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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.
South Africa has embarked on major health policy reform to deliver universal health coverage through the establishment of National Health Insurance (NHI). The aim is to improve access, remove financial barriers to care, and enhance care quality. Health technology assessment (HTA) is explicitly identified in the proposed NHI legislation and will have a prominent role in informing decisions about adoption and access to health interventions and technologies. The specific arrangements and approach to HTA in support of this legislation are yet to be determined. Although there is currently no formal national HTA institution in South Africa, there are several processes in both the public and private healthcare sectors that use elements of HTA to varying extents to inform access and resource allocation decisions. Institutions performing HTAs or related activities in South Africa include the National and Provincial Departments of Health, National Treasury, National Health Laboratory Service, Council for Medical Schemes, medical scheme administrators, managed care organizations, academic or research institutions, clinical societies and associations, pharmaceutical and devices companies, private consultancies, and private sector hospital groups. Existing fragmented HTA processes should coordinate and conform to a standardized, fit-for-purpose process and structure that can usefully inform priority setting under NHI and for other decision makers. This transformation will require comprehensive and inclusive planning with dedicated funding and regulation, and provision of strong oversight mechanisms and leadership.
Conservation scientists are increasingly recognizing the need to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to improve human–wildlife coexistence across different contexts. Here we assessed the long-term efficacy of the Long Shields Community Guardians programme in Zimbabwe. This community-based programme seeks to protect livestock and prevent depredation by lions Panthera leo through non-lethal means, with the ultimate aim of promoting human–lion coexistence. Using a quasi-experimental approach, we measured temporal trends in livestock depredation by lions and the prevalence of retaliatory killing of lions by farmers and wildlife managers. Farmers that were part of the Long Shields programme experienced a significant reduction in livestock loss to lions, and the annual number of lions subject to retaliatory killing by farmers dropped by 41% since the start of the programme in 2013, compared to 2008–2012, before the programme was initiated. Our findings demonstrate the Long Shields programme can be a potential model for limiting livestock depredation by lions. More broadly, our study demonstrates the effectiveness of community-based interventions to engage community members, improve livestock protection and ameliorate levels of retaliatory killing, thereby reducing human–lion conflict.
Diagnoses of personality disorder are prevalent among people using community secondary mental health services. Identifying cost-effective community-based interventions is important when working with finite resources.
To assess the cost-effectiveness of primary or secondary care community-based interventions for people with complex emotional needs who meet criteria for a diagnosis of personality disorder to inform healthcare policy-making.
Systematic review (PROSPERO: CRD42020134068) of databases. We included economic evaluations of interventions for adults with complex emotional needs associated with a diagnosis of personality disorder in community mental health settings published before 18 September 2019. Study quality was assessed using the CHEERS statement.
Eighteen studies were included. The studies mainly evaluated psychotherapeutic interventions. Studies were also identified that evaluated altering the setting in which care was delivered and joint crisis plans. No strong economic evidence to support a single intervention or model of community-based care was identified.
Robust economic evidence to support a single intervention or model of community-based care for people with complex emotional needs is lacking. The strongest evidence was for dialectical behaviour therapy, with all three identified studies indicating that it is likely to be cost-effective in community settings compared with treatment as usual. More robust evidence is required on the cost-effectiveness of community-based interventions on which decision makers can confidently base guidelines or allocate resources. The evidence should be based on consistent measures of costs and outcomes with sufficient sample sizes to demonstrate impacts on these.
Pneumatically activated systems enable myriad types of highly functional inflatables employing a wide range of architectural approaches affecting their form and function, making systematic conceptual design difficult. A new architectural class of pneumatically activated systems, constrained layer inflatable systems, consists of hierarchically architected flat layers of thin airtight bladders that are internally and/or externally constrained to generate a variety of functionalities. The highly hierarchical architectural structure of constrained layer inflatable systems coincides with the hierarchy of produced functions, providing an opportunity for the development of a functional architectural decomposition, capturing the inherent relationship between architectural and functional hierarchies. The basis of the approach is conveyed through the design of an example constrained layer inflatable system. This approach empowers the systematic understanding of the interrelated architectural and functional breakdown of constrained layer inflatable systems, enabling designers to iteratively analyze, synthesize, and re-synthesize the components of the system improving existing designs and exploring new concepts.
Despite its global importance and the recognition of dementia as an international public health priority, interventions to reduce stigma of dementia are a relatively new and emerging field. The purpose of this review was to synthesize the existing literature and identify key components of interventions to reduce stigma of dementia. We followed Arksey and O’Malley’s scoping review process to examine peer-reviewed literature of interventions to reduce dementia-related stigma. A stigma-reduction framework was used for classifying the interventions: education (dispel myths with facts), contact (interact with people with dementia), mixed (education and contact), and protest (challenge negative attitudes). From the initial 732 references, 21 studies were identified for inclusion. We found a variety of education, contact, and mixed interventions ranging from culturally tailored films to intergenerational choirs. Findings from our review can inform the development of interventions to support policies, programs, and practices to reduce stigma and improve the quality of life for people with dementia.
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.
One of the most common concerns for parents is their child’s sleep behaviour. Inadequate sleep can impact cognitive, behavioural and social-emotional functioning. There are predictable developmental changes that occur in sleep behaviour. It is important to know that sleep problems throughout childhood and adolescence are common and that there is a spectrum from sleep problems through to diagnosed sleep disorders. This chapter starts with a brief overview of what sleep is, how it is regulated, steps for assessment and theoretical underpinnings that aid in further understanding treatment principles for behaviourally based sleep problems (e.g., cognitive and behavioural theories and the 4-P model). Then a developmental framework is used to outline common behaviourally based sleep problems experienced across developmental stages and the range of family-based behavioural interventions that can be applied from infancy through to adolescence. Throughout the chapter, the impact of behaviourally based sleep problems on the family is considered. Finally, the role of the therapist in working with children experiencing behaviourally based sleep problems and the importance of implementing a core competencies approach are discussed.
We study the stationary descendant Gromov–Witten theory of toric surfaces by combining and extending a range of techniques – tropical curves, floor diagrams and Fock spaces. A correspondence theorem is established between tropical curves and descendant invariants on toric surfaces using maximal toric degenerations. An intermediate degeneration is then shown to give rise to floor diagrams, giving a geometric interpretation of this well-known bookkeeping tool in tropical geometry. In the process, we extend floor diagram techniques to include descendants in arbitrary genus. These floor diagrams are then used to connect tropical curve counting to the algebra of operators on the bosonic Fock space, and are showno coincide with the Feynman diagrams of appropriate operators. This extends work of a number of researchers, including Block–Göttsche, Cooper–Pandharipande and Block–Gathmann–Markwig.
The goal of this study was to assess the utility of participatory needs assessment processes for continuous improvement of developing clinical and translational research (CTR) networks. Our approach expanded on evaluation strategies for CTR networks, centers, and institutes, which often survey stakeholders to identify infrastructure or resource needs, using the case example of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network. Our 4-stage approach (i.e., pre-assessment, data collection, implementation of needs assessment derived actions, monitoring of action plan) included a member survey (n = 357) and five subsequent small group sessions (n = 75 participants) to better characterize needs identified in the survey and to provide actionable recommendations. This participatory, mixed-methods needs assessment and strategic action planning process yielded 11 inter-related recommendations. These recommendations were presented to the CTR steering committee as inputs to develop detailed, prioritized action plans. Preliminary evaluation shows progress towards improved program capacity and effectiveness of the network to respond to member needs. The participatory, mixed-methods needs assessment and strategic planning process allowed a wide range of stakeholders to contribute to the development of actionable recommendations for network improvement, in line with the principles of team science.
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.
Evaluation of a mandatory immunization program to increase and sustain high immunization coverage for healthcare personnel (HCP).
Descriptive study with before-and-after analysis.
Tertiary-care academic medical center.
Medical center HCP.
A comprehensive mandatory immunization initiative was implemented in 2 phases, starting in July 2014. Key facets of the initiative included a formalized exemption review process, incorporation into institutional quality goals, data feedback, and accountability to support compliance.
Both immunization and overall compliance rates with targeted immunizations increased significantly in the years after the implementation period. The influenza immunization rate increased from 80% the year prior to the initiative to >97% for the 3 subsequent influenza seasons (P < .0001). Mumps, measles and varicella vaccination compliance increased from 94% in January 2014 to >99% by January 2017, rubella vaccination compliance increased from 93% to 99.5%, and hepatitis B vaccination compliance from 95% to 99% (P < .0001 for all comparisons). An associated positive effect on TB testing compliance, which was not included in the mandatory program, was also noted; it increased from 76% to 92% over the same period (P < .0001).
Thoughtful, step-wise implementation of a mandatory immunization program linked to professional accountability can be successful in increasing immunization rates as well as overall compliance with policy requirements to cover all recommended HCP immunizations.
This article documents relationships, strategies, and activities involved in developing and carrying out collaborative community-engaged research for reconciliation, based on Indigenous methodologies and research-creation. It documents an example of Indigenous/non-Indigenous collaboration in Unama’ki (also known as Cape Breton, Canada), providing data towards the refinement of models of research designed to foster reconciliation, and contributing to a literature on Indigenous/non-Indigenous collaborations in ethnomusicology and related fields. While revealing some challenges in the process with respect to addressing local needs, it also describes transformations that can be achieved through effective collaboration, including ways in which universities can be involved.
Background: A prolonged outbreak of carbapenemase-producing Serratia marcescens (CPSM) was identified in our quaternary healthcare center over a 2-year period from 2015 through 2017. A reservoir of IMP-4–producing S. marcescens in sink drains of clinical hand basins (CHB) was implicated in propagating transmission, supported by evidence from whole-genome sequencing (WGS). We assessed the impact of manual bioburden reduction intervention on further transmission of CPSM. Methods: Environmental sampling of frequently touched wet and dry areas around CPSM clinical cases was undertaken to identify potential reservoirs and transmission pathways. After identifying CHB as a source of CPSM, a widespread annual CHB cleaning intervention involving manual scrubbing of sink drains and the proximal pipes was implemented. Pre- and postintervention point prevalence surveys (PPS) of CHB drains performed to assess for CPSM colonization. Surveillance for subsequent transmission was conducted through weekly screening of patients and annual screening of CHB in transmission areas, and 6-monthly whole-hospital PPS of patients. All CPSM isolates were assessed by WGS. Results: In total, 6 patients were newly identified with CPSM from 2015 to 2017 (4.3 transmission events per 100,000 surveillance bed days [SBD]; 95% CI, 1.6–9.4). All clinical CPSM isolates were linked to CHB isolates by WGS. The CHB cleaning intervention resulted in a reduction in CHB colonization with CPSM in transmission areas from 72% colonization to 28% (ARR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.25–0.63). A single further clinical case of CPSM linked to the CHB isolates was detected over 2 years of surveillance from 2017 to 2019 following the implementation of the annual CHB cleaning program (0.7 transmissions per 100,000 SBD; 95% CI, 0.0–3.9). No transmissions were linked to undertaking the cleaning intervention. Conclusions: A simple intervention targeted at reducing the biological burden of CPSM in CHB drains at regular intervals was effective in preventing transmission of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales from the hospital environment to patients over a prolonged period of intensive surveillance. These findings highlight the importance of detailed cleaning for controlling the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms from healthcare environments.
We are honored to have the opportunity to serve as the latest editors of Studies in American Political Development. We wish to thank and credit Anthony Chen and Eric Schickler for their outstanding service and contributions. First established by Karen Orren and Stephen Skowronek in 1986 as a space for theoretical, methodological, and substantive commitments intrinsic in the study of American political development (APD), we look forward to maintaining the journal's esteemed reputation as a place for important questions and empirically rich and theoretically innovative answers.