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author:("Si, daming")
1.  Surgical site infections following coronary artery bypass graft procedures: 10 years of surveillance data 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:318.
Background
Surgical site infections following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures pose substantial burden on patients and healthcare systems. This study aims to describe the incidence of surgical site infections and causative pathogens following CABG surgery over the period 2003–2012, and to identify risk factors for complex sternal site infections.
Methods
Routine computerised surveillance data were collected from three public hospitals in Queensland, Australia in which CABG surgery was performed between 2003 and 2012. Surgical site infection rates were calculated by types of infection (superficial/complex) and incision sites (sternal/harvest sites). Patient and procedural characteristics were evaluated as risk factors for complex sternal site infections using a logistic regression model.
Results
There were 1,702 surgical site infections (518 at sternal sites and 1,184 at harvest sites) following 14,546 CABG procedures performed. Among 732 pathogens isolated, Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus accounted for 28.3% of the isolates, Pseudomonas aeruginosa 18.3%, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 14.6%, and Enterobacter species 6.7%. Proportions of Gram-negative bacteria elevated from 37.8% in 2003 to 61.8% in 2009, followed by a reduction to 42.4% in 2012. Crude rates of complex sternal site infections increased over the reporting period, ranging from 0.7% in 2004 to 2.6% in 2011. Two factors associated with increased risk of complex sternal site infections were identified: patients with an ASA (American Society of Anaesthesiologists) score of 4 or 5 (reference score of 3, OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.36-2.47) and absence of documentation of antibiotic prophylaxis (OR 2.03, 95% CI 1.12-3.69).
Conclusions
Compared with previous studies, our data indicate the importance of Gram-negative organisms as causative agents for surgical site infections following CABG surgery. An increase in complex sternal site infection rates can be partially explained by the increasing proportion of patients with more severe underlying disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-318
PMCID: PMC4061097  PMID: 24916690
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery; Surgical site infections; Pathogens; Risk factors
2.  Evaluating the effectiveness of a multifaceted, multilevel continuous quality improvement program in primary health care: developing a realist theory of change 
Background
Variation in effectiveness of continuous quality improvement (CQI) interventions between services is commonly reported, but with little explanation of how contextual and other factors may interact to produce this variation. Therefore, there is scant information available on which policy makers can draw to inform effective implementation in different settings. In this paper, we explore how patterns of change in delivery of services may have been achieved in a diverse range of health centers participating in a wide-scale program to achieve improvements in quality of care for Indigenous Australians.
Methods
We elicited key informants’ interpretations of factors explaining patterns of change in delivery of guideline-scheduled services over three or more years of a wide-scale CQI project, and inductively analyzed these interpretations to propose fine-grained realist hypotheses about what works for whom and in what circumstances. Data were derived from annual clinical audits from 36 health centers operating in diverse settings, quarterly project monitoring reports, and workshops with 12 key informants who had key roles in project implementation. We abstracted potential context-mechanism-outcome configurations from the data, and based on these, identified potential program-strengthening strategies.
Results
Several context-specific, mechanism-based explanations for effectiveness of this CQI project were identified. These were collective valuing of clinical data for improvement purposes; collective efficacy; and organizational change towards a population health orientation. Health centers with strong central management of CQI, and those in which CQI efforts were more dependent on local health center initiative and were adapted to resonate with local priorities were both favorable contexts for collective valuing of clinical data. Where health centers had prior positive experiences of collaboration, effects appeared to be achieved at least partly through the mechanism of collective efficacy. Strong community linkages, staff ability to identify with patients, and staff having the skills and support to take broad ranging action, were favorable contexts for the mechanism of increased population health orientation.
Conclusions
Our study provides evidence to support strategies for program strengthening described in the literature, and extends the understanding of mechanisms through which strategies may be effective in achieving particular outcomes in different contexts.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-8-119
PMCID: PMC4124892  PMID: 24098940
Quality improvement; Evaluation science; Realist evaluation; Primary health care; Program theory
3.  Do competing demands of physical illness in type 2 diabetes influence depression screening, documentation and management in primary care: a cross-sectional analytic study in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care settings 
Background
Relatively little is known about how depression amongst people with chronic illness is identified and managed in diverse primary health care settings. We evaluated the role of complex physical needs in influencing current practice of depression screening, documentation and antidepressant prescriptions during a 12-month period, among adults with Type 2 diabetes attending Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary care health centres in Australia.
Methods
We analysed clinical audit data from 44 health centres participating in a continuous quality improvement initiative, using previously reported standard sampling and data extraction protocols. Eligible patients were those with Type 2 diabetes with health centre attendance within the past 12 months. We compared current practice in depression screening, documentation and antidepressant prescription between patients with different disease severity and co-morbidity. We used random effects multiple logistic regression models to adjust for potential confounders and for clustering by health centre.
Results
Among the 1174 patients with diabetes included, median time since diagnosis was 7 years, 19% of patients had a co-existing diagnosis of Ischaemic Heart Disease and 1/3 had renal disease. Some 70% of patients had HbAc1>7.0%; 65% had cholesterol >4.0 mmol1-1 and 64% had blood pressure>130/80 mmHg. Documentation of screening for depression and of diagnosed depression were low overall (5% and 6% respectively) and lower for patients with renal disease (Adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.14 to 0.31 and AOR 0.34; 95% CI 0.15 to 0.75), and for those with poorly controlled disease (HbA1c>7.00 (AOR 0.40; 95% CI 0.23 to 0.68 and AOR 0.51; 95% CI 0.30 to 84)). Screening for depression was lower for those on pharmaceutical treatment for glycaemic control compared to those not on such treatment. Antidepressant prescription was not associated with level of diabetes control or disease severity.
Conclusions
Background levels of depression screening and documentation were low overall and significantly lower for patients with greater disease severity. Strategies to improve depression care for vulnerable populations are urgently required. An important first step in the Australian Indigenous primary care context is to identify and address barriers to the use of current clinical guidelines for depression screening and care.
doi:10.1186/1752-4458-7-16
PMCID: PMC3681658  PMID: 23738766
Diabetes mellitus; Type 2; Depression; Quality improvement; Indigenous health services
4.  Variation in quality of preventive care for well adults in Indigenous community health centres in Australia 
Background
Early onset and high prevalence of chronic disease among Indigenous Australians call for action on prevention. However, there is deficiency of information on the extent to which preventive services are delivered in Indigenous communities. This study examined the variation in quality of preventive care for well adults attending Indigenous community health centres in Australia.
Methods
During 2005-2009, clinical audits were conducted on a random sample (stratified by age and sex) of records of adults with no known chronic disease in 62 Indigenous community health centres in four Australian States/Territories (sample size 1839). Main outcome measures: i) adherence to delivery of guideline-scheduled services within the previous 24 months, including basic measurements, laboratory investigations, oral health checks, and brief intervention on lifestyle modification; and ii) follow-up of abnormal findings.
Results
Overall delivery of guideline-scheduled preventive services varied widely between health centres (range 5-74%). Documentation of abnormal blood pressure reading ([greater than or equal to]140/90 mmHg), proteinuria and abnormal blood glucose ([greater than or equal to]5.5 mmol/L) was found to range between 0 and > 90% at the health centre level. A similarly wide range was found between health centres for documented follow up check/test or management plan for people documented to have an abnormal clinical finding. Health centre level characteristics explained 13-47% of variation in documented preventive care, and the remaining variation was explained by client level characteristics.
Conclusions
There is substantial room to improve preventive care for well adults in Indigenous primary care settings. Understanding of health centre and client level factors affecting variation in the care should assist clinicians, managers and policy makers to develop strategies to improve quality of preventive care in Indigenous communities.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-139
PMCID: PMC3120646  PMID: 21627846
5.  Delivery of maternal health care in Indigenous primary care services: baseline data for an ongoing quality improvement initiative 
Background
Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) populations have disproportionately high rates of adverse perinatal outcomes relative to other Australians. Poorer access to good quality maternal health care is a key driver of this disparity. The aim of this study was to describe patterns of delivery of maternity care and service gaps in primary care services in Australian Indigenous communities.
Methods
We undertook a cross-sectional baseline audit for a quality improvement intervention. Medical records of 535 women from 34 Indigenous community health centres in five regions (Top End of Northern Territory 13, Central Australia 2, Far West New South Wales 6, Western Australia 9, and North Queensland 4) were audited. The main outcome measures included: adherence to recommended protocols and procedures in the antenatal and postnatal periods including: clinical, laboratory and ultrasound investigations; screening for gestational diabetes and Group B Streptococcus; brief intervention/advice on health-related behaviours and risks; and follow up of identified health problems.
Results
The proportion of women presenting for their first antenatal visit in the first trimester ranged from 34% to 49% between regions; consequently, documentation of care early in pregnancy was poor. Overall, documentation of routine antenatal investigations and brief interventions/advice regarding health behaviours varied, and generally indicated that these services were underutilised. For example, 46% of known smokers received smoking cessation advice/counselling; 52% of all women received antenatal education and 51% had investigation for gestational diabetes. Overall, there was relatively good documentation of follow up of identified problems related to hypertension or diabetes, with over 70% of identified women being referred to a GP/Obstetrician.
Conclusion
Participating services had both strengths and weaknesses in the delivery of maternal health care. Increasing access to evidence-based screening and health information (most notably around smoking cessation) were consistently identified as opportunities for improvement across services.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-11-16
PMCID: PMC3066246  PMID: 21385387
6.  Incidence of type 2 diabetes in Aboriginal Australians: an 11-year prospective cohort study 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:487.
Background
Diabetes is an important contributor to the health inequity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. This study aims to estimate incidence rates of diabetes and to assess its associations with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) among Aboriginal participants in a remote community.
Methods
Six hundred and eighty six (686) Aboriginal Australians aged 20 to 74 years free from diabetes at baseline were followed for a median of 11 years. During the follow-up period, new diabetes cases were identified through hospital records. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess relationships of the incidence rates of diabetes with IFG, IGT and body mass index (BMI).
Results
One hundred and twenty four (124) new diabetes cases were diagnosed during the follow up period. Incidence rates increased with increasing age, from 2.2 per 1000 person-years for those younger than 25 years to 39.9 per 1000 person-years for those 45-54 years. By age of 60 years, cumulative incidence rates were 49% for Aboriginal men and 70% for Aboriginal women. The rate ratio for developing diabetes in the presence of either IFG or IGT at baseline was 2.2 (95% CI: 1.5, 3.3), adjusting for age, sex and BMI. Rate ratios for developing diabetes were 2.2 (95% CI: 1.4, 3.5) for people who were overweight and 4.7 (95% CI: 3.0, 7.4) for people who were obese at baseline, with adjustment of age, sex and the presence of IFG/IGT.
Conclusions
Diabetes incidence rates are high in Aboriginal people. The lifetime risk of developing diabetes among Aboriginal men is one in two, and among Aboriginal women is two in three. Baseline IFG, IGT and obesity are important predictors of diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-487
PMCID: PMC2931471  PMID: 20712905
7.  Comparison of diabetes management in five countries for general and indigenous populations: an internet-based review 
Background
The diabetes epidemic is associated with huge human and economic costs, with some groups, such as indigenous populations in industrialised countries, being at especially high risk. Monitoring and improving diabetes care at a population level are important to reduce diabetes-related morbidity and mortality. A set of diabetes indicators has been developed collaboratively among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to monitor performance of diabetes care. The aim of this review was to provide an overview of diabetes management in five selected OECD countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK), based on data available for general and indigenous populations where appropriate.
Methods
We searched websites of health departments and leading national organisations related to diabetes care in each of the five countries to identify publicly released reports relevant to diabetes care. We collected data relevant to 6 OECD diabetes indicators on processes of diabetes care (annual HbA1c testing, lipid testing, renal function screening and eye examination) and proximal outcomes (HbA1c and lipid control).
Results
Data were drawn from 29 websites, with 14 reports and 13 associated data sources included in this review. Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK had national data available to construct most of the 6 OECD diabetes indicators, but Canadian data were limited to two indicators. New Zealand and the US had national level diabetes care data for indigenous populations, showing relatively poorer care among these groups when compared with general populations. The US and UK performed well across the four process indicators when compared with Australia and New Zealand. For example, annual HbA1c testing and lipid testing were delivered to 70-80% of patients in the US and UK; the corresponding figures for Australia and New Zealand were 50-60%. Regarding proximal outcomes, HbA1c control for patients in Australia and New Zealand tended to be relatively better than patients in the US and UK.
Conclusions
Substantial efforts have been made in the five countries to develop routine data collection systems to monitor performance of diabetes management. Available performance data identify considerable gaps in clinical care of diabetes across countries. Policy makers and health service providers across countries can learn from each other to improve data collection and delivery of diabetes care at the population level.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-169
PMCID: PMC2903584  PMID: 20553622
8.  Study protocol: national research partnership to improve primary health care performance and outcomes for Indigenous peoples 
Background
Strengthening primary health care is critical to reducing health inequity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The Audit and Best practice for Chronic Disease Extension (ABCDE) project has facilitated the implementation of modern Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) approaches in Indigenous community health care centres across Australia. The project demonstrated improvements in health centre systems, delivery of primary care services and in patient intermediate outcomes. It has also highlighted substantial variation in quality of care. Through a partnership between academic researchers, service providers and policy makers, we are now implementing a study which aims to 1) explore the factors associated with variation in clinical performance; 2) examine specific strategies that have been effective in improving primary care clinical performance; and 3) work with health service staff, management and policy makers to enhance the effective implementation of successful strategies.
Methods/Design
The study will be conducted in Indigenous community health centres from at least six States/Territories (Northern Territory, Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria) over a five year period. A research hub will be established in each region to support collection and reporting of quantitative and qualitative clinical and health centre system performance data, to investigate factors affecting variation in quality of care and to facilitate effective translation of research evidence into policy and practice. The project is supported by a web-based information system, providing automated analysis and reporting of clinical care performance to health centre staff and management.
Discussion
By linking researchers directly to users of research (service providers, managers and policy makers), the partnership is well placed to generate new knowledge on effective strategies for improving the quality of primary health care and fostering effective and efficient exchange and use of data and information among service providers and policy makers to achieve evidence-based resource allocation, service planning, system development, and improvements of service delivery and Indigenous health outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-129
PMCID: PMC2882384  PMID: 20482810
9.  Study protocol: Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease Extension (ABCDE) Project 
Background
A growing body of international literature points to the importance of a system approach to improve the quality of care in primary health care settings. Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) concepts and techniques provide a theoretically coherent and practical way for primary care organisations to identify, address, and overcome the barriers to improvements. The Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease (ABCD) study, a CQI-based quality improvement project conducted in Australia's Northern Territory, has demonstrated significant improvements in primary care service systems, in the quality of clinical service delivery and in patient outcomes related to chronic illness care. The aims of the extension phase of this study are to examine factors that influence uptake and sustainability of this type of CQI activity in a variety of Indigenous primary health care organisations in Australia, and to assess the impact of collaborative CQI approaches on prevention and management of chronic illness and health outcomes in Indigenous communities.
Methods/design
The study will be conducted in 40–50 Indigenous community health centres from 4 States/Territories (Northern Territory, Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland) over a five year period. The project will adopt a participatory, quality improvement approach that features annual cycles of: 1) organisational system assessment and audits of clinical records; 2) feedback to and interpretation of results with participating health centre staff; 3) action planning and goal setting by health centre staff to achieve system changes; and 4) implementation of strategies for change. System assessment will be carried out using a System Assessment Tool and in-depth interviews of key informants. Clinical audit tools include two essential tools that focus on diabetes care audit and preventive service audit, and several optional tools focusing on audits of hypertension, heart disease, renal disease, primary mental health care and health promotion.
The project will be carried out in a form of collaborative characterised by a sequence of annual learning cycles with action periods for CQI activities between each learning cycle.
Key outcome measures include uptake and integration of CQI activities into routine service activity, state of system development, delivery of evidence-based services, intermediate patient outcomes (e.g. blood pressure and glucose control), and health outcomes (complications, hospitalisations and mortality).
Conclusion
The ABCD Extension project will contribute directly to the evidence base on effectiveness of collaborative CQI approaches on prevention and management of chronic disease in Australia's Indigenous communities, and to inform the operational and policy environments that are required to incorporate CQI activities into routine practice.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-8-184
PMCID: PMC2556328  PMID: 18799011
10.  Describing and analysing primary health care system support for chronic illness care in Indigenous communities in Australia's Northern Territory – use of the Chronic Care Model 
Background
Indigenous Australians experience disproportionately high prevalence of, and morbidity and mortality from chronic illness such as diabetes, renal disease and cardiovascular disease. Improving the understanding of how Indigenous primary care systems are organised to deliver chronic illness care will inform efforts to improve the quality of care for Indigenous people.
Methods
This cross-sectional study was conducted in 12 Indigenous communities in Australia's Northern Territory. Using the Chronic Care Model as a framework, we carried out a mail-out survey to collect information on material, financial and human resources relating to chronic illness care in participating health centres. Follow up face-to-face interviews with health centre staff were conducted to identify successes and difficulties in the systems in relation to providing chronic illness care to community members.
Results
Participating health centres had distinct areas of strength and weakness in each component of systems: 1) organisational influence – strengthened by inclusion of chronic illness goals in business plans, appointment of designated chronic disease coordinators and introduction of external clinical audits, but weakened by lack of training in disease prevention and health promotion and limited access to Medicare funding; 2) community linkages – facilitated by working together with community organisations (e.g. local stores) and running community-based programs (e.g. "health week"), but detracted by a shortage of staff especially of Aboriginal health workers working in the community; 3) self management – promoted through patient education and goal setting with clients, but impeded by limited focus on family and community-based activities due to understaffing; 4) decision support – facilitated by distribution of clinical guidelines and their integration with daily care, but limited by inadequate access to and support from specialists; 5) delivery system design – strengthened by provision of transport for clients to health centres, separate men's and women's clinic rooms, specific roles of primary care team members in relation to chronic illness care, effective teamwork, and functional pathology and pharmacy systems, but weakened by staff shortage (particularly doctors and Aboriginal health workers) and high staff turnover; and 6) clinical information systems – facilitated by wide adoption of computerised information systems, but weakened by the systems' complexity and lack of IT maintenance and upgrade support.
Conclusion
Using concrete examples, this study translates the concept of the Chronic Care Model (and associated systems view) into practical application in Australian Indigenous primary care settings. This approach proved to be useful in understanding the quality of primary care systems for prevention and management of chronic illness. Further refinement of the systems should focus on both increasing human and financial resources and improving management practice.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-8-112
PMCID: PMC2430955  PMID: 18505591
11.  Improving organisational systems for diabetes care in Australian Indigenous communities 
Background
Indigenous Australians experience disproportionately high prevalence of, and morbidity and mortality from diabetes. There is an urgent need to understand how Indigenous primary care systems are organised to deliver diabetes services to those most in need, to monitor the quality of diabetes care received by Indigenous people, and to improve systems for better diabetes care.
Methods
The intervention featured two annual cycles of assessment, feedback workshops, action planning, and implementation of system changes in 12 Indigenous community health centres. Assessment included a structured review of health service systems and audit of clinical records. Main process of care measures included adherence to guideline-scheduled services and medication adjustment. Main patient outcome measures were HbA1c, blood pressure and total cholesterol levels.
Results
There was good engagement of health centre staff, with significant improvements in system development over the study period. Adherence to guideline-scheduled processes improved, including increases in 6 monthly testing of HbA1c from 41% to 74% (Risk ratio 1.93, 95% CI 1.71–2.10), 3 monthly checking of blood pressure from 63% to 76% (1.27, 1.13–1.37), annual testing of total cholesterol from 56% to 74% (1.36, 1.20–1.49), biennial eye checking by a ophthalmologist from 34% to 54% (1.68, 1.39–1.95), and 3 monthly feet checking from 20% to 58% (3.01, 2.52–3.47). Medication adjustment rates following identification of elevated HbA1c and blood pressure were low, increasing from 10% to 24%, and from 13% to 21% respectively at year 1 audit. However, improvements in medication adjustment were not maintained at the year 2 follow-up. Mean HbA1c value improved from 9.3 to 8.9% (mean difference -0.4%, 95% CI -0.7;-0.1), but there was no improvement in blood pressure or cholesterol control.
Conclusion
This quality improvement (QI) intervention has proved to be highly acceptable in the Indigenous Australian primary care setting and has been associated with significant improvements in systems and processes of care and some intermediate outcomes. However, improvements appear to be limited by inadequate attention to abnormal clinical findings and medication management. Greater improvement in intermediate outcomes may be achieved by specifically addressing system barriers to therapy intensification through more effective engagement of medical staff in QI activities and/or greater use of nurse-practitioners.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-7-67
PMCID: PMC1876220  PMID: 17480239
12.  Assessing health centre systems for guiding improvement in diabetes care 
Background
Aboriginal people in Australia experience the highest prevalence of diabetes in the country, an excess of preventable complications and early death. There is increasing evidence demonstrating the importance of healthcare systems for improvement of chronic illness care. The aims of this study were to assess the status of systems for chronic illness care in Aboriginal community health centres, and to explore whether more developed systems were associated with better quality of diabetes care.
Methods
This cross-sectional study was conducted in 12 Aboriginal community health centres in the Northern Territory of Australia. Assessment of Chronic Illness Care scale was adapted to measure system development in health centres, and administered by interview with health centre staff and managers. Based on a random sample of 295 clinical records from attending clients with diagnosed type 2 diabetes, processes of diabetes care were measured by rating of health service delivery against best-practice guidelines. Intermediate outcomes included the control of HbA1c, blood pressure, and total cholesterol.
Results
Health centre systems were in the low to mid-range of development and had distinct areas of strength and weakness. Four of the six system components were independently associated with quality of diabetes care: an increase of 1 unit of score for organisational influence, community linkages, and clinical information systems, respectively, was associated with 4.3%, 3.8%, and 4.5% improvement in adherence to process standards; likewise, organisational influence, delivery system design and clinical information systems were related to control of HbA1c, blood pressure, and total cholesterol.
Conclusion
The state of development of health centre systems is reflected in quality of care outcome measures for patients. The health centre systems assessment tool should be useful in assessing and guiding development of systems for improvement of diabetes care in similar settings in Australia and internationally.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-5-56
PMCID: PMC1208882  PMID: 16117836
13.  Preventive medical care in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory: a follow-up study of the impact of clinical guidelines, computerised recall and reminder systems, and audit and feedback 
Background
Interventions to improve delivery of preventive medical services have been shown to be effective in North America and the UK. However, there are few studies of the extent to which the impact of such interventions has been sustained, or of the impact of such interventions in disadvantaged populations or remote settings. This paper describes the trends in delivery of preventive medical services following a multifaceted intervention in remote community health centres in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Methods
The intervention comprised the development and dissemination of best practice guidelines supported by an electronic client register, recall and reminder systems and associated staff training, and audit and feedback. Clinical records in seven community health centres were audited at regular intervals against best practice guidelines over a period of three years, with feedback of audit findings to health centre staff and management.
Results
Levels of service delivery varied between services and between communities. There was an initial improvement in service levels for most services following the intervention, but improvements were in general not fully sustained over the three year period.
Conclusions
Improvements in service delivery are consistent with the international experience, although baseline and follow-up levels are in many cases higher than reported for comparable studies in North America and the UK. Sustainability of improvements may be achieved by institutionalisation of relevant work practices and enhanced health centre capacity.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-3-15
PMCID: PMC194217  PMID: 12890291

Results 1-13 (13)