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Joint programs are an alternative model that may aid in improving congenital cardiac surgery outcomes while avoiding the potential resource and accessibility challenges that could result from regionalization. This study aims to characterize current joint programs, identify factors that are associated with joint program success and failure, and gauge attitudes within the profession regarding joint programs as an alternative.
A multiple choice survey with 23 standard questions for all participants and additional 42 additional questions for each participant hospital in a joint program was addressed to pediatric cardiac surgeons in the US. Questions were designed to qualitatively and quantitatively characterize congenital cardiac surgery joint programs.
Of the 34 unique congenital cardiac surgery programs identified in this survey, 14 have participated in a joint program and 50% of those joint programs existed for more than 10 years. Most joint programs (86%) participate or participated in a model where participants are engaged in a “mother-daughter” relationship in both perception and case volume distribution. In 3 out of 4 defunct joint programs, there were case complexity limitations placed on partner institutions, but the now independent partner institutions operate with no limitation on complexity. Most (71%) of participants in a joint program felt that the joint program produced better outcomes than two separate programs; however, among those who participate or have participated in a joint program, only 18% felt that joint programs were the optimal model for delivery of congenital cardiac surgical care.
Shade coffee is a well-studied cultivation strategy that creates habitat for tropical birds while also maintaining agricultural yield. Although there is a general consensus that shade coffee is more “bird-friendly” than a sun coffee monoculture, little work has investigated the effects of specific shade tree species on insectivorous bird diversity. This study involved avian foraging observations, mist-netting data, temperature loggers, and arthropod sampling to investigate bottom-up effects of two shade tree taxa - native Cordia sp. and introduced Grevillea robusta - on insectivorous bird communities in central Kenya. Results indicate that foliage-dwelling arthropod abundance, and the richness and overall abundance of foraging birds were all higher on Cordia than on Grevillea. Furthermore, multivariate analyses of the bird community indicate a significant difference in community composition between the canopies of the two tree species, though the communities of birds using the coffee understorey under these shade trees were similar. In addition, both shade trees buffered temperatures in coffee, and temperatures under Cordia were marginally cooler than under Grevillea. These results suggest that native Cordia trees on East African shade coffee farms may be better at mitigating habitat loss and attracting insectivorous birds that could promote ecosystem services. Identifying differences in prey abundance and preferences in bird foraging behaviour not only fills basic gaps in our understanding of the ecology of East African coffee farms, it also aids in developing region-specific information to optimize functional diversity, ecosystem services, and the conservation of birds in agricultural landscapes.
Using a simple, coarse-grained Poisson process model, we calculate – for seven types of astrophysical catastrophe – both their individual and combined threat to complex lifeforms (extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs)) throughout the Milky Way Galaxy. In terms of cumulative effects, we calculate that ETIs are likely to be astrophysically driven extinct on timescales of roughly once every 100 million years. In terms of comparative effects, large bolide impactors represent the most significant type of astrophysical contribution to the galaxy-wide debilitation of hypothesized ETI civilizations. Nonetheless, we conclude that astrophysical existential threats – whether taken singly or in combination – are likely insufficient, alone, to explain the Fermi Paradox. Astrophysical catastrophes, while both deadly and ubiquitous, do not appear to be frequent enough to wipe out every species in the Galaxy before they can attain or utilize spacefaring status.
Background: Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (iNPH) is a disorder of the elderly with progressive worsening of gait and balance, cognition, and urinary control which requires assessment using criteria recommended by International iNPH guidelines. Methods: Adult Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (AHCRN) prospective registry data from 5-centers over a 50-month interval included entry criteria; demographics; comorbidities; examination findings using standard AHCRN gait and neuropsychology assessments; shunt procedures, complications of CSF drainage, complications within 30 days of surgery, and 1-year postoperative follow-up. Results: 547 patients were referred for assessment of suspected-iNPH. 123 patients(21.6%) did not meet clinical criteria to proceed with further testing. 424 patients(74.4%;mean age 76.7 ± 6.0 years;males=269) underwent an LP or lumbar drain, and 193(45.6%) underwent insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. By 8-12 months after shunt surgery, gait velocity was 0.96±0.35m/s (54% faster than pre-CSF-drainage). Mean MoCA scores increased from 21.0 ± 5.0(median=22.0) at baseline to 22.6±5.5(median=24) 12-months post-surgery. Gait and cognitive improvements were clinically significant. No deaths occurred. 8% of shunt-surgery patients experienced minor complications. The 30-day reoperation rate was 4.1%. Conclusions: This AHCRN study demonstrated that CSF-drainage testing of patients with suspected-iNPH successfully identified those who could undergo CSF-shunt surgery with a high rate of improvement and a low rate of complications.
This study aims to look at the trends in our head and neck cancer patient population over the past 5 years with an emphasis on the past 2 years to evaluate how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted our disparities and availability of care for patients, especially those living in rural areas. An additional aim is to identify existing disparities at our institution in the treatment of head and neck patients and determine solutions to improve patient care.
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective chart review was performed to identify patients who were consulted and subsequently treated with at least one fraction of radiation therapy at our institution with palliative or curative intent. Patient demographic information was collected including hometown, distance from the cancer centre based on zip-codes and insurance information and type of appointment (in-person or telehealth). Rural–urban continuum codes were used to determine rurality.
A total of 490 head and neck cancer patients (n = 490) were treated from 2017 to 2021. When broken down by year, there were no significant trends in patient population regarding travel distance or rurality. Roughly 20–30% of our patients live in rural areas and about 30% have a commute > 50 miles for radiation treatment. A majority of our patients rely on public insurance (68%) with a small percentage of those uninsured (4%). Telehealth visits were rare prior to 2019 and rose to 5 and 2 visits in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Head and neck cancer patients, despite rurality or distance from a cancer centre, may present with alarmingly enough symptoms despite limitations and difficulties with seeking medical attention even during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, providers must be aware of these potential disparities that exist in the rural population and seek to address these.
Bloodstream infections (BSIs) are a frequent cause of morbidity in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), due in part to the presence of central venous access devices (CVADs) required to deliver therapy.
To determine the differential risk of bacterial BSI during neutropenia by CVAD type in pediatric patients with AML.
We performed a secondary analysis in a cohort of 560 pediatric patients (1,828 chemotherapy courses) receiving frontline AML chemotherapy at 17 US centers. The exposure was CVAD type at course start: tunneled externalized catheter (TEC), peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC), or totally implanted catheter (TIC). The primary outcome was course-specific incident bacterial BSI; secondary outcomes included mucosal barrier injury (MBI)-BSI and non-MBI BSI. Poisson regression was used to compute adjusted rate ratios comparing BSI occurrence during neutropenia by line type, controlling for demographic, clinical, and hospital-level characteristics.
The rate of BSI did not differ by CVAD type: 11 BSIs per 1,000 neutropenic days for TECs, 13.7 for PICCs, and 10.7 for TICs. After adjustment, there was no statistically significant association between CVAD type and BSI: PICC incident rate ratio [IRR] = 1.00 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75–1.32) and TIC IRR = 0.83 (95% CI, 0.49–1.41) compared to TEC. When MBI and non-MBI were examined separately, results were similar.
In this large, multicenter cohort of pediatric AML patients, we found no difference in the rate of BSI during neutropenia by CVAD type. This may be due to a risk-profile for BSI that is unique to AML patients.
Newly arriving Syrian refugees can present with specific health characteristics and medical conditions when entering the United States. Given the lack of epidemiological data available for the refugee populations, our study examined the demographic features of Syrian refugees resettled in the state of Kentucky. Specifically, we examined mental and physical health clinical data in both pre-departure health screenings and domestic Refugee Health Assessments (RHA; Kentucky Office for Refugees, n.d.) performed after resettlement.
The current study adopted a cross-sectional research design. We analyzed outcome data collected from participants from 2013 and 2015. Specifically, a comparative cross-sectional analysis was performed using clinical data from Syrian refugees who underwent an RHA as part of the resettlement process between January 2015 and August 2016. Those data were compared to data derived from refugees from other countries who resettled in Kentucky between 2013 and 2015.
Mental health screenings using the Refugee Health Screener (RHS-15; Hollifield et al., 2013) found that 19.5% (n = 34) of adult Syrian refugees reported signs and symptoms from posttraumatic stress, depressive symptoms, and/or anxiety, and nearly 40% (n = 69) reported personal experiences of imprisonment or violence, and/or having witnessed someone experiencing torture or violence. Intestinal parasites and lack of immunity to varicella were the most prevalent communicable diseases among Syrian refugees. Dental abnormalities and decreased visual acuity account for the first and second most prevalent non-communicable conditions. When comparing these results to all refugees arriving during the same years, significant differences arose in demographic variables, social history, communicable diseases, and non-communicable diseases.
This study provides an initial health profile of Syrian refugees resettling in Kentucky, which reflects mental health as a major healthcare concern. Posttraumatic stress and related symptoms are severe mental health conditions among Syrian refugees above and beyond other severe physical problems.
Research on complications with peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines that are placed for the treatment of prosthetic joint infection (PJI) after total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is scarce. We investigated the timing, frequency, and risk factors for PICC complications during treatment of PJI after THA and TKA.
We retrospectively queried an institutional database for THA and TKA patients from January 2015 through December 2020 that developed a PJI and required PICC placement at an academic, tertiary-care referral center.
The study included 889 patients (48.3% female) with a mean age of 64.6 years (range, 18.7–95.2) who underwent 435 THAs and 454 TKAs that were revised for PJI. The cohort had 275 90-day ED visits (30.9%), and 51 (18.5%) were PICC related. The average time from discharge to PICC ED visit was 26.2 days (range, 0.3–89.4). The most common reasons for a 90-day ED visit were issues related to the joint replacement or wound site (musculoskeletal or MSK; n = 116, 42.2%) and PICC complaints (n = 51, 18.5%). A multivariable logistic regression demonstrated that non-White race (odds ratio [OR], 2.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.24–4.04; P = .007) and younger age (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.95–1.00; P = .035) were associated with PICC-related ED visits. Malposition/readjustment (41.2%) and occlusion (35.3%) were the most common PICC complications leading to ED presentation.
PICC complications are common after PJI treatment, accounting for nearly 20% of 90-day ED visits.
The end-Permian mass extinction occurred alongside a large swath of environmental changes that are often invoked as extinction mechanisms, even when a direct link is lacking. One way to elucidate the cause(s) of a mass extinction is to investigate extinction selectivity, as it can reveal critical information on organismic traits as key determinants of extinction and survival. Here we show that machine learning algorithms, specifically gradient boosted decision trees, can be used to identify determinants of extinction as well as to predict extinction risk. To understand which factors led to the end-Permian mass extinction during an extreme global warming event, we quantified the ecological selectivity of marine extinctions in the well-studied South China region. We find that extinction selectivity varies between different groups of organisms and that a synergy of multiple environmental stressors best explains the overall end-Permian extinction selectivity pattern. Extinction risk was greater for genera that had a low species richness, narrow bathymetric ranges limited to deep-water habitats, a stationary mode of life, a siliceous skeleton, or, less critically, calcitic skeletons. These selective losses directly link the extinctions to the environmental effects of rapid injections of carbon dioxide into the ocean–atmosphere system, specifically the combined effects of expanded oxygen minimum zones, rapid warming, and potentially ocean acidification.
We present the case of a 4-month-old, former 23-week premature baby who underwent patent ductus arteriosus device closure in the cardiac catheterisation lab with an Amplatzer Piccolo™ device at 12 weeks of life. This was complicated by late migration of the device into the aorta resulting in severe obstruction and requiring surgical intervention.
The Great Qing Empire (1644–1912) was the most populous political entity that had yet existed on the landmass that we now refer to as “China,” and its economy was possibly one of the most developed. But by the first several decades of the nineteenth century, the Jiaqing and early Daoguang reigns, there had emerged a general consensus among elites both in and out of government that the empire was facing a multifaceted and potentially catastrophic crisis of the economy, polity, and society. By this point the Qing had already begun to be significantly incorporated into the early modern world economy, although it had not yet experienced, as it very shortly would, military conflict with the West and the invasion by Western agents of economic and cultural change that would follow in its wake.
CHD is an important phenotypic feature of chromosome 22q11.2 copy number variants. Biventricular repair is usually possible, however there are rare reports of patients with chromosome 22q copy number variants and functional single ventricle cardiac disease.
This is a single centre retrospective review of patients with chromosome 22q copy number variants who underwent staged single ventricle reconstructive surgery between 1 July, 1984 and 31 December, 2020.
Seventeen patients met inclusion criteria. The most common diagnosis was hypoplastic left heart syndrome (n = 8) and vascular anomalies were present in 13 patients. A microdeletion of the chromosome 22 A-D low-copy repeat was present in 13 patients, and the remaining had a duplication. About half of the patients had documented craniofacial abnormalities and/or hypocalcaemia, and developmental delay was very common. Fifteen patients had a Norwood operation, 10 patients had a superior cavopulmonary anastomosis, and 7 patients had a Fontan. Two patients had cardiac transplantation after Fontan. Overall survival is 64% at 1 year, and 58% at 5 and 10 years. Most deaths occurred following Norwood operation (n = 5).
CHD necessitating single ventricle reconstruction associated with chromosome 22q copy number variants is not common, but typically occurs as a variant of hypoplastic left heart syndrome with the usual cytogenetic microdeletion. The most common neonatal surgical intervention performed is the Norwood, where most of the mortality burden occurs. Associated anomalies and medical issues may cause additional morbidity after cardiac surgery, but survival is similar to infants with other types of single ventricle disease.
To determine the incidence of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among healthcare personnel (HCP) and to assess occupational risks for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Prospective cohort of healthcare personnel (HCP) followed for 6 months from May through December 2020.
Large academic healthcare system including 4 hospitals and affiliated clinics in Atlanta, Georgia.
HCP, including those with and without direct patient-care activities, working during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Incident SARS-CoV-2 infections were determined through serologic testing for SARS-CoV-2 IgG at enrollment, at 3 months, and at 6 months. HCP completed monthly surveys regarding occupational activities. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify occupational factors that increased the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Of the 304 evaluable HCP that were seronegative at enrollment, 26 (9%) seroconverted for SARS-CoV-2 IgG by 6 months. Overall, 219 participants (73%) self-identified as White race, 119 (40%) were nurses, and 121 (40%) worked on inpatient medical-surgical floors. In a multivariable analysis, HCP who identified as Black race were more likely to seroconvert than HCP who identified as White (odds ratio, 4.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.3–14.2). Increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection was not identified for any occupational activity, including spending >50% of a typical shift at a patient’s bedside, working in a COVID-19 unit, or performing or being present for aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs).
In our study cohort of HCP working in an academic healthcare system, <10% had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection over 6 months. No specific occupational activities were identified as increasing risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Calls for civility feature prominently in public discourse, and the concept has received growing attention by political philosophers recently. But what does it mean to be civil? The existing literature distinguishes between two main understandings of civility: civility as politeness and civility as public-mindedness. The objective of this article is to show that these conceptions and the different normative claims associated with them can all fit together. We argue that civility and incivility should be disaggregated in order to uncover fruitful connections between different aspects of the concept. We introduce a distinction between two dimensions of civility as public-mindedness (moral and justificatory), as well as a new distinction between the means and ends of civility. We examine the complex connections between the different dimensions of (in)civility and show that the disaggregation of civility and incivility tells us what kind of (in)civility matters, as well as when and why.
Dementia assessment includes cognitive and behavioral testing with informant verification. Conventional testing is resource-intensive, with uneven access. Online unsupervised assessments could reduce barriers to risk assessment. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between informant-rated behavioral changes and participant-completed neuropsychological test performance in older adults, both measured remotely via an online unsupervised platform, the Brain Health Registry (BHR).
Observational cohort study.
Community-dwelling older adults participating in the online BHR. Informant reports were obtained using the BHR Study Partner Portal.
The final sample included 499 participant–informant dyads.
Participants completed online unsupervised neuropsychological assessment including Forward Memory Span, Reverse Memory Span, Trail Making B, and Go/No-Go tests. Informants completed the Mild Behavioral Impairment Checklist (MBI-C) via the BHR Study Partner portal. Cognitive performance was evaluated in MBI+/− individuals, as was the association between cognitive scores and MBI symptom severity.
Mean age of the 499 participants was 67, of which 308/499 were females (61%). MBI + status was associated with significantly lower memory and executive function test scores, measured using Forward and Reverse Memory Span, Trail Making Errors and Trail Making Speed. Further, significant associations were found between poorer objectively measured cognitive performance, in the domains of memory and executive function, and MBI symptom severity.
These findings support the feasibility of remote, informant-reported behavioral assessment utilizing the MBI-C, supporting its validity by demonstrating a relationship to online unsupervised neuropsychological test performance, using a previously validated platform capable of assessing early dementia risk markers.
Approximately one-third of individuals in a major depressive episode will not achieve sustained remission despite multiple, well-delivered treatments. These patients experience prolonged suffering and disproportionately utilize mental and general health care resources. The recently proposed clinical heuristic of ‘difficult-to-treat depression’ (DTD) aims to broaden our understanding and focus attention on the identification, clinical management, treatment selection, and outcomes of such individuals. Clinical trial methodologies developed to detect short-term therapeutic effects in treatment-responsive populations may not be appropriate in DTD. This report reviews three essential challenges for clinical intervention research in DTD: (1) how to define and subtype this heterogeneous group of patients; (2) how, when, and by what methods to select, acquire, compile, and interpret clinically meaningful outcome metrics; and (3) how to choose among alternative clinical trial design options to promote causal inference and generalizability. The boundaries of DTD are uncertain, and an evidence-based taxonomy and reliable assessment tools are preconditions for clinical research and subtyping. Traditional outcome metrics in treatment-responsive depression may not apply to DTD, as they largely reflect the only short-term symptomatic change and do not incorporate durability of benefit, side effect burden, or sustained impact on quality of life or daily function. The trial methodology will also require modification as trials will likely be of longer duration to examine the sustained impact, raising complex issues regarding control group selection, blinding and its integrity, and concomitant treatments.
Although general cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help alleviate distress associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), strategies tailored to targeting specific cognitions, feelings, and behaviours associated with OCD such as exposure and ritual prevention (Ex/RP) and cognitive therapy (CT) have been shown to be a significantly more effective form of treatment. Treatment of individuals with unacceptable/taboo obsessions requires its own specific guidelines due to the stigmatizing and often misunderstood nature of accompanying thoughts and behaviours. In this article, OCD expert practitioners describe best practices surrounding two of the longest standing evidence-based treatment paradigms for OCD, CT and Ex/RP, tailored specifically to unacceptable and taboo obsessions, so that clients may experience the best possible outcomes that are sustained once treatment ends. In addition, CT specifically targets obsessions while Ex/RP addresses compulsions, allowing the two to be highly effective when combined together. A wide range of clinical recommendations on clinical competencies is offered, including essential knowledge, psychoeducation, designing fear hierarchies and exposures, instructing the client through behavioural experiments, and relapse prevention skills.
Key learning aims
(1) To learn about the theoretical underpinnings of specialized approaches to treating taboo/unacceptable thoughts subtype of OCD with gold-standard CBT treatments, cognitive therapy (CT) and exposure and ritual prevention (Ex/RP).
(2) To learn about recognizing and identifying commonly missed covert cognitive symptoms in OCD such as rumination and mental compulsions.
(3) To learn how to assess commonly unrecognized behavioural symptoms in OCD such as concealment, reassurance seeking, searching on online forums, etc.
(4) To gain a nuanced understanding of the phenomenology of the taboo/unacceptable thoughts OCD subtype and the cycles that maintain symptoms and impairment.
(5) To learn about in-session techniques such as thought experiments, worksheets, fear hierarchies, and different types of exposures.
Racism is a pervasive problem in Western society, leading to mental and physical unwellness in people from racialized groups. Psychology began as a racist discipline and still is. As such, most clinical training and curricula do not operate from an anti-racist framework. Although most therapists have seen clients with stress and trauma due to racialization, very few were taught how to assess or treat it. Furthermore, clinicians and researchers can cause harm when they rely on White-dominant cultural norms that do not serve people of colour well. This paper discusses how clinicians can recognize and embrace an anti-racism approach in practice, research, and life in general. Included is a discussion of recent research on racial microaggressions, the difference between being a racial justice ally and racial justice saviour, and new research on what racial allyship entails. Ultimately, the anti-racist clinician will achieve a level of competency that promotes safety and prevents harm coming to those they desire to help, and they will be an active force in bringing change to those systems that propagate emotional harm in the form of racism.
Key learning aims
(1) Knowledge of how racism manifests in therapy, psychology and society.
(2) Understanding the difference between racial justice allyship versus saviourship.
(3) Increased awareness of microaggressions in therapy.
(4) Appreciation of the importance of combatting systemic racism.