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Background: Although small- and medium-sized hospitals comprise most healthcare providers in South Korea, data on antibiotic usage is limited in these facilities. We evaluated the pattern of antibiotic usage and its appropriateness in hospitals with <400 beds in South Korea. Methods: A multicenter retrospective study was conducted in 10 hospitals (6 long-term care hospitals, 3 acute-care hospitals, and 1 orthopedic hospital), with <400 beds in South Korea. We analyzed patterns of antibiotic prescription and their appropriateness in the participating hospitals. Data on the monthly antibiotic prescriptions and patient days for hospitalized patients were collected using electronic databases from each hospital. To avoid the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, data were collected from January to December 2019. For the evaluation of the appropriateness of the prescription, 25 patients under antibiotic therapy were randomly selected at each hospital over 2 separate periods. Due to the heterogeneity of their characteristics, the orthopedics hospital was excluded from the analysis. The collected data were reviewed, and the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was evaluated by 5 specialists in infectious diseases (adult and pediatric). Data from 2 hospitals were assigned to each specialist. The appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was evaluated from 3 aspects: route of administration, dose, and class. If the 3 aspects were ‘optimal,’ the prescription was considered ‘optimal.’ If only the route was ‘optimal,’ and the dose and/or class was ‘suboptimal,’ but not ‘inappropriate,’ it was considered ‘suboptimal.’ If even 1 aspect was ‘inappropriate,’ it was classified as ‘inappropriate.’ Results: The most commonly prescribed antibiotics in long-term care hospitals was fluoroquinolone, followed by β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor (antipseudomonal). In acute-care hospitals, these were third-generation cephalosporin, followed by first-generation cephalosporin and second-generation cephalosporin. The major antibiotics that were prescribed in the orthopedics hospital was first-generation cephalosporin. Only 2.3% of the antibiotics were administered inappropriately. In comparison, 15.3% of patients were prescribed an inappropriate dose. The proportion of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions was 30.6% of the total antibiotic prescriptions. Conclusions: The antibiotic usage patterns vary between small- and medium-sized hospitals in South Korea. The proportion of inappropriate prescriptions exceeded 30% of the total antibiotic prescriptions.
Firefighters are routinely exposed to various traumatic events and often experience a range of trauma-related symptoms. Although these repeated traumatic exposures rarely progress to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, firefighters are still considered to be a vulnerable population with regard to trauma.
To investigate how the human brain responds to or compensates for the repeated experience of traumatic stress.
We included 98 healthy firefighters with repeated traumatic experiences but without any diagnosis of mental illness and 98 non-firefighter healthy individuals without any history of trauma. Functional connectivity within the fear circuitry, which consists of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, insula, amygdala, hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), was examined using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Trauma-related symptoms were evaluated using the Impact of Event Scale – Revised.
The firefighter group had greater functional connectivity between the insula and several regions of the fear circuitry including the bilateral amygdalae, bilateral hippocampi and vmPFC as compared with healthy individuals. In the firefighter group, stronger insula–amygdala connectivity was associated with greater severity of trauma-related symptoms (β = 0.36, P = 0.005), whereas higher insula–vmPFC connectivity was related to milder symptoms in response to repeated trauma (β = −0.28, P = 0.01).
The current findings suggest an active involvement of insular functional connectivity in response to repeated traumatic stress. Functional connectivity of the insula in relation to the amygdala and vmPFC may be potential pathways that underlie the risk for and resilience to repeated traumatic stress, respectively.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Existing literature suggests that mental health literacy is positively associated with mental health services utilization. Despite an aging population that faces significant mental health concerns in Korea, the role of mental health literacy on mental health services utilization is not known among older adults in Korea. This study aimed to (1) identify whether mental health literacy mediates the association between population characteristics and mental health services utilization and (2) identify an optimal path model for mental health services utilization among Korean older adults.
Using a cross-sectional survey with a quota sampling strategy, we collected and analyzed responses from 596 community-dwelling individuals ages 65 years and older. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to estimate the effect of mental health literacy as a mediator.
When controlling for other relevant covariates in the optimal path model, mental health literacy mediated the relationships between three socio-demographic factors (education, general literacy, and health status) and mental health services utilization. The model fit index shows that the SEM fits very well (CFI = 0.92, NFI = 0.90, RMSEA = 0.07).
Efforts to improve mental health literacy through community-based education programs may need to particularly target Korean older adults with the relevant socio-demographic characteristics to enhance their utilization of appropriate mental health services.
During the past decade, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) has emerged and spread across the world.1 The major carbapenemase enzymes currently being reported are KPC, NDM-1, VIM, IMP, and OXA.2 Because carbapenemase can be effectively transmitted via mobile genetic elements, and current therapeutic options for CPE infections are extremely limited, CPE may be one of the most serious contemporary threats to public health. However, very little is known about the characteristics of CPE carriage during hospitalization. The aims of this study were to investigate the clearance rate of CPE carriage and determine the number of consecutive negative cultures required to confirm CPE clearance. We also examined CPE transmission among hospitalized patients.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1361–1362
The present study was performed to investigate whether breast-feeding is associated with early pubertal development among children 7–9 years old in Korea.
Children were divided into those who did and did not receive breast-feeding for 6 months or longer in accordance with the recommendations of the WHO. Pubertal status was determined by clinical examination using Tanner staging.
Prospective observational study.
We conducted a follow-up study of children aged 7–9 years in 2011 who had taken part in the Ewha Birth & Growth Cohort study.
Fifty (22·8 %) of the total of 219 children were in early puberty, with the proportion being slightly higher for girls (24·1 %) than boys (21·4 %). Children who had entered early puberty were taller, weighed more and had a higher concentration of insulin-like growth factor 1. Moreover, the change in weight Z-score from birth to follow-up was significantly lower in children who were breast-fed than in those who were not (weight Z-score change: 0·32 (sd 1·59) v. 0·77 (sd 1·61), respectively, P=0·04). Comparison of breast-feeding by puberty status indicated a preventive association with early puberty in children who were breast-fed for 6 months or longer (OR=0·37; 95 % CI 0·18, 0·74). This association remained significant after adjustment for relevant covariates.
These results demonstrate a beneficial association between breast-feeding and early pubertal development, especially in those breast-fed for 6 months or longer. The study suggests that interventions would need to start early in life to prevent early pubertal development.
Visual hallucination (VH) is a common psychotic symptom in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and may be a significant predictor of cognitive impairment (CI) in such patients.
This study aimed to investigate the pattern of glucose metabolism of VH and the relationship between VH and CI in PD.
We studied 28 PD patients, including 15 with VH (PD-VH) and 13 without VH (PD-NVH). Of the 15 PD-VH patients, 8 patients had cognitive impairment (PD-VHCI) whereas 7 did not (PD-VHNCI). All patients underwent [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ([18F] FDG PET) followed by statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analyses.
Compared to the patients with PDNVH, PD-VHNCI patients showed glucose hypometabolism in the inferior and middle temporal cortices, fusiform gyri, and frontal areas, suggesting the involvement of the ventral visual pathway. Compared to the patients with PDNVH, PD-VHCI patients showed glucose hypometabolism in the temporoparietal association cortices with scattered frontal areas.
Dysfunction of ventral visual pathway involving the temporal lobe may play a key role in VH development in PD patients. The evolving distribution from the ventral visual pathway to more extensive posterior cortices in PD-VHCI patients suggests that VH may be a prodromal symptom occurring prior to CI in PD patients.
The modified TiO2 nanoparticles were incorporated into the Bulk heterojunction system of P3HT:PCBM to improve the performance of P3HT:PCBM bulk heterojunction organic solar cells. The organically-modified TiO2 nanoparticle compounds were synthesized in aqueous media at room temperature. These TiO2 compounds in various solution concentrations were deposited on the top of the P3HT:PCBM active layer by spin coating. The performance of organic solar cells was carefully investigated in the respect of the scattering and the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) that couple strongly to the incident light. In addition to the device, P3HT:PCBM solar cells with the use of the TiO2 nanoparticles, enhanced Fill Factor (FF) due mainly to improved shunt resistance (Rsh). The TiO2 plays a critical role in improving the interface between P3HT:PCBM active layer and Al electrode.
Cataract, defined as opacity of the lens in one or both eyes, is a major cause of blindness throughout the world, and not uncommon, particularly in the elderly population. However, congenital cataracts are rare and occur with a frequency of 30 cases in 100,000 births. About one-third of the cases fall into the group inherited without systemic abnormality. Importantly, congenital cataracts produce deprivation amblyopia, refractive amblyopia, and retinal detachment, leading to lifelong visual impairment. Successful management is dependent on early diagnosis and referral for surgery when indicated. Here we present a case of hereditary bilateral cataracts in a dizygotic twin detected on prenatal ultrasound examinations and postnatally confirmed as congenital cataracts associated with posterior lenticonus.
Two studies are reported using the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to examine Koreans' intentions and self-reported behaviour of joining and not joining alcohol-related social gatherings with work colleagues after work hours. Study 1 showed that group-related attitudes and perceived behavioural control of the TPB components regarding joining were significantly associated with intentions to join. Study 2 examined TPB components regarding not joining and intentions to not join. Study 2 found that although none of the TPB components was directly related to intentions, subjective norms from work colleagues moderated the effect of group-related attitudes on intentions to not join. The TPB components and intentions were not significantly related to self-reported behaviour of joining. The findings indicate that the relationships between the TPB components and intentions can be different for engaging and not engaging in a behaviour.
Alternative assessment in education is becoming widely implemented around the Pacific region. This study conducted a multilevel analysis of communication climate and beliefs about the effectiveness of alternative assessment. Participants were 662 teachers from 75 elementary schools in Korea. The findings showed that teachers' beliefs about the effectiveness of alternative assessment were positively influenced by their perception of communication climate at their schools and their perception of support from principals, peer teachers, students and parents. The effect of teachers' endorsement of textbook-based learning was moderated by school-level communication climate. The findings indicated that an open communication climate at schools is a key for the successful implementation of alternative assessment.
An organic/inorganic hybrid-type nonvolatile memory TFT was proposed as a core device for the future flexible electronics. The structural feature of this memory TFT was that a ferroelectric copolymer and an oxide semiconductor layers were employed as a gate insulator and an active channel, respectively. The memory TFT with the structure of Au/poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene)/Al2O3/ZnO/Ti/Au/Ti/poly(ethylene naphthalate) could be successfully fabricated at the process temperature of below 150°C. It was confirmed that the TFT well operated as a memory device even under the bending situations.
Cultural influence on the effects of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control (PBC) on behavioural intentions can vary with types of behaviours. The current study compared American and Korean undergraduates for the effects of each of the Theory of Planned Behaviour components on intentions to sign an organ donor registry and to have family discussion about organ donation. For intentions to sign, results showed that attitudes were a stronger predictor among Americans than Koreans and that PBC was a significant predictor only among Koreans. While attitudes and subjective norms were similarly related to Americans' intentions to sign, subjective norms were more strongly related to Koreans' intentions to sign than attitudes and PBC. For intentions to have family discussion, Americans considered subjective norms to a greater extent than Koreans did. While subjective norms and PBC were more important than attitudes were among Americans, PBC was more important than subjective norms and attitudes among Koreans. Theoretical and practical implications of these and other findings are discussed.
The prevalence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains causing bloodstream infection (BSI) has not been studied in Korea.
We sought to determine the prevalence of CA-MRSA strains among isolates recovered from patients with MRSA BSIs and to explore epidemiological changes in Korea. We also sought to evaluate clinical characteristics relevant to the development of healthcare-associated BSIs.
We prospectively collected consecutive MRSA isolates from patients with BSI at 4 hospitals from July 1 through November 30, 2007, and we also included MRSA isolates recovered from culture of blood samples collected during a previous year (October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005) at a different hospital. Molecular typing studies were performed, including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing, Staphylococcus protein A (spa) typing, and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. We compared the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with healthcare-associated BSI due to CA-MRSA strains with those of patients with healthcare-associated BSI due to healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) strains.
There were 76 cases of MRSA BSI, of which 4 (5.3%) were community-associated and 72 (94.7%) were healthcare-associated. Among the 72 HA-MRSA BSIs, 18 (25%) were community onset, and 54 (75%) were hospital onset. PFGE type D-ST72–spa B-SCCmec type IVA MRSA, the predominant genotype of CA-MRSA in Korea, accounted for 19 (25%) of all 76 MRSA BSIs, including 17 (23.6%) of 72 HA-MRSA BSIs and 11 (20.8%) of 53 hospital-onset HA-MRSA BSIs. Patients with healthcare-associated BSIs due to CA-MRSA strains carrying SCCmec type IVA tended to have fewer healthcare-associated risk factors, compared with patients with healthcare-associated BSIs due to HA-MRSA strains carrying other SCCmec types. The presence of a central venous catheter or other invasive device was the only independent factor differentiating patients infected with hospital-associated genotype strains from patients infected with other strains. Clinical outcomes were similar between both groups.
CA-MRSA strains are emerging as a major cause of BSI in healthcare settings in Korea. This changing epidemiology of MRSA poses a challenge to public health and infection control in hospital settings.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the diffusion patterns of new medical technologies in Korean hospitals. We also sought to identify critical factors leading to the decision to acquire capital-intensive medical technology. The rationale and timing of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquisitions were retrospectively evaluated according to a “whether, when, and why” paradigm.
Methods: We analyzed data pertaining to 232 hospitals with active medical residency programs. Of these, 185 hospitals owned or leased an MRI unit, and 47 had not acquired units as of June 2004. Data were collected from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korean National Statistical Office, and Korean Hospital Association databases, and variables were identified and classified as predisposing, enabling, or reinforcing factors.
Results: The MRI diffusion rate curve was linear for two types of hospital but was S-shaped for tertiary hospitals, which were early adopters of MRI. Significant predictors for MRI adoption included the per capita number of regional physicians (+), total number of existing regional MRI units (−), percentage of the regional population over 65 years of age (+), private ownership of the hospital, presence of a radiology residency program, number of beds (+), and regional per capita taxable income (+).
Conclusions: Diffusion of MRI technology is occurring rapidly across Korean hospitals. The factors affecting MRI adoption in Korea are similar to the factors documented in other countries, namely regional population over age 65, regional income per capita, large hospitals, and teaching hospitals. This study provides baseline information for predicting diffusion patterns of other new and/or expensive medical technologies.
The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of computed tomography (CT) images in determining the anatomy and topographic relationship between various important structures. Using 40 ears from 20 patients with various otological diseases, a 3D reconstruction based on the image data from spiral high-resolution CT was performed by segmentation, volume-rendering and surface-rendering algorithms on a personal computer. The 3D display of the middle and inner ear structures was demonstrated in detail. Computer-assisted measurements, many of which could not be easily measured in vivo, of the reconstructed structures provided accurate anatomic details that improved the surgeon’s understanding of spatial relationships. A 3D reconstruction of temporal bone CT might be useful for education and increasing understanding of the anatomical structures of the temporal bone. However, it will be necessary to confirm the correlation between the 3D reconstructed images and histological sections through a validation study.
Combinatorial chemistry was applied to the optimization of red phosphors used for plasma display panels. Quaternary and ternary combinatorial libraries were developed for (Y, Gd, Lu, Sc)BO3 and (Y, Gd)(BO3 PO4) systems. Our combinatorial chemistry system consists of solution-based combinatorial synthesis and characterization, enabling the swift scanning of luminance and of Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage (CIE) chromaticity under vacuum ultraviolet light excitation. As a consequence of the combinatorial approach, several new candidates were found to show higher luminance than the commercially available red phosphor for plasma display panels.
RF MEMS(Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System) switch technology is one of powerful solution for future RF systems. This technology provides low insertion loss, High linearity and broad bandwidth. Wide driving membrane used MEMS switch can reduce driving voltage but it is easy to bend because of the stress gradient. In order to solve this problem we fabricated Au cantilever in various sputtering condition and various substrate materials. As a result of this experiment, we fabricated cantilever which was bent within 1 um, with 2 um thickness and 340 um length. We applied this condition to RF MEMS switch and we fabricated switch membrane within 1 um bend, under 10MPa stress gradient.
We have analyzed Tb L3-edge x-ray absorption near-edge structure spectra of Tb-doped phosphor compounds for plasma display panel applications. Intensity and lifetime of the green emission from the Tb3+:5D4→7F5 transition were measured with respect to nominal terbium concentration in the host compounds, i.e., YBO3, YPO4,and Y4Al2O9, all of which were made through the solid-state reaction. Typical concentration quenching was evident on the fluorescence intensity and the fluorescing level lifetime in our samples. From the analyses of white line absorption peaks at TbL3-edge, it was verified that terbium is essentially trivalent in all the samples, even invery highly concentrated ones. Thus, this implies that the concentration quenching was not caused by presence of mixed-valent states of terbium. Instead, it is believed that anonradiative energy transfer route among Tb3+ ions might be responsible for thebehavior.