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1.  Design of the BRISC study: a multicentre controlled clinical trial to optimize the communication of breast cancer risks in genetic counselling 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:283.
Background
Understanding risks is considered to be crucial for informed decision-making. Inaccurate risk perception is a common finding in women with a family history of breast cancer attending genetic counseling. As yet, it is unclear how risks should best be communicated in clinical practice. This study protocol describes the design and methods of the BRISC (Breast cancer RISk Communication) study evaluating the effect of different formats of risk communication on the counsellee's risk perception, psychological well-being and decision-making regarding preventive options for breast cancer.
Methods and design
The BRISC study is designed as a pre-post-test controlled group intervention trial with repeated measurements using questionnaires. The intervention-an additional risk consultation-consists of one of 5 conditions that differ in the way counsellee's breast cancer risk is communicated: 1) lifetime risk in numerical format (natural frequencies, i.e. X out of 100), 2) lifetime risk in both numerical format and graphical format (population figures), 3) lifetime risk and age-related risk in numerical format, 4) lifetime risk and age-related risk in both numerical format and graphical format, and 5) lifetime risk in percentages. Condition 6 is the control condition in which no intervention is given (usual care). Participants are unaffected women with a family history of breast cancer attending one of three participating clinical genetic centres in the Netherlands.
Discussion
The BRISC study allows for an evaluation of the effects of different formats of communicating breast cancer risks to counsellees. The results can be used to optimize risk communication in order to improve informed decision-making among women with a family history of breast cancer. They may also be useful for risk communication in other health-related services.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN14566836.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-283
PMCID: PMC2576334  PMID: 18834503
2.  Social-Emotional Screening Status in Early Childhood Predicts Elementary School Outcomes 
Pediatrics  2008;121(5):957-962.
OBJECTIVE
The goal was to examine whether children who screen positive for social-emotional/behavioral problems at 12 to 36 months of age are at elevated risk for social-emotional/behavioral problems in early elementary school.
METHODS
The sample studied (N = 1004) comprised an ethnically (33.3% minority) and socioeconomically (17.8% living in poverty and 11.3% living in borderline poverty) diverse, healthy, birth cohort from a metropolitan region of the northeastern United States. When children were 12 to 36 months of age (mean age: 23.8 months; SD: 7.1 months), parents completed the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment and questions concerning their level of worry about their child’s behavior, emotions, and social development. When children were in early elementary school (mean age: 6.0 years; SD: 0.4 years), parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist and teachers completed the Teacher Report Form regarding behavioral problems. In a subsample (n = 389), parents reported child psychiatric status.
RESULTS
Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment screen status and parental worry were associated significantly with school-age symptoms and psychiatric disorders. In multivariate analyses that included Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment status and parental worry, Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment scores significantly predicted all school-age problems, whereas worry predicted only parent reports with the Child Behavior Checklist. Children with of-concern scores on the problem scale of the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment were at increased risk for parent-reported subclinical/clinical levels of problems and for psychiatric disorders. Low competence scores predicted later teacher-reported subclinical/clinical problems and parent-reported disorders. Worry predicted parent-reported subclinical/clinical problems. Moreover, the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment identified 49.0% of children who exhibited subclinical/clinical symptoms according to teachers and 67.9% of children who later met the criteria for a psychiatric disorder.
CONCLUSIONS
Screening with a standardized tool in early childhood has the potential to identify the majority of children who exhibit significant emotional/behavioral problems in early elementary school.
doi:10.1542/peds.2007-1948
PMCID: PMC3088107  PMID: 18450899
screening; medical home; behavioral problems; Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment; parental concern
3.  BRISC—An Open Source Pulmonary Nodule Image Retrieval Framework 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2007;20(Suppl 1):63-71.
We have created a content-based image retrieval framework for computed tomography images of pulmonary nodules. When presented with a nodule image, the system retrieves images of similar nodules from a collection prepared by the Lung Image Database Consortium (LIDC). The system (1) extracts images of individual nodules from the LIDC collection based on LIDC expert annotations, (2) stores the extracted data in a flat XML database, (3) calculates a set of quantitative descriptors for each nodule that provide a high-level characterization of its texture, and (4) uses various measures to determine the similarity of two nodules and perform queries on a selected query nodule. Using our framework, we compared three feature extraction methods: Haralick co-occurrence, Gabor filters, and Markov random fields. Gabor and Markov descriptors perform better at retrieving similar nodules than do Haralick co-occurrence techniques, with best retrieval precisions in excess of 88%. Because the software we have developed and the reference images are both open source and publicly available they may be incorporated into both commercial and academic imaging workstations and extended by others in their research.
doi:10.1007/s10278-007-9059-y
PMCID: PMC2039863  PMID: 17701069
Content-based image retrieval; open source; lung; computer-aided diagnosis (CAD); extensible markup language (XML); image database; software design; computed tomography; texture feature; nodule
4.  Balloon-Assisted Rapid Intermittent Sequential Coiling (BRISC) Technique for the Treatment of Complex Wide-Necked Intracranial Aneurysms 
Interventional Neuroradiology  2011;17(1):64-69.
Summary
We describe our experience with balloon-assisted rapid intermittent sequential coiling (BRISC) of complex wide-necked aneurysms as an alternative to stent-assisted coiling. We use this technique in patients with acutely ruptured aneurysms, where antithrombotic treatment prior to stent deployment may not be advisable, and where the vascular anatomy is unfavorable for stenting. This is a retrospective analysis of 11 wide-necked aneurysms treated with this technique from June 2008 to January 2010. Results were analyzed in terms of aneurysm occlusion, procedural complications like thromboembolism, dissection/vasospasm, groin hematoma and any recurrence on follow-up. Coiling was successfully attempted in all cases (100%). Immediate angiographic results showed complete occlusion (class 1) in 8/11, residual neck (class II) in 3/11 and no residual aneurysm (class III) Procedural complications were local thrombus formation in 3/11 procedures but no symptomatic thromboembolism, dissection in 1/11 and groin hematoma in 1/11. There was no morbidity or mortality. On follow-up study, there was one recurrence, which was subsequently coiled. In our opinion, this technique may provide an alternative to stent-assisted coiling in patients with ruptured aneurysm where antithrombotic treatment prior to stent deployment may not be advisable and in the presence of vascular anatomy unsuitable for stenting.
PMCID: PMC3278026  PMID: 21561560
balloon-assisted coiling, BRISC, complex wide-necked aneurysms
5.  A Novel BRISC-SHMT Complex Deubiquitinates IFNAR1 and Regulates Interferon Responses 
Cell reports  2013;5(1):10.1016/j.celrep.2013.08.025.
SUMMARY
Lysine63-linked ubiquitin (K63-Ub) chains represent a particular ubiquitin topology that mediates proteasome-independent signaling events. The deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB) BRCC36 segregates into distinct nuclear and cytoplasmic complexes that are specific for K63-Ub hydrolysis. RAP80 targets the five-member nuclear BRCC36 complex to K63-Ub chains at DNA double-strand breaks. The alternative four-member BRCC36 containing complex (BRISC) lacks a known targeting moiety. Here we identify Serine Hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) as a heretofore-unappreciated component that fulfills this function. SHMT directs BRISC activity at K63-Ub chains conjugated to the type 1 interferon (IFN) receptor chain 1 (IFNAR1). BRISC-SHMT2 complexes localize to and deubiquitinate actively engaged IFNAR1, thus limiting its K63-Ub mediated internalization and lysosomal degradation. BRISC deficient cells and mice exhibit attenuated responses to IFN and are protected from IFN-associated immunopathology. These studies reveal a novel mechanism of DUB regulation, and suggest a therapeutic use of BRISC inhibitors for treating pathophysiologic processes driven by elevated IFN responses.
doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2013.08.025
PMCID: PMC3813903  PMID: 24075985
6.  BRISC—An Open Source Pulmonary Nodule Image Retrieval Framework 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2007;20(Suppl 1):63-71.
We have created a content-based image retrieval framework for computed tomography images of pulmonary nodules. When presented with a nodule image, the system retrieves images of similar nodules from a collection prepared by the Lung Image Database Consortium (LIDC). The system (1) extracts images of individual nodules from the LIDC collection based on LIDC expert annotations, (2) stores the extracted data in a flat XML database, (3) calculates a set of quantitative descriptors for each nodule that provide a high-level characterization of its texture, and (4) uses various measures to determine the similarity of two nodules and perform queries on a selected query nodule. Using our framework, we compared three feature extraction methods: Haralick co-occurrence, Gabor filters, and Markov random fields. Gabor and Markov descriptors perform better at retrieving similar nodules than do Haralick co-occurrence techniques, with best retrieval precisions in excess of 88%. Because the software we have developed and the reference images are both open source and publicly available they may be incorporated into both commercial and academic imaging workstations and extended by others in their research.
doi:10.1007/s10278-007-9059-y
PMCID: PMC2039863  PMID: 17701069
Content-based image retrieval; open source; lung; computer-aided diagnosis (CAD); extensible markup language (XML); image database; software design; computed tomography; texture feature; nodule
7.  Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorders with the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97630.
Objective
Using parent-completed questionnaires in (preventive) child health care can facilitate the early detection of psychosocial problems and psychopathology, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A promising questionnaire for this purpose is the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (BITSEA). The screening accuracy with regard to ASD of the BITSEA Problem and Competence scales and a newly calculated Autism score were evaluated.
Method
Data, that was collected between April 2010 and April 2011, from a community sample of 2-year-olds (N = 3127), was combined with a sample of preschool children diagnosed with ASD (N = 159). For the total population and for subgroups by child's gender, area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve was examined, and across a range of BITSEA Problem, Competence and Autism scores, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative likelihood ratio's, diagnostic odds ratio and Youden's index were reported.
Results
The area under the ROC curve (95% confidence interval, [95%CI]) of the Problem scale was 0.90(0.87–0.92), of the Competence scale 0.93(0.91–0.95), and of the Autism score 0.95(0.93–0.97). For the total population, the screening accuracy of the Autism score was significantly better, compared to the Problem scale. The screening accuracy of the Competence scale was significantly better for girls (AUC = 0.97; 95%CI = 0.95–0.98) than for boys (AUC = 0.91; 95%CI = 0.88–0.94).
Conclusion
The results indicate that the BITSEA scales and newly calculated Autism score have good discriminative power to differentiate children with and without ASD. Therefore, the BITSEA may be helpful in the early detection of ASD, which could have beneficial effects on the child's development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097630
PMCID: PMC4031151  PMID: 24851868
8.  Main Report 
Genetics in Medicine  2006;8(Suppl 1):12S-252S.
Background:
States vary widely in their use of newborn screening tests, with some mandating screening for as few as three conditions and others mandating as many as 43 conditions, including varying numbers of the 40+ conditions that can be detected by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). There has been no national guidance on the best candidate conditions for newborn screening since the National Academy of Sciences report of 19751 and the United States Congress Office of Technology Assessment report of 1988,2 despite rapid developments since then in genetics, in screening technologies, and in some treatments.
Objectives:
In 2002, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) commissioned the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) to: Conduct an analysis of the scientific literature on the effectiveness of newborn screening.Gather expert opinion to delineate the best evidence for screening for specified conditions and develop recommendations focused on newborn screening, including but not limited to the development of a uniform condition panel.Consider other components of the newborn screening system that are critical to achieving the expected outcomes in those screened.
Methods:
A group of experts in various areas of subspecialty medicine and primary care, health policy, law, public health, and consumers worked with a steering committee and several expert work groups, using a two-tiered approach to assess and rank conditions. A first step was developing a set of principles to guide the analysis. This was followed by developing criteria by which conditions could be evaluated, and then identifying the conditions to be evaluated. A large and broadly representative group of experts was asked to provide their opinions on the extent to which particular conditions met the selected criteria, relying on supporting evidence and references from the scientific literature. The criteria were distributed among three main categories for each condition: The availability and characteristics of the screening test;The availability and complexity of diagnostic services; andThe availability and efficacy of treatments related to the conditions. A survey process utilizing a data collection instrument was used to gather expert opinion on the conditions in the first tier of the assessment. The data collection format and survey provided the opportunity to quantify expert opinion and to obtain the views of a diverse set of interest groups (necessary due to the subjective nature of some of the criteria). Statistical analysis of data produced a score for each condition, which determined its ranking and initial placement in one of three categories (high scoring, moderately scoring, or low scoring/absence of a newborn screening test). In the second tier of these analyses, the evidence base related to each condition was assessed in depth (e.g., via systematic reviews of reference lists including MedLine, PubMed and others; books; Internet searches; professional guidelines; clinical evidence; and cost/economic evidence and modeling). The fact sheets reflecting these analyses were evaluated by at least two acknowledged experts for each condition. These experts assessed the data and the associated references related to each criterion and provided corrections where appropriate, assigned a value to the level of evidence and the quality of the studies that established the evidence base, and determined whether there were significant variances from the survey data. Survey results were subsequently realigned with the evidence obtained from the scientific literature during the second-tier analysis for all objective criteria, based on input from at least three acknowledged experts in each condition. The information from these two tiers of assessment was then considered with regard to the overriding principles and other technology or condition-specific recommendations. On the basis of this information, conditions were assigned to one of three categories as described above:Core Panel;Secondary Targets (conditions that are part of the differential diagnosis of a core panel condition.); andNot Appropriate for Newborn Screening (either no newborn screening test is available or there is poor performance with regard to multiple other evaluation criteria).
ACMG also considered features of optimal newborn screening programs beyond the tests themselves by assessing the degree to which programs met certain goals (e.g., availability of educational programs, proportions of newborns screened and followed up). Assessments were based on the input of experts serving in various capacities in newborn screening programs and on 2002 data provided by the programs of the National Newborn Screening and Genetics Resource Center (NNSGRC). In addition, a brief cost-effectiveness assessment of newborn screening was conducted.
Results:
Uniform panel
A total of 292 individuals determined to be generally representative of the regional distribution of the United States population and of areas of expertise or involvement in newborn screening provided a total of 3,949 evaluations of 84 conditions. For each condition, the responses of at least three experts in that condition were compared with those of all respondents for that condition and found to be consistent. A score of 1,200 on the data collection instrument provided a logical separation point between high scoring conditions (1,200–1,799 of a possible 2,100) and low scoring (<1,000) conditions. A group of conditions with intermediate scores (1,000–1,199) was identified, all of which were part of the differential diagnosis of a high scoring condition or apparent in the result of the multiplex assay. Some are identified by screening laboratories and others by diagnostic laboratories. This group was designated as a “secondary target” category for which the program must report the diagnostic result.
Using the validated evidence base and expert opinion, each condition that had previously been assigned to a category based on scores gathered through the data collection instrument was reconsidered. Again, the factors taken into consideration were: 1) available scientific evidence; 2) availability of a screening test; 3) presence of an efficacious treatment; 4) adequate understanding of the natural history of the condition; and 5) whether the condition was either part of the differential diagnosis of another condition or whether the screening test results related to a clinically significant condition.
The conditions were then assigned to one of three categories as previously described (core panel, secondary targets, or not appropriate for Newborn Screening).
Among the 29 conditions assigned to the core panel are three hemoglobinopathies associated with a Hb/S allele, six amino acidurias, five disorders of fatty oxidation, nine organic acidurias, and six unrelated conditions (congenital hypothyroidism (CH), biotinidase deficiency (BIOT), congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), classical galactosemia (GALT), hearing loss (HEAR) and cystic fibrosis (CF)). Twenty-three of the 29 conditions in the core panel are identified with multiplex technologies such as tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) or high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). On the basis of the evidence, six of the 35 conditions initially placed in the core panel were moved into the secondary target category, which expanded to 25 conditions. Test results not associated with potential disease in the infant (e.g., carriers) were also placed in the secondary target category. When newborn screening laboratory results definitively establish carrier status, the result should be made available to the health care professional community and families. Twenty-seven conditions were determined to be inappropriate for newborn screening at this time.
Conditions with limited evidence reported in the scientific literature were more difficult to evaluate, quantify and place in one of the three categories. In addition, many conditions were found to occur in multiple forms distinguished by age-of-onset, severity, or other features. Further, unless a condition was already included in newborn screening programs, there was a potential for bias in the information related to some criteria. In such circumstances, the quality of the studies underlying the data such as expert opinion that considered case reports and reasoning from first principles determined the placement of the conditions into particular categories.
Newborn screening program optimization
– Assessment of the activities of newborn screening programs, based on program reports, was done for the six program components: education; screening; follow-up; diagnostic confirmation; management; and program evaluation. Considerable variation was found between programs with regard to whether particular aspects (e.g., prenatal education program availability, tracking of specimen collection and delivery) were included and the degree to which they are provided. Newborn screening program evaluation systems also were assessed in order to determine their adequacy and uniformity with the goal being to improve interprogram evaluation and comparison to ensure that the expected outcomes from having been identified in screening are realized.
Conclusions:
The state of the published evidence in the fast-moving worlds of newborn screening and medical genetics has not kept up with the implementation of new technologies, thus requiring the considerable use of expert opinion to develop recommendations about a core panel of conditions for newborn screening. Twenty-nine conditions were identified as primary targets for screening from which all components of the newborn screening system should be maximized. An additional 25 conditions were listed that could be identified in the course of screening for core panel conditions. Programs are obligated to establish a diagnosis and communicate the result to the health care provider and family. It is recognized that screening may not have been maximized for the detection of these secondary conditions but that some proportion of such cases may be found among those screened for core panel conditions. With additional screening, greater training of primary care health care professionals and subspecialists will be needed, as will the development of an infrastructure for appropriate follow-up and management throughout the lives of children who have been identified as having one of these rare conditions. Recommended actions to overcome barriers to an optimal newborn screening system include: The establishment of a national role in the scientific evaluation of conditions and the technologies by which they are screened;Standardization of case definitions and reporting procedures;Enhanced oversight of hospital-based screening activities;Long-term data collection and surveillance; andConsideration of the financial needs of programs to allow them to deliver the appropriate services to the screened population.
doi:10.1097/01.gim.0000223467.60151.02
PMCID: PMC3109899
9.  Validation of brief screening tools for depressive and alcohol use disorders among TB and HIV patients in primary care in Zambia 
BMC Psychiatry  2011;11:75.
Background
This study was conducted to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and determine the optimum cut-off scores for clinical use of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D) and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) against a reference psychiatric diagnostic interview, in TB and anti-retroviral therapy (ART) patients in primary care in Zambia.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study in 16 primary level care clinics. Consecutive sampling was used to select 649 participants who started TB treatment or ART in the preceding month. Participants were first interviewed using the CES-D and AUDIT, and subsequently with a psychiatric diagnostic interview for current major depressive disorder (MDD) and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). The diagnostic accuracy was calculated using the Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve (AUROC). The optimum cut-off scores for clinical use were calculated using sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV).
Results
The CES-D and AUDIT had high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.84; 0.98 respectively). Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the four-factor CES-D model was not a good fit for the data (Tucker-Lewis Fit Index (TLI) = 0.86; standardized root-mean square residual (SRMR) = 0.06) while the two-factor AUDIT model fitted the data well (TFI = 0.99; SRMR = 0.04). Both the CES-D and AUDIT demonstrated good discriminatory ability in detecting MINI-defined current MDDs and AUDs (AUROC for CES-D = 0.78; AUDIT = 0.98 for women and 0.75 for men). The optimum CES-D cut-off score in screening for current MDD was 22 (sensitivity 73%, PPV 76%) while that of the AUDIT in screening for AUD was 24 for women (sensitivity 60%, PPV 60%), and 20 for men (sensitivity 55%, PPV 50%).
Conclusions
The CES-D and AUDIT showed high discriminatory ability in measuring MINI-defined current MDD and AUD respectively. They are suitable mental health screening tools for use among TB and ART patients in primary care in Zambia.
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-11-75
PMCID: PMC3112078  PMID: 21542929
10.  A Risk Prediction Model for the Assessment and Triage of Women with Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy in Low-Resourced Settings: The miniPIERS (Pre-eclampsia Integrated Estimate of RiSk) Multi-country Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(1):e1001589.
Beth Payne and colleagues use a risk prediction model, the Pre-eclampsia Integrated Estimate of RiSk (miniPIERS) to help inform the clinical assessment and triage of women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in low-resourced settings.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Pre-eclampsia/eclampsia are leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity, particularly in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). We developed the miniPIERS risk prediction model to provide a simple, evidence-based tool to identify pregnant women in LMICs at increased risk of death or major hypertensive-related complications.
Methods and Findings
From 1 July 2008 to 31 March 2012, in five LMICs, data were collected prospectively on 2,081 women with any hypertensive disorder of pregnancy admitted to a participating centre. Candidate predictors collected within 24 hours of admission were entered into a step-wise backward elimination logistic regression model to predict a composite adverse maternal outcome within 48 hours of admission. Model internal validation was accomplished by bootstrapping and external validation was completed using data from 1,300 women in the Pre-eclampsia Integrated Estimate of RiSk (fullPIERS) dataset. Predictive performance was assessed for calibration, discrimination, and stratification capacity. The final miniPIERS model included: parity (nulliparous versus multiparous); gestational age on admission; headache/visual disturbances; chest pain/dyspnoea; vaginal bleeding with abdominal pain; systolic blood pressure; and dipstick proteinuria. The miniPIERS model was well-calibrated and had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC ROC) of 0.768 (95% CI 0.735–0.801) with an average optimism of 0.037. External validation AUC ROC was 0.713 (95% CI 0.658–0.768). A predicted probability ≥25% to define a positive test classified women with 85.5% accuracy. Limitations of this study include the composite outcome and the broad inclusion criteria of any hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. This broad approach was used to optimize model generalizability.
Conclusions
The miniPIERS model shows reasonable ability to identify women at increased risk of adverse maternal outcomes associated with the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. It could be used in LMICs to identify women who would benefit most from interventions such as magnesium sulphate, antihypertensives, or transportation to a higher level of care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Each year, ten million women develop pre-eclampsia or a related hypertensive (high blood pressure) disorder of pregnancy and 76,000 women die as a result. Globally, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy cause around 12% of maternal deaths—deaths of women during or shortly after pregnancy. The mildest of these disorders is gestational hypertension, high blood pressure that develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational hypertension does not usually harm the mother or her unborn child and resolves after delivery but up to a quarter of women with this condition develop pre-eclampsia, a combination of hypertension and protein in the urine (proteinuria). Women with mild pre-eclampsia may not have any symptoms—the condition is detected during antenatal checks—but more severe pre-eclampsia can cause headaches, blurred vision, and other symptoms, and can lead to eclampsia (fits), multiple organ failure, and death of the mother and/or her baby. The only “cure” for pre-eclampsia is to deliver the baby as soon as possible but women are sometimes given antihypertensive drugs to lower their blood pressure or magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures.
Why Was This Study Done?
Women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are more likely to develop complications of pre-eclampsia than women in high-income countries and most of the deaths associated with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy occur in LMICs. The high burden of illness and death in LMICs is thought to be primarily due to delays in triage (the identification of women who are or may become severely ill and who need specialist care) and delays in transporting these women to facilities where they can receive appropriate care. Because there is a shortage of health care workers who are adequately trained in the triage of suspected cases of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in many LMICs, one way to improve the situation might be to design a simple tool to identify women at increased risk of complications or death from hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Here, the researchers develop miniPIERS (Pre-eclampsia Integrated Estimate of RiSk), a clinical risk prediction model for adverse outcomes among women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy suitable for use in community and primary health care facilities in LMICs.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used data on candidate predictors of outcome that are easy to collect and/or measure in all health care settings and that are associated with pre-eclampsia from women admitted with any hypertensive disorder of pregnancy to participating centers in five LMICs to build a model to predict death or a serious complication such as organ damage within 48 hours of admission. The miniPIERS model included parity (whether the woman had been pregnant before), gestational age (length of pregnancy), headache/visual disturbances, chest pain/shortness of breath, vaginal bleeding with abdominal pain, systolic blood pressure, and proteinuria detected using a dipstick. The model was well-calibrated (the predicted risk of adverse outcomes agreed with the observed risk of adverse outcomes among the study participants), it had a good discriminatory ability (it could separate women who had a an adverse outcome from those who did not), and it designated women as being at high risk (25% or greater probability of an adverse outcome) with an accuracy of 85.5%. Importantly, external validation using data collected in fullPIERS, a study that developed a more complex clinical prediction model based on data from women attending tertiary hospitals in high-income countries, confirmed the predictive performance of miniPIERS.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the miniPIERS model performs reasonably well as a tool to identify women at increased risk of adverse maternal outcomes associated with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Because miniPIERS only includes simple-to-measure personal characteristics, symptoms, and signs, it could potentially be used in resource-constrained settings to identify the women who would benefit most from interventions such as transportation to a higher level of care. However, further external validation of miniPIERS is needed using data collected from women living in LMICs before the model can be used during routine antenatal care. Moreover, the value of miniPIERS needs to be confirmed in implementation projects that examine whether its potential translates into clinical improvements. For now, though, the model could provide the basis for an education program to increase the knowledge of women, families, and community health care workers in LMICs about the signs and symptoms of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001589.
The World Health Organization provides guidelines for the management of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in low-resourced settings
The Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program provides information on pre-eclampsia and eclampsia targeted to low-resourced settings along with a tool-kit for LMIC providers
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides information about high blood pressure in pregnancy and a guide to lowering blood pressure in pregnancy
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about pre-eclampsia
The US not-for profit organization Preeclampsia Foundation provides information about all aspects of pre-eclampsia; its website includes some personal stories
The UK charity Healthtalkonline also provides personal stories about hypertensive disorders of pregnancy
MedlinePlus provides links to further information about high blood pressure and pregnancy (in English and Spanish); the MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has a video about pre-eclampsia (also in English and Spanish)
More information about miniPIERS and about fullPIERS is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001589
PMCID: PMC3897359  PMID: 24465185
11.  The strengths and difficulties questionnaire as a screening instrument for norwegian child and adolescent mental health services, application of UK scoring algorithms 
Background
The use of screening instruments can reduce waiting lists and increase treatment capacity. The aim of this study was to examine the usefulness of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) with the original UK scoring algorithms, when used as a screening instrument to detect mental health disorders among patients in the Norwegian Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) North Study.
Methods
A total of 286 outpatients, aged 5 to 18 years, from the CAMHS North Study were assigned diagnoses based on a Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). The main diagnostic groups (emotional, hyperactivity, conduct and other disorders) were then compared to the SDQ scoring algorithms using two dichotomisation levels: 'possible' and 'probable' levels. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and diagnostic odds ratio (ORD) were calculated.
Results
Sensitivity for the diagnostic categories included was 0.47-0.85 ('probable' dichotomisation level) and 0.81-1.00 ('possible' dichotomisation level). Specificity was 0.52-0.87 ('probable' level) and 0.24-0.58 ('possible' level). The discriminative ability, as measured by ORD, was in the interval for potentially useful tests for hyperactivity disorders and conduct disorders when dichotomised on the 'possible' level.
Conclusions
The usefulness of the SDQ UK-based scoring algorithms in detecting mental health disorders among patients in the CAMHS North Study is only partly supported in the present study. They seem best suited to identify children and adolescents who do not require further psychiatric evaluation, although this as well is problematic from a clinical point of view.
doi:10.1186/1753-2000-5-32
PMCID: PMC3207884  PMID: 21992589
12.  Positive interpretation bias predicts well-being in medical interns 
Cognitive theories of emotion posit that affective responses may be shaped by how individuals interpret emotion-eliciting situations. This study tested whether individual differences in interpretation bias (i.e., interpreting ambiguous scenarios in a more negative or positive manner) independently predict trait resilience and depression in medical interns. Interpretation bias and trait resilience scores were assessed in 47 interns prior to their first internship. Depressive symptoms were assessed twice during internship. Nearly half of the sample (42%) scored above the cut-off for mild depressive symptoms during internship, a significant rise compared to the initial assessment. Those with a more positive interpretation bias had higher trait resilience (β = 0.44, p = 0.004) and a 6-fold decreased depressive symptom risk during internship (OR = 6.41, p = 0.027). The predictive power of a positive interpretation bias for decreased depression symptoms held over and above initial depressive symptoms, demographics and trait reappraisal. Assessing positive interpretation bias may have practical utility for predicting future well-being in at risk-populations.
doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00640
PMCID: PMC4067546  PMID: 25009521
depression; stress; resilience; cognitive predictors; interpretation bias
13.  Emotion regulation in patients with rheumatic diseases: validity and responsiveness of the Emotional Approach Coping Scale (EAC) 
Background
Chronic rheumatic diseases are painful conditions which are not entirely controllable and can place high emotional demands on individuals. Increasing evidence has shown that emotion regulation in terms of actively processing and expressing disease-related emotions are likely to promote positive adjustment in patients with chronic diseases. The Emotional Approach Coping Scale (EAC) measures active attempts to acknowledge, understand, and express emotions. Although tested in other clinical samples, the EAC has not been validated for patients with rheumatic diseases. This study evaluated the data quality, internal consistency reliability, validity and responsiveness of the Norwegian version of the EAC for this group of patients.
Methods
220 patients with different rheumatic diseases were included in a cross-sectional study in which data quality and internal consistency were assessed. Construct validity was assessed through comparisons with the Brief Approach/Avoidance Coping Questionnaire (BACQ) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-20). Responsiveness was tested in a longitudinal pretest-posttest study of two different coping interventions, the Vitality Training Program (VTP) and a Self-Management Program (SMP).
Results
The EAC had low levels of missing data. Results from principal component analysis supported two subscales, Emotional Expression and Emotional Processing, which had high Cronbach's alphas of 0.90 and 0.92, respectively. The EAC had correlations with approach-oriented items in the BACQ in the range 0.17-0.50. The EAC Expression scale had a significant negative correlation with the GHQ-20 of -0.13. As hypothesized, participation in the VTP significantly improved EAC scores, indicating responsiveness to change.
Conclusion
The EAC is an acceptable and valid instrument for measuring emotional processing and expression in patients with rheumatic diseases. The EAC scales were responsive to change in an intervention designed to promote emotion regulation. The instrument has not yet been tested for test-retest reliability, which is recommended in future studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-10-107
PMCID: PMC2749806  PMID: 19728869
14.  Clinical Utility of Serologic Testing for Celiac Disease in Ontario 
Executive Summary
Objective of Analysis
The objective of this evidence-based evaluation is to assess the accuracy of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease in subjects with symptoms consistent with this disease. Furthermore the impact of these tests in the diagnostic pathway of the disease and decision making was also evaluated.
Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that develops in genetically predisposed individuals. The immunological response is triggered by ingestion of gluten, a protein that is present in wheat, rye, and barley. The treatment consists of strict lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD).
Patients with celiac disease may present with a myriad of symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, iron deficiency anemia, dermatitis herpetiformis, among others.
Serologic Testing in the Diagnosis Celiac Disease
There are a number of serologic tests used in the diagnosis of celiac disease.
Anti-gliadin antibody (AGA)
Anti-endomysial antibody (EMA)
Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG)
Anti-deamidated gliadin peptides antibodies (DGP)
Serologic tests are automated with the exception of the EMA test, which is more time-consuming and operator-dependent than the other tests. For each serologic test, both immunoglobulin A (IgA) or G (IgG) can be measured, however, IgA measurement is the standard antibody measured in celiac disease.
Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
According to celiac disease guidelines, the diagnosis of celiac disease is established by small bowel biopsy. Serologic tests are used to initially detect and to support the diagnosis of celiac disease. A small bowel biopsy is indicated in individuals with a positive serologic test. In some cases an endoscopy and small bowel biopsy may be required even with a negative serologic test. The diagnosis of celiac disease must be performed on a gluten-containing diet since the small intestine abnormalities and the serologic antibody levels may resolve or improve on a GFD.
Since IgA measurement is the standard for the serologic celiac disease tests, false negatives may occur in IgA-deficient individuals.
Incidence and Prevalence of Celiac Disease
The incidence and prevalence of celiac disease in the general population and in subjects with symptoms consistent with or at higher risk of celiac disease based on systematic reviews published in 2004 and 2009 are summarized below.
Incidence of Celiac Disease in the General Population
Adults or mixed population: 1 to 17/100,000/year
Children: 2 to 51/100,000/year
In one of the studies, a stratified analysis showed that there was a higher incidence of celiac disease in younger children compared to older children, i.e., 51 cases/100,000/year in 0 to 2 year-olds, 33/100,000/year in 2 to 5 year-olds, and 10/100,000/year in children 5 to 15 years old.
Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the General Population
The prevalence of celiac disease reported in population-based studies identified in the 2004 systematic review varied between 0.14% and 1.87% (median: 0.47%, interquartile range: 0.25%, 0.71%). According to the authors of the review, the prevalence did not vary by age group, i.e., adults and children.
Prevalence of Celiac Disease in High Risk Subjects
Type 1 diabetes (adults and children): 1 to 11%
Autoimmune thyroid disease: 2.9 to 3.3%
First degree relatives of patients with celiac disease: 2 to 20%
Prevalence of Celiac Disease in Subjects with Symptoms Consistent with the Disease
The prevalence of celiac disease in subjects with symptoms consistent with the disease varied widely among studies, i.e., 1.5% to 50% in adult studies, and 1.1% to 17% in pediatric studies. Differences in prevalence may be related to the referral pattern as the authors of a systematic review noted that the prevalence tended to be higher in studies whose population originated from tertiary referral centres compared to general practice.
Research Questions
What is the sensitivity and specificity of serologic tests in the diagnosis celiac disease?
What is the clinical validity of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease? The clinical validity was defined as the ability of the test to change diagnosis.
What is the clinical utility of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease? The clinical utility was defined as the impact of the test on decision making.
What is the budget impact of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease?
What is the cost-effectiveness of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease?
Methods
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on November 13th, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1st 2003 and November 13th 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist, then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Studies that evaluated diagnostic accuracy, i.e., both sensitivity and specificity of serology tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease.
Study population consisted of untreated patients with symptoms consistent with celiac disease.
Studies in which both serologic celiac disease tests and small bowel biopsy (gold standard) were used in all subjects.
Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, prospective observational studies, and retrospective cohort studies.
At least 20 subjects included in the celiac disease group.
English language.
Human studies.
Studies published from 2000 on.
Clearly defined cut-off value for the serology test. If more than one test was evaluated, only those tests for which a cut-off was provided were included.
Description of small bowel biopsy procedure clearly outlined (location, number of biopsies per patient), unless if specified that celiac disease diagnosis guidelines were followed.
Patients in the treatment group had untreated CD.
Studies on screening of the general asymptomatic population.
Studies that evaluated rapid diagnostic kits for use either at home or in physician’s offices.
Studies that evaluated diagnostic modalities other than serologic tests such as capsule endoscopy, push enteroscopy, or genetic testing.
Cut-off for serologic tests defined based on controls included in the study.
Study population defined based on positive serology or subjects pre-screened by serology tests.
Celiac disease status known before study enrolment.
Sensitivity or specificity estimates based on repeated testing for the same subject.
Non-peer-reviewed literature such as editorials and letters to the editor.
Population
The population consisted of adults and children with untreated, undiagnosed celiac disease with symptoms consistent with the disease.
Serologic Celiac Disease Tests Evaluated
Anti-gliadin antibody (AGA)
Anti-endomysial antibody (EMA)
Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG)
Anti-deamidated gliadin peptides antibody (DGP)
Combinations of some of the serologic tests listed above were evaluated in some studies
Both IgA and IgG antibodies were evaluated for the serologic tests listed above.
Outcomes of Interest
Sensitivity
Specificity
Positive and negative likelihood ratios
Diagnostic odds ratio (OR)
Area under the sROC curve (AUC)
Small bowel biopsy was used as the gold standard in order to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of each serologic test.
Statistical Analysis
Pooled estimates of sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic odds ratios (DORs) for the different serologic tests were calculated using a bivariate, binomial generalized linear mixed model. Statistical significance for differences in sensitivity and specificity between serologic tests was defined by P values less than 0.05, where “false discovery rate” adjustments were made for multiple hypothesis testing. The bivariate regression analyses were performed using SAS version 9.2 (SAS Institute Inc.; Cary, NC, USA). Using the bivariate model parameters, summary receiver operating characteristic (sROC) curves were produced using Review Manager 5.0.22 (The Nordiac Cochrane Centre, The Cochrane Collaboration, 2008). The area under the sROC curve (AUC) was estimated by bivariate mixed-efects binary regression modeling framework. Model specification, estimation and prediction are carried out with xtmelogit in Stata release 10 (Statacorp, 2007). Statistical tests for the differences in AUC estimates could not be carried out.
The study results were stratified according to patient or disease characteristics such as age, severity of Marsh grade abnormalities, among others, if reported in the studies. The literature indicates that the diagnostic accuracy of serologic tests for celiac disease may be affected in patients with chronic liver disease, therefore, the studies identified through the systematic literature review that evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of serologic tests for celiac disease in patients with chronic liver disease were summarized. The effect of the GFD in patiens diagnosed with celiac disease was also summarized if reported in the studies eligible for the analysis.
Summary of Findings
Published Systematic Reviews
Five systematic reviews of studies that evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of serologic celiac disease tests were identified through our literature search. Seventeen individual studies identified in adults and children were eligible for this evaluation.
In general, the studies included evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of at least one serologic test in subjects with symptoms consistent with celiac disease. The gold standard used to confirm the celiac disease diagnosis was small bowel biopsy. Serologic tests evaluated included tTG, EMA, AGA, and DGP, using either IgA or IgG antibodies. Indirect immunoflurorescence was used for the EMA serologic tests whereas enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used for the other serologic tests.
Common symptoms described in the studies were chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, unexplained weight loss, unexplained anemia, and dermatitis herpetiformis.
The main conclusions of the published systematic reviews are summarized below.
IgA tTG and/or IgA EMA have a high accuracy (pooled sensitivity: 90% to 98%, pooled specificity: 95% to 99% depending on the pooled analysis).
Most reviews found that AGA (IgA or IgG) are not as accurate as IgA tTG and/or EMA tests.
A 2009 systematic review concluded that DGP (IgA or IgG) seems to have a similar accuracy compared to tTG, however, since only 2 studies identified evaluated its accuracy, the authors believe that additional data is required to draw firm conclusions.
Two systematic reviews also concluded that combining two serologic celiac disease tests has little contribution to the accuracy of the diagnosis.
MAS Analysis
Sensitivity
The pooled analysis performed by MAS showed that IgA tTG has a sensitivity of 92.1% [95% confidence interval (CI) 88.0, 96.3], compared to 89.2% (83.3, 95.1, p=0.12) for IgA DGP, 85.1% (79.5, 94.4, p=0.07) for IgA EMA, and 74.9% (63.6, 86.2, p=0.0003) for IgA AGA. Among the IgG-based tests, the results suggest that IgG DGP has a sensitivity of 88.4% (95% CI: 82.1, 94.6), 44.7% (30.3, 59.2) for tTG, and 69.1% (56.0, 82.2) for AGA. The difference was significant when IgG DGP was compared to IgG tTG but not IgG AGA. Combining serologic celiac disease tests yielded a slightly higher sensitivity compared to individual IgA-based serologic tests.
IgA deficiency
The prevalence of total or severe IgA deficiency was low in the studies identified varying between 0 and 1.7% as reported in 3 studies in which IgA deficiency was not used as a referral indication for celiac disease serologic testing. The results of IgG-based serologic tests were positive in all patients with IgA deficiency in which celiac disease was confirmed by small bowel biopsy as reported in four studies.
Specificity
The MAS pooled analysis indicates a high specificity across the different serologic tests including the combination strategy, pooled estimates ranged from 90.1% to 98.7% depending on the test.
Likelihood Ratios
According to the likelihood ratio estimates, both IgA tTG and serologic test combinationa were considered very useful tests (positive likelihood ratio above ten and the negative likelihood ratio below 0.1).
Moderately useful tests included IgA EMA, IgA DGP, and IgG DGP (positive likelihood ratio between five and ten and the negative likelihood ratio between 0.1 and 0.2).
Somewhat useful tests: IgA AGA, IgG AGA, generating small but sometimes important changes from pre- to post-test probability (positive LR between 2 and 5 and negative LR between 0.2 and 0.5)
Not Useful: IgG tTG, altering pre- to post-test probability to a small and rarely important degree (positive LR between 1 and 2 and negative LR between 0.5 and 1).
Diagnostic Odds Ratios (DOR)
Among the individual serologic tests, IgA tTG had the highest DOR, 136.5 (95% CI: 51.9, 221.2). The statistical significance of the difference in DORs among tests was not calculated, however, considering the wide confidence intervals obtained, the differences may not be statistically significant.
Area Under the sROC Curve (AUC)
The sROC AUCs obtained ranged between 0.93 and 0.99 for most IgA-based tests with the exception of IgA AGA, with an AUC of 0.89.
Sensitivity and Specificity of Serologic Tests According to Age Groups
Serologic test accuracy did not seem to vary according to age (adults or children).
Sensitivity and Specificity of Serologic Tests According to Marsh Criteria
Four studies observed a trend towards a higher sensitivity of serologic celiac disease tests when Marsh 3c grade abnormalities were found in the small bowel biopsy compared to Marsh 3a or 3b (statistical significance not reported). The sensitivity of serologic tests was much lower when Marsh 1 grade abnormalities were found in small bowel biopsy compared to Marsh 3 grade abnormalities. The statistical significance of these findings were not reported in the studies.
Diagnostic Accuracy of Serologic Celiac Disease Tests in Subjects with Chronic Liver Disease
A total of 14 observational studies that evaluated the specificity of serologic celiac disease tests in subjects with chronic liver disease were identified. All studies evaluated the frequency of false positive results (1-specificity) of IgA tTG, however, IgA tTG test kits using different substrates were used, i.e., human recombinant, human, and guinea-pig substrates. The gold standard, small bowel biopsy, was used to confirm the result of the serologic tests in only 5 studies. The studies do not seem to have been designed or powered to compare the diagnostic accuracy among different serologic celiac disease tests.
The results of the studies identified in the systematic literature review suggest that there is a trend towards a lower frequency of false positive results if the IgA tTG test using human recombinant substrate is used compared to the guinea pig substrate in subjects with chronic liver disease. However, the statistical significance of the difference was not reported in the studies. When IgA tTG with human recombinant substrate was used, the number of false positives seems to be similar to what was estimated in the MAS pooled analysis for IgA-based serologic tests in a general population of patients. These results should be interpreted with caution since most studies did not use the gold standard, small bowel biopsy, to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of celiac disease, and since the studies were not designed to compare the diagnostic accuracy among different serologic tests. The sensitivity of the different serologic tests in patients with chronic liver disease was not evaluated in the studies identified.
Effects of a Gluten-Free Diet (GFD) in Patients Diagnosed with Celiac Disease
Six studies identified evaluated the effects of GFD on clinical, histological, or serologic improvement in patients diagnosed with celiac disease. Improvement was observed in 51% to 95% of the patients included in the studies.
Grading of Evidence
Overall, the quality of the evidence ranged from moderate to very low depending on the serologic celiac disease test. Reasons to downgrade the quality of the evidence included the use of a surrogate endpoint (diagnostic accuracy) since none of the studies evaluated clinical outcomes, inconsistencies among study results, imprecise estimates, and sparse data. The quality of the evidence was considered moderate for IgA tTg and IgA EMA, low for IgA DGP, and serologic test combinations, and very low for IgA AGA.
Clinical Validity and Clinical Utility of Serologic Testing in the Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
The clinical validity of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease was considered high in subjects with symptoms consistent with this disease due to
High accuracy of some serologic tests.
Serologic tests detect possible celiac disease cases and avoid unnecessary small bowel biopsy if the test result is negative, unless an endoscopy/ small bowel biopsy is necessary due to the clinical presentation.
Serologic tests support the results of small bowel biopsy.
The clinical utility of serologic tests for the diagnosis of celiac disease, as defined by its impact in decision making was also considered high in subjects with symptoms consistent with this disease given the considerations listed above and since celiac disease diagnosis leads to treatment with a gluten-free diet.
Economic Analysis
A decision analysis was constructed to compare costs and outcomes between the tests based on the sensitivity, specificity and prevalence summary estimates from the MAS Evidence-Based Analysis (EBA). A budget impact was then calculated by multiplying the expected costs and volumes in Ontario. The outcome of the analysis was expected costs and false negatives (FN). Costs were reported in 2010 CAD$. All analyses were performed using TreeAge Pro Suite 2009.
Four strategies made up the efficiency frontier; IgG tTG, IgA tTG, EMA and small bowel biopsy. All other strategies were dominated. IgG tTG was the least costly and least effective strategy ($178.95, FN avoided=0). Small bowel biopsy was the most costly and most effective strategy ($396.60, FN avoided =0.1553). The cost per FN avoided were $293, $369, $1,401 for EMA, IgATTG and small bowel biopsy respectively. One-way sensitivity analyses did not change the ranking of strategies.
All testing strategies with small bowel biopsy are cheaper than biopsy alone however they also result in more FNs. The most cost-effective strategy will depend on the decision makers’ willingness to pay. Findings suggest that IgA tTG was the most cost-effective and feasible strategy based on its Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio (ICER) and convenience to conduct the test. The potential impact of IgA tTG test in the province of Ontario would be $10.4M, $11.0M and $11.7M respectively in the following three years based on past volumes and trends in the province and basecase expected costs.
The panel of tests is the commonly used strategy in the province of Ontario therefore the impact to the system would be $13.6M, $14.5M and $15.3M respectively in the next three years based on past volumes and trends in the province and basecase expected costs.
Conclusions
The clinical validity and clinical utility of serologic tests for celiac disease was considered high in subjects with symptoms consistent with this disease as they aid in the diagnosis of celiac disease and some tests present a high accuracy.
The study findings suggest that IgA tTG is the most accurate and the most cost-effective test.
AGA test (IgA) has a lower accuracy compared to other IgA-based tests
Serologic test combinations appear to be more costly with little gain in accuracy. In addition there may be problems with generalizability of the results of the studies included in this review if different test combinations are used in clinical practice.
IgA deficiency seems to be uncommon in patients diagnosed with celiac disease.
The generalizability of study results is contingent on performing both the serologic test and small bowel biopsy in subjects on a gluten-containing diet as was the case in the studies identified, since the avoidance of gluten may affect test results.
PMCID: PMC3377499  PMID: 23074399
15.  Treatment Outcomes with Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate in Children Who Have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder with Emotional Control Impairments 
Abstract
Objective
The purpose of this study was to assess lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX) treatment effects based on baseline emotional control dysfunction in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) categorized with or without impairments of executive function (EF) emotional control.
Methods
Post-hoc analyses of a 7 week, open-label LDX study in children with ADHD (American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., Text Revision [DSM-IV-TR] defined) and impairments in EF control of emotional response. At baseline, participants were dichotomized by Behavior Rating Inventory of EF (BRIEF) emotional control domain T-scores of ≥65 (with impairment) or <65 (without impairment). ADHD Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-RS-IV), BRIEF Global Executive Composite and emotional control domain, Expression and Emotion Scale for Children (EESC) scores, Pearson correlations for BRIEF versus ADHD-RS-IV and EESC, and Clinical Global Impressions scores were assessed at baseline and end of study (week 7)/early termination (EOS/ET) by baseline category of BRIEF emotional control impairment. Safety assessments included treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs).
Results
At baseline and EOS/ET, respectively, 53.0% and 20.7% met criteria for emotional control impairment. Participants with and without emotional control impairments had similar ADHD-RS-IV change scores. Mean (SD) change from baseline for those with and without emotional control impairments were −20.8 (12.89) and −14.6 (11.25) for BRIEF global scores and −16.0 (13.19) and −5.0 (9.48) for BRIEF emotional control domain scores. Participants with emotional control impairments had greater mean EESC total score changes. BRIEF emotional control domain and all ADHD-RS-IV scores indicated moderate correlations between change scores (all p<0.0001). Overall, 84.9% of participants had TEAEs (mostly mild-to-moderate in severity); 3.8% discontinued because of TEAEs.
Conclusions
The proportion of children with behavioral impairments in EF control of emotional response decreased during LDX treatment. ADHD symptoms improved in both groups. The moderate correlations between EF behaviors and ADHD symptoms suggest there may be utility in evaluating behavioral domains beyond core ADHD symptoms.
doi:10.1089/cap.2012.0104
PMCID: PMC3749705  PMID: 23952185
16.  Brief screening for co-occurring disorders among women entering substance abuse treatment 
Background
Despite the importance of identifying co-occurring psychiatric disorders in substance abuse treatment programs, there are few appropriate and validated instruments available to substance abuse treatment staff to conduct brief screen for these conditions. This paper describes the development, implementation and validation of a brief screening instrument for mental health diagnoses and trauma among a diverse sample of Black, Hispanic and White women in substance abuse treatment. With input from clinicians and consumers, we adapted longer existing validated instruments into a 14 question screen covering demographics, mental health symptoms and physical and sexual violence exposure. All women entering treatment (methadone, residential and out-patient) at five treatment sites were screened at intake (N = 374).
Results
Eighty nine percent reported a history of interpersonal violence, and 70% reported a history of sexual assault. Eighty-eight percent reported mental health symptoms in the last 30 days. The screening questions administered to 88 female clients were validated against in-depth psychiatric diagnostic assessments by trained mental health clinicians. We estimated measures of predictive validity, including sensitivity, specificity and predictive values positive and negative. Screening items were examined multiple ways to assess utility. The screen is a useful and valid proxy for PTSD but not for other mental illness.
Conclusion
Substance abuse treatment programs should incorporate violence exposure questions into clinical use as a matter of policy. More work is needed to develop brief screening tools measures for front-line treatment staff to accurately assess other mental health needs of women entering substance abuse treatment
doi:10.1186/1747-597X-1-26
PMCID: PMC1570455  PMID: 16959041
17.  Screening Accuracy and Clinical Application of the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (BITSEA) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72602.
Background
The Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (BITSEA) is a promising questionnaire for the early detection of psychosocial problems in toddlers. The screening accuracy and clinical application were evaluated.
Methods
In a community sample of 2-year-olds (N = 2060), screening accuracy of the BITSEA Problem scale was examined regarding a clinical CBCL1.5-5 Total Problem score. For the total population and subgroups by child’s gender and ethnicity Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves were calculated, and across a range of BITSEA Problem scores, sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratio’s, diagnostic odds ratio and Youden’s index. Clinical application of the BITSEA was examined by evaluating the relation between the scale scores and the clinical decision of the child health professional.
Results
The area under the ROC curve (95% confidence interval) of the Problem scale was 0.97(0.95–0.98), there were no significant differences between subgroups. The association between clinical decision and BITSEA Problem score (B = 2.5) and Competence score (B = −0.7) was significant (p<0.05).
Conclusions
The results indicate that the BITSEA Problem scale has good discriminative power to differentiate children with and without psychosocial problems. Referred children had less favourable scores compared to children that were not referred. The BITSEA may be helpful in the early detection of psychosocial problems.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072602
PMCID: PMC3758314  PMID: 24023626
18.  Is Female Sexual Dysfunction Related to Personality and Coping? An Exploratory Study 
Sexual Medicine  2013;1(2):69-75.
Introduction
Sexual disorders impact up to 43% of women. However, the relationship between sexual dysfunction and psychological variables such as personality traits and coping mechanisms is not well understood.
Aim
To examine personality domains and coping strategies utilized by women with sexual dysfunction in a clinical sample.
Methods
Patients seeking care for female sexual dysfunction (FSD) from a sexual medicine specialist were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. Packets containing informed consent, Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised (FSDS-R), Ten Item Personality Index (TIPI), and Brief COPE were mailed to subjects.
Main Outcome Measures
Correlations among FSFI, FSDS-R, TIPI, and Brief COPE.
Results
Of 79 eligible subjects, 50 (63.2%) returned completed questionnaires. The mean age was 40 years (standard deviation 14). Total FSFI and FSDS-R scores confirmed FSD. Correlations between the FSFI and TIPI illustrated trends with the domain of extraversion, suggesting better function in those exhibiting more of this trait (r = 0.285, P = 0.079). Similarly, FSDS-R scores correlated with openness to experience (r = −0.305, P = 0.037) and approached significance for extraversion (r = −0.258, P = 0.080), indicating lower distress in such personality types. When assessing the Brief COPE, use of emotional support, a positive coping strategy, correlated with better orgasm (r = 0.303, P = 0.048) and higher satisfaction (r = 0.331, P = 0.03). Finally, when evaluating TIPI with COPE scores, several significant associations were noted, establishing that personality may influence these adaptive behaviors.
Conclusion
Many notable relationships between sexual function, personality, and coping are presented. These support a role for consideration of psychological variables when evaluating women presenting for sexual dysfunction. Crisp CC, Vaccaro CM, Pancholy A, Kleeman S, Fellner AN, and Pauls R. Is female sexual dysfunction related to personality and coping? An exploratory study. Sex Med 2013;1:69–75.
doi:10.1002/sm2.16
PMCID: PMC4184500  PMID: 25356290
Coping Mechanisms; Personality; Psychology; Sexual Dysfunction
19.  HIV, Gender, Race, Sexual Orientation, and Sex Work: A Qualitative Study of Intersectional Stigma Experienced by HIV-Positive Women in Ontario, Canada 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(11):e1001124.
Mona Loutfy and colleagues used focus groups to examine experiences of stigma and coping strategies among HIV-positive women in Ontario, Canada.
Background
HIV infection rates are increasing among marginalized women in Ontario, Canada. HIV-related stigma, a principal factor contributing to the global HIV epidemic, interacts with structural inequities such as racism, sexism, and homophobia. The study objective was to explore experiences of stigma and coping strategies among HIV-positive women in Ontario, Canada.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a community-based qualitative investigation using focus groups to understand experiences of stigma and discrimination and coping methods among HIV-positive women from marginalized communities. We conducted 15 focus groups with HIV-positive women in five cities across Ontario, Canada. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis to enhance understanding of the lived experiences of diverse HIV-positive women. Focus group participants (n = 104; mean age = 38 years; 69% ethnic minority; 23% lesbian/bisexual; 22% transgender) described stigma/discrimination and coping across micro (intra/interpersonal), meso (social/community), and macro (organizational/political) realms. Participants across focus groups attributed experiences of stigma and discrimination to: HIV-related stigma, sexism and gender discrimination, racism, homophobia and transphobia, and involvement in sex work. Coping strategies included resilience (micro), social networks and support groups (meso), and challenging stigma (macro).
Conclusions
HIV-positive women described interdependent and mutually constitutive relationships between marginalized social identities and inequities such as HIV-related stigma, sexism, racism, and homo/transphobia. These overlapping, multilevel forms of stigma and discrimination are representative of an intersectional model of stigma and discrimination. The present findings also suggest that micro, meso, and macro level factors simultaneously present barriers to health and well being—as well as opportunities for coping—in HIV-positive women's lives. Understanding the deleterious effects of stigma and discrimination on HIV risk, mental health, and access to care among HIV-positive women can inform health care provision, stigma reduction interventions, and public health policy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
HIV-related stigma and discrimination—prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse, and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV—is a major factor contributing to the global HIV epidemic. HIV-related stigma, which devalues and stereotypes people living with HIV, increases vulnerability to HIV infection by reducing access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and support. At the personal (micro) level, HIV-related stigma can make it hard for people to take tests to determine their HIV status or to tell other people that they are HIV positive. At the social/community (meso) level, it can mean that HIV-positive people are ostracized from their communities. At the organizational/political (macro) level, it can mean that health-care workers treat HIV-positive people differently and that governments are deterred from taking fast, effective action against the HIV epidemic. In addition, HIV-related stigma is negatively associated with well-being among people living with HIV. Thus, among HIV-positive people, those who have experienced HIV-related stigma have higher levels of mental and physical illness.
Why Was This Study Done?
Racism (oppression and inequity founded on ethno-racial differences), sexism and gender discrimination (oppression and inequity based on gender bias in attitudes), and homophobia and transphobia (discrimination, fear, hostility, and violence towards nonheterosexual and transgender people, respectively) can also affect access to HIV services. However, little is known about how these different forms of stigma and discrimination interact (intersect). A better understanding of the effect of intersecting stigmas on people living with HIV could help in the development of stigma reduction interventions and HIV prevention, treatment and care programs, and could help to control global HIV infection rates. In this qualitative study (an analysis of people's attitudes and experiences rather than numerical data), the researchers investigate the intersection of HIV-related stigma, racism, sexism and gender discrimination, homophobia and transphobia among marginalized HIV-positive women in Ontario, Canada. As elsewhere in the world, HIV infection rates are increasing among women in Canada. Nearly 25% of people living with HIV in Canada are women and about a quarter of all new infections are in women. Moreover, there is a disproportionately high infection rate among marginalized women in Canada such as sex workers and lesbian, bisexual, and queer women.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers held 15 focus groups with 104 marginalized HIV-positive women who were recruited by word-of-mouth and through flyers circulated in community agencies serving women of diverse ethno-cultural origins. Each focus group explored topics that included challenges in daily life, medical issues and needs, and issues that were silenced within the participants' communities. The researchers analyzed the data from these focus groups using thematic analysis, an approach that identifies, analyzes, and reports themes in qualitative data. They found that women living with HIV in Ontario experienced multiple types of stigma at different levels. So, for example, women experienced HIV-related stigma at the micro (“If you're HIV-positive, you feel shameful”), meso (“The thing I hate most for people that test positive for HIV is that society ostracizes them”), and macro (“A lot of women are not getting employed because they have to disclose their status”) levels. The women also attributed their experiences of stigma and discrimination to sexism and gender discrimination, racism, homophobia and transphobia, and involvement in sex work at all three levels and described coping strategies at the micro (resilience; “I always live with hope”), meso (participation in social networks), and macro (challenging stigma) levels.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that marginalized HIV-positive women living in Ontario experience overlapping forms of stigma and discrimination and that these forms of stigma operate over micro, meso, and macro levels, as do the coping strategies adopted by the women. Together, these results support an intersectional model of stigma and discrimination that should help to inform discussions about the complexity of stigma and coping strategies. However, because only a small sample of nonrandomly selected women was involved in this study, these findings need to be confirmed in other groups of HIV-positive women. If confirmed, the complex system of interplay of different forms of stigma revealed here should help to inform health-care provision, stigma reduction interventions, and public-health policy, and could, ultimately, help to bring the global HIV epidemic under control.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001124.
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
NAM/aidsmap basic information about HIV/AIDS, and summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment; its publication HIV and stigma deals with HIV-related stigma in the UK
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on women, HIV, and AIDS, on HIV and AIDS stigma and discrimination, and on HIV/AIDS statistics for Canada (in English and Spanish)
The People Living with Stigma Index to address stigma relating to HIV and advocate on key barriers and issues perpetuating stigma; it has recently published Piecing it together for women and girls, the gender dimensions of HIV-related stigma; its website will soon include a selection of individual stories about HIV-related stigma
Patient stories about living with HIV/AIDS are available through Avert and through the charity website Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001124
PMCID: PMC3222645  PMID: 22131907
20.  A Web-Based Screening Instrument for Depression and Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care 
Background
Major depressive disorder (MDD) and anxiety disorders are common and result in considerable suffering and economic loss. People suffering from major depressive disorder and/or anxiety disorders are commonly encountered in the primary care setting. Unfortunately, most people with these disorders remain either untreated or inadequately treated; current data suggest that general practitioners fail to diagnose up to half of cases of major depressive disorder or anxiety. There is a need for screening tools that will help physicians and other professionals in primary care recognize and adequately treat major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. While the currently-available self-report screening instruments have been demonstrated to be reliable and valid, there remain considerable barriers to their widespread use in primary care.
Objective
The purpose of the present study is to report preliminary validation data for a freely-available, brief, Web-based, self-report screener for major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders.
Methods
The Web-Based Depression and Anxiety Test (WB-DAT) was administered to 193 subjects who presented for assessment and/or treatment in ongoing research projects being conducted at the Mood and Anxiety Program and Clinical Research Department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Subjects completed the Web-based screening instrument and were subsequently interviewed with the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) Axis I Disorders (SCID-I/P). The diagnostic data from the screening instrument were then compared with the data from the individual's SCID-I/P interview. Diagnostic concordance between SCID-I/P diagnoses and the Web-Based Depression and Anxiety Test were assessed using Cohen's kappa, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and efficiency.
Results
Agreement ranged from acceptable to good (0.57-0.70) for major depressive disorder, panic disorder with and without agoraphobia (PD+/-AG), social phobia/social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With the exception of generalized anxiety disorder, the sensitivity (0.71-0.95) and specificity (0.87-0.97) for the major diagnostic categories assessed by the Web-Based Depression and Anxiety Test were good. The sensitivity for generalized anxiety disorder was somewhat lower (0.63) but acceptable. Positive predictive values were good (0.60-0.75) for major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder, and acceptable for panic disorder with and without agoraphobia and for social phobia/social anxiety disorder.
Conclusions
These preliminary data suggest that the Web-Based Depression and Anxiety Test is reliable for identifying patients with and without major depressive disorder and the anxiety disorders of panic disorder with and without agoraphobia, social phobia/social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. Further research is required in a larger sample in primary care.
doi:10.2196/jmir.5.3.e23
PMCID: PMC1550568  PMID: 14517114
depression; anxiety disorders; assessment of health care needs; screening; web-based services; treatment; primary care; diagnosis; mental health
21.  The sensitivity and specificity of four questions (HARK) to identify intimate partner violence: a diagnostic accuracy study in general practice 
BMC Family Practice  2007;8:49.
Background
Intimate partner violence (IPV) including physical, sexual and emotional violence, causes short and long term ill-health. Brief questions that reliably identify women experiencing IPV who present in clinical settings are a pre-requisite for an appropriate response from health services to this substantial public health problem. We estimated the sensitivity and specificity of four questions (HARK) developed from the Abuse Assessment screen, compared to a 30-item abuse questionnaire, the Composite Abuse Scale (CAS).
Methods
We administered the four HARK questions and the CAS to women approached by two researchers in general practice waiting rooms in Newham, east London. Inclusions: women aged more than 17 years waiting to see a doctor or nurse, who had been in an intimate relationship in the last year. Exclusions: women who were accompanied by children over four years of age or another adult, too unwell to complete the questionnaires, unable to understand English or unable to give informed consent.
Results
Two hundred and thirty two women were recruited. The response rate was 54%. The prevalence of current intimate partner violence, within the last 12 months, using the CAS cut off score of ≥3, was 23% (95% C.I. 17% to 28%) with pre-test odds of 0.3 (95% C.I. 0.2 to 0.4). The receiver operator characteristic curve demonstrated that a HARK cut off score of ≥1 maximises the true positives whilst minimising the false positives. The sensitivity of the optimal HARK cut-off score of ≥1 was 81% (95% C.I. 69% to 90%), specificity 95% (95% C.I. 91% to 98%), positive predictive value 83% (95% C.I. 70% to 91%), negative predictive value 94% (95% C.I. 90% to 97%), likelihood ratio 16 (95% C.I. 8 to 31) and post-test odds 5.
Conclusion
The four HARK questions accurately identify women experiencing IPV in the past year and may help women disclose abuse in general practice. The HARK questions could be incorporated into the electronic medical record in primary care to prompt clinicians to ask about recent partner violence and to encourage disclosure by patients. Future research should test the effectiveness of HARK in clinical consultations.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-8-49
PMCID: PMC2034562  PMID: 17727730
22.  Utility of the RBANS in detecting cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease: Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive powers 
Although initially developed as a brief dementia battery, the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) has not yet demonstrated its sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive powers in detecting cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Therefore, the current study examined the clinical utility of the RBANS by comparing two age-, education-, and gender-matched groups: patients with AD (n=69) and comparators (n=69). Significant differences (p<0.001) were observed on the RBANS Total score, all five Indexes, and all twelve subtests, with patients performing worse than the comparison participants. An optimal balance between sensitivity and specificity on RBANS scores was obtained when cutoffs of one and one and a half standard deviations below the mean of the comparison sample were implemented. Areas under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curves for all RBANS Indexes were impressive though Immediate and Delayed Memory Indexes were excellent (0.96 and 0.98, respectively). Results suggest that RBANS scores yield excellent estimates of diagnostic accuracy and that the RBANS is a useful screening tool in detection of cognitive deficits associated with AD.
doi:10.1016/j.acn.2008.06.004
PMCID: PMC2570647  PMID: 18639437
Alzheimer’s disease; dementia; diagnostic accuracy; Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status
23.  Utility of the RBANS in detecting cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease: Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive powers 
Abstract
Although initially developed as a brief dementia battery, the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) has not yet demonstrated its sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive powers in detecting cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, the current study examined the clinical utility of the RBANS by comparing two age-, education-, and gender-matched groups: patients with AD (n=69) and comparators (n=69). Significant differences (p<0.001) were observed on the RBANS Total score, all 5 Indexes, and all 12 subtests, with patients performing worse than the comparison participants. An optimal balance between sensitivity and specificity on RBANS scores was obtained when cutoffs of one and one and a half standard deviations below the mean of the comparison sample were implemented. Areas under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curves for all RBANS Indexes were impressive though Immediate and Delayed Memory Indexes were excellent (0.96 and 0.98, respectively). Results suggest that RBANS scores yield excellent estimates of diagnostic accuracy and that the RBANS is a useful screening tool in detection of cognitive deficits associated with AD.
doi:10.1016/j.acn.2008.06.004
PMCID: PMC2570647  PMID: 18639437
Alzheimer's disease; Dementia; Diagnostic accuracy; Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status
24.  Combination use of Beck Depression Inventory and two-question case-finding instrument as a screening tool for depression in the workplace 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e000596.
Objectives
The present study aimed to validate screening tools that could be used to identify depression among workers.
Design
Diagnostic test study.
Settings
Workers from three Japanese companies agreed to participate.
Participants
Recruitment for the group 1 occurred between January 2001 and February 2004, and 89 participants (81 men and 8 women with a mean age of 38.4±6.6 years) (98.8%) took part in the study. Recruitment for the group 2 occurred between July 2000 and February 2004, and 1500 participants (1408 men and 92 women with a mean age of 40.9±7.2 years) (94.2%) took part in the study. Demographic data are shown in supplementary table 1.
Interventions
Primary and secondary outcome measures: the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and a two-question case-finding instrument (TQI) were administered to 89 workers and Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview was conducted to verify the diagnosis of depression. A second group of 1500 workers completed the BDI and TQI to detect possible sample bias for the distribution of depression. Specificity, sensitivity and positive predictive value were calculated in order to obtain the optimal cut-off scores for BDI and TQI and receiver operating characteristic curves, and Youden Index were applied to further refine the optimal cut-off scores.
Results
When paired together, BDI score ≥10 and TQI score of 2 adequately identified workers who had major depressive disorder and those who had other psychiatric disorders that are frequently comorbid with major depressive disorder.
Conclusions
The combination of BDI score ≥10 and TQI score of 2 can adequately screen for current and potential cases of depression among workers. Furthermore, BDI and TQI offer the advantage of being relatively easy to administer to a large number of workers. Early detection of depression could improve treatment outcomes and decrease economic burden.
Trail registration
Article summary
Article focus
Depression is associated with enormous economic burden and the social cost of depression is attributed to the functional impairment of employees.
Even though the magnitude of productivity loss from depression is substantial, a large number of depressed workers are untreated or inadequately treated.
An efficient screening tool for depression among workers is needed because it is difficult to interview and evaluate all employees.
Key messages
The combination use of the BDI and a two-question case-finding instrument adequately identified workers who had MDD.
Furthermore, it adequately identified workers who had other psychiatric disorders that are frequently comorbid with MDD.
Strength and limitations of this study
This study presents an effective way to screen for current and potential cases of depression in the workplace, which is easy to administer to a large number of workers.
The limitations of the study are as follows: the sample size was relatively small, the Japanese version of two-question case-finding instrument has not been validated, not all participants were diagnosed using the diagnostic interview and effect of socio-economical factors and clinical factors were not included in the analysis.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000596
PMCID: PMC3353128  PMID: 22566608
25.  Relationship of dementia screening tests with biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease 
Brain  2010;133(11):3290-3300.
Screening tests for Alzheimer’s disease lack sensitivity and specificity. We developed the AD8, a brief dementia screening interview validated against clinical and cognitive evaluations, as an improvement over current screening methods. Because insufficient follow-up has occurred to validate the AD8 against the neuropathologic findings of Alzheimer’s disease, we investigated whether AD8 scores correspond to impairment in episodic memory testing and changes in biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (cerebrospinal fluid and amyloid imaging with Pittsburgh compound B) characteristic of symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease. We also compared informant-based assessments with brief performance-based dementia screening measurements such as the Mini Mental State Exam. The sample (n = 257) had a mean age of 75.4 years with 15.1 years of education; 88.7% were Caucasian and 45.5% were male. The sample was divided into two groups based on their AD8 scores: those with a negative dementia screening test (AD8 score 0 or 1, n = 137) and those with a positive dementia screening test (AD8 score ≥2, n = 120). Individuals with positive AD8 scores had abnormal Pittsburgh compound B binding (P < 0.001) and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers (P < 0.001) compared with individuals with negative AD8 scores. Individuals with positive AD8 tests and positive biomarkers scored in the impaired range on the Wechsler Logical Memory Story A (mean score 7.0 ± 4.5 for Pittsburgh compound B; mean score 7.6 ± 5.3 for cerebrospinal fluid amyloid beta protein 1–42). The AD8 area under the curve for Pittsburgh compound B was 0.737 (95% confidence interval: 0.64–0.83) and for cerebrospinal fluid amyloid beta protein 1–42 was 0.685 (95% confidence interval: 0.60–0.77) suggesting good discrimination. The AD8 had superior sensitivity in detecting early stages of dementia compared with the Mini Mental State Examination. The AD8 had a likelihood ratio of a positive test of 5.8 (95% confidence interval: 5.4–6.3) and likelihood ratio of a negative test of 0.04 (95% confidence interval: 0.03–0.06), increasing the pre-test probability of an individual having symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals with AD8 scores of ≥2 had a biomarker phenotype consistent with Alzheimer’s disease and lower performance on episodic memory tests, supporting a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Informant-based assessments may be superior to performance-based screening measures such as the Mini Mental State Examination in corresponding to underlying Alzheimer’s disease pathology, particularly at the earliest stages of decline. The use of a brief test such as the AD8 may improve strategies for detecting dementia in community settings where biomarkers may not be readily available, and may enrich clinical trial recruitment by increasing the likelihood that participants have underlying biomarker abnormalities.
doi:10.1093/brain/awq204
PMCID: PMC2965421  PMID: 20823087
AD8; Alzheimer’s disease; screening; biomarkers; preclinical; cognition

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