We examined the quality of the information on the use of surfactant and the use of and duration of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP), oxygen supplementation, and mechanical ventilation in the Danish Neonatal Clinical Database (NeoBase).
We included all neonates born with a gestational age < 32 weeks admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at two university hospitals in 2005. On discharge, the clinicians complete a structured form with information related to the delivery and course of stay in the NICU. These forms were entered into the NeoBase. The nurses’ daily bedside documentation was used as reference standard. Concordance was used as a measure of agreement between the NeoBase and the reference standard. For the dichotomous variables the concordance was defined as the sensitivity of the information registered in the NeoBase. For the continuous variables, it was based on the discrepancy in days between the NeoBase and the reference standard. The percentage of concordance was described as high (> 90), moderate (70–90) or low (< 70).
Overall, 153 infants participated in the study. Concordance was high for all dichotomous variables. The NeoBase slightly underestimated the duration of nCPAP and mechanical ventilation. The duration of oxygen therapy was neither over- nor underestimated in the NeoBase. Concordance was low for all continuous variables if we assumed that the registered information was identical. It was 100% for duration of mechanical ventilation and moderate for nCPAP and oxygen supplementation if we allowed for a discrepancy of 1 day.
The NeoBase is a valuable tool for clinical and epidemiologic research and quality assurance regarding neonatal respiratory disease.
Respiratory variables; Very preterm infants; Validation; Epidemiology; Quality assurance
Between 1990 and 2011, global neonatal mortality decline was slower than that of under-five mortality. As a result, the proportion of under-five deaths due to neonatal mortality increased. This increase is primarily a consequence of decreasing post-neonatal and child under-five mortality as a result of the typical focus of child survival programmes of the past two decades on diseases affecting children over four weeks of age. Newborns are lagging behind in improved child health outcomes. The aim of this study was to conduct a comprehensive, equity-focussed newborn care assessment and to explore options to improve newborn survival in Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and the Philippines.
We assessed newborn health policies, services and care in the three countries through document review, interviews and health facility visits. Findings were triangulated to describe newborns’ health status, the health policy and the health system context for newborn care and the equity situation regarding newborn survival.
Main findings: (1) In the three countries, decline of neonatal mortality is lagging behind compared to that of under-five mortality. (2) Comprehensive newborn policies in line with international standards exist, although implementation remains poor. An important factor hampering implementation is decentralisation of the health sector, which created confusion regarding roles and responsibilities. Management capacity and skills at decentralised level were often found to be limited. (3) Quality of newborn care provided at primary healthcare and referral level is generally substandard. Limited knowledge and skills among providers of newborn care are contributing to poor quality of care. (4) Socio-economic and geographic inequities in newborn care are considerable.
Similar important challenges for newborn care have been identified in Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines. There is an urgent need to address weak leadership and governance regarding newborn care, quality of newborn care provided and inequities in newborn care. Child survival programmes focussed on children over four weeks of age have shown to have positive outcomes. Similar efforts as those used in these programmes should be considered in newborn care.
Newborn care; Needs assessment; Quality of care; Equity; Healthcare policy; South-East Asia
An understanding of perceptions of parents and health caregivers who assist critically ill neonates is necessary to comprehend their actions and demands. Therefore this study aim to analyze the agreement among parents, nurse technicians and pediatricians regarding the presence and intensity of pain and distress in mechanically ventilated and intubated newborn infants.
Cross-sectional study comprising 52 infants and 52 trios of adults composed of one parent, one nurse technician, and one pediatrician who all observed the same infant. All infants were intubated and under mechanical ventilation and were not handled during the observations. Each newborn was simultaneously observed by the trio of adults for 1 minute to evaluate the presence of pain and distress. The intensity of pain and distress that the adults believed was felt by the infants was marked in a visual analogical scale. Adults’ agreement about the simultaneous presence of pain and distress in each infant was analyzed by marginal homogeneity and Cochran tests. The agreement about the intensity of pain and distress in each infant was studied by Bland-Altman plot and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).
The assessments of pain and distress were heterogeneous in all three investigated groups of adults as determined by the results of a Bland-Altman plot. The presence of distress was more frequently reported compared with pain (marginal heterogeneity, p < 0.01). The pain and distress scores in each adult group were not correlated as shown by ICC [parents, 0.36 (95% CI: 0.01-0.63); nurses 0.47 (0.23-0.66); pediatricians, 0.46 (0.22-0.65)].
Adults systematically underscore pain in comparison to distress in mechanically ventilated newborns, without recognizing the association between them.
Pain; Distress; Stress; Newborn; Pain assessment
Several maternal health determinants during the first period of life of the child, as feeding practice, smoking habit and socio-economic level, are involved in early childhood health problems, as caries development. The potential associations among early childhood caries, feeding practices, maternal and environmental smoking exposure, Socio-Economic Status (SES) and several behavioral determinants were investigated.
Italian toddlers (n = 2395) aged 24–30 months were recruited and information on feeding practices, sweet dietary habit, maternal smoking habit, SES, and fluoride supplementation in the first year of life was obtained throughout a questionnaire administered to mothers. Caries lesions in toddlers were identified in visual/tactile examinations and classified using the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS). Associations between toddlers’ caries data and mothers’ questionnaire data were assessed using chi-squared test. Ordinal logistic regression was used to analyze associations among caries severity level (ICDAS score), behavioral factors and SES (using mean housing price per square meter as a proxy).
Caries prevalence and severity levels were significantly lower in toddlers who were exclusively breastfed and those who received mixed feeding with a moderate–high breast milk component, compared with toddlers who received low mixed feeding and those exclusively fed with formula (p < 0.01). No moderate and high caries severity levels were observed in an exclusively breastfed children. High caries severity levels were significantly associated with sweet beverages (p < 0.04) and SES (p < 0.01). Toddlers whose mothers smoked five or more cigarettes/day during pregnancy showed a higher caries severity level (p < 0.01) respect to those whose mothers did not smoke. Environmental exposure to smoke during the first year of life was also significantly associated with caries severity (odds ratio =7.14, 95% confidence interval = 6.07-7.28). No association was observed between caries severity level and fluoride supplementation. More than 50% of toddlers belonging to families with a low SES, showed moderate or high severity caries levels (p < 0.01).
Higher caries severity levels were observed in toddlers fed with infant formula and exposed to smoke during pregnancy living in area with a low mean housing price per square meter.
Early childhood caries; Toddler; Feeding practice; Smoking exposure; Socio-Economic Status
The clustering of metabolic syndrome risk factors is inversely related to the amount of physical activity. However, the question remains as to how much daily physical activity is enough to prevent the onset of metabolic disorders in adolescents? Therefore, the objectives of this study were to associate the metabolic risk score with the moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and to identify the amount of daily physical activity to prevent the onset of the metabolic risk factors in Brazilian adolescents.
The study involved 391 participants aged 10 to 18 years. Physical activity was measured by accelerometry. The counts obtained in the different activities were transformed into metabolic equivalents and classified as light (≥ 1.5 but < 3.0 METs), moderate (≥ 3.0 but < 6.0 METs) and vigorous (≥ 6.0 METs) activities. The continuous risk score for metabolic syndrome was calculated using the following risk factors: waist circumference, blood pressure, blood glucose, HDL-C and triglycerides.
Time spent in MVPA was inversely associated with the continuous risk score for metabolic syndrome (p < 0.05). Analysis of the ROC curve suggests that these adolescents must perform at least 88 minutes per day of MVPA.
These findings reinforce previous evidence that physical activity relates to metabolic syndrome in adolescents. This population should be encouraged to gradually replace part of their sedentary time with physical activities.
Chronic Diseases; Lifestyle; Metabolic Syndrome; Students
Compared to other children, those with disability have additional challenges to being physically active. Prader-Willi Syndrome is a genetic form of childhood obesity that is characterized by hypotonia, growth hormone deficiency, behavioral, and cognitive disability. In children, the low prevalence of this syndrome (1 in 10,000 to 15,000 live births) makes group-based physical activity interventions difficult. In contrast, the home environment presents a natural venue to establish a physical activity routine for this population. This manuscript describes the design of a parent-led physical activity intervention incorporating playground and interactive console-based games to increase physical activity participation in youth with and without Prader-Willi Syndrome.
The study participants will be 115 youth ages 8-15 y (45 with the syndrome and 70 without the syndrome but categorized as obese). The study will use a parallel design with the control group receiving the intervention after serving as control. Participants will be expected to complete a physical activity curriculum 4 days a week for 6 months including playground games 2 days a week and interactive console games 2 days a week. Parents will be trained at baseline and then provided with a curriculum and equipment to guide their implementation of the program. Tips related to scheduling and coping with barriers to daily program implementation will be provided. Throughout, parents will be contacted by phone once a week (weeks 1-4) and then every other week to receive support in between visits. Measurements of children and parents will be obtained at baseline, 12 weeks, and at the end (week 24) of the intervention. Children main outcomes include physical activity (accelerometry), body composition (dual x-ray absorptiometry), motor proficiency (Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency), quality of life and physical activity self-efficacy (questionnaires). Intervention compliance will be monitored using mail-in daily self-report checklists.
This parent-guided physical activity intervention aims to increase physical activity by using a curriculum that builds physical activity related self-confidence through the development and/or enhancement of motor skill competency. Ultimately, helping children develop these skills as well as joy in being physically active will translate into sustained behavior change.
Current Controlled Trial: NCT02058342
Prader-Willi syndrome; Obesity; Childhood; Family; Interactive games; Playground games; Exercise routine
While studies of HIV-infected adults on antiretroviral treatment (ART) report no sex differences in immune recovery and virologic response but more ART-associated complications in women, sex differences in disease progression and response to ART among children have not been well assessed. The objective of this study was to evaluate for sex differences in response to ART in South African HIV-infected children who were randomized to continue ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r)-based ART or switch to nevirapine-based ART.
ART outcomes in HIV-infected boys and girls in Johannesburg, South Africa from 2005–2010 were compared. Children initiated ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r)-based ART before 24 months of age and were randomized to remain on LPV/r or switch to nevirapine-based ART after achieving viral suppression. Children were followed for 76 weeks post-randomization and then long-term follow up continued for a minimum of 99 weeks and maximum of 245 weeks after randomization. Viral load, CD4 count, lipids, anthropometrics, drug concentrations, and adherence were measured at regular intervals. Outcomes were compared between sexes within treatment strata.
A total of 323 children (median age 8.8 months, IQR 5.1-13.5), including 168 boys and 155 girls, initiated LPV/r-based ART and 195 children were randomized. No sex differences in risk of virological failure (confirmed viral load >1000 copies/mL) by 156 weeks post-randomization were observed within either treatment group. Girls switched to nevirapine had more robust CD4 count improvement relative to boys in this group through 112 weeks post-randomization. In addition, girls remaining on LPV/r had higher plasma concentrations of ritonavir than boys during post-randomization visits. After a mean of 3.4 years post-randomization, girls remaining on LPV/r also had a higher total cholesterol:HDL ratio and lower mean HDL than boys on LPV/r.
Sex differences are noted in treated HIV-infected children even at a young age, and appear to depend on treatment regimen. Future studies are warranted to determine biological mechanisms and clinical significance of these differences.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00117728
HIV; Children; Sex differences; Antiretroviral treatment outcomes; Pharmacokinetics
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a severe skin and mucosal bullous disease. When complicated with Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), the condition is especially life-threatening.
Here we report the case of a 4-year-old boy suffering from SJS with extensive erythema multiforme and bulla. Despite active intervention and supportive care, the boy experienced increased skin lesions and a higher fever. Meanwhile, decreases in white blood cell count and hemoglobin were observed. Hyperferritinemia, increased soluble CD25 level, decreased NK cell activity and hemophagocytosis in the boy’s bone marrow confirmed the diagnosis of HLH. After high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin and methylprednisone pulse therapy, the boy was discharged in good condition.
Simultaneous occurrence of HLH and SJS is very uncommon and the condition is life-threatening. Pancytopenia can be a precocious indicator and enables to start a prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Pancytopenia; Early diagnosis; Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS); Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)
Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of physical disability in childhood. Spasticity is a significant contributor to the secondary impairments impacting functional performance and participation. The most common lower limb spasticity management is focal intramuscular injections of Botulinum Toxin-Type A accompanied by individually-delivered (one on one) physiotherapy rehabilitation. With increasing emphasis on improving goal-directed functional activity and participation within a family-centred framework, it is timely to explore whether physiotherapy provided in a group could achieve comparable outcomes, encouraging providers to offer flexible models of physiotherapy delivery. This study aims to compare individual to group-based physiotherapy following intramuscular Botulinum Toxin-A injections to the lower limbs for ambulant children with cerebral palsy aged four to fourteen years.
An assessor-masked, block randomised comparison trial will be conducted with random allocation to either group-based or individual physiotherapy. A sample size of 30 (15 in each study arm) will be recruited. Both groups will receive six hours of direct therapy following Botulinum Toxin-A injections in either an individual or group format with additional home programme activities (three exercises to be performed three times a week). Study groups will be compared at baseline (T1), then at 10 weeks (T2, efficacy) and 26 weeks (T3, retention) post Botulinum Toxin-A injections. Primary outcomes will be caregiver/s perception of and satisfaction with their child’s occupational performance goals (Canadian Occupational Performance Measure) and quality of gait (Edinburgh Visual Gait Score) with a range of secondary outcomes across domains of the International Classification of Disability, Functioning and Health.
This paper outlines the study protocol including theoretical basis, study hypotheses and outcome measures for this assessor-masked, randomised comparison trial comparing group versus individual models of physiotherapy following intramuscular injections of Botulinum Toxin-A to the lower limbs for ambulant children with cerebral palsy.
Botulinum Toxin-A; Cerebral palsy; Group physiotherapy; Models of training; Physiotherapy; Rehabilitation; Assessor-masked randomised comparison trial
The fetal and infant life are periods of rapid development, characterized by high susceptibility to exposures. Birth cohorts provide unique opportunities to study early-life exposures in association with child development and health, as well as, with longer follow-up, the early life origin of adult diseases. Piccolipiù is an Italian birth cohort recently set up to investigate the effects of environmental exposures, parental conditions and social factors acting during pre-natal and early post-natal life on infant and child health and development. We describe here its main characteristics.
Piccolipiù is a prospective cohort of expected 3000 newborns, who will be recruiting in six maternity units of five Italian cities (Florence, Rome, Trieste, Turin and Viareggio) since October 2011. Mothers are contacted during pregnancy or at delivery and are offered to participate in the study. Upon acceptance, their newborns are recruited at birth and followed up until at least 18 years of age. At recruitment, the mothers donate a blood sample and complete a baseline questionnaire. Umbilical cord blood, pieces of umbilical cord and heel blood spots are also collected. Postnatal follow-up currently occurs at 6, 12, and 24 months of age using on-line or postal self administered questionnaire; further questionnaires and medical examinations are envisaged. Questionnaires collect information on several factors, including mother’s and/or child’s environmental exposures, anthropometric measures, reproductive factors, diet, supplements, medical history, cognitive development, mental health and socioeconomic factors. Health promotion materials are also offered to parents.
Piccolipiù will broaden our understanding of the contribution of early-life factors to infant and child health and development. Several hypotheses on the developmental origins of health can be tested or piloted using the data collected from the Piccolipiù cohort. By pooling these data with those collected by other existing birth cohorts it will be possible to validate previous findings and to study rare exposures and outcomes.
Birth cohort; Early-life exposure; Infant and child health and development
Allergic rhinitis and asthma (ARA) are chronic inflammatory diseases of the airways that often coexist in children. The only tool to assess the ARA control, the Control of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma Test (CARAT) is to be used by adults. We aimed to develop the Pediatric version of Control of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma Test (CARATkids) and to test its comprehensibility in children with 4 to 12 years of age.
The questionnaire development included a literature review of pediatric questionnaires on asthma and/or rhinitis control and two consensus meetings of a multidisciplinary group. Cognitive testing was carried out in a cross-sectional qualitative study using cognitive interviews.
Four questionnaires to assess asthma and none to assess rhinitis control in children were identified. The multidisciplinary group produced a questionnaire version for children with 17 questions with illustrations and dichotomous (yes/no) response format. The version for caregivers had 4-points and dichotomous scales. Twenty-nine children, 4 to 12 years old, and their caregivers were interviewed. Only children over 6 years old could adequately answer the questionnaire. A few words/expressions were not fully understood by children of 6 to 8 years old. The drawings illustrating the questions were considered helpful by children and caregivers. Caregivers considered the questionnaire complete and clear and preferred dichotomous over the 4-points scales. The proportion of agreement between children and their caregivers was 61%. The words/expressions that were difficult to understand were amended.
CARATkids, the first questionnaire to assess a child’s asthma and rhinitis control was developed and its content validity was assured. Cognitive testing showed that CARATKids is well-understood by children 6 to 12 years old. The questionnaire’s measurement properties can now be assessed in a validation study.
Asthma; CARATkids; Cognitive testing; Control; Pediatrics; Questionnaire; Rhinitis
Delivery room management (DR) of the newly born infant should be performed according to international guidelines, but no recommendations are available for an infant’s position immediately after birth. The present study was performed to answer the following questions: 1. How often is DR-management performed in term infants in side position? 2. Is routine DR-management possible in side position? 3. Is there any benefit of side position with respect to agitation or vital parameters?
Cross-sectional study of video-recorded DR-management in term newborns delivered by C-section in 2012. Videos were analysed for infant’s position, administered interventions, vital parameters and agitation.
187 videos were analysed. The Main Position (defined as position spent more than 70% of the time) was “supine” in 91, “side” in 63 and “not determinable” in 33 infants. “Supine” infants received significantly (p < 0.001) more often stimulation (12.5% of the total time) than “side” infants (3.9% of time). There were no differences between both groups with regard to suctioning; CPAP was exclusively (98%) administered in supine position. Newborns on side were less agitated than those on supine. There was a trend towards a better oxygenation in “side” positioned infants (p = 0.055) and significantly (p = 0.04) higher saturation values in “left-sided” infants than “right-sided” infants at 8th minute. “Side” positioned infants reached oxygen saturation values >90% earlier than “supine” positioned infants (p = 0.16).
DR-management is feasible in the side position in term infants. Side position seems to be associated with reduced agitation and improved oxygenation. However, it remains unclear whether this represents a causal relationship or an association. The study supports the need for a randomized controlled trial.
Newborn; Positioning; Delivery room; Video recording; Agitation
For ages 5–19 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) publishes reference charts based on ‘core data’ from the US National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), collected from 1963–75 on 22,917 US children. To promote the use of body mass index in older children, weight-for-age was omitted after age 10. Health providers have subsequently expressed concerns about this omission and the selection of centiles. We therefore sought to extend weight-for-age reference curves from 10 to 19 years by applying WHO exclusion criteria and curve fitting methods to the core NCHS data and to revise the choice of displayed centiles.
WHO analysts first excluded ~ 3% of their reference population in order to achieve a “non-obese sample with equal height”. Based on these exclusion criteria, 314 girls and 304 boys were first omitted for ‘unhealthy’ weights-for-height. By applying WHO global deviance and information criteria, optimal Box-Cox power exponential models were used to fit smoothed weight-for-age centiles. Bootstrap resampling was used to assess the precision of centile estimates. For all charts, additional centiles were included in the healthy range (3 to 97%), and the more extreme WHO centiles 0.1 and 99.9% were dropped.
In addition to weight-for-age beyond 10 years, our charts provide more granularity in the centiles in the healthy range −2 to +2 SD (3–97%). For both weight and BMI, the bootstrap confidence intervals for the 99.9th centile were at least an order of magnitude wider than the corresponding 50th centile values.
These charts complement existing WHO charts by allowing weight-for-age to be plotted concurrently with height in older children. All modifications followed strict WHO methodology and utilized the same core data from the US NCHS. The additional centiles permit a more precise assessment of normal growth and earlier detection of aberrant growth as it crosses centiles. Elimination of extreme centiles reduces the risk of misclassification. A complete set of charts is available at the CPEG web site (http://cpeg-gcep.net).
Growth; Growth charts; Anthropometry; Pediatrics; Child
Physical activity affords a wide range of physiological and psychological benefits for children and adolescents, yet many children with physical disabilities are insufficiently active to achieve these benefits. The StepUp program is a newly developed 6-week pedometer-based self-management program for children and adolescents with physical disability. Participants use a pedometer to undertake a 6-week physical activity challenge, with personalised daily step count goals set in consultation with a physiotherapist. The study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the StepUp program, using a randomised control trial design.
A target sample of 70 young people with physical disabilities (aged 8–17 years, ambulant with or without aid, residing in Adelaide) will be recruited. Participants will be randomly allocated to either intervention or control following completion of baseline assessments. Assessments are repeated at 8 weeks (immediately post intervention) and 20 weeks (12 weeks post intervention). The primary outcome is objective physical activity determined from 7 day accelerometry, and the secondary outcomes are exercise intention, physical self-worth, quality of life and fatigue. Analyses will be undertaken on an intention-to-treat basis using random effects mixed modelling.
This study will provide information about the potential of a low-touch and low-cost physical activity intervention for children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): ACTRN12613000023752.
Physical activity; Disability; Intervention
Consideration of the quality of life in relation to individual health status is crucial for planning and maintaining a system of patient-centered care. Until recently, there have been no suitable instruments to assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL,) of children and adolescents with severe, non-ambulant cerebral palsy (GMFCS functional levels IV and V). The “Caregiver Priorities and Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities Questionnaire” (CPCHILD©) was developed in English specifically for this population, and has been validated in Canada. The aim of this study was to translate and adapt the CPCHILD© Questionnaire into Brazilian Portuguese, thus permitting researchers in Brazil to access this important tool for measuring HRQoL in this population, as well as the possibility of making comparisons with other studies that use the same questionnaire in other languages.
The cross-cultural adaptation included two forward translations by independent translators, their synthesis, two back-translations by independent translators, an assessment of the versions by an expert committee and the development of a pre-final version, which was tested on 30 caregivers of children (5 -18) with severe cerebral palsy (GMFCS IV & V).
Despite the relative equivalence between the two translations, some items required adaptations for the synthesized version. Certain modifications were necessary in the pre-final version to achieve idiomatic equivalence. The modifications were required to account for the socioeconomic and cultural levels of the target population.
The translation and cross-cultural adaptation of the CPCHILD© questionnaire provides a Brazilian Portuguese equivalent to measure the HRQoL of children with severe developmental disabilities, with the potential to measure the benefits of various procedures that are indicated for these patients. This adaptation exhibited a satisfactory level of semantic equivalence between the Portuguese target and the original English source versions. The validity of the Brazilian version of the instrument must be established in the future by assessing its psychometric properties on Brazilian epidemiological samples.
Translation; Adaptation; Questionnaire; Assessment; Health-related quality of life; Developmental disabilities
Since last 100 years, immunization rate is one of the best public health outcome and service indicators. However, the immunization system is still imperfect; there are many countries that still have unvaccinated children. Parental decisions regarding immunization are very important to improve immunization rate. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between parental knowledge-practice (KP) regarding immunization with family and immunization providers’ factors.
This is a prospective cross-sectional study design. Immunization knowledge and practices among 528 Iraqi parents were evaluated through validated questionnaire. Familial data and immunization provider’s characteristics were collected from parents through interview.
More than half of respondents/study population (66.1%) have adequate knowledge- practice scores. Significant associations were noted for knowledge-practice groups with father’s education level, mother’s education level, mother’s age at delivery, number of preschool children, parents gender, family income, provider types, and birth place (p < 0.05).
Immunization campaigns and awareness are required to improve parents’ knowledge and practice regarding immunization. The study results reinforce recommendations for use of educational programmes to improve the immunization knowledge and practice.
Immunization; Iraq; Parents; Knowledge; Practice
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the most common cause of health care–associated diarrhea in children and adults. Although serious complications of CDI have been reported to be increasing in adults, this trend has not yet been demonstrated in children. The purpose of this study was to examine the features of CDI in a pediatric population, with special attention to the occurrence of CDI-related severe outcomes.
A chart review was conducted for patients with C. difficile infection detected by cytotoxin assay between August, 2008 and July, 2012. Basic demographics, mode of acquisition (nosocomial versus community), laboratory and clinical features, treatment, and outcome data were collected. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and polymerase chain reaction detection of toxin A (tcdA), toxin B (tcdB), binary toxin (cdtB) and tcdC genes were performed on isolates from nosocomial cases by the National Microbiology Laboratory, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Ninety percent of children with CDI experienced resolution of symptoms by 30 days after disease onset and 2% experienced a severe outcome. There were no cases where colectomy was performed for CDI, and only one case where CDI contributed to death. Various combinations of clinical and laboratory features were not predictive of a severe outcome. Seventy-four percent of cases were nosocomial-associated. Among all cultured strains, the NAP4 strain occurred most frequently (24%), followed by NAP1 (11%). There was no association between strain type and clinical outcome; however, relapses were significantly more frequent in NAP4-infected children.
Severe outcomes due to CDI are uncommon in children compared to adults. Further prospective pediatric studies on CDI in community and hospital settings are required to better understand risk factors, optimal treatment and the significance of NAP4 in pediatric CDI.
Clostridium difficile; North American pulsed-field type; Pediatrics; Child
Dalteparin, a low-molecular-weight heparin, has anticoagulant and anti-angiogenic activity. This study investigated whether dalteparin reduced coronary artery lesion (CAL) prevalence, and resistance to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy in Kawasaki disease (KD).
This retrospective study comprised two parts. In the first cohort, 126 patients with KD (68 male, 58 female; median age: 22 months, range: 1–67 months) admitted to Nihon University Nerima-Hikarigaoka Hospital from January 2004 to June 2008, received either dalteparin 75 IU/kg/day, IVIG 400 mg/kg/day for 5 consecutive days, and aspirin 30 mg/kg/day, or dalteparin 75 IU/kg/day and aspirin 30 mg/kg/day, until clinical improvement. Control data came from the 2005–6 Nationwide KD survey. In the second cohort, 112 patients with KD (59 male, 53 female; median age: 19 months, range: 1–66 months) admitted from June 2010 to February 2012, received either dalteparin 75 IU/kg/day, IVIG 2.0 g/kg over 12 h, and aspirin 30 mg/kg/day, or dalteparin 75 IU/kg/day and aspirin 30 mg/kg/day. Control data came from the 2009–10 Nationwide KD survey. No patients enrolled in the nationwide surveys received dalteparin. All patients at our institution were given dalteparin in their combination therapy.
A comparison of the first cohort with controls in the nationwide survey showed that the prevalence of initial administration of IVIG was 80.2% versus 86.0%; the rate of additional IVIG administration was 7.1% versus 14.0% (p = 0.03); CAL prevalence in the acute period was 4.8% versus 11.9% (p < 0.01); and the prevalence of cardiovascular sequelae was 0% versus 3.8% (p < 0.05). A comparison of the second cohort with controls in the nationwide survey showed that the rate of initial administration of IVIG was 92.9% versus 89.5%; the rate of additional IVIG administration was 8.9% versus 17.1% (p = 0.02); the prevalence of resistance to IVIG was 3.6% versus 14.9% (p < 0.001); and CAL prevalence in the acute period was 2.7% versus 8.6% (p = 0.03).
This study found that adjunctive dalteparin was associated with a lower prevalence of IVIG resistance and CAL in young children with KD.
Kawasaki disease; Low-molecular-weight heparin; Dalteparin; Coronary artery disease; Angiogenesis; IVIG
Outcomes of health and rehabilitation services for children and youth with disabilities increasingly include assessments of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The purpose of this research was to 1) describe overall patterns of HRQoL, 2) examine changes in parent’s perceptions of child’s HRQoL across 18 months and 3) explore factors that predict these changes.
Participants in this study included 427 parents of children (229 boys and 198 girls) with a physically-based disability between the ages of 6 to 14 years. The Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) was administered three times, at nine month intervals. Comparisons to the CHQ normative data were analyzed at Time 1 using t-tests, and change over time was examined using linear mixed-effects models. Possible predictors were modeled: 1) child’s factors measured by the Activities Scale for Kids, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and general health measured by SF-36, 2) family characteristics measured by the Impact on Family Scale and 3) environmental barriers measured by the Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors.
CHQ scores of the study’s participants demonstrated significantly lower summary scores from the normative sample for both CHQ Physical and Psychosocial summary scores. On average, children did not change significantly over time for physical summary scores. There was an average increase in psychosocial health that was statistically significant, but small. However, there was evidence of heterogeneity among children. Environmental barriers, behavioral difficulties, family functioning/impact, general health and child physical functioning had negative and significant associations with physical QoL at baseline. Change in physical QoL scores over time was dependent on children’s behavioral difficulties, family functioning and environmental barriers. Environmental barriers, behavioral difficulties, family functioning/impact and general health had significant associations with psychosocial scores at baseline, but none served as predictors of change over time.
Children with physical disabilities differ from the normative group on parent ratings of their physical and psychosocial health. While there was little average change in CHQ scores over 18 months, there is evidence of heterogeneity among children. Factors such as environmental barriers, family functioning/impact, child physical functioning and behavioral difficulties and general health significantly influence QoL scores as measured by the CHQ.
Disability; Health-related quality of life; Longitudinal study; Environmental barriers
The need for early intervention tools adapted to the First Nation culture is well documented. However, standards derived from First Nation communities are absent from the literature. This study examines the psychometric properties of an adaptation of a caregiver-completed screening tool, the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ), for the Mohawk population.
Participants who completed the questionnaires include 17 teachers, along with the parents of 282 children (130 girls and 152 boys) between the ages of 9 and 66 months who attend the Child and Family Center Mohawk Territory, Quebec.
For the internal consistency of the four questionnaires (36-, 42-, 48- and 54-month intervals), Cronbach’s alphas varied between .61 and .84. Five results were below 0.60: “gross motor” (Q36 and Q42), “problem solving” (Q36) and “personal-social” (Q36 and Q42). A comparison of the results shows that parents and teachers agreed in 85% of the cases concerning the referral of the child for further evaluation. Moreover, the group discussion with the parents revealed that the use of the questionnaire was appreciated and was deemed appropriate for use within the community.
The results show that the ASQ is a screening test that may be appropriate for use with children from communities that are seemingly very different in terms of geographic, climatic and cultural backgrounds. This preliminary study with the Child and Family Center appears to support further study and the use of the ASQ with the Mohawk population.
Children; First nation; Developmental delay; Screening; ASQ
Type 1 diabetes demands a complicated disease self-management by child and parents. The overwhelming task of combining every day parenting tasks with demands of taking care of a child with diabetes can have a profound impact on parents, often resulting in increased parenting stress. Tailored disease information, easy accessible communication with healthcare professionals and peer support are found to support parents to adequately cope with the disease and the disease self-management in everyday life. Internet can help facilitate these important factors in usual pediatric diabetes care. Therefore, we will develop a web-based patient portal in addition to usual pediatric diabetes care and subsequently evaluate its efficacy and feasibility. The web-based patient portal, called Sugarsquare, provides online disease information, and facilitates online parent-professional communication and online peer support. We hypothesize that parenting stress in parents of a child with type 1 diabetes will decrease by using Sugarsquare and that Sugarsquare will be feasible in this population.
We will test the hypotheses using a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Eligible participants are parents of a child with type 1 diabetes under the age of 13. Parents are excluded when they have no access to the internet at home or limited comprehension of the Dutch language. Participants are recruited offline from seven clinics in the Netherlands. Participants are randomly allocated to an intervention and a control group. The intervention group will receive access to the intervention during the twelve-month study-period; the control group will receive access in the last six months of the study-period. Self-reported parenting stress is the primary outcome in the present study. Data will be gathered at baseline (T0) and at six (T1) and twelve (T2) months following baseline, using online questionnaires. User statistics will be gathered throughout the twelve-month study-period for feasibility.
Dependent on its feasibility and efficacy, the intervention will be implemented into usual pediatric diabetes care. Strengths and limitations of the study are discussed.
NTR3643 (Dutch Trial Register)
Diabetes mellitus type 1; Parenting stress; Health communication; Peer support; E-health; Internet
Longitudinal studies describing incidence and natural course of malnutrition are scarce. Studies defining malnutrition clinically [moderate clinical malnutrition (McM) marasmus, kwashiorkor] rather than anthropometrically are rare. Our aim was to address incidence and course of malnutrition among pre-schoolers and to compare patterns and course of clinically and anthropometrically defined malnutrition.
Using a historical, longitudinal study from Bwamanda, DR Congo, we studied incidence of clinical versus anthropometrical malnutrition in 5 657 preschool children followed 3-monthly during 15 months.
Incidence rates were highest in the rainy season for all indices except McM. Incidence rates of McM and marasmus tended to be higher for boys than for girls in the dry season. Malnutrition rates increased from the 0–5 to the 6 – 11 months age category. McM and marasmus had in general a higher incidence at all ages than their anthropometrical counterparts, moderate and severe wasting. Shifts back to normal nutritional status within 3 months were more frequent for clinical than for anthropometrical malnutrition (62.2-80.3% compared to 3.4-66.4.5%). Only a minority of moderately stunted (30.9%) and severely stunted children (3.4%) shifted back to normal status. Alteration from severe to mild malnutrition was more characteristic for anthropometrically than for clinically defined malnutrition.
Our data on age distribution of incidence and course of malnutrition underline the importance of early life intervention to ward off malnutrition. In principle, looking at incidence may yield different findings from those obtained by looking at prevalence, since incidence and prevalence differ approximately differ by a factor “duration”. Our findings show the occurrence dynamics of general malnutrition, demonstrating that patterns can differ according to nutritional assessment method. They suggest the importance of applying a mix of clinical and anthropometric methods for assessing malnutrition instead of just one method. Functional validity of characterization of aspects of individual nutritional status by single anthropometric scores or by simple clinical classification remain issues for further investigation.
Malnutrition; Marasmus; Kwashiorkor; Wasting; Stunting; Incidence
Newborns delivered by vacuum extraction quite often show clinical signs of a hemodynamic compromise, which is difficult to assess in terms of severity. The conventional means to measure the hemodynamic status are not sensitive enough to appreciate the severity of general, and more specifically of cerebral circulatory imbalance. The aim was to study cerebral tissue oxygenation during postnatal adaptation in these infants using near-infrared spectroscopy.
The tissue hemoglobin index (THI), tissue oxygenation index (TOI), arterial oxygen saturation (pre-ductal SaO2) and heart rate (HR) were recorded immediately after birth, and again after 12–24 hours of life in 15 newborns delivered by vacuum extraction due to fetal distress. A comparison with 19 healthy newborns delivered by elective cesarean section was performed.
Newborns delivered by vacuum extraction had significantly higher THI 10 to 15 minutes after birth. TOI and HR were significantly higher in the first 5 min and SaO2 in the first 10 minutes but then did not differ from those after cesarean section.
Infants delivered by vacuum extraction following fetal distress show transient deviations in cerebral oxygenation and perfusion after birth which were not detectable after 24 hours.
Cerebral oxygenation; Near-infrared spectroscopy; Newborn; Vacuum delivery
Immunization rate is one of the best public health outcome and service indicators of the last 100 years. Parental decisions regarding immunization are very important to improve immunization rate. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between parental knowledge-practices (KP) and children's immunization completeness.
A mixed method has been utilized in this study: a retrospective cohort study was used to evaluate immunization completeness; a prospective cross-sectional study was used to evaluate immunization KP of parents. 528 children born between 1 January 2003 and 31 June 2008 were randomly selected from five public health clinics in Mosul, Iraq. Immunization history of each child was collected retrospectively from their immunization record/card.
About half of studied children (n = 286, 56.3%) were immunized with all vaccination doses; these children were considered as having had complete immunization. 66.1% of the parents was found to have adequate KP scores. A significant association of immunization completeness with total KP groups (p < 0.05) was found.
Future efforts are required to improve immunization rate and parents' knowledge and practice. The study results reinforce recommendations for the periodic assessment of immunization rate and the use of educational programmes to improve the immunization rate, knowledge and practice.
Immunization; Iraq; Children; Parents; Knowledge; Practice; Compliance
The relationship between body weight and self-esteem among underserved minority children is not well documented.
We measured the self-esteem profile using the Self-Perception Profile for Children among 910 minority children at 17 Houston community centers.
Weight status had no effect on any of the self-esteem scores among the minority children (P ≥ 0.21). Black children had higher scholastic competence than Hispanic children (P = 0.05). Social acceptance was not affected by age, gender, and race/ethnicity (P ≥ 0.13). Significant age x gender (P = 0.006) and race x gender (P = 0.005) interactions were detected on athletic competence. The younger boys had higher athletic competence than the younger and older girls (P ≤ 0.01). The older boys had higher athletic competence than the older girls (P = 0.008) but their scores were not different from those of the younger girls (P = 0.07). Within each race/ethnicity group, boys had higher athletic competence than girls (P ≤ 0.03). Black boys had higher athletic competence than Hispanic girls (P = 0.007) but their scores were not different from those of the Hispanic boys (P = 0.08). Age and gender had no effect on physical appearance but black children had higher scores than Hispanic children (P = 0.05). Behavioral conduct was not affected by age, gender, or race/ethnicity (P ≥ 0.11). There was an age x gender interaction on global self-worth (P = 0.02) with boys having similar scores regardless of ages (P = 0.40) or ethnicity (P = 0.98). However, boys from both age groups had higher global self-worth than the older girls (P ≤ 0.04) but their scores were not different from those of the younger girls (P ≥ 0.07).
For the first time, we documented that being normal weight did not necessarily guarantee positive self-esteem among minority children. Their self-esteem scores were similar to those found among children who were diagnosed with obesity and obesity-related co-morbidities and lower than those reported among normal-weight white children. Therefore, activities to promote self-esteem are important when working with underserved minority children in order to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Self-esteem; Children; Minority; Obesity