To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
To examine differences in surgical practices between salaried and fee-for-service (FFS) surgeons for two common degenerative spine conditions. Surgeons may offer different treatments for similar conditions on the basis of their compensation mechanism.
The study assessed the practices of 63 spine surgeons across eight Canadian provinces (39 FFS surgeons and 24 salaried) who performed surgery for two lumbar conditions: stable spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis. The study included a multicenter, ambispective review of consecutive spine surgery patients enrolled in the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network registry between October 2012 and July 2018. The primary outcome was the difference in type of procedures performed between the two groups. Secondary study variables included surgical characteristics, baseline patient factors, and patient-reported outcome.
For stable spinal stenosis (n = 2234), salaried surgeons performed statistically fewer uninstrumented fusion (p < 0.05) than FFS surgeons. For degenerative spondylolisthesis (n = 1292), salaried surgeons performed significantly more instrumentation plus interbody fusions (p < 0.05). There were no statistical differences in patient-reported outcomes between the two groups.
Surgeon compensation was associated with different approaches to stable lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. Salaried surgeons chose a more conservative approach to spinal stenosis and a more aggressive approach to degenerative spondylolisthesis, which highlights that remuneration is likely a minor determinant in the differences in practice of spinal surgery in Canada. Further research is needed to further elucidate which variables, other than patient demographics and financial incentives, influence surgical decision-making.
Data suggest poorer bereavement outcomes for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, but this has not been estimated in population-based research. This study compared bereavement outcomes for partners of same-gender and different-gender decedents.
In this population-based, cross-sectional survey of people bereaved of a civil partner or spouse 6–10 months previously, we used adjusted logistic and linear regression to investigate outcomes of interest: (1) positive screen on Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG), (2) positive screen on General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), (3) grief intensity (ICG) and (4) psychiatric symptoms (GHQ-12).
Among 233 same-gender partners and 329 of different-gender partners, 66.1% [95% confidence interval (CI) 60.0–72.2] and 59.2% [95% CI (53.9–64.6)] respectively screened positive for complicated grief on the ICG, whilst 76.0% [95% CI (70.5–81.5)] and 69.3% [95% CI (64.3–74.3)] respectively screened positive on the GHQ-12. Same-gender bereaved partners were not significantly more likely to screen positive for complicated grief than different-gender partners [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.56, 95% CI (0.98–2.47)], p = 0.059, but same-gender bereaved partners were significantly more likely to screen for psychiatric caseness [aOR 1.67 (1.02, 2.71) p = 0.043]. We similarly found no significant association of partner gender with grief intensity [B = 1.86, 95% CI (−0.91to 4.63), p = 0.188], but significantly greater psychological distress for same-gender partners [B = 1.54, 95% CI (−0.69–2.40), p < 0.001].
Same-gender bereaved partners report significantly more psychological distress. In view of their poorer sub-clinical mental health, clinical and bereavement services should refine screening processes to identify those at risk of poor mental health outcomes.
We disentangle the effects of biodiesel incentives and shale oil expansion on the long-run equilibrium price relationships among biodiesel feedstocks and crude oil in the United States (US) and European Union (EU). We find that the 2005 Energy Policy Act in the US substantially increased the responsiveness of soy oil, canola oil, and corn oil prices to crude oil price movements. However, in recent years, expansion in the global supply of crude oil from shale oil extraction has offset the effects of US biodiesel incentives and blending mandates. In the EU, the Indirect Land Use Change Directive of 2015 substantially reduced the responsiveness of biodiesel feedstock prices to crude oil price movements.
The Trial Innovation Network has established an infrastructure for single IRB review in response to federal policies. The Network’s single IRB (sIRBs) have successfully supported over 70 multisite studies via more than 800 reliance arrangements. This has generated several lessons learned that can benefit the national clinical research enterprise, as we work to improve the conduct of clinical trials. These lessons include distinguishing the roles of the single IRB from institutional Human Research Protections programs, establishing a consistent sIRB review model, standardizing collection of local context and supplemental, study-specific information, and educating and empowering lead study teams to support their sites.
Healthcare personnel (HCP) with unprotected exposures to aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) on patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at risk of infection with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A retrospective review at an academic medical center demonstrated an infection rate of <1% among HCP involved in AGPs without a respirator and/or eye protection.
During the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring and summer of 2020, paediatric heart centres were forced to rapidly alter the way patient care was provided to minimise interruption to patient care as well as exposure to the virus. In this survey-based descriptive study, we characterise changes that occurred within paediatric cardiology practices across the United States and described provider experience and attitudes towards these changes during the pandemic. Common changes that were implemented included decreased numbers of procedures, limiting visitors and shifting towards telemedicine encounters. The information obtained from this survey may be useful in guiding and standardising responses to future public health crises.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) frequently co-occur, and large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified significant genetic correlations between these disorders.
We used the largest published GWAS for AUD (total cases = 77 822) and SCZ (total cases = 46 827) to identify genetic variants that influence both disorders (with either the same or opposite direction of effect) and those that are disorder specific.
We identified 55 independent genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms with the same direction of effect on AUD and SCZ, 8 with robust effects in opposite directions, and 98 with disorder-specific effects. We also found evidence for 12 genes whose pleiotropic associations with AUD and SCZ are consistent with mediation via gene expression in the prefrontal cortex. The genetic covariance between AUD and SCZ was concentrated in genomic regions functional in brain tissues (p = 0.001).
Our findings provide further evidence that SCZ shares meaningful genetic overlap with AUD.
To determine the utility of the Sofia SARS rapid antigen fluorescent immunoassay (FIA) to guide hospital-bed placement of patients being admitted through the emergency department (ED).
Cross-sectional analysis of a clinical quality improvement study.
This study was conducted in 2 community hospitals in Maryland from September 21, 2020, to December 3, 2020. In total, 2,887 patients simultaneously received the Sofia SARS rapid antigen FIA and SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assays on admission through the ED.
Rapid antigen results and symptom assessment guided initial patient placement while confirmatory RT-PCR was pending. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values, and negative predictive values of the rapid antigen assay were calculated relative to RT-PCR, overall and separately for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. Assay sensitivity was compared to RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values. Assay turnaround times were compared. Clinical characteristics of RT-PCR–positive patients and potential exposures from false-negative antigen assays were evaluated.
For all patients, overall agreement was 97.9%; sensitivity was 76.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 71%–82%), and specificity was 99.7% (95% CI, 99%–100%). We detected no differences in performance between asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. As RT-PCR Ct increased, the sensitivity of the antigen assay decreased. The mean turnaround time for the antigen assay was 1.2 hours (95% CI, 1.0–1.3) and for RT-PCR it was 20.1 hours (95% CI, 18.9–40.3) (P < .001). No transmission from antigen-negative/RT-PCR–positive patients was identified.
Although not a replacement for RT-PCR for detection of all SARS-CoV-2 infections, the Sofia SARS antigen FIA has clinical utility for potential initial timely patient placement.
Previously, it was suggested that haemadipsid leeches represent an important vector of trypanosomes amongst native animals in Australia. Consequently, Chtonobdella bilineata leeches were investigated for the presence of trypanosome species by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA sequencing and in vitro isolation. Phylogenetic analysis ensued to further define the populations present. PCR targeting the 28S rDNA demonstrated that over 95% of C. bilineata contained trypanosomes; diversity profiling by deep amplicon sequencing of 18S rDNA indicated the presence of four different clusters related to the Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) theileri. Novy–MacNeal–Nicolle slopes with liquid overlay were used to isolate trypanosomes into culture that proved similar in morphology to Trypanosoma cyclops in that they contained a large numbers of acidocalcisomes. Phylogeny of 18S rDNA/GAPDH/ND5 DNA sequences from primary cultures and subclones showed the trypanosomes were monophyletic, with T. cyclops as a sister group. Blood-meal analysis of leeches showed that leeches primarily contained blood from swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolour), human (Homo sapiens) or horse (Equus sp.). The leech C. bilineata is a host for at least five lineages of Trypanosoma sp. and these are monophyletic with T. cyclops; we propose Trypanosoma cyclops australiensis as a subspecies of T. cyclops based on genetic similarity and biogeography considerations.
ABSTRACT IMPACT: A single seismocardiography (SCG) parameter has been shown to accurately classify aortic valve disease (AVD) status in healthy controls and AVD patients. This could support development of SCG as a quick, inexpensive screening tool to better tailor MRI examination to patients’ needs. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: MRI is used commonly for monitoring of aortic valve disease (AVD), but it has high costs. We hypothesize that energy in seismocardiograms (SCG)’‘ signals from chest surface vibrations’‘ is different between healthy controls and AVD patients, and we evaluate potential efficacy of using SCG to recommend MRI only for patients with flow abnormalities. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: With IRB approval, 45 healthy control subjects (47 ±18years, 18 female) and 9 patients (63 ±16years, 2 female) with aortic valve disease history and known flow abnormalities were recruited. SCG signals were acquired supine, immediately prior to MRI of thoracic aortic blood flow at 1.5T with a time-resolved phase contrast (4D Flow) sequence.
The SCG was processed to calculate late-systole high-frequency (120-240Hz) RMS energy. MR velocity images were analyzed to measure peak velocity and trace pathlines of flow.
Screening efficacy of the SCG energy metric was assessed, with hypothesis testing for differences in energy level distributions between controls and patients, and receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to calculate rates of correct/incorrect classification of disease. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Healthy subjects had coherent flow pathlines through the aortic arch and mid-ascending aorta peak velocities of 106 ±21cm/s (cohort mean ±standard deviation). All valve disease subjects had flow abnormalities, such as jetting flow near the valve or swirling through the arch, as visualized by pathlines. Patients’ peak mid-ascending aorta velocities were 167 ±69cm/s. The SCG energy for healthy controls was significantly different than that of valve patients (-5.6 ±0.3dBmm/s/s vs. -4.0 ±1.2dBmm/s/s respectively; p<0.001). Thresholding SCG energy to distinguish patients from controls correctly classifies subjects with a high true-positive rate and low false-positive rate. The ROC for this classification has area-under-curve 0.956. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: A high potential screening efficacy was observed using a single, linear SCG metric to identify AVD patients with flow abnormalities. If used to complement MRI surveillance protocols for AVD, this method has potential to serve as a quick, inexpensive tool for better tailoring MRI exams to patient needs.
Trainees and investigators from underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds face unique challenges to establishing successful careers in clinical and translational research. Structured training for mentors is an important mechanism to increase the diversity of the research workforce. This article presents data from an evaluation of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Mentoring the Mentors program aimed at improving mentors’ competency in working with diverse mentees in HIV research.
Mentors from around the USA who had in one of seven separate 2-day training workshops conducted from 2013 to 2020 were invited to participate in an online evaluation survey of their experiences with the training and their subsequent mentoring activities.
There was a high response rate (80%) among the 226 mentors invited to complete the survey. The 180 respondents were diverse in demographics, professional disciplines, and geographic distribution. Quantitative and qualitative data indicate a lasting positive impact of the training, with sustained improvements documented on a validated measure of self-appraised mentoring competency. Respondents also endorsed high interest in future, follow-up training with continued focus on topics related to mentoring in the context of diversity.
The evaluation of the UCSF CFAR Mentoring the Mentors program showed lasting impact in improving mentoring practices, coupled with high interest in continued in-depth training in areas focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Electron blocks are typically composed of a low melting point alloy (LMPA), which is poured into an insert frame containing a manually placed Styrofoam aperture negative used to define the desired field shape. Current implementations of the block fabrication process involve numerous steps which are subjective and prone to user error. Occasionally, bowing of the sides of the insert frame is observed, resulting in premature frame decommissioning. Recent works have investigated the feasibility of utilising 3D printing technology to replace the conventional electron block fabrication workflow; however, these approaches involved long print times, were not compatible with commonly used cadmium-free LMPAs, and did not address the problem of insert frame bowing. In this work, we sought to develop a new 3D printing technique that would remedy these issues.
Materials and Methods:
Electron cutout negatives and alignment jigs were printed using Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, which does not warp at the high temperatures associated with molten cadmium-free alloys. The accuracy of the field shape produced by electron blocks fabricated using the 3D printed negatives was assessed using Gafchromic film and beam profiler measurements. As a proof-of-concept, electron blocks with off-axis apertures, as well as complex multi-aperture blocks to be used for passive electron beam intensity modulation, were also created.
Film and profiler measurements of field size were in excellent agreement with the values calculated using the Eclipse treatment planning system, showing less than a 1% difference in line profile full-width at half-maximum. The multi-aperture electron blocks produced fields with intensity modulation ≤3.2% of the theoretically predicted value. Use of the 3D printed alignment jig – which has contours designed to match those of the insert frame – was found to reduce the amount of frame bowing by factors of 1.8 and 2.1 in the lateral and superior–inferior directions, respectively.
The 3D printed ABS negatives generated with our technique maintain their spatial accuracy even at the higher temperatures associated with cadmium-free LMPA. The negatives typically take between 1 and 2 hours to print and have a material cost of approximately $2 per patient.
To conduct a pilot study implementing combined genomic and epidemiologic surveillance for hospital-acquired multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) to predict transmission between patients and to estimate the local burden of MDRO transmission.
Pilot prospective multicenter surveillance study.
The study was conducted in 8 university hospitals (2,800 beds total) in Melbourne, Australia (population 4.8 million), including 4 acute-care, 1 specialist cancer care, and 3 subacute-care hospitals.
All clinical and screening isolates from hospital inpatients (April 24 to June 18, 2017) were collected for 6 MDROs: vanA VRE, MRSA, ESBL Escherichia coli (ESBL-Ec) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-Kp), and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPa) and Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAb). Isolates were analyzed and reported as routine by hospital laboratories, underwent whole-genome sequencing at the central laboratory, and were analyzed using open-source bioinformatic tools. MDRO burden and transmission were assessed using combined genomic and epidemiologic data.
In total, 408 isolates were collected from 358 patients; 47.5% were screening isolates. ESBL-Ec was most common (52.5%), then MRSA (21.6%), vanA VRE (15.7%), and ESBL-Kp (7.6%). Most MDROs (88.3%) were isolated from patients with recent healthcare exposure.
Combining genomics and epidemiology identified that at least 27.1% of MDROs were likely acquired in a hospital; most of these transmission events would not have been detected without genomics. The highest proportion of transmission occurred with vanA VRE (88.4% of patients).
Genomic and epidemiologic data from multiple institutions can feasibly be combined prospectively, providing substantial insights into the burden and distribution of MDROs, including in-hospital transmission. This analysis enables infection control teams to target interventions more effectively.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) studies are increasingly targeting earlier (pre)clinical populations, in which the expected degree of observable cognitive decline over a certain time interval is reduced as compared to the dementia stage. Consequently, endpoints to capture early cognitive changes require refinement. We aimed to determine the sensitivity to decline of widely applied neuropsychological tests at different clinical stages of AD as outlined in the National Institute on Aging – Alzheimer’s Association (NIA-AA) research framework.
Amyloid-positive individuals (as determined by positron emission tomography or cerebrospinal fluid) with longitudinal neuropsychological assessments available were included from four well-defined study cohorts and subsequently classified among the NIA-AA stages. For each stage, we investigated the sensitivity to decline of 17 individual neuropsychological tests using linear mixed models.
1103 participants (age = 70.54 ± 8.7, 47% female) were included: n = 120 Stage 1, n = 206 Stage 2, n = 467 Stage 3 and n = 309 Stage 4. Neuropsychological tests were differentially sensitive to decline across stages. For example, Category Fluency captured significant 1-year decline as early as Stage 1 (β = −.58, p < .001). Word List Delayed Recall (β = −.22, p < .05) and Trail Making Test (β = 6.2, p < .05) became sensitive to 1-year decline in Stage 2, whereas the Mini-Mental State Examination did not capture 1-year decline until Stage 3 (β = −1.13, p < .001) and 4 (β = −2.23, p < .001).
We demonstrated that commonly used neuropsychological tests differ in their ability to capture decline depending on clinical stage within the AD continuum (preclinical to dementia). This implies that stage-specific cognitive endpoints are needed to accurately assess disease progression and increase the chance of successful treatment evaluation in AD.
This article challenges the unidimensional view of abusive supervisors and examines how employees respond to abuse when the transgressing boss also has a positive impact on others. Drawing on deonance and fairness theory, we propose competing hypotheses about the influence of prosocial impact. Specifically, we use deonance theory to suggest that prosocial impact might buffer the effects of abusive supervision. Alternatively, we incorporate fairness theory to predict that prosocial impact strengthens injustice perceptions and thereby worsens consequences of abuse. Two field studies show support for fairness theory, demonstrating that employees perceive greater injustice, and show stronger retaliatory behaviors, when the abusive supervisor makes a positive difference in the workplace. A final field study replicates these results, while also testing the underlying cognitive process employees use to assess the interplay between “good” and “bad” supervisory characteristics. This article contributes insights to abusive supervision, prosocial impact, organizational justice, and behavioral ethics literatures.