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Sample records for cluster randomized design

  1. Person mobility in the design and analysis of cluster-randomized cohort prevention trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuchinich, Sam; Flay, Brian R; Aber, Lawrence; Bickman, Leonard

    2012-06-01

    Person mobility is an inescapable fact of life for most cluster-randomized (e.g., schools, hospitals, clinic, cities, state) cohort prevention trials. Mobility rates are an important substantive consideration in estimating the effects of an intervention. In cluster-randomized trials, mobility rates are often correlated with ethnicity, poverty and other variables associated with disparity. This raises the possibility that estimated intervention effects may generalize to only the least mobile segments of a population and, thus, create a threat to external validity. Such mobility can also create threats to the internal validity of conclusions from randomized trials. Researchers must decide how to deal with persons who leave study clusters during a trial (dropouts), persons and clusters that do not comply with an assigned intervention, and persons who enter clusters during a trial (late entrants), in addition to the persons who remain for the duration of a trial (stayers). Statistical techniques alone cannot solve the key issues of internal and external validity raised by the phenomenon of person mobility. This commentary presents a systematic, Campbellian-type analysis of person mobility in cluster-randomized cohort prevention trials. It describes four approaches for dealing with dropouts, late entrants and stayers with respect to data collection, analysis and generalizability. The questions at issue are: 1) From whom should data be collected at each wave of data collection? 2) Which cases should be included in the analyses of an intervention effect? and 3) To what populations can trial results be generalized? The conclusions lead to recommendations for the design and analysis of future cluster-randomized cohort prevention trials.

  2. The Design of Cluster Randomized Trials with Random Cross-Classifications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerbeek, Mirjam; Safarkhani, Maryam

    2018-01-01

    Data from cluster randomized trials do not always have a pure hierarchical structure. For instance, students are nested within schools that may be crossed by neighborhoods, and soldiers are nested within army units that may be crossed by mental health-care professionals. It is important that the random cross-classification is taken into account…

  3. Text Clustering Algorithm Based on Random Cluster Core

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Long-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays clustering has become a popular text mining algorithm, but the huge data can put forward higher requirements for the accuracy and performance of text mining. In view of the performance bottleneck of traditional text clustering algorithm, this paper proposes a text clustering algorithm with random features. This is a kind of clustering algorithm based on text density, at the same time using the neighboring heuristic rules, the concept of random cluster is introduced, which effectively reduces the complexity of the distance calculation.

  4. Cluster randomization and political philosophy.

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    Chwang, Eric

    2012-11-01

    In this paper, I will argue that, while the ethical issues raised by cluster randomization can be challenging, they are not new. My thesis divides neatly into two parts. In the first, easier part I argue that many of the ethical challenges posed by cluster randomized human subjects research are clearly present in other types of human subjects research, and so are not novel. In the second, more difficult part I discuss the thorniest ethical challenge for cluster randomized research--cases where consent is genuinely impractical to obtain. I argue that once again these cases require no new analytic insight; instead, we should look to political philosophy for guidance. In other words, the most serious ethical problem that arises in cluster randomized research also arises in political philosophy. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. A pilot cluster randomized controlled trial of structured goal-setting following stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, William J; Brown, Melanie; William, Levack; McPherson, Kathryn M; Reed, Kirk; Dean, Sarah G; Weatherall, Mark

    2012-04-01

    To determine the feasibility, the cluster design effect and the variance and minimal clinical importance difference in the primary outcome in a pilot study of a structured approach to goal-setting. A cluster randomized controlled trial. Inpatient rehabilitation facilities. People who were admitted to inpatient rehabilitation following stroke who had sufficient cognition to engage in structured goal-setting and complete the primary outcome measure. Structured goal elicitation using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Quality of life at 12 weeks using the Schedule for Individualised Quality of Life (SEIQOL-DW), Functional Independence Measure, Short Form 36 and Patient Perception of Rehabilitation (measuring satisfaction with rehabilitation). Assessors were blinded to the intervention. Four rehabilitation services and 41 patients were randomized. We found high values of the intraclass correlation for the outcome measures (ranging from 0.03 to 0.40) and high variance of the SEIQOL-DW (SD 19.6) in relation to the minimally importance difference of 2.1, leading to impractically large sample size requirements for a cluster randomized design. A cluster randomized design is not a practical means of avoiding contamination effects in studies of inpatient rehabilitation goal-setting. Other techniques for coping with contamination effects are necessary.

  6. Single-cluster dynamics for the random-cluster model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deng, Y.; Qian, X.; Blöte, H.W.J.

    2009-01-01

    We formulate a single-cluster Monte Carlo algorithm for the simulation of the random-cluster model. This algorithm is a generalization of the Wolff single-cluster method for the q-state Potts model to noninteger values q>1. Its results for static quantities are in a satisfactory agreement with those

  7. Design and protocol of the weight loss lottery- a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Swaluw, Koen; Lambooij, Mattijs S; Mathijssen, Jolanda J P; Schipper, Maarten; Zeelenberg, Marcel; Polder, Johan J; Prast, Henriëtte M

    2016-07-01

    People often intend to exercise but find it difficult to attend their gyms on a regular basis. At times, people seek and accept deadlines with consequences to realize their own goals (i.e. commitment devices). The aim of our cluster randomized controlled trial is to test whether a lottery-based commitment device can promote regular gym attendance. The winners of the lottery always get feedback on the outcome but can only claim their prize if they attended their gyms on a regular basis. In this paper we present the design and baseline characteristics of a three-arm trial which is performed with 163 overweight participants in six in-company fitness centers in the Netherlands. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Comparing cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens using sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trials: Regression estimation and sample size considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    NeCamp, Timothy; Kilbourne, Amy; Almirall, Daniel

    2017-08-01

    Cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens can be used to guide sequential treatment decision-making at the cluster level in order to improve outcomes at the individual or patient-level. In a cluster-level dynamic treatment regimen, the treatment is potentially adapted and re-adapted over time based on changes in the cluster that could be impacted by prior intervention, including aggregate measures of the individuals or patients that compose it. Cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trials can be used to answer multiple open questions preventing scientists from developing high-quality cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens. In a cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trial, sequential randomizations occur at the cluster level and outcomes are observed at the individual level. This manuscript makes two contributions to the design and analysis of cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trials. First, a weighted least squares regression approach is proposed for comparing the mean of a patient-level outcome between the cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens embedded in a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial. The regression approach facilitates the use of baseline covariates which is often critical in the analysis of cluster-level trials. Second, sample size calculators are derived for two common cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trial designs for use when the primary aim is a between-dynamic treatment regimen comparison of the mean of a continuous patient-level outcome. The methods are motivated by the Adaptive Implementation of Effective Programs Trial which is, to our knowledge, the first-ever cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trial in psychiatry.

  9. Random matrix improved subspace clustering

    KAUST Repository

    Couillet, Romain; Kammoun, Abla

    2017-01-01

    This article introduces a spectral method for statistical subspace clustering. The method is built upon standard kernel spectral clustering techniques, however carefully tuned by theoretical understanding arising from random matrix findings. We show

  10. Extending cluster lot quality assurance sampling designs for surveillance programs.

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    Hund, Lauren; Pagano, Marcello

    2014-07-20

    Lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) has a long history of applications in industrial quality control. LQAS is frequently used for rapid surveillance in global health settings, with areas classified as poor or acceptable performance on the basis of the binary classification of an indicator. Historically, LQAS surveys have relied on simple random samples from the population; however, implementing two-stage cluster designs for surveillance sampling is often more cost-effective than simple random sampling. By applying survey sampling results to the binary classification procedure, we develop a simple and flexible nonparametric procedure to incorporate clustering effects into the LQAS sample design to appropriately inflate the sample size, accommodating finite numbers of clusters in the population when relevant. We use this framework to then discuss principled selection of survey design parameters in longitudinal surveillance programs. We apply this framework to design surveys to detect rises in malnutrition prevalence in nutrition surveillance programs in Kenya and South Sudan, accounting for clustering within villages. By combining historical information with data from previous surveys, we design surveys to detect spikes in the childhood malnutrition rate. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Ethical and policy issues in cluster randomized trials: rationale and design of a mixed methods research study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chaudhry Shazia H

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cluster randomized trials are an increasingly important methodological tool in health research. In cluster randomized trials, intact social units or groups of individuals, such as medical practices, schools, or entire communities – rather than individual themselves – are randomly allocated to intervention or control conditions, while outcomes are then observed on individual cluster members. The substantial methodological differences between cluster randomized trials and conventional randomized trials pose serious challenges to the current conceptual framework for research ethics. The ethical implications of randomizing groups rather than individuals are not addressed in current research ethics guidelines, nor have they even been thoroughly explored. The main objectives of this research are to: (1 identify ethical issues arising in cluster trials and learn how they are currently being addressed; (2 understand how ethics reviews of cluster trials are carried out in different countries (Canada, the USA and the UK; (3 elicit the views and experiences of trial participants and cluster representatives; (4 develop well-grounded guidelines for the ethical conduct and review of cluster trials by conducting an extensive ethical analysis and organizing a consensus process; (5 disseminate the guidelines to researchers, research ethics boards (REBs, journal editors, and research funders. Methods We will use a mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative approach incorporating both empirical and conceptual work. Empirical work will include a systematic review of a random sample of published trials, a survey and in-depth interviews with trialists, a survey of REBs, and in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with trial participants and gatekeepers. The empirical work will inform the concurrent ethical analysis which will lead to a guidance document laying out principles, policy options, and rationale for proposed guidelines. An

  12. Precision of systematic and random sampling in clustered populations: habitat patches and aggregating organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGarvey, Richard; Burch, Paul; Matthews, Janet M

    2016-01-01

    Natural populations of plants and animals spatially cluster because (1) suitable habitat is patchy, and (2) within suitable habitat, individuals aggregate further into clusters of higher density. We compare the precision of random and systematic field sampling survey designs under these two processes of species clustering. Second, we evaluate the performance of 13 estimators for the variance of the sample mean from a systematic survey. Replicated simulated surveys, as counts from 100 transects, allocated either randomly or systematically within the study region, were used to estimate population density in six spatial point populations including habitat patches and Matérn circular clustered aggregations of organisms, together and in combination. The standard one-start aligned systematic survey design, a uniform 10 x 10 grid of transects, was much more precise. Variances of the 10 000 replicated systematic survey mean densities were one-third to one-fifth of those from randomly allocated transects, implying transect sample sizes giving equivalent precision by random survey would need to be three to five times larger. Organisms being restricted to patches of habitat was alone sufficient to yield this precision advantage for the systematic design. But this improved precision for systematic sampling in clustered populations is underestimated by standard variance estimators used to compute confidence intervals. True variance for the survey sample mean was computed from the variance of 10 000 simulated survey mean estimates. Testing 10 published and three newly proposed variance estimators, the two variance estimators (v) that corrected for inter-transect correlation (ν₈ and ν(W)) were the most accurate and also the most precise in clustered populations. These greatly outperformed the two "post-stratification" variance estimators (ν₂ and ν₃) that are now more commonly applied in systematic surveys. Similar variance estimator performance rankings were found with

  13. Random matrix improved subspace clustering

    KAUST Repository

    Couillet, Romain

    2017-03-06

    This article introduces a spectral method for statistical subspace clustering. The method is built upon standard kernel spectral clustering techniques, however carefully tuned by theoretical understanding arising from random matrix findings. We show in particular that our method provides high clustering performance while standard kernel choices provably fail. An application to user grouping based on vector channel observations in the context of massive MIMO wireless communication networks is provided.

  14. Percolation and epidemics in random clustered networks

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    Miller, Joel C.

    2009-08-01

    The social networks that infectious diseases spread along are typically clustered. Because of the close relation between percolation and epidemic spread, the behavior of percolation in such networks gives insight into infectious disease dynamics. A number of authors have studied percolation or epidemics in clustered networks, but the networks often contain preferential contacts in high degree nodes. We introduce a class of random clustered networks and a class of random unclustered networks with the same preferential mixing. Percolation in the clustered networks reduces the component sizes and increases the epidemic threshold compared to the unclustered networks.

  15. Relative efficiency and sample size for cluster randomized trials with variable cluster sizes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Zhiying; Williams, O Dale; Aban, Inmaculada; Kabagambe, Edmond Kato; Tiwari, Hemant K; Cutter, Gary

    2011-02-01

    The statistical power of cluster randomized trials depends on two sample size components, the number of clusters per group and the numbers of individuals within clusters (cluster size). Variable cluster sizes are common and this variation alone may have significant impact on study power. Previous approaches have taken this into account by either adjusting total sample size using a designated design effect or adjusting the number of clusters according to an assessment of the relative efficiency of unequal versus equal cluster sizes. This article defines a relative efficiency of unequal versus equal cluster sizes using noncentrality parameters, investigates properties of this measure, and proposes an approach for adjusting the required sample size accordingly. We focus on comparing two groups with normally distributed outcomes using t-test, and use the noncentrality parameter to define the relative efficiency of unequal versus equal cluster sizes and show that statistical power depends only on this parameter for a given number of clusters. We calculate the sample size required for an unequal cluster sizes trial to have the same power as one with equal cluster sizes. Relative efficiency based on the noncentrality parameter is straightforward to calculate and easy to interpret. It connects the required mean cluster size directly to the required sample size with equal cluster sizes. Consequently, our approach first determines the sample size requirements with equal cluster sizes for a pre-specified study power and then calculates the required mean cluster size while keeping the number of clusters unchanged. Our approach allows adjustment in mean cluster size alone or simultaneous adjustment in mean cluster size and number of clusters, and is a flexible alternative to and a useful complement to existing methods. Comparison indicated that we have defined a relative efficiency that is greater than the relative efficiency in the literature under some conditions. Our measure

  16. Personalized PageRank Clustering: A graph clustering algorithm based on random walks

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    A. Tabrizi, Shayan; Shakery, Azadeh; Asadpour, Masoud; Abbasi, Maziar; Tavallaie, Mohammad Ali

    2013-11-01

    Graph clustering has been an essential part in many methods and thus its accuracy has a significant effect on many applications. In addition, exponential growth of real-world graphs such as social networks, biological networks and electrical circuits demands clustering algorithms with nearly-linear time and space complexity. In this paper we propose Personalized PageRank Clustering (PPC) that employs the inherent cluster exploratory property of random walks to reveal the clusters of a given graph. We combine random walks and modularity to precisely and efficiently reveal the clusters of a graph. PPC is a top-down algorithm so it can reveal inherent clusters of a graph more accurately than other nearly-linear approaches that are mainly bottom-up. It also gives a hierarchy of clusters that is useful in many applications. PPC has a linear time and space complexity and has been superior to most of the available clustering algorithms on many datasets. Furthermore, its top-down approach makes it a flexible solution for clustering problems with different requirements.

  17. Implementation of client versus care-provider strategies to improve external cephalic version rates: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlemmix, F.; Rosman, A.N.; Rijnders, M.E.; Beuckens, A.; Opmeer, B.C.; Mol, B.W.J.; Kok, M.; Fleuren, M.A.H.

    2015-01-01

    Onjective: To determine the effectiveness of a client or care-provider strategy to improve the implementation of external cephalic version. Design: Cluster randomized controlled trial.Setting: Twenty-five clusters; hospitals and their referring midwifery practices randomly selected in the

  18. Evaluation of cluster-randomized trials on maternal and child health research in developing countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Handlos, Line Neerup; Chakraborty, Hrishikesh; Sen, Pranab Kumar

    2009-01-01

    To summarize and evaluate all publications including cluster-randomized trials used for maternal and child health research in developing countries during the last 10 years. METHODS: All cluster-randomized trials published between 1998 and 2008 were reviewed, and those that met our criteria...... for inclusion were evaluated further. The criteria for inclusion were that the trial should have been conducted in maternal and child health care in a developing country and that the conclusions should have been made on an individual level. Methods of accounting for clustering in design and analysis were......, and the trials generally improved in quality. CONCLUSIONS: Shortcomings exist in the sample-size calculations and in the analysis of cluster-randomized trials conducted during maternal and child health research in developing countries. Even though there has been improvement over time, further progress in the way...

  19. Cluster-randomized Studies in Educational Research: Principles and Methodological Aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreyhaupt, Jens; Mayer, Benjamin; Keis, Oliver; Öchsner, Wolfgang; Muche, Rainer

    2017-01-01

    An increasing number of studies are being performed in educational research to evaluate new teaching methods and approaches. These studies could be performed more efficiently and deliver more convincing results if they more strictly applied and complied with recognized standards of scientific studies. Such an approach could substantially increase the quality in particular of prospective, two-arm (intervention) studies that aim to compare two different teaching methods. A key standard in such studies is randomization, which can minimize systematic bias in study findings; such bias may result if the two study arms are not structurally equivalent. If possible, educational research studies should also achieve this standard, although this is not yet generally the case. Some difficulties and concerns exist, particularly regarding organizational and methodological aspects. An important point to consider in educational research studies is that usually individuals cannot be randomized, because of the teaching situation, and instead whole groups have to be randomized (so-called "cluster randomization"). Compared with studies with individual randomization, studies with cluster randomization normally require (significantly) larger sample sizes and more complex methods for calculating sample size. Furthermore, cluster-randomized studies require more complex methods for statistical analysis. The consequence of the above is that a competent expert with respective special knowledge needs to be involved in all phases of cluster-randomized studies. Studies to evaluate new teaching methods need to make greater use of randomization in order to achieve scientifically convincing results. Therefore, in this article we describe the general principles of cluster randomization and how to implement these principles, and we also outline practical aspects of using cluster randomization in prospective, two-arm comparative educational research studies.

  20. Structuring communication relationships for interprofessional teamwork (SCRIPT: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenaszchuk Chris

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite a burgeoning interest in using interprofessional approaches to promote effective collaboration in health care, systematic reviews find scant evidence of benefit. This protocol describes the first cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT to design and evaluate an intervention intended to improve interprofessional collaborative communication and patient-centred care. Objectives The objective is to evaluate the effects of a four-component, hospital-based staff communication protocol designed to promote collaborative communication between healthcare professionals and enhance patient-centred care. Methods The study is a multi-centre mixed-methods cluster randomized controlled trial involving twenty clinical teaching teams (CTTs in general internal medicine (GIM divisions of five Toronto tertiary-care hospitals. CTTs will be randomly assigned either to receive an intervention designed to improve interprofessional collaborative communication, or to continue usual communication practices. Non-participant naturalistic observation, shadowing, and semi-structured, qualitative interviews were conducted to explore existing patterns of interprofessional collaboration in the CTTs, and to support intervention development. Interviews and shadowing will continue during intervention delivery in order to document interactions between the intervention settings and adopters, and changes in interprofessional communication. The primary outcome is the rate of unplanned hospital readmission. Secondary outcomes are length of stay (LOS; adherence to evidence-based prescription drug therapy; patients' satisfaction with care; self-report surveys of CTT staff perceptions of interprofessional collaboration; and frequency of calls to paging devices. Outcomes will be compared on an intention-to-treat basis using adjustment methods appropriate for data from a cluster randomized design. Discussion Pre-intervention qualitative analysis revealed that a

  1. Design, rationale, and baseline demographics of SEARCH I: a prospective cluster-randomized study

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    Albers F

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Frank Albers,1 Asif Shaikh,2 Ahmar Iqbal,31Medical Affairs Respiratory, 2Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Field Based Medicine-Respiratory, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Ridgefield, CT, USA; 3Respiratory Medical Affairs, Pfizer Inc, New York, NY, USAAbstract: Questionnaires are available to identify patients at risk for several chronic diseases, including COPD, but are infrequently utilized in primary care. COPD is often underdiagnosed, while at the same time the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends against spirometric screening for COPD in asymptomatic adults. Use of a symptom-based questionnaire and subsequent handheld spirometric device depending on the answers to the questionnaire is a promising approach to identify patients at risk for COPD. Screening, Evaluating and Assessing Rate CHanges of diagnosing respiratory conditions in primary care 1 (SEARCH I was a prospective cluster-randomized study in 168 US primary care practices evaluating the effect of the COPD-Population Screener (COPD-PS™ questionnaire. The effect of this questionnaire alone or sequentially with the handheld copd-6TM device was evaluated on new diagnoses of COPD and on respiratory diagnostic practice patterns (including referrals for pulmonary function testing, referrals to pulmonologists, new diagnoses of COPD, and new respiratory medication prescriptions. Participating practices entered a total of 9704 consecutive consenting subjects aged ≥ 40 years attending primary care clinics. Study arm results were compared for new COPD diagnosis rates between usual care and (1 COPD-PS plus copd-6 and (2 COPD-PS alone. A cluster-randomization design allowed comparison of the intervention effects at the practice level instead of individuals being the subjects of the intervention. Regional principal investigators controlled the flow of study information to sub-investigators at participating practices to reduce observation bias (Hawthorne effect. The

  2. A Denoising Scheme for Randomly Clustered Noise Removal in ICCD Sensing Image

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    Fei Wang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available An Intensified Charge-Coupled Device (ICCD image is captured by the ICCD image sensor in extremely low-light conditions. Its noise has two distinctive characteristics. (a Different from the independent identically distributed (i.i.d. noise in natural image, the noise in the ICCD sensing image is spatially clustered, which induces unexpected structure information; (b The pattern of the clustered noise is formed randomly. In this paper, we propose a denoising scheme to remove the randomly clustered noise in the ICCD sensing image. First, we decompose the image into non-overlapped patches and classify them into flat patches and structure patches according to if real structure information is included. Then, two denoising algorithms are designed for them, respectively. For each flat patch, we simulate multiple similar patches for it in pseudo-time domain and remove its noise by averaging all the simulated patches, considering that the structure information induced by the noise varies randomly over time. For each structure patch, we design a structure-preserved sparse coding algorithm to reconstruct the real structure information. It reconstructs each patch by describing it as a weighted summation of its neighboring patches and incorporating the weights into the sparse representation of the current patch. Based on all the reconstructed patches, we generate a reconstructed image. After that, we repeat the whole process by changing relevant parameters, considering that blocking artifacts exist in a single reconstructed image. Finally, we obtain the reconstructed image by merging all the generated images into one. Experiments are conducted on an ICCD sensing image dataset, which verifies its subjective performance in removing the randomly clustered noise and preserving the real structure information in the ICCD sensing image.

  3. Cluster-randomized Studies in Educational Research: Principles and Methodological Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dreyhaupt, Jens

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available An increasing number of studies are being performed in educational research to evaluate new teaching methods and approaches. These studies could be performed more efficiently and deliver more convincing results if they more strictly applied and complied with recognized standards of scientific studies. Such an approach could substantially increase the quality in particular of prospective, two-arm (intervention studies that aim to compare two different teaching methods. A key standard in such studies is randomization, which can minimize systematic bias in study findings; such bias may result if the two study arms are not structurally equivalent. If possible, educational research studies should also achieve this standard, although this is not yet generally the case. Some difficulties and concerns exist, particularly regarding organizational and methodological aspects. An important point to consider in educational research studies is that usually individuals cannot be randomized, because of the teaching situation, and instead whole groups have to be randomized (so-called “cluster randomization”. Compared with studies with individual randomization, studies with cluster randomization normally require (significantly larger sample sizes and more complex methods for calculating sample size. Furthermore, cluster-randomized studies require more complex methods for statistical analysis. The consequence of the above is that a competent expert with respective special knowledge needs to be involved in all phases of cluster-randomized studies.Studies to evaluate new teaching methods need to make greater use of randomization in order to achieve scientifically convincing results. Therefore, in this article we describe the general principles of cluster randomization and how to implement these principles, and we also outline practical aspects of using cluster randomization in prospective, two-arm comparative educational research studies.

  4. Cluster Randomized Trail of the uptake of a take-home Infant dose ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: To test whether a single take home dose of infant nevirapine increased infant uptake without decreasing institutional deliveries. Design: Cluster randomized post-test only study with control group. Setting: Ten hospitals in urban areas of Coast, Rift Valley, and Western provinces, Kenya. Participants: Pregnant ...

  5. A cluster randomized controlled trial of a clinical pathway for hospital treatment of heart failure: study design and population

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    Gardini Andrea

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The hospital treatment of heart failure frequently does not follow published guidelines, potentially contributing to the high morbidity, mortality and economic cost of this disorder. Consequently the development of clinical pathways has the potential to reduce the current variability in care, enhance guideline adherence, and improve outcomes for patients. Despite enthusiasm and diffusion, the widespread acceptance of clinical pathways remain questionable because very little prospective controlled data demonstrated their effectiveness. The Experimental Prospective Study on the Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Implementation of Clinical Pathways was designed in order to conduct a rigorous evaluation of clinical pathways in hospital treatment of acute heart failure. The primary objective of the trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of clinical pathways for hospital treatment of heart failure in Italian hospitals. Methods/design Two-arm, cluster-randomized trial. 14 community hospitals were randomized either to arm 1 (clinical pathway: appropriate use of practice guidelines and supplies of drugs and ancillary services, new organization and procedures, patient education, etc. or to arm 2 (no intervention, usual care. 424 patients sample (212 in each group, 80% of power at the 5% significance level (two-sided. The primary outcome measure is in-hospital mortality. We will also analyze the impact of the clinical pathways comparing the length and the appropriateness of the stay, the rate of unscheduled readmissions, the customers' satisfaction and the costs treating the patients with the pathways and with the current practice along all the observation period. The quality of the care will be assessed by monitoring the use of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures during hospital stay and by measuring key quality indicators at discharge. Discussion This paper examines the design of the evaluation of a complex

  6. Cluster Tails for Critical Power-Law Inhomogeneous Random Graphs

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    van der Hofstad, Remco; Kliem, Sandra; van Leeuwaarden, Johan S. H.

    2018-04-01

    Recently, the scaling limit of cluster sizes for critical inhomogeneous random graphs of rank-1 type having finite variance but infinite third moment degrees was obtained in Bhamidi et al. (Ann Probab 40:2299-2361, 2012). It was proved that when the degrees obey a power law with exponent τ \\in (3,4), the sequence of clusters ordered in decreasing size and multiplied through by n^{-(τ -2)/(τ -1)} converges as n→ ∞ to a sequence of decreasing non-degenerate random variables. Here, we study the tails of the limit of the rescaled largest cluster, i.e., the probability that the scaling limit of the largest cluster takes a large value u, as a function of u. This extends a related result of Pittel (J Combin Theory Ser B 82(2):237-269, 2001) for the Erdős-Rényi random graph to the setting of rank-1 inhomogeneous random graphs with infinite third moment degrees. We make use of delicate large deviations and weak convergence arguments.

  7. A participatory parent-focused intervention promoting physical activity in preschools: design of a cluster-randomized trial

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    Hoffmann Kristina

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With rates of childhood obesity increasing, physical activity (PA promotion especially in young children has assumed greater importance. Given the limited effectiveness of most interventions to date, new approaches are needed. The General Systems theory suggests that involving parents as intervention targets may be effective in fostering healthier life styles in children. We describe the development of a parent-focused participatory intervention and the procedures used to evaluate its effectiveness in increasing daily PA in preschoolers. Methods/Design Thirty-seven South German preschools were identified for this study and agreed to participate. Using a two-armed, controlled cluster-randomized trial design we test a participatory intervention with parents as the primary target group and potential agents of behavioural change. Specifically, the intervention is designed to engage parents in the development, refinement and selection of project ideas to promote PA and in incorporating these ideas into daily routines within the preschool community, consisting of children, teachers and parents. Our study is embedded within an existing state-sponsored programme providing structured gym lessons to preschool children. Thus, child-based PA outcomes from the study arm with the parent-focused intervention and the state-sponsored programme are compared with those from the study arm with the state-sponsored programme alone. The evaluation entails baseline measurements of study outcomes as well as follow-up measurements at 6 and 12 months. Accelerometry measures PA intensity over a period of six days, with the mean over six days used as the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcomes include childrens' BMI, a sum of averaged skin fold thickness measurements across multiple sites, and PA behaviour. Longitudinal multilevel models are used to assess within-subject change and between-group differences in study outcomes, adjusted for covariates

  8. Exploring biological network structure with clustered random networks

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    Bansal Shweta

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Complex biological systems are often modeled as networks of interacting units. Networks of biochemical interactions among proteins, epidemiological contacts among hosts, and trophic interactions in ecosystems, to name a few, have provided useful insights into the dynamical processes that shape and traverse these systems. The degrees of nodes (numbers of interactions and the extent of clustering (the tendency for a set of three nodes to be interconnected are two of many well-studied network properties that can fundamentally shape a system. Disentangling the interdependent effects of the various network properties, however, can be difficult. Simple network models can help us quantify the structure of empirical networked systems and understand the impact of various topological properties on dynamics. Results Here we develop and implement a new Markov chain simulation algorithm to generate simple, connected random graphs that have a specified degree sequence and level of clustering, but are random in all other respects. The implementation of the algorithm (ClustRNet: Clustered Random Networks provides the generation of random graphs optimized according to a local or global, and relative or absolute measure of clustering. We compare our algorithm to other similar methods and show that ours more successfully produces desired network characteristics. Finding appropriate null models is crucial in bioinformatics research, and is often difficult, particularly for biological networks. As we demonstrate, the networks generated by ClustRNet can serve as random controls when investigating the impacts of complex network features beyond the byproduct of degree and clustering in empirical networks. Conclusion ClustRNet generates ensembles of graphs of specified edge structure and clustering. These graphs allow for systematic study of the impacts of connectivity and redundancies on network function and dynamics. This process is a key step in

  9. The Effectiveness of Healthy Start Home Visit Program: Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Cynthia; Tsang, Sandra; Heung, Kitty

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The study reported the effectiveness of a home visit program for disadvantaged Chinese parents with preschool children, using cluster randomized controlled trial design. Method: Participants included 191 parents and their children from 24 preschools, with 84 dyads (12 preschools) in the intervention group and 107 dyads (12 preschools) in…

  10. Preventing knee injuries in adolescent female football players - design of a cluster randomized controlled trial [NCT00894595].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hägglund, Martin; Waldén, Markus; Atroshi, Isam

    2009-06-23

    Knee injuries in football are common regardless of age, gender or playing level, but adolescent females seem to have the highest risk. The consequences after severe knee injury, for example anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, are well-known, but less is known about knee injury prevention. We have designed a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effect of a warm-up program aimed at preventing acute knee injury in adolescent female football. In this cluster randomized trial 516 teams (309 clusters) in eight regional football districts in Sweden with female players aged 13-17 years were randomized into an intervention group (260 teams) or a control group (256 teams). The teams in the intervention group were instructed to do a structured warm-up program at two training sessions per week throughout the 2009 competitive season (April to October) and those in the control group were informed to train and play as usual. Sixty-eight sports physical therapists are assigned to the clubs to assist both groups in data collection and to examine the players' acute knee injuries during the study period. Three different forms are used in the trial: (1) baseline player data form collected at the start of the trial, (2) computer-based registration form collected every month, on which one of the coaches/team leaders documents individual player exposure, and (3) injury report form on which the study therapists report acute knee injuries resulting in time loss from training or match play. The primary outcome is the incidence of ACL injury and the secondary outcomes are the incidence of any acute knee injury (except contusion) and incidence of severe knee injury (defined as injury resulting in absence of more than 4 weeks). Outcome measures are assessed after the end of the 2009 season. Prevention of knee injury is beneficial for players, clubs, insurance companies, and society. If the warm-up program is proven to be effective in reducing the incidence of knee

  11. A systematic review of the usage of flow diagram in cluster randomized trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kostić M.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Flow diagram represent an integral part of consolidated standards of reporting trials (CONSORT. Its use in reporting cluster randomization trials is highly recommended. The aim of this article is to present frequency of the use of flow diagram in cluster randomized trials in accordance with standards of reporting. The team has researched Medline database and singled-out 474 studies with cluster randomization for analysis. The studies were reviewed to identify the use of graphic representation, compliance with standards of reporting and the date when study was published. Depending from its duration, studies were divided on completed, and those still ongoing. Usage of CONSORT is recorded in 145 (31% literature units. Frequency of flow diagram was statistically much higher in studies which were in compliance with standards (86,2%, in comparison to those which did not use CONSORT guidelines (71,4%, as well as in completed studies (81,2% in comparison to pilot project studies (54,3%. Number of cluster randomized trials gathered through MEDLINE's search of key words 'cluster randomized trial [ti]' and 'cluster randomised trial [ti]', as well as the use of CONSORT in the reports of cluster randomized trials, are showing linear growth over time (p<0,001. Frequency of flow diagram is higher in the reports of cluster randomized trials that were done in accordance with the standards of reporting.

  12. Preventing knee injuries in adolescent female football players – design of a cluster randomized controlled trial [NCT00894595

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waldén Markus

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Knee injuries in football are common regardless of age, gender or playing level, but adolescent females seem to have the highest risk. The consequences after severe knee injury, for example anterior cruciate ligament (ACL injury, are well-known, but less is known about knee injury prevention. We have designed a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT to evaluate the effect of a warm-up program aimed at preventing acute knee injury in adolescent female football. Methods In this cluster randomized trial 516 teams (309 clusters in eight regional football districts in Sweden with female players aged 13–17 years were randomized into an intervention group (260 teams or a control group (256 teams. The teams in the intervention group were instructed to do a structured warm-up program at two training sessions per week throughout the 2009 competitive season (April to October and those in the control group were informed to train and play as usual. Sixty-eight sports physical therapists are assigned to the clubs to assist both groups in data collection and to examine the players' acute knee injuries during the study period. Three different forms are used in the trial: (1 baseline player data form collected at the start of the trial, (2 computer-based registration form collected every month, on which one of the coaches/team leaders documents individual player exposure, and (3 injury report form on which the study therapists report acute knee injuries resulting in time loss from training or match play. The primary outcome is the incidence of ACL injury and the secondary outcomes are the incidence of any acute knee injury (except contusion and incidence of severe knee injury (defined as injury resulting in absence of more than 4 weeks. Outcome measures are assessed after the end of the 2009 season. Discussion Prevention of knee injury is beneficial for players, clubs, insurance companies, and society. If the warm-up program is proven to

  13. Microsoft Hyper-V cluster design

    CERN Document Server

    Siron, Eric

    2013-01-01

    This book is written in a friendly and practical style with numerous tutorials centred on common as well as atypical Hyper-V cluster designs. This book also features a sample cluster design throughout to help you learn how to design a Hyper-V in a real-world scenario.Microsoft Hyper-V Cluster Design is perfect for the systems administrator who has a good understanding of Windows Server in an Active Directory domain and is ready to expand into a highly available virtualized environment. It only expects that you will be familiar with basic hypervisor terminology.

  14. A cluster-randomized, placebo-controlled, maternal vitamin A or beta-carotene supplementation trial in Bangladesh: design and methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labrique, Alain B; Christian, Parul; Klemm, Rolf D W; Rashid, Mahbubur; Shamim, Abu Ahmed; Massie, Allan; Schulze, Kerry; Hackman, Andre; West, Keith P

    2011-04-21

    We present the design, methods and population characteristics of a large community trial that assessed the efficacy of a weekly supplement containing vitamin A or beta-carotene, at recommended dietary levels, in reducing maternal mortality from early gestation through 12 weeks postpartum. We identify challenges faced and report solutions in implementing an intervention trial under low-resource, rural conditions, including the importance of population choice in promoting generalizability, maintaining rigorous data quality control to reduce inter- and intra- worker variation, and optimizing efficiencies in information and resources flow from and to the field. This trial was a double-masked, cluster-randomized, dual intervention, placebo-controlled trial in a contiguous rural area of ~435 sq km with a population of ~650,000 in Gaibandha and Rangpur Districts of Northwestern Bangladesh. Approximately 120,000 married women of reproductive age underwent 5-weekly home surveillance, of whom ~60,000 were detected as pregnant, enrolled into the trial and gave birth to ~44,000 live-born infants. Upon enrollment, at ~ 9 weeks' gestation, pregnant women received a weekly oral supplement containing vitamin A (7000 ug retinol equivalents (RE)), beta-carotene (42 mg, or ~7000 ug RE) or a placebo through 12 weeks postpartum, according to prior randomized allocation of their cluster of residence. Systems described include enlistment and 5-weekly home surveillance for pregnancy based on menstrual history and urine testing, weekly supervised supplementation, periodic risk factor interviews, maternal and infant vital outcome monitoring, birth defect surveillance and clinical/biochemical substudies. The primary outcome was pregnancy-related mortality assessed for 3 months following parturition. Secondary outcomes included fetal loss due to miscarriage or stillbirth, infant mortality under three months of age, maternal obstetric and infectious morbidity, infant infectious morbidity

  15. A cluster-randomized, placebo-controlled, maternal vitamin a or beta-carotene supplementation trial in bangladesh: design and methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schulze Kerry

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We present the design, methods and population characteristics of a large community trial that assessed the efficacy of a weekly supplement containing vitamin A or beta-carotene, at recommended dietary levels, in reducing maternal mortality from early gestation through 12 weeks postpartum. We identify challenges faced and report solutions in implementing an intervention trial under low-resource, rural conditions, including the importance of population choice in promoting generalizability, maintaining rigorous data quality control to reduce inter- and intra- worker variation, and optimizing efficiencies in information and resources flow from and to the field. Methods This trial was a double-masked, cluster-randomized, dual intervention, placebo-controlled trial in a contiguous rural area of ~435 sq km with a population of ~650,000 in Gaibandha and Rangpur Districts of Northwestern Bangladesh. Approximately 120,000 married women of reproductive age underwent 5-weekly home surveillance, of whom ~60,000 were detected as pregnant, enrolled into the trial and gave birth to ~44,000 live-born infants. Upon enrollment, at ~ 9 weeks' gestation, pregnant women received a weekly oral supplement containing vitamin A (7000 ug retinol equivalents (RE, beta-carotene (42 mg, or ~7000 ug RE or a placebo through 12 weeks postpartum, according to prior randomized allocation of their cluster of residence. Systems described include enlistment and 5-weekly home surveillance for pregnancy based on menstrual history and urine testing, weekly supervised supplementation, periodic risk factor interviews, maternal and infant vital outcome monitoring, birth defect surveillance and clinical/biochemical substudies. Results The primary outcome was pregnancy-related mortality assessed for 3 months following parturition. Secondary outcomes included fetal loss due to miscarriage or stillbirth, infant mortality under three months of age, maternal obstetric and

  16. Inadequacy of ethical conduct and reporting of stepped wedge cluster randomized trials: Results from a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taljaard, Monica; Hemming, Karla; Shah, Lena; Giraudeau, Bruno; Grimshaw, Jeremy M; Weijer, Charles

    2017-08-01

    Background/aims The use of the stepped wedge cluster randomized design is rapidly increasing. This design is commonly used to evaluate health policy and service delivery interventions. Stepped wedge cluster randomized trials have unique characteristics that complicate their ethical interpretation. The 2012 Ottawa Statement provides comprehensive guidance on the ethical design and conduct of cluster randomized trials, and the 2010 CONSORT extension for cluster randomized trials provides guidelines for reporting. Our aims were to assess the adequacy of the ethical conduct and reporting of stepped wedge trials to date, focusing on research ethics review and informed consent. Methods We conducted a systematic review of stepped wedge cluster randomized trials in health research published up to 2014 in English language journals. We extracted details of study intervention and data collection procedures, as well as reporting of research ethics review and informed consent. Two reviewers independently extracted data from each trial; discrepancies were resolved through discussion. We identified the presence of any research participants at the cluster level and the individual level. We assessed ethical conduct by tabulating reporting of research ethics review and informed consent against the presence of research participants. Results Of 32 identified stepped wedge trials, only 24 (75%) reported review by a research ethics committee, and only 16 (50%) reported informed consent from any research participants-yet, all trials included research participants at some level. In the subgroup of 20 trials with research participants at cluster level, only 4 (20%) reported informed consent from such participants; in 26 trials with individual-level research participants, only 15 (58%) reported their informed consent. Interventions (regardless of whether targeting cluster- or individual-level participants) were delivered at the group level in more than two-thirds of trials; nine trials (28

  17. Recruitment to Online Therapies for Depression: Pilot Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Ray B; Goldsmith, Lesley; Hewson, Paul; Williams, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    Background Raising awareness of online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could benefit many people with depression, but we do not know how purchasing online advertising compares to placing free links from relevant local websites in increasing uptake. Objective To pilot a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing purchase of Google AdWords with placing free website links in raising awareness of online CBT resources for depression in order to better understand research design issues....

  18. Fit 5 Kids TV reduction program for Latino preschoolers: A cluster randomized controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reducing Latino preschoolers' TV viewing is needed to reduce their risk of obesity and other chronic diseases. This study's objective was to evaluate the Fit 5 Kids (F5K) TV reduction program's impact on Latino preschooler's TV viewing. The study design was a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT...

  19. Comparison of population-averaged and cluster-specific models for the analysis of cluster randomized trials with missing binary outcomes: a simulation study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Jinhui

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstracts Background The objective of this simulation study is to compare the accuracy and efficiency of population-averaged (i.e. generalized estimating equations (GEE and cluster-specific (i.e. random-effects logistic regression (RELR models for analyzing data from cluster randomized trials (CRTs with missing binary responses. Methods In this simulation study, clustered responses were generated from a beta-binomial distribution. The number of clusters per trial arm, the number of subjects per cluster, intra-cluster correlation coefficient, and the percentage of missing data were allowed to vary. Under the assumption of covariate dependent missingness, missing outcomes were handled by complete case analysis, standard multiple imputation (MI and within-cluster MI strategies. Data were analyzed using GEE and RELR. Performance of the methods was assessed using standardized bias, empirical standard error, root mean squared error (RMSE, and coverage probability. Results GEE performs well on all four measures — provided the downward bias of the standard error (when the number of clusters per arm is small is adjusted appropriately — under the following scenarios: complete case analysis for CRTs with a small amount of missing data; standard MI for CRTs with variance inflation factor (VIF 50. RELR performs well only when a small amount of data was missing, and complete case analysis was applied. Conclusion GEE performs well as long as appropriate missing data strategies are adopted based on the design of CRTs and the percentage of missing data. In contrast, RELR does not perform well when either standard or within-cluster MI strategy is applied prior to the analysis.

  20. Structuring communication relationships for interprofessional teamwork (SCRIPT): a cluster randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    Zwarenstein, Merrick; Reeves, Scott; Russell, Ann; Kenaszchuk, Chris; Conn, Lesley Gotlib; Miller, Karen-Lee; Lingard, Lorelei; Thorpe, Kevin E

    2007-01-01

    Abstract Background Despite a burgeoning interest in using interprofessional approaches to promote effective collaboration in health care, systematic reviews find scant evidence of benefit. This protocol describes the first cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) to design and evaluate an intervention intended to improve interprofessional collaborative communication and patient-centred care. Objectives The objective is to evaluate the effects of a four-component, hospital-based staff commun...

  1. Enhancing a sustainable healthy working life: design of a clustered randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koolhaas Wendy

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To improve a sustainable healthy working life, we have developed the intervention 'Staying healthy at work', which endeavours to enhance work participation of employees aged 45 years and older by increasing their problem-solving capacity and stimulating their awareness of their role and responsibility towards a healthy working life. This research study aims to evaluate the process and the effectiveness of the intervention compared with care as usual. Methods/design The study is a cluster-randomized controlled trial design (randomized at the supervisor level, with a 1-year follow-up. Workers aged 45 years and older have been enrolled in the study. Workers in the intervention group are receiving the intervention 'Staying healthy at work'. The main focus of the intervention is to promote a healthy working life of ageing workers by: (1 changing workers awareness and behaviour, by emphasizing their own decisive role in attaining goals; (2 improving the supervisors' ability to support workers in taking the necessary action, by means of enhancing knowledge and competence; and (3 enhancing the use of the human resource professionals and the occupational health tools available within the organization. The supervisors in the intervention group have been trained how to present themselves as a source of support for the worker. Workers in the control group are receiving care as usual; supervisors in the control group have not participated in the training. Measurements have been taken at baseline and will be followed up at 3, 6 and 12 months. The primary outcome measures are vitality, work ability and productivity. The secondary outcomes measures include fatigue, job strain, work attitude, self-efficacy and work engagement. A process evaluation will be conducted at both the supervisor and the worker levels, and satisfaction with the content of the intervention will be assessed. Discussion The intervention 'Staying healthy at work' has the

  2. Engineering practice variation through provider agreement: a cluster-randomized feasibility trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarren, Madeline; Twedt, Elaine L; Mansuri, Faizmohamed M; Nelson, Philip R; Peek, Brian T

    2014-01-01

    Minimal-risk randomized trials that can be embedded in practice could facilitate learning health-care systems. A cluster-randomized design was proposed to compare treatment strategies by assigning clusters (eg, providers) to "favor" a particular drug, with providers retaining autonomy for specific patients. Patient informed consent might be waived, broadening inclusion. However, it is not known if providers will adhere to the assignment or whether institutional review boards will waive consent. We evaluated the feasibility of this trial design. Agreeable providers were randomized to "favor" either hydrochlorothiazide or chlorthalidone when starting patients on thiazide-type therapy for hypertension. The assignment applied when the provider had already decided to start a thiazide, and providers could deviate from the strategy as needed. Prescriptions were aggregated to produce a provider strategy-adherence rate. All four institutional review boards waived documentation of patient consent. Providers (n=18) followed their assigned strategy for most of their new thiazide prescriptions (n=138 patients). In the "favor hydrochlorothiazide" group, there was 99% adherence to that strategy. In the "favor chlorthalidone" group, chlorthalidone comprised 77% of new thiazide starts, up from 1% in the pre-study period. When the assigned strategy was followed, dosing in the recommended range was 48% for hydrochlorothiazide (25-50 mg/day) and 100% for chlorthalidone (12.5-25.0 mg/day). Providers were motivated to participate by a desire to contribute to a comparative effectiveness study. A study promotional mug, provider information letter, and interactions with the site investigator were identified as most helpful in reminding providers of their study drug strategy. Providers prescribed according to an assigned drug-choice strategy most of the time for the purpose of a comparative effectiveness study. This simple design could facilitate research participation and behavior change

  3. Complementary feeding: a Global Network cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasha Omrana

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inadequate and inappropriate complementary feeding are major factors contributing to excess morbidity and mortality in young children in low resource settings. Animal source foods in particular are cited as essential to achieve micronutrient requirements. The efficacy of the recommendation for regular meat consumption, however, has not been systematically evaluated. Methods/Design A cluster randomized efficacy trial was designed to test the hypothesis that 12 months of daily intake of beef added as a complementary food would result in greater linear growth velocity than a micronutrient fortified equi-caloric rice-soy cereal supplement. The study is being conducted in 4 sites of the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research located in Guatemala, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC and Zambia in communities with toddler stunting rates of at least 20%. Five clusters per country were randomized to each of the food arms, with 30 infants in each cluster. The daily meat or cereal supplement was delivered to the home by community coordinators, starting when the infants were 6 months of age and continuing through 18 months. All participating mothers received nutrition education messages to enhance complementary feeding practices delivered by study coordinators and through posters at the local health center. Outcome measures, obtained at 6, 9, 12, and 18 months by a separate assessment team, included anthropometry; dietary variety and diversity scores; biomarkers of iron, zinc and Vitamin B12 status (18 months; neurocognitive development (12 and 18 months; and incidence of infectious morbidity throughout the trial. The trial was supervised by a trial steering committee, and an independent data monitoring committee provided oversight for the safety and conduct of the trial. Discussion Findings from this trial will test the efficacy of daily intake of meat commencing at age 6 months and, if beneficial, will

  4. Random clustering ferns for multimodal object recognition

    OpenAIRE

    Villamizar Vergel, Michael Alejandro; Garrell Zulueta, Anais; Sanfeliu Cortés, Alberto; Moreno-Noguer, Francesc

    2017-01-01

    The final publication is available at link.springer.com We propose an efficient and robust method for the recognition of objects exhibiting multiple intra-class modes, where each one is associated with a particular object appearance. The proposed method, called random clustering ferns, combines synergically a single and real-time classifier, based on the boosted assembling of extremely randomized trees (ferns), with an unsupervised and probabilistic approach in order to recognize efficient...

  5. Evaluation of stability of k-means cluster ensembles with respect to random initialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuncheva, Ludmila I; Vetrov, Dmitry P

    2006-11-01

    Many clustering algorithms, including cluster ensembles, rely on a random component. Stability of the results across different runs is considered to be an asset of the algorithm. The cluster ensembles considered here are based on k-means clusterers. Each clusterer is assigned a random target number of clusters, k and is started from a random initialization. Here, we use 10 artificial and 10 real data sets to study ensemble stability with respect to random k, and random initialization. The data sets were chosen to have a small number of clusters (two to seven) and a moderate number of data points (up to a few hundred). Pairwise stability is defined as the adjusted Rand index between pairs of clusterers in the ensemble, averaged across all pairs. Nonpairwise stability is defined as the entropy of the consensus matrix of the ensemble. An experimental comparison with the stability of the standard k-means algorithm was carried out for k from 2 to 20. The results revealed that ensembles are generally more stable, markedly so for larger k. To establish whether stability can serve as a cluster validity index, we first looked at the relationship between stability and accuracy with respect to the number of clusters, k. We found that such a relationship strongly depends on the data set, varying from almost perfect positive correlation (0.97, for the glass data) to almost perfect negative correlation (-0.93, for the crabs data). We propose a new combined stability index to be the sum of the pairwise individual and ensemble stabilities. This index was found to correlate better with the ensemble accuracy. Following the hypothesis that a point of stability of a clustering algorithm corresponds to a structure found in the data, we used the stability measures to pick the number of clusters. The combined stability index gave best results.

  6. Measurement Error Correction Formula for Cluster-Level Group Differences in Cluster Randomized and Observational Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Sun-Joo; Preacher, Kristopher J.

    2016-01-01

    Multilevel modeling (MLM) is frequently used to detect cluster-level group differences in cluster randomized trial and observational studies. Group differences on the outcomes (posttest scores) are detected by controlling for the covariate (pretest scores) as a proxy variable for unobserved factors that predict future attributes. The pretest and…

  7. Cluster Dynamics: Laying the Foundation for Tailoring the Design of Cluster ASSE

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-02-25

    AFRL-AFOSR-VA-TR-2016-0081 CLUSTER DYNAMICS: LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR TAILORING THE DESIGN OF CLUSTER ASSE Albert Castleman PENNSYLVANIA STATE...15-10-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE CLUSTER DYNAMICS: LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR TAILORING THE DESIGN OF CLUSTER ASSEMBLED NANOSCALE MATERIALS 5a... clusters as the building blocks of new materials with tailored properties that are beneficial to the AFOSR. Our continuing program is composed of two

  8. Community-based intermittent mass testing and treatment for malaria in an area of high transmission intensity, western Kenya: study design and methodology for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Aaron M; Awino, Nobert; Odongo, Wycliffe; Abong'o, Benard; Gimnig, John; Otieno, Kephas; Shi, Ya Ping; Were, Vincent; Allen, Denise Roth; Were, Florence; Sang, Tony; Obor, David; Williamson, John; Hamel, Mary J; Patrick Kachur, S; Slutsker, Laurence; Lindblade, Kim A; Kariuki, Simon; Desai, Meghna

    2017-06-07

    Most human Plasmodium infections in western Kenya are asymptomatic and are believed to contribute importantly to malaria transmission. Elimination of asymptomatic infections requires active treatment approaches, such as mass testing and treatment (MTaT) or mass drug administration (MDA), as infected persons do not seek care for their infection. Evaluations of community-based approaches that are designed to reduce malaria transmission require careful attention to study design to ensure that important effects can be measured accurately. This manuscript describes the study design and methodology of a cluster-randomized controlled trial to evaluate a MTaT approach for malaria transmission reduction in an area of high malaria transmission. Ten health facilities in western Kenya were purposively selected for inclusion. The communities within 3 km of each health facility were divided into three clusters of approximately equal population size. Two clusters around each health facility were randomly assigned to the control arm, and one to the intervention arm. Three times per year for 2 years, after the long and short rains, and again before the long rains, teams of community health volunteers visited every household within the intervention arm, tested all consenting individuals with malaria rapid diagnostic tests, and treated all positive individuals with an effective anti-malarial. The effect of mass testing and treatment on malaria transmission was measured through population-based longitudinal cohorts, outpatient visits for clinical malaria, periodic population-based cross-sectional surveys, and entomological indices.

  9. Ferromagnetic clusters induced by a nonmagnetic random disorder in diluted magnetic semiconductors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bui, Dinh-Hoi [Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University, K7/25 Quang Trung, Danang (Viet Nam); Physics Department, Hue University’s College of Education, 34 Le Loi, Hue (Viet Nam); Phan, Van-Nham, E-mail: phanvannham@dtu.edu.vn [Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University, K7/25 Quang Trung, Danang (Viet Nam)

    2016-12-15

    In this work, we analyze the nonmagnetic random disorder leading to a formation of ferromagnetic clusters in diluted magnetic semiconductors. The nonmagnetic random disorder arises from randomness in the host lattice. Including the disorder to the Kondo lattice model with random distribution of magnetic dopants, the ferromagnetic–paramagnetic transition in the system is investigated in the framework of dynamical mean-field theory. At a certain low temperature one finds a fraction of ferromagnetic sites transiting to the paramagnetic state. Enlarging the nonmagnetic random disorder strength, the paramagnetic regimes expand resulting in the formation of the ferromagnetic clusters.

  10. Clustering, randomness, and regularity in cloud fields. 4: Stratocumulus cloud fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Chou, J.; Weger, R. C.; Welch, R. M.

    1994-01-01

    To complete the analysis of the spatial distribution of boundary layer cloudiness, the present study focuses on nine stratocumulus Landsat scenes. The results indicate many similarities between stratocumulus and cumulus spatial distributions. Most notably, at full spatial resolution all scenes exhibit a decidedly clustered distribution. The strength of the clustering signal decreases with increasing cloud size; the clusters themselves consist of a few clouds (less than 10), occupy a small percentage of the cloud field area (less than 5%), contain between 20% and 60% of the cloud field population, and are randomly located within the scene. In contrast, stratocumulus in almost every respect are more strongly clustered than are cumulus cloud fields. For instance, stratocumulus clusters contain more clouds per cluster, occupy a larger percentage of the total area, and have a larger percentage of clouds participating in clusters than the corresponding cumulus examples. To investigate clustering at intermediate spatial scales, the local dimensionality statistic is introduced. Results obtained from this statistic provide the first direct evidence for regularity among large (more than 900 m in diameter) clouds in stratocumulus and cumulus cloud fields, in support of the inhibition hypothesis of Ramirez and Bras (1990). Also, the size compensated point-to-cloud cumulative distribution function statistic is found to be necessary to obtain a consistent description of stratocumulus cloud distributions. A hypothesis regarding the underlying physical mechanisms responsible for cloud clustering is presented. It is suggested that cloud clusters often arise from 4 to 10 triggering events localized within regions less than 2 km in diameter and randomly distributed within the cloud field. As the size of the cloud surpasses the scale of the triggering region, the clustering signal weakens and the larger cloud locations become more random.

  11. Clustering, randomness, and regularity in cloud fields. 4. Stratocumulus cloud fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Chou, J.; Weger, R. C.; Welch, R. M.

    1994-07-01

    To complete the analysis of the spatial distribution of boundary layer cloudiness, the present study focuses on nine stratocumulus Landsat scenes. The results indicate many similarities between stratocumulus and cumulus spatial distributions. Most notably, at full spatial resolution all scenes exhibit a decidedly clustered distribution. The strength of the clustering signal decreases with increasing cloud size; the clusters themselves consist of a few clouds (less than 10), occupy a small percentage of the cloud field area (less than 5%), contain between 20% and 60% of the cloud field population, and are randomly located within the scene. In contrast, stratocumulus in almost every respect are more strongly clustered than are cumulus cloud fields. For instance, stratocumulus clusters contain more clouds per cluster, occupy a larger percentage of the total area, and have a larger percentage of clouds participating in clusters than the corresponding cumulus examples. To investigate clustering at intermediate spatial scales, the local dimensionality statistic is introduced. Results obtained from this statistic provide the first direct evidence for regularity among large (>900 m in diameter) clouds in stratocumulus and cumulus cloud fields, in support of the inhibition hypothesis of Ramirez and Bras (1990). Also, the size compensated point-to-cloud cumulative distribution function statistic is found to be necessary to obtain a consistent description of stratocumulus cloud distributions. A hypothesis regarding the underlying physical mechanisms responsible for cloud clustering is presented. It is suggested that cloud clusters often arise from 4 to 10 triggering events localized within regions less than 2 km in diameter and randomly distributed within the cloud field. As the size of the cloud surpasses the scale of the triggering region, the clustering signal weakens and the larger cloud locations become more random.

  12. A new combined strategy to implement a community occupational therapy intervention: designing a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adang Eddy

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Even effective interventions for people with dementia and their caregivers require specific implementation efforts. A pilot study showed that the highly effective community occupational therapy in dementia (COTiD program was not implemented optimally due to various barriers. To decrease these barriers and make implementation of the program more effective a combined implementation (CI strategy was developed. In our study we will compare the effectiveness of this CI strategy with the usual educational (ED strategy. Methods In this cluster randomized, single-blinded, controlled trial, each cluster consists of at least two occupational therapists, a manager, and a physician working at Dutch healthcare organizations that deliver community occupational therapy. Forty-five clusters, stratified by healthcare setting (nursing home, hospital, mental health service, have been allocated randomly to either the intervention group (CI strategy or the control group (ED strategy. The study population consists of the professionals included in each cluster and community-dwelling people with dementia and their caregivers. The primary outcome measures are the use of community OT, the adherence of OTs to the COTiD program, and the cost effectiveness of implementing the COTiD program in outpatient care. Secondary outcome measures are patient and caregiver outcomes and knowledge of managers, physicians and OTs about the COTiD program. Discussion Implementation research is fairly new in the field of occupational therapy, making this a unique study. This study does not only evaluate the effects of the CI-strategy on professionals, but also the effects of professionals' degree of implementation on client and caregiver outcomes. Clinical trials registration NCT01117285

  13. Extending cluster Lot Quality Assurance Sampling designs for surveillance programs

    OpenAIRE

    Hund, Lauren; Pagano, Marcello

    2014-01-01

    Lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) has a long history of applications in industrial quality control. LQAS is frequently used for rapid surveillance in global health settings, with areas classified as poor or acceptable performance based on the binary classification of an indicator. Historically, LQAS surveys have relied on simple random samples from the population; however, implementing two-stage cluster designs for surveillance sampling is often more cost-effective than ...

  14. Estimating overall exposure effects for the clustered and censored outcome using random effect Tobit regression models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Griswold, Michael E

    2016-11-30

    The random effect Tobit model is a regression model that accommodates both left- and/or right-censoring and within-cluster dependence of the outcome variable. Regression coefficients of random effect Tobit models have conditional interpretations on a constructed latent dependent variable and do not provide inference of overall exposure effects on the original outcome scale. Marginalized random effects model (MREM) permits likelihood-based estimation of marginal mean parameters for the clustered data. For random effect Tobit models, we extend the MREM to marginalize over both the random effects and the normal space and boundary components of the censored response to estimate overall exposure effects at population level. We also extend the 'Average Predicted Value' method to estimate the model-predicted marginal means for each person under different exposure status in a designated reference group by integrating over the random effects and then use the calculated difference to assess the overall exposure effect. The maximum likelihood estimation is proposed utilizing a quasi-Newton optimization algorithm with Gauss-Hermite quadrature to approximate the integration of the random effects. We use these methods to carefully analyze two real datasets. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Effectiveness of the 'Healthy School and Drugs' prevention programme on adolescents' substance use: a randomized clustered trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Malmberg, M.; Kleinjan, M.; Overbeek, G.; Vermulst, A.; Monshouwer, K.; Lammers, J.; Vollebergh, W.A.M.; Engels, R.C.M.E.

    2014-01-01

    Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of the Healthy School and Drugs programme on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use among Dutch early adolescents. Design: Randomized clustered trial with two intervention conditions (i.e. e-learning and integral). Setting: General population of 11-15-year-old

  16. Effectiveness of the 'Healthy School and Drugs' prevention programme on adolescents' substance use : A randomized clustered trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Malmberg, Monique; Kleinjan, Marloes; Overbeek, Geertjan; Vermulst, Ad; Monshouwer, Karin; Lammers, Jeroen; Vollebergh, Wilma A M; Engels, Rutger C M E

    2014-01-01

    Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of the Healthy School and Drugs programme on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use among Dutch early adolescents. Design: Randomized clustered trial with two intervention conditions (i.e. e-learning and integral). Setting: General population of 11-15-year-old

  17. Effectiveness of the 'Healthy School and Drugs' prevention programme on adolescents' substance use: a randomized clustered trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Malmberg, M.; Kleinjan, M.; Overbeek, G.J.; Vermulst, A.A.; Monshouwer, K.; Lammers, J.; Vollebergh, W.A.M.; Engels, R.C.M.E.

    2014-01-01

    Aim To evaluate the effectiveness of the Healthy School and Drugs programme on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use among Dutch early adolescents. Design Randomized clustered trial with two intervention conditions (i.e. e-learning and integral). Setting General population of 11-15-year-old adolescents

  18. On the limiting characteristics of quantum random number generators at various clusterings of photocounts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molotkov, S. N.

    2017-03-01

    Various methods for the clustering of photocounts constituting a sequence of random numbers are considered. It is shown that the clustering of photocounts resulting in the Fermi-Dirac distribution makes it possible to achieve the theoretical limit of the random number generation rate.

  19. SPACE for physical activity - a multicomponent intervention study: study design and baseline findings from a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristensen Peter L

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of the School site, Play Spot, Active transport, Club fitness and Environment (SPACE Study was to develop, document, and assess a comprehensive intervention in local school districts that promote everyday physical activity (PA among 11-15-year-old adolescents. The study is based on a social ecological framework, and is designed to implement organizational and structural changes in the physical environment. Methods/design The SPACE Study used a cluster randomized controlled study design. Twenty-one eligible schools in the Region of Southern Denmark were matched and randomized in seven pairs according to eight matching variables summarized in an audit tool (crow-fly distance from residence to school for 5-6th graders; area household income; area education level; area ethnicity distribution; school district urbanity; condition and characteristics of school outdoor areas; school health policy; and active transport in the local area. Baseline measurements with accelerometers, questionnaires, diaries, and physical fitness tests were obtained in Spring 2010 in 5-6th grade in 7 intervention and 7 control schools, with follow-up measurements to be taken in Spring 2012 in 7-8th grade. The primary outcome measure is objective average daily physical activity and will be supported by analyses of time spent in moderate to vigorous activity and time spent sedentary. Other secondary outcome measures will be obtained, such as, overweight, physical fitness, active commuting to/from school and physical activity in recess periods. Discussion A total of 1348 adolescents in 5-6th grade in the Region of Southern Denmark participated at baseline (n = 14 schools. The response rate was high in all type of measurements (72.6-97.4%. There were no significant differences between intervention and control groups at baseline according to selected background variables and outcome measures: gender (p = .54, age (p = .17, BMI (p = .59, waist

  20. Cluster designs to assess the prevalence of acute malnutrition by lot quality assurance sampling: a validation study by computer simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olives, Casey; Pagano, Marcello; Deitchler, Megan; Hedt, Bethany L; Egge, Kari; Valadez, Joseph J

    2009-04-01

    Traditional lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) methods require simple random sampling to guarantee valid results. However, cluster sampling has been proposed to reduce the number of random starting points. This study uses simulations to examine the classification error of two such designs, a 67x3 (67 clusters of three observations) and a 33x6 (33 clusters of six observations) sampling scheme to assess the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM). Further, we explore the use of a 67x3 sequential sampling scheme for LQAS classification of GAM prevalence. Results indicate that, for independent clusters with moderate intracluster correlation for the GAM outcome, the three sampling designs maintain approximate validity for LQAS analysis. Sequential sampling can substantially reduce the average sample size that is required for data collection. The presence of intercluster correlation can impact dramatically the classification error that is associated with LQAS analysis.

  1. Universal Prevention for Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Children: A Meta-analysis of Randomized and Cluster-Randomized Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlen, Johan; Lenhard, Fabian; Ghaderi, Ata

    2015-12-01

    Although under-diagnosed, anxiety and depression are among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents, leading to severe impairment, increased risk of future psychiatric problems, and a high economic burden to society. Universal prevention may be a potent way to address these widespread problems. There are several benefits to universal relative to targeted interventions because there is limited knowledge as to how to screen for anxiety and depression in the general population. Earlier meta-analyses of the prevention of depression and anxiety symptoms among children suffer from methodological inadequacies such as combining universal, selective, and indicated interventions in the same analyses, and comparing cluster-randomized trials with randomized trials without any correction for clustering effects. The present meta-analysis attempted to determine the effectiveness of universal interventions to prevent anxiety and depressive symptoms after correcting for clustering effects. A systematic search of randomized studies in PsychINFO, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar resulted in 30 eligible studies meeting inclusion criteria, namely peer-reviewed, randomized or cluster-randomized trials of universal interventions for anxiety and depressive symptoms in school-aged children. Sixty-three percent of the studies reported outcome data regarding anxiety and 87 % reported outcome data regarding depression. Seventy percent of the studies used randomization at the cluster level. There were small but significant effects regarding anxiety (.13) and depressive (.11) symptoms as measured at immediate posttest. At follow-up, which ranged from 3 to 48 months, effects were significantly larger than zero regarding depressive (.07) but not anxiety (.11) symptoms. There was no significant moderation effect of the following pre-selected variables: the primary aim of the intervention (anxiety or depression), deliverer of the intervention, gender distribution

  2. Effectiveness of a selective intervention program targeting personality risk factors for alcohol misuse among young adolescents: results of a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lammers, J.; Goossens, F.; Conrod, P.; Engels, R.C.M.E.; Wiers, R.W.H.J.; Kleinjan, M.

    2015-01-01

    Aim The effectiveness of Preventure was tested on drinking behaviour of young adolescents in secondary education in the Netherlands. Design A cluster randomized controlled trial was carried out, with participants assigned randomly to a two-session coping skills intervention or a control

  3. Electronic structure and properties of designer clusters and cluster-assemblies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khanna, S.N.; Jena, P.

    1995-01-01

    Using self-consistent calculations based on density functional theory, we demonstrate that electronic shell filling and close atomic packing criteria can be used to design ultra-stable clusters. Interaction of these clusters with each other and with gas atoms is found to be weak confirming their chemical inertness. A crystal composed of these inert clusters is expected to have electronic properties that are markedly different from crystals where atoms are the building blocks. The recent observation of ferromagnetism in potassium clusters assembled in zeolite cages is discussed. (orig.)

  4. Design and methods for a cluster randomized trial of the Sunless Study: A skin cancer prevention intervention promoting sunless tanning among beach visitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merriam Philip

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Skin cancer is the most prevalent yet most preventable cancer in the US. While protecting oneself from ultraviolet radiation (UVR can largely reduce risk, rates of unprotected sun exposure remain high. Because the desire to be tan often outweighs health concerns among sunbathers, very few interventions have been successful at reducing sunbathing behavior. Sunless tanning (self-tanners and spray tans, a method of achieving the suntanned look without UVR exposure, might be an effective supplement to prevention interventions. Methods and Design This cluster randomized trial will examine whether a beach-based intervention that promotes sunless tanning as a substitute for sunbathing and includes sun damage imaging and sun safety recommendations is superior to a questionnaire only control group in reducing sunbathing frequency. Female beach visitors (N = 250 will be recruited from 2 public beaches in eastern Massachusetts. Beach site will be the unit of randomization. Follow-up assessment will occur at the end of the summer (1-month following intervention and 1 year later. The primary outcome is average sunbathing time per week. The study was designed to provide 90% power for detecting a difference of .70 hours between conditions (standard deviation of 2.0 at 1-year with an intra-cluster correlation coefficient of 0.01 and assuming a 25% rate of loss to follow-up. Secondary outcomes include frequency of sunburns, use of sunless tanning products, and sun protection behavior. Discussion Interventions might be improved by promoting behavioral substitutes for sun exposure, such as sunless tanners, that create a tanned look without exposure to UVR. Trial registration NCT00403377

  5. A semi-supervised method to detect seismic random noise with fuzzy GK clustering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hashemi, Hosein; Javaherian, Abdolrahim; Babuska, Robert

    2008-01-01

    We present a new method to detect random noise in seismic data using fuzzy Gustafson–Kessel (GK) clustering. First, using an adaptive distance norm, a matrix is constructed from the observed seismic amplitudes. The next step is to find centres of ellipsoidal clusters and construct a partition matrix which determines the soft decision boundaries between seismic events and random noise. The GK algorithm updates the cluster centres in order to iteratively minimize the cluster variance. Multiplication of the fuzzy membership function with values of each sample yields new sections; we name them 'clustered sections'. The seismic amplitude values of the clustered sections are given in a way to decrease the level of noise in the original noisy seismic input. In pre-stack data, it is essential to study the clustered sections in a f–k domain; finding the quantitative index for weighting the post-stack data needs a similar approach. Using the knowledge of a human specialist together with the fuzzy unsupervised clustering, the method is a semi-supervised random noise detection. The efficiency of this method is investigated on synthetic and real seismic data for both pre- and post-stack data. The results show a significant improvement of the input noisy sections without harming the important amplitude and phase information of the original data. The procedure for finding the final weights of each clustered section should be carefully done in order to keep almost all the evident seismic amplitudes in the output section. The method interactively uses the knowledge of the seismic specialist in detecting the noise

  6. Representing Degree Distributions, Clustering, and Homophily in Social Networks With Latent Cluster Random Effects Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krivitsky, Pavel N; Handcock, Mark S; Raftery, Adrian E; Hoff, Peter D

    2009-07-01

    Social network data often involve transitivity, homophily on observed attributes, clustering, and heterogeneity of actor degrees. We propose a latent cluster random effects model to represent all of these features, and we describe a Bayesian estimation method for it. The model is applicable to both binary and non-binary network data. We illustrate the model using two real datasets. We also apply it to two simulated network datasets with the same, highly skewed, degree distribution, but very different network behavior: one unstructured and the other with transitivity and clustering. Models based on degree distributions, such as scale-free, preferential attachment and power-law models, cannot distinguish between these very different situations, but our model does.

  7. A cluster expansion approach to exponential random graph models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yin, Mei

    2012-01-01

    The exponential family of random graphs are among the most widely studied network models. We show that any exponential random graph model may alternatively be viewed as a lattice gas model with a finite Banach space norm. The system may then be treated using cluster expansion methods from statistical mechanics. In particular, we derive a convergent power series expansion for the limiting free energy in the case of small parameters. Since the free energy is the generating function for the expectations of other random variables, this characterizes the structure and behavior of the limiting network in this parameter region

  8. Efficacy of a workplace osteoporosis prevention intervention: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ai May; LaMontagne, Anthony D; English, Dallas R; Howard, Peter

    2016-08-24

    Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease. Adequate calcium consumption and physical activity are the two major modifiable risk factors. This paper describes the major outcomes and efficacy of a workplace-based targeted behaviour change intervention to improve the dietary and physical activity behaviours of working women in sedentary occupations in Singapore. A cluster-randomized design was used, comparing the efficacy of a tailored intervention to standard care. Workplaces were the units of randomization and intervention. Sixteen workplaces were recruited from a pool of 97, and randomly assigned to intervention and control arms (eight workplaces in each). Women meeting specified inclusion criteria were then recruited to participate. Workplaces in the intervention arm received three participatory workshops and organization-wide educational activities. Workplaces in the control/standard care arm received print resources. Outcome measures were calcium intake (milligrams/day) and physical activity level (duration: minutes/week), measured at baseline, 4 weeks and 6 months post intervention. Adjusted cluster-level analyses were conducted comparing changes in intervention versus control groups, following intention-to-treat principles and CONSORT guidelines. Workplaces in the intervention group reported a significantly greater increase in calcium intake and duration of load-bearing moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) compared with the standard care control group. Four weeks after intervention, the difference in adjusted mean calcium intake was 343.2 mg/day (95 % CI = 337.4 to 349.0, p workplace-based intervention substantially improved calcium intake and load-bearing moderate to vigorous physical activity 6 months after the intervention began. Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12616000079448 . Registered 25 January 2016 (retrospectively registered).

  9. Selection bias and subject refusal in a cluster-randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rochelle Yang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Selection bias and non-participation bias are major methodological concerns which impact external validity. Cluster-randomized controlled trials are especially prone to selection bias as it is impractical to blind clusters to their allocation into intervention or control. This study assessed the impact of selection bias in a large cluster-randomized controlled trial. Methods The Improved Cardiovascular Risk Reduction to Enhance Rural Primary Care (ICARE study examined the impact of a remote pharmacist-led intervention in twelve medical offices. To assess eligibility, a standardized form containing patient demographics and medical information was completed for each screened patient. Eligible patients were approached by the study coordinator for recruitment. Both the study coordinator and the patient were aware of the site’s allocation prior to consent. Patients who consented or declined to participate were compared across control and intervention arms for differing characteristics. Statistical significance was determined using a two-tailed, equal variance t-test and a chi-square test with adjusted Bonferroni p-values. Results were adjusted for random cluster variation. Results There were 2749 completed screening forms returned to research staff with 461 subjects who had either consented or declined participation. Patients with poorly controlled diabetes were found to be significantly more likely to decline participation in intervention sites compared to those in control sites. A higher mean diastolic blood pressure was seen in patients with uncontrolled hypertension who declined in the control sites compared to those who declined in the intervention sites. However, these findings were no longer significant after adjustment for random variation among the sites. After this adjustment, females were now found to be significantly more likely to consent than males (odds ratio = 1.41; 95% confidence interval = 1.03, 1

  10. Systematic care for caregivers of people with dementia in the ambulatory mental health service: designing a multicentre, cluster, randomized, controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adang Eddy

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Care for people with dementia and their informal caregivers is a challenging aim in healthcare. There is an urgent need for cost-effective support programs that prevent informal caregivers of people with dementia from becoming overburdened, which might result in a delay or decrease of patient institutionalization. For this reason, we have developed the Systematic Care Program for Dementia (SCPD. The SCPD consists of an assessment of caregiver's sense of competence and suggestions on how to deal with competence deficiencies. The efficiency of the SCPD will be evaluated in our study. Methods and design In our ongoing, cluster, randomized, single-blind, controlled trial, the participants in six mental health services in four regions of the Netherlands have been randomized per service. Professionals of the ambulatory mental health services (psychologists and social psychiatric nurses have been randomly allocated to either the intervention group or the control group. The study population consists of community-dwelling people with dementia and their informal caregivers (patient-caregiver dyads coming into the health service. The dyads have been clustered to the professionals. The primary outcome measure is the patient's admission to a nursing home or home for the elderly at 12 months of follow-up. This measure is the most important variable for estimating cost differences between the intervention group and the control group. The secondary outcome measure is the quality of the patient's and caregiver's lives. Discussion A novelty in the SCPD is the pro-active and systematic approach. The focus on the caregiver's sense of competence is relevant to economical healthcare, since this sense of competence is an important determinant of delay of institutionalization of people with dementia. The SCPD might be able to facilitate this with a relatively small cost investment for caregivers' support, which could result in a major decrease in

  11. Quenched Large Deviations for Simple Random Walks on Percolation Clusters Including Long-Range Correlations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Noam; Mukherjee, Chiranjib; Okamura, Kazuki

    2018-03-01

    We prove a quenched large deviation principle (LDP) for a simple random walk on a supercritical percolation cluster (SRWPC) on {Z^d} ({d ≥ 2}). The models under interest include classical Bernoulli bond and site percolation as well as models that exhibit long range correlations, like the random cluster model, the random interlacement and the vacant set of random interlacements (for {d ≥ 3}) and the level sets of the Gaussian free field ({d≥ 3}). Inspired by the methods developed by Kosygina et al. (Commun Pure Appl Math 59:1489-1521, 2006) for proving quenched LDP for elliptic diffusions with a random drift, and by Yilmaz (Commun Pure Appl Math 62(8):1033-1075, 2009) and Rosenbluth (Quenched large deviations for multidimensional random walks in a random environment: a variational formula. Ph.D. thesis, NYU, arXiv:0804.1444v1) for similar results regarding elliptic random walks in random environment, we take the point of view of the moving particle and prove a large deviation principle for the quenched distribution of the pair empirical measures of the environment Markov chain in the non-elliptic case of SRWPC. Via a contraction principle, this reduces easily to a quenched LDP for the distribution of the mean velocity of the random walk and both rate functions admit explicit variational formulas. The main difficulty in our set up lies in the inherent non-ellipticity as well as the lack of translation-invariance stemming from conditioning on the fact that the origin belongs to the infinite cluster. We develop a unifying approach for proving quenched large deviations for SRWPC based on exploiting coercivity properties of the relative entropies in the context of convex variational analysis, combined with input from ergodic theory and invoking geometric properties of the supercritical percolation cluster.

  12. Functional Principal Component Analysis and Randomized Sparse Clustering Algorithm for Medical Image Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Nan; Jiang, Junhai; Guo, Shicheng; Xiong, Momiao

    2015-01-01

    Due to the advancement in sensor technology, the growing large medical image data have the ability to visualize the anatomical changes in biological tissues. As a consequence, the medical images have the potential to enhance the diagnosis of disease, the prediction of clinical outcomes and the characterization of disease progression. But in the meantime, the growing data dimensions pose great methodological and computational challenges for the representation and selection of features in image cluster analysis. To address these challenges, we first extend the functional principal component analysis (FPCA) from one dimension to two dimensions to fully capture the space variation of image the signals. The image signals contain a large number of redundant features which provide no additional information for clustering analysis. The widely used methods for removing the irrelevant features are sparse clustering algorithms using a lasso-type penalty to select the features. However, the accuracy of clustering using a lasso-type penalty depends on the selection of the penalty parameters and the threshold value. In practice, they are difficult to determine. Recently, randomized algorithms have received a great deal of attentions in big data analysis. This paper presents a randomized algorithm for accurate feature selection in image clustering analysis. The proposed method is applied to both the liver and kidney cancer histology image data from the TCGA database. The results demonstrate that the randomized feature selection method coupled with functional principal component analysis substantially outperforms the current sparse clustering algorithms in image cluster analysis. PMID:26196383

  13. Design and methods of a social network isolation study for reducing respiratory infection transmission: The eX-FLU cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiello, Allison E; Simanek, Amanda M; Eisenberg, Marisa C; Walsh, Alison R; Davis, Brian; Volz, Erik; Cheng, Caroline; Rainey, Jeanette J; Uzicanin, Amra; Gao, Hongjiang; Osgood, Nathaniel; Knowles, Dylan; Stanley, Kevin; Tarter, Kara; Monto, Arnold S

    2016-06-01

    Social networks are increasingly recognized as important points of intervention, yet relatively few intervention studies of respiratory infection transmission have utilized a network design. Here we describe the design, methods, and social network structure of a randomized intervention for isolating respiratory infection cases in a university setting over a 10-week period. 590 students in six residence halls enrolled in the eX-FLU study during a chain-referral recruitment process from September 2012-January 2013. Of these, 262 joined as "seed" participants, who nominated their social contacts to join the study, of which 328 "nominees" enrolled. Participants were cluster-randomized by 117 residence halls. Participants were asked to respond to weekly surveys on health behaviors, social interactions, and influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms. Participants were randomized to either a 3-Day dorm room isolation intervention or a control group (no isolation) upon illness onset. ILI cases reported on their isolation behavior during illness and provided throat and nasal swab specimens at onset, day-three, and day-six of illness. A subsample of individuals (N=103) participated in a sub-study using a novel smartphone application, iEpi, which collected sensor and contextually-dependent survey data on social interactions. Within the social network, participants were significantly positively assortative by intervention group, enrollment type, residence hall, iEpi participation, age, gender, race, and alcohol use (all Pisolation from social networks in a university setting. These data provide an unparalleled opportunity to address questions about isolation and infection transmission, as well as insights into social networks and behaviors among college-aged students. Several important lessons were learned over the course of this project, including feasible isolation durations, the need for extensive organizational efforts, as well as the need for specialized programmers and server

  14. The covariance matrix of the Potts model: A random cluster analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borgs, C.; Chayes, J.T.

    1996-01-01

    We consider the covariance matrix, G mn = q 2 x ,m); δ(σ y ,n)>, of the d-dimensional q-states Potts model, rewriting it in the random cluster representation of Fortuin and Kasteleyn. In many of the q ordered phases, we identify the eigenvalues of this matrix both in terms of representations of the unbroken symmetry group of the model and in terms of random cluster connectivities and covariances, thereby attributing algebraic significance to these stochastic geometric quantities. We also show that the correlation length and the correlation length corresponding to the decay rate of one on the eigenvalues in the same as the inverse decay rate of the diameter of finite clusters. For dimension of d=2, we show that this correlation length and the correlation length of two-point function with free boundary conditions at the corresponding dual temperature are equal up to a factor of two. For systems with first-order transitions, this relation helps to resolve certain inconsistencies between recent exact and numerical work on correlation lengths at the self-dual point β o . For systems with second order transitions, this relation implies the equality of the correlation length exponents from above below threshold, as well as an amplitude ratio of two. In the course of proving the above results, we establish several properties of independent interest, including left continuity of the inverse correlation length with free boundary conditions and upper semicontinuity of the decay rate for finite clusters in all dimensions, and left continuity of the two-dimensional free boundary condition percolation probability at β o . We also introduce DLR equations for the random cluster model and use them to establish ergodicity of the free measure. In order to prove these results, we introduce a new class of events which we call decoupling events and two inequalities for these events

  15. How large are the consequences of covariate imbalance in cluster randomized trials: a simulation study with a continuous outcome and a binary covariate at the cluster level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerbeek, Mirjam; van Schie, Sander

    2016-07-11

    The number of clusters in a cluster randomized trial is often low. It is therefore likely random assignment of clusters to treatment conditions results in covariate imbalance. There are no studies that quantify the consequences of covariate imbalance in cluster randomized trials on parameter and standard error bias and on power to detect treatment effects. The consequences of covariance imbalance in unadjusted and adjusted linear mixed models are investigated by means of a simulation study. The factors in this study are the degree of imbalance, the covariate effect size, the cluster size and the intraclass correlation coefficient. The covariate is binary and measured at the cluster level; the outcome is continuous and measured at the individual level. The results show covariate imbalance results in negligible parameter bias and small standard error bias in adjusted linear mixed models. Ignoring the possibility of covariate imbalance while calculating the sample size at the cluster level may result in a loss in power of at most 25 % in the adjusted linear mixed model. The results are more severe for the unadjusted linear mixed model: parameter biases up to 100 % and standard error biases up to 200 % may be observed. Power levels based on the unadjusted linear mixed model are often too low. The consequences are most severe for large clusters and/or small intraclass correlation coefficients since then the required number of clusters to achieve a desired power level is smallest. The possibility of covariate imbalance should be taken into account while calculating the sample size of a cluster randomized trial. Otherwise more sophisticated methods to randomize clusters to treatments should be used, such as stratification or balance algorithms. All relevant covariates should be carefully identified, be actually measured and included in the statistical model to avoid severe levels of parameter and standard error bias and insufficient power levels.

  16. Choosing a Cluster Sampling Design for Lot Quality Assurance Sampling Surveys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren Hund

    Full Text Available Lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS surveys are commonly used for monitoring and evaluation in resource-limited settings. Recently several methods have been proposed to combine LQAS with cluster sampling for more timely and cost-effective data collection. For some of these methods, the standard binomial model can be used for constructing decision rules as the clustering can be ignored. For other designs, considered here, clustering is accommodated in the design phase. In this paper, we compare these latter cluster LQAS methodologies and provide recommendations for choosing a cluster LQAS design. We compare technical differences in the three methods and determine situations in which the choice of method results in a substantively different design. We consider two different aspects of the methods: the distributional assumptions and the clustering parameterization. Further, we provide software tools for implementing each method and clarify misconceptions about these designs in the literature. We illustrate the differences in these methods using vaccination and nutrition cluster LQAS surveys as example designs. The cluster methods are not sensitive to the distributional assumptions but can result in substantially different designs (sample sizes depending on the clustering parameterization. However, none of the clustering parameterizations used in the existing methods appears to be consistent with the observed data, and, consequently, choice between the cluster LQAS methods is not straightforward. Further research should attempt to characterize clustering patterns in specific applications and provide suggestions for best-practice cluster LQAS designs on a setting-specific basis.

  17. Choosing a Cluster Sampling Design for Lot Quality Assurance Sampling Surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hund, Lauren; Bedrick, Edward J; Pagano, Marcello

    2015-01-01

    Lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) surveys are commonly used for monitoring and evaluation in resource-limited settings. Recently several methods have been proposed to combine LQAS with cluster sampling for more timely and cost-effective data collection. For some of these methods, the standard binomial model can be used for constructing decision rules as the clustering can be ignored. For other designs, considered here, clustering is accommodated in the design phase. In this paper, we compare these latter cluster LQAS methodologies and provide recommendations for choosing a cluster LQAS design. We compare technical differences in the three methods and determine situations in which the choice of method results in a substantively different design. We consider two different aspects of the methods: the distributional assumptions and the clustering parameterization. Further, we provide software tools for implementing each method and clarify misconceptions about these designs in the literature. We illustrate the differences in these methods using vaccination and nutrition cluster LQAS surveys as example designs. The cluster methods are not sensitive to the distributional assumptions but can result in substantially different designs (sample sizes) depending on the clustering parameterization. However, none of the clustering parameterizations used in the existing methods appears to be consistent with the observed data, and, consequently, choice between the cluster LQAS methods is not straightforward. Further research should attempt to characterize clustering patterns in specific applications and provide suggestions for best-practice cluster LQAS designs on a setting-specific basis.

  18. Effect of village-wide use of long-lasting insecticidal nets on visceral Leishmaniasis vectors in India and Nepal: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picado, Albert; Das, Murari L; Kumar, Vijay; Kesari, Shreekant; Dinesh, Diwakar S; Roy, Lalita; Rijal, Suman; Das, Pradeep; Rowland, Mark; Sundar, Shyam; Coosemans, Marc; Boelaert, Marleen; Davies, Clive R

    2010-01-26

    Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) control in the Indian subcontinent is currently based on case detection and treatment, and on vector control using indoor residual spraying (IRS). The use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LN) has been postulated as an alternative or complement to IRS. Here we tested the impact of comprehensive distribution of LN on the density of Phlebotomus argentipes in VL-endemic villages. A cluster-randomized controlled trial with household P. argentipes density as outcome was designed. Twelve clusters from an ongoing LN clinical trial--three intervention and three control clusters in both India and Nepal--were selected on the basis of accessibility and VL incidence. Ten houses per cluster selected on the basis of high pre-intervention P. argentipes density were monitored monthly for 12 months after distribution of LN using CDC light traps (LT) and mouth aspiration methods. Ten cattle sheds per cluster were also monitored by aspiration. A random effect linear regression model showed that the cluster-wide distribution of LNs significantly reduced the P. argentipes density/house by 24.9% (95% CI 1.80%-42.5%) as measured by means of LTs. The ongoing clinical trial, designed to measure the impact of LNs on VL incidence, will confirm whether LNs should be adopted as a control strategy in the regional VL elimination programs. The entomological evidence described here provides some evidence that LNs could be usefully deployed as part of the VL control program. ClinicalTrials.gov CT-2005-015374.

  19. Cluster tails for critical power-law inhomogeneous random graphs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Hofstad, R.; Kliem, S.; van Leeuwaarden, J.S.H.

    2018-01-01

    Recently, the scaling limit of cluster sizes for critical inhomogeneous random graphs of rank-1 type having finite variance but infinite third moment degrees was obtained in Bhamidi et al. (Ann Probab 40:2299–2361, 2012). It was proved that when the degrees obey a power law with exponent τ∈ (3 , 4)

  20. Hospital recruitment for a pragmatic cluster-randomized clinical trial: Lessons learned from the COMPASS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Anna M; Jones, Sara B; Duncan, Pamela W; Bushnell, Cheryl D; Coleman, Sylvia W; Mettam, Laurie H; Kucharska-Newton, Anna M; Sissine, Mysha E; Rosamond, Wayne D

    2018-01-26

    Pragmatic randomized clinical trials are essential to determine the effectiveness of interventions in "real-world" clinical practice. These trials frequently use a cluster-randomized methodology, with randomization at the site level. Despite policymakers' increased interest in supporting pragmatic randomized clinical trials, no studies to date have reported on the unique recruitment challenges faced by cluster-randomized pragmatic trials. We investigated key challenges and successful strategies for hospital recruitment in the Comprehensive Post-Acute Stroke Services (COMPASS) study. The COMPASS study is designed to compare the effectiveness of the COMPASS model versus usual care in improving functional outcomes, reducing the numbers of hospital readmissions, and reducing caregiver strain for patients discharged home after stroke or transient ischemic attack. This model integrates early supported discharge planning with transitional care management, including nurse-led follow-up phone calls after 2, 30, and 60 days and an in-person clinic visit at 7-14 days involving a functional assessment and neurological examination. We present descriptive statistics of the characteristics of successfully recruited hospitals compared with all eligible hospitals, reasons for non-participation, and effective recruitment strategies. We successfully recruited 41 (43%) of 95 eligible North Carolina hospitals. Leading, non-exclusive reasons for non-participation included: insufficient staff or financial resources (n = 33, 61%), lack of health system support (n = 16, 30%), and lack of support of individual decision-makers (n = 11, 20%). Successful recruitment strategies included: building and nurturing relationships, engaging team members and community partners with a diverse skill mix, identifying gatekeepers, finding mutually beneficial solutions, having a central institutional review board, sharing published pilot data, and integrating contracts and review board

  1. The dilute random field Ising model by finite cluster approximation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benyoussef, A.; Saber, M.

    1987-09-01

    Using the finite cluster approximation, phase diagrams of bond and site diluted three-dimensional simple cubic Ising models with a random field have been determined. The resulting phase diagrams have the same general features for both bond and site dilution. (author). 7 refs, 4 figs

  2. Group sequential designs for stepped-wedge cluster randomised trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayling, Michael J; Wason, James Ms; Mander, Adrian P

    2017-10-01

    The stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial design has received substantial attention in recent years. Although various extensions to the original design have been proposed, no guidance is available on the design of stepped-wedge cluster randomised trials with interim analyses. In an individually randomised trial setting, group sequential methods can provide notable efficiency gains and ethical benefits. We address this by discussing how established group sequential methodology can be adapted for stepped-wedge designs. Utilising the error spending approach to group sequential trial design, we detail the assumptions required for the determination of stepped-wedge cluster randomised trials with interim analyses. We consider early stopping for efficacy, futility, or efficacy and futility. We describe first how this can be done for any specified linear mixed model for data analysis. We then focus on one particular commonly utilised model and, using a recently completed stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial, compare the performance of several designs with interim analyses to the classical stepped-wedge design. Finally, the performance of a quantile substitution procedure for dealing with the case of unknown variance is explored. We demonstrate that the incorporation of early stopping in stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial designs could reduce the expected sample size under the null and alternative hypotheses by up to 31% and 22%, respectively, with no cost to the trial's type-I and type-II error rates. The use of restricted error maximum likelihood estimation was found to be more important than quantile substitution for controlling the type-I error rate. The addition of interim analyses into stepped-wedge cluster randomised trials could help guard against time-consuming trials conducted on poor performing treatments and also help expedite the implementation of efficacious treatments. In future, trialists should consider incorporating early stopping of some kind into

  3. PRagmatic trial Of Video Education in Nursing homes: The design and rationale for a pragmatic cluster randomized trial in the nursing home setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mor, Vincent; Volandes, Angelo E; Gutman, Roee; Gatsonis, Constantine; Mitchell, Susan L

    2017-04-01

    Background/Aims Nursing homes are complex healthcare systems serving an increasingly sick population. Nursing homes must engage patients in advance care planning, but do so inconsistently. Video decision support tools improved advance care planning in small randomized controlled trials. Pragmatic trials are increasingly employed in health services research, although not commonly in the nursing home setting to which they are well-suited. This report presents the design and rationale for a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial that evaluated the "real world" application of an Advance Care Planning Video Program in two large US nursing home healthcare systems. Methods PRagmatic trial Of Video Education in Nursing homes was conducted in 360 nursing homes (N = 119 intervention/N = 241 control) owned by two healthcare systems. Over an 18-month implementation period, intervention facilities were instructed to offer the Advance Care Planning Video Program to all patients. Control facilities employed usual advance care planning practices. Patient characteristics and outcomes were ascertained from Medicare Claims, Minimum Data Set assessments, and facility electronic medical record data. Intervention adherence was measured using a Video Status Report embedded into electronic medical record systems. The primary outcome was the number of hospitalizations/person-day alive among long-stay patients with advanced dementia or cardiopulmonary disease. The rationale for the approaches to facility randomization and recruitment, intervention implementation, population selection, data acquisition, regulatory issues, and statistical analyses are discussed. Results The large number of well-characterized candidate facilities enabled several unique design features including stratification on historical hospitalization rates, randomization prior to recruitment, and 2:1 control to intervention facilities ratio. Strong endorsement from corporate leadership made randomization

  4. Balancing Opposing Forces—A Nested Process Evaluation Study Protocol for a Stepped Wedge Designed Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of an Experience Based Codesign Intervention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria Jane Palmer

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Process evaluations are essential to understand the contextual, relational, and organizational and system factors of complex interventions. The guidance for developing process evaluations for randomized controlled trials (RCTs has until recently however, been fairly limited. Method/Design: A nested process evaluation (NPE was designed and embedded across all stages of a stepped wedge cluster RCT called the CORE study. The aim of the CORE study is to test the effectiveness of an experience-based codesign methodology for improving psychosocial recovery outcomes for people living with severe mental illness (service users. Process evaluation data collection combines qualitative and quantitative methods with four aims: (1 to describe organizational characteristics, service models, policy contexts, and government reforms and examine the interaction of these with the intervention; (2 to understand how the codesign intervention works, the cluster variability in implementation, and if the intervention is or is not sustained in different settings; (3 to assist in the interpretation of the primary and secondary outcomes and determine if the causal assumptions underpinning the codesign interventions are accurate; and (4 to determine the impact of a purposefully designed engagement model on the broader study retention and knowledge transfer in the trial. Discussion: Process evaluations require prespecified study protocols but finding a balance between their iterative nature and the structure offered by protocol development is an important step forward. Taking this step will advance the role of qualitative research within trials research and enable more focused data collection to occur at strategic points within studies.

  5. Introducing rapid diagnostic tests for malaria into drug shops in Uganda: design and implementation of a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbonye, Anthony K; Magnussen, Pascal; Chandler, Clare I R; Hansen, Kristian S; Lal, Sham; Cundill, Bonnie; Lynch, Caroline A; Clarke, Siân E

    2014-07-29

    An intervention was designed to introduce rapid diagnostics tests for malaria (mRDTs) into registered drug shops in Uganda to encourage rational and appropriate treatment of malaria with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). We conducted participatory training of drug shop vendors and implemented supporting interventions to orientate local communities (patients) and the public sector (health facility staff and district officials) to the behavioral changes in diagnosis, treatment and referral being introduced in drug shops. The intervention was designed to be evaluated through a cluster randomized trial. In this paper, we present detailed design, implementation and evaluation experiences in order to help inform future studies of a complex nature. Three preparatory studies (formative, baseline and willingness-to-pay) were conducted to explore perceptions on diagnosis and treatment of malaria at drug shops, and affordable prices for mRDTs and ACTs in order to inform the design of the intervention and implementation modalities. The intervention required careful design with the intention to be acceptable, sustainable and effective. Critical components of intervention were: community sensitization and creating awareness, training of drug shop vendors to diagnose malaria with mRDTs, treat and refer customers to formal health facilities, giving pre-referral rectal artesunate and improved record-keeping. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients receiving appropriately-targeted treatment with ACT, evaluated against microscopy on a research blood slide. Introducing mRDTs in drug shops may seem simple, but our experience of intervention design, conduct and evaluation showed this to be a complex process requiring multiple interventions and evaluation components drawing from a combination of epidemiological, social science and health economics methodologies. The trial was conducted in phases sequenced such that each benefited from the other. The main challenges

  6. Implementation of client versus care-provider strategies to improve external cephalic version rates: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlemmix, Floortje; Rosman, Ageeth N.; Rijnders, Marlies E.; Beuckens, Antje; Opmeer, Brent C.; Mol, Ben W. J.; Kok, Marjolein; Fleuren, Margot A. H.

    2015-01-01

    To determine the effectiveness of a client or care-provider strategy to improve the implementation of external cephalic version. Cluster randomized controlled trial. Twenty-five clusters; hospitals and their referring midwifery practices randomly selected in the Netherlands. Singleton breech

  7. Rationale and design of the Study of a Tele-pharmacy Intervention for Chronic diseases to Improve Treatment adherence (STIC2IT): A cluster randomized pragmatic trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhry, Niteesh K.; Isaac, Thomas; Lauffenburger, Julie C.; Gopalakrishnan, Chandrasekar; Khan, Nazleen F.; Lee, Marianne; Vachon, Amy; Iliadis, Tanya L.; Hollands, Whitney; Doheny, Scott; Elman, Sandra; Kraft, Jacqueline M.; Naseem, Samrah; Gagne, Joshua J.; Jackevicius, Cynthia A.; Fischer, Michael A.; Solomon, Daniel H.; Sequist, Thomas D.

    2016-01-01

    Background Approximately half of patients with chronic cardiometabolic conditions are non-adherent with their prescribed medications. Interventions to improve adherence have been only modestly effective because they often address single barriers to adherence, intervene at single points in time, or are imprecisely targeted to patients who may or may not need adherence assistance. Objective To evaluate the effect of a multi-component, behaviorally-tailored pharmacist-based intervention to improve adherence to medications for diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. Trial design The STIC2IT (Study of a Tele-pharmacy Intervention for Chronic diseases To Improve Treatment adherence) trial is a cluster-randomized pragmatic trial testing the impact of a pharmacist-led multi-component intervention that uses behavioral interviewing, text messaging, mailed progress reports and video visits. Targeted patients are those who are non-adherent to glucose-lowering, anti-hypertensive, or statin medications and who also have evidence of poor disease control. The intervention is tailored to patients’ individual health barriers and their level of health activation. We cluster randomized 14 practice sites of a large multi-specialty group practice to receive either the pharmacist-based intervention or usual care. STIC2IT has enrolled 4,076 patients to be followed for 12 months after randomization. The trial’s primary outcome is medication adherence, assessed using pharmacy claims data. Secondary outcomes are disease control and healthcare resource utilization. Conclusion This trial will determine whether a technologically-enabled, behaviorally-targeted pharmacist-based intervention results in improved adherence and disease control. If effective, this strategy could be a scalable method of offering tailored adherence support to those with the greatest clinical need. PMID:27659887

  8. Improving Language Comprehension in Preschool Children with Language Difficulties: A Cluster Randomized Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Åste M.; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Lervåg, Arne

    2017-01-01

    Background: Children with language comprehension difficulties are at risk of educational and social problems, which in turn impede employment prospects in adulthood. However, few randomized trials have examined how such problems can be ameliorated during the preschool years. Methods: We conducted a cluster randomized trial in 148 preschool…

  9. Preventing Sexual Violence in Adolescence: Comparison of a Scientist-Practitioner Program and a Practitioner Program Using a Cluster-Randomized Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muck, Christoph; Schiller, Eva-Maria; Zimmermann, Maria; Kärtner, Joscha

    2018-02-01

    Numerous school-based prevention programs have been developed by scientists and practitioners to address sexual violence in adolescence. However, such programs struggle with two major challenges. First, the effectiveness of many well-established practitioner programs has not been rigorously evaluated. Second, effective scientific programs may be hard to implement into everyday school practice. Combining the knowledge of scientists and practitioners in a scientist-practitioner program could be a helpful compromise. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effects of a scientist-practitioner program and a practitioner program using a cluster-randomized experimental design. Twenty-seven school classes were randomly assigned to either one of two programs or a control group. Outcome variables (knowledge, attitudes, behavior, and iatrogenic effects) were assessed at pretest, posttest, and a 6-month follow-up for 453 adolescents (55% female, Mage = 14.18). Short-term effects were found in both programs regarding general knowledge, knowledge of professional help, and victim-blaming attitudes. Long-term effects were found in both programs regarding general knowledge and knowledge of professional help and, in the practitioner program, in a reduction of victimization. No other effects were found on attitudes and behavior. No iatrogenic effects in the form of increased anxiety were found. Both the scientist-practitioner and the practitioner program show promise for the prevention of sexual violence in adolescence; in particular, the practitioner program may be a more cost-effective method.

  10. Randomizing Roaches: Exploring the "Bugs" of Randomization in Experimental Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagler, Amy; Wagler, Ron

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the roles of random selection and random assignment in experimental design is a central learning objective in most introductory statistics courses. This article describes an activity, appropriate for a high school or introductory statistics course, designed to teach the concepts, values and pitfalls of random selection and assignment…

  11. Cost-Effectiveness of a Chronic Care Model for Frail Older Adults in Primary Care: Economic Evaluation Alongside a Stepped-Wedge Cluster-Randomized Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Leeuwen, K.M.; Bosmans, J.E.; Jansen, A.P.D.; Hoogendijk, E.O.; Muntinga, M.E.; van Hout, H.P.J.; Nijpels, G.; van der Horst, H.E.; van Tulder, M.W.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the Geriatric Care Model (GCM), an integrated care model for frail older adults based on the Chronic Care Model, with that of usual care. Design Economic evaluation alongside a 24-month stepped-wedge cluster-randomized controlled trial. Setting

  12. Cost-Effectiveness of a Chronic Care Model for Frail Older Adults in Primary Care : Economic Evaluation Alongside a Stepped-Wedge Cluster-Randomized Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Leeuwen, Karen M; Bosmans, Judith E; Jansen, Aaltje P D; Hoogendijk, Emiel O; Muntinga, Maaike E; van Hout, Hein P J; Nijpels, Giel; van der Horst, Henriette E; van Tulder, Maurits W

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the Geriatric Care Model (GCM), an integrated care model for frail older adults based on the Chronic Care Model, with that of usual care. DESIGN: Economic evaluation alongside a 24-month stepped-wedge cluster-randomized controlled trial. SETTING:

  13. Flocculent and grand design spiral arm structure in cluster galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elmegreen, D.M.

    1982-01-01

    A total of 829 spiral galaxies in 22 clusters having redshifts between z = 0.02 and 0.06 were classified according to the appearance of their spiral arm structures. The fraction of galaxies that have a grand design spiral structure was found to be higher among barred galaxies than among non-barred galaxies (at z = 0.02, 95 per cent of strongly barred galaxies have a grand design, compared with 67 per cent of non-barred or weakly barred galaxies). Cluster galaxies and distant non-cluster galaxies have the same fraction of grand design galaxies when resolution effects are considered. The grand design fraction among cluster galaxies is also similar to the fraction observed among nearby galaxies in binary systems and in groups. (author)

  14. Assessment of Random Assignment in Training and Test Sets using Generalized Cluster Analysis Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorana D. BOLBOACĂ

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The properness of random assignment of compounds in training and validation sets was assessed using the generalized cluster technique. Material and Method: A quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship model using Molecular Descriptors Family on Vertices was evaluated in terms of assignment of carboquinone derivatives in training and test sets during the leave-many-out analysis. Assignment of compounds was investigated using five variables: observed anticancer activity and four structure descriptors. Generalized cluster analysis with K-means algorithm was applied in order to investigate if the assignment of compounds was or not proper. The Euclidian distance and maximization of the initial distance using a cross-validation with a v-fold of 10 was applied. Results: All five variables included in analysis proved to have statistically significant contribution in identification of clusters. Three clusters were identified, each of them containing both carboquinone derivatives belonging to training as well as to test sets. The observed activity of carboquinone derivatives proved to be normal distributed on every. The presence of training and test sets in all clusters identified using generalized cluster analysis with K-means algorithm and the distribution of observed activity within clusters sustain a proper assignment of compounds in training and test set. Conclusion: Generalized cluster analysis using the K-means algorithm proved to be a valid method in assessment of random assignment of carboquinone derivatives in training and test sets.

  15. A comparison of confidence interval methods for the intraclass correlation coefficient in community-based cluster randomization trials with a binary outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braschel, Melissa C; Svec, Ivana; Darlington, Gerarda A; Donner, Allan

    2016-04-01

    Many investigators rely on previously published point estimates of the intraclass correlation coefficient rather than on their associated confidence intervals to determine the required size of a newly planned cluster randomized trial. Although confidence interval methods for the intraclass correlation coefficient that can be applied to community-based trials have been developed for a continuous outcome variable, fewer methods exist for a binary outcome variable. The aim of this study is to evaluate confidence interval methods for the intraclass correlation coefficient applied to binary outcomes in community intervention trials enrolling a small number of large clusters. Existing methods for confidence interval construction are examined and compared to a new ad hoc approach based on dividing clusters into a large number of smaller sub-clusters and subsequently applying existing methods to the resulting data. Monte Carlo simulation is used to assess the width and coverage of confidence intervals for the intraclass correlation coefficient based on Smith's large sample approximation of the standard error of the one-way analysis of variance estimator, an inverted modified Wald test for the Fleiss-Cuzick estimator, and intervals constructed using a bootstrap-t applied to a variance-stabilizing transformation of the intraclass correlation coefficient estimate. In addition, a new approach is applied in which clusters are randomly divided into a large number of smaller sub-clusters with the same methods applied to these data (with the exception of the bootstrap-t interval, which assumes large cluster sizes). These methods are also applied to a cluster randomized trial on adolescent tobacco use for illustration. When applied to a binary outcome variable in a small number of large clusters, existing confidence interval methods for the intraclass correlation coefficient provide poor coverage. However, confidence intervals constructed using the new approach combined with Smith

  16. A Random Walk Approach to Query Informative Constraints for Clustering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abin, Ahmad Ali

    2017-08-09

    This paper presents a random walk approach to the problem of querying informative constraints for clustering. The proposed method is based on the properties of the commute time, that is the expected time taken for a random walk to travel between two nodes and return, on the adjacency graph of data. Commute time has the nice property of that, the more short paths connect two given nodes in a graph, the more similar those nodes are. Since computing the commute time takes the Laplacian eigenspectrum into account, we use this property in a recursive fashion to query informative constraints for clustering. At each recursion, the proposed method constructs the adjacency graph of data and utilizes the spectral properties of the commute time matrix to bipartition the adjacency graph. Thereafter, the proposed method benefits from the commute times distance on graph to query informative constraints between partitions. This process iterates for each partition until the stop condition becomes true. Experiments on real-world data show the efficiency of the proposed method for constraints selection.

  17. Protocol for Work place adjusted Intelligent physical exercise reducing Musculoskeletal pain in Shoulder and neck (VIMS: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feveile Helene

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neck and shoulder complaints are common among employees in sedentary occupations characterized by intensive computer use. Specific strength training is a promising type of physical exercise for relieving neck and shoulder pain in office workers. However, the optimal combination of frequency and exercise duration, as well as the importance of exercise supervision, is unknown. The VIMS study investigates in a cluster randomized controlled design the effectiveness of different time wise combinations of specific strength training with identical accumulated volume, and the relevance of training supervision for safe and effective training. Methods/design A cluster randomized controlled trial of 20 weeks duration where employed office workers are randomized to 1 × 60 min, 3 × 20 min, 9 × 7 min per week of specific strength training with training supervision, to 3 × 20 min per week of specific strength training with a minimal amount of training supervision, or to a reference group without training. A questionnaire will be sent to 2000 employees in jobs characterized by intensive computer work. Employees with cardiovascular disease, trauma, hypertension, or serious chronic disease will be excluded. The main outcome measure is pain in the neck and shoulders at week 20. Trial Registration The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01027390.

  18. The Diabetes Telephone Study: Design and challenges of a pragmatic cluster randomized trial to improve diabetic peripheral neuropathy treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Alyce S; Bayliss, Elizabeth A; Schmittdiel, Julie A; Altschuler, Andrea; Dyer, Wendy; Neugebauer, Romain; Jaffe, Marc; Young, Joseph D; Kim, Eileen; Grant, Richard W

    2016-06-01

    Challenges to effective pharmacologic management of symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy include the limited effectiveness of available medicines, frequent side effects, and the need for ongoing symptom assessment and treatment titration for maximal effectiveness. We present here the rationale and implementation challenges of the Diabetes Telephone Study, a randomized trial designed to improve medication treatment, titration, and quality of life among patients with symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy. We implemented a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of an automated interactive voice response tool designed to provide physicians with real-time patient-reported data about responses to newly prescribed diabetic peripheral neuropathy medicines. A total of 1834 primary care physicians treating patients in the diabetes registry at Kaiser Permanente Northern California were randomized into the intervention or control arm. In September 2014, we began identification and recruitment of patients assigned to physicians in the intervention group who receive three brief interactive calls every 2 months after a medication is prescribed to alleviate diabetic peripheral neuropathy symptoms. These calls provide patients with the opportunity to report on symptoms, side effects, self-titration of medication dose and overall satisfaction with treatment. We plan to compare changes in self-reported quality of life between the intervention group and patients in the control group who receive three non-interactive automated educational phone calls. Successful implementation of this clinical trial required robust stakeholder engagement to help tailor the intervention and to address pragmatic concerns such as provider time constraints. As of 27 October 2015, we had screened 2078 patients, 1447 of whom were eligible for participation. We consented and enrolled 1206 or 83% of those eligible. Among those enrolled, 53% are women and the mean age

  19. Handling missing data in cluster randomized trials: A demonstration of multiple imputation with PAN through SAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiangxiu Zhou

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to demonstrate a way of dealing with missing data in clustered randomized trials by doing multiple imputation (MI with the PAN package in R through SAS. The procedure for doing MI with PAN through SAS is demonstrated in detail in order for researchers to be able to use this procedure with their own data. An illustration of the technique with empirical data was also included. In this illustration thePAN results were compared with pairwise deletion and three types of MI: (1 Normal Model (NM-MI ignoring the cluster structure; (2 NM-MI with dummy-coded cluster variables (fixed cluster structure; and (3 a hybrid NM-MI which imputes half the time ignoring the cluster structure, and the other half including the dummy-coded cluster variables. The empirical analysis showed that using PAN and the other strategies produced comparable parameter estimates. However, the dummy-coded MI overestimated the intraclass correlation, whereas MI ignoring the cluster structure and the hybrid MI underestimated the intraclass correlation. When compared with PAN, the p-value and standard error for the treatment effect were higher with dummy-coded MI, and lower with MI ignoring the clusterstructure, the hybrid MI approach, and pairwise deletion. Previous studies have shown that NM-MI is not appropriate for handling missing data in clustered randomized trials. This approach, in addition to the pairwise deletion approach, leads to a biased intraclass correlation and faultystatistical conclusions. Imputation in clustered randomized trials should be performed with PAN. We have demonstrated an easy way for using PAN through SAS.

  20. Influence of a lifestyle intervention in preschool children on physiological and psychological parameters (Ballabeina: study design of a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niederer Iris

    2009-03-01

    life and signs of hyperactivity (questionnaires, attention and spatial working memory ability (two validated tests. Researchers were blinded to group allocation. Discussion The purpose of this paper is to outline the design of a school-based multicenter cluster randomized, controlled trial aiming to reduce body mass index and to increase aerobic fitness in preschool children in culturally different parts of Switzerland with a high migrant population. Trial Registration Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov NCT00674544

  1. A hand hygiene intervention to decrease infections among children attending day care centers: design of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zomer, Tizza P; Erasmus, Vicki; Vlaar, Nico; van Beeck, Ed F; Tjon-A-Tsien, Aimée; Richardus, Jan Hendrik; Voeten, Hélène A C M

    2013-06-03

    Day care center attendance has been recognized as a risk factor for acquiring gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, which can be prevented with adequate hand hygiene (HH). Based on previous studies on environmental and sociocognitive determinants of caregivers' compliance with HH guidelines in day care centers (DCCs), an intervention has been developed aiming to improve caregivers' and children's HH compliance and decrease infections among children attending DCCs. The aim of this paper is to describe the design of a cluster randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention. The intervention will be evaluated in a two-arm cluster randomized controlled trial among 71 DCCs in the Netherlands. In total, 36 DCCs will receive the intervention consisting of four components: 1) HH products (dispensers and refills for paper towels, soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and hand cream); 2) training to educate about the Dutch national HH guidelines; 3) two team training sessions aimed at goal setting and formulating specific HH improvement activities; and 4) reminders and cues to action (posters/stickers). Intervention DCCs will be compared to 35 control DCCs continuing usual practice. The primary outcome measure will be observed HH compliance of caregivers and children, measured at baseline and one, three, and six months after start of the intervention. The secondary outcome measure will be the incidence of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections in 600 children attending DCCs, monitored over six months by parents using a calendar to mark the days their child has diarrhea and/or a cold. Multilevel logistic regression will be performed to assess the effect of the intervention on HH compliance. Multilevel poisson regression will be performed to assess the incidence of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections in children attending DCCs. This is one of the first DCC intervention studies to assess HH compliance of both caregivers and

  2. The clustering of local maxima in random noise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coles, P.

    1989-01-01

    A mixture of analytic and numerical techniques is used to study the clustering properties of local maxima of random noise. Technical complexities restrict us to the case of 1D noise, but the results obtained should give a reasonably accurate picture of the behaviour of cosmological density peaks in noise defined on a 3D domain. We give estimates of the two-point correlation function of local maxima, for both Gaussian and non-Gaussian noise and show that previous approximations are not accurate. (author)

  3. Dairy cluster design for Myanmar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zijlstra, J.; Lee, van der J.

    2015-01-01

    At the request of the Dutch and Myanmar governments, a project team consisting of researchers from Wageningen University & Research centre and experts from dairy processor Royal FrieslandCampina, feed company Royal De Heus and AgriWorks consultancy have developed a design for a dairy cluster in

  4. A Cluster Randomized Evaluation of a Health Department Data to Care Intervention Designed to Increase Engagement in HIV Care and Antiretroviral Use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dombrowski, Julia C; Hughes, James P; Buskin, Susan E; Bennett, Amy; Katz, David; Fleming, Mark; Nunez, Angela; Golden, Matthew R

    2018-06-01

    Many US health departments have implemented Data to Care interventions, which use HIV surveillance data to identify persons who are inadequately engaged in HIV medical care and assist them with care reengagement, but the effectiveness of this strategy is uncertain. We conducted a stepped-wedge, cluster-randomized evaluation of a Data to Care intervention in King County, Washington, 2011 to 2014. Persons diagnosed as having HIV for at least 6 months were eligible based on 1 of 2 criteria: (1) viral load (VL) greater than 500 copies/mL and CD4 less than 350 cells/μL at the last report in the past 12 months or (2) no CD4 or VL reported to the health department for at least 12 months. The intervention included medical provider contact, patient contact, and a structured individual interview. Health department staff assisted patients with reengagement using health systems navigation, brief counseling, and referral to support services. We clustered all eligible cases in the county by the last known medical provider and randomized the order of clusters for intervention, creating contemporaneous intervention and control periods (cases in later clusters contributed person-time to the control period at the same time that cases in earlier clusters contributed person-time to the intervention period). We compared the time to viral suppression (VL <200 copies/mL) for individuals during intervention and control periods using a Cox proportional hazards model. We identified 997 persons (intention to treat [ITT]), 18% of whom had moved or died. Of the remaining 822 (modified ITT), 161 (20%) had an undetectable VL reported before contact and 164 (20%) completed the individual interview. The hazard ratio (HR) for time to viral suppression did not differ between the intervention and control periods in ITT (HR, 1.21 [95% confidence interval, 0.85-1.71]) or modified ITT (HR, 1.18 [95% confidence interval, 0.83-1.68]) analysis. The Data to Care intervention did not impact time to viral

  5. Changing cluster composition in cluster randomised controlled trials: design and analysis considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background There are many methodological challenges in the conduct and analysis of cluster randomised controlled trials, but one that has received little attention is that of post-randomisation changes to cluster composition. To illustrate this, we focus on the issue of cluster merging, considering the impact on the design, analysis and interpretation of trial outcomes. Methods We explored the effects of merging clusters on study power using standard methods of power calculation. We assessed the potential impacts on study findings of both homogeneous cluster merges (involving clusters randomised to the same arm of a trial) and heterogeneous merges (involving clusters randomised to different arms of a trial) by simulation. To determine the impact on bias and precision of treatment effect estimates, we applied standard methods of analysis to different populations under analysis. Results Cluster merging produced a systematic reduction in study power. This effect depended on the number of merges and was most pronounced when variability in cluster size was at its greatest. Simulations demonstrate that the impact on analysis was minimal when cluster merges were homogeneous, with impact on study power being balanced by a change in observed intracluster correlation coefficient (ICC). We found a decrease in study power when cluster merges were heterogeneous, and the estimate of treatment effect was attenuated. Conclusions Examples of cluster merges found in previously published reports of cluster randomised trials were typically homogeneous rather than heterogeneous. Simulations demonstrated that trial findings in such cases would be unbiased. However, simulations also showed that any heterogeneous cluster merges would introduce bias that would be hard to quantify, as well as having negative impacts on the precision of estimates obtained. Further methodological development is warranted to better determine how to analyse such trials appropriately. Interim recommendations

  6. Relative efficiency of unequal versus equal cluster sizes in cluster randomized trials using generalized estimating equation models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jingxia; Colditz, Graham A

    2018-05-01

    There is growing interest in conducting cluster randomized trials (CRTs). For simplicity in sample size calculation, the cluster sizes are assumed to be identical across all clusters. However, equal cluster sizes are not guaranteed in practice. Therefore, the relative efficiency (RE) of unequal versus equal cluster sizes has been investigated when testing the treatment effect. One of the most important approaches to analyze a set of correlated data is the generalized estimating equation (GEE) proposed by Liang and Zeger, in which the "working correlation structure" is introduced and the association pattern depends on a vector of association parameters denoted by ρ. In this paper, we utilize GEE models to test the treatment effect in a two-group comparison for continuous, binary, or count data in CRTs. The variances of the estimator of the treatment effect are derived for the different types of outcome. RE is defined as the ratio of variance of the estimator of the treatment effect for equal to unequal cluster sizes. We discuss a commonly used structure in CRTs-exchangeable, and derive the simpler formula of RE with continuous, binary, and count outcomes. Finally, REs are investigated for several scenarios of cluster size distributions through simulation studies. We propose an adjusted sample size due to efficiency loss. Additionally, we also propose an optimal sample size estimation based on the GEE models under a fixed budget for known and unknown association parameter (ρ) in the working correlation structure within the cluster. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Shamba Maisha: Pilot agricultural intervention for food security and HIV health outcomes in Kenya: design, methods, baseline results and process evaluation of a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Craig R; Steinfeld, Rachel L; Weke, Elly; Bukusi, Elizabeth A; Hatcher, Abigail M; Shiboski, Stephen; Rheingans, Richard; Scow, Kate M; Butler, Lisa M; Otieno, Phelgona; Dworkin, Shari L; Weiser, Sheri D

    2015-01-01

    Despite advances in treatment of people living with HIV, morbidity and mortality remains unacceptably high in sub-Saharan Africa, largely due to parallel epidemics of poverty and food insecurity. We conducted a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a multisectoral agricultural and microfinance intervention (entitled Shamba Maisha) designed to improve food security, household wealth, HIV clinical outcomes and women's empowerment. The intervention was carried out at two HIV clinics in Kenya, one randomized to the intervention arm and one to the control arm. HIV-infected patients >18 years, on antiretroviral therapy, with moderate/severe food insecurity and/or body mass index (BMI) loan (~$150) to purchase the farming commodities, 2) a micro-irrigation pump, seeds, and fertilizer, and 3) trainings in sustainable agricultural practices and financial literacy. Enrollment of 140 participants took four months, and the screening-to-enrollment ratio was similar between arms. We followed participants for 12 months and conducted structured questionnaires. We also conducted a process evaluation with participants and stakeholders 3-5 months after study start and at study end. Baseline results revealed that participants at the two sites were similar in age, gender and marital status. A greater proportion of participants at the intervention site had a low BMI in comparison to participants at the control site (18% vs. 7%, p = 0.054). While median CD4 count was similar between arms, a greater proportion of participants enrolled at the intervention arm had a detectable HIV viral load compared with control participants (49% vs. 28%, respectively, p loans, agricultural challenges due to weather patterns, and a challenging partnership with the microfinance institution. We expect the results from this pilot study to provide useful data on the impacts of livelihood interventions and will help in the design of a definitive cluster RCT. This trial is registered at Clinical

  8. Ab initio random structure search for 13-atom clusters of fcc elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chou, J P; Hsing, C R; Wei, C M; Cheng, C; Chang, C M

    2013-01-01

    The 13-atom metal clusters of fcc elements (Al, Rh, Ir, Ni, Pd, Pt, Cu, Ag, Au) were studied by density functional theory calculations. The global minima were searched for by the ab initio random structure searching method. In addition to some new lowest-energy structures for Pd 13 and Au 13 , we found that the effective coordination numbers of the lowest-energy clusters would increase with the ratio of the dimer-to-bulk bond length. This correlation, together with the electronic structures of the lowest-energy clusters, divides the 13-atom clusters of these fcc elements into two groups (except for Au 13 , which prefers a two-dimensional structure due to the relativistic effect). Compact-like clusters that are composed exclusively of triangular motifs are preferred for elements without d-electrons (Al) or with (nearly) filled d-band electrons (Ni, Pd, Cu, Ag). Non-compact clusters composed mainly of square motifs connected by some triangular motifs (Rh, Ir, Pt) are favored for elements with unfilled d-band electrons. (paper)

  9. An innovative telemedicine knowledge translation program to improve quality of care in intensive care units: protocol for a cluster randomized pragmatic trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinto Ruxandra

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There are challenges to timely adoption of, and ongoing adherence to, evidence-based practices known to improve patient care in the intensive care unit (ICU. Quality improvement initiatives using a collaborative network approach may increase the use of such practices. Our objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of a novel knowledge translation program for increasing the proportion of patients who appropriately receive the following six evidence-based care practices: venous thromboembolism prophylaxis; ventilator-associated pneumonia prevention; spontaneous breathing trials; catheter-related bloodstream infection prevention; decubitus ulcer prevention; and early enteral nutrition. Methods and design We will conduct a pragmatic cluster randomized active control trial in 15 community ICUs and one academic ICU in Ontario, Canada. The intervention is a multifaceted videoconferenced educational and problem-solving forum to organize knowledge translation strategies, including comparative audit and feedback, educational sessions from content experts, and dissemination of algorithms. Fifteen individual ICUs (clusters will be randomized to receive quality improvement interventions targeting one of the best practices during each of six study phases. Each phase lasts four months during the first study year and three months during the second. At the end of each study phase, ICUs are assigned to an intervention for a best practice not yet received according to a random schedule. The primary analysis will use patient-level process-of-care data to measure the intervention's effect on rates of adoption and adherence of each best practice in the targeted ICU clusters versus controls. Discussion This study design evaluates a new system for knowledge translation and quality improvement across six common ICU problems. All participating ICUs receive quality improvement initiatives during every study phase, improving buy-in. This study design

  10. Standardized Effect Size Measures for Mediation Analysis in Cluster-Randomized Trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapleton, Laura M.; Pituch, Keenan A.; Dion, Eric

    2015-01-01

    This article presents 3 standardized effect size measures to use when sharing results of an analysis of mediation of treatment effects for cluster-randomized trials. The authors discuss 3 examples of mediation analysis (upper-level mediation, cross-level mediation, and cross-level mediation with a contextual effect) with demonstration of the…

  11. Efficacy of a workplace osteoporosis prevention intervention: a cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ai May Tan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease. Adequate calcium consumption and physical activity are the two major modifiable risk factors. This paper describes the major outcomes and efficacy of a workplace-based targeted behaviour change intervention to improve the dietary and physical activity behaviours of working women in sedentary occupations in Singapore. Methods A cluster-randomized design was used, comparing the efficacy of a tailored intervention to standard care. Workplaces were the units of randomization and intervention. Sixteen workplaces were recruited from a pool of 97, and randomly assigned to intervention and control arms (eight workplaces in each. Women meeting specified inclusion criteria were then recruited to participate. Workplaces in the intervention arm received three participatory workshops and organization-wide educational activities. Workplaces in the control/standard care arm received print resources. Outcome measures were calcium intake (milligrams/day and physical activity level (duration: minutes/week, measured at baseline, 4 weeks and 6 months post intervention. Adjusted cluster-level analyses were conducted comparing changes in intervention versus control groups, following intention-to-treat principles and CONSORT guidelines. Results Workplaces in the intervention group reported a significantly greater increase in calcium intake and duration of load-bearing moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA compared with the standard care control group. Four weeks after intervention, the difference in adjusted mean calcium intake was 343.2 mg/day (95 % CI = 337.4 to 349.0, p < .0005 and the difference in adjusted mean load-bearing MVPA was 55.6 min/week (95 % CI = 54.5 to 56.6, p < .0005. Six months post intervention, the mean differences attenuated slightly to 290.5 mg/day (95 % CI = 285.3 to 295.7, p < .0005 and 50.9 min/week (95 % CI =49.3 to 52.6, p < .0005

  12. Exploring the transparency mechanism and evaluating the effect of public reporting on prescription: a protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Xin; Wang, Dan; Wang, Xuan; Yang, Shiru; Zhang, Xinping

    2015-03-21

    The public reporting of health outcomes has become one of the most popular topics and is accepted as a quality improvement method in the healthcare field. However, little research has been conducted on the transparency mechanism, and results are mixed with regard to the evaluation of the effect of public reporting on quality improvement. The objectives of this trial are to investigate the transparency mechanism and to evaluate the effect of public reporting on prescription at the level of individual participants. This study involves a cluster randomized controlled trial conducted in 20 primary-care facilities (clusters). Eligible clusters are those facilities with excellent hospital information systems and that have agreed to participate in the trial. The 20 clusters are matched into 10 pairs according to Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution score. As the unit of randomization, each pair of facilities is assigned at random to a control or an intervention group through coin flipping. Prescribed ranking information is publicly reported in the intervention group. The public materials include the posters of individuals and of facilities, the ranking lists of general practitioners, and brochures of patients, which are updated monthly. The intervention began on 13th November 2013 and lasted for one year. Specifically, participants are surveyed at five points in time (baseline, quarterly following the intervention) through questionnaires, interviews, and observations. These participants include an average of 600 patients, 300 general practitioners, 15 directors, and 6 health bureau administrators. The primary outcomes are the transparency mechanism model and the changes in medicine-prescribe. Subsequently, the modifications in the transparency mechanism constructs are evaluated. The outcomes are measured at the individual participant level, and the professional who analyzes the data is blind to the randomization status. This study protocol

  13. Novel Ordered Stepped-Wedge Cluster Trial Designs for Detecting Ebola Vaccine Efficacy Using a Spatially Structured Mathematical Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibrahim Diakite

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available During the 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD outbreak, policy-makers were confronted with difficult decisions on how best to test the efficacy of EVD vaccines. On one hand, many were reluctant to withhold a vaccine that might prevent a fatal disease from study participants randomized to a control arm. On the other, regulatory bodies called for rigorous placebo-controlled trials to permit direct measurement of vaccine efficacy prior to approval of the products. A stepped-wedge cluster study (SWCT was proposed as an alternative to a more traditional randomized controlled vaccine trial to address these concerns. Here, we propose novel "ordered stepped-wedge cluster trial" (OSWCT designs to further mitigate tradeoffs between ethical concerns, logistics, and statistical rigor.We constructed a spatially structured mathematical model of the EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone. We used the output of this model to simulate and compare a series of stepped-wedge cluster vaccine studies. Our model reproduced the observed order of first case occurrence within districts of Sierra Leone. Depending on the infection risk within the trial population and the trial start dates, the statistical power to detect a vaccine efficacy of 90% varied from 14% to 32% for standard SWCT, and from 67% to 91% for OSWCTs for an alpha error of 5%. The model's projection of first case occurrence was robust to changes in disease natural history parameters.Ordering clusters in a step-wedge trial based on the cluster's underlying risk of infection as predicted by a spatial model can increase the statistical power of a SWCT. In the event of another hemorrhagic fever outbreak, implementation of our proposed OSWCT designs could improve statistical power when a step-wedge study is desirable based on either ethical concerns or logistical constraints.

  14. Can group-based reassuring information alter low back pain behavior? A cluster-randomized controlled trial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Pernille; Indahl, Aage; Andersen, Lars L

    2017-01-01

    -randomized controlled trial. METHODS: Publically employed workers (n = 505) from 11 Danish municipality centers were randomized at center-level (cluster) to either intervention (two 1-hour group-based talks at the workplace) or control. The talks provided reassuring information together with a simple non...

  15. Recruitment to online therapies for depression: pilot cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Ray B; Goldsmith, Lesley; Hewson, Paul; Williams, Christopher J

    2013-03-05

    Raising awareness of online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could benefit many people with depression, but we do not know how purchasing online advertising compares to placing free links from relevant local websites in increasing uptake. To pilot a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing purchase of Google AdWords with placing free website links in raising awareness of online CBT resources for depression in order to better understand research design issues. We compared two online interventions with a control without intervention. The pilot RCT had 4 arms, each with 4 British postcode areas: (A) geographically targeted AdWords, (B) adverts placed on local websites by contacting website owners and requesting links be added, (C) both interventions, (D) control. Participants were directed to our research project website linking to two freely available online CBT resource sites (Moodgym and Living Life To The Full (LLTTF)) and two other depression support sites. We used data from (1) AdWords, (2) Google Analytics for our project website and for LLTTF, and (3) research project website. We compared two outcomes: (1) numbers with depression accessing the research project website, and then chose an onward link to one of the two CBT websites, and (2) numbers registering with LLTTF. We documented costs, and explored intervention and assessment methods to make general recommendations to inform researchers aiming to use similar methodologies in future studies. Trying to place local website links appeared much less cost effective than AdWords and although may prove useful for service delivery, was not worth pursuing in the context of the current study design. Our AdWords intervention was effective in recruiting people to the project website but our location targeting "leaked" and was not as geographically specific as claimed. The impact on online CBT was also diluted by offering participants other choices of destinations. Measuring the impact on LLTTF use was

  16. Academic and Behavioral Design Parameters for Cluster Randomized Trials in Kindergarten: An Analysis of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study 2011 Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K 2011).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedberg, E C

    2016-06-28

    There is an increased focus on randomized trials for proximal behavioral outcomes in early childhood research. However, planning sample sizes for such designs requires extant information on the size of effect, variance decomposition, and effectiveness of covariates. The purpose of this article is to employ a recent large representative sample of early childhood longitudinal study kindergartners to estimate design parameters for use in planning cluster randomized trials. A secondary objective is to compare the results of math and reading with the previous kindergartner cohort of 1999. For each measure, fall-spring gains in effect size units are calculated. In addition, multilevel models are fit to estimate variance components that are used to calculate intraclass correlations (ICCs) and R 2 statistics. The implications of the reported parameters are summarized in tables of required school sample sizes to detect small effects. The outcomes include information about student scores regarding learning behaviors, general behaviors, and academic abilities. Aside from math and reading, there were small gains in these measures from fall to spring, leading to effect sizes between about .1 and .2. In addition, the nonacademic ICCs are smaller than the academic ICCs but are still nontrivial. Use of a pretest covariate is generally effective in reducing the required sample size in power analyses. The ICCs for math and reading are smaller for the current sample compared with the 1999 sample. © The Author(s) 2016.

  17. Task shifting of frontline community health workers for cardiovascular risk reduction: design and rationale of a cluster randomised controlled trial (DISHA study) in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeemon, Panniyammakal; Narayanan, Gitanjali; Kondal, Dimple; Kahol, Kashvi; Bharadwaj, Ashok; Purty, Anil; Negi, Prakash; Ladhani, Sulaiman; Sanghvi, Jyoti; Singh, Kuldeep; Kapoor, Deksha; Sobti, Nidhi; Lall, Dorothy; Manimunda, Sathyaprakash; Dwivedi, Supriya; Toteja, Gurudyal; Prabhakaran, Dorairaj

    2016-03-15

    Effective task-shifting interventions targeted at reducing the global cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemic in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are urgently needed. DISHA is a cluster randomised controlled trial conducted across 10 sites (5 in phase 1 and 5 in phase 2) in India in 120 clusters. At each site, 12 clusters were randomly selected from a district. A cluster is defined as a small village with 250-300 households and well defined geographical boundaries. They were then randomly allocated to intervention and control clusters in a 1:1 allocation sequence. If any of the intervention and control clusters were workers (mainly Anganwadi workers and ASHA workers) and a post intervention survey in a representative sample. The study staff had no information on intervention allocation until the completion of the baseline survey. In order to ensure comparability of data across sites, the DISHA study follows a common protocol and manual of operation with standardized measurement techniques. Our study is the largest community based cluster randomised trial in low and middle-income country settings designed to test the effectiveness of 'task shifting' interventions involving frontline health workers for cardiovascular risk reduction. CTRI/2013/10/004049 . Registered 7 October 2013.

  18. Protocol for work place adjusted intelligent physical exercise reducing musculoskeletal pain in shoulder and neck (VIMS): a cluster randomized controlled trial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lars L.; Zebis, Mette K.; Pedersen, Mogens Theisen

    2010-01-01

    of training supervision for safe and effective training. METHODS/DESIGN: A cluster randomized controlled trial of 20 weeks duration where employed office workers are randomized to 1 x 60 min, 3 x 20 min, 9 x 7 min per week of specific strength training with training supervision, to 3 x 20 min per week...... of specific strength training with a minimal amount of training supervision, or to a reference group without training. A questionnaire will be sent to 2000 employees in jobs characterized by intensive computer work. Employees with cardiovascular disease, trauma, hypertension, or serious chronic disease...

  19. Production of complex particles in low energy spallation and in fragmentation reactions by in-medium random clusterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lacroix, D.; Durand, D.

    2005-09-01

    Rules for in-medium complex particle production in nuclear reactions are proposed. These rules have been implemented in two models to simulate nucleon-nucleus and nucleus-nucleus reactions around the Fermi energy. Our work emphasizes the effect of randomness in cluster formation, the importance of the nucleonic Fermi motion as well as the role of conservation laws. The concepts of total available phase-space and explored phase-space under constraint imposed by the reaction are clarified. The compatibility of experimental observations with a random clusterization is illustrated in a schematic scenario of a proton-nucleus collision. The role of randomness under constraint is also illustrated in the nucleus-nucleus case. (authors)

  20. A Coupled Hidden Markov Random Field Model for Simultaneous Face Clustering and Tracking in Videos

    KAUST Repository

    Wu, Baoyuan

    2016-10-25

    Face clustering and face tracking are two areas of active research in automatic facial video processing. They, however, have long been studied separately, despite the inherent link between them. In this paper, we propose to perform simultaneous face clustering and face tracking from real world videos. The motivation for the proposed research is that face clustering and face tracking can provide useful information and constraints to each other, thus can bootstrap and improve the performances of each other. To this end, we introduce a Coupled Hidden Markov Random Field (CHMRF) to simultaneously model face clustering, face tracking, and their interactions. We provide an effective algorithm based on constrained clustering and optimal tracking for the joint optimization of cluster labels and face tracking. We demonstrate significant improvements over state-of-the-art results in face clustering and tracking on several videos.

  1. Potts Model with Invisible Colors : Random-Cluster Representation and Pirogov–Sinai Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Enter, Aernout C.D. van; Iacobelli, Giulio; Taati, Siamak

    We study a recently introduced variant of the ferromagnetic Potts model consisting of a ferromagnetic interaction among q “visible” colors along with the presence of r non-interacting “invisible” colors. We introduce a random-cluster representation for the model, for which we prove the existence of

  2. Influence of a lifestyle intervention in preschool children on physiological and psychological parameters (Ballabeina): study design of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niederer, Iris; Kriemler, Susi; Zahner, Lukas; Bürgi, Flavia; Ebenegger, Vincent; Hartmann, Tim; Meyer, Ursina; Schindler, Christian; Nydegger, Andreas; Marques-Vidal, Pedro; Puder, Jardena J

    2009-03-31

    ), attention and spatial working memory ability (two validated tests). Researchers were blinded to group allocation. The purpose of this paper is to outline the design of a school-based multicenter cluster randomized, controlled trial aiming to reduce body mass index and to increase aerobic fitness in preschool children in culturally different parts of Switzerland with a high migrant population. Trial Registration: (clinicaltrials.gov) NCT00674544.

  3. Bond percolation on a class of correlated and clustered random graphs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allard, A; Hébert-Dufresne, L; Noël, P-A; Marceau, V; Dubé, L J

    2012-01-01

    We introduce a formalism for computing bond percolation properties of a class of correlated and clustered random graphs. This class of graphs is a generalization of the configuration model where nodes of different types are connected via different types of hyperedges, edges that can link more than two nodes. We argue that the multitype approach coupled with the use of clustered hyperedges can reproduce a wide spectrum of complex patterns, and thus enhances our capability to model real complex networks. As an illustration of this claim, we use our formalism to highlight unusual behaviours of the size and composition of the components (small and giant) in a synthetic, albeit realistic, social network. (paper)

  4. Testing the feasibility of a knowledge translation intervention designed to improve chiropractic care for adults with neck pain disorders: study protocol for a pilot cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhopte, Prakash; Ahmed, Sara; Mayo, Nancy; French, Simon; Quon, Jeffrey A; Bussières, André

    2016-01-01

    Neck pain in adults is common and a leading cause of physical disability. Recently, a guideline was developed for the management of non-specific neck pain (NSNP) with an aim to improve the quality of the delivery of chiropractic care. One key guideline recommendation is to undertake multimodal care for patients with NSNP. The aim of this pilot study is to determine the feasibility of implementing a multifaceted knowledge translation intervention by promoting the use of multimodal care by chiropractors managing patients with NSNP. The design is a cluster-randomized controlled pilot and feasibility trial. Chiropractors in private practice in Canada will be approached to participate in the study. Thirty consenting chiropractors will be randomized to receive either a theory-based educational intervention in the experimental group or simply a printed copy of the guideline in the control group. Each chiropractor will recruit five neck pain patients (a total of 150 patients) into the study. Development of the multifaceted intervention was informed by the results of a related qualitative study based on the Theoretical Domains Framework and consists of a series of three webinars, two online case scenarios, a self-management video on Brief Action Planning, and a printed copy of the practice guideline. Primary feasibility outcomes for both chiropractors and patients include rates of (1) recruitment, (2) retention, and (3) adherence to the intervention. A checklist of proxy measures embedded within patient encounter forms will be used to assess chiropractors' compliance with guideline recommendations (e.g. exercise and self-care prescriptions) at study onset and at 3 months. Secondary outcomes include scores of behavioural constructs (level of knowledge and self-efficacy) for recommended multimodal care. Clinical outcomes include pain intensity and neck pain-specific disability. Analyses from this study will focus on generating point estimates and corresponding 95

  5. Development of an e-supported illness management and recovery programme for consumers with severe mental illness using intervention mapping, and design of an early cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beentjes, Titus A A; van Gaal, Betsie G I; Goossens, Peter J J; Schoonhoven, Lisette

    2016-01-19

    E-mental health is a promising medium to keep mental health affordable and accessible. For consumers with severe mental illness the evidence of the effectiveness of e-health is limited. A number of difficulties and barriers have to be addressed concerning e-health for consumers with severe mental illness. One possible solution might be to blend e-health with face-to-face delivery of a recovery-oriented treatment, like the Illness Management & Recovery (IMR) programme. This paper describes the development of an e-health application for the IMR programme and the design of an early clustered randomized controlled trial. We developed the e-IMR intervention according to the six-step protocol of Intervention Mapping. Consumers joined the development group to address important and relevant issues for the target group. Decisions during the six-step development process were based on qualitative evaluations of the Illness Management & Recovery programme, structured interviews, discussion in the development group, and literature reviews on qualitative papers concerning consumers with severe mental illness, theoretical models, behavioural change techniques, and telemedicine for consumers with severe mental illness. The aim of the e-IMR intervention is to help consumers with severe mental illness to involve others, manage achieving goals, and prevent relapse. The e-IMR intervention consists of face-to-face delivery of the Illness Management & Recovery programme and an e-health application containing peer-testimonials on videos, follow up on goals and coping strategies, monitoring symptoms, solving problems, and communication opportunities. We designed an early cluster randomized controlled trial that will evaluate the e-IMR intervention. In the control condition the Illness Management & Recovery programme is provided. The main effect-study parameters are: illness management, recovery, psychiatric symptoms severity, self-management, quality of life, and general health. The

  6. RRW: repeated random walks on genome-scale protein networks for local cluster discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Can Tolga

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We propose an efficient and biologically sensitive algorithm based on repeated random walks (RRW for discovering functional modules, e.g., complexes and pathways, within large-scale protein networks. Compared to existing cluster identification techniques, RRW implicitly makes use of network topology, edge weights, and long range interactions between proteins. Results We apply the proposed technique on a functional network of yeast genes and accurately identify statistically significant clusters of proteins. We validate the biological significance of the results using known complexes in the MIPS complex catalogue database and well-characterized biological processes. We find that 90% of the created clusters have the majority of their catalogued proteins belonging to the same MIPS complex, and about 80% have the majority of their proteins involved in the same biological process. We compare our method to various other clustering techniques, such as the Markov Clustering Algorithm (MCL, and find a significant improvement in the RRW clusters' precision and accuracy values. Conclusion RRW, which is a technique that exploits the topology of the network, is more precise and robust in finding local clusters. In addition, it has the added flexibility of being able to find multi-functional proteins by allowing overlapping clusters.

  7. Consumers' Kansei Needs Clustering Method for Product Emotional Design Based on Numerical Design Structure Matrix and Genetic Algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yan-Pu; Chen, Deng-Kai; Gu, Rong; Gu, Yu-Feng; Yu, Sui-Huai

    2016-01-01

    Consumers' Kansei needs reflect their perception about a product and always consist of a large number of adjectives. Reducing the dimension complexity of these needs to extract primary words not only enables the target product to be explicitly positioned, but also provides a convenient design basis for designers engaging in design work. Accordingly, this study employs a numerical design structure matrix (NDSM) by parameterizing a conventional DSM and integrating genetic algorithms to find optimum Kansei clusters. A four-point scale method is applied to assign link weights of every two Kansei adjectives as values of cells when constructing an NDSM. Genetic algorithms are used to cluster the Kansei NDSM and find optimum clusters. Furthermore, the process of the proposed method is presented. The details of the proposed approach are illustrated using an example of electronic scooter for Kansei needs clustering. The case study reveals that the proposed method is promising for clustering Kansei needs adjectives in product emotional design.

  8. Strengthening the delivery of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease care at primary health-care facilities: study design of a cluster randomized controlled trial in Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Amir Khan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Respiratory diseases, namely asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, account for one-fourth of the patients at the primary health-care (PHC facilities in Pakistan. Standard care practices to manage these diseases are necessary to reduce the morbidity and mortality rate associated with non-communicable diseases in developing countries. Objective: To develop and measure the effectiveness of operational guidelines and implementation materials, with sound scientific evidence, for expanding lung health care, especially asthma and COPD through PHC facilities already strengthened for tuberculosis (TB care in Pakistan. Design: A cluster randomized controlled trial with two arms (intervention and control, with qualitative and costing study components, is being conducted in 34 clusters; 17 clusters per arm (428 asthma and 306 COPD patients, in three districts in Pakistan from October 2014 to December 2016. The intervention consists of enhanced case management of asthma and COPD patients through strengthening of PHC facilities. The main outcomes to be measured are asthma and COPD control among the registered cases at 6 months. Cluster- and individual-level analyses will be done according to intention to treat. Residual confounding will be addressed by multivariable logistic and linear regression models for asthma and COPD control, respectively. The trial is registered with ISRCTN registry (ISRCTN 17409338. Conclusions: Currently, only about 20% of the estimated prevalent asthma and COPD cases are being identified and reported through the respective PHC network. Lung health care and prevention has not been effectively integrated into the core PHC package, although a very well-functioning TB program exists at the PHC level. Inclusion of these diseases in the already existent TB program is expected to increase detection rates and care for asthma and COPD.

  9. Snoezelen, structured reminiscence therapy and 10-minutes activation in long term care residents with dementia (WISDE: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Becker Christiane

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background People with dementia are often inapproachable due to symptoms of their illness. Therefore nurses should establish relationships with dementia patients via their remaining resources and facilitate communication. In order to achieve this, different targeted non-pharmacological interventions are recommended and practiced. However there is no sufficient evidence about the efficacy of most of these interventions. A number of publications highlight the urgent need for methodological sound studies so that more robust conclusions may be drawn. Methods/Design The trial is designed as a cluster randomized controlled trial with 20 nursing homes in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt (Germany as the units of randomization. Nursing homes will be randomly allocated into 4 study groups consisting of 5 clusters and 90 residents: snoezelen, structured reminiscence therapy, 10-minutes activation or unstructured verbal communication (control group. The purpose is to determine whether the interventions are effective to reduce apathy in long-term care residents with dementia (N = 360 as the main outcome measure. Assessments will be done at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months after beginning of the interventions. Discussion This trial will particularly contribute to the evidence on efficacy of non-pharmacological interventions in dementia care. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00653731

  10. Choosing a Cluster Sampling Design for Lot Quality Assurance Sampling Surveys

    OpenAIRE

    Hund, Lauren; Bedrick, Edward J.; Pagano, Marcello

    2015-01-01

    Lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) surveys are commonly used for monitoring and evaluation in resource-limited settings. Recently several methods have been proposed to combine LQAS with cluster sampling for more timely and cost-effective data collection. For some of these methods, the standard binomial model can be used for constructing decision rules as the clustering can be ignored. For other designs, considered here, clustering is accommodated in the design phase. In this paper, we comp...

  11. Novel approaches to pin cluster synchronization on complex dynamical networks in Lur'e forms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Ze; Park, Ju H.; Feng, Jianwen

    2018-04-01

    This paper investigates the cluster synchronization of complex dynamical networks consisted of identical or nonidentical Lur'e systems. Due to the special topology structure of the complex networks and the existence of stochastic perturbations, a kind of randomly occurring pinning controller is designed which not only synchronizes all Lur'e systems in the same cluster but also decreases the negative influence among different clusters. Firstly, based on an extended integral inequality, the convex combination theorem and S-procedure, the conditions for cluster synchronization of identical Lur'e networks are derived in a convex domain. Secondly, randomly occurring adaptive pinning controllers with two independent Bernoulli stochastic variables are designed and then sufficient conditions are obtained for the cluster synchronization on complex networks consisted of nonidentical Lur'e systems. In addition, suitable control gains for successful cluster synchronization of nonidentical Lur'e networks are acquired by designing some adaptive updating laws. Finally, we present two numerical examples to demonstrate the validity of the control scheme and the theoretical analysis.

  12. Sample size adjustments for varying cluster sizes in cluster randomized trials with binary outcomes analyzed with second-order PQL mixed logistic regression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candel, Math J J M; Van Breukelen, Gerard J P

    2010-06-30

    Adjustments of sample size formulas are given for varying cluster sizes in cluster randomized trials with a binary outcome when testing the treatment effect with mixed effects logistic regression using second-order penalized quasi-likelihood estimation (PQL). Starting from first-order marginal quasi-likelihood (MQL) estimation of the treatment effect, the asymptotic relative efficiency of unequal versus equal cluster sizes is derived. A Monte Carlo simulation study shows this asymptotic relative efficiency to be rather accurate for realistic sample sizes, when employing second-order PQL. An approximate, simpler formula is presented to estimate the efficiency loss due to varying cluster sizes when planning a trial. In many cases sampling 14 per cent more clusters is sufficient to repair the efficiency loss due to varying cluster sizes. Since current closed-form formulas for sample size calculation are based on first-order MQL, planning a trial also requires a conversion factor to obtain the variance of the second-order PQL estimator. In a second Monte Carlo study, this conversion factor turned out to be 1.25 at most. (c) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. Informing resource-poor populations and the delivery of entitled health and social services in rural India: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Priyanka; Sehgal, Ashwini R; Riboud, Michelle; Levine, David; Goyal, Madhav

    2007-10-24

    A lack of awareness about entitled health and social services may contribute to poor delivery of such services in developing countries, especially among individuals of low socioeconomic status. To determine the impact of informing resource-poor rural populations about entitled services. Community-based, cluster randomized controlled trial conducted from May 2004 to May 2005 in 105 randomly selected village clusters in Uttar Pradesh state in India. Households (548 intervention and 497 control) were selected by a systematic sampling design, including both low-caste and mid- to high-caste households. Four to 6 public meetings were held in each intervention village cluster to disseminate information on entitled health services, entitled education services, and village governance requirements. No intervention took place in control village clusters. Visits by nurse midwife; prenatal examinations, tetanus vaccinations, and prenatal supplements received by pregnant women; vaccinations received by infants; excess school fees charged; occurrence of village council meetings; and development work in villages. At baseline, there were no significant differences in self-reported delivery of health and social services. After 1 year, intervention villagers reported better delivery of several services compared with control villagers: in a multivariate analysis, 30% more prenatal examinations (95% confidence interval [CI], 17%-43%; P India about entitled services enhanced the delivery of health and social services among both low- and mid- to high-caste households. Interventions that emphasize educating resource-poor populations about entitled services may improve the delivery of such services. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00421291.

  14. Can cannabis use be prevented by targeting personality risk in schools? Twenty?four?month outcome of the adventure trial on cannabis use: a cluster?randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    Mahu, Ioan T.; Doucet, Christine; O'Leary?Barrett, Maeve; Conrod, Patricia J.

    2015-01-01

    Aims To examine the effectiveness of a personality?targeted intervention program (Adventure trial) delivered by trained teachers to high?risk (HR) high?school students on reducing marijuana use and frequency of use. Design A cluster?randomized controlled trial. Setting Secondary schools in London, UK. Participants Twenty?one secondary schools were randomized to intervention (n?=?12) or control (n?=?9) conditions, encompassing a total of 1038 HR students in the ninth grade [mean (standard devi...

  15. A Clustering-Based Automatic Transfer Function Design for Volume Visualization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianjin Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The two-dimensional transfer functions (TFs designed based on intensity-gradient magnitude (IGM histogram are effective tools for the visualization and exploration of 3D volume data. However, traditional design methods usually depend on multiple times of trial-and-error. We propose a novel method for the automatic generation of transfer functions by performing the affinity propagation (AP clustering algorithm on the IGM histogram. Compared with previous clustering algorithms that were employed in volume visualization, the AP clustering algorithm has much faster convergence speed and can achieve more accurate clustering results. In order to obtain meaningful clustering results, we introduce two similarity measurements: IGM similarity and spatial similarity. These two similarity measurements can effectively bring the voxels of the same tissue together and differentiate the voxels of different tissues so that the generated TFs can assign different optical properties to different tissues. Before performing the clustering algorithm on the IGM histogram, we propose to remove noisy voxels based on the spatial information of voxels. Our method does not require users to input the number of clusters, and the classification and visualization process is automatic and efficient. Experiments on various datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  16. The random cluster model and a new integration identity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, L C; Wu, F Y

    2005-01-01

    We evaluate the free energy of the random cluster model at its critical point for 0 -1 (√q/2) is a rational number. As a by-product, our consideration leads to a closed-form evaluation of the integral 1/(4π 2 ) ∫ 0 2π dΘ ∫ 0 2π dΦ ln[A+B+C - AcosΘ - BcosΦ - Ccos(Θ+Φ)] = -ln(2S) + (2/π)[Ti 2 (AS) + Ti 2 (BS) + Ti 2 (CS)], which arises in lattice statistics, where A, B, C ≥ 0 and S=1/√(AB + BC + CA)

  17. Effectiveness of the universal prevention program 'Healthy School and Drugs': Study protocol of a randomized clustered trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malmberg Monique

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Substance use is highly prevalent among Dutch adolescents. The Healthy School and Drugs program is a nationally implemented school-based prevention program aimed at reducing early and excessive substance use among adolescents. Although the program's effectiveness was tested in a quasi-experimental design before, many program changes were made afterwards. The present study, therefore, aims to test the effects of this widely used, renewed universal prevention program. Methods/Design A randomized clustered trial will be conducted among 3,784 adolescents of 23 secondary schools in The Netherlands. The trial has three conditions; two intervention conditions (i.e., e-learning and integral and a control condition. The e-learning condition consists of three digital learning modules (i.e., about alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana that are sequentially offered over the course of three school years (i.e., grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3. The integral condition consists of parental participation in a parental meeting on substance use, regulation of substance use, and monitoring and counseling of students' substance use at school, over and above the three digital modules. The control condition is characterized as business as usual. Participating schools were randomly assigned to either an intervention or control condition. Participants filled out a digital questionnaire at baseline and will fill out the same questionnaire three more times at follow-up measurements (8, 20, and 32 months after baseline. Outcome variables included in the questionnaire are the percentage of binge drinking (more than five drinks per occasion, the average weekly number of drinks, and the percentage of adolescents who ever drunk a glass of alcohol and the percentage of adolescents who ever smoked a cigarette or a joint respectively for tobacco and marijuana. Discussion This study protocol describes the design of a randomized clustered trial that evaluates the

  18. A Cluster-Randomized Trial of Restorative Practices: An Illustration to Spur High-Quality Research and Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Joie D.; Chinman, Matthew; Ebener, Patricia; Phillips, Andrea; Xenakis, Lea; Malone, Patrick S.

    2016-01-01

    Restorative practices in schools lack rigorous evaluation studies. As an example of rigorous school-based research, this article describes the first randomized control trial of restorative practices to date, the Study of Restorative Practices. It is a 5-year, cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Restorative Practices Intervention (RPI)…

  19. Prevention of Gestational Diabetes: Design of a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial and One-Year Follow-Up

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansikkamäki Kirsi

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Annual prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM is 12.5% among Finnish pregnant women. The prevalence is expected to rise with the increasing overweight among women before pregnancy. Physical activity and diet are both known to have favourable effects on insulin resistance and possibly on the risk of GDM. We aimed to investigate, whether GDM can be prevented by counseling on diet, physical activity and gestational weight gain during pregnancy. Methods/Design A cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted in 14 municipalities in the southern part of Finland. Pairwise randomization was performed in order to take into account socioeconomic differences. Recruited women were at 8-12 weeks' gestation and fulfilled at least one of the following criteria: body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m2, history of earlier gestational glucose intolerance or macrosomic newborn (> 4500 g, age ≥ 40 years, first or second degree relative with history of type 1 or 2 diabetes. Main exclusion criterion was pathological oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT at 8-12 weeks' gestation. The trial included one counseling session on physical activity at 8-12 weeks' gestation and one for diet at 16-18 weeks' gestation, and three to four booster sessions during other routine visits. In the control clinics women received usual care. Information on height, weight gain and other gestational factors was obtained from maternity cards. Physical activity, dietary intake and quality of life were followed by questionnaires during pregnancy and at 1-year postpartum. Blood samples for lipid status, hormones, insulin and OGTT were taken at 8-12 and 26-28 weeks' gestation and 1 year postpartum. Workability and return to work were elicited by a questionnaire at 1- year postpartum. Linkage to the national birth register of years 2007-2009 will provide information on perinatal complications and GDM incidence among the non-participants of the study. Cost

  20. E-learning or educational leaflet: does it make a difference in oral health promotion? A clustered randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Bardaweel, Susan; Dashash, Mayssoon

    2018-05-10

    The early recognition of technology together with great ability to use computers and smart systems have promoted researchers to investigate the possibilities of utilizing technology for improving health care in children. The aim of this study was to compare between the traditional educational leaflets and E-applications in improving oral health knowledge, oral hygiene and gingival health in schoolchildren of Damascus city, Syria. A clustered randomized controlled trial at two public primary schools was performed. About 220 schoolchildren aged 10-11 years were included in this study and grouped into two clusters. Children in Leaflet cluster received oral health education through leaflets, while children in E-learning cluster received oral health education through an E-learning program. A questionnaire was designed to register information related to oral health knowledge and to record Plaque and Gingival indices. Questionnaire administration and clinical assessment were undertaken at baseline, 6 and at 12 weeks of oral health education. Data was analysed using one way repeated measures ANOVA, post hoc Bonferroni test and independent samples t-test. Leaflet cluster (107 participants) had statistically significant better oral health knowledge than E-learning cluster (104 participants) at 6 weeks (P E-learning cluster:100 participants). The mean knowledge gain compared to baseline was higher in Leaflet cluster than in E-learning cluster. A significant reduction in the PI means at 6 weeks and 12 weeks was observed in both clusters (P E-learning cluster at 6 weeks (P E-learning cluster at 6 weeks (P < 0.05) and 12 weeks (P < 0.05). Traditional educational leaflets are an effective tool in the improvement of both oral health knowledge as well as clinical indices of oral hygiene and care among Syrian children. Leaflets can be used in school-based oral health education for a positive outcome. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN

  1. Exergaming and older adult cognition: a cluster randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Hanley, Cay; Arciero, Paul J; Brickman, Adam M; Nimon, Joseph P; Okuma, Naoko; Westen, Sarah C; Merz, Molly E; Pence, Brandt D; Woods, Jeffrey A; Kramer, Arthur F; Zimmerman, Earl A

    2012-02-01

    Dementia cases may reach 100 million by 2050. Interventions are sought to curb or prevent cognitive decline. Exercise yields cognitive benefits, but few older adults exercise. Virtual reality-enhanced exercise or "exergames" may elicit greater participation. To test the following hypotheses: (1) stationary cycling with virtual reality tours ("cybercycle") will enhance executive function and clinical status more than traditional exercise; (2) exercise effort will explain improvement; and (3) brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) will increase. Multi-site cluster randomized clinical trial (RCT) of the impact of 3 months of cybercycling versus traditional exercise, on cognitive function in older adults. Data were collected in 2008-2010; analyses were conducted in 2010-2011. 102 older adults from eight retirement communities enrolled; 79 were randomized and 63 completed. A recumbent stationary ergometer was utilized; virtual reality tours and competitors were enabled on the cybercycle. Executive function (Color Trails Difference, Stroop C, Digits Backward); clinical status (mild cognitive impairment; MCI); exercise effort/fitness; and plasma BDNF. Intent-to-treat analyses, controlling for age, education, and cluster randomization, revealed a significant group X time interaction for composite executive function (p=0.002). Cybercycling yielded a medium effect over traditional exercise (d=0.50). Cybercyclists had a 23% relative risk reduction in clinical progression to MCI. Exercise effort and fitness were comparable, suggesting another underlying mechanism. A significant group X time interaction for BDNF (p=0.05) indicated enhanced neuroplasticity among cybercyclists. Cybercycling older adults achieved better cognitive function than traditional exercisers, for the same effort, suggesting that simultaneous cognitive and physical exercise has greater potential for preventing cognitive decline. This study is registered at Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01167400. Copyright

  2. A simple sample size formula for analysis of covariance in cluster randomized trials.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teerenstra, S.; Eldridge, S.; Graff, M.J.; Hoop, E. de; Borm, G.F.

    2012-01-01

    For cluster randomized trials with a continuous outcome, the sample size is often calculated as if an analysis of the outcomes at the end of the treatment period (follow-up scores) would be performed. However, often a baseline measurement of the outcome is available or feasible to obtain. An

  3. Effects of Nurse-Led Multifactorial Care to Prevent Disability in Community-Living Older People : Cluster Randomized Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suijker, Jacqueline J.; van Rijn, Marjon; Buurman, Bianca M.; ter Riet, Gerben; van Charante, Eric P. Moll; de Rooij, Sophia E.

    2016-01-01

    Background To evaluate the effects of nurse-led multifactorial care to prevent disability in community-living older people. Methods In a cluster randomized trail, 11 practices (n = 1,209 participants) were randomized to the intervention group, and 13 practices (n = 1,074 participants) were

  4. Testing a workplace physical activity intervention: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEachan, Rosemary R C; Lawton, Rebecca J; Jackson, Cath; Conner, Mark; Meads, David M; West, Robert M

    2011-04-11

    Increased physical activity levels benefit both an individuals' health and productivity at work. The purpose of the current study was to explore the impact and cost-effectiveness of a workplace physical activity intervention designed to increase physical activity levels. A total of 1260 participants from 44 UK worksites (based within 5 organizations) were recruited to a cluster randomized controlled trial with worksites randomly allocated to an intervention or control condition. Measurement of physical activity and other variables occurred at baseline, and at 0 months, 3 months and 9 months post-intervention. Health outcomes were measured during a 30 minute health check conducted in worksites at baseline and 9 months post intervention. The intervention consisted of a 3 month tool-kit of activities targeting components of the Theory of Planned Behavior, delivered in-house by nominated facilitators. Self-reported physical activity (measured using the IPAQ short-form) and health outcomes were assessed. Multilevel modelling found no significant effect of the intervention on MET minutes of activity (from the IPAQ) at any of the follow-up time points controlling for baseline activity. However, the intervention did significantly reduce systolic blood pressure (B=-1.79 mm/Hg) and resting heart rate (B=-2.08 beats) and significantly increased body mass index (B=.18 units) compared to control. The intervention was found not to be cost-effective, however the substantial variability round this estimate suggested that further research is warranted. The current study found mixed support for this worksite physical activity intervention. The paper discusses some of the tensions involved in conducting rigorous evaluations of large-scale randomized controlled trials in real-world settings. © 2011 McEachan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  5. Determination of the linear aperture of the SSC [Superconducting Supercollider] clustered lattice used for the conceptual design report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dell, G.F.

    1986-01-01

    A study is made of the linear aperture for the clustered lattice used for the SSC Conceptual Design Report. Random multipole errors are included in all magnetic elements including the insertion dipoles and quadrupoles. Based on the concept of smear, the linear aperture is equal to the dynamic aperture in the range -0.1 ≤ ΔP/P ≤ 0.03%. Strong coupling for ΔP/P > 0% produces large smears. A variation of the smear parameter that is insensitive to coupling is proposed. A comparison is made with results reported in the SSC Conceptual Design Report

  6. Dynamic connectivity algorithms for Monte Carlo simulations of the random-cluster model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elçi, Eren Metin; Weigel, Martin

    2014-01-01

    We review Sweeny's algorithm for Monte Carlo simulations of the random cluster model. Straightforward implementations suffer from the problem of computational critical slowing down, where the computational effort per edge operation scales with a power of the system size. By using a tailored dynamic connectivity algorithm we are able to perform all operations with a poly-logarithmic computational effort. This approach is shown to be efficient in keeping online connectivity information and is of use for a number of applications also beyond cluster-update simulations, for instance in monitoring droplet shape transitions. As the handling of the relevant data structures is non-trivial, we provide a Python module with a full implementation for future reference.

  7. 47 CFR 1.1602 - Designation for random selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 47 Telecommunication 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Designation for random selection. 1.1602 Section 1.1602 Telecommunication FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION GENERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE Random Selection Procedures for Mass Media Services General Procedures § 1.1602 Designation for random selection...

  8. Cluster-randomized xylitol toothpaste trial for early childhood caries prevention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Donald L.; Tut, Ohnmar K.; Milgrom, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Purpose We assessed the efficacy of supervised toothbrushing with xylitol toothpaste to prevent early childhood caries (ECC) and to reduce mutans streptococci (MS). Methods In this cluster-randomized efficacy trial, 4 Head Start classrooms in the Marshall Islands were randomly assigned to supervised toothbrushing with 1,400ppm/31% fluoride-xylitol (Epic Dental, Provo, UT) or 1,450ppm fluoride-sorbitol toothpaste (Colgate-Palmolive, New York, NY) (N=196 children, ages 4–5 yrs). We hypothesized no difference in efficacy between the two types of toothpaste. The primary outcome was primary molar d2-3mfs increment after 6 mos. A single examiner was blinded to classroom assignments. Two classrooms were assigned to the fluoride-xylitol group (85 children) and 2 classrooms to the fluoride-sorbitol group (83 children). The child-level analyses accounted for clustering. Results There was no difference between the two groups in baseline or end-of-trial mean d2-3mfs. The mean d2-3mfs increment was greater in the fluoride-xylitol group compared to the fluoride-sorbitol group (2.5 and 1.4 d2-3mfs, respectively), but the difference was not significant (95% CI:−0.17, 2.37;P=0.07). No adverse effects were reported. Conclusion After 6 mos, brushing with a low strength xylitol/fluoride toothpaste is no more efficacious in reducing ECC than a fluoride only toothpaste in a high caries risk child population. PMID:24709430

  9. Cluster-randomized xylitol toothpaste trial for early childhood caries prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Donald L; Tut, Ohnmar; Milgrom, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of supervised tooth-brushing with xylitol toothpaste to prevent early childhood caries (ECC) and reduce mutans streptococci. In this cluster-randomized efficacy trial, 196 four- to five-year-old children in four Head Start classrooms in the Marshall Islands were randomly assigned to supervised toothbrushing with 1,400 ppm/31 percent fluoride xylitol or 1,450 ppm fluoride sorbitol toothpaste. We hypothesized that there would be no difference in efficacy between the two types of toothpaste. The primary outcome was the surface-level primary molar caries increment (d(2-3)mfs) after six months. A single examiner was blinded to classroom assignments. Two classrooms were assigned to the fluoride-xylitol group (85 children), and two classrooms were assigned to the fluoride-sorbitol group (83 children). The child-level analyses accounted for clustering. There was no difference between the two groups in baseline or end-of-trial mean d(2-3)mfs. The mean d(2-3)mfs increment was greater in the fluoride-xylitol group compared to the fluoride-sorbitol group (2.5 and 1.4 d(2-3)mfs, respectively), but the difference was not significant (95% confidence interval: -0.17, 2.37; P=.07). No adverse effects were reported. After six months, brushing with a low-strength xylitol/fluoride tooth-paste is no more efficacious in reducing ECC than a fluoride-only toothpaste in a high caries-risk child population.

  10. Review of Recent Methodological Developments in Group-Randomized Trials: Part 2-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Elizabeth L; Prague, Melanie; Gallis, John A; Li, Fan; Murray, David M

    2017-07-01

    In 2004, Murray et al. reviewed methodological developments in the design and analysis of group-randomized trials (GRTs). We have updated that review with developments in analysis of the past 13 years, with a companion article to focus on developments in design. We discuss developments in the topics of the earlier review (e.g., methods for parallel-arm GRTs, individually randomized group-treatment trials, and missing data) and in new topics, including methods to account for multiple-level clustering and alternative estimation methods (e.g., augmented generalized estimating equations, targeted maximum likelihood, and quadratic inference functions). In addition, we describe developments in analysis of alternative group designs (including stepped-wedge GRTs, network-randomized trials, and pseudocluster randomized trials), which require clustering to be accounted for in their design and analysis.

  11. A cluster randomized pilot trial of a tailored worksite smoking cessation intervention targeting Hispanic/Latino construction workers: Intervention development and research design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asfar, Taghrid; Caban-Martinez, Alberto J; McClure, Laura A; Ruano-Herreria, Estefania C; Sierra, Danielle; Gilford Clark, G; Samano, Daniel; Dietz, Noella A; Ward, Kenneth D; Arheart, Kristopher L; Lee, David J

    2018-04-01

    Construction workers have the highest smoking rate among all occupations (39%). Hispanic/Latino workers constitute a large and increasing group in the US construction industry (over 2.6 million; 23% of all workers). These minority workers have lower cessation rates compared to other groups due to their limited access to cessation services, and lack of smoking cessation interventions adapted to their culture and work/life circumstances. Formative research was conducted to create an intervention targeting Hispanic/Latino construction workers. This paper describes the intervention development and the design, methods, and data analysis plans for an ongoing cluster pilot two-arm randomized controlled trial comparing an Enhanced Care worksite cessation program to Standard Care. Fourteen construction sites will be randomized to either Enhanced Care or Standard Care and 126 participants (63/arm) will be recruited. In both arms, recruitment and intervention delivery occur around "food trucks" that regularly visit the construction sites. Participants at Enhanced Care sites will receive the developed intervention consisting of a single face-to-face group counseling session, 2 phone calls, and a fax referral to Florida tobacco quitline (QL). Participants at Standard Care sites will receive a fax referral to the QL. Both groups will receive eight weeks of nicotine replacement treatment and two follow-up assessments at three and six months. Feasibility outcomes are estimated recruitment yield, barriers to delivering the intervention onsite, and rates of adherence/compliance to the intervention, follow-ups, and QL enrollment. Efficacy outcomes are point-prevalence and prolonged abstinence rates at six month follow-up confirmed by saliva cotinine <15 ng/ml. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Design Optimization of Multi-Cluster Embedded Systems for Real-Time Applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pop, Paul; Eles, Petru; Peng, Zebo

    2004-01-01

    We present an approach to design optimization of multi-cluster embedded systems consisting of time-triggered and event-triggered clusters, interconnected via gateways. In this paper, we address design problems which are characteristic to multi-clusters: partitioning of the system functionality...... into time-triggered and event-triggered domains, process mapping, and the optimization of parameters corresponding to the communication protocol. We present several heuristics for solving these problems. Our heuristics are able to find schedulable implementations under limited resources, achieving...... an efficient utilization of the system. The developed algorithms are evaluated using extensive experiments and a real-life example....

  13. Design Optimization of Multi-Cluster Embedded Systems for Real-Time Applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pop, Paul; Eles, Petru; Peng, Zebo

    2006-01-01

    We present an approach to design optimization of multi-cluster embedded systems consisting of time-triggered and event-triggered clusters, interconnected via gateways. In this paper, we address design problems which are characteristic to multi-clusters: partitioning of the system functionality...... into time-triggered and event-triggered domains, process mapping, and the optimization of parameters corresponding to the communication protocol. We present several heuristics for solving these problems. Our heuristics are able to find schedulable implementations under limited resources, achieving...... an efficient utilization of the system. The developed algorithms are evaluated using extensive experiments and a real-life example....

  14. Non-random intrachromosomal distribution of radiation-induced chromatid aberrations in Vicia faba. [Aberration clustering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schubert, I; Rieger, R [Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR, Gatersleben. Zentralinst. fuer Genetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

    1976-04-01

    A reconstructed karyotype of Vicia faba, with all chromosomes individually distinguishable, was treated with X-rays, fast neutrons, (/sup 3/H) uridine (/sup 3/HU). The distribution within metaphase chromosomes of induced chromatid aberrations was non-random for all agents used. Aberration clustering, in part agent specific, occurred in chromosome segments containing heterochromatin as defined by the presence of G bands. The pattern of aberration clustering found after treatment with /sup 3/HU did not allow the recognition of chromosome regions active in transcription during treatment. Furthermore, it was impossible to obtain unambiguous indications of the presence of AT- and GC-base clusters from the patterns of /sup 3/HT- and /sup 3/HC-induced chromatid aberrations, respectively. Possible reasons underlying these observations are discussed.

  15. A cluster-based randomized controlled trial promoting community participation in arsenic mitigation efforts in Bangladesh

    OpenAIRE

    George, Christine Marie; van Geen, Alexander; Slavkovich, Vesna; Singha, Ashit; Levy, Diane; Islam, Tariqul; Ahmed, Kazi Matin; Moon-Howard, Joyce; Tarozzi, Alessandro; Liu, Xinhua; Factor-Litvak, Pam; Graziano, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Objective To reduce arsenic (As) exposure, we evaluated the effectiveness of training community members to perform water arsenic (WAs) testing and provide As education compared to sending representatives from outside communities to conduct these tasks. Methods We conducted a cluster based randomized controlled trial of 20 villages in Singair, Bangladesh. Fifty eligible respondents were randomly selected in each village. In 10 villages, a community member provided As education and WAs...

  16. Point-of-care cluster randomized trial in stroke secondary prevention using electronic health records

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dregan, Alex; van Staa, Tjeerd P; McDermott, Lisa; McCann, Gerard; Ashworth, Mark; Charlton, Judith; Wolfe, Charles D A; Rudd, Anthony; Yardley, Lucy; Gulliford, Martin C

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the remote introduction of electronic decision support tools into family practices improves risk factor control after first stroke. This study also aimed to develop methods to implement cluster randomized trials in stroke using

  17. A cluster randomized controlled trial testing the effectiveness of Houvast: A strengths-based intervention for homeless young adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krabbenborg, M.A.M.; Boersma, S.N.; Veld, W.M. van der; Hulst, B. van; Vollebergh, W.A.M.; Wolf, J.R.L.M.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To test the effectiveness of Houvast: a strengths-based intervention for homeless young adults. Method: A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted with 10 Dutch shelter facilities randomly allocated to an intervention and a control group. Homeless young adults were interviewed

  18. A cluster-randomized trial of a college health center-based alcohol and sexual violence intervention (GIFTSS): Design, rationale, and baseline sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abebe, Kaleab Z; Jones, Kelley A; Rofey, Dana; McCauley, Heather L; Clark, Duncan B; Dick, Rebecca; Gmelin, Theresa; Talis, Janine; Anderson, Jocelyn; Chugani, Carla; Algarroba, Gabriela; Antonio, Ashley; Bee, Courtney; Edwards, Clare; Lethihet, Nadia; Macak, Justin; Paley, Joshua; Torres, Irving; Van Dusen, Courtney; Miller, Elizabeth

    2018-02-01

    Sexual violence (SV) on college campuses is common, especially alcohol-related SV. This is a 2-arm cluster randomized controlled trial to test a brief intervention to reduce risk for alcohol-related sexual violence (SV) among students receiving care from college health centers (CHCs). Intervention CHC staff are trained to deliver universal SV education to all students seeking care, to facilitate patient and provider comfort in discussing SV and related abusive experiences (including the role of alcohol). Control sites provide participants with information about drinking responsibly. Across 28 participating campuses (12 randomized to intervention and 16 to control), 2292 students seeking care at CHCs complete surveys prior to their appointment (baseline), immediately after (exit), 4months later (T2) and one year later (T3). The primary outcome is change in recognition of SV and sexual risk. Among those reporting SV exposure at baseline, changes in SV victimization, disclosure, and use of SV services are additional outcomes. Intervention effects will be assessed using generalized linear mixed models that account for clustering of repeated observations both within CHCs and within students. Slightly more than half of the participating colleges have undergraduate enrollment of ≥3000 students; two-thirds are public and almost half are urban. Among participants there were relatively more Asian (10 v 1%) and Black/African American (13 v 7%) and fewer White (58 v 74%) participants in the intervention compared to control. This study will offer the first formal assessment for SV prevention in the CHC setting. Clinical Trials #: NCT02355470. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Classification of Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Random Support Vector Machine Cluster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia-an Bi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is mainly reflected in the communication and language barriers, difficulties in social communication, and it is a kind of neurological developmental disorder. Most researches have used the machine learning method to classify patients and normal controls, among which support vector machines (SVM are widely employed. But the classification accuracy of SVM is usually low, due to the usage of a single SVM as classifier. Thus, we used multiple SVMs to classify ASD patients and typical controls (TC. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data of 46 TC and 61 ASD patients were obtained from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE database. Only 84 of 107 subjects are utilized in experiments because the translation or rotation of 7 TC and 16 ASD patients has surpassed ±2 mm or ±2°. Then the random SVM cluster was proposed to distinguish TC and ASD. The results show that this method has an excellent classification performance based on all the features. Furthermore, the accuracy based on the optimal feature set could reach to 96.15%. Abnormal brain regions could also be found, such as inferior frontal gyrus (IFG (orbital and opercula part, hippocampus, and precuneus. It is indicated that the method of random SVM cluster may apply to the auxiliary diagnosis of ASD.

  20. Re-estimating sample size in cluster randomized trials with active recruitment within clusters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Schie, Sander; Moerbeek, Mirjam

    2014-01-01

    Often only a limited number of clusters can be obtained in cluster randomised trials, although many potential participants can be recruited within each cluster. Thus, active recruitment is feasible within the clusters. To obtain an efficient sample size in a cluster randomised trial, the cluster

  1. Impact on Prehospital Delay of a Stroke Preparedness Campaign: A SW-RCT (Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denti, Licia; Caminiti, Caterina; Scoditti, Umberto; Zini, Andrea; Malferrari, Giovanni; Zedde, Maria Luisa; Guidetti, Donata; Baratti, Mario; Vaghi, Luca; Montanari, Enrico; Marcomini, Barbara; Riva, Silvia; Iezzi, Elisa; Castellini, Paola; Olivato, Silvia; Barbi, Filippo; Perticaroli, Eva; Monaco, Daniela; Iafelice, Ilaria; Bigliardi, Guido; Vandelli, Laura; Guareschi, Angelica; Artoni, Andrea; Zanferrari, Carla; Schulz, Peter J

    2017-12-01

    Public campaigns to increase stroke preparedness have been tested in different contexts, showing contradictory results. We evaluated the effectiveness of a stroke campaign, designed specifically for the Italian population in reducing prehospital delay. According to an SW-RCT (Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial) design, the campaign was launched in 4 provinces in the northern part of the region Emilia Romagna at 3-month intervals in randomized sequence. The units of analysis were the patients admitted to hospital, with stroke and transient ischemic attack, over a time period of 15 months, beginning 3 months before the intervention was launched in the first province to allow for baseline data collection. The proportion of early arrivals (within 2 hours of symptom onset) was the primary outcome. Thrombolysis rate and some behavioral end points were the secondary outcomes. Data were analyzed using a fixed-effect model, adjusting for cluster and time trends. We enrolled 1622 patients, 912 exposed and 710 nonexposed to the campaign. The proportion of early access was nonsignificantly lower in exposed patients (354 [38.8%] versus 315 [44.4%]; adjusted odds ratio, 0.81; 95% confidence interval, 0.60-1.08; P =0.15). As for secondary end points, an increase was found for stroke recognition, which approximated but did not reach statistical significance ( P =0.07). Our campaign was not effective in reducing prehospital delay. Even if some limitations of the intervention, mainly in terms of duration, are taken into account, our study demonstrates that new communication strategies should be tested before large-scale implementation. URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01881152. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  2. Analysis of cost data in a cluster-randomized, controlled trial: comparison of methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sokolowski, Ineta; Ørnbøl, Eva; Rosendal, Marianne

    studies have used non-valid analysis of skewed data. We propose two different methods to compare mean cost in two groups. Firstly, we use a non-parametric bootstrap method where the re-sampling takes place on two levels in order to take into account the cluster effect. Secondly, we proceed with a log......-transformation of the cost data and apply the normal theory on these data. Again we try to account for the cluster effect. The performance of these two methods is investigated in a simulation study. The advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches are discussed.......  We consider health care data from a cluster-randomized intervention study in primary care to test whether the average health care costs among study patients differ between the two groups. The problems of analysing cost data are that most data are severely skewed. Median instead of mean...

  3. Clustering, randomness, and regularity in cloud fields: 2. Cumulus cloud fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, T.; Lee, J.; Weger, R. C.; Welch, R. M.

    1992-12-01

    During the last decade a major controversy has been brewing concerning the proper characterization of cumulus convection. The prevailing view has been that cumulus clouds form in clusters, in which cloud spacing is closer than that found for the overall cloud field and which maintains its identity over many cloud lifetimes. This "mutual protection hypothesis" of Randall and Huffman (1980) has been challenged by the "inhibition hypothesis" of Ramirez et al. (1990) which strongly suggests that the spatial distribution of cumuli must tend toward a regular distribution. A dilemma has resulted because observations have been reported to support both hypotheses. The present work reports a detailed analysis of cumulus cloud field spatial distributions based upon Landsat, Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer, and Skylab data. Both nearest-neighbor and point-to-cloud cumulative distribution function statistics are investigated. The results show unequivocally that when both large and small clouds are included in the cloud field distribution, the cloud field always has a strong clustering signal. The strength of clustering is largest at cloud diameters of about 200-300 m, diminishing with increasing cloud diameter. In many cases, clusters of small clouds are found which are not closely associated with large clouds. As the small clouds are eliminated from consideration, the cloud field typically tends towards regularity. Thus it would appear that the "inhibition hypothesis" of Ramirez and Bras (1990) has been verified for the large clouds. However, these results are based upon the analysis of point processes. A more exact analysis also is made which takes into account the cloud size distributions. Since distinct clouds are by definition nonoverlapping, cloud size effects place a restriction upon the possible locations of clouds in the cloud field. The net effect of this analysis is that the large clouds appear to be randomly distributed, with only weak tendencies towards

  4. Dynamic Load Balanced Clustering using Elitism based Random Immigrant Genetic Approach for Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Mohaideen Pitchai

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Wireless Sensor Network (WSN consists of a large number of small sensors with restricted energy. Prolonged network lifespan, scalability, node mobility and load balancing are important needs for several WSN applications. Clustering the sensor nodes is an efficient technique to reach these goals. WSN have the characteristics of topology dynamics because of factors like energy conservation and node movement that leads to Dynamic Load Balanced Clustering Problem (DLBCP. In this paper, Elitism based Random Immigrant Genetic Approach (ERIGA is proposed to solve DLBCP which adapts to topology dynamics. ERIGA uses the dynamic Genetic Algorithm (GA components for solving the DLBCP. The performance of load balanced clustering process is enhanced with the help of this dynamic GA. As a result, the ERIGA achieves to elect suitable cluster heads which balances the network load and increases the lifespan of the network.

  5. A Novel Double Cluster and Principal Component Analysis-Based Optimization Method for the Orbit Design of Earth Observation Satellites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunfeng Dong

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The weighted sum and genetic algorithm-based hybrid method (WSGA-based HM, which has been applied to multiobjective orbit optimizations, is negatively influenced by human factors through the artificial choice of the weight coefficients in weighted sum method and the slow convergence of GA. To address these two problems, a cluster and principal component analysis-based optimization method (CPC-based OM is proposed, in which many candidate orbits are gradually randomly generated until the optimal orbit is obtained using a data mining method, that is, cluster analysis based on principal components. Then, the second cluster analysis of the orbital elements is introduced into CPC-based OM to improve the convergence, developing a novel double cluster and principal component analysis-based optimization method (DCPC-based OM. In DCPC-based OM, the cluster analysis based on principal components has the advantage of reducing the human influences, and the cluster analysis based on six orbital elements can reduce the search space to effectively accelerate convergence. The test results from a multiobjective numerical benchmark function and the orbit design results of an Earth observation satellite show that DCPC-based OM converges more efficiently than WSGA-based HM. And DCPC-based OM, to some degree, reduces the influence of human factors presented in WSGA-based HM.

  6. On the Coupling Time of the Heat-Bath Process for the Fortuin-Kasteleyn Random-Cluster Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collevecchio, Andrea; Elçi, Eren Metin; Garoni, Timothy M.; Weigel, Martin

    2018-01-01

    We consider the coupling from the past implementation of the random-cluster heat-bath process, and study its random running time, or coupling time. We focus on hypercubic lattices embedded on tori, in dimensions one to three, with cluster fugacity at least one. We make a number of conjectures regarding the asymptotic behaviour of the coupling time, motivated by rigorous results in one dimension and Monte Carlo simulations in dimensions two and three. Amongst our findings, we observe that, for generic parameter values, the distribution of the appropriately standardized coupling time converges to a Gumbel distribution, and that the standard deviation of the coupling time is asymptotic to an explicit universal constant multiple of the relaxation time. Perhaps surprisingly, we observe these results to hold both off criticality, where the coupling time closely mimics the coupon collector's problem, and also at the critical point, provided the cluster fugacity is below the value at which the transition becomes discontinuous. Finally, we consider analogous questions for the single-spin Ising heat-bath process.

  7. The Study of HIV and Antenatal Care Integration in Pregnancy in Kenya: Design, Methods, and Baseline Results of a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turan, Janet M.; Steinfeld, Rachel L.; Onono, Maricianah; Bukusi, Elizabeth A.; Woods, Meghan; Shade, Starley B.; Washington, Sierra; Marima, Reson; Penner, Jeremy; Ackers, Marta L.; Mbori-Ngacha, Dorothy; Cohen, Craig R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Despite strong evidence for the effectiveness of anti-retroviral therapy for improving the health of women living with HIV and for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), HIV persists as a major maternal and child health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. In most settings antenatal care (ANC) services and HIV treatment services are offered in separate clinics. Integrating these services may result in better uptake of services, reduction of the time to treatment initiation, better adherence, and reduction of stigma. Methodology/Principal Findings A prospective cluster randomized controlled trial design was used to evaluate the effects of integrating HIV treatment into ANC clinics at government health facilities in rural Kenya. Twelve facilities were randomized to provide either fully integrated services (ANC, PMTCT, and HIV treatment services all delivered in the ANC clinic) or non-integrated services (ANC clinics provided ANC and basic PMTCT services and referred clients to a separate HIV clinic for HIV treatment). During June 2009– March 2011, 1,172 HIV-positive pregnant women were enrolled in the study. The main study outcomes are rates of maternal enrollment in HIV care and treatment, infant HIV testing uptake, and HIV-free infant survival. Baseline results revealed that the intervention and control cohorts were similar with respect to socio-demographics, male partner HIV testing, sero-discordance of the couple, obstetric history, baseline CD4 count, and WHO Stage. Challenges faced while conducting this trial at low-resource rural health facilities included frequent staff turnover, stock-outs of essential supplies, transportation challenges, and changes in national guidelines. Conclusions/Significance This is the first randomized trial of ANC and HIV service integration to be conducted in rural Africa. It is expected that the study will provide critical evidence regarding the implementation and effectiveness of this service delivery

  8. The study of HIV and antenatal care integration in pregnancy in Kenya: design, methods, and baseline results of a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet M Turan

    Full Text Available Despite strong evidence for the effectiveness of anti-retroviral therapy for improving the health of women living with HIV and for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT, HIV persists as a major maternal and child health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. In most settings antenatal care (ANC services and HIV treatment services are offered in separate clinics. Integrating these services may result in better uptake of services, reduction of the time to treatment initiation, better adherence, and reduction of stigma.A prospective cluster randomized controlled trial design was used to evaluate the effects of integrating HIV treatment into ANC clinics at government health facilities in rural Kenya. Twelve facilities were randomized to provide either fully integrated services (ANC, PMTCT, and HIV treatment services all delivered in the ANC clinic or non-integrated services (ANC clinics provided ANC and basic PMTCT services and referred clients to a separate HIV clinic for HIV treatment. During June 2009- March 2011, 1,172 HIV-positive pregnant women were enrolled in the study. The main study outcomes are rates of maternal enrollment in HIV care and treatment, infant HIV testing uptake, and HIV-free infant survival. Baseline results revealed that the intervention and control cohorts were similar with respect to socio-demographics, male partner HIV testing, sero-discordance of the couple, obstetric history, baseline CD4 count, and WHO Stage. Challenges faced while conducting this trial at low-resource rural health facilities included frequent staff turnover, stock-outs of essential supplies, transportation challenges, and changes in national guidelines.This is the first randomized trial of ANC and HIV service integration to be conducted in rural Africa. It is expected that the study will provide critical evidence regarding the implementation and effectiveness of this service delivery strategy, with important implications for programs striving

  9. Using Cluster Bootstrapping to Analyze Nested Data with a Few Clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Francis L.

    2018-01-01

    Cluster randomized trials involving participants nested within intact treatment and control groups are commonly performed in various educational, psychological, and biomedical studies. However, recruiting and retaining intact groups present various practical, financial, and logistical challenges to evaluators and often, cluster randomized trials…

  10. Determining the impact of a new physiotherapist-led primary care model for back pain: protocol for a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jordan; Barber, David; Donnelly, Catherine; French, Simon; Green, Michael; Hill, Jonathan; MacDermid, Joy; Marsh, Jacquelyn; Norman, Kathleen; Richardson, Julie; Taljaard, Monica; Wideman, Timothy; Cooper, Lynn; McPhee, Colleen

    2017-11-09

    Back pain is a leading contributor to disability, healthcare costs, and lost work. Family physicians are the most common first point of contact in the healthcare system for people with back pain, but physiotherapists (PTs) may be able to support the primary care team through evidence-based primary care. A cluster randomized trial is needed to determine the clinical, health system, and societal impact of a primary care model that integrates physiotherapists at the first visit for people with back pain. Prior to conducting a future fully powered cluster randomized trial, we need to demonstrate feasibility of the methods. Therefore, the purpose of this pilot study will be to: 1) Determine feasibility of patient recruitment, assessment procedures, and retention. 2) Determine the feasibility of training and implementation of a new PT-led primary care model for low back pain (LBP) 3) Explore the perspectives of patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) related to their experiences and attitudes towards the new service delivery model, barriers/facilitators to implementation, perceived satisfaction, perceived value, and impact on clinic processes and patient outcomes. This pilot cluster randomized controlled trial will enroll four sites and randomize them to implement a new PT-led primary care model for back pain or a usual physician-led primary care model. All adults booking a primary care visit for back pain will be invited to participate. Feasibility outcomes will include: recruitment and retention rates, completeness of assessment data, PT training participation and confidence after training, and PT treatment fidelity. Secondary outcomes will include the clinical, health system, cost, and process outcomes planned for the future fully powered cluster trial. Results will be analyzed and reported descriptively and qualitatively. To explore perspectives of both HCPs and patients, we will conduct semi-structured qualitative interviews with patients and focus groups with HCPs

  11. A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial Testing the Effectiveness of Houvast: A Strengths-Based Intervention for Homeless Young Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krabbenborg, Manon A. M.; Boersma, Sandra N.; van der Veld, William M.; van Hulst, Bente; Vollebergh, Wilma A. M.; Wolf, Judith R. L. M.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To test the effectiveness of Houvast: a strengths-based intervention for homeless young adults. Method: A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted with 10 Dutch shelter facilities randomly allocated to an intervention and a control group. Homeless young adults were interviewed when entering the facility and when care ended.…

  12. Cluster-cluster correlations and constraints on the correlation hierarchy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, A. J. S.; Gott, J. R., III

    1988-01-01

    The hypothesis that galaxies cluster around clusters at least as strongly as they cluster around galaxies imposes constraints on the hierarchy of correlation amplitudes in hierachical clustering models. The distributions which saturate these constraints are the Rayleigh-Levy random walk fractals proposed by Mandelbrot; for these fractal distributions cluster-cluster correlations are all identically equal to galaxy-galaxy correlations. If correlation amplitudes exceed the constraints, as is observed, then cluster-cluster correlations must exceed galaxy-galaxy correlations, as is observed.

  13. Quasi-experimental designs in practice-based research settings: design and implementation considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handley, Margaret A; Schillinger, Dean; Shiboski, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Although randomized controlled trials are often a gold standard for determining intervention effects, in the area of practice-based research (PBR), there are many situations in which individual randomization is not possible. Alternative approaches to evaluating interventions have received increased attention, particularly those that can retain elements of randomization such that they can be considered "controlled" trials. Methodological design elements and practical implementation considerations for two quasi-experimental design approaches that have considerable promise in PBR settings--the stepped-wedge design, and a variant of this design, a wait-list cross-over design, are presented along with a case study from a recent PBR intervention for patients with diabetes. PBR-relevant design features include: creation of a cohort over time that collects control data but allows all participants (clusters or patients) to receive the intervention; staggered introduction of clusters; multiple data collection points; and one-way cross-over into the intervention arm. Practical considerations include: randomization versus stratification, training run in phases; and extended time period for overall study completion. Several design features of practice based research studies can be adapted to local circumstances yet retain elements to improve methodological rigor. Studies that utilize these methods, such as the stepped-wedge design and the wait-list cross-over design, can increase the evidence base for controlled studies conducted within the complex environment of PBR.

  14. SCRAED - Simple and Complex Random Assignment in Experimental Designs

    OpenAIRE

    Alferes, Valentim R.

    2009-01-01

    SCRAED is a package of 37 self-contained SPSS syntax files that performs simple and complex random assignment in experimental designs. For between-subjects designs, SCRAED includes simple random assignment (no restrictions, forced equal sizes, forced unequal sizes, and unequal probabilities), block random assignment (simple and generalized blocks), and stratified random assignment (no restrictions, forced equal sizes, forced unequal sizes, and unequal probabilities). For within-subject...

  15. The Quality Initiative in Rectal Cancer (QIRC trial: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial in surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thabane Lehana

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Two unfortunate outcomes for patients treated surgically for rectal cancer are placement of a permanent colostomy and local tumor recurrence. Total mesorectal excision is a new technique for rectal cancer surgery that can lead to improved patient outcomes. We describe a cluster randomized controlled trial that is testing if the above patient outcomes can be improved through a knowledge translation strategy called the Quality Initiative in Rectal Cancer (QIRC strategy. The strategy is designed to optimize the use of total mesorectal excision techniques. Methods and Design Hospitals were randomized to the QIRC strategy (experimental group versus normal practice environment (control group. Participating hospitals, and the respective surgeon group operating in them, are from Ontario, Canada and have an annual procedure volume for major rectal cancer resections of 15 or greater. Patients were eligible if they underwent major rectal surgery for a diagnosis of primary rectal cancer. The surgeon-directed QIRC interventions included a workshop, use of opinion leaders, operative demonstrations, a post-operative questionnaire, and, audit and feedback. For an operative demonstration participating surgeons invited a study team surgeon to assist them with a case of rectal cancer surgery. The intent was to demonstrate total mesorectal excision techniques. Control arm surgeons received no intervention. Sample size calculations were two-sided, considered the clustering of data at the hospital level, and were driven by requirements for the outcome local recurrence. To detect an improvement in local recurrence from 20% to 8% with confidence we required 16 hospitals and 672 patients – 8 hospitals and 336 patients in each arm. Outcomes data are collected via chart review for at least 30 months after surgery. Analyses will use an intention-to-treat principle and will consider the clustering of data. Data collection will be complete by the end of

  16. Community-wide intervention and population-level physical activity: a 5-year cluster randomized trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamada, Masamitsu; Kitayuguchi, Jun; Abe, Takafumi; Taguri, Masataka; Inoue, Shigeru; Ishikawa, Yoshiki; Bauman, Adrian; Lee, I-Min; Miyachi, Motohiko; Kawachi, Ichiro

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background Evidence from a limited number of short-term trials indicates the difficulty in achieving population-level improvements in physical activity (PA) through community-wide interventions (CWIs). We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a 5-year CWI for promoting PA in middle-aged and older adults using a cluster randomized design. Methods We randomized 12 communities in Unnan, Japan, to either intervention (9) or control (3). Additionally, intervention communities were randomly allocated to three subgroups by different PA types promoted. Randomly sampled residents aged 40–79 years responded to the baseline survey (n = 4414; 74%) and were followed at 1, 3 and 5 years (78–83% response rate). The intervention was a 5-year CWI using social marketing to promote PA. The primary outcome was a change in recommended levels of PA. Results Compared with control communities, adults achieving recommended levels of PA increased in intervention communities [adjusted change difference = 4.6 percentage points (95% confidence interval: 0.4, 8.8)]. The intervention was effective for promoting all types of recommended PAs, i.e. aerobic (walking, 6.4%), flexibility (6.1%) and muscle-strengthening activities (5.7%). However, a bundled approach, which attempted to promote all forms of PAs above simultaneously, was not effective (1.3–3.4%, P ≥ 0.138). Linear dose–response relationships between the CWI awareness and changes in PA were observed (P ≤ 0.02). Pain intensity decreased in shoulder (intervention and control) and lower back (intervention only) but there was little change difference in all musculoskeletal pain outcomes between the groups. Conclusions The 5-year CWI using the focused social marketing strategy increased the population-level of PA. PMID:29228255

  17. Community interventions to reduce child mortality in Dhanusha, Nepal: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Costello Anthony

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neonatal mortality remains high in rural Nepal. Previous work suggests that local women's groups can effect significant improvement through community mobilisation. The possibility of identification and management of newborn infections by community-based workers has also arisen. Methods/Design The objective of this trial is to evaluate the effects on newborn health of two community-based interventions involving Female Community Health Volunteers. MIRA Dhanusha community groups: a participatory intervention with women's groups. MIRA Dhanusha sepsis management: training of community volunteers in the recognition and management of neonatal sepsis. The study design is a cluster randomized controlled trial involving 60 village development committee clusters allocated 1:1 to two interventions in a factorial design. MIRA Dhanusha community groups: Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs are supported in convening monthly women's groups. Nine groups per cluster (270 in total work through two action research cycles in which they (i identify local issues around maternity, newborn health and nutrition, (ii prioritise key problems, (iii develop strategies to address them, (iv implement the strategies, and (v evaluate their success. Cycle 1 focuses on maternal and newborn health and cycle 2 on nutrition in pregnancy and infancy and associated postpartum care practices. MIRA Dhanusha sepsis management: FCHVs are trained to care for vulnerable newborn infants. They (i identify local births, (ii identify low birth weight infants, (iii identify possible newborn infection, (iv manage the process of treatment with oral antibiotics and referral to a health facility to receive parenteral gentamicin, and (v follow up infants and support families. Primary outcome: neonatal mortality rates. Secondary outcomes: MIRA Dhanusha community group: stillbirth, infant and under-two mortality rates, care practices and health care seeking behaviour, maternal

  18. Does poverty alleviation decrease depression symptoms in post-conflict settings? A cluster-randomized trial of microenterprise assistance in Northern Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, E P; Blattman, C; Jamison, J; Annan, J

    2016-01-01

    By 2009, two decades of war and widespread displacement left the majority of the population of Northern Uganda impoverished. This study used a cluster-randomized design to test the hypothesis that a poverty alleviation program would improve economic security and reduce symptoms of depression in a sample of mostly young women. Roughly 120 villages in Northern Uganda were invited to participate. Community committees were asked to identify the most vulnerable women (and some men) to participate. The implementing agency screened all proposed participants, and a total of 1800 were enrolled. Following a baseline survey, villages were randomized to a treatment or wait-list control group. Participants in treatment villages received training, start-up capital, and follow-up support. Participants, implementers, and data collectors were not blinded to treatment status. Villages were randomized to the treatment group (60 villages with 896 participants) or the wait-list control group (60 villages with 904 participants) with an allocation ration of 1:1. All clusters participated in the intervention and were included in the analysis. The intent-to-treat analysis included 860 treatment participants and 866 control participants (4.1% attrition). Sixteen months after the program, monthly cash earnings doubled from UGX 22 523 to 51 124, non-household and non-farm businesses doubled, and cash savings roughly quadrupled. There was no measurable effect on a locally derived measure of symptoms of depression. Despite finding large increases in business, income, and savings among the treatment group, we do not find support for an indirect effect of poverty alleviation on symptoms of depression.

  19. Effectiveness of a group diabetes education programme in underserved communities in South Africa: pragmatic cluster randomized control trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mash Bob

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Diabetes is an important contributor to the burden of disease in South Africa and prevalence rates as high as 33% have been recorded in Cape Town. Previous studies show that quality of care and health outcomes are poor. The development of an effective education programme should impact on self-care, lifestyle change and adherence to medication; and lead to better control of diabetes, fewer complications and better quality of life. Methods Trial design: Pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial Participants: Type 2 diabetic patients attending 45 public sector community health centres in Cape Town Interventions: The intervention group will receive 4 sessions of group diabetes education delivered by a health promotion officer in a guiding style. The control group will receive usual care which consists of ad hoc advice during consultations and occasional educational talks in the waiting room. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of the group diabetes education programme Outcomes: Primary outcomes: diabetes self-care activities, 5% weight loss, 1% reduction in HbA1c. Secondary outcomes: self-efficacy, locus of control, mean blood pressure, mean weight loss, mean waist circumference, mean HbA1c, mean total cholesterol, quality of life Randomisation: Computer generated random numbers Blinding: Patients, health promoters and research assistants could not be blinded to the health centre’s allocation Numbers randomized: Seventeen health centres (34 in total will be randomly assigned to either control or intervention groups. A sample size of 1360 patients in 34 clusters of 40 patients will give a power of 80% to detect the primary outcomes with 5% precision. Altogether 720 patients were recruited in the intervention arm and 850 in the control arm giving a total of 1570. Discussion The study will inform policy makers and managers of the district health system, particularly in low to middle income countries, if this programme can

  20. Randomness as a resource for design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leong, T.; Vetere, F.; Howard, Steve

    2006-01-01

    is used to engender certain affective responses (such as feeling refreshed) by using various constraining techniques (such as playlists) whilst engaging in everyday activities (such as driving a car). The paper argues that randomness can be used as an innovative design resource for supporting rich...... examining the influence of randomness on the user experience of music listening. 113 instances of self-reporting were collected and analysed according to four themes: listening mode, content organisation, activities during listening, and affective outcomes. The analysis provides insights into how randomness...

  1. Concept design and cluster control of advanced space connectable intelligent microsatellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaohui; Li, Shuang; She, Yuchen

    2017-12-01

    In this note, a new type of advanced space connectable intelligent microsatellite is presented to extend the range of potential application of microsatellite and improve the efficiency of cooperation. First, the overall concept of the micro satellite cluster is described, which is characterized by autonomously connecting with each other and being able to realize relative rotation through the external interfaces. Second, the multi-satellite autonomous assembly algorithm and control algorithm of the cluster motion are developed to make the cluster system combine into a variety of configurations in order to achieve different types of functionality. Finally, the design of the satellite cluster system is proposed, and the possible applications are discussed.

  2. Effect of workplace- versus home-based physical exercise on pain in healthcare workers: study protocol for a single blinded cluster randomized controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background The prevalence and consequences of musculoskeletal pain is considerable among healthcare workers, allegedly due to high physical work demands of healthcare work. Previous investigations have shown promising results of physical exercise for relieving pain among different occupational groups, but the question remains whether such physical exercise should be performed at the workplace or conducted as home-based exercise. Performing physical exercise at the workplace together with colleagues may be more motivating for some employees and thus increase adherence. On the other hand, physical exercise performed during working hours at the workplace may be costly for the employers in terms of time spend. Thus, it seems relevant to compare the efficacy of workplace- versus home-based training on musculoskeletal pain. This study is intended to investigate the effect of workplace-based versus home-based physical exercise on musculoskeletal pain among healthcare workers. Methods/Design This study was designed as a cluster randomized controlled trial performed at 3 hospitals in Copenhagen, Denmark. Clusters are hospital departments and hospital units. Cluster randomization was chosen to increase adherence and avoid contamination between interventions. Two hundred healthcare workers from 18 departments located at three different hospitals is allocated to 10 weeks of 1) workplace based physical exercise performed during working hours (using kettlebells, elastic bands and exercise balls) for 5 × 10 minutes per week and up to 5 group-based coaching sessions, or 2) home based physical exercise performed during leisure time (using elastic bands and body weight exercises) for 5 × 10 minutes per week. Both intervention groups will also receive ergonomic instructions on patient handling and use of lifting aides etc. Inclusion criteria are female healthcare workers working at a hospital. Average pain intensity (VAS scale 0-10) of the back, neck and shoulder

  3. Implementation of client versus care-provider strategies to improve external cephalic version rates: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlemmix, Floortje; Rosman, Ageeth N; Rijnders, Marlies E; Beuckens, Antje; Opmeer, Brent C; Mol, Ben W J; Kok, Marjolein; Fleuren, Margot A H

    2015-05-01

    To determine the effectiveness of a client or care-provider strategy to improve the implementation of external cephalic version. Cluster randomized controlled trial. Twenty-five clusters; hospitals and their referring midwifery practices randomly selected in the Netherlands. Singleton breech presentation from 32 weeks of gestation onwards. We randomized clusters to a client strategy (written information leaflets and decision aid), a care-provider strategy (1-day counseling course focused on knowledge and counseling skills), a combined client and care-provider strategy and care-as-usual strategy. We performed an intention-to-treat analysis. Rate of external cephalic version in various strategies. Secondary outcomes were the percentage of women counseled and opting for a version attempt. The overall implementation rate of external cephalic version was 72% (1169 of 1613 eligible clients) with a range between clusters of 8-95%. Neither the client strategy (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.4-1.5) nor the care-provider strategy (OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.6-2.3) showed significant improvements. Results were comparable when we limited the analysis to those women who were actually offered intervention (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-1.4 and OR 2.0, 95% CI 0.7-4.5). Neither a client nor a care-provider strategy improved the external cephalic version implementation rate for breech presentation, neither with regard to the number of version attempts offered nor the number of women accepting the procedure. © 2015 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  4. The effectiveness of xylitol in a school-based cluster-randomized clinical trial.

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    Lee, Wonik; Spiekerman, Charles; Heima, Masahiro; Eggertsson, Hafsteinn; Ferretti, Gerald; Milgrom, Peter; Nelson, Suchitra

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this double-blind, cluster-randomized clinical trial was to examine the effects of xylitol gummy bear snacks on dental caries progression in primary and permanent teeth of inner-city school children. A total of 562 children aged 5-6 years were recruited from five elementary schools in East Cleveland, Ohio. Children were randomized by classroom to receive xylitol (7.8 g/day) or placebo (inulin fiber 20 g/day) gummy bears. Gummy bears were given three times per day for the 9-month kindergarten year within a supervised school environment. Children in both groups also received oral health education, toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste, topical fluoride varnish treatment and dental sealants. The numbers of new decayed, missing, and filled surfaces for primary teeth (dmfs) and permanent teeth (DMFS) from baseline to the middle of 2nd grade (exit exam) were compared between the treatment (xylitol/placebo) groups using an optimally-weighted permutation test for cluster-randomized data. The mean new d(3-6)mfs at the exit exam was 5.0 ± 7.6 and 4.0 ± 6.5 for the xylitol and placebo group, respectively. Similarly, the mean new D(3-6)MFS was 0.38 ± 0.88 and 0.48 ± 1.39 for the xylitol and placebo group, respectively. The adjusted mean difference between the two groups was not statistically significant: new d(3-6)mfs: mean 0.4, 95% CI -0.25, 0.8), and new D(3-6)MFS: mean 0.16, 95% CI -0.16, 0.43. Xylitol consumption did not have additional benefit beyond other preventive measures. Caries progression in the permanent teeth of both groups was minimal, suggesting that other simultaneous prevention modalities may have masked the possible beneficial effects of xylitol in this trial. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Headache cessation by an educational intervention in grammar schools: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, L; Heinen, F; Landgraf, M; Straube, A; Blum, B; Filippopulos, F; Lehmann, S; Mansmann, U; Berger, U; Akboga, Y; von Kries, R

    2015-02-01

    Headache is a common health problem in adolescents. There are a number of risk factors for headache in adolescents that are amenable to intervention. The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of a low-level headache prevention programme in the classroom setting to prevent these risk factors. In all, 1674 students in 8th-10th grade at 12 grammar schools in greater Munich, Germany, were cluster randomized into intervention and control groups. A standardized 60-min prevention lesson focusing on preventable risk factors for headache (physical inactivity, coffee consumption, alcohol consumption and smoking) and providing instructions on stress management and neck and shoulder muscle relaxation exercises was given in a classroom setting. Seven months later, students were reassessed. The main outcome parameter was headache cessation. Logistic regression models with random effects for cluster and adjustment for baseline risk factors were calculated. Nine hundred students (intervention group N = 450, control group N = 450) with headache at baseline and complete data for headache and confounders were included in the analysis. Headache cessation was observed in 9.78% of the control group compared with 16.22% in the intervention group (number needed to treat = 16). Accounting for cluster effects and confounders, the probability of headache cessation in the intervention group was 1.77 (95% confidence interval = [1.08; 2.90]) higher than in the control group. The effect was most pronounced in adolescents with tension-type headache: odds ratio = 2.11 (95% confidence interval = [1.15; 3.80]). Our study demonstrates the effectiveness of a one-time, classroom-based headache prevention programme. © 2014 EAN.

  6. Cluster randomized trial in the general practice research database: 2. Secondary prevention after first stroke (eCRT study: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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    Dregan Alex

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The purpose of this research is to develop and evaluate methods for conducting pragmatic cluster randomized trials in a primary care electronic database. The proposal describes one application, in a less frequent chronic condition of public health importance, secondary prevention of stroke. A related protocol in antibiotic prescribing was reported previously. Methods/Design The study aims to implement a cluster randomized trial (CRT using the electronic patient records of the General Practice Research Database (GPRD as a sampling frame and data source. The specific objective of the trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-delivered intervention at enhancing the delivery of stroke secondary prevention in primary care. GPRD family practices will be allocated to the intervention or usual care. The intervention promotes the use of electronic prompts to support adherence with the recommendations of the UK Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party and NICE guidelines for the secondary prevention of stroke in primary care. Primary outcome measure will be the difference in systolic blood pressure between intervention and control trial arms at 12-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes will be differences in serum cholesterol, prescribing of antihypertensive drugs, statins, and antiplatelet therapy. The intervention will continue for 12 months. Information on the utilization of the decision-support tools will also be analyzed. Discussion The CRT will investigate the effectiveness of using a computer-delivered intervention to reduce the risk of stroke recurrence following a first stroke event. The study will provide methodological guidance on the implementation of CRTs in electronic databases in primary care. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN35701810

  7. Variability in research ethics review of cluster randomized trials: a scenario-based survey in three countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Cluster randomized trials (CRTs) present unique ethical challenges. In the absence of a uniform standard for their ethical design and conduct, problems such as variability in procedures and requirements by different research ethics committees will persist. We aimed to assess the need for ethics guidelines for CRTs among research ethics chairs internationally, investigate variability in procedures for research ethics review of CRTs within and among countries, and elicit research ethics chairs’ perspectives on specific ethical issues in CRTs, including the identification of research subjects. The proper identification of research subjects is a necessary requirement in the research ethics review process, to help ensure, on the one hand, that subjects are protected from harm and exploitation, and on the other, that reviews of CRTs are completed efficiently. Methods A web-based survey with closed- and open-ended questions was administered to research ethics chairs in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The survey presented three scenarios of CRTs involving cluster-level, professional-level, and individual-level interventions. For each scenario, a series of questions was posed with respect to the type of review required (full, expedited, or no review) and the identification of research subjects at cluster and individual levels. Results A total of 189 (35%) of 542 chairs responded. Overall, 144 (84%, 95% CI 79 to 90%) agreed or strongly agreed that there is a need for ethics guidelines for CRTs and 158 (92%, 95% CI 88 to 96%) agreed or strongly agreed that research ethics committees could be better informed about distinct ethical issues surrounding CRTs. There was considerable variability among research ethics chairs with respect to the type of review required, as well as the identification of research subjects. The cluster-cluster and professional-cluster scenarios produced the most disagreement. Conclusions Research ethics committees

  8. Pressure ulcer multidisciplinary teams via telemedicine: a pragmatic cluster randomized stepped wedge trial in long term care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Anita; Mitsakakis, Nicholas; Paulden, Mike; Alibhai, Shabbir; Wong, Josephine; Tomlinson, George; Brooker, Ann-Sylvia; Krahn, Murray; Zwarenstein, Merrick

    2014-02-24

    The study was conducted to determine the clinical and cost effectiveness of enhanced multi-disciplinary teams (EMDTs) vs. 'usual care' for the treatment of pressure ulcers in long term care (LTC) facilities in Ontario, Canada We conducted a multi-method study: a pragmatic cluster randomized stepped-wedge trial, ethnographic observation and in-depth interviews, and an economic evaluation. Long term care facilities (clusters) were randomly allocated to start dates of the intervention. An advance practice nurse (APN) with expertise in skin and wound care visited intervention facilities to educate staff on pressure ulcer prevention and treatment, supported by an off-site hospital based expert multi-disciplinary wound care team via email, telephone, or video link as needed. The primary outcome was rate of reduction in pressure ulcer surface area (cm2/day) measured on before and after standard photographs by an assessor blinded to facility allocation. Secondary outcomes were time to healing, probability of healing, pressure ulcer incidence, pressure ulcer prevalence, wound pain, hospitalization, emergency department visits, utility, and cost. 12 of 15 eligible LTC facilities were randomly selected to participate and randomized to start date of the intervention following the stepped wedge design. 137 residents with a total of 259 pressure ulcers (stage 2 or greater) were recruited over the 17 month study period. No statistically significant differences were found between control and intervention periods on any of the primary or secondary outcomes. The economic evaluation demonstrated a mean reduction in direct care costs of $650 per resident compared to 'usual care'. The qualitative study suggested that onsite support by APN wound specialists was welcomed, and is responsible for reduced costs through discontinuation of expensive non evidence based treatments. Insufficient allocation of nursing home staff time to wound care may explain the lack of impact on healing

  9. Strengthening referral of sick children from the private health sector and its impact on referral uptake in Uganda: a cluster randomized controlled trial protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther Buregyeya

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Uganda’s under-five mortality is high, currently estimated at 66/1000 live births. Poor referral of sick children that seek care from the private sector is one of the contributory factors. The proposed intervention aims to improve referral and uptake of referral advice for children that seek care from private facilities (registered drug shops/private clinics. Methods/Design A cluster randomized design will be applied to test the intervention in Mukono District, central Uganda. A sample of study clusters will implement the intervention. The intervention will consist of three components: i raising awareness in the community: village health teams will discuss the importance of referral and encourage households to save money, ii training and supervision of providers in the private sector to diagnose, treat and refer sick children, iii regular meetings between the public and private providers (convened by the district health team to discuss the referral system. Twenty clusters will be included in the study, randomized in the ratio of 1:1. A minimum of 319 sick children per cluster and the total number of sick children to be recruited from all clusters will be 8910; adjusting for a 10 % loss to follow up and possible withdrawal of private outlets. Discussion The immediate sustainable impact will be appropriate treatment of sick children. The intervention is likely to impact on private sector practices since the scope of the services they provide will have expanded. The proposed study is also likely to have an impact on families as; i they may appreciate the importance of timely referral on child illness management, ii the cost savings related to reduced morbidity will be used by household to access other social services. The linkage between the private and public sectors will create a potential avenue for delivery of other public health interventions and improved working relations in the two sectors. Further, improved quality of

  10. Using the 4 Pillars™ Immunization Toolkit to Increase Pneumococcal Immunizations for Older Adults: A Cluster Randomized Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Richard K.; Brown, Anthony E.; Pavlik, Valory N.; Moehling, Krissy K.; Raviotta, Jonathan M.; Lin, Chyongchiou J.; Zhang, Song; Hawk, Mary; Kyle, Shakala; Patel, Suchita; Ahmed, Faruque; Nowalk, Mary Patricia

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND Quality improvement in primary care has focused on improving adult immunization. OBJECTIVES Test the effectiveness of a step-by step, evidence-based guide, the 4 Pillars™ Immunization Toolkit, to increase adult pneumococcal vaccination. DESIGN Randomized controlled cluster trial (RCCT) in Year 1 (6/1/2013–5/31/2014) and a pre-post study in Year 2 (6/1/2014–1/31/2015) with data analyzed in 2016. Baseline year was 6/1/2012–5/31/2013. Demographic and vaccination data were derived from de-identified EMR extractions. SETTING 25 primary care practices stratified by city (Houston, Pittsburgh), location (rural, urban, suburban) and type (family medicine, internal medicine), randomized to receive the intervention in Year 1 (n=13) or Year 2 (n=12). PARTICIPANTS A cohort of 18,107 patients ≥65 years at baseline with a mean age of 74.2 years; 60.7% were women, 16.5% were non-white and 15.7% were Hispanic. INTERVENTION The Toolkit, provider education, and one-on-one coaching of practice-based immunization champions. Outcome measures were 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) rates and percentage point (PP) changes. RESULTS In the RCCT, all intervention and control groups had significantly higher PPSV vaccination rates with average increases ranging from 6.5–8.7 PP (P<0.01). The intervention was not related to higher likelihood of PPSV vaccination. In the Year 2 pre-post study, the likelihood of PPSV and PCV vaccination was significantly higher in the active intervention sites than the maintenance sites in Pittsburgh, but not in Houston. CONCLUSION In a randomized controlled cluster trial, both intervention and control groups increased PPSV among adults ≥65 years. In a pre-post study, private primary care practices using the 4 Pillars™ Immunization Toolkit significantly improved PPSV and PCV uptake compared with practices that were in the maintenance phase of the study. PMID:27755655

  11. Spectra of random networks in the weak clustering regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peron, Thomas K. DM.; Ji, Peng; Kurths, Jürgen; Rodrigues, Francisco A.

    2018-03-01

    The asymptotic behavior of dynamical processes in networks can be expressed as a function of spectral properties of the corresponding adjacency and Laplacian matrices. Although many theoretical results are known for the spectra of traditional configuration models, networks generated through these models fail to describe many topological features of real-world networks, in particular non-null values of the clustering coefficient. Here we study effects of cycles of order three (triangles) in network spectra. By using recent advances in random matrix theory, we determine the spectral distribution of the network adjacency matrix as a function of the average number of triangles attached to each node for networks without modular structure and degree-degree correlations. Implications to network dynamics are discussed. Our findings can shed light in the study of how particular kinds of subgraphs influence network dynamics.

  12. Computational Design of Clusters for Catalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez-Izal, Elisa; Alexandrova, Anastassia N.

    2018-04-01

    When small clusters are studied in chemical physics or physical chemistry, one perhaps thinks of the fundamental aspects of cluster electronic structure, or precision spectroscopy in ultracold molecular beams. However, small clusters are also of interest in catalysis, where the cold ground state or an isolated cluster may not even be the right starting point. Instead, the big question is: What happens to cluster-based catalysts under real conditions of catalysis, such as high temperature and coverage with reagents? Myriads of metastable cluster states become accessible, the entire system is dynamic, and catalysis may be driven by rare sites present only under those conditions. Activity, selectivity, and stability are highly dependent on size, composition, shape, support, and environment. To probe and master cluster catalysis, sophisticated tools are being developed for precision synthesis, operando measurements, and multiscale modeling. This review intends to tell the messy story of clusters in catalysis.

  13. Effects of improved sanitation on diarrheal reduction for children under five in Idiofa, DR Congo: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Seungman; Lee, JaeEun; Seo, DongSik; Park, Byoung Mann; Mansiangi, Paul; Bernard, Kabore; Mulakub-Yazho, Guy Jerome Nkay; Famasulu, Honore Minka

    2017-09-19

    The lack of safe water and sanitation contributes to the rampancy of diarrhea in many developing countries. This study describes the design of a cluster-randomized trial in Idiofa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, seeking evidence of the impact of improved sanitation on diarrhea for children under four. Of the 276 quartiers, 18 quartiers were randomly allocated to the intervention or control arm. Seven hundred and-twenty households were sampled and the youngest under-four child in each household was registered for this study. The primary endpoint of the study is diarrheal incidence, prevalence and duration in children under five. Material subsidies will be provided only to the households who complete pit digging plus superstructure and roof construction, regardless of their income level. This study employs a Sanitation Calendar so that the mother of each household can record the diarrheal episodes of her under-four child on a daily basis. The diary enables examination of the effect of the sanitation intervention on diarrhea duration and also resolves the limitation of the small number of clusters in the trial. In addition, the project will be monitored through the 'Sanitation Map', on which all households in the study area, including both the control and intervention arms, are registered. To avoid information bias or courtesy bias, photos will be taken of the latrine during the household visit, and a supervisor will determine well-equipped latrine uptake based on the photos. This reduces the possibility of recall bias and under- or over-estimation of diarrhea, which was the main limitation of previous studies. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the School of Public Health, Kinshasa University (ESP/CE/040/15; April 13, 2015) and registered as an International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial (ISRCTN: 10,419,317) on March 13, 2015.

  14. Walking Away from Type 2 diabetes: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, T; Edwardson, C L; Henson, J; Gray, L J; Ashra, N B; Troughton, J; Khunti, K; Davies, M J

    2017-05-01

    This study aimed to investigate whether an established behavioural intervention, Walking Away from Type 2 Diabetes, is effective at promoting and sustaining increased walking activity when delivered within primary care. Cluster randomized controlled trial involving 10 general practices recruited from Leicestershire, UK, in 2009-2010. Eight hundred and eight (36% female) individuals with a high risk of Type 2 diabetes mellitus, identified through a validated risk score, were included. Participants in five practices were randomized to Walking Away from Type 2 Diabetes, a pragmatic 3-h group-based structured education programme incorporating pedometer use with annual follow-on refresher sessions. The primary outcome was accelerometer assessed ambulatory activity (steps/day) at 12 months. Longer term maintenance was assessed at 24 and 36 months. Results were analysed using generalized estimating equation models, accounting for clustering. Complete accelerometer data for the primary outcome were available for 571 (71%) participants. Increases in ambulatory activity of 411 steps/day [95% confidence interval (CI): 117, 704] and self-reported vigorous-intensity physical activity of 218 metabolic equivalent min/week (95% CI: 6, 425) at 12 months were observed in the intervention group compared with control; differences between groups were not sustained at 36 months. No differences between groups were observed for markers of cardiometabolic health. Replacing missing data with multiple imputation did not affect the results. A pragmatic low-resource group-based structured education programme with pedometer use resulted in modest increases in ambulatory activity compared with control conditions after 12 months when implemented within a primary care setting to those at high risk of Type 2 diabetes mellitus; however, the results were not maintained over 36 months. © 2016 Diabetes UK.

  15. Infrared Extinction Performance of Randomly Oriented Microbial-Clustered Agglomerate Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Le; Hu, Yihua; Gu, Youlin; Zhao, Xinying; Xu, Shilong; Yu, Lei; Zheng, Zhi Ming; Wang, Peng

    2017-11-01

    In this study, the spatial structure of randomly distributed clusters of fungi An0429 spores was simulated using a cluster aggregation (CCA) model, and the single scattering parameters of fungi An0429 spores were calculated using the discrete dipole approximation (DDA) method. The transmittance of 10.6 µm infrared (IR) light in the aggregated fungi An0429 spores swarm is simulated by using the Monte Carlo method. Several parameters that affect the transmittance of 10.6 µm IR light, such as the number and radius of original fungi An0429 spores, porosity of aggregated fungi An0429 spores, and density of aggregated fungi An0429 spores of the formation aerosol area were discussed. Finally, the transmittances of microbial materials with different qualities were measured in the dynamic test platform. The simulation results showed that the parameters analyzed were closely connected with the extinction performance of fungi An0429 spores. By controlling the value of the influencing factors, the transmittance could be lower than a certain threshold to meet the requirement of attenuation in application. In addition, the experimental results showed that the Monte Carlo method could well reflect the attenuation law of IR light in fungi An0429 spore agglomerates swarms.

  16. Design of a cluster-randomized trial of electronic health record-based tools to address overweight and obesity in primary care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, Heather J; Wee, Christina C; DeVito, Katerina; Orav, E John; Frolkis, Joseph P; Williams, Deborah H; Wright, Adam; Bates, David W

    2015-08-01

    Primary care providers often fail to identify patients who are overweight or obese or discuss weight management with them. Electronic health record-based tools may help providers with the assessment and management of overweight and obesity. We describe the design of a trial to examine the effectiveness of electronic health record-based tools for the assessment and management of overweight and obesity among adult primary care patients, as well as the challenges we encountered. We developed several new features within the electronic health record used by primary care practices affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. These features included (1) reminders to measure height and weight, (2) an alert asking providers to add overweight or obesity to the problem list, (3) reminders with tailored management recommendations, and (4) a Weight Management screen. We then conducted a pragmatic, cluster-randomized controlled trial in 12 primary care practices. We randomized 23 clinical teams ("clinics") within the practices to the intervention group (n = 11) or the control group (n = 12). The new features were activated only for clinics in the intervention group. The intervention was implemented in two phases: the height and weight reminders went live on 15 December 2011 (Phase 1), and all of the other features went live on 11 June 2012 (Phase 2). Study enrollment went from December 2011 through December 2012, and follow-up ended in December 2013. The primary outcomes were 6-month and 12-month weight change among adult patients with body mass index ≥25 who had a visit at one of the primary care clinics during Phase 2. Secondary outcome measures included the proportion of patients with a recorded body mass index in the electronic health record, the proportion of patients with body mass index ≥25 who had a diagnosis of overweight or obesity on the electronic health record problem list, and the proportion of patients with body mass index ≥25 who had

  17. Analyzing indirect effects in cluster randomized trials. The effect of estimation method, number of groups and group sizes on accuracy and power.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joop eHox

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Cluster randomized trials assess the effect of an intervention that is carried out at the group or cluster level. Ajzen’s theory of planned behaviour is often used to model the effect of the intervention as an indirect effect mediated in turn by attitude, norms and behavioural intention. Structural equation modelling (SEM is the technique of choice to estimate indirect effects and their significance. However, this is a large sample technique, and its application in a cluster randomized trial assumes a relatively large number of clusters. In practice, the number of clusters in these studies tends to be relatively small, e.g. much less than fifty. This study uses simulation methods to find the lowest number of clusters needed when multilevel SEM is used to estimate the indirect effect. Maximum likelihood estimation is compared to Bayesian analysis, with the central quality criteria being accuracy of the point estimate and the confidence interval. We also investigate the power of the test for the indirect effect. We conclude that Bayes estimation works well with much smaller cluster level sample sizes such as 20 cases than maximum likelihood estimation; although the bias is larger the coverage is much better. When only 5 to 10 clusters are available per treatment condition even with Bayesian estimation problems occur.

  18. Effect of providing free glasses on children's educational outcomes in China: cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiaochen; Zhou, Zhongqiang; Yi, Hongmei; Pang, Xiaopeng; Shi, Yaojiang; Chen, Qianyun; Meltzer, Mirjam E; le Cessie, Saskia; He, Mingguang; Rozelle, Scott; Liu, Yizhi; Congdon, Nathan

    2014-09-23

    To assess the effect of provision of free glasses on academic performance in rural Chinese children with myopia. Cluster randomized, investigator masked, controlled trial. 252 primary schools in two prefectures in western China, 2012-13. 3177 of 19,934 children in fourth and fifth grades (mean age 10.5 years) with visual acuity 6/12 with glasses. 3052 (96.0%) completed the study. Children were randomized by school (84 schools per arm) to one of three interventions at the beginning of the school year: prescription for glasses only (control group), vouchers for free glasses at a local facility, or free glasses provided in class. Spectacle wear at endline examination and end of year score on a specially designed mathematics test, adjusted for baseline score and expressed in standard deviations. Among 3177 eligible children, 1036 (32.6%) were randomized to control, 988 (31.1%) to vouchers, and 1153 (36.3%) to free glasses in class. All eligible children would benefit from glasses, but only 15% wore them at baseline. At closeout glasses wear was 41% (observed) and 68% (self reported) in the free glasses group, and 26% (observed) and 37% (self reported) in the controls. Effect on test score was 0.11 SD (95% confidence interval 0.01 to 0.21) when the free glasses group was compared with the control group. The adjusted effect of providing free glasses (0.10, 0.002 to 0.19) was greater than parental education (0.03, -0.04 to 0.09) or family wealth (0.01, -0.06 to 0.08). This difference between groups was significant, but was smaller than the prespecified 0.20 SD difference that the study was powered to detect. The provision of free glasses to Chinese children with myopia improves children's performance on mathematics testing to a statistically significant degree, despite imperfect compliance, although the observed difference between groups was smaller than the study was originally designed to detect. Myopia is common and rarely corrected in this setting.Trial Registration

  19. Cluster-randomized trial demonstrating impact on academic achievement of elementary social-emotional learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schonfeld, David J; Adams, Ryan E; Fredstrom, Bridget K; Weissberg, Roger P; Gilman, Richard; Voyce, Charlene; Tomlin, Ricarda; Speese-Linehan, Dee

    2015-09-01

    This study evaluated the results of a social and emotional learning (SEL) program on academic achievement among students attending a large, urban, high-risk school district. Using a cluster-randomized design, 24 elementary schools were assigned to receive either the intervention curriculum (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies, or PATHS) or a curriculum that delivered few if any SEL topics (i.e., the control group). In addition to state mastery test scores, demographic data, school attendance, and dosage information were obtained from 705 students who remained in the same group from the 3rd to the 6th grade. Analyses of odds ratios revealed that students enrolled in the intervention schools demonstrated higher levels of basic proficiency in reading, writing, and math at some grade levels. Although these between-groups differences held for race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status, significant within-group differences also were noted across these variables. Collectively, these findings indicated that social development instruction may be a promising approach to promote acquisition of academic proficiency, especially among youth attending high-risk school settings. Implications of these findings with respect to SEL programs conclude the article. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Management system of ELHEP cluster machine for FEL photonics design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zysik, Jacek; Poźniak, Krzysztof; Romaniuk, Ryszard

    2006-10-01

    A multipurpose, distributed MatLab calculations oriented, cluster machine was assembled in PERG/ELHEP laboratory at ISE/WUT. It is predicted mainly for advanced photonics and FPGA/DSP based systems design for Free Electron Laser. It will be used also for student projects for superconducting accelerator and FEL. Here we present one specific side of cluster design. For an intense, distributed daily work with the cluster, it is important to have a good interface and practical access to all machine resources. A complex management system was implemented in PERG laboratory. It helps all registered users to work using all necessary applications, communicate with other logged in people, check all the news and gather all necessary information about what is going on in the system, how it is utilized, etc. The system is also very practical for administrator purposes, it helps to keep controlling who is using the resources and for how long. It provides different privileges for different applications and many more. The system is introduced as a freeware, using open source code and can be modified by system operators or super-users who are interested in nonstandard system configuration.

  1. Study design of a cluster-randomized controlled trial to evaluate a large-scale distribution of cook stoves and water filters in Western Province, Rwanda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagel, Corey L; Kirby, Miles A; Zambrano, Laura D; Rosa, Ghislane; Barstow, Christina K; Thomas, Evan A; Clasen, Thomas F

    2016-12-15

    In Rwanda, pneumonia and diarrhea are the first and second leading causes of death, respectively, among children under five. Household air pollution (HAP) resultant from cooking indoors with biomass fuels on traditional stoves is a significant risk factor for pneumonia, while consumption of contaminated drinking water is a primary cause of diarrheal disease. To date, there have been no large-scale effectiveness trials of programmatic efforts to provide either improved cookstoves or household water filters at scale in a low-income country. In this paper we describe the design of a cluster-randomized trial to evaluate the impact of a national-level program to distribute and promote the use of improved cookstoves and advanced water filters to the poorest quarter of households in Rwanda. We randomly allocated 72 sectors (administratively defined units) in Western Province to the intervention, with the remaining 24 sectors in the province serving as controls. In the intervention sectors, roughly 100,000 households received improved cookstoves and household water filters through a government-sponsored program targeting the poorest quarter of households nationally. The primary outcome measures are the incidence of acute respiratory infection (ARI) and diarrhea among children under five years of age. Over a one-year surveillance period, all cases of acute respiratory infection (ARI) and diarrhea identified by health workers in the study area will be extracted from records maintained at health facilities and by community health workers (CHW). In addition, we are conducting intensive, longitudinal data collection among a random sample of households in the study area for in-depth assessment of coverage, use, environmental exposures, and additional health measures. Although previous research has examined the impact of providing household water treatment and improved cookstoves on child health, there have been no studies of national-level programs to deliver these interventions

  2. LCoMotion - Learning, Cognition and Motion; a multicomponent cluster randomized school-based intervention aimed at increasing learning and cognition - rationale, design and methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugge, Anna; Tarp, Jakob; Østergaard, Lars; Domazet, Sidsel Louise; Andersen, Lars Bo; Froberg, Karsten

    2014-09-18

    The aim of the study; LCoMotion - Learning, Cognition and Motion was to develop, document, and evaluate a multi-component physical activity (PA) intervention in public schools in Denmark. The primary outcome was cognitive function. Secondary outcomes were academic skills, body composition, aerobic fitness and PA. The primary aim of the present paper was to describe the rationale, design and methods of the LCoMotion study. LCoMotion was designed as a cluster-randomized controlled study. Fourteen schools from all five regions in Denmark participated. All students from 6th and 7th grades were invited to participate (n = 869) and consent was obtained for 87% (n = 759). Baseline measurements were obtained in November/December 2013 and follow-up measurements in May/June 2014. The intervention lasted five months and consisted of a "package" of three main components: PA during academic lessons, PA during recess and PA homework. Furthermore a cycling campaign was conducted during the intervention period. Intervention schools should endeavor to ensure that students were physically active for at least 60 min every school day. Cognitive function was measured by a modified Eriksen flanker task and academic skills by a custom made mathematics test. PA was objectively measured by accelerometers (ActiGraph, GT3X and GT3X+) and aerobic fitness assessed by an intermittent shuttle-run test (the Andersen intermittent running test). Furthermore, compliance with the intervention was assessed by short message service (SMS)-tracking and questionnaires were delivered to students, parents and teachers. LCoMotion has ability to provide new insights on the effectiveness of a multicomponent intervention on cognitive function and academic skills in 6th and 7th grade students. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02012881 (10/10/2013).

  3. A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of Nonpharmacological Interventions for Old-Old Subjects with a Clinical Dementia Rating of 0.5: The Kurihara Project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Nakatsuka

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Evidence as to the benefits of nonpharmacological interventions for the boundary state between normal aging and dementia [mild cognitive impairment or a Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR of 0.5] remains weak due to a lack of positive controls. Aims: To directly compare the effects of cognitive interventions (CI, physical activities (PA and a group reminiscence approach (GRA, we conducted a pilot study on the basis of a cluster randomized controlled trial design. Method: A total of 127 participants aged >74 years with a CDR of 0.5 were cluster randomized into three groups for CI, PA and GRA. The intervention lasted 12 weeks and consisted of weekly group sessions and home assignments. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE, Trail Making Test part A (TMT-A, word fluency (WF, 6-meter walk time and Quality of Life (QOL Face Scale scores were evaluated as primary outcomes. Results: Methodology-related benefits of CI and PA were found for MMSE scores and walk time, respectively. TMT-A, WF and QOL Face Scale scores improved irrespective of the methodologies used. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that CI and PA may be beneficial to cognitive and physical abilities, respectively. Executive functions and QOL may improve irrespective of the intervention methodologies used.

  4. Android Malware Classification Using K-Means Clustering Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamid, Isredza Rahmi A.; Syafiqah Khalid, Nur; Azma Abdullah, Nurul; Rahman, Nurul Hidayah Ab; Chai Wen, Chuah

    2017-08-01

    Malware was designed to gain access or damage a computer system without user notice. Besides, attacker exploits malware to commit crime or fraud. This paper proposed Android malware classification approach based on K-Means clustering algorithm. We evaluate the proposed model in terms of accuracy using machine learning algorithms. Two datasets were selected to demonstrate the practicing of K-Means clustering algorithms that are Virus Total and Malgenome dataset. We classify the Android malware into three clusters which are ransomware, scareware and goodware. Nine features were considered for each types of dataset such as Lock Detected, Text Detected, Text Score, Encryption Detected, Threat, Porn, Law, Copyright and Moneypak. We used IBM SPSS Statistic software for data classification and WEKA tools to evaluate the built cluster. The proposed K-Means clustering algorithm shows promising result with high accuracy when tested using Random Forest algorithm.

  5. The effect of clustering on lot quality assurance sampling: a probabilistic model to calculate sample sizes for quality assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedt-Gauthier, Bethany L; Mitsunaga, Tisha; Hund, Lauren; Olives, Casey; Pagano, Marcello

    2013-10-26

    Traditional Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) designs assume observations are collected using simple random sampling. Alternatively, randomly sampling clusters of observations and then individuals within clusters reduces costs but decreases the precision of the classifications. In this paper, we develop a general framework for designing the cluster(C)-LQAS system and illustrate the method with the design of data quality assessments for the community health worker program in Rwanda. To determine sample size and decision rules for C-LQAS, we use the beta-binomial distribution to account for inflated risk of errors introduced by sampling clusters at the first stage. We present general theory and code for sample size calculations.The C-LQAS sample sizes provided in this paper constrain misclassification risks below user-specified limits. Multiple C-LQAS systems meet the specified risk requirements, but numerous considerations, including per-cluster versus per-individual sampling costs, help identify optimal systems for distinct applications. We show the utility of C-LQAS for data quality assessments, but the method generalizes to numerous applications. This paper provides the necessary technical detail and supplemental code to support the design of C-LQAS for specific programs.

  6. Enhancing Executive Functions Among Dutch Elementary School Children Using the Train Your Mind Program: Protocol for a Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bervoets, Joachim; Jonkman, Lisa M; Mulkens, Sandra; de Vries, Hein; Kok, Gerjo

    2018-06-07

    Executive functions are higher cognitive control functions, which are essential to physical and psychological well-being, academic performance, and healthy social relationships. Executive functions can be trained, albeit without broad transfer, to this date. Broad transfer entails the translation of improved cognitive functions to daily life (behaviors). The intervention Train your Mind was designed to train executive functions among elementary school children aged 9 to 11 years, and obtain broad transfer in terms of enhanced physical activity, healthy eating, and socioemotional regulation. This paper aims to describe the cluster randomized trial to test the effectiveness of the Train your Mind intervention. Train your Mind was integrated into the existing school curriculum for 8 months (25 weeks excluding holidays). The effectiveness of the intervention was tested in a cluster randomized trial comprising 13 schools, 34 groups (school classes), and 800 children, using a battery of 6 computer tasks at pre- and postmeasurement. Each of the 3 core executive functions was measured by 2 tasks (Flanker and Go/No-Go; N-Back and Running Span; Attention Switching Task and Dots/Triangles). Moreover, we administered questionnaires that measure emotion-regulation, cognitive errors, physical activity, dietary habits, and the psycho-social determinants of diet and physical activity. Body mass index was also measured. Multilevel analyses will account for clustering at the school and group levels, and randomization took place at the school level. Results are currently being analyzed. The main purpose of this study is to test Train your Mind's effectiveness in enhancing executive functions. Second, we investigate whether increased executive functions lead to improved physical activity and healthy eating. If found effective, executive function training could easily be integrated into school curricula everywhere, and as such, boost health, academic performance, and emotion

  7. Who is the research subject in cluster randomized trials in health research?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brehaut Jamie C

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This article is part of a series of papers examining ethical issues in cluster randomized trials (CRTs in health research. In the introductory paper in this series, we set out six areas of inquiry that must be addressed if the CRT is to be set on a firm ethical foundation. This paper addresses the first of the questions posed, namely, who is the research subject in a CRT in health research? The identification of human research subjects is logically prior to the application of protections as set out in research ethics and regulation. Aspects of CRT design, including the fact that in a single study the units of randomization, experimentation, and observation may differ, complicate the identification of human research subjects. But the proper identification of human research subjects is important if they are to be protected from harm and exploitation, and if research ethics committees are to review CRTs efficiently. We examine the research ethics literature and international regulations to identify the core features of human research subjects, and then unify these features under a single, comprehensive definition of human research subject. We define a human research subject as any person whose interests may be compromised as a result of interventions in a research study. Individuals are only human research subjects in CRTs if: (1 they are directly intervened upon by investigators; (2 they interact with investigators; (3 they are deliberately intervened upon via a manipulation of their environment that may compromise their interests; or (4 their identifiable private information is used to generate data. Individuals who are indirectly affected by CRT study interventions, including patients of healthcare providers participating in knowledge translation CRTs, are not human research subjects unless at least one of these conditions is met.

  8. Effect of clustering on attack vulnerability of interdependent scale-free networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Rui-qi; Sun, Shi-wen; Ma, Yi-lin; Wang, Li; Xia, Cheng-yi

    2015-01-01

    In order to deeply understand the complex interdependent systems, it is of great concern to take clustering coefficient, which is an important feature of many real-world systems, into account. Previous study mainly focused on the impact of clustering on interdependent networks under random attacks, while we extend the study to the case of the more realistic attacking strategy, targeted attack. A system composed of two interdependent scale-free networks with tunable clustering is provided. The effects of coupling strength and coupling preference on attack vulnerability are explored. Numerical simulation results demonstrate that interdependent links between two networks make the entire system much more fragile to attacks. Also, it is found that clustering significantly increases the vulnerability of interdependent scale-free networks. Moreover, for fully coupled network, disassortative coupling is found to be most vulnerable to random attacks, while the random and assortative coupling have little difference. Additionally, enhancing coupling strength can greatly enhance the fragility of interdependent networks against targeted attacks. These results can not only improve the deep understanding of structural complexity of complex systems, but also provide insights into the guidance of designing resilient infrastructures.

  9. Effectiveness of a multifaceted implementation strategy on physicians' referral behavior to an evidence-based psychosocial intervention in dementia: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dopp, C.M.E.; Graff, M.J.L.; Teerenstra, S.; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M.W.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.; Vernooij-Dassen, M.J.F.J.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: To evaluate the effectiveness of a multifaceted implementation strategy on physicians' referral rate to and knowledge on the community occupational therapy in dementia program (COTiD program). METHODS: A cluster randomized controlled trial with 28 experimental and 17 control clusters was

  10. The Karnataka Anemia Project 2--design and evaluation of a community-based parental intervention to improve childhood anemia cure rates: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shet, Arun S; Zwarenstein, Merrick; Mascarenhas, Maya; Risbud, Arvind; Atkins, Salla; Klar, Neil; Galanti, Maria Rosaria

    2015-12-30

    Childhood anemia is highly prevalent worldwide. Improving the hemoglobin level of preschool age children could yield substantial benefits in cognitive and psychosocial development and overall health. While evidence-based recommendations for reducing childhood anemia in high anemia prevalence countries are available, there is no experimental evidence of community centered education and counseling programs, as a route to improved acceptance of iron supplements, demonstrating beneficial effects on anemia outcomes. We report on the evaluation protocol of a complex educational intervention led by the community lay health worker (LHW) and delivered to mothers of 12-59-month-old anemic children living in and visiting village day care centers in a large district of southern India. The study is designed as a cluster randomized controlled trial. The intervention is based on the social cognitive theory and aims to promote among mothers, anemia awareness, dietary modifications to increase iron intake in the child, and recognition of the need for enhanced adherence to supplemental iron in the anemic child. From 270 eligible villages in the study area, a sample of 60 villages will be randomized to intervention [n = 30] or to treatment as usual [n = 30] of the study. LHWs in the intervention arm will be trained to administer the following intervention components to mothers of anemic children: 1] monthly distribution of Iron and folic acid (IFA) supplements to mothers of anemic children, and 2] five monthly counseling sessions of mothers of anemic children covering: a] anemia awareness education b] IFA adherence counseling and assessment, c] dietary modification to improve iron intake, and d] hygiene and sanitation. LHWs in the control arm will distribute IFA to mothers of anemic children as in the intervention arm but will not provide monthly education and counseling support. The primary outcome is the difference between the two experimental groups in anemia cure rates of

  11. Effect of workplace- versus home-based physical exercise on pain in healthcare workers: study protocol for a single blinded cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsen, Markus D; Sundstrup, Emil; Brandt, Mikkel; Kristensen, Anne Zoëga; Jay, Kenneth; Stelter, Reinhard; Lavendt, Ebbe; Aagaard, Per; Andersen, Lars L

    2014-04-07

    The prevalence and consequences of musculoskeletal pain is considerable among healthcare workers, allegedly due to high physical work demands of healthcare work. Previous investigations have shown promising results of physical exercise for relieving pain among different occupational groups, but the question remains whether such physical exercise should be performed at the workplace or conducted as home-based exercise. Performing physical exercise at the workplace together with colleagues may be more motivating for some employees and thus increase adherence. On the other hand, physical exercise performed during working hours at the workplace may be costly for the employers in terms of time spend. Thus, it seems relevant to compare the efficacy of workplace- versus home-based training on musculoskeletal pain. This study is intended to investigate the effect of workplace-based versus home-based physical exercise on musculoskeletal pain among healthcare workers. This study was designed as a cluster randomized controlled trial performed at 3 hospitals in Copenhagen, Denmark. Clusters are hospital departments and hospital units. Cluster randomization was chosen to increase adherence and avoid contamination between interventions. Two hundred healthcare workers from 18 departments located at three different hospitals is allocated to 10 weeks of 1) workplace based physical exercise performed during working hours (using kettlebells, elastic bands and exercise balls) for 5 × 10 minutes per week and up to 5 group-based coaching sessions, or 2) home based physical exercise performed during leisure time (using elastic bands and body weight exercises) for 5 × 10 minutes per week. Both intervention groups will also receive ergonomic instructions on patient handling and use of lifting aides etc. Inclusion criteria are female healthcare workers working at a hospital. Average pain intensity (VAS scale 0-10) of the back, neck and shoulder (primary outcome) and physical

  12. How can design be a platform for the development of a regional cluster in the Region of Southern Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Susanne; Christensen, Poul Rind

    2013-01-01

    Analyses of key factors for the emergence of a cluster and the formation of a design cluster in the region of Southern Denmark......Analyses of key factors for the emergence of a cluster and the formation of a design cluster in the region of Southern Denmark...

  13. Comparing the performance of cluster random sampling and integrated threshold mapping for targeting trachoma control, using computer simulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Smith

    Full Text Available Implementation of trachoma control strategies requires reliable district-level estimates of trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF, generally collected using the recommended gold-standard cluster randomized surveys (CRS. Integrated Threshold Mapping (ITM has been proposed as an integrated and cost-effective means of rapidly surveying trachoma in order to classify districts according to treatment thresholds. ITM differs from CRS in a number of important ways, including the use of a school-based sampling platform for children aged 1-9 and a different age distribution of participants. This study uses computerised sampling simulations to compare the performance of these survey designs and evaluate the impact of varying key parameters.Realistic pseudo gold standard data for 100 districts were generated that maintained the relative risk of disease between important sub-groups and incorporated empirical estimates of disease clustering at the household, village and district level. To simulate the different sampling approaches, 20 clusters were selected from each district, with individuals sampled according to the protocol for ITM and CRS. Results showed that ITM generally under-estimated the true prevalence of TF over a range of epidemiological settings and introduced more district misclassification according to treatment thresholds than did CRS. However, the extent of underestimation and resulting misclassification was found to be dependent on three main factors: (i the district prevalence of TF; (ii the relative risk of TF between enrolled and non-enrolled children within clusters; and (iii the enrollment rate in schools.Although in some contexts the two methodologies may be equivalent, ITM can introduce a bias-dependent shift as prevalence of TF increases, resulting in a greater risk of misclassification around treatment thresholds. In addition to strengthening the evidence base around choice of trachoma survey methodologies, this study illustrates

  14. Cluster-level statistical inference in fMRI datasets: The unexpected behavior of random fields in high dimensions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Ravi; Peterson, Bradley S

    2018-06-01

    Identifying regional effects of interest in MRI datasets usually entails testing a priori hypotheses across many thousands of brain voxels, requiring control for false positive findings in these multiple hypotheses testing. Recent studies have suggested that parametric statistical methods may have incorrectly modeled functional MRI data, thereby leading to higher false positive rates than their nominal rates. Nonparametric methods for statistical inference when conducting multiple statistical tests, in contrast, are thought to produce false positives at the nominal rate, which has thus led to the suggestion that previously reported studies should reanalyze their fMRI data using nonparametric tools. To understand better why parametric methods may yield excessive false positives, we assessed their performance when applied both to simulated datasets of 1D, 2D, and 3D Gaussian Random Fields (GRFs) and to 710 real-world, resting-state fMRI datasets. We showed that both the simulated 2D and 3D GRFs and the real-world data contain a small percentage (<6%) of very large clusters (on average 60 times larger than the average cluster size), which were not present in 1D GRFs. These unexpectedly large clusters were deemed statistically significant using parametric methods, leading to empirical familywise error rates (FWERs) as high as 65%: the high empirical FWERs were not a consequence of parametric methods failing to model spatial smoothness accurately, but rather of these very large clusters that are inherently present in smooth, high-dimensional random fields. In fact, when discounting these very large clusters, the empirical FWER for parametric methods was 3.24%. Furthermore, even an empirical FWER of 65% would yield on average less than one of those very large clusters in each brain-wide analysis. Nonparametric methods, in contrast, estimated distributions from those large clusters, and therefore, by construct rejected the large clusters as false positives at the nominal

  15. Approximate design theory for a simple block design with random block effects

    OpenAIRE

    Christof, Karin

    1985-01-01

    Approximate design theory for a simple block design with random block effects / K. Christof ; F. Pukelsheim. - In: Linear statistical inference / ed. by T. Calinski ... - Berlin u. a. : Springer, 1985. - S. 20-28. - (Lecture notes in statistics ; 35)

  16. Impact of a cancer clinical trials web site on discussions about trial participation: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dear, R F; Barratt, A L; Askie, L M; Butow, P N; McGeechan, K; Crossing, S; Currow, D C; Tattersall, M H N

    2012-07-01

    Cancer patients want access to reliable information about currently recruiting clinical trials. Oncologists and their patients were randomly assigned to access a consumer-friendly cancer clinical trials web site [Australian Cancer Trials (ACT), www.australiancancertrials.gov.au] or to usual care in a cluster randomized controlled trial. The primary outcome, measured from audio recordings of oncologist-patient consultations, was the proportion of patients with whom participation in any clinical trial was discussed. Analysis was by intention-to-treat accounting for clustering and stratification. Thirty medical oncologists and 493 patients were recruited. Overall, 46% of consultations in the intervention group compared with 34% in the control group contained a discussion about clinical trials (P=0.08). The mean consultation length in both groups was 29 min (P=0.69). The proportion consenting to a trial was 10% in both groups (P=0.65). Patients' knowledge about randomized trials was lower in the intervention than the control group (mean score 3.0 versus 3.3, P=0.03) but decisional conflict scores were similar (mean score 42 versus 43, P=0.83). Good communication between patients and physicians is essential. Within this context, a web site such as Australian Cancer Trials may be an important tool to encourage discussion about clinical trial participation.

  17. Workplace health and safety intervention for child care staff: Rationale, design, and baseline results from the CARE cluster randomized control trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Dianne S; Vaughn, Amber E; Hales, Derek; Viera, Anthony J; Gizlice, Ziya; Bateman, Lori A; Grummon, Anna H; Arandia, Gabriela; Linnan, Laura A

    2018-05-01

    Low-wage workers suffer disproportionately high rates of chronic disease and are important targets for workplace health and safety interventions. Child care centers offer an ideal opportunity to reach some of the lowest paid workers, but these settings have been ignored in workplace intervention studies. Caring and Reaching for Health (CARE) is a cluster-randomized controlled trial evaluating efficacy of a multi-level, workplace-based intervention set in child care centers that promotes physical activity and other health behaviors among staff. Centers are randomized (1:1) into the Healthy Lifestyles (intervention) or the Healthy Finances (attention control) program. Healthy Lifestyles is delivered over six months including a kick-off event and three 8-week health campaigns (magazines, goal setting, behavior monitoring, tailored feedback, prompts, center displays, director coaching). The primary outcome is minutes of moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA); secondary outcomes are health behaviors (diet, smoking, sleep, stress), physical assessments (body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, fitness), and workplace supports for health and safety. In total, 56 centers and 553 participants have been recruited and randomized. Participants are predominately female (96.7%) and either Non-Hispanic African American (51.6%) or Non-Hispanic White (36.7%). Most participants (63.4%) are obese. They accumulate 17.4 (±14.2) minutes/day of MVPA and consume 1.3 (±1.4) and 1.3 (±0.8) servings/day of fruits and vegetables, respectively. Also, 14.2% are smokers; they report 6.4 (±1.4) hours/night of sleep; and 34.9% are high risk for depression. Baseline data demonstrate several serious health risks, confirming the importance of workplace interventions in child care. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Outcomes of a pilot hand hygiene randomized cluster trial to reduce communicable infections among US office-based employees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stedman-Smith, Maggie; DuBois, Cathy L Z; Grey, Scott F; Kingsbury, Diana M; Shakya, Sunita; Scofield, Jennifer; Slenkovich, Ken

    2015-04-01

    To determine the effectiveness of an office-based multimodal hand hygiene improvement intervention in reducing self-reported communicable infections and work-related absence. A randomized cluster trial including an electronic training video, hand sanitizer, and educational posters (n = 131, intervention; n = 193, control). Primary outcomes include (1) self-reported acute respiratory infections (ARIs)/influenza-like illness (ILI) and/or gastrointestinal (GI) infections during the prior 30 days; and (2) related lost work days. Incidence rate ratios calculated using generalized linear mixed models with a Poisson distribution, adjusted for confounders and random cluster effects. A 31% relative reduction in self-reported combined ARI-ILI/GI infections (incidence rate ratio: 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.49 to 0.98). A 21% nonsignificant relative reduction in lost work days. An office-based multimodal hand hygiene improvement intervention demonstrated a substantive reduction in self-reported combined ARI-ILI/GI infections.

  19. Effect of Reassuring Information About Musculoskeletal and Mental Health Complaints at the Workplace: A Cluster Randomized Trial of the atWork Intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnsen, Tone Langjordet; Eriksen, Hege Randi; Baste, Valborg; Indahl, Aage; Odeen, Magnus; Tveito, Torill Helene

    2018-05-21

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible difference between the Modified atWork intervention (MAW) and the Original atWork intervention (OAW) on sick leave and other health related outcomes. atWork is a group intervention using the workplace as an arena for distribution of evidence-based knowledge about musculoskeletal and mental health complaints. Methods A cluster randomized controlled trial with 93 kindergartens, comprising a total of 1011 employees, was conducted. Kindergartens were stratified by county and size and randomly allocated to MAW (45 clusters, 324 respondents) or OAW (48 clusters, 313 respondents). The randomization and intervention allocation processes were concealed. There was no blinding to group allocation. Primary outcome was register data on sick leave at cluster level. Secondary outcomes were health complaints, job satisfaction, social support, coping, and beliefs about musculoskeletal and mental health complaints, measured at the individual level. Results The MAW group reduced sick leave by 5.7% during the intervention year, while the OAW group had a 7.5% increase. Overall, the changes were not statistically significant, and no difference was detected between groups, based on 45 and 47 kindergartens. Compared to the OAW group, the MAW group had a smaller reduction for two of the statements concerning faulty beliefs about back pain, but believed less in the hereditary nature of depression. Conclusions The MAW did not have a different effect on sick leave at cluster level compared to the OAW. Trial registration https://Clinicaltrials.gov/ : NCT02396797. Registered March 23th, 2015.

  20. Testing feedback message framing and comparators to address prescribing of high-risk medications in nursing homes: protocol for a pragmatic, factorial, cluster-randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivers, Noah M; Desveaux, Laura; Presseau, Justin; Reis, Catherine; Witteman, Holly O; Taljaard, Monica K; McCleary, Nicola; Thavorn, Kednapa; Grimshaw, Jeremy M

    2017-07-14

    Audit and feedback (AF) interventions that leverage routine administrative data offer a scalable and relatively low-cost method to improve processes of care. AF interventions are usually designed to highlight discrepancies between desired and actual performance and to encourage recipients to act to address such discrepancies. Comparing to a regional average is a common approach, but more recipients would have a discrepancy if compared to a higher-than-average level of performance. In addition, how recipients perceive and respond to discrepancies may depend on how the feedback itself is framed. We aim to evaluate the effectiveness of different comparators and framing in feedback on high-risk prescribing in nursing homes. This is a pragmatic, 2 × 2 factorial, cluster-randomized controlled trial testing variations in the comparator and framing on the effectiveness of quarterly AF in changing high-risk prescribing in nursing homes in Ontario, Canada. We grouped homes that share physicians into clusters and randomized these clusters into the four experimental conditions. Outcomes will be assessed after 6 months; all primary analyses will be by intention-to-treat. The primary outcome (monthly number of high-risk medications received by each patient) will be analysed using a general linear mixed effects regression model. We will present both four-arm and factorial analyses. With 160 clusters and an average of 350 beds per cluster, assuming no interaction and similar effects for each intervention, we anticipate 90% power to detect an absolute mean difference of 0.3 high-risk medications prescribed. A mixed-methods process evaluation will explore potential mechanisms underlying the observed effects, exploring targeted constructs including intention, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, descriptive norms, and goal prioritization. An economic analysis will examine cost-effectiveness analysis from the perspective of the publicly funded health care system. This protocol

  1. Effectiveness of a multifaceted implementation strategy on physicians? referral behavior to an evidence-based psychosocial intervention in dementia: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    D?pp, Carola ME; Graff, Maud JL; Teerenstra, Steven; Nijhuis-van der Sanden, Maria WG; Olde Rikkert, Marcel GM; Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra JFJ

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: To evaluate the effectiveness of a multifaceted implementation strategy on physicians' referral rate to and knowledge on the community occupational therapy in dementia program (COTiD program). METHODS: A cluster randomized controlled trial with 28 experimental and 17 control clusters was conducted. Cluster included a minimum of one physician, one manager, and two occupational therapists. In the control group physicians and managers received no interventions and occupational therap...

  2. A Coupled Hidden Conditional Random Field Model for Simultaneous Face Clustering and Naming in Videos

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Yifan

    2016-08-18

    For face naming in TV series or movies, a typical way is using subtitles/script alignment to get the time stamps of the names, and tagging them to the faces. We study the problem of face naming in videos when subtitles are not available. To this end, we divide the problem into two tasks: face clustering which groups the faces depicting a certain person into a cluster, and name assignment which associates a name to each face. Each task is formulated as a structured prediction problem and modeled by a hidden conditional random field (HCRF) model. We argue that the two tasks are correlated problems whose outputs can provide prior knowledge of the target prediction for each other. The two HCRFs are coupled in a unified graphical model called coupled HCRF where the joint dependence of the cluster labels and face name association is naturally embedded in the correlation between the two HCRFs. We provide an effective algorithm to optimize the two HCRFs iteratively and the performance of the two tasks on real-world data set can be both improved.

  3. Multi-level flow-based Markov clustering for design structure matrices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilschut, T.; Etman, P.L.F.; Rooda, J.E.; Adan, I.J.B.F.

    2016-01-01

    For decomposition and integration of systems one requires extensive knowledge on system structure. A Design Structure Matrix (DSM) can provide a simple, compact and visual representation of dependencies between system elements. By permuting the rows and columns of a DSM using a clustering algorithm,

  4. An optimal design of cluster spacing intervals for staged fracturing in horizontal shale gas wells based on the optimal SRVs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lan Ren

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available When horizontal well staged cluster fracturing is applied in shale gas reservoirs, the cluster spacing is essential to fracturing performance. If the cluster spacing is too small, the stimulated area between major fractures will be overlapped, and the efficiency of fracturing stimulation will be decreased. If the cluster spacing is too large, the area between major fractures cannot be stimulated completely and reservoir recovery extent will be adversely impacted. At present, cluster spacing design is mainly based on the static model with the potential reservoir stimulation area as the target, and there is no cluster spacing design method in accordance with the actual fracturing process and targets dynamic stimulated reservoir volume (SRV. In this paper, a dynamic SRV calculation model for cluster fracture propagation was established by analyzing the coupling mechanisms among fracture propagation, fracturing fluid loss and stress. Then, the cluster spacing was optimized to reach the target of the optimal SRVs. This model was applied for validation on site in the Jiaoshiba shale gasfield in the Fuling area of the Sichuan Basin. The key geological engineering parameters influencing the optimal cluster spacing intervals were analyzed. The reference charts for the optimal cluster spacing design were prepared based on the geological characteristics of south and north blocks in the Jiaoshiba shale gasfield. It is concluded that the cluster spacing optimal design method proposed in this paper is of great significance in overcoming the blindness in current cluster perforation design and guiding the optimal design of volume fracturing in shale gas reservoirs. Keywords: Shale gas, Horizontal well, Staged fracturing, Cluster spacing, Reservoir, Stimulated reservoir volume (SRV, Mathematical model, Optimal method, Sichuan basin, Jiaoshiba shale gasfield

  5. A community-based cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) to evaluate the impact and operational assessment of "safe motherhood and newborn health promotion package": study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoque, Dewan Md Emdadul; Chowdhury, Mohiuddin Ahsanul Kabir; Rahman, Ahmed Ehsanur; Billah, Sk Masum; Bari, Sanwarul; Tahsina, Tazeen; Hasan, Mohammad Mehedi; Islam, Sajia; Islam, Tajul; Mori, Rintaro; Arifeen, Shams El

    2018-05-03

    Despite considerable progress in reduction of both under-five and maternal mortality in recent decades, Bangladesh is still one of the low and middle income countries with high burden of maternal and neonatal mortality. The primary objective of the current study is to measure the impact of a comprehensive package of interventions on maternal and neonatal mortality. In addition, changes in coverage, quality and utilization of maternal and newborn health (MNH) services, social capital, and cost effectiveness of the interventions will be measured. A community-based, cluster randomized controlled trial design will be adopted and implemented in 30 unions of three sub-districts of Chandpur district of Bangladesh. Every union, the lowest administrative unit of the local government with population of around 20,000-30,000, will be considered a cluster. Based on the baseline estimates, 15 clusters will be paired for random assignment as intervention and comparison clusters. The primary outcome measure is neonatal mortality, and secondary outcomes are coverage of key interventions like ANC, PNC, facility and skilled provider delivery. Baseline, midterm and endline household survey will be conducted to assess the key coverage of interventions. Health facility assessment surveys will be conducted periodically to assess facility readiness and utilization of MNH services in the participating health facilities. The current study is expected to provide essential strong evidences on the impact of a comprehensive package of interventions to the Bangladesh government, and other developmental partners. The study results may help in prioritizing, planning, and scaling-up of Safe Motherhood Promotional interventions in other geographical areas of Bangladesh as well as to inform other developing countries of similar settings. NCT03032276 .

  6. Stepped-wedge cluster randomised controlled trials: a generic framework including parallel and multiple-level designs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemming, Karla; Lilford, Richard; Girling, Alan J

    2015-01-30

    Stepped-wedge cluster randomised trials (SW-CRTs) are being used with increasing frequency in health service evaluation. Conventionally, these studies are cross-sectional in design with equally spaced steps, with an equal number of clusters randomised at each step and data collected at each and every step. Here we introduce several variations on this design and consider implications for power. One modification we consider is the incomplete cross-sectional SW-CRT, where the number of clusters varies at each step or where at some steps, for example, implementation or transition periods, data are not collected. We show that the parallel CRT with staggered but balanced randomisation can be considered a special case of the incomplete SW-CRT. As too can the parallel CRT with baseline measures. And we extend these designs to allow for multiple layers of clustering, for example, wards within a hospital. Building on results for complete designs, power and detectable difference are derived using a Wald test and obtaining the variance-covariance matrix of the treatment effect assuming a generalised linear mixed model. These variations are illustrated by several real examples. We recommend that whilst the impact of transition periods on power is likely to be small, where they are a feature of the design they should be incorporated. We also show examples in which the power of a SW-CRT increases as the intra-cluster correlation (ICC) increases and demonstrate that the impact of the ICC is likely to be smaller in a SW-CRT compared with a parallel CRT, especially where there are multiple levels of clustering. Finally, through this unified framework, the efficiency of the SW-CRT and the parallel CRT can be compared. © 2014 The Authors. Statistics in Medicine Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. ClusterCAD: a computational platform for type I modular polyketide synthase design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eng, Clara H.; Backman, Tyler W. H.; Bailey, Constance B.

    2018-01-01

    barrier to the design of active variants, and identifying strategies to reliably construct functional PKS chimeras remains an active area of research. In this work, we formalize a paradigm for the design of PKS chimeras and introduce ClusterCAD as a computational platform to streamline and simplify...

  8. Plasmon response in K, Na and Li clusters: systematics using the separable random-phase approximation with pseudo-Hamiltonians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kleinig, W.; Nesterenko, V.O.; Reinhard, P.-G.; Serra, Ll.

    1998-01-01

    The systematics of the plasmon response in spherical K, Na and Li clusters in a wide size region (8≤N≤440) is studied. We have considered two simplifying approximations whose validity has been established previously. First, a separable approach to the random-phase approximation is used. This involves an expansion of the residual interaction into a sum of separable terms until convergence is reached. Second, the electron-ion interaction is modelled by using the pseudo-Hamiltonian jellium model (MHJM) which includes nonlocal effects by means of realistic atomic pseudo-Hamiltonians. In cases where nonlocal effects are negligible the Structure Averaged Jellium Model (SAJM) has been used. Good agreement with available experimental data is achieved for K, Na (using the SAJM) and small Li clusters (invoking the PHJM). The trends for peak position and width are generally well reproduced, even up to details of the Landau fragmentation in several clusters. Less good agreement, however, is found for large Li clusters. This remains an open question

  9. Making birthing safe for Pakistan women: a cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khan Muhammad

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Two out of three neonatal deaths occur in just 10 countries and Pakistan stands third among them. Maternal mortality is also high with most deaths occurring during labor, birth, and first few hours after birth. Enhanced access and utilization of skilled delivery and emergency obstetric care is the demonstrated strategy in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality. This trial aims to compare reduction in neonate mortality and utilization of available safe birthing and Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care services among pregnant mothers receiving ‘structured birth planning’, and/or ‘transport facilitation’ compared to routine care. Methods A pragmatic cluster randomized trial, with qualitative and economic studies, will be conducted in Jhang, Chiniot and Khanewal districts of Punjab, Pakistan, from February 2011 to May 2013. At least 29,295 pregnancies will be registered in the three arms, seven clusters per arm; 1 structured birth planning and travel facilitation, 2 structured birth planning, and 3 control arm. Trial will be conducted through the Lady Health Worker program. Main outcomes are difference in neonatal mortality and service utilization; maternal mortality being the secondary outcome. Cluster level analysis will be done according to intention-to-treat. Discussion A nationwide network of about 100,000 lady health workers is already involved in antenatal and postnatal care of pregnant women. They also act as “gatekeepers” for the child birthing services. This gate keeping role mainly includes counseling and referral for skill birth attendance and travel arrangements for emergency obstetric care (if required. The review of current arrangements and practices show that the care delivery process needs enhancement to include adequate information provision as well as informed “decision” making and planned “action” by the pregnant women. The proposed three-year research is to develop, through national

  10. Citywide cluster randomized trial to restore blighted vacant land and its effects on violence, crime, and fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles C. Branas; Eugenia South; Michelle C. Kondo; Bernadette C. Hohl; Philippe Bourgois; Douglas J. Wiebe; John M. MacDonald

    2018-01-01

    Vacant and blighted urban land is a widespread and potentially risky environmental condition encountered by millions of people on a daily basis. About 15% of the land in US cities is deemed vacant or abandoned, an area roughly the size of Switzerland. In a citywide cluster randomized controlled trial, we investigated the effects of standardized, reproducible...

  11. Does clinical equipoise apply to cluster randomized trials in health research?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    This article is part of a series of papers examining ethical issues in cluster randomized trials (CRTs) in health research. In the introductory paper in this series, Weijer and colleagues set out six areas of inquiry that must be addressed if the cluster trial is to be set on a firm ethical foundation. This paper addresses the third of the questions posed, namely, does clinical equipoise apply to CRTs in health research? The ethical principle of beneficence is the moral obligation not to harm needlessly and, when possible, to promote the welfare of research subjects. Two related ethical problems have been discussed in the CRT literature. First, are control groups that receive only usual care unduly disadvantaged? Second, when accumulating data suggests the superiority of one intervention in a trial, is there an ethical obligation to act? In individually randomized trials involving patients, similar questions are addressed by the concept of clinical equipoise, that is, the ethical requirement that, at the start of a trial, there be a state of honest, professional disagreement in the community of expert practitioners as to the preferred treatment. Since CRTs may not involve physician-researchers and patient-subjects, the applicability of clinical equipoise to CRTs is uncertain. Here we argue that clinical equipoise may be usefully grounded in a trust relationship between the state and research subjects, and, as a result, clinical equipoise is applicable to CRTs. Clinical equipoise is used to argue that control groups receiving only usual care are not disadvantaged so long as the evidence supporting the experimental and control interventions is such that experts would disagree as to which is preferred. Further, while data accumulating during the course of a CRT may favor one intervention over another, clinical equipoise supports continuing the trial until the results are likely to be broadly convincing, often coinciding with the planned completion of the trial

  12. Relationship between clustering and algorithmic phase transitions in the random k-XORSAT model and its NP-complete extensions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altarelli, F; Monasson, R; Zamponi, F

    2008-01-01

    We study the performances of stochastic heuristic search algorithms on Uniquely Extendible Constraint Satisfaction Problems with random inputs. We show that, for any heuristic preserving the Poissonian nature of the underlying instance, the (heuristic-dependent) largest ratio α a of constraints per variables for which a search algorithm is likely to find solutions is smaller than the critical ratio α d above which solutions are clustered and highly correlated. In addition we show that the clustering ratio can be reached when the number k of variables per constraints goes to infinity by the so-called Generalized Unit Clause heuristic

  13. Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on the Mental Health of Clinical Clerkship Students: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijk, I. van; Lucassen, P.L.B.J.; Akkermans, R.P.; Engelen, B.G.M. van; Weel, C. van; Speckens, A.E.M.

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: To examine the effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction training (MBSR) on the mental health of medical students during clinical clerkships. METHOD: Between February 2011 and May 2014, the authors conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial of clerkships as usual (CAU) and

  14. Deception, efficiency, and random groups - Psychology and the gradual origination of the random group design

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dehue, T

    1997-01-01

    In the life sciences, psychology, and large parts of the other social sciences, the ideal experiment is a comparative experiment with randomly composed experimental and control groups. Historians and practitioners of these sciences generally attribute the invention of this "random group design" to

  15. Irritable bowel syndrome and upper dyspepsia among the elderly: a study of symptom clusters in a random 70 year old population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kay, L; Jørgensen, Torben; Schultz-Larsen, K

    1996-01-01

    . Heartburn/acid regurgitation did not show a consistent association to any other symptoms and may be considered as a cluster of it own. Pain characteristics traditionally related to upper dyspepsia did not specifically relate to any cluster. It is concluded that, in this 70-year-old population abdominal......With the aim to assess the clustering of abdominal symptoms in a random population, data from a cohort study of a 70 year old Danish population were analysed. The cohort comprised 1,119 subjects of which 72% participated in a primary study and 91% of the survivors in a similar study five years...

  16. Cost-Effectiveness of a Long-Term Internet-Delivered Worksite Health Promotion Programme on Physical Activity and Nutrition: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robroek, Suzan J. W.; Polinder, Suzanne; Bredt, Folef J.; Burdorf, Alex

    2012-01-01

    This study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a long-term workplace health promotion programme on physical activity (PA) and nutrition. In total, 924 participants enrolled in a 2-year cluster randomized controlled trial, with departments (n = 74) within companies (n = 6) as the unit of randomization. The intervention was compared with a…

  17. Software package for analysis of completely randomized block design

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study is to design and develop statistical software (package), OYSP1.0 which conveniently accommodates and analyzes large mass of data emanating from experimental designs, in particular, completely Randomized Block design. Visual Basic programming is used in the design. The statistical package OYSP 1.0 ...

  18. Investigating role stress in frontline bank employees: A cluster based approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arti Devi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available An effective role stress management programme would benefit from a segmentation of employees based on their experience of role stressors. This study explores role stressor based segments of frontline bank employees towards providing a framework for designing such a programme. Cluster analysis on a random sample of 501 frontline employees of commercial banks in Jammu and Kashmir (India revealed three distinct segments – “overloaded employees”, “unclear employees”, and “underutilised employees”, based on their experience of role stressors. The findings suggest a customised approach to role stress management, with the role stress management programme designed to address cluster specific needs.

  19. Design of the South East Asian Nutrition Survey (SEANUTS): a four-country multistage cluster design study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaafsma, Anne; Deurenberg, Paul; Calame, Wim; van den Heuvel, Ellen G H M; van Beusekom, Christien; Hautvast, Jo; Sandjaja; Bee Koon, Poh; Rojroongwasinkul, Nipa; Le Nguyen, Bao Khanh; Parikh, Panam; Khouw, Ilse

    2013-09-01

    Nutrition is a well-known factor in the growth, health and development of children. It is also acknowledged that worldwide many people have dietary imbalances resulting in over- or undernutrition. In 2009, the multinational food company FrieslandCampina initiated the South East Asian Nutrition Survey (SEANUTS), a combination of surveys carried out in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, to get a better insight into these imbalances. The present study describes the general study design and methodology, as well as some problems and pitfalls encountered. In each of these countries, participants in the age range of 0·5-12 years were recruited according to a multistage cluster randomised or stratified random sampling methodology. Field teams took care of recruitment and data collection. For the health status of children, growth and body composition, physical activity, bone density, and development and cognition were measured. For nutrition, food intake and food habits were assessed by questionnaires, whereas in subpopulations blood and urine samples were collected to measure the biochemical status parameters of Fe, vitamins A and D, and DHA. In Thailand, the researchers additionally studied the lipid profile in blood, whereas in Indonesia iodine excretion in urine was analysed. Biochemical data were analysed in certified laboratories. Study protocols and methodology were aligned where practically possible. In December 2011, data collection was finalised. In total, 16,744 children participated in the present study. Information that will be very relevant for formulating nutritional health policies, as well as for designing innovative food and nutrition research and development programmes, has become available.

  20. A cluster randomized trial of strategies to increase uptake amongst young women invited for their first cervical screen: The STRATEGIC trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitchener, H; Gittins, M; Cruickshank, M; Moseley, C; Fletcher, S; Albrow, R; Gray, A; Brabin, L; Torgerson, D; Crosbie, E J; Sargent, A; Roberts, C

    2018-06-01

    Objectives To measure the feasibility and effectiveness of interventions to increase cervical screening uptake amongst young women. Methods A two-phase cluster randomized trial conducted in general practices in the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. In Phase 1, women in practices randomized to intervention due for their first invitation to cervical screening received a pre-invitation leaflet and, separately, access to online booking. In Phase 2, non-attenders at six months were randomized to one of: vaginal self-sample kits sent unrequested or offered; timed appointments; nurse navigator; or the choice between nurse navigator or self-sample kits. Primary outcome was uplift in intervention vs. control practices, at 3 and 12 months post invitation. Results Phase 1 randomized 20,879 women. Neither pre-invitation leaflet nor online booking increased screening uptake by three months (18.8% pre-invitation leaflet vs. 19.2% control and 17.8% online booking vs. 17.2% control). Uptake was higher amongst human papillomavirus vaccinees at three months (OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.69-2.53, p < 0.001). Phase 2 randomized 10,126 non-attenders, with 32-34 clusters for each intervention and 100 clusters as controls. Sending self-sample kits increased uptake at 12 months (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.20-1.91, p = 0.001), as did timed appointments (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.14-1.74, p = 0.001). The offer of a nurse navigator, a self-sample kits on request, and choice between timed appointments and nurse navigator were ineffective. Conclusions Amongst non-attenders, self-sample kits sent and timed appointments achieved an uplift in screening over the short term; longer term impact is less certain. Prior human papillomavirus vaccination was associated with increased screening uptake.

  1. An improved initialization center k-means clustering algorithm based on distance and density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Yanling; Liu, Qun; Xia, Shuyin

    2018-04-01

    Aiming at the problem of the random initial clustering center of k means algorithm that the clustering results are influenced by outlier data sample and are unstable in multiple clustering, a method of central point initialization method based on larger distance and higher density is proposed. The reciprocal of the weighted average of distance is used to represent the sample density, and the data sample with the larger distance and the higher density are selected as the initial clustering centers to optimize the clustering results. Then, a clustering evaluation method based on distance and density is designed to verify the feasibility of the algorithm and the practicality, the experimental results on UCI data sets show that the algorithm has a certain stability and practicality.

  2. A stepped wedge, cluster-randomized trial of a household UV-disinfection and safe storage drinking water intervention in rural Baja California Sur, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Joshua S; Reygadas, Fermin; Arnold, Benjamin F; Ray, Isha; Nelson, Kara; Colford, John M

    2013-08-01

    In collaboration with a local non-profit organization, this study evaluated the expansion of a program that promoted and installed Mesita Azul, an ultraviolet-disinfection system designed to treat household drinking water in rural Mexico. We conducted a 15-month, cluster-randomized stepped wedge trial by randomizing the order in which 24 communities (444 households) received the intervention. We measured primary outcomes (water contamination and diarrhea) during seven household visits. The intervention increased the percentage of households with access to treated and safely stored drinking water (23-62%), and reduced the percentage of households with Escherichia coli contaminated drinking water (risk difference (RD): -19% [95% CI: -27%, -14%]). No significant reduction in diarrhea was observed (RD: -0.1% [95% CI: -1.1%, 0.9%]). We conclude that household water quality improvements measured in this study justify future promotion of the Mesita Azul, and that future studies to measure its health impact would be valuable if conducted in populations with higher diarrhea prevalence.

  3. Rationale and design of the Affordability and Real-world Antiplatelet Treatment Effectiveness after Myocardial Infarction Study (ARTEMIS): A multicenter, cluster-randomized trial of P2Y12 receptor inhibitor copayment reduction after myocardial infarction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doll, Jacob A; Wang, Tracy Y; Choudhry, Niteesh K; Cannon, Christopher P; Cohen, David J; Fonarow, Gregg C; Henry, Timothy D; Bhandary, Durgesh D; Khan, Naeem; Davidson-Ray, Linda D; Anstrom, Kevin; Peterson, Eric D

    2016-07-01

    The use of oral P2Y12 receptor inhibitors after acute myocardial infarction (MI) can reduce risks of subsequent major adverse cardiovascular events (composite of all-cause death, recurrent MI, and stroke), yet medication persistence is suboptimal. Although copayment cost has been implicated as a factor influencing medication persistence, it remains unclear whether reducing or eliminating these costs can improve medication persistence and/or downstream clinical outcomes. ARTEMIS is a multicenter, cluster-randomized clinical trial designed to examine whether eliminating patient copayment for P2Y12 receptor inhibitor therapy affects medication persistence and clinical outcomes. We will enroll approximately 11,000 patients hospitalized for acute ST-elevation and non-ST-elevation MI at 300 hospitals. Choice and duration of treatment with a P2Y12 receptor inhibitor will be determined by the treating physician. Hospitals randomized to the copayment intervention will provide vouchers to cover patients' copayments for their P2Y12 receptor inhibitor for up to 1 year after discharge. The coprimary end points are 1-year P2Y12 receptor inhibitor persistence and major adverse cardiovascular events. Secondary end points include choice of P2Y12 receptor inhibitor, patient-reported outcomes, and postdischarge cost of care. ARTEMIS will be the largest randomized assessment of a medication copayment reduction intervention on medication persistence, clinical outcomes, treatment selection, and cost of care after acute MI. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The implementation of the serial trial intervention for pain and challenging behaviour in advanced dementia patients (STA OP!: a clustered randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francke Anneke L

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pain (physical discomfort and challenging behaviour are highly prevalent in nursing home residents with dementia: at any given time 45-80% of nursing home residents are in pain and up to 80% have challenging behaviour. In the USA Christine Kovach developed the serial trial intervention (STI and established that this protocol leads to less discomfort and fewer behavioural symptoms in moderate to severe dementia patients. The present study will provide insight into the effects of implementation of the Dutch version of the STI-protocol (STA OP! in comparison with a control intervention, not only on behavioural symptoms, but also on pain, depression, and quality of life. This article outlines the study protocol. Methods/Design The study is a cluster randomized controlled trial in 168 older people (aged >65 years with mild or moderate dementia living in nursing homes. The clusters, Dutch nursing homes, are randomly assigned to either the intervention condition (training and implementation of the STA OP!-protocol or the control condition (general training focusing on challenging behaviour and pain, but without the step-wise approach. Measurements take place at baseline, after 3 months (end of the STA OP! training period and after 6 months. Primary outcome measures are symptoms of challenging behaviour (measured with the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing Home version (NPI-NH, and pain (measure with the Dutch version of the Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors (PACSLAC-D and the Minimum Data Set of the Resident Assessment Instrument (MDS-RAI pain scale. Secondary outcome measures include symptoms of depression (Cornell and MDS-RAI depression scale, Quality of Live (Qualidem, changes in prescriptions of analgesics and psychotropic drugs, and the use of non-pharmacological comfort interventions (e.g. snoezelen, reminiscence therapy. Discussion The transfer from the American design to

  5. Performance of small cluster surveys and the clustered LQAS design to estimate local-level vaccination coverage in Mali.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minetti, Andrea; Riera-Montes, Margarita; Nackers, Fabienne; Roederer, Thomas; Koudika, Marie Hortense; Sekkenes, Johanne; Taconet, Aurore; Fermon, Florence; Touré, Albouhary; Grais, Rebecca F; Checchi, Francesco

    2012-10-12

    Estimation of vaccination coverage at the local level is essential to identify communities that may require additional support. Cluster surveys can be used in resource-poor settings, when population figures are inaccurate. To be feasible, cluster samples need to be small, without losing robustness of results. The clustered LQAS (CLQAS) approach has been proposed as an alternative, as smaller sample sizes are required. We explored (i) the efficiency of cluster surveys of decreasing sample size through bootstrapping analysis and (ii) the performance of CLQAS under three alternative sampling plans to classify local VC, using data from a survey carried out in Mali after mass vaccination against meningococcal meningitis group A. VC estimates provided by a 10 × 15 cluster survey design were reasonably robust. We used them to classify health areas in three categories and guide mop-up activities: i) health areas not requiring supplemental activities; ii) health areas requiring additional vaccination; iii) health areas requiring further evaluation. As sample size decreased (from 10 × 15 to 10 × 3), standard error of VC and ICC estimates were increasingly unstable. Results of CLQAS simulations were not accurate for most health areas, with an overall risk of misclassification greater than 0.25 in one health area out of three. It was greater than 0.50 in one health area out of two under two of the three sampling plans. Small sample cluster surveys (10 × 15) are acceptably robust for classification of VC at local level. We do not recommend the CLQAS method as currently formulated for evaluating vaccination programmes.

  6. Understanding the cluster randomised crossover design: a graphical illustraton of the components of variation and a sample size tutorial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnup, Sarah J; McKenzie, Joanne E; Hemming, Karla; Pilcher, David; Forbes, Andrew B

    2017-08-15

    In a cluster randomised crossover (CRXO) design, a sequence of interventions is assigned to a group, or 'cluster' of individuals. Each cluster receives each intervention in a separate period of time, forming 'cluster-periods'. Sample size calculations for CRXO trials need to account for both the cluster randomisation and crossover aspects of the design. Formulae are available for the two-period, two-intervention, cross-sectional CRXO design, however implementation of these formulae is known to be suboptimal. The aims of this tutorial are to illustrate the intuition behind the design; and provide guidance on performing sample size calculations. Graphical illustrations are used to describe the effect of the cluster randomisation and crossover aspects of the design on the correlation between individual responses in a CRXO trial. Sample size calculations for binary and continuous outcomes are illustrated using parameters estimated from the Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society - Adult Patient Database (ANZICS-APD) for patient mortality and length(s) of stay (LOS). The similarity between individual responses in a CRXO trial can be understood in terms of three components of variation: variation in cluster mean response; variation in the cluster-period mean response; and variation between individual responses within a cluster-period; or equivalently in terms of the correlation between individual responses in the same cluster-period (within-cluster within-period correlation, WPC), and between individual responses in the same cluster, but in different periods (within-cluster between-period correlation, BPC). The BPC lies between zero and the WPC. When the WPC and BPC are equal the precision gained by crossover aspect of the CRXO design equals the precision lost by cluster randomisation. When the BPC is zero there is no advantage in a CRXO over a parallel-group cluster randomised trial. Sample size calculations illustrate that small changes in the specification of

  7. Cluster: A New Application for Spatial Analysis of Pixelated Data for Epiphytotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Scot C; Corcoja, Iulian; Pethybridge, Sarah J

    2017-12-01

    Spatial analysis of epiphytotics is essential to develop and test hypotheses about pathogen ecology, disease dynamics, and to optimize plant disease management strategies. Data collection for spatial analysis requires substantial investment in time to depict patterns in various frames and hierarchies. We developed a new approach for spatial analysis of pixelated data in digital imagery and incorporated the method in a stand-alone desktop application called Cluster. The user isolates target entities (clusters) by designating up to 24 pixel colors as nontargets and moves a threshold slider to visualize the targets. The app calculates the percent area occupied by targeted pixels, identifies the centroids of targeted clusters, and computes the relative compass angle of orientation for each cluster. Users can deselect anomalous clusters manually and/or automatically by specifying a size threshold value to exclude smaller targets from the analysis. Up to 1,000 stochastic simulations randomly place the centroids of each cluster in ranked order of size (largest to smallest) within each matrix while preserving their calculated angles of orientation for the long axes. A two-tailed probability t test compares the mean inter-cluster distances for the observed versus the values derived from randomly simulated maps. This is the basis for statistical testing of the null hypothesis that the clusters are randomly distributed within the frame of interest. These frames can assume any shape, from natural (e.g., leaf) to arbitrary (e.g., a rectangular or polygonal field). Cluster summarizes normalized attributes of clusters, including pixel number, axis length, axis width, compass orientation, and the length/width ratio, available to the user as a downloadable spreadsheet. Each simulated map may be saved as an image and inspected. Provided examples demonstrate the utility of Cluster to analyze patterns at various spatial scales in plant pathology and ecology and highlight the

  8. Impact of 4.0% chlorhexidine cleansing of the umbilical cord on mortality and omphalitis among newborns of Sylhet, Bangladesh: design of a community-based cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Saifuddin

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The World Health Organization recommends dry cord care for newborns but this recommendation may not be optimal in low resource settings where most births take place in an unclean environment and infections account for up to half of neonatal deaths. A previous trial in Nepal indicated that umbilical cord cleansing with 4.0% chlorhexidine could substantially reduce mortality and omphalitis risk, but policy changes await additional community-based data. Methods The Projahnmo Chlorhexidine study was a three-year, cluster-randomized, community-based trial to assess the impact of three cord care regimens on neonatal mortality and omphalitis. Women were recruited mid-pregnancy, received a basic package of maternal and neonatal health promotion messages, and were followed to pregnancy outcome. Newborns were visited at home by local village-based workers whose areas were randomized to either 1 single- or 2 7-day cord cleansing with 4.0% chlorhexidine, or 3 promotion of dry cord care as recommended by WHO. All mothers received basic messages regarding hand-washing, clean cord cutting, and avoidance of harmful home-base applications to the cord. Death within 28 days and omphalitis were the primary outcomes; these were monitored directly through home visits by community health workers on days 1, 3, 6, 9, 15, and 28 after birth. Discussion Due to report in early 2010, the Projahnmo Chlorhexidine Study examines the impact of multiple or single chlorhexidine cleansing of the cord on neonatal mortality and omphalitis among newborns of rural Sylhet District, Bangladesh. The results of this trial will be interpreted in conjunction with a similarly designed trial previously conducted in Nepal, and will have implications for policy guidelines for optimal cord care of newborns in low resource settings in Asia. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00434408

  9. A Bayesian sequential design with adaptive randomization for 2-sided hypothesis test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qingzhao; Zhu, Lin; Zhu, Han

    2017-11-01

    Bayesian sequential and adaptive randomization designs are gaining popularity in clinical trials thanks to their potentials to reduce the number of required participants and save resources. We propose a Bayesian sequential design with adaptive randomization rates so as to more efficiently attribute newly recruited patients to different treatment arms. In this paper, we consider 2-arm clinical trials. Patients are allocated to the 2 arms with a randomization rate to achieve minimum variance for the test statistic. Algorithms are presented to calculate the optimal randomization rate, critical values, and power for the proposed design. Sensitivity analysis is implemented to check the influence on design by changing the prior distributions. Simulation studies are applied to compare the proposed method and traditional methods in terms of power and actual sample sizes. Simulations show that, when total sample size is fixed, the proposed design can obtain greater power and/or cost smaller actual sample size than the traditional Bayesian sequential design. Finally, we apply the proposed method to a real data set and compare the results with the Bayesian sequential design without adaptive randomization in terms of sample sizes. The proposed method can further reduce required sample size. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Prevention of low back pain and its consequences among nurses’ aides in elderly care: a stepped-wedge multi-faceted cluster-randomized controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background A high prevalence of low back pain has persisted over the years despite extensive primary prevention initiatives among nurses’ aides. Many single-faceted interventions addressing just one aspect of low back pain have been carried out at workplaces, but with low success rate. This may be due to the multi-factorial origin of low back pain. Participatory ergonomics, cognitive behavioral training and physical training have previously shown promising effects on prevention and rehabilitation of low back pain. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to examine whether a multi-faceted workplace intervention consisting of participatory ergonomics, physical training and cognitive behavioral training can prevent low back pain and its consequences among nurses’ aides. External resources for the participating workplace and a strong commitment from the management and the organization support the intervention. Methods/design To overcome implementation barriers within usual randomized controlled trial designed workplace interventions, this study uses a stepped-wedge cluster-randomized controlled trial design with 4 groups. The intervention is delivered to the groups at random along four successive time periods three months apart. The intervention lasts three months and integrates participatory ergonomics, physical training and cognitive behavioral training tailored to the target group. Local physiotherapists and occupational therapists conduct the intervention after having received standardized training. Primary outcomes are low back pain and its consequences measured monthly by text messages up to three months after initiation of the intervention. Discussion Intervention effectiveness trials for preventing low back pain and its consequences in workplaces with physically demanding work are few, primarily single-faceted, with strict adherence to a traditional randomized controlled trial design that may hamper implementation and compliance, and have mostly been

  11. Simulating star clusters with the AMUSE software framework. I. Dependence of cluster lifetimes on model assumptions and cluster dissolution modes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whitehead, Alfred J.; McMillan, Stephen L. W.; Vesperini, Enrico; Portegies Zwart, Simon

    2013-01-01

    We perform a series of simulations of evolving star clusters using the Astrophysical Multipurpose Software Environment (AMUSE), a new community-based multi-physics simulation package, and compare our results to existing work. These simulations model a star cluster beginning with a King model distribution and a selection of power-law initial mass functions and contain a tidal cutoff. They are evolved using collisional stellar dynamics and include mass loss due to stellar evolution. After studying and understanding that the differences between AMUSE results and results from previous studies are understood, we explored the variation in cluster lifetimes due to the random realization noise introduced by transforming a King model to specific initial conditions. This random realization noise can affect the lifetime of a simulated star cluster by up to 30%. Two modes of star cluster dissolution were identified: a mass evolution curve that contains a runaway cluster dissolution with a sudden loss of mass, and a dissolution mode that does not contain this feature. We refer to these dissolution modes as 'dynamical' and 'relaxation' dominated, respectively. For Salpeter-like initial mass functions, we determined the boundary between these two modes in terms of the dynamical and relaxation timescales.

  12. Performance of small cluster surveys and the clustered LQAS design to estimate local-level vaccination coverage in Mali

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minetti Andrea

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Estimation of vaccination coverage at the local level is essential to identify communities that may require additional support. Cluster surveys can be used in resource-poor settings, when population figures are inaccurate. To be feasible, cluster samples need to be small, without losing robustness of results. The clustered LQAS (CLQAS approach has been proposed as an alternative, as smaller sample sizes are required. Methods We explored (i the efficiency of cluster surveys of decreasing sample size through bootstrapping analysis and (ii the performance of CLQAS under three alternative sampling plans to classify local VC, using data from a survey carried out in Mali after mass vaccination against meningococcal meningitis group A. Results VC estimates provided by a 10 × 15 cluster survey design were reasonably robust. We used them to classify health areas in three categories and guide mop-up activities: i health areas not requiring supplemental activities; ii health areas requiring additional vaccination; iii health areas requiring further evaluation. As sample size decreased (from 10 × 15 to 10 × 3, standard error of VC and ICC estimates were increasingly unstable. Results of CLQAS simulations were not accurate for most health areas, with an overall risk of misclassification greater than 0.25 in one health area out of three. It was greater than 0.50 in one health area out of two under two of the three sampling plans. Conclusions Small sample cluster surveys (10 × 15 are acceptably robust for classification of VC at local level. We do not recommend the CLQAS method as currently formulated for evaluating vaccination programmes.

  13. A Clustered Randomized Controlled Trial of the Positive Prevention PLUS Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaChausse, Robert G

    2016-09-01

    To determine the impact of Positive Prevention PLUS, a school-based adolescent pregnancy prevention program on delaying sexual intercourse, birth control use, and pregnancy. I randomly assigned a diverse sample of ninth grade students in 21 suburban public high schools in California into treatment (n = 2483) and control (n = 1784) groups that participated in a clustered randomized controlled trial. Between October 2013 and May 2014, participants completed baseline and 6-month follow-up surveys regarding sexual behavior and pregnancy. Participants in the treatment group were offered Positive Prevention PLUS, an 11-lesson adolescent pregnancy prevention program. The program had statistically significant impacts on delaying sexual intercourse and increasing the use of birth control. However, I detected no program effect on pregnancy rates at 6-month follow-up. The Positive Prevention PLUS program demonstrated positive impacts on adolescent sexual behavior. This suggests that programs that focus on having students practice risk reduction skills may delay sexual activity and increase birth control use.

  14. Mobile phone intervention reduces perinatal mortality in zanzibar: secondary outcomes of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, Stine; Rasch, Vibeke; Hemed, Maryam; Boas, Ida Marie; Said, Azzah; Said, Khadija; Makundu, Mkoko Hassan; Nielsen, Birgitte Bruun

    2014-03-26

    Mobile phones are increasingly used in health systems in developing countries and innovative technical solutions have great potential to overcome barriers of access to reproductive and child health care. However, despite widespread support for the use of mobile health technologies, evidence for its role in health care is sparse. We aimed to evaluate the association between a mobile phone intervention and perinatal mortality in a resource-limited setting. This study was a pragmatic, cluster-randomized, controlled trial with primary health care facilities in Zanzibar as the unit of randomization. At their first antenatal care visit, 2550 pregnant women (1311 interventions and 1239 controls) who attended antenatal care at selected primary health care facilities were included in this study and followed until 42 days after delivery. Twenty-four primary health care facilities in six districts were randomized to either mobile phone intervention or standard care. The intervention consisted of a mobile phone text message and voucher component. Secondary outcome measures included stillbirth, perinatal mortality, and death of a child within 42 days after birth as a proxy of neonatal mortality. Within the first 42 days of life, 2482 children were born alive, 54 were stillborn, and 36 died. The overall perinatal mortality rate in the study was 27 per 1000 total births. The rate was lower in the intervention clusters, 19 per 1000 births, than in the control clusters, 36 per 1000 births. The intervention was associated with a significant reduction in perinatal mortality with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.50 (95% CI 0.27-0.93). Other secondary outcomes showed an insignificant reduction in stillbirth (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.34-1.24) and an insignificant reduction in death within the first 42 days of life (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.36-1.74). Mobile phone applications may contribute to improved health of the newborn and should be considered by policy makers in resource-limited settings. Clinical

  15. Directional clustering in highest energy cosmic rays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldberg, Haim; Weiler, Thomas J.

    2001-01-01

    An unexpected degree of small-scale clustering is observed in highest-energy cosmic ray events. Some directional clustering can be expected due to purely statistical fluctuations for sources distributed randomly in the sky. This creates a background for events originating in clustered sources. We derive analytic formulas to estimate the probability of random cluster configurations, and use these formulas to study the strong potential of the HiRes, Auger, Telescope Array and EUSO-OWL-AirWatch facilities for deciding whether any observed clustering is most likely due to nonrandom sources. For a detailed comparison to data, our analytical approach cannot compete with Monte Carlo simulations, including experimental systematics. However, our derived formulas do offer two advantages: (i) easy assessment of the significance of any observed clustering, and most importantly, (ii) an explicit dependence of cluster probabilities on the chosen angular bin size

  16. Effect of Behavior Modification on Outcome in Early- to Moderate-Stage Chronic Kidney Disease: A Cluster-Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagata, Kunihiro; Makino, Hirofumi; Iseki, Kunitoshi; Ito, Sadayoshi; Kimura, Kenjiro; Kusano, Eiji; Shibata, Takanori; Tomita, Kimio; Narita, Ichiei; Nishino, Tomoya; Fujigaki, Yoshihide; Mitarai, Tetsuya; Watanabe, Tsuyoshi; Wada, Takashi; Nakamura, Teiji; Matsuo, Seiichi

    2016-01-01

    Owing to recent changes in our understanding of the underlying cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD), the importance of lifestyle modification for preventing the progression of kidney dysfunction and complications has become obvious. In addition, effective cooperation between general physicians (GPs) and nephrologists is essential to ensure a better care system for CKD treatment. In this cluster-randomized study, we studied the effect of behavior modification on the outcome of early- to moderate-stage CKD. Stratified open cluster-randomized trial. A total of 489 GPs belonging to 49 local medical associations (clusters) in Japan. A total of 2,379 patients (1,195 in group A (standard intervention) and 1,184 in group B (advanced intervention)) aged between 40 and 74 years, who had CKD and were under consultation with GPs. All patients were managed in accordance with the current CKD guidelines. The group B clusters received three additional interventions: patients received both educational intervention for lifestyle modification and a CKD status letter, attempting to prevent their withdrawal from treatment, and the group B GPs received data sheets to facilitate reducing the gap between target and practice. The primary outcome measures were 1) the non-adherence rate of accepting continuous medical follow-up of the patients, 2) the collaboration rate between GPs and nephrologists, and 3) the progression of CKD. The rate of discontinuous clinical visits was significantly lower in group B (16.2% in group A vs. 11.5% in group B, p = 0.01). Significantly higher referral and co-treatment rates were observed in group B (pbehavior modification of CKD patients, namely, significantly lower discontinuous clinical visits, and behavior modification of both GPs and nephrologists, namely significantly higher referral and co-treatment rates, resulting in the retardation of CKD progression, especially in patients with proteinuric Stage 3 CKD. The University Hospital Medical Information

  17. Effects of an Interactive School-Based Program for Preventing Adolescent Sexual Harassment: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Evaluation Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lijster, Gaby P A; Felten, Hanneke; Kok, Gerjo; Kocken, Paul L

    2016-05-01

    Many adolescents experience sexual harassment and victims of sexual harassment have higher risks regarding well-being and health behaviors such as higher risks of suicidal thoughts, suicidal ideation and feeling unsafe at school. A peer-performed play and school lessons on preventing sexual harassment behavior were presented to secondary school students. We evaluated its effectiveness, using a cluster-randomized controlled design to assign schools to an experimental condition [n = 14 schools; 431 students (51 % female)] and a control condition [n = 11 schools; 384 students (51 % female)]. To measure the effects of the intervention at first post-test and 6-month follow-up, our multilevel analyses used a two-level random intercept model. Outcome measures were sexual harassment behaviors, behavioral determinants and distal factors influencing these behaviors. At post-test, students in the experimental group reported a reduced intention to commit sexual harassment behavior and higher self-efficacy in rejecting it. At post-test and follow-up there was a significant positive effect on social norms for rejecting sexual harassment behavior. At follow-up, sexual self-esteem was higher in students in the experimental group than in the control group. Effects on these determinants will benefit adolescents' future sexual behaviors. In combination, the play and lessons, possibly together with continued sexual health education and skills programs on social-emotional learning in subsequent school years, have potential for preventing sexual harassment behavior.

  18. Comparative effectiveness of childhood obesity interventions in pediatric primary care: a cluster-randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taveras, Elsie M; Marshall, Richard; Kleinman, Ken P; Gillman, Matthew W; Hacker, Karen; Horan, Christine M; Smith, Renata L; Price, Sarah; Sharifi, Mona; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L; Simon, Steven R

    2015-06-01

    Evidence of effective treatment of childhood obesity in primary care settings is limited. To examine the extent to which computerized clinical decision support (CDS) delivered to pediatric clinicians at the point of care of obese children, with or without individualized family coaching, improved body mass index (BMI; calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) and quality of care. We conducted a cluster-randomized, 3-arm clinical trial. We enrolled 549 children aged 6 to 12 years with a BMI at the 95% percentile or higher from 14 primary care practices in Massachusetts from October 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012. Patients were followed up for 1 year (last follow-up, August 30, 2013). In intent-to-treat analyses, we used linear mixed-effects models to account for clustering by practice and within each person. In 5 practices randomized to CDS, pediatric clinicians received decision support on obesity management, and patients and their families received an intervention for self-guided behavior change. In 5 practices randomized to CDS + coaching, decision support was augmented by individualized family coaching. The remaining 4 practices were randomized to usual care. Smaller age-associated change in BMI and the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) performance measures for obesity during the 1-year follow-up. At baseline, mean (SD) patient age and BMI were 9.8 (1.9) years and 25.8 (4.3), respectively. At 1 year, we obtained BMI from 518 children (94.4%) and HEDIS measures from 491 visits (89.4%). The 3 randomization arms had different effects on BMI over time (P = .04). Compared with the usual care arm, BMI increased less in children in the CDS arm during 1 year (-0.51 [95% CI, -0.91 to -0.11]). The CDS + coaching arm had a smaller magnitude of effect (-0.34 [95% CI, -0.75 to 0.07]). We found substantially greater achievement of childhood obesity HEDIS measures in the CDS arm (adjusted odds ratio, 2.28 [95% CI, 1

  19. The effectiveness of non-pyrethroid insecticide-treated durable wall lining to control malaria in rural Tanzania: study protocol for a two-armed cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Mtove

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite considerable reductions in malaria achieved by scaling-up long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs and indoor residual spraying (IRS, maintaining sustained community protection remains operationally challenging. Increasing insecticide resistance also threatens to jeopardize the future of both strategies. Non-pyrethroid insecticide­treated wall lining (ITWL may represent an alternate or complementary control method and a potential tool to manage insecticide resistance. To date no study has demonstrated whether ITWL can reduce malaria transmission nor provide additional protection beyond the current best practice of universal coverage (UC of LLINs and prompt case management. Methods/design A two-arm cluster randomized controlled trial will be conducted in rural Tanzania to assess whether non-pyrethroid ITWL and UC of LLINs provide added protection against malaria infection in children, compared to UC of LLINs alone. Stratified randomization based on malaria prevalence will be used to select 22 village clusters per arm. All 44 clusters will receive LLINs and half will also have ITWL installed on interior house walls. Study children, aged 6 months to 11 years old, will be enrolled from each cluster and followed monthly to estimate cumulative incidence of malaria parasitaemia (primary endpoint, time to first malaria episode and prevalence of anaemia before and after intervention. Entomological inoculation rate will be estimated using indoor CDC light traps and outdoor tent traps followed by detection of Anopheles gambiae species, sporozoite infection, insecticide resistance and blood meal source. ITWL bioefficacy and durability will be monitored using WHO cone bioassays and household surveys, respectively. Social and cultural factors influencing community and household ITWL acceptability will be explored through focus-group discussions and in-depth interviews. Cost-effectiveness, compared between study arms, will be

  20. A Note on the Effect of Data Clustering on the Multiple-Imputation Variance Estimator: A Theoretical Addendum to the Lewis et al. article in JOS 2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Yulei

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Multiple imputation is a popular approach to handling missing data. Although it was originally motivated by survey nonresponse problems, it has been readily applied to other data settings. However, its general behavior still remains unclear when applied to survey data with complex sample designs, including clustering. Recently, Lewis et al. (2014 compared single- and multiple-imputation analyses for certain incomplete variables in the 2008 National Ambulatory Medicare Care Survey, which has a nationally representative, multistage, and clustered sampling design. Their study results suggested that the increase of the variance estimate due to multiple imputation compared with single imputation largely disappears for estimates with large design effects. We complement their empirical research by providing some theoretical reasoning. We consider data sampled from an equally weighted, single-stage cluster design and characterize the process using a balanced, one-way normal random-effects model. Assuming that the missingness is completely at random, we derive analytic expressions for the within- and between-multiple-imputation variance estimators for the mean estimator, and thus conveniently reveal the impact of design effects on these variance estimators. We propose approximations for the fraction of missing information in clustered samples, extending previous results for simple random samples. We discuss some generalizations of this research and its practical implications for data release by statistical agencies.

  1. Chemical and environmental vector control as a contribution to the elimination of visceral leishmaniasis on the Indian subcontinent: cluster randomized controlled trials in Bangladesh, India and Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Das Pradeep

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bangladesh, India and Nepal are working towards the elimination of visceral leishmaniasis (VL by 2015. In 2005 the World Health Organization/Training in Tropical Diseases launched an implementation research programme to support integrated vector management for the elimination of VL from Bangladesh, India and Nepal. The programme is conducted in different phases, from proof-of-concept to scaling up intervention. This study was designed in order to evaluate the efficacy of the three different interventions for VL vector management: indoor residual spraying (IRS; long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN; and environmental modification (EVM through plastering of walls with lime or mud. Methods Using a cluster randomized controlled trial we compared three vector control interventions with a control arm in 96 clusters (hamlets or neighbourhoods in each of the 4 study sites: Bangladesh (one, India (one and Nepal (two. In each site four villages with high reported VL incidences were included. In each village six clusters and in each cluster five households were randomly selected for sand fly collection on two consecutive nights. Control and intervention clusters were matched with average pre-intervention vector densities. In each site six clusters were randomly assigned to each of the following interventions: indoor residual spraying (IRS; long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN; environmental management (EVM or control. All the houses (50-100 in each intervention cluster underwent the intervention measures. A reduction of intra-domestic sand fly densities measured in the study households by overnight US Centres for Disease Prevention and Control light trap captures (that is the number of sand flies per trap per night was the main outcome measure. Results IRS, and to a lesser extent EVM and LLINs, significantly reduced sand fly densities for at least 5 months in the study households irrespective of type of walls or whether or

  2. A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Intervention Study to Assess the Effect of a Contact Intervention in Reducing Leprosy-Related Stigma in Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, R.M.H.; Zweekhorst, M.B.M.; Bunders-Aelen, J.G.F.; van Brakel, W.H.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Can deliberate interaction between the public and persons affected by leprosy reduce stigmatization? The study described in this paper hypothesises that it can and assesses the effectiveness of a ‘contact intervention’. Methods/Principal Findings: This cluster-randomized controlled

  3. Architectural design for a topological cluster state quantum computer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Devitt, Simon J; Munro, William J; Nemoto, Kae; Fowler, Austin G; Stephens, Ashley M; Greentree, Andrew D; Hollenberg, Lloyd C L

    2009-01-01

    The development of a large scale quantum computer is a highly sought after goal of fundamental research and consequently a highly non-trivial problem. Scalability in quantum information processing is not just a problem of qubit manufacturing and control but it crucially depends on the ability to adapt advanced techniques in quantum information theory, such as error correction, to the experimental restrictions of assembling qubit arrays into the millions. In this paper, we introduce a feasible architectural design for large scale quantum computation in optical systems. We combine the recent developments in topological cluster state computation with the photonic module, a simple chip-based device that can be used as a fundamental building block for a large-scale computer. The integration of the topological cluster model with this comparatively simple operational element addresses many significant issues in scalable computing and leads to a promising modular architecture with complete integration of active error correction, exhibiting high fault-tolerant thresholds.

  4. Cluster randomized controlled trial of a consumer behavior intervention to improve healthy food purchases from online canteens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaney, Tessa; Wyse, Rebecca; Yoong, Sze Lin; Sutherland, Rachel; Wiggers, John; Ball, Kylie; Campbell, Karen; Rissel, Chris; Lecathelinais, Christophe; Wolfenden, Luke

    2017-11-01

    Background: School canteens represent an opportune setting in which to deliver public health nutrition strategies because of their wide reach and frequent use by children. Online school-canteen ordering systems, where students order and pay for their lunch online, provide an avenue to improve healthy canteen purchases through the application of consumer-behavior strategies that have an impact on purchasing decisions. Objective: We assessed the efficacy of a consumer-behavior intervention implemented in an online school-canteen ordering system in reducing the energy, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium contents of primary student lunch orders. Design: A cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted that involved 2714 students (aged 5-12 y) from 10 primary schools in New South Wales, Australia, who were currently using an online canteen ordering system. Schools were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive either the intervention (enhanced system) or the control (standard online ordering only). The intervention included consumer-behavior strategies that were integrated into the online ordering system (targeting menu labeling, healthy food availability, placement, and prompting). Results: Mean energy (difference: -567.25 kJ; 95% CI: -697.95, -436.55 kJ; P consumer-behavior intervention using an existing online canteen infrastructure to improve purchasing behavior from primary school canteens. Such an intervention may represent an appealing policy option as part of a broader government strategy to improve child public health nutrition. This trial was registered at www.anzctr.org.au as ACTRN12616000499482. © 2017 American Society for Nutrition.

  5. Nonlinear random resistor diode networks and fractal dimensions of directed percolation clusters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenull, O; Janssen, H K

    2001-07-01

    We study nonlinear random resistor diode networks at the transition from the nonpercolating to the directed percolating phase. The resistor-like bonds and the diode-like bonds under forward bias voltage obey a generalized Ohm's law V approximately I(r). Based on general grounds such as symmetries and relevance we develop a field theoretic model. We focus on the average two-port resistance, which is governed at the transition by the resistance exponent straight phi(r). By employing renormalization group methods we calculate straight phi(r) for arbitrary r to one-loop order. Then we address the fractal dimensions characterizing directed percolation clusters. Via considering distinct values of the nonlinearity r, we determine the dimension of the red bonds, the chemical path, and the backbone to two-loop order.

  6. Cluster-randomized non-inferiority trial to compare supplement consumption and adherence to different dosing regimens for antenatal calcium and iron-folic acid supplementation to prevent preeclampsia and anaemia: rationale and design of the Micronutrient Initiative study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moshood O. Omotayo

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: To prevent pre-eclampsia in populations with insufficient dietary calcium (Ca intake, the World Health Organisation (WHO recommends routine Ca supplementation during antenatal care (ANC. WHO guidelines suggest a complex dosing regimen, requiring as many as 5 pill-taking events per day when combined with iron and folic acid (IFA supplements. Poor adherence may undermine public health effectiveness, so simpler regimens may be preferable. This trial will compare the effect of the WHO-recommended (higher-dose regimen vs. a simpler, lower-dose regimen on supplement consumption and pill-taking behaviours in Kenyan ANC clients. Design and methods: This is a parallel, non-inferiority, cluster-randomized trial; we examined 16 primary care health facilities in Kenya, 1047 pregnant women between 16-30 weeks gestational age. Higher-dose regimen: 1.5 g elemental calcium in 3 separate doses (500 mg Ca/pill and IFA (60 mg Fe + 400 μg folic acid taken with evening dose. Lower-dose regimen: 1.0 g calcium in 2 separate doses (500 mg Ca/pill with IFA taken as above. Measurements: Primary outcome is Ca pills consumed per day, measured by pill counts. Secondary outcomes include IFA pills consumed per day, client knowledge, motivation, social support, and satisfaction, measured at 4 to 10 weeks post-enrolment. Statistical analyses: Unit of randomization is the health-care facility; unit of analysis is individual client. Intent-to-treat analysis will be implemented with multi-level models to account for clustering. Expected public health impact: If pregnant women prescribed lower doses of Ca ingest as many pills as women prescribed the WHO-recommended regimen, developing a lower-dose recommendation for antenatal Ca and IFA supplementation programs could save resources.

  7. A Cluster-Randomized Trial of Restorative Practices: An Illustration to Spur High-Quality Research and Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Joie D; Chinman, Matthew; Ebener, Patricia; Phillips, Andrea; Xenakis, Lea; Malone, Patrick S

    2016-01-01

    Restorative Practices in schools lack rigorous evaluation studies. As an example of rigorous school-based research, this paper describes the first randomized control trial of restorative practices to date, the Study of Restorative Practices. It is a 5-year, cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Restorative Practices Intervention (RPI) in 14 middle schools in Maine to assess whether RPI impacts both positive developmental outcomes and problem behaviors and whether the effects persist during the transition from middle to high school. The two-year RPI intervention began in the 2014-2015 school year. The study's rationale and theoretical concerns are discussed along with methodological concerns including teacher professional development. The theoretical rationale and description of the methods from this study may be useful to others conducting rigorous research and evaluation in this area.

  8. Implementing international osteoarthritis treatment guidelines in primary health care: study protocol for the SAMBA stepped wedge cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Østerås, Nina; van Bodegom-Vos, Leti; Dziedzic, Krysia; Moseng, Tuva; Aas, Eline; Andreassen, Øyvor; Mdala, Ibrahim; Natvig, Bård; Røtterud, Jan Harald; Schjervheim, Unni-Berit; Vlieland, Thea Vliet; Hagen, Kåre Birger

    2015-12-02

    Previous research indicates that people with osteoarthritis (OA) are not receiving the recommended and optimal treatment. Based on international treatment recommendations for hip and knee OA and previous research, the SAMBA model for integrated OA care in Norwegian primary health care has been developed. The model includes physiotherapist (PT) led patient OA education sessions and an exercise programme lasting 8-12 weeks. This study aims to assess the effectiveness, feasibility, and costs of a tailored strategy to implement the SAMBA model. A cluster randomized controlled trial with stepped wedge design including an effect, process, and cost evaluation will be conducted in six municipalities (clusters) in Norway. The municipalities will be randomized for time of crossover from current usual care to the implementation of the SAMBA model by a tailored strategy. The tailored strategy includes interactive workshops for general practitioners (GPs) and PTs in primary care covering the SAMBA model for integrated OA care, educational material, educational outreach visits, feedback, and reminder material. Outcomes will be measured at the patient, GP, and PT levels using self-report, semi-structured interviews, and register based data. The primary outcome measure is patient-reported quality of care (OsteoArthritis Quality Indicator questionnaire) at 6-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes include referrals to PT, imaging, and referrals to the orthopaedic surgeon as well as participants' treatment satisfaction, symptoms, physical activity level, body weight, and self-reported and measured lower limb function. The actual exposure to the tailor made implementation strategy and user experiences will be measured in a process evaluation. In the economic evaluation, the difference in costs of usual OA care and the SAMBA model for integrated OA care will be compared with the difference in health outcomes and reported by the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). The results

  9. Cluster as a Service for Disaster Recovery in Intercloud Systems: Design and Modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammad Ali Khoshkholghi

    2014-01-01

    Nowadays, all modern IT technologies aim to create dynamic and flexible environments. For this reason, InterCloud has been designed to provide a vast and flexible virtualized environment in which many clouds can interact with one another in a dynamic way. Disaster recovery is one of the main applications of InterCloud which can be supported by Cluster as a Service. However, the previous studies addressed disaster recovery and Cluster as a Service separately. In addition, system backup and dis...

  10. Restrictive vs Liberal Blood Transfusion for Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding: Rationale and Protocol for a Cluster Randomized Feasibility Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jairath, Vipul; Kahan, Brennan C.; Gray, Alasdair; Doré, Caroline J.; Mora, Ana; Dyer, Claire; Stokes, Elizabeth A.; Llewelyn, Charlotte; Bailey, Adam A.; Dallal, Helen; Everett, Simon M.; James, Martin W.; Stanley, Adrian J.; Church, Nicholas; Darwent, Melanie; Greenaway, John; Le Jeune, Ivan; Reckless, Ian; Campbell, Helen E.; Meredith, Sarah; Palmer, Kelvin R.; Logan, Richard F.A.; Travis, Simon P.L.; Walsh, Timothy S.; Murphy, Michael F.

    2013-01-01

    Acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding (AUGIB) is the commonest reason for hospitalization with hemorrhage in the UK and the leading indication for transfusion of red blood cells (RBCs). Observational studies suggest an association between more liberal RBC transfusion and adverse patient outcomes, and a recent randomised trial reported increased further bleeding and mortality with a liberal transfusion policy. TRIGGER (Transfusion in Gastrointestinal Bleeding) is a pragmatic, cluster randomized trial which aims to evaluate the feasibility and safety of implementing a restrictive versus liberal RBC transfusion policy in adult patients admitted with AUGIB. The trial will take place in 6 UK hospitals, and each centre will be randomly allocated to a transfusion policy. Clinicians throughout each hospital will manage all eligible patients according to the transfusion policy for the 6-month trial recruitment period. In the restrictive centers, patients become eligible for RBC transfusion when their hemoglobin is bleeding, mortality, thromboembolic events, and infections. Quality of life will be measured using the EuroQol EQ-5D at day 28, and the costs associated with hospitalization for AUGIB in the UK will be estimated. Consent will be sought from participants or their representatives according to patient capacity for use of routine hospital data and day 28 follow up. The study has ethical approval for conduct in England and Scotland. Results will be analysed according to a pre-defined statistical analysis plan and disseminated in peer reviewed publications to relevant stakeholders. The results of this study will inform the feasibility and design of a phase III randomized trial. PMID:23706959

  11. Will Mobile Diabetes Education Teams (MDETs in primary care improve patient care processes and health outcomes? Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gucciardi Enza

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is evidence to suggest that delivery of diabetes self-management support by diabetes educators in primary care may improve patient care processes and patient clinical outcomes; however, the evaluation of such a model in primary care is nonexistent in Canada. This article describes the design for the evaluation of the implementation of Mobile Diabetes Education Teams (MDETs in primary care settings in Canada. Methods/design This study will use a non-blinded, cluster-randomized controlled trial stepped wedge design to evaluate the Mobile Diabetes Education Teams' intervention in improving patient clinical and care process outcomes. A total of 1,200 patient charts at participating primary care sites will be reviewed for data extraction. Eligible patients will be those aged ≥18, who have type 2 diabetes and a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c of ≥8%. Clusters (that is, primary care sites will be randomized to the intervention and control group using a block randomization procedure within practice size as the blocking factor. A stepped wedge design will be used to sequentially roll out the intervention so that all clusters eventually receive the intervention. The time at which each cluster begins the intervention is randomized to one of the four roll out periods (0, 6, 12, and 18 months. Clusters that are randomized into the intervention later will act as the control for those receiving the intervention earlier. The primary outcome measure will be the difference in the proportion of patients who achieve the recommended HbA1c target of ≤7% between intervention and control groups. Qualitative work (in-depth interviews with primary care physicians, MDET educators and patients; and MDET educators’ field notes and debriefing sessions will be undertaken to assess the implementation process and effectiveness of the MDET intervention. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01553266

  12. Cluster expansion for vacuum confining fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simonov, Yu.A.

    1987-01-01

    Colored particle Green functions in vacuum background random fields are written as path integrals. Averaging over random fields is done using the cluster (cumulant) expansion. The existence of a finite correlation length for vacuum background fields is shown to produce the linear confinement, in agreement with the results, obtained with the help of averaged Hamiltonians. A modified form of cluster expansion for nonabelian fields is introduced using the path-ordered cumulants

  13. Cluster-Randomized, Crossover Trial of Head Positioning in Acute Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Craig S; Arima, Hisatomi; Lavados, Pablo; Billot, Laurent; Hackett, Maree L; Olavarría, Verónica V; Muñoz Venturelli, Paula; Brunser, Alejandro; Peng, Bin; Cui, Liying; Song, Lily; Rogers, Kris; Middleton, Sandy; Lim, Joyce Y; Forshaw, Denise; Lightbody, C Elizabeth; Woodward, Mark; Pontes-Neto, Octavio; De Silva, H Asita; Lin, Ruey-Tay; Lee, Tsong-Hai; Pandian, Jeyaraj D; Mead, Gillian E; Robinson, Thompson; Watkins, Caroline

    2017-06-22

    The role of supine positioning after acute stroke in improving cerebral blood flow and the countervailing risk of aspiration pneumonia have led to variation in head positioning in clinical practice. We wanted to determine whether outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke could be improved by positioning the patient to be lying flat (i.e., fully supine with the back horizontal and the face upwards) during treatment to increase cerebral perfusion. In a pragmatic, cluster-randomized, crossover trial conducted in nine countries, we assigned 11,093 patients with acute stroke (85% of the strokes were ischemic) to receive care in either a lying-flat position or a sitting-up position with the head elevated to at least 30 degrees, according to the randomization assignment of the hospital to which they were admitted; the designated position was initiated soon after hospital admission and was maintained for 24 hours. The primary outcome was degree of disability at 90 days, as assessed with the use of the modified Rankin scale (scores range from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating greater disability and a score of 6 indicating death). The median interval between the onset of stroke symptoms and the initiation of the assigned position was 14 hours (interquartile range, 5 to 35). Patients in the lying-flat group were less likely than patients in the sitting-up group to maintain the position for 24 hours (87% vs. 95%, P<0.001). In a proportional-odds model, there was no significant shift in the distribution of 90-day disability outcomes on the global modified Rankin scale between patients in the lying-flat group and patients in the sitting-up group (unadjusted odds ratio for a difference in the distribution of scores on the modified Rankin scale in the lying-flat group, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.92 to 1.10; P=0.84). Mortality within 90 days was 7.3% among the patients in the lying-flat group and 7.4% among the patients in the sitting-up group (P=0.83). There were

  14. Comparison of two modes of vitamin B12 supplementation on neuroconduction and cognitive function among older people living in Santiago, Chile: a cluster randomized controlled trial. a study protocol [ISRCTN 02694183

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brito Alex

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Older people have a high risk of vitamin B12 deficiency; this can lead to varying degrees of cognitive and neurological impairment. CBL deficiency may present as macrocytic anemia, subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord, or as neuropathy, but is often asymptomatic in older people. Less is known about subclinical vitamin B12 deficiency and concurrent neuroconduction and cognitive impairment. A Programme of Complementary Feeding for the Older Population (PACAM in Chile delivers 2 complementary fortified foods that provide approximately 1.4 μg/day of vitamin B12 (2.4 μg/day elderly RDA. The aim of the present study is to assess whether supplementation with vitamin B12 will improve neuroconduction and cognitive function in older people who have biochemical evidence of vitamin B12 insufficiency in the absence of clinical deficiency. Methods We designed a cluster double-blind placebo-controlled trial involving community dwelling people aged 70-79 living in Santiago, Chile. We randomized 15 clusters (health centers involving 300 people (20 per cluster. Each cluster will be randomly assigned to one of three arms: a a 1 mg vitamin B12 pill taken daily and a routine PACAM food; b a placebo pill and the milk-PACAM food fortified to provide 1 mg of vitamin B12; c the routine PACAM food and a placebo pill. The study has been designed as an 18 month follow up period. The primary outcomes assessed at baseline, 4, 9 and 18 months will be: serum levels of vitamin B12, neuroconduction and cognitive function. Conclusions In view of the high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in later life, the present study has potential public health interest because since it will measure the impact of the existing program of complementary feeding as compared to two options that provide higher vitamin B12 intakes that might potentially may contribute in preserving neurophysiologic and cognitive function and thus improve quality of life for older

  15. Clusters and holes: Exchange networks in hematite-ilmenite solid solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, K.; McEnroe, S. A.; Robinson, P.

    2009-04-01

    Holes and clusters of exchange networks dominate the low-temperature, metastable phase diagram of the system (1 - x)Fe2O3 xF eTiO3 (Ilmx ). By our measurements we have probed and extended the phase diagram of Ishikawa et al. (1985) in the light of magnetic influences of the random exchange links, which originate either by replacing random pairs of Fe2+ and Ti4+ ions in the ordered ilmenite lattice by two Fe3+ions (ordered Ilmx phase), or by randomly replacing two Fe3+ ions in the hematite lattice by a pair of Fe2+ and Ti4+ ions (disordered Ilmx phase). Now a large dataset is available from these measurements, and we propose several new ideas to interpret the sometimes unexpected results. By refining a method of Ishikawa (1967), we analyze the PM' region of the phase diagram in terms of a mean field theory of interacting clusters. This allows to determine cluster sizes and interaction field distribution by inverting hysteresis measurements of Ilm92 and Ilm97. To understand the relation between ordered and disordered phases we design a mean field theory to determine Neel and Curie temperatures of both. An especially interesting finding is that the experimentally observed intersection of PM-PM' crossover with the AF phase boundary close to Ilm97 can be explained by analyzing average exchange interaction strengths.

  16. Best strategies to implement clinical pathways in an emergency department setting: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabbour, Mona; Curran, Janet; Scott, Shannon D; Guttman, Astrid; Rotter, Thomas; Ducharme, Francine M; Lougheed, M Diane; McNaughton-Filion, M Louise; Newton, Amanda; Shafir, Mark; Paprica, Alison; Klassen, Terry; Taljaard, Monica; Grimshaw, Jeremy; Johnson, David W

    2013-05-22

    The clinical pathway is a tool that operationalizes best evidence recommendations and clinical practice guidelines in an accessible format for 'point of care' management by multidisciplinary health teams in hospital settings. While high-quality, expert-developed clinical pathways have many potential benefits, their impact has been limited by variable implementation strategies and suboptimal research designs. Best strategies for implementing pathways into hospital settings remain unknown. This study will seek to develop and comprehensively evaluate best strategies for effective local implementation of externally developed expert clinical pathways. We will develop a theory-based and knowledge user-informed intervention strategy to implement two pediatric clinical pathways: asthma and gastroenteritis. Using a balanced incomplete block design, we will randomize 16 community emergency departments to receive the intervention for one clinical pathway and serve as control for the alternate clinical pathway, thus conducting two cluster randomized controlled trials to evaluate this implementation intervention. A minimization procedure will be used to randomize sites. Intervention sites will receive a tailored strategy to support full clinical pathway implementation. We will evaluate implementation strategy effectiveness through measurement of relevant process and clinical outcomes. The primary process outcome will be the presence of an appropriately completed clinical pathway on the chart for relevant patients. Primary clinical outcomes for each clinical pathway include the following: Asthma--the proportion of asthmatic patients treated appropriately with corticosteroids in the emergency department and at discharge; and Gastroenteritis--the proportion of relevant patients appropriately treated with oral rehydration therapy. Data sources include chart audits, administrative databases, environmental scans, and qualitative interviews. We will also conduct an overall process

  17. An intervention to improve program implementation: findings from a two-year cluster randomized trial of Assets-Getting To Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Studies have shown that communities have not always been able to implement evidence-based prevention programs with quality and achieve outcomes demonstrated by prevention science. Implementation support interventions are needed to bridge this gap between science and practice. The purpose of this article is to present two-year outcomes from an evaluation of the Assets Getting To Outcomes (AGTO) intervention in 12 Maine communities engaged in promoting Developmental Assets, a positive youth development approach to prevention. AGTO is an implementation support intervention that consists of: a manual of text and tools; face-to-face training, and onsite technical assistance, focused on activities shown to be associated with obtaining positive results across any prevention program. Methods This study uses a nested and cross-sectional, cluster randomized controlled design. Participants were coalition members and program staff from 12 communities in Maine. Each coalition nominated up to five prevention programs to participate. At random, six coalitions and their respective 30 programs received the two-year AGTO intervention and the other six maintained routine operations. The study assessed prevention practitioner capacity (efficacy and behaviors), practitioner exposure to and use of AGTO, practitioner perceptions of AGTO, and prevention program performance. Capacity of coalition members and performance of their programs were compared between the two groups across the baseline, one-, and two-year time points. Results We found no significant differences between AGTO and control group’s prevention capacity. However, within the AGTO group, significant differences were found between those with greater exposure to and use of AGTO. Programs that received the highest number of technical assistance hours showed the most program improvement. Conclusions This study is the first of its kind to show that use of an implementation support intervention-AGTO -yielded

  18. Cluster randomized evaluation of Adolescent Girls Empowerment Programme (AGEP: study protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C. Hewett

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Adolescents in less developed countries such as Zambia often face multi-faceted challenges for achieving successful transitions through adolescence to early adulthood. The literature has noted the need to introduce interventions during this period, particularly for adolescent girls, with the perspective that such investments have significant economic, social and health returns to society. The Adolescent Girls Empowerment Programme (AGEP was an intervention designed as a catalyst for change for adolescent girls through themselves, to their family and community. Methods/design AGEP was a multi-sectoral intervention targeting over 10,000 vulnerable adolescent girls ages 10–19 in rural and urban areas, in four of the ten provinces of Zambia. At the core of AGEP were mentor-led, weekly girls’ group meetings of 20 to 30 adolescent girls participating over two years. Three curricula ― sexual and reproductive health and lifeskills, financial literacy, and nutrition ― guided the meetings. An engaging and participatory pedagogical approach was used. Two additional program components, a health voucher and a bank account, were offered to some girls to provide direct mechanisms to improve access to health and financial services. Embedded within AGEP was a rigorous multi-arm randomised cluster trial with randomization to different combinations of programme arms. The study was powered to assess the impact across a set of key longer-term outcomes, including early marriage and first birth, contraceptive use, educational attainment and acquisition of HIV and HSV-2. Baseline behavioural surveys and biological specimen collection were initiated in 2013. Impact was evaluated immediately after the program ended in 2015 and will be evaluated again after two additional years of follow-up in 2017. The primary analysis is intent-to-treat. Qualitative data are being collected in 2013, 2015 and 2017 to inform the programme implementation and the

  19. The effect of three-monthly albendazole treatment on malarial parasitemia and allergy: a household-based cluster-randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiria, Aprilianto E.; Hamid, Firdaus; Wammes, Linda J.; Kaisar, Maria M. M.; May, Linda; Prasetyani, Margaretta A.; Wahyuni, Sitti; Djuardi, Yenny; Ariawan, Iwan; Wibowo, Heri; Lell, Bertrand; Sauerwein, Robert; Brice, Gary T.; Sutanto, Inge; van Lieshout, Lisette; de Craen, Anton J. M.; van Ree, Ronald; Verweij, Jaco J.; Tsonaka, Roula; Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanine J.; Luty, Adrian J. F.; Sartono, Erliyani; Supali, Taniawati; Yazdanbakhsh, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Helminth infections are proposed to have immunomodulatory activities affecting health outcomes either detrimentally or beneficially. We evaluated the effects of albendazole treatment, every three months for 21 months, on STH, malarial parasitemia and allergy. A household-based cluster-randomized,

  20. Resistance training program for fatigue management in the workplace: exercise protocol in a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélio Gustavo Santos

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fatigue is a multifactorial condition that leads to disease and loss in production, and it affects a large number of workers worldwide. This study aims to demonstrate a resistance exercise protocol that individuals will perform during the work schedule, and to evaluate the effectiveness of this exercises program for fatigue control. Methods/Design This is a cluster randomized controlled trial with two arms and is assessor blinded. A total of 352 workers of both sexes, aged 18–65 years, from a medium-sized dairy plant were enrolled in this study. Participants will be recruited from 13 production sectors according to the eligibility criteria and will be randomized by clusters to either the Progressive Resistance Exercise (PRE intervention group or the Compensatory Workplace Exercise (CWE comparative group. A resistance exercise program will be implemented for both groups. The groups will receive instructions on self-management, breaks, adjustments to workstations, and the benefits of physical exercise. The PRE group will perform resistance exercises with gradual loads in an exercise room, and the CWE group will perform exercise at their workstations using elastic bands. The exercise sessions will be held 3 times a week for 20 min. The primary outcome measures will be symptoms of physical and mental fatigue, and muscular fatigue based on a one-repetition maximum (1RM. The secondary outcome measures will be level of physical activity, musculoskeletal symptoms, physical condition, perceived exposure, and productivity. The workers will be assessed at baseline and after a 4-month program. A linear mixed model will be applied on an intention-to-treat basis. Discussion This intervention is expected to reduce symptoms of fatigue in the workers. The exercise program is indicating in the workplace, although there are few studies describing the effects of exercise on the control of fatigue in the workplace. Emphasis will be placed on

  1. Reduction of self-perceived discomforts in critically ill patients in French intensive care units: study protocol for a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalfon, Pierre; Mimoz, Olivier; Loundou, Anderson; Geantot, Marie-Agnès; Revel, Nathalie; Villard, Isabelle; Amour, Julien; Azoulay, Elie; Garrouste-Orgeas, Maïté; Martin, Claude; Sharshar, Tarek; Baumstarck, Karine; Auquier, Pascal

    2016-02-16

    It is now well documented that critically ill patients are exposed to stressful conditions and experience discomforts from multiple sources. Improved identification of the discomforts of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) may have implications for managing their care, including consideration of ethical issues, and may assist clinicians in choosing the most appropriate interventions. The primary objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a multicomponent program of discomfort reduction in critically ill patients. The secondary objectives were to assess the sustainability of the impact of the program and the potential seasonality effect. We conducted a multicenter, cluster-randomized, controlled, single (patient)-blind study involving 34 French adult ICUs. The experimental intervention was a 6-month period during which the multicomponent program was implemented in the ICU and included the following steps: identification of discomforts, immediate feedback to the healthcare team, and implementation of targeted interventions. The control intervention was a 6-month period during which any program was implemented. The primary endpoint was the monthly overall score of self-reported discomfort from the French questionnaire on discomforts in ICU patients (IPREA). The secondary endpoints were the scores of the discomfort items of IPREA. The sample size was 660 individuals to obtain 80% power to detect a 25% difference in the overall discomfort score of IPREA between the two groups (design effect: 2.9). The results of this cluster-randomized controlled study are expected to confirm that a multicomponent program of discomfort reduction may be a new strategy in the management of care for critically ill patients. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02442934, registered 11 May 2015.

  2. A community-based cluster randomized survey of noncommunicable disease and risk factors in a peri-urban shantytown in Lima, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heitzinger, Kristen; Montano, Silvia M; Hawes, Stephen E; Alarcón, Jorge O; Zunt, Joseph R

    2014-05-21

    An estimated 863 million people-a third of the world's urban population-live in slums, yet there is little information on the disease burden in these settings, particularly regarding chronic preventable diseases. From March to May 2012, we conducted a cluster randomized survey to estimate the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and associated risk factors in a peri-urban shantytown north of Lima, Peru. Field workers administered a questionnaire that included items from the WHO World Health Survey and the WHO STEPS survey of chronic disease risk factors. We used logistic regression to assess the associations of NCDs and related risk factors with age and gender. We accounted for sampling weights and the clustered sampling design using statistical survey methods. A total of 142 adults were surveyed and had a weighted mean age of 36 years (range 18-81). The most prevalent diseases were depression (12%) and chronic respiratory disease (8%), while lifetime prevalence of cancer, arthritis, myocardial infarction, and diabetes were all less than 5%. Fifteen percent of respondents were hypertensive and the majority (67%) was unaware of their condition. Being overweight or obese was common for both genders (53%), but abdominal obesity was more prevalent in women (54% vs. 10% in men, p Peru and suggests that prevention and treatment interventions could be optimized according to age and gender.

  3. Effectiveness of a group diabetes education programme in underserved communities in South Africa: pragmatic cluster randomized control trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mash, Bob; Levitt, Naomi; Steyn, Krisela; Zwarenstein, Merrick; Rollnick, Stephen

    2012-12-24

    Diabetes is an important contributor to the burden of disease in South Africa and prevalence rates as high as 33% have been recorded in Cape Town. Previous studies show that quality of care and health outcomes are poor. The development of an effective education programme should impact on self-care, lifestyle change and adherence to medication; and lead to better control of diabetes, fewer complications and better quality of life. Pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trialParticipants: Type 2 diabetic patients attending 45 public sector community health centres in Cape TownInterventions: The intervention group will receive 4 sessions of group diabetes education delivered by a health promotion officer in a guiding style. The control group will receive usual care which consists of ad hoc advice during consultations and occasional educational talks in the waiting room. To evaluate the effectiveness of the group diabetes education programmeOutcomes: diabetes self-care activities, 5% weight loss, 1% reduction in HbA1c. self-efficacy, locus of control, mean blood pressure, mean weight loss, mean waist circumference, mean HbA1c, mean total cholesterol, quality of lifeRandomisation: Computer generated random numbersBlinding: Patients, health promoters and research assistants could not be blinded to the health centre's allocationNumbers randomized: Seventeen health centres (34 in total) will be randomly assigned to either control or intervention groups. A sample size of 1360 patients in 34 clusters of 40 patients will give a power of 80% to detect the primary outcomes with 5% precision. Altogether 720 patients were recruited in the intervention arm and 850 in the control arm giving a total of 1570. The study will inform policy makers and managers of the district health system, particularly in low to middle income countries, if this programme can be implemented more widely. Pan African Clinical Trial Registry PACTR201205000380384.

  4. Assessment of an enhanced program for depression management in primary care: a cluster randomized controlled trial. The INDI project (Interventions for Depression Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hernández Josep M

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most depressed patients are attended at primary care. However, there are significant shortcomings in the diagnosis, management and outcomes of these patients. The aim of this study is to determine whether the implementation of a structured programme for managing depression will provide better health outcomes than usual management. Methods/Design Design: A cluster-randomized controlled trial involving two groups, one of which is the control group consisting of patients who are treated for depression in the usual way and the other is the intervention group consisting of patients on a structured programme for treating depression. Setting: 20 primary care centres in the province of Tarragona (Spain Sample: 400 patients over 18 years of age who have experienced an episode of major depression (DSM-IV and who need to initiate antidepressant treatment Intervention: A multi-component programme with clinical, educational and organisational procedures that includes training for the health care provider and evidence-based clinical guidelines. It also includes primary care nurses working as care-managers who provide educational and emotional support for the patients and who are responsible for active and systematic clinical monitoring. The programme aims to improve the primary care/specialized level interface. Measurements: The patients will be monitored by telephone interviews. The interviewer will not know which group the patient belongs to (blind trial. These interviews will be given at 0, 3, 6 and 12 months. Main variables: Severity of the depressive symptoms, response rate and remission rate. Analysis: Outcomes will be analyzed on an intent-to-treat basis and the unit of analysis will be the individual patient. This analysis will take into account the effect of study design on potential lack of independence between observations within the same cluster. Discussion The effectiveness of caring for depression in primary care can be

  5. Reducing Tobacco Use among Low Socio-Economic Status Youth in Delhi, India: Outcomes from Project ACTIVITY, a Cluster Randomized Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrell, Melissa B.; Arora, Monika; Bassi, Shalini; Gupta, Vinay K.; Perry, Cheryl L.; Reddy, K. Srinath

    2016-01-01

    To test the efficacy of an intervention to reduce tobacco use among youth (10-19 years old) in slum communities in Delhi, India. This community-based cluster-randomized trial included 14 slums composed of purposely built resettlement colonies and adjacent inhabitant-built Jhuggi Jhopris. Youth in the intervention received a 2 year…

  6. Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Intervention Delivered by Educators for Children with Speech Sound Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLeod, Sharynne; Baker, Elise; McCormack, Jane; Wren, Yvonne; Roulstone, Sue; Crowe, Kathryn; Masso, Sarah; White, Paul; Howland, Charlotte

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of computer-assisted input-based intervention for children with speech sound disorders (SSD). Method: The Sound Start Study was a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Seventy-nine early childhood centers were invited to participate, 45 were recruited, and 1,205 parents and educators of 4- and…

  7. Design, Intervention Fidelity, and Behavioral Outcomes of a School-Based Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Cluster-Randomized Trial in Laos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna N. Chard

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Evidence of the impact of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH in schools (WinS interventions on pupil absence and health is mixed. Few WinS evaluations rigorously report on output and outcome measures that allow for comparisons of effectiveness between interventions to be made, or for an understanding of why programs succeed. The Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Health and Education in Laotian Primary Schools (WASH HELPS study was a randomized controlled trial designed to measure the impact of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF Laos WinS project on child health and education. We also measured the sustainability of intervention outputs and outcomes, and analyzed the effectiveness of group hygiene activities on behavior change and habit formation. Here, we present the design and intermediate results from this study. We found the WinS project improved the WASH environment in intervention schools; 87.8% of schools received the intervention per design. School-level adherence to outputs was lower; on average, schools met 61.4% of adherence-related criteria. The WinS project produced positive changes in pupils’ school WASH behaviors, specifically increasing toilet use and daily group handwashing. Daily group hygiene activities are effective strategies to improve school WASH behaviors, but a complementary strategy needs to be concurrently promoted for effective and sustained individual handwashing practice at critical times.

  8. Strategies to enhance venous thromboprophylaxis in hospitalized medical patients (SENTRY: a pilot cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pai Menaka

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Venous thromboembolism (VTE is a common preventable cause of mortality in hospitalized medical patients. Despite rigorous randomized trials generating strong recommendations for anticoagulant use to prevent VTE, nearly 40% of medical patients receive inappropriate thromboprophylaxis. Knowledge-translation strategies are needed to bridge this gap. Methods We conducted a 16-week pilot cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT to determine the proportion of medical patients that were appropriately managed for thromboprophylaxis (according to the American College of Chest Physician guidelines within 24 hours of admission, through the use of a multicomponent knowledge-translation intervention. Our primary goal was to determine the feasibility of conducting this study on a larger scale. The intervention comprised clinician education, a paper-based VTE risk assessment algorithm, printed physicians’ orders, and audit and feedback sessions. Medical wards at six hospitals (representing clusters in Ontario, Canada were included; three were randomized to the multicomponent intervention and three to usual care (i.e., no active strategies for thromboprophylaxis in place. Blinding was not used. Results A total of 2,611 patients (1,154 in the intervention and 1,457 in the control group were eligible and included in the analysis. This multicomponent intervention did not lead to a significant difference in appropriate VTE prophylaxis rates between intervention and control hospitals (appropriate management rate odds ratio = 0.80; 95% confidence interval: 0.50, 1.28; p = 0.36; intra-class correlation coefficient: 0.022, and thus was not considered feasible. Major barriers to effective knowledge translation were poor attendance by clinical staff at education and feedback sessions, difficulty locating preprinted orders, and lack of involvement by clinical and administrative leaders. We identified several factors that may increase uptake of a VTE

  9. Clustering of noise-induced oscillations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sosnovtseva, Olga; Fomin, A I; Postnov, D E

    2001-01-01

    The subject of our study is clustering in a population of excitable systems driven by Gaussian white noise and with randomly distributed coupling strength. The cluster state is frequency-locked state in which all functional units run at the same noise-induced frequency. Cooperative dynamics...

  10. Knowledge Translation Interventions to Improve the Timing of Dialysis Initiation: Protocol for a Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chau, Elaine M T; Manns, Braden J; Garg, Amit X; Sood, Manish M; Kim, S Joseph; Naimark, David; Nesrallah, Gihad E; Soroka, Steven D; Beaulieu, Monica; Dixon, Stephanie; Alam, Ahsan; Tangri, Navdeep

    2016-01-01

    Early initiation of chronic dialysis (starting dialysis with higher vs lower kidney function) has risen rapidly in the past 2 decades in Canada and internationally, despite absence of established health benefits and higher costs. In 2014, a Canadian guideline on the timing of dialysis initiation, recommending an intent-to-defer approach, was published. The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a knowledge translation intervention to promote the intent-to-defer approach in clinical practice. This study is a multicenter, 2-arm parallel, cluster randomized trial. The study involves 55 advanced chronic kidney disease clinics across Canada. Patients older than 18 years who are managed by nephrologists for more than 3 months, and initiate dialysis in the follow-up period are included in the study. Outcomes will be measured at the patient-level and enumerated within a cluster. Data on characteristics of each dialysis start will be determined by linkages with the Canadian Organ Replacement Register. Primary outcomes include the proportion of patients who start dialysis early with an estimated glomerular filtration rate greater than 10.5 mL/min/1.73 m 2 and start dialysis in hospital as inpatients or in an emergency room setting. Secondary outcomes include the rate of change in early dialysis starts; rates of hospitalizations, deaths, and cost of predialysis care (wherever available); quarterly proportion of new starts; and acceptability of the knowledge translation materials. We randomized 55 multidisciplinary chronic disease clinics (clusters) in Canada to receive either an active knowledge translation intervention or no intervention for the uptake of the guideline on the timing of dialysis initiation. The active knowledge translation intervention consists of audit and feedback as well as patient- and provider-directed educational tools delivered at a comprehensive in-person medical detailing visit. Control clinics are only exposed to guideline

  11. A combined community- and facility-based approach to improve pregnancy outcomes in low-resource settings: a Global Network cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasha, Omrana; McClure, Elizabeth M; Wright, Linda L; Saleem, Sarah; Goudar, Shivaprasad S; Chomba, Elwyn; Patel, Archana; Esamai, Fabian; Garces, Ana; Althabe, Fernando; Kodkany, Bhala; Mabeya, Hillary; Manasyan, Albert; Carlo, Waldemar A; Derman, Richard J; Hibberd, Patricia L; Liechty, Edward K; Krebs, Nancy; Hambidge, K Michael; Buekens, Pierre; Moore, Janet; Jobe, Alan H; Koso-Thomas, Marion; Wallace, Dennis D; Stalls, Suzanne; Goldenberg, Robert L

    2013-10-03

    Fetal and neonatal mortality rates in low-income countries are at least 10-fold greater than in high-income countries. These differences have been related to poor access to and poor quality of obstetric and neonatal care. This trial tested the hypothesis that teams of health care providers, administrators and local residents can address the problem of limited access to quality obstetric and neonatal care and lead to a reduction in perinatal mortality in intervention compared to control locations. In seven geographic areas in five low-income and one middle-income country, most with high perinatal mortality rates and substantial numbers of home deliveries, we performed a cluster randomized non-masked trial of a package of interventions that included community mobilization focusing on birth planning and hospital transport, community birth attendant training in problem recognition, and facility staff training in the management of obstetric and neonatal emergencies. The primary outcome was perinatal mortality at ≥28 weeks gestation or birth weight ≥1000 g. Despite extensive effort in all sites in each of the three intervention areas, no differences emerged in the primary or any secondary outcome between the intervention and control clusters. In both groups, the mean perinatal mortality was 40.1/1,000 births (P = 0.9996). Neither were there differences between the two groups in outcomes in the last six months of the project, in the year following intervention cessation, nor in the clusters that best implemented the intervention. This cluster randomized comprehensive, large-scale, multi-sector intervention did not result in detectable impact on the proposed outcomes. While this does not negate the importance of these interventions, we expect that achieving improvement in pregnancy outcomes in these settings will require substantially more obstetric and neonatal care infrastructure than was available at the sites during this trial, and without them provider training

  12. Impact on postpartum hemorrhage of prophylactic administration of oxytocin 10 IU via Uniject™ by peripheral health care providers at home births: design of a community-based cluster-randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Cynthia K; Newton, Samuel; Mullany, Luke C; Cofie, Patience; Agyemang, Charlotte Tawiah; Adiibokah, Edward; Darcy, Niamh; Khan, Sadaf; Levisay, Alice; Gyapong, John; Armbruster, Deborah; Owusu-Agyei, Seth

    2012-06-07

    Hemorrhage is the leading direct cause of maternal death globally. While oxytocin is the drug of choice for postpartum hemorrhage prevention, its use has generally been limited to health facilities. This trial assesses the effectiveness, safety, and feasibility of expanding the use of prophylactic intramuscular oxytocin to peripheral health care providers at home births in four predominantly rural districts in central Ghana. This study is designed as a community-based cluster-randomized trial in which Community Health Officers are randomized to provide (or not provide) an injection of oxytocin 10 IU via the Uniject™ injection system within one minute of delivery of the baby to women who request their presence at home at the onset of labor. The primary aim is to determine if administration of prophylactic oxytocin via Uniject™ by this cadre will reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage by 50 % relative to deliveries which do not receive the prophylactic intervention. Postpartum hemorrhage is examined under three sequential definitions: 1) blood loss ≥500 ml (BL); 2) treatment for bleeding (TX) and/or BL; 3) hospital referral for bleeding and/or TX and/or BL. Secondary outcomes address safety and feasibility of the intervention and include adverse maternal and fetal outcomes and logistical concerns regarding assistance at home births and the storage and handling of oxytocin, respectively. Results from this trial will build evidence for the effectiveness of expanding the delivery of this established prophylactic intervention to peripheral settings. Complementary data on safety and logistical issues related to this intervention will assist policymakers in low-income countries in selecting both the best uterotonic and service delivery strategy for postpartum hemorrhage prevention. Results of this trial are expected in mid-2013. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01108289.

  13. Simulation of a directed random-walk model: the effect of pseudo-random-number correlations

    OpenAIRE

    Shchur, L. N.; Heringa, J. R.; Blöte, H. W. J.

    1996-01-01

    We investigate the mechanism that leads to systematic deviations in cluster Monte Carlo simulations when correlated pseudo-random numbers are used. We present a simple model, which enables an analysis of the effects due to correlations in several types of pseudo-random-number sequences. This model provides qualitative understanding of the bias mechanism in a class of cluster Monte Carlo algorithms.

  14. Design of a school randomized trial for nudging students towards healthy diet and physical activity to prevent obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, Diana Barbosa; Verly Junior, Eliseu; Paravidino, Vitor Barreto; Araújo, Marina Campos; Mediano, Mauro Felippe Felix; Sgambato, Michele Ribeiro; de Souza, Bárbara da Silva Nalin; Marques, Emanuele Souza; Baltar, Valéria Troncoso; de Oliveira, Alessandra Silva Dias; da Silva, Ana Carolina Feldenheimer; Pérez-Cueto, Federico J.; Pereira, Rosangela Alves; Sichieri, Rosely

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of nudge activities at school on the students’ body mass index (BMI). Design: School-based factorial randomized community trial. Setting: Eighteen public schools in the municipality of Duque de Caxias, metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Participants and intervention: The 18 schools will be randomized into 4 group arms: group 1—control (without any activity); group 2—will receive educational activities in the classroom; group 3—will receive changes in the school environment (nudge strategies); group 4—will receive educational activities and changes in the school environment. Activities will occur during the 2018 school-year. Main outcome measure(s): The primary (BMI) and secondary (body fat percentage) outcomes will be assessed at baseline and after the study using a portable electronic scale with a segmental body composition monitor. The height will be measured by a portable stadiometer. Analysis: Statistical analyses for each outcome will be conducted through linear mixed models that took into account the missing data and cluster effect of the schools. PMID:29390278

  15. Updated teaching techniques improve CPR performance measures: a cluster randomized, controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ettl, Florian; Testori, Christoph; Weiser, Christoph; Fleischhackl, Sabine; Mayer-Stickler, Monika; Herkner, Harald; Schreiber, Wolfgang; Fleischhackl, Roman

    2011-06-01

    The first-aid training necessary for obtaining a drivers license in Austria has a regulated and predefined curriculum but has been targeted for the implementation of a new course structure with less theoretical input, repetitive training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and structured presentations using innovative media. The standard and a new course design were compared with a prospective, participant- and observer-blinded, cluster-randomized controlled study. Six months after the initial training, we evaluated the confidence of the 66 participants in their skills, CPR effectiveness parameters and correctness of their actions. The median self-confidence was significantly higher in the interventional group [IG, visual analogue scale (VAS:"0" not-confident at all,"100" highly confident):57] than in the control group (CG, VAS:41). The mean chest compression rate in the IG (98/min) was closer to the recommended 100 bpm than in the CG (110/min). The time to the first chest compression (IG:25s, CG:36s) and time to first defibrillator shock (IG:86s, CG:92s) were significantly shorter in the IG. Furthermore, the IG participants were safer in their handling of the defibrillator and started with countermeasures against developing shock more often. The management of an unconscious person and of heavy bleeding did not show a difference between the two groups even after shortening the lecture time. Motivation and self-confidence as well as skill retention after six months were shown to be dependent on the teaching methods and the time for practical training. Courses may be reorganized and content rescheduled, even within predefined curricula, to improve course outcomes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. On the design of henon and logistic map-based random number generator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magfirawaty; Suryadi, M. T.; Ramli, Kalamullah

    2017-10-01

    The key sequence is one of the main elements in the cryptosystem. True Random Number Generators (TRNG) method is one of the approaches to generating the key sequence. The randomness source of the TRNG divided into three main groups, i.e. electrical noise based, jitter based and chaos based. The chaos based utilizes a non-linear dynamic system (continuous time or discrete time) as an entropy source. In this study, a new design of TRNG based on discrete time chaotic system is proposed, which is then simulated in LabVIEW. The principle of the design consists of combining 2D and 1D chaotic systems. A mathematical model is implemented for numerical simulations. We used comparator process as a harvester method to obtain the series of random bits. Without any post processing, the proposed design generated random bit sequence with high entropy value and passed all NIST 800.22 statistical tests.

  17. The Impact of Combined Music and Tai Chi on Depressive Symptoms Among Community-Dwelling Older Persons: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, S J; Tan, M P; Chong, M C; Chua, Y P

    2018-05-01

    The effectiveness of pharmacological treatment may be limited in older persons. Several studies using Tai Chi or music therapy separately confirmed positive effects in the reduction of depressive symptoms. We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial to evaluate the possible synergistic effect of combined music and Tai Chi on depressive symptoms. One hundred and seven older adults with mild to moderate depressive symptoms were recruited from Ya'an city. Fifty-five participants were cluster randomized to combined music and Tai Chi group for three months, while the other fifty-two individuals were randomized to the control group that entailed routine health education delivered monthly by community nurses. The primary outcome of depressive symptoms was measured with the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) at baseline and monthly for three months. At three-month follow-up, a statistically significant improvement in depressive symptoms was found in the intervention group compared with control group (F(3,315) = 69.661, P < 0.001). Following adjustments for socio-demographic data, the true effect of intervention on depressive symptoms was significant (F = 41.725, P < 0.01, η p 2 = 0.574). Combined music and Tai Chi reduced depressive symptoms among community-dwelling older persons. This represents an economically viable solution to the management of depression in highly populous developing nations.

  18. Interplay between experiments and calculations for organometallic clusters and caged clusters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakajima, Atsushi

    2015-01-01

    Clusters consisting of 10-1000 atoms exhibit size-dependent electronic and geometric properties. In particular, composite clusters consisting of several elements and/or components provide a promising way for a bottom-up approach for designing functional advanced materials, because the functionality of the composite clusters can be optimized not only by the cluster size but also by their compositions. In the formation of composite clusters, their geometric symmetry and dimensionality are emphasized to control the physical and chemical properties, because selective and anisotropic enhancements for optical, chemical, and magnetic properties can be expected. Organometallic clusters and caged clusters are demonstrated as a representative example of designing the functionality of the composite clusters. Organometallic vanadium-benzene forms a one dimensional sandwich structure showing ferromagnetic behaviors and anomalously large HOMO-LUMO gap differences of two spin orbitals, which can be regarded as spin-filter components for cluster-based spintronic devices. Caged clusters of aluminum (Al) are well stabilized both geometrically and electronically at Al 12 X, behaving as a “superatom”

  19. Culturally adaptive storytelling intervention versus didactic intervention to improve hypertension control in Vietnam: a cluster-randomized controlled feasibility trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hoa L; Allison, Jeroan J; Ha, Duc A; Chiriboga, Germán; Ly, Ha N; Tran, Hanh T; Nguyen, Cuong K; Dang, Diem M; Phan, Ngoc T; Vu, Nguyen C; Nguyen, Quang P; Goldberg, Robert J

    2017-01-01

    Vietnam is experiencing an epidemiologic transition with an increased prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Novel, large-scale, effective, and sustainable interventions to control hypertension in Vietnam are needed. We report the results of a cluster-randomized feasibility trial at 3 months follow-up conducted in Hung Yen province, Vietnam, designed to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of two community-based interventions to improve hypertension control: a "storytelling" intervention, "We Talk about Our Hypertension," and a didactic intervention. The storytelling intervention included stories about strategies for coping with hypertension, with patients speaking in their own words, and didactic content about the importance of healthy lifestyle behaviors including salt reduction and exercise. The didactic intervention included only didactic content. The storytelling intervention was delivered by two DVDs at 3-month intervals; the didactic intervention included only one installment. The trial was conducted in four communes, equally randomized to the two interventions. The mean age of the 160 study patients was 66 years, and 54% were men. Most participants described both interventions as understandable, informative, and motivational. Between baseline and 3 months, mean systolic blood pressure declined by 8.2 mmHg (95% CI 4.1-12.2) in the storytelling group and by 5.5 mmHg (95% CI 1.4-9.5) in the didactic group. The storytelling group also reported a significant increase in hypertension medication adherence. Both interventions were well accepted in several rural communities and were shown to be potentially effective in lowering blood pressure. A large-scale randomized trial is needed to compare the effectiveness of the two interventions in controlling hypertension. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02483780.

  20. Models of epidemics: when contact repetition and clustering should be included

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scholz Roland W

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The spread of infectious disease is determined by biological factors, e.g. the duration of the infectious period, and social factors, e.g. the arrangement of potentially contagious contacts. Repetitiveness and clustering of contacts are known to be relevant factors influencing the transmission of droplet or contact transmitted diseases. However, we do not yet completely know under what conditions repetitiveness and clustering should be included for realistically modelling disease spread. Methods We compare two different types of individual-based models: One assumes random mixing without repetition of contacts, whereas the other assumes that the same contacts repeat day-by-day. The latter exists in two variants, with and without clustering. We systematically test and compare how the total size of an outbreak differs between these model types depending on the key parameters transmission probability, number of contacts per day, duration of the infectious period, different levels of clustering and varying proportions of repetitive contacts. Results The simulation runs under different parameter constellations provide the following results: The difference between both model types is highest for low numbers of contacts per day and low transmission probabilities. The number of contacts and the transmission probability have a higher influence on this difference than the duration of the infectious period. Even when only minor parts of the daily contacts are repetitive and clustered can there be relevant differences compared to a purely random mixing model. Conclusion We show that random mixing models provide acceptable estimates of the total outbreak size if the number of contacts per day is high or if the per-contact transmission probability is high, as seen in typical childhood diseases such as measles. In the case of very short infectious periods, for instance, as in Norovirus, models assuming repeating contacts will also behave

  1. The effectiveness of a construction worksite prevention program on work ability, health, and sick leave: Results from a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oude Hengel, K.M.; Blatter, B.M.; Molen, H.F. van der; Bongers, P.M.; Beek, A.J. van der

    2013-01-01

    Objective This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a prevention program on work ability, health, and sick leave targeted at construction worksites. Methods A total of 15 departments (N=297 workers) from 6 construction companies participated in this cluster randomized controlled trial and

  2. The PULSAR Specialist Care protocol: a stepped-wedge cluster randomized control trial of a training intervention for community mental health teams in recovery-oriented practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shawyer, Frances; Enticott, Joanne C; Brophy, Lisa; Bruxner, Annie; Fossey, Ellie; Inder, Brett; Julian, John; Kakuma, Ritsuko; Weller, Penelope; Wilson-Evered, Elisabeth; Edan, Vrinda; Slade, Mike; Meadows, Graham N

    2017-05-08

    Recovery features strongly in Australian mental health policy; however, evidence is limited for the efficacy of recovery-oriented practice at the service level. This paper describes the Principles Unite Local Services Assisting Recovery (PULSAR) Specialist Care trial protocol for a recovery-oriented practice training intervention delivered to specialist mental health services staff. The primary aim is to evaluate whether adult consumers accessing services where staff have received the intervention report superior recovery outcomes compared to adult consumers accessing services where staff have not yet received the intervention. A qualitative sub-study aims to examine staff and consumer views on implementing recovery-oriented practice. A process evaluation sub-study aims to articulate important explanatory variables affecting the interventions rollout and outcomes. The mixed methods design incorporates a two-step stepped-wedge cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) examining cross-sectional data from three phases, and nested qualitative and process evaluation sub-studies. Participating specialist mental health care services in Melbourne, Victoria are divided into 14 clusters with half randomly allocated to receive the staff training in year one and half in year two. Research participants are consumers aged 18-75 years who attended the cluster within a previous three-month period either at baseline, 12 (step 1) or 24 months (step 2). In the two nested sub-studies, participation extends to cluster staff. The primary outcome is the Questionnaire about the Process of Recovery collected from 756 consumers (252 each at baseline, step 1, step 2). Secondary and other outcomes measuring well-being, service satisfaction and health economic impact are collected from a subset of 252 consumers (63 at baseline; 126 at step 1; 63 at step 2) via interviews. Interview-based longitudinal data are also collected 12 months apart from 88 consumers with a psychotic disorder

  3. Effect of an educational intervention to improve adverse drug reaction reporting in physicians: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Gonzalez, Elena; Herdeiro, Maria T; Piñeiro-Lamas, María; Figueiras, Adolfo

    2015-02-01

    The yellow-card scheme continues to be one of the principal methods for signal generation in pharmacovigilance. Nevertheless, under-reporting, one of its disadvantages, delays alert signals and has a negative influence on public health. Educational interventions in pharmacovigilance may have a positive impact on the spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). To assess the duration of the effect and effectiveness of an educational intervention in pharmacovigilance designed to improve ADR reporting in a robust pharmacovigilance system. A spatial, cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted covering all National Health System physicians in the northwest of Spain and targeting those who were actively engaged in clinical practice (n = 7,498). Of these, 2,120 were assigned in three spatial clusters to the intervention group (six hospitals and 138 primary care centers) and 3,614 in four clusters to the control group (seven hospitals and 267 primary care centers). The educational intervention consisted of two complementary approaches--one active (group sessions), the other passive (educational material, reporting form)-implemented from November 2007 to December 2008, with a follow-up period of 8 months. Intervention participation was 53.7 % in a hospital setting and 60.5 % in primary care settings. ADR reporting in the intervention group increased by 65.4 % (95 % confidence interval [CI]: 8.2-153.4) across the follow-up. The ADR reporting rate per 1,000 physicians/year in the intervention group rose from 28.1 to 39.6 following the intervention (51.7 and 27.4 in the first and second 4-month period, respectively). For the intervention group, relative risk (RR) was 2.31 (95 % CI: 1.46-3.68) and 1.04 (95 % CI: 0.61-1.77) in the first and second 4-month period, respectively adjusted to baseline values. There was an increase in unexpected ADR reporting (RR 2.06, 95 % CI 1.19-3.55). Pharmacovigilance educational interventions that have proved effective can be

  4. Implementation strategies of internet-based asthma self-management support in usual care. Study protocol for the IMPASSE cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Gaalen Johanna L

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Internet-based self-management (IBSM support cost-effectively improves asthma control, asthma related quality of life, number of symptom-free days, and lung function in patients with mild to moderate persistent asthma. The current challenge is to implement IBSM in clinical practice. Methods/design This study is a three-arm cluster randomized trial with a cluster pre-randomisation design and 12 months follow-up per practice comparing the following three IBSM implementation strategies: minimum strategy (MS: dissemination of the IBSM program; intermediate strategy (IS: MS + start-up support for professionals (i.e., support in selection of the appropriate population and training of professionals; and extended strategy (ES: IS + additional training and ongoing support for professionals. Because the implementation strategies (interventions are primarily targeted at general practices, randomisation will occur at practice level. In this study, we aim to evaluate 14 primary care practices per strategy in the Leiden-The Hague region, involving 140 patients per arm. Patients aged 18 to 50 years, with a physician diagnosis of asthma, prescription of inhaled corticosteroids, and/or montelukast for ≥3 months in the previous year are eligible to participate. Primary outcome measures are the proportion of referred patients that participate in IBSM, and the proportion of patients that have clinically relevant improvement in the asthma-related quality of life. The secondary effect measures are clinical outcomes (asthma control, lung function, usage of airway treatment, and presence of exacerbations; self-management related outcomes (health education impact, medication adherence, and illness perceptions; and patient utilities. Process measures are the proportion of practices that participate in IBSM and adherence of professionals to implementation strategies. Cost-effective measurements are medical costs and healthcare consumption

  5. Improving Care for Patients With or at Risk for Chronic Kidney Disease Using Electronic Medical Record Interventions: A Pragmatic Cluster-Randomized Trial Protocol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Danielle M.; Ivers, Noah M.; Young, Jacqueline; Jaakkimainen, R. Liisa; Garg, Amit X.; Tu, Karen

    2017-01-01

    Background: Many patients with or at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the primary care setting are not receiving recommended care. Objective: The objective of this study is to determine whether a multifaceted, low-cost intervention compared with usual care improves the care of patients with or at risk for CKD in the primary care setting. Design: A pragmatic cluster-randomized trial, with an embedded qualitative process evaluation, will be conducted. Setting: The study population comes from the Electronic Medical Record Administrative data Linked Database®, which includes clinical data for more than 140 000 rostered adults cared for by 194 family physicians in 34 clinics across Ontario, Canada. The 34 primary care clinics will be randomized to the intervention or control group. Intervention: The intervention group will receive resources from the “CKD toolkit” to help improve care including practice audit and feedback, printed educational materials for physicians and patients, electronic decision support and reminders, and implementation support. Measurements: Patients with or at risk for CKD within participating clinics will be identified using laboratory data in the electronic medical records. Outcomes will be assessed after dissemination of the CKD tools and after 2 rounds of feedback on performance on quality indicators have been sent to the physicians using information from the electronic medical records. The primary outcome is the proportion of patients aged 50 to 80 years with nondialysis-dependent CKD who are on a statin. Secondary outcomes include process of care measures such as screening tests, CKD recognition, monitoring tests, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker prescriptions, blood pressure targets met, and nephrologist referral. Hierarchical analytic modeling will be performed to account for clustering. Semistructured interviews will be conducted with a random purposeful sample of physicians in the

  6. Physical design of time-of-flight mass spectrometer in energetic cluster impact deposition apparatus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Guoqing; Shi Ying; Chen Jingsheng; Zhu Dezhang; Pan Haochang; Xu Hongjie

    1999-01-01

    The principle and physical design of the time-of-flight mass spectrometer equipped in the energetic cluster impact deposition apparatus are introduced. Some problems existed in experiments and their solutions are also discussed

  7. Members of research ethics committees accepted a modification of the randomized consent design

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellings, Ron; Kessels, Alfons G.; ter Riet, Gerben; Kleijnen, Jos; Leffers, Pieter; Knottnerus, J. André; Sturmans, Ferd

    2005-01-01

    Background and Objective: The use of randomized consent designs has been subject of methodologic and ethical controversy. In most Western countries, research ethics committees make the decision as to whether a randomized consent design can be applied. The purpose of the study is to assess to what

  8. TreeCluster: Massively scalable transmission clustering using phylogenetic trees

    OpenAIRE

    Moshiri, Alexander

    2018-01-01

    Background: The ability to infer transmission clusters from molecular data is critical to designing and evaluating viral control strategies. Viral sequencing datasets are growing rapidly, but standard methods of transmission cluster inference do not scale well beyond thousands of sequences. Results: I present TreeCluster, a cross-platform tool that performs transmission cluster inference on a given phylogenetic tree orders of magnitude faster than existing inference methods and supports multi...

  9. Cost-effectiveness of a long-term Internet-delivered worksite health promotion programme on physical activity and nutrition: A cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.J.W. Robroek (Suzan); S. Polinder (Suzanne); F.J. Bredt (Folef); A. Burdorf (Alex)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractThis study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a long-term workplace health promotion programme on physical activity (PA) and nutrition. In total, 924 participants enrolled in a 2-year cluster randomized controlled trial, with departments (n = 74) within companies (n = 6) as the

  10. A Kondo cluster-glass model for spin glass Cerium alloys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmer, F M; Magalhaes, S G; Coqblin, B

    2011-01-01

    There are clear indications that the presence of disorder in Ce alloys, such as Ce(Ni,Cu) or Ce(Pd,Rh), is responsible for the existence of a cluster spin glass state which changes continuously into inhomogeneous ferromagnetism at low temperatures. We present a study of the competition between magnetism and Kondo effect in a cluster-glass model composed by a random inter-cluster interaction term and an intra-cluster one, which contains an intra-site Kondo interaction J k and an inter-site ferromagnetic one J 0 . The random interaction is given by the van Hemmen type of randomness which allows to solve the problem without the use of the replica method. The inter-cluster term is solved within the cluster mean-field theory and the remaining intra-cluster interactions can be treated by exact diagonalization. Results show the behavior of the cluster glass order parameter and the Kondo correlation function for several sizes of the clusters, J k , J 0 and values of the ferromagnetic inter-cluster average interaction I 0 . Particularly, for small J k , the magnetic solution is strongly dependent on I 0 and J 0 and a Kondo cluster-glass or a mixed phase can be obtained, while, for large J k , the Kondo effect is still dominant, both in good agreement with experiment in Ce(Ni,Cu) or Ce(Pd,Rh) alloys.

  11. Fuzzy randomness uncertainty in civil engineering and computational mechanics

    CERN Document Server

    Möller, Bernd

    2004-01-01

    This book, for the first time, provides a coherent, overall concept for taking account of uncertainty in the analysis, the safety assessment, and the design of structures. The reader is introduced to the problem of uncertainty modeling and familiarized with particular uncertainty models. For simultaneously considering stochastic and non-stochastic uncertainty the superordinated uncertainty model fuzzy randomness, which contains real valued random variables as well as fuzzy variables as special cases, is presented. For this purpose basic mathematical knowledge concerning the fuzzy set theory and the theory of fuzzy random variables is imparted. The body of the book comprises the appropriate quantification of uncertain structural parameters, the fuzzy and fuzzy probabilistic structural analysis, the fuzzy probabilistic safety assessment, and the fuzzy cluster structural design. The completely new algorithms are described in detail and illustrated by way of demonstrative examples.

  12. Differential effect of exposure-based therapy and cognitive therapy on post-traumatic stress disorder symptom clusters: A randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horesh, Danny; Qian, Meng; Freedman, Sara; Shalev, Arieh

    2017-06-01

    A question remains regarding differential effects of exposure-based versus non-exposure-based therapies on specific post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom clusters. Traumatized emergency room patients were randomized to receive prolonged exposure (PE) or cognitive therapy (CT) without exposure. PE/CT had no differential effect on individual symptom clusters, and change in total PTSD score remained significant even after controlling for the reductions in all three symptom clusters. In addition, baseline levels of PTSD avoidance/intrusion/hyperarousal did not moderate the effects of PE and CT on total PTSD symptom scores. Taken together, these findings challenge the notion that PE and CT are specifically, and differentially, useful in treating one particular PTSD symptom cluster. Despite their different theoretical backgrounds and techniques, the notion that PE and CT (without exposure) target different PTSD symptoms was not confirmed in this study. Thus, both interventions may in fact be equally effective for treating intrusion, avoidance and hyperarousal symptoms. Baseline levels of avoidance, intrusion and hyperarousal may not be good a priori indicators for PTSD treatment selection. The effect of PE and CT on PTSD as a whole does not seem to depend on a reduction in any specific symptom cluster. These findings indicate that exposure and non-exposure interventions may lead to similar results in terms of reductions in specific PTSD symptoms. It is quite possible that individual PTSD clusters may respond to therapy in an inter-related fashion, with one cluster affecting the other. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  13. Rational and design of a stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial evaluating quality improvement initiative for reducing cardiovascular events among patients with acute coronary syndromes in resource-constrained hospitals in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shenshen; Wu, Yangfeng; Du, Xin; Li, Xian; Patel, Anushka; Peterson, Eric D; Turnbull, Fiona; Lo, Serigne; Billot, Laurent; Laba, Tracey; Gao, Runlin

    2015-03-01

    Acute coronary syndromes (ACSs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality, yet effective ACS treatments are frequently underused in clinical practice. Randomized trials including the CPACS-2 study suggest that quality improvement initiatives can increase the use of effective treatments, but whether such programs can impact hard clinical outcomes has never been demonstrated in a well-powered randomized controlled trial. The CPACS-3 study is a stepped-wedge cluster-randomized trial conducted in 104 remote level 2 hospitals without PCI facilities in China. All hospitalized ACS patients will be recruited consecutively over a 30-month period to an anticipated total study population of more than 25,000 patients. After a 6-month baseline period, hospitals will be randomized to 1 of 4 groups, and a 6-component quality improvement intervention will be implemented sequentially in each group every 6months. These components include the following: establishment of a quality improvement team, implementation of a clinical pathway, training of physicians and nurses, hospital performance audit and feedback, online technical support, and patient education. All patients will be followed up for 6months postdischarge. The primary outcome will be the incidence of in-hospital major adverse cardiovascular events comprising all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction or reinfarction, and nonfatal stroke. The CPACS-3 study will be the first large randomized trial with sufficient power to assess the effects of a multifaceted quality of care improvement initiative on hard clinical outcomes, in patients with ACS. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Comparing dedicated and designated models of integrating mental health into chronic disease care: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Bronwyn; Lund, Crick; Lombard, Carl; Joska, John; Levitt, Naomi; Butler, Christopher; Cleary, Susan; Naledi, Tracey; Milligan, Peter; Stein, Dan J; Sorsdahl, Katherine

    2018-03-16

    In low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), it is uncertain whether a "dedicated" approach to integrating mental health care (wherein a community health worker (CHW) has the sole responsibility of delivering mental health care) or a "designated" approach (wherein a CHW provides this service in addition to usual responsibilities) is most effective and cost-effective. This study aims to compare the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these two models of service integration relative to treatment as usual (TAU) for improving mental health and chronic disease outcomes among patients with HIV or diabetes. This is a cluster randomised trial. We will randomise 24 primary health care facilities in the Western Cape Province of South Africa to one of three study arms. Within each cluster, we will recruit 25 patients from HIV and 25 from diabetes services for a total sample of 1200 participants. Eligible patients will be aged 18 years or older, take medication for HIV or diabetes, and screen positive on the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test for hazardous/harmful alcohol use or depression on the Centre for Epidemiology Scale on Depression. Participants recruited in clinics assigned to the designated or dedicated approach will receive three sessions of motivational interviewing and problem-solving therapy, while those recruited at TAU-assigned clinics will be referred for further assessment. Participants will complete an interviewer-administered questionnaire at baseline, and at 6 and 12 months post-enrolment to assess change in self-reported outcomes. At these end points, we will test HIV RNA viral load for participants with HIV and HbA1c levels for participants with diabetes. Primary outcomes are reductions in self-reported hazardous/harmful alcohol use and risk of depression. Secondary outcomes are improvements in adherence to chronic disease treatment, biomarkers of chronic disease outcomes, and health-related quality of life. Mixed-effect linear regression models

  15. Scientific Cluster Deployment and Recovery - Using puppet to simplify cluster management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrix, Val; Benjamin, Doug; Yao, Yushu

    2012-12-01

    Deployment, maintenance and recovery of a scientific cluster, which has complex, specialized services, can be a time consuming task requiring the assistance of Linux system administrators, network engineers as well as domain experts. Universities and small institutions that have a part-time FTE with limited time for and knowledge of the administration of such clusters can be strained by such maintenance tasks. This current work is the result of an effort to maintain a data analysis cluster (DAC) with minimal effort by a local system administrator. The realized benefit is the scientist, who is the local system administrator, is able to focus on the data analysis instead of the intricacies of managing a cluster. Our work provides a cluster deployment and recovery process (CDRP) based on the puppet configuration engine allowing a part-time FTE to easily deploy and recover entire clusters with minimal effort. Puppet is a configuration management system (CMS) used widely in computing centers for the automatic management of resources. Domain experts use Puppet's declarative language to define reusable modules for service configuration and deployment. Our CDRP has three actors: domain experts, a cluster designer and a cluster manager. The domain experts first write the puppet modules for the cluster services. A cluster designer would then define a cluster. This includes the creation of cluster roles, mapping the services to those roles and determining the relationships between the services. Finally, a cluster manager would acquire the resources (machines, networking), enter the cluster input parameters (hostnames, IP addresses) and automatically generate deployment scripts used by puppet to configure it to act as a designated role. In the event of a machine failure, the originally generated deployment scripts along with puppet can be used to easily reconfigure a new machine. The cluster definition produced in our CDRP is an integral part of automating cluster deployment

  16. A multi-level intervention in subsidized housing sites to increase fruit and vegetable access and intake: Rationale, design and methods of the ‘Live Well, Viva Bien’ cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim M. Gans

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Adequate fruit and vegetable (F&V intake is important for disease prevention. Yet, most Americans, especially low-income and racial/ethnic minorities, do not eat adequate amounts. These disparities are partly attributable to food environments in low-income neighborhoods where residents often have limited access to affordable, healthful food and easy access to inexpensive, unhealthful foods. Increasing access to affordable healthful food in underserved neighborhoods through mobile markets is a promising, year-round strategy for improving dietary behaviors and reducing F&V intake disparities. However, to date, there have been no randomized controlled trials studying their effectiveness. The objective of the ‘Live Well, Viva Bien’ (LWVB cluster randomized controlled trial is to evaluate the efficacy of a multicomponent mobile market intervention at increasing F&V intake among residents of subsidized housing complexes. Methods/Design One housing complex served as a pilot site for the intervention group and the remaining 14 demographically-matched sites were randomized into either the intervention or control group. The intervention group received bimonthly, discount, mobile, fresh F&V markets in conjunction with a nutrition education intervention (two F&V campaigns, newsletters, DVDs and cooking demonstrations for 12 months. The control group received physical activity and stress reduction interventions. Outcome measures include F&V intake (measured by two validated F&V screeners at baseline, six-month and twelve-months along with potential psychosocial mediating variables. Extensive quantitative and qualitative process evaluation was also conducted throughout the study. Discussion Modifying neighborhood food environments in ways that increase access to affordable, healthful food is a promising strategy for improving dietary behaviors among low-income, racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk for obesity and other

  17. Computer-Based Driving in Dementia Decision Tool With Mail Support: Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapoport, Mark J; Zucchero Sarracini, Carla; Kiss, Alex; Lee, Linda; Byszewski, Anna; Seitz, Dallas P; Vrkljan, Brenda; Molnar, Frank; Herrmann, Nathan; Tang-Wai, David F; Frank, Christopher; Henry, Blair; Pimlott, Nicholas; Masellis, Mario; Naglie, Gary

    2018-05-25

    Physicians often find significant challenges in assessing automobile driving in persons with mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia and deciding when to report to transportation administrators. Care must be taken to balance the safety of patients and other road users with potential negative effects of issuing such reports. The aim of this study was to assess whether a computer-based Driving in Dementia Decision Tool (DD-DT) increased appropriate reporting of patients with mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment to transportation administrators. The study used a parallel-group cluster nonblinded randomized controlled trial design to test a multifaceted knowledge translation intervention. The intervention included a computer-based decision support system activated by the physician-user, which provides a recommendation about whether to report patients with mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment to transportation administrators, based on an algorithm derived from earlier work. The intervention also included a mailed educational package and Web-based specialized reporting forms. Specialists and family physicians with expertise in dementia or care of the elderly were stratified by sex and randomized to either use the DD-DT or a control version of the tool that required identical data input as the intervention group, but instead generated a generic reminder about the reporting legislation in Ontario, Canada. The trial ran from September 9, 2014 to January 29, 2016, and the primary outcome was the number of reports made to the transportation administrators concordant with the algorithm. A total of 69 participating physicians were randomized, and 36 of these used the DD-DT; 20 of the 35 randomized to the intervention group used DD-DT with 114 patients, and 16 of the 34 randomized to the control group used it with 103 patients. The proportion of all assessed patients reported to the transportation administrators concordant with recommendation did not differ

  18. Control of Phlebotomus argentipes (Diptera: Psychodidae sand fly in Bangladesh: A cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajib Chowdhury

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available A number of studies on visceral leishmaniasis (VL vector control have been conducted during the past decade, sometimes came to very different conclusion. The present study on a large sample investigated different options which are partially unexplored including: (1 indoor residual spraying (IRS with alpha cypermethrin 5WP; (2 long lasting insecticide impregnated bed-net (LLIN; (3 impregnation of local bed-nets with slow release insecticide K-O TAB 1-2-3 (KOTAB; (4 insecticide spraying in potential breeding sites outside of house using chlorpyrifos 20EC (OUT and different combinations of the above.The study was a cluster randomized controlled trial where 3089 houses from 11 villages were divided into 10 sections, each section with 6 clusters and each cluster having approximately 50 houses. Based on vector density (males plus females during baseline survey, the 60 clusters were categorized into 3 groups: (1 high, (2 medium and (3 low. Each group had 20 clusters. From these three groups, 6 clusters (about 300 households were randomly selected for each type of intervention and control arms. Vector density was measured before and 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, 14, 15, 18 and 22 months after intervention using CDC light traps. The impact of interventions was measured by using the difference-in-differences regression model.A total of 17,434 sand flies were collected at baseline and during the surveys conducted over 9 months following the baseline measurements. At baseline, the average P. argentipes density per household was 10.6 (SD = 11.5 in the control arm and 7.3 (SD = 8.46 to 11.5 (SD = 20.2 in intervention arms. The intervention results presented as the range of percent reductions of sand flies (males plus females and rate ratios in 9 measurements over 22 months. Among single type interventions, the effect of IRS with 2 rounds of spraying (applied by the research team ranged from 13% to 75% reduction of P. argentipes density compared to the control arm (rate

  19. Electronic laboratory system reduces errors in National Tuberculosis Program: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaya, J A; Shin, S S; Yale, G; Suarez, C; Asencios, L; Contreras, C; Rodriguez, P; Kim, J; Cegielski, P; Fraser, H S F

    2010-08-01

    To evaluate the impact of the e-Chasqui laboratory information system in reducing reporting errors compared to the current paper system. Cluster randomized controlled trial in 76 health centers (HCs) between 2004 and 2008. Baseline data were collected every 4 months for 12 months. HCs were then randomly assigned to intervention (e-Chasqui) or control (paper). Further data were collected for the same months the following year. Comparisons were made between intervention and control HCs, and before and after the intervention. Intervention HCs had respectively 82% and 87% fewer errors in reporting results for drug susceptibility tests (2.1% vs. 11.9%, P = 0.001, OR 0.17, 95%CI 0.09-0.31) and cultures (2.0% vs. 15.1%, P Chasqui users sent on average three electronic error reports per week to the laboratories. e-Chasqui reduced the number of missing laboratory results at point-of-care health centers. Clinical users confirmed viewing electronic results not available on paper. Reporting errors to the laboratory using e-Chasqui promoted continuous quality improvement. The e-Chasqui laboratory information system is an important part of laboratory infrastructure improvements to support multidrug-resistant tuberculosis care in Peru.

  20. The Effects of Therapist Competence in Assigning Homework in Cognitive Therapy with Cluster C Personality Disorders: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryum, Truls; Stiles, Tore C.; Svartberg, Martin; McCullough, Leigh

    2010-01-01

    Therapist competence in assigning homework was used to predict mid- and posttreatment outcome for patients with Cluster C personality disorders in cognitive therapy (CT). Twenty-five patients that underwent 40 sessions of CT were taken from a randomized controlled trial (Svartberg, Stiles, & Seltzer, 2004). Therapist competence in assigning…

  1. Cardiorespiratory fitness, cardiovascular workload and risk factors among cleaners; a cluster randomized worksite intervention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korshøj, Mette; Krustrup, Peter; Jørgensen, Marie Birk

    2012-01-01

    . The clusters will be balanced on the following criteria: Geographical work location, gender, age and seniority. Cleaners are randomized to either I) a reference group, receiving lectures concerning healthy living, or II) an intervention group, performing worksite aerobic exercise. Data collection......ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors is unevenly distributed among occupational groups. The working environment, as well as lifestyle and socioeconomic status contribute to the disparity and variation in prevalence of these risk factors. High physical work demands have...... been shown to increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality, contrary to leisure time physical activity. High physical work demands in combination with a low cardiorespiratory fitness infer a high relative workload and an excessive risk for cardiovascular mortality. Therefore, the aim...

  2. Micro-Randomized Trials: An Experimental Design for Developing Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klasnja, Predrag; Hekler, Eric B.; Shiffman, Saul; Boruvka, Audrey; Almirall, Daniel; Tewari, Ambuj; Murphy, Susan A.

    2015-01-01

    Objective This paper presents an experimental design, the micro-randomized trial, developed to support optimization of just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs). JITAIs are mHealth technologies that aim to deliver the right intervention components at the right times and locations to optimally support individuals’ health behaviors. Micro-randomized trials offer a way to optimize such interventions by enabling modeling of causal effects and time-varying effect moderation for individual intervention components within a JITAI. Methods The paper describes the micro-randomized trial design, enumerates research questions that this experimental design can help answer, and provides an overview of the data analyses that can be used to assess the causal effects of studied intervention components and investigate time-varying moderation of those effects. Results Micro-randomized trials enable causal modeling of proximal effects of the randomized intervention components and assessment of time-varying moderation of those effects. Conclusions Micro-randomized trials can help researchers understand whether their interventions are having intended effects, when and for whom they are effective, and what factors moderate the interventions’ effects, enabling creation of more effective JITAIs. PMID:26651463

  3. Two-year impact of community-based health screening and parenting groups on child development in Zambia: Follow-up to a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockers, Peter C; Zanolini, Arianna; Banda, Bowen; Chipili, Mwaba Moono; Hughes, Robert C; Hamer, Davidson H; Fink, Günther

    2018-04-01

    Early childhood interventions have potential to offset the negative impact of early adversity. We evaluated the impact of a community-based parenting group intervention on child development in Zambia. We conducted a non-masked cluster-randomized controlled trial in Southern Province, Zambia. Thirty clusters of villages were matched based on population density and distance from the nearest health center, and randomly assigned to intervention (15 clusters, 268 caregiver-child dyads) or control (15 clusters, 258 caregiver-child dyads). Caregivers were eligible if they had a child 6 to 12 months old at baseline. In intervention clusters, caregivers were visited twice per month during the first year of the study by child development agents (CDAs) and were invited to attend fortnightly parenting group meetings. Parenting groups selected "head mothers" from their communities who were trained by CDAs to facilitate meetings and deliver a diverse parenting curriculum. The parenting group intervention, originally designed to run for 1 year, was extended, and households were visited for a follow-up assessment at the end of year 2. The control group did not receive any intervention. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed for primary outcomes measured at the year 2 follow-up: stunting and 5 domains of neurocognitive development measured using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-Third Edition (BSID-III). In order to show Cohen's d estimates, BSID-III composite scores were converted to z-scores by standardizing within the study population. In all, 195/268 children (73%) in the intervention group and 182/258 children (71%) in the control group were assessed at endline after 2 years. The intervention significantly reduced stunting (56/195 versus 72/182; adjusted odds ratio 0.45, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.92; p = 0.028) and had a significant positive impact on language (β 0.14, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.27; p = 0.039). The intervention did not significantly impact cognition (β 0

  4. Two-year impact of community-based health screening and parenting groups on child development in Zambia: Follow-up to a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter C Rockers

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Early childhood interventions have potential to offset the negative impact of early adversity. We evaluated the impact of a community-based parenting group intervention on child development in Zambia.We conducted a non-masked cluster-randomized controlled trial in Southern Province, Zambia. Thirty clusters of villages were matched based on population density and distance from the nearest health center, and randomly assigned to intervention (15 clusters, 268 caregiver-child dyads or control (15 clusters, 258 caregiver-child dyads. Caregivers were eligible if they had a child 6 to 12 months old at baseline. In intervention clusters, caregivers were visited twice per month during the first year of the study by child development agents (CDAs and were invited to attend fortnightly parenting group meetings. Parenting groups selected "head mothers" from their communities who were trained by CDAs to facilitate meetings and deliver a diverse parenting curriculum. The parenting group intervention, originally designed to run for 1 year, was extended, and households were visited for a follow-up assessment at the end of year 2. The control group did not receive any intervention. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed for primary outcomes measured at the year 2 follow-up: stunting and 5 domains of neurocognitive development measured using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-Third Edition (BSID-III. In order to show Cohen's d estimates, BSID-III composite scores were converted to z-scores by standardizing within the study population. In all, 195/268 children (73% in the intervention group and 182/258 children (71% in the control group were assessed at endline after 2 years. The intervention significantly reduced stunting (56/195 versus 72/182; adjusted odds ratio 0.45, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.92; p = 0.028 and had a significant positive impact on language (β 0.14, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.27; p = 0.039. The intervention did not significantly impact

  5. Impact of an automated email notification system for results of tests pending at discharge: a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalal, Anuj K; Roy, Christopher L; Poon, Eric G; Williams, Deborah H; Nolido, Nyryan; Yoon, Cathy; Budris, Jonas; Gandhi, Tejal; Bates, David W; Schnipper, Jeffrey L

    2014-01-01

    Physician awareness of the results of tests pending at discharge (TPADs) is poor. We developed an automated system that notifies responsible physicians of TPAD results via secure, network email. We sought to evaluate the impact of this system on self-reported awareness of TPAD results by responsible physicians, a necessary intermediary step to improve management of TPAD results. We conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial at a major hospital affiliated with an integrated healthcare delivery network in Boston, Massachusetts. Adult patients with TPADs who were discharged from inpatient general medicine and cardiology services were assigned to the intervention or usual care arm if their inpatient attending physician and primary care physician (PCP) were both randomized to the same study arm. Patients of physicians randomized to discordant study arms were excluded. We surveyed these physicians 72 h after all TPAD results were finalized. The primary outcome was awareness of TPAD results by attending physicians. Secondary outcomes included awareness of TPAD results by PCPs, awareness of actionable TPAD results, and provider satisfaction. We analyzed data on 441 patients. We sent 441 surveys to attending physicians and 353 surveys to PCPs and received 275 and 152 responses from 83 different attending physicians and 112 different PCPs, respectively (attending physician survey response rate of 63%). Intervention attending physicians and PCPs were significantly more aware of TPAD results (76% vs 38%, adjusted/clustered OR 6.30 (95% CI 3.02 to 13.16), pemail notification represents a promising strategy for managing TPAD results, potentially mitigating an unresolved patient safety concern. ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01153451).

  6. Transportability of an Evidence-Based Early Childhood Intervention in a Low-Income African Country: Results of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Keng-Yen; Nakigudde, Janet; Rhule, Dana; Gumikiriza-Onoria, Joy Louise; Abura, Gloria; Kolawole, Bukky; Ndyanabangi, Sheila; Kim, Sharon; Seidman, Edward; Ogedegbe, Gbenga; Brotman, Laurie Miller

    2017-11-01

    Children in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are burdened by significant unmet mental health needs. Despite the successes of numerous school-based interventions for promoting child mental health, most evidence-based interventions (EBIs) are not available in SSA. This study investigated the implementation quality and effectiveness of one component of an EBI from a developed country (USA) in a SSA country (Uganda). The EBI component, Professional Development, was provided by trained Ugandan mental health professionals to Ugandan primary school teachers. It included large-group experiential training and small-group coaching to introduce and support a range of evidence-based practices (EBPs) to create nurturing and predictable classroom experiences. The study was guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, the Teacher Training Implementation Model, and the RE-AIM evaluation framework. Effectiveness outcomes were studied using a cluster randomized design, in which 10 schools were randomized to intervention and wait-list control conditions. A total of 79 early childhood teachers participated. Teacher knowledge and the use of EBPs were assessed at baseline and immediately post-intervention (4-5 months later). A sample of 154 parents was randomly selected to report on child behavior at baseline and post-intervention. Linear mixed effect modeling was applied to examine effectiveness outcomes. Findings support the feasibility of training Ugandan mental health professionals to provide Professional Development for Ugandan teachers. Professional Development was delivered with high levels of fidelity and resulted in improved teacher EBP knowledge and the use of EBPs in the classroom, and child social competence.

  7. Effectiveness of a self-management program for dual sensory impaired seniors in aged care settings: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roets-Merken, Lieve M; Graff, Maud J L; Zuidema, Sytse U; Hermsen, Pieter G J M; Teerenstra, Steven; Kempen, Gertrudis I J M; Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra J F J

    2013-10-07

    Five to 25 percent of residents in aged care settings have a combined hearing and visual sensory impairment. Usual care is generally restricted to single sensory impairment, neglecting the consequences of dual sensory impairment on social participation and autonomy. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-management program for seniors who acquired dual sensory impairment at old age. In a cluster randomized, single-blind controlled trial, with aged care settings as the unit of randomization, the effectiveness of a self-management program will be compared to usual care. A minimum of 14 and maximum of 20 settings will be randomized to either the intervention cluster or the control cluster, aiming to include a total of 132 seniors with dual sensory impairment. Each senior will be linked to a licensed practical nurse working at the setting. During a five to six month intervention period, nurses at the intervention clusters will be trained in a self-management program to support and empower seniors to use self-management strategies. In two separate diaries, nurses keep track of the interviews with the seniors and their reflections on their own learning process. Nurses of the control clusters offer care as usual. At senior level, the primary outcome is the social participation of the seniors measured using the Hearing Handicap Questionnaire and the Activity Card Sort, and secondary outcomes are mood, autonomy and quality of life. At nurse level, the outcome is job satisfaction. Effectiveness will be evaluated using linear mixed model analysis. The results of this study will provide evidence for the effectiveness of the Self-Management Program for seniors with dual sensory impairment living in aged care settings. The findings are expected to contribute to the knowledge on the program's potential to enhance social participation and autonomy of the seniors, as well as increasing the job satisfaction of the licensed practical nurses. Furthermore, an

  8. Using Brothel Leadership to Improve Condom Use among Brothel-based Female Sex Workers in Abuja, Nigeria : Results of a Cluster Randomized Pilot Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Okafor, Uchenna O.; Crutzen, Rik; Sylvia, Adebajo; Ifeanyi, Okekearu; Van Den Borne, Bart

    2017-01-01

    Support by brothel leaders and the promotion of a conducive environment for HIV prevention programs within brothel establishments are important to promote a safe working environment for Brothel-Based Female Sex Workers (BB FSWs). This study assesses the effects of a cluster randomized pilot trial

  9. Effect of Financial Incentives on Breastfeeding: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Relton, Clare; Strong, Mark; Thomas, Kate J; Whelan, Barbara; Walters, Stephen J; Burrows, Julia; Scott, Elaine; Viksveen, Petter; Johnson, Maxine; Baston, Helen; Fox-Rushby, Julia; Anokye, Nana; Umney, Darren; Renfrew, Mary J

    2018-02-05

    Although breastfeeding has a positive effect on an infant's health and development, the prevalence is low in many communities. The effect of financial incentives to improve breastfeeding prevalence is unknown. To assess the effect of an area-level financial incentive for breastfeeding on breastfeeding prevalence at 6 to 8 weeks post partum. The Nourishing Start for Health (NOSH) trial, a cluster randomized trial with 6 to 8 weeks follow-up, was conducted between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016, in 92 electoral ward areas in England with baseline breastfeeding prevalence at 6 to 8 weeks post partum less than 40%. A total of 10 010 mother-infant dyads resident in the 92 study electoral ward areas where the infant's estimated or actual birth date fell between February 18, 2015, and February 17, 2016, were included. Areas were randomized to the incentive plus usual care (n = 46) (5398 mother-infant dyads) or to usual care alone (n = 46) (4612 mother-infant dyads). Usual care was delivered by clinicians (mainly midwives, health visitors) in a variety of maternity, neonatal, and infant feeding services, all of which were implementing the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative standards. Shopping vouchers worth £40 (US$50) were offered to mothers 5 times based on infant age (2 days, 10 days, 6-8 weeks, 3 months, 6 months), conditional on the infant receiving any breast milk. The primary outcome was electoral ward area-level 6- to 8-week breastfeeding period prevalence, as assessed by clinicians at the routine 6- to 8-week postnatal check visit. Secondary outcomes were area-level period prevalence for breastfeeding initiation and for exclusive breastfeeding at 6 to 8 weeks. In the intervention (5398 mother-infant dyads) and control (4612 mother-infant dyads) group, the median (interquartile range) percentage of women aged 16 to 44 years was 36.2% (3.0%) and 37.4% (3.6%) years, respectively. After adjusting for baseline breastfeeding prevalence and local government

  10. Patients’ general satisfaction with telephone counseling by pharmacists and effects on satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines: results from a cluster randomized trial.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooy, M.J.; Geffen, E.C.G. van; Heerdink, E.R.; Dijk, L. van; Bouvy, M.L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Assess effects of pharmacists’ counseling by telephone on patients’ satisfaction with counseling, satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines for newly prescribed medicines. Methods: A cluster randomized trial in Dutch community pharmacies. Patients ≥18 years were included

  11. Patients' general satisfaction with telephone counseling by pharmacists and effects on satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines : Results from a cluster randomized trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooy, Marcel Jan; Van Geffen, Erica C G; Heerdink, Eibert R.; Van Dijk, Liset; Bouvy, Marcel L.

    2015-01-01

    Assess effects of pharmacists' counseling by telephone on patients' satisfaction with counseling, satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines for newly prescribed medicines. Methods: A cluster randomized trial in Dutch community pharmacies. Patients ≥18 years were included when

  12. A cluster randomized controlled trial of a brief tobacco cessation intervention for low-income communities in India: study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Bidyut K; Shahab, Lion; Arora, Monika; Lorencatto, Fabiana; Reddy, K Srinath; West, Robert

    2014-03-01

    India has 275 million adult tobacco users and tobacco use is estimated to contribute to more than a million deaths in the country each year. There is an urgent need to develop and evaluate affordable, practicable and scalable interventions to promote cessation of tobacco use. Because tobacco use is so harmful, an increase of as little as 1 percentage point in long-term quit success rates can have an important public health impact. This protocol paper describes the rationale and methods of a large randomized controlled trial which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief scalable smoking cessation intervention delivered by trained health professionals as an outreach programme in poor urban communities in India. This is a pragmatic, two-arm, community-based cluster randomized controlled trial focused on tobacco users in low-income communities. The treatment arm is a brief intervention comprising brief advice including training in craving control using simple yogic breathing exercises (BA-YBA) and the control arm is very brief advice (VBA). Of a total of 32 clusters, 16 will be allocated to the intervention arm and 16 to the control arm. Each cluster will have 31 participants, making a total of 992 participants. The primary outcome measure will follow the Russell Standard: self-report of sustained abstinence for at least 6 months following the intervention confirmed at the final follow-up by salivary cotinine. This trial will inform national and international policy on delivery of scalable and affordable brief outreach interventions to promote tobacco use cessation in low resource settings where tobacco users have limited access to physicians and medications. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  13. Statistical properties of random clique networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Yi-Min; Meng, Jun; Fan, Jing-Fang; Ye, Fang-Fu; Chen, Xiao-Song

    2017-10-01

    In this paper, a random clique network model to mimic the large clustering coefficient and the modular structure that exist in many real complex networks, such as social networks, artificial networks, and protein interaction networks, is introduced by combining the random selection rule of the Erdös and Rényi (ER) model and the concept of cliques. We find that random clique networks having a small average degree differ from the ER network in that they have a large clustering coefficient and a power law clustering spectrum, while networks having a high average degree have similar properties as the ER model. In addition, we find that the relation between the clustering coefficient and the average degree shows a non-monotonic behavior and that the degree distributions can be fit by multiple Poisson curves; we explain the origin of such novel behaviors and degree distributions.

  14. Effects of a social accountability approach, CARE's Community Score Card, on reproductive health-related outcomes in Malawi: A cluster-randomized controlled evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gullo, Sara; Galavotti, Christine; Sebert Kuhlmann, Anne; Msiska, Thumbiko; Hastings, Phil; Marti, C Nathan

    2017-01-01

    Social accountability approaches, which emphasize mutual responsibility and accountability by community members, health care workers, and local health officials for improving health outcomes in the community, are increasingly being employed in low-resource settings. We evaluated the effects of a social accountability approach, CARE's Community Score Card (CSC), on reproductive health outcomes in Ntcheu district, Malawi using a cluster-randomized control design. We matched 10 pairs of communities, randomly assigning one from each pair to intervention and control arms. We conducted two independent cross-sectional surveys of women who had given birth in the last 12 months, at baseline and at two years post-baseline. Using difference-in-difference (DiD) and local average treatment effect (LATE) estimates, we evaluated the effects on outcomes including modern contraceptive use, antenatal and postnatal care service utilization, and service satisfaction. We also evaluated changes in indicators developed by community members and service providers in the intervention areas. DiD analyses showed significantly greater improvements in the proportion of women receiving a home visit during pregnancy (B = 0.20, P reproductive health-related outcomes. Further, the CSC builds mutual accountability, and ensures that solutions to problems are locally-relevant, locally-supported and feasible to implement.

  15. Pain management in cancer center inpatients: a cluster randomized trial to evaluate a systematic integrated approach—The Edinburgh Pain Assessment and Management Tool

    OpenAIRE

    Fallon, M; Walker, J; Colvin, L; Rodriguez, A; Murray, G; Sharpe, M

    2018-01-01

    Purpose Pain is suboptimally managed in patients with cancer. We aimed to compare the effect of a policy of adding a clinician-delivered bedside pain assessment and management tool (Edinburgh Pain Assessment and management Tool [EPAT]) to usual care (UC) versus UC alone on pain outcomes. Patients and Methods In a two-arm, parallel group, cluster randomized (1:1) trial, we observed pain outcomes in 19 cancer centers in the United Kingdom and then randomly assigned the centers to eithe...

  16. A cluster randomized trial of provider-initiated (Opt-out) HIV counseling and testing of tuberculosis patients in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Diana S.; DeLuca, Andrea N.; Kali, Paula; Hausler, Harry; Sheard, Carol; Hoosain, Ebrahim; Chaudhary, Mohammed A.; Celentano, David D.; Chaisson, Richard E.

    2008-01-01

    Objective To determine whether implementation of provider-initiated HIV counseling would increase the proportion of tuberculosis patients that received HIV counseling and testing. Design Cluster-randomized trial with clinic as unit of randomization Setting Twenty, medium-sized primary care TB clinics in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa Subjects A total of 754 adults (≥ 18 years) newly registered as tuberculosis patients the twenty study clinics Intervention Implementation of provider-initiated HIV counseling and testing. Main outcome measures Percentage of TB patients HIV counseled and tested. Secondary Percentage of patients HIV test positive and percentage of those that received cotrimoxazole and who were referred for HIV care. Results A total of 754 adults newly registered as tuberculosis patients were enrolled. In clinics randomly assigned to implement provider-initiated HIV counseling and testing, 20.7% (73/352) patients were counseled versus 7.7% (31/402) in the control clinics (p = 0.011), and 20.2 % (n = 71) versus 6.5% (n = 26) underwent HIV testing (p = 0.009). Of those patients counseled, 97% in the intervention clinics accepted testing versus 79% in control clinics (p =0.12). The proportion of patients identified as HIV-infected in intervention clinics was 8.5% versus 2.5% in control clinics (p=0.044). Fewer than 40% of patients with a positive HIV test were prescribed cotrimoxazole or referred for HIV care in either study arm. Conclusions Provider-initiated HIV counseling significantly increased the proportion of adult TB patients that received HIV counseling and testing, but the magnitude of the effect was small. Additional interventions to optimize HIV testing for TB patients urgently need to be evaluated. PMID:18520677

  17. Increasing students' physical activity during school physical education: rationale and protocol for the SELF-FIT cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Amy S; Lonsdale, Chris; Lubans, David R; Ng, Johan Y Y

    2017-07-11

    The Self-determined Exercise and Learning For FITness (SELF-FIT) is a multi-component school-based intervention based on tenets of self-determination theory. SELF-FIT aims to increase students' moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during physical education lessons, and enhance their autonomous motivation towards fitness activities. Using a cluster randomized controlled trial, we aim to examine the effects of the intervention on students' MVPA during school physical education. Secondary 2 students (approximately aged 14 years) from 26 classes in 26 different schools will be recruited. After baseline assessments, students will be randomized into either the experimental group or wait-list control group using a matched-pair randomization. Teachers allocated to the experimental group will attend two half-day workshops and deliver the SELF-FIT intervention for 8 weeks. The main intervention components include training teachers to teach in more need supportive ways, and conducting fitness exercises using a fitness dice with interchangeable faces. Other motivational components, such as playing music during classes, are also included. The primary outcome of the trial is students' MVPA during PE lessons. Secondary outcomes include students' leisure-time MVPA, perceived need support from teachers, need satisfaction, autonomous motivation towards physical education, intention to engage in physical activity, psychological well-being, and health-related fitness (cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness). Quantitative data will be analyzed using multilevel modeling approaches. Focus group interviews will also be conducted to assess students' perceptions of the intervention. The SELF-FIT intervention has been designed to improve students' health and well-being by using high-intensity activities in classes delivered by teachers who have been trained to be autonomy needs supportive. If successful, scalable interventions based on SELF-FIT could be applied in physical

  18. Optimising cluster survey design for planning schistosomiasis preventive chemotherapy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah C L Knowles

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The cornerstone of current schistosomiasis control programmes is delivery of praziquantel to at-risk populations. Such preventive chemotherapy requires accurate information on the geographic distribution of infection, yet the performance of alternative survey designs for estimating prevalence and converting this into treatment decisions has not been thoroughly evaluated.We used baseline schistosomiasis mapping surveys from three countries (Malawi, Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia to generate spatially realistic gold standard datasets, against which we tested alternative two-stage cluster survey designs. We assessed how sampling different numbers of schools per district (2-20 and children per school (10-50 influences the accuracy of prevalence estimates and treatment class assignment, and we compared survey cost-efficiency using data from Malawi. Due to the focal nature of schistosomiasis, up to 53% simulated surveys involving 2-5 schools per district failed to detect schistosomiasis in low endemicity areas (1-10% prevalence. Increasing the number of schools surveyed per district improved treatment class assignment far more than increasing the number of children sampled per school. For Malawi, surveys of 15 schools per district and 20-30 children per school reliably detected endemic schistosomiasis and maximised cost-efficiency. In sensitivity analyses where treatment costs and the country considered were varied, optimal survey size was remarkably consistent, with cost-efficiency maximised at 15-20 schools per district.Among two-stage cluster surveys for schistosomiasis, our simulations indicated that surveying 15-20 schools per district and 20-30 children per school optimised cost-efficiency and minimised the risk of under-treatment, with surveys involving more schools of greater cost-efficiency as treatment costs rose.

  19. The effect of financial incentives on top of behavioral support on quit rates in tobacco smoking employees: study protocol of a cluster-randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Brand, F A; Nagelhout, G E; Winkens, B; Evers, S M A A; Kotz, D; Chavannes, N H; van Schayck, C P

    2016-10-06

    Stimulating successful tobacco cessation among employees has multiple benefits. Employees who quit tobacco are healthier, more productive, less absent from work, and longer employable than employees who continue to use tobacco. Despite the evidence for these benefits of tobacco cessation, a successful method to stimulate employees to quit tobacco is lacking. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether adding a financial incentive to behavioral support (compared with no additional incentive) is effective and cost-effective in increasing abstinence rates in tobacco smoking employees participating in a smoking cessation group training. In this cluster-randomized trial employees in the intervention and control group both participate in a smoking cessation group training consisting of seven weekly counseling sessions of ninety minutes each. In addition to the training, employees in the intervention group receive a voucher as an incentive for being abstinent from smoking at the end of the training (€50), after three months (€50), after six months (€50), and after one year (€200). The control group does not receive any incentive. The primary outcome is carbon monoxide validated 12-month continuous abstinence from smoking (Russel's standard). Additionally, an economic evaluation is performed from a societal and an employer perspective. The present paper describes the methods and design of this cluster-randomized trial in detail. We hypothesize that the financial incentive for abstinence in the form of vouchers increases abstinence rates over and above the group training. The results of this study can provide important recommendations for enhancement of employee tobacco cessation. Dutch Trial Register: NTR5657 . First received 27-01-2016.

  20. Clustering and phase transitions on a neutral landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Adam D.; King, Dawn M.; Marić, Nevena; Bahar, Sonya

    2013-06-01

    Recent computational studies have shown that speciation can occur under neutral conditions, i.e., when the simulated organisms all have identical fitness. These works bear comparison with mathematical studies of clustering on neutral landscapes in the context of branching and coalescing random walks. Here, we show that sympatric clustering/speciation can occur on a neutral landscape whose dimensions specify only the simulated organisms’ phenotypes. We demonstrate that clustering occurs not only in the case of assortative mating, but also in the case of asexual fission; it is not observed in the control case of random mating. We find that the population size and the number of clusters undergo a second-order non-equilibrium phase transition as the maximum mutation size is varied.

  1. The Aged Residential Care Healthcare Utilization Study (ARCHUS): a multidisciplinary, cluster randomized controlled trial designed to reduce acute avoidable hospitalizations from long-term care facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Martin J; Boyd, Michal; Broad, Joanna B; Kerse, Ngaire; Lumley, Thomas; Whitehead, Noeline; Foster, Susan

    2015-01-01

    To assess effect of a complex, multidisciplinary intervention aimed at reducing avoidable acute hospitalization of residents of residential aged care (RAC) facilities. Cluster randomized controlled trial. RAC facilities with higher than expected hospitalizations in Auckland, New Zealand, were recruited and randomized to intervention or control. A total of 1998 residents of 18 intervention facilities and 18 control facilities. A facility-based complex intervention of 9 months' duration. The intervention comprised gerontology nurse specialist (GNS)-led staff education, facility bench-marking, GNS resident review, and multidisciplinary (geriatrician, primary-care physician, pharmacist, GNS, and facility nurse) discussion of residents selected using standard criteria. Primary end point was avoidable hospitalizations. Secondary end points were all acute admissions, mortality, and acute bed-days. Follow-up was for a total of 14 months. The intervention did not affect main study end points: number of acute avoidable hospital admissions (RR 1.07; 95% CI 0.85-1.36; P = .59) or mortality (RR 1.11; 95% CI 0.76-1.61; P = .62). This multidisciplinary intervention, packaging selected case review, and staff education had no overall impact on acute hospital admissions or mortality. This may have considerable implications for resourcing in the acute and RAC sectors in the face of population aging. Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12611000187943). Copyright © 2015 AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Fullerene nanostructure design with cluster ion impacts

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lavrentiev, Vasyl; Vacík, Jiří; Naramoto, H.; Narumi, K.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 483, - (2009), s. 479-483 ISSN 0925-8388 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA200480702; GA AV ČR IAA400100701; GA AV ČR(CZ) KAN400480701 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10480505 Keywords : fullerene films, clusters C60+ * cluster ion implantation * patterning Subject RIV: BG - Nuclear, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Colliders Impact factor: 2.135, year: 2009

  3. METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION OF GENETIC DATA CLUSTERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. A. Novoselova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents a method of construction of genetic data clusters (functional modules using the randomized matrices. To build the functional modules the selection and analysis of the eigenvalues of the gene profiles correlation matrix is performed. The principal components, corresponding to the eigenvalues, which are significantly different from those obtained for the randomly generated correlation matrix, are used for the analysis. Each selected principal component forms gene cluster. In a comparative experiment with the analogs the proposed method shows the advantage in allocating statistically significant different-sized clusters, the ability to filter non- informative genes and to extract the biologically interpretable functional modules matching the real data structure.

  4. Scientific Cluster Deployment and Recovery – Using puppet to simplify cluster management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hendrix, Val; Yao Yushu; Benjamin, Doug

    2012-01-01

    Deployment, maintenance and recovery of a scientific cluster, which has complex, specialized services, can be a time consuming task requiring the assistance of Linux system administrators, network engineers as well as domain experts. Universities and small institutions that have a part-time FTE with limited time for and knowledge of the administration of such clusters can be strained by such maintenance tasks. This current work is the result of an effort to maintain a data analysis cluster (DAC) with minimal effort by a local system administrator. The realized benefit is the scientist, who is the local system administrator, is able to focus on the data analysis instead of the intricacies of managing a cluster. Our work provides a cluster deployment and recovery process (CDRP) based on the puppet configuration engine allowing a part-time FTE to easily deploy and recover entire clusters with minimal effort. Puppet is a configuration management system (CMS) used widely in computing centers for the automatic management of resources. Domain experts use Puppet's declarative language to define reusable modules for service configuration and deployment. Our CDRP has three actors: domain experts, a cluster designer and a cluster manager. The domain experts first write the puppet modules for the cluster services. A cluster designer would then define a cluster. This includes the creation of cluster roles, mapping the services to those roles and determining the relationships between the services. Finally, a cluster manager would acquire the resources (machines, networking), enter the cluster input parameters (hostnames, IP addresses) and automatically generate deployment scripts used by puppet to configure it to act as a designated role. In the event of a machine failure, the originally generated deployment scripts along with puppet can be used to easily reconfigure a new machine. The cluster definition produced in our CDRP is an integral part of automating cluster deployment

  5. Protocol: Adaptive Implementation of Effective Programs Trial (ADEPT): cluster randomized SMART trial comparing a standard versus enhanced implementation strategy to improve outcomes of a mood disorders program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilbourne, Amy M; Almirall, Daniel; Eisenberg, Daniel; Waxmonsky, Jeanette; Goodrich, David E; Fortney, John C; Kirchner, JoAnn E; Solberg, Leif I; Main, Deborah; Bauer, Mark S; Kyle, Julia; Murphy, Susan A; Nord, Kristina M; Thomas, Marshall R

    2014-09-30

    Despite the availability of psychosocial evidence-based practices (EBPs), treatment and outcomes for persons with mental disorders remain suboptimal. Replicating Effective Programs (REP), an effective implementation strategy, still resulted in less than half of sites using an EBP. The primary aim of this cluster randomized trial is to determine, among sites not initially responding to REP, the effect of adaptive implementation strategies that begin with an External Facilitator (EF) or with an External Facilitator plus an Internal Facilitator (IF) on improved EBP use and patient outcomes in 12 months. This study employs a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART) design to build an adaptive implementation strategy. The EBP to be implemented is life goals (LG) for patients with mood disorders across 80 community-based outpatient clinics (N = 1,600 patients) from different U.S. regions. Sites not initially responding to REP (defined as implementation costs, and organizational change. This study design will determine whether an off-site EF alone versus the addition of an on-site IF improves EBP uptake and patient outcomes among sites that do not respond initially to REP. It will also examine the value of delaying the provision of EF/IF for sites that continue to not respond despite EF. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02151331.

  6. EERA-DTOC Project: Design Tools for Offshore Wind Farm Clusters; Proyecto EERA-DTOC: herramientas para el diseno de clusters de Parques Eolicos Marinos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Palomares, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    In the EERA-DTOC Project an integrated and validated software design tool for the optimization of offshore wind farms and wind farm clusters has been developed. The CIEMAT contribution to this project has change the view on mesoscale wind forecasting models, which were not so far considered capable of modeling wind farm scale phenomena. It has been shown the ability of the WRF model to simulate the wakes caused by the wind turbines on the downwind ones (inter-turbine wakes within a wind farm) as well as the wakes between wind farms within a cluster. (Author)

  7. Creel survey sampling designs for estimating effort in short-duration Chinook salmon fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, Joshua L.; Quist, Michael C.; Schill, Daniel J.

    2013-01-01

    Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha sport fisheries in the Columbia River basin are commonly monitored using roving creel survey designs and require precise, unbiased catch estimates. The objective of this study was to examine the relative bias and precision of total catch estimates using various sampling designs to estimate angling effort under the assumption that mean catch rate was known. We obtained information on angling populations based on direct visual observations of portions of Chinook Salmon fisheries in three Idaho river systems over a 23-d period. Based on the angling population, Monte Carlo simulations were used to evaluate the properties of effort and catch estimates for each sampling design. All sampling designs evaluated were relatively unbiased. Systematic random sampling (SYS) resulted in the most precise estimates. The SYS and simple random sampling designs had mean square error (MSE) estimates that were generally half of those observed with cluster sampling designs. The SYS design was more efficient (i.e., higher accuracy per unit cost) than a two-cluster design. Increasing the number of clusters available for sampling within a day decreased the MSE of estimates of daily angling effort, but the MSE of total catch estimates was variable depending on the fishery. The results of our simulations provide guidelines on the relative influence of sample sizes and sampling designs on parameters of interest in short-duration Chinook Salmon fisheries.

  8. The use of hierarchical clustering for the design of optimized monitoring networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Joana; Makar, Paul Andrew; Aklilu, Yayne; Akingunola, Ayodeji

    2018-05-01

    Associativity analysis is a powerful tool to deal with large-scale datasets by clustering the data on the basis of (dis)similarity and can be used to assess the efficacy and design of air quality monitoring networks. We describe here our use of Kolmogorov-Zurbenko filtering and hierarchical clustering of NO2 and SO2 passive and continuous monitoring data to analyse and optimize air quality networks for these species in the province of Alberta, Canada. The methodology applied in this study assesses dissimilarity between monitoring station time series based on two metrics: 1 - R, R being the Pearson correlation coefficient, and the Euclidean distance; we find that both should be used in evaluating monitoring site similarity. We have combined the analytic power of hierarchical clustering with the spatial information provided by deterministic air quality model results, using the gridded time series of model output as potential station locations, as a proxy for assessing monitoring network design and for network optimization. We demonstrate that clustering results depend on the air contaminant analysed, reflecting the difference in the respective emission sources of SO2 and NO2 in the region under study. Our work shows that much of the signal identifying the sources of NO2 and SO2 emissions resides in shorter timescales (hourly to daily) due to short-term variation of concentrations and that longer-term averages in data collection may lose the information needed to identify local sources. However, the methodology identifies stations mainly influenced by seasonality, if larger timescales (weekly to monthly) are considered. We have performed the first dissimilarity analysis based on gridded air quality model output and have shown that the methodology is capable of generating maps of subregions within which a single station will represent the entire subregion, to a given level of dissimilarity. We have also shown that our approach is capable of identifying different

  9. Structured patient handoff on an internal medicine ward: A cluster randomized control trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Penny; Nijjar, Aman P; Fok, Mark; Little, Chris; Shingina, Alexandra; Bittman, Jesse; Raghavan, Rashmi; Khan, Nadia A

    2018-01-01

    The effect of a multi-faceted handoff strategy in a high volume internal medicine inpatient setting on process and patient outcomes has not been clearly established. We set out to determine if a multi-faceted handoff intervention consisting of education, standardized handoff procedures, including fixed time and location for face-to-face handoff would result in improved rates of handoff compared with usual practice. We also evaluated resident satisfaction, health resource utilization and clinical outcomes. This was a cluster randomized controlled trial in a large academic tertiary care center with 18 inpatient internal medicine ward teams from January-April 2013. We randomized nine inpatient teams to an intervention where they received an education session standardizing who and how to handoff patients, with practice and feedback from facilitators. The control group of 9 teams continued usual non-standardized handoffs. The primary process outcome was the rate of patients handed over per 1000 patient nights. Other process outcomes included perceptions of inadequate handoff by overnight physicians, resource utilization overnight and hospital length of stay. Clinical outcomes included medical errors, frequency of patients requiring higher level of care overnight, and in-hospital mortality. The intervention group demonstrated a significant increase in the rate of patients handed over to the overnight physician (62.90/1000 person-nights vs. 46.86/1000 person-nights, p = 0.002). There was no significant difference in other process outcomes except resource utilization was increased in the intervention group (26.35/1000 person-days vs. 17.57/1000 person-days, p-value = 0.01). There was no significant difference between groups in medical errors (4.8% vs. 4.1%), need for higher level of care or in hospital mortality. Limitations include a dependence of accurate record keeping by the overnight physician, the possibility of cross-contamination in the handoff process, analysis at

  10. Impact on postpartum hemorrhage of prophylactic administration of oxytocin 10 IU via UnijectTM by peripheral health care providers at home births: design of a community-based cluster-randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanton Cynthia K

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hemorrhage is the leading direct cause of maternal death globally. While oxytocin is the drug of choice for postpartum hemorrhage prevention, its use has generally been limited to health facilities. This trial assesses the effectiveness, safety, and feasibility of expanding the use of prophylactic intramuscular oxytocin to peripheral health care providers at home births in four predominantly rural districts in central Ghana. Methods This study is designed as a community-based cluster-randomized trial in which Community Health Officers are randomized to provide (or not provide an injection of oxytocin 10 IU via the UnijectTM injection system within one minute of delivery of the baby to women who request their presence at home at the onset of labor. The primary aim is to determine if administration of prophylactic oxytocin via Uniject™ by this cadre will reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage by 50 % relative to deliveries which do not receive the prophylactic intervention. Postpartum hemorrhage is examined under three sequential definitions: 1 blood loss ≥500 ml (BL; 2 treatment for bleeding (TX and/or BL; 3 hospital referral for bleeding and/or TX and/or BL. Secondary outcomes address safety and feasibility of the intervention and include adverse maternal and fetal outcomes and logistical concerns regarding assistance at home births and the storage and handling of oxytocin, respectively. Discussion Results from this trial will build evidence for the effectiveness of expanding the delivery of this established prophylactic intervention to peripheral settings. Complementary data on safety and logistical issues related to this intervention will assist policymakers in low-income countries in selecting both the best uterotonic and service delivery strategy for postpartum hemorrhage prevention. Results of this trial are expected in mid-2013. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01108289.

  11. Cluster-randomized study of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in infants (IPTi in southern Tanzania: evaluation of impact on survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schellenberg Joanna

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Intermittent Preventive Treatment for malaria control in infants (IPTi consists of the administration of a treatment dose of an anti-malarial drug, usually sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine, at scheduled intervals, regardless of the presence of Plasmodium falciparum infection. A pooled analysis of individually randomized trials reported that IPTi reduced clinical episodes by 30%. This study evaluated the effect of IPTi on child survival in the context of a five-district implementation project in southern Tanzania. [Trial registration: clinical trials.gov NCT00152204]. Methods After baseline household and health facility surveys in 2004, five districts comprising 24 divisions were randomly assigned either to receive IPTi (n = 12 or not (n = 12. Implementation started in March 2005, led by routine health services with support from the research team. In 2007, a large household survey was undertaken to assess the impact of IPTi on survival in infants aged two-11 months through birth history interviews with all women aged 13-49 years. The analysis is based on an "intention-to-treat" ecological design, with survival outcomes analysed according to the cluster in which the mothers lived. Results Survival in infants aged two-11 months was comparable in IPTi and comparison areas at baseline. In intervention areas in 2007, 48% of children aged 12-23 months had documented evidence of receiving three doses of IPTi, compared to 2% in comparison areas (P P = 0.31. Conclusion The lack of evidence of an effect of IPTi on survival could be a false negative result due to a lack of power or imbalance of unmeasured confounders. Alternatively, there could be no mortality impact of IPTi due to low coverage, late administration, drug resistance, decreased malaria transmission or improvements in vector control and case management. This study raises important questions for programme evaluation design.

  12. Disseminating quality improvement: study protocol for a large cluster-randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    French Michael T

    2011-04-01

    with outcome data will be included in the analysis, following the intent-to-treat principle. Organizational covariates in the analysis include program size, management score, and state. Discussion The study offers seven recommendations for conducting a large-scale cluster-randomized trial: provide valuable services, have aims that are clear and important, seek powerful allies, understand the recruiting challenge, cultivate commitment, address turnover, and encourage rigor and flexibility. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials. govNCT00934141

  13. Internal Cluster Validation on Earthquake Data in the Province of Bengkulu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rini, D. S.; Novianti, P.; Fransiska, H.

    2018-04-01

    K-means method is an algorithm for cluster n object based on attribute to k partition, where k < n. There is a deficiency of algorithms that is before the algorithm is executed, k points are initialized randomly so that the resulting data clustering can be different. If the random value for initialization is not good, the clustering becomes less optimum. Cluster validation is a technique to determine the optimum cluster without knowing prior information from data. There are two types of cluster validation, which are internal cluster validation and external cluster validation. This study aims to examine and apply some internal cluster validation, including the Calinski-Harabasz (CH) Index, Sillhouette (S) Index, Davies-Bouldin (DB) Index, Dunn Index (D), and S-Dbw Index on earthquake data in the Bengkulu Province. The calculation result of optimum cluster based on internal cluster validation is CH index, S index, and S-Dbw index yield k = 2, DB Index with k = 6 and Index D with k = 15. Optimum cluster (k = 6) based on DB Index gives good results for clustering earthquake in the Bengkulu Province.

  14. Primary prevention of overweight in preschool children, the BeeBOFT study (breastfeeding, breakfast daily, outside playing, few sweet drinks, less TV viewing): design of a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Two overweight prevention interventions were developed to be offered by preventive Youth Health Care (YHC) in addition to the currently applied overweight prevention protocol to parents of 0-3 year old children. The two interventions aim to support parents of preschool children to realize healthy child nutrition and activity behaviors of their young child. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of the two overweight prevention interventions with regard to child health behaviors and child Body Mass Index. Methods/Design A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted among parents and their preschool children who attend one of 51 participating YHC teams. The teams were randomly allocated to one of the two intervention groups, or to the control group (care as usual). The ‘BBOFT+’ intervention focuses on effective child rearing by parents from birth onwards by enlarging parental skills concerning healthy behavioural life-style habits. Parents who are allocated to the ‘E-health4Uth Healthy toddler’ intervention group, at the child age of circa 18 and 24 months old, are invited to complete an online E-health module providing tailored health education regarding healthy child nutrition and activity behaviors. The E-health messages are discussed and reinforced during the subsequent regularly scheduled visits by YHC professionals, and were repeated after 4 weeks. The primary outcome measures at child age 3 years are: overweight inducing/reducing behaviors, (for ‘BBOFT+’ only) healthy sleep, Body Mass Index and prevalence of overweight and obesity. Secondary outcome measures are attitudes and other cognitive characteristics of the parents regarding the overweight-related behaviors of their child, parenting styles and practices, and health-related quality of life of the children. Discussion We hypothesize that the use of the additional interventions will result in a healthier lifestyle of preschool children and an improved BMI and less

  15. Search for Directed Networks by Different Random Walk Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Zi-Qi; Jin, Xiao-Ling; Huang, Zhi-Long

    2012-03-01

    A comparative study is carried out on the efficiency of five different random walk strategies searching on directed networks constructed based on several typical complex networks. Due to the difference in search efficiency of the strategies rooted in network clustering, the clustering coefficient in a random walker's eye on directed networks is defined and computed to be half of the corresponding undirected networks. The search processes are performed on the directed networks based on Erdös—Rényi model, Watts—Strogatz model, Barabási—Albert model and clustered scale-free network model. It is found that self-avoiding random walk strategy is the best search strategy for such directed networks. Compared to unrestricted random walk strategy, path-iteration-avoiding random walks can also make the search process much more efficient. However, no-triangle-loop and no-quadrangle-loop random walks do not improve the search efficiency as expected, which is different from those on undirected networks since the clustering coefficient of directed networks are smaller than that of undirected networks.

  16. Assessing robustness of designs for random effects parameters for nonlinear mixed-effects models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffull, Stephen B; Hooker, Andrew C

    2017-12-01

    Optimal designs for nonlinear models are dependent on the choice of parameter values. Various methods have been proposed to provide designs that are robust to uncertainty in the prior choice of parameter values. These methods are generally based on estimating the expectation of the determinant (or a transformation of the determinant) of the information matrix over the prior distribution of the parameter values. For high dimensional models this can be computationally challenging. For nonlinear mixed-effects models the question arises as to the importance of accounting for uncertainty in the prior value of the variances of the random effects parameters. In this work we explore the influence of the variance of the random effects parameters on the optimal design. We find that the method for approximating the expectation and variance of the likelihood is of potential importance for considering the influence of random effects. The most common approximation to the likelihood, based on a first-order Taylor series approximation, yields designs that are relatively insensitive to the prior value of the variance of the random effects parameters and under these conditions it appears to be sufficient to consider uncertainty on the fixed-effects parameters only.

  17. Cost-effectiveness of nurse-led multifactorial care to prevent or postpone new disabilities in community-living older people : Results of a cluster randomized trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suijker, Jacqueline J.; MacNeil-Vroomen, Janet L.; van Rijn, Marjon; Buurman, Bianca M.; de Rooij, Sophia E.; van Charente, Eric P. Moll; Bosmans, Judith E.

    2017-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of nurse-led multifactorial care to prevent or postpone new disabilities in community-living older people in comparison with usual care. Methods We conducted cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses alongside a cluster randomized trial with one-year

  18. Cost-effectiveness of nurse-led multifactorial care to prevent or postpone new disabilities in community-living older people: Results of a cluster randomized trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suijker, Jacqueline J.; MacNeil-Vroomen, Janet L.; van Rijn, Marjon; Buurman, Bianca M.; de Rooij, Sophia E.; Moll van Charante, Eric P.; Bosmans, Judith E.

    2017-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of nurse-led multifactorial care to prevent or postpone new disabilities in community-living older people in comparison with usual care. Methods We conducted cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses alongside a cluster randomized trial with one-year

  19. Cost-effectiveness of nurse-led multifactorial care to prevent or postpone new disabilities in community-living older people : Results of a cluster randomized trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suijker, Jacqueline J; MacNeil-Vroomen, Janet L; van Rijn, Marjon; Buurman, Bianca M; de Rooij, Sophia E; Moll van Charante, Eric P; Bosmans, Judith E

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of nurse-led multifactorial care to prevent or postpone new disabilities in community-living older people in comparison with usual care. METHODS: We conducted cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses alongside a cluster randomized trial with one-year

  20. Effect of study design and setting on tuberculosis clustering estimates using Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR): a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mears, Jessica; Abubakar, Ibrahim; Cohen, Theodore; McHugh, Timothy D; Sonnenberg, Pam

    2015-01-21

    To systematically review the evidence for the impact of study design and setting on the interpretation of tuberculosis (TB) transmission using clustering derived from Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) strain typing. MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINHAL, Web of Science and Scopus were searched for articles published before 21st October 2014. Studies in humans that reported the proportion of clustering of TB isolates by MIRU-VNTR were included in the analysis. Univariable meta-regression analyses were conducted to assess the influence of study design and setting on the proportion of clustering. The search identified 27 eligible articles reporting clustering between 0% and 63%. The number of MIRU-VNTR loci typed, requiring consent to type patient isolates (as a proxy for sampling fraction), the TB incidence and the maximum cluster size explained 14%, 14%, 27% and 48% of between-study variation, respectively, and had a significant association with the proportion of clustering. Although MIRU-VNTR typing is being adopted worldwide there is a paucity of data on how study design and setting may influence estimates of clustering. We have highlighted study design variables for consideration in the design and interpretation of future studies. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  1. The Long-Term Effectiveness of a Selective, Personality-Targeted Prevention Program in Reducing Alcohol Use and Related Harms: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Nicola C.; Conrod, Patricia J.; Slade, Tim; Carragher, Natacha; Champion, Katrina E.; Barrett, Emma L.; Kelly, Erin V.; Nair, Natasha K.; Stapinski, Lexine; Teesson, Maree

    2016-01-01

    Background: This study investigated the long-term effectiveness of Preventure, a selective personality-targeted prevention program, in reducing the uptake of alcohol, harmful use of alcohol, and alcohol-related harms over a 3-year period. Methods: A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of Preventure.…

  2. Interpretation of custom designed Illumina genotype cluster plots for targeted association studies and next-generation sequence validation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tindall Elizabeth A

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background High-throughput custom designed genotyping arrays are a valuable resource for biologically focused research studies and increasingly for validation of variation predicted by next-generation sequencing (NGS technologies. We investigate the Illumina GoldenGate chemistry using custom designed VeraCode and sentrix array matrix (SAM assays for each of these applications, respectively. We highlight applications for interpretation of Illumina generated genotype cluster plots to maximise data inclusion and reduce genotyping errors. Findings We illustrate the dramatic effect of outliers in genotype calling and data interpretation, as well as suggest simple means to avoid genotyping errors. Furthermore we present this platform as a successful method for two-cluster rare or non-autosomal variant calling. The success of high-throughput technologies to accurately call rare variants will become an essential feature for future association studies. Finally, we highlight additional advantages of the Illumina GoldenGate chemistry in generating unusually segregated cluster plots that identify potential NGS generated sequencing error resulting from minimal coverage. Conclusions We demonstrate the importance of visually inspecting genotype cluster plots generated by the Illumina software and issue warnings regarding commonly accepted quality control parameters. In addition to suggesting applications to minimise data exclusion, we propose that the Illumina cluster plots may be helpful in identifying potential in-put sequence errors, particularly important for studies to validate NGS generated variation.

  3. Customized sequential designs for random simulation experiments: Kriging metamodeling and bootstrapping

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beers, van W.C.M.; Kleijnen, J.P.C.

    2005-01-01

    This paper proposes a novel method to select an experimental design for interpolation in random simulation, especially discrete event simulation. (Though the paper focuses on Kriging, this design approach may also apply to other types of metamodels such as linear regression models.) Assuming that

  4. Effects of Live and Educational Music Therapy on Working Alliance and Trust With Patients on Detoxification Unit: A Four-Group Cluster-Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Michael J

    2016-11-09

    Lyric analysis is a commonly utilized music therapy intervention for clients in substance abuse rehabilitation wherein participants interpret song lyrics related to their clinical objectives. For these patients, working alliance and trust in the therapist represent consequential factors that may influence outcomes. However, there is a lack of randomized controlled music therapy studies investigating working alliance and trust in the therapist within lyric analysis interventions for patients with addictions. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively differentiate live versus recorded and educational versus recreational music therapy interventions via measures of working alliance and trust with patients on a detoxification unit. Participants (N = 130) were cluster randomized in a single-session posttest-only design to one of four conditions: Live educational music therapy, recorded educational music therapy, education without music, or recreational music therapy. Dependent measures included working alliance and trust in the therapist. Educational music therapy interventions were scripted lyric analyses. There was no statistically significant between-group difference in any of the measures. Although not significant, a greater number of patients and research participants attended live educational music therapy sessions. Between-group descriptive data were consistently similar but attendance trends may have implications for engaging patients and billing. Implications for clinical practice, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are provided.

  5. On Random Numbers and Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Ari, Morechai

    2004-01-01

    The term "random" is frequently used in discussion of the theory of evolution, even though the mathematical concept of randomness is problematic and of little relevance in the theory. Therefore, since the core concept of the theory of evolution is the non-random process of natural selection, the term random should not be used in teaching the…

  6. Effectiveness of a cognitive behavioural workbook for changing beliefs about antipsychotic polypharmacy: analysis from a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Andrew; Sullivan, Sarah; Barley, Maddi; Moore, Laurence; Rogers, Paul; Sipos, Attila; Harrison, Glynn

    2010-06-01

    Educational workbooks have been used in psychiatry to influence patient but not clinician behaviour. Targeted education interventions to change prescribing practice in other areas of medicine have only looked at changes in prescribing and not attitudes or beliefs related to the prescribing. We aimed to examine whether clinicians' beliefs about a common prescribing issue in psychiatry (antipsychotic polypharmacy prescription) changed alongside behaviour as a result of a complex intervention. Medical and nursing staff were recruited from 19 general adult psychiatry units in the south-west of the UK as part of a cluster randomized controlled trial. A questionnaire was used to assess beliefs on the prescribing of antipsychotic polypharmacy as a secondary outcome before and after completion of a cognitive behavioural 'self-help' style workbook (one part of a complex intervention). A factor analysis suggested three dimensions of the questionnaire that corresponded to predetermined themes. The data were analysed using a random-effects regression model (adjusting for clustering) controlling for possible confounders. There was a significant change in beliefs on both of the factors: antipsychotic polypharmacy (coefficient = -0.89, P change in antipsychotic polypharmacy prescribing (odds ratio 0.43, 95% confidence intervals 0.21-0.90). The workbook appeared to change staff beliefs about antipsychotic polypharmacy, but achieving substantial changes in clinician behaviour may require further exploration of other factors important in complex prescribing issues.

  7. Propensity score to detect baseline imbalance in cluster randomized trials: the role of the c-statistic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leyrat, Clémence; Caille, Agnès; Foucher, Yohann; Giraudeau, Bruno

    2016-01-22

    Despite randomization, baseline imbalance and confounding bias may occur in cluster randomized trials (CRTs). Covariate imbalance may jeopardize the validity of statistical inferences if they occur on prognostic factors. Thus, the diagnosis of a such imbalance is essential to adjust statistical analysis if required. We developed a tool based on the c-statistic of the propensity score (PS) model to detect global baseline covariate imbalance in CRTs and assess the risk of confounding bias. We performed a simulation study to assess the performance of the proposed tool and applied this method to analyze the data from 2 published CRTs. The proposed method had good performance for large sample sizes (n =500 per arm) and when the number of unbalanced covariates was not too small as compared with the total number of baseline covariates (≥40% of unbalanced covariates). We also provide a strategy for pre selection of the covariates needed to be included in the PS model to enhance imbalance detection. The proposed tool could be useful in deciding whether covariate adjustment is required before performing statistical analyses of CRTs.

  8. "Together at school"--a school-based intervention program to promote socio-emotional skills and mental health in children: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björklund, Katja; Liski, Antti; Samposalo, Hanna; Lindblom, Jallu; Hella, Juho; Huhtinen, Heini; Ojala, Tiina; Alasuvanto, Paula; Koskinen, Hanna-Leena; Kiviruusu, Olli; Hemminki, Elina; Punamäki, Raija-Leena; Sund, Reijo; Solantaus, Tytti; Santalahti, Päivi

    2014-10-07

    Schools provide a natural context to promote children's mental health. However, there is a need for more evidence-based, high quality school intervention programs combined with an accurate evaluation of their general effectiveness and effectiveness of specific intervention methods. The aim of this paper is to present a study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial evaluating the "Together at School" intervention program. The intervention program is designed to promote social-emotional skills and mental health by utilizing whole-school approach and focuses on classroom curriculum, work environment of school staff, and parent-teacher collaboration methods. The evaluation study examines the effects of the intervention on children's socio-emotional skills and mental health in a cluster randomized controlled trial design with 1) an intervention group and 2) an active control group. Altogether 79 primary school participated at baseline. A multi-informant setting involves the children themselves, their parents, and teachers. The primary outcomes are measured using parent and teacher ratings of children's socio-emotional skills and psychological problems measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Multisource Assessment of Social Competence Scale. Secondary outcomes for the children include emotional understanding, altruistic behavior, and executive functions (e.g. working memory, planning, and inhibition). Secondary outcomes for the teachers include ratings of e.g. school environment, teaching style and well-being. Secondary outcomes for both teachers and parents include e.g. emotional self-efficacy, child rearing practices, and teacher-parent collaboration. The data was collected at baseline (autumn 2013), 6 months after baseline, and will be collected also 18 months after baseline from the same participants. This study protocol outlines a trial which aims to add to the current state of intervention programs by presenting and studying a

  9. Mobile-health tool to improve maternal and neonatal health care in Bangladesh: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobe, Ruoyan Gai; Haque, Syed Emdadul; Ikegami, Kiyoko; Mori, Rintaro

    2018-04-16

    In Bangladesh, the targets on reduction of maternal mortality and utilization of related obstetric services provided by skilled health personnel in Millennium Development Goals 5 remains unmet, and the progress in reduction of neonatal mortality lag behind that in the reduction of infant and under-five mortalities, remaining as an essential issue towards the achievement of maternal and neonatal health targets in health related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As access to appropriate perinatal care is crucial to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths, recently several mobile platform-based health programs sponsored by donor countries and Non-Governmental Organizations have targeted to reduce maternal and child mortality. On the other hand, good health-care is necessary for the development. Thus, we designed this implementation research to improve maternal and child health care for targeting SDGs. This cluster randomized trial will be conducted in Lohagora of Narail District and Dhamrai of Dhaka District. Participants are pregnant women in the respective areas. The total sample size is 3000 where 500 pregnant women will get Mother and Child Handbook (MCH) and messages using mobile phone on health care during pregnancy and antenatal care about one year in each area. The other 500 in each area will get health education using only MCH book. The rest 1000 participants will be controlled; it means 500 in each area. We randomly assigned the intervention and controlled area based on smallest administrative area (Unions) in Bangladesh. The data collection and health education will be provided through trained research officers starting from February 2017 to August 2018. Each health education session is conducting in their house. The study proposal was reviewed and approved by NCCD, Japan and Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC), Bangladesh. The data will be analyzed using STATA and SPSS software. For the improvement of maternal and neonatal care, this community

  10. Types of Obesity and Its Association with the Clustering of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Jilin Province of China

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Peng; Wang, Rui; Gao, Chunshi; Song, Yuanyuan; Lv, Xin; Jiang, Lingling; Yu, Yaqin; Wang, Yuhan; Li, Bo

    2016-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has become a serious public health problem in recent years in China. Aggregation of CVD risk factors in one individual increases the risk of CVD and the risk increases substantially with each additional risk factor. This study aims to explore the relationship between the number of clustered CVD risk factors and different types of obesity. A multistage stratified random cluster sampling design was used in this population-based cross-sectional study in 2012. Informa...

  11. A cluster-randomized controlled study to evaluate a team coaching concept for improving teamwork and patient-centeredness in rehabilitation teams

    OpenAIRE

    K?rner, Mirjam; Luzay, Leonie; Plewnia, Anne; Becker, Sonja; Rundel, Manfred; Zimmermann, Linda; M?ller, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Although the relevance of interprofessional teamwork in the delivery of patient-centered care is well known, there is a lack of interventions for improving team interaction in the context of rehabilitation in Germany. The aim of the present study is to evaluate whether a specially developed team coaching concept (TCC) could improve both teamwork and patient-centeredness. Method A multicenter, cluster-randomized controlled intervention study was conducted with both staff and patient qu...

  12. Impact of preoperative patient education on the prevention of postoperative complications after major visceral surgery: the cluster randomized controlled PEDUCAT trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaiber, Ulla; Stephan-Paulsen, Lisa M; Bruckner, Thomas; Müller, Gisela; Auer, Silke; Farrenkopf, Ingrid; Fink, Christine; Dörr-Harim, Colette; Diener, Markus K; Büchler, Markus W; Knebel, Phillip

    2018-05-24

    The prevention of postoperative complications is of prime importance after complex elective abdominal operations. Preoperative patient education may prevent postoperative complications and improve patients' wellbeing, but evidence for its efficacy is poor. The aims of the PEDUCAT trial were (a) to assess the impact of preoperative patient education on postoperative complications and patient-reported outcomes in patients scheduled for elective complex visceral surgery and (b) to evaluate the feasibility of cluster randomization in this setting. Adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) scheduled for elective major visceral surgery were randomly assigned in clusters to attend a preoperative education seminar or to the control group receiving the department's standard care. Outcome measures were the postoperative complications pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, burst abdomen, and in-hospital fall, together with patient-reported outcomes (postoperative pain, anxiety and depression, patient satisfaction, quality of life), length of hospital stay (LOS), and postoperative mortality within 30 days after the index operation. Statistical analysis was primarily by intention to treat. In total 244 patients (60 clusters) were finally included (intervention group 138 patients; control group 106 patients). Allocation of hospital wards instead of individual patients facilitated study conduct and reduced confusion about group assignment. In the intervention and control groups respectively, pneumonia occurred in 7.4% versus 8.3% (p = 0.807), pulmonary embolism in 1.6% versus 1.0% (p = 0.707), burst abdomen in 4.2% versus 1.0% (p = 0.165), and in-hospital falls in 0.0% versus 4.2% of patients (p = 0.024). DVT did not occur in any of the patients. Mortality rates (1.4% versus 1.9%, p = 0.790) and LOS (14.2 (+/- 12.0) days versus 16.1 (+/- 15.0) days, p = 0.285) were also similar in the intervention and control groups. Cluster

  13. Design and implementation of a scalable monitor system (IF-monitor) for Linux clusters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Weiyi; Yu Chuansong; Sun Gongxing; Gu Ming

    2003-01-01

    PC clusters have become a cost-effective solution for high performance computing, usually only with the abilities of resource management and job scheduling, and unfortunately, with lack of powerful monitoring for built PC Farms. Therefore it is like a 'black box' for administrators who don't know how they run and where the bottlenecks are. In present there are a few of running PC Farms such as BES-Farm, LHC-Farm, YBJ-Farm at IHEP, CAS. As the scale of PC Farms growing and the IHEP campus grid computing environment implemented, it is more difficult to predict how these PC Farms perform. As a result, the SNMP-based tool called IF-Monitor that allows effective monitoring of large clusters have been designed and developed at IHEP. (authors)

  14. Nonpharmacologic Pain Management Interventions in German Nursing Homes: A Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalinowski, Sonja; Budnick, Andrea; Kuhnert, Ronny; Könner, Franziska; Kissel-Kröll, Angela; Kreutz, Reinhold; Dräger, Dagmar

    2015-08-01

    The reported prevalence of pain among nursing home residents (NHRs) is high. Insufficient use of analgesics, the conventional pain management strategy, is often reported. Whether and to what extent nonpharmacologic therapies (NPTs) are used to manage the pain of NHRs in Germany is largely unknown. The aim of this cluster-randomized trial was to assess the NPTs provided and to enhance the application and prescription of NPTs in NHRs on an individual level. There were six nursing homes in the intervention group and six in the control group. There were 239 NHRs, aged ≥65 years, with an average Mini-Mental State Examination score of at least 18 at baseline. Pain management interventions (cluster level) included an online course for physicians and 1-day seminar for nurses. Data on NPT applied by nurses and therapeutic NPT prescribed by physicians were obtained from residents' nursing documentation. Face-to-face interviews with NHRs assessed the NPT received. At baseline, 82.6% of NHR (mean age 83 years) were affected by pain, but less than 1 in 10 received NPT. The intervention did not result in a significant increase in the NPT applied by nurses, but did significantly increase the therapeutic NPT prescribed by physicians. Residents were active in using NPT to self-manage their pain. Given the prevalence of pain in NHRs, there is a clear need to improve pain management in this population. Extended use of NPT offers a promising approach. We recommend that nurses provide residents with education on pain-management techniques to support them in taking a proactive role in managing their pain. Copyright © 2015 American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Reconciling research and implementation in micro health insurance experiments in India: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doyle Conor

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microinsurance or Community-Based Health Insurance is a promising healthcare financing mechanism, which is increasingly applied to aid rural poor persons in low-income countries. Robust empirical evidence on the causal relations between Community-Based Health Insurance and healthcare utilisation, financial protection and other areas is scarce and necessary. This paper contains a discussion of the research design of three Cluster Randomised Controlled Trials in India to measure the impact of Community-Based Health Insurance on several outcomes. Methods/Design Each trial sets up a Community-Based Health Insurance scheme among a group of micro-finance affiliate families. Villages are grouped into clusters which are congruous with pre-existing social groupings. These clusters are randomly assigned to one of three waves of implementation, ensuring the entire population is offered Community-Based Health Insurance by the end of the experiment. Each wave of treatment is preceded by a round of mixed methods evaluation, with quantitative, qualitative and spatial evidence on impact collected. Improving upon practices in published Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial literature, we detail how research design decisions have ensured that both the households offered insurance and the implementers of the Community-Based Health Insurance scheme operate in an environment replicating a non-experimental implementation. Discussion When a Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial involves randomizing within a community, generating adequate and valid conclusions requires that the research design must be made congruous with social structures within the target population, to ensure that such trials are conducted in an implementing environment which is a suitable analogue to that of a non-experimental implementing environment.

  16. Implementation strategies of internet-based asthma self-management support in usual care. Study protocol for the IMPASSE cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gaalen, Johanna L; Bakker, Moira J; van Bodegom-Vos, Leti; Snoeck-Stroband, Jiska B; Assendelft, Willem J J; Kaptein, Ad A; van der Meer, Victor; Taube, Christian; Thoonen, Bart P; Sont, Jacob K

    2012-11-21

    Internet-based self-management (IBSM) support cost-effectively improves asthma control, asthma related quality of life, number of symptom-free days, and lung function in patients with mild to moderate persistent asthma. The current challenge is to implement IBSM in clinical practice. This study is a three-arm cluster randomized trial with a cluster pre-randomisation design and 12 months follow-up per practice comparing the following three IBSM implementation strategies: minimum strategy (MS): dissemination of the IBSM program; intermediate strategy (IS): MS + start-up support for professionals (i.e., support in selection of the appropriate population and training of professionals); and extended strategy (ES): IS + additional training and ongoing support for professionals. Because the implementation strategies (interventions) are primarily targeted at general practices, randomisation will occur at practice level.In this study, we aim to evaluate 14 primary care practices per strategy in the Leiden-The Hague region, involving 140 patients per arm. Patients aged 18 to 50 years, with a physician diagnosis of asthma, prescription of inhaled corticosteroids, and/or montelukast for ≥3 months in the previous year are eligible to participate. Primary outcome measures are the proportion of referred patients that participate in IBSM, and the proportion of patients that have clinically relevant improvement in the asthma-related quality of life. The secondary effect measures are clinical outcomes (asthma control, lung function, usage of airway treatment, and presence of exacerbations); self-management related outcomes (health education impact, medication adherence, and illness perceptions); and patient utilities. Process measures are the proportion of practices that participate in IBSM and adherence of professionals to implementation strategies. Cost-effective measurements are medical costs and healthcare consumption. Follow-up is six months per patient. This study

  17. Support Policies in Clusters: Prioritization of Support Needs by Cluster Members According to Cluster Life Cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulcin Salıngan

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Economic development has always been a moving target. Both the national and local governments have been facing the challenge of implementing the effective and efficient economic policy and program in order to best utilize their limited resources. One of the recent approaches in this area is called cluster-based economic analysis and strategy development. This study reviews key literature and some of the cluster based economic policies adopted by different governments. Based on this review, it proposes “the cluster life cycle” as a determining factor to identify the support requirements of clusters. A survey, designed based on literature review of International Cluster support programs, was conducted with 30 participants from 3 clusters with different maturity stage. This paper discusses the results of this study conducted among the cluster members in Eskişehir- Bilecik-Kütahya Region in Turkey on the requirement of the support to foster the development of related clusters.

  18. Effect of an educational toolkit on quality of care: a pragmatic cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Baiju R; Bhattacharyya, Onil; Yu, Catherine H Y; Mamdani, Muhammad M; Parsons, Janet A; Straus, Sharon E; Zwarenstein, Merrick

    2014-02-01

    Printed educational materials for clinician education are one of the most commonly used approaches for quality improvement. The objective of this pragmatic cluster randomized trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational toolkit focusing on cardiovascular disease screening and risk reduction in people with diabetes. All 933,789 people aged ≥40 years with diagnosed diabetes in Ontario, Canada were studied using population-level administrative databases, with additional clinical outcome data collected from a random sample of 1,592 high risk patients. Family practices were randomly assigned to receive the educational toolkit in June 2009 (intervention group) or May 2010 (control group). The primary outcome in the administrative data study, death or non-fatal myocardial infarction, occurred in 11,736 (2.5%) patients in the intervention group and 11,536 (2.5%) in the control group (p = 0.77). The primary outcome in the clinical data study, use of a statin, occurred in 700 (88.1%) patients in the intervention group and 725 (90.1%) in the control group (p = 0.26). Pre-specified secondary outcomes, including other clinical events, processes of care, and measures of risk factor control, were also not improved by the intervention. A limitation is the high baseline rate of statin prescribing in this population. The educational toolkit did not improve quality of care or cardiovascular outcomes in a population with diabetes. Despite being relatively easy and inexpensive to implement, printed educational materials were not effective. The study highlights the need for a rigorous and scientifically based approach to the development, dissemination, and evaluation of quality improvement interventions. http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01411865 and NCT01026688.

  19. Test of a workforce development intervention to expand opioid use disorder treatment pharmacotherapy prescribers: protocol for a cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd Molfenter

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Overdoses due to non-medical use of prescription opioids and other opiates have become the leading cause of accidental deaths in the USA. Buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone are key evidence-based pharmacotherapies available to addiction treatment providers to address opioid use disorder (OUD and prevent overdose deaths. Treatment organizations’ efforts to provide these pharmacotherapies have, however, been stymied by limited success in recruiting providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to prescribe these medications. Historically, the addiction treatment field has not attracted physicians, and many barriers to implementing OUD pharmacotherapy exist, ranging from lack of confidence in treating OUD patients to concerns regarding reimbursement. Throughout the USA, the prevalence of OUD far exceeds the capacity of the OUD pharmacotherapy treatment system. Poor access to OUD pharmacotherapy prescribers has become a workforce development need for the addiction treatment field and a significant health issue. Methods This cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT is designed to increase buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone treatment capacity for OUD. The implementation intervention to be tested is a bundle of OUD pharmacotherapy capacity building practices called the Prescriber Recruitment Bundle (PRB, which was developed and piloted in a previous statewide buprenorphine implementation study. For this cluster RCT, organizational sites will be recruited and then randomized into one of two arms: (1 control, with treatment as usual and access to a website with PRB resources, or (2 intervention, with organizations implementing the PRB using the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment organizational change model over a 24-month intervention period and a 10-month sustainability period. The primary treatment outcomes for each organizational site are self-reported monthly counts of

  20. Test of a workforce development intervention to expand opioid use disorder treatment pharmacotherapy prescribers: protocol for a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molfenter, Todd; Knudsen, Hannah K; Brown, Randy; Jacobson, Nora; Horst, Julie; Van Etten, Mark; Kim, Jee-Seon; Haram, Eric; Collier, Elizabeth; Starr, Sanford; Toy, Alexander; Madden, Lynn

    2017-11-15

    Overdoses due to non-medical use of prescription opioids and other opiates have become the leading cause of accidental deaths in the USA. Buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone are key evidence-based pharmacotherapies available to addiction treatment providers to address opioid use disorder (OUD) and prevent overdose deaths. Treatment organizations' efforts to provide these pharmacotherapies have, however, been stymied by limited success in recruiting providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) to prescribe these medications. Historically, the addiction treatment field has not attracted physicians, and many barriers to implementing OUD pharmacotherapy exist, ranging from lack of confidence in treating OUD patients to concerns regarding reimbursement. Throughout the USA, the prevalence of OUD far exceeds the capacity of the OUD pharmacotherapy treatment system. Poor access to OUD pharmacotherapy prescribers has become a workforce development need for the addiction treatment field and a significant health issue. This cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) is designed to increase buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone treatment capacity for OUD. The implementation intervention to be tested is a bundle of OUD pharmacotherapy capacity building practices called the Prescriber Recruitment Bundle (PRB), which was developed and piloted in a previous statewide buprenorphine implementation study. For this cluster RCT, organizational sites will be recruited and then randomized into one of two arms: (1) control, with treatment as usual and access to a website with PRB resources, or (2) intervention, with organizations implementing the PRB using the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment organizational change model over a 24-month intervention period and a 10-month sustainability period. The primary treatment outcomes for each organizational site are self-reported monthly counts of buprenorphine slots, extended

  1. A simple and fast method to determine the parameters for fuzzy c-means cluster analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schwämmle, Veit; Jensen, Ole Nørregaard

    2010-01-01

    MOTIVATION: Fuzzy c-means clustering is widely used to identify cluster structures in high-dimensional datasets, such as those obtained in DNA microarray and quantitative proteomics experiments. One of its main limitations is the lack of a computationally fast method to set optimal values...... of algorithm parameters. Wrong parameter values may either lead to the inclusion of purely random fluctuations in the results or ignore potentially important data. The optimal solution has parameter values for which the clustering does not yield any results for a purely random dataset but which detects cluster...... formation with maximum resolution on the edge of randomness. RESULTS: Estimation of the optimal parameter values is achieved by evaluation of the results of the clustering procedure applied to randomized datasets. In this case, the optimal value of the fuzzifier follows common rules that depend only...

  2. A cluster-randomized controlled knowledge translation feasibility study in Alberta community pharmacies using the PARiHS framework: study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, Meagen M; Tsuyuki, Ross T; Houle, Sherilyn Kd

    2015-01-01

    Despite evidence of benefit for pharmacist involvement in chronic disease management, the provision of these services in community pharmacy has been suboptimal. The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARiHS) framework suggests that for knowledge translation to be effective, there must be evidence of benefit, a context conducive to implementation, and facilitation to support uptake. We hypothesize that while the evidence and context components of this framework are satisfied, that uptake into practice has been insufficient because of a lack of facilitation. This protocol describes the rationale and methods of a feasibility study to test a facilitated pharmacy practice intervention based on the PARiHS framework, to assist community pharmacists in increasing the number of formal and documented medication management services completed for patients with diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. A cluster-randomized before-after design will compare ten pharmacies from within a single organization, with the unit of randomization being the pharmacy. Pharmacies will be randomized to facilitated intervention based on the PARiHS framework or usual practice. The Alberta Context Tool will be used to establish the context of practice in each pharmacy. Pharmacies randomized to the intervention will receive task-focused facilitation from an external facilitator, with the goal of developing alternative team processes to allow the greater provision of medication management services for patients with diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. The primary outcome will be a process evaluation of the needs of community pharmacies to provide more clinical services, the acceptability and uptake of modifications made, and the willingness of pharmacies to participate. Secondary outcomes will include the change in the number of formal and documented medication management services in the aforementioned chronic conditions provided 6 months before, versus after, the

  3. Effects on musculoskeletal pain from "Take a Stand!" - a cluster-randomized controlled trial reducing sitting time among office workers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danquah, Ida Høgstedt; Kloster, Stine; Holtermann, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Objectives Prolonged sitting at work has been found to increase risk for musculoskeletal pain. The office-based intervention "Take a Stand!" was effective in reducing sitting time at work. We aimed to study the effect of the intervention on a secondary outcome: musculoskeletal pain. Methods Take...... a Stand! included 19 offices (317 workers) at four workplaces cluster randomized to intervention or control. The multicomponent intervention lasted three months and included management support, environmental changes, and local adaptation. Control participants behaved as usual. Musculoskeletal pain...

  4. School-based strategies for oral health education of adolescents- a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haleem Abdul

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Oral health education (OHE in schools has largely been imparted by dental professionals. Considering the substantial cost of this expert-led approach, the strategies relying on teachers, peer-leaders and learners themselves have also been utilized. However the evidence for comparative effectiveness of these strategies is lacking in the dental literature. The present study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of dentist-led, teacher-led, peer-led and self-learning strategies of oral health education. Methods A two-year cluster randomized controlled trial following a parallel design was conducted. It involved five groups of adolescents aged 10-11 years at the start of the study. The trial involved process as well as four outcome evaluations. The present paper discusses the findings of the study pertaining to the baseline and final outcome evaluation, both comprising of a self-administered questionnaire, a structured interview and clinical oral examination. The data were analyzed using Generalized Estimating Equations. Results All the three educator-led strategies of OHE had statistically higher mean oral health knowledge (OHK, oral health behavior (OHB, oral hygiene status (OHS and combined knowledge, behavior and oral hygiene status (KBS scores than the self-learning and control groups (p Conclusions The dentist-led, teacher-led and peer-led strategies of oral health education are equally effective in improving the oral health knowledge and oral hygiene status of adolescents. The peer-led strategy, however, is almost as effective as the dentist-led strategy and comparatively more effective than the teacher-led and self-learning strategies in improving their oral health behavior. Trail registration SRCTN39391017

  5. Socio-Ecological Intervention to Promote Active Commuting to Work: Protocol and Baseline Findings of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minna Aittasalo

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Active commuting to work (ACW is beneficial to traffic, environment and population health. More evidence is needed on effective ways to promote ACW. This paper describes the protocol and baseline findings of a cluster-randomized controlled study, which aims to promote ACW with multilevel strategies in two large workplace areas in Tampere, Finland. In Phase 1, the impacts of environmental strategies (trail improvements were evaluated in 11 workplaces within Area 1. In Phase 2, five more workplaces were recruited from Area 2 to evaluate the impacts of social and behavioral strategies customized for each workplace. For this purpose, the workplaces in both areas were randomly assigned into experimental group (EXP, n = 6 + 2, which promoted ACW with social and behavioral strategies or into comparison group (COM, n = 5 + 3, which participated in the data collection only. The primary indicator in both phases is the change in employees’ ACW. Secondary indicators are e.g., changes in employees’ self-rated health, wellbeing at work, restrictions to and motivation for ACW, adverse effects due to ACW and the use and quality of the main walking and cycling trails. Also process, efficiency and environmental evaluation is included. The study is the first one in Finland to combine interdisciplinary collaboration between practitioners and researchers working in the fields of transportation, urban design, physical activity and sustainable development to promote ACW. The findings benefit all stakeholders interested in promoting ACW in urban context.

  6. Design tool for offshore wind farm cluster planning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasager, Charlotte Bay; Madsen, Peter Hauge; Giebel, Gregor

    2015-01-01

    In the framework of the FP7 project EERA DTOC: Design Tool for Offshore wind farm Cluster, a new software supporting the planning of offshore wind farms was developed, based on state-of-the-art approaches from large scale wind potential to economic benchmarking. The model portfolio includes WAs......P, FUGA, WRF, Net-Op, LCoE model, CorWind, FarmFlow, EeFarm and grid code compliance calculations. The development is done by members from European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and guided by several industrial partners. A commercial spin-off from the project is the tool ‘Wind & Economy’. The software...... by the software and several tests were performed. The calculations include the smoothing effect on produced energy between wind farms located in different regional wind zones and the short time scales relevant for assessing balancing power. The grid code compliance was tested for several cases and the results...

  7. Assessing the feasibility of interrupting the transmission of soil-transmitted helminths through mass drug administration: The DeWorm3 cluster randomized trial protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ásbjörnsdóttir, Kristjana Hrönn; Ajjampur, Sitara S Rao; Anderson, Roy M; Bailey, Robin; Gardiner, Iain; Halliday, Katherine E; Ibikounle, Moudachirou; Kalua, Khumbo; Kang, Gagandeep; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Luty, Adrian J F; Means, Arianna Rubin; Oswald, William; Pullan, Rachel L; Sarkar, Rajiv; Schär, Fabian; Szpiro, Adam; Truscott, James E; Werkman, Marleen; Yard, Elodie; Walson, Judd L

    2018-01-01

    Current control strategies for soil-transmitted helminths (STH) emphasize morbidity control through mass drug administration (MDA) targeting preschool- and school-age children, women of childbearing age and adults in certain high-risk occupations such as agricultural laborers or miners. This strategy is effective at reducing morbidity in those treated but, without massive economic development, it is unlikely it will interrupt transmission. MDA will therefore need to continue indefinitely to maintain benefit. Mathematical models suggest that transmission interruption may be achievable through MDA alone, provided that all age groups are targeted with high coverage. The DeWorm3 Project will test the feasibility of interrupting STH transmission using biannual MDA targeting all age groups. Study sites (population ≥80,000) have been identified in Benin, Malawi and India. Each site will be divided into 40 clusters, to be randomized 1:1 to three years of twice-annual community-wide MDA or standard-of-care MDA, typically annual school-based deworming. Community-wide MDA will be delivered door-to-door, while standard-of-care MDA will be delivered according to national guidelines. The primary outcome is transmission interruption of the STH species present at each site, defined as weighted cluster-level prevalence ≤2% by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), 24 months after the final round of MDA. Secondary outcomes include the endline prevalence of STH, overall and by species, and the endline prevalence of STH among children under five as an indicator of incident infections. Secondary analyses will identify cluster-level factors associated with transmission interruption. Prevalence will be assessed using qPCR of stool samples collected from a random sample of cluster residents at baseline, six months after the final round of MDA and 24 months post-MDA. A smaller number of individuals in each cluster will be followed with annual sampling to monitor trends in

  8. Progressive Resistance and Balance Training for Falls Prevention in Long-Term Residential Aged Care: A Cluster Randomized Trial of the Sunbeam Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Jennifer; Goodall, Stephen; Clemson, Lindy; Henwood, Timothy; Refshauge, Kathryn

    2018-04-01

    Falls prevention is an international priority, and residents of long-term aged care fall approximately 3 times more often than community dwellers. There is a relative scarcity of published trials in this setting. Our objective was to undertake a randomized controlled trial to test the effect of published best practice exercise in long-term residential aged care. The trial was designed to determine if combined high level balance and moderate intensity progressive resistance training (the Sunbeam Program) is effective in reducing the rate of falls in residents of aged care facilities. A cluster randomized controlled trial of 16 residential aged care facilities and 221 participants was conducted. The broad inclusion criterion was permanent residents of aged care. Exclusions were diagnosed terminal illness, no medical clearance, permanent bed- or wheelchair-bound status, advanced Parkinson's disease, or insufficient cognition to participate in group exercise. Assessments were taken at baseline, after intervention, and at 12 months. Randomization was performed by computer-generated sequence to receive either the Sunbeam program or usual care. A cluster refers to an aged care facility. The program consisted of individually prescribed progressive resistance training plus balance exercise performed in a group setting for 50 hours over a 25-week period, followed by a maintenance period for 6 months. The primary outcome measure was the rate of falls (number of falls and days followed up). Secondary outcomes included physical performance (Short Physical Performance Battery), quality of life (36-item Short-Form Health Survey), functional mobility (University of Alabama Life Space Assessment), fear of falling (Falls Efficacy Scale International), and cognition (Addenbrooke's Cognitive Evaluation-revised). The rate of falls was reduced by 55% in the exercise group (incidence rate ratio = 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.17-0.74); an improvement was also seen in physical

  9. Culturally adaptive storytelling method to improve hypertension control in Vietnam - "We talk about our hypertension": study protocol for a feasibility cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, Jeroan J; Nguyen, Hoa L; Ha, Duc A; Chiriboga, Germán; Ly, Ha N; Tran, Hanh T; Phan, Ngoc T; Vu, Nguyen C; Kim, Minjin; Goldberg, Robert J

    2016-01-14

    Vietnam is experiencing an epidemiologic transition with an increased prevalence of non-communicable diseases. At present, the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are either on the rise or at alarming levels in Vietnam; inasmuch, the burden of CVD will continue to increase in this country unless effective prevention and control measures are put in place. A national survey in 2008 found that the prevalence of hypertension (HTN) was approximately 25 % among Vietnamese adults and it increased with advancing age. Therefore, novel, large-scale, and sustainable interventions for public health education to promote engagement in the process of detecting and treating HTN in Vietnam are urgently needed. A feasibility randomized trial will be conducted in Hung Yen province, Vietnam to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a novel community-based intervention using the "storytelling" method to enhance the control of HTN in adults residing in four rural communities. The intervention will center on stories about living with HTN, with patients speaking in their own words. The stories will be obtained from particularly eloquent patients, or "video stars," identified during Story Development Groups. The study will involve two phases: (i) developing a HTN intervention using the storytelling method, which is designed to empower patients to facilitate changes in their lifestyle practices, and (ii) conducting a feasibility cluster-randomized trial to investigate the feasibility, acceptability, and potential efficacy of the intervention compared with usual care in HTN control among rural residents. The trial will be conducted at four communes, and within each commune, 25 individuals 50 years or older with HTN will be enrolled in the trial resulting in a total sample size of 100 patients. This feasibility trial will provide the necessary groundwork for a subsequent large-scale, fully powered, cluster-randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of our novel

  10. Dense neuron clustering explains connectivity statistics in cortical microcircuits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir V Klinshov

    Full Text Available Local cortical circuits appear highly non-random, but the underlying connectivity rule remains elusive. Here, we analyze experimental data observed in layer 5 of rat neocortex and suggest a model for connectivity from which emerge essential observed non-random features of both wiring and weighting. These features include lognormal distributions of synaptic connection strength, anatomical clustering, and strong correlations between clustering and connection strength. Our model predicts that cortical microcircuits contain large groups of densely connected neurons which we call clusters. We show that such a cluster contains about one fifth of all excitatory neurons of a circuit which are very densely connected with stronger than average synapses. We demonstrate that such clustering plays an important role in the network dynamics, namely, it creates bistable neural spiking in small cortical circuits. Furthermore, introducing local clustering in large-scale networks leads to the emergence of various patterns of persistent local activity in an ongoing network activity. Thus, our results may bridge a gap between anatomical structure and persistent activity observed during working memory and other cognitive processes.

  11. Cluster management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, R

    1992-11-01

    Cluster management is a management model that fosters decentralization of management, develops leadership potential of staff, and creates ownership of unit-based goals. Unlike shared governance models, there is no formal structure created by committees and it is less threatening for managers. There are two parts to the cluster management model. One is the formation of cluster groups, consisting of all staff and facilitated by a cluster leader. The cluster groups function for communication and problem-solving. The second part of the cluster management model is the creation of task forces. These task forces are designed to work on short-term goals, usually in response to solving one of the unit's goals. Sometimes the task forces are used for quality improvement or system problems. Clusters are groups of not more than five or six staff members, facilitated by a cluster leader. A cluster is made up of individuals who work the same shift. For example, people with job titles who work days would be in a cluster. There would be registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, and unit clerks in the cluster. The cluster leader is chosen by the manager based on certain criteria and is trained for this specialized role. The concept of cluster management, criteria for choosing leaders, training for leaders, using cluster groups to solve quality improvement issues, and the learning process necessary for manager support are described.

  12. SPIRIT: A seamless phase I/II randomized design for immunotherapy trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Beibei; Li, Daniel; Yuan, Ying

    2018-06-07

    Immunotherapy-treatments that enlist the immune system to battle tumors-has received widespread attention in cancer research. Due to its unique features and mechanisms for treating cancer, immunotherapy requires novel clinical trial designs. We propose a Bayesian seamless phase I/II randomized design for immunotherapy trials (SPIRIT) to find the optimal biological dose (OBD) defined in terms of the restricted mean survival time. We jointly model progression-free survival and the immune response. Progression-free survival is used as the primary endpoint to determine the OBD, and the immune response is used as an ancillary endpoint to quickly screen out futile doses. Toxicity is monitored throughout the trial. The design consists of two seamlessly connected stages. The first stage identifies a set of safe doses. The second stage adaptively randomizes patients to the safe doses identified and uses their progression-free survival and immune response to find the OBD. The simulation study shows that the SPIRIT has desirable operating characteristics and outperforms the conventional design. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. A random cluster survey and a convenience sample give comparable estimates of immunity to vaccine preventable diseases in children of school age in Victoria, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Heath; Riddell, Michaela A; Gidding, Heather F; Nolan, Terry; Gilbert, Gwendolyn L

    2002-08-19

    We compared estimates of the age-specific population immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella zoster viruses in Victorian school children obtained by a national sero-survey, using a convenience sample of residual sera from diagnostic laboratories throughout Australia, with those from a three-stage random cluster survey. When grouped according to school age (primary or secondary school) there was no significant difference in the estimates of immunity to measles, mumps, hepatitis B or varicella. Compared with the convenience sample, the random cluster survey estimated higher immunity to rubella in samples from both primary (98.7% versus 93.6%, P = 0.002) and secondary school students (98.4% versus 93.2%, P = 0.03). Despite some limitations, this study suggests that the collection of a convenience sample of sera from diagnostic laboratories is an appropriate sampling strategy to provide population immunity data that will inform Australia's current and future immunisation policies. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  14. Cluster Implantation and Deposition Apparatus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hanif, Muhammad; Popok, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    In the current report, a design and capabilities of a cluster implantation and deposition apparatus (CIDA) involving two different cluster sources are described. The clusters produced from gas precursors (Ar, N etc.) by PuCluS-2 can be used to study cluster ion implantation in order to develop...

  15. Increasing students’ physical activity during school physical education: rationale and protocol for the SELF-FIT cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy S. Ha

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Self-determined Exercise and Learning For FITness (SELF-FIT is a multi-component school-based intervention based on tenets of self-determination theory. SELF-FIT aims to increase students’ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA during physical education lessons, and enhance their autonomous motivation towards fitness activities. Using a cluster randomized controlled trial, we aim to examine the effects of the intervention on students’ MVPA during school physical education. Methods Secondary 2 students (approximately aged 14 years from 26 classes in 26 different schools will be recruited. After baseline assessments, students will be randomized into either the experimental group or wait-list control group using a matched-pair randomization. Teachers allocated to the experimental group will attend two half-day workshops and deliver the SELF-FIT intervention for 8 weeks. The main intervention components include training teachers to teach in more need supportive ways, and conducting fitness exercises using a fitness dice with interchangeable faces. Other motivational components, such as playing music during classes, are also included. The primary outcome of the trial is students’ MVPA during PE lessons. Secondary outcomes include students’ leisure-time MVPA, perceived need support from teachers, need satisfaction, autonomous motivation towards physical education, intention to engage in physical activity, psychological well-being, and health-related fitness (cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness. Quantitative data will be analyzed using multilevel modeling approaches. Focus group interviews will also be conducted to assess students’ perceptions of the intervention. Discussion The SELF-FIT intervention has been designed to improve students’ health and well-being by using high-intensity activities in classes delivered by teachers who have been trained to be autonomy needs supportive. If successful, scalable

  16. Evaluation of a self-management patient education program for patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musekamp, Gunda; Gerlich, Christian; Ehlebracht-König, Inge; Faller, Hermann; Reusch, Andrea

    2016-02-03

    Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a complex chronic condition that makes high demands on patients' self-management skills. Thus, patient education is considered an important component of multimodal therapy, although evidence regarding its effectiveness is scarce. The main objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of an advanced self-management patient education program for patients with FMS as compared to usual care in the context of inpatient rehabilitation. We conducted a multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial in 3 rehabilitation clinics. Clusters are groups of patients with FMS consecutively recruited within one week after admission. Patients of the intervention group receive the advanced multidisciplinary self-management patient education program (considering new knowledge on FMS, with a focus on transfer into everyday life), whereas patients in the control group receive standard patient education programs including information on FMS and coping with pain. A total of 566 patients are assessed at admission, at discharge and after 6 and 12 months, using patient reported questionnaires. Primary outcomes are patients' disease- and treatment-specific knowledge at discharge and self-management skills after 6 months. Secondary outcomes include satisfaction, attitudes and coping competences, health-promoting behavior, psychological distress, health impairment and participation. Treatment effects between groups are evaluated using multilevel regression analysis adjusting for baseline values. The study evaluates the effectiveness of a self-management patient education program for patients with FMS in the context of inpatient rehabilitation in a cluster randomized trial. Study results will show whether self-management patient education is beneficial for this group of patients. German Clinical Trials Register, DRKS00008782 , Registered 8 July 2015.

  17. A field test of three LQAS designs to assess the prevalence of acute malnutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deitchler, Megan; Valadez, Joseph J; Egge, Kari; Fernandez, Soledad; Hennigan, Mary

    2007-08-01

    The conventional method for assessing the prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) in emergency settings is the 30 x 30 cluster-survey. This study describes alternative approaches: three Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) designs to assess GAM. The LQAS designs were field-tested and their results compared with those from a 30 x 30 cluster-survey. Computer simulations confirmed that small clusters instead of a simple random sample could be used for LQAS assessments of GAM. Three LQAS designs were developed (33 x 6, 67 x 3, Sequential design) to assess GAM thresholds of 10, 15 and 20%. The designs were field-tested simultaneously with a 30 x 30 cluster-survey in Siraro, Ethiopia during June 2003. Using a nested study design, anthropometric, morbidity and vaccination data were collected on all children 6-59 months in sampled households. Hypothesis tests about GAM thresholds were conducted for each LQAS design. Point estimates were obtained for the 30 x 30 cluster-survey and the 33 x 6 and 67 x 3 LQAS designs. Hypothesis tests showed GAM as or =10% for the 67 x 3 and Sequential designs. Point estimates for the 33 x 6 and 67 x 3 designs were similar to those of the 30 x 30 cluster-survey for GAM (6.7%, CI = 3.2-10.2%; 8.2%, CI = 4.3-12.1%, 7.4%, CI = 4.8-9.9%) and all other indicators. The CIs for the LQAS designs were only slightly wider than the CIs for the 30 x 30 cluster-survey; yet the LQAS designs required substantially less time to administer. The LQAS designs provide statistically appropriate alternatives to the more time-consuming 30 x 30 cluster-survey. However, additional field-testing is needed using independent samples rather than a nested study design.

  18. Full impact of laboratory information system requires direct use by clinical staff: cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaya, Joaquín A; Shin, Sonya; Contreras, Carmen; Yale, Gloria; Suarez, Carmen; Asencios, Luis; Kim, Jihoon; Rodriguez, Pablo; Cegielski, Peter; Fraser, Hamish S F

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate the time to communicate laboratory results to health centers (HCs) between the e-Chasqui web-based information system and the pre-existing paper-based system. Cluster randomized controlled trial in 78 HCs in Peru. In the intervention group, 12 HCs had web access to results via e-Chasqui (point-of-care HCs) and forwarded results to 17 peripheral HCs. In the control group, 22 point-of-care HCs received paper results directly and forwarded them to 27 peripheral HCs. Baseline data were collected for 15 months. Post-randomization data were collected for at least 2 years. Comparisons were made between intervention and control groups, stratified by point-of-care versus peripheral HCs. For point-of-care HCs, the intervention group took less time to receive drug susceptibility tests (DSTs) (median 9 vs 16 days, p60 days to arrive (pChasqui information system had reduced communication times and fewer results with delays of >2 months. Peripheral HCs had no benefits from the system. This suggests that health establishments should have point-of-care access to reap the benefits of electronic laboratory reporting.

  19. The effect of physician and patient education when combined with vardenafil treatment in Canadian males with erectile dysfunction: an open-label, factorial-designed, cluster-randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, Gerald; Carrier, Serge; Alarie, Pierre; Pommerville, Peter; Casey, Richard; Harris, Stewart; Ward, Richard

    2008-03-01

    Studies evaluating the effect of education on treatment success with phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor therapy in men with erectile dysfunction (ED) are limited. Additional education of the primary care physician (PCP) and the patient are thought to optimize the treatment of ED. To assess the impact of education of the PCP or of the patient in the treatment of ED with vardenafil relative to usual care. In this 12-week, open-label, multicenter, factorial-designed, cluster-randomized Canadian study, 1,029 patients with ED were enrolled into four different education groups: usual care, patient education, PCP education, and both PCP and patient education. All groups started on vardenafil 10 mg, with the option to titrate at weeks 4 and 8. The primary efficacy measure was the difference at week 4 last observation carried forward (LOCF) in the overall improvement in erectile function (EF) as measured by the Global Assessment Question (GAQ), while on background vardenafil, between those receiving education vs. those who did not. Other secondary assessments included responses to diary questions regarding penetration (sexual encounter profile, SEP2) and erection maintenance (SEP3), and to questionnaires regarding treatment satisfaction (Erectile Dysfunction Inventory of Treatment Satisfaction [EDITS]). A total of 956 patients were included in the intent-to-treat population. Mean baseline International Index of Erectile Function-EF domain score was 13. GAQ response rates at week 4 LOCF were high (>80%) for all groups, regardless of the education given. Mean per patient SEP2 and SEP3 rates at week 12 LOCF were 86-89% and 79-83%, respectively. In an exploratory analysis, a positive relationship between GAQ responses and EDITS scores was observed (P satisfaction regardless of the education given. The benefits of education for PCP and patients in Canada were possibly masked by a ceiling effect in this study population.

  20. A parallel solution to the cutting stock problem for a cluster of workstations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nicklas, L.D.; Atkins, R.W.; Setia, S.V.; Wang, P.Y. [George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA (United States)

    1996-12-31

    This paper describes the design and implementation of a solution to the constrained 2-D cutting stock problem on a cluster of workstations. The constrained 2-D cutting stock problem is an irregular problem with a dynamically modified global data set and irregular amounts and patterns of communication. A replicated data structure is used for the parallel solution since the ratio of reads to writes is known to be large. Mutual exclusion and consistency are maintained using a token-based lazy consistency mechanism, and a randomized protocol for dynamically balancing the distributed work queue is employed. Speedups are reported for three benchmark problems executed on a cluster of workstations interconnected by a 10 Mbps Ethernet.

  1. Advanced analysis of forest fire clustering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanevski, Mikhail; Pereira, Mario; Golay, Jean

    2017-04-01

    Analysis of point pattern clustering is an important topic in spatial statistics and for many applications: biodiversity, epidemiology, natural hazards, geomarketing, etc. There are several fundamental approaches used to quantify spatial data clustering using topological, statistical and fractal measures. In the present research, the recently introduced multi-point Morisita index (mMI) is applied to study the spatial clustering of forest fires in Portugal. The data set consists of more than 30000 fire events covering the time period from 1975 to 2013. The distribution of forest fires is very complex and highly variable in space. mMI is a multi-point extension of the classical two-point Morisita index. In essence, mMI is estimated by covering the region under study by a grid and by computing how many times more likely it is that m points selected at random will be from the same grid cell than it would be in the case of a complete random Poisson process. By changing the number of grid cells (size of the grid cells), mMI characterizes the scaling properties of spatial clustering. From mMI, the data intrinsic dimension (fractal dimension) of the point distribution can be estimated as well. In this study, the mMI of forest fires is compared with the mMI of random patterns (RPs) generated within the validity domain defined as the forest area of Portugal. It turns out that the forest fires are highly clustered inside the validity domain in comparison with the RPs. Moreover, they demonstrate different scaling properties at different spatial scales. The results obtained from the mMI analysis are also compared with those of fractal measures of clustering - box counting and sand box counting approaches. REFERENCES Golay J., Kanevski M., Vega Orozco C., Leuenberger M., 2014: The multipoint Morisita index for the analysis of spatial patterns. Physica A, 406, 191-202. Golay J., Kanevski M. 2015: A new estimator of intrinsic dimension based on the multipoint Morisita index

  2. Efficient sampling of complex network with modified random walk strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Yunya; Chang, Shuhua; Zhang, Zhipeng; Zhang, Mi; Yang, Lei

    2018-02-01

    We present two novel random walk strategies, choosing seed node (CSN) random walk and no-retracing (NR) random walk. Different from the classical random walk sampling, the CSN and NR strategies focus on the influences of the seed node choice and path overlap, respectively. Three random walk samplings are applied in the Erdös-Rényi (ER), Barabási-Albert (BA), Watts-Strogatz (WS), and the weighted USAir networks, respectively. Then, the major properties of sampled subnets, such as sampling efficiency, degree distributions, average degree and average clustering coefficient, are studied. The similar conclusions can be reached with these three random walk strategies. Firstly, the networks with small scales and simple structures are conducive to the sampling. Secondly, the average degree and the average clustering coefficient of the sampled subnet tend to the corresponding values of original networks with limited steps. And thirdly, all the degree distributions of the subnets are slightly biased to the high degree side. However, the NR strategy performs better for the average clustering coefficient of the subnet. In the real weighted USAir networks, some obvious characters like the larger clustering coefficient and the fluctuation of degree distribution are reproduced well by these random walk strategies.

  3. Mathematical modelling of complex contagion on clustered networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'sullivan, David J.; O'Keeffe, Gary; Fennell, Peter; Gleeson, James

    2015-09-01

    The spreading of behavior, such as the adoption of a new innovation, is influenced bythe structure of social networks that interconnect the population. In the experiments of Centola (Science, 2010), adoption of new behavior was shown to spread further and faster across clustered-lattice networks than across corresponding random networks. This implies that the “complex contagion” effects of social reinforcement are important in such diffusion, in contrast to “simple” contagion models of disease-spread which predict that epidemics would grow more efficiently on random networks than on clustered networks. To accurately model complex contagion on clustered networks remains a challenge because the usual assumptions (e.g. of mean-field theory) regarding tree-like networks are invalidated by the presence of triangles in the network; the triangles are, however, crucial to the social reinforcement mechanism, which posits an increased probability of a person adopting behavior that has been adopted by two or more neighbors. In this paper we modify the analytical approach that was introduced by Hebert-Dufresne et al. (Phys. Rev. E, 2010), to study disease-spread on clustered networks. We show how the approximation method can be adapted to a complex contagion model, and confirm the accuracy of the method with numerical simulations. The analytical results of the model enable us to quantify the level of social reinforcement that is required to observe—as in Centola’s experiments—faster diffusion on clustered topologies than on random networks.

  4. Mathematical modelling of complex contagion on clustered networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J. P. O'Sullivan

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The spreading of behavior, such as the adoption of a new innovation, is influenced bythe structure of social networks that interconnect the population. In the experiments of Centola (Science, 2010, adoption of new behavior was shown to spread further and faster across clustered-lattice networks than across corresponding random networks. This implies that the complex contagion effects of social reinforcement are important in such diffusion, in contrast to simple contagion models of disease-spread which predict that epidemics would grow more efficiently on random networks than on clustered networks. To accurately model complex contagion on clustered networks remains a challenge because the usual assumptions (e.g. of mean-field theory regarding tree-like networks are invalidated by the presence of triangles in the network; the triangles are, however, crucial to the social reinforcement mechanism, which posits an increased probability of a person adopting behavior that has been adopted by two or more neighbors. In this paper we modify the analytical approach that was introduced by Hebert-Dufresne et al. (Phys. Rev. E, 2010, to study disease-spread on clustered networks. We show how the approximation method can be adapted to a complex contagion model, and confirm the accuracy of the method with numerical simulations. The analytical results of the model enable us to quantify the level of social reinforcement that is required to observe—as in Centola’s experiments—faster diffusion on clustered topologies than on random networks.

  5. Automatic Decentralized Clustering for Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen Chih-Yu

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available We propose a decentralized algorithm for organizing an ad hoc sensor network into clusters. Each sensor uses a random waiting timer and local criteria to determine whether to form a new cluster or to join a current cluster. The algorithm operates without a centralized controller, it operates asynchronously, and does not require that the location of the sensors be known a priori. Simplified models are used to estimate the number of clusters formed, and the energy requirements of the algorithm are investigated. The performance of the algorithm is described analytically and via simulation.

  6. Evaluating a community-based early childhood education and development program in Indonesia: study protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial with supplementary matched control group

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pradhan, M.; Brinkman, S.A.; Beatty, A.; Maika, A.; Satriawan, E.; de Ree, J.; Hasan, A.

    2013-01-01

    Background This paper presents the study protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a supplementary matched control group. The aim of the trial is to evaluate a community-based early education and development program launched by the Government of Indonesia. The program

  7. Evaluating a community-based early childhood education and development program in Indonesia: study protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial with supplementary matched control group

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pradhan, M.P.; Brinkman, S.A.; Beatty, A.; Maika, A.; Satriawan, E.; de Ree, J.; Hasan, A.

    2013-01-01

    Background: This paper presents the study protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a supplementary matched control group. The aim of the trial is to evaluate a community-based early education and development program launched by the Government of Indonesia. The program

  8. A cluster-randomized trial of task shifting and blood pressure control in Ghana: study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogedegbe, Gbenga; Plange-Rhule, Jacob; Gyamfi, Joyce; Chaplin, William; Ntim, Michael; Apusiga, Kingsley; Khurshid, Kiran; Cooper, Richard

    2014-06-12

    Countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are experiencing an epidemic of cardiovascular disease (CVD) propelled by rapidly increasing rates of hypertension. Barriers to hypertension control in SSA include poor access to care and high out-of-pocket costs. Although SSA bears 24% of the global disease burden, it has only 3% of the global health workforce. Given such limited resources, cost-effective strategies, such as task shifting, are needed to mitigate the rising CVD epidemic in SSA. Ghana, a country in SSA with an established community health worker program integrated within a national health insurance scheme provides an ideal platform to evaluate implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) task-shifting strategy. This study will evaluate the comparative effectiveness of the implementation of the WHO Package targeted at CV risk assessment versus provision of health insurance coverage, on blood pressure (BP) reduction. Using a cluster randomized design, 32 community health centers (CHCs) and district hospitals in Ghana will be randomized to either the intervention group (16 CHCs) or the control group (16 CHCs). A total of 640 patients with uncomplicated hypertension (BP 140-179/90-99 mm Hg and absence of target organ damage) will be enrolled in this study (20 patients per CHC). The intervention consists of WHO Package of CV risk assessment, patient education, initiation and titration of antihypertensive medications, behavioral counseling on lifestyle behaviors, and medication adherence every three months for 12 months. The primary outcome is the mean change in systolic BP from baseline to 12 months. The secondary outcomes are rates of BP control at 12 months; levels of physical activity, percent change in weight, and dietary intake of fruits and vegetables at 12 months; and sustainability of intervention effects at 24 months. All outcomes will be assessed at baseline, six months and 12 months. Trained community health nurses will deliver the intervention as

  9. Optimasi Pusat Cluster Awal K-Means dengan Algoritma Genetika Pada Pengelompokan Dokumen

    OpenAIRE

    Fauzi, Muhammad

    2017-01-01

    147038065 Clustering a data set of documents based on certain data points in documents are an easy way to organize document for extension to work. K-Means clustering algorithm is one of iterative cluster algorithm to partition a set of entities into K cluster. Unfortunately, resulting in K?Means cluster is depending on the initial cluster center that generally assigned randomly. In this reserach, determining initial cluster center K-Means for documents clustering are investi...

  10. Optimizing polypharmacy among elderly hospital patients with chronic diseases--study protocol of the cluster randomized controlled POLITE-RCT trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Löffler, Christin; Drewelow, Eva; Paschka, Susanne D; Frankenstein, Martina; Eger, Julia; Jatsch, Lisa; Reisinger, Emil C; Hallauer, Johannes F; Drewelow, Bernd; Heidorn, Karen; Schröder, Helmut; Wollny, Anja; Kundt, Günther; Schmidt, Christian; Altiner, Attila

    2014-10-06

    Treatment of patients with multimorbidity is challenging. A rational reduction of long-term drugs can lead to decreased mortality, less acute hospital treatment, and a reduction of costs. Simplification of drug treatment schemes is also related to higher levels of patient satisfaction and adherence. The POLITE-RCT trial will test the effectiveness of an intervention aiming at reducing the number of prescribed long-term drugs among multimorbid and chronically ill patients. The intervention focuses on the interface between primary and secondary health care and includes a pharmacist-based, patient-centered medication review prior to the patient's discharge from hospital. The POLITE-RCT trial is a cluster randomized controlled trial. Two major secondary health care providers of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, take part in the study. Clusters are wards of both medical centers. All wards where patients with chronic diseases and multimorbidity are regularly treated will be included. Patients aged 65+ years who take five or more prescribed long-term drugs and who are likely to spend at least 5 days in the participating hospitals will be recruited and included consecutively. Cluster-randomization takes place after a six-month baseline data collection period. Patients of the control group receive care as usual. The independent two main primary outcomes are (1) health-related quality of life (EQ-5D) and (2) the difference in the number of prescribed long-term pharmaceutical agents between intervention and control group. The secondary outcomes are appropriateness of prescribed medication (PRISCUS list, Beers Criteria, MAI), patient satisfaction (TSQM), patient empowerment (PEF-FB-9), patient autonomy (IADL), falls, re-hospitalization, and death. The points of measurement are at admission to (T0) and discharge from hospital (T1) as well as 6 and 12 months after discharge from the hospital (T2 and T3). In 42 wards, 1,626 patients will be recruited. In case of positive

  11. The Impact of Hotspot-Targeted Interventions on Malaria Transmission in Rachuonyo South District in the Western Kenyan Highlands: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, John; Knight, Philip; Stone, William; Osoti, Victor; Makori, Euniah; Owaga, Chrispin; Odongo, Wycliffe; China, Pauline; Shagari, Shehu; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Sauerwein, Robert W.; Kariuki, Simon; Drakeley, Chris; Stevenson, Jennifer; Cox, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Background Malaria transmission is highly heterogeneous, generating malaria hotspots that can fuel malaria transmission across a wider area. Targeting hotspots may represent an efficacious strategy for reducing malaria transmission. We determined the impact of interventions targeted to serologically defined malaria hotspots on malaria transmission both inside hotspots and in surrounding communities. Methods and Findings Twenty-seven serologically defined malaria hotspots were detected in a survey conducted from 24 June to 31 July 2011 that included 17,503 individuals from 3,213 compounds in a 100-km2 area in Rachuonyo South District, Kenya. In a cluster-randomized trial from 22 March to 15 April 2012, we randomly allocated five clusters to hotspot-targeted interventions with larviciding, distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, and focal mass drug administration (2,082 individuals in 432 compounds); five control clusters received malaria control following Kenyan national policy (2,468 individuals in 512 compounds). Our primary outcome measure was parasite prevalence in evaluation zones up to 500 m outside hotspots, determined by nested PCR (nPCR) at baseline and 8 wk (16 June–6 July 2012) and 16 wk (21 August–10 September 2012) post-intervention by technicians blinded to the intervention arm. Secondary outcome measures were parasite prevalence inside hotpots, parasite prevalence in the evaluation zone as a function of distance from the hotspot boundary, Anopheles mosquito density, mosquito breeding site productivity, malaria incidence by passive case detection, and the safety and acceptability of the interventions. Intervention coverage exceeded 87% for all interventions. Hotspot-targeted interventions did not result in a change in nPCR parasite prevalence outside hotspot boundaries (p ≥ 0.187). We observed an average reduction in nPCR parasite prevalence of 10.2% (95% CI −1.3 to 21.7%) inside hotspots 8 wk post

  12. Involving patients in setting priorities for healthcare improvement: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boivin, Antoine; Lehoux, Pascale; Lacombe, Réal; Burgers, Jako; Grol, Richard

    2014-02-20

    Patients are increasingly seen as active partners in healthcare. While patient involvement in individual clinical decisions has been extensively studied, no trial has assessed how patients can effectively be involved in collective healthcare decisions affecting the population. The goal of this study was to test the impact of involving patients in setting healthcare improvement priorities for chronic care at the community level. Cluster randomized controlled trial. Local communities were randomized in intervention (priority setting with patient involvement) and control sites (no patient involvement). Communities in a canadian region were required to set priorities for improving chronic disease management in primary care, from a list of 37 validated quality indicators. Patients were consulted in writing, before participating in face-to-face deliberation with professionals. Professionals established priorities among themselves, without patient involvement. A total of 172 individuals from six communities participated in the study, including 83 chronic disease patients, and 89 health professionals. The primary outcome was the level of agreement between patients' and professionals' priorities. Secondary outcomes included professionals' intention to use the selected quality indicators, and the costs of patient involvement. Priorities established with patients were more aligned with core generic components of the Medical Home and Chronic Care Model, including: access to primary care, self-care support, patient participation in clinical decisions, and partnership with community organizations (p Priorities established by professionals alone placed more emphasis on the technical quality of single disease management. The involvement intervention fostered mutual influence between patients and professionals, which resulted in a 41% increase in agreement on common priorities (95%CI: +12% to +58%, p priorities. Patient involvement can change priorities driving healthcare

  13. Safety voice for ergonomics (SAVE project: protocol for a workplace cluster-randomized controlled trial to reduce musculoskeletal disorders in masonry apprentices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurel D. Kincl

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Masons have the highest rate of overexertion injuries among all construction trades and rank second for occupational back injuries in the United States. Identified ergonomic solutions are the primary method of reducing exposure to risk factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders. However, many construction workers lack knowledge about these solutions, as well as basic ergonomic principles. Construction apprentices, as they embark on their careers, are greatly in need of ergonomics training to minimize the cumulative exposure that leads to musculoskeletal disorders. Apprentices receive safety training; however, ergonomics training is often limited or non-existent. In addition, apprenticeship programs often lack “soft skills” training on how to appropriately respond to work environments and practices that are unsafe. The SAVE program – SAfety Voice for Ergonomics – strives to integrate evidence-based health and safety training strategies into masonry apprenticeship skills training to teach ergonomics, problem solving, and speaking up to communicate solutions that reduce musculoskeletal injury risk. The central hypothesis is that the combination of ergonomics training and safety voice promotion will be more effective than no training or either ergonomics training alone or safety voice training alone. Methods/design Following the development and pilot testing of the SAVE intervention, SAVE will be evaluated in a cluster-randomized controlled trial at 12 masonry training centers across the U.S. Clusters of apprentices within centers will be assigned at random to one of four intervention groups (n = 24 per group: (1 ergonomics training only, (2 safety voice training only, (3 combined ergonomics and safety voice training, or (4 control group with no additional training intervention. Outcomes assessed at baseline, at the conclusion of training, and then at six and 12 months post training will include

  14. Cost-effectiveness of a screening strategy for Q fever among pregnant women in risk areas: a clustered randomized controlled trial

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    Lo-Ten-Foe Jerome R

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In The Netherlands the largest human Q fever outbreak ever reported in the literature is currently ongoing with more than 2300 notified cases in 2009. Pregnant women are particularly at risk as Q fever during pregnancy may cause maternal and obstetric complications. Since the majority of infected pregnant women are asymptomatic, a screening strategy might be of great value to reduce Q fever related complications. We designed a trial to assess the (cost-effectiveness of a screening program for Q fever in pregnant women living in risks areas in The Netherlands. Methods/design We will conduct a clustered randomized controlled trial in which primary care midwife centres in Q fever risk areas are randomized to recruit pregnant women for either the control group or the intervention group. In both groups a blood sample is taken around 20 weeks postmenstrual age. In the intervention group, this sample is immediately analyzed by indirect immunofluorescence assay for detection of IgG and IgM antibodies using a sensitive cut-off level of 1:32. In case of an active Q fever infection, antibiotic treatment is recommended and serological follow up is performed. In the control group, serum is frozen for analysis after delivery. The primary endpoint is a maternal (chronic Q fever or reactivation or obstetric complication (low birth weight, preterm delivery or fetal death in Q fever positive women. Secondary aims pertain to the course of infection in pregnant women, diagnostic accuracy of laboratory tests used for screening, histo-pathological abnormalities of the placenta of Q fever positive women, side effects of therapy, and costs. The analysis will be according to the intention-to-screen principle, and cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed by comparing the direct and indirect costs between the intervention and control group. Discussion With this study we aim to provide insight into the balance of risks of undetected and detected Q

  15. Sequential, Multiple Assignment, Randomized Trial Designs in Immuno-oncology Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidwell, Kelley M; Postow, Michael A; Panageas, Katherine S

    2018-02-15

    Clinical trials investigating immune checkpoint inhibitors have led to the approval of anti-CTLA-4 (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4), anti-PD-1 (programmed death-1), and anti-PD-L1 (PD-ligand 1) drugs by the FDA for numerous tumor types. In the treatment of metastatic melanoma, combinations of checkpoint inhibitors are more effective than single-agent inhibitors, but combination immunotherapy is associated with increased frequency and severity of toxicity. There are questions about the use of combination immunotherapy or single-agent anti-PD-1 as initial therapy and the number of doses of either approach required to sustain a response. In this article, we describe a novel use of sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trial (SMART) design to evaluate immune checkpoint inhibitors to find treatment regimens that adapt within an individual based on intermediate response and lead to the longest overall survival. We provide a hypothetical example SMART design for BRAF wild-type metastatic melanoma as a framework for investigating immunotherapy treatment regimens. We compare implementing a SMART design to implementing multiple traditional randomized clinical trials. We illustrate the benefits of a SMART over traditional trial designs and acknowledge the complexity of a SMART. SMART designs may be an optimal way to find treatment strategies that yield durable response, longer survival, and lower toxicity. Clin Cancer Res; 24(4); 730-6. ©2017 AACR . ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.

  16. Poor Families Striving to Save in Matched Children's Savings Accounts: Findings from a Randomized Experimental Design in Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimli, Leyla; Ssewamala, Fred M; Neilands, Torsten B

    2014-12-01

    This study examines participants' savings in children's savings accounts (CSAs) set up for AIDS-orphaned children ages 10-15 in Uganda. Using a cluster randomized experimental design, we examine the extent to which families participating in a CSA program report more savings than their counterparts not participating in the program, explore the extent to which families who participate in the CSA program report using formal financial institutions compared with families who do not have a CSA, and consider whether families participating in the CSA program bring new money into the CSA or whether they reshuffle existing household assets. We find that participating in a CSA increased families' likelihood to report having saved money. However, our results show no intervention effect either on the amount of self-reported savings or on the likelihood of using formal financial institutions. Further research is needed to understand whether use of a CSA helps families generate new wealth.

  17. Method for detecting clusters of possible uranium deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conover, W.J.; Bement, T.R.; Iman, R.L.

    1978-01-01

    When a two-dimensional map contains points that appear to be scattered somewhat at random, a question that often arises is whether groups of points that appear to cluster are merely exhibiting ordinary behavior, which one can expect with any random distribution of points, or whether the clusters are too pronounced to be attributable to chance alone. A method for detecting clusters along a straight line is applied to the two-dimensional map of 214 Bi anomalies observed as part of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation Program in the Lubbock, Texas, region. Some exact probabilities associated with this method are computed and compared with two approximate methods. The two methods for approximating probabilities work well in the cases examined and can be used when it is not feasible to obtain the exact probabilities

  18. Predictor-Year Subspace Clustering Based Ensemble Prediction of Indian Summer Monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moumita Saha

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Forecasting the Indian summer monsoon is a challenging task due to its complex and nonlinear behavior. A large number of global climatic variables with varying interaction patterns over years influence monsoon. Various statistical and neural prediction models have been proposed for forecasting monsoon, but many of them fail to capture variability over years. The skill of predictor variables of monsoon also evolves over time. In this article, we propose a joint-clustering of monsoon years and predictors for understanding and predicting the monsoon. This is achieved by subspace clustering algorithm. It groups the years based on prevailing global climatic condition using statistical clustering technique and subsequently for each such group it identifies significant climatic predictor variables which assist in better prediction. Prediction model is designed to frame individual cluster using random forest of regression tree. Prediction of aggregate and regional monsoon is attempted. Mean absolute error of 5.2% is obtained for forecasting aggregate Indian summer monsoon. Errors in predicting the regional monsoons are also comparable in comparison to the high variation of regional precipitation. Proposed joint-clustering based ensemble model is observed to be superior to existing monsoon prediction models and it also surpasses general nonclustering based prediction models.

  19. A school-based comprehensive lifestyle intervention among chinese kids against obesity (CLICK-Obesity: rationale, design and methodology of a randomized controlled trial in Nanjing city, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Fei

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The prevalence of childhood obesity among adolescents has been rapidly rising in Mainland China in recent decades, especially in urban and rich areas. There is an urgent need to develop effective interventions to prevent childhood obesity. Limited data regarding adolescent overweight prevention in China are available. Thus, we developed a school-based intervention with the aim of reducing excess body weight in children. This report described the study design. Methods/design We designed a cluster randomized controlled trial in 8 randomly selected urban primary schools between May 2010 and December 2013. Each school was randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group (four schools in each group. Participants were the 4th graders in each participating school. The multi-component program was implemented within the intervention group, while students in the control group followed their usual health and physical education curriculum with no additional intervention program. The intervention consisted of four components: a classroom curriculum, (including physical education and healthy diet education, b school environment support, c family involvement, and d fun programs/events. The primary study outcome was body composition, and secondary outcomes were behaviour and behavioural determinants. Discussion The intervention was designed with due consideration of Chinese cultural and familial tradition, social convention, and current primary education and exam system in Mainland China. We did our best to gain good support from educational authorities, school administrators, teachers and parents, and to integrate intervention components into schools’ regular academic programs. The results of and lesson learned from this study will help guide future school-based childhood obesity prevention programs in Mainland China. Trial registration Registration number: ChiCTR-ERC-11001819

  20. Impact of a social-emotional and character development program on school-level indicators of academic achievement, absenteeism, and disciplinary outcomes: A matched-pair, cluster randomized, controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Frank; Flay, Brian; Vuchinich, Samuel; Acock, Alan; Washburn, Isaac; Beets, Michael; Li, Kin-Kit

    2010-01-01

    This paper reports the effects of a comprehensive elementary school-based social-emotional and character education program on school-level achievement, absenteeism, and disciplinary outcomes utilizing a matched-pair, cluster randomized, controlled design. The Positive Action Hawai'i trial included 20 racially/ethnically diverse schools (mean enrollment = 544) and was conducted from the 2002-03 through the 2005-06 academic years. Using school-level archival data, analyses comparing change from baseline (2002) to one-year post trial (2007) revealed that intervention schools scored 9.8% better on the TerraNova (2 nd ed.) test for reading and 8.8% on math; 20.7% better in Hawai'i Content and Performance Standards scores for reading and 51.4% better in math; and that intervention schools reported 15.2% lower absenteeism and fewer suspensions (72.6%) and retentions (72.7%). Overall, effect sizes were moderate to large (range 0.5-1.1) for all of the examined outcomes. Sensitivity analyses using permutation models and random-intercept growth curve models substantiated results. The results provide evidence that a comprehensive school-based program, specifically developed to target student behavior and character, can positively influence school-level achievement, attendance, and disciplinary outcomes concurrently.

  1. Outcome-Driven Cluster Analysis with Application to Microarray Data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessie J Hsu

    Full Text Available One goal of cluster analysis is to sort characteristics into groups (clusters so that those in the same group are more highly correlated to each other than they are to those in other groups. An example is the search for groups of genes whose expression of RNA is correlated in a population of patients. These genes would be of greater interest if their common level of RNA expression were additionally predictive of the clinical outcome. This issue arose in the context of a study of trauma patients on whom RNA samples were available. The question of interest was whether there were groups of genes that were behaving similarly, and whether each gene in the cluster would have a similar effect on who would recover. For this, we develop an algorithm to simultaneously assign characteristics (genes into groups of highly correlated genes that have the same effect on the outcome (recovery. We propose a random effects model where the genes within each group (cluster equal the sum of a random effect, specific to the observation and cluster, and an independent error term. The outcome variable is a linear combination of the random effects of each cluster. To fit the model, we implement a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm based on the likelihood of the observed data. We evaluate the effect of including outcome in the model through simulation studies and describe a strategy for prediction. These methods are applied to trauma data from the Inflammation and Host Response to Injury research program, revealing a clustering of the genes that are informed by the recovery outcome.

  2. Effectiveness of a girls' empowerment programme on early childbearing, marriage and school dropout among adolescent girls in rural Zambia: study protocol for a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandøy, Ingvild Fossgard; Mudenda, Mweetwa; Zulu, Joseph; Munsaka, Ecloss; Blystad, Astrid; Makasa, Mpundu C; Mæstad, Ottar; Tungodden, Bertil; Jacobs, Choolwe; Kampata, Linda; Fylkesnes, Knut; Svanemyr, Joar; Moland, Karen Marie; Banda, Richard; Musonda, Patrick

    2016-12-09

    Adolescent pregnancies pose a risk to the young mothers and their babies. In Zambia, 35% of young girls in rural areas have given birth by the age of 18 years. Pregnancy rates are particularly high among out-of-school girls. Poverty, low enrolment in secondary school, myths and community norms all contribute to early childbearing. This protocol describes a trial aiming to measure the effect on early childbearing rates in a rural Zambian context of (1) economic support to girls and their families, and (2) combining economic support with a community intervention to enhance knowledge about sexual and reproductive health and supportive community norms. This cluster randomized controlled trial (CRCT) will have three arms. The clusters are rural schools with surrounding communities. Approximately 4900 girls in grade 7 in 2016 will be recruited from 157 schools in 12 districts. In one intervention arm, participating girls and their guardians will be offered cash transfers and payment of school fees. In the second intervention arm, there will be both economic support and a community intervention. The interventions will be implemented for approximately 2 years. The final survey will be 4.5 years after recruitment. The primary outcomes will be "incidence of births within 8 months of the end of the intervention period", "incidence of births before girls' 18th birthday" and "proportion of girls who sit for the grade 9 exam". Final survey interviewers will be unaware of the intervention status of respondents. Analysis will be by intention-to-treat and adjusted for cluster design and confounders. Qualitative process evaluation will be conducted. This is the first CRCT to measure the effect of combining economic support with a community intervention to prevent adolescent childbearing in a low- or middle-income country. We have designed a programme that will be sustainable and feasible to scale up. The findings will be relevant for programmes for adolescent reproductive health in

  3. Radio emission of Abell Clusters in the GB region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michalec, A.

    1977-01-01

    In the GB survey region (Maslowski 1972) there are 102 Abell Clusters (Abell 1958) 31 of them coincide with the positions of Gb radio sources. The number of random coincidences was estimated from a Poisson distribution. For 19 cluster from this group, the observations at 2695 MHz were made with the same instrument. The clusters' redshifts were estimated. On the basis of this material, an analysis of the luminosity function for these cluster was carried out. (author)

  4. Effect of Behavior Modification on Outcome in Early- to Moderate-Stage Chronic Kidney Disease: A Cluster-Randomized Trial.

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    Kunihiro Yamagata

    Full Text Available Owing to recent changes in our understanding of the underlying cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD, the importance of lifestyle modification for preventing the progression of kidney dysfunction and complications has become obvious. In addition, effective cooperation between general physicians (GPs and nephrologists is essential to ensure a better care system for CKD treatment. In this cluster-randomized study, we studied the effect of behavior modification on the outcome of early- to moderate-stage CKD.Stratified open cluster-randomized trial.A total of 489 GPs belonging to 49 local medical associations (clusters in Japan.A total of 2,379 patients (1,195 in group A (standard intervention and 1,184 in group B (advanced intervention aged between 40 and 74 years, who had CKD and were under consultation with GPs.All patients were managed in accordance with the current CKD guidelines. The group B clusters received three additional interventions: patients received both educational intervention for lifestyle modification and a CKD status letter, attempting to prevent their withdrawal from treatment, and the group B GPs received data sheets to facilitate reducing the gap between target and practice.The primary outcome measures were 1 the non-adherence rate of accepting continuous medical follow-up of the patients, 2 the collaboration rate between GPs and nephrologists, and 3 the progression of CKD.The rate of discontinuous clinical visits was significantly lower in group B (16.2% in group A vs. 11.5% in group B, p = 0.01. Significantly higher referral and co-treatment rates were observed in group B (p<0.01. The average eGFR deterioration rate tended to be lower in group B (group A: 2.6±5.8 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, group B: 2.4±5.1 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, p = 0.07. A significant difference in eGFR deterioration rate was observed in subjects with Stage 3 CKD (group A: 2.4±5.9 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, group B: 1.9±4.4 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, p = 0.03.Our care

  5. Effect of a web-based audit and feedback intervention with outreach visits on the clinical performance of multidisciplinary teams: a cluster-randomized trial in cardiac rehabilitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gude, Wouter T.; van Engen-Verheul, Mariëtte M.; van der Veer, Sabine N.; Kemps, Hareld M. C.; Jaspers, Monique W. M.; de Keizer, Nicolette F.; Peek, Niels

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the effect of a web-based audit and feedback (A&F) intervention with outreach visits to support decision-making by multidisciplinary teams. We performed a multicentre cluster-randomized trial within the field of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CR) in

  6. RARtool: A MATLAB Software Package for Designing Response-Adaptive Randomized Clinical Trials with Time-to-Event Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryeznik, Yevgen; Sverdlov, Oleksandr; Wong, Weng Kee

    2015-08-01

    Response-adaptive randomization designs are becoming increasingly popular in clinical trial practice. In this paper, we present RARtool , a user interface software developed in MATLAB for designing response-adaptive randomized comparative clinical trials with censored time-to-event outcomes. The RARtool software can compute different types of optimal treatment allocation designs, and it can simulate response-adaptive randomization procedures targeting selected optimal allocations. Through simulations, an investigator can assess design characteristics under a variety of experimental scenarios and select the best procedure for practical implementation. We illustrate the utility of our RARtool software by redesigning a survival trial from the literature.

  7. Design and baseline characteristics of the PerfectFit study: a multicenter cluster-randomized trial of a lifestyle intervention in employees with increased cardiovascular risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouwenhoven-Pasmooij, Tessa A; Djikanovic, Bosiljka; Robroek, Suzan J W; Helmhout, Pieter; Burdorf, Alex; Hunink, M G Myriam

    2015-07-28

    The prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles and preventable chronic diseases is high. They lead to disabilities and sickness absence, which might be reduced if health promotion measures were applied. Therefore, we developed the PerfectFit health promotion intervention with a "blended care"-approach, which consists of a web-based health risk assessment (HRA) including tailored and personalized advice, followed by motivational interviewing (MI). We hypothesize that adding MI to a web-based HRA leads to better health outcomes. The objective is to describe the design and baseline characteristics of the PerfectFit study, which is being conducted among employees with high cardiovascular risk in the military workforce, the police organization and an academic hospital. PerfectFit is a cluster randomized controlled trial, consisting of two arms. Based on cardiovascular risk profiling, done between 2012 and 2014, we included employees based on one or more risk factors and motivation to participate. One arm is the 'limited' health program (control) that consists of: (a) an HRA as a decision aid for lifestyle changes, including tailored and personalized advice, and pros and cons of the options, and (b) a newsletter every 3 months. The other arm is the 'extensive' program (intervention), which is additionally offered MI-sessions by trained occupational physicians, 4 face-to-face and 3 by telephone, and is offered more choices of health promotion activities in the HRA. During the follow-up period, participants choose the health promotion activities they personally prefer. After six and twelve months, outcomes will be assessed by online questionnaires. After twelve months the cardiovascular risk profiling will be repeated. The primary outcome is self-reported general health. Secondary outcomes are self-reported work ability, CVD-risk score, sickness absence, productivity loss at work, participation in health promotion activities, changes in lifestyle (smoking, alcohol consumption

  8. Feasibility Study of Parallel Finite Element Analysis on Cluster-of-Clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muraoka, Masae; Okuda, Hiroshi

    With the rapid growth of WAN infrastructure and development of Grid middleware, it's become a realistic and attractive methodology to connect cluster machines on wide-area network for the execution of computation-demanding applications. Many existing parallel finite element (FE) applications have been, however, designed and developed with a single computing resource in mind, since such applications require frequent synchronization and communication among processes. There have been few FE applications that can exploit the distributed environment so far. In this study, we explore the feasibility of FE applications on the cluster-of-clusters. First, we classify FE applications into two types, tightly coupled applications (TCA) and loosely coupled applications (LCA) based on their communication pattern. A prototype of each application is implemented on the cluster-of-clusters. We perform numerical experiments executing TCA and LCA on both the cluster-of-clusters and a single cluster. Thorough these experiments, by comparing the performances and communication cost in each case, we evaluate the feasibility of FEA on the cluster-of-clusters.

  9. Community resource centres to improve the health of women and children in Mumbai slums: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah More, Neena; Das, Sushmita; Bapat, Ujwala; Rajguru, Mahesh; Alcock, Glyn; Joshi, Wasundhara; Pantvaidya, Shanti; Osrin, David

    2013-05-08

    The trial addresses the general question of whether community resource centers run by a non-government organization improve the health of women and children in slums. The resource centers will be run by the Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action, and the trial will evaluate their effects on a series of public health indicators. Each resource center will be located in a vulnerable Mumbai slum area and will serve as a base for salaried community workers, supervised by officers and coordinators, to organize the collection and dissemination of health information, provision of services, home visits to identify and counsel families at risk, referral of individuals and families to appropriate services and support for their access, meetings of community members and providers, and events and campaigns on health issues. A cluster randomized controlled trial in which 20 urban slum areas with resource centers are compared with 20 control areas. Each cluster will contain approximately 600 households and randomized allocation will be in three blocked phases, of 12, 12 and 16 clusters. Any resident of an intervention cluster will be able to participate in the intervention, but the resource centers will target women and children, particularly women of reproductive age and children under 5.The outcomes will be assessed through a household census after 2 years of resource center operations. The primary outcomes are unmet need for family planning in women aged 15 to 49 years, proportion of children under 5 years of age not fully immunized for their ages, and proportion of children under 5 years of age with weight for height less than 2 standard deviations below the median for age and sex. Secondary outcomes describe adolescent pregnancies, home deliveries, receipt of conditional cash transfers for institutional delivery, other childhood anthropometric indices, use of public sector health and nutrition services, indices of infant and young child feeding, and consultation

  10. Evaluating an Organizational-Level Occupational Health Intervention in a Combined Regression Discontinuity and Randomized Control Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sørensen, By Ole H

    2016-10-01

    Organizational-level occupational health interventions have great potential to improve employees' health and well-being. However, they often compare unfavourably to individual-level interventions. This calls for improving methods for designing, implementing and evaluating organizational interventions. This paper presents and discusses the regression discontinuity design because, like the randomized control trial, it is a strong summative experimental design, but it typically fits organizational-level interventions better. The paper explores advantages and disadvantages of a regression discontinuity design with an embedded randomized control trial. It provides an example from an intervention study focusing on reducing sickness absence in 196 preschools. The paper demonstrates that such a design fits the organizational context, because it allows management to focus on organizations or workgroups with the most salient problems. In addition, organizations may accept an embedded randomized design because the organizations or groups with most salient needs receive obligatory treatment as part of the regression discontinuity design. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Blended E-health module on return to work embedded in collaborative occupational health care for common mental disorders: design of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volker, Daniëlle; Vlasveld, Moniek C; Anema, Johannes R; Beekman, Aartjan Tf; Roijen, Leona Hakkaart-van; Brouwers, Evelien Pm; van Lomwel, A Gijsbert C; van der Feltz-Cornelis, Christina M

    2013-01-01

    Common mental disorders (CMD) have a major impact on both society and individual workers, so return to work (RTW) is an important issue. In The Netherlands, the occupational physician plays a central role in the guidance of sick-listed workers with respect to RTW. Evidence-based guidelines are available, but seem not to be effective in improving RTW in people with CMD. An intervention supporting the occupational physician in guidance of sick-listed workers combined with specific guidance regarding RTW is needed. A blended E-health module embedded in collaborative occupational health care is now available, and comprises a decision aid supporting the occupational physician and an E-health module, Return@Work, to support sick-listed workers in the RTW process. The cost-effectiveness of this intervention will be evaluated in this study and compared with that of care as usual. This study is a two-armed cluster randomized controlled trial, with randomization done at the level of occupational physicians. Two hundred workers with CMD on sickness absence for 4-26 weeks will be included in the study. Workers whose occupational physician is allocated to the intervention group will receive the collaborative occupational health care intervention. Occupational physicians allocated to the care as usual group will give conventional sickness guidance. Follow-up assessments will be done at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after baseline. The primary outcome is duration until RTW. The secondary outcome is severity of symptoms of CMD. An economic evaluation will be performed as part of this trial. It is hypothesized that collaborative occupational health care intervention will be more (cost)-effective than care as usual. This intervention is innovative in its combination of a decision aid by email sent to the occupational physician and an E-health module aimed at RTW for the sick-listed worker.

  12. Evaluation of a self-management patient education program for patients with chronic heart failure undergoing inpatient cardiac rehabilitation: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Karin; Musekamp, Gunda; Seekatz, Bettina; Glatz, Johannes; Karger, Gabriele; Kiwus, Ulrich; Knoglinger, Ernst; Schubmann, Rainer; Westphal, Ronja; Faller, Hermann

    2013-08-23

    Chronic heart failure requires a complex treatment regimen on a life-long basis. Therefore, self-care/self-management is an essential part of successful treatment and comprehensive patient education is warranted. However, specific information on program features and educational strategies enhancing treatment success is lacking. This trial aims to evaluate a patient-oriented and theory-based self-management educational group program as compared to usual care education during inpatient cardiac rehabilitation in Germany. The study is a multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial in four cardiac rehabilitation clinics. Clusters are patient education groups that comprise HF patients recruited within 2 weeks after commencement of inpatient cardiac rehabilitation. Cluster randomization was chosen for pragmatic reasons, i.e. to ensure a sufficient number of eligible patients to build large-enough educational groups and to prevent contamination by interaction of patients from different treatment allocations during rehabilitation. Rehabilitants with chronic systolic heart failure (n = 540) will be consecutively recruited for the study at the beginning of inpatient rehabilitation. Data will be assessed at admission, at discharge and after 6 and 12 months using patient questionnaires. In the intervention condition, patients receive the new patient-oriented self-management educational program, whereas in the control condition, patients receive a short lecture-based educational program (usual care). The primary outcome is patients' self-reported self-management competence. Secondary outcomes include behavioral determinants and self-management health behavior (symptom monitoring, physical activity, medication adherence), health-related quality of life, and treatment satisfaction. Treatment effects will be evaluated separately for each follow-up time point using multilevel regression analysis, and adjusting for baseline values. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a

  13. The effects of office ergonomic training on musculoskeletal complaints, sickness absence, and psychological well-being: a cluster randomized control trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmud, Norashikin; Kenny, Dianna T; Md Zein, Raemy; Hassan, Siti Nurani

    2015-03-01

    This study explored whether musculoskeletal complaints can be reduced by the provision of ergonomics education. A cluster randomized controlled trial study was conducted in which 3 units were randomized to intervention and received training and 3 units were given a leaflet. The effect of intervention on knowledge, workstation practices, musculoskeletal complaints, sickness absence, and psychological well-being were assessed at 6 and 12 months. Although there was no increment of knowledge among workers, significant improvements in workstation practices in the use of monitor, keyboard, and chair were observed. There were significant reductions in neck and upper and lower back complaints among workers but these did not translate into fewer days lost from work. Workers' stress was found to be significantly reduced across the studies. In conclusion, office ergonomics training can be beneficial in reducing musculoskeletal risks and stress among workers. © 2011 APJPH.

  14. Peer Coaches to Improve Diabetes Outcomes in Rural Alabama: A Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safford, Monika M; Andreae, Susan; Cherrington, Andrea L; Martin, Michelle Y; Halanych, Jewell; Lewis, Marquita; Patel, Ashruta; Johnson, Ethel; Clark, Debra; Gamboa, Christopher; Richman, Joshua S

    2015-08-01

    It is unclear whether peer coaching is effective in minority populations living with diabetes in hard-to-reach, under-resourced areas such as the rural South. We examined the effect of an innovative peer-coaching intervention plus brief education vs brief education alone on diabetes outcomes. This was a community-engaged, cluster-randomized, controlled trial with primary care practices and their surrounding communities serving as clusters. The trial enrolled 424 participants, with 360 completing baseline and follow-up data collection (84.9% retention). The primary outcomes were change in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), systolic blood pressure (BP), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), body mass index (BMI), and quality of life, with diabetes distress and patient activation as secondary outcomes. Peer coaches were trained for 2 days in community settings; the training emphasized motivational interviewing skills, diabetes basics, and goal setting. All participants received a 1-hour diabetes education class and a personalized diabetes report card at baseline. Intervention arm participants were also paired with peer coaches; the protocol called for telephone interactions weekly for the first 8 weeks, then monthly for a total of 10 months. Due to real-world constraints, follow-up was protracted, and