We present a proof of concept for a novel method of predicting the onset of pathological tremor using non-invasively measured surface electromyogram (sEMG) and acceleration from tremor-affected extremities of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Essential tremor (ET).
The tremor prediction algorithm uses a set of spectral (fourier and wavelet) and non-linear time series (entropy and recurrence rate) parameters extracted from the non-invasively recorded sEMG and acceleration signals.
The resulting algorithm is shown to successfully predict tremor onset for all 91 trials recorded in 4 PD patients and for all 91 trials recorded in 4 ET patients. The predictor achieves a 100% sensitivity for all trials considered, along with an overall accuracy of 85.7% for all ET trials and 80.2% for all PD trials. By using a Pearson’s chi-square test, the prediction results are shown to significantly differ from a random prediction outcome.
The tremor prediction algorithm can be potentially used for designing the next generation of non-invasive closed-loop predictive ON-OFF controllers for deep brain stimulation (DBS), used for suppressing pathological tremor in such patients. Such a system is based on alternating ON and OFF DBS periods, an incoming tremor being predicted during the time intervals when DBS is OFF, so as to turn DBS back ON. The prediction should be a few seconds before tremor re-appears so that the patient is tremor-free for the entire DBS ON-OFF cycle as well as the tremor-free DBS OFF interval should be maximized in order to minimize the current injected in the brain and battery usage.
To build an item response theory based computer-adaptive balance test (CAT) from three traditional, fixed-form balance measures: Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment (POMA), and Dynamic Gait Index (DGI); and examine whether CAT psychometric performance exceeded that of individual measures.
Secondary analysis combining two existing datasets.
187 community-dwelling older adults, 65 years or older, mean age 75.2±6.8 years, 69% female.
Main Outcome Measure(s)
BBS, POMA, and DGI items were compiled into an initial 38-item bank. Rasch Partial Credit Model was used for final item bank calibration. CAT simulations were conducted to identify the ideal CAT. CAT score accuracy, reliability, floor and ceiling effects, and validity were examined. Floor and ceiling effects and validity of CAT and individual measures were compared.
A 23-item bank met model expectations. A 10-item CAT was selected, showing very strong association with full item bank scores (r=0.97), and good overall reliability (0.78). Reliability was better in low- to mid-balance ranges due to better item targeting to balance ability, compared with highest balance ranges. No floor effect was noted. CAT ceiling effect (11.2%) was significantly lower than POMA (40.1%) and DGI (40.3%) ceiling effects (p<0.0001 per comparison). The CAT outperformed individual measures, being the only test to discriminate between fallers and non-fallers (p=0.0068), and strongest predictor of self-reported function.
The balance CAT showed excellent accuracy, good overall reliability, and excellent validity compared with individual measures, being the only measure to discriminate between fallers and non-fallers. Prospective examination, particularly in low- functioning elderly and clinical populations with balance deficits, is recommended. Development of an improved CAT based on an expanded item bank containing higher difficulty items is also recommended.
computer-adaptive testing; postural balance; aged
With continuous progress and rapid technological advancement of neuromodulation it is conceivable that within next decade or so, our approach to the electrical stimulation of the spinal cord used in treatment of chronic pain will change radically. The currently used spinal cord stimulation (SCS), with its procedural invasiveness, bulky devices, simplistic stimulation paradigms, and frustrating decline in effectiveness over time will be replaced by much more refined and individually tailored modality. Better understanding of underlying mechanism of action will allow us to use SCS in a more rational way, selecting patient-specific targets and techniques that properly fit each patient with chronic pain based on pain characteristics, distribution, and cause. Based on the information available today, this article will summarize emerging applications of SCS in the treatment of pain and theorize on further developments that may be introduced in the foreseeable future. An overview of clinical and technological innovations will serve as a basis for better understanding of SCS landscape for the next several years.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13311-014-0273-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
High-frequency stimulation; Dorsal root ganglion; Subcutaneous stimulation; Feedback loop; Nanotechnology
We describe a developmentally normal Amish child who has a karyotype with 47 chromosomes, including a supernumerary ring-shaped chromosome 18 in each metaphase studied. The only phenotypic findings in the patient were hemivertebrae and rib anomalies. Further analysis of interphase cells revealed an additional, less frequent mosaic, apparently normal cell population. Genes in the triplicated region that possibly are contributing to her skeletal phenotype include GATA6, MC2R, MC5R, RBBP8, ESCO1, and ROCK1, among others. By studying such patients with abnormal genetic dosage, genotype–phenotype correlations can be used to refine gene function.
trisomy 18; scoliosis; hemivertebrae; ring chromosome 18; Edwards syndrome
The prostate cancer (PCa) microenvironment contains active stromal cells known as cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) that may play important roles in influencing tumor progression. Here we studied the role of CAF estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and found that it could protect against PCa invasion. Immunohistochemistry on prostatectomy specimens showed that PCa patients with ERα-positive stroma had a significantly lower risk for biochemical recurrence. In vitro invasion assays further confirmed that the stromal ERα was able to reduce PCa cell invasion. Dissection of the molecular mechanism revealed that the CAF ERα could function through a CAF–epithelial interaction via selectively upregulating thrombospondin 2 (Thbs2) and downregulating matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP3) at the protein and messenger RNA levels. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays further showed that ERα could bind to an estrogen response element on the promoter of Thbs2. Importantly, knockdown of Thbs2 led to increased MMP3 expression and interruption of the ERα mediated invasion suppression, providing further evidence of an ERα–Thbs2–MMP3 axis in CAF. In vivo studies using athymic nude mice injected with CWR22Rv1 (22Rv1) PCa epithelial cells and CAF cells ± ERα also confirmed that mice coimplanted with PCa cells and CAF ERα+ cells had less tumor foci in the pelvic lymph nodes, less metastases, and tumors showed less angiogenesis, MMP3, and MMP9 (an MMP3 downstream target) positive staining. Together, these data suggest that CAF ERα could play protective roles in suppressing PCa metastasis. Our results may lead to developing new and alternative therapeutic approaches to battle PCa via controlling ERα signaling in CAF.
Antibiotic allergy labels are associated with sub-optimal prescribing patterns and poorer clinical outcomes in non-cancer populations, but the effect of labelling on antimicrobial usage in patients with cancer is unknown.
A retrospective review of hospitalized patients admitted to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (2010-2012) identified 23 % of cancer patients (n = 198) with an antimicrobial allergy label (AA). Comparison of those with an antimicrobial allergy label to those without demonstrated increased antibiotic use per admission (3 vs. 2, p = 0.01), increased fluoroquinolone use (11 % vs. 6 %, p < 0.05), increased antibiotic course duration (15 vs. 13 days, p = 0.09), higher readmission rates (53 % vs. 28 %, p < 0.001) and poorer concordance with prescribing guidelines (47 % vs. 91 %, p < 0.001). Patients in the AA group on multivariate analysis had a higher number of antibiotics employed, longer duration of antibiotic therapy and higher rate of readmission.
Antimicrobial usage, including the use of restricted antibiotics, is higher in patients with cancer. Antibiotic de-labelling strategies in cancer patients must be evaluated to aid antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.
Antibiotic allergy; Stewardship; Cancer; Antimicrobial resistance
•Aneurysmal bone cyst occurring in the setting of previously diagnosed fibrous dysplasia is a rare occurrence.•Repeat investigation with imaging and biopsy was required to obtain accurate diagnosis and exclude malignancy.•Due to the aggressive nature of the disease and the patient’s medical comorbidities, an above knee amputation was required for disease control.
Aneurysmal bone cyst occurring in the setting of previously diagnosed fibrous dysplasia is rare. While both are benign processes, pain, compression of nearby structures and risk of fracture can require treatment.
Presentation of case
In this report, we describe a 56 year old male who developed an aggressive aneurysmal bone cyst secondary to fibrous dysplasia in the proximal tibia over a period of 8 months. He required an above knee amputation for disease and symptom control due to the aggressive nature of disease and medical comorbidities.
The diagnosis of a secondary lesion can prove difficult. It is important to exclude a malignant disease process, particularly when imaging demonstrates an aggressive appearance. In this case, repeat imaging, CT guided biopsies and an open biopsy were performed to exclude malignancy prior to definitive surgical management.
In order to exclude secondary lesions, we suggest further investigation for new onset pain in the setting of a benign lesion.
Aneurysmal bone cyst; Fibrous dysplasia
Type 2 diabetes predicts accelerated cognitive decline and brain atrophy. We hypothesized that impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and incident glucose disorders have detrimental effects on global cognition and brain volume. We further hypothesized that metabolic and inflammatory derangements accompanying hyperglycaemia contribute to change in brain structure and function. This was a longitudinal study of a community-dwelling elderly cohort with neuropsychological testing (n = 880) and brain volumes by magnetic resonance imaging (n = 312) measured at baseline and 2 years. Primary outcomes were global cognition and total brain volume. Secondary outcomes were cognitive domains (processing speed, memory, language, visuospatial and executive function) and brain volumes (hippocampal, parahippocampal, precuneus and frontal lobe). Participants were categorised as normal, impaired fasting glucose at both assessments (stable IFG), baseline diabetes or incident glucose disorders (incident diabetes or IFG at 2 years). Measures included inflammatory cytokines and oxidative metabolites. Covariates were age, sex, education, non-English speaking background, smoking, blood pressure, lipid-lowering or antihypertensive medications, mood score, apolipoprotein E genotype and baseline cognition or brain volume. Participants with incident glucose disorders had greater decline in global cognition and visuospatial function compared to normal, similar to that observed in baseline diabetes. Homocysteine was independently associated with the observed effect of diabetes on executive function. Apolipoprotein E genotype did not influence the observed effects of diabetes on cognition. Incident glucose disorders and diabetes were also associated with greater 2-year decline in total brain volume, compared to normal (40.0 ± 4.2 vs. 46.7 ± 5.7 mm3 vs. 18.1 ± 6.2, respectively, p < 0.005). Stable IFG did not show greater decline in global cognition or brain volumes compared to normal. Incident glucose disorders, like diabetes, are associated with accelerated decline in global cognition and brain volumes in non-demented elderly, whereas stable IFG is not. Preventing deterioration in glucose metabolism in the elderly may help preserve brain structure and function.
Diabetes; Glucose; Cognition; Dementia; Brain; Inflammation
Sugar consumption, especially added sugars, is under attack. Various government and health authorities have suggested new sugar recommendations and guidelines as low as 5% of total calories from free sugars. Definitions for total sugars, free sugars, and added sugars are not standardized, nor are there accepted nutrient databases for this information. Our objective was to measure total sugars and added sugars in sample meal plans created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Utilizing the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR) nutritional database, results found that plans created by the USDA and AND averaged 5.1% and 3.1% calories from added sugar, 8.7% and 3.1% from free sugar, and 23.3% and 21.1% as total sugars respectively. Compliance with proposed added sugar recommendations would require strict dietary compliance and may not be sustainable for many Americans. Without an accepted definition and equation for calculating added sugar, added sugar recommendations are arbitrary and may reduce intakes of nutrient-rich, recommended foods, such as yogurt, whole grains, and tart fruits including cranberries, cherries, and grapefruit. Added sugars are one part of excess calorie intake; however, compliance with low added sugar recommendations may not be achievable for the general public.
added sugar; free sugar; sugar recommendations; nutrition facts labels
Antifungal prophylaxis is a promising strategy for reducing invasive fungal infections (IFIs) in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (alloHCT) recipients, but the optimum prophylactic agent is unknown. We used mixed treatment comparison (MTC) meta-analysis to compare clinical trials examining the use of oral antifungals for prophylaxis in alloHCT recipients, with the goal of informing medical decision-making.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of fluconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole, and voriconazole for primary antifungal prophylaxis were identified through a systematic literature review. Outcomes of interest (incidence of IFI/invasive aspergillosis/invasive candidiasis, all-cause mortality, and use of other antifungals) were extracted from eligible RCTs and incorporated into a Bayesian hierarchical random-effects MTC.
Five eligible RCTs, randomizing 2147 patients in total, were included. Relative to fluconazole, prophylaxis with itraconazole (odds ratio [OR]: 0.52; interquartile range [IQR]: 0.35–0.76), posaconazole (OR: 0.56; IQR: 0.32–0.99), and voriconazole (OR: 0.46; IQR: 0.28–0.73) reduced incidence of overall proven/probable IFI. Posaconazole (OR: 0.31; IQR: 0.17–0.58) and voriconazole (OR: 0.33; IQR: 0.17–0.58) prophylaxis reduced proven/probable invasive aspergillosis more than itraconazole (OR: 0.68; IQR: 0.42–1.12). All-cause mortality was similar across all mould-active agents.
As expected, mould-active azoles prevented IFIs, particularly invasive aspergillosis, more effectively than fluconazole in alloHCT recipients. The paucity of comparative efficacy data suggests that other factors such as long-term tolerability, availability of intravenous formulations, local IFI epidemiology, and drug costs may need to form the basis for selection among the mould-active azoles.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-015-0855-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Antifungal; AlloHCT; Azoles; Invasive fungal infections; Mixed treatment comparison
Although the term “whole grain” is well defined, there has been no universal standard of what constitutes a “whole-grain food,” creating challenges for researchers, the food industry, regulatory authorities, and consumers around the world. As part of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Technical Advisory Committee issued a call to action to develop definitions for whole-grain foods that could be universally accepted and applied to dietary recommendations and planning. The Committee’s call to action, and the lack of a global whole-grain food definition, was the impetus for the Whole Grain Roundtable held 3–5 December 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The objective was to develop a whole-grain food definition that is consistent with the quartet of needs of science, food product formulation, consumer behavior, and label education. The roundtable’s expert panel represented a broad range of expertise from the United States and Europe, including epidemiology and dietary intervention researchers, consumer educators, government policy makers, and food and nutrition scientists from academia and the grain food industry. Taking into account the totality, quality, and consistency of available scientific evidence, the expert panel recommended that 8 g of whole grain/30 g serving (27 g/100 g), without a fiber requirement, be considered a minimum content of whole grains that is nutritionally meaningful and that a food providing at least 8 g of whole grains/30-g serving be defined as a whole-grain food. Having an established whole-grain food definition will encourage manufacturers to produce foods with meaningful amounts of whole grain, allow consistent product labeling and messaging, and empower consumers to readily identify whole-grain foods and achieve whole-grain dietary recommendations.
Nonlocal spin injection has been recognized as an efficient mechanism for creation of pure spin currents not tied to the electrical charge transfer. Here we demonstrate experimentally that it can induce coherent magnetization dynamics, which can be utilized for the implementation of novel microwave nano-sources for spintronic and magnonic applications. We show that such sources exhibit a small oscillation linewidth and are tunable over a wide frequency range by the static magnetic field. Spatially resolved measurements of the dynamical magnetization indicate a relatively large oscillation area, resulting in a high stability of the oscillation with respect to thermal fluctuations. We propose a simple quasilinear dynamical model that reproduces well the oscillation characteristics.
The self-renewal and differentiation capacities of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) make them a promising source of material for cell transplantation therapy, drug development, and studies of cellular differentiation and development. However, the large numbers of cells necessary for many of these applications require extensive expansion of hPSC cultures, a process that has been associated with genetic and epigenetic alterations. We have performed a combinatorial study on both hESCs and hiPSCs to compare the effects of enzymatic vs. mechanical passaging, and feeder-free vs. mouse embryonic fibroblast feeder substrate, on the genetic and epigenetic stability and the phenotypic characteristics of hPSCs. In extensive experiments involving over 100 continuous passages, we observed that both enzymatic passaging and feeder-free culture were associated with genetic instability, higher rates of cell proliferation, and persistence of OCT4/POU5F1-positive cells in teratomas, with enzymatic passaging having the stronger effect. In all combinations of culture conditions except for mechanical passaging on feeder layers, we noted recurrent deletions in the genomic region containing the tumor suppressor gene TP53, which was associated with decreased mRNA expression of TP53, as well as alterations in the expression of several downstream genes consistent with a decrease in the activity of the TP53 pathway. Among the hESC cultures, we also observed culture-associated variations in global gene expression and DNA methylation. The effects of enzymatic passaging and feeder-free conditions were also observed in hiPSC cultures. Our results highlight the need for careful assessment of the effects of culture conditions on cells intended for clinical therapies.
In my over three decades of work in the field of food and nutrition, I have participated in many efforts that seek new policy initiatives in the hopes that these programs can curb rates of obesity and chronic disease and help consumers make healthier dietary choices. Because of the profound effect that many of these policies have on consumers, the food environment, federal nutrition assistance programs and subsequent policy and regulatory recommendations, it is imperative that only the strongest, best available evidence is used to set policy. This review evaluates methods by which current nutrition policies use scientific research as well as provides recommendations for how best to ensure future nutrition policies are truly science-based and likely to have a meaningful impact on public health. Specifically, this review will:Describe the current food and nutrition policy environment in the USExamine how science is used in federal food and nutrition policymaking efforts, using the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) as an exampleDescribe strong versus weak science as well as what types of studies are most appropriate for use in policymakingDiscuss the potential effects and consequences of making policy recommendations in the absence of scientific consensus or agreementMake recommendations to support the present and ongoing development of science-based policy likely to positively impact public health
Dietary guidance; Nutrition policy; Evidence based review; Sodium; Added sugars
While neuromyelitis optica (NMO) immunoglobulin (Ig) G is considered the hallmark serologic marker of NMO, its association is not absolute, as NMO IgG is not detected in approximately one-fourth of the patients diagnosed with NMO spectrum disorder (NMOSD). Thus, the recent discovery that antibodies to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) are detected in some NMO IgG-seronegative patients manifesting clinical and neuroimaging signs of NMO or NMOSD has created tremendous excitement. However, it may be premature to classify this subgroup as NMOSD. NMO is considered an autoimmune astrocytopathy, and aquaporin-4 (AQP4), expressed on astrocytes, is recognized as the target autoantigen of NMO IgG. As its name denotes, MOG is produced by oligodendrocytes, CNS myelin-producing cells, and MOG is well-recognized as one of the candidate autoantigens in multiple sclerosis (MS) and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Thus, is it possible that the clinical NMOSD-like phenotype associated with MOG-specific antibodies represents a variant of opticospinal MS or ADEM but not AQP4 autoimmunity or NMOSD? Whether this MOG-Ig positive AQP4-seronegative phenotype should be classified as NMOSD, opticospinal MS, or a unique entity is not simply a theoretical question but rather has practical implications for patients, their physicians, insurance carriers, and clinical investigators conducting NMO treatment trials.
Data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) provide the strongest evidence for establishing relations between exposures, including dietary exposures, and health outcomes. However, not all diet and health outcome relations can be practically or ethically evaluated by using RCTs; therefore, many dietary recommendations are supported by evidence primarily from observational data, particularly those from prospective cohort studies. Although such evidence is of critical importance, limitations are often underappreciated by nutrition scientists and policymakers. This editorial review is intended to 1) highlight some of these limitations of observational evidence for diet-disease relations, including imprecise exposure quantification, collinearity among dietary exposures, displacement/substitution effects, healthy/unhealthy consumer bias, residual confounding, and effect modification; and 2) advocate for greater caution in the communication of dietary recommendations for which RCT evidence of clinical event reduction after dietary intervention is not available.
The Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) provides adult and pediatric self-report measures of health-related quality of life designed for use across medical conditions and the general population. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility and validity of the PROMIS® pediatric short form and computer adaptive test (CAT) mobility measures in children with cerebral palsy (CP).
Eighty-two children with CP completed self-report (PROMIS® Mobility Short Form, PROMIS® Mobility CAT, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™) and performance-based assessments of mobility (Timed Up-and-Go, Gross Motor Function Measure). Parents provided three proxy reports of child mobility (Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument, Functional Assessment Questionnaire, Shriners Hospitals for Children CP-CAT). Validity of PROMIS® instruments was examined through correlations with other measures and “known groups” analyses determined by Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS).
On average, the PROMIS® CAT required less than seven items and two minutes to administer. Both PROMIS® measures showed moderate to high correlations with child- and parent-proxy report of child mobility; correlations with performance-based measure were small for the PROMIS® Short Form and non-significant for the PROMIS® CAT. All measures except for the PROMIS® CAT were able to distinguish between GMFCS categories.
Results support the convergent and discriminant validity of the pediatric PROMIS® Mobility Short Form in children with CP. The PROMIS® Mobility CAT correlates well with child- and parent-report of mobility but not with performance-based measures and does not differentiate between known mobility groups.
cerebral palsy; PROMIS®; mobility; computer adaptive test; validity
Project Kealahou (PK) is a six-year, federally-funded program aimed at improving services and outcomes for Hawai‘i's female youth who are at risk for running away, truancy, abuse, suicide, arrest and incarceration. PK builds upon two decades of sustained cross-agency efforts among the state's mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare systems to promote system-of-care (SOC) principles of community-based, individualized, culturally and linguistically competent, family driven, youth-guided, and evidence-based services. In addition, PK emphasizes trauma-informed and gender-responsive care in serving its target population of females ages 11–18 years who have experienced psychological trauma.
Results from the first four years of the implementation of PK in the Department of Health's (DOH) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD) highlight the serious familial, socioeconomic, functional, and interpersonal challenges faced by the young women who receive services in Hawai‘i's SOC. Despite the challenges faced by PK youth and their families, preliminary results of the evaluation of PK show significant improvements across multiple clinical and functional domains of service recipients. A financial analysis indicates that these outcomes were obtained with a minimal overall increase in costs when compared to standard care alone. Overall, these results suggest that PK may offer a cost effective way to improve access, care, and outcomes for at-risk youth and their families in Hawai‘i.
Trauma; Youth; Girls; Mental Health; System of Care (SOC); Community Mental Health Initiative (CMHI); Trauma-Informed Care; Gender-Responsive Care
Leishmania infantum is a flagellated protozoan parasite that is able to parasitize blood and tissue. Leishmania species cause a spectrum of clinical disease with cutaneous, visceral or mucosal involvement. L. infantum is recognised as a cause of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and is less commonly reported as a cause of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) from countries around the Mediterranean basin. This is the first report of imported L. infantum CL to Australia and is remarkable for a 19 year period between the patient’s exposure to an endemic region, and the manifestation of symptoms.
A 76 year old Italian-born man presented to our institution with a non-healing lesion over his upper lip, abutting his nasal mucosa. The patient had travelled to Italy, an endemic area for L. infantum 19 years earlier but had resided in Australia, a non-endemic area since. Histopathology performed on a biopsy of the lesion demonstrated findings consistent with CL. A species specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) performed on the tissue detected L. infantum. The patient had complete clinical recovery following treatment with Liposomal amphotericin B at a dose of 3 mg/kg for five days followed by a subsequent 3 mg/kg dose at day ten.
L. infantum should be recognised as a cause of imported CL in returned travellers from the Mediterranean. In this case, the incubation period for L. infantum CL was at least 19 years. This case adds to the described spectrum of clinical presentations of leishmaniasis and supports the theory of parasite persistence underlying natural immunity and recurrence of disease. Clinicians should consider L. infantum CL in the differential diagnosis of a non-healing skin lesion in any patient who reports travel to the Mediterranean, even when travel occurred several years before clinical presentation.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis; Parasitology; Neglected tropical infectious diseases; Microbiology; Liposomal amphotericin
The aim of this mixed methods study was to conduct a multifaceted needs assessment to inform the development of an online self-management program for men living with HIV. The objectives were to describe the health-related quality of life for men living with HIV, the impact of living with HIV, and the perceived problem areas and service and support needs of these men. The needs assessment was conducted in accordance with the PRECEDE model for health promotion program planning.
A survey assessing the quality of life of men living with HIV (n = 72) was conducted and results were compared to Australian normative data. Focus groups were also undertaken with men living with HIV (n = 11) and a multidisciplinary team of service providers working in the area of HIV (n = 11). Focus groups enabled an in-depth description of the impact of HIV on quality of life and perceived problem areas in daily life.
HIV-positive men experience significantly lower quality of life when compared with Australian normative data, particularly in those domains concerned with social and emotional aspects of quality of life. Qualitative focus groups yielded an overarching theme ‘The psychosocial impact of HIV’ which contained three sub-themes; (1) Life before and after HIV – a changed identity and its repercussions; (2) Resilience and the importance of social support; (3) Negotiating the practicalities – intimate relationships and disclosure.
The findings from this needs assessment highlight the need to target socio-emotional contexts of HIV positive men’s daily lives to improve quality of life and well-being. Intervention priorities for the proposed online self-management program include: (1) managing the emotional impact of HIV; (2) disclosing HIV status to family and friends; (3) maintaining social connectedness; (4) managing HIV within intimate relationships; and (5) disclosure of HIV status to intimate partners.
HIV/AIDS; Men; Quality of life; Psychosocial issues; Self-management; Needs assessment; Positive Outlook
The objective of this review was to identify dietary insufficiencies and excesses in children aged two to 11 in the United States (U.S.) and eating habits that merit concern in terms of nutrient and energy density to improve overall diet quality. Data from the What We Eat in America (WWEIA) tables from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were examined as well as survey data from the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA). Analysis of survey data revealed that children consume insufficient Vitamin D, calcium, and potassium and excess energy, carbohydrates, and sodium. Dietary modifications are necessary to prevent serious deficiencies and the development of chronic illness. Snacking has steadily increased in this population since the 1970s, and snacks provide necessary nutrients. However, carbohydrates and added sugars tend to be over-consumed at snacking occasions. Replacement of current snack choices with nutrient-dense foods could lower the risks of nutrient deficiencies and help lower excess nutrient consumption. Increased consumption of low sugar dairy foods, especially yogurt, at snack times could increase intake of important micronutrients without contributing to dietary excesses.
yogurt; what we eat in America; WWEIA; national health and nutrition examination survey; NHANES 2009–2010
Background and purpose
Stress contributes to headaches, and effective interventions for headaches routinely include relaxation training (RT) to directly reduce negative emotions and arousal. Yet, suppressing negative emotions, particularly anger, appears to augment pain, and experimental studies suggest that expressing anger may reduce pain. Therefore, we developed and tested anger awareness and expression training (AAET) on people with headaches.
Young adults with headaches (N = 147) were randomized to AAET, RT, or a wait-list control. We assessed affect during sessions, and process and outcome variables at baseline and 4 weeks after treatment.
On process measures, both interventions increased self-efficacy to manage headaches, but only AAET reduced alexithymia and increased emotional processing and assertiveness. Yet, both interventions were equally effective at improving headache outcomes relative to controls.
Enhancing anger awareness and expression may improve chronic headaches, although not more than RT. Researchers should study which patients are most likely to benefit from emotional expression versus emotional reduction approaches to chronic pain.
headaches; relaxation; emotional exposure; emotional processing; anger
Prospective surveillance of invasive mold diseases (IMDs) in haematology patients should be standard of care but is hampered by the absence of a reliable laboratory prompt and the difficulty of manual surveillance. We used a high throughput technology, natural language processing (NLP), to develop a classifier based on machine learning techniques to screen computed tomography (CT) reports supportive for IMDs.
Patients and Methods
We conducted a retrospective case-control study of CT reports from the clinical encounter and up to 12-weeks after, from a random subset of 79 of 270 case patients with 33 probable/proven IMDs by international definitions, and 68 of 257 uninfected-control patients identified from 3 tertiary haematology centres. The classifier was trained and tested on a reference standard of 449 physician annotated reports including a development subset (n = 366), from a total of 1880 reports, using 10-fold cross validation, comparing binary and probabilistic predictions to the reference standard to generate sensitivity, specificity and area under the receiver-operating-curve (ROC).
For the development subset, sensitivity/specificity was 91% (95%CI 86% to 94%)/79% (95%CI 71% to 84%) and ROC area was 0.92 (95%CI 89% to 94%). Of 25 (5.6%) missed notifications, only 4 (0.9%) reports were regarded as clinically significant.
CT reports are a readily available and timely resource that may be exploited by NLP to facilitate continuous prospective IMD surveillance with translational benefits beyond surveillance alone.