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Damage to the corticospinal tract (CST) from stroke leads to motor deficits. The damage can be quantified as the amount of overlap between the stroke lesion and CST (CST Injury). Previous literature has shown that the degree of motor deficits post-stroke is related to the amount of CST Injury. These studies delineate the stroke lesion from structural T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, often acquired for research. In Canada, computed tomography (CT) is the most common imaging modality used in routine acute stroke care. In this proof-of-principle study, we determine whether CST Injury, using lesions delineated from CT scans, significantly explains the variability in motor impairment in individuals with stroke.
Thirty-seven participants with stroke were included in this study. These individuals had a CT scan within the acute stage (7 days) of their stroke and underwent motor assessments. Brain images from CT scans were registered to MRI space. We performed a stepwise regression analysis to determine the contribution of CST injury and demographic variables in explaining motor impairment variability.
Using clinically available CT scans, we found modest evidence that CST Injury explains variability in motor impairment (R2adj = 0.12, p = 0.02). None of the participant demographic variables entered the model.
We show for the first time a relationship between CST Injury and motor impairment using CT scans. Further work is required to evaluate the utility of data derived from clinical CT scans as a biomarker of stroke motor recovery.
Background: Unintentional opioid overdoses in and around acute care hospitals, including in the ED, are of increasing concern. In April 2018, the Addiction Recovery and Community Health (ARCH) Team at the Royal Alexandra Hospital opened the first acute care Supervised Consumption Service (SCS) in North America available to inpatients. In the SCS, patients can consume substances by injection, oral or intranasal routes under nursing supervision; immediate assistance is provided if an overdose occurs. After a quality assurance review, work began to expand SCS access to ED patients as well. Aim Statement: By expanding SCS access to ED patients, we aim to reduce unintentional and unwitnessed opioid overdoses in registered ED patients to 0 per month by the end of 2020. Measures & Design: Between June 13-July 15, 2019, ARCH ED Registered Nurses were asked to identify ED patients with a history of active substance use who may potentially require SCS access. Nurses identified 69 patients over 43 8-hour shifts (range 0-4 patients per shift); thus, we anticipated an average of 5 ED patients per 24-hour period to potentially require SCS access. Based on this evidence of need, ARCH leadership worked with a) hospital legal team and Health Canada to expand SCS access to ED patients; b) ED leadership to develop a procedure and flowchart for ED SCS access. ED patients were able to access the SCS effective October 1, 2019. Evaluation/Results: From October 1 to December 1, 2019, the SCS had 35 visits by 23 unique ED patients. The median time spent in the SCS was 42.5 minutes (range 14.0-140.0 minutes). Methamphetamine was the most commonly used substance (19, 45.2%), followed by fentanyl (10, 23.8%); substances were all injected (91.4% into a vein and 8.6% into an existing IV). In this time period, there were zero unintentional, unwitnessed opioid poisonings in registered ED patients. Data collection is ongoing and will expand to include chief complaint, ED length of stay and discharge status. Discussion/Impact: Being able to reduce unintentional overdoses and unwitnessed injection drug use in the ED has the potential to improve both patient and staff safety. Next steps include a case series designed to examine the impact of SCS access on emergency care, retention in treatment and uptake into addiction treatment.
In China, one percent of the richest population holds more than one-third of the wealth, while the poorest 25% shares no more than two percent of the total. The country’s rapid economic development has resulted in increasing socio-economic disparities, and a rapidly deteriorating environment. This puts the Chinese citizens, especially the most vulnerable and deprived socio-economic status (SES) groups, at high risks of environmental inequality (EI). In most SES-based EI studies conducted in China, household wealth has often been overlooked, though it potentially serves a good economic indicator to capture the socio-economic effect of environmental change in China. Nevertheless, existing SES databases in China are of low spatial resolution and are insufficient to support fine-grained EI studies at the intra-city level in China. The core research challenge is to develop a representative household wealth proxy in high-spatial resolution for China. This study highlights the research gaps and proposes a new household wealth proxy, which integrates both fine-grained data/features such as daytime satellite imagery and easily accessible wealth indicators such as house prices. We also capitalize on everyday economic activity data retrieved from personal mobile phones and online transaction/social platforms in the composition of our wealth proxy to achieve a higher accuracy in estimating household wealth at fine-grained resolution via machine learning. Finally, we summarize the challenges in improving both the quality and the availability of Chinese socio-economic datasets, while protecting personal privacy and information security during the data collection process for household wealth proxy development in China.
Introduction: Emergency Department (ED) visits related to substance use are rapidly increasing. Despite this, few Canadian EDs have immediate access to addiction medicine specialists or on-site addiction medicine clinics. This study characterized substance-related ED presentations to an urban tertiary care ED and assessed need for an on-site rapid-access addiction clinic (RAAC). Methods: This prospective enrollment, retrospective chart review was conducted from June to August 2018. Adult patients presenting to the ED with a known or suspected substance use disorder were enrolled by any member of their ED care team using a 1-page form. Retrospective chart review of the index ED visit was conducted and the Emergency Department Information System was used to extract information related to the visit. A multivariable logistic regression model was fit to examine factors associated with recommendation for referral to a hypothetical on-site RAAC.This prospective enrollment, retrospective chart review was conducted from June to August 2018. Adult patients presenting to the ED with a known or suspected substance use disorder were enrolled by any member of their ED care team using a 1-page form. Retrospective chart review of the index ED visit was conducted and the Emergency Department Information System was used to extract information related to the visit. A multivariable logistic regression model was fit to examine factors associated with recommendation for referral to a hypothetical on-site RAAC. Results: Of the 557 enrolment forms received, 458 were included in the analysis. 64% of included patients were male and 36% were female, with a median age of 35.0 years. Polysubstance use was seen in 23% of patients, and alcohol was the most common substance indicated (60%), followed by stimulants (32%) and opioids (16%). The median ED length of stay for included patients was 483 minutes, compared to 354 minutes for all-comers discharged from the ED during the study period. 28% of patients had a previous ED visit within 7 days of the index visit, and an additional 17% had a visit in the preceding 30 days. The ED care team indicated ‘Yes’ for RAAC referral from the ED for 66% of patients, for a mean of 4.3 patients referred per day during the study period. Multivariable analysis showed that all substances (except cannabis) correlated to a statistically significant increase in likelihood for indicating ‘Yes’ for RAAC referral from the ED (alcohol, stimulants, opioids, polysubstance; p < 0.05). Patients presenting to the ED with a chief complaint related to substance use were also more likely to be referred (p = 0.01). Conclusion: This retrospective chart review characterized substance-related presentations at a Canadian urban tertiary care ED. Approximately four patients per day would have been referred to an on-site RAAC had one been available. The RAAC model has been implemented in other Canadian hospitals, and collaborating with these sites to begin developing this service would be an important next step.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
BACKGROUND: Meningiomas are the most common primary benign brain tumors in adults. Given the extended life expectancy of most meningiomas, consideration of quality of life (QOL) is important when selecting the optimal management strategy. There is currently a dearth of meningioma-specific QOL tools in the literature. OBJECTIVE: In this systematic review, we analyze the prevailing themes and propose toward building a meningioma-specific QOL assessment tool. METHODS: A systematic search was conducted, and only original studies based on adult patients were considered. QOL tools used in the various studies were analyzed for identification of prevailing themes in the qualitative analysis. The quality of the studies was also assessed. RESULTS: Sixteen articles met all inclusion criteria. Fifteen different QOL assessment tools assessed social and physical functioning, psychological, and emotional well-being. Patient perceptions and support networks had a major impact on QOL scores. Surgery negatively affected social functioning in younger patients, while radiation therapy had a variable impact. Any intervention appeared to have a greater negative impact on physical functioning compared to observation. CONCLUSION: Younger patients with meningiomas appear to be more vulnerable within social and physical functioning domains. All of these findings must be interpreted with great caution due to great clinical heterogeneity, limited generalizability, and risk of bias. For meningioma patients, the ideal QOL questionnaire would present outcomes that can be easily measured, presented, and compared across studies. Existing scales can be the foundation upon which a comprehensive, standard, and simple meningioma-specific survey can be prospectively developed and validated.
Following the B777 accident at Heathrow in 2008, the certification authorities required Boeing, Airbus, and Rolls-Royce to conduct icing analysis and tests of their Rolls-Royce Trent engined aircraft fuel systems. The experience and the test data gained from these activities were distilled and released by Airbus to the EASA ICAR project for research and analysis. This paper provided an overview of the Airbus ice accretion and release tests. Brief narratives on the test rigs, the test procedure and methodology were given and key findings from the ice release investigations were presented. The accreted ice thickness was non-uniform; however, it is found typically c.
thick. Analysis of the accreted ice collected from the rig tests showed the ice was very porous. The porosity is very much dependant on how the water was introduced and mixed in the icing test rigs. The standard Airbus method produced accreted ice of higher porosity compared to that produced by the injection method. The porosity of the accreted ice from Airbus icing investigations was found to be c. 0.90. The relationship of permeability with porosity was inferred from published data and models for freshly fallen snow in the atmosphere. Derived permeability
was then applied in the CFD analysis of pipe flow with a porous wall lining to determine the shear stress on the accreted ice. It showed that 25%, 50% and 75% of the accreted ice has interface shear strength of less than
The increasing tropospheric ozone concentration [O3] strongly affects plant growth. However, the response of belowground processes in rice (Oryza sativa L.) systems to higher O3 is not well understood. The grain production, belowground biomass partitioning, root morphology and activity of rice (cv. Shanyou 63) were investigated in a free-air O3 enrichment platform at four key growth stages. Elevated O3 (EO3, 50% above the ambient O3) significantly decreased the grain yield and total biomass at the grain milky mature stage, root biomass at the tillering stage and root to shoot ratios (RRS) at the flowering and grain filling stages. The effects of EO3 on root morphology and activity varied among rice growth stage. EO3 significantly decreased root length, density, area, diameter and volume at the flowering stage, but EO3 significantly decreased various root morphological indices at the tillering, grain filling and milky mature stages. EO3 significantly increased the specific root respiration rate (root activity) and root respiration rate (autotrophic respiration) at grain filling and milky mature stages. Higher root autotrophic respiration and lower RRS in response to EO3 would reduce allocation of assimilated carbon to root growth, adversely affecting rice productivity. Our findings are critical for understanding the O3-induced impairment of belowground processes and carbon cycling in rice cropping systems and breeding of O3-tolerant cultivars under higher [O3] scenarios.
Introduction: Medical education includes a diverse range of topics and disciplines. For junior clinician educators, it may be difficult to get a grasp of pertinent literature. Our study aims to retrospectively identify whether senior clinician educators (SCEs) and junior clinician educators (JCEs) differ in their selection of what they perceive as key medical education articles. Methods: As a part of the Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) Faculty Incubator program, we developed a series of primer articles for JCEs over the preceding year, designed to enhance their educational growth by identifying and discussing key articles within specific medical education arenas. Each set of articles within the primer series were selected based on data collected from JCEs and SCEs, who ranked the specific articles with respect to their perceived relevancy to the JCEs. ANOVA analysis was performed for each of the nine primer series to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference between senior and junior CEs ratings of articles. Results: 216 total articles were evaluated within the nine different primer topics. Through a multilevel regression analysis of the data, no statistically significant difference was found between the rankings of papers by SCEs and JCEs (95%CI: -0.27, 0.40). However, a subgroup analysis of the data found that 3 of the 9 primers showed statistically significant divergence based on seniority (p<0.05). Conclusion: Based on this data, involvement of JCEs in the consensus-building process was important in identifying divergence in views between JCEs and SCEs in one-third of cases. To our knowledge, no other group have compared whether junior and senior clinical educators may have divergent opinions about the relevance of medical education literature. Our findings suggest that it may be important to involve JCEs in selecting articles that are worthwhile for their learning, since SCEs may not fully understand their needs.
Introduction: Introduction: Transitions in care (TiC) interventions have been proposed to improve the management and outcomes of patients in emergency departments (ED). The objective of this review was to examine the effectiveness of ED-based TiC interventions to improve outcomes for adult patients presenting to an ED with acute atrial fibrillation or flutter (AFF). Methods: Methods: A comprehensive search of eight electronic databases and various grey literature sources was conducted. Comparative studies assessing the effectiveness of interventions to improve TiC for patients presenting to the ED with acute AFF were eligible. Two independent reviewers completed study selection, quality assessment, and data extraction. When applicable, relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random effects model and heterogeneity was reported among studies using I-square (I2) statistics. Results: Results: From 744 citations, seven studies were included, consisting of three randomized controlled trials (RCT), three before-after (B/A) studies, and one cohort study. Study quality ranged from unclear to low for the RCTs according to the risk of bias tool, moderate in the BA trials according to the BA quality assessment tool, and high quality of the cohort study according to the Newcastle Ottawa scale. The majority of interventions were set within-ED (n=5), including three clinical pathways/management guidelines and two within-ED observation units. Post-ED interventions (n=2) included patient education and general practitioner referral. Four studies reported a decreased overall hospital length of stay (LoS) for AFF patients undergoing TiC interventions compared to control, ranging from 26.4 to 53 hours; however, incomplete and non-standardized outcome reporting precluded meta-analysis. An increase in conversion to normal sinus rhythm among TiC intervention patients was noted, which may be related to increased utilization of electrical cardioversion among the RCTs (RR=2.16; 95% CI: 1.42, 3.30; I2=%), B/A studies (RR=2.69, 95% CI: 2.17, 3.33), and cohort study (RR=1.39; 95% CI: 1.24, 1.56). Conclusion: Conclusions: Within-ED TiC interventions may reduce hospital LoS and increase use of electrical cardioversion. However, no clear recommendations to implement such interventions in EDs can be generated from this systematic review and more efforts are required to improve TiC for patients with AFF.
In Hong Kong, universal varicella vaccination started in July 2014. Before this, children could receive varicella vaccine via the private market. We analysed the epidemiology of varicella and zoster before universal vaccination. We estimated varicella vaccination coverage through surveys in preschool children. We estimated the burden of varicella and zoster with varicella notifications from 1999/00 to 2013/14, Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) attendance and inpatient admissions to public hospitals from 2004/05 to 2013/14. We fitted a catalytic model to serological data on antibodies against varicella-zoster virus to estimate the force of infection. We found that varicella vaccination coverage gradually increased to about 50% before programme inception. In children younger than 5 years, the annual rate of varicella notifications, varicella admission and zoster A&E attendance generally declined. The annual notification, A&E attendance and hospitalisation rate of varicella and zoster generally increased for individuals between 10 and 59 years old. Varicella serology indicated an age shift during the study period towards a higher proportion of infections in slightly older individuals, but the change was most notable before vaccine licensure. In conclusion, we observed a shift in the burden of varicella to slightly older age groups with a corresponding increase in incidence but it cannot necessarily be attributed to private market vaccine coverage alone. Increasing varicella vaccination uptake in the private market might affect varicella transmission and epidemiology, but not to the level of interrupting transmission.
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.
To assess the level of all-hazards disaster preparedness and training needs of emergency department (ED) doctors and nurses in Hong Kong from their perspective, and identify factors associated with high perceived personal preparedness.
This study was a cross-sectional territory-wide online survey conducted from 9 September to 26 October, 2015.
The participants were doctors from the Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine and nurses from the Hong Kong College of Emergency Nursing.
We assessed various components of all-hazards preparedness using a 25-item questionnaire. Backward logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with perceived preparedness.
A total of 107 responses were analyzed. Respondents lacked training in disaster management, emergency communication, psychological first aid, public health interventions, disaster law and ethics, media handling, and humanitarian response in an overseas setting. High perceived workplace preparedness, length of practice, and willingness to respond were associated with high perceived personal preparedness.
Given the current gaps in and needs for increased disaster preparedness training, ED doctors and nurses in Hong Kong may benefit from the development of core-competency-based training targeting the under-trained areas, measures to improve staff confidence in their workplaces, and efforts to remove barriers to staff willingness to respond. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018; 12: 329–336)
This study investigates the origins of discrete interpersonal emotions in team-member dyads using two independent samples from an education institute and a telecommunication services company in China. Results across both studies showed that the quality of team members’ dyadic relationships positively relates to interpersonal admiration, sympathy, and envy, and negatively relates to interpersonal contempt. Furthermore, teams’ cooperative goals moderate these dyad-level linkages. The association of relationship quality with interpersonal emotions is particularly pronounced in teams with less cooperative goals but buffered in teams with more cooperative goals. Finally, on the individual level of analysis, envy and contempt are inversely associated with team members’ work performance, objectively measured. These findings provide new insights about key antecedents and crucial moderators in the development of interpersonal emotions in Chinese work teams and reiterate the relevance of these emotions for tangible performance outcomes.
Relapse is distressingly common after the first episode of psychosis, yet it is poorly understood and difficult to predict. Investigating changes in cognitive function preceding relapse may provide new insights into the underlying mechanism of relapse in psychosis. We hypothesized that relapse in fully remitted first-episode psychosis patients was preceded by working memory deterioration.
Visual memory and verbal working memory were monitored prospectively in a 1-year randomized controlled trial of remitted first-episode psychosis patients assigned to medication continuation (quetiapine 400 mg/day) or discontinuation (placebo). Relapse (recurrence of positive symptoms of psychosis), visual (Visual Patterns Test) and verbal (Letter–Number span test) working memory and stressful life events were assessed monthly.
Remitted first-episode patients (n = 102) participated in the study. Relapsers (n = 53) and non-relapsers (n = 49) had similar baseline demographic and clinical profiles. Logistic regression analyses indicated relapse was associated with visual working memory deterioration 2 months before relapse [odds ratio (OR) 3.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–7.92, P = 0.02], more stressful life events 1 month before relapse (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.20–3.72, P = 0.01) and medication discontinuation (OR 5.52, 95% CI 2.08–14.62, P = 0.001).
Visual working memory deterioration beginning 2 months before relapse in remitted first-episode psychosis patients (not baseline predictor) may reflect early brain dysfunction that heralds a psychotic relapse. The deterioration was found to be unrelated to a worsening of psychotic symptoms preceding relapse. Testable predictors offer insight into the brain processes underlying relapse in psychosis.