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Low pre-albumin, body mass index, and thiamine levels have been associated with poor nutritional status and cognitive/memory deficits in adult heart failure patients. However, the relationship of these nutritional/dietary intake biomarkers to cognition has not been assessed in adolescents post-Fontan procedure and healthy controls.
This is a cross-sectional study. Adolescents (14–21 years of age) post-Fontan completion were recruited from paediatric cardiology clinics and controls from the community. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment was administered (normal ≥ 26), and blood draw (thiamine [normal 70–110 nmol/L] and pre-albumin levels [adolescent normal 23–45 mg/dL]) and the Thiamine Food Frequency Questionnaire were completed by all participants.
Seventy subjects, 40 post-Fontan (mean age 16 ± 1.6, female 51%, Hispanic 44%, hypoplastic left heart syndrome 26%) and 30 controls (mean age 16.8 ± 1.9, female 52%, Hispanic 66%), were participated. Post-Fontan group had lower median total cognitive scores (23 versus 29, p < 0.001), pre-albumin levels (23 versus 27, p = 0.013), and body mass index (20 versus 24, p = 0.027) than controls. Post-Fontan group had higher thiamine levels than controls (127 versus 103, p = 0.033). Lower pre-albumin levels (< 23) and underweight body mass index were associated with abnormal total cognitive scores (p = 0.030). Low pre-albumin level (p = .038) was an independent predictor of worse cognition.
Lower pre-albumin was an independent predictor for worse cognition in adolescents post-Fontan. Lower pre-albumin levels may reflect chronic liver changes or protein-losing enteropathy seen in Fontan physiology. These findings highlight the possibility for nutrition-induced cognitive changes.
Caring for infants after the first-stage palliative surgery for single-ventricle heart disease bring challenges beyond the usual parenting responsibilities. Current studies fail to capture the nuances of caregivers’ experiences during the most critical “interstage” period between the first and second surgery.
To explore the perceptions of caregivers about their experiences while transitioning to caregiver roles, including the successes and challenges associated with caregiving during the interstage period.
Constructivist Grounded Theory methodology guided the collection and analysis of data from in person or telephonic interviews with caregivers after their infants underwent the first-stage palliative surgery for single-ventricle heart disease, and were sent to home for 2–4 months before returning for their second surgery. Symbolic interactionism informed data analyses and interpretation.
Our sample included 14 parents, who were interviewed 1–2 times between November, 2019 and July, 2020. Most patients were mothers (71%), Latinx (64%), with household incomes <$30K (42%). Data analysis led to the development of a Grounded Theory called Developing a Sense of Self-Reliance with three categories: (1) Owning caregiving responsibilities despite grave fears, (2) Figuring out how “to make it work” in the interstage period, and (3) Gaining a sense of self-reliance.
Parents transitioned to caregiver roles by developing a sense of self-reliance and, in the process, gained self-confidence and decision-making skills. Our study responded to the key research priority from the AHA Scientific Statement to address the knowledge gap in home monitoring for interstage infants through qualitative research design.
Survivors of single ventricle heart disease must cope with the physical, neurodevelopmental, and psychosocial sequelae of their cardiac disease, which may also affect academic achievement and social relationships. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively examine the experiences of school and social relationships in adolescents with single ventricle heart disease.
A descriptive phenomenological methodology was employed, utilising semi-structured interviews. Demographic and clinical characteristics were obtained via chart review.
Fourteen adolescents (aged 14 to 19 years) with single ventricle heart disease participated. Interviews ranged from 25 to 80 minutes in duration. Four themes emerged from the interviews, including “Don’t assume”: Pervasive ableism; “The elephant in the room”: Uncertain future; “Everyone finds something to pick on”: Bullying at school; “They know what I have been through”: Social support. The overall essence generated from the data was “optimism despite profound uncertainty.”
Adolescents with single ventricle heart disease identified physical limitations and school challenges in the face of an uncertain health-related future. Despite physical and psychosocial limitations, most remained optimistic for the future and found activities that were congruent with their abilities. These experiences reflect “optimism despite profound uncertainty.”
Children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome are at a risk for neurodevelopmental delays. Current guidelines recommend systematic evaluation and management of neurodevelopmental outcomes with referral for early intervention services. The Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial represents the largest cohort of children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome ever assembled. Data on life events and resource utilisation have been collected annually. We sought to determine the type and prevalence of early intervention services used from age 1 to 4 years and factors associated with utilisation of services.
Data from 14-month neurodevelopmental assessment and annual medical history forms were used. We assessed the impact of social risk and geographic differences. Fisher exact tests and logistic regression were used to evaluate associations.
Annual medical history forms were available for 302 of 314 children. Greater than half of the children (52–69%) were not receiving services at any age assessed, whereas 20–32% were receiving two or more therapies each year. Utilisation was significantly lower in year 4 (31%) compared with years 1–3 (with a range from 40 to 48%) (p<0.001). Social risk factors were not associated with the use of services at any age but there were significant geographic differences. Significant delay was reported by parents in 18–43% of children at ages 3 and 4.
Despite significant neurodevelopmental delays, early intervention service utilisation was low in this cohort. As survival has improved for children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, attention must shift to strategies to optimise developmental outcomes, including enrolment in early intervention when merited.
Identify trends of enrolment and key challenges when recruiting infants with complex cardiac diseases into a multi-centre, randomised, placebo-controlled drug trial and assess the impact of efforts to share successful strategies on enrolment of subjects.
Rates of screening, eligibility, consent, and randomisation were determined for three consecutive periods of time. Sites collectively addressed barriers to recruitment and shared successful strategies resulting in the Inventory of Best Recruiting Practices. Study teams detailed institutional practices of recruitment in post-trial surveys that were compared with strategies of enrolment initially proposed in the Inventory.
The number of screened patients increased by 30% between the Initial Period and the Intermediate Period (p = 0.007), whereas eligibility decreased slightly by 7%. Of those eligible for entry into the study, the rate of consent increased by 42% (p = 0.025) and randomisation increased by 71% (p = 0.10). During the Final Period, after launch of a competing trial, fewer patients were screened (−14%, p = 0.06), consented (−19%, p = 0.12), and randomised (−34%, p = 0.012). Practices of recruitment in the post-trial survey closely mirrored those in the Inventory.
Early identification and sharing of best strategies of recruitment among all recruiting sites can be effective in increasing recruitment of critically ill infants with congenital cardiac disease and possibly other populations. Strategies of recruitment should focus on those that build relationships with families and create partnerships with the medical providers who care for them. Competing studies pose challenges for enrolment in trials, but fostering trusting relationships with families can result in successful enrolment into multiple studies.
This paper provides a history of the Golden Cockerel Press, an English private press active between 1921 and 1961. There were three major periods in the Press’s development. Under Harold Taylor the Press was an idealistic attempt to provide an opportunity for the publication of new writers not yet well-enough known for the larger publishing market. The second owner was Robert Gibbings who had helped found the Society of Wood-Engravers and used the Press as a showcase for his own and fellow engravers’ work. Finally, during the longest period in the Press’s history, Christopher Sandford continued both the innovative approach to text and the interest in wood engraving for illustrations. He produced 122 books, most on handmade paper in limited editions, and contrived to keep the cost within the price range of the average book collector by using mechanical typesetting at a commercial press while yet overseeing and revising the work at every stage of its design. Sandford sold the Press to Thomas Toseloff, an American, in 1959.
The work of the Press is exceptionally fine and contains a unique record of British wood engraving over a period of forty years. Following the history of the Press are three appendices: a chronological list of the Press books, an index to authors, and an index to illustrators.
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