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The thriving of older people assessment scale: Psychometric evaluation and short‐form development

Abstract

Aim

To evaluate the psychometric properties and performance of the 32‐item Thriving of Older People Assessment Scale (TOPAS) and to explore reduction into a short‐form.

Background

The 32‐item TOPAS has been used in studies of place‐related well‐being as a positive measure in long‐term care to assess nursing home resident thriving; however, item redundancy has not previously been explored.

Design

Cross‐sectional study.

Method

Staff members completed the 32‐item TOPAS as proxy raters for a random sample of Swedish nursing home residents (N = 4,831) between November 2013 ‐ September 2014. Reliability analysis, exploratory factor analysis and item response theory‐based analysis were undertaken. Items were systematically identified for reduction using statistical and theoretical analysis. Correlation testing, means comparison and model fit evaluation confirmed scale equivalence.

Results

Psychometric properties of the 32‐item TOPAS were satisfactory and several items were identified for scale reduction. The proposed short‐form TOPAS exhibited a high level of internal consistency (α = 0.90) and strong correlation (r = 0.98) to the original scale, while also retaining diversity among items in terms of factor structure and item difficulties.

Conclusion

The 32‐item and short‐form TOPAS’ indicated sound validity and reliability to measure resident thriving in the nursing home context.

Impact

There is a lack of positive life‐world measures for use in nursing homes. The short‐form TOPAS indicated sound validity and reliability to measure resident thriving, providing a feasible measure with enhanced functionality for use in aged care research, assessments and care planning for health‐promoting purposes in nursing homes.

How Career Facilitators and Barriers Influence Nurses' Professional Turnover Intention

Abstract

Aims

Our study investigates the influence of career facilitators and barriers on nurses' improvement of their professional capabilities and their professional turnover intention.

Background

Reducing nurses' professional turnover intention could help alleviate the global nursing shortage. Nevertheless, little research has addressed how career facilitators and barriers, nurses' improvement of their professional capabilities and professional turnover intention are related, indicating a gap.

Design

This study used a cross‐sectional design.

Methods

We surveyed 502 out of 2,660 full‐time nurses who worked for a medical centre in Taiwan between January and March 2018. Our items were adapted from Cunningham et al. and Teng et al. and had adequate reliability and validity. Structural equation modeling was used to test the study hypotheses.

Results

Human capital, social capital and discrimination were positively related to intention to improve professional capabilities. Moreover, intention to improve professional capabilities was positively related to action to improve professional capabilities, which was negatively related to professional turnover intention.

Conclusion

Most of the career facilitators and even barriers, boost the improvement of professional capabilities and are useful for retaining nurses in the nursing profession.

Impact

Findings of this study should have an impact on nursing managers by offering them means to retain nurses, e.g., enhancing human capital and social capital among nurses to reduce their turnover intention.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Rationale and design of a statewide telestroke registry: Lone Star Stroke Consortium Telestroke Registry (LeSteR)

Por: Astudillo · C. · Ankrom · C. · Trevino · A. · Malazarte · R. M. · Bambhroliya · A. B. · Savitz · S. · Topel · C. H. · Milling · T. J. · Wu · T.-C.
Introduction

The Lone Star Stroke Consortium Telestroke Registry (LeSteR) currently consisting of 3 academic hub centres and 27 partner spokes is a statewide initiative organised by leading academic health centres in the State of Texas to understand practice patterns of acute stroke management via telestroke (TS) in Texas, a state with one of the largest rural populations in the USA.

Methods and analysis

All patients who had presumed stroke for whom a TS consultation has been obtained in the network are entered into a web-based, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant database from September 2013 to present. Spokes were enrolled into LeSteR in a staggered approach in two data collection phases: a retrospective phase and a prospective phase. Basic clinical, demographic data and relevant time metrics are collected in the retrospective phase. Starting 1 September 2015, additional outcome data including 90-day modified Rankin score, readmission and 90-day disposition are obtained by a standard phone interview. From the registry initiation to 31 December 2017, there are 8089 patients who had suspected stroke in the registry. Over 60% of patients enrolled after 1 September 2015 have reported outcome data. Enrolment is still active for this registry.

Ethics and dissemination

LeSteR is a statewide TS registry organised by academic health centres that will provide significant insight regarding the impact of TS in the State of Texas. Findings from LeSteR will provide data that can be analysed to improve the allocation of healthcare resources using TS to treat stroke in a state with one of the largest rural populations.

Prevalence of common mental health disorders in adults who are high or costly users of healthcare services: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

Por: Jadhakhan · F. · Lindner · O. C. · Blakemore · A. · Guthrie · E.
Introduction

In all healthcare settings, a small proportion of patients account for a large level of healthcare use and associated high healthcare costs. Depression and anxiety are common co-morbidities in patients who are high users of care. The aims of this systematic review are to: (1) estimate the prevalence of anxiety/depression in adults who are high users of general physical healthcare services and/or who accrue high healthcare costs (2) estimate the magnitude of healthcare use associated with the presence of anxiety/depression.

Methods and analysis

This review will include any studies where patients are high users of primary, secondary or emergency healthcare services and/or accrue high healthcare costs. This is the first systematic review to focus on patients who are over the age of 18, whose degree of anxiety/depression has been evaluated with a standardised questionnaire or by a clinical interview generating a diagnosis according to international diagnostic criteria. The review will include eligible studies indexed in Medline, PsychINFO, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Library from inception to 1 April 2019. We will estimate the prevalence of anxiety/depression in these populations and the magnitude of use associated with anxiety/depression across various general physical healthcare settings. We will provide a narrative description of findings and factors that may influence them. A meta-analysis may be pursued if the degree of heterogeneity across studies is acceptable.

Ethics and dissemination

This systematic review will use data from existing studies, hence no ethical approvals are required. Findings will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed publication and at relevant academic meetings.

PROSPERO registration number

PROSPERO CRD42018102628.

Medicines shortages in Pakistan: a qualitative study to explore current situation, reasons and possible solutions to overcome the barriers

Por: Atif · M. · Malik · I. · Mushtaq · I. · Asghar · S.
Objective

This study was conducted to assess current situation of medicines shortages in Pakistan and to identify its impact, reasons and possible solutions to overcome the barriers.

Design

A qualitative study.

Setting

The study was conducted between May 2018 and July 2018 in three cities of Pakistan including Islamabad, Karachi and Bahawalpur, depending on the availability of most relevant key informants.

Participants

Health regulators, pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmaceutical distributors and pharmacists.

Primary and secondary outcome measure

Study primarily explored current situation, reasons and potential solutions of medicines shortages in Pakistan. Secondary outcome was the issue of particular brand shortage.

Method

Semistructured interviews were conducted. Sample size was determined by using saturation point criteria. Convenient sampling techniques were used to recruit the participants. The interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.

Results

A total of 41 stakeholders including 12 health regulators, 6 pharmaceutical manufacturers, 8 pharmaceutical distributors and 15 pharmacists participated in this study. Data analysis yielded 4 themes, 16 subthemes, 51 categories. Essential and life-saving medicines were in short supply. The major reasons of short supply of medicines were active pharmaceutical ingredient and raw material availability issues, lack of traditional distribution system and sudden demand fluctuation. Among proposed solutions, three most common were the facilitation and regulation of manufacturers, reasonable price fixation and improvements in the inventory control system.

Conclusion

Medicines were short in supply, and this may have clinical and financial impact on the patients in Pakistan. There were multiple and complex reasons of medicines shortages. Mandatory government leadership is required to resolve the issue on priority basis for improving the access of medicines to the patients.

Impact of Ebola outbreak on reproductive health services in a rural district of Sierra Leone: a prospective observational study

Por: Quaglio · G. · Tognon · F. · Finos · L. · Bome · D. · Sesay · S. · Kebbie · A. · Di Gennaro · F. · Camara · B. S. · Marotta · C. · Pisani · V. · Bangura · Z. · Pizzol · D. · Saracino · A. · Mazzucco · W. · Jones · S. · Putoto · G.
Objectives

To assess the trends concerning utilisation of maternal and child health (MCH) services before, during and after the Ebola outbreak, quantifying the contribution of a reorganised referral system (RS).

Design

A prospective observational study of MCH services.

Setting

Pujehun district in Sierra Leone, 77 community health facilities and 1 hospital from 2012 to 2017.

Main outcome measures

MCH utililization was evaluated by assessing: (1) institutional deliveries, Cesarean-sections, paediatric and maternity admissions and deaths, and major direct obstetric complications (MDOCs), at hospital level; (2) antenatal care (ANC) 1 and 4, institutional delivery and family planning, at community level. Contribution of a strengthened RS was also measured.

Results

At hospital level, there is a significant difference between trends Ebola versus pre-Ebola for maternal admissions (7, 95% CI 4 to 11, p

Conclusions

A stronger health system compared with other districts in Sierra Leone and a strengthened RS enabled health facilities in Pujehun to maintain service provision and uptake during and after the Ebola epidemic.

Open carpal tunnel release and diabetes: a retrospective study using PROMs and national quality registries

Por: Zimmerman · M. · Eeg-Olofsson · K. · Svensson · A.-M. · Aström · M. · Arner · M. · Dahlin · L.
Objectives

To study patient-reported outcome after open carpal tunnel release (OCTR) for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in patients with or without diabetes using national healthcare quality registries.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Setting

Data from the Swedish National Quality Registry for Hand Surgery (HAKIR; www.hakir.se) were linked to data from the Swedish National Diabetes Register (NDR; www.ndr.nu).

Participants

We identified 9049 patients (10 770 hands) operated for CTS during the inclusion period (2010–2016).

Primary outcome measures

Patient-reported outcome measures were analysed before surgery and at 3 and 12 months postoperatively using the QuickDASH as well as the HAKIR questionnaire with eight questions on hand symptoms and disability.

Results

Patients with diabetes (n=1508; 14%) scored higher in the QuickDASH both preoperatively and postoperatively than patients without diabetes, but the total score change between preoperative and postoperative QuickDASH was equal between patients with and without diabetes. The results did not differ between patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Patients with diabetic retinopathy scored higher in QuickDASH at 3 months postoperatively than patients with diabetes without retinopathy. In the regression analysis, diabetes was associated with more residual symptoms at 3 and 12 months postoperatively.

Conclusions

Patients with diabetes experience more symptoms both before and after OCTR, but can expect the same relative improvement from surgery as patients without diabetes . Patients with retinopathy, as a proxy for neuropathy, may need longer time for symptoms to resolve after OCTR. Smoking, older age, higher HbA1c levels and receiving a diabetes diagnosis after surgery were associated with more residual symptoms following OCTR.

Analysis of anticholinergic and sedative medicine effects on physical function, cognitive function, appetite and frailty: a cross-sectional study in Australia

Por: Lim · R. · Kalisch Ellett · L. M. · Widagdo · I. S. · Pratt · N. L. · Roughead · E. E.
Objective

To test the association between use of medicines with anticholinergic or sedative properties and physical function, cognitive function, appetite and frailty.

Design, setting and participants

This cross-sectional study analysed baseline data collected as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a population-based cohort of 2087 participants aged 65 years or over living in South Australia.

Main outcome measures

Physical function was measured at baseline using measures including hand grip strength, walking speed, chair stands, activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Cognitive function was measured using Mini-Mental State Examination. Appetite was measured using Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression question 2. Frailty was measured using frailty index. The association between use of anticholinergics or sedatives and physical or cognitive function, appetite, or frailty was assessed using analysis of covariance and ordinal or binary logistic regression.

Results

Almost half of the population were using anticholinergics or sedatives (n=954, 45.7%). Use of anticholinergics was significantly associated with poorer grip strength, slower walking speed, poorer IADL and poorer appetite. Use of sedatives was significantly associated with poorer grip strength, slower walking speed and poorer IADL. We found no significant association between medicine use and cognitive function. Users of anticholinergics or sedatives were significantly more likely to be frail compared with non-users.

Conclusion

Use of medicines with anticholinergic or sedative properties is significantly associated with poorer physical function, poorer appetite and increased frailty. Early identification of signs and symptoms of deterioration associated with medicine use is particularly important in older people so that worsening frailty and subsequent adverse events are prevented.

Quality appraisal of clinical practice guidelines for diabetes mellitus published in China between 2007 and 2017 using the AGREE II instrument

Por: Gao · Y. · Wang · J. · Luo · X. · Song · X. · Liu · L. · Ke · L. · Liao · Z. · Wang · D. · Mu · Y. · Chen · Y. · Estill · J. A. M.
Objective

The aim of this study was to systematically evaluate the quality of the clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for diabetes mellitus published in China over the period of January 2007 to April 2017.

Methods

We searched the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Chinese Biomedical Literature database, VIP database and WanFang databases and guideline websites for CPGs for diabetes mellitus published between January 2007 and April 2017 in China. Two reviewers independently screened the literature according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria and extracted data. We used the the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II) tool (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ottawa, Canada) to evaluate the quality of the included guidelines, calculated the scores of each domain and evaluated the consistency among the assessors via use of the intragroup correlation coefficient. And then we compared the results with Chinese CPGs and international CPGs. We conducted a subgroup analysis based on different classification criteria and compared scores of each domain subgroup analyses.

Results

A total of 98 guidelines were identified. The correlation coefficient within the group was 0.93, suggesting that the consistency between the evaluators was good. The scores of the six domains of AGREE II were described in median (IQR) as follows: scope and purpose 53.7 (50.0–59.7), stakeholder involvement 31.5 (27.3–37.0), rigour of development 19.1 (15.3–22.2), clarity of presentation 59.3 (50.0–64.8), applicability 18.1 (13.9–25.7) and editorial independence 0.0 (0.0–0.0). The mean score in each domain of quality of Chinese diabetes CPGs was lower than that of CPGs published worldwide but higher than the mean score of Chinese guidelines of all topics. A funding source, the updated version, organisation and publishers of the guidelines and target fields are all the factors influencing the quality of CPGs to a certain degree.

Conclusions

A large number of Chinese diabetes CPGs have been produced. Their quality remain unsatisfactorily low compared with CPGs worldwide, there is still room for improvement. Chinese guideline developers should pay more attention to the transparency of methodology, and use the AGREE II instrument to develop and report guidelines.

Prevalence of maternal psychological disorders after immediate postpartum haemorrhage: a repeated cross-sectional study - the PSYCHE* study protoco

Por: Pranal · M. · Legrand · A. · de Chazeron · I. · Llorca · P.-M. · Vendittelli · F.
Introduction

The main objective of this study is to assess the prevalence of depression at 2, 6 and 12 months postpartum in women who have had an immediate postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) (blood loss ≥500 mL within 24 hours of delivery). The secondary objectives are to assess the prevalence of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder among these women and to evaluate the prevalence of psychological disorders according to the severity of the PPH.

Methods and analysis

This repeated, cross-sectional, single-centre study will take place at the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital (France). The population will comprise a cohort of women giving birth at a term ≥22 weeks of gestation.

For each woman with a PPH (exposed), two women without PPH (unexposed) will be included: the women who give birth immediately before and immediately after her. The PPH will be managed according to French guidelines. The principal endpoint is the prevalence of depression, measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The intervention will consist of four surveys including various self-completed questionnaires: the first during the immediate postpartum (Post-Delivery Perceived Stress Inventory (PDPSI), Spielberger'sState-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)-Y-A and Y-B and Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) 5.0.0), then at 2 months (EPDS, STAI-Y-A, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) and Revised Impact of Event Scale (IES-R)), and finally at 6 months and 1 year postpartum (EPDS, STAI-Y-A, GAD-7, M.I.N.I. 5.0.0 and IES-R). The study will include 1542 women — 514 with PPH.

Ethics and dissemination

The institutional review board (IRB) approved the study on 14 February 2017 (IRB Sud Est VI: N°AU1243).

Results will be reported in peer-reviewed journals and at scientific meetings. Findings from the study will be useful for individualising medical follow-up after childbirth, especially for woman who experienced a PPH, but also more generally in increasing birth professionals' awareness of effects of trauma. The evidence obtained might also lead to modifying practices and including this recommendation in French guidelines on PPH.

Trial registration number

NCT03120208.

Prevalence of self-reported knee symptoms and management strategies among elderly individuals from Frederiksberg municipality: protocol for a prospective and pragmatic Danish cohort study

Por: Ginnerup-Nielsen · E. M. · Henriksen · M. · Christensen · R. · Heitmann · B. L. · Altman · R. · March · L. · Woolf · A. · Karlsen · H. · Bliddal · H.
Introduction

The Global Burden of Disease 2010 study ranked osteoarthritis (OA) as a leading cause of years lived with disability. With an ageing population, increasing body weight and sedentary lifestyle, a substantial increase especially in knee OA (KOA) is expected. Management strategies for KOA include non-pharmacological, pharmacological and surgical interventions. Meanwhile, over-the-counter pain medications have been discredited as they are associated with several risks with long-term usage. By consequence, the use of exercise and all sorts of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for joint pain has increased. The available self-management strategies are plenty, but there is no overview of their use at a population level and whether they are used along with doctors’ prescriptions or replace these. The aim of this study is to estimate the population incidence of developing knee symptoms and analyse the association between (and impact of) the use of self-reported preventive measures and knee symptoms.

Methods and analysis

This prospective cohort study pragmatically recruits individuals from the municipality of Frederiksberg, Denmark. All citizens aged 60–69 years old will be contacted annually for 10 years and asked to participate in a web-based survey. The major outcomes are self-reported knee symptoms and their association with use of various management strategies, including use of non-pharmacological treatments and CAM. Secondary outcomes include the influence of treatments on use of healthcare system and surgical procedures. Descriptive and analytic statistics (eg, logistic regression) will be used to provide summaries about the sample and observations made and the associations between self-management and development of knee symptoms.

Ethics and dissemination

This study can be implemented without permission from the Health Research Ethics Committee. Permission has been obtained from the Danish Data Protection Agency. Study findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and presented at relevant conferences.

Trial registration number

NCT03472300.

WHO guidance for refugees in camps: systematic review

Por: Blundell · H. · Milligan · R. · Norris · S. L. · Garner · P.
Objectives

The circumstances of people living in refugee camps means that they have distinct medical care requirements. Our objective is to describe clinical guidance in published WHO guidelines that refer to people living in refugee camps; and how evidence and context are used and reported in making recommendations.

Design

Systematic review and analysis of WHO guidelines approved by the organisation’s quality oversight body and published between 2007 and 2018. We sought for key terms related to camps and humanitarian settings, and identified text that included guidance. We compared this to Mèdecins Sans Frontièrs (MSF) guidelines.

Results

No WHO guideline published in the last 10 years focused exclusively on clinical guidance for healthcare in camp settings. Seven guidelines contained guidance about camps; three made recommendations for camps—but only two used formal evidence summaries. We did not find any structured consideration of the situation in camps used in the decision-making process. We examined seven WHO guidelines and six chapters within guidelines that concerned humanitarian settings: none of these documents contained recommendations based on formal evidence summaries for camp settings. One of the eight MSF guidelines was devoted to clinical care in refugees and the authors had clearly linked the health problems and recommendations to the setting, but this guideline is now >20 years old.

Conclusions

There is an absence of up-to-date, evidence-based medical treatment guidelines from WHO and MSF that comprehensively address the clinical needs for people living in camps; and there is no common framework to help guideline groups formulate recommendations in these settings. WHO may wish to consider context of special populations more formally in the evidence to decision-making approach for clinical guidelines relevant to primary care.

Neonatal azithromycin administration to prevent infant mortality: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Por: Sie · A. · Bountogo · M. · Nebie · E. · Ouattara · M. · Coulibaly · B. · Bagagnan · C. · Zabre · P. · Lebas · E. · Brogdon · J. · Godwin · W. W. · Lin · Y. · Porco · T. · Doan · T. · Lietman · T. M. · Oldenburg · C. E. · NAITRE Study Group · Sie · Bountogo · Ouattara · Coulibaly · Bagagna
Introduction

Biannual mass azithromycin distribution to children aged 1–59 months has been shown to reduce all-cause mortality. Children under 28 days of age were not treated in studies evaluating mass azithromycin distribution for child mortality due to concerns related to infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS). Here, we report the design of a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of administration of a single dose of oral azithromycin during the neonatal period.

Methods and analysis

The Nouveaux-nés et Azithromycine: une Innovation dans le Traitement des Enfants (NAITRE) study is a double-masked randomised placebo-controlled trial designed to evaluate the efficacy of a single dose of azithromycin (20 mg/kg) for the prevention of child mortality. Newborns (n=21 712) aged 8–27 days weighing at least 2500 g are 1:1 randomised to a single, directly observed, oral dose of azithromycin or matching placebo. Participants are followed weekly for 3 weeks after treatment to screen for adverse events, including IHPS. The primary outcome is all-cause mortality at the 6-month study visit.

Ethics and dissemination

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards at the University of California, San Francisco in San Francisco, USA (Protocol #18-25027) and the Comité National d’Ethique pour la Recherche in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (Protocol #2018-10-123). The findings of this trial will be presented at local, regional and international meetings and published in open access peer-reviewed journals.

Trial registration number

NCT03682653; Pre-results.

Association between nut intake and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease risk: a retrospective case-control study in a sample of Chinese Han adults

Por: Chen · B. b. · Han · Y. · Pan · X. · Yan · J. · Liu · W. · Li · Y. · Lin · X. · Xu · S. · Peng · X.-E.
Objectives

Nut consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. However, its effect on the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is unknown. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between nut consumption and NAFLD risk.

Setting and participants

We conducted a retrospective case-control study including 534 patients diagnosed with NAFLD and 534 controls matched by sex and age (±5 years) from the Affiliated Nanping First Hospital of Fujian Medical University in China.

Main outcome measures

Information on dietary intake was collected using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire and nut consumption was calculated. Nut consumption was categorised using quartiles based on the distribution of daily nut intake of the controls. Binary logistic regression models were used to estimate ORs and the 95% CIs for the association between nut consumption and NAFLD risk.

Results

After adjusting for potential confounding variables, nut consumption was not associated with NAFLD risk in the overall sample. When the fully adjusted model was stratified by sex, a significant inverse association was found between high nut consumption and NAFLD only among the men in the highest quartile (OR=0.43; 95% CI 0.26 to 0.71; P trend = 0.01). The inverse association of nut consumption with NAFLD risk in men remained significant after controlling for other known or suspected risk factors for NAFLD.

Conclusions

Diets with a higher intake of nuts may be associated with a decreased risk of NAFLD, particularly in men.

Effects of foliar application of amino acid liquid fertilizers, with or without <i>Bacillus amyloliquefaciens</i> SQR9, on cowpea yield and leaf microbiota

by Dongsheng Wang, Xuhui Deng, Bei Wang, Na Zhang, Chengzhi Zhu, Zixuan Jiao, Rong Li, Qirong Shen

Leaf surface fertilization with liquid fertilizer produced from amino acids constitutes a potentially important source of nitrogen and is important for plant production. However, few reports have focused on the plant growth promotion by novel liquid fertilizers created by new amino acid resources, let alone the influence on leaf microbiota. In this study, the effects of liquid fertilizer, created by amino acids hydrolyzed from animal hairs with or without the PGPR strain Bacillus amyloliquefaciens SQR9, on crop yield and leaf microbiota were investigated. The results showed that leaves sprayed with amino acid liquid fertilizer (AA) and liquid biological fertilizer (AA9) persistently increased cowpea yields compared to the control amended with chemical fertilizer (CF). Fertilization with amino acid fertilizer showed no significant difference in microbial composition compared with the CF treatment; however, the introduction of functional microbes altered the microbial composition. Pearson correlation analysis, VPA analysis and SEM models all revealed that the amino acids liquid fertilizer application, but not the functional strain or the altered microbiota, performed as the direct driver attributing to yield enhancement. We conclude that leaf fertilization with a novel amino acid liquid fertilizer can greatly enhance the crop yield and that the addition of beneficial microbes may perform the role in further altering the composition of leaf microbiota.

Sex and racial differences in cardiovascular disease risk in patients with atrial fibrillation

by Wesley T. O’Neal, Aniqa B. Alam, Pratik B. Sandesara, J’Neka S. Claxton, Richard F. MacLehose, Lin Y. Chen, Lindsay G. S. Bengtson, Alanna M. Chamberlain, Faye L. Norby, Pamela L. Lutsey, Alvaro Alonso

Background

Outcomes among atrial fibrillation (AF) patients may differ according to race/ethnicity and sex due to differences in biology, the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, and the use and effectiveness of AF treatments. We aimed to characterize patterns of cardiovascular risk across subgroups of AF patients by sex and race/ethnicity, since doing so may provide opportunities to identify interventions. We also evaluated whether these patterns changed over time.

Methods

We utilized administrative claims data from the Optum Clinformatics® Datamart database from 2009 to 2015. Patients with AF with ≥6 months of enrollment prior to the first non-valvular AF diagnosis were included in the analysis. Final analysis utilized Cox proportional hazard models to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for cardiovascular outcomes stratified by sex and race/ethnicity. An additional analysis stratified outcomes by calendar year of AF diagnosis to evaluate changes in outcomes over time.

Results

In a cohort of 380,636 AF patients, women had a higher risk of ischemic stroke [HR (95% CI): 1.25 (1.19, 1.31)] and lower risk of heart failure and myocardial infarction [HR (95% CI): 0.91 (0.88, 0.94) and 0.81 (0.77, 0.86), respectively)] compared to men. Black patients had elevated risk across all endpoints compared to whites, while Hispanics and Asian Americans showed no significant differences in any outcome compared to white patients. These sex and race/ethnic differences did not change over time.

Conclusions

We found sex and race/ethnic differences in risk of cardiovascular outcomes among AF patients, without evidence of improvement over time.

Increased functional connectivity of thalamic subdivisions in patients with Parkinson’s disease

by Conor Owens-Walton, David Jakabek, Brian D. Power, Mark Walterfang, Dennis Velakoulis, Danielle van Westen, Jeffrey C. L. Looi, Marnie Shaw, Oskar Hansson

Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects 2–3% of the population over the age of 65 with loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra impacting the functioning of basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits. The precise role played by the thalamus is unknown, despite its critical role in the functioning of the cerebral cortex, and the abnormal neuronal activity of the structure in PD. Our objective was to more clearly elucidate how functional connectivity and morphology of the thalamus are impacted in PD (n = 32) compared to Controls (n = 20). To investigate functional connectivity of the thalamus we subdivided the structure into two important regions-of-interest, the first with putative connections to the motor cortices and the second with putative connections to prefrontal cortices. We then investigated potential differences in the size and shape of the thalamus in PD, and how morphology and functional connectivity relate to clinical variables. Our data demonstrate that PD is associated with increases in functional connectivity between motor subdivisions of the thalamus and the supplementary motor area, and between prefrontal thalamic subdivisions and nuclei of the basal ganglia, anterior and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, as well as the anterior and paracingulate gyri. These results suggest that PD is associated with increased functional connectivity of subdivisions of the thalamus which may be indicative alterations to basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuitry.

Does numerical similarity alter age-related distractibility in working memory?

by Chiara Francesca Tagliabue, Debora Brignani, Veronica Mazza

Similarity between targets and distracters is a key factor in generating distractibility, and exerts a large detrimental effect on aging. The present EEG study tested the role of a new stimulus dimension in generating distractibility in visual Working Memory (vWM), namely numerical similarity. In a change detection paradigm a varying number of relevant and irrelevant stimuli were presented simultaneously in opposite hemifields. Behavioral results indicated that young participants outperformed older individuals; however, in both groups numerical similarity per se did not modulate performance. At the electrophysiological level, in young participants the Contralateral Delay Activity (CDA, a proxy for item maintenance in vWM) was modulated by the numerosity of the relevant items regardless of numerical similarity. In older participants, the CDA was modulated by target numerosity only in the same numerical condition, where the total number of (relevant and irrelevant) items increased with increasing target numerosities. No effect was present in the dissimilar numerical condition, where the total number of items did not vary substantially across target numerosity. This pattern was suggestive of an age-related effect of the total number of (relevant and irrelevant) items on vWM. The additional analyses on alpha-band lateralization measures support this interpretation by revealing that older adults lacked selective deployment of attentional and vWM resources towards the relevant hemifield. Overall, the results indicate that, while numerical similarity does not modulate distractibility, there is an age-related redistribution of vWM resources across the two visual fields, ultimately leading to a general decrease in task performance of older adults.

Impact of negative‐pressure wound therapy on bacterial behaviour and bioburden in a contaminated full‐thickness wound

Abstract

The use of negative‐pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has displayed significant clinical benefits in the healing of infected wounds. However, the effects of NPWT on bacterial colonisation and infection of traumatic wounds has been controversial. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of NPWT treatment in rabbits with a contaminated full‐thickness wound on bacterial behaviour, including colony morphology, spatial distribution, fissional proliferation, and bacterial bioburden. Full‐thickness wounds were created on the back of rabbits, and were inoculated with bioluminescent Staphylococcus aureus. The wounds were treated with sterile gauze dressings and NPWT with continuous negative pressure (−125 mm Hg). Wound samples were harvested on days 0 (6 hours after bacterial inoculation), 2, 4, 6, and 8 at the centre of wound beds before irrigation. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses were performed to determine the characteristic bacteriology. Laser scanning confocal microscopy was performed to obtain bioluminescent images, which were used to observe spatial distribution of the GFP‐labelled S. aureus within the tissue and quantify the bacterial bioburden. NPWT resulted in sparse amounts of scattered bacteria on the wound surface or as sparsely spaced single colonies within the tissue. Wound bioburden on day 8 in the NPWT and gauze groups was 34.6 ± 5.5% and 141.9 ± 15.4% of the baseline values (N = 6), respectively (P < .0001). TEM showed a lack of S. aureus active fission within NPWT‐treated tissue. NPWT can impact S. aureus colony morphology and spatial distribution both on the surface and within wound tissue, and reduce S. aureus as early as 48 hours after therapy initiation. Additionally, NPWT inhibits bacterial fissional proliferation in microcolonies.

A Quantitative Systematic Review of the association between nurse skill mix and nursing‐sensitive patient outcomes in the acute care setting

Abstract

Aims

To examine the association between nurse skill mix (the proportion of total hours provided by Registered Nurses) and patient outcomes in acute care hospitals.

Design

A quantitative systematic review included studies published in English between January 2000 and September 2018.

Data sources

Cochrane Library, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science and Joanna Briggs Institute were searched. Observational and experimental study designs were included. Mix‐methods designs were included if the quantitative component met the criteria.

Review methods

The Systematic Review guidelines of the Joanna Briggs Institute and its critical appraisal instrument was used. An inverse association was determined when seventy‐five percent or more of studies with significant results found this association.

Results

Sixty‐three articles were included. Twelve patient outcomes were inversely associated with nursing skill mix (i.e. higher nursing skill mix was significantly associated with improved patient outcomes). These were length of stay; ulcer, gastritis and upper gastrointestinal bleeds; acute myocardial infarction; restraint use; failure‐ to‐ rescue; pneumonia; sepsis; urinary tract infection; mortality/30‐day mortality; pressure injury; infections and shock/cardiac arrest/ heart failure.

Conclusion

Nursing skill mix affected twelve patient outcomes. However, further investigation using experimental or longitudinal study designs are required to establish causal relationships. Consensus on the definition of skill mix is required to enable more robust evaluation of the impact of changes in skill mix on patient outcomes.

Impact

Skill mix is perhaps more important than the number of nurses in reducing adverse patient outcomes such as mortality and failure to rescue, albeit the optimal staffing profile remains elusive in workforce planning.

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