a loved one. This mixed-methods survey aimed to describe attitudes, enablers and barriers to preparedness to act as a SDM, and support for a population-level curriculum on the role of an SDM in end-of-life and resuscitative care. Methods: From November 2017 to June 2018, a mixed-methods street intercept survey was conducted in Ottawa, Canada. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were used to assess predictors of preparedness to be a SDM and understand support for a high school curriculum. Responses to open-ended questions were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: The 430 respondents were mostly female (56.5%) with an average age of 33.9. Although 73.0% of respondents felt prepared to be a SDM, 41.0% of those who reported preparedness never had a meaningful conversation with loved ones about their wishes in critical illness. The only predictors of SDM preparedness were the belief that one would be a future SDM (OR 2.36 95% CI 1.34-4.17), and age 50-64 compared to age 16-17 (OR 7.46 95% CI 1.25-44.51). Thematic enablers of preparedness included an understanding of a patient's wishes, the role of the SDM and strong familial relationships. Barriers included cultural norms, family conflict, and a need for time for high stakes decisions. Most respondents (71.9%) believed that 16 year olds should learn about SDMs. They noted age appropriateness, potential developmental and societal benefit, and improved decision making, while cautioning the need for a nuanced approach respectful of different maturity levels, cultures and individual experiences. Conclusion: This study reveals a concerning gap between perceived preparedness and actions taken in preparation to be an SDM for loved ones suffering critical illness. The results also highlight the potential role for high school education to address this gap. Future studies should further explore the themes identified to inform development of resources and curricula for improved health literacy in resuscitation and end-of-life care.
Innovation Concept: Ventilator management is an essential skill and a training objective for emergency medicine (EM) specialists in Canada. EM trainees obtain the majority of this training during off-service rotations. Previous attempts to strengthen ventilator knowledge include lectures and simulation – both of which are time and resource intensive. Given the unique features of ventilator management in the ED, we developed an ED-specific ventilator curriculum. The purpose of this study is to 1) identify resident needs regarding ventilator curricula and 2) assess resident response to this pilot curriculum. Methods: A needs-assessment survey administered to RCPSC- and CCFP-EM residents at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) showed the majority of residents (87%, n = 31 respondents) believe there is a need for more ED-focused ventilator management training, and only 13% felt confident in ventilator management. Ten on-line modules were prepared by an EM-Critical Care attending, and distributed on-line to all EM trainees at TOH (n = 52). Mid- and post-implementation surveys are used to assess residents’ confidence in ventilator management, and perceived usefulness of the curriculum. User feedback from focus groups constitutes part of the curriculum evaluation. Curriculum, Tool or Material: Employing a flipped classroom approach, ten on-line modules were distributed to RCPSC- and CCFP-EM trainees at TOH. Each module requires less than ten minutes to complete and focuses on a single aspect of ventilation. The modules are available for residents to complete at their own pace and convenience. At curriculum completion, an EM-Critical Care attending physician facilitates an interactive session. Conclusion: Mid-implementation survey results demonstrate increased confidence in independently managing ventilated patients in the ED (13% pre- vs. 56% mid-implementation), and an increased perception of having sufficient ventilator training (26% pre- vs. 78% mid-implementation). All respondents felt the modules were of appropriate length, content was easy to follow, and that the modules should be part of the residency curriculum. Our ED-specific online ventilator modules area a viable tool to increase residents’ confidence in ventilator management. This novel curriculum could be adopted by other residency programs and continuing professional development initiatives. Future work will include post-implementation data-gathering, and formal curriculum evaluation.
Introduction: Geriatric patients commonly present to the emergency department (ED) after a fall. Unfortunately, recent evidence suggests that ED physicians are poorly adherent to published ED-specific geriatric falls guidelines. This study applied a theoretical domains framework (TDF)-driven approach to systematically investigate barriers and enablers in the provision of guideline-based care to older patients presenting to the ED with a fall. Methods: From June to September 2017, semi-structured interviews of staff ED physicians practicing in Ontario, Canada were conducted and analyzed. An interview guide based on the TDF was used to capture 14 domains that may influence provision of guideline-based care. Interview transcripts were analyzed, and specific beliefs were generated by grouping similar responses. Relevant domains were identified based on frequencies of beliefs, existence of conflicting beliefs, and evidence of strong beliefs that would influence provision of guideline-based care. Results: Eleven interviews were conducted with practicing ED physicians. Thirty specific belief statements across 13 different TDF domains (all except Optimism) were identified as relevant. Overall, Ontario ED physicians are supportive of providing guideline-based care and believe it would lead to better outcomes for geriatric falls patients. Important barriers include knowledge, skills, time and workload constraints, and inconsistent allied health support. Conclusion: This study identified important barriers and enablers to provision of guideline-based care in geriatric ED falls patients. These results will help guide implementation of guidelines nationally and internationally, with a focus on improved knowledge dissemination, implementation of training interventions, and improvements in allied health coverage and supports.
Innovation Concept: The outcome of emergency medicine training is to produce physicians who can competently run an emergency department (ED) shift. While many workplace-based ED assessments focus on discrete tasks of the discipline, others emphasize assessment of performance across the entire shift. However, the quality of assessments is generally poor and these tools often lack validity evidence. The use of entrustment scale anchors may help to address these psychometric issues. The aim of this study was to develop and gather validity evidence for a novel tool to assess a resident's ability to independently run an ED shift. Methods: Through a nominal group technique, local and national stakeholders identified dimensions of performance reflective of a competent ED physician. These dimensions were included in a new tool that was piloted in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa during a 4-month period. Psychometric characteristics of the items were calculated, and a generalizability analysis used to determine the reliability of scores. An ANOVA was conducted to determine whether scores increased as a function of training level (junior = PGY1-2, intermediate = PGY3, senior = PGY4-5), and varied by ED treatment area. Safety for independent practice was analyzed with a dichotomous score. Curriculum, Tool or Material: The developed Ottawa Emergency Department Shift Observation Tool (O-EDShOT) includes 12-items rated on a 5-point entrustment scale with a global assessment item and 2 short-answer questions. Eight hundred and thirty-three assessment were completed by 78 physicians for 45 residents. Mean scores differed significantly by training level (p < .001) with junior residents receiving lower ratings (3.48 ± 0.69) than intermediate residents who received lower ratings (3.98 ± 0.48) than senior residents (4.54 ± 0.42). Scores did not vary by ED treatment area (p > .05). Residents judged to be safe to independently run the shift had significantly higher mean scores than those judged not to be safe (4.74 ± 0.31 vs 3.75 ± 0.66; p < .001). Fourteen observations per resident, the typical number recorded during a 1-month rotation, were required to achieve a reliability of 0.80. Conclusion: The O-EDShOT successfully discriminated between junior, intermediate and senior-level residents regardless of ED treatment area. Multiple sources of evidence support the O-EDShOT producing valid scores for assessing a resident's ability to independently run an ED shift.
Introduction: Competence committees (CCs) struggle with incorporating professionalism issues into resident progression decisions. This study examined how professionalism concerns influence individual faculty decisions about resident progression using simulated CC reviews. Methods: In 2017, the investigators conducted a survey of 25 program directors of Royal College emergency medicine residency training programs in Canada and those faculty members who are members of the CCs (or equivalent) at their home institution. The survey contained twelve resident portfolios, each containing formative and summative information available to a CC for making progression decisions. Six portfolios outlined residents progressing as expected and six were not progressing as expected. Further, a professionalism variable (PV) was added to six portfolios, evenly split between those residents progressing as expected and not. Participants were asked to make progression decisions based on each portfolio. Results: Raters were able to consistently identify a resident needing an educational intervention versus those who did not. When a PV was added, the consistency among raters decreased by 34.2% in those residents progressing as expected, versus increasing by 3.8% in those not progressing as expected (p = 0.01). Conclusion: When using an unstructured review of a simulated resident portfolio, individual reviewers can better discriminate between trainees progressing as expected when professionalism concerns are added. Considering this, educators using a competence committee in a CBME program must have a system to acquire and document professionalism issues to make appropriate progress decisions.
Introduction: Over 150 Off Service Residents from 18 different programs rotate through our ED every academic year. We aim to determine the educational needs of these residents to we better design a curriculum for their ED rotation. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional convenience sample survey of 133 Off-Service PGY-2 residents who had rotated through the ED of The Ottawa Hospital in their PGY-1 year. (from July 2016 to June 2017). The survey was emailed to residents from March to May 2018 and consisted of 19 questions. Questions were qualitative, selection from list and rank order. They focused on 3 main areas: EM rotation impact and areas for improvement, desired content, desired method of learning. Data was collected using Survey Monkey. Results: We received 70 responses (53%) from 13 different residency programs. 36 (51.4%) of respondents were from the Family Medicine program. Qualitative themes included that the ED provides great opportunity to develop the ability to workup undifferentiated patients and allows for teaching around cases. Allowing more involvement in acute care cases and having more SIM sessions could improve the rotation. The most useful topic was chest pain/cardiovascular conditions (73.3% of residents) with 16 additional ED topics listed as important for their practice. The most useful skill was suturing (51.6% of residents) with 16 other ED procedures listed as important for their practice. The preferred teaching method was SIM (48.3%) followed by small group teaching (33.3%). Conclusion: The emergency department provides an excellent learning environment for a large range of Off-Service residents early in their training. In addition to clinical shifts, a curriculum incorporating simulation and small group teaching and that covers a large scope of topics is necessary to meet the needs of these residents.
Introduction: Transition to the attending physician role and onboarding at a new workplace are often stressful. Effective initiation is important to individuals as well as departments, hospitals and universities wishing to retain valuable staff. Our aim was to learn about early experiences from the perspective of new staff and apply these findings to develop a new onboarding program. Methods: Following a pilot study of individual interviews, we surveyed and conducted focus group interviews with all attending physicians who had joined our dual site, urban, academic emergency department within three years. We used a mixed quantitative and qualitative approach to collect and analyze data. We applied the data to develop a new needs-based formal onboarding program. Results: 24/36 participated in the survey, 22/36 in focus groups. 95% were 30-39 years old. Newcomers described the existing orientation as too brief, non-specific, and missing essential elements. We identified six onboarding themes: (1)clinical protocols and reference documents, (2)graduated responsibilities, (3)mentorship, (4)relationship building, (5)department structure and culture, and (6)emotions. We formed a committee to develop and implement these initiatives: (1)a new online platform enables easy access to clinical care and orientation documents, (2)a formal mentorship program matches each newcomer with 2 mentors to coach towards goals, navigate department structure and culture, and provide perspective to mitigate strong emotions, (3)adjusting shift and teaching assignments allows newcomers to ease into clinical and academic responsibilities, and (4)our next priority is to improve clarity around academic opportunities, expectations, and advancement. Conclusion: New emergency physicians are highly engaged and provided many insights on their orientation experiences. Using mixed methods, we identified six themes to guide the design and implementation of a program to promote successful integration of newcomers.
The Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Elderly People (HoNOS65+) has been used widely for 20 years, but has not been updated to reflect contemporary clinical practice. The Royal College of Psychiatrists convened an advisory board, with expertise from the UK, Australia and New Zealand, to propose amendments. The aim was to improve rater experience when using the HoNOS65+ glossary by removing ambiguity and inconsistency, rather than a more radical revision.
Views and experience from the countries involved were used to produce a series of amendments intended to improve intra- and interrater reliability and improve validity. This update will be called HoNOS Older Adults to reflect the changing nature of the population and services provided to meet their needs. These improvements are reported verbatim, together with the original HoNOS65+ to aid comparison.
Formal examination of the psychometric properties of the revised measure is needed. However, clinician training will remain crucial.
Many studies have identified changes in the brain associated with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), but few have examined the relationship between genetic determinants of OCD and brain variation.
We present the first genome-wide investigation of overlapping genetic risk for OCD and genetic influences on subcortical brain structures.
Using single nucleotide polymorphism effect concordance analysis, we measured genetic overlap between the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of OCD (1465 participants with OCD, 5557 controls) and recent GWASs of eight subcortical brain volumes (13 171 participants).
We found evidence of significant positive concordance between OCD risk variants and variants associated with greater nucleus accumbens and putamen volumes. When conditioning OCD risk variants on brain volume, variants influencing putamen, amygdala and thalamus volumes were associated with risk for OCD.
These results are consistent with current OCD neurocircuitry models. Further evidence will clarify the relationship between putamen volume and OCD risk, and the roles of the detected variants in this disorder.
Declaration of interest
The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Introduction: Maintaining and enhancing competence in the breadth of Emergency Medicine (EM) is an ongoing challenge for all clinicians. In particular, resuscitative care in EM involves high-stakes clinical encounters that demand strong procedural skills, effective leadership, and up-to-date knowledge. However, Canadian emergency physicians are not required to complete any specific ongoing training for these encounters beyond general CPD requirements of professional colleges. Simulation-based medical education (SBME) is an effective modality for enhancing technical (e.g. procedural) and non-technical (i.e. Crisis Resource Management) skills in crisis situations, and has been embedded in undergraduate and postgraduate medical curricula worldwide. We present a novel comprehensive curriculum of simulation-based CPD designed specifically for academic emergency physicians (AEPs) at our centre. Methods: The curriculum development involved a departmental needs assessment survey, focus groups with AEPs, data from safety metrics and critical incidents, and consultations with senior departmental leadership. Institutional support was provided in the form of a $25,000 grant to fund a physician Program Lead, monthly session instructors, and simulation centre operating costs. Based on the results of the needs assessment, a two-year curriculum was mapped out and tailored to the available resources. Results: CPD simulation commenced in January 2017 and occurs monthly for three hours, immediately following departmental Grand Rounds to provide convenient scheduling. Our needs assessment identified two key types of educational needs: (1) Crisis Resource Management skills and (2) frequent practice of high-stakes critical care procedures (e.g. central lines). The first six months of implementation was dedicated to low-fidelity skills labs to facilitate the transition to SBME. After this, the program transitioned to a hybrid model involving two high-fidelity simulated resuscitations and one skills lab per session. Conclusion: We have introduced a comprehensive curriculum of ongoing simulation-based CPD in our department based on the educational needs of our AEPs. Key to our successful implementation has been support from educational and administrative leadership within our department. Ongoing challenges include securing adequate protected time from clinical duties for program facilitators and participants. Future work will include establishing permanent funding, CPD accreditation, and a formal program evaluation.
Introduction: Direct observation is essential to assess medical trainees and provide them with feedback to support their progression from novice to competent physicians. However, learners consistently report infrequent observations, and calls to increase direct observation in medical training abound. In this study, a theory-driven approach using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) was applied to systematically investigate factors that serve as barriers and enablers to direct observation in residency training. Methods: Semi-structured interviews of faculty and residents from various specialties at two large tertiary-care teaching hospitals were conducted. An interview guide based on the TDF was used to capture 14 theoretical domains that may influence direct observation. Interview transcripts were independently coded using direct content analysis by two researchers, and specific beliefs were generated by grouping similar responses. Relevant domains were identified based on the frequencies of beliefs reported, presence of conflicting beliefs, and perceived influence on direct observation practices. Results: Data saturation was achieved after 12 resident and 13 faculty interviews, with a total of 10 different specialties represented. Median postgraduate year among residents was 4 (range 1-6), and mean years of independent practice among faculty was 10.3 (SD=8.6). Ten TDF domains were identified as influencing direct observation: knowledge, skills, beliefs about consequences, social professional role and identity, intention, goals, memory/attention/decision-making, environmental context and resources, social influences, and behavioural regulation. Discord between faculty and resident intentions to engage in direct observation, coupled with the social expectation that residents should be responsible for ensuring observations occur, was identified as a key barrier. Additionally, competing demands identified across multiple TDF domains emerged as an important and pervasive theme. Conclusion: This study identified key barriers and enablers to direct observation. The influencing factors identified in this study provide a basis for the development of potential strategies aimed at embedding direct observation as a routine pedagogical practice in residency training.
Multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes in China were first discovered in Yunnan Province before disseminating throughout the country. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues to expand in Yunnan, genetic characteristics and transmitted drug resistance (TDR) should be further investigated among the recently infected population. Among 2828 HIV-positive samples newly reported in the first quarter of 2014, 347 were identified as recent infections with BED-captured enzyme immunoassay (CEIA). Of them, 291 were successfully genotyped and identified as circulating recombinant form (CRF)08_BC (47.4%), unique recombinant forms (URFs) (18.2%), CRF01_AE (15.8%), CRF07_BC (14.4%), subtype C (2.7%), CRF55_01B (0.7%), subtype B (0.3%) and CRF64_BC (0.3%). CRF08_BC and CRF01_AE were the predominant genotypes among heterosexual and homosexual infections, respectively. CRF08_BC, URFs, CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC expanded with higher prevalence in central and eastern Yunnan. The recent common ancestor of CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC dated back to 1983.1, 1992.1 and 1989.5, respectively. The effective population sizes (EPS) for CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased exponentially during 1991–1999 and 1994–1999, respectively. The EPS for CRF08_BC underwent two exponential growth phases in 1994–1998 and 2001–2002. Lastly, TDR-associated mutations were identified in 1.8% of individuals. These findings not only enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution in Yunnan but also have implications for vaccine design and patient management strategies.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether significant difference exists on radiation dose delivered to organs at risks in megavoltage computed tomography (MVCT) verification using three predefined scanning modes, namely fine (2 mm), normal (4 mm) and coarse (6 mm). This will provide information for the imaging protocol of tomotherapy for the left breast.
Materials and methods
Organ doses were measured using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD-100) placed within a female Rando phantom for MVCT imaging. Kruskal–Wallis test was conducted with p<0·05 to evaluate the significant difference between the three MVCT scanning modes.
Statistically significant difference existed in organ absorbed dose between different scan mode selections (p<0·001). Relative to the normal scan selection (4 mm), the absorbed dose to the organs of interests can be scaled down by 0·7 and scaled up by 2·1 for coarse (6 mm) and fine scans (2 mm) respectively.
Optimisation of imaging protocols is of paramount importance to keep the radiation exposure ‘as low as reasonably achievable’. The recommendation of undergoing daily coarse mode for MVCT verification in breast tomotherapy not only mitigates the radiation exposure to normal tissues, but also trims the scan-acquisition time.
Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
7″-resolution CO (1-0) observations of M82 with the Owens Valley millimeter-wave interferometer have resolved 2 components of molecular gas in the central 1.5 arcmin of the galaxy: (1) a high plane of M82, and (2) shell-like or filamentary structures of molecular gas, with size-scale as large as 400 pc, extending most likely out of the plane of the galaxy.
To investigate the feasibility of a national audit of epistaxis management led and delivered by a multi-region trainee collaborative using a web-based interface to capture patient data.
Six trainee collaboratives across England nominated one site each and worked together to carry out this pilot. An encrypted data capture tool was adapted and installed within the infrastructure of a university secure server. Site-lead feedback was assessed through questionnaires.
Sixty-three patients with epistaxis were admitted over a two-week period. Site leads reported an average of 5 minutes to complete questionnaires and described the tool as easy to use. Data quality was high, with little missing data. Site-lead feedback showed high satisfaction ratings for the project (mean, 4.83 out of 5).
This pilot showed that trainee collaboratives can work together to deliver an audit using an encrypted data capture tool cost-effectively, whilst maintaining the highest levels of data quality.
Perinatal psychiatry is a relatively new subspecialty and controversy exists about such specialist provision. Differences can occur in how mental illnesses present in pregnancy, and there is a need to take into account both mother and baby. The risks of not treating perinatal mental illness can be both acute and chronic, and suicide in the context of untreated illness remains a leading indirect cause of maternal mortality. Despite the government's agenda of preventive healthcare, service provision is inequitable across the UK. Advice regarding treatment continues to be complex, and perinatal psychiatrists need to keep abreast of a growing evidence base. This review offers an overview of some current issues in the care of patients in the perinatal period and shows how specialised perinatal services are uniquely placed to meet their needs. Hopefully, it will prove useful to all clinicians responsible for the perinatal care of women and their families.
Introduction: In response to concerns in the literature over the quality of completed work-based assessments (WBAs), faculty development and rater training initiatives have been developed. The Completed Clinical Evaluation Report Rating (CCERR) was designed to evaluate these interventions by providing a measure of the quality of documented assessments on In-Training Evaluation Reports (ITERs). Daily Encounter Cards (DECs) are a common form of WBA used in the Emergency Department setting. A tool to evaluate initiatives aimed at improving the quality of completion of this widely used WBA is also needed. The purpose of this study was to provide validity evidence to support using the CCERR to assess the quality of DEC completion. Methods: This study was conducted in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Six experts in resident assessment grouped 60 DECs into three quality categories (high, average, poor) based on their perception of how informative each DEC was for reporting judgments of the resident’s performance. Eight clinical supervisors (blinded to the expert groupings) scored the 10 most representative DECs in each group using the CCERR. Mean scores were compared using a univariate ANOVA to determine if the CCERR was able to discriminate DEC quality. Reliability for the CCERR scores was determined using a generalizability analysis. Results: Mean CCERR scores for the high (37.3, SD=1.2), average (24.2, SD=3.3), and poor (14.4, SD=1.4) quality groups differed (p<0.001). A pairwise comparison demonstrated that differences between all three quality groups were statistically significant (p<0.001), indicating that the CCERR was able to discriminate DEC quality as judged by experts. A generalizability study demonstrated the majority of score variation was due to differences in DECs. The reliability with a single rater was 0.95. Conclusion: There is strong validity evidence to support the use of the CCERR to evaluate DEC quality. It can be used to provide feedback to supervisors for improving assessment reporting, and offers a quantitative measure of change in assessor behavior when utilized as a program evaluation instrument for determining the quality of completed DECs.