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The demand of palliative care is increasing due to the aging population and treatment hesitancy or intentional avoidance compromises symptom management.
To identify patient beliefs associated with medication hesitancy by using the theory of planned behavior (TPB) namely, attitudes, subjective norms, behavioral intention, and perceived behavioral control associated with medication hesitancy or intentional noncompliance by avoidance.
The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis guideline was followed to conduct a systematic literature search involving the CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO databases from inception until March 2022. Hand-searched articles from reference lists and gray literature were included. Thematic analysis was conducted on qualitative data and triangulated with quantitative data.
About 554 articles were retrieved from the literature search and 17 articles were included based on the eligibility criteria. Three subthemes that were identified under TPB constructs were attitude: negative attitude toward medications, passive attitude toward illness and inaccurate information about disease or medication; one subtheme was identified under subjective norms: perceived negative opinions from others; and one subtheme was identified under perceived behavioral control: perception of manageable symptoms. Quantitative data provided triangulation of qualitative findings related to fear of addiction and side effects, feelings of hopelessness, unclear direction and information, social stigma, endurable symptoms, and illness as determinants for medication avoidance.
Significance of results
This systematic review highlighted some patient beliefs related to medication hesitancy or avoidance. Clinicians should take patient beliefs and concerns into consideration when creating treatment regimens for people receiving palliative care to optimize medication adherence and the quality of care.
Viruses and related graft-transmissible pathogens cause diseases that cost the grape industry billions of dollars annually if left uncontrolled. The National Clean Plant Network (NCPN), a USDA Farm Bill program, is an organization of clean plant centers that produce and maintain virus-tested foundation vine stocks and distribute propagation material derived thereof to nurseries and growers to minimize the introduction of viruses and virus-like diseases into the vineyard. Foundation Plant Services (FPS) is the major NCPN-grapes center. We examined the economic impacts of public investments in FPS from 2006 to 2019. By focusing on grapevine leafroll disease, our analyses revealed a benefit-cost ratio ranging from 22:1 to 96:1, with a 5% and a 20% disease infection rates in commercial vineyards, respectively. A welfare analysis was consistent with grape growers and nurseries capturing most (64–98%) of the benefits from adopting clean planting material compared with winemakers and other actors in the downstream wine supply chain system. This study provided new insights into the returns to public investments in a clean plant center and documented strong financial incentives for higher adoption of clean vines derived from virus-tested stocks, while justifying continued support of NCPN centers from public and private sectors.
We describe a large outbreak of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) involving an acute-care hospital emergency department during December 2020 and January 2021, in which 27 healthcare personnel worked while infectious, resulting in multiple opportunities for SARS-CoV-2 transmission to patients and other healthcare personnel. We provide recommendations for improving infection prevention and control.
To clarify the concept of disruptive technologies in health care, provide examples and consider implications of potentially disruptive technologies for health technology assessment (HTA).
We conducted a systematic review of conceptual and empirical papers on healthcare technologies that are described as “disruptive.” We searched MEDLINE and Embase from 2013 to April 2019 (updated in December 2021). Data extraction was done in duplicate by pairs of reviewers utilizing a data extraction form. A qualitative data analysis was undertaken based on an analytic framework for analysis of the concept and examples. Key arguments and a number of potential predictors of disruptive technologies were derived and implications for HTA organizations were discussed.
Of 4,107 records, 28 were included in the review. Most of the papers included conceptual discussions and business models for disruptive technologies; only few papers presented empirical evidence. The majority of the evidence is related to the US healthcare system. Key arguments for describing a technology as disruptive include improvement of outcomes for patients, improved access to health care, reduction of costs and better affordability, shift in responsibilities between providers, and change in the organization of health care. A number of possible predictors for disruption were identified to distinguish these from “sustaining” innovations.
Since truly disruptive technologies could radically change technology uptake and may modify provision of care patterns or treatment paths, they require a thorough evaluation of the consequences of using these technologies, including economic and organizational impact assessment and careful monitoring.
Protected areas (PAs) are critical for achieving conservation, economic and development goals, but the factors that lead households to engage in prohibited resource collection in PAs are not well understood. We examine collection behaviours in community forests and the protected Chitwan National Park in Chitwan, Nepal. Our approach incorporates household and ecological data, including structured interviews, spatially explicit data on collection behaviours measured with computer tablets and a systematic field survey of invasive species. We pair our data with a framework that considers factors related to a household’s demand for resources, barriers to prohibited resource collection, barriers to legal resource collection and alternatives to resource collection. The analysis identifies key drivers of prohibited collection, including sociodemographic variables and perceptions of an invasive plant (Mikania micrantha). The social-ecological systems approach reveals that household perceptions of the presence of M. micrantha were more strongly associated with resource collection decisions than the actual ecologically measured presence of the plant. We explore the policy implications of our findings for PAs and propose that employing a social-ecological systems approach leads to conservation policy and scientific insights that are not possible to achieve with social or ecological approaches alone.
To determine the optimal antithrombotic agent choice, timing of initiation, dosing and duration of therapy for paediatric patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.
We used PubMed and EMBASE to systematically review the existing literature of clinical trials involving antithrombotics following cardiac surgery from 2000 to 2020 in children 0–18 years. Studies were assessed by two reviewers to ensure they met eligibility criteria.
We identified 10 studies in 1929 children across three medications classes: vitamin K antagonists, cyclooxygenase inhibitors and indirect thrombin inhibitors. Four studies were retrospective, five were prospective observational cohorts (one of which used historical controls) and one was a prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. All included were single-centre studies. Eight studies used surrogate biomarkers and two used clinical endpoints as the primary endpoint. There was substantive variability in response to antithrombotics in the immediate post-operative period. Studies of warfarin and aspirin showed that laboratory monitoring levels were frequently out of therapeutic range (variably defined), and findings were mixed on the association of these derangements with bleeding or thrombotic events. Heparin was found to be safe at low doses, but breakthrough thromboembolic events were common.
There are few paediatric prospective randomised clinical trials evaluating antithrombotic therapeutics post-cardiac surgery; most studies have been observational and seldom employed clinical endpoints. Standardised, validated endpoints and pragmatic trial designs may allow investigators to determine the optimal drug, timing of initiation, dosing and duration to improve outcomes by limiting post-operative morbidity and mortality related to bleeding or thrombotic events.
Nearly three times as many people detained in a jail have a serious mental illness (SMI) when compared to community samples. Once an individual with SMI gets involved in the criminal justice system, they are more likely than the general population to stay in the system, face repeated incarcerations, and return to prison more quickly when compared to their nonmentally ill counterparts.
The Cal-DSH Diversion Guidelines provide 10 general guidelines that jurisdictions should consider when developing diversion programs for individuals with a serious mental illness (SMI) who become involved in the criminal justice system. Screening for SMI in a jail setting is reviewed. In addition, important treatment interventions for SMI and substance use disorders are highlighted with the need to address criminogenic risk factors highlighted.
There is controversy regarding whether the addition of cover gowns offers a substantial benefit over gloves alone in reducing personnel contamination and preventing pathogen transmission.
Simulated patient care interactions.
To evaluate the efficacy of different types of barrier precautions and to identify routes of transmission.
In randomly ordered sequence, 30 personnel each performed 3 standardized examinations of mannequins contaminated with pathogen surrogate markers (cauliflower mosaic virus DNA, bacteriophage MS2, nontoxigenic Clostridioides difficile spores, and fluorescent tracer) while wearing no barriers, gloves, or gloves plus gowns followed by examination of a noncontaminated mannequin. We compared the frequency and routes of transfer of the surrogate markers to the second mannequin or the environment.
For a composite of all surrogate markers, transfer by hands occurred at significantly lower rates in the gloves-alone group (OR, 0.02; P < .001) and the gloves-plus-gown group (OR, 0.06; P = .002). Transfer by stethoscope diaphragms was common in all groups and was reduced by wiping the stethoscope between simulations (OR, 0.06; P < .001). Compared to the no-barriers group, wearing a cover gown and gloves resulted in reduced contamination of clothing (OR, 0.15; P < .001), but wearing gloves alone did not.
Wearing gloves alone or gloves plus gowns reduces hand transfer of pathogens but may not address transfer by devices such as stethoscopes. Cover gowns reduce the risk of contaminating the clothing of personnel.
Critical shortages of personal protective equipment, especially N95 respirators, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to be a source of concern. Novel methods of N95 filtering face-piece respirator decontamination that can be scaled-up for in-hospital use can help address this concern and keep healthcare workers (HCWs) safe.
A multidisciplinary pragmatic study was conducted to evaluate the use of an ultrasonic room high-level disinfection system (HLDS) that generates aerosolized peracetic acid (PAA) and hydrogen peroxide for decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators. A cycle duration that consistently achieved disinfection of N95 respirators (defined as ≥6 log10 reductions in bacteriophage MS2 and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores inoculated onto respirators) was identified. The treated masks were assessed for changes to their hydrophobicity, material structure, strap elasticity, and filtration efficiency. PAA and hydrogen peroxide off-gassing from treated masks were also assessed.
The PAA room HLDS was effective for disinfection of bacteriophage MS2 and G. stearothermophilus spores on respirators in a 2,447 cubic-foot (69.6 cubic-meter) room with an aerosol deployment time of 16 minutes and a dwell time of 32 minutes. The total cycle time was 1 hour and 16 minutes. After 5 treatment cycles, no adverse effects were detected on filtration efficiency, structural integrity, or strap elasticity. There was no detectable off-gassing of PAA and hydrogen peroxide from the treated masks at 20 and 60 minutes after the disinfection cycle, respectively.
The PAA room disinfection system provides a rapidly scalable solution for in-hospital decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background: Patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization often shed MRSA, resulting in contamination of surfaces in their room. It is not known whether MRSA-colonized patients also frequently contaminate surfaces during medical appointments and other activities outside their room. Methods: We conducted an observational cohort study of MRSA-colonized long-term care facility (LTCF) residents to determine the frequency and mechanisms of contamination of surfaces outside patient rooms. Nares, skin, and clothing of patients in contact precautions for MRSA were cultured for MRSA, and high-touch surfaces in the residents’ room were contaminated with the live virus bacteriophage MS2 and cauliflower mosaic virus DNA. The participants were observed during activities and medical appointments outside their rooms for 3 days, and sites that were contacted were sampled for recovery of MRSA, bacteriophage MS2, and cauliflower mosaic virus DNA. Results: As shown in Fig. 1, bacteriophage MS2 and cauliflower mosaic virus DNA was transferred to 1 or more surfaces outside the resident’s room by 5 of the 7 participants, and MRSA was recovered from surfaces touched by 6 (86%) participants. MRSA was recovered during 16 of 35 episodes (46%) where sampling was performed, and recovery was similar for medical appointments (eg, hemodialysis, physical therapy) and nonmedical activities (eg, using the dining room or activity center). Moreover, MRSA, MS2, and the viral DNA marker were recovered both from sites contacted only by participants’ hands and from sites contacted only by clothing. Bacteriophage MS2 and the viral DNA marker were also recovered from portable equipment and from the nursing station. Conclusions: MRSA-colonized LTCF residents frequently disseminated MRSA and viral surrogate markers to surfaces outside their rooms through contact with contaminated hands and clothing. Efforts to reduce contamination of hands and clothing might reduce the risk for pathogen transmission.
Background: Barrier precautions (eg, gloves and gowns) are often used in clinical settings to reduce the risk for transmission of healthcare-associated pathogens. However, uncertainty persists regarding the efficacy of different types of barrier precautions in preventing transmission. Methods: We used simulated patient care interactions to compare the effectiveness of different levels of barrier precautions in reducing transfer of pathogen surrogate markers. Overall, 30 personnel performed standardized examinations of contaminated mannequins while wearing either no barriers, gloves, or gloves plus cover gowns followed by examination of a noncontaminated mannequin; the order of the barrier precautions was randomly assigned. Participants used their usual technique for hand hygiene, stethoscope cleaning, and protective equipment removal. The surrogate markers included cauliflower mosaic virus DNA, bacteriophage MS2, nontoxigenic Clostridium difficile spores, and a fluorescent tracer. We compared the frequency and route of transfer of each of the surrogate markers to the second mannequin or to the surrounding environment. Results: As shown in Fig. 1, wearing gloves alone or gloves plus gowns significantly reduced transfer of each of the surrogate markers by the hands of participants (P < .05 for each marker). However, wearing gloves or gloves plus gowns only modestly reduced transfer by stethoscopes despite cleaning of stethoscopes between exams by approximately half of the participants. Contamination of the clothing of participants was significantly reduced in the glove plus gown group versus the gloves only or no-barriers groups (P < .05). Conclusion: Barrier precautions are effective in reducing hand transfer of pathogens from patient to patient, but transfer may still occur via devices such as stethoscopes. Cover gowns reduce the risk for contamination of the clothing of personnel.
Funding: Proprietary Organization: The Center for Disease Control.
Here we report the findings from excavations at the open-air Middle Palaeolithic site of Alapars-1 in central Armenia. Three stratified Palaeolithic artefact assemblages were found within a 6-m-thick alluvial-aeolian sequence, located on the flanks of an obsidian-bearing lava dome. Combined sedimentological and chronological analyses reveal three phases of sedimentation and soil development. During Marine Oxygen Isotope Stages 5–3, the manner of deposition changes from alluvial to aeolian, with a development of soil horizons. Techno-typological analysis and geochemical sourcing of the obsidian artefacts reveal differential discard patterns, source exploitation, and artefact densities within strata, suggesting variability in technological organization during the Middle Palaeolithic. Taken together, these results indicate changes in hominin occupation patterns from ephemeral to more persistent in relation to landscape dynamics during the last interglacial and glacial periods in central Armenia.
On coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wards, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid was frequently detected on high-touch surfaces, floors, and socks inside patient rooms. Contamination of floors and shoes was common outside patient rooms on the COVID-19 wards but decreased after improvements in floor cleaning and disinfection were implemented.
Disabilities in physical activity and functional independence affect the early rehabilitation of stroke survivors. Moreover, a good instrument for assessing activity disability allows accurate assessment of physical disability and assists in prognosis determination.
To compare three assessment tools for physical activity in acute-phase stroke survivors.
We conducted this prospective observational study at an affiliated hospital of a Medical University in Shanghai, China, from June 2018 to November 2019. We administered three instruments to all patients during post-stroke days 5–7, including the Modified Barthel Index (MBI), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), and modified Rankin scale (mRs). We analyzed correlations among the aforementioned scales and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) using Spearman’s rank-order correlations test. Univariate analyses were performed using the Mann–Whitney U test. We used a binary logistic regression model to assess the association between the NIHSS (30 days) and patient-related variables. Finally, we used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to assess the predictive value of the multivariate regression models.
There was a high correlation among the three instruments; furthermore, the MBI had a higher correlation with the NIHSS (days 5–7). The NIHSS (day 30) was correlated with thrombolysis. ROC analysis revealed that the mRs-measured disability level had the highest predictive value of short-term stroke severity (30 days).
The MBI was the best scale for measuring disability in physical activity, whereas the mRs showed better accuracy in short-term prediction of stroke severity.
Adults with CHD have reduced work participation rates compared to adults without CHD. We aimed to quantify employment rate among adult CHD patients in a population-based registry and to describe factors and barriers associated with work participation.
We retrospectively identified adults with employment information in the North Carolina Congenital Heart Defects Surveillance Network. Employment was defined as any paid work in a given year. Logistic regression was used to examine patients’ employment status during each year.
The registry included 1,208 adult CHD patients with a health care encounter between 2009 and 2013, of whom 1,078 had ≥1 year of data with known employment status. Overall, 401 patients (37%) were employed in their most recent registry year. On multivariable analysis, the odds of employment decreased with older age and were lower for Black as compared to White patients (odds ratio = 0.78; 95% confidence interval: 0.62, 0.98; p = 0.030), and single as compared to married patients (odds ratio = 0.50; 95% confidence interval: 0.39, 0.63; p < 0.001).
In a registry where employment status was routinely captured, only 37% of adult CHD patients aged 18–64 years were employed, with older patients, Black patients, and single patients being less likely to be employed. Further work is needed to consider how enhancing cardiology follow-up for adults with CHD can integrate support for employment.
We report two cases of respiratory toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae infection in fully vaccinated UK born adults following travel to Tunisia in October 2019. Both patients were successfully treated with antibiotics and neither received diphtheria antitoxin. Contact tracing was performed following a risk assessment but no additional cases were identified. This report highlights the importance of maintaining a high index of suspicion for re-emerging infections in patients with a history of travel to high-risk areas outside Europe.