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This study aimed to explore perceptions of the meaning of life among Korean patients living with advanced cancer.
The study employed a mixed-methods design, and 16 participants were included in the analysis. Qualitative data gathered from in-depth interviews were analyzed using Colaizzi's phenomenological method. Quantitative survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, the Mann–Whitney U test, the Kruskal–Wallis test, and Spearman's ρ correlation.
Participants experienced both the existence of meaning and the will to find meaning in terms of four categories: “interpersonal relationships based on attachment and cohesion” (three themes — family as the core meaning of one's life, supportive and dependent interconnectedness with significant others, and existential responsibility embedded in familism), “therapeutic relationships based on trust” (one theme — communication and trust between the patient and medical staff), “optimism” (two themes — positivity embodied through past experiences and a positive attitude toward the current situation), and “a sense of purpose with advanced cancer” (two themes — the will to survive and expectations for the near future). The meaning in life questionnaire (MLQ) and the purpose in life scale (PIL) showed a significant positive correlation tendency with the functional assessment of chronic illness therapy-spiritual well-being scale (FACIT-Sp). The patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) showed significant negative correlation tendency with both the MLQ-presence of meaning (MLQ-PM) and PIL-Initiative (PIL-I) questionnaires.
Significance of results
Finding meaning in life helps advanced cancer patients realize their will to live. It also acts as a coping mechanism that palliates negative experiences in the fight against the disease. In particular, among advanced cancer patients in the Korean culture, the dynamics of relationships with family and medical staff was a key axis that instilled optimism and will to live. These results suggest that considering the meaning of life in advanced cancer patients by reflecting Korean culture in the treatment process improves the quality of care.
It has been suggested that psychosocial factors are related to survival time of inpatients with cancer. However, there are not many studies examining the relationship between spiritual well-being (SWB) and survival time among countries. This study investigated the relationship between SWB and survival time among three East Asian countries.
This international multicenter cohort study is a secondary analysis involving newly admitted inpatients with advanced cancer in palliative care units in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. SWB was measured using the Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS) at admission. We performed multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazards model to identify independent prognostic factors.
A total of 2,638 patients treated at 37 palliative care units from January 2017 to September 2018 were analyzed. The median survival time was 18.0 days (95% confidence interval [CI] 16.5–19.5) in Japan, 23.0 days (95% CI 19.9–26.1) in Korea, and 15.0 days (95% CI 13.0–17.0) in Taiwan. SWB was a significant factor correlated with survival in Taiwan (hazard ratio [HR] 1.27; 95% CI 1.01–1.59; p = 0.04), while it was insignificant in Japan (HR 1.10; 95% CI 1.00–1.22; p = 0.06), and Korea (HR 1.02; 95% CI 0.77–1.35; p = 0.89).
Significance of results
SWB on admission was associated with survival in patients with advanced cancer in Taiwan but not Japan or Korea. The findings suggest the possibility of a positive relationship between spiritual care and survival time in patients with far advanced cancer.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: #NAME? METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Cell culture & protein identification: human T cells were purified from healthy blood, then activated & cultured for 5d. CAR-T cells were collected from infusion bags of cancer patients undergoing CAR-T. Silver staining of naive & activated healthy T-cell lysates was compared; B-II spectrin was upregulated and confirmed by Western blot. Migration assays: naive & activated T-cells were imaged during migration on ICAM-1 and ICAM-1 + CXCL12 coated plates. T-cells were transfected with BII-spectrin cDNA & the chemokine dependence of migration was compared with controls. In-vivo studies: in a melanoma mouse model, BII-spectrin transfected or control T-cells were injected; tumors were followed with serial imaging. Human patient records were examined to correlate endogenous BII-spectrin levels and CAR-T response. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Activated T-cells downregulate the cytoskeletal protein B-II spectrin compared to naive cells, leading to chemokine-independent migration in in vitro assays and off-target trafficking when CAR-T cells are given in vivo. Restoration of B-II spectrin levels via transfection restores chemokine-dependence of activated T-cells. In a mouse melanoma model, control mice injected with standard activated T-cells showed fewer cells in the tumor site and more cells in the off-target organs (spleen, lungs) when compared to mice injected with B-II spectrin transfected cells. Furthermore, among 3 human patients undergoing CAR-T therapy, those with higher endogenous B-II spectrin levels experienced fewer side-effects, measured by the neurotoxicity and cytokine release syndrome grades. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE: A major hurdle to widespread CAR-T therapy for cancer is significant, often fatal side-effects. Our work shows that the protein B-II spectrin is downregulated during CAR-T production, and that restoring B-II spectrin levels decreases side-effects while increasing tumor clearance--hopefully translating to better CAR-T regimens for the future.
There has been increasing evidence of hormonal changes during reproductive events that lead to mood changes. However, studies on the severity of psychological problems according to the menopausal stage are limited. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the association between menopausal stages, depression and suicidality.
A total of 45 177 women who underwent regular health check-ups between 2015 and 2018 at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital were included. Participants were stratified into four groups (pre-menopause, early transition, late transition and post-menopause) based on the Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop Criteria. The Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale (CESD) was used to evaluate depressive symptoms, and the degree of depressive symptoms was classified as moderate (CESD score 16–24) or severe (CESD score ⩾ 25). To measure suicide risk, we administered questionnaires related to suicidal ideation.
Overall, the prevalence of CESD scores of 16–24 and ⩾ 25 was 7.6 and 2.8%, respectively. Menopausal stages were positively associated with depressive symptoms in a dose-dependent manner. Multivariable-adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs, 95% confidence intervals) for CESD scores of 16–24 comparing the stages of the early menopausal transition (MT), late MT and post-menopause to pre-menopause was 1.28 (1.16–1.42), 1.21 (1.05–1.38) and 1.58 (1.36–1.84), respectively. The multivariable-adjusted PRs for CESD scores ⩾ 25 comparing the stages of the early MT, late MT and post-menopause to pre-menopause were 1.31 (1.11–1.55), 1.39 (1.12–1.72), 1.86 (1.47–2.37), respectively. In addition, the multivariable-adjusted PRs for suicidal ideation comparing the early MT, late MT and post-menopause stages to the pre-menopause stage were 1.24 (1.12–1.38), 1.07 (0.93–1.24) and 1.46 (1.25–1.70) (p for trend <0.001), respectively.
These findings indicate that the prevalence of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation increases with advancing menopausal stage, even pre-menopause.
Accurate prognostication is important for patients and their families to prepare for the end of life. Objective Prognostic Score (OPS) is an easy-to-use tool that does not require the clinicians’ prediction of survival (CPS), whereas Palliative Prognostic Score (PaP) needs CPS. Thus, inexperienced clinicians may hesitate to use PaP. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of OPS compared with PaP in inpatients in palliative care units (PCUs) in three East Asian countries.
This study was a secondary analysis of a cross-cultural, multicenter cohort study. We enrolled inpatients with far-advanced cancer in PCUs in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan from 2017 to 2018. We calculated the area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) curve to compare the accuracy of OPS and PaP.
A total of 1,628 inpatients in 33 PCUs in Japan and Korea were analyzed. OPS and PaP were calculated in 71.7% of the Japanese patients and 80.0% of the Korean patients. In Taiwan, PaP was calculated for 81.6% of the patients. The AUROC for 3-week survival was 0.74 for OPS in Japan, 0.68 for OPS in Korea, 0.80 for PaP in Japan, and 0.73 for PaP in Korea. The AUROC for 30-day survival was 0.70 for OPS in Japan, 0.71 for OPS in Korea, 0.79 for PaP in Japan, and 0.74 for PaP in Korea.
Significance of results
Both OPS and PaP showed good performance in Japan and Korea. Compared with PaP, OPS could be more useful for inexperienced physicians who hesitate to estimate CPS.
Oxidative stress causes several diseases and dysfunctions in cells, including oocytes. Clearly, oxidative stress influences oocyte quality during in vitro maturation and fertilization. Here we tested the ability of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and improve mouse oocyte quality during in vitro culture. Treatment with 50 μM CoQ10 efficiently reduced ROS levels in oocytes cultured in vitro. The fertilizable form of an oocyte usually contains a cortical granule-free domain (CGFD). CoQ10 enhanced the ratio of CGFD–oocytes from 35% to 45%. However, the hardening of the zona pellucida in oocytes was not affected by CoQ10 treatment. The in vitro maturation capacity of oocytes, which was determined by the first polar body extrusion, was enhanced from 48.9% to 75.7% by the addition of CoQ10 to the culture medium. During the parthenogenesis process, the number of two-cell embryos was increased by CoQ10 from 43.5% to 67.3%. Additionally, treatment with CoQ10 increased the expression of Bcl2 and Sirt1 in cumulus cells. These results suggested that CoQ10 had a positive effect on ROS reduction, maturation rate and two-cell embryo formation in mouse oocyte culture.
The double-mean-reverting model, introduced by Gatheral [(2008). Consistent modeling of SPX and VIX options. In The Fifth World Congress of the Bachelier Finance Society London, July 18], is known to be a successful three-factor model that can be calibrated to both CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) options. However, the calibration of this model may be slow because there is no closed-form solution formula for European options. In this paper, we use a rescaled version of the model developed by Huh et al. [(2018). A scaled version of the double-mean-reverting model for VIX derivatives. Mathematics and Financial Economics 12: 495–515] and obtain explicitly a closed-form pricing formula for European option prices. Our formulas for the first and second-order approximations do not require any complicated calculation of integral. We demonstrate that a faster calibration result of the double-mean revering model is available and yet the practical implied volatility surface of SPX options can be produced. In particular, not only the usual convex behavior of the implied volatility surface but also the unusual concave down behavior as shown in the COVID-19 market can be captured by our formula.
Background: The purpose of this study was to find out the relationship between appropriateness of antibiotic prescription and clinical outcomes in patients with community-acquired acute pyelonephritis (CA-APN). Methods: A multicenter prospective cohort study was performed in 8 Korean hospitals from September 2017 to August 2018. All hospitalized patients aged ≥19 years diagnosed with CA-APN at admission were recruited. Pregnant women and patients with insufficient data were excluded. In addition, patients with prolonged hospitalization due to medical problems that were not associated with APN treatment were excluded. The appropriateness of empirical and definitive antibiotics was divided into “optimal,” “suboptimal,” and “inappropriate,” and optimal and suboptimal were regarded as appropriate antibiotic use. The standard for the classification of empirical antibiotics was defined reflecting the Korean national guideline for the antibiotic use in urinary tract infection 2018. The standards for the classification of definitive antibiotics were defined according to the result of in vitro susceptibility tests of causative organisms. Clinical outcomes including clinical failure (mortality or recurrence) rate, hospitalization days, and medical costs were compared between patients who were prescribed antibiotics appropriately and those who were prescribed them inappropriately. Results: In total, 397 and 318 patients were eligible for the analysis of the appropriateness of empirical and definitive antibiotics, respectively. Of these, 10 (2.5%) and 18 (5.7%) were inappropriately prescribed empirical and definitive antibiotics, respectively, and 28 (8.8%) were prescribed either empirical or definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Patients who were prescribed empirical antibiotics appropriately showed a lower mortality rate (0 vs 10%; P = .025), shorter hospitalization days (9 vs 12.5 days; P = .014), and lower medical costs (US$2,333 vs US$4,531; P = .007) compared to those who were prescribed empirical antibiotics “inappropriately.” In comparison, we detected no significant differences in clinical outcomes between patients who were prescribed definitive antibiotics appropriately and those who were prescribed definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Patients who were prescribed both empirical and definitive antibiotics appropriately showed a lower clinical failure rate (0.3 vs 7.1%; P = .021) and shorter hospitalization days (9 vs 10.5 days; P = .041) compared to those who were prescribed either empirical or definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Conclusions: Appropriate use of antibiotics leads patients with CA-APN to better clinical outcomes including fewer hospitalization days and lower medical costs.
Several studies supported the usefulness of “the surprise question” in terms of 1-year mortality of patients. “The surprise question” requires a “Yes” or “No” answer to the question “Would I be surprised if this patient died in [specific time frame].” However, the 1-year time frame is often too long for advanced cancer patients seen by palliative care personnel. “The surprise question” with shorter time frames is needed for decision making. We examined the accuracy of “the surprise question” for 7-day, 21-day, and 42-day survival in hospitalized patients admitted to palliative care units (PCUs).
This was a prospective multicenter cohort study of 130 adult patients with advanced cancer admitted to 7 hospital-based PCUs in South Korea. The accuracy of “the surprise question” was compared with that of the temporal question for clinician's prediction of survival.
We analyzed 130 inpatients who died in PCUs during the study period. The median survival was 21.0 days. The sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy for the 7-day “the surprise question” were 46.7, 88.7, and 83.9%, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy for the 7-day temporal question were 6.7, 98.3, and 87.7%, respectively. The c-indices of the 7-day “the surprise question” and 7-day temporal question were 0.662 (95% CI: 0.539–0.785) and 0.521 (95% CI: 0.464–0.579), respectively. The c-indices of the 42-day “the surprise question” and 42-day temporal question were 0.554 (95% CI: 0.509–0.599) and 0.616 (95% CI: 0.569–0.663), respectively.
Significance of results
Surprisingly, “the surprise questions” and temporal questions had similar accuracies. The high specificities for the 7-day “the surprise question” and 7- and 21-day temporal question suggest they may be useful to rule in death if positive.
To evaluate the impact of a vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) screening policy change on the incidence of healthcare-associated (HA)-VRE bacteremia in an endemic hospital setting.
A quasi-experimental before-and-after study.
A 1,989-bed tertiary-care referral center in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Since May 2010, our hospital has diminished VRE screening for admitted patients transferred from other healthcare facilities. We assessed the impact of this policy change on the incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia using segmented autoregression analysis of interrupted time series from January 2006 to December 2014 at the hospital and unit levels. In addition, we compared the molecular characteristics of VRE blood isolates collected before and after the screening policy change using multilocus sequence typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
After the VRE screening policy change, the incidence of hospital-wide HA-VRE bacteremia increased, although no significant changes of level or slope were observed. In addition, a significant slope change in the incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia (change in slope, 0.007; 95% CI, 0.001–0.013; P = .02) was observed in the hemato-oncology department. Molecular analysis revealed that various VRE sequence types appeared after the policy change and that clonally related strains became more predominant (increasing from 26.1% to 59.3%).
The incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia increased significantly after VRE screening policy change, and this increase was mainly driven by high-risk patient populations. When planning VRE control programs in hospitals, different approaches that consider risk for severe VRE infection in patients may be required.
The explosive outbreak of COVID-19 led to a shortage of medical resources, including isolation rooms in hospitals, healthcare workers (HCWs) and personal protective equipment. Here, we constructed a new model, non-contact community treatment centres to monitor and quarantine asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients who recorded their own vital signs using a smartphone application. This new model in Korea is useful to overcome shortages of medical resources and to minimise the risk of infection transmission to HCWs.
To date, there have been few studies on dietary supplement (DS) use in Korean children and adolescents, using nationally representative data. This study aimed to investigate the current status of DS use and its related factors, among Korean children and adolescents from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) data.
A cross-sectional study.
Data from the KNHANES 2015–2017. Participants completed 24-h dietary recall interviews, including DS products that the subjects consumed.
The study population was 4380 children and adolescents aged 1–18 years.
Approximately 2013 % of children and adolescents were using DS; the highest use was among children aged 1–3 years old, and the lowest use was among adolescents aged 16–18 years. The most frequently used DS was prebiotics/probiotics, followed by multivitamin/mineral supplements. Factors that were associated with DS use were lower birth weight in children aged <4 years; younger age, higher household income, regular breakfast intake and lower BMI in children aged 4–9 years; and regular breakfast intake and use of nutrition facts label in adolescents aged 10–18 years. Feeding patterns in infancy and having chronic diseases were not associated with DS use.
We report that over 20 % of children and adolescents use DS. Nutritional education for parents and children about proper DS consumption is needed.
Is economic development a prerequisite for concern over environmental issues? The existing literature has yet to reach an empirical consensus on this question. To revisit this important topic, we offer new experimental evidence by conducting online survey experiments in one developed country (the United States) and one developing country (India). We investigate how providing information on the negative environmental costs of foreign direct investment (FDI) affects people’s support of FDI, and how these effects differ between residents of the United States and India. The results of our experiment show that among residents of the United States, being presented with information about the environmental costs of FDI sharply reduces support for FDI, while a substantially weaker effect of the environmental costs of FDI was observed among residents of India. Also, respondents from the United States are more concerned about environmental damage caused by FDI in their own city than in a distant location, while this pattern is not observed among respondents from India. These results are consistent with the claim that economic prosperity and wealth are prerequisites for environmental concern.
A number of microorganisms were hypothesised as an aetiology of the Kawasaki disease. Unfortunately, no specific agent that provides reproducible evidence has yet been reported. We report two cases of extremely rare Kawasaki disease with tsutsugamushi disease. These case reports suggest that Kawasaki disease can rarely occur concurrently or immediately after a rickettsial illness such as tsutsugamushi disease.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a main pathogen causing community-acquired pneumonia in children and young adults. Since the emergence of macrolide-resistant M. pneumoniae in the early 2000s in Japan, it has been increasingly reported worldwide as a growing problem in treatment for children. With increasing macrolide-resistant M. pneumoniae and limited data regarding its characterization and molecular analysis, we investigated the dominant M. pneumoniae strains during the recent outbreak in South Korea, and evaluated if there was an association between a specific type and macrolide resistance. Between October 2014 and December 2016 in South Korea, 249 respiratory specimens obtained from patients with confirmed M. pneumoniae pneumonia were genotyped the P1 adhesin gene, and the mutations associated with resistance (A2063G and A2064G) were tested by sequencing the targeted domain V regions of the 23S ribosomal RNA gene. Results revealed that M. pneumoniae type 1 were predominant, which was strongly associated with macrolide-resistance during the whole study period. This is the first study assessing whether M. pneumoniae subtype is related to macrolide resistance during the outbreak of M. pneumoniae.
Since the significance of metacognition as the theoretical basis of a psychological intervention for schizophrenia first emerged, there have been ongoing attempts to restore or strengthen patients’ metacognitive abilities.
A Korean version of the metacognitive training (MCT) program was developed, and its effects on theory of mind, positive and negative symptoms, and interpersonal relationships were examined in stable outpatients with schizophrenia.
A pre-test–post-test design with a control group was used. The participants were 59 outpatients (30 in experimental group, 29 in control group) registered at five mental health facilities in a city in South Korea. The developed MCT program was applied for a total of 18 sessions, 60 min per session, over a period of 14 weeks. The hinting task, false belief task, Scale for the Assessment of Positive and Negative Symptoms, and Relationship Change Scale were used to verify the effects of this program. Data were analysed by the chi-square test, t-test, and Mann–Whitney U-test using the SPSS/PASW 18.0 statistics program.
The general characteristics, intelligence, and outcome variables of the two groups were homogeneous. After the intervention, the experimental group showed significant improvements in theory of mind, positive and negative symptoms and interpersonal relationships compared with the control group.
These results suggest that the MCT program can be a complementary psychotherapy that contributes to symptom relief and interpersonal functioning in patients with schizophrenia, and is effective in the Korean culture, beyond the Western context.
The oriental armyworm, Mythimna separata is an important crop pest in eastern Asia. Nocturnal insects, including nocturnal moths, have phototactic behavior to an artificial light source. Phototactic behavior in insects is species-specific in response to different wavelengths of light sources. Our previous study showed that green (520 nm) light emitting diode (LED) light resulted in a significantly higher phototactic behavior in M. separata moths compared to the other wavelength LED lights. The goal of the present study is to investigate the influence of green light illumination on biological characteristics of different developmental stages in M. separata. Our results revealed that when different developmental stages of M. separata were exposed to the green light illumination in a dark period, several biological characteristics in all developmental stages except for egg stage were positively changed, but those of F1 generation M. separata which are next generation of the adults exposed to the green light did not significantly change compared with the control level. These findings suggest that green light illumination at night (or dark period) has a positive effect on the development and longevity of M. separata.