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Perceptions of diabetes risk and prevention in Nairobi, Kenya: A qualitative and theory of change development study

by Anthony Muchai Manyara, Elizabeth Mwaniki, Jason M. R. Gill, Cindy M. Gray

Background

Type 2 diabetes is increasing in Kenya, especially in urban settings, and prevention interventions based on local evidence and context are urgently needed. Therefore, this study aimed to explore diabetes risk and co-create a diabetes prevention theory of change in two socioeconomically distinct communities to inform future diabetes prevention interventions.

Methods

In-depth interviews were conducted with middle-aged residents in two communities in Nairobi (one low-income (n = 15), one middle-income (n = 14)), and thematically analysed. The theory of change for diabetes prevention was informed by analysis of the in-depth interviews and the Behaviour Change Wheel framework, and reviewed by a sub-set (n = 13) of interviewees.

Results

The key factors that influenced diabetes preventive practices in both communities included knowledge and skills for diabetes prevention, understanding of the benefits/consequences of (un)healthy lifestyle, social influences (e.g., upbringing, societal perceptions), and environmental contexts (e.g., access to (un)healthy foods and physical activity facilities). The proposed strategies for diabetes prevention included: increasing knowledge and understanding about diabetes risk and preventive measures particularly in the low-income community; supporting lifestyle modification (e.g., upskilling, goal setting, action planning) in both communities; identifying people at high risk of diabetes through screening in both communities; and creating social and physical environments for lifestyle modification (e.g., positive social influences on healthy living, access to healthy foods and physical activity infrastructure) particularly in the low-income community. Residents from both communities agreed that the strategies were broadly feasible for diabetes prevention but proposed the addition of door-to-door campaigns and community theatre for health education. However, residents from the low-income community were concerned about the lack of government prioritisation for implementing population-level interventions, e.g., improving access to healthy foods and physical activity facilities/infrastructure.

Conclusion

Diabetes prevention initiatives in Kenya should involve multicomponent interventions for lifestyle modification including increasing education and upskilling at individual level; promoting social and physical environments that support healthy living at population level; and are particularly needed in low-income communities.

Biomechanical comparison of two surgical methods for Hallux Valgus deformity: Exploring the use of artificial neural networks as a decision-making tool for orthopedists

by Katarzyna Kaczmarczyk, Maria Zakynthinaki, Gabor Barton, Mateusz Baran, Andrzej Wit

Hallux Valgus foot deformity affects gait performance. Common treatment options include distal oblique metatarsal osteotomy and chevron osteotomy. Nonetheless, the current process of selecting the appropriate osteotomy method poses potential biases and risks, due to its reliance on subjective human judgment and interpretation. The inherent variability among clinicians, the potential influence of individual clinical experiences, or inherent measurement limitations may contribute to inconsistent evaluations. To address this, incorporating objective tools like neural networks, renowned for effective classification and decision-making support, holds promise in identifying optimal surgical approaches. The objective of this cross-sectional study was twofold. Firstly, it aimed to investigate the feasibility of classifying patients based on the type of surgery. Secondly, it sought to explore the development of a decision-making tool to assist orthopedists in selecting the optimal surgical approach. To achieve this, gait parameters of twenty-three women with moderate to severe Hallux Valgus were analyzed. These patients underwent either distal oblique metatarsal osteotomy or chevron osteotomy. The parameters exhibiting differences in preoperative and postoperative values were identified through various statistical tests such as normalization, Shapiro-Wilk, non-parametric Wilcoxon, Student t, and paired difference tests. Two artificial neural networks were constructed for patient classification based on the type of surgery and to simulate an optimal surgery type considering postoperative walking speed. The results of the analysis demonstrated a strong correlation between surgery type and postoperative gait parameters, with the first neural network achieving a remarkable 100% accuracy in classification. Additionally, cases were identified where there was a mismatch with the surgeon’s decision. Our findings highlight the potential of artificial neural networks as a complementary tool for surgeons in making informed decisions. Addressing the study’s limitations, future research may investigate a wider range of orthopedic procedures, examine additional gait parameters and use more diverse and extensive datasets to enhance statistical robustness.

Deep learning-based correction of cataract-induced influence on macular pigment optical density measurement by autofluorescence spectroscopy

by Akira Obana, Kibo Ote, Yuko Gohto, Hidenao Yamada, Fumio Hashimoto, Shigetoshi Okazaki, Ryo Asaoka

Purpose

Measurements of macular pigment optical density (MPOD) using the autofluorescence spectroscopy yield underestimations of actual values in eyes with cataracts. Previously, we proposed a correction method for this error using deep learning (DL); however, the correction performance was validated through internal cross-validation. This cross-sectional study aimed to validate this approach using an external validation dataset.

Methods

MPODs at 0.25°, 0.5°, 1°, and 2° eccentricities and macular pigment optical volume (MPOV) within 9° eccentricity were measured using SPECTRALIS (Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany) in 197 (training dataset inherited from our previous study) and 157 eyes (validating dataset) before and after cataract surgery. A DL model was trained to predict the corrected value from the pre-operative value using the training dataset, and we measured the discrepancy between the corrected value and the actual postoperative value. Subsequently, the prediction performance was validated using a validation dataset.

Results

Using the validation dataset, the mean absolute values of errors for MPOD and MPOV corrected using DL ranged from 8.2 to 12.4%, which were lower than values with no correction (P Conclusion

The usefulness of the DL correction method was validated. Deep learning reduced the error for a relatively good autofluorescence image quality. Poor-quality images were not corrected.

Institutional capacity assessment in the lens of implementation research: Capacity of the local institutions in delivering WASH services at Cox’s Bazar district, Bangladesh

by Mahbubur Rahman, Mahbub-Ul Alam, Sharmin Khan Luies, Sharika Ferdous, Zahidul Mamun, Musarrat Jabeen Rahman, Debashish Biswas, Tazrina Ananya, Asadullah, Abul Kamal, Ritthick Chowdhury, Eheteshamul Russel Khan, Dara Johnston, Martin Worth, Umme Farwa Daisy, Tanvir Ahmed

Background

The influx of Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMNs) has left the Southwest coastal district of Cox’s Bazar with one of the greatest contemporary humanitarian crises, stressing the existing water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) resources and services. This study aimed to assess the existing capacity of local institutions involved in delivering WASH services and identify relevant recommendations for intervention strategies.

Methods

We used a qualitative approach, including interviews and capacity assessment workshops with institutions engaged in WASH service delivery. We conducted five key informant interviews (KII) with sub-district level officials of the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE), Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) and Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) to have a general idea of WASH service mechanisms. Seven capacity assessment workshops were organized with the relevant district and sub-district level stakeholders from August 2019 to September 2019. These workshops followed three key areas: i) knowledge of policy, organizational strategy, guidelines, and framework; ii) institutional arrangements for service delivery such as planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring, and reporting; and iii) availability and management of human, financial and infrastructural resources. Data were categorized using thematic content analysis.

Results

The majority of stakeholders lacked awareness of national WASH policies. Furthermore, the top-down planning approaches resulted in activities that were not context-specific, and lack of coordination between multiple institutions compromised the optimal WASH service delivery at the local level. Shortage of human resources in delivering sustainable WASH services, inadequate supervision, and inadequate evaluation of activities also required further improvement, as identified by WASH stakeholders.

Conclusion

Research evidence suggests that decision-makers, donors, and development partners should consider learning from the WASH implementers and stakeholders about their existing capacity, gaps, and opportunities before planning for any WASH intervention in any particular area.

Inflammatory markers in world trade center workers with asthma: Associations with post traumatic stress disorder

by Juan P. Wisnivesky, Nikita Agrawal, Jyoti Ankam, Adam Gonzalez, Alex Federman, Steven B. Markowitz, Janette M. Birmingham, Paula J. Busse

Background

Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) is associated with worse asthma outcomes in individuals exposed to the World Trade Center (WTC) site.

Research question

Do WTC workers with coexisting PTSD and asthma have a specific inflammatory pattern that underlies the relationship with increased asthma morbidity?

Study design and methods

We collected data on a cohort of WTC workers with asthma recruited from the WTC Health Program. Diagnosis of PTSD was ascertained with a Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders) and the severity of PTSD symptoms was assessed with the PTSD Checklist 5. We obtained blood and sputum samples to measure cytokines levels in study participants.

Results

Of the 232 WTC workers with diagnosis of asthma in the study, 75 (32%) had PTSD. PTSD was significantly associated with worse asthma control (p = 0.002) and increased resource utilization (p = 0.0002). There was no significant association (p>0.05) between most blood or sputum cytokines with PTSD diagnosis or PCL-5 scores both in unadjusted and adjusted analyses.

Interpretation

Our results suggest that PTSD is not associated with blood and sputum inflammatory markers in WTC workers with asthma. These findings suggest that other mechanisms likely explain the association between PTSD and asthma control in WTC exposed individuals.

Spurious prospective effects between general and domain-specific self-esteem: A reanalysis of a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies

by Kimmo Sorjonen, Bo Melin

A recent meta-analysis, of 38 studies with data from 43 independent samples (total N = 24,668), claimed evidence for positive reciprocal prospective effects, and hence for both top-down and bottom-up processes, between general and domain-specific self-esteem. However, the meta-analytic cross-lagged effects were estimated while adjusting for a prior measurement of the outcome variable and it is known that such adjusted cross-lagged effects may be spurious due to correlations with residuals and regression to the mean. In the present reanalyses, we found all of the prospective effects to be spurious. Consequently, claims about increasing prospective effects and top-down and bottom-up processes between general and domain-specific self-esteem can be questioned. It is important for researchers to be aware of the limitations of cross-lagged panel analyses, and of analyses of correlational data in general, in order not to overinterpret findings.

Lightweight high-precision SAR ship detection method based on YOLOv7-LDS

by Shiliang Zhu, Min Miao

The current challenges in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) ship detection tasks revolve around handling significant variations in target sizes and managing high computational expenses, which hinder practical deployment on satellite or mobile airborne platforms. In response to these challenges, this research presents YOLOv7-LDS, a lightweight yet highly accurate SAR ship detection model built upon the YOLOv7 framework. In the core of YOLOv7-LDS’s architecture, we introduce a streamlined feature extraction network that strikes a delicate balance between detection precision and computational efficiency. This network is founded on Shufflenetv2 and incorporates Squeeze-and-Excitation (SE) attention mechanisms as its key elements. Additionally, in the Neck section, we introduce the Weighted Efficient Aggregation Network (DCW-ELAN), a fundamental feature extraction module that leverages Coordinate Attention (CA) and Depthwise Convolution (DWConv). This module efficiently aggregates features while preserving the ability to identify small-scale variations, ensuring top-quality feature extraction. Furthermore, we introduce a lightweight Spatial Pyramid Dilated Convolution Cross-Stage Partial Channel (LSPHDCCSPC) module. LSPHDCCSPC is a condensed version of the Spatial Pyramid Pooling Cross-Stage Partial Channel (SPPCSPC) module, incorporating Dilated Convolution (DConv) as a central component for extracting multi-scale information. The experimental results show that YOLOv7-LDS achieves a remarkable Mean Average Precision (mAP) of 99.1% and 95.8% on the SAR Ship Detection Dataset (SSDD) and the NWPU VHR-10 dataset with a parameter count (Params) of 3.4 million, a Giga Floating Point Operations Per Second (GFLOPs) of 6.1 and an Inference Time (IT) of 4.8 milliseconds. YOLOv7-LDS effectively strikes a fine balance between computational cost and detection performance, surpassing many of the current state-of-the-art object detection models. As a result, it offers a more resilient solution for maritime ship monitoring.

Estimating infection prevalence using the positive predictive value of self-administered rapid antigen diagnostic tests: An exploration of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance data in the Netherlands from May 2021 to April 2022

by Koen M.F. Gorgels, Senna C.J.L. van Iersel, Sylvia F.A. Keijser, Christian J.P.A. Hoebe, Jacco Wallinga, Albert J. van Hoek

Measuring the severity of the disease of SARS-CoV-2 is complicated by the lack of valid estimations for the prevalence of infection. Self-administered rapid antigen diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) were available in the Netherlands since March 2021, requiring confirmation by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for positive results. We explored the possibility of utilizing the positive predictive value (PPV) of Ag-RDTs to estimate SARS-CoV-2 prevalence. We used data from all Public Health service testing facilities between 3 May 2021 and 10 April 2022. The PPV was calculated by dividing the number of positive RT-PCR results by the total number of confirmation tests performed, and used to estimate the prevalence and compared with the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions. In total 3,599,894 cases were included. The overall PPV was 91.8% and 88.8% were symptomatic. During our study period, the estimated prevalence ranged between 2–22% in symptomatic individuals and 2–14% in asymptomatic individuals, with a correlation between the estimated prevalence and hospital admissions two weeks later (r = 0.68 (p

College preparation for a medical career in the United States

by Madelyn Malvitz, Noreen Khan, Lewis B. Morgenstern

Purpose

A college degree is required to enter medical school in the United States. A remarkably high percentage of students entering college have pre-medical aspirations but relatively few end up as medical students. As an “applied science”, education about medicine is usually thought to be beyond the purview of a liberal arts curriculum. Students therefore receive little education about a medical career, or information about the many alternative careers in health science. Instead, they take courses for Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) preparation and medical school application prerequisites in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. These classes give them little insight into a real medical career. The current report considers this mismatch between student needs in health science and available resources in colleges across the United States.

Methods

A Collective Case Series framework was used to obtain qualitative data. Key informant interviews were requested from a convenience sample of representatives from 20 colleges, with six colleges providing extensive data. Three institutions collected data specifically on students who matriculated college interested in a career as a physician.

Results

At these schools, one-half to one-quarter of students who said they were interested in medicine at the beginning of college ended up not applying to medical school. At each of the six schools, we saw a wide range of generally sparse academic and professional advising involvement and a very limited number of classes that discussed concepts directly related to careers in health science.

Conclusions

Looking at this data, we provide a novel conceptual model as a potential testable solution to the problem of an underexposed and unprepared student population interested in medicine. This includes a brief series of courses intended to inform students about what a career in medicine would fully entail to help foster core competencies of empathy, compassion and resilience.

Caffeinated beverages intake and risk of deep vein thrombosis: A Mendelian randomization study

by Tong Lin, Haiyan Mao, Yuhong Jin

This study aimed to explore the potential link between coffee and tea consumption and the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) through Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis. Employing the MR, we identified 33 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as instrumental variables (IVs) for coffee intake and 38 SNPs for tea intake. The investigation employed the inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method to evaluate the causal impact of beverage consumption on DVT risk. Additionally, MR-Egger and MR-PRESSO tests were conducted to assess pleiotropy, while Cochran’s Q test gauged heterogeneity. Robustness analysis was performed through a leave-one-out approach. The MR analysis uncovered a significant association between coffee intake and an increased risk of DVT (odds ratio [OR] 1.008, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.001–1.015, P = 0.025). Conversely, no substantial causal effect of tea consumption on DVT was observed (OR 1.001, 95% CI = 0.995–1.007, P = 0.735). Importantly, no significant levels of heterogeneity, pleiotropy, or bias were detected in the instrumental variables used. In summary, our findings suggest a modestly heightened risk of DVT associated with coffee intake, while tea consumption did not exhibit a significant impact on DVT risk.

Potential efficacy of caffeine ingestion on balance and mobility in patients with multiple sclerosis: Preliminary evidence from a single-arm pilot clinical trial

by Afsoon Dadvar, Melika Jameie, Mehdi Azizmohammad Looha, Mohammadamin Parsaei, Meysam Zeynali Bujani, Mobina Amanollahi, Mahsa Babaei, Alireza Khosravi, Hamed Amirifard

Objectives

Caffeine’s potential benefits on multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as on the ambulatory performance of non-MS populations, prompted us to evaluate its potential effects on balance, mobility, and health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) of persons with MS (PwMS).

Methods

This single-arm pilot clinical trial consisted of a 2-week placebo run-in and a 12-week caffeine treatment (200 mg/day) stage. The changes in outcome measures during the study period (weeks 0, 2, 4, 8, and 12) were evaluated using the Generalized Estimation Equation (GEE). The outcome measures were the 12-item Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale (MSWS-12) for self-reported ambulatory disability, Berg Balance Scale (BBS) for static and dynamic balance, Timed Up and Go (TUG) for dynamic balance and functional mobility, Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29) for patient’s perspective on MS-related QoL (MS-QoL), and Patients’ Global Impression of Change (PGIC) for subjective assessment of treatment efficacy. GEE was also used to evaluate age and sex effect on the outcome measures over time. (Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials, IRCT2017012332142N1).

Results

Thirty PwMS were included (age: 38.89 ± 9.85, female: 76.7%). Daily caffeine consumption significantly improved the objective measures of balance and functional mobility (BBS; P-value Conclusions

Caffeine may enhance balance, functional mobility, and QoL in PwMS. Being male was associated with a sharper increase in self-reported ambulatory disability over time. The effects of aging on balance get more pronounced over time.

Trial registration

This study was registered with the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (Registration number: IRCT2017012332142N1), a Primary Registry in the WHO Registry Network.

Landscape use by large grazers in a grassland is restructured by wildfire

by Aishwarya Subramanian, Rachel M. Germain

Animals navigate landscapes based on perceived risks vs. rewards, as inferred from features of the landscape. In the wild, knowing how strongly animal movement is directed by landscape features is difficult to ascertain but widespread disturbances such as wildfires can serve as natural experiments. We tested the hypothesis that wildfires homogenize the risk/reward landscape, causing movement to become less directed, given that fires reduce landscape complexity as habitat structures (e.g., tree cover, dense brush) are burned. We used satellite imagery of a research reserve in Northern California to count and categorize paths made primarily by mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in grasslands. Specifically, we compared pre-wildfire (August 2014) and post-wildfire (September 2018) image history layers among locations that were or were not impacted by wildfire (i.e., a Before/After Control/Impact design). Wildfire significantly altered spatial patterns of deer movement: more new paths were gained and more old paths were lost in areas of the reserve that were impacted by wildfire; movement patterns became less directed in response to fire, suggesting that the risk/reward landscape became more homogenous, as hypothesized. We found evidence to suggest that wildfire affects deer populations at spatial scales beyond their scale of direct impact and raises the interesting possibility that deer perceive risks and rewards at different spatial scales. In conclusion, our study provides an example of how animals integrate spatial information from the environment to make movement decisions, setting the stage for future work on the broader ecological implications for populations, communities, and ecosystems, an emerging interest in ecology.

Downregulation of the CD151 protects the cardiac function by the crosstalk between the endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes via exosomes

by Luying Jiang, Jingbo Liu, Zhenjia Yang, Jianyu Wang, Wenkai Ke, Kaiyue Zhang, Chunran Zhang, Houjuan Zuo

Background

Heart failure (HF) is the last stage in the progression of various cardiovascular diseases. Although it is documented that CD151 contributes to regulate the myocardial infarction, the function of CD151 on HF and involved mechanisms are still unclear.

Method and results

In the present study, we found that the recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-mediated endothelial cell-specific knockdown of CD151-transfected mice improved transverse aortic constriction (TAC)-induced cardiac function, attenuated myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis, and increased coronary perfusion, whereas overexpression of the CD151 protein aggravated cardiac dysfunction and showed the opposite effects. In vitro, the cardiomyocytes hypertrophy induced by PE were significantly improved, while the proliferation and migration of cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) were significantly reduced, when co-cultured with the CD151-silenced endothelial cells (ECs). To further explore the mechanisms, the exosomes from the CD151-silenced ECs were taken by cardiomyocyte (CMs) and CFs, verified the intercellular communication. And the protective effects of CD151-silenced ECs were inhibited when exosome inhibitor (GW4869) was added. Additionally, a quantitative proteomics method was used to identify potential proteins in CD151-silenced EC exosomes. We found that the suppression of CD151 could regulate the PPAR signaling pathway via exosomes.

Conclusion

Our observations suggest that the downregulation of CD151 is an important positive regulator of cardiac function of heart failure, which can regulate exosome-stored proteins to play a role in the cellular interaction on the CMs and CFs. Modulating the exosome levels of ECs by reducing CD151 expression may offer novel therapeutic strategies and targets for HF treatment.

The application of flipped learning to a gross anatomy dissection course

by Eun-Kyung Chung, Heoncheol Yun, Kwang-Il Nam, Young-Suk Cho, Eui-Ryoung Han

We implemented flipped learning for a gross anatomy dissection course and compared its effects on students’ motivation and academic achievement with those of traditional dissection methods. We invited 142 first-year medical students at Chonnam National University Medical School to participate in this study. All participants engaged in traditional dissection methods in the first part of the study and flipped learning in the latter part. Medical students’ motivation to learn anatomy by cadaveric dissection was measured using the ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction) model. Thereafter, all students completed a written examination consisting of 96 multiple-choice questions. The students’ mean motivational score regarding attention was significantly higher in association with flipped learning than with traditional learning. However, the students’ mean motivational scores regarding relevance, confidence, and satisfaction were not significantly different between the methods. Additionally, the mean anatomy practice test score was significantly higher in association with flipped learning than with traditional learning. The students’ motivational scores and anatomy practice test scores associated with flipped learning positively correlated with the extent of learning material completion. The students’ responses indicated that flipped learning helped enhance the learning process, improve time management, reduce confusion during practice, and promote independent practice. The application of flipped learning to a cadaveric dissection course increased individual learning motivation, which improved learning activities both in and out of class, as well as academic achievement.

Physical activity and cognitive function in adults born very preterm or with very low birth weight–an individual participant data meta-analysis

by Kristina Anna Djupvik Aakvik, Silje Dahl Benum, Marjaana Tikanmäki, Petteri Hovi, Katri Räikkönen, Sarah L. Harris, Lianne J. Woodward, Brian A. Darlow, Marit S. Indredavik, Stian Lydersen, Paul Jarle Mork, Eero Kajantie, Kari Anne I. Evensen

Objective

Individuals born very preterm ( Study design

Cohorts with data on physical activity and cognitive function in adults born very preterm/very low birth weight and term-born controls were recruited from the Research on European Children and Adults Born Preterm, and the Adults Born Preterm International Collaboration Consortia. A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed and Embase.

Results

Five cohorts with 1644 participants aged 22–28 years (595 very preterm/very low birth weight and 1049 controls) were included. Adults born very preterm/very low birth weight reported 1.11 (95% CI: 0.68 to 1.54) hours less moderate to vigorous physical activity per week than controls, adjusted for cohort, age and sex. The difference between individuals born very preterm/very low birth weight and controls was larger among women than among men. Neither intelligence quotient nor self-reported executive function mediated the association between very preterm/very low birth weight and moderate to vigorous physical activity. Results were essentially the same when we excluded individuals with neurosensory impairments.

Conclusion

Adults born very preterm/very low birth weight, especially women, reported less moderate to vigorous physical activity than their term-born peers. Cognitive function did not mediate this association. Considering the risk of adverse health outcomes among individuals born preterm, physical activity could be a target for intervention.

Risk and protective factors associated with wound infection after neurosurgical procedures: A meta‐analysis

Abstract

To systematically evaluate the risk factors for wound infection at the surgical site after neurosurgical craniotomy by meta-analysis, and to provide an evidence-based basis for preventing the occurrence of wound infection. A computerised search of PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure and Wanfang database was conducted for relevant studies on risk factors for surgical site wound infection after neurosurgical craniotomy published from the database inception to November 2023. Two researchers independently screened the literature, extracted the data and performed quality assessment in strict accordance with the inclusion and exclusion criteria. STATA 17.0 software was applied for data analysis. Overall, 18 papers with 17 608 craniotomy patients were included, of which 905 patients developed wound infections. The analysis showed that underlying diseases [OR = 2.50, 95% CI (1.68, 3.72), p < 0.001] and emergency surgery [OR = 2.47, 95% CI (1.80, 3.38), p < 0.001] were the risk factors for developing wound infections after craniotomy, age < 60 years [OR = 0.72, 95% CI (0.52, 0.98), p = 0.039] was a protective factor for wound infections; whereas sex [OR = 1.11, 95% CI (0.98, 1.27), p = 0.112] and the antimicrobial use [OR = 1.30, 95% CI (0.81 2.09), p = 0.276] were not associated with the presence or absence of wound infection after craniotomy. Underlying disease and emergency surgery are risk factors for developing wound infections after craniotomy, whereas age < 60 years is a protective factor. Clinicians can reduce the occurrence of postoperative wound infections by communicating with patients in advance about the possibility of postoperative wound infections based on these factors, and by doing a good job of preventing postoperative wound infections.

Design and content validation of a checklist about infection‐prevention performance of intensive care nurses in simulation‐based scenarios

Abstract

Objective

To design, develop and validate a new tool, called NEUMOBACT, to evaluate critical care nurses' knowledge and skills in ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and catheter-related bacteraemia (CRB) prevention through simulation scenarios involving central venous catheter (CVC), endotracheal suctioning (ETS) and mechanically ventilated patient care (PC) stations.

Background

Simulation-based training is an excellent way for nurses to learn prevention measures in VAP and CRB.

Design

Descriptive metric study to develop NEUMOBACT and analyse its content and face validity that followed the COSMIN Study Design checklist for patient-reported outcome measurement instruments.

Methods

The first version was developed with the content of training modules in use at the time (NEUMOBACT-1). Delphi rounds were used to assess item relevance with experts in VAP and CRB prevention measures, resulting in NEUMOBACT-2. Experts in simulation methods then assessed feasibility, resulting in NEUMOBACT-3. Finally, a pilot test was conducted among 30 intensive care unit (ICU) nurses to assess the applicability of the evaluation tool in clinical practice.

Results

Seven national experts in VAP and CRB prevention and seven national simulation experts participated in the analysis to assess the relevance and feasibility of each item, respectively. After two Delphi rounds with infection experts, four Delphi rounds with simulation experts, and pilot testing with 30 ICU nurses, the NEUMOBACT-FINAL tool consisted of 17, 26 and 21 items, respectively, for CVC, ETS and PC.

Conclusion

NEUMOBACT-FINAL is useful and valid for assessing ICU nurses' knowledge and skills in VAP and CRB prevention, acquired through simulation.

Relevance for Clinical Practice

Our validated and clinically tested tool could facilitate the transfer of ICU nurses' knowledge and skills learning in VAP and CRB prevention to critically ill patients, decreasing infection rates and, therefore, improving patient safety.

Patient or Public Contribution

Experts participated in the Delphi rounds and nurses in the pilot test.

Family resilience, patient‐reported symptoms in young stroke dyads: The effect of caregiver readiness and social support

Abstract

Aims and Objectives

To investigate empirically the direct effect and potential mechanism of family resilience on patient-reported outcomes among young stroke dyads in China.

Background

Young patients with stroke have been becoming an important public health issue. According to relevant theories and previous studies, we found that family resilience might play an important role in patient's symptoms. However, it is less clear about the specific relationship and potential mechanisms of these two variables.

Design

We used a prospective cross-sectional design.

Methods

A multi-item questionnaire was used to assess the constructs of interest. Researchers progressively constructed and validated conditional process models. The PROCESS macro was used to verify the research hypotheses.

Results

A total of 560 questionnaires were collected in this study. We found that family resilience of stroke patients and their spouses had a direct effect on the physical, psychological and social aspects of patient-reported symptoms. We further revealed that caregiver preparedness partially mediated the relationship between family resilience and patient's symptoms in stroke patient-spouse dyads, while perceived social support moderated the relationship between caregiver preparedness and patient's symptoms. Finally, we observed that the impact of caregiver readiness and social support on patients' symptoms predominantly manifested in physical and physiological outcomes.

Conclusions

Our research provides evidence about the positive impact of family resilience on patient-reported symptoms in young stroke dyads. Meanwhile, it further revealed how caregiver preparedness and perceived social support may play out in the relationship.

Practice Implications

Our research introduces a novel perspective and pathway to enhance short-term recovery outcomes for patients. It also furnishes clinicians and nurses with evidence to guide the implementation of interventions aimed at improving patient health outcomes and facilitating smoother transitions from the hospital to home.

Impact

What problem did the study address?

Families play a crucial role in a patient's recovery process from illness, with family resilience serving as an important force for families to overcome adversity. However, the impact on patient symptoms and the underlying mechanisms of this relationship are uncertain. Empirical research is required to validate these aspects.

What were the main findings?

Family resilience has a positive impact on the physical, psychological and social aspects of patient-reported symptoms in young stroke dyads. Both the actor effect and partner effect are supported. The impact of caregiver readiness and social support on patient-reported symptoms is primarily observed in physical and physiological outcomes.

Where and on whom will the research have an impact?

This study offers a novel approach to enhance the short-term recovery of stroke patients. The researchers believe that the findings of this study will play an even more significant role during patients' transition from the hospital to home.

Reporting Method

This study followed the STROBE statement of cross-sectional studies.

Patient or Public Contribution

The study was conducted by patients, their spouses, healthcare professionals and the research team.

African Immigrants' perceptions and attitudes toward cardiovascular health

Abstract

Aim

To explore perceptions and attitudes of African immigrants (Ghanaians, Nigerians, Liberians, and Sierra Leoneans) in the Baltimore-Washington, DC, metropolitan area toward cardiovascular health.

Methods

This was a qualitative study among African immigrants recruited from religious and community-based organizations in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. A purposive sample of 66 African immigrants originally from Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone completed a sociodemographic survey and participated in focus group discussions. Focus group data were analysed using qualitative description to develop emergent themes.

Results

A total of 66 African immigrants with a mean (±standard deviation) age of 51 (±11.8) years participated in the focus group discussions. Fifty percent were women, 91% had at least a bachelor's degree, 84% were employed, 80% had health insurance, and 75% were married/cohabitating. The majority of the participants (74%) had lived in the US for 10 years or more, 44% of them had hypertension, and 12% had diabetes. Findings from the focus group discussions revealed: gender differences in descriptions of cardiovascular health and healthiness, an emotional response associated with cardiovascular disease (evoking fear and anxiety and associated with family secrecy), positive and negative lifestyle changes after migration, cardiovascular screening behaviours, and facilitators and barriers to cardiovascular disease prevention practices and heart-healthy lifestyle.

Conclusions

Participants understood health to be a holistic state of well-being. Secrecy in disclosing their cardiovascular disease diagnoses informed by historical socio-cultural belief systems, perceived racial discrimination by healthcare providers, communication and health literacy barriers, economic barriers of holding multiple jobs and the exorbitant cost of heart-healthy foods were identified as some barriers to achieving optimal cardiovascular health in this immigrant population.

Impact

Our study expanded on the body of knowledge on African immigrants' perceptions and attitudes toward cardiovascular health. Addressing this knowledge gap will provide important intervention opportunities targeted at improving cardiovascular health outcomes in this population.

Patient or Public Contribution

No patient or public contribution.

The effectiveness of interventions to reduce cancer‐related stigma: An integrative review

Abstract

Aims

The clinical significance of cancer-related stigma on patients' well-being has been widely established. Stigma can be perceived and internalised by cancer patients or implemented by the general population and healthcare workers. Various interventions have been carried out to reduce cancer-related stigma, but their effectiveness is not well-understood. This review aims to synthesise evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to reduce cancer-related stigma.

Design

An integrative review.

Methods

This integrative review combined both qualitative and quantitative studies and followed five steps to identify problems, search for the literature, appraise the literature quality, analyse data, and present data. Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (version 2018) was applied to evaluate the quality of the included studies.

Data Sources

Databases included Web of Science, MEDLINE, SpringerLink, Wiley Online Journals, Cochrane Library, ScienceDirect, OVID, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (from the inception of each database to 30 April 2021).

Results

Eighteen quantitative, six qualitative, and five mixed-methods studies were included in this review. Cultural factors should be considered when conducting interventions to reduce cancer-related stigma. For cancer patients, multi-component interventions have demonstrated a positive effect on their perceived stigma. For general population, interactive interventions show promise to reduce their implemented stigma towards cancer patients. For healthcare workers, there is a paucity of studies to reduce their implemented stigma. Existing studies reported inconclusive evidence, partially due to the lack of a robust study design with an adequate sample size.

Conclusions

Multi-component and interactive interventions show promise to relieve cancer-related stigma. More methodologically robust studies should be conducted in different cultures to elucidate the most appropriate interventions for different populations to reduce cancer-related stigma.

Implication for the Profession and Patient Care

These findings will facilitate healthcare workers to design and implement interventions to reduce cancer-related stigma, thus improving the quality of life for cancer patients.

Patient and Public Contribution

No patient and public contribution.

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