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Sample records for achieve optimal health

  1. Achieving health care affordability.

    PubMed

    Payson, Norman C

    2002-10-01

    Not all plans are jumping headlong into the consumer-centric arena. In this article, the CEO of Oxford Health Plans discusses how advanced managed care can achieve what other consumer-centric programs seek to do--provide affordable, quality health care. PMID:12391815

  2. Achieving Quality in Occupational Health

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Donnell, Michele (Editor); Hoffler, G. Wyckliffe (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    The conference convened approximately 100 registered participants of invited guest speakers, NASA presenters, and a broad spectrum of the Occupational Health disciplines representing NASA Headquarters and all NASA Field Centers. Centered on the theme, "Achieving Quality in Occupational Health," conferees heard presentations from award winning occupational health program professionals within the Agency and from private industry; updates on ISO 9000 status, quality assurance, and information technologies; workshops on ergonomics and respiratory protection; an overview from the newly commissioned NASA Occupational Health Assessment Team; and a keynote speech on improving women's health. In addition, NASA occupational health specialists presented 24 poster sessions and oral deliveries on various aspects of current practice at their field centers.

  3. Inequality aversion, health inequalities and health achievement.

    PubMed

    Wagstaff, Adam

    2002-07-01

    This paper addresses two issues. The first is how health inequalities can be measured in such a way as to take into account policymakers' attitudes towards inequality. The Gini coefficient and the related concentration index embody one particular set of value judgements. By generalising these indices, alternative sets of value judgements can be reflected. The other issue addressed is how information on health inequality can be used together with information on the mean of the relevant distribution to obtain an overall measure of health "achievement". PMID:12146594

  4. Optimism versus Pessimism and Academic Achievement Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harpaz-Itay, Yifat; Kaniel, Shlomo

    2012-01-01

    This article integrates three central theories of optimism-pessimism (OP). The combination of the shared components of these theories--outcome expectancies, emotions, and behavioral intention--may produce an integrative academic achievement evaluation. Little has been written regarding the differentiation between general and domain-specific OP, a…

  5. Health and Nutrition: Preconditions for Educational Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Negussie, Birgit

    This paper discusses the importance of maternal and infant health for children's educational achievement. Education, health, and nutrition are so closely related that changes in one causes changes in the others. Improvement of maternal and preschooler health and nutrition is a precondition for improved educational achievement. Although parental…

  6. Student Health and Academic Achievement

    MedlinePlus

    ... 11 Resources Health and Academics Data and Statistics Bullying and Absenteeism: Information for State and Local Education Agencies [PDF - 624 KB] Anti-Bullying Policies and Enumeration: An Infobrief for Local Education ...

  7. Building health research systems to achieve better health

    PubMed Central

    Hanney, Stephen R; González Block, Miguel A

    2006-01-01

    Health research systems can link knowledge generation with practical concerns to improve health and health equity. Interest in health research, and in how health research systems should best be organised, is moving up the agenda of bodies such as the World Health Organisation. Pioneering health research systems, for example those in Canada and the UK, show that progress is possible. However, radical steps are required to achieve this. Such steps should be based on evidence not anecdotes. Health Research Policy and Systems (HARPS) provides a vehicle for the publication of research, and informed opinion, on a range of topics related to the organisation of health research systems and the enormous benefits that can be achieved. Following the Mexico ministerial summit on health research, WHO has been identifying ways in which it could itself improve the use of research evidence. The results from this activity are soon to be published as a series of articles in HARPS. This editorial provides an account of some of these recent key developments in health research systems but places them in the context of a distinguished tradition of debate about the role of science in society. It also identifies some of the main issues on which 'research on health research' has already been conducted and published, in some cases in HARPS. Finding and retaining adequate financial and human resources to conduct health research is a major problem, especially in low and middle income countries where the need is often greatest. Research ethics and agenda-setting that responds to the demands of the public are issues of growing concern. Innovative and collaborative ways are being found to organise the conduct and utilisation of research so as to inform policy, and improve health and health equity. This is crucial, not least to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals. But much more progress is needed. The editorial ends by listing a wide range of topics related to the above

  8. The Effects of Academic Optimism on Elementary Reading Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bevel, Raymona K.; Mitchell, Roxanne M.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between academic optimism (AO) and elementary reading achievement (RA). Design/methodology/approach: Using correlation and hierarchical linear regression, the authors examined school-level effects of AO on fifth grade reading achievement in 29 elementary schools in Alabama.…

  9. [Personality, achievement and health in social change].

    PubMed

    Schröder, H

    1999-11-01

    All countries with modern industrial societies are undergoing epochal changes. These processes include globalization, internationalization and structural alterations in the work environment which have social and psychophysical consequences for the individual. These problems are rarely discussed concerning their pathogenic or health-supporting effects. Transformations of society primarily change the relationship between the demands, expectations and requirements placed on the individual and his or her abilities and competencies necessary to find solutions. This challenge simulataneously offers chances and risks for an individual's personality development, namely new demands on an individual's regulation of potential and achievement. Not only is competence in the workplace required, but social skills, emotional and self-reflective qualities are vital as well. Developing these abilities requires two tasks. One promotes and develops such skills in the individual. The second would promote sound political decisions enabling the skills in the individual to be actualized. PMID:10628074

  10. Disparities in academic achievement and health: the intersection of child education and health policy.

    PubMed

    Fiscella, Kevin; Kitzman, Harriet

    2009-03-01

    Recent data suggest that that the United States is failing to make significant progress toward the Healthy People 2010 goal of eliminating health disparities. One missing element from the US strategy for achieving this goal is a focus on gaps in child development and achievement. Academic achievement and education seem to be critical determinants of health across the life span and disparities in one contribute to disparities in the other. Despite these linkages, national policy treats child education and health as separate. Landmark education legislation, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, is due for Congressional reauthorization. It seeks to eliminate gaps in academic child achievement by 2014. It does so by introducing accountability for states, school districts, and schools. In this special article, we review health disparities and contributors to child achievement gaps. We review changes in achievement gaps over time and potential contributors to the limited success of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, including its unfunded mandates and unfounded assumptions. We conclude with key reforms, which include addressing gaps in child school readiness through adequate investment in child health and early education and reductions in child poverty; closing the gap in child achievement by ensuring equity in school accountability standards; and, importantly, ensuring equity in school funding so that resources are allocated on the basis of the needs of the students. This will ensure that schools, particularly those serving large numbers of poor and minority children, have the resources necessary to promote optimal learning. PMID:19255042

  11. WFH: closing the global gap--achieving optimal care.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Mark W

    2012-07-01

    For 50 years, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) has been working globally to close the gap in care and to achieve Treatment for All patients, men and women, with haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders, regardless of where they might live. The WFH estimates that more than one in 1000 men and women has a bleeding disorder equating to 6,900,000 worldwide. To close the gap in care between developed and developing nations a continued focus on the successful strategies deployed heretofore will be required. However, in response to the rapid advances in treatment and emerging therapeutic advances on the horizon it will also require fresh approaches and renewed strategic thinking. It is difficult to predict what each therapeutic advance on the horizon will mean for the future, but there is no doubt that we are in a golden age of research and development, which has the prospect of revolutionizing treatment once again. An improved understanding of "optimal" treatment is fundamental to the continued evolution of global care. The challenges of answering government and payer demands for evidence-based medicine, and cost justification for the introduction and enhancement of treatment, are ever-present and growing. To sustain and improve care it is critical to build the body of outcome data for individual patients, within haemophilia treatment centers (HTCs), nationally, regionally and globally. Emerging therapeutic advances (longer half-life therapies and gene transfer) should not be justified or brought to market based only on the notion that they will be economically more affordable, although that may be the case, but rather more importantly that they will be therapeutically more advantageous. Improvements in treatment adherence, reductions in bleeding frequency (including microhemorrhages), better management of trough levels, and improved health outcomes (including quality of life) should be the foremost considerations. As part of a new WFH strategic plan

  12. Achieving Population Health in Accountable Care Organizations

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Deborah Klein

    2013-01-01

    Although “population health” is one of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim goals, its relationship to accountable care organizations (ACOs) remains ill-defined and lacks clarity as to how the clinical delivery system intersects with the public health system. Although defining population health as “panel” management seems to be the default definition, we called for a broader “community health” definition that could improve relationships between clinical delivery and public health systems and health outcomes for communities. We discussed this broader definition and offered recommendations for linking ACOs with the public health system toward improving health for patients and their communities. PMID:23678910

  13. Academic Optimism and Student Achievement in Urban Elementary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Page A.; Hoy, Wayne K.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this study was two-fold: to demonstrate a general construct of schools called academic optimism and to show it was related to student achievement in urban elementary schools, even controlling for socioeconomic factors, and school size. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from 99 urban elementary schools in Texas…

  14. Achieving Quality Health Services for Adolescents.

    PubMed

    2016-08-01

    This update of the 2008 statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics redirects the discussion of quality health care from the theoretical to the practical within the medical home. This statement reviews the evolution of the medical home concept and challenges the provision of quality adolescent health care within the patient-centered medical home. Areas of attention for quality adolescent health care are reviewed, including developmentally appropriate care, confidentiality, location of adolescent care, providers who offer such care, the role of research in advancing care, and the transition to adult care. PMID:27432849

  15. Achieving a nationwide learning health system.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Charles P; Wong, Adam K; Blumenthal, David

    2010-11-10

    We outline the fundamental properties of a highly participatory rapid learning system that can be developed in part from meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs). Future widespread adoption of EHRs will make increasing amounts of medical information available in computable form. Secured and trusted use of these data, beyond their original purpose of supporting the health care of individual patients, can speed the progression of knowledge from the laboratory bench to the patient's bedside and provide a cornerstone for health care reform. PMID:21068440

  16. "Masculinity, Femininity, Achievement Conflicts and Health."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olds, Debra Eaton

    The objective of this study is to measure achievement motivation in terms of psychological masculinity and femininity rather than in terms of biological gender. The terms, psychological masculinity and femininity, refer to sets of characteristics desirable for both sexes. Masculine characteristics include independence, self-confidence,…

  17. Health Risk Behaviors and Academic Achievement

    MedlinePlus

    ... 2009 † Health-Risk Behaviors Percentage of U.S. high school students who engaged in each risk behavior, by type of grades mostly earned A’s B’s C’s D’s/F’s Unintentional Injury and Violence-Related Behaviors Rarely or never wore a seat ...

  18. Translational geroscience: emphasizing function to achieve optimal longevity.

    PubMed

    Seals, Douglas R; Melov, Simon

    2014-09-01

    Among individuals, biological aging leads to cellular and organismal dysfunction and an increased risk of chronic degenerative diseases and disability. This sequence of events in combination with the projected increases in the number of older adults will result in a worldwide healthcare burden with dire consequences. Superimposed on this setting are the adults now reaching traditional retirement ages--the baby boomers--a group that wishes to remain active, productive and physically and cognitively fit as they grow older. Together, these conditions are producing an unprecedented demand for increased healthspan or what might be termed "optimal longevity"-to live long, but well. To meet this demand, investigators with interests in the biological aspects of aging from model organisms to human epidemiology (population aging) must work together within an interactive process that we describe astranslational geroscience. An essential goal of this new investigational platform should be the optimization and preservation of physiological function throughout the lifespan, including integrative physical and cognitive function, which would serve to increase healthspan, compress morbidity and disability into a shorter period of late-life, and help achieve optimal longevity. To most effectively utilize this new approach, we must rethink how investigators and administrators working at different levels of the translational research continuum communicate and collaborate with each other, how best to train the next generation of scientists in this new field, and how contemporary biological-biomedical aging research should be organized and funded. PMID:25324468

  19. Translational Geroscience: Emphasizing function to achieve optimal longevity

    PubMed Central

    Seals, Douglas R.; Melov, Simon

    2014-01-01

    Among individuals, biological aging leads to cellular and organismal dysfunction and an increased risk of chronic degenerative diseases and disability. This sequence of events in combination with the projected increases in the number of older adults will result in a worldwide healthcare burden with dire consequences. Superimposed on this setting are the adults now reaching traditional retirement ages--the baby boomers--a group that wishes to remain active, productive and physically and cognitively fit as they grow older. Together, these conditions are producing an unprecedented demand for increased healthspan or what might be termed “optimal longevity”—to live long, but well. To meet this demand, investigators with interests in the biological aspects of aging from model organisms to human epidemiology (population aging) must work together within an interactive process that we describe as translational geroscience. An essential goal of this new investigational platform should be the optimization and preservation of physiological function throughout the lifespan, including integrative physical and cognitive function, which would serve to increase healthspan, compress morbidity and disability into a shorter period of late-life, and help achieve optimal longevity. To most effectively utilize this new approach, we must rethink how investigators and administrators working at different levels of the translational research continuum communicate and collaborate with each other, how best to train the next generation of scientists in this new field, and how contemporary biological-biomedical aging research should be organized and funded. PMID:25324468

  20. Optimal achieved blood pressure in acute intracerebral hemorrhage

    PubMed Central

    Arima, Hisatomi; Heeley, Emma; Delcourt, Candice; Hirakawa, Yoichiro; Wang, Xia; Woodward, Mark; Robinson, Thompson; Stapf, Christian; Parsons, Mark; Lavados, Pablo M.; Huang, Yining; Wang, Jiguang; Chalmers, John

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: To investigate the effects of intensive blood pressure (BP) lowering according to baseline BP levels and optimal achieved BP levels in patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Methods: INTERACT2 was an open, blinded endpoint, randomized controlled trial in 2,839 patients with ICH within 6 hours of onset and elevated systolic BP (SBP) (150–220 mm Hg) who were allocated to receive intensive (target SBP <140 mm Hg within 1 hour, with lower limit of 130 mm Hg for treatment cessation) or guideline-recommended (target SBP <180 mm Hg) BP-lowering treatment. Outcome was physical function across all 7 levels of the modified Rankin Scale at 90 days. Results: Analysis of the randomized comparisons showed that intensive BP lowering produced comparable benefits on physical function at 90 days in 5 subgroups defined by baseline SBP of <160, 160–169, 170–179, 180–189, and ≥190 mm Hg (p homogeneity = 0.790). Analyses of achieved BP showed linear increases in the risk of physical dysfunction for achieved SBP above 130 mm Hg for both hyperacute (1–24 hours) and acute (2–7 days) phases while modest increases were also observed for achieved SBP below 130 mm Hg. Conclusions: Intensive BP lowering appears beneficial across a wide range of baseline SBP levels, and target SBP level of 130–139 mm Hg is likely to provide maximum benefit in acute ICH. Classification of evidence: This study provides Class I evidence that the effect of intensive BP lowering on physical function is not influenced by baseline BP. PMID:25552575

  1. Optimized Delivery System Achieves Enhanced Endomyocardial Stem Cell Retention

    PubMed Central

    Behfar, Atta; Latere, Jean-Pierre; Bartunek, Jozef; Homsy, Christian; Daro, Dorothee; Crespo-Diaz, Ruben J.; Stalboerger, Paul G.; Steenwinckel, Valerie; Seron, Aymeric; Redfield, Margaret M.; Terzic, Andre

    2014-01-01

    Background Regenerative cell-based therapies are associated with limited myocardial retention of delivered stem cells. The objective of this study is to develop an endocardial delivery system for enhanced cell retention. Methods and Results Stem cell retention was simulated in silico using one and three-dimensional models of tissue distortion and compliance associated with delivery. Needle designs, predicted to be optimal, were accordingly engineered using nitinol – a nickel and titanium alloy displaying shape memory and super-elasticity. Biocompatibility was tested with human mesenchymal stem cells. Experimental validation was performed with species-matched cells directly delivered into Langendorff-perfused porcine hearts or administered percutaneously into the endocardium of infarcted pigs. Cell retention was quantified by flow cytometry and real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction methodology. Models, computing optimal distribution of distortion calibrated to favor tissue compliance, predicted that a 75°-curved needle featuring small-to-large graded side holes would ensure the highest cell retention profile. In isolated hearts, the nitinol curved needle catheter (C-Cath) design ensured 3-fold superior stem cell retention compared to a standard needle. In the setting of chronic infarction, percutaneous delivery of stem cells with C-Cath yielded a 37.7±7.1% versus 10.0±2.8% retention achieved with a traditional needle, without impact on biocompatibility or safety. Conclusions Modeling guided development of a nitinol-based curved needle delivery system with incremental side holes achieved enhanced myocardial stem cell retention. PMID:24326777

  2. Assessing Latin America's Progress Toward Achieving Universal Health Coverage.

    PubMed

    Wagstaff, Adam; Dmytraczenko, Tania; Almeida, Gisele; Buisman, Leander; Hoang-Vu Eozenou, Patrick; Bredenkamp, Caryn; Cercone, James A; Diaz, Yadira; Maceira, Daniel; Molina, Silvia; Paraje, Guillermo; Ruiz, Fernando; Sarti, Flavia; Scott, John; Valdivia, Martin; Werneck, Heitor

    2015-10-01

    Two commonly used metrics for assessing progress toward universal health coverage involve assessing citizens' rights to health care and counting the number of people who are in a financial protection scheme that safeguards them from high health care payments. On these metrics most countries in Latin America have already "reached" universal health coverage. Neither metric indicates, however, whether a country has achieved universal health coverage in the now commonly accepted sense of the term: that everyone--irrespective of their ability to pay--gets the health services they need without suffering undue financial hardship. We operationalized a framework proposed by the World Bank and the World Health Organization to monitor progress under this definition and then constructed an overall index of universal health coverage achievement. We applied the approach using data from 112 household surveys from 1990 to 2013 for all twenty Latin American countries. No country has achieved a perfect universal health coverage score, but some countries (including those with more integrated health systems) fare better than others. All countries except one improved in overall universal health coverage over the time period analyzed. PMID:26438747

  3. Toward achieving optimal response: understanding and managing antidepressant side effects

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Karen; Posternak, Michael; Jonathan, E. Alpert

    2008-01-01

    The safety and tolerability of antidepressants have improved considerably over the past two decades, Nevertheless, antidepressant side effects are still common and problematic. The majority of patients treated with contemporary agents experience one or more bothersome side effects. These side effects often create barriers to achieving depressive remission, as well as to preventing relapse and recurrence. Clinicians tend to underestimate the prevalence of side effects, and as many as one quarter of patients discontinue their antidepressants because of difficult-to-tolerate side effects; others may continue on antidepressant therapy but experience diminished quality of life related to troublesome side effects. This article reviews the prevalence of side effects, the impact of side effects on treatment adherence, and methodological issues including the challenge of distinguishing side effects from residual depressive symptoms, discontinuation effects, and general medical problems. In addition, we address the most common side effects such as sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbance, apathy, and fatigue, and offer strategies for management that may help patients achieve optimal response to pharmacotherapy. PMID:19170398

  4. Adolescent Health Behavior, Contentment in School, and Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kristjansson, Alfgeir Logi; Sigfusdottir, Inga Dora; Allegrante, John P.; Helgason, Asgeir R.

    2009-01-01

    Objectives: To examine the association between health behavior indicators, school contentment, and academic achievement. Methods: Structural equation modeling with 5810 adolescents. Results: Our model explained 36% of the variance in academic achievement and 24% in school contentment. BMI and sedentary lifestyle were negatively related to school…

  5. The Bangladesh paradox: exceptional health achievement despite economic poverty.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, A Mushtaque R; Bhuiya, Abbas; Chowdhury, Mahbub Elahi; Rasheed, Sabrina; Hussain, Zakir; Chen, Lincoln C

    2013-11-23

    Bangladesh, the eighth most populous country in the world with about 153 million people, has recently been applauded as an exceptional health performer. In the first paper in this Series, we present evidence to show that Bangladesh has achieved substantial health advances, but the country's success cannot be captured simplistically because health in Bangladesh has the paradox of steep and sustained reductions in birth rate and mortality alongside continued burdens of morbidity. Exceptional performance might be attributed to a pluralistic health system that has many stakeholders pursuing women-centred, gender-equity-oriented, highly focused health programmes in family planning, immunisation, oral rehydration therapy, maternal and child health, tuberculosis, vitamin A supplementation, and other activities, through the work of widely deployed community health workers reaching all households. Government and non-governmental organisations have pioneered many innovations that have been scaled up nationally. However, these remarkable achievements in equity and coverage are counterbalanced by the persistence of child and maternal malnutrition and the low use of maternity-related services. The Bangladesh paradox shows the net outcome of successful direct health action in both positive and negative social determinants of health--ie, positives such as women's empowerment, widespread education, and mitigation of the effect of natural disasters; and negatives such as low gross domestic product, pervasive poverty, and the persistence of income inequality. Bangladesh offers lessons such as how gender equity can improve health outcomes, how health innovations can be scaled up, and how direct health interventions can partly overcome socioeconomic constraints. PMID:24268002

  6. Creating the Business Case for Achieving Health Equity.

    PubMed

    Chin, Marshall H

    2016-07-01

    Health care organizations have increasingly acknowledged the presence of health care disparities across race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, but significantly fewer have made health equity for diverse patients a true priority. Lack of financial incentives is a major barrier to achieving health equity. To create a business case for equity, governmental and private payors can: 1) Require health care organizations to report clinical performance data stratified by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. 2) Incentivize preventive care and primary care. Implement more aggressive shared savings plans, update physician relative value unit fee schedules, and encourage partnerships across clinical and non-clinical sectors. 3) Incentivize the reduction of health disparities with equity accountability measures in payment programs. 4) Align equity accountability measures across public and private payors. 5) Assist safety-net organizations. Provide adequate Medicaid reimbursement, risk-adjust clinical performance scores for sociodemographic characteristics of patients, provide support for quality improvement efforts, and calibrate cuts to Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments to the pace of health insurance expansion. 6) Conduct demonstration projects to test payment and delivery system reform interventions to reduce disparities. Commitment to social justice is essential to achieve health equity, but insufficient without a strong business case that makes interventions financially feasible. PMID:26883523

  7. The Longitudinal Link between Student Health and Math Achievement Scores

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcy, Anthony M.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between health conditions suffered over time and student scores on the Stanford Achievement Test 9 in Yuma County, Arizona, public grade schools. The majority of children in Yuma County were of Hispanic origin. The poverty and low income status of most of these children placed them at greater risk for…

  8. Health Behaviour and Academic Achievement in Icelandic School Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sigfusdottir, Inga Dora; Kristjansson, Alfgeir Logi; Allegrante, John P.

    2007-01-01

    Interest in the relationship between health behaviours and academic achievement has recently intensified in the face of an epidemic of childhood and adolescent obesity and converging school reforms in the United States and other nations with advanced economies. Epidemiologic research has demonstrated that poor diet and lack of adequate physical…

  9. The Impossibility of Achieving Consistently Good Mental Health.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Albert

    1987-01-01

    People disturb themselves with irrational beliefs, some of which are obvious and blatant while others are subtle and tricky. The latter type make people more disturbed than do the former kind. Even when helped by the most efficient forms of psychotherapy, humans have difficulty achieving and maintaining good mental health. (Author/VM)

  10. Adolescent Mental Health, Behavior Problems, and Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLeod, Jane D.; Uemura, Ryotaro; Rohrman, Shawna

    2012-01-01

    Prior research on the association of mental health and behavior problems with academic achievement is limited because it does not consider multiple problems simultaneously, take co-occurring problems into account, and control for academic aptitude. We addressed these limitations using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health…

  11. The optimal polarizations for achieving maximum contrast in radar images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swartz, A. A.; Yueh, H. A.; Kong, J. A.; Novak, L. M.; Shin, R. T.

    1988-01-01

    There is considerable interest in determining the optimal polarizations that maximize contrast between two scattering classes in polarimetric radar images. A systematic approach is presented for obtaining the optimal polarimetric matched filter, i.e., that filter which produces maximum contrast between two scattering classes. The maximization procedure involves solving an eigenvalue problem where the eigenvector corresponding to the maximum contrast ratio is an optimal polarimetric matched filter. To exhibit the physical significance of this filter, it is transformed into its associated transmitting and receiving polarization states, written in terms of horizontal and vertical vector components. For the special case where the transmitting polarization is fixed, the receiving polarization which maximizes the contrast ratio is also obtained. Polarimetric filtering is then applies to synthetic aperture radar images obtained from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It is shown, both numerically and through the use of radar imagery, that maximum image contrast can be realized when data is processed with the optimal polarimeter matched filter.

  12. Design Optimization of Structural Health Monitoring Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Flynn, Eric B.

    2014-03-06

    Sensor networks drive decisions. Approach: Design networks to minimize the expected total cost (in a statistical sense, i.e. Bayes Risk) associated with making wrong decisions and with installing maintaining and running the sensor network itself. Search for optimal solutions using Monte-Carlo-Sampling-Adapted Genetic Algorithm. Applications include structural health monitoring and surveillance.

  13. Optimizing Health Care Coalitions: Conceptual Frameworks and a Research Agenda.

    PubMed

    Hupert, Nathaniel; Biala, Karen; Holland, Tara; Baehr, Avi; Hasan, Aisha; Harvey, Melissa

    2015-12-01

    The US health care system has maintained an objective of preparedness for natural or manmade catastrophic events as part of its larger charge to deliver health services for the American population. In 2002, support for hospital-based preparedness activities was bolstered by the creation of the National Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program, now called the Hospital Preparedness Program, in the US Department of Health and Human Services. Since 2012, this program has promoted linking health care facilities into health care coalitions that build key preparedness and emergency response capabilities. Recognizing that well-functioning health care coalitions can have a positive impact on the health outcomes of the populations they serve, this article informs efforts to optimize health care coalition activity. We first review the landscape of health care coalitions in the United States. Then, using principles from supply chain management and high-reliability organization theory, we present 2 frameworks extending beyond the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response's current guidance in a way that may help health care coalition leaders gain conceptual insight into how different enterprises achieve similar ends relevant to emergency response. We conclude with a proposed research agenda to advance understanding of how coalitions can contribute to the day-to-day functioning of health care systems and disaster preparedness. PMID:26545194

  14. Health care financing in Nigeria: Implications for achieving universal health coverage.

    PubMed

    Uzochukwu, B S C; Ughasoro, M D; Etiaba, E; Okwuosa, C; Envuladu, E; Onwujekwe, O E

    2015-01-01

    The way a country finances its health care system is a critical determinant for reaching universal health coverage (UHC). This is so because it determines whether the health services that are available are affordable to those that need them. In Nigeria, the health sector is financed through different sources and mechanisms. The difference in the proportionate contribution from these stated sources determine the extent to which such health sector will go in achieving successful health care financing system. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, achieving the correct blend of these sources remains a challenge. This review draws on relevant literature to provide an overview and the state of health care financing in Nigeria, including policies in place to enhance healthcare financing. We searched PubMed, Medline, The Cochrane Library, Popline, Science Direct and WHO Library Database with search terms that included, but were not restricted to health care financing Nigeria, public health financing, financing health and financing policies. Further publications were identified from references cited in relevant articles and reports. We reviewed only papers published in English. No date restrictions were placed on searches. It notes that health care in Nigeria is financed through different sources including but not limited to tax revenue, out-of-pocket payments (OOPs), donor funding, and health insurance (social and community). In the face of achieving UHC, achieving successful health care financing system continues to be a challenge in Nigeria and concludes that to achieve universal coverage using health financing as the strategy, there is a dire need to review the system of financing health and ensure that resources are used more efficiently while at the same time removing financial barriers to access by shifting focus from OOPs to other hidden resources. There is also need to give presidential assent to the national health bill and its prompt implementation when signed into law

  15. Aircraft optimization by a system approach: Achievements and trends

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sobieszczanski-Sobieski, Jaroslaw

    1992-01-01

    Recently emerging methodology for optimal design of aircraft treated as a system of interacting physical phenomena and parts is examined. The methodology is found to coalesce into methods for hierarchic, non-hierarchic, and hybrid systems all dependent on sensitivity analysis. A separate category of methods has also evolved independent of sensitivity analysis, hence suitable for discrete problems. References and numerical applications are cited. Massively parallel computer processing is seen as enabling technology for practical implementation of the methodology.

  16. Multidisciplinary optimization for engineering systems: Achievements and potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sobieszczanski-Sobieski, Jaroslaw

    1989-01-01

    The currently common sequential design process for engineering systems is likely to lead to suboptimal designs. Recently developed decomposition methods offer an alternative for coming closer to optimum by breaking the large task of system optimization into smaller, concurrently executed and, yet, coupled tasks, identified with engineering disciplines or subsystems. The hierarchic and non-hierarchic decompositions are discussed and illustrated by examples. An organization of a design process centered on the non-hierarchic decomposition is proposed.

  17. Achieving Optimal Privacy in Trust-Aware Social Recommender Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dokoohaki, Nima; Kaleli, Cihan; Polat, Huseyin; Matskin, Mihhail

    Collaborative filtering (CF) recommenders are subject to numerous shortcomings such as centralized processing, vulnerability to shilling attacks, and most important of all privacy. To overcome these obstacles, researchers proposed for utilization of interpersonal trust between users, to alleviate many of these crucial shortcomings. Till now, attention has been mainly paid to strong points about trust-aware recommenders such as alleviating profile sparsity or calculation cost efficiency, while least attention has been paid on investigating the notion of privacy surrounding the disclosure of individual ratings and most importantly protection of trust computation across social networks forming the backbone of these systems. To contribute to addressing problem of privacy in trust-aware recommenders, within this paper, first we introduce a framework for enabling privacy-preserving trust-aware recommendation generation. While trust mechanism aims at elevating recommender's accuracy, to preserve privacy, accuracy of the system needs to be decreased. Since within this context, privacy and accuracy are conflicting goals we show that a Pareto set can be found as an optimal setting for both privacy-preserving and trust-enabling mechanisms. We show that this Pareto set, when used as the configuration for measuring the accuracy of base collaborative filtering engine, yields an optimized tradeoff between conflicting goals of privacy and accuracy. We prove this concept along with applicability of our framework by experimenting with accuracy and privacy factors, and we show through experiment how such optimal set can be inferred.

  18. Optimal sensor placement in structural health monitoring using discrete optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Hao; Büyüköztürk, Oral

    2015-12-01

    The objective of optimal sensor placement (OSP) is to obtain a sensor layout that gives as much information of the dynamic system as possible in structural health monitoring (SHM). The process of OSP can be formulated as a discrete minimization (or maximization) problem with the sensor locations as the design variables, conditional on the constraint of a given sensor number. In this paper, we propose a discrete optimization scheme based on the artificial bee colony algorithm to solve the OSP problem after first transforming it into an integer optimization problem. A modal assurance criterion-oriented objective function is investigated to measure the utility of a sensor configuration in the optimization process based on the modal characteristics of a reduced order model. The reduced order model is obtained using an iterated improved reduced system technique. The constraint is handled by a penalty term added to the objective function. Three examples, including a 27 bar truss bridge, a 21-storey building at the MIT campus and the 610 m high Canton Tower, are investigated to test the applicability of the proposed algorithm to OSP. In addition, the proposed OSP algorithm is experimentally validated on a physical laboratory structure which is a three-story two-bay steel frame instrumented with triaxial accelerometers. Results indicate that the proposed method is efficient and can be potentially used in OSP in practical SHM.

  19. Optimizing cancer care through mobile health.

    PubMed

    Odeh, Bassel; Kayyali, Reem; Nabhani-Gebara, Shereen; Philip, Nada

    2015-07-01

    The survival rates for patients living with cancer are increasing, due to recent advances in detection, prevention and treatment. It has been estimated that there were 28 million cancer survivors around the world in 2012. In the UK, for patients diagnosed in 2007, it is predicted that more than half of them will survive their cancer for 5 years or more. A large majority of cancer survivors report unmet supportive care needs and distressing symptoms and adverse long-term consequences related to their cancer. Cancer management could be optimized to better meet patients demand through technology, including mobile health (m-Health). m-Health is defined as the use of mobile communications and network technologies for health care. m-Health can help both patients and health-care professionals and play an important part in managing and delivering cancer care including managing side effects, supporting drug adherence, providing cancer information, planning and follow up and detecting and diagnosing cancer. Health authorities have already published guidelines regulating m-Health to insure patient safety and improve the accountability of its applications. PMID:25649121

  20. Paths to Success: Optimal and Equitable Health Outcomes for All

    PubMed Central

    Rust, George; Levine, Robert S.; Fry-Johnson, Yvonne; Baltrus, Peter; Ye, Jiali; Mack, Dominic

    2013-01-01

    U.S. health disparities are real, pervasive, and persistent, despite dramatic improvements in civil rights and economic opportunity for racial and ethnic minority and lower socioeconomic groups in the United States. Change is possible, however. Disparities vary widely from one community to another, suggesting that they are not inevitable. Some communities even show paradoxically good outcomes and relative health equity despite significant social inequities. A few communities have even improved from high disparities to more equitable and optimal health outcomes. These positive-deviance communities show that disparities can be overcome and that health equity is achievable. Research must shift from defining the problem (including causes and risk factors) to testing effective interventions, informed by the natural experiments of what has worked in communities that are already moving toward health equity. At the local level, we need multi-dimensional interventions designed in partnership with communities and continuously improved by rapid-cycle surveillance feedback loops of community-level disparities metrics. Similarly coordinated strategies are needed at state and national levels to take success to scale. We propose ten specific steps to follow on a health equity path toward optimal and equitable health outcomes for all Americans. PMID:22643550

  1. Optimal Sensor Selection for Health Monitoring Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santi, L. Michael; Sowers, T. Shane; Aguilar, Robert B.

    2005-01-01

    Sensor data are the basis for performance and health assessment of most complex systems. Careful selection and implementation of sensors is critical to enable high fidelity system health assessment. A model-based procedure that systematically selects an optimal sensor suite for overall health assessment of a designated host system is described. This procedure, termed the Systematic Sensor Selection Strategy (S4), was developed at NASA John H. Glenn Research Center in order to enhance design phase planning and preparations for in-space propulsion health management systems (HMS). Information and capabilities required to utilize the S4 approach in support of design phase development of robust health diagnostics are outlined. A merit metric that quantifies diagnostic performance and overall risk reduction potential of individual sensor suites is introduced. The conceptual foundation for this merit metric is presented and the algorithmic organization of the S4 optimization process is described. Representative results from S4 analyses of a boost stage rocket engine previously under development as part of NASA's Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) program are presented.

  2. Achieving Health Equity: Closing The Gaps In Health Care Disparities, Interventions, And Research.

    PubMed

    Purnell, Tanjala S; Calhoun, Elizabeth A; Golden, Sherita H; Halladay, Jacqueline R; Krok-Schoen, Jessica L; Appelhans, Bradley M; Cooper, Lisa A

    2016-08-01

    In the United States, racial/ethnic minority, rural, and low-income populations continue to experience suboptimal access to and quality of health care despite decades of recognition of health disparities and policy mandates to eliminate them. Many health care interventions that were designed to achieve health equity fall short because of gaps in knowledge and translation. We discuss these gaps and highlight innovative interventions that help address them, focusing on cardiovascular disease and cancer. We also provide recommendations for advancing the field of health equity and informing the implementation and evaluation of policies that target health disparities through improved access to care and quality of care. PMID:27503965

  3. Gout: optimizing treatment to achieve a disease cure

    PubMed Central

    Bernal, José Antonio; Quilis, Neus; Andrés, Mariano; Sivera, Francisca; Pascual, Eliseo

    2016-01-01

    Gout is one of the most common inflammatory arthritides. The disease is due to the deposition of monosodium urate crystals. These deposits are reversible with proper treatment, suggesting that gout is a curable disease. The main aim in gout is to lower serum uric acid levels to a pre-established target; there are different urate-lowering drugs (xanthine oxidase inhibitors, uricosurics and uricases) through which this can be achieved. Proper treatment of gout also involves correct management of acute flares and their prevention. To ensure treatment adherence it is necessary to explain to the patient what the objectives are. PMID:26977282

  4. Concurrently adjusting interrelated control parameters to achieve optimal engine performance

    DOEpatents

    Jiang, Li; Lee, Donghoon; Yilmaz, Hakan; Stefanopoulou, Anna

    2015-12-01

    Methods and systems for real-time engine control optimization are provided. A value of an engine performance variable is determined, a value of a first operating condition and a value of a second operating condition of a vehicle engine are detected, and initial values for a first engine control parameter and a second engine control parameter are determined based on the detected first operating condition and the detected second operating condition. The initial values for the first engine control parameter and the second engine control parameter are adjusted based on the determined value of the engine performance variable to cause the engine performance variable to approach a target engine performance variable. In order to cause the engine performance variable to approach the target engine performance variable, adjusting the initial value for the first engine control parameter necessitates a corresponding adjustment of the initial value for the second engine control parameter.

  5. Optimism and diet quality in the Women's Health Initiative.

    PubMed

    Hingle, Melanie D; Wertheim, Betsy C; Tindle, Hilary A; Tinker, Lesley; Seguin, Rebecca A; Rosal, Milagros C; Thomson, Cynthia A

    2014-07-01

    Diet quality has not been well studied in relation to positive psychological traits. Our purpose was to investigate the relationship between optimism and diet quality in postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative observational study (OS) and clinical trials (CTs), and to determine whether optimism was associated with diet change after a 1-year dietary intervention. Diet quality was scored with the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) and optimism assessed with the Life Orientation Test-Revised. Baseline characteristics were compared across AHEI quintiles or optimism tertiles using regression models with each variable of interest as a function of quintiles or tertiles (OS, n=87,630; CT, n=65,360). Association between optimism and baseline AHEI and change in AHEI over 1 year were tested using multivariate linear regression (CT, n=13,645). Potential interaction between optimism and trial arm and demographic/lifestyle factors on AHEI change was tested using likelihood ratio test (CT intervention, n=13,645; CT control, n=20,242). Women reporting high AHEI were non-Hispanic white, educated, physically active, past or never smokers, hormone therapy users, had lower body mass index and waist circumference, and were less likely to have chronic conditions. In the CT intervention, higher optimism was associated with higher AHEI at baseline and with greater change over 1 year (P=0.001). Effect modification by intervention status was observed (P=0.014), whereas control participants with highest optimism achieved threefold greater AHEI increase compared with those with the lowest optimism. These data support a relationship between optimism and dietary quality score in postmenopausal women at baseline and over 1 year. PMID:24556429

  6. Multiphase Nano-Composite Coatings for Achieving Energy Optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Nainaparampil, Jose

    2012-03-26

    UES Inc. and ANL teamed in this work to develop novel coating systems for the protection of surfaces from thermal degradation mainly in two applications; Machining and Die casting. These coatings were specifically designed for the purpose by incorporating required material phases and the overall architecture, which led to reduce the energy usage and increase efficiency of the operations. Following the UES/ANL's feasibility work, the coatings were developed utilizing High power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPMS) and Large area filtered arc deposition (LAFAD) techniques. Toughness, hardness and oxidation resistance: contrasting qualities have been mixed in the right proportion to attain the suitable material characteristic for the cause. Hafnium diboride (HfB2) based materials provided such a system and its properties were tamed to attain the right combination of toughness and hardness by working on the microstructure and architecture of coatings. An effective interfacing material (graded concentrations of topcoat) was also achieved in this work to provide the required adhesion between the substrate and the coating. Combination of an appropriate bond coat and a functional top coat provided the present thermal degradation resistant coating for cutting tools and die-casting applications. Laboratory level performance tests and industrial level application tests by partner companies (Beta Site Testing) were used for the development of these coatings.

  7. State-level variations in income-related inequality in health and health achievement in the US.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ke Tom

    2006-07-01

    The objective of this study was to examine state-level variations in income-related inequality in health and overall health achievement in the US. Data that were representative of the US and each state in 2001 were extracted from the Current Population Survey 2001. Income-related inequality in health and health achievement were measured by Health Concentration and Health Achievement Indices, respectively. Significant variations were found across states in income-related inequality in health and health achievement. In particular, states in the south and east regions, on average, experienced a higher degree of health inequality and lower health achievement. About 80% of the state-level variation in health achievement could be explained by demographics, economic structure and performance, and state and local government spending and burden. In contrast, medical care resource indicators were not found to contribute to health achievement in states. States with better health achievement were more urbanized, had lower proportions of minority groups, females and the elderly, fewer individuals below the poverty line, larger primary industry, and lower unemployment rates. Also, per capita state and local government spending, particularly the proportion spent on public health, was positively associated with better health achievement. Because of the direct implications of health level and distribution in resource allocation and social norms, states with a lower level of health achievement need to prioritize efforts in increasing and reallocating resources to diminish health inequality and to improve population health. PMID:16500008

  8. Protein "requirements" beyond the RDA: implications for optimizing health.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Stuart M; Chevalier, Stéphanie; Leidy, Heather J

    2016-05-01

    Substantial evidence supports the increased consumption of high-quality protein to achieve optimal health outcomes. A growing body of research indicates that protein intakes well above the current Recommended Dietary Allowance help to promote healthy aging, appetite regulation, weight management, and goals aligned with athletic performance. Higher protein intakes may help prevent age-related sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass, and strength that predisposes older adults to frailty, disability, and loss of autonomy. Higher protein diets also improve satiety and lead to greater reductions in body weight and fat mass compared with standard protein diets, and may therefore serve as a successful strategy to help prevent and/or treat obesity. Athletes can also benefit from higher protein intakes to maximize athletic performance given the critical role protein plays in stimulating muscle protein remodelling after exercise. Protein quality, per meal dose, and timing of ingestion are also important considerations. Despite persistent beliefs to the contrary, we can find no evidence-based link between higher protein diets and renal disease or adverse bone health. This brief synopsis highlights recent learnings based on presentations at the 2015 Canadian Nutrition Society conference, Advances in Protein Nutrition across the Lifespan. Current evidence indicates intakes in the range of at least 1.2 to 1.6 g/(kg·day) of high-quality protein is a more ideal target for achieving optimal health outcomes in adults. PMID:26960445

  9. Food structure is critical for optimal health.

    PubMed

    Wahlqvist, Mark L

    2016-03-16

    Much nutrition policy is nutrient-based, supported by extensive nutrient science and food nutrient composition tables and recommendations for dietary evaluation. There are no comparable instruments for food structure. This constitutes a policy and practice gap since food is valued for its textural properties and not simply its chemistry. The structurally-important 'dietary fibre' at first proved of greater interest for its chemistry than its physico-chemistry even to health scientists and workers. As food chemistry became evidently complex, especially for phytonutrients, food-based dietary guidelines became an imperative and were launched by FAO and WHO in Cyprus in 1995. Food-health relationships, after weaning, are best articulated in terms of the achievement of dietary diversity, predicated partly on how intact foods are or in what way they are prepared. Cooking itself has health-promoting characteristics. Even with identical chemistry, food structure makes a major difference to biological and health outcomes. With evidence that food structure contributes to the matrix that food provides for nutrient delivery, and also to gut microbiomic profile and integrity, concern has grown about overly-processed food and health outcomes. The definition and categorisation of 'ultra-processed foods' is now a work-in-progress. Future public health nutritional and clinical nutrition developments will take account of food structure. To these ends, food composition tables will need to provide information like particle size and viscosity. Dietary recommendations will need to take account of food structure, as is the case for Brazil whose first step is "Make natural or minimally processed foods the basis of your diet". PMID:26667120

  10. Collective Responsibility, Academic Optimism, and Student Achievement in Taiwan Elementary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Hsin-Chieh

    2012-01-01

    Previous research indicates that collective efficacy, faculty trust in students and parents, and academic emphasis together formed a single latent school construct, called academic optimism. In the U.S., academic optimism has been proven to be a powerful construct that could effectively predict student achievement even after controlling for…

  11. Optimizing Bone Health in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Buckner, Jason L.; Bowden, Sasigarn A.; Mahan, John D.

    2015-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness, with eventual loss of ambulation and premature death. The approved therapy with corticosteroids improves muscle strength, prolongs ambulation, and maintains pulmonary function. However, the osteoporotic impact of chronic corticosteroid use further impairs the underlying reduced bone mass seen in DMD, leading to increased fragility fractures of long bones and vertebrae. These serious sequelae adversely affect quality of life and can impact survival. The current clinical issues relating to bone health and bone health screening methods in DMD are presented in this review. Diagnostic studies, including biochemical markers of bone turnover and bone mineral density by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), as well as spinal imaging using densitometric lateral spinal imaging, and treatment to optimize bone health in patients with DMD are discussed. Treatment with bisphosphonates offers a method to increase bone mass in these children; oral and intravenous bisphosphonates have been used successfully although treatment is typically reserved for children with fractures and/or bone pain with low bone mass by DXA. PMID:26124831

  12. Physiological geroscience: targeting function to increase healthspan and achieve optimal longevity.

    PubMed

    Seals, Douglas R; Justice, Jamie N; LaRocca, Thomas J

    2016-04-15

    Most nations of the world are undergoing rapid and dramatic population ageing, which presents great socio-economic challenges, as well as opportunities, for individuals, families, governments and societies. The prevailing biomedical strategy for reducing the healthcare impact of population ageing has been 'compression of morbidity' and, more recently, to increase healthspan, both of which seek to extend the healthy period of life and delay the development of chronic diseases and disability until a brief period at the end of life. Indeed, a recently established field within biological ageing research, 'geroscience', is focused on healthspan extension. Superimposed on this background are new attitudes and demand for 'optimal longevity' - living long, but with good health and quality of life. A key obstacle to achieving optimal longevity is the progressive decline in physiological function that occurs with ageing, which causes functional limitations (e.g. reduced mobility) and increases the risk of chronic diseases, disability and mortality. Current efforts to increase healthspan centre on slowing the fundamental biological processes of ageing such as inflammation/oxidative stress, increased senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired proteostasis and reduced stress resistance. We propose that optimization of physiological function throughout the lifespan should be a major emphasis of any contemporary biomedical policy addressing global ageing. Effective strategies should delay, reduce in magnitude or abolish reductions in function with ageing (primary prevention) and/or improve function or slow further declines in older adults with already impaired function (secondary prevention). Healthy lifestyle practices featuring regular physical activity and ideal energy intake/diet composition represent first-line function-preserving strategies, with pharmacological agents, including existing and new pharmaceuticals and novel 'nutraceutical' compounds, serving as potential

  13. What have health care reforms achieved in Turkey? An appraisal of the "Health Transformation Programme".

    PubMed

    Ökem, Zeynep Güldem; Çakar, Mehmet

    2015-09-01

    Poor health status indicators, low quality care, inequity in the access to health services and inefficiency due to fragmented health financing and provision have long been problems in Turkey's health system. To address these problems a radical reform process known as the Health Transformation Programme (HTP) was initiated in 2003. The health sector reforms in Turkey are considered to have been among the most successful of middle-income countries undergoing reform. Numerous articles have been published that review these reforms in terms of, variously, financial sustainability, efficiency, equity and quality. Evidence suggests that Turkey has indeed made significant progress, yet these achievements are uneven among its regions, and their long-term financial sustainability is unresolved due to structural problems in employment. As yet, there is no comprehensive evidence-based analysis of how far the stated reform objectives have been achieved. This article reviews the empirical evidence regarding the outcomes of the HTP during 10 years of its implementation. Strengthening the strategic purchasing function of the Social Security Institution (SSI) should be a priority. Overall performance can be improved by linking resource allocation to provider performance. More emphasis on prevention rather than treatment, with an effective referral chain, can also bring better outcomes, greater efficiency gains and contribute to sustainability. PMID:26183890

  14. Health in All (Foreign) Policy: challenges in achieving coherence.

    PubMed

    Labonté, Ronald

    2014-06-01

    Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach is generally perceived as an intersectoral approach to national or sub-national public policy development, such that health outcomes are given full consideration by non-health sectors. Globalization, however, has created numerous 'inherently global health issues' with cross-border causes and consequences, requiring new forms of global governance for health. Although such governance often includes both state and non-state (private, civil society) actors in agenda setting and influence, different actors have differing degrees of power and authority and, ultimately, it is states that ratify intergovernmental covenants or normative declarations that directly or indirectly affect health. This requires public health and health promotion practitioners working within countries to give increased attention to the foreign policies of their national governments. These foreign policies include those governing national security, foreign aid, trade and investment as well as the traditional forms of diplomacy. A new term has been coined to describe how health is coming to be positioned in governments' foreign policies: global health diplomacy. To become adept at this nuanced diplomatic practice requires familiarity with the different policy frames by which health might be inserted into the foreign policy deliberations, and thence intergovernmental/global governance negotiations. This article discusses six such frames (security, trade, development, global public goods, human rights, ethical/moral reasoning) that have been analytically useful in assessing the potential for greater and more health-promoting foreign policy coherence: a 'Health in All (Foreign) Policies' approach. PMID:25217356

  15. Optimal health insurance for multiple goods and time periods.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Randall P; Jiang, Shenyi; Manning, Willard G

    2015-05-01

    We examine the efficiency-based arguments for second-best optimal health insurance with multiple treatment goods and multiple time periods. Correlated shocks across health care goods and over time interact with complementarity and substitutability to affect optimal cost sharing. Health care goods that are substitutes or have positively correlated demand shocks should have lower optimal patient cost sharing. Positive serial correlations of demand shocks and uncompensated losses that are positively correlated with covered health services also reduce optimal cost sharing. Our results rationalize covering pharmaceuticals and outpatient spending more fully than is implied by static, one good, or one period models. PMID:25727031

  16. Costa Rica: Achievements of a Heterodox Health Policy

    PubMed Central

    Unger, Jean-Pierre; De Paepe, Pierre; Buitrón, René; Soors, Werner

    2008-01-01

    Costa Rica is a middle-income country with a strong governmental emphasis on human development. For more than half a century, its health policies have applied the principles of equity and solidarity to strengthen access to care through public services and universal social health insurance. Costa Rica’s population measures of health service coverage, health service use, and health status are excellent, and in the Americas, life expectancy in Costa Rica is second only to that in Canada. Many of these outcomes can be linked to the performance of the public health care system. However, the current emphasis of international aid organizations on privatization of health services threatens the accomplishments and universality of the Costa Rican health care system. PMID:17901439

  17. Achieving the American dream: facilitators and barriers to health and mental health for Latino immigrants.

    PubMed

    Shobe, Marcia A; Coffman, Maren J; Dmochowski, Jacek

    2009-01-01

    Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S. For Latino immigrants, a shift in migration from larger to smaller cities has recently occurred; the Latino immigrant population in Charlotte, North Carolina, has increased by 634% since 1990. The extent to which immigrants can achieve health and well-being is often related to employment, healthcare access, and social support. This study explored the human, social, and financial capital circumstances of Latino immigrants new to Charlotte and examined the effects of different aspects of capital on health outcomes. Findings indicate that capital is significantly associated with functional status and depression. Implications for social work are discussed. PMID:19199139

  18. Financing of health systems to achieve the health Millennium Development Goals in low-income countries.

    PubMed

    Fryatt, Robert; Mills, Anne; Nordstrom, Anders

    2010-01-30

    Concern that underfunded and weak health systems are impeding the achievement of the health Millennium Development Goals in low-income countries led to the creation of a High Level Taskforce on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems in September, 2008. This report summarises the key challenges faced by the Taskforce and its Working Groups. Working Group 1 examined the constraints to scaling up and costs. Challenges included: difficulty in generalisation because of scarce and context-specific health-systems knowledge; no consensus for optimum service-delivery approaches, leading to wide cost differences; no consensus for health benefits; difficulty in quantification of likely efficiency gains; and challenges in quantification of the financing gap owing to uncertainties about financial commitments for health. Working Group 2 reviewed the different innovative mechanisms for raising and channelling funds. Challenges included: variable definitions of innovative finance; small evidence base for many innovative finance mechanisms; insufficient experience in harmonisation of global health initiatives; and inadequate experience in use of international investments to improve maternal, newborn, and child health. The various mechanisms reviewed and finally recommended all had different characteristics, some focusing on specific problems and some on raising resources generally. Contentious issues included the potential role of the private sector, the rights-based approach to health, and the move to results-based aid. The challenges and disagreements that arose during the work of the Taskforce draw attention to the many issues facing decision makers in low-income countries. International donors and recipient governments should work together to improve the evidence base for strengthening health systems, increase long-term commitments, and improve accountability through transparent and inclusive national approaches. PMID:20113826

  19. Optimism and Physical Health: A Meta-analytic Review

    PubMed Central

    Rasmussen, Heather N.; Greenhouse, Joel B.

    2010-01-01

    Background Prior research links optimism to physical health, but the strength of the association has not been systematically evaluated. Purpose The purpose of this study is to conduct a meta-analytic review to determine the strength of the association between optimism and physical health. Methods The findings from 83 studies, with 108 effect sizes (ESs), were included in the analyses, using random-effects models. Results Overall, the mean ES characterizing the relationship between optimism and physical health outcomes was 0.17, p<.001. ESs were larger for studies using subjective (versus objective) measures of physical health. Subsidiary analyses were also conducted grouping studies into those that focused solely on mortality, survival, cardiovascular outcomes, physiological markers (including immune function), immune function only, cancer outcomes, outcomes related to pregnancy, physical symptoms, or pain. In each case, optimism was a significant predictor of health outcomes or markers, all p<.001. Conclusions Optimism is a significant predictor of positive physical health outcomes. PMID:19711142

  20. Consumer-driven health care: a path to achieving shared goals.

    PubMed

    Levine, S R

    2000-01-01

    Consumers are the driving force for a transition to a best outcomes-driven health care system that values and rewards outreach, innovation, and the rapid translation of scientific advances into everyday practice. They are the engine for change that can drive outcomes improvement, encourage broader and more timely use of new knowledge, and demand mechanisms to evaluate and report the effects. Consumers alone are fueled by the passion and urgency that results from living with the effects of illness, or seeing those they care about suffer. This best outcomes-driven system will need to be defined by consumers, professionals, and scientific evidence. But to participate as effective change agents, consumers will need good information, decision-support tools, access to resources, and ongoing support from entities they trust. By putting the consumer in the center of a best outcomes-driven system, we can begin to achieve our shared goals: universal access to high-quality, affordable health care and the opportunity for everyone to achieve optimal health-related quality of life and function. PMID:11187400

  1. Achieving effective universal health coverage with equity: evidence from Chile.

    PubMed

    Frenz, Patricia; Delgado, Iris; Kaufman, Jay S; Harper, Sam

    2014-09-01

    Chile's 'health guarantees' approach to providing universal and equitable coverage for quality healthcare in a dual public-private health system has generated global interest. The programme, called AUGE, defines legally enforceable rights to explicit healthcare benefits for priority health conditions, which incrementally covered 56 problems representing 75% of the disease burden between 2005 and 2009. It was accompanied by other health reform measures to increase public financing and public sector planning to secure the guarantees nationwide, as well as the state's stewardship role. We analysed data from household surveys conducted before and after the AUGE reform to estimate changes in levels of unmet health need, defined as the lack of a healthcare visit for a health problem occurring in the last 30 days, by age, sex, income, education, health insurance, residence and ethnicity; fitting logistic regression models and using predictive margins. The overall prevalence of unmet health need was much lower in 2009 (17.6%, 95% CI: 16.5%, 18.6%) than in 2000 (30.0%, 95% CI: 28.3%, 31.7%). Differences by income and education extremes and rural-urban residence disappeared. In 2009, people who had been in treatment for a condition covered by AUGE in the past year had a lower adjusted prevalence of unmet need for their recent problem (11.7%, 95% CI: 10.5%, 13.2%) than who had not (21.0%, 95% CI: 19.6%, 22.4%). Despite limitations including cross-sectional and self-reported data, our findings suggest that the Chilean health system has become more equitable and responsive to need. While these changes cannot be directly attributed to AUGE, they were coincident with the AUGE reforms. However, healthcare equity concerns are still present, relating to quality of care, health system barriers and differential access for health conditions that are not covered by AUGE. PMID:23921988

  2. Health and Academic Achievement: Cumulative Effects of Health Assets on Standardized Test Scores among Urban Youth in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ickovics, Jeannette R.; Carroll-Scott, Amy; Peters, Susan M.; Schwartz, Marlene; Gilstad-Hayden, Kathryn; McCaslin, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    Background: The Institute of Medicine (2012) concluded that we must "strengthen schools as the heart of health." To intervene for better outcomes in both health and academic achievement, identifying factors that impact children is essential. Study objectives are to (1) document associations between health assets and academic achievement,…

  3. Achieving Cultural Competence: The Challenges for Health Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luquis, Raffy R.; Perez, Miguel A.

    2003-01-01

    The racial and ethnic diversification of the U.S. population presents a clear call for health educators to surmount the barriers they have encountered in reaching U.S. racial and ethnic groups with culturally appropriate health promotion and prevention messages. As the population becomes more culturally and ethnically diverse, the preparation of…

  4. Advantages of Coordinated School Health Portfolios: Documenting and Showcasing Achievements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shipley, Meagan; Lohrmann, David; Barnes, Priscilla; O'Neill, Jim

    2013-01-01

    Background: Thirteen school district teams from Michigan and Indiana participated in the Michiana Coordinated School Health Leadership Institute with the intent of Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) implementation. The purpose of this study was to determine if portfolios served as an effective approach for documenting teams'…

  5. Achieving better health care outcomes for children in foster care.

    PubMed

    Mekonnen, Robin; Noonan, Kathleen; Rubin, David

    2009-04-01

    This article reviews the challenges health care systems face as they attempt to improve health care outcomes for children in foster care. It discusses several of the promising health care strategies occurring outside the perimeter of child welfare and identifies some of the key impasses in working alongside efforts in child welfare reform. The authors posit that the greatest impasse in establishing a reasonable quality of health care for these children is placement instability, in which children move frequently among multiple homes and in and out of the child welfare system. The authors propose potential strategies in which efforts to improve placement stability can serve as a vehicle for multidisciplinary reform across the health care system. PMID:19358924

  6. Achieving optimal aesthetics for direct and indirect restorations with microhybrid composite resins.

    PubMed

    Okuda, Wynn H

    2005-04-01

    In aesthetic dentistry, material science has played a key role in the development of natural-appearing restorations. Despite the progress, there have been challenges in achieving a harmonious integration of direct and indirect posterior restorations. Although porcelain restorations provide natural aesthetics, ceramics cannot be applied via direct techniques. Consequently, composite resins are valuable alternatives for conservative posterior restorations. In addition, because of their differing physical and optical properties, optimal aesthetic blending with porcelain and resin cannot be routinely achieved. This article explores the potential of composite resins as a direct and indirect restorative option in achieving the most favorable natural blend in the posterior region. PMID:15974036

  7. Academic Optimism of High School Teachers: Its Relationship to Organizational Citizenship Behaviors and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagner, Charles A.; DiPaola, Michael F.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to build on an emergent research base for academic optimism by testing the construct and its relationship to student achievement and organizational citizenship behaviors in schools in a sample of public high schools. All participants in this study were full-time teachers, guidance counselors, and other full-time…

  8. Worksite health and wellness programs: Canadian achievements & prospects.

    PubMed

    Després, Jean-Pierre; Alméras, Natalie; Gauvin, Lise

    2014-01-01

    Canada has experienced a substantial reduction in mortality related to cardiovascular disease (CVD). There is a general consensus that more effective and widespread health promotion interventions may lead to further reductions in CVD risk factors and actual disease states. In this paper, we briefly outline the prevalence of selected risk factors for CVD in Canada, describe characteristics of the Canadian labor market and workforce, and depict what is known about health and wellness program delivery systems in Canadian workplaces. Our review indicates that there have been numerous and diverse relevant legislative and policy initiatives to create a context conducive to improve the healthfulness of Canadian workplaces. However, there is still a dearth of evidence on the effectiveness of the delivery system and the actual impact of workplace health and wellness programs in reducing CVD risk in Canada. Thus, while a promising model, more research is needed in this area. PMID:24607012

  9. Priority-setting for achieving universal health coverage

    PubMed Central

    Chalkidou, Kalipso; Glassman, Amanda; Marten, Robert; Vega, Jeanette; Tritasavit, Nattha; Gyansa-Lutterodt, Martha; Seiter, Andreas; Kieny, Marie Paule; Hofman, Karen; Culyer, Anthony J

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Governments in low- and middle-income countries are legitimizing the implementation of universal health coverage (UHC), following a United Nation’s resolution on UHC in 2012 and its reinforcement in the sustainable development goals set in 2015. UHC will differ in each country depending on country contexts and needs, as well as demand and supply in health care. Therefore, fundamental issues such as objectives, users and cost–effectiveness of UHC have been raised by policy-makers and stakeholders. While priority-setting is done on a daily basis by health authorities – implicitly or explicitly – it has not been made clear how priority-setting for UHC should be conducted. We provide justification for explicit health priority-setting and guidance to countries on how to set priorities for UHC. PMID:27274598

  10. Priority-setting for achieving universal health coverage.

    PubMed

    Chalkidou, Kalipso; Glassman, Amanda; Marten, Robert; Vega, Jeanette; Teerawattananon, Yot; Tritasavit, Nattha; Gyansa-Lutterodt, Martha; Seiter, Andreas; Kieny, Marie Paule; Hofman, Karen; Culyer, Anthony J

    2016-06-01

    Governments in low- and middle-income countries are legitimizing the implementation of universal health coverage (UHC), following a United Nation's resolution on UHC in 2012 and its reinforcement in the sustainable development goals set in 2015. UHC will differ in each country depending on country contexts and needs, as well as demand and supply in health care. Therefore, fundamental issues such as objectives, users and cost-effectiveness of UHC have been raised by policy-makers and stakeholders. While priority-setting is done on a daily basis by health authorities - implicitly or explicitly - it has not been made clear how priority-setting for UHC should be conducted. We provide justification for explicit health priority-setting and guidance to countries on how to set priorities for UHC. PMID:27274598

  11. Integrating Health Information Technology to Achieve Seamless Care Transitions.

    PubMed

    Marcotte, Leah; Kirtane, Janhavi; Lynn, Joanne; McKethan, Aaron

    2015-12-01

    Improving care transitions, or "handoffs" as patients migrate from one care setting to another, is a priority across stakeholder groups and health-care settings and additionally is included in national health-care goals set forth in the National Quality Strategy. Although many demonstrations of improved care transitions have succeeded, particularly for hospital discharges, ensuring consistent, high-quality, and safe transitions of care remains challenging. This paper highlights the potential for health information technology to become an increasing part of effective transitional care interventions, with the potential to reduce the resource burden currently associated with effective care transitions, the ability to spread improved practices to larger numbers of patients and providers efficiently and at scale, and, as health technology interoperability increases, the potential to facilitate critical information flow and feedback loops to clinicians, patients, and caregivers across disparate information systems and care settings. PMID:24522208

  12. Comparative optimism for severity of negative health outcomes.

    PubMed

    Hevey, D; French, D P

    2012-01-01

    People tend to be comparatively optimistic (i.e., believe that negative outcomes are less likely for themselves than for typical others) regarding their susceptibility to negative health outcomes. The present study investigates the extent to which perceptions of the severity of these health outcomes show similar comparative optimism. A student sample (study 1; N = 200) and a healthy non-student adult sample (study 2; N = 257) completed self-report measures of susceptibility, severity, worry, control and experience in relation to negative health outcomes. Participants in both studies demonstrated significant levels of comparative optimism for both perceived likelihood and severity of health outcomes. Comparative optimism concerning severity was very strongly associated (r = 0.85 to 0.89) with comparative optimism concerning susceptibility. In addition to being comparatively optimistic over their chances of experiencing negative health outcomes, people are also comparatively optimistic regarding how severe the health outcomes will be. PMID:22111753

  13. Health in the developing world: achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

    PubMed Central

    Sachs, Jeffrey D.

    2004-01-01

    The Millennium Development Goals depend critically on scaling up public health investments in developing countries. As a matter of urgency, developing-country governments must present detailed investment plans that are sufficiently ambitious to meet the goals, and the plans must be inserted into existing donor processes. Donor countries must keep the promises they have often reiterated of increased assistance, which they can easily afford, to help improve health in the developing countries and ensure stability for the whole world. PMID:15654410

  14. Health in the developing world: achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

    PubMed

    Sachs, Jeffrey D

    2004-12-01

    The Millennium Development Goals depend critically on scaling up public health investments in developing countries. As a matter of urgency, developing-country governments must present detailed investment plans that are sufficiently ambitious to meet the goals, and the plans must be inserted into existing donor processes. Donor countries must keep the promises they have often reiterated of increased assistance, which they can easily afford, to help improve health in the developing countries and ensure stability for the whole world. PMID:15654410

  15. A Review of Literature to Understand the Complexity of Equity, Ethics and Management for Achieving Public Health Goals in India

    PubMed Central

    Garg, Pankaj; Nagpal, Jitender

    2014-01-01

    In the context of inadequate public spending on health care in India (0.9% of the GDP); government liberalized its policies in the form of subsidized lands and tax incentives, resulting in the mushrooming of private hospitals and clinics in India. Paradoxically, a robust framework was not developed for the regulation of these health care providers, resulting in disorganized health sector, inadequate financing models, and lack of prioritization of services, as well as a sub-optimal achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We systematically reviewed the evidence base regarding regulation of private hospitals, applicability of private-public mix, state of health insurance and effective policy development for India, while seeking lessons on regulation of private health systems, from South African (a developing country) and Australian (a developed country) health care systems. PMID:24701465

  16. A review of literature to understand the complexity of equity, ethics and management for achieving public health goals in India.

    PubMed

    Garg, Pankaj; Nagpal, Jitender

    2014-02-01

    In the context of inadequate public spending on health care in India (0.9% of the GDP); government liberalized its policies in the form of subsidized lands and tax incentives, resulting in the mushrooming of private hospitals and clinics in India. Paradoxically, a robust framework was not developed for the regulation of these health care providers, resulting in disorganized health sector, inadequate financing models, and lack of prioritization of services, as well as a sub-optimal achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We systematically reviewed the evidence base regarding regulation of private hospitals, applicability of private-public mix, state of health insurance and effective policy development for India, while seeking lessons on regulation of private health systems, from South African (a developing country) and Australian (a developed country) health care systems. PMID:24701465

  17. Implications of Student Health Problems on Achievement and Engagement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    La Salle, Tamika P.; Hagermoser Sanetti, Lisa M.

    2016-01-01

    Healthy students are better learners. Establishing positive school climates where students are healthy, engaged, and prepared to learn is a critical component in increasing student engagement and closing the achievement gap. As such, educators need to be aware of the impact of education-related outcomes on student outcomes and schools' ability to…

  18. Organizational Health and Student Achievement in Tennessee Middle Level Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henderson, Christopher L.; Buehler, Alison E.; Stein, William L.; Dalton, John E.; Robinson, Teresa R.; Anfara, Vincent A., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    Although the successful middle level school was designed to address both the affective and cognitive development of young adolescents (NMSA 2003), academic achievement is the outcome of paramount importance in the current political context of accountability, high-stakes testing, and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. In their efforts to reform,…

  19. Achieving Workplace Health through Application of Wellness Strategies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Judith L.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: 1) Understand and measure JSC workplace health: a) levels, sources, indicators & effects of negative, work-related stress; b) define leading indicators of emerging issues. 2 Provide linkage to outcomes: a) Focus application of wellness strategies & HR tools; b) Increase quality of work life and productivity. 3) Current effort will result in: a) Online assessment tool; b) Assessment of total JSC population (civil service & contractors); c) Application of mitigation tools and strategies. 4) Product of the JSC Employee Wellness Program. 5) Collaboration with Corporate Health Improvement Program/University of Arizona.

  20. Health and Academic Achievement: Cumulative Effects of Health Assets on Standardized Test Scores Among Urban Youth in the United States*

    PubMed Central

    Ickovics, Jeannette R.; Carroll-Scott, Amy; Peters, Susan M.; Schwartz, Marlene; Gilstad-Hayden, Kathryn; McCaslin, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    Background The Institute of Medicine (2012) concluded that we must “strengthen schools as the heart of health.” To intervene for better outcomes in both health and academic achievement, identifying factors that impact children is essential. Study objectives are to (1) document associations between health assets and academic achievement, and (2) examine cumulative effects of these assets on academic achievement. Methods Participants include 940 students (grades 5 and 6) from 12 schools randomly selected from an urban district. Data include physical assessments, fitness testing, surveys, and district records. Fourteen health indicators were gathered including physical health (eg, body mass index [BMI]), health behaviors (eg, meeting recommendations for fruit/vegetable consumption), family environment (eg, family meals), and psychological well-being (eg, sleep quality). Data were collected 3-6 months prior to standardized testing. Results On average, students reported 7.1 health assets out of 14. Those with more health assets were more likely to be at goal for standardized tests (reading/writing/mathematics), and students with the most health assets were 2.2 times more likely to achieve goal compared with students with the fewest health assets (both p < .001). Conclusions Schools that utilize nontraditional instructional strategies to improve student health may also improve academic achievement, closing equity gaps in both health and academic achievement. PMID:24320151

  1. School Nurse Case Management: Achieving Health and Educational Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonaiuto, Maria M.

    2007-01-01

    Educators and health care professionals alike understand that healthy students are likely to be successful learners. The goal of school nurse case management is to support students so that they are ready to learn. This article describes the outcomes of a 4-year process improvement project designed to show the impact of school nurse case management…

  2. Managing health care variability to achieve quality care.

    PubMed

    Simmons, J C

    2001-05-01

    While much has been written about variation and health care, one area that has received little attention is variation within hospitals related to the operations management--which can lead to wasted money and human resources. Two Boston researchers who have been studying this area say that addressing these variations--and using techniques found in other major industries across the country--could give hospitals a new tool in addressing patient safety issues, nursing shortages, cost containment, and overall better quality of care. PMID:11400326

  3. Optimism predicts positive health in repatriated prisoners of war.

    PubMed

    Segovia, Francine; Moore, Jeffrey L; Linnville, Steven E; Hoyt, Robert E

    2015-05-01

    "Positive health," defined as a state beyond the mere absence of disease, was used as a model to examine factors for enhancing health despite extreme trauma. The study examined the United States' longest detained American prisoners of war, those held in Vietnam in the 1960s through early 1970s. Positive health was measured using a physical and a psychological composite score for each individual, based on 9 physical and 9 psychological variables. Physical and psychological health was correlated with optimism obtained postrepatriation (circa 1973). Linear regressions were employed to determine which variables contributed most to health ratings. Optimism was the strongest predictor of physical health (β = -.33, t = -2.73, p = .008), followed by fewer sleep complaints (β = -.29, t = -2.52, p = .01). This model accounted for 25% of the variance. Optimism was also the strongest predictor of psychological health (β = -.41, t = -2.87, p = .006), followed by Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Psychopathic Deviate (MMPI-PD; McKinley & Hathaway, 1944) scores (β = -.23, t = -1.88, p = .07). This model strongly suggests that optimism is a significant predictor of positive physical and psychological health, and optimism also provides long-term protective benefits. These findings and the utility of this model suggest a promising area for future research and intervention. PMID:25961116

  4. Robust, integrated computational control of NMR experiments to achieve optimal assignment by ADAPT-NMR.

    PubMed

    Bahrami, Arash; Tonelli, Marco; Sahu, Sarata C; Singarapu, Kiran K; Eghbalnia, Hamid R; Markley, John L

    2012-01-01

    ADAPT-NMR (Assignment-directed Data collection Algorithm utilizing a Probabilistic Toolkit in NMR) represents a groundbreaking prototype for automated protein structure determination by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. With a [(13)C,(15)N]-labeled protein sample loaded into the NMR spectrometer, ADAPT-NMR delivers complete backbone resonance assignments and secondary structure in an optimal fashion without human intervention. ADAPT-NMR achieves this by implementing a strategy in which the goal of optimal assignment in each step determines the subsequent step by analyzing the current sum of available data. ADAPT-NMR is the first iterative and fully automated approach designed specifically for the optimal assignment of proteins with fast data collection as a byproduct of this goal. ADAPT-NMR evaluates the current spectral information, and uses a goal-directed objective function to select the optimal next data collection step(s) and then directs the NMR spectrometer to collect the selected data set. ADAPT-NMR extracts peak positions from the newly collected data and uses this information in updating the analysis resonance assignments and secondary structure. The goal-directed objective function then defines the next data collection step. The procedure continues until the collected data support comprehensive peak identification, resonance assignments at the desired level of completeness, and protein secondary structure. We present test cases in which ADAPT-NMR achieved results in two days or less that would have taken two months or more by manual approaches. PMID:22427982

  5. Ensuring optimal health care for LGBT patients.

    PubMed

    Glasper, Alan

    2016-07-14

    Emeritus Professor Alan Glasper, from the University of Southampton, discusses a Royal College of Nursing policy that highlights the complexities of providing high-quality and non-discriminatory health care. PMID:27409790

  6. Linking Organizational Health in Jeddah Secondary Schools to Students' Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alqarni, Saleh Ali Y.

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to assess organizational health (OH) in secondary schools in Jeddah district in Saudi Arabia. A second aim of the study was to compare the organizational health of these schools according to their rankings on student achievement tests, school type and the nature of the respondents' work. The Organizational Health Inventory (OHI),…

  7. Coordinated School Health Programs and Academic Achievement: A Systematic Review of the Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Nancy G.; Low, Barbara J.; Hollis, Christine; Cross, Alan W.; Davis, Sally M.

    2007-01-01

    Background: Few evaluations of school health programs measure academic outcomes. K-12 education needs evidence for academic achievement to implement school programs. This article presents a systematic review of the literature to examine evidence that school health programs aligned with the Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) model improve…

  8. Preoperative treatment planning with intraoperative optimization can achieve consistent high-quality implants in prostate brachytherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Kudchadker, Rajat J.; Pugh, Thomas J.; Swanson, David A.; Bruno, Teresa L.; Bolukbasi, Yasemin; Frank, Steven J.

    2012-01-01

    Advances in brachytherapy treatment planning systems have allowed the opportunity for brachytherapy to be planned intraoperatively as well as preoperatively. The relative advantages and disadvantages of each approach have been the subject of extensive debate, and some contend that the intraoperative approach is vital to the delivery of optimal therapy. The purpose of this study was to determine whether high-quality permanent prostate implants can be achieved consistently using a preoperative planning approach that allows for, but does not necessitate, intraoperative optimization. To achieve this purpose, we reviewed the records of 100 men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer who had been prospectively treated with brachytherapy monotherapy between 2006 and 2009 at our institution. All patients were treated with iodine-125 stranded seeds; the planned target dose was 145 Gy. Only 8 patients required adjustments to the plan on the basis of intraoperative findings. Consistency and quality were assessed by calculating the correlation coefficient between the planned and implanted amounts of radioactivity and by examining the mean values of the dosimetric parameters obtained on preoperative and 30 days postoperative treatment planning. The amount of radioactivity implanted was essentially identical to that planned (mean planned radioactivity, 41.27 U vs. mean delivered radioactivity, 41.36 U; R{sup 2} = 0.99). The mean planned and day 30 prostate V100 values were 99.9% and 98.6%, respectively. The mean planned and day 30 prostate D90 values were 186.3 and 185.1 Gy, respectively. Consistent, high-quality prostate brachytherapy treatment plans can be achieved using a preoperative planning approach, mostly without the need for intraoperative optimization. Good quality assurance measures during simulation, treatment planning, implantation, and postimplant evaluation are paramount for achieving a high level of quality and consistency.

  9. Optimal Treatment Adherence Counseling Outcomes for People Living with HIV and Limited Health Literacy.

    PubMed

    Pellowski, Jennifer A; Kalichman, Seth C; Grebler, Tamar

    2016-01-01

    Limited health literacy has been shown to contribute to poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in people living with HIV/AIDS. Given the mixed results of previous interventions for people with HIV and low health literacy, investigating possible targets for improved adherence is warranted. The present study aims to identify the correlates of optimal and suboptimal outcomes among participants of a recent skills-based medication adherence intervention. This secondary analysis included 188 men and women living with HIV who had low health literacy and who had complete viral load data. Adherence was assessed by unannounced pill count and follow-up viral loads were assessed by blood draw. Results showed that higher levels of health literacy and lower levels of alcohol use were the strongest predictors of achieving HIV viral load optimal outcomes. The interplay between lower health literacy and alcohol use on adherence should be the focus of future research. PMID:25211524

  10. Translating school health research to policy. School outcomes related to the health environment and changes in mathematics achievement.

    PubMed

    Snelling, Anastasia M; Belson, Sarah Irvine; Watts, Erin; George, Stephanie; Van Dyke, Hugo; Malloy, Elizabeth; Kalicki, Michelle

    2015-10-01

    This paper describes an exploration of the relationship between mathematic achievement and the school health environment relative to policy-driven changes in the school setting, specifically with regard to physical education/physical activity. Using school-level data, the authors seek to understand the relationship between mathematics achievement and the school health environment and physical education minutes. This work provides a description of the aspects of the school health environment, an exploration of the interrelationships between school health and student achievement, and an assessment of the effects of the school health policy and practice on student performance and health status. Based on these findings, we identify additional research necessary to describe the relationship between obesity and learning in children. PMID:26050913

  11. Faculty Sense of Academic Optimism and Its Relationship to Students' Achievement in Well Performing High Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cromartie, Michael Tyrone

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the organizational characteristics and behaviors that contribute to sustaining a culture of academic optimism as a mechanism of student achievement. While there is a developing research base identifying both the individual elements of academic optimism as well as the academic optimism construct itself as…

  12. On the Achievable Efficiency-Fairness Tradeoff in Utility-Optimal MAC Protocols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jang-Won; Chiang, Mung; Calderbank, A. Robert

    We use the network utility maximization (NUM) framework to create an efficient and fair medium access control (MAC) protocol for wireless networks. By adjusting the parameters in the utility objective functions of NUM problems, we control the tradeoff between efficiency and fairness of radio resource allocation through a rigorous and systematic design. In this paper, we propose a scheduling-based MAC protocol. Since it provides an upper-bound on the achievable performance, it establishes the optimality benchmarks for comparison with other algorithms in related work.

  13. Achieving optimal gingival esthetics around restored natural teeth and implants. Rationale, concepts, and techniques.

    PubMed

    Bichacho, N

    1998-10-01

    The role of prosthetic restorations in the final appearance of the surrounding soft tissues has long been recognized. Innovative prosthodontic concepts as described should be used to enhance the biologic as well as the esthetic data of the supporting tissues, in natural teeth and implants alike. Combined dental treatment modalities of different kinds (i.e., orthodontics, periodontal treatment) are often required for optimal results. Meticulous care and attention to the delicate soft tissues should be given throughout all phases of the treatment, with a view to achieving a functional, healthy, and esthetic oral environment. PMID:9891656

  14. Impatience versus achievement strivings in the Type A pattern: Differential effects on students' health and academic achievement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spence, Janet T.; Helmreich, Robert L.; Pred, Robert S.

    1987-01-01

    Psychometric analyses of college students' responses to the Jenkins Activity Survey, a self-report measure of the Type A behavior pattern, revealed the presence of two relatively independent factors. Based on these analyses, two scales, labeled Achievement Strivings (AS) and Impatience and Irritability (II), were developed. In two samples of male and female college students, scores on AS but not on II were found to be significantly correlated with grade point average. Responses to a health survey, on the other hand, indicated that frequency of physical complaints was significantly correlated with II but not with AS. These results suggest that there are two relatively independent factors in the Type A pattern that have differential effects on performance and health. Future research on the personality factors related to coronary heart disease and other disorders might more profitably focus on the syndrome reflected in the II scale than on the Type A pattern.

  15. Moving Toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to Achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Health Development: Three Essential Strategies Drawn From Asian Experience

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ye; Huang, Cheng; Colón-Ramos, Uriyoán

    2015-01-01

    Binagwaho and colleagues’ perspective piece provided a timely reflection on the experience of Rwanda in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a proposal of 5 principles to carry forward in post-2015 health development. This commentary echoes their viewpoints and offers three lessons for health policy reforms consistent with these principles beyond 2015. Specifically, we argue that universal health coverage (UHC) is an integrated solution to advance the global health development agenda, and the three essential strategies drawn from Asian countries’ health reforms toward UHC are: (1) Public financing support and sequencing health insurance expansion by first extending health insurance to the extremely poor, vulnerable, and marginalized population are critical for achieving UHC; (2) Improved quality of delivered care ensures supply-side readiness and effective coverage; (3) Strategic purchasing and results-based financing creates incentives and accountability for positive changes. These strategies were discussed and illustrated with experience from China and other Asian economies. PMID:26673477

  16. Trialling of an optimal health programme (OHP) across chronic disease.

    PubMed

    Ski, Chantal F; Thompson, David R; Castle, David J

    2016-01-01

    Population ageing is a worldwide phenomenon, most advanced in developed countries and expected to continue over the next few decades. As people are surviving longer with age-associated disease and disability, there is an imperative to identify innovative solutions for an already overburdened health care system. Such innovations need to be focused on disease management, taking into consideration the strong associations that have been established between psychosocial factors and pathophysiological mechanisms associated with chronic disease. Aside from personal and community costs, chronic diseases produce a significant economic burden due to the culmination of health care costs and lost productivity. This commentary reports on a programme of research, Translating Research, Integrated Public Health Outcomes and Delivery, which will evaluate an optimal health programme that adopts a person-centred approach and engages collaborative therapy to educate, support and improve the psychosocial health of those with chronic disease. The effectiveness of the optimal health programme will be evaluated across three of the most significant contributors to disease burden: diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease and stroke. Cost-effectiveness will also be evaluated. The findings derived from this series of randomised controlled trials will also provide evidence attesting to the potential applicability of the optimal health programme in other chronic conditions. PMID:27612634

  17. Relationships among Stress, Coping, and Mental Health in High-Achieving High School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suldo, Shannon M.; Shaunessy, Elizabeth; Hardesty, Robin

    2008-01-01

    This study investigates the relationships among stress, coping, and mental health in 139 students participating in an International Baccalaureate (IB) high school diploma program. Mental health was assessed using both positive indicators (life satisfaction, academic achievement, academic self-efficacy) and negative indicators (psychopathology) of…

  18. Children's Health and Achievement in School. Living Standards Measurement Study Working Paper No. 104.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrman, Jere R.; Lavy, Victor

    This paper explores the relationship child health and educational achievement using data from the Ghanaian Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS), as well as the reliability of such health-education studies in general. An analysis of the data indicated that: (1) the failure to control for estimation problems in the LSMS and other studies has led…

  19. Project TEAMS (Techniques and Education for Achieving Management Skills): Health Care Administrators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Platte Technical Community Coll., Columbus, NE.

    These Project TEAMS (Techniques and Education for Achieving Management Skills) instructional materials consist of five units for use in training health care administrators. Unit 1 contains materials designed to help the health care administrators increase their management skills in regard to self-awareness, time management, problem solving,…

  20. Poor Child Health, Family Capital and Cumulative Inequality in Academic Achievement

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Margot

    2015-01-01

    Our understanding of health and social stratification can be enriched by testing tenets of cumulative inequality theory that emphasize how the accumulation of inequality is dependent on the developmental stage being considered; the duration and stability of poor health; and the family resources available to children. I analyze longitudinal data from the British National Child Development Study (N=9,252) to ask: 1) if child health is a source of cumulative inequality in academic achievement; 2) whether this relationship depends on the timing and duration of poor health; and 3) whether trajectories are sensitive to levels of family capital. The results suggest that the relationship between health and academic achievement emerges very early in life and persists, and that whether we observe shrinking or widening inequality as children age depends on when we measure their health, and whether children have access to compensatory resources. PMID:25926564

  1. Achieving a "Grand Convergence" in Global Health by 2035: Rwanda Shows the Way

    PubMed Central

    Yamey, Gavin; Fewer, Sara; Beyeler, Naomi

    2015-01-01

    Global Health 2035, the report of The Lancet Commission on Investing in Health, laid out a bold, highly ambitious framework for making rapid progress in improving global public health outcomes. It showed that with the right health investments, the international community could achieve a "grand convergence" in global health—a reduction in avertable infectious, maternal, and child deaths down to universally low levels—within a generation. Rwanda’s success in rapidly reducing such deaths over the last 20 years shows that convergence is feasible. Binagwaho and Scott have argued that 5 lessons from this success are the importance of equity, quality health services, evidence-informed policy, intersectoral collaboration, and effective collaboration between countries and multilateral agencies. This article re-examines these lessons through the lens of the Global Health 2035 report to analyze how the experience in Rwanda might be generalized for other countries to making progress towards achieving a grand convergence. PMID:26673345

  2. Bridging Student Health Risks and Academic Achievement through Comprehensive School Health Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Symons, Cynthia Wolford; Cinelli, Bethann; James, Tammy C.; Groff, Patti

    1997-01-01

    Research confirms a direct link between student health risk behavior and education outcomes, education behaviors, and student attitudes. This article discusses barriers to comprehensive school health programming; summarizes relevant information concerning several health-risk behaviors (intentional injuries, diet, physical activity, sexual-risk…

  3. Reversible Masking Using Low-Molecular-Weight Neutral Lipids to Achieve Optimal-Targeted Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Templeton, Nancy Smyth; Senzer, Neil

    2012-01-01

    Intravenous injection of therapeutics is required to effectively treat or cure metastatic cancer, certain cardiovascular diseases, and other acquired or inherited diseases. Using this route of delivery allows potential uptake in all disease targets that are accessed by the bloodstream. However, normal tissues and organs also have the potential for uptake of therapeutic agents. Therefore, investigators have used targeted delivery to attempt delivery solely to the target cells; however, use of ligands on the surface of delivery vehicles to target specific cell surface receptors is not sufficient to avoid nonspecific uptake. PEGylation has been used for decades to try to avoid nonspecific uptake but suffers from many problems known as “The PEGylation Dilemma.” We have solved this dilemma by replacing PEGylation with reversible masking using low-molecular-weight neutral lipids in order to achieve optimal-targeted delivery solely to target cells. Our paper will focus on this topic. PMID:22655199

  4. Rethinking eye health systems to achieve universal coverage: the role of research.

    PubMed

    Blanchet, Karl; Gilbert, Clare; de Savigny, Don

    2014-10-01

    Achieving universal coverage in eye care remains a tremendous challenge as 226 million people in the world remain visually impaired, the majority from avoidable causes. The impact of eye care interventions has been constrained by the limited capacities of health systems in low-income and middle-income countries to deliver effective eye care services. Services for eye health are still not adequately integrated into the health systems of low-income and middle-income countries. We contend that radical rethinking and deeper development of eye health systems are necessary to achieve VISION 2020 goals. Responding to the challenges of chronic eye diseases will require systems thinking, analysis and action, based on evidence from health systems research. PMID:24990874

  5. Rethinking eye health systems to achieve universal coverage: the role of research

    PubMed Central

    Blanchet, Karl; Gilbert, Clare; de Savigny, Don

    2014-01-01

    Achieving universal coverage in eye care remains a tremendous challenge as 226 million people in the world remain visually impaired, the majority from avoidable causes. The impact of eye care interventions has been constrained by the limited capacities of health systems in low-income and middle-income countries to deliver effective eye care services. Services for eye health are still not adequately integrated into the health systems of low-income and middle-income countries. We contend that radical rethinking and deeper development of eye health systems are necessary to achieve VISION 2020 goals. Responding to the challenges of chronic eye diseases will require systems thinking, analysis and action, based on evidence from health systems research. PMID:24990874

  6. Achieving Effective Universal Health Coverage And Diagonal Approaches To Care For Chronic Illnesses.

    PubMed

    Knaul, Felicia Marie; Bhadelia, Afsan; Atun, Rifat; Frenk, Julio

    2015-09-01

    Health systems in low- and middle-income countries were designed to provide episodic care for acute conditions. However, the burden of disease has shifted to be overwhelmingly dominated by chronic conditions and illnesses that require health systems to function in an integrated manner across a spectrum of disease stages from prevention to palliation. Low- and middle-income countries are also aiming to ensure health care access for all through universal health coverage. This article proposes a framework of effective universal health coverage intended to meet the challenge of chronic illnesses. It outlines strategies to strengthen health systems through a "diagonal approach." We argue that the core challenge to health systems is chronicity of illness that requires ongoing and long-term health care. The example of breast cancer within the broader context of health system reform in Mexico is presented to illustrate effective universal health coverage along the chronic disease continuum and across health systems functions. The article concludes with recommendations to strengthen health systems in order to achieve effective universal health coverage. PMID:26355053

  7. Health benefit modelling and optimization of vehicular pollution control strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonawane, Nayan V.; Patil, Rashmi S.; Sethi, Virendra

    2012-12-01

    This study asserts that the evaluation of pollution reduction strategies should be approached on the basis of health benefits. The framework presented could be used for decision making on the basis of cost effectiveness when the strategies are applied concurrently. Several vehicular pollution control strategies have been proposed in literature for effective management of urban air pollution. The effectiveness of these strategies has been mostly studied as a one at a time approach on the basis of change in pollution concentration. The adequacy and practicality of such an approach is studied in the present work. Also, the assessment of respective benefits of these strategies has been carried out when they are implemented simultaneously. An integrated model has been developed which can be used as a tool for optimal prioritization of various pollution management strategies. The model estimates health benefits associated with specific control strategies. ISC-AERMOD View has been used to provide the cause-effect relation between control options and change in ambient air quality. BenMAP, developed by U.S. EPA, has been applied for estimation of health and economic benefits associated with various management strategies. Valuation of health benefits has been done for impact indicators of premature mortality, hospital admissions and respiratory syndrome. An optimization model has been developed to maximize overall social benefits with determination of optimized percentage implementations for multiple strategies. The model has been applied for sub-urban region of Mumbai city for vehicular sector. Several control scenarios have been considered like revised emission standards, electric, CNG, LPG and hybrid vehicles. Reduction in concentration and resultant health benefits for the pollutants CO, NOx and particulate matter are estimated for different control scenarios. Finally, an optimization model has been applied to determine optimized percentage implementation of specific

  8. Communication and Cancer: The Role of Health Communication Specialists in Achieving National Health Goals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cline, Rebecca J.

    Proceeding from the implicit message promoted by the National Cancer Institute to the communication profession--expertise in health communication is central to the effort to alleviate the costs of the national burden placed on the economy because of cancer--this paper proposes the development of health communication as a career. Specifically, the…

  9. Achievements and future path of Tehran municipality in urban health domain: An Iranian experience

    PubMed Central

    Damari, Behzad; Riazi-Isfahani, Sahand

    2016-01-01

    Background: According to national laws and world experiences; provision, maintenance, and improving citizens’ health are considered to be the essential functions of municipalities as a "social institute". In order to equitably promote health conditions at urban level, particularly in marginal areas, since 2004 targeted efforts have been implemented in the municipality of Tehran metropolis. This study was intended to identify and analyze these targeted measures and tries to analyze health interventions in a conceptual framework and propose a future path. Methods: This is a qualitative study with content analysis approach. Reviewing documents and structured interviews with national health policy making and planning experts and executive managers of 22-region municipalities of Tehran metropolis were used to collect data. The data were analyzed on the basis of conceptual framework prepared for urban health in 4 domains including municipal interventions, goal achievements, drivers and obstacles of success, and the way forward. Results: From the viewpoint of interviewees, these new health actions of Tehran municipality are more based on public participation and the municipality was able to prioritize health issue in the programs and policies of Tehran city council. Tehran municipality has accomplished three types of interventions to improve health, which in orders of magnitude are: facilitative, promotional, and mandatory interventions. Development and institutionalization of public participation is the greatest achievement in health-oriented actions; and expansion of environmental and physical health-oriented facilities and promoting a healthy lifestyle are next in ranks. Conclusion: Since management alterations seriously challenges institutionalization of actions and innovations especially in the developing countries, it is suggested that mayors of metropolitan cities like Tehran document and review municipal health measures as soon as possible and while eliminating

  10. Achieving and Sustaining Automated Health Data Linkages for Learning Systems: Barriers and Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Van Eaton, Erik G.; Devlin, Allison B.; Devine, Emily Beth; Flum, David R.; Tarczy-Hornoch, Peter

    2014-01-01

    challenges of idiosyncratic EHR implementations required each hospital to devote more IT resources than were predicted. Cost savings did not meet projections because of the increased IT resource requirements and a different source of lowered chart review costs. Discussion: CERTAIN succeeded in recruiting unaffiliated hospitals into the Automation Project to create an enhanced registry to achieve AHRQ goals. This case report describes several distinct barriers to central data aggregation for QI and CER across unaffiliated hospitals: (1) competition for limited on-site IT expertise, (2) concerns about data use for QI versus research, (3) restrictions on data automation to a defined subset of patients, and (4) unpredictable resource needs because of idiosyncrasies among unaffiliated hospitals in how EHR data are coded, stored, and made available for transmission—even between hospitals using the same vendor’s EHR. Therefore, even a fully optimized automation infrastructure would still not achieve complete automation. The Automation Project was unable to align sufficiently with internal hospital objectives, so it could not show a compelling case for sustainability. PMID:25848606

  11. Executive functioning in individuals with a history of ASDs who have achieved optimal outcomes.

    PubMed

    Troyb, Eva; Rosenthal, Michael; Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Kelley, Elizabeth; Tyson, Katherine; Orinstein, Alyssa; Barton, Marianne; Fein, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    Executive functioning (EF) is examined among children and adolescents once diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but who no longer meet diagnostic criteria. These individuals have average social and language skills, receive minimal school support and are considered to have achieved "optimal outcomes" (OOs). Since residual impairments in these individuals might be expected in deficits central to autism, and in developmentally advanced skills, EF was examined in 34 individuals who achieved OOs, 43 individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA), and 34 typically developing (TD) peers. Groups were matched on age (M = 13.49), gender, and nonverbal IQ (NVIQ) but differed on verbal IQ (VIQ; HFA < TD, OO). On direct assessment, all three groups demonstrated average EF; however, the OO and HFA groups exhibited more impulsivity and less efficient planning and problem-solving than the TD group, and more HFA participants exhibited below average inhibition than did OO and TD participants. Parent-report measures revealed average EF among the OO and TD groups; however, the OO group exhibited more difficulty than the TD group on set-shifting and working memory. HFA participants demonstrated more difficulty on all parent-reported EF domains, with a clinical impairment in attention-shifting. Results suggest that EF in OO appears to be within the average range, even for functions that were impaired among individuals with HFA. Despite their average performance, however, the OO and TD groups differed on measures of impulsivity, set-shifting, problem-solving, working memory, and planning, suggesting that the OO group does not have the above-average EF scores of the TD group despite their high-average IQs. PMID:23731181

  12. Mental health matters in elementary school: first-grade screening predicts fourth grade achievement test scores.

    PubMed

    Guzman, Maria Paz; Jellinek, Michael; George, Myriam; Hartley, Marcela; Squicciarini, Ana Maria; Canenguez, Katia M; Kuhlthau, Karen A; Yucel, Recai; White, Gwyne W; Guzman, Javier; Murphy, J Michael

    2011-08-01

    The objective of the study was to evaluate whether mental health problems identified through screens administered in first grade are related to poorer academic achievement test scores in the fourth grade. The government of Chile uses brief teacher- and parent-completed measures [Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation-Revised (TOCA-RR) and Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC-Cl)] to screen for mental health problems in about one-fifth of the country's elementary schools. In fourth grade, students take the national achievement tests (SIMCE) of language, mathematics and science. This study examined whether mental health problems identified through either or both screens predicted achievement test scores after controlling for student and family risk factors. A total of 17,252 students had complete first grade teacher forms and these were matched with fourth grade SIMCE data for 11,185 students, 7,903 of whom also had complete parent form data from the first grade. Students at risk on either the TOCA-RR or the PSC-Cl or both performed significantly worse on all SIMCE subtests. Even after controlling for covariates and adjusting for missing data, students with mental health problems on one screen in first grade had fourth grade achievement scores that were 14-18 points (~1/3 SD) lower than students screened as not at risk. Students at risk on both screens had scores that were on average 33 points lower than students at risk on either screen. Mental health problems in first grade were one of the strongest predictors of lower achievement test scores 3 years later, supporting the premise that for children mental health matters in the real world. PMID:21647553

  13. Advancing Efforts to Achieve Health Equity: Equity Metrics for Health Impact Assessment Practice

    PubMed Central

    Heller, Jonathan; Givens, Marjory L.; Yuen, Tina K.; Gould, Solange; Benkhalti Jandu, Maria; Bourcier, Emily; Choi, Tim

    2014-01-01

    Equity is a core value of Health Impact Assessment (HIA). Many compelling moral, economic, and health arguments exist for prioritizing and incorporating equity considerations in HIA practice. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and HIA practitioners see the value of HIAs in uncovering the impacts of policy and planning decisions on various population subgroups, developing and prioritizing specific actions that promote or protect health equity, and using the process to empower marginalized communities. There have been several HIA frameworks developed to guide the inclusion of equity considerations. However, the field lacks clear indicators for measuring whether an HIA advanced equity. This article describes the development of a set of equity metrics that aim to guide and evaluate progress toward equity in HIA practice. These metrics also intend to further push the field to deepen its practice and commitment to equity in each phase of an HIA. Over the course of a year, the Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment (SOPHIA) Equity Working Group took part in a consensus process to develop these process and outcome metrics. The metrics were piloted, reviewed, and refined based on feedback from reviewers. The Equity Metrics are comprised of 23 measures of equity organized into four outcomes: (1) the HIA process and products focused on equity; (2) the HIA process built the capacity and ability of communities facing health inequities to engage in future HIAs and in decision-making more generally; (3) the HIA resulted in a shift in power benefiting communities facing inequities; and (4) the HIA contributed to changes that reduced health inequities and inequities in the social and environmental determinants of health. The metrics are comprised of a measurement scale, examples of high scoring activities, potential data sources, and example interview questions to gather data and guide evaluators on scoring each metric. PMID:25347193

  14. Health Status and Residential Exposure to Air Toxics: What Are the Effects on Children's Academic Achievement?

    PubMed

    Clark-Reyna, Stephanie E; Grineski, Sara E; Collins, Timothy W

    2016-01-01

    This article examines the effects of children's subjective health status and exposure to residential environmental toxins on academic performance for the first time, while adjusting for school-level effects using generalized estimating equations. The analysis employs National Air Toxics Assessment risk estimates and individual-level data collected through a mail survey. Results indicate that poorer subjective health status and higher levels of residential air toxins are statistically significantly associated with lower grade point averages, meaning that there is an independent effect of air pollution on children's academic achievement that cannot be explained by poor health alone. PMID:27214671

  15. Academic abilities in children and adolescents with a history of autism spectrum disorders who have achieved optimal outcomes.

    PubMed

    Troyb, Eva; Orinstein, Alyssa; Tyson, Katherine; Helt, Molly; Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Stevens, Michael; Fein, Deborah

    2014-04-01

    This study examines the academic abilities of children and adolescents who were once diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, but who no longer meet diagnostic criteria for this disorder. These individuals have achieved social and language skills within the average range for their ages, receive little or no school support, and are referred to as having achieved "optimal outcomes." Performance of 32 individuals who achieved optimal outcomes, 41 high-functioning individuals with a current autism spectrum disorder diagnosis (high-functioning autism), and 34 typically developing peers was compared on measures of decoding, reading comprehension, mathematical problem solving, and written expression. Groups were matched on age, sex, and nonverbal IQ; however, the high-functioning autism group scored significantly lower than the optimal outcome and typically developing groups on verbal IQ. All three groups performed in the average range on all subtests measured, and no significant differences were found in performance of the optimal outcome and typically developing groups. The high-functioning autism group scored significantly lower on subtests of reading comprehension and mathematical problem solving than the optimal outcome group. These findings suggest that the academic abilities of individuals who achieved optimal outcomes are similar to those of their typically developing peers, even in areas where individuals who have retained their autism spectrum disorder diagnoses exhibit some ongoing difficulty. PMID:24096312

  16. Role of well-being therapy in achieving a balanced and individualized path to optimal functioning.

    PubMed

    Ruini, Chiara; Fava, Giovanni A

    2012-01-01

    A specific psychotherapeutic strategy for increasing psychological well-being and resilience, well-being therapy (WBT), based on Ryff's conceptual model, has been developed and tested in a number of randomized controlled trials. The findings indicate that flourishing and resilience can be promoted by specific interventions leading to a positive evaluation of one's self, a sense of continued growth and development, the belief that life is purposeful and meaningful, the possession of quality relations with others, the capacity to manage effectively one's life and a sense of self-determination. A decreased vulnerability to depression, mood swings and anxiety has been demonstrated after WBT in high-risk populations. School interventions based on the principles of WBT have been found to yield both promotion of well-being and decrease of distress compared with control groups. The differential technical characteristics and indications of WBT are described, with a special reference to the promotion of an individualized and balanced path to achieve optimal human functioning, avoiding the polarities in positive psychological dimensions. PMID:22570318

  17. Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors in Individuals with a History of ASDs Who Have Achieved Optimal Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Troyb, Eva; Orinstein, Alyssa; Tyson, Katherine; Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Naigles, Letitia; Fein, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    Studies of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) suggest that Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors (RRBs) are particularly difficult to remediate. We examined present and past RRBs in 34 individuals who achieved optimal outcomes (OOs; lost their ASD diagnosis), 45 high-functioning individuals with ASD (HFA) and 34 typically developing (TD) peers. The OO group exhibited minimal residual RRBs at the time of the study. All OO participants were reported to have at least one RRB in early childhood and almost 90% met the RRB cutoff for ASD in early childhood, but RRBs were not more present in the OO than the TD group at the time of the study. History of RRBs in the HFA and OO groups differed only in oversensitivity to noise and insistence on sameness. Reports of current behavior indicated that RRB’s had almost totally disappeared in the OO group. Thus, although RRB’s were present in the OO group in childhood, they resolved along with social and communication deficits. PMID:25030967

  18. A correlational study of the relationship between a coordinated school health program and school achievement: a case for school health.

    PubMed

    Vinciullo, Frances M; Bradley, Beverly J

    2009-12-01

    The study was conducted to determine whether there is a relationship between the Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) and student academic performance. Data were collected from schools and the community for three reports for 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC). The School Health Policies and Programs Survey (SHPPS), the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and the U.S. Census 2000 Profile were used to study the relationships among three parameters: (a) The intervention called a CSHP: (b) Student achievement; and (c) Rate of poverty in each state. A stepwise regression analysis was conducted, controlling for poverty using state-level data. Components of a CSHP had statistically significant relationships with academic achievement. Students in states with policies promoting students' health demonstrated higher academic scores and higher rates of high school completion. PMID:19934026

  19. Making us what we are: noteworthy people and achievements in Queensland mental health nursing.

    PubMed

    McAllister, Margaret; Happell, Brenda; Bradshaw, Julie

    2010-08-01

    Understanding mental health nursing's past is an important way to preserve our cultural heritage. By exploring and then disseminating the insights gained through examination of the past, students and practicing mental health nurses may become more aware of the social and intellectual origins of the profession. They may also have their professional connections and commitment to mental health nursing clarified and reconfirmed. This paper presents the results of a survey conducted in Queensland in 2009. Members of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses were invited to identify mental health nurses who they perceived had made a noteworthy contribution to the profession. Twenty mental health nurses were identified from the 38 surveys received. The reasons underlying the nominations revealed two main themes: achievements and qualities. Achievements included the subthemes: practice pioneer; career longevity; and far reach of influence. Qualities included: inspirational role model; and passion, dedication and/or commitment. The study provides a beginning conversation on the preservation of heritage and recommends deeper exploration of the history of mental health nursing within Australia, and specifically Queensland. PMID:20618525

  20. Millennium Development Goals: how public health professionals perceive the achievement of MDGs

    PubMed Central

    Lomazzi, Marta; Laaser, Ulrich; Theisling, Mareike; Tapia, Leticia; Borisch, Bettina

    2014-01-01

    Background There have been various consultations on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by different groups. However, even if it is clear that the health sector has led the development success of the MDGs, only a few MDG reports consider public health experts’ points of view and these are mainly government driven. Designs The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) has executed a global survey to consult public health professionals worldwide concerning the implementation and achievements of the MDGs. The survey was conceived by WFPHA health professionals and promulgated online. Public health professionals and organisations dealing with MDGs responded to the survey. Content analysis was conducted to analyse the data. Results Survey participants attributed the highest importance worldwide to MDGs dealing with women, poverty and hunger reduction, and disease prevention and management. Moreover, they underlined the role of education, referring both to school children and professionals. In high and upper-middle income countries, environmental challenges also received considerable attention. Notably, respondents underlined that weak governance and unstable political situations, as well as the gap between professionals and politicians, were among the main causes that detracted from MDG achievements. Conclusion The public health workforce felt it would be imperative to be included from the outset in the design and implementation of further goals. This implies that those professionals have to take an active part in the political process leading to a new and accountable framework. PMID:25249060

  1. Working together to achieve the best outcomes for equine health and welfare.

    PubMed

    2016-03-19

    Gill Harris reports from this year's National Equine Forum where a key theme was the importance of collaboration and effective communication in achieving the best outcomes for the health and welfare of the horse and the future of equestrianism in the UK. PMID:26993448

  2. What Is Most Important: Social Factors, Health Selection, and Adolescent Educational Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roos, Leslie L.; Hiebert, Brett; Manivong, Phongsack; Edgerton, Jason; Walld, Randy; MacWilliam, Leonard; de Rocquigny, Janelle

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores the relative importance of social factors and health measures in predicting educational achievement in early and late adolescence using population-based administrative data. The sample was made up of 41,943 children born in Manitoba, Canada between 1982 and 1989 and remaining in the province until age 18. Multilevel modeling…

  3. School Environmental Health Programs and the Challenges of Achieving the Millennium Development Goals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ana, Godson R. E. E.; Shendell, Derek G.

    2011-01-01

    The United Nations (UN) mandate of achieving healthful living for all by the year 2015 through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is facing several challenges. In the school environment, and particularly in less developed countries (LDCs), the situation is further strained by both relatively weak infrastructure and competing governmental…

  4. The Relation among School District Health, Total Quality Principles for School Organization and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Jon; Pritchard, Ruie; Gunderson, Betsey

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the congruence among W. E. Deming's 14 points for Total Quality Management (TQM), the organizational health of school districts, and student achievement. Based on Kanter's (1983) concept of a Culture of Pride with a Climate of Success, healthy districts were defined as having an organizational culture…

  5. Formative Assessment and Academic Achievement in Pre-Graduate Students of Health Sciences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carrillo-de-la-Pena, Maria T.; Bailles, Eva; Caseras, Xavier; Martinez, Alvar; Ortet, Generos; Perez, Jorge

    2009-01-01

    Although educational experts recommend the use of formative assessment, there is a dearth of empirical studies on its impact on academic achievement. In this research the authors analyse to what extent participation and performance in formative assessment are associated with positive academic outcomes of pre-graduate students of health sciences. A…

  6. A public health achievement under adversity: the eradication of poliomyelitis from Peru, 1991.

    PubMed

    Sobti, Deepak; Cueto, Marcos; He, Yuan

    2014-12-01

    The fight to achieve global eradication of poliomyelitis continues. Although native transmission of poliovirus was halted in the Western Hemisphere by the early 1990s, and only a few cases have been imported in the past few years, much of Latin America's story remains to be told. Peru conducted a successful flexible, or flattened, vertical campaign in 1991. The initial disease-oriented programs began to collaborate with community-oriented primary health care systems, thus strengthening public-private partnerships and enabling the common goal of poliomyelitis eradication to prevail despite rampant terrorism, economic instability, and political turmoil. Committed leaders in Peru's Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization, and Rotary International, as well as dedicated health workers who acted with missionary zeal, facilitated acquisition of adequate technologies, coordinated work at the local level, and increased community engagement, despite sometimes being unable to institutionalize public health improvements. PMID:25322297

  7. Quantitative Guidance for Stove Usage and Performance to Achieve Health and Environmental Targets

    PubMed Central

    Chiang, Ranyee A.

    2015-01-01

    Background Displacing the use of polluting and inefficient cookstoves in developing countries is necessary to achieve the potential health and environmental benefits sought through clean cooking solutions. Yet little quantitative context has been provided on how much displacement of traditional technologies is needed to achieve targets for household air pollutant concentrations or fuel savings. Objectives This paper provides instructive guidance on the usage of cooking technologies required to achieve health and environmental improvements. Methods We evaluated different scenarios of displacement of traditional stoves with use of higher performing technologies. The air quality and fuel consumption impacts were estimated for these scenarios using a single-zone box model of indoor air quality and ratios of thermal efficiency. Results Stove performance and usage should be considered together, as lower performing stoves can result in similar or greater benefits than a higher performing stove if the lower performing stove has considerably higher displacement of the baseline stove. Based on the indoor air quality model, there are multiple performance–usage scenarios for achieving modest indoor air quality improvements. To meet World Health Organization guidance levels, however, three-stone fire and basic charcoal stove usage must be nearly eliminated to achieve the particulate matter target (< 1–3 hr/week), and substantially limited to meet the carbon monoxide guideline (< 7–9 hr/week). Conclusions Moderate health gains may be achieved with various performance–usage scenarios. The greatest benefits are estimated to be achieved by near-complete displacement of traditional stoves with clean technologies, emphasizing the need to shift in the long term to near exclusive use of clean fuels and stoves. The performance–usage scenarios are also provided as a tool to guide technology selection and prioritize behavior change opportunities to maximize impact. Citation

  8. The quest for universal health coverage: achieving social protection for all in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Knaul, Felicia Marie; González-Pier, Eduardo; Gómez-Dantés, Octavio; García-Junco, David; Arreola-Ornelas, Héctor; Barraza-Lloréns, Mariana; Sandoval, Rosa; Caballero, Francisco; Hernández-Avila, Mauricio; Juan, Mercedes; Kershenobich, David; Nigenda, Gustavo; Ruelas, Enrique; Sepúlveda, Jaime; Tapia, Roberto; Soberón, Guillermo; Chertorivski, Salomón; Frenk, Julio

    2012-10-01

    Mexico is reaching universal health coverage in 2012. A national health insurance programme called Seguro Popular, introduced in 2003, is providing access to a package of comprehensive health services with financial protection for more than 50 million Mexicans previously excluded from insurance. Universal coverage in Mexico is synonymous with social protection of health. This report analyses the road to universal coverage along three dimensions of protection: against health risks, for patients through quality assurance of health care, and against the financial consequences of disease and injury. We present a conceptual discussion of the transition from labour-based social security to social protection of health, which implies access to effective health care as a universal right based on citizenship, the ethical basis of the Mexican reform. We discuss the conditions that prompted the reform, as well as its design and inception, and we describe the 9-year, evidence-driven implementation process, including updates and improvements to the original programme. The core of the report concentrates on the effects and impacts of the reform, based on analysis of all published and publically available scientific literature and new data. Evidence indicates that Seguro Popular is improving access to health services and reducing the prevalence of catastrophic and impoverishing health expenditures, especially for the poor. Recent studies also show improvement in effective coverage. This research then addresses persistent challenges, including the need to translate financial resources into more effective, equitable and responsive health services. A next generation of reforms will be required and these include systemic measures to complete the reorganisation of the health system by functions. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the Mexican quest to achieve universal health coverage and its relevance for other low-income and middle-income countries. PMID

  9. Strategic Planning as a Tool for Achieving Alignment in Academic Health Centers

    PubMed Central

    Higginbotham, Eve J.; Church, Kathryn C.

    2012-01-01

    After the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010, there is an urgent need for medical schools, teaching hospitals, and practice plans to work together seamlessly across a common mission. Although there is agreement that there should be greater coordination of initiatives and resources, there is little guidance in the literature to address the method to achieve the necessary transformation. Traditional approaches to strategic planning often engage a few leaders and produce a set of immeasurable initiatives. A nontraditional approach, consisting of a Whole-Scale (Dannemiller Tyson Associates, Ann Arbor, MI) engagement, appreciative inquiry, and a balanced scorecard can, more rapidly transform an academic health center. Using this nontraditional approach to strategic planning, increased organizational awareness was achieved in a single academic health center. Strategic planning can be an effective tool to achieve alignment, enhance accountability, and a first step in meeting the demands of the new landscape of healthcare. PMID:23303997

  10. Achieving large ends with limited means: grand strategy in global health.

    PubMed

    Curry, Leslie A; Luong, Minh A; Krumholz, Harlan M; Gaddis, John; Kennedy, Paul; Rulisa, Stephen; Taylor, Lauren; Bradley, Elizabeth H

    2010-06-01

    Unprecedented attention is focused on global health, with a four-fold increase in development assistance in the last 15 years and the scope of global health expanding beyond infectious disease to include chronic disease and health systems strengthening. As the global impact of health is more widely understood, it has become a crucial element of international relations, economic development, and foreign affairs. At this potential leverage point in the global health movement, the application of grand strategy is of critical importance. Grand strategy, i.e., the development and implementation of comprehensive plans of action to achieve large ends with limited means, has been refined through centuries of international relations and the management of states but has been inadequately applied to global health policy and implementation. We review key principles of grand strategy and demonstrate their applicability to a central global health issue: maternal mortality. The principles include: start with the end in mind, take an ecological approach, recognize that tactics matter, use positive deviance to characterize practical solutions and foster scale-up, and integrate timely intelligence and data into health interventions and improvement efforts. We advocate for the greater use of grand strategy in global health. PMID:24037468

  11. Achieving universal health coverage in France: policy reforms and the challenge of inequalities.

    PubMed

    Nay, Olivier; Béjean, Sophie; Benamouzig, Daniel; Bergeron, Henri; Castel, Patrick; Ventelou, Bruno

    2016-05-28

    Since 1945, the provision of health care in France has been grounded in a social conception promoting universalism and equality. The French health-care system is based on compulsory social insurance funded by social contributions, co-administered by workers' and employers' organisations under State control and driven by highly redistributive financial transfers. This system is described frequently as the French model. In this paper, the first in The Lancet's Series on France, we challenge conventional wisdom about health care in France. First, we focus on policy and institutional transformations that have affected deeply the governance of health care over past decades. We argue that the health system rests on a diversity of institutions, policy mechanisms, and health actors, while its governance has been marked by the reinforcement of national regulation under the aegis of the State. Second, we suggest the redistributive mechanisms of the health insurance system are impeded by social inequalities in health, which remain major hindrances to achieving objectives of justice and solidarity associated with the conception of health care in France. PMID:27145707

  12. Optimal vortex formation as an index of cardiac health

    PubMed Central

    Gharib, Morteza; Rambod, Edmond; Kheradvar, Arash; Sahn, David J.; Dabiri, John O.

    2006-01-01

    Heart disease remains a leading cause of death worldwide. Previous research has indicated that the dynamics of the cardiac left ventricle (LV) during diastolic filling may play a critical role in dictating overall cardiac health. Hence, numerous studies have aimed to predict and evaluate global cardiac health based on quantitative parameters describing LV function. However, the inherent complexity of LV diastole, in its electrical, muscular, and hemodynamic processes, has prevented the development of tools to accurately predict and diagnose heart failure at early stages, when corrective measures are most effective. In this work, it is demonstrated that major aspects of cardiac function are reflected uniquely and sensitively in the optimization of vortex formation in the blood flow during early diastole, as measured by a dimensionless numerical index. This index of optimal vortex formation correlates well with existing measures of cardiac health such as the LV ejection fraction. However, unlike existing measures, this previously undescribed index does not require patient-specific information to determine numerical index values corresponding to normal function. A study of normal and pathological cardiac health in human subjects demonstrates the ability of this global index to distinguish disease states by a straightforward analysis of noninvasive LV measurements. PMID:16606852

  13. Calibration of STUD+ parameters to achieve optimally efficient broadband adiabatic decoupling in a single transient

    PubMed

    Bendall; Skinner

    1998-10-01

    for a single sech/tanh pulse. Residual splitting of the centerband, normally associated with incomplete or inefficient decoupling, is not seen in sech/tanh decoupling and therefore cannot be used as a measure of adiabatic decoupling efficiency. The calibrated experimental performance levels achieved in this study are within 20% of theoretical performance levels derived previously for ideal sech/tanh decoupling at high power, indicating a small scope for further improvement at practical RF power levels. The optimization procedures employed here will be generally applicable to any good combination of adiabatic inversion pulse and phase cycle. Copyright 1998 Academic Press. PMID:9761708

  14. Reading and Arithmetic Achievement Among Youths 12-17 Years as Measured by the Wide Range Achievement Test. Vital and Health Statistics Series 11, No. 136.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hitchcock, Dale C.; Pinder, Glenn B.

    National estimates of school achievement as measured by the reading and arithmetic subtests of the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) for the noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12-17 years are presented. Data were obtained in the Health Examination Survey (HES) of 1966-70. In the survey a probability sample of 7,514 youths…

  15. Achieving Millennium Development Goals for Health: Building Understanding, Trust and Capacity to Respond

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Heidi J.

    2007-01-01

    Biomedical interventions promise achievement of health-related Millennium Development Goals provided social-, capacity- and knowledge-based constraints to scaling up and reaching marginalized people at risk, are addressed, and balance between prevention and treatment is struck. We argue for a new approach: multi-stakeholder capacity building and learning for empowerment: MuSCLE. MuSCLE is used as a way to frame three systemic weaknesses in traditional health science and policy approaches: 1) a lack of engagement with people at risk to build a collective understanding of the contexts of health problems; 2) a lack of multi-criteria evaluation of alternative interventions; and 3) a lack of attention paid to integrated capacity building. The MuSCLE framework responds in three ways: 1) Participatory assessment of the ecological, socio-cultural, economic and political contexts of health, identifying priorities using risk and vulnerability science, and modeling drivers; 2) Selection among intervention alternatives that makes ecological, socio-cultural, economic and political tradeoffs transparent; and 3) Integrated capacity building for sustainable and adaptive interventions. Literature and field lessons support the argument, and guidelines are set down. A MuSCLE approach argues for a transformation in health science and policy in order to achieve Millennium Development Goals for health. PMID:17399849

  16. The Integration of LNT and Hormesis for Cancer Risk Assessment Optimizes Public Health Protection.

    PubMed

    Calabrese, Edward J; Shamoun, Dima Yazji; Hanekamp, Jaap C

    2016-03-01

    This paper proposes a new cancer risk assessment strategy and methodology that optimizes population-based responses by yielding the lowest disease/tumor incidence across the entire dose continuum. The authors argue that the optimization can be achieved by integrating two seemingly conflicting models; i.e., the linear no-threshold (LNT) and hormetic dose-response models. The integration would yield the optimized response at a risk of 10 with the LNT model. The integrative functionality of the LNT and hormetic dose response models provides an improved estimation of tumor incidence through model uncertainty analysis and major reductions in cancer incidence via hormetic model estimates. This novel approach to cancer risk assessment offers significant improvements over current risk assessment approaches by revealing a regulatory sweet spot that maximizes public health benefits while incorporating practical approaches for model validation. PMID:26808876

  17. Self-reported physical health of inmates: Impact of incarceration and relation to optimism

    PubMed Central

    Heigel, Caron P.; Stuewig, Jeffrey; Tangney, June P.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between inmates’ physical health concerns and optimism. Optimism has been consistently associated with physical health in community samples, but little research has examined this potentially malleable variable in an inmate population. This study of 502 male and female jail inmates attempts to bridge this gap. Results showed optimism was negatively associated with physical health concerns upon entry to jail and prior to release or transfer. Additionally, optimism assessed upon entry to jail predicted modest decreases in physical health concerns over incarceration. Results suggest that optimism is a health-related variable that may be beneficial when optimism-increasing components are integrated into treatment. PMID:20339128

  18. Self-reported physical health of inmates: impact of incarceration and relation to optimism.

    PubMed

    Heigel, Caron P; Stuewig, Jeffrey; Tangney, June P

    2010-04-01

    This study investigated the relationship between inmates' physical health concerns and optimism. Optimism has been consistently associated with physical health in community samples, but little research has examined this potentially malleable variable in an inmate population. This study of 501 male and female jail inmates attempts to bridge this gap. Results showed optimism was negatively associated with physical health concerns upon entry to jail and prior to release or transfer. Additionally, optimism assessed upon entry to jail predicted modest decreases in physical health concerns over incarceration. Results suggest that optimism is a health-related variable that may be beneficial when optimism-increasing components are integrated into treatment. PMID:20339128

  19. Optimal microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) device for achieving high pyroelectric response of AlN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kebede, Bemnnet; Coutu, Ronald A.; Starman, LaVern

    2014-03-01

    This paper discusses research being conducted on aluminum nitride (AlN) as a pyroelectric material for use in detecting applications. AlN is being investigated because of its high pyroelectric coefficient, thermal stability, and high Curie temperature. In order to determine suitability of the pyroelectric properties of AlN for use as a detector, testing of several devices was conducted. These devices were fabricated using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication processes; the devices were also designed to allow for voltage and current measurements. The deposited AlN films used were 150 nm - 300 nm in thickness. Thin-films were used to rapidly increase the temperature response after the thermal stimulus was applied to the pyroelectric material. This is important because the pyroelectric effect is directly proportional to the rate of temperature change. The design used was a face-electrode bridge that provides thermal isolation which minimizes heat loss to the substrate, thereby increasing operation frequency of the pyroelectric device. A thermal stimulus was applied to the pyroelectric material and the response was measured across the electrodes. A thermal imaging camera was used to monitor the changes in temperature. Throughout the testing process, the annealing temperatures, type of layers, and thicknesses were also varied. These changes resulted in improved MEMS designs, which were fabricated to obtain an optimal design configuration for achieving a high pyroelectric response. A pyroelectric voltage response of 38.9 mVp-p was measured without filtering, 12.45 mVp-p was measured in the infrared (IR) region using a Si filter, and 6.38 mVp-p was measured in the short wavelength IR region using a long pass filter. The results showed that AlN's pyroelectric properties can be used in detecting applications.

  20. Robust Airfoil Optimization to Achieve Consistent Drag Reduction Over a Mach Range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Wu; Huyse, Luc; Padula, Sharon; Bushnell, Dennis M. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We prove mathematically that in order to avoid point-optimization at the sampled design points for multipoint airfoil optimization, the number of design points must be greater than the number of free-design variables. To overcome point-optimization at the sampled design points, a robust airfoil optimization method (called the profile optimization method) is developed and analyzed. This optimization method aims at a consistent drag reduction over a given Mach range and has three advantages: (a) it prevents severe degradation in the off-design performance by using a smart descent direction in each optimization iteration, (b) there is no random airfoil shape distortion for any iterate it generates, and (c) it allows a designer to make a trade-off between a truly optimized airfoil and the amount of computing time consumed. For illustration purposes, we use the profile optimization method to solve a lift-constrained drag minimization problem for 2-D airfoil in Euler flow with 20 free-design variables. A comparison with other airfoil optimization methods is also included.

  1. Can a public health care system achieve equity? The Norwegian experience.

    PubMed

    Grytten, J; Rongen, G; Sørensen, R

    1995-09-01

    Equity in health care provision is an important policy goal in Norway. This article addresses equality in the services provided by primary care physicians. These services are the responsibility of local government financed mainly through public funding. Patient fees are low. The local government system results in geographical variation in the number of physicians relative to local health demands. The authors present the hypothesis that this generates inequalities in health care utilization. The system of government finance is based on the assumption that utilization of health services is independent of patient income. Therefore, variation in income is expected to have only a small impact on utilization. The authors estimate a demand model by combining extensive micro data with aggregate data on municipal supply. There is very little relationship between indicators of access and health care utilization. The estimated income elasticities approximate zero, supporting the argument that equality in utilization has been achieved. However, the authors results also raise the question of whether equality has been achieved at the cost of limiting supply of services for people who could afford to consume more, or to pay for services of higher quality. PMID:7666707

  2. Health-financing reforms in southeast Asia: challenges in achieving universal coverage.

    PubMed

    Tangcharoensathien, Viroj; Patcharanarumol, Walaiporn; Ir, Por; Aljunid, Syed Mohamed; Mukti, Ali Ghufron; Akkhavong, Kongsap; Banzon, Eduardo; Huong, Dang Boi; Thabrany, Hasbullah; Mills, Anne

    2011-03-01

    In this sixth paper of the Series, we review health-financing reforms in seven countries in southeast Asia that have sought to reduce dependence on out-of-pocket payments, increase pooled health finance, and expand service use as steps towards universal coverage. Laos and Cambodia, both resource-poor countries, have mostly relied on donor-supported health equity funds to reach the poor, and reliable funding and appropriate identification of the eligible poor are two major challenges for nationwide expansion. For Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam, social health insurance financed by payroll tax is commonly used for formal sector employees (excluding Malaysia), with varying outcomes in terms of financial protection. Alternative payment methods have different implications for provider behaviour and financial protection. Two alternative approaches for financial protection of the non-poor outside the formal sector have emerged-contributory arrangements and tax-financed schemes-with different abilities to achieve high population coverage rapidly. Fiscal space and mobilisation of payroll contributions are both important in accelerating financial protection. Expanding coverage of good-quality services and ensuring adequate human resources are also important to achieve universal coverage. As health-financing reform is complex, institutional capacity to generate evidence and inform policy is essential and should be strengthened. PMID:21269682

  3. Leveraging health information technology to achieve the “triple aim” of healthcare reform

    PubMed Central

    Sood, Harpreet S; Bates, David W

    2015-01-01

    Objective To investigate experiences with leveraging health information technology (HIT) to improve patient care and population health, and reduce healthcare expenditures. Materials and methods In-depth qualitative interviews with federal government employees, health policy, HIT and medico-legal experts, health providers, physicians, purchasers, payers, patient advocates, and vendors from across the United States. Results The authors undertook 47 interviews. There was a widely shared belief that Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) had catalyzed the creation of a digital infrastructure, which was being used in innovative ways to improve quality of care and curtail costs. There were however major concerns about the poor usability of electronic health records (EHRs), their limited ability to support multi-disciplinary care, and major difficulties with health information exchange, which undermined efforts to deliver integrated patient-centered care. Proposed strategies for enhancing the benefits of HIT included federal stimulation of competition by mandating vendors to open-up their application program interfaces, incenting development of low-cost consumer informatics tools, and promoting Congressional review of the The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) to optimize the balance between data privacy and reuse. Many underscored the need to “kick the legs from underneath the fee-for-service model” and replace it with a data-driven reimbursement system that rewards high quality care. Conclusions The HITECH Act has stimulated unprecedented, multi-stakeholder interest in HIT. Early experiences indicate that the resulting digital infrastructure is being used to improve quality of care and curtail costs. Reform efforts are however severely limited by problems with usability, limited interoperability and the persistence of the fee-for-service paradigm—addressing these issues therefore needs to be the federal

  4. Achieving Consistent Near-Optimal Pattern Recognition Accuracy Using Particle Swarm Optimization to Pre-Train Artificial Neural Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nikelshpur, Dmitry O.

    2014-01-01

    Similar to mammalian brains, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) are universal approximators, capable of yielding near-optimal solutions to a wide assortment of problems. ANNs are used in many fields including medicine, internet security, engineering, retail, robotics, warfare, intelligence control, and finance. "ANNs have a tendency to get…

  5. A Study of the Relationships between Distributed Leadership, Teacher Academic Optimism and Student Achievement in Taiwanese Elementary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, I-Hua

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between distributed leadership, teachers' academic optimism and student achievement in learning. The study targeted public elementary schools in Taiwan and adopted stratified random sampling to investigate 1500 teachers. Teachers' perceptions were collected by a self-report scale. In…

  6. Should Schools Be Optimistic? An Investigation of the Association between Academic Optimism of Schools and Student Achievement in Primary Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boonen, Tinneke; Pinxten, Maarten; Van Damme, Jan; Onghena, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Academic emphasis, collective efficacy, and faculty trust in students and parents (3 school characteristics positively associated with student achievement) are assumed to form a higher order latent construct, "academic optimism" (Hoy, Tarter, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2006a, 2006b). The aim of the present study is to corroborate the latent…

  7. HealthMpowerment.org: Building Community through a Mobile-Optimized, Online Health Promotion Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hightow-Weidman, Lisa B.; Muessig, Kathryn E.; Pike, Emily C.; LeGrand, Sara; Baltierra, Nina; Rucker, Alvin Justin; Wilson, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Background: Both young Black men who have sex with men as well as young Black transgender women (YBMSM/TW) continue to experience a significant increase in HIV incidence. HealthMpowerment.org (HMP) is a mobile phone-optimized, online intervention for both YBMSM/TW to build community and facilitate supportive relationships. Methods: To assess the…

  8. Academic Optimism and Collective Responsibility: An Organizational Model of the Dynamics of Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Jason H.

    2013-01-01

    This study was designed to examine the construct of academic optimism and its relationship with collective responsibility in a sample of Taiwan elementary schools. The construct of academic optimism was tested using confirmatory factor analysis, and the whole structural model was tested with a structural equation modeling analysis. The data were…

  9. A method for optimizing integrated system health management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jambor, Bruno; Rouch, Robin L.; Eger, George W.; Black, Stephen T.

    1996-03-01

    The cost of operating the existing fleet of launch vehicles, both expendable and reusable, is too high. The high cost is attributable to two primary sources: people-intensive checkout procedures and delayed launches. This latter has cost impacts on both launch procedures and other launch operations through ripple-down effects. Without significant changes in how the launch vehicle community does business, the next generation of vehicles shall be burdened by the same high costs. By integrating system health management into the next generation, Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) operations costs can be reduced. A method for optimizing Integrated System Health Management (ISHM) is being developed under a cooperative agreement between NASA and Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC). This paper describes the work currently underway at LMC. ISHM shall be implemented on the prototype vehicle X-33 in order to demonstrate its usefulness for RLV.

  10. Achieving universal health coverage goals in Thailand: the vital role of strategic purchasing

    PubMed Central

    Tangcharoensathien, Viroj; Limwattananon, Supon; Patcharanarumol, Walaiporn; Thammatacharee, Jadej; Jongudomsuk, Pongpisut; Sirilak, Supakit

    2015-01-01

    Strategic purchasing is one of the key policy instruments to achieve the universal health coverage (UHC) goals of improved and equitable access and financial risk protection. Given favourable outcomes of Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS), this study synthesized strategic purchasing experiences in the National Health Security Office (NHSO) responsible for the UCS in contributing to achieving UHC goals. The UCS applied the purchaser–provider split concept where NHSO, as a purchaser, is in a good position to enforce accountability by public and private providers to the UCS beneficiaries, through active purchasing. A comprehensive benefit package resulted in high level of financial risk protection as reflected by low incidence of catastrophic health spending and impoverished households. The NHSO contracted the District Health System (DHS) network, to provide outpatient, health promotion and disease prevention services to the whole district population, based on an annual age-adjusted capitation payment. In most cases, the DHS was the only provider in a district without competitors. Geographical monopoly hampered the NHSO to introduce a competitive contractual agreement, but a durable, mutually dependent relationship based on trust was gradually evolved, while accreditation is an important channel for quality improvement. Strategic purchasing services from DHS achieved a pro-poor utilization due to geographical proximity, where travel time and costs were minimal. Inpatient services paid by Diagnostic Related Group within a global budget ceiling, which is estimated based on unit costs, admission rates and admission profiles, contained cost effectively. To prevent potential under-provisions of the services, some high cost interventions were unbundled from closed end payment and paid on an agreed fee schedule. Executing monopsonistic purchasing power by NHSO brought down price of services given assured quality. Cost saving resulted in more patients served within a finite

  11. Achieving universal health coverage goals in Thailand: the vital role of strategic purchasing.

    PubMed

    Tangcharoensathien, Viroj; Limwattananon, Supon; Patcharanarumol, Walaiporn; Thammatacharee, Jadej; Jongudomsuk, Pongpisut; Sirilak, Supakit

    2015-11-01

    Strategic purchasing is one of the key policy instruments to achieve the universal health coverage (UHC) goals of improved and equitable access and financial risk protection. Given favourable outcomes of Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS), this study synthesized strategic purchasing experiences in the National Health Security Office (NHSO) responsible for the UCS in contributing to achieving UHC goals. The UCS applied the purchaser-provider split concept where NHSO, as a purchaser, is in a good position to enforce accountability by public and private providers to the UCS beneficiaries, through active purchasing. A comprehensive benefit package resulted in high level of financial risk protection as reflected by low incidence of catastrophic health spending and impoverished households. The NHSO contracted the District Health System (DHS) network, to provide outpatient, health promotion and disease prevention services to the whole district population, based on an annual age-adjusted capitation payment. In most cases, the DHS was the only provider in a district without competitors. Geographical monopoly hampered the NHSO to introduce a competitive contractual agreement, but a durable, mutually dependent relationship based on trust was gradually evolved, while accreditation is an important channel for quality improvement. Strategic purchasing services from DHS achieved a pro-poor utilization due to geographical proximity, where travel time and costs were minimal. Inpatient services paid by Diagnostic Related Group within a global budget ceiling, which is estimated based on unit costs, admission rates and admission profiles, contained cost effectively. To prevent potential under-provisions of the services, some high cost interventions were unbundled from closed end payment and paid on an agreed fee schedule. Executing monopsonistic purchasing power by NHSO brought down price of services given assured quality. Cost saving resulted in more patients served within a finite

  12. The association between academic engagement and achievement in health sciences students

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Educational institutions play an important role in encouraging student engagement, being necessary to know how engaged are students at university and if this factor is involved in student success point and followed. To explore the association between academic engagement and achievement. Methods Cross-sectional study. The sample consisted of 304 students of Health Sciences. They were asked to fill out an on-line questionnaire. Academic achievements were calculated using three types of measurement. Results Positive correlations were found in all cases. Grade point average was the academic rate most strongly associated with engagement dimensions and this association is different for male and female students. The independent variables could explain between 18.9 and 23.9% of the variance (p < 0.05) in the population of university students being analyzed. Conclusions Engagement has been shown to be one of the many factors, which are positively involved, in the academic achievements of college students. PMID:23446005

  13. Health, Dietary Habits, and Achievement Motivation in College Students with Self-Reported ADHD Diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Merkt, Julia; Gawrilow, Caterina

    2014-02-19

    Objective: The present study aimed to investigate aspects of health and motivation in a subpopulation of college students with ADHD. Method: Seventy-seven college students with self-reported ADHD (49 women; M age = 25.82, SD = 4.62) and 120 college students without ADHD (65 women; M age = 25.17, SD = 5.41) participated in an online survey assessing their health, dietary habits, and achievement motivation. Results: College students with ADHD showed impairment in psychological functioning, impairment in their mental health, and reported more ambition and less self-control. Furthermore, we found gender differences: Women with ADHD reported worse psychological functioning, and the gender differences in obsessive-compulsive behavior and compensatory effort were mediated by the timing of diagnosis. Conclusion: College students, especially women, with ADHD struggle with health-related issues. Some of these gender differences might be due to under diagnosis of girls in childhood. Differences in achievement motivation might indicate compensatory mechanisms. (J. of Att. Dis. XXXX; XX(X) XX-XX). PMID:24554297

  14. From Headline to Hard Grind: The Importance of Understanding Public Administration in Achieving Health Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    O’Flynn, Janine

    2016-01-01

    Many public policy programs fail to translate ambitious headlines to on-the-ground action. The reasons for this are many and varied, but for public administration and management scholars a large part of the gap between ambition and achievement is the challenge associated with the operation of the machinery of government itself, and how it relates to the other parties that it relies on to fulfill these outcomes. In their article, Carey and Friel set out key reasons why public health scholars should seek to better understand important ideas in public administration. In commenting on their contribution, I draw out two critical questions that are raised by this discussion: (i) what are boundaries and what forms do they take? and (ii) why work across boundaries? Expanding on these key questions extends the points made by Carey and Friel on the importance of understanding public administration and will better place public health scholars and practitioners to realise health outcomes.

  15. Platform-dependent optimization considerations for mHealth applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaghyan, Sahak; Akopian, David; Sarukhanyan, Hakob

    2015-03-01

    Modern mobile devices contain integrated sensors that enable multitude of applications in such fields as mobile health (mHealth), entertainment, sports, etc. Human physical activity monitoring is one of such the emerging applications. There exists a range of challenges that relate to activity monitoring tasks, and, particularly, exploiting optimal solutions and architectures for respective mobile software application development. This work addresses mobile computations related to integrated inertial sensors for activity monitoring, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, integrated global positioning system (GPS) and WLAN-based positioning, that can be used for activity monitoring. Some of the aspects will be discussed in this paper. Each of the sensing data sources has its own characteristics such as specific data formats, data rates, signal acquisition durations etc., and these specifications affect energy consumption. Energy consumption significantly varies as sensor data acquisition is followed by data analysis including various transformations and signal processing algorithms. This paper will address several aspects of more optimal activity monitoring implementations exploiting state-of-the-art capabilities of modern platforms.

  16. Strategy Developed for Selecting Optimal Sensors for Monitoring Engine Health

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Sensor indications during rocket engine operation are the primary means of assessing engine performance and health. Effective selection and location of sensors in the operating engine environment enables accurate real-time condition monitoring and rapid engine controller response to mitigate critical fault conditions. These capabilities are crucial to ensure crew safety and mission success. Effective sensor selection also facilitates postflight condition assessment, which contributes to efficient engine maintenance and reduced operating costs. Under the Next Generation Launch Technology program, the NASA Glenn Research Center, in partnership with Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power, has developed a model-based procedure for systematically selecting an optimal sensor suite for assessing rocket engine system health. This optimization process is termed the systematic sensor selection strategy. Engine health management (EHM) systems generally employ multiple diagnostic procedures including data validation, anomaly detection, fault-isolation, and information fusion. The effectiveness of each diagnostic component is affected by the quality, availability, and compatibility of sensor data. Therefore systematic sensor selection is an enabling technology for EHM. Information in three categories is required by the systematic sensor selection strategy. The first category consists of targeted engine fault information; including the description and estimated risk-reduction factor for each identified fault. Risk-reduction factors are used to define and rank the potential merit of timely fault diagnoses. The second category is composed of candidate sensor information; including type, location, and estimated variance in normal operation. The final category includes the definition of fault scenarios characteristic of each targeted engine fault. These scenarios are defined in terms of engine model hardware parameters. Values of these parameters define engine simulations that generate

  17. Accelerators/decelerators of achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health services: a case study of Iranian health system

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background At the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo, the global community agreed to the goal of achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights by 2015. This research explores the accelerators and decelerators of achieving universal access to the sexual and reproductive health targets and accordingly makes some suggestions. Method We have critically reviewed the latest national reports and extracted the background data on each SRH indicator. The key stakeholders, both national and international, were visited and interviewed at two sites. A total of 55 in-depth interviews were conducted with religious leaders, policy-makers, senior managers, senior academics, and health care managers. Six focus-group discussions were also held among health care providers. The study was qualitative in nature. Results Obstacles on the road to achieving universal access to SRH can be viewed from two perspectives. One gap exists between current achievements and the targets. The other gap arises due to age, marital status, and residency status. The most recently observed trends in the indicators of the universal access to SRH shows that the achievements in the “unmet need for family planning” have been poor. Unmet need for family planning could directly be translated to unwanted pregnancies and unwanted childbirths; the former calls for sexual education to underserved people, including adolescents; and the latter calls for access to safe abortion. Local religious leaders have not actively attended international goal-setting programs. Therefore, they usually do not presume a positive attitude towards these goals. Such negative attitudes seem to be the most important factors hindering the progress towards universal access to SRH. Lack of international donors to fund for SRH programs is also another barrier. In national levels both state and the society are interactively playing their roles. We have used a

  18. Evaluating the Relationship Between General Health Vocabulary and Student Achievement in Pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Objective. To determine whether achievement in pharmacology is related to students’ general health vocabulary knowledge. Methods. Students registered for the pharmacology modules in the second (n=117), third (n=54), and fourth (n=41) years of the bachelor of pharmacy degree program completed a general health vocabulary assessment. Results of the vocabulary assessments in Pharmacology 3 and Pharmacology 4 were used to determine the effects of academic progression. Grades in the summative Pharmacology 2 examination served as indicators of achievement in pharmacology. Focus group sessions were held with a convenience sample of Pharmacology 2 (n=12), Pharmacology 3 (n=10), and Pharmacology 4 (n=5) students. Results. A significant, positive correlation between Pharmacology 2 grades and vocabulary assessment scores was demonstrated. Student perceptions revealed during focus group interviews were that poor pharmacy-related vocabulary knowledge impacted their ability to learn pharmacology. Conclusion. Achievement in pharmacology correlated positively with vocabulary knowledge (p=0.031) among a South African, multilingual student cohort in a setting where English is used in teaching and thus is imperative for learning. PMID:25147394

  19. Assessing Organizational Capacity for Achieving Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records

    PubMed Central

    Shea, Christopher M.; Malone, Robb; Weinberger, Morris; Reiter, Kristin L.; Thornhill, Jonathan; Lord, Jennifer; Nguyen, Nicholas G.; Weiner, Bryan J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Health care institutions are scrambling to manage the complex organizational change required for achieving meaningful use (MU) of electronic health records (EHR). Assessing baseline organizational capacity for the change can be a useful step toward effective planning and resource allocation. Purpose This article describes an adaptable method and tool for assessing organizational capacity for achieving MU of EHR. Data on organizational capacity (people, processes, and technology resources) and barriers are presented from outpatient clinics within one integrated health care delivery system; thus, the focus is on MU requirements for eligible professionals, not eligible hospitals. Methods We conducted 109 interviews with representatives from 46 outpatient clinics. Findings Most clinics had core elements of the people domain of capacity in place. However, the process domain was problematic for many clinics, specifically, capturing problem lists as structured data and having standard processes for maintaining the problem list in the EHR. Also, nearly half of all clinics did not have methods for tracking compliance with their existing processes. Finally, most clinics maintained clinical information in multiple systems, not just the EHR. The most common perceived barriers to MU for eligible professionals included EHR functionality, changes to workflows, increased workload, and resistance to change. Practice Implications Organizational capacity assessments provide a broad institutional perspective and an in-depth clinic-level perspective useful for making resource decisions and tailoring strategies to support the MU change effort for eligible professionals. PMID:23380882

  20. Achieving Finite Element Mesh Quality via Optimization of the Jacobian Matrix Norm and Associated Quantities, Part 1 - A Framework for Surface Mesh Optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Knupp, P.M.

    1999-01-18

    Structured mesh quality optimization methods are extended to optimization of unstructured triangular, quadrilateral, and mixed finite element meshes. N"ew interpretations of well-known nodally-bssed objective functions are made possible using matrices and matrix norms. The matrix perspective also suggests several new objective functions. Particularly significant is the interpretation of the Oddy metric and the Smoothness objective functions in terms of the condition number of the metric tensor and Jacobian matrix, respectively. Objective functions are grouped according to dimensionality to form weighted combinations. A simple unconstrained local optimum is computed using a modiiied N-ewton iteration. The optimization approach was implemented in the CUBIT mesh generation code and tested on several problems. Results were compared against several standard element-based quaIity measures to demonstrate that good mesh quality can be achieved with nodally-based objective functions.

  1. Optimal Experience and Reading Achievement in Virtual Environments among College Level Developmental Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgess, Melissa L.

    2010-01-01

    In this mixed methods study the potential for developmental readers to experience optimal experience (flow) within the multi-user virtual environment, "Second Life," was examined. In an educational context, "Second Life" provided a space for constructivist learning, socialization, exploration, discovery and creativity. The communicative, social…

  2. Achieving diverse and monoallelic olfactory receptor selection through dual-objective optimization design.

    PubMed

    Tian, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Hang; Sannerud, Jens; Xing, Jianhua

    2016-05-24

    Multiple-objective optimization is common in biological systems. In the mammalian olfactory system, each sensory neuron stochastically expresses only one out of up to thousands of olfactory receptor (OR) gene alleles; at the organism level, the types of expressed ORs need to be maximized. Existing models focus only on monoallele activation, and cannot explain recent observations in mutants, especially the reduced global diversity of expressed ORs in G9a/GLP knockouts. In this work we integrated existing information on OR expression, and constructed a comprehensive model that has all its components based on physical interactions. Analyzing the model reveals an evolutionarily optimized three-layer regulation mechanism, which includes zonal segregation, epigenetic barrier crossing coupled to a negative feedback loop that mechanistically differs from previous theoretical proposals, and a previously unidentified enhancer competition step. This model not only recapitulates monoallelic OR expression, but also elucidates how the olfactory system maximizes and maintains the diversity of OR expression, and has multiple predictions validated by existing experimental results. Through making an analogy to a physical system with thermally activated barrier crossing and comparative reverse engineering analyses, the study reveals that the olfactory receptor selection system is optimally designed, and particularly underscores cooperativity and synergy as a general design principle for multiobjective optimization in biology. PMID:27162367

  3. Optimal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels for multiple health outcomes.

    PubMed

    Bischoff-Ferrari, Heike A

    2014-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency has harmful effects on health and that recent vitamin D intake recommendations may be associated with better health outcomes. In this chapter, evidence is summarized from different studies that evaluate threshold levels for serum 25(OH)D levels in relation to bone mineral density (BMD), lower extremity function, dental health, risk of falls, fractures, cancer prevention, incident hypertension and mortality. For all endpoints, levels in the deficient range (< 50 nmol/l; < 20 ng/ml) are associated with no benefit or adverse effects, while the most advantageous serum levels for 25(OH)D appeared to be close to 75 nmol/l (30 ng/ml). An intake of 800 IU (20 microg) of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) per day for all adults may bring 97% of the population to level of at least 50 nmol/l and about 50% up to 75 nmol/l. Thus, higher doses of vitamin D than currently recommended are needed to bring most individuals to75 nmol/l. While estimates suggest that 1600 to 2000 IU vitamin D3 per day may successfully and safely achieve this goal, the implications of higher doses for the total adult population need to be addressed in future studies. PMID:25207384

  4. Optimization of Composite Material System and Lay-up to Achieve Minimum Weight Pressure Vessel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mian, Haris Hameed; Wang, Gang; Dar, Uzair Ahmed; Zhang, Weihong

    2013-10-01

    The use of composite pressure vessels particularly in the aerospace industry is escalating rapidly because of their superiority in directional strength and colossal weight advantage. The present work elucidates the procedure to optimize the lay-up for composite pressure vessel using finite element analysis and calculate the relative weight saving compared with the reference metallic pressure vessel. The determination of proper fiber orientation and laminate thickness is very important to decrease manufacturing difficulties and increase structural efficiency. In the present work different lay-up sequences for laminates including, cross-ply [ 0 m /90 n ] s , angle-ply [ ±θ] ns , [ 90/±θ] ns and [ 0/±θ] ns , are analyzed. The lay-up sequence, orientation and laminate thickness (number of layers) are optimized for three candidate composite materials S-glass/epoxy, Kevlar/epoxy and Carbon/epoxy. Finite element analysis of composite pressure vessel is performed by using commercial finite element code ANSYS and utilizing the capabilities of ANSYS Parametric Design Language and Design Optimization module to automate the process of optimization. For verification, a code is developed in MATLAB based on classical lamination theory; incorporating Tsai-Wu failure criterion for first-ply failure (FPF). The results of the MATLAB code shows its effectiveness in theoretical prediction of first-ply failure strengths of laminated composite pressure vessels and close agreement with the FEA results. The optimization results shows that for all the composite material systems considered, the angle-ply [ ±θ] ns is the optimum lay-up. For given fixed ply thickness the total thickness of laminate is obtained resulting in factor of safety slightly higher than two. Both Carbon/epoxy and Kevlar/Epoxy resulted in approximately same laminate thickness and considerable percentage of weight saving, but S-glass/epoxy resulted in weight increment.

  5. Optimized Radar Remote Sensing for Levee Health Monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Cathleen E.

    2013-01-01

    Radar remote sensing offers great potential for high resolution monitoring of ground surface changes over large areas at one time to detect movement on and near levees and for location of seepage through levees. Our NASA-funded projects to monitor levees in the Sacramento Delta and the Mississippi River have developed and demonstrated methods to use radar remote sensing to measure quantities relevant to levee health and of great value to emergency response. The DHS-funded project will enable us is to define how to optimally monitor levees in this new way and set the stage for transition to using satellite SAR (synthetic aperture radar) imaging for better temporal and spatial coverage at lower cost to the end users.

  6. Optimizing Digital Health Informatics Interventions Through Unobtrusive Quantitative Process Evaluations.

    PubMed

    Gude, Wouter T; van der Veer, Sabine N; de Keizer, Nicolette F; Coiera, Enrico; Peek, Niels

    2016-01-01

    Health informatics interventions such as clinical decision support (CDS) and audit and feedback (A&F) are variably effective at improving care because the underlying mechanisms through which these interventions bring about change are poorly understood. This limits our possibilities to design better interventions. Process evaluations can be used to improve this understanding by assessing fidelity and quality of implementation, clarifying causal mechanisms, and identifying contextual factors associated with variation in outcomes. Coiera describes the intervention process as a series of stages extending from interactions to outcomes: the "information value chain". However, past process evaluations often did not assess the relationships between those stages. In this paper we argue that the chain can be measured quantitatively and unobtrusively in digital interventions thanks to the availability of electronic data that are a by-product of their use. This provides novel possibilities to study the mechanisms of informatics interventions in detail and inform essential design choices to optimize their efficacy. PMID:27577453

  7. Integrating big data and actionable health coaching to optimize wellness.

    PubMed

    Hood, Leroy; Lovejoy, Jennifer C; Price, Nathan D

    2015-01-01

    The Hundred Person Wellness Project (HPWP) is a 10-month pilot study of 100 'well' individuals where integrated data from whole-genome sequencing, gut microbiome, clinical laboratory tests and quantified self measures from each individual are used to provide actionable results for health coaching with the goal of optimizing wellness and minimizing disease. In a commentary in BMC Medicine, Diamandis argues that HPWP and similar projects will likely result in 'unnecessary and potential harmful over-testing'. We argue that this new approach will ultimately lead to lower costs, better healthcare, innovation and economic growth. The central points of the HPWP are: 1) it is focused on optimizing wellness through longitudinal data collection, integration and mining of individual data clouds, enabling development of predictive models of wellness and disease that will reveal actionable possibilities; and 2) by extending this study to 100,000 well people, we will establish multiparameter, quantifiable wellness metrics and identify markers for wellness to early disease transitions for most common diseases, which will ultimately allow earlier disease intervention, eventually transitioning the individual early on from a disease back to a wellness trajectory. PMID:25575752

  8. Achieving Optimal Self-Adaptivity for Dynamic Tuning of Organic Semiconductors through Resonance Engineering.

    PubMed

    Tao, Ye; Xu, Lijia; Zhang, Zhen; Chen, Runfeng; Li, Huanhuan; Xu, Hui; Zheng, Chao; Huang, Wei

    2016-08-01

    Current static-state explorations of organic semiconductors for optimal material properties and device performance are hindered by limited insights into the dynamically changed molecular states and charge transport and energy transfer processes upon device operation. Here, we propose a simple yet successful strategy, resonance variation-based dynamic adaptation (RVDA), to realize optimized self-adaptive properties in donor-resonance-acceptor molecules by engineering the resonance variation for dynamic tuning of organic semiconductors. Organic light-emitting diodes hosted by these RVDA materials exhibit remarkably high performance, with external quantum efficiencies up to 21.7% and favorable device stability. Our approach, which supports simultaneous realization of dynamically adapted and selectively enhanced properties via resonance engineering, illustrates a feasible design map for the preparation of smart organic semiconductors capable of dynamic structure and property modulations, promoting the studies of organic electronics from static to dynamic. PMID:27403886

  9. Optimizing Population Health and Economic Outcomes: Innovative Treatment for BPH

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Optimizing Population Health and Economic Outcomes: Innovative Treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) Transcribed and adapted for publication by Janice L. Clarke, RN, BBA Editorial: David B. Nash, MD, MBA   S-2 Introduction   S-2 Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)   S-3 • Overview   S-3• Current BPH Treatment Paradigm   S-4• BPH Continuum of Care: Bladder Health   S-5 New Treatment Option for BPH   S-5 • The UroLift® System   S-6• Positioning of UroLift® in BPH Treatment Paradigm   S-7 New Value Proposition   S-8 • Addressing Bladder Health: Breaking the Cycle   S-8• Cost Benefit Analysis: The Big Picture   S-8 Patient and Family Engagement   S-10 Summary   S-11 PMID:22823180

  10. Need for coordinated programs to improve global health by optimizing salt and iodine intake.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Norm R C; Dary, Omar; Cappuccio, Francesco P; Neufeld, Lynnette M; Harding, Kim B; Zimmermann, Michael B

    2012-10-01

    High dietary salt is a major cause of increased blood pressure, the leading risk for death worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that salt intake be less than 5 g/day, a goal that only a small proportion of people achieve. Iodine deficiency can cause cognitive and motor impairment and, if severe, hypothyroidism with serious mental and growth retardation. More than 2 billion people worldwide are at risk of iodine deficiency. Preventing iodine deficiency by using salt fortified with iodine is a major global public health success. Programs to reduce dietary salt are technically compatible with programs to prevent iodine deficiency through salt fortification. However, for populations to fully benefit from optimum intake of salt and iodine, the programs must be integrated. This review summarizes the scientific basis for salt reduction and iodine fortification programs, the compatibility of the programs, and the steps that need to be taken by the WHO, national governments, and nongovernmental organizations to ensure that populations fully benefit from optimal intake of salt and iodine. Specifically, expert groups must be convened to help countries implement integrated programs and context-specific case studies of successfully integrated programs; lessons learned need to be compiled and disseminated. Integrated surveillance programs will be more efficient and will enhance current efforts to optimize intake of iodine and salt. For populations to fully benefit, governments need to place a high priority on integrating these two important public health programs. PMID:23299289

  11. Scale-up of HIV Treatment Through PEPFAR: A Historic Public Health Achievement

    PubMed Central

    El-Sadr, Wafaa M.; Holmes, Charles B.; Mugyenyi, Peter; Thirumurthy, Harsha; Ellerbrock, Tedd; Ferris, Robert; Sanne, Ian; Asiimwe, Anita; Hirnschall, Gottfried; Nkambule, Rejoice N.; Stabinski, Lara; Affrunti, Megan; Teasdale, Chloe; Zulu, Isaac; Whiteside, Alan

    2012-01-01

    Since its inception in 2003, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has been an important driving force behind the global scale-up of HIV care and treatment services, particularly in expansion of access to antiretroviral therapy. Despite initial concerns about cost and feasibility, PEPFAR overcame challenges by leveraging and coordinating with other funders, by working in partnership with the most affected countries, by supporting local ownership, by using a public health approach, by supporting task-shifting strategies, and by paying attention to health systems strengthening. As of September 2011, PEPFAR directly supported initiation of antiretroviral therapy for 3.9 million people and provided care and support for nearly 13 million people. Benefits in terms of prevention of morbidity and mortality have been reaped by those receiving the services, with evidence of societal benefits beyond the anticipated clinical benefits. However, much remains to be accomplished to achieve universal access, to enhance the quality of programs, to ensure retention of patients in care, and to continue to strengthen health systems. PMID:22797746

  12. Optimal thickness of silicon membranes to achieve maximum thermoelectric efficiency: A first principles study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangold, Claudia; Neogi, Sanghamitra; Donadio, Davide

    2016-08-01

    Silicon nanostructures with reduced dimensionality, such as nanowires, membranes, and thin films, are promising thermoelectric materials, as they exhibit considerably reduced thermal conductivity. Here, we utilize density functional theory and Boltzmann transport equation to compute the electronic properties of ultra-thin crystalline silicon membranes with thickness between 1 and 12 nm. We predict that an optimal thickness of ˜7 nm maximizes the thermoelectric figure of merit of membranes with native oxide surface layers. Further thinning of the membranes, although attainable in experiments, reduces the electrical conductivity and worsens the thermoelectric efficiency.

  13. Men's Health Index: A Pragmatic Approach to Stratifying and Optimizing Men's Health

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Hui Meng; Tan, Wei Phin; Wong, Jun Hoe; Teo, Chin Hai; Ng, Chirk Jenn

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The proposed Men's Health Index (MHI) aims to provide a practical and systematic framework for comprehensively assessing and stratifying older men with the intention of optimising their health and functional status. Materials and Methods A literature search was conducted using PubMed from 1980 to 2012. We specifically looked for instruments which: assess men's health, frailty and fitness; predict life expectancy, mortality and morbidities. The instruments were assessed by the researchers who then agreed on the tools to be included in the MHI. When there was disagreements, the researchers discussed and reached a consensus guided by the principle that the MHI could be used in the primary care setting targetting men aged 55-65 years. Results The instruments chosen include the Charlson's Combined Comorbidity-Age Index; the International Index of Erectile Function-5; the International Prostate Symptom Score; the Androgen Deficiency in Aging Male; the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe Frailty Instrument; the Sitting-Rising Test; the Senior Fitness Test; the Fitness Assessment Score; and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21. A pilot test on eight men was carried out and showed that the men's health index is viable. Conclusions The concept of assessing, stratifying, and optimizing men's health should be incorporated into routine health care, and this can be implemented by using the MHI. This index is particularly useful to primary care physicians who are in a strategic position to engage men at the peri-retirement age in a conversation about their life goals based on their current and predicted health status. PMID:25405012

  14. Optimization of the cooling profile to achieve crack-free Yb:S-FAP crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, H. S.; Qiu, S. R.; Zheng, L. L.; Schaffers, K. I.; Tassano, J. B.; Caird, J. A.; Zhang, H.

    2008-08-01

    Yb:S-FAP [Yb 3+:Sr 5(PO 4) 3F] crystals are an important gain medium for diode-pumped laser applications. Growth of 7.0 cm diameter Yb:S-FAP crystals utilizing the Czochralski (CZ) method from SrF 2-rich melts often encounters cracks during the post-growth cool-down stage. To suppress cracking during cool-down, a numerical simulation of the growth system was used to understand the correlation between the furnace power during cool-down and the radial temperature differences within the crystal. The critical radial temperature difference, above which the crystal cracks, has been determined by benchmarking the simulation results against experimental observations. Based on this comparison, an optimal three-stage ramp-down profile was implemented, which produced high-quality, crack-free Yb:S-FAP crystals.

  15. Optimization of the cooling profile to achieve crack-free Yb:S-FAP crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, H; Qiu, S; Kheng, L; Schaffers, K; Tassano, J; Caird, J; Zhang, H

    2007-08-20

    Yb:S-FAP [Yb{sup 3+}:Sr{sub 5}(PO{sub 4}){sub 3}F] crystals are an important gain medium for diode-pumped laser applications. Growth of 7.0 cm diameter Yb:S-FAP crystals utilizing the Czochralski (CZ) method from SrF{sub 2}-rich melts often encounter cracks during the post growth cool down stage. To suppress cracking during cool down, a numerical simulation of the growth system was used to understand the correlation between the furnace power during cool down and the radial temperature differences within the crystal. The critical radial temperature difference, above which the crystal cracks, has been determined by benchmarking the simulation results against experimental observations. Based on this comparison, an optimal three-stage ramp-down profile was implemented and produced high quality, crack-free Yb:S-FAP crystals.

  16. Strategies To Boost Maternal Immunization To Achieve Further Gains In Improved Maternal And Newborn Health.

    PubMed

    Steedman, Mark R; Kampmann, Beate; Schillings, Egbert; Al Kuwari, Hanan; Darzi, Ara

    2016-02-01

    Despite the indisputable successes of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which include goals on improving maternal health and reducing child mortality, millions of mothers and newborns still die tragically and unnecessarily each year. Many of these deaths result from vaccine-preventable diseases, since obstacles such as cost and accessibility have hampered efforts to deliver efficacious vaccines to those most in need. Additionally, many vaccines given to mothers and children under age five are not suitable for newborns, since their maturing immune systems do not respond optimally during the first few months of life. Maternal immunization-the process by which a pregnant woman's immune system is fortified against a particular disease and the protection is then transferred to her unborn child-has emerged as a strategy to prevent many unnecessary maternal and newborn deaths. We review vaccines that are already used for maternal immunization, analyze vaccines under development that could be used for maternal immunization strategies in the future, and recommend that policy makers use maternal immunization for improved maternal and newborn health. PMID:26858385

  17. Does parental involvement matter for student achievement and mental health in high school?

    PubMed

    Wang, Ming-Te; Sheikh-Khalil, Salam

    2014-01-01

    Parental involvement in education remains important for facilitating positive youth development. This study conceptualized parental involvement as a multidimensional construct-including school-based involvement, home-based involvement, and academic socialization-and examined the effects of different types of parental involvement in 10th grade on student achievement and depression in 11th grade (approximately ages 15-17 years). In addition, this study tested whether parental involvement influenced adolescent outcomes by increasing their academic engagement in school. A total of 1,056 adolescents participated in the study (51% males; 53% European American, 40% African American, and 7% other). Parental involvement was found to improve academic and emotional functioning among adolescents. In addition, parental involvement predicted adolescent academic success and mental health both directly and indirectly through behavioral and emotional engagement. PMID:24033259

  18. Workplace wellness recognition for optimizing workplace health: a presidential advisory from the American Heart Association.

    PubMed

    Fonarow, Gregg C; Calitz, Chris; Arena, Ross; Baase, Catherine; Isaac, Fikry W; Lloyd-Jones, Donald; Peterson, Eric D; Pronk, Nico; Sanchez, Eduardo; Terry, Paul E; Volpp, Kevin G; Antman, Elliott M

    2015-05-19

    The workplace is an important setting for promoting cardiovascular health and cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention in the United States. Well-designed, comprehensive workplace wellness programs have the potential to improve cardiovascular health and to reduce mortality, morbidity, and disability resulting from cardiovascular disease and stroke. Nevertheless, widespread implementation of comprehensive workplace wellness programs is lacking, and program composition and quality vary. Several organizations provide worksite wellness recognition programs; however, there is variation in recognition criteria, and they do not specifically focus on cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention. Although there is limited evidence to suggest that company performance on employer health management scorecards is associated with favorable healthcare cost trends, these data are not currently robust, and further evaluation is needed. As a recognized national leader in evidence-based guidelines, care systems, and quality programs, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is uniquely positioned and committed to promoting the adoption of comprehensive workplace wellness programs, as well as improving program quality and workforce health outcomes. As part of its commitment to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association will promote science-based best practices for comprehensive workplace wellness programs and establish benchmarks for a national workplace wellness recognition program to assist employers in applying the best systems and strategies for optimal programming. The recognition program will integrate identification of a workplace culture of health and achievement of rigorous standards for cardiovascular health based on Life's Simple 7 metrics. In addition, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association will develop resources that assist employers in meeting these rigorous

  19. High direct drive illumination uniformity achieved by multi-parameter optimization approach: a case study of Shenguang III laser facility.

    PubMed

    Tian, Chao; Chen, Jia; Zhang, Bo; Shan, Lianqiang; Zhou, Weimin; Liu, Dongxiao; Bi, Bi; Zhang, Feng; Wang, Weiwu; Zhang, Baohan; Gu, Yuqiu

    2015-05-01

    The uniformity of the compression driver is of fundamental importance for inertial confinement fusion (ICF). In this paper, the illumination uniformity on a spherical capsule during the initial imprinting phase directly driven by laser beams has been considered. We aim to explore methods to achieve high direct drive illumination uniformity on laser facilities designed for indirect drive ICF. There are many parameters that would affect the irradiation uniformity, such as Polar Direct Drive displacement quantity, capsule radius, laser spot size and intensity distribution within a laser beam. A novel approach to reduce the root mean square illumination non-uniformity based on multi-parameter optimizing approach (particle swarm optimization) is proposed, which enables us to obtain a set of optimal parameters over a large parameter space. Finally, this method is applied to improve the direct drive illumination uniformity provided by Shenguang III laser facility and the illumination non-uniformity is reduced from 5.62% to 0.23% for perfectly balanced beams. Moreover, beam errors (power imbalance and pointing error) are taken into account to provide a more practical solution and results show that this multi-parameter optimization approach is effective. PMID:25969321

  20. Achieving optimal essential fatty acid status in vegetarians: current knowledge and practical implications.

    PubMed

    Davis, Brenda C; Kris-Etherton, Penny M

    2003-09-01

    Although vegetarian diets are generally lower in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than are nonvegetarian diets, they provide comparable levels of essential fatty acids. Vegetarian, especially vegan, diets are relatively low in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) compared with linoleic acid (LA) and provide little, if any, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Clinical studies suggest that tissue levels of long-chain n-3 fatty acids are depressed in vegetarians, particularly in vegans. n-3 Fatty acids have numerous physiologic benefits, including potent cardioprotective effects. These effects have been demonstrated for ALA as well as EPA and DHA, although the response is generally less for ALA than for EPA and DHA. Conversion of ALA by the body to the more active longer-chain metabolites is inefficient: < 5-10% for EPA and 2-5% for DHA. Thus, total n-3 requirements may be higher for vegetarians than for nonvegetarians, as vegetarians must rely on conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA. Because of the beneficial effects of n-3 fatty acids, it is recommended that vegetarians make dietary changes to optimize n-3 fatty acid status. PMID:12936959

  1. Standardization and Optimization of Computed Tomography Protocols to Achieve Low-Dose

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Cynthia; Cody, Dianna D.; Gupta, Rajiv; Hess, Christopher P.; Kalra, Mannudeep K.; Kofler, James M.; Krishnam, Mayil S.; Einstein, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    The increase in radiation exposure due to CT scans has been of growing concern in recent years. CT scanners differ in their capabilities and various indications require unique protocols, but there remains room for standardization and optimization. In this paper we summarize approaches to reduce dose, as discussed in lectures comprising the first session of the 2013 UCSF Virtual Symposium on Radiation Safety in Computed Tomography. The experience of scanning at low dose in different body regions, for both diagnostic and interventional CT procedures, is addressed. An essential primary step is justifying the medical need for each scan. General guiding principles for reducing dose include tailoring a scan to a patient, minimizing scan length, use of tube current modulation and minimizing tube current, minimizing-tube potential, iterative reconstruction, and periodic review of CT studies. Organized efforts for standardization have been spearheaded by professional societies such as the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Finally, all team members should demonstrate an awareness of the importance of minimizing dose. PMID:24589403

  2. Assessment of the Optimal Stimulus Pattern to Achieve Rapid Dorsal Hippocampal Kindling in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Etemadi, Fatemeh; Sayyah, Mohammad; Gholami Pourbadie, Hamid; Babapour, Vahab

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Although hippocampus is the most famous brain area involved in temporal lobe epilepsy, hippocampal kindling (HK) develops very slowly. Hence, rapid kindling is usually preferred to the traditional kindling and it is widely used. In this article we aimed at finding the optimal stimulus pattern, which yields the fastest HK rate. Methods: Stimulus patterns with different duration (2, 3, 5 and 10 s) and inter-train interval (ITI) (5, 10 and 30 min) as well as number of trains in 24 h (8 and 12) were exerted to rats’ dorsal hippocampus. The stimuli were continued until appearance of 3 consecutive generalized seizures or maximum 7 days stimulations. Results: While the protocol with train duration of 10 s and ITI of 30 min caused the fastest kindling rate and the most growth of afterdischarges, the protocol with train duration of 5 s and ITI of 5 min was the most time-consuming protocol among protocols tested. Discussion: Rapid HK develops with a time course of days compared to weeks in traditional kindling. Train duration and inter-train interval are key factors for rapid HK. Among the patterns, 12 trains/24h of 50Hz monophasic square wave with 10 s duration and 30 min interval between trains, is the best stimulus pattern for eliciting rapid dorsal HK. PMID:27307955

  3. Family socioeconomic status, family health, and changes in students' math achievement across high school: A mediational model.

    PubMed

    Barr, Ashley Brooke

    2015-09-01

    In response to recent calls to integrate understandings of socioeconomic disparities in health with understandings of socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement, this study tested a mediational model whereby family socioeconomic status predicted gains in academic achievement across high school through its impact on both student and parent health. Data on over 8000 high school students in the U.S. were obtained from wave 1 (2009-2010) and wave 2 (2012) of the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09), and structural equation modeling with latent difference scores was used to determine the role of family health problems in mediating the well-established link between family SES and gains in academic achievement. Using both static and dynamic indicators of family SES, support was found for this mediational model. Higher family SES in 9th grade reduced the probability of students and their parents experiencing a serious health problem in high school, thereby promoting growth in academic achievement. In addition, parent and student health problems mediated the effect of changes in family SES across high school on math achievement gains. Results emphasize the importance of considering the dynamic nature of SES and that both student and parent health should be considered in understanding SES-related disparities in academic achievement. This relational process provides new mechanisms for understanding the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status and the status attainment process more broadly. PMID:26189011

  4. Achievements and challenges on policies for allied health professionals who use telehealth in the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Hailey, D; Foerster, V; Nakagawa, B; Wapshall, T M; Murtagh, J A; Smitten, J; Steblecki, J A; Wong, G

    2005-01-01

    We formulated policies and procedures for allied health professionals (AHPs) who provide services using telehealth in Nunavut, Canada's newest Arctic territory. These are a supplement to the clinical policies and procedures already established for Nunavut physicians and nurses. The services were in the areas of audiology, dietetics/nutrition, midwifery, occupational therapy, ophthalmic services, pharmacy, physiotherapy, psychology, respiratory therapy, social work and speech therapy. Documents specific to each of the services were developed, drawing on information from Government of Nunavut data, Nunavut healthcare providers and links made through the Internet. Topics included the scope and limitations of telehealth services, staff responsibilities, training and reporting, professional standards and cultural considerations. We also considered generic policies covering common issues such as jurisdiction, licensing and liability. The policies and procedures for AHPs will enhance and expand the successes already achieved with telehealth in Nunavut. The challenges are to balance the preferred approaches to service provision with the realities of health care and communications in an Arctic setting. PMID:16375792

  5. Environmental health sciences education--a tool for achieving environmental equity and protecting children.

    PubMed Central

    Claudio, L; Torres, T; Sanjurjo, E; Sherman, L R; Landrigan, P J

    1998-01-01

    Children are highly susceptible to deleterious effects of environmental toxins. Those who live in underserved communities may be particularly at risk because environmental pollution has been found to be disproportionately distributed among communities. Mounting evidence suggests that asthma rates are rising and that this disease can be caused or aggravated by air pollution. Although ambient air quality has generally improved, these improvements have not reached minority communities in equal proportions. This and other data has fueled the concept of environmental justice or environmental equity, which has led to community activism and government actions. One possible example of environmental inequity and its consequences is the Hunt's Point community, in the South Bronx, New York. This community experiences a high pollution burden with the siting of facilities that emit hazardous wastes into the air. Our approach to this problem has been the formation of mechanisms for bidirectional communication between community residents, government entities, and academic institutions such as Mount Sinai Medical Center. As a result of this experience, we believe that the key to achieving environmental health, especially in communities of color where many children are at risk, is to empower residents to take charge of their environment by providing relevant educational opportunities. Strategies for environmental health education include multitiered training approaches that include community residents, parent education, direct children education, and community education through professional counselors and train-the-trainer approaches. We propose that academic researchers must use community residents not just as subjects of our studies, but to increase our mutual understanding of environmental health, resulting in active participation of community members in research design, data collection, analysis, and dissemination of results in order to make intervention strategies more

  6. School Achievement of Children by Demographic and Socioeconomic Factors. Data From the National Health Survey, Series 11, Number 109.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaie, K. Warner; Roberts, Jean

    This is the second report on the school achievement of children six to eleven years of age in the noninstitutionalized population of the United States, as estimated from the Reading and Arithmetic subtest data of the Wide Range Achievement Test obtained in the Health Examination Survey of 1963-65. It contains findings by selected demographic and…

  7. Optimizing Early Protein Intake for Long-Term Health of Preterm Infants.

    PubMed

    Singhal, Atul

    2016-01-01

    The idea that early protein intake may influence, or program, long-term health in preterm infants is strongly supported by decades of research starting from the early 1980s. At this time, it was recognized that preterm infants required a high protein intake to achieve postnatal growth closer to the intrauterine growth rate of a normal fetus of the same postconceptional age, a goal regarded optimal for short- and long-term health. Subsequently, follow-up of preterm infants randomized to different neonatal diets demonstrated that those receiving higher protein intakes that promoted growth had benefits for brain structure and function up to 16 years later, but also detrimental effects on cardiovascular risk factors such as insulin resistance and adiposity. These effects of early growth on risk of metabolic disease, termed the 'growth acceleration' hypothesis, have been demonstrated in randomized and observational studies in infants born preterm and at term. Nevertheless, on balance, current nutrition policy for preterm infants is based on the consensus that supporting optimal neurodevelopment is the neonatologist's highest priority. Therefore, this policy appropriately favors early administration of a high protein intake to benefit neurodevelopment, irrespective of any increase in cardiovascular risk. The current review will consider the evidence underlying this policy. PMID:27336311

  8. Identification and Treatment of Pathophysiological Comorbidities of Autism Spectrum Disorder to Achieve Optimal Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Frye, Richard E; Rossignol, Daniel A

    2016-01-01

    the optimal treatments for these abnormalities. PMID:27330338

  9. Identification and Treatment of Pathophysiological Comorbidities of Autism Spectrum Disorder to Achieve Optimal Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Frye, Richard E.; Rossignol, Daniel A.

    2016-01-01

    the optimal treatments for these abnormalities. PMID:27330338

  10. Isometric Scaling in Developing Long Bones Is Achieved by an Optimal Epiphyseal Growth Balance

    PubMed Central

    Stern, Tomer; Aviram, Rona; Rot, Chagai; Galili, Tal; Sharir, Amnon; Kalish Achrai, Noga; Keller, Yosi; Shahar, Ron; Zelzer, Elazar

    2015-01-01

    One of the major challenges that developing organs face is scaling, that is, the adjustment of physical proportions during the massive increase in size. Although organ scaling is fundamental for development and function, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate it. Bone superstructures are projections that typically serve for tendon and ligament insertion or articulation and, therefore, their position along the bone is crucial for musculoskeletal functionality. As bones are rigid structures that elongate only from their ends, it is unclear how superstructure positions are regulated during growth to end up in the right locations. Here, we document the process of longitudinal scaling in developing mouse long bones and uncover the mechanism that regulates it. To that end, we performed a computational analysis of hundreds of three-dimensional micro-CT images, using a newly developed method for recovering the morphogenetic sequence of developing bones. Strikingly, analysis revealed that the relative position of all superstructures along the bone is highly preserved during more than a 5-fold increase in length, indicating isometric scaling. It has been suggested that during development, bone superstructures are continuously reconstructed and relocated along the shaft, a process known as drift. Surprisingly, our results showed that most superstructures did not drift at all. Instead, we identified a novel mechanism for bone scaling, whereby each bone exhibits a specific and unique balance between proximal and distal growth rates, which accurately maintains the relative position of its superstructures. Moreover, we show mathematically that this mechanism minimizes the cumulative drift of all superstructures, thereby optimizing the scaling process. Our study reveals a general mechanism for the scaling of developing bones. More broadly, these findings suggest an evolutionary mechanism that facilitates variability in bone morphology by controlling the activity of

  11. Endonasal endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy: how to achieve optimal results with simple punch technique.

    PubMed

    Naraghi, Mohsen; Tabatabaii Mohammadi, Sayed Ziaeddin; Sontou, Alain Fabrice; Farajzadeh Deroee, Armin; Boroojerdi, Masoud

    2012-05-01

    Endonasal endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy (EEDCR) has been popularized as a minimally invasive technique. Although preliminary reports revealed less success in comparison with external approaches, recent endonasal endoscopic surgeries on various types of DCR have preserved advantages of this technique while diminishing the failures. We described our experience on EEDCR, including the main advantages and disadvantages of it. Hundred consecutive cases of lachrymal problems underwent EEDCR utilizing simple punch removal of bone, instead of powered instrumentation or lasers. The medial aspect of the sac was removed in all of patients, while preserving normal mucosa around the sac. Hundred cases of EEDCR were performed on 81 patients, with 19 bilateral procedures. Nine procedures were performed under local anesthesia. Based on a mean 14 months follow-up, 95 cases were free of symptoms, revealing 95% success rate. The punch technique diminishes the expenses of powered or laser instrumentation with comparable results. It seems that preserving normal tissues and creating a patent rhinostomy with least surgical trauma and less subsequent scar, plays the most important role in achieving desirable results. PMID:22065173

  12. Achieving a "Grand Convergence" in Global Health by 2035: Rwanda Shows the Way Comment on "Improving the World's Health Through the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Perspectives From Rwanda".

    PubMed

    Yamey, Gavin; Fewer, Sara; Beyeler, Naomi

    2015-01-01

    Global Health 2035, the report of The Lancet Commission on Investing in Health, laid out a bold, highly ambitious framework for making rapid progress in improving global public health outcomes. It showed that with the right health investments, the international community could achieve a "grand convergence" in global health-a reduction in avertable infectious, maternal, and child deaths down to universally low levels-within a generation. Rwanda's success in rapidly reducing such deaths over the last 20 years shows that convergence is feasible. Binagwaho and Scott have argued that 5 lessons from this success are the importance of equity, quality health services, evidence-informed policy, intersectoral collaboration, and effective collaboration between countries and multilateral agencies. This article re-examines these lessons through the lens of the Global Health 2035 report to analyze how the experience in Rwanda might be generalized for other countries to making progress towards achieving a grand convergence. PMID:26673345

  13. Making It Local: Beacon Communities Use Health Information Technology to Optimize Care Management

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Amy; Des Jardins, Terrisca R.; Heider, Arvela; Kanger, Chatrian R.; Lobach, David F.; McWilliams, Lee; Polello, Jennifer M.; Schachter, Abigail A.; Singh, Ranjit; Sorondo, Barbara; Tulikangas, Megan C.; Turske, Scott A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Care management aims to provide cost-effective, coordinated, non-duplicative care to improve care quality, population health, and reduce costs. The 17 communities receiving funding from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology through the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program are leaders in building and strengthening their health information technology (health IT) infrastructure to provide more effective and efficient care management. This article profiles 6 Beacon Communities' health IT-enabled care management programs, highlighting the influence of local context on program strategy and design, and describing challenges, lessons learned, and policy implications for care delivery and payment reform. The unique needs (eg, disease burden, demographics), community partnerships, and existing resources and infrastructure all exerted significant influence on the overall priorities and design of each community's care management program. Though each Beacon Community needed to engage in a similar set of care management tasks—including patient identification, stratification, and prioritization; intervention; patient engagement; and evaluation—the contextual factors helped shape the specific strategies and tools used to carry out these tasks and achieve their objectives. Although providers across the country are striving to deliver standardized, high-quality care, the diverse contexts in which this care is delivered significantly influence the priorities, strategies, and design of community-based care management interventions. Gaps and challenges in implementing effective community-based care management programs include: optimizing allocation of care management services; lack of available technology tailored to care management needs; lack of standards and interoperability; integrating care management into care settings; evaluating impact; and funding and sustainability. (Population Health Management 2014;17:149–158) PMID

  14. Health physics manual of good practices for reducing radiation exposure to levels that are as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA)

    SciTech Connect

    Herrington, W.N.; Higby, D.P.; Kathren,., R.L.; Merwin, S.E.; Stoetzel, G.A.

    1988-06-01

    A primary objective of the US Department of Energy (DOE) health physics and radiation protection program has been to limit radiation exposures to those levels that are as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). As a result, the ALARA concept developed into a program and a set of operational principles to ensure that the objective was consistently met. Implementation of these principles required that a guide be produced. The original ALARA guide was issued by DOE in 1980 to promote improved understanding of ALARA concepts within the DOE community and to assist those responsible for operational ALARA activities in attaining their goals. Since 1980, additional guidance has been published by national and international organizations to provide further definition and clarification to ALARA concepts. As basic ALARA experience increased, the value and role of the original guide prompted the DOE Office of Nuclear Safety (ONS) to support a current revision. The revised manual of good practices includes six sections: 1.0 Introduction, 2.0 Administration, 3.0 Optimization, 4.0 Setting and Evaluating ALARA Goals, 5.0 Radiological Design, and 6.0 Conduct of Operations. The manual is directed primarily to contractor and DOE staff who are responsible for conduct and overview of radiation protection and ALARA programs at DOE facilities. The intent is to provide sufficient guidance such that the manual, if followed, will ensure that radiation exposures are maintained as low as reasonably achievable and will establish the basis for a formally structured and auditable program. 118 refs., 16 figs., 3 tabs.

  15. Addressing the Human Resources for Health crisis in countries: How far have we gone? What can we expect to achieve by 2015?

    PubMed

    Dayrit, Manuel M; Dolea, Carmen; Dreesch, Norbert

    2011-06-01

    The World Health Report 2006 identified 57 countries world-wide whose health worker to population density fell below a critical threshold of 2.3 per 1,000 population. This meant that below this critical threshold, a country could not provide the basic health services to its population, defined here as 80% immunization coverage and 80% skilled birth attendance at delivery. Of the 57 countries, 36 are located in Africa. This article reviews the progress countries have made in addressing their health workforce crisis. It cites 3 of the most recent global studies and the indicators used to measure progress. It also features the experiences of 8 countries, namely Malawi, Peru, Ethiopia, Brazil, Thailand, Philippines, Zambia, Mali. Their situations provide a diverse picture of country efforts, challenges, and successes. The article asks the question of whether the target of 25% reduction in the number of crisis countries can be achieved by 2015. This was a goal set by the World Health Assembly in 2008. While the authors wish to remain optimistic about the striving towards this target, their optimism must be matched by an adequate level of investment in countries on HRH development. The next four years will show how much will really be achieved. PMID:21845315

  16. Effectiveness of increasing the frequency of posaconazole syrup administration to achieve optimal plasma concentrations in patients with haematological malignancy.

    PubMed

    Park, Wan Beom; Cho, Joo-Youn; Park, Sang-In; Kim, Eun Jung; Yoon, Seonghae; Yoon, Seo Hyun; Lee, Jeong-Ok; Koh, Youngil; Song, Kyoung-Ho; Choe, Pyoeng Gyun; Yu, Kyung-Sang; Kim, Eu Suk; Bang, Su Mi; Kim, Nam Joong; Kim, Inho; Oh, Myoung-Don; Kim, Hong Bin; Song, Sang Hoon

    2016-07-01

    Few data are available on whether adjusting the dose of posaconazole syrup is effective in patients receiving anti-cancer chemotherapy. The aim of this prospective study was to analyse the impact of increasing the frequency of posaconazole administration on optimal plasma concentrations in adult patients with haematological malignancy. A total of 133 adult patients receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome who received posaconazole syrup 200 mg three times daily for fungal prophylaxis were enrolled in this study. Drug trough levels were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. In 20.2% of patients (23/114) the steady-state concentration of posaconazole was suboptimal (<500 ng/mL) on Day 8. In these patients, the frequency of posaconazole administration was increased to 200 mg four times daily. On Day 15, the median posaconazole concentration was significantly increased from 368 ng/mL [interquartile range (IQR), 247-403 ng/mL] to 548 ng/mL (IQR, 424-887 ng/mL) (P = 0.0003). The median increase in posaconazole concentration was 251 ng/mL (IQR, 93-517 ng/mL). Among the patients with initially suboptimal levels, 79% achieved the optimal level unless the steady-state level was <200 ng/mL. This study shows that increasing the administration frequency of posaconazole syrup is effective for achieving optimal levels in patients with haematological malignancy undergoing chemotherapy. PMID:27234674

  17. Compounded Testosterone Troches TO OPTIMIZE HEALTH AND THE TESTOSTERONE CONTROVERSY.

    PubMed

    Guth, Michael A S

    2015-01-01

    As men age, testosterone levels progressively fall and inflammatory biomarkers increase. The gradual decline in testosterone production with aging, known as andropause, is common and may have deleterious effects on men including decreased overall well-being, increased sarcopenia, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced sexual function, and bone loss. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that an increasing number of men worldwide have begun requesting testosterone replacement therapy from their physicians. Occasionally, physicians discourage male patients from getting testosterone replacement therapy based on a few recent studies indicating the therapy causes cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarctions. Yet, an extensive review of the testosterone replacement therapy literature reveals that the majority of clinical studies show that properly administered testosterone replacement therapy, in which estradiol and dihydrotestosterone levels are also controlled, has no adverse effects on myocardial infarction risk. The current state-of-the-art in testosterone replacement therapy comprises compounded testosterone troches; an aromatase inhibitor, such as generic Anastrazole, to control estradiol levels; and a 5α-reductase inhibitor, such as beneric Dutasteride or Finasteride, to control dihydrotestosterone. Compounded testosterone troches easily raise serum testosterone levels to the optimal range, are highly cost effective at $82 for a 180-day supply, and provide affordable access to testosterone replacement therapy to millions of men requesting it. Yet, the Blue Cross Blue Shield-associated firms have largely denied requests for coverage of compounded medications, including testosterone troches. Despite data demonstrating strong links between testosterone deficiency and significant comorbid conditions (including Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic syndrome diseases) as well as the health benefits of testosterone replacement therapy, some physian have

  18. Policy actions to achieve integrated community-based mental health services.

    PubMed

    DeSilva, Mary; Samele, Chiara; Saxena, Shekhar; Patel, Vikram; Darzi, Ara

    2014-09-01

    Globally, the majority of people with mental health problems do not receive evidence-based interventions that can transform their lives. We describe six mental health policy actions adopted at the World Innovation Summit for Health in 2013. For each policy action, we offer real-world examples of mental health innovations that governments and health care providers can implement to move toward universal health coverage for mental health. The six policy actions are empowering people with mental health problems and their families, building a diverse mental health workforce, developing collaborative and multidisciplinary mental health teams, using technology to increase access to mental health care, identifying and treating mental health problems early, and reducing premature mortality in people with mental health problems. Challenges to implementing these policy actions include the lack of recognition of mental health as a global health priority and the resulting lack of investment in mental health, the difficulties of integrating mental health into primary care health services because of a scarcity of human and financial resources, and the lack of evidence on the effectiveness and costs of taking innovations to a national scale. PMID:25201664

  19. Utilizing a Positive Behavior Support Approach to Achieve Integrated Mental Health Services

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frey, Andy; Young, Scott; Gold, Allene; Trevor, Earl

    2008-01-01

    Although experts in early childhood mental health services make clear the need to infuse mental health services into all program components, many have suggested that the mental health services in the majority of Head Start programs are narrowly focused and that mental health consultants are often used in limited ways (see D. J. Cohen, Solnit, &…

  20. Reduction of exposure to acrylamide: achievements, potential of optimization, and problems encountered from the perspectives of a Swiss enforcement laboratory.

    PubMed

    Grob, Koni

    2005-01-01

    The most important initiatives taken in Switzerland to reduce exposure of consumers to acrylamide are the separate sale of potatoes low in reducing sugars for roasting and frying, the optimization of the raw material and preparation of french fries, and campaigns to implement suitable preparation methods in the gastronomy and homes. Industry works on improving a range of other products. Although these measures can reduce high exposures by some 80%, they have little effect on the background exposure resulting from coffee, bread, and numerous other products for which no substantial improvement is in sight. At this stage, improvements should be achieved by supporting voluntary activity rather than legal limits. Committed and consistent risk communication is key, and the support of improvements presupposes innovative approaches. PMID:15759749

  1. What is Health and What is Important for its Achievement? A Qualitative Study on Adolescent Boys’ Perceptions and Experiences of Health

    PubMed Central

    Randell, Eva; Jerdén, Lars; Öhman, Ann; Flacking, Renée

    2016-01-01

    Few qualitative studies have explored adolescent boys’ perceptions of health. Aim: The aim of this study was therefore to explore how adolescent boys understand the concept of health and what they find important for its achievement Methods: Grounded theory was used as a method to analyse interviews with 33 adolescent boys aged 16 to 17 years attending three upper secondary schools in a relatively small town in Sweden. Results: There was a complexity in how health was perceived, experienced, dealt with, and valued. Although health on a conceptual level was described as ‘holistic’, health was experienced and dealt with in a more dualistic manner, one in which the boys were prone to differentiate between mind and body. Health was experienced as mainly emotional and relational, whereas the body had a subordinate value. The presence of positive emotions, experiencing self-esteem, balance in life, trustful relationships, and having a sense of belonging were important factors for health while the body was experienced as a tool to achieve health, as energy, and as a condition. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that young, masculine health is largely experienced through emotions and relationships and thus support theories on health as a social construction of interconnected processes. PMID:27347252

  2. Achieving progress through clinical governance? A national study of health care managers' perceptions in the NHS in England

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, T; Walshe, K

    2004-01-01

    Background: A national cross sectional study was undertaken to explore the perceptions concerning the importance of, and progress in, aspects of clinical governance among board level and directorate managers in English acute, ambulance, and mental health/learning disabilities (MH/LD) trusts. Participants: A stratified sample of acute, ambulance, and mental health/learning disabilities trusts in England (n = 100), from each of which up to 10 board level and 10 directorate level managers were randomly sampled. Methods: Fieldwork was undertaken between April and July 2002 using the Organisational Progress in Clinical Governance (OPCG) schedule to explore managers' perceptions of the importance of, and organisational achievement in, 54 clinical governance competency items in five aggregated domains: improving quality; managing risks; improving staff performance; corporate accountability; and leadership and collaboration. The difference between ratings of importance and achievement was termed a shortfall. Results: Of 1916 individuals surveyed, 1177 (61.4%) responded. The competency items considered most important and recording highest perceived achievement related to corporate accountability structures and clinical risks. The highest shortfalls between perceived importance and perceived achievement were reported in joint working across local health communities, feedback of performance data, and user involvement. When aggregated into domains, greatest achievement was perceived in the assurance related areas of corporate accountability and risk management, with considerably less perceived achievement and consequently higher shortfalls in quality improvement and leadership and collaboration. Directorate level managers' perceptions of achievement were found to be significantly lower than those of their board level colleagues on all domains other than improving performance. No differences were found in perceptions of achievement between different types of trusts, or between

  3. Flourishing after depression: Factors associated with achieving complete mental health among those with a history of depression.

    PubMed

    Fuller-Thomson, Esme; Agbeyaka, Senyo; LaFond, Deborah M; Bern-Klug, Mercedes

    2016-08-30

    This study investigated factors associated with complete mental health among a nationally representative sample of Canadians with a history of depression by conducting secondary analysis of the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey- Mental Health (n=20,955). Complete mental health was defined as 1) the absence of mental illness, substance abuse, or suicidal ideation in the past year; 2) happiness or life satisfaction almost every day/past month, and 3) social and psychological well-being. The prevalence of complete mental health among those with and without a history of depression was determined. In a sample of formerly depressed respondents (n=2528), a series of logistic regressions were completed controlling for demographics, socioeconomic status, health and lifetime mental health conditions, health behaviours, social support, adverse childhood experiences, and religiosity. Two in five individuals (39%) with a history of depression had achieved complete mental health in comparison to 78% of those without a history of depression. In comparison to the formally depressed adults who were not in complete mental health, those in complete mental health were more likely to be female, White, older, affluent, married, with a confidant, free of disabling pain, insomnia, and childhood adversities and without a history of substance abuse. They were also more likely to exercise regularly and use spirituality to cope. PMID:27267442

  4. Optimization Correction Strength Using Contra Bending Technique without Anterior Release Procedure to Achieve Maximum Correction on Severe Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis

    PubMed Central

    Rahyussalim, Ahmad Jabir; Saleh, Ifran; Purnaning, Dyah; Kurniawati, Tri

    2016-01-01

    Adult scoliosis is defined as a spinal deformity in a skeletally mature patient with a Cobb angle of more than 10 degrees in the coronal plain. Posterior-only approach with rod and screw corrective manipulation to add strength of contra bending manipulation has correction achievement similar to that obtained by conventional combined anterior release and posterior approach. It also avoids the complications related to the thoracic approach. We reported a case of 25-year-old male adult idiopathic scoliosis with double curve. It consists of main thoracic curve of 150 degrees and lumbar curve of 89 degrees. His curve underwent direct contra bending posterior approach using rod and screw corrective manipulation technique to achieve optimal correction. After surgery the main thoracic Cobb angle becomes 83 degrees and lumbar Cobb angle becomes 40 degrees, with 5 days length of stay and less than 800 mL blood loss during surgery. There is no complaint at two months after surgery; he has already come back to normal activity with good functional activity. PMID:27064801

  5. Optimism of health care workers during a disaster: a review of the literature

    PubMed Central

    Boldor, Noga; Bar-Dayan, Yosefa; Rosenbloom, Tova; Shemer, Joshua; Bar-Dayan, Yaron

    2012-01-01

    Optimism has several orientations. One such outlook is a general tendency to regard the world as a positive place, accepting difficulties as mere challenges instead of impassable barriers. Among health care workers, optimism improves their level of functioning, their patients’ satisfaction, and their therapeutic results. Optimistic staff members report feeling less pressure, use fewer avoidance strategies, focus on practical problem solutions, seek social support, and have more trust in people and organizations. The aim of this article is to provide a review of the literature concerning the role of optimism, both in daily life and in crisis situations. An attempt was made to find the linkage between optimism among health care workers during disasters and their active response, with special emphasis on the relationship between optimism and knowledge, feelings or behavior. Based on the literature, optimism was found to be helpful both in daily medical work and in cases of medical emergencies. Optimism was also revealed one of the key components of resilience and self-efficacy. Therefore, it is recommended to consider strengthening the optimism through initiative programs. Obtaining optimism can be included in toolkit preparedness for health care workers in order to confront the complications in the aftermath of disaster. These programs, together with appropriate information, social support, professional trust, and leaders modeling behavior, will raise the well-being and enhance coping skills of the health care workers during and aftermath of disaster scenarios. PMID:22461847

  6. Discussing Women's Reproductive Health, Religion, Roles and Rights: Achieving Women's Empowerment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sousa, Isabela Cabral Felix de

    1995-01-01

    A health education program in Brazil trained 26 women as community health educators. Only four used their roles to foster social change. Discussing women's reproductive health in the context of religion and social values contributed to successful training; economic and political empowerment was hampered by perpetuation of traditional role…

  7. Achieving a "Broad View of Health": Findings from the California Healthy Cities and Communities Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aronson, Robert E.; Norton, Barbara L.; Kegler, Michelle C.

    2007-01-01

    Promoting a "broad view of health" is an important objective of the healthy cities movement, including recognition of the powerful role that social relations and living conditions play in the health of community members. This article presents a quantitative approach to assessing consensus and change in ideas about health determinants among local…

  8. Latin America and the Caribbean: Assessment of the Advances in Public Health for the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Amal K.; Rodriguez-Fernandez, Gisela

    2010-01-01

    To improve health and economy of the world population, the United Nations has set up eight international goals, known as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), that 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The goals include: (1) eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; (2) achieving universal primary education; (3) promoting gender equality; (4) reducing child mortality; (5) improving maternal health; (6) combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; (7) ensuring environmental sustainability; and (8) developing a global partnership for development. Having been in the midway from the 2015 deadline, the UN Secretary-General urges countries to engage constructively to review progress towards the MDGs. This paper aims to evaluate advances in public health, with special reference to gender inequalities in health, health sector reform, global burden of disease, neglected tropical diseases, vaccination, antibiotic use, sanitation and safe water, nutrition, tobacco and alcohol use, indicators of health, and disease prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC). The paper also identifies areas of deficits for the achievement of MDGs in LAC. PMID:20623022

  9. Latin America and the Caribbean: assessment of the advances in public health for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Amal K; Rodriguez-Fernandez, Gisela

    2010-05-01

    To improve health and economy of the world population, the United Nations has set up eight international goals, known as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), that 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The goals include: (1) eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; (2) achieving universal primary education; (3) promoting gender equality; (4) reducing child mortality; (5) improving maternal health; (6) combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; (7) ensuring environmental sustainability; and (8) developing a global partnership for development. Having been in the midway from the 2015 deadline, the UN Secretary-General urges countries to engage constructively to review progress towards the MDGs. This paper aims to evaluate advances in public health, with special reference to gender inequalities in health, health sector reform, global burden of disease, neglected tropical diseases, vaccination, antibiotic use, sanitation and safe water, nutrition, tobacco and alcohol use, indicators of health, and disease prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC). The paper also identifies areas of deficits for the achievement of MDGs in LAC. PMID:20623022

  10. Income redistribution is not enough: income inequality, social welfare programs, and achieving equity in health

    PubMed Central

    Starfield, Barbara; Birn, Anne‐Emanuelle

    2007-01-01

    Income inequality is widely assumed to be a major contributor to poorer health at national and subnational levels. According to this assumption, the most appropriate policy strategy to improve equity in health is income redistribution. This paper considers reasons why tackling income inequality alone could be an inadequate approach to reducing differences in health across social classes and other population subgroups, and makes the case that universal social programs are critical to reducing inequities in health. A health system oriented around a strong primary care base is an example of such a strategy. PMID:18000124

  11. The Ha Noi Expert Statement: recognition of maternal mental health in resource-constrained settings is essential for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Jane Rw; de Mello, Meena Cabral; Izutsu, Takashi; Tran, Tuan

    2011-01-01

    Mental health problems in women during pregnancy and after childbirth and their adverse consequences for child health and development have received sustained detailed attention in high-income countries. In contrast, evidence has only been generated more recently in resource-constrained settings.In June 2007 the United Nations Population Fund, the World Health Organization, the Key Centre for Women's Health in Society, a WHO Collaborating Centre for Women's Health and the Research and Training Centre for Community Development in Vietnam convened the first international expert meeting on maternal mental health and child health and development in resource-constrained settings. It aimed to appraise the evidence about the nature, prevalence and risks for common perinatal mental disorders in women; the consequences of these for child health and development and ameliorative strategies in these contexts.The substantial disparity in rates of perinatal mental disorders between women living in high- and low-income settings, suggests social rather than biological determinants. Risks in resource-constrained contexts include: poverty; crowded living situations; limited reproductive autonomy; unintended pregnancy; lack of empathy from the intimate partner; rigid gender stereotypes about responsibility for household work and infant care; family violence; poor physical health and discrimination. Development is adversely affected if infants lack day-to-day interactions with a caregiver who can interpret their cues, and respond effectively. Women with compromised mental health are less able to provide sensitive, responsive infant care. In resource-constrained settings infants whose mothers are depressed are less likely to thrive and to receive optimal care than those whose mothers are well.The meeting outcome is the Hanoi Expert Statement (Additional file 1). It argues that the Millennium Development Goals to improve maternal health, reduce child mortality, promote gender equality

  12. The Perceptions of Principals and Teachers Regarding Mental Health Providers' Impact on Student Achievement in High Poverty Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perry, Teresa

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the perceptions of principals and teachers regarding mental health provider's impact on student achievement and behavior in high poverty schools using descriptive statistics, t-test, and two-way ANOVA. Respondents in this study shared similar views concerning principal and teacher satisfaction and levels of support for the…

  13. The Effects of Work Intensity on Adolescent Mental Health, Achievement and Behavioral Adjustment: New Evidence from a Prospective Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mortimer, Jeylan T.; And Others

    This longitudinal study examined adolescents' mental health, academic achievement, and behavioral adjustment in relation to work intensity during high school. Data were collected from approximately 1,000 adolescents during a 4-year period, beginning in the subjects' freshman year of high school. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed…

  14. The Relationship between Health (Malnutrition) and Educational Achievements (Maths and English) in the Rural Children of South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Themane, M. J.; Monyeki, K. D.; Nthangeni, M. E.; Kemper, H. C. G.; Twisk, J. W. R.

    2003-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to report the cross-sectional relationship between educational achievements and the "health status" of the rural South African children in the Ellisras Longitudinal Study (ELS). The study followed a cohort design where 1033 children (569 boys and 464 girls) aged 7-14 were randomly sampled from 11 primary schools and…

  15. Predicting Early Adolescents' Academic Achievement, Social Competence, and Physical Health from Parenting, Ego Resilience, and Engagement Coping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, Jodi; Valiente, Carlos; Lemery-Chalfant, Kathryn; O'Brien, T. Caitlin

    2011-01-01

    This study examined ego resilience and engagement coping as mediators of the relationships between supportive and controlling parenting practices and early adolescents' academic achievement, social competence, and physical health. Participants were 240 predominantly Mexican American early adolescents, their parents, and their teachers. There were…

  16. Poverty and Health: Debt Relief Could Help Achieve Human Rights Objectives.

    PubMed

    Logie; Rowson

    1998-01-01

    Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly emphasizes health as a human right. Poverty and social exclusion are the most important drivers of ill-health. The causes of increasing poverty are complex but one significant factor is international debt. This affects mainly sub-Saharan Africa but, with the global economic crisis in South East Asia, may spread. Structural adjustment policies which cut social spending compound the health effects of debt and poverty. Privatization of health care and user charges particularly affect women, children, the disabled, and other marginalized communities. To improve health, governments and international institutions have a duty to examine the determinants of health, including human rights and economic policy. PMID:10343295

  17. Achievable Steps Toward Building a National Health Information Infrastructure in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Stead, William W.; Kelly, Brian J.; Kolodner, Robert M.

    2005-01-01

    Consensus is growing that a health care information and communication infrastructure is one key to fixing the crisis in the United States in health care quality, cost, and access. The National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII) is an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services receiving bipartisan support. There are many possible courses toward its objective. Decision makers need to reflect carefully on which approaches are likely to work on a large enough scale to have the intended beneficial national impacts and which are better left to smaller projects within the boundaries of health care organizations. This report provides a primer for use by informatics professionals as they explain aspects of that dividing line to policy makers and to health care leaders and front-line providers. It then identifies short-term, intermediate, and long-term steps that might be taken by the NHII initiative. PMID:15561783

  18. Nursing Students Achieving Community Health Competencies through Undergraduate Clinical Experiences: A Gap Analysis.

    PubMed

    Pijl-Zieber, Em M; Barton, Sylvia; Awosoga, Oluwagbohunmi A; Konkin, Jill

    2015-01-01

    In Canada, it is widely believed that nursing practice and health care will move from acute care into the community. At the same time, increasing numbers of nursing students are engaged in non-traditional clinical experiences for their community health rotation. These clinical experiences occur at agencies not organizationally affiliated with the health care system and typically do not employ registered nurses (RNs). What has yet to be established is the degree to which nursing students are actually being prepared for community health nursing roles through their community health clinical rotations. In this paper we report the findings of a mixed method study that explored the gap between desired and observed levels of competence in community health of senior nursing students and new graduates. The gap was quantified and then the nature of the gap further explored through focus groups. PMID:26461843

  19. Breadth of knowledge vs. grades: What best predicts achievement in the first year of health sciences programmes?

    PubMed Central

    Li, Meisong; McKimm, Judy; Smith, Melinda

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to identify those features within secondary school curricula and assessment, particularly science subjects that best predict academic achievement in the first year of three different three-year undergraduate health professional programmes (nursing, pharmacy, and health sciences) at a large New Zealand university. In particular, this study compared the contribution of breadth of knowledge (number of credits acquired) versus grade level (grade point average) and explored the impact of demographic variables on achievement. The findings indicated that grades are the most important factor predicting student success in the first year of university. Although taking biology and physics at secondary school has some impact on university first year achievement, the effect is relatively minor. PMID:22639706

  20. Nutritionists in industry can play a key role in helping to achieve Health of the Nation targets for nutrition.

    PubMed

    Kirk, T R; de Looy, A; Fletcher, R; Ruxton, C H

    2007-06-01

    Nutritionists working in food manufacturing and retailing are potentially in a more powerful position than any other professional group to contribute towards achieving the national targets for nutrition and the reduction of nutrition-related diseases, set out in The Health of the Nation (DoH, 1992) and in Scotland's Health, A Challenge to Us All (Scottish Office, 1993). The present paper sets out the details of this argument. First, a review is given of the functions and types of activities carried out by nutritionists in industry. Then a number of key practical ways in which nutritionists, through their activities and functions, can help towards achieving national targets for nutrition and nutrition-related diseases are described. Finally, suggestions are made about the knowledge, skills, and personal attributes needed by nutritionists who intend making successful careers in industry and who wish, at the same time, to contribute towards improving the health of the nation. PMID:17539871

  1. Achieving the Promise: The Significant Role of Schools in Transforming Children's Mental Health in America

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lechtenberger, DeAnn; Mullins, Frank Edward; Greenword, Dale

    2008-01-01

    Teacher preparation programs can play an essential role in disseminating information on children's mental health and design curricula that teach the skills necessary for promoting good mental health in schools to preservice and inservice professionals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. The strategies presented in this article will provide…

  2. The Relationship between Academic Achievement and School-Based Mental Health Services for Middle School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Lisa O.

    2012-01-01

    Mental health issues among American adolescents and children can negatively impact their potential for school success. As many as 10% of students among the general education population suffer from psychiatric disorders, yet only between 1% and 5% of those students are being served. The effects of mental health difficulties are problematic for…

  3. New York State School Facilities and Student Health, Achievement, and Attendance: A Data Analysis Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boese, Stephen; Shaw, John

    2005-01-01

    Students who attend schools with environmental hazards that impact indoor air quality are more likely to miss class, and therefore lose learning opportunities. Yet school environmental health and safety remains largely unregulated and there is no state or federal agency in charge of protecting children's environmental health in schools. This…

  4. A System for Planning and Achieving Comprehensive Health Care in Residential Institutions for the Mentally Retarded.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Decker, Harold A.

    Based on a view of health care intertwining medicine intimately with other components of institutional care, the monograph presents a system of concepts and operating techniques for providing comprehensive health care to institutionalized retardates. Background of the system is explained in terms of its research basis (two studies by the author of…

  5. Revenue cycle optimization in health care institutions. A conceptual framework for change management.

    PubMed

    Mugdh, Mrinal; Pilla, Satya

    2012-01-01

    Health care providers in the United States are constantly faced with the enormous challenge of optimizing their revenue cycle to improve their overall financial performance. These challenges keep evolving in both scope and complexity owing to a host of internal and external factors. Furthermore, given the lack of control that health care providers have over external factors, any attempt to successfully optimize the revenue cycle hinges on several critical improvements aimed at realigning the internal factors. This study provides an integrated change management model that aims to reengineer and realign the people-process-technology framework by using the principles of lean and Six Sigma for revenue cycle optimization. PMID:22282001

  6. HealthMpowerment.org: Building Community Though a Mobile-Optimized, Online Health Promotion Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Hightow-Weidman, Lisa B.; Muessig, Kathryn E.; Pike, Emily C.; LeGrand, Sara; Baltierra, Nina; Rucker, Alvin Justin; Wilson, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Background Both young Black men who have sex with men as well as young Black transgender women (YBMSM/TW) continue to experience a significant increase in HIV incidence. HealthMpowerment.org (HMP) is a mobile phone-optimized, online intervention for both YBMSM/TW to build community and facilitate supportive relationships. Methods To assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes, a 1-month pilot trial of HMP among 15 YBMSM/TW was conducted. Results Retention was 100%. Mean age was 26 years, 60% were HIV-infected, 87% earned <$21,000, and 67% were uninsured. Despite the small sample size and limited intervention length, statistically significant improvements were seen in social support (p = .012), social isolation (p = .050), and depressive symptoms (p = .045). Conclusion The HMP pilot trial demonstrated feasibility and acceptability. Given the burden of the epidemic among YBMSM/TW, there is an imperative to develop, test, and scale up culturally appropriate interventions to both prevent HIV acquisition and limit onward transmission. PMID:25588932

  7. New Grandparents' Mental Health: The Protective Role of Optimism, Self-Mastery, and Social Support

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ben Shlomo, Shirley; Taubman - Ben-Ari, Orit

    2012-01-01

    The current study examines the contribution of optimism, self-mastery, perceived social support, and background variables (age, physical health, economic status) to mental health following the transition to grandparenthood. The sample consisted of 257 first-time Israeli grandparents (grandmothers and grandfathers, maternal and paternal) who were…

  8. Integrating Systems Science and Community-Based Participatory Research to Achieve Health Equity.

    PubMed

    Frerichs, Leah; Lich, Kristen Hassmiller; Dave, Gaurav; Corbie-Smith, Giselle

    2016-02-01

    Unanswered questions about racial and socioeconomic health disparities may be addressed using community-based participatory research and systems science. Community-based participatory research is an orientation to research that prioritizes developing capacity, improving trust, and translating knowledge to action. Systems science provides research methods to study dynamic and interrelated forces that shape health disparities. Community-based participatory research and systems science are complementary, but their integration requires more research. We discuss paradigmatic, socioecological, capacity-building, colearning, and translational synergies that help advance progress toward health equity. PMID:26691110

  9. Achieving a shared vision for girls' health in a low-income community.

    PubMed

    Miller, M Elizabeth; Vaughn, Lisa M

    2015-01-01

    In response to a lack of information related to girls' health in a low-income community, an initiative was developed to create a community-wide vision for girls' health. A forum was conducted following a photovoice project to generate sustainable action steps. Forty-four participants attended the forum. Key action steps included decreasing barriers to participation in girls' programs, offering leadership roles and interpersonal communication skills for girls in the community, and engaging girls in community organizations. Integral to the forum's success were the initial photos, which provided a bridge from understanding the issues of girls' health to the development of the action steps. PMID:25423248

  10. Equity of the premium of the Ghanaian national health insurance scheme and the implications for achieving universal coverage

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The Ghanaian National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was introduced to provide access to adequate health care regardless of ability to pay. By law the NHIS is mandatory but because the informal sector has to make premium payment before they are enrolled, the authorities are unable to enforce mandatory nature of the scheme. The ultimate goal of the Scheme then is to provide all residents with access to adequate health care at affordable cost. In other words, the Scheme intends to achieve universal coverage. An important factor for the achievement of universal coverage is that revenue collection be equitable. The purpose of this study is to examine the vertical and horizontal equity of the premium collection of the Scheme. The Kakwani index method as well as graphical analysis was used to study the vertical equity. Horizontal inequity was measured through the effect of the premium on redistribution of ability to pay of members. The extent to which the premium could cause catastrophic expenditure was also examined. The results showed that revenue collection was both vertically and horizontally inequitable. The horizontal inequity had a greater effect on redistribution of ability to pay than vertical inequity. The computation of catastrophic expenditure showed that a small minority of the poor were likely to incur catastrophic expenditure from paying the premium a situation that could impede the achievement of universal coverage. The study provides recommendations to improve the inequitable system of premium payment to help achieve universal coverage. PMID:23294982

  11. Future's Learning Environments in Health Education: The Effects of Smart Classrooms on the Academic Achievements of the Students at Health College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sevindik, Tuncay

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study is to determine the effectiveness of smart classrooms on the academic achievement of the nursing students. The sample of the research included 66 Health College students in Elazig. The sampling group was randomly chosen from second year students of Nursing and Midwife Education. The research was carried out with experimental…

  12. Creating optimal healing environments in a health care setting.

    PubMed

    Zborowsky, Terri; Kreitzer, Mary Jo

    2008-03-01

    As evidence about the benefits of healing environments accumulates, health care organizations are starting to incorporate features into hospital design that reduce stress and promote healing. This article discusses some of the research supporting healing design and provides examples of how it is being used in new construction and renovations. PMID:18438085

  13. Optimizing Health Care for Children with Spina Bifida

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liptak, Gregory S.; El Samra, Ahmad

    2010-01-01

    The health care needs of children with spina bifida are complex. They need specialists, generalists, and an integrated system to deliver this complex care and to align and inform all the providers. Most research in spina bifida has been focused on narrow medical outcomes; it has been noncollaborative, based on small samples of convenience, with no…

  14. International Conference on Population and Development at 15 Years: Achieving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All?

    PubMed Central

    Roseman, Mindy Jane

    2010-01-01

    Sexual and reproductive health remains the contentious concept it was at the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo, Egypt. In light of the recent 15-year review of ICPD, we suggest several areas where advocates, practitioners, and researchers can inform future progress for sexual and reproductive health. These include the following: improving measurement and accountability related to the evidence base for sexual and reproductive health, indicators of program success, and the tracking of resource flows; creating and renewing alliances to strengthen advocacy; and employing new resource mobilization strategies. Given the 20-year goals established at ICPD, now is the time to move toward finally achieving the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda. PMID:20075310

  15. Environmental health in China: challenges to achieving clean air and safe water

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Junfeng (Jim); Mauzerall, Denise L.; Zhu, Tong; Liang, Song; Ezzati, Majid; Remais, Justin

    2014-01-01

    The health effects of environmental risks, especially those of air and water pollution, remain a major source of morbidity and mortality in China. Biomass fuel and coal are routinely burned for cooking and heating in almost all rural and many urban households resulting in severe indoor air pollution that contributes greatly to the burden of disease. Many communities lack access to safe drinking water and santiation, and thus the risk of waterborne disease in many regions remains high. At the same time, China is rapidly industrializing with associated increases in energy use and industrial waste. While economic growth resulting from industrialization has improved health and quality of life indicators in China, it has also increased the incidence of environmental disasters and the release of chemical toxins into the environment, with severe impacts on health. Air quality in China's cities is among the worst in the world and industrial water pollution has become a widespread health hazard. Moreover, emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases from energy use are rapidly increasing. Global climate change will inevitably intensify China's environmental health problems, with potentially catastrophic outcomes from major shifts in temperature and precipitation. Facing the overlap of traditional, modern, and emerging environmental problems, China has committed substantial resources to environmental improvement. China has the opportunity to both address its national environmental health challenges and to assume a central role in the international effort to improve the global environment. PMID:20346817

  16. Mental health services development in Latin America and the Caribbean: achievements, barriers and facilitating factors.

    PubMed

    Caldas de Almeida, J M

    2013-03-01

    Mental health services reforms in Latin America and the Caribbean in the last 20 years have led to a significant improvement of mental health services. They also contributed to the development of new evidence that may help the implementation of future reforms. These advances, however, were clearly insufficient to respond to the huge challenges countries of Latin American and the Caribbean face to improve mental health services. Insufficient funding, one of the most important barriers to mental health services development found in most countries, was related to the absence of a strong consensus among all stakeholders and the weakness of user and family associations. Other barriers were the lack of technical capacity of the coordination unit responsible for development of services in the ministries of health, resistance from professionals towards changing to new models of care and lack of human resources. Transition to democracy in some countries and natural disasters proved to be windows of opportunity for mental health services reform. Facilitating factors included alliance with the human rights defence movement, development of research capacity in Latin American and the Caribbean countries, and international cooperation. PMID:24029840

  17. Can developing countries achieve adequate improvements in child health outcomes without engaging the private sector?

    PubMed Central

    Bustreo, Flavia; Harding, April; Axelsson, Henrik

    2003-01-01

    The private sector exerts a significant and critical influence on child health outcomes in developing countries, including the health of poor children. This article reviews the available evidence on private sector utilization and quality of care. It provides a framework for analysing the private sector's influence on child health outcomes. This influence goes beyond service provision by private providers and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Pharmacies, drug sellers, private suppliers, and food producers also have an impact on the health of children. Many governments are experimenting with strategies to engage the private sector to improve child health. The article analyses some of the most promising strategies, and suggests that a number of constraints make it hard for policy-makers to emulate these approaches. Few experiences are clearly described, monitored, and evaluated. The article suggests that improving the impact of child health programmes in developing countries requires a more systematic analysis of how to engage the private sector most effectively. The starting point should include the evaluation of the presence and potential of the private sector, including actors such as professional associations, producer organizations, community groups, and patients' organizations. PMID:14997241

  18. Comparing the performance of English mental health providers in achieving patient outcomes.

    PubMed

    Moran, Valerie; Jacobs, Rowena

    2015-09-01

    Evidence on provider payment systems that incorporate patient outcomes is limited for mental health care. In England, funding for mental health care services is changing to a prospective payment system with a future objective of linking some part of provider payment to outcomes. This research examines performance of mental health providers offering hospital and community services, in order to investigate if some are delivering better outcomes. Outcomes are measured using the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) - a clinician-rated routine outcome measure (CROM) mandated for national use. We use data from the Mental Health Minimum Data Set (MHMDS) - a dataset on specialist mental health care with national coverage - for the years 2011/12 and 2012/13 with a final estimation sample of 305,960 observations with follow-up HoNOS scores. A hierarchical ordered probit model is used and outcomes are risk adjusted with independent variables reflecting demographic, need, severity and social indicators. A hierarchical linear model is also estimated with the follow-up total HoNOS score as the dependent variable and the baseline total HoNOS score included as a risk-adjuster. Provider performance is captured by a random effect that is quantified using Empirical Bayes methods. We find that worse outcomes are associated with severity and better outcomes with older age and social support. After adjusting outcomes for various risk factors, variations in performance are still evident across providers. This suggests that if the intention to link some element of provider payment to outcomes becomes a reality, some providers may gain financially whilst others may lose. The paper contributes to the limited literature on risk adjustment of outcomes and performance assessment of providers in mental health in the context of prospective activity-based payment systems. PMID:26218853

  19. Achieving Smoke-Free Mental Health Services: Lessons from the Past Decade of Implementation Research

    PubMed Central

    Lawn, Sharon; Campion, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    The culture of smoking by patients and staff within mental health systems of care has a long and entrenched history. Cigarettes have been used as currency between patients and as a patient management tool by staff. These settings have traditionally been exempt from smoke-free policy because of complex held views about the capacity of people with mental disorder to tolerate such policy whilst they are acutely unwell, with stakeholders’ continuing fierce debate about rights, choice and duty of care. This culture has played a significant role in perpetuating physical, social and economic smoking associated impacts experienced by people with mental disorder who receive care within mental health care settings. The past decade has seen a clear policy shift towards smoke-free mental health settings in several countries. While many services have been successful in implementing this change, many issues remain to be resolved for genuine smoke-free policy in mental health settings to be realized. This literature review draws on evidence from the international published research, including national audits of smoke-free policy implementation in mental health units in Australia and England, in order to synthesise what we know works, why it works, and the remaining barriers to smoke-free policy and how appropriate interventions are provided to people with mental disorder. PMID:24025397

  20. Achieving Mental Health Care Parity Might Require Changes In Payments And Competition.

    PubMed

    McGuire, Thomas G

    2016-06-01

    One of the most prominent features of the Affordable Care Act has been the promotion of individual health plans chosen by consumers in the Marketplaces. These plans are subject to regulation and paid by risk-adjusted capitation, a set of policies known as managed competition. Individual health insurance markets, however, are vulnerable to what economists describe as efficiency problems stemming from adverse selection, and Marketplaces are no exception. Health plans have incentives to discriminate against services used by people with certain chronic illnesses, including mental health conditions. Parity regulations, which dictate coverage for mental health benefits on par with medical and surgical benefits, can eliminate discrimination in coverage but redirect discrimination toward hard-to-regulate tactics from managed care such as restrictive network design and provider payment. This article reviews policy options to contend with ongoing selection issues. "Better enforcement" of parity has less chance of success than more fundamental but feasible changes in the way plans are paid or in the way competition among plans is structured. PMID:27269019

  1. Tackling NCD in LMIC: Achievements and Lessons Learned From the NHLBI-UnitedHealth Global Health Centers of Excellence Program.

    PubMed

    Engelgau, Michael M; Sampson, Uchechukwu K; Rabadan-Diehl, Cristina; Smith, Richard; Miranda, Jaime; Bloomfield, Gerald S; Belis, Deshiree; Narayan, K M Venkat

    2016-03-01

    Effectively tackling the growing noncommunicable disease (NCD) burden in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is a major challenge. To address research needs in this setting for NCDs, in 2009, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and UnitedHealth Group (UHG) engaged in a public-private partnership that supported a network of 11 LMIC-based research centers and created the NHLBI-UnitedHealth Global Health Centers of Excellence (COE) Program. The Program's overall goal was to contribute to reducing the cardiovascular and lung disease burdens by catalyzing in-country research institutions to develop a global network of biomedical research centers. Key elements of the Program included team science and collaborative approaches, developing research and training platforms for future investigators, and creating a data commons. This Program embraced a strategic approach for tackling NCDs in LMICs and will provide capacity for locally driven research efforts that can identify and address priority health issues in specific countries' settings. PMID:27102018

  2. Optimism and depression as predictors of physical and mental health functioning: the Normative Aging Study.

    PubMed

    Achat, H; Kawachi, I; Spiro, A; DeMolles, D A; Sparrow, D

    2000-01-01

    Dispositional optimism has been linked in previous studies to better health outcomes. We sought to examine the independent associations of dispositional optimism and depressive symptoms with physical and mental functioning in a cohort of healthy middle-aged and older men. The study was conducted among 659 subjects in the Veterans Administration (VA) Normative Aging Study. Dispositional optimism and depressive symptomatology were measured in 1991 and 1990, respectively, by the Life Orientation Test and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies--Depression Scale (CES-D). The dependent variables, functioning and well-being, were measured in 1992 by the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). In multivariate regression models, optimism was associated with higher levels of general health perceptions, vitality, and mental health, and lower levels of bodily pain, but not to physical functioning, social functioning, or role limitations due to physical or emotional problems. Depressive symptomatology was associated with reduced levels of functioning across all SF-36 domains. The findings for optimism and depression were statistically significant after mutual adjustment in multivariate regression models. Optimism and depression are independent predictors of functional status among aging men. PMID:10962705

  3. Transdisciplinarity as an Inference Technique to Achieve a Better Understanding in the Health and Environmental Sciences

    PubMed Central

    Annerstedt, Matilda

    2010-01-01

    The problems of the world are not categorised into disciplines. They are far more complex, a reality that the tradition of transdisciplinary research has recognised. When faced with questions in public health and sustainability, the traditional scientific paradigm often seems inadequate, and, at least in medicine, transdisciplinary research has not yet been fully appreciated or acknowledged. This lack of recognition may be partly caused by a lack of cooperation between disciplines and between science and society. In this paper, I discuss some of the challenges that scientists and policymakers face in public health and environment within a methodological context. I present transdisciplinarity as a modern research tool that should be applied in research in health and the environment and argue that these topics can be approached beyond the inherent obstacle of incommensurability between disciplines. Thus, a small step might be taken in this immense research arena. PMID:20644696

  4. Achieving Equity and Excellence: The Role of School Mental Health Providers in Shrinking Excellence Gaps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Bryn; Plucker, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    The United States is becoming more racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse, yet the educational attainment of various student groups has been very uneven. For decades, educators and policymakers have been focused on minimal competencies rather than advanced achievement. Specifically, federal and state education policies have focused on…

  5. Impact of Health on Education Access and Achievement. Policy Brief Number 3

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pridmore, P.

    2008-01-01

    Access to education is recognized as a basic human right and yet projections based on current trends show that more than 50 countries will not achieve universal primary education by 2015. This briefing paper looks at the role of malnutrition and diseases in the failure of countries to meet EFA targets. It is based on the CREATE Pathways to Access…

  6. Healthful School Living: Environmental Health in the School.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowe, Daryl E.

    1987-01-01

    Environmental health, as it relates to schools, is defined. Site, chemical, biological, and physical health hazards are identified. Recommendations and precautions to help achieve optimal health, safety, and comfort are presented. Resources are noted. (Author/MT)

  7. Health Care Administrators. Project TEAMS. (Techniques and Education for Achieving Management Skills).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Platte Technical Community Coll., Columbus, NE.

    The result of a project to develop short courses to help health care administrators and supervisors in developing practical, up-to-date management skills, this instructional workbook provides information and exercises applicable to on-the-job situations. Unit I covers the following leadership considerations: self-awareness, time management,…

  8. Detained and Committed Youth: Examining Differences in Achievement, Mental Health Needs, and Special Education Status

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krezmien, Michael P.; Mulcahy, Candace A.; Leone, Peter E.

    2008-01-01

    Currently, there is limited research about the relationship between academic, mental health needs, and special education status among populations of incarcerated youth. Additionally, little is known about differences between special education and general education students, or about differences between detained and committed populations. This…

  9. Barriers Experienced by Mexican Immigrants: Implications for Educational Achievement and Mental Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Consoli, Melissa L. Morgan; Consoli, Andres J.; Orozco, Graciela Leon; Gonzales, Rufus R.; Vera, Elizabeth M.

    2012-01-01

    The adversities faced by Latina/o individuals and their families in the U.S. negatively impact educational outcomes as well as their mental and physical health. These adversities are often related to immigration status and acculturation and include difficulties with immigration, language barriers, and discrimination. Given that recent immigrants…

  10. Consequences of Physical Health and Mental Illness Risks for Academic Achievement in Grades K-12

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joe, Sean; Joe, Emanique; Rowley, Larry L.

    2009-01-01

    Educational research, practice, and institutions regularly highlight the significance of factors outside of schooling that affect children's engagement and participation in classroom learning. The health of children and families is one such issue with implications for the quality of children's school experiences, treatment in school, and academic…

  11. VISUAL BEACH: SOFTWARE FOR ACHIEVING BEACH AESTHETIC AND PUBLIC HEALTH PROTECTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000 directs the EPA to assure that 100% of significant public beaches are managed by 2008. Under the Act EPA is developing a program to monitor beach water quality and strategies for timely notification of the public...

  12. Leveraging HIV-related human rights achievements through a Framework Convention on Global Health.

    PubMed

    Buse, Kent; Eba, Patrick; Sigurdson, Jason; Thomson, Kate; Timberlake, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Although AIDS remains a leading cause of death, especially in low- and middle-income countries, the movement to address it has greatly contributed to changing the world's response to health challenges. By fusing activism, political leadership, domestic and international investment, and accountability for results, the course of the epidemic has been radically shifted. People living with HIV and others directly affected by the epidemic have exerted immense leadership since the first days of the response: they have fought to end discrimination on the basis of sero-status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, migration status, drug use, or participation in sex work. Some of this mobilization has taken the form of strategic litigation, drawing human rights down into concrete demands and defining social, health, legal, and economic policy. The global AIDS response has shown that at the core of health lie considerations of social justice, human rights, and accountability. As momentum builds for a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH), we believe there is an opportunity to take stock of lessons learned from the response to HIV and ensure that they are replicated and institutionalized in an eventual Convention. We argue that the most critical aspect to the success of the HIV response has been the leadership and activism of civil society. Conventions do not lead to results on their own, and there should be every expectation that the FCGH will be no different. Success requires active monitoring of progress and shortcomings, combined with political and social mobilization to expand investment and access to the services and underlying conditions that protect and advance health. While the FCGH must make civil society support and engagement an indispensable principle, the AIDS movement can contribute substantive content and mobilization for its adoption. A broad international legal framework for health can help address some of the key legal, policy, regulatory, and

  13. Sensor Selection and Optimization for Health Assessment of Aerospace Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maul, William A.; Kopasakis, George; Santi, Louis M.; Sowers, Thomas S.; Chicatelli, Amy

    2008-01-01

    Aerospace systems are developed similarly to other large-scale systems through a series of reviews, where designs are modified as system requirements are refined. For space-based systems few are built and placed into service these research vehicles have limited historical experience to draw from and formidable reliability and safety requirements, due to the remote and severe environment of space. Aeronautical systems have similar reliability and safety requirements, and while these systems may have historical information to access, commercial and military systems require longevity under a range of operational conditions and applied loads. Historically, the design of aerospace systems, particularly the selection of sensors, is based on the requirements for control and performance rather than on health assessment needs. Furthermore, the safety and reliability requirements are met through sensor suite augmentation in an ad hoc, heuristic manner, rather than any systematic approach. A review of the current sensor selection practice within and outside of the aerospace community was conducted and a sensor selection architecture is proposed that will provide a justifiable, defendable sensor suite to address system health assessment requirements.

  14. Sensor Selection and Optimization for Health Assessment of Aerospace Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maul, William A.; Kopasakis, George; Santi, Louis M.; Sowers, Thomas S.; Chicatelli, Amy

    2007-01-01

    Aerospace systems are developed similarly to other large-scale systems through a series of reviews, where designs are modified as system requirements are refined. For space-based systems few are built and placed into service. These research vehicles have limited historical experience to draw from and formidable reliability and safety requirements, due to the remote and severe environment of space. Aeronautical systems have similar reliability and safety requirements, and while these systems may have historical information to access, commercial and military systems require longevity under a range of operational conditions and applied loads. Historically, the design of aerospace systems, particularly the selection of sensors, is based on the requirements for control and performance rather than on health assessment needs. Furthermore, the safety and reliability requirements are met through sensor suite augmentation in an ad hoc, heuristic manner, rather than any systematic approach. A review of the current sensor selection practice within and outside of the aerospace community was conducted and a sensor selection architecture is proposed that will provide a justifiable, dependable sensor suite to address system health assessment requirements.

  15. The optimal stock of health with endogenous wages. Application to partial disability compensation.

    PubMed

    Berkowitz, M; Fenn, P; Lambrinos, J

    1983-08-01

    The optimal quantity of health is examined in the framework of a model which posits that health capital will influence earning capacity in addition to the supply of labor. Utilizing data from the Survey of Disabled and Nondisabled Adults, eight health capital variables are tested in models of hourly wages, labor supply and yearly earnings. The results for three of the health capital variables are then compared to their evaluation by the American Medical Association and by the New York State Workers' Compensation program. PMID:10313692

  16. Why has the Universal Coverage Scheme in Thailand achieved a pro-poor public subsidy for health care?

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Thailand has achieved universal health coverage since 2002 through the implementation of the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS) for 47 million of the population who were neither private sector employees nor government employees. A well performing UCS should achieve health equity goals in terms of health service use and distribution of government subsidy on health. With these goals in mind, this paper assesses the magnitude and trend of government health budget benefiting the poor as compared to the rich UCS members. Method Benefit incidence analysis was conducted using the nationally representative household surveys, Health and Welfare Surveys, between 2003 and 2009. UCS members are grouped into five different socio-economic status using asset indexes and wealth quintiles. Findings The total government subsidy, net of direct household payment, for combined outpatient (OP) and inpatient (IP) services to public hospitals and health facilities provided to UCS members, had increased from 30 billion Baht (US$ 1 billion) in 2003 to 40-46 billion Baht in 2004-2009. In 2003 for 23% and 12% of the UCS members who belonged to the poorest and richest quintiles of the whole-country populations respectively, the share of public subsidies for OP service was 28% and 7% for the poorest and the richest quintiles, whereby for IP services the share was 27% and 6% for the poorest and richest quintiles respectively. This reflects a pro-poor outcome of public subsidies to healthcare. The OP and IP public subsidies remained consistently pro-poor in subsequent years. The pro-poor benefit incidence is determined by higher utilization by the poorest than the richest quintiles, especially at health centres and district hospitals. Thus the probability and the amount of household direct health payment for public facilities by the poorest UCS members were less than their richest counterparts. Conclusions Higher utilization and better financial risk protection benefiting the poor UCS

  17. Achieving Healthy School Siting and Planning Policies: Understanding Shared Concerns of Environmental Planners, Public Health Professionals, and Educators

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Alison

    2013-01-01

    Policy decisions regarding the quality of the physical school environment—both, school siting and school facility planning policies—are often considered through the lens of environmental planning, public health, or education policy, but rarely through all three. Environmental planners consider environmental justice issues on a local level and/or consider the regional impact of a school. Public health professionals focus on toxic exposures and populations particularly vulnerable to negative health outcomes. Educators and education policymakers emphasize investing in human capital of both students and staff. By understanding these respective angles and combining these efforts around the common goals of achieving adequacy and excellence, we can work towards a regulatory system for school facilities that recognizes children as a uniquely vulnerable population and seeks to create healthier school environments in which children can learn and adults can work. PMID:20359991

  18. A survey of 'teamwork' in mental health: is it achievable in practice?

    PubMed

    Stark, Sheila; Skidmore, David; Warne, Tony; Stronach, Ian

    As part of an ENB educational evaluation of teamworking in mental health, a report-and-respond survey was used as one of five data collection methods. This instrument disseminated earlier findings back to the participants and invited further comments. This article discusses the usefulness of this type of survey as a data collection tool and presents the findings of the survey which was administered to service professionals, educationalist, students, users and carers involved in mental health throughout England. The findings show that when groups of professionals are working within increasingly tight financial constraints and increased workloads, multiprofessional teamworking can be scarce in reality. These tensions present issues for nurse education and training at both pre- and post-registration levels in relation to the teaching of, for and about effective teamwork. PMID:11865235

  19. Reproductive health in Iran: pragmatic achievements, unmet needs, and ethical challenges in a theocratic system.

    PubMed

    Mehryar, Amir H; Ahmad-Nia, Shirin; Kazemipour, Shahla

    2007-12-01

    Since its revival in 1989, the reproductive health and family planning program of Iran has made great strides in raising the contraceptive prevalence rate and reducing fertility. The majority of couples are using modern methods promoted and provided by the national program, although a sizable proportion of couples continue to depend on the traditional method of withdrawal. The longstanding urban-rural gap in contraceptive prevalence rates has been reduced to about 10 percent, which is mainly the result of better-educated urban couples' continued practice of withdrawal. Despite its enormous success in meeting the needs of married couples, in narrowing the urban-rural gap in access to and use of modern contraceptives, and in reducing fertility, the Iranian family planning program is open to criticism for confining its target audience to married couples and failing to address the issue of abortion. The restrictive aspects of the program are often justified on the grounds of religious values and fear of encouraging sexual promiscuity. Because of the theocratic nature of the political system and the immense power enjoyed by Shiite ulama (religious leaders), no step can be taken to address these restrictions without their implicit support and approval. This study describes some of the ethical issues facing the reproductive health program of Iran and indicates how pragmatic approaches adopted by the ruling Shiite ulama to solve some of the social and medical challenges of a rapidly modernizing society may be extended to overcome ethical hurdles faced by the reproductive health program. PMID:18284048

  20. Managing the public-private mix to achieve universal health coverage.

    PubMed

    McPake, Barbara; Hanson, Kara

    2016-08-01

    The private sector has a large and growing role in health systems in low-income and middle-income countries. The goal of universal health coverage provides a renewed focus on taking a system perspective in designing policies to manage the private sector. This perspective requires choosing policies that will contribute to the performance of the system as a whole, rather than of any sector individually. Here we draw and extrapolate main messages from the papers in this Series and additional sources to inform policy and research agendas in the context of global and country level efforts to secure universal health coverage in low-income and middle-income countries. Recognising that private providers are highly heterogeneous in terms of their size, objectives, and quality, we explore the types of policy that might respond appropriately to the challenges and opportunities created by four stylised private provider types: the low-quality, underqualified sector that serves poor people in many countries; not-for-profit providers that operate on a range of scales; formally registered small-to-medium private practices; and the corporate commercial hospital sector, which is growing rapidly and about which little is known. PMID:27358252

  1. [Popular participation in Ipatinga (MG, Brazil): achievements and challenges of the health sector].

    PubMed

    da Costa Batista, Elizabeth; de Melo, Elza Machado

    2011-01-01

    Since the SUS implementation in the 90's, it has been possible to observe the change from a political, administrative, and financially centered system to a scene where thousands of agents started to constitute fundamental citizens in the field of health. The objective of this work is to understand how these different actors have absorbed and guaranteed the community the right to participate in the decision of public health policies. This research also tries to investigate the democratic speech and the participative practice implemented by the Worker's Party (PT) in the city of Ipatinga (MG, Brazil). This work uses as theoretical referential the Communicative Action Theory of Habermas and, from this theory, a model of democracy which is understood as the institutionalization of the discursive processes of opinion and will formation. The results obtained indicate that there is an important democratic history in the city, but with indications, however, of retrocessions in the participative practices of the health sector, as the reproduction of traditional practices of government is verified. PMID:21180841

  2. Moving Toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to Achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Health Development: Three Essential Strategies Drawn From Asian Experience Comment on "Improving the World's Health Through the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Perspectives from Rwanda".

    PubMed

    Xu, Ye; Huang, Cheng; Colón-Ramos, Uriyoán

    2015-01-01

    Binagwaho and colleagues' perspective piece provided a timely reflection on the experience of Rwanda in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a proposal of 5 principles to carry forward in post-2015 health development. This commentary echoes their viewpoints and offers three lessons for health policy reforms consistent with these principles beyond 2015. Specifically, we argue that universal health coverage (UHC) is an integrated solution to advance the global health development agenda, and the three essential strategies drawn from Asian countries' health reforms toward UHC are: (1) Public financing support and sequencing health insurance expansion by first extending health insurance to the extremely poor, vulnerable, and marginalized population are critical for achieving UHC; (2) Improved quality of delivered care ensures supply-side readiness and effective coverage; (3) Strategic purchasing and results-based financing creates incentives and accountability for positive changes. These strategies were discussed and illustrated with experience from China and other Asian economies. PMID:26673477

  3. Reducing the Academic Risks of Over-Optimism: The Longitudinal Effects of Attributional Retraining on Cognition and Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haynes, Tara L.; Ruthig, Joelle C.; Perry, Raymond P.; Stupnisky, Robert H.; Hall, Nathan C.

    2006-01-01

    Although optimism is generally regarded as a positive dispositional characteristic, unmitigated optimism can be problematic. The adaptiveness of overly optimistic expectations in novel or unfamiliar settings is questionable because individuals have little relevant experience on which to base such expectations. In this four-phase longitudinal…

  4. The Health Service Bus: an architecture and case study in achieving interoperability in healthcare.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Amanda; Eklund, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Interoperability in healthcare is a requirement for effective communication between entities, to ensure timely access to up to-date patient information and medical knowledge, and thus facilitate consistent patient care. An interoperability framework called the Health Service Bus (HSB), based on the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) middleware software architecture is presented here as a solution to all three levels of interoperability as defined by the HL7 EHR Interoperability Work group in their definitive white paper "Coming to Terms". A prototype HSB system was implemented based on the Mule Open-Source ESB and is outlined and discussed, followed by a clinically-based example. PMID:20841819

  5. The PILI ‘Ohana Project: A Community-Academic Partnership to Achieve Metabolic Health Equity in Hawai‘i

    PubMed Central

    Kekauoha, Puni; Dillard, Adrienne; Yoshimura, Sheryl; Palakiko, Donna-Marie; Hughes, Claire; Townsend, Claire KM

    2014-01-01

    Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) have higher rates of excess body weight and related medical disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, compared to other ethnic groups in Hawai‘i. To address this metabolic health inequity, the Partnership for Improving Lifestyle Intervention (PILI) ‘Ohana Project, a community-academic partnership, was formed over eight years ago and developed two community-placed health promotion programs: the PILI Lifestyle Program (PLP) to address overweight/obesity and the Partners in Care (PIC) to address diabetes self-care. This article describes and reviews the innovations, scientific discoveries, and community capacity built over the last eight years by the PILI ‘Ohana Project's (POP) partnership in working toward metabolic health equity. It also briefly describes the plans to disseminate and implement the PLP and PIC in other NHPI communities. Highlighted in this article is how scientific discoveries can have a real-world impact on health disparate populations by integrating community wisdom and academic expertise to achieve social and health equity through research. PMID:25535599

  6. The PILI 'Ohana Project: a community-academic partnership to achieve metabolic health equity in Hawai'i.

    PubMed

    Kaholokula, Joseph Keawe'aimoku; Kekauoha, Puni; Dillard, Adrienne; Yoshimura, Sheryl; Palakiko, Donna-Marie; Hughes, Claire; Townsend, Claire Km

    2014-12-01

    Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) have higher rates of excess body weight and related medical disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, compared to other ethnic groups in Hawai'i. To address this metabolic health inequity, the Partnership for Improving Lifestyle Intervention (PILI) 'Ohana Project, a community-academic partnership, was formed over eight years ago and developed two community-placed health promotion programs: the PILI Lifestyle Program (PLP) to address overweight/obesity and the Partners in Care (PIC) to address diabetes self-care. This article describes and reviews the innovations, scientific discoveries, and community capacity built over the last eight years by the PILI 'Ohana Project's (POP) partnership in working toward metabolic health equity. It also briefly describes the plans to disseminate and implement the PLP and PIC in other NHPI communities. Highlighted in this article is how scientific discoveries can have a real-world impact on health disparate populations by integrating community wisdom and academic expertise to achieve social and health equity through research. PMID:25535599

  7. Tibetan medicine: a complementary science of optimal health.

    PubMed

    Loizzo, Joseph J; Blackhall, Leslie J; Rapgay, Lobsang

    2009-08-01

    Traditional medical systems are challenging because their theories and practices strike many conventionally trained physicians and researchers as incomprehensible. Should modern medicine dismiss them as unscientific, view them as sources of alternatives hidden in a matrix of superstition, or regard them as complementary sciences of medicine? We make the latter argument using the example of Tibetan medicine. Tibetan medicine is based on analytic models and methods that are rationally defined, internally coherent, and make testable predictions, meeting current definitions of "science." A ninth century synthesis of Indian, Chinese, Himalayan, and Greco-Persian traditions, Tibetan medicine is the most comprehensive form of Eurasian healthcare and the world's first integrative medicine. Incorporating rigorous systems of meditative self-healing and ascetic self-care from India, it includes a world-class paradigm of mind/body and preventive medicine. Adapting the therapeutic philosophy and contemplative science of Indian Buddhism to the quality of secular life and death, it features the world's most effective systems of positive and palliative healthcare. Based on qualitative theories and intersubjective methods, it involves predictions and therapies shown to be more accurate and effective than those of modern medicine in fields from physiology and pharmacology to neuroscience, mind/body medicine, and positive health. The possibility of complementary sciences follows from the latest view of science as a set of tools--instruments of social activity based on learned agreement in aims and methods--rather than as a monolith of absolute truth. Implications of this pluralistic outlook for medical research and practice are discussed. PMID:19743556

  8. Leadership attributes: a key to optimal utilization of the community health nursing workforce.

    PubMed

    Ganann, Rebecca; Underwood, Jane; Matthews, Sue; Goodyear, Rosemarie; Stamler, Lynnette Leeseberg; Meagher-Stewart, Donna Marie; Munroe, Val

    2010-05-01

    This research examined leadership attributes that support the optimal utilization and practice of community health nurses (CHNs). Community health nursing is facing challenges in workforce capacity and sustainability. To meet current and future demands on the community sector, it is essential to understand workplace attributes that facilitate effective utilization of existing human resources and recruitment of new nurses. This pan-Canadian, mixed-methods study included a demographic analysis of CHNs in Canada, a survey involving responses from approximately 6,700 CHNs to identify enablers and barriers to community health nursing practice and 23 focus groups to examine organizational attributes that "best" support optimal practice within the public health nursing subsector. Nursing leadership was identified as an important attribute in organizations' utilization and support of CHNs working to work effectively. This effectiveness, in turn, will enhance community health programs and overall healthcare system efficiency. This paper highlights findings related to the role of nursing leadership and leadership development in optimizing community health nursing practice. PMID:20530996

  9. Which New Health Technologies Do We Need to Achieve an End to HIV/AIDS?

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Glenda E.; Laher, Fatima; Doherty, Tanya; Abdool Karim, Salim; Hammer, Scott; Mascola, John; Beyrer, Chris; Corey, Larry

    2016-01-01

    In the last 15 years, antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been the most globally impactful life-saving development of medical research. Antiretrovirals (ARVs) are used with great success for both the treatment and prevention of HIV infection. Despite these remarkable advances, this epidemic grows relentlessly worldwide. Over 2.1 million new infections occur each year, two-thirds in women and 240,000 in children. The widespread elimination of HIV will require the development of new, more potent prevention tools. Such efforts are imperative on a global scale. However, it must also be recognised that true containment of the epidemic requires the development and widespread implementation of a scientific advancement that has eluded us to date—a highly effective vaccine. Striving for such medical advances is what is required to achieve the end of AIDS. PMID:26933962

  10. Which New Health Technologies Do We Need to Achieve an End to HIV/AIDS?

    PubMed

    Gray, Glenda E; Laher, Fatima; Doherty, Tanya; Abdool Karim, Salim; Hammer, Scott; Mascola, John; Beyrer, Chris; Corey, Larry

    2016-03-01

    In the last 15 years, antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been the most globally impactful life-saving development of medical research. Antiretrovirals (ARVs) are used with great success for both the treatment and prevention of HIV infection. Despite these remarkable advances, this epidemic grows relentlessly worldwide. Over 2.1 million new infections occur each year, two-thirds in women and 240,000 in children. The widespread elimination of HIV will require the development of new, more potent prevention tools. Such efforts are imperative on a global scale. However, it must also be recognised that true containment of the epidemic requires the development and widespread implementation of a scientific advancement that has eluded us to date--a highly effective vaccine. Striving for such medical advances is what is required to achieve the end of AIDS. PMID:26933962

  11. An Integrated Framework to Achieve Interoperability in Person-Centric Health Management

    PubMed Central

    Vergari, Fabio; Salmon Cinotti, Tullio; D'Elia, Alfredo; Roffia, Luca; Zamagni, Guido; Lamberti, Claudio

    2011-01-01

    The need for high-quality out-of-hospital healthcare is a known socioeconomic problem. Exploiting ICT's evolution, ad-hoc telemedicine solutions have been proposed in the past. Integrating such ad-hoc solutions in order to cost-effectively support the entire healthcare cycle is still a research challenge. In order to handle the heterogeneity of relevant information and to overcome the fragmentation of out-of-hospital instrumentation in person-centric healthcare systems, a shared and open source interoperability component can be adopted, which is ontology driven and based on the semantic web data model. The feasibility and the advantages of the proposed approach are demonstrated by presenting the use case of real-time monitoring of patients' health and their environmental context. PMID:21811499

  12. Quality of vegetable oil prior to fortification is an important criteria to achieve a health impact.

    PubMed

    Andarwulan, Nuri; Gitapratiwi, Desty; Laillou, Arnaud; Fitriani, Dwi; Hariyadi, Purwiyatno; Moench-Pfanner, Regina; Martianto, Drajat

    2014-11-01

    Unbranded palm cooking oil has been fortified for several years and can be found in the market with different oxidation levels. This study aimed to investigate the stability and shelf life of unbranded, bulk, vitamin A-fortified palm oils with the most commonly observed oxidation levels in Indonesia. Three types of cooking oils were tested: (i) cooking oil with a peroxide value (PV) below 2 mEq O2/kg (PO1); (ii) cooking oil with a PV around 4 mEq O2/kg (PO2); and (iii) cooking oil with a PV around 9 mEq O2/kg (PO3). The oil shelf life was determined by using accelerated shelf life testing (ASLT), where the product was stored at 60, 75 and 90 °C, and then PV, free fatty acid and vitamin A concentration in the oil samples were measured. The results showed that PO1 had a shelf life of between 2-3 months, while PO2's shelf life was a few weeks and PO3's only a few days. Even given those varying shelf lives, the vitamin A loss in the oils was still acceptable, at around 10%. However, the short shelf life of highly oxidized cooking oil, such as PO3, might negatively impact health, due to the potential increase of free radicals of the lipid peroxidation in the oil. Based on the results, the Indonesian government should prohibit the sale of highly-oxidized cooking oil. In addition, government authorities should promote and endorse the fortification of only cooking oil with low peroxide levels to ensure that fortification is not associated with any health issues associated with high oxidation levels of the cooking oil. PMID:25393689

  13. Quality of Vegetable Oil Prior to Fortification Is an Important Criteria to Achieve a Health Impact

    PubMed Central

    Andarwulan, Nuri; Gitapratiwi, Desty; Laillou, Arnaud; Fitriani, Dwi; Hariyadi, Purwiyatno; Moench-Pfanner, Regina; Martianto, Drajat

    2014-01-01

    Unbranded palm cooking oil has been fortified for several years and can be found in the market with different oxidation levels. This study aimed to investigate the stability and shelf life of unbranded, bulk, vitamin A-fortified palm oils with the most commonly observed oxidation levels in Indonesia. Three types of cooking oils were tested: (i) cooking oil with a peroxide value (PV) below 2 mEq O2/kg (PO1); (ii) cooking oil with a PV around 4 mEq O2/kg (PO2); and (iii) cooking oil with a PV around 9 mEq O2/kg (PO3). The oil shelf life was determined by using accelerated shelf life testing (ASLT), where the product was stored at 60, 75 and 90 °C, and then PV, free fatty acid and vitamin A concentration in the oil samples were measured. The results showed that PO1 had a shelf life of between 2–3 months, while PO2’s shelf life was a few weeks and PO3’s only a few days. Even given those varying shelf lives, the vitamin A loss in the oils was still acceptable, at around 10%. However, the short shelf life of highly oxidized cooking oil, such as PO3, might negatively impact health, due to the potential increase of free radicals of the lipid peroxidation in the oil. Based on the results, the Indonesian government should prohibit the sale of highly-oxidized cooking oil. In addition, government authorities should promote and endorse the fortification of only cooking oil with low peroxide levels to ensure that fortification is not associated with any health issues associated with high oxidation levels of the cooking oil. PMID:25393689

  14. Perceived Academic Control: Mediating the Effects of Optimism and Social Support on College Students' Psychological Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruthig, Joelle C.; Haynes, Tara L.; Stupnisky, Robert H.; Perry, Raymond P.

    2009-01-01

    The first year of college presents numerous challenges experienced as overwhelming by some freshmen who may become overly stressed and depressed. This longitudinal study examined perceived academic control (PAC) as a mediator of optimism and social support's buffering effects on freshman students' psychological health. Multiple regressions…

  15. Achieving Universal Health Coverage by Focusing on Primary Care in Japan: Lessons for Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

    PubMed

    Ikegami, Naoki

    2016-01-01

    When the Japanese government adopted Western medicine in the late nineteenth century, it left intact the infrastructure of primary care by giving licenses to the existing practitioners and by initially setting the hurdle for entry into medical school low. Public financing of hospitals was kept minimal so that almost all of their revenue came from patient charges. When social health insurance (SHI) was introduced in 1927, benefits were focused on primary care services delivered by physicians in clinics, and not on hospital services. This was reflected in the development and subsequent revisions of the fee schedule. The policy decisions which have helped to retain primary care services might provide lessons for achieving universal health coverage in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). PMID:27239877

  16. Achieving Universal Health Coverage by Focusing on Primary Care in Japan: Lessons for Low- and Middle-Income Countries

    PubMed Central

    Ikegami, Naoki

    2016-01-01

    When the Japanese government adopted Western medicine in the late nineteenth century, it left intact the infrastructure of primary care by giving licenses to the existing practitioners and by initially setting the hurdle for entry into medical school low. Public financing of hospitals was kept minimal so that almost all of their revenue came from patient charges. When social health insurance (SHI) was introduced in 1927, benefits were focused on primary care services delivered by physicians in clinics, and not on hospital services. This was reflected in the development and subsequent revisions of the fee schedule. The policy decisions which have helped to retain primary care services might provide lessons for achieving universal health coverage in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). PMID:27239877

  17. A new approach to optimal selection of services in health care organizations.

    PubMed

    Adolphson, D L; Baird, M L; Lawrence, K D

    1991-01-01

    A new reimbursement policy adopted by Medicare in 1983 caused financial difficulties for many hospitals and health care organizations. Several organizations responded to these difficulties by developing systems to carefully measure their costs of providing services. The purpose of such systems was to provide relevant information about the profitability of hospital services. This paper presents a new method of making hospital service selection decisions: it is based on an optimization model that avoids arbitrary cost allocations as a basis for computing the costs of offering a given service. The new method provides more reliable information about which services are profitable or unprofitable, and it provides an accurate measure of the degree to which a service is profitable or unprofitable. The new method also provides useful information about the sensitivity of the optimal decision to changes in costs and revenues. Specialized algorithms for the optimization model lead to very efficient implementation of the method, even for the largest health care organizations. PMID:10111676

  18. Achieving health, safety, and performance improvements through enhanced cost visibility and workplace partnerships.

    PubMed

    Grant, Katharyn A; Garland, John G; Joachim, Todd C; Wallen, Andrew; Vital, Twyla

    2003-01-01

    Reduction in the environment, safety, and occupational health (ESOH) component of operational costs requires not only a better understanding of ESOH costs and requirements, but also the formation of effective partnerships between ESOH professionals, financial analysts, and shop workers to identify viable improvements to current practices. This article presents two case studies of efforts to enhance productivity and ESOH in corrosion control facilities at Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, and Robins AFB, Ga. At each site, activity-based cost models were created to increase the visibility of ESOH-related costs and target improvement opportunities. Analysis of the strip-and-paint processes for the T-38 aircraft at Randolph and the F-15 radome and C-141 aft cowl at Robins revealed that a large proportion of operating costs were tied to ESOH requirements and practices (22 and 39%, respectively). In each case ESOH professionals teamed with shop personnel to identify potential improvements in personal protective equipment use, waste disposal, tool selection, and work methods. This approach yielded alternatives projected to reduce total shop costs by 5 to 7%. This case study demonstrates how workplaces can identify cost-saving and efficiency-enhancing practices by partnering with ESOH professionals in planning and decision-making activities. PMID:14521429

  19. Occupational health nurses’ achievement of competence and comfort in respiratory protection and preferred learning methods results of a nationwide survey.

    PubMed

    Burgel, Barbara J; Novak, Debra A; Carpenter, Holly Elizabeth; Gruden, MaryAnn; Lachat, Ann M; Taormina, Deborah

    2014-02-01

    Additional findings are presented from a 2012 nationwide survey of 2,072 occupational health nurses regarding how they achieved competence in respiratory protection, their preferred methods of learning, and how they motivated employees to use respiratory protection. On-the-job training, taking a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health spirometry course, or attending professional conferences were the primary ways occupational health nurses gained respiratory protection knowledge. Attending professional conferences was the preferred method of learning, varying by type of industry and years of occupational health nurse experience. Employee motivational strategies were not widely used; the most common strategy was to tailor respiratory protection training to workplace culture. Designing training methods that match learning preferences, within the context of the organization's safety and quality improvement culture, is a key recommendation supported by the literature and these findings. Including respiratory protection content and competencies in all levels of academic nursing education is an additional recommendation. Additional research is needed to link training strategies with consistent and correct use of respiratory protection by employees. PMID:24812690

  20. Achieving compliance with the International Health Regulations by overseas territories of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    PubMed Central

    Salter, Mark; Jones, Jane

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR) came into force for all Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) in June 2007 and the deadline for achieving compliance was June 2012. The purpose of the IHR is to prevent, protect against, control – and provide a public health response to – international spread of disease. The territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and that of several other Member States, such as China, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United States of America, include overseas territories, which cover a total population of approximately 15 million people. Member States have a responsibility to ensure that all parts of their territory comply with the IHR. Since WHO has not provided specific guidance on compliance in the special circumstances of the overseas territories of Member States, compliance by these territories is an issue for self-assessment by Member States themselves. To date, no reports have been published on the assessment of IHR compliance in countries with overseas territories. We describe a gap analysis done in the United Kingdom to assess IHR compliance of its overseas territories. The findings and conclusions are broadly applicable to other countries with overseas territories which may have yet to assess their compliance with the IHR. Such assessments are needed to ensure compliance across all parts of a Member States’ territory and to increase global health security. PMID:25378745

  1. Optimizing Performance on Linux Clusters Using Advanced Communication Protocols: Achieving Over 10 Teraflops on a 8.6 Teraflops Linpack-Rated Linux Cluster

    SciTech Connect

    Krishnan, Manoj Kumar; Nieplocha, Jarek

    2005-04-26

    Advancements in high-performance networks (Quadrics, Infiniband or Myrinet) continue to improve the efficiency of modern clusters. However, the average application efficiency is as small fraction of the peak as the system’s efficiency. This paper describes techniques for optimizing application performance on Linux clusters using Remote Memory Access communication protocols. The effectiveness of these optimizations is presented in the context of an application kernel, dense matrix multiplication. The result was achieving over 10 teraflops on HP Linux cluster on which LINPACK performance is measured as 8.6 teraflops.

  2. The role of the organizational champion in achieving health system change.

    PubMed

    Hendy, Jane; Barlow, James

    2012-02-01

    In healthcare there is a long held wisdom that 'champions' are a key aspect of organizational change. Drawing on organizational management theory, we examine the role of champions in three health and social care organizations in England as they attempt to move services to a remote model of delivery, 'telecare'. The delivery of remote care is a significant policy in the U.K. and elsewhere, but its introduction has been challenging. Over three years ethnographic methods (observations, informed discussions and interviews) were used to analyze the role of organizational champions in implementing remote care. Cases were local authorities and associated primary care trusts. Participants were champions and organizational members involved in implementation. Our study shows that organizational champions are highly effective in the first phase of adoption, when change is contained within distinct sub-sets of practice. Moving beyond local contexts the effectiveness of the champions varied. Identification centered on the remote care work. This identification enabled the champions to motivate others and move beyond their normally prescribed roles, contributing to innovation ideas, processes and practices. When required to shift their work organization-wide, and share ideas outside their professional culture, some champions responded with resistance, resulting in a lack of innovation spread. These results caution against allowing change to become positioned within the remit of a few individuals. Whilst this strategy may be initially beneficial, the role of champion may be less useful, even detrimental to progress, in the later stages of implementation, particularly if identification with the new circumstances is not established. PMID:21444137

  3. Positive futures? The impact of HIV infection on achieving health, wealth and future planning.

    PubMed

    Harding, Richard; Molloy, Tim

    2008-05-01

    Although HIV is now cast as a chronic condition with favourable clinical outcomes under new treatments, it is unclear how living with HIV affects expectations and planning for the future. This mixed-methods study aimed to investigate UK gay men's expectations of their own future when living with HIV, and to identify the heath and social interventions required to enhance roles, participation and personal fulfilment. A preliminary focus group identified relevant domains of enquiry for a subsequent online cross-sectional survey. A total of 347 gay men living in the UK with HIV participated in the survey, and 56.6% were currently on treatment. However, high 7-day prevalence of psychological and physical symptoms was identified (42.6% in pain, 80.2% worrying); 57.8% perceived reduced career options due to their infection and 71.8% reduced life expectancy. Being on treatment was not significantly associated with perceived life expectancy. Coded open-ended survey data identified eight principle themes related to goal planning and attainment. The integrated open and closed data items offer an understanding of barriers and challenges that focus on poor mental health due to clinical inattention, discrimination and stigma, poor career and job opportunities due to benefit and workplace inflexibility and lack of understanding, a lack of personal goals and associated skills deficit related to confidence and self esteem. Gay men living with HIV require an integrated holistic approach to wellbeing that incorporates clinical, social and individual intervention in order to lead productive lives with maximum benefit from treatment gains. PMID:18484326

  4. Optimism and Cardiovascular Health: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Rosalba; Kershaw, Kiarri N.; Siddique, Juned; Boehm, Julia K.; Kubzansky, Laura D.; Diez-Roux, Ana; Ning, Hongyan; Lloyd-Jones, Donald M.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives We examined the cross-sectional association between optimism and cardiovascular health (CVH). Methods We used data collected from adults aged 52–84 who participated in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) (n=5,134) during the first follow-up visit (2002–2004). Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine associations of optimism with ideal and intermediate CVH (with reference being poor CVH), after adjusting for socio-demographic factors and psychological ill-being. Results Participants in the highest quartile of optimism were more likely to have intermediate [OR=1.51:95%CI=1.25,1.82] and ideal [OR=1.92:95%CI=1.30,2.85] CVH when compared to the least optimistic group. Individual CVH metrics of diet, physical activity, BMI, smoking, blood sugar and total cholesterol contributed to the overall association. Conclusions We offer evidence for a cross-sectional association between optimism and CVH. PMID:26213688

  5. Evaluation of skill achievement levels and practical experiences of public health nursing students before and after the introduction of the public health nursing course as an elective.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Yoshimi; Saito, Emiko; Sawai, Minako; Kishi, Emiko; Kakemoto, Satori; Nakada, Harumi; Igarashi, Chiyo; Asahara, Kiyomi

    2016-01-01

    Objective To equip public health nurses (PHNs) with higher qualifications, PHN education is shifting from an integrated curriculum for PHNs and registered nurses to a specific elective system of undergraduate or postgraduate programs. Most colleges in the special wards of Tokyo introduced the elective system in 2014 before the remaining areas. The outcomes of this must be evaluated. This study aimed to evaluate the achievement levels and practical experiences of PHN students at seven colleges in the special wards before and after introduction of the PHN course as an elective.Method Self-administered, anonymous questionnaires were completed by senior PHN students at seven colleges in the special wards who underwent training in 2013, the last year of an integrated curriculum, and in 2014, the first year of the elective system. The target numbers of participants were 663 in 2013 and 136 in 2014 with 20 students from each school exposed to the elective system. Our study focused on whether they achieved the 98 "technical items of PHN training and achievement levels at the time of graduation" required by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The study also determined whether participants obtained practical experience in 15 items developed by the special wards based on the standards set for training.Results In 2013, there were 348 total responses (52.5%) and 310 valid responses. In 2014, there were 136 total responses (88.2%) and 120 valid responses. The average achievement rate at which the student answered, "I was able to arrive at it," at an arrival degree level for the 98 technical items was 72.6% in 2014, an increase compared to the 67.9% obtained in 2013. Moreover, the average practical experience rate at which the student answered, "I was able to have an experience," regarding the 15 items was 85.7% in 2014, which constituted an increase compared to 70.5% attained in 2013. However, the number of items with an achievement rate of more than 80% remained

  6. Indigenous Children in Australia: Health, Education and Optimism for the Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyons, Zaza; Janca, Aleksandar

    2012-01-01

    In Australia, Indigenous children are disproportionately affected by poor health. The combined consequences of illness and social factors in this population have an adverse affect on educational outcomes for Indigenous children, resulting in lower levels of achievement and attainment compared with non-Indigenous children. From early childhood,…

  7. Achievements in mental health outcome measurement in Australia: Reflections on progress made by the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Australia’s National Mental Health Strategy has emphasised the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of services, and has promoted the collection of outcomes and casemix data as a means of monitoring these. All public sector mental health services across Australia now routinely report outcomes and casemix data. Since late-2003, the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN) has received, processed, analysed and reported on outcome data at a national level, and played a training and service development role. This paper documents the history of AMHOCN’s activities and achievements, with a view to providing lessons for others embarking on similar exercises. Method We conducted a desktop review of relevant documents to summarise the history of AMHOCN. Results AMHOCN has operated within a framework that has provided an overarching structure to guide its activities but has been flexible enough to allow it to respond to changing priorities. With no precedents to draw upon, it has undertaken activities in an iterative fashion with an element of ‘trial and error’. It has taken a multi-pronged approach to ensuring that data are of high quality: developing innovative technical solutions; fostering ‘information literacy’; maximising the clinical utility of data at a local level; and producing reports that are meaningful to a range of audiences. Conclusion AMHOCN’s efforts have contributed to routine outcome measurement gaining a firm foothold in Australia’s public sector mental health services. PMID:22640939

  8. Supporting Immigrant Family Strengths: Promoting Optimal Health, Health Care, and Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brotanek, Jane M.; Rocha, Lisa Oglesby; Flores, Glenn

    2008-01-01

    An extensive literature documents that a lower level of acculturation is associated with better health outcomes among U.S. immigrants, despite the many hardships these families face. It is likely that cultural practices and strong family networks contribute to this phenomenon, which has been termed the "healthy immigrant effect". This article…

  9. Academic Abilities in Children and Adolescents with a History of Autism Spectrum Disorders Who Have Achieved Optimal Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Troyb, Eva; Orinstein, Alyssa; Tyson, Katherine; Helt, Molly; Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Stevens, Michael; Fein, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the academic abilities of children and adolescents who were once diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, but who no longer meet diagnostic criteria for this disorder. These individuals have achieved social and language skills within the average range for their ages, receive little or no school support, and are referred to…

  10. Optimizing eHealth breast cancer interventions: which types of eHealth services are effective?

    PubMed

    Baker, Timothy B; Hawkins, Robert; Pingree, Suzanne; Roberts, Linda J; McDowell, Helene E; Shaw, Bret R; Serlin, Ron; Dillenburg, Lisa; Swoboda, Christopher M; Han, Jeong-Yeob; Stewart, James A; Carmack-Taylor, Cindy L; Salner, Andrew; Schlam, Tanya R; McTavish, Fiona; Gustafson, David H

    2011-03-01

    Little is known about the effective elements of Interactive Cancer Communication Systems (ICCSs). A randomized trial explored which types of services of a multifaceted ICCS benefited patients and the nature of the benefit. Women with breast cancer (N=450) were randomized to different types of ICCS services or to a control condition that provided internet access. The Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (CHESS), served as the ICCS. ICCS services providing information and support, but not coaching such as cognitive behavior therapy, produced significant benefits in health information competence and emotional processing. Provision of Information and Support ICCS services significantly benefited women with breast cancer. More complex and interactive services designed to train the user had negligible effects. PMID:21709810

  11. SU-E-T-387: Achieving Optimal Patient Setup Imaging and Treatment Workflow Configurations in Multi-Room Proton Centers

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, H; Prado, K; Langen, K; Yi, B; Mehta, M; Regine, W; D'Souza, W

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: To simulate patient flow in proton treatment center under uncertainty and to explore the feasibility of treatment preparation rooms to improve patient throughput and cyclotron utilization. Methods: Three center layout scenarios were modeled: (S1: In-Tx room imaging) patient setup and imaging (planar/volumetric) performed in treatment room, (S2: Patient setup in preparation room) each treatment room was assigned with preparation room(s) that was equipped with lasers only for patient setup and gross patient alignment, and (S3: Patient setup and imaging in preparation room) preparation room(s) was equipped with laser and volumetric imaging for patient setup, gross and fine patient alignment. A 'snap' imaging was performed in treatment room. For each scenario, the number of treatment rooms and the number of preparation rooms serving each treatment room were varied. We examined our results (average of 100 16-hour (two shifts) working days) by evaluating patient throughput and cyclotron utilization. Results: When the number of treatment rooms increased ([from, to]) [1, 5], daily patient throughput increased [32, 161], [29, 184] and [27, 184] and cyclotron utilization increased [13%, 85%], [12%, 98%], and [11%, 98%] for scenarios S1, S2 and S3 respectively. However, both measures plateaued after 4 rooms. With the preparation rooms, the throughput and the cyclotron utilization increased by 14% and 15%, respectively. Three preparation rooms were optimal to serve 1-3 treatment rooms and two preparation rooms were optimal to serve 4 or 5 treatment rooms. Conclusion: Patient preparation rooms for patient setup may increase throughput and decrease the need for additional treatment rooms (cost effective). Optimal number of preparation rooms serving each gantry room varies as a function of treatment rooms and patient setup scenarios. A 5th treatment room may not be justified by throughput or utilization.

  12. Out-of-School-Time Academic Programs to Improve School Achievement: A Community Guide Health Equity Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Knopf, John A.; Hahn, Robert A.; Proia, Krista K.; Truman, Benedict I.; Johnson, Robert L.; Muntaner, Carles; Fielding, Jonathan E.; Jones, Camara Phyllis; Fullilove, Mindy T.; Hunt, Pete C.; Qu, Shuli; Chattopadhyay, Sajal K.; Milstein, Bobby

    2015-01-01

    Context Low-income and minority status in the United States are associated with poor educational outcomes, which, in turn, reduce the long-term health benefits of education. Objective This systematic review assessed the extent to which out-of-school-time academic (OSTA) programs for at-risk students, most of whom are from low-income and racial/ethnic minority families, can improve academic achievement. Because most OSTA programs serve low-income and ethnic/racial minority students, programs may improve health equity. Design Methods of the Guide to Community Preventive Services were used. An existing systematic review assessing the effects of OSTA programs on academic outcomes (Lauer et al 2006; search period 1985–2003) was supplemented with a Community Guide update (search period 2003–2011). Main Outcome Measure Standardized mean difference. Results Thirty-two studies from the existing review and 25 studies from the update were combined and stratified by program focus (ie, reading-focused, math-focused, general academic programs, and programs with minimal academic focus). Focused programs were more effective than general or minimal academic programs. Reading-focused programs were effective only for students in grades K-3. There was insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness on behavioral outcomes and longer-term academic outcomes. Conclusions OSTA programs, particularly focused programs, are effective in increasing academic achievement for at-risk students. Ongoing school and social environments that support learning and development may be essential to ensure the longer-term benefits of OSTA programs. PMID:26062096

  13. Optimal Health Care for Mothers and Children: A National Priority. A Report of Five Conferences Held during 1967.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wells, Leora Wood

    Components of and creative planning for optimal health care for mothers and children are considered as well as changing patterns of health care. Applying what is known about the consumer and educating the consumer are discussed; also discussed are the role of the consumer in planning health care services, communication between doctor and patient,…

  14. The Contextualized Technology Adaptation Process (CTAP): Optimizing Health Information Technology to Improve Mental Health Systems.

    PubMed

    Lyon, Aaron R; Wasse, Jessica Knaster; Ludwig, Kristy; Zachry, Mark; Bruns, Eric J; Unützer, Jürgen; McCauley, Elizabeth

    2016-05-01

    Health information technologies have become a central fixture in the mental healthcare landscape, but few frameworks exist to guide their adaptation to novel settings. This paper introduces the contextualized technology adaptation process (CTAP) and presents data collected during Phase 1 of its application to measurement feedback system development in school mental health. The CTAP is built on models of human-centered design and implementation science and incorporates repeated mixed methods assessments to guide the design of technologies to ensure high compatibility with a destination setting. CTAP phases include: (1) Contextual evaluation, (2) Evaluation of the unadapted technology, (3) Trialing and evaluation of the adapted technology, (4) Refinement and larger-scale implementation, and (5) Sustainment through ongoing evaluation and system revision. Qualitative findings from school-based practitioner focus groups are presented, which provided information for CTAP Phase 1, contextual evaluation, surrounding education sector clinicians' workflows, types of technologies currently available, and influences on technology use. Discussion focuses on how findings will inform subsequent CTAP phases, as well as their implications for future technology adaptation across content domains and service sectors. PMID:25677251

  15. A Bayesian approach to optimal sensor placement for structural health monitoring with application to active sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flynn, Eric B.; Todd, Michael D.

    2010-05-01

    This paper introduces a novel approach for optimal sensor and/or actuator placement for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. Starting from a general formulation of Bayes risk, we derive a global optimality criterion within a detection theory framework. The optimal configuration is then established as the one that minimizes the expected total presence of either type I or type II error during the damage detection process. While the approach is suitable for many sensing/actuation SHM processes, we focus on the example of active sensing using guided ultrasonic waves by implementing an appropriate statistical model of the wave propagation and feature extraction process. This example implements both pulse-echo and pitch-catch actuation schemes and takes into account line-of-site visibility and non-uniform damage probabilities over the monitored structure. The optimization space is searched using a genetic algorithm with a time-varying mutation rate. We provide three actuator/sensor placement test problems and discuss the optimal solutions generated by the algorithm.

  16. Optimal distribution of medical backpacks and health surveillance assistants in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Van Itallie, Elizabeth S.; Wu, Duo

    2014-01-01

    Despite recent progress, Malawi continues to perform poorly on key health indicators such as child mortality and life expectancy. These problems are exacerbated by a severe lack of access to health care. Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) help bridge this gap by providing community-level access to basic health care services. However, the success of these HSAs is limited by a lack of supplies and long distances between HSAs and patients. To address this issue, we used large-scale weighted p-median and capacitated facility location problems to create a scalable, three-tiered plan for optimal allocation of HSAs, HSA designated medical backpacks, and backpack resupply centers. Our analysis uses real data on the location and characteristics of hospitals, health centers, and the general population. In addition to offering specific recommendations for HSA, backpack, and resupply center locations, it provides general insights into the scope of the proposed HSA backpack program scale-up. In particular, it demonstrates the importance of local health centers to the resupply network. The proposed assignments are robust to changes in the underlying population structure, and could significantly improve access to medical supplies for both HSAs and patients. PMID:24293077

  17. Optimal distribution of medical backpacks and health surveillance assistants in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Kunkel, Amber G; Van Itallie, Elizabeth S; Wu, Duo

    2014-09-01

    Despite recent progress, Malawi continues to perform poorly on key health indicators such as child mortality and life expectancy. These problems are exacerbated by a severe lack of access to health care. Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) help bridge this gap by providing community-level access to basic health care services. However, the success of these HSAs is limited by a lack of supplies and long distances between HSAs and patients. To address this issue, we used large-scale weighted p-median and capacitated facility location problems to create a scalable, three-tiered plan for optimal allocation of HSAs, HSA designated medical backpacks, and backpack resupply centers. Our analysis uses real data on the location and characteristics of hospitals, health centers, and the general population. In addition to offering specific recommendations for HSA, backpack, and resupply center locations, it provides general insights into the scope of the proposed HSA backpack program scale-up. In particular, it demonstrates the importance of local health centers to the resupply network. The proposed assignments are robust to changes in the underlying population structure, and could significantly improve access to medical supplies for both HSAs and patients. PMID:24293077

  18. Relationship of optimism-pessimism and health-related quality of life in breast cancer survivors.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Larra R; Clark, Matthew M; Novotny, Paul; Kung, Simon; Sloan, Jeff A; Patten, Christi A; Vickers, Kristin S; Rummans, Teresa A; Frost, Marlene H; Colligan, Robert C

    2008-01-01

    Few studies have investigated the influence of optimism-pessimism in breast cancer survivors. This study used a retrospective design with 268 adult women who completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) as part of their medical care approximately 10 years prior to their breast cancer diagnosis and Medical Outcome Study Short-Form General Health Survey (SF-36 or SF-12), on average, 8 years after diagnosis. MMPI pessimism scores were divided into quartiles, and t tests were used to determine differences between those highest and lowest in pessimism on health-related quality-of-life (QOL) measures, demographics, and disease status. The mean age at diagnosis of breast cancer was 63 years, and 74% had early-stage breast cancer. Patients age 65 years and older were significantly lower on physical health related QOL scales. There were no significant differences in health-related QOL scores by stage of disease. Patients with a pessimistic explanatory style were significantly lower on all of the health-related QOL scores, compared to those with a nonpessimistic style. Breast cancer survivors who exhibit a pessimistic explanatory style report lower health-related QOL for years after receiving a cancer diagnosis, compared to nonpessimistic women. PMID:19042270

  19. Achieving the Dream: Health Care...Healthy Kids. Forum on Children's Issues (Century City, California, April 15, 1994). Source Book.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norton Family Foundation, Santa Monica, CA.

    This collection contains materials from various sources on the status of children's health, successful children's health programs, and advocacy for children's health. Section 1 contains: (1) the statement by the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) on maternal and child health needs under national health reform; (2) information on uninsured children,…

  20. Achieving universal health coverage through voluntary insurance: what can we learn from the experience of Lao PDR?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Government of Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has embarked on a path to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) through implementation of four risk-protection schemes. One of these schemes is community-based health insurance (CBHI) – a voluntary scheme that targets roughly half the population. However, after 12 years of implementation, coverage through CBHI remains very low. Increasing coverage of the scheme would require expansion to households in both villages where CBHI is currently operating, and new geographic areas. In this study we explore the prospects of both types of expansion by examining household and district level data. Methods Using a household survey based on a case-comparison design of 3000 households, we examine the determinants of enrolment at the household level in areas where the scheme is currently operating. We model the determinants of enrolment using a probit model and predicted probabilities. Findings from focus group discussions are used to explain the quantitative findings. To examine the prospects for geographic scale-up, we use secondary data to compare characteristics of districts with and without insurance, using a combination of univariate and multivariate analyses. The multivariate analysis is a probit model, which models the factors associated with roll-out of CBHI to the districts. Results The household findings show that enrolment is concentrated among the better off and that adverse selection is present in the scheme. The district level findings show that to date, the scheme has been implemented in the most affluent areas, in closest proximity to the district hospitals, and in areas where quality of care is relatively good. Conclusions The household-level findings indicate that the scheme suffers from poor risk-pooling, which threatens financial sustainability. The district-level findings call into question whether or not the Government of Laos can successfully expand to more remote, less affluent

  1. Rod Visual Pigment Optimizes Active State to Achieve Efficient G Protein Activation as Compared with Cone Visual Pigments*

    PubMed Central

    Kojima, Keiichi; Imamoto, Yasushi; Maeda, Ryo; Yamashita, Takahiro; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2014-01-01

    Most vertebrate retinas contain two types of photoreceptor cells, rods and cones, which show different photoresponses to mediate scotopic and photopic vision, respectively. These cells contain different types of visual pigments, rhodopsin and cone visual pigments, respectively, but little is known about the molecular properties of cone visual pigments under physiological conditions, making it difficult to link the molecular properties of rhodopsin and cone visual pigments with the differences in photoresponse between rods and cones. Here we prepared bovine and mouse rhodopsin (bvRh and mRh) and chicken and mouse green-sensitive cone visual pigments (cG and mG) embedded in nanodiscs and applied time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy to compare their Gt activation efficiencies. Rhodopsin exhibited greater Gt activation efficiencies than cone visual pigments. Especially, the Gt activation efficiency of mRh was about 2.5-fold greater than that of mG at 37 °C, which is consistent with our previous electrophysiological data of knock-in mice. Although the active state (Meta-II) was in equilibrium with inactive states (Meta-I and Meta-III), quantitative determination of Meta-II in the equilibrium showed that the Gt activation efficiency per Meta-II of bvRh was also greater than those of cG and mG. These results indicated that efficient Gt activation by rhodopsin, resulting from an optimized active state of rhodopsin, is one of the causes of the high amplification efficiency of rods. PMID:24375403

  2. Optimism as a predictor of health-related quality of life in psoriatics

    PubMed Central

    Miniszewska, Joanna; Chodkiewicz, Jan; Zalewska-Janowska, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Psoriasis is a chronic and relapsing disease which significantly affects the quality of life and social functioning of the affected people. It is one of the so-called psychodermatological diseases, which means that there exists a psychological component in the image of the disease. Aim To examine the relationship between health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in psoriatics and selected demographic, medical and psychological (dispositional optimism) variables and to determine the predictors of HRQoL in the examined group. Material and methods The study consisted of 138 patients with the diagnosis of psoriasis vulgaris. Most respondents (125) had psoriasis on exposed parts of the body. Methods used: SKINDEX, Life Orientation Test, PASI. Results The gender does not differentiate patients in terms of HRQoL and optimism. Almost all of analyzed variables correlate with HRQoL and all examined variables explain the results variability for overall HRQoL but only optimism explains the highest percentage of the variability (β = –0.35). Conclusions The study demonstrated a very interesting relationship – the stronger optimism the better quality of life in psoriatics. So, a generalized expectation of positive life events is related to better assessment of HRQoL. PMID:24278054

  3. Specialty Task Force: A Strategic Component to Electronic Health Record (EHR) Optimization.

    PubMed

    Romero, Mary Rachel; Staub, Allison

    2016-01-01

    Post-implementation stage comes after an electronic health record (EHR) deployment. Analyst and end users deal with the reality that some of the concepts and designs initially planned and created may not be complementary to the workflow; creating anxiety, dissatisfaction, and failure with early adoption of system. Problems encountered during deployment are numerous and can vary from simple to complex. Redundant ticket submission creates backlog for Information Technology personnel resulting in delays in resolving concerns with EHR system. The process of optimization allows for evaluation of system and reassessment of users' needs. A solid and well executed optimization infrastructure can help minimize unexpected end-user disruptions and help tailor the system to meet regulatory agency goals and practice standards. A well device plan to resolve problems during post implementation is necessary for cost containment and to streamline communication efforts. Creating a specialty specific collaborative task force is efficacious and expedites resolution of users' concerns through a more structured process. PMID:27332478

  4. Strategies to optimize lithium-ion supercapacitors achieving high-performance: Cathode configurations, lithium loadings on anode, and types of separator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Wanjun; Li, Yangxing; Fitch, Brian; Shih, Jonathan; Doung, Tien; Zheng, Jim

    2014-12-01

    The Li-ion capacitor (LIC) is composed of a lithium-doped carbon anode and an activated carbon cathode, which is a half Li-ion battery (LIB) and a half electrochemical double-layer capacitor (EDLC). LICs can achieve much more energy density than EDLC without sacrificing the high power performance advantage of capacitors over batteries. LIC pouch cells were assembled using activated carbon (AC) cathode and hard carbon (HC) + stabilized lithium metal power (SLMP®) anode. Different cathode configurations, various SLMP loadings on HC anode, and two types of separators were investigated to achieve the optimal electrochemical performance of the LIC. Firstly, the cathode binders study suggests that the PTFE binder offers improved energy and power performances for LIC in comparison to PVDF. Secondly, the mass ratio of SLMP to HC is at 1:7 to obtain the optimized electrochemical performance for LIC among all the various studied mass ratios between lithium loading amounts and active anode material. Finally, compared to the separator Celgard PP 3501, cellulose based TF40-30 is proven to be a preferred separator for LIC.

  5. ACHIEVING NEW SOURCE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS (NSPS) EMISSION STANDARDS THROUGH INTEGRATION OF LOW-NOx BURNERS WITH AN OPTIMIZATION PLAN FOR BOILER COMBUSTION

    SciTech Connect

    Wayne Penrod; David Moyeda

    2003-04-01

    The objective of this project is to demonstrate the use of an Integrated Combustion Optimization System to achieve NO{sub x} emissions levels in the range of 0.15 to 0.22 lb/MMBtu while simultaneously enabling increased power output. The project consists of the integration of low-NO{sub x} burners and advanced overfire air technology with various process measurement and control devices on the Holcomb Station Unit 1 boiler. The project includes the use of sophisticated neural networks or other artificial intelligence technologies and complex software that can optimize several operating parameters, including NO{sub x} emissions, boiler efficiency, and CO emissions. The program is being performed in three phases. In Phase I, the boiler is being equipped with sensors that can be used to monitor furnace conditions and coal flow to permit improvements in boiler operation. In Phase II, the boiler will be equipped with burner modifications designed to reduce NO{sub x} emissions and automated coal flow dampers to permit on-line fuel balancing. In Phase III, the boiler will be equipped with an overfire air system to permit deep reductions in NO{sub x} emissions to be achieved. Integration of the overfire air system with the improvements made in Phases I and II will permit optimization of the boiler performance, output, and emissions. During this reporting period, efforts were focused on Phase I and Phase II activities. The furnace sensors were procured and installed in February 2003. Baseline testing was performed following the sensor installation. The low-NO{sub x} burner modifications, the coal flow dampers, and the coal flow monitoring system were procured and installed during a boiler outage in March 2003. Process design activities were performed to support design of the equipment installed and to develop specifications for the overfire air system. The overfire air system preliminary engineering design was initiated.

  6. Achieving the integrated and smart health and wellbeing paradigm: a call for policy research and action on governance and business models.

    PubMed

    Stroetmann, Karl A

    2013-04-01

    To assure sustainability of our health systems and improve quality, implementing integrated wellness, health and social care service models have been proposed. They will need the enabling power of Health ICT facilitated systems and applications. Such solutions support the efficient coordination of service provision across provider and jurisdictional boundaries, the sharing of data, information and knowledge, and the streamlining as well as individualisation of care. Achieving such change in health systems with limited resources requires refocusing the trend of medico-technical progress. Health ICT innovations must be scrutinised for their potential to indeed contribute not only to decreasing costs, but - at the same time - improving the quality of life and ability to cope with challenges like the increasing prevalence of certain chronic diseases or new expectations from healthy people and patients alike. This paper argues that decision-oriented governance models leading to focused policy interventions are needed at several levels: Governments should provide for comprehensive Health ICT infrastructures to enable provider market success. At the individual actor level, sustainable business models reflecting in their value propositions the expectations of their clients (patients and funders) need to be developed. Health policy should design intelligent reimbursement systems providing incentives to indeed optimise services. Smart health innovations should only be implemented where they help achieve the goal of increasing the productivity of health value chains and the quality of overall service delivery value systems. To assure allocational efficiency, regulatory impact analyses (RIA) can support evidence based policy making. PMID:22727880

  7. Optimization of Bone Health in Children before and after Renal Transplantation: Current Perspectives and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Sgambat, Kristen; Moudgil, Asha

    2014-01-01

    The accrual of healthy bone during the critical period of childhood and adolescence sets the stage for lifelong skeletal health. However, in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD), disturbances in mineral metabolism and endocrine homeostasis begin early on, leading to alterations in bone turnover, mineralization, and volume, and impairing growth. Risk factors for CKD–mineral and bone disorder (CKD–MBD) include nutritional vitamin D deficiency, secondary hyperparathyroidism, increased fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23), altered growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 axis, delayed puberty, malnutrition, and metabolic acidosis. After kidney transplantation, nutritional vitamin D deficiency, persistent hyperparathyroidism, tertiary FGF-23 excess, hypophosphatemia, hypomagnesemia, immunosuppressive therapy, and alteration of sex hormones continue to impair bone health and growth. As function of the renal allograft declines over time, CKD–MBD associated changes are reactivated, further impairing bone health. Strategies to optimize bone health post-transplant include healthy diet, weight-bearing exercise, correction of vitamin D deficiency and acidosis, electrolyte abnormalities, steroid avoidance, and consideration of recombinant human growth hormone therapy. Other drug therapies have been used in adult transplant recipients, but there is insufficient evidence for use in the pediatric population at the present time. Future therapies to be explored include anti-FGF-23 antibodies, FGF-23 receptor blockers, and treatments targeting the colonic microbiota by reduction of generation of bacterial toxins and adsorption of toxic end products that affect bone mineralization. PMID:24605319

  8. Correlates of Willingness to Engage in Residential Gardening: Implications for Health Optimization in Ibadan, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Motunrayo Ibrahim, Fausat

    2013-01-01

    Background: Gardening is a worthwhile adventure which engenders health op­timization. Yet, a dearth of evidences that highlights motivations to engage in gardening exists. This study examined willingness to engage in gardening and its correlates, including some socio-psychological, health related and socio-demographic variables. Methods: In this cross-sectional survey, 508 copies of a structured questionnaire were randomly self administered among a group of civil servants of Oyo State, Nigeria. Multi-item measures were used to assess variables. Step wise multiple regression analysis was used to identify predictors of willingness to engage in gar­dening Results: Simple percentile analysis shows that 71.1% of respondents do not own a garden. Results of step wise multiple regression analysis indicate that descriptive norm of gardening is a good predictor, social support for gardening is better while gardening self efficacy is the best predictor of willingness to engage in gardening (P< 0.001). Health consciousness, gardening response efficacy, education and age are not predictors of this willingness (P> 0.05). Results of t-test and ANOVA respectively shows that gender is not associated with this willingness (P> 0.05), but marital status is (P< 0.05).  Conclusion: Socio-psychological characteristics and being married are very rele­vant in motivations to engage in gardening. The nexus between gardening and health optimization appears to be highly obscured in this population. PMID:24688974

  9. Spatio-temporal optimization of agricultural practices to achieve a sustainable development at basin level; framework of a case study in Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uribe, Natalia; corzo, Gerald; Solomatine, Dimitri

    2016-04-01

    The flood events present during the last years in different basins of the Colombian territory have raised questions on the sensitivity of the regions and if this regions have common features. From previous studies it seems important features in the sensitivity of the flood process were: land cover change, precipitation anomalies and these related to impacts of agriculture management and water management deficiencies, among others. A significant government investment in the outreach activities for adopting and promoting the Colombia National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is being carried out in different sectors and regions, having as a priority the agriculture sector. However, more information is still needed in the local environment in order to assess were the regions have this sensitivity. Also the continuous change in one region with seasonal agricultural practices have been pointed out as a critical information for optimal sustainable development. This combined spatio-temporal dynamics of crops cycle in relation to climate change (or variations) has an important impact on flooding events at basin areas. This research will develop on the assessment and optimization of the aggregated impact of flood events due to determinate the spatio-temporal dynamic of changes in agricultural management practices. A number of common best agricultural practices have been identified to explore their effect in a spatial hydrological model that will evaluate overall changes. The optimization process consists on the evaluation of best performance in the agricultural production, without having to change crops activities or move to other regions. To achieve this objectives a deep analysis of different models combined with current and future climate scenarios have been planned. An algorithm have been formulated to cover the parametric updates such that the optimal temporal identification will be evaluated in different region on the case study area. Different hydroinformatics

  10. PLAN or get SLAM'ed: Optimal management of invasive species in the presence of indirect health externalities.

    PubMed

    Jones, Benjamin A; McDermott, Shana M; Chermak, Janie M

    2016-09-15

    This paper examines invasive species management when invasive species impact health outcomes indirectly through changes to environmental quality. For example, the emerald ash borer (EAB) has destroyed millions of ash trees throughout North America and has the potential to impact rates of cardiorespiratory mortality and morbidity through ash trees' ability to capture airborne pollutants. Optimal management inclusive of indirect health externalities may be different than status quo plans because the links between nature and health are complex, dynamic, and spatially heterogeneous. We produce a novel dynamic bioeconomic-health model to determine optimal EAB management in the face of such health effects. Our results show that including health increases net benefits of management substantially and that a "one size fits all" management approach is suboptimal given forest cover and demographic spatial heterogeneity. Net benefits to society are 873% higher and air pollution related mortality incidence is 82% lower when health externalities are included in management profiles using insecticide treatments and non-ash tree preemptive plantings without removal. Additionally, constrained managers optimally substitute toward preemptive tree plantings and away from insecticide use in the presence of indirect health externalities as a way to minimize disruptions to air quality. This paper has policy implications for the optimal management of environmental amenities. PMID:27318589

  11. A triaxial accelerometer monkey algorithm for optimal sensor placement in structural health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Jingqing; Feng, Shuo; Liu, Wei

    2015-06-01

    Optimal sensor placement (OSP) technique is a vital part of the field of structural health monitoring (SHM). Triaxial accelerometers have been widely used in the SHM of large-scale structures in recent years. Triaxial accelerometers must be placed in such a way that all of the important dynamic information is obtained. At the same time, the sensor configuration must be optimal, so that the test resources are conserved. The recommended practice is to select proper degrees of freedom (DOF) based upon several criteria and the triaxial accelerometers are placed at the nodes corresponding to these DOFs. This results in non-optimal placement of many accelerometers. A ‘triaxial accelerometer monkey algorithm’ (TAMA) is presented in this paper to solve OSP problems of triaxial accelerometers. The EFI3 measurement theory is modified and involved in the objective function to make it more adaptable in the OSP technique of triaxial accelerometers. A method of calculating the threshold value based on probability theory is proposed to improve the healthy rate of monkeys in a troop generation process. Meanwhile, the processes of harmony ladder climb and scanning watch jump are proposed and given in detail. Finally, Xinghai NO.1 Bridge in Dalian is implemented to demonstrate the effectiveness of TAMA. The final results obtained by TAMA are compared with those of the original monkey algorithm and EFI3 measurement, which show that TAMA can improve computational efficiency and get a better sensor configuration.

  12. Using optimal combination of teaching-learning methods (open book assignment and group tutorials) as revision exercises to improve learning outcome in low achievers in biochemistry.

    PubMed

    Rajappa, Medha; Bobby, Zachariah; Nandeesha, H; Suryapriya, R; Ragul, Anithasri; Yuvaraj, B; Revathy, G; Priyadarssini, M

    2016-07-01

    Graduate medical students of India are taught Biochemistry by didactic lectures and they hardly get any opportunity to clarify their doubts and reinforce the concepts which they learn in these lectures. We used a combination of teaching-learning (T-L) methods (open book assignment followed by group tutorials) to study their efficacy in improving the learning outcome. About 143 graduate medical students were classified into low (<50%: group 1, n = 23), medium (50-75%: group 2, n = 74), and high (>75%: group 3, n = 46) achievers, based on their internal assessment marks. After the regular teaching module on the topics "Vitamins and Enzymology", all the students attempted an open book assignment without peer consultation. Then all the students participated in group tutorials. The effects on the groups were evaluated by pre and posttests at the end of each phase, with the same set of MCQs. Gain from group tutorials and overall gain was significantly higher in the low achievers, compared to other groups. High and medium achievers obtained more gain from open book assignment, than group tutorials. The overall gain was significantly higher than the gain obtained from open book assignment or group tutorials, in all three groups. All the three groups retained the gain even after 1 week of the exercise. Hence, optimal use of novel T-L methods (open book assignment followed by group tutorials) as revision exercises help in strengthening concepts in Biochemistry in this oft neglected group of low achievers in graduate medical education. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 44(4):321-325, 2016. PMID:26891594

  13. HOW MANY REPETITIONS OF CHILD CARE SKILLS ARE REQUIRED FOR HEALTH WORKER STUDENTS TO ACHIEVE PROFICIENCY? LEARNING CURVE PATTERNS IN CHILD CARE SKILLS ACQUISITION

    PubMed Central

    Emami Moghadam, Zahra; Emami Zeydi, Amir; Mazlom, Seyed Reza; Abadi, Fatemeh Sardar; Pour, Parastoo Majidi; Davoudi, Malihe; Banafsheh, Elahe

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The vulnerability of children under 5 years old requires paying more attention to the health of this group. In the Iranian health care system, health workers are the first line of human resources for health care in rural areas. Because most health workers begin working in conditions with minimal facilities, their clinical qualifications are crucial. The aim of this study was to determine the number of repetitions of child care skills, required for health worker students to achieve proficiency based on the learning curve. Methods: A time series research design was used. Participants in this study were first year health worker students enrolled in three health schools in 2011. Data were collected using a questionnaire consisting of demographic information and a checklist evaluating the health worker students’ clinical skills proficiency for child care. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 16.0 software (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL) using descriptive and inferential statistics including Kruskal-Wallis and Pearson correlation coefficient tests. Results: Learning curve patterns in child care skills acquisition showed that for less than 20 and between 20 to 29 times, the level of skill acquisition had an upward slope. Between 30- 39 the learning curve was descending, however the slope became ascending once more and then it leveled off (with change of less than 5%). Conclusion: It seems that 40 repetitions of child care skills are sufficient for health worker students to achieve proficiency. This suggests that time, resources and additional costs for training health worker students’ trainees can be saved by this level of repetition. PMID:26622199

  14. Achieving New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) Emission Standards Through Integration of Low-NOx Burners with an Optimization Plan for Boiler Combustion

    SciTech Connect

    Wayne Penrod

    2006-12-31

    The objective of this project was to demonstrate the use of an Integrated Combustion Optimization System to achieve NO{sub X} emission levels in the range of 0.15 to 0.22 lb/MMBtu while simultaneously enabling increased power output. The project plan consisted of the integration of low-NO{sub X} burners and advanced overfire air technology with various process measurement and control devices on the Holcomb Station Unit 1 boiler. The plan included the use of sophisticated neural networks or other artificial intelligence technologies and complex software to optimize several operating parameters, including NO{sub X} emissions, boiler efficiency, and CO emissions. The program was set up in three phases. In Phase I, the boiler was equipped with sensors that can be used to monitor furnace conditions and coal flow to permit improvements in boiler operation. In Phase II, the boiler was equipped with burner modifications designed to reduce NO{sub X} emissions and automated coal flow dampers to permit on-line fuel balancing. In Phase III, the boiler was to be equipped with an overfire air system to permit deep reductions in NO{sub X} emissions. Integration of the overfire air system with the improvements made in Phases I and II would permit optimization of boiler performance, output, and emissions. This report summarizes the overall results from Phases I and II of the project. A significant amount of data was collected from the combustion sensors, coal flow monitoring equipment, and other existing boiler instrumentation to monitor performance of the burner modifications and the coal flow balancing equipment.

  15. Large, Sparse Optimal Matching with Refined Covariate Balance in an Observational Study of the Health Outcomes Produced by New Surgeons

    PubMed Central

    Pimentel, Samuel D.; Kelz, Rachel R.; Silber, Jeffrey H.; Rosenbaum, Paul R.

    2015-01-01

    Every newly trained surgeon performs her first unsupervised operation. How do the health outcomes of her patients compare with the patients of experienced surgeons? Using data from 498 hospitals, we compare 1252 pairs comprised of a new surgeon and an experienced surgeon working at the same hospital. We introduce a new form of matching that matches patients of each new surgeon to patients of an otherwise similar experienced surgeon at the same hospital, perfectly balancing 176 surgical procedures and closely balancing a total of 2.9 million categories of patients; additionally, the individual patient pairs are as close as possible. A new goal for matching is introduced, called “refined covariate balance,” in which a sequence of nested, ever more refined, nominal covariates is balanced as closely as possible, emphasizing the first or coarsest covariate in that sequence. A new algorithm for matching is proposed and the main new results prove that the algorithm finds the closest match in terms of the total within-pair covariate distances among all matches that achieve refined covariate balance. Unlike previous approaches to forcing balance on covariates, the new algorithm creates multiple paths to a match in a network, where paths that introduce imbalances are penalized and hence avoided to the extent possible. The algorithm exploits a sparse network to quickly optimize a match that is about two orders of magnitude larger than is typical in statistical matching problems, thereby permitting much more extensive use of fine and near-fine balance constraints. The match was constructed in a few minutes using a network optimization algorithm implemented in R. An R package called rcbalance implementing the method is available from CRAN. PMID:26273117

  16. The Progress of Nations: The Nations of the World Ranked According to Their Achievements in Child Health, Nutrition, Education, Water and Sanitation, and Progress for Women, 1997.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    United Nations Children's Fund, New York, NY.

    This report summarizes the latest available statistics on international achievements in child survival, health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, and the plight of women. Each section contains a commentary, related statistics, and a discussion on progress and disparity in the section's particular area. Following a foreword by United…

  17. The Progress of Nations, 1996: The Nations of the World Ranked According to Their Achievements in Child Health, Nutrition, Education, Family Planning, and Progress for Women.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adamson, Peter, Ed.

    This report brings together the latest available statistics to record national achievements in child survival, health, nutrition, education, family planning, and progress for women. Each section contains a commentary and a presentation of related statistics. Following an introduction by UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy, the commentaries…

  18. The Progress of Nations: The Nations of the World Ranked According to Their Achievements in Child Health, Nutrition, Education, Family Planning, and Progress for Women, 1994.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adamson, Peter, Ed.

    1994-01-01

    This report brings together the latest available statistics to record national achievements in child survival, health, nutrition, education, family planning, and progress for women. Each section contains a commentary and a presentation of related statistics. The commentaries of the report are: (1) Introduction, "One Small Step for a Summit" (Peter…

  19. Health Behavior and Academic Achievement among Adolescents: The Relative Contribution of Dietary Habits, Physical Activity, Body Mass Index, and Self-Esteem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kristjansson, Alfgeir Logi; Sigfusdottir, Inga Dora; Allegrante, John P.

    2010-01-01

    This study tested a structural equation model to estimate the relationship between health behaviors, body mass index (BMI), and self-esteem and the academic achievement of adolescents. The authors analyzed survey data from the 2000 study of "Youth in Iceland", a population-based, cross-sectional sample of 6,346 adolescents in Iceland. The model…

  20. Assessing the Impact of School-Based Health Centers on Academic Achievement and College Preparation Efforts: Using Propensity Score Matching to Assess School-Level Data in California

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bersamin, Melina; Garbers, Samantha; Gaarde, Jenna; Santelli, John

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the association between school-based health center (SBHC) presence and school-wide measures of academic achievement and college preparation efforts. Publicly available educational and demographic data from 810 California public high schools were linked to a list of schools with an SBHC. Propensity score matching, a method to…

  1. Minimizing the health and climate impacts of emissions from heavy-duty public transportation bus fleets through operational optimization.

    PubMed

    Gouge, Brian; Dowlatabadi, Hadi; Ries, Francis J

    2013-04-16

    In contrast to capital control strategies (i.e., investments in new technology), the potential of operational control strategies (e.g., vehicle scheduling optimization) to reduce the health and climate impacts of the emissions from public transportation bus fleets has not been widely considered. This case study demonstrates that heterogeneity in the emission levels of different bus technologies and the exposure potential of bus routes can be exploited though optimization (e.g., how vehicles are assigned to routes) to minimize these impacts as well as operating costs. The magnitude of the benefits of the optimization depend on the specific transit system and region. Health impacts were found to be particularly sensitive to different vehicle assignments and ranged from worst to best case assignment by more than a factor of 2, suggesting there is significant potential to reduce health impacts. Trade-offs between climate, health, and cost objectives were also found. Transit agencies that do not consider these objectives in an integrated framework and, for example, optimize for costs and/or climate impacts alone, risk inadvertently increasing health impacts by as much as 49%. Cost-benefit analysis was used to evaluate trade-offs between objectives, but large uncertainties make identifying an optimal solution challenging. PMID:23477749

  2. Perceptions of High Achieving African American/Black 10th Graders from a Low Socioeconomic Community Regarding Health Scientists and Desired Careers

    PubMed Central

    Boekeloo, Bradley; Randolph, Suzanne; Timmons-Brown, Stephanie; Wang, Min Qi

    2014-01-01

    Measures are needed to assess youth perceptions about health science careers to facilitate research aimed at facilitating youth pursuit of health science. Although the Indiana Instrument provides an established measure of perceptions regarding nursing and ideal careers, we were interested in learning how high achieving 10th graders from relatively low socioeconomic areas who identify as Black/African American (Black) perceive health science and ideal careers. The Indiana Instrument was modified, administered to 90 youth of interest, and psychometrically analyzed. Reliable subscales were identified that may facilitate parsimonious, theoretical, and reliable study of youth decision-making regarding health science careers. Such research may help to develop and evaluate strategies for increasing the number of minority health scientists. PMID:25194058

  3. Using information Theory in Optimal Test Point Selection for Health Management in NASA's Exploration Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehr, Ali Farhang; Tumer, Irem

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, we will present a new methodology that measures the "worth" of deploying an additional testing instrument (sensor) in terms of the amount of information that can be retrieved from such measurement. This quantity is obtained using a probabilistic model of RLV's that has been partially developed in the NASA Ames Research Center. A number of correlated attributes are identified and used to obtain the worth of deploying a sensor in a given test point from an information-theoretic viewpoint. Once the information-theoretic worth of sensors is formulated and incorporated into our general model for IHM performance, the problem can be formulated as a constrained optimization problem where reliability and operational safety of the system as a whole is considered. Although this research is conducted specifically for RLV's, the proposed methodology in its generic form can be easily extended to other domains of systems health monitoring.

  4. Predictors of suicidal ideation with sub-optimal health status and anxiety symptom among Chinese adolescents.

    PubMed

    Tu, Chunyu; Huang, Zhaohui; Fu, Lijun; Fang, Yirong; Wang, Jiling; Guo, Tianying; Li, Ming; Hao, Jiahu; Tao, Fangbiao

    2012-08-01

    Evidences in respect to the predictors of suicide ideation are uncertain and most associations only have been identified in cross-sectional studies. More information is needed to identify whether these predictors are true risk factors and can predict the development of suicidal ideation independently. Using the data from a prospective, longitudinal study (n = 2348), we examined the predictors of suicide ideation with demographic variety and psychological well-being of adolescents. Positive items of sub-optimal health status and anxiety symptom at baseline could strongly predict the incidence of self-reported suicidal ideation on a 1-year follow-up study. These results have implications for programs aimed at identifying school students at risk for suicide. PMID:22071377

  5. Conference on "Multidisciplinary approaches to nutritional problems". Rank Prize Lecture. Global nutrition challenges for optimal health and well-being.

    PubMed

    Uauy, Ricardo; Corvalan, Camila; Dangour, Alan D

    2009-02-01

    Optimal health and well-being are now considered the true measures of human development. Integrated strategies for infant, child and adult nutrition are required that take a life-course perspective to achieve life-long health. The major nutrition challenges faced today include: (a) addressing the pending burden of undernutrition (low birth weight, severe wasting, stunting and Zn, retinol, Fe, iodine and folic acid deficits) affecting those individuals living in conditions of poverty and deprivation; (b) preventing nutrition-related chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, CVD, some forms of cancer and osteoporosis) that, except in sub-Saharan Africa, are the main causes of death and disability globally. This challenge requires a life-course perspective as effective prevention starts before conception and continues at each stage of life. While death is unavoidable, premature death and disability can be postponed by providing the right amount and quality of food and by maintaining an active life; (c) delaying or avoiding, via appropriate nutrition and physical activity interventions, the functional declines associated with advancing age. To help tackle these challenges, it is proposed that the term 'malnutrition in all its forms', which encompasses the full spectrum of nutritional disorders, should be used to engender a broader understanding of global nutrition problems. This term may prove particularly helpful when interacting with policy makers and the public. Finally, a greater effort by the UN agencies and private and public development partners is called for to strengthen local, regional and international capacity to support the much needed change in policy and programme activities focusing on all forms of malnutrition with a unified agenda. PMID:19012808

  6. The Effects of Health and Wellness on Academic Achievement and Cognitive Ability in Students Attending Seventh-Day Adventist Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Patricia C.

    2011-01-01

    Healthful living has been a cornerstone of Seventh-day Adventist belief and practice almost from the very beginning of the church's history. The problem was that no one had studied the role healthful practices play in Seventh-day Adventist education using the entire Seventh-day Adventist student population. The correlations between four aspects of…

  7. A trend in women's health in India--what has been achieved and what can be done.

    PubMed

    Saha, Uma C; Saha, Kalyan B

    2010-01-01

    The health of Indian women is intrinsically linked to their status in society. Research into Indian women's status has found that their family contributions are often overlooked and they are likely to be regarded as an economic burden, especially in rural areas. This attitude has a negative impact on their health status. Poor health has repercussions not only for women, but also for their children and other family members. This commentary focuses on the trend in five key women's issues in India: maternal and child health; violence against women; nutritional status; unequal treatment of girls and boys; and care quality. The discussion is based on data extracted from Indian National Family Health Surveys (NFHS-1, NFHS-2 NFHS-3) spanning the period 1993-2006, and data from the Indian Sample Registration System and National Crime Research Bureau. PMID:20626212

  8. A Narrative Synthesis of the Health Systems Factors Influencing Optimal Hypertension Control in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Introduction In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), an estimated 74.7 million individuals are hypertensive. Reducing the growing burden of hypertension in sub-Saharan Africa will require a variety of strategies one of which is identifying the extent to which actions originating at the health systems level improves optimal management and control. Methods and Results We conducted a narrative synthesis of available papers examining health systems factors influencing optimal hypertension in SSA. Eligible studies included those that analyzed the impact of health systems on hypertension awareness, treatment, control and medication adherence. Twenty-five articles met the inclusion criteria and the narrative synthesis identified the following themes: 1) how physical resources influence mechanisms supportive of optimal hypertension control; 2) the role of human resources with enabling and/or inhibiting hypertension control goals; 3) the availability and/or use of intellectual resources; 4) how health systems financing facilitate and/or compromise access to products necessary for optimal hypertension control. Conclusion The findings highlight the need for further research on the health systems factors that influence management and control of hypertension in the region. PMID:26176223

  9. Closing the health and nutrition gap in Odisha, India: A case study of how transforming the health system is achieving greater equity.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Deborah; Sarangi, Biraj Laxmi; Garg, Anu; Ahuja, Arti; Meherda, Pramod; Karthikeyan, Sujata R; Joddar, Pinaki; Kar, Rajendra; Pattnaik, Jeetendra; Druvasula, Ramesh; Dembo Rath, Alison

    2015-11-01

    Health equity is high on the international agenda. This study provides evidence of how health systems can be strengthened to improve health equity in a low-income state. The paper presents a case study of how the Government of Odisha in eastern India is transforming the health system for more equitable health and nutrition outcomes. Odisha has a population of over 42 million, high levels of poverty, and poor maternal and child health concentrated in its Southern districts and among Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste communities. Conducted between 2008 and 2012 with the Departments of Health and Family Welfare, and Women and Child Development, the study reviewed a wide range of literature including policy and programme documents, evaluations and studies, published and grey material, and undertook secondary analysis of state level household surveys. It identifies innovative and expanded provision of health services, reforms to the management and development of human resources for health, and the introduction of a number of cash transfer and entitlement schemes as contributing to closing the gap between maternal and child health and nutrition outcomes of Scheduled Tribes, and the Southern districts, compared to the state average. The institutional delivery rate for Scheduled Tribes has risen from 11.7% in 2005-06 to 67.3% in 2011, and from 35.6% to 79.8% for all women. The social gradient has also closed for antenatal and postnatal care and immunisation. Nutrition indicators though improving are proving slower to budge. The paper identifies how political will, committed policy makers and fiscal space energised the health system to promote equity. Sustained political commitment will be required to continue to address the more challenging human resource, health financing and gender issues. PMID:26120091

  10. Achieving patient and family engagement through the implementation and evolution of advisory councils across a large health care system.

    PubMed

    Haycock, Camille; Wahl, Carol

    2013-01-01

    Over the past decade, hospitals and health care systems have responded to the call for increased patient engagement and person-centered care. Organizations across the country have developed models and tools to assist in the effort toward patient and family engagement in health care delivery. In addition, current literature and trends suggest that patient satisfaction and quality outcomes are improved when patients and families become partners in their own health care and the delivery of that care. However, to formalize a patient-centric structure and process across a large health care system that is aimed at patient and family engagement can be a daunting activity. Utilizing well-established tools, Catholic Health Initiatives was successful in implementing the structures to deploy the ideas of patients and families in multiple facilities and care settings across 19 states. Nursing leaderships, in partnership with patients and their families within this health care delivery system, were the key contributors to the implementation of formalized patient and family advisory councils in hospitals across the enterprise. PMID:23744470

  11. The special programme of research in human reproduction: forty years of activities to achieve reproductive health for all.

    PubMed

    Benagiano, Giuseppe; d'Arcangues, Catherine; Harris Requejo, Jennifer; Schafer, Alessandra; Say, Lale; Merialdi, Mario

    2012-01-01

    The Special Programme of Research in Human Reproduction (HRP), co-sponsored by the UNDP, UNFPA, WHO, and the World Bank, is celebrating 40 years of activities with an expansion of its mandate and new co-sponsors. When it began, in 1972, the main focus was on evaluating the acceptability, effectiveness, and safety of existing fertility-regulating methods, as well as developing new, improved modalities for family planning. In 1994, HRP not only made major contributions to the Plan of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD); it also broadened its scope of work to include other aspects of health dealing with sexuality and reproduction, adding a specific perspective on gender issues and human rights. In 2002, HRP's mandate was once again broadened to include sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS and in 2003 it was further expanded to research activities on preventing violence against women and its many dire health consequences. Today, the work of the Programme includes research on: the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, women, and men; maternal and perinatal health; reproductive tract and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS); family planning; infertility; unsafe abortion; sexual health; screening for cancer of the cervix in developing countries, and gender and reproductive rights. Additional activities by the Programme have included: fostering international cooperation in the field of human reproduction; the elaboration of WHO's first Global Reproductive Health Strategy; work leading to the inclusion of ICPD's goal 'reproductive health for all by 2015' into the Millennium Development Goal framework; the promotion of critical interagency statements on the public health, legal, and human rights implications of female genital mutilation and gender-biased sex selection. Finally, HRP has been involved in the creation of guidelines and tools, such as the 'Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use

  12. An international comparative public health analysis of sex trafficking of women and girls in eight cities: achieving a more effective health sector response.

    PubMed

    Macias Konstantopoulos, Wendy; Ahn, Roy; Alpert, Elaine J; Cafferty, Elizabeth; McGahan, Anita; Williams, Timothy P; Castor, Judith Palmer; Wolferstan, Nadya; Purcell, Genevieve; Burke, Thomas F

    2013-12-01

    Sex trafficking, trafficking for the purpose of forced sexual exploitation, is a widespread form of human trafficking that occurs in all regions of the world, affects mostly women and girls, and has far-reaching health implications. Studies suggest that up to 50 % of sex trafficking victims in the USA seek medical attention while in their trafficking situation, yet it is unclear how the healthcare system responds to the needs of victims of sex trafficking. To understand the intersection of sex trafficking and public health, we performed in-depth qualitative interviews among 277 antitrafficking stakeholders across eight metropolitan areas in five countries to examine the local context of sex trafficking. We sought to gain a new perspective on this form of gender-based violence from those who have a unique vantage point and intimate knowledge of push-and-pull factors, victim health needs, current available resources and practices in the health system, and barriers to care. Through comparative analysis across these contexts, we found that multiple sociocultural and economic factors facilitate sex trafficking, including child sexual abuse, the objectification of women and girls, and lack of income. Although there are numerous physical and psychological health problems associated with sex trafficking, health services for victims are patchy and poorly coordinated, particularly in the realm of mental health. Various factors function as barriers to a greater health response, including low awareness of sex trafficking and attitudinal biases among health workers. A more comprehensive and coordinated health system response to sex trafficking may help alleviate its devastating effects on vulnerable women and girls. There are numerous opportunities for local health systems to engage in antitrafficking efforts while partnering across sectors with relevant stakeholders. PMID:24151086

  13. Breakfast, midday meals and academic achievement in rural primary schools in Uganda: implications for education and school health policy

    PubMed Central

    Acham, Hedwig; Kikafunda, Joyce K.; Malde, Marian K.; Oldewage-Theron, Wilna H.; Egal, AbdulKadir A.

    2012-01-01

    Background Underachievement in schools is a global problem and is especially prevalent in developing countries. Indicators of educational performance show that Uganda has done remarkably well on education access-related targets since the introduction of universal primary education in 1997. However, educational outcomes remain disappointing. The absence of school feeding schemes, one of the leading causes of scholastic underachievement, has not been given attention by the Ugandan authorities. Instead, as a national policy, parents are expected to provide meals even though many, especially in the rural areas, cannot afford to provide even the minimal daily bowl of maize porridge. Objective To assess and demonstrate the effect of breakfast and midday meal consumption on academic achievement of schoolchildren. Design, Materials and Methods We assessed household characteristics, feeding patterns and academic achievement of 645 schoolchildren (aged 9–15 years) in Kumi district, eastern Uganda, in 2006–2007, using a modified cluster sampling design which involved only grade 1 schools (34 in total) and pupils of grade four. Household questionnaires and school records were used to collect information on socio-demographic factors, feeding patterns and school attendance. Academic achievement was assessed using unstandardized techniques, specifically designed for this study. Results Underachievement (the proportion below a score of 120.0 points) was high (68.4%); in addition, significantly higher achievement and better feeding patterns were observed among children from the less poor households (p<0.05). Achievement was significantly associated with consumption of breakfast and a midday meal, particularly for boys (p<0.05), and a greater likelihood of scoring well was observed for better nourished children (all OR values>1.0). Conclusion We observed that underachievement was relatively high; inadequate patterns of meal consumption, particularly for the most poor

  14. Maternal Perinatal Mental Health and Offspring Academic Achievement at Age 16: The Mediating Role of Childhood Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearson, Rebecca M.; Bornstein, Marc H.; Cordero, Miguel; Scerif, Gaia; Mahedy, Liam; Evans, Jonathan; Abioye, Abu; Stein, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Background: Elucidating risk pathways for under-achieving at school can inform strategies to reduce the number of adolescents leaving school without passing grades in core subjects. Maternal depression can compromise the quality of parental care and is associated with multiple negative child outcomes. However, only a few small studies have…

  15. Health Instruction Packages: Test-Taking Strategies for the N. L. N. (National League of Nursing) Achievement Tests.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bateman, Leslie Miller

    As an informational aid for students who are planning to take NLN (National League of Nursing) Achievement Tests, the text and accompanying exercises in this module describe NLN testing procedures and fundamental test-taking skills. After introductory material discussing the importance of mastering test-taking skills, the module describes how to…

  16. The Effects of Learning Styles and Meaningful Learning on the Learning Achievement of Gamification Health Education Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fan, Kuo-Kuang; Xiao, Peng-wei; Su, Chung-Ho

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to discuss the correlations among learning styles, meaningful learning, and learning achievement. Directed at the rather difficult to comprehend human blood circulation unit in the biology materials for junior high school students, a Mobile Meaningful Blood Circulation Learning System, called MMBCLS gamification learning, was…

  17. Achieving a “Grand Convergence” in Global Health: Modeling the Technical Inputs, Costs, and Impacts from 2016 to 2030

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Colin F.; Levin, Carol; Hatefi, Arian; Madriz, Solange; Santos, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    Background The Commission on Investing in Health published its report, GlobalHealth2035, in 2013, estimating an investment case for a grand convergence in health outcomes globally. In support of the drafting of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we estimate what the grand convergence investment case might achieve—and what investment would be required—by 2030. Methods and Findings Our projection focuses on a sub-set of low-income (LIC) or lower-middle-income countries (LMIC). We start with a country-based (bottom-up) analysis of the costs and impact of scaling up reproductive, maternal, and child health tools, and select HIV and malaria interventions. We then incorporate global (top-down) analyses of the costs and impacts of scaling up existing tools for tuberculosis, additional HIV interventions, the costs to strengthen health systems, and the costs and benefits from scaling up new health interventions over the time horizon of this forecast. These data are then allocated to individual countries to provide an aggregate projection of potential cost and impact at the country level. Finally, incremental costs of R&D for low-income economies and the costs of addressing NTDs are added to provide a global total cost estimate of the investment scenario. Results Compared with a constant coverage scenario, there would be more than 60 million deaths averted in LIC and 70 million deaths averted in LMIC between 2016 and 2030. For the years 2015, 2020, 2025, and 2030, the incremental costs of convergence in LIC would be (US billion) $24.3, $21.8, $24.7, and $27, respectively; in LMIC, the incremental costs would be (US billion) $34.75, $38.9, $48.7, and $56.3, respectively. Conclusion Key health outcomes in low- and low-middle income countries can significantly converge with those of wealthier countries by 2030, and the notion of a “grand convergence” may serve as a unifying theme for health indicators in the SDGs. PMID:26452263

  18. Health Optimizing Physical Education (HOPE): A New Curriculum for School Programs--Part 2: Teacher Knowledge and Collaboration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metzler, Michael W.; McKenzie, Thomas L.; van der Mars, Hans; Barrett-Williams, Shannon L.; Ellis, Rebecca

    2013-01-01

    Part 1 of this article, which appeared in the April 2013 of JOPERD, presented the theoretical foundation and evidence-based needs for a main-theme curriculum model called Health Optimizing Physical Education (HOPE) for schools. It also described eight strands that could be used to plan, implement, and assess this version of a comprehensive school…

  19. Physical Activity: A Tool for Improving Health (Part 3--Recommended Amounts of Physical Activity for Optimal Health)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallaway, Patrick J.; Hongu, Nobuko

    2016-01-01

    By promoting physical activities and incorporating them into their community-based programs, Extension professionals are improving the health of individuals, particularly those with limited resources. This article is the third in a three-part series describing the benefits of physical activity for human health: (1) biological health benefits of…

  20. Academic Achievement and Behavioral Health among Asian American and African American Adolescents: Testing the Model Minority and Inferior Minority Assumptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whaley, Arthur L.; Noel, La Tonya

    2013-01-01

    The present study tested the model minority and inferior minority assumptions by examining the relationship between academic performance and measures of behavioral health in a subsample of 3,008 (22%) participants in a nationally representative, multicultural sample of 13,601 students in the 2001 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, comparing Asian…

  1. A Model of Approaches to Learning and Academic Achievement of Students from an Inquiry Based Bachelor of Health Sciences Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donnon, Tyrone; Hecker, Kent

    2008-01-01

    The Biggs' Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ) was used to test competing models of students' approaches to learning in a sample of undergraduate students (n = 125) from an inquiry based Bachelor of Health Sciences program. In addition to an internal consistency and test-retest reliability analysis of the SPQ, confirmatory factor analysis was used…

  2. Comparison of patient evaluations of health care quality in relation to WHO measures of achievement in 12 European countries.

    PubMed Central

    Kerssens, Jan J.; Groenewegen, Peter P.; Sixma, Herman J.; Boerma, Wienke G. W.; van der Eijk, Ingrid

    2004-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To gain insight into similarities and differences in patient evaluations of quality of primary care across 12 European countries and to correlate patient evaluations with WHO health system performance measures (for example, responsiveness) of these countries. METHODS: Patient evaluations were derived from a series of Quote (QUality of care Through patients' Eyes) instruments designed to measure the quality of primary care. Various research groups provided a total sample of 5133 patients from 12 countries: Belarus, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, and Ukraine. Intraclass correlations of 10 Quote items were calculated to measure differences between countries. The world health report 2000 - Health systems: improving performance performance measures in the same countries were correlated with mean Quote scores. FINDINGS: Intra-class correlation coefficients ranged from low to very high, which indicated little variation between countries in some respects (for example, primary care providers have a good understanding of patients' problems in all countries) and large variation in other respects (for example, with respect to prescription of medication and communication between primary care providers). Most correlations between mean Quote scores per country and WHO performance measures were positive. The highest correlation (0.86) was between the primary care provider's understanding of patients' problems and responsiveness according to WHO. CONCLUSIONS: Patient evaluations of the quality of primary care showed large differences across countries and related positively to WHO's performance measures of health care systems. PMID:15042232

  3. Achieving Equity through Critical Science Agency: An Ethnographic Study of African American Students in a Health Science Career Academy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haun-Frank, Julie

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of a High School Health Science Career Academy to support African American students' science career trajectories. I used three key theoretical tools---critical science agency (Basu, 2007; Calabrese Barton & Tan, 2008), power (Nespor, 1994), and cultural production (Carlone, 2004; Eisenhart &…

  4. Achieving Public Health Goals Through Medicaid Expansion: Opportunities in Criminal Justice, Homelessness, and Behavioral Health With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Klingenmaier, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    States are currently discussing how (or whether) to implement the Medicaid expansion to nondisabled adults earning less than 133% of the federal poverty level, a key aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Those experiencing homelessness and those involved with the criminal justice system—particularly when they struggle with behavioral health diagnoses—are subpopulations that are currently uninsured at high rates and have significant health care needs but will become Medicaid eligible starting in 2014. We outline the connection between these groups, assert outcomes possible from greater collaboration between multiple systems, provide a summary of Medicaid eligibility and its ramifications for individuals in the criminal justice system, and explore opportunities to improve overall public health through Medicaid outreach, enrollment, and engagement in needed health care. PMID:24148039

  5. Closing the gaps in child health in the Pacific: An achievable goal in the next 20 years

    PubMed Central

    Duke, Trevor; Kado, Joseph H; Auto, James; Amini, James; Gilbert, Katherine

    2015-01-01

    It is not inconceivable that by 2035 the substantial gaps in child health across the Pacific can close significantly. Currently, Australia and New Zealand have child mortality rates of 5 and 6 per 1000 live births, respectively, while Pacific island developing nations have under 5 mortality rates ranging from 13 to 16 (Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga) to 47 and 58 per 1000 live births (Kiribati and Papua New Guinea, respectively). However, these Pacific child mortality rates are falling, by an average of 1.4% per year since 1990, and more rapidly (1.9% per year) since 2000. Based on progress elsewhere, there is a need to (i) define the specific things needed to close the gaps in child health; (ii) be far more ambitious and hopeful than ever before; and (iii) form a new regional compact based on solidarity and interdependence. PMID:25586845

  6. Exposure assessment of residential mould, fungi and microbial components in relation to children's health: achievements and challenges.

    PubMed

    Tischer, Christina G; Heinrich, Joachim

    2013-03-01

    Each day we are exposed to a complex mixture of microbial agents and components in indoor environments. A major part of this mixture derives from fungal and bacterial origin. The impact between those microbial agents in the home environment in relation to respiratory health in children is still a major issue in research. There is little known about the causal agents that provoke or arrest the development of allergic respiratory disorders in children. Identification is complicated by the biodiversity and variability of microbial components in indoor air as well as the lack of validated and standardized exposure assessment methods. In this review, we aim to consider all important aspects in terms of research which may encounter an epidemiological study. Apart from the need for standardized exposure assessment methods which consider cost, handling and effort, especially for the participants, we suggest that a combination of different analysis methods such as chemical and molecular methods may have the potential to best describe the microbial milieu in indoor environments at present. Further, the impact of mould and moisture remediation activities on health is still heavily under investigated, especially in larger prospective cohorts of children and should be a topic of future research. Moreover, the exposure to mould and microbial agents might be embedded in a broader spectrum of children's health such as behavior and cognitive development. PMID:22704485

  7. Of jugglers, mechanics, communities, and the thyroid gland: how do we achieve good quality data to improve public health?

    PubMed Central

    Karmaus, W

    2001-01-01

    Our knowledge about the distribution of exposures to toxic chemicals in various communities is limited. Only about 6% of approximately 1,400 toxic chemicals have been identified in surveys. Even for those chemicals that are measured, information is often insufficient to identify smaller populations at high risk. The question is whether information about the distribution of diseases in communities can help identify environmental risks, indicate areas of concern, and thus substitute exposure information. Thyroid disorders represent a large group of diseases that cannot be recorded into registries because of the lack of clear caseness; community-based monitoring of subtle health effects is needed. Thus, to identify potential health risks in communities, epidemiologic studies including effect and human exposure monitoring are necessary. However, to overcome the limitation of nonsystematic case studies, the development of a network of exposed communities concerned about exposures is proposed. A network would provide assessments of exposures and health outcomes, with different communities mutually serving as exposed and control groups. Such a network would foster communication and prevention measures within communities often left out of the dissemination of information about risks identified in studies conducted with residents of these communities. PMID:11744504

  8. Achieving equity through critical science agency: An ethnographic study of African American students in a health science career academy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haun-Frank, Julie

    The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of a High School Health Science Career Academy to support African American students' science career trajectories. I used three key theoretical tools---critical science agency (Basu, 2007; Calabrese Barton & Tan, 2008), power (Nespor, 1994), and cultural production (Carlone, 2004; Eisenhart & Finkel, 1998) to highlight the intersections between the career trajectory implied by the Academy (its curriculum, classroom activities, and clinical experiences) and the students' pursued career trajectories. Data was collected over five months and included individual student interviews, group interviews, parent and administrator interviews, field notes from a culminating medical course and clinical internship, and Academy recruitment documents. The results of this study suggest that participants pursued a health science career for altruistic purposes and the Academy was a resource they drew upon to do so. However, the meanings of science and science person implied by the Academy hindered the possibility for many participants' to advance their science career trajectories. While the Academy promised to expose students to a variety of high-status health care roles, they were funneled into feminine, entry-level positions. This study adds to previous underrepresentation literature by contextualizing how identity-related factors influence African American students' career attainment.

  9. Case study of how successful coordination was achieved between a mental health and social care service in Sweden.

    PubMed

    Hansson, Johan; Øvretveit, John; Brommels, Mats

    2012-01-01

    This paper summarises the findings from an empirical longitudinal study of a health and social care consortium for people with mental health problems in one area in Stockholm. The aim was to describe the formation and structure of coordination within the consortium, and to assess the intermediate impact on care processes and client outcomes. A multiple-method case study design, theoretically informed by the Pettigrew and Whipp model of strategic change (1993) was applied. Data was gathered from interviews with informants from different organisations at different times in the development of the consortium, and from administrative documents, plans and service statistics showing some of the intermediate changes and client outcomes. The findings revealed activities and factors both helping and hindering the formation of coordination arrangements. One of the most significant hindering factors was the central county purchasing organisation focusing more on volume and costs, with payments for specific units and services, and with less emphasis on quality of the services. Few studies have described implementation of changes to improve coordination with reference to context over a long period of time, as well as assessing different results. This study contributes to knowledge about improved methods for this type of research, as well as knowledge about developing coordination between public health and welfare services. One lesson for the current policy is that, where full structural integration is not possible, then client-level coordination roles in each sector are useful to connect sector services for shared clients. PMID:21809387

  10. Building a Rapid Learning Health Care System for Oncology: Why CancerLinQ Collects Identifiable Health Information to Achieve Its Vision.

    PubMed

    Shah, Alaap; Stewart, Andrew K; Kolacevski, Andrej; Michels, Dina; Miller, Robert

    2016-03-01

    The ever-increasing volume of scientific discoveries, clinical knowledge, novel diagnostic tools, and treatment options juxtaposed with rising costs in health care challenge physicians to identify, prioritize, and use new information rapidly to deliver efficient and high-quality care to a growing and aging patient population. CancerLinQ, a rapid learning health care system in oncology, is an initiative of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and its Institute for Quality that addresses these challenges by collecting information from the electronic health records of large numbers of patients with cancer. CancerLinQ is first and foremost a quality measurement and reporting system through which oncologists can harness the depth and power of their patients' clinical records and other data to assess, monitor, and improve the care they deliver. However, in light of privacy and security concerns with regard to collection, use, and disclosure of patient information, this article addresses the need to collect protected health information as defined under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 to drive rapid learning through CancerLinQ. PMID:26755519

  11. The Role of Public Health Advocacy in Achieving an Outright Ban on Commercial Tanning Beds in Australia

    PubMed Central

    Sinclair, Craig A.; Tang, Anita; Brozek, Irena; Rock, Vanessa

    2014-01-01

    Although many countries still face opposition to the legislation of artificial tanning beds, all Australian states and territories have announced a total ban on commercial tanning beds. A combination of epidemiological and policy-centered research, powerful personal stories, and the active advocacy of prominent academics, cancer organizations, and grassroots community campaigners contributed to the decisions to first legislate standards and then ban all commercial tanning beds. We have illustrated that incremental change can be an effective pathway to securing substantial public health reforms. PMID:24328651

  12. Cross-country analysis of strategies for achieving progress towards global goals for women’s and children’s health

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Syed Masud; Rawal, Lal B; Chowdhury, Sadia A; Murray, John; Arscott-Mills, Sharon; Jack, Susan; Hinton, Rachael; Alam, Prima M

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Objective To identify how 10 low- and middle-income countries achieved accelerated progress, ahead of comparable countries, towards meeting millennium development goals 4 and 5A to reduce child and maternal mortality. Methods We synthesized findings from multistakeholder dialogues and country policy reports conducted previously for the Success Factors studies in 10 countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda and Viet Nam. A framework approach was used to analyse and synthesize the data from the country reports, resulting in descriptive or explanatory conclusions by theme. Findings Successful policy and programme approaches were categorized in four strategic areas: leadership and multistakeholder partnerships; health sector; sectors outside health; and accountability for resources and results. Consistent and coordinated inputs across sectors, based on high-impact interventions, were assessed. Within the health sector, key policy and programme strategies included defining standards, collecting and using data, improving financial protection, and improving the availability and quality of services. Outside the health sector, strategies included investing in girls’ education, water, sanitation and hygiene, poverty reduction, nutrition and food security, and infrastructure development. Countries improved accountability by strengthening and using data systems for planning and evaluating progress. Conclusion Reducing maternal and child mortality in the 10 fast-track countries can be linked to consistent and coordinated policy and programme inputs across health and other sectors. The approaches used by successful countries have relevance to other countries looking to scale-up or accelerate progress towards the sustainable development goals. PMID:27147765

  13. Is it possible to "achieve a balance" and meet the "safety net"? Paediatric Advisory Subcommittee to the North West Thames Regional Health Authority.

    PubMed

    Jones, S A; Kovar, I; Williams, M; Bentley, D

    1989-09-30

    The government's document Hospital Medical Staffing--Achieving a Balance--Plan for Action introduced the concept of a "safety net"--that is, a minimum safe level of staffing--of junior doctors in the acute specialties. The North West Thames Paediatric Advisory Group has therefore reviewed the implications and consequences of implementing the safety net in respect of children's services. The group found that if a reasonable safety net was to be provided that enabled the services to stay within the projected junior staffing levels, maintain a balance, meet training needs, and reduce junior doctors' hours of work, then changes in the organisation of the services would be required. Examining the options available showed that to achieve a safety net within the projected numbers of junior staff at least six paediatric units in the region would have to close. It is doubtful if there is the political will to support the very radical changes that would be needed in the distribution of services if the government's recommendations in Achieving a Balance were to be implemented. The profession, the Department of Health, and the public must be made aware that the proposed changes in medical staffing will cause a fundamental change in the traditional pattern of delivery of health care. PMID:2510851

  14. Bringing evidence to policy to achieve health-related MDGs for all: justification and design of the EPI-4 project in China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Thomsen, Sarah; Ng, Nawi; Biao, Xu; Bondjers, Göran; Kusnanto, Hari; Liem, Nguyen Tanh; Mavalankar, Dileep; Målqvist, Mats; Diwan, Vinod

    2013-01-01

    Background The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are monitored using national-level statistics, which have shown substantial improvements in many countries. These statistics may be misleading, however, and may divert resources from disadvantaged populations within the same countries that are showing progress. The purpose of this article is to set out the relevance and design of the “Evidence for Policy and Implementation project (EPI-4)”. EPI-4 aims to contribute to the reduction of inequities in the achievement of health-related MDGs in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam through the promotion of research-informed policymaking. Methods Using a framework provided by the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), we compare national-level MDG targets and results, as well as their social and structural determinants, in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. Results To understand country-level MDG achievements it is useful to analyze their social and structural determinants. This analysis is not sufficient, however, to understand within-country inequities. Specialized analyses are required for this purpose, as is discussion and debate of the results with policymakers, which is the aim of the EPI-4 project. Conclusion Reducing health inequities requires sophisticated analyses to identify disadvantaged populations within and between countries, and to determine evidence-based solutions that will make a difference. The EPI-4 project hopes to contribute to this goal. PMID:23490302

  15. Health from Space to Ground- A Centre to Foster Italy Impressive Achievements in Space Medicine and Biotechnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benassai, Mario; Ambesi-Impimbato, Francesco Saverio

    2013-02-01

    The paper describes the project for a new strategic asset currently emerging within the Italian scientific community in the field of Space Medicine and Biotechnology: an Italian Centre for Health from Space to Ground, dedicated to transferring biomedical methodologies from Space to Earth applications (for rehabilitation, prevention, degenerative diseases treatment), to co-operate with existing similar centers to gather and disseminate data, resources and facilities. This need originates by the convergence between a very active science community, (fostered by the Italian space Agency and the recently founded the Italian Society for Space Biomedicine and Biotechnology - ISSBB) and ALTEC SpA, a public/private company incorporated in Turin by Thales Alenia Space Italy, ASI, a local consortium among local authorities and Finmeccanica, which is very active in supporting Science in Space.

  16. Assessing the Impact of School Based Health Centers on Academic Achievement and College Preparation Efforts: Using Propensity Score Matching to Assess School-Level Data in California

    PubMed Central

    Bersamin, Melina; Garbers, Samantha; Gaarde, Jenna; Santelli, John

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the association between School-Based Health Center (SBHC) presence and school-wide measures of academic achievement and college preparation efforts. Publicly available educational and demographic data from 810 California public high schools were linked to a list of schools with an SBHC. Propensity score matching, a method to reduce bias inherent in non-randomized control studies, was used to select comparison schools. Regression analyses, controlling for proportion of English Language Learners, was conducted for each outcome including: proportion of students participating in three College Board Exams, graduation rates, and meeting University graduation requirements. Findings suggest that SBHC presence is positively associated with college preparation outcomes, but not with academic achievement outcomes (graduation rates or meeting state graduation requirements). Future research must examine underlying mechanisms supporting this association, such as school connectedness. Additional research should explore the role that SBHC staff could have in supporting college preparation efforts. PMID:27009589

  17. Assessing the Impact of School-Based Health Centers on Academic Achievement and College Preparation Efforts: Using Propensity Score Matching to Assess School-Level Data in California.

    PubMed

    Bersamin, Melina; Garbers, Samantha; Gaarde, Jenna; Santelli, John

    2016-08-01

    This study examines the association between school-based health center (SBHC) presence and school-wide measures of academic achievement and college preparation efforts. Publicly available educational and demographic data from 810 California public high schools were linked to a list of schools with an SBHC. Propensity score matching, a method to reduce bias inherent in nonrandomized control studies, was used to select comparison schools. Regression analyses, controlling for proportion of English-language learners, were conducted for each outcome including proportion of students participating in three College Board exams, graduation rates, and meeting university graduation requirements. Findings suggest that SBHC presence is positively associated with college preparation outcomes but not with academic achievement outcomes (graduation rates or meeting state graduation requirements). Future research must examine underlying mechanisms supporting this association, such as school connectedness. Additional research should explore the role that SBHC staff could have in supporting college preparation efforts. PMID:27009589

  18. Optimized Dual Threshold Entity Resolution For Electronic Health Record Databases – Training Set Size And Active Learning

    PubMed Central

    Joffe, Erel; Byrne, Michael J.; Reeder, Phillip; Herskovic, Jorge R.; Johnson, Craig W.; McCoy, Allison B.; Bernstam, Elmer V.

    2013-01-01

    Clinical databases may contain several records for a single patient. Multiple general entity-resolution algorithms have been developed to identify such duplicate records. To achieve optimal accuracy, algorithm parameters must be tuned to a particular dataset. The purpose of this study was to determine the required training set size for probabilistic, deterministic and Fuzzy Inference Engine (FIE) algorithms with parameters optimized using the particle swarm approach. Each algorithm classified potential duplicates into: definite match, non-match and indeterminate (i.e., requires manual review). Training sets size ranged from 2,000–10,000 randomly selected record-pairs. We also evaluated marginal uncertainty sampling for active learning. Optimization reduced manual review size (Deterministic 11.6% vs. 2.5%; FIE 49.6% vs. 1.9%; and Probabilistic 10.5% vs. 3.5%). FIE classified 98.1% of the records correctly (precision=1.0). Best performance required training on all 10,000 randomly-selected record-pairs. Active learning achieved comparable results with 3,000 records. Automated optimization is effective and targeted sampling can reduce the required training set size. PMID:24551372

  19. Disclosure of mental health problems in general practice: The gradual emergence of latent topics and resources for achieving their consideration.

    PubMed

    Tarber, Christel; Frostholm, Lisbeth

    2014-01-01

    Common mental disorders often go undetected in primary care. Sharpening general practitioners' (GPs') attention to potential signs thereof is therefore crucial. This conversation-analytic study arises from the observation that the consideration of psychological problems in new-concern visits can be achieved by way of 'gradual topic emergence'. This entails that the problem is not presented directly, but adjunct to somatic symptoms, and is hinted at by way of generic, ambiguous complaints, and furthermore by expressions of frustration and uncertainty and talk about lifeworld problems. It is argued that these materials are 'trouble-premonitory, alerting the GP to the presence of an underlying problem that can then be addressed throughfurther inquiry. The patient logic behind this approach is to assure the GP's recipiency and thus ratification of the problem's medical legitimacy. It allows the patient to introduce a potentially delicate problem 'off the record, thus guarding the patient against the loss of face that could resultfrom no uptake by the GP. The results of the study point to the importance of GPs being receptive to such interactional clues to psychological problems provided by patients. PMID:26596126

  20. Achieving Research Impact Through Co‐creation in Community‐Based Health Services: Literature Review and Case Study

    PubMed Central

    JACKSON, CLAIRE; SHAW, SARA; JANAMIAN, TINA

    2016-01-01

    Policy Points: Co‐creation—collaborative knowledge generation by academics working alongside other stakeholders—is an increasingly popular approach to aligning research and service development.It has potential for “moving beyond the ivory towers” to deliver significant societal impact via dynamic, locally adaptive community‐academic partnerships.Principles of successful co‐creation include a systems perspective, a creative approach to research focused on improving human experience, and careful attention to governance and process.If these principles are not followed, co‐creation efforts may fail. Context Co‐creation—collaborative knowledge generation by academics working alongside other stakeholders—reflects a “Mode 2” relationship (knowledge production rather than knowledge translation) between universities and society. Co‐creation is widely believed to increase research impact. Methods We undertook a narrative review of different models of co‐creation relevant to community‐based health services. We contrasted their diverse disciplinary roots and highlighted their common philosophical assumptions, principles of success, and explanations for failures. We applied these to an empirical case study of a community‐based research‐service partnership led by the Centre of Research Excellence in Quality and Safety in Integrated Primary‐Secondary Care at the University of Queensland, Australia. Findings Co‐creation emerged independently in several fields, including business studies (“value co‐creation”), design science (“experience‐based co‐design”), computer science (“technology co‐design”), and community development (“participatory research”). These diverse models share some common features, which were also evident in the case study. Key success principles included (1) a systems perspective (assuming emergence, local adaptation, and nonlinearity); (2) the framing of research as a creative enterprise with human

  1. "You Can Turn off the Light If You'd Like": Pediatric Health Care Visits for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as an Interactional Achievement.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Olga; Angell, Amber M; Yin, Larry; Lawlor, Mary C

    2015-12-01

    Substantial scholarship has been generated in medical anthropology and other social science fields on typically developing child-parent-doctor interactions during health care visits. This article contributes an ethnographic, longitudinal, discourse analytic account of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-parent-doctor interactions that occur during pediatric and neurology visits. The analysis shows that when a child with ASD walks into the doctor's office, the tacit expectations about the visit may have to be renegotiated to facilitate the child's, the parent's, and the doctor's participation in the interaction. A successful visit then becomes a hard-won achievement that requires the interactional and relational work of all three participants. We demonstrate that communicative and sensory limitations imposed by ASD present unique challenges to all the participants and consider how health care disparities may invade the pediatric encounter, making visible the structural and interactional processes that engender them. PMID:26332032

  2. Optimism, Social Support, and Mental Health Outcomes in Patients with Advanced Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Applebaum, Allison J.; Stein, Emma M.; Lord-Bessen, Jennifer; Pessin, Hayley; Rosenfeld, Barry; Breitbart, William

    2014-01-01

    Objective Optimism and social support serve as protective factors against distress in medically ill patients. Very few studies have specifically explored the ways in which these variables interact to impact quality of life (QOL), particularly among patients with advanced cancer. The present study examined the role of optimism as a moderator of the relationship between social support and anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and QOL among patients with advanced cancer. Methods Participants (N = 168) completed self-report assessments of psychosocial, spiritual, and physical well-being, including social support, optimism, hopelessness, depressive and anxious symptoms, and QOL. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the extent to which social support and optimism were associated with depressive and anxious symptomatology, hopelessness and QOL, and the potential role of optimism as a moderator of the relationship between social support and these variables. Results Higher levels of optimism were significantly associated with fewer anxious and depressive symptoms, less hopelessness and better QOL. Higher levels of perceived social support were also significantly associated with better QOL. Additionally, optimism moderated the relationship between social support and anxiety, such that there was a strong negative association between social support and anxiety for participants with low optimism. Conclusions This study highlights the importance of optimism and social support in the QOL of patients with advanced cancer. As such, interventions that attend to patients’ expectations for positive experiences and the expansion of social support should be the focus of future clinical and research endeavors. PMID:24123339

  3. Human ergology that promotes participatory approach to improving safety, health and working conditions at grassroots workplaces: achievements and actions.

    PubMed

    Kawakami, Tsuyoshi

    2011-12-01

    Participatory approaches are increasingly applied to improve safety, health and working conditions of grassroots workplaces in Asia. The core concepts and methods in human ergology research such as promoting real work life studies, relying on positive efforts of local people (daily life-technology), promoting active participation of local people to identify practical solutions, and learning from local human networks to reach grassroots workplaces, have provided useful viewpoints to devise such participatory training programmes. This study was aimed to study and analyze how human ergology approaches were applied in the actual development and application of three typical participatory training programmes: WISH (Work Improvement for Safe Home) with home workers in Cambodia, WISCON (Work Improvement in Small Construction Sites) with construction workers in Thailand, and WARM (Work Adjustment for Recycling and Managing Waste) with waste collectors in Fiji. The results revealed that all the three programmes, in the course of their developments, commonly applied direct observation methods of the work of target workers before devising the training programmes, learned from existing local good examples and efforts, and emphasized local human networks for cooperation. These methods and approaches were repeatedly applied in grassroots workplaces by taking advantage of their the sustainability and impacts. It was concluded that human ergology approaches largely contributed to the developments and expansion of participatory training programmes and could continue to support the self-help initiatives of local people for promoting human-centred work. PMID:25665213

  4. Achievements in preventing morbidity and mortality by researchers of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

    PubMed

    Lipsett, M B

    1983-01-01

    In the 20 years since its creation, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has become a world leader in promoting research on fertility, high-risk pregnancy, care of newborns, nutrition, learning disorders, mental retardation, development of better contraceptives, and factors that influence family planning. NICHD also supports basic research that sheds light on normal processes in human development.This research has yielded impressive dividends. Improvement in the treatment of premature infants has contributed to a 22 percent decline in infant mortality in the United States between 1976 and 1980. Between 1962 and 1980, the maternal death rate from pregnancy and childbirth dropped 80 percent, owing largely to NICHD-supported research that has led to improved management of a number of conditions that are life-threatening to pregnant women.NICHD-supported research has led to the development of screening tests and treatments for certain metabolic disorders that cause mental retardation. Grantees of the Institute have also discovered a chromosomal disorder known to be a cause of mental retardation in men and have made research advances leading to better home care and a fuller role in community life for persons with Down's syndrome.Other NICHD studies seek to improve family planning methods and to find safer, more effective contraceptives. A promising development in this area is a class of synthetic brain hormones that could provide a new type of birth control pill for women and the first successful chemical contraceptive for men. PMID:6828637

  5. Community-Based Participatory Research Integrates Behavioral and Biological Research to Achieve Health Equity for Native Hawaiians

    PubMed Central

    Townsend, Claire K. M.; Dillard, Adrienne; Hosoda, Kelsea K.; Maskarinec, Gregory G.; Maunakea, Alika K.; Yoshimura, Sheryl R.; Hughes, Claire; Palakiko, Donna-Marie; Kehauoha, Bridget Puni; Kaholokula, Joseph Keawe‘aimoku

    2015-01-01

    Native Hawaiians bear a disproportionate burden of type-2 diabetes and related complications compared to all other groups in Hawai‘i (e.g., Whites, Japanese, Korean). Distrust in these communities is a significant barrier to participation in epigenetic research studies seeking to better understand disease processes. The purpose of this paper is to describe the community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach and research process we employed to integrate behavior and biological sciences with community health priorities. A CBPR approach was used to test a 3-month evidence-based, diabetes self-management intervention (N = 65). To investigate the molecular mechanisms linking inflammation with glucose homeostasis, a subset of participants (n = 16) provided peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Community and academic researchers collaborated on research design, assessment protocols, and participant recruitment, prioritizing participants’ convenience and education and strictly limiting the use of the data collected. Preliminary results indicate significant changes in DNA methylation at gene regions associated with inflammation and diabetes signaling pathways and significant improvements in hemoglobin A1c, self-care activities, and diabetes distress and understanding. This study integrates community, behavioral, and epigenomic expertise to better understand the outcomes of a diabetes self-management intervention. Key lessons learned suggest the studies requiring biospecimen collection in indigenous populations require community trust of the researchers, mutual benefits for the community and researchers, and for the researchers to prioritize the community’s needs. CBPR may be an important tool in providing communities the voice and protections to participate in studies requiring biospecimens. PMID:26703660

  6. Community-Based Participatory Research Integrates Behavioral and Biological Research to Achieve Health Equity for Native Hawaiians.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Claire K M; Dillard, Adrienne; Hosoda, Kelsea K; Maskarinec, Gregory G; Maunakea, Alika K; Yoshimura, Sheryl R; Hughes, Claire; Palakiko, Donna-Marie; Kehauoha, Bridget Puni; Kaholokula, Joseph Keawe'aimoku

    2016-01-01

    Native Hawaiians bear a disproportionate burden of type-2 diabetes and related complications compared to all other groups in Hawai'i (e.g., Whites, Japanese, Korean). Distrust in these communities is a significant barrier to participation in epigenetic research studies seeking to better understand disease processes. The purpose of this paper is to describe the community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach and research process we employed to integrate behavior and biological sciences with community health priorities. A CBPR approach was used to test a 3-month evidence-based, diabetes self-management intervention (N = 65). To investigate the molecular mechanisms linking inflammation with glucose homeostasis, a subset of participants (n = 16) provided peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Community and academic researchers collaborated on research design, assessment protocols, and participant recruitment, prioritizing participants' convenience and education and strictly limiting the use of the data collected. Preliminary results indicate significant changes in DNA methylation at gene regions associated with inflammation and diabetes signaling pathways and significant improvements in hemoglobin A1c, self-care activities, and diabetes distress and understanding. This study integrates community, behavioral, and epigenomic expertise to better understand the outcomes of a diabetes self-management intervention. Key lessons learned suggest the studies requiring biospecimen collection in indigenous populations require community trust of the researchers, mutual benefits for the community and researchers, and for the researchers to prioritize the community's needs. CBPR may be an important tool in providing communities the voice and protections to participate in studies requiring biospecimens. PMID:26703660

  7. Optimizing global health experiences in emergency medicine residency programs: a consensus statement from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors 2011 Academic Assembly global health specialty track

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background An increasing number of emergency medicine (EM) residency training programs have residents interested in participating in clinical rotations in other countries. However, the policies that each individual training program applies to this process are different. To our knowledge, little has been done in the standardization of these experiences to help EM residency programs with the evaluation, administration and implementation of a successful global health clinical elective experience. The objective of this project was to assess the current status of EM global health electives at residency training programs and to establish recommendations from educators in EM on the best methodology to implement successful global health electives. Methods During the 2011 Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) Academic Assembly, participants met to address this issue in a mediated discussion session and working group. Session participants examined data previously obtained via the CORD online listserve, discussed best practices in global health applications, evaluations and partnerships, and explored possible solutions to some of the challenges. In addition a survey was sent to CORD members prior to the 2011 Academic Assembly to evaluate the resources and processes for EM residents’ global experiences. Results Recommendations included creating a global health working group within the organization, optimizing a clearinghouse of elective opportunities for residents and standardizing elective application materials, site evaluations and resident assessment/feedback methods. The survey showed that 71.4% of respondents have global health partnerships and electives. However, only 36.7% of programs require pre-departure training, and only 20% have formal competency requirements for these global health electives. Conclusions A large number of EM training programs have global health experiences available, but these electives and the trainees may benefit from

  8. The far-reaching effects of believing people can change: implicit theories of personality shape stress, health, and achievement during adolescence.

    PubMed

    Yeager, David Scott; Johnson, Rebecca; Spitzer, Brian James; Trzesniewski, Kali H; Powers, Joseph; Dweck, Carol S

    2014-06-01

    The belief that personality is fixed (an entity theory of personality) can give rise to negative reactions to social adversities. Three studies showed that when social adversity is common-at the transition to high school--an entity theory can affect overall stress, health, and achievement. Study 1 showed that an entity theory of personality, measured during the 1st month of 9th grade, predicted more negative immediate reactions to social adversity and, at the end of the year, greater stress, poorer health, and lower grades in school. Studies 2 and 3, both experiments, tested a brief intervention that taught a malleable (incremental) theory of personality--the belief that people can change. The incremental theory group showed less negative reactions to an immediate experience of social adversity and, 8 months later, reported lower overall stress and physical illness. They also achieved better academic performance over the year. Discussion centers on the power of targeted psychological interventions to effect far-reaching and long-term change by shifting interpretations of recurring adversities during developmental transitions. PMID:24841093

  9. Trends and implications for achieving VISION 2020 human resources for eye health targets in 16 countries of sub-Saharan Africa by the year 2020

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Development of human resources for eye health (HReH) is a major global eye health strategy to reduce the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by the year 2020. Building on our previous analysis of current progress towards key HReH indicators and cataract surgery rates (CSRs), we predicted future indicator achievement among 16 countries of sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. Methods Surgical and HReH data were collected from national eye care programme coordinators on six practitioner cadres: ophthalmologists, cataract surgeons, ophthalmic clinical officers, ophthalmic nurses, optometrists and ‘mid-level refractionists’ and combined them with publicly available population data to calculate practitioner-to-population ratios and CSRs. Data on workforce entry and exit (2008 to 2010) was used to project practitioner population and CSR growth between 2011 and 2020 in relation to projected growth in the general population. Associations between indicator progress and the presence of a non-physician cataract surgeon cadre were also explored using Wilcoxon rank sum tests and Spearman rank correlations. Results In our 16-country sample, practitioner per million population ratios are predicted to increase slightly for surgeons (ophthalmologists/cataract surgeons, from 3.1 in 2011 to 3.4 in 2020) and ophthalmic nurses/clinical officers (5.8 to 6.8) but remain low for refractionists (including optometrists, at 3.6 in 2011 and 2020). Among countries that have not already achieved target indicators, however, practitioner growth will be insufficient for any additional countries to reach the surgeon and refractionist targets by year 2020. Without further strategy change and investment, even after 2020, surgeon growth is only expected to sufficiently outpace general population growth to reach the target in one country. For nurses, two additional countries will achieve the target while one will fall below it. In 2011, high surgeon practitioner ratios were associated with

  10. The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal: Usability Evaluation of a Unique Evidence-Based Health Information Website

    PubMed Central

    Dobbins, Maureen; Haynes, R. Brian; Iorio, Alfonso; Lavis, John N; Raina, Parminder

    2016-01-01

    Background Increasingly, older adults and their informal caregivers are using the Internet to search for health-related information. There is a proliferation of health information online, but the quality of this information varies, often based on exaggerated or dramatic findings, and not easily comprehended by consumers. The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (Portal) was developed to provide Internet users with high-quality evidence about aging and address some of these current limitations of health information posted online. The Portal includes content for health professionals coming from three best-in-class resources (MacPLUS, Health Evidence, and Health Systems Evidence) and four types of content specifically prepared for the general public (Evidence Summaries, Web Resource Ratings, Blog Posts, and Twitter messages). Objective Our objectives were to share the findings of the usability evaluation of the Portal with particular focus on the content features for the general public and to inform designers of health information websites and online resources for older adults about key usability themes. Methods Data analysis included task performance during usability testing and qualitative content analyses of both the usability sessions and interviews to identify core themes. Results A total of 37 participants took part in 33 usability testing sessions and 21 focused interviews. Qualitative analysis revealed common themes regarding the Portal’s strengths and challenges to usability. The strengths of the website were related to credibility, applicability, browsing function, design, and accessibility. The usability challenges included reluctance to register, process of registering, searching, terminology, and technical features. Conclusions The study reinforced the importance of including end users during the development of this unique, dynamic, evidence-based health information website. The feedback was applied to iteratively improve website usability. Our findings can be

  11. The Role of eHealth in Optimizing Preventive Care in the Primary Care Setting.

    PubMed

    Carey, Mariko; Noble, Natasha; Mansfield, Elise; Waller, Amy; Henskens, Frans; Sanson-Fisher, Rob

    2015-01-01

    Modifiable health risk behaviors such as smoking, overweight and obesity, risky alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition contribute to a substantial proportion of the world's morbidity and mortality burden. General practitioners (GPs) play a key role in identifying and managing modifiable health risk behaviors. However, these are often underdetected and undermanaged in the primary care setting. We describe the potential of eHealth to help patients and GPs to overcome some of the barriers to managing health risk behaviors. In particular, we discuss (1) the role of eHealth in facilitating routine collection of patient-reported data on lifestyle risk factors, and (2) the role of eHealth in improving clinical management of identified risk factors through provision of tailored feedback, point-of-care reminders, tailored educational materials, and referral to online self-management programs. Strategies to harness the capacity of the eHealth medium, including the use of dynamic features and tailoring to help end users engage with, understand, and apply information need to be considered and maximized. Finally, the potential challenges in implementing eHealth solutions in the primary care setting are discussed. In conclusion, there is significant potential for innovative eHealth solutions to make a contribution to improving preventive care in the primary care setting. However, attention to issues such as data security and designing eHealth interfaces that maximize engagement from end users will be important to moving this field forward. PMID:26001983

  12. Unravelling the concept of consumer preference: implications for health policy and optimal planning in primary care.

    PubMed

    Foster, Michele M; Earl, Peter E; Haines, Terry P; Mitchell, Geoffrey K

    2010-10-01

    Accounting for consumer preference in health policy and delivery system design makes good economic sense since this is linked to outcomes, quality of care and cost control. Probability trade-off methods are commonly used in policy evaluation, marketing and economics. Increasingly applied to health matters, the trade-off preference model has indicated that consumers of health care discriminate between different attributes of care. However, the complexities of the health decision-making environment raise questions about the inherent assumptions concerning choice and decision-making behavior which frame this view of consumer preference. In this article, we use the example of primary care in Australia as a vehicle to examine the concept of 'consumer preference' from different perspectives within economics and discuss the significance of how we model preferences for health policy makers. In doing so, we question whether mainstream thinking, namely that consumers are capable of deliberating between rival strategies and are willing to make trade-offs, is a reliable way of thinking about preferences given the complexities of the health decision-making environment. Alternative perspectives on preference can assist health policy makers and health providers by generating more precise information about the important attributes of care that are likely to enhance consumer engagement and optimise acceptability of health care. PMID:20466449

  13. Optimal allocation of resources over health care programmes: dealing with decreasing marginal utility and uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Al, Maiwenn J; Feenstra, Talitha L; Hout, Ben A van

    2005-07-01

    This paper addresses the problem of how to value health care programmes with different ratios of costs to effects, specifically when taking into account that these costs and effects are uncertain. First, the traditional framework of maximising health effects with a given health care budget is extended to a flexible budget using a value function over money and health effects. Second, uncertainty surrounding costs and effects is included in the model using expected utility. Other approaches to uncertainty that do not specify a utility function are discussed and it is argued that these also include implicit notions about risk attitude. PMID:15678518

  14. Optimal Health (Spirit, Mind, and Body): A Feasibility Study Promoting Well-Being for Health Behavior Change.

    PubMed

    Walker, Jenelle; Ainsworth, Barbara; Hooker, Steven; Keller, Colleen; Fleury, Julie; Chisum, Jack; Swan, Pamela

    2015-10-01

    Faith-based programs have shown beneficial effects for health and behaviors. Few have specifically intervened on the spiritual, mental (i.e., stress), and physical dimensions of well-being combined for health and healthy behaviors (i.e., exercise and diet). The purpose of this report is to describe the feasibility of executing a spirituality-based health behavior change, program founded upon the Spiritual Framework of Coping. This study was a quasi-experimental one group pretest-posttest design. Feasibility objectives were assessed, and limited efficacy of pretest and posttest measures was analyzed using paired t test (p < .05). Acceptance of the program was positive, and modest demand was shown with initial interest and an average attendance of 78.7%. The program was successfully implemented as shown by meeting session objectives and 88% homework completion. The program was practical for the intended participants and was successfully integrated within the existing environment. Limited efficacy measures showed no pre-post changes. This study provided preliminary support for the design and further testing of the theoretical components of the Spiritual Framework of Coping that informed the program. PMID:24985320

  15. Optimizing Health Care for Foreign Students in the United States and American Students Abroad.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Coll. Health Association, Evanston, IL.

    This workbook is organized around 15 guidelines for improving health care for foreign students in the United States and U.S. students abroad. Each guideline is described in a chapter followed by self-assessment questions enabling the evaluation of the adequacy of campus health programs. Each chapter concludes with an invitation to outline goals…

  16. Health Belief Factors and Dispositional Optimism as Predictors of STD and HIV Preventive Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zak-Place, Jennifer; Stern, Marilyn

    2004-01-01

    Identifying factors predictive of youth's engaging in preventive behaviors related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV remains a prominent public health concern. The utility of the Health Belief Model (HBM) continues to be suggested in identifying preventive behaviors. This study sought to examine the full HBM, including self-efficacy,…

  17. Ethnic identity and mental health in American Indian youth: examining mediation pathways through self-esteem, and future optimism.

    PubMed

    Smokowski, Paul R; Evans, Caroline B R; Cotter, Katie L; Webber, Kristina C

    2014-03-01

    Mental health functioning in American Indian youth is an understudied topic. Given the increased rates of depression and anxiety in this population, further research is needed. Using multiple group structural equation modeling, the current study illuminates the effect of ethnic identity on anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and externalizing behavior in a group of Lumbee adolescents and a group of Caucasian, African American, and Latino/Hispanic adolescents. This study examined two possible pathways (i.e., future optimism and self-esteem) through which ethnic identity is associated with adolescent mental health. The sample (N = 4,714) is 28.53% American Indian (Lumbee) and 51.38% female. The study findings indicate that self-esteem significantly mediated the relationships between ethnic identity and anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and externalizing behavior for all racial/ethnic groups (i.e., the total sample). Future optimism significantly mediated the relationship between ethnic identity and externalizing behavior for all racial/ethnic groups and was a significant mediator between ethnic identity and depressive symptoms for American Indian youth only. Fostering ethnic identity in all youth serves to enhance mental health functioning, but is especially important for American Indian youth due to the collective nature of their culture. PMID:23929530

  18. Helping the decision maker effectively promote various experts’ views into various optimal solutions to China’s institutional problem of health care provider selection through the organization of a pilot health care provider research system

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The main aim of China’s Health Care System Reform was to help the decision maker find the optimal solution to China’s institutional problem of health care provider selection. A pilot health care provider research system was recently organized in China’s health care system, and it could efficiently collect the data for determining the optimal solution to China’s institutional problem of health care provider selection from various experts, then the purpose of this study was to apply the optimal implementation methodology to help the decision maker effectively promote various experts’ views into various optimal solutions to this problem under the support of this pilot system. Methods After the general framework of China’s institutional problem of health care provider selection was established, this study collaborated with the National Bureau of Statistics of China to commission a large-scale 2009 to 2010 national expert survey (n = 3,914) through the organization of a pilot health care provider research system for the first time in China, and the analytic network process (ANP) implementation methodology was adopted to analyze the dataset from this survey. Results The market-oriented health care provider approach was the optimal solution to China’s institutional problem of health care provider selection from the doctors’ point of view; the traditional government’s regulation-oriented health care provider approach was the optimal solution to China’s institutional problem of health care provider selection from the pharmacists’ point of view, the hospital administrators’ point of view, and the point of view of health officials in health administration departments; the public private partnership (PPP) approach was the optimal solution to China’s institutional problem of health care provider selection from the nurses’ point of view, the point of view of officials in medical insurance agencies, and the health care researchers’ point

  19. Investigating the impact of socioeconomic status on the effectiveness of a pamphlet on achieving and maintaining bone health in breast cancer survivors: a patient education resource development primer.

    PubMed

    Adirim, Tara; Chafranskaia, Aleksandra; Nyhof-Young, Joyce

    2012-03-01

    Considerable need exists to raise awareness of breast cancer (BC) treatment-induced bone loss and provide management and preventative strategies. We describe the development and evaluation process of an educational pamphlet for BC survivors on achieving and maintaining bone health. A Participatory Design approach was used. The pamphlet was first critically evaluated by interdisciplinary healthcare professionals and less vulnerable members of the target audience prior to evaluation by 45 BC survivors, who completed two questionnaires inquiring about demographics and pamphlet evaluation and satisfaction. Pamphlet effectiveness was correlated with income and education to determine differences between socioeconomic groups. Perceived knowledge increased significantly after reading the brochure for all groups. Socioeconomic status had no impact on pamphlet effectiveness. This methodological approach is presented as a blueprint to promote knowledge translation in cancer patient education contexts aiming to provide cancer patients with the best possible resources for effective self-management of their conditions. PMID:21748475

  20. Optimization of bioenergy crop selection and placement based on a stream health indicator using an evolutionary algorithm.

    PubMed

    Herman, Matthew R; Nejadhashemi, A Pouyan; Daneshvar, Fariborz; Abouali, Mohammad; Ross, Dennis M; Woznicki, Sean A; Zhang, Zhen

    2016-10-01

    The emission of greenhouse gases continues to amplify the impacts of global climate change. This has led to the increased focus on using renewable energy sources, such as biofuels, due to their lower impact on the environment. However, the production of biofuels can still have negative impacts on water resources. This study introduces a new strategy to optimize bioenergy landscapes while improving stream health for the region. To accomplish this, several hydrological models including the Soil and Water Assessment Tool, Hydrologic Integrity Tool, and Adaptive Neruro Fuzzy Inference System, were linked to develop stream health predictor models. These models are capable of estimating stream health scores based on the Index of Biological Integrity. The coupling of the aforementioned models was used to guide a genetic algorithm to design watershed-scale bioenergy landscapes. Thirteen bioenergy managements were considered based on the high probability of adaptation by farmers in the study area. Results from two thousand runs identified an optimum bioenergy crops placement that maximized the stream health for the Flint River Watershed in Michigan. The final overall stream health score was 50.93, which was improved from the current stream health score of 48.19. This was shown to be a significant improvement at the 1% significant level. For this final bioenergy landscape the most often used management was miscanthus (27.07%), followed by corn-soybean-rye (19.00%), corn stover-soybean (18.09%), and corn-soybean (16.43%). The technique introduced in this study can be successfully modified for use in different regions and can be used by stakeholders and decision makers to develop bioenergy landscapes that maximize stream health in the area of interest. PMID:27420165

  1. The influence of prayer coping on mental health among cardiac surgery patients: the role of optimism and acute distress.

    PubMed

    Ai, Amy L; Peterson, Christopher; Tice, Terrence N; Huang, Bu; Rodgers, Willard; Bolling, Steven F

    2007-07-01

    To address the inconsistent findings and based on Hegel's dialectic contradictive principle, this study tested a parallel mediation model that may underlie the association of using prayer for coping with cardiac surgery outcomes. Three sequential interviews were conducted with 310 patients who underwent open-heart surgery. A structural equation model demonstrated that optimism mediated the favorable effect of prayer coping. Prayer coping was also related to preoperative stress symptoms, which had a counterbalance effect on outcomes. Age was associated with better preoperative mental health, but age-related chronic conditions were associated with poor outcomes; both of these were mediated through the same mediators. PMID:17584810

  2. Integration of health management and support systems is key to achieving cost reduction and operational concept goals of the 2nd generation reusable launch vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koon, Phillip L.; Greene, Scott

    2002-07-01

    Our aerospace customers are demanding that we drastically reduce the cost of operating and supporting our products. Our space customer in particular is looking for the next generation of reusable launch vehicle systems to support more aircraft like operation. To achieve this goal requires more than an evolution in materials, processes and systems, what is required is a paradigm shift in the design of the launch vehicles and the processing systems that support the launch vehicles. This paper describes the Automated Informed Maintenance System (AIM) we are developing for NASA's Space Launch Initiative (SLI) Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV). Our system includes an Integrated Health Management (IHM) system for the launch vehicles and ground support systems, which features model based diagnostics and prognostics. Health Management data is used by our AIM decision support and process aids to automatically plan maintenance, generate work orders and schedule maintenance activities along with the resources required to execute these processes. Our system will automate the ground processing for a spaceport handling multiple RLVs executing multiple missions. To accomplish this task we are applying the latest web based distributed computing technologies and application development techniques.

  3. Optimization of self-coherent reflective PON to achieve a new record 42 dB ODN power budget after 100 km at 1.25 Gbps.

    PubMed

    Straullu, S; Forghieri, F; Ferrero, V; Gaudino, R

    2012-12-31

    We demonstrate a greater than 42 dB optical distribution network power budget in the upstream of a 1.25 Gbps self-coherent reflective PON after 100 km of installed fibers, using off-the-shelf optoelectronic components, improving our previous result by 4 dB. We discuss all system optimizations introduced in the setup in order to reach such a result, including 8B/10B high-pass filtering and Faraday rotation at the ONU. PMID:23388785

  4. Gaps between Knowing and Doing: Understanding and Assessing the Barriers to Optimal Health Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cochrane, Lorna J.; Olson, Curtis A.; Murray, Suzanne; Dupuis, Martin; Tooman, Tricia; Hayes, Sean

    2007-01-01

    Introduction: A significant gap exists between science and clinical practice guidelines, on the one hand, and actual clinical practice, on the other. An in-depth understanding of the barriers and incentives contributing to the gap can lead to interventions that effect change toward optimal practice and thus to better care. Methods: A systematic…

  5. Optimal shift duration and sequence: recommended approach for short-term emergency response activations for public health and emergency management.

    PubMed

    Burgess, Paula A

    2007-04-01

    Since September 11, 2001, and the consequent restructuring of the US preparedness and response activities, public health workers are increasingly called on to activate a temporary round-the-clock staffing schedule. These workers may have to make key decisions that could significantly impact the health and safety of the public. The unique physiological demands of rotational shift work and night shift work have the potential to negatively impact decisionmaking ability. A responsible, evidence-based approach to scheduling applies the principles of circadian physiology, as well as unique individual physiologies and preferences. Optimal scheduling would use a clockwise (morning-afternoon-night) rotational schedule: limiting night shifts to blocks of 3, limiting shift duration to 8 hours, and allowing 3 days of recuperation after night shifts. PMID:17413074

  6. Optimal Shift Duration and Sequence: Recommended Approach for Short-Term Emergency Response Activations for Public Health and Emergency Management

    PubMed Central

    Burgess, Paula A.

    2007-01-01

    Since September 11, 2001, and the consequent restructuring of the US preparedness and response activities, public health workers are increasingly called on to activate a temporary round-the-clock staffing schedule. These workers may have to make key decisions that could significantly impact the health and safety of the public. The unique physiological demands of rotational shift work and night shift work have the potential to negatively impact decisionmaking ability. A responsible, evidence-based approach to scheduling applies the principles of circadian physiology, as well as unique individual physiologies and preferences. Optimal scheduling would use a clockwise (morning-afternoon-night) rotational schedule: limiting night shifts to blocks of 3, limiting shift duration to 8 hours, and allowing 3 days of recuperation after night shifts. PMID:17413074

  7. Achieving Health for a Lifetime: A Community Engagement Assessment Focusing on School-Age Children to Decrease Obesity in Durham, North Carolina

    PubMed Central

    Corsino, Leonor; McDuffie, Jennifer R.; Kotch, Jonathan; Coeytaux, Remy; Fuemmeler, Bernard F.; Murphy, Gwen; Miranda, Marie Lynn; Poirier, Brenda; Morton, Janet; Reese, David; Baker, Sharon; Carter, Heidi; Freeman, Rebecca; Blue, Colleen; Yancy, William S.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Obesity is a prominent problem in the United States and in North Carolina. One way of combating it is with community-engaged interventions that foster collaboration between health-oriented organizations and community residents. PURPOSE Our purpose was to assemble a multifaceted group in Durham, North Carolina, to identify factors affecting obesity-related lifestyle behaviors; assess policies, resources, and the population's perception of the problem of obesity; and develop plans to improve health outcomes related to obesity. METHODS A team consisting of more than 2 dozen partners was assembled to form Achieving Health for a Lifetime (AHL) in order to study and address obesity in the community, initially focusing on elementary school-age children. The team developed a resource guide by collecting information by telephone interviews of provider organizations; geospatial resource maps were created using high-resolution geographic information systems, Duke's Data Support Repository, and county and city records; and focus groups were conducted using the nominal group technique. RESULTS The AHL team, in collaboration with 2 other teams focused on diabetes and cardiovascular disease, identified 32 resources for diabetes, 20 for obesity, and 13 for cardiovascular disease. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the team identified an area of Durham that had only 1 supermarket, but 34 fast-food restaurants and 84 convenience stores. LIMITATIONS The focus on particular neighborhoods means that the information obtained might not pertain to all neighborhoods. CONCLUSION The AHL team was able to assemble a large community partnership in Durham that will allow the members of the community to continue to work toward making residents healthier. Communities facing similar challenges can learn from this experience. PMID:23530374

  8. Health-related quality of life, optimism, and coping strategies in persons suffering from localized scleroderma.

    PubMed

    Szramka-Pawlak, B; Dańczak-Pazdrowska, A; Rzepa, T; Szewczyk, A; Sadowska-Przytocka, A; Żaba, R

    2013-01-01

    The clinical course of localized scleroderma may consist of bodily deformations, and bodily functions may also be affected. Additionally, the secondary lesions, such as discoloration, contractures, and atrophy, are unlikely to regress. The aforementioned symptoms and functional disturbances may decrease one's quality of life (QoL). Although much has been mentioned in the medical literature regarding QoL in persons suffering from dermatologic diseases, no data specifically describing patients with localized scleroderma exist. The aim of the study was to explore QoL in localized scleroderma patients and to examine their coping strategies in regard to optimism and QoL. The study included 41 patients with localized scleroderma. QoL was evaluated using the SKINDEX questionnaire, and levels of dispositional optimism were assessed using the Life Orientation Test-Revised. In addition, individual coping strategy was determined using the Mini-MAC scale and physical condition was assessed using the Localized Scleroderma Severity Index. The mean QoL score amounted to 51.10 points, with mean scores for individual components as follows: symptoms = 13.49 points, emotions = 21.29 points, and functioning = 16.32 points. A relationship was detected between QoL and the level of dispositional optimism as well as with coping strategies known as anxious preoccupation and helplessness-hopelessness. Higher levels of optimism predicted a higher general QoL. In turn, greater intensity of anxious preoccupied and helpless-hopeless behaviors predicted a lower QoL. Based on these results, it may be stated that localized scleroderma patients have a relatively high QoL, which is accompanied by optimism as well as a lower frequency of behaviors typical of emotion-focused coping strategies. PMID:23398519

  9. Healthier Students Are Better Learners: High-Quality, Strategically Planned, and Effectively Coordinated School Health Programs Must Be a Fundamental Mission of Schools to Help Close the Achievement Gap

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basch, Charles E.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To discuss implications for educational policy and practice relevant to closing the achievement gap based on the literature review and synthesis presented in 7 articles of the October 2011 special issue of the "Journal of School Health". Methods: Implications for closing the achievement gap are drawn from analyses of current literature.…

  10. New approach for optimal electricity planning and dispatching with hourly time-scale air quality and health considerations

    PubMed Central

    Kerl, Paul Y.; Zhang, Wenxian; Moreno-Cruz, Juan B.; Nenes, Athanasios; Realff, Matthew J.; Russell, Armistead G.; Sokol, Joel; Thomas, Valerie M.

    2015-01-01

    Integrating accurate air quality modeling with decision making is hampered by complex atmospheric physics and chemistry and its coupling with atmospheric transport. Existing approaches to model the physics and chemistry accurately lead to significant computational burdens in computing the response of atmospheric concentrations to changes in emissions profiles. By integrating a reduced form of a fully coupled atmospheric model within a unit commitment optimization model, we allow, for the first time to our knowledge, a fully dynamical approach toward electricity planning that accurately and rapidly minimizes both cost and health impacts. The reduced-form model captures the response of spatially resolved air pollutant concentrations to changes in electricity-generating plant emissions on an hourly basis with accuracy comparable to a comprehensive air quality model. The integrated model allows for the inclusion of human health impacts into cost-based decisions for power plant operation. We use the new capability in a case study of the state of Georgia over the years of 2004–2011, and show that a shift in utilization among existing power plants during selected hourly periods could have provided a health cost savings of $175.9 million dollars for an additional electricity generation cost of $83.6 million in 2007 US dollars (USD2007). The case study illustrates how air pollutant health impacts can be cost-effectively minimized by intelligently modulating power plant operations over multihour periods, without implementing additional emissions control technologies. PMID:26283358

  11. New approach for optimal electricity planning and dispatching with hourly time-scale air quality and health considerations.

    PubMed

    Kerl, Paul Y; Zhang, Wenxian; Moreno-Cruz, Juan B; Nenes, Athanasios; Realff, Matthew J; Russell, Armistead G; Sokol, Joel; Thomas, Valerie M

    2015-09-01

    Integrating accurate air quality modeling with decision making is hampered by complex atmospheric physics and chemistry and its coupling with atmospheric transport. Existing approaches to model the physics and chemistry accurately lead to significant computational burdens in computing the response of atmospheric concentrations to changes in emissions profiles. By integrating a reduced form of a fully coupled atmospheric model within a unit commitment optimization model, we allow, for the first time to our knowledge, a fully dynamical approach toward electricity planning that accurately and rapidly minimizes both cost and health impacts. The reduced-form model captures the response of spatially resolved air pollutant concentrations to changes in electricity-generating plant emissions on an hourly basis with accuracy comparable to a comprehensive air quality model. The integrated model allows for the inclusion of human health impacts into cost-based decisions for power plant operation. We use the new capability in a case study of the state of Georgia over the years of 2004-2011, and show that a shift in utilization among existing power plants during selected hourly periods could have provided a health cost savings of $175.9 million dollars for an additional electricity generation cost of $83.6 million in 2007 US dollars (USD2007). The case study illustrates how air pollutant health impacts can be cost-effectively minimized by intelligently modulating power plant operations over multihour periods, without implementing additional emissions control technologies. PMID:26283358

  12. What is the optimal type of physical activity to enhance health?

    PubMed Central

    Shephard, R J

    1997-01-01

    This review examines the potential of active daily living as a means of gaining the cardiovascular and health rewards previously sought through vigorous aerobic fitness programmes. Cross-sectional studies of occupational and leisure activity show encouraging associations between such activity and good health; in workers, the gross intensity of effort needed for health benefits has seemed to be 20 kJ/min. There has been less unanimity on the threshold intensity needed in leisure activities, but various recent "position statements" have decreased the recommendation to 50% of an individual's maximal oxygen intake, sustained for one hour three to five times per week. Life-style activities such as walking seem likely to reach this intensity in older individuals, but are unlikely to do so in young adults. A growing number of controlled longitudinal studies of walking programmes have demonstrated gains in aerobic fitness, modest reductions in blood pressure, improvements in lipid profile, increased bone density, and enhanced mood state, with less consistent reductions of body fat. However, gains have been greatest in the elderly, sedentary, and obese populations. The main component of active living, fast walking, seems likely to enhance health in such populations, but it is unlikely to be effective in young adults who are in good initial health. PMID:9429004

  13. Using electronic health record systems to optimize admission decisions: the Creatinine case study.

    PubMed

    Ben-Assuli, Ofir; Shabtai, Itamar; Leshno, Moshe

    2015-03-01

    Many medical organizations have implemented electronic health record (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE) networks to improve medical decision-making. This study evaluated the contribution of EHR and HIE networks to physicians by investigating whether health information technology can lead to more efficient admission decisions by reducing redundant admissions in the stressful environment of emergency. Log-files were retrieved from an integrative and interoperable EHR that serves seven main Israeli hospitals. The analysis was restricted to a group of patients seen in the emergency departments who were administered a Creatinine test. The assessment of the contribution of EHR to admission decisions used various statistical analyses and track log-file analysis. We showed that using the EHR contributes to more efficient admission decisions and reduces the number of avoidable admissions. In particular, there was a reduction in readmissions when patient history was viewed. Using EHR can help respond to the international problem of avoidable hospital readmissions. PMID:24692078

  14. Sub-optimal achievement of guideline-derived lipid goals in management of diabetes patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, despite high use of evidence-based therapies.

    PubMed

    DeGuzman, Pamela B; Akosah, Kwame O; Simpson, Allan G; Barbieri, Kirk E; Megginson, Gregory C; Goldberg, Randal I; Beller, George A

    2012-04-01

    Guidelines recommend aggressive goals for lipid and blood pressure reduction for high risk patients with diabetes mellitus and atherosclerotic coronary disease. However, it remains unclear how many patients achieve treatment goals versus the number of people merely placed on treatment. We conducted an observational study in an academic cardiology clinic. A total of 926 patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and concomitant diabetes mellitus met criteria. Mean age was 68.4 ± 10.2, 65.6% were male, and 86.8% were Caucasian. By the last visit a high percentage of patients were receiving recommended medications. Mean LDL-cholesterol achieved was 80.4 mg/dl with 40.9% reaching ≤ 70 mg/dl, and 61.7% reaching SBP ≤ 130 mmHg. Many patients with diabetes mellitus and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease are prescribed recommended medications; however, few achieve guidelines-specified therapeutic goals for LDL-cholesterol and blood pressure. Studies evaluating performance improvement should include percentage of patients reaching treatment goals. Mechanisms underlying the treatment gap need to be identified and addressed. PMID:22234950

  15. Cancer risk assessment: Optimizing human health through linear dose-response models.

    PubMed

    Calabrese, Edward J; Shamoun, Dima Yazji; Hanekamp, Jaap C

    2015-07-01

    This paper proposes that generic cancer risk assessments be based on the integration of the Linear Non-Threshold (LNT) and hormetic dose-responses since optimal hormetic beneficial responses are estimated to occur at the dose associated with a 10(-4) risk level based on the use of a LNT model as applied to animal cancer studies. The adoption of the 10(-4) risk estimate provides a theoretical and practical integration of two competing risk assessment models whose predictions cannot be validated in human population studies or with standard chronic animal bioassay data. This model-integration reveals both substantial protection of the population from cancer effects (i.e. functional utility of the LNT model) while offering the possibility of significant reductions in cancer incidence should the hormetic dose-response model predictions be correct. The dose yielding the 10(-4) cancer risk therefore yields the optimized toxicologically based "regulatory sweet spot". PMID:25916915

  16. A conceptual framework for economic optimization of an animal health surveillance portfolio.

    PubMed

    Guo, X; Claassen, G D H; Oude Lansink, A G J M; Saatkamp, H W

    2016-04-01

    Decision making on hazard surveillance in livestock product chains is a multi-hazard, multi-stakeholder, and multi-criteria process that includes a variety of decision alternatives. The multi-hazard aspect means that the allocation of the scarce resource for surveillance should be optimized from the point of view of a surveillance portfolio (SP) rather than a single hazard. In this paper, we present a novel conceptual approach for economic optimization of a SP to address the resource allocation problem for a surveillance organization from a theoretical perspective. This approach uses multi-criteria techniques to evaluate the performances of different settings of a SP, taking cost-benefit aspects of surveillance and stakeholders' preferences into account. The credibility of the approach has also been checked for conceptual validity, data needs and operational validity; the application potentials of the approach are also discussed. PMID:26415763

  17. Dynamic optimization and conformity in health behavior and life enjoyment over the life cycle.

    PubMed

    Bejarano, Hernán D; Kaplan, Hillard; Rassenti, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    This article examines individual and social influences on investments in health and enjoyment from immediate consumption. Our lab experiment mimics the problem of health investment over a lifetime (Grossman, 1972a,b). Incentives to find the appropriate expenditures on life enjoyment and health are given by making in each period come period a function of previous health investments. In order to model social effects in the experiment, we randomly assigned individuals to chat/observation groups. Groups were permitted to freely chat between repeated lifetimes. Two treatments were employed: In the Independent-rewards treatment, an individual's rewards from investments in life enjoyment depend only on his choice and in the Interdependent-rewards treatment; rewards not only depend on an individual's choices but also on their similarity to the choices of the others in their group, generating a premium on conformity. The principal hypothesis is that gains from conformity increase variance in health behavior among groups and can lead to suboptimal performance. We tested three predictions and each was supported by the data: the Interdependent-rewards treatment (1) decreased within-group variance, (2) increased between-group variance, and (3) increased the likelihood of behavior far from the optimum with respect to the dynamic problem. We also test and find support for a series of subsidiary hypotheses. We found: (4) Subjects engaged in helpful chat in both treatments; (5) there was significant heterogeneity among both subjects and groups in chat frequencies; and (6) chat was most common early in the experiment, and (7) the interdependent rewards treatment increased strategic chat frequency. Incentives for conformity appear to promote prosocial behavior, but also increase variance among groups, leading to convergence on suboptimal strategies for some groups. We discuss these results in light of the growing literature focusing on social networks and health outcomes. PMID

  18. Dynamic optimization and conformity in health behavior and life enjoyment over the life cycle

    PubMed Central

    Bejarano, Hernán D.; Kaplan, Hillard; Rassenti, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    This article examines individual and social influences on investments in health and enjoyment from immediate consumption. Our lab experiment mimics the problem of health investment over a lifetime (Grossman, 1972a,b). Incentives to find the appropriate expenditures on life enjoyment and health are given by making in each period come period a function of previous health investments. In order to model social effects in the experiment, we randomly assigned individuals to chat/observation groups. Groups were permitted to freely chat between repeated lifetimes. Two treatments were employed: In the Independent-rewards treatment, an individual's rewards from investments in life enjoyment depend only on his choice and in the Interdependent-rewards treatment; rewards not only depend on an individual's choices but also on their similarity to the choices of the others in their group, generating a premium on conformity. The principal hypothesis is that gains from conformity increase variance in health behavior among groups and can lead to suboptimal performance. We tested three predictions and each was supported by the data: the Interdependent-rewards treatment (1) decreased within-group variance, (2) increased between-group variance, and (3) increased the likelihood of behavior far from the optimum with respect to the dynamic problem. We also test and find support for a series of subsidiary hypotheses. We found: (4) Subjects engaged in helpful chat in both treatments; (5) there was significant heterogeneity among both subjects and groups in chat frequencies; and (6) chat was most common early in the experiment, and (7) the interdependent rewards treatment increased strategic chat frequency. Incentives for conformity appear to promote prosocial behavior, but also increase variance among groups, leading to convergence on suboptimal strategies for some groups. We discuss these results in light of the growing literature focusing on social networks and health outcomes. PMID

  19. Optimizing the Care and Health of Women with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    PubMed

    Nee, Judy; Feuerstein, Joseph D

    2015-01-01

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease is increasing worldwide. Although diagnosis is equally found in men and women, the chronicity of IBD poses a unique impact on the milestones of a woman's life. As the gastroenterologist becomes increasingly important in the health maintenance of patients with IBD, this review stresses the unique gender issues in women with IBD related to menstruation, cervical cancer, sexual health, contraception, and menopause that may affect the course of disease, treatment decisions, and quality of life. PMID:26089868

  20. Appraising Reading Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ediger, Marlow

    To determine quality sequence in pupil progress, evaluation approaches need to be used which guide the teacher to assist learners to attain optimally. Teachers must use a variety of procedures to appraise student achievement in reading, because no one approach is adequate. Appraisal approaches might include: (1) observation and subsequent…

  1. Optimization of piezoelectric energy harvester for wireless smart sensors in railway health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jingcheng; Jang, Shinae; Tang, Jiong

    2013-04-01

    Wireless sensor network is one of the prospective methods for railway monitoring due to the long-term operation and low-maintenance performances. How to supply power to the wireless sensor nodes has drawn much attention recently. In railway monitoring, the idea of converting ambient vibration energy from vibration of railway track induced by passing trains to electric energy has made it a potential way for powering the wireless sensor nodes. Nowadays, most of vibration based energy harvesters are designed at resonance. However, as railway vibration frequency is a wide band range, how to design an energy harvester working at that range is critical. In this paper, the energy consumption of the wireless smart sensor platform, Imote2, at different working states were investigated. Based on the energy consumption, a design of a bimorph cantilever piezoelectric energy harvester has been optimized to generate maximum average power between a wide-band frequency range. Significant power and current outputs have been increased after optimal design. Finally, the rechargeable battery life for supplying the Imote2 for railway monitoring is predicted by using the optimized piezoelectric energy harvesting system.

  2. Effects on pulmonary health of neighboring residents of concentrated animal feeding operations: exposure assessed using optimized estimation technique.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Anja; Römmelt, Horst; Ehrenstein, Vera; van Strien, Rob; Praml, Georg; Küchenhoff, Helmut; Nowak, Dennis; Radon, Katja

    2011-01-01

    Potential adverse health effects of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which were also shown in the authors' Lower Saxony Lung Study, are of public concern. The authors aimed to investigate pulmonary health effect of neighboring residents assessed using optimized estimation technique. Annual ammonia emission was measured to assess the emission from CAFO and from surrounding fields. Location of sampling points was optimized using cluster analysis. Individual exposure of 457 nonfarm subjects was interpolated by weighting method. Mean estimated annual ammonia levels varied between 16 and 24 μg/m³. Higher exposed participants were more likely to be sensitized against ubiquitous allergens as compared to lower exposed subjects (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 4.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-13.2). In addition, they showed a significantly lower forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV₁) (adjusted mean difference in % of predicted -8%; 95% CI -13% to -3%). The authors' previous findings that CAFOs may contribute to burden of respiratory diseases were confirmed by this study. PMID:21864103

  3. Integrating Hospital-Acquired Lessons into Community Health Practice: Optimizing Antimicrobial Use in Bangalore

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biswas, Rakesh; Dineshan, Vineeth; Narasimhamurthy, N. S.; Kasthuri, A. S.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction: Even as antimicrobial resistance is a serious public health concern worldwide, the uncertainties of diagnosis and treatment of fever strongly influence community practitioners toward prescribing antibiotics. To help community practitioners resolve their diagnostic questions and reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics for viral…

  4. Optimizing information technology to improve sexual health-care delivery: public and patient preferences.

    PubMed

    Ross, J D C; Copas, A; Stephenson, J; Fellows, L; Gilleran, G

    2007-07-01

    Information and communication technology (ICT) has the potential to improve the quality of care and efficiency in sexual health clinics, but its introduction requires input not only from health-care professionals and ICT specialists but also from service users and potential future users. In this study, views on ICT in relation to the delivery of sexual health services were assessed using a structured interview in two groups - a community sample of young people and a clinic sample of existing patients. In all, 542 community interviewees and 202 clinic patients participated. About 75% of respondents had access to the Internet and overall 60% reported that the self-collection of a sexual history on an electronic form was acceptable. Black Caribbean individuals had significantly less access to the Internet and a lower acceptance of electronic data collection. For booking an appointment, the majority of patients reported the telephone (community sample 93%, clinic sample 96%) or attending in person (community sample 77%, clinic sample 54%) to be acceptable, with a smaller proportion choosing email (community sample 10%, clinic sample 27%) or the Internet (community sample 7%, clinic sample 11%). Electronic booking was significantly less acceptable to Black Caribbean respondents. Although new technologies offer the opportunity to improve the quality of sexual health services, patient preferences and differences between groups in access to technology also need to be considered when services are reconfigured. PMID:17623499

  5. Barriers to, Efforts in, and Optimization of Integrated One Health Surveillance: A Review and Synthesis.

    PubMed

    Uchtmann, Nathaniel; Herrmann, John Arthur; Hahn, Edwin C; Beasley, Val Richard

    2015-06-01

    Insufficient data from existing surveillance systems underlie societal tolerance of acute and slow-onset health disasters that threaten, harm, and kill vast numbers of humans, animals, and plants. Here we describe barriers to integrated "One Health" surveillance, including those related to a lack of medical services, professional divisions, incompatible vocabularies, isolated data sets, and territorial borders. We draw from publications of experts who justify broader and more integrated surveillance, education, and stewardship focused on preventing and mitigating disease emergence and re-emergence. In addition, we highlight efforts from Illinois, the United States and the broader world, pointing to examples of relevant education; ways to acquire, compile, and analyze diagnostic and syndromic data; mapping of diseases of humans and animals; and rapid communication of findings and recommendations. For the future, we propose using needed outcomes for health and sustainability to set priorities for One Health programs of education, surveillance, and stewardship. Professionals and paraprofessionals should gather, interpret, and widely communicate the implications of data, not only on infectious diseases, but also on toxic agents, malnutrition, ecological damage, the grave impacts of warfare, societal drivers underlying these problems, and the effectiveness of specific countermeasures. PMID:25894955

  6. Obstacles in the optimization of bone health outcomes in the female athlete triad.

    PubMed

    Ducher, Gaele; Turner, Anne I; Kukuljan, Sonja; Pantano, Kathleen J; Carlson, Jennifer L; Williams, Nancy I; De Souza, Mary Jane

    2011-07-01

    Maintaining low body weight for the sake of performance and aesthetic purposes is a common feature among young girls and women who exercise on a regular basis, including elite, college and high-school athletes, members of fitness centres, and recreational exercisers. High energy expenditure without adequate compensation in energy intake leads to an energy deficiency, which may ultimately affect reproductive function and bone health. The combination of low energy availability, menstrual disturbances and low bone mineral density is referred to as the 'female athlete triad'. Not all athletes seek medical assistance in response to the absence of menstruation for 3 or more months as some believe that long-term amenorrhoea is not harmful. Indeed, many women may not seek medical attention until they sustain a stress fracture. This review investigates current issues, controversies and strategies in the clinical management of bone health concerns related to the female athlete triad. Current recommendations focus on either increasing energy intake or decreasing energy expenditure, as this approach remains the most efficient strategy to prevent further bone health complications. However, convincing the athlete to increase energy availability can be extremely challenging. Oral contraceptive therapy seems to be a common strategy chosen by many physicians to address bone health issues in young women with amenorrhoea, although there is little evidence that this strategy improves bone mineral density in this population. Assessment of bone health itself is difficult due to the limitations of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to estimate bone strength. Understanding how bone strength is affected by low energy availability, weight gain and resumption of menses requires further investigations using 3-dimensional bone imaging techniques in order to improve the clinical management of the female athlete triad. PMID:21688870

  7. Bayesian probabilistic structural modeling for optimal sensor placement in ultrasonic guided wave-based structural health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flynn, Eric B.; Todd, Michael D.

    2010-03-01

    Many optimal sensor placement methods for structural health monitoring establish performance metrics based on the detection of a limited set of damage states and locations. In guided wave-based inspection, however, monitoring is carried out over a continuous region with a continuous distribution of possible damage locations, types, sizes, and orientations. Here, traveling waves are excited and then received by a set of transducers with the intent of detecting and localizing previously unobserved scattering sources that are associated with damage. To measure sensor network performance in this application, we implement a Bayesian experimental design approach by computing the total posterior expected cost of detection over the entire monitoring region. Since the optimization usually must be carried out using a computationally expensive meta-heuristic such as a genetic algorithm, efficient modeling of the interrogation process is key to solving this distributed sensor placement problem. In this work, we implement a previously developed semi-analytical modeling approach for wave scattering within our Bayesian probabilistic framework in order to optimally place active sensors for detecting cracks of unknown location, size, and orientation. This involves assuming a set of a priori probability distributions on the three unknowns and defining spatial distributions of cost associated with type I and type II detection error. These parameters are driven by the geometry, material, in-service structural loading, and performance requirements of the structure. Through a set of sensor placement examples, we demonstrate how changes in the probability and cost distributions will dramatically alter the optimal layout of the transducer network.

  8. Achievement of Optimal Medical Therapy Goals for US Adults with Coronary Artery Disease: Results from the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Todd M.; Voeks, Jenifer H.; Bittner, Vera; Brenner, David A.; Cushman, Mary; Goff, David C.; Glasser, Stephen; Muntner, Paul; Tabereaux, Paul B.; Safford, Monika M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective In a non-clinical trial setting, to determine the proportion of individuals with coronary artery disease (CAD) with optimal risk factor levels based on the Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive DruG Evaluation (COURAGE) trial. Background In COURAGE, the addition of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to optimal medical therapy did not reduce the risk of death or myocardial infarction in stable CAD patients but resulted in more revascularization procedures. Methods REGARDS is a national prospective cohort study of 30,239 African American and White community-dwelling individuals aged >45 years enrolled in 2003-7. We calculated the proportion of 3,167 participants with self-reported CAD meeting 7 risk factor goals based on COURAGE: 1) aspirin use, 2) systolic blood pressure <130 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure <85 mmHg (<80 mmHg if diabetic), 3) low density lipoprotein cholesterol <85 mg/dL, high density lipoprotein cholesterol >40 mg/dL, and triglycerides <150 mg/dL, 4) fasting glucose <126 mg/dL, 5) nonsmoking status, 6) body mass index <25 kg/m,2 and 7) exercise ≥4 days per week. Results The mean age of participants was 69±9 years, 33% were African American, and 35% were female. Overall, the median number of goals met was 4. Less than a quarter met ≥5 of the 7 goals, and 16% met all 3 goals for aspirin, blood pressure, and LDL-C. Older age, white race, higher income, more education, and higher physical functioning were independently associated with meeting more goals. Conclusions There is substantial room for improvement in risk factor reduction among US individuals with CAD. PMID:24534599

  9. Optimizing Scripted Dialogues for an e-Health Intervention for Suicidal Veterans with Major Depression.

    PubMed

    Kasckow, J; Zickmund, S; Rotondi, A; Welch, A; Gurklis, J; Chinman, M; Fox, L; Haas, G L

    2015-07-01

    Suicide is a health concern among Veterans with depression. We had previously reported on scripted dialogues adapted for an e-health system that engages at-risk veterans with schizophrenia. Here we report a further adaptation of the dialogues for Veterans with depression. Usability was assessed with nine outpatients with a history of major depression and suicidality. We noted that participants preferred greater specificity in the wording of questions. Topics that elicited an emotional response dealt with questions on suicide, social isolation and family relationships. Based on feedback, dialogues were revised for patients with depression. We also compared responses between those with depression and those with schizophrenia who were previously tested. The two groups shared similar themes. Also, individuals with a history of major depression had less trouble with vocabulary comprehension but were less willing to answer more questions daily. PMID:25342076

  10. Closing the loop from continuous M-health monitoring to fuzzy logic-based optimized recommendations.

    PubMed

    Benharref, Abdelghani; Serhani, Mohamed Adel; Nujum, Al Ramzana

    2014-01-01

    Continuous sensing of health metrics might generate a massive amount of data. Generating clinically validated recommendations, out of these data, to patients under monitoring is of prime importance to protect them from risk of falling into severe health degradation. Physicians also can be supported with automated recommendations that gain from historical data and increasing learning cycles. In this paper, we propose a Fuzzy Expert System that relies on data collected from continuous monitoring. The monitoring scheme implements preprocessing of data for better data analytics. However, data analytics implements the loopback feature in order to constantly improve fuzzy rules, knowledge base, and generated recommendations. Both techniques reduced data quantity, improved data quality and proposed recommendations. We evaluate our solution through a series of experiments and the results we have obtained proved that our fuzzy expert system combined with the intelligent monitoring and analytic techniques provide a high accuracy of collected data and valid advices. PMID:25570547

  11. What New Knowledge Would Help Policymakers Better Balance Investments for Optimal Health Outcomes?

    PubMed Central

    Kindig, David; Day, Patricia; Fox, Daniel M; Gibson, Mark; Knickman, James; Lomas, Jonathan; Stoddart, Gregory

    2003-01-01

    Objective Review the limitations in cross-sectoral health outcomes research and suggest a future research agenda. Data Sources, Study Design, Data Collection Literature review and workshop discussion. Principal Findings The research evidence that would aid public and private policy makers in answering the question the title poses is quite limited. Conclusions Much more evidence from diverse disciplines is needed, and key areas are suggested. Criteria for progress by 2010 are proposed. PMID:14727804

  12. Dispositional Optimism

    PubMed Central

    Carver, Charles S.; Scheier, Michael F.

    2014-01-01

    Optimism is a cognitive construct (expectancies regarding future outcomes) that also relates to motivation: optimistic people exert effort, whereas pessimistic people disengage from effort. Study of optimism began largely in health contexts, finding positive associations between optimism and markers of better psychological and physical health. Physical health effects likely occur through differences in both health-promoting behaviors and physiological concomitants of coping. Recently, the scientific study of optimism has extended to the realm of social relations: new evidence indicates that optimists have better social connections, partly because they work harder at them. In this review, we examine the myriad ways this trait can benefit an individual, and our current understanding of the biological basis of optimism. PMID:24630971

  13. [What can and cannot be achieved by registries : Perspective of the registry working group of the German Network of Health Services Research].

    PubMed

    Neugebauer, E A M; Stausberg, J

    2016-06-01

    In addition to clinical trials, registries and cohort studies are the fundamental basis of patient-orientated research. The importance of registries is increasing because more questions involving patient care under routine conditions (real world data) need to be answered. This article supplies answers to the questions: what can be achieved with registries and what are the limitations? Starting with a consensus definition of a registry from the German Network of Health Services Research (DNVF), the question of existing registries was examined and it was concluded that there was a lack of transparency. Consequently, a registry of registries similar to clinical trials registries is urgently needed as well as an evaluation of the quality of existing registries. Criteria are deduced that allow an assessment of the quality of a registry and which comprehensive possibilities registries can provide are discussed in eight different areas of interest to clinicians. The limitations of registries compared to randomized clinical trials and cohort studies are emphasized and discussed in this article. In the future, the use of registry-based randomized clinical trials (RRCT) will allow data related to efficacy as well as to effectiveness to be collated. PMID:27169850

  14. The content of African diets is adequate to achieve optimal efficacy with fixed-dose artemether-lumefantrine: a review of the evidence

    PubMed Central

    Premji, Zulfiqarali G; Abdulla, Salim; Ogutu, Bernhards; Ndong, Alice; Falade, Catherine O; Sagara, Issaka; Mulure, Nathan; Nwaiwu, Obiyo; Kokwaro, Gilbert

    2008-01-01

    A fixed-dose combination of artemether-lumefantrine (AL, Coartem®) has shown high efficacy, good tolerability and cost-effectiveness in adults and children with uncomplicated malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Lumefantrine bioavailability is enhanced by food, particularly fat. As the fat content of sub-Saharan African meals is approximately a third that of Western countries, it raises the question of whether fat consumption by African patients is sufficient for good efficacy. Data from healthy volunteers have indicated that drinking 36 mL soya milk (containing only 1.2 g of fat) results in 90% of the lumefantrine absorption obtained with 500 mL milk (16 g fat). African diets are typically based on a carbohydrate staple (starchy root vegetables, fruit [plantain] or cereals) supplemented by soups, relishes and sauces derived from vegetables, pulses, nuts or fish. The most important sources of dietary fat in African countries are oil crops (e.g. peanuts, soya beans) and cooking oils as red palm, peanut, coconut and sesame oils. Total fat intake in the majority of subSaharan countries is estimated to be in the range 30–60 g/person/day across the whole population (average 43 g/person/day). Breast-feeding of infants up to two years of age is standard, with one study estimating a fat intake of 15–30 g fat/day from breast milk up to the age of 18 months. Weaning foods typically contain low levels of fat, and the transition from breast milk to complete weaning is associated with a marked reduction in dietary fat. Nevertheless, fat intake >10 g/day has been reported in young children post-weaning. A randomized trial in Uganda reported no difference in the efficacy of AL between patients receiving supervised meals with a fixed fat content (~23 g fat) or taking AL unsupervised, suggesting that fat intake at home was sufficient for optimal efficacy. Moreover, randomized trials in African children aged 5–59 months have shown similar high cure rates to those observed

  15. The content of African diets is adequate to achieve optimal efficacy with fixed-dose artemether-lumefantrine: a review of the evidence.

    PubMed

    Premji, Zulfiqarali G; Abdulla, Salim; Ogutu, Bernhards; Ndong, Alice; Falade, Catherine O; Sagara, Issaka; Mulure, Nathan; Nwaiwu, Obiyo; Kokwaro, Gilbert

    2008-01-01

    A fixed-dose combination of artemether-lumefantrine (AL, Coartem(R)) has shown high efficacy, good tolerability and cost-effectiveness in adults and children with uncomplicated malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Lumefantrine bioavailability is enhanced by food, particularly fat.As the fat content of sub-Saharan African meals is approximately a third that of Western countries, it raises the question of whether fat consumption by African patients is sufficient for good efficacy. Data from healthy volunteers have indicated that drinking 36 mL soya milk (containing only 1.2 g of fat) results in 90% of the lumefantrine absorption obtained with 500 mL milk (16 g fat). African diets are typically based on a carbohydrate staple (starchy root vegetables, fruit [plantain] or cereals) supplemented by soups, relishes and sauces derived from vegetables, pulses, nuts or fish. The most important sources of dietary fat in African countries are oil crops (e.g. peanuts, soya beans) and cooking oils as red palm, peanut, coconut and sesame oils. Total fat intake in the majority of subSaharan countries is estimated to be in the range 30-60 g/person/day across the whole population (average 43 g/person/day). Breast-feeding of infants up to two years of age is standard, with one study estimating a fat intake of 15-30 g fat/day from breast milk up to the age of 18 months. Weaning foods typically contain low levels of fat, and the transition from breast milk to complete weaning is associated with a marked reduction in dietary fat. Nevertheless, fat intake >10 g/day has been reported in young children post-weaning. A randomized trial in Uganda reported no difference in the efficacy of AL between patients receiving supervised meals with a fixed fat content (~23 g fat) or taking AL unsupervised, suggesting that fat intake at home was sufficient for optimal efficacy. Moreover, randomized trials in African children aged 5-59 months have shown similar high cure rates to those observed in

  16. The Integrated Medical Model - Optimizing In-flight Space Medical Systems to Reduce Crew Health Risk and Mission Impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerstman, Eric; Walton, Marlei; Minard, Charles; Saile, Lynn; Myers, Jerry; Butler, Doug; Lyengar, Sriram; Fitts, Mary; Johnson-Throop, Kathy

    2009-01-01

    The Integrated Medical Model (IMM) is a decision support tool used by medical system planners and designers as they prepare for exploration planning activities of the Constellation program (CxP). IMM provides an evidence-based approach to help optimize the allocation of in-flight medical resources for a specified level of risk within spacecraft operational constraints. Eighty medical conditions and associated resources are represented in IMM. Nine conditions are due to Space Adaptation Syndrome. The IMM helps answer fundamental medical mission planning questions such as What medical conditions can be expected? What type and quantity of medical resources are most likely to be used?", and "What is the probability of crew death or evacuation due to medical events?" For a specified mission and crew profile, the IMM effectively characterizes the sequence of events that could potentially occur should a medical condition happen. The mathematical relationships among mission and crew attributes, medical conditions and incidence data, in-flight medical resources, potential clinical and crew health end states are established to generate end state probabilities. A Monte Carlo computational method is used to determine the probable outcomes and requires up to 25,000 mission trials to reach convergence. For each mission trial, the pharmaceuticals and supplies required to diagnose and treat prevalent medical conditions are tracked and decremented. The uncertainty of patient response to treatment is bounded via a best-case, worst-case, untreated case algorithm. A Crew Health Index (CHI) metric, developed to account for functional impairment due to a medical condition, provides a quantified measure of risk and enables risk comparisons across mission scenarios. The use of historical in-flight medical data, terrestrial surrogate data as appropriate, and space medicine subject matter expertise has enabled the development of a probabilistic, stochastic decision support tool capable of

  17. Refinement and use of Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (Health Certificates) for optimal assurance of disease freedom in aquatic animals.

    PubMed

    Starling, D E; Palić, D; Scarfe, A D

    2007-01-01

    Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), generally termed "Health Certificates", are pivotal for ensuring that translocated animals are not diseased or do not harbour significant pathogens. While used very successfully with terrestrial animal movement for decades, CVIs for aquatic animals are not well refined, understood or used, despite the availability of several aquatic animal "certification processes", "permits" and "health certificates", including the OIE model health certificates. Correctly designed CVIs provide the single most economical and effective assurance of disease status (generally freedom from specific diseases or pathogens) for individuals or lots of animals, at any point in time. When issued by a qualified independent third-party (typically a licensed and government accredited veterinarian) they provide the official level of assurance necessary for intrastate, interstate and international trade. Tailored modifications of CVIs are also useful for other purposes requiring the evaluation of animal health (e.g. specific pathogen-free (SPF) assurance for premises, risk-mitigating assurance necessary for insurance policies, breeding soundness assurance of broodstock, etc.). Here we discuss necessary information for aquatic animal CVIs: animal, ownership and location; standardized diagnostic results and their interpretation; and language contained in CVIs. Also addressed is the viability for use with multiple aquatic species and diseases/pathogens of interest, and their use in conjunction with established veterinary inspection procedures. A revised model aquatic CVI, with broad potential use for individual operations, states or countries, is offered for discussion, comment and refinement. In addition an optimally designed model CVI may be of use with electronic systems that are evolving in, for example, Europe, the USA and Australia/New Zealand (e.g. TRACES, e-CVI, e-Certs). PMID:18306523

  18. [Establishing the idea of holistic integrative medicine, optimizing the quality of health care service in prevention and treatment].

    PubMed

    Sun, Xing-guo

    2015-07-01

    Under background of reductionism in the modern science, physiology and medicine are stepwise refined into system, organ, disease, cell and gene etc. Although clinical medicine, only service in whole human object, obviously brought tremendous progress, it also appeared obvious defects and limits at the same time. Professionalized and specialized medicine not only needs to be integrated from basics to clinical fields, but also from prevention, health management, clinical treatment and functional rehabilitation medicine. People are indivisible organic whole. Professionalization, translation and integration must be combined. In order to provide the best quality and optimized medical service for the Chinese people and to lead in the world, we have to strengthen professional and technical knowledge, and have to establish the holistic integrative medical philosophy for physiology and medicine too. PMID:26775496

  19. Achieving Finite Element Mesh Quality via Optimization of the Jacobian Matrix Norm and Associated Quantities, Part II - A Framework for Volume Mesh Optimization and the Condition Number of the Jacobian Matrix

    SciTech Connect

    Knupp, P.M.

    1999-03-26

    Three-dimensional unstructured tetrahedral and hexahedral finite element mesh optimization is studied from a theoretical perspective and by computer experiments to determine what objective functions are most effective in attaining valid, high quality meshes. The approach uses matrices and matrix norms to extend the work in Part I to build suitable 3D objective functions. Because certain matrix norm identities which hold for 2 x 2 matrices do not hold for 3 x 3 matrices. significant differences arise between surface and volume mesh optimization objective functions. It is shown, for example, that the equivalence in two-dimensions of the Smoothness and Condition Number of the Jacobian matrix objective functions does not extend to three dimensions and further. that the equivalence of the Oddy and Condition Number of the Metric Tensor objective functions in two-dimensions also fails to extend to three-dimensions. Matrix norm identities are used to systematically construct dimensionally homogeneous groups of objective functions. The concept of an ideal minimizing matrix is introduced for both hexahedral and tetrahedral elements. Non-dimensional objective functions having barriers are emphasized as the most logical choice for mesh optimization. The performance of a number of objective functions in improving mesh quality was assessed on a suite of realistic test problems, focusing particularly on all-hexahedral ''whisker-weaved'' meshes. Performance is investigated on both structured and unstructured meshes and on both hexahedral and tetrahedral meshes. Although several objective functions are competitive, the condition number objective function is particularly attractive. The objective functions are closely related to mesh quality measures. To illustrate, it is shown that the condition number metric can be viewed as a new tetrahedral element quality measure.

  20. ACTIVITY-DEPENDENT, STRESS-RESPONSIVE BDNF SIGNALING AND THE QUEST FOR OPTIMAL BRAIN HEALTH AND RESILIENCE THROUGHOUT THE LIFESPAN

    PubMed Central

    Rothman, S. M.; Mattson, M. P.

    2013-01-01

    During development of the nervous system, the formation of connections (synapses) between neurons is dependent upon electrical activity in those neurons, and neurotrophic factors produced by target cells play a pivotal role in such activity-dependent sculpting of the neural networks. A similar interplay between neurotransmitter and neurotrophic factor signaling pathways mediates adaptive responses of neural networks to environmental demands in adult mammals, with the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) being particularly prominent regulators of synaptic plasticity throughout the central nervous system. Optimal brain health throughout the lifespan is promoted by intermittent challenges such as exercise, cognitive stimulation and dietary energy restriction, that subject neurons to activity-related metabolic stress. At the molecular level, such challenges to neurons result in the production of proteins involved in neurogenesis, learning and memory and neuronal survival; examples include proteins that regulate mitochondrial biogenesis, protein quality control, and resistance of cells to oxidative, metabolic and proteotoxic stress. BDNF signaling mediates up-regulation of several such proteins including the protein chaperone GRP-78, antioxidant enzymes, the cell survival protein Bcl-2, and the DNA repair enzyme APE1. Insufficient exposure to such challenges, genetic factors may conspire to impair BDNF production and/or signaling resulting in the vulnerability of the brain to injury and neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Further, BDNF signaling is negatively regulated by glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids impair synaptic plasticity in the brain by negatively regulating spine density, neurogenesis and long-term potentiation, effects that are potentially linked to glucocorticoid regulation of BDNF. Findings suggest that BDNF signaling in specific brain regions mediates

  1. Optimizing Weight for Maternal and Infant Health – Tenable, or Too Late?

    PubMed Central

    Barbour, Linda A.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity in pregnancy is the leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity, and gestational weight gain (GWG) is one modifiable risk factor that improves pregnancy outcomes. Most pregnant women gain more than the 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendations, particularly overweight and obese women. GWG even less than the 2009 IOM guidelines in obese women may improve pregnancy outcomes and reduce large-for-gestational-age (LGA) infants, an independent risk factor for childhood obesity, without increasing small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants. Unfortunately, despite the fact that over 50 interventional trials designed to decrease excess GWG have been conducted, these interventions have been only modestly effective, and interventions designed to facilitate weight postpartum weight loss have also been disappointing. Successful interventions are of paramount importance not only to improve pregnancy outcomes but also for the future metabolic health of the mother and her infant, and may be key in attenuating the trans-generational risk on childhood obesity. PMID:26442123

  2. Optimizing learning in healthcare: how Island Health is evolving to learn at the speed of change.

    PubMed

    Gottfredson, Conrad; Stroud, Carol; Jackson, Mary; Stevenson, R Lynn; Archer, Jana

    2014-01-01

    Healthcare organizations are challenged with constrained resources and increasing service demands by an aging population with complex care needs. Exponential growth in competency requirements also challenges staff's ability to provide quality patient care. How can a healthcare organization support its staff to learn "at or above the speed of change" while continuing to provide the quality patient care? Island Health is addressing this challenge by transforming its traditional education model into an innovative, evidence-based learning and performance support approach. Implementation of the methodology is yielding several lessons learned, both for the internal Learning and Performance Support team, and for what it takes to bring a new way of doing business into an organization. A key result is that this approach is enabling the organization to be more responsive in helping staff gain and maintain competencies. PMID:25906465

  3. Controversies in knowledge translation for community-based drug treatment: the need to the end policies of the war on drugs and mass incarceration of drug offenders to achieve health equity.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Barbara C

    2012-12-01

    The purpose of this article was to discuss significant challenges to the achievement of urban health, specifically acknowledging numerous controversies in knowledge translation for community-based drug treatment that prevent the achievement of health equity. Seven specific controversies are analyzed in this article. The results of the analysis are recommendations for moving toward the resolution of each controversy. Among the most important recommendations is a call to end the policies of the war on drugs and mass incarceration of drug offenders-as policies reflecting how politics and the misuse of power may derail knowledge translation. The article provides justification for evidence-based policy that supports community-based drug treatment as a public health approach consistent with the goals of health equity, ethical practice, and effective knowledge translation. PMID:22566149

  4. Optimizing data collection for public health decisions: a data mining approach

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Collecting data can be cumbersome and expensive. Lack of relevant, accurate and timely data for research to inform policy may negatively impact public health. The aim of this study was to test if the careful removal of items from two community nutrition surveys guided by a data mining technique called feature selection, can (a) identify a reduced dataset, while (b) not damaging the signal inside that data. Methods The Nutrition Environment Measures Surveys for stores (NEMS-S) and restaurants (NEMS-R) were completed on 885 retail food outlets in two counties in West Virginia between May and November of 2011. A reduced dataset was identified for each outlet type using feature selection. Coefficients from linear regression modeling were used to weight items in the reduced datasets. Weighted item values were summed with the error term to compute reduced item survey scores. Scores produced by the full survey were compared to the reduced item scores using a Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Results Feature selection identified 9 store and 16 restaurant survey items as significant predictors of the score produced from the full survey. The linear regression models built from the reduced feature sets had R2 values of 92% and 94% for restaurant and grocery store data, respectively. Conclusions While there are many potentially important variables in any domain, the most useful set may only be a small subset. The use of feature selection in the initial phase of data collection to identify the most influential variables may be a useful tool to greatly reduce the amount of data needed thereby reducing cost. PMID:24919484

  5. Can Social Support Protect Bullied Adolescents from Adverse Outcomes? A Prospective Study on the Effects of Bullying on the Educational Achievement and Mental Health of Adolescents at Secondary Schools in East London

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rothon, Catherine; Head, Jenny; Klineberg, Emily; Stansfeld, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    This paper investigates the extent to which social support can have a buffering effect against the potentially adverse consequences of bullying on school achievement and mental health. It uses a representative multiethnic sample of adolescents attending East London secondary schools in three boroughs. Bullied adolescents were less likely to…

  6. User preferences and usability of iVitality: optimizing an innovative online research platform for home-based health monitoring

    PubMed Central

    van Osch, Mara; Rövekamp, AJM; Bergman-Agteres, Stephanie N; Wijsman, Liselotte W; Ooms, Sharon J; Mooijaart, Simon P; Vermeulen, Joan

    2015-01-01

    Background The iVitality online research platform has been developed to gain insight into the relationship between early risk factors (ie, poorly controlled hypertension, physical or mental inactivity) and onset and possibly prevention of dementia. iVitality consists of a website, a smartphone application, and sensors that can monitor these indicators at home. Before iVitality can be implemented, it should fit the needs and preferences of users, ie, offspring of patients with dementia. This study aimed to explore users’ motivation to participate in home-based health monitoring research, to formulate requirements based on users’ preferences to optimize iVitality, and to test usability of the smartphone application of iVitality. Methods We recruited 13 participants (aged 42–64 years, 85% female), who were offspring of patients with dementia. A user-centered methodology consisting of four iterative phases was used. Three semistructured interviews provided insight into motivation and acceptance of using iVitality (phase 1). A focus group with six participants elaborated on expectations and preferences regarding iVitality (phase 2). Findings from phase 1 and 2 were triangulated by two semistructured interviews (phase 3). Four participants assessed the usability of the smartphone application (phase 4) using a think aloud procedure and a questionnaire measuring ease and efficiency of use (scale 1–7; higher scores indicated better usability). Results All participants were highly motivated to contribute to dementia research. However, the frequency of home-based health monitoring should not be too high. Participants preferred to receive feedback about their measurements and information regarding the relationship between these measurements and dementia. Despite minor technical errors, iVitality was considered easy and efficient to use (mean score 5.50, standard deviation 1.71). Conclusion Offspring of patients with dementia are motivated to contribute to home

  7. Practical Management Concerns regarding the Use of Health-Related, Motor and Skill Tests to Achieve Sex-Fair Ability Groupings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuller, Janet

    There are many advantages and disadvantages of ability tests for sex-fairness. Several types of assessment criteria for sex-fair ability grouping could be used in fitness-related activities in the curriculum. Health-related physical fitness tests, designed to measure an individual's health fitness and provide for individual improvement, are not…

  8. Achieving optimal SERS through enhanced experimental design

    PubMed Central

    Fisk, Heidi; Westley, Chloe; Turner, Nicholas J.

    2016-01-01

    One of the current limitations surrounding surface‐enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is the perceived lack of reproducibility. SERS is indeed challenging, and for analyte detection, it is vital that the analyte interacts with the metal surface. However, as this is analyte dependent, there is not a single set of SERS conditions that are universal. This means that experimental optimisation for optimum SERS response is vital. Most researchers optimise one factor at a time, where a single parameter is altered first before going onto optimise the next. This is a very inefficient way of searching the experimental landscape. In this review, we explore the use of more powerful multivariate approaches to SERS experimental optimisation based on design of experiments and evolutionary computational methods. We particularly focus on colloidal‐based SERS rather than thin film preparations as a result of their popularity. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Thin sheets achieve optimal wrapping of liquids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paulsen, Joseph; Démery, Vincent; Davidovitch, Benny; Santangelo, Christian; Russell, Thomas; Menon, Narayanan

    2015-03-01

    A liquid drop can wrap itself in a sheet using capillary forces [Py et al., PRL 98, 2007]. However, the efficiency of ``capillary origami'' at covering the surface of a drop is hampered by the mechanical cost of bending the sheet. Thinner sheets deform more readily by forming small-scale wrinkles and stress-focussing patterns, but it is unclear how coverage efficiency competes with mechanical cost as thickness is decreased, and what wrapping shapes will emerge. We place a thin (~ 100 nm) polymer film on a drop whose volume is gradually decreased so that the sheet covers an increasing fraction of its surface. The sheet exhibits a complex sequence of axisymmetric and polygonal partially- and fully- wrapped shapes. Remarkably, the progression appears independent of mechanical properties. The gross shape, which neglects small-scale features, is correctly predicted by a simple geometric approach wherein the exposed area is minimized. Thus, simply using a thin enough sheet results in maximal coverage.

  10. Achieving Optimal Enrollments and Tuition Revenues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ihlanfeldt, William

    A modern marketing approach to student recruitment is offered as a means of facilitating institutional planning, enhancing communication with prospective students, improving enrollment forecasting, and eliminating unexpected shortfalls in tuition income. Marketing is distinguished from mere salesmanship and discussed in a practical program of…

  11. Using Attitudinal Questionnaires to Achieve Benefits Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Lundsgaarde, Henry P.; Gardner, Reed M.; Menlove, Ron L.

    1989-01-01

    The evaluation of complex hospital medical and management information systems presents many complex methodological and logistical problems. Many studies, best characterized as outcome or summative evaluations, customarily document failures and successes associated with system implementation. We approach system implementation as an indeterminable process and evaluation as a management tool that can provide essential and timely feedback to both system developers and users. This paper discusses our ongoing and formative evaluation study of the transplacement of the HELP system from the LDS hospital in Salt Lake City to the McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah. Surveys of future system users did not show any significant differences between three major groups of respondents (physicians, nurses, and staff) in terms of preferences for user education methods. The results of our work suggest that a formative evaluation study can facilitate system adoption and utilization without compromising concurrent needs of scientific objectivity.

  12. 78 FR 54651 - Sole Source Cooperative Agreement Award to the National Association of County and City Health...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-05

    ...ASPR requires collaboration with local health departments and officials to ensure that local governments, communities, private sector entities, non-governmental organizations, academia, and individuals can optimally coordinate their respective national health security roles and responsibilities to achieve community health resilience and strengthen health care, public health, and emergency......

  13. Back to the basics: Identifying and addressing underlying challenges in achieving high quality and relevant health statistics for indigenous populations in Canada

    PubMed Central

    Smylie, Janet; Firestone, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    Canada is known internationally for excellence in both the quality and public policy relevance of its health and social statistics. There is a double standard however with respect to the relevance and quality of statistics for Indigenous populations in Canada. Indigenous specific health and social statistics gathering is informed by unique ethical, rights-based, policy and practice imperatives regarding the need for Indigenous participation and leadership in Indigenous data processes throughout the spectrum of indicator development, data collection, management, analysis and use. We demonstrate how current Indigenous data quality challenges including misclassification errors and non-response bias systematically contribute to a significant underestimate of inequities in health determinants, health status, and health care access between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. The major quality challenge underlying these errors and biases is the lack of Indigenous specific identifiers that are consistent and relevant in major health and social data sources. The recent removal of an Indigenous identity question from the Canadian census has resulted in further deterioration of an already suboptimal system. A revision of core health data sources to include relevant, consistent, and inclusive Indigenous self-identification is urgently required. These changes need to be carried out in partnership with Indigenous peoples and their representative and governing organizations. PMID:26793283

  14. Achieving a Healthy Zoning Policy in Baltimore: Results of a Health Impact Assessment of the TransForm Baltimore Zoning Code Rewrite

    PubMed Central

    Greiner, Amelia; Fichtenberg, Caroline M.; Feingold, Beth J.; Ellen, Jonathan M.; Jennings, Jacky M.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives The social determinants of health (SDH) include factors apart from genes and biology that affect population health. Zoning is an urban planning tool that influences neighborhood built environments. We describe the methods and results of a health impact assessment (HIA) of a rezoning effort in Baltimore, Maryland, called TransForm Baltimore. We highlight findings specific to physical activity, violent crime, and obesity. Methods We conducted a multistage HIA of TransForm Baltimore using HIA practice guidelines. Key informant interviews identified focus areas for the quantitative assessment. A literature review and a zoning code analysis evaluated potential impacts on neighborhood factors including physical activity, violent crime, and obesity. We estimated potential impacts in high- and low-poverty neighborhoods. The findings resulted in recommendations to improve the health-promoting potential of TransForm Baltimore. Results Mixed-use and transit-oriented development were key goals of TransForm Baltimore. Health impacts identified by stakeholders included walkability and healthy communities. For Baltimore residents, we estimated that (1) the percentage of people living in districts allowing mixed-use and off-premise alcohol outlets would nearly triple, (2) 18% would live in transit-oriented development zones, and (3) all residents would live in districts with new lighting and landscaping guidelines. Limiting the concentration of off-premise alcohol outlets represented an opportunity to address health promotion. Conclusions Changes to Baltimore's zoning code could improve population health including decreasing violent crime. HIAs are an important platform for applying SDH to public health practice. This HIA specifically linked municipal zoning policy with promoting healthier neighborhoods. PMID:24179284

  15. Problem-solving for better health.

    PubMed

    Smith, B; Barnett, S; Collado, D; Connor, M; DePasquale, J; Gross, L; McDermott, V; Sykes, A

    1994-01-01

    An outline is given of an approach to the health-for-all goals which involves optimizing resource use, prioritizing people's well-being, achieving excellence and a measurable impact at all levels of care, and solving health problems in a broad developmental context. PMID:8141991

  16. Addressing critical gaps in achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH): the case for improving adolescent SRH, preventing unsafe abortion, and enhancing linkages between SRH and HIV interventions.

    PubMed

    Mbizvo, Michael Takura; Zaidi, Shahida

    2010-07-01

    The new target for achieving universal access to reproductive health was integrated within the revised Millennium Development Goal framework in October 2008, following reaffirmation of this ICPD goal at the 2005 World Summit. To achieve this goal, the Alliance for Women's Health identified 3 issues needing urgent attention: (1) adolescent sexual and reproductive health; (2) unsafe abortions and related mortality and morbidity; and (3) HIV prevention and care. These themes were discussed in Cape Town at the FIGO 2009 Precongress Workshop convened by the Alliance. The critical gaps identified by the Workshop included: the lack of information on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues for adolescents, such as safe sexual practices, contraception, risks related to early childbearing; unsafe abortion and its adverse consequences; and inadequate linkages between sexual and reproductive health and HIV interventions that result in missed opportunities for addressing both. Recommendations included the use of innovative information dissemination techniques, ensuring access to family planning and comprehensive abortion care to the full extent allowed by national laws, in accordance with FIGO and WHO guidelines, and promotion of universal HIV counseling and testing with opt-out strategies within SRH services and information on SRH in all HIV services. PMID:20451907

  17. 78 FR 54652 - Sole Source Cooperative Agreement Award to the Association for State and Territorial Health...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-05

    ...ASPR requires collaboration with state and territorial health departments and officials to ensure that state and local governments, communities, private sector entities, non-governmental organizations, academia, and individuals can optimally coordinate their respective national health security roles and responsibilities to achieve community health resilience and strengthen health care, public......

  18. A Tuesday in the life of a flourisher: the role of positive emotional reactivity in optimal mental health.

    PubMed

    Catalino, Lahnna I; Fredrickson, Barbara L

    2011-08-01

    Flourishing--a state of optimal mental health--has been linked to a host of benefits for the individual and society, including fewer workdays lost and the lowest incidence of chronic physical conditions. The aim of this paper was to investigate whether and how routine activities promote flourishing. The authors proposed that flourishers thrive because they capitalize on the processes featured in the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, specifically by experiencing greater positive emotional reactivity to pleasant events and building more resources over time. To test these hypotheses, the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) was administered to a prescreened community sample of adults (n = 208), and they were recontacted two to three months later. Results showed that relative to those who did not flourish or were depressed, people who flourish generally responded with bigger "boosts" in positive emotions in response to everyday, pleasant events (helping, interacting, playing, learning, spiritual activity), and this greater positive emotional reactivity, over time, predicted higher levels of two facets of the cognitive resource of mindfulness. In turn, these higher levels of mindfulness were positively associated with higher levels of flourishing at the end of study, controlling for initial levels of flourishing. These results suggest that the promotion of well-being may be fueled by small, yet consequential differences in individuals' emotional experience of pleasant everyday events. Additionally, these results underscore the utility of the broaden-and-build theory in understanding the processes by which flourishing is promoted and provide support for a positive potentiation perspective. PMID:21859208

  19. Optimal Cutoffs of Obesity Measures in Relation to Cancer Risk in Postmenopausal Women in the Women's Health Initiative Study

    PubMed Central

    Kabat, Geoffrey C.; Strickler, Howard D.; Lin, Juan; Hou, Lifang; Stefanick, Marcia L.; Anderson, Garnet L.; Rohan, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background: Obesity is a risk factor for several cancers in postmenopausal women. We attempted to determine cutoffs of adiposity measures in relation to risk of obesity-related cancers among postmenopausal women and to examine the effects of hormone therapy (HT) use on the cutoffs, neither of which has been broadly studied. Methods: We used data from the Women's Health Initiative cohort (n=144,701) and applied Cox-proportional hazards regressions to each combination of 17 cancer types and 6 anthropometric measures (weight, body mass index [BMI], weight to height ratio, waist circumference, waist to hip ratio [WHR], and waist to height ratio). Interactions between the anthropometric measures and HT use were also examined. Cutoffs were determined by applying a grid search followed by a two-fold cross validation method. Survival ROC analysis of 5- and 10-year incidence followed. Results: Breast, colorectal, colon, endometrium, kidney, and all cancers combined were significantly positively associated with all six anthropometric measures, whereas lung cancer among ever smokers was significantly inversely associated with all measures except WHR. The derived cutoffs of each obesity measure varied across cancers (e.g., BMI cutoffs for breast and endometrium cancers were 30 kg/m2 and 34 kg/m2, respectively), and also depended on HT use. The Youden indices of the cutoffs for predicting 5- and 10-year cancer incidence were higher among HT never users. Conclusion: Using a panel of different anthropometric measures, we derived optimal cut-offs categorizing populations into high- and low-risk groups, which differed by cancer type and HT use. Although the discrimination abilities of these risk categories were generally poor, the results of this study could serve as a starting point from which to determine adiposity cutoffs for inclusion in risk prediction models for specific cancer types. PMID:25587642

  20. The Effects of Health Insurance Coverage on the Math Achievement Trajectories of School Children in Yuma County, Arizona: Implications for Education Accountability Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcy, Anthony M.

    2013-01-01

    U.S. Federal and state education policies place considerable emphasis on assessing the effects that schools and teachers have on student test score performance. It is important for education policy makers to also consider other factors that can affect student achievement. This study finds that an exogenous school factor, discontinuous health…

  1. Primary health care and public health: foundations of universal health systems.

    PubMed

    White, Franklin

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this review is to advocate for more integrated and universally accessible health systems, built on a foundation of primary health care and public health. The perspective outlined identified health systems as the frame of reference, clarified terminology and examined complementary perspectives on health. It explored the prospects for universal and integrated health systems from a global perspective, the role of healthy public policy in achieving population health and the value of the social-ecological model in guiding how best to align the components of an integrated health service. The importance of an ethical private sector in partnership with the public sector is recognized. Most health systems around the world, still heavily focused on illness, are doing relatively little to optimize health and minimize illness burdens, especially for vulnerable groups. This failure to improve the underlying conditions for health is compounded by insufficient allocation of resources to address priority needs with equity (universality, accessibility and affordability). Finally, public health and primary health care are the cornerstones of sustainable health systems, and this should be reflected in the health policies and professional education systems of all nations wishing to achieve a health system that is effective, equitable, efficient and affordable. PMID:25591411

  2. The Progress of Nations: The Nations of the World Ranked Acording to Their Achievements in Health, Nutrition, Education, Family Planning, and Progress for Women.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adamson, Peter, Ed.

    This report documents the progress made in developing and developed nations to improve health, nutrition, education, family planning, and the condition of women over the last 40 years. It presents tables that rank the world's nations and regions on: (1) the mortality rate of children under 5 years of age; (2) the percent of children under 5 years…

  3. An Exploratory Study of the Relationship among Perceived Personal and Social Competence, Health Risk Behaviors, and Academic Achievement of Selected Undergraduate Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhodes, Darson L.

    2009-01-01

    A sample of 656 undergraduate students from multiple sections of an introductory nutrition course, a personal health course, and a physical fitness course at a large Midwestern University completed one of four surveys. Using matrix sampling, each participant completed a survey measuring one of four personal and social competence constructs; coping…

  4. An Evaluation of the Policy Context on Psychosocial Risks and Mental Health in the Workplace in the European Union: Achievements, Challenges, and the Future.

    PubMed

    Leka, Stavroula; Jain, Aditya; Iavicoli, Sergio; Di Tecco, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Despite the developments both in hard and soft law policies in the European Union in relation to mental health and psychosocial risks in the workplace, a review of these policies at EU level has not been conducted to identify strengths, weaknesses, and gaps to be addressed in the future. Keeping in mind that the aim should be to engage employers in good practice, ideally such policies should include key definitions and elements of the psychosocial risk management process, covering risk factors, mental health outcomes, risk assessment and preventive actions, or interventions. The current paper aims to fill this gap by reviewing hard and soft law policies on mental health in the workplace and psychosocial risks applicable at EU level and conducting a gap analysis according to a set of dimensions identified in models of good practice in this area. Our review of ninety-four policies in total revealed several gaps, especially in relation to binding in comparison to nonbinding policies. These are discussed in light of the context of policy-making in the EU, and recommendations are offered for future actions in this area. PMID:26557655

  5. An Evaluation of the Policy Context on Psychosocial Risks and Mental Health in the Workplace in the European Union: Achievements, Challenges, and the Future

    PubMed Central

    Leka, Stavroula; Jain, Aditya; Iavicoli, Sergio; Di Tecco, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Despite the developments both in hard and soft law policies in the European Union in relation to mental health and psychosocial risks in the workplace, a review of these policies at EU level has not been conducted to identify strengths, weaknesses, and gaps to be addressed in the future. Keeping in mind that the aim should be to engage employers in good practice, ideally such policies should include key definitions and elements of the psychosocial risk management process, covering risk factors, mental health outcomes, risk assessment and preventive actions, or interventions. The current paper aims to fill this gap by reviewing hard and soft law policies on mental health in the workplace and psychosocial risks applicable at EU level and conducting a gap analysis according to a set of dimensions identified in models of good practice in this area. Our review of ninety-four policies in total revealed several gaps, especially in relation to binding in comparison to nonbinding policies. These are discussed in light of the context of policy-making in the EU, and recommendations are offered for future actions in this area. PMID:26557655

  6. Achieving pregnancy safely: perspectives on timed vaginal insemination among HIV-serodiscordant couples and health-care providers in Kisumu, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Mmeje, Okeoma; van der Poel, Sheryl; Workneh, Meklit; Njoroge, Betty; Bukusi, Elizabeth; Cohen, Craig R

    2015-01-01

    In female-positive HIV-serodiscordant couples desiring children, home timed vaginal insemination (TVI) of semen during the fertile period along with consistent condom use may reduce the risk of HIV transmission when the man is HIV-uninfected. In sub-Saharan Africa, up to 45% of HIV-infected women desire to have more children. HIV viral load assessment is not routinely available in low-resource countries for monitoring adherence and response to antiretroviral therapy. Therefore, in these settings, timed unprotected intercourse without assurance of HIV viral suppression may pose unnecessary risks. TVI, a simple and affordable intervention, can be considered an adjunct method and option of safer conception for HIV prevention with treatment of the HIV-infected partner and/or pre-exposure prophylaxis. We conducted five mixed and single-sex focus group discussions comprised of 33 HIV-serodiscordant couples and health-care providers in the Nyanza region of Kenya to assess the acceptability and feasibility of TVI as a safer method of conception. The transcribed data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. We found that educating and counseling HIV-serodiscordant couples on TVI could make it an acceptable and feasible safer conception method when associated with frequent communication and home visits by health-care providers. The findings of this study indicate that implementation studies that integrate training and counseling of HIV-serodiscordant couples and health-care providers on TVI combined with consistent condom use are needed. Acknowledging and supporting the reproductive choice and needs of female positive, male negative HIV-serodiscordant couples who desire children should also include the use of assisted reproductive services at the same time as pharmaceutical options that prevent sexual HIV transmission. PMID:25105422

  7. Potential Causal Relationship Between Depressive Symptoms and Academic Achievement in the Hawaiian High Schools Health Survey Using Contemporary Longitudinal Latent Variable Change Models

    PubMed Central

    Hishinuma, Earl S.; Chang, Janice Y.; McArdle, John J.; Hamagami, Fumiaki

    2012-01-01

    There is a relatively consistent negative relationship between adolescent depressive symptoms and educational achievement (e.g., grade-point average [GPA]). However, we are less certain of the causal direction for this association due to the lack of longitudinal data with both indicators measured across at least two time periods, and due to the lack of application of more sophisticated contemporary statistical techniques. We present multivariate results from a large longitudinal cohort-sequential study of high school students (N = 7,317) with measures of self-reported depressive symptoms and self-reported GPAs across multiple time points (following McArdle, 2009; McArdle et al., 2001) using an ethnically diverse sample from Hawai‘i. Contemporary statistical techniques included: bivariate dynamic structural equation modeling (DSEM); multi-group gender-and-ethnic DSEMs; ordinal scale measurement of key outcomes; and imputation for incomplete longitudinal data. The findings suggest that depressive symptoms affect subsequent academic achievement, and not the other way around, especially for Native Hawaiians as compared to non-Hawaiian females. We further discuss the scientific, applied, and methodological-statistical implications of the results, including the need for further theorizing and research on mediating variables. We also discuss the need for increased prevention, early intervention, screening, identification, and treatment of depressive symptoms and disorders. Finally, we argue for utilization of more contemporary methodological-statistical techniques, especially when violating parametric-test assumptions. PMID:22268606

  8. Care Groups II: A Summary of the Child Survival Outcomes Achieved Using Volunteer Community Health Workers in Resource-Constrained Settings

    PubMed Central

    Morrow, Melanie; Davis, Thomas; Borger, Sarah; Weiss, Jennifer; DeCoster, Mary; Ricca, Jim; Ernst, Pieter

    2015-01-01

    The Care Group approach, described in detail in a companion paper in this journal, uses volunteers to convey health promotion messages to their neighbors. This article summarizes the available evidence on the effectiveness of the Care Group approach, drawing on articles published in the peer-reviewed literature as well as data from unpublished but publicly available project evaluations and summary analyses of these evaluations. When implemented by strong international NGOs with adequate funding, Care Groups have been remarkably effective in increasing population coverage of key child survival interventions. There is strong evidence that Care Groups can reduce childhood undernutrition and reduce the prevalence of diarrhea. Finally, evidence from multiple sources, comprising independent assessments of mortality impact, vital events collected by Care Group Volunteers themselves, and analyses using the Lives Saved Tool (LiST), that Care Groups are effective in reducing under-5 mortality. For example, the average decline in under-5 mortality, estimated using LiST, among 8 Care Group projects was 32%. In comparison, among 12 non-Care Group child survival projects, the under-5 mortality declined, on average, by an estimated 11%. Care Group projects cost in the range of US$3–$8 per beneficiary per year. The cost per life saved is in the range of $441–$3,773, and the cost per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted is in the range of $15–$126. The Care Group approach, when implemented as described, appears to be highly cost-effective based on internationally accepted criteria. Care Groups represent an important and promising innovative, low-cost approach to increasing the coverage of key child survival interventions in high-mortality, resource-constrained settings. Next steps include further specifying the adjustments needed in government health systems to successfully incorporate the Care Group approach, testing the feasibility of these adjustments and of the

  9. Maternal death inquiry and response in India - the impact of contextual factors on defining an optimal model to help meet critical maternal health policy objectives

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Maternal death reviews have been utilized in several countries as a means of identifying social and health care quality issues affecting maternal survival. From 2005 to 2009, a standardized community-based maternal death inquiry and response initiative was implemented in eight Indian states with the aim of addressing critical maternal health policy objectives. However, state-specific contextual factors strongly influenced the effort's success. This paper examines the impact and implications of the contextual factors. Methods We identified community, public health systems and governance related contextual factors thought to affect the implementation, utilization and up-scaling of the death inquiry process. Then, according to selected indicators, we documented the contextual factors' presence and their impact on the process' success in helping meet critical maternal health policy objectives in four districts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. Based on this assessment, we propose an optimal model for conducting community-based maternal death inquiries in India and similar settings. Results The death inquiry process led to increases in maternal death notification and investigation whether civil society or government took charge of these tasks, stimulated sharing of the findings in multiple settings and contributed to the development of numerous evidence-based local, district and statewide maternal health interventions. NGO inputs were essential where communities, public health systems and governance were weak and boosted effectiveness in stronger settings. Public health systems participation was enabled by responsive and accountable governance. Communities participated most successfully through India's established local governance Panchayat Raj Institutions. In one instance this led to the development of a multi-faceted intervention well-integrated at multiple levels. Conclusions The impact of several contextual factors on the death inquiry

  10. The relationship between traits optimism and anxiety and health-related quality of life in patients hospitalized for chronic diseases: data from the SATISQOL study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The impact of psychological factors is often taken into account in the evaluation of quality of life. However, the effect of optimism and trait anxiety remains controversial and they are rarely studied simultaneously. We aimed to study the effect of this factor on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients after a hospitalization in relation with their chronic disease. Methods Using cross-sectional data from the SATISQOL cohort, we conducted a multicentric study, including patients hospitalized for an intervention in connection with their chronic disease. Six months after hospitalization, patients completed a generic HRQOL questionnaire (SF-36), and the STAI and LOT-R questionnaires to evaluate optimism and trait anxiety. We studied the effect of each trait on HRQOL separately, and simultaneously, taking account of their interaction in 3 models, using an ANOVA. Results In this study, 1529 patients were included in three participating hospitals and there existed wide diversity in the chronic diseases in our population. The HRQOL score increased for all dimensions of SF36 between 15,8 and 44,5 when the level of anxiety decreased (p < 0.0001) for the model 1, assessing the effect of anxiety on HRQOL and increased for all dimensions of SF36 between 3.1 and 12.7 with increasing level of optimism (< 0.0001) in the model 2 assessing the effect of optimism on HRQOL. In the model 3, assessing the effect of both anxiety and optimism on HRQOL, and their interaction, the HRQOL score for all dimensions of the SF36 increased when the level of anxiety decreased (p < 0.0001). It increased with increasing level of optimism (p < 0.006) in the model for all dimensions of SF36 except the Role Physical dimension. In this model, interaction between anxiety and optimism was significant for the Social Functioning dimension (p = 0.0021). Conclusions Optimism and trait anxiety appeared to be significantly correlated with HRQOL. Furthermore, an

  11. Self-Beliefs and Student Goal Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wesson, Caroline J.; Derrer-Rendall, Nicola M.

    2011-01-01

    Two preliminary studies are presented investigating the self-beliefs that may affect goal achievement in a student population. In Study 1, goal achievement on an abstract task, where goals are externally set by others, is considered in relation to students' levels of optimism. In Study 2, goal achievement on academic performance, where goals are…

  12. Social and Developmental Predictors of Optimism from Infancy to Early Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ek, Ellen; Remes, Jouko; Sovio, Ulla

    2004-01-01

    The positive effects of dispositional optimism on mental and physical health are well documented, but little is known about its developmental origins. The present population-based longitudinal study of young adults (n = 8673) examined predictors of optimism that were related to early childhood family conditions, school achievement in middle…

  13. Optimal Design of Air Quality Monitoring Network and its Application in an Oil Refinery Plant: An Approach to Keep Health Status of Workers

    PubMed Central

    ZoroufchiBenis, Khaled; Fatehifar, Esmaeil; Ahmadi, Javad; Rouhi, Alireza

    2015-01-01

    Background: Industrial air pollution is a growing challenge to humane health, especially in developing countries, where there is no systematic monitoring of air pollution. Given the importance of the availability of valid information on population exposure to air pollutants, it is important to design an optimal Air Quality Monitoring Network (AQMN) for assessing population exposure to air pollution and predicting the magnitude of the health risks to the population. Methods: A multi-pollutant method (implemented as a MATLAB program) was explored for configur­ing an AQMN to detect the highest level of pollution around an oil refinery plant. The method ranks potential monitoring sites (grids) according to their ability to represent the ambient concentration. The term of cluster of contiguous grids that exceed a threshold value was used to calculate the Station Dosage. Selection of the best configuration of AQMN was done based on the ratio of a sta­tion’s dosage to the total dosage in the network. Results: Six monitoring stations were needed to detect the pollutants concentrations around the study area for estimating the level and distribution of exposure in the population with total network efficiency of about 99%. An analysis of the design procedure showed that wind regimes have greatest effect on the location of monitoring stations. Conclusion: The optimal AQMN enables authorities to implement an effective program of air quality management for protecting human health. PMID:26933646

  14. Hope, optimism and delusion

    PubMed Central

    McGuire-Snieckus, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    Optimism is generally accepted by psychiatrists, psychologists and other caring professionals as a feature of mental health. Interventions typically rely on cognitive-behavioural tools to encourage individuals to ‘stop negative thought cycles’ and to ‘challenge unhelpful thoughts’. However, evidence suggests that most individuals have persistent biases of optimism and that excessive optimism is not conducive to mental health. How helpful is it to facilitate optimism in individuals who are likely to exhibit biases of optimism already? By locating the cause of distress at the individual level and ‘unhelpful’ cognitions, does this minimise wider systemic social and economic influences on mental health? PMID:25237497

  15. Working Together to Promote Diabetes Control: A Practical Guide for Diabetes Health Care Providers in Establishing a Working Alliance to Achieve Self-Management Support

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Allan; Vallis, Michael; Cooke, Debbie; Pouwer, François

    2016-01-01

    The quality of the “patient-carer” relationship is the foundation of self-management support and has been shown to influence treatment outcome in relation to psychological and somatic illness, including diabetes. It has long been accepted within applied psychology that the quality of the client-therapist relationship—termed the working alliance—is of central importance to treatment outcome and may account for a significant degree of the overall treatment effect. Diabetes healthcare providers have recently expressed a need for further training in communication techniques and in the psychological aspects of diabetes. Could we take a page from the psychological treatment manual on working alliance in therapy to guide the diabetes healthcare provider in their role of supporting the person with diabetes achieve and maintain better metabolic control? This paper examines the role of the working alliance in diabetes care and offers a practical guide to the diabetes healthcare provider in establishing a working alliance with the person with diabetes in managing diabetes. PMID:26682229

  16. Working Together to Promote Diabetes Control: A Practical Guide for Diabetes Health Care Providers in Establishing a Working Alliance to Achieve Self-Management Support.

    PubMed

    Jones, Allan; Vallis, Michael; Cooke, Debbie; Pouwer, François

    2016-01-01

    The quality of the "patient-carer" relationship is the foundation of self-management support and has been shown to influence treatment outcome in relation to psychological and somatic illness, including diabetes. It has long been accepted within applied psychology that the quality of the client-therapist relationship--termed the working alliance--is of central importance to treatment outcome and may account for a significant degree of the overall treatment effect. Diabetes healthcare providers have recently expressed a need for further training in communication techniques and in the psychological aspects of diabetes. Could we take a page from the psychological treatment manual on working alliance in therapy to guide the diabetes healthcare provider in their role of supporting the person with diabetes achieve and maintain better metabolic control? This paper examines the role of the working alliance in diabetes care and offers a practical guide to the diabetes healthcare provider in establishing a working alliance with the person with diabetes in managing diabetes. PMID:26682229

  17. Peer Support for Achieving Independence in Diabetes (Peer-AID): Design, methods and baseline characteristics of a randomized controlled trial of community health worker assisted diabetes self-management support

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Karin; Drain, Nathan; Robinson, June; Kapp, Janet; Hebert, Paul; Taylor, Leslie; Silverman, Julie; Kiefer, Meghan; Lessler, Dan; Krieger, James

    2014-01-01

    Background & Objectives Community health workers (CHWs) may be an important mechanism to provide diabetes self-management to disadvantaged populations. We describe the design and baseline results of a trial evaluating a home-based CHW intervention. Methods & Research Design Peer Support for Achieving Independence in Diabetes (Peer-AID) is a randomized, controlled trial evaluating a home-based CHW-delivered diabetes self-management intervention versus usual care. The study recruited participants from 3 health systems. Change in A1c measured at 12 months is the primary outcome. Change in blood pressure, lipids, health care utilization, health-related quality of life, self-efficacy and diabetes self-management behaviors at 12 months are secondary outcomes. Results A total of 1,438 patients were identified by medical record review as potentially eligible, 445 patients were screened by telephone for eligibility and 287 were randomized. Groups were comparable at baseline on socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. All participants were low-income and were from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The mean A1c was 8.9%, mean BMI was above the obese range, and non-adherence to diabetes medications was high. The cohort had high rates of co-morbid disease and low self-reported health status. Although one-third reported no health insurance, the mean number of visits to a physician in the past year was 5.7. Trial results are pending. Conclusions Peer-AID recruited and enrolled a diverse group of low income participants with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes and delivered a home-based diabetes self-management program. If effective, replication of the Peer-AID intervention in community based settings could contribute to improved control of diabetes in vulnerable populations. PMID:24956324

  18. Optimal Design of Integrated Systems Health Management (ISHM) Systems for improving safety in NASA's Exploration Vehicles: A Two-Level Multidisciplinary Design Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehr, Ali Farhang; Tumer, Irem; Barszcz, Eric

    2005-01-01

    Integrated Vehicle Health Management (ISHM) systems are used to detect, assess, and isolate functional failures in order to improve safety of space systems such as Orbital Space Planes (OSPs). An ISHM system, as a whole, consists of several subsystems that monitor different components of an OSP including: Spacecraft, Launch Vehicle, Ground Control, and the International Space Station. In this research, therefore, we propose a new methodology to design and optimize ISHM as a distributed system with multiple disciplines (that correspond to different subsystems of OSP safety). A paramount amount of interest has been given in the literature to the multidisciplinary design optimization of problems with such architecture (as will be reviewed in the full paper).

  19. Moving toward true inclusion of racial/ethnic minorities in federally funded studies. A key step for achieving respiratory health equality in the United States.

    PubMed

    Burchard, Esteban G; Oh, Sam S; Foreman, Marilyn G; Celedón, Juan C

    2015-03-01

    A key objective of the 1993 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Revitalization Act was to ensure inclusion of minorities in clinical research. We conducted a literature search for the period from 1993 to 2013 to examine whether racial/ethnic minorities are adequately represented in published research studies of pulmonary diseases, particularly NIH-funded studies. We found a marked underrepresentation of minorities in published clinical research on pulmonary diseases. Over the last 20 years, inclusion of members of racial or ethnic minority groups was reported (in MeSH terms, journal titles, and MEDLINE fields) in less than 5% of all NIH-funded published studies of respiratory diseases. Although a secondary analysis revealed that a larger proportion of NIH-funded studies included any minorities, this proportional increment mostly resulted from studies including relatively small numbers of minorities (which precludes robust race- or ethnic-specific analyses). Underrepresentation or exclusion of minorities from NIH-funded studies is likely due to multiple reasons, including insufficient education and training on designing and implementing population-based studies of minorities, inadequate motivation or incentives to overcome challenges in the recruitment and retention of sufficient numbers of members of racial/ethnic minorities, underrepresentation of minorities among respiratory scientists in academic medical centers, and a dearth of successful partnerships between academic medical centers and underrepresented communities. This problem could be remedied by implementing short-, medium-, and long-term strategies, such as creating incentives to conduct minority research, ensuring fair review of grant applications focusing on minorities, developing the careers of minority scientists, and facilitating and valuing research on minorities by investigators of all backgrounds. PMID:25584658

  20. Moving toward True Inclusion of Racial/Ethnic Minorities in Federally Funded Studies. A Key Step for Achieving Respiratory Health Equality in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Sam S.; Foreman, Marilyn G.; Celedón, Juan C.

    2015-01-01

    A key objective of the 1993 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Revitalization Act was to ensure inclusion of minorities in clinical research. We conducted a literature search for the period from 1993 to 2013 to examine whether racial/ethnic minorities are adequately represented in published research studies of pulmonary diseases, particularly NIH-funded studies. We found a marked underrepresentation of minorities in published clinical research on pulmonary diseases. Over the last 20 years, inclusion of members of racial or ethnic minority groups was reported (in MeSH terms, journal titles, and MEDLINE fields) in less than 5% of all NIH-funded published studies of respiratory diseases. Although a secondary analysis revealed that a larger proportion of NIH-funded studies included any minorities, this proportional increment mostly resulted from studies including relatively small numbers of minorities (which precludes robust race- or ethnic-specific analyses). Underrepresentation or exclusion of minorities from NIH-funded studies is likely due to multiple reasons, including insufficient education and training on designing and implementing population-based studies of minorities, inadequate motivation or incentives to overcome challenges in the recruitment and retention of sufficient numbers of members of racial/ethnic minorities, underrepresentation of minorities among respiratory scientists in academic medical centers, and a dearth of successful partnerships between academic medical centers and underrepresented communities. This problem could be remedied by implementing short-, medium-, and long-term strategies, such as creating incentives to conduct minority research, ensuring fair review of grant applications focusing on minorities, developing the careers of minority scientists, and facilitating and valuing research on minorities by investigators of all backgrounds. PMID:25584658

  1. Organ Donation Among Tiers of Health Workers: Expanding Resources to Optimize Organ Availability in a Developing Country

    PubMed Central

    Oluyombo, Rotimi; Fawale, Bimbo Michael; Busari, Olusegun Adesola; Ogunmola, Jeffery Olarinde; Olanrewaju, Timothy Olusegun; Akinleye, Callistus Adewale; Ojewola, Rufus Wale; Yusuf, Musah; Obajolowo, Omotola; Soje, Michael; Gbadegesin, Babajide

    2016-01-01

    The global increase in end organ failure but disproportional shortage of organ donation calls for attention. Expanding the organ pool by assessing and improving health workers' attitude at all levels of care may be a worthwhile initiative. Methods A questionnaire-based cross sectional study involving tertiary, secondary, and primary health institutions in Southwestern Nigeria was conducted. Results Age range was 18 to 62 (36.7 ± 9.2) years. Only 13.5%, 11.7%, and 11.2% from primary, secondary, and tertiary health centers, respectively, would definitely donate despite high level of awareness (>90%) at each level of care. Participants from primary health care are of low income (P < 0.05), and this cohort is less likely to be aware of organ donation (P < 0.05). At each level of care, permission by religion to donate organs influenced positive attitudes (willingness to donate, readiness to counsel families of potential donors, and signing of organ donation cards) toward organ donation. Good knowledge of organ donation only significantly influenced readiness to counsel donors (P < 0.05) and not willingness to donate (P > 0.05). At each level of health care, young health care workers (P < 0.05) and women (P > 0.05) would be willing to donate, whereas men show positive attitude in signing of organ donor cards (P < 0.05) and counseling of families of potential donors (P > 0.05). Conclusions Knowledge and willingness to donate organs among health care levels were not different. Considering the potential advantage of community placement of other tiers of health care (primary and secondary) in Nigeria, integrating them would be strategically beneficial to organ donation. PMID:27500245

  2. Optimizing Cognitive Development over the Life Course and Preventing Cognitive Decline: Introducing the Cognitive Health Environment Life Course Model (CHELM)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anstey, Kaarin J.

    2014-01-01

    Optimal cognitive development is defined in this article as the highest level of cognitive function reached in each cognitive domain given a person's biological and genetic disposition, and the highest possible maintenance of cognitive function over the adult life course. Theoretical perspectives underpinning the development of a framework…

  3. Graded Achievement, Tested Achievement, and Validity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brookhart, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    Twenty-eight studies of grades, over a century, were reviewed using the argument-based approach to validity suggested by Kane as a theoretical framework. The review draws conclusions about the meaning of graded achievement, its relation to tested achievement, and changes in the construct of graded achievement over time. "Graded…

  4. Where Do the Rural Poor Deliver When High Coverage of Health Facility Delivery Is Achieved? Findings from a Community and Hospital Survey in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Straneo, Manuela; Fogliati, Piera; Azzimonti, Gaetano; Mangi, Sabina; Kisika, Firma

    2014-01-01

    Introduction As part of maternal mortality reducing strategies, coverage of delivery care among sub-Saharan African rural poor will improve, with a range of facilities providing services. Whether high coverage will benefit all socio-economic groups is unknown. Iringa rural District, Southern Tanzania, with high facility delivery coverage, offers a paradigm to address this question. Delivery services are available in first-line facilities (dispensaries, health centres) and one hospital. We assessed whether all socio-economic groups access the only comprehensive emergency obstetric care facility equally, and surveyed existing delivery services. Methods District population characteristics were obtained from a household community survey (n = 463). A Hospital survey collected data on women who delivered in this facility (n = 1072). Principal component analysis on household assets was used to assess socio-economic status. Hospital population socio-demographic characteristics were compared to District population using multivariable logistic regression. Deliveries' distribution in District facilities and staffing were analysed using routine data. Results Women from the hospital compared to the District population were more likely to be wealthier. Adjusted odds ratio of hospital delivery increased progressively across socio-economic groups, from 1.73 for the poorer (p = 0.0031) to 4.53 (p<0.0001) for the richest. Remarkable dispersion of deliveries and poor staffing were found. In 2012, 5505/7645 (72%) institutional deliveries took place in 68 first-line facilities, the remaining in the hospital. 56/68 (67.6%) first-line facilities reported ≤100 deliveries/year, attending 33% of deliveries. Insufficient numbers of skilled birth attendants were found in 42.9% of facilities. Discussion Poorer women remain disadvantaged in high coverage, as they access lower level facilities and are under-represented where life-saving transfusions and caesarean sections are

  5. What health service support do families need for optimal breastfeeding? An in-depth exploration of young infant feeding practices in Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    Bazzano, Alessandra N; Oberhelman, Richard A; Potts, Kaitlin Storck; Taub, Leah D; Var, Chivorn

    2015-01-01

    Background Appropriate and timely breastfeeding practices markedly improve lifelong health outcomes for newborns, children, and mothers. Exclusive breastfeeding is reported to be widely practiced in Cambodia, and important progress has been made toward achieving improved child health outcomes, but newborn mortality has been slow to reduce and breastfeeding practices remain suboptimal. Methods Formative research was conducted in Takeo province, Cambodia to describe the practical, cultural, and social factors underlying current breastfeeding behaviors to inform the design of a newborn survival intervention that may improve breastfeeding. In-depth interviews, observations, a collection of visual media, and focus groups were employed to gather qualitative data. Results The results revealed knowledge and practice gaps in behavior that likely contribute to breastfeeding barriers, particularly in the areas of infant latch, milk production, feeding frequency, and the use of breast milk substitutes. The predominant theme identified in the research was a dearth of detailed information, advice, and counseling for mothers beyond the message to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months. Conclusion Future newborn survival interventions and postnatal care counseling in this area must go beyond the exclusive breastfeeding message. To achieve further impact, it will be necessary to disseminate comprehensive and locally appropriate information on breastfeeding and to improve counseling in order to support successful breastfeeding and to contribute to population-level health gains. PMID:25733931

  6. Variation in Patient Profiles and Outcomes in US and Non-US Subgroups of the Cangrelor Versus Standard Therapy to Achieve Optimal Management of Platelet Inhibition (CHAMPION) PHOENIX Trial

    PubMed Central

    Vaduganathan, Muthiah; Harrington, Robert A.; Stone, Gregg W.; Steg, Ph. Gabriel; Gibson, C. Michael; Hamm, Christian W.; Price, Matthew J.; Prats, Jayne; Deliargyris, Efthymios N.; Mahaffey, Kenneth W.; White, Harvey D.

    2016-01-01

    Background— The Cangrelor Versus Standard Therapy to Achieve Optimal Management of Platelet Inhibition (CHAMPION) PHOENIX trial demonstrated superiority of cangrelor in reducing ischemic events at 48 hours in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention compared with clopidogrel. Methods and Results— We analyzed all patients included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis in US (n=4097; 37.4%) and non-US subgroups (n=6845; 62.6%). The US cohort was older, had a higher burden of cardiovascular risk factors, and had more frequently undergone prior cardiovascular procedures. US patients more frequently underwent percutaneous coronary intervention for stable angina (77.9% versus 46.2%). Almost all US patients (99.1%) received clopidogrel loading doses of 600 mg, whereas 40.5% of non-US patients received 300 mg. Bivalirudin was more frequently used in US patients (56.7% versus 2.9%). At 48 hours, rates of the primary composite end point were comparable in the US and non-US cohorts (5.5% versus 5.2%; P=0.53). Cangrelor reduced rates of the primary composite end point compared with clopidogrel in US (4.5% versus 6.4%; odds ratio 0.70 [95% confidence interval 0.53–0.92]) and in non-US patients (4.8% versus 5.6%; odds ratio 0.85 [95% confidence interval 0.69–1.05]; interaction P=0.26). Similarly, rates of the key secondary end point, stent thrombosis, were reduced by cangrelor in both regions. Rates of Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Arteries (GUSTO)–defined severe bleeding were low and not significantly increased by cangrelor in either region. Conclusions— Despite broad differences in clinical profiles and indications for percutaneous coronary intervention by region in a large global cardiovascular clinical trial, cangrelor consistently reduced rates of ischemic end points compared with clopidogrel without an excess in severe bleeding in both the US and non-US subgroups. Clinical Trial Registration— URL: http

  7. A model to optimize public health care and downstage breast cancer in limited-resource populations in southern Brazil. (Porto Alegre Breast Health Intervention Cohort)

    PubMed Central

    Caleffi, Maira; Ribeiro, Rodrigo A; Filho, Dakir L Duarte; Ashton-Prolla, Patrícia; Bedin, Ademar J; Skonieski, Giovana P; Zignani, Juliana M; Giacomazzi, Juliana; Franco, Luciane R; Graudenz, Márcia; Pohlmann, Paula; Fernandes, Jefferson G; Kivitz, Philip; Weber, Bernardete

    2009-01-01

    Background Breast cancer (BC) is a major public health problem, with rising incidence in many regions of the globe. Although mortality has recently dropped in developed countries, death rates are still increasing in some developing countries, as seen in Brazil. Among the reasons for this phenomenon are the lack of structured screening programs, a long waiting period between diagnosis and treatment, and lack of access to health services for a large proportion of the Brazilian population. Methods and design Since 2004, an intervention study in a cohort of women in Southern Brazil, denominated Porto Alegre Breast Health Intervention Cohort, is being conducted in order to test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a model for BC early detection and treatment. In this study, over 4,000 women from underserved communities aged 40 to 69 years are being screened annually with mammography and clinical breast examination performed by a multidisciplinary team, which also involves nutritional counseling and genetic cancer risk assessment. Risk factors for BC development are also being evaluated. Active search of participants by lay community health workers is one of the major features of our program. The accrual of new participants was concluded in 2006 and the study will last for 10 years. The main goal of the study is to demonstrate significant downstaging of BC in an underserved population through proper screening, attaining a higher rate of early-stage BC diagnoses than usually seen in women diagnosed in the Brazilian Public Health System. Preliminary results show a very high BC incidence in this population (117 cases per 100,000 women per year), despite a low prevalence of classical risk factors. Discussion This study will allow us to test a model of BC early diagnosis and treatment and evaluate its cost-effectiveness in a developing country where the mortality associated with this disease is very high. Also, it might contribute to the evaluation of risk factors in a

  8. Telecourse Study Guide to "Here's to Your Health."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richards, Donna

    This study guide was prepared to accompany "Here's to Your Health," a telecourse focusing on lifestyle factors influencing health, which was designed to provide the tools necessary for achieving and maintaining an optimal, healthy lifestyle. For each of 27 lessons, the study guide presents learning objectives, an overview of content, study…

  9. Optimism and spontaneous self-affirmation are associated with lower likelihood of cognitive impairment and greater positive affect among cancer survivors

    PubMed Central

    Taber, Jennifer M.; Klein, William M. P.; Ferrer, Rebecca A.; Kent, Erin E.; Harris, Peter R.

    2016-01-01

    Background Optimism and self-affirmation promote adaptive coping, goal achievement, and better health. Purpose To examine the associations of optimism and spontaneous self-affirmation (SSA) with physical, mental, and cognitive health and information seeking among cancer survivors. Methods Cancer survivors (n=326) completed the Health Information National Trends Survey 2013, a national survey of U.S. adults. Participants reported optimism, SSA, cognitive and physical impairment, affect, health status, and information seeking. Results Participants higher in optimism reported better health on nearly all indices examined, even when controlling for SSA. Participants higher in SSA reported lower likelihood of cognitive impairment, greater happiness and hopefulness, and greater likelihood of cancer information seeking. SSA remained significantly associated with greater hopefulness and cancer information seeking when controlling for optimism. Conclusions Optimism and SSA may be associated with beneficial health-related outcomes among cancer survivors. Given the demonstrated malleability of self-affirmation, these findings represent important avenues for future research. PMID:26497697

  10. Optimizing human factors in dentistry

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Arpit; Ankola, Anil V.; Hebbal, Mamata

    2013-01-01

    Occupational health hazards among dental professionals are on a continuous rise and they have a significant negative overall impact on daily life. This review is intended to provide the information regarding risk factors and to highlight the prevention strategies for optimizing human factors in dentistry. Risk factors among dentists are multifactorial, which can be categorized into biomechanical and psychosocial. To achieve a realistic target of safety and health at work, prevention is clearly the best approach; therefore, musculoskeletal disorders can be reduced through proper positioning of dental worker and patient, regular rest breaks, general good health, using ergonomic equipment, and exercises designed to counteract the particular risk factors for the dental occupation. However, substantial evidences are still required to elucidate the potential risk factors and to formulate effective prevention programs. PMID:23946745

  11. Optimization and life-cycle cost of health clinic PV system for a rural area in southern Iraq using HOMER software

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Karaghouli, Ali; Kazmerski, L.L.

    2010-04-15

    This paper addresses the need for electricity of rural areas in southern Iraq and proposes a photovoltaic (PV) solar system to power a health clinic in that region. The total daily health clinic load is 31.6 kW h and detailed loads are listed. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) optimization computer model for distributed power, ''HOMER,'' is used to estimate the system size and its life-cycle cost. The analysis shows that the optimal system's initial cost, net present cost, and electricity cost is US$ 50,700, US$ 60,375, and US$ 0.238/kW h, respectively. These values for the PV system are compared with those of a generator alone used to supply the load. We found that the initial cost, net present cost of the generator system, and electricity cost are US$ 4500, US$ 352,303, and US$ 1.332/kW h, respectively. We conclude that using the PV system is justified on humanitarian, technical, and economic grounds. (author)

  12. Quantitative damage detection and sparse sensor array optimization of carbon fiber reinforced resin composite laminates for wind turbine blade structural health monitoring.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Yang, Zhibo; Chen, Xuefeng

    2014-01-01

    The active structural health monitoring (SHM) approach for the complex composite laminate structures of wind turbine blades (WTBs), addresses the important and complicated problem of signal noise. After illustrating the wind energy industry's development perspectives and its crucial requirement for SHM, an improved redundant second generation wavelet transform (IRSGWT) pre-processing algorithm based on neighboring coefficients is introduced for feeble signal denoising. The method can avoid the drawbacks of conventional wavelet methods that lose information in transforms and the shortcomings of redundant second generation wavelet (RSGWT) denoising that can lead to error propagation. For large scale WTB composites, how to minimize the number of sensors while ensuring accuracy is also a key issue. A sparse sensor array optimization of composites for WTB applications is proposed that can reduce the number of transducers that must be used. Compared to a full sixteen transducer array, the optimized eight transducer configuration displays better accuracy in identifying the correct position of simulated damage (mass of load) on composite laminates with anisotropic characteristics than a non-optimized array. It can help to guarantee more flexible and qualified monitoring of the areas that more frequently suffer damage. The proposed methods are verified experimentally on specimens of carbon fiber reinforced resin composite laminates. PMID:24763210

  13. Quantitative Damage Detection and Sparse Sensor Array Optimization of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Resin Composite Laminates for Wind Turbine Blade Structural Health Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiang; Yang, Zhibo; Chen, Xuefeng

    2014-01-01

    The active structural health monitoring (SHM) approach for the complex composite laminate structures of wind turbine blades (WTBs), addresses the important and complicated problem of signal noise. After illustrating the wind energy industry's development perspectives and its crucial requirement for SHM, an improved redundant second generation wavelet transform (IRSGWT) pre-processing algorithm based on neighboring coefficients is introduced for feeble signal denoising. The method can avoid the drawbacks of conventional wavelet methods that lose information in transforms and the shortcomings of redundant second generation wavelet (RSGWT) denoising that can lead to error propagation. For large scale WTB composites, how to minimize the number of sensors while ensuring accuracy is also a key issue. A sparse sensor array optimization of composites for WTB applications is proposed that can reduce the number of transducers that must be used. Compared to a full sixteen transducer array, the optimized eight transducer configuration displays better accuracy in identifying the correct position of simulated damage (mass of load) on composite laminates with anisotropic characteristics than a non-optimized array. It can help to guarantee more flexible and qualified monitoring of the areas that more frequently suffer damage. The proposed methods are verified experimentally on specimens of carbon fiber reinforced resin composite laminates. PMID:24763210

  14. College Students' Alcohol Use and Their Adherence to Health Principles: Optimism, Values, Self-Care, Relationships, Community, Nature, and Service

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, April

    2009-01-01

    Prevention of high-risk use of alcohol by college students has been studied for over 20 years. Most prevention methodology has focused on reducing supply to students rather than addressing the root causes that students use alcohol in self-abusive manner. One holistic health approach that addresses the root causes of alcohol abuse promotes the…

  15. Optimizing Home-School Collaboration: Strategies for School Psychologists and Latino Parent Involvement for Positive Mental Health Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olvera, Pedro; Olvera, Veronica I.

    2012-01-01

    Public schools across the United States are experiencing an increase in Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) students, particularly those of Latino descent. Latino children are at a high-risk for mental health problems (i.e., depression, anxiety, risk of suicide, etc.) and face greater risk factors when compared to many of their ethnic…

  16. Unequally Distributed Psychological Assets: Are There Social Disparities in Optimism, Life Satisfaction, and Positive Affect?

    PubMed Central

    Boehm, Julia K.; Chen, Ying; Williams, David R.; Ryff, Carol; Kubzansky, Laura D.

    2015-01-01

    Socioeconomic status is associated with health disparities, but underlying psychosocial mechanisms have not been fully identified. Dispositional optimism may be a psychosocial process linking socioeconomic status with health. We hypothesized that lower optimism would be associated with greater social disadvantage and poorer social mobility. We also investigated whether life satisfaction and positive affect showed similar patterns. Participants from the Midlife in the United States study self-reported their optimism, satisfaction, positive affect, and socioeconomic status (gender, race/ethnicity, education, occupational class and prestige, income). Social disparities in optimism were evident. Optimistic individuals tended to be white and highly educated, had an educated parent, belonged to higher occupational classes with more prestige, and had higher incomes. Findings were generally similar for satisfaction, but not positive affect. Greater optimism and satisfaction were also associated with educational achievement across generations. Optimism and life satisfaction are consistently linked with socioeconomic advantage and may be one conduit by which social disparities influence health. PMID:25671665

  17. Understanding and optimizing health-related quality of life and physical functional capacity in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Amy L; Brown, Kevin K; Swigris, Jeffrey J

    2016-01-01

    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a relentlessly progressive pulmonary disease characterized by the insidious onset of shortness of breath due to parenchymal scarring. As IPF progresses, breathlessness worsens, physical functional capacity declines, and health-related quality of life (HRQL) – the impact of health or disease on a person’s satisfaction with their overall station in life – deteriorates. These two inextricably linked variables – breathlessness and physical functional capacity – are strong drivers of HRQL. With the emergence of new and prospective therapies for IPF, it is more important than ever to be able to accurately and reliably assess how IPF patients feel and function. Doing so will promote the development of novel interventions to target impairments in these areas and ensure that the field is capable of assessing the effect of therapeutics interventions on these critically important patient-centered outcomes. PMID:27274328

  18. Is Using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in a Community Sample the Optimal Way to Assess Mental Health Functioning?

    PubMed Central

    Vaz, Sharmila; Cordier, Reinie; Boyes, Mark; Parsons, Richard; Joosten, Annette; Ciccarelli, Marina; Falkmer, Marita; Falkmer, Torbjorn

    2016-01-01

    An important characteristic of a screening tool is its discriminant ability or the measure’s accuracy to distinguish between those with and without mental health problems. The current study examined the inter-rater agreement and screening concordance of the parent and teacher versions of SDQ at scale, subscale and item-levels, with the view of identifying the items that have the most informant discrepancies; and determining whether the concordance between parent and teacher reports on some items has the potential to influence decision making. Cross-sectional data from parent and teacher reports of the mental health functioning of a community sample of 299 students with and without disabilities from 75 different primary schools in Perth, Western Australia were analysed. The study found that: a) Intraclass correlations between parent and teacher ratings of children’s mental health using the SDQ at person level was fair on individual child level; b) The SDQ only demonstrated clinical utility when there was agreement between teacher and parent reports using the possible or 90% dichotomisation system; and c) Three individual items had positive likelihood ratio scores indicating clinical utility. Of note was the finding that the negative likelihood ratio or likelihood of disregarding the absence of a condition when both parents and teachers rate the item as absent was not significant. Taken together, these findings suggest that the SDQ is not optimised for use in community samples and that further psychometric evaluation of the SDQ in this context is clearly warranted. PMID:26771673

  19. Is Using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in a Community Sample the Optimal Way to Assess Mental Health Functioning?

    PubMed

    Vaz, Sharmila; Cordier, Reinie; Boyes, Mark; Parsons, Richard; Joosten, Annette; Ciccarelli, Marina; Falkmer, Marita; Falkmer, Torbjorn

    2016-01-01

    An important characteristic of a screening tool is its discriminant ability or the measure's accuracy to distinguish between those with and without mental health problems. The current study examined the inter-rater agreement and screening concordance of the parent and teacher versions of SDQ at scale, subscale and item-levels, with the view of identifying the items that have the most informant discrepancies; and determining whether the concordance between parent and teacher reports on some items has the potential to influence decision making. Cross-sectional data from parent and teacher reports of the mental health functioning of a community sample of 299 students with and without disabilities from 75 different primary schools in Perth, Western Australia were analysed. The study found that: a) Intraclass correlations between parent and teacher ratings of children's mental health using the SDQ at person level was fair on individual child level; b) The SDQ only demonstrated clinical utility when there was agreement between teacher and parent reports using the possible or 90% dichotomisation system; and c) Three individual items had positive likelihood ratio scores indicating clinical utility. Of note was the finding that the negative likelihood ratio or likelihood of disregarding the absence of a condition when both parents and teachers rate the item as absent was not significant. Taken together, these findings suggest that the SDQ is not optimised for use in community samples and that further psychometric evaluation of the SDQ in this context is clearly warranted. PMID:26771673

  20. Optimizing Clinical Operations as part of a Global Emergency Medicine Initiative in Kumasi, Ghana: Application of Lean Manufacturing Principals to Low Resource Health Systems

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Patrick M.; Desmond, Jeffery S.; Akanbobnaab, Christopher; Oteng, Rockefeller A.; Rominski, Sarah; Barsan, William G.; Cunningham, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    Background Although many global health programs focus on providing clinical care or medical education, improving clinical operations can have a significant effect on patient care delivery, especially in developing health systems without high-level operations management. Lean manufacturing techniques have been effective in decreasing emergency department (ED) length of stay, patient waiting times, numbers of patients leaving without being seen, and door-to-balloon times for ST-elevation myocardial infarction in developed health systems; but use of Lean in low to middle income countries with developing emergency medicine systems has not been well characterized. Objectives To describe the application of Lean manufacturing techniques to improve clinical operations at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana and to identify key lessons learned to aid future global EM initiatives. Methods A three-week Lean improvement program focused on the hospital admissions process at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital was completed by a 14-person team in six stages: problem definition, scope of project planning, value stream mapping, root cause analysis, future state planning, and implementation planning. Results The authors identified eight lessons learned during our use of Lean to optimize the operations of an ED in a global health setting: 1) the Lean process aided in building a partnership with Ghanaian colleagues; 2) obtaining and maintaining senior institutional support is necessary and challenging; 3) addressing power differences among the team to obtain feedback from all team members is critical to successful Lean analysis; 4) choosing a manageable initial project is critical to influence long-term Lean use in a new environment; 5) data intensive Lean tools can be adapted and are effective in a less resourced health system; 6) several Lean tools focused on team problem solving techniques worked well in a low resource system without modification; 7) using Lean highlighted that

  1. Demystifying Data: Data Use in State and Local Public Health Nutrition Programs--Measuring Achievement of the 1990 Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Objectives for the Nation. Proceedings of the Continuing Education Conference for the Association of State and Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors and Association of Faculties of Graduate Programs in Public Health Nutrition (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, May 21-24, 1985).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufman, Mildred, Comp.

    This document contains the proceedings from the Conference of State and Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors and Faculties of Graduate Programs in Public Health Nutrition designed to improve participants' proficiency in data management. It includes an introduction by Mildred Kaufman, a conference agenda, and the following presentations:…

  2. Prospective Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Sejnowski, Terrence J.; Poizner, Howard; Lynch, Gary; Gepshtein, Sergei; Greenspan, Ralph J.

    2014-01-01

    Human performance approaches that of an ideal observer and optimal actor in some perceptual and motor tasks. These optimal abilities depend on the capacity of the cerebral cortex to store an immense amount of information and to flexibly make rapid decisions. However, behavior only approaches these limits after a long period of learning while the cerebral cortex interacts with the basal ganglia, an ancient part of the vertebrate brain that is responsible for learning sequences of actions directed toward achieving goals. Progress has been made in understanding the algorithms used by the brain during reinforcement learning, which is an online approximation of dynamic programming. Humans also make plans that depend on past experience by simulating different scenarios, which is called prospective optimization. The same brain structures in the cortex and basal ganglia that are active online during optimal behavior are also active offline during prospective optimization. The emergence of general principles and algorithms for goal-directed behavior has consequences for the development of autonomous devices in engineering applications. PMID:25328167

  3. A Method for the Design and Development of Medical or Health Care Information Websites to Optimize Search Engine Results Page Rankings on Google

    PubMed Central

    Cummins, Niamh Maria; Hannigan, Ailish; Shannon, Bill; Dunne, Colum; Cullen, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Background The Internet is a widely used source of information for patients searching for medical/health care information. While many studies have assessed existing medical/health care information on the Internet, relatively few have examined methods for design and delivery of such websites, particularly those aimed at the general public. Objective This study describes a method of evaluating material for new medical/health care websites, or for assessing those already in existence, which is correlated with higher rankings on Google's Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Methods A website quality assessment (WQA) tool was developed using criteria related to the quality of the information to be contained in the website in addition to an assessment of the readability of the text. This was retrospectively applied to assess existing websites that provide information about generic medicines. The reproducibility of the WQA tool and its predictive validity were assessed in this study. Results The WQA tool demonstrated very high reproducibility (intraclass correlation coefficient=0.95) between 2 independent users. A moderate to strong correlation was found between WQA scores and rankings on Google SERPs. Analogous correlations were seen between rankings and readability of websites as determined by Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level scores. Conclusions The use of the WQA tool developed in this study is recommended as part of the design phase of a medical or health care information provision website, along with assessment of readability of the material to be used. This may ensure that the website performs better on Google searches. The tool can also be used retrospectively to make improvements to existing websites, thus, potentially enabling better Google search result positions without incurring the costs associated with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professionals or paid promotion. PMID:23981848

  4. On-line optimization of battery open circuit voltage for improved state-of-charge and state-of-health estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Shijie; Klein, Matthew P.; Park, Jae Wan

    2015-10-01

    A battery management system (BMS) ensures performance, safety and longevity of a battery energy storage system in an embedded environment. One important task for a BMS is to estimate the state of charge (SoC) and state of health (SoH) of a battery. The correlation between battery open circuit voltage (OCV) and SoC is an important reference for state estimation. The OCV-SoC correlation changes with respect to battery degradation. To improve the accuracy of state estimation, it is important to have the OCV-SoC correlation updated periodically. This work presents a solution by proposing a novel SoH(SoC) correlation as part of the battery equivalent circuit model (ECM). On-line optimization of SoH(SoC) correlation implicitly optimizes the OCV(SoC) correlation, as well as the capacity of a battery. An associated state and parameter dual estimator is proposed incorporating an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) as a state observer, Recursive Least Square (RLS) algorithm as an internal resistance identifier, and Parameter Varying Approach as the SoH(SoC) correlation identifier. Battery experiment and simulation results validate that updating the SoH-SoC correlation effectively tracks battery SoH on-line. Furthermore, it implicitly updates OCV(SoC) function, further improving SoC estimation accuracy by 0.5%∼3%.

  5. Positive Cardiovascular Health: A Timely Convergence.

    PubMed

    Labarthe, Darwin R; Kubzansky, Laura D; Boehm, Julia K; Lloyd-Jones, Donald M; Berry, Jarett D; Seligman, Martin E P

    2016-08-23

    Two concepts, positive health and cardiovascular health, have emerged recently from the respective fields of positive psychology and preventive cardiology. These parallel constructs are converging to foster positive cardiovascular health and a growing collaboration between psychologists and cardiovascular scientists to achieve significant improvements in both individual and population cardiovascular health. We explore these 2 concepts and note close similarities in the measures that define them, the health states that they aim to produce, and their intended long-term clinical and public health outcomes. We especially examine subjective health assets, such as optimism, that are a core focus of positive psychology, but have largely been neglected in preventive cardiology. We identify research to date on positive cardiovascular health, discuss its strengths and limitations thus far, and outline directions for further engagement of cardiovascular scientists with colleagues in positive psychology to advance this new field. PMID:27539179

  6. Gear optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanderplaats, G. N.; Chen, Xiang; Zhang, Ning-Tian

    1988-01-01

    The use of formal numerical optimization methods for the design of gears is investigated. To achieve this, computer codes were developed for the analysis of spur gears and spiral bevel gears. These codes calculate the life, dynamic load, bending strength, surface durability, gear weight and size, and various geometric parameters. It is necessary to calculate all such important responses because they all represent competing requirements in the design process. The codes developed here were written in subroutine form and coupled to the COPES/ADS general purpose optimization program. This code allows the user to define the optimization problem at the time of program execution. Typical design variables include face width, number of teeth and diametral pitch. The user is free to choose any calculated response as the design objective to minimize or maximize and may impose lower and upper bounds on any calculated responses. Typical examples include life maximization with limits on dynamic load, stress, weight, etc. or minimization of weight subject to limits on life, dynamic load, etc. The research codes were written in modular form for easy expansion and so that they could be combined to create a multiple reduction optimization capability in future.

  7. Dementia Prevention: optimizing the use of observational data for personal, clinical, and public health decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Dacks, Penny A; Andrieu, Sandrine; Blacker, Deborah; Carman, Aaron J; Green, Allan M; Grodstein, Francine; Henderson, Victor W; James, Bryan D.; Lane, Rachel F; Lau, Joseph; Lin, Pei-Jung; Reeves, Barnaby C.; Shah, Raj C.; Vellas, Bruno; Yaffe, Kristine; Yurko-Mauro, Karin; Shineman, Diana W; Bennett, David A; Fillit, Howard M

    2015-01-01

    Worldwide, over 35 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. This number is expected to triple over the next 40 years. How can we improve the evidence supporting strategies to reduce the rate of dementia in future generations? The risk of dementia is likely influenced by modifiable factors such as exercise, cognitive activity, and the clinical management of diabetes and hypertension. However, the quality of evidence is limited and it remains unclear whether specific interventions to reduce these modifiable risk factors can, in turn, reduce the risk of dementia. Although randomized controlled trials are the gold-standard for causality, the majority of evidence for long-term dementia prevention derives from, and will likely continue to derive from, observational studies. Although observational research has some unavoidable limitations, its utility for dementia prevention might be improved by, for example, better distinction between confirmatory and exploratory research, higher reporting standards, investment in effectiveness research enabled by increased data-pooling, and standardized exposure and outcome measures. Informed decision-making by the general public on low-risk health choices that could have broad potential benefits could be enabled by internet-based tools and decision-aids to communicate the evidence, its quality, and the estimated magnitude of effect. PMID:26146610

  8. [From the Competence Network on Depression and Suicidality to the German Depression Foundation : National and international prevention of suicidal behaviour and optimizing health care through using of E‑Mental-Health].

    PubMed

    Hegerl, Ulrich; Rummel-Kluge, Christine; Heinz, Ines

    2016-04-01

    Depression is a very common, severe, socio-economically highly relevant disorder and the main cause for approximately 10,000 suicides in Germany annually. There is capital room for improvement and optimization of the care for depressed patients, as effective and evidence-based treatment options are available. However, they are only used optimally by a minority of the people affected due to huge diagnostic and therapeutic deficits. The "Compentence Network on Depression and Suicidality" provided several evidence-based concepts to improve care for patients affected by depression and to prevent suicidal behaviour. Especially the four-level intervention approach of the Alliances Against Depression has been successfully adapted and implemented by more than 100 regions within Europe and globally as well. The infrastructure of the Competence Network could be efficiently sustained throughout the establishment of the German Depression Foundation and the European Alliance against Depression. Since 2014, all research activities have been extended nationally and internationally by the establishment of a Depression Research Centre with a special focus on various E‑Mental-Health-projects. PMID:26961867

  9. Comparing Science Achievement Constructs: Targeted and Achieved

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferrara, Steve; Duncan, Teresa

    2011-01-01

    This article illustrates how test specifications based solely on academic content standards, without attention to other cognitive skills and item response demands, can fall short of their targeted constructs. First, the authors inductively describe the science achievement construct represented by a statewide sixth-grade science proficiency test.…

  10. Varieties of Achievement Motivation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kukla, Andre; Scher, Hal

    1986-01-01

    A recent article by Nicholls on achievement motivation is criticized on three points: (1) definitions of achievement motives are ambiguous; (2) behavioral consequences predicted do not follow from explicit theoretical assumptions; and (3) Nicholls's account of the relation between his theory and other achievement theories is factually incorrect.…

  11. Motivation and School Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maehr, Martin L.; Archer, Jennifer

    Addressing the question, "What can be done to promote school achievement?", this paper summarizes the literature on motivation relating to classroom achievement and school effectiveness. Particular attention is given to how values, ideology, and various cultural patterns impinge on classroom performance and serve to enhance motivation to achieve.…

  12. Mobility and Reading Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waters, Theresa Z.

    A study examined the effect of geographic mobility on elementary school students' achievement. Although such mobility, which requires students to make multiple moves among schools, can have a negative impact on academic achievement, the hypothesis for the study was that it was not a determining factor in reading achievement test scores. Subjects…

  13. PASS and Reading Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kirby, John R.

    Two studies examined the effectiveness of the PASS (Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, and Successive cognitive processes) theory of intelligence in predicting reading achievement scores of normally achieving children and distinguishing children with reading disabilities from normally achieving children. The first study dealt with predicting…

  14. A Cross-Cultural Critique of Newer Therapeutic Recreation Practice Models: The Self-Determination and Enjoyment Enhancement Model, Aristotelian Good Life Model, and the Optimizing Lifelong Health Through Therapeutic Recreation Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dieser, Rodney B.

    2002-01-01

    Discusses culturally biased assumptions in human services, reviewing three newer therapeutic recreation (TR) models (self- Determination and Enjoyment Enhancement, Aristotelian Good Life, and Optimizing Lifelong Health Through TR) and providing multicultural critiques of each model. Suggestions for the future include: conduct cross-cultural…

  15. Optimal Timing of Delivery among Low-Risk Women with Prior Caesarean Section: A Secondary Analysis of the WHO Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, Joshua P.; Morisaki, Naho; Pileggi-Castro, Cynthia; Ortiz-Panozo, Eduardo; Jayaratne, Kapila; Mittal, Suneeta; Ota, Erika; Souza, João Paulo; Mori, Rintaro

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate optimal timing of elective repeat caesarean section among low-risk pregnant women with prior caesarean section in a multicountry sample from largely low- and middle-income countries. Design Secondary analysis of a cross-sectional study. Setting Twenty-nine countries from the World Health Organization Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health. Population 29,647 women with prior caesarean section and no pregnancy complications in their current pregnancy who delivered a term singleton (live birth and stillbirth) at gestational age 37–41 weeks by pre-labour caesarean section, intra-partum caesarean section, or vaginal birth following spontaneous onset of labour. Methods We compared the rate of short-term adverse maternal and newborn outcomes following pre-labour caesarean section at a given gestational age, to those following ongoing pregnancies beyond that gestational age. Main Outcome Measures Severe maternal outcomes, neonatal morbidity, and intra-hospital early neonatal mortality. Results Odds of neonatal morbidity and intra-hospital early neonatal mortality were 0.48 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39–0.60) and 0.31 (95% CI 0.16–0.58) times lower for ongoing pregnancies compared to pre-labour caesarean section at 37 weeks. We did not find any significant change in the risk of severe maternal outcomes between pre-labour caesarean section at a given gestational age and ongoing pregnancies beyond that gestational age. Conclusions Elective repeat caesarean section at 37 weeks had higher risk of neonatal morbidity and mortality compared to ongoing pregnancy, however risks at later gestational ages did not differ between groups. PMID:26866368

  16. NASA Human Health and Performance Information Architecture Panel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson-Throop, Kathy; Kadwa, Binafer; VanBaalen, Mary

    2014-01-01

    The Human Health and Performance (HH&P) Directorate at NASA's Johnson Space Center has a mission to enable optimization of human health and performance throughout all phases of spaceflight. All HH&P functions are ultimately aimed at achieving this mission. Our activities enable mission success, optimizing human health and productivity in space before, during, and after the actual spaceflight experience of our crews, and include support for ground-based functions. Many of our spaceflight innovations also provide solutions for terrestrial challenges, thereby enhancing life on Earth.

  17. Measuring Intelligence and Achievement Motivation in Surveys. Appendices 3-6. Describing Research Findings Supplementary to the Final Report to U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Office of Economic Opportunity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veroff, Joseph; And Others

    Appendix 3 to the report, Measuring Intelligence and Achievement Motivation in Surveys, describes a series of factor analyses of the achievement orientation measures, and a further analysis of strategies used in trying to interpret them. Also a tentative model for the components of achievement orientation is presented. Appendix 4 describes a…

  18. Heritability of Creative Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piffer, Davide; Hur, Yoon-Mi

    2014-01-01

    Although creative achievement is a subject of much attention to lay people, the origin of individual differences in creative accomplishments remain poorly understood. This study examined genetic and environmental influences on creative achievement in an adult sample of 338 twins (mean age = 26.3 years; SD = 6.6 years). Twins completed the Creative…

  19. Confronting the Achievement Gap

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gardner, David

    2007-01-01

    This article talks about the large achievement gap between children of color and their white peers. The reasons for the achievement gap are varied. First, many urban minorities come from a background of poverty. One of the detrimental effects of growing up in poverty is receiving inadequate nourishment at a time when bodies and brains are rapidly…

  20. States Address Achievement Gaps.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christie, Kathy

    2002-01-01

    Summarizes 2 state initiatives to address the achievement gap: North Carolina's report by the Advisory Commission on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps, containing an 11-point strategy, and Kentucky's legislation putting in place 10 specific processes. The North Carolina report is available at www.dpi.state.nc.us.closingthegap; Kentucky's…