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The goal of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Partnership was to prepare health care professionals and researchers to conduct patient-centered outcomes and comparative effectiveness research (CER). Substantial evidence gaps, heterogeneous health care systems, and decision-making challenges in the USA underscore the need for evidence-based strategies.
We engaged five community-based health care organizations that serve diverse and underrepresented patient populations from Hawai’i to Minnesota. Each partner nominated two in-house scholars to participate in the 2-year program. The program focused on seven competencies pertinent to patient-centered outcomes and CER. It combined in-person and experiential learning with asynchronous, online education, and created adaptive, pragmatic learning opportunities and a Summer Institute. Metrics included the Clinical Research Appraisal Inventory (CRAI), a tool designed to assess research self-efficacy and clinical research skills across 10 domains.
We trained 31 scholars in 3 cohorts. Mean scores in nine domains of the CRAI improved; greater improvement was observed from the beginning to the midpoint than from the midpoint to conclusion of the program. Across all three cohorts, mean scores on 52 items (100%) increased (p ≤ 0.01), and 91% of scholars reported the program improved their skills moderately/significantly. Satisfaction with the program was high (91%).
Investigators that conduct patient-centered outcomes and CER must know how to collaborate with regional health care systems to identify priorities; pose questions; design, conduct, and disseminate observational and experimental research; and transform knowledge into practical clinical applications. Training programs such as ours can facilitate such collaborations.
The Residual Lesion Score is a novel tool for assessing the achievement of surgical objectives in congenital heart surgery based on widely available clinical and echocardiographic characteristics. This article describes the methodology used to develop the Residual Lesion Score from the previously developed Technical Performance Score for five common congenital cardiac procedures using the RAND Delphi methodology.
A panel of 11 experts from the field of paediatric and congenital cardiology and cardiac surgery, 2 co-chairs, and a consultant were assembled to review and comment on validity and feasibility of measuring the sub-components of intraoperative and discharge Residual Lesion Score for five congenital cardiac procedures. In the first email round, the panel reviewed and commented on the Residual Lesion Score and provided validity and feasibility scores for sub-components of each of the five procedures. In the second in-person round, email comments and scores were reviewed and the Residual Lesion Score revised. The modified Residual Lesion Score was scored independently by each panellist for validity and feasibility and used to develop the “final” Residual Lesion Score.
The Residual Lesion Score sub-components with a median validity score of ≥7 and median feasibility score of ≥4 that were scored without disagreement and with low absolute deviation from the median were included in the “final” Residual Lesion Score.
Using the RAND Delphi methodology, we were able to develop Residual Lesion Score modules for five important congenital cardiac procedures for the Pediatric Heart Network’s Residual Lesion Score study.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
Microscopic examination of blood smears remains the gold standard for laboratory inspection and diagnosis of malaria. Smear inspection is, however, time-consuming and dependent on trained microscopists with results varying in accuracy. We sought to develop an automated image analysis method to improve accuracy and standardization of smear inspection that retains capacity for expert confirmation and image archiving. Here, we present a machine learning method that achieves red blood cell (RBC) detection, differentiation between infected/uninfected cells, and parasite life stage categorization from unprocessed, heterogeneous smear images. Based on a pretrained Faster Region-Based Convolutional Neural Networks (R-CNN) model for RBC detection, our model performs accurately, with an average precision of 0.99 at an intersection-over-union threshold of 0.5. Application of a residual neural network-50 model to infected cells also performs accurately, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.98. Finally, combining our method with a regression model successfully recapitulates intraerythrocytic developmental cycle with accurate lifecycle stage categorization. Combined with a mobile-friendly web-based interface, called PlasmoCount, our method permits rapid navigation through and review of results for quality assurance. By standardizing assessment of Giemsa smears, our method markedly improves inspection reproducibility and presents a realistic route to both routine lab and future field-based automated malaria diagnosis.
The leapfrogging of coaxial vortex rings is a famous effect which has been noticed since the times of Helmholtz. Recent advances in ultra-cold atomic gases show that the effect can now be studied in quantum fluids. The strong confinement which characterises these systems motivates the study of leapfrogging of vortices within narrow channels. Using the two-dimensional point vortex model, we show that in the constrained geometry of a two-dimensional channel the dynamics is richer than in an unbounded domain: alongside the known regimes of standard leapfrogging and the absence of it, we identify new regimes of image-driven leapfrogging and periodic orbits. Moreover, by solving the Gross–Pitaevskii equation for a Bose–Einstein condensate, we show that all four regimes exist for quantum vortices too. Finally, we discuss the differences between classical and quantum vortex leapfrogging which appear when the quantum healing length becomes significant compared to the vortex separation or the channel size, and when, due to high velocity, compressibility effects in the condensate becomes significant.
Mean cerebral blood flow velocity (mean-CBFV) obtained from Transcranial Doppler (TCD) poorly predicts cerebral vasospasm in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Variability descriptors of mean-CBFV obtained during extended TCD recordings may improve this prediction. We assessed the feasibility of generating reliable linear and non-linear descriptors of mean-CBFV variability using extended recordings in aSAH patients and in healthy controls. We also explored which of those metrics might have the ability to discriminate between aSAH patients and healthy controls, and among patients who would go on to develop vasospasm and those who would not.
Bilateral mean-CBFV, blood pressure, and heart rate were continuously recorded for 40 minutes in aSAH patients (n = 8) within the first 5 days after ictus, in age-matched healthy controls (n = 8) and in additional young controls (n = 8). We obtained linear [standard deviation, coefficient of variations, and the very-low (0.003–0.040 Hz), low (0.040–0.150 Hz), and high-frequency (0.15–0.4 Hz) power spectra] and non-linear (Fractality, deterministic Chaos analyses) variability metrics.
We successfully obtained TCD recordings from patients and healthy controls and calculated the desired metrics of mean-CBFV variability. Differences were appreciable between aSAH patients and healthy controls, as well as between aSAH patients who later developed vasospasm and those who did not.
A 40-minute TCD recording provides reliable variability metrics in aSAH patients and healthy controls. Future studies are required to determine if mean-CBFV variability metrics remain stable over time, and whether they may serve to identify patients who are at greatest risk of developing cerebral vasospasm after aSAH.
The Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial randomised neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome to a shunt strategy but otherwise retained standard of care. We aimed to describe centre-level practice variation at Fontan completion.
Centre-level data are reported as median or median frequency across all centres and range of medians or frequencies across centres. Classification and regression tree analysis assessed the association of centre-level factors with length of stay and percentage of patients with prolonged pleural effusion (>7 days).
The median Fontan age (14 centres, 320 patients) was 3.1 years (range from 1.7 to 3.9), and the weight-for-age z-score was −0.56 (−1.35 + 0.44). Extra-cardiac Fontans were performed in 79% (4–100%) of patients at the 13 centres performing this procedure; lateral tunnels were performed in 32% (3–100%) at the 11 centres performing it. Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (nine centres) ranged from 6 to 100%. Major complications occurred in 17% (7–33%). The length of stay was 9.5 days (9–12); 15% (6–33%) had prolonged pleural effusion. Centres with fewer patients (<6%) with prolonged pleural effusion and fewer (<41%) complications had a shorter length of stay (<10 days; sensitivity 1.0; specificity 0.71; area under the curve 0.96). Avoiding deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and higher weight-for-age z-score were associated with a lower percentage of patients with prolonged effusions (<9.5%; sensitivity 1.0; specificity = 0.86; area under the curve 0.98).
Fontan perioperative practices varied widely among study centres. Strategies to decrease the duration of pleural effusion and minimise complications may decrease the length of stay. Further research regarding deep hypothermic circulatory arrest is needed to understand its association with prolonged pleural effusion.
Major depressive disorder and neuroticism (Neu) share a large genetic basis. We sought to determine whether this shared basis could be decomposed to identify genetic factors that are specific to depression.
We analysed summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of depression (from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, 23andMe and UK Biobank) and compared them with GWAS of Neu (from UK Biobank). First, we used a pairwise GWAS analysis to classify variants as associated with only depression, with only Neu or with both. Second, we estimated partial genetic correlations to test whether the depression's genetic link with other phenotypes was explained by shared overlap with Neu.
We found evidence that most genomic regions (25/37) associated with depression are likely to be shared with Neu. The overlapping common genetic variance of depression and Neu was genetically correlated primarily with psychiatric disorders. We found that the genetic contributions to depression, that were not shared with Neu, were positively correlated with metabolic phenotypes and cardiovascular disease, and negatively correlated with the personality trait conscientiousness. After removing shared genetic overlap with Neu, depression still had a specific association with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, coronary artery disease and age of first birth. Independent of depression, Neu had specific genetic correlates in ulcerative colitis, pubertal growth, anorexia and education.
Our findings demonstrate that, while genetic risk factors for depression are largely shared with Neu, there are also non-Neu-related features of depression that may be useful for further patient or phenotypic stratification.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether vehicle type based on size (car vs. other = truck/van/SUV) had an impact on the speeding, acceleration, and braking patterns of older male and female drivers (70 years and older) from a Canadian longitudinal study. The primary hypothesis was that older adults driving larger vehicles (e.g., trucks, SUVs, or vans) would be more likely to speed than those driving cars. Participants (n = 493) had a device installed in their vehicles that recorded their everyday driving. The findings suggest that the type of vehicle driven had little or no impact on per cent of time speeding or on the braking and accelerating patterns of older drivers. Given that the propensity for exceeding the speed limit was high among these older drivers, regardless of vehicle type, future research should examine what effect this behaviour has on older-driver road safety.
Antipseudomonal carbapenems are an important target for antimicrobial stewardship programs. We evaluated the impact of formulary restriction and preauthorization on relative carbapenem use for medical and surgical intensive care units at a large, urban academic medical center using interrupted time-series analysis.
A few studies have evaluated the impact of clinical trial results on practice in paediatric cardiology. The Infant Single Ventricle (ISV) Trial results published in 2010 did not support routine use of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor enalapril in infants with single-ventricle physiology. We sought to assess the influence of these findings on clinical practice.
A web-based survey was distributed via e-mail to over 2000 paediatric cardiologists, intensivists, cardiothoracic surgeons, and cardiac advance practice nurses during three distribution periods. The results were analysed using McNemar’s test for paired data and Fisher’s exact test.
The response rate was 31.5% (69% cardiologists and 65% with >10 years of experience). Among respondents familiar with trial results, 74% reported current practice consistent with trial findings versus 48% before trial publication (p<0.001); 19% used angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor in this population “almost always” versus 36% in the past (p<0.001), and 72% reported a change in management or improved confidence in treatment decisions involving this therapy based on the trial results. Respondents familiar with trial results (78%) were marginally more likely to practise consistent with the trial results than those unfamiliar (74 versus 67%, p=0.16). Among all respondents, 28% reported less frequent use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor over the last 3 years.
Within 5 years of publication, the majority of respondents was familiar with the Infant Single Ventricle Trial results and reported less frequent use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor in single-ventricle infants; however, 28% reported not adjusting their clinical decisions based on the trial’s findings.
The purpose of this study was to determine if season or weather affected the objectively measured trip distances of older drivers (≥ 70 years; n = 279) at seven Canadian sites. During winter, for all trips taken, trip distance was 7 per cent shorter when controlling for site and whether the trip occurred during the day. In addition, for trips taken within city limits, trip distance was 1 per cent shorter during winter and 5 per cent longer during rain when compared to no precipitation when controlling for weather (or season respectively), time of day, and site. At night, trip distance was about 30 per cent longer when controlling for season and site (and weather), contrary to expectations. Together, these results suggest that older Canadian drivers alter their trip distances based on season, weather conditions, and time of day, although not always in the expected direction.
Persistent tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are major public health concerns worldwide. Both alcohol and nicotine dependence (AD, ND) are genetically influenced complex disorders that exhibit a high degree of comorbidity. To identify gene variants contributing to one or both of these addictions, we first conducted a pooling-based genomewide association study (GWAS) in an Australian population, using Illumina Infinium 1M arrays. Allele frequency differences were compared between pooled DNA from case and control groups for: (1) AD, 1224 cases and 1162 controls; (2) ND, 1273 cases and 1113 controls; and (3) comorbid AD and ND, 599 cases and 488 controls. Secondly, we carried out a GWAS in independent samples from the Netherlands for AD and for ND. Thirdly, we performed a meta-analysis of the 10, 000 most significant AD- and ND-related SNPs from the Australian and Dutch samples. In the Australian GWAS, one SNP achieved genomewide significance (p < 5 x 10-8) for ND (rs964170 in ARHGAPlOon chromosome 4, p = 4.43 x 10”8) and three others for comorbid AD/ND (rs7530302 near MARK1 on chromosome 1 (p = 1.90 x 10-9), rs1784300 near DDX6 on chromosome 11 (p = 2.60 x 10-9) and rs12882384 in KIAA1409 on chromosome 14 (p = 4.86 x 10-8)). None of the SNPs achieved genomewide significance in the Australian/Dutch meta-analysis, but a gene network diagram based on the top-results revealed overrepre-sentation of genes coding for ion-channels and cell adhesion molecules. Further studies will be requirec before the detailed causes of comorbidity between AC and ND are understood.
We conducted a time-series analysis to evaluate the impact of the ASP over a 6.25-year period (July 1, 2008–September 30, 2014) while controlling for trends during a 3-year preintervention period (July 1, 2005–June 30, 2008). The primary outcome measures were total antibacterial and antipseudomonal use in days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 patient-days (PD). Secondary outcomes included antimicrobial costs and resistance, hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infection, and other patient-centered measures.
During the preintervention period, total antibacterial and antipseudomonal use were declining (−9.2 and −5.5 DOT/1,000 PD per quarter, respectively). During the stewardship period, both continued to decline, although at lower rates (−3.7 and −2.2 DOT/1,000 PD, respectively), resulting in a slope change of 5.5 DOT/1,000 PD per quarter for total antibacterial use (P=.10) and 3.3 DOT/1,000 PD per quarter for antipseudomonal use (P=.01). Antibiotic expenditures declined markedly during the stewardship period (−$295.42/1,000 PD per quarter, P=.002). There were variable changes in antimicrobial resistance and few apparent changes in C. difficile infection and other patient-centered outcomes.
In a hospital with low baseline antibiotic use, implementation of an ASP was associated with sustained reductions in total antibacterial and antipseudomonal use and declining antibiotic expenditures. Common ASP outcome measures have limitations.