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We surveyed infectious disease specialists about early COVID-19 vaccination preparedness. Almost all respondents’ institutions rated their facility’s preparedness plan as either excellent or adequate. Vaccine hesitancy and concern about adverse reactions were the most common anticipated barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. Only 60% believed currently that COVID-19 vaccination should be mandatory.
In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues. Following an overview of the process and the key insights that emerged, we present summaries of the QTD Working Groups’ final reports. Drawing on a series of public, online conversations that unfolded at www.qualtd.net, the reports unpack transparency’s promise, practicalities, risks, and limitations in relation to different qualitative methodologies, forms of evidence, and research contexts. Taken as a whole, these reports—the full versions of which can be found in the Supplementary Materials—offer practical guidance to scholars designing and implementing qualitative research, and to editors, reviewers, and funders seeking to develop criteria of evaluation that are appropriate—as understood by relevant research communities—to the forms of inquiry being assessed. We dedicate this Reflection to the memory of our coauthor and QTD working group leader Kendra Koivu.1
Achieving gender equality fundamentally requires a transfer of power from men to women. Yet data on men's support for women's empowerment (WE) remains scant and limited by reliance on self-report methodologies. Here, we examine men's support for WE as a sexual conflict trait, both via direct surveys (n = 590) and indirectly by asking men's wives (n = 317) to speculate on their husband's views. Data come from a semi-urban community in Mwanza, Tanzania. Consistent with reduced resource competition and increased exposure to relatively egalitarian gender norms, higher socioeconomic status predicted greater support for WE. However, potential demographic indicators of sexual conflict (high fertility, polygyny, large spousal age gap) were largely unrelated to men's support for WE. Contrasting self- and wife-reported measures suggests that men frequently exaggerate their support for women in self-reported attitudes. Discrepancies were especially pronounced among men claiming the highest support for WE, but smallest among men who held a professional occupation and whose wife participated in wage labour, indicating that these factors predict genuine support for WE. We discuss the implications of these results for our understanding of both individual variation and patriarchal gender norms, emphasising the benefits of greater exchange between the evolutionary human sciences and global health research on these themes.
Background: Contamination of the near-patient hospital environment including work surfaces and equipment, contributes to skin colonization and subsequent invasive bacterial infections in hospitalized neonates. In resource-limited settings, cleaning of the neonatal ward environment and equipment is seldom standardized and infrequently audited. Methods: A baseline multimodal assessment of surface and equipment cleaning was performed in a 30-bed high-care neonatal ward in Cape Town, South Africa, October 7–9, 2019. Adequacy of routine cleaning was evaluated using ATP bioluminescence assays, fluorescent ultraviolet (UV) markers, and quantitative bacterial surface cultures. For flat surfaces (eg, tables, incubators, trolleys), a 10×10-cm template was used to standardize the swab inoculum; for small equipment and devices with complex surfaces (eg, humidifiers, suction apparatus, stethoscopes), a standard swabbing protocol was developed for each item. Swabs in liquid transport medium were processed in the laboratory by vortexing for 30 seconds, plating onto blood and MacConkey agars, and incubating at 37°C for 48 hours. Manual counting of bacterial colony forming units was performed, followed by conventional biochemical testing and/or VITEK automated identification. Results: Of 100 swabs (58 from surfaces and 42 from equipment), 11 yielded growth of known neonatal pathogens (Enterobacteriaceae, A. baumannii, P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, S. agalactiae, and enterococci), 36 isolated potential neonatal pathogens (mostly coagulase-negative staphylococci). In addition, 4 grew environmental organisms and 49 showed no growth. The highest aerobic colony counts (ACCs) were obtained from swabs of suction tubing, milk kitchen surfaces, humidifiers, and sinks; the median ACC from swabs with any bacterial growth (n = 51) was 3 (IQR, 1–22). Only 40% of the 100 surface and equipment swabs had ATP values <200 relative light units (RLU) threshold for cleanliness. Median ATP values were 301 (IQ range, 179–732) RLUs for surface swabs versus 230 (IQ range, 78–699) RLUs for equipment swabs (P = .233). Of the 100 fluorescent UV markers placed on near-patient surfaces and high-touch equipment, only 23% had been removed after 2 staff shift changes (24 hours later). Surfaces had a higher proportion of UV marker removal than equipment (19 of 58 [32.8%] vs 4 of 42 [9.5%]; P = .008). Conclusions: Environmental cleaning of this neonatal ward was suboptimal, especially for equipment. Improvement of environmental cleaning practices is an important intervention for neonatal infection prevention in resource-limited settings. Future studies should evaluate the impact of staff training, environmental cleaning tools and repeated audit with feedback, on the adequacy of cleaning in neonatal wards.
Funding: Funding: for the laboratory work was provided by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) International Ambassador Alumni Research Award and a South African Medical Research Council Self-initiated Research (SIR) Grant to Angela Dramowski, who is supported by a NIH Fogarty Emerging Global Leader Award K43 TW010682.
Background: Nosocomial influenza infections can be caused by direct patient-to-patient transmission, as well as bidirectionally between patient and healthcare workers (HCWs). Lapses in infection control practices (droplet precautions), and HCWs who come to work despite influenza-like illness (ILI, ie, “presenteeism”) can potentiate transmission. Cocirculation of >1 strain of influenza may complicate efforts to track infections. We describe a multidisciplinary response that helped control a late winter nosocomial influenza outbreak at a time when both influenza A/H3 and A/H1(2009) were prevalent in the community. Methods: Infection control practitioners detected a potential cluster of influenza A/H3 cases on an adult general medicine unit during the middle of March. The patients were spread out in nonadjacent rooms in a 30-bed unit, which suggested a possible common shared source. Further investigation revealed other potential clusters. Hospital incident command (HIC) was deployed to assess and respond to the outbreak; the incident commander was the chief medical officer (CMO) and the hospital epidemiologist was the subject matter expert. Other HIC roles were manned by nursing leadership, hospital administration, employee health, and the clinical laboratory. The group met at least daily (teleconference on weekends) until the extent of the outbreak was known and no new cases were identified. Results: A multipronged approach was used to control the outbreak. HCWs who reported to work with ILI symptoms were referred to employee health, tested with a PCR-based influenza screening panel, and sent home. Inpatients with ILI symptoms were tested with a comprehensive respiratory virus panel that could distinguish influenza A/H1(2009) from A/H3. Inpatients who were newly positive for influenza were evaluated to determine whether they were epidemiologically linked to an existing cluster, represented a new case of nosocomial acquisition, or were presumed to be community-acquired. The outbreak involved separate clusters caused by A/H3 and A/H1(2009) that affected 40 patients on 9 clinical units. Conclusions: A key component of the response was implementation of a local “mask rule”: all physicians, nurses, other employees, students, and visitors were required to wear surgical masks on affected floors regardless of their vaccination status. In addition, the hospital IT team developed a dynamic spreadsheet that listed information about all nosocomial cases (location, date of onset, etc), as well as ILI call-ins for HCWs. A password-protected version was posted on the hospital intranet and facilitated cohorting of infected patients. Additionally, it allowed timely discontinuation of the local mask rule on specific units, once 2 incubation periods concluded without new cases.
The inclusion of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasing, but there have been no longitudinal studies of included students in Australia. Interview data reported in this study concern primary school children with ASD enrolled in mainstream classes in South Australia and New South Wales, Australia. In order to examine perceived facilitators and barriers to inclusion, parents, teachers, and principals were asked to comment on the facilitators and barriers to inclusion relevant to each child. Data are reported about 60 students, comprising a total of 305 parent interviews, 208 teacher interviews, and 227 principal interviews collected at 6-monthly intervals over 3.5 years. The most commonly mentioned facilitator was teacher practices. The most commonly mentioned barrier was intrinsic student factors. Other factors not directly controllable by school staff, such as resource limitations, were also commonly identified by principals and teachers. Parents were more likely to mention school- or teacher-related barriers. Many of the current findings were consistent with previous studies but some differences were noted, including limited reporting of sensory issues and bullying as barriers. There was little change in the pattern of facilitators and barriers identified by respondents over time. A number of implications for practice and directions for future research are discussed.
Participant-driven research (PDR) is a burgeoning domain of research innovation, often facilitated by mobile technologies (mHealth). Return of results and data are common hallmarks, grounded in transparency and data democracy. PDR has much to teach traditional research about these practices and successful engagement. Recommendations calling for new state laws governing research with mHealth modalities common in PDR and federal creation of review mechanisms, threaten to stifle valuable participant-driven innovation, including in return of results.
Health care is transitioning from genetics to genomics, in which single-gene testing for diagnosis is being replaced by multi-gene panels, genome-wide sequencing, and other multi-genic tests for disease diagnosis, prediction, prognosis, and treatment. This health care transition is spurring a new set of increased or novel liability risks for health care providers and test laboratories. This article describes this transition in both medical care and liability, and addresses 11 areas of potential increased or novel liability risk, offering recommendations to both health care and legal actors to address and manage those liability risks.
For most of the twentieth century, Ireland had a system of residential institutions – known as Industrial Schools – for children. These institutions were funded and overseen by the Irish state, and run by the religious orders of the Catholic Church. Though the institutions were intended to provide children with vocational education for industrial employment and to respond to perceived problems of poverty and anti-social behaviour, in reality children were incarcerated in these residential institutions and physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. This chapter traces how Irish culture has galvanised official state responses to this history, and how contemporary narrative practices and technologies, in particular digital humanities, can facilitate greater understanding of Ireland’s difficult past.
Hypoxemic patients often desaturate further with movement and transport. While inhaled epoprostenol does not improve mortality, improving oxygenation allows for transport of severely hypoxemic patients to tertiary care centers with a related improvement in mortality rates. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) use is increasing in frequency for patients with refractory hypoxemia, and with increasing regionalization of care, safe transport of hypoxemic patients only becomes more important. In this series, four cases are presented of young patients with severe hypoxemic respiratory failure from Legionnaires’ disease transported on inhaled epoprostenol to ECMO centers for consideration of cannulation. With continued climate changes, Legionella and other pathogens are likely to be a continued threat. As such, optimizing oxygenation to allow for transport should continue to be a priority for critical care transport (CCT) services.
To characterize nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) associated with case clusters at 3 medical facilities.
Retrospective cohort study using molecular typing of patient and water isolates.
Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs).
Isolation and identification of NTM from clinical and water samples using culture, MALDI-TOF, and gene population sequencing to determine species and genetic relatedness. Clinical data were abstracted from electronic health records.
An identical strain of Mycobacterium conceptionense was isolated from 41 patients at VA Medical Centers (VAMCs A, B, and D), and from VAMC A’s ICU ice machine. Isolates were initially identified as other NTM species within the M. fortuitum clade. Sequencing analyses revealed that they were identical M. conceptionense strains. Overall, 7 patients (17%) met the criteria for pulmonary or nonpulmonary infection with NTM, and 13 of 41 (32%) were treated with effective antimicrobials regardless of infection or colonization status. Separately, a M. mucogenicum patient strain from VAMC A matched a strain isolated from a VAMC B ICU ice machine. VAMC C, in a different state, had a 4-patient cluster with Mycobacterium porcinum. Strains were identical to those isolated from sink-water samples at this facility.
NTM from hospital water systems are found in hospitalized patients, often during workup for other infections, making attribution of NTM infection problematic. Variable NTM identification methods and changing taxonomy create challenges for epidemiologic investigation and linkage to environmental sources.
Infective endocarditis is a microbial infection of the endothelial surface of the heart, predominantly the heart valves, that is associated with high mortality and morbidity. Few contemporary data exist regarding affected children in our context.
Aims and Objectives:
We aimed to describe the profile and treatment outcomes of infant and childhood endocarditis at our facilities.
This is a retrospective analysis of infants and children with endocarditis at two public sector hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa over a 5-year period. Patients with “definite” and “possible” endocarditis according to Modified Duke Criteria were included in the review.
Forty-nine patients were identified for inclusion; 29 had congenital heart disease as a predisposing condition; 64% of patients met “definite” and 36% “possible” criteria. The in-hospital mortality rate was 20%; 53% of patients underwent surgery with a post-operative mortality rate of 7.7%. The median interval from diagnosis to surgery was 20 days (interquartile range, 9–47 days). Valve replacement occurred in 28% and valve repair in 58%. There was a significant reduction in valvular dysfunction in patients undergoing surgery and only a marginal improvement in patients treated medically. Overall, 43% of patients had some degree of residual valvular dysfunction.
Endocarditis is a serious disease with a high in-hospital mortality and presents challenges in making an accurate diagnosis. Despite a significant reduction in valvular dysfunction, a portion of patients had residual valvular dysfunction. Early surgery is associated with a lower mortality rate, but a higher rate of valve replacement compared with delayed surgery.
The 11th revision to the WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) identified complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) as a new condition. There is a pressing need to identify effective CPTSD interventions.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of psychological interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), where participants were likely to have clinically significant baseline levels of one or more CPTSD symptom clusters (affect dysregulation, negative self-concept and/or disturbed relationships). We searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE and PILOTS databases (January 2018), and examined study and outcome quality.
Fifty-one RCTs met inclusion criteria. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), exposure alone (EA) and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) were superior to usual care for PTSD symptoms, with effects ranging from g = −0.90 (CBT; k = 27, 95% CI −1.11 to −0.68; moderate quality) to g = −1.26 (EMDR; k = 4, 95% CI −2.01 to −0.51; low quality). CBT and EA each had moderate–large or large effects on negative self-concept, but only one trial of EMDR provided useable data. CBT, EA and EMDR each had moderate or moderate–large effects on disturbed relationships. Few RCTs reported affect dysregulation data. The benefits of all interventions were smaller when compared with non-specific interventions (e.g. befriending). Multivariate meta-regression suggested childhood-onset trauma was associated with a poorer outcome.
The development of effective interventions for CPTSD can build upon the success of PTSD interventions. Further research should assess the benefits of flexibility in intervention selection, sequencing and delivery, based on clinical need and patient preferences.
Variation in parental care by child's sex is evident across cultures. Evolutionary theory provides a functional explanation for this phenomenon, predicting that parents will favour specific children if this results in greater fitness payoffs. Here, we explore evidence for sex-biased parental care in a high-fertility, patriarchal and polygynous population in Tanzania, predicting that both mothers and fathers will favour sons in this cultural setting. Our data come from a cross-sectional study in rural northwestern Tanzania, which included surveys with mothers/guardians of 808 children under age 5. We focus on early childhood, a period with high mortality risk which is fundamental in establishing later-life physical and cognitive development. Examining multiple measures of direct/physical care provision (washing, feeding, playing with, supervising, co-sleeping and caring when sick), we demonstrate that fathers favour sons for washing, feeding and supervising, while maternal care is both more intensive and unrelated to child sex. We find no difference in parental care between girls and boys regarding the allocation of material resources and the duration of breastfeeding; or in terms of parental marital and co-residence status. This bias towards sons may result from higher returns to investment for fathers than mothers, and local gender norms about physical care provision.
Significant ethnic and socio-economic disparities exist in infectious diseases (IDs) rates in New Zealand, so accurate measures of these characteristics are required. This study compared methods of ascribing ethnicity and socio-economic status. Children in the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal cohort were ascribed to self-prioritised, total response and single-combined ethnic groups. Socio-economic status was measured using household income, and both census-derived and survey-derived deprivation indices. Rates of ID hospitalisation were compared using linked administrative data. Self-prioritised ethnicity was simplest to use. Total response accounted for mixed ethnicity and allowed overlap between groups. Single-combined ethnicity required aggregation of small groups to maintain power but offered greater detail. Regardless of the method used, Māori and Pacific children, and children in the most socio-economically deprived households had a greater risk of ID hospitalisation. Risk differences between self-prioritised and total response methods were not significant for Māori and Pacific children but single-combined ethnicity revealed a diversity of risk within these groups. Household income was affected by non-random missing data. The census-derived deprivation index offered a high level of completeness with some risk of multicollinearity and concerns regarding the ecological fallacy. The survey-derived index required extra questions but was acceptable to participants and provided individualised data. Based on these results, the use of single-combined ethnicity and an individualised survey-derived index of deprivation are recommended where sample size and data structure allow it.
McLeod (2004a) argued persuasively that the post-1970s renaissance in Gaelic lan-guage development had been neglecting issues related to corpus planning, with the result that codification and elaboration of the language had seriously fallen behind the status planning ambitions of the Gaelic community. He concluded that corpus planning should become a ‘key priority’ for the new statutory language body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, created as a result of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, and that ‘a dedicated unit focused on corpus planning, including both the ongoing creation of new terms and specific projects such as dictionaries, thesauruses and style guidebooks, should be created without delay and made a top priority’. When the Bòrd published its first five-year National Plan for Gaelic in 2007, it included a commitment that ‘Bòrd na Gàidhlig, consulting with key partners, will investigate the most suitable structure for a Gaelic language academy in order to ensure the relevance and consistency of Gaelic, including place-names’ (BnaG 2007: 35). The need for a Gaelic language academy to deliver codification and elaboration was given further impetus by Bauer et al. (2009) in a Bòrd-commissioned survey of the prospects for Gaelic language technology.
By March 2011, Bòrd na Gàidhlig was reporting that ‘progress on [the Gaelic lan-guage academy] has been slower than expected and it is now anticipated that the public consultation will take place as part of the National Gaelic Language Plan 2012/17 consultations’ (BnaG 2011: 39). In an attempt to break the apparent deadlock, in late 2011 a group of Soillse-affiliated academics from the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh drafted a discussion paper for the Bòrd's Gaelic Academy Working Group, recommending ‘a twelve-month investigative survey into corpus planning for Gaelic, aimed at establishing an appropriate linguistic foundation, and surveying and evaluat-ing the work that has already been done’ (McConville et al. 2011). This recommenda-tion was largely accepted in late 2012, and in January 2013 Soillse commenced work on the Dlùth is Inneach public consultation project, commissioned by Bòrd na Gàidhlig to answer the following questions:
• What corpus planning principles, or linguistic foundations, are appropriate for the strengthening and promotion of Scottish Gaelic?
• What effective coordination, or institutional framework, would result in their implementation?
To determine whether probiotic prophylaxes reduce the odds of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in adults and children.
Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), adjusting for risk factors.
We searched 6 databases and 11 grey literature sources from inception to April 2016. We identified 32 RCTs (n=8,713); among them, 18 RCTs provided IPD (n=6,851 participants) comparing probiotic prophylaxis to placebo or no treatment (standard care). One reviewer prepared the IPD, and 2 reviewers extracted data, rated study quality, and graded evidence quality.
Probiotics reduced CDI odds in the unadjusted model (n=6,645; odds ratio [OR] 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.25–0.55) and the adjusted model (n=5,074; OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.23–0.55). Using 2 or more antibiotics increased the odds of CDI (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.11–4.37), whereas age, sex, hospitalization status, and high-risk antibiotic exposure did not. Adjusted subgroup analyses suggested that, compared to no probiotics, multispecies probiotics were more beneficial than single-species probiotics, as was using probiotics in clinical settings where the CDI risk is ≥5%. Of 18 studies, 14 reported adverse events. In 11 of these 14 studies, the adverse events were retained in the adjusted model. Odds for serious adverse events were similar for both groups in the unadjusted analyses (n=4,990; OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.89–1.26) and adjusted analyses (n=4,718; OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.89–1.28). Missing outcome data for CDI ranged from 0% to 25.8%. Our analyses were robust to a sensitivity analysis for missingness.
Moderate quality (ie, certainty) evidence suggests that probiotic prophylaxis may be a useful and safe CDI prevention strategy, particularly among participants taking 2 or more antibiotics and in hospital settings where the risk of CDI is ≥5%.