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Eustachian tube dysfunction is a known complication following radiotherapy to the head and neck region. Unfortunately, treatment options are limited, with significant associated morbidity. Balloon Eustachian tube dilatation has been used successfully to treat Eustachian tube dysfunction; hence, this study aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of this method in treating Eustachian tube dysfunction in post-radiotherapy patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
This interventional cohort pilot study on patients with Eustachian tube dysfunction compared those with nasopharyngeal carcinoma to patients without. Outcome assessment was based on tympanometry type and Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Questionnaire score.
A total of 14 ears (12 patients) were tested. Only 14 per cent of the nasopharyngeal carcinoma cohort showed improvement, while 71 per cent of the non-nasopharyngeal carcinoma group were successfully treated. No significant adverse effect was reported in any patient during this study.
Balloon Eustachian tube dilatation was not shown to be beneficial for post-radiotherapy Eustachian tube dysfunction in nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients in the preliminary stages of this pilot study.
Faraday complexity describes whether a spectropolarimetric observation has simple or complex magnetic structure. Quickly determining the Faraday complexity of a spectropolarimetric observation is important for processing large, polarised radio surveys. Finding simple sources lets us build rotation measure grids, and finding complex sources lets us follow these sources up with slower analysis techniques or further observations. We introduce five features that can be used to train simple, interpretable machine learning classifiers for estimating Faraday complexity. We train logistic regression and extreme gradient boosted tree classifiers on simulated polarised spectra using our features, analyse their behaviour, and demonstrate our features are effective for both simulated and real data. This is the first application of machine learning methods to real spectropolarimetry data. With 95% accuracy on simulated ASKAP data and 90% accuracy on simulated ATCA data, our method performs comparably to state-of-the-art convolutional neural networks while being simpler and easier to interpret. Logistic regression trained with our features behaves sensibly on real data and its outputs are useful for sorting polarised sources by apparent Faraday complexity.
ABSTRACT IMPACT: Within three EDs in a regional health system in Connecticut, African American race, male gender, non-Hispanic ethnicity, lack of private insurance, and homelessness were associated with significant odds of being physically restrained during a visit. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Agitated patient encounters in the Emergency Department (ED) are on the rise, and physical restraints are used to protect staff and prevent self-harm. However, these are associated with safety risks and potential stigmatization of vulnerable individuals. We aim to determine factors that are associated with odds of being restrained in the ED. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of all patients (≥18 yo) placed in restraints during an ED visit to three hospitals within a large tertiary health system from Jan 2013-Aug 2018. We undertook descriptive analysis of the data and created a generalized linear mixed model with a binary logistic identity link to model restraint use and determine odds ratios for various clinically significant demographic factors. These include gender, race, ethnicity, insurance status, alcohol use, illicit drug use, and homelessness. Our model accounted for patients nested across the three EDs and also accounted for multiple patient visits. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: In 726,417 total ED visits, 7,090 (1%) had associated restraint orders. Restrained patients had an average age of 45, with 64% male, 54% Caucasian and 29% African American. 17% had private insurance, 36% endorsed illicit substances, 51.4% endorsed alcohol use and 2.3% were homeless. African Americans had statistically significant odds of being restrained compared to Caucasians with adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of 1.14 (1.08,1.21). Females (AOR 0.75 [0.71, 0.79] had lower odds of being restrained compared to males while patients with Medicaid (AOR 1.57 [1.46, 1.68]) and Medicare (AOR 1.70 [1.57, 1.85]) had increased odds compared to the privately insured. Illicit substance use (AOR 1.55 [1.46, 1.64]), alcohol use (AOR 1.13 [1.07, 1.20] and homelessness (AOR 1.35 [1.14, 1.16]) had increased odds of restraint use. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: We showed statistically significant effects of patient demographics on odds of restraint use in the ED. The increased odds based on race, insurance status, and substance use highlight the potential effects of implicit bias on the decision to physically restrain patients and underscores the importance of objective assessments of these patients.
To investigate the timing and routes of contamination of the rooms of patients newly admitted to the hospital.
Observational cohort study and simulations of pathogen transfer.
A Veterans’ Affairs hospital.
Patients newly admitted to the hospital with no known carriage of healthcare-associated pathogens.
Interactions between the participants and personnel or portable equipment were observed, and cultures of high-touch surfaces, floors, bedding, and patients’ socks and skin were collected for up to 4 days. Cultures were processed for Clostridioides difﬁcile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Simulations were conducted with bacteriophage MS2 to assess plausibility of transfer from contaminated floors to high-touch surfaces and to assess the effectiveness of wearing slippers in reducing transfer.
Environmental cultures became positive for at least 1 pathogen in 10 (59%) of the 17 rooms, with cultures positive for MRSA, C. difficile, and VRE in the rooms of 10 (59%), 2 (12%), and 2 (12%) participants, respectively. For all 14 instances of pathogen detection, the initial site of recovery was the floor followed in a subset of patients by detection on sock bottoms, bedding, and high-touch surfaces. In simulations, wearing slippers over hospital socks dramatically reduced transfer of bacteriophage MS2 from the floor to hands and to high-touch surfaces.
Floors may be an underappreciated source of pathogen dissemination in healthcare facilities. Simple interventions such as having patients wear slippers could potentially reduce the risk for transfer of pathogens from floors to hands and high-touch surfaces.
Bipolar disorder is associated with premature mortality, but evidence is mostly derived from Western countries. There has been no research evaluating shortened lifespan in bipolar disorder using life-years lost (LYLs), which is a recently developed mortality metric taking into account illness onset for life expectancy estimation. The current study aimed to examine the extent of premature mortality in bipolar disorder patients relative to the general population in Hong Kong (HK) in terms of standardised mortality ratio (SMR) and excess LYLs, and changes of mortality rate over time.
This population-based cohort study investigated excess mortality in 12 556 bipolar disorder patients between 2008 and 2018, by estimating all-cause and cause-specific SMRs, and LYLs. Trends in annual SMRs over the 11-year study period were assessed. Study data were retrieved from a territory-wide medical-record database of HK public healthcare services.
Patients had higher all-cause [SMR: 2.60 (95% CI: 2.45–2.76)], natural-cause [SMR: 1.90 (95% CI: 1.76–2.05)] and unnatural-cause [SMR: 8.63 (95% CI: 7.34–10.03)] mortality rates than the general population. Respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancers accounted for the majority of deaths. Men and women with bipolar disorder had 6.78 (95% CI: 6.00–7.84) years and 7.35 (95% CI: 6.75–8.06) years of excess LYLs, respectively. The overall mortality gap remained similar over time, albeit slightly improved in men with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is associated with increased premature mortality and substantially reduced lifespan in a predominantly Chinese population, with excess deaths mainly attributed to natural causes. Persistent mortality gap underscores an urgent need for targeted interventions to improve physical health of patients with bipolar disorder.
Brief measurements of the subjective experience of stress with good predictive capability are important in a range of community mental health and research settings. The potential for large-scale implementation of such a measure for screening may facilitate early risk detection and intervention opportunities. Few such measures however have been developed and validated in epidemiological and longitudinal community samples. We designed a new single-item measure of the subjective level of stress (SLS-1) and tested its validity and ability to predict long-term mental health outcomes of up to 12 months through two separate studies.
We first examined the content and face validity of the SLS-1 with a panel consisting of mental health experts and laypersons. Two studies were conducted to examine its validity and predictive utility. In study 1, we tested the convergent and divergent validity as well as incremental validity of the SLS-1 in a large epidemiological sample of young people in Hong Kong (n = 1445). In study 2, in a consecutively recruited longitudinal community sample of young people (n = 258), we first performed the same procedures as in study 1 to ensure replicability of the findings. We then examined in this longitudinal sample the utility of the SLS-1 in predicting long-term depressive, anxiety and stress outcomes assessed at 3 months and 6 months (n = 182) and at 12 months (n = 84).
The SLS-1 demonstrated good content and face validity. Findings from the two studies showed that SLS-1 was moderately to strongly correlated with a range of mental health outcomes, including depressive, anxiety, stress and distress symptoms. We also demonstrated its ability to explain the variance explained in symptoms beyond other known personal and psychological factors. Using the longitudinal sample in study 2, we further showed the significant predictive capability of the SLS-1 for long-term symptom outcomes for up to 12 months even when accounting for demographic characteristics.
The findings altogether support the validity and predictive utility of the SLS-1 as a brief measure of stress with strong indications of both concurrent and long-term mental health outcomes. Given the value of brief measures of mental health risks at a population level, the SLS-1 may have potential for use as an early screening tool to inform early preventative intervention work.
Gloves and gowns are used during patient care to reduce contamination of personnel and prevent pathogen transmission.
To determine whether the use of gowns adds a substantial benefit over gloves alone in preventing patient-to-patient transfer of a viral DNA surrogate marker.
In total, 30 source patients had 1 cauliflower mosaic virus surrogate marker applied to their skin and clothing and a second to their bed rail and bedside table. Personnel caring for the source patients were randomized to wear gloves, gloves plus cover gowns, or no barrier. Interactions with up to 7 subsequent patients were observed, and the percentages of transfer of the DNA markers were compared among the 3 groups.
In comparison to the no-barrier group (57.8% transfer of 1 or both markers), there were significant reductions in transfer of the DNA markers in the gloves group (31.1% transfer; odds ratio [OR], 0.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.02-0.73) and the gloves-plus-gown group (25.9% transfer; OR, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.01–0.51). The addition of a cover gown to gloves during the interaction with the source patient did not significantly reduce the transfer of the DNA marker (P = .53). During subsequent patient interactions, transfer of the DNA markers was significantly reduced if gloves plus gowns were worn and if hand hygiene was performed (P < .05).
Wearing gloves or gloves plus gowns reduced the frequency of patient-to-patient transfer of a viral DNA surrogate marker. The use of gloves plus gowns during interactions with the source patient did not reduce transfer in comparison to gloves alone.
The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) is a widely used measure in developmental science that assesses adults’ current states of mind regarding early attachment-related experiences with their primary caregivers. The standard system for coding the AAI recommends classifying individuals categorically as having an autonomous, dismissing, preoccupied, or unresolved attachment state of mind. However, previous factor and taxometric analyses suggest that: (a) adults’ attachment states of mind are captured by two weakly correlated factors reflecting adults’ dismissing and preoccupied states of mind and (b) individual differences on these factors are continuously rather than categorically distributed. The current study revisited these suggestions about the latent structure of AAI scales by leveraging individual participant data from 40 studies (N = 3,218), with a particular focus on the controversial observation from prior factor analytic work that indicators of preoccupied states of mind and indicators of unresolved states of mind about loss and trauma loaded on a common factor. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that: (a) a 2-factor model with weakly correlated dismissing and preoccupied factors and (b) a 3-factor model that further distinguished unresolved from preoccupied states of mind were both compatible with the data. The preoccupied and unresolved factors in the 3-factor model were highly correlated. Taxometric analyses suggested that individual differences in dismissing, preoccupied, and unresolved states of mind were more consistent with a continuous than a categorical model. The importance of additional tests of predictive validity of the various models is emphasized.
Infection prevention and control (IPC) workflows are often retrospective and manual. New tools, however, have entered the field to facilitate rapid prospective monitoring of infections in hospitals. Although artificial intelligence (AI)–enabled platforms facilitate timely, on-demand integration of clinical data feeds with pathogen whole-genome sequencing (WGS), a standardized workflow to fully harness the power of such tools is lacking. We report a novel, evidence-based workflow that promotes quicker infection surveillance via AI-assisted clinical and WGS data analysis. The algorithm suggests clusters based on a combination of similar minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) data, timing of sample collection, and shared location stays between patients. It helps to proactively guide IPC professionals during investigation of infectious outbreaks and surveillance of multidrug-resistant organisms and healthcare-acquired infections. Methods: Our team established a 1-year workgroup comprised of IPC practitioners, clinical experts, and scientists in the field. We held weekly roundtables to study lessons learned in an ongoing surveillance effort at a tertiary care hospital—utilizing Philips IntelliSpace Epidemiology (ISEpi), an AI-powered system—to understand how such a tool can enhance practice. Based on real-time case discussions and evidence from the literature, a workflow guidance tool and checklist were codified. Results: In our workflow, data-informed clusters posed by ISEpi underwent triage and expert follow-up analysis to assess: (1) likelihood of transmission(s); (2) potential vector(s) identity; (3) need to request WGS; and (4) intervention(s) to be pursued, if warranted. In a representative sample (spanning October 17, 2019, to November 7, 2019) of 67 total isolates suggested for inclusion in 19 unique cluster investigations, we determined that 9 investigations merited follow-up. Collectively, these 9 investigations involved 21 patients and required 115 minutes to review in ISEpi and an additional 70 minutes of review outside of ISEpi. After review, 6 investigations were deemed unlikely to represent a transmission; the other 3 had potential to represent transmission for which interventions would be performed. Conclusions: This study offers an important framework for adaptation of existing infection control workflow strategies to leverage the utility of rapidly integrated clinical and WGS data. This workflow can also facilitate time-sensitive decisions regarding sequencing of specific pathogens given the preponderance of available clinical data supporting investigations. In this regard, our work sets a new standard of practice: precision infection prevention (PIP). Ongoing effort is aimed at development of AI-powered capabilities for enterprise-level quality and safety improvement initiatives.
Funding: Philips Healthcare provided support for this study.
Disclosures: Alan Doty and Juan Jose Carmona report salary from Philips Healthcare.
This study estimates the incubation period of COVID-19 among locally transmitted cases, and its association with age to better inform public health measures in containing COVID-19. Epidemiological data of all PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases from all restructured hospitals in Singapore were collected between 23 January 2020 and 2 April 2020. Activity mapping and detailed epidemiological investigation were conducted by trained personnel. Positive cases without clear exposure to another positive case were excluded from the analysis. One hundred and sixty-four cases (15.6% of patients) met the inclusion criteria during the defined period. The crude median incubation period was 5 days (range 1–12 days) and median age was 42 years (range 5–79 years). The median incubation period among those 70 years and older was significantly longer than those younger than 70 years (8 vis-à-vis 5 days, P = 0.040). Incubation period was negatively correlated with day of illness in both groups. These findings support current policies of 14-day quarantine periods for close contacts of confirmed cases and 28 days for monitoring infections in known clusters. An elderly person who may have a longer incubation period than a younger counterpart may benefit from earlier and proactive testing, especially after exposure to a positive case.
Cognitive deficits have been reported during the early stages of bipolar disorder; however, the role of medication on such deficits remains unclear. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of lithium and quetiapine monotherapy on cognitive performance in people following first episode mania.
The design was a single-blind, randomised controlled trial on a cohort of 61 participants following first episode mania. Participants received either lithium or quetiapine monotherapy as maintenance treatment over a 12-month follow-up period. The groups were compared on performance outcomes using an extensive cognitive assessment battery conducted at baseline, month 3 and month 12 follow-up time-points.
There was a significant interaction between group and time in phonemic fluency at the 3-month and 12-month endpoints, reflecting greater improvements in performance in lithium-treated participants relative to quetiapine-treated participants. After controlling for multiple comparisons, there were no other significant interactions between group and time for other measures of cognition.
Although the effects of lithium and quetiapine treatment were similar for most cognitive domains, the findings imply that early initiation of lithium treatment may benefit the trajectory of cognition, specifically verbal fluency in young people with bipolar disorder. Given that cognition is a major symptomatic domain of bipolar disorder and has substantive effects on general functioning, the ability to influence the trajectory of cognitive change is of considerable clinical importance.
The current study examined the association of demographic/preinjury, injury-related, and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) process variables, with anxiety and depression symptom change in traumatic brain injury (TBI)-adapted CBT (CBT-ABI).
The audio recordings of 177 CBT-ABI sessions representing 31 therapist–client dyads were assessed from the independent observer perspective on measures of working alliance, homework engagement, and therapist competency in using homework.
Linear regressions showed that older client age, longer post-TBI recovery period, better executive functioning, higher levels of client homework engagement, as well as higher levels of therapist competence in reviewing homework were associated with greater improvement in anxiety and/or depression symptoms.
CBT-ABI is a promising treatment for post-TBI depression and anxiety. The current study highlights how therapists can enhance CBT-ABI effectiveness, specifically: comprehensive facilitation of client homework engagement with emphasis on homework review, and accommodation of executive deficits. The current study also suggests that the role of client age and the length of post-TBI recovery period require further investigation.
To test the impact of using different idioms in epidemiological interviews on the prevalence and correlates of poor mental health and mental health service use.
We conducted a randomised methodological experiment in a nationally representative sample of the US adult population, comparing a lay idiom, which asked about ‘problems with your emotions or nerves’ with a more medical idiom, which asked about ‘problems with your mental health’. Differences across study arms in the associations of endorsement of problems with the Kessler-6 (a validated assessment of psychological distress), demographic characteristics, self-rated health and mental health service use were examined.
Respondents were about half as likely to endorse a problem when asked with the more medical idiom (18.1%) than when asked with the lay idiom (35.1%). The medical idiom had a significantly larger area under the ROC curve when compared against a validated measure of psychological distress than the lay idiom (0.91 v. 0.87, p = 0.012). The proportion of the population who endorsed a problem but did not receive treatment in the past year was less than half as large for the medical idiom (7.90%) than for the lay idiom (20.94%). Endorsement of problems differed in its associations with age, sex, race/ethnicity and self-rated health depending on the question idiom. For instance, the odds of endorsing problems were threefold higher in the youngest than the oldest age group when the medical idiom was used (OR = 3.07; 95% CI 1.47–6.41) but did not differ across age groups when the lay idiom was used (OR = 0.76; 95% CI 0.43–1.36).
Choice of idiom in epidemiological questionnaires can affect the apparent correlates of poor mental health and service use. Cultural change within populations over time may require changes in instrument wording to maintain consistency in epidemiological measurement of psychiatric conditions.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may contribute to obesity. Childhood obesity is a strong predictor of adult obesity and morbidity; however, the relationship between PAHs and obesity in young children (e.g., aged 3–5) has not been studied. We examined the association between urinary PAH metabolites and measures of obesity in children. We analyzed data from 3667 children aged 3–18 years who participated in the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS, 2009–2015). We ran separate multivariable linear models to estimate the association between quartiles of PAH metabolites and each of body mass index (BMI) percentile, waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) in the total population, as well as in the age subgroups 3–5, 6–11, and 12–18, adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, education, income quintile, diet, creatinine, and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. A multinomial logistic regression model estimated adjusted odds ratios for risk of central obesity. BMI, WC, and WHtR were positively associated with total PAH and naphthalene metabolites in the total population aged 3–18 and in age groups 6–11 and 12–18. In 3–5 year olds, WHtR, but not BMI, was significantly associated with total PAH, naphthalene, and phenanthrene metabolites. Overall, those in the highest quartile for naphthalene or total PAH metabolites had three times greater odds of having central obesity compared with those in the lowest quartile. Urinary PAH metabolites are associated with WHtR, an indicator of central obesity and predictor of health risks associated with obesity, in children as young as 3–5.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.