Background. Alternative approaches for managing depression are often sought and herbal mixtures are widely used in China. The aim of this paper was to provide an overall picture of the current evidence by analysing published systematic reviews and presenting a supplementary systematic review of trials in Western databases. Methods. Searches were conducted using AMED, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE/PubMed, PsycINFO, and trial registers. Results were screened and selected trials were evaluated by two reviewers working independently. Systematic reviews were identified and assessed using key criteria. Results. Five systematic reviews were located addressing the Chinese literature, adjunctive use of Chinese herbs, and the formulae Chaihu-Shugan-San, Xiao Yao San, and Free and Easy Wanderer Plus. The supplementary review located 8 trials, 3 of which were not included in previous reviews. Positive results were reported: no significant differences from medication, greater effect than medication or placebo, reduced adverse event rates when combined or compared with antidepressants. However, limitations in methodology and reporting were revealed. Conclusions. Despite promising results, particularly for Xiao Yao San and its modifications, the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine in depression could not be fully substantiated based on current evidence. Further well-designed, well-reported trials that reflect practice may be worth pursuing.
The paper reports on a study to evaluate the psychometric properties and cultural appropriateness of the Chinese translation of the Admission Experience Survey (AES).
The AES was translated into Chinese and back-translated. Content validity was established by focus groups and expert panel review. The Chinese version of the Admission Experience Survey (C-AES) was administered to 135 consecutively recruited adult psychiatric patients in the Castle Peak Hospital (Hong Kong SAR, China) within 48 hours of admission. Construct validity was assessed by comparing the scores from patients admitted voluntarily versus patients committed involuntarily, and those received physical or chemical restraint versus those who did not. The relationship between admission experience and psychopathology was examined by correlating C-AES scores with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) scores.
Spearman's item-to-total correlations of the C-AES ranged from 0.50 to 0.74. Three factors from the C-AES were extracted using factor analysis. Item 12 was omitted because of poor internal consistency and factor loading. The factor structure of the Process Exclusion Scale (C-PES) corresponded to the English version, while some discrepancies were noted in the Perceived Coercion Scale (C-PCS) and the Negative Pressure Scale (C-NPS). All subscales had good internal consistencies. Scores were significantly higher for patients either committed involuntarily or subjected to chemical or physical restrain, independent on severity of psychotic symptoms.
The Chinese AES is a psychometrically sound instrument assessing the three different aspects of the experience of admission, namely "negative pressure, "process exclusion" and "perceived coercion". The potential of C-AES in exploring subjective experience of psychiatric admission and effects on treatment adherence should be further explored.
The diabetes epidemic in China imposes an increasing burden on the health care system and the economy. We derived prospective diabetes prevalence rates in China until 2016 from a systematic review of the published literature in the period 1987–2007. The results could help to guide resources of the Chinese health care system in order to address the diabetes epidemic.
We selected articles published in the English/Chinese languages from MEDLINE and the China Wanfang Digital Database using the keywords “China”, “diabetes mellitus”, “prevalence”, and “epidemiology” in order to estimate the current diabetes prevalence in China. For projecting future prevalence rates, we considered the population growth, and assumed that China’s diabetes prevalence in first tier cities in 2016 would equal Hong Kong’s diabetes prevalence in 2007.
The number of Chinese adults with diabetes is projected to rise from 53.1 million in 2009 to 76.1 million in 2016. The estimated diabetes prevalence rate in China in 2009 was 3.9% (urban 5.2%, rural 2.9%) and is projected to increase to 5.4% (urban 6.9%, rural 3.8%) in 2016, corresponding to an annual consolidated aggregate growth rate of 4.6%.
We estimate a considerably higher diabetes prevalence in the adult Chinese population than that reported in previous studies. The diabetes prevalence will continue to rise in the future, which points to the importance of increasing awareness and better diagnosis of diabetes in China.
diabetes; prevalence; epidemic; China; Chinese; systematic review
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a prevalent, disabling disease and is highly comorbid with other psychiatric disorders both in Western countries and the People’s Republic of China. Fluoxetine, a selective inhibitor of serotonin reuptake (SSRI), is widely utilized in the management of GAD in clinical practice despite the lack of strong evidence. This article reviews fluoxetine trials to investigate fluoxetine’s efficacy and tolerability in Chinese patients with GAD.
A literature review was conducted using the following databases up to and including April 2013: Chinese BioMedical Literature, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO. We selected clinical studies that utilized fluoxetine for GAD in which all participants were Chinese.
Fifteen open-label, non-placebo trials were identified and analyzed; eleven anxiolytics were compared with fluoxetine separately. Short-term efficacy of fluoxetine had been established in these open-label, head-to-head controlled trials. Fluoxetine had rapid onset of action (approximately 1–2 weeks) and seemed to be effective in maintenance treatment. Fluoxetine was generally well-tolerated with the most common side effect of dry month and nausea. Compared to other anxiolytic agents, fluoxetine was equivalent with all of the comparative anxiolytics in terms of efficacy except mirtazapine which showed conflicting results with fluoxetine in two studies. In terms of side effects, fluoxetine was better tolerated than diazepam, doxepine, and amitriptyline, less tolerated than escitalopram, and had similar tolerability with duloxetine as well as alprazolam.
Given the high risk of bias of the included studies, the overall small sample size of the studies, the lack of placebo control groups as well as the lack of certain clinically meaningful outcomes, it is not possible to recommend fluoxetine as a reliable first-line treatment in Chinese patients with GAD. Furthermore, no definitive implications for clinical practice in choosing anxiolytics can be drawn from this review. Trials with larger sample sizes, better quality, longer duration, and more clinically meaningful outcomes are needed in future research.
fluoxetine; generalized anxiety disorder; clinical trials; Chinese; prevalence
Studies of the prevalence of asthma among migrating populations may help in identifying environmental risk factors.
We analyzed data from Vancouver, Canada, and from Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong, China, collected during phase 3 of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. We subdivided the Vancouver adolescents according to whether they were Chinese immigrants to Canada, Canadian-born Chinese or Canadian-born non-Chinese. We compared the prevalence of asthma and wheezing among Chinese adolescents born in Canada, Chinese adolescents who had immigrated to Canada and Chinese adolescents living in China.
Of 7794 Chinese adolescents who met the inclusion criteria, 3058 were from Guangzhou, 2824 were from Beijing, and 1912 were from Hong Kong. Of 2235 adolescents in Vancouver, Canada, 475 were Chinese immigrants, 617 were Canadian-born Chinese, and 1143 were Canadian-born non-Chinese. The prevalence of current wheezing among boys ranged from 5.9% in Guangzhou to 11.2% in Canadian-born Chinese adolescents. For girls, the range was 4.3% in Guangzhou to 9.8% in Canadian-born Chinese adolescents. The prevalence of ever having had asthma ranged from 6.6% to 16.6% for boys and from 2.9% to 15.0% for girls. Prevalence gradients persisted after adjustment for other environmental variables (odds ratios for ever having had asthma among Canadian-born Chinese compared with native Chinese in Guangzhou: 2.72 [95% confidence interval 1.75–4.23] for boys and 5.50 [95% confidence interval 3.21–9.44] for girls; p < 0.001 for both). Among Chinese adolescents living in Vancouver, the prevalence of ever wheezing increased with duration of residence, from 14.5% among those living in Canada for less than 7 years to 20.9% among those living their entire life in Canada. The same pattern was observed for the prevalence of ever having had asthma, from 7.7% to 15.9%.
Asthma symptoms in Chinese adolescents were lowest among residents of mainland China, were greater for those in Hong Kong and those who had immigrated to Canada, and were highest among those born in Canada. These findings suggest that environmental factors and duration of exposure influence asthma prevalence.
Pooled estimates of air pollution health effects are important drivers of environmental risk communications and political willingness. In China, there is a lack of review studies to provide such estimates for health impact assessments.
We systematically searched the MEDLINE database using keywords of 80 major Chinese cities in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan on 30 June 2012, yielding 350 abstracts with 48 non-duplicated reports either in English or Chinese after screening. We pooled the relative risks (RR) per 10 μg/m3 of particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3).
For short-term effects, the pooled RR (p < 0.05) ranges were: 1.0031 (PM10) to 1.0140 (NO2) for all-cause mortality, 1.0034 (cardiopulmonary, PM10) to 1.0235 (influenza and pneumonia, SO2) for 9 specific-causes mortality, 1.0021 (cardiovascular, PM10) to 1.0162 (asthma, O3) for 5 specific-causes hospital admissions. For birth outcomes, the RR (p < 0.05) ranged from 1.0051 (stillbirth, O3) to 1.1189 (preterm-birth, SO2) and for long-term effect on mortality from 1.0150 (respiratory, SO2) to 1.0297 (respiratory, NO2). Publication bias was absent (Egger test: p = 0.326 to 0.624). Annual PM10 and NO2 concentrations were inversely associated with RR of mortality (p = 0.017-0.028).
Evidence on short-term effects of air pollution is consistent and sufficient for health impact assessment but that on long-term effects is still insufficient.
Air pollution; Health and mortality; Systematic review; Relative risk; Random effects; Fixed effect
To conduct a systematic review of the literature evaluating tai chi exercise as an intervention for patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) or with cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF).
We searched: 1) Medline, CAB Alt Health Watch, BIOSIS previews, Science Citation Index, EMBASE, and Social Science Citation Index from inception through October 2007; 2) Chinese Medical Database, China Hospital Knowledge, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and China Traditional Chinese Medicine Database from inception through June 2005; and 3) performed hand searches at the medical libraries of Beijing and Nanjing Universities. Clinical studies published in English and Chinese including participants with established CVD or CVRF were included. Data were extracted in a standardized manner; 2 independent investigators assessed methodological quality, including the Jadad score for randomized controlled trials (RCT).
Twenty-nine studies met inclusion criteria: 9 RCT, 14 non-randomized studies (NRS), and 6 observational trials (OBS). Three studies examined subjects with coronary heart disease, 5 in heart failure, and 10 in heterogeneous populations that included those with CVD. Eleven studies examined subjects with CVRF (hypertension, dyslipidemia, impaired glucose metabolism). Study duration ranged from 8 weeks to 3 years. Most studies included <100 subjects (range 5–207). Six of nine RCTs were of adequate quality (Jadad ≥3). Most studies report improvements with tai chi, including blood pressure reductions and increases in exercise capacity. No adverse effects were reported.
Preliminary evidence suggests that tai chi exercise may be a beneficial adjunctive therapy for some patients with CVD and CVRF. Further research is needed.
Exercise; Tai chi; Cardiovascular disease prevention
The primary aim of this review study was to gather evidence on the effectiveness in terms of return to work (RTW) of occupational therapy interventions (OTIs) in rehabilitation patients with non-congenital disorders. A secondary aim was to be able to select the most efficient OTI.
A systematic literature review of peer-reviewed papers was conducted using electronic databases (Cinahl, Cochrane Library, Ebsco, Medline (Pubmed), and PsycInfo). The search focussed on randomised controlled trials and cohort studies published in English from 1980 until September 2010. Scientific validity of the studies was assessed.
Starting from 1532 papers with pertinent titles, six studies met the quality criteria. Results show systematic reviewing of OTIs on RTW was challenging due to varying populations, different outcome measures, and poor descriptions of methodology. There is evidence that OTIs as part of rehabilitation programs, increase RTW rates, although the methodological evidence of most studies is weak.
Analysis of the selected papers indicated that OTIs positively influence RTW; two studies described precisely what the content of their OTI was. In order to identify the added value of OTIs on RTW, studies with well-defined OT intervention protocols are necessary.
The Consultation and Relational Empathy (CARE) Measure is a widely used patient-rated experience measure which has recently been translated into Chinese and has undergone preliminary qualitative and quantitative validation. The objective of this study was to determine the reliability of the Chinese-version of the CARE Measure in reliably differentiating between doctors in a primary care setting in Hong Kong
Data were collected from 984 primary care patients attending 20 doctors with differing levels of training in family medicine in 5 public clinics in Hong Kong. The acceptability of the Chinese-CARE measure to patients was assessed. The reliability of the measure in discriminating effectively between doctors was analysed by Generalisability-theory (G-Theory)
The items in the Chinese-CARE measure were regarded as important by patients and there were few 'not applicable' responses. The measure showed high internal reliability (coefficient 0.95) and effectively differentiated between doctors with only 15-20 patient ratings per doctor (inter-rater reliability > 0.8). Doctors' mean CARE measure scores varied widely, ranging from 24.1 to 45.9 (maximum possible score 50) with a mean of 34.6. CARE Measure scores were positively correlated with level of training in family medicine (Spearman's rho 0.493, p < 0.05).
These data demonstrate the acceptability, feasibility and reliability of using the Chinese-CARE Measure in primary care in Hong Kong to differentiate between doctors interpersonal competencies. Training in family medicine appears to enhance these key interpersonal skills.
CARE Measure; reliability; consultations; empathy; Hong Kong China; primary care
AIM: To test the psychometric properties of a Chinese [(Hong Kong) HK] translation of the chronic liver disease questionnaire (CLDQ).
METHODS: A Chinese (HK) translation of the CLDQ was developed by iterative translation and cognitive debriefing. It was then administered to 72 uncomplicated and 78 complicated chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients in Hong Kong together with a structured questionnaire on service utilization, and the Chinese (HK) SF-36 Health Survey Version 2 (SF-36v2).
RESULTS: Scaling success was ≥ 80% for all but three items. A new factor assessing sleep was found and items of two (Fatigue and Systemic Symptoms) subscales tended to load on the same factor. Internal consistency and test-retest reliabilities ranged from 0.58-0.90 for different subscales. Construct validity was confirmed by the expected correlations between the SF-36v2 Health Survey and CLDQ scores. Mean scores of CLDQ were significantly lower in complicated compared with uncomplicated CHB, supporting sensitivity in detecting differences between groups.
CONCLUSION: The Chinese (HK) CLDQ is valid, reliable and sensitive for patients with CHB. Some modifications to the scaling structure might further improve its psychometric properties.
Chronic liver disease; Health-related quality of life; Hepatitis B; Southern Chinese; Validity
To improve patient support, it is important to understand how people view and experience Heart Failure (HF) self-care. This systematic review of qualitative studies included all published studies that examine the influence of sex and gender on HF self-care. A systematic search was done for papers (1995–2010) indexed in Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Medline, Ovid EMBASE, Ovid PsycINFO, CSA Sociological Abstracts, OVID AARP Ageline, EBSCO Academic Search Complete, EBSCO CINAHL, EBSCO SocINDEX, ISI Web of Science: Social Sciences Citation Index and Science Citation Index Expanded, and Scopus. After screening of 537 citations, six qualitative studies identified that differences existed in perceptions of symptoms with women having less family involvement and psychosocial support around self-care. Moreover, women had considerably more negative views of the future, themselves and their ability to fulfill social self-care roles. Women with HF represent a highly vulnerable population and need more support for psychosocial wellbeing and self-care.
Previous reviews on risk and protective factors for violence in psychosis have produced contrasting findings. There is therefore a need to clarify the direction and strength of association of risk and protective factors for violent outcomes in individuals with psychosis.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis using 6 electronic databases (CINAHL, EBSCO, EMBASE, Global Health, PsycINFO, PUBMED) and Google Scholar. Studies were identified that reported factors associated with violence in adults diagnosed, using DSM or ICD criteria, with schizophrenia and other psychoses. We considered non-English language studies and dissertations. Risk and protective factors were meta-analysed if reported in three or more primary studies. Meta-regression examined sources of heterogeneity. A novel meta-epidemiological approach was used to group similar risk factors into one of 10 domains. Sub-group analyses were then used to investigate whether risk domains differed for studies reporting severe violence (rather than aggression or hostility) and studies based in inpatient (rather than outpatient) settings.
There were 110 eligible studies reporting on 45,533 individuals, 8,439 (18.5%) of whom were violent. A total of 39,995 (87.8%) were diagnosed with schizophrenia, 209 (0.4%) were diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and 5,329 (11.8%) were diagnosed with other psychoses. Dynamic (or modifiable) risk factors included hostile behaviour, recent drug misuse, non-adherence with psychological therapies (p values<0.001), higher poor impulse control scores, recent substance misuse, recent alcohol misuse (p values<0.01), and non-adherence with medication (p value <0.05). We also examined a number of static factors, the strongest of which were criminal history factors. When restricting outcomes to severe violence, these associations did not change materially. In studies investigating inpatient violence, associations differed in strength but not direction.
Certain dynamic risk factors are strongly associated with increased violence risk in individuals with psychosis and their role in risk assessment and management warrants further examination.
To explore contemporary (from 1990) utilization and practice of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) worldwide. Systematic search (limited to studies published 1990 and after) was undertaken in the databases Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, SveMed, and EBSCO/Cinahl. Primary data-based studies/surveys with reported ECT utilization and practice in psychiatric institutions internationally, nationally, and regionally; city were included. Two reviewers independently checked study titles and abstracts according to inclusion criteria, and extracted ECT utilization and practice data from those retrieved in full text. Seventy studies were included, seven from Australia and New Zealand, three Africa, 12 North and Latin America, 33 Europe, and 15 Asia. Worldwide ECT differences and trends were evident, average number ECTs administered per patient were eight; unmodified (without anesthesia) was used in Asia (over 90%), Africa, Latin America, Russia, Turkey, Spain. Worldwide preferred electrode placement was bilateral, except unilateral at some places (Europe and Australia/New Zealand). Although mainstream was brief-pulse wave, sine-wave devices were still used. Majority ECT treated were older women with depression in Western countries, versus younger men with schizophrenia in Asian countries. ECT under involuntary conditions (admissions), use of ambulatory-ECT, acute first line of treatment, as well as administered by other professions (geriatricians, nurses) were noted by some sites. General trends were only some institutions within the same country providing ECT, training inadequate, and guidelines not followed. Mandatory reporting and overall country ECT register data were sparse. Many patients are still treated with unmodified ECT today. Large global variation in ECT utilization, administration, and practice advocates a need for worldwide sharing of knowledge about ECT, reflection, and learning from each other's experiences.
Electroconvulsive therapy; epidemiology; health care surveys; mental disorders; review; systematic
The objectives here are to provide a systematic review of the current evidence concerning the use of Chinese herbs in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to understand their mechanisms of action with respect to the pathophysiology of the disease. AD, characterized microscopically by deposition of amyloid plaques and formation of neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, has become the most common cause of senile dementia. The limitations of western medications have led us to explore herbal medicine. In particular, many Chinese herbs have demonstrated some interesting therapeutic properties. The following databases were searched from their inception: MEDLINE (PUBMED), ALT HEALTH WATCH (EBSCO), CINAH and Cochrane Central. Only single Chinese herbs are included. Two reviewers independently extracted the data and performed quality assessment. The quality assessment of a clinical trial is based on the Jadad criteria. Seven Chinese herbs and six randomized controlled clinical trials were identified under the predefined criteria. Ginkgo biloba, Huperzine A (Lycopodium serratum) and Ginseng have been assessed for their clinical efficacy with limited favorable evidence. No serious adverse events were reported. Chinese herbs show promise in the treatment of AD in terms of their cognitive benefits and more importantly, their mechanisms of action that deal with the fundamental pathophysiology of the disease. However, the current evidence in support of their use is inconclusive or inadequate. Future research should place emphasis on herbs that can treat the root of the disease.
To translate the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale into a Chinese version and assess the reliability between Chinese versions and between Chinese and English versions of this outcome measure.
Descriptive study using a 4-week test-retest design. Data were collected from a convenience sample of community living Chinese immigrants. Of the 79 participants, data from 71 subjects were included in the analysis. Two subsamples were formed to assess the reliability between Chinese versions (n=33) and between Chinese and English versions (n=38) of the scale.
Internal consistency of the ABC was 0.98. Test-retest reliability was ICC=0.87 (95% CI, 0.76–0.93) for the Chinese versions and ICC = 0.88 (95% CI, 0.78–0.94) for Chinese and English versions. The total group ICC=.90 (95% CI, 0.84–0.94).
Balance confidence has been identified as an important area for clinical and research inquiry however collecting this information from Chinese speaking individuals has been limited by a lack of language specific measures. The Chinese version of the ABC has demonstrated acceptable measurement properties in this sample and should permit measurement of this unique construct in the Chinese population.
PMID: 17083176 CAMSID: cams2027
After the publication of the CONSORT 2010 statement, few studies have been conducted to assess the reporting quality of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on treatment of diabetes mellitus with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) published in Chinese journals.
To investigate the current situation of the reporting quality of RCTs in leading medical journals in China with the CONSORT 2010 statement as criteria.
The China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) electronic database was searched for RCTs on the treatment of diabetes mellitus with TCM published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional & Western Medicine, and the China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica from January to December 2011. We excluded trials reported as “animal studies”, “in vitro studies”, “case studies”, or “systematic reviews”. The CONSORT checklist was applied by two independent raters to evaluate the reporting quality of all eligible trials after discussing and comprehending the items thoroughly. Each item in the checklist was graded as either “yes” or “no” depending on whether it had been reported by the authors.
We identified 27 RCTs. According to the 37 items in the CONSORT checklist, the average reporting percentage was 45.0%, in which the average reporting percentage for the “title and abstract”, the “introduction”, the “methods”, the “results”, the “discussion” and the “other information” was 33.3%, 88.9%, 36.4%, 54.4%, 71.6% and 14.8%, respectively. In the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional & Western Medicine, and the China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica the average reporting percentage was 42.2%, 56.8%, and 46.0%, respectively.
The reporting quality of RCTs in these three journals was insufficient to allow readers to assess the validity of the trials. We recommend that editors require authors to use the CONSORT statement when reporting their trial results as a condition of publication.
Little information is available on the prevalence, geographic distribution and mutation spectrum of genetic skeletal disorders (GSDs) in China. This study systematically reviewed GSDs as defined in “Nosology and Classification of genetic skeletal disorders (2010 version)” using Chinese biomedical literature published over the past 34 years from 1978 to 2012. In total, 16,099 GSDs have been reported. The most frequently reported disorders were Marfan syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, fibrous dysplasia, mucopolysaccharidosis, multiple cartilaginous exostoses, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), osteopetrosis, achondroplasia, enchondromatosis (Ollier), and osteopoikilosis, accounting for 76.5% (12,312 cases) of the total cases. Five groups (group 8, 12, 14, 18, 21) defined by “Nosology and Classification of genetic skeletal disorders” have not been reported in the Chinese biomedical literature. Gene mutation testing was performed in only a minor portion of the 16,099 cases of GSDs (187 cases, 1.16%). In total, 37 genes for 41 different GSDs were reported in Chinese biomedical literature, including 43 novel mutations. This review revealed a significant imbalance in rare disease identification in terms of geographic regions and hospital levels, suggesting the need to create a national multi-level network to meet the specific challenge of care for rare diseases in China.
Rare diseases; Genetic skeletal diseases; China; Bibliographic study
Chinese herbs are thought to be effective for type A H1N1 influenza. Series of Chinese herbs have been authorized recommended by the Chinese government, and until now a number of clinical trials of Chinese herbs for H1N1 influenza have been conducted. However, there is no critically appraised evidence such as systematic reviews or meta-analyses on potential benefits and harms of medicinal herbs for H1N1 influenza to justify their clinical use and their recommendation.
Methods and Findings
CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CBM, CNKI, VIP, China Important Conference Papers Database, China Dissertation Database, and online clinical trial registry websites were searched for published and unpublished randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of Chinese herbs for H1N1 influenza till 31 August, 2011. A total of 26 RCTs were identified and reviewed. Most of the RCTs were of high risk of bias with flawed study design and poor methodological quality. The combination of several Chinese herbal medicines with or without oseltamivir demonstrated positive effect on fever resolution, relief of symptoms, and global effectiveness rate compared to oseltamivir alone. However, only one herbal medicine showed positive effect on viral shedding. Most of the trials did not report adverse events, and the safety of herbal medicines is still uncertain.
Some Chinese herbal medicines demonstrated potential positive effect for 2009 type A H1N1 influenza; however, due to the lack of placebo controlled trial and lack of repeated test of the intervention, we could not draw confirmative conclusions on the beneficial effect of Chinese herbs for H1N1 influenza. More rigorous trials are warranted to support their clinical use.
It is well known that the prevalence of asthma has been reported to increase in many places around the world during the last decades. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify and review studies of asthma prevalence among children in China and address time trends and regional variation in asthma.
A systematic literature search was performed using PubMed and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) databases. Selected articles had to describe an original study that showed the prevalence of asthma among children aged 0−14 years.
A total of 74 articles met the inclusion criteria. The lifetime prevalence of asthma varied between 1.1% in Lhasa (Tibet) and 11.0% in Hong Kong in studies following the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) protocol. The prevalence was 3% or lower in most articles following Chinese diagnostic criteria. One article reported the results from two national surveys and showed that the current average prevalence of asthma for the total study population had increased from 1990 to 2000 (0.9% to 1.5%). The lowest current prevalence was found in Lhasa (0.1% in 1990, 0.5% in 2000).
The prevalence of childhood asthma was generally low, both in studies following the ISAAC and Chinese diagnostic criteria. Assessment of time trends and regional variations in asthma prevalence was difficult due to insufficient data, variation in diagnostic criteria, difference in data collection methods, and uncertainty in prevalence measures. However, the findings from one large study of children from 27 different cities support an increase in current prevalence of childhood asthma from 1990 to 2000. The lowest current prevalence of childhood asthma was found in Tibet.
Asthma; Children; Prevalence; Altitude; Systematic review
Many studies have considered the prevalence of dementia in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. However, area level estimates have not been produced. This study examines area differences across mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan adjusting for the effect of methodological factors with the aim of producing estimates of the numbers of people with dementia in these areas.
Method and Findings
A search of Chinese and English databases identified 76 dementia prevalence studies based on samples drawn from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan between 1980 and 2012. A pattern of significantly decreasing prevalence was observed from northern, central, southern areas of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Area variations in dementia prevalence were not explained by differences in methodological factors (diagnostic criteria, age range, study sample size and sampling method), socioeconomic level or life expectancy between areas. The results of meta-analysis were applied to current population data to provide best estimate. Based on the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, the total number of people aged 60 and over with dementia in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan is 8.4 million (4.6%, 95% CI: 3.4, 5.8) and in northern, central and southern areas are 3.8 (5.1%, 95% CI: 4.1, 6.1), 3.2 (4.4%, 95% CI: 3.2, 5.6) and 1.2 (3.9%, 95% CI: 2.3, 5.4) million respectively. These estimates were mainly based on the studies existing in highly developed areas and potentially affected by incomplete and insufficient data.
The findings of this review provide a robust estimate of area differences in dementia prevalence. Application of the estimated prevalence to population data reveals the number of people with dementia is expected to double every 20 years, areas in mainland China will be facing the greatest dementia challenge.
To assess the perceived effectiveness of cigarette health warnings in China, compared with picture and text-only warnings from other countries.
1169 individuals (adult smokers, adult nonsmokers and youth) from four Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming and Yinchuan) viewed 10 health warnings on cigarette packages, which included (a) the current Chinese text warnings covering 30% of the front/back of the pack (introduced October 2008); (b) the former Chinese text warning located on the side of the pack; (c) four picture warnings covering 50% of the front/back of the pack from Canada (lung cancer), Singapore (mouth disease), Hong Kong (gangrene) and European Union (clogged arteries); and (d) the same four warnings without the picture. Participants rated and ranked the 10 warnings on dimensions including how effective each would be in motivating smokers to quit and in convincing youth not to start smoking.
Both Chinese warnings were consistently rated as least effective, with the new Chinese warning rated only slightly higher than the old warning. The picture warnings were consistently ranked or rated as most effective, with the text-only versions in the middle. Results were consistent across subject group, city and sex.
(1) Picture warnings are rated as much more effective than the same warnings without pictures. (2) The revised health warnings in China, introduced in October 2008, are only marginally more effective than the previous warning and far less effective than even text warnings from other countries. These results, coupled with population-based evaluation studies, suggest that pictorial warnings would significantly increase the impact of health warnings in China.
Health warnings; china; tobacco control; cigarette packaging; ITC Project; packaging and labelling; public policy
Due to language limitations, the abstract of journal article may be the only way for people of non-Chinese speaking countries to know about trials in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, little is known about the reporting quality of these trial abstracts. Our study is to assess the reporting quality of abstracts of randomized controlled trials (RCT) published in four leading Chinese medical journals of TCM, and to identify any differences in reporting between the Chinese and English version of the same abstract publication.
Two reviewers hand-searched the Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine, the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, the China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica and the Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion for all abstracts of RCTs published between 2006 and 2007. Two reviewers independently assessed the reporting quality of the Chinese and English version of all eligible abstracts based on a modified version of the CONSORT for reporting randomised trials in journal and conference abstracts (CONSORT for abstracts).
We identified a total of 345 RCTs of TCM with both a Chinese and English abstract. More than half of Chinese abstracts reported details of the trial participants (68%; 234/345), control group intervention (52%; 179/345), the number of participants randomized (73%; 253/345) and benefits when interpreting the trial results (55%; 190/345). Reporting of methodological quality or key features of trial design and trial results were poor; only 2% (7/345) included details of the trial design, 3% (11/345) defined the primary outcome, 5% (17/345) described the methods of random sequence generation, and only 4% (13/345) reported the number of participants analyzed. No abstracts provided details on allocation concealment and trial registration. The percentage agreement in reporting (between the Chinese and English version of the same abstract) ranged from 84% to 100% across individual checklist item.
The reporting quality of abstracts of RCTs published in these four TCM journals needs to be improved. Since none of the four journals adopted CONSORT for Abstracts, we hope that the introduction and adoption of CONSORT for Abstracts by TCM journals will lead to an improvement in reporting quality.
The ultimate goal of knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) activities is to facilitate incorporation of research knowledge into program and policy development decision making. Evidence-informed decision making involves translation of the best available evidence from a systematically collected, appraised, and analyzed body of knowledge. Knowledge management (KM) is emerging as a key factor contributing to the realization of evidence-informed public health decision making. The goal of health-evidence.ca is to promote evidence-informed public health decision making through facilitation of decision maker access to, retrieval, and use of the best available synthesized research evidence evaluating the effectiveness of public health interventions.
The systematic reviews that populate health evidence.ca are identified through an extensive search (1985-present) of 7 electronic databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, BIOSIS, and SportDiscus; handsearching of over 20 journals; and reference list searches of all relevant reviews. Reviews are assessed for relevance and quality by two independent reviewers. Commonly-used public health terms are used to assign key words to each review, and project staff members compose short summaries highlighting results and implications for policy and practice.
As of June 2010, there are 1913 reviews in the health-evidence.ca registry in 21 public health and health promotion topic areas. Of these, 78% have been assessed as being of strong or moderate methodological quality. Health-evidence.ca receives approximately 35,000 visits per year, 20,596 of which are unique visitors, representing approximately 100 visits per day. Just under half of all visitors return to the site, with the average user spending six minutes and visiting seven pages per visit. Public health nurses, program managers, health promotion workers, researchers, and program coordinators are among the largest groups of registered users, followed by librarians, dieticians, medical officers of health, and nutritionists. The majority of users (67%) access the website from direct traffic (e.g., have the health-evidence.ca webpage bookmarked, or type it directly into their browser).
Consistent use of health-evidence.ca and particularly the searching for reviews that correspond with current public health priorities illustrates that health-evidence.ca may be playing an important role in achieving evidence-informed public health decision making.
The effects of the built environment on walking in seniors have not been studied in an Asian context. To examine these effects, valid and reliable measures are needed. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire of perceived neighborhood characteristics related to walking appropriate for Chinese seniors (Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale for Chinese Seniors, NEWS-CS). It was based on the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale - Abbreviated (NEWS-A), a validated measure of perceived built environment developed in the USA for adults. A secondary study aim was to establish the generalizability of the NEWS-A to an Asian high-density urban context and a different age group.
A multidisciplinary panel of experts adapted the original NEWS-A to reflect the built environment of Hong Kong and needs of seniors. The translated instrument was pre-tested on a sample of 50 Chinese-speaking senior residents (65+ years). The final version of the NEWS-CS was interviewer-administered to 484 seniors residing in four selected Hong Kong districts varying in walkability and socio-economic status. Ninety-two participants completed the questionnaire on two separate occasions, 2-3 weeks apart. Test-rest reliability indices were estimated for each item and subscale of the NEWS-CS. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to develop the measurement model of the NEWS-CS and cross-validate that of the NEWS-A.
The final version of the NEWS-CS consisted of 14 subscales and four single items (76 items). Test-retest reliability was moderate to good (ICC > 50 or % agreement > 60) except for four items measuring distance to destinations. The originally-proposed measurement models of the NEWS-A and NEWS-CS required 2-3 theoretically-justifiable modifications to fit the data well.
The NEWS-CS possesses sufficient levels of reliability and factorial validity to be used for measuring perceived neighborhood environment in Chinese seniors. Further work is needed to assess its construct validity and generalizability to other Asian locations. In general, the measurement model of the original NEWS-A was generalizable to this study context, supporting the feasibility of cross-country and age-group comparisons of the effect of the neighborhood environment on walking using the NEWS-A as a tool to measure the perceived built environment.
Despite the identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV) in Rhinolophus Chinese horseshoe bats (SARSr-Rh-BatCoV) in China, the evolutionary and possible recombination origin of SARSr-CoV remains undetermined. We carried out the first study to investigate the migration pattern and SARSr-Rh-BatCoV genome epidemiology in Chinese horseshoe bats during a 4-year period. Of 1,401 Chinese horseshoe bats from Hong Kong and Guangdong, China, that were sampled, SARSr-Rh-BatCoV was detected in alimentary specimens from 130 (9.3%) bats, with peak activity during spring. A tagging exercise of 511 bats showed migration distances from 1.86 to 17 km. Bats carrying SARSr-Rh-BatCoV appeared healthy, with viral clearance occurring between 2 weeks and 4 months. However, lower body weights were observed in bats positive for SARSr-Rh-BatCoV, but not Rh-BatCoV HKU2. Complete genome sequencing of 10 SARSr-Rh-BatCoV strains showed frequent recombination between different strains. Moreover, recombination was detected between SARSr-Rh-BatCoV Rp3 from Guangxi, China, and Rf1 from Hubei, China, in the possible generation of civet SARSr-CoV SZ3, with a breakpoint at the nsp16/spike region. Molecular clock analysis showed that SARSr-CoVs were newly emerged viruses with the time of the most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) at 1972, which diverged between civet and bat strains in 1995. The present data suggest that SARSr-Rh-BatCoV causes acute, self-limiting infection in horseshoe bats, which serve as a reservoir for recombination between strains from different geographical locations within reachable foraging range. Civet SARSr-CoV is likely a recombinant virus arising from SARSr-CoV strains closely related to SARSr-Rh-BatCoV Rp3 and Rf1. Such frequent recombination, coupled with rapid evolution especially in ORF7b/ORF8 region, in these animals may have accounted for the cross-species transmission and emergence of SARS.