Sample records for outcomes improved significantly

  1. Contemporary Management of Acute Aortic Occlusion Has Evolved but Outcomes Have Not Significantly Improved. (United States)

    Robinson, William P; Patel, Rupal K; Columbo, Jesse A; Flahive, Julie; Aiello, Francesco A; Baril, Donald T; Schanzer, Andres; Messina, Louis M


    hospitalization. AAO is now more commonly caused by in situ thrombosis rather than embolism. A high index of suspicion for AAO is required for prompt diagnosis and treatment, particularly when patients present with profound lower extremity neurologic deficit. In comparison with previous reports, the contemporary management of AAO includes increased use of axillobifemoral bypass and now involves endovascular revascularization, although a variety of open surgical procedures are utilized. However, the in-hospital mortality and morbidity of AAO has not decreased significantly over the last 2 decades and mid-term survival remains limited. Further study is required to identify strategies that improve outcomes after AAO. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Different surgical strategies for chronic pancreatitis significantly improve long-term outcome: a comparative single center study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hildebrand P


    Full Text Available Abstract Objective In general, chronic pancreatitis (CP primarily requires conservative treatment. The chronic pain syndrome and complications make patients seek surgical advice, frequently after years of progression. In the past, surgical procedures involving drainage as well as resection have been employed successfully. The present study compared the different surgical strategies. Patients and Methods From March 2000 until April 2005, a total of 51 patients underwent surgical treatment for CP at the Department of surgery, University of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck. Out of those 51 patients, 39 (76.5% were operated according to the Frey procedure, and in 12 cases (23.5% the Whipple procedure was performed. Patient data were documented prospectively throughout the duration of the hospital stay. The evaluation of the postoperative pain score was carried out retrospectively with a validated questionnaire. Results Average operating time was 240 minutes for the Frey group and 411 minutes for the Whipple group. The medium number of blood transfusions was 1 in the Frey group and 4.5 in the Whipple group. Overall morbidity was 21% in the Frey group and 42% in the Whipple group. 30-day mortality was zero for all patients. During the median follow-up period of 50 months, an improvement in pain score was observed in 93% of the patients of the Frey group and 67% of the patients treated according to the Whipple procedure. Conclusion The results show that both the Frey procedure as well as partial pancreaticoduodenectomy are capable of improving chronic pain symptoms in CP. As far as later endocrine and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is concerned, however, the extended drainage operation according to Frey proves to be advantageous compared to the traditional resection procedure by Whipple. Accordingly, the Frey procedure provides us with an organ-preserving surgical procedure which treats the complications of CP sufficiently, thus being an

  3. Arthroscopic Debridement for Primary Degenerative Osteoarthritis of the Elbow Leads to Significant Improvement in Range of Motion and Clinical Outcomes: A Systematic Review. (United States)

    Sochacki, Kyle R; Jack, Robert A; Hirase, Takashi; McCulloch, Patrick C; Lintner, David M; Liberman, Shari R; Harris, Joshua D


    The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether arthroscopic debridement of primary elbow osteoarthritis results in statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in (1) elbow range of motion and (2) clinical outcomes with (3) low complication and reoperation rates. A systematic review was registered with PROSPERO and performed using PRISMA guidelines. Databases were searched for studies that investigated the outcomes of arthroscopic debridement for the treatment of primary osteoarthritis of the elbow in adult human patients. Study methodological quality was analyzed. Studies that included post-traumatic arthritis were excluded. Elbow motion and all elbow-specific patient-reported outcome scores were eligible for analysis. Comparisons between preoperative and postoperative values from each study were made using 2-sample Z-tests ( using a P value osteoarthritis results in statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in elbow range of motion and clinical outcomes with low complication and reoperation rates. Systematic review of level IV studies. Copyright © 2017 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Improving surgical outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tony Walia


    Full Text Available Outcomes of cataract surgery are worse than we would like them to be. Community-based studies show that up to 40% of eyes have a postoperative presenting vision of < 6/60. Eyes with intraocular lenses (IOLs do better; however, it has been shown that even in prosperous middle-income countries, such as Venezuela, in 20% of pseudophakic eyes presenting vision was < 6/60 and in 15% best corrected vision was worse than 6/60.Poor outcomes matter. Patients deserve improved vision whenever possible and poor outcomes deter prospective patients from coming for surgery and probably reduce their willingness to pay for their treatment – particularly if they have to pay in advance!In this article, we offer some suggestions for improving the quality of cataract surgery. We admit that there is little evidence base for most of these suggestions and that some of them are controversial. However, we hope to stimulate debate.

  5. Teleophthalmology: improving patient outcomes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sreelatha OK


    Full Text Available Omana Kesary Sreelatha,1 Sathyamangalam VenkataSubbu Ramesh2 1Ophthalmology Department, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman; 2Department of Optometry, School of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, India Abstract: Teleophthalmology is gaining importance as an effective eye care delivery modality worldwide. In many developing countries, teleophthalmology is being utilized to provide quality eye care to the underserved urban population and the unserved remote rural population. Over the years, technological innovations have led to improvement in evidence and teleophthalmology has evolved from a research tool to a clinical tool. The majority of the current teleophthalmology services concentrate on patient screening and appropriate referral to experts. Specialty care using teleophthalmology services for the pediatric group includes screening as well as providing timely care for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP. Among geriatric eye diseases, specialty teleophthalmology care is focused toward screening and referral for diabetic retinopathy (DR, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD, and other sight-threatening conditions. Comprehensive vision screening and refractive error services are generally covered as part of most of the teleophthalmology methods. Over the past decades, outcome assessment of health care system includes patients’ assessments on their health, care, and services they receive. Outcomes, by and large, remain the ultimate validators of the effectiveness and quality of medical care. Teleophthalmology produces the same desired clinical outcome as the traditional system. Remote portals allow specialists to provide care over a larger region, thereby improving health outcomes and increasing accessibility of specialty care to a larger population. A high satisfaction level and acceptance is reported in the majority of the studies because of increased accessibility and reduced traveling cost and time

  6. Carotid endarterectomy significantly improves postoperative laryngeal sensitivity. (United States)

    Hammer, Georg Philipp; Tomazic, Peter Valentin; Vasicek, Sarah; Graupp, Matthias; Gugatschka, Markus; Baumann, Anneliese; Konstantiniuk, Peter; Koter, Stephan Herwig


    Iatrogenic injury of the vagus nerve or its branches during carotid endarterectomy (CEA) can result in globus sensation, dysphagia, and even vocal fold immobility. Knowledge of morphologic and functional laryngopharyngeal outcomes after CEA is poor. The present study was performed to determine potential iatrogenic damage to the laryngeal innervation after CEA. An area of particular interest was the supraglottic sensory threshold, which was examined by Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing With Sensory Testing (FEESST; Pentax Medical Company, Montvale, NJ), a validated and safe method for the determination of the motor and sensory components of swallowing. FEESST was used preoperatively in 32 patients scheduled to undergo CEA and twice postoperatively to examine the motor and sensory components of swallowing. In this endolaryngeal examination, laryngopharyngeal sensory thresholds (in mm Hg) were defined as normal at 6.0 mm Hg APP, with a value >10.0 mm Hg APP indicating abolished laryngeal adductor reflex. Acoustic voice parameters were also analyzed for further functional changes of the larynx. The mean ± standard deviation preoperative FEESST measures showed no significant differences (P = .065) between the operated-on side (6.73 ± 1.73 mm Hg) and the opposite side (5.83 ± 1.68 mm Hg). At 2 days postoperatively, the threshold increased (P = .001) to 7.62 ± 1.98 mm Hg on the operated-on side. A laryngopharyngeal mucosal hematoma on the operated side was endoscopically detectable in eight patients (30.8%); in these patients, we found a markedly elevated (P = .021) measure of 9.50 ± 0.93 mm Hg. On the opposite (nonoperated-on) side of the laryngopharynx, the thresholds remained at the same level as preoperatively over all assessments (P >.05), whereas the differences between the operated and nonoperated-on sides and the hematoma and nonhematoma groups were highly significant (P = .004 and P = .001, respectively). Surprisingly, the

  7. Improving hip surgery patients’ outcomes:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bagger, Bettan; Poulsen, Dorthe Varning; Taylor Kelly, Hélène

    This presentation focuses upon the improvement of hip surgery patients’ outcomes with respect to health promotion and rehabilitation. The overall aims of the EU financed orthopedic nursing project will be introduced. Speakers highlight the project’s contribution to: -the development of nurse...

  8. SOARing Into Strategic Planning: Engaging Nurses to Achieve Significant Outcomes. (United States)

    Wadsworth, Barbara; Felton, Fiona; Linus, Rita


    In 2013, a new system chief nursing officer engaged the nursing leaders and staff in an Appreciative Inquiry process utilizing strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results (SOAR), and a Journey of Excellence to assess and understand the current environment. The ultimate goal was to engage all nurses in strategic planning and goal setting to connect their patient care to the system strategic initiatives. This work led to the creation of a nursing vision, a revised professional practice model and greater council alignment, resulting in significant positive change and ongoing advancement throughout the system. The shared decision-making structure was key to the process with a direct connection of each council's goals, leading to the successful achievement of 34 of the 36 goals in 2 years. This article outlines the process, tools, and staff engagement strategies used to achieve system-wide success. This methodology has improved the outcomes across the organization in both small and system-wide work groups. This work can easily be replicated and adapted to help disparate staffs brought together through mergers or acquisitions to become aligned as a new team. This process, model, and framework, provides structure and results in significant outcomes that recognizes and celebrates the work of individual entities while aligning future strategies and goals.

  9. Does quality improvement work in neonatology improve clinical outcomes? (United States)

    Ellsbury, Dan L; Clark, Reese H


    Quality improvement initiatives in neonatology have been promoted as an important way of improving outcomes of newborns. The purpose of this review is to examine the effectiveness of recent quality improvement work in improving the outcomes of infants requiring neonatal intensive care. Quality improvement collaboratives and single-center projects demonstrate improvement of clinical processes and outcomes in neonatology that impact both preterm and term infants. Declines in morbidities, resource use, and length of stay have been associated with reductions in healthcare costs. Recent quality improvement work has shown evidence of improvement in clinical outcomes in neonatal intensive care patients. These improvements have important implications for the reduction of healthcare costs in this population.

  10. Severe acute pancreatitis : Improving outcome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Brunschot, S.


    This thesis contains results of 8 years of clinical research performed to improve the treatment of patients with acute pancreatitis. The first part of this thesis focusses on diagnostics and the prevention of complications. The applicability of the revised Atlanta classification for acute

  11. Yoga & Cancer Interventions: A Review of the Clinical Significance of Patient Reported Outcomes for Cancer Survivors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Nicole Culos-Reed


    Full Text Available Limited research suggests yoga may be a viable gentle physical activity option with a variety of health-related quality of life, psychosocial and symptom management benefits. The purpose of this review was to determine the clinical significance of patient-reported outcomes from yoga interventions conducted with cancer survivors. A total of 25 published yoga intervention studies for cancer survivors from 2004–2011 had patient-reported outcomes, including quality of life, psychosocial or symptom measures. Thirteen of these studies met the necessary criteria to assess clinical significance. Clinical significance for each of the outcomes of interest was examined based on 1 standard error of the measurement, 0.5 standard deviation, and relative comparative effect sizes and their respective confidence intervals. This review describes in detail these patient-reported outcomes, how they were obtained, their relative clinical significance and implications for both clinical and research settings. Overall, clinically significant changes in patient-reported outcomes suggest that yoga interventions hold promise for improving cancer survivors' well-being. This research overview provides new directions for examining how clinical significance can provide a unique context for describing changes in patient-reported outcomes from yoga interventions. Researchers are encouraged to employ indices of clinical significance in the interpretation and discussion of results from yoga studies.

  12. Orthogeriatric care: improving patient outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarazona-Santabalbina FJ


    Full Text Available Francisco José Tarazona-Santabalbina,1,2 Ángel Belenguer-Varea,1,2 Eduardo Rovira,1,2 David Cuesta-Peredó1,21Geriatric Medicine Unit, Internal Medicine Department, Hospital Universitario de la Ribera, 2Medical School, Universidad Católica de Valencia San vicente Mártir, Valencia, SpainAbstract: Hip fractures are a very serious socio-economic problem in western countries. Since the 1950s, orthogeriatric units have introduced improvements in the care of geriatric patients admitted to hospital because of hip fractures. During this period, these units have reduced mean hospital stays, number of complications, and both in-hospital mortality and mortality over the middle term after hospital discharge, along with improvements in the quality of care and a reduction in costs. Likewise, a recent clinical trial has reported greater functional gains among the affected patients. Studies in this field have identified the prognostic factors present upon admission or manifesting themselves during admission and that increase the risk of patient mortality or disability. In addition, improved care afforded by orthogeriatric units has proved to reduce costs. Nevertheless, a number of management issues remain to be clarified, such as the optimum anesthetic, analgesic, and thromboprophylactic protocols; the type of diagnostic and therapeutic approach best suited to patients with cognitive problems; or the efficiency of the programs used in convalescence units or in home rehabilitation care. Randomized clinical trials are needed to consolidate the evidence in this regard. Keywords: hip fractures, geriatric assessment, orthogeriatric care, recovery of function, mortality

  13. Improving Outcomes Following Penetrating Colon Wounds (United States)

    Miller, Preston R.; Fabian, Timothy C.; Croce, Martin A.; Magnotti, Louis J.; Elizabeth Pritchard, F.; Minard, Gayle; Stewart, Ronald M.


    Introduction During World War II, failure to treat penetrating colon injuries with diversion could result in court martial. Based on this wartime experience, colostomy for civilian colon wounds became the standard of care for the next 4 decades. Previous work from our institution demonstrated that primary repair was the optimal management for nondestructive colon wounds. Optimal management of destructive wounds requiring resection remains controversial. To address this issue, we performed a study that demonstrated risk factors (pre or intraoperative transfusion requirement of more than 6 units of packed red blood cells, significant comorbid diseases) that were associated with a suture line failure rate of 14%, and of whom 33% died. Based on these outcomes, a clinical pathway for management of destructive colon wounds was developed. The results of the implementation of this pathway are the focus of this report. Methods Patients with penetrating colon injury were identified from the registry of a level I trauma center over a 5-year period. Records were reviewed for demographics, injury characteristics, and outcome. Patients with nondestructive injuries underwent primary repair. Patients with destructive wounds but no comorbidities or large transfusion requirement underwent resection and anastomosis, while patients with destructive wounds and significant medical illness or transfusion requirements of more than 6 units/blood received end colostomy. The current patients (CP) were compared to the previous study (PS) to determine the impact of the clinical pathway. Outcomes examined included colon related mortality and morbidity (suture line leak and abscess). Results Over a 5.5-year period, 231 patients had penetrating colon wounds. 209 survived more 24 hours and comprise the study population. Primary repair was performed on 153 (73%) patients, and 56 patients had destructive injuries (27%). Of these, 40 (71%) had resection and anastomosis and 16 (29%) had diversion

  14. Inhaler Reminders Significantly Improve Asthma Patients' Use of Controller Medications (United States)

    ... controller medications Share | Inhaler reminders significantly improve asthma patients’ use of controller medications Published Online: July 22, ... the burden and risk of asthma, but many patients do not use them regularly. This poor adherence ...

  15. Significant improvement in the thermal annealing process of optical resonators (United States)

    Salzenstein, Patrice; Zarubin, Mikhail


    Thermal annealing performed during process improves the quality of the roughness of optical resonators reducing stresses at the periphery of their surface thus allowing higher Q-factors. After a preliminary realization, the design of the oven and the electronic method were significantly improved thanks to nichrome resistant alloy wires and chopped basalt fibers for thermal isolation during the annealing process. Q-factors can then be improved.

  16. Do Municipal Mergers Improve Fiscal Outcomes?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Sune Welling; Houlberg, Kurt; Holm Pedersen, Lene


    Improved fiscal management is a frequent justification for promoting boundary consolidations. However, whether or not this is actually the case is rarely placed under rigorous empirical scrutiny. Hence, this article investigates if fiscal outcomes are improved when municipalities are merged....... The basic argument is that the conceptualisation of fiscal management in political science is often too narrow as it focuses on the budget and pays hardly any attention to balances in the final accounts and debts – elements of management which are central to policy making. On this background, the causal...... relationship between municipal mergers and fiscal outcomes is analysed. Measured on the balance between revenues and expenses, liquid assets and debts, municipal mergers improve the fiscal outcomes of the municipalities in a five-year perspective, although the pre-reform effects tend to be negative...

  17. Assessing clinical significance of treatment outcomes using the DASS-21. (United States)

    Ronk, Fiona R; Korman, James R; Hooke, Geoffrey R; Page, Andrew C


    Standard clinical significance classifications are based on movement between the "dysfunctional" and "functional" distributions; however, this dichotomy ignores heterogeneity within the "dysfunctional" population. Based on the methodology described by Tingey, Lambert, Burlingame, and Hansen (1996), the present study sought to present a 3-distribution clinical significance model for the 21-item version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21; P. F. Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995) using data from a normative sample (n = 2,914), an outpatient sample (n = 1,000), and an inpatient sample (n = 3,964). DASS-21 scores were collected at pre- and post-treatment for both clinical samples, and patients were classified into 1 of 5 categories based on whether they had made a reliable change and whether they had moved into a different functional range. Evidence supported the validity of the 3-distribution model for the DASS-21, since inpatients who were classified as making a clinically significant change showed lower symptom severity, higher perceived quality of life, and higher clinician-rated functioning than those who did not make a clinically significant change. Importantly, results suggest that the new category of recovering is an intermediate point between recovered and making no clinically significant change. Inpatients and outpatients have different treatment goals and therefore use of the concept of clinical significance needs to acknowledge differences in what constitutes a meaningful change. (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  18. Can life coaching improve health outcomes?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ammentorp, Jette

    26. Ammentorp J, Uhrenfeldt L, Angel F, Ehrensvärd, Carlsen E, Kofoed P-E. Can life coaching improve health outcomes? – A systematic review of intervention studies. Poster presented at the International Conference on Communication in Healthcare, Montreal Canada, 30 Sept 2013.......26. Ammentorp J, Uhrenfeldt L, Angel F, Ehrensvärd, Carlsen E, Kofoed P-E. Can life coaching improve health outcomes? – A systematic review of intervention studies. Poster presented at the International Conference on Communication in Healthcare, Montreal Canada, 30 Sept 2013....

  19. Preoperative exercise training to improve postoperative outcomes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valkenet, K.


    It is common knowledge that better preoperative physical fitness is associated with better postoperative outcomes. However, as a result of aging of the population and improved surgical and anaesthesia techniques, the proportion of frail patients with decreased physical fitness levels undergoing

  20. Will Interventions Targeting Conscientiousness Improve Aging Outcomes? (United States)

    English, Tammy; Carstensen, Laura L.


    The articles appearing in this special section discuss the role that conscientiousness may play in healthy aging. Growing evidence suggests that conscientious individuals live longer and healthier lives. However, the question remains whether this personality trait can be leveraged to improve long-term health outcomes. We argue that even though it…

  1. Parallel paths to improve heart failure outcomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albert, Nancy M.


    -based, heart failure guidelines improves clinical outcomes. Thus, nurses and patients are on parallel paths related to setting the foundation for improved self-care adherence in advanced heart failure. Through research, we found that nurses were not adequately prepared as heart failure educators...... and that patients did not believe they were able to control heart failure. In 2 educational intervention studies that aimed to help patients understand that they could control fluid management and follow a strict daily fluid limit, patients had improved clinical outcomes. Thus, misperceptions about heart failure......Gaps and disparities in delivery of heart failure education by nurses and performance in accomplishing self-care behaviors by patients with advanced heart failure may be factors in clinical decompensation and unplanned consumption of health care. Is nurse-led education effectively delivered before...

  2. Training directionally selective motion pathways can significantly improve reading efficiency (United States)

    Lawton, Teri


    This study examined whether perceptual learning at early levels of visual processing would facilitate learning at higher levels of processing. This was examined by determining whether training the motion pathways by practicing leftright movement discrimination, as found previously, would improve the reading skills of inefficient readers significantly more than another computer game, a word discrimination game, or the reading program offered by the school. This controlled validation study found that practicing left-right movement discrimination 5-10 minutes twice a week (rapidly) for 15 weeks doubled reading fluency, and significantly improved all reading skills by more than one grade level, whereas inefficient readers in the control groups barely improved on these reading skills. In contrast to previous studies of perceptual learning, these experiments show that perceptual learning of direction discrimination significantly improved reading skills determined at higher levels of cognitive processing, thereby being generalized to a new task. The deficits in reading performance and attentional focus experienced by the person who struggles when reading are suggested to result from an information overload, resulting from timing deficits in the direction-selectivity network proposed by Russell De Valois et al. (2000), that following practice on direction discrimination goes away. This study found that practicing direction discrimination rapidly transitions the inefficient 7-year-old reader to an efficient reader.

  3. Improving Acquisition Outcomes with Contextual Ambidexterity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meglio, Olimpia; King, David R.; Risberg, Annette


    The results of research on mergers and acquisitions often point to a need to improve acquisition outcomes and lessen the organizational turmoil that can often follow integration efforts. We assert that viewing acquisition integration through the lens of contextual ambidexterity may improve...... acquisition outcomes in two ways: by providing an integrated solution to the economic and social tensions in acquisitions, and by enabling managers to effectively confront the competing needs of task and human integration. We also posit that by building on contextual ambidexterity, we can extend...... the possibilities for both research and practice regarding task and human integration in acquisitions. We also emphasize the role of an integration manager and integration mechanisms in enabling contextual ambidexterity for successful acquisition integration. Finally, we identify implications for research...

  4. Push for Progress Inspired Improved Outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob L. Bidwell


    Full Text Available The author and issue editor describes the changing faces of health care as well as movements undertaken by U.S. health systems over the last two decades to improve the treatment and documented outcomes of minority or impoverished patients and to understand the impact of cultural differences on patient care. While much progress has been made, achieving health equity will require the continued efforts of many working toward this goal.

  5. Low-dose vaporized cannabis significantly improves neuropathic pain. (United States)

    Wilsey, Barth; Marcotte, Thomas; Deutsch, Reena; Gouaux, Ben; Sakai, Staci; Donaghe, Haylee


    We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of vaporized cannabis in subjects, the majority of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment. Thirty-nine patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain underwent a standardized procedure for inhaling medium-dose (3.53%), low-dose (1.29%), or placebo cannabis with the primary outcome being visual analog scale pain intensity. Psychoactive side effects and neuropsychological performance were also evaluated. Mixed-effects regression models demonstrated an analgesic response to vaporized cannabis. There was no significant difference between the 2 active dose groups' results (P > .7). The number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve 30% pain reduction was 3.2 for placebo versus low-dose, 2.9 for placebo versus medium-dose, and 25 for medium- versus low-dose. As these NNTs are comparable to those of traditional neuropathic pain medications, cannabis has analgesic efficacy with the low dose being as effective a pain reliever as the medium dose. Psychoactive effects were minimal and well tolerated, and neuropsychological effects were of limited duration and readily reversible within 1 to 2 hours. Vaporized cannabis, even at low doses, may present an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain. The analgesia obtained from a low dose of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (1.29%) in patients, most of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite conventional treatments, is a clinically significant outcome. In general, the effect sizes on cognitive testing were consistent with this minimal dose. As a result, one might not anticipate a significant impact on daily functioning. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Significant Improvement of Catalytic Efficiencies in Ionic Liquids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, Choong Eui; Yoon, Mi Young; Choi, Doo Seong


    The use of ionic liquids as reaction media can confer many advantages upon catalytic reactions over reactions in organic solvents. In ionic liquids, catalysts having polar or ionic character can easily be immobilized without additional structural modification and thus the ionic solutions containing the catalyst can easily be separated from the reagents and reaction products, and then, be reused. More interestingly, switching from an organic solvent to an ionic liquid often results in a significant improvement in catalytic performance (e.g., rate acceleration, (enantio)selectivity improvement and an increase in catalyst stability). In this review, some recent interesting results which can nicely demonstrate these positive 'ionic liquid effect' on catalysis are discussed

  7. Bedtime Blood Pressure Chronotherapy Significantly Improves Hypertension Management. (United States)

    Hermida, Ramón C; Ayala, Diana E; Fernández, José R; Mojón, Artemio; Crespo, Juan J; Ríos, María T; Smolensky, Michael H


    Consistent evidence of numerous studies substantiates the asleep blood pressure (BP) mean derived from ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) is both an independent and a stronger predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk than are daytime clinic BP measurements or the ABPM-determined awake or 24-hour BP means. Hence, cost-effective adequate control of sleep-time BP is of marked clinical relevance. Ingestion time, according to circadian rhythms, of hypertension medications of 6 different classes and their combinations significantly improves BP control, particularly sleep-time BP, and reduces adverse effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. [Improvement of Phi bodies stain and its clinical significance]. (United States)

    Gong, Xu-Bo; Lu, Xing-Guo; Yan, Li-Juan; Xiao, Xi-Bin; Wu, Dong; Xu, Gen-Bo; Zhang, Xiao-Hong; Zhao, Xiao-Ying


    The aim of this study was to improve the dyeing method of hydroperoxidase (HPO), to analyze the morphologic features of Phi bodies and to evaluate the clinical application of this method. 128 bone marrow or peripheral blood smears from patients with myeloid and lymphoid malignancies were stained by improved HPO staining. The Phi bodies were observed with detection rate of Phi bodies in different leukemias. 69 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) specimens were chosen randomly, the positive rate and the number of Phi bodies between the improved HPO and POX stain based on the same substrate of 3, 3'diaminobenzidine were compared. The results showed that the shape of bundle-like Phi bodies was variable, long or short. while the nubbly Phi bodies often presented oval and smooth. Club-like Phi bodies were found in M(3). The detection rates of bundle-like Phi bodies in AML M(1)-M(5) were 42.9% (6/14), 83.3% (15/18), 92.0% (23/25), 52.3% (11/21), 33.3% (5/15) respectively, and those of nubbly Phi bodies were 28.6% (4/14), 66.7% (12/18), 11.1% (3/25), 33.3% (7/21), 20.0% (3/15) respectively. The detection rate of bundle-like Phi bodies in M(3) was significantly higher than that in (M(1) + M(2)) or (M(4) + M(5)) groups. The detection rate of nubbly Phi bodies in (M(1) + M(2)) group was higher than that in M(3) group. In conclusion, after improvement of staining method, the HPO stain becomes simple, the detection rate of Phi bodies is higher than that by the previous method, the positive granules are more obvious, and the results become stable. This improved method plays an important role in differentiating AML from ALL, subtyping AML, and evaluating the therapeutic results.

  9. Improving Information Technology Curriculum Learning Outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derrick L Anderson


    The case study research methodology has been selected to conduct the inquiry into this phenomenon. This empirical inquiry facilitates exploration of a contemporary phenomenon in depth within its real-life context using a variety of data sources. The subject of analysis will be two Information Technology classes composed of a combination of second year and third year students; both classes have six students, the same six students. Contribution It is the purpose of this research to show that the use of improved approaches to learning will produce more desirable learning outcomes. Findings The results of this inquiry clearly show that the use of the traditional behaviorist based pedagogic model to achieve college and university IT program learning outcomes is not as effective as a more constructivist based andragogic model. Recommendations Instruction based purely on either of these does a disservice to the typical college and university level learner. The correct approach lies somewhere in between them; the most successful outcome attainment would be the product of incorporating the best of both. Impact on Society Instructional strategies produce learning outcomes; learning outcomes demonstrate what knowledge has been acquired. Acquired knowledge is used by students as they pursue professional careers and other ventures in life. Future Research Learning and teaching approaches are not “one-size-fits-all” propositions; different strategies are appropriate for different circumstances and situations. Additional research should seek to introduce vehicles that will move learners away from one the traditional methodology that has been used throughout much of their educational careers to an approach that is better suited to equip them with the skills necessary to meet the challenges awaiting them in the professional world.

  10. Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain (United States)

    Wilsey, Barth; Marcotte, Thomas D.; Deutsch, Reena; Gouaux, Ben; Sakai, Staci; Donaghe, Haylee


    We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of vaporized cannabis in subjects, the majority of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment. Thirty-nine patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain underwent a standardized procedure for inhaling either medium dose (3.53%), low dose (1.29%), or placebo cannabis with the primary outcome being VAS pain intensity. Psychoactive side-effects, and neuropsychological performance were also evaluated. Mixed effects regression models demonstrated an analgesic response to vaporized cannabis. There was no significant difference between the two active dose groups’ results (p>0.7). The number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve 30% pain reduction was 3.2 for placebo vs. low dose, 2.9 for placebo vs. medium dose, and 25 for medium vs. low dose. As these NNT are comparable to those of traditional neuropathic pain medications, cannabis has analgesic efficacy with the low dose being, for all intents and purposes, as effective a pain reliever as the medium dose. Psychoactive effects were minimal and well-tolerated, and neuropsychological effects were of limited duration and readily reversible within 1–2 hours. Vaporized cannabis, even at low doses, may present an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain. PMID:23237736

  11. Ceramic Composite Intermediate Temperature Stress-Rupture Properties Improved Significantly (United States)

    Morscher, Gregory N.; Hurst, Janet B.


    Silicon carbide (SiC) composites are considered to be potential materials for future aircraft engine parts such as combustor liners. It is envisioned that on the hot side (inner surface) of the combustor liner, composites will have to withstand temperatures in excess of 1200 C for thousands of hours in oxidizing environments. This is a severe condition; however, an equally severe, if not more detrimental, condition exists on the cold side (outer surface) of the combustor liner. Here, the temperatures are expected to be on the order of 800 to 1000 C under high tensile stress because of thermal gradients and attachment of the combustor liner to the engine frame (the hot side will be under compressive stress, a less severe stress-state for ceramics). Since these composites are not oxides, they oxidize. The worst form of oxidation for strength reduction occurs at these intermediate temperatures, where the boron nitride (BN) interphase oxidizes first, which causes the formation of a glass layer that strongly bonds the fibers to the matrix. When the fibers strongly bond to the matrix or to one another, the composite loses toughness and strength and becomes brittle. To increase the intermediate temperature stress-rupture properties, researchers must modify the BN interphase. With the support of the Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) Program, significant improvements were made as state-of-the-art SiC/SiC composites were developed during the Enabling Propulsion Materials (EPM) program. Three approaches were found to improve the intermediate-temperature stress-rupture properties: fiber-spreading, high-temperature silicon- (Si) doped boron nitride (BN), and outside-debonding BN.

  12. Perforated peptic ulcer: How to improve outcome?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Morten Hylander; Adamsen, Sven; Wøjdemann, Morten


    Despite the introduction of histamine H(2)-receptor antagonists, proton-pump inhibitors and the discovery of Helicobacter pylori, both the incidence of emergency surgery for perforated peptic ulcer and the mortality rate for patients undergoing surgery for peptic ulcer perforation have increased...... with an emphasis on risks that are preventable. A systematic review including randomized studies was carried out. There are a limited number of studies of patients with peptic ulcer perforation. Most of these studies are of low evidential status. Only a few randomized, controlled trials have been published...... to improve the outcome of patients with peptic ulcer perforation, sepsis needs to be factored into the existing knowledge and treatment Udgivelsesdato: 2008/8/27...

  13. Inpatient Treatment for Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa: Clinical Significance and Predictors of Treatment Outcome. (United States)

    Schlegl, Sandra; Diedrich, Alice; Neumayr, Christina; Fumi, Markus; Naab, Silke; Voderholzer, Ulrich


    This study evaluated the clinical significance as well as predictors of outcome for adolescents with severe anorexia nervosa (AN) treated in an inpatient setting. Body mass index (BMI), eating disorder (ED) symptoms [Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2)], general psychopathology and depression were assessed in 238 patients at admission and discharge. BMI increased from 14.8 + 1.2 to 17.3 + 1.4 kg/m(2). Almost a fourth (23.6%) of the patients showed reliable changes, and 44.7% showed clinically significant changes (EDI-2). BMI change did not significantly differ between those with reliable or clinically significant change or no reliable change in EDI-2. Length of stay, depression and body dissatisfaction were negative predictors of a clinically significant change. Inpatient treatment is effective in about two thirds of adolescents with AN and should be considered when outpatient treatment fails. About one third of patients showed significant weight gain, but did not improve regarding overall ED symptomatology. Future studies should focus on treatment strategies for non-responders. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

  14. Network information improves cancer outcome prediction. (United States)

    Roy, Janine; Winter, Christof; Isik, Zerrin; Schroeder, Michael


    Disease progression in cancer can vary substantially between patients. Yet, patients often receive the same treatment. Recently, there has been much work on predicting disease progression and patient outcome variables from gene expression in order to personalize treatment options. Despite first diagnostic kits in the market, there are open problems such as the choice of random gene signatures or noisy expression data. One approach to deal with these two problems employs protein-protein interaction networks and ranks genes using the random surfer model of Google's PageRank algorithm. In this work, we created a benchmark dataset collection comprising 25 cancer outcome prediction datasets from literature and systematically evaluated the use of networks and a PageRank derivative, NetRank, for signature identification. We show that the NetRank performs significantly better than classical methods such as fold change or t-test. Despite an order of magnitude difference in network size, a regulatory and protein-protein interaction network perform equally well. Experimental evaluation on cancer outcome prediction in all of the 25 underlying datasets suggests that the network-based methodology identifies highly overlapping signatures over all cancer types, in contrast to classical methods that fail to identify highly common gene sets across the same cancer types. Integration of network information into gene expression analysis allows the identification of more reliable and accurate biomarkers and provides a deeper understanding of processes occurring in cancer development and progression. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email:

  15. Improving STEM Student Learning Outcomes with GIS (United States)

    Montgomery, W. W.


    Longitudinal data collection initiated a decade ago as part of a successful NSF-CCLI grant proposal has resulted in a large - and growing - sample (200+) of students who report on their perceptions of self-improvement in Technology, Critical Thinking, and Quantitative Reasoning proficiencies upon completion of an introductory (200-level) GIS course at New Jersey City University, a Hispanic-Serving and Minority Institution in Jersey City, NJ. Results from student satisfaction surveys indicate that, not surprisingly, 80% of respondents report improved confidence in Technology Literacy. Critical Thinking proficiency is judged to be significantly improved by 60% of respondents. On the other hand, Quantitative Reasoning proficiency confidence is improved in only 30% of students. This latter finding has prompted the instructor to search for more easily recognizable (to the student) ways of embedding quantitative reasoning into the course, as it is obvious to any GIS professional that there is an enormous amount of quantitative reasoning associated with this technology. A second post-course questionnaire asks students to rate themselves in these STEM proficiency areas using rubrics. Results mirror those from the self-satisfaction surveys. On a 5-point Likkert scale, students tend to see themselves improving about one letter grade on average in each proficiency area. The self-evaluation rubrics are reviewed by the instructor and are judged to be accurate for about 75% of the respondents.

  16. Motivational tools to improve probationer treatment outcomes. (United States)

    Taxman, Faye S; Walters, Scott T; Sloas, Lincoln B; Lerch, Jennifer; Rodriguez, Mayra


    Motivational interviewing (MI) is a promising practice to increase motivation, treatment retention, and reducing recidivism among offender populations. Computer-delivered interventions have grown in popularity as a way to change behaviors associated with drug and alcohol use. Motivational Assistance Program to Initiate Treatment (MAPIT) is a three arm, multisite, randomized controlled trial, which examines the impact of Motivational interviewing (MI), a motivational computer program (MC), and supervision as usual (SAU) on addiction treatment initiation, engagement, and retention. Secondary outcomes include drug/alcohol use, probation progress, recidivism (i.e., criminal behavior) and HIV/AIDS testing and treatment among probationers. Participant characteristics are measured at baseline, 2, and 6 months after assignment. The entire study will include 600 offenders, with each site recruiting 300 offenders (Baltimore City, Maryland and Dallas, Texas). All participants will go through standard intake procedures for probation and participate in probation requirements as usual. After standard intake, participants will be recruited and screened for eligibility. The results of this clinical trial will fill a gap in knowledge about ways to motivate probationers to participate in addiction treatment and HIV care. This randomized clinical trial is innovative in the way it examines the use of in-person vs. technological approaches to improve probationer success. NCT01891656. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Methylphenidate significantly improves declarative memory functioning of adults with ADHD.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verster, J.C.; Bekker, E.M.; Kooij, J.J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Verbaten, M.N.; Volkerts, E.R.; Olivier, B.


    BACKGROUND: Declarative memory deficits are common in untreated adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but limited evidence exists to support improvement after treatment with methylphenidate. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of methylphenidate on memory

  18. Improving Outcomes for Workers with Mental Retardation (United States)

    Fornes, Sandra; Rocco, Tonette S.; Rosenberg, Howard


    This research presents an analysis of factors predicting job retention, job satisfaction, and job performance of workers with mental retardation. The findings highlight self-determination as a critical skill in predicting the three important employee outcomes. The study examined a hypothesized job retention model and the outcome of the three…

  19. Improving Pupil Referral Unit Outcomes: Pupil Perspectives (United States)

    Michael, Siobhan; Frederickson, Norah


    Concern has been expressed about the quality of alternative provision for young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, and the poor academic and social outcomes many experience. Little research has sought the views of the young people themselves regarding the enablers and barriers to positive outcomes they have encountered. A…

  20. Creating a Middle Grades Environment that Significantly Improves Student Achievement (United States)

    L'Esperance, Mark E.; Lenker, Ethan; Bullock, Ann; Lockamy, Becky; Mason, Cathy


    This article offers an overview of the framework that Sampson County Public Schools (North Carolina) used to critically reflect on the current state of their middle grades schools. The article also highlights the changes that resulted from the district-wide analysis and the ways in which these changes led to a significant increase in the academic…

  1. Improving Outcomes in Patients With Sepsis. (United States)

    Armen, Scott B; Freer, Carol V; Showalter, John W; Crook, Tonya; Whitener, Cynthia J; West, Cheri; Terndrup, Thomas E; Grifasi, Marissa; DeFlitch, Christopher J; Hollenbeak, Christopher S


    Sepsis mortality may be improved by early recognition and appropriate treatment based on evidence-based guidelines. An intervention was developed that focused on earlier identification of sepsis, early antimicrobial administration, and an educational program that was disseminated throughout all hospital units and services. There were 1331 patients with sepsis during the intervention period and 1401 patients with sepsis during the control period. After controlling for expected mortality, patients in the intervention period had 30% lower odds of dying (odds ratio = 0.70, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.57 to 0.84). They also had 1.07 fewer days on average in the intensive care unit (95% CI = -1.98 to -0.16), 2.15 fewer hospital days (95% CI = -3.45 to -0.86), and incurred on average $1949 less in hospital costs, although the effect on costs was not statistically significant. Continued incremental improvement and sustainment is anticipated through organizational oversight, continued education, and initiation of an automated electronic sepsis alert function. © The Author(s) 2014.

  2. Improving perinatal outcome: towards individualized care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kazemier, B.M.


    Unfortunately not all pregnancies and deliveries take place without complications. Complications during pregnancy or delivery can lead to maternal morbidity and poor perinatal outcomes such as perinatal mortality or (severe) neonatal morbidity. First assessment in antenatal care is to distinguish

  3. The significance of clinical experience on learning outcome from resuscitation training-a randomised controlled study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Morten Lind; Lippert, Freddy; Hesselfeldt, Rasmus


    CONTEXT: The impact of clinical experience on learning outcome from a resuscitation course has not been systematically investigated. AIM: To determine whether half a year of clinical experience before participation in an Advanced Life Support (ALS) course increases the immediate learning outcome...... and retention of learning. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective single blinded randomised controlled study of the learning outcome from a standard ALS course on a volunteer sample of the entire cohort of newly graduated doctors from Copenhagen University. The outcome measurement was ALS...... immediately following graduation. RESULTS: Invitation to participate was accepted by 154/240 (64%) graduates and 117/154 (76%) completed the study. There was no difference between the intervention and control groups with regard to the immediate learning outcome. The intervention group had significantly higher...

  4. CBT competence in novice therapists improves anxiety outcomes. (United States)

    Brown, Lily A; Craske, Michelle G; Glenn, Daniel E; Stein, Murray B; Sullivan, Greer; Sherbourne, Cathy; Bystritsky, Alexander; Welch, Stacy S; Campbell-Sills, Laura; Lang, Ariel; Roy-Byrne, Peter; Rose, Raphael D


    This study explores the relationships between therapist variables (cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] competence, and CBT adherence) and clinical outcomes of computer-assisted CBT for anxiety disorders delivered by novice therapists in a primary care setting. Participants were recruited for a randomized controlled trial of evidence-based treatment, including computer-assisted CBT, versus treatment as usual. Therapists (anxiety clinical specialists; ACSs) were nonexpert clinicians, many of whom had no prior experience in delivering psychotherapy (and in particular, very little experience with CBT). Trained raters reviewed randomly selected treatment sessions from 176 participants and rated therapists on measures of CBT competence and CBT adherence. Patients were assessed at baseline and at 6-, 12-, and 18-month follow-ups on measures of anxiety, depression, and functioning, and an average Reliable Change Index was calculated as a composite measure of outcome. CBT competence and CBT adherence were entered as predictors of outcome, after controlling for baseline covariates. Higher CBT competence was associated with better clinical outcomes whereas CBT adherence was not. Also, CBT competence was inversely correlated with years of clinical experience and trended (not significantly, though) down as the study progressed. CBT adherence was inversely correlated with therapist tenure in the study. Therapist competence was related to improved clinical outcomes when CBT for anxiety disorders was delivered by novice clinicians with technology assistance. The results highlight the value of the initial training for novice therapists as well as booster training to limit declines in therapist adherence. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Pathways: improving outcomes, not just 'cookbook medicine'. (United States)

    O'Malley, S


    A Kaiser Permanente medical director cites four benefits to be derived from using clinical guidelines: better outcomes, faster patient recovery, reduced costs, and increased physician accountability. And, he notes, physicians are free to deviate from the guidelines--so long as they can justify their actions.

  6. Dental Emergencies: Management Strategies That Improve Outcomes [Digest]. (United States)

    Pedigo, Ryan Anthony; Zaurova, Milana


    Points & Pearls is a digest of Emergency Medicine Practice . Acute dental emergencies are a common chief complaint presenting to emergency departments, and they are increasing substantially in frequency. The diagnosis and management of dental emergencies is a core competency of the emergency clinician, and proper therapeutic strategies can significantly improve cosmetic and functional outcomes for patients. This issue provides a systematic review of the literature on common acute traumatic and atraumatic dental emergencies with a focus on the historical and physical examination findings that must be understood to identify life-threatening infections, relieve pain, salvage natural teeth, and communicate with specialists in the further management of patients after emergency treatment.

  7. Prognostic significance of electrophysiological tests for facial nerve outcome in vestibular schwannoma surgery. (United States)

    van Dinther, J J S; Van Rompaey, V; Somers, T; Zarowski, A; Offeciers, F E


    To assess the prognostic significance of pre-operative electrophysiological tests for facial nerve outcome in vestibular schwannoma surgery. Retrospective study design in a tertiary referral neurology unit. We studied a total of 123 patients with unilateral vestibular schwannoma who underwent microsurgical removal of the lesion. Nine patients were excluded because they had clinically abnormal pre-operative facial function. Pre-operative electrophysiological facial nerve function testing (EPhT) was performed. Short-term (1 month) and long-term (1 year) post-operative clinical facial nerve function were assessed. When pre-operative facial nerve function, evaluated by EPhT, was normal, the outcome from clinical follow-up at 1-month post-operatively was excellent in 78% (i.e. HB I-II) of patients, moderate in 11% (i.e. HB III-IV), and bad in 11% (i.e. HB V-VI). After 1 year, 86% had excellent outcomes, 13% had moderate outcomes, and 1% had bad outcomes. Of all patients with normal clinical facial nerve function, 22% had an abnormal EPhT result and 78% had a normal result. No statistically significant differences could be observed in short-term and long-term post-operative facial function between the groups. In this study, electrophysiological tests were not able to predict facial nerve outcome after vestibular schwannoma surgery. Tumour size remains the best pre-operative prognostic indicator of facial nerve function outcome, i.e. a better outcome in smaller lesions.

  8. Improving perinatal outcome: towards individualized care


    Kazemier, B.M.


    Unfortunately not all pregnancies and deliveries take place without complications. Complications during pregnancy or delivery can lead to maternal morbidity and poor perinatal outcomes such as perinatal mortality or (severe) neonatal morbidity. First assessment in antenatal care is to distinguish women who require standard care from those requiring special attention. At the moment, we can make some global risk assessments, but are not able to give a women a risk assessment that is adapted for...

  9. The standardized surgical approach improves outcome of gallbladder cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igna Dorian


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The objective of this study was to examine the extent of surgical procedures, pathological findings, complications and outcome of patients treated in the last 12 years for gallbladder cancer. Methods The impact of a standardized more aggressive approach compared with historical controls of our center with an individual approach was examined. Of 53 patients, 21 underwent resection for cure and 32 for palliation. Results Overall hospital mortality was 9% and procedure related mortality was 4%. The standardized approach in UICC stage IIa, IIb and III led to a significantly improved outcome compared to patients with an individual approach (Median survival: 14 vs. 7 months, mean+/-SEM: 26+/-7 vs. 17+/-5 months, p = 0.014. The main differences between the standardized and the individual approach were anatomical vs. atypical liver resection, performance of systematic lymph dissection of the hepaticoduodenal ligament and the resection of the common bile duct. Conclusion Anatomical liver resection, proof for bile duct infiltration and, in case of tumor invasion, radical resection and lymph dissection of the hepaticoduodenal ligament are essential to improve outcome of locally advanced gallbladder cancer.

  10. Rehearsal significantly improves immediate and delayed recall on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. (United States)

    Hessen, Erik


    A repeated observation during memory assessment with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) is that patients who spontaneously employ a memory rehearsal strategy by repeating the word list more than once achieve better scores than patients who only repeat the word list once. This observation led to concern about the ability of the standard test procedure of RAVLT and similar tests in eliciting the best possible recall scores. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that a rehearsal recall strategy of repeating the word list more than once would result in improved scores of recall on the RAVLT. We report on differences in outcome after standard administration and after experimental administration on Immediate and Delayed Recall measures from the RAVLT of 50 patients. The experimental administration resulted in significantly improved scores for all the variables employed. Additionally, it was found that patients who failed effort screening showed significantly poorer improvement on Delayed Recall compared with those who passed the effort screening. The general clear improvement both in raw scores and T-scores demonstrates that recall performance can be significantly influenced by the strategy of the patient or by small variations in instructions by the examiner.

  11. The impact of significant other expressed emotion on patient outcomes in chronic fatigue syndrome. (United States)

    Band, Rebecca; Barrowclough, Christine; Wearden, Alison


    Previous literature has identified the importance of interpersonal processes for patient outcomes in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), particularly in the context of significant other relationships. The current study investigated expressed emotion (EE), examining the independent effects of critical comments and emotional overinvolvement (EOI) in association with patient outcomes. Fifty-five patients with CFS/ME and their significant others were recruited from specialist CFS/ME services. Significant other EE status was coded from a modified Camberwell Family Interview. Patient outcomes (fatigue severity, disability, and depression) were derived from questionnaire measures. Forty-four patients (80%) completed follow-up questionnaires 6-months after recruitment. Significant other high-EE categorized by both high levels of critical comments and high EOI was predictive of worse fatigue severity at follow-up. High-critical EE was associated with higher levels of patient depressive symptoms longitudinally; depressive symptoms were observed to mediate the relationship between high critical comments and fatigue severity reported at follow-up. There were higher rates of high-EE in parents than in partners, and this was because of higher rates of EOI in parents. Patients with high-EE significant others demonstrated poorer outcomes at follow-up compared with patients in low-EE dyads. One mechanism for this appears to be as a result of increased patient depression. Future research should seek to further clarify whether the role of interpersonal processes in CFS/ME differs across different patient-significant other relationships. The development of significant other-focused treatment interventions may be particularly beneficial for both patients and significant others. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. [Rapid resolution of acute subdural haematoma with significant impact on clinical outcome]. (United States)

    Capion, Tenna; Lilja-Cyron, Alexander; Kelsen, Jesper


    A 73-year-old woman was admitted to hospital due to anaemia. She suffered a minor head trauma and deteriorated to deep unconsciousness. A CT revealed an acute subdural haematoma (ASDH). Initially, she was not found to be a candidate for neurosurgical intervention, but within 24 hours her level of consciousness improved dramatically, and a renewed CT showed resolution of the ASDH. She underwent acute craniotomy with good outcome. This illustrates the importance of re-evaluation of patients with intracranial haemorrhage.

  13. Do workplace physical activity interventions improve mental health outcomes? (United States)

    Chu, A H Y; Koh, D; Moy, F M; Müller-Riemenschneider, F


    Mental health is an important issue in the working population. Interventions to improve mental health have included physical activity. To review evidence for the effectiveness of workplace physical activity interventions on mental health outcomes. A literature search was conducted for studies published between 1990 and August 2013. Inclusion criteria were physical activity trials, working populations and mental health outcomes. Study quality was assessed using the Jadad scale. Of 3684 unique articles identified, 17 met all selection criteria, including 13 randomized controlled trials, 2 comparison trials and 2 controlled trials. Studies were grouped into two key intervention areas: physical activity and yoga exercise. Of eight high-quality trials, two provided strong evidence for a reduction in anxiety, one reported moderate evidence for an improvement in depression symptoms and one provided limited evidence on relieving stress. The remaining trials did not provide evidence on improved mental well-being. Workplace physical activity and yoga programmes are associated with a significant reduction in depressive symptoms and anxiety, respectively. Their impact on stress relief is less conclusive. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

  14. The readability of psychosocial wellness patient resources: improving surgical outcomes. (United States)

    Kugar, Meredith A; Cohen, Adam C; Wooden, William; Tholpady, Sunil S; Chu, Michael W


    Patient education is increasingly accessed with online resources and is essential for patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes. The average American adult reads at a seventh grade level, and the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the American Medical Association (AMA) recommend that information be written at a sixth-grade reading level. Health literacy plays an important role in the disease course and outcomes of all patients, including those with depression and likely other psychiatric disorders, although this is an area in need of further study. The purpose of this study was to collect and analyze written, online mental health resources on the Veterans Health Administration (VA) website, and other websites, using readability assessment instruments. An internet search was performed to identify written patient education information regarding mental health from the VA (the VA Mental Health Website) and top-rated psychiatric hospitals. Seven mental health topics were included in the analysis: generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar, major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, substance abuse, and suicide. Readability analyses were performed using the Gunning Fog Index, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, the Coleman-Liau Index, the SMOG Readability Formula, and the Automated Readability Index. These scores were then combined into a Readability Consensus score. A two-tailed t-test was used to compare the mean values, and statistical significance was set at P readability consensus than six of the top psychiatric hospitals (P readability consensus for mental health information on all websites analyzed was 9.52. Online resources for mental health disorders are more complex than recommended by the NIH and AMA. Efforts to improve readability of mental health and psychosocial wellness resources could benefit patient understanding and outcomes, especially in patients with lower literacy. Surgical outcomes are correlated with patient mental

  15. Community to clinic navigation to improve diabetes outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nancy E. Schoenberg


    Full Text Available Rural residents experience rates of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM that are considerably higher than their urban or suburban counterparts. Two primary modifiable factors, self-management and formal clinical management, have potential to greatly improve diabetes outcomes. “Community to Clinic Navigation to Improve Diabetes Outcomes,” is the first known randomized clinical trial pilot study to test a hybrid model of diabetes self-management education plus clinical navigation among rural residents with T2DM. Forty-one adults with T2DM were recruited from two federally qualified health centers in rural Appalachia from November 2014–January 2015. Community health workers provided navigation, including helping participants understand and implement a diabetes self-management program through six group sessions and, if needed, providing assistance in obtaining clinic visits (contacting providers' offices for appointments, making reminder calls, and facilitating transportation and dependent care. Pre and post-test data were collected on T2DM self-management, physical measures, demographics, psychosocial factors, and feasibility (cost, retention, and satisfaction. Although lacking statistical significance, some outcomes indicate trends in positive directions, including diet, foot care, glucose monitoring, and physical health, including decreased HbA1c and triglyceride levels. Process evaluations revealed high levels of satisfaction and feasibility. Due to the limited intervention dose, modest program expenditures (~$29,950, and a severely affected population most of whom had never received diabetes education, outcomes were not as robust as anticipated. Given high rates of satisfaction and retention, this culturally appropriate small group intervention holds promise for hard to reach rural populations. Modifications should include expanded recruitment venues, sample size, intervention dosage and longer term assessment.

  16. Multimodal strategies to improve surgical outcome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kehlet, Henrik; Wilmore, Douglas W


    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of modifying perioperative care in noncardiac surgical patients on morbidity, mortality, and other outcome measures. BACKGROUND: New approaches in pain control, introduction of techniques that reduce the perioperative stress response, and the more frequent use...... anesthesia in elective operations, and pilot studies of fast track surgical procedures using the multimodality approach. RESULTS: The introduction of newer approaches to perioperative care has reduced both morbidity and mortality in surgical patients. In the future, most elective operations will become day...... surgical procedures or require only 1 to 2 days of postoperative hospitalization. Reorganization of the perioperative team (anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses, and physical therapists) will be essential to achieve successful fast track surgical programs. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding perioperative...

  17. Improving Learning Outcome Using Six Sigma Methodology (United States)

    Tetteh, Godson A.


    Purpose: The purpose of this research paper is to apply the Six Sigma methodology to identify the attributes of a lecturer that will help improve a student's prior knowledge of a discipline from an initial "x" per cent knowledge to a higher "y" per cent of knowledge. Design/methodology/approach: The data collection method…

  18. Improving outcomes of emergency bowel surgery using nela model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sultan, R.; Zafar, H.


    To find outcomes of emergency bowel surgery and review the processes involved in the care of these patients on the same template used in National Emergency Laparotomy Audit (NELA). Study Design:An audit. Place and Duration of Study:Surgery Department, The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, from December 2013 to November 2014. Methodology:Patients undergone emergency bowel surgery during the review period were included. Demographic data, type of admission, ASA grade, urgency of surgery, P-POSSUM score, indication of surgery, length of stay and outcome was recorded. Data was then compared with the data published by NELA team in their first report. P-value for categorical variables was calculated using Chi-square tests. Results:Although the patients were younger with nearly same spectrum of disease, the mortality rate was significantly more than reported in NELA (24% versus 11%, p=0.004). Comparison showed that care at AKUH was significantly lacking in terms of proper preoperative risk assessment and documentation, case booking to operating room timing, intraoperative goal directed fluid therapy using cardiac output monitoring, postoperative intensive care for highest risk patients and review of elderly patients by MCOP specialist. Conclusion:This study helped in understanding the deficiencies in the care of patients undergoing emergency bowel surgery and alarmingly poor outcomes in a very systematic manner. In view of results of this study, it is planned to do interventions in the deficient areas to improve care given to these patients and their outcomes with the limited resources of a developing country. (author)

  19. Improving Outcome of Psychosocial Treatments by Enhancing Memory and Learning (United States)

    Harvey, Allison G.; Lee, Jason; Williams, Joseph; Hollon, Steven D.; Walker, Matthew P.; Thompson, Monique A.; Smith, Rita


    Mental disorders are prevalent and lead to significant impairment. Progress toward establishing treatments has been good. However, effect sizes are small to moderate, gains may not persist, and many patients derive no benefit. Our goal is to highlight the potential for empirically-supported psychosocial treatments to be improved by incorporating insights from cognitive psychology and research on education. Our central question is: If it were possible to improve memory for content of sessions of psychosocial treatments, would outcome substantially improve? This question arises from five lines of evidence: (a) mental illness is often characterized by memory impairment, (b) memory impairment is modifiable, (c) psychosocial treatments often involve the activation of emotion, (d) emotion can bias memory and (e) memory for psychosocial treatment sessions is poor. Insights from scientific knowledge on learning and memory are leveraged to derive strategies for a transdiagnostic and transtreatment cognitive support intervention. These strategies can be applied within and between sessions and to interventions delivered via computer, the internet and text message. Additional novel pathways to improving memory include improving sleep, engaging in exercise and imagery. Given that memory processes change across the lifespan, services to children and older adults may benefit from cognitive support. PMID:25544856

  20. Utilizing a disease management approach to improve ESRD patient outcomes. (United States)

    Anand, Shaan; Nissenson, Allen R


    In this era of processes and systems to improve quality, disease management is one methodology to improve care delivery and outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In most disease management systems a senior renal nurse coordinates all aspects of the patient's care and ensures that the prescribed and necessary care is delivered for both CKD-related and comorbid conditions. The nurse also continually monitors outcomes on quality indicators and key performance measures. These outcome data are then aggregated and analyzed, are compared with local and national benchmarks, and drive the continuous quality improvement (CQI) process. Such a system attempts to centralize the currently fragmented care delivery system, continually improve patient outcomes, and conserve scarce economic resources. Early data suggest a disease management approach may improve both the morbidity and mortality of CKD patients.

  1. Implementation of a Quality Improvement Initiative: Improved Congenital Muscular Torticollis Outcomes in a Large Hospital Setting. (United States)

    Strenk, Mariann L; Kiger, Michelle; Hawke, Jesse L; Mischnick, Amy; Quatman-Yates, Catherine


    The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) published a guideline for congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) in 2013. Our division adopted the guideline as the institutional practice standard and engaged in a quality improvement (QI) initiative to increase the percentage of patients who achieved resolution of CMT within 6 months of evaluation. The aims of this report are to describe the QI activities conducted to improve patient outcomes and discuss the results and implications for other institutions and patient populations. This was a quality improvement study. In alignment with the Chronic Care Model and Model of Improvement, an aim and operationally defined key outcome and process measures were established. Interventions were tested using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles. A CMT registry was established to store and manage data extracted from the electronic record over the course of testing. Statistical process control charts were used to monitor progress over time. The QI initiative resulted in an increase in the percentage of patients who achieved full resolution of CMT within a 6-month episode of care from 42% to 61% over an 18-month period. Themes that emerged as key drivers of improvement included: (1) timely, optimal access to care, (2) effective audit and clinician feedback, and (3) accurate, timely documentation. The initiative took place at a single institution with a supportive culture and strong QI resources, which may limit direct translation of interventions and findings to other institutions and patient populations. Improvement science methodologies provided the tools and structure to improve division-wide workflow and increase consistency in the implementation of the APTA CMT guideline. In doing so, significant CMT population outcome improvements were achieved. © 2017 American Physical Therapy Association

  2. Clinical significance of C-reactive protein for assessment and outcomes of severe acute pancreatitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    REN Linan


    Full Text Available ObjectiveTo study the change in serum CRP level in patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP, and to explore its clinical significance in predicting outcomes and assessing the severity of SAP. MethodsA retrospective analysis was performed on 52 SAP patients with complete case data and admitted to General Hospital of Shenyang Military Area Command from September 2013 to September 2014. Blood drawing was performed and serum CRP concentration was determined on admission and at 24, 48, 72, 96, 120, and 144 hours after admission. The pattern of its dynamic change was observed. ResultsSerum CRP level in SAP patients significantly increased, and had a positive correlation with clinical outcomes. Forty-two cases (80.77% gradually recovered with aggressive treatment and the serum CRP levels were also slowly reduced (P<0.05. The serum CRP levels in four death cases (7.7% had no significant decrease and was maintained at a high level (P<0.05. Six patients (11.53% had aggravated conditions and recovered after aggressive treatment; meanwhile, the serum CRP levels first increased and then decreased (P<0.05. ConclusionFor SAP patients, serum CRP level fluctuates as their conditions change and can be considered as an important reference index for evaluating the severity and judging the outcomes of SAP.

  3. Improving outcomes in patients with psoriasis. (United States)

    Tidman, Michael J


    Psoriasis is a heterogeneous inflammatory disorder that targets the skin and joints. It affects 1.3-2% of the population. The diagnosis of plaque psoriasis is usually straightforward, a helpful diagnostic clue is the tendency for silver scales to appear after gentle scratching of a lesion. Stress, streptococcal infection and drugs including beta-blockers, antimalarials and lithium may precipitate or exacerbate psoriasis. Psoriasis, especially when severe, predisposes to metabolic syndrome, and patients with psoriasis are at increased risk of ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidaemia. Additionally, psoriasis sufferers appear at increased risk of uveitis, inflammatory boweldisease, lymphoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, COPD and venous thromboembolism. Psoriasis should be assessed on the basis of: severity, impact on physical, psychological and social wellbeing, symptoms of arthritis and the presence of comorbidities. Poor response to topical therapy may be as much to do with lack of compliance as with lack of efficacy. The number of treatments each day should be kept to a minimum, and patients should be reviewed after four weeks when initiating or changing topical therapy to improve adherence to treatment and assess response. The majority of patients with psoriasis can be managed in primary care, although specialist care may be necessary at some point in up to 60% of cases. Patients with erythrodermic or generalised pustular psoriasis should be referred for a same day dermatological opinion, and if psoriatic arthritis is suspected, early referral for a rheumatological opinion is recommended.

  4. The challenges of ESRD care in developing economies: sub-Saharan African opportunities for significant improvement. (United States)

    Bamgboye, Ebun Ladipo

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. This, along with other noncommunicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases, poses a double burden on a region that is still struggling to cope with the scourge of communicable diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and more recently Ebola. Causes of CKD in the region are predominantly glomerulonephritis and hypertension, although type 2 diabetes is also becoming a significant cause as is the retroviral disease. Patients are generally younger than in the developed world, and there is a significant male preponderance. Most patients are managed by hemodialysis, with peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation being available in only few countries in the region. Government funding and support for dialysis is often unavailable, and when available, often with restrictions. There is a dearth of trained manpower to treat the disease, and many countries have a limited number of units, which are often ill-equipped to deal adequately with the number of patients who require end-stage renal disease (ESRD) care in the region. Although there has been a significant improvement when compared with the situation, even as recently as 10 years ago, there is also the potential for further improvement, which would significantly improve the outcomes in patients with ESRD in the region. The information in this review was obtained from a combination of renal registry reports (published and unpublished), published articles, responses to a questionnaire sent to nephrologists prior to the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) in Cape Town, and from nephrologists attending the WCN in Cape Town (March 13 - 17, 2015).

  5. Role of Video Games in Improving Health-Related Outcomes (United States)

    Primack, Brian A.; Carroll, Mary V.; McNamara, Megan; Klem, Mary Lou; King, Brandy; Rich, Michael O.; Chan, Chun W.; Nayak, Smita


    Context Video games represent a multibillion-dollar industry in the U.S. Although video gaming has been associated with many negative health consequences, it may also be useful for therapeutic purposes. The goal of this study was to determine whether video games may be useful in improving health outcomes. Evidence acquisition Literature searches were performed in February 2010 in six databases: the Center on Media and Child Health Database of Research, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Reference lists were hand-searched to identify additional studies. Only RCTs that tested the effect of video games on a positive, clinically relevant health consequence were included. Study selection criteria were strictly defined and applied by two researchers working independently. Study background information (e.g., location, funding source), sample data (e.g., number of study participants, demographics), intervention and control details, outcomes data, and quality measures were abstracted independently by two researchers. Evidence synthesis Of 1452 articles retrieved using the current search strategy, 38 met all criteria for inclusion. Eligible studies used video games to provide physical therapy, psychological therapy, improved disease self-management, health education, distraction from discomfort, increased physical activity, and skills training for clinicians. Among the 38 studies, a total of 195 health outcomes were examined. Video games improved 69% of psychological therapy outcomes, 59% of physical therapy outcomes, 50% of physical activity outcomes, 46% of clinician skills outcomes, 42% of health education outcomes, 42% of pain distraction outcomes, and 37% of disease self-management outcomes. Study quality was generally poor; for example, two thirds (66%) of studies had follow-up periods of video games to improve health outcomes, particularly in the areas of psychological therapy and physical therapy. RCTs with

  6. Adaptive Programming Improves Outcomes in Drug Court: An Experimental Trial. (United States)

    Marlowe, Douglas B; Festinger, David S; Dugosh, Karen L; Benasutti, Kathleen M; Fox, Gloria; Croft, Jason R


    Prior studies in Drug Courts reported improved outcomes when participants were matched to schedules of judicial status hearings based on their criminological risk level. The current experiment determined whether incremental efficacy could be gained by periodically adjusting the schedule of status hearings and clinical case-management sessions in response to participants' ensuing performance in the program. The adjustments were made pursuant to a priori criteria specified in an adaptive algorithm. Results confirmed that participants in the full adaptive condition (n = 62) were more than twice as likely as those assigned to baseline-matching only (n = 63) to be drug-abstinent during the first 18 weeks of the program; however, graduation rates and the average time to case resolution were not significantly different. The positive effects of the adaptive program appear to have stemmed from holding noncompliant participants more accountable for meeting their attendance obligations in the program. Directions for future research and practice implications are discussed.

  7. The Social Responsibility Performance Outcomes Model: Building Socially Responsible Companies through Performance Improvement Outcomes. (United States)

    Hatcher, Tim


    Considers the role of performance improvement professionals and human resources development professionals in helping organizations realize the ethical and financial power of corporate social responsibility. Explains the social responsibility performance outcomes model, which incorporates the concepts of societal needs and outcomes. (LRW)

  8. How significant is the ‘significant other’? Associations between significant others’ health behaviors and attitudes and young adults’ health outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berge Jerica M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Having a significant other has been shown to be protective against physical and psychological health conditions for adults. Less is known about the period of emerging young adulthood and associations between significant others’ weight and weight-related health behaviors (e.g. healthy dietary intake, the frequency of physical activity, weight status. This study examined the association between significant others’ health attitudes and behaviors regarding eating and physical activity and young adults’ weight status, dietary intake, and physical activity. Methods This study uses data from Project EAT-III, a population-based cohort study with emerging young adults from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds (n = 1212. Logistic regression models examining cross-sectional associations, adjusted for sociodemographics and health behaviors five years earlier, were used to estimate predicted probabilities and calculate prevalence differences. Results Young adult women whose significant others had health promoting attitudes/behaviors were significantly less likely to be overweight/obese and were more likely to eat ≥ 5 fruits/vegetables per day and engage in ≥ 3.5 hours/week of physical activity, compared to women whose significant others did not have health promoting behaviors/attitudes. Young adult men whose significant other had health promoting behaviors/attitudes were more likely to engage in ≥ 3.5 hours/week of physical activity compared to men whose significant others did not have health promoting behaviors/attitudes. Conclusions Findings suggest the protective nature of the significant other with regard to weight-related health behaviors of young adults, particularly for young adult women. Obesity prevention efforts should consider the importance of including the significant other in intervention efforts with young adult women and potentially men.

  9. Reducing negative affect and increasing rapport improve interracial mentorship outcomes. (United States)

    Leitner, Jordan B; Ayduk, Özlem; Boykin, C Malik; Mendoza-Denton, Rodolfo


    Research suggests that interracial mentoring relationships are strained by negative affect and low rapport. As such, it stands to reason that strategies that decrease negative affect and increase rapport should improve these relationships. However, previous research has not tested this possibility. In video-chats (Studies 1 and 2) and face-to-face meetings (Study 3), we manipulated the degree of mutual self-disclosure between mentees and mentors, a strategy that has been shown to reduce negative affect and increase rapport. We then measured negative affect and rapport as mediators, and mentee performance (quality of speech delivered; Studies 1 and 3) and mentor performance (warmth and helpfulness; Studies 2 and 3) as key outcomes. Results revealed that increased self-disclosure decreased negative affect and increased rapport for both mentees and mentors. Among mentees, decreased negative affect predicted better performance (Studies 1 and 3). Among mentors, increased rapport predicted warmer feedback (Studies 2 and 3). These effects remained significant when we meta-analyzed data across studies (Study 4), and also revealed the relationship of rapport to more helpful feedback. Findings suggest that affect and rapport are key features in facilitating positive outcomes in interracial mentoring relationships.

  10. Clinical significance of pneumatosis intestinalis - correlation of MDCT-findings with treatment and outcome

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Treyaud, Marc-Olivier; Duran, Rafael; Knebel, Jean-Francois; Meuli, Reto A.; Schmidt, Sabine [Lausanne University Hospital, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Lausanne (Switzerland); Zins, Marc [Fondation Hopital St Joseph, Department of Radiology, Paris (France)


    To evaluate the clinical significance of pneumatosis intestinalis (PI) including the influence on treatment and outcome. Two radiologists jointly reviewed MDCT-examinations of 149 consecutive emergency patients (53 women, mean age 64, range 21-95) with PI of the stomach (n = 4), small (n = 68) and/or large bowel (n = 96). PI extension, distribution and possibly associated porto-mesenteric venous gas (PMVG) were correlated with other MDCT-findings, risk factors, clinical management, laboratory, histopathology, final diagnosis and outcome. The most frequent cause of PI was intestinal ischemia (n = 80,53.7 %), followed by infection (n = 18,12.1 %), obstructive (n = 12,8.1 %) and non-obstructive (n = 10,6.7 %) bowel dilatation, unknown aetiologies (n = 8,5.4 %), drugs (n = 8,5.4 %), inflammation (n = 7,4.7 %), and others (n = 6,4 %). Neither PI distribution nor extension significantly correlated with underlying ischemia. Overall mortality was 41.6 % (n = 62), mostly related to intestinal ischemia (p = 0.003). Associated PMVG significantly correlated with underlying ischemia (p = 0.009), as did the anatomical distribution of PMVG (p = 0.015). Decreased mural contrast-enhancement was the only other MDCT-feature significantly associated with ischemia (p p < 0.001). Elevated white blood count significantly correlated with ischemia (p = 0.03). In emergency patients, ischemia remains the most common aetiology of PI, showing the highest mortality. PI with associated PMVG is an alerting sign. PI together with decreased mural contrast-enhancement indicates underlying ischemia. (orig.)

  11. Narrative therapy for adults with major depressive disorder: improved symptom and interpersonal outcomes. (United States)

    Vromans, Lynette P; Schweitzer, Robert D


    This study investigated depressive symptom and interpersonal relatedness outcomes from eight sessions of manualized narrative therapy for 47 adults with major depressive disorder. Post-therapy, depressive symptom improvement (d=1.36) and proportions of clients achieving reliable improvement (74%), movement to the functional population (61%), and clinically significant improvement (53%) were comparable to benchmark research outcomes. Post-therapy interpersonal relatedness improvement (d=.62) was less substantial than for symptoms. Three-month follow-up found maintenance of symptom, but not interpersonal gains. Benchmarking and clinical significance analyses mitigated repeated measure design limitations, providing empirical evidence to support narrative therapy for adults with major depressive disorder.

  12. Significant influence of the primary liver disease on the outcomes of hepatic retransplantation.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Qasim, A


    BACKGROUND: There are many indications for hepatic retransplantation. AIM: To identify factors influencing retransplantation needs and outcomes. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Retransplantation records from January 1993 to March 2005 were analysed. Patient and disease characteristics and survival outcomes for retransplantation were compared between various groups. RESULTS: Totally, 286 primary and 42 hepatic retransplantations were performed. Retransplantation indications included primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), primary biliary cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis C (HCV), chronic active hepatitis (CAH), and alcohol-related disease. Mean follow-up post-retransplantation was 31 +\\/- 9 months. Actuarial patient survival at 3 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and at the end of study was 71.4, 69, 59.5, 54.7, and 50%, respectively. Early and late retransplantation had 1-year survival of 73 and 68.5%, respectively. Retransplantation need was significantly higher for PSC, HCV, and CAH. CONCLUSIONS: Hepatic retransplantation remains a successful salvage option for transplant complications; however, its need is significantly influenced by the primary liver disease.

  13. Integration of biomimicry and nanotechnology for significantly improved detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). (United States)

    Myung, Ja Hye; Park, Sin-Jung; Wang, Andrew Z; Hong, Seungpyo


    Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have received a great deal of scientific and clinical attention as a biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis of many types of cancer. Given their potential significance in clinics, a variety of detection methods, utilizing the recent advances in nanotechnology and microfluidics, have been introduced in an effort of achieving clinically significant detection of CTCs. However, effective detection and isolation of CTCs still remain a tremendous challenge due to their extreme rarity and phenotypic heterogeneity. Among many approaches that are currently under development, this review paper focuses on a unique, promising approach that takes advantages of naturally occurring processes achievable through application of nanotechnology to realize significant improvement in sensitivity and specificity of CTC capture. We provide an overview of successful outcome of this biomimetic CTC capture system in detection of tumor cells from in vitro, in vivo, and clinical pilot studies. We also emphasize the clinical impact of CTCs as biomarkers in cancer diagnosis and predictive prognosis, which provides a cost-effective, minimally invasive method that potentially replaces or supplements existing methods such as imaging technologies and solid tissue biopsy. In addition, their potential prognostic values as treatment guidelines and that ultimately help to realize personalized therapy are discussed. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Evolution and outcomes of a quality improvement program. (United States)

    Thor, Johan; Herrlin, Bo; Wittlöv, Karin; Øvretveit, John; Brommels, Mats


    The purpose of this paper is to examine the outcomes and evolution over a five-year period of a Swedish university hospital quality improvement program in light of enduring uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of such programs in healthcare and how best to evaluate it. The paper takes the form of a case study, using data collected as part of the program, including quality indicators from clinical improvement projects and participants' program evaluations. Overall, 58 percent of the program's projects (39/67) demonstrated success. A greater proportion of projects led by female doctors demonstrated success (91 percent, n=11) than projects led by male doctors (51 percent, n=55). Facilitators at the hospital continuously adapted the improvement methods to the local context. A lack of dedicated time for improvement efforts was the participants' biggest difficulty. The dominant benefits included an increased ability to see the "bigger picture" and the improvements achieved for patients and employees. Quality measurement, which is important for conducting and evaluating improvement efforts, was weak with limited reliability. Nevertheless, the present study adds evidence about the effectiveness of healthcare improvement programs. Gender differences in improvement team leadership merit further study. Improvement program evaluation should assess the extent to which improvement methods are locally adapted and applied. This case study reports the outcomes of all improvement projects undertaken in one healthcare organization over a five-year period and provides in-depth insight into an improvement program's changeable nature.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. E. Belaya


    Full Text Available The study objective is to validate a mathematical model for prognosis of progression of the acute period of myocardial infarction.Materials and methods. We examined 135 patients with acute Q-wave myocardial infarction of the left ventricle aged between 34 and 88 years (mean age 66, standard deviation 12 years, among them 64 women and 71 men. For prognosis of the outcome of the acute period of myocardial infarction we used an approach based on intellectual data analysis (data mining in combination with mathematical methods based on decision trees.Results. Using decision tree algorithms, we singled out laboratory parameters (attributes which were subsequently used as input. Adequacy of classification of these attributes was determined by a contingency table. Accuracy of the obtained calculation results was 95.56 % demonstrating good agreement between the model and observed data. In a decision tree visualization, the most significant 8 laboratory parameters were determined. Significance of NO2  metabolite was 24.9 %, triglycerides – 16.7 %, urea – 14.8 %, erythrocytes – 11.2 %, alanine aminotransferase – 9.4 %, very low density lipoproteins – 9.4 %, creatinine – 8.5 %, prothrombin index – 5.1 %. In the Rules tab, only rules 4 and 9 can be used with confidence, because their confidence level approaches 100 %, and effect cost for the fact of death was 33.59 % and 32.03 %, respectively.Conclusion. Using a decision tree algorithm, we determined prognostically significant factors for progression of acute myocardial infarction. The following set of parameters predicts unfavorable outcome (death with 95.56 % accuracy: NO2  < level 22.755 mmol/l, triglycerides ≥ 1.565 mmol/l, erythrocytes < 4.91 M/uL, alanine aminotransferase < 1.23 mmol/l, urea < 7.05 mmol/l, very low-density lipoproteins < 0.965 mmol/l, creatinine ≥ 91.55 µmol/l, NO2 level ≥ 22.755 mmol/l predicts a favorable outcome with 95.56 % accuracy. 

  16. The prognostic significance of UCA1 for predicting clinical outcome in patients with digestive system malignancies. (United States)

    Liu, Fang-Teng; Dong, Qing; Gao, Hui; Zhu, Zheng-Ming


    Urothelial Carcinoma Associated 1 (UCA1) was an originally identified lncRNA in bladder cancer. Previous studies have reported that UCA1 played a significant role in various types of cancer. This study aimed to clarify the prognostic value of UCA1 in digestive system cancers. The meta-analysis of 15 studies were included, comprising 1441 patients with digestive system cancers. The pooled results of 14 studies indicated that high expression of UCA1 was significantly associated with poorer OS in patients with digestive system cancers (HR: 1.89, 95 % CI: 1.52-2.26). In addition, UCA1 could be as an independent prognostic factor for predicting OS of patients (HR: 1.85, 95 % CI: 1.45-2.25). The pooled results of 3 studies indicated a significant association between UCA1 and DFS in patients with digestive system cancers (HR = 2.50; 95 % CI = 1.30-3.69). Statistical significance was also observed in subgroup meta-analysis. Furthermore, the clinicopathological values of UCA1 were discussed in esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer. A comprehensive retrieval was performed to search studies evaluating the prognostic value of UCA1 in digestive system cancers. Many databases were involved, including PubMed, Web of Science, Embase and Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure and Wanfang database. Quantitative meta-analysis was performed with standard statistical methods and the prognostic significance of UCA1 in digestive system cancers was qualified. Elevated level of UCA1 indicated the poor clinical outcome for patients with digestive system cancers. It may serve as a new biomarker related to prognosis in digestive system cancers.

  17. Brachial plexus surgery: the role of the surgical technique for improvement of the functional outcome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Pretto Flores


    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The study aims to demonstrate the techniques employed in surgery of the brachial plexus that are associated to evidence-based improvement of the functional outcome of these patients. METHOD: A retrospective study of one hundred cases of traumatic brachial plexus injuries. Comparison between the postoperative outcomes associated to some different surgical techniques was demonstrated. RESULTS: The technique of proximal nerve roots grafting was associated to good results in about 70% of the cases. Significantly better outcomes were associated to the Oberlin's procedure and the Sansak's procedure, while the improvement of outcomes associated to phrenic to musculocutaneous nerve and the accessory to suprascapular nerve transfer did not reach statistical significance. Reinnervation of the hand was observed in less than 30% of the cases. CONCLUSION: Brachial plexus surgery renders satisfactory results for reinnervation of the proximal musculature of the upper limb, however the same good outcomes are not usually associated to the reinnervation of the hand.

  18. Outcomes management: incorporating and sustaining processes critical to using outcome data to guide practice improvement. (United States)

    Hodges, Kay; Wotring, James R


    An outcomes management system (OMS) greatly facilitates an organization or state achieving requirements regarding accountability and use of empirically based interventions. A case example of the authors' experience with a successful and enduring OMS is presented, followed by a review of the literature and a proposed model delineating the key components and benefits of an OMS. Building capacity to measure performance requires embedding utilization of youth-specific, clinically meaningful outcome data into the organization's processes and structures. An OMS measures outcomes associated with services, facilitates implementation of evidence-based practices, informs case decision making, enables better and more efficient clinical management, and provides aggregated information used to improve services. A case-specific supervisory model based on instantaneously available information, including progress to date, helps maximize consumer outcomes. Continuous quality improvement activities, which are databased and goal-oriented, become a positive change management tool. This paper describes organizational processes that facilitate the development of a highly functional OMS.

  19. The prognostic significance of HOTAIR for predicting clinical outcome in patients with digestive system tumors. (United States)

    Ma, Gaoxiang; Wang, Qiaoyan; Lv, Chunye; Qiang, Fulin; Hua, Qiuhan; Chu, Haiyan; Du, Mulong; Tong, Na; Jiang, Yejuan; Wang, Meilin; Zhang, Zhengdong; Wang, Jian; Gong, Weida


    Although some studies have assessed the prognostic value of HOTAIR in patients with digestive system tumors, the relationship between the HOTAIR and outcome of digestive system tumors remains unknown. The PubMed was searched to identify the eligible studies. Here, we performed a meta-analysis with 11 studies, including a total of 903 cases. Pooled hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 % confidence interval (CI) of HOTAIR for cancer survival were calculated. We found that the pooled HR elevated HOTAIR expression in tumor tissues was 2.36 (95 % CI 1.88-2.97) compared with patients with low HOTAIR expression. Moreover, subgroup analysis revealed that HOTAIR overexpression was also markedly associated with short survival for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (HR 2.19, 95 % CI 1.62-2.94) and gastric cancer (HR 1.66, 95 % CI 1.02-2.68). In addition, up-regulated HOTAIR was significantly related to survival of digestive system cancer among the studies with more follow-up time (follow time ≥ 5 years) (HR 2.51, 95 % CI 1.99-3.17). When stratified by HR resource and number of patients, the result indicated consistent results with the overall analysis. Subgroup analysis on ethnicities did not change the prognostic influence of elevated HOTAIR expression. Additionally, we conducted an independent validation cohort including 71 gastric cancer cases, in which patients with up-regulated HOTAIR expression had an unfavorable outcome with HR of 2.10 (95 % CI 1.10-4.03). The results suggest that aberrant HOTAIR expression may serve as a candidate positive marker to predict the prognosis of patients with carcinoma of digestive system.

  20. Tamsulosin therapy improved the outcome of ureterorenoscopy for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction: Tamsulosin is an α-1A-specific blocker inducing selective relaxation of ureteral smooth muscle and inhibition of ureteral spasms leading to ureteral dilatation that can facilitates retrograde ureterorenoscopy (URS). Objective: To assess the efficacy of tamsulosin in improving the outcome of URS management of ...

  1. Bacterial DNA in water and dialysate: detection and significance for patient outcomes. (United States)

    Handelman, Garry J; Megdal, Peter A; Handelman, Samuel K


    The fluid used for hemodialysis may contain DNA fragments from bacteria, which could be harmful for patient outcomes. DNA fragments from bacteria, containing the nonmethylated CpG motif, can trigger inflammation through the monocyte and lymphocyte Toll-like receptor 9, and these DNA fragments have been observed in dialysate. The fragments may transfer across the dialyzer into the patient's bloodstream during hemodialysis treatment. During hemodiafiltration, the fragments would be introduced directly into the bloodstream. The DNA fragments may arise from biofilm in the pipes of the water system, from growth of bacteria in the water, or as contaminants in the bicarbonate and salt mixture used for preparation of dialysate. Current filtration methods, such as Diasafe filters, are not able to remove these fragments. It would be prudent to seek to reduce or eliminate these contaminants. However, the cost and effort of decreasing bacterial DNA content may ultimately require substantial facility improvements; we therefore need to fund research studies to determine if modifications to reduce bacterial DNA content are clinically warranted. This research will require methods to accurately determine the species of bacteria that contribute the DNA, since this information will allow the source to be established as biofilm, bicarbonate mixtures, or other problems in the dialysis system such as bacterial growth or leakage during water preparation. In this review, the evidence for bacterial DNA fragments will be examined and suggestions for further studies will be described.

  2. National Emergency Preparedness and Response: Improving for Incidents of National Significance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Clayton, Christopher M


    The national emergency management system has need of significant improvement in its contingency planning and early consolidation of effort and coordination between federal, state, and local agencies...

  3. AMCP Partnership Forum: Improving Quality, Value, and Outcomes with Patient-Reported Outcomes. (United States)


    Patient-reported outcomes (PROs), which provide a direct measure of a patient's health status or treatment preferences, represent a key component of the shift toward patient-centered health care. PROs can measure the state of a patient's disease-specific and overall health throughout the care continuum, enabling them to have a variety of uses for key health care stakeholders. Currently, PROs are used in drug development, aligning patient and clinician goals in care, quality-of-care measures, and coverage and reimbursement decisions. While there have been significant strides by key health care stakeholders to further the development and use of PROs, there are a number of challenges limiting more widespread use. In light of these current challenges and the potential for PROs to improve health care quality and value, on October 19, 2017, the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy convened a forum of key stakeholders representing patients, payers, providers, government, and pharmaceutical companies to discuss and identify solutions to the current challenges and barriers to further use of PROs. These discussions informed the development of participants' ideal future state in which PROs maximize the goals of all health care stakeholders and the actionable steps required to make the future state a reality. While stakeholders shared unique perspectives throughout the forum, they had consensus on 2 overarching issues: the importance of PROs in defining value, improving patient care, and implementing value-based payment models and the need for strong organizational and operational systems to achieve optimal adoption and use. Participants identified several key challenges in PRO use and adoption: achieving a representative patient population, inclusion of PRO data in medication labels, the necessity for both standardized and customizable PROs, and operational and organizational barriers to collecting and analyzing PROs. To overcome these challenges, participants recommended that

  4. Splenectomy Does Not Improve Long-Term Outcome After Stroke. (United States)

    Zierath, Dannielle; Shen, Angela; Stults, Astiana; Olmstead, Theresa; Becker, Kyra J


    Immune responses to brain antigens after stroke contribute to poor outcome. We hypothesized that splenectomy would lessen the development of such responses and improve outcome. Male Lewis rats (275-350 g) underwent 2-hour middle cerebral artery occlusion immediately after splenectomy or sham splenectomy. Animals were survived to 4 weeks (672 hrs), and immune responses to myelin basic protein determined at euthanasia. Infarct volume was determined in a subset of animals euthanized at 72 hours. Behavioral outcomes were assessed to 672 hours. Splenectomy was associated with worse neurological scores early after stroke, but infarct size at 72 hours was similar in both groups. Behavioral outcomes and immune responses to myelin basic protein were also similar among splenectomized and sham-operated animals 672 hours after middle cerebral artery occlusion. Splenectomy did not alter the immune responses to brain antigens or improve outcome after stroke. Differences between this study and other studies of splenectomy and stroke are examined. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  5. Improving patient outcomes through registered dietitian order writing. (United States)

    Roberts, Susan R


    Traditionally, registered dietitians (RD) have not had order writing privileges in most patient-care facilities and rely on physicians to implement their recommendations. Research has demonstrated that this model results in a high percentage of RD recommendations not being ordered. Timely nutrition interventions are important due to the prevalence of malnutrition in the hospital setting and when RD recommendations are implemented, important outcomes are improved. In addition, several studies have demonstrated that when RDs have order writing privileges, which allows more assurance that an intervention will occur and timely interventions, improved outcomes, such as improved nutrition status, better management of electrolytes and glycemic control, reaching goal calories sooner, reduction in inappropriate parenteral nutrition use, cost savings, and less error with electronic order entry. The process for implementation and outcomes of an RD order writing program at 1 large, urban, tertiary medical center is described. The program has been successful, but the implementation process required multiple years and ongoing monitoring through data collection to ensure success. RDs interested in order writing privileges must consider federal and state regulations, their individual scope of practice (relevant training and competency assessment), and how to obtain approval from the appropriate hospital governing committees. RDs who obtain order writing privileges must understand "with privilege comes responsibility" and should plan to conduct outcomes research to promote the value and acceptance of RD order writing by regulatory agencies at all levels and hospital leaders, for instance physicians and administrators.

  6. Significance and outcome of nuclear anaplasia and mitotic index in prostatic adenocarcinomas. (United States)

    Kır, Gozde; Sarbay, Billur Cosan; Gumus, Eyup


    The Gleason grading system measures architectural differentiation and disregards nuclear atypia and the cell proliferation index. Several studies have reported that nuclear grade and mitotic index (MI) are prognostically useful. This study included 232 radical prostatectomy specimens. Nuclear anaplasia (NA) was determined on the basis of nucleomegali (at least 20µm); vesicular chromatin; eosinophilic macronucleoli, nuclear lobulation, and irregular thickened nuclear membranei. The proportion of area of NA was recorded in each tumor in 10% increments. The MI was defined as the number of mitotic figures in 10 consecutive high-power fields (HPF). In univariate analysis, significant differences included associations between biochemical prostate-specific antigen recurrence (BCR) and Gleason score, extraprostatic extension, positive surgical margin, the presence of high-pathologic stage, NA≥10% of tumor area, MI≥3/10 HPF, and preoperative prostate-specific antigen. In a stepwise Cox regression model, a positive surgical margin, the presence of a NA≥10% of tumor area, and a MI of≥3/10 HPF were independent predictors of BCR after radical prostatectomy. NA≥10% of tumor area appeared to have a stronger association with outcome than MI≥3/10 HPF, as still associated with BCR when Gleason score was in the model. The results of our study showed that, in addition to the conventional Gleason grading system, NA, and MI are useful prognostic parameters while evaluating long-term prognosis in prostatic adenocarcinoma. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Application of Six Sigma towards improving surgical outcomes. (United States)

    Shukla, P J; Barreto, S G; Nadkarni, M S


    Six Sigma is a 'process excellence' tool targeting continuous improvement achieved by providing a methodology for improving key steps of a process. It is ripe for application into health care since almost all health care processes require a near-zero tolerance for mistakes. The aim of this study is to apply the Six Sigma methodology into a clinical surgical process and to assess the improvement (if any) in the outcomes and patient care. The guiding principles of Six Sigma, namely DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control), were used to analyze the impact of double stapling technique (DST) towards improving sphincter preservation rates for rectal cancer. The analysis using the Six Sigma methodology revealed a Sigma score of 2.10 in relation to successful sphincter preservation. This score demonstrates an improvement over the previous technique (73% over previous 54%). This study represents one of the first clinical applications of Six Sigma in the surgical field. By understanding, accepting, and applying the principles of Six Sigma, we have an opportunity to transfer a very successful management philosophy to facilitate the identification of key steps that can improve outcomes and ultimately patient safety and the quality of surgical care provided.

  8. Outcomes-focused knowledge translation: a framework for knowledge translation and patient outcomes improvement. (United States)

    Doran, Diane M; Sidani, Souraya


    Regularly accessing information that is current and reliable continues to be a challenge for front-line staff nurses. Reconceptualizing how nurses access information and designing appropriate decision support systems to facilitate timely access to information may be important for increasing research utilization. An outcomes-focused knowledge translation framework was developed to guide the continuous improvement of patient care through the uptake of research evidence and feedback data about patient outcomes. The framework operationalizes the three elements of the PARIHS framework at the point of care. Outcomes-focused knowledge translation involves four components: (a) patient outcomes measurement and real-time feedback about outcomes achievement; (b) best-practice guidelines, embedded in decision support tools that deliver key messages in response to patient assessment data; (c) clarification of patients' preferences for care; and (d) facilitation by advanced practice nurses and practice leaders. In this paper the framework is described and evidence is provided to support theorized relationships among the concepts in the framework. The framework guided the design of a knowledge translation intervention aimed at continuous improvement of patient care and evidence-based practice, which are fostered through real-time feedback data about patient outcomes, electronic access to evidence-based resources at the point of care, and facilitation by advanced practice nurses. The propositions in the framework need to be empirically tested through future research.

  9. Predicting Community College Outcomes: Does High School CTE Participation Have a Significant Effect? (United States)

    Dietrich, Cecile; Lichtenberger, Eric; Kamalludeen, Rosemaliza


    This study explored the relative importance of participation in high school career and technical education (CTE) programs in predicting community college outcomes. A hierarchical generalized linear model (HGLM) was used to predict community college outcome attainment among a random sample of direct community college entrants. Results show that…

  10. Frameworks for improvement: clinical audit, the plan-do-study-act cycle and significant event audit. (United States)

    Gillam, Steve; Siriwardena, A Niroshan


    This is the first in a series of articles about quality improvement tools and techniques. We explore common frameworks for improvement, including the model for improvement and its application to clinical audit, plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles and significant event analysis (SEA), examining the similarities and differences between these and providing examples of each.

  11. Multimodal Perioperative Analgesia Regimen to Improve Patient Outcomes After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Multidisciplinary Quality Improvement Project. (United States)

    Donahue, Rebecca E; Bradbury, George R; Zychowicz, Michael E; Muckler, Virginia C


    The primary aim of this quality improvement project was to improve mobilization for patients after total knee arthroscopy by developing and implementing a standardized, evidence-based, multimodal analgesia regimen and patient-educational video. Secondary outcomes included opioid consumption, pain, and length of stay. A pre-post implementation design was used to compare two independent samples. Patients were screened based on inclusion and exclusion criteria 1-2 weeks before surgery. The anesthesia provider made the final determination for inclusion. Data were collected by retrospective chart review. Following implementation, patients displayed significantly improved mobilization, reduced opioid consumption, and reduced length of stay. Patient-reported pain scores were similar or significantly lower in the postimplementation group. Variability of patient outcomes was reduced, and quality of care was improved by standardizing care and incorporating the best available evidence, consistent with organization's resources in the nonacademic-affiliated, community hospital setting. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Can pegylated interferon improve the outcome of polycythemia vera patients?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Crisà


    Full Text Available Abstract Pegylated interferon (peg-IFN was proven by phase II trials to be effective in polycythemia vera (PV; however, it is not clear whether it could improve patient outcome compared to hydroxyurea (HU. Here, we present an observational study on 65 PV patients aged 65 years or younger, who received either peg-IFN (30 or HU (35 according to the physician choice. Median follow-up was 75 months. The two cohorts were comparable for patient and disease characteristics. Eighty-seven percent of the patients treated with peg-INF responded, with a CR rate of 70% as compared to 100 and 49% with HU, respectively. Discontinuation rate was similar in the two groups (20% in peg-IFN vs 17% in HU. JAK2 allele burden was monitored in peg-INF arm only, and a reduction was observed in 88% of the patients. No thrombotic events were observed during peg-IFN treatment compared to three on HU. Disease progression to myelofibrosis or acute myeloid leukemia occurred to a patient only in peg-INF, compared to three in HU. Overall, three second malignancies were observed during the study, two in patients who received HU only, and one in a patient largely treated HU who received also peg-IFN for 3 months. Overall survival was significantly better for peg-IFN patients compared to HU, p = 0.027. Our study, albeit limited by small patient and event number and lack of randomization, confirms the efficacy of peg-INF in PV and shows a significant survival advantage for peg-INF-treated patients. Waiting for confirming data from the ongoing phase III trials, our study can support peg-INF as a first-line treatment option for PV, at least for younger patients.

  13. Multidisciplinary in-hospital teams improve patient outcomes: A review. (United States)

    Epstein, Nancy E


    The use of multidisciplinary in-hospital teams limits adverse events (AE), improves outcomes, and adds to patient and employee satisfaction. Acting like "well-oiled machines," multidisciplinary in-hospital teams include "staff" from different levels of the treatment pyramid (e.g. staff including nurses' aids, surgical technicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, attending physicians, and others). Their enhanced teamwork counters the "silo effect" by enhancing communication between the different levels of healthcare workers and thus reduces AE (e.g. morbidity/mortality) while improving patient and healthcare worker satisfaction. Multiple articles across diverse disciplines incorporate a variety of concepts of "teamwork" for staff covering emergency rooms (ERs), hospital wards, intensive care units (ICUs), and most critically, operating rooms (ORs). Cohesive teamwork improved communication between different levels of healthcare workers, and limited adverse events, improved outcomes, decreased the length of stay (LOS), and yielded greater patient "staff" satisfaction. Within hospitals, delivering the best medical/surgical care is a "team sport." The goals include: Maximizing patient safety (e.g. limiting AE) and satisfaction, decreasing the LOS, and increasing the quality of outcomes. Added benefits include optimizing healthcare workers' performance, reducing hospital costs/complications, and increasing job satisfaction. This review should remind hospital administrators of the critical need to keep multidisciplinary teams together, so that they can continue to operate their "well-oiled machines" enhancing the quality/safety of patient care, while enabling "staff" to optimize their performance and enhance their job satisfaction.

  14. Morning versus evening induction of labour for improving outcomes. (United States)

    Bakker, Jannet J H; van der Goes, Birgit Y; Pel, Maria; Mol, Ben Willem J; van der Post, Joris A M


    Induction of labour is a common intervention in obstetric practice. Traditionally, in most hospitals induction of labour with medication starts early in the morning, with the start of the working day for the day shift. In human and animal studies spontaneous onset of labour is proven to have a circadian rhythm with a preference for start of labour in the evening. Moreover, when spontaneous labour starts in the evening, the total duration of labour and delivery shortens and fewer obstetric interventions are needed. Based on these observations one might assume that starting induction of labour in the evening, in harmony with the circadian rhythm of natural birth, is more beneficial for both mother and child. To assess whether induction of labour starting in the evening, coinciding with the endogenous circadian rhythm, improves the outcome of labour compared with induction of labour starting in the early morning, organised to coincide with office hours. We contacted the Trials Search Co-ordinator to search the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (28 February 2012). In addition, we searched MEDLINE (1966 to 16 February 2012) and EMBASE (1980 to 16 February 2012). We included all published and unpublished randomised controlled trials. We excluded trials that employed quasi-random methods of treatment allocation. Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and risk of bias. Two review authors independently extracted data. Data were checked for accuracy. Where necessary, we contacted study authors for additional information. The search resulted in 2693 articles that we screened on title and abstract for eligibility.Thirteen studies were selected for full text assessment. We included three randomised trials involving 1150 women. Two trials compared the administration of prostaglandins in the morning versus the evening in women with an unfavourable cervix, and one trial compared induction of labour in the morning versus the evening

  15. Prenatal emotion management improves obstetric outcomes: a randomized control study. (United States)

    Huang, Jian; Li, He-Jiang; Wang, Jue; Mao, Hong-Jing; Jiang, Wen-Ying; Zhou, Hong; Chen, Shu-Lin


    Negative emotions can cause a number of prenatal problems and disturb obstetric outcomes. We determined the effectiveness of prenatal emotional management on obstetric outcomes in nulliparas. All participants completed the PHQ-9 at the baseline assessment. Then, the participants were randomly assigned to the emotional management (EM) and usual care (UC) groups. The baseline evaluation began at 31 weeks gestation and the participants were followed up to 42 days postpartum. Each subject in the EM group received an extra EM program while the participants in the UC groups received routine prenatal care and education only. The PHQ-9 and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression scale (EPDS) were used for assessment. The EM group had a lower PHQ-9 score at 36 weeks gestation, and 7 and 42 days after delivery (P Prenatal EM intervention could control anxiety and depressive feelings in nulliparas, and improve obstetric outcomes. It may serve as an innovative approach to reduce the cesarean section rate in China.

  16. Patient web portals to improve diabetes outcomes: a systematic review. (United States)

    Osborn, Chandra Y; Mayberry, Lindsay Satterwhite; Mulvaney, Shelagh A; Hess, Rachel


    Patient web portals (PWPs), defined as the integration of electronic medical records and patient health records, have been related to enhanced patient outcomes. A literature review was conducted to characterize the design and evaluation of PWPs to improve health care processes and outcomes in diabetes. A summary of 26 articles revealed the positive impact PWPs have on patient outcomes, patient-provider communication, disease management, and access to and patient satisfaction with health care. Innovative and useful approaches included the evaluation of specific components of the PWPs, assessing the impact of PWPs on mediators of health behaviors, such as patient distress, identification of barriers to use, and patient willingness to pay for access. Future research should focus on relevant processes that mediate patient and provider use, impact on health care utilization, and a patient-centered approach to the design and integration of educational opportunities afforded through PWPs.

  17. Improved Binocular Outcomes Following Binocular Treatment for Childhood Amblyopia. (United States)

    Kelly, Krista R; Jost, Reed M; Wang, Yi-Zhong; Dao, Lori; Beauchamp, Cynthia L; Leffler, Joel N; Birch, Eileen E


    Childhood amblyopia can be treated with binocular games or movies that rebalance contrast between the eyes, which is thought to reduce depth of interocular suppression so the child can experience binocular vision. While visual acuity gains have been reported following binocular treatment, studies rarely report gains in binocular outcomes (i.e., stereoacuity, suppression) in amblyopic children. Here, we evaluated binocular outcomes in children who had received binocular treatment for childhood amblyopia. Data for amblyopic children enrolled in two ongoing studies were pooled. The sample included 41 amblyopic children (6 strabismic, 21 anisometropic, 14 combined; age 4-10 years; ≤4 prism diopters [PD]) who received binocular treatment (20 game, 21 movies; prescribed 9-10 hours treatment). Amblyopic eye visual acuity and binocular outcomes (Randot Preschool Stereoacuity, extent of suppression, and depth of suppression) were assessed at baseline and at 2 weeks. Mean amblyopic eye visual acuity (P suppression (P = 0.003) were reduced from baseline at the 2-week visit (87% game adherence, 100% movie adherence). Depth of suppression was reduced more in children aged suppression was correlated with a larger depth of suppression reduction at 2 weeks (P = 0.001). After 2 weeks, binocular treatment in amblyopic children improved visual acuity and binocular outcomes, reducing the extent and depth of suppression and improving stereoacuity. Binocular treatments that rebalance contrast to overcome suppression are a promising additional option for treating amblyopia.

  18. Depression Care Management: Can Employers Purchase Improved Outcomes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn Rost


    Full Text Available Fourteen vendors are currently selling depression care management products to US employers after randomized trials demonstrate improved work outcomes. The research team interviewed 10 (71.4% of these vendors to compare their products to four key components of interventions demonstrated to improve work outcomes. Five of 10 depression products incorporate all four key components, three of which are sold by health maintenance organizations (HMOs; however, HMOs did not deliver these components at the recommended intensity and/or duration. Only one product delivered by a disease management company delivered all four components of care at the recommended intensity and duration. This “voltage drop,” which we anticipate will increase with product implementation, suggests that every delivery system should carefully evaluate the design of its depression product before implementation for its capacity to deliver evidence-based care, repeating these evaluations as new evidence emerges.

  19. Significant regional differences in Denmark in outcome after cochlear implants in children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Percy-Smith, Lone; Busch, Georg Walter; Sandahl, Minna


    The objectives of the present study were to study regional differences in outcome for a paediatric cochlear implant (CI) population after the introduction of universal neonatal hearing screening (UNHS) and bilateral implantation in Denmark....

  20. Improving outcomes of first‐episode psychosis: an overview (United States)

    Fusar‐Poli, Paolo; McGorry, Patrick D.; Kane, John M.


    Outcomes of psychotic disorders are associated with high personal, familiar, societal and clinical burden. There is thus an urgent clinical and societal need for improving those outcomes. Recent advances in research knowledge have opened new opportunities for ameliorating outcomes of psychosis during its early clinical stages. This paper critically reviews these opportunities, summarizing the state‐of‐the‐art knowledge and focusing on recent discoveries and future avenues for first episode research and clinical interventions. Candidate targets for primary universal prevention of psychosis at the population level are discussed. Potentials offered by primary selective prevention in asymptomatic subgroups (stage 0) are presented. Achievements of primary selected prevention in individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis (stage 1) are summarized, along with challenges and limitations of its implementation in clinical practice. Early intervention and secondary prevention strategies at the time of a first episode of psychosis (stage 2) are critically discussed, with a particular focus on minimizing the duration of untreated psychosis, improving treatment response, increasing patients’ satisfaction with treatment, reducing illicit substance abuse and preventing relapses. Early intervention and tertiary prevention strategies at the time of an incomplete recovery (stage 3) are further discussed, in particular with respect to addressing treatment resistance, improving well‐being and social skills with reduction of burden on the family, treatment of comorbid substance use, and prevention of multiple relapses and disease progression. In conclusion, to improve outcomes of a complex, heterogeneous syndrome such as psychosis, it is necessary to globally adopt complex models integrating a clinical staging framework and coordinated specialty care programmes that offer pre‐emptive interventions to high‐risk groups identified across the early stages of the disorder

  1. TIAM1 variants improve clinical outcome in neuroblastoma. (United States)

    Sanmartín, Elena; Yáñez, Yania; Fornés-Ferrer, Victoria; Zugaza, José L; Cañete, Adela; Castel, Victoria; Font de Mora, Jaime


    Identification of tumor driver mutations is crucial for improving clinical outcome using a personalized approach to the treatment of cancer. Neuroblastoma is a tumor of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system for which only a few driver alterations have been described including MYCN amplification and ALK mutations. We assessed 106 primary neuroblastoma tumors by next generation sequencing using a customized amplicon-based gene panel. Our results reveal that genetic variants in TIAM1 gene associate with better clinical outcome, suggesting a role for these TIAM1 variants in preventing progression of this disease. The detected variants are located within the different domains of TIAM1 that signal to the upstream regulator RAS and downstream effector molecules MYC and RAC, which are all implicated in neuroblastoma etiology and progression. Clinical outcome was improved in tumors where a TIAM1 variant was present concomitantly with either ALK mutation or MYCN amplification. Given the function of these signaling molecules in cell survival, proliferation, differentiation and neurite outgrowth, our data suggest that the TIAM1-mediated network is essential to neuroblastoma and thus, inhibiting TIAM1 reflects a rational strategy for improving therapy efficacy in neuroblastoma.

  2. Improving vascular access outcomes: attributes of arteriovenous fistula cannulation success (United States)

    Harwood, Lori E.; Wilson, Barbara M.; Oudshoorn, Abe


    Background Arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are the preferred access for hemodialysis (HD) yet they are underutilized. Cannulation of the fistula is a procedure requiring significant skill development and refinement and if not done well can have negative consequences for patients. The nurses' approach, attitude and skill with cannulation impacts greatly on the patient experience. Complications from miscannulation or an inability to needle fistulas can result in the increased use of central venous catheters. Some nurses remain in a state of a ‘perpetual novice’ resulting in a viscous cycle of negative patient consequences (bruising, pain), further influencing patients' decisions not to pursue a fistula or abandon cannulation. Method This qualitative study used organizational development theory (appreciative inquiry) and research method to determine what attributes/activities contribute to successful cannulation. This can be applied to interventions to promote change and skill development in staff members who have not advanced their proficiency. Eighteen HD nurses who self-identified with performing successful cannulation participated in audio-recorded interviews. The recordings were transcribed verbatim. The data were analyzed using content analysis. Results Four common themes, including patient-centered care, teamwork, opportunity and skill and nurse self-awareness, represented successful fistula cannulation. Successful cannulation is more than a learned technique to correctly insert a needle, but rather represents contextual influences and interplay between the practice environment and personal attributes. Conclusions Practice changes based on these results may improve cannulation, decrease complications and result in better outcomes for patients. Efforts to nurture positive patient experiences around cannulation may influence patient decision-making regarding fistula use. PMID:26985384

  3. Successful percutaneous coronary intervention significantly improves coronary sinus blood flow as assessed by transthoracic echocardiography. (United States)

    Lyubarova, Radmila; Boden, William E; Fein, Steven A; Schulman-Marcus, Joshua; Torosoff, Mikhail


    Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) has been used to assess coronary sinus blood flow (CSBF), which reflects total coronary arterial blood flow. Successful angioplasty is expected to improve coronary arterial blood flow. Changes in CSBF after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), as assessed by TTE, have not been systematically evaluated. TTE can be utilized to reflect increased CSBF after a successful, clinically indicated PCI. The study cohort included 31 patients (18 females, 62 ± 11 years old) referred for diagnostic cardiac catheterization for suspected coronary artery disease and possible PCI, when clinically indicated. All performed PCIs were successful, with good angiographic outcome. CSBF per cardiac cycle (mL/beat) was measured using transthoracic two-dimensional and Doppler flow imaging as the product of coronary sinus (CS) area and CS flow time-velocity integral. CSBF per minute (mL/min) was calculated as the product of heart rate and CSBF per cardiac cycle. In each patient, CSBF was assessed prospectively, before and after cardiac catheterization with and without clinically indicated PCI. Within- and between-group differences in CSBF before and after PCI were assessed using repeated measures analysis of variance. Technically adequate CSBF measurements were obtained in 24 patients (77%). In patients who did not undergo PCI, there was no significant change in CSBF (278.1 ± 344.1 versus 342.7 ± 248.5, p = 0.36). By contrast, among patients who underwent PCI, CSBF increased significantly (254.3 ± 194.7 versus 618.3 ± 358.5 mL/min, p < 0.01, p-interaction = 0.03). Other hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters did not change significantly before and after cardiac catheterization in either treatment group. Transthoracic echocardiographic assessment can be employed to document CSBF changes after angioplasty. Future studies are needed to explore the clinical utility of this noninvasive metric.

  4. Improving health outcomes with better patient understanding and education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert John Adams


    Full Text Available Robert John AdamsThe Health Observatory, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Campus, The University of Adelaide, Woodville, South Australia, AustraliaAbstract: A central plank of health care reform is an expanded role for educated consumers interacting with responsive health care teams. However, for individuals to realize the benefits of health education also requires a high level of engagement. Population studies have documented a gap between expectations and the actual performance of behaviours related to participation in health care and prevention. Interventions to improve self-care have shown improvements in self-efficacy, patient satisfaction, coping skills, and perceptions of social support. Significant clinical benefits have been seen from trials of self-management or lifestyle interventions across conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the focus of many studies has been on short-term outcomes rather that long term effects. There is also some evidence that participation in patient education programs is not spread evenly across socio economic groups. This review considers three other issues that may be important in increasing the public health impact of patient education. The first is health literacy, which is the capacity to seek, understand and act on health information. Although health literacy involves an individual’s competencies, the health system has a primary responsibility in setting the parameters of the health interaction and the style, content and mode of information. Secondly, much patient education work has focused on factors such as attitudes and beliefs. That small changes in physical environments can have large effects on behavior and can be utilized in self-management and chronic disease research. Choice architecture involves reconfiguring the context or physical environment in a way that makes it more likely that people will choose certain behaviours. Thirdly

  5. Improving utility conservation programs: outcomes, interventions, and evaluations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Condelli, L; Archer, D; Aronson, E; Curbow, B; McLeod, B; Pettigrew, T F; White, L T; Yates, S


    Four major California utility companies have active energy conservation programs mandated by the State's Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). These companies evaluate their programs and send reports of the evaluations to the CPUC. A review of 213 of these reports revealed a marketing research approach toward promoting conservation. Advertising and informational campaigns characterize most programs, and attitudes and self-reported behavior were the major outcome measures. This approach is shown to be ineffective. Suggestions for improvement include: (1) the use of actual energy consumption as the primary outcome measure in evaluating conservation programs; (2) the abandonment of conventional advertising, and the use of it only for the promotion of ''hard'' interventions; (3) increased use of social diffusion methods to disseminate information; (4) the design of more effective educational material by incorporating cognitive social psychological principles; and (5) the utilization of ''hard'' interventions that have a direct, verifiable link to conservation.

  6. Standardized Treatment of Neonatal Status Epilepticus Improves Outcome. (United States)

    Harris, Mandy L; Malloy, Katherine M; Lawson, Sheena N; Rose, Rebecca S; Buss, William F; Mietzsch, Ulrike


    We aimed to decrease practice variation in treatment of neonatal status epilepticus by implementing a standardized protocol. Our primary goal was to achieve 80% adherence to the algorithm within 12 months. Secondary outcome measures included serum phenobarbital concentrations, number of patients progressing from seizures to status epilepticus, and length of hospital stay. Data collection occurred for 6 months prior and 12 months following protocol implementation. Adherence of 80% within 12 months was partially achieved in patients diagnosed in our hospital; in pretreated patients, adherence was not achieved. Maximum phenobarbital concentrations were decreased (56.8 vs 41.0 µg/mL), fewer patients progressed from seizures to status epilepticus (46% vs 36%), and hospital length of stay decreased by 9.7 days in survivors. In conclusion, standardized, protocol-driven treatment of neonatal status epilepticus improves consistency and short-term outcome. © The Author(s) 2016.

  7. Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Improve Heart Failure Care and Outcomes. (United States)

    Chang, Leslie L; DeVore, Adam D; Granger, Bradi B; Eapen, Zubin J; Ariely, Dan; Hernandez, Adrian F


    Behavioral challenges are often present in human illness, so behavioral economics is increasingly being applied in healthcare settings to better understand why patients choose healthy or unhealthy behaviors. The application of behavioral economics to healthcare settings parallels recent shifts in policy and reimbursement structures that hold providers accountable for outcomes that are dependent on patient behaviors. Numerous studies have examined the application of behavioral economics principles to policy making and health behaviors, but there are limited data on applying these concepts to the management of chronic conditions, such as heart failure (HF). Given its increasing prevalence and high associated cost of care, HF is a paradigm case for studying novel approaches to improve health care; therefore, if we can better understand why patients with HF make the choices they do, then we may be more poised to help them manage their medications, influence daily behaviors, and encourage healthy decision making. In this article, we will give a brief explanation of the core behavioral economics concepts that apply to patients with HF. We will also examine how to craft these concepts into tools such as financial incentives and social networks that may improve the management of patients with HF. We believe that behavioral economics can help us understand barriers to change, encourage positive behaviors, and offer additional approaches to improving the outcomes of patients with HF. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  8. Innovative Outcome Assessment in Graduate Business Education and Continuous Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chattopadhyay Satya P.


    Full Text Available The changed environment of global economy with painful austerity and restructuring measures causing severe economic dislocations in many diverse parts of the world have brought into focus the usefulness and value of management education in general and graduate management education in particular. The various accrediting bodies in America, Europe and Asia in recent years have shifted their emphasis to ensuring that learning outcomes of students in the program are tied to the goals and missions of the academic institution and meet the needs of the external partners of the academic enterprise that the students go on to serve. This has resulted in rapid advances in the field of innovative outcome assessment, and measurement of competency in performing higher order tasks as well as demonstration of traits related to successful transition into the business world and contribution to the success of the enterprise where the students are employed. The mere assessment/measurement of traits is not the end, but rather the first step in the cycle of continuous improvement in the tradition of the Plan-Do-Study-Act tradition of TQM. The goal is to identify shortcomings or opportunities for improvement via the assessment process and then to “close the loop” by introducing planned changes to improve system performance.

  9. Improving treatment outcome assessment in a mouse tuberculosis model. (United States)

    Mourik, Bas C; Svensson, Robin J; de Knegt, Gerjo J; Bax, Hannelore I; Verbon, Annelies; Simonsson, Ulrika S H; de Steenwinkel, Jurriaan E M


    Preclinical treatment outcome evaluation of tuberculosis (TB) occurs primarily in mice. Current designs compare relapse rates of different regimens at selected time points, but lack information about the correlation between treatment length and treatment outcome, which is required to efficiently estimate a regimens' treatment-shortening potential. Therefore we developed a new approach. BALB/c mice were infected with a Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing genotype strain and were treated with rifapentine-pyrazinamide-isoniazid-ethambutol (R p ZHE), rifampicin-pyrazinamide-moxifloxacin-ethambutol (RZME) or rifampicin-pyrazinamide-moxifloxacin-isoniazid (RZMH). Treatment outcome was assessed in n = 3 mice after 9 different treatment lengths between 2-6 months. Next, we created a mathematical model that best fitted the observational data and used this for inter-regimen comparison. The observed data were best described by a sigmoidal E max model in favor over linear or conventional E max models. Estimating regimen-specific parameters showed significantly higher curative potentials for RZME and R p ZHE compared to RZMH. In conclusion, we provide a new design for treatment outcome evaluation in a mouse TB model, which (i) provides accurate tools for assessment of the relationship between treatment length and predicted cure, (ii) allows for efficient comparison between regimens and (iii) adheres to the reduction and refinement principles of laboratory animal use.

  10. Commitment to COT verification improves patient outcomes and financial performance. (United States)

    Maggio, Paul M; Brundage, Susan I; Hernandez-Boussard, Tina; Spain, David A


    After an unsuccessful American College of Surgery Committee on Trauma visit, our level I trauma center initiated an improvement program that included (1) hiring new personnel (trauma director and surgeons, nurse coordinator, orthopedic trauma surgeon, and registry staff), (2) correcting deficiencies in trauma quality assurance and process improvement programs, and (3) development of an outreach program. Subsequently, our trauma center had two successful verifications. We examined the longitudinal effects of these efforts on volume, patient outcomes and finances. The Trauma Registry was used to derive data for all trauma patients evaluated in the emergency department from 2001 to 2007. Clinical data analyzed included number of admissions, interfacility transfers, injury severity scores (ISS), length of stay, and mortality for 2001 to 2007. Financial performance was assessed for fiscal years 2001 to 2007. Data were divided into patients discharged from the emergency department and those admitted to the hospital. Admissions increased 30%, representing a 7.6% annual increase (p = 0.004), mostly due to a nearly fivefold increase in interfacility transfers. Severe trauma patients (ISS >24) increased 106% and mortality rate for ISS >24 decreased by 47% to almost half the average of the National Trauma Database. There was a 78% increase in revenue and a sustained increase in hospital profitability. A major hospital commitment to Committee on Trauma verification had several salient outcomes; increased admissions, interfacility transfers, and acuity. Despite more seriously injured patients, there has been a major, sustained reduction in mortality and a trend toward decreased intensive care unit length of stay. This resulted in a substantial increase in contribution to margin (CTM), net profit, and revenues. With a high level of commitment and favorable payer mix, trauma center verification improves outcomes for both patients and the hospital.

  11. Housing improvements for health and associated socio-economic outcomes. (United States)

    Thomson, Hilary; Thomas, Sian; Sellstrom, Eva; Petticrew, Mark


    The well established links between poor housing and poor health indicate that housing improvement may be an important mechanism through which public investment can lead to health improvement. Intervention studies which have assessed the health impacts of housing improvements are an important data resource to test assumptions about the potential for health improvement. Evaluations may not detect long term health impacts due to limited follow-up periods. Impacts on socio-economic determinants of health may be a valuable proxy indication of the potential for longer term health impacts. To assess the health and social impacts on residents following improvements to the physical fabric of housing. Twenty seven academic and grey literature bibliographic databases were searched for housing intervention studies from 1887 to July 2012 (ASSIA; Avery Index; CAB Abstracts; The Campbell Library; CINAHL; The Cochrane Library; COPAC; DH-DATA: Health Admin; EMBASE; Geobase; Global Health; IBSS; ICONDA; MEDLINE; MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations; NTIS; PAIS; PLANEX; PsycINFO; RIBA; SCIE; Sociological Abstracts; Social Science Citations Index; Science Citations Index expanded; SIGLE; SPECTR). Twelve Scandinavian grey literature and policy databases (Libris; SveMed+; Libris uppsök; DIVA; Artikelsök; NORART; DEFF; AKF; DSI; SBI; Statens Institut for Folkesundhed; and 23 relevant websites were searched. In addition, a request to topic experts was issued for details of relevant studies. Searches were not restricted by language or publication status. Studies which assessed change in any health outcome following housing improvement were included. This included experimental studies and uncontrolled studies. Cross-sectional studies were excluded as correlations are not able to shed light on changes in outcomes. Studies reporting only socio-economic outcomes or indirect measures of health, such as health service use, were excluded. All housing improvements which

  12. Clinical significance of skin rash in dengue fever: A focus on discomfort, complications, and disease outcome. (United States)

    Huang, Hsin-Wei; Tseng, Han-Chi; Lee, Chih-Hung; Chuang, Hung-Yi; Lin, Shang-Hung


    To assess whether the cutaneous features in patients with dengue fever are associated with abnormal blood biochemistry, complications, and poor disease outcome. Forty five patients with dengue fever were identified at a medical center in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, from September to November 2014. All cases were exclusively caused by type 1 dengue virus. Patients were classified into two groups, based on the presence or absence of skin rash, and their rash was subclassified into maculopapular, morbilliform, and petechial types. Clinical symptoms, laboratory data, disease outcome, and complications were compared between the two groups. Thirty two patients with dengue fever developed skin rash (SP group, n = 32) while the rest of 13 did not (SN group, n = 13). The patient numbers in the maculopapular, morbilliform, and petechial group were 4, 21, and 7, respectively. The SP group was younger (P = 0.001), experienced more pruritus (P = 0.008) and more swollen palms/soles (P = 0.015) than the SN group. However, the SN group had greater genital mucosa involvement (P = 0.008), higher platelet transfusion rate (P = 0.003), and lower hemoglobin and hematocrit levels (P = 0.030) than the SP group. Patients with morbilliform lesions had a higher incidence of palm/sole swelling, less genital mucosal involvement, and a lower platelet transfusion rate than did patients with maculopapular or petechial lesions. Cutaneous manifestations provide an important clue to dengue fever. In patients with dengue fever, those with skin rash tend to have itching and swelling of the palms/soles, however, those without skin rash tend to have more complications and poor disease outcomes. Copyright © 2016 Hainan Medical College. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. The Relationship between Obsessive Compulsive Personality and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment Outcomes: Predictive Utility and Clinically Significant Change. (United States)

    Sadri, Shalane K; McEvoy, Peter M; Egan, Sarah J; Kane, Robert T; Rees, Clare S; Anderson, Rebecca A


    The evidence regarding whether co-morbid obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is associated with treatment outcomes in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is mixed, with some research indicating that OCPD is associated with poorer response, and some showing that it is associated with improved response. We sought to explore the role of OCPD diagnosis and the personality domain of conscientiousness on treatment outcomes for exposure and response prevention for OCD. The impact of co-morbid OCPD and conscientiousness on treatment outcomes was examined in a clinical sample of 46 participants with OCD. OCPD diagnosis and scores on conscientiousness were not associated with poorer post-treatment OCD severity, as indexed by Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) scores, although the relative sample size of OCPD was small and thus generalizability is limited. This study found no evidence that OCPD or conscientiousness were associated with treatment outcomes for OCD. Further research with larger clinical samples is required.

  14. Optimizing aesthetic outcomes for breast reconstruction in patients with significant macromastia or ptosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wojciech Dec


    Full Text Available Background: Achieving excellent aesthetic outcomes in reconstruction of large or ptotic breasts is especially challenging. Incorporating a Wise pattern into the mastectomy design is effective in reducing the excess breast skin, however it increases the risk of mastectomy skin necrosis. The aim of this study is to describe surgical maneuvers which optimize aesthetic outcomes, anticipate flap volume requirements, and limit mastectomy skin necrosis in autologous reconstruction in patients with macromastia and grade III ptosis. Methods: This is a retrospective review of operative and clinical records of patients who underwent unilateral or bilateral breast reconstruction with autologous tissue between August 2015 and May 2017. Patients were divided into macromastia and ptosis groups. Key surgical maneuvers for safely achieving aesthetically optimal results were identified. Results: A total of 29 breasts were successfully reconstructed in 19 patients with a Wise pattern mastectomy skin reduction. Free flap weights were similar in both groups, mastectomy weights were greater in the macromastia group, p < 0.05. Complications were limited to three cases of wound breakdown and one case of mastectomy skin necrosis. Total number of revision stages was reduced in unilateral reconstructions when a contralateral breast reduction or mastopexy was performed during the first stage. Conclusions: A Wise pattern can safely and effectively be incorporated into a mastectomy incision design in patients who are not candidates for a nipple sparing mastectomy. Optimal aesthetics are achieved with similar volume flaps for both macromastia and ptosis patients. In cases of unilateral breast reconstruction a contralateral breast reduction or mastopexy should be performed at the time of the immediate breast reconstruction. Keywords: Breast reconstruction, Aesthetic breast reconstruction, Macromastia breast reconstruction, Ptosis breast reconstruction

  15. Does fluoroscopy improve outcomes in paediatric forearm fracture reduction?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menachem, S.; Sharfman, Z.T.; Perets, I.; Arami, A.; Eyal, G.; Drexler, M.; Chechik, O.


    Aim: To compare the radiographic results of paediatric forearm fracture reduced with and without fluoroscopic enhancement to investigate whether fractures reduced under fluoroscopic guidance would have smaller residual deformities and lower rates of re-reduction and surgery. Materials and methods: A retrospective cohort analysis was conducted comparing paediatric patients with acute forearm fracture in two trauma centres. Demographics and radiographic data from paediatric forearm fractures treated in Trauma Centre A with the aid of a C-arm fluoroscopy were compared to those treated without fluoroscopy in Trauma Centre B. Re-reduction, late displacement, post-reduction deformity, and need for surgical intervention were compared between the two groups. Results: The cohort included 229 children (175 boys and 54 girls, mean age 9.41±3.2 years, range 1–16 years) with unilateral forearm fractures (83 manipulated with fluoroscopy and 146 without). Thirty-four (15%) children underwent re-reduction procedures in the emergency department. Fifty-three (23%) children had secondary displacement in the cast, of which 18 were operated on, 20 were re-manipulated, and the remaining 15 were kept in the cast with an acceptable deformity. Twenty-nine additional children underwent operation for reasons other than secondary displacement. There were no significant differences in re-reduction and surgery rates or in post-reduction deformities between the two groups. Conclusion: The use of fluoroscopy during reduction of forearm fractures in the paediatric population apparently does not have a significant effect on patient outcomes. Reductions performed without fluoroscopy were comparably accurate in correcting deformities in both coronal and sagittal planes. - Highlights: • Compared outcomes of pediatric forearm fracture reduction with and without fluoroscopy. • The use of fluoroscopy during reduction of forearm fractures in the pediatric population apparently does not have a

  16. Integrating empowerment evaluation and quality improvement to achieve healthcare improvement outcomes (United States)

    Wandersman, Abraham; Alia, Kassandra Ann; Cook, Brittany; Ramaswamy, Rohit


    While the body of evidence-based healthcare interventions grows, the ability of health systems to deliver these interventions effectively and efficiently lags behind. Quality improvement approaches, such as the model for improvement, have demonstrated some success in healthcare but their impact has been lessened by implementation challenges. To help address these challenges, we describe the empowerment evaluation approach that has been developed by programme evaluators and a method for its application (Getting To Outcomes (GTO)). We then describe how GTO can be used to implement healthcare interventions. An illustrative healthcare quality improvement example that compares the model for improvement and the GTO method for reducing hospital admissions through improved diabetes care is described. We conclude with suggestions for integrating GTO and the model for improvement. PMID:26178332

  17. Integrating empowerment evaluation and quality improvement to achieve healthcare improvement outcomes. (United States)

    Wandersman, Abraham; Alia, Kassandra Ann; Cook, Brittany; Ramaswamy, Rohit


    While the body of evidence-based healthcare interventions grows, the ability of health systems to deliver these interventions effectively and efficiently lags behind. Quality improvement approaches, such as the model for improvement, have demonstrated some success in healthcare but their impact has been lessened by implementation challenges. To help address these challenges, we describe the empowerment evaluation approach that has been developed by programme evaluators and a method for its application (Getting To Outcomes (GTO)). We then describe how GTO can be used to implement healthcare interventions. An illustrative healthcare quality improvement example that compares the model for improvement and the GTO method for reducing hospital admissions through improved diabetes care is described. We conclude with suggestions for integrating GTO and the model for improvement. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

  18. Computational enzyme design approaches with significant biological outcomes: progress and challenges


    Li, Xiaoman; Zhang, Ziding; Song, Jiangning


    Enzymes are powerful biocatalysts, however, so far there is still a large gap between the number of enzyme-based practical applications and that of naturally occurring enzymes. Multiple experimental approaches have been applied to generate nearly all possible mutations of target enzymes, allowing the identification of desirable variants with improved properties to meet the practical needs. Meanwhile, an increasing number of computational methods have been developed to assist in the modificati...

  19. Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Improving Rapport between Track/Cross Country Coaches and Significant Others (United States)

    Helm, David Jay


    This study examines the background information and the components of N.L.P., being eye movements, use of predicates, and posturing, as they apply to improving rapport and empathy between track/cross country coaches and their significant others in the arena of competition to help alleviate the inherent stressors.

  20. Earlier surgery improves outcomes from painful chronic pancreatitis (United States)

    Ke, Nengwen; Jia, Dan; Huang, Wei; Nunes, Quentin M.; Windsor, John A.; Liu, Xubao; Sutton, Robert


    Abstract The timing of surgery for painful chronic pancreatitis (CP) may affect outcomes. Clinical course, Izbicki pain scores, and pancreatic function were retrospectively compared and analyzed between patients undergoing either early or late surgery (pancreatic mass +/− ductal dilatation (47% vs 27%, P insufficiency (60% vs 72%, P = .034); there were no other significant differences. The early group had longer hospital stay (14.4 vs 12.2 days, P = .009), but no difference in complications. Significantly greater pain relief followed early surgery (complete 69% vs 47%, partial 22% vs 37%, none 8% vs 16%, P = .01) with lower rates of exocrine (60% vs 80%, P = .005) and endocrine insufficiency (36% vs 53%, P = .033). Our data indicate that early surgery results in higher rates of pain relief and pancreatic sufficiency than late surgery for chronic pancreatitis patients. Frey and Berne procedures showed better results than other surgical procedures. PMID:29742705

  1. Improvement in Outcomes of Clinical Islet Transplantation: 1999–2010 (United States)

    Barton, Franca B.; Rickels, Michael R.; Alejandro, Rodolfo; Hering, Bernhard J.; Wease, Stephen; Naziruddin, Bashoo; Oberholzer, Jose; Odorico, Jon S.; Garfinkel, Marc R.; Levy, Marlon; Pattou, Francois; Berney, Thierry; Secchi, Antonio; Messinger, Shari; Senior, Peter A.; Maffi, Paola; Posselt, Andrew; Stock, Peter G.; Kaufman, Dixon B.; Luo, Xunrong; Kandeel, Fouad; Cagliero, Enrico; Turgeon, Nicole A.; Witkowski, Piotr; Naji, Ali; O’Connell, Philip J.; Greenbaum, Carla; Kudva, Yogish C.; Brayman, Kenneth L.; Aull, Meredith J.; Larsen, Christian; Kay, Tom W.H.; Fernandez, Luis A.; Vantyghem, Marie-Christine; Bellin, Melena; Shapiro, A.M. James


    OBJECTIVE To describe trends of primary efficacy and safety outcomes of islet transplantation in type 1 diabetes recipients with severe hypoglycemia from the Collaborative Islet Transplant Registry (CITR) from 1999 to 2010. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 677 islet transplant-alone or islet-after-kidney recipients with type 1 diabetes in the CITR were analyzed for five primary efficacy outcomes and overall safety to identify any differences by early (1999–2002), mid (2003–2006), or recent (2007–2010) transplant era based on annual follow-up to 5 years. RESULTS Insulin independence at 3 years after transplant improved from 27% in the early era (1999–2002, n = 214) to 37% in the mid (2003–2006, n = 255) and to 44% in the most recent era (2007–2010, n = 208; P = 0.006 for years-by-era; P = 0.01 for era alone). C-peptide ≥0.3 ng/mL, indicative of islet graft function, was retained longer in the most recent era (P islet reinfusion rate was lower: 48% by 1 year in 2007–2010 vs. 60–65% in 1999–2006 (P islet graft function (P islet transplantation in recipients who received transplants in 2007–2010 compared with those in 1999–2006, with fewer islet infusions and adverse events per recipient. PMID:22723582

  2. Parental Leave Policy as a Strategy to Improve Outcomes among Premature Infants. (United States)

    Greenfield, Jennifer C; Klawetter, Susanne


    Although gains have been made in premature birth rates among racial and ethnic minority and low socioeconomic status populations, tremendous disparities still exist in both prematurity rates and health outcomes for preterm infants. Parental involvement is known to improve health outcomes for preterm babies. However, a gap in evidence exists around whether parental involvement can help ameliorate the disparities in both short- and long-term out-comes for their preterm children. Families more likely to experience preterm birth are also less likely to have access to paid leave and thus experience significant systemic barriers to involvement, especially when their newborns are hospitalized. This article describes the research gap in this area and explores pathways by which social workers may ameliorate disparities in preterm birth outcomes through practice, policy, and research.

  3. Does professional-centred training improve consultation outcomes?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parkin, Tracey; Barnard, K.; Cradock, S.


    discussed and decisions made. Patients also completed the Health Care Climate Questionnaire (HCCQ). Pre-training results were fed back to the professionals to provide an objective measure of current practice. Training day one comprised 10 minutes' observation of videoed consultations of each professional......This study aimed to examine whether professional-centred training improves consultation outcomes. Using a pre- and post-data collection design. Immediately after consultations, professionals and patients completed a consultation review sheet which was coded for the level of agreement on issues...... in order to identify strengths and training needs. Each professional identified key areas of their consultation that they felt needed further development. Training day two centred on goal setting and negotiating agendas as these were identified as priority areas requiring more skills. Data from 110...

  4. Equity and improvement in outcome of breast cancer in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreasen, A H; Mouridsen, H T; Andersen, K W


    The trend in the prognosis for female breast cancer patients was investigated by comparing Kaplan-Meier survival curves of different patient cohorts diagnosed during the period 1948-87. The study is based on 71,448 patients from the Danish Cancer Registry. The cohorts were defined by age...... in other parts of Denmark. For patients diagnosed in 1978-87 the prognosis, however, reached an equal level in all parts of the country. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the national programme introduced in 1977 by the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group (DBCG) has played an important role...... and not only brought about therapeutic improvements in breast cancer treatment in Denmark, but also ensured equity in the outcome on a national scale....

  5. Improvement of the clinical outcome in Ankylosing spondylitis by balneotherapy. (United States)

    Yurtkuran, Merih; Ay, Alev; Karakoç, Yüksel


    This study is designed to show the efficacy of balneotherapy and balneotherapy (BT) + nonsteroid antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) use in Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients. In this prospective study, BT, BT+ NSAID and NSAID therapy in 61 patients with AS were evaluated by ASAS core set. BT group (21 patients) was treated only with BT for 20 min, once a day, 5 days a week, over a period of 3 weeks. BT+NSAID group (20 patients) was treated with 1000 mg naproxen as well as BT. NSAID group (20 patients) was treated with 1000 mg naproxen. All of the participants did respiratory and postural exercises for 20 min a day and for the whole study period. Each patient was evaluated on admission (before treatment), at the end of the therapy and 6 months after the treatment. At the end of the study, statistically significant improvement was observed in all the clinical parameters of the patients in BT (G1), BT+NSAID (G2) and NSAID (G3) groups. This significant symptomatic and clinical improvement was maintained even 6 months after the treatment. The changes from baseline to follow up were similar in G1 and G2 except duration of morning stiffness (DMS) and chest expansion (CE). Improvements in CE and DMS were better in G1 and G2, respectively. Improvements observed in G1 and G2 were superior to the improvements observed in G3 for the variables of morning pain, nocturnal pain, DMS, global well being of the patient, occiput-wall distance, CE, finger to floor distance and functional index. In Schober test, improvement observed in G1 was statistically superior to G3. We concluded that BT can be suggested as an effective symptomatic treatment modality in patients with AS. Furthermore, sufficient improvement in clinical parameters can be obtained by BT alone.

  6. Calculating Clinically Significant Change: Applications of the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) Scale to Evaluate Client Outcomes in Private Practice (United States)

    Kelly, Peter James


    The Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) scale is a therapist-rated measure of client outcome that has been widely used within the research literature. The current study aimed to develop reliable and clinically significant change indices for the CGI, and to demonstrate its application in private psychological practice. Following the guidelines…

  7. Costello Syndrome with Severe Nodulocystic Acne: Unexpected Significant Improvement of Acanthosis Nigricans after Oral Isotretinoin Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leelawadee Sriboonnark


    Full Text Available We report the case of 17-year-old female diagnosed with Costello syndrome. Genetic testing provided a proof with G12S mutation in the HRAS gene since 3 years of age with a presentation of severe nodulocystic acne on her face. After 2 months of oral isotretinoin treatment, improvement in her acne was observed. Interestingly, an unexpected significant improvement of acanthosis nigricans on her neck and dorsum of her hands was found as well. We present this case as a successful treatment option by using oral isotretinoin for the treatment of acanthosis nigricans in Costello syndrome patients.

  8. Determination of significance in Ecological Impact Assessment: Past change, current practice and future improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Briggs, Sam; Hudson, Malcolm D., E-mail:


    Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is an important tool for conservation and achieving sustainable development. 'Significant' impacts are those which disturb or alter the environment to a measurable degree. Significance is a crucial part of EcIA, our understanding of the concept in practice is vital if it is to be effective as a tool. This study employed three methods to assess how the determination of significance has changed through time, what current practice is, and what would lead to future improvements. Three data streams were collected: interviews with expert stakeholders, a review of 30 Environmental Statements and a broad-scale survey of the United Kingdom Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) members. The approach taken in the determination of significance has become more standardised and subjectivity has become constrained through a transparent framework. This has largely been driven by a set of guidelines produced by IEEM in 2006. The significance of impacts is now more clearly justified and the accuracy with which it is determined has improved. However, there are limitations to accuracy and effectiveness of the determination of significance. These are the quality of baseline survey data, our scientific understanding of ecological processes and the lack of monitoring and feedback of results. These in turn are restricted by the limited resources available in consultancies. The most notable recommendations for future practice are the implementation of monitoring and the publication of feedback, the creation of a central database for baseline survey data and the streamlining of guidance. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The assessment of significance has changed markedly through time. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The IEEM guidelines have driven a standardisation of practice. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Currently limited by quality of baseline data and scientific understanding. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Monitoring

  9. Histone deacetylase inhibitor significantly improved the cloning efficiency of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos. (United States)

    Huang, Yongye; Tang, Xiaochun; Xie, Wanhua; Zhou, Yan; Li, Dong; Yao, Chaogang; Zhou, Yang; Zhu, Jianguo; Lai, Liangxue; Ouyang, Hongsheng; Pang, Daxin


    Valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inbibitor, has been shown to generate inducible pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from mouse and human fibroblasts with a significant higher efficiency. Because successful cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) undergoes a full reprogramming process in which the epigenetic state of a differentiated donor nuclear is converted into an embryonic totipotent state, we speculated that VPA would be useful in promoting cloning efficiency. Therefore, in the present study, we examined whether VPA can promote the developmental competence of SCNT embryos by improving the reprogramming state of donor nucleus. Here we report that 1 mM VPA for 14 to 16 h following activation significantly increased the rate of blastocyst formation of porcine SCNT embryos constructed from Landrace fetal fibroblast cells compared to the control (31.8 vs. 11.4%). However, we found that the acetylation level of Histone H3 lysine 14 and Histone H4 lysine 5 and expression level of Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 was not significantly changed between VPA-treated and -untreated groups at the blastocyst stage. The SCNT embryos were transferred to 38 surrogates, and the cloning efficiency in the treated group was significantly improved compared with the control group. Taken together, we have demonstrated that VPA can improve both in vitro and in vivo development competence of porcine SCNT embryos.

  10. Clinical significance of hypoalbuminemia in outcome of patients with scrub typhus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwon Keun-Sang


    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study was designed to investigate the clinical significance of hypoalbuminemia as a marker of severity and mortality in patients with Scrub typhus. Methods The patients with scrub typhus were divided into two groups based on the serum albumin levels; Group I (serum albumin Results Of the total 246 patients who underwent the study, 84 patients (34.1% were categorized as Group I and 162 patients were (65.9% as Group II. Group I showed significantly higher incidence of confusion (24.6% vs. 5.3%, p p = 0.002, pleural effusion (22.8% vs. 11.1%, p = 0.03, arrhythmia (12.3% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.008 and non-oliguric acute renal failure (40.4% vs. 11.1%, p p p = 0.012, and higher hospital cost compared to Group II. Conclusions This study showed hypoalbuminemia in scrub typhus was closely related to the frequency of various complication, longer hospital stay, consequently the higher medical cost, necessitating more efficient management of patients, including medical resources.

  11. Type 1 IGF Receptor Localization in Paediatric Gliomas: Significant Association with WHO Grading and Clinical Outcome. (United States)

    Clément, Florencia; Martin, Ayelen; Venara, Marcela; de Luján Calcagno, Maria; Mathó, Cecilia; Maglio, Silvana; Lombardi, Mercedes García; Bergadá, Ignacio; Pennisi, Patricia A


    Nuclear localization of insulin-like growth factor receptor type 1 (IGF-1R) has been described as adverse prognostic factor in some cancers. We studied the expression and localization of IGF-1R in paediatric patients with gliomas, as well as its association with World Health Organization (WHO) grading and survival. We conducted a single cohort, prospective study of paediatric patients with gliomas. Samples were taken at the time of the initial surgery; IGF-1R expression and localization were characterized by immunohistochemistry (IHC), subcellular fractionation and western blotting. Tumours (47/53) showed positive staining for IGF-1R by IHC. IGF-1R nuclear labelling was observed in 10/47 cases. IGF-1R staining was mostly non-nuclear in low-grade tumours, while IGF-1R nuclear labelling was predominant in high-grade gliomas (p = 0.0001). Survival was significantly longer in patients with gliomas having non-nuclear IGF-1R localization than in patients with nuclear IGF-1R tumours (p = 0.016). In gliomas, IGF-1R nuclear localization was significantly associated with both high-grade tumours and increased risk of death. Based on a prospective design, we provide evidence of a potential usefulness of intracellular localization of IGF-1R as prognostic factor in paediatric patients with gliomas.

  12. Pregnancy after bariatric surgery: improving outcomes for mother and child

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    González I


    Full Text Available Irene González,1 Albert Lecube,2 Miguel Ángel Rubio,3 Pedro Pablo García-Luna4 1Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Huelva, Huelva, Spain; 2Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital, Lleida Biomedicine Research Institute (IRB-Lleida, CIBER in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders (CIBERDEM, Lleida University, Lleida, Spain; 3Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, IDISSC, Madrid, Spain; 4Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, Hospitales Universitarios Virgen del Rocío, Seville, Spain Abstract: The significant increase in the prevalence of obesity has led to an increase in the number of obese women who become pregnant. In this setting, in recent years, there has been an exponential rise in the number of bariatric procedures, with approximately half of them performed in women of childbearing age, and a remarkable surge in the number of women who become pregnant after having undergone bariatric surgery (BS. These procedures entail the risk of nutritional deficiencies, and nutrition is a crucial aspect during pregnancy. Therefore, knowledge and awareness of the consequences of these techniques on maternal and fetal outcomes is essential. Current evidence suggests a better overall obstetric outcome after BS, in comparison to morbid obese women managed conservatively, with a reduction in the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus, pregnancy-associated hypertensive disorders, macrosomia, and congenital defects. However, the risk of potential maternal nutritional deficiencies and newborns small for gestational age cannot be overlooked. Results concerning the incidence of preterm delivery and the number of C-sections are less consistent. In this paper, we review the updated evidence regarding the impact of BS on pregnancy. Keywords: bariatric surgery, pregnancy, maternal and fetal outcomes, gestational diabetes mellitus, small for

  13. Improving Pharmacy Student Communication Outcomes Using Standardized Patients. (United States)

    Gillette, Chris; Rudolph, Michael; Rockich-Winston, Nicole; Stanton, Robert; Anderson, H Glenn


    Objective. To examine whether standardized patient encounters led to an improvement in a student pharmacist-patient communication assessment compared to traditional active-learning activities within a classroom setting. Methods. A quasi-experimental study was conducted with second-year pharmacy students in a drug information and communication skills course. Student patient communication skills were assessed using high-stakes communication assessment. Results. Two hundred and twenty students' data were included. Students were significantly more likely to have higher scores on the communication assessment when they had higher undergraduate GPAs, were female, and taught using standardized patients. Similarly, students were significantly more likely to pass the assessment on the first attempt when they were female and when they were taught using standardized patients. Conclusion. Incorporating standardized patients within a communication course resulted in improved scores as well as first-time pass rates on a communication assessment than when using different methods of active learning.

  14. Improved prediction of breast cancer outcome by identifying heterogeneous biomarkers. (United States)

    Choi, Jonghwan; Park, Sanghyun; Yoon, Youngmi; Ahn, Jaegyoon


    Identification of genes that can be used to predict prognosis in patients with cancer is important in that it can lead to improved therapy, and can also promote our understanding of tumor progression on the molecular level. One of the common but fundamental problems that render identification of prognostic genes and prediction of cancer outcomes difficult is the heterogeneity of patient samples. To reduce the effect of sample heterogeneity, we clustered data samples using K-means algorithm and applied modified PageRank to functional interaction (FI) networks weighted using gene expression values of samples in each cluster. Hub genes among resulting prioritized genes were selected as biomarkers to predict the prognosis of samples. This process outperformed traditional feature selection methods as well as several network-based prognostic gene selection methods when applied to Random Forest. We were able to find many cluster-specific prognostic genes for each dataset. Functional study showed that distinct biological processes were enriched in each cluster, which seems to reflect different aspect of tumor progression or oncogenesis among distinct patient groups. Taken together, these results provide support for the hypothesis that our approach can effectively identify heterogeneous prognostic genes, and these are complementary to each other, improving prediction accuracy. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

  15. Improving Student Learning Outcomes Marketing Strategy Lesson By Applying SFAE Learning Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Winda Nur Rohmawati


    Full Text Available Research objectives for improving student learning outcomes on the subjects of marketing strategy through the implementation of model learning SFAE. This type of research this is a class action research using a qualitative approach which consists of two cycles with the subject Marketing X grade SMK YPI Darussalam 2 Cerme Gresik Regency. This research consists of four stages: (1 the Planning Act, (2 the implementation of the action, (3 observations (observation, and (4 Reflection. The result of the research shows that cognitive and affective learning outcomes of students have increased significantly.

  16. Communication: Proper treatment of classically forbidden electronic transitions significantly improves detailed balance in surface hopping

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sifain, Andrew E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0485 (United States); Wang, Linjun [Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Prezhdo, Oleg V. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0485 (United States); Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-1062 (United States)


    Surface hopping is the most popular method for nonadiabatic molecular dynamics. Many have reported that it does not rigorously attain detailed balance at thermal equilibrium, but does so approximately. We show that convergence to the Boltzmann populations is significantly improved when the nuclear velocity is reversed after a classically forbidden hop. The proposed prescription significantly reduces the total number of classically forbidden hops encountered along a trajectory, suggesting that some randomization in nuclear velocity is needed when classically forbidden hops constitute a large fraction of attempted hops. Our results are verified computationally using two- and three-level quantum subsystems, coupled to a classical bath undergoing Langevin dynamics.

  17. Thyrotropin receptor antibody activities significantly correlate with the outcome of radioiodine (131I) therapy for hyperthyroid Graves' disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaise, Kazuro; Kaise, Nobuko; Yoshida, Katsumi; Fukazawa, Hiroshi; Mori, Koki; Yamamoto, Makiko; Sakurada, Toshiro; Saito, Shintaro; Yoshinaga, Kaoru


    The outcome of 131 I therapy for 109 patients with Graves' disease was analysed according to pretreatment laboratory data including thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) activities. Forty-five percent of patients became euthyroid, and 13% of patients became hypothyroid within one year after 131 I therapy. Forty-two percent of patients remained hyperthyroid one year after 131 I therapy. Pretreatment values for serum T 4 , T 3 , and the estimated weight of the thyroid were significantly higher in the hyperthyroid group. The mean for the TRAb index of the hyperthyroid group was significantly higher than that of the euthyroid group. Life table analysis revealed a significant effect of the TRAb index on the rate of hyperthyroidism after 3 months or later. These results appear to suggest that the TRAb index is one of the factors which influence the outcome of 131 I therapy for Graves' disease. (author)

  18. Social protection: potential for improving HIV outcomes among adolescents. (United States)

    Cluver, Lucie D; Hodes, Rebecca J; Sherr, Lorraine; Orkin, F Mark; Meinck, Franziska; Lim Ah Ken, Patricia; Winder-Rossi, Natalia E; Wolfe, Jason; Vicari, Marissa


    Advances in biomedical technologies provide potential for adolescent HIV prevention and HIV-positive survival. The UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment targets provide a new roadmap for ending the HIV epidemic, principally through antiretroviral treatment, HIV testing and viral suppression among people with HIV. However, while imperative, HIV treatment and testing will not be sufficient to address the epidemic among adolescents in Southern and Eastern Africa. In particular, use of condoms and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) remain haphazard, with evidence that social and structural deprivation is negatively impacting adolescents' capacity to protect themselves and others. This paper examines the evidence for and potential of interventions addressing these structural deprivations. New evidence is emerging around social protection interventions, including cash transfers, parenting support and educational support ("cash, care and classroom"). These interventions have the potential to reduce the social and economic drivers of HIV risk, improve utilization of prevention technologies and improve adherence to ART for adolescent populations in the hyper-endemic settings of Southern and Eastern Africa. Studies show that the integration of social and economic interventions has high acceptability and reach and that it holds powerful potential for improved HIV, health and development outcomes. Social protection is a largely untapped means of reducing HIV-risk behaviours and increasing uptake of and adherence to biomedical prevention and treatment technologies. There is now sufficient evidence to include social protection programming as a key strategy not only to mitigate the negative impacts of the HIV epidemic among families, but also to contribute to HIV prevention among adolescents and potentially to remove social and economic barriers to accessing treatment. We urge a further research and programming agenda: to actively combine programmes that increase availability of

  19. Residual pathological stage at radical cystectomy significantly impacts outcomes for initial T2N0 bladder cancer. (United States)

    Isbarn, Hendrik; Karakiewicz, Pierre I; Shariat, Shahrokh F; Capitanio, Umberto; Palapattu, Ganesh S; Sagalowsky, Arthur I; Lotan, Yair; Schoenberg, Mark P; Amiel, Gilad E; Lerner, Seth P; Sonpavde, Guru


    We hypothesized that in patients with T2N0 stage disease at transurethral bladder tumor resection a lower residual cancer stage (P1N0 or less) at radical cystectomy may correlate with improved outcomes relative to those with residual P2N0 disease. We analyzed 208 patients with T2N0 stage disease at transurethral bladder tumor resection whose tumors were organ confined at radical cystectomy (P2 or lower, pN0). None received perioperative chemotherapy. Kaplan-Meier as well as univariable and multivariable Cox regression models addressed the effect of residual pT stage at radical cystectomy on recurrence and cancer specific mortality rates. Covariates consisted of age, gender, grade, lymphovascular invasion, carcinoma in situ, number of lymph nodes removed and year of surgery. Residual pT stage at radical cystectomy was P0 in 24 (11.5%) patients, Pa in 9 (4.3%), PCIS in 22 (10.6%), P1 in 35 (16.8%) and P2 in 118 (56.7%). Median followup of censored patients was 55.7 months for recurrence and 52.1 months for cancer specific mortality analyses. The 5-year recurrence-free survival rates of patients with P0/Pa/PCIS, P1 and P2 stage disease were 100%, 85% and 75%, respectively. The 5-year cancer specific survival rates for the same cohorts were 100%, 93% and 81%, respectively. On multivariable analysis the effect of residual stage P1 or lower at radical cystectomy achieved independent predictor status for recurrence (adjusted HR 0.20, p = 0.002) and cancer specific mortality (adjusted HR 0.24, p = 0.02). Down staging from initial T2N0 bladder cancer at transurethral bladder tumor resection to lower stage at radical cystectomy significantly reduces recurrence and cancer specific mortality. Further validation of this finding is warranted.

  20. Survival prediction algorithms miss significant opportunities for improvement if used for case selection in trauma quality improvement programs. (United States)

    Heim, Catherine; Cole, Elaine; West, Anita; Tai, Nigel; Brohi, Karim


    Quality improvement (QI) programs have shown to reduce preventable mortality in trauma care. Detailed review of all trauma deaths is a time and resource consuming process and calculated probability of survival (Ps) has been proposed as audit filter. Review is limited on deaths that were 'expected to survive'. However no Ps-based algorithm has been validated and no study has examined elements of preventability associated with deaths classified as 'expected'. The objective of this study was to examine whether trauma performance review can be streamlined using existing mortality prediction tools without missing important areas for improvement. We conducted a retrospective study of all trauma deaths reviewed by our trauma QI program. Deaths were classified into non-preventable, possibly preventable, probably preventable or preventable. Opportunities for improvement (OPIs) involve failure in the process of care and were classified into clinical and system deviations from standards of care. TRISS and PS were used for calculation of probability of survival. Peer-review charts were reviewed by a single investigator. Over 8 years, 626 patients were included. One third showed elements of preventability and 4% were preventable. Preventability occurred across the entire range of the calculated Ps band. Limiting review to unexpected deaths would have missed over 50% of all preventability issues and a third of preventable deaths. 37% of patients showed opportunities for improvement (OPIs). Neither TRISS nor PS allowed for reliable identification of OPIs and limiting peer-review to patients with unexpected deaths would have missed close to 60% of all issues in care. TRISS and PS fail to identify a significant proportion of avoidable deaths and miss important opportunities for process and system improvement. Based on this, all trauma deaths should be subjected to expert panel review in order to aim at a maximal output of performance improvement programs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier

  1. Can prebiotics and probiotics improve therapeutic outcomes for undernourished individuals? (United States)

    Sheridan, Paul O; Bindels, Laure B; Saulnier, Delphine M; Reid, Gregor; Nova, Esther; Holmgren, Kerstin; O'Toole, Paul W; Bunn, James; Delzenne, Nathalie; Scott, Karen P


    It has become clear in recent years that the human intestinal microbiota plays an important role in maintaining health and thus is an attractive target for clinical interventions. Scientists and clinicians have become increasingly interested in assessing the ability of probiotics and prebiotics to enhance the nutritional status of malnourished children, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with non-communicable disease-associated malnutrition. A workshop was held by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), drawing on the knowledge of experts from industry, medicine, and academia, with the objective to assess the status of our understanding of the link between the microbiome and under-nutrition, specifically in relation to probiotic and prebiotic treatments for under-nourished individuals. These discussions led to four recommendations:   (1) The categories of malnourished individuals need to be differentiated To improve treatment outcomes, subjects should first be categorized based on the cause of malnutrition, additional health-concerns, differences in the gut microbiota, and sociological considerations. (2) Define a baseline "healthy" gut microbiota for each category Altered nutrient requirement (for example, in pregnancy and old age) and individual variation may change what constitutes a healthy gut microbiota for the individual. (3) Perform studies using model systems to test the effectiveness of potential probiotics and prebiotics against these specific categories These should illustrate how certain microbiota profiles can be altered, as members of different categories may respond differently to the same treatment. (4) Perform robust well-designed human studies with probiotics and/or prebiotics, with appropriate, defined primary outcomes and sample size These are critical to show efficacy and understand responder and non-responder outcomes. It is hoped that these recommendations will lead to new approaches that

  2. Multiple thrombophilic single nucleotide polymorphisms lack a significant effect on outcomes in fresh IVF cycles: an analysis of 1717 patients. (United States)

    Patounakis, George; Bergh, Eric; Forman, Eric J; Tao, Xin; Lonczak, Agnieszka; Franasiak, Jason M; Treff, Nathan; Scott, Richard T


    The aim of the study is to determine if thrombophilic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affect outcomes in fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles in a large general infertility population. A prospective cohort analysis was performed at a university-affiliated private IVF center of female patients undergoing fresh non-donor IVF cycles. The effect of the following thrombophilic SNPs on IVF outcomes were explored: factor V (Leiden and H1299R), prothrombin (G20210A), factor XIII (V34L), β-fibrinogen (-455G → A), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (4G/5G), human platelet antigen-1 (a/b9L33P), and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (C677T and A1298C). The main outcome measures included positive pregnancy test, clinical pregnancy, embryo implantation, live birth, and pregnancy loss. Patients (1717) were enrolled in the study, and a total of 4169 embryos were transferred. There were no statistically significant differences in positive pregnancy test, clinical pregnancy, embryo implantation, live birth, or pregnancy loss in the analysis of 1717 patients attempting their first cycle of IVF. Receiver operator characteristics and logistic regression analyses showed that outcomes cannot be predicted by the cumulative number of thrombophilic mutations present in the patient. Individual and cumulative thrombophilic SNPs do not affect IVF outcomes. Therefore, initial screening for these SNPs is not indicated.

  3. Which postoperative complications matter most after bariatric surgery? Prioritizing quality improvement efforts to improve national outcomes. (United States)

    Daigle, Christopher R; Brethauer, Stacy A; Tu, Chao; Petrick, Anthony T; Morton, John M; Schauer, Philip R; Aminian, Ali


    National quality programs have been implemented to decrease the burden of adverse events on key outcomes in bariatric surgery. However, it is not well understood which complications have the most impact on patient health. To quantify the impact of specific bariatric surgery complications on key clinical outcomes. The Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) database. Data from patients who underwent primary bariatric procedures were retrieved from the MBSAQIP 2015 participant use file. The impact of 8 specific complications (bleeding, venous thromboembolism [VTE], leak, wound infection, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, myocardial infarction, and stroke) on 5 main 30-day outcomes (end-organ dysfunction, reoperation, intensive care unit admission, readmission, and mortality) was estimated using risk-adjusted population attributable fractions. The population attributable fraction is a calculated measure taking into account the prevalence and severity of each complication. The population attributable fractions represents the percentage reduction in a given outcome that would occur if that complication were eliminated. In total, 135,413 patients undergoing sleeve gastrectomy (67%), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (29%), adjustable gastric banding (3%), and duodenal switch (1%) were included. The most common complications were bleeding (.7%), wound infection (.5%), urinary tract infection (.3%), VTE (.3%), and leak (.2%). Bleeding and leak were the largest contributors to 3 of 5 examined outcomes. VTE had the greatest effect on readmission and mortality. This study quantifies the impact of specific complications on key surgical outcomes after bariatric surgery. Bleeding and leak were the complications with the largest overall effect on end-organ dysfunction, reoperation, and intensive care unit admission after bariatric surgery. Furthermore, our findings suggest that an initiative targeting reduction of post-bariatric surgery

  4. The impact of improving teamwork on patient outcomes in surgery: A systematic review. (United States)

    Sun, Rosa; Marshall, Dominic C; Sykes, Mark C; Maruthappu, Mahiben; Shalhoub, Joseph


    The aviation industry pioneered formalised crew training in order to improve safety and reduce consequences of non-technical error. This formalised training has been successfully adapted and used to in the field of surgery to improve post-operative patient outcomes. The need to implement teamwork training as an integral part of a surgical programme is increasingly being recognised. We aim to systematically review the impact of surgical teamwork training on post-operative outcomes. Two independent researchers systematically searched MEDLINE and Embase in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Studies were screened and subjected to inclusion/exclusion criteria. Study characteristics and outcomes were reported and analysed. Our initial search identified 2720 articles. Following duplicate removal, title and abstract screening, 107 full text articles were analysed. Eight articles met our inclusion criteria. Overall, three articles supported a positive effect of good teamwork on post-operative patient outcomes. We identified key areas in study methodology that can be improved upon, including small cohort size, lack of unified training programme, and short training duration, should future studies be designed and implemented in this field. At present, there is insufficient evidence to support the hypothesis that teamwork training interventions improve patient outcomes. We believe that non-significant and conflicting results can be attributed to flaws in methodology and non-uniform training methods. With increasing amounts of evidence in this field, we predict a positive association between teamwork training and patient outcomes will come to light. Copyright © 2018 IJS Publishing Group Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Improved Patient Outcomes by Normalizing Sympathovagal Balance: Differentiating Syncope—Precise Subtype Differentiation Leads to Improved Outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas L. DePace


    Full Text Available Syncope is difficult to definitively diagnose, even with tilt-table testing and beat-to-beat blood pressure measurements, the gold-standard. Both are qualitative, subjective assessments. There are subtypes of syncope associated with autonomic conditions for which tilt-table testing is not useful. Heart rate variability analyses also include too much ambiguity. Three subtypes of syncope are differentiated: vasovagal syncope (VVS due to parasympathetic excess (VVS-PE, VVS with abnormal heart rate response (VVS-HR, and VVS without PE (VVS-PN. P&S monitoring (ANSAR, Inc., Philadelphia, PA differentiates subtypes in 2727 cardiology patients (50.5% female; average age: 57 years; age range: 12–100 years, serially tested over four years (3.3 tests per patient, average. P&S monitoring noninvasively, independently, and simultaneously measures parasympathetic and sympathetic (P&S activity, including the normal P-decrease followed by an S-increase with head-up postural change (standing. Syncope, as an S-excess (SE with stand, is differentiated from orthostatic dysfunction (e.g., POTS as S-withdrawal with stand. Upon standing, VVS-PE is further differentiated as SE with PE, VVS-HR as SE with abnormal HR, and VVS-PN as SE with normal P- and HR-responses. Improved understanding of the underlying pathophysiology by more accurate subtyping leads to more precise therapy and improved outcomes.

  6. PXD101 significantly improves nuclear reprogramming and the in vitro developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Kang, Jin-Dan; Li, Suo; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Guo, Qing; Gao, Qing-Shan; Yan, Chang-Guo; Yin, Xi-Jun, E-mail:


    Highlights: • First explored that the effects of PXD101 on the development of SCNT embryos in vitro. • 0.5 μM PXD101 treated for 24 h improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos. • Level of AcH3K9 was significantly higher than control group at early stages. - Abstract: In this study, we investigated the effects of the histone deacetylase inhibitor PXD101 (belinostat) on the preimplantation development of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos and their expression of the epigenetic markers histone H3 acetylated at lysine 9 (AcH3K9). We compared the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with various concentrations of PXD101 for 24 h. Treatment with 0.5 μM PXD101 significantly increased the proportion of SCNT embryos that reached the blastocyst stage, in comparison to the control group (23.3% vs. 11.5%, P < 0.05). We tested the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with 0.5 μM PXD101 for various amounts of times following activation. Treatment for 24 h significantly improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos, with a significantly higher proportion of embryos reaching the blastocyst stage in comparison to the control group (25.7% vs. 10.6%, P < 0.05). PXD101-treated SCNT embryos were transferred into two surrogate sows, one of whom became pregnant and four fetuses developed. PXD101 treatment significantly increased the fluorescence intensity of immunostaining for AcH3K9 in embryos at the pseudo-pronuclear and 2-cell stages. At these stages, the fluorescence intensities of immunostaining for AcH3K9 were significantly higher in PXD101-treated embryos than in control untreated embryos. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that PXD101 can significantly improve the in vitro and in vivo developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos and can enhance their nuclear reprogramming.

  7. Unified Health Gamification can significantly improve well-being in corporate environments. (United States)

    Shahrestani, Arash; Van Gorp, Pieter; Le Blanc, Pascale; Greidanus, Fabrizio; de Groot, Kristel; Leermakers, Jelle


    There is a multitude of mHealth applications that aim to solve societal health problems by stimulating specific types of physical activities via gamification. However, physical health activities cover just one of the three World Health Organization (WHO) dimensions of health. This paper introduces the novel notion of Unified Health Gamification (UHG), which covers besides physical health also social and cognitive health and well-being. Instead of rewarding activities in the three WHO dimensions using different mHealth competitions, UHG combines the scores for such activities on unified leaderboards and lets people interact in social circles beyond personal interests. This approach is promising in corporate environments since UHG can connect the employees with intrinsic motivation for physical health with those who have quite different interests. In order to evaluate this approach, we realized an app prototype and we evaluated it in two corporate pilot studies. In total, eighteen pilot users participated voluntarily for six weeks. Half of the participants were recruited from an occupational health setting and the other half from a treatment setting. Our results suggest that the UHG principles are worth more investigation: various positive health effects were found based on a validated survey. The mean mental health improved significantly at one pilot location and at the level of individual pilot participants, multiple other effects were found to be significant: among others, significant mental health improvements were found for 28% of the participants. Most participants intended to use the app beyond the pilot, especially if it would be further developed.

  8. Interprofessional Collaborative Practice to Improve Patient Outcomes: A Pilot Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Styron


    Full Text Available This project focused on a pilot project implemented during the 2013-2014 academic year. The overall purpose was to facilitate interprofessional collaborative practice innovations through the development of leadership, core competencies, and the use of technology, especially among nurses. Nursing, medicine, and physician assistant students were educated on the IOM competencies for interprofessional teams and the core competencies identified by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel [1] to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to practice in the collaborative practice environments. The project addressed four goals: Develop faculty expertise and leadership in interprofessional collaborative practice to provide a current, high quality education to nursing, physician assistant, and medical students; Implement a culturally responsive and respectful collaborative interprofessional practice curriculum to prepare nurses, physician assistants, and medical students to deliver high quality, efficient, team-based care in a dynamically evolving environment; Focus interprofessional collaborative practice education on models and practices that lead to improvement in patient outcomes; and Evaluate the program and disseminate best practices. Findings from this pilot include strategies to engage different health professions' students and faculty, partnering with community agencies, building an effective interprofessional team to guide the project, and seeking funding for extension and expansion of the offerings.

  9. Improving conservation outcomes with insights from local experts and bureaucracies. (United States)

    Haenn, Nora; Schmook, Birgit; Reyes, Yol; Calmé, Sophie


    We describe conservation built on local expertise such that it constitutes a hybrid form of traditional and bureaucratic knowledge. Researchers regularly ask how local knowledge might be applied to programs linked to protected areas. By examining the production of conservation knowledge in southern Mexico, we assert local expertise is already central to conservation. However, bureaucratic norms and social identity differences between lay experts and conservation practitioners prevent the public valuing of traditional knowledge. We make this point by contrasting 2 examples. The first is a master's thesis survey of local experts regarding the biology of the King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) in which data collection took place in communities adjacent to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. The second is a workshop sponsored by the same reserve that instructed farmers on how to monitor endangered species, including the King Vulture. In both examples, conservation knowledge would not have existed without traditional knowledge. In both examples, this traditional knowledge is absent from scientific reporting. On the basis of these findings, we suggest conservation outcomes may be improved by recognizing the knowledge contributions local experts already make to conservation programming. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Impact of continuous quality improvement initiatives on clinical outcomes in peritoneal dialysis. (United States)

    Yu, Yusheng; Zhou, Yan; Wang, Han; Zhou, Tingting; Li, Qing; Li, Taoyu; Wu, Yan; Liu, Zhihong


    We evaluated the role of a quality improvement initiative in improving clinical outcomes in peritoneal dialysis (PD). In a retrospective analysis of 6 years of data from a hospital registry, the period between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2008 (control group) provided baseline data from before implementation of systemic outcomes monitoring, and the period between 1 July 2008 and 30 June 2011 [continuous quality improvement (CQI) group] represented the time when a CQI program was in place. Peritonitis incidence, patient and technique survival, cardiovascular status, causes of death, and drop-out were compared between the groups. In the 370 patients of the CQI group and the 249 patients of the control group, the predominant underlying kidney diseases were chronic glomerulonephritis and diabetic nephropathy. After implementation of the CQI initiative, the peritonitis rate declined to 1 episode in 77.25 patient-months from 1 episode in 22.86 patient-months. Ultrasound parameters of cardiac structure were generally unchanged in the CQI group, but significant increases in cardiothoracic ratio and interventricular septal thickness were observed in the control group (both p improve technique survival rates: 95.6%, 92.6%, and 92.6% in the CQI group compared with 89.6%, 79.2%, and 76.8% in the control group (p improve the quality of therapy and its outcomes. Copyright © 2014 International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis.

  11. Does an outcome-based approach to continuing medical education improve physicians' competences in rational prescribing? (United States)

    Esmaily, Hamideh M; Savage, Carl; Vahidi, Rezagoli; Amini, Abolghasem; Dastgiri, Saeed; Hult, Hakan; Dahlgren, Lars Owe; Wahlstrom, Rolf


    Continuing medical education (CME) is compulsory in Iran, and traditionally it is lecture-based, which is mostly not successful. Outcome-based education has been proposed for CME programs. To evaluate the effectiveness of an outcome-based educational intervention with a new approach based on outcomes and aligned teaching methods, on knowledge and skills of general physicians (GPs) working in primary care compared with a concurrent CME program in the field of "Rational prescribing". The method used was cluster randomized controlled design. All GPs working in six cities in one province in Iran were invited to participate. The cities were matched and randomly divided into an intervention arm for education on rational prescribing with an outcome-based approach, and a control arm for a traditional program on the same topic. Knowledge and skills were assessed using a pre- and post-test, including case scenarios. In total, 112 GPs participated. There were significant improvements in knowledge and prescribing skills after the training in the intervention arm as well as in comparison with the changes in the control arm. The overall intervention effect was 26 percentage units. The introduction of an outcome-based approach in CME appears to be effective when creating programs to improve GPs' knowledge and skills.

  12. Goal specificity: a proxy measure for improvements in environmental outcomes in collaborative governance. (United States)

    Biddle, Jennifer C; Koontz, Tomas M


    Collaborative governance critics continually call for evidence to support its prevalent use. As is often the case in environmental policy, environmental outcomes occur at a rate incompatible with political agendas. In addition, a multitude of possibly confounding variables makes it difficult to correlate collaborative governance processes with environmental outcomes. The findings of this study offer empirical evidence that collaborative processes have a measurable, beneficial effect on environmental outcomes. Through the use of a unique paired-waterbody design, our dataset reduced the potential for confounding variables to impact our environmental outcome measurements. The results of a path analysis indicate that the output of setting specific pollutant reduction goals is significantly related to watershed partnerships' level of attainment of their environmental improvement goals. The action of setting specific goals (e.g. percentage of load reductions in pollutant levels) is fostered by sustained participation from partnership members throughout the lifecycle of the collaborative. In addition, this study demonstrates the utility of logic modeling for environmental planning and management, and suggests that the process of setting specific pollutant reduction goals is a useful proxy measure for reporting progress towards improvements in environmental outcomes when long-term environmental data are not available. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Achievement for All: improving psychosocial outcomes for students with special educational needs and disabilities. (United States)

    Humphrey, Neil; Lendrum, Ann; Barlow, Alexandra; Wigelsworth, Michael; Squires, Garry


    Students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are at a greatly increased risk of experiencing poor psychosocial outcomes. Developing effective interventions that address the cause of these outcomes has therefore become a major policy priority in recent years. We report on a national evaluation of the Achievement for All (AfA) programme that was designed to improve outcomes for students with SEND through: (1) academic assessment, tracking and intervention, (2) structured conversations with parents, and (3) developing provision to improve wider outcomes (e.g. positive relationships). Using a quasi-experimental, pre-test-post-test control group design, we assessed the impact of AfA on teacher ratings of the behaviour problems, positive relationships and bullying of students with SEND over an 18-month period. Participants were 4758 students with SEND drawn from 323 schools across England. Our main impact analysis demonstrated that AfA had a significant impact on all three response variables when compared to usual practice. Hierarchical linear modelling of data from the intervention group highlighted a range of school-level contextual factors and implementation activities and student-level individual differences that moderated the impact of AfA on our study outcomes. The implications of our findings are discussed, and study strengths and limitations are noted. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Ethnicity moderates the outcomes of self-enhancement and self-improvement themes in expressive writing. (United States)

    Tsai, William; Lau, Anna S; Niles, Andrea N; Coello, Jordan; Lieberman, Matthew D; Ko, Ahra C; Hur, Christopher; Stanton, Annette L


    The current study examined whether writing content related to self-enhancing (viz., downward social comparison and situational attributions) and self-improving (viz., upward social comparison and persistence) motivations were differentially related to expressive writing outcomes among 17 Asian American and 17 European American participants. Content analysis of the essays revealed no significant cultural group differences in the likelihood of engaging in self-enhancing versus self-improving reflections on negative personal experiences. However, cultural group differences were apparent in the relation between self-motivation processes and changes in anxiety and depressive symptoms at 3-month follow-up. Among European Americans, writing that reflected downward social comparison predicted positive outcomes, whereas persistence writing themes were related to poorer outcomes. For Asian Americans, writing about persistence was related to positive outcomes, whereas downward social comparison and situational attributions predicted poorer outcomes. Findings provide evidence suggesting culturally distinct mechanisms for the effects of expressive disclosure. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Quality improvement in practice: improving diabetes care and patient outcomes in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. (United States)

    Stoneman, Alice; Atkinson, David; Davey, Maureen; Marley, Julia V


    Management of chronic disease, including diabetes, is a central focus of most Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) in Australia. We have previously demonstrated that diabetes monitoring and outcomes can be improved and maintained over a 10-year period at Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS). While continuous quality improvement (CQI) has been shown to improve service delivery rates and clinical outcome measures, the process of interpreting audit results and developing strategies for improvement is less well described. This paper describes the evaluation of care of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and features of effective CQI in ACCHSs in the remote Kimberley region of north Western Australia. Retrospective audit of records for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary care patients aged ≥15 years with a confirmed diagnosis of T2DM at four Kimberley ACCHSs from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. Interviews with health service staff and focus group discussions with patients post audit. diabetes care related activities, clinical outcome measures and factors influencing good diabetes related care and effective CQI. A total of 348 patients from the four ACCHSs were included in the study. Clinical care activities were generally high across three of the four health services (at least 71% of patients had cholesterol recorded, 89% blood pressure, 84% HbA1c). Patients from DAHS had lower median cholesterol levels (4.4 mmol/L) and the highest proportion of patients meeting clinical targets for HbA1c (31% v 16% ACCHS-3; P = 0.02). Features that facilitated good care included clearly defined staff roles for diabetes management, support and involvement of Aboriginal Health Workers, efficient recall systems, and well-coordinated allied health services. Effective CQI features included seamless and timely data collection, local ownership of the process, openness to admitting deficiencies and willingness to embrace change. Well

  16. Randomized Control Trial of COMPASS for Improving Transition Outcomes of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. (United States)

    Ruble, Lisa A; McGrew, John H; Toland, Michael; Dalrymple, Nancy; Adams, Medina; Snell-Rood, Claire


    The postsecondary outcomes of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are significantly worse than peers with other disabilities. One problem is the lack of empirically-supported transition planning interventions to guide services and help produce better outcomes. We applied an implementation science approach to adapt and modify an evidence-based consultation intervention originally tested with young children called the Collaborative Model for Promoting Competence and Success (COMPASS; Ruble et al., The collaborative model for promoting competence and success for students with ASD. Springer, New York, 2012a) and evaluate it for efficacy in a randomized controlled trial for transition-age youth. Results replicated findings with younger students with ASD that IEP outcomes were higher for COMPASS compared to the placebo control group (d = 2.1). Consultant fidelity was high and teacher adherence improved over time, replicating the importance of ongoing teacher coaching.

  17. Improving adolescent pregnancy outcomes and maternal health:a case study of comprehensive case managed services. (United States)

    Bowman, Elizabeth K; Palley, Howard A


    Our findings indicate how health outcomes regarding adolescent pregnancy and maternal and infant health care are intertwined with a case management process that fosters measures that are social in nature-the provision of direct services, as well as the encouragement of informal social supports systems. They also show how case managed services in a small, nongovernmental organization (NGO) with a strong commitment to its clients may provide the spontaneity and caring which results in a "match" between client needs and the delivery of services-and positive outcomes for pregnant women, early maternal health and infant health. The delivery of such case managed services in a manner which is intensive, comprehensive, flexible and integrated contributes significantly to such improved health outcomes.

  18. Impact of a quality improvement program on care and outcomes for children with asthma. (United States)

    Homer, Charles J; Forbes, Peter; Horvitz, Lisa; Peterson, Laura E; Wypij, David; Heinrich, Patricia


    To test a quality improvement intervention, a learning collaborative based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Breakthrough Series methodology, specifically intended to improve care and outcomes for patients with childhood asthma. Randomized trial in primary care practices. Practices in greater Boston, Mass, and greater Detroit, Mich. Forty-three practices, with 13 878 pediatric patients with asthma, randomized to intervention and control groups. Intervention Participation in a learning collaborative project based on the Breakthrough Series methodology of continuous quality improvement. Change from baseline in the proportion of children with persistent asthma who received appropriate medication therapy for asthma, and in the proportion of children whose parent received a written management plan for their child's asthma, as determined by telephone interviews with parents of 631 children. After adjusting for state, practice size, child age, sex, and within-practice clustering, no overall effect of the intervention was found. This methodologically rigorous assessment of a widely used quality improvement technique did not demonstrate a significant effect on processes or outcomes of care for children with asthma. Potential deficiencies in program implementation, project duration, sample selection, and data sources preclude making the general inference that this type of improvement program is ineffective. Additional rigorous studies should be undertaken under more optimal settings to assess the efficacy of this method for improving care.

  19. Thermosensitive Hydrogel Mask Significantly Improves Skin Moisture and Skin Tone; Bilateral Clinical Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Quattrone


    Full Text Available Objective: A temperature-sensitive state-changing hydrogel mask was used in this study. Once it comes into contact with the skin and reaches the body temperature, it uniformly and quickly releases the active compounds, which possess moisturizing, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties. Methods: An open label clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of the test product on skin hydration, skin tone and skin ageing. Subjects applied the product to one side of their face and underwent Corneometer® and Chromameter measurements, Visual assessment of facial skin ageing and facial photography. All assessments and Self-Perception Questionnaires (SPQ were performed at baseline, after the first application of the test product and after four applications. Results: After a single treatment we observed an increase in skin moisturisation, an improvement of skin tone/luminosity and a reduction in signs of ageing, all statistically significant. After four applications a further improvement in all measured parameters was recorded. These results were confirmed by the subjects’ own perceptions, as reported in the SPQ both after one and four applications. Conclusion: The hydrogel mask tested in this study is very effective in improving skin hydration, skin radiance and luminosity, in encouraging an even skin tone and in reducing skin pigmentation.

  20. E2F5 status significantly improves malignancy diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer

    KAUST Repository

    Kothandaraman, Narasimhan


    Background: Ovarian epithelial cancer (OEC) usually presents in the later stages of the disease. Factors, especially those associated with cell-cycle genes, affecting the genesis and tumour progression for ovarian cancer are largely unknown. We hypothesized that over-expressed transcription factors (TFs), as well as those that are driving the expression of the OEC over-expressed genes, could be the key for OEC genesis and potentially useful tissue and serum markers for malignancy associated with OEC.Methods: Using a combination of computational (selection of candidate TF markers and malignancy prediction) and experimental approaches (tissue microarray and western blotting on patient samples) we identified and evaluated E2F5 transcription factor involved in cell proliferation, as a promising candidate regulatory target in early stage disease. Our hypothesis was supported by our tissue array experiments that showed E2F5 expression only in OEC samples but not in normal and benign tissues, and by significantly positively biased expression in serum samples done using western blotting studies.Results: Analysis of clinical cases shows that of the E2F5 status is characteristic for a different population group than one covered by CA125, a conventional OEC biomarker. E2F5 used in different combinations with CA125 for distinguishing malignant cyst from benign cyst shows that the presence of CA125 or E2F5 increases sensitivity of OEC detection to 97.9% (an increase from 87.5% if only CA125 is used) and, more importantly, the presence of both CA125 and E2F5 increases specificity of OEC to 72.5% (an increase from 55% if only CA125 is used). This significantly improved accuracy suggests possibility of an improved diagnostics of OEC. Furthermore, detection of malignancy status in 86 cases (38 benign, 48 early and late OEC) shows that the use of E2F5 status in combination with other clinical characteristics allows for an improved detection of malignant cases with sensitivity

  1. Significance of MPEG-7 textural features for improved mass detection in mammography. (United States)

    Eltonsy, Nevine H; Tourassi, Georgia D; Fadeev, Aleksey; Elmaghraby, Adel S


    The purpose of the study is to investigate the significance of MPEG-7 textural features for improving the detection of masses in screening mammograms. The detection scheme was originally based on morphological directional neighborhood features extracted from mammographic regions of interest (ROIs). Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) was performed to evaluate the performance of each set of features independently and merged into a back-propagation artificial neural network (BPANN) using the leave-one-out sampling scheme (LOOSS). The study was based on a database of 668 mammographic ROIs (340 depicting cancer regions and 328 depicting normal parenchyma). Overall, the ROC area index of the BPANN using the directional morphological features was Az=0.85+/-0.01. The MPEG-7 edge histogram descriptor-based BPNN showed an ROC area index of Az=0.71+/-0.01 while homogeneous textural descriptors using 30 and 120 channels helped the BPNN achieve similar ROC area indexes of Az=0.882+/-0.02 and Az=0.877+/-0.01 respectively. After merging the MPEG-7 homogeneous textural features with the directional neighborhood features the performance of the BPANN increased providing an ROC area index of Az=0.91+/-0.01. MPEG-7 homogeneous textural descriptor significantly improved the morphology-based detection scheme.

  2. Implantable cardioverter defibrillator specific rehabilitation improves health cost outcomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Selina Kikkenborg; Zwisler, Ann-Dorthe; Koch, Mette Bjerrum


    OBJECTIVE: The Copenhagen Outpatient ProgrammE - implantable cardioverter defibrillator (COPE-ICD) trial included patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators in a randomized controlled trial of rehabilitation. After 6-12 months significant differences were found in favour of the rehabil...... was -6,789 USD/-5,593 Euro in favour of rehabilitation. CONCLUSION: No long-term health outcome benefits were found for the rehabilitation programme. However, the rehabilitation programme resulted in a reduction in total attributable direct costs....... of the rehabilitation group for exercise capacity, general and mental health. The aim of this paper is to explore the long-term health effects and cost implications associated with the rehabilitation programme; more specifically, (i) to compare implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy history and mortality...... between rehabilitation and usual care groups; (ii) to examine the difference between rehabilitation and usual care groups in terms of time to first admission; and (iii) to determine attributable direct costs. METHODS: Patients with first-time implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation (n = 196...

  3. Carfilzomib significantly improves the progression-free survival of high-risk patients in multiple myeloma. (United States)

    Avet-Loiseau, Hervé; Fonseca, Rafael; Siegel, David; Dimopoulos, Meletios A; Špička, Ivan; Masszi, Tamás; Hájek, Roman; Rosiñol, Laura; Goranova-Marinova, Vesselina; Mihaylov, Georgi; Maisnar, Vladimír; Mateos, Maria-Victoria; Wang, Michael; Niesvizky, Ruben; Oriol, Albert; Jakubowiak, Andrzej; Minarik, Jiri; Palumbo, Antonio; Bensinger, William; Kukreti, Vishal; Ben-Yehuda, Dina; Stewart, A Keith; Obreja, Mihaela; Moreau, Philippe


    The presence of certain high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, such as translocations (4;14) and (14;16) and deletion (17p), are known to have a negative impact on survival in multiple myeloma (MM). The phase 3 study ASPIRE (N = 792) demonstrated that progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly improved with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd), compared with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) in relapsed MM. This preplanned subgroup analysis of ASPIRE was conducted to evaluate KRd vs Rd by baseline cytogenetics according to fluorescence in situ hybridization. Of 417 patients with known cytogenetic risk status, 100 patients (24%) were categorized with high-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 48; Rd, n = 52) and 317 (76%) were categorized with standard-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 147; Rd, n = 170). For patients with high-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd resulted in a median PFS of 23.1 months, a 9-month improvement relative to treatment with Rd. For patients with standard-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd led to a 10-month improvement in median PFS vs Rd. The overall response rates for KRd vs Rd were 79.2% vs 59.6% (high-risk cytogenetics) and 91.2% vs 73.5% (standard-risk cytogenetics); approximately fivefold as many patients with high- or standard-risk cytogenetics achieved a complete response or better with KRd vs Rd (29.2% vs 5.8% and 38.1% vs 6.5%, respectively). KRd improved but did not abrogate the poor prognosis associated with high-risk cytogenetics. This regimen had a favorable benefit-risk profile in patients with relapsed MM, irrespective of cytogenetic risk status, and should be considered a standard of care in these patients. This trial was registered at as #NCT01080391. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.

  4. Assessment of Student Professional Outcomes for Continuous Improvement (United States)

    Keshavarz, Mohsen; Baghdarnia, Mostafa


    This article describes a method for the assessment of professional student outcomes (performance-type outcomes or soft skills). The method is based upon group activities, research on modern electrical engineering topics by individual students, classroom presentations on chosen research topics, final presentations, and technical report writing.…

  5. An Integrated Care Initiative to Improve Patient Outcome in Schizophrenia. (United States)

    Mayer-Amberg, Norbert; Woltmann, Rainer; Walther, Stefanie


    The optimal treatment of schizophrenia patients requires integration of medical and psychosocial inputs. In Germany, various health-care service providers and institutions are involved in the treatment process. Early and continuous treatment is important but often not possible because of the fragmented medical care system in Germany. The Integrated Care Initiative Schizophrenia has implemented a networked care concept in the German federal state of Lower Saxony that integrates various stakeholders of the health care system. In this initiative, office-based psychiatrists, specialized nursing staff, psychologists, social workers, hospitals, psychiatric institutional outpatient's departments, and other community-based mental health services work together in an interdisciplinary approach. Much emphasis is placed on psychoeducation. Additional efforts cover socio-therapy, visiting care, and family support. During the period from October 2010 (start of the initiative) to December 2012, first experiences and results of quality indicators were collected of 713 registered patients and summarized in a quality monitoring report. In addition, standardized patient interviews were conducted, and duration of hospital days was recorded in 2013. By the end of 2012, patients had been enrolled for an average of 18.7 months. The overall patient satisfaction measured in a patient survey in June 2013 was high and the duration of hospital days measured in a pre-post analysis in July 2013 was reduced by 44%. Two years earlier than planned, the insurance fund will continue the successfully implemented Integrated Care Initiative and adopt it in the regular care setting. This initiative can serve as a learning case for how to set up and measure integrated care systems that may improve outcomes for patients suffering from schizophrenia.

  6. An Integrated Care Initiative to Improve Patient Outcome in Schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norbert eMayer-Amberg


    Full Text Available The optimal treatment of schizophrenia patients requires integration of medical and psychosocial inputs. In Germany, various healthcare service providers and institutions are involved in the treatment process. Early and continuous treatment is important but often not possible because of the fragmented medical care system in Germany. The current work is a quality monitoring report of a novel care setting, called Integrated Care Initiative Schizophrenia. It has implemented a networked care concept in the German federal state of Lower Saxony that integrates various stakeholders of the health care system. In this initiative, office-based psychiatrists, specialised nursing staff, psychologists, social workers, hospitals, psychiatric institutional outpatient’s departments and other community-based mental health services work together in an interdisciplinary approach. Much emphasis is placed on psychoeducation. Additional efforts cover socio-therapy, visiting care, and family support. During the period from October 2010 (start of the initiative to December 2012, first experiences and results of quality indicators were collected of 713 registered patients and summarised in a quality monitoring report. In addition, standardised patient interviews were conducted, and duration of hospital days was recorded in 2013. By the end of 2012, patients had been enrolled for an average of 18.7 months. The overall patient satisfaction measured in a patient survey in June 2013 was high and the duration of hospital days measured in a pre-post analysis in July 2013 was reduced by 44%. Two years earlier than planned, the insurance fund will continue the successfully implemented integrated care initiative and adopt it in the regular care setting. This initiative can serve as a learning case for how to set up and measure integrated care systems that may improve outcomes for patients suffering from schizophrenia.

  7. Bone Mass and Strength are Significantly Improved in Mice Overexpressing Human WNT16 in Osteocytes. (United States)

    Alam, Imranul; Reilly, Austin M; Alkhouli, Mohammed; Gerard-O'Riley, Rita L; Kasipathi, Charishma; Oakes, Dana K; Wright, Weston B; Acton, Dena; McQueen, Amie K; Patel, Bhavmik; Lim, Kyung-Eun; Robling, Alexander G; Econs, Michael J


    Recently, we demonstrated that osteoblast-specific overexpression of human WNT16 increased both cortical and trabecular bone mass and structure in mice. To further identify the cell-specific role of Wnt16 in bone homeostasis, we created transgenic (TG) mice overexpressing human WNT16 in osteocytes using Dmp1 promoter (Dmp1-hWNT16 TG) on C57BL/6 (B6) background. We analyzed bone phenotypes and serum bone biomarkers, performed gene expression analysis and measured dynamic bone histomorphometry in Dmp1-hWNT16 TG and wild-type (WT) mice. Compared to WT mice, Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice exhibited significantly higher whole-body, spine and femoral aBMD, BMC and trabecular (BV/TV, Tb.N, and Tb.Th) and cortical (bone area and thickness) parameters in both male and female at 12 weeks of age. Femur stiffness and ultimate force were also significantly improved in the Dmp1-hWNT16 TG female mice, compared to sex-matched WT littermates. In addition, female Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice displayed significantly higher MS/BS, MAR and BFR/BS compared to the WT mice. Gene expression analysis demonstrated significantly higher mRNA level of Alp in both male and female Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice and significantly higher levels of Osteocalcin, Opg and Rankl in the male Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice in bone tissue compared to sex-matched WT mice. These results indicate that WNT16 plays a critical role for acquisition of both cortical and trabecular bone mass and strength. Strategies designed to use WNT16 as a target for therapeutic interventions will be valuable to treat osteoporosis and other low bone mass conditions.

  8. Radiotherapy is associated with significant improvement in local and regional control in Merkel cell carcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Susan H; Haydu, Lauren E; Goh, Robin Yeong Hong; Fogarty, Gerald B


    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare tumour of skin. This study is a retrospective audit of patients with MCC from St Vincent’s and Mater Hospital, Sydney, Australia. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of radiotherapy (RT) on the local and regional control of MCC lesions and survival of patients with MCC. The data bases in anatomical pathology, RT and surgery. We searched for patients having a diagnosis of MCC between 1996 and 2007. Patient, tumour and treatment characteristics were collected and analysed. Univariate survival analysis of categorical variables was conducted with the Kaplan-Meier method together with the Log-Rank test for statistical significance. Continuous variables were assessed using the Cox regression method. Multivariate analysis was performed for significant univariate results. Sixty seven patients were found. Sixty two who were stage I-III and were treated with radical intent were analysed. 68% were male. The median age was 74 years. Forty-two cases (68%) were stage I or II, and 20 cases (32%) were stage III. For the subset of 42 stage I and II patients, those that had RT to their primary site had a 2-year local recurrence free survival of 89% compared with 36% for patients not receiving RT (p<0.001). The cumulative 2-year regional recurrence free survival for patients having adjuvant regional RT was 84% compared with 43% for patients not receiving this treatment (p<0.001). Immune status at initial surgery was a significant predictor for OS and MCCSS. In a multivariate analysis combining macroscopic size (mm) and immune status at initial surgery, only immune status remained a significant predictor of overall survival (HR=2.096, 95% CI: 1.002-4.385, p=0.049). RT is associated with significant improvement in local and regional control in Merkel cell carcinoma. Immunosuppression is an important factor in overall survival

  9. Imatinib prevents beta cell death in vitro but does not improve islet transplantation outcome. (United States)

    King, Aileen J F; Griffiths, Lisa A; Persaud, Shanta J; Jones, Peter M; Howell, Simon L; Welsh, Nils


    Introduction Improving islet transplantation outcome could not only bring benefits to individual patients but also widen the patient pool to which this life-changing treatment is available. Imatinib has previously been shown to protect beta cells from apoptosis in a variety of in vitro and in vivo models. The aim of this study was to investigate whether imatinib could be used to improve islet transplantation outcome. Methods Islets were isolated from C57Bl/6 mice and pre-cultured with imatinib prior to exposure to streptozotocin and cytokines in vitro. Cell viability and glucose-induced insulin secretion were measured. For transplantation experiments, islets were pre-cultured with imatinib for either 72 h or 24 h prior to transplantation into streptozotocin-diabetic C57Bl/6 mice. In one experimental series mice were also administered imatinib after islet transplantation. Results Imatinib partially protected islets from beta cell death in vitro. However, pre-culturing islets in imatinib or administering the drug to the mice in the days following islet transplantation did not improve blood glucose concentrations more than control-cultured islets. Conclusion Although imatinib protected against beta cell death from cytokines and streptozotocin in vitro, it did not significantly improve syngeneic islet transplantation outcome.

  10. Temporal pole abnormalities in temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis: Clinical significance and seizure outcome after surgery. (United States)

    Di Gennaro, Giancarlo; D'Aniello, Alfredo; De Risi, Marco; Grillea, Giovanni; Quarato, Pier Paolo; Mascia, Addolorata; Grammaldo, Liliana G; Casciato, Sara; Morace, Roberta; Esposito, Vincenzo; Picardi, Angelo


    To assess the clinical significance of temporal pole abnormalities (temporopolar blurring, TB, and temporopolar atrophy, TA) in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and hippocampal sclerosis (HS) with a long post-surgical follow-up. We studied 60 consecutive patients with TLE-HS and 1.5 preoperative MRI scans who underwent surgery and were followed up for at least 5 years (mean follow-up 7.3 years). Based on findings of pre-surgical MRI, patients were classified according to the presence of TB or TA. Groups were compared on demographic, clinical, neuropsychological data, and seizure outcome. TB was found in 37 (62%) patients, while TA was found in 35 (58%) patients, always ipsilateral to HS, with a high degree of overlap (83%) between TB and TA (pepilepsy onset, side of surgery, seizure frequency, seizure outcome, and neuropsychological outcome. On the other hand, they were significantly older, had a longer duration of epilepsy, and displayed lower preoperative scores on several neuropsychological tests. Similar findings were observed for TA. Multivariate analysis corroborated the association between temporopolar abnormalities and age at onset, age at surgery (for TB only), and lower preoperative scores on some neuropsychological tests. Temporopolar abnormalities are frequent in patients with TLE-HS. Our data support the hypothesis that TB and TA are caused by seizure-related damages. These abnormalities did not influence seizure outcome, even after a long-term post-surgical follow-up. Copyright © 2015 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Managing congenital hyperinsulinism: improving outcomes with a multidisciplinary approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ackermann AM


    Full Text Available Amanda M Ackermann, Andrew A Palladino Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA Abstract: Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI is the most common cause of persistent hypoglycemia in pediatric patients and is associated with significant risk of hypoglycemic seizures and developmental delays. CHI results from mutations in at least nine genes that play a role in regulating beta-cell insulin secretion. Thus, patients with CHI have dysregulated insulin secretion that is unresponsive to blood glucose level. Each different genetic etiology of CHI is associated with particular clinical characteristics that affect management decisions. Given the broad phenotypic spectrum and relatively rare prevalence of CHI, it is important that patients with CHI be evaluated by clinicians experienced with CHI and the multiple subspecialty services that are necessary for the management of the disorder. In this review, we summarize the pathophysiology and genetic causes of CHI and then focus primarily on the most common genetic cause (mutations in the ATP-gated potassium [KATP] channel for further discussion of diagnosis, medical and surgical management, and potential acute and chronic complications. We provide insight from relevant published studies and reports, in addition to anecdotal information from our center’s clinical experience in caring for over 400 patients with CHI. Careful assessment of each patient’s individual pathophysiology is necessary to determine the appropriate treatment regimen, and continued close follow-up and monitoring of disease- and treatment-related complications are essential. Although significant improvements have been made in the past several years with regard to diagnosis and management, given the continued high morbidity rate in patients with CHI, improved diagnostic techniques and new therapeutic options would be welcomed. Keywords: hypoglycemia, hyperinsulinism, beta

  12. Significant Improvement of Organic Thin-Film Transistor Mobility Utilizing an Organic Heterojunction Buffer Layer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pan Feng; Qian Xian-Rui; Huang Li-Zhen; Wang Hai-Bo; Yan Dong-Hang


    High-mobility vanadyl phthalocyanine (VOPc)/5,5‴-bis(4-fluorophenyl)-2,2':5',2″:5″,2‴-quaterthiophene (F2-P4T) thin-film transistors are demonstrated by employing a copper hexadecafluorophthalocyanine (F 16 CuPc)/copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) heterojunction unit, which are fabricated at different substrate temperatures, as a buffer layer. The highest mobility of 4.08cm 2 /Vs is achieved using a F 16 CuPc/CuPc organic heterojunction buffer layer fabricated at high substrate temperature. Compared with the random small grain-like morphology of the room-temperature buffer layer, the high-temperature organic heterojunction presents a large-sized fiber-like film morphology, resulting in an enhanced conductivity. Thus the contact resistance of the transistor is significantly reduced and an obvious improvement in device mobility is obtained. (cross-disciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  13. Significant improvement of optical traps by tuning standard water immersion objectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reihani, S Nader S; Mir, Shahid A; Richardson, Andrew C; Oddershede, Lene B


    Focused infrared lasers are widely used for micromanipulation and visualization of biological specimens. An inherent practical problem is that off-the-shelf commercial microscope objectives are designed for use with visible and not infrared wavelengths. Less aberration is introduced by water immersion objectives than by oil immersion ones, however, even water immersion objectives induce significant aberration. We present a simple method to reduce the spherical aberration induced by water immersion objectives, namely by tuning the correction collar of the objective to a value that is ∼ 10% lower than the physical thickness of the coverslip. This results in marked improvements in optical trapping strengths of up to 100% laterally and 600% axially from a standard microscope objective designed for use in the visible range. The results are generally valid for any water immersion objective with any numerical aperture

  14. Significant improvement in the electrical characteristics of Schottky barrier diodes on molecularly modified Gallium Nitride surfaces (United States)

    Garg, Manjari; Naik, Tejas R.; Pathak, C. S.; Nagarajan, S.; Rao, V. Ramgopal; Singh, R.


    III-Nitride semiconductors face the issue of localized surface states, which causes fermi level pinning and large leakage current at the metal semiconductor interface, thereby degrading the device performance. In this work, we have demonstrated the use of a Self-Assembled Monolayer (SAM) of organic molecules to improve the electrical characteristics of Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) on n-type Gallium Nitride (n-GaN) epitaxial films. The electrical characteristics of diodes were improved by adsorption of SAM of hydroxyl-phenyl metallated porphyrin organic molecules (Zn-TPPOH) onto the surface of n-GaN. SAM-semiconductor bonding via native oxide on the n-GaN surface was confirmed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. Surface morphology and surface electronic properties were characterized using atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy. Current-voltage characteristics of different metal (Cu, Ni) SBDs on bare n-GaN were compared with those of Cu/Zn-TPPOH/n-GaN and Ni/Zn-TPPOH/n-GaN SBDs. It was found that due to the molecular monolayer, the surface potential of n-GaN was decreased by ˜350 mV. This caused an increase in the Schottky barrier height of Cu and Ni SBDs from 1.13 eV to 1.38 eV and 1.07 eV to 1.22 eV, respectively. In addition to this, the reverse bias leakage current was reduced by 3-4 orders of magnitude for both Cu and Ni SBDs. Such a significant improvement in the electrical performance of the diodes can be very useful for better device functioning.

  15. pEPito: a significantly improved non-viral episomal expression vector for mammalian cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ogris Manfred


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The episomal replication of the prototype vector pEPI-1 depends on a transcription unit starting from the constitutively expressed Cytomegalovirus immediate early promoter (CMV-IEP and directed into a 2000 bp long matrix attachment region sequence (MARS derived from the human β-interferon gene. The original pEPI-1 vector contains two mammalian transcription units and a total of 305 CpG islands, which are located predominantly within the vector elements necessary for bacterial propagation and known to be counterproductive for persistent long-term transgene expression. Results Here, we report the development of a novel vector pEPito, which is derived from the pEPI-1 plasmid replicon but has considerably improved efficacy both in vitro and in vivo. The pEPito vector is significantly reduced in size, contains only one transcription unit and 60% less CpG motives in comparison to pEPI-1. It exhibits major advantages compared to the original pEPI-1 plasmid, including higher transgene expression levels and increased colony-forming efficiencies in vitro, as well as more persistent transgene expression profiles in vivo. The performance of pEPito-based vectors was further improved by replacing the CMV-IEP with the human CMV enhancer/human elongation factor 1 alpha promoter (hCMV/EF1P element that is known to be less affected by epigenetic silencing events. Conclusions The novel vector pEPito can be considered suitable as an improved vector for biotechnological applications in vitro and for non-viral gene delivery in vivo.

  16. Electronic monitoring in combination with direct observation as a means to significantly improve hand hygiene compliance. (United States)

    Boyce, John M


    Monitoring hand hygiene compliance among health care personnel (HCP) is an essential element of hand hygiene promotion programs. Observation by trained auditors is considered the gold standard method for establishing hand hygiene compliance rates. Advantages of observational surveys include the unique ability to establish compliance with all of the World Health Organization "My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene" initiative Moments and to provide just-in-time coaching. Disadvantages include the resources required for observational surveys, insufficient sample sizes, and nonstandardized methods of conducting observations. Electronic and camera-based systems can monitor hand hygiene performance on all work shifts without a Hawthorne effect and provide significantly more data regarding hand hygiene performance. Disadvantages include the cost of installation, variable accuracy in estimating compliance rates, issues related to acceptance by HCP, insufficient data regarding their cost-effectiveness and influence on health care-related infection rates, and the ability of most systems to monitor only surrogates for Moments 1, 4, and 5. Increasing evidence suggests that monitoring only Moments 1, 4, and 5 provides reasonable estimates of compliance with all 5 Moments. With continued improvement of electronic monitoring systems, combining electronic monitoring with observational methods may provide the best information as part of a multimodal strategy to improve and sustain hand hygiene compliance rates among HCP. Copyright © 2017 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. An On-Chip RBC Deformability Checker Significantly Improves Velocity-Deformation Correlation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Hung Dylan Tsai


    Full Text Available An on-chip deformability checker is proposed to improve the velocity–deformation correlation for red blood cell (RBC evaluation. RBC deformability has been found related to human diseases, and can be evaluated based on RBC velocity through a microfluidic constriction as in conventional approaches. The correlation between transit velocity and amount of deformation provides statistical information of RBC deformability. However, such correlations are usually only moderate, or even weak, in practical evaluations due to limited range of RBC deformation. To solve this issue, we implemented three constrictions of different width in the proposed checker, so that three different deformation regions can be applied to RBCs. By considering cell responses from the three regions as a whole, we practically extend the range of cell deformation in the evaluation, and could resolve the issue about the limited range of RBC deformation. RBCs from five volunteer subjects were tested using the proposed checker. The results show that the correlation between cell deformation and transit velocity is significantly improved by the proposed deformability checker. The absolute values of the correlation coefficients are increased from an average of 0.54 to 0.92. The effects of cell size, shape and orientation to the evaluation are discussed according to the experimental results. The proposed checker is expected to be useful for RBC evaluation in medical practices.

  18. Imprinting alterations in sperm may not significantly influence ART outcomes and imprinting patterns in the cord blood of offspring. (United States)

    Tang, Li; Liu, Zichao; Zhang, Ruopeng; Su, Cunmei; Yang, Wenjuan; Yao, Youlin; Zhao, Shuhua


    An increase in imprinting disorders in children conceived though assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) has been the subject of several reports. The transmission of imprinting errors from the sperm of infertile fathers is believed to be a possible reason for the increased occurrence of these disorders. However, whether the imprinting alterations in sperm affect ART outcomes and the imprinting of offspring is unclear. In the current study, we analyzed the methylation of H19, SNRPN and KCNQ1OT1 by pyrosequencing sperm samples from 97 infertile patients and 31 proven fertile males as well as cord blood samples from 13 infantswho were conceived by infertile parents through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and 30 healthy newborns who were conceived naturally. After four cases were excluded owing to the lack of a sequencing signal, the infertile patients were subgrouped into normal (69 cases) and abnormal (24 cases) imprinting groups according to the reference range set by the control group. Between the groups, there were no significant differences in ART outcomes. Significantly different levels of methylation were detected in H19, but none of the imprinted genes were determined to be outside of the methylation reference range set by the values derived from the naturally conceived controls. Three CpG loci were found to be significantly hypomethylated in the maternally imprinted gene KCNQ1OT1 in two patients from the abnormal imprinting group, none of which were caused by sperm imprinting errors. In addition, the paternal H19 gene exhibited discrepant methylation patterns between the sperm controls and the cord blood controls. Our data suggest that increased imprinting errors in the sperm of infertile patients do not have an obvious influence on ART outcomes or the imprinting of offspring.

  19. Fabrication of CoZn alloy nanowire arrays: Significant improvement in magnetic properties by annealing process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koohbor, M.; Soltanian, S.; Najafi, M.; Servati, P.


    Highlights: ► Increasing the Zn concentration changes the structure of NWs from hcp to amorphous. ► Increasing the Zn concentration significantly reduces the Hc value of NWs. ► Magnetic properties of CoZn NWs can be significantly enhanced by appropriate annealing. ► The pH of electrolyte has no significant effect on the properties of the NW arrays. ► Deposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of NWs. - Abstract: Highly ordered arrays of Co 1−x Zn x (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.74) nanowires (NWs) with diameters of ∼35 nm and high length-to-diameter ratios (up to 150) were fabricated by co-electrodeposition of Co and Zn into pores of anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. The Co and Zn contents of the NWs were adjusted by varying the ratio of Zn and Co ion concentrations in the electrolyte. The effect of the Zn content, electrodeposition conditions (frequency and pH) and annealing on the structural and magnetic properties (e.g., coercivity (Hc) and squareness (Sq)) of NW arrays were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and alternating gradient force magnetometer (AGFM). XRD patterns reveal that an increase in the concentration of Zn ions of the electrolyte forces the hcp crystal structure of Co NWs to change into an amorphous phase, resulting in a significant reduction in Hc. It was found that the magnetic properties of NWs can be significantly improved by appropriate annealing process. The highest values for Hc (2050 Oe) and Sq (0.98) were obtained for NWs electrodeposited using 0.95/0.05 Co:Zn concentrations at 200 Hz and annealed at 575 °C. While the pH of electrolyte is found to have no significant effect on the structural and magnetic properties of the NW arrays, the electrodeposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of the NW arrays. The changes in magnetic property of NWs are rooted in a competition between shape anisotropy and

  20. Fabrication of CoZn alloy nanowire arrays: Significant improvement in magnetic properties by annealing process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koohbor, M. [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Soltanian, S., E-mail: [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada); Najafi, M. [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Department of Physics, Hamadan University of Technology, Hamadan (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Servati, P. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)


    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increasing the Zn concentration changes the structure of NWs from hcp to amorphous. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increasing the Zn concentration significantly reduces the Hc value of NWs. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Magnetic properties of CoZn NWs can be significantly enhanced by appropriate annealing. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The pH of electrolyte has no significant effect on the properties of the NW arrays. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Deposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of NWs. - Abstract: Highly ordered arrays of Co{sub 1-x}Zn{sub x} (0 {<=} x {<=} 0.74) nanowires (NWs) with diameters of {approx}35 nm and high length-to-diameter ratios (up to 150) were fabricated by co-electrodeposition of Co and Zn into pores of anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. The Co and Zn contents of the NWs were adjusted by varying the ratio of Zn and Co ion concentrations in the electrolyte. The effect of the Zn content, electrodeposition conditions (frequency and pH) and annealing on the structural and magnetic properties (e.g., coercivity (Hc) and squareness (Sq)) of NW arrays were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and alternating gradient force magnetometer (AGFM). XRD patterns reveal that an increase in the concentration of Zn ions of the electrolyte forces the hcp crystal structure of Co NWs to change into an amorphous phase, resulting in a significant reduction in Hc. It was found that the magnetic properties of NWs can be significantly improved by appropriate annealing process. The highest values for Hc (2050 Oe) and Sq (0.98) were obtained for NWs electrodeposited using 0.95/0.05 Co:Zn concentrations at 200 Hz and annealed at 575 Degree-Sign C. While the pH of electrolyte is found to have no significant effect on the structural and magnetic properties of the NW arrays, the electrodeposition frequency has considerable effects on

  1. Improving Outcomes in the Nigeria Healthcare Sector through Public ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nigeria's healthcare sector over the years has continued to degenerate with health indicators ... in service delivery as well as increases access to quality healthcare. ... Key words: Nigeria, Healthcare Sector, Health Outcomes, Health Indicators, ...

  2. Compression stockings significantly improve hemodynamic performance in post-thrombotic syndrome irrespective of class or length. (United States)

    Lattimer, Christopher R; Azzam, Mustapha; Kalodiki, Evi; Makris, Gregory C; Geroulakos, George


    Graduated elastic compression (GEC) stockings have been demonstrated to reduce the morbidity associated with post-thrombotic syndrome. The ideal length or compression strength required to achieve this is speculative and related to physician preference and patient compliance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hemodynamic performance of four different stockings and determine the patient's preference. Thirty-four consecutive patients (40 legs, 34 male) with post-thrombotic syndrome were tested with four different stockings (Mediven plus open toe, Bayreuth, Germany) of their size in random order: class 1 (18-21 mm Hg) and class II (23-32 mm Hg), below-knee (BK) and above-knee thigh-length (AK). The median age, Venous Clinical Severity Score, Venous Segmental Disease Score, and Villalta scale were 62 years (range, 31-81 years), 8 (range, 1-21), 5 (range, 2-10), and 10 (range, 2-22), respectively. The C of C0-6EsAs,d,pPr,o was C0 = 2, C2 = 1, C3 = 3, C4a = 12, C4b = 7, C5 = 12, C6 = 3. Obstruction and reflux was observed on duplex in 47.5% legs, with deep venous reflux alone in 45%. Air plethysmography was used to measure the venous filling index (VFI), venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume. Direct pressure measurements were obtained while lying and standing using the PicoPress device (Microlab Elettronica, Nicolò, Italy). The pressure sensor was placed underneath the test stocking 5 cm above and 2 cm posterior to the medial malleolus. At the end of the study session, patients stated their preferred stocking based on comfort. The VFI, venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume improved significantly with all types of stocking versus no compression. In class I, the VFI (mL/s) improved from a median of 4.9 (range, 1.7-16.3) without compression to 3.7 (range, 0-14) BK (24.5%) and 3.6 (range, 0.6-14.5) AK (26.5%). With class II, the corresponding improvement was to 4.0 (range, 0.3-16.2) BK (18.8%) and 3.7 (range, 0.5-14.2) AK (24

  3. Significant improvement of intestinal microbiota of gibel carp (Carassius auratus gibelio) after traditional Chinese medicine feeding. (United States)

    Wu, Z B; Gatesoupe, F-J; Li, T T; Wang, X H; Zhang, Q Q; Feng, D Y; Feng, Y Q; Chen, H; Li, A H


    Increasing attention has been attracted to intestinal microbiota, due to interactions with nutrition, metabolism and immune defence of the host. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) feed additives have been applied in aquaculture to improve fish health, but the interaction with fish gut microbiota is still poorly understood. This study aimed to explore the effect of adding TCM in feed on the intestinal microbiota of gibel carp (Carassius auratus gibelio). Bacterial communities of 16 fish intestinal contents and one water sample were characterized by high-throughput sequencing and analysis of the V4-V5 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The results showed that the composition and structure of the bacterial community were significantly altered by the TCM feeding. Some phyla increased markedly (Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, etc.), while Fusobacteria were significantly reduced. Concurrently, the richness and diversity of the taxonomic units increased, and the microbiota composition of TCM-treated fish was more homogeneous among individuals. At the genus level, the addition of TCM tended to reduce the incidence of potential pathogens (Aeromonas, Acinetobacter and Shewanella), while stimulating the emergence of some potential probiotics (Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Bacillus and Pseudomonas). These data suggested that the feed additive could regulate the fish intestinal microbiota by reinforcing the microbial balance. This study may provide useful information for further application of TCM for diseases prevention and stress management in aquaculture. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  4. Significant improvement in one-dimensional cursor control using Laplacian electroencephalography over electroencephalography (United States)

    Boudria, Yacine; Feltane, Amal; Besio, Walter


    Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) based on electroencephalography (EEG) have been shown to accurately detect mental activities, but the acquisition of high levels of control require extensive user training. Furthermore, EEG has low signal-to-noise ratio and low spatial resolution. The objective of the present study was to compare the accuracy between two types of BCIs during the first recording session. EEG and tripolar concentric ring electrode (TCRE) EEG (tEEG) brain signals were recorded and used to control one-dimensional cursor movements. Approach. Eight human subjects were asked to imagine either ‘left’ or ‘right’ hand movement during one recording session to control the computer cursor using TCRE and disc electrodes. Main results. The obtained results show a significant improvement in accuracies using TCREs (44%-100%) compared to disc electrodes (30%-86%). Significance. This study developed the first tEEG-based BCI system for real-time one-dimensional cursor movements and showed high accuracies with little training.

  5. Induction-heating MOCVD reactor with significantly improved heating efficiency and reduced harmful magnetic coupling

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui; Alotaibi, Hamad S.; Sun, Haiding; Lin, Ronghui; Guo, Wenzhe; Torres-Castanedo, Carlos G.; Liu, Kaikai; Galan, Sergio V.; Li, Xiaohang


    In a conventional induction-heating III-nitride metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, the induction coil is outside the chamber. Therefore, the magnetic field does not couple with the susceptor well, leading to compromised heating efficiency and harmful coupling with the gas inlet and thus possible overheating. Hence, the gas inlet has to be at a minimum distance away from the susceptor. Because of the elongated flow path, premature reactions can be more severe, particularly between Al- and B-containing precursors and NH3. Here, we propose a structure that can significantly improve the heating efficiency and allow the gas inlet to be closer to the susceptor. Specifically, the induction coil is designed to surround the vertical cylinder of a T-shaped susceptor comprising the cylinder and a top horizontal plate holding the wafer substrate within the reactor. Therefore, the cylinder coupled most magnetic field to serve as the thermal source for the plate. Furthermore, the plate can block and thus significantly reduce the uncoupled magnetic field above the susceptor, thereby allowing the gas inlet to be closer. The results show approximately 140% and 2.6 times increase in the heating and susceptor coupling efficiencies, respectively, as well as a 90% reduction in the harmful magnetic flux on the gas inlet.

  6. Induction-heating MOCVD reactor with significantly improved heating efficiency and reduced harmful magnetic coupling

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui


    In a conventional induction-heating III-nitride metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, the induction coil is outside the chamber. Therefore, the magnetic field does not couple with the susceptor well, leading to compromised heating efficiency and harmful coupling with the gas inlet and thus possible overheating. Hence, the gas inlet has to be at a minimum distance away from the susceptor. Because of the elongated flow path, premature reactions can be more severe, particularly between Al- and B-containing precursors and NH3. Here, we propose a structure that can significantly improve the heating efficiency and allow the gas inlet to be closer to the susceptor. Specifically, the induction coil is designed to surround the vertical cylinder of a T-shaped susceptor comprising the cylinder and a top horizontal plate holding the wafer substrate within the reactor. Therefore, the cylinder coupled most magnetic field to serve as the thermal source for the plate. Furthermore, the plate can block and thus significantly reduce the uncoupled magnetic field above the susceptor, thereby allowing the gas inlet to be closer. The results show approximately 140% and 2.6 times increase in the heating and susceptor coupling efficiencies, respectively, as well as a 90% reduction in the harmful magnetic flux on the gas inlet.

  7. A pragmatic comparison of two diabetes education programs in improving type 2 diabetes mellitus outcomes. (United States)

    Dorland, Katherine; Liddy, Clare


    Although it is clear that education programs constitute key elements of improved diabetes management, uncertainty exists regarding the optimal method of delivering that education. In addition to the lack of consensus regarding the most appropriate delivery methods for these programs, there is a paucity of research which evaluates these methods in terms of specific clinical outcomes. This pragmatic study compares the effectiveness of two distinct diabetes education programs in improving clinical outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in a primary care setting. The two diabetes education classes (n = 80 enrolled) retrospectively evaluated were 'the ABC's of Diabetes' (one 2-hour didactic teaching session) and 'Conversation Maps' (3 highly interactive weekly classes, 6 hours in total). Eligible participants (n = 32) had their charts reviewed and outcome measures (i.e., glycosylated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c), low density lipoprotein (LDL), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and weight) recorded 1 year prior to and 6 months following the class. Pre- and post-class outcome measures were compared. A trend towards lower HbA1c was observed after completion of both classes, with an average reduction of 0.2%, and 0.6% after 6 months in the 'ABC's of Diabetes' class and 'Conversation Maps' class respectively. A significant decrease in weight was observed 6 months after the 'ABC's of Diabetes' class (p = 0.028), and in LDL after the 'Conversation Maps' class (p = 0.049). Patients with HbA1c ≥ 8% showed a drop of 1.1% in HbA1c 3 months after either class (p = 0.004). No significant difference in outcomes was found between the two diabetes education classes assessed. There was a trend towards improved glycemic control after both classes, and patients with high HbA1c levels demonstrated statistically significant improvements. This indicates that shorter sessions using didactic teaching methods may be equally

  8. Improving energy audit process and report outcomes through planning initiatives (United States)

    Sprau Coulter, Tabitha L.

    Energy audits and energy models are an important aspect of the retrofit design process, as they provide project teams with an opportunity to evaluate a facilities current building systems' and energy performance. The information collected during an energy audit is typically used to develop an energy model and an energy audit report that are both used to assist in making decisions about the design and implementation of energy conservation measures in a facility. The current lack of energy auditing standards results in a high degree of variability in energy audit outcomes depending on the individual performing the audit. The research presented is based on the conviction that performing an energy audit and producing a value adding energy model for retrofit buildings can benefit from a revised approach. The research was divided into four phases, with the initial three phases consisting of: 1.) process mapping activity - aimed at reducing variability in the energy auditing and energy modeling process. 2.) survey analysis -- To examine the misalignment between how industry members use the top energy modeling tools compared to their intended use as defined by software representatives. 3.) sensitivity analysis -- analysis of the affect key energy modeling inputs are having on energy modeling analysis results. The initial three phases helped define the need for an improved energy audit approach that better aligns data collection with facility owners' needs and priorities. The initial three phases also assisted in the development of a multi-criteria decision support tool that incorporates a House of Quality approach to guide a pre-audit planning activity. For the fourth and final research phase explored the impacts and evaluation methods of a pre-audit planning activity using two comparative energy audits as case studies. In each case, an energy audit professionals was asked to complete an audit using their traditional methods along with an audit which involved them first

  9. Novel prostate brachytherapy technique: Improved dosimetric and clinical outcome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nobes, Jenny P.; Khaksar, Sara J.; Hawkins, Maria A.; Cunningham, Melanie J.; Langley, Stephen E.M.; Laing, Robert W.


    Purpose: Erectile dysfunction following prostate brachytherapy is reported to be related to dose received by the penile bulb. To minimise this, whilst preserving prostate dosimetry, we have developed a technique for I-125 seed brachytherapy using both stranded seeds and loose seeds delivered with a Mick applicator, and implanted via the sagittal plane on trans-rectal ultrasound. Materials and methods: Post-implant dosimetry and potency rates were compared in 120 potent patients. In Group 1, 60 patients were treated using a conventional technique of seeds implanted in a modified-uniform distribution. From January 2005, a novel technique was developed using stranded seeds peripherally and centrally distributed loose seeds implanted via a Mick applicator (Group 2). The latter technique allows greater flexibility when implanting the seeds at the apex. Each patient was prescribed a minimum peripheral dose of 145 Gy. No patients received external beam radiotherapy or hormone treatment. There was no significant difference in age or pre-implant potency score (mean IIEF-5 score 22.4 vs. 22.6, p = 0.074) between the two groups. Results: The new technique delivers lower penile bulb doses (D 25 as %mPD - Group 1: 61.2 ± 35.7, Group 2: 29.7 ± 16.0, p 50 as %mPD - Group 1: 45.8 ± 26.9, Group 2: 21.4 ± 11.7, p 90 - Group 1: 147 Gy ± 21.1, Group 2: 155 Gy ± 16.7, p = 0.03). At 2 years, the potency rate was also improved: Group 1: 61.7%; Group 2: 83.3% (p = 0.008). Conclusions: In this study, the novel brachytherapy technique using both peripheral stranded seeds and central loose seeds delivered via a Mick applicator results in a lower penile bulb dose whilst improving prostate dosimetry, and may achieve higher potency rates

  10. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Does Not Improve Language Outcome in Subacute Poststroke Aphasia. (United States)

    Spielmann, Kerstin; van de Sandt-Koenderman, W Mieke E; Heijenbrok-Kal, Majanka H; Ribbers, Gerard M


    The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on word-finding treatment outcome in subacute poststroke aphasia. In this multi-center, double-blind, randomized controlled trial with 6-month follow-up, we included 58 patients with subacute aphasia (transcranial direct current stimulation (1 mA, 20 minutes; experimental group) or sham transcranial direct current stimulation (control group) over the left inferior frontal gyrus. The primary outcome measure was the Boston Naming Test. Secondary outcome measures included naming performance for trained/untrained picture items and verbal communication. Both the experimental (n=26) and the control group (n=32) improved on the Boston Naming Test over the intervention period and 6-month follow-up; however, there were no significant differences between groups. Also for the secondary outcome measures, no significant differences were found. The results of the present study do not support an effect of transcranial direct current stimulation as an adjuvant treatment in subacute poststroke aphasia. URL: Unique identifier: NTR4364. © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.

  11. Improved survival and neurodevelopmental outcomes among extremely premature infants born near the limit of viability. (United States)

    Younge, Noelle; Smith, P Brian; Gustafson, Kathryn E; Malcolm, William; Ashley, Patricia; Cotten, C Michael; Goldberg, Ronald N; Goldstein, Ricki F


    Infants born near the limit of viability are at high risk for death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. It is unclear whether these outcomes have improved over the past 15 years. To determine if death and neurodevelopmental impairment have declined over the past 15 years in infants born at 22 to 24 weeks' gestation. Retrospective cohort study. We identified infants born at 22 to 24 weeks' gestation in our center in two epochs: 1998-2004 (Epoch 1) and 2005-2011 (Epoch 2). The primary outcome, death or neurodevelopmental impairment, was evaluated at 17-25 months' corrected gestational age with neurologic exams and Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Perinatal characteristics, major morbidities, and outcomes were compared between epochs. Birth weight and gestational age were similar between 170 infants in Epoch 1 and 187 infants in Epoch 2. Mortality was significantly lower in Epoch 2, 55% vs. 42% (p=0.02). Among surviving infants, late-onset sepsis (pNeurodevelopmental impairment among surviving infants declined from 68% in Epoch 1 to 47% in Epoch 2, p=0.02. Odds of death or NDI were significantly lower in Epoch 2 vs. Epoch 1, OR=0.31 (95% confidence interval; 0.16, 0.58). Risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment decreased over time in infants born at 22 to 24 weeks' gestation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Perioperative Desensitization Improves Outcomes Among Crossmatch Positive Recipients of Deceased Donor Renal Transplants. (United States)

    Sharma, Amit; King, Anne; Kumar, Dhiren; Behnke, Martha; McDougan, Felecia; Kimball, Pamela M


    Graft failure due to chronic rejection is greater among renal transplant patients with donor-specific antibody (DSA) than among DSA-free patients. For patients dependent on deceased donor transplantation, preoperative desensitization to eliminate DSAs may be impractical. We speculated that perioperative desensitization might eliminate preexisting DSAs and prevent de novo DSAs and improve graft outcomes. We report that brief perioperative desensitization using either intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) or plasmapheresis/IVIG (PP/IVIG) treatment improves clinical outcomes among patients with positive crossmatches. Immediately following deceased donor transplantation, 235 renal recipients were assigned points for PRA and flow crossmatches (FCXM): delayed graft function (DGF) ≤ 1 point received standard therapy; 2 points received high-dose IVIG; and ≥3 points received PP/IVIG. The DSAs were serially monitored by single antigen bead luminex for 1 year. Five-year clinical outcomes were determined from the chart review. All desensitized patients had preoperatively positive FCXM with DSA. Rejection was more common (P desensitized than nonsensitized groups. However, overall graft survivals were similar between the groups (P = not significant) and superior to historic untreated patients (P 90% in all desensitizated patients with DSA elimination as well as PP/IVIG patients with residual DSA. In contrast, IVIG patients with persistent DSA had poorer graft survival (45%, P desensitization improved overall graft survival of sensitized patients compared to historic untreated patients. Plasmapheresis/IVIG had greater impact on DSA eradication and graft survival than IVIG alone. © 2016, NATCO.

  13. Behavioral treatment of social phobia in youth: does parent education training improve the outcome? (United States)

    Öst, Lars-Göran; Cederlund, Rio; Reuterskiöld, Lena


    Social phobia is one of the most common anxiety disorders in children and adolescents, and it runs a fairly chronic course if left untreated. The goals of the present study were to evaluate if a parent education course would improve the outcome for children with a primary diagnosis of social phobia and if comorbidity at the start of treatment would impair the outcome of the social phobia. A total of 55 children, 8-14 years old, were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: 1) Child is treated, 2) Child is treated and parent participates in the course, or 3) A wait-list for 12 weeks. The treatment consisted of individual exposure and group social skills training based on the Beidel, Turner, and Morris (2000) SET-C. Children and parents were assessed pre-, post-, and at one year follow-up with independent assessor ratings and self-report measures. Results showed that there was no significant difference between the two active treatments and both were better than the wait-list. The treatment effects were maintained or furthered at the follow-up. Comorbidity did not lead to worse outcome of social phobia. Comorbid disorders improved significantly from pre-to post-treatment and from post-to follow-up assessment without being targeted in therapy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Nicotine Significantly Improves Chronic Stress-Induced Impairments of Cognition and Synaptic Plasticity in Mice. (United States)

    Shang, Xueliang; Shang, Yingchun; Fu, Jingxuan; Zhang, Tao


    The aim of this study was to examine if nicotine was able to improve cognition deficits in a mouse model of chronic mild stress. Twenty-four male C57BL/6 mice were divided into three groups: control, stress, and stress with nicotine treatment. The animal model was established by combining chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and isolated feeding. Mice were exposed to CUMS continued for 28 days, while nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) was also administrated for 28 days. Weight and sucrose consumption were measured during model establishing period. The anxiety and behavioral despair were analyzed using the forced swim test (FST) and open-field test (OFT). Spatial cognition was evaluated using Morris water maze (MWM) test. Following behavioral assessment, both long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation (DEP) were recorded in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) region. Both synaptic and Notch1 proteins were measured by Western. Nicotine increased stressed mouse's sucrose consumption. The MWM test showed that spatial learning and reversal learning in stressed animals were remarkably affected relative to controls, whereas nicotine partially rescued cognitive functions. Additionally, nicotine considerably alleviated the level of anxiety and the degree of behavioral despair in stressed mice. It effectively mitigated the depression-induced impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, in which both the LTP and DEP were significantly inhibited in stressed mice. Moreover, nicotine enhanced the expression of synaptic and Notch1 proteins in stressed animals. The results suggest that nicotine ameliorates the depression-like symptoms and improves the hippocampal synaptic plasticity closely associated with activating transmembrane ion channel receptors and Notch signaling components. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  15. Significant improvements in stability and reproducibility of atomic-scale atomic force microscopy in liquid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akrami, S M R; Nakayachi, H; Fukuma, T; Watanabe-Nakayama, T; Asakawa, H


    Recent advancement of dynamic-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) for liquid-environment applications enabled atomic-scale studies on various interfacial phenomena. However, instabilities and poor reproducibility of the measurements often prevent systematic studies. To solve this problem, we have investigated the effect of various tip treatment methods for atomic-scale imaging and force measurements in liquid. The tested methods include Si coating, Ar plasma, Ar sputtering and UV/O 3 cleaning. We found that all the methods provide significant improvements in both the imaging and force measurements in spite of the tip transfer through the air. Among the methods, we found that the Si coating provides the best stability and reproducibility in the measurements. To understand the origin of the fouling resistance of the cleaned tip surface and the difference between the cleaning methods, we have investigated the tip surface properties by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and contact angle measurements. The results show that the contaminations adsorbed on the tip during the tip transfer through the air should desorb from the surface when it is immersed in aqueous solution due to the enhanced hydrophilicity by the tip treatments. The tip surface prepared by the Si coating is oxidized when it is immersed in aqueous solution. This creates local spots where stable hydration structures are formed. For the other methods, there is no active mechanism to create such local hydration sites. Thus, the hydration structure formed under the tip apex is not necessarily stable. These results reveal the desirable tip properties for atomic-scale AFM measurements in liquid, which should serve as a guideline for further improvements of the tip treatment methods. (paper)

  16. Significant improvement of accuracy and precision in the determination of trace rare earths by fluorescence analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozawa, L.; Hersh, H.N.


    Most of the rare earths in yttrium, gadolinium and lanthanum oxides emit characteristic fluorescent line spectra under irradiation with photons, electrons and x rays. The sensitivity and selectivity of the rare earth fluorescences are high enough to determine the trace amounts (0.01 to 100 ppM) of rare earths. The absolute fluorescent intensities of solids, however, are markedly affected by the synthesis procedure, level of contamination and crystal perfection, resulting in poor accuracy and low precision for the method (larger than 50 percent error). Special care in preparation of the samples is required to obtain good accuracy and precision. It is found that the accuracy and precision for the determination of trace (less than 10 ppM) rare earths by fluorescence analysis improved significantly, while still maintaining the sensitivity, when the determination is made by comparing the ratio of the fluorescent intensities of the trace rare earths to that of a deliberately added rare earth as reference. The variation in the absolute fluorescent intensity remains, but is compensated for by measuring the fluorescent line intensity ratio. Consequently, the determination of trace rare earths (with less than 3 percent error) is easily made by a photoluminescence technique in which the rare earths are excited directly by photons. Accuracy is still maintained when the absolute fluorescent intensity is reduced by 50 percent through contamination by Ni, Fe, Mn or Pb (about 100 ppM). Determination accuracy is also improved for fluorescence analysis by electron excitation and x-ray excitation. For some rare earths, however, accuracy by these techniques is reduced because indirect excitation mechanisms are involved. The excitation mechanisms and the interferences between rare earths are also reported

  17. Public-private partnerships improve health outcomes in individuals with early stage Alzheimer's disease. (United States)

    Galvin, James E; Tolea, Magdalena I; George, Nika; Wingbermuehle, Cheryl


    In a collaborative effort between the Missouri Department of Health, Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), Alzheimer Association, and academic researchers, we tested whether early dementia detection and comprehensive care consultations would improve health outcomes in care receivers (CRs) and their family caregivers (FCGs), therefore addressing an important public health concern. A total of 244 community-dwelling older adults screened for early-stage dementia by the AAA field staff were referred to the Alzheimer Association and participated in Project Learn MORE (Missouri Outreach and Referral Expanded) (PLM) - a 2-year, nonrandomized multisite intervention consisting of comprehensive care consultations to improve coping skills. PLM participants were compared against 96 controls receiving the Alzheimer Association's "usual services" between January 2011 and December 2012. We examined CR and FCG outcomes, including burden, care confidence, and mood, as effects of PLM, on delaying transitions in level of care. CRs showed improved knowledge (P=0.002) and reduced depression (P=0.007), while FCGs demonstrated improved knowledge (P=0.003) and ability to identify sources of support for the CR (P=0.032) and for themselves (P=0.043). However, FCGs were more burdened after PLM (P=0.02), due to increased awareness of Alzheimer's disease. PLM delayed transitions in care (odds ratio [OR] 3.32, 95% confidence level [CI]: 1.25-8.83) with the number needed to treat =6.82. PLM was successful in improving detection of incident cases of dementia in the community and in connecting patients and their families with needed services. Our findings support the use of state agencies and community service partners to detect dementia. Early implementation of psychosocial interventions could have significant impact in improving patient- and family-centered outcomes, potentially providing a cost-efficient alternative to pharmacotherapy.

  18. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognition in urban children. (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Mora-Tiscareño, Antonieta; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Cross, Janet V; Engle, Randall; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Gómez-Garza, Gilberto; Jewells, Valerie; Medina-Cortina, Humberto; Solorio, Edelmira; Chao, Chih-Kai; Zhu, Hongtu; Mukherjee, Partha S; Ferreira-Azevedo, Lara; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; D'Angiulli, Amedeo


    Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children). We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1) and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty gram of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11 ± 3.4 days (range 9-24 days) to 18 children (10.55 years, SD = 1.45; 11F/7M). Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p = 0.0002). Fifteen children (83%) showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter (PM) and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

  19. Model training across multiple breeding cycles significantly improves genomic prediction accuracy in rye (Secale cereale L.). (United States)

    Auinger, Hans-Jürgen; Schönleben, Manfred; Lehermeier, Christina; Schmidt, Malthe; Korzun, Viktor; Geiger, Hartwig H; Piepho, Hans-Peter; Gordillo, Andres; Wilde, Peer; Bauer, Eva; Schön, Chris-Carolin


    Genomic prediction accuracy can be significantly increased by model calibration across multiple breeding cycles as long as selection cycles are connected by common ancestors. In hybrid rye breeding, application of genome-based prediction is expected to increase selection gain because of long selection cycles in population improvement and development of hybrid components. Essentially two prediction scenarios arise: (1) prediction of the genetic value of lines from the same breeding cycle in which model training is performed and (2) prediction of lines from subsequent cycles. It is the latter from which a reduction in cycle length and consequently the strongest impact on selection gain is expected. We empirically investigated genome-based prediction of grain yield, plant height and thousand kernel weight within and across four selection cycles of a hybrid rye breeding program. Prediction performance was assessed using genomic and pedigree-based best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP and PBLUP). A total of 1040 S 2 lines were genotyped with 16 k SNPs and each year testcrosses of 260 S 2 lines were phenotyped in seven or eight locations. The performance gap between GBLUP and PBLUP increased significantly for all traits when model calibration was performed on aggregated data from several cycles. Prediction accuracies obtained from cross-validation were in the order of 0.70 for all traits when data from all cycles (N CS  = 832) were used for model training and exceeded within-cycle accuracies in all cases. As long as selection cycles are connected by a sufficient number of common ancestors and prediction accuracy has not reached a plateau when increasing sample size, aggregating data from several preceding cycles is recommended for predicting genetic values in subsequent cycles despite decreasing relatedness over time.

  20. Significantly improving trace thallium removal from surface waters during coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide. (United States)

    Huangfu, Xiaoliu; Ma, Chengxue; Ma, Jun; He, Qiang; Yang, Chun; Jiang, Jin; Wang, Yaan; Wu, Zhengsong


    Thallium (Tl) is an element of high toxicity and significant accumulation in human body. There is an urgent need for the development of appropriate strategies for trace Tl removal in drinking water treatment plants. In this study, the efficiency and mechanism of trace Tl (0.5 μg/L) removal by conventional coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide (nMnO 2 ) were explored in simulated water and two representative surface waters (a river water and a reservoir water obtained from Northeast China). Experimental results showed that nMnO 2 significantly improve Tl(I) removal from selected waters. The removal efficiency was dramatically higher in the simulated water, demonstrating by less than 0.1 μg/L Tl residual. The enhancement of trace Tl removal in the surface waters decreased to a certain extent. Both adjusting water pH to alkaline condition and preoxidation of Tl(I) to Tl(III) benefit trace Tl removal from surface waters. Data also indicated that competitive cation of Ca 2+ decreased the efficiency of trace Tl removal, resulting from the reduction of Tl adsorption on nMnO 2 . Humic acid could largely low Tl removal efficiency during nMnO 2 enhanced coagulation processes. Trace elemental Tl firstly adsorbed on nMnO 2 and then removed accompanying with nMnO 2 settling. The information obtained in the present study may provide a potential strategy for drinking water treatment plants threatened by trace Tl. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Machine perfusion for improving outcomes following renal transplant: current perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cannon RM


    Full Text Available Robert M Cannon,1 Glen A Franklin1,2 1The Hiram C Polk Jr MD Department of Surgery, University of Louisville, 2Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, Louisville, KY, USAAbstract: There is a disparity between the number of kidneys available for transplantation and the number of patients awaiting an organ while on dialysis. The current kidney waiting list in the US contains more than 100,000 patients. This need has led to the inclusion of older donors with worsening renal function, as well as greater utilization of kidneys from non-heartbeating (donation after cardiac death donors. Coinciding with this trend has been a growing interest in technology to improve the function of these more marginal organs, the most important of which currently is machine perfusion (MP of donated kidneys after procurement. While this technology has no standard guidelines currently for comprehensive use, there are many studies that demonstrate higher organ yield and function after a period of MP. Particularly with the older donor and during donation after cardiac death cases, MP may offer some significant benefits. This manuscript reviews all of the current literature regarding MP and its role in renal transplantation. We will discuss both the experience in Europe and the US using machine perfusion for donated kidneys.Keywords: machine perfusion, renal transplantation, kidney pumping, renal failure, organ donation

  2. Significant effect of Ca2+ on improving the heat resistance of lactic acid bacteria. (United States)

    Huang, Song; Chen, Xiao Dong


    The heat resistance of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) has been extensively investigated due to its highly practical significance. Reconstituted skim milk (RSM) has been found to be one of the most effective protectant wall materials for microencapsulating microorganisms during convective drying, such as spray drying. In addition to proteins and carbohydrate, RSM is rich in calcium. It is not clear which component is critical in the RSM protection mechanism. This study investigated the independent effect of calcium. Ca(2+) was added to lactose solution to examine its influence on the heat resistance of Lactobacillus rhamnosus ZY, Lactobacillus casei Zhang, Lactobacillus plantarum P8 and Streptococcus thermophilus ND03. The results showed that certain Ca(2+) concentrations enhanced the heat resistance of the LAB strains to different extents, that is produced higher survival and shorter regrowth lag times of the bacterial cells. In some cases, the improvements were dramatic. More scientifically insightful and more intensive instrumental study of the Ca(2+) behavior around and in the cells should be carried out in the near future. In the meantime, this work may lead to the development of more cost-effective wall materials with Ca(2+) added as a prime factor. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Targeting Heparin to Collagen within Extracellular Matrix Significantly Reduces Thrombogenicity and Improves Endothelialization of Decellularized Tissues. (United States)

    Jiang, Bin; Suen, Rachel; Wertheim, Jason A; Ameer, Guillermo A


    Thrombosis within small-diameter vascular grafts limits the development of bioartificial, engineered vascular conduits, especially those derived from extracellular matrix (ECM). Here we describe an easy-to-implement strategy to chemically modify vascular ECM by covalently linking a collagen binding peptide (CBP) to heparin to form a heparin derivative (CBP-heparin) that selectively binds a subset of collagens. Modification of ECM with CBP-heparin leads to increased deposition of functional heparin (by ∼7.2-fold measured by glycosaminoglycan composition) and a corresponding reduction in platelet binding (>70%) and whole blood clotting (>80%) onto the ECM. Furthermore, addition of CBP-heparin to the ECM stabilizes long-term endothelial cell attachment to the lumen of ECM-derived vascular conduits, potentially through recruitment of heparin-binding growth factors that ultimately improve the durability of endothelialization in vitro. Overall, our findings provide a simple yet effective method to increase deposition of functional heparin on the surface of ECM-based vascular grafts and thereby minimize thrombogenicity of decellularized tissue, overcoming a significant challenge in tissue engineering of bioartificial vessels and vascularized organs.

  4. Significant Improvement in Chronic Persistent Headaches Caused by Small Rathke Cleft Cysts After Transsphenoidal Surgery. (United States)

    Fukui, Issei; Hayashi, Yasuhiko; Kita, Daisuke; Sasagawa, Yasuo; Oishi, Masahiro; Tachibana, Osamu; Nakada, Mitsutoshi


    Rathke cleft cysts (RCC) usually are asymptomatic and can be observed via the use of conservative methods. Some patients with RCCs, however, have severe headaches even if they are small enough to be confined to the sella, and these small RCCs seldom have been discussed. This study presents an investigation into clinical characteristics of small RCCs associated with severe headaches, demonstrating efficacy and safety of endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) to relieve headaches. In this study, 13 patients with small RCCs (maximum diameter HIT-6) score was calculated both pre- and postoperatively to evaluate headache severity. All patients complained of severe headaches, which disturbed their daily life. Most headaches were nonpulsating and localized in the frontal area. Characteristically, 6 patients (46%) experienced severe headaches with sudden onset that continued chronically. HIT-6 score was 64 on average, meaning headaches affected daily life severely. After surgical decompression of the cyst, headache in all of the patients improved dramatically and HIT-6 score decreased significantly to 37, suggesting that headaches were diminished. No newly developed deficiencies of the anterior pituitary lobe function were detected. Postoperative occurrence of diabetes insipidus was found in 2 patients, both of which were transient. No recurring cysts were found. Severe headaches can develop from small RCCs. In the present study, ETSS was performed on such patients effectively and safely to relieve their headaches. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. High-Leverage Leadership: Improving Outcomes in Educational Settings (United States)

    Mongon, Denis; Chapman, Christopher


    Globalisation of world trade, international media, technological innovation and social change are creating opportunities and challenges that today's pupils will inherit and build on. A pupil's academic, technical and social capacity will define their success or failure. Therefore, educational outcomes and well-being for young people across…

  6. Implementation of a clinical pathway may improve alcohol treatment outcome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Anette Søgaard; Nielsen, Bent


    This article describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of a clinical pathway system in a two-cohort quasi-experimental study before and after implementation, controlling for confounders. The main outcome measures were retention in care and sensible alcohol use (defined as abstinent...

  7. Inside Quality Reform: Early Results on Using Outcomes for Improvement (United States)

    El-Khawas, Elaine


    This article offers evidence on ways in which assessment of student learning outcomes made a difference for some academic institutions in the United States. It offers perspectives on the internal changes that took place, especially within academic programmes. Even after the capacity for assessment was developed, challenges remained in evaluating…

  8. Caregiver-mediated exercises for improving outcomes after stroke

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vloothuis, Judith D.M.; Mulder, Marijn; Veerbeek, Janne M.; Konijnenbelt, Manin; Visser-Meily, Johanna M.A.; Ket, Johannes C.F.; Kwakkel, Gert; van Wegen, Erwin E.H.


    Background: Stroke is a major cause of long-term disability in adults. Several systematic reviews have shown that a higher intensity of training can lead to better functional outcomes after stroke. Currently, the resources in inpatient settings are not always sufficient and innovative methods are

  9. Does acellular dermal matrix really improve aesthetic outcome in tissue expander/implant-based breast reconstruction? (United States)

    Ibrahim, Ahmed M S; Koolen, Pieter G L; Ganor, Oren; Markarian, Mark K; Tobias, Adam M; Lee, Bernard T; Lin, Samuel J; Mureau, Marc A M


    The expectation for improved results by women undergoing postmastectomy reconstruction has steadily risen. A majority of these operations are tissue expander/implant-based breast reconstructions. Acellular dermal matrix (ADM) offers numerous advantages in these procedures. Thus far, the evidence to justify improved aesthetic outcome has solely been based on surgeon opinion. The purpose of this study was to assess aesthetic outcome following ADM use in tissue expander/implant-based breast reconstruction by a panel of blinded plastic surgeons. Mean aesthetic results of patients who underwent tissue expander/implant-based breast reconstruction with (n = 18) or without ADM (n = 20) were assessed with objective grading of preoperative and postoperative photographs by five independent blinded plastic surgeons. Absolute observed agreement as well as weighted Fleiss Kappa (κ) test statistics were calculated to assess inter-rater variability. When ADM was incorporated, the overall aesthetic score was improved by an average of 12.1 %. In addition, subscale analyses revealed improvements in breast contour (35.2 %), implant placement (20.7 %), lower pole projection (16.7 %), and inframammary fold definition (13.8 %). Contour (p = 0.039), implant placement (p = 0.021), and overall aesthetic score (p = 0.022) reached statistical significance. Inter-rater reliability showed mostly moderate agreement. Mean aesthetic scores were higher in the ADM-assisted breast reconstruction cohort including the total aesthetic score which was statistically significant. Aesthetic outcome alone may justify the added expense of incorporating biologic mesh. Moreover, ADM has other benefits which may render it cost-effective. Larger prospective studies are needed to provide plastic surgeons with more definitive guidelines for ADM use. This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the

  10. The Portuguese version of the Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45): Normative data, reliability, and clinical significance cut-offs scores. (United States)

    Machado, Paulo P P; Fassnacht, Daniel B


    The Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45) is one of the most extensively used standardized self-report instruments to monitor psychotherapy outcomes. The questionnaire is designed specifically for the assessment of change during psychotherapy treatments. Therefore, it is crucial to provide norms and clinical cut-off values for clinicians and researchers. The current study aims at providing study provides norms, reliability indices, and clinical cut-off values for the Portuguese version of the scale. Data from two large non-clinical samples (high school/university, N = 1,669; community, N = 879) and one clinical sample (n = 201) were used to investigate psychometric properties and derive normative data for all OQ-45 subscales and the total score. Significant and substantial differences were found for all subscales between the clinical and non-clinical sample. The Portuguese version also showed adequate reliabilities (internal consistency, test-retest), which were comparable to the original version. To assess individual clinical change, clinical cut-off values and reliable change indices were calculated allowing clinicians and researchers to monitor and evaluate clients' individual change. The Portuguese version of the OQ-45 is a reliable instrument with comparable Portuguese norms and cut-off scores to those from the original version. This allows clinicians and researchers to use this instrument for evaluating change and outcome in psychotherapy. This study provides norms for non-clinical and clinical Portuguese samples and investigates the reliability (internal consistency and test-retest) of the OQ-45. Cut-off values and reliable change index are provided allowing clinicians to evaluate clinical change and clients' response to treatment, monitoring the quality of mental health care services. These can be used, in routine clinical practice, as benchmarks for treatment progress and to empirically base clinical decisions such as continuation of treatment or considering

  11. Improvement of debate competence: an outcome of an introductory course for medical humanities. (United States)

    Chun, Kyung Hee; Lee, Young Hwan


    Academic debate is an effective method to enhance the competences of critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills and cooperation skills. The present study examined the improvement of debate competence which is an outcome of debate-based flipped learning. A questionnaire was administrated to second-year premedical school students at Yeungnam University. In total 45 students participated in the survey. The survey questionnaire was composed of 60 items of eight subfactors on debate competence. To investigate the homogeneous of low and high achievement groups, 18 items on empathy and 75 items on critical thinking scales were used. To compare the pretest with posttest scores, data was analyzed using paired sample t-test. There were no significant differences between low and high achievement groups by average grade at the beginning of the semester. There was a significant improvement in high achievers on the logical argumentation (phumanities.

  12. A Meta-Analysis of Educational Data Mining on Improvements in Learning Outcomes (United States)

    AlShammari, Iqbal A.; Aldhafiri, Mohammed D.; Al-Shammari, Zaid


    A meta-synthesis study was conducted of 60 research studies on educational data mining (EDM) and their impacts on and outcomes for improving learning outcomes. After an overview, an examination of these outcomes is provided (Romero, Ventura, Espejo, & Hervas, 2008; Romero, "et al.", 2011). Then, a review of other EDM-related research…

  13. Using Cross-Cultural Dimensions Exercises to Improve and Measure Learning Outcomes in International Business Courses (United States)

    Zainuba, Mohamed; Rahal, Ahmad


    This article proposes an approach for using cross-cultural dimensions exercises to improve and measure learning outcomes in international business courses. The following key issues are highlighted: (a) what are the targeted learning outcomes to be assessed, (b) how to measure the accomplishment of these learning outcomes, (c) the input measures…

  14. Does supplementation of in-vitro culture medium with melatonin improve IVF outcome in PCOS? (United States)

    Kim, Mi Kyoung; Park, Eun A; Kim, Hyung Joon; Choi, Won Yun; Cho, Jung Hyun; Lee, Woo Sik; Cha, Kwang Yul; Kim, You Shin; Lee, Dong Ryul; Yoon, Tae Ki


    Human pre-ovulatory follicular fluid (FF) contains a higher concentration of melatonin than serum. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of melatonin supplementation of culture medium on the clinical outcomes of an in-vitro maturation (IVM) IVF-embryo transfer programme for patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Melatonin concentrations in the culture media of granulosa cells (GC) or cumulus-oocyte-complexes (COC) were measured and the clinical outcomes after using IVM media with or without melatonin were analysed. In the culture media of GC or COC, melatonin concentrations gradually increased. When human chorionic gonadotrophin priming protocols were used, implantation rates in the melatonin-supplemented group were higher than those of the non-supplemented control group (PPregnancy rates were also higher, although not significantly. The findings suggest that the addition of melatonin to IVM media may improve the cytoplasmic maturation of human immature oocytes and subsequent clinical outcomes. It is speculated that follicular melatonin may be released from luteinizing GC during late folliculogenesis and that melatonin supplementation may be used to improve the clinical outcomes of IVM IVF-embryo transfer. Melatonin is primarily produced by the pineal gland and regulates a variety of important central and peripheral actions related to circadian rhythms and reproduction. Interestingly, human pre-ovulatory follicular fluid contains a higher concentration of melatonin than serum. However, in contrast to animal studies, the direct role of melatonin on oocyte maturation in the human system has not yet been investigated. So, the aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of melatonin supplementation of culture medium on the clinical outcome of an in-vitro maturation (IVM) IVF-embryo transfer programme for PCOS patients. The melatonin concentrations in culture medium of granulosa cells (GC) or cumulus-oocyte-complexes (COC) were measured and the

  15. Individual and group based parenting programmes for improving psychosocial outcomes for teenage parents and their children (United States)

    Barlow, Jane; Smailagic, Nadja; Bennett, Cathy; Huband, Nick; Jones, Hannah; Coren, Esther


    Background Parenting programmes are a potentially important means of supporting teenage parents and improving outcomes for their children, and parenting support is a priority across most Western countries. This review updates the previous version published in 2001. Objectives To examine the effectiveness of parenting programmes in improving psychosocial outcomes for teenage parents and developmental outcomes in their children. Search methods We searched to find new studies for this updated review in January 2008 and May 2010 in CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, ASSIA, CINAHL, DARE, ERIC, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts and Social Science Citation Index. The National Research Register (NRR) was last searched in May 2005 and UK Clinical Research Network Portfolio Database in May 2010. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials assessing short-term parenting interventions aimed specifically at teenage parents and a control group (no-treatment, waiting list or treatment-as-usual). Data collection and analysis We assessed the risk of bias in each study. We standardised the treatment effect for each outcome in each study by dividing the mean difference in post-intervention scores between the intervention and control groups by the pooled standard deviation. Main results We included eight studies with 513 participants, providing a total of 47 comparisons of outcome between intervention and control conditions. Nineteen comparisons were statistically significant, all favouring the intervention group. We conducted nine meta-analyses using data from four studies in total (each meta-analysis included data from two studies). Four meta-analyses showed statistically significant findings favouring the intervention group for the following outcomes: parent responsiveness to the child post-intervention (SMD −0.91, 95% CI −1.52 to −0.30, P = 0.04); infant responsiveness to mother at follow-up (SMD −0.65, 95% CI −1.25 to −0.06, P = 0.03); and an overall measure of parent

  16. Illness perceptions in the context of differing work participation outcomes: exploring the influence of significant others in persistent back pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooks Joanna


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous research has demonstrated that the significant others of individuals with persistent back pain may have important influences on work participation outcomes. The aim of this study was to extend previous research by including individuals who have remained in work despite persistent back pain in addition to those who had become incapacitated for work, along with their significant others. The purpose of this research was to explore whether the illness beliefs of significant others differed depending on their relative’s working status, and to make some preliminary identification of how significant others may facilitate or hinder work participation for those with persistent back pain. Methods Interviews structured around the Illness Perception Questionnaire (chronic pain version were conducted with back pain patients recruited from a hospital pain management clinic along with their significant others. Some patients had remained in work despite their back pain; others had ceased employment. Data were analysed using template analysis. Results There were clear differences between beliefs about, and reported responses to, back pain symptoms amongst the significant others of individuals who had remained in employment compared with the significant others of those who had ceased work. Three overarching themes emerged: perceived consequences of back pain, specific nature of employment and the impact of back pain on patient identity. Conclusions Significant others of employed individuals with back pain focused on the extent to which activity could still be undertaken despite back pain symptoms. Individuals out of work due to persistent back pain apparently self-limited their activity and were supported in their beliefs and behaviours by their significant others. To justify incapacity due to back pain, this group had seemingly become entrenched in a position whereby it was crucial that the individual with back pain was perceived

  17. Does Early Decompressive Craniectomy Improve Outcome? Experience from an Active UK Recruiter Centre

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. García Vicente


    Full Text Available Introduction. The results of the recent DECRA study suggest that although craniectomy decreases ICP and ICU length of stay, it is also associated with worst outcomes. Our experience, illustrated by these two striking cases, supports that early decompressive craniectomy may significantly improve the outcome in selected patients. Case Reports. The first patient, a 20-year-old man who suffered severe brain contusion and subarachnoid haemorrhage after a fall downstairs, with refractory ICP of 35 mmHg, despite maximal medical therapy, eventually underwent decompressive craniectomy. After 18 days in intensive care, he was discharged for rehabilitation. The second patient, a 23-year-old man was found at the scene of a road accident with a GCS of 3 and fixed, dilated pupils who underwent extensive unilateral decompressive craniectomy for refractory intracranial hypertension. After three weeks of cooling, paralysis, and neuroprotection, he eventually left ICU for rehabilitation. Outcomes. Four months after leaving ICU, the first patient abseiled 40 m down the main building of St. Mary’s Hospital to raise money for the Trauma Unit. He has returned to part-time work. The second patient, was decannulated less than a month later and made a full cognitive recovery. A year later, with a titanium skull prosthesis, he is back to part-time work and to playing football. Conclusions. Despite the conclusions of the DECRA study, our experience of the use of early decompressive craniectomy has been associated with outstanding outcomes. We are currently actively recruiting patients into the RESCUEicp trial and have high hopes that it will clarify the role of the decompressive craniectomy in traumatic brain injury and whether it effectively improves outcomes.

  18. Diode laser soft-tissue surgery: advancements aimed at consistent cutting, improved clinical outcomes. (United States)

    Romanos, Georgios E


    Laser dentistry and soft-tissue surgery, in particular, have become widely adopted in recent years. Significant cost reductions for dental lasers and the increasing popularity of CADCAM, among other factors, have contributed to a substantial increase in the installed base of dental lasers, especially soft-tissue lasers. New development in soft-tissue surgery, based on the modern understanding of laser-tissue interactions and contact soft-tissue surgery mechanisms, will bring a higher quality and consistency level to laser soft-tissue surgery. Recently introduced diode-laser technology enables enhanced control of side effects that result from tissue overheating and may improve soft-tissue surgical outcomes.

  19. Does addressing gender inequalities and empowering women and girls improve health and development programme outcomes? (United States)

    Taukobong, Hannah F G; Kincaid, Mary M; Levy, Jessica K; Bloom, Shelah S; Platt, Jennifer L; Henry, Sarah K; Darmstadt, Gary L


    This article presents evidence supporting the hypothesis that promoting gender equality and women's and girls' empowerment (GEWE) leads to better health and development outcomes. We reviewed the literature across six sectors-family planning (FP); maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH); nutrition; agriculture; water, sanitation and hygiene; and financial services for the poor-and found 76 studies from low and middle-income countries that met our inclusion criteria. Across these studies, we identified common GEWE variables that emerged repeatedly as significant predictors of sector outcomes. We grouped these variables into 10 thematic categories, which we termed 'gender-related levers'. These levers were then classified by the strength of evidence into Wedges, Foundations and Facilitators. Wedges are gender-related levers that had strong associations with improved outcomes across multiple sectors. They include: 'control over income/assets/resources', 'decision-making power' and 'education'. Elements of these levers overlap, but combined, they encapsulate agency. Increasing female agency promotes equality and broadly improves health and development for women, their families and their communities. The second classification, Foundations, displayed strong, positive associations across FP, MNCH and nutrition. Foundations have a more proximal relationship with sector outcomes and include: 'equitable interpersonal relationships', 'mobility' and 'personal safety'. Finally, the third group of levers, Facilitators, was associated with improved outcomes in two to three sectors and include: 'access to information', 'community groups', 'paid labour' and 'rights'. These levers make it easier for women and girls to achieve their goals and are more traditional elements of development programmes. Overall, gender-related levers were associated with improvements in a variety of health and development outcomes. Furthermore, these associations were cross-sectoral, suggesting that to

  20. Heat storage in forest biomass significantly improves energy balance closure particularly during stable conditions (United States)

    Lindroth, A.; Mölder, M.; Lagergren, F.


    Temperature measurements in trunks and branches in a mature ca. 100 years-old mixed pine and spruce forest in central Sweden were used to estimate the heat storage in the tree biomass. The estimated heat flux in the sample trees and data on biomass distributions were used to scale up to stand level biomass heat fluxes. The rate of change of sensible and latent heat storage in the air layer below the level of the flux measurements was estimated from air temperature and humidity profile measurements and soil heat flux was estimated from heat flux plates and soil temperature measurements. The fluxes of sensible and latent heat from the forest were measured with an eddy covariance system in a tower. The analysis was made for a two-month period in summer of 1995. The tree biomass heat flux was the largest of the estimated storage components and varied between 40 and -35 W m-2 on summer days with nice weather. Averaged over two months the diurnal maximum of total heat storage was 45 W m-2 and the minimum was -35 W m-2. The soil heat flux and the sensible heat storage in air were out of phase with the biomass flux and they reached maximum values that were about 75% of the maximum of the tree biomass heat storage. The energy balance closure improved significantly when the total heat storage was added to the turbulent fluxes. The slope of a regression line with sum of fluxes and storage as independent and net radiation as dependent variable, increased from 0.86 to 0.95 for half-hourly data and the scatter was also reduced. The most significant finding was, however, that during nights with strongly stable conditions when the sensible heat flux dropped to nearly zero, the total storage matched the net radiation nearly perfectly. Another interesting result was that the mean energy imbalance started to increase when the Richardson number became more negative than ca. -0.1. In fact, the largest energy deficit occurred at maximum instability. Our conclusion is that eddy

  1. Significant improvement of eczema with skin care and food elimination in small children. (United States)

    Norrman, Gunilla; Tomicić, Sara; Böttcher, Malin Fagerås; Oldaeus, Göran; Strömberg, Leif; Fälth-magnusson, Karin


    To evaluate common methods of investigation and treatment in children younger than 2 y of age with eczema, with or without sensitization to food allergens. One hundred and twenty-three children younger than 2 y of age with eczema and suspected food allergy were included in this prospective study. The children underwent skin-prick test with cow's milk, fresh hen's egg white and wheat. Specific IgE to milk and egg white was analysed. The eczema extent and severity was estimated with SCORAD before and after treatment. Children with a positive skin-prick test were instructed to exclude that food item from their diet. All children were treated with emollients and topical steroids when needed. Sixty-two of the children were skin-prick positive to at least one of the allergens; 62% had mild, 30% moderate and 8% severe eczema at their first visit. After treatment, 90% had mild, 10% moderate and 0% severe eczema. Forty-six per cent of the children had circulating IgE antibodies to milk or egg white. Ten per cent had specific IgE but negative skin-prick test to the same allergen. This subgroup improved their eczema significantly without elimination diet. The conventional treatments for children with eczema, i.e. skin care and food elimination, are effective. The beneficial effect of skin care as the first step should not be neglected, and it may not be necessary to eliminate food allergens to relieve skin symptoms in all food-sensitized children with eczema.

  2. Introduction of e-learning in dental radiology reveals significantly improved results in final examination. (United States)

    Meckfessel, Sandra; Stühmer, Constantin; Bormann, Kai-Hendrik; Kupka, Thomas; Behrends, Marianne; Matthies, Herbert; Vaske, Bernhard; Stiesch, Meike; Gellrich, Nils-Claudius; Rücker, Martin


    Because a traditionally instructed dental radiology lecture course is very time-consuming and labour-intensive, online courseware, including an interactive-learning module, was implemented to support the lectures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of students who have worked with web-based courseware as well as the effect on their results in final examinations. Users (n(3+4)=138) had access to the e-program from any networked computer at any time. Two groups (n(3)=71, n(4)=67) had to pass a final exam after using the e-course. Results were compared with two groups (n(1)=42, n(2)=48) who had studied the same content by attending traditional lectures. In addition a survey of the students was statistically evaluated. Most of the respondents reported a positive attitude towards e-learning and would have appreciated more access to computer-assisted instruction. Two years after initiating the e-course the failure rate in the final examination dropped significantly, from 40% to less than 2%. The very positive response to the e-program and improved test scores demonstrated the effectiveness of our e-course as a learning aid. Interactive modules in step with clinical practice provided learning that is not achieved by traditional teaching methods alone. To what extent staff savings are possible is part of a further study. Copyright © 2010 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Mapping Soil Properties of Africa at 250 m Resolution: Random Forests Significantly Improve Current Predictions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomislav Hengl

    Full Text Available 80% of arable land in Africa has low soil fertility and suffers from physical soil problems. Additionally, significant amounts of nutrients are lost every year due to unsustainable soil management practices. This is partially the result of insufficient use of soil management knowledge. To help bridge the soil information gap in Africa, the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS project was established in 2008. Over the period 2008-2014, the AfSIS project compiled two point data sets: the Africa Soil Profiles (legacy database and the AfSIS Sentinel Site database. These data sets contain over 28 thousand sampling locations and represent the most comprehensive soil sample data sets of the African continent to date. Utilizing these point data sets in combination with a large number of covariates, we have generated a series of spatial predictions of soil properties relevant to the agricultural management--organic carbon, pH, sand, silt and clay fractions, bulk density, cation-exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchangeable acidity, Al content and exchangeable bases (Ca, K, Mg, Na. We specifically investigate differences between two predictive approaches: random forests and linear regression. Results of 5-fold cross-validation demonstrate that the random forests algorithm consistently outperforms the linear regression algorithm, with average decreases of 15-75% in Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE across soil properties and depths. Fitting and running random forests models takes an order of magnitude more time and the modelling success is sensitive to artifacts in the input data, but as long as quality-controlled point data are provided, an increase in soil mapping accuracy can be expected. Results also indicate that globally predicted soil classes (USDA Soil Taxonomy, especially Alfisols and Mollisols help improve continental scale soil property mapping, and are among the most important predictors. This indicates a promising potential for transferring

  4. Optimized distributed systems achieve significant performance improvement on sorted merging of massive VCF files. (United States)

    Sun, Xiaobo; Gao, Jingjing; Jin, Peng; Eng, Celeste; Burchard, Esteban G; Beaty, Terri H; Ruczinski, Ingo; Mathias, Rasika A; Barnes, Kathleen; Wang, Fusheng; Qin, Zhaohui S


    Sorted merging of genomic data is a common data operation necessary in many sequencing-based studies. It involves sorting and merging genomic data from different subjects by their genomic locations. In particular, merging a large number of variant call format (VCF) files is frequently required in large-scale whole-genome sequencing or whole-exome sequencing projects. Traditional single-machine based methods become increasingly inefficient when processing large numbers of files due to the excessive computation time and Input/Output bottleneck. Distributed systems and more recent cloud-based systems offer an attractive solution. However, carefully designed and optimized workflow patterns and execution plans (schemas) are required to take full advantage of the increased computing power while overcoming bottlenecks to achieve high performance. In this study, we custom-design optimized schemas for three Apache big data platforms, Hadoop (MapReduce), HBase, and Spark, to perform sorted merging of a large number of VCF files. These schemas all adopt the divide-and-conquer strategy to split the merging job into sequential phases/stages consisting of subtasks that are conquered in an ordered, parallel, and bottleneck-free way. In two illustrating examples, we test the performance of our schemas on merging multiple VCF files into either a single TPED or a single VCF file, which are benchmarked with the traditional single/parallel multiway-merge methods, message passing interface (MPI)-based high-performance computing (HPC) implementation, and the popular VCFTools. Our experiments suggest all three schemas either deliver a significant improvement in efficiency or render much better strong and weak scalabilities over traditional methods. Our findings provide generalized scalable schemas for performing sorted merging on genetics and genomics data using these Apache distributed systems.

  5. Cyclosporin A significantly improves preeclampsia signs and suppresses inflammation in a rat model. (United States)

    Hu, Bihui; Yang, Jinying; Huang, Qian; Bao, Junjie; Brennecke, Shaun Patrick; Liu, Huishu


    Preeclampsia is associated with an increased inflammatory response. Immune suppression might be an effective treatment. The aim of this study was to examine whether Cyclosporin A (CsA), an immunosuppressant, improves clinical characteristics of preeclampsia and suppresses inflammation in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced preeclampsia rat model. Pregnant rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: group 1 (PE) rats each received LPS via tail vein on gestational day (GD) 14; group 2 (PE+CsA5) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (5mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 3 (PE+CsA10) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (10mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 4 (pregnant control, PC) rats were treated with the vehicle (saline) used for groups 1, 2 and 3. Systolic blood pressure, urinary albumin, biometric parameters and the levels of serum cytokines were measured on day 20. CsA treatment significantly reduced LPS-induced systolic blood pressure and the mean 24-h urinary albumin excretion. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-17, IFN-γ and TNF-α were increased in the LPS treatment group but were reduced in (LPS+CsA) group (Ppreeclampsia signs and attenuated inflammatory responses in the LPS induced preeclampsia rat model which suggests that immunosuppressant might be an alternative management option for preeclampsia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Parameter definition using vibration prediction software leads to significant drilling performance improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amorim, Dalmo; Hanley, Chris Hanley; Fonseca, Isaac; Santos, Juliana [National Oilwell Varco, Houston TX (United States); Leite, Daltro J.; Borella, Augusto; Gozzi, Danilo [Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (PETROBRAS), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)


    The understanding and mitigation of downhole vibration has been a heavily researched subject in the oil industry as it results in more expensive drilling operations, as vibrations significantly diminish the amount of effective drilling energy available to the bit and generate forces that can push the bit or the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) off its concentric axis of rotation, producing high magnitude impacts with the borehole wall. In order to drill ahead, a sufficient amount of energy must be supplied by the rig to overcome the resistance of the drilling system, including the reactive torque of the system, drag forces, fluid pressure losses and energy dissipated by downhole vibrations, then providing the bit with the energy required to fail the rock. If the drill string enters resonant modes of vibration, not only does it decreases the amount of available energy to drill, but increases the potential for catastrophic downhole equipment and drilling bit failures. In this sense, the mitigation of downhole vibrations will result in faster, smoother, and cheaper drilling operations. A software tool using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been developed to provide better understanding of downhole vibration phenomena in drilling environments. The software tool calculates the response of the drilling system at various input conditions, based on the design of the wellbore along with the geometry of the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) and the drill string. It identifies where undesired levels of resonant vibration will be driven by certain combinations of specific drilling parameters, and also which combinations of drilling parameters will result in lower levels of vibration, so the least shocks, the highest penetration rate and the lowest cost per foot can be achieved. With the growing performance of personal computers, complex software systems modeling the drilling vibrations using FEA has been accessible to a wider audience of field users, further complimenting with real time

  7. Improved outcome after relapse in children with acute myeloid leukaemia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abrahamsson, Jonas; Clausen, Niels; Gustafsson, Göran


    investigated. The study included all 146 children in the Nordic countries diagnosed with AML between 1988 and 2003, who relapsed. Data on disease characteristics and relapse treatment were related to outcome. Sixty-six percentage achieved remission with survival after relapse (5 years) 34 +/- 4%. Of 122......In the Nordic Society for Paediatric Haematology and Oncology paediatric study acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) 93, event-free survival was 50% and overall survival was 66%, indicating that many patients were cured following relapse. Factors influencing outcome in children with relapsed AML were...... patients who received re-induction therapy, 77% entered remission with 40 +/- 5% survival. Remission rates were similar for different re-induction regimens but fludarabine, cytarabine, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-based therapy had low treatment-related mortality. Prognostic factors for survival...

  8. Improving tobacco dependence treatment outcomes for smokers of lower socioeconomic status: A randomized clinical trial. (United States)

    Sheffer, Christine E; Bickel, Warren K; Franck, Christopher T; Panissidi, Luana; Pittman, Jami C; Stayna, Helen; Evans, Shenell


    Evidence-based treatments for tobacco dependence are significantly less effective for smokers of lower socioeconomic status which contributes to socioeconomic disparities in smoking prevalence rates and health. We aimed to reduce the socioeconomic gradient in treatment outcomes by systematically adapting evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment for tobacco dependence for diverse lower socioeconomic smokers. Participants were randomized to adapted or standard treatment, received six 1-h group treatment sessions, and were followed for six months. We examined the effectiveness of the adapted treatment to improve treatment outcomes for lower socioeconomic groups. Participants (n=227) were ethnically, racially, and socioeconomically diverse. The adapted treatment significantly reduced the days to relapse for the two lowest socioeconomic groups: SES1: M=76.6 (SD 72.9) vs. 38.3 (SD 60.1) days to relapse (RR=0.63 95% CI, 0.45, 0.88, p=0.0013); SES2: M=88.2 (SD 67.3) vs. 40.1 (SD 62.6 days to relapse (RR=0.57 95% CI, 0.18, 0.70, p=0.0024). Interactions between socioeconomic status and condition were significant for initial abstinence (OR=1.26, 95% CI 1.09, 1.46, p=0.002), approached significance for 3-month abstinence (OR=0.90, 95% CI 0.80, 1.01, psocioeconomic smokers and reduce inequities in days to relapse. Novel methods of providing targeted extended support are needed to improve long-term outcomes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Editorial: Improving cataract outcomes through good postoperative care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick Astbury


    Full Text Available Cataract surgery is one of the most successful and frequently performed operations worldwide, and yet cataract remains the commonest cause of global blindness. This is in part due to the shortage and uneven distribution of trained personnel in some countries. More worryingly, a high rate of cataract blindness also reflects poor visual outcomes after surgery, as has been documented in many RAAB (rapid assessment of avoidable blindness studies.

  10. Timely bystander CPR improves outcomes despite longer EMS times. (United States)

    Park, Gwan Jin; Song, Kyoung Jun; Shin, Sang Do; Lee, Kyung Won; Ahn, Ki Ok; Lee, Eui Jung; Hong, Ki Jeong; Ro, Young Sun


    This study aimed to determine the impact of bystander CPR on clinical outcomes in patients with increasing response time from collapse to EMS response. A population-based observational study was conducted in patients with witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) of presumed cardiac etiology from 2012 to 2014. The time interval from collapse to CPR by EMS providers was categorized into quartile groups: fastest group (bystander CPR and the time interval from collapse to CPR by EMS providers. A total of 15,354 OHCAs were analyzed. Bystander CPR was performed in 8591 (56.0%). Survival to hospital discharge occurred in 1632 (10.6%) and favorable neurological outcome in 996 (6.5%). In an interaction model of bystander CPR, compared to the fastest group, adjusted odds ratios (AORs) (95% CIs) for survival to discharge were 0.89 (0.66-1.20) in the fast group, 0.76 (0.57-1.02) in the late group, and 0.52 (0.37-0.73) in the latest group. For favorable neurological outcome, AORs were 1.12 (0.77-1.62) in the fast group, 0.90 (0.62-1.30) in the late group, 0.59 (0.38-0.91) in the latest group. The survival from OHCA decreases as the ambulance response time increases. The increase in mortality and worsening neurologic outcomes appear to be mitigated in those patients who receive bystander CPR. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy for Sinonasal Cancer: Improved Outcome Compared to Conventional Radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dirix, Piet; Vanstraelen, Bianca; Jorissen, Mark; Vander Poorten, Vincent; Nuyts, Sandra


    Purpose: To evaluate clinical outcome and toxicity of postoperative intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for malignancies of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Methods and Materials: Between 2003 and 2008, 40 patients with cancer of the paranasal sinuses (n = 34) or nasal cavity (n = 6) received postoperative IMRT to a dose of 60 Gy (n = 21) or 66 Gy (n = 19). Treatment outcome and toxicity were retrospectively compared with that of a previous patient group (n = 41) who were also postoperatively treated to the same doses but with three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy without intensity modulation, from 1992 to 2002. Results: Median follow-up was 30 months (range, 4-74 months). Two-year local control, overall survival, and disease-free survival were 76%, 89%, and 72%, respectively. Compared to the three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy treatment, IMRT resulted in significantly improved disease-free survival (60% vs. 72%; p = 0.02). No grade 3 or 4 toxicity was reported in the IMRT group, either acute or chronic. The use of IMRT significantly reduced the incidence of acute as well as late side effects, especially regarding skin toxicity, mucositis, xerostomia, and dry-eye syndrome. Conclusions: Postoperative IMRT for sinonasal cancer significantly improves disease-free survival and reduces acute as well as late toxicity. Consequently, IMRT should be considered the standard treatment modality for malignancies of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses.

  12. The Hijdra scale has significant prognostic value for the functional outcome of Fisher grade 3 patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. (United States)

    Bretz, Julia S; Von Dincklage, Falk; Woitzik, Johannes; Winkler, Maren K L; Major, Sebastian; Dreier, Jens P; Bohner, Georg; Scheel, Michael


    Despite its high prevalence among patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) and high risk of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI), the Fisher grade 3 category remains a poorly studied subgroup. The aim of this cohort study has been to investigate the prognostic value of the Hijdra sum scoring system for the functional outcome in patients with Fisher grade 3 aSAH, in order to improve the risk stratification within this Fisher category. Initial CT scans of 72 prospectively enrolled patients with Fisher grade 3 aSAH were analyzed, and cisternal, ventricular, and total amount of blood were graded according to the Hijdra scale. Additionally, space-occupying subarachnoid blood clots were assessed. Outcome was evaluated after 6 months. Within the subgroup of Fisher grade 3, aSAH patients with an unfavorable outcome showed a significantly larger cisternal Hijdra sum score (HSS: 21.1 ± 5.2) than patients with a favorable outcome (HSS: 17.6 ± 5.9; p = 0.009). However, both the amount of ventricular blood (p = 0.165) and space-occupying blood clots (p = 0.206) appeared to have no prognostic relevance. After adjusting for the patient's age, gender, tobacco use, clinical status at admission, and presence of intracerebral hemorrhage, the cisternal and total HSS remained the only independent parameters included in multivariate logistic regression models to predict functional outcome (p Fisher 3 category. We suggest that the Hijdra scale is a practically useful prognostic instrument for the risk evaluation after aSAH and should be applied more often in the clinical setting.

  13. The effectiveness of newly developed written asthma action plan in improvement of asthma outcome in children. (United States)

    Lakupoch, Kingthong; Manuyakorn, Wiparat; Preutthipan, Aroonwan; Kamalaporn, Harutai


    Providing asthma education about controller medication use and appropriate management of asthma exacerbation are the keys to improving the disease outcome. Many asthma guidelines recommend that physicians provide written asthma action plan (WAAP) to all of their asthmatic patients. However, the benefit of WAAP is unclear. Thus, we have created a new WAAP which is simplified in Thai and more user friendly. To determine the effectiveness of the newly developed asthma action plan in management of children with asthma. Asthmatic children who meet inclusion criteria all received the WAAP and they were followed up for 6 months with measurement of outcome variables, such as asthma exacerbation that required emergency room visit, unscheduled OPD visit, admission and school absence in order to compare with the past 6 months before receiving the WAAP. The analyzed outcomes of forty-nine children show significantly reduced emergency room visit (P-value 0.005), unscheduled OPD visit (P-value 0.046), admission days (P-value 0.026) and school absence days (P-value 0.022). Well controlled group and mild severity group were not the factors that contribute to decreased emergency room visit but step up therapy may be the co-factor to decreased ER visit. The results of this study suggest that the provision of newly developed WAAP is useful for improving self-care of asthma patients and reducing asthma exacerbation.

  14. Victorian Audit of Surgical Mortality is associated with improved clinical outcomes. (United States)

    Beiles, C Barry; Retegan, Claudia; Maddern, Guy J


    Improved outcomes are desirable results of clinical audit. The aim of this study was to use data from the Victorian Audit of Surgical Mortality (VASM) and the Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset (VAED) to highlight specific areas of clinical improvement and reduction in mortality over the duration of the audit process. This study used retrospective, observational data from VASM and VAED. VASM data were reported by participating public and private health services, the Coroner and self-reporting surgeons across Victoria. Aggregated VAED data were supplied by the Victorian Department of Health. Assessment of outcomes was performed using chi-squared trend analysis over successive annual audit periods. Because initial collection of data was incomplete in the recruitment phase, statistical analysis was confined to the last 3-year period, 2010-2013. A 20% reduction in surgical mortality over the past 5 years has been identified from the VAED data. Progressive increase in both surgeon and hospital participation, significant reduction in both errors in management as perceived by assessors and increased direct consultant involvement in cases returned to theatre have been documented. The benefits of VASM are reflected in the association with a reduction of mortality and adverse clinical outcomes, which have clinical and financial benefits. It is a purely educational exercise and continued participation in this audit will ensure the highest standards of surgical care in Australia. This also highlights the valuable collaboration between the Victorian Department of Health and the RACS. © 2014 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

  15. Obstetrical APS : Is there a place for hydroxychloroquine to improve the pregnancy outcome?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mekinian, Arsene; Costedoat-Chalumeau, Nathalie; Masseau, Agathe; Tincani, Angela; De Caroli, Sara; Alijotas-Reig, Jaume; Ruffatti, Amelia; Ambrozic, Ales; Botta, Angela; Le Guern, Véronique; Fritsch-Stork, Ruth; Nicaise-Roland, Pascale; Carbonne, Bruno; Carbillon, Lionel; Fain, Olivier


    The use of the conventional APS treatment (the combination of low-dose aspirin and LMWH) dramatically improved the obstetrical prognosis in primary obstetrical APS (OAPS). The persistence of adverse pregnancy outcome raises the need to find other drugs to improve obstetrical outcome.

  16. Waste Minimization Improvements Achieved Through Six Sigma Analysis Result In Significant Cost Savings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mousseau, Jeffrey D.; Jansen, John R.; Janke, David H.; Plowman, Catherine M.


    Improved waste minimization practices at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) are leading to a 15% reduction in the generation of hazardous and radioactive waste. Bechtel, BWXT Idaho, LLC (BBWI), the prime management and operations contractor at the INEEL, applied the Six Sigma improvement process to the INEEL Waste Minimization Program to review existing processes and define opportunities for improvement. Our Six Sigma analysis team: composed of an executive champion, process owner, a black belt and yellow belt, and technical and business team members used this statistical based process approach to analyze work processes and produced ten recommendations for improvement. Recommendations ranged from waste generator financial accountability for newly generated waste to enhanced employee recognition programs for waste minimization efforts. These improvements have now been implemented to reduce waste generation rates and are producing positive results

  17. Platlet Rich Plasma (PRP) Improves Fat Grafting Outcomes. (United States)

    Modarressi, Ali


    Autologous fat transfer offers many qualities of a ideal soft tissue filler. Main advantages of fat grafting ensue from the fact that the lipoaspirate tissue is an abundant source of regenerative pluripotential cells. However, the reported rates of fat cell survival vary greatly in the medical literature (10-90%). Different techniques of harvesting, processing, and reinjecting the fat cells are so claimed to be responsible for these differences, without any agreement concerning the best way to process. To address this important disadvantage, we propose the addition of autologous platelet rich plasma (PRP) which is known as a natural reservoir of growth factors stimulating tissue repair and regeneration. This approach is completely autologous and immediately employed without any type of preconditioning. Platelets rich plasma (PRP) preparation included bleeding of 8 ml of blood from patient's peripheral vein in Regen Lab© tubes containing sodium citrate anticoagulant. The whole blood was centrifugated at 1500 g during 3 min. As Regen-tubes contained a special gel separator, 99 % of red blood cells were discarded from the plasma at the bottom of the gel, and >90% of platelets were harvested in 4 ml of plasma on the top of the gel, called the platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The purified fat prepared by Coleman technique was mixed with different amount of PRP for in vitro, in vivo (mice) and clinical experiments: >50% of PRP for skin rejuvenation, superficial scars correction, infraorbital region, ..., and for 20% of PRP with 80% of purified fat for deep filler indication (nasolabial folds, lips, or soft tissue defect). In vitro studies demonstrated that PRP increased fat cells survival rate and stem cells differentiation. Animal models showed that fat graft survival rate was significantly increased by addition of PRP. Several clinical cases confirmed the improvement of wound healing and fat grafting survival in facial reconstruction and aesthetic cases by association of

  18. Improvement of debate competence: an outcome of an introductory course for medical humanities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Hee Chun


    Full Text Available Purpose: Academic debate is an effective method to enhance the competences of critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills and cooperation skills. The present study examined the improvement of debate competence which is an outcome of debate-based flipped learning. Methods: A questionnaire was administrated to second-year premedical school students at Yeungnam University. In total 45 students participated in the survey. The survey questionnaire was composed of 60 items of eight subfactors on debate competence. To investigate the homogeneous of low and high achievement groups, 18 items on empathy and 75 items on critical thinking scales were used. To compare the pretest with posttest scores, data was analyzed using paired sample t-test. Results: There were no significant differences between low and high achievement groups by average grade at the beginning of the semester. There was a significant improvement in high achievers on the logical argumentation (p<0.001, proficiency in inquiry (p<0.01, active participation (p<0.001, ability to investigate and analyze (p<0.001, observance of debate rules (p<0.05, and acceptability (p<0.05. Even in low achievers, active participation (p<0.05 and ability to investigate and analyze (p<0.01 were significantly improved. Conclusion: Results showed that students could improve their debate competence by the debate-based flipped learning. A prospective and comparative study on the communication and teamwork competences needs to be conducted in the future. It is suggested that in-depth discussion for the curriculum design and teaching will be needed in terms of the effectiveness and the outcomes of the medical humanities.

  19. Improving Outcomes in the Nigeria Healthcare Sector through Public ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PPP) model in the Country's healthcare sector. Public - Private Interaction offers opportunity of leveraging private sector investment in the sector and further enhances improvements in service delivery as well as increases access to quality ...

  20. An umbrella review of meta-analyses of interventions to improve maternal outcomes for teen mothers. (United States)

    SmithBattle, Lee; Loman, Deborah G; Chantamit-O-Pas, Chutima; Schneider, Joanne Kraenzle


    The purpose of this study was to perform an umbrella review of meta-analyses of intervention studies designed to improve outcomes of pregnant or parenting teenagers. An extensive search retrieved nine reports which provided 21 meta-analyses analyses. Data were extracted by two reviewers. Methodological quality was assessed using the AMSTAR Instrument. Most effect sizes were small but high quality studies showed significant outcomes for reduced low birth weight (RR = 0.60), repeat pregnancies/births (OR = 0.47-0.62), maternal education (OR = 1.21-1.83), and maternal employment (OR = 1.26). Several parenting outcomes (parent-child teaching interaction post-intervention [SMD = -0.91] and at follow-up [SMD = -1.07], and parent-child relationship post-intervention [SMD = -0.71] and at follow-up [SMD = -0.90]) were significant, but sample sizes were very small. Many reports did not include moderator analyses. Behavioral interventions offer limited resources and occur too late to mitigate the educational and social disparities that precede teen pregnancy. Future intervention research and policies that redress the social determinants of early childbearing are recommended. Copyright © 2017 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Linezolid is Associated with Improved Early Outcomes of Childhood Tuberculous Meningitis. (United States)

    Li, Huimin; Lu, Jie; Liu, Jinrong; Zhao, Yuhong; Ni, Xin; Zhao, Shunying


    Linezolid serves as an important component for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis although there is little published data about linezolid use in children, especially in childhood tuberculous meningitis (TBM). In this study, we retrospectively reviewed records of childhood TBM patients who started treatment between January 2012 and August 2014. A total of 86 childhood TBM patients younger than 15 years old were enrolled. Out of 86 children, 36 (41.9%) received the regimen containing linezolid. Thirty-two (88.9%) of 36 linezolid-treated cases had favorable outcomes, and 35 (70.0%) cases were successfully treated in the control group. The frequency of favorable outcome of linezolid group was significantly higher than that of control group (P = 0.037). In addition, compared with cases with fever clearance time of 4 weeks (P = 0.000) than linezolid group. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the frequency of adverse events between the two regimens (P = 0.896). In addition, the patients with adverse events were more likely to have treatment failure, the P value of which was 0.008. Our data demonstrate that linezolid improves early outcome of childhood TBM. The low frequency of linezolid-associated adverse effects highlights the promising prospects of its use for treatment of childhood TBM.

  2. Digital audio recordings improve the outcomes of patient consultations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wolderslund, Maiken; Kofoed, Poul-Erik; Holst, René


    OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects on patients' outcome of the consultations when provided with: a Digital Audio Recording (DAR) of the consultation and a Question Prompt List (QPL). METHODS: This is a three-armed randomised controlled cluster trial. One group of patients received standard care......, while the other two groups received either the QPL in combination with a recording of their consultation or only the recording. Patients from four outpatient clinics participated: Paediatric, Orthopaedic, Internal Medicine, and Urology. The effects were evaluated by patient-administered questionnaires...

  3. Web-Based Cognitive Remediation Improves Supported Employment Outcomes in Severe Mental Illness: Randomized Controlled Trial. (United States)

    Harris, Anthony Wf; Kosic, Tanya; Xu, Jean; Walker, Chris; Gye, William; Redoblado Hodge, Antoinette


    Finding work is a top priority for most people; however, this goal remains out of reach for the majority of individuals with a severe mental illness (SMI) who remain on benefits or are unemployed. Supported employment (SE) programs aimed at returning people with a severe mental illness to work are successful; however, they still leave a significant number of people with severe mental illness unemployed. Cognitive deficits are commonly found in SMI and are a powerful predictor of poor outcome. Fortunately, these deficits are amenable to treatment with cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) that significantly improves cognition in SMI. CRT combined with SE significantly increases the likelihood of individuals with severe mental illness obtaining and staying in work. However, the availability of CRT is limited in many settings. The aim of this study was to examine whether Web-based CRT combined with a SE program can improve the rate return to work of people with severe mental illness. A total of 86 people with severe mental illness (mean age 39.6 years; male: n=55) who were unemployed and who had joined a SE program were randomized to either a Web-based CRT program (CogRem) or an Internet-based control condition (WebInfo). Primary outcome measured was hours worked over 6 months post treatment. At 6 months, those participants randomized to CogRem had worked significantly more hours (P=.01) and had earned significantly more money (P=.03) than those participants randomized to the WebInfo control condition. No change was observed in cognition. This study corroborates other work that has found a synergistic effect of combining CRT with a SE program and extends this to the use of Web-based CRT. The lack of any improvement in cognition obscures the mechanism by which an improved wage outcome for participants randomized to the active treatment was achieved. However, the study substantially lowers the barrier to the deployment of CRT with other psychosocial interventions for

  4. Efficiency improvement of nuclear power plant operation: the significant role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Velde, AA. de; Burtak, F.


    In this paper authors deals with nuclear fuel cycle and their economic aspects. At Siemens, the developments focusing on the reduction of fuel cycle costs are currently directed on .further batch average burnup increase, .improvement of fuel reliability, .enlargement of fuel operation margins, .improvement of methods for fuel design and core analysis. These items will be presented in detail in the full paper and illustrated by the global operating experience of Siemens fuel for both PWRs and BWRs. (authors)

  5. Sarcopenia: assessment of disease burden and strategies to improve outcomes (United States)

    Liguori, Ilaria; Russo, Gennaro; Aran, Luisa; Bulli, Giulia; Curcio, Francesco; Della-Morte, David; Gargiulo, Gaetano; Testa, Gianluca; Cacciatore, Francesco; Bonaduce, Domenico; Abete, Pasquale


    Life expectancy is increasing worldwide, with a resultant increase in the elderly population. Aging is characterized by the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength – a phenomenon called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia has a complex multifactorial pathogenesis, which involves not only age-related changes in neuromuscular function, muscle protein turnover, and hormone levels and sensitivity, but also a chronic pro-inflammatory state, oxidative stress, and behavioral factors – in particular, nutritional status and degree of physical activity. According to the operational definition by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP), the diagnosis of sarcopenia requires the presence of both low muscle mass and low muscle function, which can be defined by low muscle strength or low physical performance. Moreover, biomarkers of sarcopenia have been identified for its early detection and for a detailed identification of the main pathophysiological mechanisms involved in its development. Because sarcopenia is associated with important adverse health outcomes, such as frailty, hospitalization, and mortality, several therapeutic strategies have been identified that involve exercise training, nutritional supplementation, hormonal therapies, and novel strategies and are still under investigation. At the present time, only physical exercise has showed a positive effect in managing and preventing sarcopenia and its adverse health outcomes. Thus, further well-designed and well-conducted studies on sarcopenia are needed. PMID:29785098

  6. Rib fractures in trauma patients: does operative fixation improve outcome? (United States)

    Majak, Peter; Næss, Pål A


    Renewed interest in surgical fixation of rib fractures has emerged. However, conservative treatment is still preferred at most surgical departments. We wanted to evaluate whether operative treatment of rib fractures may benefit severely injured patients. Several studies report a reduction in mechanical ventilation time, ICU length of stay (LOS), hospital LOS, pneumonia, need for tracheostomy, pain and costs in operatively treated patients with multiple rib fractures compared with patients treated nonoperatively. Although patient selection and timing of the operation seem crucial for successful outcome, no consensus exists. Mortality reduction has only been shown in a few studies. Most studies are retrospective cohort and case-control studies. Only four randomized control trials exist. Conservative treatment, consisting of respiratory assistance and pain control, is still the treatment of choice in the vast majority of patients with multiple rib fractures. In selected patients, operative fixation of fractured ribs within 72 h postinjury may lead to better outcome. More randomized control trials are needed to further determine who benefits from surgical fixation of rib fractures.

  7. Deflation of gastric band balloon in pregnancy for improving outcomes. (United States)

    Jefferys, Amanda E; Siassakos, Dimitrios; Draycott, Tim; Akande, Valentine A; Fox, Robert


    In line with the rise in the prevalence of obesity, an increasing number of women of childbearing age are undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), resulting in an increasing number of pregnancies with a band in place. Currently, there is no consensus on optimal band management in pregnancy. Some clinicians advocate leaving the band balloon inflated to reduce gestational weight gain and associated adverse perinatal outcomes. However, there are concerns that maintaining balloon inflation during pregnancy might increase the risk of band complications and adversely affect fetal development and/or growth as a result of reduced nutritional intake. To compare maternal and perinatal outcomes for elective gastric band balloon deflation versus intention to maintain balloon inflation during pregnancy. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (30 September 2012) and the Web of Science database (1940 to September 2012). Randomised-controlled trials comparing elective deflation of the gastric band balloon with intention to maintain balloon inflation in pregnant women who have undergone LAGB. Two review authors independently assessed studies for inclusion. No studies met the criteria for inclusion in the review. To date no randomised controlled trials exist that compare elective deflation of the gastric band balloon in pregnancy versus intention to maintain balloon inflation. Further research is needed to define the optimum management of the gastric band balloon in pregnancy.

  8. A Multifaceted Approach to Improving Outcomes in the NICU: The Pediatrix 100 000 Babies Campaign. (United States)

    Ellsbury, Dan L; Clark, Reese H; Ursprung, Robert; Handler, Darren L; Dodd, Elizabeth D; Spitzer, Alan R


    Despite advances in neonatal medicine, infants requiring neonatal intensive care continue to experience substantial morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this initiative was to generate large-scale simultaneous improvements in multiple domains of care in a large neonatal network through a program called the "100,000 Babies Campaign." Key drivers of neonatal morbidity and mortality were identified. A system for retrospective morbidity and mortality review was used to identify problem areas for project prioritization. NICU system analysis and staff surveys were used to facilitate reengineering of NICU systems in 5 key driver areas. Electronic health record-based automated data collection and reporting were used. A quality improvement infrastructure using the Kotter organizational change model was developed to support the program. From 2007 to 2013, data on 422 877 infants, including a subset with birth weight of 501 to 1500 g (n = 58 555) were analyzed. Key driver processes (human milk feeding, medication use, ventilator days, admission temperature) all improved (P < .0001). Mortality, necrotizing enterocolitis, retinopathy of prematurity, bacteremia after 3 days of life, and catheter-associated infection decreased. Survival without significant morbidity (necrotizing enterocolitis, severe intraventricular hemorrhage, severe retinopathy of prematurity, oxygen use at 36 weeks' gestation) improved. Implementation of a multifaceted quality improvement program that incorporated organizational change theory and automated electronic health record-based data collection and reporting program resulted in major simultaneous improvements in key neonatal processes and outcomes. Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  9. Kaizen method for esophagectomy patients: improved quality control, outcomes, and decreased costs. (United States)

    Iannettoni, Mark D; Lynch, William R; Parekh, Kalpaj R; McLaughlin, Kelley A


    The majority of costs associated with esophagectomy are related to the initial 3 days of hospital stay requiring intensive care unit stays, ventilator support, and intraoperative time. Additional costs arise from hospital-based services. The major cost increases are related to complications associated with the procedure. We attempted to define these costs and identify expense management by streamlining care through strict adherence to patient care maps, operative standardization, and rapid discharge planning to reduce variability. Utilizing methods of Kaizen philosophy we evaluated all processes related to the entire experience of esophageal resection. This process has taken over 5 years to achieve, with quality and cost being tracked over this time period. Cost analysis included expenses related to intensive care unit, anesthesia, disposables, and hospital services. Quality improvement measures were related to intraoperative complications, in-hospital complications, and postoperative outcomes. The Institutional Review Board approved the use of anonymous data from standard clinical practice because no additional treatment was planned (observational study). Utilizing a continuous process improvement methodology, a 43% reduction in cost per case has been achieved with a significant increase in contribution margin for esophagectomy. The length of stay has been reduced from 14 days to 5. With intraoperative and postoperative standardization the leak rate has dropped from 12% to less than 3% to no leaks in our current Kaizen modification of care in our last 64 patients. Utilizing lean manufacturing techniques and continuous process evaluation we have attempted to eliminate variability, standardized the phases of care resulting in improved outcomes, decreased length of stay, and improved contribution margins. These Kaizen improvements require continuous interventions, strict adherence to care maps, and input from all levels for quality improvements. Copyright © 2011 The

  10. Audit filters for improving processes of care and clinical outcomes in trauma systems. (United States)

    Evans, Christopher; Howes, Daniel; Pickett, William; Dagnone, Luigi


    Traumatic injuries represent a considerable public health burden with significant personal and societal costs. The care of the severely injured patient in a trauma system progresses along a continuum that includes numerous interventions being provided by a multidisciplinary group of healthcare personnel. Despite the recent emphasis on quality of care in medicine, there has been little research to direct trauma clinicians and administrators on how optimally to monitor and improve upon the quality of care delivered within a trauma system. Audit filters are one mechanism for improving quality of care and are defined as specific clinical processes or outcomes of care that, when they occur, represent unfavorable deviations from an established norm and which prompt review and feedback. Although audit filters are widely utilized for performance improvement in trauma systems they have not been subjected to systematic review of their effectiveness. To determine the effectiveness of using audit filters for improving processes of care and clinical outcomes in trauma systems. Our search strategy included an electronic search of the Cochrane Injuries Group Specialized Register, the Cochrane EPOC Group Specialized Register, CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library 2008, Issue 4), MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and ISI Web of Science: (SCI-EXPANDED and CPCI-S). We handsearched the Journal of Trauma, Injury, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine, and Injury Prevention. We searched two clinical trial registries: 1) The World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform and, 2) Clinical We also contacted content experts for further articles. The most recent electronic search was completed in December 2008 and the handsearch was completed up to February 2009. We searched for randomized controlled trials, controlled clinical trials, controlled before-and-after studies, and interrupted time series studies that used audit filters as an

  11. Erythropoietin combined with liposomal amphotericin b improves outcome during disseminated aspergillosis in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    nathalie erousseau


    Full Text Available Disseminated aspergillosis is responsible for a high mortality rate despite the use of antifungal drugs. Adjuvant therapies are urgently needed to improve the outcome. The aim of this study was to demonstrate that the cytoprotective effect of erythropoietin combined to amphotericin b can reduce the mortality rate in a murine model of disseminated aspergillosis. After infection with Aspergillus fumigatus, neutropenic mice were randomized to receive vehicle or 7,5 mg/Kg of Liposomal Amphotericin B (LAmB or 7,5 mg/Kg of LAmB combined with 1000 IU/Kg of EPO (16 mice per group. Aspergillus galactomannan and organ cultures were performed to evaluate fungal burden at day 5. Cumulative long-term survival was analyzed at day 12 post-infection according to the Kaplan-Meier method. At day 5, fungal burden was similar between non-treated and treated groups. At day 12, mortality rates were 75 %, 62.5 % and 31 % in control group, LAmB group and EPO/LAmB group, respectively. We observed a significant decreased in mortality using EPO/LAmB combination compared to control group (p < 0.01. LAmB single treatment did not improve the survival rate compared to control group (p = 0.155.Our results provided the first evidence that erythropoietin improved the outcome of mice presenting disseminated aspergillosis when combined with amphotericin b.

  12. Millisecond photo-thermal process on significant improvement of supercapacitor’s performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Kui; Wang, Jixiao; Wu, Ying; Zhao, Song; Wang, Zhi; Wang, Shichang


    Graphical abstract: A high way for charge transfer is created by a millisecond photo-thermal process which could decrease contact resistance among nanomaterials and improve the electrochemical performances. - Highlights: • Improve conductivity among nanomaterials with a millisecond photo-thermal process. • The specific capacitance can increase about 25% with an photo-thermal process. • The circle stability and rate capability can be improved above 10% with photo-thermal process. • Provide a new way that create electron path to improve electrochemical performance. - Abstract: Supercapacitors fabricated with nanomaterials usually have high specific capacitance and excellent performance. However, the small size of nanomaterials renders a considerable limitation of the contact area among nanomaterials, which is harmful to charge carrier transfer. This fact may hinder the development and application of nanomaterials in electrochemical storage systems. Here, a millisecond photo-thermal process was introduced to create a charge carries transfer path to decrease the contact resistance among nanomaterials, and enhance the electrochemical performance of supercapacitors. Polyaniline (PANI) nanowire, as a model nanomaterial, was used to modify electrodes under different photo-thermal process conditions. The modified electrodes were characterized by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM), cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and the results were analysed by equivalent circuit simulation. These results demonstrate that the photo-thermal process can alter the morphology of PANI nanowires, lower the charge transfer resistances and thus improve the performance of electrodes. The specific capacitance increase of the modified electrodes is about 25%. The improvement of the circle stability and rate capability are above 10%. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt on research the effect of photo-thermal process on the conductivity

  13. Circumferential fusion improves outcome in comparison with instrumented posterolateral fusion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Videbaek, Tina S; Christensen, Finn B; Soegaard, Rikke


    with respect to all four DPQ categories: daily activities, work/leisure, anxiety/depression, and social interest. The Oswestry Disability Index supported these results (P ...STUDY DESIGN: Prospective randomized clinical study with a 5- to 9-year follow-up period. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to analyze the long-term outcome with respect to functional disability, pain, and general health of patients treated by means of circumferential lumbar fusion...... in comparison with those treated by means of instrumented posterolateral lumbar fusion. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Circumferential fusion has become a common procedure in lumbar spinal fusion both as a primary and salvage procedure. However, the claimed advantages of circumferential fusion over conventional...

  14. Toward improved public health outcomes from urban nature. (United States)

    Shanahan, Danielle F; Lin, Brenda B; Bush, Robert; Gaston, Kevin J; Dean, Julie H; Barber, Elizabeth; Fuller, Richard A


    There is mounting concern for the health of urban populations as cities expand at an unprecedented rate. Urban green spaces provide settings for a remarkable range of physical and mental health benefits, and pioneering health policy is recognizing nature as a cost-effective tool for planning healthy cities. Despite this, limited information on how specific elements of nature deliver health outcomes restricts its use for enhancing population health. We articulate a framework for identifying direct and indirect causal pathways through which nature delivers health benefits, and highlight current evidence. We see a need for a bold new research agenda founded on testing causality that transcends disciplinary boundaries between ecology and health. This will lead to cost-effective and tailored solutions that could enhance population health and reduce health inequalities.

  15. Resveratrol Attenuates Neurodegeneration and Improves Neurological Outcomes after Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederick Bonsack


    Full Text Available Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH is a devastating type of stroke with a substantial public health impact. Currently, there is no effective treatment for ICH. The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether the post-injury administration of Resveratrol confers neuroprotection in a pre-clinical model of ICH. To this end, ICH was induced in adult male CD1 mice by collagenase injection method. Resveratrol (10 mg/kg or vehicle was administered at 30 min post-induction of ICH and the neurobehavioral outcome, neurodegeneration, cerebral edema, hematoma resolution and neuroinflammation were assessed. The Resveratrol treatment significantly attenuated acute neurological deficits, neurodegeneration and cerebral edema after ICH in comparison to vehicle treated controls. Further, Resveratrol treated mice exhibited improved hematoma resolution with a concomitant reduction in the expression of proinflammatory cytokine, IL-1β after ICH. Altogether, the data suggest the efficacy of post-injury administration of Resveratrol in improving acute neurological function after ICH.

  16. A Review of New and Developing Technology to Significantly Improve Mars Sample-Return Missions (United States)

    Carsey, F.; Brophy, J.; Gilmore, M.; Rodgers, D.; Wilcox, B.


    A JPL development activity was initiated in FY 1999 for the purpose of examining and evaluating technologies that could materially improve future (i.e., beyond the 2005 launch) Mars sample return missions. The scope of the technology review was comprehensive and end-to-end; the goal was to improve mass, cost, risk, and scientific return. A specific objective was to assess approaches to sample return with only one Earth launch. While the objective of the study was specifically for sample-return, in-situ missions can also benefit from using many of the technologies examined.

  17. Sexuality and fertility in men with hypospadias; improved outcome. (United States)

    Örtqvist, L; Fossum, M; Andersson, M; Nordenström, A; Frisén, L; Holmdahl, G; Nordenskjöld, A


    The aim of this study was to investigate sexual function and fertility in adult men born with hypospadias. Patients born with hypospadias, age-matched controls, and a group of circumcised men completed a questionnaire constructed to reflect their psychosexual situation and fertility. Core gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender role behavior was also assessed. 167 patients [63% distal, 24% mid shaft and 13% proximal, mean age 34 (19-54) years], 169 controls from the general population [mean age 33 (19-48) years] and 47 controls circumcised because of phimosis (mean age 26 [19-44]) participated and completed the questionnaire. There were no differences in having a partner, reported fertility, age at sexarche (mean age 17.8), number of sex partners or sexual interest between the patients and controls. More patients than controls reported anejaculation. Reported glanular sensitivity was lower in hypospadias patients and circumcised controls compared with non-circumcised controls. The odds of being satisfied with their sexual life increased with a higher penile perception score in patients (OR = 1.54, p = 0.01). There was no association with penile length. Sexual orientation, core gender identity and gender role behavior were sex-typical in both patients and controls. Patients with proximal hypospadias had a lower reported fertility, experienced anejaculation more often, and were less satisfied with their sexual life. Men born with hypospadias have a good long-term outcome concerning sexual function and fertility. Men born with proximal hypospadias have a more impaired outcome concerning both sexual function and fertility. As satisfaction with genital appearance is important for sexual life satisfaction, clinical, and psychological follow-up into adulthood is especially important in boys born with proximal hypospadias. © 2016 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology.

  18. Improving outcome after traumatic brain injury--progress and challenges. (United States)

    Gentleman, D


    This article describes the rapid advances in the head injury field which have taken place within the professional lifetime of many doctors in practice today. These have led to a better understanding of what happens in the injured brain and how these events might be manipulated to achieve better outcomes. Clinical tools we now take for granted, like the CT scanner and the Glasgow Coma Scale, were new developments 25 years ago. They provided a foundation on which clinicians and basic scientists could build what we now know: what to assess in the patient, how to respond to certain findings, what imaging to do, how to plan treatment rationally, how to minimise brain damage at different stages after injury, how to predict and measure outcome, what disabled survivors need, and how to organise the service to do the greatest good for the most people. Some of these topics raise as many questions as answers. The head injury field may be broad but it has essential unity. At one extreme, some patients have a life-threatening illness where the acts and omissions of the clinical team can powerfully influence not only survival but its quality. Later the drama of the acute phase gives way to the 'hidden disabilities' of the long-term deficits which so many survivors have. At the other end of the severity spectrum is the relatively vast number of people who suffer an apparently mild head injury, a few of whom deteriorate and need urgent treatment, and many of whom have unspectacular but, nevertheless, disabling problems. The article attempts to address this broad canvas. Clinicians, neuroscientists, policy makers, and service users must work together to address the major scientific, individual, and population challenges posed by head injury. Much has already been achieved, but much remains to be done, especially in translating 'what we know' into 'what we do'.

  19. Improved Grade Outcomes with an E-Mailed "Grade Nudge" (United States)

    Smith, Ben O.; White, Dustin R.; Kuzyk, Patricia C.; Tierney, James E.


    Information provided at the moment a person makes a decision can influence behavior in predictable ways. The United Kingdom's Behavioural Insights Team have used this idea to help improve the insulation of lofts, collect taxes, and even reduce litter. The authors of this article developed software that appends a personalized message to each…

  20. A Measurement Model of Microgenetic Transfer for Improving Instructional Outcomes (United States)

    Pavlik, Philip I., Jr.; Yudelson, Michael; Koedinger, Kenneth R.


    Efforts to improve instructional task design often make reference to the mental structures, such as "schemas" (e.g., Gick & Holyoak, 1983) or "identical elements" (Thorndike & Woodworth, 1901), that are common to both the instructional and target tasks. This component based (e.g., Singley & Anderson, 1989) approach…

  1. Development and Evaluation of a Curriculum to Improve Educational and Career Outcomes for High School Girls with Disabilities (United States)

    Doren, Bonnie; Lombardi, Allison; Lindstrom, Lauren; Gau, Jeff


    Despite the national focus on improving transition services and post-school outcomes, many young women with disabilities still face significant barriers in obtaining meaningful employment and pursuing postsecondary education or training. Although recent reports indicate that the gender gap in employment rates may be diminishing, in this same…

  2. Partnering with diabetes educators to improve patient outcomes


    Burke SD; Sherr D; Lipman RD


    Sandra D Burke,1,2 Dawn Sherr,3 Ruth D Lipman3 1American Association of Diabetes Educators, Chicago, IL, USA; 2University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, Urbana, IL, USA; 3Science and Practice, American Association of Diabetes Educators, Chicago, IL, USA Abstract: Diabetes is a chronic, progressive disease that affects millions worldwide. The paradigm of diabetes management has shifted to focus on empowering the person with diabetes to manage the disease successfully and to improv...

  3. The use of mobile apps to improve nutrition outcomes: A systematic literature review. (United States)

    DiFilippo, Kristen N; Huang, Wen-Hao; Andrade, Juan E; Chapman-Novakofski, Karen M


    We conducted a systematic review to determine if the use of nutrition apps resulted in improved outcomes, including knowledge and behavior, among healthy adults. Using app(s), cellular phone, iPads, mobile phone, mobile telephone, smart phone, mobile and mHealth as search terms with diet, food and nutrition as qualifiers we searched PubMed, CINAHL (January 2008-October 2013) and Web of Science (January 2008-January 2014). Inclusion criteria were peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials, non-controlled trials, and cohort studies published in English that used apps to increase nutrition knowledge or improve behavior related to nutrition. Studies that were descriptive, did not include apps, focused on app development, app satisfaction app feasibility, text messaging, or digital photography were excluded. We evaluated article quality using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Manual. Data was extracted for knowledge, behavior and weight change. Our initial search identified 12,010 titles from PubMed, 260 from CINAHL and 4762 from Web of Science; of these, only four articles met all search criteria. Positive quality ratings were given to three articles; only one reported knowledge outcomes (non-significant). All four articles evaluated weight loss and suggested an advantage to using nutrition apps. Behavioral changes in reviewed studies included increased adherence to diet monitoring (p app (p = 0.024). Few studies, however, have explored the use of nutrition apps as supportive educational interventions. Most apps focus on weight loss with inconsistent outcomes. We conclude that using apps for education needs additional research which includes behavior theory within the app and improved study design. © The Author(s) 2015.

  4. Improved outcome in solitary bone plasmacytomata with combined therapy. (United States)

    Avilés, A; Huerta-Guzmán, J; Delgado, S; Fernández, A; Díaz-Maqueo, J C


    Solitary bone plasmacytoma (SBP) is a rare presentation of plasma cell dyscrasias. Radiotherapy has been considered the treatment of choice, however, most patients will develop multiple myeloma, 3 to 10 years after initial diagnosis and treatment. No innovations have been introduced in the treatment of SBP in the last 30 years. We began a prospective clinical trial to assess the efficacy and toxicity of adjuvant chemotherapy with low doses of melphalan and prednisone administered to patients with SBP after radiation therapy in an attempt to improve the disease-free survival and overall survival. Between 1982 and 1989, 53 patients with SBP were randomly assigned to be treated with either local radiotherapy with doses ranged from 4000 to 5000 cGy to achieve local control of disease (28 patients) or the same radiotherapy schedule followed by melphalan and prednisone given every 6 weeks for 3 years (25 patients). After a median follow-up of 8.9 years, disease-free survival and overall survival were improved in patients who were treated with combined therapy, 22 patients remain alive and free of disease in the combined treatment group compared to only 13 patients in the radiotherapy group (p radiotherapy in patients with SBP improved duration of remission and survival without severe side-effects. However, as with other studies in SBP, the group was too small to draw definitive conclusions and more controlled clinical trials are necessary to define the role of this therapeutic approach in patients with SBP.

  5. Validation of DAB2IP methylation and its relative significance in predicting outcome in renal cell carcinoma (United States)

    Zhao, Liang-Yun; Kapur, Payal; Wu, Kai-Jie; Wang, Bin; Yu, Yan-Hong; Liao, Bing; He, Da-Lin; Chen, Wei; Margulis, Vitaly; Hsieh, Jer-Tsong; Luo, Jun-Hang


    We have recently reported tumor suppressive role of DAB2IP in RCC development. In this study, We identified one CpG methylation biomarker (DAB2IP CpG1) located UTSS of DAB2IP that was associated with poor overall survival in a cohort of 318 ccRCC patients from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We further validated the prognostic accuracy of DAB2IP CpG methylation by pyrosequencing quantitative methylation assay in 224 ccRCC patients from multiple Chinese centers (MCHC set), and 239 patients from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (UTSW set) by using FFPE samples. DAB2IP CpG1 can predict the overall survival of patients in TCGA, MCHC, and UTSW sets independent of patient age, Fuhrman grade and TNM stage (all p<0.05). DAB2IP CpG1 successfully categorized patients into high-risk and low-risk groups with significant differences of clinical outcome in respective clinical subsets, regardless of age, sex, grade, stage, or race (HR: 1.63-7.83; all p<0.05). The detection of DAB2IP CpG1 methylation was minimally affected by ITH in ccRCC. DAB2IP mRNA expression was regulated by DNA methylation in vitro. DAB2IP CpG1 methylation is a practical and repeatable biomarker for ccRCC, which can provide prognostic value that complements the current staging system. PMID:27129174

  6. Reducing dysfunctional beliefs about sleep does not significantly improve insomnia in cognitive behavioral therapy. (United States)

    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi


    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the baseline and at the end of treatment. The results showed that although cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia greatly reduced individuals' scores on both scales, the decrease in dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep with treatment did not seem to mediate improvement in insomnia. The findings suggest that sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs endorsed by patients with chronic insomnia may be attenuated by cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, but changes in such beliefs are not likely to play a crucial role in reducing the severity of insomnia.

  7. Reducing Dysfunctional Beliefs about Sleep Does Not Significantly Improve Insomnia in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi


    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the...

  8. Significant performance improvement obtained in a wireless mesh network using a beamswitching antenna

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lysko, AA


    Full Text Available mesh network operated in a fixed 11 Mbps mode. The throughput improvement in multi-hop communication obtained in the presence of an interferer is tenfold, from 0.2 Mbps to 2 Mbps. Index Terms?antenna, smart antenna, wireless mesh network, WMN... efficiency in the communications, and active research and development of new methods and technologies enabling this at the physical layer, including multiple antenna techniques, such as multiple input multiple output (MIMO) and smart antennas...

  9. Outcomes in Young Women With Breast Cancer of Triple-Negative Phenotype: The Prognostic Significance of CK19 Expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parikh, Rahul R.; Yang Qifeng; Higgins, Susan A.; Haffty, Bruce G.


    Purpose: Basal-like carcinoma of the breast is associated with genetic instability and aggressive behavior. In this study, we evaluated the luminal cytokeratin marker CK-19 in young women with breast cancer treated with conservative surgery and radiation therapy (CS+RT). Methods: Primary tumor specimens from a cohort of 158 young premenopausal women (range, 25-49 years) treated with CS+RT with a median follow-up of 6.25 years were constructed into a tissue microarray. The array was stained for ER, PR, HER2, CK19, and p53. The molecular profiles were correlated with clinical-pathologic factors, overall, local, and distant relapse-free survival. The association between CK19, other co-variables, and outcome was assessed in a multivariate model. Results: Positive expression of ER, PR, HER-2/neu, CK19, and p53 were 33.1%, 34.5%, 10.0%, 79.5%, and 20.9%, respectively. With 20 local relapses and 38 distant metastases, the 10-year overall, breast relapse-free, and distant relapse-free survival were 79.65%, 87.29%, and 67.35%, respectively. Tumor stage and nodal status were associated with distant relapse-free and overall survival. In multivariate analysis, CK19 negativity was a predictor poor local (RR, 3.54; 95% CI, 1.87-7.65; p < 0.01) distant (RR, 1.44; 95% CI, 0.86-2.70; p = 0.17), and overall survival (RR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.04-3.55; p = 0.03). Conclusions: Lack of CK19 expression identifies a subset of patients with a significantly higher risk of local relapse. Distant relapse and overall survival rates also correlated with CK19 negativity. Further evaluation of the prognostic significance of basal and luminal cytokeratins in young women with breast cancer is warranted

  10. Cognitive behavioral therapy for suicidal behaviors: improving patient outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mewton L


    Full Text Available Louise Mewton,1 Gavin Andrews2 1National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, 2Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia Abstract: This systematic review provides an overview of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT in reducing suicidal cognitions and behavior in the adult population. We identified 15 randomized controlled trials of CBT for adults (aged 18 years and older that included suicide-related cognitions or behaviors as an outcome measure. The studies were identified from PsycINFO searches, reference lists, and a publicly available database of psychosocial interventions for suicidal behaviors. This review identified some evidence of the use of CBT in the reduction of both suicidal cognitions and behaviors. There was not enough evidence from clinical trials to suggest that CBT focusing on mental illness reduces suicidal cognitions and behaviors. On the other hand, CBT focusing on suicidal cognitions and behaviors was found to be effective. Given the current evidence, clinicians should be trained in CBT techniques focusing on suicidal cognitions and behaviors that are independent of the treatment of mental illness. Keywords: suicidal behaviors, suicidal cognitions, CBT

  11. The Pediatrix BabySteps® Data Warehouse--a unique national resource for improving outcomes for neonates. (United States)

    Spitzer, Alan R; Ellsbury, Dan; Clark, Reese H


    The Pediatrix Medical Group Clinical Data Warehouse represents a unique electronic data capture system for the assessment of outcomes, the management of quality improvement (CQI) initiatives, and the resolution of important research questions in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This system is described in detail and the manner in which the Data Warehouse has been used to measure and improve patient outcomes through CQI projects and research is outlined. The Pediatrix Data Warehouse now contains more than 1 million patients, serving as an exceptional tool for evaluating NICU care. Examples are provided of how significant outcome improvement has been achieved and several papers are cited that have used the "Big Data" contained in the Data Warehouse for novel observations that could not be made otherwise.

  12. There Is a Significant Discrepancy Between "Big Data" Database and Original Research Publications on Hip Arthroscopy Outcomes: A Systematic Review. (United States)

    Sochacki, Kyle R; Jack, Robert A; Safran, Marc R; Nho, Shane J; Harris, Joshua D


    The purpose of this study was to compare (1) major complication, (2) revision, and (3) conversion to arthroplasty rates following hip arthroscopy between database studies and original research peer-reviewed publications. A systematic review was performed using PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, SCOPUS, SportDiscus, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for studies that investigated major complication (dislocation, femoral neck fracture, avascular necrosis, fluid extravasation, septic arthritis, death), revision, and hip arthroplasty conversion rates following hip arthroscopy. Major complication, revision, and conversion to hip arthroplasty rates were compared between original research (single- or multicenter therapeutic studies) and database (insurance database using ICD-9/10 and/or current procedural terminology coding terminology) publishing studies. Two hundred seven studies (201 original research publications [15,780 subjects; 54% female] and 6 database studies [20,825 subjects; 60% female]) were analyzed (mean age, 38.2 ± 11.6 years old; mean follow-up, 2.7 ± 2.9 years). The database studies had a significantly higher age (40.6 + 2.8 vs 35.4 ± 11.6), body mass index (27.4 ± 5.6 vs 24.9 ± 3.1), percentage of females (60.1% vs 53.8%), and longer follow-up (3.1 ± 1.6 vs 2.7 ± 3.0) compared with original research (P database studies (P = .029; relative risk [RR], 1.3). There was a significantly higher rate of femoral neck fracture (0.24% vs 0.03%; P database studies. Reoperations occurred at a significantly higher rate in the database studies (11.1% vs 7.3%; P database studies (8.0% vs 3.7%; P Database studies report significantly increased major complication, revision, and conversion to hip arthroplasty rates compared with original research investigations of hip arthroscopy outcomes. Level IV, systematic review of Level I-IV studies. Copyright © 2018 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights

  13. CeasIng Cpap At standarD criteriA (CICADA): Implementation improves neonatal outcomes. (United States)

    Heath Jeffery, Rachael C; Broom, Margaret; Shadbolt, Bruce; Todd, David A


    A previous randomised controlled trial (RCT) in babies born CPAP) with a view to remain off rather than slow weaning) significantly reduced CPAP time. Post-RCT we introduced the CICADA method and evaluated whether the improved outcomes of the CICADA method during the RCT were replicated in clinical practice. The aim of the study is to compare cardio-respiratory outcomes in PBs CPAP days and corrected GA to cease CPAP post implementation (20.5 ± 2.1, 21.1 ± 2.1, 16.5 ± 1.8 (days ± SE); P = 0.006 and 33.3 ± 0.4, 33.5 ± 0.4, 32.6 ± 0.4 (weeks ± SE); P = 0.01). Compared with the pre RCT epoch, there were significant reductions in patent ductus arteriosus (36/78 (46%), 33/87 (37%), 18/103 (17%); P CPAP time, corrected GA to cease CPAP, patent ductus arteriosus and chronic lung disease significantly reduced following the introduction of the CICADA method. Early cessation of CPAP expedites the transition from neonatal intensive care to special care. © 2016 The Author. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2016 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

  14. Involving patient research partners has a significant impact on outcomes research: a responsive evaluation of the international OMERACT conferences.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Wit, M.P.T.; Abma, T.A.; Koelewijn-van Loon, M.S.; Collins, S.; Kirwan, J


    Objective: To assess the inclusion of patients as international research partners in Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) conferences and how this has influenced the scope and conduct of outcomes research in rheumatology. Design: A thematic content analysis of OMERACT internal documents,

  15. Improving Educational Outcomes for Children in Foster Care (United States)

    Watson, Christina; Kabler, Brenda


    Recent statistics estimate that there are 783,000 children living in foster care in the United States. This vulnerable population is at risk for academic failure as well as internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems. Compared to their peers, foster youth face significant educational difficulties, including lower levels of academic…

  16. Resilience, Bullying, and Mental Health: Factors Associated with Improved Outcomes (United States)

    Moore, Brian; Woodcock, Stuart


    Resilience is associated with bouncing back from adversity, and the term currently enjoys significant popular appeal. However, understanding of resilience is often superficial. The current paper examined 105 primary and high school students' experiences of resilience and bullying, and considered resilience as a hierarchical factorial model. The…

  17. Why Do Long-Distance Travelers Have Improved Pancreatectomy Outcomes? (United States)

    Jindal, Manila; Zheng, Chaoyi; Quadri, Humair S; Ihemelandu, Chukwuemeka U; Hong, Young K; Smith, Andrew K; Dudeja, Vikas; Shara, Nawar M; Johnson, Lynt B; Al-Refaie, Waddah B


    Centralization of complex surgical care has led patients to travel longer distances. Emerging evidence suggested a negative association between increased travel distance and mortality after pancreatectomy. However, the reason for this association remains largely unknown. We sought to unravel the relationships among travel distance, receiving pancreatectomy at high-volume hospitals, delayed surgery, and operative outcomes. We identified 44,476 patients who underwent pancreatectomy for neoplasms between 2004 and 2013 at the reporting facility from the National Cancer Database. Multivariable analyses were performed to examine the independent relationships between increments in travel distance mortality (30-day and long-term survival) after adjusting for patient demographics, comorbidity, cancer stage, and time trend. We then examined how additional adjustment of procedure volume affected this relationship overall and among rural patients. Median travel distance to undergo pancreatectomy increased from 16.5 to 18.7 miles (p for trend pancreatectomy, it was also related to higher odds of receiving pancreatectomy at a high-volume hospital and lower postoperative mortality. In multivariable analysis, difference in mortality among patients with varying travel distance was attenuated by adjustment for procedure volume. However, longest travel distance was still associated with a 77% lower 30-day mortality rate than shortest travel among rural patients, even when accounting for procedure volume. Our large national study found that the beneficial effect of longer travel distance on mortality after pancreatectomy is mainly attributable to increase in procedure volume. However, it can have additional benefits on rural patients that are not explained by volume. Distance can represent a surrogate for rural populations. Copyright © 2017 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Improvement of perinatal outcome in diabetic pregnant women. (United States)

    Szilagyi, A; Szabo, I


    Obstetrical and perinatal outcomes in newborns of diabetic pregnant women depend on metabolic control and fetal surveillance during pregnancy. The effects of fetal surveillance on perinatal mortality and morbidity was analyzed in diabetic pregnant women with appropriate glucose control in our regional center for diabetes and pregnancy. 480 deliveries complicated by frank or gestational diabetes occurred in our Department in the period of 1988-1999. Perinatal mortality and morbidity, prevalence of premature deliveries, methods of fetal surveillance, options for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) profilaxis, cesarean section rate, timing of delivery and its indications and occurrence of malformations have been analyzed. It was found that malformation rate and perinatal mortality may be reduced to even lower level than that of in healthy pregnant women by appropriate glucose control and by using the latest methods of intrauterine fetal surveillance including cardiotocography (non stress test and oxytocin challenge test), doppler fetal artery velocimetry and fetal pulse oximetry. Timing of delivery was needed in 35% of the cases with IDDM and 15% of gestational diabetes due to chronic placental insufficiency. If labour induction was needed before the 38 weeks, amniocentesis was performed to test fetal lung maturity. Direct fetal glucocorticoid administration was used to enhance fetal lung maturation in 14 cases. C-section rate was slightly higher than that of in non diabetic pregnant women. Our perinatal morbidity data (macrosomia, hyperbilirubinemia, hypoglycemia, injuries, infections) are comparable with the data from the literature. Although perinatal mortality with the help of thorough fetal surveillance is even better in diabetic pregnant women than in non diabetic patients, future eye should be focused on factors affecting perinatal morbidity, because it is still higher than in newborns of healthy mothers.

  19. Effective colonoscopy training techniques: strategies to improve patient outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Papanikolaou IS


    Full Text Available Ioannis S Papanikolaou,1 Pantelis S Karatzas,2 Lazaros T Varytimiadis,2 Athanasios Tsigaridas,2 Michail Galanopoulos,2 Nikos Viazis,2 Dimitrios G Karamanolis21Hepato-gastroenterology Unit, 2nd Department of Internal Medicine, Attikon University General Hospital, University of Athens, 2Gastroenterology Department, Evangelismos Hospital, Athens, GreeceAbstract: Colonoscopy has substantially evolved during the last 20 years and many different training techniques have been developed in order to improve the performance of endoscopists. The most known are mechanical simulators, virtual reality simulators, computer-simulating endoscopy, magnetic endoscopic imaging, and composite and explanted animal organ simulators. Current literature generally indicates that the use of simulators improves performance of endoscopists and enhances safety of patients, especially during the initial phase of training. Moreover, newer endoscopes and imaging techniques such as high-definition colonoscopes, chromocolonoscopy with dyes spraying, and third-eye retroscope have been incorporated in everyday practice, offering better visualization of the colon and detection of polyps. Despite the abundance of these different technological features, training devices are not widely used and no official guideline or specified training algorithm or technique for lower gastrointestinal endoscopy has been evolved. In this review, we present the most important training methods currently available and evaluate these using existing literature. We also try to propose a training algorithm for novice endoscopists.Keywords: endoscopy, colonoscopy, teaching techniques, simulator, endoscopists, colon, polyps

  20. Effective colonoscopy training techniques: strategies to improve patient outcomes. (United States)

    Papanikolaou, Ioannis S; Karatzas, Pantelis S; Varytimiadis, Lazaros T; Tsigaridas, Athanasios; Galanopoulos, Michail; Viazis, Nikos; Karamanolis, Dimitrios G


    Colonoscopy has substantially evolved during the last 20 years and many different training techniques have been developed in order to improve the performance of endoscopists. The most known are mechanical simulators, virtual reality simulators, computer-simulating endoscopy, magnetic endoscopic imaging, and composite and explanted animal organ simulators. Current literature generally indicates that the use of simulators improves performance of endoscopists and enhances safety of patients, especially during the initial phase of training. Moreover, newer endoscopes and imaging techniques such as high-definition colonoscopes, chromocolonoscopy with dyes spraying, and third-eye retroscope have been incorporated in everyday practice, offering better visualization of the colon and detection of polyps. Despite the abundance of these different technological features, training devices are not widely used and no official guideline or specified training algorithm or technique for lower gastrointestinal endoscopy has been evolved. In this review, we present the most important training methods currently available and evaluate these using existing literature. We also try to propose a training algorithm for novice endoscopists.

  1. How effective are interventions to improve social outcomes among offenders with personality disorder: a systematic review. (United States)

    Connell, Catriona; Furtado, Vivek; McKay, Elizabeth A; Singh, Swaran P


    Offenders with personality disorder are supported by health, criminal justice, social care and third sector services. These services are tasked with reducing risk, improving health and improving social outcomes. Research has been conducted into interventions that reduce risk or improve health. However, interventions to improve social outcomes are less clearly defined. To review the effectiveness of interventions to improve social outcomes we conducted a systematic review using Cochrane methodology, expanded to include non-randomised trials. Anticipated high heterogeneity of the studies informed narrative synthesis. Eleven studies met inclusion criteria. Five contained extractable data. No high-quality studies were identified. Outcomes measured clustered around employment and social functioning. Interventions vary and their mechanisms for influencing social outcomes are poorly operationalised. Although change was observed in employment rates, there was no evidence for the effectiveness of these interventions. There is a lack of evidence for effective interventions that improve social outcomes. Further research is recommended to reach consensus on the outcomes of importance, identify the factors that influence these and design theoretically-informed and evidence-based interventions.

  2. Intraoperative Sensorcaine significantly improves postoperative pain management in outpatient reduction mammaplasty. (United States)

    Culliford, Alfred T; Spector, Jason A; Flores, Roberto L; Louie, Otway; Choi, Mihye; Karp, Nolan S


    Breast reduction is one of the most frequently performed plastic surgical procedures in the United States; more than 160,500 patients underwent the procedure in 2005. Many outpatient reduction mammaplasty patients report the greatest postoperative discomfort in the first 48 hours. The authors' investigated the effect of intraoperative topical application of the long-acting local anesthetic agent bupivacaine (Sensorcaine or Marcaine) on postoperative pain, time to postanesthesia care unit discharge, and postoperative use of narcotic medication. In a prospective, randomized, single-blind trial, intraoperative use of Sensorcaine versus placebo (normal saline) was compared. Postoperative pain was quantified using the visual analogue scale, and time to discharge from the postanesthesia care unit was recorded. Patients documented their outpatient pain medication usage. Of the 37 patients enrolled in the study, 20 were treated with intraoperative topical Sensorcaine and 17 received placebo. Patients treated with Sensorcaine were discharged home significantly faster (2.9 hours versus 3.8 hours, p = 0.002). The control arm consistently had higher pain scores in the postanesthesia care unit (although not statistically significant) than the Sensorcaine group using the visual analogue scale system. Furthermore, patients receiving Sensorcaine required significantly less narcotic medication while recovering at home (mean, 3.5 tablets of Vicodin) than the control group (mean, 6.4 tablets; p = 0.001). There were no complications resulting from Sensorcaine usage. This prospective, randomized, single-blind study demonstrates that a single dose of intraoperative Sensorcaine provides a safe, inexpensive, and efficacious way to significantly shorten the length of postanesthesia care unit stay and significantly decrease postoperative opioid analgesic use in patients undergoing ambulatory reduction mammaplasty.

  3. Significant Improvements in Pyranometer Nighttime Offsets Using High-Flow DC Ventilation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kutchenreiter, Mark; Michalski, J.J.; Long, C.N.; Habte, Aron


    Accurate solar radiation measurements using pyranometers are required to understand radiative impacts on the Earth's energy budget, solar energy production, and to validate radiative transfer models. Ventilators of pyranometers, which are used to keep the domes clean and dry, also affect instrument thermal offset accuracy. This poster presents a high-level overview of the ventilators for single-black-detector pyranometers and black-and-white pyranometers. For single-black-detector pyranometers with ventilators, high-flow-rate (50-CFM and higher), 12-V DC fans lower the offsets, lower the scatter, and improve the predictability of nighttime offsets compared to lower-flow-rate (35-CFM), 120-V AC fans operated in the same type of environmental setup. Black-and-white pyranometers, which are used to measure diffuse horizontal irradiance, sometimes show minor improvement with DC fan ventilation, but their offsets are always small, usually no more than 1 W/m2, whether AC- or DC-ventilated.

  4. Nitrite addition to acidified sludge significantly improves digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction (United States)

    Du, Fangzhou; Keller, Jürg; Yuan, Zhiguo; Batstone, Damien J.; Freguia, Stefano; Pikaar, Ilje


    Sludge management is a major issue for water utilities globally. Poor digestibility and dewaterability are the main factors determining the cost for sludge management, whereas pathogen and toxic metal concentrations limit beneficial reuse. In this study, the effects of low level nitrite addition to acidified sludge to simultaneously enhance digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction were investigated. Waste activated sludge (WAS) from a full-scale waste water treatment plant was treated at pH 2 with 10 mg NO2--N/L for 5 h. Biochemical methane potential tests showed an increase in the methane production of 28%, corresponding to an improvement from 247 ± 8 L CH4/kg VS to 317 ± 1 L CH4/kg VS. The enhanced removal of toxic metals further increased the methane production by another 18% to 360 ± 6 L CH4/kg VS (a total increase of 46%). The solids content of dewatered sludge increased from 14.6 ± 1.4% in the control to 18.2 ± 0.8%. A 4-log reduction for both total coliforms and E. coli was achieved. Overall, this study highlights the potential of acidification with low level nitrite addition as an effective and simple method achieving multiple improvements in terms of sludge management.

  5. Efficiency improvement of nuclear power plant operation: the significant role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Velde Van de, A.; Burtak, F.


    Due to the increased liberalisation of the power markets, nuclear power generation is being exposed to high cost reduction pressure. In this paper we highlight the role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies to reduce the fuel cycle costs and therefore increase the efficiency of nuclear power plant operation. The key factor is a more efficient utilisation of the fuel and present developments at Siemens are consequently directed at (i) further increase of batch average burnup, (ii) improvement of fuel reliability, (iii) enlargement of fuel operation margins and (iv) improvement of methods for fuel design and core analysis. As a result, the nuclear fuel cycle costs for a typical LWR have been reduced during the past decades by about US$ 35 million per year. The estimated impact of further burnup increases on the fuel cycle costs is expected to be an additional saving of US$10 - 15 million per year. Due to the fact that the fuel will operate closer to design limits, a careful approach is required when introducing advanced fuel features in reload quantities. Trust and co-operation between the fuel vendors and the utilities is a prerequisite for the common success. (authors)

  6. Significant improvement of mouse cloning technique by treatment with trichostatin A after somatic nuclear transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kishigami, Satoshi; Mizutani, Eiji; Ohta, Hiroshi; Hikichi, Takafusa; Thuan, Nguyen Van; Wakayama, Sayaka; Bui, Hong-Thuy; Wakayama, Teruhiko


    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is believed to be associated with epigenetic errors including abnormal DNA hypermethylation. Recently, we elucidated by using round spermatids that, after nuclear transfer, treatment of zygotes with trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, can remarkably reduce abnormal DNA hypermethylation depending on the origins of transferred nuclei and their genomic regions [S. Kishigami, N. Van Thuan, T. Hikichi, H. Ohta, S. Wakayama. E. Mizutani, T. Wakayama, Epigenetic abnormalities of the mouse paternal zygotic genome associated with microinsemination of round spermatids, Dev. Biol. (2005) in press]. Here, we found that 5-50 nM TSA-treatment for 10 h following oocyte activation resulted in more efficient in vitro development of somatic cloned embryos to the blastocyst stage from 2- to 5-fold depending on the donor cells including tail tip cells, spleen cells, neural stem cells, and cumulus cells. This TSA-treatment also led to more than 5-fold increase in success rate of mouse cloning from cumulus cells without obvious abnormality but failed to improve ES cloning success. Further, we succeeded in establishment of nuclear transfer-embryonic stem (NT-ES) cells from TSA-treated cloned blastocyst at a rate three times higher than those from untreated cloned blastocysts. Thus, our data indicate that TSA-treatment after SCNT in mice can dramatically improve the practical application of current cloning techniques

  7. Tamsulosin therapy improved the outcome of ureterorenoscopy for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A.S. Abdelaziz


    Nov 19, 2016 ... time was significantly shorter in study group than in control group (52.0 ± 14.9 min vs. 71.0 ± 17.3 min; ... procedure or who experience complications may be complex [2,3]. Substantial ... done by balloon dilation systems, which were introduced into the ureter over a ..... tance of a guide wire. Thus, the ...

  8. Improvements in 5-year outcomes of stage II/III rectal cancer relative to colon cancer. (United States)

    Renouf, Daniel J; Woods, Ryan; Speers, Caroline; Hay, John; Phang, P Terry; Fitzgerald, Catherine; Kennecke, Hagen


    Stage for stage, rectal cancer has historically been associated with inferior survival compared with colon cancer. Randomized trials of rectal cancer have generally demonstrated improvements in locoregional relapse but not survival. We compared therapy and outcomes of colon versus rectal cancer in 2 time cohorts to determine if relative improvements have occurred. Patients with resected stage II/III colorectal cancer referred to the British Columbia Cancer Agency in 1989/1990 and 2001/2002 were identified. The higher of clinical or pathologic stage was used for patients receiving preoperative chemoradiation. Disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival (OS) were compared for rectal and colon cancer between the 2 cohorts. Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis. A total of 1427 patients were included, with 375 from 1989/1990 and 1052 from 2001/2002. Between 1989/1990 and 2001/2002 there were significant increases in the use of perioperative chemotherapy for both rectal and colon cancer (Prectal cancer. DSS significantly improved for rectal (Pcolon cancer (P=0.069). Five-year OS was significantly inferior for rectal versus colon cancer in 1989/1990 (46.1% vs. 57.2%, P=0.023) and was similar to that of colon cancer in 2001/2002 (63.7% vs. 66.2%, P=0.454). Advances in locoregional and systemic therapy significantly improved survival among patients with rectal cancer. DSS and OS are now similar between colon and rectal cancer for both stage II and III disease.

  9. Improved clinical documentation leads to superior reportable outcomes: An accurate representation of patient's clinical status. (United States)

    Elkbuli, Adel; Godelman, Steven; Miller, Ashley; Boneva, Dessy; Bernal, Eileen; Hai, Shaikh; McKenney, Mark


    Clinical documentation can be an underappreciated. Trauma Centers (TCs) are now routinely evaluated for quality performance. TCs with poor documentation may not accurately reflect actual injury burden or comorbidities and can impact accuracy of mortality measures. Markers exist to adjust crude death rates for injury severity: observed over expected deaths (O/E) adjust for injury; Case Mix Index (CMI) reflects disease burden, and Severity of Illness (SOI) measures organ dysfunction. We aim to evaluate the impact of implementing a Clinical Documentation Improvement Program (CDIP) on reported outcomes. Review of 2-years of prospectively collected data for trauma patients, during the implementation of CDIP. A two-group prospective observational study design was used to evaluate the pre-implementation and the post-implementation phase of improved clinical documentation. T-test and Chi-Squared were used with significance defined as p deaths out of 1419 (3.45%), while post-implementation period, had 38 deaths out of 1454 (2.61%), (non-significant). There was however, a significant difference between O/E ratios. In the pre-phase, the O/E was 1.36 and 0.70 in the post-phase (p < 0.001). The two groups also differed on CMI with a pre-group mean of 2.48 and a post-group of 2.87 (p < 0.001), indicating higher injury burden in the post-group. SOI started at 2.12 and significantly increased to 2.91, signifying more organ system dysfunction (p < 0.018). Improved clinical documentation results in improved accuracy of measures of mortality, injury severity, and comorbidities and a more accurate reflection in O/E mortality ratios, CMI, and SOI. Copyright © 2018 IJS Publishing Group Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis to improve pregnancy outcomes in subfertility. (United States)

    Simpson, Joe Leigh


    Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis provides prenatal genetic diagnosis before implantation, thus allowing detection of chromosomal abnormalities and their exclusion from embryo transfer in assisted reproductive technologies. Polar body, blastomere or trophectoderm can each be used to obtain requisite genetic or embryonic DNA. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis for excluding unbalanced translocations is well accepted, and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis aneuploidy testing to avoid repeated pregnancy losses in couples having recurrent aneuploidy is efficacious in reducing miscarriages. Controversy remains about whether pre-implantation genetic diagnosis aneuploidy testing improves take home pregnancy rates, for which reason adherence to specific indications is recommended while the issue is being adjudicated. Current recommendations are for obligatory 24 chromosome testing, most readily using array comparative genome hybridisation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Assessment and support during early labour for improving birth outcomes. (United States)

    Kobayashi, Shinobu; Hanada, Nobutsugu; Matsuzaki, Masayo; Takehara, Kenji; Ota, Erika; Sasaki, Hatoko; Nagata, Chie; Mori, Rintaro


    The progress of labour in the early or latent phase is usually slow and may include painful uterine contractions. Women may feel distressed and lose their confidence during this phase. Support and assessment interventions have been assessed in two previous Cochrane Reviews. This review updates and replaces these two reviews, which have become out of date. To investigate the effectiveness of assessment and support interventions for women during early labour.In order to measure the effectiveness of the interventions, we compared the duration of labour, the rate of obstetrical interventions, and the rate of other maternal or neonatal outcomes. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register,, the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (31 October 2016) and reference lists of retrieved studies. Randomised controlled trials of any assessment or support intervention in the latent phase of labour. We planned to include cluster-randomised trials if they were eligible. We did not include quasi-randomised trials. Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and risk of bias, extracted data and checked them for accuracy. We resolved any disagreement by discussion or by involving a third assessor. The quality of the evidence was assessed using the GRADE approach. We included five trials with a total of 10,421 pregnant women in this review update. The trials were conducted in the UK, Canada and America. The trials compared interventions in early labour versus usual care. We examined three comparisons: early labour assessment versus immediate admission to hospital; home visits by midwives versus usual care (telephone triage); and one-to-one structured midwifery care versus usual care. These trials were at moderate- risk of bias mainly because blinding women and staff to these interventions is not generally feasible. For important outcomes we assessed evidence using

  12. A strategy to reduce cross-cultural miscommunication and increase the likelihood of improving health outcomes. (United States)

    Kagawa-Singer, Marjorie; Kassim-Lakha, Shaheen


    Encounters between physicians and patients from different cultural backgrounds are becoming commonplace. Physicians strive to improve health outcomes and increase quality of life for every patient, yet these discordant encounters appear to be a significant factor, beyond socioeconomic barriers, in creating the unequal and avoidable excess burden of disease borne by members of ethnic minority populations in the United States. Most clinicians lack the information to understand how culture influences the clinical encounter and the skills to effectively bridge potential differences. New strategies are required to expand medical training to adequately address culturally discordant encounters among the physicians, their patients, and the families, for all three may have different concepts regarding the nature of the disease, expectations about treatment, and modes of appropriate communication beyond language. The authors provide an anthropological perspective of the fundamental relationship between culture and health, and outline systemic changes needed within the social and legal structures of the health care system to reduce the risk of cross-cultural miscommunication and increase the likelihood of improving health outcomes for all populations within the multicultural U.S. society. The authors define the strengths inherent within every culture, provide a guideline for the clinician to evaluate disease and illness within its cultural context, and outline the clinical skills required to negotiate among potential differences to reach mutually desired goals for care. Last, they indicate the structural changes required in the health care setting to enable and support such practice.

  13. The Improvement of Screening the Significant Factors of Oil Blends as Bio lubricant Base Stock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noor Hajarul Ashikin Shamsuddin; Rozaini Abdullah; Zainab Hamzah; Siti Jamilah Hanim Mohd Yusof


    A new formulation bio lubricant base stock was developed by blending of waste cooking oil (WCO) with Jatropha curcas oil (JCO). The objective of this research is to evaluate significant factors contributing to the production of oil blends for bio lubricant application. The significant factors used in this study were oil ratio (WCO:JCO), agitation times (min) and agitation speed (rpm). The blended oil bio based lubricant was used to determine the saponification, acid, peroxide and iodine values. The experimental design used in this study was the 2 level-factorial design. In this experiment, it was found that the effect of oil ratio and interaction of oil ratio and agitation speed gave the most significant effect in oil blends as bio lubricant base stock. The highest ratio of oil blend 80 %:20 % WCO:JCO, with low agitation speed of 300 rpm and low agitation time of 30 minutes gave the optimum results. The acid, saponification, peroxide and iodine values obtained were 0.517±0.08 mg KOH/ g, 126.23±1.62 mg/ g, 7.5±2.0 m eq/ kg and 50.42±2.85 mg/ g respectively. A higher ratio of waste cooking oil blends was found to be favourable as bio lubricant base stock. (author)

  14. EASE-Grid 2.0: Incremental but Significant Improvements for Earth-Gridded Data Sets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew H. Savoie


    Full Text Available Defined in the early 1990s for use with gridded satellite passive microwave data, the Equal-Area Scalable Earth Grid (EASE-Grid was quickly adopted and used for distribution of a variety of satellite and in situ data sets. Conceptually easy to understand, EASE-Grid suffers from limitations that make it impossible to format in the widely popular GeoTIFF convention without reprojection. Importing EASE-Grid data into standard mapping software packages is nontrivial and error-prone. This article defines a standard for an improved EASE-Grid 2.0 definition, addressing how the changes rectify issues with the original grid definition. Data distributed using the EASE-Grid 2.0 standard will be easier for users to import into standard software packages and will minimize common reprojection errors that users had encountered with the original EASE-Grid definition.

  15. Acute decompensated heart failure: new strategies for improving outcomes [digest]. (United States)

    Singer Fisher, Emily; Burns, Boyd; Kim, Jeremy


    Acute decompensated heart failure is a common emergency department presentation with significant associated morbidity and mortality. Heart failure accounts for more than 1 million hospitalizations annually, with a steadily increasing incidence as our population ages. This issue reviews recent literature regarding appropriate management of emergency department presentations of acute decompensated heart failure, with special attention to newer medication options. Emergency department management and appropriate interventions are discussed, along with critical decision-making points in resuscitation for both hypertensive and hypotensive patients. [Points & Pearls is a digest of Emergency Medicine Practice].

  16. Customized Care: An intervention to Improve Communication and health outcomes in multimorbidity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marsha N. Wittink


    Conclusions: With better communication about everyday challenges, patients and PCPs can have more informed discussions about health care options that positively influence patient outcomes. We expect that Customized Care will improve patient-PCP communication about day-to-day challenges, which can lead to better health outcomes.

  17. A patient/family-centered strategic plan can drive significant improvement. (United States)

    Brilli, Richard J; Crandall, Wallace V; Berry, Janet C; Stoverock, Linda; Rosen, Kerry; Budin, Lee; Kelleher, Kelly J; Gleeson, Sean P; Davis, J Terrance


    The use of a PFCSP, as a road map to operationalize the hospital's vision, has been a compelling paradigm to achieve significant QI results. The framework is simple yet directly aligns with the IOM domains of quality. It has inspired and helped actively engage hospital personnel in the work required to achieve the goals and vision of the hospital system. Five years after initiating this type of plan, activity is flourishing in each of the domains and midterm results are substantial. We think that the nature of this strategic plan has been an important aspect of our success to date.

  18. High-risk bladder cancer: improving outcomes with perioperative chemotherapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Y.C. Heng


    Full Text Available Despite treatment with radical cystectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection, muscle invasive bladder cancer has a relapse rate of 50%. Patients can develop regionally advanced or metastatic disease that ultimately leads to death. The addition of neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy to reduce the risk of relapse and death has been extensively studied over the past two decades. Two contemporary trials coupled with a recent meta-analysis evaluating neoadjuvant chemotherapy demonstrated a modest but real improvement in overall survival. This has made neoadjuvant chemotherapy a standard of care. Clinical trials evaluating adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with high-risk disease have been plagued with statistical flaws and have, therefore, been unable to define the survival impact of this approach. It is hoped that ongoing adjuvant trials that are powered to detect small but meaningful clinical differences will clarify the benefit of chemotherapy after cystectomy. Since there are theoretical advantages and disadvantages to each of these approaches, both are widely used in North America. The evidence behind each approach and potential future developments in this field will be described.

  19. An integrated PRA module for fast determination of risk significance and improvement effectiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chao, Chun-Chang; Lin, Jyh-Der


    With the widely use of PRA technology in risk-informed applications, to predict the changes of CDF and LERF becomes a standard process for risk-informed applications. This paper describes an integrated PRA module prepared for risk-informed applications. The module contains a super risk engine, a super fault tree engine, an advanced PRA model and a tool for data base maintenance. The individual element of the module also works well for purpose other than risk-informed applications. The module has been verified and validated through a series of scrupulous benchmark tests with similar software. The results of the benchmark tests showed that the module has remarkable accuracy and speed even for an extremely large-size top-logic fault tree as well as for the case in which large amount of MCSs may be generated. The risk monitor for nuclear power plants in Taiwan is the first application to adopt the module. The results predicted by the risk monitor are now accepted by the regulatory agency. A tool to determine the risk significance according to the inspection findings will be the next application to adopt the module in the near future. This tool classified the risk significance into four different color codes according to the level of increase on CDF. Experience of application showed that the flexibility, the accuracy and speed of the module make it useful in any risk-informed applications when risk indexes must be determined by resolving a PRA model. (author)

  20. Inulin significantly improves serum magnesium levels in proton pump inhibitor-induced hypomagnesaemia. (United States)

    Hess, M W; de Baaij, J H F; Broekman, M; Bisseling, T M; Haarhuis, B; Tan, A; Te Morsche, R; Hoenderop, J G J; Bindels, R J M; Drenth, J P H


    Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are among the most widely prescribed drugs to treat gastric acid-related disorders. PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia, a defect in intestinal absorption of Mg(2+) , can be a severe side effect of chronic PPI use. To restore serum Mg(2+) concentrations in PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia patients by dietary supplementation with inulin fibres. Eleven patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia and 10 controls were treated with inulin (20 g/day). Each trial consisted of two cycles of 14-day inulin treatment followed by a washout period of 14 days. Patients continued to use their PPI. Serum Mg(2+) levels served as the primary endpoint. Inulin significantly enhanced serum Mg(2+) levels from 0.60 to 0.68 mmol/L in PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia patients, and from 0.84 to 0.93 mmol/L in controls. As a consequence 24 h urinary Mg(2+) excretion was significantly increased in patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia (0.3-2.2 mmol/day). Symptoms related to hypomagnesaemia, including muscle cramps and paraesthesia, were reduced during intervention with inulin. Inulin increases serum Mg(2+) concentrations under PPI maintenance in patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Improving Outcomes for Esophageal Cancer using Proton Beam Therapy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chuong, Michael D. [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Hallemeier, Christopher L. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (United States); Jabbour, Salma K. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey (United States); Yu, Jen; Badiyan, Shahed [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Merrell, Kenneth W. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (United States); Mishra, Mark V. [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Li, Heng [Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas (United States); Verma, Vivek [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska (United States); Lin, Steven H., E-mail: [Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas (United States)


    Radiation therapy (RT) plays an essential role in the management of esophageal cancer. Because the esophagus is a centrally located thoracic structure there is a need to balance the delivery of appropriately high dose to the target while minimizing dose to nearby critical structures. Radiation dose received by these critical structures, especially the heart and lungs, may lead to clinically significant toxicities, including pneumonitis, pericarditis, and myocardial infarction. Although technological advancements in photon RT delivery like intensity modulated RT have decreased the risk of such toxicities, a growing body of evidence indicates that further risk reductions are achieved with proton beam therapy (PBT). Herein we review the published dosimetric and clinical PBT literature for esophageal cancer, including motion management considerations, the potential for reirradiation, radiation dose escalation, and ongoing esophageal PBT clinical trials. We also consider the potential cost-effectiveness of PBT relative to photon RT.

  2. Progressive degradation of alloy 690 and the development of a significant improvement in alloy 800CR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staehle, Roger W.; Arioka, Koji; Tapping, Robert


    The present most widely used alloys for tubing in steam generators and structural materials in water cooled reactors are Alloy 690 and Alloy 800. However, both alloys, while improved over Alloy 600 may not meet the needs of longer range applications in the range of 80-100 years. Alloy 690 sustains damage resulting from the formation of cavities at grain boundaries which eventually cover about 50% of the area of the grain boundaries with the remainder covering being covered with carbides. The cavities seem to nucleate on the carbides leaving the grain boundaries a structure of cavities and carbides. Such a structure will lead the Alloy 690 to fail completely. Normal Alloy 800 does not produce such cavities and probably retains a large amount of its corrosion resistance but does sustain progressive SCC at low rate. A new alloy, 800CR, has been developed in a collaboration among Arioka, Tapping, and Staehle. This alloy is based on a Cr composition of 23.5-27% with the remainder retaining the previous Alloy 800 composition. 800CR sustains a crack velocity about 100 times less than Alloy 690 and a negligible rate of initiation. The 800CR, alloy is now seeking a patent. (authors)

  3. Significant improvements of electrical discharge machining performance by step-by-step updated adaptive control laws (United States)

    Zhou, Ming; Wu, Jianyang; Xu, Xiaoyi; Mu, Xin; Dou, Yunping


    In order to obtain improved electrical discharge machining (EDM) performance, we have dedicated more than a decade to correcting one essential EDM defect, the weak stability of the machining, by developing adaptive control systems. The instabilities of machining are mainly caused by complicated disturbances in discharging. To counteract the effects from the disturbances on machining, we theoretically developed three control laws from minimum variance (MV) control law to minimum variance and pole placements coupled (MVPPC) control law and then to a two-step-ahead prediction (TP) control law. Based on real-time estimation of EDM process model parameters and measured ratio of arcing pulses which is also called gap state, electrode discharging cycle was directly and adaptively tuned so that a stable machining could be achieved. To this end, we not only theoretically provide three proved control laws for a developed EDM adaptive control system, but also practically proved the TP control law to be the best in dealing with machining instability and machining efficiency though the MVPPC control law provided much better EDM performance than the MV control law. It was also shown that the TP control law also provided a burn free machining.

  4. Effects of a strategy to improve offender assessment practices: Staff perceptions of implementation outcomes. (United States)

    Welsh, Wayne N; Lin, Hsiu-Ju; Peters, Roger H; Stahler, Gerald J; Lehman, Wayne E K; Stein, Lynda A R; Monico, Laura; Eggers, Michele; Abdel-Salam, Sami; Pierce, Joshua C; Hunt, Elizabeth; Gallagher, Colleen; Frisman, Linda K


    This implementation study examined the impact of an organizational process improvement intervention (OPII) on a continuum of evidence based practices related to assessment and community reentry of drug-involved offenders: Measurement/Instrumentation, Case Plan Integration, Conveyance/Utility, and Service Activation/Delivery. To assess implementation outcomes (staff perceptions of evidence-based assessment practices), a survey was administered to correctional and treatment staff (n=1509) at 21 sites randomly assigned to an Early- or Delayed-Start condition. Hierarchical linear models with repeated measures were used to examine changes in evidence-based assessment practices over time, and organizational characteristics were examined as covariates to control for differences across the 21 research sites. Results demonstrated significant intervention and sustainability effects for three of the four assessment domains examined, although stronger effects were obtained for intra- than inter-agency outcomes. No significant effects were found for Conveyance/Utility. Implementation interventions such as the OPII represent an important tool to enhance the use of evidence-based assessment practices in large and diverse correctional systems. Intra-agency assessment activities that were more directly under the control of correctional agencies were implemented most effectively. Activities in domains that required cross-systems collaboration were not as successfully implemented, although longer follow-up periods might afford detection of stronger effects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Enhancing Lay Counselor Capacity to Improve Patient Outcomes with Multimedia Technology (United States)

    Robbins, Reuben N.; Mellins, Claude A.; Leu, Cheng-Shiun; Rowe, Jessica; Warne, Patricia; Abrams, Elaine J.; Witte, Susan; Stein, Dan J.; Remien, Robert H.


    Multimedia technologies offer powerful tools to increase capacity of health workers to deliver standardized, effective, and engaging antiretroviral medication adherence counseling. Masivukeni is an innovative multimedia-based, computer-driven, lay counselor-delivered intervention designed to help people living with HIV in resource-limited settings achieve optimal adherence. This pilot study examined medication adherence and key psychosocial outcomes among 55 non-adherent South African HIV+ patients, on ART for at least 6 months, who were randomized to receive either Masivukeni or standard of care (SOC) counseling for ART non-adherence. At baseline, there were no significant differences between the SOC and Masivukeni groups on any outcome variables. At post-intervention (approximately 5–6 weeks after baseline), clinic-based pill count adherence data available for 20 participants (10 per intervention arm) showed a 10% improvement for Masivukeni participants and a decrease of 8% for SOC participants. Masivukeni participants reported significantly more positive attitudes towards disclosure and medication social support, less social rejection, and better clinic-patient relationships than did SOC participants. Masivukeni shows promise to promote optimal adherence and provides preliminary evidence that multimedia, computer-based technology can help lay counselors offer better adherence counseling than standard approaches. PMID:25566763

  6. Enhancing Lay Counselor Capacity to Improve Patient Outcomes with Multimedia Technology. (United States)

    Robbins, Reuben N; Mellins, Claude A; Leu, Cheng-Shiun; Rowe, Jessica; Warne, Patricia; Abrams, Elaine J; Witte, Susan; Stein, Dan J; Remien, Robert H


    Multimedia technologies offer powerful tools to increase capacity of health workers to deliver standardized, effective, and engaging antiretroviral medication adherence counseling. Masivukeni-is an innovative multimedia-based, computer-driven, lay counselor-delivered intervention designed to help people living with HIV in resource-limited settings achieve optimal adherence. This pilot study examined medication adherence and key psychosocial outcomes among 55 non-adherent South African HIV+ patients, on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for at least 6 months, who were randomized to receive either Masivukeni or standard of care (SOC) counseling for ART non-adherence. At baseline, there were no significant differences between the SOC and Masivukeni groups on any outcome variables. At post-intervention (approximately 5-6 weeks after baseline), -clinic-based pill count adherence data available for 20 participants (10 per intervention arm) showed a 10 % improvement for-participants and a decrease of 8 % for SOC participants. Masivukeni participants reported significantly more positive attitudes towards disclosure and medication social support, less social rejection, and better clinic-patient relationships than did SOC participants. Masivukeni shows promise to promote optimal adherence and provides preliminary evidence that multimedia, computer-based technology can help lay counselors offer better adherence counseling than standard approaches.

  7. Concurrent chemoradiotherapy improves survival outcome in muscle-invasive bladder cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Byun, Sang Jun; Kim, Jin Hee; Oh, Young Kee; Kim, Byung Hoon


    To evaluate survival rates and prognostic factors related to treatment outcomes after bladder preserving therapy including transurethral resection of bladder tumor, radiotherapy (RT) with or without concurrent chemotherapy in bladder cancer with a curative intent. We retrospectively studied 50 bladder cancer patients treated with bladder-preserving therapy at Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center from January 1999 to December 2010. Age ranged from 46 to 89 years (median, 71.5 years). Bladder cancer was the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage II, III, and IV in 9, 27, and 14 patients, respectively. Thirty patients were treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) and 20 patients with RT alone. Nine patients received chemotherapy prior to CCRT or RT alone. Radiation was delivered with a four-field box technique (median, 63 Gy; range, 48.6 to 70.2 Gy). The follow-up periods ranged from 2 to 169 months (median, 34 months). Thirty patients (60%) showed complete response and 13 (26%) a partial response. All patients could have their own bladder preserved. Five-year overall survival (OS) rate was 37.2%, and the 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) rate was 30.2%. In multivariate analysis, tumor grade and CCRT were statistically significant in OS. Tumor grade was a significant prognostic factor related to OS. CCRT is also considered to improve survival outcomes. Further multi-institutional studies are needed to elucidate the impact of RT in bladder cancer

  8. Improving Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Children with Congenital Heart Disease: An Intervention Study (United States)


    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-16-1-0741 TITLE: Improving Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Children with Congenital Heart Disease: An Intervention Study...2017 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Improving Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Children with Congenital Heart Disease: An Intervention Study 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER...the most prevalent, and arguably the most distressing, long-term morbidity in the burgeoning population with congenital heart disease (CHD). Deficits

  9. Significant improvement of pig cloning efficiency by treatment with LBH589 after somatic cell nuclear transfer. (United States)

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Li, Suo; Gao, Qing-Shan; Hong, Yu; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Yan, Chang-Guo; Kang, Jin-Dan; Yin, Xi-Jun


    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) associates with epigenetic aberrancy, including the abnormal acetylation of histones. Altering the epigenetic status by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) enhances the developmental potential of SCNT embryos. In the current study, we examined the effects of LBH589 (panobinostat), a novel broad-spectrum HDACi, on the nuclear reprogramming and development of pig SCNT embryos in vitro. In experiment 1, we compared the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with different concentrations of LBH589. Embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for 24 hours showed a significant increase in the rate of blastocyst formation compared with the control or embryos treated with 5 or 500 nM LBH589 (32.4% vs. 11.8%, 12.1%, and 10.0%, respectively, P < 0.05). In experiment 2, we examined the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for various intervals after activation and 6-dimethylaminopurine. Embryos treated for 24 hours had higher rates of blastocyst formation than the other groups. In experiment 3, when the acetylation of H4K12 was examined in SCNT embryos treated for 6 hours with 50 nM LBH589 by immunohistochemistry, the staining intensities of these proteins in LBH589-treated SCNT embryos were significantly higher than in the control. In experiment 4, LBH589-treated nuclear transfer and control embryos were transferred into surrogate mothers, resulting in three (100%) and two (66.7%) pregnancies, respectively. In conclusion, LBH589 enhances the nuclear reprogramming and developmental potential of SCNT embryos by altering the epigenetic status and expression, and increasing blastocyst quality. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Improved Outcome Prediction Using CT Angiography in Addition to Standard Ischemic Stroke Assessment: Results from the STOPStroke Study (United States)

    González, R. Gilberto; Lev, Michael H.; Goldmacher, Gregory V.; Smith, Wade S.; Payabvash, Seyedmehdi; Harris, Gordon J.; Halpern, Elkan F.; Koroshetz, Walter J.; Camargo, Erica C. S.; Dillon, William P.; Furie, Karen L.


    Purpose To improve ischemic stroke outcome prediction using imaging information from a prospective cohort who received admission CT angiography (CTA). Methods In a prospectively designed study, 649 stroke patients diagnosed with acute ischemic stroke had admission NIH stroke scale scores, noncontrast CT (NCCT), CTA, and 6-month outcome assessed using the modified Rankin scale (mRS) scores. Poor outcome was defined as mRS>2. Strokes were classified as “major” by the (1) Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS+) if NCCT ASPECTS was≤7; (2) Boston Acute Stroke Imaging Scale (BASIS+) if they were ASPECTS+ or CTA showed occlusion of the distal internal carotid, proximal middle cerebral, or basilar arteries; and (3) NIHSS for scores>10. Results Of 649 patients, 253 (39.0%) had poor outcomes. NIHSS, BASIS, and age, but not ASPECTS, were independent predictors of outcome. BASIS and NIHSS had similar sensitivities, both superior to ASPECTS (p10/BASIS+ had poor outcomes, versus 21.5% (77/358) with NIHSS≤10/BASIS− (p10/BASIS+ compared to patients who are NIHSS≤10/BASIS−; the odds ratio is 5.4 (95% CI: 3.5 to 8.5) when compared to patients who are only NIHSS>10 or BASIS+. Conclusions BASIS and NIHSS are independent outcome predictors. Their combination is stronger than either instrument alone in predicting outcomes. The findings suggest that CTA is a significant clinical tool in routine acute stroke assessment. PMID:22276182

  11. Role of video games in improving health-related outcomes: a systematic review. (United States)

    Primack, Brian A; Carroll, Mary V; McNamara, Megan; Klem, Mary Lou; King, Brandy; Rich, Michael; Chan, Chun W; Nayak, Smita


    Video games represent a multibillion-dollar industry in the U.S. Although video gaming has been associated with many negative health consequences, it also may be useful for therapeutic purposes. The goal of this study was to determine whether video games may be useful in improving health outcomes. Literature searches were performed in February 2010 in six databases: the Center on Media and Child Health Database of Research, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Reference lists were hand-searched to identify additional studies. Only RCTs that tested the effect of video games on a positive, clinically relevant health consequence were included. Study selection criteria were strictly defined and applied by two researchers working independently. Study background information (e.g., location, funding source); sample data (e.g., number of study participants, demographics); intervention and control details; outcomes data; and quality measures were abstracted independently by two researchers. Of 1452 articles retrieved using the current search strategy, 38 met all criteria for inclusion. Eligible studies used video games to provide physical therapy, psychological therapy, improved disease self-management, health education, distraction from discomfort, increased physical activity, and skills training for clinicians. Among the 38 studies, a total of 195 health outcomes were examined. Video games improved 69% of psychological therapy outcomes, 59% of physical therapy outcomes, 50% of physical activity outcomes, 46% of clinician skills outcomes, 42% of health education outcomes, 42% of pain distraction outcomes, and 37% of disease self-management outcomes. Study quality was generally poor; for example, two thirds (66%) of studies had follow-up periods of video games to improve health outcomes, particularly in the areas of psychological therapy and physical therapy. RCTs with appropriate rigor will help build evidence in this

  12. Silver chlorobromide nanocubes with significantly improved uniformity: synthesis and assembly into photonic crystals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Zheng; Okasinski, John S.; Gosztola, David J.; Ren, Yang; Sun, Yugang


    Silver chlorobromide (AgClxBr1-x, 0 < x < 1) nanocubes with a highly uniform size, morphology, and crystallinity have been successfully synthesized through a co-precipitation of Ag+ ions with both Cl- and Br- ions in ethylene glycol containing polyvinyl pyrrolidone at mild temperatures. Compositions of the synthesized nanocubes can be easily tuned by controlling the molar ratio of Cl- to Br- ions in the reaction solutions. The size of the nanocubes is determined by varying a number of parameters including the molar ratio of Cl- to Br- ions, injection rate of Ag+ ions, and reaction temperature. The real-time formation of colloidal AgClxBr1-x nanocubes has been monitored, for the first time, by in situ highenergy synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The time-resolved results reveal that a fast injection rate of Ag+ ions is critical for the formation of AgClxBr1-x nanocubes with a highly pure face-centered cubic crystalline phase. The improved uniformity of the AgClxBr1-x nanocubes is beneficial for assembling them into order superlattices (e.g., photonic crystals) even by simply applying centrifugation forces. The stop band of the resulting photonic crystals can be easily tuned from the ultraviolet to the infrared region by using AgClxBr1-x nanocubes with different sizes. The variation of the dielectric constant of AgClxBr1-x associated with the change of the relative concentration of halide ions provides an additional knob to tune the optical properties of photonic crystals.

  13. Improving addictions treatment outcomes by empowering self and others. (United States)

    Wood, Thomas E; Englander-Golden, Paula; Golden, David E; Pillai, Vijayan K


    The present research tested the effectiveness of adding an interpersonal, interactive, experiential training programme to addictions treatment that enhances motivation, cognitive-behavioural coping skills, social support, and group cohesiveness. The research was conducted in a co-educational, long-term residential treatment facility for addictive disorders (alcohol and other substances, sexual addiction, eating disorders, compulsive shopping, and gambling) and concomitant psychiatric diagnoses. The added training is co-created by participants. They choose challenging situations important in their lives that are played out as 'movies' in which they play and experience all the parts. Motivation for change, skills to implement positive changes, self-efficacy, empathy, positive support, and group cohesiveness are rooted in their own experiences and the feedback they receive from others, as they behave in empowering and disempowering ways. The training resulted in significant increases in empowering communication, self-esteem and quality of group life in the treatment group and in the family. Many of these results have large effect sizes and are consistent with the findings from prior studies. The results obtained in this study suggest that Say It Straight training can be an effective addition to the treatment of addictions in residential treatment. Future research is needed to determine the long-term effects of this training on relapse.

  14. Segmenting a general practitioner market to improve recruitment outcomes. (United States)

    Hemphill, Elizabeth; Kulik, Carol T


    Recruitment is an ongoing challenge in the health industry with general practitioner (GP) shortages in many areas beyond rural and Indigenous communities. This paper suggests a marketing solution that identifies different segments of the GP market for recruitment strategy development. In February 2008, 96 GPs in Australia responded to a mail questionnaire (of which 85 questionnaires were useable). A total of 350 GPs were sent the questionnaire. Respondents considered small sets of attributes in the decision to accept a new job at a general practice and selected the most and least important attribute from each set. We identified latent class clusters (cohorts) of GPs from the most-least important data. Three cohorts were found in the GP market, distinguishing practitioners who emphasised job, family or practice attributes in their decision to join a practice. Few significant demographic differences exist between the cohorts. A segmented GP market suggests two alternative recruitment strategies. One option is for general practices to target members of a single cohort (family-, job-, or practice-focussed GPs). The other option is for general practices to diversify their recruitment strategies to target all three cohorts (family-, job- and practice-focussed GPs). A single brand (practice) can have multiple advertising strategies with each strategy involving advertising activities targeting a particular consumer segment.

  15. Nutritional screening for improving professional practice for patient outcomes in hospital and primary care settings. (United States)

    Omidvari, Amir-Houshang; Vali, Yasaman; Murray, Susan M; Wonderling, David; Rashidian, Arash


    Given the prevalence of under-nutrition and reports of inadequate nutritional management of patients in hospitals and the community, nutritional screening may play a role in reducing the risks of malnutrition. Screening programmes can invoke costs to health systems and patients. It is therefore important to assess the effectiveness of nutritional screening programmes. To examine the effectiveness of nutritional screening in improving quality of care (professional practice) and patient outcomes compared with usual care. We searched the following databases: CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library), MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL up to June 2012 to find relevant studies. Randomised controlled studies, controlled clinical trials, controlled before-after studies and interrupted time series studies assessing the effectiveness of nutritional screening were eligible for inclusion in the review. We considered process outcomes (for example patient identification, referral to dietitian) and patient outcomes (for example mortality, change in body mass index (BMI)). Participants were adult patients aged 16 years or over. We included studies conducted in different settings, including hospitals, out-patient clinics, primary care or long term care settings. We independently assessed the risk of bias and extracted data from the included studies. Meta-analysis was considered but was not conducted due to the discrepancies between the studies. The studies were heterogeneous in their design, setting, intervention and outcomes. We analysed the data using a narrative synthesis approach. After conducting initial searches and screening the titles and abstracts of the identified literature, 77 full text papers were retrieved and read. Ultimately three studies were included. Two controlled before-after studies were conducted in hospital settings (one in the UK and one in the Netherlands) and one cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted in a primary care setting (in the USA).The study conducted in

  16. The Strasbourg Large Refractor and Dome: Significant Improvements and Failed Attempts (United States)

    Heck, Andre


    Founded by the German Empire in the late 19th century, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory featured several novelties from the start. According to Mueller (1978), the separation of observing buildings from the study area and from the astronomers' residence was a revolution in observatory construction. The instruments were, as much as possible, isolated from the vibrations of the buildings themselves. "Gas flames" and water were used to reduce temperature effects. Thus the Large Dome (ca 11m diameter), housing the Large Refractor (ca 49cm, then the largest in Germany) and covered by zinc over wood, could be cooled down by water running from the top. Reports (including by the French who took over the observatory after World War I) are however somehow nonexistent on the effective usage and actual efficiency of such a system (which must have generated locally a significant amount of humidity). The paper will detail these technical attempts as well as the specificities of the instruments installed in that new observatory intended as a showcase of German astronomy.

  17. Sleep as a New Target for Improving Outcomes in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. (United States)

    Mermigkis, Charalampos; Bouloukaki, Izolde; Schiza, Sophia E


    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common type of interstitial pneumonia but remains a disease with a poor outcome. Two drugs, pirfenidone and nintedanib, have shown promising results at stalling disease progression; however, the interplay of sleep disruption or sleep disorders overall and in relation to medication effectiveness remains understudied. In the past, there was limited interest in the role of sleep in patients with IPF. Treating physicians tended to address only the daily disabling symptoms while disregarding the possible significant role of sleep alterations or coexisting sleep disorders. During the past few years, there has been more research related to sleep disturbances in patients with IPF and their possible role in sleep and overall life quality, disease progression, and outcome. In summary, sleep in patients with IPF is significantly impaired, with alterations in sleep architecture, changes in sleep breathing pattern, and decreases in oxygen saturation mainly during vulnerable rapid eye movement sleep. There also is evidence that OSA has an increased prevalence in these patients, playing an important role in the already worse sleep quality related to the disease itself. The focus of this review is not only to present current data related to sleep in patients with IPF but also to point out that therapy for sleep problems and OSA is likely to improve sleep and life quality as well as disease outcome. The main priority remains to increase awareness among treating physicians about early diagnosis of OSA in patients with IPF and to emphasize the need for intense future research, especially on the role of intermittent hypoxia superimposed on chronic hypoxia during sleep in patients with IPF. Copyright © 2017 American College of Chest Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Peer Coaches to Improve Diabetes Outcomes in Rural Alabama: A Cluster Randomized Trial. (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


    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 intervention effects varied over time. The analysis that included the 68% of participants followed up by 15 months showed only a significant increase in patient activation in the intervention group. The analysis that included all participants who eventually completed follow-up revealed that intervention arm participants had significant differences in changes in systolic BP (P = .047), BMI (P = .02), quality of life (P = .003), diabetes distress (P = .004), and patient activation (P = .03), but not in HbA1c (P = .14) or LDL-C (P = .97). Telephone-delivered peer coaching holds promise to improve health for individuals with diabetes living in under-resourced areas. © 2015

  19. Single-atom catalysts for CO2 electroreduction with significant activity and selectivity improvements. (United States)

    Back, Seoin; Lim, Juhyung; Kim, Na-Young; Kim, Yong-Hyun; Jung, Yousung


    A single-atom catalyst (SAC) has an electronic structure that is very different from its bulk counterparts, and has shown an unexpectedly high specific activity with a significant reduction in noble metal usage for CO oxidation, fuel cell and hydrogen evolution applications, although physical origins of such performance enhancements are still poorly understood. Herein, by means of density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we for the first time investigate the great potential of single atom catalysts for CO 2 electroreduction applications. In particular, we study a single transition metal atom anchored on defective graphene with single or double vacancies, denoted M@sv-Gr or M@dv-Gr, where M = Ag, Au, Co, Cu, Fe, Ir, Ni, Os, Pd, Pt, Rh or Ru, as a CO 2 reduction catalyst. Many SACs are indeed shown to be highly selective for the CO 2 reduction reaction over a competitive H 2 evolution reaction due to favorable adsorption of carboxyl (*COOH) or formate (*OCHO) over hydrogen (*H) on the catalysts. On the basis of free energy profiles, we identified several promising candidate materials for different products; Ni@dv-Gr (limiting potential U L = -0.41 V) and Pt@dv-Gr (-0.27 V) for CH 3 OH production, and Os@dv-Gr (-0.52 V) and Ru@dv-Gr (-0.52 V) for CH 4 production. In particular, the Pt@dv-Gr catalyst shows remarkable reduction in the limiting potential for CH 3 OH production compared to any existing catalysts, synthesized or predicted. To understand the origin of the activity enhancement of SACs, we find that the lack of an atomic ensemble for adsorbate binding and the unique electronic structure of the single atom catalysts as well as orbital interaction play an important role, contributing to binding energies of SACs that deviate considerably from the conventional scaling relation of bulk transition metals.

  20. [Improving care for cleft lip and palate patients: uniform and patient-orientated outcome measures]. (United States)

    Haj, M; de Gier, H H W; van Veen-van der Hoek, M; Versnel, S L; van Adrichem, L N; Wolvius, E B; Hazelzet, J A; Koudstaal, M J


    The quality of care for patients with cleft lip and palate is extremely variable across the world. Treatment protocols differ and methods of data registration are not uniform. Improving this care by means of comparative research is challenging. The best treatment programmes can be identified by uniformly registering patient-orientated outcomes and comparing the outcomes with those of other treatment centres. That knowledge can be used to improve one's own care. An international team consisting of specialists and cleft lip and palate patients has developed a set of outcome measures that are considered by patients to be most important. This team is coordinated by the International Consortium of Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM). The cleft lip and palate outcome set can be used by all centres worldwide in following up on cleft lip and palate patients. In the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the 'Zorgmonitor Schisis' (Care Monitor Cleft Lip and Palate) has been built, an application in which these outcome measures are collected at fixed times. Implementing this set of outcome measures in other cleft lip and palate treatment centres and using the outcomes as (inter)national benchmarks will result in transparency and the improvement of the treatment of cleft lip and palate worldwide.

  1. Factors Related to Significant Improvement of Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rates in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Receiving Telbivudine Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Te-Fu Lin


    Full Text Available Background and Aim. The improvement of estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs in chronic hepatitis B (CHB patients receiving telbivudine therapy is well known. The aim of this study was to clarify the kinetics of eGFRs and to identify the significant factors related to the improvement of eGFRs in telbivudine-treated CHB patients in a real-world setting. Methods. Serial eGFRs were calculated every 3 months using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI equation. The patients were classified as CKD-1, -2, or -3 according to a baseline eGFR of ≥90, 60–89, or <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively. A significant improvement of eGFR was defined as a more than 10% increase from the baseline. Results. A total of 129 patients were enrolled, of whom 36% had significantly improved eGFRs. According to a multivariate analysis, diabetes mellitus (DM (p=0.028 and CKD-3 (p=0.043 were both significantly related to such improvement. The rates of significant improvement of eGFR were about 73% and 77% in patients with DM and CKD-3, respectively. Conclusions. Telbivudine is an alternative drug of choice for the treatment of hepatitis B patients for whom renal safety is a concern, especially patients with DM and CKD-3.

  2. ELABELA Improves Cardio-Renal Outcome in Fatal Experimental Septic Shock. (United States)

    Coquerel, David; Chagnon, Frédéric; Sainsily, Xavier; Dumont, Lauralyne; Murza, Alexandre; Côté, Jérôme; Dumaine, Robert; Sarret, Philippe; Marsault, Éric; Salvail, Dany; Auger-Messier, Mannix; Lesur, Olivier


    Apelin-13 was recently proposed as an alternative to the recommended β-adrenergic drugs for supporting endotoxin-induced myocardial dysfunction. Since Apelin-13 signals through its receptor (Apelin peptide jejunum) to exert singular inotropic/vasotropic actions and to optimize body fluid balance, this candidate pathway might benefit septic shock management. Whether the newly discovered ELABELA (ELA), a second endogenous ligand of the Apelin peptide jejunum receptor highly expressed in the kidney, further improves cardio-renal impairment remains unknown. Interventional study in a rat model of septic shock (128 adult males) to assess the effects of ELA and Apelin-13 on vascular and cardio-renal function. Experiments were performed in a tertiary care University-based research institute. Polymicrobial sepsis-induced cardiac dysfunction was produced by cecal ligation puncture to assess hemodynamic efficacy, cardioprotection, and biomechanics under acute or continuous infusions of the apelinergic agonists ELA or Apelin-13 (39 and 15 µg/kg/hr, respectively) versus normal saline. Apelinergic agonists improved 72-hour survival after sepsis induction, with ELA providing the best clinical outcome after 24 hours. Apelinergic agonist infusion counteracted cecal ligation puncture-induced myocardial dysfunction by improving left ventricular pressure-volume relationship. ELA-treated cecal ligation puncture rats were the only group to 1) display a significant improvement in left ventricular filling as shown by increased E-wave velocity and left ventricular end-diastolic volume, 2) exhibit a higher plasma volume, and 3) limit kidney injury and free-water clearance. These beneficial renal effects were superior to Apelin-13, likely because full-length ELA enabled a distinctive regulation of pituitary vasopressin release. Activation of the apelinergic system by exogenous ELA or Apelin-13 infusion improves cardiovascular function and survival after cecal ligation puncture

  3. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs): the significance of using humanistic measures in clinical trial and clinical practice. (United States)

    Refolo, P; Minacori, R; Mele, V; Sacchini, D; Spagnolo, A G


    Patient-reported outcome (PRO) is an "umbrella term" that covers a whole range of potential types of measurement but it is used specifically to refer to all measures quantifying the state of health through the evaluation of outcomes reported by the patient himself/herself. PROs are increasingly seen as complementary to biomedical measures and they are being incorporated more frequently into clinical trials and clinical practice. After considering the cultural background of PROs - that is the well known patient-centered model of medicine -, their historical profile (since 1914, the year of the first outcome measure) and typologies, the paper aims at debating their methodological complexity and implementation into practice. Some clinical trials and therapeutic managements utilizing patient-centered measures will be also analyzed.

  4. Improving clinical outcomes and patient experience through the use of desloughing. (United States)

    Grothier, Lorraine


    This article focuses on and aims to clarify the role of desloughing as a priority in modern-day wound care. Ambiguity around identification and slough removal has long been a clinical challenge. Effective removal of slough involves the elimination of dead and devitalised tissue as quickly and safely as possible, to enable the wound to return to a healthy state that supports healing. Desloughing is usually associated with typically conservative techniques compared with those used to debride necrotic tissue. More specific and timely targeted action to recognise and remove slough safely will significantly improve the clinical outcomes for patients as well as influence the effective use of scarce resources. The illustrative format of this article will facilitate how clinicians can become familiar with the different types of slough and the appropriate removal techniques.

  5. Omega-3 fatty acid therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and improved flow-mediated dilation, however, did not significantly improve insulin sensitivity in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. (United States)

    Oh, Pyung Chun; Koh, Kwang Kon; Sakuma, Ichiro; Lim, Soo; Lee, Yonghee; Lee, Seungik; Lee, Kyounghoon; Han, Seung Hwan; Shin, Eak Kyun


    Experimental studies demonstrate that higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) improves insulin sensitivity, however, we reported that n-3 FA 2g therapy, most commonly used dosage did not significantly improve insulin sensitivity despite reducing triglycerides by 21% in patients. Therefore, we investigated the effects of different dosages of n-3 FA in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. This was a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel study. Age, sex, and body mass index were matched among groups. All patients were recommended to maintain a low fat diet. Forty-four patients (about 18 had metabolic syndrome/type 2 diabetes mellitus) in each group were given placebo, n-3 FA 1 (O1), 2 (O2), or 4 g (O4), respectively daily for 2 months. n-3 FA therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and triglycerides/HDL cholesterol and improved flow-mediated dilation, compared with placebo (by ANOVA). However, each n-3 FA therapy did not significantly decrease high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, compared with placebo. O1 significantly increased insulin levels and decreased insulin sensitivity (determined by QUICKI) and O2 significantly decreased plasma adiponectin levels relative to baseline measurements. Of note, when compared with placebo, each n-3 FA therapy did not significantly change insulin, glucose, adiponectin, glycated hemoglobin levels and insulin sensitivity (by ANOVA). We observed similar results in a subgroup of patients with the metabolic syndrome. n-3 FA therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and improved flow-mediated dilation. Nonetheless, n-3 FA therapy did not significantly improve acute-phase reactants and insulin sensitivity in patients with hypertriglyceridemia, regardless of dosages. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  6. Medial Unicondylar Knee Arthroplasty Improves Patellofemoral Congruence: a Possible Mechanistic Explanation for Poor Association Between Patellofemoral Degeneration and Clinical Outcome. (United States)

    Thein, Ran; Zuiderbaan, Hendrik A; Khamaisy, Saker; Nawabi, Danyal H; Poultsides, Lazaros A; Pearle, Andrew D


    The purpose was to determine the effect of medial fixed bearing unicondylar knee arthroplasty (UKA) on postoperative patellofemoral joint (PFJ) congruence and analyze the relationship of preoperative PFJ degeneration on clinical outcome. We retrospectively reviewed 110 patients (113 knees) who underwent medial UKA. Radiographs were evaluated to ascertain PFJ degenerative changes and congruence. Clinical outcomes were assessed preoperatively and postoperatively. The postoperative absolute patellar congruence angle (10.05 ± 10.28) was significantly improved compared with the preoperative value (14.23 ± 11.22) (P = 0.0038). No correlation was found between preoperative PFJ congruence or degeneration severity, and WOMAC scores at two-year follow up. Pre-operative PFJ congruence and degenerative changes do not affect UKA clinical outcomes. This finding may be explained by the post-op PFJ congruence improvement. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Value Driven Outcomes (VDO): a pragmatic, modular, and extensible software framework for understanding and improving health care costs and outcomes. (United States)

    Kawamoto, Kensaku; Martin, Cary J; Williams, Kip; Tu, Ming-Chieh; Park, Charlton G; Hunter, Cheri; Staes, Catherine J; Bray, Bruce E; Deshmukh, Vikrant G; Holbrook, Reid A; Morris, Scott J; Fedderson, Matthew B; Sletta, Amy; Turnbull, James; Mulvihill, Sean J; Crabtree, Gordon L; Entwistle, David E; McKenna, Quinn L; Strong, Michael B; Pendleton, Robert C; Lee, Vivian S


    To develop expeditiously a pragmatic, modular, and extensible software framework for understanding and improving healthcare value (costs relative to outcomes). In 2012, a multidisciplinary team was assembled by the leadership of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and charged with rapidly developing a pragmatic and actionable analytics framework for understanding and enhancing healthcare value. Based on an analysis of relevant prior work, a value analytics framework known as Value Driven Outcomes (VDO) was developed using an agile methodology. Evaluation consisted of measurement against project objectives, including implementation timeliness, system performance, completeness, accuracy, extensibility, adoption, satisfaction, and the ability to support value improvement. A modular, extensible framework was developed to allocate clinical care costs to individual patient encounters. For example, labor costs in a hospital unit are allocated to patients based on the hours they spent in the unit; actual medication acquisition costs are allocated to patients based on utilization; and radiology costs are allocated based on the minutes required for study performance. Relevant process and outcome measures are also available. A visualization layer facilitates the identification of value improvement opportunities, such as high-volume, high-cost case types with high variability in costs across providers. Initial implementation was completed within 6 months, and all project objectives were fulfilled. The framework has been improved iteratively and is now a foundational tool for delivering high-value care. The framework described can be expeditiously implemented to provide a pragmatic, modular, and extensible approach to understanding and improving healthcare value. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association.

  8. Value Driven Outcomes (VDO): a pragmatic, modular, and extensible software framework for understanding and improving health care costs and outcomes (United States)

    Kawamoto, Kensaku; Martin, Cary J; Williams, Kip; Tu, Ming-Chieh; Park, Charlton G; Hunter, Cheri; Staes, Catherine J; Bray, Bruce E; Deshmukh, Vikrant G; Holbrook, Reid A; Morris, Scott J; Fedderson, Matthew B; Sletta, Amy; Turnbull, James; Mulvihill, Sean J; Crabtree, Gordon L; Entwistle, David E; McKenna, Quinn L; Strong, Michael B; Pendleton, Robert C; Lee, Vivian S


    Objective To develop expeditiously a pragmatic, modular, and extensible software framework for understanding and improving healthcare value (costs relative to outcomes). Materials and methods In 2012, a multidisciplinary team was assembled by the leadership of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and charged with rapidly developing a pragmatic and actionable analytics framework for understanding and enhancing healthcare value. Based on an analysis of relevant prior work, a value analytics framework known as Value Driven Outcomes (VDO) was developed using an agile methodology. Evaluation consisted of measurement against project objectives, including implementation timeliness, system performance, completeness, accuracy, extensibility, adoption, satisfaction, and the ability to support value improvement. Results A modular, extensible framework was developed to allocate clinical care costs to individual patient encounters. For example, labor costs in a hospital unit are allocated to patients based on the hours they spent in the unit; actual medication acquisition costs are allocated to patients based on utilization; and radiology costs are allocated based on the minutes required for study performance. Relevant process and outcome measures are also available. A visualization layer facilitates the identification of value improvement opportunities, such as high-volume, high-cost case types with high variability in costs across providers. Initial implementation was completed within 6 months, and all project objectives were fulfilled. The framework has been improved iteratively and is now a foundational tool for delivering high-value care. Conclusions The framework described can be expeditiously implemented to provide a pragmatic, modular, and extensible approach to understanding and improving healthcare value. PMID:25324556

  9. Dexamphetamine improves upper extremity outcome during rehabilitation after stroke: a pilot randomized controlled trial. (United States)

    Schuster, Corina; Maunz, Gerd; Lutz, Karin; Kischka, Udo; Sturzenegger, Rolf; Ettlin, Thierry


    For early inpatient stroke rehabilitation, the effectiveness of amphetamine combined with physiotherapy varies across studies. To investigate whether the recovery of activities of daily living (ADL, primary outcome) and motor function (secondary outcome) can be improved by dexamphetamine added to physiotherapy. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 16 patients, from 918 who were screened, were randomized to the experimental group (EG, dexamphetamine + physiotherapy) or control group (CG, placebo + physiotherapy). Both groups received multidisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation. Dexamphetamine (10 mg oral) or placebo was administered 2 days per week before physiotherapy. ADL and motor function were measured using the Chedoke-McMaster Stroke Assessment (CMSA) twice during baseline, every week during the 5-week treatment period, and at follow-up 1 week, 6 months, and 12 months after intervention. The majority of ineligible patients had too little paresis, were on anticoagulants, or had a stroke >60 days prior to entry. Participants (EG, n = 7, age 70.3 ± 10 years, 5 women, 37.9 ± 9 days after stroke; CG, n = 9, age 65.2 ± 17 years, 3 women, 40.3 ± 9 days after stroke) did not differ at baseline except for the leg subscale. Analysis of variance from baseline to 1 week follow-up revealed significant improvements in favor of EG for subscales ADL (P = .023) and arm function (P = .020) at end of treatment. No adverse events were detected. In this small trial that was based on prior positive trials, significant gains in ADL and arm function suggest that the dose and timing of dexamphetamine can augment physiotherapy. Effect size calculation suggests inclusion of at least 25 patients per group in future studies.

  10. General surgery residents improve efficiency but not outcome of trauma care. (United States)

    Offner, Patrick J; Hawkes, Allison; Madayag, Robert; Seale, Fred; Maines, Charles


    Current American College of Surgeons Level I trauma center verification requires the presence of a residency program in which trauma care is an integral part of the training. The rationale for this requirement remains unclear, with no scientific evidence that resident participation improves the quality of trauma care. The purpose of this study was to determine whether quality or efficiency of trauma care is influenced by general surgery residents. Our urban Level I trauma center has traditionally used 24-hour in-house postgraduate year-4 general surgery residents in conjunction with at-home trauma attending backup to provide trauma care. As of July 1, 2000, general surgery residents no longer participated in trauma patient care, leaving sole responsibility to an in-house trauma attending. Data regarding patient outcome and resource use with and without surgery resident participation were tabulated and analyzed. Continuous data were compared using Student's t test if normally distributed and the Mann-Whitney U test if nonparametric. Categorical data were compared using chi2 analysis or Fisher's exact test as appropriate. During the 5-month period with resident participation, 555 trauma patients were admitted. In the identical time period without residents, 516 trauma patients were admitted. During the period without housestaff, patients were older and more severely injured. Mechanism was not different during the two time periods. Mortality was not affected; however, time in the emergency department and hospital lengths of stay were significantly shorter with residents. Multiple regression confirmed these findings while controlling for age, mechanism, and Injury Severity Score. Although resident participation in trauma care at a Level I trauma center does not affect outcome, it does significantly improve the efficiency of trauma care delivery.

  11. The theory of music, mood and movement to improve health outcomes. (United States)

    Murrock, Carolyn J; Higgins, Patricia A


    This paper presents a discussion of the development of a middle-range nursing theory of the effects of music on physical activity and improved health outcomes. Due to the high rate of physical inactivity and the associated negative health outcomes worldwide, nurses need new evidence-based theories and interventions to increase physical activity. The theory of music, mood and movement (MMM) was developed from physical activity guidelines and music theory using the principles of statement and theory synthesis. The concepts of music, physical activity and health outcomes were searched using the CINAHL, MEDLINE, ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Source, PsycINFO and Cochrane Library databases covering the years 1975-2008. The theory of MMM was synthesized by combining the psychological and physiological responses of music to increase physical activity and improve health outcomes. It proposes that music alters mood, is a cue for movement, and makes physical activity more enjoyable leading to improved health outcomes of weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cardiovascular risk factor management, and improved quality of life. As it was developed from the physical activity guidelines, the middle-range theory is prescriptive, produces testable hypotheses, and can guide nursing research and practice. The middle-range theory needs to be tested to determine its usefulness for nurses to develop physical activity programmes to improve health outcomes across various cultures.

  12. Trial protocol OPPTIMUM– Does progesterone prophylaxis for the prevention of preterm labour improve outcome?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norman Jane E


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Preterm birth is a global problem, with a prevalence of 8 to 12% depending on location. Several large trials and systematic reviews have shown progestogens to be effective in preventing or delaying preterm birth in selected high risk women with a singleton pregnancy (including those with a short cervix or previous preterm birth. Although an improvement in short term neonatal outcomes has been shown in some trials these have not consistently been confirmed in meta-analyses. Additionally data on longer term outcomes is limited to a single trial where no difference in outcomes was demonstrated at four years of age of the child, despite those in the “progesterone” group having a lower incidence of preterm birth. Methods/Design The OPPTIMUM study is a double blind randomized placebo controlled trial to determine whether progesterone prophylaxis to prevent preterm birth has long term neonatal or infant benefit. Specifically it will study whether, in women with singleton pregnancy and at high risk of preterm labour, prophylactic vaginal natural progesterone, 200 mg daily from 22 – 34 weeks gestation, compared to placebo, improves obstetric outcome by lengthening pregnancy thus reducing the incidence of preterm delivery (before 34 weeks, improves neonatal outcome by reducing a composite of death and major morbidity, and leads to improved childhood cognitive and neurosensory outcomes at two years of age. Recruitment began in 2009 and is scheduled to close in Spring 2013. As of May 2012, over 800 women had been randomized in 60 sites. Discussion OPPTIMUM will provide further evidence on the effectiveness of vaginal progesterone for prevention of preterm birth and improvement of neonatal outcomes in selected groups of women with singleton pregnancy at high risk of preterm birth. Additionally it will determine whether any reduction in the incidence of preterm birth is accompanied by improved childhood outcome. Trial

  13. Medical-Legal Partnerships At Veterans Affairs Medical Centers Improved Housing And Psychosocial Outcomes For Vets. (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Middleton, Margaret; Villegas, Jennifer; Johnson, Cindy; Retkin, Randye; Seidman, Alison; Sherman, Scott; Rosenheck, Robert A


    Medical-legal partnerships-collaborations between legal professionals and health care providers that help patients address civil legal problems that can affect health and well-being-have been implemented at several Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers to serve homeless and low-income veterans with mental illness. We describe the outcomes of veterans who accessed legal services at four partnership sites in Connecticut and New York in the period 2014-16. The partnerships served 950 veterans, who collectively had 1,384 legal issues; on average, the issues took 5.4 hours' worth of legal services to resolve. The most common problems were related to VA benefits, housing, family issues, and consumer issues. Among a subsample of 148 veterans who were followed for one year, we observed significant improvements in housing, income, and mental health. Veterans who received more partnership services showed greater improvements in housing and mental health than those who received fewer services, and those who achieved their predefined legal goals showed greater improvements in housing status and community integration than those who did not. Medical-legal partnerships represent an opportunity to expand cross-sector, community-based partnerships in the VA health care system to address social determinants of mental health.

  14. Clinical profile, outcomes and improvement in symptoms and productivity in rhinitic patients in Karachi, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sherwani Ubaid


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rhinitis can cause a heavy toll on patients because of its bothersome effects on productivity. This retrospective study was conducted to explore the clinical profile, outcomes and improvement in the symptoms and productivity resulting from treatment of allergic rhinitis in Pakistan. Methods We carried out a retrospective file review of all allergic rhinitis patients who presented to the Ear, Nose, Throat Consulting Clinic from January, 2006 to June, 2008 using a structured proforma especially designed for this purpose. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS v. 16.0. Results The charts of 169 patients were reviewed. The mean age of the patients was 35.2 ± 9.1 years. Sixty percent patients were male. Ninety eight patients (58% reported allergy symptoms to be present at both home and work. One hundred and two patients (60.4% had symptoms severe enough to cause absence from work or academic activities. Up to seventy one percent patients were spending between 1000 - 3000 Pakistani Rupees (1 US$= 83.3 Pakistani rupees on the treatment of allergic rhinitis per year. One hundred and fifty one patients (89.3% reported an improvement in rhinitic symptoms and productivity while 18 patients (10.7% didn't. This improvement was significantly associated with satisfaction with treatment (p Conclusion Allergic rhinitis, a ubiquitous disease, was seen to cause a strain on patients in the form of recurrent treatment-related expenses as well as absenteeism from work or other daily activities. Symptoms and productivity improved significantly after treatment.

  15. The anti-inflammatory drug carprofen improves long-term outcome and induces gliogenesis after traumatic brain injury. (United States)

    Thau-Zuchman, Orli; Shohami, Esther; Alexandrovich, Alexander G; Trembovler, Victoria; Leker, Ronen R


    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) initiates acute and chronic inflammatory processes involving cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which may have detrimental effects on outcome and especially on brain regeneration. Therefore we aimed to study whether carprofen, a COX-2 inhibitor, would improve outcome and increase neurogenesis after TBI. TBI was induced in Sabra mice that were then treated with vehicle or carprofen for 7 days. Functional outcome was evaluated with the Neurological Severity Score (NSS).Cytokine levels were assessed 4 h post-TBI and water content was measured 24 h post TBI. Mice were given BrdU to label newborn cells for 10 days. The animals were killed 90 days post-TBI and the lesion size as well as newborn cell fate were assessed. Carprofen significantly reduced lesion size (p=0.002), decreased water content in the lesioned cortex (p=0.03), reduced the number of microglia in the lesioned cortex (pCarprofen led to significantly larger improvements in functional outcome (p≤0.008) which were durable over 90 days. Carprofen also induced a threefold increase in the proliferation of new cells in the peri-lesion area (p≤0.002), but newborn cells differentiated mainly into glia in both groups. Carprofen is neuroprotective and induces cell proliferation and gliogenesis after TBI. Treatment with carprofen is consistently associated with better functional outcome. Our results imply that anti-inflammatory drugs may represent novel therapeutic options for TBI.

  16. Improving Academic Outcomes for Disadvantaged Students: Scaling up Individualized Tutorials. Policy Proposal 2016-02 (United States)

    Ander, Roseanna; Guryan, Jonathan; Ludwig, Jens


    Improving the educational outcomes of economically disadvantaged children is a policy priority in the United States, and yet relatively little progress has been made in recent decades. Education reforms that aim to help economically disadvantaged students often focus on improving the quality with which grade-level material is taught, or the…

  17. Moneyball for Head Start: Using Data, Evidence, and Evaluation to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families (United States)

    Mead, Sara; Mitchel, Ashley LiBetti


    Head Start is a valuable federal program that improves the lives of our nation's most vulnerable children and their families. Research shows that Head Start programs improve children's learning at school entry and have a positive impact on long-term life outcomes. Research also suggests that Head Start could have a stronger impact on children's…

  18. Does Professional Development of Preschool Teachers Improve Child Socio-Emotional Outcomes?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Bente; Jensen, Peter; Rasmussen, Astrid Würtz

    From 2011 to 2013 a randomized controlled trial has been run in Danish preschools to obtain evidence on improvements of early childhood education by providing training to the preschool teachers. The purpose of the intervention is to improve child socio-emotional outcomes (measured by SDQ...

  19. Improved Birth Weight for Black Infants: Outcomes of a Healthy Start Program (United States)

    Zielinski, Ruth; James, Arthur; Charoth, Remitha M.; del Carmen Sweezy, Luz


    Objectives. We determined whether participation in Healthy Babies Healthy Start (HBHS), a maternal health program emphasizing racial equity and delivering services through case management home visitation, was associated with improved birth outcomes for Black women relative to White women. Methods. We used a matched-comparison posttest-only design in which we selected the comparison group using propensity score matching. Study data were generated through secondary analysis of Michigan state- and Kalamazoo County–level birth certificate records for 2008 to 2010. We completed statistical analyses, stratified by race, using a repeated-measures generalized linear model. Results. Despite their smoking rate being double that of their matched counterparts, Black HBHS participants delivered higher birth-weight infants than did Black nonparticipants (P = .05). White HBHS participants had significantly more prenatal care than did White nonparticipants, but they had similar birth outcomes (P = .7 for birth weight; P = .55 for gestation). Conclusions. HBHS participation is associated with increased birth weights among Black women but not among White women, suggesting differential program gains for Black women. PMID:24354844

  20. Improving geriatric trauma outcomes: A small step toward a big problem. (United States)

    Hammer, Peter M; Storey, Annika C; Bell, Teresa; Bayt, Demetria; Hockaday, Melissa S; Zarzaur, Ben L; Feliciano, David V; Rozycki, Grace S


    Because of the unique physiology and comorbidities of injured geriatric patients, specific interventions are needed to improve outcomes. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of a change in triage criteria for injured geriatric patients evaluated at an American College of Surgeons Level I trauma center. As of October 1, 2013, all injured patients 70 years or older were mandated to have the highest-level trauma activation upon emergency department (ED) arrival regardless of physiology or mechanism of injury. Patients admitted before that date were designated as PRE; those admitted after were designated as POST. The study period was from October 1, 2011, through April 30, 2015. Data collected included demographics, mechanism of injury, hypotension on admission, comorbidities, Injury Severity Score (ISS), ED length of stay (LOS), complications, and mortality. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were used to compare outcomes between the study groups (p analysis, increasing age, higher ISS, and hypotension were associated with higher mortality. POST patients were more likely to have an ED LOS of 2 hours or shorter (odds ratio, 1.614; 95% confidence interval, 1.088-2.394) after controlling for hypotension, ISS, and comorbidities. POST mortality significantly decreased (odds ratio, 0.689; 95% confidence interval, 0.484-0.979). Based on age alone, the focused intervention of a higher level of trauma activation decreased ED LOS and mortality in injured geriatric patients. Therapeutic/care management study, level IV.

  1. Radiotherapy Alone is Associated with Improved Outcomes Over Surgery in the Management of Solitary Plasmacytoma. (United States)

    Li, Qi-Wen; Niu, Shao-Qing; Wang, Han-Yu; Wen, Ge; Li, Yi-Yang; Xia, Yun-Fei; Zhang, Yu-Jing


    A moderate dose of radiation is the recommended treatment for solitary plasmacytoma (SP), but there is controversy over the role of surgery. Our study aimed at comparing different treatment modalities in the management of SP. Data from 38 consecutive patients with solitary plasmacytoma, including 16 with bone plasmacytoma and 22 with extramedullary plasmacytoma, were retrospectively reviewed. 15 patients received radiotherapy alone; 11 received surgery alone, and 12 received both. The median radiation dose was 50Gy. All operations were performed as radical resections. Local progression-free survival (LPFS), multiple myeloma-free survival (MMFS), progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated and outcomes of different therapies were compared. The median follow-up time was 55 months. 5-year LPFS, MMFS, PFS and OS were 87.0%, 80.9%, 69.8% and 87.4%, respectively. Univariate analysis revealed, compared with surgery alone, radiotherapy alone was associated with significantly higher 5-year LPFS (100% vs 69.3%, p=0.016), MMFS (100% vs 51.4%, p=0.006), PFS (100% vs 33.7%, p=0.0004) and OS (100% vs 70%, p=0.041). Radiotherapy alone can be considered as a more effective treatment for SP over surgery. Whether a combination of radiotherapy and surgery improves outcomes requires further study.

  2. Team-based learning to improve learning outcomes in a therapeutics course sequence. (United States)

    Bleske, Barry E; Remington, Tami L; Wells, Trisha D; Dorsch, Michael P; Guthrie, Sally K; Stumpf, Janice L; Alaniz, Marissa C; Ellingrod, Vicki L; Tingen, Jeffrey M


    To compare the effectiveness of team-based learning (TBL) to that of traditional lectures on learning outcomes in a therapeutics course sequence. A revised TBL curriculum was implemented in a therapeutic course sequence. Multiple choice and essay questions identical to those used to test third-year students (P3) taught using a traditional lecture format were administered to the second-year pharmacy students (P2) taught using the new TBL format. One hundred thirty-one multiple-choice questions were evaluated; 79 tested recall of knowledge and 52 tested higher level, application of knowledge. For the recall questions, students taught through traditional lectures scored significantly higher compared to the TBL students (88%±12% vs. 82%±16%, p=0.01). For the questions assessing application of knowledge, no differences were seen between teaching pedagogies (81%±16% vs. 77%±20%, p=0.24). Scores on essay questions and the number of students who achieved 100% were also similar between groups. Transition to a TBL format from a traditional lecture-based pedagogy allowed P2 students to perform at a similar level as students with an additional year of pharmacy education on application of knowledge type questions. However, P3 students outperformed P2 students regarding recall type questions and overall. Further assessment of long-term learning outcomes is needed to determine if TBL produces more persistent learning and improved application in clinical settings.

  3. Predictors of improvement in observed functional ability in patients with fibromyalgia as an outcome of rehabilitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amris, Kirstine; Luta, George; Christensen, Robin


    OBJECTIVE: To investigate predictors of improvement in observed ability to manage activities of daily living as an outcome of rehabilitation in fibromyalgia. METHODS: Exploratory analyses used data from the Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation and Evaluation Programme for Patients with Chronic...... Widespread Pain (the IMPROvE study); a randomized controlled trial including 191 females with fibromyalgia randomized (1:1) to rehabilitation or a waiting list. The primary outcome was observed activities of daily living ability evaluated with the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) 6 months post...

  4. Evaluation of ischemic corticospinal tract damage by diffusion tensor MRI. Its significance to predict functional outcome of corona radiata infarct

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanaka, Hideki


    Motor impairment is one of the most frequent symptoms among stroke patients and often leads to poststroke dependency. Recent advances of diffusion tensor MR imaging made it possible to identify corticospinal tract (CST) three-dimensionally and evaluate structural damage, so precise evaluation of the ischemic CST damage became feasible.Motor impairment, lesion size and location upon diffusion weighted MR image and clinical outcome were assessed in 23 acute to subacute capsular and corona radiata infarct patients. According to the lesion size, patients were grouped into A, maximal diameter below 15 mm and B, that above 15 mm. Motor impairment was graded severe: limb movement synergy level, moderate: selective muscle activity possible and mild: isolated movements well co-ordinated, each corresponding to Brunnstrom stage 1-3, 4-5, and 6, respectively. Outcome at the time of discharge was assessed by modified Rankin Scale (mRS), discharge destination and length of hospital stay were also registered. Diffusion tensor MR imaging was conducted in 15 corona radiata infarct patients at 2.3+-2.2 days from the onset of the clinical symptoms. CST was 3-dimensionally identified with dTV. II. SR and Volume-one 1.72 and CST-FA ratio (ipsi-/contralesional CST-FA) and CST-Area% (CST lesion free area/whole CST area) were obtained at the level where ischemic damage was most prominent and correlation of these parameters to motor impairment and clinical outcome was studied. CST-FA ratio and CST-Area% were in good correlation to motor impairment at presentation. Patients with severe motor impairment had lower CST-FA ratio and CSF-Area% than those with moderate or mild. CST-FA ratio was 0.73+-0.22 in patients with poor clinical outcome (mRS 3-6) and 0.93+-0.09 with good clinical outcome (mRS 0-2) (p=0.038). Diffusion tensor MR imaging is useful in evaluating motor impairment and predicting functional outcome of corona radiata infarct patient in the acute to subacute stage. (author)

  5. Improving Spoken Language Outcomes for Children With Hearing Loss: Data-driven Instruction. (United States)

    Douglas, Michael


    To assess the effects of data-driven instruction (DDI) on spoken language outcomes of children with cochlear implants and hearing aids. Retrospective, matched-pairs comparison of post-treatment speech/language data of children who did and did not receive DDI. Private, spoken-language preschool for children with hearing loss. Eleven matched pairs of children with cochlear implants who attended the same spoken language preschool. Groups were matched for age of hearing device fitting, time in the program, degree of predevice fitting hearing loss, sex, and age at testing. Daily informal language samples were collected and analyzed over a 2-year period, per preschool protocol. Annual informal and formal spoken language assessments in articulation, vocabulary, and omnibus language were administered at the end of three time intervals: baseline, end of year one, and end of year two. The primary outcome measures were total raw score performance of spontaneous utterance sentence types and syntax element use as measured by the Teacher Assessment of Spoken Language (TASL). In addition, standardized assessments (the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals--Preschool Version 2 (CELF-P2), the Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (EOWPVT), the Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (ROWPVT), and the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation 2 (GFTA2)) were also administered and compared with the control group. The DDI group demonstrated significantly higher raw scores on the TASL each year of the study. The DDI group also achieved statistically significant higher scores for total language on the CELF-P and expressive vocabulary on the EOWPVT, but not for articulation nor receptive vocabulary. Post-hoc assessment revealed that 78% of the students in the DDI group achieved scores in the average range compared with 59% in the control group. The preliminary results of this study support further investigation regarding DDI to investigate whether this method can consistently

  6. Pectus patient information website has improved access to care and patient reported outcomes. (United States)

    Tikka, Theofano; Webb, Joanne; Agostini, Paula; Kerr, Amy; Mannion, Glenn; Steyn, Richard S; Bishay, Ehab; Kalkat, Maninder S; Rajesh, Pala B; Naidu, Babu


    patient information website has significantly improved access to specialised services. Patients are overall highly satisfied with the surgical outcomes.

  7. Improving outcomes following penetrating colon wounds: application of a clinical pathway. (United States)

    Miller, Preston R; Fabian, Timothy C; Croce, Martin A; Magnotti, Louis J; Elizabeth Pritchard, F; Minard, Gayle; Stewart, Ronald M


    During World War II, failure to treat penetrating colon injuries with diversion could result in court martial. Based on this wartime experience, colostomy for civilian colon wounds became the standard of care for the next 4 decades. Previous work from our institution demonstrated that primary repair was the optimal management for nondestructive colon wounds. Optimal management of destructive wounds requiring resection remains controversial. To address this issue, we performed a study that demonstrated risk factors (pre or intraoperative transfusion requirement of more than 6 units of packed red blood cells, significant comorbid diseases) that were associated with a suture line failure rate of 14%, and of whom 33% died. Based on these outcomes, a clinical pathway for management of destructive colon wounds was developed. The results of the implementation of this pathway are the focus of this report. Patients with penetrating colon injury were identified from the registry of a level I trauma center over a 5-year period. Records were reviewed for demographics, injury characteristics, and outcome. Patients with nondestructive injuries underwent primary repair. Patients with destructive wounds but no comorbidities or large transfusion requirement underwent resection and anastomosis, while patients with destructive wounds and significant medical illness or transfusion requirements of more than 6 units/blood received end colostomy. The current patients (CP) were compared to the previous study (PS) to determine the impact of the clinical pathway. Outcomes examined included colon related mortality and morbidity (suture line leak and abscess). Over a 5.5-year period, 231 patients had penetrating colon wounds. 209 survived more 24 hours and comprise the study population. Primary repair was performed on 153 (73%) patients, and 56 patients had destructive injuries (27%). Of these, 40 (71%) had resection and anastomosis and 16 (29%) had diversion. More destructive injuries were

  8. Project (inverted exclamation mark)EXITO!: success through diversity and universality for outcomes improvement among Hispanic home care patients. (United States)

    Woerner, Louise; Espinosa, Javier; Bourne, Susan; O'Toole, Marie; Ingersoll, Gail L


    The National Health Disparities Report notes that Hispanics have poorer quality of care in 23 of 38 core measures. The result of this disparity is great personal and health system costs, which could be reduced. Prior studies have focused on access and language. We studied outcomes improvement. The purpose of this project was to develop a replicable theory-based outcomes improvement model for delivery of nursing care to Hispanic patients. The Leininger Sunrise Enabler approach was used to design a program specific to the cultural needs of a home care population. Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) data from 125 unduplicated home care patients were tracked. Nursing care delivery was analyzed using ethnographic research techniques. Delivery of nursing care using a culturally congruent approach reduced acute hospitalization and emergent care visits. Medication management and customer and nursing satisfaction also improved. National standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health care help reduce healthcare disparities, but improving Hispanic outcomes requires moving beyond symptoms and symptom management to transcultural care. The estimated savings to the health care system are significant.

  9. Incentives for improving human resource outcomes in health care: overview of reviews. (United States)

    Misfeldt, Renee; Linder, Jordana; Lait, Jana; Hepp, Shelanne; Armitage, Gail; Jackson, Karen; Suter, Esther


    To review the effectiveness of financial and nonfinancial incentives for improving the benefits (recruitment, retention, job satisfaction, absenteeism, turnover, intent to leave) of human resource strategies in health care. Overview of 33 reviews published from 2000 to 2012 summarized the effectiveness of incentives for improving human resource outcomes in health care (such as job satisfaction, turnover rates, recruitment, and retention) that met the inclusion criteria and were assessed by at least two research members using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews quality assessment tool. Of those, 13 reviews met the quality criteria and were included in the overview. Information was extracted on a description of the review, the incentives considered, and their impact on human resource outcomes. The information on the relationship between incentives and outcomes was assessed and synthesized. While financial compensation is the best-recognized approach within an incentives package, there is evidence that health care practitioners respond positively to incentives linked to the quality of the working environments including opportunities for professional development, improved work life balance, interprofessional collaboration, and professional autonomy. There is less evidence that workload factors such as job demand, restructured staffing models, re-engineered work designs, ward practices, employment status, or staff skill mix have an impact on human resource outcomes. Overall, evidence of effective strategies for improving outcomes is mixed. While financial incentives play a key role in enhancing outcomes, they need to be considered as only one strategy within an incentives package. There is stronger evidence that improving the work place environment and instituting mechanisms for work-life balance need to be part of an overall strategy to improve outcomes for health care practitioners.

  10. How do aggregated patient-reported outcome measures data stimulate health care improvement? A realist synthesis (United States)

    Dalkin, Sonia; Gibbons, Elizabeth; Wright, Judy; Valderas, Jose Maria; Meads, David; Black, Nick


    Objectives Internationally, there has been considerable debate about the role of data in supporting quality improvement in health care. Our objective was to understand how, why and in what circumstances the feedback of aggregated patient-reported outcome measures data improved patient care. Methods We conducted a realist synthesis. We identified three main programme theories underlying the use of patient-reported outcome measures as a quality improvement strategy and expressed them as nine ‘if then’ propositions. We identified international evidence to test these propositions through searches of electronic databases and citation tracking, and supplemented our synthesis with evidence from similar forms of performance data. We synthesized this evidence through comparing the mechanisms and impact of patient-reported outcome measures and other performance data on quality improvement in different contexts. Results Three programme theories were identified: supporting patient choice, improving accountability and enabling providers to compare their performance with others. Relevant contextual factors were extent of public disclosure, use of financial incentives, perceived credibility of the data and the practicality of the results. Available evidence suggests that patients or their agents rarely use any published performance data when selecting a provider. The perceived motivation behind public reporting is an important determinant of how providers respond. When clinicians perceived that performance indicators were not credible but were incentivized to collect them, gaming or manipulation of data occurred. Outcome data do not provide information on the cause of poor care: providers needed to integrate and interpret patient-reported outcome measures and other outcome data in the context of other data. Lack of timeliness of performance data constrains their impact. Conclusions Although there is only limited research evidence to support some widely held theories of how

  11. Involving patients in care decisions improves satisfaction: an outcomes-based quality improvement project. (United States)

    Leff, Ellen W


    A home care agency used quality improvement processes to improve patient satisfaction survey ratings. The focus was on involving patients in decisions about their care. A multidisciplinary team developed creative strategies to increase staff awareness and enhance customer service skills, which had dramatic results.

  12. Longitudinal Impact of a Randomized Clinical Trial to Improve Family Function, Reduce Maternal Stress and Improve Child Outcomes in Families of Children with ADHD. (United States)

    Churchill, Shervin S; Leo, Michael C; Brennan, Eileen M; Sellmaier, Claudia; Kendall, Judy; Houck, Gail M


    Objective Evaluate the efficacy of a 12 month nursing case-management intervention over a period of 18 months, 6 months after the end of intervention, for families of children attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods Mother and child dyads were enrolled to participate in a randomized controlled clinical trial. Children were 4-18 years old. Data were collected at baseline, 6, 12, and 18 months or 6 months after the termination of direct intervention. Longitudinal analyses, using generalized estimating equations, were conducted to assess change in study outcomes relating to family function, maternal stress, and child behavior over the 18 month period. Results Compared to control families, some family function outcomes were moderately improved in the intervention group. In particular, intervention families demonstrated substantial improvement in implementing family behavior controls (p value = 0.038) and improvement in family satisfaction (not statistically significant p = 0.062). Although there was improvement in the overall family function measure there was not a statistically significant difference between groups. Maternal stress and child behavior outcomes were not significantly different between control and intervention groups by the end of the intervention. Conclusions for Practice Addressing ADHD is complex and requires the assessment of comorbidities that might exacerbate negative behavior. Our findings support the latest American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines to use behavioral therapy as the first line of treatment in young children. Nursing case-management interventions that provide direct family education and improve family function, especially with respect to providing structure and behavior control, may complement and facilitate behavioral therapy for treatment of ADHD and improving child behavior.

  13. Significant survival improvement of patients with recurrent breast cancer in the periods 2001-2008 vs. 1992-2000

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishimura Sumiko


    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is unclear whether individualized treatments based on biological factors have improved the prognosis of recurrent breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the survival improvement of patients with recurrent breast cancer after the introduction of third generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs and trastuzumab. Methods A total of 407 patients who received first diagnosis of recurrent breast cancer and treatment at National Kyushu Cancer Center between 1992 and 2008 were retrospectively evaluated. As AIs and trastuzumab were approved for clinical use in Japan in 2001, the patients were divided into two time cohorts depending on whether the cancer recurred before or after 2001. Cohort A: 170 patients who were diagnosed between 1992 and 2000. Cohort B: 237 patients who were diagnosed between 2001 and 2008. Tumor characteristics, treatments, and outcome were compared. Results Fourteen percent of cohort A and 76% of cohort B received AIs and/or trastuzumab (P Conclusions The prognosis of patients with recurrent breast cancer was improved over time following the introduction of AIs and trastuzumab and the survival improvement was apparent in HR- and/or HER-2-positive tumors.

  14. Does a specialist unit improve outcomes for hospitalized patients with Parkinson's disease? (United States)

    Skelly, Rob; Brown, Lisa; Fakis, Apostolos; Kimber, Lindsey; Downes, Charlotte; Lindop, Fiona; Johnson, Clare; Bartliff, Caroline; Bajaj, Nin


    Objective Suboptimal management of Parkinson's disease (PD) medication in hospital may lead to avoidable complications. We introduced an in-patient PD unit for those admitted urgently with general medical problems. We explored the effect of the unit on medication management, length of stay and patient experience. Methods We conducted a single-center prospective feasibility study. The unit's core features were defined following consultation with patients and professionals: specially trained staff, ready availability of PD drugs, guidelines, and care led by a geriatrician with specialty PD training. Mandatory staff training comprised four 1 h sessions: PD symptoms; medications; therapy; communication and swallowing. Most medication was prescribed using an electronic Prescribing and Administration system (iSOFT) which provided accurate data on time of administration. We compared patient outcomes before and after introduction of the unit. Results The general ward care (n = 20) and the Specialist Parkinson's Unit care (n = 24) groups had similar baseline characteristics. On the specialist unit: less Parkinson's medication was omitted (13% vs 20%, p < 0.001); of the medication that was given, more was given on time (64% vs 50%, p < 0.001); median length of stay was shorter (9 days vs 13 days, p = 0.043) and patients' experience of care was better (p = 0.01). Discussion If replicated and generalizable to other hospitals, reductions in length of stay would lead to significant cost savings. The apparent improved outcomes with Parkinson's unit care merit further investigation. We hope to test the hypothesis that specialized units are cost-effective and improve patient care using a randomized controlled trial design. PMID:25264022

  15. Use of simulation-based education to improve outcomes of central venous catheterization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. (United States)

    Ma, Irene W Y; Brindle, Mary E; Ronksley, Paul E; Lorenzetti, Diane L; Sauve, Reg S; Ghali, William A


    Central venous catheterization (CVC) is increasingly taught by simulation. The authors reviewed the literature on the effects of simulation training in CVC on learner and clinical outcomes. The authors searched computerized databases (1950 to May 2010), reference lists, and considered studies with a control group (without simulation education intervention). Two independent assessors reviewed the retrieved citations. Independent data abstraction was performed on study design, study quality score, learner characteristics, sample size, components of interventional curriculum, outcomes assessed, and method of assessment. Learner outcomes included performance measures on simulators, knowledge, and confidence. Patient outcomes included number of needle passes, arterial puncture, pneumothorax, and catheter-related infections. Twenty studies were identified. Simulation-based education was associated with significant improvements in learner outcomes: performance on simulators (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.60 [95% CI 0.45 to 0.76]), knowledge (SMD 0.60 [95% CI 0.35 to 0.84]), and confidence (SMD 0.41 [95% CI 0.30 to 0.53] for studies with single-group pretest and posttest design; SMD 0.52 (95% CI 0.23 to 0.81) for studies with nonrandomized, two-group design). Furthermore, simulation-based education was associated with improved patient outcomes, including fewer needle passes (SMD -0.58 [95% CI -0.95 to -0.20]), and pneumothorax (relative risk 0.62 [95% CI 0.40 to 0.97]), for studies with nonrandomized, two-group design. However, simulation-based training was not associated with a significant reduction in risk of either arterial puncture or catheter-related infections. Despite some limitations in the literature reviewed, evidence suggests that simulation-based education for CVC provides benefits in learner and select clinical outcomes.

  16. Visual working memory in deaf children with diverse communication modes: improvement by differential outcomes. (United States)

    López-Crespo, Ginesa; Daza, María Teresa; Méndez-López, Magdalena


    Although visual functions have been proposed to be enhanced in deaf individuals, empirical studies have not yet established clear evidence on this issue. The present study aimed to determine whether deaf children with diverse communication modes had superior visual memory and whether their performance was improved by the use of differential outcomes. Severely or profoundly deaf children who employed spoken Spanish, Spanish Sign Language (SSL), and both spoken Spanish and SSL modes of communication were tested in a delayed matching-to-sample task for visual working memory assessment. Hearing controls were used to compare performance. Participants were tested in two conditions, differential outcome and non-differential outcome conditions. Deaf groups with either oral or SSL modes of communication completed the task with less accuracy than bilingual and control hearing children. In addition, the performances of all groups improved through the use of differential outcomes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Impact of islet size on pancreatic islet transplantation and potential interventions to improve outcome. (United States)

    Zorzi, Daria; Phan, Tammy; Sequi, Marco; Lin, Yong; Freeman, Daniel H; Cicalese, Luca; Rastellini, Cristiana


    Better results have been recently reported in clinical pancreatic islet transplantation (ITX) due mostly to improved isolation techniques and immunosuppression; however, some limitations still exist. It is known that following transplantation, 30% to 60% of the islets are lost. In our study, we have investigated 1) the role of size as a factor affecting islet engraftment and 2) potential procedural manipulations to increase the number of smaller functional islets that can be transplanted. C57/BL10 mice were used as donors and recipients in a syngeneic islet transplant model. Isolated islets were divided by size (large, >300 μm; medium 150-300 μm; small, <150 μm). Each size was transplanted in chemically induced diabetic mice as full (600 IEQ), suboptimal (400 IEQ), and marginal mass (200 IEQ). Control animals received all size islets. Engraftment was defined as reversal of diabetes by day 7 posttransplantation. When the superiority of smaller islets was observed, strategies of overdigestion and fragmentation were adopted during islet isolation in the attempt to reduce islet size and improve engraftment. Smaller islets were significantly superior in engraftment compared to medium, large, and control (all sizes) groups. This was more evident when marginal mass data were compared. In all masses, success decreased as islet size increased. Once islets were engrafted, functionality was not affected by size. When larger islets were fragmented, a significant decrease in islet functionality was observed. On the contrary, if pancreata were slightly overdigested, although not as successful as small naive islets, an increase in engraftment was observed when compared to the control group. In conclusion, smaller islets are superior in engraftment following islet transplantation. Fragmentation has a deleterious effect on islet engraftment. Islet isolations can be performed by reducing islet size with slight overdigestion, and it can be safely adopted to improve clinical

  18. Adjuvant irradiation improves the outcome of patients with rectal cancer following local excision

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chakravarti, Arnab; Willett, Christopher G.; Shellito, Paul; Kaufman, Donald; Daley, William J.


    adjuvant irradiation had a 5-year actuarial local control of 100%. One of these 5 patients developed distant metastases at 13 months. irradiation had a 5-year actuarial local control of 100%. One of these 5 patients developed distant metastases at 13 months. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicates a trend towards improved local control and recurrence-free survival in patients with T1/T2 rectal cancers managed by local excision in combination with radiation and concurrent chemotherapy versus local excision alone. The outcome was excellent in the adjuvant chemoradiation group with 100% local control and 88% RFS. The presence of either poorly differentiated histology or lymphatic/venous vessel invasion significantly lowered local control probabilities for the patients undergoing local excision alone. Adjuvant chemoradiation appears to have resulted in improved outcome for patients with poor pathologic features. We, therefore, recommend adjuvant chemoradiation for patients with tumors exhibiting these high-risk pathologic features as well as for all stage T2 patients

  19. [Does CT-navigation improve the outcome of functional endonasal sinus surgery?]. (United States)

    Thomaser, E G; Tschopp, K


    Computer-assisted surgery (CAS) has found widespread use in functional endonasal sinus surgery (FESS) over the past few years. The present study investigates if CAS leads to a better outcome in FESS. All patients who underwent endonasal sphenoethmoidectomy were enrolled in a prospective, non-randomized study. The procedures were done without CAS (group A) in 2003 and in 2004 with CAS (group B), using a Stryker navigation unit. 62 patients (113 sphenoidectomies) were included in group A and 61 patients (109 sphenoidectomies) in group B. The underlying disease was recurrent chronic sinusitis or polyposis nasi in all patients except for inverted papilloma in one patient of group A and in two patients of group B. The follow-up period was 6 months. Preoperatively and at 6 months postoperatively, a CT-scan was obtained and symptom scores were assessed using a questionnaire. No significant difference was found between group A and B with respect to symptom scores, and CT-scans preoperatively and at 6 months postoperatively. The operation strategy did not change by the introduction of CAS. The frontal sinus was entered in group A and B in 59% and 64%, respectively. All parameters significantly improved postoperatively, compared to the preoperative values. As far as complications are concerned, two anterior orbital injuries and one retrobulbar haematoma occurred in group A and one postoperative lacrimal stenosis in group B. CAS does not lead to a better clinical outcome in FESS. Our data suggest that the rate of complications may be reduced using CAS. However, studies with a much larger number of patients would be necessary for a definite answer to this issue.

  20. On the Diverse Outcome of Communication Partner Training of Significant Others of People with Aphasia: An Experimental Study of Six Cases (United States)

    Eriksson, Karin; Hartelius, Lena; Saldert, Charlotta


    Background: Communication partner training (CPT) has been shown to improve the communicative environment of people with aphasia. Interaction-focused training is one type of training that provides an individualized intervention to participants. Although shown to be effective, outcomes have mostly been evaluated in non-experimental case studies.…

  1. Arginine as an adjuvant to chemotherapy improves clinical outcome in active tuberculosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schön, T; Elias, D; Moges, F


    , and clinical symptoms after week 8. Secondary outcomes were sedimentation rate and levels of NO metabolites, arginine, citrulline, and tumour necrosis factor-a. Compared with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-/TB+ placebo group, the HIV-/TB+ patients in the arginine group showed significant improvement......, defined as increased weight gain, higher sputum conversion rate and faster reduction of symptoms, such as cough. The arginine level increased after week 2 in the HIV-/TB+ arginine group (100.2 microM (range 90.5-109.9) versus 142.1 microM (range 114.1-170.1)) compared with the HIV-/TB+ placebo group (105.......5 microM (range 93.7-117.3) versus 95.7 microM (range 82.4-108.9)). HIV seroprevalence was 52.5%. No clinical improvement or increase in serum arginine was detected in arginine supplemented HIV+/TB+ patients compared with placebo. Arginine is beneficial as an adjuvant treatment in human immunodeficiency...

  2. Task oriented training improves the balance outcome & reducing fall risk in diabetic population. (United States)

    Ghazal, Javeria; Malik, Arshad Nawaz; Amjad, Imran


    The objective was to determine the balance impairments and to compare task oriented versus traditional balance training in fall reduction among diabetic patients. The randomized control trial with descriptive survey and 196 diabetic patients were recruited to assess balance impairments through purposive sampling technique. Eighteen patients were randomly allocated into two groups; task oriented balance training group TOB (n=8) and traditional balance training group TBT (n=10). The inclusion criteria were 30-50 years age bracket and diagnosed cases of Diabetes Mellitus with neuropathy. The demographics were taken through standardized & valid assessment tools include Berg Balance Scale and Functional Reach Test. The measurements were obtained at baseline, after 04 and 08 weeks of training. The mean age of the participants was 49 ±6.79. The result shows that 165(84%) were at moderate risk of fall and 31(15%) were at mild risk of fall among total 196 diabetic patients. There was significant improvement (p balance training group for dynamic balance, anticipatory balance and reactive balance after 8 weeks of training as compare to traditional balance training. Task oriented balance training is effective in improving the dynamic, anticipator and reactive balance. The task oriented training reduces the risk of falling through enhancing balance outcome.

  3. Using Primary Care Parenting Interventions to Improve Outcomes in Children with Developmental Disabilities: A Case Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cassandra L. Tellegen


    Full Text Available Parenting is central to the health and well-being of children. Children with developmental disabilities have been shown to be at increased risk of developing emotional and behavioral problems. Parent training programs are effective interventions for improving child behavior and family functioning. This paper describes the outcomes of a brief 4-session parenting intervention (Primary Care Stepping Stones Triple P targeting compliance and cooperative play skills in an 8-year-old girl with Asperger’s disorder and ADHD combined type. The intervention was associated with decreases in child behavior problems, increases in parenting confidence, and decreases in dysfunctional parenting styles. This paper demonstrates that low-intensity parenting interventions can lead to significant improvements in child behavior and family functioning. Such brief interventions are cost effective, can be widely disseminated, and have been designed to be delivered within primary health care settings. Pediatricians can play a key role in identifying parents in need of assistance and in helping them access evidence-based parenting interventions.

  4. Increased Preclass Preparation Underlies Student Outcome Improvement in the Flipped Classroom. (United States)

    Gross, David; Pietri, Evava S; Anderson, Gordon; Moyano-Camihort, Karin; Graham, Mark J


    Active-learning environments such as those found in a flipped classroom are known to increase student performance, although how these gains are realized over the course of a semester is less well understood. In an upper-level lecture course designed primarily for biochemistry majors, we examine how students attain improved learning outcomes, as measured by exam scores, when the course is converted to a more active flipped format. The context is a physical chemistry course catering to life science majors in which approximately half of the lecture material is placed online and in-class problem-solving activities are increased, while total class time is reduced. We find that exam performance significantly improves by nearly 12% in the flipped-format course, due in part to students interacting with course material in a more timely and accurate manner. We also find that the positive effects of the flipped class are most pronounced for students with lower grade point averages and for female students. © 2015 D. Gross et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (

  5. Incentives for increasing prenatal care use by women in order to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes. (United States)

    Till, Sara R; Everetts, David; Haas, David M


    Prenatal care is recommended during pregnancy as a method to improve neonatal and maternal outcomes. Improving the use of prenatal care is important, particularly for women at moderate to high risk of adverse outcomes. Incentives are sometimes utilized to encourage women to attend prenatal care visits. To determine whether incentives are an effective tool to increase utilization of timely prenatal care among women. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 January 2015) and the reference lists of all retrieved studies. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs, and cluster-RCTs that utilized direct incentives to pregnant women explicitly linked to initiation and frequency of prenatal care were included. Incentives could include cash, vouchers, coupons or products not generally offered to women as a standard of prenatal care. Comparisons were to no incentives and to incentives not linked directly to utilization of care. We also planned to compare different types of interventions, i.e. monetary versus products or services. Two review authors independently assessed studies for inclusion and methodological quality. Two review authors independently extracted data. Data were checked for accuracy. We identified 11 studies (19 reports), six of which we excluded. Five studies, involving 11,935 pregnancies were included, but only 1893 pregnancies contributed data regarding our specified outcomes. Incentives in the studies included cash, gift card, baby carrier, baby blanket or taxicab voucher and were compared with no incentives. Meta-analysis was performed for only one outcome 'Return for postpartum care' and this outcome was not pre-specified in our protocol. Other analyses were restricted to data from single studies.Trials were at a moderate risk of bias overall. Randomization and allocation were adequate and risk of selection bias was low in three studies and unclear in two studies. None of the studies were blinded to the

  6. Natalizumab Significantly Improves Cognitive Impairment over Three Years in MS: Pattern of Disability Progression and Preliminary MRI Findings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Mattioli

    Full Text Available Previous studies reported that Multiple Sclerosis (MS patients treated with natalizumab for one or two years exhibit a significant reduction in relapse rate and in cognitive impairment, but the long term effects on cognitive performance are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of natalizumab on cognitive impairment in a cohort of 24 consecutive patients with relapsing remitting MS treated for 3 years. The neuropsychological tests, as well as relapse number and EDSS, were assessed at baseline and yearly for three years. The impact on cortical atrophy was also considered in a subgroup of them, and are thus to be considered as preliminary. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of impaired neuropsychological tests after three years, a significant decrease in annualized relapse rate at each time points compared to baseline and a stable EDSS. In the neuropsychological assessment, a significant improvement in memory, attention and executive function test scores was detected. Preliminary MRI data show that, while GM volume did not change at 3 years, a significantly greater parahippocampal and prefrontal gray matter density was noticed, the former correlating with neuropsychological improvement in a memory test. This study showed that therapy with Natalizumab is helpful in improving cognitive performance, and is likely to have a protective role on grey matter, over a three years follow-up.

  7. Improve Outcomes Study subjects Chemistry Teaching and Learning Strategies through independent study with the help of computer-based media (United States)

    Sugiharti, Gulmah


    This study aims to see the improvement of student learning outcomes by independent learning using computer-based learning media in the course of STBM (Teaching and Learning Strategy) Chemistry. Population in this research all student of class of 2014 which take subject STBM Chemistry as many as 4 class. While the sample is taken by purposive as many as 2 classes, each 32 students, as control class and expriment class. The instrument used is the test of learning outcomes in the form of multiple choice with the number of questions as many as 20 questions that have been declared valid, and reliable. Data analysis techniques used one-sided t test and improved learning outcomes using a normalized gain test. Based on the learning result data, the average of normalized gain values for the experimental class is 0,530 and for the control class is 0,224. The result of the experimental student learning result is 53% and the control class is 22,4%. Hypothesis testing results obtained t count> ttable is 9.02> 1.6723 at the level of significance α = 0.05 and db = 58. This means that the acceptance of Ha is the use of computer-based learning media (CAI Computer) can improve student learning outcomes in the course Learning Teaching Strategy (STBM) Chemistry academic year 2017/2018.

  8. Has growth mixture modeling improved our understanding of how early change predicts psychotherapy outcome? (United States)

    Koffmann, Andrew


    Early change in psychotherapy predicts outcome. Seven studies have used growth mixture modeling [GMM; Muthén, B. (2001). Second-generation structural equation modeling with a combination of categorical and continuous latent variables: New opportunities for latent class-latent growth modeling. In L. M. Collins & A. G. Sawyers (Eds.), New methods for the analysis of change (pp. 291-322). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association] to identify patient classes based on early change but have yielded conflicting results. Here, we review the earlier studies and apply GMM to a new data set. In a university-based training clinic, 251 patients were administered the Outcome Questionnaire-45 [Lambert, M. J., Hansen, N. B., Umphress, V., Lunnen, K., Okiishi, J., Burlingame, G., … Reisinger, C. W. (1996). Administration and scoring manual for the Outcome Questionnaire (OQ 45.2). Wilmington, DE: American Professional Credentialing Services] at each psychotherapy session. We used GMM to identify class structure based on change in the first six sessions and examined trajectories as predictors of outcome. The sample was best described as a single class. There was no evidence of autoregressive trends in the data. We achieved better fit to the data by permitting latent variables some degree of kurtosis, rather than to assume multivariate normality. Treatment outcome was predicted by the amount of early improvement, regardless of initial level of distress. The presence of sudden early gains or losses did not further improve outcome prediction. Early improvement is an easily computed, powerful predictor of psychotherapy outcome. The use of GMM to investigate the relationship between change and outcome is technically complex and computationally intensive. To date, it has not been particularly informative.

  9. What is the value of the routine use of patient-reported outcome measures toward improvement of patient outcomes, processes of care, and health service outcomes in cancer care? A systematic review of controlled trials. (United States)

    Kotronoulas, Grigorios; Kearney, Nora; Maguire, Roma; Harrow, Alison; Di Domenico, David; Croy, Suzanne; MacGillivray, Stephen


    The systematic use of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) has been advocated as an effective way to standardize cancer practice. Yet, the question of whether PROMs can lead to actual improvements in the quality of patient care remains under debate. This review examined whether inclusion of PROM in routine clinical practice is associated with improvements in patient outcomes, processes of care, and health service outcomes during active anticancer treatment. A systematic review of five electronic databases (Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL [Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature], PsycINFO, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection [PBSC]) was conducted from database inception to May 2012 to locate randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials of patients receiving active anticancer treatment or supportive care irrespective of type of cancer. Based on prespecified eligibility criteria, we included 26 articles that reported on 24 unique controlled trials. Wide variability in the design and use of interventions delivered, outcomes evaluated, and cancer- and modality-specific context was apparent. Health service outcomes were only scarcely included as end points. Overall, the number of statistically significant findings were limited and PROMs' intervention effect sizes were predominantly small-to-moderate. The routine use of PROMs increases the frequency of discussion of patient outcomes during consultations. In some studies, PROMs are associated with improved symptom control, increased supportive care measures, and patient satisfaction. Additional effort is required to ensure patient adherence, as well as additional support to clinicians who will respond to patient concerns and issues, with clear system guidelines in place to guide their responses. More research is required to support PROM cost-benefit in terms of patient safety, clinician burden, and health services usage.

  10. Excision Hemorrhoidectomy: New Methods to Improve the Outcomes of an Old Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Context Hemorrhoidal disease is the most common anorectal disorder that requires surgical intervention. Hemorrhoids require treatment when they result in symptoms such as bleeding or prolapse. Surgical intervention is indicated for significant prolapse, and a number of accepted and viable methods are available for treating prolapsing hemorrhoids that do not reduce spontaneously (Grade III and IV. Excision hemorrhoidectomy remains the gold standard treatment for Grade III and IV hemorrhoids despite great interest in alternative procedures such as stapled hemorrhoidopexy and Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation with mucopexy. A large body of evidence demonstrates that excision hemorrhoidectomy is an effective, safe, and affordable procedure. Nevertheless, the main drawback of excision hemorrhoidectomy remains its notorious association with significant postoperative pain. Evidence Acquisition A comprehensive literature search was conducted through MEDLINE and the Cochrane database of systematic reviews. Only prospective case-controlled studies, review articles, and meta-analyses were considered. Results Many strategies have been put forward in the literature to address the issue of pain after excision hemorrhoidectomy. These strategies can be broadly categorized into surgical techniques (e.g., LigaSure hemorrhoidectomy and pharmacological adjuncts (e.g., intradermal methylene blue and chemical sphincterotomy with glyceryl trinitrate ointment. In recent years, meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials have been performed to evaluate their effects. Conclusions This article evaluates the evidence behind these strategies and outlines the new methods available to improve the outcomes of an old technique.

  11. Organization as Information Processing Systems. Toward a Model of the Research Factors Associated with Significant Research Outcomes. (United States)


    institutional conditions enable and reinforce behavior that leads to significant research oit comes. Financial grants, research assistance, and a...include positive instituitional conditions, diverse idea sources and widespread * communications, a goal of theoretical understanding, a relevant research

  12. Quality Improvement Process in a Large Intensive Care Unit: Structure and Outcomes. (United States)

    Reddy, Anita J; Guzman, Jorge A


    Quality improvement in the health care setting is a complex process, and even more so in the critical care environment. The development of intensive care unit process measures and quality improvement strategies are associated with improved outcomes, but should be individualized to each medical center as structure and culture can differ from institution to institution. The purpose of this report is to describe the structure of quality improvement processes within a large medical intensive care unit while using examples of the study institution's successes and challenges in the areas of stat antibiotic administration, reduction in blood product waste, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and medication errors. © The Author(s) 2015.

  13. Quality Improvement in Anesthesiology - Leveraging Data and Analytics to Optimize Outcomes. (United States)

    Valentine, Elizabeth A; Falk, Scott A


    Quality improvement is at the heart of practice of anesthesiology. Objective data are critical for any quality improvement initiative; when possible, a combination of process, outcome, and balancing metrics should be evaluated to gauge the value of an intervention. Quality improvement is an ongoing process; iterative reevaluation of data is required to maintain interventions, ensure continued effectiveness, and continually improve. Dashboards can facilitate rapid analysis of data and drive decision making. Large data sets can be useful to establish benchmarks and compare performance against other providers, practices, or institutions. Audit and feedback strategies are effective in facilitating positive change. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Continuous Quality Improvement and Comprehensive Primary Health Care: A Systems Framework to Improve Service Quality and Health Outcomes (United States)

    McCalman, Janya; Bailie, Ross; Bainbridge, Roxanne; McPhail-Bell, Karen; Percival, Nikki; Askew, Deborah; Fagan, Ruth; Tsey, Komla


    Continuous quality improvement (CQI) processes for improving clinical care and health outcomes have been implemented by primary health-care services, with resultant health-care impacts. But only 10–20% of gain in health outcomes is contributed by health-care services; a much larger share is determined by social and cultural factors. This perspective paper argues that health care and health outcomes can be enhanced through applying CQI as a systems approach to comprehensive primary health care. Referring to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian context as an example, the authors provide a systems framework that includes strategies and conditions to facilitate evidence-based and local decision making by primary health-care services. The framework describes the integration of CQI vertically to improve linkages with governments and community members and horizontally with other sectors to influence the social and cultural determinants of health. Further, government and primary health-care service investment is required to support and extend integration and evaluation of CQI efforts vertically and horizontally. PMID:29623271

  15. Continuous Quality Improvement and Comprehensive Primary Health Care: A Systems Framework to Improve Service Quality and Health Outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janya McCalman


    Full Text Available Continuous quality improvement (CQI processes for improving clinical care and health outcomes have been implemented by primary health-care services, with resultant health-care impacts. But only 10–20% of gain in health outcomes is contributed by health-care services; a much larger share is determined by social and cultural factors. This perspective paper argues that health care and health outcomes can be enhanced through applying CQI as a systems approach to comprehensive primary health care. Referring to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian context as an example, the authors provide a systems framework that includes strategies and conditions to facilitate evidence-based and local decision making by primary health-care services. The framework describes the integration of CQI vertically to improve linkages with governments and community members and horizontally with other sectors to influence the social and cultural determinants of health. Further, government and primary health-care service investment is required to support and extend integration and evaluation of CQI efforts vertically and horizontally.

  16. Diabetes technology: improving care, improving patient-reported outcomes and preventing complications in young people with Type 1 diabetes. (United States)

    Prahalad, P; Tanenbaum, M; Hood, K; Maahs, D M


    With the evolution of diabetes technology, those living with Type 1 diabetes are given a wider arsenal of tools with which to achieve glycaemic control and improve patient-reported outcomes. Furthermore, the use of these technologies may help reduce the risk of acute complications, such as severe hypoglycaemia and diabetic ketoacidosis, as well as long-term macro- and microvascular complications. In addition, diabetes technology can have a beneficial impact on psychosocial health by reducing the burden of diabetes. Unfortunately, diabetes goals are often unmet and people with Type 1 diabetes too frequently experience acute and long-term complications of this condition, in addition to often having less than ideal psychosocial outcomes. Increasing realization of the importance of patient-reported outcomes is leading to diabetes care delivery becoming more patient-centred. Diabetes technology in the form of medical devices, digital health and big data analytics have the potential to improve clinical care and psychosocial support, resulting in lower rates of acute and chronic complications, decreased burden of diabetes care, and improved quality of life. © 2018 Diabetes UK.

  17. Continuous Quality Improvement and Comprehensive Primary Health Care: A Systems Framework to Improve Service Quality and Health Outcomes. (United States)

    McCalman, Janya; Bailie, Ross; Bainbridge, Roxanne; McPhail-Bell, Karen; Percival, Nikki; Askew, Deborah; Fagan, Ruth; Tsey, Komla


    Continuous quality improvement (CQI) processes for improving clinical care and health outcomes have been implemented by primary health-care services, with resultant health-care impacts. But only 10-20% of gain in health outcomes is contributed by health-care services; a much larger share is determined by social and cultural factors. This perspective paper argues that health care and health outcomes can be enhanced through applying CQI as a systems approach to comprehensive primary health care. Referring to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian context as an example, the authors provide a systems framework that includes strategies and conditions to facilitate evidence-based and local decision making by primary health-care services. The framework describes the integration of CQI vertically to improve linkages with governments and community members and horizontally with other sectors to influence the social and cultural determinants of health. Further, government and primary health-care service investment is required to support and extend integration and evaluation of CQI efforts vertically and horizontally.

  18. Yoga Can Improve Assisted Reproduction Technology Outcomes in Couples With Infertility. (United States)

    Darbandi, Sara; Darbandi, Mahsa; Khorram Khorshid, Hamid Reza; Sadeghi, Mohammad Reza


    Context • Depending on the cause of the infertility, nonsurgical or surgical treatments may be used to treat men and women with infertility. Despite improved outcomes due to medical advances, assisted reproductive technology (ART) for couples with infertility is sometimes unsuccessful. Success may be affected by the patient's social, psychological, and physical status. Objective • The study examined the effects of yoga-including asanas (yoga poses), pranayama (proper breathing), shavasana, and meditation-on male and female fertility and ART outcomes. Design • The research team performed a literature review, electronically searching for articles published between January 1978 and January 2016 in the PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar databases. Setting • The study took place at the Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center at the Avicenna Research Institute at the Academic Center for Education, Culture, and Research (Tehran, Iran). Participants • Participants were couples with infertility taking part in 87 reviewed studies. Intervention • Yoga was the intervention. Outcome Measures • The outcome measures comprised fertility factors in males and females, fertility rate, and ART success rate. Results • The reviewed studies showed that yoga can provide stress management for patients with infertility, with beneficial effects on fertility, helping couples give birth. They found that yoga also could reduce pain; decrease depression, anxiety, and stress; reduce the rate of assisted vaginal delivery; and improve fetal outcomes. Conclusions • Yoga can help couples overcome infertility and increase the ART success rate by improving the physiological and psychological states of both men and women.

  19. High volume improves outcomes: The argument for centralization of rectal cancer surgery. (United States)

    Aquina, Christopher T; Probst, Christian P; Becerra, Adan Z; Iannuzzi, James C; Kelly, Kristin N; Hensley, Bradley J; Rickles, Aaron S; Noyes, Katia; Fleming, Fergal J; Monson, John R T


    Centralization of care to "centers of excellence" in Europe has led to improved oncologic outcomes; however, little is known regarding the impact of nonmandated regionalization of rectal cancer care in the United States. The Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) was queried for elective abdominoperineal and low anterior resections for rectal cancer from 2000 to 2011 in New York with the use of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. Surgeon volume and hospital volume were grouped into quartiles, and high-volume surgeons (≥ 10 resections/year) and hospitals (≥ 25 resections/year) were defined as the top quartile of annual caseload of rectal cancer resection and compared with the bottom 3 quartiles during analyses. Bivariate and multilevel regression analyses were performed to assess factors associated with restorative procedures, 30-day mortality, and temporal trends in these endpoints. Among 7,798 rectal cancer resections, the overall rate of no-restorative proctectomy and 30-day mortality decreased by 7.7% and 1.2%, respectively, from 2000 to 2011. In addition, there was a linear increase in the proportion of cases performed by both high-volume surgeons and high-volume hospitals and a decrease in the number of surgeons and hospitals performing rectal cancer surgery. High-volume surgeons at high-volume hospitals were associated independently with both less nonrestorative proctectomies (odds ratio 0.65, 95% confidence interval 0.48-0.89) and mortality (odds ratio 0.43, 95% confidence interval 0.21-0.87) rates. No patterns of significant improvement within the volume strata of the surgeon and hospitals were observed over time. This study suggests that the current trend toward regionalization of rectal cancer care to high-volume surgeons and high-volume centers has led to improved outcomes. These findings have implications regarding the policy of health care delivery in the United States, supporting referral to high

  20. Automation of CT-based haemorrhagic stroke assessment for improved clinical outcomes: study protocol and design. (United States)

    Chinda, Betty; Medvedev, George; Siu, William; Ester, Martin; Arab, Ali; Gu, Tao; Moreno, Sylvain; D'Arcy, Ryan C N; Song, Xiaowei


    Haemorrhagic stroke is of significant healthcare concern due to its association with high mortality and lasting impact on the survivors' quality of life. Treatment decisions and clinical outcomes depend strongly on the size, spread and location of the haematoma. Non-contrast CT (NCCT) is the primary neuroimaging modality for haematoma assessment in haemorrhagic stroke diagnosis. Current procedures do not allow convenient NCCT-based haemorrhage volume calculation in clinical settings, while research-based approaches are yet to be tested for clinical utility; there is a demonstrated need for developing effective solutions. The project under review investigates the development of an automatic NCCT-based haematoma computation tool in support of accurate quantification of haematoma volumes. Several existing research methods for haematoma volume estimation are studied. Selected methods are tested using NCCT images of patients diagnosed with acute haemorrhagic stroke. For inter-rater and intrarater reliability evaluation, different raters will analyse haemorrhage volumes independently. The efficiency with respect to time of haematoma volume assessments will be examined to compare with the results from routine clinical evaluations and planimetry assessment that are known to be more accurate. The project will target the development of an enhanced solution by adapting existing methods and integrating machine learning algorithms. NCCT-based information of brain haemorrhage (eg, size, volume, location) and other relevant information (eg, age, sex, risk factor, comorbidities) will be used in relation to clinical outcomes with future project development. Validity and reliability of the solution will be examined for potential clinical utility. The project including procedures for deidentification of NCCT data has been ethically approved. The study involves secondary use of existing data and does not require new consent of participation. The team consists of clinical neuroimaging

  1. Continuous Improvement and Employee Engagement, Part 2: Design, Implementation, and Outcomes of a Daily Management System. (United States)

    Maurer, Marsha; Browall, Pamela; Phelan, Cynthia; Sanchez, Sandra; Sulmonte, Kimberlyann; Wandel, Jane; Wang, Allison


    A daily management system (DMS) can be used to implement continuous quality improvement and advance employee engagement. It can empower staff to identify problems in the care environment that impact quality or work flow and to address them on a daily basis. Through a DMS, improvement becomes the work of everyone, every day. The authors of this 2-part series describe their work to develop a DMS. Part 2 describes the implementation and outcomes of the program.

  2. Outcomes of Concurrent Operations: Results From the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. (United States)

    Liu, Jason B; Berian, Julia R; Ban, Kristen A; Liu, Yaoming; Cohen, Mark E; Angelos, Peter; Matthews, Jeffrey B; Hoyt, David B; Hall, Bruce L; Ko, Clifford Y


    To determine whether concurrently performed operations are associated with an increased risk for adverse events. Concurrent operations occur when a surgeon is simultaneously responsible for critical portions of 2 or more operations. How this practice affects patient outcomes is unknown. Using American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data from 2014 to 2015, operations were considered concurrent if they overlapped by ≥60 minutes or in their entirety. Propensity-score-matched cohorts were constructed to compare death or serious morbidity (DSM), unplanned reoperation, and unplanned readmission in concurrent versus non-concurrent operations. Multilevel hierarchical regression was used to account for the clustered nature of the data while controlling for procedure and case mix. There were 1430 (32.3%) surgeons from 390 (77.7%) hospitals who performed 12,010 (2.3%) concurrent operations. Plastic surgery (n = 393 [13.7%]), otolaryngology (n = 470 [11.2%]), and neurosurgery (n = 2067 [8.4%]) were specialties with the highest proportion of concurrent operations. Spine procedures were the most frequent concurrent procedures overall (n = 2059/12,010 [17.1%]). Unadjusted rates of DSM (9.0% vs 7.1%; P < 0.001), reoperation (3.6% vs 2.7%; P < 0.001), and readmission (6.9% vs 5.1%; P < 0.001) were greater in the concurrent operation cohort versus the non-concurrent. After propensity score matching and risk-adjustment, there was no significant association of concurrence with DSM (odds ratio [OR] 1.08; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.96-1.21), reoperation (OR 1.16; 95% CI 0.96-1.40), or readmission (OR 1.14; 95% CI 0.99-1.29). In these analyses, concurrent operations were not detected to increase the risk for adverse outcomes. These results do not lessen the need for further studies, continuous self-regulation and proactive disclosure to patients.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachmat Sahputra


    Full Text Available Learning in the understanding of acid-base chemistry in schools needs to be improved so research to determine differences in learning outcomes between students taught using environmental approaches and methods lectures in class XI SMA on acid-base subject needs to be done. In this study, using a quasi-experimental method using a data collection tool achievement test essay form. The test statistic results of the post-test learning has been obtained Asymp value. Sig (2-tailed 0,026 that showed the differences between students' learning outcomes with a control experimental class with effect size of 0.63 or much influence difference with the percentage 23.57% which indicated that the learning environment approach can improve learning outcomes of high school students.

  4. Significant clinical improvement in radiation-induced lumbosacral poly-radiculopathy by a treatment combining pentoxifylline, tocopherol, and clodronate (Pentoclo)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delanian, S. [Hop St Louis, Serv Oncol Radiotherapie, APHP, F-75010 Paris, (France); Lefaix, J.L. [CEA-LARIA, CIRIL-GANIL, Caen, (France); Maisonobe, T. [Hop La Pitie Salpetriere, Federat Neurophysiol Clin, APHP, Paris, (France)


    Radiation-induced (RI) peripheral neuropathy is a rare and severe delayed complication of radiotherapy that is spontaneously irreversible, with no standard of treatment. We previously developed a successful antioxidant treatment in RI fibrosis and necrosis. Two patients with progressive worsening RI lumbosacral poly-radiculopathy experienced over several years a significant clinical improvement in their neurological sensorimotor symptoms with long-term pentoxifylline-tocopherol-clodronate treatment, and good safety. (authors)

  5. The cumulative effect of small dietary changes may significantly improve nutritional intakes in free-living children and adults


    Bornet , Francis; Paineau , Damien; Beaufils , François; Boulier , Alain; Cassuto , Dominique-Adèle; Chwalow , Judith; Combris , Pierre; Couet , Charles; Jouret , Béatrice; Lafay , Lionel; Laville , Martine; Mahé , Sylvain; Ricour , Claude; Romon , Monique; Simon , Chantal


    Abstract Background/Objectives: The ELPAS study was an 8-month randomized controlled dietary modification trial designed to test the hypothesis that family dietary coaching would improve nutritional intakes and weight control in 2026 free-living children and parents (Paineau et al., 2008). It resulted in significant nutritional changes, with beneficial effects on body mass index in adults. In these ancillary analyses, we investigated dietary changes throughout the intervention. ...

  6. The Effect of Significant International Sports Events on Qualified Detoxification Treatment Outcome - Do Drop-Out Rates Change during UEFA European Championship?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvonne Sofin

    Full Text Available No previous studies have evaluated the influence of significant international sports events on qualified detoxification treatment outcome. This prospective study examines the impact of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship on inpatient treatment outcome of alcohol dependent patients. Hospital admission and premature drop-out rates of consecutively admitted alcohol dependent patients were determined before, during and immediately after the UEFA Championship in the year 2012. The admission rate of male patients increased significantly after the European Football Championship had ended whereas for female patients, no change in admission rate was found. Daily average discharge rate was calculated. No statistically relevant differences between the treatment days before, during and after the UEFA Championship was found for the discharges. During the tournament, exclusively male patients dropped out. Our results are consistent with an interpretation of an association between European Football Championship and detoxification treatment outcome. Further research to replicate and extend our findings is necessary.

  7. How Can Placement Policy Improve Math Remediation Outcomes? Evidence from Experimentation in Community Colleges (United States)

    Ngo, Federick; Melguizo, Tatiana


    Changing placement policy may help to improve developmental education student outcomes in community colleges, but there is little understanding of the impacts of these reforms. We take advantage of heterogeneous placement policy in a large urban community college district in California to compare the effects of math remediation under different…

  8. #DDOD Use Case: Improve National Death Registry for use with outcomes research (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — SUMMARY DDOD use case request to improve National Death Registry for use with outcomes research. WHAT IS A USE CASE? A “Use Case” is a request that was made by the...

  9. Does Prison-Based Adult Basic Education Improve Postrelease Outcomes for Male Prisoners in Florida? (United States)

    Cho, Rosa Minhyo; Tyler, John H.


    The authors use administrative data from Florida to determine the extent to which prison-based adult basic education (ABE) improves inmate's postrelease labor market outcomes, such as earnings and employment. Using two nonexperimental comparison groups, the authors find evidence that ABE participation is associated with higher postrelease earnings…

  10. Improving Labour Market Outcomes for the Poor in Sub-Saharan Africa

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Improving Labour Market Outcomes for the Poor in Sub-Saharan Africa. African economies are finally experiencing a period of high economic growth, speeding up the slow transition from agriculture to manufacturing. Nonetheless, the share of agriculture in the region's economies continues to be higher than in any other ...

  11. The effectiveness of skills training for improving outcomes in supported employment. (United States)

    Mueser, Kim T; Aalto, Steve; Becker, Deborah R; Ogden, John S; Wolfe, Rosemarie S; Schiavo, Diane; Wallace, Charles J; Xie, Haiyi


    This study evaluated whether a supplementary skills training program improved work outcomes for clients enrolled in supported employment programs. Thirty-five recently employed clients with severe mental illness who were receiving supported employment services at a free-standing agency were randomly assigned to participate in either the workplace fundamentals program, a skills training program designed to make work more "successful and satisfying," or treatment as usual. Knowledge of workplace fundamentals (for example, identifying workplace stressors, problem solving, and improving job performance) was assessed at baseline and at nine months; employment outcomes and use of additional vocational services were tracked for 18 months. Clients in the workplace fundamentals group (N=17) improved more in knowledge of workplace fundamentals than those in the control group (N=18) at the nine-month follow-up, but the two groups did not differ in the number of hours or days worked, salary earned, or receipt of additional vocational services over the 18-month period. In general, clients in this study had higher educational levels and better employment outcomes than clients in most previous studies of supported employment, making it difficult to detect possible effects of the skills training intervention on work. Supplementary skills training did not improve work outcomes for clients who were receiving supported employment.

  12. Outcomes of a Dutch workshop on improvements for the 3Rs in daily practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luijk, J. van; Leenaars, M.; Dongen, A.M. van; Vaart, L. van der; Ritskes-Hoitinga, M.


    This article describes the outcome of a workshop that was held to generate new ideas to improve the use of the 3R principles in science. The participants of the workshop represented Dutch researchers, Animal Welfare Officers, and members of Animal Ethics Committees from various affiliations,

  13. Improving a newly developed patient-reported outcome for thyroid patients, using cognitive interviewing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Watt, Torquil; Rasmussen, Ase Krogh; Groenvold, Mogens


    Objective To improve a newly developed patient-reported outcome measure for thyroid patients using cognitive interviewing. Methods Thirty-one interviews using immediate retrospective and expansive probing were conducted among patients with non-toxic goiter (n = 4), nodular toxic goiter (n = 5) Gr...

  14. The Graduation Cliff: Improving the Post-School Outcomes of Students with Disabilities. Summary Report (United States)

    McFadden, Erica Skogebo; Daugherty, David B.; Lee, Sang Eun; Fisher, Kim W.; Hack, Anthony; Spyra, Ed


    There is a federal movement to improve student outcomes targeting some of these predictors in several recently launched initiatives, but where does Arizona stand? What are we currently doing to move the needle, and what do we still need to do? This report prepared for the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council has two objectives: (1)…

  15. The Graduation Cliff: Improving the Post-School Outcomes of Students with Disabilities (United States)

    McFadden, Erica Skogebo; Daugherty, David B.; Lee, Sang Eun; Fisher, Kim W.; Hack, Anthony


    There is a federal movement to improve student outcomes targeting some of these predictors in several recently launched initiatives, but where does Arizona stand? What are we currently doing to move the needle, and what do we still need to do? This report prepared for the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council has two objectives: (1)…

  16. Unstandardized treatment of electroencephalographic status epilepticus does not improve outcome of comatose patients after cardiac arrest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofmeijer, Jeannette; Cloostermans, M.C.; Beishuizen, A.; van Putten, Michel Johannes Antonius Maria


    Objective: Electroencephalographic status epilepticus occurs in 9–35% of comatose patients after cardiac arrest. Mortality is 90–100%. It is unclear whether (some) seizure patterns represent a condition in which anti-epileptic treatment may improve outcome, or severe ischemic damage, in which

  17. Self-reported interpersonal problems and impact messages as perceived by significant others are differentially associated with the process and outcome of depression therapy. (United States)

    Altenstein-Yamanaka, David; Zimmermann, Johannes; Krieger, Tobias; Dörig, Nadja; Grosse Holtforth, Martin


    Interpersonal factors play a major role in causing and maintaining depression. This study sought to investigate how patients' self-perceived interpersonal problems and impact messages as perceived by significant others are interrelated, change over therapy, and differentially predict process and outcome in psychotherapy of depression. For the present study, we used data from 144 outpatients suffering from major depression that were treated within a psychotherapy study. Interpersonal variables were assessed pre- and posttherapy with the self-report Inventory of Interpersonal Problems-Circumplex Scale (IIP-32; Thomas, Brähler, & Strauss, 2011) and with the informant-based Impact Message Inventory (Caspar, Berger, Fingerle, & Werner, 2016). Patients' levels on the dimensions of Agency and Communion were calculated from both measures; their levels on Interpersonal Distress were measured with the IIP. Depressive and general symptomatology was assessed at pre-, post-, and at 3-month follow-up; patient-reported process measures were assessed during therapy. The Agency scores of IIP and IMI correlated moderately, but the Communion scores did not. IIP Communion was positively associated with the quality of the early therapeutic alliance and with the average level of cognitive-emotional processing during therapy. Whereas IIP Communion and IMI Agency increased over therapy, IIP Distress decreased. A pre-post-decrease in IIP Distress was positively associated with pre-postsymptomatic change over and above the other interpersonal variables, but pre-post-increase in IMI Agency was positively associated with symptomatic improvement from post- to 3-month follow-up. These findings suggest that significant others seem to provide important additional information about the patients' interpersonal style. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. Association between acute statin therapy, survival, and improved functional outcome after ischemic stroke: the North Dublin Population Stroke Study.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)


    Statins improve infarct volume and neurological outcome in animal stroke models. We investigated the relationship between statin therapy and ischemic stroke outcome in the North Dublin Population Stroke Study.

  19. Acid or erythromycin stress significantly improves transformation efficiency through regulating expression of DNA binding proteins in Lactococcus lactis F44. (United States)

    Wang, Binbin; Zhang, Huawei; Liang, Dongmei; Hao, Panlong; Li, Yanni; Qiao, Jianjun


    Lactococcus lactis is a gram-positive bacterium used extensively in the dairy industry and food fermentation, and its biological characteristics are usually improved through genetic manipulation. However, poor transformation efficiency was the main restriction factor for the construction of engineered strains. In this study, the transformation efficiency of L. lactis F44 showed a 56.1-fold increase in acid condition (pH 5.0); meanwhile, erythromycin stress (0.04 μg/mL) promoted the transformation efficiency more significantly (76.9-fold). Notably, the transformation efficiency of F44e (L. lactis F44 harboring empty pLEB124) increased up to 149.1-fold under the synergistic stresses of acid and erythromycin. In addition, the gene expression of some DNA binding proteins (DprA, RadA, RadC, RecA, RecQ, and SsbA) changed correspondingly. Especially for radA, 25.1-fold improvement was detected when F44e was exposed to pH 5.0. Overexpression of some DNA binding proteins could improve the transformation efficiency. The results suggested that acid or erythromycin stress could improve the transformation efficiency of L. lactis through regulating gene expression of DNA binding proteins. We have proposed a simple but promising strategy for improving the transformation efficiency of L. lactis and other hard-transformed microorganisms. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Information Architecture of Web-Based Interventions to Improve Health Outcomes: Systematic Review. (United States)

    Pugatch, Jillian; Grenen, Emily; Surla, Stacy; Schwarz, Mary; Cole-Lewis, Heather


    health outcomes, behavioral outcomes, or website engagement. One publication studied the isolated impact of information architecture on outcomes of interest (ie, website use and engagement; health-related knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs; and health behaviors), while the other two publications studied the impact of information architecture, website features (eg, interactivity, email prompts, and forums), and tailored content on these outcomes. The paper that investigated IA exclusively found that a tunnel IA improved site engagement and behavior knowledge, but it decreased users' perceived efficiency. The first study that did not isolate IA found that the enhanced site condition improved site usage but not the amount of content viewed. The second study that did not isolate IA found that a tailored site condition improved site usage, behavior knowledge, and some behavior outcomes. No clear conclusion can be made about the relationship between IA and health outcomes, given limited evidence in the peer-reviewed literature connecting IA to behavioral outcomes and website engagement. Only one study reviewed solely manipulated IA, and we therefore recommend improving the scientific evidence base such that additional empirical studies investigate the impact of IA in isolation. Moreover, information from the gray literature and expert opinion might be identified and added to the evidence base, in order to lay the groundwork for hypothesis generation to improve empirical evidence on information architecture and health and behavior outcomes. ©Jillian Pugatch, Emily Grenen, Stacy Surla, Mary Schwarz, Heather Cole-Lewis. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (, 21.03.2018.

  1. Improvement of Fabry Disease-Related Gastrointestinal Symptoms in a Significant Proportion of Female Patients Treated with Agalsidase Beta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilcox, William R; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla; Martins, Ana Maria


    of organ involvement. Although variable, gastrointestinal symptoms are among the most common and significant early clinical manifestations; they tend to persist into adulthood if left untreated. To further understand the effects of sustained enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with agalsidase beta......Fabry disease, an X-linked inherited lysosomal storage disorder, is caused by mutations in the gene encoding α-galactosidase, GLA. In patients with Fabry disease, glycosphingolipids accumulate in various cell types, triggering a range of cellular and tissue responses that result in a wide spectrum...... on gastrointestinal symptoms in heterozygotes, a data analysis of female patients enrolled in the Fabry Registry was conducted. To be included, females of any age must have received agalsidase beta (average dose 1.0 mg/kg every 2 weeks) for at least 2.5 years. Measured outcomes were self-reported gastrointestinal...

  2. Pharmacy Asthma Care Program (PACP) improves outcomes for patients in the community. (United States)

    Armour, Carol; Bosnic-Anticevich, Sinthia; Brillant, Martha; Burton, Debbie; Emmerton, Lynne; Krass, Ines; Saini, Bandana; Smith, Lorraine; Stewart, Kay


    Despite national disease management plans, optimal asthma management remains a challenge in Australia. Community pharmacists are ideally placed to implement new strategies that aim to ensure asthma care meets current standards of best practice. The impact of the Pharmacy Asthma Care Program (PACP) on asthma control was assessed using a multi-site randomised intervention versus control repeated measures study design. Fifty Australian pharmacies were randomised into two groups: intervention pharmacies implemented the PACP (an ongoing cycle of assessment, goal setting, monitoring and review) to 191 patients over 6 months, while control pharmacies gave their usual care to 205 control patients. Both groups administered questionnaires and conducted spirometric testing at baseline and 6 months later. The main outcome measure was asthma severity/control status. 186 of 205 control patients (91%) and 165 of 191 intervention patients (86%) completed the study. The intervention resulted in improved asthma control: patients receiving the intervention were 2.7 times more likely to improve from "severe" to "not severe" than control patients (OR 2.68, 95% CI 1.64 to 4.37; p<0.001). The intervention also resulted in improved adherence to preventer medication (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.08 to 3.30; p = 0.03), decreased mean daily dose of reliever medication (difference -149.11 microg, 95% CI -283.87 to -14.36; p=0.03), a shift in medication profile from reliever only to a combination of preventer, reliever with or without long-acting beta agonist (OR 3.80, 95% CI 1.40 to 10.32; p=0.01) and improved scores on risk of non-adherence (difference -0.44, 95% CI -0.69 to -0.18; p=0.04), quality of life (difference -0.23, 95% CI -0.46 to 0.00; p=0.05), asthma knowledge (difference 1.18, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.63; p<0.01) and perceived control of asthma questionnaires (difference -1.39, 95% CI -2.44 to -0.35; p<0.01). No significant change in spirometric measures occurred in either group. A pharmacist

  3. Pharmacy Asthma Care Program (PACP) improves outcomes for patients in the community (United States)

    Armour, Carol; Bosnic‐Anticevich, Sinthia; Brillant, Martha; Burton, Debbie; Emmerton, Lynne; Krass, Ines; Saini, Bandana; Smith, Lorraine; Stewart, Kay


    Background Despite national disease management plans, optimal asthma management remains a challenge in Australia. Community pharmacists are ideally placed to implement new strategies that aim to ensure asthma care meets current standards of best practice. The impact of the Pharmacy Asthma Care Program (PACP) on asthma control was assessed using a multi‐site randomised intervention versus control repeated measures study design. Methods Fifty Australian pharmacies were randomised into two groups: intervention pharmacies implemented the PACP (an ongoing cycle of assessment, goal setting, monitoring and review) to 191 patients over 6 months, while control pharmacies gave their usual care to 205 control patients. Both groups administered questionnaires and conducted spirometric testing at baseline and 6 months later. The main outcome measure was asthma severity/control status. Results 186 of 205 control patients (91%) and 165 of 191 intervention patients (86%) completed the study. The intervention resulted in improved asthma control: patients receiving the intervention were 2.7 times more likely to improve from “severe” to “not severe” than control patients (OR 2.68, 95% CI 1.64 to 4.37; p<0.001). The intervention also resulted in improved adherence to preventer medication (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.08 to 3.30; p = 0.03), decreased mean daily dose of reliever medication (difference −149.11 μg, 95% CI −283.87 to −14.36; p = 0.03), a shift in medication profile from reliever only to a combination of preventer, reliever with or without long‐acting β agonist (OR 3.80, 95% CI 1.40 to 10.32; p = 0.01) and improved scores on risk of non‐adherence (difference −0.44, 95% CI −0.69 to −0.18; p = 0.04), quality of life (difference −0.23, 95% CI −0.46 to 0.00; p = 0.05), asthma knowledge (difference 1.18, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.63; p<0.01) and perceived control of asthma questionnaires (difference −1.39, 95% CI −2.44 to −0.35; p<0

  4. Significant Learning Experiences and Ignatian Pedagogy: A Case Study of Curricula, Academic Practices, and Graduate Outcomes in Jesuit Universities' Honors Programs (United States)

    Pampel, Robert


    This qualitative, multisite case study used Dee Fink's taxonomy of significant learning as a lens through which to examine the curricular structure, academic practices, and graduate outcomes for honors programs at Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Special attention was given to the distinctive quality of Ignatian pedagogy and…

  5. Improving outcomes in lung cancer: the value of the multidisciplinary health care team

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denton E


    Full Text Available Eve Denton,1 Matthew Conron2 1Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Department, Alfred Hospital, 2Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia Abstract: Lung cancer is a major worldwide health burden, with high disease-related morbidity and mortality. Unlike other major cancers, there has been little improvement in lung cancer outcomes over the past few decades, and survival remains disturbingly low. Multidisciplinary care is the cornerstone of lung cancer treatment in the developed world, despite a relative lack of evidence that this model of care improves outcomes. In this article, the available literature concerning the impact of multidisciplinary care on key measures of lung cancer outcomes is reviewed. This includes the limited observational data supporting improved survival with multidisciplinary care. The impact of multidisciplinary care on other benchmark measures of quality lung cancer treatment is also examined, including staging accuracy, access to diagnostic investigations, improvements in clinical decision making, better utilization of radiotherapy and palliative care services, and improved quality of life for patients. Health service research suggests that multidisciplinary care improves care coordination, leading to a better patient experience, and reduces variation in care, a problem in lung cancer management that has been identified worldwide. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the multidisciplinary model of care overcomes barriers to treatment, promotes standardized treatment through adherence to guidelines, and allows audit of clinical services and for these reasons is more likely to provide quality care for lung cancer patients. While there is strengthening evidence suggesting that the multidisciplinary model of care contributes to improvements in lung cancer outcomes, more quality studies are needed. Keywords: lung cancer, multidisciplinary care, mortality, tumor board

  6. Empowering communities and strengthening systems to improve transgender health: outcomes from the Pehchan programme in India. (United States)

    Shaikh, Simran; Mburu, Gitau; Arumugam, Viswanathan; Mattipalli, Naveen; Aher, Abhina; Mehta, Sonal; Robertson, James


    Transgender populations face inequalities in access to HIV, health and social services. In addition, there is limited documentation of models for providing appropriately tailored services and social support for transgender populations in low- and middle-income countries. This paper presents outcomes of the Global Fund-supported Pehchan programme, which aimed to strengthen community systems and provide HIV, health, legal and social services to transgender communities across 18 Indian states through a rights-based empowerment approach. We used a pre- and post-intervention cross-sectional survey design with retrospective analysis of programmatic data. Using stratified sampling, we identified 268 transgender participants in six Indian states from a total of 48,280 transgender people served by Pehchan through 186 community-based organizations. We quantified the impact of interventions by comparing baseline and end line indicators of accessed health social and legal services. We also assessed end line self-efficacy and collective action with regard to social support networks. There were significant increases in community-based demand and use of tailored health, legal, social and psychological services over the time of the Pehchan programme. We report significant increases in access to condoms (12.5%, pgender-affirming approaches significantly improved both demand and access to tailored HIV, health and social services for transgender individuals across India. Furthermore, the Pehchan programme successfully fostered both self-efficacy and collective identity and served as a model for addressing the unique health needs of transgender communities. Continued strengthening of health, social and community systems to better respond to the unique needs of transgender communities is needed in order to sustain these gains.

  7. Empowering communities and strengthening systems to improve transgender health: outcomes from the Pehchan programme in India (United States)

    Shaikh, Simran; Mburu, Gitau; Arumugam, Viswanathan; Mattipalli, Naveen; Aher, Abhina; Mehta, Sonal; Robertson, James


    Introduction Transgender populations face inequalities in access to HIV, health and social services. In addition, there is limited documentation of models for providing appropriately tailored services and social support for transgender populations in low- and middle-income countries. This paper presents outcomes of the Global Fund-supported Pehchan programme, which aimed to strengthen community systems and provide HIV, health, legal and social services to transgender communities across 18 Indian states through a rights-based empowerment approach. Methods We used a pre- and post-intervention cross-sectional survey design with retrospective analysis of programmatic data. Using stratified sampling, we identified 268 transgender participants in six Indian states from a total of 48,280 transgender people served by Pehchan through 186 community-based organizations. We quantified the impact of interventions by comparing baseline and end line indicators of accessed health social and legal services. We also assessed end line self-efficacy and collective action with regard to social support networks. Results There were significant increases in community-based demand and use of tailored health, legal, social and psychological services over the time of the Pehchan programme. We report significant increases in access to condoms (12.5%, pgender-affirming approaches significantly improved both demand and access to tailored HIV, health and social services for transgender individuals across India. Furthermore, the Pehchan programme successfully fostered both self-efficacy and collective identity and served as a model for addressing the unique health needs of transgender communities. Continued strengthening of health, social and community systems to better respond to the unique needs of transgender communities is needed in order to sustain these gains. PMID:27431474

  8. An initiative to improve the management of clinically significant test results in a large health care network. (United States)

    Roy, Christopher L; Rothschild, Jeffrey M; Dighe, Anand S; Schiff, Gordon D; Graydon-Baker, Erin; Lenoci-Edwards, Jennifer; Dwyer, Cheryl; Khorasani, Ramin; Gandhi, Tejal K


    The failure of providers to communicate and follow up clinically significant test results (CSTR) is an important threat to patient safety. The Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors has endorsed the creation of systems to ensure that results can be received and acknowledged. In 2008 a task force was convened that represented clinicians, laboratories, radiology, patient safety, risk management, and information systems in a large health care network with the goals of providing recommendations and a road map for improvement in the management of CSTR and of implementing this improvement plan during the sub-force sequent five years. In drafting its charter, the task broadened the scope from "critical" results to "clinically significant" ones; clinically significant was defined as any result that requires further clinical action to avoid morbidity or mortality, regardless of the urgency of that action. The task force recommended four key areas for improvement--(1) standardization of policies and definitions, (2) robust identification of the patient's care team, (3) enhanced results management/tracking systems, and (4) centralized quality reporting and metrics. The task force faced many challenges in implementing these recommendations, including disagreements on definitions of CSTR and on who should have responsibility for CSTR, changes to established work flows, limitations of resources and of existing information systems, and definition of metrics. This large-scale effort to improve the communication and follow-up of CSTR in a health care network continues with ongoing work to address implementation challenges, refine policies, prepare for a new clinical information system platform, and identify new ways to measure the extent of this important safety problem.

  9. The SGLT2 Inhibitor Dapagliflozin Significantly Improves the Peripheral Microvascular Endothelial Function in Patients with Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. (United States)

    Sugiyama, Seigo; Jinnouchi, Hideaki; Kurinami, Noboru; Hieshima, Kunio; Yoshida, Akira; Jinnouchi, Katsunori; Nishimura, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Tomoko; Miyamoto, Fumio; Kajiwara, Keizo; Jinnouchi, Tomio


    Objective Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors reduce cardiovascular events and decrease the body fat mass in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We examined whether or not the SGLT2-inhibitor dapagliflozin can improve the endothelial function associated with a reduction in abdominal fat mass. Methods We prospectively recruited patients with uncontrolled (hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c] >7.0%) T2DM who were not being treated by SGLT2 inhibitors. Patients were treated with add-on dapagliflozin (5 mg/day) or non-SGLT2 inhibitor medicines for 6 months to improve their HbA1c. We measured the peripheral microvascular endothelial function as assessed by reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) and calculated the natural logarithmic transformed value of the RH-PAT index (LnRHI). We then investigated changes in the LnRHI and abdominal fat area using computed tomography (CT). Results The subjects were 54 patients with uncontrolled T2DM (72.2% men) with a mean HbA1c of 8.1%. The HbA1c was significantly decreased in both groups, with no significant difference between the groups. Dapagliflozin treatment, but not non-SGLT2 inhibitor treatment, significantly increased the LnRHI. The changes in the LnRHI were significantly greater in the dapagliflozin group than in the non-SGLT2 inhibitor group. Dapagliflozin treatment, but not non-SGLT2 inhibitor treatment, significantly decreased the abdominal visceral fat area, subcutaneous fat area (SFA), and total fat area (TFA) as assessed by CT and significantly increased the plasma adiponectin levels. The percentage changes in the LnRHI were significantly correlated with changes in the SFA, TFA, systolic blood pressure, and adiponectin. Conclusion Add-on treatment with dapagliflozin significantly improves the glycemic control and endothelial function associated with a reduction in the abdominal fat mass in patients with uncontrolled T2DM.

  10. Traditional birth attendant training for improving health behaviours and pregnancy outcomes (United States)

    Sibley, Lynn M; Sipe, Theresa Ann; Barry, Danika


    rate was lower but not significant (adjusted OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.45 to 1.22). Additionally trained TBAs versus trained TBAs: three large cluster-randomised trials compared TBAs who received additional training in initial steps of resuscitation, including bag-valve-mask ventilation, with TBAs who had received basic training in safe, clean delivery and immediate newborn care. Basic training included mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (two studies) or bag-valve-mask resuscitation (one study). There was no significant difference in the perinatal death rate between the intervention and control clusters (one study, adjusted OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.02) and no significant difference in late neonatal death rate between intervention and control clusters (one study, adjusted risk ratio (RR) 0.47, 95% CI 0.20 to 1.11). The neonatal death rate, however, was 45% lower in intervention compared with the control clusters (one study, 22.8% versus 40.2%, adjusted RR 0.54, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.92). We conducted a meta-analysis on two outcomes: stillbirths and early neonatal death. There was no significant difference between the additionally trained TBAs versus trained TBAs for stillbirths (two studies, mean weighted adjusted RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.28) or early neonatal death rate (three studies, mean weighted adjusted RR 0.83, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.01). Authors’ conclusions The results are promising for some outcomes (perinatal death, stillbirth and neonatal death). However, most outcomes are reported in only one study. A lack of contrast in training in the intervention and control clusters may have contributed to the null result for stillbirths and an insufficient number of studies may have contributed to the failure to achieve significance for early neonatal deaths. Despite the additional studies included in this updated systematic review, there remains insufficient evidence to establish the potential of TBA training to improve peri-neonatal mortality. PMID:22895949

  11. Rapid improvements in emotion regulation predict intensive treatment outcome for patients with bulimia nervosa and purging disorder. (United States)

    MacDonald, Danielle E; Trottier, Kathryn; Olmsted, Marion P


    Rapid and substantial behavior change (RSBC) early in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for eating disorders is the strongest known predictor of treatment outcome. Rapid change in other clinically relevant variables may also be important. This study examined whether rapid change in emotion regulation predicted treatment outcomes, beyond the effects of RSBC. Participants were diagnosed with bulimia nervosa or purging disorder (N = 104) and completed ≥6 weeks of CBT-based intensive treatment. Hierarchical regression models were used to test whether rapid change in emotion regulation variables predicted posttreatment outcomes, defined in three ways: (a) binge/purge abstinence; (b) cognitive eating disorder psychopathology; and (c) depression symptoms. Baseline psychopathology and emotion regulation difficulties and RSBC were controlled for. After controlling for baseline variables and RSBC, rapid improvement in access to emotion regulation strategies made significant unique contributions to the prediction of posttreatment binge/purge abstinence, cognitive psychopathology of eating disorders, and depression symptoms. Individuals with eating disorders who rapidly improve their belief that they can effectively modulate negative emotions are more likely to achieve a variety of good treatment outcomes. This supports the formal inclusion of emotion regulation skills early in CBT, and encouraging patient beliefs that these strategies are helpful. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Asthma outcomes improve with continuous positive airway pressure for obstructive sleep apnea. (United States)

    Serrano-Pariente, J; Plaza, V; Soriano, J B; Mayos, M; López-Viña, A; Picado, C; Vigil, L


    Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in asthma patients with concomitant obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) seems to have a favorable impact on asthma, but data are inconsistent due to methodological limitations of previous studies. Prospective, multicenter study. We examined asthma outcomes after 6 months of CPAP in 99 adult asthma patients (mean age 57 years) with OSAS (respiratory disturbance index ≥20). Asthma control and quality of life were assessed with the Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) and the Mini Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (MiniAQLQ), respectively. Data were analyzed by intention-to-treat basis. The mean ± SD score of the ACQ decreased from 1.39 ± 0.91 at baseline to 1.0 ± 0.78 at 6 months (P = 0.003), the percentage of patients with uncontrolled asthma from 41.4% to 17.2% (P = 0.006), and the percentage of patients with asthma attacks in the 6 months before and after treatment from 35.4% to 17.2% (P = 0.015). The score of the mAQLQ increased from 5.12 ± 1.38 to 5.63 ± 1.17 (P = 0.009). There were also significant improvements in symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux and rhinitis, bronchial reversibility, and exhaled nitric oxide values (all P obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. © 2016 The Authors. Allergy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Can outcome-based continuing medical education improve performance of immigrant physicians? (United States)

    Castel, Orit Cohen; Ezra, Vered; Alperin, Mordechai; Nave, Rachel; Porat, Tamar; Golan, Avivit Cohen; Vinker, Shlomo; Karkabi, Khaled


    Immigrant physicians are a valued resource for physician workforces in many countries. Few studies have explored the education and training needs of immigrant physicians and ways to facilitate their integration into the health care system in which they work. Using an educational program developed for immigrant civilian physicians working in military primary care clinics at the Israel Defence Force, we illustrate how an outcome-based CME program can address practicing physicians' needs for military-specific primary care education and improve patient care. Following an extensive needs assessment, a 3-year curriculum was developed. The curriculum was delivered by a multidisciplinary educational team. Pre/post multiple-choice examinations, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE), and end-of-program evaluations were administered for curriculum evaluation. To evaluate change in learners' performance, data from the 2003 (before-program) and 2006 (after-program) work-based assessments were retrieved retrospectively. Change in the performance of program participants was compared with that of immigrant physicians who did not participate in the program. Out of 28 learners, 23 (82%) completed the program. Learners did significantly better in the annual post-tests compared with the pretests (p educators, facing the challenge of integrating immigrant physicians to fit their health care system, may consider adapting our approach. Copyright © 2011 The Alliance for Continuing Medical Education, the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, and the Council on CME, Association for Hospital Medical Education.

  14. Peripheral circadian misalignment: contributor to systemic insulin resistance and potential intervention to improve bariatric surgical outcomes (United States)

    Kunze, Kyle N.; Hanlon, Erin C.; Prachand, Vivek N.


    Thirteen percent of the world's population suffers from obesity and 39% from being overweight, which correlates with an increase in numerous secondary metabolic complications, such as Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severe obesity and results in significant weight loss and the amelioration of obesity-related comorbidities through changes in enteroendocrine activity, caloric intake, and alterations in gut microbiota composition. The circadian system has recently been found to be a critical regulatory component in the control of metabolism and, thus, may potentially play an important role in inappropriate weight gain. Indeed, some behaviors and lifestyle factors associated with an increased risk of obesity are also risk factors for misalignment in the circadian clock system and for the metabolic syndrome. It is thus possible that alterations in peripheral circadian clocks in metabolically relevant tissues are a contributor to the current obesity epidemic. As such, it is plausible that postsurgical alterations in central circadian alignment, as well as peripheral gene expression in metabolic tissues may represent another mechanism for the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery may represent an opportunity to identify changes in the circadian expression of clock genes that have been altered by environmental factors, allowing for a better understanding of the mechanism of action of surgery. These studies could also reveal an overlooked target for behavioral intervention to improve metabolic outcomes following bariatric surgery. PMID:27465735

  15. Higher education attainment does not improve the adult employment outcomes of adolescents with ill health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Joy Callander


    Full Text Available This paper assesses whether attaining a higher education improves the chances of employment in adulthood amongst those who had a chronic health condition in adolescence. Using longitudinal analysis of twelve waves of the nationally representative Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, conducted between 2001 and 2012, a cohort of adolescents aged 15 to 21 in Wave 1 were followed through to age 24 (n=624. The results show that those who did have a chronic health condition during adolescence were2.4 times more likely to  not be employed at age 24 compared to those who did not have a chronic health condition (95% CI: 1.4 – 4.4, p=0.0024.  The results were adjusted for age, sex, education attainment at age 24, health status at age 24 and household income poverty status at age 24. Amongst those who did have a chronic health condition during adolescence there was no significant difference in the likelihood of being employed for those with a Year 12 and below (p=0.1087 level of education attainment or those with a Diploma, Certificate III or IV (p=0.6366 compared to those with a university degree. Education attainment was not shown to mitigate the impact of having a chronic health condition during adolescence on adult employment outcomes. Keywords: employment; chronic health conditions; poverty; living standards; longitudinal.

  16. Improving outcomes from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in young children and adolescents. (United States)

    Atkins, Dianne L; Berger, Stuart


    Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is an unusual but devastating occurrence in a young person. Years of life-lost are substantial and long-term health care costs of survivors can be high. However, there have been noteworthy improvements in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) standards, out-of hospital care, and postcardiac arrest therapies that have resulted in a several-fold improvement in resuscitation outcomes. Recent interest and research in resuscitation of children has the promise of generating improvements in the outcomes of these patients. Integrated and coordinated care in the out-of-hospital and hospital settings are required. This article will review the epidemiology of OHCA, the 2010 CPR guidelines, and developments in public access defibrillation for children.

  17. Integrating Quality and Safety Competencies to Improve Outcomes: Application in Infusion Therapy Practice. (United States)

    Sherwood, Gwen; Nickel, Barbara

    Despite intense scrutiny and process improvement initiatives, patient harm continues to occur in health care with alarming frequency. The Quality and Safety Education for Nursing (QSEN) project provides a roadmap to transform nursing by integrating 6 competencies: patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety, and informatics. As front-line caregivers, nurses encounter inherent risks in their daily work. Infusion therapy is high risk with multiple potential risks for patient harm. This study examines individual and system application of the QSEN competencies and the Infusion Nurses Society's 2016 Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice in the improvement of patient outcomes.

  18. Spontaneous Resolution of Long-Standing Macular Detachment due to Optic Disc Pit with Significant Visual Improvement. (United States)

    Parikakis, Efstratios A; Chatziralli, Irini P; Peponis, Vasileios G; Karagiannis, Dimitrios; Stratos, Aimilianos; Tsiotra, Vasileia A; Mitropoulos, Panagiotis G


    To report a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing serous macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit, leading to significant visual improvement. A 63-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of blurred vision and micropsia in her left eye. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 6/24 in the left eye, and fundoscopy revealed serous macular detachment associated with optic disc pit, which was confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT). The patient was offered vitrectomy as a treatment alternative, but she preferred to be reviewed conservatively. Three years after initial presentation, neither macular detachment nor subretinal fluid was evident in OCT, while the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS) junction line was intact. Her visual acuity was improved from 6/24 to 6/12 in her left eye, remaining stable at the 6-month follow-up after resolution. We present a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit with significant visual improvement, postulating that the integrity of the IS/OS junction line may be a prognostic factor for final visual acuity and suggesting OCT as an indicator of visual prognosis and the probable necessity of a surgical management.

  19. Spontaneous Resolution ofLong-Standing Macular Detachment due to Optic Disc Pit with Significant Visual Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Efstratios A. Parikakis


    Full Text Available Purpose: To report a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing serous macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit, leading to significant visual improvement. Case Presentation: A 63-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of blurred vision and micropsia in her left eye. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 6/24 in the left eye, and fundoscopy revealed serous macular detachment associated with optic disc pit, which was confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT. The patient was offered vitrectomy as a treatment alternative, but she preferred to be reviewed conservatively. Three years after initial presentation, neither macular detachment nor subretinal fluid was evident in OCT, while the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS junction line was intact. Her visual acuity was improved from 6/24 to 6/12 in her left eye, remaining stable at the 6-month follow-up after resolution. Conclusion: We present a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit with significant visual improvement, postulating that the integrity of the IS/OS junction line may be a prognostic factor for final visual acuity and suggesting OCT as an indicator of visual prognosis and the probable necessity of a surgical management.

  20. Initiating statistical process control to improve quality outcomes in colorectal surgery. (United States)

    Keller, Deborah S; Stulberg, Jonah J; Lawrence, Justin K; Samia, Hoda; Delaney, Conor P


    Unexpected variations in postoperative length of stay (LOS) negatively impact resources and patient outcomes. Statistical process control (SPC) measures performance, evaluates productivity, and modifies processes for optimal performance. The goal of this study was to initiate SPC to identify LOS outliers and evaluate its feasibility to improve outcomes in colorectal surgery. Review of a prospective database identified colorectal procedures performed by a single surgeon. Patients were grouped into elective and emergent categories and then stratified by laparoscopic and open approaches. All followed a standardized enhanced recovery protocol. SPC was applied to identify outliers and evaluate causes within each group. A total of 1294 cases were analyzed--83% elective (n = 1074) and 17% emergent (n = 220). Emergent cases were 70.5% open and 29.5% laparoscopic; elective cases were 36.8% open and 63.2% laparoscopic. All groups had a wide range in LOS. LOS outliers ranged from 8.6% (elective laparoscopic) to 10.8% (emergent laparoscopic). Evaluation of outliers demonstrated patient characteristics of higher ASA scores, longer operating times, ICU requirement, and temporary nursing at discharge. Outliers had higher postoperative complication rates in elective open (57.1 vs. 20.0%) and elective lap groups (77.6 vs. 26.1%). Outliers also had higher readmission rates for emergent open (11.4 vs. 5.4%), emergent lap (14.3 vs. 9.2%), and elective lap (32.8 vs. 6.9%). Elective open outliers did not follow trends of longer LOS or higher reoperation rates. SPC is feasible and promising for improving colorectal surgery outcomes. SPC identified patient and process characteristics associated with increased LOS. SPC may allow real-time outlier identification, during quality improvement efforts, and reevaluation of outcomes after introducing process change. SPC has clinical implications for improving patient outcomes and resource utilization.

  1. Mechanical Ventilation–associated Lung Fibrosis in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome A Significant Contributor to Poor Outcome (United States)

    Cabrera-Benitez, Nuria E.; Laffey, John G.; Parotto, Matteo; Spieth, Peter M.; Villar, Jesús; Zhang, Haibo; Slutsky, Arthur S.


    One of the most challenging problems in critical care medicine is the management of patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome. Increasing evidence from experimental and clinical studies suggests that mechanical ventilation, which is necessary for life support in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, can cause lung fibrosis, which may significantly contribute to morbidity and mortality. The role of mechanical stress as an inciting factor for lung fibrosis versus its role in lung homeostasis and the restoration of normal pulmonary parenchymal architecture is poorly understood. In this review, the authors explore recent advances in the field of pulmonary fibrosis in the context of acute respiratory distress syndrome, concentrating on its relevance to the practice of mechanical ventilation, as commonly applied by anesthetists and intensivists. The authors focus the discussion on the thesis that mechanical ventilation—or more specifically, that ventilator-induced lung injury—may be a major contributor to lung fibrosis. The authors critically appraise possible mechanisms underlying the mechanical stress–induced lung fibrosis and highlight potential therapeutic strategies to mitigate this fibrosis. PMID:24732023

  2. Thyrotropin receptor antibody activities significantly correlate with the outcome of radioiodine ( sup 131 I) therapy for hyperthyroid Graves' disease

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    Kaise, Kazuro; Kaise, Nobuko; Yoshida, Katsumi; Fukazawa, Hiroshi; Mori, Koki; Yamamoto, Makiko; Sakurada, Toshiro; Saito, Shintaro; Yoshinaga, Kaoru (Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan). School of Medicine)


    The outcome of {sup 131}I therapy for 109 patients with Graves' disease was analysed according to pretreatment laboratory data including thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) activities. Forty-five percent of patients became euthyroid, and 13% of patients became hypothyroid within one year after {sup 131}I therapy. Forty-two percent of patients remained hyperthyroid one year after {sup 131}I therapy. Pretreatment values for serum T{sub 4}, T{sub 3}, and the estimated weight of the thyroid were significantly higher in the hyperthyroid group. The mean for the TRAb index of the hyperthyroid group was significantly higher than that of the euthyroid group. Life table analysis revealed a significant effect of the TRAb index on the rate of hyperthyroidism after 3 months or later. These results appear to suggest that the TRAb index is one of the factors which influence the outcome of {sup 131}I therapy for Graves' disease. (author).

  3. Do large-scale hospital- and system-wide interventions improve patient outcomes: a systematic review. (United States)

    Clay-Williams, Robyn; Nosrati, Hadis; Cunningham, Frances C; Hillman, Kenneth; Braithwaite, Jeffrey


    While health care services are beginning to implement system-wide patient safety interventions, evidence on the efficacy of these interventions is sparse. We know that uptake can be variable, but we do not know the factors that affect uptake or how the interventions establish change and, in particular, whether they influence patient outcomes. We conducted a systematic review to identify how organisational and cultural factors mediate or are mediated by hospital-wide interventions, and to assess the effects of those factors on patient outcomes. A systematic review was conducted and reported in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Database searches were conducted using MEDLINE from 1946, CINAHL from 1991, EMBASE from 1947, Web of Science from 1934, PsycINFO from 1967, and Global Health from 1910 to September 2012. The Lancet, JAMA, BMJ, BMJ Quality and Safety, The New England Journal of Medicine and Implementation Science were also hand searched for relevant studies published over the last 5 years. Eligible studies were required to focus on organisational determinants of hospital- and system-wide interventions, and to provide patient outcome data before and after implementation of the intervention. Empirical, peer-reviewed studies reporting randomised and non-randomised controlled trials, observational, and controlled before and after studies were included in the review. Six studies met the inclusion criteria. Improved outcomes were observed for studies where outcomes were measured at least two years after the intervention. Associations between organisational factors, intervention success and patient outcomes were undetermined: organisational culture and patient outcomes were rarely measured together, and measures for culture and outcome were not standardised. Common findings show the difficulty of introducing large-scale interventions, and that effective leadership and clinical champions, adequate

  4. Clinical Significance of the Prognostic Nutritional Index for Predicting Short- and Long-Term Surgical Outcomes After Gastrectomy: A Retrospective Analysis of 7781 Gastric Cancer Patients. (United States)

    Lee, Jee Youn; Kim, Hyoung-Il; Kim, You-Na; Hong, Jung Hwa; Alshomimi, Saeed; An, Ji Yeong; Cheong, Jae-Ho; Hyung, Woo Jin; Noh, Sung Hoon; Kim, Choong-Bai


    To evaluate the predictive and prognostic significance of the prognostic nutritional index (PNI) in a large cohort of gastric cancer patients who underwent gastrectomy.Assessing a patient's immune and nutritional status, PNI has been reported as a predictive marker for surgical outcomes in various types of cancer.We retrospectively reviewed data from a prospectively maintained database of 7781 gastric cancer patients who underwent gastrectomy from January 2001 to December 2010 at a single center. From this data, we analyzed clinicopathologic characteristics, PNI, and short- and long-term surgical outcomes for each patient. We used the PNI value for the 10th percentile (46.70) of the study cohort as a cut-off for dividing patients into low and high PNI groups.Regarding short-term outcomes, multivariate analysis showed a low PNI (odds ratio [OR] = 1.505, 95% CI = 1.212-1.869, P cancer recurrence.

  5. Using public policy to improve outcomes for asthmatic children in schools. (United States)

    Lynn, Jewlya; Oppenheimer, Sophie; Zimmer, Lorena


    School-based services to improve asthma management need to be accompanied by public policies that can help sustain services, scale effective interventions, create greater equity across schools, and improve outcomes for children. Several national organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have recommended specific public policies the adoption of which in school settings can improve asthma outcomes for children. Although many states and school districts have adopted some of these policies, adoption is not universal, and implementation is not always successful, leaving inequities in children's access to asthma services and supports. These issues can be addressed by changing public policy. Policy change is a complex process, but it is one that will benefit from greater involvement by asthma experts, including the researchers who generate the knowledge base on what services, supports, and policies have the best outcomes for children. Asthma experts can participate in the policy process by helping to build awareness of the need for school-based asthma policy, estimating the costs associated with policy options and with inaction, advocating for the selection of specific policies, assisting in implementation (including providing feedback), conducting the research that can evaluate the effectiveness of implementation, and ultimately providing information back into the policy process to allow for improvements to the policies. Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Manual Therapy and Exercise to Improve Outcomes in Patients With Muscle Tension Dysphonia: A Case Series (United States)

    Archer, Kristin R.


    Background and Purpose Muscle tension dysphonia (MTD), a common voice disorder that is not commonly referred for physical therapy intervention, is characterized by excessive muscle recruitment, resulting in incorrect vibratory patterns of vocal folds and an alteration in voice production. This case series was conducted to determine whether physical therapy including manual therapy, exercise, and stress management education would be beneficial to this population by reducing excess muscle tension. Case Description Nine patients with MTD completed a minimum of 9 sessions of the intervention. Patient-reported outcomes of pain, function, and quality of life were assessed at baseline and the conclusion of treatment. The outcome measures were the numeric rating scale (NRS), Patient-Specific Functional Scale (PSFS), and Voice Handicap Index (VHI). Cervical and jaw range of motion also were assessed at baseline and postintervention using standard goniometric measurements. Outcomes Eight of the patients had no pain after treatment. All 9 of the patients demonstrated an improvement in PSFS score, with 7 patients exceeding a clinically meaningful improvement at the conclusion of the intervention. Three of the patients also had a clinically meaningful change in VHI scores. All 9 of the patients demonstrated improvement in cervical flexion and lateral flexion and jaw opening, whereas 8 patients improved in cervical extension and rotation postintervention. Discussion The findings suggest that physical therapists can feasibly implement an intervention to improve outcomes in patients with MTD. However, a randomized clinical trial is needed to confirm the results of this case series and the efficacy of the intervention. A clinical implication is the expansion of physical therapy to include referrals from voice centers for the treatment of MTD. PMID:25256740

  7. Feasibility study of a family-focused intervention to improve outcomes for children with FASD. (United States)

    Reid, Natasha; Dawe, Sharon; Harnett, Paul; Shelton, Doug; Hutton, Lauren; O'Callaghan, Frances


    Growing evidence shows that children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) can benefit from interventions, and specifically interventions focused on improving self-regulation. However, novel ways of improving outcomes for children with FASD need further investigation so that programs target not only the individual child but also the family context, which includes the parent-child relationship. The current study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of an adapted version of the Parents under Pressure (PuP) program that addresses self-regulatory processes, through improving the parent-child relationship and the use of mindfulness-based strategies for both children and parents. This was a mixed methods study. Feasibility was examined by evaluating recruitment, data collection/outcome measures, and intervention procedures. The study used a phenomenological approach to obtain qualitative information from caregivers and a single-case experimental design to evaluate the preliminary participant responses to the intervention. Two out of three families completed treatment. The recruitment and intervention procedures were found to be suitable for and acceptable to the families involved. Some concerns were identified regarding the outcome measures that would need to be addressed in future research. Quantitative and qualitative outcomes were positive. The results provide preliminary support for the feasibility of an adapted version of the PuP program. Thus, offering a potential multi-component option, that aims to improve self-regulatory skills for children with FASD, through focusing on improving the parent-child relationship and incorporating mindfulness-based techniques for both parents and children. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Provider and Patient Directed Financial Incentives to Improve Care and Outcomes for Patients with Diabetes (United States)

    Lorincz, Ilona S.; Lawson, Brittany C. T.


    Incentive programs directed at both providers and patients have become increasingly widespread. Pay-for-performance (P4P) where providers receive financial incentives to carry out specific care or improve clinical outcomes has been widely implemented. The existing literature indicates they probably spur initial gains which then level off or partially revert if incentives are withdrawn. The literature also indicates that process measures are easier to influence through P4P programs but that intermediate outcomes such as glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol control are harder to influence, and the long term impact of P4P programs on health is largely unknown. Programs directed at patients show greater promise as a means to influence patient behavior and intermediate outcomes such as weight loss; however, the evidence for long term effects are lacking. In combination, both patient and provider incentives are potentially powerful tools but whether they are cost-effective has yet to be determined. PMID:23225214

  9. The Association of Organizational Culture and Quality Improvement Implementation With Neonatal Outcomes in the NICU. (United States)

    Mahl, Sukhy; Lee, Shoo K; Baker, G Ross; Cronin, Catherine M G; Stevens, Bonnie; Ye, Xiang Y


    Studies of adult patient populations suggest that organizational culture is associated with quality improvement (QI) implementation, as well as patient outcomes. However, very little research on organizational culture has been performed in neonatal patient populations. This combined cross-sectional survey and retrospective cohort study assessed employee perceptions of organizational culture and QI implementation within 18 Canadian neonatal intensive care units. The associations between these data and neonatal outcomes in extremely preterm infants (born at culture and QI implementation varied according to occupation and age. Higher hierarchical culture was associated with increased survival without major morbidities (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.06), as were higher QI implementation scores (odds ratio range, 1.20-1.36 by culture type). Our data suggest that organizational culture, particularly hierarchical culture, and level of QI implementation may play a role in neonatal outcomes. Copyright © 2015 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Marked improvements in outcomes of contemporary percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with diabetes mellitus. (United States)

    Freeman, Andrew M; Abbott, J Dawn; Jacobs, Alice K; Vlachos, Helen A; Selzer, Faith; Laskey, Warren K; Detre, Katherine M; Williams, David O


    We sought to determine if advances in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are associated with better outcomes among patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Patients with DM enrolled in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) early PTCA Registry (1985-1986) were compared to those in the subsequent contemporary Dynamic Registry (1999-2002) for in-hospital and one-year cardiovascular outcomes. The study population included 945 adults with DM, 325 from the PTCA Registry and 620 from the Dynamic Registry. Multivariable Cox regression models were built to estimate the risk of clinical events. Dynamic Registry patients were older, had more noncardiac comorbidities, and a lower mean ejection fraction (50.5% vs 57.8%, P diabetes had more advanced coronary disease, in-hospital and late adverse events were lower. A combination of the use of stents and an increase in adjunctive medical therapy are likely responsible for the observed improvements in outcomes in contemporary PCI.

  11. An educational approach to improve outcomes in acute kidney injury (AKI): report of a quality improvement project. (United States)

    Xu, Gang; Baines, Richard; Westacott, Rachel; Selby, Nick; Carr, Susan


    To assess the impact of a quality improvement project that used a multifaceted educational intervention on how to improve clinician's knowledge, confidence and awareness of acute kidney injury (AKI). 2 large acute teaching hospitals in England, serving a combined population of over 1.5 million people. All secondary care clinicians working in the clinical areas were targeted, with a specific focus on clinicians working in acute admission areas. A multifaceted educational intervention consisting of traditional didactic lectures, case-based teaching in small groups and an interactive web-based learning resource. We assessed clinicians' knowledge of AKI and their self-reported clinical behaviour using an interactive questionnaire before and after the educational intervention. Secondary outcome measures included clinical audit of patient notes before and after the intervention. 26% of clinicians reported that they were aware of local AKI guidelines in the preintervention questionnaire compared to 64% in the follow-up questionnaire (χ²=60.2, pquality improvement project utilising a multifaceted educational intervention improved awareness of AKI as demonstrated by changes in the clinician's self-reported management of patients with AKI. Elements of the project have been sustained beyond the project period, and demonstrate the power of quality improvement projects to help initiate changes in practice. Our findings are limited by confounding factors and highlight the need to carry out formal randomised studies to determine the impact of educational initiatives in the clinical setting.

  12. Presenting Symptoms and Dysphagia Screen Predict Outcome in Mild and Rapidly Improving Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients. (United States)

    Gadodia, Gaurav; Rizk, Nibal; Camp, Deborah; Bryant, Katja; Zimmerman, Susan; Brasher, Cynthia; Connelly, Kerrin; Dunn, Joshua; Frankel, Michael; Ido, Moges Seymour; Lugtu, James; Nahab, Fadi


    There are limited data on which patients not treated with intravenous (IV) tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) due to mild and rapidly improving stroke symptoms (MaRISS) have unfavorable outcomes. Acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients not treated with IV tPA due to MaRISS from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2013 were identified as part of the Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry. Multivariable regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with a lower likelihood of favorable outcome, defined as discharge to home. There were 1614 AIS patients who did not receive IV tPA due to MaRISS (median National Institutes of Health stroke scale [NIHSS] 1], of which 305 (19%) did not have a favorable outcome. Factors associated with lower likelihood of favorable outcome included Medicare insurance status (odds ratio [OR]: .53, 95% confidence interval [CI]: .34-.84), arrival by emergency medical services (OR: .46, 95% CI: .29-.73), increasing NIHSS score (per unit OR: .89, 95% CI: .84-.93), weakness as the presenting symptom (OR: .50, 95% CI: .30-.84), and a failed dysphagia screen (OR: .43, 95% CI: .23-.80). During the study period, dysphagia screen identify a subgroup of patients who are more likely to have an unfavorable outcome. Whether IV tPA treatment can improve the outcome in this subgroup of patients needs to be evaluated in a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Copyright © 2016 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Reduced disparities and improved surgical outcomes for Asian Americans with colorectal cancer. (United States)

    Mulhern, Kayln C; Wahl, Tyler S; Goss, Lauren E; Feng, Katey; Richman, Joshua S; Morris, Melanie S; Chen, Herbert; Chu, Daniel I


    Studies suggest Asian Americans may have improved oncologic outcomes compared with other ethnicities. We hypothesized that Asian Americans with colorectal cancer would have improved surgical outcomes in mortality, postoperative complications (POCs), length of stay (LOS), and readmissions compared with other racial/ethnic groups. We queried the 2011-2014 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program for patients who underwent surgery for colorectal cancer and stratified patients by race. Primary outcome was 30-d mortality with secondary outcomes including POCs, LOS, and 30-d readmission. Stepwise backward logistic regression analyses and incident rate ratio calculations were performed to identify risk factors for disparate outcomes. Of the 28,283 patients undergoing colorectal surgery for malignancy, racial/ethnic groups were divided into Caucasian American (84%), African American (12%), or Asian American (4%). On unadjusted analyses, compared with other racial/ethnic groups, Asian Americans were more likely to have normal weight, not smoke, and had lower American Society of Anesthesiologists score of 1 or 2 (P Asian Americans had the shortest LOS and the lowest rates of complications due to ileus, respiratory, and renal complications (P Asian American race was independently associated with less postoperative ileus (odds ratio 0.8, 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.98, P American and Caucasian American patients, respectively (P Asian Americans undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer have shorter LOS and fewer POCs when compared with other racial/ethnic groups without differences in 30-d mortality or readmissions. The mechanism(s) underlying these disparities will require further study, but may be a result of patient, provider, and healthcare system differences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Performance of the Sellick maneuver significantly improves when residents and trained nurses use a visually interactive guidance device in simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connor, Christopher W; Saffary, Roya; Feliz, Eddy


    We examined the proper performance of the Sellick maneuver, a maneuver used to reduce the risk of aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia, using a novel device that measures and visualizes the force applied to the cricoid cartilage using thin-film force sensitive resistors in a form suitable for in vivo use. Performance was tested in three stages with twenty anaesthesiology residents and twenty trained operating room nurses. Firstly, subjects applied force to the cricoid cartilage as was customary to them. Secondly, subjects used the device to guide the application of that force. Thirdly, subjects were again asked to perform the manoeuvre without visual guidance. Each test lasted 1 min and the amount of force applied was measured throughout. Overall, the Sellick maneuver was often not applied properly, with large variance between individual subjects. Performance and inter-subject consistency improved to a very highly significant degree when subjects were able to use the device as a visual guide (p < 0.001). Subsequent significant improvements in performances during the last, unguided test demonstrated that the device initiated learning. (paper)

  15. Performance of the Sellick maneuver significantly improves when residents and trained nurses use a visually interactive guidance device in simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Connor, Christopher W; Saffary, Roya; Feliz, Eddy [Department of Anesthesiology Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA (United States)


    We examined the proper performance of the Sellick maneuver, a maneuver used to reduce the risk of aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia, using a novel device that measures and visualizes the force applied to the cricoid cartilage using thin-film force sensitive resistors in a form suitable for in vivo use. Performance was tested in three stages with twenty anaesthesiology residents and twenty trained operating room nurses. Firstly, subjects applied force to the cricoid cartilage as was customary to them. Secondly, subjects used the device to guide the application of that force. Thirdly, subjects were again asked to perform the manoeuvre without visual guidance. Each test lasted 1 min and the amount of force applied was measured throughout. Overall, the Sellick maneuver was often not applied properly, with large variance between individual subjects. Performance and inter-subject consistency improved to a very highly significant degree when subjects were able to use the device as a visual guide (p < 0.001). Subsequent significant improvements in performances during the last, unguided test demonstrated that the device initiated learning. (paper)

  16. An e-learning course in medical immunology: does it improve learning outcome? (United States)

    Boye, Sondre; Moen, Torolf; Vik, Torstein


    E-learning is used by most medical students almost daily and several studies have shown e-learning to improve learning outcome in small-scale interventions. However, few studies have explored the effects of e-learning in immunology. To study the effect of an e-learning package in immunology on learning outcomes in a written integrated examination and to examine student satisfaction with the e-learning package. All second-year students at a Norwegian medical school were offered an animated e-learning package in basic immunology as a supplement to the regular teaching. Each student's log-on-time was recorded and linked with the student's score on multiple choice questions included in an integrated end-of-the-year written examination. Student satisfaction was assessed through a questionnaire. The intermediate-range students (interquartile range) on average scored 3.6% better on the immunology part of the examination per hour they had used the e-learning package (p = 0.0046) and log-on-time explained 17% of the variance in immunology score. The best and the less skilled students' examination outcomes were not affected by the e-learning. The e-learning was well appreciated among the students. Use of an e-learning package in immunology in addition to regular teaching improved learning outcomes for intermediate-range students.

  17. Edutourism Taka Bonerate National Park through Scientific Approach to Improve Student Learning Outcomes (United States)

    Hayati, R. S.


    This research aim is develop the potential of Taka Bonerate National Park as learning resources through edutourism with scientific approach to improve student learning outcomes. Focus of student learning outcomes are students psychomotor abilities and comprehension on Biodiversity of Marine Biota, Corals Ecosystem, and Conservation topics. The edutourism development products are teacher manual, edutourism worksheet, material booklet, guide’s manual, and Taka Bonerate National Park governor manual. The method to develop edutourism products is ADDIE research and development model that consist of analysis, design, development and production, implementation, and evaluation step. The subjects in the implementation step were given a pretest and posttest and observation sheet to see the effect of edutourism Taka Bonerate National Park through scientific approach to student learning outcomes on Biodiversity of Marine Biota, Corals Ecosystem, and Conservation topics. The data were analyzed qualitative descriptively. The research result is edutourism Taka Bonerate National Park through scientific approach can improve students learning outcomes on Biodiversity of Marine Biota, Corals Ecosystem, and Conservation topics. Edutourism Taka Bonerate National Park can be an alternative of learning method on Biodiversity of Marine Biota, Corals Ecosystem, and Conservation topics.

  18. Interprofessional Curbside Consults to Develop Team Communication and Improve Student Achievement of Learning Outcomes. (United States)

    Kirwin, Jennifer; Greenwood, Kristin Curry; Rico, Janet; Nalliah, Romesh; DiVall, Margarita


    Objective. To design and implement a series of activities focused on developing interprofessional communication skills and to assess the impact of the activities on students' attitudes and achievement of educational goals. Design. Prior to the first pharmacy practice skills laboratory session, pharmacy students listened to a classroom lecture about team communication and viewed short videos describing the roles, responsibilities, and usual work environments of four types of health care professionals. In each of four subsequent laboratory sessions, students interacted with a different standardized health care professional role-played by a pharmacy faculty member who asked them a medication-related question. Students responded in verbal and written formats. Assessment. Student performance was assessed with a three-part rubric. The impact of the exercise was assessed by conducting pre- and post-intervention surveys and analyzing students' performance on relevant Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education (CAPE) outcomes. Survey results showed improvement in student attitudes related to team-delivered care. Students' performance on the problem solver and collaborator CAPE outcomes improved, while performance on the educator outcome worsened. Conclusions. The addition of an interprofessional communication activity with standardized health care professionals provided the opportunity for students to develop skills related to team communication. Students felt the activity was valuable and realistic; however, analysis of outcome achievement from the exercise revealed a need for more exposure to team communication skills.

  19. Mobile Health Interventions for Improving Health Outcomes in Youth: A Meta-analysis. (United States)

    Fedele, David A; Cushing, Christopher C; Fritz, Alyssa; Amaro, Christina M; Ortega, Adrian


    Mobile health interventions are increasingly popular in pediatrics; however, it is unclear how effective these interventions are in changing health outcomes. To determine the effectiveness of mobile health interventions for improving health outcomes in youth 18 years or younger. Studies published through November 30, 2016, were collected through PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Educational Resources Information Center, and PsychINFO. Backward and forward literature searches were conducted on articles meeting study inclusion criteria. Search terms included telemedicine, eHealth, mobile health, mHealth, app, and mobile application. Search results were limited to infants, children, adolescents, or young adults when possible. Studies were included if quantitative methods were used to evaluate an application of mobile intervention technology in a primary or secondary capacity to promote or modify health behavior in youth 18 years or younger. Studies were excluded if the article was an unpublished dissertation or thesis, the mean age of participants was older than 18 years, the study did not assess a health behavior and disease outcome, or the article did not include sufficient statistics. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied by 2 independent coders with 20% overlap. Of 9773 unique articles, 36 articles (containing 37 unique studies with a total of 29 822 participants) met the inclusion criteria. Of 9773 unique articles, 36 articles (containing 37 unique studies) with a total of 29 822 participants met the inclusion criteria. Effect sizes were calculated from statistical tests that could be converted to standardized mean differences. All aggregate effect sizes and moderator variables were tested using random-effects models. Change in health behavior or disease control. A total of 29 822 participants were included in the studies. In studies that reported sex, the total number of females was 11 226 (53.2%). Of those

  20. Improving Recovery and Outcomes Every Day after the ICU (IMPROVE): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. (United States)

    Wang, Sophia; Hammes, Jessica; Khan, Sikandar; Gao, Sujuan; Harrawood, Amanda; Martinez, Stephanie; Moser, Lyndsi; Perkins, Anthony; Unverzagt, Frederick W; Clark, Daniel O; Boustani, Malaz; Khan, Babar


    Delirium affects nearly 70% of older adults hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU), and many of those will be left with persistent cognitive impairment or dementia. There are no effective and scalable recovery models to remediate ICU-acquired cognitive impairment and its attendant elevated risk for dementia or Alzheimer disease (AD). The Improving Recovery and Outcomes Every Day after the ICU (IMPROVE) trial is an ongoing clinical trial which evaluates the efficacy of a combined physical exercise and cognitive training on cognitive function among ICU survivors 50 years and older who experienced delirium during an ICU stay. This article describes the study protocol for IMPROVE. IMPROVE is a four-arm, randomized controlled trial. Subjects will be randomized to one of four arms: cognitive training and physical exercise; cognitive control and physical exercise; cognitive training and physical exercise control; and cognitive control and physical exercise control. Facilitators administer the physical exercise and exercise control interventions in individual and small group formats by using Internet-enabled videoconference. Cognitive training and control interventions are also facilitator led using Posit Science, Inc. online modules delivered in individual and small group format directly into the participants' homes. Subjects complete cognitive assessment, mood questionnaires, physical performance batteries, and quality of life scales at baseline, 3, and 6 months. Blood samples will also be taken at baseline and 3 months to measure pro-inflammatory cytokines and acute-phase reactants; neurotrophic factors; and markers of glial dysfunction and astrocyte activation. This study is the first clinical trial to examine the efficacy of combined physical and cognitive exercise on cognitive function in older ICU survivors with delirium. The results will provide information about potential synergistic effects of a combined intervention on a range of outcomes and mechanisms

  1. Obstetrical APS: is there a place for hydroxychloroquine to improve the pregnancy outcome? (United States)

    Mekinian, Arsene; Costedoat-Chalumeau, Nathalie; Masseau, Agathe; Tincani, Angela; De Caroli, Sara; Alijotas-Reig, Jaume; Ruffatti, Amelia; Ambrozic, Ales; Botta, Angela; Le Guern, Véronique; Fritsch-Stork, Ruth; Nicaise-Roland, Pascale; Carbonne, Bruno; Carbillon, Lionel; Fain, Olivier


    The use of the conventional APS treatment (the combination of low-dose aspirin and LMWH) dramatically improved the obstetrical prognosis in primary obstetrical APS (OAPS). The persistence of adverse pregnancy outcome raises the need to find other drugs to improve obstetrical outcome. Hydroxychloroquine is widely used in patients with various autoimmune diseases, particularly SLE. Antimalarials have many anti-inflammatory, anti-aggregant and immune-regulatory properties: they inhibit phospholipase activity, stabilize lysosomal membranes, block the production of several pro-inflammatory cytokines and, in addition, impair complement-dependent antigen-antibody reactions. There is ample evidence of protective effects of hydroxychloroquine in OAPS similar to the situation in SLE arising from in vitro studies of pathophysiological working mechanism of hydroxychloroquine. However, the clinical data on the use of hydroxychloroquine in primary APS are lacking and prospective studies are necessary. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Improvement in clinical outcomes after dry needling in a patient with occipital neuralgia (United States)

    Bond, Bryan M.; Kinslow, Christopher


    The primary purpose of this case report is to outline the diagnosis, intervention and clinical outcome of a patient presenting with occipital neuralgia. Upon initial presentation, the patient described a four-year history of stabbing neck pain and headaches. After providing informed consent, the patient underwent a total of four dry needling (DN) sessions over a two-week duration. During each of the treatment sessions, needles were inserted into the trapezii and suboccipital muscles. Post-intervention, the patient reported a 32-point change in her neck disability index score along with a 28-point change in her headache disability index score. Thus, it appears that subsequent four sessions of DN over two weeks, our patient experienced meaningful improvement in her neck pain and headaches. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report describing DN to successfully improve clinical outcomes in a patient diagnosed with occipital neuralgia. PMID:26136602

  3. Using social-network research to improve outcomes in natural resource management. (United States)

    Groce, Julie E; Farrelly, Megan A; Jorgensen, Bradley S; Cook, Carly N


    The conservation and management of natural resources operates within social-ecological systems, in which resource users are embedded in social and environmental contexts that influence their management decisions. Characterizing social networks of resource users has received growing interest as an approach for understanding social influences on decision-making, and social network analysis (SNA) has emerged as a useful technique to explore these relationships. In this review, we synthesize how SNA has been used in studies of natural resource management. To present our findings, we developed a theory of change which outlines the influence between social networks and social processes (e.g., interactions between individuals), which in turn influence social outcomes (e.g., decisions or actions) that impact environmental outcomes (e.g., improved condition). Our review of 85 studies demonstrate frequent use of descriptive methods to characterize social processes, yet few studies considered social outcomes or examined network structure relative to environmental outcomes. Only 4 studies assessed network interventions intended to impact relevant processes or outcomes. The heterogeneity in case studies, methods, and analyses preclude general lessons. Thus, we offer a typology of appropriate measures for each stage of our theory of change, to structure and progress our learning about the role of social networks in achieving environmental outcomes. In addition, we suggest shifts in research foci towards intervention studies, to aid in understanding causality and inform the design of conservation initiatives. We also identify the need for developing clearer justification and guidance around the proliferation of network measures. The use of SNA in natural resource management is expanding rapidly, thus now is the ideal time for the conservation community to build a more rigorous evidence base to demonstrate the extent to which social networks can play a role in achieving desired

  4. Combination of blood tests for significant fibrosis and cirrhosis improves the assessment of liver-prognosis in chronic hepatitis C. (United States)

    Boursier, J; Brochard, C; Bertrais, S; Michalak, S; Gallois, Y; Fouchard-Hubert, I; Oberti, F; Rousselet, M-C; Calès, P


    Recent longitudinal studies have emphasised the prognostic value of noninvasive tests of liver fibrosis and cross-sectional studies have shown their combination significantly improves diagnostic accuracy. To compare the prognostic accuracy of six blood fibrosis tests and liver biopsy, and evaluate if test combination improves the liver-prognosis assessment in chronic hepatitis C (CHC). A total of 373 patients with compensated CHC, liver biopsy (Metavir F) and blood tests targeting fibrosis (APRI, FIB4, Fibrotest, Hepascore, FibroMeter) or cirrhosis (CirrhoMeter) were included. Significant liver-related events (SLRE) and liver-related deaths were recorded during follow-up (started the day of biopsy). During the median follow-up of 9.5 years (3508 person-years), 47 patients had a SLRE and 23 patients died from liver-related causes. For the prediction of first SLRE, most blood tests allowed higher prognostication than Metavir F [Harrell C-index: 0.811 (95% CI: 0.751-0.868)] with a significant increase for FIB4: 0.879 [0.832-0.919] (P = 0.002), FibroMeter: 0.870 [0.812-0.922] (P = 0.005) and APRI: 0.861 [0.813-0.902] (P = 0.039). Multivariate analysis identified FibroMeter, CirrhoMeter and sustained viral response as independent predictors of first SLRE. CirrhoMeter was the only independent predictor of liver-related death. The combination of FibroMeter and CirrhoMeter classifications into a new FM/CM classification improved the liver-prognosis assessment compared to Metavir F staging or single tests by identifying five subgroups of patients with significantly different prognoses. Some blood fibrosis tests are more accurate than liver biopsy for determining liver prognosis in CHC. A new combination of two complementary blood tests, one targeted for fibrosis and the other for cirrhosis, optimises assessment of liver-prognosis. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Burn-center quality improvement: are burn outcomes dependent on admitting facilities and is there a volume-outcome "sweet-spot"? (United States)

    Hranjec, Tjasa; Turrentine, Florence E; Stukenborg, George; Young, Jeffrey S; Sawyer, Robert G; Calland, James F


    Risk factors of mortality in burn patients such as inhalation injury, patient age, and percent of total body surface area (%TBSA) burned have been identified in previous publications. However, little is known about the variability of mortality outcomes between burn centers and whether the admitting facilities or facility volumes can be recognized as predictors of mortality. De-identified data from 87,665 acute burn observations obtained from the National Burn Repository between 2003 and 2007 were used to estimate a multivariable logistic regression model that could predict patient mortality with reference to the admitting burn facility/facility volume, adjusted for differences in age, inhalation injury, %TBSA burned, and an additional factor, percent full thickness burn (%FTB). As previously reported, all three covariates (%TBSA burned, inhalation injury, and age) were found to be highly statistically significant risk factors of mortality in burn patients (P value improve the multivariable model. The treatment/admitting facility was found to be an independent mortality predictor, with certain hospitals having increased odds of death and others showing a protective effect (decreased odds ratio). Hospitals with high burn volumes had the highest risk of mortality. Mortality outcomes of patients with similar risk factors (%TBSA burned, inhalation injury, age, and %FTB) are significantly affected by the treating facility and their admission volumes.

  6. Music interventions for improving psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients. (United States)

    Bradt, Joke; Dileo, Cheryl; Magill, Lucanne; Teague, Aaron


    Having cancer may result in extensive emotional, physical and social suffering. Music interventions have been used to alleviate symptoms and treatment side effects in cancer patients. To assess and compare the effects of music therapy and music medicine interventions for psychological and physical outcomes in people with cancer. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2016, Issue 1), MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, LILACS, Science Citation Index, CancerLit, CAIRSS, Proquest Digital Dissertations,, Current Controlled Trials, the RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, and the National Research Register. We searched all databases, except for the last two, from their inception to January 2016; the other two are no longer functional, so we searched them until their termination date. We handsearched music therapy journals, reviewed reference lists and contacted experts. There was no language restriction. We included all randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials of music interventions for improving psychological and physical outcomes in adult and pediatric patients with cancer. We excluded participants undergoing biopsy and aspiration for diagnostic purposes. Two review authors independently extracted the data and assessed the risk of bias. Where possible, we presented results in meta-analyses using mean differences and standardized mean differences. We used post-test scores. In cases of significant baseline difference, we used change scores. We identified 22 new trials for inclusion in this update. In total, the evidence of this review rests on 52 trials with a total of 3731 participants. We included music therapy interventions offered by trained music therapists, as well as music medicine interventions, which are defined as listening to pre-recorded music, offered by medical staff. We categorized 23 trials as music therapy trials and 29 as music medicine trials

  7. Improving the Outcome of Vein Grafts: Should Vascular Surgeons Turn Veins into Arteries?


    Isaji, Toshihiko; Hashimoto, Takuya; Yamamoto, Kota; Santana, Jeans M.; Yatsula, Bogdan; Hu, Haidi; Bai, Hualong; Jianming, Guo; Kudze, Tambudzai; Nishibe, Toshiya; Dardik, Alan


    Autogenous vein grafts remain the gold standard conduit for arterial bypass, particularly for the treatment of critical limb ischemia. Vein graft adaptation to the arterial environment, i.e., adequate dilation and wall thickening, contributes to the superior performance of vein grafts. However, abnormal venous wall remodeling with excessive neointimal hyperplasia commonly causes vein graft failure. Since the PREVENT trials failed to improve vein graft outcomes, new strategies focus on the ada...

  8. Prehospital plasma resuscitation associated with improved neurologic outcomes after traumatic brain injury. (United States)

    Hernandez, Matthew C; Thiels, Cornelius A; Aho, Johnathon M; Habermann, Elizabeth B; Zielinski, Martin D; Stubbs, James A; Jenkins, Donald H; Zietlow, Scott P


    Trauma-related hypotension and coagulopathy worsen secondary brain injury in patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Early damage control resuscitation with blood products may mitigate hypotension and coagulopathy. Preliminary data suggest resuscitation with plasma in large animals improves neurologic function after TBI; however, data in humans are lacking. We retrospectively identified all patients with multiple injuries age >15 years with head injuries undergoing prehospital resuscitation with blood products at a single Level I trauma center from January 2002 to December 2013. Inclusion criteria were prehospital resuscitation with either packed red blood cells (pRBCs) or thawed plasma as sole colloid resuscitation. Patients who died in hospital and those using anticoagulants were excluded. Primary outcomes were Glasgow Outcomes Score Extended (GOSE) and Disability Rating Score (DRS) at dismissal and during follow-up. Of 76 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 53% (n = 40) received prehospital pRBCs and 47% (n = 36) received thawed plasma. Age, gender, injury severity or TBI severity, arrival laboratory values, and number of prehospital units were similar (all p > 0.05). Patients who received thawed plasma had an improved neurologic outcome compared to those receiving pRBCs (median GOSE 7 [7-8] vs. 5.5 [3-7], p plasma had improved functionality compared to pRBCs (median DRS 2 [1-3.5] vs. 9 [3-13], p plasma compared to pRBCs by both median GOSE (8 [7-8] vs. 6 [6-7], p plasma is associated with improved neurologic and functional outcomes at discharge and during follow-up compared to pRBCs alone. These preliminary data support the further investigation and use of plasma in the resuscitation of critically injured TBI patients. Therapeutic, level V.

  9. Improving outcomes in lung cancer: the value of the multidisciplinary health care team


    Denton, Eve; Conron, Matthew


    Eve Denton,1 Matthew Conron2 1Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Department, Alfred Hospital, 2Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia Abstract: Lung cancer is a major worldwide health burden, with high disease-related morbidity and mortality. Unlike other major cancers, there has been little improvement in lung cancer outcomes over the past few decades, and survival remains disturbingly low. Multidisciplinary care is the corner...

  10. Does the Animal Fun program improve social-emotional and behavioural outcomes in children aged 4-6 years? (United States)

    Piek, Jan P; Kane, Robert; Rigoli, Daniela; McLaren, Sue; Roberts, Clare M; Rooney, Rosanna; Jensen, Lynn; Dender, Alma; Packer, Tanya; Straker, Leon


    Animal Fun was designed to enhance motor and social development in young children. Its efficacy in improving motor skills was presented previously using a randomised controlled trial and a multivariate nested cohort design. Based on the Environmental Stress Hypothesis, it was argued that the program would also result in positive mental health outcomes, investigated in the current study. Pre-intervention scores were recorded for 511 children aged 4.83-6.17 years (M=5.42, SD=.30). Intervention and control groups were compared 6 months following intervention, and again in their first school year. Changes in teacher-rated prosocial behaviour and total difficulties were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and data analysed using Generalised Linear Mixed Models. There was a significant improvement in prosocial behaviour of children in the intervention group six months after initial testing, which remained at 18-month follow-up. Total difficulties decreased at 6 months for the intervention group, with no change at 18 months. This effect was present only for the hyperactivity/inattention subscale. The only significant change for the control group was an increase in hyperactivity/inattention scores from pre-intervention to 18-month follow-up. The Animal Fun program appears to be effective in improving social and behavioural outcomes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoran Ivanovski


    Full Text Available This study presents new vision how to upgrade business higher education at the Faculty of Economics at University of Tourism and Management in Skopje (UTMS. This paper is result of analyses of best practices of leading higher education institutions as well authors experience in higher education and business education and practice. The UTMS is orientated to introduce best practices and objective standards in order to offer high-quality business education for its students. UTMS has mission for permanent implementation of quality improvement measures as a way to achieve high professional and academic standards and become part of prosperous and respective Universities. In order to achieve this goal, UTMS plan to use additional measures, outcomes assessment as a way to measure institutional effectiveness, as well as effective technique for identifying where changes and improvements are necessary. UTMS has developed Students Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan (SLOAP as a way to reach this goal.Based on permanent analysis of students needs as well as business sector suggestions about desirable level of knowledge, skills and competence of the students from Faculty of Economics, gained from conducted evaluations, UTMS decide to make additional improvement and development of business education. This process have 4 phases: 1 evaluation of students attitude towards curricula and the instructors efficiency, 2preparation of the SLOAP (Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan document, 3 implementation of two direct measures from the SLOAP through assessment analysis and action planning, and 4 monitoring changes and improvements made as a result of action planning.The first phase was completed in spring semester 2012, as well as second one with development of Comprehensive Exam and Capstone Course as direct measures. Complete SLOAP also has indirect measures like student satisfaction inventory, course evaluations, alumni, and employers’ surveys, and a

  12. Improvement of medical content in the curriculum of biomedical engineering based on assessment of students outcomes. (United States)

    Abdulhay, Enas; Khnouf, Ruba; Haddad, Shireen; Al-Bashir, Areen


    Improvement of medical content in Biomedical Engineering curricula based on a qualitative assessment process or on a comparison with another high-standard program has been approached by a number of studies. However, the quantitative assessment tools have not been emphasized. The quantitative assessment tools can be more accurate and robust in cases of challenging multidisciplinary fields like that of Biomedical Engineering which includes biomedicine elements mixed with technology aspects. The major limitations of the previous research are the high dependence on surveys or pure qualitative approaches as well as the absence of strong focus on medical outcomes without implicit confusion with the technical ones. The proposed work presents the development and evaluation of an accurate/robust quantitative approach to the improvement of the medical content in the challenging multidisciplinary BME curriculum. The work presents quantitative assessment tools and subsequent improvement of curriculum medical content applied, as example for explanation, to the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, USA) accredited biomedical engineering BME department at Jordan University of Science and Technology. The quantitative results of assessment of curriculum/course, capstone, exit exam, course assessment by student (CAS) as well as of surveys filled by alumni, seniors, employers and training supervisors were, first, mapped to the expected students' outcomes related to the medical field (SOsM). The collected data were then analyzed and discussed to find curriculum weakness points by tracking shortcomings in every outcome degree of achievement. Finally, actions were taken to fill in the gaps of the curriculum. Actions were also mapped to the students' medical outcomes (SOsM). Weighted averages of obtained quantitative values, mapped to SOsM, indicated accurately the achievement levels of all outcomes as well as the necessary improvements to be performed in curriculum

  13. Improving Outcomes through Transformational Health and Social Care Integration - The Scottish Experience. (United States)

    Hendry, Anne; Taylor, Alison; Mercer, Stewart; Knight, Peter


    The Scottish Parliament recently passed legislation on integrating healthcare and social care to improve the quality and outcomes of care and support for people with multiple and complex needs across Scotland. This ambitious legislation provides a national framework to accelerate progress in person-centred and integrated care and support for the growing number of people who have multiple physical and mental health conditions and complex needs. Additional investment and improvement capacity is helping to commission support and services that are designed and delivered with people in local communities and in partnership with housing, community, voluntary and independent sectors.

  14. Transport Time and Preoperating Room Hemostatic Interventions Are Important: Improving Outcomes After Severe Truncal Injury. (United States)

    Holcomb, John B


    Experience in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan confirm that faster transport combined with effective prehospital interventions improves the outcomes of patients suffering hemorrhagic shock. Outcomes of patients with hemorrhagic shock and extremity bleeding have improved with widespread use of tourniquets and early balanced transfusion therapy. Conversely, civilian patients suffering truncal bleeding and shock have the same mortality (46%) over the last 20 years. To understand how to decrease this substantial mortality, one must first critically evaluate all phases of care from point of injury to definitive hemorrhage control in the operating room. Limited literature review. The peak time to death after severe truncal injury is within 30 minutes of injury. However, when adding prehospital transport time, time spent in the emergency department, followed by the time in the operating room, it currently takes 2.1 hours to achieve definitive truncal hemorrhage control. This disparity in uncontrolled truncal bleeding and time to hemorrhage control needs to be reconciled. Prehospital and emergency department whole blood transfusion and temporary truncal hemorrhage control are now possible. The importance of rapid transport, early truncal hemorrhage control and whole blood transfusion is now widely recognized. Prehospital temporary truncal hemorrhage control and whole blood transfusion should offer the best possibility of improving patient outcomes after severe truncal injury.

  15. Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center Network: Improving Care and Outcomes in Pulmonary Hypertension. (United States)

    Sahay, Sandeep; Melendres-Groves, Lana; Pawar, Leena; Cajigas, Hector R


    Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a chronic, progressive, life-threatening disease that requires expert multidisciplinary care. To facilitate this level of care, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association established across the United States a network of pulmonary hypertension care centers (PHCCs) with special expertise in PH, particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension, to raise the overall quality of care and outcomes for patients with this life-threatening disease. Since the inception of PHCCs in September 2014, to date 35 centers have been accredited in the United States. This model of care brings together physicians and specialists from other disciplines to provide care, facilitate basic and clinical research, and educate the next generation of providers. PHCCs also offer additional opportunities for improvements in PH care. The patient registry offered through the PHCCs is an organized system by which data are collected to evaluate the outcomes of patients with PH. This registry helps in detecting variations in outcomes across centers, thus identifying opportunities for improvement. Multiple tactics were undertaken to implement the strategic plan, training, and tools throughout the PHCC network. In addition, strategies to foster collaboration between care center staff and individuals with PH and their families are the cornerstone of the PHCCs. The Pulmonary Vascular Network of the American College of Chest Physicians believes this to be a positive step that will improve the quality of care delivered in the United States to patients with PH. Copyright © 2016 American College of Chest Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Diabetic and Obese Patient Clinical Outcomes Improve During a Care Management Implementation in Primary Care. (United States)

    Holtrop, Jodi Summers; Luo, Zhehui; Piatt, Gretchen; Green, Lee A; Chen, Qiaoling; Piette, John


    To address the increasing burden of chronic disease, many primary care practices are turning to care management and the hiring of care managers to help patients coordinate their care and self-manage their conditions. Care management is often, but not always, proving effective at improving patient outcomes, but more evidence is needed. In this pair-matched cluster randomized trial, 5 practices implemented care management and were compared with 5 comparison practices within the same practice organization. Targeted patients included diabetic patients with a hemoglobin A1c >9% and nondiabetic obese patients. Clinical values tracked were A1c, blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein, microalbumin, and weight. Clinically important improvements were demonstrated in the intervention versus comparison practices, with diabetic patients improving A1c control and obese patients experiencing weight loss. There was a 12% relative increase in the proportion of patients meeting the clinical target of A1c management practices lost 5% or more of their body weight as compared with 10% of comparison patients (adjusted relative improvement, 15%; CI, 2%-28%). These findings add to the growing evidence-base for the effectiveness of care management as an effective clinical practice with regard to improving diabetes- and obesity-related outcomes.

  17. Monitoring outcomes with relational databases: does it improve quality of care? (United States)

    Clemmer, Terry P


    There are 3 key ingredients in improving quality of medial care: 1) using a scientific process of improvement, 2) executing the process at the lowest possible level in the organization, and 3) measuring the results of any change reliably. Relational databases when used within these guidelines are of great value in these efforts if they contain reliable information that is pertinent to the project and used in a scientific process of quality improvement by a front line team. Unfortunately, the data are frequently unreliable and/or not pertinent to the local process and is used by persons at very high levels in the organization without a scientific process and without reliable measurement of the outcome. Under these circumstances the effectiveness of relational databases in improving care is marginal at best, frequently wasteful and has the potential to be harmful. This article explores examples of these concepts.

  18. Defining and Assessing Quality Improvement Outcomes: A Framework for Public Health (United States)

    Nawaz, Saira; Thomas, Craig; Young, Andrea


    We describe an evidence-based framework to define and assess the impact of quality improvement (QI) in public health. Developed to address programmatic and research-identified needs for articulating the value of public health QI in aggregate, this framework proposes a standardized set of measures to monitor and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public health programs and operations. We reviewed the scientific literature and analyzed QI initiatives implemented through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Public Health Improvement Initiative to inform the selection of 5 efficiency and 8 effectiveness measures. This framework provides a model for identifying the types of improvement outcomes targeted by public health QI efforts and a means to understand QI’s impact on the practice of public health. PMID:25689185

  19. Induction Based Training leads to Highly Significant Improvements of Objective and Subjective Suturing Ability in Junior Doctors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Garry


    Full Text Available Background: Simulation based training has shown to be of benefit in the education of medical students. However, the impact of induction based clinical simulation on surgical ability of qualified doctors remains unclear.The aim of this study was to establish if a 60 minute teaching session integrated into an Emergency Medicine speciality induction program produces statistically significant improvements in objective and subjective suturing abilities of junior doctors commencing an Emergency Medicine rotation.Methods: The objective suturing abilities of 16 Foundation Year Two doctors were analysed using a validated OSATs scale prior to a novel teaching intervention. The doctors then undertook an intensive hour long workshop receiving one to one feedback before undergoing repeat OSATs assessment.Subjective ability was measured using a 5 point likert scale and self-assessed competency reporting interrupted suturing before and after the intervention. Photographs of wound closure before and after the intervention were recorded for further blinded assessment of impact of intervention. A survey regarding continued ability was repeated at four months following the intervention. The study took place on 7/12/16 during the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust Emergency Medicine induction in the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast. The hospital is a regional level 1 trauma centre that has annual departmental attendances in excess of 200,000.All new junior doctors commencing the Emergency Medicine rotation were invited to partake in the study. All 16 agreed. The group consisted of a mixture of undergraduate and postgraduate medicaldoctors who all had 16 months experience working in a variety of medical or surgical jobs previously.Results: Following the teaching intervention objective and subjective abilities in interrupted suturing showed statistically significant improvement (P>0.005. Self-reporting of competency of independently suturingwounds improved from 50

  20. Knowledge Translation to Optimize Adult Inpatient Glycemic Management with Basal Bolus Insulin Therapy and Improve Patient Outcomes. (United States)

    Helmle, Karmon E; Chacko, Sunita; Chan, Trevor; Drake, Alison; Edwards, Alun L; Moore, Glenda E; Philp, Leta C; Popeski, Naomi; Roedler, Rhonda L; Rogers, Edwin J R; Zimmermann, Gabrielle L; McKeen, Julie


    To develop and evaluate a Basal Bolus Insulin Therapy (BBIT) Knowledge Translation toolkit to address barriers to adoption of established best practice with BBIT in the care of adult inpatients. This study was conducted in 2 phases and focused on the hospitalist provider group across 4 acute care facilities in Calgary. Phase 1 involved a qualitative evaluation of provider and site specific barriers and facilitators, which were mapped to validated interventions using behaviour change theory. This informed the co-development and optimization of the BBIT Knowledge Translation toolkit, with each tool targeting a specific barrier to improved diabetes care practice, including BBIT ordering. In Phase 2, the BBIT Knowledge Translation toolkit was implemented and evaluated, focusing on BBIT ordering frequency, as well as secondary outcomes of hyperglycemia (patient-days with BG >14.0 mmol/L), hypoglycemia (patient-days with BG Knowledge Translation toolkit resulted in a significant 13% absolute increase in BBIT ordering. Hyperglycemic patient-days were significantly reduced, with no increase in hypoglycemia. There was a significant, absolute 14% reduction in length of stay. The implementation of an evidence-informed, multifaceted BBIT Knowledge Translation toolkit effectively reduced a deeply entrenched in-patient diabetes care gap. The resulting sustained practice change improved patient clinical and system resource utilization outcomes. This systemic approach to implementation will guide further scale and spread of glycemic optimization initiatives. Copyright © 2018 Diabetes Canada. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Using data to improve medical practice by measuring processes and outcomes of care. (United States)

    Nelson, E C; Splaine, M E; Godfrey, M M; Kahn, V; Hess, A; Batalden, P; Plume, S K


    The purpose of this article is to help clinicians expand their use of data to improve medical practice performance and to do improvement research. Clinical practices can be viewed as small, complex organizations (microsystems) that produce services for specific patient populations. These services can be greatly improved by embedding measurement into the flow of daily work in the practice. WHY DO IT?: Four good reasons to build measures into daily medical practice are to (1) diagnose strengths and weaknesses in practice performance; (2) improve and innovate in providing care and services using improvement research; (3) manage patients and the practice; and (4) evaluate changes in results over time. It is helpful to have a "physiological" model of a medical practice to analyze the practice, to manage it, and to improve it. One model views clinical practices as microsystems that are designed to generate desired health outcomes for specific subsets of patients and to use resources efficiently. This article provides case study examples to show what an office-based practice might look like if it were using front-line measurement to improve care and services most of the time and to conduct clinical improvement research some of the time. WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES FOR USING DATA TO IMPROVE PROCESSES AND OUTCOMES OF CARE?: Principles reflected in the case study examples--such as "Keep Measurement Simple. Think Big and Start Small" and "More Data Is Not Necessarily Better Data. Seek Usefulness, Not Perfection, in Your Measures"--may help guide the development of data to study and improve practice. HOW CAN A PRACTICE START TO USE DATA TO IMPROVE CARE AND CONDUCT IMPROVEMENT RESEARCH?: Practical challenges are involved in starting to use data for enhancing care and improvement research. To increase the odds for success, it would be wise to use a change management strategy to launch the startup plan. Other recommendations include "Establish a Sense of Urgency. (Survival Is Not

  2. Leveraging Social Norms to Improve Leak Resolution Outcomes Across Meter Classes: (United States)

    Holleran, W.


    Over the past decade, utilities, governments, businesses, and nonprofits have come to realize that more than just financial considerations and information drive behavior. Social and psychological factors also play a significant role in shaping consumers' decisions and behaviors around resource use. Stakeholders have consequently turned their interest to behavioral science, a multidisciplinary field that draws from psychology, sociology, public health, and behavioral economics to explain the complex mechanisms that shape human behavior. When used strategically, behavioral science holds the potential to drive down resource use, drive up profits, and generate measurable gains in conservation and efficiency. WaterSmart will present on how the water sector can employ behavioral science to nudge residential rate-payers to use water more efficiently and help them save money. Utilities can use behavioral science to influence people's reaction to leaks. 5% of Single Family Residential (SFR) metered water use can be attributed to leaks. This value potentially skews even higher for MultiFamily (MF) and Commercial accounts given that it can get lost in the noise of daily consumption. Existing leak detection algorithms in the market are not sophisticated enough to detect leaks for a MF or Commercial property. Leveraging data from utilities on known leak events at MF and Commercial buildings allowed WaterSmart to train a machine learning model to identify key features in the load shape and accurately detect these types of water use events. The outcome of the model is a leak amount and confidence level for each irregular usage event. The model also incorporates record feedback from users on the type of leak event, and the accuracy of the alert. When WaterSmart leverages this data model with social norms messaging, we've been able to improve water demand management for MF and Commercial properties. Experiences from leak detection and resolution in the SFR space will also be

  3. Awake craniotomy may further improve neurological outcome of intraoperative MRI-guided brain tumor surgery. (United States)

    Tuominen, Juho; Yrjänä, Sanna; Ukkonen, Anssi; Koivukangas, John


    Results of awake craniotomy are compared to results of resections done under general anesthesia in patients operated with IMRI control. We hypothesized that stimulation of the cortex and white matter during awake surgery supplements IMRI control allowing for safer resection of eloquent brain area tumors.