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Understanding how and under what circumstances a highly effective psychological intervention, improved symptoms of depression is important to maximise its clinical effectiveness.
To address this complexity, we estimate the indirect effects of potentially important mediators to improve symptoms of depression (measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)) in the Healthy Activity Program trial.
Interventional in(direct) effects were used to decompose the total effect of the intervention on PHQ-9 scores into the direct and indirect effects. The following indirect effects were considered: characteristics of sessions, represented by the number of sessions and homework completed; behavioural activation, according to an adapted version of the Behavioural Activation for Depression Scale – Short Form; and extra sessions offered to participants who did not respond to the intervention.
Of the total effect of the intervention measured through the difference in PHQ-9 scores between treatment arms (mean difference: −2.1, bias-corrected 95% CI −3.2 to −1.5), 34% was mediated through improved levels of behavioural activation (mean difference: −0.7, bias-corrected 95% CI −1.2 to −0.4). There was no evidence to support the mediating role of characteristics of the sessions nor the extra sessions offered to participants who did not respond to the treatment.
Findings from our robust mediation analyses confirmed the importance of targeting behavioural activation. Contrary to published literature, our findings suggest that neither the number of sessions nor proportion of homework completed improved outcomes. Moreover, in this context, alternative treatments other than extra sessions should be considered for patients who do not respond to the intervention.
More than 10% of patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) experience a severe, healthcare-associated infection, such as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) or bloodstream infection (BSI). What could be a public health target for prevention is hotly debated, because properly adjusting for intrinsic risk factors in the patient population is difficult. We aimed to estimate the proportion of ICU-acquired VAP and BSI cases that are amenable to prevention in routine conditions.
We analyzed routine data collected prospectively according to the European standard protocol for patient-based surveillance of healthcare-acquired infections in ICUs. We computed the number of infections to be expected if, after adjustment for case mix, the infection incidence in ICUs with higher infection rates could be reduced to that of the top-tenth-percentile-ranked ICU. Computations came from model-based simulation of individual patient profiles over time in the ICU. The preventable proportion was computed as the number of observed cases minus the number of expected cases divided by the number of observed cases.
Data for 78,222 patients admitted for more than 2 days to 525 ICUs in 6 European countries from 2005 to 2008 were available for analysis. We calculated that 52% of VAP and 69% of BSI was preventable.
Our pragmatic, if highly conservative, estimates quantify the potential for prevention of VAP and BSI in routine conditions, assuming that variation in infection incidence between ICUs can be eliminated with improved quality of care, apart from variation attributable to differential case mix.
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