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Cover page of Can changes to improve person-centred maternity care be spread across public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India?

Can changes to improve person-centred maternity care be spread across public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India?

(2021)

Poor quality person-centred maternity care (PCMC) leads to delays in care and adverse maternal and newborn outcomes. This study describes the impact of spreading a Change Package, or interventions that other health facilities had previously piloted and identified as successful, to improve PCMC in public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India. A quasi-experimental design was used including matched control-intervention facilities and pre-post data collection. This study took place in Uttar Pradesh, India in 2018-2019. Six large public health facilities participated in the evaluation of the spread study, including three intervention and three control facilities. Intervention facilities were introduced to a quality improvement (QI) Change Package to improve PCMC. In total, 1200 women participated in the study, including 600 women at baseline and 600 women at endline. Difference-in-difference estimators are used to examine the impact of spreading a QI Change Package across spread sites vs. control sites and at baseline and endline using a validated PCMC scale. Out of a 100-point scale, a 24.93 point improvement was observed in overall PCMC scores among spread facilities compared to control facilities from baseline to endline (95% CI: 22.29, 27.56). For the eight PCMC indicators that the Change Package targeted, spread facilities increased 33.86 points (95% CI: 30.91, 36.81) relative to control facilities across survey rounds. Findings suggest that spread of a PCMC Change Package results in improved experiences of care for women as well as secondary outcomes, including clinical quality, nurse and doctor visits, and decreases in delivery problems.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04208841..

Effect of 2 Interventions on Cervical Cancer Screening Guideline Adherence.

(2021)

Introduction

This study sought to determine whether a provider mobile phone application, used with or without a patient educational tool accessed on a computer tablet, would promote adherence to guidelines for cervical cancer screening and management of abnormal cytology in young women.

Methods

The study was conducted as a prospective cohort study in which 14 Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment provider clinics were randomized to 1 of 2 arms: (1) provider mobile phone application only or (2) provider mobile phone application plus patient educational tool. The provider mobile phone application gave information to providers regarding cervical cancer screening and management of abnormal cytology. The patient educational tool accessed on a computer tablet was a patient-centered educational tool. Each arm was compared with clinic control groups (no intervention) in a 2:1 ratio (control:intervention). Claims data were used to calculate and compare 18-month cytology (Pap) and colposcopy rates before the intervention and during the 18 months using the Poisson mixed-effect regression model. A sensitivity analysis examined the differences in the rate of change between each arm and controls. The study took place between July 2015 and December 2016, and analysis was performed in 2019.

Results

The clinics randomized to the provider mobile phone application plus patient educational tool arm and their control group achieved similar 18-month Pap rates (0.52, 95% CI=0.37, 0.74 and 0.68, 95% CI=0.53, 0.86, respectively) as well as the provider mobile phone application arm and their control group (0.44, 95% CI=0.33, 0.58 and 0.41, 95% CI=0.34, 0.51; p-values >0.1). In the sensitivity analysis, the difference in the rate of change in Pap rates for the provider mobile phone application plus patient educational tool arm and their control group before and during the intervention was -0.22 and -0.09, respectively (p=0.02), but no differences were seen between the provider mobile phone application arm and their control group. No significant changes were observed for colposcopy rates.

Conclusions

Providing clinicians and patients with information on guidelines had no demonstrable effect on 18-month Pap and colposcopy rates in the regression model; however, results from the sensitivity analysis for the patient educational tool were encouraging.

Trial registration

This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT02270021.

Modeling motivation for alcohol in humans using traditional and machine learning approaches.

(2021)

Given the significant cost of alcohol use disorder (AUD), identifying risk factors for alcohol seeking represents a research priority. Prominent addiction theories emphasize the role of motivation in the alcohol seeking process, which has largely been studied using preclinical models. In order to bridge the gap between preclinical and clinical studies, this study examined predictors of motivation for alcohol self-administration using a novel paradigm. Heavy drinkers (n = 67) completed an alcohol infusion consisting of an alcohol challenge (target breath alcohol = 60 mg%) and a progressive-ratio alcohol self-administration paradigm (maximum breath alcohol 120 mg%; ratio requirements range = 20-3 139 response). Growth curve modeling was used to predict breath alcohol trajectories during alcohol self-administration. K-means clustering was used to identify motivated (n = 41) and unmotivated (n = 26) self-administration trajectories. The data were analyzed using two approaches: a theory-driven test of a-priori predictors and a data-driven, machine learning model. In both approaches, steeper delay discounting, indicating a preference for smaller, sooner rewards, predicted motivated alcohol seeking. The data-driven approach further identified phasic alcohol craving as a predictor of motivated alcohol self-administration. Additional application of this model to AUD translational science and treatment development appear warranted.

Cover page of Night shift schedule alters endogenous regulation of circulating cytokines.

Night shift schedule alters endogenous regulation of circulating cytokines.

(2021)

Night shift work is a risk factor for viral infection, suggesting that night shift schedules compromise host defense mechanisms. Prior studies have investigated changes in the temporal profiles of circulating cytokines important for priming and restraining the immune response to infectious challenges from night shift work, but not by way of a 24-h constant routine of continuous wakefulness devoid of behavioral or environmental influences. Hence the true endogenous pattern of cytokines, and the combined effect of sleep loss and circadian misalignment on these cytokines remains unknown. Here, 14 healthy young men and women underwent three days of either a simulated night shift or a simulated day shift schedule under dim light in a controlled in-laboratory environment. This was followed by a 24-h constant routine protocol during which venous blood was collected at 3-h intervals. Those who had been in the night shift schedule showed lower mean circulating TNF-α (t13 = -6.03, p < 0.001), without any significant differences in IL-1β, IL-8 and IL-10, compared with those who had been in the day shift (i.e., control) schedule. Furthermore, circulating IL-6 increased with time awake in both shift work conditions (t13 = 6.03, p < 0.001), such that temporal changes in IL-6 were markedly shifted relative to circadian clock time in the night shift condition. These results indicate that night shift work compromises host defense by creating cytokine conditions that initially impede anti-viral immunity (lower TNF-α) and may eventually promote autoimmunity (mistimed rise in IL-6).

Cover page of An exploration of amygdala-prefrontal mechanisms in the intergenerational transmission of learned fear.

An exploration of amygdala-prefrontal mechanisms in the intergenerational transmission of learned fear.

(2021)

Humans learn about their environments by observing others, including what to fear and what to trust. Observational fear learning may be especially important early in life when children turn to their parents to gather information about their world. Yet, the vast majority of empirical research on fear learning in youth has thus far focused on firsthand classical conditioning, which may fail to capture one of the primary means by which fears are acquired during development. To address this gap in the literature, the present study examined observational fear learning in youth (n = 33; age range: 6-17 years) as they watched videos of their parent and an "unfamiliar parent" (i.e., another participant's parent) undergo fear conditioning. Youth demonstrated stronger fear learning when observing their parent compared to an unfamiliar parent, as indicated by changes in their self-reported liking of the stimuli to which their parents were conditioned (CS+, a geometric shape paired with an aversive noise; CS-, a geometric shape never paired with an aversive noise) and amygdala responses. Parent trait anxiety was associated with youth learning better (i.e., reporting a stronger preference for the CS- relative to CS+), and exhibiting stronger medial prefrontal-amygdala connectivity. Neuroimaging data were additionally acquired from a subset of parents during firsthand conditioning, and parental amygdala and mPFC activation were associated with youth's neural recruitment. Together, these results suggest that youth preferentially learn fears via observation of their parents, and this learning is associated with emotional traits and neural recruitment in parents.

Cover page of Neural crest-like stem cells for tissue regeneration.

Neural crest-like stem cells for tissue regeneration.

(2021)

Neural crest stem cells (NCSCs) are a transient population of cells that arise during early vertebrate development and harbor stem cell properties, such as self-renewal and multipotency. These cells form at the interface of non-neuronal ectoderm and neural tube and undergo extensive migration whereupon they contribute to a diverse array of cell and tissue derivatives, ranging from craniofacial tissues to cells of the peripheral nervous system. Neural crest-like stem cells (NCLSCs) can be derived from pluripotent stem cells, placental tissues, adult tissues, and somatic cell reprogramming. NCLSCs have a differentiation capability similar to NCSCs, and possess great potential for regenerative medicine applications. In this review, we present recent developments on the various approaches to derive NCLSCs and the therapeutic application of these cells for tissue regeneration.

Cover page of Zimbabwean Stakeholders' Perspectives on Causes of and Solutions to Gender-Based Violence in Their Community: Findings From a Focus Group.

Zimbabwean Stakeholders' Perspectives on Causes of and Solutions to Gender-Based Violence in Their Community: Findings From a Focus Group.

(2021)

Gender-based violence (GBV) rates are high in Zimbabwe. Looking toward a partnership to prevent GBV in the Victoria Falls region, which lacks GBV prevention initiatives, the current study's aim was to learn about stakeholders' perceptions of GBV causes and their ideas for GBV prevention, and to gauge potential community reactions to GBV prevention. Focus group participants emphasized lack of women's empowerment, alcohol, violence normalization, and tourism as GBV causes, and ideas for prevention included school-based curricular, social marketing campaigns, involving men in prevention, and home visiting programs. Consistent with community-based models, participants emphasized involving all community stakeholders in prevention.

Cover page of Evolving consensus for immunomodulatory therapy in non-infectious uveitis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evolving consensus for immunomodulatory therapy in non-infectious uveitis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(2021)

Background

Immunomodulatory therapy (IMT) is often considered for systemic treatment of non-infectious uveitis (NIU). During the evolving coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, given the concerns related to IMT and the increased risk of infections, an urgent need for guidance on the management of IMT in patients with uveitis has emerged.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey of international uveitis experts was conducted. An expert steering committee identified clinical questions on the use of IMT in patients with NIU during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using an interactive online questionnaire, guided by background experience and knowledge, 139 global uveitis experts generated consensus statements for IMT. In total, 216 statements were developed around when to initiate, continue, decrease and stop systemic and local corticosteroids, conventional immunosuppressive agents and biologics in patients with NIU. Thirty-one additional questions were added, related to general recommendations, including the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and hydroxychloroquine.

Results

Highest consensus was achieved for not initiating IMT in patients who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and for using local over systemic corticosteroid therapy in patients who are at high-risk and very high-risk for severe or fatal COVID-19. While there was a consensus in starting or initiating NSAIDs for the treatment of scleritis in healthy patients, there was no consensus in starting hydroxychloroquine in any risk groups.

Conclusion

Consensus guidelines were proposed based on global expert opinion and practical experience to bridge the gap between clinical needs and the absence of medical evidence, to guide the treatment of patients with NIU during the COVID-19 pandemic.

18 year record of circum-Antarctic landfast sea ice distribution allows detailed baseline characterisation, reveals trends and variability

(2021)

Abstract. Landfast sea ice (fast ice) is an important though poorly-understood component of the cryosphere on the Antarctic continental shelf, where it plays a key role in atmosphere-ocean-ice sheet interaction and coupled ecological and biogeochemical processes. Here, we present a first in-depth baseline analysis of variability and change in circum-Antarctic fast-ice distribution (including its relationship to bathymetry), based on a new high-resolution satellite-derived time series for the period 2000 to 2018. This reveals a) an overall trend of −882 ± 824 km²/y (−0.19 ± 0.18 %/y); and b) eight distinct regions in terms of fast-ice coverage and modes of formation. Of these, four exhibit positive trends over the 18 y period and four negative. Positive trends are seen in East Antarctica and in the Bellingshausen sea, with this region claiming the largest positive trend of +1,198 ± 359 km²/y (+1.10 ± 0.35 %/y). The four negative trends predominantly occur in West Antarctica, with the largest negative trend of −1,206 ± 277 km²/y (−1.78 ± 0.41 %/y) occurring in the Victoria and Oates Lands region in the eastern Ross Sea. All trends are significant. This new baseline analysis represents a significant advance in our knowledge of the current state of both the global cryosphere and the complex Antarctic coastal system that is vulnerable to climate variability and change. It will also inform a wide range of other studies.