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1.  Algorithm based patient care protocol to optimize patient care and inpatient stay in head and neck free flap patients 
To determine if rigid adherence (where medically appropriate) to an algorithm/checklist-based patient care pathway can reduce the duration of hospitalization and complication rates in patients undergoing head and neck reconstruction with free tissue transfer.
Study design was a retrospective case-control study of patients undergoing major head and neck cancer resections and reconstruction at a tertiary referral centre. The intervention was rigid adherence to a pre-existing care pathway including flow algorithms and multidisciplinary checklists incorporated into patient charting and care orders. 157 patients were enrolled prospectively and were compared to 99 patients in a historical cohort. Patient charts were reviewed and information related to the patient, procedure, and post-operative course was extracted. The two groups were compared for number of major and minor complications (using the Clavien-Dindo system) and length of stay in hospital.
Comparing pre- and post-intervention groups, no significant difference was identified in duration of hospital stay (21.5 days vs. 20.5 days, p = 0.750), the rate of major complications was significantly higher in the pre-intervention cohort (25.3 % vs. 14.0 %, p = 0.031), the rate of minor complications was not significantly higher (34.3 % vs 30.8 %, p = 0.610).
Rigid adherence to our patient care pathway, and improved charting techniques including flow algorithms and multidisciplinary checklists has improved patient care by showing a significant reduction in the rate of major complications.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40463-015-0090-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4631082  PMID: 26525293
Head and neck free flap; Patient care protocol; Inpatient stay; Algorithm based; Length of stay
Neuro-Oncology  2014;16(Suppl 5):v187.
NovoTTF treatment is an FDA approved treatment strategy for recurrent Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) management which employs alternating electric fields to the region of the malignant tumor through probes on the patient's head which is thought to improve time to disease progression of GBM via cell cycle mitosis disruption. A patient is described with recurrent GBM who had disease progression following initial standard surgical treatment and concomitant chemo-radiotherapy and was found to have sarcomatous transformation after initiation of NovoTTF-100A electrical device therapy with bevacizumab. Upon tumor progression, less than two years after initial diagnosis, the patient underwent surgical resection which revealed transformation from a GFAP-positive WHO grade IV astrocytoma into a GFAP-negative, reticulin-positive sarcoma with rhabdomyoid features following histopathological evaluation. The possibility of a causal connection between the NovoTTF therapy and sarcomatous transformation needs to be further evaluated. No such case of sarcoma progression in the CNS following chemo-radiotherapy and/or electrical current treatment for Glioblastoma multiforme has been reported in the literature.
PMCID: PMC4218561
3.  Depression as a predictor of postoperative functional performance status (PFPS) and treatment adherence in head and neck cancer patients: a prospective study 
Head and neck cancer (HNC) is a debilitating disease due in part to its effects on function, including speech, swallowing, and cosmesis. Previous studies regarding depression in HNC have focused on demographic predictors, incidence, and quality of life studies. There is, however, a paucity of studies that objectively address depressive symptoms in HNC patients and the resultant effects on post-treatment functional performance status. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between preoperative depressive symptoms (PDS) and postoperative functional performance status (PFPS), in addition to other predictors of rehabilitation and survival.
A prospective cohort study was undertaken at the University of Alberta, including all new adult HNC patients undergoing surgery as primary therapy for HNC from May 2013 to January 2014. Baseline depressive symptoms were measured on the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptoms (QIDS) questionnaire 2 weeks preoperatively and PFPS was assessed 12 months postoperatively on the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Head & Neck (FACT-HN) scale. Secondary outcomes included completion of adjuvant therapy, narcotic dependence, return to detrimental habits, loss of follow-up, and length of hospital stay (LOHS). Differences between the Normal-Mild and Moderate-Severe QIDS groups were assessed using Mann–Whitney and Fischer Exact statistical analyses.
Seventy-one patients were included in the study. Mild and Moderate-Severe PDS were 35.2 % and 18.3 %, respectively. Significantly lower FACT-HN scores were noted in the Moderate-Severe group at 12 months (p = 0.03). The risk ratio (RR) for FACT-HN score < 50 % at 12 months in the Moderate-Severe group was 5.66. In addition, significantly lower completion of adjuvant treatment (p = 0.03), significantly higher incidence of narcotic dependence (p = 0.004), and significantly higher LOHS (24 days vs. 18 days; p = 0.02) was observed in the Moderate-Severe group. There was no significant difference in loss of follow-up between the 2 groups (p = 0.64).
The incidence and severity of PDS in HNC patients treated with surgery is high (53.5 %). Patients with Moderate-Severe PDS have significantly decreased PFPS, increased narcotic use, decreased completion of adjuvant therapy, and a longer LOHS. HNC patients should be monitored closely for depressive symptoms.
PMCID: PMC4574730  PMID: 26385356
Depression; Head neck cancer; Postoperative functional performance
4.  Correlation of PET-CT nodal SUVmax with p16 positivity in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma 
The incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) has been rising in recent years. Given the clinical impact of HPV/p16 positivity in OPSCC, identifying surrogate markers of this disease early in the diagnostic work-up of these patients could improve patient care.
Demographic, pathologic, staging and PET-CT data from patients diagnosed with OPSCC from 2009–2014 were obtained from a prospectively collected provincial cancer registry. Tumor HPV/p16 status was correlated to the maximum standard uptake value (SUVmax) of the primary tumor and cervical nodes. Comparisons of means and multinomial regression models were used to determine associations between p16 status and SUVmax. A diagnostic odds ratio was calculated using a cut off value for predicting HPV/p16 positivity based on nodal SUVmax.
PET-CT and HPV/p16 data was obtained for 65 patients treated surgically for OPSCC. Significantly higher nodal SUVmax was associated with HPV/p16 positive nodes (SUVmax 10.8 vs 7.9). No significant differences were seen between HPV/p16 positive vs negative primary tumor SUVmax (10.3 vs 13.7). In combination with other clinical parameters, higher nodal SUVmax was highly correlated with HPV/p16 positivity.
Elevated nodal SUVmax is a significant predictor of HPV/p16 positive disease.
PMCID: PMC4570692  PMID: 26374294
Oropharyngeal cancer; Positron emission tomography; Standard uptake value; p16; Human papillomavirus
5.  Optimal detection of hypothyroidism in early stage laryngeal cancer treated with radiotherapy 
Hypothyroidism following radiation therapy (RT) for treatment of Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) is a common occurrence. Rates of hypothyroidism following RT for Early Stage Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ES-LSCC) are among the highest. Although routine screening for hypothyroidism is recommended; its optimal schedule has not yet been established. We aim to determine the prevalence and optimal timing of testing for hypothyroidism in ES-LSCC treated with RT.
We conducted a population-based cohort study. Data was extracted from a prospective provincial head and neck cancer database. Demographic, survival data, and pre- and post-treatment thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were obtained for patients diagnosed with ES-LSCC from 2008–2012. Inclusion criteria consisted of patients diagnosed clinically with ES-LSCC (T1 or 2, N0, M0) treated with curative intent. Patients were excluded if there was a history of hypothyroidism before the treatment or any previous history of head and neck cancers.
Ninety-five patients were included in this study. Mean age was 66.1 years (range: 44.0–88.0 years) and 82.3 % of patients were male. Glottis was the most common subsite at 77.9 % and the average follow-up was 40 months (Range: 12–56 months). Five-year overall survival generated using the Kaplan-Meier method was 79 %. Incidence of hypothyroidism after RT was found to be 46.9 %. The greatest frequency of developing hypothyroidism was at 12 months.
We found a high prevalence of hypothyroidism for ES-LSCC treated with RT, with the highest rate at 12 months. Consequently, we recommend possible routine screening for hypothyroidism using TSH level starting at 12 months. To our knowledge, this is the first study to suggest the optimal timing for the detection of hypothyroidism.
PMCID: PMC4567796  PMID: 26362315
Hypothyroidism; Early stage laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma; Radiation therapy
6.  Efficacy of a Process Improvement Intervention on Inmate Awareness of HIV Services: A Multi-Site Trial 
Health & justice  2015;3:11-.
The prevalence of HIV among U.S. inmates is much greater than in the general population, creating public health concerns and cost issues for the criminal justice system. The HIV Services and Treatment Implementation in Corrections protocol of the NIDA funded Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies cooperative tested the efficacy of an organizational process improvement strategy on improving HIV services in correctional facilities. For this paper, we analyzed efficacy of this strategy on improving inmate awareness and perceptions of HIV services. The study used a multi-site (n=28) clustered randomized trial approach. Facilities randomized to the experimental condition used a coach-driven local change team approach to improve HIV services at their facility. Facilities in the control condition were given a directive to improve HIV services on their own. Surveys about awareness and perceptions of HIV services were administered anonymously to inmates who were incarcerated in study facilities at baseline (n=1253) and follow-up (n=1048). A series of one-way ANOVAs were run to test whether there were differences between inmates in the experimental and control facilities at baseline and follow-up. Differences were observed at baseline, with the experimental group having significantly lower scores than the control group on key variables. But, at post-test, following the intervention, these differences were no longer significant. Taken in context of the findings from the main study, these results suggest that the change team approach to improving HIV services in correctional facilities is efficacious for improving inmates’ awareness and perceptions of HIV services.
PMCID: PMC4507816  PMID: 26203411
HIV; inmates; criminal justice settings; implementation; process improvement
7.  The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Women's Condom Negotiation Efficacy 
Journal of interpersonal violence  2011;27(4):775-792.
HIV prevention efforts promote the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs. Thus, a woman's agency to practice healthy sexual behaviors necessarily involves negotiation with another person. This poses unique challenges for women who have limited power in relationships. The current study explores how the experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) impacts a woman's confidence in her ability to negotiate condom use with a sexual partner (i.e., condom use self-efficacy), using data from incarcerated females in three states, who were interviewed just prior to release back into the community. The direct effect of experiencing IPV as an adult, controlling for other risk factors, on condom use self-efficacy has not previously been empirically tested. Results show that IPV experiences among women significantly decreases their confidence in negotiating condom use with a partner, putting them at a higher risk of HIV infection than women who do not report having recently experienced IPV.
PMCID: PMC4451787  PMID: 21987514
intimate partner violence/IPV; HIV/AIDS; condom use self-effcacy
8.  Intraoperative brief electrical stimulation (BES) for prevention of shoulder dysfunction after oncologic neck dissection: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2015;16:240.
Shoulder pain and dysfunction are common after oncologic neck dissection for head and neck cancer (HNC), due to traction, compression, and devascularization injuries to the spinal accessory nerve (SAN). Shoulder pain and dysfunction can hinder postoperative rehabilitation and hygiene, activities of daily living (ADLs), and return to work after treatment for HNC. Due to the rising incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal cancer, patients are often diagnosed in the third or fourth decade of life, leaving many potential working years lost if shoulder dysfunction occurs. Brief electrical stimulation (BES) is a novel technique that has been shown to enhance and accelerate neuronal regeneration after injury through a brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF)-driven molecular pathway in multiple peripheral nerves in both humans and animals.
This is a randomized controlled trial testing the effect of intraoperative BES on postoperative shoulder pain and dysfunction. All adult participants with a new diagnosis of HNC undergoing surgery with neck dissection, including Level IIb and postoperative radiotherapy, will be enrolled. Participants will undergo intraoperative BES after completion of neck dissection for 60 min continuously at 20 Hz, 3 to 5 V, in 100-msec pulses. Postoperatively, participants will be evaluated using the Constant-Murley Shoulder Score, a scale that assesses shoulder pain, ADLs, strength, and range of motion. Secondary outcomes measured will include nerve conduction studies (NCS) and electromyographic (EMG) studies, as well as scores on the Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS), the Neck Dissection Impairment Index (NDII), and the University of Washington Quality of Life (UW-QOL) score. Primary and secondary outcomes will be assessed at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.
The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of BES on postoperative clinical and objective shoulder functional outcomes and pain after oncologic neck dissection. BES has been shown to be successful in accelerating peripheral nerve regeneration in both animal and human participants in multiple different peripheral nerves. If successful, this technique may provide an adjunctive prevention option for shoulder pain and dysfunction in HNC patients.
Trial registration
NCT02268344: 17 October 2014.
PMCID: PMC4453046  PMID: 26021563
Neck dissection; Electrical stimulation; Head neck cancer; Nerve regeneration; Axonal regeneration; Spinal accessory nerve
9.  Improvements in Correctional HIV Services: A Case Study in Delaware 
This article describes the experience and outcomes of the National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies HIV Services and Treatment Implementation in Corrections protocol in the state of Delaware. The protocol was designed to test the effectiveness of a change team model in improving HIV services in correctional settings. In Delaware, a team was created with representatives from correctional and community agencies to work on improving linkage to HIV care for individuals released from incarceration. The team made improvements in the entire HIV service continuum: linkage to HIV care, HIV education, and HIV testing. The experiences in Delaware and the findings from this study suggest that the use of a change team model is a viable method for making organizational change in correctional settings.
PMCID: PMC4397891  PMID: 25788611
HIV/AIDS; correctional health care; process improvement; case study
10.  A cluster randomized trial of utilizing a local change team approach to improve the delivery of HIV services in correctional settings: study protocol 
Health & justice  2013;1(1):8-.
Persons held in correctional facilities are at high risk for HIV infection and their prevalence of HIV is substantially higher than in the general population. Thus, the need for proper surveillance and care of this high risk population is a paramount public health issue. This study aims to evaluate an organization-level intervention strategy for improving HIV services for persons in prison or jail.
HIV Services and Treatment Implementation in Corrections (HIV-STIC) is using a cluster randomized trial design to test an organization-level intervention designed to implement improvements in preventing, detecting, and treating HIV for persons under correctional supervision. Matched pairs of prison or jail facilities were randomized using a SAS algorithm. Facility staff members in both Experimental and Control conditions involved in HIV service delivery are recruited to receive training on HIV infection, the HIV services continuum, and relevant web-based resources. Staff members in both conditions are tasked to implement improvements in HIV prevention, testing, or treatment in their facility. In the Control condition facilities, staff participants use existing techniques for implementing improvement in a selected area of HIV services. In contrast, the Experimental condition staff participants work as a Local Change Team (LCT) with external coaching and use a structured process improvement approach to improve a selected part of the HIV services continuum. The intervention period is 10 months during which data are obtained using survey instruments administered to staff members and aggregate services delivery data. The study is being implemented in 13 pairs of correctional facilities across nine states in the US. Experimental sites are hypothesized to show improvements in both staff attitudes toward HIV services and the number and quality of HIV services provided for inmates.
The current study examines a range of process and outcome data relevant to the implementation of a Change Team approach across diverse correctional settings in the United States. This initial study represents an important step toward a national best practices approach to implementing change in U.S. correctional settings and could serve as an exemplar for designing similar implementation studies.
PMCID: PMC4270366  PMID: 25530933
HIV; Correctional facility; NIATx; Change team
11.  Predictors of non-diagnostic cytology in surgeon-performed ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration of thyroid nodules 
Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is the standard of care for the diagnostic work-up of thyroid nodules but despite its proven utility, the non-diagnostic rate for thyroid FNA ranges from 6-36%. A non-diagnostic FNA is problematic for the clinician and patient because it can result in repeated procedures, multiple physician visits, and a delay in definitive treatment. Surgeon-performed FNA has been shown to be safe, cost-effective, as accurate as those performed by other clinicians, and has the added benefit of decreasing wait times to surgery. Several studies have examined rates and factors that may be predictive of a non-diagnostic cytology in non-surgeon FNA, but none have evaluated this in surgeon-performed thyroid FNA. If these factors are unique in surgeon-performed vs. non-surgeon performed thyroid FNA, then patients may be more appropriately triaged to FNA by alternate clinicians.
The purpose of this study was to determine the rate and factors predictive of a non-diagnostic FNA in surgeon performed ultrasound-guided FNA of thyroid nodules.
We conducted a retrospective review of all adult patients who underwent thyroid FNA by a staff, fellow, or resident Otolaryngologist at the University of Alberta between January 2011 and June 2013. Factors analyzed included patient factors, thyroid characteristics, nodule characteristics, and surgeon level of training and experience. Univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression analysis were performed.
131 patients (180 nodules) were reviewed. The non-diagnostic rate was 23%. Nodules with predominant cystic component, those less than 1 cm, and resident-performed FNA were associated with non-diagnostic cytology (p = 0.001, p = 0.02, p = 0.04 respectively). A cystic nodule was the only independent predictor of non-diagnostic FNA on multivariate analysis (OR = 4.441, 95% CI [1.785-11.045], p = 0.001).
The rate of non-diagnostic thyroid FNA performed by a surgeon with ultrasound guidance is similar to other clinicians. A cystic nodule is a strong independent predictor of non-diagnostic cytology. Non-cystic nodules may particularly benefit from surgeon-performed thyroid FNA due to the high diagnostic rate and potential for earlier definitive management.
PMCID: PMC4260212  PMID: 25466726
Thyroid nodule; FNA; Diagnostic yield; Ultrasound
12.  Metabolic tumour volume as a prognostic factor for oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma treated with primary surgery 
Metabolic tumour volume (MTV) obtained from pre-treatment 18 F-fluorodeoxydeglucose positron emission tomography with computed tomography (PET-CT) has been validated as an independent predictive factor of outcomes in head and neck cancer patients (HNC) treated with primary chemoradiotherapy (CRT). However its role in patients treated with primary surgery has not yet been studied.
To evaluate the prognostic value of MTV in patients treated with primary surgery for oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC).
Demographic and survival data was obtained from patients diagnosed with OCSCC from 2008–2012 in Alberta, Canada. All patients included in the study had PET-CT scan before curative surgical resection. MTV and maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) value was delineated from pre-treatment PET-CT scans using Segami Oasis software (Columbus, OH). MTV and SUVmax were divided into intertertile thirds before statistical analysis to allow for in-group comparison of survival.
A total of 80 patients were analyzed using SPSS ver. 20.0 (SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL). Five-year overall, and disease-free survival using Kaplan-Meier curves were 70% and 73% respectively. When the combined SUVmax (tumour primary and locoregional metastasis) was evaluated, it failed to predict overall (HR = 1.0, p = 0.99) or disease-free survival (HR = 1.0, p = 0.227).
Conversely an increase in MTV of 17.5 mL (difference between the highest and lowest MTV tertile) was associated with a 12.4 fold increase in risk of disease recurrence (p < 0.001) and an 11.2 fold increase in the risk of death (p < 0.05).
This study shows that MTV is an independent adverse prognostic factor for death and disease recurrence in OCSCC treated with primary surgery.
PMCID: PMC4198685  PMID: 25312990
Metabolic tumour volume; Standardized uptake value; Imaging; Tumour marker; Head and neck cancer
13.  Quantifying cell-generated mechanical forces within living embryonic tissues 
Nature methods  2013;11(2):183-189.
Cell-generated mechanical forces play a critical role during tissue morphogenesis and organ formation in the embryo. However, little is known about how these forces shape embryonic organs, mainly because it has not been possible to measure cellular forces within developing three-dimensional (3D) tissues in vivo. Here we present a method to quantify cell-generated mechanical stresses that are exerted locally within living embryonic tissues using fluorescent, cell-sized, oil microdroplets with defined mechanical properties and coated with surface integrin or cadherin receptor ligands. After introducing a droplet between cells in a tissue, local stresses are determined from the droplet shape deformations, which are obtained via fluorescence microscopy and computerized image analysis. Using this method, we quantify the anisotropic stresses generated by mammary epithelial cells cultured within 3D aggregates and confirm that these stresses (3.4 nN/µm2) are dependent on myosin II activity and more than two-fold larger than the stresses generated by cells of embryonic tooth mesenchyme when analyzed within similar cultured aggregates or in developing whole mouse mandibles.
PMCID: PMC3939080  PMID: 24317254
14.  Network-based inference from complex proteomic mixtures using SNIPE 
Bioinformatics  2012;28(23):3115-3122.
Motivation: Proteomics presents the opportunity to provide novel insights about the global biochemical state of a tissue. However, a significant problem with current methods is that shotgun proteomics has limited success at detecting many low abundance proteins, such as transcription factors from complex mixtures of cells and tissues. The ability to assay for these proteins in the context of the entire proteome would be useful in many areas of experimental biology.
Results: We used network-based inference in an approach named SNIPE (Software for Network Inference of Proteomics Experiments) that selectively highlights proteins that are more likely to be active but are otherwise undetectable in a shotgun proteomic sample. SNIPE integrates spectral counts from paired case–control samples over a network neighbourhood and assesses the statistical likelihood of enrichment by a permutation test. As an initial application, SNIPE was able to select several proteins required for early murine tooth development. Multiple lines of additional experimental evidence confirm that SNIPE can uncover previously unreported transcription factors in this system. We conclude that SNIPE can enhance the utility of shotgun proteomics data to facilitate the study of poorly detected proteins in complex mixtures.
Availability and Implementation: An implementation for the R statistical computing environment named snipeR has been made freely available at
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC3509492  PMID: 23060611
15.  Policies and Practices in the Delivery of HIV Services in Correctional Agencies and Facilities: Results from a Multi-Site Survey 
HIV risk is disproportionately high among incarcerated individuals. Corrections agencies have been slow to implement evidence-based guidelines and interventions for HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. The emerging field of implementation science focuses on organizational interventions to facilitate adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices. A survey of among CJ-DATS correctional agency partners revealed that HIV policies and practices in prevention, detection and medical care varied widely, with some corrections agencies and facilities closely matching national guidelines and/or implementing evidence-based interventions. Others, principally attributed to limited resources, had numerous gaps in delivery of best HIV service practices. A brief overview is provided of a new CJ-DATS cooperative research protocol, informed by the survey findings, to test an organization-level intervention to reduce HIV service delivery gaps in corrections.
PMCID: PMC3801270  PMID: 24078624
Corrections; Implementation; Staff survey; HIV policies; inmates
16.  Parole Officer–parolee Relationships and HIV Risk Behaviors during Community Supervision 
AIDS and behavior  2013;17(8):2667-2675.
We tested if good parole officer (PO)–parolee relationships reduce HIV risk behaviors during parole, as they do for risk of rearrest. Analyses used data from 374 parolees enrolled in a randomized clinical trial. Past month HIV risk behaviors were assessed by interview at baseline, 3- and 9-months after parole initiation. The Working Alliance Inventory and the Dual-Role Relationships Inventory measured PO relationship. Gender-stratified multivariate regressions tested associations of PO–parolee relationship with sex with multiple partners, unprotected sex with risky partner(s), and drug injection. Women parolees (n = 65) who reported better PO relationship characteristics were less likely to report having multiple sex partners [adjusted odds ratio: 0.82 (0.69, 0.98) at 3-months, 0.89 (0.80, 0.99) at 9-months], and, among those reporting multiple sex partners, had fewer partners on average [adjusted relative risk 0.98 (0.96, 0.99)]. These effects were not found among men. PO–parolee relationship quality can influence sexual risk behaviors among women parolees.
PMCID: PMC3758401  PMID: 22038082
Parole; Community supervision; Working alliance; HIV risk behaviors; Women
Addiction (Abingdon, England)  2012;107(6):1099-1108.
To determine whether collaborative behavioral management (CBM) reduces substance use, crime and re-arrest among drug-involved parolees.
Step’n Out was a randomized behavioral trial of CBM versus standard parole (SP) during 2004-2008. CBM adapted evidence-based role induction, behavioral contracting, and contingent reinforcement to provide parole officer/treatment counselor dyads with positive tools in addition to sanctions to manage parolees’ behavior over 12 weeks.
Six parole offices in five states in the U.S.A.
Parolee volunteers with a mandate for addiction treatment and a minimum of three months of parole (N=476). Follow-up was 94% at 3- and 86% at 9-months.
Drug use and crime in a given month from calendar interviews 3- and 9-months after parole initiation, and re-arrests from criminal justice administrative data.
The CBM group had fewer months in which they used their primary drug (adjusted risk ratio (ARR) 0.20, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.78, p = .02) and alcohol (ARR 0.38, 95% CI: 0.22, 0.66, p=.006) over follow-up. CBM had its greatest effects among parolees who reported marijuana or another “non-hard” drug as their primary drug; parolees who preferred stimulants or opiates did not benefit. No differences were seen in total crime, re-arrests or parole revocations.
Collaborative behavioral management may reduce substance use among primary marijuana or other “non-hard” drug-using parolees without increasing revocations. Since the majority of drug violation arrests in the U.S. are for marijuana, these findings have important implications for the management of a substantial proportion of the U.S. community correctional population.
PMCID: PMC3321077  PMID: 22175445
18.  Limiting options: Sex ratios, incarceration rates and sexual risk behavior among people on probation and parole 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2012;39(6):424-430.
To investigate how incarceration may affect risk of acquiring HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, we tested associations of ex-offenders’ sexual risk behavior with the male-female sex ratio and the male incarceration rate.
Longitudinal data from 1287 drug-involved persons on probation and parole as part of the Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies were matched by county of residence with population factors, and stratified by race/ethnicity and gender. Generalized estimating equations assessed associations of having unprotected sex with a partner who had HIV risk factors, and having more than 1 sex partner in the past month.
Among non-Hispanic Black men and women, low sex ratios were associated with greater risk of having unprotected sex with a risky partner (Adjusted relative risk (ARR) = 1.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.29, 2.42; ARR = 2.48, 95% CI = 1.31, 4.73, respectively). Among non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White women, low sex ratios were associated with having more than 1 sex partner (ARR = 2.00, 95% CI = 1.02, 3.94; ARR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.06, 2.75, respectively). High incarceration rates were associated with greater risk of having a risky partner for all men (non-Hispanic Black: ARR= 2.14, 95% CI=1.39, 3.30; non-Hispanic White: ARR= 1.39, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.85; Hispanic: ARR = 3.99, 95% CI =1.55, 10.26) and having more than one partner among non-Hispanic White men (ARR= 1.92, 95% CI = 1.40, 2.64).
Low sex ratios and high incarceration rates may influence the number and risk characteristics of sex partners of ex-offenders. HIV-prevention policies and programs for ex-offenders could be improved by addressing structural barriers to safer sexual behavior.
PMCID: PMC3575024  PMID: 22592827
criminal justice; racial/ethnic health disparities; sex ratios; parole/probation; social determinants; HIV/AIDS
19.  Primary surgery versus chemoradiotherapy for advanced oropharyngeal cancers: a longitudinal population study 
Treatment for advanced stage oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) includes combined chemoradiation therapy or surgery followed by radiation therapy alone or in combination with chemotherapy. The goal of this study was to utilize available evidence to examine survival outcome differences in patients with advanced stage OPSCC treated with these different modalities.
Patients with advanced stage OPSCC were identified. Primary outcome measurements were disease specific and overall survival rates with differences examined via Kaplan-Meier and logistic regression analysis.
344 patients were enrolled. 94 patients underwent triple modality therapy inclusive of surgery followed by adjuvant combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy (S-CRT). 131 had surgery and radiation therapy (S-RT), while 56 had chemoradiation (CRT) therapy as their primary treatment. A total of 63 patients had single modality radiation therapy and were excluded from analysis due to the large number of palliative patients.
Kaplan-Meier overall survival analysis showed that therapy with S-CRT had the highest disease specific survival at five years (71.1%). This is contrasted against S-RT and CRT, with five year survival rates at 53.9%, and 48.6%, respectively.
Cox regression showed that the comparison of S-CRT vs. S-RT, and CRT is associated with statistically significant increased hazard ratios of 1.974, and 2.785, indicating that both S-RT and CRT are associated with a reduced likelihood of survival at 5 years when compared to S-CRT.
In this population based cohort study S-CRT is associated with a 17–22% 5 year disease specific survival benefit compared to CRT or S-RT.
PMCID: PMC3668157  PMID: 23663568
20.  Survival outcomes of patients with advanced oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma treated with multimodal therapy: a multi-institutional analysis 
The oral cavity is the most common site for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Treatment of advanced stage oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) has classically involved surgical resection with postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy (S-RT).Despite this aggressive dual modality therapy, the disease outcomes have remained poor. The treatment options expanded in 2004 when two international trials showed the addition of postoperative chemotherapy to radiation improved outcomes. These trials were, however not oral cavity site specific.
To assess survival outcomes of advanced OCSCC treated by differing modalities. The primary goal was to determine if the addition of postoperative chemotherapy (S-CRT) improves survival compared to other treatment regimens.
Demographic, pathologic, treatment, and survival data was obtained from patients diagnosed with OCSCC from 1998–2010 in Alberta, Canada. 222 patients were included in the final analysis from 895 OCSCC patients. Actuarial overall, disease-specific, disease-free, and metastasis-free survivals were estimated with Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. Patients were grouped by treatment.
Patients receiving S-CRT had improved overall, disease-specific, disease-free, and metastasis-free survival compared to S-RT, CRT or RT(p < 0.05). Two and five year estimated overall survival was significantly higher in the S-CRT group at 77 and 58% (p < 0.05), versus S-RT with 55 and 40% rates(p < 0.05). Results were similar for disease-specific, disease-free, and metastasis free survival with S-CRT being favoured. Patients with extracapsular spread (ECS) treated with S-CRT versus S-RT had 55% survival advantage at 5 years (p < 0.05).
This study shows that adding adjuvant chemotherapy to S-RT improves survival outcomes in advanced OCSCC, especially in patients with ECS.
PMCID: PMC3651227  PMID: 23672952
21.  The impact of clinical versus pathological staging in oral cavity carcinoma–a multi-institutional analysis of survival 
To evaluate any disparity in clinical versus pathological TNM staging in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) patients and any impact of this on survival.
Demographic, survival, staging, and pathologic data on all patients undergoing surgical treatment for OCSCC in Alberta between 1998 and 2006 was collected. Clinical and pathological TNM staging data were compared. Patients were stratified as pathologically downstaged, upstaged or unchanged.
Tertiary care centers in Alberta, Canada.
Main outcome measures
Survival differences between groups were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression models.
Patients with clinically early stage tumors were pathologically upstaged in 21.9% of cases and unchanged in 78.1% of cases. Patients with clinically advanced stage tumors were pathologically downstaged in 7.9% of cases and unchanged in 92.1% of cases. Univariate and multivariate estimates of disease-specific survival showed no statistically significant differences in survival when patients were either upstaged or downstaged.
Some disparity exists in clinical versus pathological staging in OCSCC, however, this does not have any significant impact on disease specific survival.
PMCID: PMC3651235  PMID: 23663449
22.  An Evaluation of Six Brief Interventions that Target Drug-Related Problems in Correctional Populations 
Finding brief effective treatments for criminal justice populations is a major public need. The CJ-DATS Targeted Intervention for Corrections (TIC), which consists of six brief interventions (Communication, Anger, Motivation, Criminal Thinking, Social Networks, and HIV/Sexual Health), were tested in separate federally-funded randomized control studies. In total, 1,573 criminal justice-involved individuals from 20 correction facilities participated (78% males; 54% white). Multi-level repeated measures analyses found significant gains in knowledge, attitudes, and psychosocial functioning (criteria basic to Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices (KAP) and TCU Treatment Process Models). While improvements were less consistent in criminal thinking, overall evidence supported efficacy for the TIC interventions.
PMCID: PMC3338318  PMID: 22547911
adaptive treatment; brief interventions; CJ-DATS; criminal justice treatment; TCU Treatment Model; tier one treatment
23.  Medication-Assisted Treatment in Criminal Justice Agencies Affiliated with the Criminal Justice-Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS): Availability, Barriers & Intentions 
Substance Abuse  2012;33(1):9-18.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is underutilized in the treatment of drug-dependent, criminal justice populations. This study surveyed criminal justice agencies affiliated with the Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS) to assess use of MAT and factors influencing use of MAT. A convenience sample (N=50) of criminal justice agency respondents (e.g., jails, prisons, parole/probation, and drug courts) completed a survey on MAT practices and attitudes. Pregnant women and individuals experiencing withdrawal were most likely to receive MAT for opiate dependence in jail or prison, while those re-entering the community from jail or prison were the least likely to receive MAT. Factors influencing use of MAT included criminal justice preferences for drug-free treatment, limited knowledge of the benefits of MAT, security concerns, regulations prohibiting use of MAT for certain agencies, and lack of qualified medical staff. Differences across agency type in the factors influencing use and perceptions of MAT were also examined.
MAT use is largely limited to detoxification and maintenance of pregnant women in criminal justice settings. Use of MAT during the community reentry period is minimal. Addressing inadequate knowledge and negative attitudes about MAT may increase its adoption, but better linkages to community pharmacotherapy during the reentry period might overcome other issues, including security, liability, staffing and regulatory concerns. The CJ-DATS collaborative MAT implementation study to address inadequate knowledge, attitudes and linkage will be described.
PMCID: PMC3295578  PMID: 22263709
24.  Desisting From Prescription Drug Abuse: An Application of Growth Models to Rx Opioid Users 
Journal of drug issues  2012;42(1):82-97.
Modern desistance research has examined many facets of desistance, in terms of theoretical predictors of desistance and recidivism, and in terms of differing types of offending. Though predicting desistance from illegal drug use is among these topics, no research to date has examined the predictors of desisting from prescription opioid abuse. This study uses longitudinal data from 318 prescription opioid users to analyze the effects of various predictors of desistance on declining nonmedical prescription opioid use, with an emphasis on gender differences among participants. Results indicate that theoretical and demographic characteristics correspond with differing rates of decline and further vary by gender.
PMCID: PMC3378330  PMID: 22736809
Prescription drug abuse; opioids; desistance
25.  Microvascular Free Tissue Transfer in the Reconstruction of Scalp and Lateral Temporal Bone Defects 
Defects of the scalp and lateral temporal bone (LTB) represent a unique challenge to the reconstructive surgeon. Simple reconstructive methods such as skin grafts, locoregional flaps, or tissue expanders are often not feasible due to a myriad of reasons. Vascularized free tissue transfer coverage offers distinct advantages in managing these defects. A retrospective case series was performed on all patients at the University of Washington Medical Center who had scalp or LTB defects reconstructed with free tissue transfer from May 1996 to July 2009. Cases were analyzed for defect characteristics, flap type, vessel selection, radiation status, dural exposure, complications, and outcomes. Sixty-eight free flaps were performed in 65 patients with scalp or LTB defects. Twenty-two resections included craniotomy, and 48 patients had pre- or postoperative radiation. Defects ranged from 6 to 836 cm2. All flaps (46 latissimus, 11 rectus, 4 radial forearm, 6 anterolateral thigh, and 1 omental) were transferred successfully. Vein grafts were required in five cases. Complications included delayed flap failure requiring secondary reconstruction, neck hematoma, venous thrombosis, skull base infection, large wound dehiscence, small wound dehiscence, donor site hematoma and seroma, and cerebrospinal fluid leak. Cosmetic results were consistent and durable. Microvascular free tissue transfer is a safe, reliable method of reconstructing scalp and LTB defects and offers favorable cosmetic results. We favor the use of latissimus muscle-only flap with skin graft coverage for large scalp defects and rectus or anterolateral thigh free flaps for lateral temporal bone defects.
PMCID: PMC3314257  PMID: 23205168
Scalp reconstruction; lateral temporal bone reconstruction; scalp neoplasms; scalp defects; microvascular reconstruction; free tissue transfer

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