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Psychotropic medications are sometimes used off-label and inappropriately. This may cause harm to adolescents with intellectual disability. However, few studies have analysed off-label or inappropriate prescribing to this group.
To examine the appropriateness of psychotropic prescribing to adolescents with intellectual disability living in the community in south-east Queensland, Australia.
Off-label medication use was determined based on whether the recorded medical condition treated was approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration. Clinical appropriateness of medication use was determined based on published guidelines and clinical opinion of two authors who specialise in developmental disability medicine (J.N.T. and D.H.).
We followed 429 adolescents for a median of 4.2 years. A total of 107 participants (24.9%) were prescribed psychotropic medications on at least one occasion. Of these, 88 (82.2%) were prescribed their medication off-label or inappropriately at least once. Off-label or inappropriate use were most commonly associated with challenging behaviours.
Off-label or inappropriate use of psychotropic medications was common, especially for the management of challenging behaviours. Clinical decision-making accounts for individual patient factors and is made based on clinical experience as well as scientific evidence, whereas label indications are developed for regulatory purposes and, although appropriate at a population level, cannot encompass the foregoing considerations. Education for clinicians and other staff caring for people with intellectual disability, and a patient-centred approach to prescribing with involvement of families should encourage appropriate prescribing. The effect of the National Disability Insurance Scheme on the appropriateness of psychotropic medication prescribing should be investigated.
A new optimized quasi-helically symmetric configuration is described that has the desirable properties of improved energetic particle confinement, reduced turbulent transport by three-dimensional shaping and non-resonant divertor capabilities. The configuration presented in this paper is explicitly optimized for quasi-helical symmetry, energetic particle confinement, neoclassical confinement and stability near the axis. Post optimization, the configuration was evaluated for its performance with regard to energetic particle transport, ideal magnetohydrodynamic stability at various values of plasma pressure and ion temperature gradient instability induced turbulent transport. The effects of discrete coils on various confinement figures of merit, including energetic particle confinement, are determined by generating single-filament coils for the configuration. Preliminary divertor analysis shows that coils can be created that do not interfere with expansion of the vessel volume near the regions of outgoing heat flux, thus demonstrating the possibility of operating a non-resonant divertor.
To confirm the factor validity of the Compassionate Engagement and Action Scales (CEAS), as set out in the original development study, when used with a sample of family carers of older adults.
A series of confirmatory factor analyses were undertaken to test the previously proposed factor solutions of each scale.
As part of a larger cross-sectional survey, the scales were completed online or via hard copy between July and December 2019.
An international sample of 171 family carers of adults aged 65 years or older.
The CEAS are three measures that individually assess Compassion for Self, Compassion to Others, and Compassion from Others. All scales measure two aspects, “engagement” and “actions” (two-factor solution), and Compassion for Self also measures two further dimensions within engagement: “sensitivity to suffering” and “engagement with suffering” (three-factor solution).
Results were largely consistent with the two-factor solutions proposed for the three orientations of compassion, with acceptable fit and good internal reliability. There was some support for the three-factor solution of Compassion for Self; however, despite model fit comparable to the two-factor solution, internal reliability of the delineated “engagement” dimensions was low, and there was a weak factor loading for item 5 that measured distress tolerance.
Use of the CEAS with family carers of older adults is promising. Further research is recommended with larger samples and to explore distress tolerance as a competency within conceptualization and measurement of compassion.
The early phase of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and ongoing efforts for mitigation underscore the importance of universal travel and symptom screening. We analyzed adherence to documentation of travel and symptom screening through a travel navigator tool with clinical decision support to identify patients at risk for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
Lifespan outcomes of simultaneous versus sequential myelomeningocele repair and shunt placement or effects of repeated shunt revisions on specific domains of IQ or fine motor dexterity are largely unknown. The current study addressed these gaps in a large cohort of children and adults with spina bifida myelomeningocele (SBM).
Participants between 7 and 44 years of age with SBM and shunted hydrocephalus were recruited from international clinics at two time points. Each participant completed a standardized neuropsychological evaluation that included estimates of IQ and fine motor dexterity. Simultaneous versus sequential surgical repair and number of shunt revisions were examined in relation to long-term IQ and fine motor scores.
Simultaneous myelomeningocele repair and shunting were associated with more frequent shunt revisions, as well as to lower Full Scale and verbal IQ scores, controlling for number of shunt revisions. More shunt revisions across study time points were associated with higher nonverbal IQ (NVIQ) scores. No effects were observed on fine motor dexterity.
Findings indicate generally greater influence of surgery type over shunt revision history on outcomes in well-managed hydrocephalus. Findings supported apparent, domain-specific benefits of sequential compared to simultaneous surgery across the lifespan in SBM. Higher NVIQ scores with greater number of additional shunt revisions across surgery type supported positive outcomes with effective surgical management for hydrocephalus.
Recovery Colleges are opening internationally. The evaluation focus has been on outcomes for Recovery College students who use mental health services. However, benefits may also arise for: staff who attend or co-deliver courses; the mental health and social care service hosting the Recovery College; and wider society. A theory-based change model characterising how Recovery Colleges impact at these higher levels is needed for formal evaluation of their impact, and to inform future Recovery College development. The aim of this study was to develop a stratified theory identifying candidate mechanisms of action and outcomes (impact) for Recovery Colleges at staff, services and societal levels.
Inductive thematic analysis of 44 publications identified in a systematised review was supplemented by collaborative analysis involving a lived experience advisory panel to develop a preliminary theoretical framework. This was refined through semi-structured interviews with 33 Recovery College stakeholders (service user students, peer/non-peer trainers, managers, community partners, clinicians) in three sites in England.
Candidate mechanisms of action and outcomes were identified at staff, services and societal levels. At the staff level, experiencing new relationships may change attitudes and associated professional practice. Identified outcomes for staff included: experiencing and valuing co-production; changed perceptions of service users; and increased passion and job motivation. At the services level, Recovery Colleges often develop somewhat separately from their host system, reducing the reach of the college into the host organisation but allowing development of an alternative culture giving experiential learning opportunities to staff around co-production and the role of a peer workforce. At the societal level, partnering with community-based agencies gave other members of the public opportunities for learning alongside people with mental health problems and enabled community agencies to work with people they might not have otherwise. Recovery Colleges also gave opportunities to beneficially impact on community attitudes.
This study is the first to characterise the mechanisms of action and impact of Recovery Colleges on mental health staff, mental health and social care services, and wider society. The findings suggest that a certain distance is needed in the relationship between the Recovery College and its host organisation if a genuine cultural alternative is to be created. Different strategies are needed depending on what level of impact is intended, and this study can inform decision-making about mechanisms to prioritise. Future research into Recovery Colleges should include contextual evaluation of these higher level impacts, and investigate effectiveness and harms.
Background: Central neuropathic pain syndromes are a result of central nervous system injury, most commonly related to stroke, traumatic spinal cord injury, or multiple sclerosis. These syndromes are distinctly less common than peripheral neuropathic pain, and less is known regarding the underlying pathophysiology, appropriate pharmacotherapy, and long-term outcomes. The objective of this study was to determine the long-term clinical effectiveness of the management of central neuropathic pain relative to peripheral neuropathic pain at tertiary pain centers. Methods: Patients diagnosed with central (n=79) and peripheral (n=710) neuropathic pain were identified for analysis from a prospective observational cohort study of patients with chronic neuropathic pain recruited from seven Canadian tertiary pain centers. Data regarding patient characteristics, analgesic use, and patient-reported outcomes were collected at baseline and 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome measure was the composite of a reduction in average pain intensity and pain interference. Secondary outcome measures included assessments of function, mood, quality of life, catastrophizing, and patient satisfaction. Results: At 12-month follow-up, 13.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.6-25.8) of patients with central neuropathic pain and complete data sets (n=52) achieved a ≥30% reduction in pain, whereas 38.5% (95% CI, 25.3-53.0) achieved a reduction of at least 1 point on the Pain Interference Scale. The proportion of patients with central neuropathic pain achieving both these measures, and thus the primary outcome, was 9.6% (95% CI, 3.2-21.0). Patients with peripheral neuropathic pain and complete data sets (n=463) were more likely to achieve this primary outcome at 12 months (25.3% of patients; 95% CI, 21.4-29.5) (p=0.012). Conclusion: Patients with central neuropathic pain syndromes managed in tertiary care centers were less likely to achieve a meaningful improvement in pain and function compared with patients with peripheral neuropathic pain at 12-month follow-up.
Evidence is emerging regarding the influence of meteorological factors on seasonal respiratory syncytial virus outbreaks. Data however, are limited for subtropical regions, especially in the southern hemisphere. We examined whether meteorological data (daily minimum and maximum temperatures, rainfall, relative humidity, dew point, daily global solar exposure) and tourist numbers were associated with the incidence of RSV in children aged <5 years for the Gold Coast region of South-East Queensland, Australia (latitude 28.0°S). RSV cases between 1 July 2007 and 30 June 2016 were identified from the Pathology Queensland Gold Coast Laboratory database. Time-series methods were used to identify seasonal patterns. RSV activity peaked in mid-to-late autumn (April–May), tapering in winter (June–August). While most meteorological variables measured were associated with RSV incidence, rainfall (ρ = 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.32–0.48) and humidity (ρ = 0.38, 95% CI 0.29–0.46) 8 weeks earlier had the nearest temporal relationship. Tourist numbers were not correlated with RSV activity. Identifying meteorological conditions associated with seasonal RSV epidemics can improve understanding of virus transmission and assist planning for their impact upon the health sector, including timing of passive RSV immunoprophylaxis for high-risk infants and future public health interventions, such as maternal immunisation with RSV vaccines.
Population-based registries report 95% 5-year survival for children undergoing surgery for CHD. This study investigated paediatric cardiac surgical outcomes in the Australian indigenous population.
All children who underwent cardiac surgery between May, 2008 and August, 2014 were studied. Demographic information including socio-economic status, diagnoses and co-morbidities, and treatment and outcome data were collected at time of surgery and at last follow-up.
A total of 1528 children with a mean age 3.4±4.6 years were studied. Among them, 123 (8.1%) children were identified as indigenous, and 52.7% (62) of indigenous patients were in the lowest third of the socio-economic index compared with 28.2% (456) of non-indigenous patients (p⩽0.001). The indigenous sample had a significantly higher Comprehensive Aristotle Complexity score (indigenous 9.4±4.2 versus non-indigenous 8.7±3.9, p=0.04). The probability of having long-term follow-up did not differ between groups (indigenous 93.8% versus non-indigenous 95.6%, p=0.17). No difference was noted in 30-day mortality (indigenous 3.2% versus non-indigenous 1.4%, p=0.13). The 6-year survival for the entire cohort was 95.9%. The Cox survival analysis demonstrated higher 6-year mortality in the indigenous group – indigenous 8.1% versus non-indigenous 5.0%; hazard ratio (HR)=2.1; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.1, 4.2; p=0.03. Freedom from surgical re-intervention was 79%, and was not significantly associated with the indigenous status (HR=1.4; 95% CI: 0.9, 1.9; p=0.11). When long-term survival was adjusted for the Comprehensive Aristotle Complexity score, no difference in outcomes between the populations was demonstrated (HR=1.6; 95% CI: 0.8, 3.2; p=0.19).
The indigenous population experienced higher late mortality. This apparent relationship is explained by increased patient complexity, which may reflect negative social and environmental factors.
Background: Painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is a frequent complication of diabetes mellitus. Current treatment recommendations are based on short-term trials, generally of ≤3 months’ duration. Limited data are available on the long-term outcomes of this chronic disease. The objective of this study was to determine the long-term clinical effectiveness of the management of chronic PDN at tertiary pain centres. Methods: From a prospective observational cohort study of patients with chronic neuropathic non-cancer pain recruited from seven Canadian tertiary pain centres, 60 patients diagnosed with PDN were identified for analysis. Data were collected according to Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials guidelines including the Brief Pain Inventory. Results: At 12-month follow-up, 37.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 23.0-53.3) of 43 patients with complete data achieved pain reduction of ≥30%, 51.2% (95% CI, 35.5-66.7) achieved functional improvement with a reduction of ≥1 on the Pain Interference Scale (0-10, Brief Pain Inventory) and 30.2% (95% CI, 17.2-46.1) had achieved both these measures. Symptom management included at least two medication classes in 55.3% and three medication classes in 25.5% (opioids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants). Conclusions: Almost one-third of patients being managed for PDN in a tertiary care setting achieve meaningful improvements in pain and function in the long term. Polypharmacy including analgesic antidepressants and anticonvulsants were the mainstays of effective symptom management.
There is a known high prevalence of genetic and clinical syndrome diagnoses in the paediatric cardiac population. These disorders often have multisystem effects, which may have an important impact on neurodevelopmental outcomes. Taken together, these facts suggest that patients and families may benefit from consultation by genetic specialists in a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic.
This study assessed the burden of genetic disorders and utility of genetics evaluation in a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic.
A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients evaluated in a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic from 6 December, 2011 to 16 April, 2013. All patients were seen by a cardiovascular geneticist with genetic counselling support.
A total of 214 patients were included in this study; 64 of these patients had a pre-existing genetic or syndromic diagnosis. Following genetics evaluation, an additional 19 were given a new clinical or laboratory-confirmed genetic diagnosis including environmental such as teratogenic exposures, malformation associations, chromosomal disorders, and single-gene disorders. Genetic testing was recommended for 112 patients; radiological imaging to screen for congenital anomalies for 17 patients; subspecialist medical referrals for 73 patients; and non-genetic clinical laboratory testing for 14 patients. Syndrome-specific guidelines were available and followed for 25 patients with known diagnosis. American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book asplenia guideline recommendations were given for five heterotaxy patients, and family-based cardiac screening was recommended for 23 families affected by left ventricular outflow tract obstruction.
Genetics involvement in a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic is helpful in identifying new unifying diagnoses and providing syndrome-specific care, which may impact the patient’s overall health status and neurodevelopmental outcome.
Theoretical models predict that plant interactions with free-living soil microbes, pathogens and fungal symbionts are regulated by nutrient availability. Working along a steep natural gradient of soil fertility in a Costa Rican tropical dry forest, we examined how soil nutrients affect plant–microbe interactions using two complementary approaches. First, we measured mycorrhizal colonization of roots and soil P availability in 18 permanent plots spanning the soil fertility gradient. We measured root production, root colonization by mycorrhizal fungi, phosphatase activity and Bray P in each of 144 soil cores. Next, in a full-factorial manipulation of soil type and microbial community origin, tree seedlings of Albizia guachapele and Swietenia macrophylla were grown in sterilized high-, intermediate- and low-fertility soils paired with microbial inoculum from each soil type. Seedling growth, biomass allocation and root colonization by mycorrhizas were quantified after 2 mo. In the field, root colonization by mycorrhizal fungi was unrelated to soil phosphorus across a five-fold gradient of P availability. In the shadehouse, inoculation with soil microbes had either neutral or positive effects on plant growth, suggesting that positive effects of mycorrhizal symbionts outweighed negative effects of soil pathogens. The presence of soil microbes had a greater effect on plant biomass than variation in soil nutrient concentrations (although both effects were modest), and plant responses to mycorrhizal inoculation were not dependent on soil nutrients. Taken together, our results emphasize that soil microbial communities can influence plant growth and morphology independently of soil fertility.
To examine whether weight history and weight transitions over adult lifespan contribute to physical impairment among postmenopausal women.
BMI categories were calculated among postmenopausal women who reported their weight and height at age 18 years. Multiple-variable logistic regression was used to determine the association between BMI at age 18 years and BMI transitions over adulthood on severe physical impairment (SPI), defined as scoring <60 on the Physical Functioning subscale of the Rand thirty-six-item Short-Form Health Survey.
Participants were part of the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI OS), where participants’ health was followed over time via questionnaires and clinical assessments.
Postmenopausal women (n 76 016; mean age 63·5 (sd 7·3) years).
Women with overweight (BMI=25·0–29·9 kg/m2) or obesity (BMI≥30·0 kg/m2) at 18 years had greater odds (OR (95 % CI)) of SPI (1·51 (1·35, 1·69) and 2·14 (1·72, 2·65), respectively) than normal-weight (BMI=18·5–24·9 kg/m2) counterparts. Transitions from normal weight to overweight/obese or to underweight (BMI<18·5 kg/m2) were associated with greater odds of SPI (1·97 (1·84, 2·11) and 1·35 (1·06, 1·71), respectively) compared with weight stability. Shifting from underweight to overweight/obese also had increased odds of SPI (1·52 (1·11, 2·09)). Overweight/obese to normal BMI transitions resulted in a reduced SPI odds (0·52 (0·39, 0·71)).
Higher weight history and transitions into higher weight classes were associated with higher likelihood of SPI, while transitioning into lower weight classes for those with overweight/obesity was protective among postmenopausal women.
To determine the impact of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (MRSA/VRE) designations, or flags, on selected hospital operational outcomes.
Retrospective cohort study of inpatients admitted to the Massachusetts General Hospital during 2010–2011.
Operational outcomes were time to bed arrival, acuity-unrelated within-hospital transfers, and length of stay. Covariates considered included demographic and clinical characteristics: age, gender, severity of illness on admission, admit day of week, residence prior to admission, hospitalization within the prior 30 days, clinical service, and discharge destination.
Overall, 81,288 admissions were included. After adjusting for covariates, patients with a MRSA/VRE flag at the time of admission experienced a mean delay in time to bed arrival of 1.03 hours (9.63 hours [95% CI, 9.39–9.88] vs 8.60 hours [95% CI, 8.47–8.73]). These patients had 1.19 times the odds of experiencing an acuity-unrelated within-hospital transfer [95% CI, 1.13–1.26] and a mean length of stay 1.76 days longer (7.03 days [95% CI, 6.82–7.24] vs 5.27 days [95% CI, 5.15–5.38]) than patients with no MRSA/VRE flag.
MRSA/VRE designation was associated with delays in time to bed arrival, increased likelihood of acuity-unrelated within-hospital transfers and extended length of stay. Efforts to identify patients who have cleared MRSA/VRE colonization are critically important to mitigate inefficient use of resources and to improve inpatient flow.
To determine whether real-time availability of rapid molecular results of Staphylococcus aureus would impact emergency department clinician antimicrobial selection for adults with cutaneous abscesses.
We performed a prospective, randomized controlled trial comparing a rapid molecular test with standard of care culture-based testing. Follow-up telephone calls were made at between 2 and 7 days, 1 month, and 3 months after discharge.
Two urban, academic emergency departments.
Patients at least 18 years old presenting with a chief complaint of abscess, cellulitis, or insect bite and receiving incision and drainage were eligible. Seven hundred seventy-eight people were assessed for eligibility and 252 met eligibility criteria.
Clinician antibiotic selection and clinical outcomes were evaluated. An ad hoc outcome of test performance was performed.
We enrolled 252 patients and 126 were randomized to receive the rapid test. Methicillin-susceptible S. aureus–positive patients receiving rapid test results were prescribed beta-lactams more often than controls (absolute difference, 14.5% [95% CI, 1.1%–30.1%]) whereas methicillin-resistant S. aureus–positive patients receiving rapid test results were more often prescribed anti–methicillin-resistant S. aureus antibiotics (absolute difference, 21.5% [95% CI, 10.1%–33.0%]). There were no significant differences between the 2 groups in 1-week or 3-month clinical outcomes.
Availability of rapid molecular test results after incision and drainage was associated with more-targeted antibiotic selection.
Influenza and pertussis are the two most common vaccine-preventable infections notified in Australia. We assessed the role of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnosis in influenza and pertussis cases notified to the Australian National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). There were a total of 2 10 786 notified influenza cases (2001–2013) and 2 55 866 notified pertussis cases (1991–2013). After 1 January 2007, the majority of influenza and pertussis notifications were PCR-based (80·5% and 59·6%, respectively). Before 31 December 2006, PCR-based notifications were limited (29·1% and 11·7%, respectively). By 2013, PCR-based notifications had largely replaced all other diagnostic methods, with the exception of serology-based notifications in pertussis cases in adults aged ⩾25 years.
Fetal exposure to maternal undernutrition has lifelong consequences for physiological and metabolic function. Maternal low-protein diet is associated with an age-related phenotype in rats, characterised by a period of resistance to development of obesity in early adulthood, giving way to an obesity-prone, insulin-resistant state in later adulthood. Offspring of rats fed a control (18 % casein) or low-protein (9 % casein; LP) diet in pregnancy were challenged with a high-fat diet at 9 months of age. To assess whether other maternal factors modulated the programming effects of nutrition, offspring were studied from young (2–4 months old) and older (6–9 months old) mothers. Weight gain with a high-fat diet was attenuated in male offspring of older mothers fed LP (interaction of maternal age and diet; P = 0·011) and adipose tissue deposition was lower with LP feeding in both males and females (P < 0·05). Although the resistance to weight gain and adiposity was partially explained by lower energy intake in offspring of LP mothers (P < 0·001 males only), it was apparent that energy expenditure must be influenced by maternal diet and age. Assessment of locomotor activity indicated that energy expenditure associated with physical activity was unlikely to explain resistance to weight gain, but showed that offspring of older mothers were more anxious than those of younger mothers, with more rearing observed in a novel environment and on the elevated plus-maze. The data showed that in addition to maternal undernutrition, greater maternal age may influence development and long-term body composition in the rat.
Few studies have formally examined the relationship between meteorological factors and the incidence of child pneumonia in the tropics, despite the fact that most child pneumonia deaths occur there. We examined the association between four meteorological exposures (rainy days, sunshine, relative humidity, temperature) and the incidence of clinical pneumonia in young children in the Philippines using three time-series methods: correlation of seasonal patterns, distributed lag regression, and case-crossover. Lack of sunshine was most strongly associated with pneumonia in both lagged regression [overall relative risk over the following 60 days for a 1-h increase in sunshine per day was 0·67 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0·51–0·87)] and case-crossover analysis [odds ratio for a 1-h increase in mean daily sunshine 8–14 days earlier was 0·95 (95% CI 0·91–1·00)]. This association is well known in temperate settings but has not been noted previously in the tropics. Further research to assess causality is needed.