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Sample records for randomly selected health

  1. Blocked Randomization with Randomly Selected Block Sizes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jimmy Efird

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available When planning a randomized clinical trial, careful consideration must be given to how participants are selected for various arms of a study. Selection and accidental bias may occur when participants are not assigned to study groups with equal probability. A simple random allocation scheme is a process by which each participant has equal likelihood of being assigned to treatment versus referent groups. However, by chance an unequal number of individuals may be assigned to each arm of the study and thus decrease the power to detect statistically significant differences between groups. Block randomization is a commonly used technique in clinical trial design to reduce bias and achieve balance in the allocation of participants to treatment arms, especially when the sample size is small. This method increases the probability that each arm will contain an equal number of individuals by sequencing participant assignments by block. Yet still, the allocation process may be predictable, for example, when the investigator is not blind and the block size is fixed. This paper provides an overview of blocked randomization and illustrates how to avoid selection bias by using random block sizes.

  2. Minimization over randomly selected lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismet Sahin

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a population-based evolutionary optimization method for minimizing a given cost function. The mutation operator of this method selects randomly oriented lines in the cost function domain, constructs quadratic functions interpolating the cost function at three different points over each line, and uses extrema of the quadratics as mutated points. The crossover operator modifies each mutated point based on components of two points in population, instead of one point as is usually performed in other evolutionary algorithms. The stopping criterion of this method depends on the number of almost degenerate quadratics. We demonstrate that the proposed method with these mutation and crossover operations achieves faster and more robust convergence than the well-known Differential Evolution and Particle Swarm algorithms.

  3. Effect of a Counseling Session Bolstered by Text Messaging on Self-Selected Health Behaviors in College Students: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandrick, Janice; Tracy, Doreen; Eliasson, Arn; Roth, Ashley; Bartel, Jeffrey; Simko, Melanie; Bowman, Tracy; Harouse-Bell, Karen; Kashani, Mariam; Vernalis, Marina

    2017-05-17

    The college experience is often the first time when young adults live independently and make their own lifestyle choices. These choices affect dietary behaviors, exercise habits, techniques to deal with stress, and decisions on sleep time, all of which direct the trajectory of future health. There is a need for effective strategies that will encourage healthy lifestyle choices in young adults attending college. This preliminary randomized controlled trial tested the effect of coaching and text messages (short message service, SMS) on self-selected health behaviors in the domains of diet, exercise, stress, and sleep. A second analysis measured the ripple effect of the intervention on health behaviors not specifically selected as a goal by participants. Full-time students aged 18-30 years were recruited by word of mouth and campuswide advertisements (flyers, posters, mailings, university website) at a small university in western Pennsylvania from January to May 2015. Exclusions included pregnancy, eating disorders, chronic medical diagnoses, and prescription medications other than birth control. Of 60 participants, 30 were randomized to receive a single face-to-face meeting with a health coach to review results of behavioral questionnaires and to set a health behavior goal for the 8-week study period. The face-to-face meeting was followed by SMS text messages designed to encourage achievement of the behavioral goal. A total of 30 control subjects underwent the same health and behavioral assessments at intake and program end but did not receive coaching or SMS text messages. The texting app showed that 87.31% (2187/2505) of messages were viewed by intervention participants. Furthermore, 28 of the 30 intervention participants and all 30 control participants provided outcome data. Among intervention participants, 22 of 30 (73%) showed improvement in health behavior goal attainment, with the whole group (n=30) showing a mean improvement of 88% (95% CI 39-136). Mean

  4. High Entropy Random Selection Protocols

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H. Buhrman (Harry); M. Christandl (Matthias); M. Koucky (Michal); Z. Lotker (Zvi); B. Patt-Shamir; M. Charikar; K. Jansen; O. Reingold; J. Rolim

    2007-01-01

    textabstractIn this paper, we construct protocols for two parties that do not trust each other, to generate random variables with high Shannon entropy. We improve known bounds for the trade off between the number of rounds, length of communication and the entropy of the outcome.

  5. Prevalence, diagnostics and management of musculoskeletal disorders in primary health care in Sweden : an investigation of 2000 randomly selected patient records

    OpenAIRE

    Wiitavaara, Birgitta; Fahlström, Martin; Djupsjöbacka, Mats

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Rationale, aims and objectives The aims of this study is to investigate the prevalence of patients seeking care due to different musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at primary health care centres (PHCs), to chart different factors such as symptoms, diagnosis and actions prescribed for patients that visited the PHCs due to MSD and to make comparisons regarding differences due to gender, age and rural or urban PHC. Methods Patient records (2000) for patients in working age were randomly s...

  6. 47 CFR 1.1603 - Conduct of random selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 47 Telecommunication 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Conduct of random selection. 1.1603 Section 1.1603 Telecommunication FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION GENERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE Random Selection Procedures for Mass Media Services General Procedures § 1.1603 Conduct of random selection. The...

  7. 47 CFR 1.1602 - Designation for random selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  8. Women's health: selected topics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoorob, Roger J; Sidani, Mohamad; Williams, Jamila; Grief, Samuel N

    2010-06-01

    Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies have become increasingly popular for the treatment of a variety of conditions. The World Health Organization has recognized the value of traditional healing techniques, which are classified as CAM, for 30 years. In the United States nearly 50% of women use CAM for common medical conditions, significantly more than men. This pattern is frequently seen in the treatment of women's health conditions such as infertility, premenstrual syndrome, and menopause. This article provides an integrative approach for conditions commonly encountered in the primary care setting among women, discusses alternative therapies used to treat these health conditions, and provides an evidence-based summary of recommendations based on a review of the literature. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Testing, Selection, and Implementation of Random Number Generators

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Collins, Joseph C

    2008-01-01

    An exhaustive evaluation of state-of-the-art random number generators with several well-known suites of tests provides the basis for selection of suitable random number generators for use in stochastic simulations...

  10. Random effect selection in generalised linear models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Denwood, Matt; Houe, Hans; Forkman, Björn

    We analysed abattoir recordings of meat inspection codes with possible relevance to onfarm animal welfare in cattle. Random effects logistic regression models were used to describe individual-level data obtained from 461,406 cattle slaughtered in Denmark. Our results demonstrate that the largest...

  11. Interference-aware random beam selection for spectrum sharing systems

    KAUST Repository

    Abdallah, Mohamed M.; Sayed, Mostafa M.; Alouini, Mohamed-Slim; Qaraqe, Khalid A.

    2012-01-01

    . In this paper, we develop interference-aware random beam selection schemes that provide enhanced throughput for the secondary link under the condition that the interference observed at the primary link is within a predetermined acceptable value. For a secondary

  12. Selectivity and sparseness in randomly connected balanced networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cengiz Pehlevan

    Full Text Available Neurons in sensory cortex show stimulus selectivity and sparse population response, even in cases where no strong functionally specific structure in connectivity can be detected. This raises the question whether selectivity and sparseness can be generated and maintained in randomly connected networks. We consider a recurrent network of excitatory and inhibitory spiking neurons with random connectivity, driven by random projections from an input layer of stimulus selective neurons. In this architecture, the stimulus-to-stimulus and neuron-to-neuron modulation of total synaptic input is weak compared to the mean input. Surprisingly, we show that in the balanced state the network can still support high stimulus selectivity and sparse population response. In the balanced state, strong synapses amplify the variation in synaptic input and recurrent inhibition cancels the mean. Functional specificity in connectivity emerges due to the inhomogeneity caused by the generative statistical rule used to build the network. We further elucidate the mechanism behind and evaluate the effects of model parameters on population sparseness and stimulus selectivity. Network response to mixtures of stimuli is investigated. It is shown that a balanced state with unselective inhibition can be achieved with densely connected input to inhibitory population. Balanced networks exhibit the "paradoxical" effect: an increase in excitatory drive to inhibition leads to decreased inhibitory population firing rate. We compare and contrast selectivity and sparseness generated by the balanced network to randomly connected unbalanced networks. Finally, we discuss our results in light of experiments.

  13. Evaluating the effectiveness of selected community-level interventions on key maternal, child health, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV outcomes in three countries (the ACCLAIM Project): a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woelk, Godfrey B; Kieffer, Mary Pat; Walker, Damilola; Mpofu, Daphne; Machekano, Rhoderick

    2016-02-16

    Efforts to scale up and improve programs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) have focused primarily at the health facility level, and limited attention has been paid to defining an effective set of community interventions to improve demand and uptake of services and retention. Many barriers to PMTCT are also barriers to pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal care faced by mothers regardless of HIV status. Demand for maternal and child health (MCH) and PMTCT services can be limited by critical social, cultural, and structural barriers. Yet, rigorous evaluation has shown limited evidence of effectiveness of multilevel community-wide interventions aimed at improving MCH and HIV outcomes for pregnant women living with HIV. We propose to assess the effect of a package of multilevel community interventions: a social learning and action component, community dialogues, and peer-led discussion groups, on the demand for, uptake of, and retention of HIV positive pregnant/postpartum women in MCH/PMTCT services. This study will undertake a three-arm randomized trial in Swaziland, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Districts/regions (n = 9) with 45 PMTCT-implementing health facilities and their catchment areas (populations 7,300-27,500) will be randomly allocated to three intervention arms: 1) community leader engagement, 2) community leader engagement with community days, or 3) community leader engagement with community days and male and female community peer groups. The primary study outcome is HIV exposed infants (HEIs) returning to the health facility within 2 months for early infant diagnosis (EID) of HIV. Secondary study outcomes include gestational age of women attending for first antenatal care, male partners tested for HIV, and HEIs receiving nevirapine prophylaxis at birth. Changes in community knowledge, attitudes, practices, and beliefs on MCH/PMTCT will be assessed through household surveys. Implementation of the protocol necessitated changes in the

  14. The signature of positive selection at randomly chosen loci.

    OpenAIRE

    Przeworski, Molly

    2002-01-01

    In Drosophila and humans, there are accumulating examples of loci with a significant excess of high-frequency-derived alleles or high levels of linkage disequilibrium, relative to a neutral model of a random-mating population of constant size. These are features expected after a recent selective sweep. Their prevalence suggests that positive directional selection may be widespread in both species. However, as I show here, these features do not persist long after the sweep ends: The high-frequ...

  15. The reliability of randomly selected final year pharmacy students in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Employing ANOVA, factorial experimental analysis, and the theory of error, reliability studies were conducted on the assessment of the drug product chloroquine phosphate tablets. The G–Study employed equal numbers of the factors for uniform control, and involved three analysts (randomly selected final year Pharmacy ...

  16. Local randomization in neighbor selection improves PRM roadmap quality

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Troy

    2012-10-01

    Probabilistic Roadmap Methods (PRMs) are one of the most used classes of motion planning methods. These sampling-based methods generate robot configurations (nodes) and then connect them to form a graph (roadmap) containing representative feasible pathways. A key step in PRM roadmap construction involves identifying a set of candidate neighbors for each node. Traditionally, these candidates are chosen to be the k-closest nodes based on a given distance metric. In this paper, we propose a new neighbor selection policy called LocalRand(k,K\\'), that first computes the K\\' closest nodes to a specified node and then selects k of those nodes at random. Intuitively, LocalRand attempts to benefit from random sampling while maintaining the higher levels of local planner success inherent to selecting more local neighbors. We provide a methodology for selecting the parameters k and K\\'. We perform an experimental comparison which shows that for both rigid and articulated robots, LocalRand results in roadmaps that are better connected than the traditional k-closest policy or a purely random neighbor selection policy. The cost required to achieve these results is shown to be comparable to k-closest. © 2012 IEEE.

  17. Local randomization in neighbor selection improves PRM roadmap quality

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Troy; Jacobs, Sam; Boyd, Bryan; Tapia, Lydia; Amato, Nancy M.

    2012-01-01

    Probabilistic Roadmap Methods (PRMs) are one of the most used classes of motion planning methods. These sampling-based methods generate robot configurations (nodes) and then connect them to form a graph (roadmap) containing representative feasible pathways. A key step in PRM roadmap construction involves identifying a set of candidate neighbors for each node. Traditionally, these candidates are chosen to be the k-closest nodes based on a given distance metric. In this paper, we propose a new neighbor selection policy called LocalRand(k,K'), that first computes the K' closest nodes to a specified node and then selects k of those nodes at random. Intuitively, LocalRand attempts to benefit from random sampling while maintaining the higher levels of local planner success inherent to selecting more local neighbors. We provide a methodology for selecting the parameters k and K'. We perform an experimental comparison which shows that for both rigid and articulated robots, LocalRand results in roadmaps that are better connected than the traditional k-closest policy or a purely random neighbor selection policy. The cost required to achieve these results is shown to be comparable to k-closest. © 2012 IEEE.

  18. PRIMARY HEALTH CARE, SELECTIVE OR COMPREHENSIVE ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    hi-tech

    2003-01-01

    Jan 1, 2003 ... and basic sanitation, health education in prevention and control of prevailing health ... to support introduction of a selective version of PHC in ... Governments and collaborating donor organizations could concentrate the ...

  19. Selection for altruism through random drift in variable size populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Houchmandzadeh Bahram

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Altruistic behavior is defined as helping others at a cost to oneself and a lowered fitness. The lower fitness implies that altruists should be selected against, which is in contradiction with their widespread presence is nature. Present models of selection for altruism (kin or multilevel show that altruistic behaviors can have ‘hidden’ advantages if the ‘common good’ produced by altruists is restricted to some related or unrelated groups. These models are mostly deterministic, or assume a frequency dependent fitness. Results Evolutionary dynamics is a competition between deterministic selection pressure and stochastic events due to random sampling from one generation to the next. We show here that an altruistic allele extending the carrying capacity of the habitat can win by increasing the random drift of “selfish” alleles. In other terms, the fixation probability of altruistic genes can be higher than those of a selfish ones, even though altruists have a smaller fitness. Moreover when populations are geographically structured, the altruists advantage can be highly amplified and the fixation probability of selfish genes can tend toward zero. The above results are obtained both by numerical and analytical calculations. Analytical results are obtained in the limit of large populations. Conclusions The theory we present does not involve kin or multilevel selection, but is based on the existence of random drift in variable size populations. The model is a generalization of the original Fisher-Wright and Moran models where the carrying capacity depends on the number of altruists.

  20. Emergency Health Services Selected Bibliography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Health Services and Mental Health Administration (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.

    This annotated bibliography contains books, journal articles, visual aids, and other documents pertaining to emergency health care, which are organized according to: (1) publications dealing with day-to-day health emergencies that occur at home, work, and play, (2) documents that will help communities prepare for emergencies, including natural…

  1. Interference-aware random beam selection for spectrum sharing systems

    KAUST Repository

    Abdallah, Mohamed M.

    2012-09-01

    Spectrum sharing systems have been introduced to alleviate the problem of spectrum scarcity by allowing secondary unlicensed networks to share the spectrum with primary licensed networks under acceptable interference levels to the primary users. In this paper, we develop interference-aware random beam selection schemes that provide enhanced throughput for the secondary link under the condition that the interference observed at the primary link is within a predetermined acceptable value. For a secondary transmitter equipped with multiple antennas, our schemes select a random beam, among a set of power- optimized orthogonal random beams, that maximizes the capacity of the secondary link while satisfying the interference constraint at the primary receiver for different levels of feedback information describing the interference level at the primary receiver. For the proposed schemes, we develop a statistical analysis for the signal-to-noise and interference ratio (SINR) statistics as well as the capacity of the secondary link. Finally, we present numerical results that study the effect of system parameters including number of beams and the maximum transmission power on the capacity of the secondary link attained using the proposed schemes. © 2012 IEEE.

  2. Random selection of items. Selection of n1 samples among N items composing a stratum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaech, J.L.; Lemaire, R.J.

    1987-02-01

    STR-224 provides generalized procedures to determine required sample sizes, for instance in the course of a Physical Inventory Verification at Bulk Handling Facilities. The present report describes procedures to generate random numbers and select groups of items to be verified in a given stratum through each of the measurement methods involved in the verification. (author). 3 refs

  3. The signature of positive selection at randomly chosen loci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Przeworski, Molly

    2002-03-01

    In Drosophila and humans, there are accumulating examples of loci with a significant excess of high-frequency-derived alleles or high levels of linkage disequilibrium, relative to a neutral model of a random-mating population of constant size. These are features expected after a recent selective sweep. Their prevalence suggests that positive directional selection may be widespread in both species. However, as I show here, these features do not persist long after the sweep ends: The high-frequency alleles drift to fixation and no longer contribute to polymorphism, while linkage disequilibrium is broken down by recombination. As a result, loci chosen without independent evidence of recent selection are not expected to exhibit either of these features, even if they have been affected by numerous sweeps in their genealogical history. How then can we explain the patterns in the data? One possibility is population structure, with unequal sampling from different subpopulations. Alternatively, positive selection may not operate as is commonly modeled. In particular, the rate of fixation of advantageous mutations may have increased in the recent past.

  4. A Bayesian random effects discrete-choice model for resource selection: Population-level selection inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, D.L.; Johnson, D.; Griffith, B.

    2006-01-01

    Modeling the probability of use of land units characterized by discrete and continuous measures, we present a Bayesian random-effects model to assess resource selection. This model provides simultaneous estimation of both individual- and population-level selection. Deviance information criterion (DIC), a Bayesian alternative to AIC that is sample-size specific, is used for model selection. Aerial radiolocation data from 76 adult female caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and calf pairs during 1 year on an Arctic coastal plain calving ground were used to illustrate models and assess population-level selection of landscape attributes, as well as individual heterogeneity of selection. Landscape attributes included elevation, NDVI (a measure of forage greenness), and land cover-type classification. Results from the first of a 2-stage model-selection procedure indicated that there is substantial heterogeneity among cow-calf pairs with respect to selection of the landscape attributes. In the second stage, selection of models with heterogeneity included indicated that at the population-level, NDVI and land cover class were significant attributes for selection of different landscapes by pairs on the calving ground. Population-level selection coefficients indicate that the pairs generally select landscapes with higher levels of NDVI, but the relationship is quadratic. The highest rate of selection occurs at values of NDVI less than the maximum observed. Results for land cover-class selections coefficients indicate that wet sedge, moist sedge, herbaceous tussock tundra, and shrub tussock tundra are selected at approximately the same rate, while alpine and sparsely vegetated landscapes are selected at a lower rate. Furthermore, the variability in selection by individual caribou for moist sedge and sparsely vegetated landscapes is large relative to the variability in selection of other land cover types. The example analysis illustrates that, while sometimes computationally intense, a

  5. Blind Measurement Selection: A Random Matrix Theory Approach

    KAUST Repository

    Elkhalil, Khalil

    2016-12-14

    This paper considers the problem of selecting a set of $k$ measurements from $n$ available sensor observations. The selected measurements should minimize a certain error function assessing the error in estimating a certain $m$ dimensional parameter vector. The exhaustive search inspecting each of the $n\\\\choose k$ possible choices would require a very high computational complexity and as such is not practical for large $n$ and $k$. Alternative methods with low complexity have recently been investigated but their main drawbacks are that 1) they require perfect knowledge of the measurement matrix and 2) they need to be applied at the pace of change of the measurement matrix. To overcome these issues, we consider the asymptotic regime in which $k$, $n$ and $m$ grow large at the same pace. Tools from random matrix theory are then used to approximate in closed-form the most important error measures that are commonly used. The asymptotic approximations are then leveraged to select properly $k$ measurements exhibiting low values for the asymptotic error measures. Two heuristic algorithms are proposed: the first one merely consists in applying the convex optimization artifice to the asymptotic error measure. The second algorithm is a low-complexity greedy algorithm that attempts to look for a sufficiently good solution for the original minimization problem. The greedy algorithm can be applied to both the exact and the asymptotic error measures and can be thus implemented in blind and channel-aware fashions. We present two potential applications where the proposed algorithms can be used, namely antenna selection for uplink transmissions in large scale multi-user systems and sensor selection for wireless sensor networks. Numerical results are also presented and sustain the efficiency of the proposed blind methods in reaching the performances of channel-aware algorithms.

  6. Selection of relevant dietary indicators for health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steingrímsdóttir, L; Ovesen, L; Moreiras, O; Jacob, S

    2002-05-01

    To define a set of dietary components that are relevant determinants for health in Europe. The selected components are intended to serve as nutrition indicators for health in the European Health Monitoring Programme and, as such, must be limited in number, relevant to health in Europe and practical for all involved countries with respect to data gathering and comparability of data. Major nutrition factors were determined by reviewing relevant epidemiological and clinical literature in nutrition and health as well as referring to reports from international expert groups, including the report from the project Nutrition and Diet for Healthy Lifestyles in Europe. The selection of factors was also based on the relative ease and cost involved for participating countries to obtain comparable and valid data. The selected factors include foods or food groups as well as individual nutrients. Biomarkers are suggested for selected nutrients that pose the greatest difficulty in obtaining valid and comparable data from dietary studies. The following list of diet indicators for health monitoring in Europe was agreed upon by the EFCOSUM group in 2001, in order of priority: vegetables, fruit, bread, fish, saturated fatty acids as percentage of energy (%E), total fat as %E, and ethanol in grams per day. Biomarkers were suggested for the following nutrients: folate, vitamin D, iron, iodine and sodium. Energy has to be assessed in order to calculate %E from total fat and saturated fatty acids.

  7. Materials selection for oxide-based resistive random access memories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, Yuzheng; Robertson, John

    2014-01-01

    The energies of atomic processes in resistive random access memories (RRAMs) are calculated for four typical oxides, HfO 2 , TiO 2 , Ta 2 O 5 , and Al 2 O 3 , to define a materials selection process. O vacancies have the lowest defect formation energy in the O-poor limit and dominate the processes. A band diagram defines the operating Fermi energy and O chemical potential range. It is shown how the scavenger metal can be used to vary the O vacancy formation energy, via controlling the O chemical potential, and the mean Fermi energy. The high endurance of Ta 2 O 5 RRAM is related to its more stable amorphous phase and the adaptive lattice rearrangements of its O vacancy

  8. Primitive polynomials selection method for pseudo-random number generator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anikin, I. V.; Alnajjar, Kh

    2018-01-01

    In this paper we suggested the method for primitive polynomials selection of special type. This kind of polynomials can be efficiently used as a characteristic polynomials for linear feedback shift registers in pseudo-random number generators. The proposed method consists of two basic steps: finding minimum-cost irreducible polynomials of the desired degree and applying primitivity tests to get the primitive ones. Finally two primitive polynomials, which was found by the proposed method, used in pseudorandom number generator based on fuzzy logic (FRNG) which had been suggested before by the authors. The sequences generated by new version of FRNG have low correlation magnitude, high linear complexity, less power consumption, is more balanced and have better statistical properties.

  9. Materials selection for oxide-based resistive random access memories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Yuzheng; Robertson, John [Engineering Department, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 1PZ (United Kingdom)

    2014-12-01

    The energies of atomic processes in resistive random access memories (RRAMs) are calculated for four typical oxides, HfO{sub 2}, TiO{sub 2}, Ta{sub 2}O{sub 5}, and Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}, to define a materials selection process. O vacancies have the lowest defect formation energy in the O-poor limit and dominate the processes. A band diagram defines the operating Fermi energy and O chemical potential range. It is shown how the scavenger metal can be used to vary the O vacancy formation energy, via controlling the O chemical potential, and the mean Fermi energy. The high endurance of Ta{sub 2}O{sub 5} RRAM is related to its more stable amorphous phase and the adaptive lattice rearrangements of its O vacancy.

  10. Optimizing Event Selection with the Random Grid Search

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhat, Pushpalatha C. [Fermilab; Prosper, Harrison B. [Florida State U.; Sekmen, Sezen [Kyungpook Natl. U.; Stewart, Chip [Broad Inst., Cambridge

    2017-06-29

    The random grid search (RGS) is a simple, but efficient, stochastic algorithm to find optimal cuts that was developed in the context of the search for the top quark at Fermilab in the mid-1990s. The algorithm, and associated code, have been enhanced recently with the introduction of two new cut types, one of which has been successfully used in searches for supersymmetry at the Large Hadron Collider. The RGS optimization algorithm is described along with the recent developments, which are illustrated with two examples from particle physics. One explores the optimization of the selection of vector boson fusion events in the four-lepton decay mode of the Higgs boson and the other optimizes SUSY searches using boosted objects and the razor variables.

  11. Selective decontamination in pediatric liver transplants. A randomized prospective study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, S D; Jackson, R J; Hannakan, C J; Wadowsky, R M; Tzakis, A G; Rowe, M I

    1993-06-01

    Although it has been suggested that selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD) decreases postoperative aerobic Gram-negative and fungal infections in orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), no controlled trials exist in pediatric patients. This prospective, randomized controlled study of 36 pediatric OLT patients examines the effect of short-term SDD on postoperative infection and digestive tract flora. Patients were randomized into two groups. The control group received perioperative parenteral antibiotics only. The SDD group received in addition polymyxin E, tobramycin, and amphotericin B enterally and by oropharyngeal swab postoperatively until oral intake was tolerated (6 +/- 4 days). Indications for operation, preoperative status, age, and intensive care unit and hospital length of stay were no different in SDD (n = 18) and control (n = 18) groups. A total of 14 Gram-negative infections (intraabdominal abscess 7, septicemia 5, pneumonia 1, urinary tract 1) developed in the 36 patients studied. Mortality was not significantly different in the two groups. However, there were significantly fewer patients with Gram-negative infections in the SDD group: 3/18 patients (11%) vs. 11/18 patients (50%) in the control group, P < 0.001. There was also significant reduction in aerobic Gram-negative flora in the stool and pharynx in patients receiving SDD. Gram-positive and anaerobic organisms were unaffected. We conclude that short-term postoperative SDD significantly reduces Gram-negative infections in pediatric OLT patients.

  12. Pediatric selective mutism therapy: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Maria; Gimigliano, Francesca; Barillari, Maria R; Precenzano, Francesco; Ruberto, Maria; Sepe, Joseph; Barillari, Umberto; Gimigliano, Raffaele; Militerni, Roberto; Messina, Giovanni; Carotenuto, Marco

    2017-10-01

    Selective mutism (SM) is a rare disease in children coded by DSM-5 as an anxiety disorder. Despite the disabling nature of the disease, there is still no specific treatment. The aims of this study were to verify the efficacy of six-month standard psychomotor treatment and the positive changes in lifestyle, in a population of children affected by SM. Randomized controlled trial registered in the European Clinical Trials Registry (EuDract 2015-001161-36). University third level Centre (Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry Clinic). Study population was composed by 67 children in group A (psychomotricity treatment) (35 M, mean age 7.84±1.15) and 71 children in group B (behavioral and educational counseling) (37 M, mean age 7.75±1.36). Psychomotor treatment was administered by trained child therapists in residential settings three times per week. Each child was treated for the whole period by the same therapist and all the therapists shared the same protocol. The standard psychomotor session length is of 45 minutes. At T0 and after 6 months (T1) of treatments, patients underwent a behavioral and SM severity assessment. To verify the effects of the psychomotor management, the Child Behavior Checklist questionnaire (CBCL) and Selective Mutism Questionnaire (SMQ) were administered to the parents. After 6 months of psychomotor treatment SM children showed a significant reduction among CBCL scores such as in social relations, anxious/depressed, social problems and total problems (Pselective mutism, even if further studies are needed. The present study identifies in psychomotricity a safe and efficacy therapy for pediatric selective mutism.

  13. Rethinking the health selection explanation for health inequalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, P

    1991-01-01

    As one of several explanations for class differentials in health, health selection has received remarkably little systematic attention in the inequalities debate. It is widely regarded as having (at best) a very minor role in the production of inequalities, and a theoretical debt to social Darwinism. This paper examines the validity of those assumptions in terms of the evidence which has emerged since the publication of the 'Black Report'. It is suggested that it is too easy to write off health selection as of little or no significance, and that reconceptualising the issue within a specifically sociological perspective owing much to labelling theory offers much greater potential for understanding the processes involved. From this perspective, health selection has many of the features of discrimination of the sort that characterises race and sex.

  14. Optimal Sensor Selection for Health Monitoring Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santi, L. Michael; Sowers, T. Shane; Aguilar, Robert B.

    2005-01-01

    Sensor data are the basis for performance and health assessment of most complex systems. Careful selection and implementation of sensors is critical to enable high fidelity system health assessment. A model-based procedure that systematically selects an optimal sensor suite for overall health assessment of a designated host system is described. This procedure, termed the Systematic Sensor Selection Strategy (S4), was developed at NASA John H. Glenn Research Center in order to enhance design phase planning and preparations for in-space propulsion health management systems (HMS). Information and capabilities required to utilize the S4 approach in support of design phase development of robust health diagnostics are outlined. A merit metric that quantifies diagnostic performance and overall risk reduction potential of individual sensor suites is introduced. The conceptual foundation for this merit metric is presented and the algorithmic organization of the S4 optimization process is described. Representative results from S4 analyses of a boost stage rocket engine previously under development as part of NASA's Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) program are presented.

  15. Selected aspects of health literacy among seniors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šedová, Lenka; Doskočil, Ondřej; Brabcová, Iva; Hajduchová, Hana; Bártlová, Sylva

    2016-12-01

    This study aimed to map the selected indicators of health literacy in the senior population via a qualitative survey that focused specifically on its relationship with autonomy in the context of health literacy among seniors. A qualitative survey focused on the selected indicators of health literacy of seniors living in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic (R1-19). The snowball sampling method was intentionally selected. Completed interviews were transcribed and data was reduced, analyzed, and categorized. The identified categories were 1) information comprehension, 2) decision-making in healthcare, and 3) compliance with nonpharmacologic treatment. The 'information comprehension' category clearly shows that the seniors involved in this study rated the comprehensibility of information provided by medical professionals as being good. An especially positive finding was that seniors do seek information through the internet, print sources, or other media, even though, as one senior (80-year-old woman) said, comprehension of medical information is becoming "more and more complex". The 'decision-making in healthcare' category touched upon opinions regarding informed consent and opinions regarding seniors' own involvement in healthcare. Results from this category suggest that seniors accept informed consent as a routine necessity. Inhibition regarding personal involvement in healthcare was also apparent: "... I come from a family accustomed to not bothering the doctor unnecessarily, so I just stick out my arm..." The last category of 'compliance with nonpharmacologic treatment' clearly shows that respondents are informed regarding lifestyle modifications that would benefit their treatment, although, few respondents had achieved the desired lifestyle changes. Results of this qualitative research show clear health literacy limits among seniors. As shown in this study, age itself could also be a limiting factor of health literacy.

  16. [Parents' unemployment, selected life conditions, adolescents' wellbeing and perceived health].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supranowicz, Piotr

    2005-01-01

    Unemployment in Poland is one of the most negative outcomes of the economical transformations taking place in the last decade of the XX and first years of the XXI century. Therefore, the study on an influence of parents' unemployment upon adolescents' life conditions and health was undertaken in Health Promotion and Postgraduate Training Department of the National Institute of Hygiene. The data were collected from randomly selected sample of 783 students aged 14-15 years attending to ten private and public secondary schools (gymnasiums) in Warsaw. A part of the questionnaire elaborated in Health Promotion and Postgraduate Department covered information about negative life events, which had occurred in the previous year, also about a loss of the job by father or mother. The self-assessment of health, and physical and psychical wellbeing measured the perceived health. The study showed that significantly higher percentage of the students, whose father or mother had lost a job in the previous year, noticed also occurrence of father and mother health disorders, lack of support from father and mother, frequent quarrels between parents, too much of home duties, worsening a housing conditions, lack of possibilities to travel away on vacation and lack of own money. The differences were higher, if both the parents were unemployed. Moreover, the children of unemployed parents significantly lower assessed their health, and physical and psychical wellbeing. It is necessary to help immediately the students, whose parents are unemployed, with financial and psychological support in frame of the programmes of unemployment overcoming.

  17. Towards a pro-health food-selection model for gatekeepers in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The purpose of this study was to develop a pro-health food selection model for gatekeepers of Bulawayo high-density suburbs in Zimbabwe. Gatekeepers in five suburbs constituted the study population from which a sample of 250 subjects was randomly selected. Of the total respondents (N= 182), 167 had their own ...

  18. Blind Measurement Selection: A Random Matrix Theory Approach

    KAUST Repository

    Elkhalil, Khalil; Kammoun, Abla; Al-Naffouri, Tareq Y.; Alouini, Mohamed-Slim

    2016-01-01

    -aware fashions. We present two potential applications where the proposed algorithms can be used, namely antenna selection for uplink transmissions in large scale multi-user systems and sensor selection for wireless sensor networks. Numerical results are also

  19. Strategyproof Peer Selection using Randomization, Partitioning, and Apportionment

    OpenAIRE

    Aziz, Haris; Lev, Omer; Mattei, Nicholas; Rosenschein, Jeffrey S.; Walsh, Toby

    2016-01-01

    Peer review, evaluation, and selection is a fundamental aspect of modern science. Funding bodies the world over employ experts to review and select the best proposals of those submitted for funding. The problem of peer selection, however, is much more general: a professional society may want to give a subset of its members awards based on the opinions of all members; an instructor for a MOOC or online course may want to crowdsource grading; or a marketing company may select ideas from group b...

  20. Variable Selection in Time Series Forecasting Using Random Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hristos Tyralis

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Time series forecasting using machine learning algorithms has gained popularity recently. Random forest is a machine learning algorithm implemented in time series forecasting; however, most of its forecasting properties have remained unexplored. Here we focus on assessing the performance of random forests in one-step forecasting using two large datasets of short time series with the aim to suggest an optimal set of predictor variables. Furthermore, we compare its performance to benchmarking methods. The first dataset is composed by 16,000 simulated time series from a variety of Autoregressive Fractionally Integrated Moving Average (ARFIMA models. The second dataset consists of 135 mean annual temperature time series. The highest predictive performance of RF is observed when using a low number of recent lagged predictor variables. This outcome could be useful in relevant future applications, with the prospect to achieve higher predictive accuracy.

  1. Frequency Selective Surface for Structural Health Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norlyana Azemi, Saidatul; Mustaffa, Farzana Hazira Wan; Faizal Jamlos, Mohd; Abdullah Al-Hadi, Azremi; Soh, Ping Jack

    2018-03-01

    Structural health monitoring (SHM) technologies have attained attention to monitor civil structures. SHM sensor systems have been used in various civil structures such as bridges, buildings, tunnels and so on. However the previous sensor for SHM is wired and encounter with problem to cover large areas. Therefore, wireless sensor was introduced for SHM to reduce network connecting problem. Wireless sensors for Structural Health monitoring are new technology and have many advantages to overcome the drawback of conventional and wired sensor. This project proposed passive wireless SHM sensor using frequency selective surface (FSS) as an alternative to conventional sensors. The electromagnetic wave characteristic of FSS will change by geometrical changes of FSS due to mechanical strain or structural failure. The changes feature is used as a sensing function without any connecting wires. Two type of design which are circular ring and square loop along with the transmission and reflection characteristics of SHM using FSS were discussed in this project. A simulation process has shown that incident angle characteristics can be use as a data for SHM application.

  2. Random-walk simulation of selected aspects of dissipative collisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toeke, J.; Gobbi, A.; Matulewicz, T.

    1984-11-01

    Internuclear thermal equilibrium effects and shell structure effects in dissipative collisions are studied numerically within the framework of the model of stochastic exchanges by applying the random-walk technique. Effective blocking of the drift through the mass flux induced by the temperature difference, while leaving the variances of the mass distributions unaltered is found possible, provided an internuclear potential barrier is present. Presence of the shell structure is found to lead to characteristic correlations between the consecutive exchanges. Experimental evidence for the predicted effects is discussed. (orig.)

  3. Application of random effects to the study of resource selection by animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillies, Cameron S; Hebblewhite, Mark; Nielsen, Scott E; Krawchuk, Meg A; Aldridge, Cameron L; Frair, Jacqueline L; Saher, D Joanne; Stevens, Cameron E; Jerde, Christopher L

    2006-07-01

    1. Resource selection estimated by logistic regression is used increasingly in studies to identify critical resources for animal populations and to predict species occurrence. 2. Most frequently, individual animals are monitored and pooled to estimate population-level effects without regard to group or individual-level variation. Pooling assumes that both observations and their errors are independent, and resource selection is constant given individual variation in resource availability. 3. Although researchers have identified ways to minimize autocorrelation, variation between individuals caused by differences in selection or available resources, including functional responses in resource selection, have not been well addressed. 4. Here we review random-effects models and their application to resource selection modelling to overcome these common limitations. We present a simple case study of an analysis of resource selection by grizzly bears in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains with and without random effects. 5. Both categorical and continuous variables in the grizzly bear model differed in interpretation, both in statistical significance and coefficient sign, depending on how a random effect was included. We used a simulation approach to clarify the application of random effects under three common situations for telemetry studies: (a) discrepancies in sample sizes among individuals; (b) differences among individuals in selection where availability is constant; and (c) differences in availability with and without a functional response in resource selection. 6. We found that random intercepts accounted for unbalanced sample designs, and models with random intercepts and coefficients improved model fit given the variation in selection among individuals and functional responses in selection. Our empirical example and simulations demonstrate how including random effects in resource selection models can aid interpretation and address difficult assumptions

  4. Geography and genography: prediction of continental origin using randomly selected single nucleotide polymorphisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramoni Marco F

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent studies have shown that when individuals are grouped on the basis of genetic similarity, group membership corresponds closely to continental origin. There has been considerable debate about the implications of these findings in the context of larger debates about race and the extent of genetic variation between groups. Some have argued that clustering according to continental origin demonstrates the existence of significant genetic differences between groups and that these differences may have important implications for differences in health and disease. Others argue that clustering according to continental origin requires the use of large amounts of genetic data or specifically chosen markers and is indicative only of very subtle genetic differences that are unlikely to have biomedical significance. Results We used small numbers of randomly selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs from the International HapMap Project to train naïve Bayes classifiers for prediction of ancestral continent of origin. Predictive accuracy was tested on two independent data sets. Genetically similar groups should be difficult to distinguish, especially if only a small number of genetic markers are used. The genetic differences between continentally defined groups are sufficiently large that one can accurately predict ancestral continent of origin using only a minute, randomly selected fraction of the genetic variation present in the human genome. Genotype data from only 50 random SNPs was sufficient to predict ancestral continent of origin in our primary test data set with an average accuracy of 95%. Genetic variations informative about ancestry were common and widely distributed throughout the genome. Conclusion Accurate characterization of ancestry is possible using small numbers of randomly selected SNPs. The results presented here show how investigators conducting genetic association studies can use small numbers of arbitrarily

  5. Two-year Randomized Clinical Trial of Self-etching Adhesives and Selective Enamel Etching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pena, C E; Rodrigues, J A; Ely, C; Giannini, M; Reis, A F

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this randomized, controlled prospective clinical trial was to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of restoring noncarious cervical lesions with two self-etching adhesive systems applied with or without selective enamel etching. A one-step self-etching adhesive (Xeno V(+)) and a two-step self-etching system (Clearfil SE Bond) were used. The effectiveness of phosphoric acid selective etching of enamel margins was also evaluated. Fifty-six cavities were restored with each adhesive system and divided into two subgroups (n=28; etch and non-etch). All 112 cavities were restored with the nanohybrid composite Esthet.X HD. The clinical effectiveness of restorations was recorded in terms of retention, marginal integrity, marginal staining, caries recurrence, and postoperative sensitivity after 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months (modified United States Public Health Service). The Friedman test detected significant differences only after 18 months for marginal staining in the groups Clearfil SE non-etch (p=0.009) and Xeno V(+) etch (p=0.004). One restoration was lost during the trial (Xeno V(+) etch; p>0.05). Although an increase in marginal staining was recorded for groups Clearfil SE non-etch and Xeno V(+) etch, the clinical effectiveness of restorations was considered acceptable for the single-step and two-step self-etching systems with or without selective enamel etching in this 24-month clinical trial.

  6. Interference-aware random beam selection schemes for spectrum sharing systems

    KAUST Repository

    Abdallah, Mohamed; Qaraqe, Khalid; Alouini, Mohamed-Slim

    2012-01-01

    users. In this work, we develop interference-aware random beam selection schemes that provide enhanced performance for the secondary network under the condition that the interference observed by the receivers of the primary network is below a

  7. Assessing the accuracy and stability of variable selection methods for random forest modeling in ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Random forest (RF) modeling has emerged as an important statistical learning method in ecology due to its exceptional predictive performance. However, for large and complex ecological datasets there is limited guidance on variable selection methods for RF modeling. Typically, e...

  8. The mathematics of random mutation and natural selection for multiple simultaneous selection pressures and the evolution of antimicrobial drug resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinman, Alan

    2016-12-20

    The random mutation and natural selection phenomenon act in a mathematically predictable behavior, which when understood leads to approaches to reduce and prevent the failure of the use of these selection pressures when treating infections and cancers. The underlying principle to impair the random mutation and natural selection phenomenon is to use combination therapy, which forces the population to evolve to multiple selection pressures simultaneously that invoke the multiplication rule of probabilities simultaneously as well. Recently, it has been seen that combination therapy for the treatment of malaria has failed to prevent the emergence of drug-resistant variants. Using this empirical example and the principles of probability theory, the derivation of the equations describing this treatment failure is carried out. These equations give guidance as to how to use combination therapy for the treatment of cancers and infectious diseases and prevent the emergence of drug resistance. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Acceptance sampling using judgmental and randomly selected samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sego, Landon H.; Shulman, Stanley A.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Wilson, John E.; Pulsipher, Brent A.; Sieber, W. Karl

    2010-09-01

    We present a Bayesian model for acceptance sampling where the population consists of two groups, each with different levels of risk of containing unacceptable items. Expert opinion, or judgment, may be required to distinguish between the high and low-risk groups. Hence, high-risk items are likely to be identifed (and sampled) using expert judgment, while the remaining low-risk items are sampled randomly. We focus on the situation where all observed samples must be acceptable. Consequently, the objective of the statistical inference is to quantify the probability that a large percentage of the unsampled items in the population are also acceptable. We demonstrate that traditional (frequentist) acceptance sampling and simpler Bayesian formulations of the problem are essentially special cases of the proposed model. We explore the properties of the model in detail, and discuss the conditions necessary to ensure that required samples sizes are non-decreasing function of the population size. The method is applicable to a variety of acceptance sampling problems, and, in particular, to environmental sampling where the objective is to demonstrate the safety of reoccupying a remediated facility that has been contaminated with a lethal agent.

  10. 40 CFR 761.308 - Sample selection by random number generation on any two-dimensional square grid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 30 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Sample selection by random number... § 761.79(b)(3) § 761.308 Sample selection by random number generation on any two-dimensional square... area created in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, select two random numbers: one each for...

  11. Inequalities in selected health-related Millennium Development ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Inequalities in selected health-related Millennium Development Goals ... and interventions (including health promotion, primary and secondary prevention, ... and ensuring environmental sustainability (through reduction in the use of solid fuels ...

  12. Maternal health service utilization in urban slums of selected towns ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    EPHA USER33

    Medicine, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; ... still women in urban settings do not use available maternal health services. Especially ... health services, safe water supplies, poor sanitation and .... selected cities are confined to crowded places, lack of.

  13. Using ArcMap, Google Earth, and Global Positioning Systems to select and locate random households in rural Haiti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wampler, Peter J; Rediske, Richard R; Molla, Azizur R

    2013-01-18

    A remote sensing technique was developed which combines a Geographic Information System (GIS); Google Earth, and Microsoft Excel to identify home locations for a random sample of households in rural Haiti. The method was used to select homes for ethnographic and water quality research in a region of rural Haiti located within 9 km of a local hospital and source of health education in Deschapelles, Haiti. The technique does not require access to governmental records or ground based surveys to collect household location data and can be performed in a rapid, cost-effective manner. The random selection of households and the location of these households during field surveys were accomplished using GIS, Google Earth, Microsoft Excel, and handheld Garmin GPSmap 76CSx GPS units. Homes were identified and mapped in Google Earth, exported to ArcMap 10.0, and a random list of homes was generated using Microsoft Excel which was then loaded onto handheld GPS units for field location. The development and use of a remote sensing method was essential to the selection and location of random households. A total of 537 homes initially were mapped and a randomized subset of 96 was identified as potential survey locations. Over 96% of the homes mapped using Google Earth imagery were correctly identified as occupied dwellings. Only 3.6% of the occupants of mapped homes visited declined to be interviewed. 16.4% of the homes visited were not occupied at the time of the visit due to work away from the home or market days. A total of 55 households were located using this method during the 10 days of fieldwork in May and June of 2012. The method used to generate and field locate random homes for surveys and water sampling was an effective means of selecting random households in a rural environment lacking geolocation infrastructure. The success rate for locating households using a handheld GPS was excellent and only rarely was local knowledge required to identify and locate households. This

  14. Using ArcMap, Google Earth, and Global Positioning Systems to select and locate random households in rural Haiti

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wampler Peter J

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A remote sensing technique was developed which combines a Geographic Information System (GIS; Google Earth, and Microsoft Excel to identify home locations for a random sample of households in rural Haiti. The method was used to select homes for ethnographic and water quality research in a region of rural Haiti located within 9 km of a local hospital and source of health education in Deschapelles, Haiti. The technique does not require access to governmental records or ground based surveys to collect household location data and can be performed in a rapid, cost-effective manner. Methods The random selection of households and the location of these households during field surveys were accomplished using GIS, Google Earth, Microsoft Excel, and handheld Garmin GPSmap 76CSx GPS units. Homes were identified and mapped in Google Earth, exported to ArcMap 10.0, and a random list of homes was generated using Microsoft Excel which was then loaded onto handheld GPS units for field location. The development and use of a remote sensing method was essential to the selection and location of random households. Results A total of 537 homes initially were mapped and a randomized subset of 96 was identified as potential survey locations. Over 96% of the homes mapped using Google Earth imagery were correctly identified as occupied dwellings. Only 3.6% of the occupants of mapped homes visited declined to be interviewed. 16.4% of the homes visited were not occupied at the time of the visit due to work away from the home or market days. A total of 55 households were located using this method during the 10 days of fieldwork in May and June of 2012. Conclusions The method used to generate and field locate random homes for surveys and water sampling was an effective means of selecting random households in a rural environment lacking geolocation infrastructure. The success rate for locating households using a handheld GPS was excellent and only

  15. Health-related quality-of-life in a randomized phase III first-line study of gefitinib versus carboplatin/paclitaxel in clinically selected patients from Asia with advanced NSCLC (IPASS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thongprasert, Sumitra; Duffield, Emma; Saijo, Nagahiro; Wu, Yi-Long; Yang, James Chih-Hsin; Chu, Da-Tong; Liao, Meilin; Chen, Yuh-Min; Kuo, Han-Pin; Negoro, Shunichi; Lam, Kwok Chi; Armour, Alison; Magill, Patrick; Fukuoka, Masahiro

    2011-11-01

    Evaluation of health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) and symptom improvement were preplanned secondary objectives for the overall population and posthoc analyses for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive/negative subgroups in IPASS. HRQoL was assessed using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung (FACT-L) and Trial Outcome Index (TOI); symptom improvement by the Lung Cancer Subscale (LCS). Improvements defined as: 6 or more (FACT-L; TOI), 2 or more (LCS) points increase maintained for 21 or more days. Overall (n = 1151/1217 evaluable), HRQoL improvement rates were significantly greater with gefitinib versus carboplatin/paclitaxel; symptom improvement rates were similar for both treatments. Significantly more patients recorded improvements in HRQoL and symptoms with gefitinib in the EGFR mutation-positive subgroup (n = 259; FACT-L 70.2% versus 44.5%; odds ratio, 3.01 [95% confidence interval, 1.79-5.07]; p < 0.001; TOI 70.2% versus 38.3%; 3.96 [2.33-6.71]; p < 0.001; LCS 75.6% versus 53.9%; 2.70 [1.58-4.62]; p < 0.001), and with carboplatin/paclitaxel in the EGFR mutation-negative subgroup (n = 169; FACT-L 14.6% versus 36.3%; odds ratio, 0.31 [0.15-0.65]; p = 0.002; TOI 12.4% versus 28.8%; 0.35 [0.16-0.79]; p = 0.011; LCS 20.2% versus 47.5%; 0.28 [0.14-0.55]; p < 0.001). Median time-to-worsening (months) FACT-L score was longer with gefitinib versus carboplatin/paclitaxel for the overall population (8.3 versus 2.5) and EGFR mutation-positive subgroup (15.6 versus 3.0), and similar for both treatments in the EGFR mutation-negative subgroup (1.4 versus 1.4). Median time-to-improvement with gefitinib was 8 days in patients with EGFR mutation-positive tumors who improved. HRQoL and symptom endpoints were consistent with efficacy outcomes in IPASS and favored gefitinib in patients with EGFR mutation-positive tumors and carboplatin/paclitaxel in patients with EGFR mutation-negative tumors.

  16. Mental Health Services at Selected Private Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hoof, Thomas J.; Sherwin, Tierney E.; Baggish, Rosemary C.; Tacy, Peter B.; Meehan, Thomas P.

    2004-01-01

    Private schools educate a significant percentage of US children and adolescents. Private schools, particularly where students reside during the academic year, assume responsibility for the health and well-being of their students. Children and adolescents experience mental health problems at a predictable rate, and private schools need a mechanism…

  17. Effects of professional oral health care on elderly: randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morino, T; Ookawa, K; Haruta, N; Hagiwara, Y; Seki, M

    2014-11-01

    To better understand the role of the professional oral health care for elderly in improving geriatric oral health, the effects of short-term professional oral health care (once per week for 1 month) on oral microbiological parameters were assessed. Parallel, open-labelled, randomize-controlled trial was undertaken in a nursing home for elderly in Shizuoka, Japan. Thirty-four dentate elderly over 74 years were randomly assigned from ID number to the intervention (17/34) and control (17/34) groups. The outcomes were changes in oral microbiological parameters (number of bacteria in unstimulated saliva; whole bacteria, Streptococcus, Fusobacterium and Prevotella: opportunistic pathogens detection: and index of oral hygiene evaluation [Dental Plaque Index, DPI]) within the intervention period. Each parameter was evaluated at before and after intervention period. Four elderly were lost from mortality (1), bone fracture (1), refused to participate (1) and multi-antibiotics usage (1). Finally, 30 elderly were analysed (14/intervention and 16/control). At baseline, no difference was found between the control and intervention groups. After the intervention period, the percentage of Streptococcus species increased significantly in the intervention group (Intervention, 86% [12/14]; Control, 50% [8/16]: Fisher's, right-tailed, P oral health care can improve oral conditions in the elderly. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Adverse Selection in Health Insurance Markets: A Classroom Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, Ashley

    2014-01-01

    Adverse selection as it relates to health care policy will be a key economic issue in many upcoming elections. In this article, the author lays out a 30-minute classroom experiment designed for students to experience the kind of elevated prices and market collapse that can result from adverse selection in health insurance markets. The students…

  19. The value of including spirometry in health checks - a randomized controlled study in primary health care

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørts, Lene Maria; Ottesen, Anders Løkke; Bjerregaard, Anne-Louise

    Background Lung diseases are among the most frequent and most serious ailments in Denmark. Preventive health checks including spirometry can be used to detect lung diseases earlier. Over time the attendance at preventive health checks has decreased and at present the response rate is approximately...... 50%. Little is known about initiatives that can influence the attendance rate. Objectives To examine whether focused information on spirometry in the invitation material will influence the attendance in preventive health checks. Materiel/Methods Design: A randomized controlled study on information...... on spirometry embedded in “Check your health Prevention Program, CHPP” from 2015-16. CHPP is a house-hold cluster randomized controlled trial offering a preventive health check to 30-49 year olds in a Danish municipality during the years 2012 through to 2017 (n= 26,216), carried out in collaboration between...

  20. Non-random mating for selection with restricted rates of inbreeding and overlapping generations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sonesson, A.K.; Meuwissen, T.H.E.

    2002-01-01

    Minimum coancestry mating with a maximum of one offspring per mating pair (MC1) is compared with random mating schemes for populations with overlapping generations. Optimum contribution selection is used, whereby $\\\\\\\\Delta F$ is restricted. For schemes with $\\\\\\\\Delta F$ restricted to 0.25% per

  1. Applications of random forest feature selection for fine-scale genetic population assignment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvester, Emma V A; Bentzen, Paul; Bradbury, Ian R; Clément, Marie; Pearce, Jon; Horne, John; Beiko, Robert G

    2018-02-01

    Genetic population assignment used to inform wildlife management and conservation efforts requires panels of highly informative genetic markers and sensitive assignment tests. We explored the utility of machine-learning algorithms (random forest, regularized random forest and guided regularized random forest) compared with F ST ranking for selection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) for fine-scale population assignment. We applied these methods to an unpublished SNP data set for Atlantic salmon ( Salmo salar ) and a published SNP data set for Alaskan Chinook salmon ( Oncorhynchus tshawytscha ). In each species, we identified the minimum panel size required to obtain a self-assignment accuracy of at least 90% using each method to create panels of 50-700 markers Panels of SNPs identified using random forest-based methods performed up to 7.8 and 11.2 percentage points better than F ST -selected panels of similar size for the Atlantic salmon and Chinook salmon data, respectively. Self-assignment accuracy ≥90% was obtained with panels of 670 and 384 SNPs for each data set, respectively, a level of accuracy never reached for these species using F ST -selected panels. Our results demonstrate a role for machine-learning approaches in marker selection across large genomic data sets to improve assignment for management and conservation of exploited populations.

  2. 40 CFR 761.306 - Sampling 1 meter square surfaces by random selection of halves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 30 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Sampling 1 meter square surfaces by...(b)(3) § 761.306 Sampling 1 meter square surfaces by random selection of halves. (a) Divide each 1 meter square portion where it is necessary to collect a surface wipe test sample into two equal (or as...

  3. Analysis of the Effect of Health Education Activities on Selected ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2018-03-01

    Mar 1, 2018 ... integrated management of childhood illness have the potential to improve these child ... faecal disposal, etc, all in an attempt to decrease under-five ... sanitation practices and clean water supply are .... random selection of households was done. Interviews .... A multivariate logistic regression analysis was.

  4. Health Selection, Migration, and HIV Infection in Malawi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anglewicz, Philip; VanLandingham, Mark; Manda-Taylor, Lucinda; Kohler, Hans-Peter

    2018-04-27

    Despite its importance in studies of migrant health, selectivity of migrants-also known as migration health selection-has seldom been examined in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This neglect is problematic because several features of the context in which migration occurs in SSA-very high levels of HIV, in particular-differ from contextual features in regions that have been studied more thoroughly. To address this important gap, we use longitudinal panel data from Malawi to examine whether migrants differ from nonmigrants in pre-migration health, assessed via SF-12 measures of mental and physical health. In addition to overall health selection, we focus on three more-specific factors that may affect the relationship between migration and health: (1) whether migration health selection differs by destination (rural-rural, rural-town, and rural-urban), (2) whether HIV infection moderates the relationship between migration and health, and (3) whether circular migrants differ in pre-migration health status. We find evidence of the healthy migrant phenomenon in Malawi, where physically healthier individuals are more likely to move. This relationship varies by migration destination, with healthier rural migrants moving to urban and other rural areas. We also find interactions between HIV-infected status and health: HIV-infected women moving to cities are physically healthier than their nonmigrant counterparts.

  5. Hebbian Learning in a Random Network Captures Selectivity Properties of the Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Grace W.

    2017-01-01

    Complex cognitive behaviors, such as context-switching and rule-following, are thought to be supported by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Neural activity in the PFC must thus be specialized to specific tasks while retaining flexibility. Nonlinear “mixed” selectivity is an important neurophysiological trait for enabling complex and context-dependent behaviors. Here we investigate (1) the extent to which the PFC exhibits computationally relevant properties, such as mixed selectivity, and (2) how such properties could arise via circuit mechanisms. We show that PFC cells recorded from male and female rhesus macaques during a complex task show a moderate level of specialization and structure that is not replicated by a model wherein cells receive random feedforward inputs. While random connectivity can be effective at generating mixed selectivity, the data show significantly more mixed selectivity than predicted by a model with otherwise matched parameters. A simple Hebbian learning rule applied to the random connectivity, however, increases mixed selectivity and enables the model to match the data more accurately. To explain how learning achieves this, we provide analysis along with a clear geometric interpretation of the impact of learning on selectivity. After learning, the model also matches the data on measures of noise, response density, clustering, and the distribution of selectivities. Of two styles of Hebbian learning tested, the simpler and more biologically plausible option better matches the data. These modeling results provide clues about how neural properties important for cognition can arise in a circuit and make clear experimental predictions regarding how various measures of selectivity would evolve during animal training. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The prefrontal cortex is a brain region believed to support the ability of animals to engage in complex behavior. How neurons in this area respond to stimuli—and in particular, to combinations of stimuli (

  6. Managing risk selection incentives in health sector reforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puig-Junoy, J

    1999-01-01

    The object of the paper is to review theoretical and empirical contributions to the optimal management of risk selection incentives ('cream skimming') in health sector reforms. The trade-off between efficiency and risk selection is fostered in health sector reforms by the introduction of competitive mechanisms such as price competition or prospective payment systems. The effects of two main forms of competition in health sector reforms are observed when health insurance is mandatory: competition in the market for health insurance, and in the market for health services. Market and government failures contribute to the assessment of the different forms of risk selection employed by insurers and providers, as the effects of selection incentives on efficiency and their proposed remedies to reduce the impact of these perverse incentives. Two European (Netherlands and Spain) and two Latin American (Chile and Colombia) case studies of health sector reforms are examined in order to observe selection incentives, their effects on efficiency and costs in the health system, and regulation policies implemented in each country to mitigate incentives to 'cream skim' good risks.

  7. Performance Evaluation of User Selection Protocols in Random Networks with Energy Harvesting and Hardware Impairments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tan Nhat Nguyen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we evaluate performances of various user selection protocols under impact of hardware impairments. In the considered protocols, a Base Station (BS selects one of available Users (US to serve, while the remaining USs harvest the energy from the Radio Frequency (RF transmitted by the BS. We assume that all of the US randomly appear around the BS. In the Random Selection Protocol (RAN, the BS randomly selects a US to transmit the data. In the second proposed protocol, named Minimum Distance Protocol (MIND, the US that is nearest to the BS will be chosen. In the Optimal Selection Protocol (OPT, the US providing the highest channel gain between itself and the BS will be served. For performance evaluation, we derive exact and asymptotic closed-form expressions of average Outage Probability (OP over Rayleigh fading channels. We also consider average harvested energy per a US. Finally, Monte-Carlo simulations are then performed to verify the theoretical results.

  8. Simulated Performance Evaluation of a Selective Tracker Through Random Scenario Generation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hussain, Dil Muhammad Akbar

    2006-01-01

    performance assessment. Therefore, a random target motion scenario is adopted. Its implementation in particular for testing the proposed selective track splitting algorithm using Kalman filters is investigated through a number of performance parameters which gives the activity profile of the tracking scenario......  The paper presents a simulation study on the performance of a target tracker using selective track splitting filter algorithm through a random scenario implemented on a digital signal processor.  In a typical track splitting filter all the observation which fall inside a likelihood ellipse...... are used for update, however, in our proposed selective track splitting filter less number of observations are used for track update.  Much of the previous performance work [1] has been done on specific (deterministic) scenarios. One of the reasons for considering the specific scenarios, which were...

  9. TEHRAN AIR POLLUTANTS PREDICTION BASED ON RANDOM FOREST FEATURE SELECTION METHOD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Shamsoddini

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Air pollution as one of the most serious forms of environmental pollutions poses huge threat to human life. Air pollution leads to environmental instability, and has harmful and undesirable effects on the environment. Modern prediction methods of the pollutant concentration are able to improve decision making and provide appropriate solutions. This study examines the performance of the Random Forest feature selection in combination with multiple-linear regression and Multilayer Perceptron Artificial Neural Networks methods, in order to achieve an efficient model to estimate carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and PM2.5 contents in the air. The results indicated that Artificial Neural Networks fed by the attributes selected by Random Forest feature selection method performed more accurate than other models for the modeling of all pollutants. The estimation accuracy of sulfur dioxide emissions was lower than the other air contaminants whereas the nitrogen dioxide was predicted more accurate than the other pollutants.

  10. Tehran Air Pollutants Prediction Based on Random Forest Feature Selection Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamsoddini, A.; Aboodi, M. R.; Karami, J.

    2017-09-01

    Air pollution as one of the most serious forms of environmental pollutions poses huge threat to human life. Air pollution leads to environmental instability, and has harmful and undesirable effects on the environment. Modern prediction methods of the pollutant concentration are able to improve decision making and provide appropriate solutions. This study examines the performance of the Random Forest feature selection in combination with multiple-linear regression and Multilayer Perceptron Artificial Neural Networks methods, in order to achieve an efficient model to estimate carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and PM2.5 contents in the air. The results indicated that Artificial Neural Networks fed by the attributes selected by Random Forest feature selection method performed more accurate than other models for the modeling of all pollutants. The estimation accuracy of sulfur dioxide emissions was lower than the other air contaminants whereas the nitrogen dioxide was predicted more accurate than the other pollutants.

  11. Basic Versus Supplementary Health Insurance : Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boone, J.

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces a tractable model of health insurance with both moral hazard and adverse selection. We show that government sponsored universal basic insurance should cover treatments with the biggest adverse selection problems. Treatments not covered by basic insurance can be covered on the

  12. Basic versus supplementary health insurance : Moral hazard and adverse selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boone, J.

    This paper introduces a tractable model of health insurance with both moral hazard and adverse selection. We show that government sponsored universal basic insurance should cover treatments with the biggest adverse selection problems. Treatments not covered by basic insurance can be covered on the

  13. Change your ways : Fostering health attitudes toward change through selective exposure to online health messages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westerwick, Axel; Johnson, Benjamin K.; Knobloch-Westerwick, Silvia

    2017-01-01

    Health information is often sought online, despite varying credibility of online sources, and may shape health behaviors. This investigation builds on the Selective Exposure Self- and Affect-Management model to examine selective exposure to online health information from low- and high-credibility

  14. Continuous-Time Mean-Variance Portfolio Selection with Random Horizon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, Zhiyong

    2013-01-01

    This paper examines the continuous-time mean-variance optimal portfolio selection problem with random market parameters and random time horizon. Treating this problem as a linearly constrained stochastic linear-quadratic optimal control problem, I explicitly derive the efficient portfolios and efficient frontier in closed forms based on the solutions of two backward stochastic differential equations. Some related issues such as a minimum variance portfolio and a mutual fund theorem are also addressed. All the results are markedly different from those in the problem with deterministic exit time. A key part of my analysis involves proving the global solvability of a stochastic Riccati equation, which is interesting in its own right

  15. Continuous-Time Mean-Variance Portfolio Selection with Random Horizon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, Zhiyong, E-mail: yuzhiyong@sdu.edu.cn [Shandong University, School of Mathematics (China)

    2013-12-15

    This paper examines the continuous-time mean-variance optimal portfolio selection problem with random market parameters and random time horizon. Treating this problem as a linearly constrained stochastic linear-quadratic optimal control problem, I explicitly derive the efficient portfolios and efficient frontier in closed forms based on the solutions of two backward stochastic differential equations. Some related issues such as a minimum variance portfolio and a mutual fund theorem are also addressed. All the results are markedly different from those in the problem with deterministic exit time. A key part of my analysis involves proving the global solvability of a stochastic Riccati equation, which is interesting in its own right.

  16. Maternal health service utilization in urban slums of selected towns ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Maternal health service utilization in urban slums of selected towns in Ethiopia: Qualitative study. ... Reasons were found to be attributed to individual characteristics, perceived capacities of health facilities and friendliness of service providers and socio-cultural factors including socially sanctioned expectations at community ...

  17. Physical activity in relation to selected physical health components ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this study was to determine the relation between physical activity and selected physical health components. A total of 9860 employees of a financial institution in South Africa, between the ages 18 and 64 (x̄ =35.3 ± 18.6 years), voluntary participated in the study. Health risk factors and physical activity was ...

  18. Health of women: associations among life events, social support, and personality for selected patient groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norlander, T; Dahlin, A; Archer, T

    2000-02-01

    This study examined the effects of life events, social support, personality traits, and siblings' birth-order on the health of women. 199 middle-class participants were included. 95 women, randomly assigned from four different patient groups, were compared with a control group of 96 randomly selected women without any special health problems. They completed a questionnaire which included questions regarding family background, health, different life events, social support, and signs of disease and a projective test, the Sivik Psychosomatism Test. Analysis indicated that report of negative life events was associated with more physical symptoms than positive life events and that the patient groups reported more negative life events and less social support than the control group.

  19. Biased selection within the social health insurance market in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castano, Ramon; Zambrano, Andres

    2006-12-01

    Reducing the impact of insurance market failures with regulations such as community-rated premiums, standardized benefit packages and open enrolment, yield limited effect because they create room for selection bias. The Colombian social health insurance system started a market approach in 1993 expecting to improve performance of preexisting monopolistic insurance funds by exposing them to competition by new entrants. This paper tests the hypothesis that market failures would lead to biased selection favoring new entrants. Two household surveys are analyzed using Self-Reported Health Status and the presence of chronic conditions as prospective indicators of individual risk. Biased selection is found to take place, leading to adverse selection among incumbents, and favorable selection among new entrants. This pattern is absent in 1997 but is evident in 2003. Given that the two incumbents analyzed are public organizations, the fiscal implications of the findings in terms of government bailouts, are analyzed.

  20. Emergence of multilevel selection in the prisoner's dilemma game on coevolving random networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szolnoki, Attila; Perc, Matjaz

    2009-01-01

    We study the evolution of cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma game, whereby a coevolutionary rule is introduced that molds the random topology of the interaction network in two ways. First, existing links are deleted whenever a player adopts a new strategy or its degree exceeds a threshold value; second, new links are added randomly after a given number of game iterations. These coevolutionary processes correspond to the generic formation of new links and deletion of existing links that, especially in human societies, appear frequently as a consequence of ongoing socialization, change of lifestyle or death. Due to the counteraction of deletions and additions of links the initial heterogeneity of the interaction network is qualitatively preserved, and thus cannot be held responsible for the observed promotion of cooperation. Indeed, the coevolutionary rule evokes the spontaneous emergence of a powerful multilevel selection mechanism, which despite the sustained random topology of the evolving network, maintains cooperation across the whole span of defection temptation values.

  1. Topology-selective jamming of fully-connected, code-division random-access networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polydoros, Andreas; Cheng, Unjeng

    1990-01-01

    The purpose is to introduce certain models of topology selective stochastic jamming and examine its impact on a class of fully-connected, spread-spectrum, slotted ALOHA-type random access networks. The theory covers dedicated as well as half-duplex units. The dominant role of the spatial duty factor is established, and connections with the dual concept of time selective jamming are discussed. The optimal choices of coding rate and link access parameters (from the users' side) and the jamming spatial fraction are numerically established for DS and FH spreading.

  2. Random drift versus selection in academic vocabulary: an evolutionary analysis of published keywords.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Alexander Bentley

    Full Text Available The evolution of vocabulary in academic publishing is characterized via keyword frequencies recorded in the ISI Web of Science citations database. In four distinct case-studies, evolutionary analysis of keyword frequency change through time is compared to a model of random copying used as the null hypothesis, such that selection may be identified against it. The case studies from the physical sciences indicate greater selection in keyword choice than in the social sciences. Similar evolutionary analyses can be applied to a wide range of phenomena; wherever the popularity of multiple items through time has been recorded, as with web searches, or sales of popular music and books, for example.

  3. Random drift versus selection in academic vocabulary: an evolutionary analysis of published keywords.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, R Alexander

    2008-08-27

    The evolution of vocabulary in academic publishing is characterized via keyword frequencies recorded in the ISI Web of Science citations database. In four distinct case-studies, evolutionary analysis of keyword frequency change through time is compared to a model of random copying used as the null hypothesis, such that selection may be identified against it. The case studies from the physical sciences indicate greater selection in keyword choice than in the social sciences. Similar evolutionary analyses can be applied to a wide range of phenomena; wherever the popularity of multiple items through time has been recorded, as with web searches, or sales of popular music and books, for example.

  4. Greater fruit selection following an appearance-based compared with a health-based health promotion poster

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background This study investigated the impact of an appearance-based compared with a traditional health-based public health message for healthy eating. Methods A total of 166 British University students (41 males; aged 20.6 ± 1.9 years) were randomized to view either an appearance-based (n = 82) or a health-based (n = 84) fruit promotion poster. Intentions to consume fruit and immediate fruit selection (laboratory observation) were assessed immediately after poster viewing, and subsequent self-report fruit consumption was assessed 3 days later. Results Intentions to consume fruit were not predicted by poster type (largest β = 0.03, P = 0.68) but were associated with fruit-based liking, past consumption, attitudes and social norms (smallest β = 0.16, P = 0.04). Immediate fruit selection was greater following the appearance-based compared with the health-based poster (β = −0.24, P poster (β = −0.22, P = 0.03), but this effect became non-significant on consideration of participant characteristics (β = −0.15, P = 0.13), and was instead associated with fruit-based liking and past consumption (smallest β = 0.24, P = 0.03). Conclusions These findings demonstrate the clear value of an appearance-based compared with a health-based health promotion poster for increasing fruit selection. A distinction between outcome measures and the value of a behavioural measure is also demonstrated. PMID:28158693

  5. Comparative Evaluations of Randomly Selected Four Point-of-Care Glucometer Devices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolde, Mistire; Tarekegn, Getahun; Kebede, Tedla

    2018-05-01

    Point-of-care glucometer (PoCG) devices play a significant role in self-monitoring of the blood sugar level, particularly in the follow-up of high blood sugar therapeutic response. The aim of this study was to evaluate blood glucose test results performed with four randomly selected glucometers on diabetes and control subjects versus standard wet chemistry (hexokinase) methods in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted on randomly selected 200 study participants (100 participants with diabetes and 100 healthy controls). Four randomly selected PoCG devices (CareSens N, DIAVUE Prudential, On Call Extra, i-QARE DS-W) were evaluated against hexokinase method and ISO 15197:2003 and ISO 15197:2013 standards. The minimum and maximum blood sugar values were recorded by CareSens N (21 mg/dl) and hexokinase method (498.8 mg/dl), respectively. The mean sugar values of all PoCG devices except On Call Extra showed significant differences compared with the reference hexokinase method. Meanwhile, all four PoCG devices had strong positive relationship (>80%) with the reference method (hexokinase). On the other hand, none of the four PoCG devices fulfilled the minimum accuracy measurement set by ISO 15197:2003 and ISO 15197:2013 standards. In addition, the linear regression analysis revealed that all four selected PoCG overestimated the glucose concentrations. The overall evaluation of the selected four PoCG measurements were poorly correlated with standard reference method. Therefore, before introducing PoCG devices to the market, there should be a standardized evaluation platform for validation. Further similar large-scale studies on other PoCG devices also need to be undertaken.

  6. Is self-selection the main driver of positive interpretations of general health checks?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bender, Anne Mette; Jørgensen, Torben; Pisinger, Charlotta

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate if the lower mortality among participants of a health check followed by lifestyle intervention of high risk persons is explained by self-selection. METHODS: All persons residing in the study area (Copenhagen; Denmark) were randomized to intervention (n=11,629) or control...... group (n=47,987). Persons in the intervention group were invited for a health check and individual lifestyle counselling. At baseline, 52.5% participated. Differences between participants and control group in 10-year all-cause and disease specific mortality was assessed. In survival analyses we...... was seen both for lifestyle related and non-lifestyle related diseases....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rochelle Yang

    2017-07-01

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

  8. Fuzzy Random λ-Mean SAD Portfolio Selection Problem: An Ant Colony Optimization Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Gour Sundar Mitra; Bhattacharyya, Rupak; Mitra, Swapan Kumar

    2010-10-01

    To reach the investment goal, one has to select a combination of securities among different portfolios containing large number of securities. Only the past records of each security do not guarantee the future return. As there are many uncertain factors which directly or indirectly influence the stock market and there are also some newer stock markets which do not have enough historical data, experts' expectation and experience must be combined with the past records to generate an effective portfolio selection model. In this paper the return of security is assumed to be Fuzzy Random Variable Set (FRVS), where returns are set of random numbers which are in turn fuzzy numbers. A new λ-Mean Semi Absolute Deviation (λ-MSAD) portfolio selection model is developed. The subjective opinions of the investors to the rate of returns of each security are taken into consideration by introducing a pessimistic-optimistic parameter vector λ. λ-Mean Semi Absolute Deviation (λ-MSAD) model is preferred as it follows absolute deviation of the rate of returns of a portfolio instead of the variance as the measure of the risk. As this model can be reduced to Linear Programming Problem (LPP) it can be solved much faster than quadratic programming problems. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is used for solving the portfolio selection problem. ACO is a paradigm for designing meta-heuristic algorithms for combinatorial optimization problem. Data from BSE is used for illustration.

  9. From Protocols to Publications: A Study in Selective Reporting of Outcomes in Randomized Trials in Oncology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghav, Kanwal Pratap Singh; Mahajan, Sminil; Yao, James C.; Hobbs, Brian P.; Berry, Donald A.; Pentz, Rebecca D.; Tam, Alda; Hong, Waun K.; Ellis, Lee M.; Abbruzzese, James; Overman, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The decision by journals to append protocols to published reports of randomized trials was a landmark event in clinical trial reporting. However, limited information is available on how this initiative effected transparency and selective reporting of clinical trial data. Methods We analyzed 74 oncology-based randomized trials published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, the New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet in 2012. To ascertain integrity of reporting, we compared published reports with their respective appended protocols with regard to primary end points, nonprimary end points, unplanned end points, and unplanned analyses. Results A total of 86 primary end points were reported in 74 randomized trials; nine trials had greater than one primary end point. Nine trials (12.2%) had some discrepancy between their planned and published primary end points. A total of 579 nonprimary end points (median, seven per trial) were planned, of which 373 (64.4%; median, five per trial) were reported. A significant positive correlation was found between the number of planned and nonreported nonprimary end points (Spearman r = 0.66; P < .001). Twenty-eight studies (37.8%) reported a total of 65 unplanned end points; 52 (80.0%) of which were not identified as unplanned. Thirty-one (41.9%) and 19 (25.7%) of 74 trials reported a total of 52 unplanned analyses involving primary end points and 33 unplanned analyses involving nonprimary end points, respectively. Studies reported positive unplanned end points and unplanned analyses more frequently than negative outcomes in abstracts (unplanned end points odds ratio, 6.8; P = .002; unplanned analyses odd ratio, 8.4; P = .007). Conclusion Despite public and reviewer access to protocols, selective outcome reporting persists and is a major concern in the reporting of randomized clinical trials. To foster credible evidence-based medicine, additional initiatives are needed to minimize selective reporting. PMID:26304898

  10. Result of randomized control trial to increase breast health awareness among young females in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhtari-Zavare, Mehrnoosh; Juni, Muhamad Hanafiah; Said, Salmiah Md; Ismail, Irmi Zarina; Latiff, Latiffah A; Ataollahi Eshkoor, Sima

    2016-08-08

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second principal cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide as well as in Malaysia. Breast self-examination (BSE) has a role in raising breast cancer awareness among women and educational programs play an important role in breast cancer preventive behavior. The aim of this study is to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of Breast Health Awareness program based on health belief model on knowledge of breast cancer and breast-selfexamination and BSE practice among female students in Malaysia. A single-blind randomized controlled trial was carried out among 370 female undergraduate students from January 2011 to April 2012 in two selected public universities in Malaysia. Participants were randomized to either the intervention group or the control group. The educational program was delivered to the intervention group. The outcome measures were assessed at baseline, 6, and 12 months after implementing the health educational program. Chi-square, independent samples t-test and two-way repeated measures ANOVA (GLM) were conducted in the course of the data analyses. Mean scores of knowledge on breast cancer (pMalaysia. The ANZCTR clinical trial registry ( ACTRN12616000831482 ), retrospectively registered on Jun 23, 2016 in ANZCTR.org.au.

  11. National Survey of Prison Health Care: Selected Findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruschak, Laura; Chari, Karishma A; Simon, Alan E; DeFrances, Carol J

    2016-07-01

    This report presents selected findings on the provision of health care services in U.S. state prisons. Findings on admissions testing for infectious disease, cardiovascular risk factors, and mental health conditions, as well as the location of the provision of care and utilization of telemedicine are all included. All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.

  12. Adverse selection and moral hazard in health insurance

    OpenAIRE

    Bien, Franck; Alary, David

    2006-01-01

    In this paper, we want to characterize the optimal health insurance contract with adverse selection and moral hazard. We assume that policyholders differ by the permanent health status loss and choose an unobservable preventive effort in order to reduce the probability of illness which is ex-ante identical. The difference in illness'after-effect modifies policyholders' preventive actions. By the way, they differ in probabilities of illness leading to a situation close to Rothschild and Stigli...

  13. Student-Initiated Sexual Health Selective as a Curricular Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie Johnson, BS

    2015-06-01

    Conclusions: The 1-week SHS was successfully implemented through the teamwork of a medical student and faculty champion. It resulted in more accurate knowledge and more open attitudes toward sexual health among participating medical students. Potential benefits to undergraduate medical educators are reviewed. Johnson K, Rullo J, and Faubion S. Student-initiated sexual health selective as a curricular tool. Sex Med 2015;3:118–127.

  14. Optimization of the Dutch Matrix Test by Random Selection of Sentences From a Preselected Subset

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolph Houben

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Matrix tests are available for speech recognition testing in many languages. For an accurate measurement, a steep psychometric function of the speech materials is required. For existing tests, it would be beneficial if it were possible to further optimize the available materials by increasing the function’s steepness. The objective is to show if the steepness of the psychometric function of an existing matrix test can be increased by selecting a homogeneous subset of recordings with the steepest sentence-based psychometric functions. We took data from a previous multicenter evaluation of the Dutch matrix test (45 normal-hearing listeners. Based on half of the data set, first the sentences (140 out of 311 with a similar speech reception threshold and with the steepest psychometric function (≥9.7%/dB were selected. Subsequently, the steepness of the psychometric function for this selection was calculated from the remaining (unused second half of the data set. The calculation showed that the slope increased from 10.2%/dB to 13.7%/dB. The resulting subset did not allow the construction of enough balanced test lists. Therefore, the measurement procedure was changed to randomly select the sentences during testing. Random selection may interfere with a representative occurrence of phonemes. However, in our material, the median phonemic occurrence remained close to that of the original test. This finding indicates that phonemic occurrence is not a critical factor. The work highlights the possibility that existing speech tests might be improved by selecting sentences with a steep psychometric function.

  15. Using Random Forests to Select Optimal Input Variables for Short-Term Wind Speed Forecasting Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Wang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Achieving relatively high-accuracy short-term wind speed forecasting estimates is a precondition for the construction and grid-connected operation of wind power forecasting systems for wind farms. Currently, most research is focused on the structure of forecasting models and does not consider the selection of input variables, which can have significant impacts on forecasting performance. This paper presents an input variable selection method for wind speed forecasting models. The candidate input variables for various leading periods are selected and random forests (RF is employed to evaluate the importance of all variable as features. The feature subset with the best evaluation performance is selected as the optimal feature set. Then, kernel-based extreme learning machine is constructed to evaluate the performance of input variables selection based on RF. The results of the case study show that by removing the uncorrelated and redundant features, RF effectively extracts the most strongly correlated set of features from the candidate input variables. By finding the optimal feature combination to represent the original information, RF simplifies the structure of the wind speed forecasting model, shortens the training time required, and substantially improves the model’s accuracy and generalization ability, demonstrating that the input variables selected by RF are effective.

  16. From Protocols to Publications: A Study in Selective Reporting of Outcomes in Randomized Trials in Oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghav, Kanwal Pratap Singh; Mahajan, Sminil; Yao, James C; Hobbs, Brian P; Berry, Donald A; Pentz, Rebecca D; Tam, Alda; Hong, Waun K; Ellis, Lee M; Abbruzzese, James; Overman, Michael J

    2015-11-01

    The decision by journals to append protocols to published reports of randomized trials was a landmark event in clinical trial reporting. However, limited information is available on how this initiative effected transparency and selective reporting of clinical trial data. We analyzed 74 oncology-based randomized trials published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, the New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet in 2012. To ascertain integrity of reporting, we compared published reports with their respective appended protocols with regard to primary end points, nonprimary end points, unplanned end points, and unplanned analyses. A total of 86 primary end points were reported in 74 randomized trials; nine trials had greater than one primary end point. Nine trials (12.2%) had some discrepancy between their planned and published primary end points. A total of 579 nonprimary end points (median, seven per trial) were planned, of which 373 (64.4%; median, five per trial) were reported. A significant positive correlation was found between the number of planned and nonreported nonprimary end points (Spearman r = 0.66; P medicine, additional initiatives are needed to minimize selective reporting. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

  17. Health selection into neighborhoods among patients enrolled in a clinical trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana C. Arcaya

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Health selection into neighborhoods may contribute to geographic health disparities. We demonstrate the potential for clinical trial data to help clarify the causal role of health on locational attainment. We used data from the 20-year United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS to explore whether random assignment to intensive blood-glucose control therapy, which improved long-term health outcomes after median 10 years follow-up, subsequently affected what neighborhoods patients lived in. We extracted postcode-level deprivation indices for the 2710 surviving participants of UKPDS living in England at study end in 1996/1997. We observed small neighborhood advantages in the intensive versus conventional therapy group, although these differences were not statistically significant. This analysis failed to show conclusive evidence of health selection into neighborhoods, but data suggest the hypothesis may be worthy of exploration in other clinical trials or in a meta-analysis. Keywords: Neighborhoods, Self-selection, Health, Equity, Socioeconomic status

  18. Mapping of health technology assessment in selected countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oortwijn, W.; Broos, P.; Vondeling, Hindrik; Banta, D.; Todorova, L.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop and apply an instrument to map the level of health technology assessment (HTA) development at country level in selected countries. We examined middle-income countries (Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and Russia) and countries

  19. On theoretical models of gene expression evolution with random genetic drift and natural selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osamu Ogasawara

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The relative contributions of natural selection and random genetic drift are a major source of debate in the study of gene expression evolution, which is hypothesized to serve as a bridge from molecular to phenotypic evolution. It has been suggested that the conflict between views is caused by the lack of a definite model of the neutral hypothesis, which can describe the long-run behavior of evolutionary change in mRNA abundance. Therefore previous studies have used inadequate analogies with the neutral prediction of other phenomena, such as amino acid or nucleotide sequence evolution, as the null hypothesis of their statistical inference.In this study, we introduced two novel theoretical models, one based on neutral drift and the other assuming natural selection, by focusing on a common property of the distribution of mRNA abundance among a variety of eukaryotic cells, which reflects the result of long-term evolution. Our results demonstrated that (1 our models can reproduce two independently found phenomena simultaneously: the time development of gene expression divergence and Zipf's law of the transcriptome; (2 cytological constraints can be explicitly formulated to describe long-term evolution; (3 the model assuming that natural selection optimized relative mRNA abundance was more consistent with previously published observations than the model of optimized absolute mRNA abundances.The models introduced in this study give a formulation of evolutionary change in the mRNA abundance of each gene as a stochastic process, on the basis of previously published observations. This model provides a foundation for interpreting observed data in studies of gene expression evolution, including identifying an adequate time scale for discriminating the effect of natural selection from that of random genetic drift of selectively neutral variations.

  20. Result of randomized control trial to increase breast health awareness among young females in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehrnoosh Akhtari-Zavare

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second principal cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide as well as in Malaysia. Breast self-examination (BSE has a role in raising breast cancer awareness among women and educational programs play an important role in breast cancer preventive behavior. The aim of this study is to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of Breast Health Awareness program based on health belief model on knowledge of breast cancer and breast-selfexamination and BSE practice among female students in Malaysia. Methods A single-blind randomized controlled trial was carried out among 370 female undergraduate students from January 2011 to April 2012 in two selected public universities in Malaysia. Participants were randomized to either the intervention group or the control group. The educational program was delivered to the intervention group. The outcome measures were assessed at baseline, 6, and 12 months after implementing the health educational program. Chi-square, independent samples t-test and two-way repeated measures ANOVA (GLM were conducted in the course of the data analyses. Results Mean scores of knowledge on breast cancer (p<0.003, knowledge on breast self examination (p<0.001, benefits of BSE (p<0.00, barrier of BSE (0.01 and confidence of BSE practice (p<0.00 in the intervention group had significant differences in comparison with those of the control group 6 and 12 months after the intervention. Also, among those who never practiced BSE at baseline, frequency of BSE practice increased 6 and 12 months after the intervention (p<0.05. Conclusion The Breast Health Awareness program based on health the belief model had a positive effect on knowledge of breast cancer and breast self-examination and practice of BSE among females in Malaysia. Trial registration The ANZCTR clinical trial registry ( ACTRN12616000831482 , retrospectively registered on Jun 23, 2016 in ANZCTR.org.au.

  1. Assessing the accuracy and stability of variable selection methods for random forest modeling in ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Eric W; Hill, Ryan A; Leibowitz, Scott G; Olsen, Anthony R; Thornbrugh, Darren J; Weber, Marc H

    2017-07-01

    Random forest (RF) modeling has emerged as an important statistical learning method in ecology due to its exceptional predictive performance. However, for large and complex ecological data sets, there is limited guidance on variable selection methods for RF modeling. Typically, either a preselected set of predictor variables are used or stepwise procedures are employed which iteratively remove variables according to their importance measures. This paper investigates the application of variable selection methods to RF models for predicting probable biological stream condition. Our motivating data set consists of the good/poor condition of n = 1365 stream survey sites from the 2008/2009 National Rivers and Stream Assessment, and a large set (p = 212) of landscape features from the StreamCat data set as potential predictors. We compare two types of RF models: a full variable set model with all 212 predictors and a reduced variable set model selected using a backward elimination approach. We assess model accuracy using RF's internal out-of-bag estimate, and a cross-validation procedure with validation folds external to the variable selection process. We also assess the stability of the spatial predictions generated by the RF models to changes in the number of predictors and argue that model selection needs to consider both accuracy and stability. The results suggest that RF modeling is robust to the inclusion of many variables of moderate to low importance. We found no substantial improvement in cross-validated accuracy as a result of variable reduction. Moreover, the backward elimination procedure tended to select too few variables and exhibited numerous issues such as upwardly biased out-of-bag accuracy estimates and instabilities in the spatial predictions. We use simulations to further support and generalize results from the analysis of real data. A main purpose of this work is to elucidate issues of model selection bias and instability to ecologists interested in

  2. Hip-Hop to Health Jr. Randomized Effectiveness Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Angela; Buscemi, Joanna; Stolley, Melinda R.; Schiffer, Linda A.; Kim, Yoonsang; Braunschweig, Carol L.; Gomez-Perez, Sandra L.; Blumstein, Lara B.; Van Horn, Linda; Dyer, Alan R.; Fitzgibbon, Marian L.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The preschool years provide a unique window of opportunity to intervene on obesity-related lifestyle risk factors during the formative years of a child’s life. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a preschool-based obesity prevention effectiveness trial at 1-year follow-up. Design RCT. Settings/participants Primarily African American children (aged 3–5 years, N=618) attending Head Start preschool programs administered by Chicago Public Schools. Methods Eighteen preschools were randomly assigned in 2007–2008 to receive either: (1) a 14-week teacher-delivered intervention focused on healthy lifestyle behaviors; or (2) a 14-week teacher-delivered general health curriculum (control group). Main outcome measures The primary outcome, BMI, was measured at baseline, post-intervention, and 1-year follow-up. Diet and screen time behaviors were also assessed at these time points. Multilevel mixed effects models were used to test for between-group differences. Data were analyzed in 2014. Results Significant between-group differences were observed in diet, but not in BMI z-score or screen time at 1-year follow-up. Diet differences favored the intervention arm over controls in overall diet quality (p=0.02) and in subcomponents of diet quality, as measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005, and in fruit intake (servings/day, excludes juice) (p=0.02). Diet quality worsened more among controls than the intervention group at 1-year follow-up. Conclusions The adaptation of Hip-Hop to Health Jr. produced modest benefits in diet quality, but did not significantly impact weight gain trajectory. Not unlike other effectiveness trials, this real-world version delivered by Head Start teachers produced fewer benefits than the more rigorous efficacy trial. It is important to understand and build upon the lessons learned from these types of trials so that we can design, implement, and disseminate successful evidence-based programs more widely and effectively

  3. Participant-selected music and physical activity in older adults following cardiac rehabilitation: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Imogen N; Baker, Felicity A; Peiris, Casey L; Shoebridge, Georgie; Taylor, Nicholas F

    2017-03-01

    To evaluate effects of participant-selected music on older adults' achievement of activity levels recommended in the physical activity guidelines following cardiac rehabilitation. A parallel group randomized controlled trial with measurements at Weeks 0, 6 and 26. A multisite outpatient rehabilitation programme of a publicly funded metropolitan health service. Adults aged 60 years and older who had completed a cardiac rehabilitation programme. Experimental participants selected music to support walking with guidance from a music therapist. Control participants received usual care only. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants achieving activity levels recommended in physical activity guidelines. Secondary outcomes compared amounts of physical activity, exercise capacity, cardiac risk factors, and exercise self-efficacy. A total of 56 participants, mean age 68.2 years (SD = 6.5), were randomized to the experimental ( n = 28) and control groups ( n = 28). There were no differences between groups in proportions of participants achieving activity recommended in physical activity guidelines at Week 6 or 26. Secondary outcomes demonstrated between-group differences in male waist circumference at both measurements (Week 6 difference -2.0 cm, 95% CI -4.0 to 0; Week 26 difference -2.8 cm, 95% CI -5.4 to -0.1), and observed effect sizes favoured the experimental group for amounts of physical activity (d = 0.30), exercise capacity (d = 0.48), and blood pressure (d = -0.32). Participant-selected music did not increase the proportion of participants achieving recommended amounts of physical activity, but may have contributed to exercise-related benefits.

  4. Analysis and applications of a frequency selective surface via a random distribution method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xie Shao-Yi; Huang Jing-Jian; Yuan Nai-Chang; Liu Li-Guo

    2014-01-01

    A novel frequency selective surface (FSS) for reducing radar cross section (RCS) is proposed in this paper. This FSS is based on the random distribution method, so it can be called random surface. In this paper, the stacked patches serving as periodic elements are employed for RCS reduction. Previous work has demonstrated the efficiency by utilizing the microstrip patches, especially for the reflectarray. First, the relevant theory of the method is described. Then a sample of a three-layer variable-sized stacked patch random surface with a dimension of 260 mm×260 mm is simulated, fabricated, and measured in order to demonstrate the validity of the proposed design. For the normal incidence, the 8-dB RCS reduction can be achieved both by the simulation and the measurement in 8 GHz–13 GHz. The oblique incidence of 30° is also investigated, in which the 7-dB RCS reduction can be obtained in a frequency range of 8 GHz–14 GHz. (condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties)

  5. The Portrayal of Indigenous Health in Selected Australian Media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa J. Stoneham

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available It is acknowledged that health outcomes for Australian Indigenous peoples are lower than those of non-Indigenous Australians. Research suggests negative media in relation to Indigenous Australians perpetuates racist stereotypes among the wider population and impacts on the health of Indigenous Australians. This study examined the media portrayal of Indigenous Australian public health issues in selected media over a twelve month period and found that, overwhelmingly, the articles were negative in their portrayal of Indigenous health. A total of 74 percent of the coverage of Australian Indigenous related articles were negative, 15 percent were positive, and 11 percent were neutral. The most common negative subject descriptors related to alcohol, child abuse, petrol sniffing, violence, suicide, deaths in custody, and crime.

  6. Selective oropharyngeal decontamination versus selective digestive decontamination in critically ill patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao D

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Di Zhao,1,* Jian Song,2,* Xuan Gao,3 Fei Gao,4 Yupeng Wu,2 Yingying Lu,5 Kai Hou1 1Department of Neurosurgery, The First Hospital of Hebei Medical University, 2Department of Neurosurgery, 3Department of Neurology, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, 4Hebei Provincial Procurement Centers for Medical Drugs and Devices, 5Department of Neurosurgery, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Background: Selective digestive decontamination (SDD and selective oropharyngeal decontamination (SOD are associated with reduced mortality and infection rates among patients in intensive care units (ICUs; however, whether SOD has a superior effect than SDD remains uncertain. Hence, we conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs to compare SOD with SDD in terms of clinical outcomes and antimicrobial resistance rates in patients who were critically ill. Methods: RCTs published in PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science were systematically reviewed to compare the effects of SOD and SDD in patients who were critically ill. Outcomes included day-28 mortality, length of ICU stay, length of hospital stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, ICU-acquired bacteremia, and prevalence of antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Results were expressed as risk ratio (RR with 95% confidence intervals (CIs, and weighted mean differences (WMDs with 95% CIs. Pooled estimates were performed using a fixed-effects model or random-effects model, depending on the heterogeneity among studies. Results: A total of four RCTs involving 23,822 patients met the inclusion criteria and were included in this meta-analysis. Among patients whose admitting specialty was surgery, cardiothoracic surgery (57.3% and neurosurgery (29.7% were the two main types of surgery being performed. Pooled results showed that SOD had similar effects as SDD in day-28 mortality (RR =1

  7. Random forest variable selection in spatial malaria transmission modelling in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thandi Kapwata

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is an environmentally driven disease. In order to quantify the spatial variability of malaria transmission, it is imperative to understand the interactions between environmental variables and malaria epidemiology at a micro-geographic level using a novel statistical approach. The random forest (RF statistical learning method, a relatively new variable-importance ranking method, measures the variable importance of potentially influential parameters through the percent increase of the mean squared error. As this value increases, so does the relative importance of the associated variable. The principal aim of this study was to create predictive malaria maps generated using the selected variables based on the RF algorithm in the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. From the seven environmental variables used [temperature, lag temperature, rainfall, lag rainfall, humidity, altitude, and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI], altitude was identified as the most influential predictor variable due its high selection frequency. It was selected as the top predictor for 4 out of 12 months of the year, followed by NDVI, temperature and lag rainfall, which were each selected twice. The combination of climatic variables that produced the highest prediction accuracy was altitude, NDVI, and temperature. This suggests that these three variables have high predictive capabilities in relation to malaria transmission. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the predictive maps generated from predictions made by the RF algorithm could be used to monitor the progression of malaria and assist in intervention and prevention efforts with respect to malaria.

  8. Distribution of orientation selectivity in recurrent networks of spiking neurons with different random topologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeh, Sadra; Rotter, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Neurons in the primary visual cortex are more or less selective for the orientation of a light bar used for stimulation. A broad distribution of individual grades of orientation selectivity has in fact been reported in all species. A possible reason for emergence of broad distributions is the recurrent network within which the stimulus is being processed. Here we compute the distribution of orientation selectivity in randomly connected model networks that are equipped with different spatial patterns of connectivity. We show that, for a wide variety of connectivity patterns, a linear theory based on firing rates accurately approximates the outcome of direct numerical simulations of networks of spiking neurons. Distance dependent connectivity in networks with a more biologically realistic structure does not compromise our linear analysis, as long as the linearized dynamics, and hence the uniform asynchronous irregular activity state, remain stable. We conclude that linear mechanisms of stimulus processing are indeed responsible for the emergence of orientation selectivity and its distribution in recurrent networks with functionally heterogeneous synaptic connectivity.

  9. Interference-aware random beam selection schemes for spectrum sharing systems

    KAUST Repository

    Abdallah, Mohamed

    2012-10-19

    Spectrum sharing systems have been recently introduced to alleviate the problem of spectrum scarcity by allowing secondary unlicensed networks to share the spectrum with primary licensed networks under acceptable interference levels to the primary users. In this work, we develop interference-aware random beam selection schemes that provide enhanced performance for the secondary network under the condition that the interference observed by the receivers of the primary network is below a predetermined/acceptable value. We consider a secondary link composed of a transmitter equipped with multiple antennas and a single-antenna receiver sharing the same spectrum with a primary link composed of a single-antenna transmitter and a single-antenna receiver. The proposed schemes select a beam, among a set of power-optimized random beams, that maximizes the signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) of the secondary link while satisfying the primary interference constraint for different levels of feedback information describing the interference level at the primary receiver. For the proposed schemes, we develop a statistical analysis for the SINR statistics as well as the capacity and bit error rate (BER) of the secondary link.

  10. Joint random beam and spectrum selection for spectrum sharing systems with partial channel state information

    KAUST Repository

    Abdallah, Mohamed M.

    2013-11-01

    In this work, we develop joint interference-aware random beam and spectrum selection scheme that provide enhanced performance for the secondary network under the condition that the interference observed at the primary receiver is below a predetermined acceptable value. We consider a secondary link composed of a transmitter equipped with multiple antennas and a single-antenna receiver sharing the same spectrum with a set of primary links composed of a single-antenna transmitter and a single-antenna receiver. The proposed schemes jointly select a beam, among a set of power-optimized random beams, as well as the primary spectrum that maximizes the signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) of the secondary link while satisfying the primary interference constraint. In particular, we consider the case where the interference level is described by a q-bit description of its magnitude, whereby we propose a technique to find the optimal quantizer thresholds in a mean square error (MSE) sense. © 2013 IEEE.

  11. Joint random beam and spectrum selection for spectrum sharing systems with partial channel state information

    KAUST Repository

    Abdallah, Mohamed M.; Sayed, Mostafa M.; Alouini, Mohamed-Slim; Qaraqe, Khalid A.

    2013-01-01

    In this work, we develop joint interference-aware random beam and spectrum selection scheme that provide enhanced performance for the secondary network under the condition that the interference observed at the primary receiver is below a predetermined acceptable value. We consider a secondary link composed of a transmitter equipped with multiple antennas and a single-antenna receiver sharing the same spectrum with a set of primary links composed of a single-antenna transmitter and a single-antenna receiver. The proposed schemes jointly select a beam, among a set of power-optimized random beams, as well as the primary spectrum that maximizes the signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) of the secondary link while satisfying the primary interference constraint. In particular, we consider the case where the interference level is described by a q-bit description of its magnitude, whereby we propose a technique to find the optimal quantizer thresholds in a mean square error (MSE) sense. © 2013 IEEE.

  12. Selectivity of Black Death mortality with respect to preexisting health

    OpenAIRE

    DeWitte, Sharon N.; Wood, James W.

    2008-01-01

    Was the mortality associated with the deadliest known epidemic in human history, the Black Death of 1347–1351, selective with respect to preexisting health conditions (“frailty”)? Many researchers have assumed that the Black Death was so virulent, and the European population so immunologically naïve, that the epidemic killed indiscriminately, irrespective of age, sex, or frailty. If this were true, Black Death cemeteries would provide unbiased cross-sections of demographic and epidemiological...

  13. Improving Diabetes Care and Health Measures among Hispanics Using Community Health Workers: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babamoto, Kenneth S.; Sey, Kwa A.; Camilleri, Angela J.; Karlan, Vicki J.; Catalasan, Joana; Morisky, Donald E.

    2009-01-01

    The increasing prevalence of diabetes and obesity, growing health disparities, and shortage of bilingual and culturally trained health care professionals underscore the role of trained community health workers (CHWs) to provide economically sustainable and culturally relevant services. This prospective randomized design evaluated the relative…

  14. Sri Lanka's Health Unit Program: A Model of "Selective" Primary Health Care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soma Hewa

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper argues that the health unit program developed in Sri Lanka in the early twentieth century was an earlier model of selective primary health care promoted by the Rockefeller Foundation in the 1980s in opposition to comprehensive primary health care advocated by the Alma-Ata Declaration of the World Health Organization. A key strategy of the health unit program was to identify the most common and serious infectious diseases in each health unit area and control them through improved sanitation, health education, immunization and treatment with the help of local communities. The health unit program was later introduced to other countries in South and Southeast Asia as part of the Rockefeller Foundation's global campaign to promote public health.

  15. Selecting, adapting, and sustaining programs in health care systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zullig LL

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Leah L Zullig,1,2 Hayden B Bosworth1–4 1Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA; 2Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA; 3School of Nursing, 4Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA Abstract: Practitioners and researchers often design behavioral programs that are effective for a specific population or problem. Despite their success in a controlled setting, relatively few programs are scaled up and implemented in health care systems. Planning for scale-up is a critical, yet often overlooked, element in the process of program design. Equally as important is understanding how to select a program that has already been developed, and adapt and implement the program to meet specific organizational goals. This adaptation and implementation requires attention to organizational goals, available resources, and program cost. We assert that translational behavioral medicine necessitates expanding successful programs beyond a stand-alone research study. This paper describes key factors to consider when selecting, adapting, and sustaining programs for scale-up in large health care systems and applies the Knowledge to Action (KTA Framework to a case study, illustrating knowledge creation and an action cycle of implementation and evaluation activities. Keywords: program sustainability, diffusion of innovation, information dissemination, health services research, intervention studies 

  16. Treatment selection in a randomized clinical trial via covariate-specific treatment effect curves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yunbei; Zhou, Xiao-Hua

    2017-02-01

    For time-to-event data in a randomized clinical trial, we proposed two new methods for selecting an optimal treatment for a patient based on the covariate-specific treatment effect curve, which is used to represent the clinical utility of a predictive biomarker. To select an optimal treatment for a patient with a specific biomarker value, we proposed pointwise confidence intervals for each covariate-specific treatment effect curve and the difference between covariate-specific treatment effect curves of two treatments. Furthermore, to select an optimal treatment for a future biomarker-defined subpopulation of patients, we proposed confidence bands for each covariate-specific treatment effect curve and the difference between each pair of covariate-specific treatment effect curve over a fixed interval of biomarker values. We constructed the confidence bands based on a resampling technique. We also conducted simulation studies to evaluate finite-sample properties of the proposed estimation methods. Finally, we illustrated the application of the proposed method in a real-world data set.

  17. Integrated Behavior Therapy for Selective Mutism: a randomized controlled pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, R Lindsey; Gonzalez, Araceli; Piacentini, John; Keller, Melody L

    2013-10-01

    To evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a novel behavioral intervention for reducing symptoms of selective mutism and increasing functional speech. A total of 21 children ages 4 to 8 with primary selective mutism were randomized to 24 weeks of Integrated Behavior Therapy for Selective Mutism (IBTSM) or a 12-week Waitlist control. Clinical outcomes were assessed using blind independent evaluators, parent-, and teacher-report, and an objective behavioral measure. Treatment recipients completed a three-month follow-up to assess durability of treatment gains. Data indicated increased functional speaking behavior post-treatment as rated by parents and teachers, with a high rate of treatment responders as rated by blind independent evaluators (75%). Conversely, children in the Waitlist comparison group did not experience significant improvements in speaking behaviors. Children who received IBTSM also demonstrated significant improvements in number of words spoken at school compared to baseline, however, significant group differences did not emerge. Treatment recipients also experienced significant reductions in social anxiety per parent, but not teacher, report. Clinical gains were maintained over 3 month follow-up. IBTSM appears to be a promising new intervention that is efficacious in increasing functional speaking behaviors, feasible, and acceptable to parents and teachers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Rural health care bypass behavior: how community and spatial characteristics affect primary health care selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Scott R; Erickson, Lance D; Call, Vaughn R A; McKnight, Matthew L; Hedges, Dawson W

    2015-01-01

    (1) To assess the prevalence of rural primary care physician (PCP) bypass, a behavior in which residents travel farther than necessary to obtain health care, (2) To examine the role of community and non-health-care-related characteristics on bypass behavior, and (3) To analyze spatial bypass patterns to determine which rural communities are most affected by bypass. Data came from the Montana Health Matters survey, which gathered self-reported information from Montana residents on their health care utilization, satisfaction with health care services, and community and demographic characteristics. Logistic regression and spatial analysis were used to examine the probability and spatial patterns of bypass. Overall, 39% of respondents bypass local health care. Similar to previous studies, dissatisfaction with local health care was found to increase the likelihood of bypass. Dissatisfaction with local shopping also increases the likelihood of bypass, while the number of friends in a community, and commonality with community reduce the likelihood of bypass. Other significant factors associated with bypass include age, income, health, and living in a highly rural community or one with high commuting flows. Our results suggest that outshopping theory, in which patients bundle services and shopping for added convenience, extends to primary health care selection. This implies that rural health care selection is multifaceted, and that in addition to perceived satisfaction with local health care, the quality of local shopping and levels of community attachment also influence bypass behavior. © 2014 National Rural Health Association.

  19. Electronic health indicators in the selected countries: Are these indicators the best?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afshari, Somaye; Khorasani, Elahe; Yarmohammadian, Mohammad Hossein; Atighechian, Golrokh; Darab, Mohsen Ghaffari

    2013-01-01

    Many changes have been made in different sciences by developing and advancing information and communication technology in last two decades. E-health is a very broad term that includes many different activities related to the use of electronic devices, software as well as hardware in health organizations. The aim of this study is comparing electronic health indicators in the selected countries and discussion on the best indicators. This study has chosen 12 countries randomly based on the regional division of the WHO. The relevant numbers of health indicators and general indicators and information technology indicators are extracted of these countries. We use data from the Bitarf's comparative study, which is conducted by the Iranian Supreme Council of Information Technology in 2007. By using Pearson correlation test, the relations between health general indicators and IT indicators are studied. Data was analyzed based on the research objectives using SPSS software and in accordance with research questions Pearson correlation test were used. The findings show that there is a positive relation between indicators related to IT and "Total per capita health, healthy life expectancy, percent literacy". Furthermore, there is a mutual relation between IT indicators and "mortality indicator". This study showed differences between selective indicators among different countries. The modern world, with its technological advances, is not powerless in the face of these geographic and health disparity challenges. Researchers must not rely on the available indicators. They must consider indicators like e-business companies, electronic data internet, medical supplies, health electronic record, health information system, etc., In future, continuous studies in this field, to provide the exact and regular reports of amount of using of these indicators through different countries must be necessary.

  20. mHealth Technology and Nurse Health Coaching to Improve Health in Diabetes: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyamoto, Sheridan; Dharmar, Madan; Fazio, Sarina; Tang-Feldman, Yajarayma; Young, Heather M

    2018-02-15

    Chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus, are the leading cause of mortality and disability in the United States. Current solutions focus primarily on diagnosis and pharmacological treatment, yet there is increasing evidence that patient-centered models of care are more successful in improving and addressing chronic disease outcomes. The objective of this clinical trial is to evaluate the impact of a mobile health (mHealth) enabled nurse health coaching intervention on self-efficacy among adults with type-2 diabetes mellitus. A randomized controlled trial was conducted at an academic health system in Northern California. A total of 300 participants with type-2 diabetes were scheduled to be enrolled through three primary care clinics. Participants were randomized to either usual care or intervention. All participants received training on use of the health system patient portal. Participants in the intervention arm received six scheduled health-coaching telephone calls with a registered nurse and were provided with an activity tracker and mobile application that integrated data into the electronic health record (EHR) to track their daily activity and health behavior decisions. All participants completed a baseline survey and follow-up surveys at 3 and 9 months. Primary and secondary outcomes include diabetes self-efficacy, hemoglobin A 1c (HbA 1c ), and quality of life measures. Data collection for this trial, funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, will be completed by December 2017. Results from the trial will be available mid-2018. This protocol details a patient-centered intervention using nurse health coaching, mHealth technologies, and integration of patient-generated data into the EHR. The aim of the intervention is to enhance self-efficacy and health outcomes by providing participants with a mechanism to track daily activity by offering coaching support to set reasonable and attainable health goals, and by creating a complete feedback

  1. Selecting Optimal Parameters of Random Linear Network Coding for Wireless Sensor Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heide, J; Zhang, Qi; Fitzek, F H P

    2013-01-01

    This work studies how to select optimal code parameters of Random Linear Network Coding (RLNC) in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). With Rateless Deluge [1] the authors proposed to apply Network Coding (NC) for Over-the-Air Programming (OAP) in WSNs, and demonstrated that with NC a significant...... reduction in the number of transmitted packets can be achieved. However, NC introduces additional computations and potentially a non-negligible transmission overhead, both of which depend on the chosen coding parameters. Therefore it is necessary to consider the trade-off that these coding parameters...... present in order to obtain the lowest energy consumption per transmitted bit. This problem is analyzed and suitable coding parameters are determined for the popular Tmote Sky platform. Compared to the use of traditional RLNC, these parameters enable a reduction in the energy spent per bit which grows...

  2. Improving mental health in health care practitioners: randomized controlled trial of a gratitude intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Sheung-Tak; Tsui, Pui Ki; Lam, John H M

    2015-02-01

    Chronic occupational stress is common among health care practitioners, with potential impacts on personal mental health and staff turnover. This study investigated whether directing practitioners' attention to thankful events in work could reduce stress and depressive symptoms. A double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted in 5 public hospitals with follow-up to 3 months posttreatment. One hundred two practitioners were randomly assigned into 3 conditions: gratitude, hassle, and nil-treatment. Those with scheduled long leaves were excluded. Participants in the gratitude and hassle group wrote work-related gratitude and hassle diaries respectively twice a week for 4 consecutive weeks. A no-diary group served as control. Depressive symptoms (primary outcome) and perceived stress (secondary outcome) were collected at baseline, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. Intent-to-treat analyses were performed with mixed-effects regression. Significant Treatment × Time interaction effects were found for the gratitude intervention, whether it was compared with control or hassle; the general pattern was a decline in stress and depressive symptoms over time, but the rate of decline became less pronounced as time progressed. Hassle and control were basically indistinct from each other. Relative to control, the gratitude group reported lower depressive symptoms (-1.50 points; 95% CI [-2.98, -0.01]; d = -0.49) and perceived stress (-2.65 points; 95% CI [-4.00, -1.30]; d = -0.95) at follow-up. RESULTS for the comparison between gratitude and hassle were similar. Taking stock of thankful events is an effective approach to reduce stress and depressive symptoms among health care practitioners. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Implications of structural genomics target selection strategies: Pfam5000, whole genome, and random approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chandonia, John-Marc; Brenner, Steven E.

    2004-07-14

    The structural genomics project is an international effort to determine the three-dimensional shapes of all important biological macromolecules, with a primary focus on proteins. Target proteins should be selected according to a strategy which is medically and biologically relevant, of good value, and tractable. As an option to consider, we present the Pfam5000 strategy, which involves selecting the 5000 most important families from the Pfam database as sources for targets. We compare the Pfam5000 strategy to several other proposed strategies that would require similar numbers of targets. These include including complete solution of several small to moderately sized bacterial proteomes, partial coverage of the human proteome, and random selection of approximately 5000 targets from sequenced genomes. We measure the impact that successful implementation of these strategies would have upon structural interpretation of the proteins in Swiss-Prot, TrEMBL, and 131 complete proteomes (including 10 of eukaryotes) from the Proteome Analysis database at EBI. Solving the structures of proteins from the 5000 largest Pfam families would allow accurate fold assignment for approximately 68 percent of all prokaryotic proteins (covering 59 percent of residues) and 61 percent of eukaryotic proteins (40 percent of residues). More fine-grained coverage which would allow accurate modeling of these proteins would require an order of magnitude more targets. The Pfam5000 strategy may be modified in several ways, for example to focus on larger families, bacterial sequences, or eukaryotic sequences; as long as secondary consideration is given to large families within Pfam, coverage results vary only slightly. In contrast, focusing structural genomics on a single tractable genome would have only a limited impact in structural knowledge of other proteomes: a significant fraction (about 30-40 percent of the proteins, and 40-60 percent of the residues) of each proteome is classified in small

  4. Performance of Universal Adhesive in Primary Molars After Selective Removal of Carious Tissue: An 18-Month Randomized Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenzi, Tathiane Larissa; Pires, Carine Weber; Soares, Fabio Zovico Maxnuck; Raggio, Daniela Prócida; Ardenghi, Thiago Machado; de Oliveira Rocha, Rachel

    2017-09-15

    To evaluate the 18-month clinical performance of a universal adhesive, applied under different adhesion strategies, after selective carious tissue removal in primary molars. Forty-four subjects (five to 10 years old) contributed with 90 primary molars presenting moderately deep dentin carious lesions on occlusal or occluso-proximal surfaces, which were randomly assigned following either self-etch or etch-and-rinse protocol of Scotchbond Universal Adhesive (3M ESPE). Resin composite was incrementally inserted for all restorations. Restorations were evaluated at one, six, 12, and 18 months using the modified United States Public Health Service criteria. Survival estimates for restorations' longevity were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Multivariate Cox regression analysis with shared frailty to assess the factors associated with failures (Padhesion strategy did not influence the restorations' longevity (P=0.06; 72.2 percent and 89.7 percent with etch-and-rinse and self-etch mode, respectively). Self-etch and etch-and-rinse strategies did not influence the clinical behavior of universal adhesive used in primary molars after selective carious tissue removal; although there was a tendency for better outcome of the self-etch strategy.

  5. Day-ahead load forecast using random forest and expert input selection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lahouar, A.; Ben Hadj Slama, J.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • A model based on random forests for short term load forecast is proposed. • An expert feature selection is added to refine inputs. • Special attention is paid to customers behavior, load profile and special holidays. • The model is flexible and able to handle complex load signal. • A technical comparison is performed to assess the forecast accuracy. - Abstract: The electrical load forecast is getting more and more important in recent years due to the electricity market deregulation and integration of renewable resources. To overcome the incoming challenges and ensure accurate power prediction for different time horizons, sophisticated intelligent methods are elaborated. Utilization of intelligent forecast algorithms is among main characteristics of smart grids, and is an efficient tool to face uncertainty. Several crucial tasks of power operators such as load dispatch rely on the short term forecast, thus it should be as accurate as possible. To this end, this paper proposes a short term load predictor, able to forecast the next 24 h of load. Using random forest, characterized by immunity to parameter variations and internal cross validation, the model is constructed following an online learning process. The inputs are refined by expert feature selection using a set of if–then rules, in order to include the own user specifications about the country weather or market, and to generalize the forecast ability. The proposed approach is tested through a real historical set from the Tunisian Power Company, and the simulation shows accurate and satisfactory results for one day in advance, with an average error exceeding rarely 2.3%. The model is validated for regular working days and weekends, and special attention is paid to moving holidays, following non Gregorian calendar

  6. The effects of educating mothers and girls on the girls' attitudes toward puberty health: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afsari, Atousa; Mirghafourvand, Mojgan; Valizadeh, Sousan; Abbasnezhadeh, Massomeh; Galshi, Mina; Fatahi, Samira

    2017-04-01

    The attitude of a girl toward her menstruation and puberty has a considerable impact on her role during motherhood, social adjustment, and future marital life. This study was conducted in 2014 with the aim of comparing the effects of educating mothers and girls on the attitudes of adolescent girls of Tabriz City, Iran, towards puberty health. This randomized control clinical trial was conducted on 364 adolescent girls who experienced menstruation. Twelve schools were selected randomly among 107 secondary schools for girls. One-third of the students of each school were selected randomly using a table of random numbers and socio-demographic and each participant was asked to answer the attitude questionnaires. The schools were randomly allocated to the groups of mother's education, girl's education, and no-intervention. The attitude questionnaire was filled out by the participants again 2 months after intervention. The general linear model, in which the baseline values were controlled, was employed to compare the scores of the three groups after the intervention. No significant differences were observed among the three groups in terms of the attitude score before intervention (p>0.05). Attitude score improvement after intervention in the girl's education group was significantly higher than the one of both mother's education (adjusted mean difference [AMD]: 1.8; [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.4-1.3]) and no-intervention groups (AMD: 1.3; [95% CI: 0.0-2.6]) by controlling the attitude score before intervention. Based on the findings, it is more effective to educate girls directly about puberty health to improve adolescent girls' attitudes than educating mothers and asking them to transfer information to the girls. Nevertheless, studies with longer training period and follow-up are proposed to determine the effects of educating girls (through their mothers) on their attitudes about puberty health.

  7. Field-based random sampling without a sampling frame: control selection for a case-control study in rural Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crampin, A C; Mwinuka, V; Malema, S S; Glynn, J R; Fine, P E

    2001-01-01

    Selection bias, particularly of controls, is common in case-control studies and may materially affect the results. Methods of control selection should be tailored both for the risk factors and disease under investigation and for the population being studied. We present here a control selection method devised for a case-control study of tuberculosis in rural Africa (Karonga, northern Malawi) that selects an age/sex frequency-matched random sample of the population, with a geographical distribution in proportion to the population density. We also present an audit of the selection process, and discuss the potential of this method in other settings.

  8. Adverse selection in a voluntary Rural Mutual Health Care health insurance scheme in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hong; Zhang, Licheng; Yip, Winnie; Hsiao, William

    2006-09-01

    This study examines adverse selection in a subsidized voluntary health insurance scheme, the Rural Mutual Health Care (RMHC) scheme, in a poor rural area of China. The study was made possible by a unique longitudinal data set: the total sample includes 3492 rural residents from 1020 households. Logistic regression was employed for the data analysis. The results show that although this subsidized scheme achieved a considerable high enrollment rate of 71% of rural residents, adverse selection still exists. In general, individuals with worse health status are more likely to enroll in RMHC than individuals with better health status. Although the household is set as the enrollment unit for the RMHC for the purpose of reducing adverse selection, nearly 1/3 of enrolled households are actually only partially enrolled. Furthermore, we found that adverse selection mainly occurs in partially enrolled households. The non-enrolled individuals in partially enrolled households have the best health status, while the enrolled individuals in partially enrolled households have the worst health status. Pre-RMHC, medical expenditure for enrolled individuals in partially enrolled households was 206.6 yuan per capita per year, which is 1.7 times as much as the pre-RMHC medical expenditure for non-enrolled individuals in partially enrolled households. The study also reveals that the pre-enrolled medical expenditure per capita per year of enrolled individuals was 9.6% higher than the pre-enrolled medical expenditure of all residents, including both enrolled and non-enrolled individuals. In conclusion, although the subsidized RMHC scheme reached a very high enrollment rate and the household is set as the enrollment unit for the purpose of reducing adverse selection, adverse selection still exists, especially within partially enrolled households. Voluntary RMHC will not be financially sustainable if the adverse selection is not fully taken into account.

  9. Modified random hinge transport mechanics and multiple scattering step-size selection in EGS5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilderman, S.J.; Bielajew, A.F.

    2005-01-01

    The new transport mechanics in EGS5 allows for significantly longer electron transport step sizes and hence shorter computation times than required for identical problems in EGS4. But as with all Monte Carlo electron transport algorithms, certain classes of problems exhibit step-size dependencies even when operating within recommended ranges, sometimes making selection of step-sizes a daunting task for novice users. Further contributing to this problem, because of the decoupling of multiple scattering and continuous energy loss in the dual random hinge transport mechanics of EGS5, there are two independent step sizes in EGS5, one for multiple scattering and one for continuous energy loss, each of which influences speed and accuracy in a different manner. Further, whereas EGS4 used a single value of fractional energy loss (ESTEPE) to determine step sizes at all energies, to increase performance by decreasing the amount of effort expended simulating lower energy particles, EGS5 permits the fractional energy loss values which are used to determine both the multiple scattering and continuous energy loss step sizes to vary with energy. This results in requiring the user to specify four fractional energy loss values when optimizing computations for speed. Thus, in order to simplify step-size selection and to mitigate step-size dependencies, a method has been devised to automatically optimize step-size selection based on a single material dependent input related to the size of problem tally region. In this paper we discuss the new transport mechanics in EGS5 and describe the automatic step-size optimization algorithm. (author)

  10. The adverse effect of selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor on random skin flap survival in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haiyong Ren

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cyclooxygenase-2(COX-2 inhibitors provide desired analgesic effects after injury or surgery, but evidences suggested they also attenuate wound healing. The study is to investigate the effect of COX-2 inhibitor on random skin flap survival. METHODS: The McFarlane flap model was established in 40 rats and evaluated within two groups, each group gave the same volume of Parecoxib and saline injection for 7 days. The necrotic area of the flap was measured, the specimens of the flap were stained with haematoxylin-eosin(HE for histologic analysis. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to analyse the level of VEGF and COX-2 . RESULTS: 7 days after operation, the flap necrotic area ratio in study group (66.65 ± 2.81% was significantly enlarged than that of the control group(48.81 ± 2.33%(P <0.01. Histological analysis demonstrated angiogenesis with mean vessel density per mm(2 being lower in study group (15.4 ± 4.4 than in control group (27.2 ± 4.1 (P <0.05. To evaluate the expression of COX-2 and VEGF protein in the intermediate area II in the two groups by immunohistochemistry test .The expression of COX-2 in study group was (1022.45 ± 153.1, and in control group was (2638.05 ± 132.2 (P <0.01. The expression of VEGF in the study and control groups were (2779.45 ± 472.0 vs (4938.05 ± 123.6(P <0.01.In the COX-2 inhibitor group, the expressions of COX-2 and VEGF protein were remarkably down-regulated as compared with the control group. CONCLUSION: Selective COX-2 inhibitor had adverse effect on random skin flap survival. Suppression of neovascularization induced by low level of VEGF was supposed to be the biological mechanism.

  11. Development and evaluation of an Individualized Outcome Measure (IOM) for randomized controlled trials in mental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesola, Francesca; Williams, Julie; Bird, Victoria; Freidl, Marion; Le Boutillier, Clair; Leamy, Mary; Macpherson, Rob; Slade, Mike

    2015-12-01

    Pre-defined, researcher-selected outcomes are routinely used as the clinical end-point in randomized controlled trials (RCTs); however, individualized approaches may be an effective way to assess outcome in mental health research. The present study describes the development and evaluation of the Individualized Outcome Measure (IOM), which is a patient-specific outcome measure to be used for RCTs of complex interventions. IOM was developed using a narrative review, expert consultation and piloting with mental health service users (n = 20). The final version of IOM comprises two components: Goal Attainment (GA) and Personalized Primary Outcome (PPO). For GA, patients identify one relevant goal at baseline and rate its attainment at follow-up. For PPO, patients choose an outcome domain related to their goal from a pre-defined list at baseline, and complete a standardized questionnaire assessing the chosen outcome domain at baseline and follow-up. A feasibility study indicated that IOM had adequate completion (89%) and acceptability (96%) rates in a clinical sample (n = 84). IOM was then evaluated in a RCT (ISRCTN02507940). GA and PPO components were associated with each other and with the trial primary outcome. The use of the PPO component of IOM as the primary outcome could be considered in future RCTs. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. The effect of community-based health management on the health of the elderly: a randomized controlled trial from China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Jianqian

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An aging population poses significant challenges to health care in China. Health management has been implemented to reduce the costs of care, raise health service utilization, increase health knowledge and improve quality of life. Several studies have tried to verify the effectiveness of health management in achieving these goals worldwide. However, there have been insufficient randomized control trials (RCTs to draw reliable conclusions. The few small-scale studies conducted in China include mostly the general population rather than the elderly. Our study is designed to evaluate the impact of community-based health management on the health of the elderly through an RCT in Nanjing, China. Methods Two thousand four hundred participants, aged 60 or older and who gave informed consent, were randomly allocated 1:1 into management and control groups, the randomization schedule was concealed from community health service center staff until allocation. Community-based health management was applied in the former while the latter was only given usual care. After 18 months, three categories of variables (subjective grading health indices, objective health indices and health service utilization were measured based on a questionnaire, clinical monitoring and diagnostic measurements. Differences between the two groups were assessed before and after the intervention and analyzed with t-test, χ2-test, and multiple regression analysis. Results Compared with the control group, the management group demonstrated improvement on the following variables (P Conclusion Community-based health management improved both subjective grading health indices, objective health indices and decreased the number of outpatient clinic visits, demonstrating effectiveness in improving elderly health. Trial registration ChiCTR-OCH-11001716

  13. Health information technology vendor selection strategies and total factor productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Eric W; Huerta, Timothy R; Menachemi, Nir; Thompson, Mark A; Yu, Feliciano

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare health information technology (HIT) adoption strategies' relative performance on hospital-level productivity measures. The American Hospital Association's Annual Survey and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Analytics for fiscal years 2002 through 2007 were used for this study. A two-stage approach is employed. First, a Malmquist model is specified to calculate hospital-level productivity measures. A logistic regression model is then estimated to compare the three HIT adoption strategies' relative performance on the newly constructed productivity measures. The HIT vendor selection strategy impacts the amount of technological change required of an organization but does not appear to have either a positive or adverse impact on technical efficiency or total factor productivity. The higher levels in technological change experienced by hospitals using the best of breed and best of suite HIT vendor selection strategies may have a more direct impact on the organization early on in the process. However, these gains did not appear to translate into either increased technical efficiency or total factor productivity during the period studied. Over a longer period, one HIT vendor selection strategy may yet prove to be more effective at improving efficiency and productivity.

  14. Application of random coherence order selection in gradient-enhanced multidimensional NMR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bostock, Mark J.; Nietlispach, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Development of multidimensional NMR is essential to many applications, for example in high resolution structural studies of biomolecules. Multidimensional techniques enable separation of NMR signals over several dimensions, improving signal resolution, whilst also allowing identification of new connectivities. However, these advantages come at a significant cost. The Fourier transform theorem requires acquisition of a grid of regularly spaced points to satisfy the Nyquist criterion, while frequency discrimination and acquisition of a pure phase spectrum require acquisition of both quadrature components for each time point in every indirect (non-acquisition) dimension, adding a factor of 2 N -1 to the number of free- induction decays which must be acquired, where N is the number of dimensions. Compressed sensing (CS) ℓ 1 -norm minimisation in combination with non-uniform sampling (NUS) has been shown to be extremely successful in overcoming the Nyquist criterion. Previously, maximum entropy reconstruction has also been used to overcome the limitation of frequency discrimination, processing data acquired with only one quadrature component at a given time interval, known as random phase detection (RPD), allowing a factor of two reduction in the number of points for each indirect dimension (Maciejewski et al. 2011 PNAS 108 16640). However, whilst this approach can be easily applied in situations where the quadrature components are acquired as amplitude modulated data, the same principle is not easily extended to phase modulated (P-/N-type) experiments where data is acquired in the form exp (iωt) or exp (-iωt), and which make up many of the multidimensional experiments used in modern NMR. Here we demonstrate a modification of the CS ℓ 1 -norm approach to allow random coherence order selection (RCS) for phase modulated experiments; we generalise the nomenclature for RCS and RPD as random quadrature detection (RQD). With this method, the power of RQD can be extended

  15. Impact of financial crisis on selected health outcomes in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumbach, Anja; Gulis, Gabriel

    2014-06-01

    A number of health outcomes were affected by previous financial crises, e.g. suicides, homicides and transport accident mortality. Aim of this study was to analyse the effects of the current financial crisis on selected health outcomes at population level in Europe. A mixed approach of ecologic and time trend design was applied, including correlation analysis. For eight countries, data on the economic situation (unemployment rate and economic growth) and health indicators (overall mortality, suicide and transport accident mortality) was drawn from EUROSTAT database for 2000-10. Spearman's rank correlation was applied to analyse the influence of social protection on the association between exposure and outcome variables. The financial crisis had no visible effect on overall mortality in any of the eight countries until 2010. Transport accident mortality decreased in all eight countries, in the range of 18% in Portugal to 52% in Slovenia. In contrast, suicide mortality increased in Germany (+5.3%), Portugal (+5.2%), Czech Republic (+7.6%), Slovakia (+22.7%) and Poland (+19.3%). The effect of unemployment on suicide is higher in countries with lower social spending (Spearman's r = -0.83). Clear cause-effect relations could not be established owing to the ecological study design and issues concerning data availability. However, there are clear changes in suicide and transport accident mortality after onset of the crisis, and findings are consistent with previous work. As part of this work, a comprehensive framework was developed, which can be applied to analyse health effects of financial crises in more detail. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.

  16. Random genetic drift, natural selection, and noise in human cranial evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roseman, Charles C

    2016-08-01

    This study assesses the extent to which relationships among groups complicate comparative studies of adaptation in recent human cranial variation and the extent to which departures from neutral additive models of evolution hinder the reconstruction of population relationships among groups using cranial morphology. Using a maximum likelihood evolutionary model fitting approach and a mixed population genomic and cranial data set, I evaluate the relative fits of several widely used models of human cranial evolution. Moreover, I compare the goodness of fit of models of cranial evolution constrained by genomic variation to test hypotheses about population specific departures from neutrality. Models from population genomics are much better fits to cranial variation than are traditional models from comparative human biology. There is not enough evolutionary information in the cranium to reconstruct much of recent human evolution but the influence of population history on cranial variation is strong enough to cause comparative studies of adaptation serious difficulties. Deviations from a model of random genetic drift along a tree-like population history show the importance of environmental effects, gene flow, and/or natural selection on human cranial variation. Moreover, there is a strong signal of the effect of natural selection or an environmental factor on a group of humans from Siberia. The evolution of the human cranium is complex and no one evolutionary process has prevailed at the expense of all others. A holistic unification of phenome, genome, and environmental context, gives us a strong point of purchase on these problems, which is unavailable to any one traditional approach alone. Am J Phys Anthropol 160:582-592, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Multi-Label Learning via Random Label Selection for Protein Subcellular Multi-Locations Prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao; Li, Guo-Zheng

    2013-03-12

    Prediction of protein subcellular localization is an important but challenging problem, particularly when proteins may simultaneously exist at, or move between, two or more different subcellular location sites. Most of the existing protein subcellular localization methods are only used to deal with the single-location proteins. In the past few years, only a few methods have been proposed to tackle proteins with multiple locations. However, they only adopt a simple strategy, that is, transforming the multi-location proteins to multiple proteins with single location, which doesn't take correlations among different subcellular locations into account. In this paper, a novel method named RALS (multi-label learning via RAndom Label Selection), is proposed to learn from multi-location proteins in an effective and efficient way. Through five-fold cross validation test on a benchmark dataset, we demonstrate our proposed method with consideration of label correlations obviously outperforms the baseline BR method without consideration of label correlations, indicating correlations among different subcellular locations really exist and contribute to improvement of prediction performance. Experimental results on two benchmark datasets also show that our proposed methods achieve significantly higher performance than some other state-of-the-art methods in predicting subcellular multi-locations of proteins. The prediction web server is available at http://levis.tongji.edu.cn:8080/bioinfo/MLPred-Euk/ for the public usage.

  18. Analysis of selected policies towards universal health coverage in Uganda: the policy implementation barometer protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hongoro, Charles; Rutebemberwa, Elizeus; Twalo, Thembinkosi; Mwendera, Chikondi; Douglas, Mbuyiselo; Mukuru, Moses; Kasasa, Simon; Ssengooba, Freddie

    2018-01-01

    Policy implementation remains an under researched area in most low and middle income countries and it is not surprising that several policies are implemented without a systematic follow up of why and how they are working or failing. This study is part of a larger project called Supporting Policy Engagement for Evidence-based Decisions (SPEED) for Universal Health Coverage in Uganda. It seeks to support policymakers monitor the implementation of vital programmes for the realisation of policy goals for Universal Health Coverage. A Policy Implementation Barometer (PIB) is proposed as a mechanism to provide feedback to the decision makers about the implementation of a selected set of policy programmes at various implementation levels (macro, meso and micro level). The main objective is to establish the extent of implementation of malaria, family planning and emergency obstetric care policies in Uganda and use these results to support stakeholder engagements for corrective action. This is the first PIB survey of the three planned surveys and its specific objectives include: assessment of the perceived appropriateness of implementation programmes to the identified policy problems; determination of enablers and constraints to implementation of the policies; comparison of on-line and face-to-face administration of the PIB questionnaire among target respondents; and documentation of stakeholder responses to PIB findings with regard to corrective actions for implementation. The PIB will be a descriptive and analytical study employing mixed methods in which both quantitative and qualitative data will be systematically collected and analysed. The first wave will focus on 10 districts and primary data will be collected through interviews. The study seeks to interview 570 respondents of which 120 will be selected at national level with 40 based on each of the three policy domains, 200 from 10 randomly selected districts, and 250 from 50 facilities. Half of the respondents at

  19. The front line health worker: selection, training, and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronaghy, H A; Najarzadeh, E; Schwartz, T A; Russel, S S; Solter, S; Zeighami, B

    1976-03-01

    Iranian villagers with basic literacy were recruited, selected, trained, and deployed as Village Health Workers (VHWs) to rural areas of Iran. VHW clinical visit records and activities logs were analyzed to determine levels and nature of effort achieved in the field. Within six months of deployment, the number of patient visits to VHW treatment services constituted 53% of the target population. Within ten months of deployment, the number of family planning acceptors rose from 8% to 21% of the population at risk. Improvements to water supplies have been effected in 50% of target villages. Sanitary improvements have been made to 35% of the houses and 88% of toilets in those villages. Demographic characteristics, class rank, and place of residence of VHWs appear unassociated with village differences in levels of achievement. However, availability of material resources and actual time spent by VHWs on the job may be factors influencing the differences in outcome between villages.

  20. Critical appraisal skills training for health care professionals: a randomized controlled trial [ISRCTN46272378

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewings Paul E

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Critical appraisal skills are believed to play a central role in an evidence-based approach to health practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and costs of a critical appraisal skills educational intervention aimed at health care professionals. Methods This prospective controlled trial randomized 145 self-selected general practitioners, hospital physicians, professions allied to medicine, and healthcare managers/administrators from the South West of England to a half-day critical appraisal skills training workshop (based on the model of problem-based small group learning or waiting list control. The following outcomes were assessed at 6-months follow up: knowledge of the principles necessary for appraising evidence; attitudes towards the use of evidence about healthcare; evidence seeking behaviour; perceived confidence in appraising evidence; and ability to critically appraise a systematic review article. Results At follow up overall knowledge score [mean difference: 2.6 (95% CI: 0.6 to 4.6] and ability to appraise the results of a systematic review [mean difference: 1.2 (95% CI: 0.01 to 2.4] were higher in the critical skills training group compared to control. No statistical significant differences in overall attitude towards evidence, evidence seeking behaviour, perceived confidence, and other areas of critical appraisal skills ability (methodology or generalizability were observed between groups. Taking into account the workshop provision costs and costs of participants time and expenses of participants, the average cost of providing the critical appraisal workshops was approximately £250 per person. Conclusions The findings of this study challenge the policy of funding 'one-off' educational interventions aimed at enhancing the evidence-based practice of health care professionals. Future evaluations of evidence-based practice interventions need to take in account this trial's negative findings

  1. The concentration of heavy metals: zinc, cadmium, lead, copper, mercury, iron and calcium in head hair of a randomly selected sample of Kenyan people

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wandiga, S.O.; Jumba, I.O.

    1982-01-01

    An intercomparative analysis of the concentration of heavy metals:zinc, cadmium, lead, copper, mercury, iron and calcium in head hair of a randomly selected sample of Kenyan people using the techniques of atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) and differential pulse anodic stripping voltammetry (DPAS) has been undertaken. The percent relative standard deviation for each sample analysed using either of the techniques show good sensitivity and correlation between the techniques. The DPAS was found to be slightly sensitive than the AAs instrument used. The recalculated body burden rations of Cd to Zn, Pb to Fe reveal no unusual health impairement symptoms and suggest a relatively clean environment in Kenya.(author)

  2. Sex selection and health at birth among Indian immigrants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Libertad

    2018-05-01

    I use birth-certificate data for Spain to document extremely son-biased sex ratios at birth among Indian immigrants (122 boys per 100 girls), especially at higher parities. I also show that the children of Indian immigrants display poor health outcomes during infancy. For instance, almost 10% of boys with Indian parents are born prematurely, compared with 6% of boys with native parents. However, there is no evidence of a gender gap in infant health among the children of Indian immigrants. I provide evidence suggesting that the poor outcomes of Indian children at birth may be attributed to the low endowments of Indian mothers, while the absence of a gender gap may be driven by the fact that the parents who would invest less in girls are less likely to carry the pregnancies of girls to term (more likely to practice sex-selective abortion), combined with the lower cost of prenatal investments in Spain (compared with India). Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Differential privacy-based evaporative cooling feature selection and classification with relief-F and random forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Trang T; Simmons, W Kyle; Misaki, Masaya; Bodurka, Jerzy; White, Bill C; Savitz, Jonathan; McKinney, Brett A

    2017-09-15

    Classification of individuals into disease or clinical categories from high-dimensional biological data with low prediction error is an important challenge of statistical learning in bioinformatics. Feature selection can improve classification accuracy but must be incorporated carefully into cross-validation to avoid overfitting. Recently, feature selection methods based on differential privacy, such as differentially private random forests and reusable holdout sets, have been proposed. However, for domains such as bioinformatics, where the number of features is much larger than the number of observations p≫n , these differential privacy methods are susceptible to overfitting. We introduce private Evaporative Cooling, a stochastic privacy-preserving machine learning algorithm that uses Relief-F for feature selection and random forest for privacy preserving classification that also prevents overfitting. We relate the privacy-preserving threshold mechanism to a thermodynamic Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, where the temperature represents the privacy threshold. We use the thermal statistical physics concept of Evaporative Cooling of atomic gases to perform backward stepwise privacy-preserving feature selection. On simulated data with main effects and statistical interactions, we compare accuracies on holdout and validation sets for three privacy-preserving methods: the reusable holdout, reusable holdout with random forest, and private Evaporative Cooling, which uses Relief-F feature selection and random forest classification. In simulations where interactions exist between attributes, private Evaporative Cooling provides higher classification accuracy without overfitting based on an independent validation set. In simulations without interactions, thresholdout with random forest and private Evaporative Cooling give comparable accuracies. We also apply these privacy methods to human brain resting-state fMRI data from a study of major depressive disorder. Code

  4. Bayesian dose selection design for a binary outcome using restricted response adaptive randomization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinzer, Caitlyn; Martin, Renee; Suarez, Jose I

    2017-09-08

    In phase II trials, the most efficacious dose is usually not known. Moreover, given limited resources, it is difficult to robustly identify a dose while also testing for a signal of efficacy that would support a phase III trial. Recent designs have sought to be more efficient by exploring multiple doses through the use of adaptive strategies. However, the added flexibility may potentially increase the risk of making incorrect assumptions and reduce the total amount of information available across the dose range as a function of imbalanced sample size. To balance these challenges, a novel placebo-controlled design is presented in which a restricted Bayesian response adaptive randomization (RAR) is used to allocate a majority of subjects to the optimal dose of active drug, defined as the dose with the lowest probability of poor outcome. However, the allocation between subjects who receive active drug or placebo is held constant to retain the maximum possible power for a hypothesis test of overall efficacy comparing the optimal dose to placebo. The design properties and optimization of the design are presented in the context of a phase II trial for subarachnoid hemorrhage. For a fixed total sample size, a trade-off exists between the ability to select the optimal dose and the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis. This relationship is modified by the allocation ratio between active and control subjects, the choice of RAR algorithm, and the number of subjects allocated to an initial fixed allocation period. While a responsive RAR algorithm improves the ability to select the correct dose, there is an increased risk of assigning more subjects to a worse arm as a function of ephemeral trends in the data. A subarachnoid treatment trial is used to illustrate how this design can be customized for specific objectives and available data. Bayesian adaptive designs are a flexible approach to addressing multiple questions surrounding the optimal dose for treatment efficacy

  5. Health plan auditing: 100-percent-of-claims vs. random-sample audits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sillup, George P; Klimberg, Ronald K

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the relative efficacy of two different methodologies for auditing self-funded medical claim expenses: 100-percent-of-claims auditing versus random-sampling auditing. Multiple data sets of claim errors or 'exceptions' from two Fortune-100 corporations were analysed and compared to 100 simulated audits of 300- and 400-claim random samples. Random-sample simulations failed to identify a significant number and amount of the errors that ranged from $200,000 to $750,000. These results suggest that health plan expenses of corporations could be significantly reduced if they audited 100% of claims and embraced a zero-defect approach.

  6. Assessment of laboratory logistics management information system practice for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis laboratory commodities in selected public health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    OpenAIRE

    Desale, Adino; Taye, Bineyam; Belay, Getachew; Nigatu, Alemayehu

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Logistics management information system for health commodities remained poorly implemented in most of developing countries. To assess the status of laboratory logistics management information system for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis laboratory commodities in public health facilities in Addis Ababa. Methods A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted from September 2010-January 2011 at selected public health facilities. A stratified random sampling method was used to include a t...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Address-based versus random-digit-dial surveys: comparison of key health and risk indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, Michael W; Battaglia, Michael P; Frankel, Martin R; Osborn, Larry; Mokdad, Ali H

    2006-11-15

    Use of random-digit dialing (RDD) for conducting health surveys is increasingly problematic because of declining participation rates and eroding frame coverage. Alternative survey modes and sampling frames may improve response rates and increase the validity of survey estimates. In a 2005 pilot study conducted in six states as part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the authors administered a mail survey to selected household members sampled from addresses in a US Postal Service database. The authors compared estimates based on data from the completed mail surveys (n = 3,010) with those from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System telephone surveys (n = 18,780). The mail survey data appeared reasonably complete, and estimates based on data from the two survey modes were largely equivalent. Differences found, such as differences in the estimated prevalences of binge drinking (mail = 20.3%, telephone = 13.1%) or behaviors linked to human immunodeficiency virus transmission (mail = 7.1%, telephone = 4.2%), were consistent with previous research showing that, for questions about sensitive behaviors, self-administered surveys generally produce higher estimates than interviewer-administered surveys. The mail survey also provided access to cell-phone-only households and households without telephones, which cannot be reached by means of standard RDD surveys.

  9. Department of Defense Birth and Infant Health Registry: select reproductive health outcomes, 2003-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukowinski, Anna T; Conlin, Ava Marie S; Gumbs, Gia R; Khodr, Zeina G; Chang, Richard N; Faix, Dennis J

    2017-11-01

    Established following a 1998 directive, the Department of Defense Birth and Infant Health Registry (Registry) team conducts surveillance of select reproductive health outcomes among military families. Data are compiled from the Military Health System Data Repository and Defense Manpower Data Center to define the Registry cohort and outcomes of interest. Outcomes are defined using ICD-9/ICD-10 and Current Procedural Terminology codes, and include: pregnancy outcomes (e.g., live births, losses), birth defects, preterm births, and male:female infant sex ratio. This report includes data from 2003-2014 on 1,304,406 infants among military families and 258,332 pregnancies among active duty women. Rates of common adverse infant and pregnancy outcomes were comparable to or lower than those in the general US population. These observations, along with prior Registry analyses, provide reassurance that military service is not independently associated with increased risks for select adverse reproductive health outcomes. The Registry's diverse research portfolio demonstrates its unique capabilities to answer a wide range of questions related to reproductive health. These data provide the military community with information to identify successes and areas for improvement in prevention and care.

  10. A Consumer Health Information System to Assist Patients Select Quality Home Health Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrios Zikos

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Patients evaluate the quality of home health agencies (HHAs using the Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS survey. This paper describes a prototype community health information system to help patients select appropriate and quality HHAs, according to the location, proprietary status, type of service, and year of HHA establishment. Five HCAHPS indicators were selected: “summary rating”, “quality of care”, “professional care”, “communication”, and “recommend agency”. Independent t-test analysis showed that agencies offering Speech Pathology, Medical-Social, or Home Health Aide services, receive significantly worse HCAHPS ratings, while mean ratings vary significantly across different US states. Multiple comparisons with post hoc ANOVA revealed differences between and within HHAs of different proprietary status (p < 0.001: governmental HHAs receiving higher ratings than private HHAs. Finally, there was observed a relationship between all five quality rating variables and the HHA year of establishment (Pearson, p < 0.001. The older the agency is, the better the HCAPS summary ratings. Findings provided the knowledge to design of a consumer health information system, to provide rankings filtered according to user criteria, comparing the quality rankings of eligible HHAs. Users can also see how a specific agency is ranked against eligible HHAs. Ultimately, the system aims to support the patient community with contextually realistic comparisons in an effort to choose optimal HH service.

  11. Promoting advance planning for health care and research among older adults: A randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bravo Gina

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Family members are often required to act as substitute decision-makers when health care or research participation decisions must be made for an incapacitated relative. Yet most families are unable to accurately predict older adult preferences regarding future health care and willingness to engage in research studies. Discussion and documentation of preferences could improve proxies' abilities to decide for their loved ones. This trial assesses the efficacy of an advance planning intervention in improving the accuracy of substitute decision-making and increasing the frequency of documented preferences for health care and research. It also investigates the financial impact on the healthcare system of improving substitute decision-making. Methods/Design Dyads (n = 240 comprising an older adult and his/her self-selected proxy are randomly allocated to the experimental or control group, after stratification for type of designated proxy and self-report of prior documentation of healthcare preferences. At baseline, clinical and research vignettes are used to elicit older adult preferences and assess the ability of their proxy to predict those preferences. Responses are elicited under four health states, ranging from the subject's current health state to severe dementia. For each state, we estimated the public costs of the healthcare services that would typically be provided to a patient under these scenarios. Experimental dyads are visited at home, twice, by a specially trained facilitator who communicates the dyad-specific results of the concordance assessment, helps older adults convey their wishes to their proxies, and offers assistance in completing a guide entitled My Preferences that we designed specifically for that purpose. In between these meetings, experimental dyads attend a group information session about My Preferences. Control dyads attend three monthly workshops aimed at promoting healthy behaviors. Concordance

  12. Health education for microcredit clients in Peru: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamad, Rita; Fernald, Lia Ch; Karlan, Dean S

    2011-01-24

    Poverty, lack of female empowerment, and lack of education are major risk factors for childhood illness worldwide. Microcredit programs, by offering small loans to poor individuals, attempt to address the first two of these risk factors, poverty and gender disparity. They provide clients, usually women, with a means to invest in their businesses and support their families. This study investigates the health effects of also addressing the remaining risk factor, lack of knowledge about important health issues, through randomization of members of a microcredit organization to receive a health education module based on the World Health Organization's Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) community intervention. Baseline data were collected in February 2007 from clients of a microcredit organization in Pucallpa, Peru (n = 1,855) and their children (n = 598). Loan groups, consisting of 15 to 20 clients, were then randomly assigned to receive a health education intervention involving eight monthly 30-minute sessions given by the organization's loan officers at monthly loan group meetings. In February 2008, follow-up data were collected, and included assessments of sociodemographic information, knowledge of child health issues, and child health status (including child height, weight, and blood hemoglobin levels). To explore the effects of treatment (i.e., participation in the health education sessions) on the key outcome variables, multivariate regressions were implemented using ordinary least squares. Individuals in the IMCI treatment arm demonstrated more knowledge about a variety of issues related to child health, but there were no changes in anthropometric measures or reported child health status. Microcredit clients randomized to an IMCI educational intervention showed greater knowledge about child health, but no differences in child health outcomes compared to controls. These results imply that the intervention did not have sufficient intensity to change

  13. Peculiarities of the statistics of spectrally selected fluorescence radiation in laser-pumped dye-doped random media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuvchenko, S. A.; Ushakova, E. V.; Pavlova, M. V.; Alonova, M. V.; Zimnyakov, D. A.

    2018-04-01

    We consider the practical realization of a new optical probe method of the random media which is defined as the reference-free path length interferometry with the intensity moments analysis. A peculiarity in the statistics of the spectrally selected fluorescence radiation in laser-pumped dye-doped random medium is discussed. Previously established correlations between the second- and the third-order moments of the intensity fluctuations in the random interference patterns, the coherence function of the probe radiation, and the path difference probability density for the interfering partial waves in the medium are confirmed. The correlations were verified using the statistical analysis of the spectrally selected fluorescence radiation emitted by a laser-pumped dye-doped random medium. Water solution of Rhodamine 6G was applied as the doping fluorescent agent for the ensembles of the densely packed silica grains, which were pumped by the 532 nm radiation of a solid state laser. The spectrum of the mean path length for a random medium was reconstructed.

  14. Health-promoting ingredients from four selected Azorean macroalgae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paiva, Lisete; Lima, Elisabete; Neto, Ana Isabel; Marcone, Massimo; Baptista, José

    2016-11-01

    This study presents, for the first time, the nutritional and health promoting aspects of four selected Azorean macroalgae (Ulva compressa, Ulva rigida, Gelidium microdon and Pterocladiella capillacea) in terms of total lipids, fatty acids (FA) profile, n6/n3 and hypocholesterolemic (h)/hypercholesterolemic (H) FA ratios, minerals, total essential amino acids (AA), anti-ageing and anti-phenylketonuria AA content, coenzyme Q 10 , α-tocopherol, total phenolics, antioxidant properties and energy value, on a dry weight basis. The results revealed low lipid content (1.02-4.32%) but significant PUFA content (29.57-69.22% of total FA), suitable FA ratios (0.48-9.49 for n6/n3 and 1.26-4.22 for h/H), balanced macromineral ratios (0.27-1.91 for Na/K and 0.15-1.07 for Ca/Mg), appreciable amount of essential AA (45.27-58.13% of total AA), high amount of anti-ageing AA, low Phe content, coenzyme Q 10 (1.25-8.27μg/g), α-tocopherol (2.61-9.14mg/100g), high total phenolic content (27.70-55.07mg of gallic acid equivalents/g extract), significant free radical scavenging activity (29.32-47.73%) and valuable energy content (6.80-9.80kJ/g). A regular consumption of these algae either directly or through food supplements may improve human health or may have a protective effect on some diseases and ageing process. They can also be used for producing pharmaceuticals and cosmeceuticals with potential economic value. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Climbing for preventing and treating health problems: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fechtelpeter, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To summarize the best available evidence on effectiveness of therapeutic or sport climbing in preventing or treating health problems. Methods: We searched Medline, Embase, CENTRAL, PsycINFO, PEDro, OTseeker and SportDiscus for randomized controlled trials published up to December 26, 2010. We included all trials assessing patient-relevant outcomes. Two reviewers independently selected relevant studies, assessed their methodological quality and extracted data. Quality of evidence was rated using the GRADE system. Data were entered into RevMan 5 to calculate effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals where appropriate.Results: Eligible for inclusion were four RCTs studying the effectiveness of climbing in (a geriatric patients, (b adults with multiple sclerosis, (c adults with chronic low-back pain and (d children with disabilities and poor motor function. The sample sizes ranged between 20 and 95. All trials had major methodological limitations. We found very low quality evidence that therapeutic climbing may improve activities of daily living in geriatric patients compared to physiotherapy as measured by the Barthel index (difference in mean change score: 2.32 [95%-CI: 0.45 to 4.19]. We found very low quality evidence that therapeutic climbing compared to standard exercise therapy may improve physical functioning (difference in mean change score: 16.15 [95%-CI: 4.45 to 27.85] and general physical health (13.14 [95%-CI: 3.61 to 22.67] as measured by the SF-36 in adults with chronic low back-pain. Conclusions: Evidence for the effectiveness of therapeutic climbing is limited to small trials at high risk of bias. The effects of therapeutic climbing are therefore unclear.

  16. Predicting longitudinal trajectories of health probabilities with random-effects multinomial logit regression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xian; Engel, Charles C

    2012-12-20

    Researchers often encounter longitudinal health data characterized with three or more ordinal or nominal categories. Random-effects multinomial logit models are generally applied to account for potential lack of independence inherent in such clustered data. When parameter estimates are used to describe longitudinal processes, however, random effects, both between and within individuals, need to be retransformed for correctly predicting outcome probabilities. This study attempts to go beyond existing work by developing a retransformation method that derives longitudinal growth trajectories of unbiased health probabilities. We estimated variances of the predicted probabilities by using the delta method. Additionally, we transformed the covariates' regression coefficients on the multinomial logit function, not substantively meaningful, to the conditional effects on the predicted probabilities. The empirical illustration uses the longitudinal data from the Asset and Health Dynamics among the Oldest Old. Our analysis compared three sets of the predicted probabilities of three health states at six time points, obtained from, respectively, the retransformation method, the best linear unbiased prediction, and the fixed-effects approach. The results demonstrate that neglect of retransforming random errors in the random-effects multinomial logit model results in severely biased longitudinal trajectories of health probabilities as well as overestimated effects of covariates on the probabilities. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Complementary religious and spiritual interventions in physical health and quality of life: A systematic review of randomized controlled clinical trials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliane Piasseschi de Bernardin Gonçalves

    Full Text Available To examine whether religious and spiritual interventions (RSIs can promote physical health and quality of life in individuals.The following databases were used to conduct a systematic review: PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane, and Scielo. Randomized controlled trials that evaluated RSIs regarding physical health outcomes and/or quality of life in English, Spanish or Portuguese were included. RSI protocols performed at a distance (i.e. intercessory prayer or for psychiatric disorders were excluded. This study consisted of two phases: (a reading titles and abstracts, and (b assessing the full articles and their methodological quality using the Cochrane Back Review Group scale.In total, 7,070 articles were identified in the search, but 6884 were excluded in phase 1 because they were off topic or repeated in databases. Among the 186 articles included in phase 2, 140 were excluded because they did not fit the inclusion criteria and 16 did not have adequate randomization process. Thus, a final selection of 30 articles remained. The participants of the selected studies were classified in three groups: chronic patients (e.g., cancer, obesity, pain, healthy individuals and healthcare professionals. The outcomes assessed included quality of life, physical activity, pain, cardiac outcomes, promotion of health behaviors, clinical practice of healthcare professionals and satisfaction with protocols. The divergence concerning scales and protocols proposed did not allow a meta-analysis. RSIs as a psychotherapy approach were performed in 40% of the studies, and the control group was more likely to use an educational intervention (56.7%. The results revealed small effect sizes favoring RSIs in quality of life and pain outcomes and very small effects sizes in physical activity, promotion of health behaviors and clinical practice of health professionals compared with other complementary strategies. Other outcomes, such as cardiac measures

  18. Mental health first aid training by e-learning: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorm, Anthony F; Kitchener, Betty A; Fischer, Julie-Anne; Cvetkovski, Stefan

    2010-12-01

    Mental Health First Aid training is a course for the public that teaches how to give initial help to a person developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The present study evaluated the effects of Mental Health First Aid training delivered by e-learning on knowledge about mental disorders, stigmatizing attitudes and helping behaviour. A randomized controlled trial was carried out with 262 members of the Australian public. Participants were randomly assigned to complete an e-learning CD, read a Mental Health First Aid manual or be in a waiting list control group. The effects of the interventions were evaluated using online questionnaires pre- and post-training and at 6-months follow up. The questionnaires covered mental health knowledge, stigmatizing attitudes, confidence in providing help to others, actions taken to implement mental health first aid and participant mental health. Both e-learning and the printed manual increased aspects of knowledge, reduced stigma and increased confidence compared to waiting list. E-learning also improved first aid actions taken more than waiting list, and was superior to the printed manual in reducing stigma and disability due to mental ill health. Mental Health First Aid information received by either e-learning or printed manual had positive effects, but e-learning was better at reducing stigma.

  19. Grey literature in meta-analyses of randomized trials of health care interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopewell, S; McDonald, S; Clarke, M; Egger, M

    2007-04-18

    The inclusion of grey literature (i.e. literature that has not been formally published) in systematic reviews may help to overcome some of the problems of publication bias, which can arise due to the selective availability of data. To review systematically research studies, which have investigated the impact of grey literature in meta-analyses of randomized trials of health care interventions. We searched the Cochrane Methodology Register (The Cochrane Library Issue 3, 2005), MEDLINE (1966 to 20 May 2005), the Science Citation Index (June 2005) and contacted researchers who may have carried out relevant studies. A study was considered eligible for this review if it compared the effect of the inclusion and exclusion of grey literature on the results of a cohort of meta-analyses of randomized trials. Data were extracted from each report independently by two reviewers. The main outcome measure was an estimate of the impact of trials from the grey literature on the pooled effect estimates of the meta-analyses. Information was also collected on the area of health care, the number of meta-analyses, the number of trials, the number of trial participants, the year of publication of the trials, the language and country of publication of the trials, the number and type of grey and published literature, and methodological quality. Five studies met the inclusion criteria. All five studies showed that published trials showed an overall greater treatment effect than grey trials. This difference was statistically significant in one of the five studies. Data could be combined for three of the five studies. This showed that, on average, published trials showed a 9% greater treatment effect than grey trials (ratio of odds ratios for grey versus published trials 1.09; 95% CI 1.03-1.16). Overall there were more published trials included in the meta-analyses than grey trials (median 224 (IQR 108-365) versus 45(IQR 40-102)). Published trials had more participants on average. The most

  20. Improving preventive service delivery at adult complete health check-ups: the Preventive health Evidence-based Recommendation Form (PERFORM cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moineddin Rahim

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To determine the effectiveness of a single checklist reminder form to improve the delivery of preventive health services at adult health check-ups in a family practice setting. Methods A prospective cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted at four urban family practice clinics among 38 primary care physicians affiliated with the University of Toronto. Preventive Care Checklist Forms© were created to be used by family physicians at adult health check-ups over a five-month period. The sex-specific forms incorporate evidence-based recommendations on preventive health services and documentation space for routine procedures such as physical examination. The forms were used in two intervention clinics and two control clinics. Rates and relative risks (RR of the performance of 13 preventive health maneuvers at baseline and post-intervention and the percentage of up-to-date preventive health services delivered per patient were compared between the two groups. Results Randomly-selected charts were reviewed at baseline (n = 509 and post-intervention (n = 608. Baseline rates for provision of preventive health services ranged from 3% (fecal occult blood testing to 93% (blood pressure measurement, similar to other settings. The percentage of up-to-date preventive health services delivered per patient at the end of the intervention was 48.9% in the control group and 71.7% in the intervention group. This is an overall 22.8% absolute increase (p = 0.0001, and 46.6% relative increase in the delivery of preventive health services per patient in the intervention group compared to controls. Eight of thirteen preventive health services showed a statistically significant change (p Conclusion This simple, low cost, clinically relevant intervention improves the delivery of preventive health services by prompting physicians of evidence-based recommendations in a checklist format that incorporates existing practice patterns. Periodic updates

  1. Environmental risk factors and health outcomes in selected communities of the Niger delta area, Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ana, Godson; Sridhar, Mynepalli K C; Bamgboye, Elijah A

    2009-07-01

    The main aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of various health outcomes associated with exposure to environmental risk factors including industrial pollution in selected communities of Nigeria's oil-rich Niger delta area (NDA). The study involved both laboratory experiments and community health surveys using questionnaires and hospital records. A total of 14 air samples, 16 grab soil samples and 18 surface water samples were collected and analyzed for physicochemical parameters including heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using standard methods. A 77-item questionnaire was administered on randomly selected 349 subjects. A five-year record was collected from health facilities located in the two communities. The laboratory results indicated that the median PAH level at Eleme as compared to Ahoada East was higher than the guideline limit 50 ng/l for surface waters. The mean TSP level at Eleme was higher than the level at Ahoada East and the guideline limit 100 microg/m3. The median PAH level at Eleme was higher than the level at Ahoada East and the guideline limit problem (p = 0.044). At Ahoada East commonly consumed aquatic food was highly significantly associated with painful body outgrowth (p fuel types was also highly significantly associated with child deformities (p < 0.0001). Hospital records showed high proportions of respiratory disorder among males (3.85%) and females (4.39%) at Eleme as compared to the proportion of respiratory disorder among males (3.68%) and females (4.18%) at Ahoada East. The study shows that industrial communities such as Eleme, which are exposed to higher levels of air pollution, are more predisposed to respiratory morbidities, skin disorders and other related health risks.

  2. External quality assessment of malaria microscopy diagnosis in selected health facilities in Western Oromia, Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sori, Getachew; Zewdie, Olifan; Tadele, Geletta; Samuel, Abdi

    2018-06-18

    Accurate early diagnosis and prompt treatment are one of the key strategies to control and prevent malaria disease. External quality assessment is the most effective method for evaluation of the quality of malaria microscopy diagnosis. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of malaria microscopy diagnosis and its associated factors in selected public health facility laboratories in East Wollega Zone, Western Ethiopia. Facility-based cross-sectional study design was conducted in 30 randomly selected public health facility laboratories from November 2014 to January 2015 in East Wollega Zone, Western Ethiopia. Ten validated stained malaria panel slides with known Plasmodium species, developmental stage and parasite density were distributed. Data were captured; cleaned and analyzed using SPSS version 20 statistical software-multivariate logistic regressions and the agreement in reading between the peripheral diagnostic centers and the reference laboratory were done using kappa statistics. A total of 30 health facility laboratories were involved in the study and the overall quality of malaria microscopy diagnosis was poor (62.3%). The associated predictors of quality in this diagnosis were in-service training [(AOR = 16, 95% CI (1.3, 1.96)], smearing quality [(AOR = 24, 95% CI (1.8, 3.13)], staining quality [(AOR = 15, 95% CI (2.35, 8.61), parasite detection [(AOR = 9, 95% CI (1.1, 8.52)] and identification skills [(AOR = 8.6, 95% CI (1.21, 1.63)]. Eighteen (60%) of health facility laboratories had in-service trained laboratory professionals on malaria microscopy diagnosis. Overall quality of malaria microscopy diagnosis was poor and a significant gap in this service was observed that could impact on its diagnostic services.

  3. ASTDD Synopses of State Oral Health Programs - Selected indicators

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — 2011-2017. The ASTDD Synopses of State Oral Health Programs contain information useful in tracking states’ efforts to improve oral health and contributions to...

  4. ASTDD Synopses of State Oral Health Programs - Selected indicators

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — 2011-2017. The ASTDD Synopses of State Oral Health Programs contain information useful in tracking states’ efforts to improve oral health and contributions to...

  5. Effect of Mobile-health on maternal health care service utilization in Eastern Ethiopia: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelano, Tilayie Feto; Assefa, Nega; Bacha, Yadeta Dessie; Mahamed, Afendi Abdi; Roba, Kedir Teji; Hambisa, Mitiku Teshome

    2018-02-12

    Globally, the rapid development of mobile technology has created new ways of addressing public health challenges and shifted the paradigm of health care access and delivery. The primary aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of Mobile-health on maternal health care service utilization in Eastern Ethiopia. Through, a cluster-randomized controlled trial, 640 participants will be selected based on their districts and respective health centers as the unit of randomization. All pregnant mothers who fulfill the inclusion criteria will be allocated to a mobile-phone-based intervention and existing standard of care or control with a 1:1 allocation ratio. The intervention consists of a series of 24 voice messages which will be sent every 2 weeks from the date of enrollment until the close-out time. The control group will receive existing standard of care without voice messages. Data related to outcome variables will be assessed at three phases of the data collection periods. The primary outcome measures will be the proportion of antenatal care visits and institutional delivery, whereas the secondary outcome measures will consist of the proportion of postnatal care visits and pregnancy outcomes. Risk ratios will be used to a measure the effect of intervention on the outcomes which will be estimated with 95% confidence interval and all the analyses will be done with consideration of clustering effect. This study should generate evidence on the effectiveness of mobile-phone-based voice messages for the early initiation of maternal health care service use and its uptake. It has been carefully designed with the assumption of obtaining higher levels of maternal health care service use among the treatment group as compared to the control. Pan African Clinical Trial Registry, www.panctr.org , ID: PACTR201704002216259 . Registered on 28 April 2017.

  6. Differentiation of behavioral health factors among students depending on selected socio-demographic, environmental and cultural factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Ślusarska

    2015-02-01

    Abstract Introduction. Behavioral factors of health are an important area of empirical cognition from the perspective of long-term individual as well as social investment in health. Aim. The assessment of health behaviors and their differentiation due to selected socio-demographic and environmental-cultural characteristics in a group of young adults. Materials and methods. Cross-sectional studies in the group of students of the city of Lublin were performed using the Health Behavior Inventory (HBI by Z. Juczyński. The study also included the survey questions in the field of socio-demographic and cultural- environmental indicators. Results. The analysis concerned data on 1,593 randomly selected people (63.53% women, 36.47% men, aged 20-35 years (x = 22.16, SD =2.81. In the group, at 45.07% of students, the rate of intensity of health behaviors according to HBI was low, at 39.60% - was the average, and in only 11.30% -it was high. Conclusions. In the group, low rates of health behaviors intensity predominated. Among women, the students of medical university, non-smokers and those characterized by regular physical activity a higher level of health behaviors was shown.   Key words: behavioral factors, socio-demographic indicators, health status, young adults.

  7. Assessment of Noise and Associated Health Impacts at Selected Secondary Schools in Ibadan, Nigeria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ana, G.R.E.E.; Brown, G.E.; Sridhar, M.K.C.; Shendell, D.G.; Shendell, D.G.; Shendell, D.G.

    2010-01-01

    Background. Most schools in Ibadan, Nigeria, are located near major roads (mobile line sources). We conducted an initial assessment of noise levels and adverse noise-related health and learning effects. Methods. For this descriptive, cross-sectional study, four schools were selected randomly from eight participating in overall project. We administered 200 questionnaires, 50 per school, assessing health and learning-related outcomes. Noise levels (A-weighted decibels, dBA) were measured with calibrated sound level meters. Traffic density was assessed for school with the highest measured dBA. Observational checklists assessed noise control parameters and building physical attributes. Results. Short-term, cross-sectional school-day noise levels ranged 68.3-84.7 dBA. Over 60% of respondents reported that vehicular traffic was major source of noise, and over 70% complained being disturbed by noise. Three schools reported tiredness, and one school lack of concentration, as the most prevalent noise-related health problems. Conclusion. Secondary school occupants in Ibadan, Nigeria were potentially affected by exposure to noise from mobile line sources.

  8. Evaluation of Randomly Selected Completed Medical Records Sheets in Teaching Hospitals of Jahrom University of Medical Sciences, 2009

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Parsa Mahjob

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Background and objective: Medical record documentation, often use to protect the patients legal rights, also providing information for medical researchers, general studies, education of health care staff and qualitative surveys is used. There is a need to control the amount of data entered in the medical record sheets of patients, considering the completion of these sheets is often carried out after completion of service delivery to the patients. Therefore, in this study the prevalence of completeness of medical history, operation reports, and physician order sheets by different documentaries in Jahrom teaching hospitals during year 2009 was analyzed. Methods and Materials: In this descriptive / retrospective study, the 400 medical record sheets of the patients from two teaching hospitals affiliated to Jahrom medical university was randomly selected. The tool of data collection was a checklist based on the content of medical history sheet, operation report and physician order sheets. The data were analyzed by SPSS (Version10 software and Microsoft Office Excel 2003. Results: Average of personal (Demography data entered in medical history, physician order and operation report sheets which is done by department's secretaries were 32.9, 35.8 and 40.18 percent. Average of clinical data entered by physician in medical history sheet is 38 percent. Surgical data entered by the surgeon in operation report sheet was 94.77 percent. Average of data entered by operation room's nurse in operation report sheet was 36.78 percent; Average of physician order data in physician order sheet entered by physician was 99.3 percent. Conclusion: According to this study, the rate of completed record papers reviewed by documentary in Jahrom teaching hospitals were not desirable and in some cases were very weak and incomplete. This deficiency was due to different reason such as medical record documentaries negligence, lack of adequate education for documentaries, High work

  9. Innovation in values based public health nursing student selection: A qualitative evaluation of candidate and selection panel member perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Caroline; Abbott, Stephen; Brook, Judy

    2018-02-19

    Values based recruitment emerges from the premise that a high degree of value congruence, or the extent to which an individual's values are similar to those of the health organization in which they work, leads to organizational effectiveness. The aim of this evaluation was to explore how candidates and selection panel members experienced and perceived innovative methods of values based public health nursing student selection. The evaluation was framed by a qualitative exploratory design involving semi-structured interviews and a group exercise. Data were thematically analyzed. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with selection panel members. Twenty-two successful candidates took part in a group exercise. The use of photo elicitation interviews and situational judgment questions in the context of selection to a university-run public health nursing educational program was explored. While candidates were ambivalent about the use of photo elicitation interviews, with some misunderstanding the task, selection panel members saw the benefits for improving candidate expression and reducing gaming and deception. Situational interview questions were endorsed by candidates and selection panel members due to their fidelity to real-life problems and the ability of panel members to discern value congruence from candidates' responses. Both techniques offered innovative solutions to candidate selection for entry to the public health nursing education program. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Specialist mental health consultation for depression in Australian aged care residents with dementia: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McSweeney, Kate; Jeffreys, Aimee; Griffith, Joanne; Plakiotis, Chris; Kharsas, Renee; O'Connor, Daniel W

    2012-11-01

    This cluster randomized controlled trial sought to determine whether multidisciplinary specialist mental health consultation was more effective than care as usual in treating the depression of aged care residents with dementia. Three hundred and eighty nine aged care residents were screened for dementia and major depression. Forty four were ultimately included in the intervention sample, selected from 20 aged care facilities located in Melbourne, Australia. Facilities were randomly allocated to an intervention condition involving the provision of multidisciplinary specialist consultation regarding the best-practice management of depression in dementia, or to a care as usual condition. Consultations involved individually tailored medical and psychosocial recommendations provided to care staff and general practitioners. All residents participated in a comprehensive pre-intervention diagnostic assessment, including the administration of the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia. This assessment was repeated approximately 15 weeks post-intervention by a rater blind to study condition. Multidisciplinary specialist mental health consultation was significantly more effective than care as usual in treating the clinical depression of aged care residents with dementia (p Depression in Dementia score for the intervention group was 9.47, compared with 14.23 for the control group. In addition, 77% of the intervention group no longer met criteria for major depression. The results of this study suggest that the psychosocial and medical management of depressed aged care residents can be improved by increasing access to specialist mental health consultation. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. The basic science and mathematics of random mutation and natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinman, Alan

    2014-12-20

    The mutation and natural selection phenomenon can and often does cause the failure of antimicrobial, herbicidal, pesticide and cancer treatments selection pressures. This phenomenon operates in a mathematically predictable behavior, which when understood leads to approaches to reduce and prevent the failure of the use of these selection pressures. The mathematical behavior of mutation and selection is derived using the principles given by probability theory. The derivation of the equations describing the mutation and selection phenomenon is carried out in the context of an empirical example. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Effects of horticultural therapy on elderly' health: protocol of a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Hui Yu; Ho, Roger Chun-Man; Mahendran, Rathi; Ng, Kheng Siang; Tam, Wilson Wai-San; Rawtaer, Iris; Tan, Chay Hoon; Larbi, Anis; Feng, Lei; Sia, Angelia; Ng, Maxel Kian-Wee; Gan, Goh Lee; Kua, Ee Heok

    2017-08-29

    Due to a rapidly ageing population in the world, it is increasingly pertinent to promote successful ageing strategies which are cost-effective, easily accessible, and more likely to be acceptable to the elderly. Past research associates exposure to natural environments and horticultural therapy (HT) with positive psychological, social and physical health benefits. This Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) is designed to evaluate the efficacy of HT in promoting Asian elderly' mental health, cognitive functioning and physical health. 70 elderly participants aged 60 to 85 years old will be randomized to participate in either the active horticultural therapy group or be in the waitlist control. Sessions will be weekly for 12 weeks, and monthly for 3 months. Mental health will be assessed through self-reports of depressive and anxiety symptomatology, life satisfaction, social connectedness and psychological well-being, collaborated with immunological markers. Outcome measures of cognitive functioning and physical health include neuropsychological tests of cognitive function and basic health screening. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, 3 months and 6 months post-intervention. This RCT comprehensively investigates the efficacy of a non-invasive intervention, HT, in enhancing mental health, cognitive functioning and physical health. The results have tremendous potential for supporting future successful ageing programs and applicability to larger populations. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02495194 . Trial registration date: July 13, 2015. Retrospectively registered.

  13. The steps to health employee weight management randomized control trial: rationale, design and baseline characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Østbye, Truls; Stroo, Marissa; Brouwer, Rebecca J N; Peterson, Bercedis L; Eisenstein, Eric L; Fuemmeler, Bernard F; Joyner, Julie; Gulley, Libby; Dement, John M

    2013-07-01

    The workplace can be an important setting for addressing obesity. An increasing number of employers offer weight management programs. Present the design, rationale and baseline characteristics of the Steps to Health study (STH), a randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of two preexisting employee weight management programs offered at Duke University and Medical Center. 550 obese (BMI ≥30) employee volunteers were randomized 1:1 to two programs. Baseline data, collected between January 2011 and July 2012, included height/weight, accelerometry, workplace injuries, health care utilization, and questionnaires querying socio-cognitive factors, perceptions of health climate, physical activity, and dietary intake. In secondary analyses participants in the two programs will also be compared to a non-randomized observational control group of obese employees. At baseline, the mean age was 45 years, 83% were female, 41% white, and 53% black. Mean BMI was 37.2. Participants consumed a mean of 2.37 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (in the past week), participated in 11.5 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and spent 620 min being sedentary. STH addresses the need for evaluation of worksite interventions to promote healthy weight. In addition to having direct positive effects on workers' health, worksite programs have the potential to increase productivity and reduce health care costs. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Canada Selects African Health Organizations to Help Save the Lives ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    IDRC-CRDI

    supported by the program and decision-makers in Africa. ... ensuring that high quality health care is delivered in clinics and hospitals. • working ... identifying how nurses, doctors, and other health professionals can better deliver the care that is.

  15. A prospective randomized trial examining health care utilization in individuals using multiple smartphone-enabled biosensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinnamon S. Bloss

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Mobile health and digital medicine technologies are becoming increasingly used by individuals with common, chronic diseases to monitor their health. Numerous devices, sensors, and apps are available to patients and consumers–some of which have been shown to lead to improved health management and health outcomes. However, no randomized controlled trials have been conducted which examine health care costs, and most have failed to provide study participants with a truly comprehensive monitoring system. Methods. We conducted a prospective randomized controlled trial of adults who had submitted a 2012 health insurance claim associated with hypertension, diabetes, and/or cardiac arrhythmia. The intervention involved receipt of one or more mobile devices that corresponded to their condition(s (hypertension: Withings Blood Pressure Monitor; diabetes: Sanofi iBGStar Blood Glucose Meter; arrhythmia: AliveCor Mobile ECG and an iPhone with linked tracking applications for a period of 6 months; the control group received a standard disease management program. Moreover, intervention study participants received access to an online health management system which provided participants detailed device tracking information over the course of the study. This was a monitoring system designed by leveraging collaborations with device manufacturers, a connected health leader, health care provider, and employee wellness program–making it both unique and inclusive. We hypothesized that health resource utilization with respect to health insurance claims may be influenced by the monitoring intervention. We also examined health-self management. Results & Conclusions. There was little evidence of differences in health care costs or utilization as a result of the intervention. Furthermore, we found evidence that the control and intervention groups were equivalent with respect to most health care utilization outcomes. This result suggests there are not large

  16. Employee perspectives of workplace health promotion in selected ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study explored (a) available workplace interventions to support or improve workers health and well-being (b) the kind of health messages employees prefer, and (c) preferred methods of delivery for work place health promotion programmes. This study employed a cross-sectional design by a structured questionnaire ...

  17. Selecting for Fast Protein-Protein Association As Demonstrated on a Random TEM1 Yeast Library Binding BLIP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen-Khait, Ruth; Schreiber, Gideon

    2018-04-27

    Protein-protein interactions mediate the vast majority of cellular processes. Though protein interactions obey basic chemical principles also within the cell, the in vivo physiological environment may not allow for equilibrium to be reached. Thus, in vitro measured thermodynamic affinity may not provide a complete picture of protein interactions in the biological context. Binding kinetics composed of the association and dissociation rate constants are relevant and important in the cell. Therefore, changes in protein-protein interaction kinetics have a significant impact on the in vivo activity of the proteins. The common protocol for the selection of tighter binders from a mutant library selects for protein complexes with slower dissociation rate constants. Here we describe a method to specifically select for variants with faster association rate constants by using pre-equilibrium selection, starting from a large random library. Toward this end, we refine the selection conditions of a TEM1-β-lactamase library against its natural nanomolar affinity binder β-lactamase inhibitor protein (BLIP). The optimal selection conditions depend on the ligand concentration and on the incubation time. In addition, we show that a second sort of the library helps to separate signal from noise, resulting in a higher percent of faster binders in the selected library. Fast associating protein variants are of particular interest for drug development and other biotechnological applications.

  18. Acceptance of selective contracting: the role of trust in the health insurer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bes, Romy E; Wendel, Sonja; Curfs, Emile C; Groenewegen, Peter P; de Jong, Judith D

    2013-10-02

    In a demand oriented health care system based on managed competition, health insurers have incentives to become prudent buyers of care on behalf of their enrolees. They are allowed to selectively contract care providers. This is supposed to stimulate competition between care providers and both increase the quality of care and contain costs in the health care system. However, health insurers are reluctant to implement selective contracting; they believe their enrolees will not accept this. One reason, insurers believe, is that enrolees do not trust their health insurer. However, this has never been studied. This paper aims to study the role played by enrolees' trust in the health insurer on their acceptance of selective contracting. An online survey was conducted among 4,422 people insured through a large Dutch health insurance company. Trust in the health insurer, trust in the purchasing strategy of the health insurer and acceptance of selective contracting were measured using multiple item scales. A regression model was constructed to analyse the results. Trust in the health insurer turned out to be an important prerequisite for the acceptance of selective contracting among their enrolees. The association of trust in the purchasing strategy of the health insurer with acceptance of selective contracting is stronger for older people than younger people. Furthermore, it was found that men and healthier people accepted selective contracting by their health insurer more readily. This was also true for younger people with a low level of trust in their health insurer. This study provides insight into factors that influence people's acceptance of selective contracting by their health insurer. This may help health insurers to implement selective contracting in a way their enrolees will accept and, thus, help systems of managed competition to develop.

  19. Acceptance of selective contracting: the role of trust in the health insurer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background In a demand oriented health care system based on managed competition, health insurers have incentives to become prudent buyers of care on behalf of their enrolees. They are allowed to selectively contract care providers. This is supposed to stimulate competition between care providers and both increase the quality of care and contain costs in the health care system. However, health insurers are reluctant to implement selective contracting; they believe their enrolees will not accept this. One reason, insurers believe, is that enrolees do not trust their health insurer. However, this has never been studied. This paper aims to study the role played by enrolees’ trust in the health insurer on their acceptance of selective contracting. Methods An online survey was conducted among 4,422 people insured through a large Dutch health insurance company. Trust in the health insurer, trust in the purchasing strategy of the health insurer and acceptance of selective contracting were measured using multiple item scales. A regression model was constructed to analyse the results. Results Trust in the health insurer turned out to be an important prerequisite for the acceptance of selective contracting among their enrolees. The association of trust in the purchasing strategy of the health insurer with acceptance of selective contracting is stronger for older people than younger people. Furthermore, it was found that men and healthier people accepted selective contracting by their health insurer more readily. This was also true for younger people with a low level of trust in their health insurer. Conclusion This study provides insight into factors that influence people’s acceptance of selective contracting by their health insurer. This may help health insurers to implement selective contracting in a way their enrolees will accept and, thus, help systems of managed competition to develop. PMID:24083663

  20. Mental health courts and their selection processes: modeling variation for consistency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Nancy; Fabrikant, Nicole; Belenko, Steven

    2011-10-01

    Admission into mental health courts is based on a complicated and often variable decision-making process that involves multiple parties representing different expertise and interests. To the extent that eligibility criteria of mental health courts are more suggestive than deterministic, selection bias can be expected. Very little research has focused on the selection processes underpinning problem-solving courts even though such processes may dominate the performance of these interventions. This article describes a qualitative study designed to deconstruct the selection and admission processes of mental health courts. In this article, we describe a multi-stage, complex process for screening and admitting clients into mental health courts. The selection filtering model that is described has three eligibility screening stages: initial, assessment, and evaluation. The results of this study suggest that clients selected by mental health courts are shaped by the formal and informal selection criteria, as well as by the local treatment system.

  1. Selected Health Status Indicators and Behaviors of Young Adults, United States-2003

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eaton, Danice K.; Kann, Laura; Okoro, Catherine A.; Collins, Janet

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the prevalence of selected clinical preventive health services, health status indicators, health risk behaviors, and health-promoting behaviors among adults aged 18 to 24 years in the general U.S. population. The study analyzed data from the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Nearly 30% of young adults lacked…

  2. Organization And Financing Models Of Health Service In Selected Countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branimir Marković

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available The introductory part of the work gives a short theoretical presentation regarding possible financing models of health services in the world. In the applicative part of the work we shall present the basic practical models of financing health services in the countries that are the leaders of classic methods of health services financing, e. g. the USA, Great Britain, Germany and Croatia. Working out the applicative part of the work we gave the greatest significance to analysis of some macroeconomic indicators in health services (tendency of total health consumption in relation to GDP, average consumption per insured person etc., to structure analysis of health insurance and just to the scheme of health service organization and financing. We presume that each model of health service financing contains certain limitations that can cause problem (weak organization, increase of expenses etc.. This is the reason why we, in the applicative part of the work, paid a special attention to analysis of financial difficulties in the health sector and pointed to the needs and possibilities of solving them through possible reform measures. The end part of the work aims to point out to advantages and disadvantages of individual financing sources through the comparison method (budgetary – taxes or social health insurance – contributions.

  3. Health education for microcredit clients in Peru: a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernald Lia CH

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Poverty, lack of female empowerment, and lack of education are major risk factors for childhood illness worldwide. Microcredit programs, by offering small loans to poor individuals, attempt to address the first two of these risk factors, poverty and gender disparity. They provide clients, usually women, with a means to invest in their businesses and support their families. This study investigates the health effects of also addressing the remaining risk factor, lack of knowledge about important health issues, through randomization of members of a microcredit organization to receive a health education module based on the World Health Organization's Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI community intervention. Methods Baseline data were collected in February 2007 from clients of a microcredit organization in Pucallpa, Peru (n = 1,855 and their children (n = 598. Loan groups, consisting of 15 to 20 clients, were then randomly assigned to receive a health education intervention involving eight monthly 30-minute sessions given by the organization's loan officers at monthly loan group meetings. In February 2008, follow-up data were collected, and included assessments of sociodemographic information, knowledge of child health issues, and child health status (including child height, weight, and blood hemoglobin levels. To explore the effects of treatment (i.e., participation in the health education sessions on the key outcome variables, multivariate regressions were implemented using ordinary least squares. Results Individuals in the IMCI treatment arm demonstrated more knowledge about a variety of issues related to child health, but there were no changes in anthropometric measures or reported child health status. Conclusions Microcredit clients randomized to an IMCI educational intervention showed greater knowledge about child health, but no differences in child health outcomes compared to controls. These results imply

  4. Credit with Health Education in Benin: A Cluster Randomized Trial Examining Impacts on Knowledge and Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlan, Dean; Thuysbaert, Bram; Gray, Bobbi

    2017-02-08

    We evaluate whether health education integrated into microcredit lending groups reduces health risks by improving health knowledge and self-reported behaviors among urban and rural borrowers in eastern Benin. In 2007, we randomly assigned 138 villages in the Plateau region of Benin to one of four variations of a group liability credit product, varying lending groups' gender composition and/or inclusion of health education using a 2 × 2 design. Women in villages receiving health education, regardless of gender composition of the groups, showed improved knowledge of malaria and of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), but not of childhood illness danger signs. No significant changes in health behavior were observed except an increase in HIV/AIDS prevention behavior, a result predominantly driven by an increase in respondents' self-reported ability to procure a condom, likely an indicator of increased perceived access rather than improved preventative behavior. Women in villages assigned to mixed-gender groups had significantly lower levels of social capital, compared with villages assigned to female-only groups. This suggests there may be an important trade-off to consider for interventions seeking improved health outcomes and social capital through provision of services to mixed-gender groups. Although bundling health education with microcredit can expand health education coverage and lower service-delivery costs, the approach may not be sufficient to improve health behaviors. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  5. Dietary intake and health effects of selected toxic elements

    OpenAIRE

    Silva, André Luiz Oliveira da; Barrocas, Paulo R.G.; Jacob, Silvana do Couto; Moreira, Josino Costa

    2005-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities have being contributing to the spread of toxic chemicals into the environment, including several toxic metals and metalloids, increasing the levels of human exposure to many of them. Contaminated food is an important route of human exposure and may represent a serious threat to human health. This mini review covers the health effects caused by toxic metals, especially Cd, Hg, Pb and As, the most relevant toxic elements from a human health point of view. As atividad...

  6. r2VIM: A new variable selection method for random forests in genome-wide association studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymczak, Silke; Holzinger, Emily; Dasgupta, Abhijit; Malley, James D; Molloy, Anne M; Mills, James L; Brody, Lawrence C; Stambolian, Dwight; Bailey-Wilson, Joan E

    2016-01-01

    Machine learning methods and in particular random forests (RFs) are a promising alternative to standard single SNP analyses in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). RFs provide variable importance measures (VIMs) to rank SNPs according to their predictive power. However, in contrast to the established genome-wide significance threshold, no clear criteria exist to determine how many SNPs should be selected for downstream analyses. We propose a new variable selection approach, recurrent relative variable importance measure (r2VIM). Importance values are calculated relative to an observed minimal importance score for several runs of RF and only SNPs with large relative VIMs in all of the runs are selected as important. Evaluations on simulated GWAS data show that the new method controls the number of false-positives under the null hypothesis. Under a simple alternative hypothesis with several independent main effects it is only slightly less powerful than logistic regression. In an experimental GWAS data set, the same strong signal is identified while the approach selects none of the SNPs in an underpowered GWAS. The novel variable selection method r2VIM is a promising extension to standard RF for objectively selecting relevant SNPs in GWAS while controlling the number of false-positive results.

  7. Teaching Emotional Intelligence to Intensive Care Unit Nurses and their General Health: A Randomized Clinical Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Sharif

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Emotion and how people manage it is an important part of personality that would immensely affect their health. Investigations showed that emotional intelligence is significantly related to and can predict psychological health. Objective: To determine the effect of teaching emotional intelligence to intensive care unit nurses on their general health. Methods: This randomized clinical trial (registered as IRCT201208022812N9 was conducted on 52 of 200 in intensive care unit nurses affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. They were recruited through purposeful convenience sampling and then randomly categorized into two groups. The intervention group members were trained in emotional intelligence. Bar-on emotional intelligence and Goldberg's general health questionnaires were administered to each participant before, immediately after, and one month after the intervention. Results: While the mean score of general health for the intervention group decreased from 25.4 before the intervention, to 18.1 immediately after the intervention and to 14.6 one month later, for the control group, it increased from 22.0, to 24.2 and to 26.5, respectively (p<0.001. Conclusion: Teaching emotional intelligence improved the general health of intensive care unit nurses.

  8. Feature selection and classification of mechanical fault of an induction motor using random forest classifier

    OpenAIRE

    Patel, Raj Kumar; Giri, V.K.

    2016-01-01

    Fault detection and diagnosis is the most important technology in condition-based maintenance (CBM) system for rotating machinery. This paper experimentally explores the development of a random forest (RF) classifier, a recently emerged machine learning technique, for multi-class mechanical fault diagnosis in bearing of an induction motor. Firstly, the vibration signals are collected from the bearing using accelerometer sensor. Parameters from the vibration signal are extracted in the form of...

  9. Study-design selection criteria in systematic reviews of effectiveness of health systems interventions and reforms: A meta-review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockers, Peter C; Feigl, Andrea B; Røttingen, John-Arne; Fretheim, Atle; de Ferranti, David; Lavis, John N; Melberg, Hans Olav; Bärnighausen, Till

    2012-03-01

    At present, there exists no widely agreed upon set of study-design selection criteria for systematic reviews of health systems research, except for those proposed by the Cochrane Collaboration's Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) review group (which comprises randomized controlled trials, controlled clinical trials, controlled before-after studies, and interrupted time series). We conducted a meta-review of the study-design selection criteria used in systematic reviews available in the McMaster University's Health Systems Evidence or the EPOC database. Of 414 systematic reviews, 13% did not indicate any study-design selection criteria. Of the 359 studies that described such criteria, 50% limited their synthesis to controlled trials and 68% to some or all of the designs defined by the EPOC criteria. Seven out of eight reviews identified at least one controlled trial that was relevant for the review topic. Seven percent of the reviews included either no or only one relevant primary study. Our meta-review reveals reviewers' preferences for restricting synthesis to controlled experiments or study designs that comply with the EPOC criteria. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the current practices regarding study-design selection in systematic reviews of health systems research as well as alternative approaches. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  10. Can premium differentiation counteract adverse selection in the Dutch supplementary health insurance? A simulation study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    K.P.M. Winssen van (Kayleigh); R.C. van Kleef (Richard); W.P.M.M. van de Ven (Wynand)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractMost health insurers in the Netherlands apply community-rating and open enrolment for supplementary health insurance, although it is offered at a free market. Theoretically, this should result in adverse selection. There are four indications that adverse selection indeed has started to

  11. Assessment of Antarctic moss health from multi-sensor UAS imagery with Random Forest Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Darren; Lucieer, Arko; Malenovský, Zbyněk; King, Diana; Robinson, Sharon A.

    2018-06-01

    Moss beds are one of very few terrestrial vegetation types that can be found on the Antarctic continent and as such mapping their extent and monitoring their health is important to environmental managers. Across Antarctica, moss beds are experiencing changes in health as their environment changes. As Antarctic moss beds are spatially fragmented with relatively small extent they require very high resolution remotely sensed imagery to monitor their distribution and dynamics. This study demonstrates that multi-sensor imagery collected by an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) provides a novel data source for assessment of moss health. In this study, we train a Random Forest Regression Model (RFM) with long-term field quadrats at a study site in the Windmill Islands, East Antarctica and apply it to UAS RGB and 6-band multispectral imagery, derived vegetation indices, 3D topographic data, and thermal imagery to predict moss health. Our results suggest that moss health, expressed as a percentage between 0 and 100% healthy, can be estimated with a root mean squared error (RMSE) between 7 and 12%. The RFM also quantifies the importance of input variables for moss health estimation showing the multispectral sensor data was important for accurate health prediction, such information being essential for planning future field investigations. The RFM was applied to the entire moss bed, providing an extrapolation of the health assessment across a larger spatial area. With further validation the resulting maps could be used for change detection of moss health across multiple sites and seasons.

  12. The effects of health education on health outcomes: Evidence from a natural randomized experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leuven, E.; Oosterbeek, H.; de Wolf, I.F.

    2007-01-01

    This paper estimates the effects of attending medical school on health behavior and health status exploiting that admission to medical school in the Netherlands is determined by a lottery. Because lottery losers are permitted to re-apply, we use the result of the first lottery in which someone

  13. Steps to Health employee weight management randomized control trial: short-term follow-up results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Østbye, Truls; Stroo, Marissa; Brouwer, Rebecca J N; Peterson, Bercedis L; Eisenstein, Eric L; Fuemmeler, Bernard F; Joyner, Julie; Gulley, Libby; Dement, John M

    2015-02-01

    To present the short-term follow-up findings of the Steps to Health study, a randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of two employee weight management programs offered within Duke University and the Health System. A total of 550 obese (body mass index, ≥30 kg/m2) employees were randomized 1:1 between January 2011 and June 2012 to the education-based Weight Management (WM) or the WM+ arm, which focused on behavior modification. Employees were contacted to complete a follow-up visit approximately 14 months after baseline. There were no clinically, or statistically, meaningful differences between arms, but there were modest reductions in body mass index, and positive, meaningful changes in diet and physical activity for both arms. The modest positive effects observed in this study may suggest that to achieve weight loss through the workplace more intensive interventions may be required.

  14. Comparison of confirmed inactive and randomly selected compounds as negative training examples in support vector machine-based virtual screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikamp, Kathrin; Bajorath, Jürgen

    2013-07-22

    The choice of negative training data for machine learning is a little explored issue in chemoinformatics. In this study, the influence of alternative sets of negative training data and different background databases on support vector machine (SVM) modeling and virtual screening has been investigated. Target-directed SVM models have been derived on the basis of differently composed training sets containing confirmed inactive molecules or randomly selected database compounds as negative training instances. These models were then applied to search background databases consisting of biological screening data or randomly assembled compounds for available hits. Negative training data were found to systematically influence compound recall in virtual screening. In addition, different background databases had a strong influence on the search results. Our findings also indicated that typical benchmark settings lead to an overestimation of SVM-based virtual screening performance compared to search conditions that are more relevant for practical applications.

  15. Effect of Deploying Trained Community Based Reproductive Health Nurses (CORN) on Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Use in Rural Ethiopia: A Cluster Randomized Community Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerfu, Taddese Alemu; Ayele, Henok Taddese; Bogale, Tariku Nigatu

    2018-06-01

    To investigate the effect of innovative means to distribute LARC on contraceptive use, we implemented a three arm, parallel groups, cluster randomized community trial design. The intervention consisted of placing trained community-based reproductive health nurses (CORN) within health centers or health posts. The nurses provided counseling to encourage women to use LARC and distributed all contraceptive methods. A total of 282 villages were randomly selected and assigned to a control arm (n = 94) or 1 of 2 treatment arms (n = 94 each). The treatment groups differed by where the new service providers were deployed, health post or health center. We calculated difference-in-difference (DID) estimates to assess program impacts on LARC use. After nine months of intervention, the use of LARC methods increased significantly by 72.3 percent, while the use of short acting methods declined by 19.6 percent. The proportion of women using LARC methods increased by 45.9 percent and 45.7 percent in the health post and health center based intervention arms, respectively. Compared to the control group, the DID estimates indicate that the use of LARC methods increased by 11.3 and 12.3 percentage points in the health post and health center based intervention arms. Given the low use of LARC methods in similar settings, deployment of contextually trained nurses at the grassroots level could substantially increase utilization of these methods. © 2018 The Population Council, Inc.

  16. Defense Health Care: DOD Lacks Assurance That Selected Reserve Members Are Informed about TRICARE Reserve Select

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-01

    percentages include members of the Selected Reserve and their dependents. Selected Reserve members living overseas, in unknown locations, and in Puerto Rico ...8 Diabetes mellitush 1.7 Asthmai 1.8 9 Adjustment reaction 1.7 Acute upper respiratory infections of multiple or unspecified sites 1.6 10 Special...heterogeneous disorders that have an increase in blood glucose concentrations. The current classifications for diabetes mellitus Types 1 through 4

  17. Selecting for health sciences library collections when budgets falter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truelson, S D

    1976-01-01

    The economic plight of the 1970s often limits the librarian, who should be the final selector, to insufficient funds for acquiring essential publications. The librarian, in addition to making every effort to acquire the best possible collection, must provide access from other libraries, within and outside one's parent institution, to materials not acquired; for this purpose, an effective document delivery network has proved more significant than formal plans for shared acquisitions. Too much is published, but the choices become more manageable with selection criteria that include limiting subject scope and keeping within the English language. In regard to journals, new titles should be added only reluctantly; cancellation lists compiled with the help of selective lists, the librarians' judgment, and users' responses; and newsletters and state journals pruned to a mimimum. As to books, selective lists should be consulted; congress proceedings generally ignored; and reprinted collections, multiple copies, and gifts considered with care. Book reviews are more useful selection aids now that lack of funds causes delays in purchasing than when new titles were acquired promptly with less discrimination. Audiovisual media, although widely pushed, do not replace printed materials, are not of central importance to many faculties, are expensive, and thus comprise a bandwagon which the impoverished library cannot afford to board without extra funding. The less money there is, the more need for a librarian's selection skills. PMID:58691

  18. Multimedia based health information to parents in a pediatric acute ward: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botngård, Anja; Skranes, Lars P; Skranes, Jon; Døllner, Henrik

    2013-12-01

    To determine whether multimedia based health information presented to parents of children with breathing difficulties in a pediatric acute ward, is more effective than verbal information, to reduce parental anxiety and increase satisfaction. This randomized controlled trial was conducted in a pediatric acute ward in Norway, from January to March 2011. Parents were randomly assigned to a multimedia intervention (n=53), or verbal health information (n=48). Primary outcome measure was parental anxiety, and secondary outcome measures were parental satisfaction with nursing care and health information. Parental anxiety decreased from arrival to discharge within both groups. At discharge the anxiety levels in the intervention group were no lower than in the control group. There was no difference in satisfaction with nursing care between the groups, but parents in the intervention group reported higher satisfaction with the health information given in the acute ward (p=.005). Multimedia based health information did not reduce anxiety more than verbal information, among parents to children with breathing difficulties. However, after discharge the parents were more satisfied with the multimedia approach. More research is needed to recommend the use of multimedia based information as a routine to parents in pediatric emergency care. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Educators\\' perceptions of school climate and health in selected ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A significant relationship was found between primary schools' perceptions of ... for the implementation of change in schools, educators' job satisfaction, motivation, ... organisational climate; organisational health; productivity; school climate; ...

  20. Healthcare spending and health outcomes: evidence from selected ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conclusion: The results of this study have important policy and management implications for the eight East African .... care expenditures and health outcomes in Middle Eastern .... 2 shows that our data is free of outliers, which allows us.

  1. Highlight: Kenya selects first research chair on health systems ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    14 avr. 2016 ... Research will focus on a systems approach to improving maternal and child ... and at the same time, endeavour to bridge the gap between universities ... health systems research is grounded in political realities and have real ...

  2. The role of repetition and reinforcement in school-based oral health education-a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haleem, Abdul; Khan, Muhammad Khalil; Sufia, Shamta; Chaudhry, Saima; Siddiqui, Muhammad Irfanullah; Khan, Ayyaz Ali

    2016-01-04

    Repetition and reinforcement have been shown to play a crucial role in the sustainability of the effect of Oral Health Education (OHE) programs. However, its relevance to school-based OHE imparted by different personnel is not depicted by the existing dental literature. The present study was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of the repeated and reinforced OHE (RR-OHE) compared to one-time OHE intervention and to assess its role in school-based OHE imparted by dentist, teachers and peers. The study was a cluster randomized controlled trial that involved 935 adolescents aged 10-11 years. Twenty four boys' and girls' schools selected at random in two towns of Karachi, Pakistan were randomly assigned to three groups to receive OHE by dentist (DL), teachers (TL) and peer-leaders (PL). The groups received a single OHE session and were evaluated post-intervention and 6 months after. The three groups were then exposed to OHE for 6 months followed by 1 year of no OHE activity. Two further evaluations at 6-month and 12-month intervals were conducted. The data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire preceded by a structured interview and followed by oral examination of participants. The adolescents' oral health knowledge (OHK) in the DL and PL groups increased significantly by a single OHE session compared to their baseline knowledge (p strategy. Although the OHK scores of the DL and PL groups decreased significantly at 12-month evaluation of RR-OHE (p play a key role in school-based OHE irrespective of educators. The trained teachers and peers can play a complementary role in RR-OHE.

  3. Novel Zn2+-chelating peptides selected from a fimbria-displayed random peptide library

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjærgaard, Kristian; Schembri, Mark; Klemm, Per

    2001-01-01

    The display of peptide sequences on the surface of bacteria is a technology that offers exciting applications in biotechnology and medical research. Type 1 fimbriae are surface organelles of Escherichia coli which mediate D-mannose-sensitive binding to different host surfaces by virtue of the Fim......H adhesin. FimH is a component of the fimbrial organelle that can accommodate and display a diverse range of peptide sequences on the E. coli cell surface. In this study we have constructed a random peptide library in FimH. The library, consisting of similar to 40 million individual clones, was screened...

  4. Mental health first aid training for high school teachers: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorm, Anthony F; Kitchener, Betty A; Sawyer, Michael G; Scales, Helen; Cvetkovski, Stefan

    2010-06-24

    Mental disorders often have their first onset during adolescence. For this reason, high school teachers are in a good position to provide initial assistance to students who are developing mental health problems. To improve the skills of teachers in this area, a Mental Health First Aid training course was modified to be suitable for high school teachers and evaluated in a cluster randomized trial. The trial was carried out with teachers in South Australian high schools. Teachers at 7 schools received training and those at another 7 were wait-listed for future training. The effects of the training on teachers were evaluated using questionnaires pre- and post-training and at 6 months follow-up. The questionnaires assessed mental health knowledge, stigmatizing attitudes, confidence in providing help to others, help actually provided, school policy and procedures, and teacher mental health. The indirect effects on students were evaluated using questionnaires at pre-training and at follow-up which assessed any mental health help and information received from school staff, and also the mental health of the student. The training increased teachers' knowledge, changed beliefs about treatment to be more like those of mental health professionals, reduced some aspects of stigma, and increased confidence in providing help to students and colleagues. There was an indirect effect on students, who reported receiving more mental health information from school staff. Most of the changes found were sustained 6 months after training. However, no effects were found on teachers' individual support towards students with mental health problems or on student mental health. Mental Health First Aid training has positive effects on teachers' mental health knowledge, attitudes, confidence and some aspects of their behaviour. ACTRN12608000561381.

  5. Mental health first aid training for high school teachers: a cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorm Anthony F

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mental disorders often have their first onset during adolescence. For this reason, high school teachers are in a good position to provide initial assistance to students who are developing mental health problems. To improve the skills of teachers in this area, a Mental Health First Aid training course was modified to be suitable for high school teachers and evaluated in a cluster randomized trial. Methods The trial was carried out with teachers in South Australian high schools. Teachers at 7 schools received training and those at another 7 were wait-listed for future training. The effects of the training on teachers were evaluated using questionnaires pre- and post-training and at 6 months follow-up. The questionnaires assessed mental health knowledge, stigmatizing attitudes, confidence in providing help to others, help actually provided, school policy and procedures, and teacher mental health. The indirect effects on students were evaluated using questionnaires at pre-training and at follow-up which assessed any mental health help and information received from school staff, and also the mental health of the student. Results The training increased teachers' knowledge, changed beliefs about treatment to be more like those of mental health professionals, reduced some aspects of stigma, and increased confidence in providing help to students and colleagues. There was an indirect effect on students, who reported receiving more mental health information from school staff. Most of the changes found were sustained 6 months after training. However, no effects were found on teachers' individual support towards students with mental health problems or on student mental health. Conclusions Mental Health First Aid training has positive effects on teachers' mental health knowledge, attitudes, confidence and some aspects of their behaviour. Trial registration ACTRN12608000561381

  6. Summarized Costs, Placement Of Quality Stars, And Other Online Displays Can Help Consumers Select High-Value Health Plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Jessica; Hibbard, Judith H; Sacks, Rebecca M

    2016-04-01

    Starting in 2017, all state and federal health insurance exchanges will present quality data on health plans in addition to cost information. We analyzed variations in the current design of information on state exchanges to identify presentation approaches that encourage consumers to take quality as well as cost into account when selecting a health plan. Using an online sample of 1,025 adults, we randomly assigned participants to view the same comparative information on health plans, displayed in different ways. We found that consumers were much more likely to select a high-value plan when cost information was summarized instead of detailed, when quality stars were displayed adjacent to cost information, when consumers understood that quality stars signified the quality of medical care, and when high-value plans were highlighted with a check mark or blue ribbon. These approaches, which were equally effective for participants with higher and lower numeracy, can inform the development of future displays of plan information in the exchanges. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  7. Reliability assessment of selected indicators of tree health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawel M. Lech

    2000-01-01

    The measurements of electrical resistance of near-cambium tissues, selected biometric features of needles and shoots, and the annual radial increment as well as visual estimates of crown defoliation were performed on about 100 Norway spruce trees in three 60- to 70-year-old stands located in the Western Sudety Mountains. The defoliation, electrical resistance, and...

  8. The role of mHealth intervention on maternal and child health service delivery: findings from a randomized controlled field trial in rural Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atnafu, Asfaw; Otto, Kate; Herbst, Christopher H

    2017-01-01

    The provision of consistent and quality maternal and child health (MCH) services is a challenge for Ethiopia where most of the population lives in the rural setup. Health service delivery is constrained mainly by shortage of health professionals, meager resources, limited awareness among the society and bureaucratic procedures. Low health service utilization of antenatal care (ANC), delivery services, and postnatal care (PNC) are believed to contribute for high maternal and child mortality rates. Innovative approach like mHealth based technological intervention believed to alleviate such challenges in countries like ours. However, currently, there are few evidences that demonstrate the impact of mHealth technology applications on the level of service utilization. Therefore, the objective our study is to assess the role of mobile phone equipped with short message service (SMS) based data-exchange software linking community health workers to Health Centers in rural Ethiopia affect selected MCH outcomes. A community-based randomized control trial (RCT) was conducted in three woredas of Guraghe zone (Ezha, partial &Abeshge full intervention, Sodo Control). Mobile phones equipped with FrontlineSMS based, locally developed application was distributed to all health extension workers (HEWs) to both intervention woredas who filled maternal, child and stock related forms and submitted to the central server which in turn sends reminder about the scheduled date of ANC visit, expected date of delivery, PNC, immunization schedule and vaccine and contraceptive stock status. Moreover, in Abeshge, the voluntary health workers (vCHW) and HEW supervisors in both intervention woreda were given a phone to facilitate communication with the HEW. No mobile was offered to the control woreda.Pre [2012] and post [2013] intervention community based survey on mothers who have under 5 and under 1 year old child was done to assess the effect of the mobile intervention on selected MCH process

  9. Mobile-health tool to improve maternal and neonatal health care in Bangladesh: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobe, Ruoyan Gai; Haque, Syed Emdadul; Ikegami, Kiyoko; Mori, Rintaro

    2018-04-16

    In Bangladesh, the targets on reduction of maternal mortality and utilization of related obstetric services provided by skilled health personnel in Millennium Development Goals 5 remains unmet, and the progress in reduction of neonatal mortality lag behind that in the reduction of infant and under-five mortalities, remaining as an essential issue towards the achievement of maternal and neonatal health targets in health related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As access to appropriate perinatal care is crucial to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths, recently several mobile platform-based health programs sponsored by donor countries and Non-Governmental Organizations have targeted to reduce maternal and child mortality. On the other hand, good health-care is necessary for the development. Thus, we designed this implementation research to improve maternal and child health care for targeting SDGs. This cluster randomized trial will be conducted in Lohagora of Narail District and Dhamrai of Dhaka District. Participants are pregnant women in the respective areas. The total sample size is 3000 where 500 pregnant women will get Mother and Child Handbook (MCH) and messages using mobile phone on health care during pregnancy and antenatal care about one year in each area. The other 500 in each area will get health education using only MCH book. The rest 1000 participants will be controlled; it means 500 in each area. We randomly assigned the intervention and controlled area based on smallest administrative area (Unions) in Bangladesh. The data collection and health education will be provided through trained research officers starting from February 2017 to August 2018. Each health education session is conducting in their house. The study proposal was reviewed and approved by NCCD, Japan and Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC), Bangladesh. The data will be analyzed using STATA and SPSS software. For the improvement of maternal and neonatal care, this community

  10. Epidemiology, epigenetics and the 'Gloomy Prospect': embracing randomness in population health research and practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, George Davey

    2011-06-01

    Epidemiologists aim to identify modifiable causes of disease, this often being a prerequisite for the application of epidemiological findings in public health programmes, health service planning and clinical medicine. Despite successes in identifying causes, it is often claimed that there are missing additional causes for even reasonably well-understood conditions such as lung cancer and coronary heart disease. Several lines of evidence suggest that largely chance events, from the biographical down to the sub-cellular, contribute an important stochastic element to disease risk that is not epidemiologically tractable at the individual level. Epigenetic influences provide a fashionable contemporary explanation for such seemingly random processes. Chance events-such as a particular lifelong smoker living unharmed to 100 years-are averaged out at the group level. As a consequence population-level differences (for example, secular trends or differences between administrative areas) can be entirely explicable by causal factors that appear to account for only a small proportion of individual-level risk. In public health terms, a modifiable cause of the large majority of cases of a disease may have been identified, with a wild goose chase continuing in an attempt to discipline the random nature of the world with respect to which particular individuals will succumb. The quest for personalized medicine is a contemporary manifestation of this dream. An evolutionary explanation of why randomness exists in the development of organisms has long been articulated, in terms of offering a survival advantage in changing environments. Further, the basic notion that what is near-random at one level may be almost entirely predictable at a higher level is an emergent property of many systems, from particle physics to the social sciences. These considerations suggest that epidemiological approaches will remain fruitful as we enter the decade of the epigenome.

  11. A Comparison of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual College Undergraduate Women on Selected Mental Health Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Dianne L.; Santurri, Laura; Peters, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To investigate selected mental health characteristics of lesbians and bisexual undergraduate college women as compared with heterosexual college women. Participants: Self-identified lesbians and bisexual and heterosexual female college students who took part in the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment…

  12. Predictive Validity of an Empirical Approach for Selecting Promising Message Topics: A Randomized-Controlled Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Stella Juhyun; Brennan, Emily; Gibson, Laura Anne; Tan, Andy S. L.; Kybert-Momjian, Ani; Liu, Jiaying; Hornik, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Several message topic selection approaches propose that messages based on beliefs pretested and found to be more strongly associated with intentions will be more effective in changing population intentions and behaviors when used in a campaign. This study aimed to validate the underlying causal assumption of these approaches which rely on cross-sectional belief–intention associations. We experimentally tested whether messages addressing promising themes as identified by the above criterion were more persuasive than messages addressing less promising themes. Contrary to expectations, all messages increased intentions. Interestingly, mediation analyses showed that while messages deemed promising affected intentions through changes in targeted promising beliefs, messages deemed less promising also achieved persuasion by influencing nontargeted promising beliefs. Implications for message topic selection are discussed. PMID:27867218

  13. Oracle Efficient Variable Selection in Random and Fixed Effects Panel Data Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kock, Anders Bredahl

    This paper generalizes the results for the Bridge estimator of Huang et al. (2008) to linear random and fixed effects panel data models which are allowed to grow in both dimensions. In particular we show that the Bridge estimator is oracle efficient. It can correctly distinguish between relevant...... and irrelevant variables and the asymptotic distribution of the estimators of the coefficients of the relevant variables is the same as if only these had been included in the model, i.e. as if an oracle had revealed the true model prior to estimation. In the case of more explanatory variables than observations......, we prove that the Marginal Bridge estimator can asymptotically correctly distinguish between relevant and irrelevant explanatory variables. We do this without restricting the dependence between covariates and without assuming sub Gaussianity of the error terms thereby generalizing the results...

  14. Presence of psychoactive substances in oral fluid from randomly selected drivers in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, K. Wiese; Steentoft, A.; Hels, Tove

    2012-01-01

    . The percentage of drivers positive for medicinal drugs above the Danish legal concentration limit was 0.4%; while, 0.3% of the drivers tested positive for one or more illicit drug at concentrations exceeding the Danish legal limit. Tetrahydrocannabinol, cocaine, and amphetamine were the most frequent illicit......This roadside study is the Danish part of the EU-project DRUID (Driving under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol, and Medicines) and included three representative regions in Denmark. Oral fluid samples (n = 3002) were collected randomly from drivers using a sampling scheme stratified by time, season......, and road type. The oral fluid samples were screened for 29 illegal and legal psychoactive substances and metabolites as well as ethanol. Fourteen (0.5%) drivers were positive for ethanol alone or in combination with drugs) at concentrations above 0.53 g/l (0.5 mg/g), which is the Danish legal limit...

  15. Videogames and Health Improvement: A Literature Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmani, Esmaeel; Boren, Suzanne Austin

    2012-10-01

    There are potential benefits of playing videogames for health improvement such as increasing knowledge about health-related issues by playing educational games and fighting a sedentary lifestyle by playing exergames. The number of systematic review articles about "videogames" and "health improvement" is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to review those randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with the topic of "videogames" and "health improvement." Several electronic databases were searched for RCTs testing videogames on health outcomes that were published in English between January 2000 and April 2012. Forty-five articles met the eligibility criteria and were categorized into five groups: (1) videogames and patient pain and stress reduction (nine articles), (2) videogames and patient behavioral change (19 articles), (3) videogames and patient rehabilitation (eight articles), (4) videogames as diagnostic tools (three articles), and (5) videogames and cognitive ability (six articles). Most of the articles have shown promising results in using videogames within various fields of healthcare. Although exergames are the most prominent choice regarding health improvement, videogames have the potential to be used as a pain management tool, diagnostic tool, or educational tool. They also can be used as a facilitator in physical rehabilitation or cognitive loss prevention. More RCTs are needed to fully uncover the benefits of using videogames for improving patients' health.

  16. PREVALENCE OF CHRONIC DISEASES IN INDIVIDUALS ASSISTED BY THE FAMILY HEALTH PROGRAM IN NITEROI, BRAZIL: EVALUATION OF SELECTION BIAS AND PROTOCOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa Maria Luiza G, Mesquita Evandro T, Jorge Antonio José L, Correia Dayse MS, Lugon Josemir R, Kang HC, Yokoo EM, Wahrlich V

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The strategy of the Family Health Program has been used as an alternative scenario for prevalence studies. This study intended to present the protocol of the Digitalis Study (DS, prevalence study of chronic diseases, to assess sources of possible selection bias and estimate their impact on the prevalence of self-reported hypertension, diabetes, and myocardial infarction. Methods: Randomization was performed between 38 160 registered individuals with 45 to 99 years by the Family Health Program .Differences between the sources of selection bias (non-acceptance, non-attendance, substitutions were observed for gender and age. Results: Of the 1,190 residents contacted, 67.1% agreed to participate. There were 144 residents who were not randomly selected but whose participation was confirmed (substitutes. Women and individuals in the intermediate age groups and the prevalence of hypertension were higher among substitutes compared with the randomly selected individuals. Conclusion: The approach of the DS was adequate for the purposes of estimating prevalences, but there was a significant percentage of non-participation. The randomization strategy did not assume outdated records; alternative schedules for visits were not provided for; follow-up at the invitation stage was not sufficient to prevent substitutions and the inclusion of substitutes with a higher prevalence of hypertension.

  17. The prostate health index selectively identifies clinically significant prostate cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Loeb (Stacy); M.G. Sanda (Martin G.); D.L. Broyles (Dennis L.); S.S. Shin (Sanghyuk S.); C.H. Bangma (Chris); J.T. Wei (John T.); A.W. Partin (Alan W.); G.G. Klee (George); K.M. Slawin (Kevin M.); L.S. Marks (Leonard S.); R.H.N. van Schaik (Ron); D.W. Chan (Daniel); L. Sokoll (Lori); A.B. Cruz (Amabelle B.); I.A. Mizrahi (Isaac A.); W.J. Catalona (William)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractPurpose The Prostate Health Index (phi) is a new test combining total, free and [-2]proPSA into a single score. It was recently approved by the FDA and is now commercially available in the U.S., Europe and Australia. We investigate whether phi improves specificity for detecting

  18. Understanding mental health through reading selected literature sources: an evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKie, A; Gass, J P

    2001-04-01

    The increasing use of the humanities in nurse education provides an alternative means of facilitating students' understanding of health issues. In part, this contributes to a critique of rationalist-technological approaches to education where knowledge is reduced to abstract, discernable and measured units. A more communal approach to education recognises the place of interpretation as part of learning and, within this, the significance of dialogue, identity, tradition, attachment and partnership. The reading of works of literature is one way in which the reader interprets texts in a multiplicity of ways in order to more fully understand the 'real' world. Mental health offers particular opportunities for literary descriptions. The evaluation of a learning unit within a mental health nursing branch programme where students read a number of works of literature is outlined. Results indicate a variety of student responses to use of such an approach. The authors assert the usefulness of these approaches in encouraging deeper understanding of complex issues faced in mental health nursing practice. At the same time, however, careful consideration is given to the place of such approaches within the overall philosophy of a curriculum programme. Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

  19. Highlight: Kenya selects first research chair on health systems ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2016-04-14

    Apr 14, 2016 ... Research will focus on a systems approach to improving maternal and child healthcare delivery ... suffers brain drain as professionals seek better remuneration and research ... Understanding the dynamics of gender equality and eHealth ... that are supporting the development and testing of 24 innovations.

  20. Transforming Health Care Service Delivery and Provider Selection

    OpenAIRE

    Reiner, Bruce I.

    2011-01-01

    Commoditization pressures in medicine have risked transforming service provider selection from “survival of the fittest” to “survival of the cheapest.” Quality- and safety-oriented mandates by the Institute of Medicine have led to the creation of a number of data-driven quality-centric initiatives including Pay for Performance and Evidence-Based Medicine. A synergistic approach to creating quantitative accountability in medical service delivery is through the creation of consumer-oriented per...

  1. Correlates of smoking with socioeconomic status, leisure time physical activity and alcohol consumption among Polish adults from randomly selected regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woitas-Slubowska, Donata; Hurnik, Elzbieta; Skarpańska-Stejnborn, Anna

    2010-12-01

    To determine the association between smoking status and leisure time physical activity (LTPA), alcohol consumption, and socioeconomic status (SES) among Polish adults. 466 randomly selected men and women (aged 18-66 years) responded to an anonymous questionnaire regarding smoking, alcohol consumption, LTPA, and SES. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association of smoking status with six socioeconomic measures, level of LTPA, and frequency and type of alcohol consumed. Smokers were defined as individuals smoking occasionally or daily. The odds of being smoker were 9 times (men) and 27 times (women) higher among respondents who drink alcohol several times/ week or everyday in comparison to non-drinkers (p times higher compared to those with the high educational attainment (p = 0.007). Among women we observed that students were the most frequent smokers. Female students were almost three times more likely to smoke than non-professional women, and two times more likely than physical workers (p = 0.018). The findings of this study indicated that among randomly selected Polish man and women aged 18-66 smoking and alcohol consumption tended to cluster. These results imply that intervention strategies need to target multiple risk factors simultaneously. The highest risk of smoking was observed among low educated men, female students, and both men and women drinking alcohol several times a week or every day. Information on subgroups with the high risk of smoking will help in planning future preventive strategies.

  2. Health Coaching in Severe COPD After a Hospitalization: A Qualitative Analysis of a Large Randomized Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benzo, Roberto P; Kirsch, Janae L; Hathaway, Julie C; McEvoy, Charlene E; Vickers, Kristin S

    2017-11-01

    We recently demonstrated in a randomized study the feasibility and effectiveness of telephone-based health coaching using motivational interviewing on decreasing hospital readmissions and improving quality of life at 6 and 12 months after hospital discharge. In this qualitative study, we sought to explore the health-coaching intervention as seen from the perspective of the participants who received the intervention and the coaches who delivered it. Semistructured participant interviews ( n = 24) and a focus group of all health coaches ( n = 3) who participated in this study were conducted. Interviews and focus group were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analyzed using coding and categorizing techniques and thematic analysis. Mixed-method triangulation was used to merge quantitative and qualitative data. Content analysis revealed 4 predominant themes of the coaching intervention: health-coaching relationship, higher participant confidence and reassurance (most related to improvement in physical quality of life), improved health-care system access (most related to decreased hospital readmissions), and increased awareness of COPD symptoms (most related to improvement in emotional quality of life). The strongest theme was the relationship with the health coach, including coach style and motivational interviewing approach. Health coaches' focus group also noted the importance of the coaching relationship as the most significant theme. This study provided themes to further inform the delivery and implementation of health-coaching interventions in patients with COPD after hospital discharge. Health coaching forged partnerships and created a platform for patient engagement, which was confirmed by both participants and health coaches. Copyright © 2017 by Daedalus Enterprises.

  3. Effects of a Psychological Intervention in a Primary Health Care Center for Caregivers of Dependent Relatives: A Randomized Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Sanchez, Emiliano; Patino-Alonso, Maria C.; Mora-Simon, Sara; Gomez-Marcos, Manuel A.; Perez-Penaranda, Anibal; Losada-Baltar, Andres; Garcia-Ortiz, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To assess, in the context of Primary Health Care (PHC), the effect of a psychological intervention in mental health among caregivers (CGs) of dependent relatives. Design and Methods: Randomized multicenter, controlled clinical trial. The 125 CGs included in the trial were receiving health care in PHC. Inclusion criteria: Identifying…

  4. Genome-wide association data classification and SNPs selection using two-stage quality-based Random Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Thanh-Tung; Huang, Joshua; Wu, Qingyao; Nguyen, Thuy; Li, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) selection and identification are the most important tasks in Genome-wide association data analysis. The problem is difficult because genome-wide association data is very high dimensional and a large portion of SNPs in the data is irrelevant to the disease. Advanced machine learning methods have been successfully used in Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for identification of genetic variants that have relatively big effects in some common, complex diseases. Among them, the most successful one is Random Forests (RF). Despite of performing well in terms of prediction accuracy in some data sets with moderate size, RF still suffers from working in GWAS for selecting informative SNPs and building accurate prediction models. In this paper, we propose to use a new two-stage quality-based sampling method in random forests, named ts-RF, for SNP subspace selection for GWAS. The method first applies p-value assessment to find a cut-off point that separates informative and irrelevant SNPs in two groups. The informative SNPs group is further divided into two sub-groups: highly informative and weak informative SNPs. When sampling the SNP subspace for building trees for the forest, only those SNPs from the two sub-groups are taken into account. The feature subspaces always contain highly informative SNPs when used to split a node at a tree. This approach enables one to generate more accurate trees with a lower prediction error, meanwhile possibly avoiding overfitting. It allows one to detect interactions of multiple SNPs with the diseases, and to reduce the dimensionality and the amount of Genome-wide association data needed for learning the RF model. Extensive experiments on two genome-wide SNP data sets (Parkinson case-control data comprised of 408,803 SNPs and Alzheimer case-control data comprised of 380,157 SNPs) and 10 gene data sets have demonstrated that the proposed model significantly reduced prediction errors and outperformed

  5. Incarceration as forced migration: effects on selected community health outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, James C; Torrone, Elizabeth

    2008-09-01

    We estimated the effects of high incarceration rates on rates of sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies. We calculated correlations between rates of incarceration in state prisons and county jails and rates of sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies for each of the 100 counties in North Carolina during 1995 to 2002. We also estimated increases in negative health outcomes associated with increases in incarceration rates using negative binomial regression analyses. Rates of sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies, adjusted for age, race, and poverty distributions by county, consistently increased with increasing incarceration rates. In the most extreme case, teenage pregnancies exhibited an increase of 71.61 per 100000 population (95% confidence interval [CI]=41.88, 101.35) in 1996 after an increase in the prison population rate from 223.31 to 468.58 per 100000 population in 1995. High rates of incarceration can have the unintended consequence of destabilizing communities and contributing to adverse health outcomes.

  6. Health promotion site selection blues: barriers to participation and implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherniack, Martin; Morse, Tim; Henning, Robert; Seidner, Adam; Punnett, Laura

    2010-06-01

    To shed light on research-to-practice challenges in workplace health promotion research. More than 1200 companies serviced by a national insurer were assessed by measures, including management surveys, and insurance premium costs and risk profile. A 21-item Workplace Readiness Checklist was the core assessment tool. Quantitative and qualitative measures were used to identify 12 to 14 companies deemed most "ready for change." The four priority candidate companies decided against participation. A post hoc survey to evaluate reasons for non-participation identified factors such as time allocations, the deteriorating economic environment, and the participatory nature of the interventions proposed for half of the study sites. Differing priorities within management also seemed to interfere with participation. A highly structured process for determining corporate readiness for participatory health promotion produced contradictory results.

  7. Adverse Selection in the Children’s Health Insurance Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael A. Morrisey PhD

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates whether new enrollees in the Alabama Children’s Health Insurance Program have different claims experience from renewing enrollees who do not have a lapse in coverage and from continuing enrollees. The analysis compared health services utilization in the first month of enrollment for new enrollees (who had not been in the program for at least 12 months with utilization among continuing enrollees. A second analysis compared first-month utilization of those who renew immediately with those who waited at least 2 months to renew. A 2-part model estimated the probability of usage and then the extent of usage conditional on any utilization. Claims data for 826 866 child-years over the period from 1999 to 2012 were used. New enrollees annually constituted a stable 40% share of participants. Among those enrolled in the program, 13.5% renewed on time and 86.5% of enrollees were late to renew their enrollment. In the multivariate 2-part models, controlling for age, gender, race, income eligibility category, and year, new enrollees had overall first-month claims experience that was nearly $29 less than continuing enrollees. This was driven by lower ambulatory use. Late renewals had overall first-month claims experience that was $10 less than immediate renewals. However, controlling for the presence of chronic health conditions, there was no statistically meaningful difference in the first-month claims experience of late and early renewals. Thus, differences in claims experience between new and continuing enrollees and between early and late renewals are small, with greater spending found among continuing and early renewing participants. Higher claims experience by early renewals is attributable to having chronic health conditions.

  8. Your Health Buddies Matter: Preferential Selection and Social Influence on Weight Management in an Online Health Social Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Jingbo

    2016-12-01

    A growing number of online social networks are designed with the intention to promote health by providing virtual space wherein individuals can seek and share information and support with similar others. Research has shown that real-world social networks have a significant influence on one's health behavior and outcomes. However, there is a dearth of studies on how individuals form social networks in virtual space and whether such online social networks exert any impact on individuals' health outcomes. Built on the Multi-Theoretical Multilevel (MTML) framework and drawing from literature on social influence, this study examined the mechanisms underlying the formation of an online health social network and empirically tested social influence on individual health outcomes through the network. Situated in a weight management social networking site, the study tracked a health buddy network of 709 users and their weight management activities and outcomes for 4 months. Actor-based modeling was used to test the joint dynamics of preferential selection and social influence among health buddies. The results showed that baseline, inbreeding, and health status homophily significantly predicted preferential selection of health buddies in the weight management social networking site, whereas self-interest in seeking experiential health information did not. The study also found peer influence of online health buddy networks on individual weight outcomes, such that an individual's odds of losing weight increased if, on average, the individual's health buddies were losing weight.

  9. Physical activity in relation to selected physical health components in employees of a financial institution

    OpenAIRE

    Smit, Madelein; Wilders, Cilas J.; Moss, S.J.

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the relation between physical activity and selected physical health components. A total of 9860 employees of a financial institution in South Africa, between the ages 18 and 64 (x̄ =35.3 ± 18.6 years), voluntary participated in the study. Health risk factors and physical activity was determined by using the Health Risk Assessment (HRA) and Monitored Health Risk (MHM). Assessment included a physical activity, diabetes risk and cardiovascular risk question...

  10. Capturing the Flatness of a peer-to-peer lending network through random and selected perturbations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karampourniotis, Panagiotis D.; Singh, Pramesh; Uparna, Jayaram; Horvat, Emoke-Agnes; Szymanski, Boleslaw K.; Korniss, Gyorgy; Bakdash, Jonathan Z.; Uzzi, Brian

    Null models are established tools that have been used in network analysis to uncover various structural patterns. They quantify the deviance of an observed network measure to that given by the null model. We construct a null model for weighted, directed networks to identify biased links (carrying significantly different weights than expected according to the null model) and thus quantify the flatness of the system. Using this model, we study the flatness of Kiva, a large international crownfinancing network of borrowers and lenders, aggregated to the country level. The dataset spans the years from 2006 to 2013. Our longitudinal analysis shows that flatness of the system is reducing over time, meaning the proportion of biased inter-country links is growing. We extend our analysis by testing the robustness of the flatness of the network in perturbations on the links' weights or the nodes themselves. Examples of such perturbations are event shocks (e.g. erecting walls) or regulatory shocks (e.g. Brexit). We find that flatness is unaffected by random shocks, but changes after shocks target links with a large weight or bias. The methods we use to capture the flatness are based on analytics, simulations, and numerical computations using Shannon's maximum entropy. Supported by ARL NS-CTA.

  11. The Impact of Two Workplace-Based Health Risk Appraisal Interventions on Employee Lifestyle Parameters, Mental Health and Work Ability: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addley, K.; Boyd, S.; Kerr, R.; McQuillan, P.; Houdmont, J.; McCrory, M.

    2014-01-01

    Health risk appraisals (HRA) are a common type of workplace health promotion programme offered by American employers. In the United Kingdom, evidence of their effectiveness for promoting health behaviour change remains inconclusive. This randomized controlled trial examined the effects of two HRA interventions on lifestyle parameters, mental…

  12. Shamba Maisha: randomized controlled trial of an agricultural and finance intervention to improve HIV health outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiser, Sheri D; Bukusi, Elizabeth A; Steinfeld, Rachel L; Frongillo, Edward A; Weke, Elly; Dworkin, Shari L; Pusateri, Kyle; Shiboski, Stephen; Scow, Kate; Butler, Lisa M; Cohen, Craig R

    2015-09-10

    Food insecurity and HIV/AIDS outcomes are inextricably linked in sub-Saharan Africa. We report on health and nutritional outcomes of a multisectoral agricultural intervention trial among HIV-infected adults in rural Kenya. This is a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial. The intervention included a human-powered water pump, a microfinance loan to purchase farm commodities, and education in sustainable farming practices and financial management. Two health facilities in Nyanza Region, Kenya were randomly assigned as intervention or control. HIV-infected adults 18 to 49 years' old who were on antiretroviral therapy and had access to surface water and land were enrolled beginning in April 2012 and followed quarterly for 1 year. Data were collected on nutritional parameters, CD4 T-lymphocyte counts, and HIV RNA. Differences in fixed-effects regression models were used to test whether patterns in health outcomes differed over time from baseline between the intervention and control arms. We enrolled 72 and 68 participants in the intervention and control groups, respectively. At 12 months follow-up, we found a statistically significant increase in CD4 cell counts (165 cells/μl, P security (3.6 scale points higher, P < 0.001) and frequency of food consumption (9.4 times per week greater frequency, P = 0.013) compared to controls. Livelihood interventions may be a promising approach to tackle the intersecting problems of food insecurity, poverty and HIV/AIDS morbidity.

  13. Regional differences in the validity of self-reported use of health care in Belgium: selection versus reporting bias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Van der Heyden

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Health Care Module of the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS is aimed to obtain comparable information on the use of inpatient and ambulatory care in all EU member states. In this study we assessed the validity of self-reported information on the use of health care, collected through this instrument, in the Belgian Health Interview Survey (BHIS, and explored the impact of selection and reporting bias on the validity of regional differences in health care use observed in the BHIS. Methods To assess reporting bias, self-reported BHIS 2008 data were linked with register-based data from the Belgian compulsory health insurance (BCHI. The latter were compared with similar estimates from a random sample of the BCHI to investigate the selection bias. Outcome indicators included the prevalence of a contact with a GP, specialist, dentist and a physiotherapist, as well as inpatient and day patient hospitalisation. The validity of the estimates and the regional differences were explored through measures of agreement and logistic regression analyses. Results Validity of self-reported health care use varies by type of health service and is more affected by reporting than by selection bias. Compared to health insurance estimates, self-reported results underestimate the percentage of people with a specialist contact in the past year (50.5 % versus 65.0 % and a day patient hospitalisation (7.8 % versus 13.9 %. Inversely, survey results overestimated the percentage of people having visited a dentist in the past year: 58.3 % versus 48.6 %. The best concordance was obtained for an inpatient hospitalisation (kappa 0.75. Survey data overestimate the higher prevalence of a contact with a specialist [OR 1.51 (95 % CI 1.33–1.72 for self-report and 1.08 (95 % CI 1.05–1.15 for register] and underestimate the lower prevalence of a contact with a GP [ORs 0.59 (95 % CI 0.51–0.70 and 0.41 (95 % CI 0.39–0.42 respectively] in

  14. Real Decision Support for Health Insurance Policy Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Roger M

    2016-03-01

    We report on an ongoing project to develop data-driven tools to help individuals make better choices about health insurance and to better understand the range of costs to which they are exposed under different health plans. We describe a simulation tool that we developed to evaluate the likely usage and costs for an individual and family under a wide range of health service usage outcomes, but that can be tailored to specific physicians and the needs of the user and to reflect the demographics and other special attributes of the family. The simulator can accommodate, for example, specific known physician visits or planned procedures, while also generating statistically reasonable "unexpected" events like ER visits or catastrophic diagnoses. On the other hand, if a user provides only a small amount of information (e.g., just information about the family members), the simulator makes a number of generic assumptions regarding physician usage, etc., based on the age, gender, and other features of the family. Data to parameterize all of these events is informed by a combination of the information provided by the user and a series of specialized databases that we have compiled based on publicly available government data and commercial data as well as our own analysis of this initially very coarse and rigid data. To demonstrate both the subtlety of choosing a healthcare plan and the degree to which the simulator can aid in such evaluations, we present sample results using real insurance plans and two example policy shoppers with different demographics and healthcare needs.

  15. Changes in health selection of obesity among Mexican immigrants: a binational examination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ro, Annie; Fleischer, Nancy

    2014-12-01

    Health selection is often measured by comparing the health of more recent immigrants to the native born of their new host country. However, this comparison fails to take into account two important factors: (1) that changes in the health profile of sending countries may impact the health of immigrants over time, and (2) that the best comparison group for health selection would be people who remain in the country of origin. Obesity represents an important health outcome that may be best understood by taking into account these two factors. Using nationally-representative datasets from Mexico and the US, we examined differences in obesity-related health selection, by gender, in 2000 and 2012. We calculated prevalence ratios from log-binomial models to compare the risk of obesity among recent immigrants to the US to Mexican nationals with varying likelihood of migration, in order to determine changes in health selection over time. Among men in 2000, we found little difference in obesity status between recent immigrants to the US and Mexican non-migrants. However, in 2012, Mexican men who were the least likely to migrate had higher obesity prevalence than recent immigrants, which may reflect emerging health selection. The trends for women, however, indicated differences in obesity status between recent Mexican immigrants and non-migrants at both time points. In both 2000 and 2012, Mexican national women had significantly higher obesity prevalence than recent immigrant women, with the biggest difference between recent immigrants and Mexican women who were least likely to migrate. There was also indication that selection increased with time for women, as the differences between Mexican nationals and recent immigrants to the US grew from 2000 to 2012. Our study is among the first to use a binational dataset to examine the impact of health selectivity, over time, on obesity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Mirnacle: machine learning with SMOTE and random forest for improving selectivity in pre-miRNA ab initio prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Yuri Bento; de Paiva Oliveira, Alcione; Ribeiro Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza; Cerqueira, Fabio Ribeiro

    2016-12-15

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key gene expression regulators in plants and animals. Therefore, miRNAs are involved in several biological processes, making the study of these molecules one of the most relevant topics of molecular biology nowadays. However, characterizing miRNAs in vivo is still a complex task. As a consequence, in silico methods have been developed to predict miRNA loci. A common ab initio strategy to find miRNAs in genomic data is to search for sequences that can fold into the typical hairpin structure of miRNA precursors (pre-miRNAs). The current ab initio approaches, however, have selectivity issues, i.e., a high number of false positives is reported, which can lead to laborious and costly attempts to provide biological validation. This study presents an extension of the ab initio method miRNAFold, with the aim of improving selectivity through machine learning techniques, namely, random forest combined with the SMOTE procedure that copes with imbalance datasets. By comparing our method, termed Mirnacle, with other important approaches in the literature, we demonstrate that Mirnacle substantially improves selectivity without compromising sensitivity. For the three datasets used in our experiments, our method achieved at least 97% of sensitivity and could deliver a two-fold, 20-fold, and 6-fold increase in selectivity, respectively, compared with the best results of current computational tools. The extension of miRNAFold by the introduction of machine learning techniques, significantly increases selectivity in pre-miRNA ab initio prediction, which optimally contributes to advanced studies on miRNAs, as the need of biological validations is diminished. Hopefully, new research, such as studies of severe diseases caused by miRNA malfunction, will benefit from the proposed computational tool.

  17. Reduced plasma aldosterone concentrations in randomly selected patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Cronin, C C

    2012-02-03

    Abnormalities of the renin-angiotensin system have been reported in patients with diabetes mellitus and with diabetic complications. In this study, plasma concentrations of prorenin, renin, and aldosterone were measured in a stratified random sample of 110 insulin-dependent (Type 1) diabetic patients attending our outpatient clinic. Fifty-four age- and sex-matched control subjects were also examined. Plasma prorenin concentration was higher in patients without complications than in control subjects when upright (geometric mean (95% confidence intervals (CI): 75.9 (55.0-105.6) vs 45.1 (31.6-64.3) mU I-1, p < 0.05). There was no difference in plasma prorenin concentration between patients without and with microalbuminuria and between patients without and with background retinopathy. Plasma renin concentration, both when supine and upright, was similar in control subjects, in patients without complications, and in patients with varying degrees of diabetic microangiopathy. Plasma aldosterone was suppressed in patients without complications in comparison to control subjects (74 (58-95) vs 167 (140-199) ng I-1, p < 0.001) and was also suppressed in patients with microvascular disease. Plasma potassium was significantly higher in patients than in control subjects (mean +\\/- standard deviation: 4.10 +\\/- 0.36 vs 3.89 +\\/- 0.26 mmol I-1; p < 0.001) and plasma sodium was significantly lower (138 +\\/- 4 vs 140 +\\/- 2 mmol I-1; p < 0.001). We conclude that plasma prorenin is not a useful early marker for diabetic microvascular disease. Despite apparently normal plasma renin concentrations, plasma aldosterone is suppressed in insulin-dependent diabetic patients.

  18. Comparing the Relative Efficacy of Narrative vs Nonnarrative Health Messages in Reducing Health Disparities Using a Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Sheila T; Frank, Lauren B; Chatterjee, Joyee S; Moran, Meghan B; Zhao, Nan; Amezola de Herrera, Paula; Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes A

    2015-10-01

    We compared the relative efficacy of a fictional narrative film to a more traditional nonnarrative film in conveying the same health information. We used a random digit dial procedure to survey the cervical cancer-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of non-Hispanic White, Mexican American, and African American women, aged 25 to 45 years, living in Los Angeles, California, from 2011 to 2012. Participants (n = 704) were randomly assigned to view either a narrative or nonnarrative film containing the same information about how cervical cancer could be prevented or detected, and they were re-contacted 2 weeks and 6 months later. At 2 weeks, both films produced a significant increase in cervical cancer-related knowledge and attitudes, but these effects were significantly higher for the narrative film. At 6 months, viewers of both films retained greater than baseline knowledge and more positive attitudes toward Papanicolaou (Pap) tests, but women who saw the narrative were significantly more likely to have had or scheduled a Pap test. The narrative was particularly effective for Mexican American women, eliminating cervical cancer screening disparities found at baseline. Narratives might prove to be a useful tool for reducing health disparities.

  19. Small individual loans and mental health: a randomized controlled trial among South African adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernald, Lia C H; Hamad, Rita; Karlan, Dean; Ozer, Emily J; Zinman, Jonathan

    2008-12-16

    In the developing world, access to small, individual loans has been variously hailed as a poverty-alleviation tool - in the context of "microcredit" - but has also been criticized as "usury" and harmful to vulnerable borrowers. Prior studies have assessed effects of access to credit on traditional economic outcomes for poor borrowers, but effects on mental health have been largely ignored. Applicants who had previously been rejected (n = 257) for a loan (200% annual percentage rate - APR) from a lender in South Africa were randomly assigned to a "second-look" that encouraged loan officers to approve their applications. This randomized encouragement resulted in 53% of applicants receiving a loan they otherwise would not have received. All subjects were assessed 6-12 months later with questions about demographics, socio-economic status, and two indicators of mental health: the Center for Epidemiologic Studies - Depression Scale (CES-D) and Cohen's Perceived Stress scale. Intent-to-treat analyses were calculated using multinomial probit regressions. Randomization into receiving a "second look" for access to credit increased perceived stress in the combined sample of women and men; the findings were stronger among men. Credit access was associated with reduced depressive symptoms in men, but not women. Our findings suggest that a mechanism used to reduce the economic stress of extremely poor individuals can have mixed effects on their experiences of psychological stress and depressive symptomatology. Our data support the notion that mental health should be included as a measure of success (or failure) when examining potential tools for poverty alleviation. Further longitudinal research is needed in South Africa and other settings to understand how borrowing at high interest rates affects gender roles and daily life activities. CCT: ISRCTN 10734925.

  20. Impact of an Electronic Health Record-Integrated Personal Health Record on Patient Participation in Health Care: Development and Randomized Controlled Trial of MyHealthKeeper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Borim; Kim, Nari; Heo, Eunyoung; Yoo, Sooyoung; Lee, Keehyuck; Hwang, Hee; Kim, Jeong-Whun; Kim, Yoojung; Lee, Joongseek; Jung, Se Young

    2017-12-07

    Personal health record (PHR)-based health care management systems can improve patient engagement and data-driven medical diagnosis in a clinical setting. The purpose of this study was (1) to demonstrate the development of an electronic health record (EHR)-tethered PHR app named MyHealthKeeper, which can retrieve data from a wearable device and deliver these data to a hospital EHR system, and (2) to study the effectiveness of a PHR data-driven clinical intervention with clinical trial results. To improve the conventional EHR-tethered PHR, we ascertained clinicians' unmet needs regarding PHR functionality and the data frequently used in the field through a cocreation workshop. We incorporated the requirements into the system design and architecture of the MyHealthKeeper PHR module. We constructed the app and validated the effectiveness of the PHR module by conducting a 4-week clinical trial. We used a commercially available activity tracker (Misfit) to collect individual physical activity data, and developed the MyHealthKeeper mobile phone app to record participants' patterns of daily food intake and activity logs. We randomly assigned 80 participants to either the PHR-based intervention group (n=51) or the control group (n=29). All of the study participants completed a paper-based survey, a laboratory test, a physical examination, and an opinion interview. During the 4-week study period, we collected health-related mobile data, and study participants visited the outpatient clinic twice and received PHR-based clinical diagnosis and recommendations. A total of 68 participants (44 in the intervention group and 24 in the control group) completed the study. The PHR intervention group showed significantly higher weight loss than the control group (mean 1.4 kg, 95% CI 0.9-1.9; Phealth tracker system and its potential to improve patient clinical profiles. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03200119; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03200119 (Archived by WebCite at http

  1. Health-related quality of life after laparoscopic and open surgery for rectal cancer in a randomized trial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersson, J; Angenete, E; Gellerstedt, M

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies comparing laparoscopic and open surgical techniques have reported improved health-related quality of life (HRQL). This analysis compared HRQL 12¿months after laparoscopic versus open surgery for rectal cancer in a subset of a randomized trial.......Previous studies comparing laparoscopic and open surgical techniques have reported improved health-related quality of life (HRQL). This analysis compared HRQL 12¿months after laparoscopic versus open surgery for rectal cancer in a subset of a randomized trial....

  2. Public and private health insurance in Germany: the ignored risk selection problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunow, Martina; Nuscheler, Robert

    2014-06-01

    We investigate risk selection between public and private health insurance in Germany. With risk-rated premiums in the private system and community-rated premiums in the public system, advantageous selection in favor of private insurers is expected. Using 2000 to 2007 data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), we find such selection. While private insurers are unable to select the healthy upon enrollment, they profit from an increase in the probability to switch from private to public health insurance of those individuals who have experienced a negative health shock. To avoid distorted competition between the two branches of health care financing, risk-adjusted transfers from private to public insurers should be instituted. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. A Permutation Importance-Based Feature Selection Method for Short-Term Electricity Load Forecasting Using Random Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nantian Huang

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The prediction accuracy of short-term load forecast (STLF depends on prediction model choice and feature selection result. In this paper, a novel random forest (RF-based feature selection method for STLF is proposed. First, 243 related features were extracted from historical load data and the time information of prediction points to form the original feature set. Subsequently, the original feature set was used to train an RF as the original model. After the training process, the prediction error of the original model on the test set was recorded and the permutation importance (PI value of each feature was obtained. Then, an improved sequential backward search method was used to select the optimal forecasting feature subset based on the PI value of each feature. Finally, the optimal forecasting feature subset was used to train a new RF model as the final prediction model. Experiments showed that the prediction accuracy of RF trained by the optimal forecasting feature subset was higher than that of the original model and comparative models based on support vector regression and artificial neural network.

  4. Nitrates and bone turnover (NABT) - trial to select the best nitrate preparation: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucur, Roxana C; Reid, Lauren S; Hamilton, Celeste J; Cummings, Steven R; Jamal, Sophie A

    2013-09-08

    comparisons with the best' approach for data analyses, as this strategy allows practical considerations of ease of use and tolerability to guide selection of the preparation for future studies. Data from this protocol will be used to develop a randomized, controlled trial of nitrates to prevent osteoporotic fractures. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01387672. Controlled-Trials.com: ISRCTN08860742.

  5. Effects of Exercise Training on Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Biomarkers of Cardiometabolic Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Xiaochen; Zhang, Xi; Guo, Jianjun; Roberts, Christian K; McKenzie, Steve; Wu, Wen-Chih; Liu, Simin; Song, Yiqing

    2015-01-01

    Background Guidelines recommend exercise for cardiovascular health, although evidence from trials linking exercise to cardiovascular health through intermediate biomarkers remains inconsistent. We performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to quantify the impact of exercise on cardiorespiratory fitness and a variety of conventional and novel cardiometabolic biomarkers in adults without cardiovascular disease. Methods and Results Two researchers selected 160 randomized controlled trials (7487 participants) based on literature searches of Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Central (January 1965 to March 2014). Data were extracted using a standardized protocol. A random-effects meta-analysis and systematic review was conducted to evaluate the effects of exercise interventions on cardiorespiratory fitness and circulating biomarkers. Exercise significantly raised absolute and relative cardiorespiratory fitness. Lipid profiles were improved in exercise groups, with lower levels of triglycerides and higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein A1. Lower levels of fasting insulin, homeostatic model assessment–insulin resistance, and glycosylated hemoglobin A1c were found in exercise groups. Compared with controls, exercise groups had higher levels of interleukin-18 and lower levels of leptin, fibrinogen, and angiotensin II. In addition, we found that the exercise effects were modified by age, sex, and health status such that people aged exercise significantly improved cardiorespiratory fitness and some cardiometabolic biomarkers. The effects of exercise were modified by age, sex, and health status. Findings from this study have significant implications for future design of targeted lifestyle interventions. PMID:26116691

  6. What Happens After Health Coaching? Observational Study 1 Year Following a Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Anjana E; Willard-Grace, Rachel; Hessler, Danielle; Bodenheimer, Thomas; Thom, David H

    2016-05-01

    Health coaching is effective for chronic disease self-management in the primary care safety-net setting, but little is known about the persistence of its benefits. We conducted an observational study evaluating the maintenance of improved cardiovascular risk factors following a health coaching intervention. We performed a naturalistic follow-up to the Health Coaching in Primary Care Study, a 12-month randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing health coaching to usual care for patients with uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia. Participants were followed up 24 months from RCT baseline. The primary outcome was the proportion at goal for at least 1 measure (hemoglobin A1c, systolic blood pressure, or LDL cholesterol) that had been above goal at enrollment; secondary outcomes included each individual clinical goal. Chi-square tests and paired t-tests compared dichotomous and continuous measures. 290 of 441 participants (65.8%) participated at both 12 and 24 months. The proportion of patients in the coaching arm of the RCT who achieved the primary outcome dropped only slightly from 47.1% at 12 to 45.9% at 24 months (P = .80). The proportion at goal for hemoglobin A1c dropped from 53.4% to 36.2% (P = .03). All other clinical metrics had small, nonsignificant changes between 12 and 24 months. Results support the conclusion that most improved clinical outcomes persisted 1 year after the completion of the health coaching intervention. © 2016 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.

  7. Non-Random Inversion Landscapes in Prokaryotic Genomes Are Shaped by Heterogeneous Selection Pressures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Repar, Jelena; Warnecke, Tobias

    2017-08-01

    Inversions are a major contributor to structural genome evolution in prokaryotes. Here, using a novel alignment-based method, we systematically compare 1,651 bacterial and 98 archaeal genomes to show that inversion landscapes are frequently biased toward (symmetric) inversions around the origin-terminus axis. However, symmetric inversion bias is not a universal feature of prokaryotic genome evolution but varies considerably across clades. At the extremes, inversion landscapes in Bacillus-Clostridium and Actinobacteria are dominated by symmetric inversions, while there is little or no systematic bias favoring symmetric rearrangements in archaea with a single origin of replication. Within clades, we find strong but clade-specific relationships between symmetric inversion bias and different features of adaptive genome architecture, including the distance of essential genes to the origin of replication and the preferential localization of genes on the leading strand. We suggest that heterogeneous selection pressures have converged to produce similar patterns of structural genome evolution across prokaryotes. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  8. Improving health-related fitness in children: the fit-4-Fun randomized controlled trial study protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eather Narelle

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Declining levels of physical fitness in children are linked to an increased risk of developing poor physical and mental health. Physical activity programs for children that involve regular high intensity physical activity, along with muscle and bone strengthening activities, have been identified by the World Health Organisation as a key strategy to reduce the escalating burden of ill health caused by non-communicable diseases. This paper reports the rationale and methods for a school-based intervention designed to improve physical fitness and physical activity levels of Grades 5 and 6 primary school children. Methods/Design Fit-4-Fun is an 8-week multi-component school-based health-related fitness education intervention and will be evaluated using a group randomized controlled trial. Primary schools from the Hunter Region in NSW, Australia, will be invited to participate in the program in 2011 with a target sample size of 128 primary schools children (age 10-13. The Fit-4-Fun program is theoretically grounded and will be implemented applying the Health Promoting Schools framework. Students will participate in weekly curriculum-based health and physical education lessons, daily break-time physical activities during recess and lunch, and will complete an 8-week (3 × per week home activity program with their parents and/or family members. A battery of six health-related fitness assessments, four days of pedometery-assessed physical activity and a questionnaire, will be administered at baseline, immediate post-intervention (2-months and at 6-months (from baseline to determine intervention effects. Details of the methodological aspects of recruitment, inclusion criteria, randomization, intervention program, assessments, process evaluation and statistical analyses are described. Discussion The Fit-4-Fun program is an innovative school-based intervention targeting fitness improvements in primary school children. The program will

  9. Improving health-related fitness in children: the Fit-4-Fun randomized controlled trial study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eather, Narelle; Morgan, Philip J; Lubans, David R

    2011-12-05

    Declining levels of physical fitness in children are linked to an increased risk of developing poor physical and mental health. Physical activity programs for children that involve regular high intensity physical activity, along with muscle and bone strengthening activities, have been identified by the World Health Organisation as a key strategy to reduce the escalating burden of ill health caused by non-communicable diseases. This paper reports the rationale and methods for a school-based intervention designed to improve physical fitness and physical activity levels of Grades 5 and 6 primary school children. Fit-4-Fun is an 8-week multi-component school-based health-related fitness education intervention and will be evaluated using a group randomized controlled trial. Primary schools from the Hunter Region in NSW, Australia, will be invited to participate in the program in 2011 with a target sample size of 128 primary schools children (age 10-13). The Fit-4-Fun program is theoretically grounded and will be implemented applying the Health Promoting Schools framework. Students will participate in weekly curriculum-based health and physical education lessons, daily break-time physical activities during recess and lunch, and will complete an 8-week (3 × per week) home activity program with their parents and/or family members. A battery of six health-related fitness assessments, four days of pedometery-assessed physical activity and a questionnaire, will be administered at baseline, immediate post-intervention (2-months) and at 6-months (from baseline) to determine intervention effects. Details of the methodological aspects of recruitment, inclusion criteria, randomization, intervention program, assessments, process evaluation and statistical analyses are described. The Fit-4-Fun program is an innovative school-based intervention targeting fitness improvements in primary school children. The program will involve a range of evidence-based behaviour change strategies to

  10. Pragmatic Randomized, Controlled Trial of Patient Navigators and Enhanced Personal Health Records in CKD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navaneethan, Sankar D; Jolly, Stacey E; Schold, Jesse D; Arrigain, Susana; Nakhoul, Georges; Konig, Victoria; Hyland, Jennifer; Burrucker, Yvette K; Dann, Priscilla Davis; Tucky, Barbara H; Sharp, John; Nally, Joseph V

    2017-09-07

    Patient navigators and enhanced personal health records improve the quality of health care delivered in other disease states. We aimed to develop a navigator program for patients with CKD and an electronic health record-based enhanced personal health record to disseminate CKD stage-specific goals of care and education. We also conducted a pragmatic randomized clinical trial to compare the effect of a navigator program for patients with CKD with enhanced personal health record and compare their combination compared with usual care among patients with CKD stage 3b/4. Two hundred and nine patients from six outpatient clinics (in both primary care and nephrology settings) were randomized in a 2×2 factorial design into four-study groups: ( 1 ) enhanced personal health record only, ( 2 ) patient navigator only, ( 3 ) both, and ( 4 ) usual care (control) group. Primary outcome measure was the change in eGFR over a 2-year follow-up period. Secondary outcome measures included acquisition of appropriate CKD-related laboratory measures, specialty referrals, and hospitalization rates. Median age of the study population was 68 years old, and 75% were white. At study entry, 54% of patients were followed by nephrologists, and 88% were on renin-angiotensin system blockers. After a 2-year follow-up, rate of decline in eGFR was similar across the four groups ( P =0.19). Measurements of CKD-related laboratory parameters were not significantly different among the groups. Furthermore, referral for dialysis education and vascular access placement, emergency room visits, and hospitalization rates were not statistically significant different between the groups. We successfully developed a patient navigator program and an enhanced personal health record for the CKD population. However, there were no differences in eGFR decline and other outcomes among the study groups. Larger and long-term studies along with cost-effectiveness analyses are needed to evaluate the role of patient navigators

  11. A randomized controlled study about the use of eHealth in the home health care of premature infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gund Anna

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One area where the use of information and communication technology (ICT, or eHealth, could be developed is the home health care of premature infants. The aim of this randomized controlled study was to investigate whether the use of video conferencing or a web application improves parents’ satisfaction in taking care of a premature infant at home and decreases the need of home visits. In addition, nurses’ attitudes regarding the use of these tools were examined. Method Thirty-four families were randomized to one of three groups before their premature infant was discharged from the hospital to home health care: a control group receiving standard home health care (13 families; a web group receiving home health care supplemented with the use of a web application (12 families; a video group with home health care supplemented with video conferencing using Skype (9 families. Families and nursing staff answered questionnaires about the usefulness of ICT. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 families. Results All the parents in the web group found the web application easy to use. 83% of the families thought it was good to have access to their child’s data through the application. All the families in the video group found Skype easy to use and were satisfied with the video calls. 88% of the families thought that video calls were better than ordinary phone calls. 33% of the families in the web group and 75% of those in the video group thought the need for home visits was decreased by the web application or Skype. 50% of the families in the web group and 100% of those in the video group thought the web application or the video calls had helped them feel more confident in caring for their child. Most of the nurses were motivated to use ICT but some were reluctant and avoided using the web application and video conferencing. Conclusion The families were satisfied with both the web application and video

  12. A randomized controlled study about the use of eHealth in the home health care of premature infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gund, Anna; Sjöqvist, Bengt Arne; Wigert, Helena; Hentz, Elisabet; Lindecrantz, Kaj; Bry, Kristina

    2013-02-09

    One area where the use of information and communication technology (ICT), or eHealth, could be developed is the home health care of premature infants. The aim of this randomized controlled study was to investigate whether the use of video conferencing or a web application improves parents' satisfaction in taking care of a premature infant at home and decreases the need of home visits. In addition, nurses' attitudes regarding the use of these tools were examined. Thirty-four families were randomized to one of three groups before their premature infant was discharged from the hospital to home health care: a control group receiving standard home health care (13 families); a web group receiving home health care supplemented with the use of a web application (12 families); a video group with home health care supplemented with video conferencing using Skype (9 families). Families and nursing staff answered questionnaires about the usefulness of ICT. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 families. All the parents in the web group found the web application easy to use. 83% of the families thought it was good to have access to their child's data through the application. All the families in the video group found Skype easy to use and were satisfied with the video calls. 88% of the families thought that video calls were better than ordinary phone calls. 33% of the families in the web group and 75% of those in the video group thought the need for home visits was decreased by the web application or Skype. 50% of the families in the web group and 100% of those in the video group thought the web application or the video calls had helped them feel more confident in caring for their child. Most of the nurses were motivated to use ICT but some were reluctant and avoided using the web application and video conferencing. The families were satisfied with both the web application and video conferencing. The families readily embraced the use of ICT, whereas

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-24

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

  14. Culture, Personality, Health, and Family Dynamics: Cultural Competence in the Selection of Culturally Sensitive Treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperry, Len

    2010-01-01

    Cultural sensitivity and cultural competence in the selection of culturally sensitive treatments is a requisite for effective counseling practice in working with diverse clients and their families, particularly when clients present with health issues or medical problems. Described here is a strategy for selecting culturally sensitive treatments…

  15. Incidence of Data Duplications in a Randomly Selected Pool of Life Science Publications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oksvold, Morten P

    2016-04-01

    Since the solution to many public health problems depends on research, it is critical for the progress and well-being for the patients that we can trust the scientific literature. Misconduct and poor laboratory practice in science threatens the scientific progress, leads to loss of productivity and increased healthcare costs, and endangers lives of patients. Data duplication may represent one of challenges related to these problems. In order to estimate the frequency of data duplication in life science literature, a systematic screen through 120 original scientific articles published in three different cancer related journals [journal impact factor (IF) 20] was completed. The study revealed a surprisingly high proportion of articles containing data duplication. For the IF 20 journals, 25% of the articles were found to contain data duplications. The IF 5-10 journal showed a comparable proportion (22.5%). The proportion of articles containing duplicated data was comparable between the three journals and no significant correlation to journal IF was found. The editorial offices representing the journals included in this study and the individual authors of the detected articles were contacted to clarify the individual cases. The editorial offices did not reply and only 1 out of 29 cases were apparently clarified by the authors, although no supporting data was supplied. This study questions the reliability of life science literature, it illustrates that data duplications are widespread and independent of journal impact factor and call for a reform of the current peer review and retraction process of scientific publishing.

  16. Fast selection of miRNA candidates based on large-scale pre-computed MFE sets of randomized sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warris, Sven; Boymans, Sander; Muiser, Iwe; Noback, Michiel; Krijnen, Wim; Nap, Jan-Peter

    2014-01-13

    Small RNAs are important regulators of genome function, yet their prediction in genomes is still a major computational challenge. Statistical analyses of pre-miRNA sequences indicated that their 2D structure tends to have a minimal free energy (MFE) significantly lower than MFE values of equivalently randomized sequences with the same nucleotide composition, in contrast to other classes of non-coding RNA. The computation of many MFEs is, however, too intensive to allow for genome-wide screenings. Using a local grid infrastructure, MFE distributions of random sequences were pre-calculated on a large scale. These distributions follow a normal distribution and can be used to determine the MFE distribution for any given sequence composition by interpolation. It allows on-the-fly calculation of the normal distribution for any candidate sequence composition. The speedup achieved makes genome-wide screening with this characteristic of a pre-miRNA sequence practical. Although this particular property alone will not be able to distinguish miRNAs from other sequences sufficiently discriminative, the MFE-based P-value should be added to the parameters of choice to be included in the selection of potential miRNA candidates for experimental verification.

  17. Selecting Optimal Random Forest Predictive Models: A Case Study on Predicting the Spatial Distribution of Seabed Hardness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jin; Tran, Maggie; Siwabessy, Justy

    2016-01-01

    Spatially continuous predictions of seabed hardness are important baseline environmental information for sustainable management of Australia’s marine jurisdiction. Seabed hardness is often inferred from multibeam backscatter data with unknown accuracy and can be inferred from underwater video footage at limited locations. In this study, we classified the seabed into four classes based on two new seabed hardness classification schemes (i.e., hard90 and hard70). We developed optimal predictive models to predict seabed hardness using random forest (RF) based on the point data of hardness classes and spatially continuous multibeam data. Five feature selection (FS) methods that are variable importance (VI), averaged variable importance (AVI), knowledge informed AVI (KIAVI), Boruta and regularized RF (RRF) were tested based on predictive accuracy. Effects of highly correlated, important and unimportant predictors on the accuracy of RF predictive models were examined. Finally, spatial predictions generated using the most accurate models were visually examined and analysed. This study confirmed that: 1) hard90 and hard70 are effective seabed hardness classification schemes; 2) seabed hardness of four classes can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy; 3) the typical approach used to pre-select predictive variables by excluding highly correlated variables needs to be re-examined; 4) the identification of the important and unimportant predictors provides useful guidelines for further improving predictive models; 5) FS methods select the most accurate predictive model(s) instead of the most parsimonious ones, and AVI and Boruta are recommended for future studies; and 6) RF is an effective modelling method with high predictive accuracy for multi-level categorical data and can be applied to ‘small p and large n’ problems in environmental sciences. Additionally, automated computational programs for AVI need to be developed to increase its computational efficiency and

  18. Effects of a randomized intervention to improve workplace social capital in community health centers in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaojie; Zhang, Nan; Liu, Kun; Li, Wen; Oksanen, Tuula; Shi, Lizheng

    2014-01-01

    To examine whether workplace social capital improved after implementing a workplace social capital intervention in community health centers in China. This study was conducted in 20 community health centers of similar size in Jinan of China during 2012-2013. Using the stratified site randomization, 10 centers were randomized into the intervention group; one center was excluded due to leadership change in final analyses. The baseline survey including 447 staff (response rate: 93.1%) was conducted in 2012, and followed by a six-month workplace social capital intervention, including team building courses for directors of community health centers, voluntarily public services, group psychological consultation, and outdoor training. The follow-up survey in July 2013 was responded to by 390 staff members (response rate: 86.9%). Workplace social capital was assessed with the translated and culturally adapted scale, divided into vertical and horizontal dimensions. The facility-level intervention effects were based on all baseline (n = 427) and follow-up (n = 377) respondents, except for Weibei respondents. We conducted a bivariate Difference-in-Difference analysis to estimate the facility-level intervention effects. No statistically significant intervention effects were observed at the center level; the intervention increased the facility-level workplace social capital, and its horizontal and vertical dimensions by 1.0 (p = 0.24), 0.4 (p = 0.46) and 0.8 (p = 0.16), respectively. The comprehensive intervention seemed to slightly improve workplace social capital in community health centers of urban China at the center level. High attrition rate limits any causal interpretation of the results. Further studies are warranted to test these findings.

  19. School-based strategies for oral health education of adolescents- a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haleem Abdul

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Oral health education (OHE in schools has largely been imparted by dental professionals. Considering the substantial cost of this expert-led approach, the strategies relying on teachers, peer-leaders and learners themselves have also been utilized. However the evidence for comparative effectiveness of these strategies is lacking in the dental literature. The present study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of dentist-led, teacher-led, peer-led and self-learning strategies of oral health education. Methods A two-year cluster randomized controlled trial following a parallel design was conducted. It involved five groups of adolescents aged 10-11 years at the start of the study. The trial involved process as well as four outcome evaluations. The present paper discusses the findings of the study pertaining to the baseline and final outcome evaluation, both comprising of a self-administered questionnaire, a structured interview and clinical oral examination. The data were analyzed using Generalized Estimating Equations. Results All the three educator-led strategies of OHE had statistically higher mean oral health knowledge (OHK, oral health behavior (OHB, oral hygiene status (OHS and combined knowledge, behavior and oral hygiene status (KBS scores than the self-learning and control groups (p Conclusions The dentist-led, teacher-led and peer-led strategies of oral health education are equally effective in improving the oral health knowledge and oral hygiene status of adolescents. The peer-led strategy, however, is almost as effective as the dentist-led strategy and comparatively more effective than the teacher-led and self-learning strategies in improving their oral health behavior. Trail registration SRCTN39391017

  20. Reducing anti-fat prejudice in preservice health students: a randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Kerry S; Puhl, Rebecca M; Latner, Janet D; Mir, Azeem S; Hunter, John A

    2010-11-01

    Anti-fat sentiment is increasing, is prevalent in health professionals, and has health and social consequences. There is no evidence for effective obesity prejudice reduction techniques in health professionals. The present experiment sought to reduce implicit and explicit anti-fat prejudice in preservice health students. Health promotion/public health bachelor degree program students (n = 159) were randomized to one of three tutorial conditions. One condition presented an obesity curriculum on the controllable reasons for obesity (i.e., diet/exercise). A prejudice reduction condition presented evidence on the uncontrollable reasons for obesity (i.e., genes/environment); whereas a neutral (control) curriculum focused on alcohol use in young people. Measures of implicit and explicit anti-fat prejudice, beliefs about obese people, and dieting, were taken at baseline and postintervention. Repeated measures analyses showed decreases in two forms of implicit anti-fat prejudice (decreases of 27 and 12%) in the genes/environment condition relative to other conditions. The diet/exercise condition showed a 27% increase in one measure of implicit anti-fat prejudice. Reductions in explicit anti-fat prejudice were also seen in the genes/environment condition (P = 0.006). No significant changes in beliefs about obese people or dieting control beliefs were found across conditions. The present results show that anti-fat prejudice can be reduced or exacerbated depending on the causal information provided about obesity. The present results have implications for the training of health professionals, especially given their widespread negativity toward overweight and obesity.

  1. Prenatal attitudes and parity predict selection into a U.S. child health program: a short report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Anderson, Sarah

    2013-10-01

    Public policies are a determinant of child health disparities; sound evaluation of these programs is essential for good governance. It is impossible in most countries to randomize assignment into child health programs that directly offer benefits. In the absence of this, researchers face the threat of selection bias-the idea that there are innate, immeasurable differences between those who take-up treatment and those who don't. In the field of Program Evaluation we are most concerned with the differences between the eligible people who take-up a program and the eligible people who choose not to enroll. Using a case study of a large U.S. nutrition program, this report illustrates how the perceived benefits of participation may affect the decision to take-up a program. In turn, this highlights sources of potential selection bias. Using data from a longitudinal study of mothers and infants conducted between May and December of 2005, I show that attitudes and beliefs prenatally toward breastfeeding determine enrollment in a U.S nutrition program that offers free Infant Formula. I also find that the significance of the selection bias differs by parity. Analysis reveals that maternal attitudinal responses are more highly predictive of future behavior, compared to standard demographic variables. In sum, this paper makes a case for rigorously understanding the factors that determine take-up of a program and how those factors can modify the results of a program evaluation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Does gratitude writing improve the mental health of psychotherapy clients? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Y Joel; Owen, Jesse; Gabana, Nicole T; Brown, Joshua W; McInnis, Sydney; Toth, Paul; Gilman, Lynn

    2018-03-01

    Although the past decade has witnessed growing research interest in positive psychological interventions (PPIs), their potential as adjunctive interventions for psychotherapy remains relatively unexplored. Therefore, this article expands the frontiers of PPI research by reporting the first randomized controlled trial to test a gratitude writing adjunctive intervention for psychotherapy clients. Participants were 293 adults seeking university-based psychotherapy services. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (a) control (psychotherapy only), (b) a psychotherapy plus expressive writing, and (c) a psychotherapy plus gratitude writing. Participants in the gratitude condition wrote letters expressing gratitude to others, whereas those in the expressive writing condition wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelings about stressful experiences. About 4 weeks as well as 12 weeks after the conclusion of the writing intervention, participants in the gratitude condition reported significantly better mental health than those in the expressive and control conditions, whereas those in the expressive and control conditions did not differ significantly. Moreover, lower proportions of negative emotion words in participants' writing mediated the positive effect of condition (gratitude versus expressive writing) on mental health. These findings are discussed in light of the use of gratitude interventions as adjunctive interventions for psychotherapy clients.

  3. Acceptance of selective contracting: the role of trust in the health insurer.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bes, R.E.; Wendel, S.; Curfs, E.C.; Groenewegen, P.P.; Jong, J.D. de

    2013-01-01

    Background: In a demand oriented health care system based on managed competition, health insurers have incentives to become prudent buyers of care on behalf of their enrolees. They are allowed to selectively contract care providers. This is supposed to stimulate competition between care providers

  4. Acceptance of selective contracting : The role of trust in the health insurer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bes, R.E.; Wendel, S.; Curfs, E.C.; Groenewegen, P.P.; de Jong, J.D

    2013-01-01

    Background In a demand oriented health care system based on managed competition, health insurers have incentives to become prudent buyers of care on behalf of their enrolees. They are allowed to selectively contract care providers. This is supposed to stimulate competition between care providers and

  5. Adverse Selection and Inertia in Health Insurance Markets: When Nudging Hurts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handel, Benjamin R

    2013-12-01

    This paper investigates consumer inertia in health insurance markets, where adverse selection is a potential concern. We leverage a major change to insurance provision that occurred at a large firm to identify substantial inertia, and develop and estimate a choice model that also quantifies risk preferences and ex ante health risk. We use these estimates to study the impact of policies that nudge consumers toward better decisions by reducing inertia. When aggregated, these improved individual-level choices substantially exacerbate adverse selection in our setting, leading to an overall reduction in welfare that doubles the existing welfare loss from adverse selection.

  6. Health service accreditation as a predictor of clinical and organisational performance: a blinded, random, stratified study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braithwaite, Jeffrey; Greenfield, David; Westbrook, Johanna; Pawsey, Marjorie; Westbrook, Mary; Gibberd, Robert; Naylor, Justine; Nathan, Sally; Robinson, Maureen; Runciman, Bill; Jackson, Margaret; Travaglia, Joanne; Johnston, Brian; Yen, Desmond; McDonald, Heather; Low, Lena; Redman, Sally; Johnson, Betty; Corbett, Angus; Hennessy, Darlene; Clark, John; Lancaster, Judie

    2010-02-01

    Despite the widespread use of accreditation in many countries, and prevailing beliefs that accreditation is associated with variables contributing to clinical care and organisational outcomes, little systematic research has been conducted to examine its validity as a predictor of healthcare performance. To determine whether accreditation performance is associated with self-reported clinical performance and independent ratings of four aspects of organisational performance. Independent blinded assessment of these variables in a random, stratified sample of health service organisations. Acute care: large, medium and small health-service organisations in Australia. Study participants Nineteen health service organisations employing 16 448 staff treating 321 289 inpatients and 1 971 087 non-inpatient services annually, representing approximately 5% of the Australian acute care health system. Correlations of accreditation performance with organisational culture, organisational climate, consumer involvement, leadership and clinical performance. Results Accreditation performance was significantly positively correlated with organisational culture (rho=0.618, p=0.005) and leadership (rho=0.616, p=0.005). There was a trend between accreditation and clinical performance (rho=0.450, p=0.080). Accreditation was unrelated to organisational climate (rho=0.378, p=0.110) and consumer involvement (rho=0.215, p=0.377). Accreditation results predict leadership behaviours and cultural characteristics of healthcare organisations but not organisational climate or consumer participation, and a positive trend between accreditation and clinical performance is noted.

  7. Verification of effect of sleep health education program in workplace: a quasi-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakada, Yukari; Sugimoto, Aya; Kadotani, Hiroshi; Yamada, Naoto

    2018-02-07

    Short sleep duration is a serious problem that not only enhances the risk of various mental and physical disorders, but also affects the productivity in the workplace. However, in terms of studies focused on workers, there are few reports that evaluated sleeping conditions in an objective way. The purpose of this study is to implement sleep health education in the workplace in terms of primary prevention of mental health disorder and then to investigate the subjective and objective effectiveness of the education using self-administered questionnaires (sleep duration, ESS, AIS, PHQ-9, SF-8) and an activity monitor (MTN-210). Study design is a quasi-randomized controlled trial. Sleep health education was provided through three 50-min lectures (total 150 min) as a single cycle for five months in the Intervention group. We obtained baseline data and then six months later. The study analyzed 70 subjects (36 Intervention group, 34 Control group). The weekday sleep duration for the Control group decreased by 12.9 min, whereas that of the Intervention group increased by 14.3 min (difference of 27.2 min), resulting in a significantly increase in score for the Intervention group. The present study suggests that sleep health education may be beneficial for good sleep habits in workers.

  8. Women's Health and Mindfulness (WHAM): A Randomized Intervention Among Older Lesbian/Bisexual Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingraham, Natalie; Harbatkin, Dawn; Lorvick, Jennifer; Plumb, Marj; Minnis, Alexandra M

    2017-05-01

    Lesbian and bisexual (LB) women have higher body weight than heterosexual women. Interventions focused on health and well-being versus weight loss may be more likely to succeed among LB women. This article describes effects of Women's Health and Mindfulness, a 12-week pilot intervention addressing mindfulness, healthy eating, and physical activity, on outcomes associated with chronic disease risk among overweight and obese LB women older than 40 years. Eighty women were randomized, using a stepped-wedge design, to either an immediate- or a delayed-start intervention group; the delayed-start group served as the control. Eligible participants were aged 40 years or older, identified as LB, and had a body mass index of 27 or greater. We compared differences in biological markers of chronic disease, mindfulness, nutrition, and physical activity between immediate- and delayed-start intervention groups. We observed clinically significant improvements in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol but no change in hemoglobin A1c. We found evidence of intervention effects on improved mindfulness and mindful eating scores and on nutrition (improved vegetable intake). The Women's Health and Mindfulness pilot intervention appears to have initiated positive behavioral and physical health changes in this population. Refinements to the intervention model, such as extended intervention duration, and longer term follow-up are warranted to determine sustained effects.

  9. The effects of two health information texts on patient recognition memory: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freed, Erin; Long, Debra; Rodriguez, Tonantzin; Franks, Peter; Kravitz, Richard L; Jerant, Anthony

    2013-08-01

    To compare the effects of two health information texts on patient recognition memory, a key aspect of comprehension. Randomized controlled trial (N=60), comparing the effects of experimental and control colorectal cancer (CRC) screening texts on recognition memory, measured using a statement recognition test, accounting for response bias (score range -0.91 to 5.34). The experimental text had a lower Flesch-Kincaid reading grade level (7.4 versus 9.6), was more focused on addressing screening barriers, and employed more comparative tables than the control text. Recognition memory was higher in the experimental group (2.54 versus 1.09, t=-3.63, P=0.001), including after adjustment for age, education, and health literacy (β=0.42, 95% CI: 0.17, 0.68, P=0.001), and in analyses limited to persons with college degrees (β=0.52, 95% CI: 0.18, 0.86, P=0.004) or no self-reported health literacy problems (β=0.39, 95% CI: 0.07, 0.71, P=0.02). An experimental CRC screening text improved recognition memory, including among patients with high education and self-assessed health literacy. CRC screening texts comparable to our experimental text may be warranted for all screening-eligible patients, if such texts improve screening uptake. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. U.S. Migration and Reproductive Health among Mexican Women: Assessing the Evidence for Health Selectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra M. Minnis

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Health selectivity posits that individuals who practice preventive health behaviors are more likely to migrate to the United States, and this has been proposed as one explanation of the Latino Paradox. This paper examines evidence for health selection in the context of reproductive health using national survey data from Mexico (the longitudinal Mexico Family Life Survey [MxFLS], 2002 and 2005 waves and the United States (the National Survey of Family Growth [NSFG], 2002. We compared sexual behaviors and contraceptive practices of Mexican women residing in Mexico who subsequently migrated to the United States with those who remained in Mexico and with Mexican immigrants in the United States. MxFLS respondents who migrated to the United States had a younger mean age, and a larger proportion had no children compared to MxFLS nonmigrants. Within the MxFLS sample, a smaller proportion of women who migrated had ever had vaginal sex, though this difference was nonsignificant with adjustment for sociodemographic factors. No sexual behavior or contraceptive use measures varied between Mexican migrants and nonmigrants within the MxFLS. The mean lifetime number of sexual partners was lower for MxFLS respondents than for Mexican immigrants in the NSFG. Smaller proportions of MxFLS respondents reported using hormonal methods or condoms relative to NSFG respondents. We found no evidence for health selectivity with regard to sexual behaviors or contraceptive practices, underscoring the importance of continued attention to the factors that influence the adaptation trajectories following U.S. migration.L’hypothèse de la sélection par la santé selon laquelle les individus qui adoptent des comportements de prévention sont plus susceptibles d’immigrer aux Etats-Unis, a été proposée comme une explication au paradoxe latino. Cet article examine les signes de sélection par la santé dans le contexte de la santé en matière de procréation sur la base des

  11. Developing a virtual community for health sciences library book selection: Doody's Core Titles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shedlock, James; Walton, Linda J

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe Doody's Core Titles in the Health Sciences as a new selection guide and a virtual community based on an effective use of online systems and to describe its potential impact on library collection development. The setting is the availability of health sciences selection guides. Participants include Doody Enterprise staff, Doody's Library Board of Advisors, content specialists, and library selectors. Resources include the online system used to create Doody's Core Titles along with references to complementary databases. Doody's Core Titles is described and discussed in relation to the literature of selection guides, especially in comparison to the Brandon/Hill selected lists that were published from 1965 to 2003. Doody's Core Titles seeks to fill the vacuum created when the Brandon/Hill lists ceased publication. Doody's Core Titles is a unique selection guide based on its method of creating an online community of experts to identify and score a core list of titles in 119 health sciences specialties and disciplines. The result is a new selection guide, now available annually, that will aid health sciences librarians in identifying core titles for local collections. Doody's Core Titles organizes the evaluation of core titles that are identified and recommended by content specialists associated with Doody's Book Review Service and library selectors. A scoring mechanism is used to create the selection of core titles, similar to the star rating system employed in other Doody Enterprise products and services.

  12. A Multidisciplinary Intervention Utilizing Virtual Communication Tools to Reduce Health Disparities: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F. Emerson

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Advances in technology are likely to provide new approaches to address healthcare disparities for high-risk populations. This study explores the feasibility of a new approach to health disparities research using a multidisciplinary intervention and advanced communication technology to improve patient access to care and chronic disease management. A high-risk cohort of uninsured, poorly-controlled diabetic patients was identified then randomized pre-consent with stratification by geographic region to receive either the intervention or usual care. Prior to enrollment, participants were screened for readiness to make a behavioral change. The primary outcome was the feasibility of protocol implementation, and secondary outcomes included the use of patient-centered medical home (PCMH services and markers of chronic disease control. The intervention included a standardized needs assessment, individualized care plan, intensive management by a multidisciplinary team, including health coach-facilitated virtual visits, and the use of a cloud-based glucose monitoring system. One-hundred twenty-seven high-risk, potentially eligible participants were randomized. Sixty-one met eligibility criteria after an in-depth review. Due to limited resources and time for the pilot, we only attempted to contact 36 participants. Of these, we successfully reached 20 (32% by phone and conducted a readiness to change screen. Ten participants screened in as ready to change and were enrolled, while the remaining 10 were not ready to change. Eight enrolled participants completed the final three-month follow-up. Intervention feasibility was demonstrated through successful implementation of 13 out of 14 health coach-facilitated virtual visits, and 100% of participants indicated that they would recommend the intervention to a friend. Protocol feasibility was demonstrated as eight of 10 participants completed the entire study protocol. At the end of the three-month intervention

  13. DNABP: Identification of DNA-Binding Proteins Based on Feature Selection Using a Random Forest and Predicting Binding Residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xin; Guo, Jing; Sun, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    DNA-binding proteins are fundamentally important in cellular processes. Several computational-based methods have been developed to improve the prediction of DNA-binding proteins in previous years. However, insufficient work has been done on the prediction of DNA-binding proteins from protein sequence information. In this paper, a novel predictor, DNABP (DNA-binding proteins), was designed to predict DNA-binding proteins using the random forest (RF) classifier with a hybrid feature. The hybrid feature contains two types of novel sequence features, which reflect information about the conservation of physicochemical properties of the amino acids, and the binding propensity of DNA-binding residues and non-binding propensities of non-binding residues. The comparisons with each feature demonstrated that these two novel features contributed most to the improvement in predictive ability. Furthermore, to improve the prediction performance of the DNABP model, feature selection using the minimum redundancy maximum relevance (mRMR) method combined with incremental feature selection (IFS) was carried out during the model construction. The results showed that the DNABP model could achieve 86.90% accuracy, 83.76% sensitivity, 90.03% specificity and a Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.727. High prediction accuracy and performance comparisons with previous research suggested that DNABP could be a useful approach to identify DNA-binding proteins from sequence information. The DNABP web server system is freely available at http://www.cbi.seu.edu.cn/DNABP/.

  14. Pilates Method for Women's Health: Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzarino, Melissa; Kerr, Debra; Wajswelner, Henry; Morris, Meg E

    2015-12-01

    To critically analyze the benefits of Pilates on health outcomes in women. CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, Science Direct, SPORTDiscus, Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Web of Science. Databases were searched using the terms Pilates and Pilates Method. Published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included if they comprised female participants with a health condition and a health outcome was measured, Pilates needed to be administered, and the article was published in English in a peer-reviewed journal from 1980 to July 2014. Two authors independently applied the inclusion criteria to potential studies. Methodological quality was assessed using the PEDro scale. A best-evidence grading system was used to determine the strength of the evidence. Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria. PEDro scale values ranged from 3 to 7 (mean, 4.5; median, 4.0), indicating a relatively low quality overall. In this sample, Pilates for breast cancer was most often trialed (n=2). The most frequent health outcomes investigated were pain (n=4), quality of life (n=4), and lower extremity endurance (n=2), with mixed results. Emerging evidence was found for reducing pain and improving quality of life and lower extremity endurance. There is a paucity of evidence on Pilates for improving women's health during pregnancy or for conditions including breast cancer, obesity, or low back pain. Further high-quality RCTs are warranted to determine the effectiveness of Pilates for improving women's health outcomes. Copyright © 2015 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Minigrants for Community Health: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Their Impact on Family Food Gardening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Christine M; McCrackin, Peggy G; Naschold, Felix

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the impact of minigrants on home food gardening and review 28 health-related minigrant programs reported in the literature for lessons relevant for using minigrant programs to promote community health. Randomized controlled trial of the impact of minigrants on square footage of food garden area and on garden initiation in 2010 versus 2011. Interviews with participants were also conducted and coded and the literature was reviewed for findings from other community health minigrant programs. Laramie, Wyoming. Sixty adults living in 53 households who attended a gardening training workshop in April 2011. A $40 minigrant in the form of a voucher, valid at a local gardening store. Minigrant recipients were more likely to increase their gardening space than the control group. The average increase for the intervention group was 39.2 ft (3.62 m) while the control group average garden plot size decreased slightly, on average, by 1.4 ft (-0.13 m). However, the data were not normally distributed and, therefore, nonparametric statistical tests were used. For the subset of 20 households that did not garden at all in 2010, minigrants also provided motivation to start gardening (8 of 10 minigrant households started a garden vs 2 of 10 control households). Results reported from other health minigrant programs are also positive, though few had quantitative outcomes or control groups for comparison. Even with very small amounts of money, minigrants show promise as an ethical, inexpensive, empowering, and effective health promotion strategy to enable families and communities to improve their health.

  16. A randomized experiment of issue framing and voter support of tax increases for health insurance expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Hector P; Laugesen, Miriam J; Watts, Carolyn A

    2010-12-01

    To assess the effect of issue framing on voter support of tax increases for health insurance expansion. During October 2008, a random sample of registered voters (n=1203) were randomized to a control and two different 'framing' groups prior to being asked about their support for tax increases. The 'framing' groups listened to one of two statements: one emphasized the externalities or negative effects of the uninsured on the insured, and the other raised racial and ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage as a problem. All groups were asked the same questions: would they support tax increases to provide adequate and reliable health insurance for three groups, (1) all American citizens, (2) all children, irrespective of citizenship, and (3) all military veterans. Support for tax increases varied substantially depending on which group benefited from the expansion. Consensus on coverage for military veterans was highest (83.3%), followed by all children, irrespective of citizenship (64.7%), and all American citizens (60.1%). There was no statistically significant difference between voter support in the 'framing' and control groups or between the two frames. In multivariable analyses, political party affiliation was the strongest predictor of support. Voters agree on the need for coverage of military veterans, but are less united on the coverage of all children and American citizens. Framing was less important than party affiliation, suggesting that voters consider coverage expansions and related tax increases in terms of the characteristics of the targeted group, and their own personal political views and values rather than the broader impact of maintaining the status quo. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. A Comparison of Online versus On-site Training in Health Research Methodology: A Randomized Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanchanaraksa Sukon

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Distance learning may be useful for building health research capacity. However, evidence that it can improve knowledge and skills in health research, particularly in resource-poor settings, is limited. We compared the impact and acceptability of teaching two distinct content areas, Biostatistics and Research Ethics, through either on-line distance learning format or traditional on-site training, in a randomized study in India. Our objective was to determine whether on-line courses in Biostatistics and Research Ethics could achieve similar improvements in knowledge, as traditional on-site, classroom-based courses. Methods Subjects: Volunteer Indian scientists were randomly assigned to one of two arms. Intervention: Students in Arm 1 attended a 3.5-day on-site course in Biostatistics and completed a 3.5-week on-line course in Research Ethics. Students in Arm 2 attended a 3.5-week on-line course in Biostatistics and 3.5-day on-site course in Research Ethics. For the two course formats, learning objectives, course contents and knowledge tests were identical. Main Outcome Measures: Improvement in knowledge immediately and 3-months after course completion, compared to baseline. Results Baseline characteristics were similar in both arms (n = 29 each. Median knowledge score for Biostatistics increased from a baseline of 49% to 64% (p Conclusion On-line and on-site training formats led to marked and similar improvements of knowledge in Biostatistics and Research Ethics. This, combined with logistical and cost advantages of on-line training, may make on-line courses particularly useful for expanding health research capacity in resource-limited settings.

  18. Selection and performance of village health teams (VHTs) in Uganda: lessons from the natural helper model of health promotion

    OpenAIRE

    Turinawe, E.B.; Rwemisisi, J.T.; Musinguzi, L.K.; Groot, M.; Muhangi, D.; de Vries, D.H.; Mafigiri, D.K.; Pool, R.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Community health worker (CHW) programmes have received much attention since the 1978 Declaration of Alma-Ata, with many initiatives established in developing countries. However, CHW programmes often suffer high attrition once the initial enthusiasm of volunteers wanes. In 2002, Uganda began implementing a national CHW programme called the village health teams (VHTs), but their performance has been poor in many communities. It is argued that poor community involvement in the select...

  19. Telemonitoring and Mobile Phone-Based Health Coaching Among Finnish Diabetic and Heart Disease Patients: Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karhula, Tuula; Vuorinen, Anna-Leena; Rääpysjärvi, Katja; Pakanen, Mira; Itkonen, Pentti; Tepponen, Merja; Junno, Ulla-Maija; Jokinen, Tapio; van Gils, Mark; Lähteenmäki, Jaakko; Kohtamäki, Kari; Saranummi, Niilo

    2015-06-17

    There is a strong will and need to find alternative models of health care delivery driven by the ever-increasing burden of chronic diseases. The purpose of this 1-year trial was to study whether a structured mobile phone-based health coaching program, which was supported by a remote monitoring system, could be used to improve the health-related quality of life (HRQL) and/or the clinical measures of type 2 diabetes and heart disease patients. A randomized controlled trial was conducted among type 2 diabetes patients and heart disease patients of the South Karelia Social and Health Care District. Patients were recruited by sending invitations to randomly selected patients using the electronic health records system. Health coaches called patients every 4 to 6 weeks and patients were encouraged to self-monitor their weight, blood pressure, blood glucose (diabetics), and steps (heart disease patients) once per week. The primary outcome was HRQL measured by the Short Form (36) Health Survey (SF-36) and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) among diabetic patients. The clinical measures assessed were blood pressure, weight, waist circumference, and lipid levels. A total of 267 heart patients and 250 diabetes patients started in the trial, of which 246 and 225 patients concluded the end-point assessments, respectively. Withdrawal from the study was associated with the patients' unfamiliarity with mobile phones—of the 41 dropouts, 85% (11/13) of the heart disease patients and 88% (14/16) of the diabetes patients were familiar with mobile phones, whereas the corresponding percentages were 97.1% (231/238) and 98.6% (208/211), respectively, among the rest of the patients (P=.02 and P=.004). Withdrawal was also associated with heart disease patients' comorbidities—40% (8/20) of the dropouts had at least one comorbidity, whereas the corresponding percentage was 18.9% (47/249) among the rest of the patients (P=.02). The intervention showed no statistically significant benefits over

  20. Effects of a health education and telephone counseling program on patients with a positive fecal occult blood test result for colorectal cancer screening: A randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Hui-Chuan; Hung, Hsin-Yuan; Lin, Hsiu-Chen; Chen, Shu-Ching

    2017-10-01

    Our purpose was to evaluate the effects of a health education and telephone counseling program on knowledge and attitudes about colorectal cancer and screening and the psychological impact of positive screening results. A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 2 groups using a pretest and posttest measures design. Patients with positive colorectal cancer screening results were selected and randomly assigned to an experimental (n = 51) or control (n = 51) group. Subjects in the experimental group received a health education and telephone counseling program, while the control group received routine care only. Patients were assessed pretest before intervention (first visit to the outpatient) and posttest at 4 weeks after intervention (4 weeks after first visit to the outpatient). Patients in the experimental group had a significantly better level of knowledge about colorectal cancer and the psychological impact of a positive screening result than did the control group. Analysis of covariance revealed that the health education and telephone counseling program had a significant main effect on colorectal cancer knowledge. A health education and telephone counseling program can improve knowledge about colorectal cancer and about the psychological impact in patients with positive colorectal cancer screening results. The health education and telephone counseling program is an easy, simple, and convenient method of improving knowledge, improving attitudes, and alleviating psychological distress in patients with positive colorectal cancer screening results, and this program can be expanded to other types of cancer screening. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Effectiveness of a worksite mindfulness-related multi-component health promotion intervention on work engagement and mental health: Results of a randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berkel, J. van; Boot, C.R.L.; Proper, K.I.; Bongers, P.M.; Beek, A.J. van der

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a worksite mindfulness-related multicomponent health promotion intervention on work engagement, mental health, need for recovery and mindfulness. Methods: In a randomized controlled trial design, 257 workers of two

  2. Effectiveness of a Worksite Mindfulness-Related Multi-Component Health Promotion Intervention on Work Engagement and Mental Health: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Berkel, J.; Boot, C.R.L.; Proper, K.I.; Bongers, P.M.; van der Beek, A.J.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a worksite mindfulness-related multicomponent health promotion intervention on work engagement, mental health, need for recovery and mindfulness. Methods: In a randomized controlled trial design, 257 workers of two

  3. Research protocol for a randomized controlled trial of the health effects of volunteering for seniors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettigrew, Simone; Jongenelis, Michelle; Newton, Robert U; Warburton, Jeni; Jackson, Ben

    2015-06-04

    A growing evidence base demonstrates that interventions that focus on participation in physical and social activities can assist in preventing and treating both physical and mental health problems. In addition, there is some evidence that engaging in volunteering activities can provide beneficial social, physical, psychological, and cognitive outcomes for older people. This study will use a randomized controlled trial approach to investigate the potential for interventions involving volunteer activities to produce positive physical and psychological outcomes for older people, thereby contributing to the limited evidence relating to the potential for volunteering to provide multiple health effects. This randomized controlled trial will involve 400 retired/non-employed individuals in good health aged 60+ years living in the metropolitan area in Perth, Western Australia. Participants will be recruited from the Perth metropolitan area using a variety of recruitment methods to achieve a diverse sample in terms of age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Consenting and eligible participants will be randomly assigned to an intervention (n = 200) or control group (n = 200). Those in the intervention group will be asked to engage in a minimum 60 min of volunteer activities per week for a period of 6 months, while those in the control group will be asked to maintain their existing lifestyle or take on new activities as they see fit. Physical and psychological outcomes will be assessed. Primary physical outcomes will include physical activity and sedentary time (measured using pedometers and Actigraph monitors) and physical health (measured using a battery of physical functioning tests, resting heart rate, blood pressure, BMI, and girth). Primary psychological outcomes will include psychological well-being, depression, self-esteem, and quality of life (measured using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, the

  4. Unemployment in Scandinavia during an economic crisis: cross-national differences in health selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heggebø, Kristian

    2015-04-01

    Are people with ill health more prone to unemployment during the ongoing economic crisis? Is this health selection more visible among people with low education, women, or the young? The current paper investigates these questions in the Scandinavian context using the longitudinal part of the EU-SILC data material. Generalized least squares analysis indicates that people with ill health are laid off to a higher degree than their healthy counterparts in Denmark, but not in Norway and Sweden. Additionally, young individuals (Norway and Sweden, but not in Denmark. Neither women with ill health, nor individuals with low educational qualifications and ill health, are more likely to lose their jobs in Scandinavia. Individual level (and calendar year) fixed effects analysis confirms the existence of health selection out of employment in Denmark, whereas there is no suggestion of health selection in Sweden and Norway, except among young individuals. This finding could be related to the differing labor market demand the three Scandinavian countries have experienced during and preceding the study period (2007-2010). Another possible explanation for the cross-national differences is connected to the Danish "flexicurity" model, where the employment protection is rather weak. People with ill health, and hence more unstable labor market attachment, could be more vulnerable in such an arrangement. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Effectiveness of personalized and interactive health risk calculators: a randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harle, Christopher A; Downs, Julie S; Padman, Rema

    2012-01-01

    Risk calculators are popular websites that provide individualized disease risk assessments to the public. Little is known about their effect on risk perceptions and health behavior. This study sought to test whether risk calculator features-namely, personalized estimates of one's disease risk and feedback about the effects of risk-mitigating behaviors-improve risk perceptions and motivate healthy behavior. A web-based experimental study using simple randomization was conducted to compare the effects of 3 prediabetes risk communication websites. Setting The study was conducted in the context of ongoing health promotion activities sponsored by a university's human resources office. Patients Participants were adult university employees. Intervention The control website presented nonindividualized risk information. The personalized noninteractive website presented individualized risk calculations. The personalized interactive website presented individualized risk calculations and feedback about the effects of hypothetical risk-mitigating behaviors. Measurements Pre- and postintervention risk perceptions were measured in absolute and relative terms. Health behavior was measured by assessing participant interest in follow-up preventive health services. On average, risk perceptions decreased by 2%. There was no general effect of personalization or interactivity in aligning subjective risk perceptions with objective risk calculations or in increasing healthy behaviors. However, participants who previously overestimated their risk reduced their perceptions by 16%. This was a significantly larger change than the 2% increase by participants who underestimated their risk. Limitations Results may not generalize to different populations, different diseases, or longer-term outcomes. Compared to nonpersonalized information, individualized risk calculators had little positive effect on prediabetes risk perception accuracy or health behavior. Risk perception accuracy was improved in

  6. Small prizes increased healthful school lunch selection in a Midwestern school district.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Robert; Lockhart, Mary Kate; Barnes, Allison S; Hiller, Elizabeth; Kipp, Roger; Robison, Debora L; Ellsworth, Samantha C; Hudgens, Michelle E

    2016-04-01

    As obesity has become a pressing health issue for American children, greater attention has been focused on how schools can be used to improve how students eat. Previously, we piloted the use of small prizes in an elementary school cafeteria to improve healthful food selection. We hoped to increase healthful food selection in all the elementary schools of a small school district participating in the United States Department of Agriculture Lunch Program by offering prizes to children who selected a Power Plate (PP), which consisted of an entrée with whole grains, a fruit, a vegetable, and plain low-fat milk. In this study, the PP program was introduced to 3 schools sequentially over an academic year. During the kickoff week, green, smiley-faced emoticons were placed by preferred foods, and children were given a prize daily if they chose a PP on that day. After the first week, students were given a sticker or temporary tattoo 2 days a week if they selected a PP. Combining data from the 3 schools in the program, students increased PP selection from 4.5% at baseline to 49.4% (p small prizes as rewards dramatically improves short-term healthful food selection in elementary school children.

  7. Effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid training in Denmark: a randomized trial in waitlist design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Kamilla B; Morthorst, Britt Reuter; Vendsborg, Per B; Hjorthøj, Carsten; Nordentoft, Merete

    2016-04-01

    To examine the effect of the Australian educational intervention Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in a Danish context. Primary outcome was improvement concerning confidence in help-giving behavior towards people suffering from mental illness. Secondary outcomes were increased knowledge and ability to recognize mental illness and improved positive attitudes towards people suffering from mental health problems. Study design was a randomized trial with a waitlist control group. The intervention group was compared with the control group at 6-month follow-up. Both groups completed at baseline and at 6-month follow-up. A significant difference was found between employees trained in the intervention group compared to the control group at 6-month follow-up on the items of confidence in making contact to (Cohen's d 0.17), talking to (Cohen's d 0.18) and providing help to (Cohen's d 0.31) people suffering from a mental health illness. Further, participants improved in knowledge (Cohen's d depression vignette 0.40/Cohen's d schizophrenia vignette 0.32) and in the ability to recognize schizophrenia OR = 1.75 (95 % CI 1.00-3.05), p = 0.05. A significant difference between the intervention group and control group at follow-up concerning actual help offered was not found. Changes in attitudes were limited. The MHFA training was effective in a Danish context.

  8. Estimating the health benefit of reducing indoor air pollution in a randomized environmental intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Roger D; Butz, Arlene M; Hackstadt, Amber J; Williams, D'Ann L; Diette, Gregory B; Breysse, Patrick N; Matsui, Elizabeth C

    2015-02-01

    Recent intervention studies targeted at reducing indoor air pollution have demonstrated both the ability to improve respiratory health outcomes and to reduce particulate matter (PM) levels in the home. However, these studies generally do not address whether it is the reduction of PM levels specifically that improves respiratory health. In this paper we apply the method of principal stratification to data from a randomized air cleaner intervention designed to reduce indoor PM in homes of children with asthma. We estimate the health benefit of the intervention amongst study subjects who would experience a substantial reduction in PM in response to the intervention. For those subjects we find an increase in symptom-free days that is almost three times as large as the overall intention-to-treat effect. We also explore the presence of treatment effects amongst those subjects whose PM levels would not respond to the air cleaner. This analysis demonstrates the usefulness of principal stratification for environmental intervention trials and its potential for much broader application in this area.

  9. A selective review of the first 20 years of instrumental variables models in health-services research and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cawley, John

    2015-01-01

    The method of instrumental variables (IV) is useful for estimating causal effects. Intuitively, it exploits exogenous variation in the treatment, sometimes called natural experiments or instruments. This study reviews the literature in health-services research and medical research that applies the method of instrumental variables, documents trends in its use, and offers examples of various types of instruments. A literature search of the PubMed and EconLit research databases for English-language journal articles published after 1990 yielded a total of 522 original research articles. Citations counts for each article were derived from the Web of Science. A selective review was conducted, with articles prioritized based on number of citations, validity and power of the instrument, and type of instrument. The average annual number of papers in health services research and medical research that apply the method of instrumental variables rose from 1.2 in 1991-1995 to 41.8 in 2006-2010. Commonly-used instruments (natural experiments) in health and medicine are relative distance to a medical care provider offering the treatment and the medical care provider's historic tendency to administer the treatment. Less common but still noteworthy instruments include randomization of treatment for reasons other than research, randomized encouragement to undertake the treatment, day of week of admission as an instrument for waiting time for surgery, and genes as an instrument for whether the respondent has a heritable condition. The use of the method of IV has increased dramatically in the past 20 years, and a wide range of instruments have been used. Applications of the method of IV have in several cases upended conventional wisdom that was based on correlations and led to important insights about health and healthcare. Future research should pursue new applications of existing instruments and search for new instruments that are powerful and valid.

  10. Supportive Mental Health Self-Monitoring among Smartphone Users with Psychological Distress: Protocol for a Fully Mobile Randomized Controlled Trial

    OpenAIRE

    Till Beiwinkel; Stefan Hey; Olaf Bock; Wulf Rössler; Wulf Rössler; Wulf Rössler

    2017-01-01

    Mobile health (mHealth) could be widely used in the population to improve access to psychological treatment. In this paper, we describe the development of a mHealth intervention on the basis of supportive self-monitoring and describe the protocol for a randomized controlled trial to evaluate its effectiveness among smartphone users with psychological distress. Based on power analysis, a representative quota sample of N = 186 smartphone users will be recruited, with an over-sampling of persons...

  11. A Mobile Phone App Intervention Targeting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption : The Efficacy of Textual and Auditory Tailored Health Information Tested in a Randomized Controlled Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elbert, Sarah Pietertje; Dijkstra, Arie; Oenema, Anke

    Background: Mobile phone apps are increasingly used to deliver health interventions, which provide the opportunity to present health information via different communication modes. However, scientific evidence regarding the effects of such health apps is scarce. Objective: In a randomized controlled

  12. [Adolescents' affectivity and sexuality: a randomized trial of the efficacy of a school health promotion intervention in a primary school].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Prete, Giuseppe; Giraldi, Guglielmo; Miccoli, Silvia; Salamone, Velia; Speranza, Mariangela; Vita, Michela; Osborn, John Frederick; Boccia, Antonio; La Torre, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    A cluster randomised trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of a health promotion intervention aimed at improving knowledge and preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STD) amongst Grade 9 primary school students in Salerno (Italy). Students were randomized to either one of two groups: intervention group or control group. The intervention group was required to attend three meetings, each lasting one and a half hours. A questionnaire was then administered to both groups to evaluate knowledge of STD, contraception, sexuality, affectivity, satisfaction with interpersonal relationships with family, social groups and healthcare professionals. Variations of knowledge in the two groups were evaluated through calculation of odds ratios. Three hundred twenty-two students participated in the study. All students who received the study intervention were able to identify at least one STD post-intervention, while 2.5% of students in the control group did not indicate any. Students in the intervention group were more likely to select condoms as the most suitable contraception for young people (OR 5.54; 95% CI 3.27 -9.38), compared to controls (OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.20 - 3.05) (p = 0.002). They were also better aware of the possibility of contracting a STD even after incomplete sexual intercourse (OR 0.21, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.35), with a statistically significant difference (p <0.001) compared to the control group (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.45 to 1.11). In addition, students in the intervention group were more likely to turn to their own parents when having doubts about sexual issues (p = 0.004) and female students to consider their gynecologist as a reference figure. In conclusion, the findings indicate that students randomized to the intervention group were more informed and aware of issues related to sexuality and its associated risks.

  13. Oral health related quality of life among pregnant women: a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Liliana Musskopf

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: The aim of the present study was to compare negative impacts of oral conditions in Oral Heath Related Quality of Life (OHRQoL assessed by the Oral Health Impact Profile-14 (OHIP-14 scores in pregnant women receiving or not comprehensive periodontal treatment. This randomized controlled clinical trial included pregnant women aged between 18 and 35 years old. Participants were randomized in a test group with 96 and a control group with 114 women. Patients in the test group received comprehensive periodontal treatment, supra and subgingival scaling and root-planning and periodontal maintenance appointments. The OHIP-14 was applied before and after treatment. The primary outcome was changes in OHIP-14 scores after follow-up period. The impact of having received or not comprehensive periodontal treatment on the change of the OHIP-14 scores was also investigated. Both groups showed significant reduction in OHIP-14 scores and effect size for the test group was 0.60 and 0.36 for the control group. Multinomial logistic regression analysis showed that participants of the control group had 5.9-fold odds (CI 95% 1.88-18.52 of worsening in OHIP-14 scores and their perception of oral conditions in relation to test group. Comprehensive periodontal treatment during pregnancy can reduce the negative impacts in OHRQoL.

  14. Framework for Selecting Best Practices in Public Health: A Systematic Literature Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Eileen; de Colombani, Pierpaolo

    2015-11-17

    Evidence-based public health has commonly relied on findings from empirical studies, or research-based evidence. However, this paper advocates that practice-based evidence derived from programmes implemented in real-life settings is likely to be a more suitable source of evidence for inspiring and guiding public health programmes. Selection of best practices from the array of implemented programmes is one way of generating such practice-based evidence. Yet the lack of consensus on the definition and criteria for practice-based evidence and best practices has limited their application in public health so far. To address the gap in literature on practice-based evidence, this paper hence proposes measures of success for public health interventions by developing an evaluation framework for selection of best practices. The proposed framework was synthesised from a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed and grey literature on existing evaluation frameworks for public health programmes as well as processes employed by health-related organisations when selecting best practices. A best practice is firstly defined as an intervention that has shown evidence of effectiveness in a particular setting and is likely to be replicable to other situations. Regardless of the area of public health, interventions should be evaluated by their context, process and outcomes. A best practice should hence meet most, if not all, of eight identified evaluation criteria: relevance, community participation, stakeholder collaboration, ethical soundness, replicability, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. Ultimately, a standardised framework for selection of best practices will improve the usefulness and credibility of practice-based evidence in informing evidence-based public health interventions. Significance for public healthBest practices are a valuable source of practice-based evidence on effective public health interventions implemented in real-life settings. Yet, despite the

  15. Targeting health subsidies through a non-price mechanism: A randomized controlled trial in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupas, Pascaline; Hoffmann, Vivian; Kremer, Michael; Zwane, Alix Peterson

    2016-01-01

    Free provision of preventive health products can dramatically increase access in low income countries. A cost concern about free provision is that some recipients may not use the product, wasting resources (over-inclusion). Yet charging a price to screen out non-users may screen out poor people who need and would use the product (over-exclusion). We report on a randomized controlled trial of a screening mechanism that combines the free provision of chlorine solution for water treatment with a small non-monetary cost (household vouchers that need to be redeemed monthly in order). Relative to a non-voucher free distribution program, this mechanism reduces the quantity of chlorine procured by 60 percentage points, but reduces the share of households whose stored water tests positive for chlorine residual by only one percentage point, dramatically improving the tradeoff between over-inclusion and over-exclusion. PMID:27563091

  16. Evaluating Consumer m-Health Services for Promoting Healthy Eating: A Randomized Field Experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato-Lin, Yi-Chin; Padman, Rema; Downs, Julie; Abhishek, Vibhanshu

    2015-01-01

    Mobile apps have great potential to deliver promising interventions to engage consumers and change their health-related behaviors, such as healthy eating. Currently, the interventions for promoting healthy eating are either too onerous to keep consumers engaged or too restrictive to keep consumers connected with healthcare professionals. In addition, while social media allows individuals to receive information from many sources, it is unclear how peer support interacts with professional support in the context of such interventions. This study proposes and evaluates three mobile-enabled interventions to address these challenges. We examine their effects on user engagement and food choices via a 4-month randomized field experiment. Mixed models provide strong evidence of the positive effect of image-based dietitian support and negative effects of peer support, and moderate evidence of the positive effects of mobile-based visual diary, highlighting the value of mobile apps for delivering advanced interventions to engage users and facilitate behavior change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brehaut Jamie C

    2011-07-01

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

  18. Common selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor side effects in older adults associated with genetic polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter and receptors: data from a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garfield, Lauren D; Dixon, David; Nowotny, Petra; Lotrich, Francis E; Pollock, Bruce G; Kristjansson, Sean D; Doré, Peter M; Lenze, Eric J

    2014-10-01

    Antidepressant side effects are a significant public health issue, associated with poor adherence, premature treatment discontinuation, and, rarely, significant harm. Older adults assume the largest and most serious burden of medication side effects. We investigated the association between antidepressant side effects and genetic variation in the serotonin system in anxious, older adults participating in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) escitalopram. Adults (N = 177) aged ≥ 60 years were randomized to active treatment or placebo for 12 weeks. Side effects were assessed using the Udvalg fur Kliniske Undersøgelser side-effect rating scale. Genetic polymorphisms were putative functional variants in the promoters of the serotonin transporter and 1A and 2A receptors (5-HTTLPR [L/S + rs25531], HTR1A rs6295, HTR2A rs6311, respectively). Four significant drug-placebo side-effect differences were found: increased duration of sleep, dry mouth, diarrhea, and diminished sexual desire. Analyses using putative high- versus low-transcription genotype groupings revealed six pharmacogenetic effects: greater dry mouth and decreased sexual desire for the low- and high-expressing serotonin transporter genotypes, respectively, and greater diarrhea with the 1A receptor low-transcription genotype. Diminished sexual desire was experienced significantly more by high-expressing genotypes in the serotonin transporter, 1A, or 2A receptors. There was not a significant relationship between drug concentration and side effects nor a mean difference in drug concentration between low- and high-expressing genotypes. Genetic variation in the serotonin system may predict who develops common SSRI side effects and why. More work is needed to further characterize this genetic modulation and to translate research findings into strategies useful for more personalized patient care. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Invited review: Genetics and claw health: Opportunities to enhance claw health by genetic selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routine recording of claw health status at claw trimming of dairy cattle have been established in several countries, providing valuable data for genetic evaluation. In this review, issues related to genetic evaluation of claw health are examined, data sources, trait definitions and data validation p...

  20. Community health workers in diabetes care: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trump, Lisa J; Mendenhall, Tai J

    2017-09-01

    Maintaining optimal self-care in managing Type 2 diabetes is a common struggle for patients due to several barriers, including access to quality services, financial insecurity and/or lack of insurance, and emotional distress. Consequently, morbidity and mortality rates are high, alongside rising health care costs. Alternative approaches that address common barriers require further investigation. This systematic review of randomized controlled trials examines the effectiveness of using community health workers (CHWs) in Type 2 diabetes care. This effort is warranted to orient practitioners and researchers to the state of existing knowledge, and to direct clinical practice and future research. Data were extracted from 17 peer-reviewed articles; they were examined with respect to theory integration, CHW intervention design, outcome variables, and findings. Approximately one-third of articles explicitly integrated theory into their research conceptualization and design. There was great variation across intervention dosages, attrition rates, and methods of CHW training. Main foci across studies' findings suggest that a CHW intervention has significant impacts on physical health outcomes, diabetes knowledge, self-care behaviors, and emotional distress and well-being. Principal implications relate to the need for more research regarding CHW intervention types and methods, and further investigation about the mechanisms of change within a CHW-delivered intervention. Findings support the case for more CHWs in treatment teams to bridge patients with the medical system. This research will serve to better equip providers in the support of patients managing Type 2 diabetes and advance the Triple Aim of health care. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Long-term indoor air conditioner filtration and cardiovascular health: A randomized crossover intervention study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Hsiao-Chi; Ho, Kin-Fai; Lin, Lian-Yu; Chang, Ta-Yuan; Hong, Gui-Bing; Ma, Chi-Ming; Liu, I-Jung; Chuang, Kai-Jen

    2017-09-01

    The association of short-term air pollution filtration with cardiovascular health has been documented. However, the effect of long-term indoor air conditioner filtration on the association between air pollution and cardiovascular health is still unclear. We recruited 200 homemakers from Taipei and randomly assigned 100 of them to air filtration or control intervention; six home visits were conducted per year from 2013 to 2014. The participants under air filtration intervention during 2013 were reassigned to control intervention in 2014. The air pollution measurements consisted of particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5μm in diameter (PM 2.5 ) and total volatile organic compounds (VOCs); blood pressure was monitored for each participant during each visit. The following morning, blood samples were collected after air pollution monitoring. The blood samples were used to analyze biological markers, including high sensitivity-C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and fibrinogen. Household information, including cleaning, cooking, and air conditioning, was collected by a questionnaire. Mixed-effects models were used to investigate the associations among air pollution measurements, blood pressure and biological markers. The results showed that increased levels of PM 2.5 and total VOCs were associated with increased hs-CRP, 8-OHdG and blood pressure. The health variables were higher among participants in the control intervention phase than among those in the air filtration intervention phase. We concluded that air pollution exposure was associated with systemic inflammation, oxidative stress and elevated blood pressure. The long-term filtration of air pollution with an air conditioner filter was associated with cardiovascular health of adults. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the remote introduction of electronic decision support tools into family practices improves risk factor control after first stroke. This study also aimed to develop methods to implement cluster randomized trials in stroke using electronic health records. Family practices were recruited from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink and allocated to intervention and control trial arms by minimization. Remotely installed, electronic decision support tools promoted intensified secondary prevention for 12 months with last measure of systolic blood pressure as the primary outcome. Outcome data from electronic health records were analyzed using marginal models. There were 106 Clinical Practice Research Datalink family practices allocated (intervention, 53; control, 53), with 11 391 (control, 5516; intervention, 5875) participants with acute stroke ever diagnosed. Participants at trial practices had similar characteristics as 47,887 patients with stroke at nontrial practices. During the intervention period, blood pressure values were recorded in the electronic health records for 90% and cholesterol values for 84% of participants. After intervention, the latest mean systolic blood pressure was 131.7 (SD, 16.8) mm Hg in the control trial arm and 131.4 (16.7) mm Hg in the intervention trial arm, and adjusted mean difference was -0.56 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, -1.38 to 0.26; P=0.183). The financial cost of the trial was approximately US $22 per participant, or US $2400 per family practice allocated. Large pragmatic intervention studies may be implemented at low cost by using electronic health records. The intervention used in this trial was not found to be effective, and further research is needed to develop more effective intervention strategies. http://www.controlled-trials.com. Current Controlled Trials identifier: ISRCTN35701810. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

  3. Green tea polyphenols and Tai Chi for bone health: Designing a placebo-controlled randomized trial

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    Chyu Ming-Chien

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Osteoporosis is a major health problem in postmenopausal women. Evidence suggests the importance of oxidative stress in bone metabolism and bone loss. Tea consumption may be beneficial to osteoporosis due to its antioxidant capability. However, lack of objective data characterizing tea consumption has hindered the precise evaluation of the association between tea ingestion and bone mineral density in previous questionnaire-based epidemiological studies. On the other hand, although published studies suggest that Tai Chi (TC exercise can benefit bone health and may reduce oxidative stress, all studies were conducted using a relatively healthy older population, instead of a high-risk one such as osteopenic postmenopausal women. Therefore, this study was designed to test an intervention including green tea polyphenol (GTP and TC exercise for feasibility, and to quantitatively assess their individual and interactive effects on postmenopausal women with osteopenia. Methods/Design One hundred and forty postmenopausal women with osteopenia (defined as bone mineral density T-score at the spine and/or hip between 1 to 2.5 SD below the reference database were randomly assigned to 4 treatment arms: (1 placebo group receiving 500 mg medicinal starch daily, (2 GTP group receiving 500 mg of GTP per day, (3 placebo+TC group receiving both placebo treatment and TC training (60-minute group exercise, 3 times per week, and (4 GTP+TC group receiving both GTP and TC training for 24 weeks. The outcome measures were bone formation biomarker (serum bone alkaline phosphatase, bone resorption biomarker (serum tartrate resistant acid phosphatase, and oxidative DNA damage biomarker (urinary 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine. All outcome measures were determined at baseline, 4, 12, and 24 weeks. Urinary and serum GTP concentrations were also determined at baseline, 4, 12, and 24 weeks for bioavailability. Liver function was monitored monthly for safety. A

  4. Randomized evaluation and cost-effectiveness of HIV and sexual and reproductive health service referral and linkage models in Zambia

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    Paul C. Hewett

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Provision of HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health services in Zambia is largely characterized by discrete service provision with weak client referral and linkage. The literature reveals gaps in the continuity of care for HIV and sexual and reproductive health. This study assessed whether improved service delivery models increased the uptake and cost-effectiveness of HIV and sexual and reproductive health services. Methods Adult clients 18+ years of age accessing family planning (females, HIV testing and counseling (females and males, and male circumcision services (males were recruited, enrolled and individually randomized to one of three study arms: 1 the standard model of service provision at the entry point (N = 1319; 2 an enhanced counseling and referral to add-on service with follow-up (N = 1323; and 3 the components of study arm two, with the additional offer of an escort (N = 1321. Interviews were conducted with the same clients at baseline, six weeks and six months. Uptake of services for HIV, family planning, male circumcision, and cervical cancer screening at six weeks and six months were the primary endpoints. Pairwise chi-square and multivariable logistic regression statistical tests assessed differences across study arms, which were also assessed for incremental cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Results A total of 3963 clients, 1920 males and 2043 females, were enrolled; 82 % of participants at six weeks were tracked and 81 % at six months; follow-up rates did not vary significantly by study arm. The odds of clients accessing HIV testing and counseling, cervical cancer screening services among females, and circumcision services among males varied significantly by study arm at six weeks and six months; less consistent findings were observed for HIV care and treatment. Client uptake of family planning services did not vary significantly by study arm. Integrated services were found

  5. Biased random key genetic algorithm with insertion and gender selection for capacitated vehicle routing problem with time windows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochman, Auliya Noor; Prasetyo, Hari; Nugroho, Munajat Tri

    2017-06-01

    Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) often occurs when the manufacturers need to distribute their product to some customers/outlets. The distribution process is typically restricted by the capacity of the vehicle and the working hours at the distributor. This type of VRP is also known as Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (CVRPTW). A Biased Random Key Genetic Algorithm (BRKGA) was designed and coded in MATLAB to solve the CVRPTW case of soft drink distribution. The standard BRKGA was then modified by applying chromosome insertion into the initial population and defining chromosome gender for parent undergoing crossover operation. The performance of the established algorithms was then compared to a heuristic procedure for solving a soft drink distribution. Some findings are revealed (1) the total distribution cost of BRKGA with insertion (BRKGA-I) results in a cost saving of 39% compared to the total cost of heuristic method, (2) BRKGA with the gender selection (BRKGA-GS) could further improve the performance of the heuristic method. However, the BRKGA-GS tends to yield worse results compared to that obtained from the standard BRKGA.

  6. Sequence-Based Prediction of RNA-Binding Proteins Using Random Forest with Minimum Redundancy Maximum Relevance Feature Selection

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    Xin Ma

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The prediction of RNA-binding proteins is one of the most challenging problems in computation biology. Although some studies have investigated this problem, the accuracy of prediction is still not sufficient. In this study, a highly accurate method was developed to predict RNA-binding proteins from amino acid sequences using random forests with the minimum redundancy maximum relevance (mRMR method, followed by incremental feature selection (IFS. We incorporated features of conjoint triad features and three novel features: binding propensity (BP, nonbinding propensity (NBP, and evolutionary information combined with physicochemical properties (EIPP. The results showed that these novel features have important roles in improving the performance of the predictor. Using the mRMR-IFS method, our predictor achieved the best performance (86.62% accuracy and 0.737 Matthews correlation coefficient. High prediction accuracy and successful prediction performance suggested that our method can be a useful approach to identify RNA-binding proteins from sequence information.

  7. Optimal Subset Selection of Time-Series MODIS Images and Sample Data Transfer with Random Forests for Supervised Classification Modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Fuqun; Zhang, Aining

    2016-10-25

    Nowadays, various time-series Earth Observation data with multiple bands are freely available, such as Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) datasets including 8-day composites from NASA, and 10-day composites from the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS). It is challenging to efficiently use these time-series MODIS datasets for long-term environmental monitoring due to their vast volume and information redundancy. This challenge will be greater when Sentinel 2-3 data become available. Another challenge that researchers face is the lack of in-situ data for supervised modelling, especially for time-series data analysis. In this study, we attempt to tackle the two important issues with a case study of land cover mapping using CCRS 10-day MODIS composites with the help of Random Forests' features: variable importance, outlier identification. The variable importance feature is used to analyze and select optimal subsets of time-series MODIS imagery for efficient land cover mapping, and the outlier identification feature is utilized for transferring sample data available from one year to an adjacent year for supervised classification modelling. The results of the case study of agricultural land cover classification at a regional scale show that using only about a half of the variables we can achieve land cover classification accuracy close to that generated using the full dataset. The proposed simple but effective solution of sample transferring could make supervised modelling possible for applications lacking sample data.

  8. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for post-partum depression (PPD): a systematic review of randomized clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Crescenzo, Franco; Perelli, Federica; Armando, Marco; Vicari, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    The treatment of postpartum depression with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) has been claimed to be both efficacious and well tolerated, but no recent systematic reviews have been conducted. A qualitative systematic review of randomized clinical trials on women with postpartum depression comparing SSRIs to placebo and/or other treatments was performed. A comprehensive literature search of online databases, the bibliographies of published articles and grey literature were conducted. Data on efficacy, acceptability and tolerability were extracted and the quality of the trials was assessed. Six randomised clinical trials, comprising 595 patients, met quality criteria for inclusion in the analysis. Cognitive-behavioural intervention, psychosocial community-based intervention, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, a second-generation tricyclic antidepressant and placebo were used as comparisons. All studies demonstrated higher response and remission rates among those treated with SSRIs and greater mean changes on depression scales, although findings were not always statistically significant. Dropout rates were high in three of the trials but similar among treatment and comparison groups. In general, SSRIs were well tolerated and trial quality was good. There are few trials, patients included in the trials were not representative of all patients with postpartum depression, dropout rates in three trials were high, and long-term efficacy and tolerability were assessed in only two trials. SSRIs appear to be efficacious and well tolerated in the treatment of postpartum depression, but the available evidence fails to demonstrate a clear superiority over other treatments. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Sex-selective abortion in Nepal: a qualitative study of health workers' perspectives.

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    Lamichhane, Prabhat; Harken, Tabetha; Puri, Mahesh; Darney, Philip D; Blum, Maya; Harper, Cynthia C; Henderson, Jillian T

    2011-01-01

    Sex-selective abortion is expressly prohibited in Nepal, but limited evidence suggests that it occurs nevertheless. Providers' perspectives on sex-selective abortion were examined as part of a larger study on legal abortion in the public sector in Nepal. In-depth interviews were conducted with health care providers and administrators providing abortion services at four major hospitals (n = 35), two in the Kathmandu Valley and two in outlying rural areas. A grounded theory approach was used to code interview transcripts and to identify themes in the data. Most providers were aware of the ban on sex-selective abortion and, despite overall positive views of abortion legalization, saw sex selection as an increasing problem. Greater availability of abortion and ultrasonography, along with the high value placed on sons, were seen as contributing factors. Providers wanted to perform abortions for legal indications, but described challenges identifying sex-selection cases. Providers also believed that illegal sex-selective procedures contribute to serious abortion complications. Sex-selective abortion complicates the provision of legal abortion services. In addition to the difficulty of determining which patients are seeking abortion for sex selection, health workers are aware of the pressures women face to bear sons and know they may seek unsafe services elsewhere when unable to obtain abortions in public hospitals. Legislative, advocacy, and social efforts aimed at promoting gender equality and women's human rights are needed to reduce the cultural and economic pressures for sex-selective abortion, because providers alone cannot prevent the practice. Copyright © 2011 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. A randomized controlled trial to improve health among women receiving welfare in the US: the relationship between employment outcomes and the economic recession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneipp, Shawn M; Kairalla, John A; Sheely, Amanda L

    2013-03-01

    The high prevalence of health conditions among U.S. women receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or 'welfare') impedes the ability of many in this group to move from 'welfare-to-work', and the economic recession has likely exacerbated this problem. Despite this, few interventions have been developed to improve employment outcomes by addressing the health needs of women receiving TANF, and little is known about the impact of economic downturns on the employment trajectory of this group. Using data from a recent randomized controlled trial (RCT) that tested the efficacy of a public health nursing (PHN) intervention to address the chronic health condition needs of 432 American women receiving TANF, we examine the effect of the intervention and of recession exposure on employment. We further explore whether intervention effects were modified by select sociodemographic and health characteristics. Both marginal and more robust intervention effects were noted for employment-entry outcomes (any employment, p = 0.05 and time-to-employment, p = 0.01). There were significant effects for recession exposure on employment-entry (any employment, p = 0.002 and time-to-employment, p understanding of the health and employment dynamics among this group of disadvantaged women under variable macroeconomic conditions, and have implications for guiding health and TANF-related policy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Framework for selecting best practices in public health: a systematic literature review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eileen Ng

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Evidence-based public health has commonly relied on findings from empirical studies, or research-based evidence. However, this paper advocates that practice-based evidence derived from programmes implemented in real-life settings is likely to be a more suitable source of evidence for inspiring and guiding public health programmes. Selection of best practices from the array of implemented programmes is one way of generating such practice-based evidence. Yet the lack of consensus on the definition and criteria for practice-based evidence and best practices has limited their application in public health so far. To address the gap in literature on practice-based evidence, this paper hence proposes measures of success for public health interventions by developing an evaluation framework for selection of best practices. The proposed framework was synthesised from a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed and grey literature on existing evaluation frameworks for public health programmes as well as processes employed by health-related organisations when selecting best practices. A best practice is firstly defined as an intervention that has shown evidence of effectiveness in a particular setting and is likely to be replicable to other situations. Regardless of the area of public health, interventions should be evaluated by their context, process and outcomes. A best practice should hence meet most, if not all, of eight identified evaluation criteria: relevance, community participation, stakeholder collaboration, ethical soundness, replicability, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. Ultimately, a standardised framework for selection of best practices will improve the usefulness and credibility of practice-based evidence in informing evidence-based public health interventions.

  12. Supportive supervision for volunteers to deliver reproductive health education: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Debra; Negin, Joel; Orach, Christopher Garimoi; Cumming, Robert

    2016-10-03

    Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) can be effective in improving pregnancy and newborn outcomes through community education. Inadequate supervision of CHVs, whether due to poor planning, irregular visits, or ineffective supervisory methods, is, however, recognized as a weakness in many programs. There has been little research on best practice supervisory or accompaniment models. From March 2014 to February 2015 a proof of concept study was conducted to compare training alone versus training and supportive supervision by paid CHWs (n = 4) on the effectiveness of CHVs (n = 82) to deliver education about pregnancy, newborn care, family planning and hygiene. The pair-matched cluster randomized trial was conducted in eight villages (four intervention and four control) in Budondo sub-county in Jinja, Uganda. Increases in desired behaviors were seen in both the intervention and control arms over the study period. Both arms showed high retention rates of CHVs (95 %). At 1 year follow-up there was a significantly higher prevalence of installed and functioning tippy taps for hand washing (p services. Supportive supervision involves creating a non-threatening, empowering environment in which both the CHV and the supervising CHW learn together and overcome obstacles that might otherwise demotivate the CHV. While the results seem promising for added value with supportive supervision for CHVs undertaking reproductive health activities, further research on a larger scale will be needed to substantiate the effect.

  13. Vitamin D and health: the need for more randomized controlled trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorde, Rolf; Grimnes, Guri

    2015-04-01

    The importance of vitamin D for calcium absorption and bone health is undisputed. In addition, vitamin D may also be important for more than the skeleton as low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) have been associated with a number of diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and infections. This is mainly based on observational studies and proof of causal relations from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are lacking. At present several large RCTs including from 2152 to 25,000 subjects and with cardiovascular disease and cancer as endpoints are ongoing. Results are expected within 3-5 years, and hopefully these studies will give us a definite answer on need for vitamin D supplementation. However, since vitamin D deficiency (serum 25(OH)D vitamin D in truly vitamin D deficient subjects, studies that in retrospect obviously should have been the starting point for RCTs on vitamin D and health. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled '17th Vitamin D Workshop'. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

  15. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials on curative and health enhancement effects of forest therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamioka H

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Hiroharu Kamioka,1 Kiichiro Tsutani,2 Yoshiteru Mutoh,3 Takuya Honda,4 Nobuyoshi Shiozawa,5 Shinpei Okada,6 Sang-Jun Park,6 Jun Kitayuguchi,7 Masamitsu Kamada,8 Hiroyasu Okuizumi,9 Shuichi Handa91Faculty of Regional Environment Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo, 2Department of Drug Policy and Management, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 3Todai Policy Alternatives Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 4Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, 5Food Labeling Division, Consumer Affairs Agency, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, Tokyo, 6Physical Education and Medicine Research Foundation, Nagano, 7Physical Education and Medicine Research Center Unnan, Shimane, 8Department of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Shimane University School of Medicine, Shimane, 9Mimaki Onsen (Spa Clinic, Tomi City, Nagano, JapanObjective: To summarize the evidence for curative and health enhancement effects through forest therapy and to assess the quality of studies based on a review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs.Study design: A systematic review based on RCTs.Methods: Studies were eligible if they were RCTs. Studies included one treatment group in which forest therapy was applied. The following databases – from 1990 to November 9, 2010 – were searched: MEDLINE via PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Ichushi-Web. All Cochrane databases and Campbell Systematic Reviews were also searched up to November 9, 2010.Results: Two trials met all inclusion criteria. No specific diseases were evaluated, and both studies reported significant effectiveness in one or more outcomes for health enhancement. However, the results of evaluations with the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials 2010 and CLEAR NPT (A Checklist to Evaluate a Report of a Nonpharmacological Trial checklists generally showed a remarkable lack of description in the studies. Furthermore, there was a

  16. Migrant Selection and the Health of U.S. Immigrants From the Former Soviet Union

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elo, Irma T.

    2012-01-01

    Few prior studies have investigated the health of U.S. immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU). Utilizing data from the 2000 U.S. census and the 2000–2007 National Health Interview Survey (NIHS), we compare levels of disability of FSU immigrants with U.S.-born whites (ages 50–84). Our findings suggest an “epidemiologic paradox” in that FSU immigrants possess higher levels of education compared with U.S.-born whites, but report considerably higher disability with and without adjustment for education. Nonetheless, FSU immigrants report lower levels of smoking and heavy alcohol use compared with U.S.-born whites. We further investigate disability by period of arrival among FSU immigrants. Changes in Soviet emigration policies conceivably altered the level of health selectivity among émigrés. We find evidence that FSU immigrants who emigrated during a period when a permission to emigrate was hard to obtain (1970–1986) displayed less disability compared with those who emigrated when these restrictions were less stringent (1987–2000). Finally, we compare disability among Russian-born U.S. immigrants with that of those residing in Russia as a direct test of health selectivity. We find that Russian immigrants report lower levels of disability compared with Russians in Russia, suggesting that they are positively selected for health despite their poor health relative to U.S.-born whites. PMID:22421810

  17. An eHealth program versus a standard care supervised health program and associated health outcomes in individuals with mobility disability: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berglind, Daniel; Nyberg, Gisela; Willmer, Mikaela; Persson, Margareta; Wells, Michael; Forsell, Yvonne

    2018-04-27

    Young adults with mobility disability (MD) are less likely to engage in regular physical activity (PA) compared with their able-bodied peers and inactive adults with a MD are more likely to report one or more chronic diseases compared to those who are physically active. Despite the vast amount of research published in the field of PA interventions over the past decades, little attention has been focused on interventions aiming to increase PA among individuals with MD. Thus, we propose to compare the effects of an eHealth program compared to a usual care supervised health program on levels of PA and other health behaviors. The current intervention will use a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design with two treatment groups (an eHealth program and a usual care supervised health program) in young adults with newly acquired MD. In total, 110 young adults (aged 18-40 years) with a MD, acquired within the past 3 years, will be recruited to participate in a 12-week intervention. The primary study outcome is accelerometer-measured time spent in moderate to vigorous PA. Secondary outcomes includes health-related quality of life, depression, stress, fitness, body composition, diet, musculoskeletal pain, motivation to exercise and work ability. There is a lack of RCTs investigating effective ways to increase levels of PA in young adults with MD. Increased levels of PA among this physically inactive population have the potential to substantially improve health-related outcomes, possibly more so than in the general population. The trial will put strong emphasis on optimizing exercise adherence and investigating feasibility in the two treatment programs. The Ethical Review Board (EPN) at Karolinska Institutet has approved the study (2017/1206-31/1). International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN), reference number ISRCTN22387524 . Prospectively registered February 4, 2018.

  18. A randomized comparison between league tables and funnel plots to inform health care decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anell, Anders; Hagberg, Oskar; Liedberg, Fredrik; Ryden, Stefan

    2016-12-01

    Comparison of provider performance is commonly used to inform health care decision-making. Little attention has been paid to how data presentations influence decisions. This study analyzes differences in suggested actions by decision-makers informed by league tables or funnel plots. Decision-makers were invited to a survey and randomized to compare hospital performance using either league tables or funnel plots for four different measures within the area of cancer care. For each measure, decision-makers were asked to suggest actions towards 12-16 hospitals (no action, ask for more information, intervene) and provide feedback related to whether the information provided had been useful. Swedish health care. Two hundred and twenty-one decision-makers at administrative and clinical levels. Data presentations in the form of league tables or funnel plots. Number of actions suggested by participants. Proportion of appropriate actions. For all four measures, decision-makers tended to suggest more actions based on the information provided in league tables compared to funnel plots (44% vs. 21%, P decision-makers more often missed to react even when appropriate. The form of data presentation had an influence on decision-making. With league tables, decision-makers tended to suggest more actions compared to funnel plots. A difference in sensitivity and specificity conditioned by the form of presentation could also be identified, with different implications depending on the purpose of comparisons. Explanations and visualization aids are needed to support appropriate actions. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press in association with the International Society for Quality in Health Care. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  19. Does training frequency and supervision affect compliance, performance and muscular health? A cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalager, Tina; Bredahl, Thomas G V; Pedersen, Mogens T; Boyle, Eleanor; Andersen, Lars L; Sjøgaard, Gisela

    2015-10-01

    The aim was to determine the effect of one weekly hour of specific strength training within working hours, performed with the same total training volume but with different training frequencies and durations, or with different levels of supervision, on compliance, muscle health and performance, behavior and work performance. In total, 573 office workers were cluster-randomized to: 1 WS: one 60-min supervised session/week, 3 WS: three 20-min supervised sessions/week, 9 WS: nine 7-min supervised sessions/week, 3 MS: three 20-min sessions/week with minimal supervision, or REF: a reference group without training. Outcomes were diary-based compliance, total training volume, muscle performance and questionnaire-based health, behavior and work performance. Comparisons were made among the WS training groups and between 3 WS and 3 MS. If no difference, training groups were collapsed (TG) and compared with REF. Results demonstrated similar degrees of compliance, mean(range) of 39(33-44)%, and total training volume, 13.266(11.977-15.096)kg. Musculoskeletal pain in neck and shoulders were reduced with approx. 50% in TG, which was significant compared with REF. Only the training groups improved significantly their muscle strength 8(4-13)% and endurance 27(12-37)%, both being significant compared with REF. No change in workability, productivity or self-rated health was demonstrated. Secondary analysis showed exercise self-efficacy to be a significant predictor of compliance. Regardless of training schedule and supervision, similar degrees of compliance were shown together with reduced musculoskeletal pain and improved muscle performance. These findings provide evidence that a great degree of flexibility is legitimate for companies in planning future implementation of physical exercise programs at the workplace. ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01027390. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Adjunctive yoga v. health education for persistent major depression: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uebelacker, L A; Tremont, G; Gillette, L T; Epstein-Lubow, G; Strong, D R; Abrantes, A M; Tyrka, A R; Tran, T; Gaudiano, B A; Miller, I W

    2017-09-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether hatha yoga is an efficacious adjunctive intervention for individuals with continued depressive symptoms despite antidepressant treatment. We conducted a randomized controlled trial of weekly yoga classes (n = 63) v. health education classes (Healthy Living Workshop; HLW; n = 59) in individuals with elevated depression symptoms and antidepressant medication use. HLW served as an attention-control group. The intervention period was 10 weeks, with follow-up assessments 3 and 6 months afterwards. The primary outcome was depression symptom severity assessed by blind rater at 10 weeks. Secondary outcomes included depression symptoms over the entire intervention and follow-up periods, social and role functioning, general health perceptions, pain, and physical functioning. At 10 weeks, we did not find a statistically significant difference between groups in depression symptoms (b = -0.82, s.e. = 0.88, p = 0.36). However, over the entire intervention and follow-up period, when controlling for baseline, yoga participants showed lower levels of depression than HLW participants (b = -1.38, s.e. = 0.57, p = 0.02). At 6-month follow-up, 51% of yoga participants demonstrated a response (⩾50% reduction in depression symptoms) compared with 31% of HLW participants (odds ratio = 2.31; p = 0.04). Yoga participants showed significantly better social and role functioning and general health perceptions over time. Although we did not see a difference in depression symptoms at the end of the intervention period, yoga participants showed fewer depression symptoms over the entire follow-up period. Benefits of yoga may accumulate over time.

  1. Caring for the Elderly at Work and Home: Can a Randomized Organizational Intervention Improve Psychological Health?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kossek, Ellen Ernst; Thompson, Rebecca J; Lawson, Katie M; Bodner, Todd; Perrigino, Matthew B; Hammer, Leslie B; Buxton, Orfeu M; Almeida, David M; Moen, Phyllis; Hurtado, David A; Wipfli, Brad; Berkman, Lisa F; Bray, Jeremy W

    2017-12-07

    Although job stress models suggest that changing the work social environment to increase job resources improves psychological health, many intervention studies have weak designs and overlook influences of family caregiving demands. We tested the effects of an organizational intervention designed to increase supervisor social support for work and nonwork roles, and job control in a results-oriented work environment on the stress and psychological distress of health care employees who care for the elderly, while simultaneously considering their own family caregiving responsibilities. Using a group-randomized organizational field trial with an intent-to-treat design, 420 caregivers in 15 intervention extended-care nursing facilities were compared with 511 caregivers in 15 control facilities at 4 measurement times: preintervention and 6, 12, and 18 months. There were no main intervention effects showing improvements in stress and psychological distress when comparing intervention with control sites. Moderation analyses indicate that the intervention was more effective in reducing stress and psychological distress for caregivers who were also caring for other family members off the job (those with elders and those "sandwiched" with both child and elder caregiving responsibilities) compared with employees without caregiving demands. These findings extend previous studies by showing that the effect of organizational interventions designed to increase job resources to improve psychological health varies according to differences in nonwork caregiving demands. This research suggests that caregivers, especially those with "double-duty" elder caregiving at home and work and "triple-duty" responsibilities, including child care, may benefit from interventions designed to increase work-nonwork social support and job control. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. The Long-Term Effectiveness of a Selective, Personality-Targeted Prevention Program in Reducing Alcohol Use and Related Harms: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Nicola C.; Conrod, Patricia J.; Slade, Tim; Carragher, Natacha; Champion, Katrina E.; Barrett, Emma L.; Kelly, Erin V.; Nair, Natasha K.; Stapinski, Lexine; Teesson, Maree

    2016-01-01

    Background: This study investigated the long-term effectiveness of Preventure, a selective personality-targeted prevention program, in reducing the uptake of alcohol, harmful use of alcohol, and alcohol-related harms over a 3-year period. Methods: A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of Preventure.…

  3. Survey of social health insurance structure in selected countries; providing framework for basic health insurance in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadi, Effat; Raissi, Ahmad Reza; Barooni, Mohsen; Ferdoosi, Massoud; Nuhi, Mojtaba

    2014-01-01

    Health system reforms are the most strategic issue that has been seriously considered in healthcare systems in order to reduce costs and increase efficiency and effectiveness. The costs of health system finance in our country, lack of universal coverage in health insurance, and related issues necessitate reforms in our health system financing. The aim of this research was to prepare a structure of framework for social health insurance in Iran and conducting a comparative study in selected countries with social health insurance. This comparative descriptive study was conducted in three phases. The first phase of the study examined the structure of health social insurance in four countries - Germany, South Korea, Egypt, and Australia. The second phase was to develop an initial model, which was designed to determine the shared and distinguishing points of the investigated structures, for health insurance in Iran. The third phase was to validate the final research model. The developed model by the Delphi method was given to 20 professionals in financing of the health system, health economics and management of healthcare services. Their comments were collected in two stages and its validity was confirmed. The study of the structure of health insurance in the selected countries shows that health social insurance in different countries have different structures. Based on the findings of the present study, the current situation of the health system, and the conducted surveys, the following framework is suitable for the health social insurance system in Iran. The Health Social Insurance Organization has a unique service by having five funds of governmental employees, companies and NGOs, self-insured, villagers, and others, which serves as a nongovernmental organization under the supervision of public law and by decision- and policy-making of the Health Insurance Supreme Council. Membership in this organization is based on the nationality or residence, which the insured by

  4. A mental health intervention for schoolchildren exposed to violence: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Bradley D; Jaycox, Lisa H; Kataoka, Sheryl H; Wong, Marleen; Tu, Wenli; Elliott, Marc N; Fink, Arlene

    2003-08-06

    No randomized controlled studies have been conducted to date on the effectiveness of psychological interventions for children with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that has resulted from personally witnessing or being personally exposed to violence. To evaluate the effectiveness of a collaboratively designed school-based intervention for reducing children's symptoms of PTSD and depression that has resulted from exposure to violence. A randomized controlled trial conducted during the 2001-2002 academic year. Sixth-grade students at 2 large middle schools in Los Angeles who reported exposure to violence and had clinical levels of symptoms of PTSD. Students were randomly assigned to a 10-session standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy (the Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools) early intervention group (n = 61) or to a wait-list delayed intervention comparison group (n = 65) conducted by trained school mental health clinicians. Students were assessed before the intervention and 3 months after the intervention on measures assessing child-reported symptoms of PTSD (Child PTSD Symptom Scale; range, 0-51 points) and depression (Child Depression Inventory; range, 0-52 points), parent-reported psychosocial dysfunction (Pediatric Symptom Checklist; range, 0-70 points), and teacher-reported classroom problems using the Teacher-Child Rating Scale (acting out, shyness/anxiousness, and learning problems; range of subscales, 6-30 points). Compared with the wait-list delayed intervention group (no intervention), after 3 months of intervention students who were randomly assigned to the early intervention group had significantly lower scores on symptoms of PTSD (8.9 vs 15.5, adjusted mean difference, - 7.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], - 10.8 to - 3.2), depression (9.4 vs 12.7, adjusted mean difference, - 3.4; 95% CI, - 6.5 to - 0.4), and psychosocial dysfunction (12.5 vs 16.5, adjusted mean difference, - 6.4; 95% CI, -10.4 to -2.3). Adjusted

  5. Health Coaching and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Rehospitalization. A Randomized Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benzo, Roberto; Vickers, Kristin; Novotny, Paul J; Tucker, Sharon; Hoult, Johanna; Neuenfeldt, Pamela; Connett, John; Lorig, Kate; McEvoy, Charlene

    2016-09-15

    Hospital readmission for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has attracted attention owing to the burden to patients and the health care system. There is a knowledge gap on approaches to reducing COPD readmissions. To determine the effect of comprehensive health coaching on the rate of COPD readmissions. A total of 215 patients hospitalized for a COPD exacerbation were randomized at hospital discharge to receive either (1) motivational interviewing-based health coaching plus a written action plan for exacerbations (the use of antibiotics and oral steroids) and brief exercise advice or (2) usual care. We evaluated the rate of COPD-related hospitalizations during 1 year of follow-up. The absolute risk reductions of COPD-related rehospitalization in the health coaching group were 7.5% (P = 0.01), 11.0% (P = 0.02), 11.6% (P = 0.03), 11.4% (P = 0.05), and 5.4% (P = 0.24) at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, respectively, compared with the control group. The odds ratios for COPD hospitalization in the intervention arm compared with the control arm were 0.09 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01-0.77) at 1 month postdischarge, 0.37 (95% CI, 0.15-0.91) at 3 months postdischarge, 0.43 (95% CI, 0.20-0.94) at 6 months postdischarge, and 0.60 (95% CI, 0.30-1.20) at 1 year postdischarge. The missing value rate for the primary outcome was 0.4% (one patient). Disease-specific quality of life improved significantly in the health coaching group compared with the control group at 6 and 12 months, based on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire emotional score (emotion and mastery domains) and physical score (dyspnea and fatigue domains) (P coaching may represent a feasible and possibly effective intervention designed to reduce COPD readmissions. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01058486).

  6. Health coaching to prevent excessive gestational weight gain: A randomized-controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skouteris, Helen; McPhie, Skye; Hill, Briony; McCabe, Marita; Milgrom, Jeannette; Kent, Bridie; Bruce, Lauren; Herring, Sharon; Gale, Janette; Mihalopoulos, Cathrine; Shih, Sophy; Teale, Glyn; Lachal, Jennifer

    2016-02-01

    The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of a health coaching (HC) intervention designed to prevent excessive gestational weight gain (GWG), and promote positive psychosocial and motivational outcomes in comparison with an Education Alone (EA) group. Randomized-controlled trial. Two hundred and sixty-one women who were <18 weeks pregnant consented to take part. Those allocated to the HC group received a tailored HC intervention delivered by a Health Coach, whilst those in the EA group attended two education sessions. Women completed measures, including motivation, psychosocial variables, sleep quality, and knowledge, beliefs and expectations concerning GWG, at 15 weeks of gestation (Time 1) and 33 weeks of gestation (Time 2). Post-birth data were also collected at 2 months post-partum (Time 3). There was no intervention effect in relation to weight gained during pregnancy, rate of excessive GWG or birth outcomes. The only differences between HC and EA women were higher readiness (b = 0.29, 95% CIs = 0.03-0.55, p < .05) and the importance to achieve a healthy GWG (b = 0.27, 95% CIs = 0.02-0.52, p < .05), improved sleep quality (b = -0.22, 95% CIs = -0.44 to -0.03, p < .05), and increased knowledge for an appropriate amount of GWG that would be best for their baby's health (b = -1.75, 95% CI = -3.26 to -0.24, p < .05) reported by the HC at Time 2. Whilst the HC intervention was not successful in preventing excessive GWG, several implications for the design of future GWG interventions were identified, including the burden of the intervention commitment and the use of weight monitoring. What is already known on the subject? Designing interventions to address gestational weight gain (GWG) continues to be a challenge. To date, health behaviour change factors have not been the focus of GWG interventions. What does this study add? Our health coaching (HC) intervention did not reduce GWG more so than education alone (EA). There was an intervention effect

  7. Survey on basic knowledge about exposure and potential environmental and health risks for selected nanomaterials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Sonja Hagen; Hansen, Erik; Christensen, Trine Boe

    Based on a literature review this report provides a general description as well as an environmental and health profile of 7 nanomaterials. The examined nanomaterials are selected because of expected high use or specific environmental and health properties. Fullerenes, iron, silver, nanoclay...... and titanium-, cerium-, and silicondioxides were studied in the project. Based on current uses, it is concluded that current applications of nano-iron and nanoclay can not cause unexpected “nano-associated” health or environmental problems. Although no specific risk associated with current uses of any of the 7...... other nanomaterials were identified, there are areas where there may be reason for attention and thus need for more knowledge....

  8. Resiliency and subjective health assessment. Moderating role of selected psychosocial variables

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michalina Sołtys

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background Resiliency is defined as a relatively permanent personality trait, which may be assigned to the category of health resources. The aim of this study was to determine conditions in which resiliency poses a significant health resource (moderation, thereby broadening knowledge of the specifics of the relationship between resiliency and subjective health assessment. Participants and procedure The study included 142 individuals. In order to examine the level of resiliency, the Assessment Resiliency Scale (SPP-25 by N. Ogińska-Bulik and Z. Juczyński was used. Participants evaluated subjective health state by means of an analogue-visual scale. Additionally, in the research the following moderating variables were controlled: sex, objective health status, having a partner, professional activity and age. These data were obtained by personal survey. Results The results confirmed the relationship between resiliency and subjective health assessment. Multiple regression analysis revealed that sex, having a partner and professional activity are significant moderators of associations between level of resiliency and subjective health evaluation. However, statistically significant interaction effects for health status and age as a moderator were not observed. Conclusions Resiliency is associated with subjective health assessment among adults, and selected socio-demographic features (such as sex, having a partner, professional activity moderate this relationship. This confirms the significant role of resiliency as a health resource and a reason to emphasize the benefits of enhancing the potential of individuals for their psychophysical wellbeing. However, the research requires replication in a more homogeneous sample.

  9. Urban-rural variations in health in the Netherlands: does selective migration play a part?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verheij, R.A.; Mheen, H.D. van de; Bakker, D.H. de; Groenewegen, P.P.; Mackenbach, J.P.

    1998-01-01

    Study objective: urban-rural health differences are observed in many countries, even when socioeconomic and demographic characteristics are controlled for. People living in urban areas are often found to be less healthy. One of the possible causes for these differences is selective migration with

  10. Construction of the World Health Organization child growth standards: Selection of methods for attained growth curves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borghi, E.; Onis, M. de; Garza, C.; Broeck, J. van den; Frongillo, E.A.; Grummer-Strawn, L.; Buuren, S. van; Pan, H.; Molinari, L.; Martorell, R.; Onyango, A.W.; Martines, J.C.; Pinol, A.; Siyam, A.; Victoria, C.G.; Bhan, M.K.; Araújo, C.L.; Lartey, A.; Owusu, W.B.; Bhandari, N.; Norum, K.R.; Bjoerneboe, G.-E.Aa.; Mohamed, A.J.; Dewey, K.G.; Belbase, K.; Chumlea, C.; Cole, T.; Shrimpton, R.; Albernaz, E.; Tomasi, E.; Cássia Fossati da Silveira, R. de; Nader, G.; Sagoe-Moses, I.; Gomez, V.; Sagoe-Moses, C.; Taneja, S.; Rongsen, T.; Chetia, J.; Sharma, P.; Bahl, R.; Baerug, A.; Tufte, E.; Alasfoor, D.; Prakash, N.S.; Mabry, R.M.; Al Rajab, H.J.; Helmi, S.A.; Nommsen-Rivers, L.A.; Cohen, R.J.; Heinig, M.J.

    2006-01-01

    The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with a number of research institutions worldwide, is developing new child growth standards. As part of a broad consultative process for selecting the best statistical methods, WHO convened a group of statisticians and child growth experts to

  11. Utilization of healthcare services and renewal of health insurance membership : evidence of adverse selection in Ghana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duku, Stephen Kwasi Opoku; Asenso-Boadi, Francis; Nketiah-Amponsah, Edward; Arhinful, Daniel Kojo

    2016-01-01

    Background: Utilization of healthcare in Ghana’s novel National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has been increasing since inception with associated high claims bill which threatens the scheme’s financial sustainability. This paper investigates the presence of adverse selection by assessing the effect

  12. Identification and selection of cases and controls in the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health project

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deloria-Knoll, Maria; Feikin, Daniel R.; Scott, J. Anthony G.; O'Brien, Katherine L.; DeLuca, Andrea N.; Driscoll, Amanda J.; Levine, Orin S.; Black, Robert E.; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A.; Campbell, Harry; Cherian, Thomas; Crook, Derrick W.; de Jong, Menno D.; Dowell, Scott F.; Graham, Stephen M.; Klugman, Keith P.; Lanata, Claudio F.; Madhi, Shabir A.; Martin, Paul; Nataro, James P.; Piazza, Franco M.; Qazi, Shamim A.; Zar, Heather J.; Baggett, Henry C.; Brooks, W. Abdullah; Chipeta, James; Ebruke, Bernard; Endtz, Hubert P.; Groome, Michelle; Hammitt, Laura L.; Howie, Stephen R. C.; Kotloff, Karen; Maloney, Susan A.; Moore, David; Otieno, Juliet; Seidenberg, Phil; Tapia, Milagritos; Thamthitiwat, Somsak; Thea, Donald M.; Zaman, Khaleque

    2012-01-01

    Methods for the identification and selection of patients (cases) with severe or very severe pneumonia and controls for the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) project were needed. Issues considered include eligibility criteria and sampling strategies, whether to enroll hospital or

  13. [Health technology assessment: a multidisciplinary approach for selecting innovations in the health service].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavallo, Maria Caterina

    2013-01-01

    Technological evolution and the increasing requests of a more qualified health care have challenged politicians to evaluate the economical sustainability of proposed innovations. The objective of government health policies is to guarantee real advances in the quality of care to all citizens. Since 1965, independent research centers have analyzed this issue for the US Congress. In 1973, Congress endorsed the establishment of an Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) to discover the best strategies for evaluating such advances. OTA have proposed the following criteria to identify possible beneficial innovations to be introduced into routine health care: effectiveness, safeness, worth, costs, cost-effectiveness ratio and cost patient-benefit ratio. This review analyzes in detail the pathway that each medical innovation follows in order to identify which technological evolutions might prove to be truly beneficial and sustainable for the community.

  14. Bias analysis applied to Agricultural Health Study publications to estimate non-random sources of uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lash, Timothy L

    2007-11-26

    The associations of pesticide exposure with disease outcomes are estimated without the benefit of a randomized design. For this reason and others, these studies are susceptible to systematic errors. I analyzed studies of the associations between alachlor and glyphosate exposure and cancer incidence, both derived from the Agricultural Health Study cohort, to quantify the bias and uncertainty potentially attributable to systematic error. For each study, I identified the prominent result and important sources of systematic error that might affect it. I assigned probability distributions to the bias parameters that allow quantification of the bias, drew a value at random from each assigned distribution, and calculated the estimate of effect adjusted for the biases. By repeating the draw and adjustment process over multiple iterations, I generated a frequency distribution of adjusted results, from which I obtained a point estimate and simulation interval. These methods were applied without access to the primary record-level dataset. The conventional estimates of effect associating alachlor and glyphosate exposure with cancer incidence were likely biased away from the null and understated the uncertainty by quantifying only random error. For example, the conventional p-value for a test of trend in the alachlor study equaled 0.02, whereas fewer than 20% of the bias analysis iterations yielded a p-value of 0.02 or lower. Similarly, the conventional fully-adjusted result associating glyphosate exposure with multiple myleoma equaled 2.6 with 95% confidence interval of 0.7 to 9.4. The frequency distribution generated by the bias analysis yielded a median hazard ratio equal to 1.5 with 95% simulation interval of 0.4 to 8.9, which was 66% wider than the conventional interval. Bias analysis provides a more complete picture of true uncertainty than conventional frequentist statistical analysis accompanied by a qualitative description of study limitations. The latter approach is

  15. Bias analysis applied to Agricultural Health Study publications to estimate non-random sources of uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lash Timothy L

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The associations of pesticide exposure with disease outcomes are estimated without the benefit of a randomized design. For this reason and others, these studies are susceptible to systematic errors. I analyzed studies of the associations between alachlor and glyphosate exposure and cancer incidence, both derived from the Agricultural Health Study cohort, to quantify the bias and uncertainty potentially attributable to systematic error. Methods For each study, I identified the prominent result and important sources of systematic error that might affect it. I assigned probability distributions to the bias parameters that allow quantification of the bias, drew a value at random from each assigned distribution, and calculated the estimate of effect adjusted for the biases. By repeating the draw and adjustment process over multiple iterations, I generated a frequency distribution of adjusted results, from which I obtained a point estimate and simulation interval. These methods were applied without access to the primary record-level dataset. Results The conventional estimates of effect associating alachlor and glyphosate exposure with cancer incidence were likely biased away from the null and understated the uncertainty by quantifying only random error. For example, the conventional p-value for a test of trend in the alachlor study equaled 0.02, whereas fewer than 20% of the bias analysis iterations yielded a p-value of 0.02 or lower. Similarly, the conventional fully-adjusted result associating glyphosate exposure with multiple myleoma equaled 2.6 with 95% confidence interval of 0.7 to 9.4. The frequency distribution generated by the bias analysis yielded a median hazard ratio equal to 1.5 with 95% simulation interval of 0.4 to 8.9, which was 66% wider than the conventional interval. Conclusion Bias analysis provides a more complete picture of true uncertainty than conventional frequentist statistical analysis accompanied by a

  16. Nutritional counselling in primary health care: a randomized comparison of an intervention by general practitioner or dietician

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willaing, Ingrid; Ladelund, Steen; Jørgensen, Torben

    2004-01-01

    AIMS: To compare health effects and risk reduction in two different strategies of nutritional counselling in primary health care for patients at high risk of ischaemic heart disease. METHODS: In a cluster-randomized trial 60 general practitioners (GPs) in the Copenhagen County were randomized...... to give nutritional counselling or to refer patients to a dietician. Patients were included after opportunistically screening (n=503 patients), and received nutritional counselling by GP or dietician over 12 months. Health effects were measured by changes in weight, waist circumference and blood lipids....... Risk of cardiovascular disease was calculated by The Copenhagen Risk Score. Data on use of medicine and primary health care was obtained from central registers. RESULTS: Altogether 339 (67%) patients completed the intervention. Weight loss was larger in the dietician group (mean 4.5 kg vs. 2.4 kg...

  17. Sibling genes as environment: Sibling dopamine genotypes and adolescent health support frequency dependent selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauscher, Emily; Conley, Dalton; Siegal, Mark L

    2015-11-01

    While research consistently suggests siblings matter for individual outcomes, it remains unclear why. At the same time, studies of genetic effects on health typically correlate variants of a gene with the average level of behavioral or health measures, ignoring more complicated genetic dynamics. Using National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health data, we investigate whether sibling genes moderate individual genetic expression. We compare twin variation in health-related absences and self-rated health by genetic differences at three locations related to dopamine regulation and transport to test sibship-level cross-person gene-gene interactions. Results suggest effects of variation at these genetic locations are moderated by sibling genes. Although the mechanism remains unclear, this evidence is consistent with frequency dependent selection and suggests much genetic research may violate the stable unit treatment value assumption. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Health information security: a case study of three selected medical centers in iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajrahimi, Nafiseh; Dehaghani, Sayed Mehdi Hejazi; Sheikhtaheri, Abbas

    2013-03-01

    Health Information System (HIS) is considered a unique factor in improving the quality of health care activities and cost reduction, but today with the development of information technology and use of internet and computer networks, patients' electronic records and health information systems have become a source for hackers. This study aims at checking health information security of three selected medical centers in Iran using AHP fuzzy and TOPSIS compound model. To achieve that security measures were identified, based on the research literature and decision making matrix using experts' points of view. Among the 27 indicators, seven indicators were selected as effective indicators and Fuzzy AHP technique was used to determine the importance of security indicators. Based on the comparisons made between the three selected medical centers to assess the security of health information, it is concluded that Chamran hospital has the most acceptable level of security and attention in three indicators of "verification and system design, user access management, access control system", Al Zahra Hospital in two indicators of "access management and network access control" and Amin Hospital in "equipment safety and system design". In terms of information security, Chamran Hospital ranked first, Al-Zahra Hospital ranked second and Al- Zahra hospital has the third place.

  19. “Lead Leached into Water from Select Plumbing Fixtures” Could Lead to Health Hazard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramsey Coles

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Lead is an inert metal and is resistant to corrosion. It also increases tensile strength of many common materials in daily use. Lead was used during the Roman period to transport water (hence the name plumbing/plumber is common terminology even in the present day. Lead enters the biological system through the air, water, and dust. Fine particles of lead, having diameter less than 5 nm are directly absorbed by lungs. Inorganic lead is absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, and organic lead is absorbed by the skin. Lead has long been known to be a toxic heavy metal and exposure is associated with many deleterious health effects. Still, lead remains a popular ingredient in products ranging from paint to batteries. The lead content in any given material is estimated using various methods. The least cumbersome method is found to be X-Ray Fluorescence technique (XRF. A portable XRF device was used in the present study. Aim: The main aim of this study to investigate whether lead is present in various commonly used plumbing materials. Material and Methods: All types of branded and commonly used pipes were gathered from a market in Bangalore and tested using the XRF machine. In order to evaluate to what extent lead from the pipes could leach into water, seven pipes were randomly selected and filled with Aquafina water (having undetectable level of lead for a 24 hour period. This water was tested at an NABL accredited laboratory in Bangalore, India for lead content. Result: It was determined that lead was present in many of the samples, at an unacceptable levels ranging from, well above the globally accepted level of 0.01 mg/L proof that lead was able to leach from the samples into water. Conclusions: As lead in drinking water represents a direct pathway for human exposure, the authors recommend that significant measures be taken to prevent use of lead in the plumbing industry for prevention of it’s deleterious effects. Authors have also

  20. Morbidity profile of elderly outpatients attending selected sub-district Siddha health facilities in Tamil Nadu, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selvaraj, Kalaiselvi; Srinivasan, Manikandan; Duraisamy, Venkatachalam; Ramaswamy, Gomathi; Venugopal, Vinayagamurthy; Chinnakali, Palanivel

    2016-01-01

    Background: Recently, under National Health Mission alternate systems of Medicine are mainstreamed in public health care system. Effective action plan generation, logistic arrangement and roll out of these alternate systems of Medicine needs understanding on profile of morbidities among attendees who come to these facilities. Objectives: This study was planned to report profile of morbidities, age and sex differentials in specific morbidities among geriatric attendees in secondary level siddha health facilities. Materials and Methods: A facility based cross sectional study was conducted among elderly person (60 years and above) attending Siddha outpatient department (OPD) from two of the randomly selected sub district level siddha facilities in Erode district, Tamil Nadu, India. Information on socio-demographic variables like age, gender, education and clinical profile (diagnosis) were collected from records already maintained in the siddha OPD. Morbidities were summarized in terms of proportions based on age and gender. Age and sex specific differentials on specific morbidities were compared using ‘z’ test. Results: Of 2710 patients who visited these two siddha facilities during the reference period, 763 (28.1%) patients were elderly. Arthritis (45.2%), neuritis (8.8%), diabetes (6.6%), bronchial asthma (5.2%), hemiplegia (3.7%) were the top five morbidities diagnosed and treated among elderly attending the siddha OPD. There was a predilection towards elderly male for morbidities such as bronchial asthma and hemiplegia compared to elderly female. Similarly, higher proportions of lumbar spondylosis, hypertension and fungal skin diseases were reported among aged 80 years or more compared to elderly aged 60-79 years. Conclusion: Elderly constitute more than one fourth of outpatients load from siddha health facilities. Degenerative diseases like arthritis and non-communicable diseases were the common morbidities in this age group. Geriatric clinics and mobile

  1. Enhanced invitation methods to increase uptake of NHS health checks: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    Forster, Alice S; Burgess, Caroline; McDermott, Lisa; Wright, Alison J; Dodhia, Hiten; Conner, Mark; Miller, Jane; Rudisill, Caroline; Cornelius, Victoria; Gulliford, Martin C

    2014-01-01

    Background NHS Health Checks is a new program for primary prevention of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and vascular dementia in adults aged 40 to 74 years in England. Individuals without existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes are invited for a Health Check every 5 years. Uptake among those invited is lower than anticipated. Method The project is a three-arm randomized controlled trial to test the hypothesis that enhanced invitation methods, using the Question-Be...

  2. Asymmetric Information in Iranian’s Health Insurance Market: Testing of Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotfi, Farhad; Gorji, Hassan Abolghasem; Mahdavi, Ghadir; Hadian, Mohammad

    2015-01-01

    Background: Asymmetric information is one of the most important issues in insurance market which occurred due to inherent characteristics of one of the agents involved in insurance contracts; hence its management requires designing appropriate policies. This phenomenon can lead to the failure of insurance market via its two consequences, namely, adverse selection and moral hazard. Objective: This study was aimed to evaluate the status of asymmetric information in Iran’s health insurance market with respect to the demand for outpatient services. Materials/sPatients and Methods: This research is a cross sectional study conducted on households living in Iran. The data of the research was extracted from the information on household’s budget survey collected by the Statistical Center of Iran in 2012. In this study, the Generalized Method of Moment model was used and the status of adverse selection and moral hazard was evaluated through calculating the latent health status of individuals in each insurance category. To analyze the data, Excel, Eviews and stata11 software were used. Results: The estimation of parameters of the utility function of the demand for outpatient services (visit, medicine, and Para-clinical services) showed that households were more risk averse in the use of outpatient care than other goods and services. After estimating the health status of households based on their health insurance categories, the results showed that rural-insured people had the best health status and people with supplementary insurance had the worst health status. In addition, the comparison of the conditional distribution of latent health status approved the phenomenon of adverse selection in all insurance groups, with the exception of rural insurance. Moreover, calculation of the elasticity of medical expenses to reimbursement rate confirmed the existence of moral hazard phenomenon. Conclusions: Due to the existence of the phenomena of adverse selection and moral hazard

  3. Considerations for preparing a randomized population health intervention trial: lessons from a South African–Canadian partnership to improve the health of health workers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalee Yassi

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Community-based cluster-randomized controlled trials (RCTs are increasingly being conducted to address pressing global health concerns. Preparations for clinical trials are well-described, as are the steps for multi-component health service trials. However, guidance is lacking for addressing the ethical and logistic challenges in (cluster RCTs of population health interventions in low- and middle-income countries. Objective: We aimed to identify the factors that population health researchers must explicitly consider when planning RCTs within North–South partnerships. Design: We reviewed our experiences and identified key ethical and logistic issues encountered during the pre-trial phase of a recently implemented RCT. This trial aimed to improve tuberculosis (TB and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV prevention and care for health workers by enhancing workplace assessment capability, addressing concerns about confidentiality and stigma, and providing onsite counseling, testing, and treatment. An iterative framework was used to synthesize this analysis with lessons taken from other studies. Results: The checklist of critical factors was grouped into eight categories: 1 Building trust and shared ownership; 2 Conducting feasibility studies throughout the process; 3 Building capacity; 4 Creating an appropriate information system; 5 Conducting pilot studies; 6 Securing stakeholder support, with a view to scale-up; 7 Continuously refining methodological rigor; and 8 Explicitly addressing all ethical issues both at the start and continuously as they arise. Conclusion: Researchers should allow for the significant investment of time and resources required for successful implementation of population health RCTs within North–South collaborations, recognize the iterative nature of the process, and be prepared to revise protocols as challenges emerge.

  4. Water chemistry in 179 randomly selected Swedish headwater streams related to forest production, clear-felling and climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Löfgren, Stefan; Fröberg, Mats; Yu, Jun; Nisell, Jakob; Ranneby, Bo

    2014-12-01

    From a policy perspective, it is important to understand forestry effects on surface waters from a landscape perspective. The EU Water Framework Directive demands remedial actions if not achieving good ecological status. In Sweden, 44 % of the surface water bodies have moderate ecological status or worse. Many of these drain catchments with a mosaic of managed forests. It is important for the forestry sector and water authorities to be able to identify where, in the forested landscape, special precautions are necessary. The aim of this study was to quantify the relations between forestry parameters and headwater stream concentrations of nutrients, organic matter and acid-base chemistry. The results are put into the context of regional climate, sulphur and nitrogen deposition, as well as marine influences. Water chemistry was measured in 179 randomly selected headwater streams from two regions in southwest and central Sweden, corresponding to 10 % of the Swedish land area. Forest status was determined from satellite images and Swedish National Forest Inventory data using the probabilistic classifier method, which was used to model stream water chemistry with Bayesian model averaging. The results indicate that concentrations of e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter are related to factors associated with forest production but that it is not forestry per se that causes the excess losses. Instead, factors simultaneously affecting forest production and stream water chemistry, such as climate, extensive soil pools and nitrogen deposition, are the most likely candidates The relationships with clear-felled and wetland areas are likely to be direct effects.

  5. Random glucose is useful for individual prediction of type 2 diabetes: results of the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowall, Bernd; Rathmann, Wolfgang; Giani, Guido; Schipf, Sabine; Baumeister, Sebastian; Wallaschofski, Henri; Nauck, Matthias; Völzke, Henry

    2013-04-01

    Random glucose is widely used in routine clinical practice. We investigated whether this non-standardized glycemic measure is useful for individual diabetes prediction. The Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP), a population-based cohort study in north-east Germany, included 3107 diabetes-free persons aged 31-81 years at baseline in 1997-2001. 2475 persons participated at 5-year follow-up and gave self-reports of incident diabetes. For the total sample and for subjects aged ≥50 years, statistical properties of prediction models with and without random glucose were compared. A basic model (including age, sex, diabetes of parents, hypertension and waist circumference) and a comprehensive model (additionally including various lifestyle variables and blood parameters, but not HbA1c) performed statistically significantly better after adding random glucose (e.g., the area under the receiver-operating curve (AROC) increased from 0.824 to 0.856 after adding random glucose to the comprehensive model in the total sample). Likewise, adding random glucose to prediction models which included HbA1c led to significant improvements of predictive ability (e.g., for subjects ≥50 years, AROC increased from 0.824 to 0.849 after adding random glucose to the comprehensive model+HbA1c). Random glucose is useful for individual diabetes prediction, and improves prediction models including HbA1c. Copyright © 2012 Primary Care Diabetes Europe. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Unemployment and health selection in diverging economic conditions: Compositional changes? Evidence from 28 European countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heggebø, Kristian; Dahl, Espen

    2015-11-04

    Unemployment and health selection in diverging economic conditions: Compositional changes? Evidence from 28 european countries. People with ill health tend to be overrepresented among the unemployment population. The relationship between health and unemployment might, however, be sensitive to the overall economic condition. Specifically, the health composition of the unemployment population could change dramatically when the economy takes a turn for the worse. Using EU-SILC cross sectional data from 2007 (pre-crisis) and 2011 (during crisis) and linear regression models, this paper investigates the relationship between health and unemployment probabilities under differing economic conditions in 28 European countries. The countries are classified according to (i) the level of and (ii) increase in unemployment rate (i.e. >10 percent and doubling of unemployment rate = crisis country). Firstly, the unemployment likelihood for people with ill health is remarkably stable over time in Europe: the coefficients are very similar in pre-crisis and crisis years. Secondly, people with ill health have experienced unemployment to a lesser extent than those with good health status in the crisis year (when we pool the data and compare 2007 and 2011), but only in the countries with a high and rising unemployment rate. The health composition of the unemployment population changes significantly for the better, but only in those European countries that have been severely hit by the current economic crisis.

  7. Improving low-wage, midsized employers' health promotion practices: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, Peggy A; Harris, Jeffrey R; Sopher, Carrie J; Kuniyuki, Alan; Ghosh, Donetta L; Henderson, Shelly; Martin, Diane P; Weaver, Marcia R; Williams, Barbara; Albano, Denise L; Meischke, Hendrika; Diehr, Paula; Lichiello, Patricia; Hammerback, Kristen E; Parks, Malcolm R; Forehand, Mark

    2012-08-01

    The Guide to Community Preventive Services (Community Guide) offers evidence-based intervention strategies to prevent chronic disease. The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center co-developed ACS Workplace Solutions (WPS) to improve workplaces' implementation of Community Guide strategies. To test the effectiveness of WPS for midsized employers in low-wage industries. Two-arm RCT; workplaces were randomized to receive WPS during the study (intervention group) or at the end of the study (delayed control group). Forty-eight midsized employers (100-999 workers) in King County WA. WPS provides employers one-on-one consulting with an ACS interventionist via three meetings at the workplace. The interventionist recommends best practices to adopt based on the workplace's current practices, provides implementation toolkits for the best practices the employer chooses to adopt, conducts a follow-up visit at 6 months, and provides technical assistance. Employers' implementation of 16 best practices (in the categories of insurance benefits, health-related policies, programs, tracking, and health communications) at baseline (June 2007-June 2008) and 15-month follow-up (October 2008-December 2009). Data were analyzed in 2010-2011. Intervention employers demonstrated greater improvement from baseline than control employers in two of the five best-practice categories; implementing policies (baseline scores: 39% program, 43% control; follow-up scores: 49% program, 45% control; p=0.013) and communications (baseline scores: 42% program, 44% control; follow-up scores: 76% program, 55% control; p=0.007). Total best-practice implementation improvement did not differ between study groups (baseline scores: 32% intervention, 37% control; follow-up scores: 39% intervention, 42% control; p=0.328). WPS improved employers' health-related policies and communications but did not improve insurance benefits design, programs, or tracking. Many

  8. A patient and community-centered approach selecting endpoints for a randomized trial of a novel advance care planning tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bridges JFP

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available John FP Bridges,1,2 Norah L Crossnohere,2 Anne L Schuster,1 Judith A Miller,3 Carolyn Pastorini,3,† Rebecca A Aslakson2,4,5 1Department of Health Policy and Management, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, 2Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, 3Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI Project, Baltimore, MD, 4Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 5Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA †Carolyn Pastorini passed away on August 24, 2015 Background: Despite a movement toward patient-centered outcomes, best practices on how to gather and refine patients’ perspectives on research endpoints are limited. Advanced care planning (ACP is inherently patient centered and would benefit from patient prioritization of endpoints for ACP-related tools and studies.Objective: This investigation sought to prioritize patient-centered endpoints for the content and evaluation of an ACP video being developed for patients undergoing major surgery. We also sought to highlight an approach using complementary engagement and research strategies to document priorities and preferences of patients and other stakeholders.Materials and methods: Endpoints identified from a previously published environmental scan were operationalized following rating by a caregiver co-investigator, refinement by a patient co-investigator, review by a stakeholder committee, and validation by patients and family members. Finalized endpoints were taken to a state fair where members of the public who indicated that they or a loved one had undergone major surgery prioritized their most relevant endpoints and provided comments.Results: Of the initial 50 ACP endpoints identified from the review, 12 endpoints were selected for public

  9. The CAP study, evaluation of integrated universal and selective prevention strategies for youth alcohol misuse: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial

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    Newton Nicola C

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alcohol misuse amongst young people is a serious concern. The need for effective prevention is clear, yet there appear to be few evidenced-based programs that prevent alcohol misuse and none that target both high and low-risk youth. The CAP study addresses this gap by evaluating the efficacy of an integrated approach to alcohol misuse prevention, which combines the effective universal internet-based Climate Schools program with the effective selective personality-targeted Preventure program. This article describes the development and protocol of the CAP study which aims to prevent alcohol misuse and related harms in Australian adolescents. Methods/Design A cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT is being conducted with Year 8 students aged 13 to 14-years-old from 27 secondary schools in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia. Blocked randomisation was used to assign schools to one of four groups; Climate Schools only, Preventure only, CAP (Climate Schools and Preventure, or Control (alcohol, drug and health education as usual. The primary outcomes of the trial will be the uptake and harmful use of alcohol and alcohol related harms. Secondary outcomes will include alcohol and cannabis related knowledge, cannabis related harms, intentions to use, and mental health symptomatology. All participants will complete assessments on five occasions; baseline; immediately post intervention, and at 12, 24 and 36 months post baseline. Discussion This study protocol presents the design and current implementation of a cluster RCT to evaluate the efficacy of the CAP study; an integrated universal and selective approach to prevent alcohol use and related harms among adolescents. Compared to students who receive the stand-alone universal Climate Schools program or alcohol and drug education as usual (Controls, we expect the students who receive the CAP intervention to have significantly less uptake of alcohol use, a reduction in average

  10. Food pantry selection solutions: a randomized controlled trial in client-choice food pantries to nudge clients to targeted foods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Norbert L W; Just, David R; Swigert, Jeffery; Wansink, Brian

    2017-06-01

    Food pantries and food banks are interested in cost-effective methods to encourage the selection of targeted foods without restricting choices. Thus, this study evaluates the effectiveness of nudges toward targeted foods. In October/November 2014, we manipulated the display of a targeted product in a New York State food pantry. We evaluated the binary choice of the targeted good when we placed it in the front or the back of the category line (placement order) and when we presented the product in its original box or unboxed (packaging). The average uptake proportion for the back treatment was 0.231, 95% CI = 0.179, 0.29, n = 205, and for the front treatment, the proportion was 0.337, 95% CI = 0.272, 0.406, n = 238 with an odds ratio of 1.688, 95% CI = 1.088, 2.523. The average uptake for the unboxed treatment was 0.224, 95% CI = 0.174, 0.280, n = 255, and for the boxed intervention, the proportion was 0.356, 95% CI = 0.288, 0.429, n = 188 with an odds ratio of 1.923, 95% CI = 1.237, 2.991. Nudges increased uptake of the targeted food. The findings also hold when we control for a potential confounder. Low cost and unobtrusive nudges can be effective tools for food pantry organizers to encourage the selection of targeted foods. NCT02403882. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. A randomized controlled trial of a public health nurse-delivered asthma program to elementary schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicutto, Lisa; To, Teresa; Murphy, Suzanne

    2013-12-01

    Childhood asthma is a serious and common chronic disease that requires the attention of nurses and other school personnel. Schools are often the first setting that children take the lead in managing their asthma. Often, children are ill prepared for this role. Our study evaluated a school-based, multifaceted asthma program that targeted students with asthma and the broader school community. A randomized trial involving 130 schools with grades 1-5 and 1316 children with asthma and their families was conducted. Outcomes of interest for the child, at 1 year, were urgent care use and school absenteeism for asthma, inhaler technique, and quality of life, and for the school, at 14 months, were indicators of a supportive school environment. Improvements were observed at the child and school level for the intervention group. Fewer children in the intervention group had a school absence (50% vs 60%; p Schools in the intervention group were more likely to have practices supporting an asthma-friendly environment. Implementation of a multifaceted school-based asthma program can lead to asthma-friendly schools that support children with asthma to be successful managers of their asthma and experience improved quality of life and decreased disease associated burden. © 2013, American School Health Association.

  12. Effect of probiotics on vaginal health in pregnancy. EFFPRO, a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gille, Christian; Böer, Bettina; Marschal, Matthias; Urschitz, Michael S; Heinecke, Volker; Hund, Verena; Speidel, Sarah; Tarnow, Inge; Mylonas, Ioannis; Franz, Axel; Engel, Corinna; Poets, Christian F

    2016-11-01

    Preterm delivery is a leading cause of neonatal morbidity and death. It often results from chorioamnionitis, which is a complication of bacterial vaginosis. Probiotics are effective in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis in women who were not pregnant; studies in pregnant woman are missing. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether an oral probiotic food supplement supports the maintenance or restoration of a normal vaginal microbiota during pregnancy. We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, triple-blind, parallel group trial. Oral Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1and L reuteri RC-14 (10 9 colony-forming units) or placebo were administered for 8 weeks to women with Vaginal swabs were taken before and after intervention and analyzed according to the Nugent scoring system. Telephone interviews were performed before and after intervention and after delivery. Primary outcome was the proportion of swabs with normal Nugent score (Vaginal swabs were analyzed from 290 women before and 271 women after intervention. The proportion of normal vaginal microbiota decreased from 82.6 to 77.8% in the treatment group and from 79.1 to 74.3% in the placebo group, with no significant difference across groups after intervention (P=.297). Oral probiotics may be suitable for implementation in antenatal care but, as administered here, had no effect on vaginal health during mid gestation. Other application routes or probiotic preparations may be more effective in supporting vaginal microbiota during pregnancy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Didactic Lecture Versus Interactive Workshop for Continuing Pharmacy Education on Reproductive Health: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javadi, Mohammadreza; Kargar, Alireza; Gholami, Kheirollah; Hadjibabaie, Molouk; Rashidian, Arash; Torkamandi, Hassan; Sarayani, Amir

    2015-09-01

    Pharmacists are routinely providing reproductive health counseling in community pharmacies, but studies have revealed significant deficits in their competencies. Therefore, continuing pharmacy education (CPE) could be utilized as a valuable modality to upgrade pharmacists' capabilities. A randomized controlled trial was designed to compare the efficacy of CPE meetings (lecture based vs. workshop based) on contraception and male sexual dysfunctions. Sixty pharmacists were recruited for each CPE meeting. Small group training using simulated patients was employed in the workshop-based CPE. Study outcomes were declarative/procedural knowledge, attitudes, and satisfaction of the participants. Data were collected pre-CPE, post-CPE, and 2 months afterward and were analyzed using repeated measure analysis of variance and Mann-Whitney U test. Results showed that lecture-based CPE was more successful in improving pharmacists' knowledge post-CPE (p < .001). In contrast, a significant decrease was observed in the lecture-based group at follow-up (p = .002), whereas the workshop-based group maintained their knowledge over time (p = 1.00). Knowledge scores of both groups were significantly higher at follow-up in comparison with pre-CPE (p < .01). No significant differences were observed regarding satisfaction and attitudes scores between groups. In conclusion, an interactive workshop might not be superior to lecture-based training for improving pharmacists' knowledge and attitudes in a 1-day CPE meeting. © The Author(s) 2013.

  14. Random demodulation for structural health monitoring excited by the five-cycle sine burst

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Xing

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM has been paid more and more attention. The five-cycle sine burst is widely used as the exciting signal in SHM and the sensors’ responded signals are analyzed to research the damage. In the sensor network, there will be many sensors which mean many responded signals will be sampled, restored and sometimes transferred. In the traditional way which is known as Nyquist sampling theorem, the sampling rate must be more than twice the highest rate of the original signal. In this way, the amount of data will be huge. As the result, the costs will be very expensive and the equipment may be huge and heavy, which is especially unaccepted in the aircraft. It is necessary to do some research to compress the signal. The Compressing Sensing (CS theory provides new methods to compress the signals. The Random Demodulation (RD is a specific method which can accomplish the physical implementation of CS theory. In this paper, according to the structure of RD, we chose some chips to build a RD system. And we did some experiments to verify the method through the system. We chose the Orthogonal Matching Pursuit (OMP as the construct algorithm to recover the signal.

  15. Effects of unstable shoes on chronic low back pain in health professionals: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armand, Stéphane; Tavcar, Ziva; Turcot, Katia; Allet, Lara; Hoffmeyer, Pierre; Genevay, Stéphane

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of unstable shoes in reducing low back pain in health professionals. Of a volunteer sample of 144 participants, 40 with nonspecific chronic low back pain were eligible and enrolled in this study. Participants were randomized to an intervention group, who wore unstable shoes (model MBT Fora), or a control group, who wore conventional sports shoes (model Adidas Bigroar). The participants had to wear the study shoes during their work hours, and at least 6 hours per workday, over a period of 6 weeks. The primary outcome was low back pain assessed on a Visual Analog Scale. The secondary outcomes were patient satisfaction, disability evaluated using Roland-Morris questionnaire and quality of life evaluated using EQ-VAS. The intervention group showed a significant decrease in pain scores compared to the control group. The rate of satisfaction was higher in the intervention group (79%) compared to the control group (25%). There was no significant difference for the Roland-Morris disability questionnaire score and the EQ-VAS scale. The results of this clinical trial suggest that wearing unstable shoes for 6 weeks significantly decreases low back pain in patients suffering from chronic low back pain but had no significant effect on quality of life and disability scores. Copyright © 2014 Société française de rhumatologie. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. How can the regulator show evidence of (no) risk selection in health insurance markets? Conceptual framework and empirical evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Ven, Wynand P M M; van Vliet, René C J A; van Kleef, Richard C

    2017-03-01

    If consumers have a choice of health plan, risk selection is often a serious problem (e.g., as in Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, the United States of America, and Switzerland). Risk selection may threaten the quality of care for chronically ill people, and may reduce the affordability and efficiency of healthcare. Therefore, an important question is: how can the regulator show evidence of (no) risk selection? Although this seems easy, showing such evidence is not straightforward. The novelty of this paper is two-fold. First, we provide a conceptual framework for showing evidence of risk selection in competitive health insurance markets. It is not easy to disentangle risk selection and the insurers' efficiency. We suggest two methods to measure risk selection that are not biased by the insurers' efficiency. Because these measures underestimate the true risk selection, we also provide a list of signals of selection that can be measured and that, in particular in combination, can show evidence of risk selection. It is impossible to show the absence of risk selection. Second, we empirically measure risk selection among the switchers, taking into account the insurers' efficiency. Based on 2-year administrative data on healthcare expenses and risk characteristics of nearly all individuals with basic health insurance in the Netherlands (N > 16 million) we find significant risk selection for most health insurers. This is the first publication of hard empirical evidence of risk selection in the Dutch health insurance market.

  17. Early prevention of antisocial personality: long-term follow-up of two randomized controlled trials comparing indicated and selective approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Stephen; Briskman, Jackie; O'Connor, Thomas G

    2014-06-01

    Antisocial personality is a common adult problem that imposes a major public health burden, but for which there is no effective treatment. Affected individuals exhibit persistent antisocial behavior and pervasive antisocial character traits, such as irritability, manipulativeness, and lack of remorse. Prevention of antisocial personality in childhood has been advocated, but evidence for effective interventions is lacking. The authors conducted two follow-up studies of randomized trials of group parent training. One involved 120 clinic-referred 3- to 7-year-olds with severe antisocial behavior for whom treatment was indicated, 93 of whom were reassessed between ages 10 and 17. The other involved 109 high-risk 4- to 6-year-olds with elevated antisocial behavior who were selectively screened from the community, 90 of whom were reassessed between ages 9 and 13. The primary psychiatric outcome measures were the two elements of antisocial personality, namely, antisocial behavior (assessed by a diagnostic interview) and antisocial character traits (assessed by a questionnaire). Also assessed were reading achievement (an important domain of youth functioning at work) and parent-adolescent relationship quality. In the indicated sample, both elements of antisocial personality were improved in the early intervention group at long-term follow-up compared with the control group (antisocial behavior: odds ratio of oppositional defiant disorder=0.20, 95% CI=0.06, 0.69; antisocial character traits: B=-4.41, 95% CI=-1.12, -8.64). Additionally, reading ability improved (B=9.18, 95% CI=0.58, 18.0). Parental expressed emotion was warmer (B=0.86, 95% CI=0.20, 1.41) and supervision was closer (B=-0.43, 95% CI=-0.11, -0.75), but direct observation of parenting showed no differences. Teacher-rated and self-rated antisocial behavior were unchanged. In contrast, in the selective high-risk sample, early intervention was not associated with improved long-term outcomes. Early intervention with

  18. Effect on attendance by including focused information on spirometry in preventive health checks: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ørts, Lene Maria; Løkke, Anders; Bjerregaard, Anne-Louise; Maindal, Helle Terkildsen; Sandbæk, Annelli

    2016-12-01

    Early detection of lung diseases can help to reduce their severity. Lung diseases are among the most frequently occurring and serious diseases worldwide; nonetheless, many patients remain undiagnosed. Preventive health checks including spirometry can detect lung diseases at early stages; however, recruitment for health checks remains a challenge, and little is known about what motivates the attendance. The aim of the study is to examine whether focused information on spirometry in the invitation compared to general information will impact the attendance rate in preventive health checks. This randomized, controlled trial tests the effect of information on spirometry embedded in the Check your Health Preventive Program (CHPP). The CHPP is an open-label, household cluster-randomized, controlled trial offering a preventive health check to 30- to -49-year-olds in a Danish municipality from 2012 to 2017 (n = 26,216). During 2015-2016, 4356 citizens aged 30-49 years will be randomized into two groups. The intervention group receives an invitation which highlights the value and contents of spirometry as part of a health check and information about lung diseases. The comparison group receives a standard invitation containing practical information and specifies the contents of the general health check. Outcomes are (1) differences in attendance rates measured by the proportion of citizens attending each of the two study groups and (2) proportion of persons at risk defined by smoking status and self-reported lung symptoms in the study groups. The proportion of participants with abnormal spirometry assessed at the preventive health check will be compared between the two study groups. The results from the present study will inform future recruitment strategies to health checks. The developed material on content, value, and information about lung disease is feasible and transferable to other populations, making it easy to implement if effective. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT

  19. The burden of selected cancers in the US: health behaviors and health care resource utilization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iadeluca L

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Laura Iadeluca,1 Jack Mardekian,1 Pratibha Chander,2 Markay Hopps,1 Geoffrey T Makinson1 1Pfizer Inc., 2Atrium Staffing, New York, NY, USA Objective: To characterize the disease burden among survivors of those cancers having the highest incidence in the US.Methods: Adult (≥18 years survivors of the 11 most frequently diagnosed cancers were identified from publically available data sources, including the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results 9 1973–2012, National Health Interview Survey 2013, and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2011. Chi-square tests and one-way analyses of variance were utilized to assess differences between cancer survivors and non-cancer controls in behavioral characteristics, symptoms and functions, preventative screenings, and health care costs.Results: Hematologic malignancies, melanoma, and breast, prostate, lung, colon/rectal, bladder, kidney/renal, uterine, thyroid, and pancreatic cancers had the highest incidence rates. Breast cancer had the highest incidence among women (156.4 per 100,000 and prostate cancer among men (167.2 per 100,000. The presence of pain (P=0.0003, fatigue (P=0.0005, and sadness (P=0.0012 was consistently higher in cancer survivors 40–64 years old vs. non-cancer controls. Cancer survivors ≥65 years old had higher rates of any functional limitations (P=0.0039 and reported a lack of exercise (P<0.0001 compared with the non-cancer controls. However, obesity rates were similar between cancer survivors and non-cancer controls. Among cancer survivors, an estimated 13.5 million spent $169.4 billion a year on treatment, with the highest direct expenditures for breast cancer ($39 billion, prostate cancer ($37 billion, and hematologic malignancies ($25 billion. Prescription medications and office-based visits contributed equally as the cost drivers of direct medical spending for breast cancer, while inpatient hospitalization was the driver for prostate (52.8% and lung (38.6% cancers

  20. Employer Satisfaction With an Injured Employee's Health Care: How Does It Affect the Selection of an Occupational Health Care Provider?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keleher, Myra P; Stanton, Marietta P

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to explore the most important factors that an employer utilizes in selecting an occupational health care provider for their employees injured on the job. The primary practice setting is the attending physician's office who is an occupational health care provider. The responding employers deemed "work restrictions given after each office visit" as their most important factor in selecting an occupational health care provider, with a score of 43. This was followed in order in the "very important" category by communication, appointment availability, employee return to work within nationally recognized guidelines, tied were medical provider professionalism and courtesy with diagnostics ordered timely, next was staff professionalism and courtesy, and tied with 20 responses in the "very important" category were wait time and accurate billing by the provider.The selection of an occupational health care provider in the realm of workers' compensation plays a monumental role in the life of a claim for the employer. Safe and timely return to work is in the best interest of the employer and their injured employee. For the employer, it can represent hard dollars saved in indemnity payments and insurance premiums when the employee can return to some form of work. For the injured employee, it can have a positive impact on their attitude of going back to work as they will feel they are a valued asset to their employer. The case managers, who are the "eyes and ears" for the employer in the field of workers' compensation, have a valuable role in a successful outcome of dollars saved and appropriate care rendered for the employees' on the job injury. The employers in the study were looking for case managers who could ensure their employees received quality care but that this care is cost-effective. The case manager can be instrumental in assisting the employer in developing and monitoring a "stay-at-work" program, thereby reducing the financial exposure

  1. Treatment compliance and challenges among tuberculosis patients across selected health facilities in Osun State Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajao, K O; Ogundun, O A; Afolabi, O T; Ojo, T O; Atiba, B P; Oguntunase, D O

    2014-12-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in the world and Africa has approximately one quarter of the world's cases. One of the greatest challenges facing most TB programmes is the non-compliance to TB treatment among TB patients. This study aimed at determining the challenges of management of tuberculosis (TB) across selected Osun State health facilities. The study employed a descriptive cross-sectional design. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 102 TB patients in the health facilities. The instrument measured socio-demographic variables, patient related factors, socio-economic variables, health care system related factors to TB disease and treatment. Data were analysed and summarized using descriptive and inferential statistics. Statistical significance was placed at p facilities (χ2 = 21.761, p facility and patient-related factors were largely responsible.

  2. The Mental Vitality @ Work study: design of a randomized controlled trial on the effect of a workers' health surveillance mental module for nurses and allied health professionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gärtner, Fania R; Ketelaar, Sarah M; Smeets, Odile; Bolier, Linda; Fischer, Eva; van Dijk, Frank J H; Nieuwenhuijsen, Karen; Sluiter, Judith K

    2011-05-10

    Employees in health care service are at high risk for developing mental health complaints. The effects of mental health complaints on work can have serious consequences for the quality of care provided by these workers. To help health service workers remain healthy and productive, preventive actions are necessary. A Workers' Health Surveillance (WHS) mental module may be an effective strategy to monitor and promote good (mental) health and work performance. The objective of this paper is to describe the design of a three arm cluster randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of a WHS mental module for nurses and allied health professionals. Two strategies for this WHS mental module will be compared along with data from a control group. Additionally, the cost effectiveness of the approaches will be evaluated from a societal perspective. The study is designed as a cluster randomized controlled trial consisting of three arms (two intervention groups, 1 control group) with randomization at ward level. The study population consists of 86 departments in one Dutch academic medical center with a total of 1731 nurses and allied health professionals. At baseline, after three months and after six months of follow-up, outcomes will be assessed by online questionnaires. In both intervention arms, participants will complete a screening to detect problems in mental health and work functioning and receive feedback on their screening results. In cases of impairments in mental health or work functioning in the first intervention arm, a consultation with an occupational physician will be offered. The second intervention arm offers a choice of self-help e-mental health interventions, which will be tailored based on each individual's mental health state and work functioning. The primary outcomes will be help-seeking behavior and work functioning. Secondary outcomes will be mental health and wellbeing. Furthermore, cost-effectiveness in both intervention arms will be assessed, and

  3. The Mental Vitality @ Work study: design of a randomized controlled trial on the effect of a workers' health surveillance mental module for nurses and allied health professionals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Dijk Frank JH

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Employees in health care service are at high risk for developing mental health complaints. The effects of mental health complaints on work can have serious consequences for the quality of care provided by these workers. To help health service workers remain healthy and productive, preventive actions are necessary. A Workers' Health Surveillance (WHS mental module may be an effective strategy to monitor and promote good (mental health and work performance. The objective of this paper is to describe the design of a three arm cluster randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of a WHS mental module for nurses and allied health professionals. Two strategies for this WHS mental module will be compared along with data from a control group. Additionally, the cost effectiveness of the approaches will be evaluated from a societal perspective. Methods The study is designed as a cluster randomized controlled trial consisting of three arms (two intervention groups, 1 control group with randomization at ward level. The study population consists of 86 departments in one Dutch academic medical center with a total of 1731 nurses and allied health professionals. At baseline, after three months and after six months of follow-up, outcomes will be assessed by online questionnaires. In both intervention arms, participants will complete a screening to detect problems in mental health and work functioning and receive feedback on their screening results. In cases of impairments in mental health or work functioning in the first intervention arm, a consultation with an occupational physician will be offered. The second intervention arm offers a choice of self-help e-mental health interventions, which will be tailored based on each individual's mental health state and work functioning. The primary outcomes will be help-seeking behavior and work functioning. Secondary outcomes will be mental health and wellbeing. Furthermore, cost-effectiveness in

  4. Tailored approaches to stroke health education (TASHE): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravenell, Joseph; Leighton-Herrmann, Ellyn; Abel-Bey, Amparo; DeSorbo, Alexandra; Teresi, Jeanne; Valdez, Lenfis; Gordillo, Madeleine; Gerin, William; Hecht, Michael; Ramirez, Mildred; Noble, James; Cohn, Elizabeth; Jean-Louis, Giardin; Spruill, Tanya; Waddy, Salina; Ogedegbe, Gbenga; Williams, Olajide

    2015-04-19

    Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability and mortality. Intravenous thrombolysis can minimize disability when patients present to the emergency department for treatment within the 3 - 4½ h of symptom onset. Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to die and suffer disability from stroke than whites, due in part to delayed hospital arrival and ineligibility for intravenous thrombolysis for acute stroke. Low stroke literacy (poor knowledge of stroke symptoms and when to call 911) among Blacks and Hispanics compared to whites may contribute to disparities in acute stroke treatment and outcomes. Improving stroke literacy may be a critical step along the pathway to reducing stroke disparities. The aim of the current study is to test a novel intervention to increase stroke literacy in minority populations in New York City. In a two-arm cluster randomized trial, we will evaluate the effectiveness of two culturally tailored stroke education films - one in English and one in Spanish - on changing behavioral intent to call 911 for suspected stroke, compared to usual care. These films will target knowledge of stroke symptoms, the range of severity of symptoms and the therapeutic benefit of calling 911, as well as address barriers to timely presentation to the hospital. Given the success of previous church-based programs targeting behavior change in minority populations, this trial will be conducted with 250 congregants across 14 churches (125 intervention; 125 control). Our proposed outcomes are (1) recognition of stroke symptoms and (2) behavioral intent to call 911 for suspected stroke, measured using the Stroke Action Test at the 6-month and 1-year follow-up. This is the first randomized trial of a church-placed narrative intervention to improve stroke outcomes in urban Black and Hispanic populations. A film intervention has the potential to make a significant public health impact, as film is a highly scalable and disseminable medium. Since there is at least one

  5. Estrogenic activity, selected plasticizers and potential health risks associated with bottled water in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aneck-Hahn, Natalie H; Van Zijl, Magdalena C; Swart, Pieter; Truebody, Barry; Genthe, Bettina; Charmier, Jessica; Jager, Christiaan De

    2018-04-01

    Potential endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are present in bottled water from various countries. In South Africa (SA), increased bottled water consumption and concomitant increases in plastic packaging create important consequences for public health. This study aimed to screen SA bottled water for estrogenic activity, selected target chemicals and assessing potential health risks. Ten bottled water brands were exposed to 20 °C and 40 °C over 10 days. Estrogenic activity was assessed using the recombinant yeast estrogen screen (YES) and the T47D-KBluc reporter gene assay. Solid phase extracts of samples were analyzed for bis(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA), selected phthalates, bisphenol-A (BPA), 4-nonylphenol (4-NP), 17β-estradiol (E 2 ), estrone (E 1 ), and ethynylestradiol (EE 2 ) using gas chromatography-mass spectrophotometry. Using a scenario-based health risk assessment, human health risks associated with bottled water consumption were evaluated. Estrogenic activity was detected at 20 °C (n = 2) and at 40 °C (n = 8). Estradiol equivalent (EEq) values ranged from 0.001 to 0.003 ng/L. BPA concentrations ranged from 0.9 ng/L to 10.06 ng/L. Although EEqs and BPA concentrations were higher in bottled water stored at 40 °C compared to 20 °C, samples posed an acceptable risk for a lifetime of exposure. Irrespective of temperature, bottled water from SA contained chemicals with acceptable health risks.

  6. Sustaining the edge: factors influencing strategy selection in academic health centers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Anne M; Szabat, Kathryn

    2002-01-01

    Competition within the acute care sector as well as increased penetration by managed care organizations has influenced the structure and role of academic health centers during the past decade. The market factors confronting academic health centers are not dissimilar from conditions that confront other organizations competing in mature industries characterized by declining profitability and intense rivalry for market share. When confronted with intense competition or adverse external events, organizations in other industries have responded to potential threats by forming alliances, developing joint ventures, or merging with another firm to maintain their competitive advantage. Although mergers and acquisitions dominated the strategic landscape in the healthcare industry during the past decade, recent evidence suggests that other types of strategic ventures may offer similar economic and contracting benefits to member organizations. Academic health centers have traditionally been involved in network relationships with multiple partners via their shared technology, collaborative research, and joint educational endeavors. These quasi-organizational relationships appear to have provided a framework for strategic decisions and allowed executives of academic health centers to select strategies that were competitive yet closely aligned with their organizational mission. The analysis of factors that influenced strategy selection by executives of academic health centers suggests a deliberate and methodical approach to achieving market share objectives, expanding managed care contracts, and developing physician networks.

  7. Increasing selective exposure to health messages by targeting person versus behavior schemas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pease, Meridith E; Brannon, Laura A; Pilling, Valerie K

    2006-01-01

    Schema correspondence theory (Brannon and Brock, 1994) was applied to the topic of selective exposure to health information. The following question was asked: When do people prefer to expose themselves to health-relevant information tailored to match their own needs and values (i.e., recipient self-schema matching) versus the values and goals that the healthy behavior brings to mind (i.e., behavior schema matching)? In general, recipient self-schema matched messages tended to be preferred over behavior schema matched messages. However, this tendency was attenuated to the extent that the behavior had a very well defined (prototypical) schema.

  8. School intervention to improve mental health of students in Santiago, Chile: a randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, Ricardo; Fritsch, Rosemarie; Spears, Melissa; Rojas, Graciela; Martinez, Vania; Barroilhet, Sergio; Vöhringer, Paul; Gunnell, David; Stallard, Paul; Guajardo, Viviana; Gaete, Jorge; Noble, Sian; Montgomery, Alan A

    2013-11-01

    Depression can have devastating effects unless prevented or treated early and effectively. Schools offer an excellent opportunity to intervene with adolescents presenting emotional problems. There are very few universal school-based depression interventions conducted in low- and middle-income countries. To assess the effectiveness of a school-based, universal psychological intervention to reduce depressive symptoms among adolescents from low-income families. A 2-arm, parallel, cluster, randomized clinical trial was conducted in secondary schools in deprived socioeconomic areas of Santiago, Chile. Almost all students registered in the selected schools consented to take part in the study. A total of 2512 secondary school students from 22 schools and 66 classes participated. Students in the intervention arm attended 11 one-hour weekly and 2 booster classroom sessions of an intervention based on cognitive-behavioral models. The intervention was delivered by trained nonspecialists. Schools in the control arm received the standard school curriculum. Scores on the self-administered Beck Depression Inventory-II at 3 months (primary) and 12 months (secondary) after completing the intervention. There were 1291 participants in the control arm and 1221 in the intervention arm. Primary outcome data were available for 82.1% of the participants. There was no evidence of any clinically important difference in mean depression scores between the groups (adjusted difference in mean, -0.19; 95% CI, -1.22 to 0.84) or for any of the other outcomes 3 months after completion of the intervention. No significant differences were found in any of the outcomes at 12 months. A well-designed and implemented school-based intervention did not reduce depressive symptoms among socioeconomically deprived adolescents in Santiago, Chile. There is growing evidence that universal school interventions may not be sufficiently effective to reduce or prevent depressive symptoms. isrctn.org Identifier: ISRCTN

  9. Effectiveness of a universal health-promoting parenting program: a randomized waitlist-controlled trial of All Children in Focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulfsdotter, Malin; Enebrink, Pia; Lindberg, Lene

    2014-10-18

    Parenting programs have been highlighted as a way of supporting and empowering parents. As programs designed to promote children's health and well-being are scarce, a new health-promotion program, All Children in Focus, has been developed. The purpose of this trial was to evaluate the potential effectiveness of the program in promoting parental self-efficacy and child health and development, as well as to investigate possible moderators of these outcomes. A multicenter randomized waitlist-controlled trial was conducted. The trial included 621 parents with children aged 3-12 years. Parents were randomized to receive the intervention directly or to join a waitlist control group. Parents completed questionnaires at baseline, 2 weeks after the intervention, and 6 months post-baseline. To evaluate potential effects of the program, as well as any moderating variables, multilevel modeling with a repeated-measures design was applied. Parents in the intervention group reported that their self-efficacy (p parents in the control group. One variable was found to moderate both outcomes: parents' positive mental health. Furthermore, parents' educational level and number of children moderated parental self-efficacy, while the children's age moderated child health and development. Having a poor positive mental health, a university-level education, more than one child in the family, and older children, made the families benefit more. In the first randomized controlled trial of All Children in Focus, we found that the program appears to promote both parental self-efficacy and children's health and development in a general population. Additionally, we found that families may benefit differently depending on their baseline characteristics. This contributes to an existing understanding of the advantages of offering universal parenting programs as a public health approach to strengthening families. However, further research is needed to investigate long-term effects and mediating

  10. An assessment of the quality of care for children in eighteen randomly selected district and sub-district hospitals in Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoque Dewan ME

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Quality hospital care is important in ensuring that the needs of severely ill children are met to avert child mortality. However, the quality of hospital care for children in developing countries has often been found poor. As the first step of a country road map for improving hospital care for children, we assessed the baseline situation with respect to the quality of care provided to children under-five years age in district and sub-district level hospitals in Bangladesh. Methods Using adapted World Health Organization (WHO hospital assessment tools and standards, an assessment of 18 randomly selected district (n=6 and sub-district (n=12 hospitals was undertaken. Teams of trained assessors used direct case observation, record review, interviews, and Management Information System (MIS data to assess the quality of clinical case management and monitoring; infrastructure, processes and hospital administration; essential hospital and laboratory supports, drugs and equipment. Results Findings demonstrate that the overall quality of care provided in these hospitals was poor. No hospital had a functioning triage system to prioritise those children most in need of immediate care. Laboratory supports and essential equipment were deficient. Only one hospital had all of the essential drugs for paediatric care. Less than a third of hospitals had a back-up power supply, and just under half had functioning arrangements for safe-drinking water. Clinical case management was found to be sub-optimal for prevalent illnesses, as was the quality of neonatal care. Conclusion Action is needed to improve the quality of paediatric care in hospital settings in Bangladesh, with a particular need to invest in improving newborn care.

  11. Convergence analysis for Latin-hypercube lattice-sample selection strategies for 3D correlated random hydraulic-conductivity fields

    OpenAIRE

    Simuta-Champo, R.; Herrera-Zamarrón, G. S.

    2010-01-01

    The Monte Carlo technique provides a natural method for evaluating uncertainties. The uncertainty is represented by a probability distribution or by related quantities such as statistical moments. When the groundwater flow and transport governing equations are solved and the hydraulic conductivity field is treated as a random spatial function, the hydraulic head, velocities and concentrations also become random spatial functions. When that is the case, for the stochastic simulation of groundw...

  12. Improving the Mental Health, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, and Physical Health of Hispanic Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melnyk, Bernadette M.; Jacobson, Diana; Kelly, Stephanie; O'Haver, Judith; Small, Leigh; Mays, Mary Z.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Obesity and mental health disorders are 2 major public health problems in American adolescents, with prevalence even higher in Hispanic teens. Despite the rapidly increasing incidence and adverse health outcomes associated with overweight and mental health problems, very few intervention studies have been conducted with adolescents to…

  13. A comparison of random forest and its Gini importance with standard chemometric methods for the feature selection and classification of spectral data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Himmelreich Uwe

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Regularized regression methods such as principal component or partial least squares regression perform well in learning tasks on high dimensional spectral data, but cannot explicitly eliminate irrelevant features. The random forest classifier with its associated Gini feature importance, on the other hand, allows for an explicit feature elimination, but may not be optimally adapted to spectral data due to the topology of its constituent classification trees which are based on orthogonal splits in feature space. Results We propose to combine the best of both approaches, and evaluated the joint use of a feature selection based on a recursive feature elimination using the Gini importance of random forests' together with regularized classification methods on spectral data sets from medical diagnostics, chemotaxonomy, biomedical analytics, food science, and synthetically modified spectral data. Here, a feature selection using the Gini feature importance with a regularized classification by discriminant partial least squares regression performed as well as or better than a filtering according to different univariate statistical tests, or using regression coefficients in a backward feature elimination. It outperformed the direct application of the random forest classifier, or the direct application of the regularized classifiers on the full set of features. Conclusion The Gini importance of the random forest provided superior means for measuring feature relevance on spectral data, but – on an optimal subset of features – the regularized classifiers might be preferable over the random forest classifier, in spite of their limitation to model linear dependencies only. A feature selection based on Gini importance, however, may precede a regularized linear classification to identify this optimal subset of features, and to earn a double benefit of both dimensionality reduction and the elimination of noise from the classification task.

  14. Enhanced invitation methods to increase uptake of NHS health checks: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Alice S; Burgess, Caroline; McDermott, Lisa; Wright, Alison J; Dodhia, Hiten; Conner, Mark; Miller, Jane; Rudisill, Caroline; Cornelius, Victoria; Gulliford, Martin C

    2014-08-30

    NHS Health Checks is a new program for primary prevention of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and vascular dementia in adults aged 40 to 74 years in England. Individuals without existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes are invited for a Health Check every 5 years. Uptake among those invited is lower than anticipated. The project is a three-arm randomized controlled trial to test the hypothesis that enhanced invitation methods, using the Question-Behaviour Effect (QBE), will increase uptake of NHS Health Checks compared with a standard invitation. Participants comprise individuals eligible for an NHS Health Check registered in two London boroughs. Participants are randomized into one of three arms. Group A receives the standard NHS Health Check invitation letter, information sheet, and reminder letter at 12 weeks for nonattenders. Group B receives a QBE questionnaire 1 week before receiving the standard invitation, information sheet, and reminder letter where appropriate. Group C is the same as Group B, but participants are offered a £5 retail voucher if they return the questionnaire. Participants are randomized in equal proportions, stratified by general practice. The primary outcome is uptake of NHS Health Checks 6 months after invitation from electronic health records. We will estimate the incremental health service cost per additional completed Health Check for trial groups B and C versus trial arm A, as well as evaluating the impact of the QBE questionnaire, and questionnaire plus voucher, on the socioeconomic inequality in uptake of Health Checks.The trial includes a nested comparison of two methods for implementing allocation, one implemented manually at general practices and the other implemented automatically through the information systems used to generate invitations for the Health Check. The research will provide evidence on whether asking individuals to complete a preliminary questionnaire, by using the QBE, is effective

  15. Selection and Evaluation of Media for Behavioral Health Interventions Employing Critical Media Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Patrick A; Cherenack, Emily M; Jadwin-Cakmak, Laura; Harper, Gary W

    2018-01-01

    Although a growing number of psychosocial health promotion interventions use the critical analysis of media to facilitate behavior change, no specific guidelines exist to assist researchers and practitioners in the selection and evaluation of culturally relevant media stimuli for intervention development. Mobilizing Our Voices for Empowerment is a critical consciousness-based health enhancement intervention for HIV-positive Black young gay/bisexual men that employs the critical analysis of popular media. In the process of developing and testing this intervention, feedback on media stimuli was collected from youth advisory board members (n = 8), focus group participants (n = 19), intervention participants (n = 40), and intervention facilitators (n = 6). A thematic analysis of qualitative data resulted in the identification of four key attributes of media stimuli and participants' responses to media stimuli that are important to consider when selecting and evaluating media stimuli for use in behavioral health interventions employing the critical analysis of media: comprehension, relevance, emotionality, and action. These four attributes are defined and presented as a framework for evaluating media, and adaptable tools are provided based on this framework to guide researchers and practitioners in the selection and evaluation of media for similar interventions.

  16. FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE SELECTION OF LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENT NURSES IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. lita

    2002-11-01

    The study therefore focused on the following objective: To identify the factors that influence the selection of learning opportunities for primary health care in hospital units. A qualitative research design utilising focus group discussions were used. The population consisted of conveniently selected lecturers, student nurses and registered nurses. The same initial question was asked in each focus group to initiate the discussions. The data were analysed according to Tesch's method. The results indicated that there is positive commitment from the lecturers and registered nurses to be involved in selecting appropriate learning opportunities. The student nurses also demonstrated a willingness to learn and to be exposed to learning opportunities in primary health care. There were however certain constraints that emerged as themes, namely: • Managerial constraints • Educational constraints Under the theme "managerial constraints" categories such as workload, nursing staff shortages and communication problems were identified. Under the theme "educational constraints" categories such as a lack of guidance, and the correlation of theory and practice emerged. Recommendations based on this research report include improvement of in-service education on managerial and educational aspects to facilitate the primary health care approach in hospitals.

  17. Affinity selection of Nipah and Hendra virus-related vaccine candidates from a complex random peptide library displayed on bacteriophage virus-like particles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peabody, David S.; Chackerian, Bryce; Ashley, Carlee; Carnes, Eric; Negrete, Oscar

    2017-01-24

    The invention relates to virus-like particles of bacteriophage MS2 (MS2 VLPs) displaying peptide epitopes or peptide mimics of epitopes of Nipah Virus envelope glycoprotein that elicit an immune response against Nipah Virus upon vaccination of humans or animals. Affinity selection on Nipah Virus-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies using random sequence peptide libraries on MS2 VLPs selected peptides with sequence similarity to peptide sequences found within the envelope glycoprotein of Nipah itself, thus identifying the epitopes the antibodies recognize. The selected peptide sequences themselves are not necessarily identical in all respects to a sequence within Nipah Virus glycoprotein, and therefore may be referred to as epitope mimics VLPs displaying these epitope mimics can serve as vaccine. On the other hand, display of the corresponding wild-type sequence derived from Nipah Virus and corresponding to the epitope mapped by affinity selection, may also be used as a vaccine.

  18. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Baduanjin Qigong for Health Benefits: Randomized Controlled Trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liye Zou

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To investigate the effects of practicing Baduanjin Qigong on different health outcomes. Methods. Six electronic databases were used for literature search through entering the following key words: Baduanjin Qigong, quality of life, sleep quality, and health-related outcomes. Results. Nineteen randomized controlled trials were used for meta-analysis. The aggregated results from this systematic review have shown significant benefits in favour of Baduanjin Qigong on quality of life (SMD, −0.75; 95% CI −1.26 to −0.24; P=0.004, sleep quality (SMD, −0.55; 95% CI −0.97 to −0.12; P=0.01, balance (SMD, −0.94; 95% CI −1.59 to 0.30; P=0.004, handgrip strength (SMD, -0.69; 95% CI −1.2 to −0.19; P=0.007, trunk flexibility (SMD, −0.66; 95% CI −1.13 to −0.19; P=0.006, systolic (SMD, −0.60; 95% CI −0.94 to −0.27; P=0.0004 and diastolic blood pressure (SMD, −0.46; 95% CI −0.73 to −0.20; P=0.0005, and resting heart rate (SMD, −0.87; 95% CI −1.47 to −0.27; P=0.005. The aggregated results of meta-analyses examining the effect of Baduanjin Qigong on leg power, cardiopulmonary endurance, and pulmonary function remain unclear because of a small number of studies. Conclusions. The aggregated results from this systematic review show that Baduanjin Qigong practice is beneficial for quality of life, sleep quality, balance, handgrip strength, trunk flexibility, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and resting heart rate. Further studies are necessary to confirm the effects of Baduanjin Qigong on leg power, cardiopulmonary endurance, and pulmonary function (e.g., vital capacity, while considering a long-term follow-up. Registration Number. This trial is registered with International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO: CRD42016036966.

  19. Hip-Hop to Health Jr. Randomized Effectiveness Trial: 1-Year Follow-up Results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Angela; Buscemi, Joanna; Stolley, Melinda R; Schiffer, Linda A; Kim, Yoonsang; Braunschweig, Carol L; Gomez-Perez, Sandra L; Blumstein, Lara B; Van Horn, Linda; Dyer, Alan R; Fitzgibbon, Marian L

    2016-02-01

    The preschool years provide a unique window of opportunity to intervene on obesity-related lifestyle risk factors during the formative years of a child's life. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a preschool-based obesity prevention effectiveness trial at 1-year follow-up. RCT. Primarily African American children (aged 3-5 years, N=618) attending Head Start preschool programs administered by Chicago Public Schools. Eighteen preschools were randomly assigned in 2007-2008 to receive either (1) a 14-week teacher-delivered intervention focused on healthy lifestyle behaviors or (2) a 14-week teacher-delivered general health curriculum (control group). The primary outcome, BMI, was measured at baseline, postintervention, and 1-year follow-up. Diet and screen time behaviors were also assessed at these time points. Multilevel mixed effects models were used to test for between-group differences. Data were analyzed in 2014. Significant between-group differences were observed in diet, but not in BMI z-score or screen time at 1-year follow-up. Diet differences favored the intervention arm over controls in overall diet quality (p=0.02) and in subcomponents of diet quality, as measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005, and in fruit intake (servings/day, excludes juice) (p=0.02). Diet quality worsened more among controls than the intervention group at 1-year follow-up. The adaptation of Hip-Hop to Health Jr. produced modest benefits in diet quality but did not significantly impact weight gain trajectory. Not unlike other effectiveness trials, this real-world version delivered by Head Start teachers produced fewer benefits than the more rigorous efficacy trial. It is important to understand and build upon the lessons learned from these types of trials so that we can design, implement, and disseminate successful evidence-based programs more widely and effectively. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT00241878. Copyright © 2016 American Journal of

  20. Sensor Selection and Data Validation for Reliable Integrated System Health Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Sanjay; Melcher, Kevin J.

    2008-01-01

    For new access to space systems with challenging mission requirements, effective implementation of integrated system health management (ISHM) must be available early in the program to support the design of systems that are safe, reliable, highly autonomous. Early ISHM availability is also needed to promote design for affordable operations; increased knowledge of functional health provided by ISHM supports construction of more efficient operations infrastructure. Lack of early ISHM inclusion in the system design process could result in retrofitting health management systems to augment and expand operational and safety requirements; thereby increasing program cost and risk due to increased instrumentation and computational complexity. Having the right sensors generating the required data to perform condition assessment, such as fault detection and isolation, with a high degree of confidence is critical to reliable operation of ISHM. Also, the data being generated by the sensors needs to be qualified to ensure that the assessments made by the ISHM is not based on faulty data. NASA Glenn Research Center has been developing technologies for sensor selection and data validation as part of the FDDR (Fault Detection, Diagnosis, and Response) element of the Upper Stage project of the Ares 1 launch vehicle development. This presentation will provide an overview of the GRC approach to sensor selection and data quality validation and will present recent results from applications that are representative of the complexity of propulsion systems for access to space vehicles. A brief overview of the sensor selection and data quality validation approaches is provided below. The NASA GRC developed Systematic Sensor Selection Strategy (S4) is a model-based procedure for systematically and quantitatively selecting an optimal sensor suite to provide overall health assessment of a host system. S4 can be logically partitioned into three major subdivisions: the knowledge base, the down-select

  1. Impact of a Mental Health Curriculum on Knowledge and Stigma Among High School Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milin, Robert; Kutcher, Stanley; Lewis, Stephen P; Walker, Selena; Wei, Yifeng; Ferrill, Natasha; Armstrong, Michael A

    2016-05-01

    This study evaluated the effectiveness of a school-based mental health literacy intervention for adolescents on knowledge and stigma. A total of 24 high schools and 534 students in the regional area of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada participated in this randomized controlled trial. Schools were randomly assigned to either the curriculum or control condition. The curriculum was integrated into the province's grade 11 and 12 "Healthy Living" courses and was delivered by teachers. Changes in mental health knowledge and stigma were measured using pre- and posttest questionnaires. Descriptive analyses were conducted to provide sample characteristics, and multilevel modeling was used to examine study outcomes. For the curriculum condition, there was a significant change in stigma scores over time (p = .001), with positive attitudes toward mental illness increasing from pre to post. There was also a significant change in knowledge scores over time (p mental health (p mental health literacy of an integrated, manualized mental health educational resource for high school students on knowledge and stigma. Findings also support the applicability by teachers and suggest the potential for broad-based implementation of the educational curriculum in high schools. Replication and further studies are warranted. Clinical trial registration information-Impact of a Mental Health Curriculum for High School Students on Knowledge and Stigma; http://clinicaltrials.gov/; NCT02561780. Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. A randomized controlled trial of intensive care management for disabled Medicaid beneficiaries with high health care costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Janice F; Krupski, Antoinette; Joesch, Jutta M; West, Imara I; Atkins, David C; Court, Beverly; Mancuso, David; Roy-Byrne, Peter

    2015-06-01

    To evaluate outcomes of a registered nurse-led care management intervention for disabled Medicaid beneficiaries with high health care costs. Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Client Outcomes Database, 2008-2011. In a randomized controlled trial with intent-to-treat analysis, outcomes were compared for the intervention (n = 557) and control groups (n = 563). A quasi-experimental subanalysis compared outcomes for program participants (n = 251) and propensity score-matched controls (n = 251). Administrative data were linked to describe costs and use of health services, criminal activity, homelessness, and death. In the intent-to-treat analysis, the intervention group had higher odds of outpatient mental health service use and higher prescription drug costs than controls in the postperiod. In the subanalysis, participants had fewer unplanned hospital admissions and lower associated costs; higher prescription drug costs; higher odds of long-term care service use; higher drug/alcohol treatment costs; and lower odds of homelessness. We found no health care cost savings for disabled Medicaid beneficiaries randomized to intensive care management. Among participants, care management may have the potential to increase access to needed care, slow growth in the number and therefore cost of unplanned hospitalizations, and prevent homelessness. These findings apply to start-up care management programs targeted at high-cost, high-risk Medicaid populations. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  3. Reducing under-reporting of stigmatized health events using the List Experiment: results from a randomized, population-based study of abortion in Liberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moseson, Heidi; Massaquoi, Moses; Dehlendorf, Christine; Bawo, Luke; Dahn, Bernice; Zolia, Yah; Vittinghoff, Eric; Hiatt, Robert A; Gerdts, Caitlin

    2015-12-01

    Direct measurement of sensitive health events is often limited by high levels of under-reporting due to stigma and concerns about privacy. Abortion in particular is notoriously difficult to measure. This study implements a novel method to estimate the cumulative lifetime incidence of induced abortion in Liberia. In a randomly selected sample of 3219 women ages 15–49 years in June 2013 in Liberia, we implemented the ‘Double List Experiment’. To measure abortion incidence, each woman was read two lists: (A) a list of non-sensitive items and (B) a list of correlated non-sensitive items with abortion added. The sensitive item, abortion, was randomly added to either List A or List B for each respondent. The respondent reported a simple count of the options on each list that she had experienced, without indicating which options. Difference in means calculations between the average counts for each list were then averaged to provide an estimate of the population proportion that has had an abortion. The list experiment estimates that 32% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.29-0.34) of respondents surveyed had ever had an abortion (26% of women in urban areas, and 36% of women in rural areas, P-value for difference Liberia, indicating the potential utility of this method to reduce under-reporting in the measurement of abortion. The method could be widely applied to measure other stigmatized health topics, including sexual behaviours, sexual assault or domestic violence.

  4. Transformation management of primary health care services in two selected local authorities in Gauteng

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W Sibaya

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available The transformation of health services in South Africa today is governed by the political, policy and legislative frameworks. This article focuses on the transformation of a primary health care service within a local authority in Gauteng. The purpose with this article is to explore and describe the perceptions (expectations and fears of selected managers employed in this primary health care service. The results are utilised to compile a strategy (framework for transformation management and leadership within the primary health care service. A qualitative research design was utilised and the data was collected by means of individual interviews with selected managers in the service, followed by a content analysis. The expectations and fears of managers focus mainly on personnel matters, community participation/satisfaction, salaries and parity, inadequate stocks/supplies and medication, the deterioration of quality service delivery and the need for training and empowerment. These results are divided into structure, process and outcome dimensions and are embodied in the conceptual framework for the transformation and leadership strategy. It is recommended that standards for transformation management be formulated and that the quality of transformation management be evaluated accordingly.

  5. The secret bread tests: selective primary health care or experimentation on human-beings?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamien, M

    1987-01-01

    This is a case history which describes an attempt to fortify the bread of Australian Aborigines in an isolated area of New South Wales. The medically successful intervention was accomplished by the publication of scientific enquiry and by attention to the culture of Aborigines. Paradoxically the long-term failure of the project was also due to the power of the written word and the neglect of the culture of the more densely populated and politically dominant white community. The need for doctors to be aware of the different approaches of primary health care and selective primary health care is stressed so that a general practitioner who provides health care for minority groups of the Fourth World can better define his role and relevance.

  6. Enhancing evidence-based diabetes and chronic disease control among local health departments: a multi-phase dissemination study with a stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial component.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Renee G; Tabak, Rachel G; Allen, Peg; Baker, Elizabeth A; Stamatakis, Katherine A; Poehler, Allison R; Yan, Yan; Chin, Marshall H; Harris, Jenine K; Dobbins, Maureen; Brownson, Ross C

    2017-10-18

    The rates of diabetes and prediabetes in the USA are growing, significantly impacting the quality and length of life of those diagnosed and financially burdening society. Premature death and disability can be prevented through implementation of evidence-based programs and policies (EBPPs). Local health departments (LHDs) are uniquely positioned to implement diabetes control EBPPs because of their knowledge of, and focus on, community-level needs, contexts, and resources. There is a significant gap, however, between known diabetes control EBPPs and actual diabetes control activities conducted by LHDs. The purpose of this study is to determine how best to support the use of evidence-based public health for diabetes (and related chronic diseases) control among local-level public health practitioners. This paper describes the methods for a two-phase study with a stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial that will evaluate dissemination strategies to increase the uptake of public health knowledge and EBPPs for diabetes control among LHDs. Phase 1 includes development of measures to assess practitioner views on and organizational supports for evidence-based public health, data collection using a national online survey of LHD chronic disease practitioners, and a needs assessment of factors influencing the uptake of diabetes control EBPPs among LHDs within one state in the USA. Phase 2 involves conducting a stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial to assess effectiveness of dissemination strategies with local-level practitioners at LHDs to enhance capacity and organizational support for evidence-based diabetes prevention and control. Twelve LHDs will be selected and randomly assigned to one of the three groups that cross over from usual practice to receive the intervention (dissemination) strategies at 8-month intervals; the intervention duration for groups ranges from 8 to 24 months. Intervention (dissemination) strategies may include multi-day in-person workshops, electronic

  7. The role of health technology assessment on pharmaceutical reimbursement in selected middle-income countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oortwijn, Wija; Mathijssen, Judith; Banta, David

    2010-05-01

    Middle-income countries are often referred to as developing or emerging economies and face multiple challenges of severe financial stresses in their health care sectors, and high disease burden. The objective of this study is to provide an overview of how health technology assessment (HTA) is used and organized in selected middle-income countries and its role in the process of pharmaceutical coverage. We selected middle-income countries where HTA activities are evident: Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Israel, Mexico, Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey. We collected and reviewed relevant information to describe the health care and reimbursement systems and how HTA relates to coverage decision-making of pharmaceuticals. This was supplemented by information from a structured survey among professionals working in public and private health insurance, industry, regulatory authorities, ministries of health, academic units or HTA. All countries require market authorization for pharmaceuticals to be sold and most countries have a national plan defining which pharmaceuticals can be reimbursed. However, the use of HTA in reimbursement decisions is still in its early stages with varying levels of HTA guidance implementation. The study provides evidence of the development of HTA in coverage decision-making in middle-income countries. Increased health care spending and the resulting access to modern technology give a strong impetus to HTA. However, HTA is developing with uneven speed in middle-income countries and many countries are building on the organisational and methodological experience from established HTA agencies. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Natural Selection on Genes Related to Cardiovascular Health in High-Altitude Adapted Andeans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Jacob E; Amaru, Ricardo; Song, Jihyun; Julian, Colleen G; Racimo, Fernando; Cheng, Jade Yu; Guo, Xiuqing; Yao, Jie; Ambale-Venkatesh, Bharath; Lima, João A; Rotter, Jerome I; Stehlik, Josef; Moore, Lorna G; Prchal, Josef T; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2017-11-02

    The increase in red blood cell mass (polycythemia) due to the reduced oxygen availability (hypoxia) of residence at high altitude or other conditions is generally thought to be beneficial in terms of increasing tissue oxygen supply. However, the extreme polycythemia and accompanying increased mortality due to heart failure in chronic mountain sickness most likely reduces fitness. Tibetan highlanders have adapted to high altitude, possibly in part via the selection of genetic variants associated with reduced polycythemic response to hypoxia. In contrast, high-altitude-adapted Quechua- and Aymara-speaking inhabitants of the Andean Altiplano are not protected from high-altitude polycythemia in the same way, yet they exhibit other adaptive features for which the genetic underpinnings remain obscure. Here, we used whole-genome sequencing to scan high-altitude Andeans for signals of selection. The genes showing the strongest evidence of selection-including BRINP3, NOS2, and TBX5-are associated with cardiovascular development and function but are not in the response-to-hypoxia pathway. Using association mapping, we demonstrated that the haplotypes under selection are associated with phenotypic variations related to cardiovascular health. We hypothesize that selection in response to hypoxia in Andeans could have vascular effects and could serve to mitigate the deleterious effects of polycythemia rather than reduce polycythemia itself. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Effectiveness of a Web-Based Tailored Intervention (E-health4Uth) and Consultation to Promote Adolescents’ Health: Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannink, Rienke; Broeren, Suzanne; Joosten-van Zwanenburg, Evelien; van As, Els; van de Looij-Jansen, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Background To promote well-being and health behaviors among adolescents, 2 interventions were implemented at 12 secondary schools. Adolescents in the E-health4Uth group received Web-based tailored messages focused on their health behaviors and well-being. Adolescents in the E-health4Uth and consultation group received the same tailored messages, but were subsequently referred to a school nurse for a consultation if they were at risk of mental health problems. Objective This study evaluated the effect of E-health4Uth and E-health4Uth and consultation on well-being (ie, mental health status and health-related quality of life) and health behaviors (ie, alcohol and drug use, smoking, safe sex). Methods A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted among third- and fourth-year secondary school students (mean age 15.9, SD 0.69). School classes (clusters) were randomly assigned to (1) E-health4Uth group, (2) E-health4Uth and consultation group, or (3) control group (ie, care as usual). Adolescents completed a questionnaire at baseline and at 4-month follow-up assessing alcohol consumption, smoking, drug use, condom use, mental health via the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Youth Self Report (YSR; only measured at follow-up), and health-related quality of life. Multilevel logistic, ordinal, and linear regression analyses were used to reveal differences in health behavior and well-being between the intervention groups and the control group at follow-up. Subsequently, it was explored whether demographics moderated the effects. Results Data from 1256 adolescents were analyzed. Compared to the control intervention, the E-health4Uth intervention, as a standalone intervention, showed minor positive results in health-related quality of life (B=2.79, 95% CI 0.72-4.87) and condom use during intercourse among adolescents of Dutch ethnicity (OR 3.59, 95% CI 1.71-7.55) not replicated in the E-health4Uth and consultation group. The E-health4Uth and

  10. Effectiveness of a Web-based tailored intervention (E-health4Uth) and consultation to promote adolescents' health: randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannink, Rienke; Broeren, Suzanne; Joosten-van Zwanenburg, Evelien; van As, Els; van de Looij-Jansen, Petra; Raat, Hein

    2014-05-30

    To promote well-being and health behaviors among adolescents, 2 interventions were implemented at 12 secondary schools. Adolescents in the E-health4Uth group received Web-based tailored messages focused on their health behaviors and well-being. Adolescents in the E-health4Uth and consultation group received the same tailored messages, but were subsequently referred to a school nurse for a consultation if they were at risk of mental health problems. This study evaluated the effect of E-health4Uth and E-health4Uth and consultation on well-being (ie, mental health status and health-related quality of life) and health behaviors (ie, alcohol and drug use, smoking, safe sex). A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted among third- and fourth-year secondary school students (mean age 15.9, SD 0.69). School classes (clusters) were randomly assigned to (1) E-health4Uth group, (2) E-health4Uth and consultation group, or (3) control group (ie, care as usual). Adolescents completed a questionnaire at baseline and at 4-month follow-up assessing alcohol consumption, smoking, drug use, condom use, mental health via the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Youth Self Report (YSR; only measured at follow-up), and health-related quality of life. Multilevel logistic, ordinal, and linear regression analyses were used to reveal differences in health behavior and well-being between the intervention groups and the control group at follow-up. Subsequently, it was explored whether demographics moderated the effects. Data from 1256 adolescents were analyzed. Compared to the control intervention, the E-health4Uth intervention, as a standalone intervention, showed minor positive results in health-related quality of life (B=2.79, 95% CI 0.72-4.87) and condom use during intercourse among adolescents of Dutch ethnicity (OR 3.59, 95% CI 1.71-7.55) not replicated in the E-health4Uth and consultation group. The E-health4Uth and consultation intervention showed minor

  11. A holistic model for the selection of environmental assessment indicators to assess the impact of industrialization on indigenous health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryzanowski, Julie A; McIntyre, Lynn

    2011-01-01

    Mainstream environmental assessment (EA) methodologies often inadequately address health, social and cultural impacts of concern for Canadian indigenous communities affected by industrialization. Our objective is to present a holistic, culturally-appropriate framework for the selection of indigenous health indicators for baseline health assessment, impact prediction, or monitoring of impacts over time. We used a critical population health approach to explore the determinants of health and health inequities in indigenous communities and conceptualize the pathways by which industrialization affects these determinants. We integrated and extended key elements from three indigenous health frameworks into a new holistic model for the selection of indigenous EA indicators. The holistic model conceptualizes individual and community determinants of health within external social, economic and political contexts and thus provides a comprehensive framework for selecting indicators of indigenous health. Indigenous health is the product of interactions among multiple determinants of health and contexts. Potential applications are discussed using case study examples involving indigenous communities affected by industrialization. Industrialization can worsen indigenous health inequities by perpetuating the health, social and cultural impacts of historic environmental dispossession. To mitigate impacts, EA should explicitly recognize linkages between environmental dispossession and the determinants of health and health inequities and meaningfully involve indigenous communities in the process.

  12. Understanding the patient perspective on research access to national health records databases for conduct of randomized registry trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avram, Robert; Marquis-Gravel, Guillaume; Simard, François; Pacheco, Christine; Couture, Étienne; Tremblay-Gravel, Maxime; Desplantie, Olivier; Malhamé, Isabelle; Bibas, Lior; Mansour, Samer; Parent, Marie-Claude; Farand, Paul; Harvey, Luc; Lessard, Marie-Gabrielle; Ly, Hung; Liu, Geoffrey; Hay, Annette E; Marc Jolicoeur, E

    2018-07-01

    Use of health administrative databases is proposed for screening and monitoring of participants in randomized registry trials. However, access to these databases raises privacy concerns. We assessed patient's preferences regarding use of personal information to link their research records with national health databases, as part of a hypothetical randomized registry trial. Cardiology patients were invited to complete an anonymous self-reported survey that ascertained preferences related to the concept of accessing government health databases for research, the type of personal identifiers to be shared and the type of follow-up preferred as participants in a hypothetical trial. A total of 590 responders completed the survey (90% response rate), the majority of which were Caucasians (90.4%), male (70.0%) with a median age of 65years (interquartile range, 8). The majority responders (80.3%) would grant researchers access to health administrative databases for screening and follow-up. To this end, responders endorsed the recording of their personal identifiers by researchers for future record linkage, including their name (90%), and health insurance number (83.9%), but fewer responders agreed with the recording of their social security number (61.4%, pgranting researchers access to the administrative databases (OR: 1.69, 95% confidence interval: 1.03-2.90; p=0.04). The majority of Cardiology patients surveyed were supportive of use of their personal identifiers to access administrative health databases and conduct long-term monitoring in the context of a randomized registry trial. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The effect of a 12-week combinational exercise program on CD4 count and mental health among HIV infected women: A randomized control trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa Dianatinasab

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Background/objective: There are conflicting results regarding the effects of exercise on immune function of HIV positive patients. Exercise can also be beneficial to psychological functioning of the patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a 12-week aerobic and resistance exercise training program on mental health and CD4 counts among female HIV+ patients. Methods: This clinical trial was conducted between September and December 2013. Forty participants (women age range 20–40 were carefully selected from 240 HIV-positive women referred to Voluntary Counseling and Treatment Center (VCT and randomly assigned to either exercise (80 min of aerobic and strength training while receiving the VCT's routine services group (n = 20 or control (received the VCT's routine services only group (n = 20. To assess their mental health status, all participants completed GHQ28 questionnaire. Blood samples were collected to measure CD4 and T-cell counts at baseline and at the end of the 12-week intervention. Results: From a sample of 40 women with HIV infection, the data of 30 participants [experimental group (14 and control group (16] were analyzed (participation rate 75%. The results indicated that after the intervention program, a significant difference in CD4 cell counts was found between the two groups (P = 0.01. With regard to mental health, after performing intervention, significant improvement in all subscales including anxiety disorder, social function, depression and mental health's total score was observed in the exercise compared to the control groups (P < 0.001. Conclusion: Exercise training can be included in health care services in order to improve the mental health status of women with HIV infection. No effect on CD4 count was detected. Keywords: Exercises training, Mental health, CD4 count, HIV infected women

  14. A randomized control trial of the effect of yoga on Gunas (personality) and Health in normal healthy volunteers

    OpenAIRE

    Deshpande, Sudheer; Nagendra, H R; Raghuram, Nagarathna

    2008-01-01

    Objective: To study the efficacy of yoga on Guna (yogic personality measure) and general health in normal adults. Methods: Of the 1228 persons who attended introductory lectures, 226 subjects aged 18–71 years, of both sexes, who satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria and who consented to participate in the study were randomly allocated into two groups. The Yoga(Y) group practised an integrated yoga module that included asanas, pranayama, meditation, notional correction and devotional ...

  15. Analysis of selected social determinants of health and their relationships with maternal health service coverage and child mortality in Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoang Van Minh

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Achieving a fair and equitable distribution of health in the population while progressing toward universal health coverage (UHC is a key focus of health policy in Vietnam. This paper describes health barriers experienced by women (and children by inference in Vietnam, and measures how UHC, with reference to maternal health services and child mortality rates, is affected by selected social determinants of health (SDH, termed ‘barriers’. Methods: Our study uses a cross-sectional design with data from the 2011 Vietnam Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey. The study sample includes 11,663 women, aged 15–49 years. Weighted frequency statistics are cross-tabulated with socioeconomic characteristics of the population to describe the extent and distribution of health barriers experienced by disadvantaged women and children in Vietnam. A subset of women who had a live birth in the preceding two years (n=1,383 was studied to assess the impact of barriers to UHC and health. Six multiple logistic regressions were run using three dependent variables in the previous two years: 1 antenatal care, 2 skilled birth attendants, and 3 child death in the previous 15 years. Independent predictor variables were: 1 low education (incomplete secondary education, 2 lack of access to one of four basic amenities. In a second set of regressions, a constructed composite barrier index replaced these variables. Odds ratios (ORs and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI were used to report regression results. Results: In Vietnam, about 54% of women aged 15–49 years in 2011, had low education or lacked access to one of four basic amenities. About 38% of poor rural women from ethnic minorities experienced both barriers, compared with less than 1% of rich urban women from the ethnic majority. Incomplete secondary education or lack of one of four basic amenities was a factor significantly associated with lower access to skilled birth attendants (OR=0.28, 95% CI: 0.14

  16. PRENACEL - a mHealth messaging system to complement antenatal care: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira-Ciabati, Lívia; Vieira, Carolina Sales; Franzon, Ana Carolina Arruda; Alves, Domingos; Zaratini, Fabiani Spessoto; Braga, Giordana Campos; Sanchez, Jazmin Andrea Cifuentes; Bonifácio, Lívia Pimenta; Andrade, Magna Santos; Fernandes, Mariana; Quintana, Silvana Maria; Fabio, Suzi Volpato; Pileggi, Vicky Nogueira; Vieira, Elisabeth Meloni; Souza, João Paulo

    2017-11-07

    The aim of this study was to determine whether PRENACEL (a bi-directional, mobile-phone based, short text message service (SMS)) increases the coverage of recommended antenatal care (ANC) practices. A parallel, cluster-randomized trial in which 20 public primary Health Care Units (PHCUs) were randomly allocated to the intervention (10 PHCUs) or control (10 PHCUs) group. The study population included pregnant women aged 18 or above with a gestational age of 20 weeks or less. Pregnant women receiving ANC in intervention PHCUs were invited through leaflets and posters to register in PRENACEL. Women who registered in PRENACEL received a weekly set of short text messages with health education and health promotion content related to pregnancy and childbirth and were also able to clarify ANC queries through SMS. All women received routine ANC. The primary outcome was the proportion of women with high ANC Score, a composite measure of coverage of recommended ANC practices. Chi-square or Fisher's exact tests and multivariate log-binomial regression were used to analyze the outcomes. A total of 1210 eligible women received ANC in the participating PHCUs and took part of this study (770 in the intervention group and 440 in the control group). 20.4% (157/770) of intervention-group women registered in PRENACEL, but only 116 read all messages (73.9% of women who registered in PRENACEL, 116/157). The adjusted intention-to-treat analysis suggested no difference between intervention and control groups in the primary outcome (Adjusted Relative Risk (AdjRR): 1.05 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.00-1.09). Both crude and adjusted per-protocol analysis suggested a positive effect of PRENACEL (Crude RR (95% CI): 1.14 (1.06-1.22), AdjRR (95% CI): 1.12 (1.05-1.21). The multivariate analysis also suggests that the PRENACEL group (women who read all SMS) had higher mean ANC score [48.5 (±4.2) vs 45.2 (±8.7), p celular, aumenta a cobertura das práticas recomendadas de cuidados pr

  17. Medical Yoga for Patients with Stress-Related Symptoms and Diagnoses in Primary Health Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Köhn

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available An increasing number of patients are suffering from stress-related symptoms and diagnoses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the medical yoga treatment in patients with stress-related symptoms and diagnoses in primary health care. A randomized controlled study was performed at a primary health care centre in Sweden from March to June, 2011. Patients were randomly allocated to a control group receiving standard care or a yoga group treated with medical yoga for 1 hour, once a week, over a 12-week period in addition to the standard care. A total of 37 men and women, mean age of 53±12 years were included. General stress level (measured using Perceived Stress Scale (PSS, burnout (Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire (SMBQ, anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, insomnia severity (Insomnia Severity Index (ISI, pain (visual analogue scale (VAS, and overall health status (Euro Quality of Life VAS (EQ-VAS were measured before and after 12 weeks. Patients assigned to the Yoga group showed significantly greater improvements on measures of general stress level (P<0.000, anxiety (P<0.019, and overall health status (P<0.018 compared to controls. Treatment with medical yoga is effective in reducing levels of stress and anxiety in patients with stress-related symptoms in primary health care.

  18. Medical yoga for patients with stress-related symptoms and diagnoses in primary health care: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhn, Monica; Persson Lundholm, Ulla; Bryngelsson, Ing-Liss; Anderzén-Carlsson, Agneta; Westerdahl, Elisabeth

    2013-01-01

    An increasing number of patients are suffering from stress-related symptoms and diagnoses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the medical yoga treatment in patients with stress-related symptoms and diagnoses in primary health care. A randomized controlled study was performed at a primary health care centre in Sweden from March to June, 2011. Patients were randomly allocated to a control group receiving standard care or a yoga group treated with medical yoga for 1 hour, once a week, over a 12-week period in addition to the standard care. A total of 37 men and women, mean age of 53 ± 12 years were included. General stress level (measured using Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)), burnout (Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire (SMBQ)), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS)), insomnia severity (Insomnia Severity Index (ISI)), pain (visual analogue scale (VAS)), and overall health status (Euro Quality of Life VAS (EQ-VAS)) were measured before and after 12 weeks. Patients assigned to the Yoga group showed significantly greater improvements on measures of general stress level (P < 0.000), anxiety (P < 0.019), and overall health status (P < 0.018) compared to controls. Treatment with medical yoga is effective in reducing levels of stress and anxiety in patients with stress-related symptoms in primary health care.

  19. Effect on mental health of a participatory intervention to improve psychosocial work environment: a cluster randomized controlled trial among nurses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Ayako; Odagiri, Yuko; Ohya, Yumiko; Takamiya, Tomoko; Inoue, Shigeru; Shimomitsu, Teruichi

    2013-01-01

    Improvement of psychosocial work environment has proved to be valuable for workers' mental health. However, limited evidence is available for the effectiveness of participatory interventions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect on mental health among nurses of a participatory intervention to improve the psychosocial work environment. A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted in hospital settings. A total of 434 nurses in 24 units were randomly allocated to 11 intervention units (n=183) and 13 control units (n=218). A participatory program was provided to the intervention units for 6 months. Depressive symptoms as mental health status and psychosocial work environment, assessed by the Job Content Questionnaire, the Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire, and the Quality Work Competence questionnaire, were measured before and immediately after the 6-month intervention by a self-administered questionnaire. No significant intervention effect was observed for mental health status. However, significant intervention effects were observed in psychosocial work environment aspects, such as Coworker Support (pwork environment, but not mental health, among Japanese nurses.

  20. Effectiveness of a theory-based intervention to increase colorectal cancer screening among Iranian health club members: a randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salimzadeh, Hamideh; Eftekhar, Hassan; Majdzadeh, Reza; Montazeri, Ali; Delavari, Alireza

    2014-10-01

    Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the fourth leading cause of death in the world. There are few published studies that have used theory-based interventions designed to increase colorectal cancer screening in community lay health organizations. The present study was guided by the theoretical concepts of the preventive health model. Twelve health clubs of a municipal district in Tehran were randomized to two study groups with equal ratio. The control group received usual services throughout the study while the intervention group also received a theory-based educational program on colorectal cancer screening plus a reminder call. Screening behavior, the main outcome, was assessed 4 months after randomization. A total of 360 members aged 50 and older from 12 health clubs completed a baseline survey. Participants in the intervention group reported increased knowledge of colorectal cancer and screening tests at 4 months follow-up (p's theory-based intervention significantly improved self-efficacy, perceived susceptibility, efficacy of screening, social support, and intention to be screened for colorectal cancer, from baseline to 4 months follow-up (p's theory-based intervention was found to have a significant effect on colorectal cancer screening use as measured by self-report. The findings could have implications for colorectal cancer screening program development and implementation in primary health care settings and through other community organizations.

  1. Promoting healthful family meals to prevent obesity: HOME Plus, a randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    Fulkerson, Jayne A.; Friend, Sarah; Flattum, Colleen; Horning, Melissa; Draxten, Michelle; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne; Gurvich, Olga; Story, Mary; Garwick, Ann; Kubik, Martha Y.

    2015-01-01

    Background Family meal frequency has been shown to be strongly associated with better dietary intake; however, associations with weight status have been mixed. Family meals-focused randomized controlled trials with weight outcomes have not been previously conducted. Therefore, this study purpose was to describe weight-related outcomes of the HOME Plus study, the first family meals-focused randomized controlled trial to prevent excess weight gain among youth. Methods Families (n?=?160 8-12-yea...

  2. Randomized trial of switching from prescribed non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to prescribed celecoxib

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Macdonald, Thomas M; Hawkey, Chris J; Ford, Ian

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors and conventional non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsNSAIDs) have been associated with adverse cardiovascular (CV) effects. We compared the CV safety of switching to celecoxib vs. continuing nsNSAID therapy in a European setting...

  3. Empirical versus Random Item Selection in the Design of Intelligence Test Short Forms--The WISC-R Example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goh, David S.

    1979-01-01

    The advantages of using psychometric thoery to design short forms of intelligence tests are demonstrated by comparing such usage to a systematic random procedure that has previously been used. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Revised (WISC-R) Short Form is presented as an example. (JKS)

  4. Protocol for the development of a CONSORT-equity guideline to improve reporting of health equity in randomized trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, Vivian; Jull, J; Petkovic, J; Armstrong, R; Boyer, Y; Cuervo, L G; Edwards, Sjl; Lydiatt, A; Gough, D; Grimshaw, J; Kristjansson, E; Mbuagbaw, L; McGowan, J; Moher, D; Pantoja, T; Petticrew, M; Pottie, K; Rader, T; Shea, B; Taljaard, M; Waters, E; Weijer, C; Wells, G A; White, H; Whitehead, M; Tugwell, P

    2015-10-21

    Health equity concerns the absence of avoidable and unfair differences in health. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) can provide evidence about the impact of an intervention on health equity for specific disadvantaged populations or in general populations; this is important for equity-focused decision-making. Previous work has identified a lack of adequate reporting guidelines for assessing health equity in RCTs. The objective of this study is to develop guidelines to improve the reporting of health equity considerations in RCTs, as an extension of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT). A six-phase study using integrated knowledge translation governed by a study executive and advisory board will assemble empirical evidence to inform the CONSORT-equity extension. To create the guideline, the following steps are proposed: (1) develop a conceptual framework for identifying "equity-relevant trials," (2) assess empirical evidence regarding reporting of equity-relevant trials, (3) consult with global methods and content experts on how to improve reporting of health equity in RCTs, (4) collect broad feedback and prioritize items needed to improve reporting of health equity in RCTs, (5) establish consensus on the CONSORT-equity extension: the guideline for equity-relevant trials, and (6) broadly disseminate and implement the CONSORT-equity extension. This work will be relevant to a broad range of RCTs addressing questions of effectiveness for strategies to improve practice and policy in the areas of social determinants of health, clinical care, health systems, public health, and international development, where health and/or access to health care is a primary outcome. The outcomes include a reporting guideline (CONSORT-equity extension) for equity-relevant RCTs and a knowledge translation strategy to broadly encourage its uptake and use by journal editors, authors, and funding agencies.

  5. Efficacy of an education course delivered to community health workers in diabetes control: A randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, Camila Furtado; Dalzochio, Mériane Boeira; Zucatti, Alessandra Teixeira Netto; De Nale, Rosana; de Almeida, Marília Tavares; Gross, Jorge Luiz; Leitão, Cristiane Bauermann

    2017-08-01

    Community health workers are community members who provide education and care for patients for a broad range of health issues, including diabetes mellitus. However, few community health workers are trained for diabetes education and little is known about the effectiveness of their interventions. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of a diabetes education program delivered to community health workers in improving the metabolic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Eight community health workers, providing care for 118 patients, were randomized in two groups to receive a 1-month diabetes education program (intervention, patients n = 62) or an education course in other health issues (control, patients n = 56). Each community health worker was responsible for transmitting the acquired knowledge to patients. Primary outcome was changed in HbA1C 3 months after the intervention. PARTICIPANTS: Mean age was 61 ± 11 years, 35% were men and 62% were whites. HbA1c levels reduced in both groups (intervention: 9.1 ± 2.2 vs. 7.9 ± 1.9%; control: 9.1 ± 2.1 vs. 8.4 ± 2.5%, p patients' follow-up, but it was similar in intervention and control groups. The diabetes mellitus education course delivered to community health workers was able to improve patients' lipid profile.

  6. Do individuals respond to cost-sharing subsidies in their selections of marketplace health insurance plans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLeire, Thomas; Chappel, Andre; Finegold, Kenneth; Gee, Emily

    2017-12-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides assistance to low-income consumers through both premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). Low-income consumers' lack of health insurance literacy or information regarding CSRs may lead them to not take-up CSR benefits for which they are eligible. We use administrative data from 2014 to 2016 on roughly 22 million health insurance plan choices of low-income individuals enrolled in ACA Marketplace coverage to assess whether they behave in a manner consistent with being aware of the availability of CSRs. We take advantage of discontinuous changes in the schedule of CSR benefits to show that consumers are highly sensitive to the value of CSRs when selecting insurance plans and that a very low percentage select dominated plans. These findings suggest that CSR subsidies are salient to consumers and that the program is well designed to account for any lack of health insurance literacy among the low-income population it serves. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Social determinants of health in selected slum areas in Jordan: challenges and policy directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajlouni, Musa T

    2016-01-01

    The unplanned urbanization in Jordan has over time created many informal settlements "slums" around big cities as Amman, Zerka and Aqaba. The purpose of this study was to highlight the most common challenges related to social determinants of health in two selected slum areas in Amman and Aqaba and suggest policy directions and interventions to meet these challenges. In addition to a prestructured interview with all household heads living in the two slum sites, focus group meetings with a purposefully selected sample of 12 slum dwellers in each site were used to assess the structural and intermediary determinants of health as perceived by slum residents in the two study locations. The study found that slum residents in the two locations suffer from many challenges as severe poverty; unemployment; illiteracy and low education attainments; gender discrimination; insufficient and poor diet; social and official exclusion; unhealthy environment; lack of water supply, electricity and basic sanitation facilities; high prevalence of diseases; and insufficient and inappropriate health services. Specific policy directions to meet these challenges were recommended and grouped into three main clusters: social protection, social inclusion and empowerment. New plans and tools should be developed by local authorities in Jordan to understand, protect, include and empower those vulnerable people who are forced to live in these unhealthy and inhuman environments. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. Selected indicators of mental health in the elderly - the participants the University of the Third Age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Tomagová

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The aim of the research study is to identify the selected indicators of mental health, such as meaning of life, experience of well-being, hope, and feelings of loneliness and depression in the elderly participating in the University of the Third Age, in relation to their age and gender. Design: A quantitative descriptive study. Methods: The selection of respondents was deliberate. The sample consisted of 147 seniors with a mean age of 67.4 (± 4.9 years enrolled at the University of the Third Age at Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University. Data were collected by means of self-assessment scales - the Life Meaningfulness Scale, Snyder´s Hope Scale, the Emotional Habitual Subjective Well-being Scale, the Loneliness Scale, and the Geriatric Depression Scale. Results: Seniors considered their life meaningful, and expressed a high level of hope. Their emotions were predominately positive. We identified low levels of loneliness and found no indication of depressed mood. We identified significant differences between men and women in evaluation indicators of mental health only in the frequency of positive emotions. Conclusion: The study indicates the presence of salutogenic factors affecting the mental health of the sample of seniors in the process of active aging. The results could form the basis for implementing preventive strategies in clinical nursing practice.

  9. Selecting new health technologies for evaluation:Can clinical experts predict which new anticancer drugswill impact Danish health care?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Douw, Karla; Vondeling, Hindrik

    2007-01-01

    Several countries have systems in place to support the managed entry of new health technologies. The big challenge for these so-called horizon-scanning systems is to select those technologies that require decision support by means of an early evaluation. Clinical experts are considered a valuable...... source of information on new health technologies, but research on the relevance of their input is scarce. In 2000, we asked six Danish expert oncologists to predict whether a sample of 19 new anticancer drugs would impact Danish health care over the next 5 years. In 2005, we assessed the accuracy...... of these predictions in a delayed type cross-sectional study. The specificity of the Danish experts' prediction was 1 (95% confidence interval 0.74-1.00) and the sensitivity was 0.63 (0.31-0.86). The negative predictive value was 0.79 (0.52-0.92) and the positive predictive value was 1 (0.57-1.00). This indicates...

  10. Health-Care Waste Treatment Technology Selection Using the Interval 2-Tuple Induced TOPSIS Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Lu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Health-care waste (HCW management is a major challenge for municipalities, particularly in the cities of developing nations. Selecting the best treatment technology for HCW can be regarded as a complex multi-criteria decision making (MCDM issue involving a number of alternatives and multiple evaluation criteria. In addition, decision makers tend to express their personal assessments via multi-granularity linguistic term sets because of different backgrounds and knowledge, some of which may be imprecise, uncertain and incomplete. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to propose a new hybrid decision making approach combining interval 2-tuple induced distance operators with the technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS for tackling HCW treatment technology selection problems with linguistic information. The proposed interval 2-tuple induced TOPSIS (ITI-TOPSIS can not only model the uncertainty and diversity of the assessment information given by decision makers, but also reflect the complex attitudinal characters of decision makers and provide much more complete information for the selection of the optimum disposal alternative. Finally, an empirical example in Shanghai, China is provided to illustrate the proposed decision making method, and results show that the ITI-TOPSIS proposed in this paper can solve the problem of HCW treatment technology selection effectively.

  11. Prognostic Health Management System: Component Selection Based on Risk Criteria and Economic Benefit Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pham, B.T.; Agarwal, V.; Lybeck, N.J.; Tawfik, M.S.

    2012-01-01

    Long-term operation (LTO), i.e., beyond 60 years, of the current fleet of nuclear power plants (NPPs) is an important element in the overall energy stability of the United States in coming decades. Problem Statement and Proposed Approach: - For LTO of NPPs, early and proactive diagnosis of degradation at systems, structures, and components (SSCs) level is required; - Periodic maintenance versus Proactive maintenance; - Prognostic Health Monitoring (PHM) can be used to better manage aging and degradation mechanisms, including emerging mechanisms; - Selection of components is crucial for implementing the PHM system; - Approach is to develop a quantitative framework that aids systematic identification of plant components that are selected for cost-effective PHM.

  12. Prognostic Health Monitoring System: Component Selection Based on Risk Criteria and Economic Benefit Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pham, Binh T.; Agarwal, Vivek; Lybeck, Nancy J.; Tawfik, Magdy S.

    2012-01-01

    Prognostic health monitoring (PHM) is a proactive approach to monitor the ability of structures, systems, and components (SSCs) to withstand structural, thermal, and chemical loadings over the SSCs planned service lifespan. The current efforts to extend the operational license lifetime of the aging fleet of U.S. nuclear power plants from 40 to 60 years and beyond can benefit from a systematic application of PHM technology. Implementing a PHM system would strengthen the safety of nuclear power plants, reduce plant outage time, and reduce operation and maintenance costs. However, a nuclear power plant has thousands of SSCs, so implementing a PHM system that covers all SSCs requires careful planning and prioritization. This paper therefore focuses on a component selection that is based on the analysis of a component's failure probability, risk, and cost. Ultimately, the decision on component selection depends on the overall economical benefits arising from safety and operational considerations associated with implementing the PHM system. (author)

  13. Mindfulness Training for Health Profession Students-The Effect of Mindfulness Training on Psychological Well-Being, Learning and Clinical Performance of Health Professional Students: A Systematic Review of Randomized and Non-randomized Controlled Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConville, Janet; McAleer, Rachael; Hahne, Andrew

    High levels of stress have been identified in medical students and increasingly in other health profession student population groups. As stress can affect psychological well-being and interfere with learning and clinical performance, there is a clear argument for universities to include health professional student well-being as an outcome in core curriculum. Mindfulness training is a potential construct to manage stress and enhance academic success. The aims of this systematic review were to assess the effectiveness of mindfulness training in medical and other health professional student population groups and to compare the effectiveness of the different mindfulness-based programs. A literature search was completed using The Cochrane library, Medline, Cinahl, Embase, Psychinfo, and ERIC (proquest) electronic databases from inception to June 2016. Randomized and non-randomized controlled trials were included. Of the potential 5355 articles, 19 met the inclusion criteria. Studies focused on medical (n = 10), nursing (n = 4), social work (n = 1), psychology (n = 1), and medical plus other health (n = 3) students. Interventions were based on mindfulness. The 19 studies included 1815 participants. Meta-analysis was performed evaluating the effect of mindfulness training on mindfulness, anxiety, depression, stress, mood, self-efficacy, and empathy. The effect of mindfulness on academic performance was discussed. Mindfulness-based interventions decrease stress, anxiety, and depression and improve mindfulness, mood, self-efficacy, and empathy in health profession students. Due to the range of presentation options, mindfulness training can be relatively easily adapted and integrated into health professional training programs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Special features of health services and register based trials – experiences from a randomized trial of childbirth classes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sevón Tiina

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evaluating complex interventions in health services faces various difficulties, such as making practice changes and costs. Ways to increase research capacity and decrease costs include making research an integral part of health services and using routine data to judge outcomes. The purpose of this article is to report the feasibility of a pilot trial relying solely on routinely collected register data and being based on ordinary health services. Methods The example intervention was education to public health nurses (PHN (childbirth classes to reduce caesarean section rates via pre-delivery considerations of pregnant women. 20 maternity health centers (MHC were paired and of each 10 pairs, one MHC was randomly allocated to an intervention group and the other to a control; 8 pairs with successful intervention were used in the analyses (1601 mothers. The women visiting to the study maternity centers were identified from the Customer Register of Helsinki City. A list of the study women was made using the mother's personal identification number, visit date, the maternity center code, birth date and gestation length. The mode of delivery and health outcomes were retrieved from the Finnish Medical Birth Register (MBR. Process data of the intervention are based on observations, written feedback and questionnaires from PHNs, and project correspondence. Results It took almost two years to establish how to obtain permissions and to actually obtain it for the trial. Obtaining permissions for the customer and outcome data and register linkages was unproblematic and the cluster randomization provided comparable groups. The intervention did not succeed well. Had the main aim of the trial been to cause a change in PHNs behavior, we would have very likely intensified the intervention during the trial. Conclusion Our experiences encourage the use of trials that obtain their outcomes from registers. Changing the behavior of ordinary health

  15. Online interventions for problem gamblers with and without co-occurring mental health symptoms: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John A. Cunningham

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comorbidity between problem gambling and depression or anxiety is common. Further, the treatment needs of people with co-occurring gambling and mental health symptoms may be different from those of problem gamblers who do not have a co-occurring mental health concern. The current randomized controlled trial (RCT will evaluate whether there is a benefit to providing access to mental health Internet interventions (G + MH intervention in addition to an Internet intervention for problem gambling (G-only intervention in participants with gambling problems who do or do not have co-occurring mental health symptoms. Methods Potential participants will be screened using an online survey to identify participants meeting criteria for problem gambling. As part of the baseline screening process, measures of current depression and anxiety will be assessed. Eligible participants agreeing (N = 280 to take part in the study will be randomized to one of two versions of an online intervention for gamblers – an intervention that just targets gambling issues (G-only versus a website that contains interventions for depression and anxiety in addition to an intervention for gamblers (G + MH. It is predicted that problem gamblers who do not have co-occurring mental health symptoms will display no significant difference between intervention conditions at a six-month follow-up. However, for those with co-occurring mental health symptoms, it is predicted that participants receiving access to the G + MH website will display significantly reduced gambling outcomes at six-month follow-up as compared to those provided with G-only website. Discussion The trial will produce information on the best means of providing online help to gamblers with and without co-occurring mental health symptoms. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02800096 ; Registration date: June 14, 2016.

  16. Effects of resource-building group intervention on career management and mental health in work organizations: randomized controlled field trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuori, Jukka; Toppinen-Tanner, Salla; Mutanen, Pertti

    2012-03-01

    A resource-building group intervention was developed to enhance career management, mental health, and job retention in work organizations. The in-company training program provided employees with better preparedness to manage their own careers. The program activities were universally implemented using an organization-level, 2-trainer model with trainers from the human resources management and occupational health services. The study was a within-organizations, randomly assigned field experimental study; it investigated the impacts of the intervention on immediate career management preparedness and later mental health and intentions to retire early. A total of 718 eligible individuals returned a questionnaire in 17 organizations and became voluntary participants. The respondents were randomly assigned to either an intervention (N = 369) or a comparison group (N = 349). Those in the intervention group were invited to group intervention workshops, whereas those in the comparison group received printed information about career and health-related issues. The 7-month follow-up results showed that the program significantly decreased depressive symptoms and intentions to retire early and increased mental resources among the group participants compared to the others. The mediation analyses demonstrated that the increase in career management preparedness as a proximal impact of the intervention mediated the longer term mental health effects. Those who benefited most from the intervention as regards their mental health were employees with elevated levels of depression or exhaustion and younger employees, implying additional benefits of a more targeted use of the intervention. The results demonstrated the benefits of the enhancement of individual-level career management and resilience resources as career and health promotion practice in work organizations.

  17. Adult health study reference papers. Selection of the sample. Characteristics of the sample

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beebe, G W; Fujisawa, Hideo; Yamasaki, Mitsuru

    1960-12-14

    The characteristics and selection of the clinical sample have been described in some detail to provide information on the comparability of the exposure groups with respect to factors excluded from the matching criteria and to provide basic descriptive information potentially relevant to individual studies that may be done within the framework of the Adult Health Study. The characteristics under review here are age, sex, many different aspects of residence, marital status, occupation and industry, details of location and shielding ATB, acute radiation signs and symptoms, and prior ABCC medical or pathology examinations. 5 references, 57 tables.

  18. Do vouchers lead to sorting under random private-school selection? Evidence from the Milwaukee voucher program

    OpenAIRE

    Chakrabarti, Rajashri

    2009-01-01

    This paper analyzes the effect of school vouchers on student sorting - defined as a flight to private schools by high-income and committed public-school students - and whether vouchers can be designed to reduce or eliminate it. Much of the existing literature investigates sorting in cases where private schools can screen students. However, publicly funded U.S. voucher programs require a private school to accept all students unless it is oversubscribed and to pick students randomly if it is ov...

  19. Assessing the Performance of Imaging Health Systems in Five Selected Hospitals in Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael G Kawooya

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : The first objective of the study was to develop an index termed as the ′Imaging Coverage′ (IC, for measuring the performance of the imaging health systems. This index together with the Hospital-Based Utilization (HBU would then be calculated for five Ugandan hospitals. Second, was to relate the financial resources and existing health policy to the performance of the imaging systems. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey employing the triangulation methodology, conducted in Mulago National Referral Hospital. The qualitative study used cluster sampling, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and self-administered questionnaires to explore the non-measurable aspects of the imaging systems′ performances. Results: The IC developed and tested as an index for the imaging system′s performance was 36%. General X-rays had the best IC followed by ultrasound. The Hospital-Based Utilization for the five selected hospitals was 186 per thousand and was the highest for general radiography followed by ultrasound. Conclusion: The IC for the five selected hospitals was 36% and the HBU was 186 per thousand, reflecting low performance levels, largely attributable to inadequate funding. There were shortfalls in imaging requisitions and inefficiencies in the imaging systems, financing, and health policy. Although the proportion of inappropriate imaging was small, reducing this inappropriateness even further would lead to a significant total saving, which could be channeled into investigating more patients. Financial resources stood out as the major limitation in attaining the desired performance and there is a need to increase budget funding so as to improve the performance of the imaging health systems.

  20. Selective dissemination of health information: Bulletins of the National Medical Library of Cuba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Santana Arroyo

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The National Medical Library of Cuba (BMN has the mission to ensure the provision of scientific and technology information to the community of professionals that make up the healthcare sector in the country, primarily the Ministry of Public Health, identified as prioritized user of BMN, in order to elevate the quality of care, research, management and teaching, as well as to encourage the finding of new solutions that enable to face health problems in Cuba and in the world. This article aims to describe the making process of the bulletins: Bibliomed, Bibliomed Supplemento, BiblioDir and Factográfico de Salud, which are offered by specialists from Selective Dissemination of Information Service that resides in the BMN area of Customer Service, in order to support the decision making of health managers of Cuba Ministry of Public Health. For this purpose, the paper details scope, content, sections, team responsibility, procedures for preparing and processing the bulletins. Most used sources of information and skills of staff are also presented. Such Informative scientific work strengthen BMN as a paradigm of the cuban medical libraries network, transforming the pattern of a traditional library into a modern library, characterized by an effective knowledge management and development processes in virtual environments.

  1. Managing the health care solid waste in selected districts of Punjab, Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ullah, J.H.; Ahmad, K.

    2010-01-01

    Hospital and other health care facilities (HCFs) are known to generate lot of waste for which its management is a matter of considerable public health and environmental concern. The study was undertaken to describe the current practices, gaps and quantify the load of health care solid waste. Out of one hundred and fifty health care facilities (HCFs) in Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan, a sample of fifteen (HCFs) was taken from a few selected Districts, to include six large hospitals and nine without indoor facilities. Only 40% of studied institutions had some program to dispose-off the waste. Even these programs were deficient in many areas and could hardly be considered as scientific. One third of institutional personnel interviewed had proper awareness or existence of a training program. Only one institution had some concept of taking safety steps from infectious materials. The process of solid waste collection, storing, transporting and final disposal was highly inefficient in almost all the institutions. No regulatory body or system of waste was in place in any of the hospitals. There was no allocated budget in 27% of the hospitals for covering the cost of waste disposal. An average of 0.3 kg/bed/day of solid unsafe waste demands a systematic program of its disposal, failing which serious environmental hazards would develop for within and surroundings communities. (author)

  2. The impact of selected environmental, behavioral and psychosocial factors on schoolchildren's somatic and mental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vondrova, Diana; Kapsdorfer, Daniela; Argalasova, Lubica; Hirosova, Katarina; Samohyl, Martin; Sevcikova, Ludmila

    2017-03-01

    Children develop rapidly and many exogenous determinants of health significantly affect their somatic and mental development. There is a subjective perception of cognitive load associated with the educational process. The aim of the study is to assess individual environmental, behavioral and psychosocial factors influencing physical health and to investigate the amount of mental load in children. We investigated 87 schoolchildren (47 girls and 40 boys) aged 10-12 years, who were attending primary school in Bratislava. To assess values of selected factors we used a questionnaire form and personality characteristics were estimated by standardized psycho-diagnostic and IQ tests [range of classic fear, social-situation anxiety and jitters [skala Klasickeho strachu a Socialno-situacnej (in Slovak)] (KSAT), Eyesenck Personality Questionnaire for children (EPQ), Raven's IQ test]. Self-reported perception of mental load was assessed by questionnaire of subjective feelings and states (SFS). Children's body parameters were assessed using anthropometric measurements [height, weight, chest, abdominal and hip girth, Rohrer's index (RI), body mass index (BMI)] and a body fat measurement method (skinfold thickness). The results confirmed a significant relationship between higher parameters of overweight and obesity and irregular breakfast eating (pmental effort and cognitive load associated with the educational process. We note a close relationship between the higher mental load and the score of neuroticism (pmental health of schoolchildren is significantly affected by exogenous factors. Therefore, in terms of protection and promotion of children's health, it is important to evaluate and monitor environmental risk factors and to form their healthy habits.

  3. Evaluating an Organizational-Level Occupational Health Intervention in a Combined Regression Discontinuity and Randomized Control Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sørensen, By Ole H

    2016-10-01

    Organizational-level occupational health interventions have great potential to improve employees' health and well-being. However, they often compare unfavourably to individual-level interventions. This calls for improving methods for designing, implementing and evaluating organizational interventions. This paper presents and discusses the regression discontinuity design because, like the randomized control trial, it is a strong summative experimental design, but it typically fits organizational-level interventions better. The paper explores advantages and disadvantages of a regression discontinuity design with an embedded randomized control trial. It provides an example from an intervention study focusing on reducing sickness absence in 196 preschools. The paper demonstrates that such a design fits the organizational context, because it allows management to focus on organizations or workgroups with the most salient problems. In addition, organizations may accept an embedded randomized design because the organizations or groups with most salient needs receive obligatory treatment as part of the regression discontinuity design. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Child oral health-related quality of life and early childhood caries: a non-inferiority randomized control trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrow, P; Klobas, E

    2016-06-01

    The aim of this study was to compare changes in child oral health-related quality of life (COHRQoL) after treatment for early childhood caries (ECC) using two alternative treatment approaches. A randomized control trial with random allocation of parent/child dyads with ECC to test (minimum intervention) or control (standard care). Participating parents completed the Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS) at baseline and follow-up. Changes in ECOHIS scores and extent of COHRQoL impacts between and within groups were tested using the chi-squared statistic for groups, Wilcoxon's rank-sum test, and matched-pairs signed-rank test. Two hundred and fifty-four children were randomized (test = 127; control = 127). At baseline, mean ECOHIS score 11.1, sd 8.2; mean age = 3.8 years, sd 0.90; mean dmft = 4.9, sd 4.0; and 59% male. After a mean interval of 11.4 months, 210 children were followed-up and returned a completed questionnaire (test = 111; control = 99). There was no significant difference in COHRQoL changes between test and control. For all the children combined, there were significantly fewer impacts at follow-up in the child and family domains and the total ECOHIS, Wilcoxon signed-rank test, p test and control in the extent of the improvement. © 2016 Australian Dental Association.

  5. Assessing the Impact of Community Engagement Interventions on Health Worker Motivation and Experiences with Clients in Primary Health Facilities in Ghana: A Randomized Cluster Trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Kaba Alhassan

    Full Text Available Health worker density per 1000 population in Ghana is one of the lowest in the world estimated to be 2.3, below the global average of 9.3. Low health worker motivation induced by poor working conditions partly explain this challenge. Albeit the wage bill for public sector health workers is about 90% of domestic government expenditure on health in countries such as Ghana, staff motivation and performance output remain a challenge, suggesting the need to complement financial incentives with non-financial incentives through a community-based approach. In this study, a systematic community engagement (SCE intervention was implemented to engage community groups in healthcare quality assessment to promote mutual collaboration between clients and healthcare providers, and enhance health worker motivation levels. SCE involves structured use of existing community groups and associations to assess healthcare quality in health facilities. Identified quality gaps are discussed with healthcare providers, improvements made and rewards given to best performing facilities for closing quality care gaps.To evaluate the effect of SCE interventions on health worker motivation and experiences with clients.The study is a cluster randomized trial involving health workers in private (n = 38 and public (n = 26 primary healthcare facilities in two administrative regions in Ghana. Out of 324 clinical and non-clinical staff randomly interviewed at baseline, 234 (72% were successfully followed at end-line and interviewed on workplace motivation factors and personal experiences with clients. Propensity score matching and difference-in-difference estimations were used to estimate treatment effect of the interventions on staff motivation.Intrinsic (non-financial work incentives including cordiality with clients and perceived career prospects appeared to be prime sources of motivation for health staff interviewed in intervention health facilities while financial incentives were

  6. Assessing the Impact of Community Engagement Interventions on Health Worker Motivation and Experiences with Clients in Primary Health Facilities in Ghana: A Randomized Cluster Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhassan, Robert Kaba; Nketiah-Amponsah, Edward; Spieker, Nicole; Arhinful, Daniel Kojo; Rinke de Wit, Tobias F

    2016-01-01

    Health worker density per 1000 population in Ghana is one of the lowest in the world estimated to be 2.3, below the global average of 9.3. Low health worker motivation induced by poor working conditions partly explain this challenge. Albeit the wage bill for public sector health workers is about 90% of domestic government expenditure on health in countries such as Ghana, staff motivation and performance output remain a challenge, suggesting the need to complement financial incentives with non-financial incentives through a community-based approach. In this study, a systematic community engagement (SCE) intervention was implemented to engage community groups in healthcare quality assessment to promote mutual collaboration between clients and healthcare providers, and enhance health worker motivation levels. SCE involves structured use of existing community groups and associations to assess healthcare quality in health facilities. Identified quality gaps are discussed with healthcare providers, improvements made and rewards given to best performing facilities for closing quality care gaps. To evaluate the effect of SCE interventions on health worker motivation and experiences with clients. The study is a cluster randomized trial involving health workers in private (n = 38) and public (n = 26) primary healthcare facilities in two administrative regions in Ghana. Out of 324 clinical and non-clinical staff randomly interviewed at baseline, 234 (72%) were successfully followed at end-line and interviewed on workplace motivation factors and personal experiences with clients. Propensity score matching and difference-in-difference estimations were used to estimate treatment effect of the interventions on staff motivation. Intrinsic (non-financial) work incentives including cordiality with clients and perceived career prospects appeared to be prime sources of motivation for health staff interviewed in intervention health facilities while financial incentives were ranked

  7. Assessing the Impact of Community Engagement Interventions on Health Worker Motivation and Experiences with Clients in Primary Health Facilities in Ghana: A Randomized Cluster Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhassan, Robert Kaba; Nketiah-Amponsah, Edward; Spieker, Nicole; Arhinful, Daniel Kojo; Rinke de Wit, Tobias F.

    2016-01-01

    Background Health worker density per 1000 population in Ghana is one of the lowest in the world estimated to be 2.3, below the global average of 9.3. Low health worker motivation induced by poor working conditions partly explain this challenge. Albeit the wage bill for public sector health workers is about 90% of domestic government expenditure on health in countries such as Ghana, staff motivation and performance output remain a challenge, suggesting the need to complement financial incentives with non-financial incentives through a community-based approach. In this study, a systematic community engagement (SCE) intervention was implemented to engage community groups in healthcare quality assessment to promote mutual collaboration between clients and healthcare providers, and enhance health worker motivation levels. SCE involves structured use of existing community groups and associations to assess healthcare quality in health facilities. Identified quality gaps are discussed with healthcare providers, improvements made and rewards given to best performing facilities for closing quality care gaps. Purpose To evaluate the effect of SCE interventions on health worker motivation and experiences with clients. Methods The study is a cluster randomized trial involving health workers in private (n = 38) and public (n = 26) primary healthcare facilities in two administrative regions in Ghana. Out of 324 clinical and non-clinical staff randomly interviewed at baseline, 234 (72%) were successfully followed at end-line and interviewed on workplace motivation factors and personal experiences with clients. Propensity score matching and difference-in-difference estimations were used to estimate treatment effect of the interventions on staff motivation. Results Intrinsic (non-financial) work incentives including cordiality with clients and perceived career prospects appeared to be prime sources of motivation for health staff interviewed in intervention health facilities while

  8. Effects of a telephone-delivered multiple health behavior change intervention (CanChange) on health and behavioral outcomes in survivors of colorectal cancer: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkes, Anna L; Chambers, Suzanne K; Pakenham, Kenneth I; Patrao, Tania A; Baade, Peter D; Lynch, Brigid M; Aitken, Joanne F; Meng, Xingqiong; Courneya, Kerry S

    2013-06-20

    Colorectal cancer survivors are at risk for poor health outcomes because of unhealthy lifestyles, but few studies have developed translatable health behavior change interventions. This study aimed to determine the effects of a telephone-delivered multiple health behavior change intervention (CanChange) on health and behavioral outcomes among colorectal cancer survivors. In this two-group randomized controlled trial, 410 colorectal cancer survivors were randomly assigned to the health coaching intervention (11 theory-based telephone-delivered health coaching sessions delivered over 6 months focusing on physical activity, weight management, dietary habits, alcohol, and smoking) or usual care. Assessment of primary (ie, physical activity [Godin Leisure Time Index], health-related quality of life [HRQoL; Short Form-36], and cancer-related fatigue [Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy Fatigue Scale]) and secondary outcomes (ie, body mass index [kg/m(2)], diet and alcohol intake [Food Frequency Questionnaire], and smoking) were conducted at baseline and 6 and 12 months. At 12 months, significant intervention effects were observed for moderate physical activity (28.5 minutes; P = .003), body mass index (-0.9 kg/m(2); P = .001), energy from total fat (-7.0%; P = .006), and energy from saturated fat (-2.8%; P = .016). A significant intervention effect was reported for vegetable intake (0.4 servings per day; P = .001) at 6 months. No significant group differences were found at 6 or 12 months for HRQoL, cancer-related fatigue, fruit, fiber, or alcohol intake, or smoking. The CanChange intervention was effective for improving physical activity, dietary habits, and body mass index in colorectal cancer survivors. The intervention is translatable through existing telephone cancer support and information services in Australia and other countries.

  9. Self-managed eHealth Disease Monitoring in Children and Adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlsen, Katrine; Jakobsen, Christian; Houen, Gunnar; Kallemose, Thomas; Paerregaard, Anders; Riis, Lene B; Munkholm, Pia; Wewer, Vibeke

    2017-03-01

    To evaluate the impact of eHealth on disease activity, the need for hospital contacts, and medical adherence in children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Furthermore, to assess eHealth's influence on school attendance and quality of life (QoL). Patients with IBD, 10 to 17 years attending a public university hospital, were prospectively randomized to a 2-year open label case-controlled eHealth intervention. The eHealth-group used the web-application young.constant-care.com (YCC) on a monthly basis and in case of flare-ups, and were seen at one annual preplanned outpatient visit. The control-group continued standard visits every third month. Every 3 months, both groups had blood and fecal calprotectin tested and the following were assessed: escalation in medication, disease activity, hospital contacts, medical adherence, school absence, and QoL. Fifty-three patients in nonbiological treatment were included (27 eHealth/26 control). We found no differences between the groups regarding escalation in treatment and disease activity (symptoms, fecal calprotectin, and blood). The number of total outpatient visits (mean: eHealth 3.26, SEM 0.51; control 7.31, SEM 0.69; P eHealth 1.6, SEM 0.5; control 16.5, SEM 4.4; P eHealth-group. No differences in medical adherence and QoL were found. Adherence to YCC was 81% (384 of the 475 expected entries). None of the patients or parents felt unsafe using the eHealth system. The use of eHealth in children and adolescents with IBD is feasible, does not lead to impaired disease control, and can be managed by the patients without risk of increased disease activity.

  10. A school intervention for mental health literacy in adolescents: effects of a non-randomized cluster controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background “Mental health for everyone” is a school program for mental health literacy and prevention aimed at secondary schools (13–15 yrs). The main aim was to investigate whether mental health literacy, could be improved by a 3-days universal education programme by: a) improving naming of symptom profiles of mental disorder, b) reducing prejudiced beliefs, and c) improving knowledge about where to seek help for mental health problems. A secondary aim was to investigate whether adolescent sex and age influenced the above mentioned variables. A third aim was to investigate whether prejudiced beliefs influenced knowledge about available help. Method This non-randomized cluster controlled trial included 1070 adolescents (53.9% boys, M age14 yrs) from three schools in a Norwegian town. One school (n = 520) received the intervention, and two schools (n = 550) formed the control group. Pre-test and follow-up were three months apart. Linear mixed models and generalized estimating equations models were employed for analysis. Results Mental health literacy improved contingent on the intervention, and there was a shift towards suggesting primary health care as a place to seek help. Those with more prejudiced beleifs did not suggest places to seek help for mental health problems. Generally, girls and older adolescents recognized symptom profiles better and had lower levels of prejudiced beliefs. Conclusions A low cost general school program may improve mental health literacy in adolescents. Gender specific programs and attention to the age and maturity of the students should be considered when mental health literacy programmes are designed and tried out. Prejudice should be addressed before imparting information about mental health issues. PMID:24053381

  11. Factors affecting acceptance of provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling services among outpatient clients in selected health facilities in Harar Town, Eastern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdurahman S

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Sami Abdurahman,1 Berhanu Seyoum,2 Lemessa Oljira,2 Fitsum Weldegebreal2 1Harari Regional Health Bureau, 2Haramaya University, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Harar, Ethiopia Purpose: To improve the slow uptake of HIV counseling and testing, the World Health Organization (WHO and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS have developed draft guidelines on provider-initiated testing and counseling (PITC. Both in low- and high-income countries, mainly from outpatient clinics and tuberculosis settings, indicates that the direct offer of HIV testing by health providers can result in significant improvements in test uptake. In Ethiopia, there were limited numbers of studies conducted regarding PITC in outpatient clinics. Therefore, in this study, we have assessed the factors affecting the acceptance of PITC among outpatient clients in selected health facilities in Harar, Harari Region State, Ethiopia. Materials and methods: Institutional-based, cross-sectional quantitative and qualitative studies were conducted from February 12–30, 2011 in selected health facilities in Harar town, Harari Region State, Ethiopia. The study participants were recruited from the selected health facilities of Harar using a systematic random sampling technique. The collected data were double entered into a data entry file using Epi Info version 3.5.1. The data were transferred to SPSS software version 16 and analyzed according to the different variables. Results: A total of 362 (70.6% clients accepted PITC, and only 39.4% of clients had heard of PITC in the outpatient department service. Age, occupation, marital status, anyone who wanted to check their HIV status, and the importance of PITC were the variables that showed significant associations with the acceptance of PITC upon bivariate and multivariate analyses. The main reasons given for not accepting the tests were self-trust, not being at risk for HIV, not being ready, needing to consult their

  12. SNPs selected by information content outperform randomly selected microsatellite loci for delineating genetic identification and introgression in the endangered dark European honeybee (Apis mellifera mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Irene; Henriques, Dora; Jara, Laura; Johnston, J Spencer; Chávez-Galarza, Julio; De La Rúa, Pilar; Pinto, M Alice

    2017-07-01

    The honeybee (Apis mellifera) has been threatened by multiple factors including pests and pathogens, pesticides and loss of locally adapted gene complexes due to replacement and introgression. In western Europe, the genetic integrity of the native A. m. mellifera (M-lineage) is endangered due to trading and intensive queen breeding with commercial subspecies of eastern European ancestry (C-lineage). Effective conservation actions require reliable molecular tools to identify pure-bred A. m. mellifera colonies. Microsatellites have been preferred for identification of A. m. mellifera stocks across conservation centres. However, owing to high throughput, easy transferability between laboratories and low genotyping error, SNPs promise to become popular. Here, we compared the resolving power of a widely utilized microsatellite set to detect structure and introgression with that of different sets that combine a variable number of SNPs selected for their information content and genomic proximity to the microsatellite loci. Contrary to every SNP data set, microsatellites did not discriminate between the two lineages in the PCA space. Mean introgression proportions were identical across the two marker types, although at the individual level, microsatellites' performance was relatively poor at the upper range of Q-values, a result reflected by their lower precision. Our results suggest that SNPs are more accurate and powerful than microsatellites for identification of A. m. mellifera colonies, especially when they are selected by information content. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Effects of one versus two bouts of moderate intensity physical activity on selective attention during a school morning in Dutch primary schoolchildren: A randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altenburg, Teatske M; Chinapaw, Mai J M; Singh, Amika S

    2016-10-01

    Evidence suggests that physical activity is positively related to several aspects of cognitive functioning in children, among which is selective attention. To date, no information is available on the optimal frequency of physical activity on cognitive functioning in children. The current study examined the acute effects of one and two bouts of moderate-intensity physical activity on children's selective attention. Randomized controlled trial (ISRCTN97975679). Thirty boys and twenty-six girls, aged 10-13 years, were randomly assigned to three conditions: (A) sitting all morning working on simulated school tasks; (B) one 20-min physical activity bout after 90min; and (C) two 20-min physical activity bouts, i.e. at the start and after 90min. Selective attention was assessed at five time points during the morning (i.e. at baseline and after 20, 110, 130 and 220min), using the 'Sky Search' subtest of the 'Test of Selective Attention in Children'. We used GEE analysis to examine differences in Sky Search scores between the three experimental conditions, adjusting for school, baseline scores, self-reported screen time and time spent in sports. Children who performed two 20-min bouts of moderate-intensity physical activity had significantly better Sky Search scores compared to children who performed one physical activity bout or remained seated the whole morning (B=-0.26; 95% CI=[-0.52; -0.00]). Our findings support the importance of repeated physical activity during the school day for beneficial effects on selective attention in children. Copyright © 2015 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Reconciling research and implementation in micro health insurance experiments in India: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doyle Conor

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microinsurance or Community-Based Health Insurance is a promising healthcare financing mechanism, which is increasingly applied to aid rural poor persons in low-income countries. Robust empirical evidence on the causal relations between Community-Based Health Insurance and healthcare utilisation, financial protection and other areas is scarce and necessary. This paper contains a discussion of the research design of three Cluster Randomised Controlled Trials in India to measure the impact of Community-Based Health Insurance on several outcomes. Methods/Design Each trial sets up a Community-Based Health Insurance scheme among a group of micro-finance affiliate families. Villages are grouped into clusters which are congruous with pre-existing social groupings. These clusters are randomly assigned to one of three waves of implementation, ensuring the entire population is offered Community-Based Health Insurance by the end of the experiment. Each wave of treatment is preceded by a round of mixed methods evaluation, with quantitative, qualitative and spatial evidence on impact collected. Improving upon practices in published Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial literature, we detail how research design decisions have ensured that both the households offered insurance and the implementers of the Community-Based Health Insurance scheme operate in an environment replicating a non-experimental implementation. Discussion When a Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial involves randomizing within a community, generating adequate and valid conclusions requires that the research design must be made congruous with social structures within the target population, to ensure that such trials are conducted in an implementing environment which is a suitable analogue to that of a non-experimental implementing environment.

  15. Routine programs of health care systems as an opportunity toward communication skills training for family physicians: A randomized field trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamani, Ahmad Reza; Motamedi, Narges; Farajzadegan, Ziba

    2015-01-01

    To have high-quality primary health care services, an adequate doctor-patient communication is necessary. Because of time restrictions and limited budget in health system, an effective, feasible, and continuous training approach is important. The aim of this study is to assess the appropriateness of a communication skills training program simultaneously with routine programs of health care system. It was a randomized field trial in two health network settings during 2013. Twenty-eight family physicians through simple random sampling and 140 patients through convenience sampling participated as intervention and control group. The physicians in the intervention group (n = 14) attended six educational sessions, simultaneous organization meeting, with case discussion and peer education method. In both the groups, physicians completed communication skills knowledge and attitude questionnaires, and patients completed patient satisfaction of medical interview questionnaire at baseline, immediately after intervention, and four months postintervention. Physicians and health network administrators (stakeholders), completed a set of program evaluation forms. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test, t-test, and repeated measure analysis of variance were used to analyze the data. Use of routine program as a strategy of training was rated by stakeholders highly on "feasibility" (80.5%), "acceptability" (93.5%), "educational content and method appropriateness" (80.75%), and "ability to integrating in the health system programs" (approximate 60%). Significant improvements were found in physicians' knowledge (P Communication skills training program, simultaneous organization meeting was successfully implemented and well received by stakeholders, without considering extra time and manpower. Therefore it can be a valuable opportunity toward communication skills training.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  17. Health and Reproductive Assessment of Selected Puerto Rican Parrots ( Amazona vittata ) in Captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clubb, Susan; Velez, Jafet; Garner, Michael M; Zaias, Julia; Cray, Carolyn

    2015-12-01

    The Puerto Rican parrot ( Amazona vittata ) has become an iconic and high-profile conservation species. The cornerstone of the recovery plan for this critically endangered species is an active captive breeding program, management of the wild population, and a long-term reintroduction program. In 2002, 40 adult Puerto Rican parrots that had not produced viable offspring were selected for reproductive assessment at 2 aviary populations in Puerto Rico (Iguaca and Río Abajo), which are the only sources of parrots for release. The goal was to enhance reproductive potential and produce productive pairings in an attempt to augment the population growth and provide ample individuals for reintroduction. Seven Hispanolian Amazon parrots ( Amazona ventralis ) that were used as surrogate parents for the Puerto Rican parrots were also included in the study. This assessment included physical examination, endoscopic evaluation, hematologic and plasma biochemical profiles, viral screening, and hormonal assays. Results of general physical examination and hematologic and plasma biochemical testing revealed overall good health and condition of this subset of the population of Puerto Rican parrots; no major infectious diseases were found. Endoscopic examination also revealed overall good health and condition, especially of females. The apparent low fertility of male birds warrants further investigation. The findings helped to define causes of reproductive failure in the selected pairs and individual birds. New pairings resulting from the assessment helped to augment reproduction of this critically endangered species.

  18. Selecting an interprofessional education model for a tertiary health care setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menard, Prudy; Varpio, Lara

    2014-07-01

    The World Health Organization describes interprofessional education (IPE) and collaboration as necessary components of all health professionals' education - in curriculum and in practice. However, no standard framework exists to guide healthcare settings in developing or selecting an IPE model that meets the learning needs of licensed practitioners in practice and that suits the unique needs of their setting. Initially, a broad review of the grey literature (organizational websites, government documents and published books) and healthcare databases was undertaken for existing IPE models. Subsequently, database searches of published papers using Scopus, Scholars Portal and Medline was undertaken. Through this search process five IPE models were identified in the literature. This paper attempts to: briefly outline the five different models of IPE that are presently offered in the literature; and illustrate how a healthcare setting can select the IPE model within their context using Reeves' seven key trends in developing IPE. In presenting these results, the paper contributes to the interprofessional literature by offering an overview of possible IPE models that can be used to inform the implementation or modification of interprofessional practices in a tertiary healthcare setting.

  19. The health benefits of selective taxation as an economic instrument in relation to IHD and nutrition-related cancers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holm, Astrid L; Laursen, Mai-Britt; Koch, Birgit Maria

    2013-01-01

    of selective taxation were modelled for the adult Danish population. RESULTS: Halving the rate of value-added tax on fruit and vegetables and increasing the tax on fats would result in moderate reductions in the burden of disease from IHD, ischaemic stroke, and colorectal, lung and breast cancer (0......OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to estimate the health benefits of selective taxation of healthy and unhealthy food commodities in relation to CVD and nutrition-related cancers. DESIGN: The potential health effects of a selective taxation scenario were estimated as changes in the burden...... for the associations between various foods and relevant diseases were found through a literature search and used in the calculation of potential impact fractions. SETTING: The study was based in Denmark, estimating the health effects of a Danish selective taxation scenario. SUBJECTS: The potential health effects...

  20. Early food for future health: a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effect of an eHealth intervention aiming to promote healthy food habits from early childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helle, Christine; Hillesund, Elisabet Rudjord; Omholt, Mona Linge; Øverby, Nina Cecilie

    2017-09-20

    Childhood overweight and obesity is a global public health challenge. Primary prevention initiatives targeting parents have been called for to encourage a positive feeding environment and healthy eating habits that may lay a good foundation for future health. At the same time, there is a need for interventions which combine accessibility and scalability with cost effectiveness. Today's parents are extensive Internet-users, but only a few randomized controlled trials have investigated the use of Internet to promote healthy eating habits in early childhood. In Early Food for Future Health we have developed and will evaluate an Internet-based tool for parents of children between 6 and 12 months, aiming to increase knowledge about infant nutrition and foster protective feeding behavior. During springtime 2016, parents of children aged between 3 and 5 months were recruited through Norwegian child health centres and announcements on Facebook. After completing the baseline questionnaire, 718 parents were individually randomized to intervention- or control group. The intervention group received monthly emails with links to an age-appropriate web-site when their child was between 6 and 12 months. The control group received ordinary care from the child health centres. The data-collection is ongoing. All participants will be followed up at ages 12 and possibly 24 and 48 months, with questionnaires relating to eating behaviour and feeding practices, food variety and diet quality. Providing guidance and counseling to parents of infants is an important task for health authorities and the public child health services. Early Food for Future health is an intervention focusing on promoting early healthy food-habits which may prevent childhood overweight and obesity. If proven to be effective, Early Food for Future Health can be used by parents and public health nurses for supplementary guidance on feeding practices and diet. This study has the potential to provide greater

  1. Core Health Outcomes In Childhood Epilepsy (CHOICE): protocol for the selection of a core outcome set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Christopher; Dunkley, Colin; Gibbon, Frances M; Currier, Janet; Roberts, Deborah; Rogers, Morwenna; Crudgington, Holly; Bray, Lucy; Carter, Bernie; Hughes, Dyfrig; Tudur Smith, Catrin; Williamson, Paula R; Gringras, Paul; Pal, Deb K

    2017-11-28

    There is increasing recognition that establishing a core set of outcomes to be evaluated and reported in trials of interventions for particular conditions will improve the usefulness of health research. There is no established core outcome set for childhood epilepsy. The aim of this work is to select a core outcome set to be used in evaluative research of interventions for children with rolandic epilepsy, as an exemplar of common childhood epilepsy syndromes. First we will identify what outcomes should be measured; then we will decide how to measure those outcomes. We will engage relevant UK charities and health professional societies as partners, and convene advisory panels for young people with epilepsy and parents of children with epilepsy. We will identify candidate outcomes from a search for trials of interventions for childhood epilepsy, statutory guidance and consultation with our advisory panels. Families, charities and health, education and neuropsychology professionals will be invited to participate in a Delphi survey following recommended practices in the development of core outcome sets. Participants will be able to recommend additional outcome domains. Over three rounds of Delphi survey participants will rate the importance of candidate outcome domains and state the rationale for their decisions. Over the three rounds we will seek consensus across and between families and health professionals on the more important outcomes. A face-to-face meeting will be convened to ratify the core outcome set. We will then review and recommend ways to measure the shortlisted outcomes using clinical assessment and/or patient-reported outcome measures. Our methodology is a proportionate and pragmatic approach to expediently produce a core outcome set for evaluative research of interventions aiming to improve the health of children with epilepsy. A number of decisions have to be made when designing a study to develop a core outcome set including defining the scope

  2. Monitoring, Human Health Risk Assessment and Optimized Management for Typical Pollutants in Indoor Air from Random Families of University Staff, Wuhan City, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiyao Chen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study, 31 workers at a university were randomly selected for indoor environmental monitoring in Wuhan. Two indicators, formaldehyde and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC, and using 139 monitoring points, monitored the indoor environment (including home and workplace as well as the interior space of the main furniture. This study carried out the environmental quality assessment for TVOC based on the dB index method and the health risk assessment of indoor formaldehyde for the university staff receptors and, then focused on health risk in home environment to carry out detailed environmental health management. The results showed that TVOC in the three types of home spaces exceeded about 80% of the national standard. The excessive formaldehyde ratios for kitchens (79%, bedrooms (77% and living rooms (74% were calculated. Formaldehyde health risks all exceeded the United States Environmental Protection Agency, (USEPA acceptable risk threshold. The formaldehyde concentrations in workplaces were about 0.03 mg·m−3. While the risk contribution of the home environment to the total average health risk (0.0014, whether male and female is about 96%. For the adapted and unadapted persons, 90% and 55% of the monitoring points were located within the long-term tolerable range of TVOC decibel application, respectively. Long-term exposure to such an environment can lead to the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS. On the other hand, through comparison of the concentration of pollutants in the interior spaces of furniture and home spaces, it was determined tentatively that the pollutants were mainly concentrated in rarely used furniture. In summary, the air pollution in the studied homes of university staff was much serious than that in workplaces, which showed a need to manage TVOC and formaldehyde pollution by the three means: the purchase of green products, removal of internal pollution from furniture, and creating a good indoor volatile diffusion

  3. Monitoring and discussing health-related quality of life in adolescents with type 1 diabetes improve psychosocial well-being: a randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Wit, M.; Delemarre-van d Waal, H.A.; Bokma, J.A.; Haasnoot, K.; Houdijk, M.C.; Gemke, R.J.B.J.; Snoek, F.J.

    2008-01-01

    OBJECTIVE - To test the effects of monitoring and discussing of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adolescents with type 1 diabetes in a multicenter randomized controlled trial. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Four centers were randomly assigned to the HRQoL intervention (46 adolescents) or

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Blended E-health module on return to work embedded in collaborative occupational health care for common mental disorders: design of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volker, Daniëlle; Vlasveld, Moniek C; Anema, Johannes R; Beekman, Aartjan Tf; Roijen, Leona Hakkaart-van; Brouwers, Evelien Pm; van Lomwel, A Gijsbert C; van der Feltz-Cornelis, Christina M

    2013-01-01

    Common mental disorders (CMD) have a major impact on both society and individual workers, so return to work (RTW) is an important issue. In The Netherlands, the occupational physician plays a central role in the guidance of sick-listed workers with respect to RTW. Evidence-based guidelines are available, but seem not to be effective in improving RTW in people with CMD. An intervention supporting the occupational physician in guidance of sick-listed workers combined with specific guidance regarding RTW is needed. A blended E-health module embedded in collaborative occupational health care is now available, and comprises a decision aid supporting the occupational physician and an E-health module, Return@Work, to support sick-listed workers in the RTW process. The cost-effectiveness of this intervention will be evaluated in this study and compared with that of care as usual. This study is a two-armed cluster randomized controlled trial, with randomization done at the level of occupational physicians. Two hundred workers with CMD on sickness absence for 4-26 weeks will be included in the study. Workers whose occupational physician is allocated to the intervention group will receive the collaborative occupational health care intervention. Occupational physicians allocated to the care as usual group will give conventional sickness guidance. Follow-up assessments will be done at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after baseline. The primary outcome is duration until RTW. The secondary outcome is severity of symptoms of CMD. An economic evaluation will be performed as part of this trial. It is hypothesized that collaborative occupational health care intervention will be more (cost)-effective than care as usual. This intervention is innovative in its combination of a decision aid by email sent to the occupational physician and an E-health module aimed at RTW for the sick-listed worker.

  6. Effect of health education combining diet and exercise supervision in Chinese women with perimenopausal symptoms: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xi, S; Mao, L; Chen, X; Bai, W

    2017-04-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of health education combining diet and exercise supervision on menopausal symptoms and diet/exercise habits. The randomized controlled study enrolled 60 patients with perimenopausal syndrome (Kupperman Menopause Index (KMI) score ≥15). The participants were randomized into either an intervention group (n = 30) or a control group (n = 30). Women were interviewed with questionnaires about perimenopausal symptoms, diet pattern and exercise habit. Their height and weight were measured. Women in the intervention group received health education, diet supervision and exercise supervision twice a week while those in the control group continued as normal. The total KMI score, scores of individual symptoms, diet pattern and exercise habit were measured after intervention. The total KMI score, the individual KMI scores for paresthesia, irritability, depression/suspicious, fatigue, arthralgia/myalgia, and palpitations of the intervention group were significantly lower compared with the control group after intervention. The intake of cereal, meat, fats and oils of the intervention group were significantly lower at week 12 compared with baseline. The percentage of women with a regular exercise habit was significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group after intervention. Twelve weeks intervention of health education combining diet and exercise supervision could improve perimenopausal symptoms and help the patients establish good living habits.

  7. [Methodological quality evaluation of randomized controlled trials for traditional Chinese medicines for treatment of sub-health].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jun; Liao, Xing; Zhao, Hui; Li, Zhi-Geng; Wang, Nan-Yue; Wang, Li-Min

    2016-11-01

    To evaluate the methodological quality of the randomized controlled trials(RCTs) for traditional Chinese medicines for treatment of sub-health, in order to provide a scientific basis for the improvement of clinical trials and systematic review. Such databases as CNKI, CBM, VIP, Wanfang, EMbase, Medline, Clinical Trials, Web of Science and Cochrane Library were searched for RCTS for traditional Chinese medicines for treatment of sub-health between the time of establishment and February 29, 2016. Cochrane Handbook 5.1 was used to screen literatures and extract data, and CONSORT statement and CONSORT for traditional Chinese medicine statement were adopted as the basis for quality evaluation. Among the 72 RCTs included in this study, 67 (93.05%) trials described the inter-group baseline data comparability, 39(54.17%) trials described the unified diagnostic criteria, 28(38.89%) trials described the unified standards of efficacy, 4 (5.55%) trials mentioned the multi-center study, 19(26.38%) trials disclosed the random distribution method, 6(8.33%) trials used the random distribution concealment, 15(20.83%) trials adopted the method of blindness, 3(4.17%) study reported the sample size estimation in details, 5 (6.94%) trials showed a sample size of more than two hundred, 19(26.38%) trials reported the number of withdrawal, defluxion cases and those lost to follow-up, but only 2 trials adopted the ITT analysis,10(13.89%) trials reported the follow-up results, none of the trial reported the test registration and the test protocol, 48(66.7%) trials reported all of the indicators of expected outcomes, 26(36.11%) trials reported the adverse reactions and adverse events, and 4(5.56%) trials reported patient compliance. The overall quality of these randomized controlled trials for traditional Chinese medicines for treatment of sub-health is low, with methodological defects in different degrees. Therefore, it is still necessary to emphasize the correct application of principles

  8. How can the regulator show evidence of (no) risk selection in health insurance markets? Conceptual framework and empirical evidence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.P.M.M. van de Ven (Wynand); R.C.J.A. van Vliet (René); R.C. van Kleef (Richard)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractIf consumers have a choice of health plan, risk selection is often a serious problem (e.g., as in Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, the United States of America, and Switzerland). Risk selection may threaten the quality of care for chronically ill people, and may reduce the affordability

  9. Characterization of the selection of medicines for the Brazilian primary health care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margô Gomes de Oliveira Karnikowski

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To characterize the process of selection of medicines for primary health care in the Brazilian regions. METHODS This article is part of the Pesquisa Nacional sobre Acesso, Utilização e Promoção do Uso Racional de Medicamentos – Serviços, 2015 (PNAUM – National Survey on Access, Use and Promotion of Rational Use of Medicines – Services, 2015, a cross-sectional study that consisted of an information gathering in a sample of cities in the five regions of Brazil. The data used were collected by interviews with those responsible for pharmaceutical services (PS (n = 506, professionals responsible for the dispensing of medicines (n = 1,139, and physicians (n = 1,558. To evaluate the difference between ratios, we adopted the Chi-square test for complex samples. The differences between the averages were analyzed in generalized linear models with F-test with Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. The analyses considered significant had p≤0.05. RESULTS The professionals responsible for pharmaceutical services reported non-existence of a formally constituted Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee (PTC (12.5%. They claimed to have an updated (80.4% list of Essential Medicines (85.3% and being active participants of this process (88.2%. However, in the perception of respondents, the list only partially (70.1% meets the health demands. Of the interviewed professionals responsible for the dispensing of medicines, only 16.6% were pharmacists; even so, 47.8% reported to know the procedures to change the list. From the perspective of most of these professionals (70.9%, the list meets the health demands of the city. Among physicians, only 27.2% reported to know the procedures to change the list, but 76.5% would have some claim to change it. Most of them reported to base their claims in clinical experiences (80.0%. For 13.0% of them, the list meets the health demands. CONCLUSIONS As this is the first national survey of

  10. World Health Organization "School Mental Health Manual"-based training for school teachers in Urban Lahore, Pakistan: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imran, Nazish; Rahman, Atif; Chaudhry, Nakhshab; Asif, Aftab

    2018-05-24

    The teacher's role in school mental health initiatives cannot be overemphasized. Despite global evidence of educational interventions in improving teachers' knowledge and attitudes regarding mental health, this area remains under researched in Pakistan. This paper presents a study protocol of a pilot randomized controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of a teacher training intervention for improving mental health literacy and self-efficacy among school teachers in urban Lahore, Pakistan. The randomized controlled trial will follow the CONSORT guidelines. Participants will be allocated to the Intervention group (receiving the World Health Organization, Eastern Mediterranean Region (WHO-EMRO) School Mental Health Manual-based intervention in three 6-h, face-to-face sessions) or a waitlist control group (not receiving training during the study period). Participants will be teachers of private schools with similar broad demographic characteristics in an inner city area of Lahore. The primary outcome measures for the trial is teachers' mental health literacy. It will be assessed by using the previously applied (during WHO training of Master Trainers) self-administered questionnaire in both groups pre and post training and at 3 months' follow-up. Secondary outcomes include: for teachers: Teachers' self-efficacy (assessed by the Teachers' Sense of Self Efficacy Scale (TSES) short form.); for students (11-16 years): socio-emotional skills and psychological problems measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (assessed at baseline and 3 months post intervention); for schools: the WHO School Psychosocial Profile Questionnaire (baseline and 3 months post intervention). Given the high prevalence of child mental health problems, stigma and lack of services, it is important to consider alternate avenues for promoting positive mental health among youth. This pilot study should establish the effectiveness of the WHO-EMRO School Mental Health Manual

  11. Low-Fat Dietary Pattern Intervention and Health-Related Quality of Life: The Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assaf, Annlouise R; Beresford, Shirley A A; Risica, Patricia Markham; Aragaki, Aaron; Brunner, Robert L; Bowen, Deborah J; Naughton, Michelle; Rosal, Milagros C; Snetselaar, Linda; Wenger, Nanette

    2016-02-01

    Intensive dietary intervention programs may lead to benefits in vitality and other components of health quality. The Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification (DM) intervention includes a large randomized controlled trial of an intensive intervention. To evaluate whether the intervention is associated with improved health-related quality of life (HRQoL) subscales, overall self-reported health, depression symptoms, cognitive functioning, and sleep quality. This randomized controlled trial was analyzed as intent to treat. Between 1993 and 1998, 48,835 women aged 50 to 79 years were recruited by 40 clinical centers across the United States. Eligibility included having fat intake at baseline ≥32% of total calories, and excluded women with any prior colorectal or breast cancer, recent other cancers, type 1 diabetes, or medical conditions with predicted survival <3 years. Goals were to reduce calories from fat to 20%, increase vegetables and fruit to 5+ servings, and increase grain servings to 6+ servings a day. During the first year, 18 group sessions were held, with quarterly sessions thereafter. The RAND 36-Item Health Survey was used to assess HRQoL at baseline, Year 1, and close-out (about 8 years postrandomization), and estimate differential HRQoL subscale change scores. Mean change in HRQoL scores (Year 1 minus baseline) were compared by randomization group using linear models. At 1 year, there was a differential change between intervention and comparison group of 1.7 units (95% CI 1.5, 2.0) in general health associated with the intervention. DM intervention improved physical functioning by 2.0 units (95% CI 1.7, 2.3), vitality by 1.9 units (95% CI 1.6, 2.2), and global quality of life by 0.09 units (95% CI 0.07, 0.12). With the exception of global quality of life, these effects were significantly modified by body mass index at baseline. DM intervention was associated with small, but significant improvements in three HRQoL subscales: general health

  12. Effects of zinc and "health belief model" education on upper respiratory infections in hajj travelers: a randomized clinical trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahmoudian S.A

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The common cold is the most prevalent sickness and an important cause of absence from job. Furthermore, it often disturbs travel, including the practice of hajj, causing the use of many inappropriate drugs by these travelers. The health belief model is a psychological model that attempts to explain and predict health behaviors. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of zinc and health belief model based educational intervention on the behavior of hajj travelers with regard to viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTI.Methods: This double-blinded randomized controlled trial was performed among hajj travelers in 2005. Preventive measures were randomly allocated to four groups: 1- education + zinc sulfate. 2- education + placebo. 3- zinc sulfate only 4- placebo only. Data regarding incidence and duration of URTIs, background disorders, vaccination and health behaviors for cold were gathered by questionnaire by physicians and finally analyzed by SPSS 11.5 software using chi-square, t-test and independent samples t-test.Results: A total of 646 travelers were studied. The incidence of common cold in groups receiving zinc were significantly less than that for those receiving the placebo. (P=0.05. However, incidence was statistically the same for those who received education versus those who did not. Use of handkerchief was the most prevalent behavior and use of mask was the least prevalent behavior. Mean duration of symptoms was less in those receiving zinc and education (3.7 days comparing to those who received placebo and education (5.6 days.  Conclusions: This study showed that zinc consumption can decrease the incidence and duration of the common cold. Health belief model based education could promote some preventive behaviors although most people do not take advantage of them. We recommend the use of zinc by those attending hajj.

  13. Dimensions of dependence and their influence on the outcome of cognitive behaviour therapy for health anxiety: randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyrer, Peter; Wang, Duolao; Tyrer, Helen; Crawford, Mike; Cooper, Sylvia

    2016-05-01

    The personality trait of dependence is common in health-seeking behaviour. We therefore examined its impact in a large randomized controlled trial of psychological treatment for health anxiety. To test whether dependent personality traits were positive or negative in determining the outcome of an adapted form of cognitive behaviour therapy for health anxiety (CBT-HA) over the course of 5 years and whether dependent personality dysfunction could be viewed dimensionally in a similar way to the new ICD-11 diagnostic system for general personality disorder. Dependent personality dysfunction was assessed using a self-rated questionnaire, the Dependent Personality Questionnaire, at baseline in a randomized controlled trial of 444 patients from medical clinics with pathological health anxiety treated with a modified form of CBT-HA or standard treatment in the medical clinics, with assessment on five occasions over 5 years. Dependent personality dysfunction was assessed using four severity groups. Patients with mild and moderate dependent personality disorder treated with CBT-HA showed the greatest reduction in health anxiety compared with standard care, and those with no dependent dysfunction showed the least benefit. Patients with higher dependent traits received significantly more treatment sessions (8.6) than those with low trait levels (5.4) (p dependent personality. The reasons for this may be related to better adherence to psychological treatment and greater negative effects of frequent reassurance and excessive consultation in those treated in standard care. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. The Conduct and Reporting of Child Health Research: An Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials Published in 2012 and Evaluation of Change over 5 Years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gates, Allison; Hartling, Lisa; Vandermeer, Ben; Caldwell, Patrina; Contopoulos-Ioannidis, Despina G; Curtis, Sarah; Fernandes, Ricardo M; Klassen, Terry P; Williams, Katrina; Dyson, Michele P

    2018-02-01

    For child health randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in 2012, we aimed to describe design and reporting characteristics and evaluate changes since 2007; assess the association between trial design and registration and risk of bias (RoB); and assess the association between RoB and effect size. For 300 RCTs, we extracted design and reporting characteristics and assessed RoB. We assessed 5-year changes in design and reporting (based on 300 RCTs we had previously analyzed) using the Fisher exact test. We tested for associations between design and reporting characteristics and overall RoB and registration using the Fisher exact, Cochran-Armitage, Kruskal-Wallis, and Jonckheere-Terpstra tests. We pooled effect sizes and tested for differences by RoB using the χ 2 test for subgroups in meta-analysis. The 2012 and 2007 RCTs differed with respect to many design and reporting characteristics. From 2007 to 2012, RoB did not change for random sequence generation and improved for allocation concealment (P < .001). Fewer 2012 RCTs were rated high overall RoB and more were rated unclear (P = .03). Only 7.3% of 2012 RCTs were rated low overall RoB. Trial registration doubled from 2007 to 2012 (23% to 46%) (P < .001) and was associated with lower RoB (P