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Until now, the application of virtual reality as a distraction model has been widely described in the medical field, showing different benefits offered on patient’s perception, particularly related to pain and anxiety. Previous clinical experience of virtual reality applications on surgical intervention has shown how during procedures with local anaesthesia, this modality improves patients’ experience without changing times, costs, and clinical outcomes. Herein, we report our experience with three patients during diagnostic cardiac catheterisation, showing the effect of this technology on patients’ perception and metrics during the procedure.
Multiple transitions across care settings can be disruptive for older adults with dementia and their care partners, and can lead to fragmented care with adverse outcomes. This scoping review was conducted to identify and classify care trajectories across multiple settings for people with dementia, and to understand the prevalence of multiple transitions and associated factors at the individual and organizational levels. Searches of three databases, limited to peer-reviewed studies published between 2007 and 2017, provided 33 articles for inclusion. We identified 26 distinct care trajectories. Common trajectories involved hospital readmission or discharge from hospital to long-term care. Factors associated with transitions were identified mainly at the level of demographic and medical characteristics. Findings suggest a need for investing in stronger community-based systems of care that may reduce transitions. Further research is recommended to address knowledge gaps about complex and longitudinal care trajectories and trajectories experienced by sub-populations of people living with dementia.
Recent cannabis exposure has been associated with lower rates of neurocognitive impairment in people with HIV (PWH). Cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties may underlie this relationship by reducing chronic neuroinflammation in PWH. This study examined relations between cannabis use and inflammatory biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma, and cognitive correlates of these biomarkers within a community-based sample of PWH.
263 individuals were categorized into four groups: HIV− non-cannabis users (n = 65), HIV+ non-cannabis users (n = 105), HIV+ moderate cannabis users (n = 62), and HIV+ daily cannabis users (n = 31). Differences in pro-inflammatory biomarkers (IL-6, MCP-1/CCL2, IP-10/CXCL10, sCD14, sTNFR-II, TNF-α) by study group were determined by Kruskal–Wallis tests. Multivariable linear regressions examined relationships between biomarkers and seven cognitive domains, adjusting for age, sex/gender, race, education, and current CD4 count.
HIV+ daily cannabis users showed lower MCP-1 and IP-10 levels in CSF compared to HIV+ non-cannabis users (p = .015; p = .039) and were similar to HIV− non-cannabis users. Plasma biomarkers showed no differences by cannabis use. Among PWH, lower CSF MCP-1 and lower CSF IP-10 were associated with better learning performance (all ps < .05).
Current daily cannabis use was associated with lower levels of pro-inflammatory chemokines implicated in HIV pathogenesis and these chemokines were linked to the cognitive domain of learning which is commonly impaired in PWH. Cannabinoid-related reductions of MCP-1 and IP-10, if confirmed, suggest a role for medicinal cannabis in the mitigation of persistent inflammation and cognitive impacts of HIV.
Intracardiac echocardiography Doppler-derived gradients have previously been shown to correlate with post-procedure echocardiographic evaluations when compared with invasive gradients measured during percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation, suggesting that intracardiac echocardiography could offer an accurate and predictable starting point to estimate valve function after percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation.
We performed a retrospective chart review of 51 patients who underwent percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation between September 2018 and December 2019 in whom intracardiac echocardiography was performed immediately after valve implantation. We evaluated the correlation between intracardiac echocardiography gradients and post-procedural Doppler-derived gradients. Among the parameters assessed, those which demonstrated the strongest correlation were used to create a predictive model of expected echo-derived gradients after percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation. The equation was validated on the same sample data along with a subsequent cohort of 25 consecutive patients collected between January 2020 and July 2020.
All the assessed correlation models between intracardiac echocardiography evaluation and post-procedure transthoracic echocardiographic assessments were statistically significant, presenting moderate to strong correlations. The strongest relationship was found between intracardiac echocardiography mean gradients and post-procedural transthoracic echocardiographic mean gradients. Therefore, an equation was created based on the intracardiac echocardiography-derived mean gradient, to allow prediction of the post-procedural and follow-up transthoracic echocardiographic-derived mean gradients within a range of ±5 mmHg from the observed value in more than 80% of cases.
There is a strong correlation between intracardiac echocardiography and post-procedure transthoracic echocardiographic. This allowed us to derive a predictive equation that defines the expected transthoracic echocardiographic Doppler-derived gradient following the procedure and at out-patient follow-up after percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation.
Memory symptoms and objective impairment are common in HIV disease and are associated with disability. A paradoxical issue is that objective episodic memory failures can interfere with accurate recall of memory symptoms. The present study assessed whether responses on a self-report scale of memory symptoms demonstrate measurement invariance in persons with and without objective HIV-associated memory impairment.
In total, 505 persons with HIV completed the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ). Objective memory impairment (n = 141) was determined using a 1-SD cutoff on clinical tests of episodic memory. PRMQ measurement invariance was assessed by confirmatory factor analyses examining a one-factor model with increasing cross-group equality constraints imposed on factor loadings and item thresholds (i.e., configural, weak, and strong invariance).
Configural model fit indicated that identical items measured a one-factor model for both groups. Comparison to the weak model indicated that factor loadings were equivalent across groups. However, there was evidence of partial strong invariance, with two PRMQ item thresholds differing across memory impairment groups. Post hoc analyses using a 1.5-SD memory impairment cutoff (n = 77) revealed both partial weak and partial strong invariance, such that PRMQ item loadings differed across memory groups for three items.
The PRMQ demonstrated a robust factor structure among persons with and without objective HIV-associated memory impairment. However, on select PRMQ items, individuals with memory impairment reported observed scores that were relatively higher than their latent score, while items were more strongly associated with the memory factor in a group with greater memory impairment.
Neuropsychological assessment via video conferencing has been proposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Existing literature has demonstrated feasibility and acceptance of neuropsychological measures administered by videoconference, although few studies have examined feasibility and patient acceptance of TNP visits directly to patients’ homes (DTH-TNP).
We modified a previously published patient satisfaction survey for DTH-TNP and developed a clinician feasibility survey to examine experiences during DTH-TNP.
Seventy-two patients (age range: preschool-geriatric) evaluated by DTH-TNP for cognitive problems at an academic medical center responded to voluntary surveys between April 20, 2020, and August 19, 2020, and 100% indicated satisfaction. Fifty-nine percent of patients reported limitations (e.g., technological concern) during the appointment. 134 clinician surveys were collected and indicated that clinicians achieved the goal of their appointment in 90% of encounters.
These qualitative data suggest that patients and clinicians found DTH-TNP to be satisfactory during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also recognizing limitations of the practice. These results are limited in that voluntary surveys are subject to bias. They support the growing body of literature suggesting that DTH-TNP provides a valuable service, though additional research to establish reliability and validity is needed.
To evaluate the role of procalcitonin (PCT) in antibiotic decisions for COVID-19 patients at hospital presentation.
Design, Setting and Participants:
Multicenter retrospective observational study of patients 18 years hospitalized due to COVID-19 at the Johns Hopkins Health system. Patients who were transferred from another facility with >24 hours stay and patients who died within 48 hours of hospitalization were excluded.
Elevated PCT values were determined based on each hospitals definition. Antibiotic therapy and PCT results were evaluated for patients with no evidence of bacterial community-acquired pneumonia (bCAP) and patients with confirmed, probable, or possible bCAP. The added value of PCT to clinical criteria in detecting bCAP were evaluated with receiving operating curve characteristics (ROC).
64% (611/962) of patients received a PCT. ROC curves for clinical criteria and clinical criteria plus PCT were similar (at 0.5ng/ml and 0.25ng/ml). By bCAP group, median initial PCT values were 0.58 ng/mL (IQR 0.24, 1.14), 0.23 ng/mL (IQR 0.1, 0.63) and 0.15 ng/mL (IQR 0.09, 0.35) for proven/probable, possible, and no bCAP groups. Among patients without bCAP, an elevatedPCT was associated with 1.8 additional days of CAP therapy (95% CI 1.01 2.75, P<0.01) compared to patients with a negative PCT after adjusting for potential confounders. Duration of CAP therapy was similar between patients without a PCT ordered and a low PCT for no bCAP and possible bCAP groups.
PCT may be abnormal in COVID-19 patients without bCAP and may result in receipt of unnecessary antibiotics.
This paper describes a computational investigation of multimode instability growth and multimaterial mixing induced by multiple shock waves in a high-energy-density (HED) environment, where pressures exceed 1 Mbar. The simulations are based on a series of experiments performed at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and designed as an HED analogue of non-HED shock-tube studies of the Richtmyer–Meshkov instability and turbulent mixing. A three-dimensional computational modelling framework is presented. It treats many complications absent from canonical non-HED shock-tube flows, including distinct ion and free-electron internal energies, non-ideal equations of state, radiation transport and plasma-state mass diffusivities, viscosities and thermal conductivities. The simulations are tuned to the available NIF data, and traditional statistical quantities of turbulence are analysed. Integrated measures of turbulent kinetic energy and enstrophy both increase by over an order of magnitude due to reshock. Large contributions to enstrophy production during reshock are seen from both the baroclinic source and enstrophy–dilatation terms, highlighting the significance of fluid compressibility in the HED regime. Dimensional analysis reveals that Reynolds numbers and diffusive Péclet numbers in the HED flow are similar to those in a canonical non-HED analogue, but conductive Péclet numbers are much smaller in the HED flow due to efficient thermal conduction by free electrons. It is shown that the mechanism of electron thermal conduction significantly softens local spanwise gradients of both temperature and density, which causes a minor but non-negligible decrease in enstrophy production and small-scale mixing relative to a flow without this mechanism.
Increasing concern around perceived neurocognitive decline is increasing the number of referrals to specialists and anxiety for patients. We aimed to explore the likelihood of the “worried well” experiencing neurocognitive decline and developing a neurological diagnosis.
A total of 166 “worried well” patients who attended the Rural and Remote Memory Clinic (RRMC) between 2004 and 2019 were included in this study. Demographic, health, social, and behavioral factors were measured at the initial visit. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD), and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) scores were measured and compared at initial assessment and at 1-year follow-up. MMSE scores over time were assessed with a mean follow-up of 2.95 years (SD 2.87).
No statistically significant difference was seen in MMSE, CESD, or FAQ scores when comparing clinic day to 1-year follow-up, and no consistent pattern of MMSE score over time was seen. Of the 166 patients with subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) on initial assessment, 5 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at 8.5, 3.5, 5, 3, and 1.75 years; 2 were diagnosed with MCI at 1 and 2 years; 1 was diagnosed with vascular cognitive impairment at 5 years; and 1 was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) at 0.5 years.
The likelihood of a patient with SCI developing a neurological diagnosis is reassuringly low (9/166), but not irrelevant. This, along with the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment for dementia, leads us to believe that patients with SCI should still be seen in follow-up at least at the 1-year mark.
Perceived discrimination is associated with worse mental health. Few studies have assessed whether perceived discrimination (i) is associated with the risk of psychotic disorders and (ii) contributes to an increased risk among minority ethnic groups relative to the ethnic majority.
We used data from the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions Work Package 2, a population-based case−control study of incident psychotic disorders in 17 catchment sites across six countries. We calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the associations between perceived discrimination and psychosis using mixed-effects logistic regression models. We used stratified and mediation analyses to explore differences for minority ethnic groups.
Reporting any perceived experience of major discrimination (e.g. unfair treatment by police, not getting hired) was higher in cases than controls (41.8% v. 34.2%). Pervasive experiences of discrimination (≥3 types) were also higher in cases than controls (11.3% v. 5.5%). In fully adjusted models, the odds of psychosis were 1.20 (95% CI 0.91–1.59) for any discrimination and 1.79 (95% CI 1.19–1.59) for pervasive discrimination compared with no discrimination. In stratified analyses, the magnitude of association for pervasive experiences of discrimination appeared stronger for minority ethnic groups (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.12–2.68) than the ethnic majority (OR = 1.42, 95% CI 0.65–3.10). In exploratory mediation analysis, pervasive discrimination minimally explained excess risk among minority ethnic groups (5.1%).
Pervasive experiences of discrimination are associated with slightly increased odds of psychotic disorders and may minimally help explain excess risk for minority ethnic groups.
To evaluate the reliability of balloon coronary compression testing during percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation.
Despite the widespread use of the ‘balloon coronary test’ as the preferable method to rule out the risk of coronary compression, this adverse event has been described after pulmonary valve implantation where coronary balloon test suggested no risk or low risk, calling into question the accuracy of the test.
We performed a retrospective chart review of 84 patients who underwent pulmonary valve implantation between January 2018 and December 2019 and selected 36 patients whose archived imaging was suitable to perform quantitative analysis of the ‘balloon coronary test’. We focused on the spatial disparity between the right ventricular outflow tract position defined by the inflated testing balloon and the eventual implanted valve position, to classify the test as inaccurate or accurate.
In total, 36.1% of cases were classified as having an inaccurate coronary balloon test. Among the baseline characteristics, right ventricular outflow tract substrate was identified as a significant predictor of test accuracy. Related to this characteristic, the type of testing balloon used and the size of the eventually implanted valve were found to be associated with test accuracy.
Based on our findings, balloon coronary testing is not an accurate method of predicting final valve position with respect to fixed structures in the thorax. This may translate to a high false positive rate for the likelihood of coronary compression in pulmonary valve implantation.
Psychosis rates are higher among some migrant groups. We hypothesized that psychosis in migrants is associated with cumulative social disadvantage during different phases of migration.
We used data from the EUropean Network of National Schizophrenia Networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) case–control study. We defined a set of three indicators of social disadvantage for each phase: pre-migration, migration and post-migration. We examined whether social disadvantage in the pre- and post-migration phases, migration adversities, and mismatch between achievements and expectations differed between first-generation migrants with first-episode psychosis and healthy first-generation migrants, and tested whether this accounted for differences in odds of psychosis in multivariable logistic regression models.
In total, 249 cases and 219 controls were assessed. Pre-migration (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.06–2.44, p = 0.027) and post-migration social disadvantages (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.02–3.51, p = 0.044), along with expectations/achievements mismatch (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.03–1.26, p = 0.014) were all significantly associated with psychosis. Migration adversities (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.672–2.06, p = 0.568) were not significantly related to the outcome. Finally, we found a dose–response effect between the number of adversities across all phases and odds of psychosis (⩾6: OR 14.09, 95% CI 2.06–96.47, p = 0.007).
The cumulative effect of social disadvantages before, during and after migration was associated with increased odds of psychosis in migrants, independently of ethnicity or length of stay in the country of arrival. Public health initiatives that address the social disadvantages that many migrants face during the whole migration process and post-migration psychological support may reduce the excess of psychosis in migrants.
This SHEA white paper identifies knowledge gaps and challenges in healthcare epidemiology research related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a focus on core principles of healthcare epidemiology. These gaps, revealed during the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, are described in 10 sections: epidemiology, outbreak investigation, surveillance, isolation precaution practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental contamination and disinfection, drug and supply shortages, antimicrobial stewardship, healthcare personnel (HCP) occupational safety, and return to work policies. Each section highlights three critical healthcare epidemiology research questions with detailed description provided in supplementary materials. This research agenda calls for translational studies from laboratory-based basic science research to well-designed, large-scale studies and health outcomes research. Research gaps and challenges related to nursing homes and social disparities are included. Collaborations across various disciplines, expertise and across diverse geographic locations will be critical.
Identify risk factors that could increase progression to severe disease and mortality in hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 patients in the Southeast US.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Multicenter, retrospective cohort including 502 adults hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and May 8, 2020 within one of 15 participating hospitals in 5 health systems across 5 states in the Southeast US.
The study objectives were to identify risk factors that could increase progression to hospital mortality and severe disease (defined as a composite of intensive care unit admission or requirement of mechanical ventilation) in hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 patients in the Southeast US.
A total of 502 patients were included, and the majority (476/502, 95%) had clinically evaluable outcomes. Hospital mortality was 16% (76/476), while 35% (177/502) required ICU admission, and 18% (91/502) required mechanical ventilation. By both univariate and adjusted multivariate analysis, hospital mortality was independently associated with age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.03 for each decade increase, 95% CI 1.56-2.69), male sex (aOR 2.44, 95% CI: 1.34-4.59), and cardiovascular disease (aOR 2.16, 95% CI: 1.15-4.09). As with mortality, risk of severe disease was independently associated with age (aOR 1.17 for each decade increase, 95% CI: 1.00-1.37), male sex (aOR 2.34, 95% CI 1.54-3.60), and cardiovascular disease (aOR 1.77, 95% CI 1.09-2.85).
In an adjusted multivariate analysis, advanced age, male sex, and cardiovascular disease increased risk of severe disease and mortality in patients with COVID-19 in the Southeast US. In-hospital mortality risk doubled with each subsequent decade of life.
In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues. Following an overview of the process and the key insights that emerged, we present summaries of the QTD Working Groups’ final reports. Drawing on a series of public, online conversations that unfolded at www.qualtd.net, the reports unpack transparency’s promise, practicalities, risks, and limitations in relation to different qualitative methodologies, forms of evidence, and research contexts. Taken as a whole, these reports—the full versions of which can be found in the Supplementary Materials—offer practical guidance to scholars designing and implementing qualitative research, and to editors, reviewers, and funders seeking to develop criteria of evaluation that are appropriate—as understood by relevant research communities—to the forms of inquiry being assessed. We dedicate this Reflection to the memory of our coauthor and QTD working group leader Kendra Koivu.1
Childhood trauma is associated with an elevated risk for psychosis, but the psychological mechanisms involved remain largely unclear. This study aimed to investigate emotional and psychotic stress reactivity in daily life as a putative mechanism linking childhood trauma and clinical outcomes in individuals at ultra-high-risk (UHR) for psychosis.
Experience sampling methodology was used to measure momentary stress, affect and psychotic experiences in the daily life of N = 79 UHR individuals in the EU-GEI High Risk Study. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire was used to assess self-reported childhood trauma. Clinical outcomes were assessed at baseline, 1- and 2-year follow-up.
The association of stress with positive (β = −0.14, p = 0.010) and negative affect (β = 0.11, p = 0.020) was modified by transition status such that stress reactivity was greater in individuals who transitioned to psychosis. Moreover, the association of stress with negative affect (β = 0.06, p = 0.019) and psychotic experiences (β = 0.05, p = 0.037) was greater in individuals exposed to high v. low levels of childhood trauma. We also found evidence that decreased positive affect in response to stress was associated with reduced functioning at 1-year follow-up (B = 6.29, p = 0.034). In addition, there was evidence that the association of childhood trauma with poor functional outcomes was mediated by stress reactivity (e.g. indirect effect: B = −2.13, p = 0.026), but no evidence that stress reactivity mediated the association between childhood trauma and transition (e.g. indirect effect: B = 0.14, p = 0.506).
Emotional and psychotic stress reactivity may be potential mechanisms linking childhood trauma with clinical outcomes in UHR individuals.
We previously demonstrated decreased placental perfusion, reduced amniotic fluid protein content, and increased pregnancy loss in a nonhuman primate model of gestational protein restriction. Here, our objective was to link these detrimental findings with a functional placental assessment. As blood flow is critical to maternal-fetal exchange, we hypothesized that a protein-restricted diet would impair placental taurine uptake. Pregnant rhesus macaques were maintained on either control chow (CON, n = 5), a 33% protein-restricted diet (PR33, n = 5), or a 50% PR diet (PR50, n = 5) prior to and throughout pregnancy. Animals were delivered on gestational day 135 (G135; term is G168). Taurine activity was determined in fresh placental villous explants. Taurine transporter (TauT) protein expression, placental growth factor (PLGF), and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and IGF-2 protein concentrations were measured, and histological assessment was performed. Fetal body weights and placental weights were comparable between all three groups at G135. Placental taurine uptake was decreased in PR33- and PR50-fed animals compared to CON, yet TauT expression was unchanged across groups. PLGF was significantly increased in PR50 vs. CON, with no change in IGF-1 or IGF-2 expression in placental homogenate from PR-fed animals. Accelerated villous maturation was observed in all PR50 cases, three of five PR33, and was absent in CON. We demonstrate conserved fetal growth, despite a decrease in placental taurine uptake. Increased expression of PLGF and expansion of the syncytiotrophoblast surface area in the severely protein-restricted animals suggest a compensatory mechanism by the placenta to maintain fetal growth.
Through diversity of composition, sequence, and interfacial structure, hybrid materials greatly expand the palette of materials available to access novel functionality. The NSF Division of Materials Research recently supported a workshop (October 17–18, 2019) aiming to (1) identify fundamental questions and potential solutions common to multiple disciplines within the hybrid materials community; (2) initiate interfield collaborations between hybrid materials researchers; and (3) raise awareness in the wider community about experimental toolsets, simulation capabilities, and shared facilities that can accelerate this research. This article reports on the outcomes of the workshop as a basis for cross-community discussion. The interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities are presented, and followed with a discussion of current areas of progress in subdisciplines including hybrid synthesis, functional surfaces, and functional interfaces.
In this paper, we study finite semiprimitive permutation groups, that is, groups in which each normal subgroup is transitive or semiregular. These groups have recently been investigated in terms of their abstract structure, in a similar way to the O'Nan–Scott Theorem for primitive groups. Our goal here is to explore aspects of such groups which may be useful in place of precise structural information. We give bounds on the order, base size, minimal degree, fixed point ratio, and chief length of an arbitrary finite semiprimitive group in terms of its degree. To establish these bounds, we study the structure of a finite semiprimitive group that induces the alternating or symmetric group on the set of orbits of an intransitive minimal normal subgroup.
What causes people to see their political attitudes in a moral light? One answer is that attitude moralization results from associating one’s attitude stance with feelings of disgust. To test the possibility that disgust moralizes, the current study used a high-powered preregistered design looking at within-person change in moral conviction paired with an experimental manipulation of disgust or anger (versus control). Results from the preregistered analyses found that we successfully induced anger but not disgust; however, our manipulation had no effect on moral conviction. Additional exploratory analyses investigating whether emotion and harm predicted increases in moral conviction over time found that neither disgust, anger, nor sadness had an effect on moralization, whereas perceptions of harm did predict moralization. Our findings are discussed in terms of their implications for current theory and research into attitude moralization.