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To describe a pilot project infection prevention and control (IPC) assessment conducted in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in New York State (NYS) during a pivotal 2-week period when the region became the nation’s epicenter for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
A telephone and video assessment of IPC measures in SNFs at high risk or experiencing COVID-19 activity.
SNFs in 14 New York counties, including New York City.
A 3-component remote IPC assessment: (1) screening tool; (2) telephone IPC checklist; and (3) COVID-19 video IPC assessment (ie, “COVIDeo”).
In total, 92 SNFs completed the IPC screening tool and checklist: 52 (57%) were conducted as part COVID-19 investigations, and 40 (43%) were proactive prevention-based assessments. Among the 40 proactive assessments, 14 (35%) identified suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. COVIDeo was performed in 26 (28%) of 92 assessments and provided observations that other tools would have missed: personal protective equipment (PPE) that was not easily accessible, redundant, or improperly donned, doffed, or stored and specific challenges implementing IPC in specialty populations. The IPC assessments took ∼1 hour each and reached an estimated 4 times as many SNFs as on-site visits in a similar time frame.
Remote IPC assessments by telephone and video were timely and feasible methods of assessing the extent to which IPC interventions had been implemented in a vulnerable setting and to disseminate real-time recommendations. Remote assessments are now being implemented across New York State and in various healthcare facility types. Similar methods have been adapted nationally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This study examined longitudinal associations between performance on the Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure–Developmental Scoring System (ROCF-DSS) at 8 years of age and academic outcomes at 16 years of age in 133 children with dextro-transposition of the great arteries (d-TGA).
The ROCF-DSS was administered at the age of 8 and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, First and Second Edition (WIAT/WIAT-II) at the ages of 8 and 16, respectively. ROCF-DSS protocols were classified by Organization (Organized/Disorganized) and Style (Part-oriented/Holistic). Two-way univariate (ROCF-DSS Organization × Style) ANCOVAs were computed with 16-year academic outcomes as the dependent variables and socioeconomic status (SES) as the covariate.
The Organization × Style interaction was not statistically significant. However, ROCF-DSS Organization at 8 years was significantly associated with Reading, Math, Associative, and Assembled academic skills at 16 years, with better organization predicting better academic performance.
Performance on the ROCF-DSS, a complex visual-spatial problem-solving task, in children with d-TGA can forecast academic performance in both reading and mathematics nearly a decade later. These findings may have implications for identifying risk in children with other medical and neurodevelopmental disorders affecting brain development.
Compared to the general population, individuals with complex congenital heart disease are at increased risk for deficits in cognitive, neurodevelopmental, psychosocial, and physical functioning, resulting in a diminished health-related quality of life. These deficits have been well described over the past 25 years, but significant gaps remain in our understanding of the best practices to improve neurodevelopmental and psychosocial outcomes and health-related quality of life for individuals with paediatric and congenital heart disease. Innovative clinical, quality improvement, and research opportunities with collaboration across multiple disciplines and institutions were needed to address these gaps. The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative was founded in 2016 with a described mission to determine and implement best practices of neurodevelopmental and psychosocial services for individuals and their families with paediatric and congenital heart disease through clinical, quality improvement, and research initiatives. The vision is to be a multi-centre, multi-national, multi-disciplinary group of healthcare professionals committed to working together and partnering with families to optimise neurodevelopmental outcomes for individuals with paediatric and congenital heart disease through clinical, quality, and research initiatives, intending to maximise quality of life for every individual across the lifespan. This manuscript describes the development and organisation of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative.
Background: Inappropriate ordering of urine cultures and the resulting unnecessary use of antibiotics can lead to complications of antimicrobial therapy including resistance, adverse effects (eg, disruption of microbiome and C. difficile infection), and increased healthcare costs, as well as the erroneous determination of CAUTI in patients with Foley catheters. A retrospective analysis of patients with CAUTI revealed frequent ordering of urine cultures for conditions and symptoms not supported by current IDSA guidelines. As a result, we created an action plan to reverse the trend of inappropriate urine culture ordering. Methods: Our urine culture reduction campaign was developed with input from the infectious disease service, antibiotic stewardship team (AST), infection prevention, pharmacy, and the microbiology service. The following educational efforts were included: (1) distribution of outpatient pocket cards with communication to providers about appropriate ordering of urine cultures; (2) creation of an evidence-based order set for urinalysis and urine cultures distributed electronically as emails and screensavers on computer stations and in person via didactic sessions with physicians and nursing staff; (3) a practice pointer for staff nurses that included recommended changes to urine culture ordering and encouraged open dialogue with physicians regarding the appropriateness of urine cultures; (4) didactic and personal communications to counter long-standing myths, such as “Urine cultures always for change in mental status”; (5) a peer-review process to evaluate and justify deviations from the testing algorithm.
Results: The first and second months after the introduction of the campaign, the microbiology laboratory reported 23% and 37% reductions in urine cultures ordered, respectively. During the same period, a 48% reduction in CAUTIs was reported for the entire health system. Conclusions: Reducing the number of inappropriate urine cultures is achievable with intense communication utilizing a multifaceted approach. With continued educational activities, we expect to sustain and even improve our successful reduction of inappropriate urine culture orders, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
Research regarding quality of life among older people has predominantly focused on functional elements experienced at individual or dyadic level despite the complex interplay of factors that contribute to quality of life. Perspectives which explore interdependencies within communities and the intersecting environments in which older people exercise agency have seen less study. They do, however, play an important role in influencing quality of life as experienced by older people across community settings. Qualitative data from a co-produced study of dimensions influencing quality of life in older people was subjected to secondary analysis using a critical human ecological approach. Findings demonstrate the importance of community interdependencies in supporting individual quality of life, the expression of active agency to foster quality of life within and across communities, and the importance of state infrastructures and service provision within these interdependencies. This article argues for a movement beyond functional conceptualisations of quality of life towards the inclusion of perspectives regarding communal wellbeing, alongside the role differing types of community play in influencing quality of life. Through developing conceptions of quality of life in social relations and community cohesion, in particular how quality of life is influenced by perceptions of solidarity and social justice including across generations, assessing quality of life at community level will assist in driving cultural change in policy making and practice.
Human and animal research both operate within established standards. In the United States, criticism of the human research environment and recorded abuses of human research subjects served as the impetus for the establishment of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, and the resulting Belmont Report. The Belmont Report established key ethical principles to which human research should adhere: respect for autonomy, obligations to beneficence and justice, and special protections for vulnerable individuals and populations. While current guidelines appropriately aim to protect the individual interests of human participants in research, no similar, comprehensive, and principled effort has addressed the use of (nonhuman) animals in research. Although published policies regarding animal research provide relevant regulatory guidance, the lack of a fundamental effort to explore the ethical issues and principles that should guide decisions about the potential use of animals in research has led to unclear and disparate policies. Here, we explore how the ethical principles outlined in the Belmont Report could be applied consistently to animals. We describe how concepts such as respect for autonomy and obligations to beneficence and justice could be applied to animals, as well as how animals are entitled to special protections as a result of their vulnerability.
This paper gives a computational characterisation of opaque interactions in phonology. Specifically, a range of opaque interactions are shown to be Input Strictly Local (ISL) maps (Chandlee 2014), which are string-to-string functions that determine output based only on contiguous sequences of input symbols. Examples from Baković’s (2007) extended typology of counterfeeding, counterbleeding, self-destructive feeding, non-gratuitous feeding and cross-derivational feeding, as well as a case of fed counterfeeding from Kavitskaya & Staroverov (2010), are all given ISL analyses, which show that these interactions can be computed based on sequences of bounded length in the input. It is discussed how ISL maps are restrictive in their typological predictions, have guaranteed learning results and known methods for generation and recognition, and thus compare favourably to rule-based and constraint-based approaches to these interactions.
Post-magmatic alteration of certain magmatic Ni sulfide ores in Western Australia, the Miitel deposit and the Sarah's Find prospect, produced Ni–As–PGE haloes around massive sulfides. A study of the composition of arsenide grains from these hydrothermal haloes, along with arsenides from various magmatic and hydrothermal mineralized environments in other localities, was conducted in order to compare their composition, and assess their potential use as indicator minerals for exploration vectoring, as well as to gain knowledge on their crystallization history. Concentrations in trace elements such as platinum-group elements (PGEs), Au and other metals was obtained by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy analyses. Results show that variations in PGEs and Au compositions can be related to the magmatic vs. hydrothermal origin of the grains; and to their provenance from deposits enriched in either Ni, Au or both. Magmatic NiCoFe sulfarsenides have strongly correlated, high IPGE (Os, Ir, Ru, Rh) contents up to 100 ppm Ir, compared with maximum values in hydrothermal sulfarsenides of ~1 ppm. Gold in hydrothermal sulfarsenides from Au-mineralized ultramafic rocks extends up to 500 ppm, with typical values of 3–30 ppm; similar values are also found in nickeline (also called niccolite). These results suggest that nickel arsenides could potentially be used as indicator minerals for nickel and gold exploration. Trace-element contents of arsenide grains in shear zones could be used to deduce the presence of Ni or Au mineralization upstream in the fluid pathway.
Objectives: Although evidence exists of broadly defined memory impairment among adolescents with critical congenital heart disease (CHD), nuanced investigations of declarative memory in this at-risk population have not been conducted. This study had two primary aims: (1) to conduct a fine-grained analysis of a range of relevant learning and memory processes in adolescents with critical biventricular CHD, and (2) to identify risk, odds, and predictors of memory impairment. Methods: Data were combined from two single-center studies of neurodevelopmental outcomes in critical CHD. Two-hundred seven adolescents (Mage=15.61±1.0 years) with critical CHD (139 with dextro-transposition of the great arteries and 68 with tetralogy of Fallot without an identified genetic condition), as well as 61 healthy referents (Mage=15.27±1.1 years) completed a neuropsychological evaluation which included the Children’s Memory Scale. Results: Whereas visual-spatial memory deficits were found in both CHD subgroups, verbal memory abilities were relatively preserved. Adolescents with CHD demonstrated stronger memory for Stories than Word Pairs, t (203)=2.63, p=.009, and for Dot Locations than Faces, t(204)=−2.57, p=.01. CHD subgroup, socioeconomic status, sex, and seizure history were among the most frequent significant predictors of memory impairment. Seizure history, in particular, was associated with a 2 to 3 times greater odds of impaired performance on learning and memory tasks. Conclusions: Adolescents with critical biventricular CHD are at risk for deficits in aspects of declarative memory. Independent risk factors for worse outcome include history of seizures. (JINS, 2017, 23, 627–639)
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Children and adolescents with critical cyanotic congenital heart disease (CHD) are at risk for deficits in aspects of executive function (EF). The primary aim of this investigation was to compare EF outcomes in three groups of children/adolescents with severe CHD and controls (ages 10–19 years). Participants included 463 children/adolescents with CHD [dextro-transposition of the great arteries (TGA), n=139; tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), n=68; and, single-ventricle anatomy requiring Fontan procedure (SVF), n=145] and 111 controls, who underwent laboratory and informant-based evaluation of EF skills. Rates of EF impairment on D-KEFS measures were nearly twice as high for CHD groups (75–81%) than controls (43%). Distinct EF profiles were documented between CHD groups on D-KEFS tasks. Deficits in flexibility/problem-solving and verbally mediated EF skills were documented in all three CHD groups; visuo-spatially mediated EF abilities were impaired in TOF and SVF groups, but preserved in TGA. Parent, teacher, and self-report ratings on the BRIEF highlighted unique patterns of metacognitive and self-regulatory concerns across informants. CHD poses a serious threat to EF development. Greater severity of CHD is associated with worse EF outcomes. With increased understanding of the cognitive and self-regulatory vulnerabilities experienced by children and adolescents with CHD, it may be possible to identify risks early and provide individualized supports to promote optimal neurodevelopment. (JINS, 2014, 20, 34–49)
The UK Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) is re-examining the sustainability of careers in academic primary care (APC). The motivation for this is a number of significant changes within the context of APC since the last such investigation (SAPC, 2003). It is now timely to review the current situation.
As a first phase, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 15 SAPC members from different disciplines and career stages.
Findings show that lack of clarity about APC career pathways persist, but important factors linked with sustainability were identified at individual and organisational levels. These include being proactive, developing resilience, mentorship and a positive organisational culture with a strong shared vision about why APC is important.
Sustainability is undermined by funding difficulties, lack of integration of members of different APC disciplines, leading to disparities in career progression and lack of clarity about what APC is. Phase 2 will comprise a UK-wide survey.