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Dry eye disease (DED) is a common condition that significantly impacts patients’ quality of life. Previous studies have explored the impact of DED on patients’ lives qualitatively; however, patients’ preference structures have not been thoroughly explored quantitatively.
A targeted literature review and social media listening project guided design of a discussion guide for in-depth patient interviews (n=12). These, in turn, guided construction of a quantitative questionnaire administered to moderate to severe DED patients, 40 per country in Australia, Germany, United States and United Kingdom (total n=160). Patients’ preference structures were explored through an online survey using a self-explicated conjoint methodology, because of its high respondent-friendliness. Additionally, we administered the EQ5D-5L instrument to determine the health states/utilities of patients. Reaction to a hypothetical novel treatment was further obtained to check for convergent validity with the self-explicated conjoint. Finally, we asked respondents to rate the ease and relevance of the questionnaire to them.
Qualitative research uncovered important patient perspectives that were built into the quantitative survey. For example, patients seek medical advice when their symptoms are not improving. Patients’ lives are most affected by sensitivity to light, itchy and tired eyes and an inability to perform computer/screen work; however, of most concern/worrying to them is that their DED will get worse and they go blind. Results from the quantitative preference research will also be shared and its implications for future clinical trials in DED outlined. The results of the patient research and preference study are to be shared with health technology assessment (HTA) bodies and regulators through the early dialogue scientific advice process.
A process of using qualitative research to determine what matters to patients and then quantification through respondent-friendly preference research can identify outcomes that are most patient-relevant, to inform future drug development strategies.
PET is a nuclear medicine imaging technique which, following injection of a positron emitting radiopharmaceutical, results in functional tomographic images. PET shares the advantages of nuclear medicine imaging over other radiological techniques including the ability to map function/metabolism before alterations in structure. In addition, some of the disadvantages of conventional nuclear medicine are overcome, in that spatial resolution of images is much improved and tomographic imaging is routine rather than an additional acquisition. Another advantage of PET is that it is relatively easy to measure and correct for the attenuation of photons that leave the body. This means that it is possible to measure radioactive concentrations accurately within tissues and, if necessary, express physiological processes in absolute units. The most widely used and computationally simple method of quantitation in clinical PET is the standardized uptake value (SUV). This is a semiquantitative index that measures the concentration of tracer within a tumour compared to the injected dose and is normalized to body weight. It has the potential to be an index of tracer uptake that can be compared between patients and at different time periods within the same patient and is commonly quoted in clinical PET publications.
PET has advanced in the last 15 years from being primarily a research tool to being an imaging modality with a number of clinical applications.
Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the amount of terrorism preparedness training has increased substantially. However, gaps continue to exist in training for the mental health casualties that result from such events. Responders must be aware of the mental health effects of terror-ism and how to prepare for and buffer these effects. However, the degree to which responders possess or value this knowledge has not been studied.
Multi-disciplinary terrorism preparedness training for healthcare professionals was conducted in Kansas in 2003. In order to assess knowledge and attitudes related to mental health preparedness training, post-test surveys were provided to 314 respondents 10 months after completion of the training. Respondents returned 197 completed surveys for an analysis response rate of 63%.
In general, the results indicated that respondents have knowledge of and value the importance of mental health preparedness issues. The respon-dents who reported greater knowledge or value of mental health preparedness also indicated significantly higher ability levels in nationally recognized bioterrorism competencies (p <0.001).
These results support the need for mental health components to be incorporated into terrorism preparedness training. Further studies to determine the most effective mental health preparedness training content and instruction modalities are needed.
The performance of rolling element bearings is enhanced by the application of nanocomposite coatings that are composed of metal carbides incorporated into an amorphous hydrogenated carbon matrix (MC/a-C:H). When applied to the rolling elements in tapered roller bearings, MC/a-C:H coatings were found to help increase fatigue life, rib-roller end scuffing resistance, and false brinelling resistance in poorly lubricated environments. This series of performance tests were conducted with both coated and uncoated rollers. The results are attributed to the minimization of adhesive interactions and desirable counterface micro-polishing due to the presence of the thin hard coatings on rollers in the bearings.
Boron carbide (BC) is well known as a coating material that is important for a wide range of technological applications. The applicability of boron carbide stems from the fact that it is a very hard material with high lubricity, high elastic modulus, low specific gravity, and good chemical stability. Disadvantages, however, include extreme brittleness and sometimes poor adhesion. Recently, a reactive sputtering involving boron carbide targets and hydrocarbon gases has been used to produce novel nano-composite boron carbide thin films comprised of BC nano-crystals embedded in a matrix of hydrogenated amorphous carbon (DLC). The microstructure of these thin films is similar to that of other metal carbide/DLC nano-composite films. The present paper discusses the results of Vickers indentation experiments carried out on four different samples of boron carbide/DLC coatings that were sputtered deposited onto 52100 steel disks. The four different samples resulted from four different levels of hydrocarbon gas flow during processing. Acoustic emission data was recorded simultaneously with the indentation experiments. The indentations and the associated crack patterns were observed using scanning electron microscopy.
Iron doped lithium niobate (Fe:LiNbO3) in a simple focal plane geometry has demonstrated efficient optical limiting through two-beam coupling. The performance is largely independent of the total Fe concentration and the oxidation state of the Fe ions, providing the linear optical transmission of uncoated crystals is between 30% and 60%. Fe has been found to be the best dopant for LiNbO3, giving the widest spectral coverage and the greatest optical limiting. Optical limiting in Fe:LiNbO3 has been shown to be very much greater than predicted by simple diffusion theory. The reason for this is a higher optical gain than expected. It is suggested that this may be due to an enhancement of the space-charge field arising from the photovoltaic effect. The standard two-beam coupling equations have been modified to include the effects of the dark conductivity. This has produced a theoretical intensity dependence on the ΔOD which closely follows the behaviour observed in the laboratory. A further modification to the theory has also shown that the focusing lens f-number greatly affects the optical limiting characteristics of Fe:LiNbO3. A lens f-number of approximately 20 gives the best results.
Have you ever read a book and said to yourself, “Boy I wish I had that back
then?” In the area of data handling and manipulation, this is that book. Davidson has
compiled 30 principles by which one can effectively handle data. The audiences for this text are:
“(a) graduate students and novice researchers who want to expand their knowledge of the
use of computers in the social sciences, including education, and (b) educators who want to
improve data gathering in their teaching institutions” (p. x). Davidson offers this book as
a companion to statistical texts. If you are looking for the equation for a dependent
t-test or want to review the assumptions for ANOVA, this is not the book you are
looking for. If you want to know how to efficiently handle information, for instance, research
data, this is the text for you.
The layer thicknesses and composition of MBE grown 4 period 2 00A/100A GaAs/InGaAs superlattice structures with nominal indium concentrations of 10, 15 and 20% were determined by TEM, RBS, DXRD, PR and PL. The results show that the indium concentration obtained by DXRD is low and that obtained by PR and PL is high, and that the discrepancies are larger for the larger indium concentrations. We show that both descrepancies can be accounted for by relaxation of the lattice; elastic relaxation as represented by a radius of curvature, and/or plastic deformation as represented by mismatch dislocations.
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