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Hospital readmission is unsettling to patients and caregivers, costly to the healthcare system, and may leave patients at additional risk for hospital-acquired infections and other complications. We evaluated the association between comorbidities present during index coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalization and the risk of 30-day readmission.
Design, setting, and participants:
We used the Premier Healthcare database to perform a retrospective cohort study of COVID-19 hospitalized patients discharged between April 2020 and March 2021 who were followed for 30 days after discharge to capture readmission to the same hospital.
Among the 331,136 unique patients in the index cohort, 36,827 (11.1%) had at least 1 all-cause readmission within 30 days. Of the readmitted patients, 11,382 (3.4%) were readmitted with COVID-19 as the primary diagnosis. In the multivariable model adjusted for demographics, hospital characteristics, coexisting comorbidities, and COVID-19 severity, each additional comorbidity category was associated with an 18% increase in the odds of all-cause readmission (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17–1.19) and a 10% increase in the odds of readmission with COVID-19 as the primary readmission diagnosis (aOR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.09–1.11). Lymphoma (aOR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.58–2.19), renal failure (aOR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.25–1.40), and chronic lung disease (aOR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.24–1.34) were most associated with readmission for COVID-19.
Readmission within 30 days was common among COVID-19 survivors. A better understanding of comorbidities associated with readmission will aid hospital care teams in improving postdischarge care. Additionally, it will assist hospital epidemiologists and quality administrators in planning resources, allocating staff, and managing bed-flow issues to improve patient care and safety.
Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) with acute suicidal ideation or behavior (MDSI) require immediate intervention. Though oral antidepressants can be effective at reducing depressive symptoms, they can take 4–6 weeks to reach full effect.
This study aimed to identify unmet needs in the treatment of patients with MDSI, specifically exploring the potential clinical benefits of rapid reduction of depressive symptoms.
A Delphi panel consisting of practicing psychiatrists (n=12) from the US, Canada and EU was conducted between December 2020–June 2021. Panelists were screened to ensure they had sufficient experience with managing patients with MDD and MDSI. Panelists completed two survey rounds, and a virtual consensus meeting.
This research confirmed current unmet needs in the treatment of patients with MDSI.
Hopelessness, functional impairment, worsening of MDD symptoms, recurrent hospitalization and higher risk of suicide attempt were considered as key consequences of the slow onset of action of oral antidepressants.
Treatment with rapid acting antidepressant was anticipated by panelists to provide short-term benefit such as rapid reduction of core MDD symptoms which may contribute to shorter hospital stays and improved patient engagement/compliance, allowing for earlier interventions and improved patient outcomes. For long-term benefits, panelists agreed that improved daily functioning and increased trust/confidence in treatment options, constitute key benefits of rapid-acting treatments
There is need for rapid-acting treatments which may help address key unmet needs and provide clinically meaningful benefits driven by the rapid relief of depressive symptoms particularly in patients with MDSI.
SB, ED, KJ, MO’H, QZ, MM, MH, SR, JA and DZ are employees of Janssen and hold stock in Johnson & Johnson Inc. AN is currently employed by Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. RP is an employee of Adelphi Values PROVE hired by Janssen.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) can be overdiagnosed on the basis of positive respiratory cultures in the absence of clinical findings of pneumonia. We determined the perceived diagnostic importance of 6 clinical attributes in ordering a respiratory culture to identify opportunities for diagnostic stewardship.
A discrete choice experiment presented participants with a vignette consisting of the same “stem” plus variations in 6 clinical attributes associated with VAP: chest imaging, oxygenation, sputum, temperature, white blood cell count, and blood pressure. Each attribute had 3–4 levels, resulting in 32 total scenarios. Participants indicated whether they would order a respiratory culture, and if yes, whether they preferred the bronchoalveolar lavage or endotracheal aspirate sample-collection method. We calculated diagnostic utility of attribute levels and relative importance of each attribute.
Setting and participants:
The survey was administered electronically to critical-care clinicians via a Qualtrics survey at a tertiary-care academic center in the United States.
In total, 59 respondents completed the survey. New radiograph opacity (utility, 1.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99–1.3), hypotension (utility, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.74–1.03), fever (utility, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.62–0.91) and copious sputum (utility, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.60–0.90) had the greatest perceived diagnostic value that favored ordering a respiratory culture. Radiograph changes (23%) and temperature (20%) had the highest relative importance. New opacity (utility, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.17–0.52) and persistent opacity on radiograph (utility, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.05–0.59) had the greatest value favoring bronchoalveolar lavage over endotracheal aspirate.
Perceived high diagnostic value of fever and hypotension suggest that sepsis vigilance may drive respiratory culturing and play a role in VAP overdiagnosis.
To evaluate the impact of a standardized, process-validated intervention utilizing daily hospital-wide patient-zone sporicidal disinfectant cleaning on incidence density of healthcare-onset Clostridioides difficile infection (HO-CDI) standardized infection ratios (SIRs).
Multi-site, quasi-experimental study, with control hospitals and a nonequivalent dependent variable.
The study was conducted across 8 acute-care hospitals in 6 states with stable endemic HO-CDI SIRs.
Following an 18-month preintervention control period, each site implemented a program of daily hospital-wide sporicidal disinfectant patient zone cleaning. After a wash-in period, thoroughness of disinfection cleaning (TDC) was monitored prospectively and optimized with performance feedback utilizing a previously validated process improvement program. Mean HO-CDI SIRs were calculated by quarter for the pre- and postintervention periods for both the intervention and control hospitals. We used a difference-in-differences analysis to estimate the change in the average HO-CDI SIR and HO-CAUTI SIR for the pre- and postintervention periods.
Following the wash-in period, the TDC improved steadily for all sites and by 18 months was 93.6% for the group. The mean HO-CDI SIRs decreased from 1.03 to 0.6 (95% CI, 0.13–0.75; P = .009). In the adjusted difference-in-differences analysis in comparison to controls, there was a 0.55 reduction (95% CI, −0.77 to −0.32) in HO-CDI (P < .001) or a 50% relative decrease from baseline.
This study represents the first multiple-site, quasi-experimental study with control hospitals and a nonequivalent dependent variable to evaluate a 4-component intervention on HO-CDI. Following ongoing improvement in cleaning thoroughness, there was a sustained 50% decrease in HO-CDI SIRs compared to controls.
Evidence supporting collection of follow-up blood cultures for Gram-negative bacteremia is mixed. We sought to understand why providers order follow-up blood cultures when managing P. aeruginosa bacteremia and whether follow-up blood cultures in this context are associated with short- and long-term survival.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult inpatients with P. aeruginosa bacteremia at the University of Maryland Medical Center in 2015–2020. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox regression with time-varying covariates were used to evaluate the association between follow-up blood cultures and time to mortality within 30 days of first positive blood culture. Provider justifications for follow-up blood cultures were identified through chart review.
Of 159 eligible patients, 127 (80%) had follow-up blood cultures, including 9 (7%) that were positive for P. aeruginosa and 10 (8%) that were positive for other organisms. Follow-up blood cultures were typically collected “to ensure clearance” or “to guide antibiotic therapy.” Overall, 30-day mortality was 25.2%. After risk adjustment for patient characteristics, follow-up blood cultures were associated with a nonsignificant reduction in mortality risk (hazard ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 1.08; P = .071). In exploratory analyses, the potential mortality reduction from follow-up blood cultures was driven by their use in patients with Pitt bacteremia scores >0.
Follow-up blood cultures are commonly collected for P. aeruginosa bacteremia but infrequently identify persistent bacteremia. Targeted use of follow-up blood cultures based on severity of illness may reduce unnecessary culturing.
In a large, system-wide, healthcare personnel (HCP) testing experience using severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serologic testing early in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we did not find increased infection risk related to COVID-19 patient contact. Our findings support workplace policies for HCP protection and underscore the role of community exposure and asymptomatic infection.
Prompt diagnosis and intervention for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is critical but can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
We investigated healthcare provider (HCP) perceptions and challenges associated with VAP diagnosis, and we sought to identify opportunities for diagnostic stewardship.
We conducted a qualitative study of 30 HCPs at a tertiary-care hospital. Participants included attending physicians, residents and fellows (trainees), advanced practice providers (APPs), and pharmacists. Interviews were composed of open-ended questions in 4 sections: (1) clinical suspicion and thresholds for respiratory culture ordering, (2) preferences for respiratory sample collection, (3) culture report interpretation, and (4) VAP diagnosis and treatment. Interviews transcripts were analyzed using Nvivo 12 software, and responses were organized into themes.
Overall, 10 attending physicians (75%) and 16 trainees (75%) trainees and APPs believed they were overdiagnosing VAP; this response was frequent among HCPs in practice 5–10 years (91%, n = 12). Increased identification of bacteria as a result of frequent respiratory culturing, misinterpretation of culture data, and fear of missing diagnosis were recognized as drivers of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Although most HCPs rely on clinical and radiographic changes to initiate work-up, the fear of missing a diagnosis leads to sending cultures even in the absence of those changes.
HCPs believe that VAP overdiagnosis and overtreatment are common due to fear of missing diagnosis, overculturing, and difficulty distinguishing colonization from infection. Although we identified opportunities for diagnostic stewardship, interventions influencing the ordering of cultures and starting antimicrobials will need to account for strongly held beliefs and ICU practices.
Antidepressant medication and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are both recommended interventions in depression treatment guidelines based on literature reviews and meta-analyses. However, ‘conventional’ meta-analyses comparing their efficacy are limited by their reliance on reported study-level information and a narrow focus on depression outcome measures assessed at treatment completion. Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis, considered the gold standard in evidence synthesis, can improve the quality of the analyses when compared with conventional meta-analysis.
We describe the protocol for a systematic review and IPD meta-analysis comparing the efficacy of antidepressants and IPT for adult acute-phase depression across a range of outcome measures, including depressive symptom severity as well as functioning and well-being, at both post-treatment and follow-up (PROSPERO: CRD42020219891).
We will conduct a systematic literature search in PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and the Cochrane Library to identify randomised clinical trials comparing antidepressants and IPT in the acute-phase treatment of adults with depression. We will invite the authors of these studies to share the participant-level data of their trials. One-stage IPD meta-analyses will be conducted using mixed-effects models to assess treatment effects at post-treatment and follow-up for all outcome measures that are assessed in at least two studies.
This will be the first IPD meta-analysis examining antidepressants versus IPT efficacy. This study has the potential to enhance our knowledge of depression treatment by comparing the short- and long-term effects of two widely used interventions across a range of outcome measures using state-of-the-art statistical techniques.
The perinatal period is a vulnerable time for the development of psychopathology, particularly mood and anxiety disorders. In the study of maternal anxiety, important questions remain regarding the association between maternal anxiety symptoms and subsequent child outcomes. This study examined the association between depressive and anxiety symptoms, namely social anxiety, panic, and agoraphobia disorder symptoms during the perinatal period and maternal perception of child behavior, specifically different facets of development and temperament. Participants (N = 104) were recruited during pregnancy from a community sample. Participants completed clinician-administered and self-report measures of depressive and anxiety symptoms during the third trimester of pregnancy and at 16 months postpartum; child behavior and temperament outcomes were assessed at 16 months postpartum. Child development areas included gross and fine motor skills, language and problem-solving abilities, and personal/social skills. Child temperament domains included surgency, negative affectivity, and effortful control. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated that elevated prenatal social anxiety symptoms significantly predicted more negative maternal report of child behavior across most measured domains. Elevated prenatal social anxiety and panic symptoms predicted more negative maternal report of child effortful control. Depressive and agoraphobia symptoms were not significant predictors of child outcomes. Elevated anxiety symptoms appear to have a distinct association with maternal report of child development and temperament. Considering the relative influence of anxiety symptoms, particularly social anxiety, on maternal report of child behavior and temperament can help to identify potential difficulties early on in mother–child interactions as well as inform interventions for women and their families.
The mind and body are connected in a myriad of ways that we as healthcare providers still do not fully comprehend. Recent research has demonstrated that there are biological, neurocognitive, psychological, spiritual, and social features of diseases and disorders, and there has been movement within the healthcare field toward the integrative biopsychosocial approach in the provision of healthcare services. Addressing these aspects allows the healthcare provider to tailor treatment to a patient’s unique needs. This chapter covers interventions in the areas of positive neuropsychology/cognitive health, cognitive rehabilitation, and neuroenhancement.
UK trees require increased conservation efforts due to sparse and fragmented populations. Ex situ conservation, including seed banking, can be used to better manage these issues. We conducted accelerated ageing tests on seeds of 22 UK native woody species, in order to assess their likely longevity and optimize their conservation in a seed bank. Germination at four ageing time points was determined to construct survival curves, and it was concluded that multiple samples within a species showed comparable responses for most species tested, except for Fraxinus excelsior. Of all species studied, one could be classified as very short-lived, four as short-lived and 17 as medium, with none exceeding the medium category. The most important finding of this manuscript is that although some taxonomic trends were observed, the results indicate the need for caution when making broad conclusions on potential seed storage life at a species, genus or family level. Longevity predictions were compared to actual performance of older collections held in long-term storage at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew. Although most collections remain high in viability in storage after more than 20 years, for short-lived species at least, there is some indication that accelerated ageing predicts longevity in seed bank conditions. For species with reduced potential longevity, such as Fagus sylvatica and Ulmus glabra, additional storage options are recommended for long-term gene banking.
The transmission rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to gloves or gowns of healthcare personnel (HCP) caring for MRSA patients in a non–intensive care unit setting was 5.4%. Contamination rates were higher among HCP performing direct patient care and when patients had detectable MRSA on their body. These findings may inform risk-based contact precautions.
To evaluate whether clinical cultures are an appropriate surrogate for surveillance cultures to measure the effect of interventions on the incidence of MRSA and VRE in the hospital.
Cross-sectional and quasi-experimental, retrospective analysis
Setting and population:
Convenience sample of patients admitted between January 1, 2002, and June 31, 2011, to the medical intensive care unit (MICU) and surgical intensive care unit (SICU) of an acute-care hospital in the United States.
Asynchronously in the MICU and SICU, we introduced (1) universal glove and gown use, (2) bundled intervention to prevent central-line–associated bloodstream infection, and (3) daily chlorhexidine gluconate bathing.
We observed a statistically significant correlation between surveillance and clinical culture-based incidence rates of MRSA in the MICU (0.32; P < .001) and the SICU (0.37; P < .001) but not for VRE in either the MICU (0.16, P = .11) or the SICU (0.15; P = .12). For VRE, but not for MRSA, incidence density rates based on surveillance cultures were 2- to 4-fold higher than for clinical cultures. When evaluating the impacts of the interventions, different effect estimates were noted for universal glove and gown use on MRSA acquisition in MICU, and for VRE acquisition in both the MICU and the SICU based on surveillance versus clinical cultures.
For multidrug-resistant organism acquisition, surveillance cultures should be used when feasible because clinical cultures may not be an appropriate surrogate. Clinical or surveillance-based end points for infection control interventions should reflect the conceptual model from colonization to infection and where an intervention might have an effect, rather than considering them interchangeable.
This paper presents updated analyses on the genetic associations of sleep disruption in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We published previously a study of the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in eight genes related to circadian rhythms and objective measures of sleep-wake disturbances in 124 individuals with AD. Here, we present new relevant analyses using polygenic risk scores (PRS) and variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) enumerations. PRS were calculated using the genetic data from the original participants and relevant genome wide association studies (GWAS). VNTRs for the same circadian rhythm genes studied with SNPs were obtained from a separate cohort of participants using whole genome sequencing (WGS). Objectively (wrist actigraphy) determined wake after sleep onset (WASO) was used as a measure of sleep disruption. None of the PRS were associated with sleep disturbance. Computer analyses using VNTRseek software generated a total of 30 VNTRs for the circadian-related genes but none appear relevant to our objective sleep measure. In addition, of 71 neurotransmitter function-related genes, 29 genes had VNTRs that differed from the reference VNTR, but it was not clear if any of these might affect circadian function in AD patients. Although we have not found in either the current analyses or in our previous published analyses of SNPs any direct linkages between identified genetic factors and WASO, research in this area remains in its infancy.
We studied the association between chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) concentration on skin and resistant bacterial bioburden. CHG was almost always detected on the skin, and detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus on skin sites was infrequent. However, we found no correlation between CHG concentration and bacterial bioburden.
Concurrent chemotherapy with radiotherapy is the standard treatment for locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal cancer. Cetuximab can be used in the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. However, the randomised studies that led to approval for its use in this setting excluded nasopharyngeal cancer. In the context of limited data for the use of cetuximab in nasopharyngeal cancer in the medical literature, this review aimed to summarise the current evidence for its use in both primary and recurrent or metastatic disease.
A literature search was performed using the keywords ‘nasopharyngeal neoplasm’, ‘cetuximab’ and ‘Erbitux’.
Twenty studies were included. There were no randomised phase III trials, but there were nine phase II trials. The use of cetuximab in the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma has been tested in various settings, including in combination with induction chemotherapy and concurrent chemoradiotherapy, and in the palliative setting.
There is no evidence of benefit from the addition of cetuximab to standard management protocols, and there is some evidence of increased toxicity. There is more promise for its use in metastatic or locally recurrent settings. This review draws together the existing evidence and could provide a focus for future studies.
In cluster-randomized trials (CRT), groups rather than individuals are randomized to interventions. The aim of this study was to present critical design, implementation, and analysis issues to consider when planning a CRT in the healthcare setting and to synthesize characteristics of published CRT in the field of healthcare epidemiology.
A systematic review was conducted to identify CRT with infection control outcomes.
We identified the following 7 epidemiological principles: (1) identify design type and justify the use of CRT; (2) account for clustering when estimating sample size and report intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC)/coefficient of variation (CV); (3) obtain consent; (4) define level of inference; (5) consider matching and/or stratification; (6) minimize bias and/or contamination; and (7) account for clustering in the analysis. Among 44 included studies, the most common design was CRT with crossover (n = 15, 34%), followed by parallel CRT (n = 11, 25%) and stratified CRT (n = 7, 16%). Moreover, 22 studies (50%) offered justification for their use of CRT, and 20 studies (45%) demonstrated that they accounted for clustering at the design phase. Only 15 studies (34%) reported the ICC, CV, or design effect. Also, 15 studies (34%) obtained waivers of consent, and 7 (16%) sought consent at the cluster level. Only 17 studies (39%) matched or stratified at randomization, and 10 studies (23%) did not report efforts to mitigate bias and/or contamination. Finally, 29 studies (88%) accounted for clustering in their analyses.
We must continue to improve the design and reporting of CRT to better evaluate the effectiveness of infection control interventions in the healthcare setting.
Prevalence of multidrug-resistant microorganisms (MDROs) continues to increase, while infection control gaps in healthcare settings facilitate their transmission between patients. In this setting, 5 distinct yet interlinked pathways are responsible for transmission. The complete transmission process is still not well understood. Designing and conducting a single research study capable of investigating all 5 complex and multifaceted pathways of hospital transmission would be costly and logistically burdensome. Therefore, this scoping review aims to synthesize the highest-quality published literature describing each of the 5 individual potential transmission pathways of MDROs in the healthcare setting and their overall contribution to patient-to-patient transmission.
In 3 databases, we performed 2 separate systematic searches for original research published during the last decade. The first search focused on MDRO transmission via the HCW or the environment to identify publications studying 5 specific transmission pathways: (1) patient to HCW, (2) patient to environment, (3) HCW to patient, (4) environment to patient, and (5) environment to HCW. The second search focused on overall patient-to-patient transmission regardless of the transmission pathway. Both searches were limited to transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, multidrug-resistant A. baumannii, and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. After abstract screening of 5,026 manuscripts, researchers independently reviewed and rated the remaining papers using objective predefined criteria to identify the highest quality and most influential manuscripts.
High-quality manuscripts were identified for all 5 routes of transmission. Findings from these studies were consistent for all pathways; however, results describing the routes from the environment/HCW to a noncolonized patient were more limited and variable. Additionally, most research focused on MRSA, instead of other MDROs. The second search yielded 10 manuscripts (8 cohort studies) that demonstrated the overall contribution of patient-to-patient transmission in hospitals regardless of the transmission route. For MRSA, the reported cross-transmission was as high as 40%.
This scoping review brings together evidence supporting all 5 possible transmission pathways and illustrates the complex nature of patient-to-patient transmission of MDROs in hospitals. Our findings also confirm that transmission of MDROs in hospitals occurs frequently, suggesting that ongoing efforts are necessary to strengthen infection prevention and control to prevent the spread of MDROs.